Dedicated to Nigeria's socio-political issues
October 3, 2007 - December 2, 2007
Mensis Horribilis for the PDP and the President
Mobolaji E. Aluko, PhD
Burtonsville, MD, USA
Introduction: “Oh Scary Month, Nai-ji-ri-ans Were Watching!”
It has actually been a terrible, horrific month of December 2004 for our Nigerian President and his PDP ruling party.
Let me explain.
December 10: Supreme Courts About LG Funds
The month actually began with
the Supreme Court ruling in Lagos State’s favor, declaring illegal the
presidential action (in April 2004) in regard to withholding
of Local Government funds from the state because it created 37 additional states
and held elections in all 57 LGs without National Assembly “consequential
action” of listing all the LGs in the Constitution.
Yet in characteristic stubbornness, the Federal government still wishes to return to the Supreme Court for “clarification”, when the Constitution clearly states that the money – all N15 billion withheld since April 2004 – should be paid to the State Government in its Joint State Local Government Accounts fund, as the federal government had done since November 2003 when the additional states were first created.
What beats me in all of this is that it is as if Lagos is asking for more money than meant for the original 20 local governments; it is as if, when Lagos State created the 37 additional states, it imported more people from Benin and Togo, and added more land from Fernando Po that was not approved by the Federal Government !
I just cannot believe such
vindictiveness – withholding N15 billion from people who ostensibly voted for
you – a president who is supposed to have won 1,129,521 in
And to make matters more bizarre, a certain Lagos AD Federal senator called Obanikoro is defecting to a federal ruling party that is STILL withholding so much money from his AD-majority constituents ? And he can walk around in that state ?
There just is a disconnect between our leaders and their constituents, haba !
December 11, 13: Revealed - Exchange of Letters Between Ogbeh and Obasanjo dated December 6, 10 respectively
The month continued with the
revelation of a pair of private letters exchanged between Chief Audu Ogbeh,
Chairman of the “biggest political rally in
It is inconceivable that Ogbeh
and the president would not know that the contents of this letter would become
public; it is inconceivable that this pair did not know that
it would cause unnecessary tension in the country. Most
alarmingly, it is inconceivable that the president of a whole
In effect, he was an accessory after the fact of a crime. However, he is protected by Section 308 – just like Governor Dariye is.
There was more to come in this December.
In case you have forgotten, the
last presidential elections in
Naturally, Buhari protested and
filed a petition to the
But there was a shocker that nobody expected: in upholding OBJ’s national election, the Supreme in its Solomonic wisdom, unanimously ANNULLED the Ogun State results due to the criminal nature of infractions there, ranging “from violence, fingerprinting, official intimidation, bias and falsification of results” thereby sending a message.
Quite shocking, because there is nothing magical about the 618,071 difference: in strict terms, even a one or two vote UNEXPLAINED difference between ALL the polling ballots of the gubernatorial and the presidential elections which were held on the same day would call the elections in ANY given state into question. In Adamawa State the difference was 94,143; in Akwa Ibom, 68,861; in Ebonyi, 1,457; in Edo, 24,197; in Ekiti, 2,675; in Enugu, 70, 922; in Jigawa, 55, 740; in Oyo, 46, 336; and in Niger, 31, 850 – and so on.
The question is: if Ogun can be unanimously annulled for 618,071, what about all of those states in which the total for PRESIDENT exceeded that of GOVERNOR ? I mean, what HAPPENED to the balance of ballots: did the voters eat ‘em or walk away with them ? Was that allowed by the rules of the election process ?
Yes, the ruling was a POLITICAL one to save the country from the chaos that would emanate from CANCELLING the entire thing (as minority Judge Nsofor did), but it still leaves a big MORAL BURDEN on the victor and beneficiary – president Olusegun Obasanjo.
December 21: Uba’s Confession Letter
Uba’s confession letter was icing on the cake: here was an election thief (or at least an accessory) confessing, confirming his meeting with the president along with Ngige, as well as disclosing that he told the same malfeasance to Audu Ogbeh, who urged him to “ehn, keep quiet about it in public o, don’t cause us trouble o! !” In this case, I believe Uba over Ogbeh, a remarkable confession on my part, knowing how much I respect Ogbeh and loathe Uba’s mercantilist approach to politics. However, this Uba move may be the only salutary thing he has done all of his life – and we may not have heard the last earthquake emanating from it.
December 23: We Remember Bola Ige
Every December 23, we will
remind the country of the assassinated Attorney-General and Minister of Justice
Bola Ige, whose murderers have still not been found, and are out there still
lying in wait for the next victim. One cannot fail to
remember that his death in 2001 cannot be UNCONNECTED with
these same 2003 elections that we are writing about, since Ige was on the verge
of loudly leaving government service to re-organize the opposition
One can never forget the burden of explaining how the then former Deputy Governor, Iyiola Omisore, in detention on suspicion for Ige’s murder, not only became a candidate FROM PRISON, but won his Ife senatorial seat – from prison !
Such a wonderful outcome remains a moral burden.
Epilogue: The Moral Burden
So many “moral burdens” arise from this “Mensis horribillis” for the president and the PDP. We will be happy to see the back of this December 2004, and may the New Year 2005 be a better one for us all, particularly Nigerians.
Amen, and amen !
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