National Conference: Pastor Bakare Commends Delegates’ Efforts

sunriseA Delegate at the National Conference, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has commended the efforts of the delegates at the conference and clarified that what is called a draft constitution by the public were the recommendations of the delegates put together under different committees. 

He explained that each committee submitted its report which was subject to endorsement and votes by the plenary, which was later given to the key pillars in the management team for review and onward presentation to the plenary.

“The management team presented three volumes of the reports and called one of the reports  a ‘draft constitution’ and not the plenary,” he said.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise, on Saturday, Pastor Bakare commended the efforts of the management team at the National Conference, adding that the reports, recommendations, resolutions were put on different session but that they were not meant to change the name of the 1999 constitution but rather named the “Draft Constitution”.

Another guest on the programme, Achike Chude of Joint Action Front, said that the outcome of the National Conference depended on the National Assembly and some other people in government.

He noted that if the recommendations were not considered or used as expected by Nigerians, then “it will be mean that 10 billion Naira has gone down the drain”.

Mr Chude also stated that the delegates at the National Conference had put in a lot of efforts at the conference which should not be in vain. “They did a lot of work, some of the resolutions were talked about such as, creation of 50 states, state police amongst others,” he said

LASU Protest, A Fight For Survival – Analyst

Achike ChudeA public affairs analyst and representative of the Joint Action Front, Achike Chude, on Monday, described the on-going protest by students of the Lagos State University (LASU) – over the hike in school fees as a fight for survival.

Appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Chude said the policy was “most irresponsible” of the Lagos government, insisting that education is “about a service that is crucial and important for the well-being of the State”.

He also argued that the controversy over the development of the school and the increase in fees, required will-power on the part of the government to ensure that the citizens got education, no matter what.

“Our leadership, in as much as some of them have been educated within and outside the country, they do not seem to understand the virtue of education. You pay a price if you do not educate your people,” he said, noting that although “education is not enough, it is a way forward”.

Referring to the recent ASUU strike, he stressed that the government had become comfortable based on the inaction of the people for many years and bad governance was helping to radicalise those considered docile.

He made mention of the recommendation of UNESCO which urged governments to set aside 26% of its budget for education, asking that “how much is Lagos State spending on education?”

Chude disclosed that the position of JAF on the matter was for government to reverse the fee to what it was before the protests, as it was the duty of government to inject funds into the system.

“Education should be free in this country, because of where we are and the government capacity.”

Asked why students usually protest any change made in the education system, particularly, any increase in fees, Chude explained that “there is a nexus between the average student and the government institution because he is aware his parents contributed to building that infrastructure”” .

He noted that as long as it was a public institution, people had the right to ask questions.

He further said that the fact that people were sending their children abroad to be educated does not make it a LASU issue. It is a Nigerian one.

“There’s nothing wrong if LASU is a school for the poor,” he said.


They Voted For Suntai, Not Acting Governor – Analyst

Public affairs analyst, Achike Chude, has said that the long absence of Taraba’s Governor Danbaba Suntai from office, without redress, is evidence of loopholes in the Nigerian constitution as the governor is the one voted to rule and not an ‘acting governor’.

Although, the constitution has made provisions that the deputy governor take over as ‘acting governor’ when the governor is indisposed, Mr Chude argues that “the people who voted for the governor, voted for the governor, they didn’t vote for the acting governor to be governor”.

This he said while reacting to the news of Governor Suntai’s expected return to office after a plane accident which took place in October 2012.

Using former First Lady, Turai Yar’adua, as an example, he highlighted that there was a failure to learn from history whereby “a few people who do not have any legal basis for directing the affairs of state” hold government and the people to ransom.

“That was not resolved right” because the people involved in the various acts were never called to book.

The culture of impunity may be at play in Taraba state even though “it was unfortunate that the governor had an accident. Unfortunate that he was injured” but this is about “a few people who are in power, who have availed themselves with all the trappings of power in a most undemocratic manner.

They do that through subterfuge, intrigue, outright manipulation of the system, corruption, intimidation, and sometimes outright threats against political opponents and at the end of the day, the whole state lie in comatose”.

Arguing that such long absence from office is unacceptable, he said the constitution doesn’t provide adequate instructions on the proper steps to take in such situations.

He also attributed the citizens’ silence regarding the matter to ‘the complacency and docility of the people,” adding that, the ignorance and illiteracy of the people is to be blamed.

He said “all of these things have a role to play when you are talking about effective administration of a people.”

“Our people have been so much marginalised… so they have surrendered their mandate to a few people who has taken it upon themselves to determine the direction of their state”.

FG Responsible For ASUU Strike – Analyst

The Executive Chairman of the Joint Action Front, Mr. Achike Chude has blamed the federal government for being responsible for the strike action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

He noted that the strike could have been averted if the federal government had not “reneged on agreements that are freely entered into”, while speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

He also lamented the slow pace the federal government is taking in resolving the impasse with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

Chude said “it is very unfortunate because if you talk about education, you talk about the life of the nation. You talk about a nation being unable to develop adequately because of the problems in the education sector”.

He urged the federal government to bring in “the essential departments of government that will be affected by that. So you will bring in people from the budget office, education sector and ministries of finance and labour”.

Chude further alleged that some departments in the Lagos State University have only one student.

Analyst Says Jonathan Should Have Removed Borno, Yobe, Adamawa Governors

A public affairs analyst, Achike Chude has said though the recent declaration of state of emergency on troubled states was commendable, President Goodluck Jonathan should have gone a step further by sacking the governors of these states.

Mr Chude disclosed this while responding to questions on the emergency rule declared on Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily.

The President, during a televised national address, had on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. However, the democratic institutions in the states were not suspended.

Mr Chude supported President Jonathan’s decision while giving reasons why the presidency decided to declare a state of emergency in the northern states.

He said the move was to dispel the perception that the President was weak, to protect the security personnel who had become the new targets for the insurgent groups and to counter criticisms by the international community.

President Jonathan “had no choice,” Mr Chude said.

He however said that the call should have been ‘far reaching enough’ so that the governors and House of Assemblies were removed in each of the states.

He said that a removal of the political institutions will make other governors in other troubled states to sit tight and take control of the security situations they are faced with.