Nigerian Electorates Told To Prioritise Individuals’ Performance Not Religion

Akin_Oyebode_ProfessorNigerian electorates have been asked to first consider the performance of candidates vying for political positions before their religious affiliations and ethnicity.

A Professor of International Law with the University of Lagos, Professor Akin Oyebode, said on Friday that the issue of religion that delayed the choice of a running mate for the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), was skin deep because “it will not put food on the table”.

“We know what the ruling Peoples Democratic Party has put on the table in the last 15 years or so,” he said, referring to the APC as the joker in the 2015 presidential election.

Before the selection of Professor Yemi Osinbajo as the running mate of the APC presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, critics, including a former president, Mr Olusegun Obasanjo, had stressed that a Muslim-Muslim ticket for the party would be a flaw for it in the presidential election.

Professor Oyebode said: “The choice of Buhari and Osinbajo seems to be a ticket that should be given a considerable attention.

“What people do not know is that Osinbajo is an activist against corruption. He set up the integrity NGO in terms of good corporate governance,” he said.

The Professor further pointed out that General Buhari’s track record on anti-corruption was also a good point for the party.

“With what we have seen before now and what is promised for Nigeria for a turn around, I think we are in for interesting times and I am optimistic that there would be a dare choice in terms of the ticket.

“We should not border so much about the process that brought professor Osinbajo in.”

He further explained that the sentiment on the religion of the candidates was as a result of what was happening in the north-east.

“Religion factor is a red-herring, but good governance should be the acid-test for any arrangement that we have.

“Nigerians are asking for a change and to bring the change you have to be circumspect so you do not throw away the baby with the water.

“Nigerians should vote, either to keep the status quo or they want to move Nigeria forward. If we are not okay with what we have seen in the last 15 years, then the time for change is now,” he said, emphasising that the ballot box is a platform to change the trend of things, if Nigerians feel they are not as they should be.

Professor Oyebode also stressed the need for people in governance to ensure that individuals of  integrity are chosen to head institutions, in order to make them outstanding.

Giving his opinion on the state of the nation, Professor Oyebode, who was a delegate at the national conference held few months ago to fashion out a new constitution that will move the oil rich nation forward, expressed fears that “not much will come out of it despite all the promises that the recommendations will be actualised”.

“The report is still gathering dust on the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. We wanted a new constitution for Nigeria because Nigeria has been living a lie.  What we have is decree 24 of 1999 which is masquerading as the constitution of Nigeria.

“The National Assembly seem to have stolen all the recommendations of the conference, but  if you want to move Nigeria forward, look at the leadership we have had from 1999 to date.

“Nigerians should ask themselves if their lives have been better since 1999. If their lives have improved then they should vote for what they have, but if has not changed, then the 2015 election is a platform that they should use to make a choice that will change their state.

“That is what democracy is all about. The right to choose and to use the ballot box to vote out a government that is under-performing.

“You must challenge the government. Ask uncomfortable questions of your leaders. We should do away with the carry-go mentality.

“Critics are not enemies because it is the supreme act of patriotism to be critical of your government. The more critics we have the better for our country.

On whether the girls that were abducted in April by members of the Boko Haram sect would be rescued as the government had continued to promise, he said “the rescue operation of the Chibok girls is a lost cause”.



APC Appoints Amaechi DG of Presidential Campaign Organization

amaechi-rotimi 1The All Progressives Congress (APC) has named Gov. Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State as the Director-General of the APC Presidential Campaign Organization, which will drive the party’s effort to win the 2015 presidential election.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the announcement followed the hugely successful convention at which its presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, was democratically elected, and the successful choice of his running mate, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

It said Gov. Amaechi’s outstanding reputation as a man of courage, principle, strength of character, decency and love of country, as well as his administrative prowess and organizational skills combined to fetch him perhaps the most important task in the quest for positive change in Nigeria.

APC thanked Nigerians for their support and prayers toward the success of the convention, the emergence of Gen. Buhari as the APC presidential candidate and the choice of Prof. Osinbajo as his running mate.

The party said it believed it had lived to its promise to Nigerians to ensure that the choice of its presidential running mate would be made within the context of the best democratic ideals, considering the enormously-positive reactions from the general public to the choice of Prof. Osinbajo.

”With a presidential candidate that has rekindled the hopes of the citizenry and revived their belief in democratic ideals, we believe we must also choose a running mate that will complement the sterling qualities of the presidential candidate. We must confess that the choice was a tough one, considering the array of eminently-qualified and outstanding candidates that we had to choose from.

”Yes, we were spoilt for choice but, in the end, we picked as running mate a man whose pedigree, nationally, sub-regionally, regionally and globally, attests to the fact that our party, the APC, is a repository of high quality leadership materials, and that our country, Nigeria, has no shortage of the very best human resources,” it said.

APC said whether in the academic, legal or ecclesiastical world, Prof. Osinbajo stands much taller than his physical frame, and serves as a good running mate to our presidential candidate, himself a man of such rare sterling qualities that have stood the test of time, qualities that are now so sorely lacking in our country’s leadership.

”Our presidential running mate is an award-winning professor of law, a legal luminary, a gentleman, a much-sought-after public speaker, a tested administrator, an author and a man of great ecclesiastical standing.

”Educated in Nigeria and the UK, Prof. Osinbajo is a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, who has served in many organizations and professional bodies in Nigeria, West Africa, Africa and the United Nations. He has authored or edited over a dozen publications, has taught and practised law at the high levels, and has served on the Editorial Boards of learned publications and non-legal publications, in addition to publishing many articles in learned journals.

”Now that we have presented Nigerians with the best possible choices for the exalted positions of President and Vice President, we expect that citizens, who have been yearning for quality leadership, will use their voting power to put Nigeria firmly on the path of greatness. A country seeking to be among the greats in the comity of nations cannot afford to have a mediocre leadership,” the party said.

Fayemi Hails Osinbajo’s Choice As Buhari’s Running Mate

Kayode Fayemi 1Former Governor of Ekiti State and Chairman of the National Convention Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Kayode Fayemi, has hailed the choice of legal luminary, Prof Yemi Osinbajo as the running mate to General Muhammadu Buhari, 2015 presidential election.

Fayemi, whose committee conducted the APC convention and presidential primary that produced General Buhari as the party’s presidential flag bearer, said in a statement in Lagos on Thursday that Prof Osinbajo’s choice has further reinforced the party’s determination to effect the change which Nigerians have for long clamored for.

Describing Osinbajo as a renowned teacher, legal expert, administrator and a reform-minded technocrat, who embodies the virtues of honesty, integrity, selflessness and dedication to the overall good of the society, Fayemi said the university Don remains a strategic partner to General Buhari in the onerous task of driving the change.

“Every time pundits come up with their doomsday predictions of APC’s imminent collapse, APC comes out stronger right from its founding. The choice of Osinbajo is also leaving us much stronger for the task ahead. I commend General Buhari and other party leaders for arriving at a choice that is bound to strengthen our ticket”, Fayemi said.

Fayemi added that regardless of what skeptics are saying the APC is set to run an issue-based campaign and carry along every segment of the society in the electoral process that would culminate in APC emerging victorious at the 2015 presidential election.

He added that the choice of Buhari as Presidential candidate and Osinbajo as running mate has re-defined the 2015 contest and become a concern to the ruling party.

Fayemi urged Nigerians to support the APC in bringing about the change which the country and its people so urgently need, by voting massively for the party at the coming polls.

2015 Election: Buhari, Kwankwaso On Consultation Visits To Gov Ahmed

Muhammadu Buhari and Rabiu Kwankwaso.Two presidential aspirants under the All Progressives Congress (APC) have paid a consultation visit to the Kwara State Governor, Abdulfattah Ahmed, in preparation for their presidential primaries.

The aspirants are the governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso and retired General Muhammad Buhari.

While the retired general insisted on continuing contesting for the exalted post since there is no constitutional limitation to seeking for political posts, the Kano State governor was optimistic that either consensus or primaries would produce the party’s presidential candidate.

First to arrive at the Governor’s lodge was the Kano State governor who was received by the host before a private discussion was held.

After nearly an hour discussion behind closed door, the presidential aspirant under the All Progressive Congress noted that the party would, at an appropriate time, discuss consensus arrangement to pick its presidential candidate.

He stressed that if the arrangement failed, then the primaries would be held anywhere in the country.

A day after Kwankwaso’s visit the former military Head of State, General Buhari also paid a visit to the Kwara State Governor.

While welcoming the APC chieftain, Governor Ahmed described him as a fearless and courageous fighter who has sacrificed a lot for the unity and progress of Nigeria.

General Buhari welcomed the idea of consensus candidate, but concluded that the party had the right to decide the method of selecting the presidential candidate of the party.

He stressed that it would save the party a lot of troubles.

As the All Progressives Congress prepares to pick its presidential candidate, it is expected that either consensus arrangement or primaries will produce a good and reliable presidential candidate.

2015 Election: Buhari Declares Intention To Run In Presidential Poll

BuhariA former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, has declared his intention to run in the presidential poll on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) for the 2015 general elections.

General Buhari told a gathering of supporters in Abuja on Tuesday that he would make a formal declaration soon.

He called for their continued support and sacrifice, describing the APC as a credible opposition.

“For the first time, the credible opposition in Nigeria – the APC – has come together in order to give the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) a good run for its money,” he said.

General Buhari was the presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change, one of the parties that merged to form the APC, in the 2011 general election but lost to President Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP.

If his plan was upheld, it would be the fourth time that he would be running for the position.

Last week, a former vice president of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, declared interest in running for the same position under the APC, but both of them and others that may still declare interest, will have to go through the primaries to be sure of a chance to run against the ruling party.