A former governor of the old Kaduna State, Balarabe Musa, has proposed that the south-east region should produce the next president come 2023.
He explained that this was necessary to ensure equity, justice, and fairness among Nigerians and in the interest of the country in general.
Balarabe believes zoning the next presidency to the region will not only give the Igbos a sense of belonging in Nigeria but will also promote national unity and cohesion.
He suggested that when President Muhammad Buhari completes his term in 2023, it should be the turn of the south-east to produce the next president, irrespective of which political party it would come from.
According to the former governor, since the North, South-West and South-South have all had a shot at the presidency, it will be morally wrong if any of the zones contest the presidency in 2023 against the South-East that has not tasted power since the return to democracy in 1999.
He also stated that it would be selfish and unfair for any Northerner to aspire for the presidency after President Buhari completes his eight-year tenure.
Balarabe, however, decried that despite staying in power for too long, the North has remained the most underdeveloped region in the country.
He, therefore, urged political parties to consider picking their presidential candidates from the south-east in 2023.
The former governor warned that ruling the region out of presidency is capable of causing political unrest in the country.
The former governor and the human rights activist also asked the law enforcement and other security agencies to fight crimes competently and strictly according to the law.
In doing so, they said the ethnic and religious identity of a criminal was not of any importance as the victims of criminal activities belong to the various ethnic grounds and religions.
The duo asked the government to rethink its internal security strategy by considering some of the patriotic suggestions from conferences and panels it has set up in the last few years.
They also want the police and other security agencies to be equipped and organised to perform their duty in light of the dimensions of insecurity in the country.
Read the full statement below:
Time To Save Nigeria
Amid the cacophony of ethnic and regional voices, it is imperative that pan-Nigerian voices should be heard louder than ever before to save Nigeria from disintegration. The symptoms of the brewing socio-political crisis are manifest.
The Nigerian state has failed to tackle the worsening insecurity plaguing every part of the country. Nigeria is increasingly being defined by insecurity.
Killings have become almost a daily affair in Nigeria. Terror attacks, banditry, kidnapping, and armed robbery are perpetrated by criminals with reckless abandon.
In practical terms, no part of Nigeria is immune to violent crimes, although the incidence might be relatively higher in one part than the other at this time. Tragic news of lives wasted issues from the north and south, east and west.
In response to the flourishing crimes in the face of the worrisome incompetence of the state, ethnic and regional champions have resorted into the dangerous ethnic profiling and demonization of others.
It is the reign of hate speech and marketing of prejudice. Claiming to speak for “our people,” they issue irresponsible ultimatums and orders for which they lack constitutional authority to enforce.
Some of those who are supposed to act as statesmen at this critical hour have instead joined the ranks of issuers of prejudicial statements.
The appropriate response to these sectional voices is not to glibly question the patriotism of any person or group. The effective response is to compel the Nigerian state under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari to perform the constitutional duty of keeping Nigeria secure.
Nigeria must not be turned into a killing field. The way to take the wind out of the sails of merchants of hate is for the government to confront the worsening insecurity in Nigeria squarely and honestly.
Law enforcement and other security agencies should fight crimes competently and strictly according to the law.
In doing so, the ethnic and religious identity of the criminal is not of any importance. Rather ethnic and religious profiling could distract from the urgent task of stamping out crimes.
The truth is that every ethnic and religious group has its own share of criminals. We must separate crimes from prejudice so that criminals could be fought with a unity of purpose as a nation.
It is also an indisputable fact that the victims of criminal activities belong to the various ethnic grounds and religions.
We are convinced that the urgency of the situation should compel the Buhari administration to rethink its internal security strategy by considering some of the patriotic suggestions from conferences and panels set up by government in the last few years. In our view, another conference (by whatever name) may not be coming up anything new given that the Nigerian condition is akin to an emergency.
The police and other security agencies should be equipped and organised to perform their duty in the light of the new dimensions of insecurity.
The justice system, especially in the states should be alert to their responsibility of diligent and swift prosecution of arrested suspected criminals.
It is the duty of the respective attorneys-general in the affected states to prosecute suspected killers, kidnappers, and armed robbers.
All the tiers of government have responsibilities for security, working in unison. If the degeneration in the Nigerian condition is not halted, the nation may descend into anarchy. Doubtless, the poor people will bear the brunt of such an avoidable disaster.
We, therefore, call on President to rally the country around a national purpose of security everywhere in Nigeria as the constitution demands. This leadership duty should be in words and action.
The President should address the nation specifically for the purpose of giving assurance of his commitment to the unity of Nigeria amidst adequate security.
It is also the duty of genuine lovers of peace, freedom, and development of Nigeria to speak up in order to save the nation from descent of anarchy.
It is time that pan-Nigerian voices are heard loud and clear.
The former Governor of Kaduna State, Balarabe Musa, has accused politicians and the elite both within and outside the state, of exploiting the crisis in the southern part of the state.
According to him, they have used it as an avenue to enrich themselves and advance their political interests, at the detriment of the people of the area.
Speaking with journalists, Mr Musa identified the causes of the Southern Kaduna violence to include the negative state of the nation, lack of respect for human life, among others.
He also noted that the calls by some politicians from the region, asking the people of the area to resort to self-defence would aggravate the crisis.
“The Southern Kaduna people must resist incitements from some people in the Southern part of Nigeria, who are mis-advising them to carry arms against each other”, Mr Musa said.
“Accusing the Hausa/Fulani of being behind the attacks in the area is very dangerous.
“When you are accusing Hausa/Fulani and their religion, it will end up being destructive. Let’s come together as one and deal with those criminals,” he said.
Mr Musa then went ahead to call on the state citizens, respective of their religion and ethnicity, to unite as brothers and sisters and end the killings, which according to him, which he said started since 1986.
Furthermore, the former Governor, advised the Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, to revive companies in the region, which according to him, “would address the high rate of poverty and backwardness of the zone”.
He also said he did not share the view that President Muhammadu Buhari and Mr El-Rufai were behind the killings, stressing that he was also a victim of cattle rustlers in the northern part of the state.
The Court of Appeal has reserved judgement to a date to be announced in the appeal filed the national chairman of the caretaker committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Markafi and the Secretary, Senator Ben Obi.
In the appeal argued by Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Wole Olanipekun, the appellants are asking the appellate court to set aside the judgement of federal High Court Abuja delivered on June 29, 2016 by Justice Okon Abang affirming Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as the authentic national chairman of the party.
They told the tribunal that the trial judge erred in law by concluding that Sheriff was the national chairman of the party without giving them hearing before his court.
They also told the court that the action of the judge constituted a denial of fair hearing and subsequently led to a miscarriage of justice in the judgement.
Objecting to the appeal, counsel to the Sheriff faction of the party, Mr Beluolisa Nwofor, urged the court to decline jurisdiction on the ground that an appeal had been entered at the Supreme Court to challenge the decision of the Court Of Appeal which granted leave to Makarfi and Obi’s eligibility to file appeal in the case.
Counsel to the respondent, Nwofor told the panel of justices that’s since the appeal has been formally entered at the apex court and the motion for stay of proceedings also filed, it is automatic for the Appeal Court to hands off from the matter as a mark of respect to the court hierarchy.
A group of concerned Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stakeholders in the North East region has called on Senator Ali Modu Sheriff to withdraw all pending litigation and embrace the National Caretaker Committee to pave way for new leadership.
The group comprises Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Yobe and Taraba states.
A communiqué, issued at the end of their meeting in Bauchi, stated that the lingering crisis in the party that led to various litigation at different courts across the nation without any immediate solution informed the gathering of the group.
“We have resolved and call on Senator Ali Modu Sheriff to withdraw all pending litigation and recognize the National Caretaker Committee in order to pave the way forward for the party to have an all-inclusive national convention that will usher in new leadership”.
The meeting also resolved to “strengthen consultations at all levels of the party towards finding amicable and workable solutions to the dispute and to deepen zonal action on the matter by engaging other zones towards repositioning the PDP as viable and active opposition platform for the overall development and progress of democracy”.
Some committees were set up towards actualization of all resolution reached which includes Central Working Committee, Contact and Mobilization as well as Strategy Committee.
The concerned group, according to the communique, also agreed to carry out the outlined responsibilities with a view to repositioning the party.
The communique was read by Aminu Dagashi and signed by the former Governor of Adamawa state, Boni Haruna.
Those in attendance include former Taraba state deputy governor, Umar Garba; former Bauchi state deputy governor, Amini Gagash, and former Women Affairs Minister, Hajia Zainab Maina.
Others are Senator Grace Ben, Senator Abdull Ningi, Professor Ahmed Rufai, Abdlmalik Mahmoud, Barrister Ibrahim Jalo, Arc Bunu Sherif, among others.
A former governor of Kaduna state and National Chairman of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), Mr Balarabe Musa has accused the Presidency and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of being behind the controversy trailing the Peoples Democratic Party governorship primary election in Ondo state.
He alleged that the duo are responsible for the controversial emergence of Jimoh Ibrahim as the candidate of the faction of the party in the forthcoming Ondo State governorship election.
Speaking to newsmen in Kaduna on Friday, Balarabe Musa queried INEC’s sincerity in upholding a Federal High Court judgement that brought in Jimoh Ibrahim when he did not participate in the primary election as the party’s governorship flagbearer.
He maintained that the disqualification of Mr Eyitayo Jegede whom INEC had upheld as the governorship candidate of the PDP, was designed by both the commission and Presidency to weaken the opposition party ahead of the governorship election.
He also opined that the decision by INEC to drop Jegede’s name is an orchestrated plot designed by the Presidency to set Ondo state and the South West zone on the path of anarchy.
He called on President Muhammadu Buhari to show statesmanship by using the instrumentality of his office as the Commander-In-Chief of the nation to resolve the Ondo PDP crisis before it gets out of hand.
The former Kaduna state governor also commended the Senate for refusing to assent to President Buhari’s 30 billion dollars loan request.
According to him, the Buhari-led administration needs to tell Nigerians the specific infrastructural projects in exact locations across the country that it intends to fund with such a huge loan.
Describing the external borrowing plan by the federal government as ill-timed and unnecessary, Musa challenged the Presidency to explain to Nigerians how much has been recovered from corrupt public officers and what it has done with such money.
Former Kaduna State Governor, Balarabe Musa, says the Nigerian government’s lack of sound economic policy and the leading role of the private sector in controlling the economy are largely responsible for the nation’s economy sliding into recession.
Musa stated this in an interview with Channels Television on Monday.
He argued that the policies of the federal government, instead of ameliorating the sufferings of the people, have further impoverished and inflicted more pains on the masses.
He expressed fear that the recession could lead to a mass uprising across the country if not quickly addressed by government.
Musa, who is also the National Chairman of Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), stressed that for Nigeria to come out of the current situation, the federal government must allow the public sector to play the leading role in the economy.
He equally advised the federal government to place a stiff restriction on importation of goods that ordinarily could be manufactured locally and to also put the enabling environment for the local industries to grow.
While stating that the fight against corruption under the present administration has not made any significant impact, Balarabe Musa challenged the government to make the amount of stolen funds recovered so far from corrupt officials public, and to state what it intends to do with such funds.
Residents of Gbagyi community in Kaduna State have asked the state government to drop the planned demolition of their houses that have been marked as illegal structures in the interest of peace in the state.
The residents of the community in Chikun Local Government Area, who staged a protest against the planned demolition on Thursday, insisted that they were the legal owners of the disputed land.
Carrying placards with various inscriptions and chanting anti-government songs, they demanded that the demolition plan be suspended, stating that the matter was already before a court of competent jurisdiction.
They claimed to be in possession of all relevant documents that gave them the right to occupy the land, insisting that the planned demolition was illegal and inhuman.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai had during a working visit to Gbagyi Villa, where the land was encroached upon, said that the state government would demolish all the houses built illegally on the land belonging to the Kaduna Polytechnic.
Although the residents have not presented their land titles to the relevant government agency, Governor El-Rufai said that the government was ready to recognise and protect every proven title to the land.
The leader of Gbagyi community, Chris Obodumu, noted that late Governor Patrick Yahowa in 2011, resolved the dispute and amicably demarcated the boundary between the two parties.
As the controversy lingers, a former Kaduna State Governor, Balarabe Musa, said that those claiming ownership of the land were not the genuine owners.
He advised the aggrieved residents to tread with caution, stating that the land in question was allocated to the Kaduna Polytechnic by the state government as a virgin land over 40 years, until some people started encroaching into it.
Mr Musa, however, urged the government to set up a committee for proper verification before the demolition.
The students of the Kaduna Polytechnic on their part held a peaceful protest where they commended Governor El-Rufai for assisting the institution to recover its land from encroachers.
President of the Student Union Government, Usman Kareem, expressed optimism that the land would solve the school’s myriad of accommodation problems if recovered.
The second republic governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, has appealed to state governors in Nigeria to learn from the achievements of one another and replicate such in their respective states.
The elder statesman made this plea in Akure the Ondo State capital where the State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko hosted a political meeting ahead of the governorship election in the state.
He said that this was what himself and his former colleagues who were governors in the second republic wanted to do but were distracted by political rivalry.
The Nigerian Governors Forum, according to him should be a platform for the governors to visit other states and learn from one another.
Musa who is also the National Chairman of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), the umbrella body of political parties in Nigeria added that one of the main objectives of the CNPP is to support any person legitimately elected into political office to perform.
On his part, the National Chairman of the National Conscience Party (NCP) Dr. Yinusa Tanko, commended the good policies and programmes of Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko in the areas of health, education, transportation and urban renewal.
Governor Mimiko, in his response emphasized that progressivism can only be translated to practical terms through the policies and programmes that have direct positive impact on the people.
He promised that his government has been embarking and will continue to embark on such programmes.
A former Governor of Kaduna State, Balarabe Musa has urged President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari to emulate Nelson Mandela by forming a government of national unity.
He also called on the President to initiate a national reconciliation mechanism that would address all the grievances that are being expressed from different ethnic nationalities.
He made this statement at the third annual memorial Nelson Mandela lecture in Kaduna.
Mr Musa expressed sadness over how Nigerian leaders corruptly enrich themselves at the detriment of socio-economic development of the nation.
He specifically maintained that Nelson Mandela’s selfless service to his people stands in sharp contrast to the leadership style of the Buhari-led administration, who he accused of making lopsided appointments and unequal distribution of resources and developments in the country.
He also urged the president to dialogue with the Niger Delta Avengers and other militant groups in the Niger Delta region, and at the same time initiate a reconciliatory mechanism to unite all warring ethnic nationalities.
Meanwhile, former Vice-President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Issa Aremu, commended the federal government’s anti-corruption fight, which he said has led to the recovery of mind boggling amount of money from corrupt politicians.
He, however, noted that the fight should be all encompassing without bias for it to gain the confidence of the citizens, while at the same time asking President Buhari to be proactive in addressing emerging conflicts across the country.
Participants at the lecture opined that Nigeria could still have its place high in the comity of nations if political leaders would emulate the qualities of the former anti-apartheid leader.
Nelson Mandela led a team of other South Africans to earn the country its independence.
He died on December 5, 2013 at the age of 95, 23 years after his release from prison in 1990.
“I think the way forward for Nigeria is first for the President who is the most responsible representative in the country to go into this matter and solve this crisis.
“He has the moral authority and the legal mandate to go into this matter and solve it amicably.”
He warned about the likelihood of the legislature not cooperating with such effort by the President but urged him to try. “The public will judge,” he admonished.
The motion was sponsored by the Minority Leader, Rep. Leo Ogor but was vehemently opposed by the Majority Leader, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, who said that the timing of the bill is wrong, insisting that Nigerians will not support it.
He also noted that no legislation in the world provides immunity for its presiding officers.
Mr Balarabe Musa agreed with this and condemned the plan to extend the immunity provision to the Senate President and his deputy as ill-timed.
Mr Musa, however, described as also unhealthy for the country, the allegation of illegality levelled against the two principal officers of the National Assembly.
The Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial district, Shehu Sani, has advised the Police to suspend its ongoing investigation into the alleged forgery of Senate standing rules used for the election of its presiding officers on June 9 and allow members of the upper chamber to handle the allegation internally.
This advise comes ahead of the resumption of the two chambers of the National Assembly on Tuesday, July 28.
Senator Sani also allayed fears of further crisis in the National Assembly should the leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) go ahead to remove the elected principal officers of the Senate and replace them with their choice candidates.
Speaking with newsmen in Kaduna, Senator Sani noted that since the National Assembly is capable of handling its matters internally, the Police should hands off its investigation on the forgery case to pave way for the Senate to resolve the matter internally.
He also advised the APC national leadership to allow the new elected principal officers of the Senate to continue in office in order to allow the ongoing crisis to settle.
A former governor of Kaduna State, Balarabe Musa, has, however, condemned the action of the APC National Assembly principal officers for undermining the directive and supremacy of the party, on which platform they were all elected.
He stated that the ongoing crisis at both chambers of the National Assembly, if not resolved on time, is capable of slowing down the ‘Change Promise’ by the ruling party to Nigerians.