‘Buharism’ Is Merely A Means To Advance Selfish Ambitions – Sam Omatseye

The Chairman, Editorial Board of the Nation Newspaper, Sam Omatseye, has criticised the use of the term Buharists or Buharism, saying it is “the use of the opacity of language to advance personal or selfish ambitions.”

He said this in reaction to comments by the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai that there is a group of persons including governors called ‘Buharists’ who are pushing for the President to contest and return in 2019.

Omatseye stressed that for such terms to be appropriate, there has to be a clear philosophy or method of operation around the ideology that has a positive influence on the state of the nation, be it in the political or economic sphere.

He said, “We have not heard of anything called Buharism or Buharist in any clear, philosophical or methodological fashion. So for you to talk of Buharist or Buharism, there must be some sort of method to him that connotes some kind of positive energy or vibe on the political arena or on the economic arena. What we have now is virtually chaos, unless they want to say that chaos is now Buharism and that will not be selling their ideology.

“It is one thing for you to say that you want to fight corruption and it is another thing for people to believe that the whole of your heart is there and there is a method to your fighting corruption. When you say you are fighting corruption and your EFCC man and your AGF are not on the same boat, your EFCC man and your own party’s Senate leader are not on the same boat, when your security adviser, the chief of staff and your DSS are not on the same boat on the war on corruption, if you say that is Buharism, that is chaos.”

Reacting to comments by the Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha al-Hassan, Omatseye said rather than Nigerians describing it as an act of betrayal, there should be an investigation as to why the situation is the way it is.

“When a person says that, and people have not investigated this very well, what did Buhari not do or what did Buhari do to the person that he gave a job or the opportunity to serve on a very high pedestal that makes the person say, ‘I will not continue with you’? The first thing is for people to shout betrayal and we do that in our politics all the time.

“The first thing we have to ask is what went wrong,” he stated.

Speaking further, he described what the Women Affairs Minister did as “a dress rehearsal for the interview that her mentor Atiku Abubakar granted the Hausa Service I think of the BBC where he actually laid it out that he was not in synch with Buhari anymore.

“I remember in the early days of the Buhari victory that he was with Buhari and he described Buhari as the father of the nation and I don’t know how things descended from that paternal height to this adversarial low – that is the question we should ask. I don’t know who erred or who didn’t err.

“The question is let us investigate, we cannot start throwing out the easy word and say it is betrayal. There is betrayal of principle and there is betrayal of persons and sometimes the betrayal of principle contradicts the betrayal of persons and when it comes to that, you have to make a choice – are you going to betray the principle or betray the person,” he said.

Corruption Report Indicts Jonathan, Buhari Administrations – Sam Omatseye

Corruption Report Indicts Jonathan, Buhari Administrations – Sam Omatseye
Sam Omatseye

Chairman of the Nation Newspaper’s editorial board, Mr Sam Omatseye, says the National Corruption Survey has indicted the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan and that of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Omatseye, who appeared on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Thursday, believes more need to be done for the Buhari administration to achieve its goal in the fight against corruption.

According to the report published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), about N400b was spent on bribes each year.

“We have the narrative that indicts both of them,” Omatseye said. “2015 – 2016 was under Buhari’s watch and if we spend N400b in bribery and corruption, it is very clear that the war of corruption did not save N400b.’

The veteran journalist also said that former President Jonathan’s administration never took any meaningful decision to fight corruption.

He, however, noted that the few measures put in place could not save the country from corruption.

“President Jonathan does not have much to say about corruption, himself said ‘stealing is not corruption’; he never did anything concrete to fight corruption except that where he put some things in place.

“But they were not strong enough to save the country from the mammoth scale of corruption on his watch and the revelations in the past two years bear them out,” Omatseye said.

Meanwhile, a lawyer, Daniel Bwala, said the Buhari administration was more determined in the anti-corruption war, though both administrations showed some degree of willingness towards the fight.

Bwala, who also appeared on Politics Today on Thursday, however, faulted the approach of the present government’s anti-corruption war.

“Even though this administration is doing more, this administration’s approach and strategy have not been so refined and that is why we have not seen success to the extent.

“You determine the success of an anti-corruption fight, not just by the statement but by the result which of course should be evident in conviction or in forfeiture of property and that we have not seen,” he said.

Presidential Meddlesomeness Is Responsible For Edo Assembly Crisis – Omatseye

Sam_OmatseyeThe Chairman, Editorial Board of the Nation Newspapers, Mr Sam Omatseye, has attributed presidential meddlesomeness, stomach infrastructure and cynical politics to the crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Mr Omatseye said “what is going on in Edo State is a throwback to the plague that has now encircled Nigerian politics; that is the plague of presidential meddlesomeness, stomach infrastructure and cynical politics”.

He noted that “the case of Edo is not an isolated matter when it comes to problems between the House of Assembly and the governor” alleging that “we know what happened in Adamawa State. We know the internecine rumble going on in Rivers State and we also know that even in Nasarawa as we speak, there is still a great deal of dissension from the House of Assembly” insisting that “all of this has been linked to Abuja and 2015.

“So we should not kill ourselves when we say it is presidential meddlesomeness because it is presidential meddlesomeness”, he said on Tuesday.

Mr Omatseye also debunked claims that Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, was responsible for the internal problems the All Progressives Congress (APC) has witnessed in the state. He said that those who blamed the Governor of hijacking the party were guilty of ‘terminological inexactitude’ and wondered how a man would hijack what belongs to him.

“When you are the governor of a state, you are the leader of your party; you cannot hijack your party,” he said.

He urged Nigerians to first find out the reason behind the defection of four APC lawmakers to the PDP in Edo “before you talk about why they were suspended.

“These people felt disgruntled and they felt that they have to create an alternative way and that is why I brought about the issue of stomach infrastructure. If I am not going to earn my living the way I want to in this house, let me move to the other house. But I have to create so much tension in the other house so that I can become the man who is legitimate.

“The kind of politics going on in Edo State is the politics of balkanisation”, insisting that “they are too small, too tiny to have that kind of force unless they get back to the centre”, he added.

He, however, noted that “when the governor is astute, like (Rotimi) Amaechi has been, in playing his politics, they keep looking for new ways to try to turn things”.

He added that “politics in Nigeria should be based on values” and argued that “now in Nigeria politics is no longer based on values but the pursuit of resources through the agency of grabbing of power… this is crude politics going on.”

He called on Nigerian political parties to stop accepting politicians who defect from one party to the other, warning that “both parties have become receptacles of anything; what is better now is for the parties to decide and separate the wheat from the chaff”.

Mr Omatseye maintained optimism that the political terrain of Nigeria would improve in the future, noting that “the ideological voice within a political party takes a while to develop over time”.

Edo Assembly Resumes

Members of the Edo State House of Assembly resumed after a 5-week recess, and sat at two different venues on Monday.

While the lawmakers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) sat at the State Assembly Complex, their All Progressives Congress (APC) counterparts held their sitting at the Government House.

Both factions proposed and adopted their business calendars for the new quarter.

Since June, the Edo lawmakers have been holding parallel sittings at the separate venues.

The House was divided after the suspension of three PDP members of the House and the Deputy Speaker, who is a member of the APC. They were accused of gross misconduct.

Three of the suspended lawmakers defected from the APC to the PDP before they were suspended. The lawmakers dismissed the allegations and insisted that they would continue to attend plenaries. They claim that the House did not follow due process in suspending them.

After their suspension,they made an early appearance at the House in an attempt to suspend the substantive Speaker of the House and 15 others.


APC Directive To Lawmakers Is ‘High Stakes Politics’ – Omatseye

The Chairman, Editorial Board f Nations Newspaper, Sam Omatseye, on Thursday described the Block Budget Directive by the All Progressives Congress to lawmakers in the National Assembly as ‘high stakes politics.’

“This is bringing the issues of Rivers State to the plate of national discourse in the way it should be.”

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, the journalist opined that the issues involving Rivers State, the Presidency and the National Assembly “have been misdirected in terms of focus by so many people who think the issue of Rivers state is about Rivers state.”

“Rivers state belongs to this federation,” he said, adding that “if one state is burning it has implication on the peace of other states.”

He faulted the President who is the Chief Security Officer of the nation, for not taking any official steps to curb the crisis especially in light of the fact that “the state is burning, the commissioner of police is acting as though he does not respect rule of law, he does not respect lives and property and who is supposed to be the chief security officer of the state which is the governor.”

Despite criticisms against its directive, APC has defended its stance on grounds that the directive is working because the third Save Rivers Movement rally held without interruption.

Asked why the opposition is yet to back down, Mr Omatseye said “the directive has been misappropriated by the Presidency and people in the PDP to mean that the APC does not want the budget passed or the minister screened and nominated or passed as well as the service chiefs.

The real thing, he said, is that they are trying to use the instruments of democracy for the purpose of democracy.

Filibuster does not mean we don’t want the budget, he said, adding that “there’s a high stake principle involved here. Let us face that high stake principle. Get it done, then we can go ahead with the budget after all what is the purpose of budget without security.”

On the internal wranglings in some chapters of the APC, especially in Ogun state, Mr Omatseye who criticised the developments played down the issue in comparison to the crisis in Rivers state, adding that there was no issue of impunity on the part of the police commissioner.

He also said “it’s not appearing, as of now, to be an issue of protracted significance. It is a party issue and they are trying to resolve it.”

However, the problem of Rivers state began when Rotimi Amaechi expressed dissatisfaction with how the President removed his successor while the First Lady caused problems before the 2011 elections, followed by the “almighty crisis of the governors’ forum election,” including the issue of Soku oil wells.

Omatseye claimed that the Police commissioner, Joseph Mbu, had become important to the President and is even more powerful than the IG in matters of Rivers State,” adding that, “the IG himself has been completely quiet and complicit in whatever goes on.”

On recommendations that all issues be solved in the Court of Law, Omatseye said “the courts cannot ask the president to fire or remove a police commissioner. It is all within the ambit of the executive.”

He suggested that the President have a dialogue between the Bayelsa and Rivers State governors to settle the matter of Soku oil wells in a bid to get them to settle the matter in court.

Impunity Of PDP Is Catching Up With It – Omatseye

The The Chairman of the editorial board of the Nation newspapers, Sam Omatseye has said that the raging crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is nothing short of a taste of its own medicine and the disputes among members is the rewards for the party’s impunity and disregard for the law.

He said this this on Monday, while speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme Sunrise Daily.

Despite the fact that members of the Tukur led PDP have denied the existence of a crisis or another faction led by Abubakar Baraje, Mr Omatseye said “it is very clear that PDP is not at peace” and that the former are only holding on to “a construction of denial”.

He went further to describe last night’s PDP post-convention dinner hosted by President Goodluck Jonathan as “a party after a funeral”.

“You are trying to say that nobody died, you are drinking but inside of you, you are weeping,” he said, concluding that the whole thing was “a charade.”

He stated that there wouldn’t have been any need to go to court if the situation was a family matter and not the crisis it is.

Although the party has been experiencing varying levels of discord, Mr Omatse faulted the party’s approach to solving issues, which he described as “foul logic,” is catching up with it.

“The impunity of the PDP is catching up with it” he said recalling the issue of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), where they said 16 votes was more than 19, he questioned “why are they now worried that 7 members are getting away.”

He mentioned that a court case would serve no purpose because “PDP has never respected the law”. “It is about power,” he said.

Nnaji’s resignation: It’s hard to be a good man in Nigeria – Sam Omatseye

The Chairman of the editorial board of the Nation newspapers, Sam Omatseye Thursday said with the ‘sack’ of the former Minister of Power, Barth Nnaji it is difficult to be a good man in Nigeria.

Mr Omatseye, who was speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, said President Goodluck Jonathan as well as the Security agencies that cleared Mr Nnaji before his appointment as a minister already knew that he (Nnaji) owns a company that is interested in the power sector.