Jonathan’s Declaration: Time For Everybody To Find His Level – Macebong

JonathanSocial Commentator, Joachim Macebong, believes that time is running out for politicians who are still making decisions about their political affiliations as the 2015 elections draw closer.

Speaking on Channels Television during a conversation on Rubbin’ Minds, Macebong noted that President Jonathan’s expected declaration of his ambition to run for a second term makes it important for politicians to declare where they belong.

He explained that this position has been validated with the decision of some ministers to leave the cabinet and the recent defection of governors to the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Macebong also noted that the former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, seems to be the most likely choice for the APC to challenge President Jonathan because of the consistency of his political affiliation unlike Atiku who has switched between different parties in recent times.

He said that the consistency of General Buhari is rare in the Nigerian politics and this puts him ahead of former Vice-President, Abubakar Atiku and other aspirants, despite Atiku’s media presence and articulate manifesto.

On the chances of Vice-President Namadi Sambo being retained as the running mate for President Jonathan, Macebong said that the likely emergence of a northerner in the stature of General Buhari from the APC, has reduced his chances of being retained.

He believes that the PDP would need a northerner who has the ability to win northern votes and more influential northerners have been mentioned.

“The Northern votes is the reason why Sambo could be expendable (as) Buhari will win across much of the North, if you add also the APC structure behind him.

“He (Jonathan) needs to reduce those margins as much as possible and as a result he may need a stronger northern candidate.”

The seeming popularity of the APC in the South-South, owing to the crowd that thronged the rally held by Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, was also seen as a pointer to the need for the People’s Democratic Party to make careful decisions ahead of the polls.

Macebong also noted that it would be good for Nigeria if there are not many people vying for the Presidency of Nigeria.

With the APC and PDP being the only parties in the race, he explained that a two-party system would present quality candidates and also help Nigerians to make better informed decisions at the polls.


Social Commentator Advises Doctors To Find Alternative Way In Meeting Demands

ugoA Social Commentator, Ugo Ugoke believes that doctors can find an alternative way in making the government meet their demands than embarking on a nationwide strike, without affecting the man on the street.

He stated that the government has nothing to lose because they have the resources to fly abroad for treatment unlike the common man who can only afford government hospitals.

“If the health system grinds to a halt the government has absolutely nothing to lose, the health practitioners will somehow get by due to private clinics”

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s Saturday’s breakfast programme, Sunrise, Mr. Ugoke stressed that the ongoing strike will affect the common man unlike government officials who can afford international health care services.

He noted that the doctors can call on National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) or Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) to go on strike on their behalf to enable the doctors remain in the hospital, “if these associations threatening to go on strike on behalf of the doctors, the government would accede to their demands.

Nigeria Would Break Up Without Corruption – Oscar Onwudiwe

Oscar OnwudiweA Social commentator, Oscar Onwudiwe, on Saturday opined that corruption is what binds Nigeria together, and without it, the country would disintegrate.

He made the controversial statement while speaking on ‘15 Years of Interrupted Democracy’ In Nigeria, on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise.

Onwudiwe said that Nigerians should be grateful as the country was evolving through democracy, noting that some individuals, including former President Olusegun Obasanjo, should be thanked for the transition to democratic rule.

“Things have changed whether we want to accept it or not,” he said.

On holding Government accountable, Onwudiwe blamed Nigerians for not rising up to demand change and ensuring that leaders do what they were elected to do.

He also argued that the value system obtainable in the country was encouraging corruption.

The concern for many Nigerians at the moment is that there is little to celebrate about the Nigerian democracy, especially with the insurgency rocking some parts of the county.

The S.A to the Borno State Governor on Media; Isa Gusau, was also on the programme along with Onwudiwe, and he shared the view that democracy has been great in the country even though there had been challenges. He expects the nation to rise out of its current problems.

Speaking on the forthcoming 2015 elections, Gusau also said that the Government would be bowing to the pressure from the Boko Haram sect if it refused to hold elections in crisis prone-areas, as one of the missions of the terrorist group was to suspend liberal rule.

Gusau, whose state is at the centre of the crisis, stated that the Government must ensure that elections are conducted in all parts of the country, if for nothing else than to prove to the terrorists that they cannot succeed.

He also revealed that that there was a mass movement against the terrorist group in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, giving assurances that there was no resident member of the sect in the State capital.

Making his contribution to the discussion, political analyst, Babatunde Gbadamosi, spoke about the National Conference, amidst concerns about insecurity, and the fact that the growth rates usually published as evidence of performance remain mere statistics that have failed to reflect in the general quality of living.

Gbadamosi was of the view that there is need for the Government to re-negotiate the basis of the nation’s existence, as this would be the best way to achieve peace and true development.

FG Being Political By Claiming Sanusi’s Suspension Won’t Affect Economy – Analyst

An Economist, Dr Abiodun Adedipe, on Saturday said that the controversial suspension of the CBN governor, Lamido Sanusi, is “a very critical issue for our economy” stressing that the manner in which the act was carried out will affect the economy and that the Federal Government’ s claim that it wouldn’t is merely a ‘political statement.’

Speaking on Sunrise (Saturday), Dr Adedipe said “Immediately that pronouncement was made, the exchange rate market began to react. Also the stock market started to react,” maintaining that macroeconomic indices began to move in adverse directions.

According to him “the major issue is new capital formation “which is simply new investment.” He added that “any investor, whether domestic or foreign, will naturally look at the development and say it is not the time for me to put in fresh money.”

“Ultimately, if we get back on track, that little space of time where we lost momentum willensure that the prospect for growth that the economy had at the beginning of the year will certainly fall short by the end of the year.”

He stressed that the position of the CBN Governor is very key to the financial industry and the national economy hence comments made by the person in the position are important and are key indicators of the direction of policy and response of the system to developments in the economic space.

“Whatever actions are taken or utterance made by such a person is a reflection of the data and information available to him.

The way the government deals with whoever is in that position becomes important and that is why in my opinion, the government has not handled it in a way that will help this economy.”

While speaking on the programme, Social Commentator, Biodun Sowunmi, said that, that the suspended CBN governor erred “may not necessarily be in doubt”

“The fact of the matter is that there are so many allegations made against Sanusi. Whether they are right or not, we don’t know because it has not been investigated.

However, “where people have problems now is not whether there are no issues, indictments against Sanusi. They are mere allegations which have not been investigated. The real issue is whether the president has the powers under the law to suspend Sanusi.”

He stressed that the president has a right to appoint, nominate while the Senate confirms. “That means the President is sharing that authority with Senate and when it comes to the issue of removal, it’s only under section 1F that made an explicit provision that you can only remove the governor of Central Bank if for instance the President recommends the removal and is backed by two-thirds of the Senate.”

He continued by saying “interestingly, there’s only one aspect of section 11 that made reference to removal. The section relating to that is section 11(1)(D), you can only be suspended from office if the professional body that he belongs to finds him guilty of one thing or the other.

“There’s no provision for suspension, there’s only provision for removal and you can only suspend somebody if he has been found guilty by his professional body. That is not the case.”

He attributed the suspension to the president’s desire to accelerate his transformation agenda.

Seven Gay Men Arrested In Nigeria

Seven gay men appeared in a Nigerian court on Wednesday, January 22, on charges of being involved in same-sex relationships.

The case drew thousands of protesters to the court, who threw stones at the men as they were being transported back to prison after the trial, as security forces fired into the air to disperse the angry crowd.

The men were arrested by the Bauchi State Sharia Commission for allegedly engaging in homosexual activities, acts that contravene the Islamic laws which the state had been operating under since 2001.

The men were named as Shehu Adamu, Yusuf Adamu, Aliyu Dalhatu, Abdulmalik Tanko, Usman Sabo and Hazif Sabo Abubakar and Ibrahim Marafa.

It was the first case since President Goodluck Jonathan signed a bill that criminalises same-sex relationships, defying Western pressure over gay rights and provoking criticism from the United States.

The bill, which contains penalties of up to 14 years in prison and bans gay marriage, same-sex “amorous relationships” and membership of gay rights groups, was passed by the National Assembly last May but Jonathan had delayed signing it into law until early January.

At Thursday’s trial, the prosecuting lawyer said the case was a direct result of the recently-passed law.

“This is further to the law against homosexuals which was signed by the President. It has to be implemented. People caught breaking this law must be prosecuted accordingly,” said Danlami Ayuba.

The trial was adjourned to January 27.

As in much of sub-Saharan Africa, anti-gay sentiment and persecution of homosexuals is rife in Nigeria, so the new legislation is likely to be popular.

While European countries, most recently France, have moved to offer same-sex couples the same legal rights enjoyed by heterosexuals, many African countries are seeking to tighten laws against homosexuality.

Britain and some other Western countries have threatened to cut aid to governments that pass laws persecuting homosexuals, a threat that has helped hold back or scupper such legislation in aid-dependent nations like Uganda and Malawi.

But they have little leverage over Nigeria, whose budget is funded by its 2-million-barrel-per-day oil output.

Anti-Gay Law: The Morality Of A Country Is Most Important – Akinreti

Social Commentator, Kazim Akinreti, has commended the Nigerian President for “doing the needful” by signing the Anti-Gay Bill into law constitutionally.

Akinreti noted that the public hearing that was convened on the bill is proof that the law was in line with the wishes of majority of Nigerians.

On the relevance of the law in view of Nigerians’ other pressing issues, he said that the speed of the passing of the law should not be misunderstood, as it passed through every recommended procedure for passing a bill into law.

He acknowledged that indeed the issues of fraud, missing funds, and general corruption are important to Nigerians at the moment, but the anti-gay law was also not less important.

He added that nothing was more important than the morality of a country, as people have called for this law; with religious organizations backing it up.