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”.

Patience Jonathan, Turai Yar’Adua to settle land dispute out of court

A Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court Sitting in Bwari Area Council has ordered Hajia Turai Yar’Adua, wife of late President Yar’Adua and the current First lady, Dame Patience Jonathan to report back to court over the out of court settlement on a disputed 1.84 hectares of land in Abuja.

The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister Of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, had informed the presiding judge of the court,  Justice Peter Affen, that the Federal Government has made arrangement for an out of court settlement.

The disputed land, plot no. 1347 Cadastral Zone AOO, Central Business District, Abuja, FCT was initially allocated to Women and Youth Empowerment Foundation (WAYEF) while Mrs. Yar’adua was First Lady.

The Minister of the FCT, Bala Mohammed revoked the allocation for what he described as “overriding public interest” and reallocated the same land to Mrs. Jonathan for the building of African First Lady Peace Mission Headquarters on the 2nd of November, 2011.

Mrs. Yar’Adua complained that the land allocated to WAYEF on 19 February 2010 was being trespassed upon by Mrs. Jonathan and got a court order dated 5 March 2012 restraining the defendants from affecting WAYEF title and interest over the land.

Those joined as co-defendants in the suit are the Minister of FCT, Federal Capital Administration and the Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS).

Reacting to the plea for an out of court settlement, Mr. Lagi Innocent, Counsel to WAYEF confirmed to the court that his clients have been approached for an out of court settlement but added that this was not the first time the defendants were making such moves.

He mentioned that WAYEF had already began the process of notice of committal to prison on the defendants by filing forms 48 and 49 adding that it was unfortunate that people could no longer trust the government in the country.

While adjourning the case to 24 September 2012 for report of settlement, Justice Affen “advised parties that the nature of the case is such that if parties can reach amicable settlement it would be better for all sides.”