APC Fence Mending In Fiasco Amidst Muctual Suspicion

By Pius Odiaka

NIGERIA'S ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), has resumed mending its battered ranks and political structures, probably towards the end of summer governorship elections in Edo State and solving its other knotty national challenges.

Though the party won the last two governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states, observers said they had been the worst elections, so far, in the country, given the reported wide irregularities, violence and impunity which marked them. Varying figures of casualties were reported, including the PDP woman leader in Kogi State, Acheju Abuh, who was burnt alive by alleged APC supporters.

President Muhammadu Buhari described it as “barbaric” while giving police a marching order for the arrest of the perpetrators.

Rights groups and international election observers also called for the cancellation of the two elections even before INEC declared the results. Obviously, the last is yet to be heard about Kogi and Bayelsa elections.

Given the notoriety which the elections and other brawls tend to splash on the ruling party, leadership of the party is taking steps to reposition it. The first step came Monday December 16, when the party announced that its National Working Committee (NWC) had lifted the ban earlier placed on some of its crucial members.

Affected is former Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, who is now a senator after battling to regain his senate election certificate from Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which was allegedly coerced to seize it.
Okorocha went to court to compel INEC to release his certificate. His party accused him of campaigning for the opposition PDP after he had failed to secure party's ticket for his son-in-law to succeed him as governor of Imo State.

Sure, PDP eventually won the election but observers say it would be wrong to ascribe APC's loss to Okorocha's singular action, given that the party lacked serious structure in the state even while Okorocha was the governor.

Okorocha decamped to APC as a governor under another political party, but could not move with the existing followership.
Things got messy when, after governing for eight years, he touted to hand over power to his son-in-law. He was resisted by his party chieftains in the state.

Others, who have benefited from the reconciliation process, so far, are Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, accused of “anti-party” activities; former governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun also a senator; former Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Osita Okechukwu; and former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Uguru Usani.

The party's National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, in a statement, attempted to explain that by the suspension, his party had demonstrated the party's belief in internal independence and supremacy of law and order.

“Through the suspension, our party has shown the capacity and willingness to implement its own rules and enforce discipline when there is an infraction. We have also shown that no individual is above discipline and that the party would always apply equity and justice in the day to day running of the party,” Issa-Onilu said in the statement.

It is yet to be seen whether or not the party can remove god-father syndrome in Nigerian pattern of politics whereby party leaders select candidates best known to the individuals, rather than allowing grass-root or primary elections, given that such candidates are to represent concern constituencies. To be fair to him, this has been Adams Oshiomhole's worry as national chairman of the party. By the hated tradition, outgoing governors decide who may succeed them. The tradition ruined PDP’s chances of winning the 2015 presidential election.  

However, the reintegration, according to APC's NWC, is to enable the suspended individuals rebuild the damaged organs in their respective constituencies and local wards.

“We hope the concerned party members will seize this opportunity to fully reconcile themselves with their ward, local government, and state party structures, key into the party activities, and continue to make their own contributions to the growth and stability of the party,” Issa-Onilu added.

But then, observers say much seems yet to be done if true reconciliation could be achieved. Division among members of the party in Ogun State where followers of Amosun's failed candidate, Adekunle Akinlade and incumbent governor, Dapo Abiodun, may require an external arbitration. The two factions perhaps exist due to respective leaders' interests towards 2023 presidential election.

While a faction is believed to route towards former Lagos governor, Bola Tinubu's 2023 presidential ambition; the other is believed to be working for Nasir El-Rufai, incumbent Kaduna governor, also aspiring to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.

Sure, the division will continue until, perhaps, after the party's congress and primaries leading to the next general elections. But observers fear another defection spring arising from the raging brawls in the party across the country.

Besides, some APC chieftains in Imo State suspect Okorocha to be working towards returning to PDP to contest for a presidential ticket for the 2023 elections, foreclosing his failure to truly reintegrate in the APC.

Also, suspension of the northern Deputy National Chairman, Lawal Shuaib; and North-west National Vice Chairman, Inuwa

Abdulkadir, was not mentioned in Issa-Onilu's statement; leaving much room for negative speculations.
Besides, even while efforts are being made towards national reconciliation, national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole and his state's governor, Godwin Obaseki, are still bridges afar.

Though Oshiomhole had promised that his party would not lose the state in the imminent governorship election, members of his faction are believed to oppose the continuation of Obaseki as governor.

At the moment, seven governors under the party still believe that the party won't move forward except Oshiomhole is removed as chairman, whereas some members of the party's NWC believe that among those seven governors are presidential aspirants who see him as a hindrance to their aspiration.

Oshiomhole is believed to be “a boy” to Tinubu while a close ally said whoever understood Oshiomhole's days of leadership at the NLC should understand that Oshiomhole is too large a principled man to be anyone's boy.

However, the crisis wrecking the party in Oshiomhole’s home state deepened, last November 12, with the announcement of suspension of Oshiomhole by a faction of the party.

According to a statement issued by the splinter party in the state, Oshiomhole was suspended for an alleged role which he allegedly played in the crisis.

According to the communiqué signed by the party’s state chairman and assistant scribe, Anselm Ojezua and Ikuenobe Anthony respectively, the decision to suspend Oshiomhole was taken after a meeting of the council chairmen of the party in the 18 local council areas of the state. It reads in part:

“Consequent on the development, the State Executive Committee has adopted the vote of no confidence passed on him (Oshiomhole) and the subsisting suspension order from the organs of the party in the state.

“Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is the one behind the crisis in Edo APC. We have passed a vote of no confidence in him and he stands suspended from the party.

“We don’t want what happened in Zamfara State or other parts of the country to happen in Edo State,” the statement reads.
The party fielded a controversial governorship candidate for the last election in Zamfara State for which it lost the election by legal technicalities to PDP.

The national leadership of the party under Oshiomhole fell apart with many leaders in various states across the six geo-political zones of the country shortly before the primaries to 2019 general elections. While some state leaders preferred indirect primaries, National Executive Committee of the party opted for general primaries, hoping it would curtail traditional allegations of imposition of candidates which wrecked some parties in past elections.

The decision did not go down well with some state governors which included Imo, Zamfara and Ogun states. Zamfara State which insisted on going its way had its candidates for the 2019 elections rejected by INEC and upheld by a court ruling.

In Imo State where former Governor Rochas Okorocha insisted on producing a successor in his son-in-law contrary to the position of the national leadership and some state chieftains of the party, there was protest voting during the elections. APC lost the governorship election to PDP. Though Okorocha was elected to the senate, INEC withheld his certificate until a court order.
Though Oshiomhole has maintained his preference for internal democracy, he is seen by many chieftains of his party across some states as playing a stooge to a presidential aspirant for 2023.

For instance, Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State before last year’s governorship elections accused Oshiomhole of collaborating with what he described as “a Lagos-based cabal” to influence the primaries in favour of a political interest group outside Ogun.

Despite the opposition in some states, some regional executives of the party said they would continue to support the programmes of the party under the leadership of Oshiomhole. Some of them accused Oshiomhole’s predecessor, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun “of laying political landmine” for Oshiomhole in Edo State.

Chief Oyegun denied the allegation, describing it as a “statement of booby traps…ludicrous and infantile; an attempt to drum up justification for the failings of the party under Oshiomhole’s chairmanship.”

He added: “Oshiomhole fails because he lacks the temperament that is required to run a political party. He lacks the capacity to manage the different interests and tendencies that constitute a political party.”

Conversely, after the 2019 general elections, chairmen of the party in the six states of South-south met in Abuja and passed a vote of confidence on Oshiomhole.

However, among the signatories of the statement issuing the communiqué was Edo State chairman Anselm Ojezua, who also co-signed a latter statement of lack of confidence in Oshiomhole.

Apart from Oyegun, there exists a rift between Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, and Oshiomhole which has obviously divided the party’s members’ loyalty between Obaseki and Oshiomhole.

In Edo State, almost everybody in the leadership of the state’s chapter of the party is suspended by either faction of the party within the state. Shortly before the Yuletide, a group or faction of the party loyal to the governor, Godwin Obaseki, announced the suspension of the membership of Oshiomhole. Same day, another faction, loyal to Oshiomhole retaliated and announced the suspension of the governor and many others who are loyal to him.

The situation has rendered the State’s House of Assembly dysfunctional since it was inaugurated. National Assembly intervened but failed to find a lasting solution. They all seem to be playing out ahead of governorship election in the state later this year.
Indeed, the last is not yet heard about APC in Edo State, perhaps until after the governorship election. From the Government House to House of Assembly extending to the party ranks, are in tatters.

No one seems able to stitch them now, perhaps, because all seek power which may eventually become sadly elusive.
While chieftains of APC babbles over Oshiomhole, PDP recovered Adamawa State, home to former vice president Atiku Abubakar and a major challenger to President Muhammadu Buhari in the last February 23 presidential election. The party has also recovered Imo and Bauchi states; made successful inroad in Zamfara and reaffirmed its stronghold in Rivers, Delta, Akwa Ibom and some other state. APC has also continued to quake in Ondo, Ogun and Anambra states. While the opposition party seems to rise up gradually, the storm which capsized the PDP shortly before 2015 general elections is taking a reverse to APC.

APC governors who felt it is time to demand a pound of flesh on Oshiomhole requested for his resignation if he could not convene a NEC meeting of the party. At the same time, regional leadership of the party in South-south restated their support for Oshiomhole.

During the Ali Modu Sheriff crisis in PDP, the party was not as scattered as it appears in APC; yet, it could not survive the vagaries of odd-time test for power.

Perhaps, the trend has become a tradition for democracy in Nigeria. Observers say what is going on in APC is a traditional shuffle for alignment towards producing President Buhari's successor far away in 2023.

Nevertheless, the mutual suspicion and exploitation, which, pundits say, are factors of partisan politics, will continue to dismember the APC's ranks, perhaps towards another defection spring. It will all remain an interesting trajectory of the Nigerian democracy.

 

 

 

Museveni Writes His People, Says He Remains Vibrant After 33 Years In Power

02.12.19

UGANDANPresident, Yoweri Museveni writes his people, giving himself a pass mark and saying he was vibrant a leader even after 33 years in power.

His assertion that police “supposed” to operate all the time, is near an acknowledgment of failure in the area of security as in many African countries under the siege of terror groups and bandits.

Details of his message which appear quite casual and unedited as found at his blog are found below:

"Dear Ugandans and, especially, the Bazzukulu.

"Greetings. Crime seems to be going down on account of the … yet limited efforts we have deployed. The Police, at the Police Post or station, are supposed to have a standby force twenty four hours a day and seven days a week to react to any call of distress in their area of responsibility. 

Secondly, the Police counter (desk) at every Police Station/ Post, must be manned by a Police officer twenty four hours a day and seven days a week so that when a member of Public, under attack by Criminals, rings, there is somebody to receive the call without any delay and, then, promptly inform either the OC station or even the in- charge of the reaction force to re-act immediately. 

Thirdly, through the Local radios, all members of the Public in the locality should be informed about the telephone numbers of the nearby Police Post/ Station that they should ring in case of need. 

All these steps are easy to audit because of the modern technology. All this is possible and easy to implement even with the old Police methods.

We have now added cameras. Kampala- Wakiso and Mukono are now covered- within eight months, the whole Country will be covered. The Police will be able to watch the activities – peaceful and unpeaceful- in the whole Country as far as the highways (major roads) and towns are concerned. Off the major roads, we shall use other methods. 

We are, however, going to add other methods soon. Take, for example, the technology of the digital beacons in every vehicle and every piki piki. It will soon be rolled out. The criminals are an endangered species, I can assure you. Also endangered are the Police personnel or members of other security agencies who try to cover up these Criminals. It will be easy to audit and expose them. They will be arrested, charged, sentenced and dismissed from the security services and never to work for any Government department or Local Government forever. They are traitors. If you harm or fail to protect  Ugandans, starting with the Bazzukulu, you disqualify yourself from Public trust.  

I sent out a message in my enshugyi (ancestral cattle- not gift from friends- empaano- not those you bought – engabirano). I sent it to the general channels that you call platforms. There is no harm in that because I saw the interesting comments from the Bazzukulu and other social-media users. I thank those who appreciated. I may not list their names here but I thank them. I am always in the Resistance Movement against everything that is anti- African. 

In the 1950s and 1960s, the uninformed and shallow Colonial Veterinary staff and even other elements of the Colonial elite, started saying that the Indegenous cattle of Uganda (Sanga and zebu- enkoromoijo) were neither good for milk nor for beef. They were giving little milk and had poor beef. As a cattle owner, I knew that that was a lot of nonsense. Yes, some of the Ankole cattle are low milk-yielders. They are called ebipampara. Hence, cattle names like Kapampara, kipampara. 

However, others were high milkers. Understandably, the traditional cattle owners, sometimes, preferred ebipampara to the high milkers. Why? On account of the shortage of water and the need for the cattle to walk fast and go far- big distances daily to look for water. 

High milkers, with a big udder, cannot easily walk fast or go far. That might have been the dilemma for the traditional farmers. Fortunately, in some of the areas of the cattle corridor, there is a lot of water. These are areas like Ntungamo, Igara, Sheema, Rukungiri, parts of Ibanda etc. Anyway, since I originate from Ntungamo, I was aware of the two lines within the Sanga breed: the high milkers and low milkers (ebimpampara). I could, therefore, not accept the colonial nonsense. 

Along the way, scientific proof came in that the Sanga cattle meat is the best in the world because it had yellow fat as opposed to the white fat of most cattle in the World that has got cholesterol. The milk is also better than that of the exotic breeds because it has a higher butter content of 5.25% to 10% compared to that one of the exotics of 3.7% to 4.5%. It is therefore, good for the Ugandans generally and the Bazzukulu, in particular, to know these facts of our heritage. 

Otherwise, the message of the cattle was directed at the cattle- breeders so as to discuss how to enhance the efforts. 
The responders had requests of cattle to be given to them and others wanted to pay a visit to the farm etc. Organizationally, it is not wise to arrange cattle gifts or visits to the farm through social media. It will distort the use of social- media. The social- media should, in my opinion, remain a forum for the exchange of ideas. 

Organizational matters should be handled in the normal way. There is, for instance, the myooga Sacco, saccos based on the respective specialized activities (obuheesi, okubaija, okunogoora, ICT such as BPOs, boda bodas, hair- salons, garments, food- processing etc etc). 

Minister Kasolo can give more information on these. Through those, if you the members make them work well, we can implement the good ideas we shall have distilled through social- media interactions.  

Some of the responders were negative. Retire, they shouted at me. That will be decided by our Party, the NRM and the People of Uganda. 

Others wondered how me posing with my cattle helps the unemployed Bazzukulu. It surely, helps those who want to learn by example. I started looking after those cattle when I was 9 in 1954. When I accessed modern education, I did not use it to go to night clubs in Europe, I used to semi- modernize the animal husbandry of those cattle among several engagements. 

All my children, except Muhoozi, after their education, did not go into Public Service jobs. They are in the Private Sector, starting with the cattle industry. In the last 120 years of Colonialism and thereafter, none of my parents- uncles etc – were in the Public Service. 

There is life without working for the Public Service. My involvement with the political struggles is for historical missions of patriotism (loving Uganda), Pan- Africanism (loving Africa), social- economic transformation and democracy. Why? It is for prosperity through the integration of the markets, for strategic security and fraternity in Africa. How many of you on the Social- media are contributing to that direction of thinking? 

It is those concepts that will help us to solve the issue of jobs. Do you see how many Bazzukulu are in the factories for example the ones I recently commissioned (Balaji Group, Premier Distillers, Simi Mobile and Computer manufacturing plant, among others? 

These Bazzukulu are working in these factories that are using the raw- materials of Uganda and that are benefitting from the market of Uganda, EAC and COMESA. 

One of the contributors thought that I looked tired. I am not tired at all. I have, however, deliberately lost weight by shedding off that fat that I had allowed to accumulate on my body frame because the doctors had not explained to us clearly the mistake of not fighting fat. 

In future, I will explain to you this awareness. I have moved from 106 kgs to now 76kgs. I will stabilize my weight at 76kgs because that is the one that matches with my height of 5.7 feet. 

Before I talk about the anti- obesity campaign, however, in my next message I will talk about education in order to put in focus the recent strike at Makerere. 

One of the negative contributors said I had made a tarmac road for my cattle while other Ugandans have no accessible roads. Wrong. One reason I bought land in the Kisozi area in 1990 was because it was far away from tarmac roads. One reason I bought land in Rwakitura in 1967 was because it was very far away from the tarmac roads.

In fact, there was no road of any description in that area except the nearly impassable Kazo-Lyantonde and Rushere-Kinoni. Cattle do not need nor do they eat tarmac. They eat grass and drink water. The tarmac road you saw in the picture is not for the cattle but for the People of Butambala, Gomba, Ssembabule , Masaka etc. 

Soon somebody will be able to come from Kabale and go to South Sudan without going through Masaka or Kampala. It is for the connectivity of your Country. 

I, again, thank the huge number of the responders that appreciated the cattle of the heritage of Africa and my humble and modest contribution in breeding them. 

Date: 
Monday, December 2, 2019"

 

 

 

Why Internet connectivity is slow in Africa

IINTERNET services in Nigeria and other parts of Africa may further dwindle if urgent steps are not taken to meet global requirements.
This is because while other continents have maintained steady increase percentage in adoption of Internet Protocol Version Six (IPv6), migration in Nigeria and Africa are still a little above zero percentage. Migration level of the entire Africa is just 1.8 percent.

IPv6 is a design by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to upgrade from IP version 4 (IPv4) to enhance faster internet connectivity speed. IPv6 is designed to allow the Internet to grow steadily in terms of the number of hosts connected and the total amount of data traffic transmitted.

North, South and Central Americas have achieved 30.52 percent; Asia migration level is put at 25.13 percent; Australia put at 19.7percent while Europe achieved 17.56percent. Of the entire 1.8percent migration level in Africa, South Africa takes 0.22percent. IPv4 which is serving in Nigeria and Africa is almost completely faced out in some countries in Asia and Americas.

According to experts at the 2019's 'State of Global IPv6 Adoption' hosted in Johannesburg by South Africa Network Operators

Group (SafNog), the implication is that it will affect the region's internet connectivity with the rest of the world.
Recently, AFRiNIC, the body in charge of Internet numbering in Africa warned that IPv4 was fast depleting. The body called for faster migration to IPV6 said to be “more robust and devoid of interference.”

The body further warned that African countries risk weak communication networks given the slow adoption. Smart Technology Centre Network Engineer, Greg Antic, who presented the statistics, said the benefits of IPv6 “are vast and far-reaching, but not necessarily in terms of instant payback, just as the Internet itself was 20 years ago, when most people would have scoffed at the idea of investing in technology at levels we all now regard as essential.” He stressed that “the Internet is currently undergoing a profound and complex migration to IPv6,” which he said would lead to long-term individual and global benefits.

He advised Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), equipment vendors and governments to increase efforts in driving migration in order that the continent is not left behind.

The experts identified such factors affecting IPv6 adoption in Africa as lack of adequate skills to manage it, management's indecision and low level of awareness about its impact on businesses. He lamented that the continued availability of some IPv4 spaces is deceiving African operators, adding that when customers begin to request for IPv6, level of migration in Africa would increase.

Before IPv6 was adopted, only about 2.7 million IPv4 was left. Experts project that continued acquisition of it at a time other parts of the world are migrating out of it might amount to a waste of resource.

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