Exclusive: Hon. Rimamnde Shawulu’s Opinion About PDP, Other National Issues
BY: Janet Samuel
As the 2023 General Elections draw near with Political parties, Aspirants and Support Groups already putting plans in place ahead of the election, the House of Representative Member Representing Kwewum, Donga,/Takum/Ussa/Yangtu Federal Constituency, Taraba State, Hon. Rimamnde Shawulu has aired his view about the People’s Democratic Party PDP and other fundamental issues inn the Country.
Hon. Rimamnde Shawulu, in an Exclusive Interview with Newsmen in Abuja, took time to touch light on critical issues that one should ponder upon.
CRISIS IN THE PDP
In my opinion, I don’t think there is any crisis in the People’s Democratic Party, PDP. What we have is that some members such as the Governor of Rivers State and some people in the national Assembly, in fact I think a greater majority of members of the party think that the national chairman has done enough.
Even though his tenure will not elapse till November, we think that it is expedient for him to leave the scene for some other people to try, so that we can have time to reorganise the party, do genuine reconciliation of party members, because as you know the party has some challenges in some states, where there are cases in court, where you have some state congresses that have not been concluded.
We think it is better to have somebody that is not part of the crisis to manage the process of reconciliation and the process of reorganising the party to be able to fight effectively during the 2023 General elections.
Some people may feel offended that such a call is coming, but I am of the view that this call should have come even before now.
Normally, when a party leader leads a party to defeat, the party Chairmanship and the leadership resigns to make way for new people to lead. That has been the standard around the world.
In the case of PDP, in 2015, the House of Reps. PDP caucus championed the call for the Adamu Muazu, the former chairman, who led us to a disastrous loss of the 2015 elections to leave, and he actually did leave. So, Prince Uche Secondus was given the chance to continue. He has continued up till now, but it is clearly observable that there are frictions and some challenges that it would be better for new leadership to resolve.
Not that there are other crisis, PDP has no factions. There isn’t any crisis. It’s just that in preparation for the 2023 elections, there is a growing majority opinion that the leadership of the party should step aside so that the party can prepare for the elections.
CLAMOUR TO ZONE PRESIDENCY TO SOUTH
I believe that as Nigeria works today, any section that calls for power shift is justified. The majority of the opinion from 2015 up to date, is that Jonathan should not have contested, that it was the turn of the North.
Former Governor of Niger State, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu and several former Governors, even of PDP have made those claims. If you did say, six years ago, that it was the turn of the North, why are you now saying that it should be about the quality of leadership and not power going to a different constituent part?
Why do we have the federal character written in the constitution in the first place? Anywhere in the world, there are principles of affirmative action and federal character to ensure that every part of the Country or society are included in governmental affairs. We are implementing it in JAMB, we are implementing it in every level of admission, we are implementing it even in serious matters like sports.
Why are some people now saying certain sections should be excluded from politics or from political positions? It is not fair. So, I think that the Southern Governors have a right that they should be included. There is no part of the Country that you won’t have competent people.
I don’t think there is any part of the Country that is not affected by insecurity. The Country is pretty unsafe with the kidnappings, banditry and Fulani militia. Nigeria is becoming a failed State. Presently, Nigeria fulfills all the requirements of fragile state, and we are moving from fragility into failure.
The definition of a failed state, is simply a state that, one, among others, a large section of the people in the country do not have loyalty to the state. We have the IPOB, the BOKO Haram and some Yoruba groups.
The second part of fragility of a failed state that intellectuals talked about is, that some of those territories are not in the hands of government. It is very evident that large parts of Niger State, parts of Borno, Yobe and several parts of the country are not in the hands of security forces.
You also have another evidence of large amount of weapons being in the hands of non-stakeholders, that is, being in the hands of citizens, rather than in the hands of people who are authorized to hold them. Evidence abounds to show that the arms, according to some governors, that are in the hands of bandits and Fulani herdsmen, are more than the arms that are in the hands of security agencies.
I am sure you would recall that a former Governor of Borno state said Boko Haram had more arms and more modern arms than the Nigerian Army. So, we are running into serious problems. And all these problems boil down to failure of governance, that the people who should be holding this country together for us have failed. That is the challenge that we have.
So, security challenge is not just in any particular state, not just in Taraba state, it is in virtually all the states. Even states like Nasarawa there were times that farmers could not go to farm. And even around Abuja we are hearing that persons of strange element are locking around.
It is a problem that, in my opinion, will not be solved urgently. There is no way you can resolve this problem within a short time. So, we need to have long time strategy that is not just kinetic (force), but that also involves the use of soft powers, which the government is seriously lacking.
THE TIV-JUKUN CRISIS
It boils down to the issue of governance and the refusal of people to include every person in what they want to do. If you have a system that predisposes itself to exclusion, you will have people fighting to be included. And that is happening in all parts of the country.
DECAMPING OF PDP MEMBERS TO APC
Again, it has to do with the governance of the PDP. Some of us believe that the current Chairman should give way for genuine reconciliation.
People like Yakubu Dogara, the former speaker (of the House of Representatives), ought not to decamp, but they have to decamp because of the system where the party chairman handed over the party to governors instead of allowing a system where leadership of the party is from the ward and local government. Unfortunately, many of the governors he handed over the party to in the states have decamped, creating more issues in the party.
I am of the strong view that, for PDP to be competitive in the next election, there has to be a change now, not later, in the leadership of the party. Some people are saying let us wait till November. No. Uche Secondus should sacrifice and leave. He doesn’t need to be forced out. People should beg him to leave the party so that the party can reorganise.
If Secondus does not leave the party by the end of September, PDP will not win, and will not do well in the 2023 elections. Secondus needs to leave latest by September to allow reconciliation within this year, so that by early next year the party can start the process of rebuilding.
So, for those who don’t know, if Secondus does not leave by September, PDP will not win 2023 elections.
The Cacophony of the Rabbit Media Team: Obaseki’s Administration, Shameful, Disastrous To Edo People – Group Lament
Isaiah Jesuobo, Benin.
I read through the boring, dishonest and disassociate response by one media team that calls itself THE BULLETS OF THE HARMLESS RABBIT MEDIA TEAM (BHR), it was out of sheered determination I was able gloss through the response.
This is before election media team that nobody longer reads as it’s content are not only far flung from our present political reality in Edo State, the writer suffers much of Disassociative Disorder, a disorders that involve experiencing a disconnection and lack of continuity between thoughts, memories, surroundings, actions and identity.
People with dissociative disorders escape reality in ways that are involuntary and unhealthy and cause problems with functioning in everyday life.
Let Akemokue Lukman and his group who are having hangover from their dis-orientations and disassociation as members of OSM go to Oba Market in Benin and mention Obaseki to see the reaction of the common people who voted for him last year.
They should go to Akoko-Edo where there are no teachers in schools or Esan where security and all the ills of the society have been left unattended to.
Let me dismiss his fallacies contained in his response to my article. First, Lukman said PDP needs Obaseki more than Obaseki needs PDP.
That’s a lie; Obaseki has become to PDP the type of liability he was to APC before he was thrown out.
He came and wanted the executive of the party dissolved with deceitful synonym of harmonization.
He was rebuked and sent to see what the constitution says about party elections since he is not used to being lawful.
Mai Mala Buni, the APC carebtaker chairman can poach him for all we care, he is no longer a factor to winning election for PDP as his failure has reached feverish point.
Lukman should point to what significant project (s) can be tired to Obaseki’s name in Etsako where him and Shuaibu are from.
Some PDP governors around who supported him are hugely disappointed in him.
“Call Governors like Okowa, Wike, Udom.., they will tell you they are disappointed in him”. They wish the way other governors go to each other states to commission projects, some will will be invited to do the same in Edo State. Lukman, there is no project to commission here! Open your eyes!
Secondly, PDP gave him ticket, that fact is not in doubt. Since Lukman is a political nitwit, there is no way he can understand what measure of favour the party did for these two who had shown ingratitude to the party.
Thirdly, if Lukman is a political strategist as he claim he is with the irresponsible Rabbit Hole Media Team, he would have known that first, APC was not defeated based on Obaseki’s performance, but based hugely on sentiments that Oshiomhole cannot dictate who wins and who looses in Edo State, which became the greatest undoing of the electorates today.
There is no single Edo voter who is not regretting his decision of voting Obaseki except the Lukman’s dishonest likes.
Obaseki and Shuaibu couldn’t have won the election without a structure like PDP, which was a very viable option to APC that tossed him out.
Lukman should know what time it takes to build a political party structure from unit level to state.
Perhaps he should have advised them to take up tickets from APGA then to see if they could win, not now that they have won with PDP.
If Lukman says he is not aware that the Obaseki, and Shuaibu (who is now a relegated deputy) have become godfathers unto themselves, I wonder what kind of monster he is awaiting to emerge as a godfather.
He runs a one man show and Lukman calls it mere delay, for one year? He demolished houses of perceived opponents, he revokes lands of those who opposed him during elections, he has sole administrators at LGA levels, he want to enforce and forced vaccination without backing it by law, civil servants were locked outside because of this vaccination that is optional worldwide.
This is the same governor that kept palliatives to rot in store rooms when people needed food the most during the lockdown. He should be ready for showdown with civil societies in the state as his tyrannical nature will come to an end with this illegal forced vaccination.
What other ways does Lukman want to understand what Godfatherism is all about?
Lukman is the individual that need to look for what he ought to be doing with his time instead of writing BULLETS OF RABBITS in praise worship of the governor that people are no longer reading.
Lukman should go to the governor’s Facebook page to see the amount of darts in their hundreds Edo State citizens pour at hi, they insult him whenever he posts anything. Obaseki has squandered the goodwill of the entire people of Edo State; Lukman does not need a seance to tell him this.
5 years down the line, nothing to show for his administration that is so visionless and without direction.
We can’t wait for him to go back to APC or whichever party he wish to; PDP was better off in the opposition than this.
Edo State Deputy Governor’s Political Socialization In PDP.
By Elempe Dele, Edo.
Two days ago, the news of Comrade Philip Shaibu, the Edo State Deputy Governor, decamping from PDP to yet to be known party filtered in unexpectedly. I was quick to dismiss it as one of the handiworks of the opposition party even when it was retailed through Vanguard online news. Before we could be weaned off the numerous hearsay analysis concerning the news, the deputy governor granted an interview to Channels TV.
Speaking on Channels TV’s Politics Today, the Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu who was not heard during the interview denying plans to leave PDP, only dismissed the notion that he was having issues with the Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki. He said, “I am happy with my Governor, I don’t have any problem with my Governor, the issue of not being happy with my Governor is not there, I remain absolutely loyal to my Governor. But there are issues that we need to resolve over PDP.”
Immediately my mind cast back to the sophisticated but superstitious omen where the owl hoots at night on the rooftop of a house then a child dies the next day in the same house.
“I can vouch that the Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, won’t be decamping to any party soon – that much I know. He was courted before the 2020 gubernatorial election as one of the most loyal deputies around because he stuck to the governor during the period of implosion in the Edo State APC that eventually saw them move to PDP. And they were both offered the joint ticket without much disputes because of this uncommon reputation. However, I was taken aback by part of the Channels TV interview where he mentioned that there are issues he need to resolve with the governor over PDP.
Although this is ambiguous to some an extend, I think in my own opinion, it is too early for ‘issues’ to be resolved over PDP – just over a year they both left APC and were received into PDP with open arms and without pre-conditions. I say this to avert the likelihood, which is even being peddled by the opposition; “we nor tell una?”
Comrade Philip Shaibu is no doubt a very sophisticated political individual and we party members have a duty not to allow him to score an own goal just about a year into this unexpected political socialization with PDP. Going into a new party, one must expect to learn the processes of ideologies, conducts, attitudes of members of the new party. It is not always easy, it takes time to understudy. For the benefit of scholarship, Political Socialization can be seen as the process by which individuals learn and customarily incorporate a political lens defining their perceptions of how power is arranged and organized; those perceptions, in turn, shape and define individuals’ definitions of who they are and how they should behave in the political and economic institutions in which they live(in this instance after moving from one party to the other) It has to do with the ways in which people obtain values and opinions that shape their political stance and ideology: it is a study of the developmental processes by which people acquire political cognition, attitudes, and behaviours.
It refers to a learning process by which norms and behaviours acceptable to a well running political system are transmitted. It is through the performance of this function that individuals are inducted into the political culture and their orientations towards political focus are formed.
It must be retailed without mincing words therefore that PDP has a self-oiled hydrolic internal mechanism in operation whereby issues are resolved without the glitz of the social media.
This is so because apart from excesses of the forewarned notification, the media cannot afford to settle internal disputes or issues, as the case may be. Rather, it will inflame them to unbelievable proportions. “But there are issues that we need to resolve over PDP,” is a hugely ambiguous statement.
At least, it will lead to suppositions, disinformation, misinformation, outright falsehood, lies, propaganda from section of the harmful public who are waiting on the sidewalks to help peddle anything at their disposals.
“I have raised objective logic on the issue no matter how fallacious some individuals might view it. PDP is not a living soul, if there are issues the Deputy Governor is having, they must be associated with individual (s) within the party, especially now that the state executive of the party has been emasculated, deprived of power, vitality and vigour.”
To continue to pursue the ‘where and what’ has gone wrong will be an academic journey into futility. However, we must not look away from the Deputy Governor’s unhappiness with the intention of facing the consequences. Politics is about numbers, it’s about building structures, and not destroying bridges. He is a very important part of the party and the ‘issues’ cannot be wished away with levity.
The ‘issues’ must be addressed and a common ground must be agreed upon, and this burden basically rest on the shoulders of the Governor, who no doubt, is the closest person to Comrade Philip Shaibu in relative terms and the leader of the party in Edo State.
But the sacrosanct of the PDP brand must be kept. Election and electioneering are over, at least, for the time being, so also should be politicking. What should be uppermost in our minds should be governance, and I wish the Comrade to focus on this. He is the leader of the party in Edo North Senatorial District by the virtue of his position.
He should drive the proposed airport to the region and other trademark developments that can be seen, that would be sustainable, that would engineer growth and development of the region. The common people, like me, would rather want us to be doing appraisals by now about human capital development in Edo North Senatorial District a year after election than relapse back into the expected narratives concerning politicking.
By now, we should be talking about the Deputy Governor using his position to weaponize scholarship through the educational sector that needs total overhaul in that area. The people will be more listening and enchanted if the discussion on Channels TV was centered around how government can assist in adding value(value chain) to their agricultural products as they are basically into agrarian economy rather than the habitual discussion of politics that have become monotonous to the ear.
Three years is left for the government to be able to meet with it’s promises to the people. And three years is enough to achieve so much but won’t be enough if the focus is not on the marching orders for performance rather than armchair glitz discussion on politics.
The actualization of the Gelegele Sea Port, with interface between the state government and NDDC, is possible to enhance our local economy and the economies of South South States.
This should be on the banner as it is still achievable. The Edo State Government has made it its mission to make the state the industrial hub of the South-South through the development of industrial clusters and free trade zones. This can be achieved within the next three years.
The proposed Edo North airport by the State Governor would open up economic activities in that region.
The region is blessed with mineral resources, and agricultural potentials. All these and others that the people can basically point at before 2024 should be the redirected focus going forward.
RE: NNPC In Procurement Fraud: Two Highest Bidders In Slop Oil Sale Are The Same People
By Muhammad Sani, Abuja.
I read with dismay and growing alarm a news report of the above heading in the Premium Times of 11th September, 2021. Dismay because over the years the online medium has carved a niche for itself for serious and professional reportage, and alarmed because its treatment of this particular issue falls far short of expectations and requirements of investigative journalism. This does not bode well for its reputation and rating.
It particularly rankles that there is a complete disconnect between the headline and the main story. While the former promotes an alleged fraud or irregularity in two companies with same directors emerging as highest bidders in a slop oil sale, the story itself delves into and harps on local companies being muscled out of a bid to export a kind of petroleum product that should not have been sold abroad in the first place!
Also, the story is punctuated by and riddled with sweeping statements, over generalizations, unsubstantiated claims and speculations dressed up as facts and scoop. Attributions were largely vague and sometimes dripping with mischief, leading one to an inevitable conclusion that the whole thing was a hatchet job.
For instance, the main meat of the story was that there were “behind-the-scene manoeuvres in which three bid-winning companies possibly took cues from NNPC insiders and decision makers,” in contravention of the Procurement Act. Surprisingly, there was no shred of evidence to support the allegation. Interestingly, the first and second bid winners, who seem to have two directors in common (Premium Times failed to state what law this violates even though that is what its headline is all about) ended up not paying for the allocation and lost the bid, notwithstanding that they are export companies which Premium Times laboured to suggest that they have enormous financial and technical capacities.
Premium Times equally claimed that the sale of slop oil was “taboo transaction” and injurious to the economy, but did not so much as bother to find out who really authorized it and what benefits the country stands to gain from it.
Must we always insist on seeing things only from the negative lenses? Is it professional for a news medium to base its argument and arrive at a conclusion purely and exclusively on antecedent (as if things must always remain the way they are) and self-serving, skewed opinions of unnamed “industry stakeholders,” “industry watchers” and such nebulous individuals?
On the whole, the Premium Times treatment of this issue is yet another pointer to how vested interests can use the media to fight their own war. But much more than that, Premium Times really ought to have done better!
Muhammad Sani, writes from Guzape, Abuja
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