Publisher of Ovation magazine and former presidential candidate, Dele Momodu, has revealed how the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, abandoned its candidate, Ademola Adeleke in the last governorship election in Osun State.
He made this known in a statement on Saturday in which he also outlined the best strategy for the PDP if it desires to win the presidency in 2019.
Momodu further said no candidate from the core north can compete against, and defeat, President Muhammadu Buhari simply on the basis that he is from the core north.
The statement reads: “What transpired in the State of Osun, as my dear brother, the Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, loves to refer to our State, was not gubernatorial, but a prelude to the presidential election. The interest and resources galvanised for that election demonstrated that it was a civil war and not a civilised election.
“The election was seen and executed as a referendum on the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari and its wobbly government.
“While the ruling party appeared determined or maybe ‘desperate’ is the appropriate word, to win, the main opposition party looked jazzed and disinterested.
“But for the merciful interventions of former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the President of the Nigerian Senate, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, the PDP candidate, Senator Nurudeen Ademola Adeleke, could as well have been a virtual orphan. It was that bad.
“What manner of opposition would sit at home, arms akimbo, after seeing how the President, Vice President, Governors, Ministers and party Chieftains all invaded, and flooded, Osun as if their lives depended on it?
“I fail to understand how PDP can parade over a dozen presidential aspirants yet only few of them are showing irrevocable commitment to serious party matters while the rest are only pursuing personal agenda.
“Adeleke was just lucky to be blessed with a family that had the means to fund his campaign and in particular a megastar, David Adeleke (aka Davido), who unleashed his monstrous talent on the campaign.
“The ways of politicians are certainly not the ways of ordinary mortals. I could not believe how they turned Osun into a theatre of war because of a few thousand votes. I thought that, by now, Nigeria had passed this disgraceful and embarrassing stage.
“I have no doubt that APC merely used the elections in Ekiti and Osun as dress rehearsals of what to expect in next year’s general elections. I don’t see the APC apparatchik agreeing to vacate power without a truculent fight.
“Many people, Nigerians and non-Nigerians have come to the incontrovertible conclusion that what we currently have is an army of occupation and we should accept our fate with equanimity.
“But no country can afford not to have a virile opposition. This is why it is sad and tragic that those who were in opposition only yesterday are perpetrating the same unfortunate acts we collectively rejected and dismissed not too long ago.
“The PDP that should fight back stoutly to give a good fight is already gasping for breath because of multiple ambitions of individuals who may choose to turncoat at the drop of a hat.
“From the multitude of PDP aspirants and even the cacophony of permutations about who can challenge Buhari to a duel, it is becoming clear, to discerning minds, that there are only two, possibly three serious challengers and no more. Of these three, two currently stand tall.
“One is old and the other is young. It seems patently obvious, from the recent shenanigans that we have seen that President Buhari and his people would do everything humanly possible to avoid confronting either of these two candidates at the polls next year.
“Moving on, let me say with every emphasis I can muster, no candidate from the core North can compete against, and defeat, Buhari simply on the basis that they come from the core North. It is practically impossible.
“The jejune argument that PDP should pick a candidate who can divide the core Northern votes is either a joke carried too far or a deliberate decision to hand power back to the incumbent on a platter of gold.
“What the PDP needs urgently is a candidate who can explode its votes in the entire South and the North Central. This does not necessarily mean such a candidate should come from these regions, but it would be ideal. A candidate with cross-over appeal from the North East and North West would also do well provided he does not believe that his place of origin means he should concentrate his effort in that region or adjunct region.
“PDP should forget the pipe dream of competing favourably against Buhari in the North East and North West. He has consistently won overwhelmingly in those two regions. However, if President Buhari can be restricted to those two zones while opposition locks down the other four zones of the country, then the prospects of the opposition PDP resoundingly beating the APC candidate becomes much brighter.
“70 percent of the electorate are under the age of 45. Opposition requires a candidate who can readily galvanise a multitude of first-time voters. Nigeria is long overdue for a candidate in the mould of Barack Obama, an energetic and cosmopolitan leader. Politics as a game of numbers must be approached meticulously.
“Buhari has stupendous State appurtenances and resources to deploy, his opponent must have access to the similar armoury or have sufficient wherewithal to match the substantial resources of State and not be a scavenger in search of morale, audacity and finance. I’m not sure about what the third force can produce. I have expressed this publicly and privately.
“I think the toughest opposition can still come from PDP if it can rescue itself from certain interests and manage to pick a kamikaze candidate who is not docile and who is ready to fight all the way with everything at his disposal.
“No meek or lily-livered gentleman can fight and conquer Buhari next year. The lesson to pick from Osun, while litigation processes are being cooked, is that the next Presidential election is not going to be the stuff of conventional warfare. A serious opposition must prepare for the use of ballistic and anti-ballistic missiles. This is the reality of what to expect.”
Ex-Gov. Abubakar Spent N2.3bn To Buy Burial Materials, Bauchi Governor Alleges
As the blame game continues in Bauchi State, Governor Bala Mohammed has alleged that his predecessor, Mohammed Abubakar spent a whopping sum of N2.3 billion to buy materials for burying dead bodies in the state.
The governor who spoke through his spokesperson, Dr. Ladan Salihu, in an interview with newsmen in Bauchi over the weekend, alleged that the said funds were spent between January and May 2019.
Ladan Salihu explained that over N900 million of the money was spent in buying white cloth materials used for wrapping dead bodies while over N1.4 billion was used to buy the wood for lacing the graves for the burial.
According to him, the government discovered various issues of corruption, venality, daylight robbery of the commonwealth of Bauchi State where billions of Naira were syphoned illegally.
The spokesperson further alleged that: “These monies which ought to have been appropriated by the Assembly before expenditure, all of a sudden emanated from our treasury books.
How could you imagine that a state government, within five months that is between January and May, 2019, spent well over N2.3 billion on funeral materials, the clothes that are used in wrapping dead bodies and the woods that you lace the graveyards with?
“The immediate past government spent N2.3 billion, that government did not spend a quarter of that amount in our own hospitals and clinics. They have the temerity to want to put up a show of shame,” he lamented.
When asked if the government has any proof to substantiate its claim, he said that there is no iota of doubt on the matter saying that there are documental evidence to prove it.
“All these are captured in the report of the Transition Committee and these were gathered from documents and vouchers and payments made from our treasury books. There is the Freedom of Information law, go there and find out for yourself from those documents.
“We are talking about the principle behind it. You have bought these materials for funerals in graveyards, what have you done to the Christian cemetery? But we are saying that it is wrong completely, it is not the duty of government to buy burial materials for anybody.
“It is the responsibility of the family, the community and people of goodwill. It has never existed in our history books that the government bought those materials in the first place.
“So, you know that these things were bought for a reason, you would not see the materials, because they have disappeared into or out of ballot boxes,” he alleged.
Ladan Salihu further vowed that: “Government will take very, very stern measures, we will recover every kobo that has been looted or stolen by the immediate past administration and in fact, the administration before it. Where it is established that there is a clear case of misappropriation or outright stealing of public funds. It is an obligation, you don’t allow criminality to run roughshod on the rest of us because these are public funds.
“We must take steps, there’s no factor of fear or favour or ill will, it is just the way the business of government must be conducted. We will take every measure, we use every institution and go after everyone that has stolen Bauchi State’s money.
“We will pursue this case in the relevant institutions of recovery whether it is EFCC, ICPC, the constitution of a Special Recovery Mechanism within the state, I can assure you, we will pursue these issues vigorously, rigorously and without let,” he added.
When our correspondent contacted the Special Adviser to the former Governor Abubakar on Media and Strategy, Ali M. Ali, on phone, he simply said, “that is very ridiculous, I cannot make further comments on the issue because I am not aware of such allegation.
“I’ve not heard of anything like that, so I will speak on it when I make my findings but this is laughable. I will get back to you on that when I have done my findings from my principal,” he added.
Presidents of Rwanda, Senegal And DRC To Speak At The Largest Annual Gathering Of African Entrepreneurs
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Africa’s champion of entrepreneurship, has announced the line-up of speakers and activities for the 5th Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum — the largest annual gathering of African entrepreneurs and the African entrepreneurship ecosystem.
For the Forum’s Presidential Dialogue, the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), H.E Félix Tshisekedi will join previously announced President of Rwanda, H.E Paul Kagame and President of Senegal, H.E Macky Sall, in an interactive, charged plenary session that opens Day 2 of the Forum. The Presidential Dialogue will be moderated by TEF Founder, Tony O. Elumelu, CON, and will feature all three presidents engaging directly with an audience of 5,000, comprising of entrepreneurs, policymakers, investors and business leaders, with thousands of people interacting live online, through TEFConnect.
The Forum presents the largest single annual opportunity for entrepreneurs and policy makers to interact directly and all sessions at the Forum have private sector and public sector leaders anchor panel discussions, masterclasses, and a dynamic pitching competition that will engage an audience of start-up entrepreneurs, development institutions, and policymakers.
The speakers expected for this year’s Forum include Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of African Export-Import (AFREXIMBANK); Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of African Development Bank (AFDB); Dr. Awele Elumelu, Trustee, Tony Elumelu Foundation and Founder, Avon Medical; Kennedy Uzoka, Group CEO, UBA Group Plc; Mrs. Djene Kaba Conde, First Lady, Guinea; amongst other notable global business leaders.
Every year, the Tony Elumelu Foundation hosts the largest gathering of African entrepreneurs, policymakers and business leaders in one location. This year’s Forum, themed “Empowering African Entrepreneurs”, will take place at the iconic Transcorp Hilton Hotel, in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja. The Forum will also include the UBA Marketplace, where UBA, Africa’s global bank, brings together businesses from across the continent.
At the 2018 forum, TEFConnect, the largest digital platform for African entrepreneurs was launched to connect entrepreneurs to the opportunities they need for business success. TEFConnect will take centre stage at this year’s Forum as global debates move to technology as a key driver of economic development in Africa.
For more information: https://www.tonyelumelufoundation.org/forum2019
Jim Ovia Advocates For Disruptive Technology To Scale Businesses In Africa
According to Zenith Bank Founder/Chairman, Jim Ovia, businesses stand a chance to triple growth rate and earnings through innovation and technology.
The options are to “innovate and transform or die”, he said. It is the technology age and businesses operating out of Africa should continually adopt technology to experience exponential scale in their business development.
He made this statement while chairing the launch of the PwC Experience Centre. Mr. Ovia added that the Experience Centre is a forward-thinking way to disrupt the over $1tn consultancy service industry yet to be digitized.
Therefore, the Experience Centre is an effective move towards expanding PwC’s innovative solution services across West Africa.