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2020 US Election: What Defeated The Incumbent? Any Take For Nigeria? By Abdulmumin Jibrin

Peter Okunoren

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We cannot just watch the US crisis and laugh. We must learn from it and act to avert such from happening in our country that is far more vulnerable to such dangerous anti-democratic manipulations that can throw a country into anarchy.

We are not immune to having any president in the future that may react like the incumbent president of the US. So what measures can we put as a matter of urgency in our laws to tighten the screw, strengthen our institutions and system against such if at all it ever happens?

I disagree with the opinion that the US has lost its leading role globally in advancing democratic culture because of the 2020  election saga and specifically the unusual refusal to accept defeat by the incumbent. The principal actors in the crisis did all they could to subvert the will of the people, but it was the strong  INSTITUTIONS and  SYSTEM that defeated them.

The US democratic institutions and system have proven to be stronger than any individual or group and in this case, rose above even the incumbent President. That, in my opinion, supersedes other considerations. Beyond the razzmatazz of negative individual behavior in the 2020 election, the strong US democratic institutions will continue to be a lead point globally.

In contrast, in many countries around the world including Africa and Nigeria, individuals are still stronger than the institutions and system. That has always been the foundation of our problem. So long as our institutions and system are not strong enough to overpower individual interest or ambition, we will continue the endless search for answers to many of our problems that can be solved easily.

Knowing when to let go is one of the fundamental pillars of democracy. A leader must be smart enough to know that letting go and at the right time may compensate for whatever loss he suffers. He can also ride on that to salvage his career, or at least retain some respect.

Now, the major problem of the defeated incumbent in the US election is no longer how to stop the winner from being sworn in, it is how to get out of the present dilemma of violence and insurrection he is being accused of having instigated and which had led to the desecration of the pre-eminent symbol of democracy, the Capitol, and the death of 4 people. Many Americans are demanding that the president must be held accountable. Who knows where it will end, with investigations, panels, etc, that are like to follow?

Narrowing it down to power transition, I remember during one of our think-thank meetings of the speakership campaign in 2019, the then-candidate and now Speaker,  Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, raised serious concern about the lack of proper and detailed transition laws from incumbent to incumbent and from an incumbent to a non-incumbent whether of the same party or not. He wanted a bill to that effect as part of the 9th assembly agenda.

We didn’t consider his foresight necessary at the time. I am guilty of that as well. Now, I can see why we need a law with clear details and timelines of activities specifically for power transition and severe consequences for whoever breaches the law.

Some of the issues include announcing the winner, accepting victory, conceding defeat, and timelines for constituting transition committees from both the incumbent and the president-elect. Details of the kind of briefings from the outgoing and the president-elect, including timelines for announcement of cabinet members and many other details that can ensure power transition or transfer is done peacefully and continuity of governance is not halted in any way.

This is the time for the National  Assembly to look at this matter and act with urgency.

Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin Kofa
Bebeji, Kano
7th January, 2021

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NEWS

BREAKING: Reps Suspend FG’s 774,000 Jobs Scheme

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The House of Representatives has called for the immediate suspension of the controversial Special Works Scheme of the Federal Government.

The National Assembly and the Federal Ministry of Labour, Employment, and Productivity had clashed over the recruitment of 774,000 workers for the scheme.

At the plenary on Wednesday, the House asked the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning not to fund the scheme, which is billed to take off in January 2021.

The National Assembly had appropriated N52bn for the exercise in the 2020 Appropriation Act. It was to begin in November.

The House also faulted the removal of the Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment, Dr Nasiru Argungu, who had backed the parliament in the controversy.

The House urged the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to reverse himself on Argungu’s sacking.

The Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, had since appointed Argungu’s replacement in the order of the President.

Details later…

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BIG STORY

NDLEA Arrest Brazil Returnee With 14.4kg Of Cocaine At Abuja Airport

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Special Area Command, Abuja, have arrested Elechi Kingsley (39) for attempting to smuggle cocaine from Brazil.

The suspect, who is planning to marry in January 2021, was promised N3 million for the job.

Kingsley was arrested during the inward clearance of Ethiopian Airline flight Et 911, according to NDLEA’s Principal Staff Officer (Public Affairs), Jonah Achema.

Achema said Kingsley, an indigene of Umulolo Local Government Area of Imo State, has lived in Brazil for 13 years.

“I am an adult and I am fully aware of what I was going into. I agree that somebody gave it to me but I offered to carry it,” Kingsley was quoted as saying.

A 23-year-old Brazilian, Da Silva Mailson Mario, was also arrested for being in possession of a suitcase containing cocaine during the inward clearance of the same flight.

According to Achema, Mario, who spoke through an interpreter, decided to be silent on all questions put to him. He was only inquisitive about the jail terms his offense may attract in Nigeria.

Achema said 14.4 kilograms of cocaine were seized from both men.

The statement reads: “In the first operation, the command intercepted four packets of chocolate sweets of white substances which tested positive to Cocaine, weighing 7.2 kilograms, while 12 parcels of cellophane wrappers with whitish substances, which also tested positive to Cocaine, and weighing 7.2 kilograms, were recovered in the second operation.

“The first operation involved Da Silva Mailson Mario, a Brazilian (23), who was arrested with a suitcase containing packets of chocolate sweet during the inward clearance of Ethiopian Airline ET 911 which originated from Brazil en-route Addis Ababa to Abuja. The second operation involved Elechi Kingsley (39) who was arrested with a bag containing cellophane bags during the inward clearance of the same flight.”

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NEWS

Cultists Invade Church, Shoot Pastor’s Wife

Peter Okunoren

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Gunmen, suspected to be cultists, have shot Mrs. Chinyere Uchechukwu, wife of the Pastor of Power of Pentecostal Church, Okposi Achara in Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

There have been cult killings in different parts of the state in the last one week with over 10 persons shot dead following a supremacy battle between two rival cult groups in the state.

The gunmen invaded the church last week and shot the woman on her head when the church was holding a prayer session. The invasion immediately ended service as worshippers scampered for safety.

But some elders of the church and youths, however, assisted the Pastor to take his wife to a nearby hospital for medical attention.

The state’s Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Loveth Odah, confirmed the incident and said that the Commissioner of Police, Philip Sule, had ordered an investigation into the shooting.

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