Monday, December 27, 2010


There is no evidence yet that there will be a reprieve of energy need for Nigerians. The Generators are still been imported daily, even Governor Fashola came out with his own innovation – lighting the Streets with Monster Generators!! What can he do? The Federal Government is not forthcoming to alleviate the pains of the masses. Diesel oil is still eating deep into the less than 18,000 Naira minimum wage.

China needs the Coal and the Crude oil for her energy guzzling plants to supply much needed energy for more than 1 billion population. So, wherever coal is available, be it in Australia or Enugu, it must head to China. Britain and other developed nations will pay any amount to secure Nigeria’s Sweetest Crude, regardless of the looting when the euro or dollars get paid.

Though, 80% of French energy need is supplied by her numerous Nuclear Power Plants, Nigeria crude oil must still be imported into France at all costs. Nigeria doesn’t need her crude oil for domestic consumption as such; hence foreign currency must be exchanged for the oil!!!

A friend left New York City for three weeks vacation in Lagos, stayed in an apartment complex with his brother in Lagos; the third night he almost ran into the street holding his head which was about to burst open with noises coming from between 6 and 8 Generators in the building. Buddy ran to his Mother-In-Law at Abeokuta so he can have at least a good sleep for a night or two.

There is no evidence yet that much needed education would be available to those kids in the North who are lagging behind their peers in the South. Secondary and Tertiary educations are still not well funded by all sections of Government.

On page 202 of Path to Nigerian Greatness, Papa Awolowo, our late iconic sage wrote: “It is only a senseless and miserly fool who will pile up savings in the Bank and allow …” (his citizens to starve of much needed energy) – words in bracket are mine. Similarly it is a criminal breach of trust to allow the beneficiaries to suffer acute hunger when the “earned money from oil revenue or revenues from other resources are more than enough to care for the ‘citizens of Nigeria.” Furthermore it is callous and anti-social not to provide adequate security, shelter and food for all citizens.”
It is the opinion of this writer that had enough adequate provision been made available for all citizens such as shelter, adequate transportation and mass production of food; the case against minimum wage of 18,000 Naira could have been accepted. An average Nigerian spends so much money on diesel for lighting and for preservation of food. Securing a job to earn any amount to sustain life becomes a herculean task for Graduate and jobless Nigerians. What provision has the Federal Government at Abuja made for ordinary citizens without any income? The plantain seller, peasant farmers and ‘Gbugburu and Groundnut Sellers’ deserve a better life as well as Senators and State Legislators.

When Government of advanced society made provisions for compulsory savings for employees of public and private companies, when adequate provisions are made to educate their teaming populations, their system still lack adequate perfection.

By advocating for a special fund to be set aside for a projected two hundred million Nigerians, one has taken into consideration a needed innovative approach to transform Nigeria’s society against the normal norms of economic theory and practicality. When corruption embodies our polity; when looting continues unabated among elected Nigerian Government Officials from local officials to State and Federal Government, even under the watchful eyes of EFCC; what more can one salvage for the masses.

A special fund holdings in millions as suggested in the first edition of this magazine, to cover a projected Nigerian population (of 200 million) can pay for compulsory Primary school education, Technical and/or Secondary education up to and including College and University education; providing also for adequate shelter and health related insurances. When Economists talk of loans for small businesses, start up grants for people who cannot get a job or are unskilled individuals they never work us up to the reasons why these problems exist in the first place.

If Pap Awolowo were to be alive today, he would have solved the problems of the Delta people, without of course any blood bath as we are witnessing at this moment.

Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Written by Olatunji Almaroof, DDS
New York, U.S.A.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


The entry of Aliyu Muhammed Gusau into the Nigerian presidential race has been long expected. His longing for the presidency is not as sudden as his late entry into the race seems to show. He has been in the race for the past four years.
When the presidency cowed every one into silence in 2007, Muhammed Gusau was the only candidate that stood to challenge the anointed candidate in Governor Y’ar Adua that later became President. Despite all odds, Alhaji Muhammed Gusau stood his ground and with courage challenged candidate Y’ar Adua. That incidence was a demonstration of his vision for Nigeria, that he had a mission for Nigeria and would not for sentiment compromise such vision. Since then, Gusau has stood firm in the eyes of Nigeria as capable of challenging the status quo standing him as a symbol of change. If he was not that courageous, he probably would have considered his personal relationship with Y’ar Adua’s family and his respect for President Olusegun Obasanjo who championed Y’ar Adua course and shied away from contesting against Y’ar Adua.
Muhammed Aliyu Gusau has more than any Nigerian distinguished himself as a silent operator nursing the security of Nigeria like an egg.
That this country remains in tack, free from breaking internal strive and destabilising external aggression stands to the vigilance of this intelligence officer who served military President and elected Presidents unequivocally for years putting Nigeria on his lap 24/7 so that this fragile country of ours may survive.
Since the rule of Gen. Babangida to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime to Y’ar Adua and until recently to the present regime of President Jonathan Goodluck, this gentle man General of the people has been the eyes and ears of this our great country within and without. It is therefore no accident that this quiet operator was among few Nigerians invited to the inauguration of the 44th President of American President Barrack Obama.
His declaration to contest the presidential election has brought relief to many Nigerians who have been looking for positive change.
The issue of zoning has become so contentions and polarizing because the perceived beneficiaries of zoning have been either five cent or a nickel.
But since Aliyu Muhammed has reiterated his wish to be President, the Nigerian people have the opportunity to tackle the question of zoning intelligently, squarely and rationally.
What is zoning?
The need for zoning was brought about by the need for all different ethnic groups, or zones to have benefit of actualizing the freedom to be elected president. This was brought out by the need to balance the politics of a divided South against the united north that has the potentialities of permanently dominating the presidency if such remedial effort like zoning is not effected.
In order for the South to have the opportunity to produce a president there was need to zone the country into six zones, North West, North East and North Central from the Northern Region and South East, South West and South South in the two eastern and Western regions. For too long either through military incursion or civilian regime, the North had been historically favoured by its number to produce President. So the idea of zoning the Presidency was promoted by the Southern statesmen. During the Constitutional Conference of the Abacha regime, this question polarised the Country between the North and South so much that it thinned the thread that put us together before part of the North agreed with the idea of zoning in understanding it was necessary for compromise position. But the issue of zoning had been on before Abacha. If not for the cancellation of the primary election won by Gen. Musa Y’ar Adua for the SDP and Alhaji Umaru Shunkafi of NRC for the presidency either of them, Northerner, would have been President.
The annulment of June 12 election won by a Southerner that followed the SDP/NRC cancelled primaries made zoning imperative.
Even though, zoning is not embodied in the Nigerian constitution, it has been embedded in the minds of the Nigerian political class as an article of faith.
It is not a PDP arrangement alone. Even now those who are critical about zoning in the PDP are longing for northerners to be their Presidential Candidates. Gen. Buhari is the CPC’s, the ACN has virtually thrown its Presidential towel on the shoulder of Alhaji Nuhu Ribadu, a northerner and the ANPP of course would ultimately go for a northerner. Only parties who do not care much about winning the Presidency in 2011 would field a southerner just because it is understood that Southern Obasanjo’s eight years in office should be balanced with a Northern eight years in office to compliment the Y’ar Adua term terminated by the faith of dying in office.
Those who support Mr. Goodluck Jonathan on the other hand engage in the fallacy that Umaru Y’ar Adua and Jonathan had an eight years tenure which Jonathan has to complete in 2015. Nothing can be far from the truth. The truth is that Y’ar Adua had a northern slot for four years and it was not automatic for him to have a second term if he was not dead. And if he was alive and was to go for second term, he was not bound to take along Jonathan Goodluck with him. Therefore those Jonathan’s apologists are only trying to exploit Y’ar Adua’s death, in a double jeopardy, to deny the north its second term.
The Board of Trustees of the PDP headed by President Obasanjo has spoken, it stands by zoning ; the National Executive Council of the PDP has also spoken in favour of zoning even though both recognise the individual rights of president Jonathan Goodluck to contest like every other person. But the right to contest in the constitution is not a must right. In decent societies, the President does not ignore the regulation of his sponsoring political party to claim a nebulous constitutional right. If Jonathan contests against the rule of his party, he has a moral question to answer. He has been an advocate of party discipline advising ordinary people like me to respect the rule of the party. He would not be in position to do that if he defies his party, win or lose. We are talking about moral decadence breading corruption. In decent society, the head resigns if he has cause to disagree with the policies of the organisation.
President Olusegun Obasanjo has led Jonathan Goodluck to a wrong path by openly defying the wish of the BOD which he leads by pushing the South West PDP to endorse Jonathan.

Those of us who recognise the moral inappropriateness of their actions would stay to do what we believe to be right, now that the North has given us a choice in Aliyu Muhammed Gusau.

Bari Adedeji Salau
Public Affairs Analyst

Friday, September 10, 2010

2011: Make or break…for Nigeria – David West (Re-Printed with Apology)

Professor Tam David-West, a Virologist, was in Kaduna recently to launch his latest book on General Muhammad Buhari. He spared time to field questions from Daily Sun. He spoke on a wide range issues: “If 2011 don’t bring in credible leadership through credible election, this country will breakup. So we pray to Almighty God, Christians, Muslims, traditional religions, please, beg God take us through that turbulence, through credible election and credible leadership.” Excerpts:
Let’s start from the testimonies people said about you here. How do you feel about those testimonies?
Naturally, I feel very good, but more importantly I have to give great thanks to my God. When God created us, He did that for the good of human. So, my life is full of mystery. How I was born is a mystery. The name Tam is Taminomi, meaning there is God, it’s a mystery. So, for having served Nigeria in various capacities as Commissioner for Education, Rivers State way back 1975-79, served at the federal level as Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Chairman, NNPC Board of Directors/Chief Executive, under Gen. Buhari, before he was overthrown and then Gen. Babangida brought me back as Minister of Petroleum. Then, he reshuffled cabinet and made me Mnister of Mines, Power and Steel, January-September 1986. In each of these places, if I wanted to be a billionaire I should have been one by now. My greatest joy to God Almighty is that I served for service.
Incidentally, all those who came, spoke about the good old days in the NNPC, why is it difficult to bring back those good old days?
I said it in many interviews before, any government that cannot manage the oil industry in Nigeria for the good of the people is a bad government and must be overthrown.
Why did you say so?
I believe it must be overthrown because oil makes up at least 90 percent if not more of all what Nigeria has abroad in foreign currency. That 85 percent or more of our annual budget comes from oil means that oil is the life of Nigeria. If you want to destroy Nigeria, destroy the oil industry, then Nigeria is finished. When we got that assignment to give oil to Nigeria, we did our best and those who were around then, and who are still alive today can testify to that. The difference between the time I served under Buhari and now is that we served the country, we were interested in building the oil industry for the good of the people, not for ourselves and we are vindicated today. There is no time anybody that served under Buhari has been chased around by the EFCC that is why I am with him. After Buhari, every government, every Head of State, every minister wants to make money from the oil. So, there lies the difference.
There was difference, in terms of national orientation, moral orientation and orientation in terms of patriotism. None of the people under Buhari was interested in being an oil sheikh. But today ministers have estates and mansions in Abuja. So if you decide to love money, oil can give you easy money, oil can make you a multimillionaire in one month. They saw the soft side of oil for their own personal benefit. That is the difference. I feel annoyed at the change. I ask them at vision 2020, giving two examples that during Buhari’s time Nigeria was exporting refined products from the three refineries through off-shore processing. But soon after Buhari, hundreds of millions were lost because there is a cabal that is controlling the oil industry. While this cabal is draining multi-million daily, Nigeria is suffering.
I have been teaching since1968 in the university, I have being a professor since 1974.The situation of our universities is very appalling these days. Graduates have no job after graduation. I have been to so many restaurants where graduates have been reduced to mere stewards on the floor of the restaurants in most hotels. Graduates are taxi drivers in Ibadan and all over the country. Why should Nigerians suffer? We have had our days. If the present cannot guarantee the future of posterity, we have failed. That is what is happening in the oil industry. Oil is selling about $70 per barrel now.
Throughout the time of Obasanjo, oil did not sell less than $50 per barrel. Nigeria produces over two million barrels of oil per day, why should Nigerians suffer? I traveled to the Golf where oil belongs to the royal family but you can see wealth distributed to the Golf. Kuwait is a good example. Whenever Kuwait sells oil, it puts some amount in the bank for the future. Kuwait is so wealthy. It has bought so many investments in Europe including Dorchester Hotel in London, one of the greatest high rises in Britain. Why can’t Nigeria do the same thing? The difference is that after Buhari and his cabinet left, every person that came into office has got dirty appetite to get oil money. You can be a millionaire, multi-millionaire in one month. Nigeria is a rich country with so many poor people. It is very sad.
Do you think the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, can change anything?
No, they have not read it. Most of the people in government, including members of the National Assembly never even read the constitution. They started reading the constitution during Yar’Adua’s health problem. I heard an interview with a senator who came to the studio without reading the constitution. I do not want to mention his name, he was there to make money. You are supposed to read your constitution before coming to contest any office in government. These are the people who will say they are going to America to see how democracy and presidential system works. Most of them in government are not qualified to be there, either in morality or in qualification or interest of the country. The Petroleum Industry Bill is saying nothing. Most of them in the National Assembly are lazy. They don’t read the constitution, so how can you take them seriously? A minister came to be cleared and you said ‘take a bow and go’ without any screening. I was in America when Professor Bark, one of the greatest professors of law in America, President Reagan nominated him for a position. The Senate Committee drilled him for more than two weeks. They quoted what he wrote so many years ago in the university and he was sweating. The Vice President of America, Bidden, was to be the President of America on the platform of the Democrats. He was almost into the White House when they brought out his indiscretion in Law School 20 years ago.
What I am saying is that people go into parliament in Nigeria without being cleared. Most of them don’t read, most of them are only interested in money, constituency allowance. I have written over 50 pages on that Petroleum Industry Bill and I have not finished. If they don’t study that Bill properly and pass it, the only industry in this country will die. Oil industry is capital intensive. You cannot go and have a wishy-washy, superficial Petroleum Industry Bill, and say you want to use that to reform the industry. The oil industry Bill is useless as it is and will cause more problem to this country than we have ever envisaged. Stakeholders should also look at it. Don’t make NNPC like a cult. In fact, Petroleum Industry Bill, as it stands today, any serious government should see the unseriousness which is the title alone with 40 words. They are not serious, they should look at it again oh!

Buhari’s chance
The chance that Buhari has is such that, he has the highest moral standing than anybody in this country. Buhari has the highest moral talk than anybody in politics today. I am vindicated that they are afraid of him.
2011 will make a breakthrough for Nigeria. If 20 11 don’t bring in credible leadership through credible election, this country will breakup. So we pray to Almighty God, Christians, Muslims, traditional religions, please, beg God take us through that turbulence, through credible election and credible leadership.
But look at the difference, when I launched the main book in Lagos, Governor Raji Fashola couldn’t come but he sent his deputy to represent him. Kalu was there, Oshiornhole was the chairman, and Emir of Kano was there and so on. So if you look at it, you cannot see that audience with PDP because they are afraid of what will be said. If you are afraid of somebody that is trying to take up your political seat then it means you have something to hide. It means that person has a lot of qualities, which you do not have.
Then how do you propagate Buhari’s message, which you appear to be so passionate about?
I propagate the Buhari message more effectively as a non party man, as an intellectual. A man that I believe Nigeria respects to have record of objectivity. Since I left government with him, when he was overthrown, I saw Buhari only three times. I don’t even have his phone number. I don’t have to be a party man to tell the truth in Nigeria. I said I stake my honour when I launched the first book. I challenged all those who are his detractors. I have 300 evidences in support of him. I challenged all of them since l999, to a debate, none of then showed up because what I have is the truth.
The Buhari message will go round. I write articles, I have people, students in Port Harcourt, Abuja, Ibadan, Lagos and advertisements with my money. In fact, in Lagos and here (in Kaduna,) whatever I receive from this literary effort, 50 percent must go to the Buhari effort on project Nigeria. I am not writing book on Buhari to make money for myself. I am writing book on Buhari, to propagate the Gospel of Buhari that ‘Nigeria, please I know this man and I stake my honour, let anybody challenge me.’ If you ask any Nigeria which is the greatest evil that keeps Nigeria backward, he will say corruption and indiscipline. Is Buhari corrupt? No. Is he indiscipline? No. Nigerians are not afraid of Buhari. It’s the politicians who are afraid of Buhari. The fear of Buhari by politicians is the beginning of political wisdom. What they will do is to make sure he does not win election, by rigging. 20 11 will be different, if you rig, Nigeria will break up.
He tried it in 2003 and 2007, did you contribute to those efforts, if not why, and why now?
The one that I contributed was in 2007. So, 2007 was the effective beginning of this crusade. I knew, I was working against the tide but I am philosophically a positive thinker. Buhari’s chance was not right in 2007, no. If you look at the book you will see that the last two pages were devoted to prayer because I don’t do anything without praying to God. I don’t write anything without praying to God to guide me for the good of the society and glorify His name. 2007, was not the time for Buhari, but the seed for 2011 was sowed in 2007.
If you say, 2007 was not his time, what then will you make of the Supreme Court judgment, which narrowly made late Yar’ Adua President?
I was vindicated when I said Buhari is the moral President of Nigeria. Yar’Adua, may his soul rest in peace, was the Political President. I say so because when somebody like Buhari who is an underdog, all of them deserted him, his party deserted him and he fought to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court by votes of 4- 3 said victory is for Yar’ Adua. If an underdog can be so successful in wining 4-3 votes, he is a victor. 2007 was not Buhari’s time, but the beginning of the Buhari’s crusade.
So what are your expectations for 2011 elections?
The year Nigerians are worried about is 2011 and I am happy about it because no politician can buy the voters easily again because they are afraid of what is going to happen if they don’t get it right. Credible election and credible leadership, is what we expect.
Should the elections be shifted to allow for credible voters register, which many believe is a necessity for credible elections?
Jega should never use Iwu’s voters list. Anybody that tries to smuggle Iwu’s voters list in for 2011, the person must be prepared for a civil disobedience of massive disorder. Iwu’s voters list must be completely discarded. Jega should start again. We must get it right, we must get clean voters list. In Iwu’s voters list, Mike Tyson was a voter, Mohammad Ali was a voter and my grand mother who died many years ago was a voter. That is a disgrace for Nigeria in the face of international community.
In 2011, I have fate in my God and have faith that Nigerians will not tolerate anything shot of credible election and credible emergence of good leadership. To that extent, no sacrifice should be too much to make, to have a credible election. They must get new register. There is nothing we sacrifice to get good election that is too much. If we must shift the time to give INEC good time to get the register cleaned up, no problem. But the caveat is that every political office holder must be on half salary between January, when the election is supposed to hold and the April date, which many are canvassing for, because a good leader must be able to serve without salary. All privileges must be cancelled, including constituency allowance.
Zoning arrangement
Zoning does exist, and even Obasanjo was brought in by zoning. Why are they lying? During Obasanjo’s second term, they voted for zoning 47-2. Section 7 (2c) of PDP constitution said there is zoning North and South. If Yar’Adua is alive today, will we talk about zoning or Jonathan? No. Then what are we talking about? Obasanjo said there is no zoning. He lied, he lied, and he lied! By lying on what you signed, I am not surprised. Then, he manipulated and sent Ogbulafor away because he stood by zoning. He brought out Nwodo, who first said zoning is dead. Something that is not living could not die. Your Oga said zoning does not exist at all; you came and said it is dead. Why should you kill something that does not exist at all? Then later he said he is going to revisit it. Is that the type of thing Jonathan wants to be?
The northern governors voted on zoning that it is not constitutional. Nigerian Constitution binds everyone of us, but you cannot join a club, draft the rules of a club and violate it. Resign and contest or delete the zoning aspect. So, I asked myself, will I like an Ijaw brother, Ijaw son to be the President of Nigeria through this bumpy road and controversy and over-heated polity? The answer is no. Mathew Luther King whom I have met personally who said he has a dream that one day my little children will be judged by the strength of their character and not by their colour. Obama’s election shows that Mathew Luther King’s dream has not been realized. Because Mathew Luther King is a descendant of slaves, while Obama’s father is a Kenyan, his grandmother is white. So America did not elect a free American slave.
Is it not strange that you’re promoting a northerner against a fellow Ijaw man like you?
I feel very proud. I said if Jonathan were my father today, I will do what I am doing. I am a very proud Ijaw man. Buhari is a northerner and I am a southerner. Buhari is a Muslim and I am a Christian. My family has been Christians since 100 years now. In 1908 my paternal grandfather founded St Michael Church, in Buguma. My maternal grand father founded another church in my area in 1913. Buhari is a Fulani, I am an Ijaw, Buhari is from Katsina and am from Rivers State. Why do I love him? That should make people do away with this bestial sentiment and look for a credible leadership in Nigeria.
I worked with him and I know him. There is nothing I have said about Buhari that I could not write it. Jonathan went to secondary school in 1975 when I was already a professor for two years. If an Ijaw man, a Niger Delta man is President of Nigeria, of course I will be very happy. But through normal channel, not through illegal means because what you get illegally will not be in the interest of the Niger Delta or the interest of the Ijaw. You are sowing seeds of future problem for us. If Jonathan, an Ijaw man goes through the normal way and he is elected I will dance and will be among people to go and embrace him. But what is happening now, I will oppose it with the last drop of my pen.
Jonathan is acting Obasanjo’s script and no apologies to him. I have even written about it. When I said this long ago, that Jonathan is Obasanjo’s switch, have I not been proved right? Obasanjo himself is showing every example that he wants to have a third term by default. I have been to Ota many times and I have personal letter from Obasanjo to me where he addressed me, as ‘my dear Tam from Olu Obasanjo.’ We cannot follow Obasanjo whether right or wrong. Anything that is not in the interest of Nigeria and to say that even my own father I will oppose him.
What is happening is not in the interest of Nigeria. Let us forget about this north/south dichotomy, it is artificial in terms of Nigerian leadership. People have made all sorts of noise about the word ‘Goodluck.’ They have made all sorts of spacious infantile analysis of how God is behind him. I said no, I looked the other way round not because I want to be controversial.
I made a difference between Godluck and Goodluck. If God wants to give you something, it should not be at the expense of another person. God will not give you something that will make you smile and make the other person weep. That is not how God works. We are rational human beings, God has given us the wisdom to think and the conscience which is the sign of the word of God in us to know what is right and what is wrong.
Conscience has two components, the passive component of conscience that said what is right and what is wrong and the active component of conscience which is more important. I cannot with clear conscience say, Goodluck Jonathan being Governor of Bayelsa State was good luck. He had to be governor of Bayelsa State because Obasanjo never wanted Alamiesiegha, because at that time it was suspected that he would run with Atiku. Obasanjo had to gun him down for opposing his third term. He stage- managed a Kangaroo impeachment for him. He was impeached illegally.
So, Jonathan became the Governor of Bayelsa State at the tears of Alarniesiegha and that is not how God works. Jonathan became the President of Nigeria when Yar’Adua died and we are complicating matters for him and he is also not helping himself. There is a wise saying that ‘for the prince to be wisely advised, he also should be wise in the first place.’ Jonathan was going to Akwa Ibom, Obasanjo followed him and so many things. Are you helping him? You are showing that Jonathan is a puppet on your opponent.
The National Assembly has all the right when it was so glaring that Yar’Adua cannot come back. They were afraid to do the right thing. Either to make a medical report about him, vote 2/3 majority, set up a medical panel and declare him permanently incapacitated for Jonathan to become authentic President. They were afraid to do that. Impeach him, you did not impeach him because the constitution says to impeach the President and the Vice President, you must let them know what they did wrong and give them some time to reply. The National Assembly misdirected themselves, and put us in this mess.
You can’t talk doctrine of necessity when there is a provision for something like that in the constitution. Is that how you want my Ijaw brother to be President of Nigeria, through a means that is constitutionally flawed? Then as if that was not enough, when Yar’ Adua died, oh my God! Then they took my son, Jonathan I am sure through Obasanjo again, and swore him immediately even when the corpse of Y ar’ Adua had not been buried. Would Jonathan like it ifYar’ Adua had been in his position as the Vice President?
We should know that the Nigerian Constitution has no time limit on the time for swearing in. Nigeria Constitution says when the President dies or permanently incapacitated, the Vice President will take over. It never gave time limit. In the case of Jonathan, I agree that there should not be a vacuum, I understand, but here they were forcing him to do unconstitutional means and made you an acting President and law court of Nigeria says an acting President has the power of the President. These are all the things I have against my Ijaw brother, my Ijaw son. With what has happened, they did not put themselves on the good side of history. By doing that he did not also put himself and the Ijaw people in the good side of history. So this is my grouse.
Since you started this crusade, have you ever received any call from any Ijaw man to caution you on your stand on Buhari? If yes, how did you handle the situation?
Oh yes, I state my position to them just like I am stating to you. They are very understanding. I had a very long interview with a paper that is coming up in Port Harcourt. They know that what I am doing is for the interest of the Ijaw and they are so happy about it. PDP brought militancy in Nigeria in Niger Delta. We have our problems but militancy of today is because PDP used the thugs to rig elections. What justification do we have for that cause deprivation, if criminals will have to use militants to protect them? Why should militants be saying they want to relocate to Abuja to protect Jonathan, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria? Does he need militants’ protection? All the arms of security around Jonathan, what will the militants do when they say that they were relocating to Abuja to protect Jonathan? Are you not causing trouble? The riverine area is different from land oh!
They have done two things to him, just like Nwodo when he said zoning is dead. The Constitution said the president must not only win majority of popular votes but two thirds of the election. How can a northerner dominate without the help of the South? Northern strength is Southern weakness. Shehu Shagari in 1979 won 60 percent in the old Sokoto State and 75 percent in the old Rivers State. No president from the North can dominate without Southern collaboration or vice versa. No Christian can rule without Muslim collaboration or vice versa


Wednesday, August 18, 2010


(Note to Readers: The following article was written sometime in 1999 but I find it so much relevant to the contemporary Nigeria political debate that I just can’t help but publish it.)

It must be one of the African saddest stories of the twenty-first century indeed that Nigeria, the so-called giant of Africa and the most populous country in Africa, is still groping in the dark for a political remedy for a country so blessed with so many political deep thinkers. God, out of His mercy and grace, gave us so many George Washingtons and Abraham Lincolns but we have on many occasions either murder them before they grow old enough to accomplish their God given missions or subject them to a perpetual incarceration. We have killed many brilliant students before they become the like of George Washington and incarcerate or prevent deep thinkers like Chief Obafemi Awolowo from accomplishing their God given missions. It is ironic that we keep on searching for a political manna from the sky for our country’s so-called constitutional crisis while we continue to kill or incarcerate our political Messiahs. It is like going to “Sokoto” to find what is in the pocket of our “Sokoto.”

The politics of Nigeria has not changed that much since 1960. It has been the same bundle of cyclical complicated tribal and ethnic nonsense focusing and wasting time on the quest for the best constitution for Nigeria as if we do not know the best constitution for Nigeria! We all know what kind of constitution is best for Nigeria! Why do we insist on deceiving ourselves?

We lie to ourselves so much that we are now convinced that Nigeria has a constitutional problem. We hide under the umbrella of ignorance because there is one important question that most Nigerians are honestly not ready or willing to answer. That question is our problem but we will rather beat around the bush on political issues hoping and praying that the question will go away. But it will not go away and there will not be any progress until we answer the question. The important question is not what type of constitution is suitable for Nigeria but whether or not that Nigerians are really interested in keeping Nigeria as one indivisible State. That is the question. Once we honestly answer this question, finding a constitution suitable for Nigeria will be an easy task.

I called Nigeria a State for a reason I will explain later. It is one of those political misconceptions of terms and phrases. In fact, the following political terms will be used in an unconventional way throughout this essay. The word “State” will be used in this essay as synonym of country. And the word “state” with a small “s” will continue to refer to regional entity of a country. Finally the word “nation” will be a synonym of tribe. All these terms will be defined later.

We are all aware that what we call Nigeria today is a conglomeration of unrelated tribes or nations purposefully established by the British to serve their own selfish imperialistic agenda. This unholy conglomeration has led to the subjugation of many tribes by a few tribes. The northern region of Nigeria has dominated the rest of the states before and after independent. This has led to the lost of lives of many innocent victims. The souls of many Nigerians, especially the dominated tribes, are still craving for vengeance.
These are historical facts! We are also aware of the fact that we can live together as one great State. We have been together for long enough to realize that our survival in the contemporary world of globalization demands staying together as one indivisible State. If we cannot live together as one State I don’t see how we can live together as independent neighboring countries? We should learn from the lesson of Pakistan and India.
The outcome of the Nigerian civil war should not be misconstrued as a proof of Nigerians’ decision to remain as one indivisible State under the protection of God. The “Go On With One Nigeria!” campaign was effective in uniting Nigeria but it failed to unify the people of Nigeria. And of course the losers of wars usually do not have any choice but to accept whatever is imposed on them. But the ugly reality of the civil war has not changed. Those who seceded did so for some reasons and until those reasons are effectively cured the future of Nigeria as being one State or country will continue to be in jeopardy. We should try to heal old wounds. It is only after we truly decide to remain as one State that we can start talking about constitutional issues.

I think that the quest for a suitable constitution for Nigeria should be focused on maintaining the unity of Nigeria as a State. This is not a new idea! We are all aware of this truth! But the question, like I said before, is not looking for a suitable constitution for Nigeria but how to keep Nigeria as one indivisible State in spite of our past history. We can no longer afford to ignore this fact! All we are doing is wasting time dwelling on constitutional issues since before 1960 at the expense of progress. Nigerians have been talking about the Constitutional issue since before the independence! Many books-among which is “Thought on Nigerian Constitution” by Chief Obafemi Awolowo- have been written about the best suitable constitution for Nigeria. Here we are, over forty years after independence, still talking about the best suitable constitution for Nigeria!

Okay, let’s waste more time and talk about the best constitution for Nigeria. I will start by assuming that we have honestly decided to keep Nigeria as a State. Please keep in mind that we are not necessarily going to learn anything new but we are definitely coming back to talk about it in another forty years from now unless we have truly decided to keep the unity of Nigeria. The late Chief Obafemi Awolowo said in a speech made at the first press conference held at Ikenne on the 4th of August, 1966, after his release from prison that “only truly federal constitution can unite Nigeria and generate harmony amongst its diverse racial and linguistic groups.” This is true but you can only unite people that truly want to be united.

Let’s try to define constitution in uncomplicated words. A general common-sense definition of constitution would be some kind of basic laws and principles that guard governmental entities in the course of performing their duties. A constitution would be a peripheral of rules and regulations within which a governing body or bodies operate(s). The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defined constitution as:
(1) “The mode in which a state is constituted or organized.
(2) “The system or body of fundamental principles according to which a nation, state, or body politics is constituted or governed.”

Wade and Phillip also defined constitution as “a document having a special legal sanctity which sets out the framework and the principal functions of the organs of government of a state and declares the principles governing the operations of those organs.”
While these definitions are in agreement with our general common-sense definition, they also gave us more to work with. Such laws, principles, and/or regulations would either be written or unwritten depending on the kind of constitution. It is a general rule that confederacy and federal constitution are always written because of their nature. This rule is not written in stone. There are some countries like Britain and New Zealand whose constitutions are partly written as of 1967. Many African countries did not have a written constitution before the advent of European rule and yet they managed to govern their people very well.

A closer look at the second definition of constitution by Shorter Oxford English Dictionary will reveal a vital distinction between Nation, State and Government. The late Chief Obafemi Awolowo in a lecture he delivered at the University of Lagos on February 24, 1967 made this observation. The lecture was titled, CONSTITUTION MAKING IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES. The late Chief gave three experts definitions of nation and state in order to highlight four main points that are pertinently vital for any one who is serious in a quest for a suitable constitution for Nigeria.

First, the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defined a Nation as “a distinct race or people, characterized by common descent, language, or history, usually organized as a separate political state and occupying a definite territory.”
Second, Salmond similarly defined a Nation as “a group of persons who feel that they are distinct from others on grounds of culture, language, and sometimes common ancestry.”
Third, Keeton defined a Nation as “a community of persons linked either by their historical development, common speech or common social customs, or several of these criteria, in such a way that such persons will still tend to cohere even if separated under different government.”
It seems to me that these three authorities are in essence saying that a nation is a tribe. Even though the late wise Chief cautioned us of the danger in such classification, I still believe that such classification is apposite. Chief Awolowo said: “To classify a NATION as TRIBE is unscientific in the extreme, and is bound to lead to serious and unpleasant consequences in the process of applying and employing such classification. In the twilight or dimness of such an error, two or more nations will be lumped together and treated as if they possess the same cultural characteristics.” This is well said. However, based on these three definitions, it is my humble opinion that of all the characteristics of a nation, the most important one is the language or the common speech; and of course, language is the extension of culture. And as long as members of a nation speak the same language with or without variations, I think it is safe to consider them members of one tribe. For example the Yoruba nation speak one language with many different variations. A man from Ibadan will speak a different variation of Yoruba language than a man from Ondo or Ijebu and still be considered a Yoruba nation or tribe.

Again, with the deepest respect to the sage chief Awo, I just do not see how a Yoruba man can be accidentally lumped together with a man from Sokoto or Enugun and called them a nation. In that sense it will only be politically correct to refer to the central government of a country like Nigeria as a national government to the extent that the central or national governing bodies reflect the many component nations that form the State.

A State on the other hand is defined by Salmond, as “an association of human beings established for the attainment of certain ends.”
Keeton gave a better definition of a State as “an association of human beings, whose numbers are at least considerable, occupying a defined territory, and united with the appearance of permanence for political ends, for the achievement of which certain governmental institutions have been evolved.”

The late Chief then deduced the following four pertinent points from the above definitions:
(1) A state may consist of a number of nations – as in the USSR, India, Nigeria, and Switzerland.
(2) A nation may be divided into a number of States; as in Ancient Greece, and as in the case with the Ewe-speaking people in Ghana and Togo, the Kurd-speaking people in the former USSR, Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria, the Greek-speaking people in modern Greece and Cyprus, and the German-speaking people in Western and Eastern Germany.
(3) A nation may be co-extensive with a state; as in Portugal and Italy.
(4) Whilst a nation need not have political ends in order to maintain its cohesion, unity, and corporate existence, a state must. In other words, whilst it is imperative that the elements or objectives for the cohesion and continued corporate existence of a state must be consciously organized and continuously sustained by the members of the state, all that a nation needs for the preservation of its cohesion and corporate continuance are already ingrained at birth, as unconscious powerful tendencies, in the members of the national group, and nurtured by many self-sustaining, cultural ties and sentiments.

Nigeria is obviously a State or a country of many nations according to the first point above. The fourth point above insists that the members or the nations of the State must continuously nurture such State. This is exactly the point I am trying to articulate in this essay. Before nations can nurture a State they must first of all agree to be a member of that State. The nations of Nigeria must decide the fate of the State. They must be honest in their decision. They cannot pretend to want to be a part of the State just to undermine its unity. Many members of the Yorubas, Hausas, Ibos, and other smaller nations in Nigeria are guilty of this crime.

The problem of Nigeria is not constitutional; it is the lack of courage to decide whether or not we truly want Nigeria to remain as one indivisible country.
A State cannot be forced into existence. This approach may appear to work on the short run but it will fail in the end. That was what the British did in Nigeria during the period of “divide and rule” and that is why we have the problem of unity today. It simply takes a general consensus of the component nations to agree to form a State.

Every nation in a State will continue to survive with or without the State. A Yoruba nation will always continue to survive as a Yoruba nation. So will the Hausas, the Ibos and all other nations in Nigeria. But Nigeria cannot survive as a State or a country without these nations. Notice that I said the Yorubas, the Hausas, the Ibos, and all other nations of Nigeria will always continue to survive as nations but I did not say that they will necessarily survive as independent neighboring States. I have said earlier that if we cannot live together as a country, I don’t see how we can live together in peace as independent neighboring States. Now back to the quest for a suitable constitution for Nigeria.

Generally speaking, there are three types of constitution, each tailored to fit the ethnic, cultural, and linguistic composition of every country. A Unitary constitution is tailored to fit a country with unilingual and uninational composition. The legislative power under such constitution is solely vested in a single authority. This may happen in a national State or a State with one nation. This authority may be in form of military regime under the hegemony of the Head of State, any other form of authoritarian dictatorship or even in a democratic State.

In my opinion, this kind of constitution is not necessarily an evil premise in a bilingual or multilingual and multinational country like Nigeria when wisely used as a temporary system in the anticipation of a better constitution. A very good example of this approach is Ghana under Rawlings. Sometimes the means to a democratic society is undemocratic. The same rule applies to achieving true peace through bloody wars. However, any intention to impose a unitary constitution on a bilingual or multilingual and multinational country like Nigeria as a permanent constitutional solution will continue to fail. You cannot have a unitary constitution in a country as culturally, ethnically and linguistically diverse as Nigeria. The tendency would be for the members of the majority nations to impose their whim and caprices on the rest of the nations.

Confederacy is another kind of constitution that will not work in any State that wants to remain as one indivisible country in unity. Under a confederal constitution, the authority resides in the state or regional governments at the expense of the central government. This means that the existence of the central government is absolutely dependent on the composite regional governments. Confederacy usually creates an atmosphere conducive to disunity and cessation in countries already ravaged by tribalism. Any country, whether unilingual or bilingual, which wants to remain, as one indivisible State will not survive for a long period of time under a confederacy. A very good example of the failure of confederacy is the American experience between 1776 and 1786. The product of this failure is the third kind of constitution called federal constitution or federalism.

Federalism emanates from the dissolution of empires like the British Empire in America in1776, the Russian empire in 1917, the USSR in 1991, the German empire in 1918, the Nazi “empire” in 1945 and Yugoslavia and Bosnia in the present.
Federalism is a political and philosophical ideology in which the central and regional authorities are co-ordinate and independent of one another. It is a radical arrangement for sharing power among governmental bodies. Both central and regional governments are assigned some constitutional responsibilities that cannot be usurped by either governmental entity.

It is very important to inform those who are agitating for a photocopy of American type of federalism in Nigeria that the brutal fact of the constitutional assignment of responsibilities under the American federal system is to emphasize the American national government supremacy. In order to save the Union, the American founding fathers realized the need for a stronger national government. This is guaranteed by the article VI (national government supremacy), the Amendment X (reserved powers), and Amendment XIV (national control of state actions) of the United States constitution. In addition, the “enumerated powers” in Article I, Section 8, list the specific powers of the American national government. We cannot import the photocopy of American federalism without strengthening the Nigerian national government. That was the original purpose of American federalism.

There should not be any doubt in the mind of any Nigerian who is serious about keeping Nigeria as one indivisible country that the best suitable constitution for the State is federal constitution. Nigeria is too diverse and therefore too fragile to survive under any other kind of constitution. A unitary type of constitution will not work because of the multinational and multilingual composition of Nigeria. Nigeria is a State of many nations and to have a unitary constitution will amount to having one major tribe dominate the others. This will definitely create a major conflict. A confederacy will not work because it encourages disunity and cessation of component nations. This is especially dangerous in a country that has many antagonistic tribes. Remember that what we call Nigeria today did not exist before the colonization of Africa.

If federal constitution is the only logical and suitable constitution for Nigeria, the next question should be: what should Nigeria federalism look like? In my opinion, it does not have to be a carbon copy of American system. I know that Nigerians are “crazy” about anything American. I am too. But caution has to be exercised in importing a system without any regard for cultural differences. The American founding fathers saw the need for a radical political change in order to save the Union and came up with a new political concept (federalism) without any disregard of American culture.

In fact, the American culture dictates the new political concept. When the Americans left the old world for the new they also left some of the destructive old culture behind. They were dissatisfied with some of the old European way of life otherwise known as the culture.

When they got to the new world, the old destructive culture tried to resurface through slavery and confederacy but the American new culture triumphed by coming up with a new political concept. It is in this sense that the culture dictates the political concept. This does not mean that the old destructive culture has been permanently annihilated in America. Culture is very difficult to kill! Racism still exists but the new culture continues to dictate new laws through new political concepts to combat the consequences of the old culture. These are lessons that Nigerians need to learn.

There are many different variations of American federalism in the world today. Switzerland, Canada, the USSR and Russia are good examples. Even unitary states like France and England have some kind of federalism working within their political system. Nigeria needs to do the same.

In order to keep Nigeria as one indivisible State, it is necessary to have a strong federal government. There should not be any difficulty in having a stronger federal government as long as we are operating under a democratic system. In order to have a true federalism in Nigeria we must have a true democracy. This can be achieved through mass education and change of attitude. We have to start seeing Nigeria as a State and not as a mere conglomeration of many unrelated nations or tribes. We can start doing this by making every citizen of Nigeria a citizen of whatever region he or she resides. A Nigerian should have dual citizenship. He or She should be a citizen of Nigeria and a citizen of every state in Nigeria. The word state here should not be confused with the State as a country. An Ibo man who resides in Lagos should be considered a citizen of Lagos state. We need to renew our mind! Until we do this any other effort will have no significant success on the long run. And God knows that we have been running for a long time.

The federal government should of course consist of the executive or the president, the legislators or the senators and the members of the House of Representatives, and the federal judiciary or the Supreme Court judges. There should be two or three senators for each state irrespective of the size of the state. The number of each state representative should depend on the population of each state. And the Supreme Court judges should be appointed for life and approved by the Senators and the House of Representatives. All decisions from the national government should be approved by all the components of national government.

In other words, the president’s decision on any issue must have already been scrutinized and approved by the Senators and the House of Representatives and the judiciary must have endorsed it as not violating the constitution of the State. In reality the states are well represented in the decisions of the national government. This in fact is the difference between Centralism and Federalism. Under Centralism, the states are dependent on the central government while Federalism allows the states to be independent and interdependent. The power is shared between the national and the states government. This is federalism per excellence!

My conclusion is simple. The problem of Nigeria is not a constitutional crisis. It is our unwillingness to forget the past and to decide whether or not to keep Nigeria as one indivisible State. Once we decide the fate of the future of our country the constitution will fall in place. Common sense would dictate that neither the unitary constitution nor Confederacy is suitable for a country as culturally and linguistically diverse as Nigeria. The only way to go is by federal constitution. However, it would be a big mistake to blindly import American federalism to Nigeria in disregard of our cultural differences. Federalism has to be tailored to suit our political and cultural needs. We must find a way to discard that culture or ways of life that tend to be a clog in the wheel of our progress. Countries like Canada and Switzerland have successfully done the same thing. I do not see why Nigeria cannot follow the same route.

Shina Akanni

Friday, July 23, 2010


In order to make a good case for zoning of the gubernatorial slot to Yewa, it is necessary to portray Yewa as a victim of political oppression which has been denied of its political rights. And that is what those whose mischief making machinery including the Ogun state owned media have been busy doing.
But the reality is far from this. Those who are familiar with the gubernatorial history of Ogun State would remember the following:
In 1978, the gubernatorial slot was not zoned to any of the divisions in Ogun State. It is pertinent to note that Ogun State consists of four divisions.
The majority clan of Ijebu which is monolithic, so to say, as they speak same dialect from Aiyepe, Odogbolu/Okun Owa axis to the north Ago-Iwoye, Ijebu Igbo spreading to the centre located at Ijebu Ode and to the east empting at Mushin/ Ijebu¬-Ife / Ijebu waterside axis. Each of these communities has a traditional ruler and proud of its heritage even though they accept the superiority of the Awujale of Ijebu Land. This vast area constitutes six Local Governments with an electoral strength of 47% of the state electorate. The Remo though speaks derivation of Ijebu but their history and ancestry are as distinct as the left eye is different from the right. They are a proud people with communities with traditional rulers, the most prominent of whom is the Akarigbo of Ijebu Remo. They claim to have migrated independent of the Ijebus from Remo quarters in Ile-Ife. The relationship between Ijebu and Remo has been brotherly with mutual respect to their cultural differences. Comparative with Ijebu and Egba, they constitute a smaller clan in Ogun State with three local governments whereas the Ijebu and Egba constitute six local governments respectively while Yewa has five local governments.
There is no gainsaying that Ijebu and Remo are short changed by the political gerrymandering that constituted the senatorial district in Ogun State and also the distribution of Local Government. While Egba with six local governments like Ijebu has its own Senatorial District, the Ogun Central, the Ijebu and Remo with nine local governments share the same senatorial district, Ogun East, whereas the Yewa, with five local governments, has its own senatorial District, Ogun West.
With this gerrymandered and unfair allocation of senatorial districts to the disadvantage of Ijebu and Remo, it is easy for the propagandists to point out that Yewa is the only Senatorial District that has not produced a Governor in Ogun State without considering the fact that Yewa and Egba are unduly favored by the allocation of senatorial districts and that if for example, five local governments in Ijebu, like Odogbolu, Ijebu North, Ijebu East, Ijebu Waterside and Ijebu North East had constituted a senatorial district, they too could claim that they had not had a largesse of the gubernatorial manna zoned to their backyard because the only Governor that has come from Ijebu in Ogun State was Chief Bisi Onabanjo from Ijebu Ode local government who was elected as Governor in 1979, thirty one years ago.
And Chief Bisi Onabanjo did not get the gubernatorial ticket zoned to his backyard. He won a stiff contest among four candidates, Chief Soji Odunjo from Egba, Dr. Tunji Otegbeye and Senator Jonathan Odebiyi from Egbado, now Yewa and the Aiyekoto himself ‘Mr. Bisi’ as admirably called by Sage Obafemi Awolowo contested the Unity Party primary election from Ijebu. Chief Bisi Onabanjo had the 20 Ijebu delegate votes, Chief Soji Odunjo, the son of the Alawiye fame secured 20 Egba delegate votes and the two Egbado candidates divided their 10 delegate votes from Egbado with one candidate scoring 4 and the other scoring 6 votes living Onabanjo and Odunjo to slog it out on the second ballot at which the Egbado graciously backed the Ijebu candidate making Chief Bisi Onabanjo, the UPN candidate. Since then, the Ijebu has carried the albatross of trying to repay the Yewa their good gesture.
And it is not as if the Ijebu has not been trying. During the SDP time, the Ijebu called on the Yewa to streamline their home front to come out with a common candidate so that the Ijebu could support them to snatch the ticket, but they refused to yield to the pressure of their people to unite. The result was that the Egba came out with one candidate, the Akinrogun of Egba, Chief Segun Osoba who politically worsened the Egbado candidates including Professor Olabimtan and the veteran trade unionist, Senior Comrade of Nigeria, Dr. Tunji Otegbeye and there we were, Osoba an Egba man was elected governor under the platform of the SDP. The same scenario repeated itself in 1999 and Chief Osoba snatched the AD ticket to become a second term governor. If he was not stopped by the PDP in 2003, Chief Osoba, an Egba man, would have been governor the third time. So, up to date, the Egba man has occupied the Okemosan gubernatorial office for six years whereas the only Ijebu occupant was Chief Bisi Onabanjo who was elected in 1979 completing a four year term but denied to rule on his election for the second term as the military struck in December 1983.
An attempt by an Ijebu man to stage a comeback through the PDP in 1999 with Dr. Jubril Matins Kuye carrying the then unattractive flag of the PDP in the face of the self serving, deceitful AD failed because of the political mischief that characterized the AD propaganda and false posture. Thank God, the tree of Dr. Jubril Matins Kuye thought to have been trimmed then has grown into a mighty Araba tree, as he has since then been uplifted to be a second term Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
In 2003, Chief Gbenga Daniel, from Remo had to fight with Mr. Dele Arojo, a candidate from Yewa who was later murdered to get the then promising PDP ticket, as a turn of events had opened the eyes of the Yoruba to the truth. He defeated the seemingly invincible incumbent governor, Chief Segun Osoba from Egba.
In 2007, a Yewa candidate, Mr. Lekan Ojo, former chairman of the PDP in Ogun State struggled with the incumbent Governor Gbenga Daniel in the PDP primary and failed. Then, the Ijebu adopted a ‘siddon look’ watching as Gbenga Daniel from Remo and Alhaja Salmon Badru from Yewa ,two smaller ethnic groups from Ogun State occupied the gubernatorial seat for almost eight years now; such liberalism and privilege could only happen in a politically sophisticated and intellectually endowed state as Ogun.
In our type of political setting, the executive presidential democracy of American type, the constitution recognizes total unity of the executive chair. The Governor and the Deputy are to be complimentary. Therefore, a deputy governor is a governor, often referred to as Excellency, a nomenclature he or she only shares with the governor in the State. He or she would be governor the moment the incumbent vacates his/her position during the tenure either by commission or omission, by deliberation or by accident. The experience of our President Jonathan Goodluck is a vivid example of the oneness of the position of the Principal and the lieutenant Executive in the presidential system. It is therefore dishonest for anyone to portray Yewa whose daughter has occupied the deputy governorship of Ogun State with her governor for almost eight years as a victim of political oppression or denial; no way.
The provision for federal or state character in appointment is not about zoning a particular post to a particular place but an assurance and guarantee that important and powerful political posts be distributed among various sections of the federation or of the state. In respect to Ogun State ,that principle is always adhered to since posts like that of the Governor, his/her Deputy, Secretary to the government of the state and Chairman of the party have been distributed to different sections of the state to ensure balance in character.
Late Dipo Dina, an Ijebu illustrious son contested the gubernatorial election under the platform of the AC in 2007 after which he was gunned down by a yet to be identified assassin in 2009.
Chief Ibikunle Amosu of Egba contested governorship under the platform of the ANPP in 2007.
The point we are raising is that if all these people were free to contest, why anyone should be denied his right to contest for governorship simply because he is an Ijebu PDP. All we are asking for is the right to participate in the electoral process as guaranteed by the constitution. Let the people of Ogun State, in the primary and general elections be the judge of who is going to be their next governor. There is no need for a protectionist clause of zoning of an elective post. That would not produce a good and democratic governor; that would only produce a mediocre as a result of political manipulation and gerrymandering that would disfranchise the people.
If the premiership of the Western Region were to be zoned in the 1950s, nobody would have thought of zoning it to Ikenne, Awolowo’s birth place in the face of larger cities like Ibadan, Ogbomoso, Shagamu, Abeokuta, Ile-Ife and Ijebu Ode to mention a few. The result would have been the denial of all the good things we now credit to the Sage Awo. Chief Obafemi Awolowo was allowed to prove his worth and his leadership qualities endeared him to the political operatives who crowned him as the leader and premier. That is what we think Asiwaju Awosedo is all about. If someone from Remo, Egba, Yewa or Ijebu would be Governor, let it be the judgment of the generality of the people or their democratically elected delegates chosen for that purpose. Who says that the Ogun State residents are not capable of deciding who or from where their Governor would come from?
Those who now say that a Remo man, Governor Gbenga Daniel, is an Ijebu and therefore cannot be succeeded by another Ijebu owe the Remo an apology. Such statement shows their ignorance of the history of Remo and its people and should not be taken seriously but be dismissed as the mischief of political manipulators. The Ijebus acknowledge and respect the spirit of brotherhood existing between the Ijebu and Remo but at the same time acknowledge the sanctity of the dignity of identity of Remo as a people. In fact as we know that Rev. Olajide Awosedo has always maintained all the people in Ogun State have the same root and the division is simply as a result of different historical experience of migration. We hope politicians would stop using this accidental happenstance of history to divide the people.
It is also very amazing that those who are saying or mouthing zoning are dishonest in their posture that they concede the right to contest the next gubernatorial election to Yewa while at the same time they are parading candidates from Egba. The Yewa people can see through such deceit because they have seen such film before and the result as stated earlier has been won by Egba candidate in Chief Segun Osoba.
Those who think that they can always deceive the Yewa by encouraging multiple Yewa candidates against fewer Egba candidates as they fence the Ijebu should look for different strategy this time because the people of Yewa could now see through their mirror of deceit.
Those who now pretend not to know that there are four divisions on Ogun State and now want to use Senatorial District as a basis for their zoning formula should be made to realize that if such basis were to be used in 2003, Remo division would not have been entitled to the governorship because Remo is in the same district, Ogun East Senatorial district, where Chief Bisi Onabanjo who was elected governor in 1979 came from.
According to the same school of thought, Central Senatorial District, the Egba, should not sit by and allow the governorship, the governor and the deputy, to be monopolized for the next eight years by the West and East Senatorial District as they do now. Such fallacy stands debunked in the case of Ogun State because it is more logically truthful that the governorship for almost eight years now is being dominated by the brethren to Ijebu, the Remo and the brethren to Egba, the Egbado, now Yewa. And that speaks volume.
If therefore the Egba in the Ogun Central should not be made to stand by, the Ijebu in the East Central should not stand by without taking a shot at the governorship, shikena.
Anyway, why is the propaganda of Yewa candidate limited to PDP as if Ogun State is a one party State? Even though the PDP is very strong in Ogun, no shaking, the people of Ogun are so sophisticated that they cannot be taken for a ride or taken for granted. The AD learned that lesson the hard way in 2003 election. The people of Ogun State should not be given a fait accompli, an hop son’s choice. Other parties like AC are hovering in the wings and are watching events in the PDP. They are more concerned about who could win for them rather than from which zone. That is politics for you. We can see the AC/APP or Mega party pickig their candidate from Egba.
In a lighter mood, if zoning is about fairness as they claim, nobody seems to be thinking on when the state capital would be zoned to Ijebu or Yewa or Remo; because no matter where the governor comes from, the state capital always takes the lion share of the cake.
We do not expect the Olajide Awosedo Campaign Organization to be diverted from what our observers in Nigeria have described as its issue orientated campaigns to degenerate in to clannish debate hence we members of the Movement for Progressive Change in Nigeria based in the US that have taken it upon ourselves to monitor the Nigerian polity and clear its green areas, find it necessary for us to make this statement on Ogun State. Our last words on it would be in two questions; where were these propagandists when Aare Jubril Matins Kuye, a proud and prominent Ijebu man made a serious bid for governorship with a dented PDP ticket in 1999? If not for the AD mischief, he would have won. Has any Ijebu man been elected Governor in Ogun State since then?
To us, Asiwaju Olajide Awosedo is only exercising his constitutional right to contest and we can not see him being denied this right simply because he is an Ijebu man. He must be looking beyond the ethnic prone zoning to make his case for governor and challenging other candidates to do the same, to come out and tell Ogun state residents what they will benefit if elected.
Ogun State is fortunate to have an internationally respected leader in President Olusegun Obasanjo who will use his good position as a father to all to make settlement to unite the party after democratic primaries for nomination. May God continue to spare his life in good health for more years of dedicated services to our nation and humanity.

According to him and we agree that, people tend to want their own clannish man to be governor so as to use the proverbial hose to favor his ethnic group. Awosedo, we notice, believes that, that should not be the case. He believes a Governor elected by the people must be fair and just to all. Like Sage Obafemi Awolowo before him, he intends to have program that will be of benefit to everybody, no matter where you come from. His rain we understand will wet the appétit of every body in Ogun and his sun will shine over all.
He looks back with nostalgia and found out that he attended a quality free education system that prepared him for today and plans to refurbish the educational system to prepare the children for tomorrow. He looks at unemployment role and sees university graduates roaming the street and plans to provide employments for them.
He feels we can develop our agro- allied industry, helping farmers to develop mechanized farming in order to propel industrial revolution.
He sees our dilapidated roads and wants to fix them. He laments at the state of our health delivery service and plans to fix it so as to make people healthy and productive.
He sees the plight of teachers and agricultural workers and feels it is important to give them rewards right now to make them fit into the normal civil service structure with its privileges.
He is touched by the poverty he sees in his surrounding daily despite the blessing of God bestowed on him and wants to make a change in the lives of the people.
Awosedo sees the talent of mechanics being wasted at the roadside and feels he should build for them functional workshops to make them more productive. He sees the plight of the struggling musicians and artists and feels he should encourage them to reach the world at large through building musical and cultural villages that would be tourist attraction for the world. He sees frown faces and believes he should put smiles on them.
He sees farmers’ product helplessly destroyed before them and believes he can help them in preservation.
Awosedo enjoys frequent supply of electricity as his is supplemented by the privileged generating plants and feels the government should come to the rescue of the people to supply uninterrupted electricity supply for personal and industrial use.
Awosedo sees the ups, downs and ups again of life that he believes that he is only touched by the grace of God and feels he should be in government to help the underprivileged chart the course against poverty.
Awosedo has had a vision of building and then successfully built an historic edifice in opening Lekki from jungle to a mega city and plans turning Ogun into a cynosure of all eyes for all to see and enjoy. He sees the houseless and wants to provide them homes. He sees the clothless and wants to provide them cloths. He sees the hungry and wants to provide them the means of feeding. He is doing his best in this regards as an individual philanthropist but believes having the rein of government would do it better.
That, we understand is the focus of his campaign and we are determined to support him to make it remain so. We have helped in gathering a formidable team of dedicated patriots, students, scholars, professionals from Yewa, Egba, Remo and Ijebu to daily burn the night candle in the tradition of the Sage Awo to help his campaign organization look into the problems of Ogun State and find solutions to them.
We are aware that he is ready to tap the vast human and natural resources to make Ogun State maintain a pace setting status the fore bearers of the state want of it.
We have been watching how Asiwaju Olajide Awosedo is combing all the four corners of Ogun State and how the masses are not concerned about where the Governor comes from. We want all patriots who want deliverance of the masses from their visible abject poverty to join Rev. Olajide Awosedo in his historic mission to restructure Ogun State and transform it to modernity. The masses are crying loud and their message in response to past frustrations and of recent governmental disappointment from Yewa¸ Egba, Remo and Ijebu in their determination to liberate themselves has been clear enough. O yes, we can ‘A pe a ko sin oro olori mo’, Omo Ogun, Imole re de.

President: Dr. Tunji Almoroof - 0091-3475202194

Gen Secretary: Comrade Sina Akanni –0091-83221959

Movement for Progressive Change in Nigeria based in America. (

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


The political architectonic design created by the British under Lord Fredrick Lugard as Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria , a mere geographic expression in 1914 is still in the struggle to build a national united country after 50 years of the Independence obtained in October 1, 1960.
The journey to nationhood is a long one actually starting about 1887 as various Emirates, Obalands, Kingships, empires, were merged till 1900 when they became the Southern and the Northern Protectorates respectively.
Lord Lugard established the system of Indirect Rule by which local instrument of traditional rulers were converted into colonial agency through which the British, in the person of the Governor resident in the Colony, ruled in the name of the British Majesty.
With the merging of the powerful Sokoto based Empire to the Northern Protectorate in 1903 and the commercial Colony of Lagos to the Southern Protectorate in 1906, the foundation of the present Nigeria had been laid.
The success of Governor Lord Lugard prompted the merger of the two Protectorates which was embarked upon for budgetary and administrative convenience.
Lord Lugard’s administration was paternalistic in nature and it was not until 1922 that Governor Clifford gave succor to the yearning of the people for participation in the governance of their affairs by establishing a legislative council of elected indigenes into the political system in Lagos.
The Council consisted of 30 official members, 15 unofficial members appointed by the colonial government with 3 unofficial members representing the municipal areas of Lagos and Calabar. It included a limited number of elected members and African members selected to represent the interest of those parts of the colony not represented by elected members. The membership of this Council was however limited to males who were British subjects or natives of the Protectorate with 12 months residential qualification with an income of not less than 100 pounds a year. With the first election held in September 1923, the Council was inaugurated in October. The Clifford Constitution introduced elective principle and stimulus to the formation of a political party – the National Nigerian Democratic Party (NNDP) led by Herbert Macaulay in 1923, a party that dominated the 3 elective seats in Lagos.
The activities of the NNDP for many years were limited to Lagos as the activities of the party were geared towards filling up the seats of the Legislative Council. The need for an enlarged politicization nation wide gave birth to the formation of the Lagos Youth Movement for the purpose of sensitizing the public to embark on the political activities that would demand for more participatory functions for the indigenes in the governance of their territory in 1934 .The champions of this formation were H. O. Davies, Dr. J.C. Vaughan, Dr. Kofo Abayomi, Ernest Ikoli, Dr.Nnamdi Azikiwe and Obafemi Awolowo. In 1939 it transformed into the Nigerian Youth Movement.
The NNDP was perceived by its critics as not aggressive enough since Herbert Macaulay only criticized isolated measures rather than the totality of colonial regime. His call for a Nigerian independence within a British Commonwealth was not attractive to the new nationalist. The National Youth Movement (NYM) then challenged Herbert Macaulay’s NNDP electorally and won the three seats in Lagos in 1938.
The British did not look kindly to the N YM which it dismissed as a Southern Movement despite the inclusion of prominent Northerners among their activists and thereby resulting into disaffection of the northern Emirs.
But the National Youth Movement was to fall prey to its own internal strife on the issue of leadership tussle between Prince Akinsanya who later became an Oba, the Odemo of Ishara and Ernest Okoli .Chief Obafemi Awolowo on principle supported the candidature of Ernest Ikoli as President on the death of the President as the constitution of the movement stipulated since Ikoli was the Vice President. But Dr. Azikiwe supported Prince Akinsanya and accused Chief Awolowo of tribalism for supporting Ikoli who is not a Yoruba man against his own Remo kin for which Chief Azikiwe withdrew from the movement leading to the withdrawal of all Ibo members.
By 1939, the Southern provinces were divided into two territories called the Western and Eastern provinces respectively as the North stood firmly united, a factor that was to give the Northern Protectorate the sense of oneness against the split south.
With the spread of nationalist consciousness, the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroon was formed with Engineer Herbert Macaulay as leader to tap the national flavor of nationalism in the territory in 1944.
By 1946 Governor Arthur Richards promulgated a constitution with a Central Legislative Council headed by a President. The council was composed by 16 officials and 18 unofficial members and the unofficial members were to be elected by the Regional Legislatures which was merely a deliberative assembly that would not legislate but would merely make recommendations to be considered by the Central Legislative Council.
As the Second World War was taking its toil, the nationalists find reasons to demand for higher participation and the need for self rule as their citizens went to war in foreign countries.
This brought about the period of diarchy by which the colonial power now accommodated the participation of the indigenes in the governance of their land resulting into the collapse of the Arthur Richard’s constitution yielding place to Governor Macpherson’s constitution in 1951. The Ibadan Conference that preceded this development considered the issues of federalism vis-à-vis confederalism. Would the new nation be a loose centre with strong regions or otherwise?
The 1951 Macpherson constitution was a compromise between confederalism and unitarism giving birth to federalism as advocate by Chief Obafemi Awolowo, a middle way between Ahmadu Bello’s confederalist stance and Nnamdi Azikiwe’s Unitarianism. The fact that made this reporter to suggest to Chief Awolowo in a documentary ‘The Man Awo ’in 1979 that he was the father of Nigerian federalism and he humbly agreed.
But agreeing on federalism was not an easy compromise as the leaders were not in agreement as to when to get independence for the nation. To compound the issue, the new Constitution resulted into the ethnicization of the political parties that aspired to capture power at the regional level. The NCNC now led BY Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe after the death of Engineer Macaulay tilted towards Ibo domination, the Action Group led by Chief Obafemi Awolowo, predominantly Yoruba , the NPC could not even disguise its garment as Northern Peoples Congress .And as if to ignite a petroleum socked mattress with fire, Chief Anthony Enahoro of the Action Group proposed a private bill to seek for independence for Nigeria in 1956 in a parliament where the number of seats allocated to the North was being challenged as inflated and over representative of the North by both the East and the West, characteristically ,the Action Group and the NCNC. But the NCNC and the Action Group were not the best of friends. They had their differences in the position of Lagos. The Action Group wanted Lagos to be part of the Western Region but the NCNC would not have that. The new constitution made Lagos a separate entity. Gbegegbe Leko wa. Eko osi nkoro.
Enahoro’s motion was volatile, precipitating the Kano riot between the Action Group in 1953 over the difference on the space of colonization as the AG insisted on independence sooner than the NPC wished. The constitutional crisis precipitated by these events prompted the urgent need to redraw the constitution which Governor Lyttleton took seriously. In a London Conference prior to the Lyttleton Constitution, the Action Group disagreed again on the position of Lagos as the NPC and NCNC supported the idea of a separate Lagos Community and so, the constitution established Lagos as a federal territory. The Constitution of 1954 gave Nigeria a federal system with a strong centre as any region that wished was offered self government by 1956. I t gave Cameroun regional status by which Northern Cameroun remained with continued association with Northern Region while the Eastern Cameroun was separated from the East as a quasi -federal territory. Most importantly, it laid down the basic pattern for a self governing institution.
And yet the Littleton Constitution was very defective as there was no provision for the position of a Prime Minister in the Central to provide the much needed leadership without which the government would drift. Even the so called legislative functions ostentatiously granted the Council could be undermined by the power to legislate in the interest of good government granted to the Governor General at the Central and the Governor in the Region .But the constitution provided virtually quasi -legislative forum and executive experimentation to the nationalists to learn the rope and it also provided dignified judicial system culminating into the creation of the Supreme Court.
The Littleton Constitution led to a road map for Nigerian independence as it was only slightly amended to give independence to Nigeria in October 1, 1960.
But Nigeria could not manage the fruit of her independence as the government succumbed to a military rule on January 15 leading to the death of his first Prime Minister, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the Premier of the West, Chief SLA Akintola and Sir Ahmadu Bello, Premier of the Northern Region and some prominent Nigerians including the Minister of Finance, Chief Festus Okotie-Eboh.
In 1959 an election was held for the control of the legislature and thereby the government as Nigeria was goaled towards a parliamentary democracy.
The election justified the fear and the criticism of the Action Group and the NCNC that the North was over represented in Parliament in the Littleton Constitution as the NCNC/NEPU Alliance with its base in the South East won 73 seats with its 2,595,577 votes whereas NPC won 142 seats with its 1,992,178 votes. The Action Group/UMBC Alliance with its base in the South West won 73 seats with 1,922,364 votes. The NEPU was a minority party from the North (Kano) led by Alhaji Aminu Kano while the UMBC was another minority party from the Northern Middle Belt by Mr. Joseph Tarka.
Ironically the NPC and the NCNC formed a government headed by Tafawa Balewa as Prime Minister with the NCNC/NEPU with higher plurality votes treated as minority party because the lesser votes of the NPC fetched it more seats through political gerrymandering.
Thus the basis for distrust had been built in the Nigerian polity before independence. If that was a remote cause of the first challenge to stability, an internal problem of the AG was its immediate cause as the crack in the wall of the party gave way to the invasion by the proverbial lizards.
The Action Group was embroidered in an internal crisis precipitated by policy differences among the leaders. Chief Ladoke Akintola, the new Premier of the West after Awolowo preferred a romance with the NPC with the view of preserving the North for the NPC. This was against the principle of a national party formation envisaged by the majority of Action Group leaders .These differences led to the political defiance ( Akintola Taku) that led the Action Group members in the House of Assembly to want to oust Chief Ladoke Akintola as Premier of the West. The crisis led to the declaration of State of emergency by the federal government with the appointment of Dr. M.A.Majekodunmi as Administration of the Western Region, an ignition of what Chief Anthony Enahoro predicted in the parliament as the beginning of a chain of events, the end of which nobody knew.
This chain of events that led to the imprisonment of the leader of opposition, Chief Obafemi Awolowo leading to the first military coup is still a recurrent decimal in the polity of Nigeria today. Since then, Nigeria is still hovering around looking for the politics of accommodation.
The military take over of January 15, 1966 led to the crowning of Major General Aguiyi Ironsi as Military Head of State. Six months later, a retaliatory coup masterminded by northern officers like Murtala Mohammed and Theophilous Danjuma led to the crowning of Lt.Colonel Yakubu Gowon as Military Head of State. The era of Yakubu Gowon witnessed a 30 month civil war as Lt. Col. Odumegwu Ojukwu challenged his claim to leadership and attempted to pull the East out of Nigeria as the Republic of Biafra. The end of the war led to the complacency of Gowon’s regime after his commendable accommodation of the easterners into the Nigerian scheme under a policy of no victor, no vanquished. It was under General Gowon that Nigeria was changed into a twelve state structure, a measure that transformed the federal structure into a better political equilibrium.
But Nigeria continued to drift in corruption and indecision prompting General Murtala Mohammed to stage a peaceful coup against Gowon.
The Murtala Mohammed regime set the stage for a new constitution in 1979 under Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo who succeeded him after he was fell by the bullet of Lt. Col. Buka Suka Dimka.
Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo as Head of State handed over power to a Civilian regime with Alhaji Shehu Shagari elected President on the platform of the NPN with a controversial Supreme Court decision on the definition of two third of the 19 states structure created by the Murtala Mohammed / Obasanjo regime.
The Shehu Shagari government was toppled in a 1983 Coup after a moonslide rigging of election which led to the reign of Gen. Mohammed Buhari which itself was toppled by Gen. Ibrahim Babangida by August 27, 1985.
General Babangida established another Constituent Assembly to reform the Constitution. He dismissed all the political associations formed on the directive of his regime and instead formed two parties, National Republican Convention and the Social Democratic Party. An election in 1983 believed to have been won by Chief MKO Abiola as President was annulled by Ibrahim Babangida leading to a crisis of monumental catastrophe leading to his being forced to step aside in August 1993. Babangida‘s regime was succeeded by Ernest Sonekan as Head of State in an interim government which was toppled by Gen. Sani Abacha in November 1994.
The Abacha regime established a Constitutional Conference to look into the problem associated with the Constitution but his regime was terminated by his sudden death in June 1998.
The death of Gen. Sani Abacha led to the establishment of Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar regime which swiftly arranged a political transition program which he effected leading to the election of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, one time Military Head of State as President.
Obasanjo’s regime was significant in its consolidation of democracy in Nigeria. After his eight year tenure, he successfully transferred power to a democratically elected Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua as President. Yar’Adua died in May 2010 and was succeeded by his Vice President, Dr. Jonathan Goodluck.
President Goodluck‘s challenge is how to conduct a free and fair election that would lead to a peaceful transfer of power in May, 2011.
Nigeria has come a long way. Despite all the problems associated with nation building, Nigerians have demonstrated to the whole world that it could be a united nation where tribe and culture differ in as much as 250 languages.
With 50 years of independence with a thirty month civil war behind it, Nigeria deserves a place of pride as the most populated black country with her nationals in different parts of the world as Professors and practitioners in Science and Arts and that is besides her being a major oil producer to the world. Happy golden jubilee to Nigeria, the deserved giant of Africa. May the labor of our founding fathers not be in vain. Long live Nigeria.

By Hon. Bari Adedeji Salau BA, MPA-IG
Investigator; Political Oversight and Organization Specialist

Monday, June 7, 2010


Guv, Na how u dey? U must dey Kanpe as OBJ would like to say; why don’t we organize a dinner night for u to crack u up for a night. I will fly in to stand up and poke fun on those who do not appreciate your efforts. I am sure you are not doing bad in empowerment of Lagosians; we always come across some of those in Yankee city with real bread as against professional struggle with nothing to take home after Uncle Sam’s heavy taxes. Never mind there is nothing u can do about that especially with porosity of government. 2011 IS HERE. What are u going to do? Someone said u do not care about those buffoons, ouch! Well I said is comedy time. Babangida is contesting never mind is consultative Babs. I started calling who is who in Nigeria for him, that is omoeko for u nothing gain nothing lost. Did u read my article on Maryam Babangida and Hospitals written by me as eulogy for IBB’s late wife? Read, please, from our blog site; Read the article I wrote titled NIGERIA NEEDS HELP written last year June and compare my take on the treaty to be signed in USA this week. The chief national security adviser to Jonathan is sending emissary around that he wants to contest the presidency too, he is not a politician like u and me: ouch comedy time, u are a governor I am a professional and Gussau is in government but if u are not a politician u will not clinch Lagos first citizen but u are a professional too hence u let them get away with too much. Among IBB and Gussau who will win? Let us here your take: work and no play? Guv/That FLOOD will hit u hard like u have never seen before trust me. No photo up of u going about inspecting the suspected worst areas over the years. Few examples: Oshodi Oke going to international airport; Front of palace hotel in Lagos; Surulere marsa area and oworonsoki where the downtrodden folks live. What is live anyway if full of care, no time to stand and stare. That drainage spanning through Mafoluku to Oshodi and Isolo-way emptying into a creek before going to the Lagoon can be a perfect photo up for u and your commissioner of environment. Thank God we misread u on change of cabinet; you see, we read too much into speculation. Sometimes politics is smacked of SOAP OPERA AND COMMEDY.


Friday, June 4, 2010


We are concerned citizens of Lagos who have brought to your attention various cases of corruption and abuse of office by former Gov Bola Tinubu and Gov Fashola in our previous publications.

In this publication, we bring to your attention once again monumental cases of corruption and abuse of office involving land matters in Lagos State perpetuated by the duo.
Over the past 10 years, both Tinubu and Fashola have been involved in various land scams including outright conversion of Lagos land for personal use, and given out state land and buildings to their cronies, political associates, public officials, members of security agencies, politicians and members of the various arms of the judiciary to achieve one interest or the other at the expense of Lagos tax payers. Tinubu in particular is the number one landlord in Lagos and has turned Lagos land worth trillions of naira into his personal possession to be used freely or given away unaccounted for.

Even after he left office, Tinubu still continues to steal Lagos land under the watch of Fashola. He is still giving out Lagos land to curry political favours, signing C of O and backdating them to period he was in office. Gov Fashola has photocopied Tinubu’s land grabbing style as he is also acquiring land for personal and political purposes.
These brazen acts of corruption by the duo have been with the active collaboration of select few public officers who have gotten obscenely wealthy at the expense of Lagos tax payers. Most notable are Gbenga Ashafa-formerly executive secretary and now Permanent Secretary, Land’s Bureau since 2001; Mrs. Awofisayo-formerly Permanent Secretary and now Special Adviser, New Town Development Authority (NTDA), and a relation of Bola Tinubu from Iragbiji, Osun state who has been in charge of NTDA since 1999; Hakeem Muri-Okunola-PA to former Gov Tinubu and now Executive Secretary, Land’s Bureau; Mrs. Nike Animashaun-Director, Land Services and known to be close to Bola Tinubu and Tunji Olowolafe. These people are arguably the wealthiest unelected public servants ever in the history of Lagos state. They are major wheelers and dealers of prime land. We mentioned in our earlier publication that the Land’s Bureau at Alausa stinks of corruption.

We catalogue below a few brazen acts of stealing and corruption committed by both Fashola and Tinubu on the good tax payers of Lagos. For ease of reference, we categorize these acts into two parts: the direct theft of prime land and properties and the use of Lagos land and properties to buy favours or pay off public officials at various levels.

A. Direct Theft of Lagos Land and Properties
Tinubu’s greed and primitive acquisition tendency knows no bound. In fact, it is believed that Lagos land personally converted by him is worth over N500 billion and growing because he hasn’t stopped. A few of them are listed below:
1. 4 Oyinkan Abayomi (formerly Queens) Drive, Ikoyi. A 5 bedroom detached house on 1 acre of Land which was a Lagos State Governor’s guest house since 1979 now belongs to Bola Tinubu. The C of O was signed and released to him by Fashola in 2007 shortly after he assumed office. The property is valued at N450million
2. Tinubu’s residence at 26 Bourdillon road, Ikoyi was initially falsely presented as Ondo Plc guest house. Later, he purportedly bought it from Ondo, and used public fund to rebuild and renovate it. Recently, the Lagos state government bought the property and paid undisclosed sum to him and thereafter gave the property back to him under the bogus Pension Bill he signed to law shortly before he left office in 2007. The property is worth over N600million
3. The annex of the Lagos State Guest House in Asokoro, Abuja was bought by the State Government in 2006 for N450million purportedly to protect the main house from security breach. Shortly after he left office, the property was transferred to him under the pension plan he signed into law before he left office.
4. The 250 hectare land valued at about N35billion strategically located at the Ajah junction on Lekki Road which was initially meant for a General Hospital for the people of Eti-Osa local government was stolen by Tinubu and handed over to Trojan Estate Ltd- a company owned by Deji and Wale Tinubu to develop as Royal Garden housing estate at the expense of the tax payers of Lagos
5. The 1,000 hectares of land valued at about N75billion located at Abijo at Ibeju-Lekki LG and given to LCC which is part owned by Tinubu and Fashola and being developed as golf course and housing estate by Assets and Resource Management Ltd(ARM) as ADIVA project
6. The prime land of 157 Hectares with 2.5km of Atlantic beachfront valued at about N10billion and stolen by Tinubu from the communities of Siriwon, Igbekodo, Apakin, etc in Ibeju-Lekki LG and given to Ibukun Fakeye-his crony to build a golf course and luxury villa with little or no compensation to the villagers. In addition, Tinubu paid $20million (N3billion) out of public treasury to Ibukun Fakeye to commence the project in late 2006. Fashola has since released additional funding for this project which is not owned by the state government.
7. The 1acre Parkview Ikoyi Estate foreshore land valued at N1billion reclaimed by Lagos State Government is now owned by Bola Tinubu.
8. While in office, he allocated to himself the former Strabag yard beside the Lagos state secretariat at Alausa, Ikeja.
9. Also the choice property at Lekki-Epe road on which he built and owns the multi-billion naira Oriental Hotel and the extension of multi-storey car park beside it. Also the multi-level recreation centre by Mobil in Oniru Estate on Lekki-Epe road jointly owned with ARM and Tunji Olowolafe. All these assets valued at over N25billion were obtained without paying a kobo to the Lagos State Government.
10. Tinubu and Fashola sold the following prime Lagos properties to their personal friend and front-Prince Dipo Eludoyin at very ridiculous prices:

•The 3.8hectares of land of Lagos State Fisheries office in VI (beside the Institute of Oceanography) valued at N3billion
•The Fishery landing jetty at Badore (where the Ilubirin fishermen were to be relocated) valued at N500million
•The entire Ogudu foreshore scheme initially earmarked for low cost housing scheme valued at N5billion
•The Ilubinrin housing estate (which used to house Lagos state civil servants and judges up till 2007) valued at N2.5billion
•The former Julius Berger yard at Oko Orisan, Epe valued at N450million
11. Tinubu raised a loan of N4.7billion on Eko Akete Project for which nothing was achieved before he turned around to sell the property to his Chagouri friends of C & C and Hitech Construction Ltd at ridiculously low price at the expense of the tax payers of Lagos.
12. Tinubu expended over N5billion of Lagos tax payers’ money on the bar beach shore line project and no further work has been done by the concessionaire to develop the Atlantic City project which was claimed to have been over-subscribed. We suspect the N5billion will soon become a complete waste given the temporary nature of the shoreline protection. The Federal Government in 2005 offered to handle this project at no cost to Lagos but Tinubu refused because of his personal interest and greed
13. Tinubu applied to personally purchase the Federal Secretariat building while in office. When he couldn’t get to buy it, he directed Fashola to stop the eventual owner of the complex to develop it. The complex is presently wasting away courtesy of the Lagos State Government.
14. It took several months of horse trading and underhand payments before Gov Fashola could allow the new owners of 1004 flats to redevelop the complex.
15. Several other buyers of Federal Government properties and developers of properties in Ikoyi, VI and GRA Ikeja were forced to succumb to the outrageous demands of Tinubu, Fashola, Commissioner Abosede and other officials of the Lagos State Physical Planning Ministry and were made to pay ridiculous amounts to private accounts before their redevelopments were approved. Those who refused or are unable to pay could not develop their properties. This is a major economic strangulation of property developers and has contributed largely to the sky rocketing rent in Ikoyi, VI and Lekki axis.
16. Tinubu converted all the plots of land where Lagos Polytechnic was located at Ikosi near the old toll gate. He chased away the polytechnic in 2006 and went ahead to locate the choice plots to himself, his cronies and political associates. The headquarter of Television Continental (TVC) which is owned by him is located there. He deprived the youths of Lagos of decent education because of his greed.
17. Tinubu single handedly sold the prime land on Aboyade Cole, VI which was recovered from some allotees, to UACN Properties Plc. The amount of proceeds was shrouded in secrecy

B. Use of Land and Properties to buy favours from public officials
This is an act of using Lagos prime land to buy favours and corrupt public officials. This act was perfected by Bola Tinubu as governor and now inherited by Gov Fashola:
•Several prominent Nigerians in the judiciary, police, INEC, and other sensitive agencies have obtained prime land from former Gov Tinubu and Gov Fashola over the years without paying a kobo. Many of them had turned around to sell the land to third parties at substantial profit.
•Many top officials in the police, INEC and the judiciary who participated in the 2003 and 2007 elections and tribunals in states where Tinubu has interest were compromised with parcels of free prime Lagos land and cash. If the Lagos State Land’s Bureau could publish the names and identities of beneficiaries of land allotees from year 2000 to date, the scandal that will result is better imagined. Gbenga Ashafa and Mrs. Awofisayo are the conduit through which these acts are being perpetuated. Both are also personally involved in various dubious land transactions on their own.
•Prime land and properties have been used to pay off public officials who are personally close to Tinubu and Fashola for ‘job well done’ or for being privy to sensitive information:
(a) Dele Alake, former commissioner for Information and Strategy was sold a whole house on Alexander road, ikoyi where he lived as official quarters at a giveaway price.
(b) Rauf Aregbesola, AC Osun State governorship candidate and former commissioner and Muiz Banire, still a serving commissioner got detached houses at Ladoke Akintola St., GRA Ikeja for the “good job” while serving under Tinubu.
(c) Yemi Cardoso and Wale Edun both former commissioners were sold houses on Iru close, and other location in old Ikoyi at giveaway prices by Tinubu. The list is endless.
•Gov Fashola was Tinubu’s Chief of Staff from 2002 to 2007. He was a part of these scams running errands for his boss to perpetuate these corrupt acts. He has since taken over as governor and has continued with these acts
•Gov Fashola in the wake of the petition against him presented by “The True Face of Lagos” to the House of Assembly has succeeded in buying his way out of trouble temporarily by bribing each of the 40 members with cash and prime state land at Abijo GRA off Lekki-Epe road. In addition, he bought a N40million bullet proof jeep for the speaker in a desperate bid to ward off investigation by the assembly.

These corrupt acts have deprived the tax payers of Lagos billions in revenue which could have been used for public projects. Indeed, the prime land stolen from the Lekki axis is enough to build the Lekki-Epe road without burdening residents and other tax payers with a 30 year concessioned toll road.
Tinubu recently came out with a full page advertorial in several newspapers to deny allegations against him that he influenced the President of the Court of Appeal on the on-going Sokoto State governorship case. We call on him and Gov Fashola and all those whose names are mentioned in this publication to come out and deny or explain these allegations against them. The public will no longer take their silence as ‘golden’
We wonder why Lagosians, particularly the educated elites stand by while these men are depriving the good tax payers of Lagos. Recently, in Delta state, eminent Deltans led by Chief Edwin Clark wrote a petition to EFCC on the various acts of corruption of former Gov Ibori which caused the EFCC to make another move to charge him to court again.
Where are the elders of Lagos? Where are the elders of Island club, Yoruba Tennis club, The Metropolitan club, Lagos Lawn Tennis club, Eko club, The Association of Lagos Indigenes, Oriwu club, and a host of others? Where are the popular commentators on corruption?
Where are the human rights activists? Where is the NBA and the NLC? Where are the vibrant civil society groups? Where is the powerful and vibrant Lagos media? Where are the social crusaders? Where are the religious leaders? Where are the traditional rulers, the Kabiyesis and chiefs particularly in the Lekki-Epe axis whose ancestral lands have been stolen and who have been deprived of their means of livelihood?
Why is there a conspiracy of silence by those known to be dogged fighters of corruption? Why are they watching as these men fritter away our collective wealth meant for us and future generation?
We should not expect any protection from the House of Assembly whose Speaker recently advised the group ‘The True Face of Lagos’ that leveled allegations of corruption against Gov Fashola to confront him with these allegations. What manner of Speaker?
We Lagosians should take charge of our own destiny. Let us join hands in the collective effort to call on the anti-corruption agencies, and in particular the EFCC, to act now and move into the Land’s Bureau and the State’s Treasury Office at Alausa to conduct a thorough investigation on Land matters from year 2000 to date. We assure the public that if this is done transparently, it might be possible to recover trillions of naira stolen from the tax payers of Lagos.
The Lagos Progressives is determined to continue to expose corruption and abuse of office prevalent in Lagos state. We have done three previous publications and have called upon the EFCC and ICPC to act and we hope this fourth publication will trigger the necessary actions from these agencies.
We thank the numerous members of the public who have responded with mails of commendations, moral and financial support. We want more of this from you and feel free to contact us by email And those who think they can intimidate us with their scare tactics, they have failed woefully
We make bold to say that our organization will not relent in our efforts to expose corruption in Lagos State Government and we still have many more releases for members of the public in the coming weeks. Please watch out for part 5 soon

Mr. Gbenga Thomas
The Lagos Progressives
Tel: 07065443358

Mr. Wale Onile-Ere
The Lagos Progressives
Tel: 08088662074