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Marwa, NDLEA And The Headline Blackmail

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Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa
Precisely 7pm on Friday while searching the internet for subjects of interest to write on, I stumbled on one a journalist friend sent to me via whatsapp on Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd) and NDLEA obviously because of my keen interest on the ongoing war against drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Nigeria.Titled “Alleged mismanagement of N467m: Marwa shuns senate investigative hearing”
Merely reading the headline, you would naturally assume Marwa has been caught involved in the mismangement of the fund mentioned. But alas, going through it, you would conveniently and logically conclude that Marwa is the subject of desperate blackmail, most likely from some elements at the receiving end of the drug war he’s currently leading in the country or possibly by some others who abuse their privileged position in the legislative arm of the government to harass and blackmail heads of MDAs for pecuniary reasons.Whatever the case maybe, I knew it was a matter of time before we get to this point.
From my little corner, months back when I noticed the ruthlessness with which Marwa was dealing blows on drug cartels that had hitherto been operating unhindered, I knew they were going to start one of these things: attempt his life; go after his reputation or attempt to slow him down through some legislative hearings and panels.As a retired infantry Army General, I know the first option would be a herculean task because it must be a suicide mission for anyone attempting such knowing fully he would always be prepared without a moment to let down his guard.
The second and the third options appear would be their easiest. And that’s exactly what I’m seeing playing out with the Senator Matthew Urhoghide-led Committee on Public Accounts.After my extensive interation with my journalist friend who sent it to me obviously because he wanted me to share the story on the whatsapp platform of the Coalition Against Corruption and Bad Governance, CACOBAG, I discovered certain things. One, the issues raised in the report against NDLEA allegedly happened in 2015, more than six years before the coming of Marwa as Chairman/Chief Executive of the Agency. So, why the desperation to drag Marwa into the headline? Two, the same friend who was helping the senator to spread the report told me that it appears Marwa was not even aware of the committee invitation because their findings from the agency revealed they didn’t get the notice of the meeting.
Three, the same person told me things like this are the usual tools to get the attention and patronage of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs. My question is, who did this to us? I have also read a reaction from the agency and I quote its spokesman, “ I have checked through all the relevant channels within the Agency and nobody is aware or has received any such invitation from the Senate Committee. I’m however aware that the issues raised had been adequately addressed by the previous leadership of the agency long before the incumbent Chairman/Chief Executive came into office.”
With this brief response, I’m equally convinced that there’s an ulterior motive propelling those behind this report.I know NDLEA has of late been destroying hundreds of hectares of cannabis farms and mopping up tens of kilograms of assorted illicit drugs from the streets of Edo state where Senator Urhoghide comes from but I will at this point stop my mind from going along that line. Whatever the case may be, I believe strongly that the desperation to push out that misleading story about the man and the agency doing the country proud in the fight against the drug scourge is cheap blackmail and in bad faith. Nigeria does not need that nauseating distraction at this point when we are all faced with serious security challenges fuelled by the drug menace.
 *Alhaji Toyin Raheem is the Chairman of Coalition Against Corruption and Bad Governance, CACOBA

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Oluyede Lauds SWAGA, Expresses Hope for New Ekiti

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A Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Oluwole Oluyede, has described the rising profile of the South West Agenda for Asiwaju 2023 (SWAGA), in Ekiti State as a new twist, signposting the determination of the people to break away from the dark past to embrace progressive democracy.

According to him, the sacrifice and commitment on the part of SWAGA to build a solid foundation for Ekiti politics has been enormous, hence he urged members to continue to build on their inputs, so as to bequeath a state that flourishes in prosperity.

Oluyede who spoke on the heels of the huge turnout of members of the group in Ado Ekiti on Thursday for the inauguration of its Ward and Local Government officials, as a prelude to mobilizing and organizing for coming elections, said the time for the political emancipation of the people is now.

Dr Oluyede described SWAGA as leading light in the current quest for a new Ekiti State, where the people’s voice will be weighty, their choice sacrosanct and their will unchallengeable.

He therefore admonished members of SWAGA to be steadfast in their resolve to rescue the state from petty politics of materialism and be resolute in the pursuit of an enduring and futuristic politics that builds and not cajole.

“For a long time, Ekiti people have been subjected to a politics of a few deciding for the majority. The principle of welfarist politicking has long developed wings and has disappeared with the reigns of our founding fathers. The voice of a few has now overwhelmed the roar of the majority, as the tail now wags the dog of our society.

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“Obviously, our political situation in Ekiti State is pathetic, frustrating and is already heading for the jugular before the coming of SWAGA; a gathering of selfless, determined politicians on a mission to liberate Ekiti people from petty politicking and also enthrone Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as Nigeria’s next President, come 2023.

“We are seeing for the first time in our land a group of people spending their own time and money to lay a decent, enduring and comfortable political future for our people. I commend our members’ commitment and sacrifices, even in the face of palpable intimidations and oppressions. I salute your courage, your doggedness and resilience, even with the lingering suppressions and threats. You have done our land and our people proud and prosperity shall sure reward you all.

I think what we are seeing in Ekiti State today is a revolution; the ardent resolve of a people to break away from a past that had offered nothing but stagnations, tears and agony. SWAGA has metamorphosed to a movement; a liberation group, that must be embraced across party lines,” he said.

He pleaded with SWAGA members to remain focused, noting that very soon, the group will present a leader to take over the Oke-Ayaba Government House, come October 2022.

“We have laboured in pain, now we are at the threshold of reaping with joy. Certainly, we have grown to become a force within the APC and even beyond. We have been painstakingly dedicated and very consistent too. Now is the time we need to be extra careful because the devil has not gone to sleep. We must persevere in our resolve to have a state of our dream where there is equity and justice. We are certainly the winning side. We should not by any means rescue defeat from the mouth of our obvious victory,” Oluyede cautioned.

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Soludo Draws Anger Of Imolites With Imo Is Not Anambra Claim

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SOLUDO

Charles Chukwuma Soludo, the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APGA) for the November 6, 2021, Anambra Election has drawn the anger of the people of Imo state.

 

 

The 61year old over the weekend cast an unflattering light on Imo state.

 

 

 

While courting supports for his ambition with the presentation of his 72-page Campaign Agenda to the Anambra people in Lagos, Soludo claimed that “those who want to write result are causing violence to create the impression of insecurity so as postpone or hijack the election. We want to tell them: It is not possible.

 

 

The election must be held because Anambra is not Imo.”

Soludo, who left the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for APGA in 2013 made the assertions while commenting on the spates of violence rocking Anambra state ahead of the election.

 

 

 

Emerging details have it that, stakeholders in Imo state find the comments credited to Soludo offensive and a desperate attempt at seeking support for his ambition.

 

 

 

The claim interpreted as portraying elections in Imo state as “fraudulent” is attracting massive condemnation for Soludo.

 

 

 

There are said to be ongoing moves by different groups to properly respond to the “unguarded” statement by the economist turned politician.

 

 

 

Further details revealed that it didn’t help the cause of the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) who lost the February 2010 Anambra State gubernatorial election as the candidate of the PDP that he was poorly received at Alaba Market, a stronghold of Igbo traders in Lagos State when he visited.

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He was to have been shown little interest in his attempt to engage traders at the popular market.

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Ex-Senate President David Mark Leads Race To Emerge PDP National Chairman

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David Mark

Latest development in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) suggests a former Senate President, David Mark is in pole position to emerge as the National Chairman of the PDP as the party is said to be considering a consensus chairmanship candidate ahead of of its upcoming PDP national convention.

 

 

 

The former Senate President is said to be enjoying the support of top chieftains of the main opposition party.

 

 

Recall the zoning committee headed by the Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi had earlier resolved to zone its national chairmanship position to the northern part of the country.

 

 

 

Mark who hails for Benue State in North Central region is eligible to contest for the chairmanship post.

 

 

According to reports, some members of the PDP’s National Executive Committee (NEC) during a meeting had agreed to throw their weight behind Mark. It was gathered that the members see Mark as the best candidate to lead the party out of the woods and deliver success in the coming elections.

 

 

Also, PDP governors, under the leadership of the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, are said to have shown considerable interest in ensuring that Mark gets the job.

 

 

However, the former President hasn’t officially announced interest in running for the chairmanship post. Should Mark decide to contest, he will battle with Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Shehu Shema, Ibrahim Dankwambo, Suleiman Nazif, Ibrahim Idris (Ibro), who have all reportedly shown interest in the chairmanship position.

 

 

In related development, Governor Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State is set to head a 20-Member Committee assigned with the responsibility to screen aspirants from the Northern region interested in the position of National Chairman of the party.

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According to reports, the Northern Caucus of the party decided to allow all 19 states in the northern region to nominate one candidate for the chairmanship post.

 

 

All the 19 candidates would then be screened by the Fintiri-led committee after which three aspirants will be recommended to the NEC before the National Convention scheduled to hold in October.

 

 

Meanwhile, Governor Bala Mohammed, a member of the PDP convention planning committee, has explained why consensus candidate would be preferred.

 

 

He said: “Consensus is normally a process of democratic consultation, as democracy is about consensus. Certainly, the electoral process can be reduced by having a converging point on an individual and that would have reduced the disparaging issues within the party.”

 

 

He, however, said if consensus was not eventually agreed upon, PDP would certainly not subscribe to imposition.

 

 

On zoning, the Bauchi governor said: “We have resolved the issue of zoning. The PDP is a mature party. We have learnt from our mistakes, we will not play to the gallery the way our detractors or competitors want us to.

 

We will always resolve our issues, so zoning is over… What we are looking forward to is the emergence of a chairman from the North, who will give us the leadership that we require to form quality government in 2023,” he said.

 

 

Abiola Olawale

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