The Federal High Court, Abuja, last week declared bandits attacking communities in the North-West and North-Central parts of Nigeria as terrorists.
This and four other stories were among the major talking points last week.
1. Bandits rebranded terrorists
Justice Taiwo Taiwo, on November 26, gave a far reaching order on the activities of bandits. She said: “The activities of Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda groups and other similar groups constitute acts of terrorism that can lead to a breakdown of public order and safety and is a threat to national security and the corporate existence of Nigeria.”
Why it matters
The designation of bandits as terrorists will, if the government is sincere, provide a harsher legal instrument to bring perpetrators of wanton crimes to justice and, perhaps, build international coalitions against them.
The development may also end the insinuations that the government has been pampering the bandits after refusing to heed previous calls for the designation of the mass murderers as terrorists.
It remains to be seen how the rebranding effort impacts the polity as similar initiatives appear to have worsened already bad situations in the past. It is predictable, therefore, the move may push the organizations underground and cause a festering of the malaise unless the root causes are dealt with.
2. Mbeki on Obasanjo’s third term project
Former South African President, Thabo Mbeki, on November 26 revealed how he worked with ex-Nigerian Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar, to stop former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s third term bid in 2006.
Mbeki had said: “The constitution on whose basis President Obasanjo was elected prescribed a two-term limit for the head of state, and since he [Obasanjo] had been elected for the second time, this meant that he would end his term in 2007.
“But some time before, in 2005, a campaign began in Nigeria to amend the constitution to allow for three presidential terms. This developed to a point that the draft of the proposed amendment had been presented to the Nigerian parliament as papers.”
Why it matters
The ex-South African leader’s remark further exposes the lies on the failed tenure elongation plot. First, it rubbished the denial by the former President that he did not nurture the idea of staying in office beyond the mandatory two-terms stipulated in the constitution.
Mbeki’s statement not only enriches the conversations around the failed third term plot, it also shows that there is a significant clan of African leaders willing and ready to challenge their peers on the sickening sit-tight syndrome and general poor leadership in the continent.
3. Obiano on EFCC’s watchlist
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on November 24 confirmed that the outgoing Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, has been placed on its watchlist.
In a letter addressed to the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), the EFCC requested the Service to place Obiano on a watchlist and inform it anytime he is travelling out of the country.
However, the Anambra government in a statement issued by the state’s Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment Don Adinuba, accused the EFCC of subjecting the governor to a media trial.
Why it matters
The EFCC’s decision to place Obiano on its watchlist, if not a pretentious vindictive move, must be seen as part of Buhari government’s determined effort to deal with the issues of endemic corruption no matter whose ox is gored.
If the anti-graft agency fails, after all the noise making, to offer reasons for the Obiano hunt and bring him to justice, then it would be safe to conclude that the pursuit was simply driven by political vendetta.
4. ADC’s third force agenda
The African Democratic Congress (ADC) presidential candidate in the 2019 election, Kingsley Moghalu, said on November 22 the party and others are holding talks on the formation of a third force in a bid to end the dominance of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the country.
Moghalu, who shed light on why he dumped the Young Progressive Party (YPP) for the ADC said: “I joined ADC because they aligned with my values. ADC is planning to merge with other parties to form a mega party to battle with the APC and the PDP, early next year if talks are successful.”
Why it matters
The proposed third force shows interesting gaps in the political space and the opportunity for the country’s political system to continue evolving on the strength of sound ideologies.
There’s no denying the fact that Nigerians have become weary of the two largest parties in the country and cannot wait to see their back, beginning from 2023.
However, Moghalu’s dreams may amount to mere sabre-rattling if ADC does little to perfect its structures and mobilize voters on the vision of the new movement.
5. Suspension of NNPC board’s inauguration
President Muhammadu Buhari on November 23 suspended indefinitely the inauguration of the newly constituted board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC).
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, who announced the development in Abuja, said: “President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the immediate suspension of the inauguration of the newly constituted Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) scheduled for Wednesday 24th November 2021 until further notice.”
Why it matters
The development may not be unconnected with the uproar that trailed the appointment of some individuals into the NNPC board.
It, therefore, suggests that the President is contemplating the withdrawal of some nominees over concern about their inclusion and to a larger extent the agitations by groups for greater representation in the board of the state-owned oil company
Join the conversation
Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism
Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.
As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.
If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.
Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.
FEATURE…The plight of Kwara communities without potable water, govt presence
With a piteous voice and teary eyes, Isiaku Ajarat reflected on some of the challenges she had faced while trekking...
FEATURES: Rise in Monkeypox infection troubling Nigeria’s rural population
In this features, KELECHUKWU IRUOMA goes into the rural communities of Bayelsa State, south-south Nigeria to uncover the plight of...
SPECIAL REPORT: Kwara communities groan as erosion washes away roads, property
For a number of years communities in Ilorin South LGA of Kwara State have had to live with the menace...
SPECIAL REPORT: Lack of legal provisions, cultural sentiments fueling marital r*pe in Nigeria
By Arinze Chijioke In the early days of Sandra Izuckukwu’s marriage in 2019, her husband, Sunday Izuchukwu, did everything she...
INVESTIGATION… LIVES ON THE LINE (IV): Surviving in a dangerous media environment
This investigation is on the unresolved killing of three Nigerian journalists while on assignments between 2019 and 2020. For six...