QUICKREAD: Kyari’s planned extradition to the US. Four other stories we tracked and why they matter
The Federal Government last week approved the extradition of the embattled Head of Police Intelligence Response Team, Abba Kyari, to the United States to face charges for alleged link with a suspected fraudster, Ramon Abass, aka, Hushpuppi.
This and four other stories made news headlines last week.
1. Kyari’s planned extradition to US
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on March 3, filed an extradition application at the Federal High Court, Abuja, following a request by a diplomatic official at the US Embassy in Abuja.
He said: “If surrendered, Kyari will not be prejudiced at his trial and will not be punished, detained or restricted in his personal liberty, by reason of his race, nationality or political opinions.
“It will not be unjust or oppressive, or be too severe a punishment, to surrender him.”
Why it matters
The commencement of processes that might lead to Kyari’s extradition justifies the place of law in the conduct of the affairs of men.
It, indeed, signifies that nobody is above the law, and that bad behaviour must not be rewarded if only to serve as a deterrent to evil-minded fellows.
The initiative also strengthens government’s much-vaunted anti-graft campaign which the Buhari-led administration has pursued as a cardinal goal.
It remains to be seen if Kyari’s episode will deter other police officers and public servants from abusing their positions in a country where corruption remains pervasive in virtually every institution.
2. Obasanjo’s birthday bombshell
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on March 5 carpeted some of the politicians vying for the country’s presidency next year.
Obasanjo, who addressed friends and associates at an international symposium organised to mark his 85th birthday in Abeokuta, Ogun State, said: “I cast a cursory look at some of the people running around and those for whom people are running around. If EFCC and ICPC will have done their jobs properly and been supported adequately by the judiciary, most of them would be in jail. Any person who has no integrity in small things cannot have integrity in big things.”
Why it matters
The ex-President’s remark shows how the flawed system currently in place in Nigeria has limited the choice of Nigerians in the selection of people to lead them.
The politics of bad blood and violence played in the country has discouraged many with the right leadership quality from taking a plunge into the system.
The dearth of quality options, therefore, partly accounts for why the leadership recruitment system remains flawed more than two decades after the country returned to self-rule.
Read also: QuickRead: Buhari endorses Electoral Act 2022 with reservations. Four other stories we tracked and why they matter
Will the independent candidacy option provide a soothing relief? This can only be if the proposed amendments to the constitution pass the rigorous tests at both the federal and state assemblies.
3. Jega on Nigerian leaders
A former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Attahiru Jega, on March 2 blasted Nigerian leaders for running the country aground.
Jega, who delivered a keynote address at the 2022 Workers’ Political Conference organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Abuja, lamented that Nigeria was in the process of total collapse and crying for a rescue mission.
He said: “While Nigeria may not have totally collapsed, it is in the process of collapsing, as reckless elites in control of the governance process are blindly running the country aground. And the 2023 general elections may be the ‘make or break’ epochal moment.”
Why it matters
The former INEC chief’s statement highlights the current poor state of leadership in the country.
The problems are mounting with leaders at various levels displaying lack of political will or capacity to address the challenges threatening to tear the country apart.
Without the right mix of competence, character and capacity, the concerns of the former INEC boss will be prophecy foretold as the poor state of the economy and heightened insecurity combine to drive Nigeria towards a failed state.
4. Ngige’s claim on ASUU strike
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, claimed on March 2 that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) would suspend its 30-warning strike in a few days.
Ngige, who disclosed this to journalists at the end of a conciliation meeting between the government and the union in Abuja, said: “We have only one or two areas that are new. One of the new areas is the renegotiation of the Conditions of Service, which is called the `2009 Agreement.’
“An agreement was reached in 2009 that their Conditions of Service would be reviewed every five years. It was done in 2014.”
Why it matters
The minister’s claim and the reconstitution of the federal government’s team to renegotiate the 2009 agreement between the two parties a few days later show that the administration may not be entirely sincere after all.
If anything, a further revelation that the new committee has three months to submit its report is indicative of the fact that the government may actually be fishing for time, as politicians get ready for election primaries about same time.
Indeed, this argument is strengthened by recent responses of the ASUU leadership which show that the union does not believe that government means well.
5. INEC on 2019 elections lessons
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said on March 2 many of the recommendations made by domestic and international observers on the 2019 general elections had been implemented.
Yakubu, who disclosed this at the commission’s meeting with the European Union Election Observation Follow-up Mission led by the Head of EU Observation Mission, Mrs Maria Arena, in Abuja, said:
“From the review, we identified 178 recommendations. We then categorised them into three areas for the purpose of implementation.
“We have gone ahead to implement many of the recommendations that require administrative action by the commission, while working with the National Assembly on areas that require legislative action by way of amendments to the Electoral Act and the constitution.”
Why it matters
The implementation of the election observers’ recommendations suggests INEC is open to the idea of improving the country’s electoral process.
Some of the new initiatives, including the electronic transmission of election results which the commission proposed to the National Assembly for inclusion in the Electoral Act, will improve the electoral process known for all forms of irregularity such as result alterations, ballot box snatching and electoral violence.
It is expected that the newly signed Electoral Act will allow INEC to deliver elections Nigerians will be proud of, if there is attitudinal change by politicians as well.
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