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QuickRead: Labour Party’s crisis festers. Four other stories we tracked and why they matter



The crisis in Labour Party deepened last week with all parties involved in the impasse refusing to back down despite appeals from concerned Nigerians.

President Muhammadu Buhari the same week approved the suspension of the embattled Adamawa State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Yunusa Hudu- Ari.

These and three other stories we tracked were among the major highlights of events in Nigeria last week.

1. Labour Party’s crisis festers

On April 19, the Deputy National Secretary of the Labour Party, Kennedy Ahanotu, declared that Barr. Julius Abure remained the party’s national chairman.

Ahanotu, who stated this when he featured in a Channels Television’s programme, Politics Today, said no court of competent jurisdiction has said that Abure committed any crime.

But the LP factional leader, Lamidi Apapa, who was also at the programme, insisted that he was the legitimate leader of the LP.
He also rejected his suspension by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) for anti-party activities.

Ahanotu said: “Personally to me, the courts have not given any verdict against Abure. There is no court of competent jurisdiction that has said that Abure has committed a particular crime.
“So, to me, Julius Abure is still the National Chairman of the party, and I want you to know this, they said the man seated there has accused Abure that the police officers are looking for him, and I am aware Julius Abure has gone to police stations.
“He has gone to the Commissioner of Police office. He has gone to IGP’s office and asked them if are they looking for me. And nobody told him, the police had been looking for him.”

Why it matters

The dispute arising from leadership tussle, allegations of corruption and anti-party activities among party members, and the composition of the presidential campaign team which first reared its before the February 25 election may have confirmed opinion on LP as a party built on a shaky foundation.

It also suggests that the party has not outgrown its propensity to self-destruct, a problem that has slowed down its growth since its establishment in 2002.

The infighting in virtually all the state chapters does not bode well for a party that many Nigerians have adopted as a child of necessity due largely to the failures of the two biggest parties and if unaddressed may quickly erode the gains it recorded in the general elections.

2. Buhari approves suspension of Adamawa REC

President Muhammadu Buhari on April 20 approved the suspension of the Adamawa State Residential Electoral Commissioner, Yunusa Hudu-Ari.

The Director of Information in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Willie Bassey, confirmed the development in a statement in Abuja.

He said: “The President approved the immediate suspension of the REC pending the completion of an investigation by the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, on the conduct of the Adamawa State governorship election held on April 15.”

Why it matters

The Adamawa election fiasco is the price Nigerians have to pay for allowing impunity in the country’s electoral process to fester for so long.

The failure of successive governments to punish individuals undermining the electoral process means that we have to accept that there are no consequences for bad attitudes and that people can go scot-free for their actions no matter how grievous.

This explains why the reign of impunity is so visible in Nigeria unlike in saner climes where people pay the price for their actions thanks to the instrumentality of the law.

3. Ortom’s fresh attack on Buhari

The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on April 21 accused President Muhammadu Buhari of approving the unrelenting killing of harmless citizens in the state.

He was reacting to the statement credited to the presidency on the security situation in the state.

READ ALSO:QuickRead: PDP’s suspension of Fayose, others. Four other stories we tracked and why they matter

The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, had in a statement the previous day cleared Buhari of any responsibility in the death of innocent residents of Benue State. He also accused Ortom of politicising the matter.

However, in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Nathaniel Ikyur, the governor accused Buhari of empowering the Fulani pastoralists in their expansionist agenda.

The statement read: “Buhari has empowered and emboldened the Fulani pastoralists in their expansionist agenda including killings.
“It is equally a known fact that President Buhari has failed woefully in securing Nigeria, and Benue State in particular.”

Why it matters

The governor’s frustration over the frequent killing by armed herdsmen in the state is understandable as the Federal Government appears to have thrown up its hand in the air for the cattle prowlers to continue their reign of terror in Benue State.

However, Ortom’s regular attack on the Buhari administration over the security situation in the state again shows that he is hiding under a finger by blaming the government at the centre even for his underwhelming performance in the state.

The governor’s failed senatorial bid suggests that he did not live up to expectations throughout his eight years rule in Benue State.

4. Atiku on the presidential election

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar said on April 20 that the outcome of the February 25 presidential election has further divided Nigerians.

Atiku, who stated this in his Sallah message, marking the end of the Ramadan fasting, urged Nigerians to embrace peace and love at this stage of our national life.

He said: “Let me join other leaders in congratulating my fellow Muslims for successfully witnessing the end of this year’s Ramadan fasting period, a period that came with tough spiritual challenges designed to strengthen our Iman and Tawheed.
“Let’s not pretend that all is well. Our country is deeply divided. The outcome of the 2023 presidential election has made this division worse. I’m sincerely worried about this appalling reality.”

Why it matters

Although there are still question marks on Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s victory with the dust raised by the alleged serious infractions in the conduct of the election yet to settle, it is important for all parties that had approached the court with complaints on the election to allow the judiciary to come up with its verdict rather than resorting to self-help.

The post-election resentments again highlight the need for improvements in the country’s electoral processes.

5. Kaduna govt’s report on insecurity

The Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, on April 19 reeled out statistics on the security situation in the state.

Aruwan, who presented the ministry’s report to Governor Nasir El-Rufai, said 214 people were killed and 746 were kidnapped by bandits in the state between January and March this year.

He said: “The report also indicated that of the 746 people kidnapped, Kaduna central senatorial district accounted for 492 victims followed by Kaduna south senatorial district with 221 while 33 people were abducted in Kaduna north senatorial district.”

Why it matters

The revelation sums up the collapse of Nigeria’s security system and the failure of governments at all levels to halt the country’s slide into a failed state.

It also shows that the nation’s security apparatus appears to be overwhelmed with criminals having a field day wreaking havoc on their hapless victims.

With the Buhari administration and its security agencies appearing to run out of ideas on how to tackle the insecurity, the onus is now on the incoming government to find a lasting solution to the problem and wrestle the country back from its enemies.

By Hamed Shobiye

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