The Ondo State House of Assembly last week served the state’s Deputy Governor, Mr. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, with the impeachment notice.
The Assembly had earlier commenced a move to impeach Aiyedatiwa over alleged gross misconduct.
This and four other stories we tracked dominated public discourse in the country last week.
1. Ondo Assembly plots deputy governor’s impeachment.
On September 25, the Ondo Assembly served the deputy governor with the impeachment notice through a substituted means. The Speaker of the Assembly, Olamide Oladiji, confirmed the development to journalists in Akure.
He said: “We got an affidavit from the court through substituted service, so he has been served through his office. It was received by his secretary.
“Although there are people sending me messages to suppress me, I am not under any pressure, except the threats. This is a legislative assignment.”
Why it matters
The impeachment plot against the deputy governor is the climax of his strained relationship with Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
The feud has again shown that in the political space, there is no permanent friend or enemy but permanent interest.
With just 13 months before the next governorship election in Ondo State, the development could cause a huge setback to the All Progressives Congress (APC) chances of retaining power beyond 2024 with the opposition lurking around to capitalize on the current bad blood between the duo to wreck the ambition.
2. Zamfara governor’s claim on banditry
The Zamfara State Governor, Governor Dauda Lawal, on September 26 accused some Federal Government agencies of engaging in secret talks with bandits in the state.
In a statement issued by his spokesman, Sulaiman Bala, the governor lamented that the agencies had been holding talks with bandits without his knowledge.
He, therefore, demanded a comprehensive investigation into the matter.
The statement read: “Governor Dauda Lawal wishes to call on the federal government to clarify and investigate the actions of some unscrupulous elements sabotaging the ongoing fight against banditry in Zamfara.
“The Zamfara State government has received reports of how some federal government delegation met with different bandit groups in Birnin Magaji, Maradun, Mun haye, Ajjah, Bawo, and Bagega.”
Why it matters
Without a doubt, the governor’s remark highlights how the government’s corruption has continued to undermine Nigeria’s ongoing battle with insurgent groups.
The inability of the government to move against individuals profiting from the conflict in the North-East has been largely responsible for the failure of the security agents to effectively counter the criminals who are unrelenting in their resolve to drive the country to the abyss.
3. Nigeria ranked 6th among nations with criminal groups.
A report by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime (GI-TOC) has ranked Nigeria sixth in the world in the 2023 Global Organized Crime Index.
The report released on September 27 also stated that Nigeria continues to face a series of security challenges, corruption, and other criminal activities.
It read: “For the purpose of the Global Organized Crime Index, organised crime is defined as illegal activities conducted by groups or networks acting in concert, by engaging in violence, corruption or related activities in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or material benefit. Such activities may be carried out both within a country and transnationally.
Why it matters
The GI-TOC’s remark casts further light on the Nigerian government’s failure to address the twin problems of unemployment and poverty in the country.
While the problems persist, the large army of unemployed youths scattered across the country would without doubt become willing tools in the hands of desperate politicians and extremist groups in their fight against perceived enemies and by extension the state.
The onus is, therefore, on the government to address the problems and other misgivings that give rise to the emergence of criminal groups, especially in the North-East and South-East, two regions where non-state agents are having a field day tormenting helpless citizens.
4. IPOB bans independence celebration in South-East
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on September 30 warned people of the South-East against celebrating the country’s independence anniversary in the region.
In a statement issued by its Director of Media and Publicity, Emma Powerful, IPOB urged governors and other political leaders in the region to shun the event.
It stressed that no Nigerian flag would be hoisted in the zone on October 1.
The statement read: “The global family and movement of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) ably led by the Supreme leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu hereby call on Biafrans both home and in the Diaspora to shun participation in the Nigeria Independence Day Celebration on October 1, 2023.
“Every sensible Biafra citizen must understand that Nigeria detests Biafrans, particularly Ndigbo. Nigeria has rejected all our efforts to be treated as equal citizens. Nigeria has marginalized Biafrans politically and economically. Since Nigeria has rejected us, we have also rejected Nigeria and her celebrations.”
Why it matters
The IPOB’s threat coupled with the carnage in the South-East without doubt will increase the pressure on the Federal Government and leaders in the region to find an immediate solution to the group’s separatist agitation and issues surrounding its detained leader.
An effective solution to the fragile security in the South-East would not only have a long-term impact on the overall security situation in Nigeria but ensure that the country reaps the full benefits of President Bola Tinubu’s overtures to investors in the West to bring their businesses to Nigeria.
5. SDP, APC clash over Kogi violence
The Social Democratic Party (SDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi State on September 27 exchanged words over the cause of the frequent violence in the state.
The Director-General, New Media, SDP Campaign Council, Isaiah Ijele, who addressed journalists at a media briefing in Lokoja, alleged that members and supporters of the party’s governorship candidate, Alhaji Muritala Ajaka, had been under attack from thugs sponsored by APC.
However, in a statement issued by the spokesman of its campaign council, Kingsley Fanwo, the APC berated the opposition party for spreading falsehood.
He said: “We are a government and our priority is to protect all the people of Kogi State, irrespective of political leanings.
“The SDP is a nest of funny birds that cry from the pain of their losses rather than the actions of anyone.”
Why it matters
The violence associated with the November 11 election in Kogi shows a sickening culture among political actors to resolve issues through the gun rather than the ballot.
The signs are that the state may continue to convulse for some time to come unless actors in the Kogi political space rededicate themselves to issue-based campaigns in order to sell themselves to the electorates.
By Hamed Shobiye
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