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WHAT TINUBU, ATIKU, OBI, KWANKWASO TOLD INEC ABOUT THEIR EDUCATION, NYSC, OCCUPATIONS

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Friday, published the particulars of candidates for the 2023 general elections.

The publication has been followed by animated discussions among Nigerians on social media on the academic credentials of some of the presidential candidates.

In the front burner of the discussions are questions around why the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, provided no information on his primary and secondary education.

Stating his occupation as “POLITICIAN,” the 70 years old APC National Leader claimed he obtained a B.Sc degree in Business and Administration from Chicago State University on June 22, 1979 before participating in the compulsory national youth service from November 12, 1982.

Although not seen among Mr Tinubu’s published particulars at the INEC office, he swore to an affidavit that his certificates are missing.

“I went on self-exile from October 1994 to October 1998. When I returned I discovered that all my property, including all the documents relating to my qualifications and my certificates in respect of paragraph three above, were looted by unknown persons.

“My house was a target of series of searches by various security agents from the time the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was forced to adjourn following the military takeover of government of 17th November 1993,” the two-term former governor of Lagos State claimed in the court affidavit.

Some Nigerians want to know more about Mr Tinubu’s past than what he revealed to INEC.

Similar concerns were raised over his background when he contested for governor in 1999 and 2003. The late human rights lawyer, Gani Fawehinmi filed a suit asking the courts to compel the police to prosecute Mr Tinubu for perjury and forgery after a petition accused him of those offences in his filings with INEC in 1999.

After the Supreme Court dismissed the suit on the ground that Mr Tinubu had immunity as governor against being prosecuted in court, the Lagos State House of Assembly investigated the matter and absolved Mr Tinubu of the charge of gross misconduct.

Mr Tinubu is considered by many political commentators as the candidate to beat in the 2023 presidential race, the reason for the intense public attention on his candidature.

The former Lagos governor’s spokesperson, Tunde Rahman, did not respond to calls to his phone lines at the time of filing this report when this reporter tried to seek further clarifications on the issue.

Despite not being a novice in the contest for president, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, also has a few questions raised about his academic credentials.

Mr Abubakar, who served as vice president from 1999 to 2007, will be hoisting the PDP presidential ticket for the second time in 2023. He had lost to President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 election.

Mr Abubakar also did nit provide information on his primary education. The

1965 West Africa School Certificate (WASC) result presented by the 75 years old candidate identified the student as Siddiq Abubakar. He also holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from Anglia Ruskin University in the United Kingdom.

Before joining politics, Mr Abubakar worked with the Nigeria Custom Service until he retired from the agency in 1989 at the rank of Deputy Director.

Mr Abubakar’s records show that he attended Jada Primary School, Adamawa State, but that information is missing in his published biodata by the INEC.

“Well, I think it is INEC that you should be making those enquiries to. Whatever it is that they published was not in my hands,” Paul Ibe, a spokesperson to Mr Abubakar told PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday.

“I don’t know what was submitted to INEC and what was not. So INEC is in the best position to know what it received and what it did not receive,” he said when asked about lack of information on the candidate’s early education.

His running mate, Ifeanyi Okowa, also did not state his primary education in the published documents.

Kwankwaso, Obi
The two candidates are being tipped to give the APC and PDP candidates a run for their money. Unlike Messrs Tinubu and Atiku, Mr Kwankwaso provided full information on his academic credentials.

He bagged his first leaving certificate in 1968 and his secondary school certificate in 1975.

Mr Kwankwaso, 66, has Craft Training Certificate, ND, HND, Post Graduate Diploma, M.Sc and Ph.D, which he recently concluded.

He attached a copy of his provisional Ph.D certificate with his thesis on Design and Construction of Irrigation System in Northern Nigeria.

Before resigning in 1991 to join politics, Mr Kwankwaso had worked at Water Resources and Engineering Construction Agency (WRECA) for over 15 years.

Among the four top contenders in the race, he is the only candidate who has served as governor, lawmaker and minister.

Much celebrated in his huge social media fan base, Peter Obi is the candidate of Labour Party (LP) which he joined last month after quitting the PDP.

With a knack for quoting figures/statistics at every given opportunity in any public discourse, the two term governor of Anambra, identified himself as a politician and business executive.

Mr Obi attended primary, secondary and tertiary schools between 1973 and 1984.

Before joining politics, he had worked at Fidelity Bank in Lagos, but he did not stay the years in the INEC published documents.

Mr Obi, 61, is the youngest among the top four presidential candidates.

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ELECTRICITY WORKERS DEMAND REVERSAL OF POWER SECTOR PRIVATISATION

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…Describe new owners as hustlers, hawks

THE National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, yesterdasy, urged the Federal Government to reverse the privatisation of the nation’s power sector, describing new owners of the privatised companies as ‘hustlers’ and ‘hawks’ who have contributed poorly to the power sector.

The union also accused the new owners of deceiving the Federal Government into paying N2 trillion subvention, even as it insisted that they had continued to impoverish Nigerians, leaving the country pillaged.

It claimed that despite recognizable improvements in the wheeling capacity of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, of 7,000 megawatts, the generation output had now dwindled below 5,000 megawatts.

The union pointed at the activities of the new owners as part of reasons the power sector has gone almost comatose and the impoverishment of the average worker in the sector.

The Zonal Organising Secretary (Liaison), Kolade Ayodele, who spoke to journalists on behalf of his colleagues, said Nigerians should also be worried, even as electricity tariffs continued to rise without commensurate service delivery.

He said: “Since the privatisation of Nigeria’s power sector in October 2013, electricity workers, under the age of the National Union of Electricity Employees, have been in the fore-front of speaking out on behalf of the Nigerian people

“It is an undeniable truth that the power sector privatisation has not added value to the lives of the ordinary Nigerians. The entire exercise, which could be described as a charade, has not brought any meaningful impact/improvement to the sector.

“Rather, it has led the nation to a huge setback. The infrastructural development by the new business owners in the power sector has almost gone comatose while the socio-economic status of the average worker in the sector has continued to decline amid prevailing harsh economic conditions.

‘’The same equipment inherited from pre-privatisation have remained what drives the sector as there are no visible attempts by the Generation Companies (GenCos) and Distribution Companies (DisCos) to upgrade and expand their capacities/networks.

“Nigerians were deceived into believing that the ‘harvestors’ had the financial/technical muscles to improve power generation and distribution to Nigerians. Can Nigerians be told today that this purpose has been achieved?

‘’The answer was echoed in the print/electronic media by members of the National Assembly who even called for the total reversal of the entire process.

“Despite improvement in the wheeling capacity of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, which is still Federal Government-owned to over 7,000MW, the generation output has been dwindling below 5,000MW.

“Alas! the ‘hustlers’ who deceived the Federal Government into paying almost N2 trillion subvention to the owners of the new companies since privatisation, are being used to call the union names in order to exploit Nigerians and sustain the current comatose situation. Their mission is simply to call a dog a bad name in order to hang it, while they keep smiling to the banks.”

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2023: WHY WIKE REMAINS DOOR TO ATIKU’S WIN OR DEFEAT

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The task of becoming the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is a daunting one. And, understanding this explains why all the presidential candidates are probably facing one of the most difficult moments of their political careers.

Undoubtedly, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar contesting on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has the toughest job among the three main contenders. He has a hurdle of the Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike to scale if he must return to Aso Villa, which he left in 2007 as the vice to former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

While Wike’s challenge looks insignificant to the eye, he’s hydra-headed and eventually posing as a door – to either Atiku’s win or defeat. A lot of other issues are attached to Wike, all of which will be treated in this report.

Why is Wike larger than life? The Rivers State governor does not only have people in the party who share his sentiment, he shoulders the interest of all aggrieved members in the party. From the South that was schemed out of 2023 presidential race to the rise of Peter Obi of Labour Party and romance with the ruling party, among other petty political Lilliputians seeking relevance, Wike still remains the link bridge connecting them all.

Wike’s cronies also include his counterpart governors and some members of the National Working Committee (NWC). Hence, it is substantial to say that Wike has turned the fight into a South-North dichotomy.

In a nutshell, Atiku has to win this internal battle before marching to the warfronts against his counterparts – All Progressives Congress (APC) and Labour Party (LP) presidential candidates – Bola Tinubu and Peter Obi respectively. If he eventually reconciles Wike to his side, he would have won half of the scuffles ahead.

Atiku and Okowa’s emergence

The battle for Atiku began the moment he emerged as the standard bearer of the main opposition party. It’s not the status itself that poses a challenge, but the process that brought him in. This doesn’t affect only him, his running mate, Governor of Delta state, Ifeanyi Okowa is also in the picture.

Prior to the PDP primary election in Abuja, in late May, Wike had pledged to support whoever emerged as the party’s flag bearer. He also assured he wouldn’t leave the party, regardless of what happened.

It was almost certain to conclude that Wike would emerge to fly the party’s flag going by his political muscle. Sadly for him, his colleague from Sokoto state, Governor Aminu Tambuwal withdrew from the race and urged his delegate supporters to vote for Atiku. This, obviously won the battle for the ex-vice President. Wike was obviously outplayed by a ‘friend’.

Rivers Governor could stomach Atiku’s victory at the primaries, but his ego was bruised when his neighbour in the South-South was picked to be the vice presidential candidate. Up till now, Wike has neither publicly congratulated Okowa nor commented on the issue.

Wike insistence on Ayu’s removal

Asides from other grievances that sprang up aftermath of the emergence of both Atiku and Okowa, Wike has admitted that his main rancour with PDP leadership is the failure of the party’s national chair, Senator Iyorchia Ayu to resign.

He claimed that there was an agreement during the zoning debate that both the presidential candidate and the national chairman cannot come from the same region.

Since Atiku is from the North, Ayu cannot remain as the PDP helmsman because he also hails from the North. Notwithstanding the resignation of Walid Jibrin as the chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT), Wike insists Ayu must go. Amid this, members of the National Executive Council (NEC) passed a vote of confidence on Ayu. As much as Ayu remains as PDP chairman, Wike cannot work for and with Atiku.

South-South battleground and Rivers electoral value

Whatever Atiku calculated to have chosen Okowa as his vice ahead of the 2023 general elections has arguably boomeranged. This has divided his votes in the South-South already unless the internal wrangling is resolved amicably before Nigerians head to the polls next year.

In the wake of the brawl with the Atiku camp, Wike, while commissioning recent infrastructural projects in his state. Imaintained that he would help PDP not to win elections. This will only change if his demands are met.

But, Atiku must hold on to the belief that the South-South region is a cherished stronghold that would give him votes in the South. By extension, he should strategise not to let Rivers slip away from his grasp even if it means sourcing for a powerful figure in Wike’s state.

Rivers will deliver for Atiku because, in the 2019 presidential elections, Atiku scored 473,971 votes against Buhari who polled 150,710 votes.

However, while Wike’s clout cannot be underestimated in Rivers, Atiku can rake in massive votes in the region including Wike’s state if he plays the game well. The states in the region with the exception of Cross River belong to PDP. He just has to work with Okowa and find a charismatic party chieftain to be on his campaign train.

Makinde and unfriendly South-West terrain

The South-West is a no-go area for Atiku but anything can happen in politics, even at the last minute. Tinubu displayed that during the APC’s presidential primary election, as a political journalist said, “While other presidential candidates go for the delegates, Jagaban goes for the presidential candidates themselves.”

The region is for Tinubu except for Oyo state just like the South-South is for Atiku. But this doesn’t mean there won’t be trickles to gather for both of them in each region.

Going back to Tinubu’s tactics at his party’s primaries, Wazirin Adamawa can adopt such a strategy by enticing the bigwigs in Southwestern Nigeria to his camp if he wants to defeat the national leader of APC in his backyard.

On September 14, 2022, Atiku met with Oyo state governor, Seyi Makinde who is also Wike’s closest ally. Atiku knows he needs Makinde if he has to get a substantial number of votes from South-West. Makinde wanted what Wike wanted. Don’t forget that Wike is a door. Atiku can decide to open or shut.

Also, by February 2023, Osun state governor-elect, Senator Ademola Adeleke would have assumed office, but it is not certain if he would have garnered the political experience to deliver large votes for Atiku.

Mark, Ayu, Ortom and North-Central factor

The Middle-Belt of Nigeria is another PDP’s biggest armoury if Atiku’s political antenna is receiving a signal. He must woo another Wike’s ally and staunch critic of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government in the person of Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state. Ortom lamented a few days back that all is not well with PDP.

Whether Atiku sidelines Ortom or not, he has the shoulders of the former Senate President David Mark to ride on. Mark is a big fish in Benue politics. It is noteworthy that Ayu is also from Benue, and Atiku might not succumb to Wike’s threat of sacking Ayu. It is resourceful to use his status in gaining prominence in the state and the region at large.

Other states in the North-Central, especially those plagued by the atrocities of killer Fulani herdsmen will embrace Atiku and this might smoothen his cruise to victory in 2023.

Kogi and Kwara states are APC states but Atiku can use his influence to wage war against them in dividing the votes. The heavyweight ranks of former Kogi Senator who is also Atiku’s spokesman, Dino Melaye and former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki are strong waves to ride on.

South-East, Igbo presidency and the ‘Obidients’

Any politician that jettisons the wave of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi does so to his detriment. Obi is not only the Igbo presidency that the region longs for, he’s a political figure that the disgruntled young Nigerians want to install via their votes in 2023.

It is expected that Tinubu and Atiku understand this. How they would surmount that hurdle is a test of their acumen. The former VP cannot convince Igbo men with ‘Okowa is also an Igbo’ status to lure their votes.

Although, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo has reiterated that it would have preferred that APC and PDP choose a Southeasterner to vie for the highest political office.

The Igbo leaders wanted a repeat of 1999 when PDP and defunct All Peoples Party (APP) fielded Obasanjo and Chief Olu Falae respectively who are Yoruba people.

And since Ndigbo didn’t get this, the ethnic sentiment that Obi is more Igbo than Okowa is a card to play. An Atiku would struggle to win this debate.

The Obidients are also everywhere. They are the youths that want to pay back APC and PDP in their coin for many years of the nation’s woes. These are energetic and resolute Nigerians who are ready to share spoils with Atiku and Tinubu for Obi’s advantage.

Having said this, Atiku cannot totally lose out in the South-East, another former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim and the new Board of Trustees (BoT) chairman, Adolphus Wabara will not hesitate to embrace Atiku to oust the APC government.

Dicey North-West, North-East’s strongholds

The core North, despite APC’s damage to security and economy, will still most likely queue behind Tinubu who is promising a facelift of Nigeria in the pattern of Lagos when he was governor and other gimmicks he and his party will push out to Nigerians.

Governors like Nasir el-Rufai, Abdullahi Ganduje, Aminu Masari and Bello Matawalle of Kaduna, Kano, Katina and Zamfara states are key to Tinubu’s win. Kano’s votes are instrumental. In 2019, Buhari polled 1.4 million votes in a landslide.

Whoever between Tinubu and Atiku owns Ganduje automatically owns those Kano’s votes. How Atiku would get an appreciable fraction of those votes is also important.

However, Atiku can slug it out with Tinubu on the basis of the son of the soil. He’s a Northerner. He can appeal to the ego and sentiment of the Northern political class and stakeholders from the region.

Atiku is the most prominent politician in the North-East. This would have been a free ride for him but Tinubu chose his running mate, former governor of Borno state, Senator Kashim Shettima to spoil the show for Atiku.

The ex-VP needs to possess the North-East as his home. He must campaign vigorously to weaken the APC even in the terror-laden Borno. He’s a politician who knows what his campaign programmes should hit at.

Way forward

Kwankwaso: the beautiful bride

As integral as Kano’s votes are to winning the presidential election, the former governor in the state, Rabiu Kwankwaso is a major stakeholder. He has massive followers through his Kwankwasiyya movement.

All along, whoever Kwankwaso supported would reap Kano’s votes, but this time around the former Defence Minister is running for President under the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP). If he doesn’t step down, it is almost certain that Atiku, Tinubu and Obi should forget Kano as a determining factor in winning.

There are speculations that Kwankwaso would align with any of the three front runners at the dying minutes – and Atiku might have to lobby to win him over.

Nigerians own the votes

The 2023 presidential election largely depends on the aggrieved, hopeful and optimistic Nigerians who desire and demand a better, safer, richer and greater country, and would do all within their reach to achieve this. They are the ones Atiku should appeal to. They are the voters he should convince. He will definitely use the inadequacies of APC against them. But, he needs more than that. Nigerians want practicalities.

With the new Electoral Act, political analysts have supported the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to say it would be difficult for politicians to rig elections. So, 2023 is for Nigerians, Atiku and other candidates in the race must understand and work with that fact.

But, the ball is in the court of Nigerians whether to continue with the status quo or have a paradigm shift. Whichever way, Atiku has a bigger challenge than Tinubu and Obi in winning the election. Since his entry into politics in 1989, he had contested five times in 1993, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019. And he knows more than anyone that 2023 is probably his last chance.

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[INCREDIBLE!] SKELETAL REMAINS OF LANDLORD FOUND INSIDE BEDROOM 4 YEARS AFTER HE WAS LAST SEEN

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The skeletal remains of a landlord, identified as John Aderemi Abiola, has been discovered in his bedroom after almost four years since he was last seen.

Residents of Adeosun/Idi Orogbo Community in Ido Local Government Area of Oyo State were shocked by the discovery on Sunday, September 4, after the community leaders decided to clear the overgrown bushes in his compound due to the invasion of snakes.

It was learnt that the man was last seen in December 2018, one year after he moved into the community, and barely related with people in his neighborhood.


He told two people that he was travelling to Port Harcourt, Rivers State, and would be back for the Ileya festivities in 2018. However, when they did not see him, they thought he chose to stay back in Rivers State.

As the years went by, the weeds in his compound grew beyond his fence into the next compound, where the owner of the property had already moved in, leading to the invasion of snakes and other reptiles.

Skeletal remains of landlord
Following a complaint to the community landlords, they decided to find a way to gain access into the compound to clear the bush and got permission from the Apete Police station.

Last Sunday, the community hired labourers to clear the thick bush as the house was built at the back of the land while the front side was free space.

As they were clearing the land, they first noticed Mr Abiola’s volkswagen Golf car with registration number AKD 769 DC which was was covered by bushes.

Skeletal remains of landlord
They then saw the building and noticed that the window of his room was opened. Out of curiosity, they looked into the room and saw the man’s skeletal remains sprawled on the bed, prompting them to raise alarm.

Police officers, operatives of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Ministry of Environment went to the scene to investigate the incident.

Meanwhile, efforts to contact his family has been futile because his lines has been disabled.

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