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Nigeria’s ruling party negotiating with breakaway faction but what does it matter?

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If the body language and utterances of the breakaway faction of Nigeria’s ruling party, the Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC) is anything to go by, hopes of reconciling contending forces may be far from accomplishment.

In no unmistaken terms, the aggrieved faction has said that the promise of juicy carrots to its members by the leadership of the APC was already too late to stop the R-APC from its planned defection.

The bombshell was dropped on Sunday in a statement by its national publicity secretary, Kassim Afegbua.

The statement came on the heels of high powered meetings between the Presidency and perceived arrow head of the rebel group, Senate President Bukola Saraki.

In one instance, the meeting with Saraki was led by President Muhammadu Buhari himself while Chairman of the ruling party, Adams Oshiomhole, was caught in nocturnal consultations with Buba Galadima who has been the known figure behind R-APC.

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What impact these underground moves would hold for the fractured relationship remains a subject of permutations. Afegbua, spokesman of the R-APC appeared to have shot straight from the hips when he said,

“We members of the R-APC, find it very amusing that those who boasted that they won’t lose sleep over our altruistic action, have been hopping from door to door pleading with our members not to leave by dangling juicy carrots and promising them heaven and earth.

“Such level of double standard is the reason why the R-APC was birthed in the first place because the leadership is not one that keeps promises and it’s the reason why no one should take the APC seriously.”

On President’s meeting with Saraki and alleged promise of mouth-watering offers to the Senate President, R-APC wondered why Buhari finally is wooing “the same leader who was ridiculed, scandalised, demonised, criminalised and called all sorts of names by agents of the Presidency just to give the Senate President a bad name in order to hang him.”

It said, “As soon as the Supreme Court gave a resounding verdict on the trumped up and frivolous charges against the Senate President, Mr. President suddenly felt a need to praise the judiciary for standing on its own. Power as they truly say, must be a crazy aphrodisiac.”

It noted that never had any number three citizen of Nigeria been so dehumanised, criminalised and disgraced while those who just started reconciliation “kept conspiratorial silence, waiting for the sledge hammer to fall on the Senate President.”

R-APC further said, “They were short of calling him a promoter of armed robbery. They linked his name to the Offa Robbery and improvised all bile to rubbish the institution of the legislature.

“They stripped him naked in the marketplace and now desperately trying to bath him with ornaments in the inner fortress of Aso Rock.”

It said after the Supreme Court in a landmark judgment gave Saraki a clean bill of health, “All the political conspirators in the APC swooped into dubious reconciliation assignment, hopping from door to door at the thick of the night to strike deals of reconciliation. Those who said they won’t lose sleep over the R-APC have become sleepless in the last two weeks”.

On APC and its promises, R-APC said, “This government is never a promise keeper and some of the promises contained in the manifestos of the APC have been jettisoned.

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“The President, who has held himself in the inner sanctuary of the Presidential Villa is all of a sudden, opening his doors to one meeting or the other all in the name of re-election.

“Just to make the point that it is too late in the day; the train has left the station. Leopards cannot change their spots no matter how much one tries to tame them.

“This democracy must survive on ethical grounds and not on lawlessness and exclusion. It must provide a level playing field for all participants. Those who prevented some persons from visiting their states in the name of politics have suddenly realised that they need the services and support of those persons.

“They are now pleading; ready to submit to all demands. Who does not know that won’t work because examples have shown that political agreements are often observed in the breach.”

Political watchers doubt how far these moves of rapprochement will go, especially so because the major gladiators appear to nurse deep injuries that may be difficult to erase.

Politics

Guinean Prime Minister, Mohamed Béavogui meets political parties to mitigate tension

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In the bid to address tension that has bedeviled its political space, Guinean Prime Minister, Mohamed Béavogui has met with political parties.

The meeting comes after the National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC) suspended its call for a demonstration which would have been the first major protest rally under the now ruling junta.

In his opening remarks, the Prime Minister stressed that “it is essential that each of us here understand once and for all that the only agenda that counts is that of the people.”

Guinea’s pressure group, The National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC) had called for a nationwide demonstration against the West African country’s military junta earlier this month. The group also led protests against former President Alpha Conde, calling against the ban imposed by the junta on public protest.

Mohamed Béavogui, told the political parties, civil society organizations and trade unions that “only an inclusive approach, adapted to the Guinean reality, will enable us to lay the foundations for the good life together that we all aspire.

“We have already set up an inter-ministerial council, a group of colleagues. We are going to refine the group as we go along… You also have to get organised. The government is counting on the good faith of all the participants in this consultation.”

Mr. Béavogui concluded by asking participants to “send their contributions” by July 1. He did not set any new meeting dates.

Guinea is one of the West African countries that have recently experienced a military takeover of government. Mali and Burkina Faso are part of the negative trend. There has been pressure on the countries from the regional bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for transition into civil government.

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Nigeria gets new Chief Justice, Olukayode Ariwoola. Will he suffer fate of his predecessors?

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Following the resignation of Justice Tanko Muhamed as Nigeria’s Chief Justice on Monday morning, President Muhammadu Buhari has sworn-in Justice Olukayode Ariwoola as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).

Justice Ariwoola who was born on Aug. 22, 1958 and appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 2011 and expected to retire by 2028.

He was appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court in 2011. He was a Justice of the Court of Appeal between 2005 and 2011 after having been elevated from the State High Court of Oyo State.

Justice Ariwoola was first appointed a Judge of the Supereme Court of record in Oyo State in 1992 from private legal practice.

Before his elevation to the Supreme Court, he served as Justice of the Court of Appeal in Kaduna, Enugu and Lagos Divisions.

Nigeria’s judiciary has been in the spotlight in some ways since the administration of Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari. Recall that shortly after his swearing, the Department of State Service notoriously raided homes of judges in 2016.

Also, Nigeria’s last two Chief Justices left in circumstances that raised eyebrows on what is expected of the judicial arm of government.

In 2019President Muhammadu Buhari suspended Justice Tanko’s predecessor Chief Justice, Walter Onnoghen, 15 days after allegations of impropriety were lodged against the most senior judge in the country. It was the first time that Nigeria’s head of state had sacked a chief justice since 1975, when the country was under military rule.

Barely a week before his resignation, fourteen Justices of the Supreme Court wrote to the immediate former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, lamenting the parlous state of affairs in the court, amidst other corrupt allegation.

With the somewhat shadiness that surrounded the last two predecessors, it is hoped that Nigeria’s new Chief justice, Olukayode Ariwoola will offer a breath of freshness in Nigeria’s judiciary.  Time will tell.

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