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Atiku vs Buhari (2) -Opeyemi Agbaje



In the first part of this column, I characterized the 2015 election of Muhammadu Buhari as a historical error not supported by his antecedents in policy, administration, economic management, democratic norms and human rights or national ethos, but could only be understood or permitted against the context of then Goodluck Jonathan’s administrations weakness and naivety. I also described the Atiku Abubakar candidacy as complicated on account of his branding (particularly by former President Olusegun Obasanjo) as corrupt and his perception as a typical Nigerian politician.

There are two dimensions of the matter that I reserved for this second part-beyond the “irresponsibility” inherent in asking Buhari to continue his destruction of the Nigerian economy and polity beyond 2019, are there any benefits associated with an Atiku presidency on its own merits? And secondly, what of the ostensible alternatives to Buhari and Atiku? Could Nigerians vote for these others on offer?

It seems to me, and I think most objective observers of Nigerian politics that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is the only viable alternative to Buhari in the 2019 presidential elections. There are four major strengths of the Atiku candidacy and potentially presidency, to the Nigerian nation in contradistinction to his opponent-unlike Buhari, Atiku has played the role of uniter and consensus builder since his entry into Nigerian politics. Atiku came into Nigerian politics on the platform of his mentor, late General Shehu Musa Yar’adua’s Peoples Front (PF) which later became Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM). PF/PDM sought allies all over Nigeria and acquired the character of a pan-Nigerian movement with strong membership and support in the South-West, South-East, South-South, North-Central and all across the Northern States. No one could credibly accuse Atiku of playing an ethnic, religious (not to mention sectarian!) or regional card in his political practice since the early 1990s when he came into national reckoning as a presidential candidate of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) of the Babangida transition. It was Atiku by stepping down for the late M. K. O Abiola who made Abiola’s presidential candidacy of the SDP possible and in effect his victory in the aborted June 12 1993 elections. He has since then cemented his image as a national and cosmopolitan politician with friends and allies all over the country.

Atiku is also very competent in policy, economy and administration. He is a well-known and successful businessman and employer who understands markets and economic management, as he proved as Vice President under Obasanjo. It was not co-incidence that the arrow-heads of the economic team of that era (Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Oby Ezekwesili, Nasir El-Rufai, Chukwuma Soludo, Fola Adeola, Nuhu Ribadu etc.) were either recruited by or gravitated towards Abubakar who also facilitated the mostly successful privatisation and liberalisation agenda of the Obasanjo government. As a student of economic policy in Nigeria, I have observed that Atiku is one of the few politicians of that generation who can identify with free enterprise, investment, deregulation and liberalisation, and markets as core elements of economic policy and management.

Atiku has also become the only national contestant for the presidency who has anchored his aspiration on a firm undertaking to restructure Nigeria’s constitution along the lines of federalism. He has clearly thought through the issue and understands why federalism is imperative for economic growth, national unity and cohesion, and sustainable development in Nigeria. Another benefit of an Atiku candidacy or presidency is that it offers a much-need transitional figure who can be a bridge across Nigeria’s generational, regional, religious and ethnic divides. You can easily picture Nigerians of all ages, sexes, religions, regions and ethnic groups around Atiku, unlike his main opponent who has not been able to transcend his provincial and sectarian inclinations. As much as we need a transition of national leadership to a younger, more educated, less ethnically-focused and more urbane generation, Atiku strikes one as a figure who can bridge that transition and hopefully help identify and nurture that future leadership class. It does not hurt that Atiku Abubakar has the material resources and network of relationships to mount a strong, determined and effective challenge to the APC’s looming political hegemony! As I wrote in the previous part, he has already transformed a race that may have been written-off in favour of Buhari into a balanced and competitive contest. The point of all these is that there is some substantive merit in an AtikuAbubakar Presidency beyond “anyone but Buhari!”

Finally we must consider the case for considering the so-called alternatives-Omoyele Sowore, Fela Durotoye, Donald Duke, Oby Ezekwesili, Eunice Atuejide, Kingsley Muoghalu et al. I have thought long and hard on this issue…and I would have to conclude that there is no reasonable pathway to the presidency for any candidate other than Atiku or Buhari. None other has the platform, network, resources or organisation to mount a credible challenge against Buhari. In effect their strategic positioning would amount to a de facto undermining of the Atiku candidacy as well as implicit support for Buhari! In any event, many of the alternatives either bear some moral responsibility for the Buhari error of 2015, or lack the moral credibility to attack the PDP, which they either served happily under or benefitted tremendously from! In some notorious cases, both disqualifications apply!

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Ex-Gov Akala’s ADC Commits Suicide In Ogbomoso




Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCP Gbolahan Oyedemi, reportedly hung himself in his apartment in Ogbomoso, Oyo State.

The deceased senior police officer, who was said to have gone home for the Easter celebration, was alone located at his Petros Academy Street, Federal Low-cost area residence.

Late Oyedemi who was in his 50s was Aide de Camp to late Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala during his eleven-month tenure as governor (January to December 2006

When arrived at the residence at Petros Academy Street, Federal Low Cost area the police had cordoned off the area but sympathizers were seen in groups discussing the matter in a hushed tone.

“Sometimes he came home with police security l saw him recently driving personally into his beautiful mansion,” a neighbour said.

National Insight reported a police source hinted about a quick investigation into what could lead to the tragic end of a gallant Deputy Police Commissioner.

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‘I want people to settle our fight, but…’ K1’s Lead Drummer,Ayanlowo Gives Condition For Reconciliation




-Ayotunde Ayanda


K1’s lead talking drummer, Ayankunle Ayanlowo has listed the condition for him to reconcile with his boss, Wasiu Ayinde, the Mayegun of Yorubaland.


At his home in Felele, Ibadan in a private chat, the drummer in his request stated ‘I want them to settle our fight. I want them to call us together, he(Wasiu) should be God-fearing and state his part, while I should also be present to speak my mind. The elders should step in but God knows, I will never go back to him’.


When asked why he vowed never to go back, Ayanlowo replied, ‘he is vindictive, he never forgives and I’ve placed everything in the hands of God. I can never go back to the band”.


The lead drummer while confirming that some cleric leaders and traditional rulers have waded into the matter also said ‘part of my condition is that at any location they pick for the peace-meeting, if anything happens to me, I would hold the people that call for the meeting responsible and they’ve assured me nothing of sort would happen”.


He hinged his fears on the attack at his Felele, Ibadan home where his windows was shattered by people he believed to be loyalists of his boss.


‘I’ve worked with him for 32 years and now I want to be on my own, I’ve tried! They should just leave me in peace’, he begged.


Ayankunle had accused Wasiu  of providing a poor welfare package for his band members, which KWAM 1 has since denied and this has generated a lot of issues that called for the intervention of top monarch, the Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba Sefiu Adeyeri who claimed to have instructed Ayankunle to stop posting videos or granting interviews.

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The Story Of Ibadan High Chiefs Who Died Two Months, Two Weeks Before They Could Become King




-Tunde Ayanda


With the passage of the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun some days ago, the ‘irukere’, (the horsetail, symbol of authority of Yoruba Obas) has pointed to where it’s going.


Without any consultation or appointment, the whole of Ibadanland understand it’s now the turn of High Chief Owolabi Olakulehin.


Such is the uniqueness of the Obaship tradition of Ibadan. It is the only kingdom in the world where every true son of Ibadan is a potential king. You don’t have to be a prince, all you need is a selection from your family house as a Mogaji (representative).


While the Obaship system and ascension to the coveted throne of Olubadan is unique and predictable, getting to the top of the ladder means a gift of long life for the highest ranking chiefs of the ancient Yorùbá capital city of Oyo State.

Becoming Olubadan is on rotational basis between the two lines of ascension to the throne headed by Ọtun Olubadan (Civil line) and Balogun (Military line). But in recent years, over a decade, there have been two high chiefs and of course, next-in-lines to the throne who never get to the top.



High Chief S.A. Omiyale (Balogun of Ibadan)

High Chief Sulaimon Adegboyega Omiyale was the Balogun of Ibadan land and next-in-line to Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade 1, the 40th Olubadan who reigned from 11th of August, 2007 to 19th of January, 2016 and died at the age of 101 years.

With Oba Odulana, who succeeded Oba Yinusa Ogundipe Arapasowu 1, as next-in-line from the Civil line, it was supposed to be the turn of High Chief Omiyale, had it been he lived to succeed the aged monarch.

But the Balogun of Ibadan land died on Saturday, 7th November, 2015 at the University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, at the age of 91.

Two months after his death, the reigning Olubadan, Oba Odulana died on 19th January, 2016.

High Chief Omowale Kuye (Ọtun Olubadan)

High Chief Omowale Kuye was the Ọtun Olubadan, traditional head of the Civil line. With Omiyale’s death, Kuye was a step closer to becoming Olubadan, but he also didn’t live to succeed the monarch.

Kuye, who was a former Director General, Special Duties and later Budget in the Office of the President of Nigeria — under both Alhaji Shehu Shagari and General Olusegun Obasanjo — died on 20th November, 2015; barely two weeks after the demise of Balogun of Ibadan land.

Because of the earlier death of Balogun Omiyale whose line was supposed to produce the next monarch after the reigning Olubadan, High Chief Kuye would’ve become the next Olubadan being the highest ranking of the Olubadan-in-Council, but he also passed on before Oba Odulana.

Additionally, the demise of both Balogun Omiyale and Ọtun Olubadan Kuye, paved the way for the then Otun Balogun, Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, who eventually succeeded Oba Odulana as the 41st Olubadan in 2016. He was also succeeded in 2022 by the recently deceased 42nd Olubadan, Oba Lekan Balogun, Alli Okunmade II.


Additional report from Tribuneonline

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