Edo: Obaseki Set The Stage For Running His New Government

Buhari Resumes Distribution of N20,000.00 COVID 19  Palliatives To The Rural Poor

Suspends Magu, Acting Chairman, EFCC, From Office Over Alleged Corruption

By Stephen Ubanna

Goodwin Obaseki, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, governorship Candidate,  who had  won the keenly contested September 19, 2020, governorship election in Edo state, south n-south Nigeria and subsequently sworn in for a second  term office by Esther Edigin,  the Chief Judge of  the state appears to  have  set the ball rolling  for the  running of the new government.  

This is  evident with the appointment  of Osarodion Ogie, Lawyer and former political ally  of Adams Oshiomhole, a former governor of the state who rose to become the national Chairman of the ruling  All Progressive  Congress, APC, before he was shown the way out  by some aggrieved party  members who had dragged him to Court last year.

  Ogie,had served as the Commissioner of works  under the then Oshiomhole Admnistration but was appointed as the  Director General of the Obaseki’s Campaign Organisation in the 2016 governorship election in the state, with his influence.

Godwin Obaseki: Governor, Edo state

 He  may have abandoned Oshiomhole to work for Obaseki in the 2020  governorship election to beat Osgie  Ize-Iyamu, a Clergy man and the APC governorship Candidate in the election. Hee may  have been Compensated by Obaseki for his loyalty  by appointing him as the Secretary to the state government  while other key political  appointments were put on hold until the first week of February, 2021.

 The governor was said to have made Ogie’s appointment public through his official twitter handle.  Many believe that Obaseki may have appointed Ogie ,following the death of  Olu Garuba, a former Secretary to the state government last January. The death of Garuba, was a big blow to baseki who was standing in  for  re-election bid in September 19, 2020.

  He had said that his contributions  to the development  of the state Civil Service  was  Commendable, believing that Ogaie, who had been in the system could easily  take up from where late Garuba had stoped.

He had promised to bring in experienced hands into his new Administration as pat of efforts   ‘’to Consolidate on his first term  achievements of  rapidly  developing the  critical energy sector, housing , digital and  road infrastructure, in order to further  so solidify the state’s status  as the choice of investment  destination in the country’’.

The choice of Ogie as the Secretary to the state government may have given him a breather to say that his government  will  preserve  the environment  and public facilities   that would make the state more functional  to adapt to the challenges  of Climate  change  and rural-urban migration .

While Obaseki and other governors are making plans on how to develop their states, President Muhammadu Buhari, has given the nod to Hajia Hadiza Ahmed, minister of  Finance, Budget and  National Planning , who in turn had directed Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to resume  the disbursement  of the N20,000.00 conditional cash transfer  to poor women resident in rural Communities  in different parts of the country to cushion the adverse effect of the Wuhan Town in Hebei Province of the Asian country of China emerged  coronavirus, popular COVID 19.

  The government  was said to have started the Conditional  transfer of the funds  process in Bauchi, home state of the country’s  late Prime minister, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, currently being  governed  by Bala Muhammed, a one- time Senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The COVID 19, palliative, according to the minister  was designed ‘’to provide  succor  for the poorest  and most vulnerable  women in  rural Communitie across the country’’.s. Paulen Tallen , a one-time deputy governor in Plateau state, north central Nigeria,  and now minister of  Women Affairs  and Social development  had said that over 1,000 women  are expected to receive the grant  during the first phase of the disbursement of the funds  to the beneficiaries  in the state.

As a prelude to the disbursement of the funds  in the state,  Hajia  Sadiya Onar-Farouk,  the iminister of  Humanitarian Affairs , Disaster Management and  Social Development , on the orders of the Katsina state born Nigerian President  had inaugurated the Committee for the Disbursment of the funds  in Gombe , north east Nigeria on Thursday, November 5, 2020. She had said that  the grants  was part of the social intervention programmes of the Buhari Administration  to improve  the living standards  of vulnerable people in the country.  

Hajia Ahmed: Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning

The minister who could not hide her feelings   had said that the N20,000.00 Conditional cash transfer funds  was a ‘’one –off  grant to support women, widows and vulnerable  families  that needed help to help  them earn a living  and support their households’’.   In giving the Financial support to women, Taullen, the minister of Women Affairs  and Social Development  had stressed  that ‘’women play important role in the society’’, urging the beneficiaries to ensure that they  ‘’ use the money judiciously’’.

 The commencement of the disbursement of the Conditional cash transfer funds in Bauchi,  brings to two states, in the north east alone that had benEfited from  the funds,.Recall that residents of the Kwali Area Council of the FCT had started  receiving their own before it was stopped midway. At present 34 states,  spread  in five geo-political areas of the south east, south west south-south , north central, north west and some Area Councils of the FCT, including Adamawa, Borno, Taraba and Yobe, the remaining states in the north east are yet to benefit from it.

The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, may have  provided  the opportunity for the Nigerian government to come out with the bold initiate to give financial grants to the women living below the poverty level across the country to support their families.  The NBS, had said  that  40% or 83 million  of the country’s population  live below the poverty in the rural areas.

Many believe that if the government had kept to its promise of starting the COVID 19 palliative disbursement last  March and not stopping the process after the disbursement to the first set of beneficiaries in Kwali Area Council of the FCT, got it.

They noted  that  the distribution of the COVID 19 pALLIATIVE could  not have dragged on to November 2020. Note that the North American country of the United States, US, under the otgoing  Donald Trump and other COVID 19 affected countries including the United Kingdom, UK, had supported their people to  overcome the adverse  effects of the lockdown  but Buhari and his  Federal Executive Council, FEC, are still  struggling  to pay N20,000.00, which is not up to $25  since March, 2020. The US, government had disbursed $1,000 to the American citizens cushion the effect of the COVID 19 lock down in the country.  

There are fears in both official and unofficial circles that  the Kleptocrats in the Buhari government  may sabotage the government efforts. Ali Ndume, a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Chairman, Senate Committee on the Army  who had been on the news in the recent  both positively and negatively, believes that he has good plans for the country but being betrayed  by some Kleptocrats  in his government. He noted that the Kleptocrats , who had formed he majority in the government are the one betraying    the commendable policies  that he had planned to implement  over the last six years of his Administration.

He noted that there is no way the government  which had had  come  in  with three major agendas,  to secure the country, fight Corruption  and to provide basic infrastructural facilities  like road construction networks and reliable power supply could have succeed with such such Kleptocrats who are everywhere.  Given an insider information,

he noted that the  implementation  of  certain policies   as put forth  by the President  was basically where the problem lies.  An aggrieved Ndume , who could not hide his feelings had said that that the Nigeria President could not do everything all alone , which  had informed  why he had to appoint  some other persons  to act in various capacities  either as ministers or MDAs, Chief Executive officers, but regretted  that some of them have failed ‘’ to deliver on their jobs’’.

The recent call on Buhari, the President and Commander –In-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces to sack Gabriel Olonisakin, an Army General and Chief of Defense Staff, CDS, Tukur Buratai, an indigene of Borno state, a Lt. General of Chief of Army Staff, CAS,  Abubakar Sadique, an Air Marshall and Chief of Air Force Staff and  ibok Ete-Ekwe,  a Vive Admiral and Chief of Naval Staff, confirms the claims of Ndume  that  some of the political appointtees including the service chiefs had failed to deliver.  

The north eaSt elders  under  the aegies  of Coalition  of North East Elders  for Peace and Development , NEEPD,   were said to have expressed worries  over the growing insecurity in the region, particular,Adamawa, Born and Yobe states, stressing that the excuses  being tendered  by the service Chiefs  why they have  not been able to defeat the Islamic Fundamentalists BokoHaram  are ‘’no longer acceptable to them’’, insisting that they must be sacked for failure. Appealing to the President to implement the recent  resolution of the National Assembly  asking t him to rejig  the country’s security architecture  by removing the service Chiefs  as a way of improving the security in region which they had described as ‘’so bad’’.

Zana Goni, who was said to have signed the resolution of the north east elders  that was said to have been presented to Presented to the President at the Villa was emphatic: we are tired of the service Chifs, sack the service Chiefs now. The north east elders may have spoken the mind of Nigerians when they  said , that ‘’the nation has been distressed  by mindless killings  of its  citizens by BokoHaram terrorists, bandits and kidnappers .

According to them ‘’ these had resulted in  indescribable  agony, anguish and  torment  to Nigerians’’. But the President appears  not  to be a hurry to sack the service Chiefs, fueling speculations making the rounds  that there may be something holding them together  which are not privy to the government.

He may have bowed to pressure from different quarters to suspend Ibrahim Magu, a Commissioner of Police, and former acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,

The surpension may have further been ade pssible with the DAMNING security report by the Department of State Security Service, DSS, and OVERWHELMING evidence by Abubakar Malami, Attorney General and minister of Justice aginst him.

Magu: SuspendedActing Chairman of EFCC.

The suspension order which was said to have been handed down on the embattled EFCC, acting  Chairman , may have cemented by the  preliminary report   of the Presidential Panel   headed by  Justice Ayo Salami  to probe  the various allegations   of Corruption and other dirty deals leveled  against him which was very revealing. He was said to have been grilled for several hours at the Villa to extract information from him before been taken to police Custody.

Magu’s suspension from office may have encouraged the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, headed by Muhammad Isah, a Professor, to invite for interrogation  over alleged Corruption  involving a breach  of Code of Conduct  for public officers.

A letter inviting by the CCB, was said to have been sent to him on November 2, 2020. He was said to have been directed to appear with copies of his asset declaration Form since he joined the Public Service. 

Aware that he no longer had the backing of the president who has suspended him from offic,e, he has no option but to appear before the CCB, to answer to all the allegations of Corruption and dirty deals while in office and be set for want of to nail him..  There is no gainsaying the fact that if found guilty he may be heading to jail, which may make him the first anti-graft Chief Executive officer, CEO, that may be jailed since its inception about two decades ago.   

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