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Opinion: Father Mbaka Did Not Hear from God

Now that the Supreme Court has nullified the election of the Peoples Democratic Party’s Emeka Ihedioha as the governor of Imo State and declared the All Progressives Congress’ Hope Uzodinma the winner of the March 9, 2019 governorship election in the state, I owe it to readers of last week’s article to insist that God has nothing to do with the “prophets” that purportedly speak in his name.

No God told Rev Fr Mbaka that Uzodinma would win at the court.

More likely, this was what happened: To prepare the public for the electoral magic that would propel Uzodinma from his INEC – declared fourth position in the election to an eventual declaration of him as governor, Mbaka became a tool to “prophesy” it ahead of the day.

The court judgment was not written on Tuesday morning; it must have been concluded weeks before the verdict was delivered, and a few privileged people must have had access to the information.

They knew the outcome would be contentious, and that was where Mbaka and his penchant for prophetic controversy became useful.

By Tuesday when Uzodinma was finally declared governor, the public had become open to the possibility of his victory.

The shock – and perhaps outrage – that could have accompanied the unexpected upturn of the 2019 election had mitigated. I suspect even Ihedioha knew about the looming judgment because of his jitters about Mbaka’s prophesy.

Whoever came up with the Mbaka angle played the game well; they got people by their dog collar.

Take a look around, and you will find that more folk have been carried away with the spectacle of Mbaka’s prophecy and are less invested in the “mathemagic” that produced Uzodinma’s governorship.

That is how abracadabra works. The magician makes you look in one direction while they work their sleight of hand in the opposite direction.

As of the time of sending this piece in, a lot of information about the court case remains fuzzy.

I am curious, for instance, how the other candidates fared in the 388 cancelled polling units that were restored to favour Uzodinma and why the apex court did not order fresh elections.

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I hope we can concentrate on analysing what matters instead of wasting time on debating whether Mbaka has telepathic powers or not.

He does not; he belongs in the circles where he picks up privileged information. This time, it worked for him.

He is now an oracle who will be mediating, not between God and man, but between opposing camps of desperate politicians.

The administration that claimed they won the Osun State governorship election through a “remote control” might have just gained multiple victories at our collective expense.

…and Buhari is beyond morality

Last Thursday, Hanan Buhari, flew to Bauchi for a Durbar festival contrived as props for her nascent photography career.

According to media reports, the Durbar was a “special” one because it was categorically organised for her by the Emir of Bauchi, Rilwanu Adamu.

While there has been justifiable outrage about the use of the presidential jet for the President’s daughter’s personal purposes, I am even more confounded a festival was staged in her favour.

What was so special about her photography that Aso Rock and Bauchi had to expend millions of naira to fulfil it?

Nigeria has a long and proud history of corruption, nepotism, abuse of power, and institutionalised shamelessness, but this comes top at many unethical intersections.

In April last year, then still the governor-elect of Bauchi, Bala Muhammed, lamented to newsmen about the dire conditions of the state: about 1.3 million children are out of school; public schools lack basic resources; the entire state has only 44 doctors to cater to a population of around seven million; high rate of unemployment; hospitals are understaffed, and they lack basic amenities such as drugs, beds, light and water.

In short, Bauchi State is a dystopia. Yet, in that same state, they could commit an indeterminable amount of resources to the “honour” of someone who wants some photos for her studio?

There is a lot to be said about a rent-seeking Emir who threw a cultural festival for the President’s daughter, but ultimately, the blame ends at Buhari’s doorstep.

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If he were not an unethical leader himself, his subjects would not take the cue to fritter public resources on his daughter.

This is another instance of the unravelling of Buhari’s character.

When people juxtapose Muhammadu Buhari’s pre-presidential promises with his presidential conduct, they conclude he is a hypocrite.

His electoral promises to reduce administrative waste and promote a moderate lifestyle, compared to the present reality, give him away as an amoral character.

The truth is, Buhari lacks a discernible sense of what constitutes virtue, ethics, fairness, or integrity, and that puts him beyond the possibility of acting morally.

Nothing we say about his moral inconsistency will stimulate him towards reflexive self-correction. He is utterly incapable.

This is so because he is a narcissist who sees himself as the epitome of incorruptibility and therefore, he considers everything he does right.

I can bet that if you asked Buhari about the propriety of his daughter’s trip to Bauchi as a hypothetical question, he retains enough moral clarity to say, “That was wrong, that was corruption, and nobody should do that.”

However, because his daughter was involved, he would shrug off the inquiry without further thought.

To him, right and wrong do not exist because there is an objective measure that calibrates virtues.

Things are right because he does them, and corruption is only corruption when someone else – and specifically, those whom he doesn’t approve – do them.

There is perhaps no circumstance that better typifies the Buhari’s personalisation of virtues than the manner he and his officials persistently assail medical tourism.

From the latest instance where the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, said Nigerians need to stop going abroad for medical treatment because the country could no longer afford it, to past cases where previous ministers of health such as Drs. Osagie Ehanire and Isaac Adewole made similar criticisms, their government demonstrates an incredible capacity to be blind to the irony of their official stances.

No President has sought medical help abroad as long and as consistently as Buhari, and ironically, no other government has publicly lamented about medical tourism as much as Buhari’s.

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In 2017, less than a week after Buhari returned from a three-month medical treatment from the UK, Vice-President Yemi Osinbanjo too moaned about medical tourism, saying the costs were “draining our reserves.”

I do not believe they lack the innate capacity to process the irony of their statements; their attitude is that any action – regardless of its appropriateness – is legitimated by them.

The same Buhari who could not present his WASCE certificate – he hired 13 SANs to obfuscate the court case to compel him to do so – recently stated that Nigerians must provide “credible school certificates.”

Lately, when he received the APC youth leaders from around Nigeria, Buhari enjoined them to never yield to the mischievous forces that want to divide the nation based on ethnicity and religion.

That was what a leader should say, except that since he got to the office, Buhari has fed the twin gods of ethnic nepotism and religious bigotry until it became an untamable monster.

There is an unbridgeable gulf between Buhari’s vision of Nigeria and his moral conduct, and that truth never seems to strike him.

Let us not forget that this same man who claimed that he was too poor to buy the application form for his APC nomination in 2014/5 is the one whose children have all schooled abroad.

Hanan, for instance, is taking multiple degrees in Ravensbourne University, UK, where the tuition alone starts from N10m per year.

During Buhari’s first term, his aide, Femi Adesina, told us that Buhari sold his property to fund his children’s education. They have finally dispensed with all those pretensions. They can no longer be bothered about what anyone thinks.

There have removed all constraining moral benchmarks and turned Buhari into the standard. Now, everything is ethically sound as long as he and his loyalists are the ones doing it.

Culled from The Punch Online

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Goodluck Jonathan Reacts to Newspaper Columnist – Dele Sobowale’s Apologies

Dele Sobowale in an article titled, ”Comparing Buhari With Jonathan: Iroko Versus Rotten Wood – 1”, dragged the former President who at the time was still in office.

He attacked Jonathan and also attacked his fellow columnists who wrote articles defending Jonathan’s administration.

Fast forward to March 22nd 2020, Sobowale in an article titled ”Governor Ganduje has murdered sleep!”, said one of the things he regrets was his attack on Jonathan .

Part of his article reads:

One of the most foolhardy exploits I ever engaged in during my more than thirty years of writing columns for VANGUARD occurred in October 2014 when I got an article published titled COMPARING BUHARI WITH JONATHAN: IROKO VERSUS ROTTEN WOOD – 1.

It was so hot that only the fact that Uncle Sam does not interfere in editorial matters got part 1 published.

Despite that, the poor SUNDAY EDITOR received a serious reprimand for not editing sufficiently. I also received a mild rebuke from the Publisher for being too harsh on President Jonathan.

Let me take this opportunity to express gratitude as well as unreserved apology to former President Jonathan who demonstrated his strong belief in democratic norms.

Virtually all my friends who are regular readers of VANGUARD thought that I had over-stepped my bounds that time. They expected my arrest and detention any time.

My wife was scared to death and she advised me to run away. I did not run and to the everlasting glory of Jonathan, I was not harassed by anyone. I cannot thank him enough. He might not read this article, but, anybody close to him who reads it should convey my message.

I sincerely apologise. Time and events have opened my eyes to the worst sort of hypocrisy parading as integrity and virtue. I have, since learnt anew that indeed “Hypocrisy is the homage paid by vice to virtue.” (De La Rochefoucauld, 1615-1680, VBQ p 96). Never again will I trust a military-politician.

But, it was not only Jonathan that I was ready to wage war against on behalf of Buhari. I took on my colleagues in the media – all the big names who were against Buhari.

Below is the opening salvo to what was an all out attack against Buhari’s opponents. Never in my adult life have I been so devoted to anyone except Obong Victor Attah.

Never have I been so disappointed that I wasted a great deal of goodwill among my colleagues on Buhari – who has turned out not a lot better and indeed is a lot worse than Jonathan in many respects.

Jonathan’s reaction:

Dear @DrDeleSobowale As you expected, my attention was drawn to your apology as expressed in your Sunday @vanguardngrnews column of March 22, 2020. You specifically regretted an article you wrote in 2014 in which you called me all manner of names.

The truth Dele is that I never took such criticism from you or any other of my critics personally .

I may have felt bad as a human being, but I assumed that you were driven more by a patriotic feeling to see our nation make progress, than any personal hatred for me.

Although I believed that many of our critics at that time misjudged our plans and programmes for the country, I was fully convinced that our democracy would be better served if we allowed all Nigerians to freely hold us to account, without let or hindrance.

As I always say, I have no enemies to fight. You will continue to earn my respect.

GEJ

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The Legality of the “Lockdown” Order of President Muhammadu Buhari of 29th March 2020, as a Result of the Pandemic COVID-19, Otherwise Called Corona Virus

I have read and heard many arguments for and against the Order of Mr President declaring “Lockdown” or restrictions in movement in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja.

It is an established fact that Corona Virus is a world pandemic which is presently threatening the world over.

It is also an established fact, that no cure or vaccine has been found for the Virus, which now infects people at geometric progression, with devastating health effect, sometimes leading to death of the victims.

It is also a known fact, that most Countries in the world are on a shut down, with orders against movement and assembly of people, except for necessary services and products. This has brought to the fore, the Human Rights arguments of the restrictive orders.

Firstly, I must say without any form of equivocation that the President of Nigeria is eminently qualified, empowered and authorised to issue a restrictive order in whatsoever name it might be called, as long as the Order/Regulations is in line with the Powers given to him under the Quarantine Act, LFN 2004. Section 3 of the Act specifically empowers the President to declare any place as an infected area; which the President has done by declaring a lockdown in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun. It can however be argued that the number of Corona Virus cases recorded so far, does not warrant such order.

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It is my submission that Corona Virus according to Health Workers, takes 14days to be evident in the body, thus if everybody is allowed to move freely without restrictions, the rate of infection will grow out of proportion.

Furthermore, it is being argued that the Order of the President was made without recourse to the National Assembly. Again this argument lacks substance.

Section 4 of the Quarantine Act gives the President the prerogative to prescribe steps to be taken within Nigeria, to prevent the spread of any infection or disease.

In exercising this power, the President in my humble opinion does not need the approval of any person or persons before he can make such Regulations.

In furtherance of the above arguments, assuming that the President declared a State of Emergency by virtue of the provision of Section 305, subsection 3(e) of the 1999 Constitution as Amended.

The President is still covered by the provision of the Law , as long as he complies and follows the procedures laid down in Section 305, subsection 1 and 2.

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Nigeria is a signatory to most International Treaties and Charters on Human Rights, including but not limited to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which was ratified by Nigeria on the 29th of July 1993.

Article 4 of this Covenant specifically makes provision for derogation of rights in some instances when such derogatotion is in the interests of Public safety, Public Health, etc.

This provision is in consonance and pari-materia with Section 45 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as Amended.

It is therefore my humble conclusion that , the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria acted within the ambit of the Law and with the utmost interest of Nigerians at heart, by ordering for a restriction of movement (lockdown), in other to curtail the world threatening Pandemic.

It is however my passionate appeal, that the few privileged individuals in the community or society, should as a matter of humanity provide basic needs and foods for the less-privileged within their communities.

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God Bless Badagry,

God Bless Lagos State,

God Bless Nigeria.

MEDEMAKU Abayomi Noah, is a Master (LLM) Student in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at the European University, Frankfurt Oder, Germany.

He was also a House of Representatives Candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), in the February 2019, General Election in Nigeria.

Email: legalluminary1@gmail.com.

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