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Can Tinubu’s copycatting Obi erase the dirty spot of dented mandate?



By Edward Musa

Should Peter Obi and the Labour Party worry at the apparent copycatting of his policies and programmes by the tremulous and doddering government of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu?

No, they should not, people who rely on others’ work as their sole source of inspiration won’t last in the long run, and worrying about them takes away from focusing on you. The worry really should be on the muddling up of these programmes because of the shallow understanding of what it entails, especially when such a person has issues with legitimacy, goodwill, and trust from the people.

During the last electioneering period in Nigeria from September 2022 to February 2023, the ruling party’s Presidential candidate, Bola Ahmad Tinubu blatantly shunned all media appearances, refusing to grant a single interview even to explain his manifesto.

Hardly did he take any message to Nigerians as a reason why he should be voted for. The only visible message he kept repeating to the irritation of Nigerians was that he will continue the good work of the immediate past President, Muhammedu Buhari.

Even when he appeared at the Chatham House in London, United Kingdom during the campaign, he had no response to questions and his sides had to come to his rescue answering questions on his behalf.

While Tinubu snubbed and spurned Nigerians disdainfully during the campaigns, Peter Obi seized the stage with his disarming messages, throwing up issues and pragmatically explaining its workings. In every sector of governance, Obi provided a verifiable way to address pertinent issues.

In the turbulent power sector, Obi told Nigerians in practical terms how he intended to solve the perennial problem. He explained how he went to Egypt to study the German firm Seamen that handled their power challenge making Egypt an exporter of power to other countries. During the Channels TV Presidential debate which Tinubu snubbed, Obi was there to declare that if South Africa with a population of less than 60 million is generating 58, 095 and yet declared an emergency on power, Nigeria with over 200m people and generating below 5000, should be declaring war on power if he is voted into office.

On subsidy in petroleum products, Obi was unmistaken in his position which dates back to his time as a member of the Presidential Economic Management Team under the Goodluck Jonathan era that he will remove subsidy because it’s an organized crime but will do it in a way that the poor will not suffer. He said he was going to carry the people along showing statistically and empirically what is being generated and how it’s being deployed. Obi even challenged the figure of fuel consumption in the country as unrealistic.

Obi was also brutal on what he would do if elected with the persisting crude oil theft as he exposed it as another organized crime of the people in government. Indeed, it was Obi’s exposition that led to the Nigeria Navy and other critical stakeholders coming out to state their roles in the fraud.

The Labour Party’s standard bearer was also forthright on Education describing Education and Health as a critical measure of a nation’s growth and development.

It was all these sector-by-sector explanations of his agenda for Nigeria if elected that endeared Obi to Nigerians across the country. During the campaigns, Obi virtually occupied the stage as a sole candidate with a defined mission while the ruling party flag bearer remained conspicuously missing in action, but possibly as it turned out planning the abracadabra of February 25, 2023, election that has become the darkest day in our democratic journey.

But since his swearing-in on May 29 amidst grumbling and groaning from all corners of our land and beyond, Tinubu said nothing and promised nothing, in fact in a big rally in Kano he just danced at the stage and left without telling the people anything. The only verifiable thing on record he promised Nigerians was to continue the good work of Buhari.

But today he appears to be in a hurry in an unprecedented copycatting of all the things Obi promised Nigeria for which they came out massively to vote for him.

In subsidy removal and the Education sector, Tinubu copiously copied Obi but like in every imitation, if it’s not Panadol, it cannot be Panadol. in his rush to diminish Obi and win over the Obidient adherents, he is not stopping at stealing the mandate but also the programmes. He is currently running the country virtually as a sole Administrator. Tinubu’s first meeting with Service Chiefs was to address the oil theft issue that Obi had unraveled.

Political watchers are looking at the rush by Tinubu to implement Obi’s programmes from various angles, one to try and impress on the people to gain the people’s confidence; preparing for an election in case the election tribunal nullifies the election and he is still lucky to be on the ballot if not disqualified; hurrying to distance himself from Buhari to win the people hence the suspension and arrest of the Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele who was Buhari’s man Friday.

The way and manner Tinubu is doing the copycatting clearly exposes him as lacking a sense of self, his actions picture him vividly as one green with envy of Obi as he strives desperately to want what Obi has to win his people.

But what is perhaps not privy to APC and Tinubu is that copycats are rarely successful in the long run. It may seem as if Tinubu is successfully stealing Obi’s gains and deploying them, but hardly will it last.

Should Obi and the Labour Party lose sleep at this calculated attempt to hijack their thoughts and even use it to undermine them? Yes, they should worry at the shameless imitation going on but must remain confident that the heart of his work cannot be duplicated and that is what Nigerians are yearning for. Obi’s unique hardworking self they saw and admired during the electioneering is what the people are waiting for not an imitation of him.

The truth is that no amount of mimicking or impersonating will erase the dirty spot in Tinubu and APC’s dented mandate. That a thief used his loot for charity does not remove the criminality of his action which is paramount. Let’s wait for God’s time which is the people’s time because a New Nigeria is POssible and Obi is coming. God help us.

Musa, public affairs analyst, wrote in from Abuja



BREAKING: Mother of all strikes! D-Day, October 3! *Stockpile food, essentials – NLC, TUC   



The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC)) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) on Tuesday, announced midnight Tuesday, October 3 as the date for the commencement of total strike by their workers to get the Federal Government accede to their demands to end the current sufferings of their members and Nigerians at large.

The two labour centres representing the organised labour in Nigeria, which arrived at the decision after they had met separately at their local levels directed their affiliates to mobilise for protests from October 3, saying they took the decisions were approved at the meeting of the joint National Executive Council of the two unions on Tuesday, September 26, in Abuja.

Joe Ajaero, President of the NLC, speaking on behalf of his group, while urging Nigerians to stock their homes ahead the total strike, bemoaned the situation where the government had ignored the demands of the workers, saying it “substantially failed to meet its demands after the removal of fuel subsidy,” added that adding that the grace period given by the two labour centres had expired.

The organised labour, is demanding wage awards for public workers and a new minimum wage, apart from the removal of tax exemptions and allowances to public sector workers, provision of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses, the release of modalities for the N70billion for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and immediate reversal of all anti-poor policies of the Federal Government.

The union, which on September 5th and 6th, the NLC embarked on a two-day warning strike which led to the partial crippling of economic activities in some states and gave the government a 21-day ultimatum to meet its demands, is also demanding a stop to the increase in public school fees, the release of the eight months withheld salaries of university teachers and workers as well as the increase in Value Added Tax (VAT).

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BREAKING: Total strike looms! *NLC, TUC, finally meet, agree on action



The Federal Government, may have finally lost the move to stop the impending strike by organised labour, or at least mitigate it by dividing its membership, following a meeting of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), hitherto in disagreement over the issue.

In fact, the two bodies representing the junior and senior workers in Nigeria are reportedly meeting currently to announce a statewide indefinite strike, a move coming about three weeks after the NLC held a warning strike on Tuesday, September 5, and Wednesday 6, 2023, without the TUC, which it explained was to call attention of the FG to the painful suffering of Nigerians, particularly workers.

However, indications, suggests that having agreed to come to an understanding in the interest of the working masses of Nigeria, both camps, having also met separately in their different local organs, decided to hold a joint press conference at 3 p.m. on Tuesday to announce an indefinite nationwide strike in response to the FG’s failure to address the suffering and other socioeconomic hardships caused by the removal of subsidies on Premium Motor, PMS, commonly known as petrol.

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Tinubu will shock Atiku and his gang – APC *Why meeting with Biden didn’t hold



Having met with Joe Biden, at a parley of the G20 group in India, it was unnecessary for President Bola Tinubu to hold another session with his US counterpart at the recent United Nation General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, the All Progressives Congress (APC), explained on Monday.

Felix Morka, spokesman of the party, in a statement, also explain other issues in a quick riposte to the attacks of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who claimed that the POTUS avoided Tinubu at UNGA because he did not want to be associated with the putrid stains trailing his Nigerian counterpart.

Morka, National Publicity Secretary of the party, also dismissed Atiku’s claims through his spokesman, Phrank Shaibu that fuel subsidy, which the Tinubu administration said it has jettisoned having dismissed it as a drain on the nation’s resources, had returned through the backdoor, saying the payment of the mark up in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), in August, was to ensure stability.

Hear him: ”Shaibu’s claim that fuel subsidy is back is not correct. The government’s intervention to ensure some measure of price stability and predictability does not amount to the return of the ruinous fuel subsidy of the recent past.

“Lifting the Visa ban on Nigerians by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities should ordinarily make any well-meaning Nigerian happy. Diplomatic rapprochement between Nigeria and UAE authorities is ongoing and details of outcomes will soon be made public.

“The matter of the proposed meeting with United States of America President Joe Biden does not even require elaboration. Having met with President Tinubu on the sidelines of the G-20 Nations summit in India, another meeting with President Biden during the United Nation’s General Assembly (UNGA) had become unnecessary and was not even on President Tinubu’s schedule, contrary to preliminary indications on the matter.

“Nigeria is facing pressing challenges that require focused efforts and undivided attention. Issues such as economic recovery, security of lives and property, infrastructure development, and social welfare demand continuous, sustained and innovative efforts.

“President Tinubu is committed to ensuring an inclusive, honest, transparent and accountable governance system. We encourage citizens to actively participate in democratic processes, ventilate their views, and contribute constructively to national conversations. As the discerning people that we are, we remain confident that Nigerians will continue to differentiate between genuine, constructive and development-oriented criticisms and those driven by self-interest, mercenary considerations and disruptive political agenda.

“While we urge Nigerians to ignore purveyors of fake news and other inanities, it is obvious that Shaibu and his likes will stop at nothing in their desperation to distort facts and give oxygen to their politically knocked-out principal. But that can only worsen his infamy in the light of the President’s determined commitment and strides to improving the social and economic conditions for all Nigerians.

“The PDP and all its agents of misinformation should know by now that no amount of sleazy propaganda, muckraking, lies, half-truths, misrepresentations, misinformation or disinformation will confer the presidency of Nigeria on their candidate.

“Nigerians have freely chosen our party, the APC, and President Bola Tinubu, to continue to steer the ship of state. And the President is making good his campaign promises to deliver purposeful leadership to remake Nigeria, open the economy to rewarding investments, promote inclusive growth, create jobs, secure lives and property and renew hope for a vibrant future.”

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