President-elect Muhammadu Buhari will be returning to Nigeria on Thursday morning after a six-day trip to the United Kingdom in the company of former President Shehu Shagari. Buhari, who during his trip to the UK, met with British Prime Minister David Cameron, will arrive onboard a British Airways flight that is scheduled to land in Abuja around 4.00 am.
Shagari who THISDAY learnt, was in the UK on a private visit, was overthrown by Buhari in a military coup d’etat 32 years ago. Both men will be flying back to the country 24 hours before Buhari’s inauguration as Nigeria’s fifth democratically elected president.
Shagari, between October 1, 1979 and December 31, 1983, was Nigeria’s first democratically elected president. Buhari had departed the country last Friday in the company of two of his close aides, ostensibly to get away from the pressure that had been brought to bear on him by members of his party the All Progressives Congress (APC), state governors and varied interest groups who had laid siege on him in recent weeks for posts in his government.
He was said to have decided to get some rest ahead of the inauguration before plunging into the arduous task of running the country.
However, his trip, which he embarked upon without the knowledge of the leadership of the APC, has caused disquiet among its chieftains, as it was the first clear signal that the president-elect is a man of independent thinking determined to do things his way.
Buhari in recent days has also made it known that the governors will have no say in determining the members of his cabinet, making it abundantly clear to them after they had submitted their ministerial lists, that he would have no say on who their commissioners should be.
If Shagari can forgive Buhari, then he too can forgive Ibrahim Babangida who ousted him in 1985. Nigeria is in for business unusual with Mr. Muhammadu Buhari and it is a good feeling.
WOULD SARAKI, GBAJABIAMILA OR OTHERS LEAD SENATE, REPS?
Senator Bukola Saraki had tweeted on Tuesday: “I am delighted that the NWC (National Working Committee) of our dear party yesterday (Monday) reaffirmed its earlier decision to zone (the) position of Senate President to the North-Central.” Besides Saraki, who is from Kwara State, which is located in the North-Central zone, Senator Ahmad Lawan from Yobe State in the North-East, is also contesting the senate presidency. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila from Lagos State in the South-West is contesting the speakership of the House of Representatives with Yakubu Dogara of Bauchi State (North-East) and Muhammed Mungono of Borno State (North-East). APC has denied any zoning of both positions, only for a Saraki aide, Bamikola Omishore, to apologise for tweeting on his boss’ behalf without double-checking with the party. Sounds a lot like taking the fall for his boss’ politicking, unless of course we hear that Saraki sanctioned him, which we won’t hear. However, APC seems to be setting the pace for real change – no zoning, may the best men (or women) win.
TAMBUWAL BOWS OUT, HANDS OVER TO IHEDIOHA
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, bowed out on Tuesday after handing over the leadership of the legislature to his deputy, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha, who will round off the tenure of the House on June 5. Tambuwal, who is the Governor-elect for Sokoto State, will be inaugurated on May 29 as governor. His decision to transfer power to Ihedioha ahead of the May 29 handover date was to avoid a possible constitutional crisis of taking oath of office for two separate offices. While he will be inaugurated as governor on May 29, his current tenure as a member of the House will end on June 6. He is one of the earliest and luckiest PDP decampees to APC.
NDLEA DEFIES COURT, CONTINUES SIEGE ON KASHAMU
The battle of wits between the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and Mr. Buruji Kashamu, continued on Tuesday with the anti-narcotic agency defying an order of a Lagos Federal High Court barring it from arresting the politician. The court headed by Justice Ibrahim Buba gave a ruling on Tuesday afternoon ordering the more than 50 operatives of the NDLEA who had laid siege to the Lekki Phase 1 home of Kashamu. The judge described the siege to the Ijebu politician’s home as sub judice, stressing that it did not follow due process. Kashamu, holed up in his bedroom since the siege, pending the ruling on a fundamental right application he filed before Justice Okon Abang of the same court. It will be recalled that Abang, on May 8, fixed Wednesday, May 27, 2015, as the date to rule on the said application filed by Kashamu against the Inspector-General of Police and 13 others. The law is either an ass as some say or someone’s backside will soon get fried over this matter.
FUNNY GROUP ASKS COURT TO STOP BUHARI’S INAUGURATION
A group, Advocacy for Societal Rights Advancement and Development Initiative, has instituted a fresh suit before the Federal High Court in Abuja seeking to stop the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, from swearing-in the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, on May 29.
The suit filed on Tuesday is also seeking an order nullifying the certificate of return issued to Buhari by the Independent National Electoral Commission. The plaintiff hinged the suit on the allegation that Buhari did not qualify to contest the presidential election on the grounds that he gave false information about his academic qualification to INEC. Between January and February 2015 there were about 10 cases instituted by various plaintiffs challenging Buhari’s eligibility to stand for the poll on the grounds of his academic qualification controversy. But after he won, the cases were withdrawn. Did this group file late for lack of funds to hire a lawyer on time or total blindness to the ongoing ruination of Nigeria without decisive leadership? One just wonders, what drives faceless groups like this one.
Have a pleasant Wednesday, May 27, 2015 and enjoy our other news and views of today – HAMILTONSTYLE.