All in One Place:The Limericks of November

The Victorious Golden Eaglets

GEJ’s brought the rub of the green

The best footie days since my teens

MRIs or not

Three great goals, One shot

Our sorrows, tonight, they are lean

 

The Sacked, Unambitious $1m Ghanaian Minister

Ghana must go, so they went

And the last three decades have been spent

In doing stuff right

And fighting the fight

Of not letting government be bent.

 

Please stop referencing Ghana

And all Dramani’s Drama

While you eulogise

Our government denies

Being a republic of banana

 

Stella “Escapes”  Attack #Stellagate

She purchased those cars, not in jest

And also a bulletproof vest

The House’s report

Is just writing sport

Now sympathy trumps an arrest

 

Turned out the Beamer’s weren’t costly

And we were outraged unjustly

To questions about

Corruptional doubt

Our Prez has replied “robustly”

 

Birthday Blues

Twas Ol’Goody’s day yesterday

50yrs Oswald popped JFK

From school with no shoes

To buckets of booze

No surprise he was poorly today.

 

Christopher Kolade Resigned

Hear Chrissy has chosen to leave

Untainted, he’d have us believe

But all that is sure

SURE-P wasn’t more

Than an ace up ol’GEJs sleeve.

 

ASUU Wants Strike Pay

Did nothing for four months and one

It seemed like the striking was done

But they want to show

Much more than we know

The pen is a BROS to the gun.

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Legislature Defections: Sitting Pretty or “Fidihe”?

Since the APC announced its absorption of the breakaway faction of the People’s Democratic Party – the so called “New PDP” – questions have been raised as to whether defecting lawmakers must now vacate their seats in the various legislative houses. This ordinarily should be the direction that the moral compasses of the new members of the APC should point to. If you asked your constituency to vote for you based on your membership of a party and then leave the party after your election, you should ask for their trust again.

However, the issue is legal and not moral. And the principal actors also realise this. In its statement after the defection, the PDP, through its National Public Secretary, Olisa Metuh, the PDP said the governors and legislators were free to leave the party, concluding with the following reiteration:

“We reiterate that the position of the law is very clear – that there is no factions whatsoever (sic) in the PDP.”

In his own press release, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka, the NPDP’s National Publicity Secretary, apparently in response to the nuanced “de-factionalisation” of the PDP, declared that the seats of defecting lawmakers were safe, citing constitutional and judicial authorities for his position.

Sections 68(1)(g) and 109 (1)(g), in virtually identical wording state that

A member of a House of Assembly shall vacate his seat in the House if – (g) being a person whose election to the House of Assembly was sponsored by a political party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected: Provided that his membership of the latter political party is not as a result of a division in the political party of which he was previously a member or of a merger of two or more political parties or factions by one of which he was previously sponsored.

What this means, in plainer English, is that a lawmaker who switches to another party before the next elections will not lose his seat if the switch is as a result of a division (or breaking into factions) in his original party, or his original party merges with another.

The New PDP, as a result of concerted resistant from the Old/Real (?) PDP, was not registered as a political party by the Independent National Electoral Commission. There is also a subsisting court ruling restraining the New PDP from using the PDP’s logo or parading itself or its members as PDP. Does this mean, as Metuh has suggested, that there are no factions within the PDP? A court would probably need to rule on the point but I would suggest that common sense would recognise  that there has, in fact, been a split within the PDP since the machinations at its last National Convention.

Eze Chukwuemeka, in his press release, also cited a Supreme Court judgment from 1983 which ought to give the new members of the APC some comfort. In FEDECO vs Goni, Aniagolu, JSC (as he then was) said the following, on “cross-carpeting” and Section 64(1)(g) – equivalent of current 68(1)(g) – of the 1979 Constitution:

“The mischief which the framers of the Constitution wanted to avoid was carpet-crossing which, from our constitutional history, in the not distant past, has bedevilled the political morality of this country. They had however to allow for a situation where a political party, by reason of internal squabbles, had split into one or more factions. A split or division could arise without any fault of the members of a political party, resulting in a member rightly or wrongly, finding himself in a minority group which may not be big enough, or strong enough, to satisfy the recognition, as a separate political party, of the Federal Electoral Commission. For such a member not to be allowed to join another political party with his faction may be to place him in a position where his right to contest for political office will be lost. Such a situation is entirely different from the fraudulent and malevolent practice of cross-carpeting politicians of yester years who, for financial consideration or otherwise, crossed from one political party to another, without qualms and with out conscience. Such a practice had to be discouraged by the framers of our Constitution if political public morality of our country was to be preserved.”

This dictum is instructive, as it clearly recognises that a faction may exist even if INEC (then FEDECO) did not register the faction as a separate political party. Taken with the fact that the Constitution permits a departed factionalised legislator to retain his seat, I think the APC can safely put its feet up, at least until the next elections.

Interestingly, it appears one can switch parties whenever one likes and for any reason, without any consequence in the US Congress. See here and here.

SIDEBAR

1. As we are on the subject of elections, I recently stumbled upon some provisions of the Electoral Act of 2010 which bear some significance to the ongoing(?) elections in Anambra State.

Section 102 states as follows:

“Any candidate, person or association who engages in campaigning or broadcasting based on religious, tribal, or sectional reason for the purpose of promoting or opposing a particular political party or the election of a particular candidate, is guilty of an offence under this Act and on conviction shall be liable to a maximum fine of N1,000,000 or imprisonment for twelve months or to both.”

Juxtapose this with the following statement credited to Chief Arthur Eze

“That short man called Ngige, we gave him power and he went and joined Awolowo’s people; the people that killed the Igbo.”

And the following statement credited to Chief Dennis Agumba

“It was Chris Nwabueze Ngige that described the deported Igbos as destitute, just to please his godfathers from Lagos, who are funding his governorship campaign.”

Are these two men guilty of electoral offences?

2. The Parties who insist that they will not take part in the supplementary elections in Anambra State need to know (they probably do anyway) that boycotting would be an empty gesture.

“An election tribunal or court shall not under any circumstance declare any person a winner at an election in which such a person has not fully participated in all the stages of the said election.” – Section 141

If you’re within striking distance of Willie Obiano but refuse to take part in the supplementary elections, the court cannot declare you winner even if everything goes your way during the trial.

The APC-nPDP “Merger”: 5 Things

Although it’s a bit of a misnomer, as the “New PDP” neither ever acquired a distinct corporate personality nor was recognised as an actual political party, but a “merger” with the All Progressives Congress (APC) was announced today. As the news spread on Twitter, a hitherto latent pragmatism also spread with it.  Suspicions about the leanings and probity credentials of the APC leaders gave way to acceptance that Nigeria isn’t yet ripe enough to be led by a party of saints. There was palpable excitement at the notion that a party that didn’t exist a year ago now has 18 governors (and numerous federal legislators) in its fold. What are the implications of this merger, though? Here are a few naïve thoughts from my de-tribalised, de-politicised, de-everythinged mind

1. An Epic Clash Awaits in 2014/15

Forget for a second, if you will, about the potential presidential candidates. Lick your chomps instead at the prospect of the mother of all muscle-flexing between Federal and State might. Incumbents typically do not lose elections in Africa. In Nigeria, the ruling PDP’s candidate has won every presidential election since our then (and still?) nascent democracy was born in 1999. The PDP has wielded control over the fabled “machinery” of elections since then. However, it was overwhelmingly the largest party in the past and its majority has now been halved. Federal Machinery is no more than an agglutination of Municipal Machineries. With Municipal (i.e. State) Machinery no longer aligned with Federal purpose the outcome may remain unknown for now, but it is sure that the jostling will be the busiest, rowdiest, most legendary election campaign (and spending, let’s be honest) that us 45’s and under have ever seen.

2. Shine Ya Eye

My twitter bio has been updated, to indicate my availability to provide electioneering services that cater to the vanities of elite Nigeria. I am not a ballot-stuffer and I have never brandished a weapon against a fellow human in all my life. To be honest, I want nothing to do with that side of our peculiar electoral process. However, I can do and coordinate the fancy stuff that we, the electoral minority, like. After all, a credible campaign consists of serving the illiterate masses empty platitudes and attempting to beguile the elite with concrete policy. If the epic spending predicted in point 1 above proves true, then there is going to be a big “mahkate” for consultants. Get your consultancy on.

3. Jagabanism is Next to Progressivenessism

Slate the Jagaban Borgu all you like but dismiss him at your own peril. This dismissiveness I speak of is not just in the context of the opposition parties (as the political calculations suggest a South-Westerner is unlikely to be a popular presidential candidate for another 20 years or so) but even with the APC aficionados. Sure, he is building a family dynasty, with the good lady senator senating and the Iyaloja General doing whatever it is Iyalojas do, but perhaps the Tinubus will be the Kennedys or the Bushes of Yorubaland – with due apologies to FFK. With the opinion most people express about him online, I think, given his astute succession planning in Lagos State, it is either he gets an unduly bad rap or Governor Fashola simply is not the saint we imagine him to be. Lagos has progressed unquestionably under their watch however, so it is clear that the man knows a thing or two about developmental spending.

4. Dry Bones Will Live Again

It was said recently, citing sources from within the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, that the reason for its poor record of enforcement recently was  a lack of funds. No money to chase stealers of money; the sad irony.  We can rest assured, however, that this hitherto missing money or a good Executive substitute for it will be delivered to the EFCC and they will begin to pursue their statutory mandate with renewed vigour and unprecedented fervour. That the scope of their sights is set on members of the burgeoning APC will be a minor footnote in the quest to kick corruption out of government. Never mind the fact that the N255m armoured car scandal refuses to go away, even with the feeble Wag-The-Dog tactics of an attack on an empty ministerial car by unknown gunmen. But I digress.

5. Plus Ca Change…

Asari Dokubo and co will no doubt, in the wake of the moves to unseat their “Jesus Christ on earth”, remind us that it is Niger Delta oil that is running through all our veins and that removing the incumbent president would be akin to ripping each of our hearts out of our bodies. It will be of no consequence, should this president be removed by a popular vote. It is “their turn”. Then, as elections draw closer, and the president begins to lie down before men of God for prayers, religion will also join tribalism as an honoured guest at the electoral feast. General Buhari, did not lie prostrate before the archbishop of Canterbury during his recent visit, so GEJ is well ahead in the picture polls. Pictures from the Jerusalem walkabout will resurface and Buhari will have to defend why he contracted the Mossad to abduct Umaru Dikko. Allegedly. Then the president will reduce the barriers for accessing the Nollywood World Bank Fund. So those ones will come out and act and sing for him again. Then North will be awash with “Sai Buhari” posters. Then the polity will be unbelievably heated up, in spite of the tepid warnings from the presidency…

All in One Place: Limericks Of October

#STELLAGATE

She ended her evidence, gleeful

Knowing that it was deceitful

As nothing that’s wrong

Is righted for long

By simply adding “Do the needful”.

 

Today we are needful of grace

A waiver to hold us in place

When she disapproved

Requests with “approved”

‘Twas needful to throw out her case.

 

Ah Cosmas, what manner of goof?

You who were genteelly aloof?

Your attitude’s lax

To evasion of tax

Your bullshit is not bullet-proof!

 

Wasn’t the best of responses

He told us,now look here you dunces

The cars are for guests

That do all the tests

And give all our planes second chances

 

The ministry gave Cos the nod

To buy a Bavarian pod

When you seek reform

It must be the norm

To defend against Acts of God

 

The question that’s now on the table-

Is it true or is it a fable

That aircraft must drop

Accidents won’t stop

It’s really all inevitable?

 

GEJ’S PILGRIMAGE TO ISRAEL

Our president’s off to pay homage

To Jesus; return in His image

We pray that our lives

Will tranfigurise

On his return from the pilgrimage

 

The people unsheathed their talons

He committee-cised, played along

But when SHE arrived

“Ah, Baruch” he cried

Embraced her with a “Shalom!”

 

ASUU STRIKE

Ol’ Labby, Goodluck’s head of lament

Has had yet another “oops” moment

The govt signed

Labaran opined

Without understanding th’agreement

 

So Johnny, when last on the air

Said ASUU was being unfair

Their strike isn’t right

They misuse their might

Unlike them, the govt’s sincere.

 

SPORT

The Manchester United

Now run by Scot un-Knighted

Is down in a rut

A stagnancy glut

And #Arsenal fans are delighted!

 

Sachin, Sachin Tendulkar

For him we down sambucca

Now he has retired

The world’s most admired

Three cheers, we doff hats to you sir!

 

SHOWBIZ

Hear Bruce & Kris split up today

Two decades, two years, put away

We keep up no more

Our sympathies pour

To requests to butt out, we say “K”.

 

OTHER POLITICIANS

The “Market-Woman General”

The question becomes seminal

Pray, what does she do?

I don’t know, do you?

And yet they had a carnival.

 

Ah, Fani, what a fella

His tweet last night was hella

Deziani’s got poise

Okonjo rules boys

But oh, what he said about Stella!

 

At Bukky’s some poor paupers died

11 or “just” 4 (who lied?)

But no one will pay

As we learnt today

DPO’s been ordered to slide.

 

PSYCHOPHANCY

In times of acute tribalism

Days of debased “parapoism”

We all have one hope

Let’s bathe with the soap

Of scented Akpabioism

 

It’s said to be just like Awoism,

Zikism and Nkrumanism

Zik, Kwame we know

But where will we go

To find the roots of Akpabioism?

 

We need to ditch this prism

Through which we’ve caused our schism

Our health,roads & schools

Our rage at “those fools”

Just needs patriotism