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Showing posts with label APC. Show all posts

HOW LAI MOHAMMED, NBC HEAD FOR SHOWDOWN OVER N10 BILLION FRAUD, MINISTER IN HOT DEAL WITH INTERPOL MOST WANTED SUSPECT

HOW LAI MOHAMMED, NBC HEAD FOR SHOWDOWN OVER N10 BILLION FRAUD, MINISTER IN HOT DEAL WITH INTERPOL MOST WANTED SUSPECT


The levels and extents of monumental damages, economy sabotage and corrupt practices of the the Buhari led regime in Nigeria cannot be assertained while they are still holding the sway and presiding over the affairs of the country.


The APC regime since 2015 and till date has corruptly milked this country to the marrows than all the government's since Independent put together but only the demised of this current Regime will exposed it like that of the late Gen. Sani Abacha. Even then only Abacha loots we reconned with, not other generals and administrators who individually and blindly looted our common wealth.


Major General Muhammadu Buhari and his family are not saints in the affairs of this country. Buhari and his ministers are the worst thing that has ever happened to Nigeria in all fronts and sectors in the past 60 years.


The desperate attempts by Nigeria’s Information Minister, Mr Lai Mohammed to use the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to circumvent ongoing corruption investigations mounted against his person by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Offences Commission (ICPC) may have ignited a simmering animosity between him and the leadership of the parastatal.


This is even as the Information Minister’s business relationship with Toyin Subairu has raised serious concerns amongst the leadership of the NBC. Subairu who was on the Interpol wanted list for fraud, allegedly launders funds for Bola Ahmed Tinubu, using his now moribund HiTV.


Last week (Thursday) the minister verbally directed the Director-General of the NBC Mr Balarebe Ilela to write to him demanding for the release of N10 billion illegally being kept by his Ministry since January but was coldly ignored by the DG. The money was a loan provided to the Commission by the Federal Government to enable it successfully prosecute the Digital Switch Over (DSO) which is an internationally mandatory protocol to digitize television broadcast in every nation of the world.


According to Pointblanknews.com, last week reported exclusively that rather than the money released directly to the NBC, Mr Mohammed used his influence with the Federal Ministry of Finance to divert the money to a private account where it is estimated to have generated interest already amounting to over One Billion Naira. Complaints from service providers to the project and a petition to the ICPC culminated in the anti-graft agency raiding the NBC and seizing files, software and computers.


Mr Mohammed is also accused of deliberately duplicating payment to one of the companies, Inview Nigeria Limited owned by his business partner Mr Toyin Subairu among several other dubious actions taken allegedly aimed at skimming the N10 Billion.


Besides,  all through last week the commission rigorously interrogated two main accounting officers of the ministry, the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Ngozi Ayanwuotaku and the Ministry’s Director of Finance, Mr Kayode  Musbau who was reported to have fainted,(foaming from the mouth) at a point on Wednesday and had to be rushed for medical attention. He was said to have been stabilized and returned for a continuation of the process on Thursday.


The testimonies of both officials according to ICPC sources thoroughly indicted Mr Mohammed as the sole mastermind of the fraud. Mr Musbau confessed to disbursing the money to some persons and companies on the directive of Mr Mohammed.


But Dr Ayanwuotaku who is the accounting Minister of the Ministry strongly denied any knowledge of the money coming to any bank accounts of the ministry either at the Treasury Single Accounts (TSA) or any other accounts held or kept by the ministry.


It was after Dr Anyanwuotaku’s testimony that Mr Musbau who reportedly sang like a canary was hauled in. Mr Musbau is a kinsman of the Minister from Offa in Kwara State was said to have been serving at the ministry of Police Affairs until 2019 when Lai Mohammed was reappointed for a second term lobbied the Office of the Head of Service to have him transferred to the ministry information. Mr Mohammed’s lobby for the transfer of Musbau to his office was seen as a move to secure his dealings which often got leaked and have been the source of many petitions to anti-graft agencies.

In the ICPC interrogation, which was video recorded, Musbau came in grandstanding. He claimed there was nothing wrong with the Ministry of Information warehousing the money for the DSO project as the supervising ministry of the NBC which he claimed had demonstrated overtime the propensity to mismanage public funds. He pointed out the controversy of a N2.5 Billion alleged fraud by a former DG of the Commission, Mr Ishaq Modibbo Kawu and an earlier one by another former DG Mr Emeka Mbah both of whom are standing criminal trials at the moment.


But Mr Musbau began to falter when the investigators asked him to provide the details of account where the money was been warehoused. Besides, when asked to provide his own personal Bank Verification Number (BVN) and National Identity Number (NIN) he claimed he could neither remember his BVN nor dial the shortcut on his phone because the line he came with wasn’t the line he used in opening his bank accounts. He also claimed he was yet to register for the NIN. But one of the investigators punched his laptop and printed out Mr Musbau’s NIN and BVN and cautioned him against attempting to tell any more lies in the course of the interview. “Theres nothing we are asking you that we don’t already know” they told him.


It was after this encounter that Musbau knowing he had been cornered decided to save his own neck and claimed that he was just a civil servant who diligently obeyed directives from his minister. He even disclosed to the investigators that most of the N10 Billion had been spent -directly disbursed by him on the instruction of Mr Mohammed to beneficiary companies namely Inview Nigeria Limited, Pinnacle Communications, Integrated Television Services (ITS) and Outsource Nigeria Limited. He said only a foreign company by name SES based in Luxembourg was yet to be paid as they were unable to reach “understanding” with Mr Mohammed.


He said Mr Mohammed had tried to get a consultant for SES which was not  registered in Nigeria  to help them facilitate their payment which cannot be “straight forward” because of their unregistered status, but “the white people mistook his good intentions for an attempt to arm-twist them into giving kickbacks and angrily rejected the money”. He said the money amounted to about $5 million USD or N2.4 billion. He furthermore disclosed that an excess of N600 Million which was earmarked for the NBC recurrent expenditure on running the DSO project had been substantially depleted by Lai Mohammed. He told the ICPC that Dr Anyanwuotaku wasn’t told of the money on the instructions of the  Minister because the woman was always ‘too rigid’.


On getting details of the indicting testimonies given to the ICPC by Mr Musbau and the Permanent Secretary, Mr Mohammed desperately reached out to the NBC DG to ask that the commission initiates a letter to him asking for the full DSO money. Besides he was said to have directed the DG and his management Staff to hold a press conference and deny Pointblanknews.com last week’s investigative report which exposed his scam  of diverting the money and the ICPC Probe. Aides of the Minister complained that the new DG has been rude and insubordinate refusing to cooperate with the Ministry to work as a team to address the current challenges


But the DG, Mr Illela who was appointed only two months ago was only being careful not to suffer the same fate like his two predecessors who were successfully sacrificed by Lai Mohammed who made them the culprits of his own scams when they were only following his directives.


The most recent was the N2.5 Billion scam where the NBC following Mr Mohammed’s verbal directive just like the one been presently ignored, asked the then NBC DG, Mr Kawu to bring a memo applying for N2.5 billion to be paid to Pinnacle Communications as seed money to build infrastructure for the DSO project. Mr Kawu carried out the directive and the money was paid to the company. But an outcry from players within the industry blew the scam wide open which brought the ICPC.


But Mr Mohammed claimed he was deceived by the same Kawu he verbally directed to initiate a memo and using his influence as a major stakeholder of the APC and the government, the ICPC was unable to rein him in and drag him before the courts to answer to his crime which was not only obvious from the approval he hastily gave to the memo to release the N2.5Billion but N150 Million was traced from Pinnacle Communications directly to the accounts of his son, Mr Folajimi Jubril Mohammed who is now a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly.


Besides, pointblanknews.com finding indicated that Kawu was in no place to deceive the Minister as there was no love lost between Kawu and Mr Mohammed because of the former’s rising popularity in Kwara State at the time . It was said the former DG was been pressured to run for governor. Kawu’s popularity in Kwara according to sources was said to have kindled Mohammed’s hostility. Thus the memo which Kawu acquiesced to writing which cost him his job and a prolonged prosecution which is still ongoing was actually an act of submission not to offend the minister who he believed was looking for excuse to deal with him.


Before Kawu, Mr Mohammed had also sacrificed Mr Mbah the DG he met in the NBC when he was appointed a minister in 2015 in similar circumstances. In 2016 Mr Mohammed was said to have convened a meeting between the service providers of the DSO Project, the NBC and himself where he suggested that to assure the contractors of timely payment for any contractors discharged the money earmarked for their payments will be kept in Zenith bank rather than deposit it in the TSA.


But when the anti-graft agencies got whiff of the deal and came calling Mr Mohammed washed his hands off. Not even his approval and the minutes of meetings he conveyed to take the decision produced by Mr Mbah was enough to extricate him and rein-in Mr Mohammed the mastermind.


With the benefit of knowing about these previously exploits where the DG of the NBC ended up carrying the cans when the chips were down, while Mr Mohammed always worked free despite his very filthy fingers, the new DG Mr Illela is said to be on the alert refusing to obey the implicating directives Lai Mohammed was churning out to escape the ICPC dragnet. Illela reportedly angrily complained that why does Mohammed now want to return the money when it has become a subject of investigation and when almost 75% of it had been unilaterally spent without recourse to the commission. Beside he was said to have grumbled to the hearing of staff loyal to Mr Mohammed that the role of the NBC does not include defending the person of the Minister from allegations or whatever.


These utterances. got to the Minister who is said to be now telling all that care to listen that the ICPC probe is a plot of the Hausa-Fulani Cabal in the APC Government led by the Attorney-General Abubakar Malami and  a nephew of the President one Tunde Sabiu to bring him down because of his perceived loyalty to former Lagos State Governor and self-styled APC National Leader Mr Bola Ahmed Tinubu. But he has reportedly vowed to bring down the roof on those behind his travails as he claims to have evidence that some of them benefitted heavily from the N10 billion.


But a source informed Pointbanknews.com that Mr Mohammed is drowning and therefore clutching at any and every straw he could conjure. The source said The Attorney General and Mr Sabiu may not even be aware of the issue except they read it in the media. “I don’t understand why he’s looking for people to stain rather than face his demons” a presidency official told our reporter on Monday wondering if it was Malami and Sabiu that have been responsible for the several other allegations of corruption made against him since 2015.


Indeed, Mr Mohammed’s reign in the Information Ministry has been a glossary of allegations and tales of fraud and corruption. In his first tenure in 2016 he was implicated in a N200 million scam involving the dubious procurement of 18.5 KVA and 13KVA generators but in actual fact nothing was to be suplied. When the scam was exposed, Mr Mohammed and his officials retreated and blamed the contractor for misunderstanding. But the money was kept aside. When they thought no one was watching anymore on March 29, 2017 one Bunmi Morgridge said to be the Deputy Director of General Services at the time raised a memo asking for the supply of some urgent office equipment including five Ford Ranger pick-ups and computer hardware and software. The memo was sent to the then acting Permanent Secretary one Hassan Dayar who quickly recommended the procurement. At the end of it all, they conjured papers and vouchers and claimed a contract for the supply of office equipment worth N180 Million was awarded. But no such supplies were ever made. The money was allegedly shared by the Mr and his management.  The scam was exposed but neither the EFCC nor the ICPC ever prosecuted anyone involved in the glaring act of corruption.


Mr Mohammed’s influence was believed to have been at play once more.  Another mega fraud exposed  involved the immediate past Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Grace Gekpe. A petition by one Clifford Ume addressed to the Special Presidential Investigative Panel (SPIP) claimed that money amounting to over N459 Million was embezzled by the duo of Lai Mohammed and Mrs Gekpe. The monies he said were proceeds of phantom appropriations for cultural centers in several Nigerian foreign missions which either do not exist or have been closed down since 2011.


The SPIP in its investigation and in an Executive Brief to President Buhari established that there have been several inflows and lodgments in Mrs Gekpe’s accounts which can only be the proceeds of corruption. The report noted that the total inflow into her UBA Savings Account amounted to N89,831,916.00 while her account in EcoBank had a total inflow of N299.385,428.92. Furthermore, she had lodgement amounting to N6, 971,265.00 in her Heritage Bank Account. Mrs Gekpe was also said by the panel to have a domiciliary Account worth $107,655.75 in her UBA Domiciliary Account.


Under interrogation by the SPIP the lady was said to have confessed that most of the cash were kept for her Honorable Minister, Mr Mohammed.


Indeed, Mr Mohammed’s track record of fraud and corrupt practices really stink. But so far the ICPC has been helpless. The more they dug into his grimy activities, the more powerful he would seem to have become. But investigators are hopeful that his magic wand to escape being held accountable for his sleazy crimes may have waned of late. His panic and desperate reaction to the exposure of his latest fraud and the investigative activities of the ICPC is seen as evidence that his wall of protection to loot with abandon is already caving in.

Lai Mohammed might be the next to go down....he has been fighting to bury his crooked ways


The levels and extents of monumental damages, economy sabotage and corrupt practices of the the Buhari led regime in Nigeria cannot be assertained while they are still holding the sway and presiding over the affairs of the country.


The APC regime since 2015 and till date has corruptly milked this country to the marrows than all the government's since Independent put together but only the demised of this current Regime will exposed it like that of the late Gen. Sani Abacha. Even then only Abacha loots we reconned with, not other generals and administrators who individually and blindly looted our common wealth.


Major General Muhammadu Buhari and his family are not saints in the affairs of this country. Buhari and his ministers are the worst thing that has ever happened to Nigeria in all fronts and sectors in the past 60 years.


The desperate attempts by Nigeria’s Information Minister, Mr Lai Mohammed to use the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to circumvent ongoing corruption investigations mounted against his person by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Offences Commission (ICPC) may have ignited a simmering animosity between him and the leadership of the parastatal.


This is even as the Information Minister’s business relationship with Toyin Subairu has raised serious concerns amongst the leadership of the NBC. Subairu who was on the Interpol wanted list for fraud, allegedly launders funds for Bola Ahmed Tinubu, using his now moribund HiTV.


Last week (Thursday) the minister verbally directed the Director-General of the NBC Mr Balarebe Ilela to write to him demanding for the release of N10 billion illegally being kept by his Ministry since January but was coldly ignored by the DG. The money was a loan provided to the Commission by the Federal Government to enable it successfully prosecute the Digital Switch Over (DSO) which is an internationally mandatory protocol to digitize television broadcast in every nation of the world.


According to Pointblanknews.com, last week reported exclusively that rather than the money released directly to the NBC, Mr Mohammed used his influence with the Federal Ministry of Finance to divert the money to a private account where it is estimated to have generated interest already amounting to over One Billion Naira. Complaints from service providers to the project and a petition to the ICPC culminated in the anti-graft agency raiding the NBC and seizing files, software and computers.


Mr Mohammed is also accused of deliberately duplicating payment to one of the companies, Inview Nigeria Limited owned by his business partner Mr Toyin Subairu among several other dubious actions taken allegedly aimed at skimming the N10 Billion.


Besides,  all through last week the commission rigorously interrogated two main accounting officers of the ministry, the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Ngozi Ayanwuotaku and the Ministry’s Director of Finance, Mr Kayode  Musbau who was reported to have fainted,(foaming from the mouth) at a point on Wednesday and had to be rushed for medical attention. He was said to have been stabilized and returned for a continuation of the process on Thursday.


The testimonies of both officials according to ICPC sources thoroughly indicted Mr Mohammed as the sole mastermind of the fraud. Mr Musbau confessed to disbursing the money to some persons and companies on the directive of Mr Mohammed.


But Dr Ayanwuotaku who is the accounting Minister of the Ministry strongly denied any knowledge of the money coming to any bank accounts of the ministry either at the Treasury Single Accounts (TSA) or any other accounts held or kept by the ministry.


It was after Dr Anyanwuotaku’s testimony that Mr Musbau who reportedly sang like a canary was hauled in. Mr Musbau is a kinsman of the Minister from Offa in Kwara State was said to have been serving at the ministry of Police Affairs until 2019 when Lai Mohammed was reappointed for a second term lobbied the Office of the Head of Service to have him transferred to the ministry information. Mr Mohammed’s lobby for the transfer of Musbau to his office was seen as a move to secure his dealings which often got leaked and have been the source of many petitions to anti-graft agencies.

In the ICPC interrogation, which was video recorded, Musbau came in grandstanding. He claimed there was nothing wrong with the Ministry of Information warehousing the money for the DSO project as the supervising ministry of the NBC which he claimed had demonstrated overtime the propensity to mismanage public funds. He pointed out the controversy of a N2.5 Billion alleged fraud by a former DG of the Commission, Mr Ishaq Modibbo Kawu and an earlier one by another former DG Mr Emeka Mbah both of whom are standing criminal trials at the moment.


But Mr Musbau began to falter when the investigators asked him to provide the details of account where the money was been warehoused. Besides, when asked to provide his own personal Bank Verification Number (BVN) and National Identity Number (NIN) he claimed he could neither remember his BVN nor dial the shortcut on his phone because the line he came with wasn’t the line he used in opening his bank accounts. He also claimed he was yet to register for the NIN. But one of the investigators punched his laptop and printed out Mr Musbau’s NIN and BVN and cautioned him against attempting to tell any more lies in the course of the interview. “Theres nothing we are asking you that we don’t already know” they told him.


It was after this encounter that Musbau knowing he had been cornered decided to save his own neck and claimed that he was just a civil servant who diligently obeyed directives from his minister. He even disclosed to the investigators that most of the N10 Billion had been spent -directly disbursed by him on the instruction of Mr Mohammed to beneficiary companies namely Inview Nigeria Limited, Pinnacle Communications, Integrated Television Services (ITS) and Outsource Nigeria Limited. He said only a foreign company by name SES based in Luxembourg was yet to be paid as they were unable to reach “understanding” with Mr Mohammed.


He said Mr Mohammed had tried to get a consultant for SES which was not  registered in Nigeria  to help them facilitate their payment which cannot be “straight forward” because of their unregistered status, but “the white people mistook his good intentions for an attempt to arm-twist them into giving kickbacks and angrily rejected the money”. He said the money amounted to about $5 million USD or N2.4 billion. He furthermore disclosed that an excess of N600 Million which was earmarked for the NBC recurrent expenditure on running the DSO project had been substantially depleted by Lai Mohammed. He told the ICPC that Dr Anyanwuotaku wasn’t told of the money on the instructions of the  Minister because the woman was always ‘too rigid’.


On getting details of the indicting testimonies given to the ICPC by Mr Musbau and the Permanent Secretary, Mr Mohammed desperately reached out to the NBC DG to ask that the commission initiates a letter to him asking for the full DSO money. Besides he was said to have directed the DG and his management Staff to hold a press conference and deny Pointblanknews.com last week’s investigative report which exposed his scam  of diverting the money and the ICPC Probe. Aides of the Minister complained that the new DG has been rude and insubordinate refusing to cooperate with the Ministry to work as a team to address the current challenges


But the DG, Mr Illela who was appointed only two months ago was only being careful not to suffer the same fate like his two predecessors who were successfully sacrificed by Lai Mohammed who made them the culprits of his own scams when they were only following his directives.


The most recent was the N2.5 Billion scam where the NBC following Mr Mohammed’s verbal directive just like the one been presently ignored, asked the then NBC DG, Mr Kawu to bring a memo applying for N2.5 billion to be paid to Pinnacle Communications as seed money to build infrastructure for the DSO project. Mr Kawu carried out the directive and the money was paid to the company. But an outcry from players within the industry blew the scam wide open which brought the ICPC.


But Mr Mohammed claimed he was deceived by the same Kawu he verbally directed to initiate a memo and using his influence as a major stakeholder of the APC and the government, the ICPC was unable to rein him in and drag him before the courts to answer to his crime which was not only obvious from the approval he hastily gave to the memo to release the N2.5Billion but N150 Million was traced from Pinnacle Communications directly to the accounts of his son, Mr Folajimi Jubril Mohammed who is now a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly.


Besides, pointblanknews.com finding indicated that Kawu was in no place to deceive the Minister as there was no love lost between Kawu and Mr Mohammed because of the former’s rising popularity in Kwara State at the time . It was said the former DG was been pressured to run for governor. Kawu’s popularity in Kwara according to sources was said to have kindled Mohammed’s hostility. Thus the memo which Kawu acquiesced to writing which cost him his job and a prolonged prosecution which is still ongoing was actually an act of submission not to offend the minister who he believed was looking for excuse to deal with him.


Before Kawu, Mr Mohammed had also sacrificed Mr Mbah the DG he met in the NBC when he was appointed a minister in 2015 in similar circumstances. In 2016 Mr Mohammed was said to have convened a meeting between the service providers of the DSO Project, the NBC and himself where he suggested that to assure the contractors of timely payment for any contractors discharged the money earmarked for their payments will be kept in Zenith bank rather than deposit it in the TSA.


But when the anti-graft agencies got whiff of the deal and came calling Mr Mohammed washed his hands off. Not even his approval and the minutes of meetings he conveyed to take the decision produced by Mr Mbah was enough to extricate him and rein-in Mr Mohammed the mastermind.


With the benefit of knowing about these previously exploits where the DG of the NBC ended up carrying the cans when the chips were down, while Mr Mohammed always worked free despite his very filthy fingers, the new DG Mr Illela is said to be on the alert refusing to obey the implicating directives Lai Mohammed was churning out to escape the ICPC dragnet. Illela reportedly angrily complained that why does Mohammed now want to return the money when it has become a subject of investigation and when almost 75% of it had been unilaterally spent without recourse to the commission. Beside he was said to have grumbled to the hearing of staff loyal to Mr Mohammed that the role of the NBC does not include defending the person of the Minister from allegations or whatever.


These utterances. got to the Minister who is said to be now telling all that care to listen that the ICPC probe is a plot of the Hausa-Fulani Cabal in the APC Government led by the Attorney-General Abubakar Malami and  a nephew of the President one Tunde Sabiu to bring him down because of his perceived loyalty to former Lagos State Governor and self-styled APC National Leader Mr Bola Ahmed Tinubu. But he has reportedly vowed to bring down the roof on those behind his travails as he claims to have evidence that some of them benefitted heavily from the N10 billion.


But a source informed Pointbanknews.com that Mr Mohammed is drowning and therefore clutching at any and every straw he could conjure. The source said The Attorney General and Mr Sabiu may not even be aware of the issue except they read it in the media. “I don’t understand why he’s looking for people to stain rather than face his demons” a presidency official told our reporter on Monday wondering if it was Malami and Sabiu that have been responsible for the several other allegations of corruption made against him since 2015.


Indeed, Mr Mohammed’s reign in the Information Ministry has been a glossary of allegations and tales of fraud and corruption. In his first tenure in 2016 he was implicated in a N200 million scam involving the dubious procurement of 18.5 KVA and 13KVA generators but in actual fact nothing was to be suplied. When the scam was exposed, Mr Mohammed and his officials retreated and blamed the contractor for misunderstanding. But the money was kept aside. When they thought no one was watching anymore on March 29, 2017 one Bunmi Morgridge said to be the Deputy Director of General Services at the time raised a memo asking for the supply of some urgent office equipment including five Ford Ranger pick-ups and computer hardware and software. The memo was sent to the then acting Permanent Secretary one Hassan Dayar who quickly recommended the procurement. At the end of it all, they conjured papers and vouchers and claimed a contract for the supply of office equipment worth N180 Million was awarded. But no such supplies were ever made. The money was allegedly shared by the Mr and his management.  The scam was exposed but neither the EFCC nor the ICPC ever prosecuted anyone involved in the glaring act of corruption.


Mr Mohammed’s influence was believed to have been at play once more.  Another mega fraud exposed  involved the immediate past Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Grace Gekpe. A petition by one Clifford Ume addressed to the Special Presidential Investigative Panel (SPIP) claimed that money amounting to over N459 Million was embezzled by the duo of Lai Mohammed and Mrs Gekpe. The monies he said were proceeds of phantom appropriations for cultural centers in several Nigerian foreign missions which either do not exist or have been closed down since 2011.


The SPIP in its investigation and in an Executive Brief to President Buhari established that there have been several inflows and lodgments in Mrs Gekpe’s accounts which can only be the proceeds of corruption. The report noted that the total inflow into her UBA Savings Account amounted to N89,831,916.00 while her account in EcoBank had a total inflow of N299.385,428.92. Furthermore, she had lodgement amounting to N6, 971,265.00 in her Heritage Bank Account. Mrs Gekpe was also said by the panel to have a domiciliary Account worth $107,655.75 in her UBA Domiciliary Account.


Under interrogation by the SPIP the lady was said to have confessed that most of the cash were kept for her Honorable Minister, Mr Mohammed.


Indeed, Mr Mohammed’s track record of fraud and corrupt practices really stink. But so far the ICPC has been helpless. The more they dug into his grimy activities, the more powerful he would seem to have become. But investigators are hopeful that his magic wand to escape being held accountable for his sleazy crimes may have waned of late. His panic and desperate reaction to the exposure of his latest fraud and the investigative activities of the ICPC is seen as evidence that his wall of protection to loot with abandon is already caving in.

Lai Mohammed might be the next to go down....he has been fighting to bury his crooked ways

Party Crisis: Osun APC Scribe, Frm. Chair, TOP Leaders Arraigned In Court

Party Crisis: Osun APC Scribe, Frm. Chair, TOP Leaders Arraigned In Court


The Caretaker Secretary of the All Progressives Congress in the State of Osun, Hon Rasaq Salinsile and former Chairman of the party, Reverend Adelowo Adebiyi were today arraigned before an Osogbo Magistrate Court.


Arraigned alongside Salinsile and Adebiyi are former Commissioner for Works and Transports, Engr. Kazeem Salami, former Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Special Needs, Com. Biyi Odunlade, former Special Adviser to the Governor on Taxation, Barr. Gbenga Akano , a member of the APC in Ilesa, Alaba Popoola and Azeez Adekunle .


They were arraigned before Magistrate Olusegun Ayilara few minutes ago by the police on the allegations of assault, conspiracy, among others.


But the APC chieftains pleaded not guilty to the allegations.Defence Counsels, Abdulfatai Abdulsalam and Muftau Adediran applied for the bail of the APC chieftains on self recognisance


Magistrate Olusegun Ayilara granted bail to

Salinsile, Adebiyi, Salami, Odunlade and Akano, on self recognisance in a sum of N5million each.


The Magistrate also admitted Alaba and Adekunle to bail in a sum of N5million with one surety each. The surety must either be a civil servant or house owner residing within the jurisdiction of the magistrate.


The case was adjourned till September 24 for mention.


Source: Social media


The Caretaker Secretary of the All Progressives Congress in the State of Osun, Hon Rasaq Salinsile and former Chairman of the party, Reverend Adelowo Adebiyi were today arraigned before an Osogbo Magistrate Court.


Arraigned alongside Salinsile and Adebiyi are former Commissioner for Works and Transports, Engr. Kazeem Salami, former Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Special Needs, Com. Biyi Odunlade, former Special Adviser to the Governor on Taxation, Barr. Gbenga Akano , a member of the APC in Ilesa, Alaba Popoola and Azeez Adekunle .


They were arraigned before Magistrate Olusegun Ayilara few minutes ago by the police on the allegations of assault, conspiracy, among others.


But the APC chieftains pleaded not guilty to the allegations.Defence Counsels, Abdulfatai Abdulsalam and Muftau Adediran applied for the bail of the APC chieftains on self recognisance


Magistrate Olusegun Ayilara granted bail to

Salinsile, Adebiyi, Salami, Odunlade and Akano, on self recognisance in a sum of N5million each.


The Magistrate also admitted Alaba and Adekunle to bail in a sum of N5million with one surety each. The surety must either be a civil servant or house owner residing within the jurisdiction of the magistrate.


The case was adjourned till September 24 for mention.


Source: Social media

BLOODY: APC intra-party crises deepens as factions clash in Osogbo

BLOODY: APC intra-party crises deepens as factions clash in Osogbo

 

Gunshots were heard along Ogo-Oluw- Abere route of the popular Gbangan/Ibadan road of the anti-riot police deployed to ensure peace is restored at the APC party Secretariat when the two factions clashed.

The movement of vehicles were also brief interrupted as a result of the violence confrontation at the APC party office beside GTBank.

The known two factions of the ruling party in the state aeparately control by the incumbent Governor of the state Mr Gboyega Oyetola and his predecessor who is also present Interior Minister Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola are at longer head for the battle to control the party.



More details later.

 

Gunshots were heard along Ogo-Oluw- Abere route of the popular Gbangan/Ibadan road of the anti-riot police deployed to ensure peace is restored at the APC party Secretariat when the two factions clashed.

The movement of vehicles were also brief interrupted as a result of the violence confrontation at the APC party office beside GTBank.

The known two factions of the ruling party in the state aeparately control by the incumbent Governor of the state Mr Gboyega Oyetola and his predecessor who is also present Interior Minister Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola are at longer head for the battle to control the party.



More details later.

Happy 64th Birthday to Ogbeni Himself

Happy 64th Birthday to Ogbeni Himself

 

I felicitates with an ICON and SYMBOL Ogbeni Abdulrauf Adedoji Aregbesola on his birthday celebration.

As you mark your 64th birthday anniversary, I join your family, friends and well wishers all over the world to thank Almighty God for your life and also congratulating you on this joyous occasion.

It is my prayer that, as we expect a better society than our present state of affairs, God will continue to grant you good health, peace of mind, body and soul and happiness.

 Happy birthday. CHEERS!!!!

Comrade 'Dele Abiola

 

I felicitates with an ICON and SYMBOL Ogbeni Abdulrauf Adedoji Aregbesola on his birthday celebration.

As you mark your 64th birthday anniversary, I join your family, friends and well wishers all over the world to thank Almighty God for your life and also congratulating you on this joyous occasion.

It is my prayer that, as we expect a better society than our present state of affairs, God will continue to grant you good health, peace of mind, body and soul and happiness.

 Happy birthday. CHEERS!!!!

Comrade 'Dele Abiola

PRESS RELEASE: Oyo Govt Declares Friday Public Holiday for Hitch Free Local government Election

PRESS RELEASE: Oyo Govt Declares Friday Public Holiday for Hitch Free Local government Election

The Government of Oyo State has announced Friday, May 21, 2021, as public holiday.

A statement by Mr. Taiwo Adisa, Chief Press Secretary to Governor 'Seyi Makinde, confirmed that the governor approved the holiday to enable the state conduct a hitch free local government election holding on Saturday, May 22, 2021.

The statement urged every resident of Oyo State to go about their duties peacefully, while coming out en masse to their respective voting areas and participate in the election.

The statement read: "His Excellency, Governor 'Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, has authorised the declaration of Friday, May 21, 2021, as public holiday.

"The declaration of the holiday is to enable residents of the state participate freely in the council elections billed to hold on Saturday May 22, 2021.

"Every indigene and resident of the state is hereby enjoined to go about his or her  business peacefully, while trooping out en masse to their respective voting areas and perform the civic responsibility on  Saturday."


Signed 

Taiwo Adisa 

Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde 

May 20, 2021.

The Government of Oyo State has announced Friday, May 21, 2021, as public holiday.

A statement by Mr. Taiwo Adisa, Chief Press Secretary to Governor 'Seyi Makinde, confirmed that the governor approved the holiday to enable the state conduct a hitch free local government election holding on Saturday, May 22, 2021.

The statement urged every resident of Oyo State to go about their duties peacefully, while coming out en masse to their respective voting areas and participate in the election.

The statement read: "His Excellency, Governor 'Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, has authorised the declaration of Friday, May 21, 2021, as public holiday.

"The declaration of the holiday is to enable residents of the state participate freely in the council elections billed to hold on Saturday May 22, 2021.

"Every indigene and resident of the state is hereby enjoined to go about his or her  business peacefully, while trooping out en masse to their respective voting areas and perform the civic responsibility on  Saturday."


Signed 

Taiwo Adisa 

Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde 

May 20, 2021.

Ortom says governor of Bauchi State, is part of the terrorist Fulani organisation that is terrorising the country

Ortom says governor of Bauchi State, is part of the terrorist Fulani organisation that is terrorising the country

Ortom

A governor in one of the North Central state of Nigrria, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has accused Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed, of being a terrorist based on his support for herdsmen using AK-47s.


The Benue State Governor who spoke while addressing journalists in Makurdi on Monday, said Mohammed must be a terrorist for supporting foreign herdsmen wielding arms illegally.


According to him: “I wouldn’t want to be joining (taking) issues with my brother, friend, and colleague – Bauchi Governor. But since he has continued to vilify, intimidate and blackmail me. It is said that silence is consent. I am compelled to respond to him.


He said: “I am beginning to think that my brother, the governor of Bauchi State, is part of the terrorist Fulani organisation that is terrorising this country.


“Why do I say this? This is the same governor who took the oath of office to protect the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This constitution does not leave room for allowing foreign herdsmen to come in without valid papers.


“This is a man who says that a Fulani man is a global man and can come in from anywhere and enter Nigeria. It is quite disappointing to hear a governor who took the oath of office, maybe he should go back and check the oath of office he took to check whether the allowing foreign terrorist Fulani herdsmen to come into Nigeria, is protecting the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Ortom said.


Also reacting to Mohammed’s statement, wherein he claimed herders can carry AK-47s to defend themselves, Ortom said the governor has to revisit the constitution to know its provisions on the matter and also tender an unreserved apology to Nigerians.


He said, “I don’t know where the constitution of this country allows any man or woman who is not licensed by security in the country to carry even a Dane gun, how much more weapons like AK-47, AK-49 and several other sophisticated weapons. The Land Use Act permits governors; like here in Benue State, I have the sole authority over land. If the Federal Government comes here to execute a project, they ask for land from me and until I grant the certificate of occupancy, they cannot do anything, whether in the forest, let him go and read (the) Land Use Charge. The governor holds the land on behalf of the people.”


Condemning the justification Mohammed gave for his AK-47 remarks, Ortom said the Bauchi State governor should apologise to Nigerians, especially those who have been victims of attacks by herdsmen in the past.


“Even his so-called response to try to run away from this thing implicated him more because he said what he said on national television, everyone heard him and his defence for saying that did not go well with us. I think the governor of Bauchi State should come out and apologise to Nigerians, it will be consoling. If he apologises, it will be appreciated but to keep arguing inflicts pain on some of us that have been victims of Fulani herdsmen and we're thinking that it's part of the conspiracy to wipe some people away, including Benue State,” Ortom said.


Ortom also said the governor of Bauchi State should be held responsible peradventure any evil befalls him. 


He said, “I want to think that with what he said and what those herdsmen wrote to me that they are going to assassinate me, Bala Mohammed is also part of it and if anything happens to me, I don't want anyone to be in doubt, Bala Mohammed should be held responsible especially... the condemnable remarks he made about herdsmen carrying AK-47 and can live anywhere in Nigeria whether in the forest or all that, he came back to say that Ortom is responsible for any hatred against Fulani herdsmen.


“I regard this as a way of vilifying me, profiling me towards assassination. He wants to instigate the Fulani people against me. I am not against Fulani people; they are in Benue State and they remain here. Some of my best friends are Fulani people and we relate very well. I am against the terrorist Fulani herdsmen coming from Mali, Niger, Senegal, Gambia, Cameroon, Ghana, and other parts of the world who want to seize our land and take over and create problems.


“Governor Bala Mohammed should learn from Governor (Abdullahi) Ganduje of Kano State who came out as a Fulani man and proffered a solution on how to handle this matter. If there is no hidden agenda, Bala Mohammed should take a cue from the Governor of Kano State. He should also take a cue from the Governor of Kaduna State who is against the Fulani herdsmen, he should take a cue from them. The Governor of Kaduna State has not hidden his hate for those foreign Fulani herdsmen who come with AK-47 and are killing his people.


“Bala Mohammed should take a cue from scholars who are of Fulani origin but want peace and unity of this country, who had come out to criticise Fulani herdsmen who come with AK-47 and killing, maiming, raping people and committing all sorts of atrocities. Is Bala Mohammed more Fulani than all these people? How about the Sultan of Sokoto who came out to say that out of 10 kidnappers today in Nigeria, 7 or 8 of them are Fulanis, is he more Fulani than the Sultan of Sokoto?”


Mohammed had last week defended his comment about armed herders, explaining that he used the use of AK-47s by Fulani herdsmen as a figure of speech for protection.


“It is a figure of speech to show you the despondence, the desperation and frustration and the agony that this particular person is exposed to by his own people, by his own tribe and by other tribes who have all seen him as a criminal and therefore, he has the inalienable right to protect himself,” the governor said during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.


The governor's comment on armed herdsmen had earlier triggered a wave of condemnation from his counterparts and Nigerians alike, increasing calls for the prohibition of open grazing.


Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, had earlier also knocked the Bauchi governor’s statement. 


“For what purpose? Bala Mohammed has even poured more petrol into the fire because his speech is unexpected of him. It will become very serious and nobody will be spared,” Akeredolu, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), had noted.

Ortom

A governor in one of the North Central state of Nigrria, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has accused Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed, of being a terrorist based on his support for herdsmen using AK-47s.


The Benue State Governor who spoke while addressing journalists in Makurdi on Monday, said Mohammed must be a terrorist for supporting foreign herdsmen wielding arms illegally.


According to him: “I wouldn’t want to be joining (taking) issues with my brother, friend, and colleague – Bauchi Governor. But since he has continued to vilify, intimidate and blackmail me. It is said that silence is consent. I am compelled to respond to him.


He said: “I am beginning to think that my brother, the governor of Bauchi State, is part of the terrorist Fulani organisation that is terrorising this country.


“Why do I say this? This is the same governor who took the oath of office to protect the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This constitution does not leave room for allowing foreign herdsmen to come in without valid papers.


“This is a man who says that a Fulani man is a global man and can come in from anywhere and enter Nigeria. It is quite disappointing to hear a governor who took the oath of office, maybe he should go back and check the oath of office he took to check whether the allowing foreign terrorist Fulani herdsmen to come into Nigeria, is protecting the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Ortom said.


Also reacting to Mohammed’s statement, wherein he claimed herders can carry AK-47s to defend themselves, Ortom said the governor has to revisit the constitution to know its provisions on the matter and also tender an unreserved apology to Nigerians.


He said, “I don’t know where the constitution of this country allows any man or woman who is not licensed by security in the country to carry even a Dane gun, how much more weapons like AK-47, AK-49 and several other sophisticated weapons. The Land Use Act permits governors; like here in Benue State, I have the sole authority over land. If the Federal Government comes here to execute a project, they ask for land from me and until I grant the certificate of occupancy, they cannot do anything, whether in the forest, let him go and read (the) Land Use Charge. The governor holds the land on behalf of the people.”


Condemning the justification Mohammed gave for his AK-47 remarks, Ortom said the Bauchi State governor should apologise to Nigerians, especially those who have been victims of attacks by herdsmen in the past.


“Even his so-called response to try to run away from this thing implicated him more because he said what he said on national television, everyone heard him and his defence for saying that did not go well with us. I think the governor of Bauchi State should come out and apologise to Nigerians, it will be consoling. If he apologises, it will be appreciated but to keep arguing inflicts pain on some of us that have been victims of Fulani herdsmen and we're thinking that it's part of the conspiracy to wipe some people away, including Benue State,” Ortom said.


Ortom also said the governor of Bauchi State should be held responsible peradventure any evil befalls him. 


He said, “I want to think that with what he said and what those herdsmen wrote to me that they are going to assassinate me, Bala Mohammed is also part of it and if anything happens to me, I don't want anyone to be in doubt, Bala Mohammed should be held responsible especially... the condemnable remarks he made about herdsmen carrying AK-47 and can live anywhere in Nigeria whether in the forest or all that, he came back to say that Ortom is responsible for any hatred against Fulani herdsmen.


“I regard this as a way of vilifying me, profiling me towards assassination. He wants to instigate the Fulani people against me. I am not against Fulani people; they are in Benue State and they remain here. Some of my best friends are Fulani people and we relate very well. I am against the terrorist Fulani herdsmen coming from Mali, Niger, Senegal, Gambia, Cameroon, Ghana, and other parts of the world who want to seize our land and take over and create problems.


“Governor Bala Mohammed should learn from Governor (Abdullahi) Ganduje of Kano State who came out as a Fulani man and proffered a solution on how to handle this matter. If there is no hidden agenda, Bala Mohammed should take a cue from the Governor of Kano State. He should also take a cue from the Governor of Kaduna State who is against the Fulani herdsmen, he should take a cue from them. The Governor of Kaduna State has not hidden his hate for those foreign Fulani herdsmen who come with AK-47 and are killing his people.


“Bala Mohammed should take a cue from scholars who are of Fulani origin but want peace and unity of this country, who had come out to criticise Fulani herdsmen who come with AK-47 and killing, maiming, raping people and committing all sorts of atrocities. Is Bala Mohammed more Fulani than all these people? How about the Sultan of Sokoto who came out to say that out of 10 kidnappers today in Nigeria, 7 or 8 of them are Fulanis, is he more Fulani than the Sultan of Sokoto?”


Mohammed had last week defended his comment about armed herders, explaining that he used the use of AK-47s by Fulani herdsmen as a figure of speech for protection.


“It is a figure of speech to show you the despondence, the desperation and frustration and the agony that this particular person is exposed to by his own people, by his own tribe and by other tribes who have all seen him as a criminal and therefore, he has the inalienable right to protect himself,” the governor said during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.


The governor's comment on armed herdsmen had earlier triggered a wave of condemnation from his counterparts and Nigerians alike, increasing calls for the prohibition of open grazing.


Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, had earlier also knocked the Bauchi governor’s statement. 


“For what purpose? Bala Mohammed has even poured more petrol into the fire because his speech is unexpected of him. It will become very serious and nobody will be spared,” Akeredolu, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), had noted.

Adams Oshiomhole: The Rise and Fall of a Labour Hero by Kunle Ajayi

Adams Oshiomhole: The Rise and Fall of a Labour Hero by Kunle Ajayi

Adams Oshiomhole

Adams Oshiomhole is probably the closest thing to political power Nigeria’s labour movements will ever have. In a remarkable career, over four-and-a-half decades, he rose to the top of both the trade union movement in the country, became a state governor and then national chairperson of the All Progressive Congress (APC), one half of Nigeria’s two-party system.


 In mid-2000 his political career came to a dramatic end when a court upheld his suspension from the APC. Vibrant and effective, Oshiomhole’s career trajectory in many ways represents the wider political subjugation of Nigeria’s labour movement.

 How this labor hero was ultimately defeated, is worth a short note.


The 1980s and 1990s marked a decade of turmoil for the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), the country’s largest trade union federation. Its troubles were worsened by the military’s repeated attacks on the leftist bastions of the labouwr movement. However, Oshiomhole’s appointment as NLC president in 1999, after Nigeria’s return to civilian rule, seemed to mark the opening of a new heroic chapter in the development of the movement.


Oshiomhole, now 68, came from a modest background in Edo State in southern Nigeria. He was fortunate to find factory employment with Arewa Textiles in Kaduna, a city in the northwest known as a trade and transformation center. His colleagues soon elected him union secretary. In 1971, responding to bad labor practices at his workplace, he led a shop-floor revolt. Four years later, he had become a full-time trade union organizer. Around this time, he left for the UK to study labor and industrial relations at Ruskin College in Oxford. (Ruskin had developed a reputation as an educational institution providing higher education to workers.) Later, he would also study at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPS) in Kuru, Plateau State.


In 1982, Oshiomhole was appointed as the general secretary and chief executive of the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria. As a 2017 report into the union’s fortunes would note: “At its peak in the 1980s, the textile industry employed up to 500,000 workers directly, making it the second largest employer after the government.” This made Oshiomhole one of the most powerful trade union leaders in Nigeria.


Oshiomhole’s emergence as a Labour and political leader is best understood within the wider historical trajectory of the NLC. From the mid-1980s, the junta of Ibrahim Babangida (1985-1993) clamped down on radical organizations and social movements as part of its imposition of neoliberal structural adjustment programs. The labour movement and the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) were hounded by restrictions and state agents at every turn.


In the NLC, the internal rift between progressive and the liberal forces—epitomized by the battle between Jonathan Ihonde of the Academic Staff Union of Universities and Ali Ciroma of the Amalgamated Union (Ciroma was pushed out)—led to the emergence of the charismatic Paschal Bafyau, a moderate, as president of the NLC. Unwilling to kowtow to the radical momentum of the 1990s during which the June 12, 1993 revolts against dictatorship broke-out, Bafyau couldn’t lead a coherent NLC and Babangida intervened again with a caretaker leadership. Oshiomhole, then general secretary of the National Textiles and Garments Union, was chosen to be Paschal Bafyau’s vice president. He immediately hit the ground running imbuing confidence and overseeing the rebuilding of labour’s fighting capacity.


Elected as NLC president in 1999, Oshiomhole became the darling of all workers fighting anti-labour practices and using his oratory prowess in political debates to inspire mass action. The Oshiomhole of this era bore a striking resemblance to Michael Imoudu, the legendary “Labor leader No 1,” who led the 1945 Cost of Living Allowances (COLA) strike that lasted for 45 days and shook the foundations of the colonial state.


Oshiomhole had his most heroic moments as NLC president. Under him, workers went on general strikes seven times. These strikes were about salary increases but also fought against the deregulation of the oil sector and the continued implementation of structural adjustment policies.


Oshiomhole understood the power of strikes and mobilized for them with great vigor. He usually relocated NLC structures to Lagos as the commercials center once a strike was to be announced. His bold leadership stirred President Obasanjo to accuse him of running a parallel government in 2004.


However, the tail end of Oshiomhole’s second tenure at the head of the NLC saw the evolution of the labour hero. During this period, the NLC joined the National Privatization Council, which served as the engine room for the destabilization of the Nigerian economy as production-based, marking a clear betrayal of all that labour had been fighting against. This also meant that NLC was part of the council that supervised the sale of government-owned industries, shedding large numbers of jobs while empowering cronies in the private sector. By the end of Oshiomhole’s tenure, the labour movement was left in tatters industrially and politically.


Oshiomhole was drawn into electoral politics, helping to establish the Labour Party in 2007. However, this is where the parallels between Oshiomhole and Imoudu end. While Imoudu was left leaning in practice, Oshiomhole jilted the Labour Party in favor of the bourgeois dominant formation, the Action Congress (AC), in the same year in which the Labour Party was formed. (Oshiomhole only ran a double ticket after union pressure.) The AC ultimately merged with similar parties to form the All Progressives Congress (APC).


Oshiomhole and his allies registered the Labor Party and handed it over to liberal Labour leader Dan Nwanyanwu. Under this leadership the party sold frontrunner tickets to the highest bidder while restricting union members from democratic participation. The party has yet to recover from the scars of this experience.


After gaining the governorship seat under the AC banner, Oshiomhole actively worked to prevent workers strikes. In Edo state, workers went on strikes at their union levels, but Oshiomhole violently prevented a general strike. The biggest general strike in Nigeria so far has been the Occupy Nigeria strikes in 2012. Instead of supporting the protests, despite being in the opposition, Oshiomhole helped to break the strike through a negotiation committee of which he was major state actor.


As governor, he also conducted the largest casualization of the work force by any state government thus far. More than 50,000 workers, employed through the Youth Employment Scheme (YES) in 2009, were sacked in 2015 when Oshiomhole claimed on television that he “picked them” from the “gutters.” Since this period Oshiomhole has used his overwhelming influence on both the NLC and the Trade Union Council (TUC) to ensure that general strikes are virtually forbidden under the strong-handed rule of the APC.


Oshiomhole gained a popular following in mainstream politics, retaining his characteristic khaki “comrade’s jacket”, but was increasingly seen through the godfather persona of “OshioBaba.” He has sadly also remained an example and a mentor to many in the Labour movement, and Labour activists are frequently seen in alliances with mainstream politicians in the PDP and APC. Labour bureaucrats have abandoned the Labor Party and like Oshiomhole, openly flirt with the ruling class. This is one reason why the movement lost two general strikes. However, the formation of a cluster of revolutionary organizations has brought new hope to the left and radical working class. Member organizations of the Coalition for Revolution (CORE) have been leading #RevolutionNow; the struggle precursor of the #EndSARS Protests that shook the world in late 2020.


Adams Oshiomhole rose to limelight and greatness while serving the working people as a labour leader. He managed to run Edo state government for two terms playing the devil’s advocate. In power, Oshiomhole denied workers most of what he fought for during much of his tenure at the helm of the NLC. Oshiomhole’s recent rise and fall within the APC is often viewed as the final desecration of a labour icon. Yet, it is evident that the workers movement lost its visionary leadership much earlier.


Author: Kunle Wizeman Ajayi, a Nigerian trade union leader is chair of the Lagos branch of the African Action Congress.


Adams Oshiomhole

Adams Oshiomhole is probably the closest thing to political power Nigeria’s labour movements will ever have. In a remarkable career, over four-and-a-half decades, he rose to the top of both the trade union movement in the country, became a state governor and then national chairperson of the All Progressive Congress (APC), one half of Nigeria’s two-party system.


 In mid-2000 his political career came to a dramatic end when a court upheld his suspension from the APC. Vibrant and effective, Oshiomhole’s career trajectory in many ways represents the wider political subjugation of Nigeria’s labour movement.

 How this labor hero was ultimately defeated, is worth a short note.


The 1980s and 1990s marked a decade of turmoil for the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), the country’s largest trade union federation. Its troubles were worsened by the military’s repeated attacks on the leftist bastions of the labouwr movement. However, Oshiomhole’s appointment as NLC president in 1999, after Nigeria’s return to civilian rule, seemed to mark the opening of a new heroic chapter in the development of the movement.


Oshiomhole, now 68, came from a modest background in Edo State in southern Nigeria. He was fortunate to find factory employment with Arewa Textiles in Kaduna, a city in the northwest known as a trade and transformation center. His colleagues soon elected him union secretary. In 1971, responding to bad labor practices at his workplace, he led a shop-floor revolt. Four years later, he had become a full-time trade union organizer. Around this time, he left for the UK to study labor and industrial relations at Ruskin College in Oxford. (Ruskin had developed a reputation as an educational institution providing higher education to workers.) Later, he would also study at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPS) in Kuru, Plateau State.


In 1982, Oshiomhole was appointed as the general secretary and chief executive of the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria. As a 2017 report into the union’s fortunes would note: “At its peak in the 1980s, the textile industry employed up to 500,000 workers directly, making it the second largest employer after the government.” This made Oshiomhole one of the most powerful trade union leaders in Nigeria.


Oshiomhole’s emergence as a Labour and political leader is best understood within the wider historical trajectory of the NLC. From the mid-1980s, the junta of Ibrahim Babangida (1985-1993) clamped down on radical organizations and social movements as part of its imposition of neoliberal structural adjustment programs. The labour movement and the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) were hounded by restrictions and state agents at every turn.


In the NLC, the internal rift between progressive and the liberal forces—epitomized by the battle between Jonathan Ihonde of the Academic Staff Union of Universities and Ali Ciroma of the Amalgamated Union (Ciroma was pushed out)—led to the emergence of the charismatic Paschal Bafyau, a moderate, as president of the NLC. Unwilling to kowtow to the radical momentum of the 1990s during which the June 12, 1993 revolts against dictatorship broke-out, Bafyau couldn’t lead a coherent NLC and Babangida intervened again with a caretaker leadership. Oshiomhole, then general secretary of the National Textiles and Garments Union, was chosen to be Paschal Bafyau’s vice president. He immediately hit the ground running imbuing confidence and overseeing the rebuilding of labour’s fighting capacity.


Elected as NLC president in 1999, Oshiomhole became the darling of all workers fighting anti-labour practices and using his oratory prowess in political debates to inspire mass action. The Oshiomhole of this era bore a striking resemblance to Michael Imoudu, the legendary “Labor leader No 1,” who led the 1945 Cost of Living Allowances (COLA) strike that lasted for 45 days and shook the foundations of the colonial state.


Oshiomhole had his most heroic moments as NLC president. Under him, workers went on general strikes seven times. These strikes were about salary increases but also fought against the deregulation of the oil sector and the continued implementation of structural adjustment policies.


Oshiomhole understood the power of strikes and mobilized for them with great vigor. He usually relocated NLC structures to Lagos as the commercials center once a strike was to be announced. His bold leadership stirred President Obasanjo to accuse him of running a parallel government in 2004.


However, the tail end of Oshiomhole’s second tenure at the head of the NLC saw the evolution of the labour hero. During this period, the NLC joined the National Privatization Council, which served as the engine room for the destabilization of the Nigerian economy as production-based, marking a clear betrayal of all that labour had been fighting against. This also meant that NLC was part of the council that supervised the sale of government-owned industries, shedding large numbers of jobs while empowering cronies in the private sector. By the end of Oshiomhole’s tenure, the labour movement was left in tatters industrially and politically.


Oshiomhole was drawn into electoral politics, helping to establish the Labour Party in 2007. However, this is where the parallels between Oshiomhole and Imoudu end. While Imoudu was left leaning in practice, Oshiomhole jilted the Labour Party in favor of the bourgeois dominant formation, the Action Congress (AC), in the same year in which the Labour Party was formed. (Oshiomhole only ran a double ticket after union pressure.) The AC ultimately merged with similar parties to form the All Progressives Congress (APC).


Oshiomhole and his allies registered the Labor Party and handed it over to liberal Labour leader Dan Nwanyanwu. Under this leadership the party sold frontrunner tickets to the highest bidder while restricting union members from democratic participation. The party has yet to recover from the scars of this experience.


After gaining the governorship seat under the AC banner, Oshiomhole actively worked to prevent workers strikes. In Edo state, workers went on strikes at their union levels, but Oshiomhole violently prevented a general strike. The biggest general strike in Nigeria so far has been the Occupy Nigeria strikes in 2012. Instead of supporting the protests, despite being in the opposition, Oshiomhole helped to break the strike through a negotiation committee of which he was major state actor.


As governor, he also conducted the largest casualization of the work force by any state government thus far. More than 50,000 workers, employed through the Youth Employment Scheme (YES) in 2009, were sacked in 2015 when Oshiomhole claimed on television that he “picked them” from the “gutters.” Since this period Oshiomhole has used his overwhelming influence on both the NLC and the Trade Union Council (TUC) to ensure that general strikes are virtually forbidden under the strong-handed rule of the APC.


Oshiomhole gained a popular following in mainstream politics, retaining his characteristic khaki “comrade’s jacket”, but was increasingly seen through the godfather persona of “OshioBaba.” He has sadly also remained an example and a mentor to many in the Labour movement, and Labour activists are frequently seen in alliances with mainstream politicians in the PDP and APC. Labour bureaucrats have abandoned the Labor Party and like Oshiomhole, openly flirt with the ruling class. This is one reason why the movement lost two general strikes. However, the formation of a cluster of revolutionary organizations has brought new hope to the left and radical working class. Member organizations of the Coalition for Revolution (CORE) have been leading #RevolutionNow; the struggle precursor of the #EndSARS Protests that shook the world in late 2020.


Adams Oshiomhole rose to limelight and greatness while serving the working people as a labour leader. He managed to run Edo state government for two terms playing the devil’s advocate. In power, Oshiomhole denied workers most of what he fought for during much of his tenure at the helm of the NLC. Oshiomhole’s recent rise and fall within the APC is often viewed as the final desecration of a labour icon. Yet, it is evident that the workers movement lost its visionary leadership much earlier.


Author: Kunle Wizeman Ajayi, a Nigerian trade union leader is chair of the Lagos branch of the African Action Congress.


PDP Queries Buhari Presidency Over Tear Gas attack on Katsina Abducted Students' Parents

PDP Queries Buhari Presidency Over Tear Gas attack on Katsina Abducted Students' Parents

December 13, 2020


Press Statement



The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has queried the Buhari Presidency over the unwarranted tear gas attack by the police on the sorrowing parents of the kidnapped students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina state.


The PDP described as disturbing that such callousness could be meted on the grief-stricken parents after President Muhammadu Buhari, who had gone holidaying in the state, failed to protect their children from terrorists.


It is indeed sad that instead of going after terrorists and insurgents, that struck few hours after a holidaying President Buhari and his security machinery took over the state, the state apparatus of power is being used to inflict further pain on the helpless victims.


Such display of insensitivity further foregrounds the lack of empathy by the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration and serves as a sad reminder of how it also blamed the 43 farmers recently slain by terrorists in Borno state, instead of taking steps to apprehend the assailants. 

 

Indeed, our party shares the pains and sorrows of these parents who have been under serious torment since President Buhari arrived Katsina for his needless holidays.


The PDP therefore calls on the Buhari Presidency to immediately apologize to Nigerians and the parents of the kidnapped students as well as take steps to ensure disciplinary actions on those who ordered the tear gas attack on the parents.


Our party also restates our call to President Buhari to go in search of and rescue the students, who were kidnapped while his security machinery was in charge of the state.


The PDP reiterates its stand, in solidarity with the people of Katsina state and other patriotic Nigerians, not to rest until President Buhari finds and rescues each of these young ones.


Signed:


Kola Ologbondiyan

National Publicity Secretary

December 13, 2020


Press Statement



The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has queried the Buhari Presidency over the unwarranted tear gas attack by the police on the sorrowing parents of the kidnapped students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina state.


The PDP described as disturbing that such callousness could be meted on the grief-stricken parents after President Muhammadu Buhari, who had gone holidaying in the state, failed to protect their children from terrorists.


It is indeed sad that instead of going after terrorists and insurgents, that struck few hours after a holidaying President Buhari and his security machinery took over the state, the state apparatus of power is being used to inflict further pain on the helpless victims.


Such display of insensitivity further foregrounds the lack of empathy by the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration and serves as a sad reminder of how it also blamed the 43 farmers recently slain by terrorists in Borno state, instead of taking steps to apprehend the assailants. 

 

Indeed, our party shares the pains and sorrows of these parents who have been under serious torment since President Buhari arrived Katsina for his needless holidays.


The PDP therefore calls on the Buhari Presidency to immediately apologize to Nigerians and the parents of the kidnapped students as well as take steps to ensure disciplinary actions on those who ordered the tear gas attack on the parents.


Our party also restates our call to President Buhari to go in search of and rescue the students, who were kidnapped while his security machinery was in charge of the state.


The PDP reiterates its stand, in solidarity with the people of Katsina state and other patriotic Nigerians, not to rest until President Buhari finds and rescues each of these young ones.


Signed:


Kola Ologbondiyan

National Publicity Secretary

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