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Rule of Law, Nigeria’s Only Hope Of Survival (2) By Hassan Gimba

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Rule of Law, Nigeria’s only hope of survival (2), by Hassan Gimba

This is the second part of our treatise on the rule of law that started last week. The rule of law is about the creation of laws, their enforcement so that no one – including the most highly placed citizen – is above the law.

When one looks at how organised countries have control over their affairs, one sees how the weakest as well as the strongest face the same law and get the same justice when they get caught with a misdemeanour.

In an ideal country, those who are at the helm of affairs are ever mindful of doing the right thing. But our country used to be like that. What went wrong that along the way things so deteriorated that state actors assume superiority over the state itself? Civil servants and even political appointees no longer remind, guide, or nudge their bosses to uphold the best standards.

For instance, a source said he watched an NTA Kaduna interview session with the late General Hassan Usman Katsina in July 1987. General Katsina was the governor of Northern Nigeria before General Yakubu Gowon created 12 states. The interviewer asked General Hassan how he compares the governors of nowadays and his time (1966). This was his reply…

“I am going to give you an example and you can figure out the answer yourself. When I was the Governor of Northern Nigeria, Dr Abubakar Imam was the General Manager of Kaduna Capital Territory. In that year, we decided to allocate plots for the present GRA in Kaduna. I applied. KAT conducted the exercise. All the plots were allocated, but I was not given. I did not care to find out why. After the exercise, Dr Abubakar Imam came to my office, and he came with my application. He told me they had finished the exercise. He also said that he saw my application. However, he said they did not consider me qualified because I am the governor. He said as the leader, I should be more interested in my subjects’ interests than mine. How sure was I that all citizens who wanted the plots got allocated before I applied? He said he came with my application to tear it before me so that it will not come to me as rumour and he tore the piece of paper.”

There is also the story written by a retired 75-year-old former Confidential Secretary to Audi Howeidy, the Secretary to the Government when the late Police Commissioner, Audu Bako, was the governor of Kano State in which a Permanent Secretary queried the governor.

Alhaji Sani Danbatta was the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Finance and he queried Audu Bako for receiving 25 pounds monthly as an allowance and 125 pounds entertainment allowance. His imprest then was 10,000 pounds monthly. The perm sec queried why he allocated to himself allowances that were not provided in the General Order (public service rules). Danbatta further asked the governor to refund the illegal allowances he collected in the past eight months to the treasury or be surcharged by deducting from the source.

Audu Bako summoned all the Permanent Secretaries and demanded an explanation from Danbatta, saying he did not understand the content of the query. The perm sec said, “I have no explanation to give you, I passed the query through Alhaji Audi Howeidy, the Secretary to the Government, let Howeidy as an administrator say he did not understand the content, then I will explain.”

The Secretary to the Government thereafter presented a memo to the state executive council seeking its approval for the two allowances to be regularised to the governor and approval was accordingly granted.

Yet again the perm sec wrote a memo to Howeidy informing him that the new allowances to the governor should be taxed. The SSG referred the matter for advice to the Kano state commissioner for Revenue, Mr OB Wise (a Briton), who said that there is no tax for allowances in our existing laws.

In those days, civil servants could confront political leaders without fear or favour to correct them whenever they violated the laid down procedures, rules and regulations; unlike what is obtainable nowadays.

Before General Katsina and Compol Bako’s example was that of Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto and Premier of the Northern Region. The regional government had constructed air-strips for use of the Premier in most of the provinces. They were in Mubi, Jalingo, Wukari, Sokoto, Gusau, Minna, Azare, Gombe, Bauchi, Idah, and some other places.

The premier had three small Cessna aircraft in his fleet under the supervision of an Assistant District Officer (ADO) in his office, Alhaji Suleiman Gurin, a former teacher from Adamawa Province.

In time, Sir Ahmadu Bello flew one of the aircraft to Sokoto on a private visit. When he returned to Kaduna, the administrative headquarters of the region, Alhaji Suleiman Gurin sent him a bill for his flight to Sokoto!

To him, since it was a private visit, and therefore, the premier should make the refund to the government’s treasury. However, Sir Ahmadu Bello, though amused at the request, made the payment. And he was so proud of his ADO for reminding him that everyone who served was subject to the state, and to the laws that have been made to govern that state.

But if these scenarios were about official responsibilities, they were prim and proper in the way they conduct their social responsibilities as well.

There is a story narrated by the late Alhaji Alin Kotoko (I think), a Maiduguri-based contractor who was a beneficiary of the late Sardauna’s policy of North First (empowering the region’s local business people). The narrator said the regional Ministry of Education gave a contract to them and they made a decent profit out of it.

He and a colleague put a certain percentage of their profit in a paper envelope and went to the house of the ministry’s minister, Alhaji Isa Kaita, Wazirin Katsina. They were ushered into his sitting room where they met him sitting. They thanked him and had some brief discussions, but none of them could present the envelope to him. So, they got up to go but left the envelope there (a diplomatic way of presenting gifts to big men) by his side.

According to the narration, they were about to enter their car and drive off when he came out hurriedly and told them they had forgotten their envelope. It was then that one of them gathered enough courage and told him, “Sir, we made a good profit and we brought you this token as appreciation”.

He told them what they would never forget. Calmly, he told them, “No, the premier intended to empower you people. I am his representative. If I want money, then I have to resign and start a business… it is your money; take it.”

With such exemplary behaviour and attitude, leaders then were role models positively. By subjecting themselves to the rule of law and accepting to be guided by those who know, they made the system work. Because they did not abuse the system because of their powers, their children too were not unduly favoured.

No parent then would harass a teacher because he had punished his ward, or pay for his child to get a good grade in an examination or be made a prefect in their schools.

How have our opposite actions impacted our society and brought us to our current sad state? We shall also look at that subsequently.

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Opinion

APC National Convention: it is irresponsible To Call For Sack Gov. Buni Led CECPC

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APC National Convention: It is irresponsible to call for sack Gov Buni led CECPC

Yusuf Ali

It is irresponsible to call for sack of the well constituted and highly celebrated action-packed Governor Buni led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, All Progressives Congress over the planned national convention of the party. Uptil now, the CECPC has not told anybody that it is not going to conduct the party’s national convention after it has successfully conducted Ward, Local and State Congresses as it said that it is only embarking on nationwide consultations with Party leaders and stakeholders to prepare the ground for a rancour-free National Convention.

It is very wrong for anybody to say that Governor Buni is holding on to the seat to score political goals. For the avoidance of doubt, Buni is a sitting governor that has his second term fully secured in 2023 if he decides to run. The people of Yobe state who overwhelmingly voted for him in 2019 are extremely happy and ready to return him to consolidate on the solid transformation of Yobe state as truly the pride of the Sahel.

Let me say that this call for the sack of the Governor Buni led Caretaker Committee amounts to playing dirty politics, and it is cheap and irresponsible. In fact, Nothing can be more irresponsible and reckless, as such a statement. Nobody in his right senses will call for the sack of the focused and result-oriented Governor Buni led Caretaker Committee.

The Governor Buni led CECPC was legally constituted by the 8th resumed of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the All Progressives Congress APC which constituted the Caretaker Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee in place of the dissolved National Working Committee (NWC) of the party. It has performed tremendously well in rebuilding and repisitioning the party for greatness. No amount of hysterical calls for resignation will prevent it from carrying out its constitutional mandate. As a progressive governing party guided by its rules, the CECPC will continue to take the right steps and follow due process in carrying out its activities, in this case the planned national convention is sacrosanct. The APC as a party for all will continue to act on its words.

Let it be known that the Governor Buni led CECPC is not in anyway against the conduct of the all-important exercise as planned it only wanted a rancour-free national convention. If some of the pending issues related to fallout of the Congresses in some states are not amicably resolved it will further polarise the party during and even after the convention. The focus remains that achieving and sustaining the APC Caretaker Committee’s peace and reconciliation core mandate wrapping up with credible national convention is all the more gratifying.

Before the CECPC, the governing party is on the verge of collapse and disintegration. As the Chairman of the CECPC, Governor Buni has been a steady hand in troubled times, and that explains why leading the governing All Progressives Congress at a most turbulent period, he has managed the crisis to bring peace to the party and safe it from disintegration, and even set it on a trajectory of success for the coming national convention and ahead of the 2023 general elections.

For a large and governing party with so many crisis points and conflicting interests like the APC, Governor Mai Mala Buni has always toed the line of compromise, temperance and internal democracy as well as tackled internal squabbles when they have occured as a family affair. He is a stabilising factor and voice that is generally accepted and has successfully forged a common ground among all the interests in the governing party.

Governor Buni is well positioned to stabilize the party and ensure synergy between the party, members and the government. He has shown a capacity to steer the party to stability and remains a strategic political asset to the APC and government.

Buni is not a dictator. As the Chairman APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC, because of his background, he has listened, engaged, accommodated and gave a sense of belonging to every member of our great party.

As a principled leader, Buni has always exercised persuasive powers and negotiating skills in the execution of his responsibilities. It is this power of persuation, tact and diplomacy that endeared him to his colleagues (Governors), and all the leaders of the party across the country.

He has brought his natural abilities as a gentleman, peacemaker and a stabilizing voice to resolve many disagreement and Internal conflict in the party.

Hon. Mai Mala Buni has ensured that meeting of party organs under the CECPC are held regularly. It is only when the party’s leadership meet constantly that it will agree and disagree on issues and resolve matters in the interest of the party.

Buni has used his position to ensure a strong and progressive party institution that will continue to make Nigeria great and will continue to bring the party together becsuse he is focused and knows the issues.

Hon Mai Mala Buni has written his name in gold as he takes on the bold steps in rebuilding and repositioning APC ahead of the national convention and the 2023 general elections.

He has designed a medium, and long term development of our strategies and internal organization to support our public standing as well as our chances of electoral successes in all future elections.

Yusuf Ali Media Officer APC Headquaters Abuja

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Gov. Buni Leading APC To Victory

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Gov. Buni leading APC to victory

Yusuf Ali

  1. Hon Mai Mala Buni is not a dictator. As the Chairman APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC, because of his background, he has listened, engaged, accommodated and gave a sense of belonging to every member of our great party.
  2. Hon Mai Mala Buni has always exercised persuasive powers and negotiating skills in the execution of his responsibilities. It is this power of persuation, tact and diplomacy that endeared him to his colleagues (Governors) and all the leaders of the party across the country.
  3. Hon Mai Mala Buni has brought his natural abilities as a gentleman, peacemaker and a stabilizing voice to resolve many disagreement and Internal conflict in the party.
  4. Hon Mai Mala Buni has prominent people from the North, South, East and West. It means he is a rallying point at the center.
  5. Hon Mai Mala Buni, the support he has flows from knowledge of the understanding of his person because he has been fortunate to work with his colleagues (Governors) and all the stakeholders, members and teeming supporters of the APC.
  6. Hon Mai Mala Buni has ensured that meeting of party organs under the CECPC are held regularly. It is only when the party’s leadership meet constantly that it will agree and disagree on issues and resolve matters in the interest of the party.
  7. Hon Mai Mala Buni has used his position to ensure a strong and progressive party institution that will continue to make Nigeria great.
  8. Hon Mai Mala Buni will continue to bring the party together because he is focused and he knows the issues.
  9. Hon Mai Mala Buni has written his name in gold as he take on the bold steps in rebuilding and repositioning APC ahead of the national convention and the 2023 general elections.
  10. Hon Mai Mala Buni has designed a medium, and long term development of our strategies and internal organization to support our public standing as well as our chances of electoral successes in all future elections.

Yusuf Ali Media Officer APC Headquaters Abuja

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Opinion

Re: Buni, Malami Move To Block Convention, Governors Rise Against interim Party Chair

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RE: Buni, Malami Move To Block Convention, Governors Rise Against Interim Party Chair

By Yusuf Ali

These days, so many people are saying so many things; indulging mostly in sponsored attacks, and ficticious lies in the pages of Newspapers on the activities of Governor Buni led CECPC, and as spokepersons, we make the deliberate choice of staying out of the most part because it is not worth replying.

But it is hard to ignore the above publication in the Punch Newspaper of 12 January, 2022 which, according to the reports, a party leader who confided to their correspondents is making the false claims that Governor Buni and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami SAN are delaying the APC National Convention because he (Governor Buni) has a Vice Presidential ambition. Nothing could be further from the truth.

We are concious of the devilish plans being orchestrated by some mischievous elements to cause disaffection between our leaders and to distract the Governor Buni led Caretaker Committee from it’s national assignments of putting the APC family house in order ahead of the national convention.

It is important to note that, at the level the Governor Buni led Caretaker Committee is working, there should be no need to be doubtful about whether our great party, APC will be having it’s national convention after successfully completed the Ward, Local and State Congresses.

It will be recall that after the end of the year 2021 meeting of the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) on Monday, December 20, 2021 and in the APC 2022 New Year Message, both signed by the Secretary, Sen. John James Akpanudoedehe, there was confirmation that planning for the National Convention has commenced. Members and the general public have been put on notice that relevant committees will be setup. The only problem hindering the Governor Buni led CECPC to move to the next level is the unresolved issues of reconciliation in some states. Although the Senator Abdullahi Adamu led National Reconciliation Committee is working round the clock to meet it’s dateline, the reality is that it’s not advisable for the governing APC, a party with so many crisis points and conflicting interests to go for national convention with a divided house.

This is the truth of the matter and not the ficticious lies some people are dishing to misled gullible Nigerians.

For the avoidance of doubts, Governor Mai Mala Buni has not told anybody that he has a presidential ambition. These are mere speculations in the Newspapers. Governor Buni has accepted to serve as the APC Chairman Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) because of his love and loyalty to the party that promised brighter days for Nigeria and all Nigerians. He is contributing in this capacity to help develop a strong progressive party institution that can be impactful in the local, state and the national level. He has devoted his life, energy and time to be able to do that. When he is working rebuilding and repositioning the party, first thing comes first. We have to have a structure first. If people start with rebuilding a party today and deciding to become a presidential candidate tomorrow, actually you are trying to destroy the basis of rebuilding the party, because everybody will have ambition.

There are time for everything and Governor Mai Mala Buni has no ambition. As a practicing Muslim and faith in God, he knows that leadership belongs to Almighty God, He gives it whom He wills and takes it from whom He wills none has power to out pass His verdicts. But let it be known that Governor Buni has no ambition. He has not told anyone that he wants to be President or Vice President.

At this juncture, it is important to point out that Governor Mai Mala Buni is not an ambitious politician but a leader with all the qualities of leadership. It is on record that leadership positions and responsibilities was always entrusted on him because of his judgement and respected for his expertise, integrity, etc and hence followed and not because he hold a certain position. He was APC Chairman Yobe State, National Secretary and today by the special grace of God he is serving Governor and Chairman APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, positions that he has never aspired but entrusted on him because of his leadership qualities.

At this level and time, what the Governor Buni led Caretaker Committee needs is support from across party ranks to achieve maximum reconciliation for the governing party to go for the national convention as one united family ahead of the 2023 general elections.

We must also acknowledged the marvellous achievements of the Governor Buni led Caretaker Committee, attracting three serving Governors to APC and reconciling many aggrieved members that added to the strength of the party. APC is growing in leaps and bounds.

As the Governor Buni led CECPC prepares for the national convention, we appeal to every party member and supporter to seek above everything else the unity and peace of this great party. The party must remain a strong political entity before, during and after the convention.

We should not forget the bigger challenge ahead of us in 2023, the presidential election without Buhari on the ballot. We cannot go into it divided nor can we win the trophy in such a state. We should all uphold the ideas of the party and give it unflinching support for it’s affairs as we journey into the national convention.

Yusuf Ali Media Officer All Progressives Congress APC Headquarters Abuja

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