Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Communiqué: “As We Were Saying......” By Afenifere

Chief Reuben Fasoranti; Afenifere Leader

(Being Text Of Communiqué Issued At The End Of Afenifere National Meeting.)

A reunion meeting of Afenifere was held at the Akure home of the Leader on Monday 25th February, 2013 with delegates from all Yoruba states.

Chief Reuben Fasoranti, Afenifere Leader, led icons of the group including Chiefs  Ayo Adebanjo and Olu Falae to the well attended meeting. The extra-ordinary meeting had in attendance many top players in the group since 1999 who have not met together in recent time.

In his opening remarks, the Leader re-emphasized the core values of Afenifere which include loyalty, honesty, sacrifice, love to the people and respect for one another; the observance in the breach by many who found themselves in public office in the immediate past he identified as the cause of the stress the organisation went through in recent years.

He further stated that given the state of Nigeria today, there was no better time for members of Afenifere who are regarded as the conscience of the Nation to come together and give to both the Yoruba nation and the country at large the desired leadership.

Meeting also received goodwill message from the Oodua Nation in Diaspora in which the group was charged as the torchbearers in the battle for the political soul of the South-West to lead the way and guard rightly on the path of rectitude and political/moral renaissance.

In the open, frank and cordial discussions that followed it was observed as follows:
1. The crises in Afenifere in recent years has robbed Yorubaland  of its most potent and  irreplaceable ideological and leadership training ground and in the process opened the region to politics without values;
2. This has led to a big vacuum in the progressive vanguard of the Yoruba people;
3.  Consequently, this has given rise to a proliferation of organisations as division multiplies problems.

From the foregoing, meeting resolved as follows:
A. To work assiduously to warehouse all progressives forces who are committed to Afenifere values under its banner and  resume the historic duty  of the Awolowo political establishment;
B. To reposition Afenifere to meet the challenges facing the Yoruba people in
   particular and Nigerians in general;
C. To build internal solidarity within the Yoruba Nation and network with groups who share similar aspirations across Nigeria towards rebuilding a country that works for its citizens;
D. To strengthen the group's effectiveness in restoring time tested values on integrity in public life, accountable leadership and service to the people by their leaders as against the pervasive selfishness and opportunism defining our public space at the moment;
F. To galvanize the people to demand a paradigm shift in our polity and rebuild our failed institutions so that our best moments will not continue to be in the past.
G. To intensify the campaign for the restructuring of Nigeria into a true Federation where every region would have the necessary autonomy to determine their affairs without prejudice to the unity of the country;
H. To create a conducive environment for the best and the brightest to play roles in leadership and raise the bar in terms of quality representation for our people.

Finally, meeting encourages our people not to give up hope in the midst of the many adversities in the country  or surrender to the culture of fear that is spreading in the land but be vigilant at all times .

‘Yinka Odumakin
National Publicity Secretary,

Opinion: Kema Chikwe’s 2015 No Vacancy In Presidency Declaration

Mrs. Kema Chikwe

By  Comrade Chukwuma C. Nnadi

During the recent presentation of “PDP Women in Power” calendar 2013 in Abuja. A member of the National Working Committee of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. (Mrs.) Kemafor Chikwe, said that the PDP would still field President Goodluck Jonathan for the 2015 Presidential election in Nigeria. The PDP National Women Leader was also quoted to have declared that there would not be any vacancy in Aso Rock come 2015.

Whether President Jonathan would or would not run for the 2015 Presidential Election in Nigeria is not the concern of yours truly in this work. However, I am more interested in the latest possible political fortune and prospect of Dr. Chikwe viz-a-viz winning elections either for herself or for someone else. Interestingly, one of the criteria that made Dr. Chikwe to be anointed a PDP National Woman Leader was because She Failed Senatorial Election in 2011. If she had won the senate seat for Owerri Senatorial Zone in April 2011, the story would have been different.

Be that as it may, there are leaders that are ‘electable’ and also there are ones that are ‘unelectable’. Kema Chikwe was a minister of what some call ‘Grade A’ federal ministries during the reign of Olusegun Obasanjo in Nigeria. They were the ministries of Aviation and Transport. The Owerri-born woman sometime also headed Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB).

However, many who have followed Kema’s activities during her days as a federal political appointee say that she used the said positions only to wrestle power with her then state governor Chief Achike  Udenwa, instead of helping her state. It is said that she was highly controversial in Imo State and intimidated people at her home with impunity. As one who was opportune to be a member of the country’s Federal Executive Council then, her said known style was by always dropping the name of the then President Obasanjo in everything with the popular phrase ‘BABA SHI’ meaning ‘Obasanjo said. He nick name later changed from “IGOLO” TO “BABA SHI, BABA ASHILA” she was said to have also been involved in ‘anointing’ her preferred candidates in every PDP primaries, congresses or in Federal appointment etc. It is a fact that all her anointed candidates always fail in the election proper. However, ‘MADAM BABA SHI’ was sent on a ‘political exile’ when she was appointed Ambassador to Ireland and later to Iceland.  Interestingly, it could be observed that the above and other political positions and opportunities Kema held were all by appointment.

However, it was Ex-Governor Ikedi Ohakim that brought Kema back from the said ‘political exile’ and ‘lured’ her into contesting the senatorial seat for Imo East Senatorial Zone (commonly called Owerri Senatorial Zone). Prior to the 2011 election in the country, some people including yours truly did not know that this controversial grandmother was a political anathema. We did not know that the 2011 election was going to be a pay-back time for a lot of people in Dr. Chikwe’s home whom the acclaimed embattled ‘Amazon’ allegedly stepped on their toes in her days as an acclaimed ‘influential’ associate of Obasanjo’s government. Incidentally, Ohakim influenced Kema’s emergence as the PDP flag-bearer even against the popular votes of the party. Having missed her there, the next point was to wait for her during the general election.

Before the April 2011 Senatorial Election, Kema Chikwa never did any serious campaign. She was only seen following Ohakim and dancing anywhere Ohakim went to do his own campaign. This she did till the day she failed her senatorial election. May be she thought that it was business as usual where in the past, anybody that had PDP ticket was sure of being rigged into power.

After the 2011 general elections in Imo State, it was also discovered that not only did Kema Chikwe fail woefully both in her maiden and matrimonial home communities, but contributed to the failure of both Ohakim and many PDP candidates in the election during that period. Ironically, one of Kema’s paid writers (Dr. Ethelbert Okere) unconsciously conceded to the above facts in an article published on Friday 23rd of March 2012 edition of Daily Sun. “One of the indigenes of Owere that was thrown up between 1999 and 2011 is Dr. Kema Chikwe, former Minister of Transport and Aviation and who, in fact, doubles as the only Ambassador ever produced by the entire Owerri zone. But Mrs. Chikwe lost a senatorial election in which her (native) Owere people constituted the major determining factor……. Her purported defeat was part of a grand master plan by the external manipulators to deny the PDP of its victory in Imo State. In fact, Aunty Kema’s election was a mere testing ground for a grand macabre dance between April 26, and May 6, 2011. Once the perpetrators succeeded in scaring, Nde Owere with the ‘defeat’ of Kema, the stage was set for the command performance on April 26, 2011, that is at the governorship election……”

Back to Dr. Chikwe’s recent declaration that President Jonathan would not leave Aso Rock by 2015. I know that the only thing that will make President Jonathan stay put in Aso Rock after 2015 is if the Ijaw-born former zoology lecturer wins re-election come that time. With the way things are happening in the country now, I foresee a situation where incidents of rigging in 2015 will not be a general rule as it used to be. If so, how could people like Kema Chikwe who have lost political acceptability, credibility, integrity, dignity, relevance, value and follower-ship at home then win votes for Mr. President or PDP come 2015 in her senatorial zone? It is going to be a mission impossible. I stand to be challenged.

This recent declaration of Mrs. Chikwe was the she and her cohorts made during Ikedi Ohakim’s era in Imo State. This completely deceived Ohakim and made ex-governor declare himself an ‘ikiri’ (a desperate animal) thinking he would win re-election by all means.

Re-election of an incumbent just like other elections is not by power or might. Kema should realize that time has passed when ‘Kashim Fomular’ and rigging no longer hold sway in Nigerian politics. Now, power comes from God and sovereignty belongs to the people. Therefore, if Kema had been wise enough, knew diplomacy and politics very well and wanted to add value to Mr. President’s so called re-election come 2015, she would have realized that Mr. President needs to canvass and beg for votes from the people to be re-elected in 2015 rather than this show of political insensitivity. It is annoying and an insult to the sensibilities of the Nigerian electorate.

As a member of the National Working Committee of her party, I did not expect this kind of statement from Dr. Chikwe. It means that the National Working Committee of the PDP will no longer associate itself with free and fair primaries when the time comes as a candidate is already anointed by the committee for the party come 2015 presidential election in the country.