The Court of Appeal, Abuja, last week sacked the Kano State Governor, Abba Yusuf. The National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, the same week lamented the magnitude of the security challenges confronting the country.
These and three other stories we tracked dominated public discourse last week.
1. Appeal Court sacks Kano governor
On November 17, the appellate court upheld the ruling of the Kano State governorship election petition tribunal which nullified Yusuf’s victory in the state gubernatorial poll.
A three-member panel led by Justice M.A. Adumeh declared Nasiru Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the duly elected governor of the state.
The judge held that Yusuf was not qualified to contest the election as he was not in the NNPP membership register before the election.
He said: “Yusuf Abba was not a member of the NNPP as of the time he was purportedly sponsored for the 18 March Kano State governorship election.
“The tribunal was wrong not to have disqualified the appellant. The failure of NNPP to properly sponsor Mr. Yusuf according to Section 177 (c) of the constitution is fatal to their case.
“All the nine issues are hereby resolved against the appellant.”
Why it matters
The ruling again highlights the technicalities inherent in the administration of justice, particularly on election matters in Nigeria.
The party membership cited by the appeal court as one of the reasons for sacking the Kano governor reinforces the need for various stakeholders to take another look at the country’s election guidelines to avoid conflicting rulings on election matters in courts.
However, the All Progressives Council (APC) and its supporters may have to suspend until after the ruling by the Supreme Court, which could still swing the other way.
2. Ribadu on inherited security challenges
The National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, on November 17 called for patience from Nigerians on the security challenges inherited by the current administration.
Ribadu made the appeal at the 19th Annual Nigerian Editors Conference held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom.
He said President Bola Tinubu’s administration inherited serious security challenges capable of bringing the country to its knees.
The NSA said: “By June 1, 2023, when we took over the country we have serious active security challenges, serious ones Even one alone will undermine seriously management of the country.
“We have Boko Haram which is 15 years now ongoing. Militancy in the Niger Delta has been on for many years, banditry and kidnapping, especially within northern Nigeria in the North-West.
“And unfortunately, that is still a little going on in the South-East. These four massive problems, each one is capable of bringing us to our own knees. All of them are very active. At the time we took over, like last year, we used to have a minimum of 1,200 or more violent deaths as a result of criminal activities.’’
Why it matters
Ribadu may have reopened the discussion on the management of the insecurity under former President Buhari’s watch.
The last administration’s lack of political will caused the escalation of the crisis and gave the terrorists and other criminals the license to wreak havoc on the hapless citizens.
However, instead of blaming the Buhari administration for its own shortcomings and rising attacks by criminals, President Tinubu should come up with well-tailored strategies to address the problems in all areas where his predecessor failed to regain the trust of Nigerians in his government.
3. Melaye alleges fraud in Kogi election
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Dino Melaye, on November 14 alleged that last weekend’s election was marred by widespread irregularities.
Melaye, who finished third in the election behind the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Usman Ododo, and the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Murtala Ajaka, spoke on Channels Television’s programme, Politics Today.
He added that there was over-voting in 17 of the 21 local government areas of the state.
Melaye said: “A meeting was held and they said, ‘Dino Melaye must not come second because if he comes second, it’s dangerous. So, he must become a distant third.’ There was no election; there was only allocation of votes.”
READ ALSO:QuickRead: Supreme Court validation of Tinubu’s election. Four other stories we tracked and why they matter
Why it matters
The ugly incidents, including ballot box snatching, violence, and reported alteration of result sheets recorded during the off-cycle election again speak to the reluctance of the political class to wean themselves of the win-at-all syndrome that has continued to undermine the country’s democracy.
The post-election resentments show that the courts as always been the case in Nigeria’s electoral process will ultimately determine the real outcome of the exercise.
4. Atiku’s push for opposition merger against APC
Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar on November 14 charged the opposition parties to unite and form a formidable front to protect the country’s democracy.
Atiku, who made the call when he hosted the national executive committee of the Inter-Party Advisory Council Nigeria (IPAC) led by its President, Mr. Yabagi Sani, in Abuja, charged the opposition to stop the All Progressives Congress (APC) from turning Nigeria to a one-party state.
He said: “We have all seen how the APC is increasingly turning Nigeria into a dictatorship of one party. If we don’t come together to challenge what the ruling party is trying to create, our democracy will suffer for it, and the consequences of it will affect the generations yet unborn.”
Why it matters
Although the emergence of a formidable opposition to the ruling party is not entirely a bad idea, a political alignment in an environment where political nomadism is a permanent feature because of the actors’ quest for relevance in the system may be another exercise in futility.
The ideological differences between the parties involve and the individual interests of the promoters, many of whom would be reluctant to put these aside for a collective goal, means the idea may be dead on arrival.
5. Tinubu hints at media control
President Bola Tinubu on November 16 dropped the hint on the control of the media over the growing cases of misinformation.
The president, who spoke at the 19th Nigeria Editors Conference in Uyo, Akwa Ibom, thanked the editors for their contribution to Nigeria’s democracy.
He said: “We are faced with the proliferation of misinformation and false narratives which threaten the fabric of our society. It is our collective duty to combat this menace through fact-checking, responsible reporting, and promoting media and digital literacy with which we can fortify our defences against the corrosive effects of a false narrative.
“Against the background of imminent systemic moral decline over a long period leading to the erosion of our national values, it’s my pleasure to inform you that the Ministry of Information and National Orientation is working to change the narrative in our country through the implementation of a sustained mass reorientation campaign that aims to foster unity, patriotism and promotion of positive values among Nigerians.”
Why it matters
The move if approved shows that the government might have become increasingly jittery as dissatisfaction grows over its policies which have caused untold hardship in the country.
It shows that the government, like its predecessor, will do all it could to manage dissenting voices.
By Hamed Shobiye
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