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The Fulanis and Their Quest for Nigeria

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By Ogbaniko Orunugoga

Historians the world over agree that the original home of the Fulani people is Futa Jallon in the Republic of Guinea. The Fulani are thought to have migrated from North Africa and the Middle East in ancient times, settling in the Futa Jallon Mountains and inter-marrying with the local population. The second known home of the Fulani is Futa Toro, by the banks of the Senegal River in the current nation of Senegal.

Today, the Fulani number about 20 million worldwide. They are spread all over West and Central Africa, particularly Guinea, Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, Ghana, Niger, Sudan, Chad, Mauritania, Guinea-Bissau, Cameroon, Burkina Faso and the Gambia. Their population is between 7 and 8 million in their original homeland in Guinea.

The Fulani who once enjoyed great political power as founders of empires are today largely powerless. Despite the fact that they constitute the single largest ethnic majority in their original homeland of Guinea, they have never enjoyed political power in that country. The ethnic composition of Guinea, according to recent estimates is as follows: Fula (Fulani) – 41%; Madinka-33%; Susu-12%; Kissi – 5%; Kpelle – 5% and others -4%.

Ever since independence from the French, Sekou Toure, an ethnic Madinka, ruled the Country with an iron hand. He was particularly hard on the Fula, whom he accused of plotting with the French to undermine his government. One of the prominent casualties was Diallo Telli, a Fula. He was the pioneer Secretary General of the Organisation of African Unity,OAU before becoming Minister of Justice under Sekou Toure. In March 1977, Toure accused him of being the arrowhead of the Fula plot to overthrow him. He was thrown into prison where he died a gruesome death.

One of the closest to grabbing power was the brilliant Fula economist and Banker, Cellou Dalein Diallo. He had been Prime Minister under the late Lansana Conte where he acquitted himself as an effective administrator. He has become a rallying point of the opposition Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea

Subsequent rulers of the country from Louis Lansana Beavogui, Lansana Conte, Moussa Dadis Camara and the incumbent Alpha Conde, have all been non Fula. It would seem that all the other ethnic groups have ganged up to ensure that a fula will never rule over them. The Madinka, the Susu and others believe the Fula are a highly clannish and racist group and that once they seize power, they would turn the rest of them into slaves in their own ancestral homeland.

Perhaps this explains why the Fulani have turned their attention to Nigeria. It also explains the boast by the Fulani that Nigeria is their God given domain. This dream was enunciated in the treatise expounded by Usman Dan Fodio’s son and heir, Mohammed Bello on the jihad carried out by his father.

In his treatise known as “Infakul Maisuri”, Bello articulated the Caliphate’s imperial hegemony over some of the areas of the middle belt. For instance, Bello projects Zazzau’s sway all the way to the entire Gbagyi country, the Bassa plains in lower Benue and as far as Idah in Igala country. He imagined his imperial sway to include the Niger-Benue confluence zone of the middle belt. Mohammed Bello even told the British Colonialist, Hugh Clapperton:”I will give the King of England a place on the coast to build a town…God has given me all the lands of the infidels.”

Sultan Bello’s imperial vision was not an idle fantasy but a part of a strategic, cartographic and discursive exercise that is beginning to manifest in the concurrent invasion and pillage of the middle belt zones that effectively and heroically resisted the 1804 -1817 invasions carried out under the guise of a holy war.

The Fulani thus always remember the great success of the Fulani Jihad led by Usman Dan Fodio and his son, Mohammed Bello. They believe that if they cannot establish hegemonic power in their own homeland then they have a right to turn to Nigeria, a land they believed was given to them by God Almighty himself.

Till date, the Fulani believe that they can still take over the entirety of Nigeria and do whatever they want. In a communiqué issued after its meeting in Kano on January 13th, 2018, the Fulani Nationality Movement, FUNAM, also claimed that “all over the world, Nigeria is the only country given to Fulani by God”.

They are encouraged by the fact that their population in Nigeria has surpassed that of their original homeland in Guinea. It is under this false illusion that the Fulani believe that they can come from across the border with their cattle and the next day, have a right to demand land for settlement.

The Fulani refuse to recognize that under the ECOWAS protocol on the movement of peoples, visitors from our region can live for only three months as visitors. If they plan to live beyond the statutory 3 months, they have to apply to regularize their stay. Instead, recent  Fulani emigrants believe that they can come today and tomorrow demand all the rights and privileges appertaining to all bona fide citizens. Worse off is the fact that they are ready to kill and maim in order to achieve their inordinate ambitions.

Not only that, they are now laying legal claims to ancestral lands belonging to the peoples of Benue, Taraba, Plateau and the rest of the middle belt region. Before the arrival of the British, the Fulani spearheaded raids throughout the Middle Belt zone of Nigeria in a bid to capture slaves and for material booty, land and conquest. The peoples of the Middle Belt heroically resisted them.

Usman Dan Fodio himself was wounded in April 1817 by the Tivs of which he later died. The death of Usman Dan Fodio weakened the Fulani conquerors and was a great setback to the furtherance of the Fulani desires to own the entire Savannah region which forms the middle belt zone of Nigeria today. The caliphate was however strengthened to lord it over the entire northern Nigeria by the British.

Thus it came about that Emirates were created in areas that were 99% non moslem especially areas such as Jema’s, Lafia, Keffi, Jere and Wase. They even touted the creation of emirates for Makurdi and Jos! Where they could not create new emirates, the people were placed under the tutelage of Caliphal feudal overlords. A good example is the Tiv people, who for many years in the 1950s and 60s, were placed under the tutelage of the Emir of Muri

Oral history has it that as a result of the injury and subsequent death of Usman Dan Fodio, the Fulani Jihadists were forced to terminate their mission towards the south east. They also reached a truce with the Tiv which led to a relationship known as  “abokanin wasa” (playmates) whereby the Tiv and the Fulani refer to themselves as ‘cousins’.

But unknown to the Tiv, this relationship for over a century did not erase the bitter memory of the defeat and especially the death of their great leader, Othman Dan Fodio. They held back and waited for the right time,right opportunity and the right leader.

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African Innovation Foundation (AIF)’s top 10 nominees announced for the prestigious US$185 000 Innovation Prize for Africa 2018 awards

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The top 10 nominees reflect Pan African flavour of Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) with representation from north, west, east, central and southern Africa, including Madagascar

IPA 2018 keenly contested with 3 000+ applicants from over 52 countries; This year’s innovations address critical challenges in ICT, agri-business, public health and the environment/ energy sectors; The top 10 nominees reflect Pan African flavour of IPA with representation from north, west, east, central and southern Africa, including Madagascar.

The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) today announced its top 10 nominees for its prestigious Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2018 awards. This year’s Call for Applications with its theme “African innovation: Investing in Inclusive Innovation Ecosystems” attracted more than 3 000 applications from 52 African countries. Building on the AIF mandate, submissions this year demonstrate significant breakthroughs in ICT, agri-business, public health and the environment/ energy sectors to improve the lives and economic prospects of Africans.

Says Walter Fust, AIF Chairman: “Now in its seventh year running, we have witnessed multi-million-dollar businesses emerging from the IPA initiative, with health, environment/energy and agricultural innovations leaving imprints across the African continent and beyond. Our theme this year prompts the need for increased collaboration between government, business, industry, innovation enablers and the community to further realise African prosperity and economic freedom.”

The IPA initiative has grown from strengthen to strength mobilizing, rewarding and honoring top African innovators whilst also building strategic partnerships with innovation enablers to strengthen innovation ecosystems in Africa. To date, AIF has supported 55 IPA winners/nominees with US$ 1 million+ and mobilized 9 400+ innovators from all 55 African countries. AIF endorsement and exposure generated through IPA have seen past winners securing over US$135 million worth of investments to grow and scale their businesses. IPA past winners and nominee company valuations amount to US$200 million+.

Managing Director of AIF, Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl who has steered the IPA program since its establishment in 2011, said: “We are proud of the impressive innovations that made it to the top 10 this year. They are evident examples of African ingenuity and each innovation is solving a real challenge in a key sector. Africa, and indeed the rest of the world, must keep an eye out – these innovations are ready to propel our continent’s global competitiveness in the market! Furthermore, these top 10 nominees are a great reminder that if given access to capital, Africans are capable of solving African challenges whilst also contributing to the rest of the world.”

Meet the top 10 IPA nominees whose innovations are in the sectors of agri-business, public health and well-being, ICT, energy, environment and water as follows:

Biodegradable seed tray for rice farming (Madagascar) – Juslain Nomenjanahary Raharinaivo: Rice is a staple food in many African countries, constituting a major part of the diet. With an ongoing demand for increased rice production, some African countries are not self-sufficient. In Madagascar, seeds are therefore sowed in innovative pots made of paper, called BG or biodegradable germinators. Growers transplant seedlings into easy-to-transplant clumps with very high tilling capacity which also increases rice yields and allow possibilities to expand the area under cultivation.

Buried Diffuser (Tunisia) – Mr. Wassim Chahbani: Irrigated systems play a major role in sustaining livelihoods in Africa and the world over. Water in agricultural use is critical for crop yields, and reducing consumption is necessary to increase the amount of available water for other uses. The Buried Diffuser saves irrigation water, energy, and use of fertilizers, reducing zero water waste through evaporation. Water is injected directly to the roots, radically reducing water consumption levels used for irrigation.

Efficient detection of TB and Hepatitis C (Morocco) – Professor Abdeladim Moumen and Dr. Hassan Ait Benhassou: Hepatitis C and Tuberculosis (TB) are critical health burdens in Africa. Besides lack of available treatment, access to accurate and cost-effective diagnostic tests remain a challenge across the continent. This innovation comprises two molecular tests for the rapid, accurate and effective detection and load quantification of both diseases. The technology allows specific detection of the hepatitis C or TB genome in blood or sputum samples; tests are clinically validated, simple, accurate and low cost.

eNose sensor for tea processing (Uganda) – Abraham Natukunda: This innovation applies an “eNose” and analytics platform to supplement current tea processing procedures using low power sensor devices to determine optimum levels of tea fermentation. An analytics platform receives and analyses the sensor data, providing real-time monitoring of key reactive elements and compounds during the tea-processing period, ensuring efficient traceability, prediction, and motion. This innovation will lead to improved control results in better tea quality, boosting marketability and increased revenue for tea processors from each bushel of tea harvested.

Incas Vaginal Discharge Kit (Ghana) – Dr. Laud Anthony Basing: Incas Vagkit is a 3-in-1 urine-based test kit that examines vaginal infections. Linked to a mobile application, it offers a convenient and fast solution for women experiencing vaginal infections. The Vagkit simply requires a urine sample and can be used at home; results are available within 10 minutes. This innovation drastically reduces testing time for vaginal infections in Africa, leading to the efficient and quick detection and management of vaginitis.

“iThrone” portable toilet (Egypt) – Dr. Diana Yousef: “We shrink it” is a revolutionary approach to removing un-piped sewage. This technology innovation is a disruptive yet low-cost composite polymer membrane that essentially “shrink-wraps crap” aggressively evaporating or “flushing” away the full water content of daily sewage output without need for added heat, energy or flush water. This innovation responds to the problem of poor sanitation and health conditions, as well as pollution caused by sewerage. iThrone cuts off a significant amount of methane emissions that are generated by unmanaged/uncollected sewage.

Mobile Shiriki Network (Rwanda) – Henri Nyakarundi: The Shiriki Hub is a Smart Solar Kiosk, powered by strong solar panels and equipped with large capacity batteries, Internet of things (IoT) sensors, and a custom designed router, offering device charging, virtual top-ups, and low-cost connectivity. Designed as a business-in-a-box and distributed on a micro-franchise basis, this is an ideal solution for digital connectivity to rural populations and temporal settlements such as refugee camps.

Natural solutions for skeletal regeneration and repair (South Africa) – Prof. Keolebogile Shirley Motaung: A multi-method approach using natural products for skeletal regeneration and repair. La-Africa Soother (LAS) is a topical paste ointment for sportspeople as a natural anti-inflammatory cream to treat pain and inflammation. The second product which is Plant-Based Morphogenetic Factor Implant (PBMF) induces bone and cartilage formation. Treatment of fractures has been a continuous challenge for orthopaedic surgeons. The latter product differs from knee replacement, autografts and allografts, offering quick results with no waiting period and no harvesting of tissue, with relief and safety for patients.

Reducing pollution in an eco-friendly way using GKSORB! (Benin) – Dr Fohla Mouftaou: Water hyacinth is an environmental threat in many African countries, invading lakes, rivers, and agricultural fields. The threat affects agriculture, the fishing industry, health and livelihoods. GKSORB is 100% organic and biodegradable fiber with the potential to absorb up to 17 times its weight. Made from water hyacinth, it can be used as a separator for hydrocarbons or as a cleaning agent for surfaces contaminated by various pollutants such as hydrocarbons, acids and paints.

Waxy II Technology (Tanzania) – Christian Mwijage: His company recycles and transforms post-consumer waste plastic into durable and environmentally friendly plastic lumber using a chemical-free and energy conserving technology called “Waxy ӀӀ technology” for building, construction and furniture production. Every year, more than nine million tonnes of plastic garbage ends up in the ocean causing a major threat to marine life and people. Plastic timber is an affordable alternative to wood timber and reduces the need for building material manufactured from wood, preserving forests, cutting down on deforestation and mitigating the effects of climate change.

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President of Ghana and Co-Chair of the Group of Eminent Advocates for the SDGs launches Africa-wide award promoting innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals

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By Abdullahi Mohammed

Five winners will be awarded the grand prize and have their work showcased at an international level, helping them to expand their work

The President of Ghana and Co-Chair of the Group of Eminent Advocates for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has launched a pan-African award for a new generation of early stage social innovators in Africa who are solving pressing problems in the SDG focus areas.

The award, titled Africa Innovates for the SDGs will put a spotlight on SDG innovators and raise awareness around their work. Open to innovators from all countries in Africa, Africa Innovates for the SDGs will recognize and award exceptional early-stage African innovation that solves key challenges linked to the Sustainable Development Goals. Five winners will be awarded the grand prize and have their work showcased at an international level, helping them to expand their work.

“On our continent today, great African minds have been solving problems in their communities and this Award offers yet another platform to unearth, give recognition and the opportunity to take their innovations to scale for the benefit of the continent and to enhance prospects for achieving the SDGs. I call on the youth on the continent, the private sector, civil society organisations, community groups and all social innovators on the continent to actively participate in this timely initiative,” said President Akufo-Addo.

President Akufo-Addo in his role as Co-Chair of the Group of Eminent Adovocates for the SDGs has a mandate to support the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) in his efforts to generate momentum and commitment to achieve the SDGs by 2030 by working to promote the universal sustainable development agenda, raise awareness of the integrated nature of the SDGs, and foster the engagement of new stakeholders in the implementation of these Goals. The SDGs Advisory Unit of the Office of the President of Ghana is the unit supporting the President in this role.

Africa Innovates for the SDGs will accept applications for the award until September 7, 2018. To be eligible to win, applicants must be citizens of any African country or residents of any African country for a minimum of three consecutive years and must be 18 years of age or older. The award is seeking unique, new and innovative solutions that are clearly contributing to one or more of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The solutions must have already been tested or have proven impact and must have the potential to create meaningful impact on society, especially on a large number of people.

To apply for the competition, or to learn more, visit www.AfricaInnovates4sdgs.com. The award is being implemented by the non-profit organization, Reach for Change, which has successfully run innovation competitions, accelerators and incubators in countries across Africa since 2012, promoting African innovation and entrepreneurship.

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Oshiomhole To Saraki: Resign Honourably Or Be Impeached Democratically

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By Abdullahi Mohammed

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), H.E. Comrade Adams Oshiomhole addressed a press conference on Friday at the Party’s National Secretariat calling on the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki to immediately resign honorably or be impeached according to law and democratic norms.

The APC National Chairman spoke extempore.

Excerpts:

We decided to call for this press conference basically to respond to issues raised by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki during his press conference. It is important that we respond to some of the issues he canvassed, so that the public is not misled into turning villains into heros and twisting the facts that are not hidden to the Nigerian public. It is important that we help the Nigerian public by refreshing their memories.

The Senate President raised the issues of the fact that he has always acted not on the basis of his own personal interest, but that he has always acted on the basis of national interest. The truth is that it is doubtful if the Senate President has ever acted either in the National interest or in the interest of his own political party before his defection recently. Without going back to ancient history, it is important to look at how Senator Bukola Saraki became the President of the Senate. He decided, clearly, against the party position to enter into a deal with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and got a faction of the PDP, taking advantage of the fact that majority of the APC senators were holding a meeting at the International Conference Centre to resolve the issue of leadership of the senate and other principal officers that are expected to be produced by the ruling party with majority senators. Because he has put his personal interest over and above the interest of the party, he went into alliance with the PDP and conceded the position of Deputy Senate President to the opposition in other to obtain their support for him to become the Senate President. So, for the first time in our democratic history in Nigeria, we had a situation whereby, whereas the APC had majority of Senators, it went on to elect a PDP person as Deputy Senate President. This action alone portray Senator Saraki for who he is and that his personal interest come before any other interest, including national interest and that of his political party.

Having gone into this unholy alliance with the opposition and mortgaging the rights of the ruling party, he appointed opposition senators to head sensitive and strategic committees whose activities can affect either for good or for bad, the working of government and the relationship between the government and the legislature. Senator Saraki did that in other to continue to protect himself against the wishes of his party as Senate President. That showed that the only thing that was constant in his mind was to cling on to the position of Senate President even if it is at the expense of his own party and the country.

Even the media has consistently drawn attention to how Senator Saraki is managing the Senate to the extent that questions have been raised as to whose interest the Senate was serving.

You do not have to be a partisan politician to appreciate that in an election year, every democratic government around the world would do everything possible to ensure that it is seen to be working for the people of the country. Like any other political party in government, Nigerians expected the APC government under President Muhammadu Buhari to do everything possible this year to make up for lost time in terms of budget implementation and addressing critical infrastructures without which sustainable development is impossible. The Senate under Senator Saraki chose to delay the budget up to the end of the first half of the year and to coincide with the period of the rainy season such that those aspects of infrastructure such as roads cannot be constructed during the rainy season. These were not errors under his leadership, but clearly designed to frustrate the capacity of the government to address critical infrastructural deficit without which the ordinary man cannot feel the impact of government.

Again on receipt of the budget, the President cried out that it was a clear distortion from the well thought proposal that he submitted to the National Assembly. He appreciated that while they can make alteration to the budget, he did not expect that it will be completely rewritten as to make far more provisions for recurrent expenditure with very little for capital projects. He said this budget will be difficult to implement.

So, when I said he has never put the interest of Nigeria first, I support this statement with reference to the deliberate delay of the budget and deliberate manipulation of the provisions in the budget in a way that will compromise the capacity of the government to address critical infrastructures.

It is no longer a secret that as Senate President, he tried to conspire with others to create a semblance of division within the ruling party having failed to truncate the National Convention, when they assembled a handful of people who were neither delegates nor contestants for any office at the National Convention. There is nothing for me to add to the illegality of this action and the false foundation that Senator Saraki tried to leave than to adopt the well thought out presentation of Femi Falana SAN.

Those things did not portray him as someone who is concerned about sustaining democracy because sustaining democracy also implies absolute commitment to the rule of law. If the rule of law is compromised and Nigeria is reduced to a banana republic where it will be survival of the fittest, he is probably not the strongest man in town to cling on to that office. So, each time he takes an action that constitute a breach of the constitution, he is, by his own action undermining the foundation and weakening the fabrics of our democracy.

However, upon his illegal defection, which he had to do hurriedly because the number of Senators he was playing on their fears that they will not be able to return to the Senate.

At a point, he had on his list, about 36 Senators who were about to defect. But consequent upon our election, we took pre-emptive steps to reassure some of those senators. The first meeting we held after our election was with Senator Saraki to try and listen to what I called negotiable and verifiable grievances and this I did in company of the Vice President and he acknowledged that those steps were taken when he was leaving. But however, his real grievances are not negotiable which is about ambition, value and his fundamental values and the values of the APC. When he defected, he went to Ilorin to tell the people part of the truth that he was leaving for two reasons. He alleged that President Buhari gave out over 200 juicy appointments without allocating some to him and he choose to speak for the Speaker of the House of Representatives that he was also not given. My question is, giving Saraki, the Senate President juicy position, does that coincide with the Nigerian project? Or the interest of the people of Kwara State of his Senatorial zone? At no time did he refer to the interest of the people of his constituency or the people of Nigeria.

The second reason he gave was that he was being persecuted. That is alleged persecution of his person and not his people. He never pretended that any of these actions had anything, to do with the people of Nigeria, but his person. I think the governor of Kwara State was more explicit in corroborating his claim when he said that he as governor and Saraki as Senate President were being linked to armed robbery cases. Again, that has nothing to do with the Nigerian project or the Kwara people. What is the truth? Who linked Senator Saraki to armed robbery? Was it the federal government t or arrested armed robbers? It is the armed robbers that alleged that the weapons with which they carried out the operation were procured for them by the Senate President. This is contained in the police report which is no longer a secret. He has not denied knowledge of these people. So If armed robbers linked the name of the Senate President, is the APC or the government to blame? A crime that led to the killing of about 35 persons cannot be dismissed with a wave of hand and in any jurisdiction, when your name is linked to such heinous crime, people don’t clap for you. It is the duty of the security agents to investigate and establish whether they are valid or invalid. So, if he was linked to armed robbery, that cannot be an offense of the government or the APC. The best defense I have heard is that the robbers said that he did not ask them to use the weapon for armed robbery.

In support of my thesis that Saraki has never acted in the national interest, my final submission is on the way he adjourned the Senate. The senate calendar is not secret to the presiding officer and the calendar that was known was that the senate was going to adjourn on a Thursday. But by Monday night, Saraki used his guest house, wrote out names of Senators with provision for them to sign for senators to decamp from the APC to the PDP, but some of the senators refused to sign. That is what frustrated his calculations to turn the APC to a minority party in the senate. Is it a coincidence that as he was reading the names of defectors in the senate, his counterpart in the House was also doing same? So there was coordination for defection day. But happily, the pre-emptive measures we have taken to address genuine grievances frustrated their number such that from 36, he could not get more than 14 senators to decamp including one that subsequently overcame the manipulation.

Between Tuesday and Thursday, the Senate was expected to discuss the supplementary budget for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). INEC requirements are not things that you buy from the shelf. You have to order them from the manufacturers and so, time is of the essence. But the senate under Saraki adjourned without considering the matters before it including the budget for INEC. So, if Saraki adjourned the Senate ahead of schedule to resume towards the end of nominations, can that act be said to coincide with national interest? If you decide to frustrate INEC by denying it the funds that it requires, can you be said to be a defender of democracy? If INEC don’t get their funds and therefore are unable to conduct t credible election, will that not lead to further consequences for our democracy?

So, I submit that Saraki’s actions were calculated to undermine democracy. Those who fought for democracy did not do it so that it can be at the mercies of a Senate President whose interest is clearly at variance with national interest. There was a request for virement which was also not considered.

A substantial part of the 2018 budget meant for capital project was supposed to be sourced through loans and under the constitution, you cannot borrow from foreign countries without the express endorsement of the National Assembly. Without those loans, the budget cannot be implemented. While this was pending, Senator Saraki put his personal interest above his office and choose to adjourn the Senate , leaving this huge national issues unattended to. So, for an officer that behaves like that, how can he argue that anything he did was not about himself? Everything he did has never been informed by national interest. There are also allegations of lack of transparency and we have seen Nigerians trying to demystify what they earn. We have an arm that is completely unaccountable because of the way he has presided.

Therefore, his attempt to use the incident at the National Assembly on Tuesday to portray himself as the conscience of the nation is to insult our collective intelligence as a people.

There is the futile attempt he has made to suggest that the Tuesday’s incidence was an attempt to carry out an illegal impeachment. How can a presiding office arrive at such a conclusion that there was a plan to carry out an illegal impeachment? Until an action takes place, you cannot determine the outcome, if impeachment itself is unlawful, then you can understand where he is coming from. It is lawful to impeach anyone, including the President the Senate and his deputy if the number required to do so is present. So, he cannot pre-empt that. From their own statement, they claimed to be aware that the Senate President was going to be illegally impeached and so mobilized thugs to the Senate. They told the world that they have adjourned till 25th September. But meanwhile, about 15 PDP Senators were in the Senate and imported thugs that molested two of our members they saw in the senate. If APC Senators were not in the Senate and it was PDP Senators that were there, what is the basis of the false claim that there was an attempt to carry out an illegal impeachment? In any case, Saraki is not going to be the first Senate President to be impeached and I doubt if he is going to be the last. But definitely, he will be impeached according to law and democratic norms. The only way he can avoid impeachment is for him to do what is honourable.

We saw Senator Godswill Akpabio who was the PDP leader in the Senate. Once he made up his mind to leave the PDP, he wrote to inform the PDP even before his defection that he was resigning. So, Senator Saraki has demonstrated neither character nor being a man of honour. I told him when we held a meeting that he came to join the APC as a Senator and it is on our platform that you became Senate President. Once you made up your mind to leave, the honourable thing to do is to resign as Senate President. If he does not resign, he will be impeached according to law and not by thuggery or by mob or anything that undemocratic. He cannot sustain a minority rule in the Senate and that is what is haunting him in the Senate.

When I say that the Senate President will be impeached, let me emphasise that he will be impeached properly according to law. The constitution is clear how a presiding officer can be impeached and because several impeachments has taken place, we are not about to witness what has not taken place before. We have enough precedent to fall back on. I have looked at the constitution which does not say that an impeachment is illegal. It is done, you cannot arrive at the conclusion that it is unlawful. How can we be accused of planning an illegal impeachment when it has not commenced. If he thinks that by saying that he will pre-empt the APC from having him impeached, he is deceiving himself. I think that the time of Saraki is over. The way he has manipulated the politics of Kwara state, he fails to understand that the Nigerian project is far more complicated than being at the mercy of his own dynasty. He will not only be impeached, we will work hard to have him defeated as a Senator in his own Senatorial zone come 2019 by the people of Kwara state who are fed up with SarakiI. Go and check the results of the elections that made him a Senator and you will find out that the President got more votes from Kwara Central than Saraki got for himself. So, he can’t claim that the vote the APC got from his Senatorial zone was because of him. That is why his leaving is of no political consequences as far as electoral issues are concerned. We tried to talk to him, not out of fear, but out of conviction that as a presiding officer, there are rules of engagement.

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