2013 in Retrospect…

IN the annals of Nigeria’s political development, the year 2013 would certainly come into reckoning going by some activities that dotted the political landscape. Expectedly, some of these events may still shape political activities in the coming year. Here are some of the events:
Southern Nigeria Peoples Assembly
As part of the efforts to garner support for President Jonathan against 2015, the Southern Nigeria Peoples Assembly met in Enugu to, among other things work out
modalities to reach out to the northerners to support the president. At the meeting, an Ijaw leader and former federal commissioner for information, Edwin Clarke said, “We are meeting because we believed that putting everything together in the South we have not performed very well due to our disunity. When the 19 northern States are meeting, we the 17 in the South will not be meeting. When the 19 governors in the North are meeting, our 17 governors will never meet. Its never too late lets also meet.”
Those at the meeting include Edwin Clarke, Dr Alex Ekwueme, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, Gani Adams, Tony Graham Douglas, Dr. Sam Egwu, Ambassador Frank Ogbuewu, Dr. Dozie Ikedife, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Mike Okiro, Sylvanus Ngene, James Sekibo, Anthony Oguguo, Walter Ofonagoro, Senator A. Wabara, Ebitu Ukiwe, Chief Olu Falae among a host of others.
Ex-Minister Ezekwesili Dares FG, Insists Jonathan Squandered $67 Billion Foreign Reserve
Former minister and ex-vice president of World Bank, Oby Ezekwesili accused President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration of squandering a whooping $67 billion of foreign reserve without anything to show for it.
Farouk/Otedola bribery scandal
Nigerians were shocked to discover that Hon. Farouk Lawan, formerly the chairman of House of Reps Ad-Hoc committee on fuel subsidy which probed the administration of the fuel subsidy regime allegedly compromised his position by demanding and accepting $620,000 bribe
Mr Femi Otedola, the chief executive officer of Zenon Oil had alleged that Mr Lawan and Mr Emenalo Boniface, both members of the House of Representatives collected $620,000 bribe from him to expunge the name of his company from the list of companies involved in the fraudulent oil subsidy claims.
Farouk and his colleague were subsequently arraigned by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, (ICPC) before Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi of an Abuja High Court on a seven counts criminal charge.
Still in January, all the efforts by President Goodluck Jonathan to extract a commitment from seven state governors to sheathe their swords in the battle against Tukur failed. Myriads of assurances from party chieftains to the contrary notwithstanding, the governors were said to be bent on removing Tukur over his alleged role of shielding President Jonathan.
Sensing that the governors, who are said to have influence on majority of members of the party’s NEC, could eventually have their way in sacking him, Tukur was said to have vowed that almost all the members of the NWC would go with him.
Three political parties-the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) came together to form the All Progressives Congress (APC), an alliance with the sole aim of taking on the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
In the same month, in an apparent effort to polarize the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) the PDP set up the PDP Governor’s Forum with Governor Godswill Akpabio emerging as its chairman. The forum was expected to be at par with the already divided NGF led by Governor Amaechi.
APC and the struggle for registration
While the APC was waiting for registration as a political party, a group under the aegis of African Peoples Congress and All Patriotic Citizens also applied for INEC registration, adopting APC as an acronym as well, reportedly “a development interpreted to be a move to thwart the successful coalition of the opposition parties, ahead of the 2015 general elections.
Impeachment of Imo deputy governor
After a hard fought battle and a sustained media campaign to remain in office, the embattled Imo State deputy governor, Mr. Jude Agbaso, was impeached by the state House of Assembly.
His removal from office followed the decision of the seven-man probe panel inaugurated by the state chief judge, Justice Benjamin Njemanze, to continue with the investigation into allegations of financial misconduct leveled against the deputy governor.
In his place, the state governor’s Chief of Staff, Mr. Eze Madumere, was cleared by the state assembly as the deputy governor-nominee and was sworn in.
In May, President Goodluck Jonathan declared state of emergency in northeast states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa as part of the measures to fight Boko Haram, a rebel group that has been battling to create an Islamic state in the country’s mainly Muslim north for several years.
Leadership tussle tore the Nigeria Governors Forum into two. Although Governor Chibuike Amaechi of River state was duly elected at the NGF meeting where he scored 19 votes against governor Jonah Jang of Plateau state sthat scored 16. Jang’s camp had faulted Amaechi’s emergence on the grounds that it had earlier adopted Jang as the consensus chairman, claimings that the constitution of the Forum did not give room for a second term.
PDP suspends Amaechi
Similarly, the leadership of the PDP suspended governor Amaechi of Rivers state and Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State from its fold but later reversed that of Wamakko.In another vein, President Jonathan urged state governors to sign death warrants of criminals condemned to death by courts of competent jurisdiction. This perhaps, prompted the Edo State Government on June 24, 2013, to confirm the execution of four convicts — Chima Ejiofor, Daniel Nsofor, Osarenmwinda Aiguokhan and Richard Igagu.
(August – December coming up soon)

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