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Nigeria And The Danger Of One Party State

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Barely two months after the governor of Cross River State, Professor Ben Ayade surprised observers in his conservative state by defecting to the ruling All Peoples Congress, (APC), his counterpart in Zamfara, Governor Bello Matawalle followed suit on Tuesday by also dumping the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC.

Before now, and just last year, the governor of Ebonyi State, Mr. Dave Umahi also surprised many in the Southeast and the country at large, when he came out to tell the world that he would be leaving the PDP to the APC. Not a few people were dumfounded because the region has been a predominantly PDP geopolitical zone and were wondering if the governor was not committing political suicide through his action.

Even so, there were speculations that Umahi jumped the fence because he was promised a juicy position or office in a post 2023 politics. Yet, others were of the view that the governor’s audacity to jump ship, when he was not too sure of landing in a comfortable place, was a product of deep political pragmatism and not that he was being unnecessarily opportunistic.

But what are the reasons being adduced by both Ayade and Matawalle for leaving the party that gave them the tickets and structures to contest election? While Ayade justified his defection on the basis of ‘helping’ President Muhammadu Buhari in his quest to give the country the needed leadership, Matawalle is yet to give the PDP, the people of Zamfara and Nigerians any cogent reason for his defection.

Speaking during the defection, Ayade had said, “We need to join hands with President Buhari in his determination to enhance the fortunes of the country. I need all governors to similarly join me and understand my decision to join the APC.

“We need to work ahead with the president for the future and unity of Nigeria. We all need to sit at the same dining table with Mr Presidential to save Nigeria. It is my responsibility to bring back Cross River to the centre in order to enhance her fortunes”.

Whether the above reason was tenable or not remain to be seen, but for a governor that has performed below expectations and whose political future is uncertain, his opponents have accused him of dumping the PDP because strong forces in the party are rallying against him and are determined to decimate him before the 2023 elections.

In the case of Matawalle, while announcing his defection to the APC at a special grand rally in Gusau, the governor said: “As from today, I Bello Matawalle Maradun, governor of Zamfara, I am happy to announce my defection from the PDP to the APC.

“As from today, I am a full APC member and leader of APC in Zamfara. I am calling on all APC stakeholders in the state to join hands with me to build the party and move the state forward.”

This is simply nonsensical and idiotic. One would have expected Matawalle to, at least, lie or say something reasonable to justify the reason why he decided to betray the trust of his party. A party that stood by him when the Supreme Court pronounced him as the governor in the middle of the crisis that engulfed the ruling APC and made it impossible for them to have a candidate at the 2019 governorship election.

The PDP has however been quick to react to a development that is a danger signal and drawback to its plans and attempt to defeat the ruling APC in 2023. The party indeed accused the APC of intimidating and blackmailing its governors to defect to their camp. The party therefore vowed to use every legal instrument at its disposal to put a break to these decampments. How far they can go remains to be seen in a country that is devoid of strong political ideology and values; where politics has become a cash and carry business.

Beyond this lack of discipline, ideology and pragmatic politics is the danger of the country becoming a one party state. With the three PDP governors jumping ship when there is no shipwreck and speculations that others may follow suit, what is staring us in the face is the possibility of the nation becoming a one party state. The fear of one party dominating the political space is no longer impossible. What is even more troubling is that one would have expected the ruling APC to be losing steam and support, both among the masses and the political elite with the current state of the nation, but the reverse seems to be the case.

In a country where there is massive unemployment; where insecurity has become a recurring decimal; where the debt portfolio has been rising with no hope of any respite; where youth restiveness has become a routine and a constant feature; where the ruling party has shown lack of capacity and leadership in tacking myriads of problems facing the country and in a country where the future is becoming increasingly bleak, the natural course of events would have been for the ruling party to be losing support.

There is however no doubt that the APC is desperate to remain in power beyond 2023 and its doing everything, including using the instrumentality of state to either coarse, intimidate or blackmail political opponents to its corner of the ring. This is wrong in its entirety and should be condemned by all lovers of democracy and good governance in the country. And the PDP should wake up from slumber and do more to put the ruling party on its toes. The party should go beyond issuing press releases and strategically put its house in order, unify its members and act as a veritable alternative to the ruling party.

For sure, a one party state is in the interest of the hegemonic tendencies within the ruling party, but this will be against the interest of democracy and future of this country. I can’t remember any time during the PDP years in Aso rock when the party stifled the opposition or try to strangle the democratic space. Of course, there was a time its former chairman, Vincent Ogbulafor boasted that the party will rule for 60 years uninterrupted, but it all came to naught when the party mismanaged its political capital and trust of the people and was beaten by the APC.

What is even more befuddling is the role of President Buhari in all these. It appears Buhari is less perturbed if the country becomes a one party state. With the presidential statements that have been following the defections and the red carpet the governors have been receiving in Aso rock, it’s all too glaring that the attempt to stifle the democratic space has a presidential seal.

For all lovers of democracy and those who love this country, this is not the time to keep quiet. The civil society should not sleep over this and the various stakeholders in the democratic process should open their eyes to the danger ahead. It’s not impossible that the ruling party is working on a script with these defections and with the benefit of hindsight, Nigerians must rise up and stop this tide towards a one party state before it is too late.

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Leaking Someone’s Nudes Is A Criminal Offence, BBNaija Star, Angel Blasts Critics Behind Tiwa Savage’s Sex Video

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Former Big Brother Naija Shine Ya Eye finalist, Angel, has slammed critics who blamed singer Tiwa Savage over her alleged sex tape which recently surfaced online.

The reality TV star took to her Twitter page to call out critics, adding that the act of releasing the video was a criminal offense.

Last month, Tiwa Savage had revealed during an interview with American OAP, Angie Martinez of Power 105.1, that she was being blackmailed by an unknown person who threatened to release a sex tape that featured her and her current lover.

The Koroba singer revealed that the blackmailer demanded money from her so as not to release the sex tape but she has decided not to pay the money.

A few hours ago, a sex tape leaked online. While the face of the man involved in it did not show, the lady in the video bears a close resemblance with Tiwa Savage.

As the video has gone viral, social media users on several platforms have taken to their accounts to air their opinion on the situation, and some wasted no time in blaming the singer.

Responding to the critics, Angel said, “The problem will never be the fact that someone made a sex tape or that someone took a picture naked, the problem will always lie with the person that decided to leak it. Stop victim blaming.And leaking someone’s nudes is a criminal offense. I hope one of you becomes a scapegoat.”

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PDP Charges Nigerians On National Rebirth

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The Peoples Democratic Party has urged those behind mindless killings and terrorism in Nigeria to have a rethink and retrace their steps.

The party also charged those in authority to redouble their efforts in finding solutions to the challenges facing the country.

This was contained in a statement in which the party felicitated Nigerians as they celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Maulud which marks the birthday of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.

The statement titled, ‘Eid-el Maulud: PDP Felicitates with Nigerians, Urges National Rebirth,’ was signed by the PDP National Publicity, Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan.

It read, “The Peoples Democratic Party urges Nigerians to use the occasion of this year’s Eid-el Maulud for solemn introspection and make commitment towards a rebirth in all areas of national life.

“The party notes that Eid-el Maulud, the celebration of the birth of Holy Prophet Mohammed, presents a providential occasion for our nation to put behind, all issues that cause disunity, disaffection, strife and despondency and move to a new beginning by embracing the virtues of love for one another, tolerance, mutual understanding and forgiveness, in line with the teaching of the Holy Prophet.

“The PDP insists that such is the only way to move the nation forward under the present circumstance.

“Our party urges Nigerians to resist all forces that seek to disunite them for selfish reasons and continue to work together, especially in their determination to chart a new course for our dear nation on the platform of the PDP.

“The PDP also calls on Nigerians to use the occasion to make fervent supplication to God for divine intervention as well as show love by reaching out to one another, especially the less privileged and victims of escalated acts of terrorism in our country.

“The party also urges those behind the mindless killings and acts of terrorism in our country to have a rethink and retrace their steps, while charging those in authority to redouble their efforts in finding solutions to the challenges facing our nation at this critical time.

“The PDP felicitates with Nigerians and wishes them a happy Eid-el Maulud celebration.”

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Man City Place £67m Price Tag On Sterling Amid Barca Interest

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Premier League champions Manchester City have reportedly placed an £67million price tag on Raheem Sterling amid interest from Barcelona.

The LaLiga giants are desperate to improve their forward line either in the January window or next summer and have placed Sterling on their shortlist of potential targets.

As reported by Sportsmail last week, Sterling wants to remain at Man City but will consider his future at the Premier League champions if he continues to struggle for consistent games.

No player has ever appeared in more matches managed by Pep Guardiola at Man City, yet the 26-year-old has started only two league games since the opening weekend of the season after the £100m summer signing of Jack Grealish.

“I’m not a person that’s going to complain, I’ve not tried to make it a bigger deal than it actually is,” Sterling said earlier this month.

“I get on with my work, do what I need to do. And I’m just raring to go: playing football matches regularly, scoring goals regularly.

“At the end of the day, if football for me is not at a certain standard I’m not really at my happiest. If I want my happiness at a certain level I need to be playing football. I need to be scoring goals and enjoying myself.”

Sterling has 18 months remaining on his current contract at Man City but has opted against opening discussions over an extension until his short-term future is resolved.

Now, according to Spanish newspaper Marca, City have told any club interested in signing Sterling that they will have to pay £67m to get a deal done.

Barcelona’s need for a new winger is exacerbated by Ousmane Dembele’s contract situation – his deal is set to expire at the end of the season. The club could look to move him on in January for a cut price to avoid losing their £135million signing on a free transfer.

Recent reports in Spain have linked Barcelona with an initial loan move for Sterling because their financial woes mean they could not afford to pay a huge fee for the former Liverpool star at present.

The club are in financial ruin due to their debt, which stands at more than £1billion, which contributed to LaLiga slashing their wage bill to a maximum of £90m – equivalent to that of Watford – last month.

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