A few hours after the government of the United States issued a statement on the just-concluded polls, a former U.S Ambassador to Nigeria has issued a more revealing statement, this time projecting on the likely outcome of the presidential election petition tribunal.
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) is challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari of All Progressive Congress (APC) at the petition tribunal, asking the court to overturn the victory of Buhari.
However, the former U.S envoy to Nigeria John Campbell said Atiku Abubakar doesn’t stand a chance of winning at the tribunal considering the wide margin between him and Buhari.
After the February 23, 2019, presidential poll, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chaired by Professor Mahmood Yakubu, announced that Buhari polled APC 15,191,847 votes to defeat his closest challenger, Atiku, who polled PDP 11,262,978 votes.
Reacting in his write-up which was published on the official website of Council of Foreign Relations, Campbell said the margin is huge for the court to overturn.
“…but Buhari’s margin of victory—some four million votes—is so large that it is unlikely courts will overturn the result.”
The former envoy also said that Nigerians have admitted the outcome of the presidential poll, “Aside from some small pro-Abubakar demonstrations, Nigerians appear resigned to the outcome.”
Why “credible” candidate failed to win the 2019 presidential election
Mr Campbell, who also served as US Department of State foreign service officer from 1975 to 2007, said Nigeria is operating under a broken system which worked against who he called credible candidates who could have done better if elected.
He specifically mentioned “Oby Ezekwesili, leader of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign and cofounder of Transparency International; Donald Duke, a former governor of Cross River State known for his innovative business development initiatives; and Kingsley Moghalu, an economist and former UN official.”
He said they were frozen out by a “geriatric and unresponsive system whose patronage politics requires candidates to have vast sums of money and the ability to distribute them.”
How democracy in Nigeria influenced other African countries
Campell, who is the author of “Nigeria: What everyone needs to know,” said enthronement of democracy in Nigeria has stabilized democratic institution in other African countries.
“When Nigeria transitioned from military to civilian rule in 1999, the effects on West Africa were palpable: coups lost their legitimacy, and the region has pursued a positive democratic trajectory ever since. But the latest presidential election is far from an example for those African countries consolidating their democracies or emerging from quasi-authoritarian regimes to emulate.
“We note the assessments of international and domestic observer missions affirming the overall credibility of the election, despite localized violence and irregularities,” says @SecPompeo about #Nigeria election. pic.twitter.com/hKSOykzRxE
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) March 1, 2019
Nothing changed about leadership in Nigeria
John Campell also condemned the fact that the old set of people who have been on the corridor of power since Nigeria’s Independence in 1960 are still the leaders in present-day Nigeria.
“Buhari and Atiku are part of the political class that has dominated Nigeria since independence in 1960. Their contest meant there would be no generational leadership change in a country where the average age is eighteen and half of registered voters are under thirty-five. “
In the insightful article, the foreign policy expert submitted that President Buhari’s campaign before the election couldn’t be called a political campaign, “Buhari who spent much of his last term abroad for medical treatment, hardly campaigned at all.”
Buhari and Atiku have no idea on solving challenges facing Nigeria
One of the issues that also got the attention of Campell in his epic article is what he called the undemocratic spirit of the two major political parties in Nigeria: PDP and APC.
“Both parties are undemocratic in spirit and function primarily to contest elections rather than to promote legislation or policy.”
He faulted them for failing to address fundamental issue that could move Nigeria and its people forward, “During their campaigns, the candidates and their parties offered little that was new to address security breakdowns caused by Boko Haram in the country’s northeast; conflict over land use, ethnicity, and religion in the Middle Belt; and the division of oil revenue in the Delta.”
“They were mute on climate change, urbanization, and a population boom that is expected to push Nigeria past 450 million people by the middle of the century,” he said.
This isn’t the first time government of the United States is lambasting Nigeria and its policies, but the latest article by John Campell exposes some fundamental issues Buhari will be battling with when his second term kick start May 29, 2019.
Swedish lawmakers wash their own clothes — and earn in a year what a Nigerian senator gets in 60 days
Israel’s First Lady, Rivlin is dead
Israel’s First Lady, Nechama Rivlin, 73, died on Tuesday morning after battling with a respiratory disease for years, the Presidential Residence announced.
She died at Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva, The Jerusalem Post reports.
Three months ago, Rivlin underwent a lung transplant.
Rivlin suffered from pulmonary fibrosis and required the constant use of a portable oxygen tank, which was attached to her even during official ceremonies she attended with her husband.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement: “Together with all the citizens of Israel, my wife Sara and I express deep sorrow at the passing of the wife of the president, Nehama Rivlin.
“We all prayed for her healing during the recent period in which she fought bravely and with all her might for her life.
“We extend our heartfelt condolences to the president and to all his family. May her memory be a blessing,” he said.
Rivlin was born in Moshav Herut, an agricultural community in today’s central Israel.
Her parents, Drora and Mendi, emigrated from the Ukraine and were among the pioneer founders of the community.
In 1971, she married Reuven Rivlin and the couple lived in Jerusalem.
Rivlin had a BSc in Botany and Zoology. As the first lady, she focused her activities on the environment, nature and art, as well as children with special needs.
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JUST IN!!! IT’S TIME FOR BIAFRA TO STAND AS A NATION – INDIA PRIME MINISTER
The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Damodardas Modi said, is not that Nigeria is too big to be one Nation, but because of Tribal and Religious problem.
The only way out is to allow Biafrans form their Biafra Republic and become a Christian Nation, Northerners are Free to go and become the Muslim Nation.
India is bigger than Nigeria, but we don’t have any Religious or Tribal problems, He commend IPOB for their resoluteness and steadfastness, , He made this known after watching IPOB members doing their Peaceful Rally/Protest with their flag in India. Those of you who thinks Biafra is joke, you’ll be surprised, just keep watching!
Theresa May resigns: British Prime Minister cry tears when she decide to step down on June 7
It’s been the honour of my life to serve the country I love’: Theresa May breaks down as she announces she will stand down on June 7 in emotional announcement and pleads for politicians to find Brexit compromise that eluded her
PM spent the night at home in Berkshire with her husband Philip before returning to Downing Street today
Theresa May announce plans to step aside as Tory leader on June 7 and leave No10 over the summer
Mrs May began the day with a meeting with the Tories’ backbench 1922 shop steward Sir Graham Brady
She then address the nation from Downing Street to explain why she has decided to leave ‘the job I love’
It will be recalled that her predecessor, David Cameron also resigned in what can be seen as an abrupt end to his six-year premiership, after the British public took the momentous decision to reject his entreaties and turn their back on the European Union.
There is serious problem facing great Britain
Pope Francis announces new rule for Catholics
Catholic Pontiff, Pope Francis, on Thursday, announced that henceforth, bishops would be accountable for sexual abuses or cover ups in their jurisdictions.
The pronouncement, which signalled a change in Catholic Church law, makes reporting of sexual cases obligatory for clerics and allows anyone to complain directly to the Vatican if necessary.
The papal decree, which covers abuse of children and adults, also obliges every Catholic diocese in the world to set up simple and accessible reporting systems and encourages local churches to involve lay experts in investigations.
The decree, whose preparation was reported first by Reuters in April, is the second of such papal provision since a summit on abuse by senior Church bishops at the Vatican in February.
It sets time limits for local investigations and the Vatican’s response to them and allows for retroactive reporting.
It also says bishops with conflicts of interest should recuse themselves from investigations and that they can also be held accountable for abuse of power in sexual relations with adults.
The 19-article decree called “Vos Estis Lux Mundi” (You Are the Light of the World), raises 16 to 18, the age of adulthood in cases of sexual abuse.
It also covers possession of child pornography.
The decree says local Church officials cannot order those, who report abuse to remain silent and that senior bishops should make provisions to prevent documents from being destroyed by subordinates if needed.
It directed that clerics should follow local law on whether they are obliged to report alleged sexual abuse to civil authorities.
Fire breaks out at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris
A huge fire swept through the roof of the famed Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris on Monday evening, sending flames and huge clouds of grey smoke billowing into the sky.
The flames and smoke plumed from the spire and roof of the gothic cathedral, visited by millions of people a year.
A spokesman for the cathedral told AFP that the wooden structure supporting the roof was being gutted by the blaze.
The fire service said the blaze could be “potentially linked” to ongoing renovations.
President Emmanuel Macron cancelled a major televised policy speech he was due to give on Monday evening over the “terrible fire ravaging Notre-Dame.”
Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo in a tweet described it as a “terrible fire”.
“The Paris fire service is trying to control the flames,” she wrote on Twitter, asking residents to respect the security cordon thrown up around the site.
A spokesperson for the cathedral said the fire, which comes as French Catholics prepare to celebrate Easter, broke out at around 1650 GMT.
Fire trucks could be seen speeding through Paris towards the scene on the Ile de la Cite — an island in the Seine at the heart of Paris.
The Paris police department in a tweet called on residents to avoid the area and to “make way for rescue vehicles”.
US President Donald Trump in a tweet said: “So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!”
Hundreds of people gathered on the bridges of Paris downriver to witness the scene, some filming the images with their smartphones, an AFP reporter said.
A burning smell filled the air.
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