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Buhari goofed on June 12 – Junaidu Muhammad

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Junaidu Muhammad

Nasiru Yusuf

A second republic parliamentarian Junaidu Muhammad has faulted President Muhammad Buhari’s declaration of June 12 as a Democracy day in Nigeria.

Mr Muhammad who represented Kano municipal federal constituency in the House of Representatives during the second republic said this in an exclusive interview with Kano Focus.

According to him both May 29 declared by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Buhari’s June 12 are irrelevant to the attainment of democracy in Nigeria.

“The declaration of June 12 as Democracy day is entirely irrelevant. “The crux of  issue is that, the former president (Obasanjo) came and celebrated his own coming to power, and declared it as democracy day.

“Now another President (Buhari) under pressure has now decided to change it to another day.

“Both exercises are irrelevant because they are irrelevant to the attainment of democracy in Nigeria.

“Nigeria was democracy before both Obasanjo and Buhari became president.

“And both of them were involved in truncating our democracy. “Buhari was part of the group who came to power under Murtala, he was the governor of Northeast, later minister of petroleum and chairman of NNPC.

“Obasanjo was also part of that group who came to power in 1975 under Murtala.

“Later both of them got involved in politics, and as a result both became presidents,” he said.

Why not 1st October?

The politician argued that October 1st would have been the best day for celebrating democracy in Nigeria, as it was the day the country got its independence from the British government.

This according to him is more legitimate, as it is not the choice of military or any government in power, but democratically elected representatives.

“But the idea that June 12 is the actual date of election is neither here nor there.

“Because we are talking of June 12 of 1990s, we got independence in 1960.

“That was over thirty years ago when we had a strong measure of democratic governance.

This cannot be denied. It is historically verifiable,” Mr Junaidu said.

June 12 is a fraud

On the candidature of late MKO Abiola and Bashir Tofa in June 12 election, Mr Muhammad described them as military protégés who were installed to enable soldiers continue exercising power from the  background after they step aside.

He argued that, the military plan failed, because the election was massively rigged and their favored candidate performed poorly, hence, they annulled the election.

On the proponents of June 12 election agitation, Dr Muhammad said  no responsible person will beat his chest and claim to have won the election due to his hard work and political strategy.

He noted that, it is a fruitless effort and a waste of time to engage in counter argument on the validity or otherwise of June 12 election.

“The idea that some group of educated elites like NADECO or whatever they call themselves decided to now claim ownership, and promoted NADECO agitation into some kind of massive political stardom is mischievous and misguided.

“Because once you look at the result of the election, the people who actually delivered the alleged winner of  the June 12 election were not the people of Southern Nigeria.

“It is the people from other parts of the country who voted him and enabled him to be claimed as the winner of the election.

“As far as I am concerned only a bloody fool will say oh, we won the election or even celebrate the outcome of the election as a result of their hard work or their agitation or their political maneuvering. “And those who want reply them are also equally wasting their time because the outcome of June 12 annulled election does not in any way confer any legitimacy to any  politician or political party now in existence or those who tried to step aside.” Mr. Junaidu said.

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My relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari – Salihu Tanko Yakasai

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Yakasai and Buhari

In light of recent events that transpired over my recent comments about the government of President Buhari, I think it is absolutely necessary to shed more light on my decades of relationship with the President, and how I am not doing anybody’s bidding with my remarks but simply reacting to issues that are happening in my country.

What is more, my comments were not aimed at casting aspersion against the person or government of Mr. President.

Far from that!

I joined partisan politics in December 2000 at the age of 24, when I officially became a member of the defunct APP at my ward, Kawaji in Nasarawa Local Government Area of Kano State.

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At that time, Kano State was PDP-controlled under the then governor, Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso.

So, I entered politics as an opposition member in my state. As at that time, I was contesting for the position of a councilor at my ward, which ended with my losing the primary election in 2004.

Pioneer Buharist

In 2002, I was in All Progressives Party (APP) when President Buhari picked the membership card of the party and officially joined politics to run for the presidency in the 2003 elections. At that time, I and millions of people particularly from the north welcomed this decision by the President with enthusiasm and zeal and we supported him 100%.

We were basically the 1st set of the so-called ‘cult-like followership ‘ of the President, simply because we believed in him to deliver and lead this country to prosperity.

He came into politics as someone people trusted and whom they see as an upright person that they can vouch for, earning him the nickname ‘Mai Gaskiya’.

We campaigned for him through thick and thin, street to street, the young and the old, and when it was election time, I was assigned by my party leaders at my ward to be the returning officer of our party, APP, for the presidential election which Buhari was contesting for.

We fought PDP hard at my ward to ensure that we delivered the ward to him in the election.

I did not sleep for almost 48 hours then, because I had to accompany the results to the local government collation centre to ensure that the results were not altered.

President Buhari did not win the 2003 general elections, but our party, the defunct APP won the governorship election in Kano State, which ushered in Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau as the new governor of the state.

But soon after that, there was friction between his camp and that of President Buhari, which later on after the 2007 elections led to the creation of a new political party formed by Buhari, that is Congress for Progressive Change, (CPC).

First meeting with Buhari

I, and my political leader at that time, Hon. Balarabe Wakili, a former member representing Nasarawa Local Government in the House of Reps (2003 to 2007) decided to pitch our camp with the President and not with Mallam Shekarau, and it was through Hon. Wakili that I first visited the President on a solidarity visit back in the early stages.

It is still in CPC that I contested for the State Assembly, which we suffered a lot because of the factionalization of the party that led to a lot of bickerings.

Ultimately, I neither got the ticket nor did our party win the election.

May I use this medium to thank the current Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Hajia Sadiya for the role she played in my election back then when she was the National Treasurer of CPC.

My surrogate father-in-law

The President, also served as my wife’s guardian during our wedding in 2006 on behalf of her late uncle, AVM Mukhtar Mohammed who was a very close associate of the President.

May I use this opportunity to tell my wife’s guardian that 14 years after he gave her hand in marriage to me, we are still living peacefully and blessed with 3 children.

We thank him for his fatherly role during the nuptial rites.

Back to politics, at the presidential level, I served as a member of the Welfare Committee of the Presidential Election of Muhammadu Buhari, with the current Minister of Water Resources, Hon. Sulaiman Adamu Kazaure as the chairman of the committee, during the 2011 presidential election.

After the formation of APC, I also served as a member of the Youth Committee during the 2015 elections, crisscrossing this country to campaign for the President which we eventually won and Buhari was ushered into government with popular national support.

Now having given the background of the long-term relationship between me and the President spanning 18 years to be precise, I have never known a political leader throughout my political career other than Buhari, even though I can count the number of times I’ve met him.

NEPU blood

I did not only wish for his success but I equally worked hard with everything that I’ve got for almost two decades to see his dream become a reality, and I will continue to stand by him.

When I see things that are going not the way they are supposed to, I naturally have that urge to try and express my concern about them, because I want things to work right.

I can understand, if by virtue of my position as an aide to a governor in the same party as the President’s that I have limitations and somehow the spotlight is always on me.

But occasionally, despite suppressing my opinions,

I find the NEPU blood in me triggering me to react.

This is in no way, meant to undermine the President or my dear party, APC.

Apologies to Ganduje

To my boss, His Excellency, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, OFR, I want to use this opportunity to apologise for putting Your Excellency in an uncomfortable position due to my personal opinions.

It is indeed something that I never intended to happen, and I am not happy about it a bit. I do not have a boss-and-aide relationship with Your Excellency; I rather have a father-and-son relationship with Your Excellency.

Indeed, I appreciate the support Your Excellency has been according me in the last five years, and I will continue to remain loyal to you and serve my state and my country through your government and in whatever other capacity.

At the end of the day, our prayer is for Nigeria to be great.

In the words of Barack Obama “Do we participate  in a politics of cynicism, or in a politics of hope?”

I am an optimist, and it’s our ardent HOPE that we will have the Nigeria of our dreams in which development and prosperity will be the norm rather than the exception; a country we can build a secured future for our children and generations yet unborn.

May we continue to do our best in ensuring this is the Nigeria that our forefathers sacrificed their lives for to lay a solid foundation.

Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Salihu Tanko Yakasai, Governor Ganduje’s suspended media aide writes from Kano.

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Ganduje reopens Kano higher institutions October 26

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Ganduje

Mukhtar Yahya Usman

Kano state governor Abdullahi Ganduje has approved the reopening of state-owned tertiary institutions on October 26.

Kano Focus reports that the commissioner for higher education, Mariya Mahmoud Bunkure announced the decision on Monday.

The announcement follows the resumption of secondary and primary schools in Kano state on Monday morning.

Ms Bunkure, a medical doctor, however directed the management, staff, and students of the schools to observe Covid-19 protocols.

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LG election: KANSIEC begins sale of nomination forms October 19

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KANSIEC Chairman

Mukhtar Yahya Usman

The Kano state Independent Electoral Commission (KANSIEC) says it will sell nomination forms for local government election candidates from October 19 to December 03, 2020.

Kano Focus reports that the KANSIEC chairman Garba Ibrahim Sheka announced that the election will hold on January 16, 2021.

Mr Sheka, a professor of Economics, said political parties are to conduct their campaigns between October 12, 2020 and January 12, 2021.

He said parties should submit completed forms for the positions of chairman and vice chairman of the 44 local government councils at the state headquarters between September O7 and 13.

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He added that completed forms for the 484 councillorship slots should be submitted at the KANSIEC local government offices.

Mr Sheka said the election will take place before the completion of the tenures of the incumbent local government council officers.

“We will hold the local government election on 16th January, 2021 as the serving chairmen completes their tenure on 11 February.” He said

Mr Sheka added that the 2002 Act that established the commission requires it to announce the election date 21 days before it holds.

He however said that due to the huge number of political parties in Kano state, KANSIEC has announced the date 90 days before the election.

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