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APC Chairmanship Race, Am Most Qualified Says Barrister Mohammad Bello Mustapha.



Barrister Mohammad Bello Mustapha has more chances than any other aspirants for the post of All Progressives Congress Chairmanship. In AriseTv Morning Show today, he said having toured the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria and consultated widely, the youths should be able to vote for their own considering the fact that 60% of the Nigeria population are youths.

Bello posited that he will revitalise the APC into a strong force as it strives towards excellence in the political scene of Nigeria. Despite the numerous challenges,  Bello is committed to ensuring that the future and good will of the APC is not jeopardised.

In his words ‘I will give every wing of the Party a sense of belonging and will reposition and reconstitute the APC ahead of 2023.

He then called on all Progressives in APC and Nigeria to stand by him and give him support needed.


Nelly Agwu is an educationist, a Blogger, graduate of History. Very dynamic and a realist. A mouthpiece of the oppressed. Easy going and a Philanthropist.

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Just In, Senate Finally Approves Electronic Transmission Of Results By INEC In Nigeria.



The Senate on Tuesday passed a bill to rescind its decision which subjected the Independent National Electoral Commission to seek approval from the Nigerian Communications Commission before it could transmit elections results electronically.

The upper chamber also voted in support of the conduct of party primaries only by direct method.

The Bill is titled, “Recommittal of amended clauses of a bill for an Act to repeal the Electoral Bill 2021 and enact the Electoral Act 2021.”

The Senate had in July, during consideration of a report on 2010 Electoral Act  (Amendment) Bill 2021 submitted by its Committee on INEC, amended clause 52(3) as recommended.

While the clause as presented by the committee in the report says INEC can transmit election results electronically where and when practicable, the Senate passed the amended version which says “INEC can transmit election results electronically subject to confirmation of the NCC based on adequacy and security of National Network.

The House of Representatives at the time, adopted the clause as originally recommended by committees of both Chambers on INEC.

Consequently, the Senate has been in the eye of the storm which made it make the amendment.

Clause 52: has to do with the conduct of poll by open secret ballot.

Sub section (2) now reads, “Subject to section 63 of this Bill, voting at an election and transmission of results under this Bill shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the Commission, (INEC) which may include electronic voting.”

The Senate in approving direct primary for political parties amended clause 87 which allowed for either direct or indirect primaries.

Clause 87 has to do with nomination of candidates by parties.

It now reads, “Clause 87. (1) “A political party seeking to nominate candidates for elections under this Bill shall hold direct primaries for aspirants to all elective positions, which shall be monitored by the Commission.”

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Arewa And Oduduwa More Alike Than Unlike ~ Professor Farooq A. Kperogi.



Arewa and Oduduwa More Alike than Unlike,

By Farooq A. Kperogi.

The past few months have ignited impassioned and frenzied political brickbats between the elites of the South and those of the Muslim North. Plus, over the years, the differences between the people of the regions are often magnified and their similarities papered over. In today’s column, I show how this is all elite manipulation.
Centuries before colonialism and the British-supervised formation of Nigeria, much of what we know today as northern and western Nigeria have had robust relational and cultural encounters, evidence of which still endures in the contemporary linguistic and cultural artifacts of the people.
The centuries-long Trans-Saharan Trade between the Arab world and so-called Sub-Saharan Africa, which passed through much of what is now northern and western Nigeria between the eight and the seventeenth centuries, brought traces of Islam and cultural interchanges in both places.
Thereafter, both regions witnessed massive migrations of the Mandinka people from the Mali empire who brought more concentrated expressions of Islam—and monarchies. That is why much of what used to be the Oyo empire was actually ethnically syncretic. Take northern Oyo, called Oke-Ogun in Yorubaland, for example. Several of the towns and villages there were founded by people from Borgu who themselves trace their ancestry to Mali.
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For instance, Ogbomoso, a major Oyo town, was founded by a Baatonu (Bariba) prince. The title of the town’s monarch, “Soun,” is a corruption of “Suno,” the Baatonu word for king. Kishi, another major town in Oke-Ogun, was founded by a Baatonu prince by the name of Kilishi Yeruma. Kilishi is the Hausa word for rug (which symbolizes the throne) and Yeruma is the corruption of the Kanuri “yerima,” which means prince. But “Kilishi Yeruma” is a fossilized, time-honored title in all of Borgu, which is a cultural melting pot, for the heir apparent to the throne.
Even the town of Igboho whose son, Sunday Igboho, has become the symbol of “Oduduwa republic,” is ethnically syncretic. Apart from the large number of Fulani people in and around the town who have lived there for centuries, some of whom have become culturally and linguistically Yoruba, there is a major neighborhood there that is called Boni.
Boni is the generic Borgu birth-order name for the fourth son. That is why many Igboho people embrace me as their brother when they find out where I am from even though I don’t speak Yoruba well enough to sustain a conversation in it.
Historical accounts also reveal that during the Trans-Saharan Trade, many Hausa people worked as intermediaries between Arab traders and the Alaafin of Oyo. Most didn’t return to their places of birth, and their descendants are now Yoruba people.
Similarly, we read from the late Professor Abdullahi Smith’s account of the tiff between Afonja and the Alaafin of Oyo that a large chunk of Afonja’s army, called the Jama’a, was drawn from Hausa slaves who escaped from the Alaafin’s palace.
And the Fulani presence in Yoruba land preceded the coming of Mu’alim “Alimi” Salihu to Ilorin by several decades, perhaps centuries. As I pointed out in a past column titled “Ilorin is an Ethnogenesis: Response to Kawu’s Anti-Saraki Ilorin Purism,” some of Afonja’s followers, with whom he fought the Alaafin, according to Abdullahi Smith who quoted the Ta’alif, a pamphlet written in Arabic by an Ilorin Yoruba Muslim cleric about the events of the time at the time they occurred, were Fulani pastoralists who were never Muslims.
The pastoralists had lost their cattle to tsetse fly bites and “had nothing to lose,” according to Smith, so they became Afonja’s mercenaries. One of the Fulani pastoralists whom Alimi couldn’t convert to Islam, was a man named Ibrahim Olufade who spoke perfect Yoruba and Fulfulde and acted as the interpreter for Afonja in his initial interactions with Alimi.
In other words, Fulani people had been bearing Yoruba names in Yorubaland at least a century before Nigeria was formed. I won’t be surprised if descendants of Ibrahim Olufade are now Yoruba (nationalists) if they are in western Nigeria.
My hunch has some basis in real-life examples. One of northern Nigeria’s most celebrated journalists, the late Hajia Bilikisu Yusuf, was descended from Yoruba people who migrated to Kano generations ago. She was one of the most passionate defenders of Arewa that I know.
When the late Mohammed Sule, author of the famous The Undesirable Element in the Pacesetter Series, told me of Hajia Bilikisu’s Yoruba background in Kaduna in the late 1990s, I was incredulous. But he said they were neighbors in Kano and swore that Hajia Bilikisu’s grandfather still spoke Yoruba.
The ancestors of the late Professor Ibrahim Ayagi of Kano were Yoruba. As he himself told the Daily Trust on September 2, 2018, “Unguwar Ayagi was initially inhabited by the Yoruba and Nupawa, who came from outside and settled here. That’s how the place became known as Ayagi. So most of the people in Ayagi are Yoruba, Nupe and, of course, Hausa.”
In fact, a one-time civilian governor of old Sokoto State (i.e., present-day Sokoto, Zamfara, and Kebbi states) traces his ancestry to a Yoruba man. And he governed the heart of the caliphate.
Given this depth and breadth of relational interconnectedness, it is no surprise that northern and western Nigeria share an extensive repertoire of cultural vocabularies that are derived from Arabic, Songhai (because the Malians who brought Islam to Hausa land, Borgu, and Yorubaland abandoned their language and spoke a dialect of Songhai called Dendi), and mutual borrowings.
I will give a few examples. In both Yoruba land and Borgu, the term from an unmarried girl is some version of the word “wondia.” That’s a Songhai word for an unmarried girl. “Bere,” a title of respect prefixed to the names of older people in Borgu and parts of Yoruba land, is a Songhai word. The word “karambani,” which I was shocked to find out occurs in Yoruba, is a Songhai word that is now integral to the lexis of many languages in Borgu.
Asiri, the word for secret in Hausa, Yoruba, Kanuri, Baatonu, and many other languages in Muslim northern Nigeria, is derived from the Arabic “as-sirr” where it also means “secret.” Wahala, which used to be limited to Yoruba and languages in Muslim northern Nigeria but which is now widely used all over Nigeria, is derived from the Arabic “wahla,” which means “fright,” “terror.”
Yoruba and most languages in Muslim northern Nigeria also use “talaka” (talika in Yoruba) to refer to the poor. The word also appears in Mandinka, Songhai languages, Teda, and in other West African polities where Islam is predominant.
Talaka is derived from “talaq,” the Arabic word for divorce. (The chapter of the Qur’an that deals with the subject of divorce is called Suratul Talaq). Talaq is derived from the verb “talaqa,” which means to “disown,” to “repudiate.” In times past (and it’s still the case today in many Muslim societies) if a woman was divorced, she was invariably thrown into poverty. Thus, Tuaregs used the term “taleqque” to denote a “poor woman.” But Hausa, Kanuri, Yoruba, Mandinka, and other West African languages expanded the original Tuareg meaning of the word to include every poor person.
And although the term “alufa/alfa” has now been replaced by “malam” in Hausa, it is still widely used in Yoruba and other languages in Muslim northern Nigeria and owes etymological debt to the Mandinka. It denotes a Muslim scholar but has evolved to other meanings in the languages that use it. It can be a synonym for Muslim in Baatonu and a husband among Yoruba Muslim women.
It is derived from the Arabic “khalifah,” which means a “successor” or a “representative” (of the prophet of Islam). It was first corrupted to “Alfa” by the Songhai-speaking Mandinka from Mali who later exported their version of the word to western and central Nigeria—and to other parts of West Africa.
The ever-present “lafia/alafia/lapia” that dots the lexis and structure of Yoruba and many languages in Muslim northern Nigeria is derived from the Arabic “afiya,” which means “health.” And “alubosa,” the Yoruba word for “onion,” was borrowed from the Hausa “albasa,” which Hausa itself borrowed from the Arabic “al-basal.”
There are also direct borrowings from the native vocabularies of Yoruba and Arewa languages. To give a few examples, the Yoruba “lakaye” is derived from the Hausa “la’akari.” Seriki, which is even a personal name in Yoruba land, and which often collocates with titles, is borrowed from the Hausa “sarki,” which means king.
Jaara in Yoruba (which has spread to other Nigerian languages, including Pidgin English, where it means a courtesy addition after a purchase) is a loan from the Hausa gyara. Pali in Yoruba is kwali in Hausa.
In a conversation with Dr. Muhammad S Balogun, a polymathic epidemiologist at ABU whose parents are from Offa but who was born and raised in Kano, I also learned that many everyday words in Hausa are borrowed from Yoruba. The examples he gave include ashana [asana], akwatu [apoti], alaakun [alakun], kwana-kwana [pano-pano], gwale-gwale [gbale-gbale], tale-tale [tele-tele], agwaluma [agbalumo], saukale [sokale], awara [wara], atarugu [atarodo], teba [eba], alabo [elubo], ayoyo, agushi [egusi], alala [olele], agogo, keke, kia-kia.
Of course, sharing cultural and linguistic similarities is not a necessary and sufficient condition to unite, but it’s a good starting point. It also helps to remember that while we are different in many ways, we are also more alike than the elites want us to acknowledge.

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The Public Sphere With Chido Nwakanma Moblising Ndigbo For Voters Registration.



INEC has commenced voter registration for the 2023 elections beginning 28 June 2021 until August.

It comes against the backdrop of some confusion in the South-East concerning its political future given recent events. INEC planned the voters’ roll initially for February 2021, and this column noted that it would play a critical role towards 2023. I called on the Igbo Nation to organise for it.
I repeat the call I made in November 2020 concerning this matter.

No excuse would suffice anymore for failing to mobilise Ndigbo to register. Where are the South-East Governors Forum, the Local Governments, and the political parties? Where are the socio-cultural and political groups of the region? Oruo la na omume.

No one should plead distraction because of the arrest and trial of IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu. The strategic game is to ensure full participation wherever the dice rolls. The Igbo Elite Consensus is to continue with one Nigeria, seek restructuring and pursue the Presidency. Voter numbers are critical. I invite you to factor in this exercise.

INEC records show that 42 000 citizens registered in the first two days of opening the portal. More than any other region, the South-East needs to ensure that its citizens register in the required numbers and at the right places. In the 2019 exercise, the South-East posted a minor voter registration of 10.05m or 11.97 per cent. It was lower than even the distressed and war-torn North East that posted 11.2m or 13.4%. The North-West posted 20.13m or 24%, and the South-West 16.29m or 19%.

The breakdown for the South-East shows Abia, 1, 932, 892; Anambra, 2, 447, 996; Ebonyi, 1, 459, 933; Enugu, 1, 944, 016 and Imo, 2, 272, 293. The states and the entire region can do much better than what these numbers tell.

Numbers are a critical index in politics as in business. The South-East prides itself on its understanding of numbers in business. However, it fails to do so in the critical arena of the struggle for acquisition, control, and utilisation of state power, otherwise called politics. The region must now understand the numbers game in politics.
The South-East seeks, deservedly, an opportunity to run the country with its own as President come 2023.

The ground game is critical for this aspiration to count and for others to take it seriously. The ground game starts now with mobilisation for voter registration.
Adequate numbers will serve as a bargaining chip in the hard-nosed negotiations ahead for both the Presidency and reckoning in other areas in the country.

Many factors account for the region’s deficient registration, and most of it is self-inflicted. Groups who have confused young people over the past few years, canvassing against registration for the census and voting caused part of it, while a large population of the region’s people live outside.

A breakdown of the numbers would probably show a 60-40 or even 50-50 split between those who live at home and citizens outside the homeland. South-Easterners contributed to the numbers in the South-West, North Central and the North-West, and the South-South. In 2023, that rationalisation will not count. The region can minimise the numbers outside and create bulk.

Then there is the matter of voter apathy by persons from the region. There is much lamentation on the trending village square of the mobile age, WhatsApp, but not much else. Citizens do not register, attend political events, or show interest in their previously engaged citizenship activities within their towns unions. They are yet to transfer participation in village developmental activities to the political arena of parties and elected governments of legislature and executive.

The elite and the middle class are worse as they represent all bluster and no muster. The call is on the political class of the South East, the immediate beneficiaries of the political permutations if they turn out aright.

The various Igbo socio-cultural and political associations should now step up to the plate. They range from Ohanaeze through Aka Ikenga, Nzuko Umunna, Igbo Bu Igbo, the Society of Igbo Professionals, and many others.
Mobilise Ndigbo for voter registration.

The mobilisation must be total. Mobilise the people emotionally, intellectually, physically, and fiscally. Ndigbo must replicate in July and August 2021 the mass return to the homeland in December and August. They must move from the major cities outside and return to the motherland to register for voting. These groups can and should organise and sponsor transportation for willing citizens from the major hubs. Consider Lagos and Ibadan as take off for persons in the South-West. Abuja would serve persons in the FCT and neighbouring states.

The North-West should use Kaduna and Sokoto. Then Jos and Maiduguri for the North-East.
The arrest of the Bete Noire of the elite, Nnamdi Kanu, provides the opportunity for them to show relevance by mobilising citizens to register for voting. The advantages will accrue mainly to the political class. Those advantages will count for whatever be the consensus of the region on a political direction.

It is time to stop the play-acting by the elite, the middle class, and the political class. These groups need to put their money in support of their mouth and ambitions. They should pay for the mass return of our citizens to register for voting.

No, it will not suffice to call on citizens to come home. Incentivise them. Leadership involves paying the price on behalf of the many and leading the way. Leaders should earn their pips. The cost should not be a deterrent, and it is not much. We are looking at about 120-150 luxury buses over a month. Others could also sponsor PJs!
Citizens should prepare to take a one-week break for this exercise. The calculation takes two days of travel and at least two days to ensure that the registration happens. Allow for bureaucratic hiccups or inertia. Then return to your base.

The Ohanaeze Strategy Team should link with socio-cultural groups and the secretariats of all the political parties in the region.

The parties should be at the forefront. Citizen mobilisation for voting is one of the primary functions of political parties. The time is now to do so.

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