By Chief Mike Ezekhome (SAN)
We had taken a break from our discourse on the serial decampments by politicians that bedeviled the Country, especially immediately before and after the Presidential election of March 28, 2015.
We did this to address more urgent national issues that cropped up across the Country, leading to the three part jungle series on “the political rumble in the Legislative jungle of the National Assembly”, and “Is President Buhari overwhelmed by issues of governance?”.
Today, we continue with the issue of decampments. The newspapers were awash of this ground shaking decampment of eleven senators in one fell swoop. This was how they described it.
The festering crisis in the ruling PDP was again brought to the open when 11 Senators elected on the platform of the party formally dumped it to join the opposition, All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a letter dated January 20, 2014, entitled “Notification of change of political party” and addressed to the Senate President, David Mark, eleven out of the names of 15 senators on the list appended their signatures with red pen.
Those who signed the defection notice include: Abubakar Bukola Saraki, Mohammed Shaaba Lafiagi, Abdullahi Adamu, Abdullahi Ibrahim Gobir, Umaru Dahiru, Magnus Ngei Abe, Wilson Asinobi Ake, Bindo Umaru Jibrilla, Mohammed Danjuma Goje, Aisha Jummai AlHassan, and Ali Mohammed Ndume.
Others whose names were on the list but did not sign are: Senator Saidu Ahmed Alkali, Basheer Garba, Ahmed Zanna and Ahmed Hassan Barata. iReportsng.com’s bureau in Abuja confirmed that the letter was delivered to Senate President by Senator Saraki at today’s plenary.
Dressed in blue two-piece suit, Senator Saraki walked straight to the dais and tendered the letter to the Senate President, while other members were busy debating the 2014 budget.
The defection notice written in the three paragraph letter reads: “We, the undersigned senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria elected under the platform of the Peoples democratic Party (PDP), wish to notify you that we have severally and jointly joined the APC.
This action and decision is as a result of the division and factionalisation in the PDP that sponsored our elections into the Senate. In view of the above, we write to inform you that following the division and factionalisation in the PDP, have formally joined the All Progresives Congress, APC.
This communication is made pursuant to section 68 (1) (g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) for your information, guidance and record purposes”.
Saraki’s move appears to have been well rewarded as he is today the President of the Senate, largely with the parental support of his former PDP party, against his new party, the APC, which was against his ascendancy to the senate presidency preferring instead, the Lawan-Akume ticket.
SHEKARAU RETURNED HOME
Meanwhile, the former governor of kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, also formally announced his defection to the PDP. He was aggrieved that the national leadership of the APC handed over the leadership of the party in Kano State to the state governor, Musa KwanKwaso, who had earlier defected from the PDP along with four other governors to the APC. Both Shekarau and Kwankwaso are bitter political rivals in the politics of Kano.
PDP had celebrated Shekarau’s decampment as hauling a big fish. However, the election results in Kano State where the PDP was mercilessly thrashed in both the presidential and gubernatorial elections, did not give credence to this euphoria.
APPOINTMENT OF DR EMMANUEL IBE KACHIKWU AS GMD, NNPC: A ROUND PEG IN A ROUND HOLE.
The announcement of Dr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu as the new GMD, NNPC, signposts the real change President Buhari has been preaching. Dr Kachikwu is a thorough bred, oil czar, and indeed a round peg in a round hole.
A first class graduate of law of the University of Nigeria, Nsuka, Enugu Campus, Dr Kachikwu also made a first class in the Nigerian Law School, carting home most of the prizes. He thereafter did his Masters and Doctorate Degrees in Harvard University, coming top in the class.
The real change in Buhari’s appointment of Dr Kachikwu is that unlike his predecessors who are usually Engineers, Dr Kachikwu is a renowed corporate, oil and gas Lawyer and a well respected technocrat, with an impeccable pedigree.
He has traversed the oil industry from Texaco Nigeria, as General Counsel upstream and downstream, to Flame Oil Company, his private Oil Firm, and then later, as General Counsel to Exxon-Mobil, for many years, before he was elevated to the position of Executive Vice Chairman in charge of the entire continent of Africa.
Highly connected internationally, this multiple awards winner and publisher of numerous magazines and books is the author of two novels, three law books that deal with investment, corporate finance, contract, partnership and company law, and several articles, some published in reputable Journals across the world.
As Executive Vice Chairman in charge of Africa, Dr Kachikwu was in charge of drafting compliance programmes, regulations and anti-corruption laws in Africa. With this appointment, there is every hope that PMB’s promise to clean the augean stable that is the NNPC, will be actualized, after all.
As one of the most respected top black men in Exxon-Mobil, Dr Kachikwu will no doubt bring to bear on his new appointment, his vast experience in the entire oil industry in all its ramifications.
No doubt, he has a gargantuan task in his hands in restructuring the NNPC which is the cash cow of the Nigerian economy.
Kudos, PMB, for this right choice. Congrats, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, for this well deserved appointment.
Are PMB, Senator Saraki, decampees, NNPC, Kachikwu, and all Nigerians reading and digesting this my unputdownable weekly sermon on Sunday in the Nigerian Project?