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Azu Ishiekwene: Triumph of ‘Yahoo-Yahoo’ governors



Azu Ishiekwene: Triumph of ‘Yahoo-Yahoo’ governors

The perpetrators of Yahoo-Yahoo in Akeredolu’s class and party also have the security agencies at their beck and call.

In the midst of our current misery, the Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu thought we needed something to cheer last week, so he offered a joke, which was telling and disturbing.

In the row between the Governor of Yobe and interim chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mai Mala Buni, and governors who wanted to overthrow him, Akeredolu, who was on the side of the protagonists, reached into the gutter for words to describe his enemies.

He plumbed the depths, far below the sepsis reached by the sarcasm of Salihu Lukman, the former director-general of the Progressives Governors Forum, and gave gutter language a new lease of life. Akeredolu called governors of his own party, yahoo-yahoo governors.

Let me be clear. I have absolutely no interest in APC’s house of commotion. And if it is true, as is being alleged, that Buni procured court judgements to stall the party’s national convention for the third time since his inexplicably extended tenure, if it is true, as is being alleged, that Buni the referee plans to join the race, if it is true, as has been alleged, that Buni is offering the party’s primaries ticket for sale; in short, if it is true, as is being alleged, that Buni is the party’s problem, then perhaps Akeredolu’s description would be a fitting epitaph.

But Akeredolu being not just a lawyer but a senior advocate and former president of the Bar, knows there is a difference between an allegation and a fact. It’s possible that he was overcome by the poor habit of politicians who hardly talk to make sense. To call governors of his own party yahoo-yahoo, deserves not only the attention of the party but also that of bystanders who should take more than a passing interest in this linguistic slur.

After Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State made an unusual appearance on Channels TV and vowed that Buni may return as Alhaji Buni but certainly not as chairman of the APC, it is possible that Akeredolu may have seized on that premature funeral to make his own obsequies. But in doing so, he described governors of his own party in a language which even the opposition may have been reluctant to deploy.

Are we really hostage to yahoo-yahoo governors?

Yahoo-yahoo, a cruel twisting of the search engine, is Nigerian speak for con-artistry; a confidence trickster who earns a living – often outrageously flamboyant living – from transactions guaranteed to leave the other party with the short end of the stick, if not in premium tears.

The ruling APC has 22 governors across Nigeria, but Akeredolu did not name names. He did not say which of them is yahoo-yahoo, but mocking fingers are pointing in the direction of three governors – one in the South-East, one in the North-Central, and the other one in the South-West, reflecting a federal character of sorts.

As of the time of writing, Buni, the man who El-Rufai vowed publicly will not return as chairman for causing the inexplicable disappearance of APC’s manhood among other embarrassing misdemeanours is back in the saddle, riding the party’s horse with his team including John Akpanudoedehe the secretary who has resigned and has been reinstated swifter than it takes to say yahoo-yahoo.

From a bystander’s point of view, it is not only Buni’s dramatic comeback and the potential resurgence of the so-called yahoo-yahoo governors that are concerning. Akeredolu’s mudslinging also says something about the ruling party and the political elite as a whole that is tragically true.

And it is true for a good number of the progressive governors today as it is for governors and politicians in the opposition. How, for example, do you describe a governor who upon falling out with his godfather on the eve of an election, goes on his knees just to trade his party’s broom symbol for another party’s umbrella and then after securing reelection, drags and beats his benefactors with the umbrella?

Or a governor who after being elected on the platform of a party, decides in the twilight of his second term, that he must decamp to the ruling party to serve not those who elected and re-elected him in his state, but to ensure the success of his new paymasters in Abuja against whom he had been in opposition for nearly seven years? If that is not yahoo-yahoo, then what is it?

How do you explain the ascension to power of a governor who was not first or second but third by 176,919 votes, but who in spite of that ascended to power through a rare process of judicial iberiberism (apologies to Rochas Okorocha, wannabe pilot and presidential aspirant), and is currently being paraded as the icon of the new politics in the South-East?

If it is not yahoo-yahoo, then how come a politician who once said a government that cannot fix power in six months is unfit for office now serves in a government that has been unable to fix power for seven years? And this same government is struggling to guarantee supply of petrol after the country spent $5.8 billion to repair refineries between 2015 and 2020?

It seems that after the temporary relief from drug barons and their yahoo-yahoo cousins who took politics hostage in the 2000s, we’re once again returning to the era when con-artists ruled the roost. And what is more, between the accusers and the accused, it’s increasingly difficult to know who is yahoo-yahoo by politics or yahoo-yahoo by nature.

There are many reasons this resurgence which Akeredolu said has taken hold of the ruling party, is worse than the current low-grade version popular among desperate, young people holed up in many hotels across the country today.

While the police and other crime-fighting agencies can still hope to pursue and rout perpetrators of the low-grade version, what Akeredolu has described is a more dangerous variety.

The perpetrators of yahoo-yahoo in Akeredolu’s class and party, not only enjoy immunity from prosecution while they are in office, they also have the security agencies at their beck and call. In other words, yahoo-yahoo politicians swindle you and yet reserve the power and resources to protect themselves from being held to account.

If the governor insists that he used the phrase in a more general sense, perhaps as a rallying cry to save his party from falling apart, it would then be fair to insist that indeed not only those accused of backing Buni but perhaps a significant number in the current class of governors fall under this yahoo-yahoo group.

We don’t have to go far for examples. After a week during which power supply has been at a catastrophic low, with many urban households going for days without electricity, not to mention the long petrol queues and run-away inflation, the memes of politicians who swindled voters by making empty promises have flooded the internet. 

It would be unfair to write politicians off, especially those in the ruling party, as all scam and no work. Some serious work has been done to rebuild infrastructure, which may take some time to show. But if, for a moment, we set aside Akeredolu’s passion for the regional security network, Amotekun, and for legalising the sale of Indian hemp it would be interesting to see what his five-year ledger in Ondo looks like.

Even though the governor would like us to believe that con-artistry in his party is limited to Buni’s circle of supporters, the evidence is that it is far more widespread. If it is not political con-artistry, how can a ruling party which promised so much seven years ago leave the country struggling to secure itself, and its citizens bereft, poorer and more divided than they were when the government came to power?

And see how even the management of the party’s convention has shown that yahoo-yahoo is not just an accident but a lifestyle for the party: in less than one week, the same man who was vilified as a political fraud unworthy of the progressive banner is back in charge, and his enemies, including Akeredolu, must now bow at his feet under strict presidential orders.

It’s a Nollywood script written in a London hospital beyond anything that Akeredolu’s genius or sense of humour could have imagined. Yet to think that Buhari who hardly says a word has written two epistles in one week to save his party is proof that even the directors of this script are sometimes victims of their own con-artistry. 

A most humbling experience indeed. Or does Akeredolu still think it’s a laughing matter?

Ishiekwene is Editor-in-Chief of LEADERSHIP

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Inaugural Anambra State Union Football Tournament Triumphs Amidst Adversity



On the 6th of August 2023, a monumental event took place at St Michel, Terminus, Douala, marking the commencement of the First Edition of the Anambra State Union Football Tournament. Under the stewardship of Sir Emeka Uzoka, Chairman of the Anambra State Union, this tournament emerged as a testament to unity, sportsmanship, and the indomitable spirit of the Anambra community.

The opening ceremony set the stage for what would become an unforgettable showcase of camaraderie and competitive fervor. A true celebration of tradition and athleticism, the tournament kicked off with a Veteran Match at 2:00 pm. The clash between Aguata Local Government Union and Nnewi Local Government Union resulted in a gripping encounter, with Aguata securing victory with a 2-0 score line.

Distinguished figures graced the event with their presence, adding prestige to the occasion. Among them was Mr. Oliva Ochi, Consul 1 at the Consulate General Douala, representing the esteemed Consul General, H.E. Amb. (Mrs.) Efe A. Clark-Omeru. The honorable gathering was further enriched by the participation of key personalities, including: Hon. BIC Okwujiaku, President of the Nigerian Community Douala, HRH Eze Jonathan T. Onyenagubor, Eze Gburugburu 1 of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, Cameroon, Sir, Lovinus Ezeh, Vice President, Nigerian Community Douala, Chief Alex Nwoye, Vice President 2, Nigerian Community Douala,  Chief Uche Obiekwe, Patron of the Nigerian Community Douala, Chief Innocent Obiorah Odoh, Patron Anambra State Union, Chairmen of Imo and Enugu States Union, Esteemed members of the Anambra State Union,

The event also extended its reach to include esteemed guests from Douala and beyond.

In recognition of the paramount importance of safety and well-being, the organizers ensured the presence of dedicated medical health and security personnel, assuring attendees a secure environment throughout the event.

Despite the inclement weather characterized by heavy rain, the unyielding spirit of the Anambra community remained unshaken. A testament to their passion for football and unity, a remarkable number of attendees braved the elements, converging to witness the unfolding of history on the lush fields of St Michel, Terminus.

The inaugural Anambra State Union Football Tournament stands as an embodiment of shared values, intercommunity collaboration, and the timeless appeal of sport. This event not only etched a significant mark on the sporting calendar but also served as a reminder of the resilience and unity that define the Anambra community. As the tournament concluded its first chapter, it left in its wake a legacy of camaraderie, sporting excellence, and the promise of more remarkable editions to come.

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Buhari, Tinubu, Nigerian Diplomat, Lawal Bappah, Honoured by a Coalition of Lawyers in Cameroon



The Coalition of Willing Lawyers (CoW) in Cameroon had on Friday, 12th May, 2023 honoured President Muhammadu Buhari, the President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Consul General (CG) of Nigeria to North West and South West Regions of Republic of Cameroon, Amb. Lawal Bappah, mni, for enhancing a peaceful relationship between the people of the Federal Repubic of Nigeria and the Republic of Cameroon living in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon. The CoW applauded the Consul General for constantly educating Nigerian nationals in the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon about their civic responsibilities to the country they reside in; to be law-abiding and also for his laudable role in the repatriation to Nigeria of aged, sick and stranded Nigerians as well as ex Nigerian prisoners in Cameroon.

Amb. Lawal Bappah was honoured by the President of the Coalition, Barrister John Kamani, who said the Consul General has been part of developmental activities in Buea, the Capital of the South West Region of Cameroon; especially in sustaining a wonderful rapport with the South West Region Governor’s Office in Buea and other relevant local and traditional authorities.

Speaking further at the memorable occasion, the President of the coalition specifically eulogized the CG for ensuring that Nigerians who are arbitrarily arrested and detained are released and in extreme cases, benefit from legal assistance.

Presenting the Legal and Leadership Award to Amb. Lawal Bappah, Barrister Kamani urged him to continue with the commitment he had shown since his assumption of office in October 2021and to remain focused and duty conscious. He stated that Amb. Bappah is always ready to receive distressed Nigerians in his office and even Cameroonians who need consular services and assistance.

In his response, the Consul General thanked the lawyers for the award and promised to do more in the interest of serving Nigerians in Cameroon.

In continuity, he said: “This is an award for hard work. It is highly motivational and I assure you that I remain committed to deepening the already cordial relationship between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Republic of Cameroon ».

Thereafter, he dedicated the award to his colleagues, staff of the Consulate General of Nigeria, Buea and all others that had been supportive. Ambassador Lawal Bappah expressed readiness to continue to collaborate with the coalition of lawyers. He said he was delighted by every single moment of the occasion.

The coalition of lawyers also presented awards of good leadership to the outgoing President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari and the President-eElect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his good work of turning Lagos State to a mega city in Africa when he was the Governor of the State.

Present at the occasion were Presidents of the various Nigerian Communities under the Consul General’s areas of jurisdiction and other dignitaries.

The Buea-based Consul General of Nigeria to the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon recently embarked on a Consular tour to communities in Bakassi Peninsula. The communities visited by the Nigerian envoy included Kombo Itindi, Idabato and Bekumu where more than 80% of the people living there are Nigerians.

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Nigerian Community praises Consul General Clark-Omeru over resolving Resident Permit issues in Cameroon



Consul General Clark-Omeru hosts Nigeria Community

…urges them to be law abiding citizens in host country

The Consul-General of Nigeria to Douala, the Republic of Cameroon, Ambassador (HRM) Queen Efe A. Clark-Omeru has hosted the Nigerian community in the Littoral Region for the second time to show appreciation for relentless services rendering to Nigeria nationals residing in the region of the host country.

It could be recalled that the executive of the Nigerian community paid courtesy visit to the Consulate General in May 2022 to express their maximum appreciation to the Mission who has been helpful in resolving pressing issues with the host country.

According to her speech, the CG welcomed the Nigerian Community executives led by the President, Honourable B.I.C Okwujiaku and provided details of the Consulate progress with the host country over pending issues concerning Nigerian residents in the region.

« It is my pleasure to welcome you to this event of New Year visit/wishes to me and the Consulate, » the statement reads.

« Since my arrival in June 2021, and with the presentation of my Exequatur which I assured you that the Consulate would not rest its oars by ensuring  that the issue of molestation  will be a thing of past in the history country. The Consulate has met several times with the officials of the immigration of the host country with particular reference to resident permit, exit Visa and the matter was resolved amicably as the immigration rights accorded to members of Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC)

region is also accorded to Nigeria due to the already subsisting bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries. »
The Nigeria CG also highlighted the issues of non-issuance of Resident permits which is a great challenge to Nigerian residents in the Littoral region as it is contrary to it immigration law.

« The issue of non-issuance of Resident Permit has attracted my attention, on that basis, I directed my officers on 10th February 2023, accompanied by the president and some executive members of the Nigerian community to meet with new Commissioner  EMI-immigration Madame Gertrude Bikok and the matter was also resolved due to the subsisting bilateral relations between the two countries.

The Consul General was excited to proudly commend the Nigeria community over their successful business activities which were satisfied by the host authorities. But urges her compatriots to be more tolerance of each other and remain law abiding to the host country.

In responding to the CG’s speech, the President of the Nigeria Community, Honourable B.I.C Okwujiaku heaps praise on the first female Consul General in Douala for her breath of peace among Nigerians in the region.

« Last year, we came to say thank you for the ones you have done. We have come again to further demonstrate our joy for your constant support, caring and motherly advise and solidarity  to us as your fellow compatriots in Cameroon, » he said.

« History will record it that as the first female Consul General in Douala. Nigerians have benefited from your good leadership and skills of work, » he added.

Also appreciating the CG is Eminent philanthropist, HRH Eze Thomas .J. Onyengubo, Eze Gburugburu 1 of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo in Cameroon, who also urged the Nigerian community members to remain united and be law abiding to the host country.

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