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South East: A Time to Regroup

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Igbo Governors
  • South East: A Time to Regroup

This is not the worst time to be an Igbo in the Nigerian political sphere, in fact, it is actually the best time for Igbo politics. However, it will take some dynamic thinking to realize this. Say what you want about Tinubu but he understood this early and he played the game well, “you cannot go and play in the big leagues if you do not have big players who turn up and show up.”

You cannot go and play in the big leagues if you do not have big players who turn up and show up.

What does that mean? Look at the present crop of political leaders in the South West and immediate environments (from the 6 states to Kogi and Edo) and you can actually pick enough people called “Tinubu boys” who have political clout and weight. These are people who have been tested and have the strength and dynamism. Even those who are deemed estranged like Fayemi and Fashola. And guess what, they also show up meaning they hold down their own house and can turn up political numbers any day. Do a number of Tinubu Boys in Lagos alone and you will be shocked, from Hamzat to Leke Pitan. Not trying to praise Tinubu but this type of alliance is needed. I have not seen one single politician in the South East that commands such respect across the board in the South East. How can you position yourself for National Politics if you have not conquered regional politics?

How can you hold your own when you can’t show up to a party meeting with at least fifteen boys who are willing to work for you from all the states? Almost every South East politician is just popular in each of his/her state. This is the problem governors who perform like Obaino and talkers (even though he does too much) like Peter Obi has. They need people to fight for them and hold down other states for them.

You call it godfatherism, I say it is alliances. Imagine if Okorocha can boast of having a huge support base from not just Imo but also Ebonyi, Abia, Rivers, and Enugu. That is 5 states. He is already in a good position for any political negotiation and he is more likely to get what he asks for if he wants to form an alliance with anyone.

You call it godfatherism, I say it is alliances.

Saraki did not become this influential by locking himself in Kwara. No, he played his politics in his region. Same as El Rufai. People have no idea the politics that happened on the morning of the primaries between Fashola, El Rufai, and Tinubu. That could have cost President Buhari the ticket if not for alliances.

Similarly, Akpabio is facing the same problem, his support basically stops in Akwa Ibom (which the governor is doing his best to uproot) outside the state, none. At least, Amaechi even though he is as dramatic as a woman (no disrespect to women) but he is bringing his boys out and giving them posts who will in turn spread his own political clout. That is not even national politics, but regional.

People wonder why the Tinubu group can be so confident about Lagos. Because they have done the work of 100 years. They have almost every traditional leader, every market leader, every motor park, and almost every structure on the informal side and the formal side, they allow the social media boys do the dirty fight. If you don’t know, you can’t beat the Tinubu boys on Twitter and Facebook. They are always ready.

This is the time for the South East politicians to forge intra-regional alliances. Have one or two politicians in the South East and parts of the South-South who can boast of at least 30 percent of voters in each state in terms of Senators, House of Representatives, State assemblies, etc., and then launch for the National scale.

This is the time for the South East politicians to forge intra-regional alliances.

However, playing the victim card while expecting things to fall into your arms will not help the region. The South East has to stop claiming marginalization, everybody in Nigeria has been marginalized but not everyone chooses to wear it on their sleeves. Stop attacking other tribes because you feel they have it better or they made better calculations, if you lose, take that loss with your chest, go home and work on it, come back to another fight smoking and looking new (political fights are not every 4 years, they are every re-run election, every party ward primary, every local government poll) put your players in position that will help spread your influence so when they call your name in one place, the response is heard from 7 places. That is a political influence.

The South East has to stop claiming marginalization, everybody in Nigeria has been marginalized but not everyone chooses to wear it on their sleeves.

And politicians have to stop looking like tribal bigots –even if you are, you are a politician, polish yourself. See how commissioners in Lagos, went to be senators, ministers, and governors. Don’t restrict your planning to one tribe. Ambode did a lot of the financing of Edo politics on Tinubu’s behalf now, they have a governor they can plan with. Governors in the South East have to capture grounds outside their state, make none indigenes commissioners and advisers and send them to be senators in their states but what have you in their states. Defeatist.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Government

COVID-19 Vaccine: African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) to Purchase 270 Million Doses for Nigeria, Other African Nations

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African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) Approves $2 Billion for the Purchase of 270 million Doses for African Nations

African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) said it has approved $2 billion for the purchase of 270 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for African nations, including Nigeria.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, the President of the Bank, disclosed this at a virtual Africa Soft Power Series held on Tuesday.

He, however, stated that the lender is looking to raise more funds for the COVID-19 vaccines’ acquisition.

He said: “The African Union knows that unless you put the virus away, your economy can’t come back. If Africa didn’t do anything, it would become a COVID-19 continent when other parts of the world have already moved on.
“Recall that it took seven years during the heat of HIV for them to come to Africa after 12 million people had died.

“With the assistance of the AU, we were able to get 270 million vaccines and financing need of about $2 billion. Afreximbank then went ahead to secure the $2 billion. But that money for the 270 million doses could only add 15 per cent to the 20 per cent that Covax was bringing.

He added that this is not the time to wait for handouts or free vaccines as other countries will naturally sort themselves out before African nations.

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China Calls for Better China-U.S. Relations

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China Calls for China-U.S. Relations

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said on Monday the United States and China could work together on issues like climate change and the coronavirus pandemic if they repaired their damaged bilateral relationship.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang urged Washington to respect China’s core interests, stop “smearing” the ruling Communist Party, stop interfering in Beijing’s internal affairs and stop “conniving” with separatist forces for Taiwan’s independence.

“Over the past few years, the United States basically cut off bilateral dialogue at all levels,” Wang said in prepared remarks translated into English.

“We stand ready to have candid communication with the U.S. side, and engage in dialogues aimed at solving problems.”

Wang pointed to a recent call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden as a positive step.

Washington and Beijing have clashed on multiple fronts including trade, accusations of human rights crimes against the Uighur Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region and Beijing’s territorial claims in the resources-rich South China Sea.

The Biden administration has, however, signalled it will maintain pressure on Beijing. Biden has voiced concern about Beijing’s “coercive and unfair” trade practices and endorsed of a Trump administration determination that China has committed genocide in Xinjiang.

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Government

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

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President Trump Signs Executive Order In Oval Office Of The White House

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a New York City prosecutor to obtain former President Donald Trump’s tax returns and other financial records as part of a criminal investigation, a blow to his quest to conceal details of his finances.

The justices without comment rebuffed Trump’s request to put on hold an Oct. 7 lower court ruling directing the former Republican president’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, to comply with a subpoena to turn over the materials to a grand jury convened by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat.

“The work continues,” Vance said in a statement issued after the court’s action.

Vance had previously said in a letter to Trump’s lawyers that his office would be free to immediately enforce the subpoena if the justices rejected Trump’s request.

A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority included three Trump appointees, had already ruled once in the dispute, last July rejecting Trump’s broad argument that he was immune from criminal probes as a sitting president.

Unlike all other recent U.S. presidents, Trump refused during his four years in office to make his tax returns public. The data could provide details on his wealth and the activities of his family real-estate company, the Trump Organization.

Trump, who left office on Jan. 20 after being defeated in his Nov. 3 re-election bid by Democrat Joe Biden, continues to face an array of legal issues concerning his personal and business conduct.

Vance issued a subpoena to Mazars in August 2019 seeking Trump’s corporate and personal tax returns from 2011 to 2018. Trump’s lawyers sued to block the subpoena, arguing that as a sitting president, Trump had absolute immunity from state criminal investigations.

The Supreme Court in its July ruling rejected those arguments but said Trump could raise other objections to the subpoena. Trump’s lawyers then argued before lower courts that the subpoena was overly broad and amounted to political harassment, but U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in August and the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in October rejected those claims.

Vance’s investigation, which began more than two years ago, had focused on hush money payments that the president’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen made before the 2016 election to two women – adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal – who said they had sexual encounters with Trump.

In recent court filings, Vance has suggested that the probe is now broader and could focus on potential bank, tax and insurance fraud, as well as falsification of business records.

In separate litigation, the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives was seeking to subpoena similar records. The Supreme Court in July sent that matter back to lower courts for further review.

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