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Saraki becomes National Leader of PDP

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National Executive Committee, NEC, of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, appointed Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, as its National Leader.The appointment came on a day Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State said any attempt to remove Saraki as Senate president would be stoutly resisted.
Being the highest office holder in the party at the moment, Saraki will replace his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who held the position until his defection with other top APC members to the PDP.
Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, Samuel Ortom and Governor Aminu Tambuwal
His emergence as National Leader of the PDP is upon his ranking as the party’s highest office holder.Saraki’s arrival was heralded by loud ovation as he was led into the venue of the meeting by PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus and other top leaders of the party.
Saraki, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State and Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State were all present at the meeting.
The NEC meeting was in celebration mood as the politicians exchanged banters. Apart from former APC chiefs, the meeting hosted key figures in the PDP, including governors, lawmakers and some of the presidential aspirants.
Attempt to impeach Saraki will be resisted — Tambuwal
Meanwhile, Governor Tambuwal has said PDP would resist any attempt to remove Saraki as Senate president.Tambuwal, who stated, yesterday, at the 81st National Executive Committee meeting, NEC, of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, noted that any recourse to his impeachment would be resisted.
Berating the state of affairs of the nation underAll Progressives Congress administration, Tambuwal said when Nigerians trooped out en-masse to elect the current government more than three years ago, they expected a robust democracy where they would be free to hold contrary political opinions without fear of harassment.
He said: “Only about three days ago, I did say that Nigerians will not accept prison yard democracy; a situation whereby people would be simply framed up on account of different political leanings, is unacceptable.
‘’We cannot afford to allow our country to drift further. It’s not about any interest, it’s about this country. This country is on a cliff. We must retrieve it, we must position this country and restructure it for the benefit of Nigerians.
“When they talk about cross-carpeting, I begin to wonder. When I cross-carpeted the other time, did they complain? When I hear that some people are trying to break into the chambers of the Senate to steal the mace and install a pseudo President of the Senate, I wonder whether they actually know the rules of our democratic engagement. It’s not Gestapo. We are in a democracy.
”The constitution of this country is very clear that members of the Senate and the House of Representatives can choose from among themselves their own President of the Senate or Speaker of House of Representatives without leaning to any political party.
“It is a question of confidence in members of the chambers. So, if senators have confidence in Bukola Saraki, they should continue to sustain him as President of the Senate. And so be it with Mr Speaker, Dogara (Yakubu).
“Let them hear it very clear. If you try it (illegal impeachment), we will match out our forces in this country and jam you,because we are talking about democracy. We cannot afford to allow anybody, no matter how highly placed, to toy with the future of about 200 million people in this country.”
It’s a great day for our country —Saraki
On his part, Saraki described his first day at the party’s national headquarters since his defection as “a great day for our country.”
While stressing that a day for long speeches would come, the Senate President expressed gladness to be back to the party where his journey to political limelight began in 1999.
He said: “I am happy to be back to the political party where I started my political career,” he said, even as he called on party leaders to go the extra mile to return the PDP back to power.
“Everybody is important and no sacrifice will be too much to make in our journey to the Promised Land.”
Remain resolute, Secondus charges party faithful
An elated national chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, while welcoming the returnees, including the lawmakers representing Kano Central senatorial district, Musa Kwankwaso, and Benue North-East, Barnabas Gemade, charged party faithful to remain resolute, adding that the ruling party will continue to assault democratic institutions in the country.
Secondus tasked security agents and the electoral umpire on the need for impartiality in the discharge of their constitutional duties.
“If the security agents and Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, think they are now a parastatal or arm of government; we challenge them to wait and see,” he warned.
NEC approves amendment of rules to accommodate Not-Too- Young-To-Run Act
At the end of the meeting, NEC approved a review of party’s rules to look into the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Act. It also discussed a timetable for the primary elections, with National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, saying the party would make its position clear on the timetable “in the days ahead.”
Some of the dignitaries present at the well-attended meeting included the governors of Rivers, Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Taraba states, Nyesom Wike, Ben Ayande, Udom Emmanuel and Darius Ishaku respectively.
Others included former governors of Benue, Adamawa, Kogi, Kaduna, Jigawa, Kano, Sokoto and Niger States-Gabriel Suswam, Boni Haruna, Ibrahim Idris, Ahmed Makarfi, Sule Lamido, Ibrahim Shekarau, Attahiru Bafarawa and Babangida Aliyu respectively, among others.

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Distractions not disruptions from 2019 Nigeria Elections

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Distractions not disruptions from 2019 Nigeria Elections

Since voting for the next president is due in little more than two weeks, we will try to disentangle some of the muddled views in circulation about the impact of Nigerian elections on the economy. The consensus is that the impact is unremittingly negative, and that the investor develops a ‘wait-and-see’ stance on auto-pilot.

One theory in circulation is that the government has no time for any business other than the programme of elections. We would say that a government seeking re-election will be pushing hard on its agenda to soften up the electorate. In the current Nigerian context, this means the FGN looking to accelerate its capital releases. Voters who see a new road/school/hospital built in their neighbourhood are more likely to back the incumbent. They will also respond positively if the government, federal or state, settles arrears on salaries and pensions due to family or friends.

Another theory is that existing and potential investors succumb to a state of inertia because they are worried by the “uncertainty” surrounding the elections. The result is uncertain of course but we can say with confidence that, whatever the result, Nigeria should not fear a radical change of direction. In 2015 we had the “change” agenda, and now we have talk of floating the naira and dismembering the NNPC. Alongside their negative campaigning and finger-pointing, serious challengers everywhere look to capture the attention of voters with striking policies.

There is scope on the margins for new policies that can be introduced without the go-ahead from the National Assembly (the equivalent of President Trump’s executive orders). More broadly, the delivery of change is blunted by bureaucratic torpor across the three tiers of government. This means that we should limit our expectations of the new government in place at the end of the transition period in May. It works both way: no fear of change for the worse but equally little hope of a strong market rally like those following the election victories of Lula, now disgraced, in Brazil in 2002 and Mauricio Macri in Argentina in 2015. There were very brief, relief rallies after the Nigerian presidential elections of 2011 and 2015.

The outcome to avoid next month is a very close result that is challenged on the streets and in the courts. The presidential term is four years on the US model and the transition period three months. The time for a president and government to make their mark is already limited without such challenges.

The downside from challenges to an election result was evident in Kenya in August 2017. The Supreme Court nullified the presidential election result from earlier in the month. The main opposition candidate, who had cried foul, boycotted the re-run in October, and the incumbent (Uhuru Kenyatta) was declared winner with 98 per cent of the vote. We cannot say whether a flawed process has any impact on output beyond the very short term but we can say that the developmental capacity of the Kenyan government was weakened for about three months. The stock market saw a sell-off on the intervention of the Supreme Court and has not subsequently recovered (although other factors are also clearly at play).

According to a third theory, the macroeconomy is vulnerable to a slowdown in the run-up to the elections. Our findings suggest that this theory is the result of laziness on the part of analysts, some of whom are looking to create a narrative for their forecasts. (We were taught, in contrast, to construct forecasts on the basis of a tested narrative.) So we looked at historical data for the run-up to the Nigerian presidential elections in April 2007, April 2011 and March 2015.

The series we covered were FGN expenditure, inflation, offshore investment on the stock market and domiciliary bank accounts in Nigeria. We did not find any adverse trends other than a pick-up in in FGN spending in the run-up to the 2011 polls, which we can trace to a sizeable increase in the national minimum wage by the Jonathan administration. Eight years on, we may well be seeing a repeat (that the FGN insists is incorporated in its 2019 budget proposals).

Our findings indicate that investors could profitably move on from the ‘wait-and-see” stance. They have waited and generally seen little, if anything untoward domestically. Foreign portfolio investors have been exiting local debt markets for several months, but in response to US monetary policy normalization rather than the Nigerian elections. As ever, the domestic events to trigger their exit remain pressure on the naira exchange, public finances and official fx reserves as a result of a steep and sustained decline in oil revenue. This is not our base case expectation.

History does not always repeat itself, and it may be that the lessons we have drawn from 2007, 2011 and 2015, subject to data restrictions, no longer apply. It may also be that the next president is able to push through far-reaching change on taking office in late May. We suggest otherwise.

 

Gregory Kronsten

Head, Macroeconomic & Fixed Income Research

FBNQuest

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By the time Atiku finishes his tenure, presidency won’t be attractive – Gbenga Daniel

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By the time Atiku finishes his tenure, presidency won’t be attractive – Gbenga Daniel

THE Director-general of the Alhaji Atiku Abubabar presidential campaign, Otunba Gbenga Daniel has said that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP candidate will appoint the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, from the South-West zone if he wins the 2019 election.

Speaking at an interactive session with reporters in Lagos, yesterday, Daniel, who also stated that Atiku would curtail tribal and religious intolerance, noted that decisions on major offices were being given “serious consideration”, adding that no region will be marginalised.

He said: “We need to understand that the candidate has control over who becomes his running mate during the election and who becomes the SGF, if he wins.

“The offices of senate president and speaker of the house of representative will be decided after the polls and based on what plays out in both houses. “Aside from major slots, I think what is paramount to the people of the South-West is restructuring of the country, which Atiku is very serious about. So the issue for the South-West is not personality or slot issue per say because personalities come and go but restructuring Nigeria is significant and more symbolic than zoned offices.”

With restructuring, Daniel asserted that “by the time Atiku finishes his tenure, the presidency won’t be attractive to anybody because he vowed to restructure Nigeria by delegating lots of power to both the state and local governments.’’ He said the edge Atiku has over other candidates is that he was once a vice-president, he is the eldest among them and he is set to address the problems of tribal and religious intolerance squarely .”

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Atiku Abubakar speaks on reunion with Obasanjo, his endorsement by religious leaders

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Atiku Abubakar speaks on reunion with Obasanjo, his endorsement by religious leaders

Atiku Abubakar speaks on reunion with Obasanjo, his endorsement by religious leaders

Atiku Abubakar speaks on reunion with Obasanjo, his endorsement by religious leaders

Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar has expressed excitement on the outcome of his meeting with former President, Olusegun Obasanjo.

The leaders met on Thursday at Obasanjo’s residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Atiku wrote on his Twitter page after the meeting: “It was exciting meeting with my former boss and having lunch with him in Abeokuta.

Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar has expressed excitement on the outcome of his meeting with former President, Olusegun Obasanjo.

The leaders met on Thursday at Obasanjo’s residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Atiku wrote on his Twitter page after the meeting: “It was exciting meeting with my former boss and having lunch with him in Abeokuta.

“Thank you for the prayers, Bishop Oyedepo. God bless Nigeria.”

Obasanjo had in the meeting endorsed Atiku’s presidential ambition.

He declared that Atiku will defeat the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019.

According to him, he believes that Atiku has ‘re-discovered and re-positioned himself’ and is now good enough to enjoy his support in the next election.

Obasanjo said, “Let me start by congratulating President-to-be, Atiku Abubakar, for his success at the recent PDP Primary and I took note of his gracious remarks in his acceptance speech that it all started here.”

At the meeting were outspoken clerics, Bishop David Oyedepo, Bishop Matthew Kukah and Sheikh Ahmed Gumi.

Also at the meeting were leader of apex Yoruba group, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, former Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, ex PDP deputy national chairman, Bode George, Senator Murray Ben-Bruce, ex Cross River Governor, Liyel Imoke, ex-Minister Osita Chidoka, among many others.

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