Shagari @ 90: A lesson for the political class

By Chukwudi Nweje  / Acting Features Editor


But for the December 1983 military coup, Nigeria could have been in its 36th year of practising the presidential system of government. Perhaps, some of the challenges man-in-the-newsthe country faces today with its democratic governance since the return to democratic rule in 1999 may have been overcome with years of practise. After 55 years of independence Nigeria has had only 26 years of elected civilian that was truncated intermittently by the military that had held power for 29 years.  The country has been under an elected government for 16 years now but the democratic experience is still regarded as nascent because the tenets of democracy have yet to penetrate the fabrics of the society.

Through these thick and thin, one man that has been around is Alhaji Aliyu Usman Shehu Shagari, Turakin Sakkwato and the former President whose administration was overthrown by the military on December 31, 1983, two months after he began his second term in office. Continue reading “Shagari @ 90: A lesson for the political class”

Activists warn Jonathan against tenure extension


President: Interim Govt is treasonable

Day of action Feb 28

Activists warned yesterday against another shift of the general elections.

They will stage a nationwide protest should the elections be postponed.

The elections fixed for March 28 and April 11 must hold, Nigerians United for Democracy (NUD) said.

The group’s leader, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), spoke at a news conference in Lagos.

With him were Malachy Ugwumadu, Olarenwaju Suraj and Mr. Debo Adeniran, among others.

They listed attempts by President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration to derail the elections, saying there would be a national day of action on February 28, where Nigerians would stand hand-in-hand to send a strong message to the government that the citizenry will not tolerate any attempt to interfere with the elections.

The group called on the National Assembly to compel the Service Chiefs to extract an undertaking that the elections would not be shifted.

President Jonathan promised yesterday the dates would not be changed. Besides, he dismissed the rumour of an interim government — an idea he described as treasonable.

Falana said Nigerians were worried about the statement of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, that the new election dates were not sacrosanct.  The elections were originally fixed for February 14 and 28.

“We are compelled to call on the National Assembly to extract a form of undertaking from the National Security Adviser (NSA) and the security chiefs that the general elections would not further be postponed or disrupted,” Falana said, adding:

“The undertaking ought to be made publicly by the service chiefs, in view of the categorical statement of the Court of Appeal that the Armed Forces have no role to play in the electoral process.”

Saying there was need to prevent a slide into anarchy, Falana said: “We need to take our destiny into our hands. We need to ensure that darkness does not once again descend on our country and we are insisting that nothing must change the new dates of March 28 and April 11.”

He added that the postponement of the elections at the instance of the Service chiefs could not be justified in law.

“It was a plot to undermine the democratic process and prevent Nigerians from exercising their rights of franchise.

“Having fought the war on terror for six years, there is no indication that the Boko Haram sect would be wiped out in six weeks.

“Since the operations was limited to 14 local governments, there is no basis for not holding elections in the remaining 760 local government areas in the federation and the six area councils in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT),” he said.

Falana noted that more than two decades ago, the citizenry, led by the progressives extraction of the civil society, protested the manipulation of political transition from military dictatorship to democratic rule.

He said anti-democratic forces had always been defeated, noting that in this case, it would not be an exception.

“Nigerians will stand hand-in-hand to speak with one voice against electoral terrorism, against any further polls’ shift, against the introduction of an Interim Government, against any military incursion in politics, against corruption and against the devaluation of the national currency.

“We call on Nigerians to come out in large numbers to assert and take control of their destiny,” he stressed.

SOURCE: The Nation



Chairman, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, Mr. Debo Adeniran

The Chairman, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, Mr. Debo Adeniran, tells BAYO AKINLOYE that Mbu is a menace to the society and as such should be redeployed to handle administrative duties

Many people have called for the sack or redeployment of the Assistant Inspector-General, Joseph Mbu, over his statement that for every policeman killed 20 civilians should be killed. What do you think?

It is very unfortunate that a supposed professional police officer of the calibre of Mr. Joseph Mbu could make such an inciting statement credited to him, which he is yet to deny. This development may, however, not be surprising going by Mba’s antecedent as the Commissioner of Police in Oyo and Rivers states as well as the Federal Capital Territory. Going by the Nigerian constitution and other extant laws including the Police Act, the police lack the power to determine who deserves to die. Even if the Police have the power to kill if somebody was killed, it is the person that committed the offence that is expected to face the penalty, not just anybody within the vicinity of the incident. Besides, vengeance is not what the Police Force is established to engage in. Therefore, it is not for the police to determine the number of people who should die if one of them dies. It would be rather barbaric and highly thoughtless of a police officer that is expected to be guided by professional ethics to make such a statement. A police officer is supposed to be first and foremost sympathetic to the cause of the people. He should safeguard lives and properties rather than destroy them in retaliation or in avenging the death of a colleague. As an Assistant Inspector General of Police, Mbu should be in a position to even curb or control the excesses of his junior colleagues from the Commissioner of Police and below, even if those people became overzealous and try to over-react to conflicts between the police and members of the public. We are suspecting that Mbu, by his utterances and actions, is advertising himself to the authority that he is a ready tool to be used for repressive activities in case the incumbent Inspector General of Police is acting too civilised and disciplined to do dirty jobs. He may also be sending a signal to the people that rather than peaceful and credible elections what they should expect in March and April is war.

The IG on last Saturday came out to counter the statement credited to Mbu. Isn’t that sufficient?

The counter-statement from the IG cannot be taken as sufficient since every police officer is granted the license to use their discretionary power to determine how they apply minimum or maximum force to curb internal strife. Also, the IG has not done anything concrete to call Mbu to order. Instead of Mbu to be reprimanded for his lacklustre performance in Oyo, Rivers and the FCT, he was rewarded with promotion. This seems to have shown that the police hierarchy is ready to tolerate the misdemeanours of its officers and Abba seems ready to protect his officers even when they engage in gross misconduct and misapplication of their discretions. Mbu has not been queried for his many excesses, let alone brought to justice. Thus, if the IG would be taken seriously, he should take a step further by redeploying Mbu from where he would have the opportunity of dealing directly or having direct contact with the members of the society. He should be redeployed to a place where he could only engage in administrative work within the office, because he has demonstrated that he does not have adequate training in methods, strategies, tactics and technicalities of relating directly with the public with the required high level of civility.

What do civil organisations like yours intend doing to ensure that the police and other security operatives do not harass or brutalise people during the forthcoming elections?

The best we can do is to call for sanity within the country’s security agencies. Therefore, if the excesses of Mbu are not brought under check, we may be forced to come out in street protests and write petitions to the international community to drive home our point. It must be noted that we have written the concerned authority to call the police authority and in particular, Joseph Mbu and those who might want to toe his path to order. Since we don’t have the prosecutorial power to challenge the appropriateness of Mbu’s order in court, we believe that the pressure we are going to mount on the police authority will be enough to bring Mbu under check so that he would not mislead his colleagues into believing that they can apply excessive force in maintaining law and order; engage in extrajudicial killing and get away with it. If an officer who makes such a scary statement is allowed to continue to lead other junior officers, every officer carrying a gun may be made to believe that they have the power to take lives without judicial pronouncement and get away with it.

Some have said Mbu’s statement is the official position of the Police and the Presidency because they didn’t come out to condemn him until after the public did. What is your take?

We wouldn’t say that it is an official position of the presidency. We also will not want to say so of the police authorities. But we believe that both the police authorities and the Presidency or the Federal Government are complicit in the statement Mbu made because of their loud silence on it. That the relevant authorities kept quiet means that they have shown approval to the provocative pronouncement of Mbu and such approval is reprehensible; it is uncalled for and preposterous. Even when the IG came out, he didn’t condemn the pronouncement neither did he show that he had invited Mbu for questioning over it. That pre-supposes that the AIG must have assumed some powers that no police officer is expected to have assumed. It has brought a permanent stain on professionalism and ethics meant to be exhibited by a high-ranking police officer of the AIG level. It is a known fact that Mbu enjoys the approval of the government and the police authorities because they have neither reprimanded nor condemned him for his past actions and his recent pronouncements. It’s the body language of the government that led to that pronouncement that could lead to anarchy.

Considering the pronouncements and actions of the security agents in the country now, do you see them being non-partisan?

Pronouncements by the nation’s security operatives have shown that they are partisan against the people; and it has been demonstrated in the few places where elections took place, that all security agents were out to coerce the people into obeying the ruling class or force the will of the ruling class on the people by all means. They have demonstrated that they are not out to secure peace and tranquillity during elections. This was accentuated even by the audio recording of a plot in Ekiti State hatched to rig the preferred candidate of the ruling party into office. It also happened in Osun State where over 70,000 armed personnel were deployed to secure the state even while some of them were hooded and opposition leaders were hounded and arrested indiscriminately without reason. This has shown graphically that the security services in Nigeria are partisan and this is an unhealthy development within the polity. They should by now, know that they do not have the intelligence capacity to detect plots to foment trouble in Nigeria. They do not have the technical capacity to identify people that may incite and carry out trouble within the country.

SOURCE: The Punch.

FG May Want To Tamper With NNPC Audit Report, Group Alleges

GEJ-NNPC AUDIT REPORTA civil society organization, the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, has asked President Goodluck Jonathan to act on the report of the forensic audit of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation and bring anyone indicted to book.

A forensic audit, which was conducted by international firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), had indicted the NNPC and the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company on the allegation of unremitted funds into the Federation Account.

In the report, which was submitted to Mr. Jonathan last Monday, the auditors asked both organisations to refund to the Federation Account “a minimum of $1.48bn”, representing about N274.54bn at the Central Bank of Nigeria’s inter-bank exchange rate of N185.50 to the dollar on Thursday.

The president, while receiving the report from Mr. Uyi Akpata, the senior partner of the consultants, said “I will give it to the professionals – the Auditor-General of the Federation, so that within the week we will get the key findings”.

But the executive chairman of CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran, argued that the handing over of the audit report to the ‘professionals’ might be an attempt by the Presidency to water down the findings of the consultants.

He said, “Our fear that the Federal Government may want to tamper with the audit report arose from the body language of the Presidency to the issue of the missing oil money. It is a fact that the Federal Government was not ready to probe the missing oil money until Nigerians put pressure on them.

“Now that elections are around the corner, with many glaring factors working against the reelection of the incumbent president, another baggage of indictments on some of his co-workers may not be what the government could cope with at this time. This may compel the Federal Government to doctor the report in its favour in order to curry the favour of some Nigerians”.

Adeniran insisted that rather than hand over the report to the auditor-general, it should have been made public.



Okonjo-Iweala and corruption in Nigeria

By Funmi Falobi – Snr. Reporter, Lagos


On Tuesday, Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said government must expedite action to fight corruption in order to stop leakages and dwindling oil revenue.

The minister who spoke at the annual public lecture organised by the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) in Abuja with the theme: “Blocking Leakages amid Dwindling Oil Income” stated that taming the monster of corruption had become mandatory so as to enable government remain on track.

Okonjo-Iweala-at-the-receiving-end-116x200According to her, “Corruption has been with us and we must crack it, we need to stop impunity; we have to constantly tackle corruption for us to stop the leakages.” Continue reading “Okonjo-Iweala and corruption in Nigeria”

CACOL cautions INEC over use of NURTW buses to convey election personnel, materials

Ralph Ige
Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has warned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Oyo State against using buses belonging to the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the state to dispatch election officers and materials during the forthcoming general elections.


This came on the heels of a statement by the Director-General of the Ladoja Campaign Organisation, Adeolu Adeleke, that INEC had concluded arrangements with the NURTW to make use of buses belonging to its members to convey electoral officers to different polling units in the state during elections.
But the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Rufus Akeju, said that the arrangement was made at the national level with strong legal backing that was meant to eradicate incidences of moving electoral materials to polling units late.

In his reaction, the Executive Chairman of the Coalition, Comrade Debo Adeniran, averred that the alliance between the INEC and a highly politicized group like the NURTW, could cast aspersions on the result of the elections.

He said, “Signing agreement with a union that is so highly-politicized may mar the entire process and call to question the credibility of the elections. Such arrangement at the end of the day, may not guarantee fairness. INEC is already aware that some buses owners are partisan, as claimed by the REC, so there is no assurance that the Oyo State Chapter of the NURTW does not have allegiance with some politicians in the state. Going ahead with this agreement will adversely affect the credibility of the elections.

“In essence, INEC should desist from its plan to use the NURTW buses. Even if no problem comes up in the course of transporting the materials and the personnels, INEC may not be able to defend itself and the credibility of the elections. Therefore, it would be wise for the body to come up with an alternative plan to avoid any bickering and to make sure the election is free, fair and credible. If INEC should go ahead with its plan, they will be asking for more trouble than they bargained for.”

Comrade Adeniran, however urged INEC to come up with alternative plan for the movement of its personnel and election materials.

“INEC should explore other options than the NURTW. Instead of engaging the NURTW, electoral officers in each local government council could be given opportunity to hire buses without any condition. Also, there should be government agencies or private companies that such a contract could be awarded to. We don’t expect that such a contract could only be executed by the NURTW. INEC should look beyond the NURTW to get buses to convey their materials and people”, Adeniran stated.

SOURCE: Newsverge

When King, Beko preached non-violent change

By Sam Anokam,  Assistant Editor


Ahead of the postponed elections, the need to conduct a non-violent election was again brought to the fore at the 2015 Black History Month and Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti memorial programme held at Rights House, Ikeja, Lagos, on Wednesday.

Debo Adeniran, leading other members of Beko Rights Club, at a prayer session to mark the 9th Bekolari Ransome-Kuti memorial in Lagos on Tuesday. Photo: Chukwudi Nweje

Organised by the Committee for the Defence for Human Rights (CDHR), Lagos State branch, in conjunction with the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Consulate General, Lagos, and Centre for the Rule of Law (CENTROLAW), Nigeria, the event with the theme: “Non-violent democratic change,” saw the U.S. Consul General, Jeffrey Hawkins, as Keynote Speaker and Legal luminary, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) as guest speaker.

It was a full house as Hawkins regaled the gathering with the reason for the event and keyed it into the Nigerian situation. Continue reading “When King, Beko preached non-violent change”

Nigeria: The men behind the money

By Tolu Ogunlesi in Lagos

Nigerian elections demand big bucks, and many in industry stand to gain. But despite the ostentatious televised giving sprees and cheerleader consortiums, President Jonathan may still find he’s scraping the bottom of the (oil) barrel for the funding he needs.It was the grandest of events even by the standards of Nigerian pomp and ceremony.

More than 200 of the country’s plutocrats and their political friends gathered in the Old Banqueting Hall in the presidential villa at Aso Rock on 20 December to raise funds for the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

They simply can’t afford to take the risk of snubbing the ruling party

The tables were decked out in festive red, green and white – the party’s colours.

At the centre of proceedings were President Goodluck Jonathan, sporting his trademark fedora, and party chairman Adamu Mu’azu in a flowing blue agbada.

Welcoming his guests, Jonathan called the event a “fundraising dinner to help our party”. For good measure, he added: “as you all know, a business-friendly party”.

Such was the interest that national television channels carried a live feed.

As Jerry Gana, a former information minister turned fundraiser-in-chief, worked the room, businessmen and women stepped forward clutching cheques or promises of cash, claiming to rep- resent entire sectors of the economy.

Bola Shagaya, representing a group of oil and gas companies, contributed N5bn ($27m).

Transport and aviation companies added N1bn, while roads and construction, and food and agriculture put in around N500m each.

The single largest donor was the automobile magnate and chairman of Skye Bank Olatunde Ayeni.

“This is the time for us to show that we love our PDP and we love our president,” declared Ayeni.

He went on to announce, on behalf of “myself and my partner”, a donation of N1bn and another N1bn on behalf of “our group of friends”.

At the end of the evening, smiling broadly, Gana announced that N21bn had been raised.

It was a far more ambitious – and successful – outing than the PDP’s first campaign fundraiser in 1999. That raised only N356m, well short of its N500m target.

The bigger ambitions of today’s fundraisers, critics say, point to the huge returns on campaign contributions or political investments.

“In Nigeria today, the only trade you can do that can guarantee better returns than oil and gas and telecoms is politics,” says Jide Ojo, a former programme manager with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems based in Washington DC.

“When you hear of import waivers, fuel subsidy scams, immunity from prosecution – that’s just payback for those who have supported the cause of a [winning] party.”

Was it a coincidence that only a day before the PDP fundraiser the government announced the creation of a special bailout fund to allow power companies to pay off their debts to gas suppliers?

Greed of the ruling class

Debo Adeniran, executive director of the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) does not think so. He says that he sees a strong connection between lavish party payoffs and corporate excess.

“Nigerians are being made to pay for the greed of the ruling class through these underhand dealings. All the companies that took money for the fuel subsidy, none have been prosecuted. Nobody is in jail – nobody in court even.”

At the Aso Rock fundraiser, some of the more interesting conversations were off camera.

There was, The Africa Report was told, quiet speculation about whether the PDP – the juggernaut of Nigerian politics since 1999 – could face defeat in the February elections.

Questions were also asked about the absence of some of the corporate glitterati. In the past, Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola and Abdulsamad Rabiu were among the largest donors to the PDP.

In 1999, a relatively unknown Dangote donated a third of the funds raised at a party dinner for Olusegun Obasanjo’s election campaign.

In 2013, Dangote pulled in vice-president Namadi Sambo and petroleum minister Diezani Alison-Madueke to attend the launching in Abuja of his $9bn oil refinery project.

Since then, insiders say, relations have cooled.

Dangote Group adviser Joseph Makoju, who stood in for Dangote at the fundraiser, would not disclose how much the company would contribute but said there were plans for a personal meeting between Dangote and Jonathan.

Dangote is still the richest person in Africa, but his coffers were depleted in recent months as Nigeria’s naira lost value with the fall of global oil prices.

Rabiu, who, like Dangote, hails from the northern commercial hub of Kano, announced a donation of N250m at a campaign fundraiser in October 2010.

Now, he is chairman of the state-owned Bank of Industry, a key position in the array of government financing organisations.

Otedola’s absence provoked the most comment.

Known as the ‘Diesel King,’ Otedola made a fortune from importing diesel at subsidised prices for the tens of millions of generators required because of Nigeria’s chronically unreliable electricity supply.

Although a close friend and supporter of Jonathan for a decade, Otedola is critical of the government’s economic management, according to some associates.

Like many fuel importers, Otedola’s businesses have suffered since the government started cutting fuel subsidies in 2012.

Businesses are simply pragmatic, says a political spin doctor working for Jonathan’s campaign: “Most of the big companies are contributing to the PDP, I can assure you. They simply can’t afford to take the risk of snubbing the ruling party. Of course, I’m fairly sure that many of them will give something to [Muhammadu] Buhari and the All Progressives Congress as a kind of insurance policy.”

Bismarck Rewane, who heads a financial services company in Lagos, says there has been a slowly moving kaleidoscope of financiers, from generals, oligarchs, bankers and state governors to fuel importers.

Bankers say the latest big beneficiaries of the PDP government were those companies that had been awarded oil blocks or concessions to run electricity companies under a privatisation scheme.

But, for now, both businesses are problematic.

Oil companies have been hit by the halving of the world oil price, and many of the new electricity companies have picked up huge debts as snags over tariffs and gas pricing have emerged.

They may need government help as much as the ruling party in government needs them.

Despite Nigeria becoming Africa’s largest economy last year, these twists in the market may force the PDP to be more frugal.

For the first time since 1999, it did not organise costly primary elections to choose its presidential candidate.

Instead, after high-level soundings with party cadres across the country, Jonathan got the candidacy unopposed.

With the presidential nomination over with little fuss and cost, the party barons turned their full attention to building a campaign war chest.

Companies and politicians have formed themselves into rival gangs of cheerleaders, extolling their willingness to contribute to Jonathan’s campaign coffers.

They adopted grandiose titles redolent of patriotic fervour: the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria, the Protectors of Nigerian Posterity, the Patriotic Supporters of Good Governance and, more enigmatically, the 2015 Project.

According to one of the many public relations firms hired by the PDP, these fundraising consortia compete to raise the biggest pot of cash and win over the most monied corporate bosses.

Reaching out to more than 60 million voters in 36 states and the federal capital is an expensive business.

The jostling to contribute to Jonathan’s campaign started early last year.

The most prominent group is the Transformation Ambassadors fronted by Ifeanyi Ubah, whose Capital Oil was named in the 2012
fuel subsidy scams.

The Transformation Ambassadors sponsored adverts on state television that earnestly compared Jonathan’s leadership to that of Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela and John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

It also organised nationwide rallies and a drive to get signatures endorsing the president’s bid for a second term.

In September 2014, the group announced that it had collected more than 20m signatures.

Around that time, the ruling party set up a committee to register and screen the almost 7,000 groups it said were supporting Jonathan’s bid.

Oduah’s aviation ovation

The history of the Neighbour To Neighbour (N2N) group shows the links between fundraising and political office.

In 2011, N2N was the best known and most aggressive group backing Jonathan’s presidential ambitions.

It was hugely successful in soliciting massive contributions from state and private companies, mainly due to the forceful personality of Stella Oduah, the brains behind N2N.

Within weeks of Jonathan’s election in May 2011, Oduah was appointed aviation minister, one of the most lucrative fiefdoms in the government.

There she stayed until 2013, when parliamentary pressure over her role in a car procurement scandal forced Jonathan to dismiss her.

After the president, the 36 state governors are the most powerful bloc of politicians, and their spending has risen exponentially since the return to civil rule in 1999.

At a fundraiser for Obasanjo that year, the PDP’s governors contributed N100,000 each.

At the December 2014 dinner, the state governors donated N50m each.

Jonathan’s most vocal supporters include Godswill Akpabio, who is chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum and governor of Akwa Ibom State, Jonah Jang of Plateau State and Gabriel Suswam of Benue State.

Governor power

There is a simple quid pro quo between Aso Rock and governors’ offices: they back Jonathan’s campaign and they receive a presidential endorsement for a second term.

Only a few independent spirits such as Rivers State governor Rotimi Amaechi have broken away from the PDP.

Civic activists argue the political fundraising system has overtones of criminality. CACOL’s Adeniran describes the PDP fundraiser in December as “an exhibition of the high level of insensitivity and moral decadence of the ruling class”.

He adds that the donations might come from illegal financial deals. Such suspicions are backed up by the 2013 report of the Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa, which calls political party financing a common means of money laundering in Nigeria.

There have been calls for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to investigate political fundraising, but its spokesman Kayode Idowu says its remit is restricted: “INEC is tracking what the parties are spending so that when they reach the limit we can flag it.”

It is up to the Corporate Affairs Commission to monitor company donations to parties, he adds.

Eze Onyekpere of the Centre for Social Justice in Abuja says INEC and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have failed to punish breaches of the laws on party funding because they lack political will.

Some of the laws seem deliberately ambiguous, too.

Current laws set a limit of N1m for individual donations to a political candidate but no limits on donations to a political party.

They also set a N1bn limit for spending by a single candidate, but there are no limits on what a party can spend.

This might explain the belated announcement by fundraiser Jerry Gana that the N21bn collected during the December dinner at Aso Rock was absolutely not for Jonathan’s election campaign but to pay for the PDP’s new headquarters currently being built by Bouygues of France. ●

 SOURCE: The Africa Report.

Lawyers, Civil Society Demand Full Investigation



Activists remember Beko Ransome-Kuti

Beko Rights Klub


Lagos – Mr. Debo Adeniran, the convener of Beko Rights Klub (BRK) yesterday described the late Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti as a dedicated and committed icon who dedicated his life to the emancipation of Nigerian masses.
Adeniran spoke at the 9th Annual Beko Memorial Anniversary, organised by the Klub in collaboration with the Coalition against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) in Lagos.
The event was tagged: “Using Electoral Process as a Veritable Tool for Socio-Political Revolution in Nigeria.”
The late human rights activist died on February 10, 2006.
Adeniran, who is also the Chairman of CACOL, said that the late Beko died struggling to create an egalitarian society for all.
“The Nigeria that we have today is a Nigeria that we need to repair; we are not going to relent until we reengineer the Nigeria that we want.
“We are here again to remember the icon of our struggle, that courageous human being whose entire life was dedicated to the emancipation of Nigerian masses from enslavement.
“We will always be here to remember our hero until Nigeria of Beko’s dream comes to life,” he said.
According to him, Beko wanted a good society, good governance and a system without impunity, a system where justice prevails and where everybody is important.
Adeniran urged voters to use their ballots to elect good leaders in the nation.
Mr. Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, an activist and legal practitioner, said that the current political structure compelled people to two alternatives.
Olumide-Fusika said that Nigerians should use their strength and energy to usher in the kind of government they desire and which would implement masses-oriented programmes.
Mr. Bunmi Odeniyi, an activist and legal practitioner, said that the Nigerian masses had power in their hands in form of their votes.
“Power is in our hands, it is the masses that will determine who rule over us, let’s start organising ourselves,” he said.
Odeniyi said that Beko lived for the masses to create a better democratic environment for the common man.
Some activists, as part of the memorial, went in a procession from Obalende to the Ikoyi Cemetery in Lagos Island, where they laid wreaths at the graveside of the late Beko.

SOURCE: Nigerian Observer.