Supreme Court judgement: It’s time for action – Pogu, Okwu, Shettima, others charge Tinubu


After months of legal fireworks, the Supreme Court has finally brought to a closure the controversies surrounding President Bola Tinubu’s victory in the February 25, 2023, presidential election.

Recall that on Thursday, October 26, the Supreme Court affirmed the victory of President Tinubu in the February 25 presidential election, which was challenged up to the apex court by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and his Labour Party, LP, counterpart, Mr. Peter Obi.

With the Supreme Court’s judgment, the coast is now very clear for President Tinubu to concentrate on governance. It is also believed that there will be no distractions any more, and as such, he has no reason not to perform.

Since he was declared the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Tinubu and his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, their supporters, and indeed, Nigerians, have been waiting with bated breath to know the outcome of the legal suits challenging his victory.

Many APC supporters and some political analysts are of the view that the development has been largely responsible for the government’s slow pace in addressing the myriad of socio-economic, political and security problems.


Nigerians had expected that Tinubu’s administration would be a total departure from the immediate past administration of Muhammdu Buhari, which was characterized by a high level of insecurity, economic hardship and division among Nigerians along ethnic and religious lines.

But, those expectations have not been met. Nigerians are in a more precarious economic condition, with the inflation rate getting to a frightening level and prices of essential commodities like food rising above the reach of the common man.

It is expected that President Tinubu, having won his electoral case at the Supreme Court, should take some practical steps to address the country’s many challenges, some of which have made life hellish for many Nigerians.

On what he should do immediately, the president of the Middle Belt Forum (MBF), Dr. Pogu Bitrus told Newspot that having started by working on the economy through the removal of fuel subsidy, and having been battling on how to address the problem of Nigeria since then, the President should do everything possible to stabilize the naira.

“I think he now needs to come forcefully and ensure that he stabilises the naira, and stop these palliatives and sharing of money.

“If today he says, we will have at least three conversion centres in each state capital for a start to convert petrol engines to be able to use the LPG, rather than giving money to people, the impact will be positively felt immediately. If he starts that, and subsidises the conversion – cost of the tanks and the kicks, you will see that in less than a month or two, thousands of vehicles will be converted to be able to use the LPG.

“The effect will be so phenomenal that people will begin to say that this man is serious and that removing the subsidy was a worthwhile move. That’s one with regards to the economy,” he said.

On the issue of security, he said the President could also call all the service chiefs and put them on notice, like saying, “Look I am giving you one month or so, for all the bandits’ hideouts to be wiped out. Any bandit who wants to remain a bandit is up to him or her, so that you can say by January, all the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) can go back to their ancestral homes.

“I am telling you that if he does that, you can be sure that Nigerians will begin to hail him, and say yes, this is the real president.”

Regarding the talks about nepotism, and following Buhari’s footsteps, Dr Pogu said the President must retrace his steps and address that.

“The issue is, yes I am from the Middle Belt, the Yoruba man is not my enemy because he is not going to come and take over my land. He is not going to invite somebody from Togo or Lome to come and take over the Middle Belt’s land.

“Our problem has always been the Fulani. We are not against the Fulani, but for them to bring their brothers from outside this country and use tricks to take over our lands is not acceptable. So, for us, our ancestral land is very important and I believe it is the same thing across the country, including the South East, South-South and South West.

“Let Mr. President take this issue of getting the military to weed out these people very fast and get the IDPs back to their ancestral land. Honestly, the whole country will praise him for that.

“Then, there are so many areas within the revenue generating sector; for example, the Customs and the NNPCL. The NNPCL has been taken over by people from one section of the country. You can go and start listing from the Group Managing Director down to even the smallest position and you will find out that some group of people are occupying all those positions. Let him look into it.

“Yes, there is a need for him to study that place very well, but there has to be a Nigerian outlook because we are losing so much in that sector and something has to be done. He has to be serious about it for us to resolve some of the problems caused in the last eight years of Buhari’s regime.

“He has to look closely into two places – the NNPCL and the Central Bank of Nigeria. Of course, with the arrest of Godwin Emefiele, I believe he must have got adequate information now to be able to guide him in terms of how to address the CBN problem, and the pilferages associated with those sections. I think these will address our economic situation, and then the military and the security situation will address others to give this country a take-off position.

“We are so indebted; we don’t expect miracles to happen immediately. But, if he starts doing something, not long from now, Nigerians will come to say that whatever it is, God is responsible and the man is now on track.

“We thank God for his appointment of Nyesom Wike as the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, because we need people like Wike. Remember that since Nasir El Rufai left the place, the FCT has been dormant; it is Wike that is making the place look like an FCT. With the Supreme Court judgment, and the fact that we have somebody who is that vibrant, the President should strengthen him, and let us have things done properly,” he said.

He advised the President to take the issue of infrastructure seriously.

Pogu also believes strongly that restructuring Nigeria should be of paramount importance to the President if he truly wants to address many of the problems facing Nigeria.

“We want President Tinubu to have the courage to take on the issue of restructuring headlong. Games were played for sectional reasons, and the 2014 National Conference report, which tried to address many of Nigeria’s problems, was swept away.

“Let him have the boldness to solve the problems of this country so that he can go down in history as the man who made it happen,” he stated.

The former National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Maxi Okwu, also believes that the economy is in tatters and haemorrhaging and needs urgent intervention.

“The economy is in such a state that if care is not taken, we will go comatose,” he warned.

He wants President Tinubu to address the issue of national cohesion urgently.

Okwu told Newspot: “There is dissension in the land. People are not happy. When we were in the Alliance for democracy (AD) and National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Tinubu used to be or was a progressive. He should not stop the work of the 2014 National Confab. Let Nigeria be restructured, otherwise, we will surely have a date with fate.

“We must address the national question critically and urgently. The nation is not cohesive; people are not happy. So, it has to be addressed so that if the spirit of patriotism is restored, then we can work hard to rebuild the nation after Buhari’s devastation.”

He also noted that the President should tackle the economy to, at least, arrest the slide in the immediate term, stressing that the long term projection must be based on national cohesion and the willingness of the citizenry to work for their country in building a nation.

“That has to be done by confab when we agree on how to live together, failing which we will continue to bleed as a nation,” he submitted.

For the president, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Alhaji Yerima Shettima, there are two critical issues that Tinubu should address immediately.

“First, I am sure he is aware that people can no longer fend for themselves. The level of poverty is so high that people now sleep without any guarantee of eating the next day. So, that must be tackled immediately.

“He must come up with a practical policy to alleviate the suffering of the masses, not just by saying it in mouth. That is very fundamental because without that, Nigeria cannot overcome the security challenge. People are suffering and I am sure he is aware.

“People have made sacrifices and voted for him believing that he has all it takes to bring them out of the shackles of poverty and hopeless situation they found themselves under the last administration.

“Secondly, he must come up with programmes that will unite the country because we are more divided now than we were in 2015. He must unite the country, irrespective of political party, ethnicity or religion; he must bring everybody together as the father of the nation. Those are the critical things I want him to look into as soon as possible and find answers to them,” he said in an interview with Newspot.

He also believes that President Tinubu should adequately address the allegation of nepotism, which he said had been exhibited in the key appointments made so far.

He said: “I am happy that there are other pending appointments apart from the ministerial appointments. He should do the right thing by maintaining balance in the remaining key appointments so that he could clear the doubt that he is also an ethnic champion.

“He should rejig the appointments so that everybody can have a sense of belonging and he must be seen to carry every section of the country along, otherwise if he goes one way, I don’t think it is going to be a smooth ride for him.

“He must ensure that every section of this country is being considered, and in doing that, he must look for the best brains, and not just appoint people because he wants to adhere to the principle of balance or federal character.

“In every section of this country, there are first class brains; they should be carried along so that it doesn’t seem as if it is only Lagos that has the best brains. This will give everybody a sense of belonging and move the country forward. Anything that cannot be better than the last administration will spell doom for Nigeria, and may God forbid that.”

In his opinion, a former member of the Katsina State House of Assembly, Hon Shehu Yusuf said President Tinubu now has the responsibility to employ every possible means to engage the opposition and ensure that Nigeria is united and developed.

This, he said, was very important because the opposition has talented people among them that could advise and work with the President, despite their political differences.

“I am also appealing to the opposition that if they are approached genuinely to advise or participate in the project Nigeria, they should endeavour to give advice for the development of all.

“Politics is a game of numbers and one person must win. Now that the judicial battle is over and the beginning of Tinubu’s four year tenure is on course, unity, economic development, peace and stability is what Nigerians need.

“The opposition fought very well but since politics is a game of numbers, Nigerians have decided and the APC has won. They followed the judicial process and the apex court has also affirmed Tinubu’s election. We wish all of them well. They are all well meaning Nigerians; therefore, they should team up and bring stability to Nigeria,” he told Newspot.

On alleged nepotism of Tinubu’s government, he also advised that the President should try and carry every section of the country along, so that the country could move forward.

“If you look at the appointment the current government has made so far, it has favoured the South West, and it has not considered the South East well.

“It is not balanced at all, but since the legal processes are now over, I am advising the government and the opposition to work together. The Igbo, if contacted, should respond genuinely and try to put aside all differences and be onboard so that Nigeria can make progress,” he said.

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