on: July 23, 2016, 10:18:53 AM
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by ccp
on: July 22, 2016, 10:18:40 PM
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by objectivist1
As President Muhammadu Buhari continues to lean on his trusted circle
of northern political advisers and allies, public frustration over the
north's perceived domination of Nigeria's political system will grow.
The mounting irritation could spur political realignments, including
defections from the already strained ruling party to the opposition
People's Democratic Party (PDP).
The PDP's decision to put forth a ticket in the 2019 presidential
election featuring candidates from both the north and southeast could
split the northern vote, weakening Buhari's support base and
threatening his chances for re-election.
In 1999, Nigerian strongman Abdulsalami Abubakar agreed to hand over power
to civilian leaders, replacing the military rule that had typified much of
Nigeria's political history with a rotational power-sharing agreement. The
deal, crafted by the ruling party at the time, was intended to prevent any
one region or ethnic group from monopolizing influence in the Nigerian
government. And indeed, for more than a decade, the country's various
administrations were more or less inclusive.
But the untimely death of former President Umaru Yaradua, a northerner
from Katsina state, upset the fragile balance in 2010. His demise led to
southern Vice President Goodluck Jonathan's rise to prominence, an ascent
that northern Nigeria viewed as a usurpation of the power it was owed.
When Jonathan then attempted to win a second term - a move that would have
extended southern rule by four years - the country's power-sharing system
broke down completely, driving a wedge between members of the ruling
People's Democratic Party (PDP). Many defected, joining the All
Progressives Congress led by northerner and former military ruler
Muhammadu Buhari, who went on to win Nigeria's presidential election in
Now people are beginning to fear that Buhari is skewing the balance of
power in the opposite direction, concentrating authority in the hands of
his northern political constituents and trusted advisers. Some in the
south have even warned of the federal government's impending
"northernization." But the truth may not be that clear-cut.
The North's Place in Nigerian Security
By law, at least one ministerial or vice ministerial post must be granted
to each of Nigeria's 36 states. Once those positions have been filled, the
remaining appointments can be made at the president's discretion. Buhari
has given many of Nigeria's leftover security portfolios to northern
figures - seven of the 10 most important non-ministerial jobs related to
security, in fact. The move, unsurprisingly, has irritated some of the
country's southerners. Yet Jonathan, a southerner himself, relied just as
heavily on northern officials to handle issues of defense. (He, too,
appointed northerners to seven of the same 10 security portfolios.)
Granted, Jonathan was in a very different position than Buhari is in now.
The former's tenure was so controversial that Jonathan may have felt
politically unable to appoint a slew of southerners to sensitive security
posts without risking severe public backlash.
But the government's dependency on the north is more than just a matter of
politics. The region - and specifically, the ethnic Hausa who live there -
has a military tradition that dates back generations. Since Nigeria's
independence in 1960, northerners have dominated the upper ranks of the
armed services, in turn predisposing them to hold an outsize share of
high-level security roles. Moreover, the only military conflict Nigeria
has had to fight in recent years involves Wilayat al Sudan al Gharbi, an
Islamist extremist group better known as Boko Haram that hails from the
country's northeast. That Muslim northerners lead the fight against the
group is crucial because it enables the government to counter Boko Haram's
claims that Christian southerners are heading the charge against it - a
message that risks alienating northern Muslims from the military.
In addition to these strategic advantages, Buhari has several other
reasons for favoring officials from the north. As a former military ruler
whose previous term was cut short by a coup, the president tends to save
sensitive security matters for those he can trust. More often than not,
that means people who come from the region he considers home. Widespread
corruption - a legacy of Jonathan, who gave his ministers enough autonomy
to engage in criminal practices with impunity - has also given Buhari
cause to pursue tough anti-corruption measures. To this end, he has opened
many high-profile corruption cases against former government officials and
is reportedly recouping millions of dollars in stolen government funds. He
has even named himself the minister of petroleum, likely in an effort to
prevent the corruption that has stained the post in the past.
Nevertheless, Buhari's detractors have interpreted the move as an
unwillingness to share political power. Similarly, the spate of corruption
charges against former civil servants - many of whom are southerners - has
been seen as an attempt to punish the previous administration and any
potential challengers within it. In reality, though, the anti-corruption
drive is more likely aimed at recovering the massive sums of money that
were siphoned off over the past four years, particularly since Nigeria's
finances are under severe strain.
And so, though Buhari has appointed some southerners to posts including
the chief of naval staff, his reputation for northern favoritism has
become difficult to shake. Buhari's recent removal of Emmanuel Ibe
Kachikwu, a southerner and the minister of state for petroleum resources,
from the head of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. probably only
reinforced the image. Some in the south saw this as yet another loss of
influence, though in all likelihood Kachikwu's role was originally meant
to provide temporary oversight of the company's reforms, rather than
permanent guidance. Still, that did not stop groups such as the Niger
Delta Indigenous Movement for Radical Change from condemning Kachikwu's
ouster, nor were they alone in their resentment.
Political Blowback From the South
In fact, the recent uptick in attacks against oil and natural gas
infrastructure in the Niger Delta may be caused in part by mounting
dissatisfaction with Buhari's tactics. Since January, several militant
groups - most notably, the Niger Delta Avengers - have taken to blowing up
pipelines, among other things, to draw attention to the southernmost
region's long-standing grievances. Chief among them is the unequal
distribution of wealth gained from the sale of the Niger Delta's oil. One
possible explanation for the rising violence is that certain factions are
attempting to address the loss, whether real or imagined, of the political
power that they secured under Jonathan's administration. Either way, the
government's inability to redress the restive region's gripes by providing
greater resources has reinforced the narrative that Buhari's government
simply does not care about southern issues.
This explains why, after Buhari declared amid the string of attacks that
Nigeria's unity is "nonnegotiable," several southern groups and figures
rebuked his statement, calling for more autonomy for individual states.
Obong Victor Attah, the former governor of the southern state of Akwa
Ibom, has even put forth a proposal for greater fiscal federalism that
would essentially allow states to lay claim to a bigger share of the
profits they produce. According to Attah, passing the measure would
restore faith in Nigeria's political system. Though the debate over
Nigerian unity has not yet reached an alarming level, the grumblings of
important figures such as Attah underscore the sense of injustice
pervading the region.
If left unchecked, popular frustration could eventually have political
consequences for the president. When narrow interests begin to amass power
in Nigeria, the country's various factions tend to realign against them,
throwing their weight behind candidates who can restore equilibrium. That
is how Jonathan's campaign for re-election was defeated in 2015, and if
Buhari is not careful, it could be how his is thwarted in 2019.
Of course, Buhari still has three years left in his term - plenty of time
to change course if anxiety over the "northernization" of the government
begins to significantly threaten his popularity. But the fact remains that
the public's perception, along with the many other problems Nigeria faces,
could erode support for the overburdened ruling party, especially since
Nigerian political alliances are by nature quite fluid.
Buhari's All Progressives Congress is already divided between two
factions: its original members, and former PDP figures who broke ranks
with Jonathan after he sought a second term. If Buhari's rule becomes more
contested, the latter could return to their old party, leaving the
president's coalition all the weaker. Their defection may be made even
more likely by the PDP's recent announcement that it intends to choose a
northern presidential candidate and a vice presidential candidate from the
southeast to represent it in the next race. A joint ticket could be
enticing to former PDP members, most of whom are from the north, as well
as any ruling party members who have been marginalized under Buhari's
reign. More important, the selection of a northerner to lead the ticket
would probably split the northern vote, severely undermining Buhari's
electoral base as he fails to broaden his constituency southward.
The president has time to adjust his image. Whether he has the will to do
so is another matter. But one thing is clear: If Buhari chooses to ignore
the south's growing concerns, he will have to accept the fact that he may
not be president for much longer.
Lead Analyst: Stephen Rakowski
on: July 22, 2016, 04:11:22 PM
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by ccp
I thought great speech though I missed part of it as I walked the dogs thinking it was almost over.
2 things I noticed
#1 Ivanka said something about single mothers should have child care - my question - at whose expense.
#2 It was certainly weird while accepting the *Republican * nomination for president of the United States hearing him say "I am neither a Democrat or Republican"!!!!
I go to Conservative review and all I see is Trump bashing and compliments to Cruz. To me Mark is off in dream land somewhere. One now sees first hand why Cruz is so absolutely hated . Was there even 1 Senate colleague who came out and supported him until it was down to him and Trump? I don't blame him for not wanting to endorse but he should have not gone to the convention in that case.
on: July 22, 2016, 03:15:50 PM
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by DougMacG
I said it would be Tim Kaine, now NYTimes says Tim Kaine, Washington Post, too, but he is not liberal enough! Supported Free Trade!
Cory Booker is black. That's exciting! 'His' life matters. But supports school choice. (
Elizabeth Warren is Cherokee, Harvard's first 'woman of color'! Too risky.
Hickenlooper supports fracking. Are there ANY good Democrats available?
It's pretty hard to say her first choice Huma comes from a different state if they are together 24/7/365.
This is a conundrum.
Hillary should pick Joe Biden! Tanned and tested.
Democrats save bad news they want ignored for the Friday afternoon news dump.
Hillary says she will 'tweet' her choice today.