[ Masterweb Reports: Poem by Pastor Chi ] - Pastor Chi can be reached by phone at +44 (0) 7405870957 or + 34631894093 and email at email@example.com She is author of “The Efficacy of Prayer”, “Breakthrough Deliverance” and “Hidden Secrets To Fulfilling Your Destiny”. Read her poem below.
When the work is done
When the work is done,
Completed in the Lord,
We will enter paradise
Singing praises to the Lord
Let us rejoice,
God has spoken in His holiness,
It shall be well with you and me
We give Glory to God in His mercy kindness,
Brought salvation to us through Jesus His Son
The Lily of the Valley
The Lily of the Valley
Is the Lion of Judah
The King of Glory
Is the joy of Heaven
The Due of Heaven
The Laws of Shannon
We worship You
We lift our hands to worship You
We lift our voices together in praise
On our knees we bow down to You
You are worthy
You are worthy of praise
When my enemies arise
When my enemies arise
To take my life away
I lift my yes onto You
Oh, the One who dwells in heaven
Be glad, authority and power belong to Jesus
In His name, receive the power to overcome
Let us rejoice., the chosen one, authority
and power belong to the king
Let us rejoice, the believers
Authority He gave us.
*Photo Caption - Pastor Chi
[ Masterweb Reports: Odimegwu Onwumere reports ] - For almost half a century, they have been living in isolation, and still sentenced to a life of misery. It is not their fault. It’s a glaring act of sheer neglect, and abandonment by government. Successive governments only made promises, a seeming fake promise of rebuilding the Ukpagada Bridge in Ogoja Local Government Area of Cross Rivers State. Nothing is happening yet, and the misery of the electorate there continues.
The only bridge linking the community with the outside world that was built by the British in the cause of colonialism, was bombed by Nigerian troupe during the civil war of 1967/70. Since then, the incident has been fueling poverty, environmental degradation, threat to life, and the like, in Ukpagada.
It is only a stony heart that will refuse to bleed as the local people narrate their ordeals to us as we listen to their testimonies: They talk about how they are detached from the rest of the world since the bridge was bombed, and that not until this year, Dr. Ray Ugba Morphy, a public spirited individual who hails from Ogoja, takes it upon himself to rebuild the bridge.
In 2016, at about midnight, Mrs. Elizabeth Sunday, 28, was in severe labour at home. She did not anticipate it. The family needed the Ukpagada Bridge to take her to the nearest health professionals. But the bridge was not there. They had to resort to an unscientific method to save her. Many like Mrs. Sunday in needed urgent medical attention never lived to tell their stories.
The bridge connects other nearby communities like Bakor and Nkum. Since she couldn’t be taken to health professionals, the expectant mother had to deliver at home. “It was a harrowing experience and I could have died if not for providence. Although, I survived during the cause of giving birth but some others were not lucky, due to the out-of-the-way road caused by man,” she says.
Her experience also re-echoes in the neighbouring local government areas like Obudu, Yala, Ikom, Etung, Boki, Abi and Biase, all in the same Cross River. John Obo, an entrepreneur says, “Businesses are collapsing and human rights are trampled on because of the Bridge.”
The community is suffering from a long neglect by government, which has resulted to untoward flooding last year that damaged many of the towns and villages, because there’s hardly any proper drainage constructed.
“In October, seven local government areas in the state were wrecked by flood resulting to hundreds of thousands of people rendered homeless and over two hundred farms washed away. Farmlands that included rice, yams, cassava, cocoa, cucumber, palms, vegetables and others were mostly affected by flooding,” says Peter Jonas, a village head.
When the Director General of the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Mr. John Inaku evaluated the adversity, he awestruck the people that climate change was the culprit for the flood debacle. “The disaster was as a result of climate change as envisaged by Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NIMET,” he said.
Some of the residents nonetheless feared that the flooding was as a result of government neglect of overflowed bank of Aya River that crisscrossed the northern part of the state. This was even as Mr. Inaku gave the people hope that government was making sure that the victims did not lack.
Succour Coming At Last!
Moved by the tales of woes of the community, Morphy has taken the bull by the horns. On January 12, 2017 he offered to renovate the bridge with his personal resources.
“I decided to reconstruct the Ukpagada Bridge given its chronological archives, no matter the cost. It is not about showing off that I am wealthy; it is about knowing the true meaning of essence,’’ he says.
Adding, he says, “I learned that the Bridge was built by the British in the cause of colonialism in the country called Nigeria today and was bombed by the Nigerian troupe fighting with the Biafran side during the 1960-1970 war in the country.
“While that project has been taken, all well meaning sons of Ogoja and indeed those of Bakor extraction, should know that we still require to put a grader on that road that has been reduced to a motor-bike highway for over 47 years of neglect.”
Morphy who last year quitted Governor Ben Ayade’s job as Special Adviser, Strategy and National Contact, due to some pressing differences, on January 29, said, “I am delighted to inform all those concern that an Ogoja daughter in the UK and a member of the royal Morphy family, Mrs. Paulina Morphy-Fogg and her dear husband, Eric Fogg, have both decided to follow the pathway set by their brother (me) to undertake the construction of the second mini bridge to push further the connectivity link between Ukpagada and the world.
“The project is set to commence in the next two weeks as all necessary logistics shall be carried out to ensure a smooth take off.”
Hopefully, the likes of Mrs. Elizabeth Sunday will not have to go through what her family and she went through during labour again. They will not deliver their babies in the bush again as there are prospects of motor vehicles conveying them to health facilities, and economic activities coming alive again courtesy of the kind gesture of Ray Ugba Murphy.
Odimegwu Onwumere ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) is a Poet, Writer and Consultant based in Rivers State.
*Photo Caption - Photo 1: Dr. Ray Ugba Morphy; Photo 2: Ukpagada Bridge before commencement of work by Dr. Morphy.
[ Masterweb Reports: Olalekan Waheed Adigun reports ] -On Sunday 5th February, I suffered two major disappointments. First, like most patriotic Nigerians, I supported, and planed to participate in the protests organized by Nigeria’s music legend, Innocent “TuFace” Idibia on Monday 6th February, 2017. Nigerians have suffered so much and for too long. The government must at least hear our cries. And since I was one of those who participated in the Occupy Nigeria protests against President Goodluck Jonathan in 2012, I felt the moral obligation to join other Nigerians in protesting against the increase in cost of living among Nigerians. I was stunned to find out that the music icon has “chickened out” using the exact words of SaharaReporters. TuFace has announced the cancellation of the protests citing some “vested interests not aligned with our own…” wanting to “hijack the protests.” He never mentioned anyone’s name neither did he leave too much to the imagination as to who the “vested interests” were!
Second, I was eagerly awaiting the news of the arrival of President Muhammadu Buhari after his 10-day leave expired on Sunday 5th February, 2017. I was left disappointed after a friend, and well-known PDP disinformation agent, called to tell me that the president will not be resuming on Monday after all. I took his view with the wave of the hand as the usual politics. I wasn’t ready for his style of politics that wish people dead simply because one has political disagreements with them.
Around 3 pm on Sunday, the special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, gave a big gift to my PDP friend who called sent me a link of the “extension of the president’s vacation.” At that point, I could no longer assume David, my friend, was playing politics. He called me for up to 15 times that evening, but I did not return his calls.
That the “extension” gave the president the right to stay in London sine die is equally discomforting. Some say it could take as long as four months. While no sane Nigerian will wish the president dead at this time, it should not be difficult to the Presidency to come out clean on the state of the president’s heath. When he became president, Buhari has become Nigeria’s property. Nigerians deserve to know whatever is going on with his at every material time.
The “extension” of the president’s “vacation” or “medical (sick) leave” only further fuels suspicions and rumours of our worst fears. Few years ago, when something like this happened the ruling cabal exploited the power vacuum to loot and nearly brought confusion to the nation.
The Presidency is not about just Buhari. The fact that Buhari is presently medically unfit should not hold the nation to ransom. This should not mean Nigeria is sick. Certainly, it should not set the nation on fire. Government is a continuum; it needs not start or end with one person.
On the botched protest, I wish to say this. Building a nation requires courage, not cowardice. This is one lesson Nelson Mandela taught us all. I understand that some “vested interests” were more interested in the protests than TuFace himself. I am aware the “vested interests” are hell-bent on scoring political points with the protests and not participating based on genuine love for the poor and the down trodden. I am aware some of the “vested interests” provided heavy amounts of stolen money to fund the protests. All these notwithstanding, Tuface should have gone ahead and who knows, the revolution may just start from there!
OlalekanWaheed ADIGUN ( Tel: +2348136502040, +2347081901080 Email: email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org ) is a political analyst and independent political strategist for wide range of individuals, organisations and campaigns. He is based in Lagos,
*Photo Caption - President Muhammadu Buhari
[ Masterweb Reports: Lee Seung reports ] - Shortly after news broke on the blogosphere that film maker, Seun Egbegbe, was arrested for allegedly defrauding a bureau de change operator of $60,000, online commenters were quick to flood various blogs airing their opinion on the issue. Many of them insisted that the filmmaker must be under a “spell.”
Egbegbe was re-arrested six days to his appearance before an Ikeja Magistrate’s Court over a case of theft he allegedly committed in Computer Village (Lagos) on November 22, 2016, when he reportedly stole nine iPhones. An online commenter, Tundebrown Ademuyiwa, urged people to pray for the man. “Someone has cursed this guy, he needs original prayers,” he said. Another commenter simply identified as Tex king believes that the filmmaker was cursed by a woman.
“I believe this is not ordinary. First it was the issue of trying to steal iPhone and now this. One babe don go village swear for this guy. I’m very sure,” King said.
An anonymous commentator was of the opinion that a pastor could help his situation and speedily advised that he visits popular pastor, T.B Joshua for deliverance. “I think this guy’s problem is more spiritual than physical. Whoever knows him should tell him to visit T.B Joshua,” he said.
Lee Seung ( Email: email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Seun Egbegbe
[ Masteweb Reports: Muhammad Ajah reports ] - Former President Obasanjo while hosting the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Ogun state chapter led by Bishop Tunde-Akin Akinsanya at his Hilltop residence in Abeokuta, threw weight behind a possible Igbo President for 2019. He proclaimed: “…Irrespective of the thinking of the people ahead of 2019, I personally think that South-East should have a go at the Presidency too”. But former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, in his writing on “Igbo after 2011 elections: What next?” said: “In truth, whenever any issue that concerns a people’s future crops up, common sense and wisdom should take the centre-stage, rather than undue pandering to emotionalism.”
In 1999 and 2003, former vice president Alex Ekwueme contested the seat on the platform of the PDP and lost. In 2007, former governor of Abia state, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, who has defected to the APC, contested the presidential seat on the platform of the party he founded, the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA). Governor of Imo State, Chief Rochas Okorocha has continued to nurse the idea of becoming the first Igbo President of Nigeria through the ballot.
But the Obasanjo’s quest is coming at a time when the polity is much enmeshed in controversies. The incumbent president is barely two years in office, with rumours of ill health and death. There are reported cases of attempts by politicians even within and outside the ruling APC to outsmart others in the build-up to 2019 general elections. Obasanjo is joining the likes of former military Heads of State, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) and General Yakubu Gowon, who had also called for a president of Igbo extraction.
Controversies have trailed the proclamation for Igbo president. Youth groups in the South-East hailed the idea. In a joint statement, the National President of the Igbo Youth for Good Governance (IYGG), Dr. Benjamin Okeke and the National President of Igbo Youth Initiative (IYI), Comrade Wilfred Eze, thanked Obasanjo for extending his sympathy for the Igbo cause and described him as the new father of democracy. This support for Igbo presidency, the groups noted, had given Ndigbo hope for realignment and fairness within a united Nigeria. They urged other elder statesmen and national figures to support the national call for a president of Igbo extraction. But former governor of Anambra state, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, believes Obasanjo’s call was because he understands the dynamics of the nation’s politics. A governorship aspirant of PDP in Imo State, Brady Nwosu, said the call was “a very bold statement”. But Chief Maxi Okwu of APGA chided the support. Also, the founder of Igbo Youth Movement (IYM), Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko berated Obasanjo whom he described as an enemy of the Igbo people.
In its New Year message to the Igbo political class, MASSOB alleged that Obasanjo, throughout his eight-year as Nigeria’s president, created political problems and roadblocks for Ndigbo by initiating political frustrations against Abia, Anambra, Enugu and Imo States. However, the effect of the Biafran War, the unabated clamour for the actualisation of Biafra, the political miscalculations by the Igbo, the unpredictability of the Igbo political class and personalities are some of the key factors against Igbo presidency. The Igbo massively supported the PDP for 16 years and lost the position to the South-South minority Ijaw. Defections of Igbo PDP members to APC and the clamour for Atiku presidency in 2019 are gearing up.
While the Igbo are fit to produce a president of this great nation, it is yet unsure that other parts of the country can easily give support to them due to the persistent push for Biafra. This is because the political wave created by this agitation home and abroad is much more intellectually stronger than those of other regional quagmires. Hopefully, an Igbo President will emerge one day. And if it will be soon, who will the cap fit from a pool of democratic leaders, including Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Chief Chris Ngige, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, Chief Peter Obi, Chief Rochas Okorocha, Dr. Ike Ekweremadu, Prof. Pat Utomi, Retired Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe, Senator Pius Anyim, Godwin Emefiele and others.
Muhammad Ajah reports from Abuja.
*Photo Caption - Map of Igboland
[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] - (Intersociety/SBCHROs, Onitsha Nigeria: 5th February 2017)-Non conduct of Local Government poll and delay in cleaning up or updating the National Register of Voters for Anambra State are two major challenges facing the Government of Mr. William Maduabuchi Obiano and its ANSIEC as well as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and its Anambra State Resident Electoral Commissioner. It is also a serious threat to the upcoming governorship election in the State scheduled to be held most likely in November 2017.The failure of INEC and ANSIEC in this regard is nothing short of political exclusion and gross deprivation of the People of the State of their inalienable rights to participate in political and democratic processes.
It is on record that Anambra State since 2002 had had a long history of non conduct of local government election or democratization of its LGA System, which is a fundamental breach of Section 7 of the 1999 Constitution as amended. Between 2002 when the tenure of then elected local chairmen and councillors expired and early January 2014; a period of twelve years, the 21 Local Govt Areas in Anambra State had existed without elected leadership except caretaker committees.
The long period of non democratization of LGA System in the State was brought to an end in January 2014 at the twilight of the Peter Obi Administration when the Local Government election was held. Since January 2016 when the two years tenure of the 21 LGA chairmen and their 326 councillors expired, the State LGA System has remained under caretaker committees till date.
On the failure of INEC to update on continuous basis the National Register of Voters for Anambra State, it has led to gross deprivation of over 1.7 million citizens of the State of their rights to vote and participate in political and democratic processes. By Anambra’s real population estimate of 7-8 million, at least 3.5 million adult citizens are to be captured by the Independent National Electoral Commission as registered voters and holders of the Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs).
Realistically, three out of every six adults living in Anambra State presently are yet to be captured by INEC as registered voters and holders of the PVCs. This was similarly the case prior to the 2015 General Elections and has further increased owing to increase in voting population brought about by increasing population movement or migration into the State in search of brighter economic opportunities and insurgency or as a result of insecurity forced migration. Hundreds of thousands of citizens resident in the State have also reached the voting age of 18 from May 2015 till date as well as tens of thousands of others who have died or relocated. That is to say that Anambra’s current registered voters of 1,784, 136 are grossly unrealistic and under represented by INEC. The realistic figure should be nothing less than 3.5million registered voters if well captured.
We therefore view the non conduct of LGA Poll and failure to update on continuous basis the National Register of Voters for Anambra State as a serious or fundamental violation of the Section 7 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended in 2011 and its supplementary Section 4 of its Part 11; as well as the provisions of the Electoral (Amendment) Act 2010 and the INEC Establishment Act of 2004. INEC has also failed in its constitutional duties, clearly spelt out in supplementary Section 15 of the Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended in 2011.
Not minding that political participation through the right to vote is a fundamental right guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution and in democratic governments or societies; the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Anambra State Independent Electoral Commission (ANSIEC) created by Sections 153 and 197 of the 1999 Constitution respectively; have continued to observe these principles in fundamental breach, by refusing or failing to capture most, if not all citizens eligible to vote in Anambra State in the voters’ register for the State, as well as failure to conduct election into the State’s Local Government System as constitutionally and statutorily required.
While ANSIEC woefully fails in its duties to carry out its functions owing to its parasitic control and whimsical and capricious management by the Government of Anambra State; INEC on its part, fails monumentally on account of gross incompetence, partisanship along ethno-religious lines and other ulterior motives. In 2015, for instance, the Commission brazenly ran two different policies in its continuous voters’ registration, voters’ revalidation and issuance of permanent voters’ cards; in which the northern part of the country particularly the Muslim population; was given a preferential consideration as against its southern counterpart; resulting in availability of PVCs to most adult citizens of the north as well as millions of underage population.
The preferential treatment was so grounded that Islamic clerics, village chiefs and heads were deployed to ensure that every member of the northern Muslim population, whether normal, destitute or disable was captured as a registered voter and holder of PVC; whereas in the south particularly Southeast, South-south and areas dominated by Christian populations and guest communities; the reverse was grossly the case.
Even when eligible citizens defied the INEC imposed hash conditions and showed up at INEC offices or registration centres to be captured as registered voters or issued with PVCs, the local INEC officials working under firm instructions from above, ensured that such citizens got frustrated and forced to go home and never to come back. It was on account of such that millions of them were denied registration and over 12 million others earlier registered denied PVCs and denied participation and voting in the 2015 General Elections.
In the present case of Anambra State as it concerns the upcoming governorship election, INEC is at it again by deliberately refusing to carry out its constitutional and statutory functions particularly as it concerns the continuous voters’ registration, its revalidation and voter and civic awareness campaign, which are clearly provided in the Electoral (Amendment) Act 2010. Prior to the 2015 General Elections, the total number of citizens said to have been registered to vote in the State was 1, 784.136 (one million, seven hundred and eighty four thousands, one hundred and thirty six); out of which only 1,222,002 (one million, two hundred and twenty two thousands and two) citizens were said to be issued with PVCs.
By Section 9 of the Electoral (Amendment) Act 2010, INEC is mandatorily directed and required to continuously compile, maintain and update on continuous basis a National Register of Voters for the Federation of Nigeria and for each of the 36 States and the FCT- section 9 (2). By Section 10 of the same Act, INEC is mandatorily required to provide for continuous registration of all persons who are qualified to be registered as voters.
By Section 12 of the Act, any Nigerian citizen that has attained the age of 18 must be registered by INEC in person in a registration arena designated by INEC and he or she is not allowed to be registered doubly-section 12(2); except where he or she chooses to be transferred as registered voter from one area to another -section 13. Each registered voter is permitted to bear only one PVC-section 16 (2). Issuance of duplicate copy of a voter’s card by INEC to a citizen whose PVC is lost, defaced, destroyed or damaged is allowed in Section 18 of the Electoral (Amendment) Act 2010. By Section 16 of the Act, INEC has sole responsibility of printing and issuance of voters’ cards and by Sections 2 and 22, the Commission is mandated to carry out on continuous basis civic and voter education concerning its activities.
In all these, INEC is yet to carry out dutifully any of the statutory functions as above highlighted. The Commission is idly waiting for few weeks to the election date so as to come out with its legend fire brigade approach for the purpose of manipulating and rigging the all important Anambra Governorship Election and its results. The shoddiness and gross incompetence of INEC in its midwifery of the Anambra governorship polls in recent times could be seen in the poor number of valid results released by the Commission particularly those of the winners of the polls; as against the total number of registered voters and PVC holders. For instance, in the 2013 governorship poll, less than 330,000 people voted, with the winner poorly scoring only 180,000 valid votes out of the registered voting population of over 1.8 million then.
We hereby condemn unreservedly the failure of INEC and ANSIEC to carry out their constitutional and statutory duties in Anambra State as highlighted above. INEC through its Anambra State Resident Electoral Commissioner, must inexcusably rise to its responsibilities; likewise the Anambra State Independent Electoral Commission (ANSIEC); by announcing schedules and venues for its continuous voters’ registration and revalidation or updating exercise throughout the State’s 21 Local Government Areas and its 326 Wards.
The Government of Anambra State under Mr. William Maduabuchi Obiano is also totally condemned; likewise other Governors of the Southeast Geopolitical Zone for muzzling democratic process in their Local Government System by using caretaker committees in place of democratically elected government system. Such obnoxious laws of States from where the Governors illegitimately derive their powers to muzzle the LGA democratic process, was also on 9th of December 2016 outlawed and nullified by the Supreme Court of Nigeria, which also declared as unconstitutional the use of appointed caretaker committees it the Local Government Councils in any part of the Federation by the Governors and their Houses of Assembly.
The Supreme Court had in its landmark judgment described the action of the Governors as “executive recklessness” as it concerns their acts of dissolving democratically-elected local government councils in their States and replacing them with caretaker committees. A five-man panel of the Apex Court led by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, made the pronouncements in a unanimous judgment it delivered on Friday, 9th of December 2016, following an appeal arising from the dissolution of 16 Local Government Councils in Ekiti State on 29th of October 2010 by the then Governor Kayode Fayemi.
By Section 287 (1) of the 1999 Constitution, the decisions of the Supreme Court shall be enforced in any part of the Federation by all authorities and persons; and by all courts with subordinate jurisdictions to that of the Supreme Court.
We therefore call on Governor William Maduabuchi Obiano of Anambra State to immediately dissolve the existing caretaker committees in the State’s 21 LGAs and direct the ANSIEC to conduct election into the State’s LGA System without further delays and in full compliance with the said judgment of the Supreme Court. Other Governors of the Southeast Geopolitical Zone that still maintain LGA caretaker committees are also called upon to dissolve them and organize participatory elections in them and in full compliance with the referenced Supreme Court judgment.
For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety)
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
Mobile Line: +2348174090052
For: Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights Organizations (SBCHROs)
1. Comrade Aloysius Attah (+2348035090548)
For: Civil Liberties Organization, Southeast Zone
2. Comrade Peter Onyegiri (+2347036892777)
For: Centre for Human Rights & Peace Advocacy
3. Comrade Samuel Njoku (+2348039444628)
For: Human Rights Organization of Nigeria
4. Engineer Rufus Duru (+2348037513519)
For: Global Rights & Development International
5. Comrade Chike Umeh ( +2348064869601)
For: Society Advocacy Watch Project
6. Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Esq. (+2348034186332)
For: Anambra Human Rights Forum
7. Comrade Alex Olisa(+2348034090410)
For: Southeast Good Governance Forum
8. Jerry Chukwuokoro, PhD (+2348035372962)
For: International Solidarity for Peace & Human Rights Initiative
9. Mr. Tochukwu Ezeoke (+447748612933)
For: Igbo Ekunie Initiative (Pan Igbo Rights Advocacy Group)
10. Comrade Vincent Ezekwume (+2348171793911)
For: Civil Liberties Organization, Anambra State Branch
*Photo Caption - Map of Anambra State
[ Masterweb Reports: Emeka Ekene C. reports ] - After months of speculations, the Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Andy Uba has finally dumped the opposition Peoples Democratic Party for the All Progressives Congress.
The gentleman Senator noted that his old party, the PDP lacked ideology and focus which were what he saw in APC and was attracted to it.
It will be recalled that Senator Andy Uba had maintained principle stance and undivided loyalty to his old party even when the party was not kind to him each time he was at crossroad.
So, by joining the APC, Senator Uba is not only bringing principled and undivided loyalty to the party, but he is also coming to uphold the ideology of the APC under the able leadership of Senator Chris Ngige in Anambra State.
Like I rightly noted in my previous article titled: 'Andy Uba: The Man Who Will Make Anambra Great Again,' Senator Uba has pacesetting records which he is going to repeat in APC.
Because of the bold decision to join the APC, the Senator and his network of friends and acquaintance all over the country have agreed to move en-masse to the party.
Finally, it will serve Anambra's interest if Senator Uba emerge as APC governorship candidate in the upcoming party primary election.
However, since power belongs to God, whoever emerge as APC candidate will definately win Anambra State with Senator Uba's support as well as re-align the state to national politics and development.
Mr. Emeka Ekene C. ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports from Awka, Anambra State.
*Photo Caption - Andy Uba
[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] - (Intersociety, Onitsha Nigeria: 25th January 2017)-Nigeria’s Government grossly belated and reprobated ownership of the high death toll following its Air Force wilful bombing of the Rann IDP Camp in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria on 17th January 2017; is a clear case of commission of War Crimes and violation of the UN Purposes and Principles and the Fundamental Rules of the International Law and Humanitarian Principles- Emeka Umeagbalasi, Criminologist & Graduate of Security Studies and Board Chair-Intersociety Nigeria.
Since August 2015, the Nigerian security forces or Armed Forces led by the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force; joined by the Presidency, have continually bastardized and corrupted the concept of the Rules of Engagement of the Geneva Conventions or Laws of War of 1949 under the UN System. The bastardization and corruption have been carried out by way of violent crackdowns on unarmed and defenceless citizens engaging or agitating non-violently for their constitutional, regional and international rights to religious and ethno-racial self determination through night vigils and street or road processions, matches, rallies and protests; other than armed rebellion or conflict. The mass killings by Nigerian security forces following street rallies, processions and protests by millions of unarmed citizens have been criminally labelled “exercise of their military mandates under the Rules of Engagement”.
Again, since late May 2015 till date, the present sixth civilian central Government in Nigeria has steadily and grossly threatened and undermined the nobility and aristocracy of civil government and reduced same to government founded on falsehood, rascality and gangsterism. Expressions and explanations of government policies and conducts have been mired in confusion, misdirection, criminal spinning, misrepresentation, executive recklessness and rascality; to the extent that out of every five executive explanations or statements made on major issues of public concerns, four are founded on falsehood or untruth till date.
It is recalled that the Nigerian Armed Forces particularly the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Air Force have since 2009 engaged in counter insurgency operations against the Boko Haram terrorists in the Northeast Nigeria with attendant gross rights abuses. Camps for the internationally displaced persons (IDPs) were created and clearly mapped and marked. Severally the Nigerian Military had claimed that it was very mindful of civilian populations or settlements in its air attacks in the area. In December 2016, the Army Chief, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai declared total victory against Boko Haram terrorists and claimed that its stronghold and the Sambisa Forest have been totally cleared of the terrorists. Hundreds of arrested and held Boko Haram terror suspects have also been released as uninvolved or repentant.
Shockingly, on 17th January 2017, strongly suspected government influenced news broke out, claiming that “there was a mistake air bombing of an IDP camp in Borno State claiming few lives and scores of injuries”. Some aid agencies most likely under pressures from the Nigerian Government later disclosed that “54 citizens died including some aid workers with dozens of others injured”. Almost a week later, the Chairman of Kala-Balge LGA of Borno State, where the wilful bombing and killing took place; Babagana Malarima, courageously disclosed publicly that “they buried 234 citizens excluding two that just died in Maiduguri Hospital”. Over 90 others were critically injured; and barely two days ago, the Presidency accepted the death toll figure as given by the LGA Chairman.
Consequently, we at International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law see the wilful air strike and accompanying killing of 236 defenceless and war traumatized citizens as nothing short of war crimes and gross breach of the Rules of Engagement under the UN System. Till date, the Minister of Defence, National Security Adviser, Minister of Interior, Chief of Air Staff, Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Army Staff are still hanging on to their official positions as if nothing has happened. The Presidency, on its part, appears busy fighting to cover up the massacre and no serious or credible international investigation has been carried out. The international aid agencies working in the area particularly those that lost scores of their staff in the wilful air strike have also done little or nothing. It may likely be that they are under intense pressures from the Presidency to shut up and cover up.
Technically and expertly speaking, the modern journey to the enactment of the Laws of War or Geneva Conventions under the present UN system started as far back as in 1864 when the Swiss Government convened the first international conference in Humanitarian Law, leading to the first Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Conditions of the Wounded in Armies in the Field. The Laws of War or Geneva Conventions simply mean the rules guiding the conduct of the war, the war itself and its aftermath; violation of same amounts to war crimes on genocide.
Preceding the Laws of War or Geneva Conventions is the concept of Just War or why and how wars are fought. The three main facets of the concept or theory of Just War are: Jus Ad Bellum-justification and ground for going to war; Jus In Bellum-ethical rules of conducts during the war such as ethical standard expected of soldiers and other combatants in war time: i.e. rules of engagement; and Jus Post Bellum-regulations of how wars are ended and transition from war to peace. These were fully incorporated into the Geneva Conventions by way of rules of engagement, legitimate use of force, self defence and concept of non-military necessity.
Further, in 1929, the Geneva Conventions were reviewed and the treatment of prisoners of war was added. In 1949, the Geneva Conventions increased to four with the addition of the protection of civilians in time of war; in inter-State or international conflict. In 1977, two additional Protocols were included in the Geneva Conventions for the purpose of strengthening the protection of victims of international or inter-State conflict; and addition of a new protocol for the protection of civilians or non combatants in Intra State or non international conflict (i.e. Boko Haram insurgency and its counter insurgency operations in northeast Nigeria).
One of the gravest violations of the Geneva Conventions or Laws of War is attack or fatal bombing of civilian population or settlement in conflict affected areas by warring parties particularly the host political territory and its armed forces. This is also called “attacks on non military necessity”. It is expressly a commission of war crimes with monumental legal consequences on the part of the defaulting party. Mass killing of civilians who are unarmed and defenceless in non war situation expressly amounts to crimes against humanity.
Nigeria as a leading UN Member-State from Africa is morally and legally bound by the Principles of the United Nations; which clearly states as follows: The principles of the UN are to save future generations from war, reaffirm human rights, and establish equal rights for all persons; in addition to promotion of justice, freedom, and social progress for the peoples of all of its member states.
Nigeria is also bound by the Customary International Law under UN System particularly those that are inviolable by virtue of their principle of “substantial uniformity by substantial number of States” or “Opinio Juris” (i.e. a general belief binding on all Member-States that a non-treaty is legally binding on States); and importantly, the principle of “Jus Cogens” (i.e. absolute rules of general international law binding on UN Member-States for which no derogation is permitted). These include prohibition on illegitimate use of force, genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, slavery, torture, etc.
We hereby call for extensive international investigations into the air strike killing of 236 defenceless citizens on 17th January 2017 in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria. We reject any form of “internal investigation” by the Federal Government of Nigeria led by Retired Major Gen Muhammadu Buhari or any of its military or civilian agencies. We consider such investigation, if any, as a clear case of “being a judge in its own case”. Besides, the present Federal Government of Nigeria grossly lacks moral standing to conduct any form of investigation and if it is truly concerned over the wilful mass murder; then it must sack as a matter of uttermost immidiacy the Chiefs of Air Staff, Defence Staff, Army Staff, the National Security Adviser, the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Defence.
We specifically call on the United Nations Secretary General and the Security Council to rise to the occasion by competently exercising their mandates in Article 24 of the Chapter Five of the United Nations by ordering for extensive investigations into the wilful mass murder. The authorities of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees are also called upon to carry out similar extensive investigations into the mass murder including the killing of scores of their aid workers. Nigerians also want to know the age bracket, gender, ethnic and religious identities of the slain defenceless citizens.
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety)
Mobile Line: +2348174090052
Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Esq.
Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program
Mobile Line: +2348180771506
*Photo Caption - As seen.
[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] - As United States president Donald Trump moves ahead with building the "great wall" between America and Mexico at its southern border, there is an important benefit of the wall that has little been considered: the Mexican point of view.
While the border wall is mostly reviewed for its function in preventing unwanted and risky, undocumented immigration into the United states; the wall will serve a perhaps more important and critical function: strangulating and extinguishing the Mexican drug billion dollar industry, saving lives and improving the quality of life in Mexico.
"Gangster Warlords" author Ioan Grillo in his recent video published in Business Insider "Narconomics: How Drug Cartels Make Billions," revealed how notorious Mexican drug cartels make billions of dollars through the cross-border drug trade into the United States. We are talking about a billion-dollar industry used to fund deadly violence in Mexico and destroy the fabric of the US' southern neighbor.
The United States is the largest market for Mexican drugs with authorities estimating as much as $19-29 billion dollars wired to Mexico every year from drug proceeds. Once drugs get to the US border they are sold at triple their cost in Mexico. The money remitted from these drugs sponsors Mexican drug gang violence and leaves a massive trail of death with over 15,000 gang-related homicides reported every year. Half are attributed to cartel-related violence according to Mexican reports.
Mexico should be as enthusiastic as the United States in curbing this dangerous and deadly drug trade across the border that leads to half the deaths in the eleventh most populous country and most populous Spanish-speaking nation in the world. By now the Mexican leadership should at least have agreed to pay half, $6-7.5 billion for the wall.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption - U.S. President Donald Trump
[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] - Nigerians knew this would happen. When former Lagos state governor Tunde Fashola was quizzed during his confirmation hearings on the reported looting of millions of dollars Lagos state funds, he ridiculed the nation by saying, "I am only trained in law and I did not personally sign the cheques."
The pretentious governor who was in essence the chief economic officer of Lagos state and therefore in charge of all budgeting, insulted the intelligence of the Nigerian senate and people.
Rather than disqualify him and send him to agencies for prosecution in the face of looting or otherwise grand misappropriation of millions, via building single boreholes in Lagos through his friend, Tunde Olowolafe at $500,000-a-piece and other similar fraudulent activities, the senate approved him. The senate thus put their rubber-stamp on Fashola's brazen style of stealing public funds.
Again Fashola made headlines during the 2016 Nigerian budget padding scandal. He had again listed the cost to drill single boreholes at a whopping $850,000 a piece. N140 million was listed in his ministry's submission for just two boreholes.
Recently again, news broke of how Fashola was ignoring procurement regulations and approaching signing off almost a billion dollars in contracts to a company serially indicted state fund mega looter Atiku Abubakar used for his heists during the Obasanjo era.
The Bureau of Public Procurement has quizzed Fashola's inflation of contracts to the tune of N166 million (~half a billion USD) and award of them to "unqualified firms." In Fashola's typical market-boy thug style, Nigeria's minister of housing and power "defended himself" that it was agents in the ministry he oversees – the evaluation committee – and not himself personally that oversaw the contract awards.
PremiumTimes slammed the "arrogant and insolent" minister fond of insulting Nigerians' intellects with 10 questions.
Blinded by looting and working with looter cabal, minister Fashola has published no such and appears to have no road-map to take Nigeria out of darkness and has only pushed price-hike proposals to further levy Nigerians in the interest of the cabal owned power companies.
As it is evident that President Muhammadu Buhari is tone-deaf to the corruption in his cabinet, we pray Nigerians seriously and unabatedly protest for a total clean up and prosecution of the corrupt looters embedded in the Buhari administration. Ultimately we must all pray to the Almighty to rescue Nigeria from the hands of these shameless serial looters.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Tunde Fashola