[ Masterweb Reports: Ikechukwu Enyiagu reports ] - It's usually ( so I heard) easy to associate the 'first person singular' with pride because, as it appears, when a man makes himself a reference to a point, he tends to give undue credence to himself. But it's also true that, to drive home truths that have inference on the individual involved, using the 'I' may moderately come in handy. I previously often wondered why people shuddered at asking me "Why?" Now I know: They know the truth by its peculiar brightness. Believe it or not, y'all know my silence. I hold it on none even as I submit my confidence unto Jehovah.
Although I intend to observe the protocol of being general and generous in speech, I will opt for the better option; I introduce myself again: My name is Ikechukwu Enyiagu and I am a Biafran. As fair and true as the Spirit of God is, I know I have a witness in Him that unto Him have I submitted all - because of my love for Him, myself and my people, and my land in Him.
The desire of the spirit of the Igbo and indeed Biafrans is freedom. Biafra remains the only taste of freedom in this world of gross matter for us; and don't even begin to dabble into redundant checks and balances of words; you do have understanding. Here is what I am saying: people of diverse faith abound and you well know what happens when the foundation is destroyed. Without the freedom we all seek, you may only sing and dance in praise but, because you still feel bound, you often will suddenly stop feeling. And now you look at the society and wonder, over again, what may become of posterity. Therefore you get impatient and furious; some have even gone violent against selves. What seek ye?
What seek ye? I know you have great desire to enlarge your coast and expand your territory; ye, your desire for growth is a mandate - or, at least, your right to be human. You want Biafra, but what do you need? What seek ye?
I've also had desires for posterity and my passion for Biafra has made me desire no less - therefore have I plunged myself to the depth of the messenger's creed: may your word be heard oh Lord! But woe is me when I depended on man as a true light! May I always remember that only Jehovah is faithful!
What seek ye? Now I can boast - but in God: I worked on my spirit to work out love for my people even while my flesh suffered! What more could I have given? Selling my personal peace only so my message for my people could be heard more has taught me that, for those whose reverence for Christ's suffering and glory meant nothing but a tale, nothing else could be sweater a medicine - whether to prevent or to cure man's ignorance, that what Christ has brought: the truth.
What seek ye? Those who boasted of strength to sustain and will to offer became desperate and self-centered: while some feared the truth, others denied it even when they know it's the only way out. Once, twice and more times have I tried to reason with Biafrans whose passion drive but, at every point of judgment, deep-rooted hatred and satanic passion to impose self-will on God have often covered my fellow compatriots as shield from self. How then can we advance? Where have hatred and injustice ever mixed with freedom? Permitted, one may reserve heavy hearts against his oppressors but, if one's heart is true, a healing love always gets birthed. But nay! Those for whom I've gone below nothing to stand for still mope as in the dark; they rush at unresolved actions without first resolving their thoughts. As a result, we match a step forward, two steps back.
What seek ye? If Biafrans have not separated themselves with the heart and rush of injustice at the whims of the spirit of impunity, then I can only wonder what we seek. If we hasten to condemn our own - even those for whom we have professed the truth in the moment of truth - then I wonder what justification we assume as we "demand" freedom. Indeed we need freedom and it's our birthright as humans but, for the freedom we need to manifest, we must - as a matter of mandate - renounce injustice. The costliest of injustices is the one done against oneself. As Biafrans, we must stop cursing and abusing injustice if we must not do so in the love of justice and in the spirit of true sacrifice and love. If we are not ready to follow justice to its logical conclusion amongst us seekers, if we shy away from every moment of mark, then I will continue to ask every Biafran, especially those violently self-destructive ones: what seek ye? Biafra...or self?
Ikechukwu Enyiagu ( Email: email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Map of Defunct Republic of Biafra
[ Masterweb Reports: Osita Ebiem reports ] - Nigeria is going to the polls to elect a president in less than one week. Understandably, there is a high level of apprehension, hence President Obama’s intervention in calling for a fair and peaceful election. This fear has remained a permanent feature in Nigeria since the inception of the country fifty something years ago. The country has never been a united country. It is a forced marriage of incongruent peoples with irreconcilable cultural and religious differences. The fear of disintegration remains a permanent scepter that continues to pervade and dog every social fabric and all events of nationwide proportion. The truth is that one (united) Nigeria is a fluke while a divided Nigeria is more realistic.
In less than ten years after its independence from the British in October 1, 1960 Nigeria descended into a bloody war of genocide and ethnic cleansing of its Igbo population. The war was fought along ethnic/religious divide. It was known as Biafra-Nigeria war or Biafra War. Before the war began in 1967 there was a pogrom. The Nigerian government in the year preceding the war directly through its military, paramilitary establishments and a mobilized citizenry carried out the mass murder of a section of its citizens; the Igbo population and the other easterners. In this 1966 massacre more than 100,000 Igbo people and some other easterners were killed. They were killed simply for who they are and not for any crimes committed by them.
The massacre forced the people to embark on the quest for self-determination and independence since they had been driven out of every part of Nigeria back to their ancestral homeland. They determined that since they were no longer accepted in Nigeria and their safety was no longer guaranteed by the Nigerian government therefore they should be able to find safety and a home within their own place. So they seceded and declared their homeland, the former Eastern Region independent from Nigeria and called the new country Republic of Biafra. The ethnic people that made up the majority of the new country are the Igbo. And they were the people that the other Nigerians wanted to exterminate from the face of the Earth.
Unfortunately, Nigeria declared a war of aggression against Biafra after their secession. But it was actually something like swiping a fly with a sledge hammer because the Nigerian government was armed to the teeth and well supplied with weapons by the British government of Prime Minister Harold Wilson and the USSR. Biafrans were practically unarmed and only fought back because they were faced with imminent total annihilation.
Nigeria went into the war with a central slogan – “To keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done.” And this is the same slogan that President Obama borrowed to use in his address when he was urging Nigerians to conduct a fair and peaceful election. The President was misled by whoever that let him use that slogan. The slogan was born out of crisis, how can anyone call for peace while using a phrase that stinks of blood, hatred and destruction? The President may have meant well but he got it all wrong using the slogan. That phrase is a genocidal slogan that led to the unjust slaughter of more than 3 million Igbo people some fifty years ago.
"To keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done" was used by the Nigerian state and its citizens to commit genocide against Igbo people and the other Biafrans. For every Igbo person alive today the sound of that phrase opens up an old festering wound and it’s very painful. Igbo people will demand for an apology from President Obama for hitting them at their weakest point. For President Obama to have used that slogan it shows that he is either insensitive about a people's pain or that he was being plain ignorant of their pain. Whichever way, the impact is the same, President Obama pricked the Igbo wound and it is only right that the President of the United States of America should correct this mistake. The President must convince the Igbo and Biafrans that he does not support genocide or any other form of crime against humanity as was committed by Nigeria against Igbo people. That slogan reminds every Igbo person about the genocide and war crime they suffered through and it does not befit the use of by any world leader, and not the President of the United States of America.
Osita Ebiem ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports.
*Photo Caption - President Barack Obama
[ Masterweb Reports: Obinna Akukwe reports ] - Antagonists of the innovative method of curbing electoral corruption and rigging in Nigeria in the form of INEC Card readers cannot be working for Jesus Christ even if some of them bear Christian names and even preach in their churches. I have also been informed by some Muslim clerics who reacted to my recently released write up on INEC titled ‘Prof Attahiru Jega, Hero of Nigeria’s Democratic Innovations: Needs International Support Now, and Why Progressives Should Support Him’ that though the Quran did not specifically mention rigging, however, it is against any form of robbery, if it is applied puritanically.
Therefore, all these Pastors, Bishops, Imams, Mallams who have enlisted in the campaign to stop Nigeria's electoral umpire , Attahiru Jega from using card readers to stop electoral fraud in Nigeria probably because he is an Hausa Man and Muslim, are just agents of Lucifer, Asmodeus, and Leviathan and will soon face the judgments of God.
In the Bible, Jesus Christ was obstructed on his way by a top government official by name Zaccheaus who have stolen lots of money from tax payers and converted such to private use. Jesus went to the house of Zacchaeus and in the course of conversation this man promised to return all that he defrauded, even four times. Our own religious leaders go to the house of thieves and pray for them to continue stealing. I opined in the said write-up that “Jesus forced Zacheaus in Luke 19 vs 8 to return his loot back and the later said to Jesus, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.” Jega led INEC is returning back the people’s mandate stolen through years of successive rigging, especially from the Shagari to the Obasanjo era back to the people.”
Continuing, I said that “He is a hero of democracy; he should be supported and not vilified. INEC must insist on the use the card reader or else let the military postpone the election and go on with their Interim Government option”.
For many years many pastors, bishops, reverends, and priests in Nigeria including myself have prayed and led our congregation and flock to pray for a better Nigeria where there will be equality, social justice, transparency, peace and tranquility. I have fasted numerous times for this purpose and even undergone various prayer tours with some of my staff around the countryside. .Today God of Abraham had answered us and used a Muslim by name Attahiru Jega. God can even use an atheist or even a chain smoker, I do not care. All I care about is that HE answered our prayer and this man at INEC decided to employ a technology that will curb electoral malfeasance.
In the same write-up on Jega’s Heroic Innovation I posited that “Jega can be a devout Muslim, I do not give a damn. He could even marry ten wives and divorce six to balance it four, I do not care so much. Jega can make his beard to be longer than that of Osama Bin Laden and he can even do his own Sallat twenty four times daily which is his business, providing he doesn’t disrupt public peace. Jega has proven to be a better follower of Jesus Christ than Prof Maurice Iwu, a knight of the Catholic Church.”
The nation has probably over $ 142 billion dollars of oil revenue stolen in five years, and about the same amount stolen from other sectors because the thieves are not accountable to anybody. If Prof Maurice Iwu had insisted on doing what is right like Prof Jega, Nigeria would not have elected Yar’adua in the first instance. Probably Buhari , Atiku,Odili or Duke would have won the election and handed over to another by now. All these criminal governors who stole the people’s mandate would not have been elected. All these stealing of public funds by irresponsible leaders who are accountable to nobody would have been curbed since 2007. Prof Iwu, though acclaiming to be a Christian, betrayed Jesus Christ by superintending over the worst electoral robbery in Nigeria not minding that some Catholic Bishops attended his thanksgiving Mass after the election. Iwu lost a golden opportunity to stand by Jesus Christ, Prince of Righteousness, and institute electoral fairness. God, in disappointment, threw him out there and brought in another man from the other faith to do the same work. The Jesus Christ that I know cannot clap hands for riggers of elections, even if they are backed by ‘anointed pulpits’ and it is time for Nigeria to move from permissible to the perfect will of God.
With Jega’s Card Readers as means of authenticating voters, the electorates can decide to elect performing public servants like Sullivan Chime, Raji Fashola, Adams Oshiomhole, Onyebuchi Chukwu or the present Minister for Agriculture, Akinwnmi Adesina as president in 2019 even if they join a party called ‘Jonas Savimbi Party of Nigeria’ . This means that the electorate is in charge and no more the criminal political riggers of elections who easily transmutation to political thieves. They can remove any governor, senator, representative member, local government chairman or counselor that uses their money to fly private jets around at their expense.
God has answered our prayer and we Christians who want our congregation to prosper in a prosperous Nigeria, not fettered by corruption, should not fight the same measures invented through the Finger of God (Exodus 8 vs 19). We pray so much and when He answers, we fight the answers and get back for a second round of prayer. The Bible said that “the labor of the foolish weariest him”( Ecclesiastes 10 vs 19). Our prayer among others should include “ Father, let the use of card readers as means of stopping electoral criminality in Nigeria be perfected, and let those fighting it be consumed by fire in Jesus Name”.
Obinna Akukwe ( Email: email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption - INEC Card Reader
[ Masterweb Reports: Ann Sylvester Nwufo reports ] - Despite the vast resources in Nigeria, She faces a high level of inequality. The gap between the have’s and the have not is growing wider by the day considering its Gross National Income (GNI), human assets (classification based on indicators like nutrition, health, education, adult literacy) and Economic vulnerability (stability or instability of agricultural products, export of goods and services) among other countries designated developing, but most people are unconcerned. Whereas the rich fret about the way the economic pie is divided, nevertheless every Nigerian want to join the rich, not soak them. A country is categorized rich or poor based on the calculation made on poverty line of its nationals bearing in mind that the poverty line threshold varies from one country to another according to World Bank.
The exact size of that gap depends on how you measure it. Look at wages, the main source of income for most people, and you understate the importance of health care and other benefits. Look at household income and you need to take into account that the typical household has fallen in size in recent decades.
Look at statistics on spending and you find that the gaps between top and bottom have widened the more. Look at the abuse by those in power, institutions disempowerment, excluded locations, gender relationships, lack of security, limited physical capabilities. But every measure shows that, over the past years, those at the top have done better than those in the middle, who in turn have outpaced those at the bottom. Whichever explanation you choose for the signs of growing economic inequality, poverty and wealth can be measured, statistically.
Human Development Index (HDI)
Human development index is about allowing people to leave the kind of life they choose or value, expand their choices and providing them with the tools and opportunities to make those choices. It is about creating an environment in which people can develop their full potential and leave productively, creating lives in accord with their needs and interests.
Educated people are the real wealth of a nation.
Fundamental to enlarging this pie, is building human capabilities, the range of things that people can do or be in life. The most basic capabilities for human development are the combining major indicators to calculate index according to the United Nations. The indicators include:
- Life expectancy for healthy lives
- Knowledge ability
- Access to the resources needed for a decent standard of living and to be able to participate in the life of developing the community.
The HDI makes it possible to track changes in development levels over time and to compare development levels in different countries as it combines all major social and economic indicators that are responsible for economic development. The United Nation further points out that the HDI accounts for more than income and productivity, unlike Gross Domestic Production (GDP) per capita or per capita income. HDI takes into account how income is turned into education and health opportunities and therefore into higher levels of human development. Every year UNDP ranks countries growth based on calculated HDI released in their annual report.
Nigeria’s HDI value and rank
Nigeria’s HDI value for 2012 is 0.471, in the low human development category, positioning the country at 153 out of 187 countries and territories. Between 2005 and 2012, Nigeria’s HDI value increased from 0.434 to 0.471, an increase of 9 percent or average annual increase of about 1.2 percent. The rank of Nigeria’s HDI for 2011 based on data available in 2012 and methods used in 2012 was 154 out of 187 countries. In the 2011 Human Development Report, Nigeria was ranked 156 out of 187 countries. Life expectancy in Nigeria is placed at 52 years old while other health indicators reveal that only 1.9 per cent of the nation’s budget is expended on health.
For further details on how each index is calculated please refer to Technical Notes 1-4 and the associated background papers available on the Human Development Report website.
It is economically said that Nigeria’s economy is robust and resilient, but the big question is, what is the future of a Nigerian student?
We can create value or expand the size of the pie by finding joint gain, a common and conflicting interest that can improve our individual lives, and not apportioning blames.
Creativity or creating value can expand the size of the pie in contention.
Value creators see the essence of human development and capacity building as expanding the pie, while value claimers on the other hand tend to see this drive for joint gain (common and conflicting interest) as the governments obligation. An essential tension exists between cooperative moves of creating value and competitive move of claiming value, but they are linked parts of achieving our dreams. Value that has been created must be claimed, and if the pie is not enlarged, there will be less pie to divide. There will be more value to be claimed if someone has helped create it first. I hereby call on every Nigerian student or youth to concentrate more on creating value thereby enlarging the pie.
Ann Sylvester Nwufo ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ), Peace Educator at Silvercee for Peace Movement, Bangkok, Thailand reports..
*Photo Caption - Map of Nigeria
[ Masterweb Reports: Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu reports ] - Time flies by stealth and demands a reckoning sooner than we expect. Looking back, it seems just weeks away that on the 17th of March 2014 Peter Obi winded up his chequered tenure, being the first governor in the history of the state to complete an elusive eight year tenure amidst the turbulence and intrigues of that era. He was duly replaced by Chief Willie Obiano who was sworn in on the same day after a gruelling election. Yet the significance of the end of the Obi era and the beginning of the Obiano era which has now stealthily clocked one year is hinged on what has been done and what needs to be done. As Obiano reflects on the last one year it must be obvious that there needs to be deliberate speed in actualising critical infrastructure projects that can justify the passage of time. Like every clime, Anambra needs a visionary and audacious leader that will unlock the abundant human and material resources of the state for revolutionary economic and infrastructural development. Obiano seems to be that man, but the jury is still out to determine if he really is that man. That definitive decision would come with the infrastructural, economic, social and cultural development he is able to implant in the state in record time.
Given the intrigues, injustices, dishonesty, contradictions and prejudice in Nigeria it is obvious that appreciable development can only come to a state or region through aggressive self efforts and initiatives. We simply cannot develop except we act as agents and drivers of our own development through the initiation of infrastructure that will propel it. Many projects have long been conceptualised for the rapid opening and development of the state; chief among them an international cargo/ passenger airport, dedicated industrial parks and others such as real estate, Nollywood home entertainment village/park, innovation/adaptation technology parks, Awka capital territory development, football academy amongst others all of which can be undertaken at minimal cost to government through public private partnerships. All that is needed being to initiate and drive the projects with the necessary incentives.
Many governors have come and gone without actualising capacity building infrastructure such as the Airport project and the special industrial parks that has been top on the list. For an upwardly mobile people with significant presence in commerce and industry, an airport to service the mobile population and to ferry goods is a long stated necessity that has unfortunately been ignored by past administrations. Both foreign and local travellers, businesses and industries, arts and entertainment amongst others will be significantly boosted by an airport that services their critical needs with the attendant significant multiplier effects.
Special industrial parks to boost expand and consolidate commerce and industry which should come naturally must count as one of the most tragic omissions of previous administrations in the state. With the predominance of people of Eastern origin in the revolutionary Nollywood entertainment industry, the construction of a modern Nollywood village/park is a long overdue necessity. While the real estate sector to house a growing elite and returning Diaspora in modern estates has been overlooked. The direct and multiplier effects of these initiatives and infrastructure amongst others would have opened up the state and helped to address the apocalyptic youth unemployment crisis. As he celebrates one year in office, Obiano has a renewed opportunity to break the jinx and urgently commence the long proposed construction of an Airport, a veritable legacy project that should ideally be operational before his second or third year in office. While there are already some industrial clusters, Obiano should urgently take it further by creating special industrial or business parks with modern infrastructure that can accommodate businesses and industries with an international scope. These special parks can be located in the three senatorial zones for spread and in Nnewi, Awka, Onitsha and other urban settlements. These initiatives alongside others in real estate, Awka capital territory development, urban renewal, Nollywood, sports etc will justify the passage of time and the inevitable reckoning as Obiano approaches his fourth year and seeks a new mandate.
A simple lesson of leadership as Napoleon Bonaparte once said is that “a leader or government must dazzle and astonish”. This clearly establishes the necessity of a government or leadership to continuously dazzle and astonish his subjects through breathtaking economic and infrastructural projects, a strategy for which Napoleon Bonaparte, Ramses and all subsequent great leaders are noted. Obiano should inculcate the basic lessons of Napoleon Bonaparte’s creed of leadership, dazzling and astonishing his subjects through monumental infrastructural projects that will stand as physical testimonies of his stewardship as his regime contends with the speed of time. Given the stealth and speed of time, his third and fourth year are just around the corner and deliberate haste is doubly required if his declared vision and task of building a first class state of international standards can be accomplished.
Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu ( Email: email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Governor Chief Willie Obiano
[ Masterweb Reports: Obinna Akukwe reports ] - Prof Attahiru Jega has proven to be the hero of democratic innovations through the insistence on using card reader as means of authenticating voters in the upcoming 2015 elections, in a nation where satanic madness is raging over the transparent conduct of elections.
1n 1999, Prof Eme Awa was in charge of National Electoral Commission of Nigeria, saddled with conducting a free and fair election after God delivered Nigeria from the grip of the late dictator General Sanni Abacha. In the 1999 elections, Chief Olu Falae was rigged out by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo through the help of then military dictator Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar, former Military dictator Gen Ibrahim Babangida and multi millionaire businessmen like Former Governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu.
In 2003, it was the turn of Edo born Sir Abel Goubadia to conduct election and he superintended a process whereby General Muhammadu Buhari, former military dictator and flag bearer of ANPP was rigged out with the help of Vice President Atiku Abubakar who gave President Obasanjo insight into how modern day vote robbery could be executed. In that election, Obasanjo who according to security reports came a distant third with Buhari (ANPP) and Odumegwu Ojukwu(APGA) leading, became the winner of the fraudulent election.
In 2007, Professor Maurice Iwu , a friend of Atahiru Jega, was drafted from the United States by Senator Andy Uba to lead the electoral body. This professor of pharmacy promised Nigerians that he will conduct a free and fair election even if it is the last sacrifice he will make before he dies. When Obasanjo came with his do or die rigging format which must stop Atiku and Buhari at all costs, Maurice Iwu superintended over the worst election in the history of Nigeria. During Goubadia’s time, at least ballot boxes were stuffed with fake ballot papers but during Iwu’s time, ballot papers became useless and areas where elections never held produced winners and the losers are always advised to go to PDP controlled courts. In that same year, General Buhari was rigged out in favor of his kinsman late President Umoru Yar’adua and the later, while disparaging the Maurice Iwu superintended process, promised to institute electoral reforms. He never lived to fulfil his promise.
In 2011 it was the turn of another fellow comrade and unionist to conduct elections. Prof Jega helped Jonathan and the PDP a lot especially in the north where in areas that are Buhari’s strongholds, the PDP reduced Buhari's votes and increased Jonathan’s to ensure that the mandatory 25 percent in 2/3 states were met. In the South East where Buhari refused to campaign, the PDP had a field day and inflated the votes of Jonathan and there is not much APC party agents can do. Jonathan became winner and Buhari wept back home to Katsina while Jega smiled to the banks.
In March 2014, I wrote an article titled ’ Presidency 2015: Jonathan and Ijaws to teach Hausa-Fulani Bitter Lesson - Part 1 where I stated that “The fact as I state it now will play out in 2015- APC will surely get more number of votes cast, and meet the constitutional requirement of 25% in 2/3 states of the federation to win the presidency, but Jonathan will manipulate the elections and declare himself the President of Nigeria with the help of Attahiru Jega.-and there is nothing the North can do about it” It took the entire PDP eleven months to discover that what I said on March 3rd is true and that APC is about to win the election, is why they rushed to postpone the February 14 polls. The only difference in the prediction is that a proactive north went to work on Jega and prized him out of the grip of Jonathan. I was following the transmutation of Jega from being a Jonathan boy to being an independent man, ready to give Nigeria a free election.
Curiously, following the widely circulated write-ups, especially among political circles in the north, a jittery northern elites tasked Jega on his loyalty. While the PDP relaxed, believing that Jega will still play ball as expected, the northern elites, traditional and religious leaders after the revelations had series of private talks with Jega, where they demanded to know his allegiance in the forthcoming polls. In some places some persons threw stones at him and called him a betrayer. They forced Jega to become neutral with the electoral process. To this effect, Jega started putting in place measures that will eliminate rigging in Nigeria- THE MOST POTENT BEING THE USE OF CARD READER. This device will eliminate 80 percent of the electoral fraud in Nigeria and that is where Jega fell off with the ruling party.
A prominent Northerner wrote to thank me for the write-up exposing how Jega will rig the election for Jonathan. He promised that they will work on Jega and extract a neutrality pledge from him. This they did before end of August 2014. The PDP were doing newspaper, television, and billboard campaigns talking all sorts of irrelevant things until it dawned on them two months to the election that the warning I gave about a year ago that APC will win the election is just about to happen. All efforts by the ruling party to intimidate, blackmail, induce or frustrate Jega to cave in to another electoral manipulation failed. Jega had embezzled enough in INEC, he wants to leave a legacy for his family name. He also doesn’t want to face the wrath of his northern people who are not in the mood to allow a single of their vote counted for Jonathan, Thus these circumstances had forced Jega to a state of neutrality in the elections.
Jega’s neutrality and innovation of card reader technology, whichever way it came about, is the second greatest achievement of the Jonathan regime, the first being the National Conference he successfully hosted. The problem with Jega’s innovation is that if it is implemented, the PDP chieftains who scammed Jonathan of billions of naira in campaign money, transferred same to their personal overseas accounts and made few noises on the pages of newspapers are in trouble of amalgamated loss. They failed to campaign for Jonathan, They failed to distribute money or mobilize people on the grassroots until APC effectively penetrated and mobilized the grassroots, then they woke up and wanted the use of card reader jettisoned.
Jega’s neutrality and card reading technology will ensure that if Governor Willie Obiano follows the footsteps of his godfather Peter Obi in Anambra State, Anambrarians will simply wait for four years and throw him out, Jega’s card reader simply means that the people of Enugu West Senatorial District can throw away Senator Gilbert Nnaji if he continues his’ siddon look’ approach in the Senate Chambers. Jega’s neutrality means that any other governor under develops Abia State like Governor T.A. Orji he will be booted out after four years and if Labaran Maku is popular in Nasarrawa State, he does not need fear any incumbency factor before becoming governor. Jega’s card reader means that no APC, PDP, APGA OR LP politician will dare impose unpopular candidate on anybody because they know that the electorates are now in charge.
Therefore Jega’s card reader is the panacea to a rigging virus which reared up its head during the Shagari era when Awolowo was allegedly rigged out of Presidential election and probable run-off in 1979 before the infamous Supreme Court interpretation of 2/3 majority threw Awo’s presidential ambition to the dustbin.
I am a Christian, Cleric and activist with considerable influence within many political, ecclesiastical and professional circles and I am spiritual enough to know that Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Son of the Living God, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, cannot support electoral robbery, manipulation, rigging or scuttling of the people’s mandate. Therefore any Christian who justifies rigging is working for Lucifer- and I certainly will not work for Lucifer. I have told my colleague Archbishops, Bishops, Apostles, Venerable, Pastors this and most of them have agreed with me in principle, Muslim clerics should educate their colleague accordingly, if their Qur'an does not justify rigging.
Jega can be a devout Muslim, I do not give a damn. He could even marry ten wives and divorce six to balance it four, I do not care so much. Jega can make his beard to be longer than that of Osama Bin Laden and he can even do his own Sallat twenty four times daily which is his business, providing he doesn’t constitute public nuisance and disrupt public peace. Jega has proven to be a better follower of Jesus Christ than Prof Maurice Iwu, a knight of the Catholic Church . Jesus forced Zacheaus in Luke 19 vs 8 to return his loot back and the later said to the Lord (Jesus), "Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much." Jega is returning back the people’s mandate stolen through years of successive rigging, especially from the Shagari to the Obasanjo era back to the people. He is a hero of democracy, he should be supported and not vilified. INEC must insist on the use the card reader or else let the military postpone the election and go on with their Interim Government option.
Certainly, God had used Jega to answer the prayer of some Nigerians (including myself) that an institutionalized way of stopping corruption should be kick started. Jega is a hero of democratic innovation who is fighting electoral corruption and Nigerians and the international community should come to his aide before something worse becomes of Nigeria.
Obinna Akukwe ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Prof Attahiru Jega
[ Masterweb Reports: Rufus Kayode Oteniya reports ] - And it came to pass as the multitude gathered around him at the festival of appraisal of King Nebu of Aso Kingdom which came to pass six years after he hath succeeded King Yar, the son of Mutawalli, the brother of Seu, who himself hath succeeded King Aremus the son of Sanjo, an Eborite from the ruling house of Olu-mo who hath left the throne after 8 years according to the custom and tradition of the land of Aso, he called those who were with him and spake to them in a parable.
Hearken; Behold, the reign of King Nebu, the son of Jona of the land of Aso that floweth with milk and honey can be likened to a certain man who inherited in trust, a vast patrimony from his father. The father who was not a man of little means hath instructed his son before he joined his ancestors to take a very good care of his household while he would be gone so that his family enjoyeth his wealth.
As days becometh weeks and weeks becometh months, the other children of the rich man called unto their brother who hath inherited their father’s wealth and asked him to buy television sets for them since their old television sets had broken down for sometime. They needed the televisions to watch the programmes of their choices and stream digital content.
In those days, they were smart HD and 3D televisions with LED, LCD, Plasma and OLED displays.
And not many days after the other children had called unto their brother who hath inherited their father’s wealth, he sent out some of his servants on a journey into a far country, in the land of Shinos and while they were there, they wasted some of his substance in riotous living because they had all gone there with their wives, husbands, concubines and other members of their households.
And it came to pass that after several days of wasteful spending, the servants who had wasted their master’s inherited substance returned to their master in the kingdom of Aso with some 'Black n white' TV sets of different sizes and gave them to their master.
Behold, when the master received the 'Black n white' TV sets which his servants had brought from the land Shinos, he was furious and he yelled in Latin at his chief servant “O homo, quid fecisti servum tuum et super domum?” O servant, why hast thou done this to me and my household?
“Upon all the good that I have done unto thee. For when thou art hungred, I gave thee meat: when thou art thirsty, I gave thee drink; and when thou art a stranger, I took thee in and now ye travelest to the far country in the land of Shinos to spend my money on different things and thou came back with 'Black n white' TV sets that even cost much more than the smart TV. Is that how to repay my kindness to the thee? Whence goest thy conscience?”
And then the Owonjo, the chief servant who is also known as the co-ordinating servant replied their master saying that “my lord, if thou shalt trust thy chief servant one more time, I say onto thee that we travelled far and near in the land of Shinos to get thee these beautiful television sets because based on my many years of training in the land of the Yanks and on the street of Bretton Woods; and considering the state of our ‘power’, these are the only television sets that can function very well in the kingdom of Aso. The leader of the servants sayeth this because he knoweth that their master knowest not better nor capable of knowing the truth.
Having believed Owonjo, then, the master called everyone in his household amidst a great feast to present the 'Black n white' TV sets which his servants had brought from the land of Shinos.
When the other children of the dead rich man saw the 'Black n white' TV sets, they were angry and disappointed because everyone and even their neighbours of less means have smart TVs which had cost them less.
And behold, those who had gathered at the hilltop around the former King Aremus, the son of Sanjo, an Eborite from the ruling house of Olu-mo who had left the throne because the custom required him, said unto him “what might this parable be?”
And he explained to them saying these things unto them:
“Verily verily I say unto thee, he who has ears to hear, let him hear. To you it has been granted these days to know the truth. Blessed are you for you are not like those who have refused to see the light; who SEEING THEY MAY NOT SEE, AND HEARING THEY MAY NOT UNDERSTAND.
Today, you have been told how King Nebu squandereth your oil money. The ‘black n white’ television in the parable are the 1948 narrow gauge train wagons which King Nebu had spent billions of Aso oil money to buy in 2013 at the time when the global standards is standard gauge high speed train.
When the people heard this, they were angry and disappointed because every nation and even their neighbours of less means have standard gauge high speed train which had cost them less.
And after he had spoken this, and having told the people how his tenure was far better than that of King Nebu, former King Aremus, the son of Sanjo also became angry and he took his pass with which he used to gain access into the Aso Kingdom and tore it to shreds and asked some of his men servants to deliver them to King Nebu, son of Jona to show his displeasure.
Rufus Kayode Oteniya ( Email: email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption - A narrow gauge train purchased by Nigeria in 2013 at a time when the global standard is high speed train. It is still a great achievement for Nigeria considering the fact that Nigeria railway grounded to a halt soon after the civil war.
[ Masterweb Reports: Odimegwu Onwumere reports ] - In the early part of February 2015, Assistance Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mbu Joseph Mbu was reported to have locked no fewer than 50 policemen in Police cells in Lagos State, where he was newly posted to serve.
According to media reports, “The AIG while fielding questions from Journalists after a closed-door lecture with senior police officers at the Ogun State Command, Eleweran, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, said about 70% of officers lack discipline.
“According to the police boss, the offence of the officers ranged from wearing dirty uniforms, bathroom slippers, carrying riffles while wearing mufti, amongst others; adding that, these attitudes are against the codes of Conducts. He however assured that he trusted the officers that they would turn over a new leaf within the space of one month.”
At Osisioma Junction in Aba, Abia State, this reporter spotted a policeman who deserved Mbu’s Police cell for dressing indecently. The reporter snapped a photo of him. He was wearing sandals and was flagging vehicles down supposed to be for a mutual search. His appearance reminded this reporter the statement by Mbu thus: “What I have noticed is that there is much indiscipline amongst the policemen, they dress anyhow; come to Lagos, they are more than 50 in my cell.
“They dress the way they like, they wear bathroom slippers, they wear mufti and carry riffles; this is not part of the police work. They are in the cell already, they are being punished and I know my men, within the next one month, they will change.”
Not only in Lagos but across the country, it is hard to differentiate some Police officials from street urchins in the shabbily ways they dress. Along the Enugu/Port Harcourt expressways, it is observable that Police officials have a field day in carrying arms without wearing Police uniforms or, wear slippers or sandals while on police uniform.
Investigations have shown that the Nigerian Police Force is not underfunded to warrant the disgrace that some of the officers bring to the organization in the name of dressing while on duty. The budget provisions were made for the Force to enjoy strategically empowerment. The Senate committee on Police Affairs knows about this development.
However, it is questionable whether the ugly behaviours by some of the Police officials were associated to a media report which stated: “The budgetary allocation to the Nigeria Police Force in the 2014 Federal Budget may not be adequate to meet its onerous statutory functions… It was not the Police itself but the Senate committee on Police Affairs that raised the alarm when the Supervising Minister, Olajumoke Akinjide defended the budget of the Ministry of Police Affairs and the agencies under it at the National Assembly.
“The chairman of the Committee, Igwe Paulinus Nwagwu had observed that the funds allocated to the Police for personnel costs in 2014 were slashed to N279bn as against N292bn allocated in 2013, while the allocation for overhead cost had declined from N7.6bn to N5.4 bn without justification.
“Mr. Nwangwu had expressed fear that the low police budget allocation for this year may threaten its preparation for the crucial general elections in the first quarter of next year when the force is expected to partner with the Independent National Electoral commission (INEC) to midwife a free and fair election. He was also worried that ‘this quarter, the police is unable to pay salaries,’ warning that “a situation where Police officers may go on strike.”
Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Writer ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: +2348057778358 ) reports from Rivers State, Nigeria.
*Photo Caption - Nigeria Police Crest (Badge)
[ Masterweb Reports: Obienyem Valentine reports ] - Those that answer Valentine dread the month of February like a plague. Besides close friends who always demand that you celebrate your name in grand style, most confront you with all manner of questions bordering on the concept that your name is supposed to embody. Thus, you are asked whether you were born on the 14th of February or whether you were a by-product of love affair that took place in the month of February. One fact I have come to discover over the years is that people take those that bear the name of Valentine as experts in all known techniques of love, starting with its fundaments to its metaphysics.
Despite much research, we cannot tell unarguably the exact date the feast started, nor the route by which it entered into history. Perhaps it is connected to the life of a certain St. Valentine who was said to have suffered martyrdom in Rome as the Church hagiography would want us to believe. Perhaps, as the legend of the saint’s heroic faith says, it grew out of the love shown to prisoners by the saintly Valentine. Perhaps it has to do with the period in the year when birds of the earth look for mates. Perhaps it is another case of substitution of a pagan feast by Christian feast as a subtle way of blighting paganism at the bud. We do not know. Valentine’s Day is part of history whose beginning has been forgotten, and whose end we shall never reach.
The popularity of Valentine’s Day could be linked to the nature of the theme it celebrates – love. Writing about love, Archbishop Fulton Sheen called it “the most used, and the most misunderstood word.” The misunderstanding inherent in the nature of love often provokes people to ask questions such as: How much of what we claim as love is love indeed? Does love have different levels and spheres? Is it possible to love our neighbour as ourselves, as the Holy writ prescribes? What is love? These are the questions with which the most comprehensive theories, treatises, and analyses of love find it necessary to begin.
To the Greeks, love could be Eros, Philia, and agape. Plato’s ladder of love in the Symposium has different loves for its rungs, up to what we commonly call “Platonic Love”. St Thomas Aquinas distinguishes between love in the sphere of the passion and love as an act of will. The former he assigns to what he calls the “concupiscible faculty” of the sensitive appetite; the latter, to the rational or “intellectual appetite”. Sometimes, people talk about metaphysical, contemplative, material and acquisitive love, etc.
Whatever form love takes, it implies a complex psychical experience of strong attraction to, intense desire for, vivid appreciation of, a profound interest in, ones object of love. The object of love could be a fellow being, institution, cause or even nature. It involves tender affection, sympathetic understanding, admiration and loyalty, with reference to its object.
But apart from a few people who recognize the fact of plurality of love in their analyses, most of us, especially the youth, talk abundantly of love, commonly in the sense of amorous appetite. These are people who confess their loving the object of their love more than their own mothers. Recall the “sugar in my tea” and similar stuff. Our elders consider this form of love to be a form of “possession” or “madness”, and would frown at anyone who would propose it as a fit guide in the choice of marriage mate. They do this, knowing that once the erotic side of love diminishes or fades away altogether, the disinterested element fades too; interest in the other’s happiness evaporates, all tender feeling is eroded, and the one desire is to get away. This is what Lucretius called “erotic befuddlement”. What Dedriot deridedly described as “the voluptuous loss of a few drops of liquid.” It is a spark thrown off by the contact or nearness of two opposite bodies.
In pursuit of this type of love there is nothing that human beings have not done, or are not capable of doing. The love portion that some ladies brew for men they suspect of unrequited love has no platonic aim. It is not out of generosity, rather to get the object of their longing, that men spend lots of money in wooing women. Women themselves do as much. To attract men, they dress in manners to arouse precipitate passion. Eyelashes are darkened with gum ammonia. Checks and lips are painted with sticks of minium or alkanet roots. Adjustable eyebrows are used and often pencilled with lampblack or pulverized or sulphuret of antimony, sometimes it is thinned to diverse shapes or shaved off entirely and painted “crescent moons” or other forms. Eyelids are shaded with kohl. All sort of things are rubbed on the face, in the hope that it will make them look beautiful. Some in the villages still wrap their fingernails over night with henna leaves to make them purple. Padded brassieres are used to make the breast look poised and … Breast enhancement has since become part of beauty regimen. There is no part of the woman’s body, in pursuit of men, that has not been perfected, decorated, refined, stretched and squeezed, bleached, reformed, compacted and shortened.
Higher than the afore-described love is what is often called genuine friendship. In this type of love, there is often the predominance of altruistic motives. It springs from mutual admiration. Here, love is thought to precede desire and to determine its wishes. Marriages built upon this type of love are often successful. Mature lovers discover that marriage transcends the act of multiplication of the species or the fantasy of sexual acts. There are some men who think that all a woman appreciates in a man is when he brandishes the erectile organ to her satisfaction. No. Marriage is more than that. It demands deep understanding and maturity from both partners.
All the foregoing classifications and distinctions, inexhaustible though, belong to the theory of human love. But the fact of love’s diversity extends to the Christian theory of love. Christianity brought about a basic shift in man’s thinking about love. Christianity sees love not in the emotion or passion, but from the infinite perfection and creativity of God. Writing to the Corinthians (2 Cor 13: 6) St Paul said that “love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth...”God Himself is love (I John 4: 4). “Love ye one another”. In this profound sentence, God summarized all the commandments. Love rules the world and was, perhaps, as Parmenides thought, “the very first thing created by the gods to rule the world”.
The key to peace in the world is for men to embrace the ethics of Christ – love. Confucius taught a version of it in his rule of reciprocity (golden rule). Immanuel Kant espoused it in his book, The Metaphysics of Morals in what he called the “Maxims of Categorical Imperative”. All great religions teach it. Until we start to imbibe this golden rule (love), the battle to re-make the world can as well be labelled a utopia.
The sooner we use the day of Valentine to promote this type of love, the better the world will become. Here we are again celebrating another Valentine. How do we make it serve the purpose of making the world a better place? Is it for us just a day to buy expensive Valentine’s gifts and flowers and caress one another in the happy ignorance of the true meaning of love? These are the central questions.
Obienyem Valentine reports.
*Photo Caption - Love symbol
[ Masterweb Reports: Peter Obi reports ] -As the fulcrum of sustainable socio-economic growth and development, the power sector is a critical element in the progress of modern societies – a fact clearly appreciated by the Jonathan administration.
At the policy level, the President reconstituted the Presidential Action Committee on Power, with himself as chairman and Vice-President Sambo as his deputy. Other critical memberships include Secretary to the Federal Government, Ministers of Power, Finance & Petroleum as well as selected captains of industry. The records show the President has not missed any of the Committee’s meetings. The implementation process of the Power Sector Road-Map is ably managed by a Presidential Task Force of high-grade professionals.
The courageous unbundling of the ubiquitous Power Holding Company of Nigeria [PHCN], and the decentralization of its constituent Generating and Distribution Companies across the land, have vastly boosted performance of the sector.
This exercise has already started yielding fruits. The Azura power plant in Edo State, for instance was flagged of 2 months ago, a feat that would have been impossible so are many other independent power projects. The Ugheli power plant which was generating less than 200 MW before being handed over to private company now generates over 610 Mw. The new owners are planning to add additional 1000MW in due time. This would not have been possible but for the privatisation. What happened in the telecom sector would soon be replicated in the power sector.
As at 2014, the Jonathan administration had completed 10 power plants under the Nigerian Independent Power Plant [NIPP] scheme; and their sale is on-going. The commissioned plants include those at Olorunsogo [563mw], Sapele [225mw] and Omotoso [112.5mw]. Currently, the country generates about 4,500mw of power, with increases expected in 2015.
The Rural Electrification Agency [REA] was reactivated in mid-2012, and in barely two years it has invested in over 300 rural electrification projects across the country. Given the rate of progress on the projects, it will be a matter of course for the agency to literally ‘light-up’ rural Nigeria; affording that major segment of the populace access to additional means of livelihood and comforts of modernization. Other benefits include stemming the rural-urban drift and associated adversities; boosting agro-productivity, processing, preservation and storage; promoting the growth of rural industries and enterprises; attracting unemployed and under-employed urban dwellers to the rural areas.
As part of efforts to expand its vista, the REA is pursuing collaboration with such proven Development Partners as the Bank of Industry, Japan International Co-operation Agency, UN Industrial Development Organization, UN Development Programme and German International Development Programme.
To complement power generating capacities, the Jonathan administration is expanding and strengthening the capacities of the nation’s transmission system. The Transmission Company of Nigeria [TCN], under the management of the renowned Manitoba Hydro International, is currently firming up the critical linkages between electricity supply and demand. Meanwhile, Power China Corporation is to build 20,000mw-capacity power plants and sub-stations, with transmission lines stretching for some 10,000 kilometres.
The Jonathan administration is also progressively exploring and exploiting other sources of energy for the country possesses vast potentials. Among these – in which investors have shown deep interest – are energy from solar [sun], wind, biomass, coal, and water. It has revitalized the nation’s hydro-electric power base, including major investments in Kainji, Mambilla [3,050mw] and Zungeru [700mw].
Concomitant with the establishment of power plants and related facilities are the massive investments in capacity building. There is now a National Power Training Institute [NAPTIN]; and its structures and facilities include: headquarters & 8 regional training centres, power system training simulator, workshops, demonstration plants, trainee hostels and guest houses.
There are also exchange programmes abroad and extensive industrial training platforms in tertiary institutions. To date, over 6,000 sector professionals have benefited from various training programmes across the land.
There have been [mostly extraneous] challenges that have threatened the attainment of the goals of the power sector road map. These include sabotage& vandalization of gas pipelines & some other facilities; and outright theft of equipment & accessories. These have been perpetuated largely by local and international syndicates – incurring billions of Naira in repair–works and delays in fulfillment of targets. For instance, the eastern axis gas pipeline at Okoloma disrupted the operations of plants of the Rivers State Government, Afam and Shell – with a loss of some 400 megawatts. Similarly, sabotage in the western axis [at Escravos] involved a loss of 1,500 megawatts.
Despite these trip-wires, Nigeria not only has the largest economy in Africa, but also the biggest population – with its varied domestic, office and industrial power requirements. The sector continues to attract the interest of local and foreign investors; an indication of growing confidence in its management. Strategic partnerships have been forged with such long-established operators as General Electric, Siemens AG, Daewoo E&C, Electricite de France, Enterprise de Transporte et Distribution D’electricity, and Electrobate. The Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Federal Government and some of these global players is a commitment by each of them to help build up to 10,000MW-capacity in the country. Many other reputable power companies have been to Nigeria and indicated their desire to participate in the entire value-chain of power delivery.
Indeed, the benefits from the successful fulfilment of the power sector reform will far exceed the benefits of the telecommunications revolution.
As we are about to cast our votes, may I call on Nigerians to realize that the Government of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has set many developmental projects in motion. Beyond sentiments, now is the time for Nigerians to rally round him. He needs this next term to consolidate on his administration’s achievements. Even as projects such as the Kaduna-Abuja rail line are nearing completion, the next term will enable him successfully fulfill others, among which are those in the power sector.
He has commenced quite a number of projects that will guarantee 24 hours electricity availability in the country. We should support him to conclude the vital task of lighting-up Nigeria.
Mr. Peter Obi is the former Gov. of Anambra State and the Deputy Director General of the PDP National Campaign Council
*Photo Caption - Mr. Peter Obi (LEFT); President Goodluck Jonathan (RIGHT)