[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety & Anambra CLO report ] - (Onitsha Nigeria, 28th November 2015)-The leaderships of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) and Anambra State Branch of the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) have resolved to call on the Government of Anambra State under His Excellency, Mr. Willie Obiano to concentrate on governance of the State and pay warm and friendly attention henceforth to the good private and public affairs and conducts of his predecessor, His Excellency, Mr. Gregory Peter Obi. Former Governor Peter Obi and his towering legacy in the State should be celebrated at all times and not vitriolic attacks and vilification he undergoes presently in the hands of those he labored so much to establish for the purpose of moving the State further to enviable heights. The Obiano administration must also restrain itself from sinking the State into serial indebtedness and resist returning same to the dark era of fiscal enslavement and governance without clear and development oriented policy direction. The Governor is further advised to relief any of his aides, including media aides; attracting negative image to his Government or directly or indirectly making his administration to lose focus of governing the State; of their duties.
We had in recent past made similar calls and further advised the Governor to trim down the number of aides working for him; because too many cooks, they say; spoil potential good soup. Our speaking out followed the recent unhealthy development or rivalry between the camp of the Governor and his predecessor. Such rivalries are not only unnecessary but also have the capacity of derailing the governance of the State and launching the State back to the path of backwardness and infamy. We wish to state further that measurable governance successes are not achievable through media propaganda or media noise making, but by governance realities on the ground. Names are also not written in gold by engaging in obvious legacy destruction, but by embarking on positive governance activities that can stand the test of time.
Making steady negative reference or unfavourable public comments against the man that worked so hard to put smiles on the faces of the Anambra People, who Governor Willie Obiano himself, has severally acknowledged publicly; is totally counterproductive and self-hurting. It is important to remind the Governor that the governance records of his predecessor are like gold that can never be stained or destroyed by anybody or a race. The records are also like a newspaper that can easily be picked up at any street corner, read and digested.
We have also long realized that Nigeria is like land of the blind; where the achievements of one-eyed leader are mostly seen among the blind as an anathema particularly in the corridors of power. That is to say that because most of the public office holders in Nigeria are failures, they can go to any length or do anything to sustain the legacy or culture of failure including by engaging in legacy destruction of few who are great achievers of modern times.
Our keeping quiet in the public affairs of the State for some time is not out of fear or cowardice, but to watch and see the governance direction of the Obiano administration and its expected consolidated development plan for the State and its people. Our advocacy campaign styles are steadily anchored on constructive criticism. That is to say that we criticize and condemn government and its actions where and when necessary and commend same with proffered solutions where and when necessary.
Obi’s Cash & Investments for Anambra People: Putting the Records Straight: We have watched with total dismay the steady politicization of the cash and investments secured and left for the people of Anambra State by Mr. Peter Obi and his former administration. It is also shocking and worrying that rather than consolidating on the towering legacy left for the State by former Governor Peter Obi, a culture of intractable parasitism has steadily been hung around the neck of the legacy by the present Government of Anambra State, as if the State is destined to sink or cannot proceed and progress without the Obi’s cash and investments.
Elsewhere in Lagos State, former Governor Babatunde Fashola left a huge public debt of N311Billion for his successor; Governor Akinwunmi Ambode. The huge public debt excludes over N200Billion inherited from former Governor Ahmed Bola Tinubu in 2007; yet governance has not collapsed in the State under the Ambode administration. Former Governor Fashola was even rewarded recently by the Buhari Presidency with headship of three key federal ministries of Power, Works and Housing. In Delta State, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa recently disclosed publicly that he inherited contractual liabilities of N535Billion from his predecessor, former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan. Till date, former Governor Uduaghan has not statistically refuted or denied the gubernatorial disclosure of dishonored huge contractual obligations. The DMO’s official records also showed that Delta State owed over N235Billion in local and foreign debts as at May 2015; yet governance has not collapsed in the State.
Instances of States where their new governors inherited hundreds of billions of naira worth of local and foreign debts as well as multi billion naira contractual liabilities for completed and commissioned projects are numerous to mention. In a number of States, their federal fiscal allocations are cut by 30% or more through the Irrevocable Payment Standing Orders (IPSOs); popularly called “deductions at source”, for the purpose of compelling the affected States to honor or meet their repayment terms required for State bond(loan) approvals and repayments.
But in Anambra State, the reverse was totally the case under the former Peter Obi administration where the State, for the first time in many decades, was governed and left in near-zero debt and huge cash and investments credit or surplus. As a core stake holder in the State public governance till date, we have done several thorough and independent investigations in matters of public finances of the State including public local and foreign loans as well as issue of honoring or dishonoring of contractual obligations. Most of the investigations were done during the Obi administration and after his administration’s exit.
On the issue of public debts, for instance, the total unsettled public debts under the Obi administration, which were remainder of debts incurred by previous administrations in the State; stood at N7.9Billion; comprising foreign loan of $30.32 Million or N4.85Billion and local debt of N3.02Billion (see DMO’s sub national public debts report of December 31st 2013, which was same in March 2014). The State’s local debt as at 31st December 2012 stood at N14.2Billion, while its foreign debt then stood at $26.7Million or N4.1Billion; totaling N18.4Billion. That is to say that the two debts decreased from N18.4Billion in December 2012 to N7.9Billion in March 2014. The same DMO’s public debts report of December 31st 2014 (for sub national local debts) and 30th June 2015 (for sub national foreign debts) indicates that while Anambra State local debt has slightly decreased from N3.02Billion to N2.87Billion, its foreign debt has increased from $30.32Million in December 2013 up to March 2014; to $45.15Million in December 2014; bringing the two loans to a total of N12.07Billion as at date (using official exchange of N200.00 per US$). Former Governor Peter Obi left office for Governor Willie Obiano on 17th March 2014.
The two debts overhang under reference did not include the controversial loan of N10Billion recently secured or about to be secured by the Obiano administration. The conditions attached to the publicly and futuristically harmful loan, tagged “CBN Infrastructure Development Facility (loan) of N10Billion for Anambra State November 2015”; are shocking and alarming. The loan facility of N10Billion is to be repaid by installments and paid fully in 20 years or 240 months using Irrevocable Payment Standing Order or deductions at source; at interest of 9% or N11,909,295.002 (Eleven Billion, Nine Hundred & Nine Million, Two Hundred & Ninety-Five Thousand, Two Naira). That is to say that with N10Billion borrowed today, a staggering sum of N21.9Billion will be repaid including its principal of N10Billion and interests of 11.9Billion. There is also a report that the Obiano administration has put machinery in motion to raise another bond (loan) of N50Billion from local sources. Anambra State may most likely end up incurring between N150Billion to N200Billion debts by the end of the Obiano’s first tenure in the next two years.
See the following links to the Debts Management Office (DMO) of the Federation for more details:
On the issue of contractual liabilities of N185Billion being credited to former Governor Peter Obi administration by the Obiano administration, it is a fact built on our several investigations that a contract liability is not a debt unless such a contract is started, completed and certified with outstanding certificate or contract sums not paid fully by the awarding authority after project completion and certification. It is also a public knowledge that former Governor Peter Obi administration applied to the letter the policy of pay as execute and completed.
That is to say that in road contract, for instance, payment is made on completion of designated kilometers of road before moving to next phase. Using this methodology, no contractor under his administration was owed over a contract completed. In the handover letter the former Governor handed over to his successor, dated 17th March 2014 and referenced: ANGH/S/HE/INT/1/2599, which we thoroughly investigated then; a cash payment warrant amounting to N5Billion comprising salaries, pension and gratuity for the month of March 2014 and approved payment certificates of already executed and completed projects; was approved and this was clearly indicated in the fourth paragraph of the first page of the handover letter. This was also deducted from the MDAs’ cash balance inherited by Governor Obiano. The Obiano administration is, therefore, challenged to disclose and publish publicly unpaid contractual liabilities or debts associated with contracts awarded, executed and completed under former Governor Peter Obi administration.
We are also aware that 95% of all public service arrears in the State were liquidated before the exit of the Obi administration. One of the few that remained was the arrears owed the State Water Corporation staffs, owing to protracted legal tussle with the Obi administration which was later liquidated through a garnishee order of the Federal High Court leading to seizure of one of the Obi’s savings in the First Bank PLC.
Above all, government is a continuum; which is why Governor Obiano in his inaugural speech unfolded his three CCC program of continuation, completion and commissioning. When Peter Obi took over from Dr. Chris Ngige in March 2006, he continued and completed all his projects including rebuilding of burnt Government House and the Judicial Headquarters as well as various road projects such as Old Awka-Enugu and Umuchu-Amesi-Uga-Ezinifite-Igboukwu Roads. When he was unlawfully impeached in November 2006, Lady Virginia Etiaba continued his projects and when he returned from the unlawful impeachment in February 2007, he inherited, continued and completed all road projects awarded by the Etiaba acting governorship including those concentrated in Nnewi zone.
Sadly, the Obiano administration is not following such laudable footsteps. We have gone round the State and shockingly found that many, if not most of the projects Governor Obiano inherited from his predecessor, which he publicly vowed to continue, complete and commission are left abandoned and uncompleted. These include roads, public hotels and malls. Many of the asphalted roads in the State have failed owing to effects of the last rainy season, soil volatility of the State landscape and its high vehicular usage as well as unchecked blockage of gutters and drainages.
These explain why we are deeply worried and concerned that instead of the Obiano administration working hard to consolidate the culture of giving Anambra people smiling faces at all times and creating its own leadership legacy; it is busy distracting itself in the governance of the State. This is more so when the Anambra 2017 is around the corner. Till date, Obiano’s violent crime control achievement cannot easily be dismissed or wished away. Yet instead of consolidating in other key governance areas, the Obiano administration is steadily distracting itself over the unstained and unrivalled legacy of his predecessor.
The more the Obiano administration attempts in futility to demonize and blacken the towering legacy in office of his predecessor, the more it makes itself unpopular and darkens its chances of shoring up its popularity among the Anambra electorates. The more it works in vain to misrepresent facts about the towering legacy of former Governor Peter Obi, which earned him a prestigious award in socio-economic governance from the Southeast Human Rights Community in 2014; the more incontrovertible facts emerge over the actual amount of cash and investments that he left for the people of the State.
We are also alarmed to observe that the safety of some of those investments is under a serious threat. Our long silence over all this despite our enviable roles as a core stakeholder in Anambra governance; is for the purpose of allowing the accusing camp or the Obiano administration to furnish the public with counter evidential facts or pieces of documentary valid evidence so as to rubbish those being paraded by the accused or the Obi’s camp. We have also waited for the third parties mentioned in the counter-legacy claims such as named commercial banks and companies (i.e. Intafact) to publicly disclaim the existence of those investments, account numbers and their cash deposits and their linkage with the Government of Anambra State as at 17th March 2014; but till date, none has taken place.
We had also expected the Obiano administration to make a formal complaint to the Nigeria Police Force against former Governor Peter Obi with respect to criminal complaints of fraud and forgery as they concern his public statistical disclosure about the existence of the cash and investments together with their deposit instruments and entities; yet none has taken place; likewise the third party entities so named; whereby they were expected to have dragged Mr. Peter Obi to police or court for forgery and fraud; yet nothing of such has happened; thereby making the entire allegations against him (Obi) fraudulent, distractive, watery and a campaign of calumny designed to hurt the people of Anambra State and threaten the towering legacy secured and left for them by former Governor Peter Obi.
Finally, we humbly and sincerely wish to inform all and sundry that new incontrovertible facts we discovered lately in the course of our investigation over the controversy have additionally indicated that former Governor Peter Obi toweringly left for Anambra State and its people:
(1)Total Cash Value of Local Investments of N27.2Billion as at 17th March 2014
(2)Total Cash Value of Foreign Currency (dollar) Bond Investments of $155.48Million or N26.5Billion as at 17th March 2014
(3)Total Cash of N41.48Billion left in the MDAs accounts in the above named commercial banks as at 17th March 2014
That is to say that the Grand Total Value of Local Investments in named companies, Foreign Currency Bond Investments & Cash left in the above named commercial banks as of 17th March 2014 was N95.18Billion (not N75Billion)
That the Total Value of Local Investments as at today; November 28th 2015, has risen to N40, 9Billion from N27.2Billion in March 2014.
That the Total Value of Foreign Currency (Dollar) Bond Investments (in Diamond, Fidelity & Access Banks) as at today; November 28th 2015, has risen to N35.36Billion or $176.8Million (from $155.48Million or N26.5Billion in March 2014); gaining a surplus of $21.31Million or N8.86Billion.
That the Total Value of the above named Local Investments in named companies, MDAs Cash left in the above named Commercial Banks and the Foreign Currency (Dollar) Bond Investments in Diamond, Fidelity & Access Banks as at today; November 28th 2015, has risen to N117.74Billion (from N95.18Billion in March 2014).
That the Peter Obi administration left a total cash and investment of N95.037Billion for Anambra State and its people as at 17th of March 2014, and its current value has hit N117.74Billion as at date; 28th November 2015, with surplus of N22.7Billion.
The statistical breakdown of the local investments, bond investments and cash left in the MDAs as at 17th March 2014 will be graphically provided in the second and concluding part of this publication.
Saving Anambra State From Governance Of Legacy Destruction & Indebtedness (Concluding Part)
(Onitsha Nigeria, 29th November 2015)-In the first part of this publication, dated and issued yesterday, 28th of November 2015, the leaderships of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) and the Anambra State Branch of the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) expressed deep concern and dismay over rivalries considered unnecessary, distractive and developmentally unhealthy; between the present Government of Anambra State under His Excellency Chief Willie Obiano and his predecessor, Mr. Peter Gregory Obi.
For the records and avoidance of doubt, the consistent and uncompromising advocacy roles of the Anambra State Branch of the Civil Liberties Organization in promoting democracy, good governance and public accountability as well as preservation and protection of human rights particularly the civil and political rights in Anambra State is dated back to 1999 during the return to civil rule in the State and reached their peak during the 2003 armada of electoral fraud. The same roles by the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law started in 2009 and have remained resiliently sustained since then. Our common objective in doing these is for the advancement and sustenance of the collective interest of the people of the State through democracy, good governance, public accountability and human rights.
Again, we call on the Government of Anambra State under Governor Willie Obiano to move the State forward and stop dwelling in the past. Former Governor Peter Obi has governed the State and left it with enviable records yet to be attained by any Nigerian State Governor in the past forty years. What is desperately needed by the State and its peace loving people is to be taken to greater heights and not to be returned to cave and pariah status through politics of legacy destruction and indebtedness. We remain resiliently opposed to attempts to sink the State into serial indebtedness.
For Governor Willie Obiano to succeed and write his name in immortal gold, he must return to the drawing board and streamline his governmental approaches particularly in the area of management of governance costs. The Governor must be reminded that Anambra People did not elect him for the purpose of comfort of office and promotion of favoritism, nepotism and cronyism or for the purpose of owambe governance; but to steadily put smiles on the faces of the people of the State through massive infrastructural development and maintenance as well as mass provision of tangible and intangible dividends of democracy. A governor that maintains up to 200, if not over 200 SAs alone and still appointing more till date; has laid a foundation of governance failure. With this number of SAs (operating under trees) alone, there is compound confusion in the State corridors of power as well as such SAs functioning as SAs of distraction and destruction.
The Governor should return to work and embark on massive rehabilitation of all failed portions of the State roads under operation zero portholes. Many of the State’s inter-LGA and inter-city roads have failed in part owing to devastating effects of the last rainy season, soil volatility of the State landscape as well as unchecked blockage of drainages and waterways. All the 21 LGA chairmen should be directed to compile and forward for immediate attention all the failed roads in their areas. We further demand the immediate recommencement of work on all road projects in the State including those started by former Governor Peter Obi administration and those awarded by the present Obiano administration; irrespective of their areas of location. We totally say no to project abandonment in the State!
We have also observed that the Lagos Park (former MICMERA) to Onitsha Army Barracks section of the Onitsha-Enugu Expressway as well as the Toronto Hospital to the Grail Message service lane of the Expressway is yet to be fully asphalted till date. This should be completed inexcusably. Permanent solution should also be found to address the menace of the flood threatening to cut off and wash away the newly reconstructed Nkpor-Awka Old Road at its Ogidi section. The Borrow Pit hosting the flood is overstretched; requiring a proper drainage to evacuate the flood to neighboring rivers or floodways. Issue of blocked drainages and gutters in the State should promptly be addressed using this dry season. The Governor’s intervention at the Nkpor Flyover gullies along Onitsha-Enugu Expressway without waiting till thy kingdom come for Federal Government; is very commendable. Similar intervention at the gullies threatening the lifespan and usage of the Onitsha-Owerri Dual Carriage Road at Okija (opposite Obijackson Industries) is also commendable. Such intervention is further needed at the right side of the Okija Bridge, which has completely collapsed.
Below is the statistical breakdown of the cash left by the Peter Obi administration in the State’s Ministries and Departments (MDAs) bank accounts as well as foreign currency (dollar) bonds in Fidelity, Diamond and Access Banks and the State’s capital investments in companies named below; as at 17th March 2014. Also contained in the statistical breakdown are the surpluses yielded by the two investments as of November 2015, excluding the liquid cash so left for Governor Willie Obiano. We had in the first part of this publication, promised to release the statistical breakdown in this concluding part. We, therefore, call on Governor Willie Obiano to ensure the protection and safety of the two sets of investments as well as investment of the State resources in more thriving and lucrative companies. If any of the investments has truly gone missing, it must be located, brought back and restored.
Banks Where the MDAs’ Cash Balances of N41.48Billion were lodged as at 17th March 2014:
A. Fidelity Bank PLC:
(1) Account Name: School Borehole Project Account; Account No: 5030025215; amount as at 17th of March 2014 was N115, 811,677.65; (2 ) Account Name: Anambra State School Development Project Account; Account No: 5030025246; amount as at 17th March, 2014 was N354, 334,833.51;(3) Account Name: Ministry of Commerce and Industry; Account No: 5030005521; amount as at 17th March, 2014 was N820,649,577.74; (4) Account Name: Special Excess Crude Account; Account No: 5030005239; amount as at 17th March, 2014 was N2,072,864,334.98; (5) Account Name: Anambra State Special Project Account; Account No: 5030005332; amount as at 17th March, 2014 was N101,906,722.45; (6) Account Name: Ministry of Works; Account No: 5030005514; amount as at 17th March, 2014 was N2,403,862,359.89; (7)Account Name: Anambra Strategic Reserve Account; Account No: 5030025875; amount as at 17th March, 2014 was N808,099,248.30.
Others are: (8) Account Name: Ministry of Works (DLA) Account; Account No: 5030025545; amount as at 17th March, 2014 was N2, 029,706,380.45; (9 ) Account Name: Ministry of Education Account; Account No: 5030005772; amount as at 17th March, 2014 was N142,748,067.90; (10) Account Name: MDG Set Aside Project Account; Account No: 5030042724; amount as at 17th March, 2014 was N199,024,262.09; (11) Account Name: MDG Set Aside Project Account; Account No: 5030042731; amount as at17th March, 2014 was N199,024,262.09; (12) Account Name: MDG Set Aside Project Account; Account No: 5030042748; amount as at17th March, 2014 was N199,024,262.09 (13) Account Name: MDG Set Aside Project Account; Account No: 5030042755; amount as at 17th March, 2014 was N199,024,262.09 (14) Account Name: MDG Set Aside Project Account; Account No: 5030042762; amount as at17th March, 2014 was N199,024,262.09.
The rest are: (15) Account Name: MDG Set Aside Project Account; Account No: 5030042717; amount as at17th March, 2014 was N199,024,262.09; (16) Account Name: Ministry of public Utilities/ Water Resources Account; Account No: 5030045428; amount as at 17th March, 2014 was N209,420,221.47; (17) Account Name: Local Govt Community Development Account; Account No: 5030042391; amount as at 17th March, 2014 was N1,734,069,061.09; (18) Account Name: Anambra State Government Rehabilitation of Roundabout Roads Account; Account No: 5030047138; amount as at 17th March, 2014 was N3, 399,545,250.00; and (19) Account Name: Anambra State Government Account: Account No. 530047097; amount as at 17th of March 2014 was N3,048,355,196.79.
Total Cash Balance in Fidelity Bank as at March 17th, 2014:N18,435,518, 504.3 (Eighteen Billion, Four hundred and Thirty-Five Million, Five Hundred and Eighteen thousand, Five Hundred and Four Naira, Three Kobo).
B. Diamond Bank PLC:
(1) Account Name: Joint Account; Account No: 0022404540; amount N3, 276,354,490.46; (2) Account Name: UBE Matching Grant Account; Account No: 0031151473; amount N2, 101,864,766.68; (3) Account Name: UBE Matching Grant Account; Account No: 0023484282; amount N1, 614,405,750.64; (4) Account Name: 2012 MDG Account; Account No: 0029605487; amount N191, 463,796.49.
The rest are: (5) Account Name: Ministry of Education Account; Account No: 0036410070; amount N536, 385,407.85; and (6) Account Name: Anambra State Subsidy Account; Account No: 0026290200; amount N5, 126,258,908.72.
Total Cash Balance in Diamond Bank PLC as of 17th March 2014: N12,846,733,120.8 (Twelve Billion, Eight Hundred & Forty Six Million, Seven Hundred & Thirty-Three Thousand, One Hundred & Twenty Naira, Eight Kobo)
C. Enterprise Bank (now Heritage Bank):
(1) Account Name: Anambra State Local Govt. Education Set Aside Account; Account No 1400034787, amount is N189,990,550; (2) Account name is Ministry of Youth and Sports Account; Account No is 1400036145, amount is N567,904,301.24; (3) Account Name: Permanent Secretary Govt. House, Awka, Account; Account No is 1400036138, Amount is N1,928,596,191.25.
Total Cash Balance in Enterprise (now Heritage Bank) as of 17th March 2014:N2, 686,491,042.49 (Two Billion, Six Hundred and Eighty-Six Million, Four Hundred and Ninety-one thousand, Forty-two hundred and forty-nine kobo)
D. Cash left in the State’s Accountant General’s Payment Accounts as at 17th of March 2014 comprising: FAAC (federal allocations), VAT (federal Value Added Tax) and IGR (internally generated revenues) funds are the following: (1) FAAC Statutory Account in Fidelity Bank PLC (Account No. 5030026223); (2) VAT (FAAC) in Fidelity Bank PLC (Account No. 5030026230) and (3) IGR Main Account in Awka Branch of UBA PLC (Account No. 1006437348); totaling N5, 372,730,886.06 (Five Billion, Three Hundred & Seventy Two Million, Seven Hundred & Thirty Thousand, Eight Hundred & Eighty Six Naira, Six Kobo).
E. First Bank:
1. Name of Account: Anambra State Govt. Consolidated Account; Account No: 2018779464; amount is N2, 139,951,400.00 (from where the garnishee order of the Federal High Court authorizing the seizure and transfer of N1.8Billion to liquidate the unpaid arrears of the State Water Corporation in 2014 was effected).
Total Cash Balance in First Bank PLC as of 17th March 2014: N2,139,951,400.00 (Two Billion, One Hundred & Thirty Nine Million, Nine Hundred & Fifty-One Thousand, Four Hundred Naira)
F.As at March 17th 2014:
(i) Cash Balance in Fidelity Bank PLC: N18, 435,518, 504.3
(ii) Cash Balance in Diamond Bank PLC: N12, 846,733,120.8
(iii) Cash Balance in Enterprise Bank PLC (now Heritage Bank): N2, 686,491,042.49
(iv) Cash Balance in United Bank for Africa (UBA) PLC: N5, 372,730,886.06
(v) Cash Balance in First Bank PLC: N 2,139,951,400.00
Grand Total Cash Balances: N41, 481,424,954.15 (Forty-One Billion, Four Hundred and Eighty-One Million, Four Hundred and Twenty-four Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fifty-Four Thousand, Fifteen Kobo).
Foreign Currency Bond Investments:
- Fidelity Bank PLC (via a letter from the Bank to the then Accountant General of Anambra State, dated 5th March 2014 in response to the AG’s earlier letter referenced: AG/AN/S.500/VOL.111/54). Total dollar bond purchased: $55,202,776.83.
- Diamond Bank PLC (via a letter from the Bank to the then AG, dated 10th February 2014 in response to the AG’s earlier letter dated 31st October 2013 and referenced: AG/AN/ S.500/VOL.111/17). Total dollar bond purchased: $50,000,000.00.
- Access Bank PLC (via letter from the Bank to the then Accountant General of Anambra State, dated 31st January 2014 confirming purchase of dollar bond by the Government of Anambra State in November 2013). Total dollar bond purchased: $49,966,504.08.
Total Dollar Bonds Purchased from the three Banks: $155,486,125 (One Hundred & Fifty-Five Million, Four Hundred & Eighty-Six Thousand, One Hundred & Twenty-Five Dollars) or N26, 500,000,000 (Twenty-Six Billion, Five Hundred Million Naira).
Current or November 2015 Value of the dollar bonds: $176, 804, 343.64 (One Hundred & Seventy-Six Million, Eight Hundred & Four Thousand, Three Hundred & Forty-Three Dollar, Sixty-Four Cents).
Accrued Interests (2014-2015): $21, 318, 217.74 (Twenty-One Million, Three Hundred & Eighteen Thousand, Two Hundred & Seventeen Dollar, Seventy-Four Cents) or N8, 86Billion.
- Nigerian Independent Power Project (NIPP):N9Billion or $58Million (current value worked by experts:N11.6Billion) ;(2) Orient Petroleum:N4Billion; (3) Onitsha Hotel:N1Billion (said to have sold after the exit of the Obi administration); (4) Agulu Lake Hotel:N1Billion; (5) Awka Shopping Mall:N900Million; (6) Nnewi Shopping Mall:N600Million; (7) Onitsha Shopping Mall:N1Billion; (8) Intafact Beverages Limited ( makers of Hero Beer): N3.5Billion with additional investment of $10M (current value by experts:N14Billion); (9) Onitsha Business Park 1:N300Million; (10) Onitsha Business Park 11:N300Million; (11) Anambra State Independent Generating Plant (ASIPGCL):N400Million or $2.5Million.
Others are: (12) E-Force Limited:N126Million; (13) Emenite Limited:N750Million with additional N223Million investment; (14) Quoted Investment Portfolio: N350Million; (15) NSIA-Anambra State contribution (State &LGA):N1.5Billion; (16) Investment with Bank of Industry to support SMEs in Anambra:N500Million; (17) Investment with Bank of Industry to support Micro Credit Bank in Anambra:N500Million (to be recovered in full); (18) Investment with Bank of Agriculture to support credit to Anambra farmers: N480M (to be recovered in full); (19) Commercial Agriculture Scheme N1Billion.
Total Cash Value of Local Investments as at 17th March 2014:N27.2Billion
Total Cash Value of Local Investment as of November 2015: N40.9Billion (surplus of N13.7Billion)
Total Cash Value of Foreign Currency Bond Investments as at 17th March 2014:$155,48Million or N26.5Billion
Total Value of Foreign Currency (Dollar) Bond Investments (in Diamond, Fidelity & Access Banks) as of November 2015:N35.36Billion or $176.8Million (surplus of N8.8Billion).
Total Cash left in the MDAs accounts in the above named commercial banks as at 17th March 2014: N41, 481,424,954.15 or N41.48Billion
A: Grand Total Value of Local Investments, Foreign Currency Bond Investments & Cash left in the above named commercial banks as of 17th March 2014:N95.18Billion
B: Total Value of the above named Local Investments, MDAs Cash left in the above named Commercial Banks and the Foreign Currency (Dollar) Bond Investments in Diamond, Fidelity & Access Banks as of November 2015:N117,748, 293, 682.80(One Hundred & Seventeen Billion, Seven Hundred & Forty-Eight Million, Two Hundred & Ninety-Three Thousand, Six Hundred & Eighty-Two Naira, Eighty Kobo).
That is to say that the Peter Obi administration left a total cash and investment of N95.18Billion for Anambra State as at 17th of March 2014, with their current value hitting N117.74Billion as of November 2015 or with a surplus of N22.56Billion.
Note: All the investments are recoverable and exclude over N20B refundable cash spent by the Obi administration in reconstructing some federal roads in the State, out of which over N14B had been approved for refund by the Federal Government as at 2014.
For: Intersociety & Anambra CLO
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
Obianuju Igboeli, Esq.
Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program of Intersociety
Comrade Aloysius Attah
Anambra State Branch of the Civil Liberties Organization
Comrade Chibueze Nwajiaku
Secretary, Anambra CLO
[ Masterweb Reports: Lawrence Nwobu reports ] - Shortly after Nigeria’s chequered elections—while the winners and losers were still on a war path with charged rhetoric’s, the British also held elections that had many important lessons for Nigeria. Chief among which was the civility and respect for democratic opinions that followed the outcome of the elections. In the course of the campaigns, there was no abuse, threats or intimidation and the social media was not turned into a battleground of vile and bigoted partisanship. The Labour party leader Ed Milliband congratulated David Cameron on his victory and promptly resigned his position. The Liberal Democrats which was in a coalition with Cameron’s Conservative party (Tories) lost many seats and their leader Nick Clegg likewise honourably resigned. In Scotland where the Labour party was hitherto always dominant, the Scottish National party (SNP) broke the jinx and won 56 of the 59 seats under the leadership of Nicola Sturgeon, radically changing the political landscape of Scotland.
In all these, there was civility, decorum and respect as each of the parties; winners and losers began the process of planning for the challenges ahead. For the winning party, they set about establishing a framework for the implementation of the promised program of government while the parties that lost began a process of electing new leadership alongside constructive debate as they prepared for their role in the opposition. I didn’t for instance see anyone equating David Cameron’s electoral victory to a war victory, neither did I see anyone abusing and ridiculing those who didn’t vote for David Cameron’s winning party. I also did not see anyone or group entertaining fears of exclusion on account of not voting for the winning party, nor did I see anyone or group considering those who voted for the losing party as having inflicted a political misfortune on themselves. The elections in Britain showcased democracy in its true essence as a competitive contest of leadership that respects the opinion of all voters, winners or losers alike. But even these important lessons in democracy must have been lost on Nigeria.
If anything, the 2015 electoral cycle exposed Nigeria as an address where people either do not understand the true meaning of democracy or are naturally inclined towards “do or die” undemocratic tendencies and the winner takes all syndrome that has haunted the nation since the 1st republic. This was sufficiently illustrated in the course of the campaign which was characterised by abuse, lies, tribalism, hate mongering and violence. The social media became a virtual theatre of ethnic war with Nigerians hurling all kinds of vitriol on each other to the extent that some even called for genocide. No less a person than the Oba of Lagos took partisanship, voter intimidation, tribalism and do or die democracy to a new height when he threatened a section of the country with drowning in the Lagoon if they didn’t vote for his preferred candidate. The world no doubt watched derisively as the most populous black nation typically made a mockery of every basic principle of democracy.
After a hotly contested/divisive election one would have thought that the historic concession of Goodluck Jonathan would calm frayed nerves and move the nation towards a consolidation of democratic principles; but that has hardly been the case as unfolding events are continuing to prove. For many of those who were tempted to ignore the brutish and patently undemocratic vituperations of Okorocha, Oyegun and other APC hawks who justified Buhari’s blatant exclusion of the Southeast in his appointments on the basis that the region didn’t vote for him and Buhari’s speech in the United States where he openly alluded to his intention of discriminating between those who gave him 97% of votes as against those who gave him 5%—the recent assassination attempt on Senator Ike Ekweremadu, the deputy senate president as he exited his residence on his way to the national assembly must have been a rude awakening to the reality of Buhari and the APC ’s concept of democracy as a zero sum war of conquest. Given the threats that occasioned the emergence of Ekweremadu as deputy senate president by the APC and their stated determination to get rid of him, the assassination attempt is suspicious, especially as it comes on the heels of harassment, intimidation of INEC officials, judicial abracadabra in reversing elections predominantly in PDP controlled states and extra judicial detention of various individuals by a DSS that increasingly resembles the infamous German Gestapo.
The extremism that marked the elections and the ridiculous post election smear campaigns and recriminations against those who didn’t vote for Buhari/APC has evidently continued with actual harassment, intimidation, exclusion, detentions and possibly assassination attempts that represent a throwback to the dark days of Abacha’s regime. A case in point of how not to run a democracy is the ongoing persecution of Sambo Dasuki who has faced the blunt edge of Buhari’s sword since the inception of this administration. First he was subjected to a humiliating ordeal by the DSS who invaded his home. After floating many spurious allegations that couldn’t stick, the DSS charged him with illegal possession of arms. Dasuki subsequently sought a release of his passport to enable him travel abroad for medical reasons, but no sooner was his request granted by a court than the DSS barricaded his home and subjected him since then to extra-judicial house arrest. Curiously, a few days later, the presidency released the report of an arms sales probe since 2007 that ended up strangely indicting only Sambo Dasuki even though Dasuki only became the national security adviser (NSA) in 2012. To make matters worse, Buhari usurped the duties of the Police, EFCC and the courts by “ordering the arrest” of Dasuki— and yes we are supposed to be in a democracy.
Nnamdi Kanu, the proprietor of Radio Biafra remains in extra-judicial custody of the DSS more than a month after meeting his bail conditions, several others have been arrested and detained by the DSS, while attempted assassination of political figures is subtly creeping back into the nation. All these in just 6 months of Buhari’s administration. Bottom-line, the ongoing extra-judicial detentions, harassment, exclusion of sections of the country, human rights violations and other intrigues in the polity has proven beyond any doubt that neither Buhari nor the APC believes in competitive democracy. Their concept of democracy is defined as a war of conquest where the winners are triumphant while the losers are abused, taunted, punished, trampled upon and excluded. For them power comes with no responsibility and the rule of law doesn’t matter. The President can punish whom he deems fit and spare or even reward whom he deems fit. The courts and the constitution are inconsequential. Only the president and not the court or the constitution can determine who will be free and who will not. Public opinion is disregarded as the citizens don’t matter. This much has been Buhari’s style of governance since he came to power which explains why exclusion, disregard for the rule of law, persecution, sectionalism and other acts of impunity have become prevalent. These excesses if not checked will destroy what is left of democracy in Nigeria with consequent multiplier effects across the continent.
Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu ( Email: email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Senator Ike Ekweremadu
[ Masterweb Reports: Commentary By Dr. C. K. Ekeke ] - Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, His love endures forever.—Psalm 107:1. Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.—1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. We also thank God for the blessings of freedom and prosperity; and, with gratitude and humility, we acknowledge the importance of faith in our lives.—President George W. Bush
Thanksgiving Day is a wonderful time to express gratitude and be thankful for all the bountiful blessings you enjoy. Showing gratitude and being thankful in all circumstances is a divine attitude. Ingratitude is ungodly behavior. Other attitudes such as envy, jealousy and greed are ungodly and satanic.
Here are a few things among many that I'm thankful for:
Life. I’m so thankful to God for the gift of life. I’m thankful to the LORD for His unspeakable gift and bountiful blessings upon mankind (2 Corinthians 9:15). I’m extremely thankful to God for His mercy, grace, forgiveness, redemption and salvation through His Son Jesus Christ (John 3:16).
Family. I’m immensely grateful for the good fortune to be surrounded by family that loves and supports me to be all that God has created me to be. A family that provides peaceful home that energizes and enables me to aspire and pursue life goals to be the man, husband, father, and dad that God has endowed me to be.
Friends. I’m so grateful for the good fortune to be surrounded by friends –whose intellectual verve is a source of delight. I cherish deeply an environment that energies my thinking – books, art, music, culture, etc. things that help to stimulate, guard and protect my mind and creative spirit. I treasure people that help me to be better, those who motivates, encourages and assists to unlock the potential that resides inside of me, those who mentors me, those who genuinely helps me to understand the reason for my existence and the purpose for which I was born into this world.
Country. I’m also deeply grateful to live in a nation that’s richly endowed with promises and opportunities of freedom, hope, and prosperity, pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness.
Work. I’m super thankful to God to live in a country that offers me the tremendous opportunity to work, to use my intellect, to think, to be creative, to be innovative and to be productive with my mind, brain and hands. For this, I’m immensely super grateful.
These things and many more make my heart to be overflowing with gratitude and thankfulness to God always.
What does your list look like?
Let us pray:
Dear heavenly Father, as humanity mourn from the horrific shootings in U.S., and senseless massacres in Nigeria, France, Mali, and around the world, we lift-up the pains of nations, cities, communities and families that have been impacted by these atrocities. We ask that your peace and presence be strong among the bereaving families, that you knight our hearts together in love by your grace. Root out fear, hate, anger, bitterness, envy and fill us with your love and compassion for one another. Move us into action, stir us into forgiveness that justice might be done according to your will and bring relief to the suffering and point us to the hope that exist in You even in the midst of this dark world.
We give You thanks and praise You, for You have been good to us. Your faithfulness and goodness and Your love endures forever. In this Thanksgiving Day and everyday help us to express our gratitude and thanksgiving for all Your bountiful blessings and lavishness upon mankind. Remind us to be humble and stir us to be thankful for all that we have received from You. And teach us to give thanks and remain grateful always. Amen.
May you and your family have a super Thanksgiving Day! Amen.
C. K. Ekeke, PhD., M.Div.
Author, Consultant & Leadership Lecturer
Leadership Wisdom Institute /Adaptive Leadership Network
Author of Leadership Wisdom and Leadership Liability
Author of Leadership Liability
*Photo Caption - Baked turkey, the main menu for Thanksgiving celebration in the United States.
Notes: Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated in Canada and the United States. It was originally celebrated as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Several other places around the world observe similar celebrations. Although Thanksgiving has historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, it has long been celebrated in a secular manner as well.
[ Masterweb Reports: Lawrence Nwobu reports ] - As I celebrate with the former president on the occasion of his 58th birthday, it is also important that I render a dispassionate analysis of the most defining legacy he left for Nigeria— a legacy of free and fair elections. A feat that is rare in Africa and rarer still in Nigeria. In March 2015, former President Goodluck Jonathan lost in the somewhat controversial elections, congratulating the presumed winner even before the full results had been announced and abdicated his right to contest the outcome of the election in a court of law. By so doing, he became the first incumbent president to lose election in Nigeria’s history and the first major presidential candidate since the fourth republic to decline any legal challenge of his loss in court. Not many in the whole of Africa, wielding so much power as incumbents have ever so willingly surrendered their mandates.
Indeed, contrary to what many think, a walk through history would clearly suggest that incumbents have lost elections in Nigeria before, the only difference being that the incumbents rigged the elections and used that fraudulent premise to remain in power. Factually, Nigerians have never really been democrats. From the 1st republic, almost as soon as democratic elections were introduced by the colonial administration, harassment, intimidation and much later outright rigging became the stuff of Nigerian elections. The call for the scrapping of the then “Native Authorities Police” was engendered by the use of the police to intimidate and harass supporters of opposition parties in the then Northern region, some of which led to sustained periods of violence in Tivland in 1960.
At the end of the 1959 parliamentary elections, it became obvious that a coalition between Dr Nnamidi Azikiwe’s NCNC and Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s AG could form a majority government with their combined seats of 89 for NCNC and 75 for AG totalling 164 seats in a federal parliament with 312 seats of which Tafawa Balewa’s NPC had won 148 seats. For reasons of nation building Dr Nnamidi Azikiwe chose to enter a coalition with the NPC and a government in which Balewa emerged prime minister was formed. But by the time the next elections became due in 1964, relations between Dr Nnamidi Azikiwe and Tafawa Balewa had collapsed irreconcilably. The lingering crisis brought Dr Nnamidi Azikiwe’s NCNC and Chief Awolowo’s AG together who for the first time merged their parties and registered a new party then known as UPGA. A merger between the NCNC and AG was sure to lead to electoral defeat for Tafawa Balewa. To forestall that he entered a coalition with Ladoke Akintola and they both orchestrated a massive electoral heist primarily in the Western region and parts of the North. The heist gave both Tafawa Balewa and Akintola a rigged victory in an election they surely would have lost had it been free and fair. The sham elections subsequently set off a wave of violence (wetie) in the Western region that eventually truncated the 1st republic.
The 2nd republic didn’t fare much better as Shehu Shagari’s NPN rigged elections all the way. By 1983 the art of rigging had been perfected by the Shagari administration with an electoral heist that gave him total victory. The crisis emanating from the rigged elections led to the military coup that ousted him in December 1983. Again like the 1st republic, if free and fair elections had been held Shehu Shagari would probably not have been re-elected. With the annulations of the still born June 12 1993 elections, Nigeria commenced another democratic experiment in 1999. Like all previous republics, the 4th republic under the presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo who in his own words determined elections to be a “do-or-die” affair was notorious for election rigging, godfatherism, thuggery and lawlessness. Obasanjo had himself originally emerged the candidate of the party in 1999 through rigging, when after having lost the primaries in his ward—at which stage he should have dropped out—his military backers rigged him into power. Once in power, Obasanjo worked with the electoral umpire to unleash a rigging campaign across the country. It was in the Obasanjo era that a notorious godfather; Lamidi Adedibu so brazenly used thugs to remove an elected governor, Rashid Ladoja in Oyo state. Earlier attempts to remove Chris Ngige in Anambra state with thugs had failed.
Rigging, lawlessness and recklessness in Obasanjo’s era was so widespread that the 2007 elections was described by international observers as the worst they had ever supervised anywhere in the world. The short-lived Shehu Musa Yar’Adua administration continued with the Obasanjo rigging system until his demise. It was only when President Goodluck Jonathan came to power in 2010 with clear promises of electoral reforms that Nigeria’s electoral landscape radically began to change. For the first time incumbent governors and individuals lost in free and fair elections to popular candidates. Professor Atahiru Jega widely reputed to be credible was appointed INEC chairman. In 2011, President Goodluck Jonathan stood for and won elections adjudged by international and local observers to be one of the freest and fairest elections ever conducted in Nigeria. As the 2015 elections approached the apostles of “do or die” democracy and election rigging that dot the landscape, sensing his disadvantage put all kinds of pressure on him to manipulate the elections but he refused.
Even as the clouds of defeat became increasingly ominous, he still refused to interfere or manipulate the electoral process declaring as he always did that his personal ambition was not worth the life of any Nigerian. In the end, in spite of every possibility to change the course and outcome of the elections, he opted for a free and fair election and congratulated the winner even before the final results had been announced. For a country where all preceding leaders since the 1st republic had rigged elections and for a continent where leaders most often rig elections and remain as president for life, Goodluck Jonathan is the first Nigerian and one of Africa’s very few democratic presidents.
He achieved a rare feat, defying monumental pressure from pro-rigging hawks in a country whose people are fundamentally undemocratic. Anyone who still harbours any doubt about the undemocratic nature of the Nigerian society should closely review the 2015 elections and witness the intimidations, bigotry, abuse, violence and even threats of genocide that went along with it. Even with a Buhari victory and in spite of the change slogan, the post-election period has continued to be clouded with recriminations; winner takes all triumphalism, hate speech and exclusion of those who didn’t vote for Buhari/APC. It is in this kind of patently undemocratic Nigerian environment and the added hailstorms of Nigeria’s ethno-religious contradictions that Goodluck Jonathan an incumbent president with immense powers, stood against the buffeting winds and organised free elections leaving an indelible legacy as Nigeria’s first democratic president in the country’s chequered history.
Many do not yet appreciate the full scale of this selfless sacrifice in attempting to end Nigeria’s circle of electoral corruption, but when all the heated emotions have died down, the myths/lies laid bare and the dust have cleared from our eyes, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan would indeed have his place in history as Nigeria’s first democratic president.
Lawrence Nwobu (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Ex-Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan
[ Masterweb Reports: Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu reports ] - Perhaps, much more than most countries that have been subject to military rule, Nigerians have suffered and continued to suffer the tragic consequences of the injection of the military into her politics. From a needless civil war to military dictatorships, assassinations, nepotism, corruption, misrule, extra-judicial detentions and other human rights violations—the haemorrhaging effect of military rule has left the nation still bleeding from its wounds. In response to the vain assaults on human dignity and other excesses of military rule, pro-democracy movements began to emerge in the 80’s, but many paid a bitter price for daring to challenge the usurpers of the people’s sovereignty. It’s a story nobody can tell better than Gani Fawehinmi of blessed memory who was a serial customer of prisons across Nigeria and most famously in Gashua courtesy of his extra-judicial detentions by repressive military regimes intent on silencing his advocacy for human rights and democracy.
With the cancellation of the June 12 elections in 1993, by General Ibrahim Babangida and the incarceration of Moshood Abiola, the presumptive winner of the elections, the advocacy for civil rights and democracy was given new life, evolving into what became known as the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO). Led by a coalition of pro-democracy activists that included Bola Tinubu, Ayo Opadokun, Ralph Obioha, Anthony Enahoro and Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu amongst others, the group canvassed an end to military rule and its attendant human rights violations. At the same time, reeling under the scathing criticisms of pro-democracy groups, the increasingly isolated dictatorship of General Sanni Abacha peaked with scores of assassinations, extra judicial detentions and globally condemned execution of Ken Saro Wiwa and the Ogoni nine in the aftermath of a kangaroo trial. NADECO and other civil rights activists accordingly amplified the destructive effects of military rule on the polity and offered a clear democratic alternative anchored on constitutional rule, inclusion, respect for human rights and good governance.
Sanni Abacha’s sudden death in 1998 paved the way for a return to civil rule as the military finally bowed out under much pressure. By 1999, the fourth republic was in place and Nigeria commenced yet another democratic experiment under the leadership of Olusegun Obasanjo, himself a former military dictator turned democrat under whom modest democratic gains were made further consolidated by Presidents Musa Yar Adua and Goodluck Jonathan. But with the 2015 elections and the Buhari presidency – it seems all the gains made in the last 16 years of democratic rule has been reversed and Nigeria returned to full blown dictatorship, extra judicial detentions and other human rights violations. In just five months of Buhari’s administration, human rights violations have reached a level comparable to erstwhile military regimes. Not only has the DSS under the leadership of Lawal Musa Daura been notoriously deployed to harass and intimidate individuals it has veered into active extrajudicial detentions in a manner reminiscent of Sanni Abacha’s brutal regime.
As the timeline aptly indicates; Buhari was sworn in on the 29th of May, but between June and October alone, the DSS has illegally invaded the home of Sambo Dasuki the former national security adviser (NSA) and for several hours sealed off his premises and subjected him to a humiliating ordeal. The former chief security officer (CSO) to ex-president Jonathan Godwin Obua was likewise arrested and held in the dungeons of the DSS for several weeks. In spite of constitutional immunity, the Akwa Ibom state government house was violated by an invasion by the DSS that lasted for several hours. Of greater import is the extra-judicial detention of Nnamdi Kanu the director of the UK based Radio Biafra in the dungeons of DSS since the since the 16TH of October. He was charged to court and duly granted bail on the 19th of October. The stringent bail conditions imposed on him was met on the 20th of October but the DSS has continued to detain him even after subsequent court orders. That someone could be so detained extra judicially in a democratic government that came to power through constitutional means, against a backdrop of other detentions and harassment by the same administration in just five months signals a dangerous slide into tyranny and dictatorship that portends a bad omen for the nation’s democracy.
Nnamdi Kanu’s only offense is his non-violent activism for self rule, but self determination like all other rights is an inalienable right for which he reserves the right to advocate. Some states in the US still fly the confederate flag. The UN Charter as well as the African Charter of human and people’s rights recognises the right of all peoples to self determination. There is nothing inherently criminal in peacefully advocating the right to self determination. In 2014 the Scottish held a referendum on self rule. The British with one of the most powerful armies in the world did not mount any military campaigns to stop the Scottish from seceding, nor was anyone arrested. They allowed them vote and exercise their democratic right to choose. Like my friend John Okiyi Kalu would always say, it’s only in decrepit third world countries that are unable to develop inclusive systems that guarantee equal rights and justice to all citizens that the idea of self determination is abhorred and criminalised–which in itself is an indictment of the leadership of such nations.
It is also patently ironical and hypocritical for Buhari to campaign for the self determination of Palestinians and the people of Western Sahara during his recent United Nations General Assembly address on the basis of the UN founding charter’s recognition of the right to self determination while at the same time killing scores of non-violent pro-Biafran activists and continuing to illegally hold Nnamdi Kanu in detention for advocating same. For a government that came to power on the promise of change; one is now left to wonder if the promised change was to return Nigeria to the dark days of military style dictatorship, repression, extra judicial detentions and wanton human rights abuses as five months of the administration already suggest. And while all this is going on, much of the usually loquacious human rights community have suddenly lost their voice in the face of creeping human rights abuses by the Buhari administration.
As the saying goes, evil triumphs when good men stay silent. The human rights community and indeed all people of good will must speak-out before it’s too late. This democracy was won at a costly price and allowing it to slide back to tyranny is not a worthy choice. Buhari must be compelled by all to respect the rule of law, cease all acts of harassment by the DSS, release Nnamdi Kanu and all those extra judicially detained.
Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu ( Email: email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Nnamdi Kanu
[ Masterweb Reports: Ihechukwu Njoku reports ] - When Nigerian ‘Prophet’ T.B. Joshua controversially claimed in August 2014 that his ‘Anointing Water’ had the ability to cure the deadly Ebola virus which had ravaged several West African countries, the declaration was met with both doubt and derision.
However, a prominent Sierra Leonean politician has sensationally claimed that the contentious arrival of 4,000 bottles of Joshua’s water to her nation was the key to the eventual decline of the incurable disease.
Mrs Fatmata Kargbo, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sierra Leone, gave the startling revelation in Lagos, Nigeria at The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) on Sunday 1st November 2015.
“I am very disturbed and have had sleepless nights for not giving this testimony,” the civil servant admitted.
“When T.B. Joshua announced his desire to send Anointing Water to the countries affected by Ebola, I immediately contacted the presidency,” she explained, adding that after the government accepted his offer, she was appointed to head the team that would receive the blessed ‘water’ with alleged healing powers.
As was widely reported in mainstream media, the Nigerian cleric paid for a private jet to transport the ‘spiritual items’ to Sierra Leone, alongside a cash gift of $50,000 to those affected by the outbreak.
“I received the Anointing Water at the airport and submitted the consignment to the President,” Kargbo revealed. “However, the devil fought hard and we faced a lot of opposition and obstacles.”
According to the civil servant, even after obtaining presidential approval to begin distributing the ‘Anointing Water’ to the most affected zones, strong opposition from ‘internationally renowned medical organisations’ severely delayed the allotment.
"Medically, they said there was no scientific proof that it could cure Ebola," she explained, adding that some of the water was even ‘confiscated’ by medical personnel.
It was only after several weeks of struggling that Kargbo found a senior ranking medical official who was sympathetic to her cause and managed to ‘smuggle’ in some of Joshua’s water to a clinic where Ebola patients resided.
“The patients who received the Anointing Water testified that the symptoms disappeared almost immediately,” she sensationally claimed.
“In the South East region where we were finally allowed to minister the Anointing Water, there was no new case of Ebola recorded from September 2014 onwards,” she further added.
According to Kargbo, it was only the regions where Joshua's 'holy water' failed to reach that Ebola's spread continued, eventually beginning to decline in early 2015.
She lamented that if not for the strong opposition, Ebola would have been conquered much earlier. "If we were allowed to use the water as directed by the man of God at that time, Ebola would have been rid from my country within weeks," she asserted.
According to a BBC interview with President Ernest Bai Koroma, if no new cases are recorded, Sierra Leone is expected to be declared Ebola free this week.
T.B. Joshua claims his controversial water, newly branded as 'Morning Water' is anointed by God. "It is not the water that heals but God Himself since the anointing is done in Jesus' name," his website states.
Last week, two survivors of a tragic helicopter crash in Lagos, Nigeria, claimed that it was Joshua's water that rescued them from certain death.
Ihechukwu Njoku ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ), freelance Nigerian journalist reports from Lagos, Nigeria.
*Photo Caption - Mrs. Fatmata Kargbo in SCOAN making the startling revelation.
[ Masterweb Reports: Chuks Ibegbu reports ] - I read with displeasure the effusions of my friend Joe Igbokwe on the above issue and I feel highly disappointed .Though some of his arguments may appear plausible , his language and the manner he put it is to say the least regrettable. He already found his Igbo people in Akure guilty without making effort to investigate the issue on ground.
This is the way some Igbo elites who do not have touch with their people or who always ingratiate themselves to their external masters curry favour and openly demonise their own people.
Agreed that sometimes there is a wasteful tussle for the leadership of Igbo organisations outside Igbo land but it is not an Igbo phenomenon alone. The language Joe Igbo used against his own people, no matter the situation on ground is to say the least unbecoming.
For me, the Ezendigbo issue is not and should not raise uproar in Yorubaland. Igbos have been living in peace for decades with their Yoruba hosts and not even a newly coronated Oba in Akure, a pharaoh that do not know the Israelites can alter that. The Deji of Akure cannot maltreat an Igbo leaders in his palace and believe he can get
away with it . The constitution of the land protects all Nigerian citizens in all parts of the country and nobody can tell Ndigbo what to tag their leaders in foreign lands. We have Oba of Yoruba in Owerri, Onitsha and other Igbo towns, May be the Afenifere renewal group which claimed that Ndigbo may be planning expansionists agenda
have not taken time to investigate this issue. Ndigbo have never had such tendencies but have done much to develop all parts of Nigeria.
If Joe Igbokwe had only called for the Ezendigbo title to be restricted to the states and not local governments, it will make sense to me. I support one Ezendigbo in any state outside Igboland and in the local governments we should have Onyishi or Onyendu Igbo. No Oba or Baale should tell Ndigbo what to call their leaders, inasmuch as Ndigbo must respect the culture of their hosts.
Yes, some elements may be tarnishing the image of Igbo institutions outside Igbo land but that is not why Joe Igbokwe in his bid to satiate his Lagos and western masters should generalise his industrious people who have been developing all parts of Nigeria as 419ners etc. We know he gets his porridge from lagos and the west but
must that be to the detriment and pilloring of his people. There is no way in Nigerian constitution that it is stated that a people cannot choose the title of their leaders. Ezendigbo is a mere title that ends in the host states. Once such personalities cross the Niger, they drop it and cannot challenge their traditional rulers at home. Its symbolic to give Ndigbo outside their homeland a sense of traditional egregarity and nobody can stop it just as no Igbo can stop any Yoruba from answering Oba NdiYoruba in Umuahia but not Oba of Umuahia. What we have is Ezendigbo in so so...... state and not the Eze of Akure or so so so....state. His jurisdiction is only on Igbos and no more.
The way the Afenifere Renewal Group took the matter is surprising and disappointing. Ndigbo and NdiYoruba will continue to live in harmony and no Oba, of Obi can stop or threaten that.
We are glad that the Governor of Ondo State has intervened to end the crisis and it should end their. For Joe Igbokwe and his types who take any little opportunity to villify his own people , he must be reminded that not even those he ingratiates himself to will take him serious when the chips are down. He can caution any of his erring people without a blanket condemnation on the pages of the newspapers.
Chuks Ibegbu ( Email: email@example.com Phone: 08056741425 ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Joe Igbokwe
[ Masterweb Reports: Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu reports ] - On the 6th of October 1963 Haile Sellasie the then Emperor of Ethiopia addressed the United Nations General Assembly thus: “until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned: That until there are no longer first-class and second class citizens of any nation; That until the color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes; That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race; That until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained; And until the ignoble and unhappy regimes that hold our brothers in Angola, in Mozambique and in South Africa in subhuman bondage have been toppled and destroyed; Until bigotry and prejudice and malicious and inhuman self-interest have been replaced by understanding and tolerance and good-will; Until all Africans stand and speak as free beings, equal in the eyes of all men, as they are in the eyes of Heaven; Until that day, the African continent will not know peace.”
The import of Haile Selasie’s address later adapted in a song by reggae legend Bob Marley, remains timeless. It notably holds that nations will remain in perpetual strife until inequality, injustice, 2nd class citizenship, tribalism, racism, colonialism, repression and all forms of injustice are permanently abolished. 52 years after, Nigeria is marked by both the injustices and the attendant strife that Haile Selassie predicted. Nowhere is this more evident than in the recent arrest of Nnamidi Kanu the director of Radio Biafra as he arrived Nigeria from his UK base. Yet, arresting Nnamidi Kanu because of his agitation for self rule only worsens the problem and underscores Nigeria as a creeping and repressive colonial state. Colonialism as we must know does not necessarily bear a White face as most think. Any group that confines another to 2nd class citizenship and or denies another their full rights and autonomy to political, cultural and economic development is just as guilty of colonialism as the traditional White colonialists we are all familiar with and herein lies Nigeria’s dilemma.
Arresting Nnamidi Kanu might seem for some a solution to a problem, but as Barack Obama said in his 2015 United Nations General Assembly speech “a government that suppresses peaceful dissent is not showing strength; it is showing weakness and it is showing fear.” Nnamidi Kanu is not the problem, the Nigerian state as constituted is. Nnamidi Kanu is only a reaction to the many injustices, exclusion, 2nd class citizenship, born to rule philosophy, marginalization and other forms of inequality that characterize the Nigerian state. Nigeria is a state where some are first class citizens while others are 2nd class, a state where some are born to rule while others are perpetual outcasts, a state where state policy deliberately denies some regions critical developmental infrastructure while according others same, a state where prejudice, tribalism, exclusion and hate is elevated while nation building is ignored, a state where it seems the only logic for unity is to share oil resources and not on the basis of consent, mutual respect, fraternity and shared brotherhood.
For these reasons true nationhood has remained stillborn, peace has remained elusive and Nigeria has remained in perpetual strife and ever increasing crisis since her founding. These undeniable realities are the reason the Nigerian state is afraid of Nnamidi Kanu because he speaks to a truth they cannot legitimately counter. He speaks to a truth they know they are guilty of, so out of weakness and fear they resort to repression, persecution and detention. But as history teaches us, arresting him will not take away the problem; neither will it stop the struggle insofar as the conditions that birthed Nnamidi Kanu and others like him remain. You cannot beat a child and ask the child not to cry. Arresting Nelson Mandela did not stop the Apartheid struggle; neither did arresting Kwame Nkrumah stop the independence struggle in Ghana. Such examples are evident all through history.
Nnamidi Kanu has moved beyond being an individual; he is now an ideology, a movement, a cry for justice that detention or even death cannot stop. Interestingly, Nigeria now has two famous Nnamidi’s with identical trajectories, the first Dr Nnamidi Azikiwe fought against external oppression/inequality by the British colonial authorities and won independence for Nigeria, the second, Nnamidi Kanu is fighting against internal oppression, injustice, exclusion, and 2nd class citizenship by some power blocs in Nigeria. Ironically, while the British colonial government never arrested Dr Azikiwe during his campaign for independence, the Nigerian state has primitively opted to detain Nnamidi Kanu. Both struggles were fundamentally dedicated to freedom and justice and like the former; the latter can only be pacified not by repression but by resolving the underlying issues that engendered it.
In every problem is often embedded within it a solution. When Nigerian banks faced an existential crisis with banks collapsing on a weekly basis, it was resolved by experts that consolidating the banks into fewer but stronger banks through a higher deposit base and structural reforms would strengthen the banks, end bank failure and create a stable banking industry. In 2005 the banks alongside significant structural reforms were consolidated by Professor Chukwuma Soludo. Since then banks have rarely failed and Nigerian banks have become global players. In the same vein, Nigeria has perpetually faced an existential crisis due to its contradictions and factors earlier stated. The solution is simple; an urgent commencement of a robust process of nation building through the implementation of the 2014 national conference report, the convening of a further conference of ethnic nationalities to thrash out remaining grey areas with the ultimate aim of delivering a comprehensive nation building constitution. These are urgent steps alongside the possible creation of a nation building commission or ministry that can be taken immediately.
As the failed states index report indicates, the most fundamental cause of state failure is determined to be group grievance, because it recognizes that states that have significant levels of group grievance will be subject to dissent, conflict, internal sabotage, institutional inhibitions and consequently lack the overall cohesion needed to propel any form of appreciable development. Nigeria stands at a crossroads, its either common sense prevails and the underlying issues that birthed the likes of Nnamidi Kanu are resolved through peaceful dialogue or the Nigerian state continues on the road of repression and risk eventual balkanization. The choices are clear enough.
Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Nnamidi Kanu _
[ Masterweb Reports ] – It has been long I sang the Nigerian national anthem. I remember joining in its singing long after leaving secondary school few years ago during my National Youth Service. Often I find myself on the warpath with school teachers and my students who will not “salute the flag” and “stand still” when the National Anthem is sung or the National Pledge is being recited during the morning assemblies. To me this was part of my contribution to citizenship, nation building and patriotism. Some of my fellow teachers (the “permanent” teachers in the school where I was posted) only “stand still” on hearing the Anthem when they know I am ........Read More
*Photo Caption - Nigerian flag.
[ Masterweb Reports: Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu reports ] - You can pretty much tell the difference between successful nations and unsuccessful ones through the declared principles and or ideologies the leaders and political parties uphold or fail to uphold and total adherence to the rule of law which the leaders likewise uphold or fail to uphold. When the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke in the United States-much of the world watched in amazement as the then President Bill Clinton was hauled through various investigative panels and ended up almost being impeached because of a sexual affair with an intern that would be a non-issue in other climes. Unlike most parts of the world, the scathing scrutiny Bill Clinton faced was only possible because relevant institutions are independent of executive control and the rule of law applies equally to all American citizens irrespective of status, it is thus no accident that America is the success story it is.
A few months ago, the leader of the French National Front party, Marine Le Pen, expelled the founder and former leader of the party Jean Marie Le Pen for making anti-semitic comments against Jews. Ordinarily this would raise no eyebrows except that the expelled leader is not only the founder of the party but also the father of the party leader that expelled him. By any human standard, the decision to expel her father could not have been an easy one, but in a clime where principles count more than anything else, her father had to go to uphold the principles and ideals of the party. Any surprise then that France is a successful nation? Lastly, the infamous Halliburton scam would suffice to further buttress the fundamental difference between successful nations and unsuccessful ones. Most Nigerians would be familiar with the Halliburton scam in which mountains of bribe money was handed over by American officials seeking lucrative oil contracts to Nigerian officials including some ex-presidents.
When the scandal broke, the implicated American officials were promptly arrested by U.S. authorities, prosecuted and jailed in line with American laws that forbid giving bribe by American officials anywhere in the world. By contrast-the indicted Nigerian officials have remained free and subject to government protection owing to their status. Is it then any surprise that Nigeria is a failed state while the United States and other law respecting climes are prosperous? The lesson is simple; nations where the leaders are principled and where the rule of law is scrupulously applied prosper while nations where the leaders lack principles and the laws are selective fail. This perhaps is the reason we should be worried about Buhari’s demonstrated lack of principles and selective application of the rule of law as it concerns the ministerial list and the so called corruption war.
Chinua Achebe once declared “that one of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.” The first mark of a principled leader would thus be the ability to keep his words and fulfil his promises no matter the pressure to do otherwise. In the course of the historic election, a notable commitment of Buhari and his campaign sloganeers was the promise to appoint a cabinet almost exclusively of technocrats who would be purpose driven to serve only in the interest of the common good. These technocrats were supposed to be Nigerians at home and from the Diaspora (expatriates) with unblemished records and proven competence. No doubt, the idea of appointing a purpose driven cabinet of technocrats caught the popular imagination and situated properly with the campaign slogan of change which even by a layman’s understanding was all about dumping the old order and ushering in a new way of doing things. The unusual delay in appointing the cabinet also naturally increased expectations as amongst many justifications advanced for the delay was the idea that Buhari was shopping for “saintly technocrats.” At best, the expectation was that the cabinet would be comprised of 80 percent technocrats and 20 percent politicians or at worst 60 percent technocrats and 40 percent politicians.
But after almost 5 months of waiting, the unveiling of the ministerial list shocked even the least hopeful. Buhari had abdicated his principles/promises and settled for a return to the status quo through a ministerial list packed exclusively with politicians most of whom have been in government in the last 16 years and some of whom have served in most of the previous failed governments in the last 4 decades. For whatever reasons, Buhari it seems-has opted for a “government of settlement” rather than a government of purpose driven technocrats. By doing this, he has proven to be a leader lacking in principles and incapable of keeping his promises.
Under his watch, the rule of law has also functioned in breach. While the individuals implicated in the Halliburton scam remain free, subject to the protection of government and while Chibuike Amaechi, the former governor of Rivers state remains untouchable in spite of a judicial indictment and an avalanche of petitions, the likes of Godswill Akpabio are being harassed by the EFCC on foot of a single petition. As the case studies amply indicated, nations where principles are scarce and where the law is selective are always failures. Buhari unfortunately is an embodiment of the traits that make nations fail. Except there is a bailout, Nigeria will predictably continue to fail.
Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu (Email: email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption - President Muhammadu Buhari