[ Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] - The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State has blamed Governor Nyesom Wike and the State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the gruesome murder, on Monday in Port Harcourt, of activist lawyer Ken Atsuete, a strong opposition voice in the state. “Governor Wike and his PDP gang of vampires in Rivers State have once again exhibited the only act of governance known to them by plotting the assassination of Barrister Ken Atsuete, a well known fiery critic of Wike’s evil administration and defender of Rivers State APC,” the party lamented Tuesday morning in a statement signed by the State Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya.
Rivers APC said in the statement: “Barr. Asuete, a renowned human rights activist who was one of the speakers at the just concluded conference of the Nigerian Bar Association held in Port Harcourt, must have been assassinated principally for his stoic stand against the evil administration of Wike in Rivers State. The other reason why Barr. Atsuete was killed was for his several petitions to the Inspector General of Police and to the Chief Justice of the Federation against the Chief Judge of Rivers State for being partisan by remanding his client Ojukaye Flag Amachree unjustly and wickedly. The other fact that may have triggered the killing of this harmless man was his live interview on Nigeria Info 92.3FM radio station, in which he revealed that Wike and his myopic and misguided legal team procured a fake court order on the release of Tai election result to deceive themselves and the general public.”
Rivers APC observed that “Wike right from the beginning has had serious phobia for the person of Barr. Asuete’s client, the former Chairman of Asari-Toru Local Government Area, Ojukaye Flag Amachree, the prisoner of war in the hands of Wike and his misguided government whom Wike and his PDP are afraid that if he is released before the rerun elections, PDP will fail woefully based on his popularity among the youths in Rivers State. Their belief is that in order to keep him off the field, Barr. Asuete had to die.”
The party further said: “We have shouted ourselves hoarse that Wike is a bad omen for the Nigerian politics and that his forceful seizure of power is a bad omen for Rivers State since he is not interested in the peace and progress of the state and her people. We are aware that Wike and PDP are not interested in any peaceful election in Rivers State, hence they are doing everything within their powers to frustrate the peace in the state so as to ensure that the rerun elections never hold.”
Rivers APC lamented that over 200 of its members have been killed in less than two years by Wike and his misguided PDP in Rivers State, noting that “the strategy has changed, with the targets now being those defending the APC in Rivers State, after which the leaders of APC will be the next group to be destroyed by these vagabonds in power.”
The party regretted that Asuete’s assassination came shortly after Governor Wike recently attended a security meeting in Abuja with the Inspector General of Police, Director of Directorate of State Service (DSS), and Rivers APC leaders, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, Senator Magnus Abe, Dr. Dakuku Peterside and Dr. Davies Ikanya. It recalled that Wike at that peace meeting promised that there would no longer be any political killings in Rivers State. “We will like to know from him how and why the harmless Asuete was killed after this pledge,” Rivers APC said, adding: “He has at several fora recently stated that Rivers State under his watch is very safe, yet Rivers State people are kidnapped and killed on daily basis nobody seems to care.”
Turning its attention to the Federal authorities, the party said, We wish to remind President Buahri what he said on May 14, 2015 when a delegation from Rivers State led by former Deputy Governor of the state, Sir Gabriel Toby visited him where he assured the Rivers State people that his government will fish out and prosecute all those behind electoral violence and more than a year later, the political killings are getting worse in Rivers State. Wike and PDP killed to get power, now they are killing to retain it.
Mr, President during this meeting stated, “We will confront them with facts and figures. We will not forgive and forget those who perpetrated killings and arson in Rivers State during the elections. At least, this is the much we owe to Nigerians. There will not be an army within the army or a police within the police,” and today, Wike and PDP have become law to themselves.
“We will like to know what crime we have committed to leave us at the mercy of Wike and his gang of killers. How many of our people need to be killed before Rivers State is secured from the hands of this killer government operating in Rivers State?” It lamented that “nobody is safe anymore in Wike’s Rivers of blood as he recently granted amnesty to hardened criminals and granted them freedom to move freely without recovering their arms and ammunition to enable them ensure that Rivers State will never know peace. To sustain his war against Rivers people he has brought back the creek boys who were used to rig and maim Rivers people during the ill-fated 2015 elections to the streets to continue with their killing spree.”
Rivers APC declared that “Ken Atsuete’s lifeless body is currently lying at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital mortuary but the conscience of Wike and his gang will never have rest as his blood and all those so far murdered will never give them any respite in their miserable lives.”
The party once again urged President Muhammadu Buhari to fulfill his pledge that those behind the senseless killings in Rivers State will never go free but would be fished out and made to account for their atrocities.
Long Live APC!
Long Live Rivers State!!
Long Live Federal Republic of Nigeria
Long Live President Muhammadu Buhari
Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze
SSA Media and Public Affairs to the State Chairman, APC Rivers State
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
*Photo Caption - Late Ken Atsuete
[ Masterweb Reports: Adesina Adetola reports ] - An Ekiti state based socio-economic development organisation, The Pacers, has commended President Mohammadu Buhari for the newly constituted board of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) where he appointed Olajide Adesoye, a former Treasurer of Mobil Producing Nigeria as its chairman.
In a statement by its leader, Olukunle Olu-Ojo, the group stated that, Adesoye’s appointment is another indication that the President is committed and sincere to his administration’s current anti-corruption crusade. According to him, considering Olajide Adesoye’ s track records of integrity, uprightness and honesty, the appointment comes at the right time in giving more credence to the Federal Government’s efforts to salvage the current economic situation.
“Without mincing words, this appointment is a pointer to President Buhari’s determination and unrelenting efforts in taking Nigeria out of the current economic doldrums. We must really commend the President for his resolution to always put the right men on board at every occasion. We believe that Olajide Adesoye’s appointment came on the premise of his track record of hard work, sincerity of purpose and unwavering commitment to national development. As a gold fish that has no hidden place, his wealth of experience, enviable credentials and sterling qualities have fished him out to serve the nation at this critical period of nationhood.” He said.
In its congratulatory message to the new NPA Board Chairman, the group acknowledged the need to put every sensitive government agency in a right order at this particular time, hence the appointment of someone of Adesoye’s calibre.
“In the face of the current economic challenges, sensitive agencies like the NPA must not be toyed with; therefore it must be in credible hands. To give the nation the kind of change it really deserves and to convince the general populace about the anti-corruption crusade the current administration is championing, we really need people of Adesoye’s personalities to hold specific sensitive positions”. He further said.
The Pacers, a socio-economic development group, established in 2003 is made up of young professionals who are largely Ikoro, Ekiti state indigenes. The group is committed to laying indelible legacies that will aid in building a virile nation powered by community based projects to grossly reduced poverty in the society.
Olajide Adesoye, a former Treasurer of Mobil Producing Nigeria was announced last week by the Presidency as the Chairman of the board of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the board also have a former Lagos state Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Supo Sashore, Suleiman Ibrahim Halilu, Constance Harry Mashal, Umar Shu’aibu, Charles Efe, Emukowhate Sylvester as members and Hadiza Bala Usman as the Managing Director.
Adesina Adetola ( Email: email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Olajide Adesoye
[ Masterweb Reports: Edwin Ekene Uhara reports ] - As the contention over who becomes the next United Nations Secretary-General hits up as the current occupant, Mr. Ban Ki-moon bow's out in December this year, several interests have been pushing for their preferred candidates to succeed the South Korean-born diplomat-in-chief.
Of particular note is the activity of the Campaign to Elect a Woman UN Secretary-General led by some group of international women among who are Ms. Shazia Rafi, former Secretary General of Parliamentarians for Global Action and Ms. Charlotte Bunch, founding Director and Senior Scholar at the Center for Women's Global Leadership at Rutgers University.
The action of these women is however propelled by the commitment of Ms. Samantha Power, United States Ambassador to the United Nations and Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, President of the United Nations General Assembly to increase transparency in the process of selecting and appointing a female UN scribe.
Between December 30th, 2015 and July 7th this year, a total of 12 candidates were nominated out of which two nominations have been withdrawn. They are; Dr. Srgjan Kerim from Macedonia and Professor Ms. Vesna Pusic from Croatia. The contending candidates are now 10; five male and five female.
The male candidates are; Mr. Antonio Guterres from Portugal, Mr. Miroslav Lajcak from Slovak Republic, Mr. Vuk Jeremic from Serbia, Dr. Igor Luksic from Montenegro and Dr. Danilo Turk from Slovenia.
The female candidates are; Ms. Helen Clark from New Zealand, Ms. Irina Bokova from Bulgaria, Ms. Susana Malcorra from Argentina, Ms. Natalia Gherman from Moldova and Ms. Christiana Fiqueres from Costa Rica.
In a straw poll recently conducted for candidates for the first time, Mr. Antonio Guterres, former Prime Minister of Portugal and immediate past United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was leading with 11 Members of the Security Council encouraging him to continue with his campaigns.
However, Russia, one of the veto-wielding members of the Council is insisting that the next UN boss must come from Eastern Europe while America, Britain and the outgoing UN Scribe, Mr. Ban have agreed in principle that a woman should be the next UN boss.
Apart from the campaign mounted within the UN system by the American Ambassador to UN, Ms. Samantha Power, in an OPED written in the Washington Post last year, former Governor of the US State of New Mexico and Ambassador to the United Nations, Mr. Bill Richardson said: ''Everybody in politics talks about women empowerment, but it is now time to act and name a woman to one of the world's top jobs... It will be a true mark of progress if 2016 saw the appointment of both the first female UN Secretary-General and the first female President of the United States.''
Since its establishment about 70 years ago, of the eight top diplomats that have occupied the office of the UN Secretary-General, none was female! And that is why unprecedented measures aimed at increasing transparency in the activities of the 193 Member states of the UN are taken seriously. For Example, apart from allowing members of the Civil Society to put questions across to candidates, contenders were made to answer them during UN General Assembly Dialogue hosted by Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, President of the General Assembly.
Of all the questions and answers, the one that caught my attention came from a colleague from Burkina Faso, Mr. Malick Lingani. He asked: ''How will you ensure that youths are in the core of combating hate speech and youth radicalization?''
Ms. Helen Clark who is my most preferred candidate responded: ''In my vision statement, I put special emphasis on youths and the need to pivot the UN toward the largest generation of young people the world has ever known. Young people need positive opportunities if they are to be resistant to the lure of hate speech and extremist ideologies. They need a way to connect with each other and hope for the future. The UN can help in some countries through its focus on development and poverty eradication. In others, it can help by encouraging young people to understand each other's culture and religion; to develop tolerance and acceptance of diversity.''
Another colleague of mine, Mr. Rahul Kumar from India asked: ''How would you anticipate and what measure would you take to maintain international peace by solving internal conflicts even before there starts and become a crisis? Next UN Secretary-Secretary must anticipate and analyze problems before it turns in to a crisis like in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere?''
Ms. Clark answered: ''As Secretary-General, I would make it a priority to strengthen the UN's mediation and conflict prevention capacity. I would work closely with regional organizations who are often the first to pick up signs of future instability. I would also use proactively the ''good office'' role of the Secretary-General to bring people together and to promote dialogue and where possible to avoid conflict.''
On the interpersonal level, last year, I asked Helen Clark who is also the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme UNDP if the much attention given to Syria by UNDP was not affecting development in other regions? She replied: ''UNDP will do as much as it is funded to do. Much more could be done.''
However, as the post of the UN Secretary-General becomes vacant in December and requires the services of somebody with proven leadership and managerial abilities as well as extensive experience in international relations, strong diplomatic acumen, communication and multilingual skills, I have no doubt that Right Honorable Helen Clark is fit for the UN top job.
Before her appointment as the first female to lead the UNDP and Chairperson of the United Nations Development Group in 2009, Ms. Clark served for 9 years as Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1999-2008.
As Prime Minister, she vigorously engaged in policy developments and advocacy across the international spectrums, pursued economic, cultural and socio-political goals for the citizenry. Her pursuits resulted in significant economic growth, low levels of unemployment, high level of investment in education, health and the general wellbeing of New Zealanders.
As member of the Council of Women World Leaders, an international network of current and former Presidents and Prime Ministers, Ms. Clark mobilized women at the highest level of governance to confront issues of critical importance to women and equitable development.
With the rich experiences of Ms. Helen Clark, I have no doubt whatsoever that the world would be safer if she is selected and appointed to lead the UN as its first female Secretary-General at this defining moment.
Edwin Ekene Uhara is a United Nations-trained Multilateral Trade Negotiator and writes from Abuja, Nigeria.
*Photo Caption - UN logo.
[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] - Nigeria's president Muhammadu Buhari said after the 2011 elections that “if what happened then (alleged rigging) should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood.” He did not specify who would be the baboon and who will be the dog. Curiously the dog and baboon theme has persisted though not quite in the fair battle as the metaphor has it, but for whatever a proverb is worth, the identities appear to have been assigned.
In Ogun state, in May this year a former president and close friend of Nigeria's ruling government, Olusegun Obasanjo named a 3-year old chimpanzee "Patience," the name of the Nigeria's former first lady. Nigerians laughed it off. There was no arrest made and no warning. While the christening of the chimp "Patience" could be argued to have the potential to trigger bloody riots by hundreds of ex-militants with many betrothed to former president Goodluck Jonathan, this was a none issue at the time.
Today however the Nigerian police present that a similar naming in the same Ogun state of a dog, "Buhari" has the potential to incite chaos from the blood thirsty and unhinged. Like the 2011 elections, the baboon-dog fight is apparently being rigged.
Celebrity pet namings are by no means novel or unique to Nigeria. The "Teddy bear" was named after US president Theodore Roosevelt following a shooting incident.
Would it not be advisable Nigeria's law enforcement agencies focus on their responsibilities to arrest the killers of men, women and children on the rise across the nation, from farmer-killing marauding so-called herdsmen to blood thirsty fanatical zealots and mass murdering and secret mass burying government officials?
If the police continue to focus on chasing dog and baboon matters, perhaps soon the dogs and baboons will be soaked in blood.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Olusegun Obasanjo donating the 3-year-old chimpanzee named Patience to Pandrillus, an NGO and operator of the Drill Ranch Afi Mountain Zoo. The chimpanzee was formerly at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library Wildlife Park in Abeokuta. Photo Lineup: Liza & Peter Gadsby (husband & wife and founders of Pandrillus ) receiving the 3-year-old chimpanzee from Obasanjo at Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library Wildlife Park.
[ Masterweb Reports: Tope Bankole & Uzoma Ngozi report ] - On July 26, the media was awash with news of the commissioning of the Abuja-Kaduna railway project. The news elicited a tweet from the PDP via their official twitter handle. This eventually sparked off a controversy on who should actually take the credit for the completion of the project.
The Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi was credited with this statement, “The rail contract was awarded by President Obasanjo, partially executed by President Jonathan and completed by President Buhari.”
For the record, let’s get this clear.
While I commend Buhari’s administration for seeing the project to completion, do they deserve the credit?
Even the PDP does not deserve the credit.
Who then gets the credit?
I wish I could say it is the Buhari-led government but the project would not have seen the light of the day had Dr Okonjo-Iweala opposed it as finance minister.
Had she not approved the disbursal of funds for the project, APC members may have been in council meetings instead of posing in front of a camera at a so-called commissioning.
Prior to the birth of Buhari’s administration which has Amaechi as the Transport Minister, the Chinese government signed a contract agreement with the Federal Government on October 22, 2009, for the construction of the 186-kilometre standard gauge rail line from Abuja (Idu Station) to Kaduna railway with construction deadline initially scheduled for December 2014, a 46-month period.
Through the support of former Finance Minister, Dr Okonjo-Iweala, the Chinese government invested about $900,000,000.00 from the China Export and Import Bank (The Guardian, January 27, 2016) for the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) project.
However, the project was stymied by different challenges. The Chinese construction company handling the project, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), cited exchange rate issues, as impediments to the completion of the project.
Showing her commitment to the project, Dr Okonjo-Iweala categorized the Abuja-Kaduna Rail as a priority project, in 2015 budgetary and economic planning, despite her bid to cut down capital expenditure to alleviate the pain resulting from the economic headwinds.
She writes, “Inevitably, there will also be some cuts in capital expenditure in the 2015 Budget, but this is being done in a way that is pro-poor and pro-average Nigerian. Focus will be on priority sectors of infrastructure, Health, Education and Security, as well as growth stimulating and job creating sectors like Agriculture, Housing and Creative industries. Even in infrastructure, there will be focus on certain priority national projects such as Lagos-Ibadan expressway and the second Niger Bridge, Oweto Bridge, Abuja-Kaduna Rail, Maiduguri-Enugu Rail, Zungeru, Kashimbila and Mambila Hydro etc.” (Afripol, December 5, 2014).
I could go on stating many other facts and reports but my point is this; credit should be given to Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the approval, funding, start and completion of the Abuja-Kaduna Railway project.
After all, many projects have been proposed but never saw the light of the day because of bureaucracies, corruption and selfish interests.
Incidents of abandoned projects are rampant all over the country from Lagos to Ogun State, Port Harcourt to Delta, in the North, South-East and all over the country. Projects of high capital cost, such as residential buildings, office buildings and even road constructions are abandoned too.
This is caused by numerous factors, including choice of project site, embarking on projects without need analysis, lack of social analysis of a project’s development, project imposition by contemporary standard, improper financial analysis, under-bidding of projects, lack of technical analysis.
But not the rail construction.
From facilitating the release of a $900 million loan from the NEXIM Bank of China, a move masterminded to further strengthen Nigeria and China’s relationship, to supervising and inspecting the project, Dr Okonjo-Iweala should be commended. Having taken the project to a commendable level, the present administration had no choice than to commission it; after all, everyone likes to associate with success!
Let’s give credit to whom it is due.
Well done Okonjo-Iweala!
Tope Bankole is a Digital Entrepreneur. He writes from Satelite Town, Lagos. He can be reached via email@example.com
Uzoma Ngozi is an entrepreneur and a social commentator who resides in Lagos.
Editor's Note: Masterweb has made several unsuccessful attempts to interview Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. She would agree to an interview and at the last minute would keep away from it. Our staff was in Abuja for an interview as scheduled by Iweala's PA but were told that she was still on vacation. She needs this interview to address all the issues the "mafia" and 'guerilla' media are raising against her. Anything short of this on her part is questionable.
*Photo Caption - Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
[ Masterweb Reports: Eze Chukwuemeka Eze reports ] -Preamble: It is as if Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan, two former great presidents of the USA, had the appointment of Ibim Semenitari into higher offices by Rt. Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and President Muhammadu Buhari in mind when they stated, respectively, that: “The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it”; and “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” Ibim has demonstrated that both her appointments as the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communication by Amaechi, erstwhile governor of Rivers State and as Acting Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by President Buhari was not only in order but that these two great Nigerian leaders did not make any mistake in given her the freedom to act and exhibit the leadership acumen in her if her feats achieved in these two assignments are to be used as criteria one can then come to terms that a new leader is born or rather exposed to our nation.
Ibim, in supporting this postulation by these two outstanding presidents of America, described Amaechi as a very simple man, extremely very simple. He is very trusting. Once he trusts you, he totally abdicates mistrust of any kind. “However, you find people taking advantage of that. If you are close to him, you will see that he is a very humble man, because he is not carried away by trappings of office. As a matter of fact, he is not interested in trappings of office. Above all, he is a passionate man. He is passionate about governance and delivery on his promises. He is in a hurry to deliver what he promised the people because he is very close to God. Perhaps, because of the challenges he went through before reclaiming his mandate.” But, the fact remains, for Amaechi to make this needed impact; he needs a strong army of which Ibim is one of these captains
Having monitored her very closely for about seven years, I have been struggling against this pushing urge to write on her. But this urge these days becomes very compelling, that signifies this treatise. But my biggest challenge is the fact that to examine or x-ray the life and activities of a very versatile, all-round, exceptional, multi-talented and broad-based character like Mrs Semenitari is not only an uphill task, but one the author is bound to be at a loss on how and where to begin as you have other thousand angles opened to you.
It is in this confusion that I decided to project a woman whose threat to the enemies of democracy in Nigeria was not only effective but infectious. I will come to this later. But let me introduce formally this unsung icon, Amazon and heroine of Niger Delta.
Who is Ibim Semenitari?
Ibim Semenitari born on March 19, 1968hails from the coastal and ancient town of Opobo, the headquarters of Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area of Rivers State, and married to HENRY JAMES SEMENITARI an award-winning banker and financial whiz-kid, who hails from Okirika Local Government.
Until she was appointed Rivers State Commissioner of Information & Communication in 2010, member of the Campaign APC Presidential Media Team for the 2015 general elections and the NDDC boss in December 2015; she was the publisher of Business Eye, a weekly business magazine. Before then, she was editor of Broad Street Journal, a tabloid in the stable of TELL Magazine. She is an outstanding journalist and an award winning investigative reporter, editor and publisher who has worked for over 20 years with some of Nigerian and American leading titles. She has also worked as journalism trainer/editor with the BBC World Service Trust. She was the first Nigerian female journalist to win the CNN African Journalist of the Year Awards, and for her reports in the Nigerian print media; she came second in print journalism in the CNN African Journalist Award in 1997. The vastly-experienced journalist is a two-time winner of the Nigerian Media Merit Award and a three-time winner of the Diamond Award for Media Excellence, amongst others. Besides being an award-winner herself, Mrs. Semenitari is a mentor to several award-winning journalists. The NDDC boss has contributed as a resource person to journalism training workshops organised by UNICEF, the World Bank, Freedom House, the BBC and International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Factors That Shaped Ibim Semenitari
My seven years association with Ibim exposed me to four major acts/actors that shaped her life and influences most of her actions: God, her parents, her grandmother, husband and hard work.
1. Ibim’s grandmother’s influence
Mrs. Semenitari lost her grandmother in 2003; an event, if possible she would want to obliterate because, according to her, it was her saddest in life and in tandem with the understanding of one of the foremost American Presidents, Abraham Lincoln who stated, “I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.” ; Ibim stated, “My grandmother was a woman of prayer. I was extremely close to her. She was my role model. Everything her children and grandchildren are today is because she prayed. She was very strict, disciplined and prayerful.”
2. Ibim’s Parents’ influence
To Ibim, “whatever I am today is a result of the seeds unconsciously sown in me by my parents. I am the beneficiary of the grace of the activities of my parents. I am proud to say that I am the daughter of the former deputy governor of Rivers State, Sir Gabriel Toby. I am proud of his legacies. Every parent lays heritage for his children without knowing, because the heritage you lay is what would help the children years down the line. When you do certain things truthfully to the society, you will not know that you are sowing seeds which your children may harvest many years after you are gone. I just hope I will be able to match my parent’s commitment in terms of community service, because they were totally committed to everything they do.”
3. God and Husband
Ibim is a devoted wife, mother of four beautiful children and a devoted Christian who teaches during Sunday school at her local Nigerian church. She is so passionate about God that she must seek approval from Him before venturing into any enterprise, including being a commissioner or NDDC boss. To her, “God has shown me so much favour and love, and that is the more reason I fear Him because there is no one like Him. The mistakes we make as humans is that we do what we think is right instead of doing what God wants for us. There is no job I ever took that God never intervened. I will never take up any job until God approved it. As soon as my HUSBAND approved of it, and there are passages of Esther in the Bible to support it, I knew it had God’s backing.” Yes my climb to the peak of my professional career maybe quite rapid and based on many factors. But in all and all, at the peak of each factor, there is always God showing up. Joseph was a tiny little kid when he dreamt that the sun, the moon and all the stars were bowing down for him. Then he was sold to slavery, then to Potiphar and, when he was there, he found favour from God. That is where hard work comes in. That was the beginning of his greatness, because Potiphar’s wife reported him to her husband who, in turn, threw him into prison where the king’s’ prisoners were kept. This was where God’s plan was being activated; because, if he had not gone into prison, he would not have told the butler when Pharaoh had a dream that `there is this Joseph who can interpret dreams’. When he came out, because of hard work, the king had to abandon the administration of the kingdom to him. If you don’t work hard, you will not get anything. It is there in the Bible.”
Ibim As A Mentor
Though Mrs. Semenitari has won several awards, the remarks dedicated to her by one of her subordinates many years back – during the Nigerian Media Merit Award held in Port Harcourt – was one of the most memorable in her life. According to her, “One of my subordinates went up the rostrum to receive his award and he said: ‘I dedicate this award to two women in my life’. I was waiting to hear ‘my mother and wife’ or ‘girlfriend’ and he said: ‘My mother and Editor’. It made me cry. I have won several awards and even that night, but there is no award that I have won that meant much to me as much as Tunde’s comment. What that did to me was this: It is not wrong to be hard. That is one of my greatest joy that I have been able to mentor people who are also doing well in the society.”
Ibim on Wike, Jonathan and Other Agents of Undemocratic Acts
To Ibim, “The real reason why Amaechi turned against former President Goodluck Jonathan was to ‘save Nigeria from the brink.Amaechi believed that Buhari had all it will take to change the trajectory, and envisioned that Nigeria was heading in a different direction.For Amaechi, having Buhari there was great for the integrity of the country, and also to pull back the country from the brink.”
This struggle to free Nigeria from the hands of Jonathan and his cohorts earned both Ibim and followers of Amaechi ‘death sentence’ and some of the challenges that Rivers State is currently suffering from now. As this treatise is on Mrs. Semenitari, let me dwell on what she suffered as an apostle of Amaechism: the art and gospel aimed at bettering and emancipating Nigeria and watering the growth of democracy in Africa.
In the politics of Rivers State, Chief Nyesome Wike whose controversial ascendancy to the office of the Governor of Rivers State, courtesy of the Supreme Court ruling which did not reflect the reality of the results of the polls in the 2015 gubernatorial election, is well-known to the world. Discussing the Rivers State politics without mentioning the inputs of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation will be like discussing Nigeria politics without mentioning Chiefs Nnamadi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Alh. Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and Sir Ahmadu Bello In the inner circle of the political machine of Rt. Hon Amaechi are: Dr. Dakuku Peterside, Senator Magnus Abe, Chief Andrew Uchendu, late Chief G.U. Ake and of course, Chief Mrs. Ibim Semenitari. One single fact that most watchers of Rivers politics does not know is that not minding all the public showbiz by Chief Nyesom E. Wike, he dreads all these former colleagues as a Jew dreads a leprous man. Ibim, being the only woman in this team, has been maliciously attacked in a manner to suggest that only fear drives her political enemies to such acts.
The following buttress this assertion: Ibim is a bold and fearless woman, who has demonstrated that fear, is alien and does not exist in her dictionary. Based on this character and her stoical defence of the administration of Amaechi as then governor of Rivers State, she became a target before the administration of ex-President Jonathan. In demonstration of this fact, she made history when at the heat of persecution of Amaechi and his lieutenants, she was the only one among the Amaechi’s loyalists invited to appear before the then dreaded National Security Adviser to erstwhile President Jonathan, Col. Sambo Dasuki, when the heat was on us in Rivers State. When this act of intimidation against her could not cow her, the plot to assassinate her with other All Progressives Congress (APC) principals by PDP hoodlums at the Okirika rally attack of APC was hatched. To the shock of both these PDP hoodlums and even APC supporters, the shooting that claimed the life of a police officer during the Okirika rally that was beamed to the entire world by Channels TV, this woman was seen dancing in the midst of confusion and, if not for security aides attached to the APC governorship candidate, Dr Peterside, who dragged her out of the arena, who knows what would have been the outcome.
When Ibim survived this plot and Wike saw himself accidentally in the Brick House as Governor of Rivers State, and after the shameless drama of visiting the Governor’s House in order to embarrass Amaechi who brought him up politically, the major assignment he carried out as the Governor of Rivers State was to visit the official house of Mrs. Semenitari in Port Harcourt to cart away her personal jeep, in order to publicly disgrace her.
Reacting to the carting away of her Lexus SUV and other property by Wike’s agents; Semenitari described the scenario in these words: “Over 10 heavily armed policemen in two trucks – one Ford Transit and a Hilux – on Thursday, invaded my 12A, Ernest Ikoli Street, Old GRA Port Harcourt, residence, without a search warrant, as they forced their way into my premises. My security guard on duty requested to know their mission and who sent them. They refused to disclose either, but went round taking photographs and recording my premises on video. The security guard got in touch with my assistant who spoke with the men, explaining to them that I was out of town and again requested to know their mission. Again, they declined, insisting on seeing me first. She then got in touch with me on phone, as we were uncertain of the identity of the policemen in question. Upon further investigation and after about three hours of laying siege to my premises, I was told that they were from Rivers State Government House and had been sent to recover vehicles in my possession. They attempted to break into a Range Rover SUV belonging to my husband, which was bought long before I was appointed commissioner in Rivers State, damaging the front door. The vehicle in question, contrary to the lies being paraded, is not an armoured vehicle and has never at any point belonged to the Rivers State Government nor its agents, including myself as commissioner of information. By the time I finally made contact with them and expressed my displeasure, they insisted that they would take away a Lexus SUV duly allocated to me as commissioner for information and which, by law; I am entitled to leave with upon leaving office.“The monetisation policy of the government allows public officers to leave government with their official vehicles, as this is in lieu of vehicle allowance, transport and other allowances, which they cannot draw because of the monetisation policy of 2002. Mr. Wike served as chief of staff, and upon departure left with all the vehicles he used. This has been the practice since this democratic dispensation.
“Having served as commissioner for two tenures, I am entitled to my status cars and have proof of allocation. While I understand that Mr. Wike feels a dire need to destroy the reputation of (former) governor, Rotimi Amaechi, and all those who worked with him, it is unacceptable that he will engage in brigandage, thuggery and underhand tactics to do so. A simple letter from any government official requesting me to make a submission or tender documentation would have been the appropriate way to go; and I would have willingly tendered all the relevant documents to them. Breaking into my home, invading my privacy, damaging my property and removing property from my premises is inappropriate and illegal.”
Reacting to this crude attack against an innocent woman who has served her state diligently, another illustrious son of Rivers and incumbent Director-general (DG) of NIMASA, Dr. Peterside, said: “What has happened is condemnable and I hope this government of Wike is not going to run an irresponsible government. Rivers people are ordinarily law-abiding, and it will be unfortunate and regrettable if what had been foisted on Rivers people is a government that has no respect for rule and order. The PDP-led government must realise that we are not in a Hobbesian state.”
On his part, former senator representing Rivers South-east Senatorial District, Senator Magnus Abe, said there was need for the Wike-led government to exercise caution, as they need to respect the fundamental human rights of people, especially people that have served Rivers people in the past.
“Every position is temporary and disrespecting those people that had served the state in different capacities should be condemned in strong terms. Breaking into people’s houses is not the right thing to do. This incident is very unfortunate.When I was Secretary to the Rivers State Government (SSG) and we needed to recover vehicles, we made an announcement on television and radio, asking people to return government property in their possessions.”
Truly, Ibim is a thorn in the flesh of Wike and his misguided political associates; there is nothing they did not do to undermine this woman. Her crime is: why should she support a cause of liberating Rivers State from its present state?
Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)
Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, in 2000, established the Niger Delta Development Commission, to ensure sustainable development of the crude oil and gas-rich region. The NDDC is to improve on the performance and activities of the defunct Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC). The Federal Government’s interventionist agency is also to facilitate the rapid, even and sustainable development of the Niger Delta into a region that is economically prosperous, socially stable, ecologically regenerative and politically peaceful, thereby offering lasting solutions to socio-economic difficulties of the oil-producing area. The nine states that make up the Niger Delta region are: Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Ondo, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Imo and Abia,
Appointment of Ibim Semenitari as NDDC Acting Boss
President Buhari, in his determination to make life better for the people of the crude oil and gas-rich Niger Delta, on December 21, 2015, appointed Mrs Ibim Semenitari, as Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission. As at the time of her appointment on December 21, Semenitari was in Abuja and without wasting time and in order to hit the ground running, she moved to Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on December 22 and was received by a large crowd at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa.
The airport’s tumultuous crowd consisted of beautifully-dressed women in uniform, and other eminent persons from the nine states of the Niger Delta: with many people singing, drumming, dancing and waving at the new NDDC boss in admiration, before joining her car. The hardworking and foremost journalist quickly moved to the corporate headquarters of the commission on the Port Harcourt – Aba Expressway, with the outgoing managing director, Bassey Dan-Abia, a lawyer and an indigene of Akwa Ibom state, who was two years in office on December 18, handing over to her at NDDC’s boardroom on the eighth floor of the office complex.
Semenitari, while addressing the directors and other top officials of the commission, shortly after the handing over at NDDC’s corporate headquarters in Port Harcourt, promised to ensure a better life for Niger Deltans. She noted that she understood what the challenges and issues confronting the crude oil and gas-rich but marginalised region were, stressing that she had in-depth knowledge of what NDDC ought to be doing. It is a new dawn in NDDC, with the appointment of the hardworking and dogged journalist, who has promised to ensure real transformation of the region, thereby writing her name, once again, in gold.
Ibim Semenitari’s Feats as NDDC Acting Boss
1. Chief Mrs. Semenitari concern for the security and peace of the Niger Delta, which made her to host on Tuesday, July 19, 2016 the forum of Partners for Sustainable Development (PSD) streamed live to about 25 million global viewers is truly commendable and demonstrate that truly and truly she is the Heroine of Niger Delta region. “We share the stand of this Amazon that ‘the importance of this forum in the development of our Niger Delta Region cannot be over-emphasised, especially at this auspicious time when the country is relying on major actors in the Niger Delta to come together and address the development challenges facing the region in view of the Change Agenda of Mr. President’,
2. She reinvigorated work on the abandoned 3.65-kilometre Okrika – Borokiri road by mobilising the contractor back to site to complete the project. This key road had three bridges connecting Kolabi, Abotoru and Okpoka creeks to Port Harcourt and it is expected to ease traffic along the East-West Road and connect several communities. According to Semenitari, “This project is indeed a top priority because it connects several communities to the Rivers capital. It is one of the projects that can take traffic off Aba Road and East-West Road. You will find people living in Okrika, Akpajo, Eleme or even Gokana and Khana commuting to Port Harcourt through the road. When completed, it would reduce traffic congestion on the Refinery Road and travel time from Okrika to Port Harcourt, adding that it would be of immense benefit to those working in the Port Harcourt Refining Company. They just have to cross to Port Harcourt in 10 minutes. The refinery is right here and the workers don’t have to take the long route to Port Harcourt. So, it is a very vital road and it is sad that it has stayed this long.” Mr. Jolien Keneem, the Project Manager of the company handling the project, said that his firm had devised a strategy that would help it expedite work on the project.
3. Initiated tree planting to mark the 2016 World Environment Day, on June 5, to save Niger Delta Environment. Semenitari said the 2016 celebration was significant as it would coincide with President Buhari’s expected launch of the clean-up of oil spills in Ogoniland, on Thursday. “We all owe future generations a responsibility to preserve biodiversity of the Niger Delta by becoming agents of change, who will make positive impacts on our environment and planet. The theme of 2016 World Environment Day is ‘Illegal Trade in Wildlife’ – which has eroded earth’s precious biodiversity and robbed us of our natural heritage and threatened extinction of species. Tackling the scourge of illegal trade in wildlife requires concerted action because illicit business of wildlife has damaged the environment, livelihoods, communities and security. Semenitari,” adding: “Our ecosystem is our wealth, and protection of our environment should be the collective responsibility of all who live and do business in the region.’’
4. Ibim ended the 16 years of NDDC operating from a rented office complex The commission took off from rented apartments in the old Government Reservation Area (GRA) in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, before it moved to 167, Aba Road, an eight-storey building that belonged to the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, before it was taken over by the Rivers government and the commission being its tenant Huge sum of money has been wasted upgrading this rented office complex on Aba Road in Port Harcourt, providing modern parking park, pedestal flyover and other facilities until the appointment of Mrs Semenitari as Acting MD for this interventionist commission by President Buhari.
On the inauguration day (July 12), the Governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Wike; Mrs. Semenitari; the monarch of Port Harcourt City (Eze Epara Rebisi XII), His Majesty, Victor Nnanna Woluchem II and others described the new Rivers office of NDDC as a step in the right direction.
The royal father noted that the area had not been experiencing youth restiveness or cultism, stressing that the only weapon the people had was negotiation, while lauding President Buhari for the right choice of Mrs Semenitari as NDDC’s Acting Managing Director, describing her as very hardworking, courageous, disciplined, fearless and of integrity. Udo-Asubop also lauded Mrs Semenitari for her zeal and commitment to transforming the Niger Delta, in line with the vision of President Buhari and for believing in the abilities of NDDC’s workers at the Rivers State office to ensure service delivery and greater performance.
5. She arranged and sent the NDDC Management Staff to Akure, Ondo State for Procurement and Due Process Training for the management organised by the BPP officials. This is to assist the management for proper management of the budget and financial transactions involving the Commission.
6. Rehabilitation of Calabar – Itu Road
For awarding the rehabilitation of the Calabar –Itu Road that has become not only a dead trap but a hell for both the transporters and commuters of this road, Ibim has become a heroine to some people in the Niger Delta region. According to this CNN Award-winner andthe Eleru of Ifon Kingdom, Ondo State, “the state of the road was causing economic hardship to the people.” In order to speed work on his road four functional firms were awarded the contracts. She explained that the award of the contract to four contractors would increase the pace of work and encourage the completion of the road without delay. While section one of the road, which covers Ikot-Ekpene to Itu Bridge, is being handled by Atafranc Nigeria Limited, section two; Itu Bridge to Okuruikand junction is being rehabilitated by Darycet International Nigeria Limited. Semenitari also stated that Base Engineer Limited was handling section three of the road from Okuruikang Junction to Odukpani Junction while Zenith Construction Limited was working on section four, which covered Odukpani Junction to Tinapa Junction. “The contractors we are using have capacity and by the time they complete the work, motorists and other road users will be relieved,” she said.
7. Culture of transparency and accountability. That much is reflected in the release of NDDC’s first quarterly report, which is also online on the NDDC website. “In our first quarterly report, you will find published our finances and budgeting process; a breakdown of all contracts awarded from inception; and several areas of intervention,” she said.
8. The NDDC under Ibim endowed a Professorial Chair in Malaria Research for the Centre for Malaria Research and Phytomedicine, (CMRAP), at the University of Port Harcourt, for the sum of N25 million per annum, to encourage the global fight against malaria. The NDDC has intervened in the education sector by constructing students’ hostels across the nine mandate states. She said the objective was to build and equip the hostels and award of scholarship to deserving students from the region.
9. Ibim arranged and mobilised the NDDC Management Team for a two-day training by the Bureau for Public Procurement, BPP, Abuja on "Understanding the Public Procurement Process and the Public Procurement Act, 2007" in Akure, Ondo State. The Ag. MD/CEO, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, led the team that was trained
Ibim and Youths of Niger Delta
Mrs Semenitari, while expressing her stand on the future of youths of Niger Delta during the occasion of the International Youth Day 2016 on Friday, August 12, 2016 stated: “I must say that education remains one of the most sustainable ways of eradicating poverty among the young population. This understanding drives our education and other pro-youth policies as a commission. To achieve that, the NDDC has maintained a scholarship line that has continued to build manpower. In 2016, we upped that stride by striking the gender parity cord through instituting the Girls-in-engineering, Mathematics and Science Competition (GEMS). This competition invites girls of the Niger Delta region to greater involvement in STEM-related courses. So, ahead of time, NDDC is working to position our youths in the competitive edge. We believe that our young people must occupy their slots in labour and economic markets through intense academic engagement. Here our module is that which accommodates healthy competition among the youths and challenges their potential creativity. The NDDC is raising a community of young people sharpened and horned to achieve greatness through education and mentorship. We are building a culture that redefines dignity among the youths through hard work. As we particularly celebrate the youth and draw attention to their place in building a world of sufficiency and growth, I enjoin Niger Delta youths to queue in the re-orientation that abhors rent culture and embrace industry which NDDC is building; to emulate worthy patriots whose commitment to collective good of the region defined the shape and rhythm of the region’s geography and history. I task our youths to use this year’s celebration to engage in self-appraisal, to do a self-audit as to how they have participated in the current negatives pestering our region. We have always been proud stock whose progenitors were familiar with mutual respect and civility.”
Ibim on Niger Delta Environment
According to Ibim, “Covering about 70,000 square kilometres, the Niger Delta region is home to one of the largest wetlands in the world, and Africa’s largest delta. It has at least five distinct ecological zones. These range from the montane and savannah belts in northern Cross River to the mangrove swamp forests near the Atlantic coast, which embody some of the last remaining untouched forest resources and centres of endemism in Africa. These bio-geographical attributes are known to have created the complex and rich environment of habitats that supported the evolution of its fantastically wide range of plant and animal lives. Some say the Niger Delta is home to all of Nigeria’s endemic or near-endemic mammal species. Others say Niger Delta harbours many locally and globally endangered species: approximately 60-80 per cent of all plant and animal species found in Nigeria. However, the globally significant environment and biodiversity of the Niger Delta are in grave danger. Some endemic fish species of the region are in grave danger of extinction due to many reasons, including environmental degradation and over-exploitation among others. Likewise, some animal species such as the endemic African monkey (Guenon species), one of the world’s most beautiful monkeys found mostly in the West African rain forest region (the Niger Delta Region inclusive), are at the risk of extinction.
“This is why we must all rise to the daunting and pressing challenge of preserving our bio-diverse environment for future generations. We all owe future generations a responsibility to preserve the bio-diverse environment of the Niger Delta. As the countdown begins for us to join people from across the globe to celebrate WED on 5 June 2016, we all need to take part in environmental action and become agents of change for positive impacts on the planet. Today’s tree-planting exercise typifies such action. This year’s theme is on the illegal trade in wildlife, which is eroding earth’s precious biodiversity, robbing us of our natural heritage and driving species to the brink of extinction. The NDDC is statutorily mandated to tackle ecological and environmental problems in the Niger Delta region. Evidently, the killing and smuggling of wildlife constitute ecological and environmental problems. They also undermine economies and ecosystems, fuel organised crime, and feed corruption and insecurity across the globe.”
Is Ibim Fulfilled?
One would assume, given her progression of success, that Ibim would be fulfilled. But she is not, as she still misses the newsroom even as she lamented that the media is losing focus of the critical role of the watchdog in the society. Her words: “In all honesty, I am not fulfilled because I am missing the newsroom. I left the newsroom at a very difficult time. However, it appears to me that the media is losing it, because we are no longer holding the critical sectors of the society accountable for their actions. This is bearing in mind that I am presently an information manager. This is one of the reasons I set up Business Eye. I believe if we do it the way it ought to be done, properly and sincerely, we could actually become the feedback mechanism between the government and the people.”
Ibim, the Unsung Heroine of Niger Delta Region and Her Silent Revolution
On Friday, 19th, August, 2016 in recognition of the unique feats of this Amazon, the world stood still for her in far away America when she dazzled a global audience in Washington DC, United States of America at the 8th edition of the African Women in Leadership Organisation. It was a moment the audience that included top political leaders, business moguls, African-American lawmakers, listened to the dynamics of women owning their voices for the greater good.
In conclusion and for avoidance of doubt, Mrs Semenitari stopped the infamous 15 per cent handshake policy that made contractors pay upfront 15 per cent of their contracts’ value to the sitting MD. She has officially moved against official graft and other official lousiness that was the ruin of the commission; she has restored full powers to directors and heads of departments hitherto hijacked and invested in SAs to MDs. SAs had been the de facto management until Semenitari came on board. She has paid NDDC retirees and workers outstanding benefits owed by her immediate predecessor.
Semenitari has equally paid for contracts in the range of N10 million, which her predecessors refused to pay because their 15 per cent handshake would be too little for their pockets. That payment included N200, 000 owed a contractor since 2009. She has donated over 220 laptops to students and teachers in the Niger Delta region. She has donated tractors to integrated farmers; instituted the Girls-in-engineering, Mathematics and Science competition among Senior Secondary Classes 1 & 2 students in the focal states of NDDC.
Chief (Mrs.) Ibim Semenitari, the Eleru of Ifon Kingdom, Ondo State, through Little Drops, a stage drama, took the story of the vulnerable Niger Delta woman and child to the national stage. The story of the region was told through the eye of the vulnerable. Semenitari had approved the purchase of mobility aides for the Association of Persons Living in Disability in Niger Delta and had engaged critical stakeholders in the supervision of projects being undertaken by the NDDC. If these are not revolutionary acts, then I wonder what revolution is all about. Considering the unique feats of Chief Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, I can now understand Abraham Lincoln the foremost world leader properly when he stated, “In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.”
•EZE CHUKWUEMEKA EZE is a Media Consultant based in Port Harcourt. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org, 08038199163.
*Photo Caption - Ibim Semenitari
[ Masterweb Reports: Oluwatobi Bolashodun reports ] - Nigeria is a unique country, one that boasts of too many intelligent commentators and critical analysts. Going through Nigerian dailies, this much can be deduced from the many opinion pages. However, the sore point with the litany of commentators, opinion writers and analysts in Nigeria is that most of them have lately constituted themselves into prophets of doom, naysayers and masters of letters but without any substance.
It is disheartening that most of these people seem to think that by virtue of the letters after their names, they know better than those of us without a letter apart from the initials before our surnames. So they come out with ‘abracadabra’ to confuse the masses.
They have used every trick in the book to confuse the masses of the good works of the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration, casting doubts on the giant strides the All Progressives Congress (APC) government have made since May 2015. The simple truth is that this man, BUHARI, is doing a wonderful job in eradicating the pests and madness of our society – corruption, indiscipline, insecurity etc.
The question I have always asked these band of prophets of doom and naysayers is where were they when certain officials gathered together and decided to share money that was meant for the procurement of heavy military hardware to fight terrorism.
Or who could have been bold enough to prosecute a sitting senate president, top politicians and popular individuals without fear? Who else could have tackled upcoming terrorism as ‘Biafra agitators’ and the menace of renewed militancy in the South South? The lessons we are learning now, is that if the now fading Boko Haram nuisance had been dealt with through military response, like we are witnessing, they would have been history by now.
The point l am making is that instead of criticisms, these so called ‘Dr. Know alls’ should come up with solutions to support and help the progressive movement. But unfortunately, even if this man, Buhari, assumes some supernatural powers and walks on waters, this same set of naysayers will say it is because he cannot swim.
It is a known fact that you cannot please all the people and one challenge I have consciously thrown at our band of intellectuals is that they should tell the masses names of the individuals they think can perform better than President Buhari. The time has come for Nigerians as a people to learn to show appreciation for their leaders so that our country can move forward – for the sake of our future and generations yet unborn.
Twitter Send email Editor’s note: The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has witnessed public criticism over time since he came to power after inflicting a heavy defeat on the Peoples Democratic Party. Much of it has been on account of the unresolved social and economic problems facing the country. El- Buraimoh in this piece praises Buhari in doing an excellent job running the country despite a lot of harsh criticisms.
Nigeria is a unique country, one that boasts of too many intelligent commentators and critical analysts. Going through Nigerian dailies, this much can be deduced from the many opinion pages. However, the sore point with the litany of commentators, opinion writers and analysts in Nigeria is that most of them have lately constituted themselves into prophets of doom, naysayers and masters of letters but without any substance. Share on FacebookShare on Twitter It is disheartening that most of these people seem to think that by virtue of the letters after their names, they know better than those of us without a letter apart from the initials before our surnames. So they come out with ‘abracadabra’ to confuse the masses.
They have used every trick in the book to confuse the masses of the good works of the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration, casting doubts on the giant strides the All Progressives Congress (APC) government have made since May 2015. The simple truth is that this man, BUHARI, is doing a wonderful job in eradicating the pests and madness of our society – corruption, indiscipline, insecurity etc.
The question I have always asked these band of prophets of doom and naysayers is where were they when certain officials gathered together and decided to share money that was meant for the procurement of heavy military hardware to fight terrorism. Or who could have been bold enough to prosecute a sitting senate president, top politicians and popular individuals without fear? Who else could have tackled upcoming terrorism as ‘Biafra agitators’ and the menace of renewed militancy in the South South?
The lessons we are learning now, is that if the now fading Boko Haram nuisance had been dealt with through military response, like we are witnessing, they would have been history by now. The point l am making is that instead of criticisms, these so called ‘Dr. Know alls’ should come up with solutions to support and help the progressive movement. But unfortunately, even if this man, Buhari, assumes some supernatural powers and walks on waters, this same set of naysayers will say it is because he cannot swim.
It is a known fact that you cannot please all the people and one challenge I have consciously thrown at our band of intellectuals is that they should tell the masses names of the individuals they think can perform better than President Buhari. The time has come for Nigerians as a people to learn to show appreciation for their leaders so that our country can move forward – for the sake of our future and generations yet unborn.
One of the things our band of critics have been talking about lately is that the president has been appointing people from a particular section of the country into positions in the country. In as much as these people have the right to their opinions, there is the need for us to be objective. What the greatest critics of Buhari have forgotten is that the overall interest of the nation and the ability of the appointed persons to move the nation forward is the most important.
Whether he puts his mother, his dad or his whole clan in positions, is unimportant, as long as we are moving forward. The truth is that if we had continued with “you chop, l chop” PDP, things would have been worse. Even the developed countries went through hard times before they got better.Today, Nigeria is a better place in the sphere of security, thanks to President Buhari. If you come to Abuja, you can feel the peace and calmness around; people go about their businesses, go worshipping in their churches and mosques without the fear Boko Haram.
Hooligans parading the street of Onitsha in the name of Biafra were quickly quietened, the marauders, lawlessly carrying guns in military style,
vandalising oil pipelines and terrorising communities in the name of Avengers, behaving like they are untouchables – to their own misfortune, when the forces of real military action came on them, fell to pieces. This is what a real military in Nigeria should be. It does not really matter what people say, the military command under Gen. Tukur Buratai is doing a fabulous work and does not need distractions from negative press the way our prophets of doom and naysayers are going about it.
If the militants and other violent groups disturbing the peace and economy of this nation want dialogue, they will be listened to but if all the stolen money from former president Goodluck Jonathan’s regime is being used to buy guns and bombs and handed over to some thugs to start war (because EFCC is closing in on them), what do you expect – “… War only begets war… “. Histories are written by victors, not the defeated. Like l rightly said, even if Buhari walks on water, it won’t marvel those who are set in their ways, as in the case of our Lord, Jesus Christ – you will still say it’s because he couldn’t swim.
*Photo Caption - President Muhammadu Buhari
[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] - (Onitsha Nigeria, 16th of August 2016)-It is the information of the Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights Organizations (SBCHROs), comprising: International Society for Civil Liberties& the Rule of Law (Intersociety), Anambra State Branch of the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO), Civil Liberties Organization, Southeast Zone, Center for Human Rights & Peace Advocacy (CHRPA), Human Rights Organization of Nigeria, Forum for Justice, Equity & Defense of Human Rights (FJEDHR), Society Advocacy Watch Project (SPAW), Anambra Human Rights Forum (AHRF), Southeast Good Governance Forum (SGGF), International Solidarity for Peace& Human Rights Initiative (ITERSOLIDARITY) and Igbo Ekunie Initiative (pan Igbo rights advocacy group) that Citizen Nnamdi Kanu; the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and SBCHROs’ named Prisoner-of-Conscience (POC), has been detained by the authorities of the Federal Government of Nigeria headed by Gen Muhammadu Buhari for over 300 days or 10 months without trial. We also wish to inform that the battered and lacerated leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria or Shiite Muslim, Sheik Ibrahim Zaky El-Zaky has been detained dead or alive by President Muhammadu Buhari for over 240 days or 8 months without trial and public appearance.
According to the Black’s Law Dictionary, 9th Edition (2009), a (criminal) trial is a formal judicial examination of evidence and determination of legal claims in an adversary proceeding. In other words, a criminal trial is a proceeding preceding issuance of a judicial notice about intended legal claims and accompanying evidence (charge) before a judge by the accusing authority (i.e. AGF, Police or DSS) against an accused citizen in which the veracity of legal claims and accompanying evidence is determined through formal judicial examination. For a criminal trial to be called one, it must be rested on two grand principles of rule of law: audi alteram partem (nobody should be tried or condemned unheard) and nemo judex in sua causa(nobody should be a judge in their own case or objectivity and neutrality of a trial judge). Where a criminal charge or even trial lacks the above fundamentals, it simply becomes trial-by-ordeal or jungle justice.
This is more so when President Muhammadu Buhari himself has not only openly vowed to rot Citizen Nnamdi Kanu in jail by fire by force, but has further gone ahead to interfere with the judicial process. Under his presidential seal, the DSS ran amok on Citizen Nnamdi Kanu and his constitutional liberties and flouted and disobeyed all court orders made during Citizen Nnamdi Kanu’s detention in DSS custody. President Buhari’s dictatorial interference in the court process involving Citizen Nnamdi Kanu is democratically unheard of and tyrannical. This is clearly evidenced by his public utterances during the 30th of December 2015 Presidential Media Chat during which he presidentially and dictatorially nullified a court bail granted to Citizen Nnamdi Kanu; thereby threatening and undermining the judicial independence and the citizens’ constitutional rights to fair hearing and fair trial.
Going by the forgoing, therefore, it is indisputably clear that Citizen Nnamdi Kanu is not undergoing criminal trial in any court in Nigeria; likewise Sheik Ibrahim El-Zaky. Both Citizen Nnamdi Kanu and Ibrahim El-Zaky have not only been grossly deprived of these constitutional liberties, enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as well as regional and international rights and liberties; but they have also lost as much as 1,300 followers and supporters since December 2015.
While 809 followers of Sheik Ibrahim El-Zaky were massacred in December 2015 by the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Turkur Buratai and under his authority and supervision, as much as 250 followers and supporters of Citizen Nnamdi Kanu were also massacred by the Nigerian Army and the Police at seven occasions on 30th August 2015 (Awka), 2nd December and 17th December 2015 (Onitsha), January 18th and 29th and 9th of February 2016 (Aba) and 30th of May 2016 (Nkpor, Onitsha and Asaba). These attacks are not only a clear case of regime atrocity but also a heinous crime of ethnocide, religocide and genocide.
Roles Played By Print And Visual Media:
The Nigerian media of present time is categorized into four sections of: visual/audio-visual, print, social and online. By Section 22 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria: the Press, radio, television and other agencies of the mass media SHALL at all times be free to uphold the Fundamental Objectives (executive, legislative and judicial governance and their constitutional responsibilities) and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the Government to the people. Section 39 of the same Constitution also guarantees freedom of expression; likewise Section 38, which guarantees freedom of thought and conscience. That is to say that the Nigerian Media ought to be the bastion of democracy and rule of law including preservation and protection of citizens’ constitutional liberties at all times. The Nigerian Media also ought to be the beacon of hope for the masses of Nigeria irrespective of their ethnic, religious and class origins. The safety and survival of Nigeria’s democracy ought to be in the hands of the Nigerian Media as well.
Unfortunately, the Nigerian Media of today is composed of the good, the bad and the ugly. They are further composed of protagonists and antagonists of democracy and rule of law. Unequivocally speaking, the online media, and to a large extent, the social media have triumphantly emerged as protagonists of democracy and rule of law in Nigeria as against the antagonistic and pro-dictatorship roles of most of the country’s print and visual media. During the military era in Nigeria, the print media was the leading advocate of struggle to end military rule. This earned them a number of international merit awards, robust technical assistance and recognitions; today, they have slumbered and democratically deformed.
Investigative, development and conscientious journalism has gone. Days are gone when print media editorials shake the foundations of public office holders and their institutions. Strategic percentage of the Nigeria’s print and visual media stakes are now owned by the country’s leading doyens of corruption, leading to the rot witnessed in the country’s leading print and visual media today. To the extent that a print media reporter or correspondent is summarily dismissed by his editorial board through a phone call on express orders of its chairman, simply because he reported a land dispute in which the name of a popular priest was mentioned, is a stark instance of the rot running riot on Nigerian print and visual media. Again, to the extent that some correspondents of Southeast extraction are routinely queried, abused and scorned by their editors and editorial boards for filing reports concerning the nonviolent and peaceful activities of IPOB is a further attestation to entrenched decadence in the print and visual media.
It is vividly recalled that in late 2015 and early 2016, we raised a public alarm concerning how case-files in the custody of the DSS, containing supposedly hand-written statements of Citizen Nnamdi Kanu and his co-accused, upon their arrest in July and October 2015, were duplicated, doctored and given to some hostile and enemy print media and their online cronies of Southwest ownership. The publication of the doctored and corrupted statements of Citizen Nnamdi Kanu and others was part of the orchestrated trial by ordeal and media; designed by the Presidency to convict and jail Citizen Nnamdi Kanu and his colleagues at all costs.
We are therefore not surprised a bit over the continuation and intensification of the presidentially oiled media war and trial against Citizen Nnamdi Kanu, his IPOB and the entire Igbo race. It must be clearly stated that aside the online media and social media, the print and visual media have always taken negative and docile positions on issues concerning pro Biafra self determination campaign and its nonviolent approach. The Nigerian Print and the Visual Media have always come out in strong defense of the Buhari administration’s crude and homicidal approaches towards the pro Biafran activists and activities and turned blind eyes to sundry regime atrocities and other forms of crimes against humanity perpetrated by the administration. The massacre of hundreds of unarmed and innocent IPOB activists and secret mass burial of many of them has never for one day featured prominently on any TV discourse or in leading print media in Nigeria.
What makes headlines on TV newslines or print media headlines are negative stories plotted or created by Government of Gen Muhammadu Buhari and its coercive agencies against the IPOB and the Igbo race. It must be stated that pro Biafra self determination agitation using nonviolent and peaceful means; is never the sole making of Citizen Nnamdi Kanu or his IPOB. Apart from the fact that the fundamental elements of right to self determination such as right to peaceful assembly and association are guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution, it was the Federal Republic of Nigeria that willingly and originally adopted it regionally and internationally as part of its municipal laws and regional and international obligations. Till date, the Federal Republic of Nigeria is still a party to them. It is therefore genocidal to massacre a group of citizens who opted peacefully and non-violently to enjoy such rights willingly negotiated for them by their embattled political territory.
We hereby call on the leadership of IPOB World-Wide to be strong and remain peaceful and nonviolent. We further ask them not to be dampened. Very importantly, they should be mindful of those they hire and incorporate into their legal team. Moles and strawmen abound. From right, left and centre of Nigeria, they are in torrents. If some directors in the civil service in Nigeria can go to the extent of using names of their colleagues that died years ago to be collecting and pocketing emoluments on their behalf and still go by hallowed titles: Knights and Ladies of the Church or Muslim Clerics; then it means nothing to other conscienceless mortals including those in wigs and gowns to sell out and compromise their clientele, fraternal and advocacy responsibilities over a bag-load of blood money.
Commendation Of Nnamdi Kanu’s Retained Legal Team: We commend the conscientious conducts and collective courage of the retained legal team of Citizen Nnamdi Kanu, comprising Barristers Ifeanyi Ejiofor (lead counsel), Chinwe Umeche, Habila Turshak, Emmanuel Ayoola, J.B. Banjor and eight others. We particularly commend Elder Chuks Muomah, SAN (Ochiagha n’ Oraifite and Pro Bono Counsel-in-Chief). Their steadfastness and courage despite sundry threats and blackmails from executive quarters are very commendable.
Renewal Of Nnamdi Kanu’s Prisoner-Of-Conscience Award And Naming Of Ibrahim El-Zaky As A New Prisoner-Of-Conscience: We hereby renew the prestigious award of Prisoner-Of-Conscience (POC) bestowed on Citizen Nnamdi Kanu on 30th of January 2016. We have also adopted detained (dead or alive) Sheik Ibrahim El-Zaky of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria as a Prisoner-Of-Conscience, whether dead or alive. The persons of Citizens Nnamdi Kanu and Ibrahim El-Zaky are so named on account of their long detention without trial and traces of no group or individual violence in their names against the Government and People of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The award is both renewable and revocable. It is renewable as long as fair trial and fair hearing is not given to each of them and revocable if there is concrete evidence that both or either of them is advocating or resorting to or has resorted to or advocated violence of widespread or group nature; abandoning the UN principles of non-violence and pacifism.
It is these notes that we conclusively say: ALUTA CONTINUA! VICTORIA ACERTA!!
For: Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights Organizations (SBCHROs)
(a) Emeka Umeagbalasi, Leader, SBCHROs
Mobile Line: +2348174090052
(b) Comrade Aloysius Attah, Head, Publicity Department, SBCHROs
Mobile Line: +2348035090548
(c) Jerry Chukwuokoro, PhD, Head, Research & Strategy Department, SBCHROs
Mobile Line: +2348035372962
*Photo Caption - Nnamdi Kanu
[ Masterweb Reports: Odimegwu Onwumere reports ] - It is three months that a former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu told Nigerians in service of this year’s Democracy Day, on May 29, to keep hope alive and have patience with the government of Major General Muhammadu Buhari.
I’m responding to the comment now because in Igbo, we believe that a man does not give his verdict over an issue, till he must have slept over it. I’ve slept over it!
For the avoidance of doubt, the statement of Kalu reads, “Nigerians must display endurance at this critical time as President Buhari cleans the Augean stable. It is quite easy and simplistic to destroy but takes a longer period, commitment, hard work and sacrifice to correct ingrained anomalies. There can be no magic wand in sorting out the maze of unprecedented corruption, official banditry, nonchalant looting and holistic underdevelopment, which characterised the immediate-past government.”
Before Kalu’s comment of hope, I had seen Buhari being represented in a statement in "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen, saying, “There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.” So, Buhari does not care!
I’d not seen any cogent reason to align with Buhari or have hope in his government, because he is dogmatic; and dogmatists do not make good democrats. But regarding the fact that Kalu who is renowned for being a social democrat has made the comment of hope, I think there is a reason to look at Kalu and his comment of hope again.
My position in this treatise is not to say whether the immediate-past government that Buhari succeeded was corrupt or not. What I want say is the underlining hope in the statement by Kalu, which points him out as a man of hope. This has made many Nigerians to have hope in Kalu.
On July 8, this year, Kalu who never had any government contract since democracy was attained in 1999, equally said that he was yet to believe that the anti-corruption war by Buhari was selective.
Also, hear Kalu, “I do not believe that the anti-corruption war by President Buhari is selective. Someone may look at it in the perspective that it is selective because it is the people in the previous government that are involved and this is because they are the ones who handled the money during that period.
“I support President Buhari in the fight against corruption, but as we are fighting corruption, we should also look at the industrial base of the country. No country can survive with only politics. The economy is very important to the nation.”
While Kalu came to Buhari’s rescue in these times that Nigerians are growing Iroko-size of impatience against the government of Buhari, I want to keep hope alive in the sense that Kalu is one gold that glitters and that is good, unlike what it used to be, “All that is gold does not glitter.”
Why I'm interested in what Kalu told Nigerians was that he had advised Buhari not to be like Chief Olusegun Obasanjo used the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to settle scores with his political opponents. So, Kalu had.
A comment by Kalu in this regard, reads: “He (Buhari) should not fight corruption the way former President Olusegun Obasanjo did, when you have seen me spend security vote and you are after me on that to settle personal scores. You pursue people for not supporting your inordinate ambition and policies, it is wrong. I appeal to President Buhari not to get involved in that kind of corruption-fighting and I am happy he has appointed someone who has lesser belief in material things, as acting chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). I am saying this because when all these people say they are fighting corruption, they don’t really fight corruption. You know I don’t fear anybody; I’m not even afraid of dying today and not afraid of not saying the truth.”
Kalu was telling us that from the ashes of a fire shall the phoenix be woken; something that he had experienced before he attained his global status as a distinguished entrepreneur and anti-corruption crusader.
I want to deem Kalu that we should be patience with the clumsy Buhari government because I had known from a Friedrich Nietzsche, saying, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” It was not that Kalu deeply loves Buhari or deeply hates Nigerians and he made that comment of patience. What I have understood by the comment, when others were perhaps shouting ‘Kalu!’ was that Kalu’s love for Nigeria gives him strength and courage that all would be fine again.
Others might not have seen what Kalu saw before making that comment; he is one man that does not say things because he wants his voice to be heard. No. He does not say things because he wants others to praise him. No. He shows the words of Mahatma Gandhi of India in the work “All Men are Brothers: Autobiographical Reflections” in practice, which is that the weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
Gandhi had affirmed the position of Kalu today, when the former said, “Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
Kalu is not weak that he cannot forgive; he is strong, but not as strong in the words of President Obama, when later said, “Africa needs strong institutions, not strong men.” Kalu believes in the words of J.K. Rowling, saying, we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. Kalu believes that all mankind should show positive expression, even in the face of disheartening courage.
We have to be united in the hope that Kalu has raised and not in looking at the directionless government of Buhari that its proceedings have broken a lot of people down. I’m protected by the hope that Kalu had raised and not in the government that had broken many with yearning, making many to be in solitude, not to love again, because of government-generated hardship.
Kalu had raised hope for Nigerians to see the reason they must still be proud, whereas the government continued to break a lot of people’s heart. Oh! I’m taking solace in the words of Kalu which invariably depicted the words of a Albert Camus, saying, “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”
It was Dalai Lama XIV who said that there is a saying in Tibet, 'Tragedy should be utilised as a source of strength. No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that's our real disaster.” So, we have to thank Kalu for building that courage of patience, which is most important of all the virtues of life.
Kalu has shown character, courage, essence, determination, goodness, fortitude inspiration, life-lessons, persistence, resolve, self-reliance, strength in making sure that Nigerians keep hope alive.
Odimegwu Onwumere ( Email: email@example.com ) reports from Rivers State, Nigeria.
*Photo Caption - Orji Uzor Kalu
[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] - There is a recognizable efflux of believers into agnosticism and frank atheism. It's an easy route, I won't say exactly a cop out position, but in today's world, with it's relative popularity among scientists, there is a favored herd emigration. Growing numbers is leading to team play and fanaticism of sorts with disbeliever priests seen preaching against organized religion full time as a lucrative career. Teems of zealous disbelievers group up and mob lynch believers on available internet fora, twitter and other social media platforms. Attacking religion appears to be their most relevant preoccupation.
My simple and irrefutable two pieces of proof below are not addressed to the fanatic disbeliever, who it's typically a waste of time addressing, but to the true knowledge seeker, the believer seeking reassurance and the skeptic. These proofs were thrown over the past days to a crowd of highly studied disbelievers on twitter who tried, purposely discombobulated, but failed at refuting them.
1. The God Of Creation
It was a shock to the science community when it recently discovered the big bang concept. That the universe began probably from a 'point' or less, 12 to 14 billion years ago and continues to expand. Scientists had prior thought the universe as is had always been. They did not believe in the creation tale preached by prophets of all major monotheistic faiths. They did not believe that all matter and all energy, this our galaxy and all other billions of galaxies were created from naught and continue to expand. They laughed at people of the religion when we told them this.
The Hindu Rigveda, 10:129 describes the creation event thus:
नासदासींनॊसदासीत्तदानीं नासीद्रजॊ नॊ व्यॊमापरॊ यत् ।
किमावरीव: कुहकस्यशर्मन्नभ: किमासीद्गहनं गभीरम् ॥१॥
Then even nothingness was not, nor existence,
There was no air then, nor the heavens beyond it.
What covered it? Where was it? In whose keeping
Was there then cosmic water, in depths unfathomed?
न मृत्युरासीदमृतं न तर्हि न रात्र्या।आन्ह।आसीत् प्रकॆत: ।
आनीदवातं स्वधया तदॆकं तस्माद्धान्यन्नपर: किंचनास ॥२॥
Then there was neither death nor immortality
nor was there then the torch of night and day.
The One breathed windlessly and self-sustaining.
There was that One then, and there was no other.
तम।आअसीत्तमसा गूह्ळमग्रॆ प्रकॆतं सलिलं सर्वमा।इदम् ।
तुच्छॆनाभ्वपिहितं यदासीत्तपसस्तन्महिना जायतैकम् ॥३॥
At first there was only darkness wrapped in darkness.
All this was only unillumined water.
That One which came to be, enclosed in nothing,
arose at last, born of the power of heat.
The OM, or the One who created the universe, the monotheistic Supreme God of Hinduism is Brahman. (Not to be confused with Brahma). Many do not know that Hinduism is a monotheistic faith like Yoruba traditional religions and most African traditional religions; with One Supreme being: God, but the people using attributes like thunder (sango), ancestors, and millions of other gods (small "g") as intermediaries so to say.
The Muslim Quran described the creation event too, 1400 years before science caught up, thus:
Did the unbelievers not realize that the heavens and the earth were one unit of creation, then We clove them asunder and We made every living being out of water? 29 Will they, then, not believe (that We created all this)? (Quran 21:30)
And described the continued expansion of the universe:
It is We who have built the universe with (Our creative) power, and, verily, it is We who are steadily expanding it. (Quran, The Winnowing ways/Scaterers, 51:47)
To compare, the big bang is described scientifically thus,
“…that the universe began billions of years ago as a tiny dot that exploded into today’s huge system of stars and planets..”
With the realization that the Universe arose from a single initial eternal Singularity, and that all energy today was/is the One energy, science was said to have "found God," as a Newsweek caption put it. They had come to terms with the millions of years old religious creation event, Omnipotence, Omnipresence and the Eternal Original Singularity from and of which all is/"became." Science saw evidence of and sat down to dedicate itself to the study and documentation of perfectly written laws that guided and guide the evolving of the Universe, including our perfect Earth home and everything in it.
Now with this backdrop, the piece of irrefutable evidence follows in a question. Based on the scientific principle of inertia: a body stays in place unless moved or moves unless stopped, without there being a God, how did the initial Singularity of the big bang "come into being" and what triggered its expansion into the universe we have today?
Not just do all disbelievers not know this answer, they can never deny the fact that it must take a Supreme Being outside (so-to-say) of the realm of the eternal Singularity, or/and contained in It/of which It is contained, to trip its inertia and spark its expansion into this universe. There will be no cup on your table and the cup will not slide to the edge and fall off unless someone put it there and someone pushed it. Unless disbelievers believe in magical thinking.
Now, as an important footnote to this point: "who made God?," Is the next question disbelievers ask. That's so easy to explain to them. The Bible says in Hosea 4:6, that "people perish for lack of understanding." Who made God is an unbelievably irrational question. "Made" is terminology dependent on time and space. "Created" is a time based vocabulary that depends on the laws of this post big bang universe and is limited to it. The Singularity, and God are "before" the expansion that created time, space and place, the three relatives. "When was it created?, "who created it?," are for creatures made within time, space and place. "Before" the Big bang, there was no when, not where and no distance. The Singularity as science understands was/is eternal. This is scientifically sound understanding, yet lame disbelievers question how the God of the Singularity can likewise be eternal. I'll stop here, any questions can be forwarded to my contacts, @EveryNigerian.
2. Consciousness, Initiation And Contemplation Of Thought
I must introduce this proof with a poem by the famous 13th century mystic Persian poet, Jalaludeen Rumi(1207- 1273).
We are as the flute, and the music in us is from thee;
we are as the mountain and the echo in us is from thee.
We are as pieces of chess engaged in victory and defeat:
our victory and defeat is from thee, O thou whose qualities are comely!
Who are we, O Thou soul of our souls,
that we should remain in being beside thee?
We and our existences are really non-existence;
thou art the absolute Being which manifests the perishable.
We all are lions, but lions on a banner:
because of the wind they are rushing onward from moment to moment.
Their onward rush is visible, and the wind is unseen:
may that which is unseen not fail from us!
Our wind whereby we are moved and our being are of thy gift;
our whole existence is from thy bringing into being.
We are indeed lions on a banner. We think we move but the movement is only from and by the energy from which we came/of which "we" are. The Omnipotence of which we are made or rather, within which we appear. Like menacing painted lions moving back and forward (side to side) on a flag.
Our brains are made up of entanglements of neurons. Twisted wires with chemicals flowing between. Each of these neurons, as is every part of us, is made up of molecules, made up of inanimate atoms. So as Biology 101 introduces, our brains are made up of atoms, in molecules and then in neurons and then the entanglements and then the nervous system.
The question is, how do these inheritance-derived systems built of atoms initiate thought and the contemplation of thought? While the system is a network, thought must be initiated at a point. Like the power that comes through the complex circuits that supply our homes are initiated at hydro-electric or nuclear power plants and ultimately by an operated single switch. While thought is complex and once the cascade is triggered, several neurons will be recruited to excite and inhibit each other, that thought, that decision to go right or go wrong is initiated in a neuron first and in one of its atoms. How does this start? What is the name of the thought initiator atom or do the initiator atoms alternate? Which ones are they and how do they initiate? What part of the atom initiates the thought initiation process? Is it the electron? The never seen, yet believed electron? (Note, recordings of its attributes do not constitute visualization of the electron, which is impossible according to the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle. But disbelievers believe in the electron but pose the same argument against the "existence" of God in spite of His attributes in the perfect laws of the creation, being seen, measured and documented.)
No disbeliever can ever answer this question. I listened to a world renowned human biologist, Robert Sapolsky of Stanford USA, answer the question on freewill. While admitting that it puzzled him (them), he dispraised freewill with the words, "there is not a lot of freewill out there and if there is, it is in the least interesting places, getting more sparse all the time." He went on to prioritize mention of parasites controlling people's minds, limiting freewill or initiating thought.
Without God, thought cannot be initiated. An inanimate atom cannot trigger thought, but the flow through the circuit starts at the atomic level from a first, single atom. A desperate argument can describe thought as one single continued process that starts at birth and never ends, but this attempt does not explain how that lengthy thought starts from cells made by genetic molecules. Genes do not carry thought (freewill) and cannot trigger the first atom in the brain to start the cascade of oscillating thought. Indeed science has found that your decisions are made 7 seconds before you even know you are thinking them.
God, the One single energy is the only explanation for the initiation and contemplation of thought.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Newsweek magazine issue cover with the article "Science Finds God".