[ Masterweb Reports: C. K. Ekeke, M.Div., PhD reports ] - On February 14, 2015, Nigerians will elect a new president to govern the nation for another four years. From all indications, it seems that Nigerians will be choosing between the incumbent president – Goodluck Jonathan and the ex-military head-of-state – General Muhammadu Buhari. If this is the best Nigeria, the so-called giant of Africa can offer to the world, we have then become a degenerate people and society.
It is also rather unfortunate and unbelievable that the presidential election is less than a month away and no debate has been planned between the presidential candidates and their running mates to articulate how they will fix Nigeria. It’s a fact that since after the civil war, Nigeria has been ruled by vision-less, self-centered leaders. Currently, lawlessness and corruption pervade the entire nation - a nation where corruption runs rampant and no one is held accountable. I do not believe there are more hopeless people and lawless nation on the face of this earth like Nigeria. What we have become today is a nation of haters, killers, cheaters, looters, liars, hypocrites, hopelessness, immorality and absolute irresponsibility.
Nigeria needs visionary and action-oriented leadership – to restructure the nation. The nation needs true transformational leaders. More than any time in history of the nation, Nigeria needs courageous, visionary and skilful leaders to emancipate our land from satanic political leadership and restore her historic honor and moral dignity in the global community.
I’m not sure that Buhari/Osinbajo is a better alternative to Jonathan/Sambo government and ticket. For sure, Buhari/Osinbajo may be an option to fight corruption and Boko haram militancy but I do not believe both men can change Nigeria. Will Buhari execute his manifesto and vision as outlined or will it be another 4 or 8 years of business as usual? My sincere believe is that it’s going to take revolution or disintegration to restructure Nigeria. The Confab report, which the Federal government spent billions of Naira to prepare last year, is yet to be implemented. Will APC promise Nigerians that they will implement the Confab if elected into power? The Confab report has candid recommendations which if implemented diligently can essentially restructure the nation. Nigeria will be on its path to development, progress, and unity within few years if the Confab report is courageously implemented.
On Boko haram and rise of militant Islam
Whether it is 9/11, an orchestrated commercial plane hijacks by Al-Qaeda that murdered nearly 3000 innocent people in New York and other American cities, or the Danish cartoon of prophet Mohammed that sparked irrational killings in Nigeria and terrorist attacks in other countries, or the kidnapping of nearly 300 Chibok school girls in northern Nigeria by Boko haram, or the Taliban massacre of school children in Pakistan, or the beheading of westerners by ISIS, and recently the killings at Charlie Hebdo French satirical newspaper in Paris – all these murderous atrocities are part of the global Jihadists agenda. And the root cause of radical Islam is deeply rooted in the covenant promises that God made with Abraham, who is by the way the Father of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. No man or woman will be able to fix the squabble or eradicate the animosity of militant Islam towards Christianity. Only God Almighty – the Creator will.
Concerning Boko haram continued murderous atrocities in northern Nigeria are a clear repudiation of the failed policies of northern leaders for nearly fifty years they were in power. The political, religious and business leaders in the North should be ashamed of themselves for their failure to build infrastructure, create jobs for teeming young people and provide for the poor. Boko haram is 100% failure of northern leadership and it’s also tied to the global jihadist conspiracy and belief.
On Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka and his prophetic New Year’s Message
I have listened to the YouTube New Year’s message by Rev. Fr. Camillus Ejike Mbaka of the Catholic Adoration Ministry based in Enugu of Nigeria and read many criticisms for and against him. There is nothing new he said that ordinary Nigerian people, politicians, journalists, writers, religious, civic leaders, elders, etc. have not said before or saying now. I don’t understand what the uproar is all about. Nigeria is lawless, corruption is endemic, poverty is everywhere and the Nigerian people are suffering in the midst of plenty. It’s a failure of leadership – corrupt political leadership and visionless government.
By the way, in 2012, Dr. Tunde Bakare, Pastor of Latter Rain Ministries and Convener of Save Nigeria Group (SNG), in one of his sermons that went viral on the Internet, called for a change of government in Nigeria. He also called on President Goodluck Jonathan to resign and attacked the President’s wife, Mrs. Dame Patience Jonathan.
I wrote and published an article: Dr. Tunde Bakare Pastor, Prophet, or Politician: The Role of Religious Leaders and Political Activism in Nigeria,” which addressed some of the insights and opinions raised by critics of the Reverend Father.
I have read many opinions for and against the catholic priest prophetic pronouncement – including those who are calling for separation between religion and politics, church and state, etc. I laugh at the ignorance of some southerners who call for such separation.
First of all, there is not nothing like separation of religion from politics. People who make this kind of statement or sometimes ask preachers and Christian leaders to remain in the pulpit are ignorant and mistaken. We must understand that God is interested in all nations, “for the kingdom is the Lord’s and He is governor among the nations (Psalm 22:28). God has answers for the political and leadership direction of every nation, tribe, tongue, kindred and people. He will not do anything without first revealing it to His servants and prophets (Amos 3:7).
We must understand that the call of God does not only limit one to be an ambassador of good news but also to engage in the social, economic and political issues that affect His people. There are categories of preachers and religious leaders. One is not only called to be a pastor, priest, or prophet but to be a patriotic citizen. Patriotism and politics are inseparable.
Millions of Nigerians tend to distinguish political leadership from religious leadership. And this is due to various interpretations of Scripture regarding God’s Call. I think the erroneous views and convoluted biblical interpretation regarding those ordained to Ministry are as a result of improper exegesis of Scripture and misunderstanding of the subject of ‘God’s Call,’ or ‘The Call of God.’
The call of God is not always associated with leading a Church or religious organization. It’s not even about salvation or being called to the work of Ministry as priest, pastor, or bishop. The call of God is a call to purpose and destiny. It is a call that moves the “Called” and society from success to significance.
If the Bible is studied very carefully, one will notice that God called different people to various activities and assignments – some to be Wise Counselors (Daniel), as Leaders (Joseph, Moses, Joshua), as Kings (David, Solomon), as Military Warriors (Joshua, Samson, Deborah, Jehoshaphat), as Missionaries (Abraham, Paul), as Judges (Deborah, Gideon), as kingdom Builders (Jesus), as Revolutionaries (Jesus), as Pro-creators (Adam &Eve ), and off-course many were called to be Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Bible Teachers. If you study the Call of some of these people mentioned - Adam & Eve, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Jonah, Deborah, Gideon, Samson, Ruth, Esther, David, Nehemiah, Jehoshaphat, Isaiah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, John the Baptist, Jesus, Apostles, Paul, etc., you will notice that they all were called by God to carry out different assignments.
Moses was not only called to be a priest but a prophet and politician. He was not only the spiritual leader of the people but a great lawyer and politician. He wrote the law, which formed the foundation of much civil and criminal law in many countries today. He was used by God to bring the children of Israel out Egyptian captivity, bondage and slavery. Samuel was a priest, Judge and King of Israel at the same time. Even in our recent times, we have seen the social, civil, economic and political activities of past and present religious leaders such as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and Rev. Al Sharpton and many others. God’s call is a call to divine duty and many times it involves fighting for people on issues that impact their lives negatively.
Second, you cannot separate the church from the state. It is like separating the church from the family or from the state. These are inseparable and indivisible. God established the institutions of family, government (Theocracy) and church to work together in order to establish His good and divine purposes on planet earth. While the family is the first and most important as well as the foundation of any society, the church being the last is also very important in its function as the custodian of the divine truth. The government is the second institution in order of divine plan and act as an organism for peace and order on planet earth. These three unique institutions were designed to work together in order to bring about God’s divine purposes on planet earthly kingdom. They are organism not social clubs, which some people have made them to be today. The only difference between the church and state is the type of people that make them up. And that is where we need to make some changes and bring more religious and genuine Christian people into the government.
Prophecy for nations and her political leaders
Throughout the history of mankind and even in our present time, true prophets of God and genuine spiritual leaders had always denounced sin, wickedness, and injustice – not per say by political activism but by calling the political leaders of nations to rule in the fear of God and work to provide a just and fair society.
During the prophetic ministry of Isaiah who reigned during the time of Kings Uzziah, Jotham and Hezekiah, you will read that those kings were extremely wicked kings with exception of King Hezekiah, who ruled with the fear of God. Kings Uzziah and Jotham abused the power of their office and led the people astray. They crushed the poor for their own profit.
First, prophet Isaiah challenged the rebellious people of Jerusalem and gullible Judah to repent of their sins and turn to God. He called on the people to clean up their acts. Isaiah denounced Judah for her idolatry and immorality and called for national repentance, prayer, and fasting.
Second, prophet Isaiah rebuked the kings and rulers for their social injustice and called on the politicians to restore a just and fair society otherwise God’s judgment and destruction would come suddenly.
Third, prophet Isaiah
The Bible teaches that only John the Baptist and Jesus were greater than Moses (Matthew 11:11; Hebrew 3). He was a heroic leader and his greatest leadership legacy was that he delivered the Israelites from oppression and slavery in the hands of Pharaoh, King of Egypt. He also gave them the laws that form the foundation of every nation today - social, dietary, religious, moral, and civic.
Joshua, Moses protégée, not only spied the Land of Canaan and believed that Israel could conquer it, but he led the Israelites into conquering the fortified Land of Canaan, a Land flowing with milk and honey.
Jesus was called and sent to bring light to the dying world and to lay down his life for Kingdom’s sake. Jesus ministry was whole – teaching, preaching, healing, social, economic and political. Jesus spoke to the political (Sadducees) and religious elites (Pharisees) of his day more than he preached and taught the Scriptures. Prophet Isaiah prophesized 750 years before Jesus was born, “For to us a son is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace, there is will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this” - Isaiah 6:6-7.
Nehemiah gave up his comfortable and wealthy position in Persia, and returned to his fractured nation and rallied against all forces of opposition to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. This is what most Nigerians in Diaspora should be doing if not soon before Nigeria disintegrates and falls apart.
Without favor or fear, he delivered unpalatable messages to the nation when all the prophets during his time were lying to King Ahab to seek his favor. Prophet Micaiah spoke the truth without caring whose ox was gored.
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., widely regarded as America’s pre-eminent advocate of nonviolence and one of the greatest nonviolent leaders in world history. Drawing inspiration from both his Christian faith – both as a theologian and prophetic preacher and from the peaceful teachings of Mahatma Gandhi of India, Dr. King led a nonviolent movement in the late 1950’s and 60’s to achieve legal equality for African Americans in the United States.
The problem of biblical illiteracy and false prophets
The problem in our society today is that many people entering into Ministry – i.e., are being ordained as priests, pastors, or spiritual leaders through the back door without any calling, commissioning, and preparation. Without a divine call, commissioning and adequate preparation, which includes – training and mentorship, a person cannot be a leader that God uses. Unfortunately, most of those already serving as pastors, priests, bishops, etc., are there mostly for riches, material gain, and fame. Consequently, the messages that are proclaimed and promulgated over the airways and byways are sometimes totally inconsistent with the teaching of the Holy Scriptures. In fact, what we hear nowadays are another gospel – satanic theology rather than a sound exposition of God’s Word.
Despite the proliferation of churches in Nigeria, religious hypocrisy, ignorance, and illiteracy abound – rituals, divination, astrology, sorcery, witchcraft, magic, and all manners of evil and satanic worship still is still abundant and rampant. Most of the parishioners are gullible and put up with unbiblical teachings. Christians are supposed to be the salt and light of the world, but today, they are worse than worldly people - greed, hatred, corruption, idolatry, jealousy and envy run rampant. So therefore what we see in Nigeria today are adulterous religious systems and satanic religious leaders that parade themselves as the moral authorities in our society and yet the nation suffers from all kinds of satanic violence, evil, and wickedness.
Nigeria’s religious leaders have woefully failed in their divine duties and mandate to rebuke sin and wickedness in high places. How can any true man or woman of God live comfortably in a nation in crisis, where Boko-Haram Jihadists have the audacity to kill innocent citizens in places of worship and then our political and religious leaders don’t have the courage to condemn these satanic and senseless killings? How could any pastor or true prophet of God live in a country with , looting and embezzlement of public funds and would not speak out; where political leaders are ruling without vision and taking the nation from hope to hopelessness and from strength to weakness.
Rather, the religious leaders compromise their calling to rebuke sin, evil, wickedness and injustice. They also contaminate themselves with the devil and engage in corrupt practices of their shrines, secret occults and their pagan priests. And their lukewarm attitude is so evident and reflective in our culture, attitudes, mannerism and ways of life, which are mostly pompous of voodoo, juju, witchcraft, sorcery, spirits, mediums and all manners of demonic powers.
Studies have shown that more than 70% of Nigerian Christians attend church services every Sunday and sit under so-called men of God and miracle workers and yet rituals, divination, astrology, sorcery, witchcraft, magic, and all manners of evil and satanic worship remain rampant in Nigeria. Greed, hatred, corruption, idolatry, jealousy and envy continue to flourish in the society. The Word of God is His presence and where there is genuine presence of God, evil, unrighteousness and ungodliness cannot be in abundance as it is in our society today. What I am observing in this generation is moral bankruptcy, biblical ignorance and satanic spiritual capitalism.
And so, the likes of Rev. Fr. Ejike Mabaka, Pastor Tunde Bakare, and others are needed in a nation where the nation's democracy is masqueraded in military, autocratic, and authoritarian feudalistic system. The political democratic culture in Nigeria is also a political impenitent and impunity which works against peace, unity, progress, and hinders godly and bare genuine folks from political participation. And so, there is need for genuine spiritual and prophetic leaders to speak the Word of the LORD and against wickedness and injustice in all of its ramifications. And such persons deserve to be encouraged.
However, let me state that the Catholic Church and her leaders are known for piety, peace, justice and righteousness. I think Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka went too far by asking the president of the Federal Republic to resign and vacate his office. That’s stupid, insulting, and provocative. Who does he want to take over from President Jonathan then?
Now if truly Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka received such prophetic message from God, the right thing to do is to seek audience with the president. Many occurrences of such are found in the Bible – First Samuel 1:11-20; Second Samuel 12:1-15, etc. Also throughout human history, men and women who received prophetic messages delivered them in a very appropriate manner.
Fr. Mbaka should not shy away from being a prophetic messenger but he should watch his utterances. He should also desist from desperately seeking political office or meddling into politics. It's a disgrace for a respectable and reputed religious leader to be receiving bribe from corrupt politicians and speaking from both sides of his mouth. From what we read and hear—his records with politicians are not clean at all. Rather, he should offer wise counsel to the government and engage in advisory role and special duties such as peace, conflict resolution treaties, interfaith kinds of work, etc., rather than continue to criticize the nation’s president in such a brazen manner.
Nevertheless, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mabaka is a brave, courageous Clergy and a distinct voice for the vulnerable poor in Southeast Nigeria. As a preacher of the Gospel, I encourage him to use his powerful rhetoric and spotlight to denounce moral decadence in our society, against immorality, idolatry, evil, wickedness, greed, envy, jealousy, etc., speak against religious intolerance and violence and killings, and speak power to truth and justice with love and in righteousness, and not the blatant rhetoric and utterances he’s making against the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He must be made aware of the implications of his utterances, actions and behaviors as well. Pope Francis said it best, freedom of speech has limits. That we have freedom to speak does not mean we have to open our mouth to say anything we want to. What we say has consequences.
Finally, I always find it amusing and frankly ignorant when Southerners criticize religious leaders that participate in politics. Northerners do not distinguish between politics and religion. For them, both are inseparable. Alhaji Buhari is a military man as well as an ardent fanatic Muslim running to be president of Nigeria.
Dr. C. K. Ekeke ( Email: email@example.com ) is a public theologian, author, consultant and leadership scholar. He is the president of Leadership Wisdom Institute.
*Photo Caption - Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka
[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] - The merchants of death are advertising their trade. The ravening wolves; gatherers of thorns and thistles. The corrupt trees that bring out evil fruit. As it has been said, “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.” [Mathew 7:15-28] We have given up on this tree that in the words of Femi Fani-Kayode is a “rotten carcass,” giving off “putrid scent.” *holds nose* Trees hewn down, cast into the fire. By their fruits we knew them: a transformation from light to darkness; a transformation from life to death; a transformation from security to insecurity; the transformation to hunger, misery, global disgrace, poverty, injustice, pilfering, terror, cabal impunity, limitless corruption and what have you.
The workers of iniquity! They want to kill our president as they have killed our presidents, hopefuls, and revolutionists in the past. They killed Murtala. They brought the tea that killed Abacha and our dear victorious Abiola. They plotted the coup that ousted the no nonsense Buhari regime and they poisoned Idiagbon who was throwing up all the way back to Ilorin where he passed—on his return from his meeting with them in Abuja—to pave the path for the PDP. They who poisoned Yar’Adua to speed-up his death and pave the way for corruption unlimited, as reported in US wikileaks cables [http://www.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/08LAGOS153_a.html] … now they want to kill Buhari!
Nigeria has a message to them: firstly, they can never kill Buhari. Secondly we did not make the mistake we made in selecting (or having imposed on us) Goodluck Jonathan as late Yar’Adua’s running mate this time. We learned from our mistakes. It took us several days to come up with Pastor Yemi Osinbajo for this very reason— after selecting an excellent presidential candidate, we ensured that our vice presidential candidate is “twice as good” in the event that the evil one gets to him.
Nigerians north and south, east and west, home and abroad are happy with the leadership package of Buhari-Osinbajo. In fact we can let either of them lead us at anytime interchangeably. Both men are incorruptible, God-fearing, known for their integrity; smart, astute, full of wisdom and global experience; sharp, strong, promising and noble. Bpth men have no issues making the right choices from “contradictory advise.” And most importantly, unlike our error selecting a man who lied that he had no shoes and whose family was already indicted by the EFCC for attempting to launder the money of the people of Bayelsa; both these presidential men know the meaning of corruption and that stealing is corruption and corruption is stealing.
The “do-or-die” people will die first. As it is said, the wicked shall perish! Psalm 109:6-15 to all the enemies of Nigeria. Our lives are in God’s hands and only He determines when we pass, young or old, healthy or sick. We assure you that if it is his destiny to pass, he will have first locked the killers and thieves all up in Kirikiri before his days are up; and our dynamic Osinbajo will investigate his death not as Goodluck Jonathan refused to when Yar’Adua passed, and will add his killers (God forbid) to accompany you in your tiny cells. In the Lord’s Mighty Name we pray.
Our house we have built on a rock and the floods cannot sweep it away. [Luke 6:46-49] Nigeria is ready for change. We are deaf to the distractions.
The enemies of the people can try their next malicious propaganda. What comes next? That Buhari is actually “not Nigerian?” Or that Buahri is a Cyborg?
As Gandhi said, “remember that all through history, there have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they seem invincible. But in the end, they always fail. Always!”
Countdown to CHANGE!
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Punch advert.
[ Masterweb Reports: Samuel Olaleye reports ] - I genuinely grieve for my nation, Nigeria. A people so enriched with natural talent, a country so bequeathed with bountiful resources, a land so engraved with a remarkable history. Yet what headlines ring out across the globe today? Death, decadence and disaster! A nation ravaged by Islamic fundamentalists who chew sticks and cut throats with alarmingly fiendish frequency! A nation filled with power-hungry politicians who put personal aspirations above national interests! A nation polluted by the venomous fumes of corruption which have crept like a cankerworm into almost every facet of our society! With the 2015 elections around the corner, tensions rising and violent words being meted out by both militants and ministers of God alike, I wonder what lies next for the supposed giant of Africa.
My insipid musings were suddenly broken by a tap on the shoulder. My neighbour for the next several hours on a flight from Lagos to New York had belatedly arrived, takeoff fast approaching. After pleasantries were exchanged, my morbid national reflections continued. However, they were about to be somewhat lightened by a peculiar revelation my companion shared with me mid-flight. After introducing myself as a writer, I pondered if I could publish his tale. He reluctantly agreed on the premise that I should shield his identity.
After our discussion had danced across topics from Buhari to Babangida to Bakare, I bitterly told him that it was nigh on impossible to point to a Nigerian icon today that has genuinely put his country ahead of his own personal pursuits. “Selfless patriotism can still be found,” he defiantly retorted. “Do you know Temitope Joshua?” Who doesn’t? The bearded Nigerian pastor has become increasingly famous (or infamous?) within Nigeria of late. “Let me tell you something about that man. My tight friend knew him almost 30 years ago. He taught his children for evening classes.” My interest was kindled. I had visited Joshua’s SCOAN once and was quite taken by the unique brand of spirituality at work in Ikotun. Apparently, a young and sprightly Joshua was in the tutoring career before delving into God’s work. “My friend and his children loved the guy so much; he practically became part of their family,” the unassuming gentleman continued.
But here comes the bombshell! “Would you believe he actually offered to pay for T.B. Joshua to travel with the family to America when they wanted to relocate?” What! So Africa’s most contentious pastor could have travelled abroad with a well-endowed family in his early 20s before he achieved any form of clerical reputation? “What stopped him,” I frowned, expecting to hear that perhaps his visa was denied or he had a sharp fall out with the family in question.
“He refused,” my new friend muttered. “He told them that God said he should stay in Nigeria until ‘it was the right time.’ ” The answer given by the famous preacher several decades ago left me astounded. Which other young, fledgling Nigerian could have made such a decision and not be crowned a raving lunatic by friends and family alike, I wondered. Especially considering Joshua’s poverty-stricken background in Ondo State.
However, upon some reflection, I can’t say that I am so surprised. Today, 30 years down the line, Pastor Joshua continues to tread the path of the unusual that has earned him the reputation of being both unconventional and unpredictable! While his counterparts (who have at one point in time vilified him) are embroiled in various political controversies via associations or damning statements, he has remained a consistent beacon of morality and magnanimity, choosing to let actions speak louder than words.
I genuinely admire the fact that Pastor T.B. Joshua chose to remain within Nigeria, especially considering the economical impact his decision to stay has had on our nation. Oil aside, it is a well known fact that the nation’s main tourism revenue comes from religious pilgrims, the majority of whom make their way to The Synagogue for some form of solace. And evidently they find it, given the fact that the foreign influx has consistently increased as time has progressed. Despite unending controversies, The SCOAN has continued to wax stronger, its founder standing in the forefront of a positive message being spread concerning Nigeria to counter the negativity projected by the likes of Boko Haram and Niger Delta militants. I hope it will not take the arrival of ‘the right time’ for Joshua to set his tents abroad before Nigerians wake up to value the abounding potential that lies within an unusual church compound in a rundown Lagos environ.
It is stories like this that help fan even the faintest embers of hope within me for my motherland. The very faintest…
Samuel Olaleye ( Email: email@example.com ) is a young novelist currently in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
*Photo Caption - Photo of T.B. Joshua as a young man posted at http://thetbjoshuafanclub.wordpress.com/2009/07/10/everything-big-starts-little/
[ Masterweb Reports: Valentine Obienyem reports ] - The truth is that nobody knows for sure the exact day that Jesus Christ was born. The choice of December 25 is symbolic. Pope Julius I chose that day in the 4th century as a subtle way of blighting pagan celebration of Saturnalia in the bud. This has been a consistent feature of Christianity and the logic is simple. By superimposing Christian celebrations on pagan own, especially in the infancy of Christianity, the influence of paganism waned. Even till now, most churches are built in forests that were considered as belonging to evil spirits. This is a proven evangelism tool, and this is the same logic by which Christmas came to overshadow the pagan saturnalia.
A yearly ritual, Christmas is here again. It has come to be associated with fanfare of the Epicurean dimension. People now look longingly to its coming. Because of its very nature, it is only a few that even know that Easter is considered as more profound and by far more significant than Christmas.
One of the things that make Christmas popular is the fact that it takes place towards the end of the year, an ideal time for stock-staking, to determine how one has fared for the year. The fact that it is usually a public holiday has contributed to its popularity.
By third week to Christmas, its preparations are usually at a crescendo. Traffic all over the country becomes heavy because of so many people travelling home for the celebration. It is a month of joy, a month of sharing and a month of introspection. It is a month that is particularly gratifying to our parents/relations in the villages, whose food stores will be replenished. It is also a month with a fair share of troubles and tribulations. We have actually seen people who committed suicide because they felt they were denied what it takes to celebrate a worthy Christmas. See these people's reactions whenever Christmas approaches. Some will roll while others will wail on the ground. Their tales are usually that of a year bent on frustrating them and their efforts. As a way of keeping themselves out of circulation, against popular tide, they will decide not to travel home for Christmas, until, perhaps, the economy improves.
Honestly, Christmas drives a lot of people out of their wits. It may sound incredible, but it is true that some people's ideas about Christmas end with a great celebration, where people go and show of. The people that think thus are those that will take all the money they have or even borrow from friends to buy cars for Christmas. They do not end at this. They also spend their last money in buying expensive cloths; jewels and other ornaments. This is the epicurean dimension we earlier talked about.
To some women, Christmas is a time of dressing competition. There are many social occasions lined up; each has its own dress. Women at this time are usually moving showcases of their husbands' prosperity. Even though Christmas is for festivity and is longed for, some women actually decline travelling on the reason that they are not prepared. Preparations in this case have to do with being unable to procure enough cloths to terrorise other women.
Youngsters are not left out. Those in the flower of their maturity, in whom the light of puberty has just been lit, often have in mind to travel and announce to everybody that they have come of age. They dress in inconceivable manners that will drive beholders eyes all the more to wantonness. They will, however, discover that even those in the villages dress likewise. In their inexperience, they strive to be the talk of the town. Some of them, the grown up ones, who have come of age to marry are made to travel home in Christmas, for the possibility of catching the prancing eyes of some eligible bachelors.
Christmas, in its very conception, is supposed to be a positive feast/celebration, but like everything else, it has been corrupted. Wait till January, after the effects of Christmas festivities wear down, you will hear the tales of people suffering from one outrageous disease or the other. Some of these diseases are only metaphysically explicable. Also, by January, most of the housemaid that travelled for Christmas will be sent back to their homes. Tongues will wag; people will guess why the sudden "repatriation" until their tummies start to bulge in four/five months time. So much for Christmas!
Frankly, Christmas is supposed to be a joyful season. Is it? It is a temptation-filled season instead. Come to think about the antics of the boys who are undergoing apprenticeship in different places (umuboyi). From January to December, these people will start saving monies they pilfer from their masters. By December they will have a few thousands. Guess what? They will spend it in such a vulgar manner as if they were going to die the next day. They drink, they spray, they give to girls, they go to parties, and they indulge in other vices common to their ages. After seeing such indulgence, some boys of their age will think that all is now well with them. In their delusions, they will announce defiantly their intentions to stop schooling and take to trading. They do this without realizing that most of those boys actually live like slaves under the tutelages of their masters. So much for Christmas!
Christmas lasts for a few days, but its disturbing memories linger on. At Christmas people make friends. Adolescents meet each other, go to functions together, attend night masses together, and get infatuated with one another. Very soon they go back to their respective schools. The first few months of getting back to schools are usually characterized by tension between studies and the 6th commandment. You will see students who cannot hold the definitions of subjects that have been taught many times retaining the pictures of the fair forms they have seen but once. In attempting to read, the will, rather than see the letters they are reading, be confronted with the images of those fair forms. So much for Christmas!
Christmas is also a period that brings out the true images of some of us. Look at what our church founders do in this season. It has become a season of crusades, with pastors advertising for people to come for miracles, prosperity, signs and wonders. Preaching at this time is usually tailored to remind people who have made it to come and thank the Lord with their tithes. They also remind those who have not made it to come and draw spiritual strength to enable them make it the next year. They all clothe material demands in scriptural quotations.
Christmas is a feast which very conception is noble and spiritually enriching. The fact now is that different forces, which are struggling over its soul, have hijacked it. It is supposed to be a season of joy and peace. It is inconceivable that some people in an attempt to enjoy it do grievous harm to themselves. Some spend recklessly only to turn round and look for where to get money to pay the children's school fees. A lot of things are wrong about our own conception of how Christmas is celebrated. It is yet another season that tests our maturity and calls for circumspection.
*Photo Caption - Valentine Obienyem, Author of article
[ Masterweb Reports: Nosa Osazuwa reports ] -The National Executive Coordinator of the non-governmental organization, Life Savers Foundation (LSF), Mrs Fola Shoetan, has revealed that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) are not adequately equipped to manage disaster situations in the country.
Testifying before the court investigating the cause of the collapsed building belonging to the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Mrs Shoetan, who was present during the entirety of the rescue operation, expressed sadness that the statutory respondents had no idea how to handle the crisis at the site of the collapse.
"LASEMA, NEMA and my agency were overwhelmed such that it was the youths at The SCOAN who told us what to do and where to drill which helped rescue a large number of people alive,” she told the court presided over by Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe. “Even NEMA and LASEMA didn't come with any heavy duty equipment; they were merely onlookers and spectators.
“They were busy chatting on social media. I was angry and have evidence when people cautioned them on Facebook during the rescue operation that instead of saving lives, they were busy posting pictures on the internet. While I was there, I didn't leave for five days because of the gravity of things on ground but these people came and went daily. I am bold to say that they were confused and mere onlookers during the rescue operation.”
She therefore called on the President Goodluck Jonathan led administration and the Lagos State government to ensure that adequate training and equipment are provided for the agencies in order for them to effectively contain emergency situations.
According to Shoetan, "I don't know when NEMA officials left the scene on the first day but LASEMA officials left at 10:30pm on the second day. As at the time LASEMA officials left on the second day, persons were still trapped on the collapsed site.
"The LASEMA General Manager, Dr Femi Osanyintola did not co-operate well with other responders and I kept telling him that. What he did most of the time was to hold meetings with his team from the state.
"The police I can confirm were present throughout the period of the rescue operation. No security agent ever stopped us from working and, to the best of my knowledge, nobody was assaulted." Her testimony contradicted earlier claims from NEMA and LASEMA officials that they were prevented from gaining access to the site and treated aggressively by church staff.
Earlier, a witness who is one of the surviving volunteer workers of the church involved in the unfortunate incident, Afusat Oladipo, had told the coroner that moments prior to the collapse of the building, she had noticed a strange flash of light accompanied by a thunderous bang. Her account corroborates those of other witnesses who had previously spoken during the inquest. Their accounts all suggest the possibility of an explosion.
Meanwhile, Chief Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe has adjourned proceedings to January 6, 2015.
Nosa Osazuwa ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports from Lagos.
*Photo Caption - Rescue workers Tuesday September 16, 2014 search for survivors in the rubble of Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Lagos- Nigeria collapsed building. The building collapsed September 12, 2014.
[ Masterweb Reports: Issachar Odion reports ] - I am no economist. Then again, neither are a whole lot of the people who have written or spoken in recent times on the economic issues prevalent in our nation today. We are, however, stakeholders; after all, it is our country. We live here, earn a living here; our children attend schools here and what have you. Even those of us who are not resident in the country have family members who are, and probably some investment or the other here. So, we are all stakeholders.
Since the first alarm was sounded on the falling prices of crude oil, many of us have been following the news ardently, silently hoping for a reprieve of some sort. It has been several weeks since the first news broke, and though several actions and reactions have taken place since then, the narrative of the general populace has not changed; we are still in the ‘finger pointing’ phase. Two points arise from this phase which require that we take a look at the facts before us critically rather than allow ourselves be swept away in the flood of what at first may appear as ‘public opinion’, but now plays as a well-crafted plan to distract and derail the good people of this dear nation from the things which are true and right.
Dr (Mrs) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a technocrat, not a politician. She was not appointed as finance minister and Coordinating Minister of the Economy because she was owed a political favour, but because the presidency deemed her the right fit for the job. Based on her past service to the country, it is not out of place for me to state that she is not one associated with reckless spending. In fact, it was during her first stint as finance minister that the Excess Crude Account was set up.
Secondly, while she endorsed saving; other parties, wielding political might, undermined her efforts. In April 2013, she openly, and on more than one occasion told us that the Federal Government was compelled to share over $16.4billion revenue accumulated in the excess crude account to the states because the governors argued that it was unconstitutional and even illegal for the Nigerian republic to have savings stashed away for some imaginary rainy day. She was also quoted saying that, “It was a fight to even get $1billion paid into the SWF (Sovereign Wealth Fund). We managed to save $20billion the last time, but now the governors are saying it is illegal. So, the country is not able to save, and what is left in the Excess Crude Revenue Account today is only about $3.6billion”.
The truth is, surviving the current decline in oil prices and its negative impact on national and global economies would have certainly been made easier had we enough funds shored up. Remember, it had been done before during the 2008/09 crises. The government was able to augment its budget deficit and continue with most of its development programmes with revenues from a healthy Excess Crude Revenue Account.
Had Dr Okonjo-Iweala not, in the past, expressed her concerns, reservations and angst about what another economic meltdown without sufficient funds in the ECA would do to us, then she should naturally be our first target for finger-pointing. But she did, several times over, she did. Yet we refuse to blame the people who squandered our future and have faced the one woman who became an enemy of state governors and legislature in her bid to secure the economic future of this country.
The Minister has always been an advocate of the need for the country to continue to create safety nets in the form of savings in order to cushion any potential negative effects of the volatility in the international oil market on the domestic economy should there be any further depression in the global economy. Just as she has repeatedly stressed that increased efforts to diversify the country’s economy remains the only viable option open to pursue in the face of dwindling revenues from crude oil exports as well as increasing volatility in the global oil market.
With elections fast approaching and our current situation becoming fertile ground for politicking, what is needed now is a collaborative paradigm shift. We need to look beyond the problem to the possible solutions; we need to shift our focus from blaming the finance minister and her economic team to focusing on the things that matter. In truth, as stakeholders, everyone has a role to play. Let us not be carried away by the opinions of naysayers as we look towards a better economy in the years ahead.
Issachar Odion ( Email: email@example.com ), a post graduate student reports.
*Photo Caption - Dr (Mrs) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
[ Masterweb Reports: Ebun Asagbe reports ] - The events of the past few weeks have every one paying closer attention to news headlines; especially as it relates to the falling price of crude oil, the economy and how it all affects us as Nigerians, both in the short term, and in the years to come. That was how I stumbled across Duro Onabule’s op-ed titled, “Eventually, collapse of the economy?” published last week in The Sun.
Having read that lengthy article, I tend to disagree with him on some of what he may have considered to be salient points when developing his op-ed. I must confess that I am still a tad disturbed by the way Duro Onabule kept referring to Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as “the Lady”. Something about it doesn’t just sit well with me. With the capitalization of the word, ‘lady’ each time, it almost seems like a title of scorn or ridicule. Now, as a woman myself, I find that offensive. If the minister had been a man, would he have called him “the Lord”? Or is this deliberately done so that whatever else he accused the said minister of doing or saying hereafter is hinged on the one indisputable fact; that she is FEMALE? I would have thought someone of his experience would be more sophisticated and delicate when addressing issues of this nature, alas! I am to be disappointed.
We know that there are several notable women in the president’s cabinet occupying key positions and heading ministries. So, when he calls Dr Okonjo-Iweala “the Lady of the Goodluck Jonathan administration”, in spite of the fact that she is not the only woman occupying a prominent position in government, there is the undertone of something hidden between the lines. That is both disrespectful and unfair. For a woman who has served this country passionately and has done it all on merit, she deserves an apology.
Anyone reading his op-ed on how Dr Okonjo-Iweala promised the creation of 10 million jobs knows at once how preposterous that sounds. No one in their right minds would make such a promise, least of all our Harvard-trained Minister of Finance. She knows this; and so does Duro, yet he mentions it, albeit in a manner that supposes he doesn’t believe it himself. I have scoured the internet looking for where the minister could possibly have made such a promise and the only hit I keep getting is Mr Onabule’s article. Where then did he get his information from? I wish he would have told us that.
This naturally has given me cause to ask: Why would a man who clearly has doubts about a statement still go ahead to mention that same statement in his op-ed with the intent of trash-talking a minister of this government? Did he validate his facts? I mean we are talking about a journalist with years of experience here.
Some of you may not know that Duro Onabule was an editor at a national daily before going on to serve as Chief Press Secretary to Gen. Ibrahim Babangida at the time when the latter was Head of State. I find it unnerving how those who have served leaders of our dear country in the past always come round to condemn those serving in the current government.
Another point which I find saddening is that when issues bordering on the current situation in the economy are raised, no one mentions the fact that the National Assembly keeps frustrating the efforts of the Finance Minister to reduce the crude oil bench mark. Had the current slide in oil prices not occurred, it would have been business as usual at NASS. What about the “share the money” mantra that the Governors’ Forum members chant unendingly when it comes to whether or not to touch the funds in the Excess Crude Account? For some reason, many Nigerians, Duro included, have deliberately decided to forget that prior to the setting up of the ECA, no one had any idea where all excess money from the sale of crude oil went.
Still talking about selective amnesia, our journalist here has not mentioned the SURE-P Graduate Internship Scheme, nor did he think it noteworthy to bring up the YouWIN Initiative; both of which have created jobs and a source of livelihood for many Nigerian youths. While these may not be the “ten million jobs”, these projects have taken people off the streets, put food on many people’s tables, and still offer hope to countless others.
That Dr Okonjo-Iweala never warned about the state of the economy is untrue. She has always, at every opportunity available, made it clear that we needed to spend less and save more. Just as she has been one our strongest advocates on the issue of diversifying and sourcing for other streams of income from viable sectors such as Agriculture. She has in the past been a victim of attacks; both offline and online because of her advocacy on prudence and savings. One need only enter key words in an online search to get proof of this. At least, I can assure you that on this, there is a plethora of evidence available as opposed to Duro’s non-existent figures and made up quotes of which he is the chief instigator and only source. What Nigerians expect from people of Duro’s experience is simple; facts. Give us facts and then let us decide for ourselves what to think, rather than filling our space with fairytales of a time long gone by and bogus datum.
Ebun Asagbe ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ), reports from Ado Ekiti, where she lives and works as a brand consultant.
*Photo Caption - Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
[ Masterweb Reports ] - Our attention has been drawn to the malicious and false publication by THISDAY online of November 26, 2014, to the effect of Abia PDP Appeal Panel disqualifying Orji’s Son wherein it asserted partly that: “The alleged scheming by Governor Theodore Orji to foist his son, Chinedu, as a member, and possibly Speaker, of Abia State House of Assembly in 2015 on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) may have hit the rocks following the disqualification of the aspirant (Chinedu) by the party’s assembly screening appeal panel.
“The panel, which recommended the disqualification of the governor’s son, comprised Augustus Mbanali (Chairman), Emmanuel Ogunsalu (member) and Emeka Odenigwe (member/secretary).
“Among the reasons for the disqualification of Orji junior who is gunning for Umuahia central state constituency, was the allegation of being a member of a secret society, the Black Axe Confraternity.
“A confessed member of the society in Umuahia had identified Chinedu as not only a fellow member, but actually the Capo (Head) of the cult.”
That is not only false but also embarrassing and offensive as the totality of this publication is also diversionary and made in bad faith.
The said offensive publication is hereby refuted as not only being offensive but also defamatory in nature, false, mischievous and devoid of any shred of proof and maliciously made by the reporter in a bid to assail the hard earned integrity of Engr. Chinedum Orji.
It is on record that Engr. Chinedum Orji is not, and has not been a member of a secret cult as alleged in the said publication.
It is also on record that Engr. Chinedum Orji in a show of humility and compliance with the PDP rules and regulations presented himself for screening at the Finbarrs Road party secretariat on the 6th and 7th November 2014, wherein he was vetted and screened and consequently was issued a provincial clearance certification dated 7th November 2014 with serial number: 0000027 and Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji boldly written on it.
And there has never been any indictment or petition against his candidacy for any appeal panel to look into and hence there was no disqualification whatsoever. That one begins to imagine the source of the said publication which is at best the figment of the imagination of the reporter which is highly defamatory, maliciously made to injure the credit, character, reputation of Engr. Chinedum Orji to public shame, ridicule, odium and contempt for which it’s demanded that the said false and defamatory publication be retracted forthwith with apology as there must be a limit within the law of freedom of the press not when it’s as instant case, scandalous, embarrassing and defamatory.
Chief Press Secretary to Abia State Governor
*Photo Caption - PDP logo
[ Masterweb Reports ] - The National Coordinator, Initiative for National Rebirth, Mr. Patrick Okpomu had declared that President Goodluck Jonathan deserved more than a birthday card and has urged Nigerians to deliver their electoral mandate as a token of appreciation to the NIGERIAN CONSENSUS CANDIDATE; Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan GCFR comes 14th February, 2015 Presidential Election as he celebrates his 57th birthday today.
He stated this in a special birthday congratulatory message on behalf of the National Working Committee of Initiative for National Rebirth, the good people of Nigeria and Nigerians in Diaspora to felicitate with the President, His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan GCFR in marking the President’s 57th birthday celebration. He used the opportunity in thanking God for His amazing grace upon the life of the President. A life he had unambiguously dedicated to the service, uplifting and promotion of humanity. And prayed God to continue to magnify him before the world and make him wax stronger.
Mr. Okpomu emphasized that as a bridge builder, Nigerians are convinced that the President’s Re-election in 2015 would herald peace in the country and foster unity among the various ethnic nationalities to achieve the President’s vision of the NIGERIAN PROJECT. He assured the President of the organization’s continuous support and co-operation at all times for the common good of Nigeria.
He further eulogized the President as a true and outstanding advocate of generational and transformational change. A leader of everything that symbolized progress, prosperity and excellence. Indeed a trailblazer yet too humble, whose trademark is empowerment. A rare leader, an institution in building humanity.
The National Coordinator of INR also prayed that the Almighty God would continue to grant the President good health, long life and more wisdom as he continued to serve the country with more commitment and love. He remarked that the President had shown greater commitment to infrastructural development and better deal for the citizens of the great country, Nigeria.
As the President add one glorious year to his sojourn on earth, Mr. Okpomu further prayed the Almighty God to add more healthy and fruitful years to his days, that he may leave more enduring legacies for generations yet unborn through quality service.
He also commended the President for his energy, intellect and humility which had separated him, “THE MAN from THE BOYS”. And the story of development and growth in Nigeria today under his quintessential leadership, rekindles Nigerians hope in the NIGERIAN PROJECT; that with focused leadership, things could still be gotten right.
He further affirmed that the President had proved bookmakers wrong by his remarkable and enviable achievements in the health sector reforms and the eradication of the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease which had prompted the World Health Organization certifying Nigeria Ebola-free nation. And as a testimony of the President’s doggedness, uncommon intellect, focused leadership and co-operation of Nigerians.
He finally highlighted the administration’s many successful exploits in education, infrastructure development, agriculture, health, youth employment and empowerment, road construction, aviation etc which stand the President out among equals. And concluded that the President’s development records and bold steps as a bold and quiet achiever, a lover of sports and manager of resources were evident testimonies for all to see. And on this verge that the President’s Declaration of Intent to run for the 2015 Presidential Election under the Peoples Democratic Party comes 14th February 2015 was quite commended by Nigerians in order to consolidate on the gains and laudable achievements of the TRANSFOR MATION AGENDA.
*Photo Caption - President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan
[ Masterweb Reports: Steve Ochonma reports ] - I read online on Sunday October 24th, on Naij.Com news, an article entitled: Governor Amechi Reveals shocking truth about what caused Enemity between himself and Dame Patience Jonathan. In the said piece, Amechi was quoted to have said During the 1st graduating Ceremony of the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Rumuolumeni, River State, on October 24th as follows: “Remember when I become governor, I fought militancy….., and chased the militants away. Some of them went to Lagos, Ivory Coast, Ghana, etc., today; they are back, because the wife of the president brought them back to protest against me. I refused to give them money in Abuja because , if I do that I won’t be able to carry out any development project……., the quarrel between me and the wife of the president is because she said I should bring your money, Rivers people’s money and share with her’.
Amechi also alleged further that the Federal government under president Jonathan has been unfair to Rivers State, refusing to carry out any project in Rivers State, and that the East-west road is now being reconstructed only because he had to “abuse” the Federal government. He also alleged that Jonathan had taken Oil wells from Soku in Rivers State and gave same to Bayelsa State, and that 41 Oil wells in Etche in Rivers State have also been given to Abia State, and asked if President Jonathan is from Abia.
But the height of Amechi irresponsibility and insensitivity was to be seen from his incitement of the young graduates. According to Amechi “you should be careful of who you vote into power come 2015. If you vote President Jonathan back into power in next year’s general elections, Rivers State economy would crumble. Why do they want us to suffer? If President Jonathan comes back to power in 2015, Rivers State economy will crash’.
What could be more inciting and fear mongering than those statements credited to a governor of the Federal republic of Nigeria, all in the name of cheap politics. One would have thought that Amechi would tell us the bad policies and actions of President Jonathan that have impacted negatively on the economy of Rivers state. And submit the program of his new party aimed at addressing those policies, thereby giving us reasons to vote for change in 2015. To resort to cheap blackmail is disgusting and would not woo voters to the side of opposition. It also exposes Amechi and Co as desperadoes who have something to lose personally if Jonathan continues in office beyond 2015. The choice of whether Jonathan stays beyond 2015 or not is not Amechi’s but that of Nigerian voters. Amechi was showing the wrong example of leadership to those young graduates of Ajuru University and solving seed of discord. Again that was not a political gathering so Amechi should have chosen his words carefully.
Not only was Amechi’s account of the Soku and Etche Oil wells fabrication lies, it was morally wrong for Amechi to bring that up in such a forum, knowing full well that he was lying. The court records are there for any sincere investigator to verify. The Oil well in Soku belonged to Bayelsa as the court has decided, all Amechi could do is Appeal up to the Supreme Court for reversal of the judgment, or appeal to God as was the case in Amechi vs Omehia. He should remember that he was not on that ballot and so God would not have giving a stolen mandate through the back door. Amechi should have known as speaker of Rivers house of Assembly for 8 years and now governor for 7 years, that it was Obasanjo who constituted a panel to look into dispute between neighboring states regarding Oil wells ownership. These disputes involved Akwa-Ibom and Rivers, Rivers and Imo, Rivers and Abia, and Rivers and Bayelsa.
The report of the panel is there for everyone to see and read, so why politicize these issues. Rivers State had enjoyed the proceeds from the Oil well belonging to her neighbors, which were wrongly credited to her, over the years and still do till date. For Instance, all the oil wells under SPDC’s operation designated as Obigbo North is actually in “Imo gate” in Abia State. But Rivers State still receives money from Federal government on them till date, so if some of the injustices melted to Abia is being reversed now, how does that amount to unfairness. The victim in this Oil well dispute is Abia and certainly not Rivers.
When Barr. Nyesom Wike was the Chief of staff, Rivers government house, he has alleged to have been involved in corrupt practices. An allegation, the EFEC was to investigate. In the midst of the outcry that followed Wike’s purported investigation, Amechi-who had previously stated that after God, the next person he owes gratitude to was Mr. Nyesom Wike, threatened the EFEC and Federal government, that if Mr. Wike was to be arrested, Rivers people will resist it with their blood. The same Amechi was to reverse himself later to say that Mr Wike is indeed corrupt and has not executed contracts awarded to him by him to the tune of billions of Naira, up to date and queried why such a person should aspire to be Governor.
He warned “Rivers people” not to allow PDP or Mr Wike to win the election in 2015. One could see from the foregoing that Amechi is wavering, unstable and insensitive, saying one thing at a point and another later as it suits him. He only calls upon his so called “Rivers People” when he needs to fight personal enemies.
It was alleged that Amechi have given contract to his Cohorts running into several billions of naira without due process. He was said to have bypassed the ministries in awarding bogus contracts to friends and family and pay for jobs upfront. One would have considered such claims erroneous and a handiwork of his political detractors, but the Governor himself seems to have confirmed all that by admitting to have given Wike those contracts. Mr. Wike was never a construction contractor before Amechi’s government so how did he become on overnight, and why were “Rivers people” not consulted prior to those awards. Now he remembers that the money he had been throwing away belongs to Rivers people. It does not seem Amechi is a frugal spender, no sooner was he sworn in as Governor, than he sold the two aircrafts bought “brand new” by his predecessor to other state governments and leased another from the Bank of Utah in the USA for himself purporting to have bought it for Rivers State. As I write, the opposition in the state are still asking question on the proceeds from those two aircraft and the billions of dollars appropriated for the purchase of another aircraft for Amechi, by the state house. I am not aware that a account of stewardship on those transactions have been rendered, to “Rivers people. So he should not involve the Rivers people now in his personal fight with Mr. Wike and Dame Patience Jonathan. They all will answer to us- the authentic “Rivers People” at the appropriate time.
In the midst of all these glaring proof of Amechi wastefulness, how does he want us to believe that the issue between him and the first lady of Nigeria is money? Amechi is reported to be the chief financer of APC, Weather that is true or not we are yet to ascertain. Ameachi has given out to cohorts more money under various disguise than any other Governor I know of today in Nigeria, and most of those who benefitted from the Ameachi largese in the last 3 years, at least, are non “Rivers People. So if the first Daughter of the state asked for help from her “younger brother”, why should that bring quarrel? So Amechi would rather starve Rivers Daughter and give to cohorts?
How can Amechi convince us that the first lady asked him for money and for what purpose? I don’t think any wife of the President of Nigeria that we know of is a poor person, with all the access to fund at their disposal. Who did the first lady sent to Amechi? Was Amechi to bring cash, pay money into a bank account or give contract to the first lady? The Governor of Rivers state also alleged that the wife of the president brought back the militants to the state to protest against him. Who are these militants, how did the first lady bring them back, and why would she want to bring them back, and why would she want to bring Amechi down, is she running for Governor in 2015, what exactly Is her interest in protesting against Amechi. Those are questions that we need answers to, and from the Governor. Ameachi needs to enlighten us on these, or in the absent of concrete proof, just retrace his footstep and apologies to the woman. We expect a Governor of a state to b sensitive and responsible in both his words and deeds and not to act like an ordinary street person. That’s the kind of example that those University of Education graduates needs. To do otherwise is highly irresponsible and a “motor park” leadership.
Steve Ochonma ( Email: email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Governor Rotimi Amechi -LEFT; Dame Patience Jonathan -RIGHT.