[ Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] -NIDO America hereby disassociates its self from a statement being circulated by Prof. Apolllos Okwuchi Nwauwa, Mr. Gabriel Ndubuisi George, and Mrs. Patience N. Key. Apart from stoking treasonable charges against President Muhammadu Buhari, the statement demands the president to mandate all Nigerian “herdsmen to return to their own farmlands, and then earmark specific lands within the Fulani enclave for grazing and to which the herdsmen should be restricted.”
The general public should dismiss the archaic statement as a litany of delusional self-serving rhetoric rather than genuine concern for common good. While the recent heinous activities of the herdsmen ought to be condemned by all, any statement suggestive of every Nigerian to return and be restricted in their area is pea-brained. Such inflammatory innuendo does nothing but fuel wholesale xenophobia as well as deeper ethnic crisis.
NIDO America is a non-partisan organization and must resist the naked attempt by a political party to collude with some radicalized ethnic jingoists within the organization to incite crisis in Nigeria. It should be recalled that the Executive Committees of NIDO America/USA under Attorney Samuel Adewusi (ex-Chairman, NIDO America); Mr. Gabriel Ndubuisi George (ex-Chairman, NIDO USA); and Prof. Apollos Nwauwa (ex-General Secretary, NIDO USA) were dissolved effective from 28th May, 2016 for false propaganda against the state among other reasons. Hence the organization is currently placed under an interim committee headed by the Hon. Chiwuikem Ihediwa.
For additional information, please contact:
Dr. SKC Ogbonnia
-for NIDO America Board of Regents
*Photo Caption - NIDO America logo
[ Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] - Our attention has been drawn to a false and spurious accusation with fabricated evidence made against the Chairman, Police Service Commission, Mr. Mike Okiro by the Civil Society Network Against Corruption CSNAC accusing him of committing N275 million fraud.
We have also observed that each time the public was about to appraise the activities of the Police Service Commission, a spurious accusation levelled against its Chairman, Mr. Mike Okiro by one Aaron Kaase is being promoted by CSNAC to instigate President Buhari against Mr. Okiro. This is what they have been doing since Mr. Buhari came to power last year.
There is no doubt that their motive is to hide under the on going war against corruption to get President Buhari to remove Mr. Okiro from his job.
Furthermore, by pushing for Mr. Okiro's removal, another of their motive is to incite our Southern brothers against President Buhari by accusing him of promoting a Northern Agenda.
Therefore, we call on President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore the spurious allegations against Mr. Okiro by a cash and carry Civil Society Organisation.
We call on Mr. Okiro to focus on his job by ensuring the successful completion of the ongoing Police recruitment exercise.
We urge CSNAC to spear a thought for Nigeria espeially now that every action of the President is been misinterpreted by our Southern brothers.
Mallam Abubakar Suleiman
Chairman, Arewa Youths Renaissance
*Photo Caption - Mr. Mike Okiro
[ Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] -This is to inform the general public that Professor Apollos Okwuchi Nwauwa, Engineer Gabriel N. George, and Attorney Samuel Adewusi have been expelled from NIDO America effective June 10, 2016. This decision became necessary after it was discovered that these individuals are still parading themselves as officials of NIDO, giving the false impression of two factions within NIDO America.
As stated in an earlier statement carried by various sections of the media, the past leadership of NIDO America/USA was dissolved due to a pattern of “gross abuse of power; including massive corruption, influence peddling, conspiracy, extortion, false propaganda against the state, nepotism, subterfuge, wanton chicanery, and flagrant violation of NIDO Bylaws."
NIDO America/USA is currently placed under an interim committee headed by the Hon. Chiwuikem Ihediwa. Thus, any person conducting business with the trio of Apollos Okwuchi Nwauwa, Gabriel N. George, and Attorney Samuel Adewusi is doing so at his/her own risk.
Dr. SKC Ogbonnia
NIDO America Board of Regents
*Photo Caption - Masterweb Breaking News logo
[ Masterweb Reports: Adekunle Olushola reports ] - The World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated globally each year on June 5 to stimulate awareness of the environment and encourage political attention and action. According to the United Nations, WED aims to give a human perspective to environmental issues; empower people to become active agents of sustainable development and advocate multi-stakeholder partnerships in support of the environment.
The theme for 2016, which was celebrated few days ago, was on the illegal trade in wildlife under the slogan ‘Go Wild for Life'ZERO TOLERANCE FOR THE ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE
The growing illegal trade in wildlife not only has adverse effects on biodiversity but is also valued billions of dollars according to World Wildlife Fund. According to United Nations Environmental Protection (UNEP), the booming illegal trade in wildlife products is eroding the Earth’s precious biodiversity, robbing humans of their natural heritage and driving whole species to the brink of extinction while the killing and smuggling is also undermining economies and ecosystems, fueling organized crime, and feeding corruption and insecurity across the globe.
As noted by the Nigerian Environment Society (NES), Nigeria’s wildlife has increasingly been threatened and endangered over the years as result of deforestation, increased poaching, development activities, and weak enforcement of national and international regulations/conventions.
Happily, some corporate bodies have made Environmental stewardship part of their social investments. One of such organisations in Nigeria is Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), the operator of the NNPC/CNL Joint Venture. The company has remained an active agent of sustainable development and strong advocate of partnerships in support of the environment.
Over 50 years, CNL has been supporting and sponsoring various programmes aimed at preserving the environment. The efforts, according to the company are in line with its commitment to Operational Excellence and Environmental Stewardship (ES) process.
The Company says its Operational Excellence and ES Process helps it to identify, assess and manage environmental issues/concerns in a sustainable manner and ensure Chevron conducts its operations in a way that will ensure protection of human health and the environment – including wildlife and other natural resources.
Mr. Clay Neff, Chairman and Managing Director, Chevron Nigeria Limited explained that the company’s ES Process is supported by the Natural Resources Environmental Performance Standard that sets minimum standards for managing environmental footprints, and consequently the ecosystem that supports wildlife which he said are done in accordance with the company’s Corporate Biodiversity Statement.
“The interaction between our capital projects and Wildlife is regularly assessed and monitored. We ensure that appropriate mitigation steps are taken, where necessary, as part of the expectations of our Environmental, Social and Health Impact Assessment (ESHIA) Process.
“The ESHIA, or local Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), involves broad participation by the regulators, local communities and other relevant stakeholders. The process ensures that our projects are carried out with due consideration to human health and for environmental protection – including wildlife. For Deepwater seismic activities, we have an established process for protecting marine life by utilizing the services of Marine Mammal Observer (MMO),” he said.
Further explaining CNL’s commitment to the environment, Clay Neff noted that Chevron is always glad to be part of the solution to global environmental issues, wherever the company operates, through its sound environmental management policy that supports environmental stewardship and sustainable development.
Chevron’s commitment to wildlife conservation is also demonstrated by its continued support for the enduring landmark known as the Lekki Conservation Centre which is reserved as a sanctuary for diverse wildlife and rich flora of the Lekki Peninsula.
The 78-hectare facility was established by the company in partnership with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Nigeria’s foremost non-governmental organization and an affiliate of the World Wide Fund for Nature. NCF is dedicated to the preservation of the full range of Nigeria’s biodiversity and promotion of sustainable use of natural resources for the benefit of the present and future generations. The Foundation has served as a center for wildlife research over the years and has hosted students from different institutions, including researchers.
Chevron’s commitment to environmental protection is also evidenced in the following initiatives:
Nature Conservation and Education
In 2005, CNL established a yearly postgraduate research scholarship for PhD students in environment and conservation. In addition, the company hosts the annual S. L. Edu Memorial Lecture to promote environmental management awareness. The company is also working with the NCF to evaluate the possibility of establishing the Niger Delta Conservation Centre.
Chevron’s efforts in environmental conservation were applauded by various stakeholders during the commissioning of a 401 meters Canopy Walk in the Family Park at Lekki Conservation Centre. At the occasion, former Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola commended the company saying; “The whole purpose of this gathering today is environmental sustainability and we agreed to follow in the footsteps of partners like Chevron because we understand that Nature doesn’t need people, rather it is people that need Nature.” In the same vein, thePresident of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, Izoma Philip Asiodu also expressed appreciation to Chevron Nigeria Limited for its financial support to the Lekki Conservation Centre since 1992.
Assessment of Environmental, Social and Health Risks
CNL has developed and is implementing processes to identify, assess, mitigate and manage potential risks to human health and the environment (including natural resources) associated with existing operations and capital projects. The company’s natural resources requirements also highlight the need to manage land and water from its operations.
In response to global initiatives against climate change, CNL has developed and is implementing a strategy towards eliminating flared gas. The strategy, includes the execution of the three-phased Escravos Gas Project (EGP), the Escravos Gas-to-Liquids project (EGTL) and the West African Gas Pipeline project (WAGP) - all aimed at ending routine gas flaring in its operations, while delivering other important values for Nigeria, NNPC, and for CNL. The Agbami project was also developed for zero routine flare.
Old Land Drill Sites
CNL, with an inventory of its legacy sites that are no longer in use, embarked on priority decommissioning and restoration activities to return the sites to their initial states and subsequently transferred such restored sites to their original owners for sustainable uses.
Putting Back: Restoring the Mangrove
CNL has developed, and applied expertise in mangrove restoration through a combination of modern afforestation techniques, including natural recovery and direct planting of mangroves. The company commenced the regeneration of the mangrove vegetation with a pilot scheme involving the planting of mangrove seedlings of different species at three selected sites along the Abiteye-Escravos right-of-way. Renewed efforts are also ongoing for further restoration utilizing Nigerian consultants with expertise in mangrove restoration.
Social Media Manager
No 26 Oroleye Crescent off Abel Oreniyi Street.
Off Salvation Road, Opebi
*Photo Caption - Chevron logo
[ Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] -We fully endorse the sacking of NIDO America/USA Executives by the General Assembly as published by the Hon. Chiwuikem Ihediwa (see original post at the bottom of this thread). The action was taken so as to lay a strong foundation for a true pan Nigerian organization with progressive agenda. It also helps to rid the organization of visionless leadership, “a pattern of gross abuse of power; including massive corruption, influence peddling, conspiracy, extortion, false propaganda against the state, nepotism, wanton chicanery, and flagrant violation of NIDO Bylaws.”
Massive Corruption: It is not a secret that NIDO America has been embroiled in massive corruption over the years. For instance, despite receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars from various Nigerian and American organizations, NIDO America has failed to account for such funds in line with its 501c non-profit charter. Today, the organization can only boast of less than $1, 600 in its bank account. Yes, $1,600!! Of that amount, $1, 250 was remitted to it this March by Houston NIDO while the remaining amount came from seven BOD members who contributed $50 each to open basic bank account.
Insolvency: It is clear thatNIDO America has become insolvent and thus constantly abdicates its responsibilities. Not surprisingly, the activities of NIDO are limited to occasional virtual conferences because it is broke. It is also not a joking matter, therefore, when one reads that NIDO America/USA does not have a legitimate address anywhere in the United States of America. Its official address is a ramshackle UPS Post office Box disguised as a street address at: 4401-A Connecticut Ave, NW, #359, Washington DC 20008 (Please google the address and see for your self).
Chicanery: Apart from influence peddling and extortion,NIDO America leveraged the numerical strength of the Nigerians in America to acquire lands from the Federal Government of Nigeria with the false pretense that such lands would be developed in line with the Federal Capital Development plan.However, not only were the lands shared among very few executives, these lands remain undeveloped or were sold to fellow Diaspora Nigerians at exorbitant prices.
Conspiracy and Racketeering: The dissolved Executive Committee of NIDO America/USA is on record to have conspired with the agents of the Nigerian Consulate to engage in racketeering through Passport Interventions. Instead of renewal of passports by umbrella Nigerian organizations, NIDO America/USA connives with the agents of the embassy/consulate to perfect passport interventions by their cohorts for selfish individual gains. This long-running scheme is the true reason behind why three consecutive passport interventions (mobile renewal of passports) in the Houston area were cancelled.
In such instances, fellow Nigerians had to travel from far and wide, taking off from work to come to Houston to renew their passports only to be told that the interventions were postponed. Some of them elected to travel to Atlanta where they have to incur an average of $1,000 per person to renew ordinary passport (See NIDO America Houston Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/NIDO-America-Houston-474349282757088/)
Dictatorship without power: Per its bylaws, power belongs to the General Assembly of NIDO America. Instead, the organization has been hijacked by a political party in Nigeria as exemplified by its recent announcements. As a result, absolute power was concentrated in a small clique that makes decisions based on political associations, sex, and social creed. In short, before the dissolution, the NIDO Constitution was being flouted with reckless abandon, negating the rights of individual members, local chapters and districts.
The above activities utterly violate the NIDO founding principles and ought to be condemned by all. If we in the Diaspora can not lead by example, we must then separate ourselves from any moral audacity to question those in position of power back home in Nigeria.
The leadership of NIDO America, Houston Chapter, therefore, hereby disassociates itself from the sacked Executive Committees of NIDO America and NIDO USA. We also enjoin all Diaspora Nigerians to pledge unflinching support to the interim committee led by the Hon. Chiwuikem Ihediwa. His visionary leadership enjoys broad support and is committed to providing a strategic framework for a true pan Nigerian umbrella organization for our citizens in the Americas.
Members of the Press: Please do not hesitate to contact us for questions or supporting data.
Dr. SKC Ogbonnia
NIDO America, Houston Chapter
NIDO America dissolved along with NIDO USA Executives
June 6, 2016
United States of America
This is to inform the general public that the Executive Committees of NIDO America and NIDO USA are henceforth dissolved. This action became necessary due to a pattern of gross abuse of power; including massive corruption, influence peddling, conspiracy, extortion, false propaganda against the state, nepotism, subterfuge, wanton chicanery, and flagrant violation of NIDO Bylaws.
Accordingly, officers of NIDO America, namely: Attorney Samuel Adewusi (Chairman, NIDO America); Mr. Gabriel Ndubuisi George (Chairman, NIDO USA); Prof. Apollos Nwauwa (General Secretary, NIDO USA), and Patience N. Key (PRO) are summarily relieved of their responsibilities effective May 28, 2016. Any person conducting business with these individuals is doing so at his/her own risk.
This decision is in line with the NIDO Bylaws and was reached after a careful deliberation by the General Assembly in a meeting held in Houston on May 28, 2016.
An Interim Executive Committee will run the affairs of NIDO America and NIDO USA until formal elections are held. All local NIDO chapters are not affected by this decision. They are thus advised to continue with their programs and be committed to NIDO objectives and Bylaws.
Stay tuned for details.
for General Assembly
CC: All relevant bodies
*Photo Caption - NIDO Americas Logo
[ Masterweb Reports: Ibrahim Kabiru Sule reports ] - The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has launched the maiden edition of its Ramadan Photo contest aimed at depicting the human face of the month of Ramadan. Winners of the competition would be sponsored to the Hajj pilgrimage, as the contest is open citizens from OIC member countries of age 18 and above.
The group said in a statement that “Entries can be submitted from 1st Ramadan to 30th Ramadan 1437 on OIC website www.oic-oci.org.
“Highlight of some of the pictures will be published on OIC website and social Media platforms throughout the month of Ramadan.”
It said OIC special jury will select 6 winners 2 weeks after the close of the competition and the winners will be announced on OIC website 3-4 weeks after the close of the competition.
The 6 winners with 6 best photographs who would be sponsored for Hajj pilgrimage can transfer to another person they nominated, it added.
The statement said if a winner has committed fraud in the process of winning the competition, his/her winning slot will be awarded to the runner up in the competition.
“To enter the competition, simply upload a picture taken during the 1437 Ramadan fast depicting the Human Face of Ramadan, including your name, age, location, date of the picture, tittle and a short caption.
“Only non-professional photographers with keen eye and creative mind are eligible to participate. Pictures entered for other competitions are not eligible.
“The competition closes on 30th Ramadan 1437. Entries received after this date will not be considered. Competitors must also like or follow OIC Social Media Platforms.
“Photos should be submitted via OIC Website: https://www.oic-oci.org/. with description of the view and location of the image in one of the three OIC official languages: Arabic, English or French.
The statement said the competition encourages contestants to depict Ramadan’s spirituality, generosity, spirit of sharing, gathering, divers Muslims’ traditions and cultures during Ramadan, which all fall within the OIC’s objectives of promoting Islamic solidarity, brotherhood and cultural awareness.
*Photo Caption - As seen
[ Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] - The General Assembly of all Igbo Christian Organizations and Ministers (GAAICOM), foremost Igbo umbrella of religious leaders with track records, have once more called upon all Igbo Hebrews home for a ‘3 Day Walk into the Presence of God’. This 3 Day Prayer Walk is as revealed to the General Coordinator Apostle Dr PCJ Macjossy way back in 2002, and confirmed by other religious leaders cutting across all denominations is finally coming to fruition as the political and occult Igbo leaders and their foreign acolytes who opposed the divinely mandated prayers since 2002, are the ones now begging for its convocation.
This Prayer Conference tagged ‘3 Day Walk in the Presence of God” which will involve the entire Igbo Nation, has since gotten the support of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide which pleaded that the programme should come up after the Igbo Day celebration of September, to enable their full participation.
The aim of the 3 Day Prayer is for all Igbos to get back to their Igbo Hebrew root and call upon the God of the Hebrews to stand on their behalf in these trying times of national transformation. The 3 Day Programme holds the key to unraveling the destiny of Ndigbo Worldwide.
In a briefing with church leaders after the state delegates conference in Enugu on Monday, accompanied by a press briefing, Apostle Dr Macjossy advised all Igbo Hebrews to begin to prepare for the ‘3- Day Walk’ scheduled for October.
GAAICOM has in its fold prominent Igbo Clerics from the Orthodox to the Pentecostals and has been influential in the shaping of Igbo political landscape, albeit behind the scene, since 2002. Archbishop Emmanuel Chukwuma,Archbishop Dr Austin Nwodika, Rev Monsignor Alphosus Oko , Rev Fr Bon Aneke, Rev Obinna Akukwe, Apostle Charles Louis Egbuchiem are among the pioneers of the group.
Press Release !!
GAAICOM CALLS ALL IGBO HEBREWS HOME
AND ADVISES PRESIDENT BUHARI
On the hills of the current socio-political, socio-economic, socio cultural, socio-religious and socio-welfare uncertainties in Nigeria, the General Assembly of All Igbo Christian Organizations and Ministers (GAAICOM), the Prophet standing in the Gap for the Igbo Hebrew Nation has made a divine clarion call to every Igbo person anywhere in the world to turn home towards their root, their source and sustainer for permanent solutions to these uncertainties.
The call according to the General Coordinator of the organization, Apostle Dr. ChidiPCJMacjossy is an Order of Divine Unction. The source and sustainer otherwise the origin of the existence and life of the Igbo Hebrew people was established on Abrahamic covenant. This covenant has lasted three (3) millenniums working on symbiotic order.
In this third millennium, the Lord God of the Igbo Hebrews has renewed and transmuted the covenant through His Grace with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on His Altar of everlasting assurance sealed with the blood of Jesus Christ. In this covenant, is the assurance of the security of His people; in this covenant, is the Centre Point of Unity; in this covenant, shall the peace of His people be found; in this covenant, shall the quagmire and enigmatic trauma cease; in this covenant, lies your liberty and power to lead;in this covenant, is your warlord and victory at all fronts, in this covenant, is your dominion over the earth, in this covenant, is all your right to life; etc.
All and sundry, all town unions, various Igbo-socio cultural organizations are been called upon to rise and be part of the planning, to participate and to contribute towards the three (3) days walk of the Igbo Hebrews into the Presence of God scheduled for October, 2016.
1. To activate the renewed covenant
2. To bring the Igbos to their Centre Point of Unity
3. For total restoration of the Igbo Hebrew Nation
4. For general thanksgiving
On the state of the Nigerian Nation, God is still in perfect control. Every other lapses are caused by human imperfection and lack of fear and reverence for God. Our word for President Buhari is that it takes the fear of God, the Grace of God, sincerity, humility, prudence and well-salted words to rule a peaceful country like Nigeria. He should love all Nigerians equally avoiding provocative threats on any section of Nigeria. With well-salted words, one can turn any presumed enemy to be his friend. Nigeria is a peace loving country.
Finally, we call on the Federal Government and labour unions to reach a consensus for the interest of the nation. We also call upon security agents to observe the rules of engagements while dealing with protesting groups.
Apostle Dr PCJ MacJossy
General Coordinator (GAAICOM)
Rev Dr Obinna Akukwe
Director of Media and Communications (GAAICOM)
*Photo Caption - Map of Igboland (homeland of Ndigbo of Nigeria).
[ Masterweb Reports: Nigerians in Ukraine write Buhari ] - Dear Sir, The Nigeria Community in Ukraine was among the first in the diaspora to support the APC change mantra. Though, we are faced with intimidation and oppression by the then PDP government. Our zeal and determination to ensure a better Nigeria for us all and the unborn children kept us going throughout the period of impunity. It's of public knowledge that the then Chairman Nigeria Community in Ukraine was declared wanted by the embassy and thereby making Comrade Ahmed Omeiza Lukman go into hiding till after the results of the elections were declared. Several attempts
were also made on Comrade Ahmed Omeiza Lukman's life after the release of a publication endorsing President Muhammadu Buhari against the embassy favoured candidate of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.
Sir, we are of the opinion that the Nigeria next ambassador to Ukraine must be appointed from Nigerians here in Ukraine. We must put an end to this idea of compensating politicians with ambassadorial position. We need those who have sound knowledge of the environment, people who knows the pains faced by Nigerians in diaspora and above all those who can make the relationship a mutual benefit for the two countries. We can afford to let political job seekers make Nigerians slaves in the hands of their host countries. The like of Comrade Ahmed Omeiza Lukman, Engr.
Shadarch Omale and Dr. Muhammad Gusau are all good candidates who should be given due consideration during the process of appointing ambassadors, they have track records and had distinguished themselves here in Ukraine as worthy ambassadors of Nigeria.
The Nigeria Community here in Ukraine would love to appeal to President
Muhammadu Buhari to give us a chance to pilot the affair of our country, we believe if given the opportunity to serve our motherland, we will never disappoint the government and the people.
Sir, we also want to commend you for having the boldness in removing fuel subsidy. Nigeria cannot afford to be losing trillion of dollars annually on subsidy, the economy can not support such an evil policy of any government.
Finally, we will love to thank you for all you have achieved within the period of your one year in office.
Dr. Aliyu Muhammad
Nigeria Community In Ukraine
*Photo Caption - President Muhammadu Buhari
[ Masterweb Reports: Eze Chukwuemeka Eze reports ] - Preamble: My good friend and political leader, Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, who piloted with other great Nigerians the ousting of the last looting PDP Administration under the watch of Dr Goodluck Jonathan that ruined and brought our country to her knees, will by this Friday, May 27, 2016 clock 51. Silver and gold have I none to give this man of the moment but, at least, I can pay him a tribute by chronicling how he emerged from humble circumstances to become one of the shapers of modern Nigerian politics within his first 51 years of sojourn on earth. This enigma of a man, whose antics and antecedents in politics defers proper definition is, to most watchers of political evolution of Nigeria, the ‘new face’ of Nigeria politics, while to others he is one of the main pillars in which the administration of the no-nonsense and czar of anti-corruption virus in Nigeria relies upon. As a close friend who has watched him from close quarters over a long period of time, I will attempt to expose what makes him tick politically, and how he piloted the unseating of a sitting president and a political party that prided itself as the largest in Africa.
This mystery man’s tie with the destiny of Rivers State is mysterious and different from that of any other political leader from the state. He is the only political leader so far who has played a key role in shaping the political future of the state, who shares the same birthday with the state. Whilst he was born on May 27, 1965, Rivers State was created two years after, on May 27, 1967, by the administration of General Yakubu Gowon. This, somehow, underscores why his commitment towards the emancipation and development of the state is total and unique.
With this devilment, one can easily understand why Amaechi is so much attached to the future of most children of this nation, through offer of qualitative and free education from primary to the highest level of education and the affairs of his beloved State, Rivers.
Another unique thing about this great leader is that he shares the same date with the day on which Nigeria celebrates Children’s Day. Inspired by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Federal Government of Nigeria decided in 1964 – a year to the birth of Amaechi – to set aside May 27 every year as Nigeria’s Children’s Day. On this special day, the whole nation celebrates the Nigerian Child and the Federal Government declares a public holiday for schools across the country. The day is usually marked with fanfare: featuring dances, singing by children in colourful dresses and youth parades considered by many as the highlights of the day.
Governor Amaechi’s Humble Beginnings
The family of Amaechi in Ubima, Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, was on May 27, 1965 blessed with the birth of a son who unbeknownst to all would become a force to reckon with in Nigeria’s political firmament even before his 501st birthday. He was named Chibuike, which means ‘God is all Powerful’ and Rotimi, an abridged version of Oluwadurotimi, meaning ‘the Lord stands by me’, while Amaechi means ‘who knows tomorrow?’ Remember the popular phrase, what is in a name? One does not need to be a sage to know that all the meanings embedded in his name are playing out in the acts and arts of politics in Amaechi’s life.
Amaechi, as he himself has unequivocally said on several occasions, was not born into opulence. As a child his family experienced real hardship and he admits going through several challenges that have helped to shape his perception of life. His determination to ensure equal access to education for every Rivers child and bridge the gap between the privileged and underprivileged children in the state is unprecedented. Whenever the occasion demands, Amaechi would not hesitate to point out that though he came from an underprivileged background, his was a modest family that inculcated in him the virtues of honesty, humility and sheer doggedness to succeed.
To give an insight into some of the experiences he had to go through in order to be educated and which perhaps may very well be the reason behind his passion to provide free education for all children in the state, rich and poor during his period s Governor of Rivers State, Amaechi said in an interview: “I don’t know how many people in my cabinet that could have experienced poverty like I did. I grew up at No.18, Chibu Street. I moved from there to Nnamdi Azikwe. Later, I lived with one of my friends in one of the creek villages near Port Harcourt. And I knew that my parents suffered a lot. With tears, they were looking for money to pay for my school fees, buy me uniforms, bags and all that. When I was in the university, I used to tell the girls that ‘none of you looked at my face because I was wearing one shirt, one pair of trousers almost every day with a sandal’. On Fridays, we would wash it and we wouldn’t move out at all on Saturday to enable it dry; Sam Okah and myself. Then it would dry on Saturday, but on Sunday, we were back to life; wearing the same shirt and the same trousers. How many of those in the cabinet passed through that?” This is the pathetic story of the man that is driven by unquenchable passion for a better Rivers State.
Amaechi’s Rise to Power and Legacy as Governor of Rivers State
Amaechi became Governor of Rivers State in October 2007, after his previous position as Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly from 1999 to 2007. He successfully sought re-election as River State Governor on April 26, 2011.
An alumnus of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Amaechi is resolutely committed to ensuring that education is received without much burden in terms of finance to parents and guardians. This he has demonstrated during his days as the Governor of Rivers State through the free education policy of his administration, including the provision of free uniforms, free sandals, free books, free hand bags and free tuition in the primary schools, while in the secondary schools, the government offers free uniform, free bags, free books, free boarding and free sandals. This may well be his own special way of living up to his birthday which coincides with the Children’s Day!
Amaechi’s massive investment in education that includes free education and overseas training for scholarship students clearly shows his desire for a better tomorrow for children, as there is no gainsaying the fact that education is the bedrock of the development of any society.
Amaechi redefined the art of politics and governance in Nigeria when he introduced free education and free healthcare programmes in Rivers State and within a space of five years created over 50,000 jobs to reduce the menace of unemployment, poverty and insurgency in the country. His administration started creating employment opportunities when he assumed office in 2007 by building over 140 Primary Health Centres, 23 model Secondary Schools that can compete with any modern university in Nigeria and over 300 Model Primary Schools. Each of these projects attracts about 100 workers.
Though, the incumbent Governor of Rivers State, Chief Wike whose rise to that exalted office through the innocent blood of Rivers State people are well documented, he has erased and reversed all the Amaechi’s feats in education through stopping the Amaechi’s Scholarship Scheme, abolishing the free education and turning all the great schools built by Amaechi into dustbin centres. Wike’s anti education policy notwithstanding, Amaechi’s investment in education in Rivers State stands out in the country. The awards the State has earned in this regard bear this out.
Apart from education, Governor Amaechi has also made massive infrastructural investments around the State, road projects, schools, health centres, rural electrification, ongoing monorail project, rural development, land reclamation, implementation of the Greater Port Harcourt Master Plan and, most importantly, the sustenance of relative peace and security evident in the continued attraction and influx of foreign investors to the State. Amaechi stands as the only African Leader to have constructed 60 health centres, donated to 60 communities. His astute leadership in striving for financial transparency, accountability and inclusive governance has earned the State a lot of accolades, numerous awards and recognitions by international bodies and corporations, including the ability to attract a B+/AA Fitch investment rating to the State, boost economic and structural development as well as enhance content development in all sectors of Rivers State.
As Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Amaechi was Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Houses of Assembly in Nigeria (1999 - 2000). He was the first to serve two terms as Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), recently handing over to a new leadership in view of the fact that his constitutionally allowed two terms as Governor is about to end. He has received the prestigious national award of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON).
Amaechi bagged the Sun Newspaper Man of the Year Award in 2007 and the Compass Newspaper Award for Security in 2008. The Governor of the Year 2009 Award was presented to him at the Leadership Award for Excellence - 2009 and he was the Vanguard Personality of the Year for 2012. Amaechi’s international recognitions include his decoration last year as an Associate Fellow of the United Nations Institute for Training & Research (UNITAR), Geneva, Switzerland.
To many people Amaechi is the creator of modern Rivers State only comparable to the creator of the old Rivers State, HRH Alfred Diete-Spiff. This is the inescapable conclusion when one takes time to study Amaechi’s feats in the infrastructure change and revolution taking place in Rivers State today that includes creating the new Port Harcourt Mega City that has one of the best modern stadiums and other edifices only obtainable in modern cities of Europe.
Not minding how Chief Nyesome Wike has turned Rivers State into a killing field where human lives worth nothing but for the records, Amaechi during his days Rivers State Governor succeeded in rescuing Rivers State from the hands of militants, whose activities made Port Harcourt to be described as the third most dangerous city in the world as at 2007 when Amaechi took over as Governor. He has since made the city an investors’ haven and has placed it prominently on the international map as the first African city to become the World Book Capital.
His government has created the Banana Farms that have created jobs for over 2,000 persons, and revived Risonpalm, which was dead when he came in, and it has employed over 5,000 workers. The Songhai Farm has employed over 2,000 workers, while five Fish Farms in strategic locations have been completed.
Amaechi’s Role in PDP’s Downfall and the Making of the Buhari Presidency
The desperation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Leadership to completely destroy Amaechi led to his departure, alongside six other PDP Governors, to form the New PDP, with five of them later joining the mega opposition political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). Explaining why he joined APC, Governor Amaechi said: “Unfortunately, recent events within the PDP have given me reason to reconsider our collective interest as people of the South South and indeed as Rivers people. At various times, as the one whom you gave your mandate, I had cause to complain about the marginalisation of our State and our people despite our huge contribution to the national coffers and our unflinching commitment and support for the ruling PDP. While the political and economic importance of Rivers State cannot be contested, we continue to hold the shorter end of the stick.
“A few instances may suffice: Our demand that the Federal Government return oil wells belonging to Rivers State to us has gone unheeded and been treated with levity under this administration. Rather, our oil wells have been ceded to Bayelsa, Abia and Akwa Ibom states. Even after we got a judgment that the oil wells were wrongly ceded to Akwa Ibom State and should be returned to us; only dry wells that were no longer producing oil were returned.
“In the specific case of the Soku oil wells, despite a decision reached that the monies should remain in an escrow account till all matters concerning it are resolved, the Federal Government continues to pay neighbouring Bayelsa State the revenues meant for Rivers State in a classic case of robbing Peter to pay Paul. It is indeed noteworthy that we have made several representations formally and informally on this matter.
“A second instance is the total absence of federal presence in Rivers State. The ‘National Good Governance Tour’ provided a good opportunity for the Federal Government to showcase its presence in Rivers State. The tour, if nothing else, proved that there was not much to show in a state that is the cash cow of the federation. The East-West Road remains abandoned, work has been deliberately slow on the Port Harcourt International Airport, the third busiest airport in the country, while all airports started along with it have long been completed and commissioned. The Bonny-Bomu Road that leads to the only functional liquefied natural gas project remains uncompleted. In the midst of all these, our administration went ahead to fix federal roads to the tune of N103 billion. Several representations and letters after, not one kobo has been repaid. The Federal Government is actively discouraging investments in Rivers State.”
When the powers that be in Abuja, in their wickedness, chose to chastise Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi left, right, front and back to make him look unpopular before his constituency in order to prepare the ground for his ultimate removal from office, I saw whose interest they were serving and warned that they would inadvertently help Amaechi to become not only stronger but also triumphantly victorious at the end of the day. Many people dismissed my prediction with a wave of the hand. However, I have become vindicated. One, surely, doesn’t need to be a son of Issachar to be able to read and understand the direction the pendulum would swing in this case because Amaechi is being persecuted without any justification whatsoever. Today, despite all the attempts to bring him down, Governor Amaechi has proved himself an icon, hero and soldier of democracy.
When on 9th September, 2013 my appointment as the National Publicity Secretary of the New PDP was announced to Nigerians the only brief I received was the 30 minutes encounter I had with Governor Amaechi. During that encounter he kept repeating that whenever General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.) accepted to fly the flag of the emergent mega opposition political party in the country, the unseating of President Goodluck Jonathan and PDP would become a reality. I was deeply impressed by his strong belief in General Buhari. It was based on this that I went boldly into the field and with the cooperation of the G7 Governors and other leaders of the New PDP, we were able to dismantle what was the famous and largest political party in Africa.
At the time five out of the seven Governors joined APC formally and during the APC Convention, Governor Amaechi and with the help of others, General Buhari was duly elected as the flag bearer of APC. In appreciation of his key role in making Buhari the Presidential Candidate, he was duly appointed to head the Campaign of Buhari and his feat in ensuring that Buhari was duly elected as the President of Nigeria will forever resonate in the country’s history.
IF NOT FOR AMAECHI AND THE FOUR PDP GOVERNORS THAT JOINED APC, APC’S VICTORY WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE – ATIKU AND OKOROCHA
Former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar and the Imo State Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha, have attributed the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the courageous decision of the five former governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to dump their party and team up with the opposition party.
Speaking during a special dinner held for the outgoing and incoming governors of the APC under the auspices of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), Atiku said the reasons why the five governors who joined the APC made victory possible for the party and ensured the defeat of PDP was due to their outstanding performances and the fact that they were close to the people.
He said the governors have made significant impact in governance and through their sacrifices made momentous contributions towards the victory of APC at the presidential election.
“This is why the people of their states love them and Nigerians also love them. It is because of this that the exit of three of these governors from the PDP amongst others and their joining of the APC contributed significantly to our victory in recent polls,” he said.
While addressing the gathering, Okorocha described the contributions of the outgoing governors, especially those that defected from the PDP as very key to the revolution that saw the historic victory of an opposition party over the ruling party in the country.
“Make no mistake about it, without the five governors that joined the APC in 2013, we will not be here today. Anyone who understands the power and might of the federal government, especially under a vindictive leadership, knows the enormous risks taken by Governors Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Aliyu Magatarda Wammako, Abdulfatah Ahmed and the lion-heart Rotimi Amaechi. What happened to our colleague, Murtala Nyako could have happened to anyone of them,“ he said.
Tribute to the Lion of Niger Delta Politics
Paying tribute to Amaechi, Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, likened him to the Biblical David who slew Goliath, acknowledging that he has distinguished himself through selfless services to humanity, unleashing that progressive dynamism that rolls with wind of change in Nigeria. This feat to emancipate Nigeria from charlatans and the shackles of the undemocratic elements in PDP impoverished and misgovern our country is what makes Amaechi one of the heroes of our democracy.
Amaechi and Tinubu were the two architects of the APC victory in the general elections - Soyinka
Prof Soyinka said, “In the political atmosphere today, whatever you call it, change or hope or cautious hope and or careless hope, I recognise two personalities in particular who led the chant of change. One of them, I call him the architect of the process, the architect in fact, that houses the essence of hope – Bola Tinubu.
“The other person (Amaechi) was unconsciously, perhaps, the arrowhead of that charge that led to the change and that is the man that we gather here to celebrate.
“He was the one who said no, we cannot turn the clock backwards. Nothing about the philosophy of the clock runs against what we were hoping for. It was a very unpopular and risky decision to take. But it exposed to us the basic arithmetic fallacy of governance in demonstrating that when 16 is said to be higher than 19, something is fundamentally wrong and the same kind of arithmetic leads to the cooking of figures in governance.
“And it was within that nexus that he stood up and challenged even his own colleagues, and said let’s change the mentality of the stock, let us re-orientate it towards the people and towards the nation and the electorate.”
THE WIKE’S FAILED PLOT TO FRUSTRATE AMAECHI’S APPOINTMENT AS A MINISTER AND HIS FEATS AS MINISTER OF TRANSPORTATION OF FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
For some strategic reasons, I will reserve this great attempt for another article.
Let me conclude this treatise with Governor Amaechi’s 2014 Independence Day Speech as Governor of Rivers State, in which he noted that his administration’s persecutions, travails and betrayals have only ended up making him stronger. He advised politicians and their supporters to avoid maiming, killing, violence and thuggery, as the nation moves towards the 2015 elections. Amaechi’s words: “With the end of my tenure approaching, my resolve to build a virile state remains as fervent as it was seven years ago. Like athletes in a race, we are running to win. We must continue to run to breast the tape and reach the finish line strong. Our persecutions, our travails and betrayals make our resolve stronger.
“By May 29 2015, I shall have finished my course as governor of Rivers State, but shall always put Rivers in my prayers. As we prepare for the 2015 general elections, may our politicians and their followers know that a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. If we maim and kill the people we aspire to lead, who would we then govern? Let us run our campaigns in the best manner and pursue our electioneering with respect for one another.
“When I assumed office on October 26, 2007, I committed myself to building a Rivers State of Possibilities, where none would be discriminated against. We set for ourselves a target and a goal to leave our state better than we found it. It was, indeed, a big challenge, but seven years after, we can present a commendable score sheet to the glory of God. When we took the oath of office in 2007, insecurity was at its peak. Military and police checkpoints dotted every street and lane. We were forced to raise our hands on our way home, at the end of a hard day’s job. Our humanity was debased, as much as our pride was assaulted. So, we chose to confront the criminals, who had stolen our peace. Not because we were strong, but because we loved our people. We chased them, not with arms and ammunition, but with bravery and the boldness of our fathers. We soon made our streets safe again, life returned to our biggest city, Port Harcourt, and our communities. Our economy again began to blossom and those investors chased away, began to return to our state. Today, our State thrives as Nigeria’s second biggest economy.”
Congratulations, His Excellency Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Man of History, Loving Husband of Dame Judith and Devoted Father of three lovely sons – Chikamkpa, Obina Nsirim and Lemchi Happy birthday and many happy returns.
•Eze Chukwuemeka Eze is a Port Harcourt-based Media Consultant. He can be reached via email@example.com, 08038199163
*Photo Caption - Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi
[ Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] - The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State has declared President Muhammadu Buhari an honourary son of the Niger Delta, saying that he has in only one year in office demonstrated his great love for the region and determination to fast-track its development. The party in a statement issued in Port Harcourt to mark the first year anniversary of the Buhari Administration cited the inclusion of the Calabar – Lagos Rail Line and Calabar – Itu Road in the 2016 budget, as well as the impending Ogoni clean-up exercise to justify its position that President Buhari has done enough within a short while to qualify to be regarded as a Niger Delta son.
Rivers APC described the inclusion of the Calabar – Lagos Rail Line in the 2016 Budget as a demonstration of the love President Muhammadu has for the Niger Delta and a measure of his seriousness of to fast-track the development of the region and arrest unemployment in the area.
The statement signed by Rivers APC Chairman, Chief (Dr). Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, said: “The importance of this singular project towards the general economic enhancement of the region and the country at large cannot be over-emphasised. With the inclusion of the death trap called Calabar – Itu Road and other projects of prime benefit to the region in the 2016 budget and the kick-starting of the Ogoni clean-up exercise in the next few days, which the past administrations including the high corrupt administration of Dr Jonathan though a son of the region wickedly and totally ignored, it will not be out of place therefore if we declare President Muhammadu Buhari as a true friend and son of the Niger Delta region.”. With this development, all the efforts of Chief Wike to frustrate this excerise now amounts to noting.
The statements also pointed to the earmarking of N60 billion for the Calabar – Lagos Rail Line and N6.6 billion to rehabilitate the Calabar – Itu Federal Highway, in addition to the following major projects in the South-South: The rehabilitation of Odukpani – Itu – Ikot Ekpene Road in Cross River/Akwa Ibom states (N6 billion); construction and installation of 10km of 33KV line and associated 2x15MVA 33/11KV sub-station at Ibuzor, Delta State (N360 million); as well as bill of engineering measurement for 33KV overhead line single circuit line from Glory Power Station to Federal University at Otuoke, Bayelsa State, with 2x2.5MVA (N257.5 million).
“These laudable projects being undertaken by the Buhari Administration in its first year in office speak volumes about his desire to speedily develop our region. This is truly remarkable as the administration is doing this despite the unacceptable acts of some of our youths who have resorted to sabotaging the economic fortunes of our nation by blowing up oil facilities at an alarming rate. We cannot thank President Buhari and his team enough for this great love for the Niger Delta. We wish to assure him of the unalloyed support of the region towards his efforts and drive to rebuild our nation from the shackles imposed by the inept PDP administration, even as we appeal to aggrieved Niger Deltans to sheath their swords and give the Buhari Administration the much needed support to right the wrongs of the past,” Rivers APC said.
The party rated the Buhari Administration high on its First Anniversary, noting that it has taken bold steps to fight corruption and insecurity across the country and to lay a solid foundation for a better tomorrow. “President Buhari, since assuming office on May 29, 2015, has proved himself to be a visionary leader who can turn around the fortunes of our dear nation if given maximum support and encouragement. We therefore urge Nigerians to bear the temporary pains of the present with calmness and give the Buhari Administration every atom of cooperation to enable it take the country to the Promised Land,” Rivers APC said.
It congratulated Buhari’s cabinet members for their sterling performance in their few months in office, “especially our leader, Hon. Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, who has proved himself as one of the pillars of this administration by his unflinching commitment towards the actualisation of the principles, goals and vision of President Buhari towards building a new Nigeria with its foundation on the rule of law – a virile, focussed and corrupt free Nigeria that we all can be proud of.”
The party wished all Nigerians Happy Democracy Day.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
*Photo Caption - President Muhammadu Buhari