[ Masterweb Reports: Obinna Akukwe reports ] – Whether President Goodluck Jonathan decides to victimize, sack or prosecute Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Nigeria’s sacked Central Bank Chief, the truth is that a $20 billion dollar theft has been exposed and the sheer size of the theft is treasonable, especially with 80 million people living below $10 dollars daily.
$20 billion dollars have been stolen, hoarded, hidden and unremitted by some officials of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with the connivance of some elements within the presidency. I have made case in the earlier piece released just before Sanusi’s suspension titled ‘Jonathan, Sanusi, NNPC and the missing ( Stolen) $20 billion Dollars ‘ that “those who connived to withhold the $20 billion dollars include Christians from the Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, White Garment and Pentecostal folds. They also include Muslims from Shia sect, Sunni sect, NASFAT, Boko Haram sect and all groups calling on God or Allah to protect them from the wicked ranting of impoverished unfortunate countrymen about to challenge their divine $ 20 billion dollar breakthrough”.
All these attempts to tag a N163 billion naira, ( $1 billion dollar) accusations of wasteful and unauthorized spending on Sansui’s head is an attempt to sweep the issue of the stolen billions into the carpet. To cover up a treasonable theft of $20 billion dollars, a kite of reckless use of $ 1 billion dollars was flown about. In 2012 when Hon Farouk Lawan Committee of the lower parliament exposed the theft of $10 billion dollars (N1.7 trillion naira) of petroleum products paid for without being supplied to the Nigerian people, the agents and friends of government pursued Lawan with corruption until they trapped him with bribery of $1 million dollars, and that was how a theft of $ 10 Billion dollars was forgotten.
The House of Representatives have confirmed that Nigeria loses $5 billion dollars to oil theft annually. According to the Chairman of the House ad-hoc Committee on Crude Oil Theft, Bashir Adamu, “The level of oil theft is alarming and of grave concern to stakeholders”.. “Illegal bunkering has caused Nigeria to lose an estimated $5 billion (N780 billion) yearly, amounting to $400 billion since Nigeria’s independence. “Statistics show that a total of 350,000 barrels per day was lost to illegal bunkering in 2012, representing an increase of 45 per cent over the figure of 2011, and 67 per cent over that of 2010, while the trend for 2013 is even more alarming”. In Jonathan’s tenure since 2010, it amounts to $20 billion dollars in 4 years. Sanusi’s revelations shows that $20 billion dollars was stolen in eighteen months, it follows that in four years $56 billion dollars would ultimately have missed.
Therefore, from this oil business, Nigeria has lost approximately $20 billion dollars to oil theft, $20 billion dollars to subsidy theft of 2011, $20 billion dollars missing funds and probably another $20 billion dollars missing from the previous 18 months not yet exposed. Add the recently exposed $ 7billion dollars fraud in the NNPC Swiss oil deal and the $1 billion dollar Malabu Oil Deal and you get $88 billion dollars stolen in four years. Therefore, when Nigerians stop asking questions on what happened to $88 billion dollars and become interested in how Sanusi allegedly mismanaged $1 billlion dollars, then an Indian charm is working on everybody.
Months ago a document allegedly from the Nigerian Customs indicted the Coordinating Minister of Finance, Okonjo Iwuala of granting waivers to the tune of 1.4 trillion naira ( $9 billion Dollars ) between 2011 and 2013 to companies allegedly owned by friends and cronies of government., The Comptroller General of Nigerian Customs, Mr Dikko. Inde Speaking when he appeared before the Joint Senate Committees on Finance and Appropriation said that about N 866 billion was lost to waivers within a 9-month period, including N263.8 billion granted on importation of petroleum products. This is $ 4 billion dollars in nine months alone. Jonathan is yet to issue a query to Mrs Okonjo Iwuala on the issue. When the Senate was cross examining her, she admitted granting waiver of over N 170 Billion naira. Her bosom friend and Nigeria’s oil minister Dieziani Madueke has more financial infractions than every other government official and no frown has yet come from the government. Therefore, the speed at which Sanusi was thrown away is just an act of victimization for exposing a 20 billion dollar sleaze.
To many persons, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi represents many things-
To majority of Christians in Nigeria, he is a religious fundamentalist who wanted to impose Islamic Banking on the nation.
To some Churches, he is the villain who ordered he freezing of the accounts on accounts of terrorism
To some indigenes of Southern parts of Nigeria, he is a suspected Boko Haram sponsor
To the Kano Citizens, he is the Best successor to the throne of the Emirship of Kano
To International investors, he restored confidence in the Nigerian economy.
To stock brokers, he maintained stability in the stock exchange market.
To business men, he controlled inflation and brought it to all time low in many years
To corrupt bankers, he is the demon who is worse than the EFCC, seeking to retrieve money that is not his father’s
To PDP politicians, he is the Lucifer who wants to stop the accumulation of funds to prosecute the 2015 presidential elections
To financially aware depositors, he is the champion who ensured that every fund they deposited in any bank in Nigeria is always available on demand even at huge cost to national treasury.
To me, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is an Islamic Zealot who has a few baggages which has to be tamed and lots of assets which can be of immense help to Nigeria. In a write up I released two years ago titled ‘Sanusi, Ohanaeze and the Timidity of Igbo Public Servants’, I asked Ohanaeze to stop complaining about what Sanusi did for the North, rather they should encourage their Igbo counterpart to do same for their people. It was the most senior Igbo Public Servant in Nigeria that stopped Azubuko Udah from replacing Hafsat Ringim as Inspector General of Police due to Assemblies of God Church local politics.
During the period when CBN froze bank accounts of churches, some Christian Bishops and leaders under the aegis of CAN and PFN approached me to do something about Sanusi’s rascality especially over their frozen funds. They believed that as an activist in their midst, there is something I could do that will yield result quicker than the court processes being planned by the National Leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria led by Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor. Therefore, when I released the report on how CBN froze the accounts of churches, within hours spiraled all over the social media and CBN under Sanusi spent tens of millions of naira denying the facts on every national daily, radio and television stations. Eventually the churches accounts were opened within twenty four hours from the time the report was released and their harassment by EFCC ceased till today. This however does not mean that Sanusi is all about mischief.
Sansui’s greatest achievement is ensuring that the man on the street has access to his money in the bank, anytime he wants it. Sanusi also ensured that that the era of thieving bankers doing business with depositor’s money at the expense of genuine business men came to an end. Sanusi drew people’s attention to monumental corruption among South South Governors at the expense of their people. If Sanusi were to be an Igbo man, he would probably have committed billions towards building or pressurized President Jonathan start and finish the construction of a second Niger Bridge. I wish Sanusi were Igbo, he would have dragged our boot licking politicians to the mud, and attracted infrastructural patronage to the South East.
Sanusi is being victimized for exposing another treasonable theft of $20 billion dollars belonging to all Nigerians and people should demand the recovery of the stolen funds because over 80 million Nigerians living below poverty lines need it.
Obinna Akukwe ( Email: Profeobinna2@yahoo.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption – Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
[ Masterweb Reports: From Anambra State ] – Governor Peter Obi said his administration has N75Billion Naira in savings for Anambra State. The Governor who announced this during a public presentation of his End of Tenure Report at the Women Development Centre, Awka said the money included N25Billion Naira investment for the state.
In a further brake-down of the savings, Obi said that expected bank balances as at March 14th 2014 would be N11.5 Billion; Federal Government of Nigeria approved refund is N10 Billion; Foreign Currency Investment of (US$155m) N26 Billion.
Obi also gave account of the investment the State made in some projects being executed, some of which are N3.5 Billion in INTAFACT, N9B in Nigeria independent Power Projec; N4Billion in Orient Petroleum Resources PLC, N1B in Onitsha Hotel ; N1B in Agulu Lake Hotel; N0.9Billion in Awka Shopping Mall, N350M in Quoted investment portfolio, among others.
The Governor explained that his administration received about N620 Billion and N20 billion naira from Federal Allocation and interventions from Donor agencies and Development partners. He noted that in spite the State’s low revenue profile, his government completed over 801 Kms of roads that gave access to all parts of the State and opened up rural areas. He noted that collaboration with the Church transformed and repositioned the education and Health sector to meet the needs of the people.
According to the Governor, through strategic planning, prudent and transparent management of resources, as well as reduction in the cost of governance, his administration achieved integrated and comprehensive development in all sectors without borrowing or owing anybody. He expressed satisfaction that his government had rescued the State and laid a solid foundation for sustainable development, stressing that the state was not cursed, rather the people were the cause of its previous challenges.
The Governor elect, Chief Willie Obiano in his speech assured that his administration would build on the foundation laid by Governor Peter Obi and sustain his interventions in schools and hospitals as well as attract people in Diaspora and other investors to set up businesses in the State.
Speaking during the event, the former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyoku said the occasion was a celebration of success in governance that brought recognizable transformation in all sectors through indisputable prudent and judicious use of public resources. Chief Anyaku who was the Chairman on the occasion stated that Governor Obi scored high in all yardsticks used in measuring good governance and was leaving a legacy of holistic approach in developing the State.
The coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala said she was proud of the Governor and his achievements, she commended his passion to make a difference which she noted made him a model for others. Okonjo-Iweala noted that the Federal Government was now trying to adopt his education policy and disclosed that Federal Government had plans to keep him close to them.
She recalled that unlike other politicians, Governor Obi completed projects initiated by his predecessors, attracted viable foreign direct investments, encouraged and empowered indigenous investors and industrialists to grow and expand. While commending his remarkable contributions at the Federal level, she noted that his development-orientated administration attracted commendation of the World Bank and other donor agencies.
Also speaking, a Business magnate, Alhaji Aliku Dangote said Governor Obi had earned the respect and admiration of Nigerians and noted that no state had saved so much money and made such investments in addition to mass infrastructural development achieved by Governor Obi. Alhaji Dangote said the Governor’s commitment and dedication should be emulated by other leaders to entrench principles of good governance across the country. He enjoined the incoming administration to follow his footsteps to build on foundation already laid.
Other notable Anambra people like Obi of Onitsha, Alfred Achebe and Dr. Dozie Ikedife said that Governor Obi had indeed rescued the State.
Earlier, during an Inter-denomination service, Prof. Ben Osisioma said Governor Obi was a blessing to the state who made indelible mark in the State and country as well as made her an emerging force to reckon with in the country.
Some of the dignitaries that attended the occasion are Mr. Iyke Aigbode, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Ikem Odumodu, Emma Bishop Okonkwo, Aruma Otteh, Justice Peter Umeadi, Bianca Ojukwu, ABC Nwosu, Bishops Valerian Okeke, Hilary Okeke, Aleaxander Ibeziem, among many others.
*Photo Caption – L-R Gov. Obi’s Wife, Margaret, Gov. Peter Obi, Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Chief Emeka Anyaoku during the presentation of the Governor’s “End of Tenure Report” at the Women Development Centre, Awka on Friday.
[ Masterweb Reports: Most Rev. Hilary Okeke reports ] - Our Society has been turned upside down, with misplacement of values lurking everywhere in the name of modernity. The sooner we search and entrust our destiny as a State into the hands of those that mean well, the better for us. Part of the problem confronting the world of today is the total divorce of God in our lives. A leader who has divorced God will certainly lead ignoring the ethics of Christ. We need real men who would understand the problems of the society and resole to solve it positively. Where do we see such men today?
My sisters and brothers, this is where the trouble lies. How many of us are trustworthy in our responsibility to the common good, to public care and welfare to which we have been committed? Many people in public offices at all levels in Nigeria fall below the mark in trustworthiness, sense of responsibility and accountability. We are generally faced with the terrible situation of corruption coupled with impunity. Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. Asking for bribes and looting of public funds are no news. The public officials entrusted with public money divert the money to their private accounts. It has become a culture. Anybody acting differently is either a fool or an idiot. How many church leaders, politicians, government officials, judges, civil servants and even security agents will act with the common good at heart and not out of desire to secure one's personal interest?
Amidst the madness, we have to acknowledge how God has been looking after the people of Anambra State through the stewardship of Mr. Peter Obi, CON, The Governor of Anambra State for the past eight years. Indeed, before Mr. Peter Obi became the Governor, Anambra State looked like a State abandoned by God. Many people in Anambra State really believed that Anambra State was abandoned. Political turmoil and turbulence generated by godfatherism, which halted development in the State. The little money that would come to Anambra State was used to settle the godfathers. An attempt to shake off the tentacles of the godfathers resulted in wanton and reckless destruction of government houses and property. Schools at all levels suffered abysmal neglect; public hospitals suffered the same neglect; life was listless as people in Anambra State were bereft of sense of direction and responsibility. One could liken the state of affairs in Anambra State to the situation in Israel at the time of the Judges "In those days there was no king in Israel, and everyone did as he saw fit" (Judges 21:25). Lawlessness was the order of the day; gross indiscipline, general insecurity and lack of respect for human dignity and life, lack of development in most public sectors and loss of confidence in government.
The coming of Mr. Peter Obi was enigmatic. Where did he come from to contest the governorship election? Many people did not know him. He sounded unusual, a person who knew the problems of the people of Anambra State and how to tackle them. He got the people's vote. The powers-that-be thwarted the result. Doggedly he fought for the people's mandate through the courts. He won. Before he could settle down to carry out his carefully prepared plan of action, he was recklessly impeached. Another dogged fight through the courts brought him back. Before the constitutional end of his term, he was again ousted and he fought again to get back to the saddle.
His first term did not see much of what Mr. Peter Obi had for the people of Anambra State. Probably, he had learnt how to navigate the troubled waters of Anambra and Nigerian politics in order to have a second term that is stable. The impact which Mr. Peter Obi made on Anambra State and in Nigeria in general is there for everybody to see, even though people perceive it differently. For those who believe that the resources of Anambra State belong to the few well-placed politicians and men and women of influence, Mr. Peter Obi is a useless person! He did not share the money properly. Instead of giving political associates the money to empower them, he is doling out money to the churches! But for those concerned with effectiveness and efficiency of governance, they see the wisdom of Mr. Peter Obi as the manager of public resources in prudently using public resources to achieve the objective of government in a most economical and cost-effective way - partnering with the churches, the last hope of the society in integrity, sincerity and honesty.
We commend Mr. Peter Obi for his perceived determination to serve the people of Anambra State through his development strategy of Anambra Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS); for his courageous return to their legitimate Church proprietors (Anglican and Catholic) of schools forcibly seized by the Government of East Central State under Chief Ukpabi Asika, that destroyed education in our area; his determination to revamp education and health care by partnering with the Churches to reconstruct dilapidated schools, providing buses, computers, generators, laboratory equipment, funds for sports and other needs of the schools system to both public schools and mission schools; his investment in healthcare delivery by uplifting hospitals, maternities and health centres, and schools of nursing, midwifery and medical laboratory to provide suitable personnel in our health institutions. Anambra State enjoys one of the best networks of roads. Retired persons, the poor and marginalized of Anambra State are receiving government attention. Every aspect of life in Anambra State has benefited from the administration of Mr. Peter Obi, CON! Indeed, Anambra State under his administration is no longer an abandoned State!
As a priest of God, I daily pray to God to bless Mr. Peter Obi and all who helped him to be his faithful servants and stewards to the people of Anambra State. I would like God to bless Her Excellency, Mrs. Margaret Obi, the First Lady of Anambra State who does not make noise and show about her status but in all simplicity and humility is caring for the less privileged and vulnerable in Anambra State with motherly love and devotion. She has left her mark in many out-of-way communities. It is true that human judgment may not be complete and definitive. It is only God who will give each whatever praise the person deserves.
As we thank God for what he has done for Anambra State through the selfless, humble, prudent, responsible stewardship of Mr. Peter Obi, we turn to God praying with Pope Francis to the Lord "to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor. It is vital that government leaders and financial leaders take heed and broaden their horizon, working to ensure that all citizens have dignified work, education and healthcare" (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium - The Joy of the Gospel, no. 205). May the incoming and future political and government leaders in Anambra State and beyond never forget the people, especially the poor, the neglected and marginalized but make them the centre of their attention. May they be more concerned about providing nourishment or dignified sustenance for all people, general temporal welfare and prosperity, education, access to healthcare, employment and adequate access to all the other goods which are destined for common use (See Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium - The Joy of the Gospel, no. 192). This is the responsibility of any true leader!
In God alone is my soul at rest; my help comes from him. Yes! He alone is my rock, my stronghold, my fortress: I stand firm Yes! Let us as God's stewards provide the enabling environment and services for people to feel God's protection and care! May God bless all in position of authority and trust who use their position to serve the people! May God commend and bless Mr. Peter Obi, CON and his team!
Most Rev. Hilary Paul Odili Okeke
Catholic Bishop of Nnewi
*Photo Caption – Governor Peter Obi
[ Masterweb Reports: From Abia State ] – Abia State government says it will investigate the cause of the fire incident which engulfed one of the hostels of the Federal Government Girls College, Umuahia with a view to punishing anyone or group found culpable in the act.
Governor Theodore Orji gave the assurance at the school when he visited to see things for himself. He recalled that this was not the first time a fire incident was happening in the institution in recent times and assured however that it will be the last.
He sympathized with the students who lost their belongings in the inferno and donated the sum of N2 million to the principal of the school to help the affected students replace their destroyed items.
Governor Orji stated that it was his primary responsibility to provide security to the students and thanked God that no life was lost in the incident.
The governor described the institution as a great school which has recorded many achievements in academics and in other areas and stated that he was proud of the institution.
He maintained that he sees the school as his own as far as it remained in Abia.
Earlier, while conducting the governor round the affected hostel, the Ag. Principal of the school, Dr. Earnest Chukwuka explained that the fire started while the students were in the classroom for night prep, pointing out that all the 119 students residing in the hostel lost their personal belongings.
He thanked the governor for sending fire fighting trucks to put off the fire as well as his continued fatherly attention to the school, revealing that the governor always comes to their assistance when they call on him.
In his comment, the Parents Teachers Association chairman, Sir G.O.C. Nnaji stated that one of the problems confronting the school is accommodation, explaining that the insecurity situation in the North had forced many parents to relocate their children back home and appealed to the governor to come to their aid.
*Photo Caption – Governor Chief Theodore Orji
[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] – Only a thief will give an award to a thief. Giving an award to a thief is not only a national insult, it is treason. Our pledge is to defend the nation's honour. The nation has been dragged in the mud once again with this centenary abomination. What just happened in Nigeria is very serious. This is no longer an issue of ethnic groupings or religious differences. This is sheer limitless wickedness to the poor, the dead and dying. Nigeria has now been taken over by frank evil. This is a battle between good and the hopeful's and supporters of good and evil and the aspirants and workers for the grand commander of evil. The devil. If the awards to Nigeria's thieves of the past were given in error, open public apology and public and private repentance is urgently necessary. Stealing, and a thief is not defined by what is given, it is defined by what is taken. Abacha was a thief. Babangida was a thief. Obasanjo was a thief. There is no mincing these words. There is no room in our national honour rolls for these thieves. This is not an example to be given to our kids and an image to be broadcast of our nation. N300 million in foreign media propaganda will never redeem Nigeria from this abomination. This senseless political desperate patronage of the evil men of Nigeria's painful past.
The United States has already smashed their foot in our bloodied wounds by seizing this moment of national disgrace to seize another $458 billion of Abacha's loot. America has certified us as sub-human. This was the conversation across America this week. Children of thieves, like Sadiq have been given the gumption after years hiding to come out and open their 'gutters.'
The $3-6 billion dollars Abacha has been confirmed to have stolen was not his right. It was money of the poor masses. Whatever 'good' the Presidency publicized he did is not reason enough to celebrate a thief, now or ever. Today it is clear to Nigerians who the President and his team of rulers and friends see as a mentor--Abacha.
The Bible in 1 Corinthians 6:10 says: ...nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. In John 10:10 it says, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy..." And to those who partner with, defend, support and celebrate thieves, the Bible says in Proverbs 29:24 (KJV): "Whoso is partner with a thief hateth his own soul: he heareth cursing, and bewrayeth it not."
Those northerners, the family of Abacha and southerners who defend Abacha are thieves. Those who defend this national insult by Jonathan are thieves. There is no dillydallying on this. Many of us are not saints, but we do not deserve honours if we are thieves. We steal and are quiet about it. Nigeria must never celebrate thieves. By stamping and accrediting thieves we have brought unmeasurable curse upon us if we have not had enough curse already. These awards must immediately be stripped. The nation deserves a national apology. Dear Nigerians, I am sorry. I am sorry for you, I am sorry for me, I am sorry for this nation.
Each penny stolen is amenities deprived and results in deaths. Each kobo stolen means no health care will be provided at some corner, some thief will be free, some road not built properly. They don't steal from the national cake. There is no national cake; on the contrary, they steal from the pauper's loaf. These government thieves are assassins. Killers of the poor. It is a sickness, they are compulsive thieves, this is why we see they steal more than they can ever use and eventually lose our national income to foreign nations. Hell will be filled with these.
For the Muslims who get carried away with thieves-in-power and denounce their creed in defense of such thieves, a story of the life of Hazrat Umar Bin Abdul Aziz, the celebrated Umayyad Caliph should hopefully juggle them up a bit. In the early days of Islam, Caliph Umar's empire stretched from the shores of the Atlantic to the highlands of Pamir (India). He commanded great territory and wealth of the early Muslim state. One day, according to the narration, the Caliph was sitting in his private chamber examining a pile of State documents. The dim light of the room was adding to the serenity and somberness of the place and the Caliph could scarcely feel the arrival of his wife, Fatima, till she addressed him, "Sire! Will you spare a few moments for me? I want to discuss a private matter with you." "Of course", replied the pious Caliph, raising his head from the papers, "But, please put off this State lamp and light your own, as I do not want to burn the State oil for private talk."[ Find ref online: http://www.renaissance.com.pk/novletfor95.html ]
For the pious leaders, more was at stake and more was expected. They slept hungry unless they were assured that all their subjects had eaten. This was because they knew they will be held to account for misappropriating the people's food if they ate while their subjects went to bed hungry. People used to run away and avoid positions of power for this very reason. Today we sign-up for executive suits and accommodation in hell by patronizing clear thieves, because they are 'of our clan,' or 'did something.' The only clan thieves and supporters of thieves belong to is the clan of the burning hell fire, be they government thieves or armed robbers. There is no honor here and nothing to defend, except among the thieves themselves. So if you defend a thief because you believe he is your 'brother' or 'clansman' then know what brotherly and clan relationship you share. The brotherhood of evil and clan of the doomed. It is a shame that thieves are now celebrated. Let them steal but cower in shame or hide away, but honour and awards for thieves only comes from thieves because today there is great honor among Nigeria's thieves.
These are now very evil times.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah (Email: email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Late Sani Abacha
[ Masterweb Reports: Hon. Chuks Ibegbu reports ] – The Governor of Abia State Chief T A Orji recently forwarded the names of some notable and cerebral Abians to the National Confab as required by the authorities. The names forwarded by Governor Orji are no doubt among the best in Abia state and showed that Governor Orji is truly an Igbo patriot and a Nigerian statesman.
Nobody in the entire state or country can fault the quality of the nominees from Abia state. They are men and women that have proved their mettle in different fields of endeavour at both the state and national levels. The National Confab is a very serious business that will determine the fate and future of Abians, Igbos and Nigerians. It is therefore essential that only our best are there. Governor Orji has determinedly achieved that. From these galaxy of accomplished men and women it will be zeroed to the number allocated to Abia state.
The expectations of Abians and Ndigbo is very high from our representatives at the confab. Ndigbo clamour for more states, restructuring of Nigeria , equity, justice and fair distribution of federal resources. As we speak several oil wells that ought to belong to Abia state are in other states. The past census figures is biased against Abians and Igbos. Our representation in the National Assembly, the Federal civil service, and other federal agencies is minimal. A lot of things went wrong in the past that now need to be corrected once and for all.
As Abia delegates prepare to join other Igbo delegates to the confab, it is hoped that their patriotic mission will be rewarding and the reasons for their choice by Ochendo Abia will be justified
*Photo Caption – Hon. Chuks Ibegbu. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone at +234 8035410176
[ Masterweb Reports: Eddie Onuzuruike reports ] – It was Winston Churchill, the great British statesman who said, ‘courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is what it takes to sit down and listen.
A lot of people today get involved in political activities in Nigeria for many odd reasons not necessarily bordering on ideology and philosophical principles which should be the potent factor. In most cases and probably due to the economic downturn, people are induced by hunger, an unquenchable love of money and unemployment of sorts, but there are still people who do so to provide genuine leadership and solve critical societal problems and in the process, endow the lacking needs to our people.
One of such men is Chief Onyema Ugochukwu: A renowned and accomplished Journalist. Chief Ugochukwu was the pioneer chairman of the NDDC and made news when he overcame all antics employed by the previous administration in Abia to deny him the exulted position. It was a case where surprisingly, the Abia senators were hoaxed into reluctance in supporting their constituent who had the rare privilege of being nominated to the celebrated chairmanship of the NDDC by President Obasanjo in the year 2000.
As the governorship candidate of PDP in Abia in 2006, except for the excesses of some overzealous followers, he ran a credible electioneering campaign, touring the cities and suburbs, making speeches and addressing issues. He engaged in a twisty aggressive legal battle against Chief T.A. Orji and the PPA party, over the results of the elections and the propriety of Chief T.A Orji’s candidacy. When the legal chips were down, it did not need any soothsayer to tell him that the political and legal games were up.
Not a man to hoodwink people, Chief Ugochukwu, in an emotion laden voice addressed his followers and acquainted them with the truth which was that having tried everything possible, that it may not have been the wish of God for him to govern Abia.
This frankness did not go down well with many members who thought that if they can’t win, that at least, they can subvert. But Chief Ugochukwu deftly ordered them to hold their fire and come out of their trenches. When the high-powered delegation led by the PDP Chairman, Mr. Okwesilieze Nwodo came to Abia 8in 2010, urging T.A. Orji to join PDP, Chief Onyema and the Governor made a genuine pact which was mutually adhered to. When we talk of exemplary and comprehensive peace process, the Abia state experience is of high repute and has provided a conflict resolution template at home and abroad. Every politically aware person in Abia knew the level of calumny and hatred where followers clashed in courts and engaged in name-calling and other unedifying acts. According to an Israeli statesman, General Moshe Dayan, ‘if you want to make peace, you do not talk to your friends, you talk to your enemies.’
T.A Orji’s courage and decision to cross the yawning chasm of opposition to initiate dialogue with Chief Onyema Ugochukwu watered the ground that encouraged other Abia leaders on both sides of the party divide to talk with each other, and Abia is enjoying a huge ambience of peace today because these leaders talked, agreed and have all kept their parts of the bargain.
From balanced deductions, much of these gains of Abia would not have cascaded down to the lowest party rung if Chief Onyema did not put his heart into it. He has granted interviews to the press and shocked most of his followers and admirers, who did not expect him to be brutally frank. In the Union weekly of December 1, 2013 page 10, Ugochukwu, the team player avowed, ‘Abia State PDP has never been more united than it is now. It has also never been more peaceful than it is now. And a lot of that credit goes to the governor, Chief T A Orji, who has done so well in bringing Abians together.’
As Chairman of the Grand Civic Reception organized by The Ikwuano/Umuahia people, the mammoth crowd of February, 15, 2014, at defunct Umuahia Main Market, was thrilled when he acknowledged the efforts of the governor in changing Abia, especially the legacy projects. As he observed, the primary school in Umule his village, which has been transformed into a model School is a huge example.
For many of us who cry more than the bereaved on either side, he affirmed that Ochendo has done most of the things he wished for Abia and probably borne in his manifestos, so why should he antagonize? As is manifest from his speech, his genuine quest was to work and build Abia, not the ego-driven ambition of many whose only wish was to be addressed as His Excellency.
As a huge lesson to us, the peace process in Abia wouldn’t have been encompassing if Chief Ugochukwu continued sulking and throwing spanners at work over his loses. In these days that duplicity has become a political virtue, Chief Ugochukwu placed all his political cards on the table and buried the hatchet with its handle. This further helped to douse the tension and acrimony which was simmering between the two inseparable clans of Ibeku and Ohuhu. Those who claim to be statesmen and those who are aspiring to be one should emulate this profuse liberalism.
Professionally, Chief Ugochukwu is an economist, trained in the famous UNN. Two years after a stint in the Central Bank of Nigeria, he abandoned a lucrative career in the apex bank as an Economic Research Assistant for his beloved journalism and made the best of it as he rose to the positions of chief Editor with West African magazine, Editor in Chief, The Daily Times and met over ten presidents like Clinton, Maggie Thatcher, Nelson Mandela, Fidel Castro, P J Patterson of Jamaica and many others.
Chief Ugochukwu having bagged the Commander of the Order of the Niger is qualified for the Nobel Peace Prize and other international honors. It should be noted that Peace at times becomes elusive like a moving target, unable to come into the shooting range: if in doubt ask the leaders of the State of Israel, Central African Republic, North and South Sudan, Mozambique and Syria.
From the above, those who arrogate to themselves to be the Master Strategists and scheme fruitlessly to sneak into the main lounge through the backdoor, when the front door is open, should consult chief
Ugochukwu or may as well sniff facts out of his modesty and humility Abia has been peaceful and instructively, many from the Ugochukwu camp who have been graciously appointed into the people-oriented administration of Ochendo Global have done their best in terms of service and delivery. Good leadership from the top is a tonic that catalyzes the masses. Let us not trivialize this political and social milestone in Abia. Peace is a two way thing between the leaders and followers and those involved should play fairly.
All these elucidations above fall in line with the prescription of Charles Keller, president, Rotary International who said, ‘if we do not find the part to peace, whatever else we do will not make much
difference.’ Ochendo sought the part to peace which has become a game changer in Abia.
Onuzuruike reports from Umuahia, Abia State.
*Photo Caption – Governor Chief Theodore Orji
[ Masterweb Reports: From Anambra State ] – Governor Peter Obi says the Nigerian Army has played fundamental role in sustaining peace and stability across the world and that His Government would sustain the relationship with them as well as other security agencies. Governor Obi was speaking when the new General Officer Commanding the 82 Division Enugu, Major General Shehu Yusuf led a delegation of top Military Officers on a courtesy call at the Governor’s Lodge.
Governor Obi recalled that the Nigeria Military had distinguished itself in various peace keeping operations in trouble parts of the world and contributed immensely in maintenance of internal security and building good image for the country. He explained that his administration had from inception established cordial and effective relationship with all security agencies and had continued to assist them in various ways to enhance their operations.
Earlier, the new GOC, Major General Yusus who said he was in the State as part of familiarization tour of his areas of responsibility, stated that he was impressed with the relationship established by the Governor with the military and high level of cooperation with all security agencies in the State as well as extolled him for taking the Sate to higher level within his tenure. He thanked the Governor for the various support given to military formations in the Sate and assured that they would remain alive to their responsibilities.
The GOC explained that security was vital for development and disclosed that they have involved a dynamic strategy in combating insecurity.
In his reaction, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, Colonel George (Rtd) noted that the collaboration between the Governor Obi administration and all security agencies in the State had continue to yield the desired dividends in reducing crime rate and sustaining peace and stability. He expressed confidence that the new GOC had the wealth of experience and well equipped to excel in his new position.
*Photo Caption – Gov. Peter Obi (right), with the General Officer Commanding the 82 Division Enugu, Major General Shehu Yusuf(left), who paid him a courtesy visit at the Governor's Lodge, Amawbia.
[ Masterweb Reports: From Abia State ] – Abia state governor, chief Theodore Orji says contract for the Arochukwu- Ohafia federal road has been awarded while work has commenced on the road.
Governor Orji who disclosed this while briefing newsmen in his office was reacting to a statement credited to one Onwuka Ukwa of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in which he alleged that the governor said that he will not do the said road because it was a federal government road.
The governor said that the allegation by Ukwa whom he described as inconsequential was not true but was mischievously made up by him to make himself appear relevant.”People are insincere in government, they want to start blackmailing people”, he said.
He further stated that Onwuka does not come home and cannot claim to know what is happening at home, pointing out that he is speaking from a parochial point of view.
The number one citizen of Abia state who said Ukwa was a liability to APGA revealed that his government had already spent N400 million on the federalroad as palliative through New Idea construction company before the federal government awarded the contract.
According to him, the Abia state government would do all the roads in the state if it had the resources since it was still Abians that would use the roads whether they were federal or state roads.
He however disclosed that his government was currently working on the Ndioji Abam-Ndiokereke Road also in Arochukwu and has gone very far on the long stretch of road designed to give the people a sense of belonging and ease their difficulty.
He stated that he has severally visited the federal contractor handling the Arochukwu-Ohafia federal road to ensure that he keeps faith with the road.
Chief Orji regretted that Mr. Onwuka Ukwa was twisting facts and trying to bring Abia state and the federal government in confrontation. He recalled that that the Ohafia –Arochukwu road has been in bad shape over the years.”The road has been like that even during the time of Obasanjo and I have consistently lamented on the road”, he added.
*Photo Caption – Governor Chief Theodore Orji
[ Masterweb Reports ] - Join the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Honorable Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in a live, online conversation on the 2014 Budget from 4th to 6th of March, 2014.
The Budget 2014 Jam is a 3-day online interactive conversation between the Hon. Minister and the youth aged 18-40. This is your opportunity to share your thoughts/ideas with the Minister on the 2014 budget and its impact on the nation moving forward.
If you would like to be part of this free, online conversation please register now. Participation will be on a first come, first serve basis.
You can access the online discussion using a laptop or tablet device. Be advised that it is not optimal on a smart phone. Register at https://www.collaborationjam.com/jam4/budget2014/registration/
See you in the Jam!
What is a Jam?
A jam is an online event that brings together thousands of people from across the country to discuss issues in real time from wherever they are located. The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is hosting the online interactive session with youth this year on the 2014 Budget.
Objective of the Jam
The jam is meant to educate and engage participants on topical issues through a series of online discussion forums. All participants have an opportunity offer suggestions as well as exchange ideas on how to move the country forward. In this particular instance, the Ministry of Finance would like to hear from the youth on issues that affect them related to the 2014 Budget.
Target Audience for the Jam
The event seeks to engage as many as 20,000 people between the ages of 18 and 40. The jam is available on a first come, first serve basis with the first 20,000 to register able to participate in the online discussion.
How to Participate in the Jam
You can register from the 24th of February at https://www.collaborationjam.com/jam4/budget2014/registration/
The jam goes live on March 4th by 8am and runs continuously until March 6th. Join us at any point in those three days for as little or as long as you want!
The Proposed Areas for Discussion are:
1. Managing our Debt
2. Stimulating Job Creation
3. Keeping the lights on
4. Spending Wisely
5. Managing our Budget
6. Increasing Revenue
Log in and start jamming!
*Photo Caption - Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala