[ Masterweb Reports ] - Over 1,000 members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abia State have pitched their tent with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) citing infighting, deceit and lies by their former party as reason for their defection.
The decampees included major stakeholders of the party from the 17 Local Government Areas of the state.
Presenting an address on the ocasion at the state PDP secretariat, Umuahia, the leader of the group, Chief Egwuatu Egbulefu said their sojourn with the APC was unfruitful, describing the APC as a bandwagon of sad, selfish and aggrieved politicians looking for a platform to unbidden their grief.
He said that they were happy to return to the PDP which he said harbourm everyone and regretted that their leaving the PDP earlier was as a result of anger.
Chief Egbulefu pledged their loyalty to the PDP and called on others still wasting time in APC to return to the PDP and saluted the chairman of the party, Senator Emma Nwaka for accepting them back to the fold.
In their speeches, other stakeholders of the party,including Chief Francis Egu,Erin U Erode Jnr. Emerge Sunday Okoro, Mrs Chinese Onyeukwu, Chief Uzoma Uwa, said their return was to add value to the PDP and thanked Governor Theodore Orji for his efforts in building PDP as well as his tremendous goodwill which he said made them to return.
Receiving the decampees, the state chairman of the PDP, Senator Emma Nwaka said he was happy to welcome them into the party and promised to give all members equal treatment as Governor Orji has changed the face of politics in Abia.
According to him, Abia is wearing a new look under the PDP-led government of Chief Orji, adding that APC is fully dead in Abia State. He assured that PDP will give all contestants a level playing ground.
*Photo Caption - PDP logo
[ Masterweb Reports ] - Abia State Governor, Chief Theodore Orji, has begun the commissioning of some of the legacy projects completed by his government. Flagging off the commissioning at the Umuahia Bus Terminal on Monday, October 20, 2014, the Governor said that henceforth, he would be spending more time in the field commissioning projects scattered in the state.
Among the projects commissioned by the Governor included the Umuahia Bus
Terminal along Enugu/Port Harcourt Expressway and the 1.5km ring road at the Ohiya/Nsukwe Mechanic, Spate Parts and Allied Products Market. According to the Governor, the Umuahia bus terminal will help decongest the city as all buses will take off and return to the terminal daily. The Governor stated that the project will help bring more development as the urban area is expanding to accommodate more people.
He said that the bus terminal is designed to provide a central place as motor Park and commended the contractor that handled the project for realizing the project.
In his speech at the Ohiya mechanic village, the Governor said that government after relocating the mechanic and spare parts dealers had to provide them with the basic amenities including water and access road.
He pointed out that all the internal roads in the market were done by the Ministry of Works and stated that the new market which is better than the former one has brought further development to Umuahia and appealed to the traders to have confidence in the government. In his speech, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Renewal, Elder Godwin Nna, appealed to all transport companies that converted residential buildings to motor parks to relocate to the bus terminal before the illegal motor parks are sealed.
The Commissioner for Works, Longman Nwachukwu, on his own appreciated the Governor for giving access road to the mechanic village as well as for providing needed amenities to the market.
Earlier, the chairman, Ohiya Mechanic Village, Mr Aham Agoha appreciated the Governor for relocating them to a better place and creating a conducive environment for them to do their business and pledged their support to his government.
*Photo Caption - Governor T. A. Orji
[ Masterweb Reports ] - Once a winner always a winner, and a star cannot be shielded from its lights. Ambassador Bianca Olivia Odumegwu Ojukwu is like the Northern star whose light remains constant from her position in the firmament. Bianca’s star and winning streaks continues to follow her wherever she goes. Initially her appointment as a non-career Diplomat was received with mixed feelings in some certain quarters. According to Shakespeare, “The fault, dear Brutus is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” Today, the stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone of the house. Bianca Ojukwu like a Trojan went to Spain, saw and conquered. Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu is........ Read More.
*Photo Caption - Amb. Bianca Ojukwu poses with others in a group photo after receiving award.
[ Masterweb Reports ] - A 23-year-old Nigerian American man, Dominic Adesanya who calls himself 'American Slave', on Wednesday around 7:15 pm jumped the White House fence and made it onto the North Lawn before being subdued. Adesanya, , stood on the North Lawn gesturing and lifting his shirt before being taken down by K-9 units (law enforcement officers partnered with a highly-trained dogs) and subdued by the Secret Service. On the lawn, Adesanya kicked a K-9 dog that ran towards him before being wrestled to the ground by another one and was taken into custody. The intruder was taken to a hospital with injuries for treatment and evaluation, an Obama administration official told reporters.
“Dogs got him”, a U.S. Secret Service spokesman told newsmen after the incident. The White House was put on lockdown for one and half hour but was not evacuated. Adesanya was unarmed during his invasion of White House, two K-9 dogs were taken to a veterinarian for injuries sustained during their encounter with him.
It was not clear whether President Obama and/or his family were in the building during the incident. Adesanya’s father said his son had been arrested at the White House before in a bid to talk to Obama on how people were out to get him. He said the family tried to get him help after the incident.
Adesanya's last post on Instagram on Tuesday showed an I Voted sticker captioned 'Voted for this B #ImpeachObama.' On a LinkedIn page, in place of a job title he described himself as an 'American Slave' and rants about the Rothschild banking family.
The latest incident comes a month after Omar Gonzalez, a 42-year-old Iraq war veteran carrying a pocketknife jumped White House fence and ran across the North Lawn, through an unlocked White House door and into multiple rooms before being arrested. He faces six counts, including two federal charges of assaulting officers. A preliminary evaluation found him "presently not competent" to stand trial.
Gonzalez’s September 19 breach was part of a string of embarrassments for the Secret Service that led to the resignation of the agency's director, Julia A. Pierson. The incident prompted a review of the security measures at the White House.
*Photo Caption - Dominic Adesanya
[ Masterweb Reports: Godwin Ikechukwu reports ] - An email sensationally claiming to be from Abubakar Shekau, the supposedly deceased leader of the extremist Islamic sect Boko Haram, has been circulated within Nigeria.
The email, which this writer saw on various online forums, contains several startling allegations, centering on the claim that the Goodluck Jonathan administration founded and funded an ‘alternative Boko Haram’ group which was responsible for perpetrating several atrocities aimed at achieving Jonathan’s political aims of re-election come 2015.
“I, Imam Abubakar Shekau, by the powers and rights vested upon me by God, the Almighty Allah, as the Head of Mission and the Undisputed Leader of ‘Jaama’atu Ahlus-Sunnah Lidda’ Awati Wal Jinad (Boko Haram)’ do solemnly make this truthful, most honest and utmost accurate presentation, application and the transmission on the above subject matter, believing all of its contents to be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” the long email began.
The message continues by alleging Nigeria’s ruling PDP administration offered financial support to Boko Haram following the murder of its founder Mohammed Yusuf in 2009. The offer purportedly came through Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Chief Anthony A. Anenih and current Vice President Namadi Sambo.
Thereafter, “we received large supplies of weapons, ammunition, provision and funding indirectly from President Goodluck Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party of Nigeria (PDP) through foreign and domestic agents,” the email then asserts.
‘Shekau’ goes further to claim Jonathan organised another group of thugs acting under the name of ‘Boko Haram’ to perpetrate several atrocities, including the kidnap of the 276 Chibok girls and the attempted assassination of APC presidential aspirant Muhammadu Buhari.
The message then shockingly claims the ‘alternative Boko Haram’ group were behind the controversial collapse of The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) building last month that killed over 100, including 80 South Africans.
“A day before the incident, the agents of President Goodluck Jonathan’s alternative Boko Haram had fused and pasted the latest type of “Plastic Bombs” on strategic parts of the building. The signal for detonation was only given when a strange unmarked aircraft piloted by one of his Air Force Officers had circled the building three times,” the message specified.
According to ‘Shekau’, the choice of Synagogue as a target was based on Τ.Β. Joshua’s political clout as ‘many prominent APC members rely on The Synagogue for special prayers and holy water that will help them defeat President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP in 2015.’
The email was addressed to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, reporting ‘persons in Nigeria that have committed gross human rights violations, genocide and crimes against humanity’.
The majority of online commentators who discussed the email have questioned its authenticity, alleging it has a political agenda and is the handiwork of APC fanatics attempting to stain the name of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.
ORIGINAL EMAIL SOURCE: http://www.gistmania.com/talk/topic,222831.0.html
Godwin Ikechukwu ( Email: email@example.com ) reports from Lagos, Nigeria
*Photo Caption - Rescue workers Tuesday September 16, 2014 search for survivors in the rubble of Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Lagos- Nigeria collapsed building. The building collapsed September 12, 2014.
[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. James Chukwuma Agazie reports ] - Free at last! Free at last! Northern Nigeria is about to experience freedom at last if the news is true that Boko haram is laying down weapons. May God of Ndiigbo be praised and spirits of deceased Christian crusaders be given the highest commendation.
Those Igbo teachers and traders didn’t die in vain in Northern Nigeria. They were at the forefront of the struggle to educate and free Northern tribes from ignorance and the oligarchic education-is-banza clutches of Muslim sharia-type domination. Northern leaders refused to provide education for the masses; siphoned funds earmarked for education to Saudi Arabia; and effectively pushed the country into membership of Islamic League of Nations (work of Babangida and Buhari) . The North died painfully. Igbos refused to let the die be cast.
If you doubt it; check history and beginnings of Western education in Nigeria. Check annals of various Ministries of Education. Igbos were there being pilloried; castigated; dehumanized with the infamous Northernization Policy orchestrated by Premier Ahmadu Belo and Prime Minister Balewa. Those Igbos built primary and secondary schools ( CMS; Methodist; Catholic) to educate all Nigerian children whose parents cared to come.
We were there. We were the headmasters; teachers; catechists; preachers. Name it; and we were there in the trenches along with a few Europeans (Sudan United mission; Sudan Interior Mission at Gindiri; Keffi; Gboko).
While Igbo and Yoruba kids came to learn; Muslims kept their children away. Muslims wasted trillions of shillings. A few Northern children whose parents heard the call of Chineke (the true Allah) came to schools and you’ll find them as the elites of modern Northern Nigeria as Vice Chancelors; physicians; lawyers; bakers; and petty traders; at Jos; Bukuru; Makurdi; Kafanchan; Kwarra State; Igumale; Oturkpo; Utonkon; Egwugwuewu; Adoka; Igalla. Oh; my God.
Oh; my God! Oh; my God! We were there. I cannot continue . I’m in tears. But we were just there.
Dr. James Chukwuma Agazie, former Idoma-Headmaster ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Map of Nigeria showing Northern and Southern Nigeria.
[ Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] - Igbo Union Atlanta USA, Inc., in collaboration with the Igbo Community and friends of Igbo people, will hold the 2014 Igbo Day Symposium on Friday, November 7th (8.00-10.00pm), followed by the main event on Saturday, November 8th, 2014, in the Igbo Community building [aka “Obi Ndi Igbo”] in Atlanta. Venue is at: Igbo Community Building [OBI NDI-IGBO], 5912 Mableton Parkway, Mableton, GA 30126.
This symposium is one of the activities marking this year’s 2014 Annual Igbo Day – “Celebrating the Dream and the Vision (Igbo Facility Transformation).”
In our quest to advance the collective interests and well-being of Igbo people (Ndi Igbo), this symposium will focus sharply on the imperatives of the daily challenges of Family Life & Marriage Challenges and “Umu-igbo” (Youth) who reside in the international community (aka Diaspora).
Therefore, we are looking for published authors who have written extensively – essays, articles, papers, etc. and dynamic presenters and creative, interactive presentations that can deliver unique insights and best practices on topics focusing on these three broad areas:
Igbo family and marriage challenges and how to mitigate them,
Domestic violence from legal perspective, and
Career guidance for success (Youth, Adult, etc.).
The Igbo Day Symposium Committee is now accepting presentation proposals that address any of those topics.
Please submit your presentation proposal for review to CFSNL@YAHOO.COM no later than Saturday, October 25, 2014.
Include the title and a brief summary or synopsis of your presentation. Selected presenters will be notified by email no later than Saturday, November 1, 2014.
The 2014 Symposium Committee will carefully review your title, synopsis to make the final selection.
We look forward to receiving your proposal as well as look forward to dynamic and intellectually stimulating insights on this year's symposium as always.
Rev. Dr. C. K. Ekeke (Moderator), Prof. Martin Okafor (co-Chair), Mr. Michael Brian Odiakosa, Mrs. Priscilla Madu and Dr. Nze Dan Onyeagba (2014 Igbo Day Event Chair).
*Photo Caption - Event flyer. Click link below for Enlarged Flyer.
[ Masterweb Reports: Ihechukwu Njoku reports ] - A picture of controversial Pastor T.B. Joshua carrying three bags of rice went viral this week within Nigerian social media and blogs. While most commended Joshua for his humility and humanity, there were suggestions that the picture was ‘photo-shopped’. Others insinuated the image was nothing but a tasteless publicity stunt in the light of the recent tragedy that befell The SCOAN where over 100 died in a building collapse.
As a viewer of Emmanuel TV, I have actually seen the video clip of this particular humanitarian mission previously and managed to find the footage on YouTube. For clarification, this did not take place after the tragedy last month, putting to rest the allegation that this was an ill-timed publicity feat. So, for all the doubters and skeptics, here is video evidence of Pastor T.B. Joshua carrying three bags of rice in one of his numerous philanthropic visits to less-privileged areas.
[ Masterweb Reports: Uche Nwosu reports ] - In his thesis The Decay of Lying, Oscar Wilde, an Irish writer (1854-1900) declared that, “The final revelation is that lying, the telling of beautiful untrue things is the proper aim of the art”. If we stress it further we can conclude that lying is the art of releasing information that is at variance or inconsistent with the reality.
Of recent, armed chair critics and political opponents of Gov TA Orji CON and his administration, in their uncanny attempts to sway public opinion against this performing governor of Abia – God’s Own State, have tried unsuccessful to present falsehood as facts. They have been telling weird tales to the gullible; relentlessly concocting and fabricating pictures (both still and video) to goad the naive into accepting their falsehood and make-believe.
Take Aba as a case study; this epicenter of Igbo entrepreneurship has recently had its kismet recede colossally; thus becoming the object of the vitriolic attacks from the opposition camp. Certainly, before Aba’s declivity, it served as a thriving municipality of commerce and industry. It held sway as the nucleus of small and medium scale enterprises in the West Africa sub-region. From 1960s till 1990s, Aba was a town that played host to all tribes and races of African descent who came from Lagos, Onitsha, Calabar, Kaduna, Kano, Cotonou, Yaoundé, Duala, Gabon etc to do business in it.
In retrospect, Aba’s structural outlay was like that of London, Paris, Washington DC, or some few European and American cities which are charily planned and kept. Its roads were neat; the gutters were cleaned, letting current of water to flow ceaselessly to the huge Aba gutter; that gigantic drainage that traverses the town and empties its contents into the Aba River (the waterside) whenever it rained. Its filths were carted away as they were dumped. Indeed, Aba was (and still is) an architectural masterpiece. It was an organized city. For instance each street is separated from the other by a column of ten houses and numbered like that, thus making easier for any JJC in town to trace his way without missing road.
The houses are separated from each other by well maintained sanitary lanes with scintillating walkways which were cleaned up at every now and then. The Aba master plan was strictly adhered to during construction of buildings or factories in the years mentioned above. But alas! Aba lost its glory when OUK who now champions the network of virulent spleen against Gov TA ORJI and his government in the Sun newspapers took over the mantle of leadership as the second executive governor of Abia State.
From 1999 to 2007 Aba lost its splendor, it lost its shine; it lost its beauty and became blemish. Aba declined so retrogressively that to rebuild it will take years to do. Orji Uzor Kalu’s administration encouraged the building of illegal structures such as shops, kiosks, motor parks, mini markets etc on the drainages, open spaces etc, including the Aba big gutter. His government then perfected the process of the blockage of the sanitary lanes which the military administrations before it started with the connivance of some dubious landlords and traders on the pretext of building more shops in the city and giving traders spaces to do business. The result was the colossal collapse of the fabrics of the town. Its aesthetics declined tremendously.
It turned out that what the drainages would have accommodated if they were open and scooped became the burden of the roads. Both the streets and roads suffered high degree of corrosiveness. His attempt to reconstruct and rehabilitate some of them was comical. The roads he tried to reconstruct or rehabilitate failed the test of road standard and quality. And because of their structural dubiety, Aba residents dubbed the roads he built in the city; “Dubai Roads” in derisive reference to some inferior goods (particularly shoes) were imported from Dubai, the capital of the United Arab Emirate.
It is ironical that the same man that laid the foundation for the present decay of Aba municipality under his watch as governor is the same man shouting blue murder against Gov Orji, who has carried out a lot of interventions to reclaim the city, preparatory to its holistic reconstruction.
Under OUK Aba ceased to have pipe-borne water. Other infrastructures like electricity that existed before he found himself in the apex political seat of the state were neglected. Certainly, Aba was worse under OUK. Roads such as: Ohanku, Obohia, East, Azikiwe, Ama Ogbonna, Ama Ikonne, Faulks, School, Clifford, Cameroon, Danfodio, Etche, Ulasi, etc were impassable before he exited in 2007; thus making him one of the most hated political office holders at that time.
In fact, the so called holocaust which he and his army of associates and writers claim Aba has relapsed into is totally of his own making. He is the architect of Aba’s infrastructural and social declivity. If he had done the needful ie laying a strong foundation for a modern Aba that could compete strongly with the modern day Dubai, Shanghai, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, etc which Aba was their industrial and economic prelude, what would have laid at the bosom of the present administration under TA Orji would have been to consolidate on the foundation already laid and work would then start from there.
Even as he was not doing anything towards the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Aba which he and his paid writers are describing as hell on earth; as one of the worst cities on earth, OUK, through his aggressive diatribes against Aso Rock frustrated federal government’s intervention on Aba or the entire Abia State. His regular vitriolic jabs against the federal authorities denied not only Aba but Abia its due share of the central government’s largesse.
Has he forgotten how he made Abia a pariah state; a state where no investor or any serious national or international economic player could do business? Until Ochendo entered the arena, Abia was out of the circle; groping in the dark, isolated and treated as a leprous victim. Even though, Aba has not yet been placed on the pedestal of infrastructural bliss, a foundation is being laid to make the city to follow the foot paths of cities of Asia earlier mentioned in this piece.
Ochendo’s administration has consistently rehabilitated federal roads in the city like Aba-Owerri road, Ikot Ekpene road, Azumini road, Port Harcourt road, Aba axis of Enugu- Port Harcourt expressway, without the central government giving it a dime. Presently, the government has set up another intervention task force led by the Commissioner for Works, Longman Nwachukwu and made up of crack team from the Ochendo’s cabinet, prominent and non partisan Aba residents, captains of industry and civil engineers to once more rehabilitate the federal roads in the city following the subsiding of the rains. The work done so far by the task force has been exceptional.
Indeed, the intervention on Aba has been tremendous; if not for the lifeline thrown to it by the Ochendo’s administration, Aba, would have been weighed down by the neglect of the past. The system of refuse disposal there has been outstanding; never mind some of the manipulated pictures being bandied about by the opposition camp.
However, like every other institution or city that is been started anew, the residents of the city has to endure some adversities. Everything has to start anew. The roads and other infrastructures will not have to be built overnight. It has to endure. What matters is the laying of the foundation. If Gov Orji, after laying a solid foundation for the reconstruction of Abia State does not have the time to start the proper reconstruction then the government after him will take off the gauntlet and do the needful.
But as for now kudos should be given to him for elevating and placing this state on the track of socio-economic recovery. He has laid the solid and quality infrastructural foundation which the government after him will find it easy work on and achieve decisive result that will be of immense benefit to Ndi Abia in particular and Nigeria as a whole. Abians are waiting for the person that will combine the dreams and forthrightness of Dr Michael Okpara; the resilience and accomplishment of Dee Sam Mbakwe, the vision and exploits of Chief TA Orji to take over from Ochendo.
For now, Ochendo has remarkably done well in all sectors. His seven and half years in office are not without concrete legacy projects: chief among them are the upgrade of the civil service, provision of quality education in the state, styling leadership that have compassed a new Abia. His administration has also restored sanity to the polity, empowered the women and youth as well as provided the road map for the much sought after Igbo unity and renaissance. No wonder he was elected as Chairman, South East Governors’ Forum (SEGF) and recently conferred with a national award of Commander, Order of the Niger (CON).
Uche Nwosu reports.
*Photo Caption - Orji Uzor Kalu
[ Masterweb Reports: Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu reports ] - Wherever you go and wherever Nigerians congregate the question is often asked; why has Nigeria failed? Why has a nation so blessed with abundant human and material resources failed? Why is Nigeria so disharmonious; crippled by tribalism, religious fundamentalism and bigotry? Why is Nigeria so corrupt and why can’t Nigerians work together for the common good of all? Why simple issues in Nigeria are politicised thus inhibiting possible solutions to identified problems? Why is a nation that has all the potentials to be one of the richest in the world a failed state? Why has Nigeria been cursed with an endless line of bad leaders? These haunting questions are ever so common while finding answers to them has proven a difficult task.
The search for the truth is a constant in a every society; It is thus pertinent at this point in our chequered history to seek the truth and provide answers to these questions thereby registering for all time the most fundamental factors that has cumulatively and progressively led to Nigeria’s failure. Nations do not succeed or fail by accident; any of both scenarios are determined by deliberate acts of leadership particularly in the foundational years. In the specific case of Nigeria the absence of nation building which is an indispensable prerequisite for every nation more so a heterogeneous nation with deep ethnic, religious and cultural divisions from the foundational years of independence provided the most important dynamic that led to Nigeria’s failure. Nigeria has uncannily been a very unfortunate and unusual nation, at independence she became one of the only nations led not only by leaders who opposed her independence but whom also rejected the very idea of her nationhood as constituted.
The duo of Ahmadu Bello and Tafawa Balewa who formed the core of the independence leadership were nothing other than leaders who “hated Nigeria as constituted.” In words and deeds they never failed to demonstrate their hatred for Nigeria. They so much abhorred the very idea of Nigeria that Ahmadu Bello in his book and autobiography “My Life” published in 1961; famously derided the amalgamation of Northern and Southern Nigeria as “the mistake of 1914.” They saw Nigeria not as a nation to build for the common good of all but as a nation to dominate by any means at the expense of other ethno-religious groups. In other words the project Nigeria was to be a continuation of Othman Dan Fodio’s religious jihad. This is evident from the statement Ahmadu Bello made in the Parrot Newspaper on the 12th of October 1960, just 11 days after independence where he declared that “the new nation called Nigeria should be an estate of our great grandfather Othman Dan Fodio. We must ruthlessly prevent a change of power. We must use the minorities in the north as willing tools and the south as conquered territory and never allow them to rule over us and never allow them to have control over their future.”
This infamous statement by Ahmadu Bello revealed his outlook on Nigeria and his intention to treat it as jihadist booty rather than as a nation to build. His declared intent never to allow a shift of power is also revealing of his undemocratic leanings. Having won power at the centre at independence Ahmadu Bello began unfolding his jihadist project as declared. He refused to become the Prime minister preferring instead to nominate Tafawa Balewa because he loathed coming to or residing in Lagos. He was indeed notably absent at the independence celebrations in Lagos for the same reason of not wanting to step foot in the South. He refused all entreaties to change the name of his political platform the “Northern” people’s congress (NPC) to a name that is more reflective of the whole of Nigeria. He also infamously instituted policies of segregation that created a separate area of habitation (sabon gari) for southerners living in the North and introduced the “Northernization” policy that gave preference to Europeans and other foreigners in employment to Southern Nigerians.
Tafawa Balewa who became the prime minister at independence was no different. In 1948 while addressing the legislative council, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa declared that “Since 1914 the British Government has been trying to make Nigeria into one country, but the Nigerian people themselves are historically different in their backgrounds, in their religious beliefs and customs and do not show themselves any sign of willingness to unite. Nigerian unity is only a British intention for the country.” This speech, famously delivered to the legislative council underscores the deep resentment/hatred Tafawa Balewa whom together with Ahmadu Bello formed the post-colonial government in 1960 harboured for Nigeria. Since a man cannot give what he does not have, it was impossible and inconceivable for the duo who sufficiently demonstrated their hatred/rejection of Nigeria in words and deeds and who saw Nigeria only as the continuation of Othman Dan Fodio’s jihad to undertake any measure of nation building especially at those formative years that the nation needed it most. Both Ahmadu Bello and Balewa were opposed to independence and were consequently implicated in orchestrating the 1953 anti-independence Kano riots where scores were killed following the rejection of independence by northern lawmakers as requested by Anthony Enahoro in the federal parliament.
Thus, without any incentive to invest in nation building or to make the necessary sacrifices to consolidate the fledgling republic, the duo of Ahmadu Bello and Tafawa Balewa commenced on a relentless pursuit of narrow sectional, regional and jihadist interests at the expense of the rule of law, democracy and good governance. Ahmadu Bello had also previously declared in the Daily Times on May 3rd 1961, his intention “to conquer the Action Group, (AG) in the same ruthless manner his grandfather conquered Alkawa, a town in Sokoto province, in the last century.” The bid to actualise these declarations in advancement of narrow sectional interests led to the rigging of census results in favour of the North in 1962 provoking an early post-independence crisis. By 1963 a further bid to ensure Northern domination through the construction of a one party state led to the emasculation of the AG and the arrest/ conviction of Chief Obafemi Awolowo for alleged coup plotting. The final act of infamy was the unholy alliance between Ladoke Akintola and Tafawa Balewa leading to a massive electoral heist in the Western region in 1964 which in turn sparked violent riots and disturbances (wetie) which eventually occasioned the January 1966 coup.
No one can doubt the necessity of nation building, yet as necessary as nation building was for Nigeria from independence, only leaders who genuinely believed in Nigeria and who were liberated from the demons of tribalism, religious fanaticism, hate and bigotry could have invested in it. Nation building is not without sacrifices; it involves a sustained process of ethnic and cultural integration through deliberate policies of inclusion, social justice, mutual respect, equality, fraternity and even spread of development and opportunities amongst other pragmatic initiatives. It also involves a commitment to the ideals of democracy. An ideal nation builder must demonstrate in words and deeds a clear policy of total integration that forbids exclusion and all forms of discrimination as the likes of Julius Nyerere of blessed memory stridently cultivated in Tanzania.
It is obvious that because the duo of Ahmadu Bello and Tafawa Balewa who formed the government of Nigeria at independence hated Nigeria, they were loath to invest in policies that will actualise national integration and create a true Nigerian identity, just as they were also loath to uphold democratic principles of free and fair elections being determined as Ahmadu Bello had declared in his speech to prevent any change of power by all means. Therein lies the most important factors for Nigeria’s failure. Ahmadu Bello/ Balewa were not alone in the odious game of bigotry but they were by far the most important national actors who sufficiently poisoned the nation with tribalism, sectionalism and election rigging in the then Western region to the extent that nation building was simply impossible.
Overtime, the absence of nation building and the seeds of sectionalism, tribalism, corruption and disharmony cultivated by the duo of Ahmadu Bello and Balewa from her foundational years has become Nigeria’s status quo. Since a house divided against itself cannot stand Nigeria has since become a chaotic, corrupt and conflict ridden failed state all thanks to the hatred, divisions and disharmony planted by the independence leadership duo of Ahmadu Bello/Balewa. The Ango Abdullahi’s Adamu Ciroma’s Murtala Nyako’s and Arewa’s of this world who daily make bigoted statements represents Nigeria’s fatal fault-lines and reminds us that Ahmadu Bello’s doctrine/legacy of domination, jihad, hate and exclusion of other Nigerians is still alive and well.
Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu (Email: email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption - From left to right: Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Alhaji Tafawa Balewa, Dr E.M.L. Endeley and Alhaji Ahmadu Bello.