[ Masterweb Reports: Sam Hart reports ] - On Friday, January 30, 2014, the Catholic Diocese of Umuahia through its Justice Development and Peace Committee (JDPC ) Organised a debate for the leading Governorship Candidates in Abia State to come and showcase their plans and projects for the people of Abia State.
For many, it was a rare opportunity to Watch all the Candidates at close quarters in comparison with each other.
Present at the debate, which held at the Hall of the Mater Dei Cathedral, Umuahia, was Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu of the PDP, Alex Otti of APGA, Nyerere Anyim of APC and Chikwe Udensi of PPA.
The debate began by 11am with each Candidate taking 15 minutes to talk about his background, his vision for Abia State and his suitability for the task ahead. Then followed a question and answer session first from a panel of Church Council Elders and later from the general audience.
Below is my assessment of the Candidates in alphabetical order.
APC: DR. NYERERE ANYIM
Dr. Anyim from Obingwa LGA in Abia State drew a lot of inferences from Imo, a neighbouring state governed by APC. He promised to improve on Infrastructure and build roads all over Abia as he claimed is done in Imo State while promising free education at all levels. He promised to leverage on the available potentials of Abia State to create a new state.
APGA: ALEX OTTI
He did not disclose his locality and it is still a subject of contention. He harped on his background as a banker where he rose to be MD and his background as an economist and international financial analyst as factors that make him the best candidate for the job at a period of economic downturn. He also made copious references to developments in Anambra state governed by another former banker and APGA member and urged Abians to trust him to leverage on his extensive contacts in the financial world to access the funds needed to build a new Abia. His presentation in summary was: Trust me, I have the magic wand.
PDP: DR. OKEZIE IKPEAZU
From Obingwa LGA, Dr. Ikpeazu recalled his background as an academic and his trajectory in governance beginning with a stint as LG Chairman in 2002 through all his other political engagements. Instructively, of all the Candidates, it was only Dr. Ikpeazu that outlined the 'how' of his plan as against 'what' the others plan to do. For example as to the question of how to develop Aba, Dr. Ikpeazu gave a specific plan which included creating a ring road all around Aba to reduce the thoroughfare intra-city traffic while opening up new layouts to decongest the city centre and ease the strain on public infrastructure. He also outlined a plan to build commercial clusters in areas where Aba has comparative advantage while consciously developing Housing Estates towards Obehie to tilt the expansion of Aba towards Port Harcourt thus taking advantage of the Oil-Rich Rivers State Economy. He was quick to admit that conditions are not optimal in Abia State at the moment but vehemently rejected any attempt to discount the contributions of the current government insisting that there are many developments in the state that will serve as foundations from where he would take off.
PPA: CHIKWE UDENSI
The funniest of the lot, his every contribution drew laughter from the audience. He made so much meat of his 8-year stint as Secretary of ALGON and tied every of his contribution to how his position at ALGON provided him the experience to deal. From Healthcare to Education, Security to Employment Generation and even Women Empowerment, somehow, he had done it at ALGON and he knew how to solve it. He promised to operate from Aba for the first 2 years of his administration if voted in.
One remarkable thing about Chief Udensi's contribution was his penchant for dishing out 'facts' that would not stand close scrutiny. Again, all the other Candidates tended to pander to populist views on certain controversial subjects without being realistic. On the issue of Security Votes, while the other Candidates said they would have nothing to do with it, Ikpeazu stated emphatically that for a state with 7 states bothering it and a history of violent crime, Security Vote was an essential requirement to purchase vehicles for security agencies and motivate them all to keep crime at bay in the state. He however insisted that he would keep it moderate and tied to security needs. The mark of true leadership is the ability to defend a needful policy of government for its overiding public good even if it is unpopular and Dr. Ikpeazu got my marks for that.
Responsible leadership also comes with responsible promises devoid of unrealistic projections. Some of the programmes proposed by some candidates did not take into account the financial accruals to Abia State and a combined deployment of the Federal Allocation of Akwa Ibom State and the IGR of Lagos State would not actualize them.
In all, everybody present acknowledged that every one of the Candidates was eminently qualified to govern Abia State and they each possessed the requisite intellect to get the job done. Whoever emerges winner has a few things to take away from the plans of the other Candidates and it is instructive to point out that they all promised to work together irrespective of who emerges winner.
Sam Hart ( Phone: +2348038537076 ) reports.
*Photo Caption - As seen
[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] - January 30, 2015: I had a very verbal phone conversation with Niger Delta militant terror leader, Asari Dokubo today.
In the heated conversation that lasted over 20 minutes, the pro-Jonathan militant was non repentant and aggressively supported his campaign for the continued reign of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
I told him that at a time I had respected him (Dokubo) but now he has lost all my respect; asking how much money would make him support a killer leadership. I asked how insensitive he was witnessing how Jonathan’s corruption had undermined the army and how the president’s failures (not complying with the Paris summit agreement to station 700 troops to defend the border) directly led for instance to the death of over 2500 defenseless Nigerians at Baga.
He mentioned Fulani.
I asked what the poor Kanuri fishermen and farmers of Baga had to do with a so-called Fulani thing.
He responded that the killings were in the north and he had no business or care about that. He further cited wars in other places and the example of Libya and the sack of Moammar Gaddafi.
I told him that in those cases there was not an inebriated and cluelessly corrupt government that caused the preventable wars and asked him why then does he support Jonathan who disgraced Africa being the first African leader to support the NATO destruction of Gaddafi and Libya in effect, while great leaders like Jacob Zuma stood behind Libya.
He said something about having trained in Libya and accused General Buhari, chief opposition candidate of receiving funds for his presidential campaign in 2011 from Gaddafi.
I did not understand his point, because I supported Gaddafi and Libya against the colonialist sponsored invasion and have no grouse with Gaddafi.
I insisted; that why will he support a Jonathan who aided the hegemonists destroy North Africa by sacking Gaddafi, now leading to the proliferation of arms and instability in the entire region.
I went on to ask him how much he had been paid and what this money was worth, that it made him sell his soul for a hopeless candidate.
He continued a tirade against the North, the “Gambari’s” and the Yorubas, saying all were traitors and that why am I interested in the Fulani ruling me.
I told him that this conversation had nothing to do with Buhari; that if he wanted he should not support anyone, or should have brought out a responsible candidate from his family, but how does his conscience feel supporting someone who was killing innocent people across the country.
He responded again accusing Yorubas, the group to which I belong, of being traitors and bragging of all the bombs his terror group had detonated across Yoruba land.
I told him that his desperation for a penny had made him betray the true struggle of the Ijaw people; I pointed out that Bayelsa was the most polluted piece of land on the planet with terrible suffering.
He challenged my stats and asked me what I knew about Bayelsa.
I responded that I lived there for a year and that the sky there is still red with burning of natural gas. I told him how oil spillage has destroyed their ecosystem under Jonathan.
He asked how long Jonathan had been there.
I retorted that 6 years was long enough to effect transformation.
He said I lied and that I had never lived in Bayelsa.
I went ahead to describe Bayelsa to him.
He was very angry and continued to curse Yoruba people as traitors who betrayed in the past and threatened that the Yorubas will feel the wrath of the Ijaw.
I told him he was a coward, that if he was not he would have liberated his father’s house and kept the oil under its soil for himself.
He laughed and responded that we (Nigerians) are their slave; that they will support Jonathan to rule till 2019 after which they will then take “their” oil and go.
He said they were just punishing us for now.
I asked him if Jonathan was supervising the Boko Haram pogrom of the north as some sort of “revenge” for Nigeria’s past errors.
I asked him why Goodluck Jonathan had not restructured the country so he can preside over Otueke and leave other people alone and not continue to finance and supervise our suffering and deaths. Telling him about the failure of the national conference when only the Yorubas in attendance and Northerners like the Lamido of Adamawa had asked for their own sovereignty, but his people had failed to make such push and Jonathan had failed to use the avenue of the conference to bring about change.
He asked me why I was not invited to attend it.
I asked where his conscience was and how he felt about the deaths of thousands of innocent people because of the little change he got from the corrupt Jonathan government.
I told him that the money does not pass the fourth generation and that the little money he gets that has made him betray the Kalabari kingdom and great King Amachree and the people of Ijaw land will be finished before he knows it and shame will remain to his name.
He went on a tirade about some stuff I could not really understand. It had to do with killing and bombings and stuff.
I told him he was a coward.
He was very upset throughout the interview. I really wish he pays attention to his blood pressure.
Interestingly, he has a Chief Security Officer, CSO; his CSO named Commander George believes in Nigeria.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Alhaji Mujahid Asari-Dokubo
[ Masterweb Reports: Peter Obi reports ] -As the fulcrum of sustainable socio-economic growth and development, the power sector is a critical element in the progress of modern societies – a fact clearly appreciated by the Jonathan administration.
At the policy level, the President reconstituted the Presidential Action Committee on Power, with himself as chairman and Vice-President Sambo as his deputy. Other critical memberships include Secretary to the Federal Government, Ministers of Power, Finance & Petroleum as well as selected captains of industry. The records show the President has not missed any of the Committee’s meetings. The implementation process of the Power Sector Road-Map is ably managed by a Presidential Task Force of high-grade professionals.
The courageous unbundling of the ubiquitous Power Holding Company of Nigeria [PHCN], and the decentralization of its constituent Generating and Distribution Companies across the land, have vastly boosted performance of the sector.
This exercise has already started yielding fruits. The Azura power plant in Edo State, for instance was flagged of 2 months ago, a feat that would have been impossible so are many other independent power projects. The Ugheli power plant which was generating less than 200 MW before being handed over to private company now generates over 610 Mw. The new owners are planning to add additional 1000MW in due time. This would not have been possible but for the privatisation. What happened in the telecom sector would soon be replicated in the power sector.
As at 2014, the Jonathan administration had completed 10 power plants under the Nigerian Independent Power Plant [NIPP] scheme; and their sale is on-going. The commissioned plants include those at Olorunsogo [563mw], Sapele [225mw] and Omotoso [112.5mw]. Currently, the country generates about 4,500mw of power, with increases expected in 2015.
The Rural Electrification Agency [REA] was reactivated in mid-2012, and in barely two years it has invested in over 300 rural electrification projects across the country. Given the rate of progress on the projects, it will be a matter of course for the agency to literally ‘light-up’ rural Nigeria; affording that major segment of the populace access to additional means of livelihood and comforts of modernization. Other benefits include stemming the rural-urban drift and associated adversities; boosting agro-productivity, processing, preservation and storage; promoting the growth of rural industries and enterprises; attracting unemployed and under-employed urban dwellers to the rural areas.
As part of efforts to expand its vista, the REA is pursuing collaboration with such proven Development Partners as the Bank of Industry, Japan International Co-operation Agency, UN Industrial Development Organization, UN Development Programme and German International Development Programme.
To complement power generating capacities, the Jonathan administration is expanding and strengthening the capacities of the nation’s transmission system. The Transmission Company of Nigeria [TCN], under the management of the renowned Manitoba Hydro International, is currently firming up the critical linkages between electricity supply and demand. Meanwhile, Power China Corporation is to build 20,000mw-capacity power plants and sub-stations, with transmission lines stretching for some 10,000 kilometres.
The Jonathan administration is also progressively exploring and exploiting other sources of energy for the country possesses vast potentials. Among these – in which investors have shown deep interest – are energy from solar [sun], wind, biomass, coal, and water. It has revitalized the nation’s hydro-electric power base, including major investments in Kainji, Mambilla [3,050mw] and Zungeru [700mw].
Concomitant with the establishment of power plants and related facilities are the massive investments in capacity building. There is now a National Power Training Institute [NAPTIN]; and its structures and facilities include: headquarters & 8 regional training centres, power system training simulator, workshops, demonstration plants, trainee hostels and guest houses.
There are also exchange programmes abroad and extensive industrial training platforms in tertiary institutions. To date, over 6,000 sector professionals have benefited from various training programmes across the land.
There have been [mostly extraneous] challenges that have threatened the attainment of the goals of the power sector road map. These include sabotage& vandalization of gas pipelines & some other facilities; and outright theft of equipment & accessories. These have been perpetuated largely by local and international syndicates – incurring billions of Naira in repair–works and delays in fulfillment of targets. For instance, the eastern axis gas pipeline at Okoloma disrupted the operations of plants of the Rivers State Government, Afam and Shell – with a loss of some 400 megawatts. Similarly, sabotage in the western axis [at Escravos] involved a loss of 1,500 megawatts.
Despite these trip-wires, Nigeria not only has the largest economy in Africa, but also the biggest population – with its varied domestic, office and industrial power requirements. The sector continues to attract the interest of local and foreign investors; an indication of growing confidence in its management. Strategic partnerships have been forged with such long-established operators as General Electric, Siemens AG, Daewoo E&C, Electricite de France, Enterprise de Transporte et Distribution D’electricity, and Electrobate. The Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Federal Government and some of these global players is a commitment by each of them to help build up to 10,000MW-capacity in the country. Many other reputable power companies have been to Nigeria and indicated their desire to participate in the entire value-chain of power delivery.
Indeed, the benefits from the successful fulfilment of the power sector reform will far exceed the benefits of the telecommunications revolution.
As we are about to cast our votes, may I call on Nigerians to realize that the Government of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has set many developmental projects in motion. Beyond sentiments, now is the time for Nigerians to rally round him. He needs this next term to consolidate on his administration’s achievements. Even as projects such as the Kaduna-Abuja rail line are nearing completion, the next term will enable him successfully fulfill others, among which are those in the power sector.
He has commenced quite a number of projects that will guarantee 24 hours electricity availability in the country. We should support him to conclude the vital task of lighting-up Nigeria.
Mr. Peter Obi is the former Gov. of Anambra State and the Deputy Director General of the PDP National Campaign Council
*Photo Caption - Mr. Peter Obi (LEFT); President Goodluck Jonathan (RIGHT)
[ Masterweb Reports: Tebego Motalaote reports ] - Members of the Botswana public have sent an unusual message to Nigeria as they seek military support from Africa in the increasingly challenging fight against the Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram.
A report from Yarona FM News, one of Botswana’s leading radio stations, sampled public opinion concerning the appeal by the African Union for its members to send soldiers to Nigeria to assist in the fight against Boko Haram.
According to the report, the majority of people spoken to urged against the Botswana Defence Force troops being sent to provide military aid to Nigeria.
“Some members of the public who say sending soldiers away would expose them to unnecessary dangers argue, among other things, that Nigeria should look to the famous televangelist TB Joshua for divine intervention,” Yarona FM reported.
These sentiments come on the backdrop of reports that the government seem undecided on whether or not it should send Botswana Defence Force troops to Nigeria.
Facebook comments on the report reiterated the public mindset. “When you send soldiers there, they will be fighting the wrong battle,” Thero Matsuakata stated. “These people are led by evil spirits! Prophet T.B. Joshua talked about this long ago.”
However, a minority still insisted Botswana should provide the requested aid. “It would be very selfish of our government if they ignored this plea,” wrote Ken Pul Kol.
“Soldiers are trained for such things as much as a doctor is trained to save a patient's life! What if we are befallen by the same thing tomorrow,” she queried. “Do we really want the world to look sideways and pretend we aren’t dying?”
Nigerian Pastor T.B. Joshua gained prominence in Botswana following his crusade in 2005 that packed the National Stadium in Gabarone. His television station Emmanuel TV remains one the most closely followed channels in the country.
Tebego Motalaote ( Email: email@example.com ) reports from Gabarone, Botswana.
*Photo Caption - T. B. Joshua
[ Masterweb Reports ] - Contrary to the story published in The Sun edition of January 27, 2015, which was that Imo State natives resident in Abia have endorsed the candidature of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) governorship candidate, Chief Chikwe Udensi, Concerned Imo Citizens In Abia (CICIA) has debunked the story as the purported efforts of desperate politicians in Abia State to cause disaffection between the Imo citizens in Abia State and their host state.
Narrating his story on behalf of the CICIA, Ichie Ike Alakwe, a resident of Number 3 Ideato Street, Aba, who is the chairman of the group, said that Imo people in Abia State are not here for sectional politics as there would be no way all Imo State people resident in Abia State would be in the PPA or endorse Udensi for whatever reason.
“If they are telling us that Imo State people who are party members of the PPA have endorsed Udensi owing to their party inclination, that would be understandable. But regrettably, we are all not in one political party and anybody or group saying that we have endorsed a particular candidate was being thoughtless and mischievous.”
Being philosophical, Alakwe said that in Alison Miller's, “Healing the Unimaginable: Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control” politicians should understand that “Punishments include such things as flashbacks, flooding of unbearable emotions, painful body memories, flooding of memories in which the survivor perpetrated against others, self-harm, and suicide attempts.”
He therefore called on all political parties in Abia State to dissociate Imo people in the state from politics of animosity. “I debunk that story that Imo natives resident in Abia have endorsed the PPA governorship candidate,” Ichie Alakwe fumed.
*Photo Caption - Map of Abia State
[ Masterweb Reports: Eze Chukwuemeka Eze reports ] - PREAMBLE: Eric Arthur Blair, better known as George Orwell (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950), an influential English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic, once stated that he who controls the past controls the future and who controls the present controls the past. George Orwell must have the traditional institution in Africa in mind when he made that famous quote as no other institution in Africa controls our past and present more than the traditional institution.
The powers of the royal institution in a setting like Nigeria cannot be over-emphasised. For a candidate to have plethora of royal blessings from various kingdoms before a given election is not something any serious political analyst of note can overlook as this may be used to judge the popularity, acceptance or otherwise of the candidate in question.
In any African setting like Rivers State, Nigeria, the traditional institution is generally regarded as the custodian of the culture and closest power or government to the people. As a result, traditional rulers wield enormous powers and influence over their subjects and can decide, therefore, make or mar any candidate in a given election.
On the other hand, and according to one-time President of USA, George W. Bush, “Leadership to me means duty, honor, country. It means character, and it means listening from time to time.” To King Prof T.J.T Princewill the Amayanabo of the Kalabari Kingdom of Rivers State, “a leader is not worth anything if he or she does not represent the values of love, unity, peace and justice for his people”.
DR DAKUKU ADOL PETERSIDE
The main thrust of this study given the explanations by President George Bush, King Prof T.J.T Princewill and George Orwell above is to examine the political leadership and avalanche of royal blessings so far poured on Dr Dakuku Adol Peterside, the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State and its implication on the governorship election of 28th February, 2015, as well as other elections in the State. Apart from the above, this study will also be proffering answers to the following questions: Who is Dr Dakuku Adol Peterside? How did he manage to secure the ticket of such a big party like APC to fly her flag in a cosmopolitan State like Rivers State? And why should he be bestowed with such royal blessings that make his opponents envious and to think of stepping aside even before the electorate set out to cast their ballot?
Before delving into the plethora of royal blessings bestowed on Dr Dakuku Peterside so far, let me highlight the significance of the day of his birth as well as his personality in the politics of Nigeria. From 6th July, 1967 to January 15th, 1970, the Nigeria/Biafra war raged on. To some pundits and political analysts it was the birth of this divine and great star on 1st January, 1970 that actually brought this unfortunate war to an end. They posit also that in the battle for the soul of Rivers State come 28th February, 2015 which has being turned into war situation by the PDP leadership, the Rivers APC is counting on this man of peace not only to win the gubernatorial election but also to stop the war mongers being paraded by the Rivers State PDP from coming to power and making Rivers State very unsafe for foreign investors.
That Dr Dakuku Peterside is the popular gubernatorial choice of the various strata of Rivers State is becoming very glaring by the day. Immediately after handling over his mandate to God through a well celebrated praise and worship service at Dr Wali International Conference Centre, Port Harcourt, where Bishops, Pastors and other members of the clergy prayed for his success at the polls, Dr Peterside swiftly moved to consult Traditional Rulers in the State to seek their blessings for his candidature.
Dr. Peterside has so far visited and received the blessings of First Class Kings in Rivers State such as King Kaleh Obuge, Oda Abuan King of Abua; Onneh eh Eleme, King Ejire; Eze Ekpeye Logbo Eze Robinson Robinson; Amanyanabo of Bonny, King Edward Asimini Pepple; and the Kalabari Monarch, King TJT Princewill amongst others.
In this regard, after receiving the approval of men of God, Dr Peterside visited Buguma, the traditional, political and spiritual headquarters of the ancient Kalabari Kingdom, to inform King (Prof.) TJT Princewill, Amachree XII, Amayanabo of Kalabari, of his governorship candidacy and afterwards seek his royal blessing. Peterside, once an undergraduate student under King (Prof.) Princewill, told the monarch: “I resolved within myself that I will not accept this challenge of flying the flag of our party, APC without seeking your fatherly blessing. If I have your blessing, I will succeed”. Members of the Buguma Council of Chiefs led by Chief CPD Amachree, Chairman, Buguma/Kalabari Council of Chiefs, were also on hand to “welcome the august visitor in December, 2014”, according to one of the Chiefs who later spoke for the Council.
At Buguma, Dr. Peterside was at home, like he later said, “a true son of the house”, as top members of the Kalabari nation were on hand for the flamboyant reception even though his visit was meant to be private. Dr. Dawari George, Secretary of the APC Campaign Organisation and member, Federal House of Representatives who represents Akuku Toru/Asari Toru Constituency, Hon. Daddy Pokima, Caretaker Committee Chairman, Degema local government, Hon. Ojukaye Flag-Amachree, a former Chairman of Asari Toru Local Government, Hon. Ben Fred-Horsfal, member, Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Joeba West, Rivers State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Dr. Ipalibo Harry, Commissioner for Employment, formed part of the powerful audience.
Dr. Peterside, who was introduced by the palace secretary, Hon. Prince Dateme, JP, said his inspiration to gun for the office of governor of Rivers State drew shape from the values espoused by King Princewill. “I am inspired by the things you believe in and the values you have brought to leadership. The time you spent teaching us, you emphasised that a leader is not worth anything if he or she does not represent the values of love, unity, peace and justice for his people. I am therefore proud that you groomed us in honesty, excellence and quest for knowledge,” the APC standard bearer told the monarch and the Council of Chiefs.
The Rivers APC Chairman noted that while Rivers monarchs and elders have embraced Peterside, they have vehemently rejected the candidature of Chief Nyesome Wike of PDP. “It is not surprising that Wike’s camp is in disarray as he has been rightly rejected by Rivers State Elders and Leaders, who see his imposition as an affront and a symbol of injustice since it is another way of saying that our riverine brothers have no right to produce the Governor of our dear State. We call on all Rivers people to collect their Permanent voters Cards and to use this wisely on February 28 by voting massively for Peterside and for the APC,” Ikanya said.
Here is what Dr Peterside has to say about his mission: “We bring a roadmap of wealth for Rivers State anchored on a legacy and foundation of prosperity laid by Governor Chibuke Amaechi. We all know Governor Amaechi’s legacies in education, health, agriculture and other areas. He has built world-class schools and hospitals in every nook and cranny of the state. His health centres can match any standard hospital found anywhere in the world. We have unveiled our campaign plans and program and we can be judged by our vision and contract with Rivers State and our people contained in the Roadmap to Prosperity at the end of our tenure if elected. This is RIVERS PROJECT. It is not about APC. We invite everybody to come on board, join us to move Rivers State to the next level. Rivers people’s support for me is overwhelming. I really appreciate the outpouring of love. I thank all Rivers people. I will not disappoint you. APC members rely on God and I will continue to rely on God. I do not depend on my strength or ability. I will ensure unity in Rivers state. All Rivers people will have roles to play in my administration, when elected as governor by God’s grace. Our doors will be wide open.”
In conclusion, I wish to say without fear of contradiction that Dr Peterside is a symbol of unity, visionary, egalitarian and, most importantly, a great patriot whose love for Rivers State and her people is infectious. Here is a man who has earned a reputation as a charismatic and disciplined leader; creative and hardworking, a broad-minded fellow with strategic insight who brings integrity, compassion, pro-poor perspective and intellectual dimension to bear in tackling tough national issues; a man whose loyalty to friendship and bridge-building skills are remarkable; an international resource person on oil and gas matters; a leading leadership/management scholar and speaker in leading conferences around the world; and a respected authority in corporate political strategy and Business-Govt interaction in Nigeria. Indeed, the great people of Rivers State have every reason to proudly endorse Dr Dakuku Adol Peterside as their next Governor after the departure of the goal-oriented Rt. Hon Chibuike Amaechi. With Dr Peterside in the saddle, the future of Rivers State is truly great. We therefore await his crowning after next month’s guber election.
Eze Chukwuemeka Eze ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 08038199163 ) is a Media Consultant based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
*Photo Caption - Supreme Council of Ikwerre Kings Anointing Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside
A good family man, Dakuku Peterside, is married to Elima, a lawyer, and they are blessed with three children, Soba, Belema and Miebi. He is a committed Christian who believes his relationship with Jesus Christ is what gives meaning to life.
NON-INDIGENES ADOPT PETERSIDE
Apart from the royal fathers, non-indigenes numbering about 960,000 residing in Rivers State have adopted and endorsed Dakuku Peterside as their candidate for the February polls. They spoke through their leader, Barr. Chuma Chinye, the Rivers State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, saying: “No non-indigene in Rivers State will vote for PDP or any other political party as we are not ingrates considering all that Governor Chibuike Amaechi has done to improve our lot. Today, one of us –my humble self – is a member of the highest ranking governing body in Rivers State, the State Executive Council, while others such as Chief Ade Adeogun is the Chairman of the Sanitation and Environmental Company of the State, Mr. David Iyofor is the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Governor amongst other strategic positions of our people in government. Our kids are paying the same fees with indigenes at the various strata of education. We must appreciate all these by ensuring that we vote APC in all the elections to avoid those who have vowed to deal with us once they come to power.”
Other non-indigenes that spoke at the endorsement ceremony in Port Harcourt were Chief Dr. Williams Ubeka, who spoke for the South-East; Chief Joseph Ijede for the South-South; Alhaji Ahmed Adisa for the South-West; Alhaji Sulaiman Hussaini for the North-Central; and Alhaji Tanko Yusuf for the North, while Mrs. Chief Ijede spoke for the women. The speakers highlighted all the good things non-indigenes have enjoyed under the administration of Governor Amaechi and contrasted it with the evil and humiliations they suffered when Chief Nyesome Wike, the PDP Governorship Candidate, was Chairman of Obio-Akpor Local Government, when he introduced various taxes to scare away non-indigenes from Rivers State. They maintained that if the non-indigenes have any enemy in Rivers State, Chief Wike is the Chief Tormentor of non indigenes. They promised to ensure that he does not smell the Brick House for the sake of Rivers people, whether indigenes or non-indigenes.
DEPUTY GOVERNOR IKURU AND SENATOR ABE ON DR DAKUKU ADOL PETERSIDE
Rivers State Deputy Governor, Engr. Tele Ikuru, has rightly described Dr Peterside as Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi’s best and final gift to the people of Rivers State. He stated this at the APC Abua/Odual Local Government Area campaign rally at Ayama-Abua, saying: “Our leader and governor, the Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has given us so many good gifts but Dr. Dakuku Peterside is his best and final gift to us. Amaechi gave us world-class schools, hospitals, roads, power, free education opportunities, purposeful leadership and security, among other good things. But let me tell you that Peterside is his best gift to us. I therefore wish to assure you that Peterside will give you double of all these great and wonderful things.” Ikuru also described Peterside as a visionary and consummate public servant who will bring his expertise, humility and fear of God to the leadership of the State.
To Senator Magnus Abe, “Dr. Dakuku Peterside is a symbol of unity, equity, continuity, progress and hope for not only Rivers State but for the future of the Nigerian nation.”
DR DAKUKU PETERSIDE AND HIS MISSION
Peterside further told the monarch: “I am a son in this house. It is only a son who does not know his rights that will not know when to approach his father. I know my right and I know when to approach my father. I am therefore here to seek your fatherly blessing. By next year, our people will be electing a governor. One of the major political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has given me their flag as their candidate. But I resolved within myself that I will not accept the challenge without seeking your fatherly blessing. If I have your blessing, I will succeed. I am a son you raised properly and the promise is that I will not disappoint you now that I have been given a huge responsibility. You taught us not to run away from any fight that will bring development and progress. As a bearer of your vision, I will be going into this race pursuing the unity and wellbeing of our people. I shall advance your dream and vision for Rivers State where everybody will have a sense of belonging, not where some people will be second class citizens. And we must defend the values and convictions you hold dear.”
Peterside, who explained that a time like this requires serious consultation with forthright and perceptive monarchs like King Princewill, pledged to offer Rivers State quality leadership anchored on his Roadmap to Prosperity if voted into office next year.
Responding, King Princewill said it would have been unthinkable to say anything contrary. “You said I groomed you but you are not the only one I groomed. President (Goodluck) Jonathan, Governor (Chibuike) Amaechi and others were also my students. If any of you comes for blessing, I will say that blessing was even granted before you came. But you must go to the field and do your best. I want to request that we ensure a violence free election. We in Buguma have seen violence. We don’t want to see it again,” he said.
The royal father blessed Peterside via the laying of royal hands on the candidate’s head. He called on him to build employment of jobless youths into his Manifesto, if he had not yet done so, and if elected, to ensure that such youths in his kingdom are gainfully employed. “We have a lot of problems among our youths. How do we get them engaged? How can we make them not to be idle?” the monarch asked. He called on Peterside to continue being a good boy, saying: “If you want to remain my son, then you must continue to do the good you have always done.”
PETERSIDE IS OUR NEXT GOVERNOR – MONARCH
At Obua/Oduai Local Government in the palace of the Uwema Ogbo Abua, His Royal Majesty, J. Umar II, a first class traditional ruler, pointedly told Dr Peterside: “You are our next Governor after Governor Amaechi.” This happened during a courtesy call by Peterside, his running mate, Honourable Asita, and APC members and supporters in continuation of his campaign in Abua/Odual Local Government Area. The monarch, who received the APC governorship candidate and his entourage with other traditional rulers in the local government area, called on the people to support Peterside. He described Peterside as a patriot and dependable gentleman with sterling qualities and impressive record of achievements. The royal father assured Peterside of his kingdom’s unwavering commitment to his ambition, adding that his people have already embraced APC’s progressive policies.
Peterside and Asita were later honoured by the monarch and other traditional rulers with the privileges of a high chief in full traditional attire. The APC candidate promised to spend every minute of his time working for the people and representing their interest.
ADOPTION OF PETERSIDE AS SOLE CANDIDATE FOR THE IKWERRE KINGDOM
Out of all the kingdoms so far visited by Dr Peterside, what happened in Ikwerre Kingdom is the perhaps the most significant, as he was enthusiastically received and endorsed by the Ikwerre Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers in Isiokpo, the spiritual and traditional headquarters of the Ikwerre ethnic nationality, as the sole governorship candidate for the Ikwerre nationality for the February 28 election. The Council comprises First Class and all Government-recognised traditional rulers in the four Ikwerre local government areas in Rivers State which comprise Obio/Akpor, Port Harcourt City, Emohua and Ikwerre. The Council, which declared that its endorsement of Dr. Peterside was out of its resolve to uphold equity and justice by ensuring that the riverine section of the state produced the next governor, emphasised that by its action, no other governorship candidate would receive its endorsement. The paramount rulers enjoined all Ikwerre sons and daughters all over the world to support Dr. Peterside come February 28. Significantly, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate, Chief Nyesome Wike, is a son of the Ikwerre Kingdom. With his rejection by his people we can now understand why his camp is in disarray.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE ROYAL BLESSINGS
The significance of this historical endorsement is not lost on perceptive political analysts. All the past governors of Rivers State as well as the incumbent Governor Chibuike Amaechi were endorsed by this body of Royal Fathers before they were elected to be governors. Peterside’s endorsement therefore forecloses the possibility of Chief Wike governing Rivers State come May 2015.
“The overwhelming endorsement of the candidature of Dr. Dakuku Peterside by our revered traditional rulers is a sign of imminent victory and yet one more proof that Rivers APC made the right choice in electing him to fly our flag during the February 28 governorship election. Dr. Peterside is a well-brought-up youthful manager of men and resources who has been prepared for leadership by the invaluable lessons he received from elders across the State,” Rivers APC Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, said.
Ikanya assured the royal fathers that Dakuku Peterside will not disappoint them but will live up to expectation if given the mandate on February 28. “Dr. Peterside has tremendous respect for the traditional institution; he will not only carry our respected royal fathers along if voted into power but will also build on the solid foundation laid by Governor Chibuike Amaechi,” Dr. Ikanya said.
The Kalabari tradition was in its rich colour at the palace as every segment of the century-long rituals announcing the presence of an Amayanabo was performed. The palace drummer, specially attired and his eyes dim as if the gods were in conversation with him, paced the palace meeting room, drumming and chanting jargons known only to him, Kalabari gods and the initiated. All rose in respect, which tradition demands, when King Princewill, accompanied by the Queen and royal guards, walked in.
But even as the reception at the palace proved Dr. Peterside, no doubt, is the popular choice of Kalabari people, the crowd that welcomed the APC candidate was unprecedented. The crowd, in their thousands, sang, danced, chanted the praise of their visitor and ululated even as various cultural groups spiced the big show with their skills in the use of the African talking drum and other native percussions. The streets of Buguma were literally set agog and as the snaky throng marched from the town’s entry point to the famous Amachree Square en route King Princewill’s palace. Security personnel had a herculean time controlling the surging crowd as they pressed to touch or high-five the APC candidate. Brooms, the APC symbol, moved in a mass agreement. At some points, Dr. Perterside, waving his own broom, gyrated to the rhythm of the invading music. The scene was powerful as youths, women, children and the aged sang, “Gboo, gboo, gboo, Dakuku gboo o o! Gboo, gboo, gboo, Dakuku gboo o o! Dakuku gboo eh, gboo eh, gboo eh, Dakuku gboo eh, gboo eh, gbo, gbo, gbo!” (Come, come, come Dakuku come 2x, Dakuku come, come, come).
One of the youths in the crowd who gave his name as Damiete Dateme, explained that it was a sort of messianic song, inviting Dr. Peterside to quickly come and save Kalabari nation from further slavery. “In this song, we are calling on Dakuku to come quickly and deliver us from further slavery,” he said. At a point a young man seemingly possessed by the spirit of the huge reception rang two large bells while he stood in the balcony of a church. The scene was moving and like was predicted, that reception turned out to be a token of what transpired at the king’s palace.
THE VISIT TO THE KALABARI KINGDOM
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE BIRTHDAY OF DR DAKUKU PETERSIDE AND HIS RISE TO LEADERSHIP
Dr Peterside is a native of Biriye, Opobo Kingdom of Rivers State. A true Nigerian, Dr Peterside grew up in Azumini, Aba both in present day Abia State, Kaduna and Port Harcourt at various times. Dakuku attended Okrika Grammar School (OGS), University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, University of Port Harcourt, Georgia State University Atlanta, USA, and is also an alumnus of Harvard-Kennedy School, University of Harvard, USA.
He earned degrees in Medical Laboratory Sciences (Haematology), Business Administration (Management) and certificates in Leadership and Project Management respectively. He has attended several oil and gas courses globally.
He is a member of the Nigeria Institute of Management (NIM), fellow of Institute of Management Consultants of Nigeria (IMCN) and member, Institute of Medical Laboratory Sciences of Nigeria.
The great Philosopher, John C. Maxwell with Dr Peterside in mind postulated that, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” In living this truism, prior to being elected to the House of Representatives, Dakuku served twice as Rivers State Commissioner for works (2007-2011) where he anchored Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s phenomenal transformation of Roads and Infrastructural landscape of Rivers State; He concurrently served on the Board of Greater Port Harcourt Development Authority (GPHCDA).
Before serving as Rivers State Commissioner of works, he served as Executive Director of Development and Leadership Institute (DLI) between the year 2005 and 2007, Senior Special Assistant to Governor of Rivers State on Works (2003-2005) Chairman Opobo-Nkoro LGA (2002-2003). As LGA chairman he was declared the most outstanding Chairman by the then State Governor of Rivers State. He previously served as Special Assistant to Rivers State Governor on Youth and Student affairs and concurrently as a member of Board, Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC), A Federal Government arts and research establishment.
He has at various times turned down at least 14 chieftaincy titles, several honourary doctorate degrees and awards, rather believing in the people as a reason for service. In the House of Representatives he serves as Chairman of the strategic Petroleum Resources (Downstream) Committee that oversees the management of the key driver of Nigeria’s economy (Petroleum Industry). Dakuku also serves in the House most important committees of Anti-Corruption, National Ethics and Values; Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes; Co-operation and Integration in Africa, Electoral Matters; Industry; Communications and Works. He is a well known champion of reform and strengthening of institutions as key to unlocking development potentials.
HOW HE EMERGED AS APC FLAG-BEARER
Dr Peterside emerged the flag-bearer of APC on 4th December, 2014 when at the Alfred Diete-Spiff Civic Centre, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, in a transparent election conducted by Prince Austin Eweka the 3774 gubernatorial delegates of Rivers State APC out of the 4,321 accredited delegates formally elected him as the APC gubernatorial candidate for the 2015 polls. Expressing his joy over this epochal event, Rivers APC State Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, stated thus: “I congratulate our delegates that saw to the election of this great mind to carry our banner in our resolve to salvage Rivers State and our people from selfish politicians whose stock-in-trade is to loot our common patrimony and initiate our people into occult societies alien to our culture and belief as God-fearing State. I urge all and sundry to obtain their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) to ensure that we collectively punish and bury PDP formally next February. I congratulate Dr. Peterside on his emergence and wish to assure him that we shall work day and night to ensure a landslide victory for him and our great party during the 2015 polls.”
DAKUKU PETERSIDE AND PLETHORA OF ROYAL BLESSINGS
[ Masterweb Reports ] - Ohaneze auditorium - Akanu Ibiam Conference Hall, one the buildings at Ohaneze Secretariat, 7 Park Avenue, GRA, Enugu, Enugu State was Saturday night bombed by unknown persons. Damage to the building was extensive but there were no casualties as it was empty at the time of the attack. No group nor persons have claimed responsibility for the attack. Masterweb will issue updates on the attack as they become available.
*Photo Caption - Masterweb Breaking News logo
Tags: ohaneze, ohanaeze, secretariat, bombed
[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] - (Democracy & Civil Liberties, Onitsha Nigeria, January 24, 2015)-The attention of the leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law has again been drawn to the latest public statement made by the Chairman of INEC, Prof Attahiru Jega, blaming Nigerian registered voters for not coming out en masse to collect their PVCs and absolving his Commission of any blame associated with their poor distribution and collection. The INEC Chairman was responding to our recent letter to the Federal Executive Council of Nigeria, dated January 21, 2015 over the issue as well as a comment on the issue made by the National Security Adviser, Mr. Sambo Dasuki in UK, while responding to a question put across to him by a journalist, Mr. Theodore Damian over the issue of disenfranchisement of over 30 million registered voters based on non distribution of PVCs.
Mr. Sambo Dasuki had expressed same concerns and disappointment expressed by millions of other Nigerians particularly the registered voters numbering 30, 059, 085 including the Sultan of Sokoko, who, till date, have not received or been issued with their legitimate PVCs. He concluded that if it could take INEC one whole year to distribute only 38, 774, 391 PVCs, what is the possibility of the Commission receiving and distributing the remaining 30, 059, 085 PVCs less than three weeks to the all important February 2015 polls including 14, 491, 866 not yet produced and delivered to the Commission by its contractors/suppliers. On our part, while we did not call for the shifting of the dates of the polls, we insisted that all the registered voters must receive their PVCs. We proffered solutions as in how the problem of the massive disenfranchisement could be remedied including taking the PVCs to the homes of the registered voters or allowing the registered voters to vote with either their PVCs or TVCs (temporary voters’ cards).
However, despite these genuine, legitimate and justiciable national outcries, the Chairman of INEC is unperturbed and determined to disenfranchise millions of Nigerian voters particularly registered voters numbering 30, 059, 085. Reasons for his insistence are not farfetched. Our forensic evaluation of the Commission’s distribution of PVCs across the country clearly shows that the Commission, headed by Prof Attahiru Jega seems to have successfully put electoral demographic statistics hugely in favour of the North, which will allow it clinch the presidency of the country come February 14, 2015. This blatant electoral demographic scheming is the third out of three-stage designed strategy for the North to emerge in the country’s presidency. The first was botched creation of 30, 000 polling units with grossly lopsided geopolitical distribution and the second was the issue of strange preferential voting treatment for the Northeast IDPs said to be 918, 416, who are mostly of Muslim population. The mother of all these was systematic and careful extermination of Christian populations and settlements in the North by Boko Haram oiled insurgency to make the voting an all Muslim affair in the core North.
In the entire North, 24, 481, 487 citizens have received their PVCs and empowered to vote, whereas in the entire South, only 16, 151, 298 are empowered to vote having been issued with their PVCs. Owing to insecurity and other unsafe conditions created in the North, over four million Southerners mostly of Igbo tribe have fled the North and more three million will flee or leave the area between now and first week of February.
Out of these numbers, up to five million of them will not vote in the said crucial polls owing to absence of their PVCs. There are also those that were recently captured in various continuous voters’ registration exercises across the country particularly in the South, who have received only Temporary Voters’ Cards. Many others have not even received PVCs or TVCs till date. These, INEC said will not vote because they do not possess PVCs.
Our questions to Prof Attahiru Jega and his INEC are: If Nigerian registered voters are to be blamed for not coming out to collect their PVCs, numbering 15, 567, 219, which forms the number of undistributed PVCs; are they also to be blamed for 14, 491, 866 that are yet to be produced and delivered to the Commission till date? Are Nigerian registered voters responsible for 14, 491, 866 PVCs names that have not been captured till date only twenty days to the presidential poll? Is it also the Nigerian registered voters that should be blamed for those voters registered recently who have not been captured either in PVCs or TVCs? Are Nigerian registered voters also responsible for hundreds of thousands of missing registered voters from the INEC’s National Register of Voters such as in Ogbaru LGA of Anambra State where 9, 000 registered names are missing from the INEC’s manual and digital data?
It is our firm conclusion that the Jega’s INEC has already rigged the presidential poll demographically speaking in favour of the North. It is still shocking and magical as how the Commission effected high percentage distribution of PVCs in the troubled geopolitical zone of the Northeast to the extent that the State of Bauchi has so far received 1, 509, 255, out of the so called registered voters of 2, 502, 609. The statistical implication of this is that the PVCs recipients in Bauchi State alone equal the total PVCs recipients in Anambra and Imo States put together. While a total of 1, 544, 793 PVCs have so far been distributed in the two States (Anambra 862, 747, Imo 682, 046), total of 1, 509, 255 PVCs have so far been distributed in Bauchi State alone. While five States in the troubled region of Northeast have received 4, 886, 499 PVCs as of date, only 3, 944, 242 have received theirs in the entire five States of the Southeast.
Our further and final questions to Jega’s INEC are: what magic is behind such high percentage PVCs distribution in the troubled Northeast? Are they hoarded in the warehouses of some, if not many district heads/Emirs for onward transfer to Almajiris, infants and livestock on poll day? Were their owners located in the Cameroonian mountains, Adamawa hills, Sambisa forests, bushes and purdahs and issued or were they ferried from these hideouts to the collection centers via helicopters, horses and camels? In view of the magical distribution of PVCs in the troubled Northeast with high percentage, why thickened desperation to get the Northeast IDPs to vote at all costs, while disenfranchising millions of other registered voters in the South?
Emeka Umeagbalasi, B.Sc. (Hons.), Criminology & Security Studies
Board Chairman, International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
*Photo Caption - Prof Attahiru Jega, INEC Chairman
[ Masterweb Reports ] - Abia State Governor, Chief Theodore Orji, says the building of the Aba Mega Mall in Osisioma Local Government Area will benefit Aba people and create employment opportunities. The Governor stated this during an inspection visit to the site to see the progress of work.
He stated that Aba is noted for commercial activities, adding that the siting of the mall in the city will further boost commerce and industry there.
He called on Aba traders and business men to acquire shops in the mall, pointing out that the mall is one of the legacies of the PDP-led government in the state.
The Governor who urged Aba people to ask politicians who are soliciting for their votes what they have contributed to the state and Aba called on them to support the PDP in the state all the way.
He commended Green Field Assets Limited that is handling the project for doing well despite the initial funding problem and expressed optimism that the project will be completed soon.
Earlier in his speech while conducting the Governor round, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Green Field Assets Limited, Mr. Paul Obanua, said the first phase of the 20,000 square metre shopping space would soon be ready for commissioning, maintaining that it has over 100 shops.
According to him, the mall will be the biggest shopping mall in West Africa and will comprise the first dry port in Igbo land as well as 100 room hotel and a business resort.
*Photo Caption - Chief Theodore Orji
[ Masterweb Reports: Nosa Osazuwa reports ] - To buttress his unconventional sermon last Sunday where T.B. Joshua berated pastors who ‘forced’ their members to pay tithes and offerings, a video has surfaced of the Nigerian cleric refusing a whopping $1,000 offering.
The clip, which was posted last week on Emmanuel TV’s channel on video-sharing site YouTube, shows Joshua ministering to the sick during his recent visit to the South American nation of Colombia. An elderly Paraguayan lady who had travelled to the meeting from Switzerland is shown receiving prayer for a 60 year back problem.
After she had received prayer, the son of the overwhelmed lady brought out an envelope from her bag. “In here is an offering that she has been saving for a year - $1,000 for your ministry” he tearfully told the Nigerian pastor. “Help me give it to the needy,” T.B. Joshua instantly responded. “These are the things that hinder miracles,” he then explained to the crowd. “It would look like the miracle is exchanged for money.”
How many pastors would do the same, I wonder?