[ Masterweb Reports: Odimegwu Onwumere reports ] - The name, Diezani K. Alison-Madueke, is making wave in the media since 2013, but in the wrong direction, especially in the social media. Anyone who does not review an issue before buying into it, would take the criminalisation of the immediate past Minister of Petroleum Resources, to be true.
One does not read in-between lines these days on the name, Diezani K. Alison-Madueke, without seeing a mention of this stolen billion dollars or that laundered billion naira associated to it. Her issue had kept some of us in the media thinking.
The irony of it was that you would also read that she left for the London or USA or Germany to plead with the international community to beseech on her behalf, so that Major General Muhammadu Buhari, would not imprison her.
The recent nuisance making the rounds on her name was that she was begging to refund a certain billion dollars to Buhari, in order to allow her be. Then, one is flummoxed to ask, why the criminalisation of Diezani K. Alison-Madueke who until her tenure as Minister of Petroleum Resources, never plunged the country into fuel scarcity, especially during the season of yuletide.
This scintillating beauty called Diezani K. Alison-Madueke (Nee Abiye-Agama) born 6 December 1960, had always distanced herself from such devious accusing fingers on her. One is not sure if it is only in Nigeria that this woman is a ‘criminal’ because as the first female President of OPEC, elected at the 166th OPEC Ordinary meeting in Vienna on 27 November 2014 and sundry, this international body is not accusing Diezani K. Alison-Madueke of pilfering into its coffers as the president.
As once Nigeria's minister of transportation on 26 July 2007 and was later moved to Mines and Steel Development in 2008, until her appointment as Minister of Petroleum Resources on April 2010, Diezani K. Alison-Madueke was the perfect minister of all. It was on quote that Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.
What might be working this far against Alison-Madueke was propaganda. But in Nigeria, one is forced to say that tribal ulcer and cancer are the worst. There is yet to be democratic civilisation in Nigeria. As if he was the Auditor General of the Federation, the first person to cast the dye against Alison-Madueke, was the loquacious former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Lamido Sanusi.
Sanusi was saying that there was missing $20 billion oil money, without giving recourse to how the Nigerian state had explored crude oil from the South-East and South-South zones, since 1956 and the north benefitting from the proceeds since 1967 it bounced on superintending Nigerian affairs, without any commensurable development in these zones.
Rather, the northern accomplice, West, started deafening our ears through its propaganda media, of how the north had been impoverished during Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency, as if northerners have not ruled Nigeria for nearly 40yrs, and the outcome of their rule is the poverty we can see around the country till date.
Sanusi did not care to tell Nigerians and the international community of how his fellow Northerners have grown fat with the oil proceeds in the Niger Delta. It’s obvious that 90% of oil blocs in the Niger Delta, were being controlled by northerners.
The northern propaganda machine against Alison-Madueke, cooked up by Sanusi, sold that lie to the minds of unsuspecting Nigerians, that Alison-Madueke was a ‘thief’. The question many of us are asking is, was it Alison-Madueke who certified the oil blocs from the Niger Delta to some northern personalities like Rilwanu Lukman, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB), Abduklsallam Abubaker, Danjuma, and the rest of others?
What the Sanusis would not see about Alison-Madueke, it was the former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu who last year saw the good works that Alison-Madueke was doing in office and wrote a full-page essay on her, published in The Sun.
Kalu classified Alison-Madueke as (1) The Quintessential Minister of Petroleum Resources and, (2) The Mother of Local Content. In his wisdom, Kalu attested to, that Alison-Madueke had done very well in line with her occupation.
We know that Kalu doesn’t clap for the wrong things. He appraised Alison-Madueke as one Minister of the industry who had expressed clear dignity to work from the day-one on her duty post, by localising and indigenising the industry, particularly as it matters to the local content proposal.
However, when the Jonathan presidency opened up on the audit report by PriceWaterHouseCoopers (an independent firm) on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, into the alleged missing $20 billion oil money, it was obvious that Alison-Madueke was vindicated. Although, the report which had been ready since September 2014, was not published, but a highlight of it relayed by the then presidency, did not indict Alison-Madueke.
(Wait for Part 2).
Odimegwu Onwumere ( Tel: +2348057778358; Email: email@example.com ), Poet/Writer reports from Rivers State, Nigeria.
*Photo Caption - Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan-LEFT; Diezani Alison-Maduekex-RIGHT
[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] - (Public Safety, Onitsha Nigeria, 19th July 2015)-Following the official statement issued last night (Saturday, 18th July 2015) by the Service Management of the Department of State Security Services (SSS) as it concerns its unpopular invasion of the residences of the immediate past National Security Adviser (NSA), Retired Col Mohammed Sambo Dasuki, the leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) has carefully studied the statement and observed that the country’s Rule of Law and by extension; its democratic pluralistic composition are at crossroads; save the coercive instruments of the State are forced popularly to revert to their original democratic roles. We also thank the Service Management of the DSS for exercising its corporate rights to freedom of expression and fair hearing as guaranteed by Sections 39 and 36 of the 1999 Constitution.
For the records, the Service Management of the Nigeria’s Secret Police called “DSS”/”SSS” had on Thursday, 16th and Friday, 17th July 2015 carried invasion operations on the residences of the trio of Retired Col Sambo Dasuki (immediate past NSA), Retired Col Bello Fadile and Mr. Gordon Obua (immediate past Chief Security Officer-CSO to former President Goodluck Jonathan). Most of the operations were carried out at the hours of the blue law (late evening and unofficial hours). For instance, Retired Col Dasuki’s residences’ invasion took place around 6:40pm.
While the invasions of the duo of Col Sambo Dasuki and Gordon Obua (serving senior police officer)’s residences were carried out on Thursday, 16th July 2015; that of Col Bello Fadile took place on Friday, 17th July 2015. Of the three popular citizens targeted, Mr. Gordon Obua is still held in the dudgeon of the Secret Police in Abuja. Retired Col Mohammed Sambo Dasuki served as the National Security Adviser under former President Goodluck Jonathan and briefly served under Buhari’s Presidency before he was removed alongside Service Chiefs on Monday, 13th July 2015. His three residences were invaded barely 72 hours after he was relieved of his NSA post.
According to the statement of the SSS under reference, the Service acted based on “credible intelligence linking the immediate past NSA, Mohammed Sambo DASUKI (Col Rtd) with alleged plans to committee treasonable felony against Nigerian State”. The SSS further revealed that it recovered during the invasions of his residences as follows: seven (7) high caliber rifles, (high assault weapons), several magazines and military related gears, twelve (12) new vehicles, out of which five (5) were bullet proofs. According to the Service, these vehicles which are all exotic vehicles were retrieved from SAMBO’s residence having failed to produce evidence of ownership. For instance, what could he be doing with five (5) bullet proof cars as a retired NSA?
The Service further said in its official statement: “the search operations was planned to be simultaneously conducted, but DASUKI, refused the operatives entry into his main residence located at No. 13 John Khadya Street, Asokoro, despite being presented with a genuine and duly signed search warrant. Consequently, what was to last not more than two (2) hours, lasted more than ten (10) hours, up till the early hours of 17th July, 2015?
Indeed if not for the sense of maturity and professionalism of the officers and men assigned this task and the very good understanding and timely intervention of the new Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Y. BURATAI (Maj Gen), there would have been a clash between the Army operatives guarding the house and Service operatives, as SAMBO directed the soldiers on duty not to allow any movement into his house, despite the subsisting court order”. Below is the link to the SSS official statement (https://www.thecable.ng/breaking-found-incriminating-evidence-dasukis-residence-says-sss). Further links below are the media reports of the invasions of the residences of the duo of Col Bello Fadile and Gordon Obua (http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/more-news/186862-sss-raids-bello-fadiles-home-seizes-computer-hard-drive.html, https://www.thecable.ng/sss-detains-jonathans-ex-cso).
According to media reports, a number of vehicles and computer sets belonging to the duo of Sambo Dasuki and Bello Fadile were confiscated by the invading Secret Police. Also, while the Service has alleged the offense of treasonable felony (military coup or insurrection) against Col Sambo Dasuki, it has failed till date to disclose criminal reasons or offenses against the duo of Retired Col Bello Fadile and Mr. Gordon Obua. Holding Mr. Gordon Obua without public disclosure of criminal offense(s) he is alleged to have committed as well as detaining him for five days without trial is tantamount to “jungle justice or trial by ordeal”. Cumulatively speaking, this is a fundamental breach of the 1999 Constitution.
Others Constitutional & Statutory Blunders Trailing The Invasions:
The hanging around the neck of Col Sambo Dasuki an offense of treasonable felony is totally militarist and dictatorial in color and outlook. It confirms our fears that Nigeria has returned to Presidential Dictatorship, where “treason”, “treasonable felony”, and ”sedition” are commonly and recklessly used to root out and mow down political opponents and independent voices. It is also akin to reckless use of “armed robbery” and “kidnapping” by the Nigeria Police Force to inflict painful torture and summary death on Nigerian citizens, hiding under “Police Order 237”.
As for vehicles recovered from Col Dasuki’s residences including five bullet proofs, our question to the SSS is: has all official (returnable) properties in his possession been returned considering the fact that he was summarily removed as NSA barely 72 hours before the invasion of his residences? As for “seven high caliber rifles” said to have been recovered; our questions are: what about the soldiers guarding his said residence? Are they guarding with batons? Can’t guns be validly found in his house owing to circumstantial factors including his immediate past post as NSA? What is the standard practice in Nigeria with respect to NSA job? Can’t guns be found in the residence of a Commissioner of Police, not to talk of an immediate past NSA, who is yet to complete official property handover having been removed less than 72 hours? Is there any provision in the law that permit an individual of Col Sambo Dasuki caliber to possess “prohibited firearms” provided he has a presidential license or approval? Is it only “treasonable felony” that can be slammed on any individual found possessing “high caliber guns”? What about the offenses of “unlawful possession of firearms” (prohibited or personal firearm) or gun-running (trading in firearms)?
For the records, the Offense of Treasonable Felony is defined by Section 41 of the Criminal Code as follows:
1. Any person who forms an intention to effect any of the following purposes that is to say:
A. To remove during his term of office otherwise than by constitutional means the President as Head of State of the Federation and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces thereof or
B. To likewise remove during this terms of office the Governor of a state or
C. To levy war against Nigeria in order to put any force or compel the President to change his measures or counsels, or in order to put any force or constraint upon, or in order to intimidate or overawe any House of the National Assembly or any other legislative or legislation authority or
D. To instigate any foreigner to make any armed invasion of Nigeria or any of the territories thereof. Manifestation of such intention by an act is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for life
By the provisions of the Firearms Act, Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004, its Section 3 provides as follows: No person shall have in his possession or under his control any firearm of one of the categories specified in Part I of the Schedule hereto (hereinafter referred to as a prohibited firearm) except in accordance with a license granted by the President acting in his discretion.
By Section 28 (1) of the Act: Any person who contravenes any of the provisions of this Act specified in paragraphs (a), and (c) of this section, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction-(a) as to any offences under any of the following-(i) section 3 of this Act, (which prohibits the possession or control of firearms or certain categories)-(ii) Section 18 of this Act, (which prohibits the importation or exportation of firearms or ammunition other than through prescribed ports)-(iii) Section 19 of this Act, (which restricts the importation or exportation of certain firearms or ammunition), and-(iv) Section 23 of this Act, (which prohibits the manufacture, assembly, or repair of firearms and ammunition- to a minimum sentence of ten years imprisonment.
2. Apparatus for the discharge of any explosive or gas-diffusing projectile.
3. Rocket weapons.
4. Bombs and grenades.
5. Machine-guns and machine-pistols.
6. Military rifles, namely those of calibers 7.62 mm, 9 mm., .300 inches and .303 inches.
7. Revolvers and pistols whether rifled or unrifled (including flint-lock pistols and cap pistols).
8. Any other firearm not specified in Part II or Part III of this Schedule.
From the foregoing, therefore, it is has been clearly established that the Service Management of the SSS acted ultra vires and unconstitutional. By the foregoing citations, it is indisputably established that an individual of Col Sambo Dasuki caliber (as former or serving NSA) can possess “prohibited firearms” provided the President granted him the permission. Till date, the Service Management of the SSS has failed to disclose publicly the social and securitization circumstances of the so called “high caliber guns” recovered from Col Dasuki’s residence warranting the leveling of “offense of treasonable felony” against him, including as whether he has a presidential license.
Also, possession of “high caliber guns” does not automatically make the possessor “a treasonable felon”, as there are lesser offenses like “offenses of unlawful possession of prohibited firearms” or “gun-running” (without statutory license). The SSS also appears to have earned notoriety in making sweeping and unsubstantiated allegations against groups and private citizens without successful court prosecution. One of such populist accusations was its November 2014 invasion of the APC Office (APC Data Center) located at No. 10, Bola Ajibola Street, Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria. The SSS had accused the APC of “cloning of Permanent Voters Cards with intention to hack INEC Data Base”. Till date, Nigerians are not in the know of the conclusion of the matter and successful prosecution and sentencing or acquittal (if any) of the culprits.
In the instant case, the SSS also over-stepped its statutory bounds. By law, the Service is fundamentally in-charge of Nigeria’s internal intelligence gathering, while that of counter-intelligence (foreign) appears to have been left in the hands of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA). Another statutory task placed in the hands of the SSS is protection of “very important personnel” like top public office holders and foreign dignitaries. “Law Enforcement Duties”, which the Service carried out at the residences of the refernced three public figures, are not part of their fundamental duties. Intelligence gathered can be transmitted to the law enforcement arm of government like the Nigeria Police Force in the spirit of inter-service agency collaborations and for onward execution.
Also, the SSS had in its statement said: “these vehicles which are all exotic vehicles were retrieved from SAMBO’s residence having failed to produce evidence of ownership. For instance, what could he be doing with five (5) bullet proof cars as a retired NSA?” Are they not bought with tax payers’ money? By this statement, the SSS encroached on, and usurped the statutory jobs of the Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police Force and anti corruption duties of the EFCC and the ICPC.
As a matter of fact, this is a clear “witch-hunting” using frivolous and yet-to-be substantiated criminal excuses. We challenge the SSS to prove its allegation of “treasonable felony” leveled against Col Sambo Dasuki by successfully prosecuting him before a court of competent jurisdiction. The Service Management of the SSS must also release Mr. Gordon Obua (former CSO to Goodluck Jonathan) or charge him to court immediately. The Service must end its harassment of the three key figures under reference and other citizens it has already penciled down in its black book.
Activities such as the foregoing have been responsible for most of the ongoing 568 armed conflicts around the world and 167 on African Continent.
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Obianuju Igboeli, Esq., Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program
*Photo Caption - Nigeria State Security Service (SSS) logo
[ Masterweb Reports: Comrade Ahmed Omeiza Lukman reports ] - In liberal political theory, it has long been noted that the relative neglect of the internal life of political parties is due to the notion that they are private associations, which are entitled to govern their own internal structures and processes. This laissez faire approach, unfortunately, has led to internal divisions because, among other reasons, the leader has too much power to the extent that everything in the party revolves around him.
The “privatization” of political parties has had devastating consequences on their survival. Can you think of how many political parties died after the exit or death of their leader? Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu’s APGA? Alhaji Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa’s DPP? Dr. Olusegun Mimiko’s LP? Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s AD? The list is endless. In the case of APC, will the party survive after President Muhmmadu Buhari tenure? Who build and unprecedented record of integrity that transformed into a political tsunami that swept the PDP government out of power?
But all this can be avoided if political parties can strengthen their internal democracy. One of the major strategies is to allow ordinary members to express their views on matters of policy and strategic planning. This can be done by establishing forums within the party that hear directly the concerns and wishes of the people. Related to this is that the party leaders, instead of living in the comfort of their cocoons, need to be accessible to ordinary members so that they can know what is happening on the ground.
What makes political parties lose their touch with the people is that they tend to work like bureaucrats who mainly communicate through memos, emails and telephone calls. Such communication channels, although useful, lack a human face and often do not reach the rank and file. You need to have a critical mass of dedicated cadres or “foot soldiers” that are always in touch with the people. And in this day and age of digital technology, the party should have a website or hotline which can be used to communicate directly between the people and its leader(s).
A critical strategy that can promote internal democracy in a political party is to allow vigorous advocacy by non-governmental organizations and individuals, such as Churches, Mosques, students’ organizations, professional organizations, trade unions, farmers’ organizations and others. Once these bodies are given a hearing, the party is likely to speak the “voice of the people”. This strategy is emphasized by most European countries constitutions, which states: “Political parties are the expression of political pluralism; they contribute to the formation and expression of the will of the people and are a fundamental instrument for political participation”.
Internal democracy within political parties can also be enhanced by establishing qualified research teams that look into various economic, political and social issues. For instance, the research team can investigate why there is voter apathy, electoral processes, a declining support base, land redistribution, unemployment, the quality of education, internal factions, etc. Like any business enterprise, political parties need to look at their marketing strategies, including the quality of their leadership which stands as a brand for the party.
Finally, in order to foster greater internal democracy in the party, there is need to adopt a deliberate policy of a quota system which reserves a certain percentage for ethnic minorities. This should also include a gender quota which defines the minimum percentage of female candidates in the party leadership as well as representatives in parliament. The quota system can also be extended to the youth who form the largest segment of the population. In this way, any political party that wants to avoid being consigned to the museum of antiquities, can gain greater cohesion and be able to march into the future with greater confidence.
Comrade Ahmed Omeiza Lukman ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +380639279059 ), reports from Kiev Ukraine.
*Photo Caption - All Progressives Congress (APC) logo
[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] - (Public Security & Safety, 16th July 2015)-It is an established fact that over 625 killings have been recorded since 30th May 2015 in the hands of the Boko Haram Islamic Insurgency. It is also correct to observe that at least 380 innocent citizens of rural extraction have been slaughtered since May 2015 in the hands of the Fulani Islamic Terror group, erroneously called “Fulani Herdsmen”. In other words, over 1000 terror killings have been recorded since May 2015, mostly under Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari’s Presidency.
For the records, President Muhammadu Buhari was declared winner of the Presidential election held on 28th March 2015 and was constitutionally sworn in on 29th May 2015. The Boko Haram Islamic Terror Group is responsible for over 13,000 killings or innocent deaths in Nigeria between 2009 and 2014, according to former President Goodluck Jonathan. The Fulani Islamic terror group also accounted for at least 3,000 deaths between 2009 and 2014.
There also is likelihood of Nigeria facing three or more armed uprisings simultaneously before the end of 2015 including “oil insurgency” in the Niger Delta region called “the South-south zone”, save there are all encompassing and pluralistic policy changes in the way and manner the country is presently governed. Already, pockets of attacks on public facilities and civilian areas have been reported in the said Niger Delta since Muhammadu Buhari became the President 48 days ago.
On July 14, 2015, 43 persons were killed in four villages near Monguno, Borno State, July 12; two IEDs planted at ECWA Church, Jos, Plateau State exploded but there was no casualty, July 7 – A teenage suicide bomber killed 2-year-old, 25 others in Zaria, Kaduna State; July 5, 52 persons were killed in twin explosions in Jos, Plateau State. The police said the attacks were carried out by two female suicide bombers. On July 5, six persons were killed in an explosion at a Redeemed Christian Church of God parish in Potiskum, Yobe State; July 3 – 29 persons were killed in Mussa Village in Askira-Uba LGA, Borno State; and July 2 – 11 persons were killed at Malari Village along Bama/Konduga Highway, Borno State.
Others are: June 30 – 48 persons were killed in Mussaram I and Mussaram II in Monguno LGA, Borno State; June 30, thirteen persons were killed in an attempted night invasion of Maiduguri by the Boko Haram terror insurgents; June 27, five persons were killed at General Hospital, Molai, Borno State; June 23, 20 persons were killed in an attack on Debiro, LGA, Borno State; June 23, 15 persons were killed in suicide bomb attack on Nannawaji Village, Gujba LGA; June 22, eight persons were killed in twin suicide attacks on Baga Fish Market in Borno State; June 17, seventeen persons were killed in explosion in Monguno in Borno State; June 15, eleven persons were killed in twin bomb blasts in Potiskum, Yobe State; June 11, thirty-seven persons were killed in separate attacks in Borno villages; and June 7, three persons were killed in an attack on Baga/Monguno Highway.
Also, on June 5, forty persons were killed in suicide attacks on Jimeta Night Market in Adamawa State; June 3, two persons were killed near military checkpoints in Maiduguri; June 3, four persons were killed in attack on mechanical workshop on Baga Road; June 2, seventeen persons were killed at Maiduguri Abattoir; May 31, four persons were killed at Gamborou Market, Maiduguri; May 30, twenty-six persons killed in bomb attack on a Mosque near Maiduguri Market; totaling at least 625 deaths (Sources: Nigerian Eye, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, Eyewitnesses, etc).
Most Recent Killings By Islamic Fulani Terror Group:
Plateau State-2nd May 2015, twenty Seven (27) people were killed when the Fulani terror group attacked a COCIN church in Forom Village in the State. The reverend of the church, Rev. Luka Gwom and a lady who got married in the same building two weeks prior (Pauline) were also killed. 4th May 2015, thirty (30) people were killed in early Sunday attack on two villages in Barkin Ladi; seventeen (17) were killed in Vat village and 13 in Zakupang Village. On 6th May 2015, two (2) people were killed in Kakpwis Village in late night attack by the Fulani terror group. The deceased were identified as Bot Joshua and Emmanuel Joshua. On 9th May 2015, two (2) people were killed in Bangai Village of Barkin Ladi LGA. On 20th May 2015, twenty- two (22) people were killed near Kurra in Barkin Ladi LGA. On 29th May 2015, over 500 gunmen attacked Shonong Village destroying and burning 250 houses and displacing over 1000 people. On 10th June 2015, nine villages in Barkin Ladi were attacked leaving 20 people dead. On 11th June 2015, Rakung Village was attacked leaving 4 dead. The deceased were identified as Pam Babel, Salome Pam, Luka Gyang and Joy Toma.
Innocent citizens of rural extraction in Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa States are also not spared by the Islamic Fulani terror attackers. For Instance, on 15th May 2015, eighty (80) people were killed in Egba Village of Agatu LGA of Benue State. On 19th May 2015, hundred (100) people were killed when the Fulani terror group attacked refugee camps in Ukura, Gafa, Per and Tse-Gusa villages of Benue State. On 25th May 2015, twenty-five (25) were killed in Lorza Village in Benue State. In Taraba State, on 19th April 2015, seven (7) were killed by the Fulani terror group in Sabon Gida Shagogo in Donga LGA of Taraba State. On 4th May 2015, six (6) soldiers were killed in Amar Kambari Village in Karim-Lamido LGA of Taraba State. On 11th July 2015, four persons were killed in Dan-Anacha in Gassol Local Government Area of Taraba State. In Nasarawa State, on 26th Apr 2015, thirty (30) were killed in Keana LGA of the State and on 27 May 2015, twenty one (21) people were killed in Keana LGA of the State, totaling 380 deaths (Source: Dr. Chinan Mclean June 2015). Most of the dead and injured victims of the Islamic Fulani terror group’s attacks; likewise most victims of the Islamic Boko Haram attacks; are of Christian faith. The Islamic Fulani terror activities have also been extended to the Southeast particularly in Enugu State.
With over 1000 terror killings in barely two months of Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari’s Presidency, Nigeria is continuously under siege with no end in sight over the country’s intra State violence. From the look of things, the Buhari’s administration lacks the qualities of statesmanship to de-escalate and possibly end the spreading violence, just like its predecessor. The insurgency has not only escalated under Buhari civilian administration, but also there is imminence of emergence of new armed violence or resurgence of “oil violence” in the Niger Delta.
In the realm of insurgency, there is also “political insurgency”. In this regard, it is correct to say that President Muhammadu Buhari’s policies and actions so far are tantamount to “political insurgency”, which could breed armed insurgency of endless magnitude. For instance, his administration’s “unitary decisions” including his recent appointments and decisions on sensitive security matters (i.e. bombardments of Niger Delta, relocation of Boko Haram detainees, irrational order for dismantling of military checkpoints, running of “cabinetless” government, etc) are totally antithetical to the multi democratic, political, economic, cultural and religious composition of Nigeria. When congregated and aggregated, they amount to “political insurgency or terrorism”, which can graduate to escalated and endless armed insurgencies if left unchecked.
The President must revert to and take a steady recourse to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, under which he became the President and got administered with the oaths of office and allegiance. In managing the ongoing insurgencies or terror wars being prosecuted against the country and the innocent citizens by the duo of Islamic Boko Haram and Fulani terror groups, the Buhari’s administration must deal with the three hydra-headed monsters expertly identified in modern insurgency warfare. These are called “spoilers of peace building”, “conflict profiteers” and “conflict extremists”. As it stands now, only “extremists” are being confronted with skeletal result; whereas the truth remains that no matter the amount of efforts put in place or success recorded against the “extremists” without identifying and uprooting their “breeding godfathers” (spoilers of peace building and conflict profiteers); it will amount to efforts in futility.
For records, “conflict profiteers” are usually persons, companies and countries that gain from the insurgency by escalating and elongating it. In Boko Haram and Fulani Islamic insurgencies, who are the “conflict profiteers”? On the other hand, “spoilers of peace building” are usually those with vested interest in the conflict or insurgency who use their resources, social positions and contacts to sustain the conflict and frustrate the peace building efforts. In this regard, are there Emirs, top military officers and politicians of core north extraction or origin fueling the insurgencies?
Further “conflict extremists” are usually the combatants and their commanders. In this regard, our questions are: what are the command and operational networks of the two deadly terror groups? If it is true that “subversion plus sabotage plus espionage equals to insurgency”; how far has the Federal Government under Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari gone in studying this within the context of modern military science? Is Retired General Mohammadu Buhari a military tactician or “a retired coupist general”? Has he ever studied the doctrine or theory of insurgency or revolutionary warfare of late Chairman Mao Zedong or Sun Tzu’s Art of War, as well as their counter measures as developed by European modern war strategists and thinkers?
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
*Photo Caption - An AK-47 Rifle. *One of the tools of evil in the world.;
[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] - (Onitsha Nigeria, 14th July 2015)-By the Preamble of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, with its last amendment in 2011, “(We, Nigerians, hereby) provide a Constitution for the purpose of promoting the good government and welfare of all persons in our country on the principles of Freedom, Equality and Justice, and for the purpose of Consolidating the Unity of our people”. By Section 14 (3) of the Constitution, “the composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few States or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in the Government or any of its agencies”.
It saddens our heart to note that President Muhammadu Buhari has not purged himself of his seeming civil-war vendetta mentality. His “win-lose” individual and presidential approach to national and collective issues seems to have become an indelible trademark. The presidential appointments and policies since he was administered with the constitutional oaths of office and allegiance are not only nothing to write home about, but also constitute a dangerous threat to the pluralist democratic composition of Nigeria; which has already reached the nadir of fragility. A country that just emerged from highly divisive and ethnically soaked presidential election is maximally expected to be headed and presidentially fathered by a nimble and a statesman, and not administered by presidential clannishness and primordialism.
For instance, it is historically unheard of that the so called “democratically elected president” could operate presidentially for 45 days or for one month and a half without operational cabinet ministers and substantively or senatorially confirmed heads of key federal government bodies like the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Till date, President Muhammadu Buhari, who refused and failed to attend any fresher course or program on democracy, rule of law and civil governance within or outside the country since his counter-khaki exit from the county’s military of dark era; still operates as if he was still in the military anomalous government.
With all due respect to Nigeria’s democracy, President Muhammadu Buhari reminds us of a scenario that played out recently where a president of a sovereign country did not know that there is no longer a country called “Union of the Soviet Socialist Republic” (USSR) or “West Germany” or “East Germany” or “Czechoslovakia” or “Yugoslavia”. This resulted in him addressing the likes of the German Chancellor in an international gathering, as “Her Excellency, the President of West Germany” and the President of Russia as “His Excellency, the President of the Soviet Union”. Just recently, some elements within President Buhari’s political party confided in some of their media friends that “it was alamajari factor and followership that prompted them to field GMB so as to oust GEJ at all costs and not that GMB is loaded with presidential credentials and qualities of a statesman”. The immediate past governor of Kano State also attested to that fact when he said in the media that “the northern leaders used alamajaris to sack GEJ”. By implication, General Buhari’s Presidency was a gamble and foisted on Nigerians for clannish and primordial reasons.
Our careful look at the appointments made so far by President Muhammadu Buhari has resulted to our firm stance that they are a clearly threat to the constitutional principles of Freedom, Equality and Justice as well as unity and pluralistic composition of Nigeria. History still tells us that It was in order to accommodate all the ethnic groupings in the country that “Federalism” was introduced in 1954. Cries of marginalization by the minorities of the old Western Region led to creation of “Mid-Western Region” in 1963. “Statism” was also created in 1967 to address the issue of suppression of the minorities particularly in the old Eastern Region. In the 1994 Constitutional Conference, the principle of “Six Geopolitical Zones” was introduced to address the problem of suppression of “Southern and Northern Minorities” now called “the South-South and the North-Central Zones”. This was followed by the inclusion of “Federal Character Principle” or “Section 14 (3) and 14 (4)” into the 1999 Constitution. The all important “Chapter Four” or “Fundamental Human Rights” was originally designed and incorporated into the 1960 Independence Constitution of Nigeria by the Willinks Commission of 1957, for the purpose of allaying and addressing the fears of the minorities.
Therefore, it worries and saddens our heart to observe sectional appointments and policies made or designed by the “cabinetless” civilian administration of President Muhammed Buhari. The appointments made so far as well as some policy pronouncements made since 31st May 2015 by Alhaji Buhari’s Presidency are purely “Boko Haram” friendly and anti Igbo. They are also anti secular and antagonistic of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, amended last in 2011. It is an indisputable fact that Igbo Ethnic Nationality is the headquarters of Christian Religion in Nigeria. The noble race is also a leading ethnic group worse hit by Boko Haram insurgency and other ethno-religious disturbances in Nigeria in recent times. The combination of these requires mandatory inclusion of the race in any sensitive securitization appointment or policy particularly as it concerns the just appointed Service Chiefs. The worst of it all was a deliberate policy of the Federal Government to escalate the Boko Haram Terror Insurgency and import it into the Southeast zone by the disastrous dumping of non convicted Boko Haram Terror suspects at the Ezinifite Minimum Prison in Anambra State. As we speak, the 47 detainees are still in the said minor Prison with time-bomb security risks and consequences renting the air as days go by.
For instance, President Muhammadu Buhari has since 31st May 2015, made at least fifteen government appointments including the appointment of new security service chiefs, sadly, none of them came from the Southeast Geopolitical Zone. In the appointment of the service chiefs, the new Chief of Army Staff, Major-Gen T.Y. Buratai is from Borno State, Northeast Nigeria. The Chief of Defense Staff, Major-Gen Abayomi Gabriel Olanishakin is from Ekiti State, Southwest Nigeria. The Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar is from Bauchi State, Northeast Nigeria. The Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas is from Cross River State, South-South Nigeria. The Chief of Defense Intelligence, Air Vice Marshal Monday Riku Morgan is from Benue State, North-Central Nigeria. The National Security Adviser, Rtd Major-Gen Babagana Monguno is from Borno State, Northeast Nigeria. The Director General of the Department of the State Security (SSS), Mr. Lawal Ahmed Daura is from Katsina State, Northwest Nigeria and the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase is from Edo State, South-South Nigeria. The Southeast has none.
Other lopsided or sectional appointments are Mrs. Amina Zakari, Acting Chairman of INEC (Jigawa State, Northwest), Mr. Mordecai Ledan, Head of the Department of Petroleum Resources (Kaduna State, Northwest), Mr. Ahmed Idris, Accountant General of the Federation (Kano State, Northwest), Lt Col Mohammed Abubakar, Aide De Camp to the President (Kano State, Northwest), Mr. Usman Abubakar, Chief Security Officer (CSO) (Northwest), Mr. Lawal Abdullahi Kazuare, State Chief Protocol (Northwest), Mallam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant, Media & Publicity to the President (Kano State, Northwest) and Mr. Femi Adesina, Special Adviser, Media & Publicity to the President (Osun State, Southwest).
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
Uzochukwu Oguejiofor-Nwonu (Mrs.), Esq.
Head, Campaign & Publicity Department
Chiugo Onwuatuegwu, Esq.
Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program
*Photo Caption - President Muhammadu Buhari
[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] - (Civil Governance & Citizens’ Rights, Onitsha Nigeria, 5th July 2015)-Following the theme for 2014 World Human Rights Declaration (66th Anniversary), adopted by the United Nations, to the effect that “Every Day Is World Human Rights Day”, the leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) has resolved to remind the people of Nigeria, classified by Section 13 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended in 2011; as “all authorities and persons exercising executive, judicial and legislative powers (as well as the citizens)” on the need to be mindful at all times of their sacred obligations to the society and the people contained in the Social Contract.
This is as a result of the fact that social woes bedeviling Nigeria in contemporary times are attributed to non adherence to and ignorant of the Social Contract and its obligations. Our sole objective is to expose Nigerians, again, to how Social Contract gave birth to limited democratic government and human rights just as philosophy gave birth to natural and social sciences. The overall goal is to see publicly moderated civil governance and constitutionally moderated social conducts in Nigeria for the purpose of ensuring maximum happiness for maximum number of Nigerian people democratically, socially, culturally, politically, economically and safety-wise.
Human Rights Defined: They are inalienable, indissoluble and indivisible rights to which all human beings are equally entitled, irrespective of creed, nationality, race, political opinions, color, social affinity, age, ethnicity, religion or sex . The enjoyment of these rights is not absolute, and is subject to respecting the rights and freedoms of others and community rights and responsibilities put in place in a democratic setting to ensure public security, safety, order, morality, cohesion and peaceful coexistence. Above all, the foundations of the United Nations, the African Union and the Federal Republic of Nigeria are all laid upon Freedom, Equality and Justice. This is in accordance with the Charters of the UN and the AU as well as the Preamble of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.
Types of Human Rights: There are Right to Life, Right to Personal Liberty, Right to Dignity of Human Person, Right to Freedom of Movement, Right to Freedom of Conscience, Thought & Religion (popularized in 304 AD by an Emperor Pope), Right to Peaceful Assembly & Association, Right to Education, Right to Work, Right to Freedom of Expression & Press, Right to Privacy & Family, Right to Freedom from Discrimination, Right to Own Immovable Property, Right to Fair Hearing, Right to Rest & Leisure, Right to Social Life & Social Amenities, Right to Vote or be Voted for at Elections, Right to Participate in the Public Affairs of one’s country & Serve in Public Office, Right to Equal Pay for Equal Work done, Right to Good Working Environment, Right to Health, Right to Shelter, Right to Clothing, Right to Citizenship, Right to Independent Opinion, Right to Parental Care, Right to Asylum & Refugee, Right to Live within and across Borders, Right to Equality before the Law, Right to Compensation in the event of Rights Abuse, Right to Development, Right to Self Determination and Right to Live in Healthy Environment.
Human Rights Categorized: Human Rights are majorly categorized into Three Generations of Human Rights. First generation rights are called Civil & Political Rights, i.e. right to life and right to freedom of expression. The second generation rights are called Economic, Social & Cultural Rights, i.e. right to education, right to work and right to rest and leisure. The third generation rights are called Collective or Solidarity Rights, i.e. rights to citizens’ welfare, security and peaceful coexistence. There is also another popularly called Fourth Generation Rights or Environmental Rights, i.e. rights to healthy environment and development.
That is to say that there are (1) individual rights or civil liberties, (2) collective or community rights, (3) social emancipation and cohesive rights and (4) environmental rights and protection duties. There are also citizens’ civic responsibilities; likewise government duties to the citizens. In the right to life, for instance, no government has a right to take away life of any citizen arbitrarily. This means that government can take away the life of any citizen provided it is in accordance with the law such as executing the sentence of a court of competent jurisdiction in matters involving capital punishment or in defense of rights of others like during violent disturbances or in armed conflicts (civilians exempted).
On the other hand, no citizen has a right to take away the life of another, except in extreme circumstances like in self defense, in the event of a murderous attack. No citizen has a right to take away his or her life no matter the circumstances. Also no corporate body, i.e. business and social enterprises or civil society bodies, has a right to take away the life of any citizen. In the event of violation of such right, the criminal law will pounce heavily on them individually or collectively. In the event of individual criminal responsibility, the perpetrators caught will be charged and prosecuted for murder and in the event of collective criminal responsibility; members of the incorporated trustees or leadership of such body will be charged for manslaughter (lesser degree of murder charge and punishment).
Origins Of Human Rights: God or Divinity-The first origin of Human Rights is commonly believed to have come from God as thus: (a) He created human beings in dignity and equality, (b) human beings so created were endowed with conscience, reason and self control above other animals and living things, (c) human beings so created were asked to love their neighbors and live in peace at all times. On the other hand, human beings, uncontrollably, are inherently beastly, wicked, domineering and selfish (Thomas Hobbes); not usually against themselves, but against their fellow human beings, which they have extended to other living things and environment leading to gross rights and environmental abuses.
To earthly and humanly tame or control the above beastly manifestations in human beings, the Social Contract was put in place by philosophical thinkers of the old. The Social Contract was inspired by the Holy Book’s instruction- do to others what you will want them do to you and refrain from doing to them what you will not do to them. The historical Social Contract is dated back to several centuries and became globally popular and recognized in 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th century ADs. It was particularly popularized by the great philosophical works of the trio of Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), John Locke (1632-1704) and Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778).
To Jean Jacques Rousseau, man was indeed born free, but everywhere in chains. For Thomas Hobbes, the happiness of man in a society has been gripped by fear of violent death in the hands of another. The two great philosophers favored a society in which the society and its people were sovereign and free leading to a community where a group of free individuals agree for the sake of their common (social contract) good and protection to form institutions to govern themselves. John Locke added more popularity to the greatness of Social Contract.
In his 1690 famous book called the Second Treatise of Civil Government, John Locke saw and called for a situation where a free, equal and independent people agreed to be governed in return for certain secure enjoyment for their individual rights, which the courts and police powers of a government can enforce leading to every free individual having a moral right to be protected from arbitrary interference by government or other individuals, of his or her sacred rights. These reinforce the legal philosophy of man’s equality in dignity and rights and inevitable justifications for their protection by a limited government.
Therefore, the first universality of Human Rights in modern time came from the great philosophical work of John Locke, from where the first President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson took his country’s independence declaration’s great speech of July 6, 1776. The most popular part of the speech is as follows: “We hold these truths to be self evident that all men (and women) are created equal and endowed with certain natural and inalienable rights, and most important being of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And to protect these rights, men set up government whose authority rests on their consent. And whenever a government ceases to do what it has been set up for, its citizens have a right to change it or its order and put in place a new government or a new order that will provide for their safety and happiness”.
From the foregoing, therefore, Human Rights originated from three main sources (God or divinity, legal and political philosophies and US Independence Declaration/United Nations). In other words, Human Rights were created by God and earthly promoted and expanded by great thinkable philosophers like Jean Rousseau, Thomas Hobbes and John Locke in the form of Social Contract; and popularized and codified by the American Independence Declaration/Constitution of 1776 and the United Nations. Also modern day democratic and limited government originated simultaneously with human rights from the Social Contract, just the same way social vices gave birth to crime leading to formation of its control entities like courts and policing bodies. In this respect, limited and democratic government is a caretaker body put in place by the Social Contract for defense, promotion and protection of Human Rights and good governance.
International, Regional & Local Human Rights Instruments: The mother-general of the global Human Rights instruments is called the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which was proclaimed by the United Nations on 10th December 1948. The UDHR contained 30 Articles covering the Four Generations of Human Rights highlighted above. The UDHR is morally binding on all 193 member-States of the UN and other authorities and persons around the world.
Other important human rights instruments of international background are International Covenants on Civil & Political Rights and Economic, Social & Cultural Rights; enacted in 1966 and opened for ratification in 1976. Nigeria ratified them in 1993. They are legally binding on all authorities and persons around the world. There are hundreds of other internationally, regionally and locally recognized human rights instruments owing to the fact that all human rights are indivisible, indissoluble and inter-related, i.e. no human rights can be enjoyed fully in the absence of the other (i.e. right to life cannot do without rights to food, rest and leisure). Regionally, there is an important regional human rights declaration called “the African Charter on Human & Peoples Rights”; enacted by the African Heads of States and Government in Nairobi, Kenya in 1981. Nigeria ratified and domesticated it in 1983. There are also the UN Conventions against Torture and Gender (Women) Discrimination as well as the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples, to mention but few.
Locally, there is the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended last in 2011. The Constitution has various provisions for human rights including Fundamental Human Rights in its Chapter Four (sections 33-46 including judicial safeguards or remedies). It also contains provisions for Social Contract called Fundamental Objectives & Directive Principles of State policy as well as non-justiciable Human Rights provisions. These can be found in Sections 13-23 of the Constitution. The duties of the citizens or civic responsibilities are also contained in Section 24 (a-f) of the Constitution. It is also important to mention that not all the rights highlighted above are contained in the Chapter Four or Fundamental Human Rights provisions (sections 33-46) in the 1999 Constitution.
Of 32 rights highlighted above, only twelve of them are provided for in the Constitution of Nigeria 1999, under Fundamental Human Rights Chapter. They are Right to Life, Right to Dignity of Human Person, Right to Personal Liberty, Right to Fair Hearing, Right to Family Life, Right to Freedom of Thought, Conscience & Religion, Right to Freedom of Expression & Press, Right to Peaceful Assembly & Association, Right to Freedom of Movement, Right to Freedom from Discrimination and Right to Acquire & Own Immovable Property Anywhere in Nigeria. Some, if not many of these rights are also provided with ouster clauses (practically and judicially inoperable) particularly subsections 2 and 4 of Sections 33 and 35 on rights to life and personal liberty as well as non-justiciable Human Rights provisions in the Chapter Two, i.e. rights to free education and free medical treatment.
The ouster clause in the said Chapter Two, which can be found in paragraph c of subsection 6 of Section 6 of the Constitution, clearly states as follows: “the judicial powers vested in accordance with the foregoing provisions of this section, shall not , except as otherwise provided by the Constitution, extend to any issue or question as to whether any act or omission by any authority or person or as to whether any law or judicial decision is in conformity with the Fundamental Objectives & Directive Principles of State Policy, set out in Chapter Two of this Constitution”. By this, no judicial action can successfully be brought against any authority or person holding executive, judicial or legislative office in Nigeria with respect to any act or omission associated with the country’s version of the Social Contract contained in the Chapter Two of the Constitution under the Fundamental Objectives & Directive Principles of State Policy.
There are other Social Contract/Human Rights associated provisions in the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 as amended. For instance, by the Preamble of the Constitution, “the constitution of Nigeria is created for the purpose of promoting the good government and welfare of all persons in our country on the principles of Freedom, Equality and Justice, and for the purpose of Consolidating the unity of the our people”. By Section 1 (1) of the same Constitution, “this Constitution is supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria”. By its subsection 2, “the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall not be governed, nor shall person or group of persons take control of the government of Nigeria or any part thereof, except in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution”. By its subsection 3, “if any other law is inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution, the Constitution shall prevail, and that other law shall to the extent of its inconsistency be void”.
By Section 13 of the Constitution under the Fundamental Objectives & Directive Principles of State Policy, “it shall be the duty of all organs of government, and all authorities and persons, exercising legislative, executive or judicial powers in Nigeria, to conform to, observe and apply the provisions of this chapter of the Constitution (Chapter Two)”. By Section 14 (2) (a), “it is hereby, accordingly, declared that sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria from whom government through this Constitution derives all its powers and authority”. By its subsection 2 (b), “the security and welfare of the people of Nigeria shall be the primary purpose of government”; and by its subsection 2 (c), “the participation by the people in their government shall be ensured, in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution”.
Finally, we call upon all authorities and persons, exercising executive, judicial and legislative powers at Nigeria’s three tiers of Federal, State and Local Government levels to ensure fulfillment at all times of sacred obligations demanded of them by the hallowed Social Contract and the Constitution. On the other hand, the citizens, particularly the attentive segment (i.e. mass media and rights based CSOs), must at all times hold the government to account, in accordance with Sections 22 (governance oversight roles of the mass media) and 39 (right to freedom of expression & press) of the Constitution, and relentlessly educate other members of the public particularly the un-attentive segment, on the importance of public moderation at all times of civil governance as well as strict adherent to the Constitution in general societal conducts.
We totally subscribe to the recommendation of the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, SAN, who recommended that every citizen of reasoning age in Nigeria must have a copy of the 1999 Constitution (“Nigerian Bible”), kept in his or her hand and family at all times. We wish to add that every citizen of reasoning age in Nigeria must have a hard or soft copy of the 1999 Constitution. The soft copy may be stored in his or her mobile phone or desk and laptop computers. Both hard and soft copies must be read or consulted from time to time so as to understand the fundamental provisions of the Constitution including human rights as well as the duties of the government and the citizens.
Support Our Human Rights Advocacy Project On: http://www.intersocietyng.org/programmes/support-our-campaign-activities
Emeka Umeagbalasi, B.Sc. (Hons) Criminology & Security Studies
Board Chairman, International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety)
Chiugo Onwuatuegwu, Esq., (LLB, BL), Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program
*Photo Caption – As seen
[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] - (Constitutional Supremacy & Rule of Law, Onitsha Nigeria, 26th June 2015)-By Section 1 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended last in 2011; this Constitution is supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria. By its subsection 2, the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall not be governed, nor shall person or group of persons take control of the government of Nigeria or any part thereof, except in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution. By its subsection 3, if any other law is inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution, the Constitution shall prevail, and that other law shall to the extent of the inconsistency be void.
By Section 4(1) of the Constitution, the legislative powers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be vested in a National Assembly for the Federation which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives. By its subsection 2, the National Assembly shall have power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the Federation or any part thereof with respect to any matter included in the Exclusive Legislative List set out in the Part 1 of the Second Schedule to this Constitution.
By Section 13 of the Constitution under the Fundamental Objectives & Directive Principles of State Policy, it shall be the duty of all organs of government (including the National Assembly), and all authorities and persons, exercising legislative, executive or judicial powers, to conform to, observe and apply the provisions of this chapter of the Constitution (peace, order and good government). By Section 14 (2) (a) of the Constitution, it is hereby, accordingly, declared that sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria from whom government through this Constitution derives all its powers and authority. By its subsection 2 (b), the security and welfare of the people of Nigeria shall be the primary purpose of government; and 2 (c), the participation by the people in their government shall be ensured, in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.
The summary of important constitutional citations above is that there are three existing sovereignties in the country-the people, the constitution and the sovereign territory called “Nigeria”; of these, the people is the primus inter pares or first among equals. The above citations also show that government exists for the fundamental purpose of ensuring the welfare of the people as well as peace and order of the territory called “Nigeria”. This means that without a people, there can never be the constitution and territorial sovereignty; just as without quest to quench stomach hunger, there could never be agriculture, which gave birth to towns and communities leading to the formation of countries and societies such as that called “Nigeria”.
In the case of Nigeria, though the people are the first among equals in the realm of the three sovereignties, but the Constitution is made the prime minister and chief executive officer and can only be removed by election or by a vote of no confidence (constitutional referendum or conference or major amendment).
The Constitution of Nigeria is, therefore, jealous and demands total obedience and adherence to all its provisions. By virtue of Supplementary Section 15 (b) of Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the Constitution, which empowers the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to register political parties in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and an Act of the National Assembly (i.e. INEC Establishment Act of 2004 & Electoral Act of 2010); the All Progressives Congress (APC) was recognized and registered as a political party by INEC after ensuring that its bylaw is totally submissive to the Constitution of Nigeria and its subsidiary legislations (Acts of the National Assembly). In other words, the Party was administratively created by INEC.
It, therefore, saddens our heart that the Party has arrogated itself the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, by foisting its clannish will on Nigerians and its hallowed Constitution. By having the effrontery to write an open letter to the leadership of the National Assembly, dictating to it how to run its national legislative affairs; the Party has constituted itself into a national nuisance warranting immediate scrapping and de-registration. Though the decision of the leaderships of Senate and House of Reps to ignore the Party’s recent parochial letter is commendably thought out; but the calamitous conducts of the Party must be urgently checkmated; otherwise, the country will go up in flames. The recent rowdy and near violent proceedings of the two-chamber National Assembly leading to a long legislative adjournment to July 21 by the House of Reps must also be totally blamed on the Party (APC).
It is shocking that a Party that emerged nationally through a mixture of change alarmism and Jega electronic voting card magic appears to be further bent on plunging the country into a national crisis, by biting more than it can chew. Its few policies so far have started raising a national dust. From uncoordinated and flimsy bombardments of vulnerable communities in some States of the South-south, claiming a declaration of war against real or imaginary oil militants which can explode into renewed hostilities; to false claims that its new President met an empty treasury, the Party must be called to order nationally, regionally and internationally.
The national leadership of APC must be reminded again that its conducts are threatening and undermining the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the security and welfare of Nigerians. It should further be reminded that a clannish and infantile Party bylaw and its rules of conduct can never challenge or lord itself over the Constitution. The importance and supremacy of a political party starts and ends with primary and main elections and ceases the moment its elected members are administered with constitutional oaths of office and allegiance as well as their constitutional vow to be bound by the constitutional code of conduct.
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
Uzochukwu Oguejiofor-Nwonu, Esq., Head, Campaign & Publicity
*Photo Caption – Nigeria National Assembly Complex
[ Masterweb Reports: Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu reports ] - A few weeks ago, amnesty international presented a damning report on human rights violations by the Nigerian army in their prosecution of the conflict against Boko Haram to Muhammadu Buhari and called for swift prosecution of the army high command. The report catalogued numerous incidents of human rights violations, including videos and witness statements. Evidence included extra-judicial executions of suspects, razing down of whole communities, deaths or disappearance of prisoners amongst others. It would not be the first time such a damning report is being issued neither would it be the last. Practically on an annual basis, various human rights organisations issue well documented reports of gruesome human rights violations by the Nigerian Army. The United States had severally indicted the Nigerian army and had gone further to decline sales of weapons to them on account of its shameful record of human rights violations and other such crimes against humanity.
None of what amnesty international released in their report is surprising or new. Videos abound in YouTube showing Nigerian army personnel beheading Boko Haram suspects and dumping them in mass graves. Footages of summary executions of Boko Haram suspects including children as young as 7 years by the Nigerian army and Police are also readily available on YouTube. In some of those videos, the name tags of the commanding officers are clearly visible yet no disciplinary action has ever been taken against any of the officers and their men. In 2013, the Baga massacre carried out by the Nigerian army was in the news for its scorched earth brutality. Not only were more than 200 civilians killed in an extra-judicial manner, the whole community was razed to the ground leaving the village in smouldering ruins. Other notable massacres in the course of this democratic dispensation include Odi, Bayelsa state in 1999 where the Nigerian army extra-judicially killed hundreds of civilians and burnt down every building in the community and Zaki Biam in 2001 where hundreds were likewise killed and several communities razed to the ground by the Nigerian army.
The Baga, Odi, Zaki-Biam massacres and other shocking human rights violations that has occurred in recent times has only demonstrated that even under a democratic dispensation, the Nigerian army remains fundamentally unchanged in its approach to dealing with conflicts and civil disturbances. Yet the reasons are not farfetched. The Nigerian army has a long history and culture of institutionalised human rights violations which began in the 60’s during the administration of Yakubu Gowon. Not surprisingly, the culture of human rights violations has overtime become rooted and ingrained as a veritable modus operandi of the Nigerian army. The history of crimes against humanity committed by the Nigerian army dates back to 1966 when for the first time in Nigeria and Africa, a national army whose primary constitutional mandate is to protect the lives and property of innocent civilians went into town and carried out a massacre of thousands of Eastern civilians and the mass rape of women in an unprecedented pogrom that all but pioneered subsequent human rights violations and genocide in Africa. Notable officers and men of the Nigerian army were implicated in the pogrom that made the news globally, while Yakubu Gowon the head of state invested with the fundamental responsibility to protect the lives and property of innocent civilians under all circumstances did nothing. This brazen violation of human rights by an army constitutionally empowered to protect lives and property while a serving head of state did nothing provided the circumstances that led to the secession of Biafra and the consequent Biafra-Nigeria war.
Rather than punish the officers and men of the Nigerian army implicated in the heinous mass killing and rape of civilians, Yakubu Gowon promoted them and consequently institutionalised the culture of human rights violations by the Nigerian army that has since become a prevalent measure of their modus operandi. The same officers and their men went on to commit even more human rights violations in the course of the Nigeria-Biafra war again with no consequences from Yakubu Gowon. Most of the implicated officers went on to become the ruling elite with some even emerging heads of state having made their careers from wanton human rights violations. Thus since the Yakubu Gowon era, human rights violations have remained unpunished and ironically was even an avenue through which officers advanced their careers. The implication of Yakubu Gowon’s irresponsible refusal to punish erring officers is that the Nigerian army evolved as an institution were human rights violations are considered a necessary rewarding approach to crisis management rather than a crime.
This approach has now spread to virtually all law enforcement agencies including the Nigerian Police force that is routinely implicated in summary executions of Nigerians for as little as a refusal to give them 20 naira in their ubiquitous roadblocks. While amnesty has submitted its report and made all the right noises, it’s very unlikely anything will be done because not only is Muhammadu Buhari and most of the elites implicated one way or the other in Nigeria’s historical culture of human rights violations, it’s part of the status quo that stubbornly subsists at least for now. When the time eventually comes for a reckoning; to hold accountable those guilty of human rights violations, it will have to begin from Yakubu Gowon and his infamous officers from whence it all started.
Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu ( Email: email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Yakubu Gowon
[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] - It was a simple mathematical equation. I hedged my bets on it and Buhari has proven I won. Nigeria’s privatization was always a scam. They made it seem as if it was impossible for government to keep things working and to fix them when they spoil. The simple minded believed them. Petty economists argued and wrote epistles explaining how this was the colonial master’s capitalist Holy Grail. I argued that if indeed the government could not run anything, it must first privatize itself, as by their own submission, it lacked the capacity to ‘privatize,’ as a process run. I labelled it for what it really was- Cabalization, and waged my bet against them. The only way to prove I was right was for a Buhari to win. We kicked out Jonathan. He won. I won.
What is Cabalization? I described it in detail in my article of February 8th, 2014: “Cabalization of PHCN Leads to Exorbitant Electricity Bills For Nigerians.” Here is how it works: 1. Allow the cabal to disrupt processes of repair and utility of public assets. 2. Make it appear impossible to run and maintain public assets. 3. Overhaul them at a stupendous price paid by tax payer/ national income. 4. Offer them for sale in a shoddy process to your cabal partners in whose companies you have stock. 5. Sell them at one tenth the amount you used to overhaul them – effectively looting billions in an instant. 6. Allow unregulated exorbitant rates for the utilities the now privatized assets provide. 7. Enforce an oligopoly for the utilities, barring natural competition. 8. Relax and enjoy your looted state wealth and reap crazy dividends in quarterly returns from your shares in the cabalized companies.
Yes, today we know that our refineries can work. Four will be working by this July, God willing. They were never broken, just kept out of commission by workers of Lucifer. They kept them off simply to make fuel subsidy bread, to pave the path for cabalization and to raise the stock of Dangote’s refinery. The vultures. Their eyes were on these refineries. Obasanjo dashed them to them earlier, along with Transcorp Hilton and other things, but thankfully Yar’Adua seized them back for us.
President Buhari is delivering the change we voted him into power for. In spite of his ineffective media team and his imperfections, like his failure to remove the innocent’s blood-soaked NSA and Security chiefs, he has defied the typical odds and shamed the Stockholm syndromed. Perhaps he will overturn many of the past privatizations as did late Yar’Adua before they poisoned him as alleged.
I call the past Babangida’s PDP governments, jackals and the cabal, vultures. In a partnership of death.
One thing is certain: the cabal will fight back! Oh yes they will. Therefore, I call on all Nigerians to fight on the side of posterity. To defend change. Our revolution that got rid of Babangida was hijacked again immediately by his adopted brother, Abdulsalami as they installed their ‘PDP’ party. We must never allow this revolution to be likewise hijacked. The hijack has already started in the senate. Actually it started before Buhari was even sworn in, with the bill amendments. This war against the 30-year strong and long Babangida and his PDP-sons who sold Nigeria to themselves, will not be possible or easy for Buhari by himself especially with that covetous National Assembly who did their best to put a man of the cabal at the head of the senate. Buhari cannot do it without us. Defend your revolution. Defend Change. Death to the cabal. Sai Buhari!
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports.
*Photo Caption - President Muhammadu Buhari
[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] – Following our letters of 21st May and 4th June 2015 addressed to your respected office on the matter above underlined and reactions so generated, it is our resolution to write to update you and other stakeholders. Importantly, we have observed few errors contained in the two previous letters under reference. Contrary to our earlier letters, the affected students in the Department of Science Lab Technology-2012/2013 Session; numbering 400, are in the Ordinary National Diploma (OND) category and not HND. In other words, they are OND or ND Finalists; not HND Finalists. Also, late ........Read More
*Photo Caption - Map of Nigeria