[ Masterweb Reports ] – A 20-year-old Nigerian man identified as Malam Kamisu Baranda, was arrested for having sex with a goat in Baranda forest, in Dutse Local Government Area of Jigawa State, Nigeria. He was handed over to Jigawa State Police Command by his village head for the bestiality act of which he said he sought permission from the animal before engaging in.
Baranda was arraigned in court and the judge ordered him remanded in prison for two weeks while the case was investigated. The accused urged the court to set him free because the goat belonged to him and he sought the animal’s consent before engaging in the act. He said he had engaged in sex with animals “over 10 times” because it “satisfied his demand”, but had never previously been arrested. He said he took goats into the forest near his home to ‘avoid embarrassment’ and did not know it was an offence to have sex with them.
*Photo Caption – A goat.
[ Masterweb Reports: Chinedum Orji reports ] – Following last Saturday’s 15th February 2014 tragic death of my beloved cousin, Mr. John Ndubuka, a section of the online media has been appropriated by mischief makers to prosecute a mindless hatchet job of casting aspersions on my humble self; with innuendos, jaundiced analysis and outright blackmail.
One would not have bothered to join issues with these faceless cowards at this period of emotional devastation, but it is pertinent at this juncture to put facts in proper perspective so that the unsuspecting public would not be hoodwinked.
On Friday 14th February 2014, I came back from a trip outside the State and while we are chatting at home, John informed me how the 9 clans in Ikwuano/Umuahia headed by Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, Chief Vin Ogbulafor, Chief Ukasanya, Senator Adighije, Col. Akobundu, Hon. Udo Ibeji Dr Mrs Uruakpa and host of others had prepared adequately to host Governor T. A. Orji at a Grand Civic Reception in Umuahia the following day being Saturday 15th February 2015.
On the D-day, John was visible at the event tying up loose ends. The event was relayed live on AIT and monitored by different news agencies. At the end of the Governor’s speech at the reception, Late John helped me to locate my vehicle from the surging crowd while the driver waited to allow the Governor’s convoy to move before us. John later reached me to ascertain the next direction for proper coordination. He left me to join one of the Hilux trucks. A few minutes later, I heard gunshots to which the shells fell on my car. I shouted into the two-way radio to ascertain who was firing those shots. My driver noticed that John was probably pushed down and alerted me. We discovered that John was clinging to his chest, his white shirt heavily blood-soaked.
I screamed when I saw the blood and instantly asked them to head to Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia. On my way, I called the Chief Medical Director, Dr. Aballi Chukwu and the Chief Medical Director of Abia State Specialist & Diagnostic Centre- Prof. A. U. Mbanaso who also is the Governor’s personal physician. In fairness to the doctors, they did their best in trying to stabilize him. They cut open his thorax to drain blood from his lungs. Specialist surgeons were placed on alert in the theatre for instant surgery. Shockingly, it was discovered that his pulse fell from 70 downwards. At this point, I was joined by the Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly and the Deputy Majority Leader, Rt. Hon. Ude Oko Chukwu and Hon. P. C. Onyegbu respectively. Everything was done to save his life, including sourcing blood to resuscitate him. These efforts proved abortive, after one hour of tension-soaked efforts at the hospital. The Chief Medical Director, Dr. Aballi Chukwu later informed me of his death, and I was shaken to my bones to the extent that I needed support to my car as to get back to my house.
After the fruitless efforts to save John’s life, I then enquired of what happened. An eyewitness told me that the trigger was accidentally pulled as one of the policemen on duty at the venue held his gun with one hand and was clearing the surging crowd with the other hand. All these happened in broad daylight and witnessed by thousands of people, predominantly youths who attended the occasion.
I am taking this time and pains to make this explanation because I am a politically exposed person. In previous situations, I had been embarrassed, being a character in many fabricated stories in the media.
In one of such situations, I was accused of challenging an Army captain in a supermarket in Umuahia, who rushed to the Army Barracks at Ohafia to mobilize soldiers who eventually mauled me to the point of death. A journey to Ohafia and back would take not less than two hours. Curiously, I waited for them to come back to brutalize me. Can you imagine that? I ignored these fallacies because they were insignificant ploys to set me back.
It is possible that due to my political exposure especially that of being the Governor’s son, that I have by omission or commission, made enemies of my own or may have inherited those of my father. But this situation seems to be orchestrated assiduously from one direction. For instance, scarcely had the shooting incident happened, when an Igbere Facebook T.V page that operates online screened a headline that I directed the execution of my cousin. There are also strong speculations that I was the target but Mr. John Ndubuka was killed. Another one was that those who wanted him out of the way killed him.
Amid these flying stories, a false picture of the incident was posted on the Internet. The picture supposedly John Ndubuka’s, was wearing a pair of jeans and canvass but everybody saw John at the occasion, dressed in the attire of Ikwuano/Umuahia people that day which was white shirt on top, black pair of trousers with a George Wrapper tied to his waist. The blood-soaked dresses are still in the custody of the FMC Umuahia. It is therefore curious that such a picture was instantly simulated and placed on the Internet, a few minutes after the incident.
From the foregoing, a few questions readily come to mind:
1) How did the Igbere T.V, a Facebook page come to the conclusion that I ordered the killing of John Ndubuka, and how come that nobody in the crowd heard it?
2) If somebody actually wanted John dead, why would he engage a police officer on duty in a public function to commit such a crime?
3) If I was the target as alleged, why didn’t the assailant shoot me directly?
It is very unfortunate that this happened. So tragic that John is dead! Let me advise the mockers and those faceless, merciless and heartless criminals that death is no respecter of persons and no living creature can escape death. What happened to John could be anybody’s lot but because of the person involved, people have thrown caution to the wind, capitalizing on a tragic incident to score cheap political points. The Holy Bible posits that whatever you sow, you will reap.
Whatever they do, whatever they write on the social media, they cannot dampen my spirit. They couldn’t do it before.
John took it upon himself to assist the Governor of Abia State, Governor T. A. Orji to achieve his vision for the youths and women of Abia State. As people from the same hamlet, I have worked closely with him for over 8 years, moving from the informal to the formal. We are related. In truth, this unfortunate death of my cousin will spur me more in that direction. I am not violent. I will never be! My position as the Governor’s son has never gotten into my head. Neither has it interfered in my personal relationship with people.
For any story to be the truth, it must have one version. In this case, there are more than 20 versions to it. In the process of trying to level all manner of things against me, they have inadvertently made mockery of themselves. They should leave me to mourn my brother in peace. Nothing, absolutely nothing, said on the social media, will dampen my spirit.
Let people be guided by their conscience, if they have any!
Chinedum Orji (B.Eng) FUTO reports.
*Photo Caption - Late John Ndubuka
[ Masterweb Reports ] - It was a day that has generated global uproar when on Thursday the 6th of February 2014, the Spanish local border police opened fire on some 200 sub-Sahara African immigrants who were calling for rescue as they were attempting to cross the high sea from Morocco into the Spanish border town of Ceuta. So far, reports show that not less than 14 bodies have been recovered from the water and each of them with bullet wounds. Describing the action as grave ‘inhumanity’, the Northern Observatory for Human Rights condemned the shooting as an action that ‘‘violates the international........ Read More.
*Photo Caption - SOME OF THE RECOVERED DEAD BODIES OF THE AFRICAN IMMIGRANTS SHOT BY SPANISH POLICE AT THE SEA WHILE SWIMMING TO CROSS TO THE BORDER BETWEEN MOROCCO AND SPAIN.
[ Masterweb Reports: Charles Ajunwa reports ] – It is a measure of its indispensable role in democratic societies that the mass media has come to be regarded as the fourth estate of the realm. Over the centuries, the advanced democracies of the world have depended on the media to foster their political, economic and social development. At every stage of their advancement the media was always visible as a dependable partner in progress. That is why today, the mass media dominates every aspect of life in developed societies.
The influence is so much that many of such societies have turned into mass societies, a situation where the mass media has stripped the society of its diversity and dictates how everybody lives their lives. As if that is no enough the electronic media, especially television, has combined well with the information technology and successfully turned the world into the “global village” we have today. This phenomenon has shortened distances and literally erased national boundaries so much so that cultures and trends easily diffuse across frontiers while events in one country is followed instantly as it happens in other countries.
With this stark reality of the power and influence of the media it could be easily understood why corporate bodies, individuals and governments strive to have a voice of their own by establishing one form of media outfit or another. As the saying goes,’ if you don’t blow your trumpet no other person can do it for you’. Abia State after its creation has carved its own space in the media world by owning the three traditional organs of mass communication, namely radio, television and newspaper. But over the years, these powerful means of disseminating government programmes and policies had been allowed by successive governments to rot.
That unwritten policy of neglect worsened so much that the immediate past administration, without any compunction, converted equipment meant for the Abia State newspaper, the National Ambassador to set up a private newspaper. It could be recalled that in the 1990s the Abia newspaper was the best state government owned newspaper in the country by all standards. The state radio station broadcasting on 88.1 FM band was reaching the homes in a clear, crisp sound quality which stood it out among other radio stations. It must be pointed out that the unique tone of Abia State radio then was made possible by the local engineers! On its own part Abia State-owned television station was received in homes in and outside Abia with sharp, clear picture and sound that made it a must watch. Thankfully the prayers of Abians who longed for the return of glory days of Abia State-owned mass media have been answered.
It took the arrival of a media- friendly governor in the person of Chief T.A. Orji for things to start turning around for good of the state media organizations. In his characteristic fast paced efforts to strengthen all the critical institutions needed for the development of the state, Ochendo has directed his attention to the media. The turn-around revolution that has been going on silently at the Broadcasting Corporation of Abia State (BCA) under the Ochendo legacy movement was manifested on that beautiful day of February 6, 2014. On that historic day, the magnificent ultra modern office complex of BCA was unveiled to a resounding applause of the broadcasting community and the media confraternity in general by no mean a personality than the Honorable Minister of Information of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mr. Labaran Maku. That day Governor T.A. Orji’s works bore testimony to a man who has shunned the phony allure of making grandstanding a way of life in governance. Everybody at the occasion was astounded by the modern, well-equipped edifice of 48 offices standing before them in its imposing majesty. Mr. Maku in his usual frankness noted with delight the wind of positive change blowing in Abia which has impacted on the state-owned media institutions. Even at that BCA is not just about modern edifice. The staff morale has risen high with improved funding, welfare and staff training opportunities. Government has also set in motion the necessary machinery to ensure that the broadcast outfits are digitized to beat the January 2015 deadline set by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC). The Director General of BCA, Mr. Tito Ezemdi captured the general feelings of management and staff of the broadcast organizations when he declared, “Never in the 22 years history of BCA have we been so loved, practically loved and encouraged.”
Ochendo did not limit his rescue mission of the state media to the BCA. The state newspaper which was gasping for breath at the turn of year 2000 and finally went under by 2003 has now received a life-saving shot in the arm. The National Ambassador is now not only a regular newspaper in the newsstands but also colourful. The newspaper, which was at the verge of extinction has now survived the debilitating effects of the locust years and bounced back to life. The leadership and members of the Abia State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) are already in expectant mood following Ochendo’s commitment to build a befitting secretariat for the union.
This ranks as a significant project more so as Abia remains the only state in the South-east where the NUJ operates in rented office. Unfortunately, none of the past administrations since the creation of Abia in 1991 deemed it necessary to execute this important project. But it is heart-warming that Ochendo has committed himself to break the 23-year-old jinx by including the NUJ secretariat among his legacy projects. The Information Minister was on hand on to lay the foundation stone of the N145 million edifice on that momentous day of February 6, 2014 at the fast changing Ogurube layout. The Abia State governor has equally created conducive environment for journalists and other media workers to ply their trade. It is a known fact that without adequate security, journalists cannot freely carry out their constitutionally recognized duties of holding government accountable to the people in addition to informing, educating and entertaining the society. And so the media professionals are great beneficiaries of the peace and security that Governor Orji has brought to God’s Own State. This is a mark of a leader who sees the media as indispensible partner in progress.
Trade unions by their nature do not easily give commendations to employers. But Ochendo has meritoriously won the hearts of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Radio, Television and Theatre Arts Workers Union (RATTAWU). Both the NUJ Chairman Abia State chapter, Comrade Hyacinth Okoli and the President of RATTAWU, Dr. Oluyemisi Bamgbose, were in unison affirming Governor T.A. Orji as a media friendly governor. Bamgbose was moved to declare that the BCA office complex “is the best administrative block of any broadcast organisation I’ve ever seen in Nigeria”. He went ahead to acknowledge the man who made it possible, noting that Ochendo did not make the mistake of neglecting the state-owned media organisations like some governors would usually do. And taking into consideration all that the media friendly governor of Abia has done, the RATTAWU leader ranked him as “number one out of several” others. While the Abia State chapter of RATTAWU, crowned him “The Pillar of Electronic Media”. In showing appreciation, Ochendo went further to donate a bran new Hummer bus to the state branch of RATTAWU and made available land for the building of its secretariat.
One pertinent question that bogs the mind is: why should Governor T.A. Orji have a positive disposition to the media after all. It is on record that Governor T.A. Orji has seen the bad side of the media when enemies of progress exploited the dysfunctional side of the media to paint God’s Own State in bad light. It was a painful experience for not only the state governor but for all the good people of Abia as every bad thing was linked to Abia no matter its origin. But then it was the same media that changed the image of Abia for good, a feat that Governor Orji has continued to acknowledge and appreciate. In fact, he was to explain that he was duty bound to cultivate the friendship of the media for redeeming the image of the state. But it should be pointed out that the media cannot redeem the irredeemable hence it was the outstanding performance of Abia’s hardworking governor that facilitated the media blitz that removed the tar on the face of Abia.
While the Legacy Governor is busy at work to build a new Abia, the media should be on guard to ward off the enemies of democracy who are bent on distracting him. The Information Minister rightly observed that anti-democratic elements have quietly taken over the media and are bent on running down every good work accomplished by the present administration in order to score cheap political points. During his recent visit to Abia, the Information Minister had cited both President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor T.A. Orji as examples of good performing leaders who have continued to be maligned by the anti-democratic, opposition elements, whose stock in trade is to peddle vicious rumours and paint every achievement of government in bad light. These enemies of progress not only use their newspapers to launch their diatribes at their target they have also found the social media as a veritable channel to castigate our good leaders. Should the media so loved by Ochendo be allowed to be used by the enemies of progress to discredit the good works going on in Abia State? Certainly not.
This, therefore, is a clarion call for the state media organizations to brace up to counter the brazen lies, distortion of facts and campaign of calumny being dished out by those who have vowed not to see any thing good in God’s Own State. The state broadcast and print media organs should use facts already presented by the evidential performance of Ochendo to puncture the propagandists’ balloons inflated with lies. The e-governance team on its part should be a major player in the social media platforms and educate the ignorant and gullible on the true position of things in Abia State. On their part, the Correspondents of print and broadcast organizations posted here in Abia should do their job professionally. It would serve nobody any good to indulge in sensationalism at the expense of developmental journalism. Indeed, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has been harping on development journalism as a veritable tool to drive development in developing countries. Abia needs such positive media coverage as the state moves in leaps and bounds to catch up with others after the drags of the locust years. As the Austrian writer, Karl Kraus (1874 – 1936) said: “It is the mission of the press to disseminate intellect and at the same time destroy the receptivity of it.”
Ajunwa is the Chief Press Secretary to the Executive Governor of Abia State.
*Photo Caption - Governor Chief Theodore Orji
[ Masterweb Reports ] - The laws that created rooms for periodic elections into 1, 695 elective public offices in Nigeria, which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is empowered to conduct, also allow rooms for Elections’ Petition Tribunals (equivalent of high courts) to handle judicial petitions arising from the conduct of such polls, with a view to determining the authenticity or otherwise of such polls. Such petitions are filed by aggrieved parties. Where no judicial petition is filed at an Election Petition Tribunal within a stipulated time frame, the referenced poll is deemed validly conducted. Matters that are brought before polls’ tribunals are matters that have to do with the conduct of the polls proper. Matters deemed “pre-election matters” such as nomination of candidates, are filed and handled by ordinary high courts, which stretch to the Apex (supreme) Court. In the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 as amended in 2011 and the Electoral Act of the Federation of 2010, governorship poll tribunal cases start at the tribunal (high court) and terminate at the Supreme Court (three steps). The presidential poll tribunal cases start........ Read More.
*Photo Caption - As seen.
[ Masterweb Reports ] - The attention of the leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law-Intersociety has been drawn to a statement credited to the Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Police Force (FPRO), Barrister Emeka Frank Mba, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) over our recent three-volume letter to the President & Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. The three-volume letter was also jointly addressed to the Senate President, the Speaker of House of Reps, and the Executive Chairman of the Federal Character Commission and copied to the Inspector General of Police, the Chairman of the Police Service Commission and the Chairman of the Southeast Governors’ Forum & Governor of Anambra State. In the letter under reference, dated 4th, 5th and 6th of February 2014 and referenced: Intersociety/SE/NG/02/014/FGN/ABJ/FRN, we exposed with incontrovertible pieces of........ Read More.
*Photo Caption - Nigeria Police
[ Masterweb Reports: Charles Ogbonnaya reports ] – It is quite unfortunate that the former Governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu has pathetically returned to his old ways, which is, disturbing our people with his political hallucination. We all thought that Orji Kalu has learnt his lessons but the reverse is the case. From what he has been doing in the recent past, we can now conclude that the former Abia Governor has never learnt any lesson since his sojourn in the political wilderness in the last eight years.
We want to tell Orji Kalu that old things have passed away and that everything has begun a new. It is a new beginning in Abia and all of us – the professionals and politicians, the traders and artisans, market women, students and youth movements – are all aware that Abia is on the move. We do not know when Kalu visited Abia last; hence we want to bring it to his notice that the Abia he supervised as Governor is quite different from the Abia of today. To start with, unlike his era when our dear state used to be immersed in trouble with intra and inter party wrangling, personality clash among party chieftains, including “Mother Excellency’s” overbearing influence on State matters, and other sorts of confusion and crises as the order of the day, our State is today one, if not the most peaceful State in the country.
As at the time Kalu was exiting from office, arson, armed robbery, kidnapping and other forms of vices used to becloud the State and these evil legacies were all inherited by the present Governor, Dr. T.A. Orji who braced all odds and fought assiduously to liberate the State from the clutches of servitude and near collapse. With well tailored vision anchored on people oriented programmes, Governor Orji, Ochendo Global, moved swiftly and the results have been quite tremendous and eye opening. First, Governor Orji restored security in Aba, Umuahia and all nooks and crannies of the State. In this way, some hardened criminals who tormented the State were shoved away. This courageous move brought more investors to the State and the people are the greatest beneficiaries. Let it also be proclaimed to the rooftops that the administration of T.A. Orji has carried out massive road construction and reconstruction in the State and the estimation in this regard is unprecedented. Never did we know that the Abia Government House was a personal property of an individual, in other words, Abia used to be administered from a rented apartment of an individual. But in a most sensational and applaudable manner, Governor T.A. Orji started the construction of a new Government House, new Secretariat, new International Conference Centre and also erected two new modern markets. It is on record that this administration has built and refurbished several general hospitals and teaching hospitals that were in a state of comatose before he came to office. To crown it all, he is building an airport, a project that was before thought impossible in the State, yet, former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu says Ochendo is not doing anything. This is indeed Orji Kalu’s political hallucination at its most dramatic and irrational point!
Our message here is very clear. Let Kalu know it today that he is a past tense man as far as Abia politics is concerned. We have moved far away from him in the past seven years and he has to appreciate this fact. For instance, the 2011 elections in Abia State should have been a pointer to Orji Kalu that he was no longer the political magician and social strategist he thought he was. If not, he should explain to us why he lost the Abia North Senatorial election to Senator Uche Chukwumerije. His younger brother who was a seating House member lost his position in the same year’s election just as his boys then who he anointed, never secured any seat either in the Abia House of Assembly or in the Federal House of Representatives.
In the last three years or thereabout, Kalu has been struggling to stage a comeback to the PDP fold but he has not made it. This is so because both the PDP chieftains in Umuahia and Abuja know very well that he has nothing to offer. Kalu can only promote intra party crises; he can only encourage discord among PDP members at both the Federal and State levels. Since he left the Party, the Abia PDP has been at peace and waxing stronger by the day. We have delivered all candidates who contested elections on the platform of the Party from the Local Government Areas to the Federal levels. The question now is: what will his return benefit the Party? The answer is – the PDP will be the worst for it.
Conclusively, let Kalu now know that he is no longer in control of political affairs in Abia State and no matter his gimmicks, he cannot influence any political change in Abia State and let him also appreciate the fact his successor, Governor T.A. Orji has carried out people-oriented projects that are affecting the masses positively but which he (Kalu) ought to have done but never did because of political myopism. This is the truth and the only truth.
Charles Ogbonnaya is the Deputy Chief of Staff, Abia State.
*Photo Caption – Chief Orji Uzor Kalu
[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] – A few months ago, the federal government of Nigeria privatized major assets of the nations Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN. Sold or rather, gifted to the cabal at 404 billion naira, the government had just refurbished the assets for 3.2 TRILLION naira! This was a gift of a whopping 2.6 TRILLION naira to the government’s Transcorp boyfriends and other cabal co-conspirators.
Of course this was nothing less than a conspiracy to defraud the masses of their 2.6 trillion naira. One more in a depressing trend of privatizations which are orchestrated by the government in partnership with the usual suspect cabal that typically occurs first with purposeful sabotage of the public asset, then a phony exorbitant refurbishing of the asset, then a standards violating pseudo-private bid sale through the Bureau of Private Enterprise, BPE and National Council on Privatisation, NCP to these pre-selected cabal at one-tenth of the value.
But after the sale the real trouble and harrowing predicament for Nigeria’s 168 million helpless masses actually begins. The final and eternal stage in cabalization of public assets is the unregulated, government enforced monopolist extortion of the masses in fines—not fees—for the service or utility.
The report in the Vanguard of February 7th, 2014, confirmed our predictions and worst fears. Once again the cabal vampires have fulfilled their duty to rape and plunder Nigeria’s exposed masses.
The Vanguard article, captioned, “Nigerians protest electricity billing system, exorbitant bills” from a NAN report, relayed complaints by Nigerians of exorbitant PHCN electricity bills under the new cabal ownership. And this is just the beginning. If history is anything to go by, by the time the day is done, Nigerians will pay triple for their electricity usage.
The same happened with our mobile phones, the same happened with cement. When Nigeria privatizes, or rather cabalizes, there is no regulation, the government officials are shareholders in the cabal companies and together they poise themselves to extort and exploit Nigeria’s vulnerable masses.
The mean price paid for cement in Nigeria today with the government enforced monopoly to certain cement producers to whom Nigeria’s cement companies were privatized, leaves Nigerians paying close to 11 dollars per bag of cement, which compares to a mean global price of $4. Extortion and profiteering at triple the global rates.
Our mobile companies charge some of the tallest figures in the world; little surprise a popular manager of a mobile phone network company compared the profits to ritual money. We will, see it with the so-called car assembly plants; we will see it with literally everything. The government has the Midas touch, everything they touch turns to gold—for the cabal. Little wonder Nigeria is seriously attracting foreign investors. Who does not love money doubling from the pockets of mumuish masses?
Some question why those of us with interests of the millions of poor masses are anti privatization. We are not anti privatization; we are anti-cabalization, which is always the predictable result with our heartless, greedy, wicked and egregious political governments. This is why we say to our incompetent administrations; dare not sell any more of our assets, all we need is QC—Quality Control.
Privatization only works where the bidding process is open and transparent, where there is no prior exorbitant phony refurbishing, and where post sale competition is supported and privatized entities are regulated to not extort the masses with exorbitant charges.
All these controls are never available in Nigeria and as such, privatization is a criminal process.
Rather, the masses are continually ripped off as the cabal companies who purchase the assets are even given more billions in import waivers.
While the cabal who purchased the PHCN from the Jonathan administration had not yet found enough adventures to spend their gains of the masses trillions used to refurbish the assets, they again were given N234 billion in import waivers in the year 2013. Money upon money for the cabal and the government-shareholders in the cabal firms. More money for political sponsorship of the ruling parties in reward for these gifts of billions, and as thankyou, greater fines for the masses in exorbitant electricity, phone, cement and other bills for the products and utilities.
One only has to study the cash cycling between the Transcorp boys, Nigeria’s oligopolist cement manufacturer and the like, and the ruling party to appreciate the way the money of the masses is used to destroy the masses. Literally we pay for the frivolities and excesses of these cabal who literally despise us.
In Bosnia today, anti-government riots are going on due to things as ‘meager’ as, unemployment. But Nigerian masses are sheep. We will suffer and smile, engage in tribalism and ethnic bickering, while the unified wealth-drowned cabal plunder us ruthlessly in harmony with our government.
But there is good news: what obtains today in terms of hikes in electricity prices is nothing yet. Peanuts. Wait till the president is re-elected to ‘enjoy’ the full effect of the cabalization.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption – PHCN workers demonstrating in 2012, demanding 25 per cent severance package as against the 15 per cent government offered, as the inept company was in the process of privatization.
[ Masterweb Reports ] – The Secretary General of Ohaneze Ndigbo Spain, Hon. Uchendu Precious Onuoha has commended the good works Governor T.A. Orji has done in Abia State. Hon. Onuoha who spoke with Nigeria Masterweb publisher, Chief Charles Okereke after their fact finding mission to Abia where they toured and verified the various projects the state governor has executed and the ones proposed to carry out in his legacy projects, highly commended the Governor for his visionary and result oriented leadership.
According to the Ohaneze chieftain, “Ola agba naka ejighi enyo ele ya” meaning, a ring in the hand does not require a mirror to see it. He said that since 1991 when the state was created, from the era of the military governors to the civilian, none has done for the state what T.A. Orji has accomplished notwithstanding the state of rot he met Abia during inception.
Hon. Onuoha lamented on security in Abia State before Orji. In his words: “Before T.A. Orji came in, the information and report daily received about Abia state here in Europe and America was lamentable. Security of lives and properties, which are among the fundamental things any purposeful leader should pursue, was zero in Abia state.
“Anarchy, hailstorm and disaster were let loose on Abia people. Murder, assassination, robbery and their big brother kidnapping like a hurricane swept across Abia state. Things really fall apart in a state that hosts the great Achebe’s alma-mater and the center could no longer hold. It was a daily experience coming across Abia citizens, aged parents, traditional rulers enroute Madrid airport to America on involuntary and forced exile to stay with their siblings abroad. Others relocated to other cities in Nigeria. And many of them could not survive the sudden change of environment at old age and died. Kidnapping was like an institutionalized arm of the Government and the likes of the dare devil kidnap kingpin Osisikankwu held sway.”
The Ohaneze chieftain stressed that Abia was held ransom by mother and son and was run as a kitchen cabinet. Above all, a state that is depicted to be God’s own state became devils own state under an evil dynasty. And eventually Abians, God’s own state and people were subjected to the worship of the “ Baal” of Okija. That would give a picture of the state of things before the arrival of T.A. Orji. That is the state of Abia the Governor inherited on inception. It was like a life snake been handed over to somebody. And it takes a wise, courageous and determined man to handle such a scenario.
According to the Ohaneze chieftain, surmounting these state of chaos wouldn’t have been easy. The chieftain said the first four years of T.A. Orji’s government was spent to disentangle himself and the people of Abia from the grip and bondage of the evil dynasty of his predecessor. Hon. Onuoha continued: “The governor within that period, embarked on a rescue, deliverance and salvation mission to dismantle the high places of Baal in Abia state and set the people free. It is said in Igbo “Ndu bu isi”, meaning life is the head. Governor T.A. Orji has fought a good fight and has restored the security of lives and properties and the people of Abia are no longer embarking on forced exile, but have returned to dwell in their own domain. Abians abroad can come home and stay with their people without fear.
“The dialysis hospital he built is a new innovation in the history of health projects in the country. Even the Federal Government has not done that. Knowing that our people thrive on trading, he relocated the old markets in Umuahia and put up modern structures. New estates have been built, Government secretariat has been built, Government college Umuahia has a new edifice added, not minding he was not an old boy of this highly respectable college. He has not left Aba in the scheme of things; among his legacy projects include rebuilding Ariaria and Ahia ohu markets. Also the Abia airport and sea ports are laudable plans and projects that he has lined up to pursue. Though because of time he may not be able to accomplish all, but he has laid the structure for whoever that may come behind him if a good leader like him should pursue.”
“Though he may not have been perfect in all, but he has done very well and need to be commended.”, the Ohaneze chieftain enthused.
*Photo Caption – Governor T. A. Orji
[ Masterweb Reports: Eddy Aghanenu reports ] – Recent events in Rivers State gives cause for concern and apprehension. It reminds one of the old Western Region in the first republic. As it was in the first republic, the police are active participants and not neutral observers. This is dangerous and it portends evil for the country. We forget so soon and refuse to learn from history.
As it was in the first republic, the ruling party at the centre in order to control the Western Region decided to induce crisis using the Action Group’s deputy leader against the leader of the party. In the process, Action Group became polarized. The ruling party at the centre, Northern People’s Congress (NPC) decided to use its federal might to rig elections in the region. This blatant disregard for the electoral wishes of the people led to the crisis in the West, which gave birth to the first military coup and inevitably, the civil war. This also led to the long military interregnum that destroyed the democratic culture that was already developing.
The same scenario is playing itself out again in Rivers State. Rivers State is gradually becoming the wild wild West of Nigerian politics. Governor Rotimi Amaechi due to his principled stance on due process and democratic best practices has been at log ahead with the centre. Formerly of the same ruling party as the centre, the governor was forced out of the party. Many factors are responsibility for the political crises we are currently witnessing in the state. The president is from the neighbouring state of Bayelsa while his wife comes from Rivers State. The centre will want to ensure that the state votes massively for the ruling party come 2015. This may not be guaranteed if Amaechi is not checked as the governor is not prepared to compromise on his democratic principles. While the governor is thinking of national interest and unity, others are thinking of selfish gains.
The best way then of limiting the governor’s growing influence in the state is for the centre to prop up another individual as the NPC did in the Western Region. With encouragement from vested interests, this new entrant is prepared to let the state burn in as long as he achieves his aim of becoming the governor come 2015.
Democratic principles were jettisoned in favour of anarchy. First, the governor who won re election as the Chairman of the Governors Forum was not recognized by the centre. Rather, someone else who lost in the democratic election that produced Gov Amaechi as Chairman was recognized. A man who got sixteen votes as against Gov Amaechi’s nineteen was recognized by the centre as the Chairman of the Governor’s Forum. Minority wins the vote!
Another absurd move to weaken and probably impeach the governor was hatched. Five members out of thirty two members of the state House of Assembly in connivance with the police went ahead to illegally impeach the Speaker of the House and other leaders of the House. The police looked on while this rape on our nascent democracy was going on. The centre applauded this move of might is right. Five became the majority while twenty seven became the minority. Today, Nigeria has become a laughing stock in the comity of democratic nations.
The state is gradually being made ungovernable. The attempts to cause confusion and crises in the state are increasing by the day. Events organized by the civil society groups to sensitize the people on the need for peace in the state are being disrupted by the police. The Save Rivers Group has taken it upon itself to preach peace in the state and to advocate for democratic tenets to reign supreme, yet their commendable actions are not allowed to see the light of day by the police. The law enforcement agency has on two occasions disrupted the peaceful gathering of the people of the state who are yearning for peace. There have been allegations of the police shooting to disrupt the gathered crowd. Let the self centred politicians know that it is only the living that they can govern. If they are prepared to massacre the people in order for them to assume power, posterity will never forgive them. The people of Rivers State should not be used as canon fodders for someone’s selfish ambition.
Let us recall that prior to the coming of Gov Amaechi to Government House, Rivers State was in crises. Cult groups were openly at war with each other. Kidnapping was rampant. Niger Delta Militant Groups were also agitating. Rivers State was then Nigeria’s Mogadishu. Companies were relocating to neighbouring countries. Unemployment was high. Insecurity became the order of the day. Porthacourt was no longer the garden city it used to be. No investor was prepared to risk his finance and the lives of workers by investing in the state. This was the sad situation that Gov Rotimi Amaechi met when he assumed office as governor.
The governor was not undaunted. He confronted the problems headlong. He was bold and courageous at what some faint hearted people would have assumed as insurmountable problems. Seven years on, cult groups have been chased out of the state. Kidnappings have been dumped where they belong - history books. Investors are coming back. Commercial activity is on the rise. Night life is back. Niger Delta militants are now respectable members of society.
This is the peace that some selfish politicians want destroyed. If this is allowed to happen, not only Rivers State but the nation will feel the effect of this. When the Western Region crises began, no one guessed that it will engulf the nation. After sacrificing over three million lives in a bloody civil war, Nigeria should not be allowed to tow the same line again. No country goes through two civil wars and survives it. Those who are desperate to assume power should think of the consequences of their actions. Persuasion wins votes and not violence. Our politicians should learn how to persuade the people with the laudable programmes they have rather than using the “do or die” politics of rigging. This way, our democracy will begin to grow and development will be our gain.
I advise the centre to let Gov Amaechi be. Our problems can be resolved through the democratic process and not the use of force. The people of Rivers State are in need of basic things of life. They are not in need of who has more weapons of coercion. Nigeria should learn from the unforgettable experiences of the first republic. Thunder, they say, does not strike in one place twice. Nigeria needs peace and democratic leaders. This is the only way that the needed development can come.
Eddy Aghanenu ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ).
*Photo Caption – Map of Rivers State, Nigeria.