[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] - (Security & Safety, Onitsha-Nigeria: 18-5-2014)-For a country to arrive and become a noble member of the modern global community, it must foundationally be rested upon three pillars of: democracy & good governance, civil liberties & rule of law and security & safety. Each of these three pillars cannot stand without the other: where there is no democracy, there is no good governance; where there is no rule of law, there are no civil liberties; and where there is no security, safety becomes a scarcest commodity. Such is the situation upon which a country called “Nigeria” finds itself, especially now –Emeka Umeagbalasi-Criminologist & Security Expert: May 2014.
It is no longer news that Nigeria operates a woefully failed security system. But what saddens seminal minds in criminological securitization and rest of the world is that the country’s political and security managers have grown and entrenched a culture of immunity from change and advice heeding. The country’s political and security managers have continued to apply security and public governance methods used in the days of the Yore in this day of “man-machine-environment”. Strictly speaking, Nigeria’s security challenges and other unsafe conditions are one of the easiest to manage in the world in that they are human generated and maximally soluble. Nigeria remains one of the luckiest countries in the world that have not been afflicted with catastrophic natural disasters and other natural unsafe conditions. From the look of things, the country may not survive any major earthquake or ocean overflows. If the country cannot contain a mere onslaught from a group of IEDs detonators, it simply means that if Nigeria were to be the State of Israel, it would have long been wiped out of the world map and forgotten.
 
By any world security nomenclature, Nigeria has it in name. The Nigeria Police Force remains the largest and most populated security organization not only in Nigeria but also on African Continent. Its officers and personnel are presently in the neighborhood of 400,000 with current police-citizen ratio of 1/450 (one police officer for 450 citizens using estimated population of 170 million). This is not too far from the UN basic recommendation of one police officer for every 400 citizens issued in the year 2000. Yet the NPF is one of the most failed police forces in the world and one of the most incompetent police services in Africa.  It may most likely be correct to say that three out of every four of its senior commanding officers including those in the ranks of CSP, ACP, DCP, CP, AIG, DIG and IGP are computer illiterates.
 
Statutorily, the NPF takes charge of internal security of Nigeria; the army for external; the air force for air; the navy for Nigerian waters; the DSS for counter intelligence; and the NIA for national intelligence. These primary functions are clearly spelt out in Sections 214-216 of the Constitution (for NPF); and 217 of the Constitution and 18(3) of the Armed Forces Act, Cap A20 Laws of the Federation (for Armed Forces). There are others like Custom, Immigration, NSCDC and tens of thousands of armed vigilantes and licensed and unlicensed private militias claiming to be providing security for Nigerian populace. All the armed bodies publicly recognized in the country are called “Nigerian Security Forces”. Nigeria is also one of the countries in the world with highest number of small arms in circulation. Those in wrong hands are in millions and they continue to surge.
 
In the context of global territorial securitization and terrain securitization midwifery, Nigeria remains one of the easiest countries for territorial policing. This is because 95% of its border and non-border territories are very easy to be policed. Nigerian territories are also measured and known to local and international data banks. For instance, there are a total of 198,328 kilometers of road network in the country as at 2012. They include: 34,448 kilometers of federal roads (4,150 for South-south, 4,161 for Southwest, 3,231 Southeast, 6,363 for Northwest, 6,787 for Northeast and 9,756 for North-central including the FCT), 34,300 kilometers of roads for 36 States of the Federation and 129, 580 kilometers for 774 Local Government Areas( Research Department Occasion Paper of the CBN 2011).
 
There are also 22 local and international airports in Nigeria. The country’s existing railways have a total of 3, 500 kilometers. There are 8,600 kilometers of inland water ways in the country and four transnational highways. The transnational highways are: Trans Saharan or Lagos-Algiers Highway, Trans Saherian Highway in Kano, Trans Western African Coastal Highway in Lagos and Lagos-Mombasa Transnational Highway. The country has a total of 4,047 kilometers of land boundaries and they are: Nigerian-Benin Border-773 kilometers, Nigerian-Cameroun Border-1,690 kilometers, Nigerian-Chad Border-87 kilometers and Nigerian-Niger Border-1, 497 kilometers (CIA World Fact Book, December 2013).
 
 Various special security squads of the Nigerian Armed Forces and the NPF are created to police all these exits and entrances. In the NPF, there are police border patrol, airport police, marine or port authority police, police railway or railway police and police highway patrol. Nigeria Police Mobile Force, General Duties Police and Special Anti Robbery and Anti Terrorism Police Squads also police Nigerian roads. The Nigeria’s exits and entrances under references are also policed by other members of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
 
Spending For Mass Murder:
 
Our recent investigation shockingly revealed that out of $120 Billion or N19. 525 Trillion Federal budgets of 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, a whopping sum of $23 Billion or N3.632 Trillion was spent on woefully failed security in Nigeria. The shocking sums covered block budget allocations (recurrent, overheads and capital) to all security agencies, their training institutes and oversight bodies. In the 2011 spent budget of N4.971 Trillion, N764.7 Billion was spent on security, out of which the NPF got N296 Billion, the Ministry of Defense (Army, Navy, Air Force, DSS, NIA, NSCDC, etc) got N380.4 Billion and the Office of the National Security Adviser received N87.8 Billion.
 
 In the 2012 spent budget of N4.877 Trillion, N921 Billion was spent on security, out of which, the NPF got N307.5 Billion. In the 2013 spent budget of N4.987 Trillion, N953 Billion was spent on security, out of which, the NPF got N320 Billion, and in the 2014 passed budget of N4.695 Trillion, N993 Billion is being spent on security, out of which, the NPF is allocated with N292 Billion. In the four federal budget seasons under reference, the NPF had received a total of N1.215 Trillion or $7.5 Billion. In spite of the colossal sum spent on the NPF in the four federal budget regimes, the Force has nothing to show for it. It has become one of Nigeria’s public drain pipes.
 
It is totally correct to say that the more money is allocated and spent on security, the more Nigeria becomes insecure and the more Nigerians feel unsafe in their fatherland and the more citizens get killed like fowls on daily basis. The country’s insecurity is deliberately being sustained by relevant public security managers, who have become “merchants of death” by living far above their statutory incomes or earnings. It is a very difficult task to identify or find a senior public security manager drawn from the armed forces and police living within his or her statutory earnings in Nigeria.
 
 Average serving or past Inspector General of Police in Nigeria since 1999 is so crookedly rich to the point of surpassing the annual budget size of a State in Nigeria. This is why we held that Nigerian government spends for mass murder instead of spending for citizens’ security. The Government appears to be a corporate serial killer and an undertaker merchant by getting happier when more citizens are killed and making more illicit and blood proceeds when more insecurity is created. Of all the birds in Nigeria, the Nigerian Government has improved the living conditions of vultures more than other birds by ensuring that they never lack human corpses to feed on.
 
The blatant refusal of relevant public security managers in Nigeria to demystify and access modern security system has continued to cost many lives in the country on daily basis. The three pillars of modern security have long been centered on “preventive policing”, “security intelligence” and “electronic security technology”. None of these three has found its way into Nigeria’s public security industry till date. In Syria, the UN has estimated that over 100,000 people have been killed since the eruption of civil war in the country about four years ago. In Nigeria, between 64,000 and 65,000 citizens have been murdered outside the law since 1999, out of which, between 6,000 and 8,000 have been killed by Boko Haram insurgent group since 2009. In the four years budget regimes under reference (2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014), up to 10,000 citizens or more have been killed, mostly in the hands of Boko Haram barbarous group. In the first five months of this year (2014), over 2,000 citizens have been murdered by the violent armed group. Hundreds of innocent citizens have also died in the hands of Nigerian security forces in the course of the so-called war on Boko Haram terror.
 
We have severally advised the Nigerian Government to demystify and access the three pillars of modern security stated above. The country’s current security system and policy are nothing to write home about. A country that still retains a national policy on security it adopted 35 years ago (1979) is not a serious participant in modern securitization. A country that retains a police force that still uses a police Act enacted in 1930 without major changes in its body and contents operates a policing organization of the Yore. A country that has a police force of approximately 400,000 officers dominated to the point of 95% by typewriter police officers or computer illiterates is a sworn enemy of electronic, intelligence and preventive policing. A police force with 6,651 field formations that runs its administrative operations on pen and papers in place of digital hardware and software is a disguised community vigilante group and not a police force of a computer age. A police force that sends its typewriter driven officers after computer literate improvised explosive devices detonators is playing at the center of an expressway.
 
Signed:
 
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
International Society (Intersociety) for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
+2348180103912, +2348033601078
emekaumeagbalasi@yahoo.co.uk, botchairman@intersociety-ng.org

 
Comrade Jusus Uche Ijeoma, Head, Publicity Desk
+2348037114869
juijeoma@yahoo.com
 
 
*Photo Caption – Map of Nigeria

 

[ Masterweb Reports: Chuks U.C. Ukaoma reports ] – The beginning of the year is a popular time to reflect on the past while preening for the future. I was doing that this January when I was overcome by the emotion of this now 30-plus year odyssey in America. As I strolled down that memory lane, I was interrupted by a question a reader once asked me: "If you knew then what you know today, would you have gone to America?" The key word is "today". And the short answer is a resounding, "YES"!   As proud as I am of my Nigerian heritage, I am delighted I came to America, all things considered.  However, this article is not about me. 

Relocating is rarely smooth all the way. As Alayi people would say, "only when one chews (not just drinks) water does one realize water has bones".  Living in a foreign land is not for everyone. Ask any candid person who has blazed this diaspora trail and that person will tell you it’s not as easy as it seems. However, "difficult roads[often] lead to beautiful destinations”. If you have the dexterity, you too can make it.

There are four concurrent challenges capable of bringing Nigeria to her knees, if not to her demise: pervasive corruption, worsening sectarian violence, youth population and chronic unemployment explosions. Truth be told, both the ruled and the rulers have a hand in this mess. We all want a successful Nigeria but when the President’s and Finance Minister’s relatives and innocent citizens are victims of desperate kidnappers and other heinous criminals, you know Nigeria is truly on the verge of falling apart, pun intended. Nigerian short-sighted  leaders are target-fixated on the precipice at national expense. Would you blame anyone trying to escape from what one feels is a burning house or sinking boat?  This article is about that person in Nigeria who is eager to emigrate. It’s for the young man or woman somewhere today who dreams of relocating tomorrow for a better life.  If you are in that situation, this article is about and for you.
 
 
Success in anything hinges on good health, a plan, hard work and luck. The top priority is to take care of Number One: Yourself. It means eating, sleeping, exercising, and saving well. You will need your good health to achieve your dreams. A healthy you is a wealthy you. Be sure to have both health and life insurance, just in case. This essence is often lost in the minds of young people who are swift in sacrificing their bodies for short-term gains without realizing the lifetime consequences of their youthful exuberance. Plan by reading biographies of people who have gone through the journey you are about to embark and learn from their experiences. And follow up with hard work and determination.
 
 
Go For It! Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change, per Jim Rohn. The last persons you want to listen to are the society fat cats who cannot relate to your plight. They tell you not to "check out". They preach the virtues of toughing it out at home while they send their offspring overseas for schooling and go abroad themselves for medical treatments.
 
 
Sisyphean as it may be, don't let anything (not even the love of country, especially the country that does not love you as much as she wants you to love her) dissuade you from pursuing your dreams. They tell you to stay and perish in the toxic environment they have perpetuated. Heck no; rebel and go for it! Yes, the love of country is a great thing; working to better one's nation is a noble pursuit. However, don't be so desperate to emigrate that you attempt to trek the Sahara expanse to Libya and get on a raggedy boat or stowaway in airplane wheel well to reach the "promise land". Please don't take that chance; it is suicidal. Nothing is worth your life. 
 
 
Come in legally through the front door, for example, by honestly asking smaller colleges for admission and scholarship, like Nnamdi Azikiwe did in 1920s. With the Internet you can apply to schools more efficiently. Seek help from people in your circle of influence. Have something to offer in return. Honesty is the key!
 
 
Make Fear Your Friend Not Your Enemy: Fear can be a prudent regulator that helps you save yourself from yourself. Don't dread it; accept it for what it is: False Expectation Appearing Real. FEAR. It's okay to be afraid of moving overseas or across town or country. Develop the courage to overcome that fear. Believe!
 
 
Per Henry David Thoreau, "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined". You just might attain those dreams. Be prepared to work harder than you ever imagined. Become your own ambassador. Spur others to judge you by the content of your character rather than by the color of your skin or your national origin, to paraphrase Martin Luther King Jr. Don't inherit anyone else's sins. And for your own sins, seek repentance and aspire for a better tomorrow.

A Different You: You'll never be the same once you leave. So soak in your current scenery, maintain your existing friends and family. Prepare to overcome betrayals along the road. If you are traveling abroad, know that there are people you will never see again and those that will not see you in this life. You need to learn to accept this painful fact. As Max Lucado stated, "to lead the orchestra [one] must turn [one's] back on the crowd".
 
 
Follow Your Mind.
Don't be like the professional caterpillars that mindlessly follow the circle of starvation when food is all around them, including inside the circle. In other words, dare to be different and don't follow others unless you want to be like them. No one has ever achieved greatness by following others. At times one might need to emulate others to get over a temporary hump but to attain one’s true potential, one has to be unique.
 
 
Passion and Work hard
You have to immerse yourself in your sojourn prior to setting sail. Passion cost a little but it buys a lot! The other side of the coin is good old hard work. Experts say passion plus hard work are the twin ingredients for success. You can't have one without the other.  
 
 
It's no small feat to move within town, state, country, continent, or across the world. It could be relocating from Nigeria to America or from the Bay Area to Austin or from Oakland to Pleasanton or from Atlanta to Houston. Better neighborhood and career advancement are top two reasons people relocate. Whatever your reasons are, be prepared to pay the price and reap the benefits of your decision. There's no guaranty of a successful outcome. Granted that anything can happen anywhere or any time, it still behooves us parents to raise our family in the best environment we can provide. If it takes moving, changing jobs, or adopting other measures to improve your family's future, consider making the change. If your children are keeping bad company, move them away from that negative influence before it is too late. Your children may complain today but they will love you for it tomorrow.
 
 
Relocation can be hampered by scarce resources and limitless challenges. In the endless quest to escape the current living condition, people often forget the comfort provided by being home or in a familiar environment. “Move to a new country and you quickly see that visiting a place as a tourist, and actually moving there for good, are two very different things”, according to Tahir Shah of Travel with Myself fame. Or to paraphrase Led Zeppelin, when you get there you would know all that glitters is not gold. Still it could be your stairway to heaven. Steer your own destiny before someone or society does it for you.
 
 
Don't be fooled by the 419, credit card, and medical scams image or news. Nigerians are making positive contributions across the globe. According to New York Times, "Nigerians make up less than 1 percent of the black population in the United States, yet in 2013 nearly one-quarter of the black students at Harvard Business School were of Nigerian ancestry; over a fourth of Nigerian-Americans have a graduate or professional degree, as compared with only about 11 percent of whites." Some of these overachievers abroad are the very ones Nigeria rejected at home. So if the conditions in Nigeria are coalescing to extinguish your future, you need to consider moving to a place that would reward your talent and hard work. After all one “who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day."  You have this one life to live.
 
 
Stay tuned for Part Two.
 
 
Chuks U.C. Ukaoma ( Email: chuksucukaoma@yahoo.com ) reports from Austin, Texas, U.S.A.
 
 
 
*Photo Caption - Map of the United States

[ Masterweb Reports ] - Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC), the youth wing of Ohanaeze Ndigbo also popularly kown as Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Wing, under the able leadership of Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro has taken a giant stride in the mobilization of Ndigbo wherever they are in the world. Ohanaeze Youth last month made three extra ordinary appointments to Chief Charles O. Okereke, a deserving Igbo son based in........ Read More.
 
 
 
*Photo Caption - Chief Charles O. Okereke

[ Masterweb Reports: Obinna Akukwe reports ] – Igbo leaders from all walks of life on Thursday converged in Enugu for a colloquium in honor of their late president, Ambassador Raph Uwechue, with an insistence on Igbo unity and Igbo Presidency. Speaking at the event, the Chairman of the occasion and first republic Senate President, Dr Mbazulike Amechi described Uwechue as a man who stood for Igbo ideals and died for same.

Professor Ukwu I Ukwu described Uwechue as a detribalized Nigerian who stood for unity. He reiterated his preference for a parliamentary system of government and asked Igbo delegates at the conference to push for such. Prof Ukwu called on the conferences to handle the issues of corruption if the federation will make any headway.

Prof Ben Obumselu told the participants that Ambassador Uwechue did everything within his power to avoid the civil war as Nigeria’s ambassador to France and even scheduled Igbo leaders to meet Harold Wilson, then Prime Minister of Britain, but the British Government had already foreclosed any attempt at resolving the dispute between Nigeria and Biafra. He said that Igbo elders did all possible to avoid the war.

Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State represented by the Commissioner for Petroleum, Mr Chima Ubani said that Ambassador Uwechue came out openly to identify with Igbo during the war and that the government of Abia State holds him in high esteem.

Prof Bonny Okere said that having worked with Uwechue for ten years he remarked him as a person who recognizes merit above everything else and takes special interest in his workers who display exceptional intelligence.

Rev Obinna Akukwe, a church leader said that Ambassador Uwechue stood for the actualization of Igbo presidency and asked Igbo leaders to ensure that the dream is realized. He frowned at the construction of a tolled second Niger Bridge meant to be used to enslave Ndigbo and insisted that Jonathan should use Federal Government money to construct the bridge as compensation for Igbo support. Rev Akukwe asked the Igbo leaders to extract a commitment from Jonathan that after the Igbo have sacrificed their presidency for the South-South, Jonathan will stick out his neck for Ndigbo after his tenure.

Prof Raph Nwokedi asked the leaders of Ohanaeze to use the occasion of Uwechue’s death to settle differences and work together. He restated that if Igbo settles individual differences, Igbo Presidency which Raph stood for is actualizable.

Dr Nduka Eya, immediate past Secretary General of Ohanaeze said that what the Igbos need is unity. He said that with unity Ndigbo can rule Nigeria and that with unity Igbo can even produce the governor of Lagos State.

Ambassador Lawrence Agubuzo, leader of Enugu State delegation at the National Conference, said that Uwechue was their role model in the Foreign Service and that he also used his savings to run Ohanaeze.

Comrade Chuks Ibegbu, former Special Assistant to the late President described Uwechue’s leadership in Ohanaeze as strong but that towards the end of his service, some elements tried to tarnish his image. He asked the youth of Igbo land to emulate the strong leadership of the late Ohanaeze leader and shun divisive tendencies.

The President General of Ohanaeze , Chief Gari Gariwey said that without Uwechue he wouldn’t have become Ohanaeze leader and that he learnt a lot from him in terms of team work. Dr Joe Nwaorgu, Secretary General Ohanaeze said that Uwechue was his class prefect in St John’s College and that it was through Uwechue’s effort that he became Secretary General. He described Uwechue as a man of honor.

Other dignitaries at the occasion include past president of Ohanaeze Prof Joe Irukwu, Senator Anyim Ude, former Military Administrator of Imo State, Navy Cdr James Aneke, Col Ben Gbulie, Chief Nweke Anyigor, Chief HBC Okpoko,Chief Mrs Maria Okwor , Bishop Obi Onubogu among others.
 
 
Obinna Akukwe ( Email: profetobinna@yahoo.com ) reports.
 
 
*Photo Caption – Late Ambassador Ralph Uwechue

[ Masterweb Reports: Obinna Akukwe reports ] – Bomb blast in Nyanya again, few meters from the spot of the earlier blast. Just last week I had warned in a piece titled ‘Nyanya Bomb Blast-Ttraffic Hold-Ups and Politically Cursed Residents ‘ that the traffic holdups experienced by Nyanya residents  due to clueless  military checkpoints is a security risk. Of course government and security agents failed to listen to the voice of reason until another blast sent at least 40 persons (according to eye witnesses) unprepared to either heaven or hell. I deemed it fit to refresh the write-up again to prove that insensitivity to common sense solution is at the root of this second Nyanya blast and if the manner of style of the stop and search is not modified, another explosion will still occur.

 
Since the unfortunate Nyanya Bus Park bomb blast which Boko Haram have claimed responsibility, residents have complained about the unnecessary hours spent on traffic occasioned by military checkpoint which gave the impression that they are an unwanted politically cursed appendage of Federal Capital Territory.

 
The military checkpoints have reduced the normal four-lane traffic on Abuja-Keffi Road to a one-lane affair and recently due to adjustments by the Defence Headquarters, a slow moving  two-lane gridlock is still being experienced.

 
Driving from Makurdi to Abuja during the Easter week, I encountered the hold-up and spent close to three hours between Mararaba and Nyanya Bridge before I could reach my destination inside the city. The next day, having an assignment around Keffi, I left Abuja around 8 am and was excited that vehicular movement between AYA through Abacha Barracks was free flowing but having reached the Nyanya Bridge the level of traffic gridlock witnessed was demoralizing and frightening, spanning through to ‘One Man Village’ and some residents later told me that at times the gridlock reaches Masaka and they stay up to 7 hours bottled inside. On my way back same day, I was in that traffic snarl from 2.30 pm to 7.30 pm, a 5 hour period for a normal 15 minutes drive from Masaka to AYA. The next day, I spent three hours back through that road and on Easter Sunday, I spent two hours forty five minutes between Mararaba and Karu Bridge, despite that day being work free. Afterwards I cancelled whatever took me to that axis till common sense returns to the situation.

 
It is obvious from the positioning of the checkpoint that the powers at Abuja are more interested in their own safety than the safety of residents within that axis. There is no checkpoint to protect residents of Nyanya-Mararaba-Masaka axis from the rampaging terrorists but the one to protect the Emperors at Abuja is well fortified.  The checkpoint was positioned at the border lines between the outskirts and the city ie Nyanya and Karu Bridges-giving the impression that these residents are the problems of the powers that be at Abuja. Impliedly, the ancestrally and politically cursed residents of Nyanya-Mararaba, who are not actually wanted in the El Dorado City of Abuja, must be stopped, searched and frisked properly before they infect the entire beautiful capital with their curses, poverty and Boko Haram Virus.

 
Inside Nyanya Mararaba and Masaka lie the lower class, middle class and upper middle class of civil servants who actually move the nation’s administrative system forward. The drivers, cleaners, clerks, officers and even some Directors of Ministries, Departments and Parastatals have made their abode in this axis to avoid the cut throat cost of rent inside the city. Nyanya axis also has many wealthy residents contented with living a low profile life while contributing immensely to the development of Abuja and the nation.

 
Apart from Karu and parts of Jikwoyi, governments have refused to invest massively in infrastructure in those areas. Mararaba and Masaka, though under Nasarawa State jurisdiction, have suffered untold neglect. In the midst of all these- some Boko Haram terrorists blew a hell out of their lives and the powers at Abuja used military checkpoints to compound their problems.
 

Due to hours inside hold-ups, the cooling systems of many vehicles have overheated; top gaskets got burnt, engines got knocked and hapless motorists faced with compounded problems. Equally, vehicles that exhausted their fuel and gas portion inside the traffic are being forced to either buy 2 litres of fuel from peddlers at N1000 naira or park by the side of the road awaiting help from nowhere.

 
It is obvious that the situation is a big security risk to the entire motorists and passengers on that road. God should be praised that the terrorists have not deemed it fit to catch in on the situation to inflict more harm. Federal Ministry of Information and the Defense Headquarters have asked for understanding. Residents have complained that there is nothing to understand and that the soldiers should invent other means of tracking vehicles with arms, ammunitions and explosives without creating a worse security risk.

 
Treating the residents of Nyanya-Mararaba-Masaka axis as though they are ancestrally and politically cursed is not good for their psyche. The military should invest on high-tech tracking equipment and mount such on that road such that any vehicle with arms, ammunitions or explosive materials could be detected and stopped while other motorists move about without much let and hindrance. Treating the residents like politically and ancestrally cursed animals will soon be counterproductive, especially in an election year.

 
Obinna Akukwe ( Email: profetobina2@yahoo.com ) reports.
 
 
 
*Photo Caption - Soldiers inspect the remains of a vehicle following Nyanya  bus park bomb attack of April 14, 2014. Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the attack.

 

[ Masterweb Reports: Obienyem Valentine reports ] - May 1 is set aside universally for workers/labourers; it is known as “Worker’s Day”.  Typical of Nigerians, being a public holidays, most people now use the day to celebrate their birthdays or those of their children.  Some see it as a day to hold important meetings.  Yet, there are some who do not know what to do with the day.  Rather than reduce it to Epicurean feast and as a day when workers convey in Eagles Square with the President in attendance, it ought to be a day in which symposia, seminars, conferences and rallies are organised.  Whatever fora should be dedicated to expounding the ideals and dignity of labour.
 
 
One of the misconceptions of the past was the idea of treating labour as something degrading and utterly undignifying.  Because of this misconception, people would rather buy or engage slaves to do their work for them, lest they be looked down upon.  By degree, this culminated in feudalism, where the feudal lords had their work done for them by the serfs.  At this time, the idea of a gentleman was misconstrued as persons with literary tastes; those who were inclined to liberal education.  These people had a peculiar perception of a gentleman as one who wanted education for its own sake and thereafter would employ people to do their work for them rather than the indignity of doing those work themselves.
 
 
Such conceptions in the past made labour, especially menial ones, to be so disdainfully treated. Because of this perceived lack of dignity, the concept of labour suffered the poverty of misconception.  Even highly placed work, such as the type that lawyers do were lowly graded.  A gentleman must not engage in forensic debates; he has to contract a lawyer to plead on his behalf.  If the legal profession, as other professions, was treated this way, consider what was the fate of menial workers.  Because of the ranking of labour, labourers were paid wages that did not guarantee lives of frugal comfort, afterall it was only fit for slaves.
 
 
Have we forgotten so soon that the wealth of nations are created by the work of labourers.  If man ceases to work, humanity will be in trouble.  Whatever way we look at it, work is a positive human act.  It is gratifying to any reasonable man to turn to service energies, which would otherwise be wasted or misspent in idleness or mischief.  The vice of sloth implies the virtue of work.  The principle of activity, accordingly to Hegel, whereby “the workman has to perform for his subsistence”, gives man a dignity which “consists in his depending entirely on his diligence, conduct, and intelligence for the supply of his work.
 
 
Besides working for subsistence, there are many other reasons why man finds it useful to work.  It is even suggested in some quarters that labour saves man from a boredom he fears more than the pain of labour.  Our world is filled up with variety of amusements and diversions that man invents or frantically pursues to occupy himself when work is finished.  The satisfaction of labour is therefore as peculiarly human as its burdens.  Not merely to keep alive, but to keep himself productive and positively human, man is obliged to work.
 
 
When you look at our society, you see variety of work.  Some are employed in government establishments:  Civil Service or Public Corporation; some are employed in private sectors; some are self-employed; there are others who are unemployed.  Wherever one works, the principle of dignity of labour,laborare dignitatem, implies that whatever one does that feeds and enables him to be clothed should be respected and not degraded or treated with contempt.
 
 
To respect a particular job implies that the worker should approach his work with all sense of responsibility and diligence.  In return, the job should be able to offer him a reward (salary) that will enable him live as a human being.  This is the spirit of Pope Leo’s encyclical entitled: Rerum Novarum (“Of New Things”), where he submitted that “Equity commands that public authority show proper concern for the workers so that from what he may receive will enable him to be housed, clothed and secured, to live his life without hardship.”
 
 
In spite of the increase in salary by the present government, an average Nigeria worker, in public and private sector, cannot live the life of frugal comfort.  Let us, by way of illustration, bring the minimum wage question in issue.  The minimum wage of the Federal Government is N18,500.  Supposing a worker lives in Abuja, where the house rent for a room (face-me-I-face-you) apartment in the ghettos of Airport road or Idu Karimu is about N5,000, the monthly NEPA bill is about N500, monthly transport expenses to the place of work is about N3,000, feeding at N900 per day translates into N9,000.  I do not want to go further into medical bill, clothing etc because the expenditure profile is already N17,500.  You can imagine what it will be when the concerned worker has a family and one or two dependants.  Off course, the talk of dignity of labour will not make much meaning to him.  Such a job that do not translate into improved living will not inspire respect befitting jobs that are worthy of dignity.
 
 
What about those that push wheelbarrows, the cleaners, street sweepers, drivers e.t.c.  Dignity of Labour says that they have to respect their jobs, since it is through these jobs that they keep body and soul together.  But what of Nigeria, and other countries where the pay package or what this category of workers earn cannot sustain the life of frugal comfort?  Is it possible for the doctrine of dignity of labour to make meaning to them?  This is where there is conflict about the principle.  The question therefore is:  “Is labour worthy of dignity in Nigeria?”
 
 
Doubtless, in Labour issues, Nigeria is lagging.  What we have in Nigeria is dead as opposed to living wages.  Dead wages make for pauperism, as is the case with Nigeria.  Beside oil companies, banks, international organisations domiciled in the country and few public corporations, there is scarcely any establishment, privately or government owned that pays living wages.  This is why the attitudes of civil servants to work are often viewed with understanding leniency.  Often they do not approach their work with required seriousness since most of them do other things to make ends meet.
 
 
The only way out of this is for government and all those who are engaged in policy formation to take the opportunity of this worker’s day to reflect on the real plight of Nigerian workers.  It is only when labour is backed with commensurate returns that the doctrine of dignity of labour should become fully realisable, it is them that one can, with all justification, ask workers to live above board.  This is the plain truth.

 
Obienyem Valentine reports.

 
*Photo Caption - Obienyem Valentine
 

[ Masterweb Reports ] - (1). FORWARD: While Masterweb commends members of the Nigeria Police Force who have honestly dedicated their lives to the protection of lives and property in Nigeria, we will not relent in condemning all the bad eggs in the force. We salute the police officer who saved our CEO from untimely death in Umuahia in the hands of an armed robber in Nigeria Police Force who unsuccessfully hatched out plans for the murder and robbery of our Chief Executive. It happened in December of 2011 when our CEO who was in Nigeria on vacation was on his way with his wife and daughter to visit a relative at World Bank Estate, Umuahia. Our CEO who was trying to find his way at the estate made a legitimate left turn into a street with a police post in the midst of other residential buildings - the time was 8.25 pm. An armed police officer lying in wait for a prey at gun point ordered our CEO to stop and out of the car. Our CEO came out of the car with both hands in the air. All the police officer was shouting was: "I will kill you". "I will kill you", "I will kill you", cocking his gun four times as our CEO pled for his life, explaining that he was trying to find his way to Coping Junction. The trigger happy officer ordered another officer who came to........ Read More.
 
 
 
*Photo Caption - Rapist Policeman Corporal Gbuchenge Augustine (Top); Assaulted 8-year-old Amarachi Abakwuru

[ Masterweb Reports ] – More suffering await Africans if proposal by corrupt and inept African Union (AU) to raise extra funds are adopted. The vulture body as corrupt as the most corrupt country in the world in their next summit holding in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea from June 20–27 would reach decision on alternative funding methods as financial support overseas dwindle. The cost of hotel accommodation, air travel and text messages in Africa would go up upon the adoption and implementation of the proposal put forward by AU Council of Ministers in supporting the body’s budget, growing in deficit yearly. The proposal approved by the ministers include a $5 levy on air tickets originating from or coming into Africa, a $2 levy on member states’ hospitality sectors, 0.1 per cent levy per text message from Africa, and a 0.5 per cent levy on member countries’ budgets. The extra funding as proposed by AU would fall on the heads of Africans most of who are suffering, either from abuse, unemployment, underemployment and non-payment of salary on time. AU Council of Ministers was the same organ that organized an African Union Symbols Competition in 2003 that its budget was embezzled and winners in the competition not duly compensated. All  African Union Symbols can be rightly described as Symbols of Shame and Fraud. Africans must resist any imposition of levy on them by African Union.
 
African Union must -  
(1)   either account for the money budgeted for compensating winners in the African Union Symbols Competition or pay winners according to the rules of the competition;
(2)   return the anthem 2nd prize fraudulently paid to one of the competition judges to the rightful winner and;
(3)   return the anthem 1st prize unpaid since a revised version of OAU anthem which was not entered in the competition was fraudulently assigned the first prize which was not paid out to anybody.
 
African Union is free to use Symbols it chooses provided winners in its Symbols Competition are compensated, otherwise AU Symbols are nothing but "Symbols of Shame and Fraud".
 
In 2006, AU organized a new flag competition with an entry from Libya's Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. The plan was to unveil a new AU flag, most likely Gaddafi's design at the AU summit in Ghana, the following year. Gaddafi was among the very few entrants in the competition since most prospective entrants boycotted it because of what happened with the first competition where winners chosen by judges were not announced and prizes not paid. It was Chief Charles O. Okereke’s effort, winner in the anthem category of the AU Symbols Competition that embarrassed the organizers from continuing the competition. Muammar Gaddafi as chairman of African Union in 2009 organized another AU flag competition with the requirement that entries should have green background as in Libya’s flag under him, but deceitfully the green background was presented as symbolizing hope of Africa. Entries were examined by a panel put in place by Muammar Gaddafi-led African Union Commission (AUC) and a winner was selected. The new flag (similar to the Libyan flag under Gaddafi) was adopted on January 31, 2010 in Addis Ababa, at AU 14th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government chaired by Gaddafi.
 
SAY “NO” TO AFRICAN UNION LEVY ON AFRICANS !! 
 
*Photo Caption – African Union (AU) Flag -LEFT; Libyan Flag Under Gaddafi-RIGHT
 
Latest Updates
( *Please Read Through All Documents Below )
1. Fraud alert at AU headquarters over symbols competition
2. Continental Fraud
3. Petition to African Union Chairman
4. Petition To President Yar'Adua of Nigeria
5. African Union: What's in a name?
6. Corruption Rules Over Africa
7. Masterweb Endorses Obama For US Presidency
8. Purchasing God Bless Africa CD

[ Masterweb Reports: Obinna Akukwe reports ] – Since the unfortunate Nyanya Bus Park bomb blast which Boko Haram have claimed responsibility, residents have complained about the unnecessary hours spent on traffic occasioned by military checkpoint which gave the impression that they are an unwanted politically cursed appendage of Federal Capital Territory.
 
 
The military checkpoints have reduced the normal four-lane traffic on Abuja-Keffi Road to a one-lane affair and recently due to adjustments by the Defence Headquarters, a slow moving  two-lane gridlock is still being experienced.
 
 
Driving from Makurdi to Abuja during the Easter week, I encountered the hold-up and spent close to three hours between Mararaba and Nyanya Bridge before I could reach my destination inside the city. The next day, having an assignment around Keffi, I left Abuja around 8 am and was excited that vehicular movement between AYA through Abacha Barracks was free flowing but having reached the Nyanya Bridge the level of traffic gridlock witnessed was demoralizing and frightening, spanning through to ‘One Man Village’ and some residents later told me that at times the gridlock reaches Masaka and they stay up to 7 hours bottled inside. On my way back same day, I was in that traffic snarl from 2.30 pm to 7.30 pm, a 5 hour period. The next day, I spent three hours back through that road and on Easter Sunday, I spent two hours forty five minutes between Mararaba and Karu Bridge, despite that day being work free. Afterwards I cancelled whatever took me to that axis till common sense returns to the situation.
 
 
It is obvious from the positioning of the checkpoint that the powers at Abuja are more interested in their own safety than the safety of residents within that axis. There is no checkpoint to protect residents of Nyanya-Mararaba-Masaka axis from the rampaging terrorists but the one to protect the Emperors at Abuja is well fortified.  The checkpoint was positioned at the border lines between the outskirts and the city ie Nyanya and Karu Bridges-giving the impression that these residents are the problems of the powers that be at Abuja. Impliedly, the ancestrally and politically cursed residents of Nyanya-Mararaba, who are not actually wanted in the El Dorado City of Abuja, must be stopped, searched and frisked properly before they infect the entire beautiful capital with their curses, poverty and Boko Haram Virus.
 
 
Inside Nyanya Mararaba and Masaka lie the lower class, middle class and upper middle class of civil servants who actually move the nation’s administrative system forward. The drivers, cleaners, clerks, officers and even some Directors of Ministries, Departments and Parastatals have made their abode in this axis to avoid the cut throat cost of rent inside the city. Nyanya axis also has many wealthy residents contented with living a low profile life while contributing immensely to the development of Abuja and the nation.
 
 
Apart from Karu and parts of Jikwoyi, governments have refused to invest massively in infrastructure in those areas. Mararaba and Masaka, though under Nasarawa State jurisdiction, have suffered untold neglect. In the midst of all these- some Boko Haram terrorists blew a hell out of their lives and the powers at Abuja used military checkpoints to compound their problems.
 
 
Due to hours inside hold-ups, the cooling systems of many vehicles have overheated; top gaskets got burnt, engines got knocked and hapless motorists faced with compounded problems. Equally, vehicles that exhausted their fuel and gas portion inside the traffic are being forced to either buy 2 litres of fuel from peddlers at N1000 naira or park by the side of the road awaiting help from nowhere.
 
 
It is obvious that the situation is a big security risk to the entire motorists and passengers on that road. God should be praised that the terrorists have not deemed it fit to catch in on the situation to inflict more harm. Federal Ministry of Information and the Defense Headquarters have asked for understanding. Residents have complained that there is nothing to understand and that the soldiers should invent other means of tracking vehicles with arms, ammunitions and explosives without creating a worse security risk.
 
 
Treating the residents of Nyanya-Mararaba-Masaka axis as though they are ancestrally and politically cursed is not good for their psyche. The military should invest on high-tech tracking equipment and mount such on that road such that any vehicle with arms, ammunitions or explosive materials could be detected and stopped while other motorists move about without much let and hindrance. Treating the residents like politically and ancestrally cursed animals will soon be counterproductive, especially in an election year.
 
 
Obinna Akukwe ( Email: profetobinna2@yahoo.com ).
 
 
*Photo Caption – Scene from Nyanya suicide bomb blast.

[ Masterweb Reports ] - The race for the 2015 Presidential elections took a different twist with the declaration of Ndigbo that they will contest the 2015 Presidential elections. Speaking during the inauguration of the State Executives of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Rivers state at the Elekahia Stadium Port-Harcourt, the President-General of the pan-Igbo socio-cultural organisation Ohanaeze Ndigbo Chief Garry Enwo-Igariwey stated that “Ndigbo must seek the Presidency of this country at the expiration of the tenure of the South-South. This is in keeping with our stand that equity, justice and fair-play demand that we, the only zone remaining to hold the prime position in the country, should be allowed by our fellow Nigerians to occupy it in an unbroken succession after the South-South....we cannot afford to play second fiddle forever.” On the spate of insecurity across the nation, the Afikpo Prince stated that Ndigbo has endured enough casualties and called on the perpetrators of the heinous crime of bombing across the northern part of Nigeria to cease forthwith, while the federal government should deploy........ Read More.
 
 
 
*Photo Caption - Chief Garry Enwo-Igariwey, President-General Ohaneze Ndigbo-Left; Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, Ohanaeze National/Worldwide Youth Leader-Right