[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety Reports ] - (Civil Liberties & Rule of Law, Onitsha Nigeria, 4th November 2014)-In 2011, under the leadership of former IGP, Hafiz Ringim, age-long discriminatory practices were discovered in the Nigeria Police Force by our leadership in the course of our advocacy activities. The discriminatory practices were administrative and structural in nature. They have existed since 1975 with a structural code name: the Nigeria Traffic Warden Service (TWS) Decree (Act) of 1975. This was also incorporated into Sections 59 to 69 of the Nigeria Police Force Act of 2004 (NPF Ordinance of 1930).
By the provisions of these obnoxious legal creations, the TWS was created and put under the midwifery of the Nigeria Police Force. The TWS was created for the purpose of ensuring safety of persons and properties on all Nigerian roads and strict compliance to road use and safety rules by all Nigerian road users. Those wishing to join the TWS must possess same academic, mental and physical qualifications and qualities with those wishing to join the Nigeria Police Force. Both of them also undergo same field training and spend almost same number of period before being commissioned as officers of the NPF.
Sadly, when it comes to ranking, promotion, remuneration and manning of duty posts or offices; deep discrimination and discrepancies occur. By virtue of the provisions of the TWS Decree (Act) of 1975 and Sections 59 to 69 of the Nigeria Police Act of 2004, the highest rank to be attained by a member of the TWS is called Senior Traffic Warden (STW), which is equivalent to the rank of Inspector in the Nigeria Police Force. The major ranking grades available and traditionalized in the Nigeria Police Force are: constable, corporal (first & second), sergeant, inspector (confirmed & unconfirmed), assistant superintendent (confirmed & unconfirmed), deputy superintendent, superintendent, chief superintendent, assistant commissioner of police, deputy commissioner of police, commissioner of police, assistant inspector general of police, deputy inspector general of police and inspector general of police. This means that there are fourteen major ranking grades in the Nigeria Police Force; whereas only four ranking grades exist in the TWS.
Administratively, there is age-long promotion stagnancy policy against members of the TWS whereby their promotions from one rank to the other are delayed up to five years and above. Key officers of the TWS are also denied office and departmental duties. For instance, key members or officers of the TWS are not allowed by the leadership of the NPF to take charge and full responsibility of the TWS designated duties and offices like Divisional Traffic Officer or Office usually located in every divisional police station; whereas in the same station, divisional crime officer or office is manned by officers from the NPF Criminal Investigation Department. Another discriminatory practice exists whereby a deputy superintendent of traffic (DST) or a senior traffic warden (STW) is made to take orders from a police sergeant or corporal. Deep discrimination and discrepancy exist too in handling the affairs of members of the TWS whereby while personnel of the NPF receive salaries and emoluments much fatter than members of the TWS who share equivalent ranks with their NPF counterparts.
It is view of these that several attempts were made by concerned and courageous members of the TWS to address the age-long structural and administrative anomalies leading to several court actions in the past. During the Obasanjo’s presidency, a presidential proclamation was issued creating two extra ranking grades of assistant superintendent of traffic (AST) and deputy superintendent of traffic (DST), which are equivalent of the NPF’s assistant and deputy superintendents of the police (ASP & DSP), yet the TWS Decree (Act) of 1975 and its NPF Act incorporated Sections 59 to 69 were left un-amended or un-repealed till date.
These un-healed wounds were re-opened in 2011 after the NPF Headquarters’ terrorist bomb blasts that killed scores of people including a gallant officer of the TWS who was on duty. In firm solidarity with their slain colleague, some courageous officers of the TWS read a funeral oration at the funeral of their colleague where they appealed to the NPF top leadership to use the tragic death of their colleague to redress the age-long discriminatory practices complained of. The authorities of the NPF reacted furiously and dictatorially by hounding the affected officers including STWs Samuel Uwakwe, Emmanuel Mlanga and Adamu Dogari into the NPF cell at the Force Headquarters. They were further meted with orderly room trials and handed down sundry harsh punishments including dismissal from the NPF.
Hon Afam Victor Ogene & House Intervention As A Welcome Development: We commend the intervention of the member, representing the Ogbaru Federal Constituency, Hon Victor Afam Ogene and the Nigerian House of Representatives for their timely legislative intervention by introducing a bill seeking to repeal the TWS Act (Decree) of 1975 and creating an independent Nigeria Traffic Warden Service. The leadership of our organization-International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law, which has been at the fore front of advocacy for redressing the said age-long anomalies since 2011 had during the 2012 Constitutional amendment awareness stakeholders’ consultation session held in Ogbaru LGA of Anambra State approached Hon Afam Ogene with the issue. As promised, Hon Afam Ogene went on and introduced a private member bill before the House to that effect, which is now one of the House legislative businesses for 2014 legislative year.
We see this bold legislative step as a primus inter pares of a legislative duty. It gladdens our heart the more that the said Bill has survived second reading and has been referred to the House Committees on Police & Justice for further legislative actions. While calling for similar legislative step at the Senate for the purpose of legislative coherence and concurrence, we wish to add “informedly” that another alternative way of addressing the said age long ill treatments of members of the TWS is to allow them to take over the near moribund Nigeria Police Motor Traffic Division as fully fledged department and members and officers of the Nigeria Police Force. This should be done alongside repeal of the TWS Decree (Act) of 1975 as well as Sections 59 to 69 of the Nigeria Police Act of 2004 (Nigeria Police Ordinance of 1930. Our recent investigations have continued to show that a member of Nigeria Police Animal Division, for instance, can occupy any rank or earn any position or promotion or emolument in the NPF without any form of discrimination or ill treatment.
We thank every Nigerian that has supported this cause. We also thank the Nigerian media particularly the online department of the Nigerian media operating within and beyond the shores of the country. The office of the Attorney General and the Presidency are also called upon to be supportive of this noble cause by joining hands with the House of Reps to end these age-long ill treatments that are unwarranted and uncalled for. The ill treatments complained of are also grossly at variance with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended in 2011.
For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
· Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
+2348174090052, +2348100755939 (office only)
· Barr Uzochukwu Oguejiofor, Head, Campaign & Publicity Department
· Barr Obianuju Igboeli, Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program
· Barr Chiugo Onwuatuegwu, Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program
*Photo Caption - David Oyishoma, a traffic warden (TW) Grade 111(Constable) in 2011.
[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] - Over 2 million Nigerians are currently living in Bokoistan, the occupied territories in Nigeria’s northeastern States; Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. According to a report in Daily Trust Monday, November 03, 2014 by Abdullahi Idris, the total land mass currently captured by Boko Haram is over 20,000 square kilometers, which is bigger than three Nigerian States. Over 10 local governments have been swallowed by Bokoistan, they include as we have earlier listed: Gamboru-Ngala, Dikwa, Abadam, Marte, Bama, Madagali, Gulak, Gwoza, Mitchika, Mubi, some names of occupied towns are: Vintim, Ran, Gulumba, Ngala, Wulgo, Banki, Darjamal, Nguro Soye, Izge, Ashgashia, Pulka, Ngoshe among others.
A Serf System
Naira is no longer the currency of occupied Bokoistan. Trade is by barter and all enslaved citizens are forced to submit their earnings and produce to the Boko Haram authorities. Women we spoke to in the occupied lands explained how the terrorists come and seize all valuables and essentials of living from their homes including stored food and kerosene. Terrorists also seize the young at will for sex or to be forcefully trained in large groups of thousands of conscripted youth, new armies. In regions like Gwoza and Bama, over the last two months of occupation, thousands have been slaughtered at will as genocide is the way of the new nation: 4,333 have been killed in Bama by the Tashama Bama, escapee count from last Monday.
Nigeria’s military has collapsed. Years of massive embezzlement and sabotage of the military under the PDP political administration has left the military totally unable to mount a résistance to Boko Haram invading forces, talk less reoccupy annexed land. The 40,000 Nigerian troops can no longer defend Nigeria from the 30-50,000 and increasing Boko Haram French controlled forces. Boko Haram is conscripting thousands of able youth in Bama, Gwoza, Mubi and all other occupied areas. They celebrate the systematic handing over of Nigeria’s arsenal to them as happens each barrack they take over. From Mubi, Boko Haram have been rejoicing the receipt of container loads of new arms and ammunition which their new conscripts will be armed with.
While The Jonathan-led Nigerian government refuses to enable the arming of civilians in the northeast and volunteers from around the nation to defend the integrity of the rest of Nigeria; Boko Haram on the contrary is arming all who it occupies to develop a most deadly army that will have the potential to overpower any in West Africa.
No Hope From Religious and Traditional And State Leaders
The state representatives; the various traditional and religious leaders as well as the Statesmen and other northern and entire Nigerian co-called elders have abandoned the cause of the people in occupied lands and the cause of Nigeria as a whole in effect. Leadership is no longer a pride and office of service, but simply an opportunity to amass cash and purchase property abroad (to evacuate the family). The plight of the people of Borno has probably been left to the Sheikh of Borno who has likewise not been very publicly noticed shouting and making resolutions for his people to be defended and to defend themselves.
The plight of the people of Adamawa perhaps has been left to the Lamido of Adamawa alone. There has been no uproar and notable decision from the Sultan of Sokoto towards proactive involvement of the north in the defense of territories being lost. Perhaps these leaders are not cognizant of the fact that the Boko Haram forces will stop nowhere and will stop at nothing till they overtake the entire north and nation.
The new Emir of Kano, who the people of Nigeria stood up to defend; rather than being heard and seen proactively engaged in the organization of a northern and Nigerian civilian and army response to defend and recover the north, has been seen lately making peace with the ruler and enemy of Nigeria who made peace with the Boko Haram nation at war with us and enslaving our millions. The friend of your enemy is your enemy, it is said. It is hard to recognize as friends, those who choose to befriend the leadership of Nigeria, proud friend and peace maker with occupying terrorists and the sponsors of these.
Will Nigerian civilians stage a response? What is the value of Nigeria’s leadership system; traditional, military and democratic in light of the lack of foresight, commitment, skill and ability to recognize the serious threats as we face and to direct and coordinate the urgently needed responses to them? The governor of Borno like many other educated Nigerians was fooled that a ceasefire was logical, tenable and in process. It is clear that few have the requisite ability to understand the reality and demands of the current desperate situation Nigeria has been forced into by the Jonathan years. Will Nigerian masses resort to solving this problem themselves as the terror hits breaking point; and will that be too late. And finally in the event that we the people do so; what will be the fate of these leadership institutions after we do? Nigeria dangles.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Map of Nigeria showing its six geopolitical zones.
[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] - Before proceeding with this position piece, it is important to establish as I have been corrected of in the past, that “Jihad” means, “Strive” and not “Holy War.”
Ok, so indeed the northern peoples and religious leaders have been completely exposed. They – mostly – are a fraud. Where is the Jihad to free Bama? Where is the Jihad to free Gwoza? Where is the Jihad to free Mubi? No, we will not/ have not heard those quick calls for Jihad this time. But when it is an issue in far away America, Nigeria’s so-called northern ulamahs will be the first and loudest to proclaim their “loyalty” in defense of the faith by making a call for the numerous alMajiri and other poor youth to run out as so-called warriors to fight innocent, unarmed guests in their midst and burn religious sanctities. When it is a cartoon of the Prophet of Islam that Muslims are never instructed to fight about, or beauty pageant, then you will hear these people sending out legions to the so-called Jihad; daring to violate the law of the land. When it is a matter of controversial Islamic banking that the Prophet of Islam on whom be peace never instituted; then you will hear them promise fire and brimstone and violate the tenets of Islam and laws of the land by having Churches and other religious buildings attacked rather than protected as the Muslim Quran commands. [Quran 22:40]
But today and in fact for the most of the past 6 years of the Jonathan administration, the true need for Jihad has presented itself, but these people have been loudly silent. Unlike the religious leaders of Iraq who at the instant that ISIS raised its ugly head called for immediate amassing of Noble youth, hundreds of thousands of whom proceeded to bear arms and have defended the nation from falling to the terrorist group; the Nigerian religious leaders made no call; and if they did, I apologize, I did not hear it.
Where is the call for Jihad? Did the Prophet of Islam teach them that when there is a true war and a tyrant leadership and terrorist partners are hacking de-armed civilians, Muslims, Christians and others; that it is their duty as religious leaders to leave it up to the “government” to solve? Did the Prophet of Islam teach them that in this case of clear oppression where the freedom of worship and of residence is being deprived; it is their duty to be silent and wait for some certain colonial democratic election charade? Does Islam tell them that when they see their brothers running into the mountains, being chased from their homes by a handful of vagabonds and by the processes of a callous and clueless government that declares a unilateral cessation for fire against these hoodlums to allow them the opportunity to conquer the land; that they should not declare Jihad against this clear terror, but should rather be silent and stay warm under their blankets?
There are few things Boko Haram can be credited with; but this certainly is one and we do hope the northern youth are watching and realizing that they as with the rest of Nigerian youth and poor have only been pawns sacrificed for the political and ungodly ambitions of those who call themselves elders.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Map of Nigeria showing Northern and Southern Nigeria.
[ Masterweb Reports: Eddie Onuzuruike reports ] - The faceless Save Abia Group emerged overnight with publications armed with false photographs on The Nation newspaper of October 24th. They shifted to Thisday Newspaper on Tuesday 28, same month with another publication on page 57.
Going through the disjointed sentences and phrases, it was highly evident that they lacked vision and therefore presented a coterie of lies and false claims.
These are not surprising as they were foretold like prophecies of the good book. On October 1st, in the Michael Okpara Auditorium, Umuahia, where Abia State Government marked the independence day celebration in style, which took the mode of thanksgiving as nine Abia sons and a daughter were for the first time honoured in the largest number by the President and Commander in Chief of the armed forces, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan with National Awards in the 2014 edition.
Many of the recipients who were around like Hon Arua Arunsi and Dr. David Ogba spoke in appreciation of the gesture by the Chief Executive of Abia State, who staged the gathering. His Excellency Chief T. A. Orji spoke last. He prognosticated that election time was approaching when friends will become enemies and enemies friends. So many things will be said, bulk of it will be damaging lies but people should remember that there will be a judgment day when we will give account of all we that
This pontification took just 23 days to become reality not even waiting to the end of the month of October. This vindication came too soon for Chief T. A. Orji as complaints have risen from inconsequential quarters about the constitution of the Abia PDP primaries committee and unfounded accusations of using cronies and family members etc.
It will not be out of place to ask: Is T. A. Orji the Party Chairman who set up the committee or should Barrister Nwaka have selected Orji Uzor Kalu as the chairman or one of the members for the faceless group to feel good?
Photographs purported to be Aba roads were used as evidence. Questionable as these were, the main Agbama Road that leads to the estate was constructed by Ochendo. In their hurry to smear Abia leadership, they forgot this fact and nobody has commended the much done but just as the drowning men that they are, grabbed the internal roads as straws.
The negative publication in all intent spells evil and doom. When they bemoaned the presence of gullies on all roads leading into Abia, they seem to forget that all inter-state roads are federal roads. They quickly cited Arthur Eze and the falsely credited speech. Eze though not a superior authority on issues in Abia did not speak of Abia roads but actually complained about the express road from Enugu to Umuahia which
he plied on his journey.
According to their claims that graduates are being turned to touts, but the Save Abia and their likes previously claimed that the cars were not free or that people were getting it on hire purchase. They may have even forgotten that their acolyte gave out barrows and shovels. Well, the truth is that the empowerment cars are not compulsory; the recipient is free to employ a driver. On the other hand, most of our folks drive taxis in New York, London and Paris and repatriate money home. Most of our self-made men today drove taxis belonging to other people in their humble days. It was actually such situations that provided the springboard for success.
Questions that boggle the mind are: what have this Save Abia Group been doing since and only came out on election eve. They have not commended the Governor ever since he has been toiling, providing health centres, building 100 bed hospitals in ten LGAs. They have refused to see Abia Specialist and Diagnostic centres, legacy projects. They would rather not believe that markets were moved and new ones created.
Aba has gotten more attention from T. A. Orji much more than all the governors in the history of the state put together. Where were Save Abia when this state was pocketed by one family? When Aba was sacked by kidnappers and armed robbers, what did they do? Did they as much as raise a voice in ululation or hooting, but now, they have strength and money to pick up pages of calumny.
They talked of Arthur because he fills the blackmail mould. What about the visits of the Good Governance Tour of January 2013, led by Lebaran Maku that gave Abia a pass mark? Olisa Metuh's PDP performance media tour three weeks ago spoke of the conspiracy against Abia after moving to some project sites where they saw wonders. Journalists and religious sects have come and all acclaimed. Ochendo’s works are imposing and dwarfing, little wonder, Save Abia imported photographs to hoodwink the unsuspecting people.
If Save Abia and their friends have some facts, they should have named the candidate or candidates that are being followed about by government appointees, or even name the government officials that are aiding these aspirants.
From the look of it, Save Abia and group have a candidate in mind and have broken the rules by having started campaigns before the approved time. Shame on Save Abia for placing their selfish interest before the collective aspirations of Abia.
Onuzuruike reports from Umuahia, Abia State.
*Photo Caption - Map of Abia State
[ Masterweb Reports: Emeka Umeagbalasi reports ] - (Democracy & Good Governance, Onitsha Nigeria, 30th October 2014)-In the first part of this publication, dated 28th of October, 2014, the inevitability of social contradictions in human and other social interactions was clearly pointed out likewise their positive and negative handling styles. Social Contradictions lead to greatness and social harmony when handled positively and bring about destruction and backwardness when handled negatively. In modern warfare, solutions to social contradictions have replaced interstate warfare with intra state warfare. Technological advances brought about by information technology have also created crimes without borders such as cyber terrorism likewise “positivities” and negativities of globalization.
It was also social contradictions inherent in human society and its social environment that brought about the Hobbessian state of nature where life was said to be short, nasty and brutish. This nasty state of nature later gave birth to government; which in turn gave birth to social contract. The primitive or Hobbessian state of nature was characterized by sundry social vices such as crimes, violence, politico-economic exclusion, murder, intimidation, hunger and starvation, slavery and servitude, suppression and denial of religious freedoms, etc. Social contradictions also abolished divinity of monarchies and replaced it with supremacy of the people’s voice. These were captured in the British Bill of Rights of 1689, USA Independence Declaration of 1776 and the French Declaration of the Right of Man and Citizen of 1789.
Social Contract is understood to mean irrevocable memorandum of understanding between the peoples who took their destinies in their hands following the escalation of the nasty state of nature imposed on themby their few wicked fellows who were militarily and economically advantageous. The irrevocable memorandum of understanding or social contract was designed to be permanently binding between the peoples and a body of noble personalities charged with the responsibility of overseeing the collective affairs of the society particularly provision of social basic amenities, services and security. The peoples, in turn pledged to be bound by a code containing civic responsibilities. In a nutshell, social contract means the agreement between the governed and those chosen by electoral and appointive processes to govern in the context of shared or mutual social responsibilities.
The phrase social contract has since been called different names by different ages, groups, individuals and institutions. In nongovernmental and inter governmental circles, it is called human rights (civil, political, social, economic, cultural and environmental rights). In governmental circles, it is called public or social responsibilities. In business/social enterprises’ circles, it is called corporate social responsibilities. The famous social contract concept has been enacted as a social responsibility guide into thousands of global, regional, sub regional, national and local documents. In the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended in 2011, the social contract as a guide for publicly elected and appointed officers is located in the Chapter Two (sections 13 to 21). It is commonly called the Fundamental Objectives & Directive Principles of the State or dos and don’ts of the public office holders. On the other hand, the civic responsibilities as a guide for the citizens are contained in Section 24.
The role of the mass media as a bridge linking the government and the citizens is contained in Section 22. The mass media is also tasked by the same provision to ensure that the social contract provisions are upheld at all times and not violated by the government and the citizens. In the Chapter Four of the Constitution under reference (sections 33 to 46), the other aspects of the social contract are captured as Fundamental Human Rights. While the citizens are empowered to enjoy them within constitutional moderation, the government is constitutionally commanded to protect them at all times and is prohibited from abusing them as well. To ensure full compliance to the obedience of the social contract by the government and the citizens, judicial, legislative and executive bodies are put in place. The notion of violence is also recognized as social contract enforcement mechanism. The use of it is contradictorily divided into legitimate violence and illegitimate violence. The use of former is approved for the government, while the use of latter by the citizens (except in legitimate and clearly defined self defense) attracts criminal punishment.
It is important to remind that the title of this publication is: Making of Anambra Social Contract & Detoxifying Its Polity: Understanding Intersociety’s Stabilizing Roles. The roles of a vibrant nongovernmental organization like Intersociety in ensuring strict adherence to the dictates of the social contract by the government and the citizens have exhaustively been captured in the part one of this publication. Part of the explained NGO (Intersociety) roles particularly in Anambra State under the prevailing socio-political circumstances is to work towards detoxifying Anambra Polity in the context of playing stabilization and public interest roles or saving the State from the toxic substances of Anambra’s wicked and mercantilist political players.On the other hand, we hold a firm belief that when harlotry and stomach politicians of Anambra extraction gather to scatter, we gather to gather; when they tell lies, we correct and reinforce facts; when they loot, we expose; when they misdirect and misinform, we inform and direct; and when they direct and inform, we concur.
This publication of ours is wholly brought about by the need to remind the major political players in the State particularly the present and the immediate past democratically elected governments not to lose the sight of the fact that they are still under irrevocable social contract with the great people of Anambra State. This firm reminder is sequel to our observation that their camps appear to have been infiltrated by anti democratic and good governance forces that held the State hostage and brought untold social sufferings to the State and its people particularly between 1999 and 2006. They are reminded that the great People of Anambra State have no time for political frivolities, but real and consolidated development and transformation of their beloved State. The People of the State are deeply in a hurry to develop humanly, materially and socially and consolidate the gains of such developments.
Politics of distraction and misdirection have wrecked havoc in several States in Nigeria in recent times. In Rivers State, real governance has lost direction and media/propagandist governance has taken over. In Imo State, roots to social contract and its governmental obligation have long been lost. In Lagos State, productive or economic governance has eluded the State. Despite being the epicenter of opposition political activism with its social development and civilization dating back to 153 years ago or since 1861, Lagos State is now a N400Billion plus deficit loan based economy with over 75% of its residents wallowing in poverty.
The priceless fortunes of Anambra State must not be lost to political distraction and misdirection. For no matter how eruditely a professor is, once he or she loses his or her professorial direction, he or she becomes a professorial moron. Anambra State cannot afford to lose its new pride of place as Nigeria’s newest epicenter of economic governance. The last eight years saw the State witnessing great infrastructural transformation and massive deployment of non-loan fiscal resources for multi-sectored development of its social structures and services; yet it ended its financial records with only N10.7Billion local and foreign loans and N86Billion worth of fixed cash and investments or credits. The State is also credited with over $300Million worth of direct foreign investments between 2010 and 2013 with thousands of direct and indirect employments. In Nigeria’s justice sector, the State also triumphed over others by inventing staggered electoral calendar in the country. In the electoral process, the State fought poll rigging in the country to a standstill and ended the infamous era of demographic poll roguery.
In the past thirty years or more, no State in Nigeria has recorded these great feats. Intstead, fiscal recklessness has become messier in many States including the super oil States of the South-south zone. They are not only grossly indebted locally and internationally, but misapplication and misappropriation of public funds have become second to none. At the Federal level, similar rots hold sway. It is also heavily indebted locally and internationally. While internal debts of the Federal Government increased from N1.8trillion (roughly $13Billion) in 2006 to N10trillion ($72.5Billion) in 2014; its external debts have risen from about $3.5Billion in 2006 to about $10Billion in 2014. These explain why we are deeply worried over these triggers of social backwardness rearing their ugly head in Anambra State. From every social index, Anambra State has made giant strides and cannot afford any form of manmade setback. The woes of the State in the past were traced to the doorsteps of harlotry politicians. They misdirected the like of Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju and he failed in governance like Somali Currency. It is our firm position that they must not be allowed any room in Anambra State of present time.
Having carefully studied the current turn of events in Anambra State, we have come to a conclusion that the people of the State will not tolerate their State and governance being delayed, distracted or toyed with. Political frivolities must give way for political realities and consolidated development of the State. In case the two camps have forgotten, art of governance is not a private liability company; rather it is a social contract concept that must be strictly adhered to at all times and inexcusably. Fundamental governance requirements in Anambra State are rested on development and sustenance and these require beyond the border resources mobilization approaches without exposing the State to serial indebtedness. Certainly, good governance has no place in the atmosphere of political distraction and uncertainty. Allowing the exit of one person or a group of persons from one political group to the other to endanger the course of public affair in a State does not augur well for the society. Governance, at all times, must be separated from party politics.
Finally, the incumbent government in Anambra State has mountainous tasks before it that give it no time for distraction and misdirection. Governance is clothed in the layers of social contradictions and the way they are handled make or mar political leaders. Years ago, Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju, with his basketful of university degrees, was faced with the task of handling Anambra’s social contradictions as Anambra governor; he lost focus and failed disastrously.
Today, he is not counted among those whose names are written in the Anambra’s Gold Register. Similar social contradictions laid on electoral roguery brought Dr. Chris Ngige to power in the State and it was a handling style brought by Obi and Company that changed the course of social events as we are seeing them today. Mbadinuju has come and gone, Ngige has come and gone and Obi and Company have also come and gone with history taking note of their activities in office and treating them accordingly. Now, it is Willie Obiano’s turn to shine or darken himself in the eyes of people, history and God. Our support for good governance in Anambra State remains irrevocable.
Board Chairman, International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (41, Miss Elems Street, Onitsha Nigeria). Emeka Umeagbalasi is also a Criminologist & Graduate of Security Studies; and MSc candidate in Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution
*Photo Caption - Emeka Umeagbalasi (Left), speaking at a conference.
[ Masterweb Reports: Emeka Umeagbalasi reports ] - (Democracy & Good Governance, Onitsha Nigeria, 28th October 2014)-Solutions to social contradictions have always produced heroes and villains right from the time of the Yore. This is because the entire global community and its environment have at all times been clothed with social contradictions. In the laws of the nature, contradictions abound. Among all living things including animals and plants, there are contradictions. The moment philosophy gave birth to natural and social sciences, contradictions set in leading to the birth of more philosophical children (disciplines). Science gave birth to technology, but today technology is its greatest headache and the environment’s number one enemy owing to its hazards. The biblical genesis is inherently contradictory. In modern Christian and Muslim teachings and practices, there exist contradictions. There are inherent contradictions in cultures, values, mores, traditions, customs, etc. In international political and legal systems, there are contradictions.
In the early eighties, when Aids/HIVs erupted, Christianity and other religious bodies saw them as end time punitive divine viruses and they offered total sexual abstinence as a solution and declared their victims as hell fire candidates, but science thought otherwise and swung into action to find its cure. While religious bodies followed them up with global stigmatization campaigns, science countered them with counter-stigmatization campaigns added to its feat in successful invention of their therapies. As recently as few months ago, when Ebola virus erupted in Nigeria, the Nigerian Christian clergies including the Catholic clergy changed their orders of service and introduced segregated service proceedings with their service sermons on the deadly virus centering on end time divine affliction to sinners. Science responded with curable solution leading to the recent declaration of Nigeria by the World Health Organization as ebola free country.
Very close to the year 2000 when it was popular among Christian populations that Jesus Christ might come in that year, most of the ICT appliances and applications ranging from television sets, mobile phones, internet or world wide web, creation and use of website; to social media like facebook and twitter were declared satanic devices or marks of biblical 666 by the said Christian preachers including their Nigerian counterparts and a ban for their use was handed down to their followers. But after the year 2000 passed and Jesus Christ elected to remain where he is, the reverse became the case. Today, another popular tone replacing the former is that Christ comes the day someone dies with instant judgment that follows it. Social contradictions in Nigeria have also created a culture of opulent clergies and impoverished laities. They have also led to total elimination of middle class and existence of a spiral gap between the haves and the haves not. Instances of the menace of social contradictions in the country’s polity are too many to mention.
In the laws of man, there are a whole lot of contradictions. In the art of government and its concepts, contradictions exist. Among natural and social science scholars, contradictions exist. The hallmarks of theories are their ability to contradict themselves. In art of governance, there are contradictions. As a matter of fact, contradictions are solely responsible for the birth and invention of government, laws, cold-war, world wars, civil conflicts, crimes and social vices, IGOs, NGOs etc.
Contradictions also divided criminal laws into mala inse and mala prohibita. In human rights, contradictions abound deeply. In family right of marriage, for instance, a cousin is granted a constitutional right to marry a fellow cousin in certain States in the USA, but denied in a number of other US States. Open exercise and enforcement of gay rights are not permitted in Nigeria, but they are the other of the day in the United States and other advanced countries.
Handling of social contradictions have made or marred families, persons, groups, religions, governments and societies. Once two persons or more start interacting, contradictions set in resulting in dispute, conflict or harmony. An individual is also confronted by contradiction leading to either self immolation or self harm or even self harmony. Social contradictions are usually noted with negative effects but when transformed, they are the best path to greatness. Those who transformed social contradictions inherent or implanted in their societies and localities always have their names written in gold. From Martin Luther, Pope John Paul 2, Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Ms Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Comrade Xanana Gusmao, to Nelson Mandela; the list is endless. On the other hand, they also produce villains in the context of those that failed woefully in handling them. From Mobutu Sese Seko, Mengistu Haile Mariam, Adolf Hitler, Mohammed Farrah Aidid, to Omar Hassan el-Bashir; the list is also endless.
In Human Rights Community, the ability to understand these social contradictions is a fundamental step towards exhibition of competence in handling them. Understanding the theoretical and practical meaning of nongovernmental organization-NGO is also as important as understanding its roles in civil society. The fundamental role of a vibrant nongovernmental organization is to serve as a bridge through which the government and the people can reach and interact with one another. This includes narrowing the wide gap between them, getting government’s attention towards making people’s lives better and improved by way of delivery of social amenities and services. It also means getting people to act and live according to the dictates of the laws and popular policies as well as getting them to perform their civic responsibilities like common and community services, payment of legitimate taxes and utility bills and participation in electoral processes and art of governance.
The second most important function of a vibrant nongovernmental organization is to play the role of societal watchdog at all times. This includes critically and seminally studying and assessing government policies and actions to ensure they are in tune with legitimate popular demands. Where such policies and actions wholly or in part are considered inhumane, it is the duty of the NGO to blow its whistle with solutions consistently until its voices are heeded. In practical sense, no serious minded and vibrant NGO can separate itself from people and government; instead a balanced relationship is the best. This is because human rights and good governance are interwoven. There can be no human rights without good governance and no good governance without human rights.
When an NGO is too attached to the government or people, it loses its ability to be credible and powerful. Effective thematic areas of activity make it very difficult for an NGO to lose its focus and direction. Any NGO lacking these is a riff-raff NGO. Also any NGO that forms the habit of partnering with any government in power particularly in Nigerian context is doomed. NGOs must be part and parcel of enthroning democratic governance in Nigeria or any part thereof.
This is to ensure that the person chosen to govern does not emerge crookedly. NGOs and human rights fare much better under a popularly and credibly elected government be it at local, State or federal level. NGOs must change with changing circumstances including periodic modification of their thematic areas of activity. The world’s first NGO-Anti Slavery International formed in 1839 died or fizzled out with abolition of slavery in the 19th and 20th centuries. Most of the cold-war era anti nuclear and chemical warfare NGOs have died or fizzled out except those that changed into their post era. Self sustenance both for NGOs and their leaders as well as choosing sizeable areas of advocacy is another good feature of vibrant and focused NGO. For an NGO to be able to function well and handle social contradictions in its fold and between government and people or among political actors without seemed compromised, these attributes are fundamentally needed. Public interest must be at the center of NGO’s activities at all times.
Our organization-International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law has since its formation in 2008 carried out all its activities in accordance with its clearly defined mandates (thematic areas). These mandates, defined for advocacy convenience are: democracy & good governance, civil liberties & rule of law, security & safety and international justice & human rights programs. Under the immediate past regime of Mr. Peter Obi in Anambra State, we functioned as a development partner and a bridge between the people and the government. While the Anambra State Branch of the Civil Liberties Organization left an indelible mark in the State owing to its successful fight against poll rigging and stealing of poll mandate culminating in Obi’s Appellate Court victory in March 2006 and his gubernatorial enthronement, Intersociety also left a “legacious” mark in the area of partnership for good governance leading to unprecedented positive turn of social events in the State including massive infrastructural, educational, health and other social transformations.
The highlight of the governance style under reference (economic governance) was the ability of the former government under reference to go beyond borders in search of positive and huge resources mobilization leading to massive resources deployment for multi sectored development without incurring huge public indebtedness. Loan regime governance in the midst of plenty and huge wealth potentials is worse than governance regime failure.
Board Chairman, International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (41, Miss Elems Street, Onitsha Nigeria). Emeka Umeagbalasi is also a Criminologist & Graduate of Security Studies; and MSc candidate in Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution
*Photo Caption - Emeka Umeagbalasi
[ Masterweb Reports ] - Once a winner always a winner, and a star cannot be shielded from its lights. Ambassador Bianca Olivia Odumegwu Ojukwu is like the Northern star whose light remains constant from her position in the firmament. Bianca’s star and winning streaks continues to follow her wherever she goes. Initially her appointment as a non-career Diplomat was received with mixed feelings in some certain quarters. According to Shakespeare, “The fault, dear Brutus is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” Today, the stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone of the house. Bianca Ojukwu like a Trojan went to Spain, saw and conquered. Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu is........ Read More.
*Photo Caption - Amb. Bianca Ojukwu poses with others in a group photo after receiving award.
[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. James Chukwuma Agazie reports ] - Free at last! Free at last! Northern Nigeria is about to experience freedom at last if the news is true that Boko haram is laying down weapons. May God of Ndiigbo be praised and spirits of deceased Christian crusaders be given the highest commendation.
Those Igbo teachers and traders didn’t die in vain in Northern Nigeria. They were at the forefront of the struggle to educate and free Northern tribes from ignorance and the oligarchic education-is-banza clutches of Muslim sharia-type domination. Northern leaders refused to provide education for the masses; siphoned funds earmarked for education to Saudi Arabia; and effectively pushed the country into membership of Islamic League of Nations (work of Babangida and Buhari) . The North died painfully. Igbos refused to let the die be cast.
If you doubt it; check history and beginnings of Western education in Nigeria. Check annals of various Ministries of Education. Igbos were there being pilloried; castigated; dehumanized with the infamous Northernization Policy orchestrated by Premier Ahmadu Belo and Prime Minister Balewa. Those Igbos built primary and secondary schools ( CMS; Methodist; Catholic) to educate all Nigerian children whose parents cared to come.
We were there. We were the headmasters; teachers; catechists; preachers. Name it; and we were there in the trenches along with a few Europeans (Sudan United mission; Sudan Interior Mission at Gindiri; Keffi; Gboko).
While Igbo and Yoruba kids came to learn; Muslims kept their children away. Muslims wasted trillions of shillings. A few Northern children whose parents heard the call of Chineke (the true Allah) came to schools and you’ll find them as the elites of modern Northern Nigeria as Vice Chancelors; physicians; lawyers; bakers; and petty traders; at Jos; Bukuru; Makurdi; Kafanchan; Kwarra State; Igumale; Oturkpo; Utonkon; Egwugwuewu; Adoka; Igalla. Oh; my God.
Oh; my God! Oh; my God! We were there. I cannot continue . I’m in tears. But we were just there.
Dr. James Chukwuma Agazie, former Idoma-Headmaster ( Email: email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Map of Nigeria showing Northern and Southern Nigeria.
[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] - In the current Ebola epidemic, Liberia happens to be the hardest hit West African nation. The leader of the nation is a Harvard-educated long-time member of the western corporate establishment, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who became president in 2005 after a Nigerian-led ECOWAS mission put an end to a spate of civil wars.
The Sirleaf reign as president, as her stint in America’s big corp. has been tainted with allegations of corruption and nepotism and now with the Ebola epidemic. Her handling of the epidemic in Liberia cannot be disconnected from her obligations as a western puppet and her training in corruption. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that Liberia is worst hit and that a colonial army has urgently set foot in Sirleaf’s Liberia.
As soon as she assumed office, Sirleaf quickly signed 100 year, binding deals with western governments depositing the nation’s abundant resources in the hands of the colonialist, despite them not playing a significant role in the stabilization of Liberia which was achieved by an African indigenous Nigerian-led effort.
Last week the Liberian Senate debated and overwhelmingly turned down a proposition by Sirleaf to restrict movement, "limit the right to assembly for any reason", and peculiarly, to appropriate property. Women Voices called it: "Tyrannical Times or Ebola Preventive Measures." Some have discussed the spread of Ebola in villages and farming communities more so than the big cities and suggested that like the Boko Haram crises in Nigeria’s northern farming communities and carbon credits across Africa, that the Ebola crises which threatens to diminish the population of locals by a least 55% is a weapon to possess for big corp., viable farming land owned and “misused” by these villagers for generations.
Quarantines of cities by the Sirleaf government have sparked serious riots, and now she additionally hurries to grab their land as the Americans settle in. Her approach to combating the Ebola crises has been deliberately ineffective. While having been largely unsuccessful in administrating, the Sirleaf government is postponing Senate elections which lawmakers decided must hold no later than December.
It is not surprising that Liberia is most seriously plagued with Ebola considering the level of corruption and nepotism that the Harvard-trained stooge president is involved and accused of. She has been battled for putting three of her sons in top government positions. One of the sons, Charles Sirleaf was appointed governor of the Central bank of Liberia, CBL.
Robert Sirleaf served as Board Chairman for the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) till 2014. Sirleaf’s son has been accused of holding dual citizenship which he denied. However the New Republic Liberia paper obtained evidence of his voting in US elections which is impossible for non US citizens.
A fourth son, Dr. Adama Sirleaf has just come to join the three. Dr. Adama Sirleaf had to “defend” himself this August against accusations that he was rushing over to the country to make his personal fortune and capitalize on millions of dollars pouring in from foreign sources for the war against Ebola (Liberian Observer, 08/29/2014).
Her history of corruption goes beyond her current years as president. Invited into the William Tolbert Richard administration as minister of finance, in 1979 Sirleaf was accused of stealing $3 million dollars. She was coming apparently well trained in colonial corruption from the World Bank, US “loan-shark” banks as well as other African banks.
Liberian Justice Minister Christiana Tah resigned early this month citing a litany of reasons including her inability to investigate the Liberian National Security Agency which is headed by President Sirleaf’s son who is accused of corruption and fraud.
As the US troops land in Liberia; Sirleaf’s radical and dangerous behaviors in sabotage of her nation cannot be ignored. She is known for her giving financial support to the bloody NPFL leader Charles Taylor, famous for his use of child soldiers. She actually defended his use of child soldiers at a US congressional hearing in 1990.
Quite similar to US President Barack Obama who was decorated with a Nobel for peace before he even drafted his global policies – which have now proven to be filled with war and crises – Ellen Sirleaf was decorated with a Nobel for peace in 2011.
To the ridicule of the Nobel prize committee, the next year, her fellow laureate who shared the Nobel prize with her, Leymah Gbowee could not take it anymore and quit her position as head of the government's Peace and Reconciliation Commission, telling the BBC: "I've been through a process of really thinking and reflecting and saying to myself 'you're as bad as being an accomplice for things that are happening in the country if you don't speak up… and when tomorrow history is judging us all let it be known that we spoke up and we didn't just sit down." Gbowee accused Sirleaf of nepotism – of course – and worsening the fate of the people, submerging them further in poverty – which has inarguably played a quintessential role in the epidemic spread of Ebola.
With the realization that the United States owns a patent on Ebola [# US 20120251502 A1] and as suspicions rise, even among top level global scientists, that the sudden new fast spreading, most virulent strain of Ebola which coincides in its emergence on the global scene, with the US patent, could be some form of ethnic and racial cleansing, it becomes necessary to cross-examine the African heads of state in Ebola plagued nations. If Ebola is a biological weapon, then Sirleaf is the perfect muzzle. Freeing Liberia from her dangerous leadership should be a priority at the next African Union meeting.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports.
*Photo Caption - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia
[ Masterweb Reports: Madubuko Hart reports ] - It was Mahatma Gandhi, the once reformist from India, who said that man often becomes what he believes himself to be. Gandhi goes further to elucidate that if a man keeps on saying to himself that he can or cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that the man may end up by really becoming capable or incapable of doing it. So, it was not out of place
when Governor Theodore Ahamefule Orji of Abia State announced on October 22 2013 in a press briefing by his Chief of Staff, Mr. Cosmos Ndukwe, saying that Mr. Charles Ajunwa is the Chief Press Secretary (CPS), replacing one Mr. Ugochukwu Emezue.
It is evident one year after that Ajunwa has proved himself capable of the position of the CPS, having done well as one of the humble and finest reporters in the Nigerian media industry when he pitched tent with the famous ThisDay newspapers. The governor was clairvoyance in seeing Ajunwa and appointing him to serve him as his CPS, a position that requires hi-tech diplomacy and leadership tactics, of which Ajunwa has been showing that he was grounded in all of that.
Ajunwa’s humility and total submission to Jesus Christ and with his utmost characteristic to being God-fearing endear him to all and sundry that have investigated him or have had the opportunity to be in contact with him or have heard about him. He is a man of few words, but with positive actions that have enlivened the government he serves and brought about media respect against dissenters. Unlike what it used to be before he came in: Dissenters to the government were hounded and labeled kidnappers and anything unprintable, which were not supposed to be so.
From all indications, Ajunwa is not representing his boss with brickbats and wickedness, but with respect to the individual’s right to freedom of speech, when any airs his or her opinion that may not be truth against the government he serves. Ajunwa comes out and responds to such opinion by pointing out what the government he serves has done right and has been doing right and intends to do right in respect to the opinion, thereby putting the dissenter through with the rightful information that the dissenter had lacked.
Looking at the obedience with which Ajunwa handles his office, it reminds one with the phraseology by one Israelmore Ayivor thus: “You are your own canoe and you are your own paddle, so paddle your own canoe. Society had taught us to give away our power and abilities by making us to believe that other people are responsible for our success and failure. That is not fair!”
Yes, since Ajunwa assumed office one year ago, he has seen that it is not fair to molest opposition politicians or writers, but to always inform them with the information about the government he serves they perhaps had, but pretend they do not have and prefer to cast the public against the government. This graduate of University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), Ajunwa who began his journalism career with the Daily Times in 2000 after his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme at the
Guardian Newspapers, has lowered the tension that once circled around the government in Abia State, thereby making nonconformists to see the government of Governor T.A.Orji through the lens of objectivity and constructiveness, not through the destructive lens.
To be frank, with the information that circles around Ajunwa while investigating him in the cause of this essay, he is a prudent and prodigious man who is always concerned about his family name and his to always represent in the positive. Many people both in the ThisDay and Post Express Newspapers, where he later joined and worked in the Politics Desk before moving on to the African Economy, published by
Development Economic Resources (DER) from where he joined THISDAY in 2008, have all said that Charles Ajunwa is an enchantment; a man who uses his quiet and calm voice and enviable brain to disarm any riotous or calamitous situation. A peacemaker, they have said he is.
Like Robert Kahn would say that new capabilities emerge just by virtue of having smart people… it is essential to say that humanity and the people of Abia State are lucky with a Chief Press Secretary to the governor like Charles Ajunwa whose word is his bond; a man who does not tell lies just for the lucre of power and position. Ajunwa who was also the National Assembly Correspondent for The Country Newspapers before his appointment as CPS, have shown that he has the talent to unearth potentials. This is evident in the creditability that Abia State has been enjoying in and out of the media since his emergence as the CPS.
Again, with the dexterity with which Ajunwa works shows that he loves the government that appointed him and he is working for, showing the government that it is much more than the sum of its achievements. Possibly, Ajunwa is a student of Israelmore Ayivor thus: Those who mistrust their own abilities are being too wicked to themselves, discouraging themselves from doing what they should have been excelling in. If you are good at discouraging yourself, you can't be a good leader
because leadership is built on inspiring others to face challenges. Probably, Ajunwa has been applying the words of Thomas A. Edison, which says that the first requisite for success is the ability to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem incessantly without growing weary.
Ajunwa is not a man of small moments of honesty. He is always an honest man. He has been showing the clause in Orison Swett Marden’s “Learn to Expect a Great Deal of Life”, which is: “The greatest thing a man can do in this world, is to make the most possible out of the stuff that has been given him. This is success, and there is no other.”
Thanks to His Excellency, Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State for his prescience in exploring Charles Ajunwa and appointing him as his Chief Press Secretary. While he is showing that he is a man of honesty, the government and him are wished success, as the government lasts. According to Charles Luckman, success is that old ABC meaning ability, breaks and courage.
Madubuko Hart reports from Lagos, Lagos State.
*Photo Caption - Charles Ajunwa