[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] - (Democracy & Good Governance: Onitsha Nigeria, August 20th 2014)-The leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) has observed a remarkable improvement by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as it concerns the just ended Permanent Voters Card distribution exercise conducted in 12 States of Anambra, Ebonyi, Delta, Cross River, Ondo, Oyo, Kwara, Yobe, Bauchi, Jigawa, Sokoto and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The exercise, originally slated for August 15th to 17th was extended by two days as a result of protests by some members of rights based CSOs and other electoral stakeholders in Nigeria including our organization (Intersociety). The exercise finally ended on Tuesday, August 19th 2014 with substantial improvement on the part of INEC. We wish to commend INEC for this appreciable feat and demand for more improvements in other spheres of its electoral industry.
From our field observation and other credible open source accounts, INEC field officers conducted themselves well and carried out their given assignment diligently. A number of host State Governments also played commendable complimentary roles especially in the areas of creation of public awareness and provision of INEC sanctioned logistics supports. The most striking thing about INEC’s field officers’ diligent conduct was lowering of conditions for obtaining the PVC as well as friendly disposition towards PVC applicants. For instance, those that lost their temporary voter’s cards but have their data intact in the INEC’s voters’ register, were simply asked to come with recent passport photograph and made to fill relevant forms, after which their PVCs were released to them. This is a clear departure from what it used to be in the past whereby the affected citizens had to go through hellish conditions.
On the other hand, INEC did not provide concrete answers or solutions to those with missing names who have their “TVCs” (temporary voter’s cards) intact. They went and left registration centers disappointed. On the part of “attentive public” (particularly rights and media groups, etc), most of them went to bed waiting for “poll day monitoring exercise”, which is usually lucrative and externally sponsored. In other words, their advocacy and monitoring involvement was at its lowest ebb. On the part of “mass public”, there was an appreciable participatory improvement in all the qualified segments with the civil service cadre of the “mass public” taking the lead, followed by qualified students cadre and artisans/traders. Artisans/traders participation or compliance improved from 30%/40% to 60% judging from previous PVC exercises in the country. In other words, about 30% of the PVCs belonging to living registered voters are yet to be collected in areas dominated by traders/artisans while the remaining 10% may most likely belong to “unknown registered voters” including the dead, the aged, those with missing names and those maliciously imported from other States and areas by desperate politicians during the main exercise in 2011.
In some Local Government Areas with bloated and bogus registered voters, the number of unclaimed PVCs is very high. For instance in Idemmili North LGA of Anambra, which claims to have over 180, 000 registered voters out of Anambra’s total of 1, 776, 167 registered voters; the number of unclaimed PVCs is most likely to be high because the LGA was at the center of accusation as one of the leading areas with bogus registered voters. The Independent National Electoral Commission has a mandatory post PVC and CRV duty of making the Nigerian public and other stakeholders in the country’s electoral industry to know updated number of living, dead and fictitious/fake registered voters in the country including those scattered in States, LGAs, and wards and polling units.
In other words, Nigerians would expect satisfactory and scientific answers from INEC to the following questions: What is the total number of living registered voters before the PVC/CVR exercises of 2014? How many registered voters have died before the two exercises including those killed by Boko Haram and Fulani insurgencies? What is the total number of post 2014 PVC and CVR registered voters in the country including those newly captured in the TVL (temporary voters list)? How many voters were registered in the 2014 CVR? What is the total number of dead voters including victims of insurgency/violent homicide? How many registered voters collected their PVCs in the 2014 exercise? What is the total number of unclaimed PVCs (permanent voter’s cards)? And what is the fate of the unclaimed PVCs (including their custody/whereabouts)? Answers to these graphic questions will assist the Commission in turning out better and credible NRVs (National Register of Voters) for Nigeria and Nigerians devoid of roguery and crooked demography. All the names of the dead, fake or fictitious voters must be deleted the National Register of Voters; after which there should be public display and breakdown of the updated statistics State by State, LGA by LGA, Ward by Ward and Polling Unit/Booth by Polling Unit/Booth.
As the CVR (Continuous Voters Registration) exercise commences in the 12 affected States and the FCT today (20/08/2014), we wish to renew our call on the INEC to deploy adequate personnel and machines in all the registration centers in the country. The Commission should devise measures to cushion the effects and difficulties that will hinder easy and accessible registration of unregistered eligible voters. These measures will include extension of time marked out for the exercise (five days: 20th to 25th August), creation of more and closer registration centers and post CVR exercise continuous registration at designated and limited centers. The Commission should also resolve satisfactorily the issue of “missing names” as in whether those affected will be recaptured in the ongoing CVR exercise as “new registered voters”. If this is the case, then the Commission must trace their previous data from its data bank and get them erased. There is important need for the Commission to improve in the area of “transfer of voter’s cards” and subsequent erasure of the applicants’ previous data from the Commission’s data bank. Section 13 (4) of the Electoral Act of the Federation 2010, which requires the Commission to delete the previous data of successful voter’s cards transferees has continued to be observed in total breach.
Finally, we renew our call on those that just turned 18 years of age and others who were unable to register in the previous registration exercises to ensure that they are captured in the ongoing registration taking place in the 12 States and the FCT under reference, it is important to remind them that failure to get registered is a fundamental violation of Section 24 (e-f) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 particularly as it regards to “constitutional duties or responsibilities of the citizens”. It is also a self denial of fundamental human rights of rights to vote and participate in the public governance and affairs of the country. It is our hope that these suggested measures and successes recorded so far by the Commission will maximally be applied in the third phase of the two important exercises scheduled to hold on dates to be fixed by the Commission in the States ofKatsina, Kano, Plateau, Adamawa, Borno, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Niger, Imo, Rivers, Ogun, Edo and Lagos.
For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
*Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
+2348100755939 (office only)
* Uzochukwu Oguejiofor, Esq., Head, Campaign & Publicity Department
* Chiugo Onyekachi Onwuatuegwu, Esq., Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program
*Photo Caption - Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) logo.
[ Masterweb Reports: Valentine Obienyem reports ] - There is always the ever-present tendency to see things from our own points of view. Subjectively-driven, each tribe in Nigeria considers itself as the leading light, the primus inter pares. This tendency is, however, not restricted to Nigeria ; it is a universal phenomenon.
In the Chinese myth of origin, they consider themselves, like the Jews, as a chosen people. They believe, parochially though, that God or the Divine Artificer fashioned man in a furnace as cake is baked. Whereas other peoples of the world were baked improperly, the Chinese people were a well-finished product.
Egypt is said to be rich in ancient civilization. A tale was told of a Greek who visited his Egyptian friend. During discussion, the Greek boasted that he could name his generations up to the fifteenth, whereupon, we are told, the Egyptian smiled calmly. Rather than argue, he took the Greek to his private chambers. There, he showed him the statuette of his generations up to the three hundredth. The problem with the Greek was that he forgot the possibility that other countries or peoples could be richer than they were.
The story of the Greek and the Egyptian illustrates the thinking of each tribe in Nigeria . They take it for granted that they are the superiors; the type of superiority that instigated the lunatic Hitler to try to exterminate the Jews, in order to create space for the “supreme” Arian race. InNigeria , the tribes look at and address one another in derogatory languages. Nigerian lexicon accommodates words such as Nyamiri, Ofem manu, Ofe Ose, Ngbati, e.t.c.
It is often said that the only uniting factor among Nigerians is football. But Nigerians, from the benefit of hindsight, are also united in their hatred for Igbos. They say that Igbos like money. In truth, I am yet to see the tribe that does not like money equally. If the scandal in the Senate (Mantu’s alleged demand for money from Mallam El Rufia to be cleared by the Senate as a Minister) were to involve Igbo men, tongues would have wagged on their phenomenal love of money. They say we like to be flattered. In truth, only the greatest saints are immune to the seductiveness of flattery. Some say we do not go to school. In truth, this is a fallacy of biased statistics. The truth is that JAMB statistics have consistently shown that Imo, Anambra and Delta are the leading light in education. They say that we are politically naïve. In truth we are because we do not fit into the Nigerian politics, which has remained conspiratorial and tribalistic.
The accusations of other tribes should not worry Ndigbo. Their problems with Ndigbo are understandable. Because of our resourcefulness and innate superiority of brains, we are easily objects of jealousy and envy. The other day, Governor Kure Of Niger state accused us of inordinate love of money. It has become fashionable for everybody, even those that walk on tiptoes, to vilify the Igbos unbearably.
But the hatred of Igbos by other tribes should not bother any right thinking Igbo man. What should bother us is the disunity among the Igbos. I have always maintained that the strongest incentive to progress is internal unity. When a nation is internally disunited, it will be easy to conquer it from outside. It will be easy for that nation to fall prey to the bad designs of its rivals. This, sadly, is the bane facing the Igbo man today.
Ordinarily, the question of internal quarrels is better settled within. It is disgraceful and uncalled for to wash our dirty linen in public. I consider it a bit out of place to start telling the entire country that all is not well with us. The truth, however, is that this internal disunity has so often been made manifest that it has become an open truth. The bombshell: All other Igbo States, especially Imo and Abia, hate the Anambra man. The hatred is such that, tongue in check, any fly that comes within the sphere of the radiation of that hate will fall dead.
The question has been asked again and again: What kind of man is an Anambra man? It is quite possible that Anambra people have over-exalted themselves; his enemies, including, painfully, many Imo and Abia indigenes, have slandered him. Both extremes must be avoided if a true picture is to be drawn. Let us venture a bit into describing the Anambra man. In this, I should struggle to be objective.
Anambra people are often men and woman of ability, gifted with fierce courage and industry; only so can we understand how they have continued to maintain their positions among a hostile people so overwhelmingly outnumbering them. They are sometimes coarse but jolly, and temper their piety with sensuality. They could be cruel, as manifested by some of the things they do. Their robust spirits make for bibulous humour rather than dry wit that drill their sense of logic and beauty and deny them the grace and subtlety of a people that live in abundance, with few troubles to torment them. There is a steady persistence, a disciplined industry, and a brute courage among the Anambra people. Even the lowly Anambrarians still have nimble intelligence, even when it is not highly creative in the field of thought; it is still capable of quick comprehension, adaptation and practical achievements.
If you pause for a moment, you will notice that in describing the Anambra man, I am describing the Igbo race. We are brothers and sisters, we are of the same stock, we are of sterner stuff than most people that have chosen to hate us. I am one person that believes in the equality of all the Igbo states.
Anambra is in the centre of a political storm today because some people take it as the engine room of Igbo politics. They believe that once it is destroyed, the Igbo race is conquered. The duty of all Igbo sons is to rally round Anambra. In this wise, Chief Orji Uzoh Kalu’s solidarity with Anambra people is commendable. I expect Anambra people to rally round any troubled Igbo State . This is the example of how Igbos should take one another.
It is disheartening to listen to anti-Anambra’s quips from other Igbos, especially Imo and Abia people, even among civilized circles. Have you paused for a moment to reflect on what such hatred does to the Igbo nation? Other tribes have common leaders they all listen to at any giving time. In Igbo land, some states reject a common leader because of his state. We cannot afford to remain a nation of misanthropes; that is simply doing violence to our progress.
Anambra, some say, has the highest number of distinguished Nigerians. As far as I am concerned, it is not Anambra; it is Igbo land. Ndigbo has a rich heritage, the heritage of love and excellence. It is the duty of all Igbo sons to strive to guard this heritage jealously, not through hate or rivalry, but through our resolve to see ourselves as brothers and sisters.
Upon reading this, some will question the rationale of foisting Igbo sentiments on the rest of us. On this, I owe no apology. Like me, most people believe in the superiority of their own tribes and everybody has the right to hold on to his opinion. In saying this, it is pertinent to remember again the remarks of a Moroccan traveller, who, on coming back from the tour of Europe ,exclaimed: “What a comfort to be getting back to civilization.”
Valentine Obienyem reports.
*Photo Caption - Map of Igboland (homeland of Ndigbo of Nigeria).
[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] - (Democracy & Good Governance: Onitsha Nigeria, August 15th 2014)-“Credibility of the Voters Register for Nigeria or any federating State or LGA thereof is not only a signpost of credible elections, but also a heartbeat of robust Human Development and Human Security direly needed now to wriggle our beloved country out of her present state of social toxemia”- Barr. Chiugo Onyekachi Onwuatuegwu, head of Democracy & Good Governance Program of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law.
By the official information available on the official website of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the second phase of distribution of Permanent Voters Cards (PVRs) and Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) will commence today being August 15th 2014 and on Wednesday August 20th 2014. The PVCs distribution exercise will last for only three days (August 15-17) while the CVR exercise is slated to last for five days (August 20-25) with the two exercises beginning from 8am and ending by 4pm daily. While the PVCs exercise will be conducted in all the polling units in the 12 States affected by the second phase of the exercise, the CVR exercise will take place in the electoral wards/registration areas collation centers across the country. In the case of Anambra State, for instance, the two important exercises will take place in the State’s 4, 608 polling units and 326 electoral wards/collation centers. The 12 States affected by the second phase of the two vital exercises are Anambra, Ebonyi, Delta, Cross River, Ondo, Oyo, Kwara, Yobe, Bauchi, Jigawa, Sokoto and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
A public enlightenment banner/notice being distributed and shared by the Anambra State Independent Electoral Commission (ANSIEC) reads as follows: “ PUBLIC NOTICE: COLLECTION OF PERMANENT VOTERS CARD. Date: Friday 15th –Sunday 17th August 2014. Venue: All the 4, 608 polling units where the voters registered. Time: 8.00am – 4.00pm daily. Note: The Voters has (have) to appear in person. The PVC cannot be collected by proxy. CONTINOUS VOTERS REGISTRATION (CVR): Date: 20th -25 August 2014. Venue: All the 326 Wards/Registration Areas Collation Centres. Time: 8.00am-4.00pm daily. THOSE ELIGIBLE: * Nigerians and Ndi Anambra who turn 18 years. * Those not registered in the 2011 registration exercise and 2013 Continuous Voters Registration. * Those with incomplete records like missing finger-print, missing pictures, name missing in the register, etc. Each applicant for registration under the CVR system should appear in person at the registration venue with any of the following documents: * birth or baptismal certificate. * National Passport, National Identity Card, or Driver’s License, or any other document that will provide the identity, age and nationality of the applicant.”
The importance of the two exercises is numerous to be mentioned. By the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended in 2011, the INEC Establishment Act of 2004 and the Electoral Act of the Federation 2010, there are a total of 13, 483 elective public offices in Nigeria, out of which 1, 224 comprising 1, 152 State legislative offices and 72 executive offices belong to the 36 States; 11, 788 comprising LGA chairmanship, deputy chairmanship and councillorship elective offices belong to the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs); and 471 comprising 109 senatorial seats, 360 rep seats and two presidential and deputy presidential seats belong to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
There are also 4, 017 top appointive public offices in the country spread across the executive, legislative and judicial organs mostly found in the Federal and State tiers of government in the country. This brings the total number of the country’s top public appointive and elective offices to about 17, 500. This is clearly captured by the Salaries & Allowances for Top Public Office Holders Act of the Federation 2002 as amended in 2008. By law, INEC is empowered to conduct elections into 1, 695 elective seats in Nigeria, while the States Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs), under staggered legal provisions, are empowered to conduct same into 11, 788 LGA elective seats. For the purpose of the February 2015 general polls, which the two important exercises aim at, elections are going to be held in 1, 685. This is because 10 other gubernatorial and deputy gubernatorial offices have already had their polls conducted under staggered legal provisions occasioned by the Apex Court decision in 2007 (Peter Obi vs INEC & ors). The 10 exclusive gubernatorial polls were held in Edo State (July 14, 2012), Ondo State (October 20, 2012), Anambra State (November 16, 17 and 30, 2013), Ekiti State (June 21, 2014) and Osun State (August 9, 2014).
Challenges Before INEC: Borrowing from previous exercises such as the ones conducted in Anambra State in 2013, INEC has mountainous challenges ranging from administrative to personnel and machines. Administratively, the Apex Electoral Commission must lower its stringent conditions imposed on the target audience (registered voters and unregistered eligible voters). For instance, asking those that lost their voters cards to obtain “police extract or court affidavit” or both, etc can be very frustrating and has the capacity of discouraging them from obtaining their legitimate voters cards. Another area is the issue of limiting the CVR exercise to electoral wards/collation centers only.
This will deny hundreds of thousands, if not millions of unregistered eligible voters the opportunity of being captured in the exercise under reference owing to far distances and other artificial bottle necks. In Anambra State, for instance, rural dwellers will have to travel about five kilometers or more to locate their wards/collation centers usually located at LGA headquarters or conspicuous community facilities. Even in urban areas like Nsugbe “33” and Iyiowa Odekpe Layout, residents not yet registered as voters will have to travel distance kilometers to the Onitsha Prisons and the Odekpe Primary School respectively so as to be registered.
This is totally cumbersome and it has the capacity to deny them their fundamental rights to choose their leaders democratically and participate effectively in public governance and affairs. Also the three days mapped out by the Commission for the PVC exercise is grossly inadequate. The post polling unit continued distribution of PVCs arrangement proposed by the Commission is not enough remedy. The Commission should not only extend the time for the PVCs and CVR exercises but also create more centers across the country for CVR exercise. In the past, such exercises were marred by dearth of INEC personnel and machines. It is hoped that the Commission is adequately prepared for the two important exercises under reference especially as it concerns enough personnel and machines as well accessibility.
The issue of “missing names” occasioned by the Commission’s administrative incompetence has become a recurring decimal in the country. INEC’s ICT and pen and paper (POP) data management is still very poor. This has brought about a series of complaints ranging from missing names to in-erasure of pictures and other data of registered voters who successfully completed their “voters’ card transfer”. The watery allegation of double or multiple voter registration leveled against Mr. Willie Obiano, who is now the Governor of Anambra State, is a clear case in point. The failure of INEC in this respect is a clear violation of Section 13 (4) of the Electoral Act of 2010. The supplementary Section requires the “transferring and receiving INEC officials” to ensure that the previous data of a successful voter’s card transferee is clearly deleted from the Commission’s data bank containing the successful applicant’s previous data.
Task Before The Mass Public: Talking about the three major categories of “the public”: decision making public, attentive public and mass public”, the greatest beneficiary of the two important exercises is the “mass public”, which constitutes over 90% of the “general public”. As such, the duty lies on the decision making public (public governance bodies and policy makers) and attentive public (mass media, CSOs, church leaders, professional bodies, etc) to ensure that the two important exercises are a huge success by maximally benefiting the relevant segment of the “mass public”. The concerned segment of the “mass public” including artisans, students and traders are, therefore, called upon to come out massively so as to be adequately captured.
Getting registered as a permanent voter is one thing, voting on Election Day is another. It is shocking to observe that in the past five governorship polls held between 2012 and 2014 in Nigeria, the total number of those that voted compared to the number of registered voters is not up to 60% of the registered voters. Anambra State has the lowest voter turnout in the said polls with 25% followed by Ondo State with 40.1%; Edo State 42%; Ekiti State 50.32%; and Osun State 54.17%. Out of Anambra’s total official voting population of 1, 776.167, only 442, 242 voted. In Ondo, out of 1, 638.950 registered voters, only 624, 659 voted. In Edo State, out of 1, 555.776 registered voters, only 630, 099 voted. In Ekiti, out of 773, 776 registered voters, only 360, 445 voted and in Osun, out of 1, 411.373 registered voters, only 750, 021 voted.
This is totally unacceptable to us at Intersociety and reminds us of our earlier position that the “decision making public” as well as its “attentive counterpart” has not done enough to tame the chronic incidence of “voter apathy” in the country or any part thereof. There must be a paradigm shift from too much focus on “hard currency driven social advocacy programs” such as “poll day monitoring” that are usually selective, mercantilist, too academic or theoretical; to real public oriented advocacies such as aggressive and sustained pre election mass enlightenment advocacy programs.
For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
*Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
*Uzochukwu Oguejiofor, Esq., Head, Campaign & Publicity Department
*Chiugo Onyekachi Onwuatuegwu, Esq., Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program
*Photo Caption - Prof. Attahiru Jega, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Nigeria.
[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah ] - Any excuse that was floated to justify the provision of ZMapp Ebola cure to Americans only and not any single Africans, went out the window when a Spaniard priest who came down with the virus received his own doses as is in headlines today.
There is nothing left for Africans to figure out. We are monkeys. Late Dr. Sheikh Umar Khan, a most respected, altruistic specialist who was globally cherished for his forefront battle against Ebola was not given the drug. African nations keep pleading for the drug to be given to their victims, but not a single African has yet merited it; but the American Caucasians did and so do the Spanish Caucasians.
It therefore comes as no surprise that it took five days of Ebola affecting Americans for this cure to emerge, but no cure was ever ‘found’ or revealed for the four decades that Ebola killed only Africans.
But we as Africans cannot blame the west. We cannot be mad. This only tells us that we are at war, or well, the West is at war with us; that the West does not value or respect us. This only reminds us that we as a continent are no better viewed by the West than we were 100 years ago when one of our sons, Ota Benga was locked up for viewing in the Bronx, New York zoo – till he took his own life.
This only tells us that the rumors of depopulation intentions and programs; that the rumors of Caucasian billionaires and world richest men sponsoring programs to depopulate Africa through medical interventions have high level of truth in them.
But more importantly, this reminds us that it is time; time to kick out our hopeless administrations. There is no reason why we should beg for simple remedies that we can produce ourselves and that were made from antibodies harvested from our own sons, from the West. Absolutely no reason. As a molecular scientist and physician, I am confident that with very little funds I can purify ‘ZMapp’ serum monoclonal antibodies for public use within 3 months. Therefore this crises tells us that with leaders who are intoxicated with buying the most private jets from Europe and who believe in subservience to Europe and Europe-tailored development, we have lost our dignity, hope and life. We are nothing more than rats being led for the slaughter and a shameful death at that, by our leaders and the West. The West does not even hear whispers from our leaders’ pleas for the drug. They scoff at our #GiveAfricaZMapp and #GiveThemExperimentalDrugs campaigns.
Ebola is a pestilence here to disgrace us Africans and stimulate us. This is our curse of hopeless leadership. This is our reward for shameless followership. Ebola is to our shame. Ebola is our name.
Dr. Peregrino Brimahn ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Dr. Peregrino Brimah
[ Masterweb Reports: From Abia State ] - The Abia State Government views with utter dismay the spread of malicious lies by two Aba-based correspondents of The NATION and The SUN newspapers over purported EBOLA Virus scare and death in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area of the state.
These stories are the very definition of barefaced lies, handiwork of mischief makers and concocted to create panic amongst Abians.
It is unfortunate that at a time the nation is promoting the use of valid data, research and statistics to tackle challenges especially those that are health related, custodians of news are trading in lies and non verifiable stories.
Contrary to what NATION and SUN newspapers want the public to believe, as at time of this release no case of EBOLA could be verified either in ISIALA NGWA or any other location in Abia State. The story of a woman whose identity cannot be ascertained that died of suspected EBOLA virus at Ndiolumbe ISIALA NGWA is possibly the figment of the imagination of those who are peddling the rumour.
Again, it is sad that these mischief makers could claim that the state Commissioner for Health could not be reached for comments. This is absurd, wicked and unfair. The state Commissioner for Health and indeed his colleagues have been working round the clock as part of the state's commitment to checkmating the deadly disease from entering the state. As at the same FRIDAY reported in the newspapers, the state’s Ministry of Health unveiled five centres designated as QUARANTINE in different areas of the STATE.
The general public especially Abia residents are please advised to disregard the stories in The Nation and SUN newspapers as there is no case of EBOLA in Abia.
Chief of Staff to
Executive Governor, Abia State
*Photo Caption - Map of Abia State
[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety Reports ] - (Security & Safety; Onitsha Nigeria; August 1st 2014)-In furtherance of local and international campaigns by the leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Rule-Intersociety; for an end to ceaseless butcheries in northern Nigeria in the name of politics; ethnicity and religion; it is our shocking discovery that the insurgency violence under reference has led to the criminal death of at least 631 citizens in July 2014 alone. Those killed are mostly civilians: women; children and the aged. In some cases such as attacks and invasions directed at rural Christian communities in southern Borno; southern Kaduna; Plateau; Taraba and Adamawa States; young male populations are targeted for massacre. The 631 citizens killed in July 2014 alone has brought the total number of citizens killed since January 2014 to at least 4; 749. In other words; in the past seven months of 2014; at least 4; 749 citizens have been killed. Those responsible for their criminal death are Islamic Boko Haram and Fulani terror insurgents.
In consolidation of their 70%/30% edge over Nigerian security forces; the Boko Haram terror insurgents have become deadlier and more menacing. The terror group has in late July introduced other dimensions to its butchery campaign. These include child and feminine terrorism; whereby children of ten years or less and young girls dressed in hijab are indoctrinated and coerced to become suicide bombers. A number of bomb attacks or attempted bomb attacks that took place in the past one week in northern Nigeria have been officially linked to child and feminine suicide bombings. There are recent media reports saying that out of 177 young girls 15 years and below recruited by Boko Haram terror insurgents in partnership with Iranian funded Hezbollah (Party of God) Islamic Jihad movement in Lebanon as potential suicide bombers; 75 have been successfully trained and brought into Nigeria. In all; in the eyes of the Rome Statute for International Criminal Court and the Geneva Conventions of 1949; they amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Also since the opposition politicians and parties were accused internationally of links with Boko Haram terror sect; the terror sect has extended its butchery campaign to a number of Muslim targets. This includes the July 23rd twin bomb blasts in Kaduna State that killed at least 110 innocent citizens as well as the July 29th attack at Shakafa Mosque in Potiskum; Yobe State that killed at least 13 civilians. Before the late July addition of a few non-Christian targets owing to the said international accusations; all of the sect’s terror attacks were directed at urban and rural Christian targets as well as local and national facilities owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria. In all; it is correct to submit here that while the Boko Haram terror sect advances in tactics and sophistication; Nigerian security forces have continued to fail in their counter terror methods owing to their cluelessness; ethnicization; archaic securitization tactics and graft.
Timeline of 631 Killings Recorded in July 2014: On July 3rd; over 40 civilians were massacred in the Monday Market in Maiduguri; Borno State courtesy of Boko Haram insurgents. On July 14; at least 106 civilians were massacred in Borno; Zamfara and Plateau States by Boko Haram and Fulani terror insurgents: 45 died in Dille village; Borno State (Guardian Newspaper); 50 in Gidandawa district in Maradun LGA of Zamfara State and 11 in Zamadede in Pil-Gani district of Lantang North LGA of Plateau State (Vanguard Newspaper). On July 15th and 16th; at least 36 civilians were killed by Boko Haram insurgents in Borno State: 20 died in Damboa; 9 in Huyim village in Askira-Uba LGA and 7 killed on July 16th while burying their dead loved ones. On July 18th; at least 100 civilians were massacred by Boko Haram terror insurgents in Damboa village in Borno State. Houses and shops including Damboa Central Market were torched (Guardian Newspaper). On same July 18th; at least five rural Christians were killed by Fulani terror insurgents in Fadan Karshi village in Sanga LGA of Kaduna State. Earlier on June 24th; about 200 rural Christians were massacred in the same area.
Further; on July 19th; at least 60 citizens including women and children were massacred by Boko Haram terror insurgents in Gaidamgari village in Barma Local Government Area (LGA) of Borno State. Scores were injured in the attacks; which also destroyed many houses; shops and vehicles. Local security forces confirmed the attacks but claimed that only 29 citizens were killed. The attackers (BH) came on Hilux vans and armed with improvised explosive devices; guns; etc (source: Vanguard Newspaper; July 22; 2014). On July 22; at least five citizens were shot dead by Boko Haram terror insurgents in Damboa community in Borno State (source: News Express quoting Vanguard Newspaper). On July 23; the Boko Haram terror insurgents invaded Garubula village and Gamboru border town in Biu LGA of Borno State and abducted the district head of Garubula village; Ibrahim Dawi. The terror insurgents also killed 14 villagers and a palace guard. Local military sources confirmed the two attacks (source: News Express quoting Guardian Newspaper).
On July 23; 110 innocent citizens were killed in two deadly bomb blasts that hit Alkali Road/Isa Kaita Junction and Ali Akilu Road all in Kaduna State. The two bomb attacks occurred at about 12:45pm and 2: 30pm respectively. Those who escaped unhurt included Mr. Mohammed Buhari of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) and an Islamic preacher and leader of Tijjaniyya and Derika Islamism movement; Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi. According to the officials of the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA); 72 dead bodies were picked from the streets of the attacks; 25 from the scenes and 13 out of the injured that died as a result of serious injuries. On the same date (23-7-2014); the Boko Haram terror insurgents also blew up an important bridge linking Maiduguri and Gamboru-Ngala with the Republic of Cameroun.
On July 24th; a bomb blast occurred at the New Road Market Park; located in Sabon Gari district of Kano State; which is populated by Igbo-Christians. Five persons were killed. One died on the spot while four others died later as a result of serious injuries. On July 26th; three sons of a radical Shite Islamic preacher; Malam Ibraheem El-zakzarky; and 32 other unarmed members of the sect were killed under unlawful circumstances by Nigerian security forces. The unlawful killing took place in Zaria; Kaduna State during their annual international QUDS procession to mark the last week of Ramadan (source: News Express quoting PM News).
On July 27th; at least five Christian worshippers (official figures) were killed in a bomb blast detonated by the Boko Haram terror insurgents at St Charles Cath. Church in Sabon Gari district; Kano State. On the same date (27-7-2014); at least 30 rural Christians were killed by the violent sect in gun and bomb attacks carried out in three communities of Lube; Mubeng and Zar in Hong LGA of Adamawa State. Innocent citizens numbering twenty were butchered in Mubeng community alone. The District Head of the Zar Community; retired Wing Commander Dauda Daniel was also abducted and yet to be seen (source: News Express of July 28th; 2014 quoting Daily Newswatch Newspaper). On July 28th; at least four citizens were killed in a bomb blast at the Hotoro Mega Station of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) located along Maiduguri Road in Kano State. Ten Persons were injured in the attack perpetrated by the Boko Haram terror insurgents (source: News Express).
Again; on July 27th; over 46 civilians and four soldiers were massacred in two separate attacks by Boko Haram terror insurgents in Adamawa State. While over 40 civilians and four soldiers were killed in Garkida Community in Gombi LGA of the State; six people were killed in Madagali LGA. In the Garkida attack that occurred at about 5: pm on Sunday; two churches and many houses were also destroyed. A military base also came under attack (source: News Express quoting Channels TV). On July 28th; at least eight civilians were killed in Katarko town; outskirt of Damaturu in Yobe State. The Boko Haram terror insurgents first attacked a local military base before killing eight civilians (source: News Express quoting Channels TV). On July 29th; at least 13 civilians were killed in attacks at Shakafa Mosque and a Central Market in Potiskum; Yobe State. On July 30th; at least six civilians were killed in the Kano State Polytechnic targeted at large students who have gathered to check their National Youth Service Mobilization list. A female suicide bomber sneaked into the crowd and blew up herself killing six students.
Disrespecting the Sanctity of Human Lives: It is correct to say that the Federal Government of Nigeria attaches no value to the sanctity of human lives. The FGN also promotes primordial and ethno-religious sentiments and politics far above the security and welfare of ordinary Nigerians contrary to Section 14 (2b) of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999. The recent statement credited to Mr. President to the effect “if Buhari had died in the Kaduna bomb blasts; Nigeria would have been in turmoil by now” is not only shocking; but also a clear case in point. In as much as violent loss of lives including that of Mr. Mohammed Buhari are totally rejected; but placing Mr. Buhari’s life above the lives of 110 innocent Nigerian citizens lost in the two bomb attacks is a clear indication of Federal Government’s tolerant of indiscriminate violent loss of lives in the country on daily basis.
Sponsorship of Boko Haram Insurgency & Seeking Power by Violence: The events since the allegations of sponsorship of Boko Haram terror insurgency went international have clearly confirmed the allegations. Attempts have been made to extend the terror campaigns to other areas and individuals so as to make the weighty allegations watery. Funny enough; these attempts have ended up adding value to the allegations. In the Nigerian media; there is a huge division among sections of the important industry. While those peopled and controlled by the west axis of Nigeria are tolerant of the butchery campaigns by the duo of Boko Haram and Fulani ethno-religious violent zealots; others controlled by the south-south; southeast and old middle-belt are intolerant of same. In the rights based Civil Society community in the country; which is dominated by the west axis of the country; it is a noticeable fact that most of them have gone sleeping in matters of Boko Haram and Fulani jihadist violent uprising against Nigeria and Nigerians.
However; their voices are extensively pronounced whenever the Nigerian security forces kill suspected members of the terror sects possibly under unlawful or extra judicial circumstances or whenever any member of the opposition politics in the country is among those caught by the terror attacks. In other words; these CSOs rarely condemn or document the terror killings under reference. Other than Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch reports and condemnations of the butchery as well as reports from few local rights CSOs located outside the west axis of the country; it is a near impossibility for one to lay one’s hand on any report; documentation or condemnation publication originating from any of the groups from the zone under reference. This is a clear departure from the revolutionary characteristics of the military era rights and pro-democracy CSOs and a new testament of “alliance for seeking power through violent means or through human misery”.
How Mr. President Returned Nigeria Police Force to Typewriter & Ethno-Religious Policing: The official appointment of AIG Suleiman A. Abba as Nigeria’s 17th Inspector General of Police amounts to presidential cluelessness. By this; Nigeria has chosen to remain in the policing of the Yore. Owing to primordial political interest and ethno-religious sentiments; the country has lost a great opportunity of wriggling itself out of policing cave and launching itself into policing moon. Stamping IGPship to the zone (northwest) that is one of those that despise “western education or culture” including ICT globalization is one of the most clueless decisions taken in recent times by Mr. President. The new IGPship should have been given to northeast or north-central minorities who have suffered irreparably in the hands of their majority neighbors’ oiled group butchery and brigandage. From our detailed checks; there are a good number of ICT grounded young senior police officers from the areas occupying DC and CP positions.
Also by this suicidal presidential appointment; Mr. President has finally stamped continuation of gross lopsidedness (“dogari” policy) in the area of postings and promotions in the Force. The NPF; under AIG Suleiman Abba will continue to pursue or go after ICT bomb detonators with typewriter police officers armed with AK-47 rifles and batons. This is in the context of “something can never be gotten from nothing”. Mr. President has also by this clueless appointment voted for the continued use of archaic roadblocks; extortion; harassment; bribery; torture; disappearances; unlawful detention; unfair trials and indiscriminate arrests and unlawful killings as NPF weapons against common or street crimes like stealing; assault; rape; armed robbery and abduction and group crimes such as political; ethnic and religious insurgencies. It has been universally established that to effectively control and fight modern crimes; ICT policing including man-machine intelligence policing and preventive policing are roundly required. The more NPF decays in its operational methods the more emerging modern security threats and other unsafe conditions such as cyber crimes including cyber and chemical terrorism.
By appointing AIG Suleiman Abba of typewriter era of policing as Nigeria’s ICT era policing IGP to stay on for next five years (from 1st August 2014 to 22nd March 2019 when he will statutorily bow out of the NPF); the NPF will be more than fifty years behind today’s insecurity challenges. This is more so when the NPF is the most populated security force in Nigeria with roughly 400; 000 officers and constitutionally placed in charge of internal security. The mournful look on the faces of most police officers in the 6; 651 operational establishments of the Force is clear evidence.
Gross Lopsidedness in the Latest DIG Promotion & NPF Management Team: From authoritative information available to us this morning out of six new AIGs said to have been promoted to DIGs to form members of the new NPF Management Team; no senior police officer from Southeast; Southwest and Northeast is included. Their names are AIG Dan’azumi Jos Doma with service number AP21795 (Niger State; North-central); AIG Mamman Ibrahim Tsafe with service number AP24211 (Zamfara State; Northwest); AIG Saliu Argungu Hashimu with service number AP24214 (Kebbi State; Northwest); AIG Solomon E. Arase with service number AP16474 (Edo State; South-south); AIG Christopher Terhem Dega with service number AP16471 (Benue State; North-central) and AIG Ballah Magaji Nasarawa with service number AP24213 (Kebbi State; Northwest). AIG Doma retires in 2019 (01/01/2019); AIG Tsafe 19/02/2017; AIG Argungu Hashimu 10/7/2017; AIG Arase 21/6/2016; AIG Dega 11/3/2015 and AIG Nasarawa 31/12/2019. Out of the six new DIGs; three are from Northwest; two from North-central; one from South-south and zero from Southeast; Southwest and Northeast zones. The three just retired DIGs from the three zones under reference are DIG Emmanuel Kachi Udeoji; Abia State; Southeast (retired 1st August 2014 with statutory retirement date of 09/09/2014); DIG Johnson Jonathan; Taraba State; Northeast (retired on 03/7/2014) and DIG Abdulrahaman Akano; Osun State; Southwest (retired on 22/6/2014).
Finally; President Goodluck Jonathan remains one of the presidents in modern times that have unhindered access to best form of citizen advice through ICT resource; but owing to presidential cluelessness; such golden opportunities usually slip off his hands. It is on record that Mr. President does not have dedicated phone numbers or emails or social media accounts handled by himself as public office holder or elected president. He also; does not respond to citizens’ letters or enquiries or reply them; thereby making himself a “cocooned president”. These may most likely earn him “the worst president of Nigeria in recent times”.
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman, email@example.com
Uzo Oguejiofor Esq., Head, Publicity Desk
*Photo Caption - Map of Nigeria
[ Masterweb Reports ] - Abia State Governor, Chief Theodore Orji, has called on Muslims to pray for peace and unity of Nigeria as they celebrate this year’s Ramadan and Eid-Fitri festivities.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Charles Ajunwa, Governor Orji said that the one month holy prayer embarked upon by Muslims apart from the potency of its spiritual rejuvenation, said the prayers would help to bring about the needed peace to drive the Nigerian project.
Governor Orji who noted that the Christian and Muslim communities in Abia State have continued coexist over the years peacefully without any rancor, said other Muslim faithfuls in the country to emulate from the Abia example.
He said that peaceful co-existence of the country is a mandatory civic responsibility for all Nigerians to be involved in and not an issue for the government alone.
Governor Orji also called on Muslims to use the Sallah celebration to show love to all citizens especially the less-privileged ones in the society. The less-privileged ones according to him should be supported with financial and material gifts in order to give them a sense of belonging which they crave for.
*Photo Caption - Governor T. A. Orji
[ Masterweb Reports: Sulay B. Conteh reports ] - It is almost a full half-year now since the first case of the fatal Ebola epidemic was reported in Kailahun, Eastern Sierra Leone. Since the outbreak of the epidemic, the APC Government led by Dr. Earnest Bai Koroma has responded in a series of extraordinarily queer ways. This has raised a widespread suspicion about the real intensions of the APC Government regarding its unusual handling of this alien disease.
It has just been a little over a year when the Koroma-led APC Government boldly stole the elections and reinstalled itself into second term of office in an unusually unofficial way. In fact even the Koroma-led APC first term of office could not have happened had it not been for the blind craving for international recognition by late President Kabbah. But all of this is now history not worth any retelling in decent societies.
The APC Government has seen a unique opportunity in the fast-spreading Ebola epidemic that is devastating thousands of useful lives in the Southeast of Sierra Leone. To start with, the East/South is the stronghold of the opposition SLPP Party. Next, voter registration for the 2017/18 elections in Sierra Leone is around the corner. Of course led by Victor B. Foh (the vouchergate mastermind), there is no doubt that the Koroma-led APC Government has been desperately searching for unfair ways to suppress voter registration in the East/South while inflating it in the North (APC stronghold). So what has the Foh-chaired secret committee done to get the APC voter-registration manipulation come to pass?
To address this grand secret mission, one needs to have a vivid insight into what this Limba-born-in-Mende-land Foh character truly is. Foh’s father, a total ethnic Limba, married a wield Mende woman in Jimmy Bagbwo Chiefdom, Bo District, and there this terrible man was brought forth into this world. By the traditions of Sierra Leone, the line lineage or descent follows that of the father. So Victor B. Foh is hundred percent ethnic Limba too, who can by means mistaken for being ethnic Mende. It is told in Jimmy Bagbwo and beyond that Foh obdurately sold his father so as to gain financial wealth and political power. Foh’s father went mysteriously missing and any news of his disappearance suppressed by Foh himself, and thus the remains of Foh’s lost father are yet to be located anywhere in the world. This is the man the Koroma-led APC Government relentlessly uses to squash the East/South.
Foh’s past record in every aspect of life is just extremely horrible! After joining the civil service, Foh’s blood-borne corruption tendency made him the mastermind of the most infamous vouchergate in the history of Sierra Leone. Foh has also been implicated in numerous circumstances in using simple but extremely dirty tricks to outplay political opponents. Foh was even single-handedly responsible for planting Earnest Bai Koroma in the Chairmanship and Flagbearership of the APC Party for the 2007 elections, of course strongly against the will of the bigwigs of the APC Party. Foh even went to the extent of planting himself into the position of Secretary General of the APC Party in that ill-fated clandestine convention. For this reason, Koroma will never abandon Foh so long he his in the presidency.
Foh also served as the top Minister of Finance in the AFRC Junta — the most deadly regime in the history of Sierra Leone. Foh was responsible for the election riggings in both 2007 and 2012, and he is also highly active in the tearing infighting in the opposition SLPP Party. Foh is said to be personally responsible for the demise of countless personalities in the SLPP stronghold in the East/South. It is this Foh, such an unspeakably horrible character, who President Earnest Bai Koroma awarded the “Rokel Order of Merit” for significant contribution to Sierra Leone. In fact, it is strongly rumored today that Foh is slated to be the next Election Commissioner in Sierra Leone. But Sierra Leone is not surprised by this because it is all unmistakably known that Foh and Koroma (who are actually ethnic cousins) are in a type of “you scratch my back I scratch your back” situation. Koroma has held up this win-win engagement with Foh, irrespective of his past record.
Actually, the grand APC plan is to use every means possible to suppress voter registration in the East/South — SLPP stronghold. So the Foh-chaired secret committee charged with the responsibility to execute this plan came up with an idea working to reduce the population of the East/South as the most effect way to easily win the 2017/18 elections. The committee figured it out that war was no longer an option for the region, so it then decided to send Foh to China as Ambassador with a special dirty mission. Remember that Foh has no empathy for life, not even that of father whom he sold long ago. Foh’s top secret mission was to abuse his Ambassadorial privileges to collect Concentrated Ebola Serum (CBS) from Uganda and administer it to the sick in Government hospitals in the East/South of Sierra Leone, especially in Kailahun District. Of course Foh and his cohorts are well guided by specifically recruited doctors.
Foh has long since committedly executed this mission as he puts it in his own words during President Koroma’s last visit to China: “I was born APC, all along lived APC and I serve one but only one master in my life”. It is this heartless character that the Koroma-led APC Government relentlessly uses to bribe the elders of SLPP to stage infighting in the party, which always plays to the advantage of the APC Government.
Thus with the outbreak of the APC-grown killer Ebola epidemic, the Koroma-led Government’s first response was to close the borders with Guinea and Liberia. If it had not been the APC Government’s fear for carry-over effects of its grown-on-purpose Ebola epidemic in Guinea and Liberia, then what else would it be for when the epidemic was actually deliberately started in Sierra Leone? Next in the APC Government’s response to the epidemic was isolating the East/South; of course again in the fear that the disease could spread over to other regions of Sierra Leone. The next move of the APC Government was freezing all government services from the most affected region (Kailahun District), including schools and hospitals. This left all decent people wondering about the real rational behind the APC-led strategy to contain the Ebola disease. How could one fight a disease epidemic by closing down hospitals?
With the successful execution of this dirty inhuman mission, the APC Government and the Foh-chaired secret committee have now come up with a brand new way to deal with the aftermath of their created Ebola epidemic. The Government has reopened the hospitals but not until lethal drugs were supplied to summarily terminate all who contract any sort of sickness in the East/South. In fact in Kenema and Segbwema, the Government has set up special Ebola treatment sites within the Lassa Fever (another lethal disease) treatment facilities. The wisdom in this is to ensure that if you contract Ebola disease and it is not strong enough to kill you, then proximity with Lassa Fever will finally blow you out. The people of the East/South are now gradually coming to the realization that the Ebola epidemic could not have naturally hatched and that the unusual treatments are deliberately efforts of a clever drive of ethnic cleansing. This means that the people of the East/South have to resolvedly rise against this dirty inhuman treatment lest they become gradually eliminated in their own land and replaced by people of the distant land.
How do the opposition SLPP politicians (parliamentarians and others) see themselves in this grand plan of quiet ethnic cleansing? It is all but a hopeless situation with the opposition politicians. We describe this in a way that the layman understands the full picture without extra effort. Any functional Government consists of four independent arms — The Executive, The Legislature, The Judiciary and The Press. In Sierra Leone, the people elect (or rather miss-elect) The Legislature and the Head of The Executive. The members of the legislative arm (the so-called parliamentarians) are elected to serve the interests of their respective constituencies and then the country. The vitality of The Legislature and/or Opposition Party is only visible when it acts with integrity. But greed and parochial mindedness of our parliamentarians and opposition party members have all but rendered this arm altogether useless in the face of the people. What the Koroma-led APC Government has done is that it has put key members of The Opposition Parties, The Legislature, The Judiciary and even the Press on fat bribes. This means that the APC Government can now do whatever it wills in Government and in Sierra Leone; absolute no checks and balances, except for critical opposition voices. The behavior of these key figures of the arms of state is like heartlessly selling your people so that you alone can live — the Victor Foh type of thing. But what they fail to realize is that when they do such things for a living, they effectively make themselves essentially useless — the Charles Margai type of thing.
So what next for the people of the East/South? What next could one do when your own son/daughter betrays you in such a cold-blooded manner? Yes, in the face of such traumatic betrayals in tribulation, one tends to look up to God for deliverance and jubilation. But are we not time and again warned that faith without action is like a being without a soul? We the people of the East/South will surely have to stop building our castles on quicksand. We the people of the East/South have to do what is right to preserve our culture and continued existence as a people. The minds and souls of our elected sons/daughters are now poisoned beyond regaining any empathy for us. Our own sons/daughters are now actually different people from us. So we have no more reason to continue to depend on our opposition politicians and parliamentarians.
May the Lord give us the right wisdom handle yet another disastrous tribulation!
Sulay B. Conteh ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Map of Sierra Leone
[ Masterweb Reports: Chief Charles O. Okereke reports ] - On November 19, 1969 as the Biafran war was winding down, Dr. Justin Obi, a 65-year-old Igbo professor of chemistry, allegedly shot to death Rt. Rev. Dillard Brown, Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Missionary - District of Liberia, his Treasurer Claude Nadar and wounded three others, including Miss Patricia Newiss, the Bishop’s secretary. Dr. Obi was a brilliant former chemistry professor at Cuttington University College of Liberia in Suaccoco, a suburb of Monrovia. He obtained his Ph.D. in chemistry from Havard University in the United States. Cuttington University College was owned and operated by the Episcopal Church. Obi allegedly had stopped over in Monrovia on a flight from Biafra to the........ Read More.
*Photo Caption - William Tolbert Jr., Liberia President that signed Dr. Justin Obi's death warrant
[ Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] - New York, July 8, 2014: Dr. Nkechi Madonna Agwu from Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York, was awarded a Fellowship by the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program to travel to Nigeria to work with Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), Center for Gender Issues in Science and Technology (CEGIST), on a curriculum development/teaching-research/capacity building project, titled, Culture and Women’s Stories: A Framework for Capacity Building in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Related Fields. The goal of this project is to develop culturally-based and gender sensitive curricular materials, engage in teaching-research on their use, and prepare educators in Nigeria on using them to teach mathematics and other STEM related disciplines at the primary, secondary and tertiary level, with the aim of fostering student innovation and creativity linked to the science and technology of their cultures, nurturing and mentoring girls to consider STEM related careers, providing poor or rural communities with inexpensive curricular resources that are easily obtainable in the local community, while simultaneously facilitating visibility of the work of Nigerian women in STEM. Dr. Nkechi Madonna Agwu will be collaborating on this project with colleagues from FUTA in CEGIST and the Departments of Mathematics and General Studies in the School of Sciences, extending her work at her home college where she has developed similar curricular resources for teaching discrete mathematics based on the African tradition of story-telling. The leaders of the host team are Dr. Mojisola Edema, Acting Director of CEGIST and Ms. Olabukunola Williams, NiWARD Coordinator.
The FUTA CEGIST project is one of 31 projects that will pair African Diaspora scholars with higher education institutions in Africa to collaborate on curriculum co-development, research, graduate teaching, training and mentoring activities. Dr. Nkechi Madonna Agwu is one of thirty-three African Diaspora scholars who have been awarded Fellowships to travel to Africa beginning this month to conduct the projects, which span an impressive range of fields across the arts and humanities, social sciences, education, sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The winning projects in this first round of awards were submitted by 24 institutions in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.
Host universities include, Ghana: Ashesi University College, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology; Kenya: The Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Kenya Methodist University, Kisii University, University of Nairobi, Rongo University College; Nigeria: Ebonyi State University Abakaliki, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Federal University for Technology Akure, Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Joseph Ayo Babalola University, University of Ibadan, University of Ilorin, Kwara State University, Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Port Harcourt; South Africa: University of Cape Town, University of Johannesburg, University of Venda, University of the Witwatersrand; Tanzania: The State University of Zanzibar; Uganda: Kyambogo University, Makerere University.
This innovative Fellowship program facilitates engagement between scholars born in Africa who are now based in the United States or Canada and scholars in Africa on mutually beneficial academic activities. The program is managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in collaboration with Quinnipiac University, which chairs the Advisory Council, and is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. “Corporation staff are pleased to note the extensive interest and response shown in the first round. We hope that with subsequent rounds, the quality of the applications will continue to improve and the Fellows will help achieve the goal of contributing to the development of African higher education as a vibrant and internationally competitive sector fulfilling the aspirations of building prosperous and inclusive economies, viable knowledge societies and sustainable democracies,” said Dr. Omotade Aina, Director, Higher Education and Libraries in Africa, Carnegie Corporation.
U.S. and Canada-based scholars can apply for Fellowships and African host institutions can submit project requests until July 21, 2014, to be considered, in the second selection cycle. Selected Fellows and Hosts will be announced in October, for project visits to be conducted between December 2014 and August 2015.
Scholars born in Africa who live in the United States or Canada and work in an accredited college or university in either of those two countries, can apply to be on a roster of available candidates. Candidates must have a terminal degree in their field and can hold any academic rank. For Fellows matched with a selected project, the Fellowship for the project visit includes a daily stipend, transportation and visa funds and health insurance coverage.
Public and private higher education institutions in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda can submit a project request to host a scholar for 14 to 90 days. A prospective host may, but is not required to, name a proposed scholar in a project request. The proposed scholar and project request are each evaluated by a review committee and are subject to approval by the Advisory Council. African institutions and prospective Fellows (scholars) can collaborate on ideas for a project that the institution submits. IIE maintains the scholar roster to facilitate matches, according to the discipline specializations, expertise, activities and objectives described in a project request.
Dr. Nkechi Madonna Agwu
Professor of Mathematics
Borough of Manhattan Community College
City University of New York
Phone: +1 212 220 1337
Institute of International Education
*Photo Caption - Dr. Nkechi Madonna Agwu