*Muslim Brotherhood: Face of Political Islam
By Dr. Leonard Madu
Since a Brotherhood candidate, Mohammed Morsi won the last Egyptian presidential elections, the organization has come under increased scrutiny. Most people outside the Arab world do not know whom they are or what they stand for. Since the brotherhood came to power under the Freedom and Justice Party platform, tension has increased in Egyptian society. There is increased strife between Christians and Muslims. Christians are terrified and are emigrating in large numbers to the United States and Europe. Millions of Egyptians are beginning to believe that they are moving from an Islamic State to a Theocratic State. So who are the Muslim Brotherhood and what do they stand for?
However, the Brotherhood has been part of Egyptian political life for over 80 years. It was founded in the city of Ismailia in 1928, four years after Turkish leader Kemal Ataturk abolished the Caliph-the office that had authority over Muslims in the Arab world since the death of Prophet Mohammed. The brotherhood was founded by Hassan El Banna, a Muslim cleric and intellectual. It is a global Sunni revivalist movement that advocates a move away from secularism and a return to the rules of the Koran. It calls for a one party state. Its motto is “Islam is the solution”. It started as an organization with five members and by the end of the second world war it had about half a million members. It began as a religious association with the intent of fighting westernization and re instituting Muslim laws and morality. They were concerned with the social dislocation caused at that time by modernization, industrialization and capitalism and sought answers to them. As an organizational genius, El Banna created cells in all of Egypt by building physical fitness centers, community centers, Young Men's Muslim Association(YMMA), feeding centers for the poor and clinics. These institutions served as recruiting centers to build a mass organization. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Dr. Leonard Madu
In the 1930s, what started as a religious association transformed itself into political Islam. It started advocating opposition to British and French colonial rule in the Middle East, against the corruption of King Farouk and the return of the Suez Canal. In 1948, it was disbanded and its assets impounded on the orders of the Egyptian government under Prime Minister Mahmoud Pasha. This did not go down well with the brotherhood and Pasha was later assassinated by a brotherhood member. El Banna condemned the assassination, but was himself assassinated the following year in 1949. The core beliefs of the Brotherhood can be found in the “ten principles of Hassan El Banna”.
After El Banna's assassination, the Brotherhood under Sayyid Qutb became more radical and violent. Osama Bin Laden was a disciple of Qutb. In the 1954, after an attempted assassination against President Nasser, the organization was banned and its members including Qutb were arrested and imprisoned. Qutb was executed by the Nasser regime in 1966. It remained banned until new Egyptian President Anwar Sadat lifted the ban. However, in 1981, Sadat was assassinated by the Islamic Jihad an offshoot of the Brotherhood led by Ayman Al Zawahiri who later became bin Laden's deputy and now leader of Al Qaeda. In 1982, its branch in Syria led the rebellion against President Hafez Assad in the city of Hama. Assad flattened Hama and over 10,000 people were killed in a matter of days. The organization was banned by Assad and it became a capital offense to be a member.
After the assassination of Sadat, Hosni Mubarak cracked down on the organization. Many of its leaders were jailed and some executed. After Mubarak's overthrow, they resurfaced again. In June 2011, they registered as a political party with the name of Freedom and Justice Party. In 2012, its candidate Mohammed Morsi was elected president of Egypt. The election of Morsi has severely polarized Egyptian society. Since his election, Morsi has been issuing some bizarre decrees and gradually concentrating power in his hands, setting the stage for another dictatorship. Nobody knows how governmental decisions are made, and transparency has jumped out of the window. One cannot expect an organization that has been introverted and secretive for over 35 years, to suddenly become transparent and extroverted. Since the Brotherhood advocates a one party theocratic state, Egyptians might never see another free and fair election after the brotherhood consolidates power. Hassan El Banna had articulated a one party theocracy for Egypt. Given that Mohammed Morsi is known to be a disciple of Hassan El Banna, Egyptians might wake up to find themselves in a one party theocratic state under the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Brotherhood has branches in most countries in the Arab World, in the United States and in Black Africa under different names. In Libya-Justice and Development Party; Tunisia-The Renaissance Party; Yemen-Yemeni Congregation Party; Sudan-National Islamic Front; Algeria-Movement for the Society of Peace; Gaza-Hamas; Somalia-Harakat Al Islah; Jordan-Islamic Action Party; Iraq-Iraqi Islamic Party. In the United States, several Muslim organizations are allied with the Brotherhood. These include the Muslim Students Association, the Muslim American Society and the Islamic Society of North America.
However, because it is a Sunni organization, its influence is minimal in Shiite dominated countries like Iran, Bahrain, Lebanon and Azerbaijan.
Dr. Leonard Madu is President of the African Caribbean Institute and African Chamber of Commerce. He is also a Fox TV foreign affairs analyst and writes from Nashville, TN.
*A rejoinder to Bishop Wale Oke's "The Stone that the Builder rejected"
By Olukayode M. Tokode
The article of Bishop Wale Oke seems to have been designed to gain the sympathy of the public, assert new trend in ecclesiastical behaviour and justify the abuse of religion. The abundant assumptions he advanced to support his position make it necessary for his article to receive a rejoinder as many of us are not persuaded by his submission.
He asserted that Pastors were considered “the down-trodden, the strugglers, and the dregs of the earth” in the past. But Pastors were not the only people so labelled. Musicians and dramatists were so branded at the time. Today the Pastors are not the only people who seem to be enjoying some fortune in their vocation; dramatists and the musicians also do. The boom in the entertainment industry including the church is probably related to the increased requirement for social support and entertainment in urban life after the social support of our ancestors had collapsed because of civilization and urbanization. An individual’s requirement for such support will positively correlate with an individual’s sense of alienation and economic deprivation which is the case for many Nigerians. Religiosity is a mere coping strategy for many people. Since the Pastors have now left the status of the downtrodden, they can as well help to deliver many people from poverty and other social problems by supporting government policies that will improve the economic prospects of Nigerians. Rather many pastors engage in leeching their followers, manipulate the bible to extort money from them and connive with politicians who loot government treasury; the practice which rather make Nigerians poorer by the day. This is the practice that Nigerians are criticizing. As long as the pastors continue to craw behind the politicians, the opinion of the people about their position will not change. We know many Nigerian pastors are not called by God. Many of them have been called by economic deprivation, struggle for power to achieve control over personal and family problems.
The proliferation of churches possibly represents business enterprise camouflaged as God’s work; and the purpose is to accumulate wealth. The genuinely called ones do not see their vocation as a means to a life of luxury. Churches such as the Catholic, the Anglican, the Seventh Day Adventist etc have branches all over the world through which jobs are created for many people. Their service outlets such as hospitals, schools etc create employment, render affordable health and educational services to the people regardless of their religious persuasion. The head of these churches do not own private jets despite the fact that they have branches all over the world. I was not compelled to pay tithes when I worked in these missions. These Churches have impacted various societies world over more than the religious marketers in Nigeria. Despite the exceptions that the government granted them from tax payment to compensate them for affordable services they are suppose to render to Nigerians by law, their services are the most expensive in the country. Even where they provide employment for Nigerians, they ensure that they are made to pay tithes and give other donations compulsorily. Many downtrodden people in Nigeria do not need leeching and extortion but benevolence.
Many pastors of today have been beneficiaries of philanthropies rendered by churches and good-hearted politicians like Pa Obafemi Awolowo. They were given a head start in life through meaningful education they received. Having been delivered from the shackles of penury through the benevolence of others; it is reasonable to expect that they will be involved in organizing an enduring strategy that will ensure that many Nigerians are delivered from penury. I am aware that some churches are giving scholarships and endowment to higher institutions, but the money that has been so given is nothing but a minute fraction of the money that belong to all Nigerians which has been stolen through tax waivers and treasury looting by proxy.
The impact of Charistimatic Church preaching is questionable considering the magnitude of moral decay among church goers. Since the proliferation of health and wealth churches in Nigeria, the aggregate value system of the society has assumed a downward trend. The youths are losing the virtue of diligence and honest labour. Bishop Wale Oke will also bear witness that lack of trust in a fellow Christian is the beginning of wisdom in Nigerian society of today. Many Nigerian churches have become hideouts for fraudsters, criminals and thieves etc. But this should not be surprising. How can adulterers and extortionist raise righteous and ethical followers? How can an unbroken pastor, who brutalizes members of his congregation in a rage of anger, and perpetually lie to his congregation that he has never had an argument with his spouse raise truthful disciples? Or how can a man who spends his time manipulating bible passages to squeeze money out of his followers raise credible congregation? Nigerians know that government money illegally finds its way into the account of Churches. Many Nigerians are also aware that some Nigerian Pastors support corrupts politicians who make donations to their churches. The large scale moral and ethical collapse in our society today was never witnessed in the days of our polytheistic ancestors; yet we call them pagans. Nowadays our children are being told that all they need doing to get wealth is to donate to the church or Pastor and believe it. Pastors have converted Nigerian churches to casino and betting centers. Spiritual gambling takes place in churches every Sunday! An intelligent person should ask whether this is really the purpose of religion.
The light of the gospel has failed to enlighten our people. The more churches we build, the more stupid and superstitious population we produce. Our higher institutions have become arena where spooks are manufactured and men of naïve minds are raised. Graduates live schools with severely damaged brain and thinking faculty crippled by continuous barrages of religious orthodoxy. In schools people don’t believe, they know; if they don’t know, they find out. How can students schooled in institutions where traditions and propositions cannot be challenged be said to have been genuinely educated?
The efficacy of wealth and health gospel is questionable. If the gospel is effective; why are many members of health and wealth churches caught in stealing? Why are many Christians forging travelling papers to go to Europe and America? Why are so many Christians who travelled abroad with visiting intention refused to come back to Nigeria? Why do Nigerian Christians including pastors travel to India, America and European countries to get treated? His submission regarding the effectiveness of health and wealth gospel is based on pious attribution fallacy. For an event (e.g. religion) to be considered the cause of a phenomenon (e.g. healing or wealth), the event must be sufficient to cause the phenomenon and it must be necessary for the phenomenon to occur. The gospel does not fulfil any of these criteria: There are many people both Christians and non-Christians who are wealthy and live in sound health without health and wealth gospel (i.e. the gospel is not necessary for their wealth and health). There are many Christians who hear and practice health and wealth gospel, and who still remain poor, ill and die of their diseases (the gospel is not sufficient for their wealth and health); even those who have been cured of their diseases needed modern medical care in addition to the gospel thus further confirming the violation of sufficiency criterion. Therefore, the gospel of sowing seed to get wealth and healing is an ecclesiastical manipulation to get money off the people in exchange for false hopes and expectations. The only benefit that can safely be attributed to religion is that it can strengthen the person concerned and inculcate the virtue of patience, endurance etc in the person as he goes through life challenges until other strategies produce results. Again this benefit is not the monopoly of any particular religion. I am compelled to believe that many Nigerians pastors know what is good but they refuse to act because such action will jeopardise their wealth. If our government provides good education; who will send his ward to their expensive schools? If health services are qualitative, available, affordable and accessible to an average Nigerian; who will go for healing services? If Nigerians are gainfully employed and the basic necessities of life can be met; who will listen to prosperity messages? If people don’t patronize them, how would they get huge money to live in luxury? No man will like to work against his own interest.
The conception that underlies his point that the state should have asked the church how to provide infrastructure and lead diverse tribes in cooperation and obedience calls for careful examination. He based his submission on the assumption that the means to achieve this cooperation is the same for the state as it is for the church. The means to creating collaboration in the church is doctrinal and the doctrine is backed up by appeal to a deity. Since Nigeria is a secular state, support of the people cannot be obtained by appeal to a particular deity. Thus what unites the constituent tribes in a secular state is the national ethos. This Nigeria does not have as of now. To create a national ethos, opportunities need to be given to each ethnic group to willing submit themselves to be a part of Nigeria state in the spirit of dialogue and concession; and be reassured that their interest would not suffer. The collective aspirations of the constituent ethnic groups then become our doctrine and our ethos. This is what engenders cooperation of the people. So the concept of collaboration that transcends individualism does not exist in a Nigerian state because of the mode of its formation. How can they collaborate meaningfully in a state they do not believe in? Many tribes would support their politicians in government to loot national treasury; many would not report their people stealing electricity cables or vandalizing oil pipelines. These are all evidence of passive resistance to Nigerian state and lack of commitment to it. So the assumption that the wisdom which a man uses to lead his church could equally be used to lead Nigerian state is a serious gamble. Until people are happy to be part of Nigerian state and we have a common ethos as our rallying point; the status quo will continue no matter how much fasting and prayers we do; for God cannot impose his will upon man; he works with the will of man (Matthew 18:18).
Indeed I will concede that Nigeria needs the wisdom of the clergy if religion is a sufficient and a necessary requirement for individual and national prosperity. Research shows that the dominant religion in Malaysia is Islam 61.4% (Christianity 9.2%); in Singapore it is Buddhism 42.4% (Christianity 14.6%); in India it is Hinduism 80.5% (Christianity 2.3%); in North Korea it is atheism 64.3% (Christianity 1.7%); and in China atheism 53.4% (Christianity 3.93%). China was never colonized by any Christian nation; and despite having 48% of its population as Christians, Nigeria remains a major dumping ground for Chinese products. Nigerian lags behind Asian Tigers in almost all indicators of national wellbeing: they have better education, economy, health services, road networks etc. These countries did not need the wisdom of the clergy to achieve their breakthrough. The top richest men in the world today are not Christians. I am not saying that Nigerians should not believe or serve God but my point is that what determines prosperity transcends religious affiliation. How can Nigeria be wealthy when the culture of hard work, patience, honesty and creative thinking are ignored? We declare national fasting and prayer for every small problem; a clear sign of people destitute of problem-solving skills. I am yet to hear Israel, the so called chosen nation, call for national prayers and fasting; yet we get glued to the antiquated useless fasting and prayers that have been abandoned by civilized thinking society.
The recent trade of words between the supporters and opponents of jet owners is a clear indication that business church in Nigeria is on the head-on-collision path with indigenous Nigerian value system. Health and wealth pastors should know that Africans are tolerant by nature, but our tolerance has a limit. If they push us to the limit, we would let them know that African value system is intolerant of deception. Everyone can live in any house he chooses; buy any car he wants; and even choose to ride space shuttle; this is an individual’s cup of tea. What we are saying is that whatever a person buys or the life he chooses to live need to be based on honest labour and transparency in dealing with people; and not on deception, manipulation and unholy cooperation with politicians to steal.
It is time for Nigerians to roll back the idea that greatness could be bestowed on us by someone somewhere, and accept the responsibility that man in every race and in every generation work for greatness; and design the society they and the oncoming generations would like to live in. It is a fact of life that oppressors do not willingly release the oppressed; the oppressed demand their freedom; the captors are not kind enough to let their captives go free, the captives ransom their escape. Western countries stand in their glory as the attractive destinations for frustrated Africans today, not because manner fell from heaven, but because they envisioned a glorious countries and they paid the price to produce them.
We do not lack examples among our ancestors from where we can draw inspiration and secure a stand as we pursue our emancipation. The black slaves of Haiti in 1792 confronted the sophistication of the French army, and with their heart working more effectively than their machetes and clubs, subdued their sophistication and snatch their freedom from their hands. The event shocked Britain and demonstrated that slaves were willing to fight and die for their freedom, and that slavery was not part of natural order to be accepted with fatalistic docility. The Egba people of Western Nigeria confronted the mental and machinery sophistication of the British Empire and took their freedom from them. African scholars, who had studied in Europe and had seen the game plan of their oppressors, worked closely with African statesmen; and with boldness and tenacity, demanded freedom from their colonial oppressors. After the World War II, Nigerians shocked their colonialists and affirmed that oppression is not part of God’s game plan for them. The cascades of events led to independence.
Nigeria is not in short supply of intellectuals with capacity to repeat the exploit of European enlightment on Nigerian soil. Many Nigerians squeezed out of their country by national mismanagement occasioned by oppressive coalition of the politicians and religious leaders, are now quarrying into historical records. Many are now engaged in religious studies at the highest level; and like sentinels sweeping through the starry sky, they peruse every page and line of the bible to disentangle the scriptural fabrics that have been woven into cords to tie our people down in docility and apathy. When the time comes, we would be comparing notes.
Olukayode M. Tokode
*Breaking The Landlord of Environment Jinx
By Chris Onyishi
Most people who have read my previous articles will be most surprised about what I set out to do here. “Breaking the landlord of environment” could mean so many things to various peoples. I have so much dwelt on politics, good governance and society in the past so much that it is becoming monotonous. If I veer off to something outside leadership, good governance, politics and society, I would be seen to be “breaking the landlord of environment” jinx.
When you are staying in one part of a city or country side, most often you get to a point where you do not think you would survive outside that enclave. You would probably be thinking that people dwelling elsewhere do not have good roads leading to their houses even when the road to your house is the worst. You would also be thinking that if you move out of that location, your kids would not have “good” schools to attend even when the ones they are presently attending is not good enough. You would, probably, be thinking that your wife would not see any market to buy food stuff when you change environment. And we would not even talk about religion. How dare you move from Catholicism to Pentecostalism? We won’t even dare talk about the entire move across the divide of Islam to Christianity or Hinduism, etc.
It becomes so habitual that you may even be thinking that there would be no good water supply elsewhere and the truth is that you may not even be having any water supply where you currently stay. If you are like one of us who usually stay out with friends to take a bottle of bear or two in the evenings, you may become so rigid that you may never find such locations elsewhere. There are so many things you would be thinking that would not be happening outside your immediate environment at all or would not be happening exactly the way you have come to accept.
If you live in Maidugri (where Boko Haram suicide bombers detonate their bombs every now and then), you would perhaps be thinking that those who live in Enugu are not getting it right. If you reside in Lagos State, for instance, you may be thinking that you are more exposed than anybody in your village until you travel home to notice that most people have known what you do not even know. You would see many kids dancing to Davido’s “Omo Olowo” lyrics more than your kids do or the famous - identical twin - R&B duo of Peter and Paul’s (P2) “Alingo” If you live in Lagos Island, you may be wondering how people who live in the mainland manage to survive. If you stay around Ikotun Egbe in Lagos State, you would be thinking that people who are residing around Mushin area are actually suffering.
The same goes for those who live in Nyanya, Nasarawa State, and Wuse II in Abuja.
In the computer world “breaking the landlord of environment” jinx could mean leaving your Hewlett Packard (HP) laptop - which you have used all your life - for Sony or vice versa. For those who know what computer programming is and what it takes to build or design one, “breaking the landlord of environment” jinx could mean leaving one programming language for another. And this is where I am actually driving to.
Somewhere in 2011, I was approached by a certain bank to design an alert system for them. They were, and are still, using one banking application which did not have an alert system embedded in it. I am talking about the normal (SMS text message) “Cr” or “Dr” alert you receive in your mobile phone when money is paid into your account or withdrawn from it. But by the time they called me, certain customers of this Bank are threatening to pull out their accounts from them, if they would not get instant information on what happened to their accounts after transactions.
I belong to the old group who settled with such programming language called Microsoft Visual Basic; MS VB for short. But unfortunately, MS VB did not have sufficient construct to carry out such tasks as an Alert System. But Microsoft Corporation (a company owned or chaired by Bill Gates of USA) has continually been upgrading their tools. They now have what is referred to as the “Dot Net” framework which has enormous resources for developing anything from an accounting system to robotic automation.
When this Bank approached me on this alert system issue, two things were very obvious. There wasn’t a third option. It was either I broke the “landlord of environment” jinx and move on to the “Dot Net” framework platform and achieve the task and take the money or stay back with my MS VB and die on it. But I needed the money badly and besides, I had to upgrade to stay relevant in my chosen vocation. Everybody who is close to computer programming will tell you that what I am saying here is not as easy as eating pounded yam with “Egusi” soup.
I already have some products running on MS VB technology platform and some other programming languages. I could not convert or upgrade them all to newer programming tools or platform without going crazy. I had to decide, very quickly, on what to do to stay afloat. I then went down the research lane and Information Technology (IT) has actually helped in the research arena. Before you say Jack, I was down rummaging through so many materials on the internet. One thing with most of us in the IT is that as soon as we discover anything or we break new grounds, we are very pleased to share the discovery. So, I had so much material from competent beings on this issue to contend with. It is this spirit that made me decide to put down what I did so that my colleagues who may find themselves in such dilemma would have a leeway. And much more, the younger generation would be better placed to try newer things although they are not as hamstrung as we the older block because they entered the arena in the mix and midst of the new technologies. Most of them started with the “Dot Net” framework and they never taste what we had to go through. I decree that it won’t be their potion.
We are inching closer to where the discussion will sound like jargon but I will try as much as I can not to go too technical for the benefit of habitual readers while keeping my colleagues close to the core of the technology I am going to, briefly, discuss.
There is what expert call “Dot Com” wrapper in programming parlance and this is mostly a Microsoft thing. You remember I have used “Dot Net” above. When you produce computer software or applications with lower Microsoft tools such as the MS VB, it would be said that you are operating at the “Dot Com” level. But when you upgrade to the newer “Dot Net” platform, it would be said that you are operating at “Dot Net” level. But the big problem is that people like us who started at the “Dot Com” level may never be able to totally switch over to the so called “Dot Net” level. You can ask anybody. But this is where the technology called “Dot Com” wrapper comes handy. As you meet complex tasks which cannot be handled, entirely, at the “Dot Com” level, you extract that portion of the problem and bundle it in the “Dot Net” framework and then port it back and patch up your solution with it in what is then called the “Dot Com” wrapper. So what I did was to implement that aspect of the SMS alert problem in the “Dot Net” framework and then generate what is known as Direct Link Library (DLL) which I then introduced into my project. By so doing, I did not have to wait to learn the hug of “Dot Net” environment to be able to come to a solution and in any case I did not have all the time to do that before someone else takes the job away from me. If I try to go beyond this point, the whole thing will become ridiculous. So I will manage to stop here while I hope I have aroused sufficient minds.
People who are particularly interested on the topic can then get across to me for further discussion.
The advantage we have in the core science area is that we have this courage to read social science, political science, humanities and the art. But how many of our colleagues on the other side will be able to pick up very well written core scientific books to read? Very few, I can bet you. And the truth is that the more you read the better informed and librated you become.
If it is necessary and sufficiently relevant, you may see where you are becoming a “landlord of environment” and try to break it.
Chris Onyishi (email@example.com) writes from Lagos, Nigeria.
*Nigeria: The East Must Take Back the Narrative
(Nobody can tell our story better than we can)
By Azubuike Ekwueme
Any objective observer would see very vividly, the currents and counter-currents of accusations and counter accusations, that has been blowing over a book by the famed Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe. The title of the book is "There was a country" This book opened up cans of worms formerly hidden, as the victors controlled the message. Mazi Achebe is a global phenomenon and his writings, be it the "Things Fall Apart" (first book on indigenous life, by an indigene) or the present one -"There Was A Country" attracts a coterie of admirers and detractors. This book has pitched the Yoruba and Edo nations against the East, mainly the Igbo. Almost all the Yoruba and Edo commentators on the book, were opposed to the intent of the book, while almost all the people of the East, mainly the Igbo were in support.
But one Yoruba man stands out, 20 feet tall, heads and shoulders, above the rest. He is Wole Soyinka, our Nobel Laureate. He came out in full throated support, of Chinua Achebe's book, against his fellow Yoruba kinsmen, as he had done since during the civil war. His book "The Man Died" is a testament of his bravery and truth. Come to think of it, the very best Yoruba I have yet heard of, are all members of the famous Ransome Kuti family who have Christian antecedents. Their patriarch was a pastor, their mother was an effective teacher and advocate for civil rights. Then, you have late Fela Anikulapo, who mesmerized his audience with rambunctious jazz fused with African rhythm, or the late Beko Ransome Kuti, an excellent physician, and our Wole Soyinka, a poet, and dramatist.. These are men of honor, men of substance and men of truth.
I have a question? What use is a man of letters if we simply swoon at his feet, but his message does not percolate into our brains, to resound with us? What use is Wole Soyinka to the Yoruba? Is he simply a wall photograph, to be venerated, admired, but not taken seriously? Shouldn't his stand on issues tell us where we need to stand? Are his words not taken into account? Do his ideas have any resonance with the Yoruba? And while we are it, what is it with this Yoruba insistence on validating the odious Nigeria War Propaganda? For God's sake it is a war propaganda, ginned up to win the war. After the war, intellectuals should have sifted through the confusion, to lay the truth bare. Apparently, that did not happen. So, why are the Yoruba and Edo nations fascinated so completely that they bought the propaganda hook, line and sinker. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing defunct Eastern Region(East)
It is true that the victor in any war, writes the history. It is going on 42 years since after the war, the Yoruba/Edo/Hausa/Fulani have been telling our own story, because they were the victors in that war. They mandated that nobody from the East will ever challenge their lies, and innuendos. If any attempt was made to challenge these monsters, as Ralph Uwazurike did, he was quickly thrown into jail. They have no qualms telling us who is the boss, do they? They are the boss. But no longer any more.
Whoever controls the day-to-day narrative of events, the story line, the information, he literally controls the minds in the audience. The victors in that war still have a strangle hold on how we think, what we think, what we do and speak about. Going back to the end of the Biafran war, the narrative coming from the defeated Eastern Nigeria, had been controlled, managed and disseminated, by and large, by the Yoruba Press. The northern press do the same thing, albeit very differently. They ferment massacres. From the Daily Times, to the defunct Concord, to the Tribune, this powerful press, has the finances and personnel to paint the East in extreme negative light.
On the internet today, it is the Sahara Reporters that is taken deadly aims at our Ijaw president, our brother president from the East. The publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, is probably a Muslim, coming from a people that is fast becoming a majority Muslim region. As a Muslim, he is reared NOT see, and does not see the big, deep cultural and religions divide, a huge separation gulf dividing the Christians and the Muslims, culturally as well as religiously. He is attacking the Christian president to take back Nigeria for the Muslims. They are presenting GEA Jonathan in seriously negative, slanted, demeaning putdowns. They try to do it under the cover of attacking the PDP. But nobody is fooled. They are after an Ijaw who became the president. In their minds, that was supposed to happen. It is taking the oil blocks from them. And they are able to do this, because they East had had their hands tied behind their backs, emerging from losing a war of survival. We are about to start fighting back. We'll begin telling our own story, as we believe it should be told.
Shoeless.., Singlet Boys..
When the bourgeoisie Yoruba are now making fun of the abject poverty in the East, especially in Ijaw land , it is obvious these people are not kidding any more. When the took the spoils of war, the eastern oil reserves. They are using words like "shoeless" and other debasing epithets to talk about a President from the East, an Ijaw man. It had always been the same, because nothing has changed since, the Easterners started migrating to the West in the 50s. Then, they had a similar epithets to describe the Igbo. They called us "singlet boys" practically alluding to the fact that they were poor and bush. It has gone from denigrating the Igbo, to denigrating the Ijaw and our President.
Many Easterners have internet websites that are NOT politically assertive. In fact, they are politically inactive. Like their political class back home in the East, they are afraid to have or share political opinions. They grumble underneath their breaths. They know something is wrong, but dare not say a word. They don't want trouble. But trouble is essentially what you get by keeping quiet. If you lack the nerves to say what you think, other people like Sahara Reporters will say it for you. You may grumble about what they said about you, but don't blame them.
When we become intellectually uncurious, we miss the essence of we are. We should be telling the world your own story, going toe-to-toe with their versions. If we do not have an opinion in a dangerous place like Nigeria, we are asking for it. When Christians are being decimated in Muslim Nigeria, and we remain quiet, we are asking for it. As Boko Haram is forcing Christians from the East from essentially worshipping in churches, or even being in the Sharia states, when they are being bombed out in their own churches, when they can't hold communal meeting to bury their dead, and we keep quiet, we asking for more trouble, not less. Just as Maitatsine morphed into Boko Haram of today, another jihadist al Qaeda-type squad will emerge, and bombings and knifings, decapitation will continue. Mass killings for no cause at all, is an Islamic thing. They relish it.
You may have heard nobody goes to a gun fight with a knife. That is so true. But what I am calling for is to re-orient our people to political action. The kind of political action I am advocating, is first, to take back the narrative, or at least challenge the narrative of others. Our actions, political and otherwise must be essentially NON-VIOLENT. This type of action is something that the Hausa/Fulani would never have an answer, to as the world watches. It worked in India, it worked in the USA. It is going to work in Nigeria Our political marches, our placards, must be accompanied by CNN, Fox News, BBC and the entire world press. We lift our actions straight from MLK's play book.
But cowering in the undergrowth, peeping through the bush like pygmies will not save us. We must step out into the sunshine and take our place in the sun. It bugles the mind that a nation with our vast natural resources - OIL, COAL with ebullient and educated people, would allow other resource-poor nations to be our boss. It is unthinkable. How do a region with the best natural resources God ever gave to a people, allow themselves to be politically stupid.? When are we going to learn that coming together is better than going it alone.
Let us hope that 2013 will usher in the revolutionary change in our political firmament. The persecuted, the neglected and marginalized, under-developed victims of Nigeria has to have own voice. We should not allow people outside the East to define us and tell our story. We must, and will rise up, like the phoenix, from the ashes of war, stay together and re-define ourselves away from Muslim Nigeria. That is the only path to survival. Sahara Reporters' Omoyele Sowore is in my crosshairs
The first thing we ought to have as an agenda is to take back the narrative from Lagos-Ibadan Press. We must do this, or die trying. I don't know if you're aware that the Lagos-Ibandan Press (the Ngbati Press) has been controlling the narrative since after the war. They have the lawyers and the press men. They also have access to OIL money. So, the control our thinking. Yes, they have been telling our own story to the world. And what a sordid story they tell! The Lagos-Ibadan press have been selling the East short, put in simpler terms. They have defined us, and not allowing us to define ourselves.
Eastern centric media? Yes, you heard right. Just as the Yoruba (west) have their own media looking out for them, and Hausa/Fulani media (north) looking out for the Sharia north, the former Eastern Nigeria, needs its own eastern-centric media to look out for the wellbeing and interest of the Christian East. That will go a long way to rebuild the shattered, broken Eastern leg of the Nigerian Tripod. All internet sites, newspapers, radio and TV stations owned and controlled by Easterners, are invited to form the Eastern Media. They will tell our story, the way we perceive it to be. We're going to tell the world about the other side of the coin. We're due to begin to challenge and puncture the Nigeria war propaganda balloons. Never again should we allow anybody to tell our story, when we can tell it as well as any if not better. We must begin to counter the lies, obfuscations, the propaganda, as being told by Sahara Reporters and ACN. The Yoruba and Edo nations have gone literally berserk since the presidency was won by the East. They have gone bananas. Yes, they have lost it, just as they are losing the East. They don't even have any pretentions whatsoever anymore, regarding their visceral, the belittling, the brutal hate of anything and anybody East - Igbo, Ijaw, Efik or Ibibio. Isn't it why the Muslim ACN, is seeking political alliance with Hausa/Fulani CPC - the home party of Sharia and Boko Haram? When this alliance is cemented, the monarchical Yoruba/Edo nations and Hausa/Fulani feudalist, will come back to finish the job they left on finished . Let us not give them the pleasure.
Sidebar with the President
Apparently, the "no victor, no vanquished" propaganda isn't enough. Everybody already knows that it is not worth the paper it was printed on. Yet, they're victorious Lagos-Ibadan press is itching to draw more blood. In fact, The Yoruba has the most OIL barons in the Nigerian list of OIL thieves. Apparently that isn't even enough for them either. They still want their pound of flesh. The way the that this press disparages and hates this Ijaw presidency, is approaching hate speech. If the Eastern Governors, Senators, House of Representatives, Oha N'eze Ndigbo, Church people do not get together soon, to have a sidebar with the President, talk about re-developing the East, invite GEA Jonathan to come along, it might be too late. Now, that airplanes and helicopters ferrying Christian politicians have been falling off the sky lately, who knows, it might become a Jonathan's airplane one day. If Boko Haram or some crazed Jihadist politicians decides to take down the President, Namadi Sambo, his VP, a Muslim will become the substantive president. If the East continues to sleep, we might wake up sometime, shackled in by Sharia Islam.
Are the Easterners listening?
Are the Ijaw listening and taking notes? Are the Efik and Ibibio listening and copiously taking notes? Are the Igbo listening? We must stick together to turn this ship around. When a Yoruba man like Val Ojo calls an Igbo lady, our most productive, most learned, and most hardworking, a traitor and wants to burn her at the stake, or kill her by firing squad, we the easterners, understands he meant every word of it. These Mgbati people are not kidding. If Val Ojo and his cohorts had the chance, they'd starve another 3 million Biafran Children to an early grave. Please, do not allow them again.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year All!
Azubike Ekwueme writes and publishes from Milwaukee Wisconsin
*Tags: Nigerians, $800, Billion, Dollars, Rebuild, East, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb
*New Year Gift: Obi Splashes Armoured vehicles on the Police
In immediate fulfillment of his promise to make security of lives and property the priority of his Government in 2013 as contained in his New Year broadcast, Gov. Obi on January 2, presented 3 armoured and 50 patrol vehicles to the Police at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia, making it over 350 he has so far presented to security organizations in the State.
During the presentation, Obi said that other security agencies would receive theirs and assured the Police of the continued support from Anambra State. He says: “May I reassure the Inspector General of Police and the entire Police that Anambra State will continue to work with them for the security of the State and the country at large. We enjoin all Nigerians to do same.”
Explaining the reason for the gesture, Obi said it was out of his belief that the State needed security to sustain her achievements and record even more, which will not be possible in the atmosphere of insecurity.
Earlier, the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Abubakar, who said he was in the State to appraise security situation, received the keys to the vehicles from the Governor Obi. He thanked him for his commitment to security saying that each time the Governor visited him in Abuja, it must be on how to improve the security of his people. He said he was also happy on coming to Anambra because the State had remained an example of how other states ought to support security agencies for the good of the country. He also commended Obi for his contributions to the re-positioning of the police through his membership of the Police Funding Committee. ( Continues below….. )
Comparing Anambra of the past and that of today, he said that under Governor Obi, the State had moved from her ugly past and had become more peaceful, secured, stable, progressive and safe.
While commending Obi and the Anambra Police Command for their efforts at security, the IG disclosed that the Police have posted more 500 of her personnel to Anambra and hinted the possibility of establishing more Area commands in the State for efficient and effective policing of the State. He also reiterated his commitment to a safer Anambra. He said that going by the nature and extent of support the Police in Anambra were enjoying from the Gov, that there was no reason for them to fail.
Later, the Governor took the Inspector General of Police to Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company, Nnewi, where he inspected the plant, including the 300 security patrol vehicles ordered and paid for by Anambra State Government to be distributed to the communities in the State.
Speaking to the press, the Inspector General who was impressed with what he saw, said that he would look at the vehicles manufactured at the industry in terms of suitability for security purposes for them to patronize it.
*The Sovereign Biafran State: What will it Look Like?
By Ikechukwu Enyiagu
There are growing international concerns on the inevitable Sovereign Biafran State and what the global community should expect from this much-pronounced and soon-materializing beacon of light in this western part of the African continent. It has to be noted also that these concerns are not coming solely from outside of the Biafran territories; Biafrans alike have continually been asking amongst themselves and wondering what their expectation would eventually give birth to. And considering the ever-increasing and ever-diverging dissimilarities of the so-called “Federated Nigeria” and the consequences of its forced continuity, amongst which are: terrorism, religious intolerance, kidnappings, political/legal robberies and a general societal decay, even those who have fought and killed their supposed colleagues and friends during the 60s invasion of Biafra and the untold genocidal crimes which followed suit have not ruled out the possibility of "Solving Nigeria and the dangers of its continued, compelled oneness" through the separation of Biafra from the present Nigeria. To assuage the interests and concerns of the global community, the present Nigeria's elders and leaders and the Nigerian populace on the need to shun the continued catastrophic outcome of a continued One-Nigeria and to embrace the only solution to the Nigeria equation, I'd like to table a picture of the new Biafra before all. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Map of Defunct Republic of Biafra
1. International Relations: Biafrans, by birth and blood, are a people who individually understand the basics of relationships even if they have never entered the walls of a secular school. It's in the blood of Biafrans to understand that personal growths can only improve and be meaningful when we realize that growth is not altogether personal; the cord of growth intertwines us with our neighbors and roots us to our environment so we can be more fruitful. By the favor of the business spirit, every single Biafran understands that there is need to interconnect with the global community for maximum mutual benefits.
2. Citizenship: One thing the world has to get straight is that no government of a country which undermines its citizens can be said to be totally free from the rogue-spirit; countries that do not hold their citizens to heart will not make good and trusted international partners. That tells why governments of some so-called "sovereign nations" often go to the length of protecting and harboring an international murderer and terrorist even against every treaty. The land and the people of Biafra known to the world from inception abhor autocratic callousness. When a man chooses to be callous, the state has laws to clip his wings, but when a State becomes callous, its citizens, like the butterfly, mature from fear and anger to full-blown terror-machines - inflicting injuries on friends and foes alike. Every Biafran citizen will be fully accounted for and represented.
3. Security: The only reason that Nigeria lacks security and will never have one is because you cannot pour a new wine into an old wine-skin and not expect it to burst; the equation which brought about the amalgamation that birthed Nigeria is an equation of death and can only be corrected by undoing the said amalgamation. Every true businessman understands what security entails and every Biafran is, by birth and blood, a true businessman. Security in the coming Biafra is no challenge as we will be adequately equipped to maximize the potentials of our business spirit.
4. Human Rights: An age-old adage which, when translated in English from the Igbo Language, means "The Igbo (s) have no king” is an inherent democratic gift of the Biafran people. The kings of the old lorded it over all and the leaders of the present Nigeria throw their inefficiencies and arrogant international show of stupidity over all as well. In the Sovereign Biafra, both the leaders and the led will be protected by the democratic and inherent law of "Igbo Enwe Eze." There will be no room for any lawmaker to make a law, break it and then, like the Bankole of the Nigerian House of Representative, cry thus with impunity: "No court (in Nigeria) has power to try me!" In Biafra, just as the former Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevich, was unhesitatingly sentenced to 14 years in prison for trying to play the Nigerian godfatherism in the US, so will the Biafran constitution protect only those who honor it and humble anyone who tries to lord his demons against the State.
5. International Appeal: This is where it gets even better; the long-awaited Biafra will be a home to/for all. Those who are saddled with the responsibility of documenting the ratio of foreigners in their countries can correctly reveal that Biafrans are spread, like the seeds of life, all over the world. And the good thing is: adaptation is home to us. We sink into any society we enter, both to become one with the inhabitants and to help in promoting their best interests. This unique gift has seen our sons and daughters married to men and women of all nationalities - like no other race, ethnic group or people throughout the world. This can only imply that the model which America has tried to sell to the world for decades without much result will be a common sight in the country called Biafra. For the Chinese, they will see Biafran children who are both Chinese and Biafran in every way. For the Americans and the Brits, their tongues, blood and ways of life will be a common sight amongst Biafrans. All over the continents of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and America, many will find reasons to make Biafra their home. The revealing of this new Biafra will solve about 47% of the UN's global challenges. Those who know how to use their calculators perfectly understand these truths.
6. Religion: Biafrans are mostly Christians and this is the best part of it; there's no compulsion! Religious compulsion feeds corrupt minds and governments, and when the ground gets too much of it, the society boils. Not only will the new Biafra allow others within the present Nigeria to fully follow their religious, circular and family ways of life, it will, through grounded for-peoples' laws, erase religious tensions anywhere in the territories of the Biafran Sovereignty.
With these realities revealed, it is clear to see that every other disturbing concern of today’s Nigeria will have its solution if the blocks of Biafra. Finally, let our eyes sharply focus on the bests of ourselves as a people, a nation and the beacon of true light in Africa and to the rest of the world. As we work and anticipate the emancipation of the Black-Man all over the world through the manly endorsement of the Biafran State by the UN and the Individual Super Powers, let us all think of the best of ourselves that we can put in to sustain the dreams of the Biafran Spirit. And let us start that now.
Ikechukwu Nnochiri (2011), “No court has power to try me – Bankole”, Vanguard Nigeria, http://www.vanguardngr.com/2011/06/no-court-has-power-to-try-me-bankole/ (Accesssed on 30/12/2012) Elizabeth Flock (2011), “Rod Blagojevich is 4th Illinois governor jailed in four decades”, The Washinton Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/rod-blagojevich-4th-illinois-governor-jailed-in-four-decades/2011/12/08/gIQAFzvVfO_blog.html (Accesssed on 30/12/2012)
Ikechukwu Enyiagu can be reached at
*On Death of Bernard Ogbonnia Edoga
By Dr. James C. Agazie
Several of our compatriots and fellow travelers have gone home to Nigerian only to meet their untimely deaths at the hands of evil people. Are the deaths caused by greedy relatives who use family politics and jealousy to justify wickedness?. Murders are not often committed by total strangers unless the inside job comes from people in the know within the family. Sometimes, these murders are perpetrated by or engineered on behalf of underachieving relatives you’ve left behind. Should your father be married to a woman or women other than your mother, you may have inherited a problem that will haunt you for the rest of your life. Money is at the root of many Nigerian relative-on-relative assassinations The more you try to uplift your uncle’s, sister’s, brother’s or step-mother’s underachieving children, the more their resentment or hatred of you grows exponentially for no apparent reason. Should you ignore them and concentrate upon your own wife and immediate children, the wound festers, rankles, irritates, or just worsens. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Late Dr. Ogbonnia Edoga
There is no easy solution. One thing is sure: we must continue to visit home to succor, encourage, and stimulate our people. We must continue to do what we know how best to do, and that is being the best product our Nigeria and local communities can offer. We must continue to visit the country we love so much, and no devil in hell shall take that love and visits away. We reject the power evil men may cast over us, the power that attempts to destroy what they have not created or understood. And while we in Diaspora are doing our best, we must not forget that we are keepers of each other, and God is the Keeper of all souls.
FAREWELL TO BERNARD OGBONNIA EDOGA (E) We remember seeing you times and times in our gatherings, but didn’t get to say “Hi” We failed to touch your shoulders, shake your hands and get to feel your presence What struck us most about you were your quiet dignity, humility and “stay-back” Not wishing to be seen or recognized is your hallmark that impresses us to the core Losing you is awfully more than we can bear because you didn’t have to die so cruelly You didn’t have to die at prime and didn’t have to go soon, leaving your family behind (D) Ogboo, the news of your sudden leaving came as shocking as it was unwarranted You didn’t have to die at the hands of worthless men who hardly knew a thing about you You didn’t have to fall on your knees when all you were all about were love and goodwill And why must you beg for your life when the Creator alone has power to give and take? Come on, dear Ogboo, we are certain you did absolutely nothing to be rewarded this way We greet with scorn the millionth time warnings from cruel lips not to return (O) You were violently, and viciously seized from our midst by cruel force, and that’s alright You were snatched up and sent on afar-off journey without fanfare, and that’s alright Our hearts were stabbed a thousand times with gaping wounds, and that’s quite alright We’ve been warned a millionth times: “Stay there; don’t come home,” and that’s alright When we ask “What’s the reason for this man’s death?” we didn’t find a single charge We strenuously condemn enemies’ “Where’s the money you brought” as baseless (G) Surely, you had the right to go anywhere on God’s earth that no devil in hell can bar Straighten up, Bro. Edoga, and listen to words from mortal lips of bereaved friends “The assassins didn’t shoot at things they liked; they merely shot at things they lacked They took misdirected aims at their own worthlessness , hopelessness, utter confusion Being at the wrong place at the wrong time is not reason to slaughter a young man” (A) Be it resolved in our hearts and this we must live by: to keep your memory ever before us We shall continue to love Motherland despite what may come or go on cold tombstones We shall endeavor to know persons close and around us to reach out to, and care for For that might be our last handshake, our last smile, our last Hi, or our last sip of water We reject the fear of evil men who destroy things they haven’t labored for or understood And Brother Edoga, your death is not in vain because your intent was to help, not hinder
Dr. James C. Agazie ( firstname.lastname@example.org 678-886-1613 ) writes from Lagos, Nigeria.
*Questions Nigerians Should Be Asking Their President
By Chris Onyishi
I have a conundrum. Suppose you find yourself with two other people in a wilderness. And suppose the three of you are separated in the wilderness by an equal distance, to each other, of two kilometers apart.
Then suppose there is this angel that comes with three liters of water to serve the three of you every morning. The angel comes to you and gives you a liter. The one liter is not enough for you - your daily need of water would be about two liters - but there is nothing anybody can do about the inadequacy for now because the source of water can only release just three liters in every 24 hours.
Then on one occasion this angel comes to you with two liters instead of one.
What would be your reaction? At the first instance, as a normal human being, you will be happy that you now get enough water for your daily need in the wilderness. But after this initial euphoria, what will you be ruminating about? I will help you think.
a) You would be able to ask the angel; has the source of water increased to six liters - from three – every 24 hours?
b) If the angel's answer was in the negative, you would want to know if two of your mates in the wilderness have either died or have been moved back to the city.
c) If two of your mates have not died and have not also been moved back to the city and the source of water has not increased beyond the original 3 liters daily, you would be thinking that the angel has conjured water from the air.
Then your initial euphoria will now be gradually turning into anxiety. You would be thinking that your problem has not really been solved. You may then be tempted to reason that the angel is either dubious or has killed two of your mates even when the angel said he did not do so. The underlying thing here is that trust crisis has set in. The angel that you vested your hope on for the supply of water has just done something that makes you become uncomfortable with him.
Sometime in the life of President Goodluck Jonathan's administration (I think last year 2012), there was this hype that electricity supply has improved or increased. Even though there was a little increase of marginal 30 minutes to every 1 day flash of electricity in the area of Lagos where I stay, I was not carried away by any initial euphoria. What I did was to ask those questions I helped suggested to you above.
In the first place, I have discovered that Nigerians have started suffering from two new forms of ailments as a result of hopelessness emanating from abysmal performance of successive PDP controlled central governments. The first is acute selfishness, while the second is absolutely diminished or warped sense of what development and improvement on government service delivery should be. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Seal of The President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is the official symbol of the Nigerian President, first used in 1979 by President Shehu Shagari.
We now behave like people who live on day to day basis. We do not rate government performance on any long term basis anymore. So a President can come and say there is stable power today and tomorrow he does not care what the power situation is. When the President wants to engage the media on a chart, he cooks up figures which he announces to a bewildered citizenry. The minister of Information on his part will arrange shows of information distortion with the Nigerian Television Authority – another organ of falsehood – where they will arraign the ministers in all elaborated lying parade. In one such show, the Aviation Minister (Princess Stella Oduah) had scarcely finished teasing us with huge strides achieved in aviation industry when planes started falling off the sky. Arc. Mike Oziegbe Onolememen was in the same charade telling us how all roads in the Federation have been lined with gold and what was left was “the missing link”, whatever that means.
Then, the government has, in collusion with NEPA or PHCN as the case maybe, grouped all of us in the nation into a phantom disjointed electricity zones or states. Most of us are conversant with what “NEPA” or “PHCN” calls “load shading” or “sharing”, whichever is applicable in your area. But what most do not know about is the existence of the phantom electricity zones or states. The government seems to have perfected another form of “load sharing” at a larger scale which could comprise of tribes or political zones or predominant religious areas.
Government with its agent of Armageddon called NEPA with a baptismal name of PHCN will channel the 4,500 MW of electricity to some of these electricity zones or states in rotation. And because of one of the twin ailments that has affected us, acute selfishness, you would hear of one electricity zone or state saying that electricity has improved while some other electricity zones are saying exactly the opposite. And because of the ailment of acute selfishness, the moment there is electricity in my area I will praise the government and render abuse on any tribe or group that belong to the low shaded electricity zone and is still complaining. We no longer pause to understand the pains of our brothers and sisters on any issue. So the government has succeeded in setting us against us along all manner of divisive tendencies (tribe, religion and politics) so as to keep coasting on falsehood unchallenged.
So, it is possible for a government agent to be on a life radio or TV show boasting that government is doing its best and you get some group corroborating his/her claims while those who do not have light to charge their mobile phones would not get through to challenge the assertion. In a couple of days or months, the power shading or sharing will shift to another electricity zone or state and the whole magic revolves and government wades through with constant bombardments either from the attack lion of Mr. “Gentle” Reuben Abati. The irony of life is that no amount of falsehood will ever overshadow the truth. For from one PDP government to another infrastructural decay and corruption has kept on gradually reducing the Nigerian state and Nigerians to a mere animal kingdom.
The second side of our new ailment which is a warped sense of development or improvement is that before now NEPA takes anything from five to sixty days to complete the “load sharing” cycle in some very lucky areas – some do not get light in 120 days and when it comes, it just stays for about 20 minutes but the NEPA bills come every thirty days (light or no light). What we now call improvement is that it takes four days to complete a cycle of “load shading” or “sharing” as may be applicable in your locality in the particular electricity zone which they have decided to channel the 4,500MW. And in the one day that you will have the light, it has become a case of 30 minutes light, 20 minutes off from the usual 10 minutes light 3 hours off. This is what we now call improvement or that President Jonathan is trying.
If you tell somebody in Nigeria that light never blinks in 12 months of a year across the border in Accra Ghana he will think you have a mental case.
I rationalized that if we are still talking about 4,500 MW of electricity generated, and if the population of Nigeria is still growing and if the crocodiles that usually dive into the electricity generating damns have not all died, and if President Jonathan is still the President of Nigeria coming from a political party known as PDP, and if Ms Madueke is still the Petroleum resources minister, and Arc. Mike Oziegbe Onolememen is still the HONORABLE Minister of works, and if Alhaji Labaran Maku is still the Information Minister, and $16 billion has been spent on electricity sector in Nigeria from the days of the big Masquerade himself, and nothing has changed so much about the 36 governor still saddling the respective state residences, we may not have come to anything near power stability in Nigeria.
But there is something strikingly amazing about our rulers in PDP. One Lyel Imoke once boasted that electricity supply would only stabilize in Nigeria in 50 years. I think this postulation or discovery or, rather, scientific ingenuity was made by Gov. Imoke in the year of our Lord 2005 or thereabouts. So, if you put a little mathematics in the works, you would see that we still have about 43 clear years ahead before we begin to talk about improved electricity supply in our land. Lyel Imoke was later awarded the governorship of Cross River state after that assertion as the Power and steel Minister.
The question Nigerians should be asking their President is: can 1 + 1 give 3 instead of 2? Any government that is talking about improved power supply with power generation still less than 50,000 MW in Nigeria is not just dubious and to that extent unfair to Nigerians but should be seen as a criminal administration.
Chris Onyishi (email@example.com) writes from Lagos, Nigeria.
*New Year Speech By Governor Peter Obi
My Dear Ndi Anambra,
I address you today with a deep sense of gratitude to God and a profound appreciation of your support in 2012. We thank God for seeing all of us through various challenges last year. All our achievements which were recorded within the ambience of peace and political stability last year, were possible because you gave unflinching support to our adopted vision of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, being pursued through the Anambra Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS).
I am confident that our administration will continue to enjoy your support and co-operation in 2013. Nonetheless, it is important to stress that fresh challenges await us this year. On the 18th of December 2012, I presented the 2013 Budget which is my 6th Budget based on our vision of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and our strategy of Anambra Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS). Though we may not achieve 100 per cent of our goals, I assure you, as I have always done, that we shall continue, with your support, to put in 100 per cent effort. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Governor Peter Obi
Last year, we took some critical decisions and actions that were intended for the good of our state. This year, we will renew our commitment to achieve the Millennium Development Goals as follows:
In spite of our commitment and effort, we realise that we cannot record meaningful achievements in an atmosphere of insecurity. Every attention will therefore be given to security of lives and property this year. To this end, we shall do everything to tackle criminality in the State, especially kidnapping. We shall therefore continue to support all security agencies by direct funding and provision of necessary equipment for their operations. It is interesting to note that as at this moment, we have provided the various security agencies with over 350 vehicles, including the 100 new ones we have just procured. To further ensure adequate security of our communities, the Government has concluded arrangements to offer direct support to them by paying salaries of a chosen number of Vigilante groups and through the provision of patrol vehicles to all the communities in the State. We have ordered and paid for 300 vehicles for this purpose.
The State will procure state-of-the-art tracking equipment to assist security agencies to assist in tackling criminality of all kinds.
2. POVERTY ALLEVIATION
We will continue with our aggressive mission to provide access to wealth creation as a means of fighting poverty by opening up our rural, hard-to-reach communities with good roads. You may recall that availability of roads has facilitated the movement of persons and goods in our State. We shall therefore continue the reconstruction of existing roads, construction of new ones and completion of roads under construction some of which are: Amasea-Ebenebe-Awba-Ofemili road; Awka-Mgbakwu-Isuaniocha-Urum-Amanuke-Achala road; Enugwu-Ukwu-Nimo-Okacha road; Atani-Ozubulu road with three bridges that will help to reduce traffic into Onitsha.Nza Ozubulu-Afor Ukpor Road, connecting Isseke and Orlu; Uku Adazi-Ani-Nkwo Adazi-Enu Road as well as Umuchukwu road.
We have initiated and will initiate more projects which will go a long way in alleviating poverty through employment and creation of opportunities for our people. Consequently, we have initiated some projects which when completed, will employ our people, such as the Onitsha Hotel and Convention Centre, and the shopping Mall at Onitsha. We shall also start the Hotel projects at the Capital Territory as well as Agulu Lake. Fortunately, industries that have successfully taken off in our State are all contributing to poverty-alleviation through employment of our people. We have concluded discussion with some other companies desirous of setting up shop here.
As education has remained the best investment for the future of our society and children, we shall, in collaboration with the Church and vocational agencies, continue the aggressive rebuilding of our collapsed school infrastructure. We shall also ensure that our Universal Basic Education remains free and compulsory. As we are working towards the return of our schools to their past glory, we shall endeavour to train and re-train qualified teachers.
We shall intensify our partnership with the Church in the area of healthcare delivery. As part of our Millennium Development Goals Programme, we are executing over 30 buildings in different Missionary hospitals. We shall complete the projects and initiate more this year. In line with our promise to secure the accreditation of three hospitals in the State, having achieved two, we shall work on the third one. We shall also continue our policy of offering regular financial support (grant-in-aid) to selected hospitals in the State. We shall continue to pay attention to our new Teaching Hospital by providing more equipment and facilities to make it one of the best in the country. Special attention will also be paid to our General Hospitals to make all of them functional. I have given necessary directives to the new Commissioner for Health in this regard.
We shall also work closely with the communities to ensure that our interventions on healthcare delivery get to the people.
The environment shall be given due attention as we shall continue the aggressive clean-up of our major cities. We shall immediately re-locate to Onitsha to commence the immediate removal of all forms of shanties and stoppage of street trading. We appeal to those guilty of this menace to, on their own, remove their shanties and take their goods out of the streets before the commencement of the exercise.
We shall continue to work on on-going water projects and ensure effective take-off of completed ones. Special attention will be paid to Onitsha and Awka Water Schemes.
Today, we enjoy a good relationship with international development partners. We shall continue to strengthen this relationship, while exploring the possibility of new partnerships at local, national and global levels.
7. LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTION
In line with our resolve to conduct Local Government Election as soon as possible, we appeal to those who have instituted one court case or another to withdraw them in the interest of the State and democracy.
8. OTHER SECTORS
In line with the multi-sectoral nature of our vision and the strategy we have adopted for achieving it, every sector of our economy will receive attention in 2013. To this effect, we shall continue ongoing projects, while endeavouring to initiate new ones in Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Sports, among others.
My dear Ndi Anambra, I thank you again for your support to this administration. I urge us all to remain prayerful and patriotic. I assure you of our total commitment towards achieving our vision anchored on Anambra Integrated Development Strategy.
To our kith and kin who have returned from distant places to celebrate Christmas and the New Year with us, while I wish you fun-filled holidays and journey mercies as you return to your bases, I encourage you to think home always and situate some of your investments at home. Thank you all and may God continue to bless Anambra State!
*Nigeria: Many Are The Afflictions Of State Governors
By Theophilus Ilevbare
Since the inception of the fourth republic in 1999, Governors have been the subject of intense speculation and debate whenever they disappear from official and other public functions. As the year tails to an end, a serious call for concern is the plight of some state governors that have been missing in action for the past few months.
Late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua spent most of his tenure governing Katsina state from various hospital bed in Europe, unknown to people of Katsina, till he was foisted on Nigerians by Olusegun Obasanjo in 2007 as President. He lost his battle with his health in 2010. Crisis was averted when Goodluck Jonathan was eventually sworn in as acting and much later, substantive President. Two term governor of Edo State, Lucky Igbinedion also had his own share of health challenges, which he tacitly managed and kept away from public knowledge. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Late President Umaru Yar'Adua of Nigeria at a Muslim prayer session in Abuja on September 29, 2009.
Kogi State Governor, Idris Wada Kogi State Governor, Idris Wada, on friday December 28, was involved in an auto crash with his convoy when his Lexus SUV tyre burst, causing it to somersault three times into an uncompleted building by the road side. Multiple crashes ensued as other vehicles were in his motorcade.
His driver, however, escaped unhurt but the governor’s Aide-de-Camp, ASP Idris Mohammed, died instantly, while others in his motorcade sustained varying degree of injury.
Wada was quickly evacuated by his officials to Kogi Specialist Hospital in Lokoja from where he was transferred to the National Hospital, Abuja for further treatment.
The governor was returning from the annual Igala Education Summit which he declared opened at the Kogi State University in Anyigba when his convoy was involved in the crash on Lokoja-Ajaokuta Road.
Gov Sullivan Chime of Enugu State
The speculation surrounding the health of the Enugu state governor has become intense in recent weeks as officials of the state continue to vehemently refute rumours of his absence, refusing to disclose his whereabouts or state of health. News of his ailment has been misconstrued as death in some parts of the state. Former minister of state for foreign affairs Dubem Onyia had to calm frayed nerves by stating the governor is alive and kicking.
Sullivan’s last public appearance was at the meeting of South-East Governors Forum on September 9, 2012 in Enugu, since then he has been conspicuously missing in public functions. A punch investigation revealed that the governor made only 17 public appearances from a possible 111 in 2012. To underscore his frail heath, he collapsed in Nsukka in 2011, and relapsed twice in Enugu, in 2008 and 2009.”
However, an aide of the governor, who regrets the entire saga, recently told some journalists that Chime was in “a bad shape before he left the country for London. We noticed it.”
The aide explained further “for some time now, we noticed that the governor has not been his usual bubbling self. You may not easily know this because he carries himself well and hardly talks, but some of us knew that the man was down. From what we heard, he is no longer in London; he was flown to India last week because his health condition wasn’t getting better. As I speak to you right now, he is in a hospital in India.”
Concern, apprehension and anxiety can best describe the mood in Enugu, particularly Udi where Governor Chime hails from.
Governor of Cross River State, Liyel Imoke
In November, former Federal Minister of Power and Steel now Governor of Cross River State, Liyel Imoke had announced that he was taking time off to attend to his medical condition without disclosing the problem he had with his health.
He however wrote a letter to the state House of Assembly that he had handed over to his deputy, Efiok Cobham, so as to enable him proceed on an accumulated leave.
Reports say the governor’s health condition has to do with his kidney. Government house sources said Liyel is on life support and undergoing regular dialyses.
Similar to other ailing governors, there aides and protocol men are having a busy time deflating rumours of the governor’s deteriorating health. The pace of development has been reduced to snail’s pace as the Deputy Governor, Efiok Cobham like his counterpart in Enugu state, Sunday Onyebuchi, cannot approve more than N500, 000 for any project regardless of how pressing it is, rather attention have now been channelled to gull the people of the states.
Governor Patrick Yakowa, Kaduna State
The Governor met his untimely death on his way to Port Harcourt from Bayelsa after he attended the funeral of late Mr Tamunoobebara Douglas, the father of the Presidential adviser on Research, Documentation and Strategy, Mr Oronto Douglas when the Nigerian Navy Augusta 109 helicopter conveying himself, the erstwhile National Security Adviser, General Owoye Azazi and four others, burst into flames and crashed at Okoroba village in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
They were said to have been badly burnt and only identified by the shreds of their clothes.
Yakowa has since been buried and Kaduna state has moved on with the swearing in of his deputy Mukhtar Yero as the new governor and former Peoples Democratic Party chairman in the state, Mr. Nuhu Bajoga, his deputy.
Dambaba Danfulani Suntai, Taraba State Governor
Very little has been heard of Governor Dambaba Suntai since the self-inflicted head injuries he sustained after his Cessna 208 private jet piloted by him in company of five of his aides, crashed on October 25 in Yola, capital of Adamawa State.
He initially received treatment at the Abuja National Hospital before he was eventually flown to Germany for “proper medical attention”.
A presidential delegation led by Senate President David Mark embarked on a clandestine journey to see the governor on his sick bed in Germany en route their official destination of the Vatican City to witness the consecration of Archbishop John Onaiyekan as Cardinal of the Catholic Church, disclosed that apart from the fact that he is bedridden, he could not recognize members of the delegation.
The silence on Governor Suntai’s health status is considered by many as a scheme to delay the swearing in of the deputy governor as the substantive governor despite prove beyond reasonable doubt that Suntai might not be able to fully recover from the crash to govern Taraba again.
In similar manner to the propaganda by other state governors on ‘vacation,’ the deceit and lies by media aides to the governor continued unabated without recourse to his prolonged absence from the country, This has stalled governance in Taraba as there was no official handover to his deputy to take charge of day-to-day administration of the state.
The polity of the affected states have being heated unnecessarily as a result of prolonged absence of these governors fuelled by persistent denials by their aides who are not bothered that the people they govern deserve to know the whereabouts and medical condition of their Governors.
It would be safe to conclude that a lot of them are aware of their fragile health before aspiring for political office which they thereafter shield and employ state resources to keep going. These Governors, like every other human being, can succumb to illness but it is the secrecy that it is shrouded, the leadership vacuum created and the attendant dislocation in the workings of government when they periodically break down that is a source of worry.
Theophilus Ilevbare ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
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