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03/27/13

*"Nigeria Is The Future, Britain Is The Past...."

By Masterweb News Desk

Dotun Adebayo is the most successful Nigerian broadcaster ever in Britain. And now, he says, after nearly fifty years in the UK, he's ready to come home. "What ie happening in Nigeria now in terms of the explosion of media is unprecedented anywhere else in the world. In the next couple of years Nigeria will have more television channels than anywhere else in the world and within the next decade will lead the world in terms of television and radio news. So watch out CNN and BBC, Nigeria is where it's at."

52-year-old Dotun revolutionised and conquered the British book publishing industry with his company The X Press in 1992 with the bestseller Yardie,and went on to publish such huge hits ass 'Baby Father' (one million copies sold) 'Cop Killer', Wicked In Bed" and his current smash hit "Prisoner To The Streets", before taking the broadcasting industry by storm in 2001 with his job presenting the award winning global news magazine programme Up All Night for BBC Radio 5 Live. A post that he still holds for 12 years, broadcasting fr four hours a night, four nights a week, making him the presenter with the most airtime on the station. "I represent 10 percent of the station's output. I have over a million listeners tuning in to me every night. Holding down a job like that for all this time hasn't been easy. I have had to deal with a lot of the racism and other prejudiced nonsense that we have to deal with over in the UK."

But now it's time to come home. And Dotun is inviting offers from any of the big new channels.

"You can listen to what I can do on air. My television experience comes from running my own TV channel in the UK - Colourtelly, where I presented black-interest news for years. All I'm waiting for now is the right offer from Nigeria and I'll pack my bags and be on that first plane to Abuja or Lagos. Nigeria is the future, Britain is the past", Adebayo tells Nigerians.

TO CONTACT DOTUN ADEBAYO FOR POSSIBLE INTERVIEW. PHOTOS ETC: Email: dotunadebayo@hotmail.com Phone: +44 7565 483 766

Below are some links to Adebayo BBC radio programmes:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rfy0f
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rfwg4
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rfthg
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01r9qf2

Dotun Adebayo

Photo Above: Dotun Adebayo

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03/26/13

*Hell Cerebrates Prayers & Wishes For Achebe As Heaven Shields His Soul

By Intersociety-Nigeria (Public Statement)

Hell Cerebrates Prayers & Wishes For Prof. Chinua Achebe In Death By Nigerian Politicians & Military Apologists AS Heaven Shields His Soul From Contamination

(Onitsha-Nigeria, March 24, 2013)-The irreparable death of the literary giant and social reformer of our times, Professor Chinualumuogu Achebe on Thursday, 22nd day of March, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, has come and is going, but the breaking news is that prayers and wishes in torrents, offered for Achebe De Rejected by reigning Nigerian politicians and military apologists are expressly being cerebrated in Hell and shielded from contaminating his soul by the Angels of the Heaven. For records, Professor Chinua Achebe was born on November 16, 1930 at Ogidi, Idemmili North LGA, Anambra State, Southeast Nigeria. He was a student of the famous and, some say infamous Government College, Umuahia, Abia State, Southeast Nigeria, between 1944 and 1947. His experiences in the hands of his white tutors, who forbade African way of life and promoted un-African way of life, motivated him, to an extent, if not more, into writing the Things Fall Apart in 1958; No longer at Ease in 1960; and The Arrow of god in 1964. He further wrote The Problem with Nigeria in 1983 and The Anthills of the Savannah in 1988. In 2012, he wrote There Was A Country (a personal history of Biafra), which earned him thunderous accolades from millions of young thinkers home and abroad as well as coordinated attacks from other side of the divides particularly the Southwest Nigerian press, which many have described as the anti Igbo emancipation media industry. He won many local and international literary awards, prominent among them, was Man Booker Award given to him in 2007 during which the South African writer and Nobel Laureate in Literature, Nadine Gordiner, described him as The Father of Modern African Literature, a title attached to him even in his irreparable death.

But for the Government of the United States of America, directly or indirectly as well as humanists resident in overseas, Professor Chinua Achebe would have died 23 years ago-1990 in a Nigerian hospital owing to total neglect and quackery in the country’s public and private healthcare. Professor Achebe’s fatal road accident took place sometime in 1990 and he was abandoned to die by the military administrations at federal and State levels with their civilian aides and associates who, mostly, are today’s political office holders in Nigeria. Then he was on professorial appointment with the Federal Government of Nigeria. Most of the politicians praying for him and wishing him farewell in death today were either ministers, commissioners, contractors, SAs or members of the five fingers of a leprous hand and two pillars of a yam tendril during the military regimes of 1990 to 1998, yet Achebe De Rejected was abandoned to die like a street destitute. Today, prayers and wishes from the same hypocritical politicians and military apologists have rented the air in the form of Adieu, Achebe the Great, An Iroko Has Fallen, No, Achebe cannot die, Achebe can never die, A Giant has fallen, We have lost a genius, to mention but a few. ( Continues below..... )

Prof. Chinua Achebe

Photo Above: Prof. Chinua Achebe

The abandonment of the erudite professorial scholar in literature in the intensive unit of his hospital bed by those conscienceless mortals is not only the grouse Achebe De Great, his teeming friends and associates had and still have against them, serial corruption, abuse of office, unabated massacre of the Igbos , insecurity and mis-governance of highest order are other legitimate grouses. In 2004, some renegades as described by him, with federal backing, ousted a roguishly sitting governor of Anambra State, his home State, and later burnt down sacred public institutions including the sacred judicial, legislative and executive seats of power, which the roguishly sitting governor put the cost at N30Billion. While N1Billion was earmarked in the 2006 appropriation Law of the State for their partial reconstruction, the government that succeeded it in the same year spent N325million to reconstruct all that were burnt. This commendable act of the latter earned its governor an inglorious impeachment which was reversed by the courts of law in December 2006 and February 2007. To these effects, vagabonds and vagrants, heavily backed with the federal might, took over the public affairs of men and women in Professor Chinua Achebe’s home State of Anambra with reckless abandon while the political noble class in the State took off and fled.

These were the grounds for his rejection of the highly tainted Honour of the Commander of the Federal Republic award in 2004 under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, himself a chief accomplice in the Anambra political brigandage. Erudite Professor Chinua Achebe’s rejection of the 2011 tainted national award of same category by President Goodluck Jonathan was incontestably based on three major grounds: first being that the country’s corruption index was at its peak with over $100Billion domestic and foreign public debts; over $500Billion stolen public funds stashed in overseas; over 70% of annual national wealth going into recurrent spending; and steady decay in public infrastructures. The second incontestable ground for rejecting the un-meritorious award was the unabated massacre of Igbo sons and daughters in different parts of the country particularly in the northern parts. Erudite Professor Achebe must have been saddened that the Igbo race is not safe both in the hands of the Nigerian security forces particularly the Police and illegally armed brigades such as Boko-Haram and Ansaru militant Islamists. The third reason is the high incidence of insecurity in Nigeria as well as uncontrollable proliferation of small arms and their illicit bearers in Nigeria. A UN body recently estimated that there are 5.7million small arms in circulation in wrong hands in Nigeria.

Erudite Professor Chinua Achebe’s love for Nigeria and particularly his Igbo race is inestimable. His belief in the Nigerianess of unfettered equity knows no bounds. In 1961, barely one year after Nigeria’s independence proclamation, he accepted and received the Nigeria National Trophy for Literature award. In 1979, he accepted and received the Nigeria National Order of Merit and the Order of the Federal Republic awards. In 1999, hoping that the exit or planned exit of the military’s inglorious epoch would bring a social salvation for Nigeria; he accepted and received the First National Creativity Award. Years later, he was ferociously attacked by the Southwest Nigerian press for daring to express his displeasure over the continued massacre of the Igbo race, which lost over 1million of her sons and daughters in the 1967-1970 Nigerian-Biafran Civil War and has lost thousands to ethno-religious and extra judicial killings since 1999 in the hands of Nigerian security forces, civil butchers and armed opposition groups. For instance, following his 2012 cerebral book-There Was A Country (a personal history of Biafra), the News Nigeria Magazine, controlled by the Yorubas of the Southwest dedicated three editions attacking him. Series of sponsored editorials, columns and articles were also written against him with rebellious descriptions of his person. Today, to them, Achebe De Rejected & Achebe De Vilified has suddenly become a hero, an iroko, a colossus, a giant, an icon, to mention but a few. These information warfare mongers have joined those that Erudite Professor Achebe despised while alive such as unrepentant political profligates, election riggers and electoral robbers, failed public administrators, political tea makers and flute blowers, abusers of public offices and butchers-in-chief to offer wishes and prayers of the graveyard for Erudite Professor Chinua Achebe’s gentle soul which already got bedded place in Heaven long before its master’s demise.

We thank immensely the Government and great peoples of the United States of America particularly the University of Massachusetts for taking good care of our erudite literary professor in the last 23 years. The Nigerians in Diaspora particularly the Igbo-Nigerians in the United States are immensely commended for standing behind our Great Professor as well. We must not forget to thank the present Government of Anambra State led by Mr. Peter Obi for remembering and acknowledging the great roles of the forgotten heroes of our times both while they live and after they have died. From those who served our State at high capacities both meritoriously and un-meritoriously, such as the Aniagolus, Ezenwas, Enenchukwus, Amechis, Ikpeazus, Mbadinujus; to the irreplaceable heroes of our times such as the Ojukwus, Chike Obis, Kenneth Dilkes and the Achebes. If our erudite professor is given a befitting federating unit burial, he will eternally rest in peace and swear to come from our great State of Anambra and Southeast when next he re-incarnates. We thank pricelessly the Great Angels of the Heaven and our Heavenly General Overseer for shielding the soul of Erudite Professor Chinua Achebe from being tainted and contaminated by Hell-bound prayers and wishes of Nigerian politicians above categorized. The demonic gate keepers of the Hell are congratulated for express reception in torrents of the prayers and wishes above mentioned. We suggest that our Erudite Professor Chinualumuogu Achebe should be awarded a posthumous Nobel Prize in Literature if applicable. Signed:

For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law, Nigeria

Emeka Umeagbalasi Chairman of the Board
08033601078, 08180103912
umeagbalasi@yahoo.com, info@intersociety-ng.org.

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03/20/13

*Kano & Ezu River Killings: Igbos Are The Most Unprotected & Hated Tribe In Nigeria

By Intersociety-Nigeria (Society Statement)

(Onitsha-Nigeria, 20th day of March, 2013)-The leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law notes with gravest concerns the uncontrollable and systematic killing in recent times+ of Igbos in Nigeria particularly in the northern parts of the country. Less than two months ago, over four dozens of Igbo youths who are in their prime stages of socio-economic productivity were both killed extra-judicially and murdered in cold blood by the Nigeria Police Force and dumped into the Ezu River of Death in Anambra State, Southeast Nigeria. As we speak, the outcome of the sampling autopsy, as seemingly manipulated as its process appears, which was carried out by selected government bodies, is still being awaited many days, if not weeks after it was concluded and reportedly handed to the federal government committee in Abuja, Nigeria. While the snippets of the scientific exercise, corroborated by a top government official in the State, are already in the public domain, clearly showing that the victims were gun-shot, bruised, suffocated, etc, by their captors while in their custodies, we have every reason to suspect that the result of the sampling autopsy is being re-worked on to extricate the culprits and shift the blames to God knows angle.

As if the forgoing atrocious act was not enough, up to 108 Nigerian citizens of Southeast extraction popularly called Igbo tribe, including 59 passengers who bought tickets and boarded a modern luxury bus belonging to the Gobison Motors Limited were on Monday evening, 18th day of March, 2013, massacred at the New Road Luxury Park in the Sabon Gari(non-native zone) city of Kano State, Northwest Nigeria(elomba reports 20-03-2013). According to confirmed accounts from the crime scene, corroborated by the Kano State Police Command, a strange Volkswagen golf car drove into the Park at about 4:00pm on the said date and parked in between two luxury buses belonging to the Gobisom Motors Limited, which were fully loaded with passengers, and exploded, killing all the passengers on board. A modern luxury bus in Nigeria carries 59 passengers outside attachment, while the old model type popularly called akpuluka-Brazil, which is not much in the transport usage nowadays carries 42 passengers outside attachment. The explosion, according to the same accounts, led to further explosions, which affected other three luxury buses belonging to Ezenwata Transport Limited and Chiemzie Transport Limited, said to be scantly loaded with passengers. The said New Road Luxury Park is located at the heart of the Igbo area in Kano State called Sabon Gari. In the times past, the area, regarded as an outcast by the host Hausa-Fulani, was given to early Igbo traders in the State to live and suffer. But, years later, the area was transformed to the envy of the host communities including the present and successive governments in the State. The area is now the busiest and one of the most costly sub-cities in Kano State and a melting pot for over 3million Igbos resident in Kano State. ( Continues below….. )

 Burning and bombed-out buses

Photo Above: 1st Photo: Bombed buses and their passengers on firie; 2nd Photo: Bombed-out buses

While it is possible that the number of Igbo citizens, who were massacred in the bombing orchestrated by the northern politicians’ backed violent Islamist groups, is in their hundreds as evidenced by other eyewitnesses accounts including those who observed the evacuation of the dead bodies and the injured, the Kano State Police Commissioner, one Musa Daura, as expected, claimed that 22 people died and 65 injured in different categories. It is recalled that we had on 18th day of January, 2012, in our letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, protested against the endless massacre of Igbo citizens in Nigeria with specific reference to the massacre of estimated 510 Igbos in the Boko-Haram related violence between 2011 and second week of January 2012 alone. In the said letter of ours, we made far reaching recommendations including the need for geopolitical equity in the promotion and posting of senior police officers from Superintendents of Police to Deputy Inspectors General of Police. We observed then, which is still the order of the day in the NPF, that the police-citizen protection ratio in Nigeria was very high for northern Muslim citizens and Southwest (Yoruba) citizens and very low for Southeast citizens (Igbos). We also observed that the northern and southern minorities now called South-south and North-central Geopolitical Zones of Nigeria (northern Christians) are more protected in the hands of the Nigerian security forces led by the Nigeria Police Force than the Igbos or the people of Southeast Nigeria.

We discovered in the course of our investigation into the Nigeria Police Force rankings, promotions and postings that there existed and still exists an age-long suppressive policy being visited against the Igbo senior police officers tended and still tend to shut them down from ascending premium positions and postings. For instance, there were and still are tea makers and tea drinkers in the police command cadre. There, also, were and still are commanders and the commanded in same. It was on the strength of that gross lopsidedness that we prayed President Jonathan to issue a presidential proclamation to the effect that the promotion and posting of the 37 States and the FCT Commissioners of Police should be based on six geopolitical zones of Nigeria; that is to say 6 State CPs should come from each geopolitical zone. Also where there are 90 State and non-State CPs in Nigeria, each zone should get 15; where there are 240 DCPs/ACPs, each zone should get 40; where there are 24/30 AIGs, each zone should get 4/5; and where there are 6 or 7 DIGs, each zone should get at least one DIG. This, we believe, should be extended to the other branches of Nigeria’s security forces as time passes by. The foregoing is still our position till date.

The noble reason for the far reaching recommendation of ours stated above is not farfetched. Firstly, the NPF is the largest public security and law enforcement organization in Nigeria peopled by approximately 371,000. Other security forces put together are not up to the size of the NPF. Secondly, by law and norm, the NPF is the chief protector of Nigeria’s democracy and her citizenry and as such, the most populous and powerful public security organization in the country; taking up to 60% of Nigeria’s real defense/security expenditures both in terms of recurrent and capital spending. Thirdly, the recommendation, if judiciously implemented, will address the glaring police-citizen protection ratio gap between the Igbo citizens and their counterparts particularly northern Muslims’ partners. Fourthly, absence of same number of Igbo State ACPs, DCPs, CPs, AIGs and DIGs with their northwest, northeast and southwest counterparts, in the top police management or security meetings in Nigeria put the Igbo race in a perpetual state of insecurity and other unsafe conditions. Because the 37 States and the FCT Police Commands in Nigeria as well as their Area and Zonal Commands are dominated by ACPs, DCPs, CPs and AIGs from our other partners’ zones, Igbo residents and communities particularly in the northern parts of Nigeria are utterly denied early warning, preventive and hazard mitigation security measures or interventions by the country’s security forces led by the NPF. It has been severally alleged that during killings targeted at the Igbos particularly in the northern parts of Nigeria, official and private phone numbers of the areas’ CPs usually go off, but hours after the killings they come back. Even when their numbers are not off, responding to them at that point in time is an act of impossibility. They usually emerge after the killings to evacuate the dead and the injured and to grant press interviews so as to mangle the causality figures. This is entirely the opposite when Hausa-Fulanis resident in the south are occasionally threatened or perceived to have been threatened. Prompt and effective security measures put in place in Anambra State and other parts of the Southeast Nigeria following the Monday’s Kano massacre is a clear case in point.

It is on account of these apparent injustices against the Igbo race in Nigeria that we hold that the Igbos are the most unprotected and hated tribe in Nigeria. The race is also not safe in the hands of the Nigeria’s security forces including the Nigeria Police Force. Despite the fact that its youth population is very enterprising, non-violent, tolerant and law-abiding, yet the promising population, especially the males are the most hunted by the security agencies in Nigeria. The Igbos are akin to African Americans and Hispanics (Mexican Americans) in the United States who are always gone after by the US law enforcement agents with a false belief that they are more lawless than the so called white Americans. Out of about 2.3 million prisons and correction centers’ inmates reportedly in the U.S., as at 2009/2010, the former are in majority. In Nigeria, it is possible that out of the country’s reported 54, 0000 inmates, greater percent of them are the Igbos; out of those killed in the Boko-Haram insurgency in the country since 2009, Igbos are indisputably in majority; out of those killed in the country’s ethno-religious killings since 2001, the race had majority of its sons and daughters murdered; out of those killed extra-judicially by security forces in the course of fighting the Boko-Haram insurgency, it is most likely that Igbos take a commanding lead; out of those taken into police custody and murdered, Igbos may most likely be in majority; and out of those killed across the country at police roadblocks, the Igbos may be in majority as well. We challenge the Nigeria’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and the NPF to prove us wrong by publishing credible crime statistics/reports detailing the geopolitical origins of the victims including the country’s prisons and correction centers’ inmates.

The Igbos are also the most hunted in the areas of pre-crime checks by Nigeria’s security forces particularly the law enforcement agencies like the NPF. For instance, an average northerner who owns a car or motorcycle; bears a machete or dagger or single/double barrel gun, etc, is free from the prance of the law enforcement agents. He can drive his car or ride his motorcycle for years without authorized papers, yet he is not a law breaker; whereas any Igbo citizen who nears any of these is an express candidate of summary death and extortion in the hands of the law enforcement agents particularly the officers and men of the NPF(Nigeria Police Force). This princely treatment is to a large extent, extended to the citizens of the Southwest Nigeria. Politically, Igbos are endangered too. For a mere fact that President Goodluck Jonathan, considered as a half Igbo, is present Nigeria’s President, has irked the Northeast, Northwest and Southwest political gladiators, who have ruled Nigeria in turn until 2010 when it moved to the South-south zone of Nigeria. Today, they have deployed both political, information and human warfare to return the country’s presidency to their destructive status quo. Dangerous and anti-Igbo emancipation moves have been initiated by the trio of political power mongers by way of the so-called political alliances using Igbo’s political tea makers and flute blowers to catapult our great race back to the political Stone Age and enslavement. Information warfare against the Igbo race is also directed against it from left, right and center, particularly from its Southwest partners.The Igbo political clowns and failed leaders are celebrated and canonized by the Southwest media, whereas great achievers and successful political leadership transformers from our great zone are condemned and destroyed by same. With political clowns in-charge of our zone, it is perpetually enslaved politically. Coordinated media attacks directed against Professor Chinua Achebe and his book titled: There Was A Country (A Personal History Of Biafra) recently and ongoing politically motivated crisis engulfing the Igbo central political party-APGA are a clear case in point.

Finally, it is very obvious that the Igbos are facing battles for their survival and cultural identity from many fronts particularly from Northeast, Northwest and Southwest. When an Igbo son or daughter occasionally becomes the head of Army, Customs or Immigration, booby traps are laid against him or her from other tribal partners. False or spurious accusations such as tribal promotions, postings and recruitments, rent air, but someone other than an Igbo heads the Army, Customs and Immigration, etc, anything goes with impunity and immunity.

We condemn the endless massacre of Igbo people by Nigeria’s legal and illegal armed brigades. The President Jonathan’s gross incompetence in the face of all these is alarmingly worrying. In the past 2012 and present 2013 budgets, a total sum of N1.87trillion(N921billion & N950billion respectively) was provided for security, yet the country, particularly the Igbos have continued to be unsafe and endangered in their own country. We condemn unequivocally the mouthed reactions of the Presidency and those occupying elective and appointive top public offices in the Southeast zone of Nigeria each time these unprovoked killings of the Igbos take place. The Presidency appears deaf and dumb and has refused to implement far reaching recommendations and pieces of wise advice offered by thinkable Nigerians. By this the Presidency is making unquenchable retaliations someday soon by the targeted ethnic groups and their sympathizers against their attackers, inevitable day by day. If, some say, coconuts heads, can produce elements taking human lives in dozens, then it will be monumentally disastrous if the thinkers and inventors of our times are pushed to the wall. Their own lethal elements may most likely be WMD. The great transformers of deserts and slums must never be underrated. If President Jonathan and his team refuse to stop these senseless killing of the Igbos, then great danger lies ahead.

Not minding the foregoing and pending when the gross security imbalances in the country’s polity including the NPF are frontally addressed, the Igbos should be vigilant at all times wherever they reside in Nigeria and invoke their sacred rights of Self-defense. They must remain law-aiding and refuse being the attackers unless attacked. While exercising their sacred rights to self-defense, proportions of their responses must not exceed those deployed by their criminal attackers. This is universal yardstick behind sacred rights to self-defense.

Signed:

Emeka Umeagbalasi
Chairman, BOT, International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
08033601078, 08180103912
umeagbalasi@yahoo.com, info@intersociety-ng.org.

Comrade Justus Ijeoma
Head, Publicity Desk
08037114869
juijeoma@yahoo.com

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03/19/13

*What Does Cloud Computing Portend For Developing Nations - Part 2

By Chris Onyishi

Most of my readers should by now have a reasonable idea of what “Cloud Computing” means.  We tried, in the first part, to indicate all the features of a “Cloud Computing”. In furtherance to the discussion, we continue to enunciate the good, the bad and the ugly of this phenomenon.  It will amount to arrant nonsense for anybody to say that there is no good part of the “Cloud Computing” phenomenon.  What will not amount to arrant nonsense is to say that the good part of this phenomenon will become another tool of imperialism if developing nations refuse to see the trend and guard against it in good time.

When the West wants to mess the developing world up, they bring in the phrase of “re-inventing the wheel”.  And they bring in our sons and daughters who went to LSE, MIT, Harvard, etc to argue in their Western polished and twisted senses.  And who says complex and intimidation does not work?  How dare you challenge what an economist from LSE says?

But the truth is that Kim Woo Choong knew that there was Bentley, Mercedes, Rolls Royce, etc when he ventured into Daewoo motors. He even wanted to conquer American automobile market by selling part of Daewoo to General Motors of USA in the late eighties.

When the deal did not come off smoothly, or was not going to reduce Daewoo’s strength in favor of USA, Kim regained sole control of his company in the early 1992 and by 1995 Daewoo had become very profitable venture.

The Korean embarked on an aggressive expansion which was supposed to push Daewoo into the top ten car manufacturers of the 21st century. This move led to the capture of a number of car manufacturing companies in India and elsewhere in Eastern Europe. In what looked like an aggression from within, the South Korean government introduced some measures which forced large companies such as Daewoo to break up. Daewoo was smashed around 1999 and Kim Woo was later charged with fraudulent business practices.

 

Without being emphatic and without showing any tangible evidence, it is not impossible that the developed nations have a shrewd way of destroying conglomerates that are developing countries’ friendly.

 

If Daewoo had taken roots in the Nigerian auto industry, Nigerians would today be doing new cars and that would have reduced the number of tokumbo cars coming into our country. Even though we now have variants of Korean cars such as Hyundai and KIA motors, they are now operating like every other capitalist venture – in Africa or any other developing country – which is not meant to really empower the host nation.

I have deliberately brought in the story of Daewoo for a reason.  Africans must decide on what they want to do with their lives. The “Cloud Computing” phenomenon is going to be more damaging to developing nation’s economies, if it is deployed outside their shores, than the physical automobile and other economic manipulations by the West and their allies.

In one of his visits to Africa during his Presidency, one of America’s finest Presidents, Bill Clinton did say that God – in His infinite mercies – sprinkled intelligence evenly over the surface of the earth.  And Africa and the other developing nations are all part of the surface of the earth.  But wittingly or unwittingly, the developing countries have refused to make use of their own intelligentsia. They sell out to the West with little bargain.

 

For every second we spend on the internet through our phones or computers, we pay some money directly or indirectly to foreign companies who are mostly from developed nations or who are operating under the auspices of developed nations.

It might sound ridiculous to realize that about 90% of all the SMS messages we send to somebody in Nigeria routes round from countries outside our shores.  The implication is that for every SMS message originated from Nigeria, a greater portion of the money paid goes out of our country to other lands.  And there is absolutely no reason SMS messages originated in Nigeria and meant for somebody in Nigerian should go outside our electronic space.

 

The very important part of the technology involved in the SMS gateways, as well as in the “Cloud Computing”, can be wholly sourced from our country.  It is mainly software.  You can source the hardware from anywhere and develop the accompanying software locally because, according to Bill Clinton, the intelligence to do that is in our land.

 

So, coming back to the main theme of this article, I want to say categorically that “Cloud Computing” is very good but that is if it is going to be implemented wholly within the developing country’s territory and backed up by the resource people who are natives of such countries.  Anything short of that will mean another round of colonization and this may even be more devastating than all other forms of colorizations we have ever known.

 

Even as we write this article now (19 February 2013) now, cybercrime is a raging issue amongst the super powers such that USA is pointing accusing fingers to China and the Chinese foreign ministry is fighting back with the same argument that hacking of their data points to crooks from USA. So even amongst the developed world, we can see evidently that there is a great danger.  Cybercrime is an issue that does not require large physical infrastructure. It only requires sharp minds, a laptop and internet connectivity.

 

 

WHAT IS THE UGLY PART OF CLOUD COMPUTING?

 

Cloud Computing” is an extra-terrestrial kind of a thing to developing countries because they will not be involved in the phenomenon beyond being consumers of “cloud resources”.

 

a) To an Individual:

Every person who wants to engage in cloud computing will have to have internet connectivity. But this sounds like a wacky idea to most of developing countries’ citizens. When people are still battling to beat off hunger, we are going to be held down with the cost of having a broadband internet.  Although it could be argued that internet connectivity cost is coming down, yes, but it will never be free.  In addition the individual may not have reasonable privacy anymore because all his/her activities are residing in somebody’s computer hard disk. And for those who will have parentage that can afford connectivity, there will be a content issue.  They will be forced to view contents that the originating country will choose to show them.  And we have not talked about unemployment that will be engendered by “Cloud Computing

 

b) To Corporate organizations.

The cooperation that is utilizing “Cloud resources”, which is hosted outside of its shores, will have to perennially be under the pressure of security threats. This is because as we indicated above, cyber crime has become a major issue around the world.

 

c) To a nation.

Cloud Computing” is probably more dangerous to a nation, if it is going to be hosted outside the shores of that nation, than any other one single social menace.  When cooperation outsources its automation through “Cloud Computing” that is hosted outside of its shores, the implication is that the little jobs meant for the citizenry of developing nations will also be outsourced to the countries providing the “Cloud Resources”. You get a situation where the banking activities are performed for Nigerian banks by some little boys in India and other Asian nations or the Americas or in Europe.

 

As I am writing this article now, there is this news that USA spent over Three Hundred Billion Dollars for cyber security in the year 2012 alone. Which developing country will survive that expenditure on cybercrime alone?

I did also enthuse earlier on that Face Book owner, Mark Zuckerberg has a better statistics on the youths of our country more than our government.

 

The issue of content will also became problem to developing countries.  The “Cloud Computing” providers will also control the contents they throw along their services.  So it is possible for a manufacturer in Europe to pay “Cloud Computing” providers to stream certain contents and go around to manufacture products in that line since they have a better statistics on our youths age distribution data.

 

 

THE WAY OUT

The beautiful thing about electronic technology – automation and information technology – is that a very serious nation does not need too much of outside interference to be able to consummate it.  I did a piece not too long ago which I titled “NIGERIA IS NOT RIPE TO BAN PURCHASE OF FOREIGN COMPUTER HARDWARE” in which I stated what will be involved for Nigeria to evolve a sound information technology base which will wage capital flight out of our economy.  The reader can use the link to read through that article which is very informative and educative as well as it is creative. The article revealed that we can make more money from software than we make from crude oil.

Below is an excerpt from that piece:

If we are serious in this country and we have very proactive thinkers in government, we could start by asking the banks in Nigeria to change all their banking applications to a locally made one. And even at that, we should give them nothing less than 5 to 10 years to phase off foreign banking packages. This could be achieved by asking the whole banks in the country to raise about fifty billion Naira, assemble about a hundred very amazing intellectuals in fields of engineering, physical sciences, finance, accounting, social sciences and lock them up in one hall and give them each five hundred million and mandate them to build a functional banking application suitable for Nigerian environment and economy within 10 years.”

The problem of Africa is more of leadership than industrial. Elsewhere in the developed worlds, leaders owe allegiance to their citizenry but in Africa our rulers expect us to owe allegiance to them.  Secondly, our rulers do not think that we have a future and that is why you see a ruler stealing his constituency red and cart such loot out of the country.  That is why our rulers do not care to establish medical facilities within our countries. Instead they run away to other lands to get treated when they are sick without minding what becomes of us when we are sick.

It is also with this levity that they perceive all other forms of development. Agrarian, industrial, education, health care, technology transfer or acquisition, road infrastructure, housing, etc.  I am spending time and energy to think about how our country in particular and humanity at large will be better but those who kill and maim to become leaders never sit down to ponder on the future of their countries. They won’t even spend time to read what thinkers have come up with which will benefit their people if they have the courage to implement them.

Technology transfer or acquisition does not occur where corruption has taken roots because both are incongruent. And even as we are hopeful that we will be able to transform our country, we are not unmindful of the fact that corruption is a major force against such transformation. And this is where I really do not understand what our rulers are up to.

The reader would have observed how often and consistently I used the phrase “if is hosted outside of the national shores”.  That was an acceptance that if “Cloud Computing” is implemented within the shores of a nation, it may not be as deadly as it would be if it is hosted outside of the shores of a nation.  So there is still a window for manageable “Cloud Computing” if it is domesticated. A developing nation would still enjoy all the benefits associated with “Cloud Computing” while avoiding some of the tragic ends of foreign grown “Cloud”.

So the major way out for developing countries is to deploy a home grown “Cloud Computing” infrastructure that will limit security issues, retain all the jobs that are associated and tap on the volume impact of such huge database

In subsequent parts to this article, I will try to come down to very specific events that take place in the cyber and communications arena.  For instance, how does SMS message from Adekunle of Surulere in Lagos State get to one Emeka in Orile Igamu  area of Lagos and vice-versa. What events take place when you go to an ATM point to take out Ten Thousand Naira from your account?

Chris Onyishi (ctekchris@yahoo.com)writes from Lagos, Nigeria.

Follow link below to Read"What Does Cloud Computing Portend For Developing Nations - Part 1":-
http://nigeriamasterweb.com/blog/index.php/2013/02/20/what-does-cloud-computing-portend-for-developing-nations-part-1

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03/18/13

*Forgiveness, State Pardon & Clemency: Why the Pardoning of Alamieyeseigha & Others is in order

By Dr. Lewis Akpogena

A pardon is the forgiveness of a crime and the cancellation of the relevant penalty; it is usually granted by a head of state (such as a monarch or president) or by acts of a parliament or a religious authority. Clemency means the forgiveness of a crime or the cancellation (in whole or in part) of the penalty associated with it. It is a general concept that encompasses several related procedures: pardoning, commutation, remission and reprieves. Commutation or remission is the lessening of a penalty without forgiveness for the crime; the beneficiary is still considered guilty of the offense. A reprieve is the temporary postponement of punishment, often with a view to a pardon or other review of the sentence (such as when the reprieving authority has no power to grant an immediate pardon). Today, pardons are granted in many countries when individuals have demonstrated that they have fulfilled their debt to society, or are otherwise considered to be deserving. Pardons are sometimes offered to persons who are wrongfully convicted or claim they have been wrongfully convicted. Some believe accepting such a pardon implicitly constitutes an admission of guilt as a pardon does not set aside the conviction, so in some cases the offer is refused. Cases of wrongful conviction are nowadays more often dealt with by appeal than by pardon however, a pardon is sometimes offered when innocence is undisputed to avoid the costs of a retrial. Clemency plays a very important role when capital punishment is applied. In the early winter of 2007, Gerald R. Ford, the nation’s 38th president and first unelected chief executive, died at the age of 93. His passing offered an opportunity for historians, political commentators, and pundits alike to reevaluate the general legacy of the Ford presidency and to analyze, again, his specific decision to pardon his predecessor, Richard Nixon, for any criminal acts related to his participation in the Watergate scandal. Ford certainly faced numerous political quandaries when considering granting Nixon’s pardon. Of equal concern was the legal implication of such a decision. Relying on a decades-old United States Supreme Court decision, Ford and others in his administration took the position that an executive pardon not only exempted an individual from punishment, but also served as a personal recognition of guilt when the wrongdoer accepted the grant of clemency (BURDICK v. UNITED STATES 1915). The pardon, offered just one month into Ford’s tenure in office, attracted significant criticism inside the Beltway as well as from the public, whose approval of the newly installed president dropped more than twenty percent in a single week (Greene 1995, at 53). Critics suggested that Ford had moved too quickly in absolving Nixon, arguing that no pardon should be granted until the nation comprehended the full scope of the former president’s participation in the scandal.

These questions were part of a broader theoretical debate raised implicitly during this national discussion concerning the place of the pardon power within a legal system. Should pardons be awarded? What does a pardon confer upon the recipient? What acts or actions are excused by the executive grant? Is the acceptance of the pardon an implied admission of guilt? The debate on the pardon, clemency in democracy as was with the United States of America is now same issues being raised here in Nigeria with respect to pardon granted by the Nigeria President in Council, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to Alamieyesigha and others. Examples of how Presidents’ of United States of America have exercised this act of pardon and clemency were the subject of an article by Dave Asei entitled: “PRESIDENTIAL PARDON- THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE - List of people pardoned or granted clemency by the President of the United States” This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it. The following List of people pardoned or granted clemency by the President of the United States documents the most prominent cases of each presidency. As granted by the Constitution (Article II, Section 2, Clause 1), Presidents have the power to grant clemency in one or more of the following ways: the ability to grant a full pardon, to commute a sentence, or to rescind a fine. U.S. Presidents have no power to grant clemency for crimes prosecuted under state law.” “As to the difference between a pardon and a commutation: A pardon is an executive order vacating a conviction. A commutation is the mitigation of the sentence of someone currently serving a sentence for a crime pursuant to a conviction, without vacating the conviction itself. Approximately 20,000 pardons and clemencies were issued by U.S. presidents in the 20th century alone. The records of acts of clemency were public until 1934. In 1981 the Office of the Pardon Attorney was created and records from President H. W. Bush forward are now listed.[1] This list includes pardons and commutations.[2]” In another article By Dave Asei in defense of President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan constitutional action putted out how this act is even being biasly abused by United Kingdom and United States of America the world so called advanced democracies that are condemning the clemency and pardon to Alamieyeseigha and others in an article entitled: “PRESIDENTIAL PARDON IN THE UNITED KINGDOM HEAVILY FAVOUR WHITES THE REASON FOR THIS INFORMATION IS TO TELL THOSE WHO ARE AGAINST PRESIDENT JONATHAN FOR GRANTING PARDON TO D S P ALAMS THAT IT DOES NOT START WITH JONATHAN. PLEASE, READ ON”- “Many contributed to the presidential pardons project' Have you ever applied for a presidential pardon? Share your story. Blacks have had the poorest chance of receiving the president's ultimate act of mercy, according to an analysis of previously unreleased records and related data. Current and former officials at the White House and Justice Department said they were surprised and dismayed by the racial disparities, which persist even when factors such as the type of crime and sentence are considered. ( Continues below..... )

Dr. Lewis Akpogena

Photo Above: Dr. Lewis Akpogena

"I'm just astounded by those numbers," said Roger Adams, who served as head of the Justice Department's pardons office from 1998 to 2008. He said he could think of nothing in the office's practices that would have skewed the recommendations. "I can recall several African Americans getting pardons." The review of applications for pardons is conducted almost entirely in secret, with the government releasing scant information about those it rejects. ProPublica's review examined what happened after President George W. Bush decided at the beginning of his first term to rely almost entirely on the recommendations made by career lawyers in the Office of the Pardon Attorney. The office was given wide latitude to apply subjective standards, including judgments about the "attitude" and the marital and financial stability of applicants. No two pardon cases match up perfectly, but records reveal repeated instances in which white applicants won pardons with transgressions on their records similar to those of blacks and other minorities who were denied. Senior aides in the Bush White House say the president had hoped to take politics out of the process and avoid a repetition of the Marc Rich scandal, in which the fugitive financier won an eleventh-hour pardon tainted by his ex-wife's donations to Democratic causes and the Clinton Presidential Library.” (This abridged research by Post researcher Julie Tate and ProPublica researchers Liz Day and Robin Respaut contributed to this report).

Forgiveness: The exalted nature of forgiveness is attested to by the fact that it presupposes a number of other virtues. Consider three virtues in particular: justice, clemency, and mercy. Justice has the nature of an equation: Borrowing 10 Naira requires returning 10 Naira. When justice is violated, punishment or restitution of some kind is required. Herein is the timeless significance of bringing the scales of justice back into balance. Injustice demands a counterbalancing repayment. Clemency goes beyond justice, to some extent ignoring the need for precise balancing, and reduces the payment. For example, clemency may be used to reduce a 60-day sentence to 15 days. Mercy goes beyond both justice and clemency to wipe away the need for punishment. It does not turn a blind eye to the offense committed, but it does pardon the offender. Forgiveness goes beyond those three virtues, but without negating any of them. Justice, clemency, and mercy provide the very foundation that allows forgiveness to be a possibility. Forgiveness goes beyond mercy and treats the offense as if it never happened. It wipes the slate clean, as it were, and gives the transgressor a fresh start. On the part of the person forgiven, the virtues of humility, sincerity, and hope are presupposed. In this way, forgiveness represents a truly exalted virtue because of the foundational virtues it presupposes in both the forgiver and the one forgiven.

Humanly Possible? So exalted is forgiveness that it has long been described as supernatural. "To err is human, but to forgive is divine." Or, to modify this timeless maxim slightly, "To err is human, but to forgive is superhuman." By contrast, systems of justice are incapable of dispensing forgiveness. A sign posted in a Los Angeles police station brings this point home both accurately and humorously: "To err is human, to forgive is against departmental policy." Systems are not only incapable of forgiving, but are often vehemently opposed to it. A few years ago a successful businessman died whose name happens to be well-known to enthusiasts of baseball trivia. National newspapers that carried his obituary didn't begin in the customary manner of mentioning his accomplishments or the members of his immediate family, but in the following manner: "Fred Snodgrass, whose muff of a fly ball cost the New York Giants the 1912 World Series . . ." Society remembers Fred Snodgrass, along with "Wrong Way" Corrigan and a populous class of similar individuals, solely in terms of a single, inexcusable, though often trivial, misadventure. In order to be in a position to appreciate the reasonableness of forgiveness — and the accompanying horror of condemnation — one must stand on a platform built on its foundational virtues. It is comparable to a father lifting up his child so that the lad can see over the heads of the people in front of him to see the parade.

No Islands: The secular world has its penitentiaries, just as hockey has its penalty boxes and baseball scorecards have their error columns. The kind of forgiveness the world usually offers is of a bogus variety — that of forgiving yourself. This concept of self-forgiveness is, in part, the consequence of modern secular psychology that has inflated the importance of the individual as an individual. Popular self-help books such as How to Be Your Own Best Friend, Winning Through Intimidation, How to Get Divorced from Mom and Dad, and others, create the impression that the individual is an island unto himself. But forgiving oneself implies a radical form of personal disunity. Can one divide oneself into two parts: the part that bestows forgiveness and the part that receives forgiveness? And how would the former part receive forgiveness or rise above the latter part to presuppose that it can dispense forgiveness? And along what lines (fault lines?) of the personality can such a division be made? The essence of forgiveness concerns not individuals as such, but relationships. Forgiveness repairs a damaged relationship between man and God, as well as between man and neighbor. The two great commandments — to love God and to love neighbor — reiterated in the Lord's Prayer, underscore this meaning of forgiveness.

Exalted and Mundane: In Peter Shaffer's play, Amadeus, a demented Antonio Salieri, now an inmate of an insane asylum, rolls through the hallways in his wheelchair dispensing "forgiveness" to his fellow inmates for the "sin" of mediocrity. The Salieri character went mad precisely because he could not succeed, despite trying with all the power he could muster, to forgive himself for not being a composer equally talented as Mozart. An individual cannot forgive himself anymore than soap can clean itself. Humility is the virtue we need to be ourselves. Forgiveness is the virtue we need in order to repair our relationships with others. In the absence of forgiveness — or the presence of unrepaired relationships — the field is wide open for the unchecked spread of deadly vices. This is the theme of Friedrich Dürrenmatt's most enduring play, Der Besuch der alten Dame (The Visit of the Old Woman). In the play, first staged in 1956, Claire Zachanassian, now a very wealthy woman, returns to the town that unjustly condemned her and drove her out 45 years earlier. Her unforgiving attitude hardens into hatred for all the townsfolk. Drawing on a huge amount of inheritance money, she exploits the greed of the people of Güllen, seduces them into murdering her principal defamer, and leaves town with the diabolical satisfaction that the collective guilt of the people will plague them for many years to come. Here is the fundamental paradox of forgiveness: it is supernatural and presupposes many foundational virtues while it is also elementary and necessary in order for people to get along with each other. Forgiveness is both exalted and mundane. This paradox may seem easier to grasp when one realizes that God, exalted as He is, remains with us to guide us in our relationships with Him and our neighbors every step of the way.

The issue of Forgiveness, State Pardon and Clemency is a creation and act of God in practice over the years from the beginning of creation. Redemption is based on forgiveness, pardon and clemency. It is criminals, sinners and those who have done something wrong against higher authority like you and me that is forgiven and pardoned by God. If there is no forgiveness and pardon there would be no redemption or reconciliation. There is nothing wrong with what President Goodluck Jonathan has done. It is in keeping with the Bible, God’s order and Nigerian Constitution. America and Great Britain and the like that want to dictate to Nigeria Government have no better example to show nor do they have the right to point the way for us. Few biblical examples suffice here: Read the case of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). While we keep sinning Christ died for us and forgave us. He justified and count us as if we had not sin (see Rom. 5:5-8, 2 Cor. 5:17-21). God does not hold on to our sins or keep record of them. He forgives, pardon and exercise clemency (Ps 130:3, Heb. 10:10-19). We are called upon to exercise same forgiveness in order to experience same from God. Why do we want to hold on to the sin of Alamieyeseigha and others as if we ourselves don’t sin? If not for God’s mercy none of us can live to see tomorrow. God gives us all a second chance to amend, let us give Alamieyeseigha and others so pardon the chance to live better and contribute to better society. Have question you may call: 08033399821 or write akpogena@yahoo.com. Stay blessed

Dr. Lewis Akpogena (08033399821, akpogena@yahoo.com ), A Christian devotional writer/Minister, Consultant and Educationist reports from Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

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03/11/13

*Ezu River Corpses: How Victims Were Suffocated To Death By Nigeria Police SARS

By Intersociety-Nigeria (Society Review Part 3)

(Onitsha-Nigeria, 11th day of March, 2013)-The leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law can confirm to the world that most, if not all of those found floating on Ezu River of Death on 19th day of January, 2013, died from suffocation. It is recalled that we had in the part two of our explosive report on Ezu River of Death dated 4th day of Match, 2013, stated clearly that the methods used by Anambra SARS in killing those found in Ezu River were methods not restricted to gun-shots. That is to say that they might have been killed through other means, which include clubbing, lethal strings, strangulation, macheting, poisoning, rubber/tube tying, etc (including suffocation). Our further findings after part one and two of our report clearly indicate that most, if not all of them were killed through manually traceless means-called mass suffocation. This clearly explains why the Anambra State Police Command, having gotten briefing from its SARS leadership on how it killed the victims being referenced, hastily told the world that no gunshot wounds or bullets were found on any of the corpses.

Our Credible Findings:

A member of one of the armed community vigilante groups belonging to one of the communities that share common boundaries with the Awkuzu SARS headquarters in Awkuzu Community, Oyi LGA in Anambra State, Southeast Nigeria, was arrested by the Awkuzu SARS sometime in early January 2013, and detained for two weeks for armed robbery. The freed vigilante operative told an under-cover investigator on condition of anonymity and face to face chat, that he was contracted by a trader to recover some debts owed him by another trader. He led other armed vigilante operatives to the debt recovery operation during which the debtor was beaten up and injured. The injured debtor reported him to Awkuzu SARS through the help of the debtor’s friend who is a SARS operative. The freed vigilante operative told the under-cover investigator that he regained his freedom through the intervention of his community’s chief security officer and the president general. He told the investigator that at Awkuzu SARS, detention cells are serially numbered from 1, 2, 3, and 4 and so on. Those in cell 4 and above are condemned detainees waiting for extra judicial executions and that extra judicial execution of detainees is almost on daily basis. He revealed that there are several torturous ways Awkuzu SARS operatives kill their detainees extra judicially and those who cannot afford huge illegal bail sums ranging from N50, 000 to N200, 000 or more as case may be, are among those being executed extra judicially. ( Continues below….. )

 Floating dead body in Ezu River

Photo Above: Floating dead bodies in Ezu River

On that fateful day, according to the freed vigilante, detainees from Awkuzu SARS dead or condemned cells, numbering dozens were brought out in a broad daylight, chained and handcuffed; made to lie face down on an open field within the SARS premises and under scotching sun and heat. All the assembled detainees were covered with thick tarpaulin under the watchful eyes of their killers and made to stay under it for hours during which they suffocated and died. Their evacuation and dumping into the Ezu River of Death, according to a prominent resident of Amansea, who monitored the dumping, was done three times within the period-Monday, Wednesday and Friday. That is to say that they were evacuated from SARS killing field and dumped into the Ezu River of Death on 14th, 16th and 18th day of January, 2013. This expressly strengthens the print and electronic media accounts that some of the corpses were in varying state of decomposition when they were discovered. The prominent resident also clarified that the blood stains found on the surface of the Amansea Old Enugu Road Bridge were those of one of the bodies discovered to be alive by Police SARS and possibly detainees who were ordered to evacuate the murdered bodies. To erase any traces, they were shot severally and confirmed dead before they were thrown into the dead river from the top of the Bridge in the late night/early hours of January 18/19, 2013.Some residents of the area confirmed the blood stains on top of the left side of the old bridge during one of our field team’s visits to the area on Sunday, March 10, 2013. Their dumping possibly took place between 12:00am and 3:00am, considered to be the hours of the dead.

Before the shocking discovery of dozens of murdered corpses in Ezu River of Death, some residents of the areas said that dumping of murdered corpses by the Anambra State Command has been a routine. Corpses dumped from the Old Bridge into Ezu River are converged by the River at Onaluokwe circle of the river in Amaowelle Village, Amansea, where they are either eaten by big fishes or decomposed and decayed. Onaluokwe literally means a circle where the River receives objects and accommodates or accepts same. Reasons for dumping the extra judicially murdered corpses into the river in recent times, according to our findings, are due to several alarms raised by host communities on whose lands such murdered bodies were shallowly buried and liquidated with acid substances. Part of the reasons is also because of the procurement of some of such parcels of land by private citizens. For instance, the Onitsha Old Cemetery management has forbidden the Anambra Police SARS from dumping their extra judicially murdered bodies in the cemetery. The Nawfia by Ezugu-Agidi stream has been sealed off by the affected communities owing to the menace of littering the area with police-murdered corpses. Extra judicially murdered corpses are dumped inside the stream’s gully and liquidated with raw acid substances. The Agu-Awka dumping site, located near the Awka MOPOL 29 barracks, controlled by Ntoko Community, near Awka, has also been sealed owing to concerns expressed by the host community over indiscriminate dumping of extra judicially murdered bodies by Anambra Police SARS.

A female student of the Igbariam Campus of the Anambra State University also confirmed that extra judicial killing of detainees by the Awkuzu Police SARS is a routine. She revealed that Otuocha River (Omambala River) is another river where those extra judicially murdered by SARS are routinely dumped. Their dumping hours, according to her, are from 9:00pm and above, and their route is usually the Awkuzu Junction-Otuocha Road. This reinforces the recent discovery of about three or four murdered corpses in the River reportedly by media and the NSCDC. Some residents of Amansea and Awkuzu communities, who spoke to Intersociety, confirmed the atrocious acts under reference. A resident of Amansea community said that the murdered dead bodies are introduced by SARS to officers and men of the Nigeria Police Mobile Force, who mount permanent road block less than 100 meters away from the Old Enugu Road Bridge as wasted products. According to some residents of Akwuzu, spoken to by Intersociety, there are more than seven methods of torture and killing used in killing the SARS detainees extra judicially. Some of them are killing by suffocation through the use of thick tarpaulin and compacted and unventilated cells; killing by gun-shots; killing by machetes; killing by strangulation; killing by clubbing with planks or metal objects; killing by lethal strings; killing by infliction of grievous bodily torture; killing by circle-tying the detainee’s toes to waist and finger to shoulder regions, resulting in instant death; and killing by chaining the detainee’s legs and hands together and hanging him or her upside down on a ceiling hook to die. As a torture strategy, detainees are routinely brought out from cells, shot on their legs and fingers and sent back to their cells without treatments, which lead to their untimely death as a result of decaying wounds. They are killed and disposed off if they become nuisance to SARS detention cells and environment. It is also a routine in Awkuzu SARS to order some detainees to evacuate the extra judicially murdered bodies, after which they are shot and killed to erase traces. Female detainees are treated inhumanly in their cells. A female student told Intersociety that she was detained for two weeks without being allowed to have a shower not even a single day. Awkuzu SARS cells are a clear replica of the German Concentration Camp.

Our Team’s Visit To The Crime Scenes:

Our visits covered the old and new road sides of the Ezu River of Death, the sites of the boreholes of controversy sunk by Governor Peter Obi and Senator Chris Ngige. The Ngige borehole is located after the police road block, while the Obi borehole, which has started running, is located along Nitel Road, all in Amansea. We also visited the River’s dumping points as well as former SARS dumping sites at Onitsha Old Cemetery, Agu-Awka and Nawfia Stream by Enugu-Agidi Junction on Onitsha-Enugu Dual Carriage Way. We spoke to some residents of Amansea and Awkuzu Communities including male and female students of UNIZIK and ANSU. At Amansea, we were told that as the villagers were discovering dozens of murdered corpses at the old and new sides of the two Enugu Roads, there were dozens of more murdered bodies floating on the Onaluokwe circle of the River. Some of the villagers told Intersociety that Onaluokwe circle is where the Ezu River of Death enlarges, which can only be accessed via canoe boats peddled by the Ijaws. They also alleged that some boat peddlers were hired and paid by police during the horrible saga to remove and shallowly bury those corpses floating on the River’s Onaluokwe circle to remove them from outsiders’ viewing.

Also, according to them, dumping extra judicially murdered corpses into the River mostly comes from the Anambra State Police Command and sometimes from Ugwuoba Community in Enugu State. Corpses emanating from Ugwuoba are usually insignificant in number (not more than three) at a time and they are usually alleged thieves caught by its local armed vigilante. To them, number of corpses found on January 19, 2013, was alarmingly higher than what they usually saw and that the reason why those corpses floated and refused to be pushed away by the River was because of drastic reduction in water currents owing to dry season. The number of corpses found on that fateful day, according to them, is 50 and far above when added to those floating on the River’s Onaluokwe circle same day. This confirms a disclosure by another university female student that a top operative of SARS had in December2012 at a liquor joint, complained that their cells as at then, contained over 100 detainees and that before the end of January 2013, half of them will be cleared(killed extra judicially). Dating female students of ANSU is a routine among SARS operatives.

Finally, we wish to state again that the leadership of Nigeria’s Intersociety has no scores to settle with the Nigeria Police Force as a public organization, but we have a series of scores to settle with ethnic cleansers, beasts and cannibals it employs and pays through Nigeria’s collective wealth to murder and torture with reckless abandon Nigeria’s innocent citizens particularly the young Igbo sons who are at their prime age of productivity. We suspect seriously that a policy of ethnic cleansing has perfectly been designed to exterminate the Igbo productive population in Nigeria. The level of hatred and hate policing activities being visited against the Igbo race in Nigeria is taking an alarming dimension day in day out. The race is incontestably an endangered species in Nigeria today. MASSOB organization, for instance, is not different from the O’ Odua People’s Congress in Southwest Nigeria, but while the group enjoys maximum freedoms and police protection, innocent MASSOB members and Igbo law-abiding traders are hunted on daily basis and slaughtered with impunity. It has been factually established that out of every five police officers from the northern Nigeria, four would kill any Igbo man extra judicially if they have an opportunity; out of every five police officers from the Southwest Nigeria, four would do same; whereas out of every five police officers from Southeast Nigeria, one would kill a northerner or a south westerner outside the law, if he or she has an opportunity. The ratio ethnic hatred in Nigeria between Hausa/ Yoruba and Igbo is 90/20. That is to say that 90% of the former hate the Igbos, while only 20% of the latter hate the former.

Signed:

Emeka Umeagbalasi
Chairman, BOT, International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
08033601078, 08180103912
umeagbalasi@yahoo.com, info@intersociety-ng.org.

Comrade Justus Ijeoma
Head, Publicity Desk

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03/06/13

*Return Of Anambra Killing Fields: A Criminological Evaluation Of Ezu River Of Death & Related Tragedies (Part 2)

By Intersociety-Nigeria (Society Review)

(Onitsha-Nigeria, 4th day of March, 2013)-On 21st day of January 2013, the leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law, released a public statement-titled: The Nigeria Police Force: The Good Versus The Bad & The Ugly-in which the major challenges facing the Force including nefarious conducts of some, if not many of its senior/field officers, such as killing outside the law, torture and excessive use of force, were highlighted. On 19th day of February, 2013, we released another statistically grounded public report-titled: The Return Of Anambra’s Killing Fields (Part-One). Today, part-two of the Report is continued and concluded. For our teeming readers all over the world, the central idea of part one and two of the report is to expose locally and internationally the entrenched culture of extra-judicial killings and torture within the Nigeria Police Force and direct and indirect backing of the locally and internationally atrocious acts by relevant political authorities in Nigeria. The report is zeroed down to Ezu River of Death with strong linkage to the Special Anti Robbery Squad of the Anambra State Police Command-the general overseer of extra judicial killings and torture in Anambra State of Nigeria.

It is recalled that we had in the referenced public statement of January 21, 2013, informed the world that dozens of corpses found floating on Ezu River of Death by local villagers on 18th day of January, 2013, might most likely emanate from the deadly Special Anti Robbery Squad of the Anambra State Police Command led by one Police Commissioner Bala Nasarrawa. In other words, they were victims of extra judicial killings and torture carried out by SARS. The deadly outfit is under one Chief Police Superintendent James Chima Nwafor. The indisputable position of ours was collaborated by Anambra State leadership of the Civil Liberties Organization vide its separate public statement same date. As expected, leaderships of the State Police Command and SARS weakly and remorselessly denied any involvement and labeled us-enemies of the State. It was in the light of these that part-one and part-two of the report under reference was, and is still predicated. ( Continues below….. )

 Floating dead body in Ezu River

Photo Above: Floating dead body in Ezu River

The grand summary of the Ezu River of Death Disaster perpetrated by the Police is that dozens of unprocessed(not fully investigated, prosecuted, properly tried, convicted and sentenced) suspects including some innocent members of the public, some members of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra-MASSOB and some suspects accused by the formal security agencies in Anambra State of Nigeria of armed robbery and abduction(kidnapping); numbering between 25 and 50, who were violently taken into SARS detention since December 2012 or before then, were brought out from their detention cells, killed with lethal objects or substances, which may include killer-chemical substances, lethal niddles, lethal clubbing, strangulation and lethal bullets (particular mode of killing is to be determined by independent credible autopsy)other than tasering or tear-gassing ; taken to Ezu River on patrol vans during the hours of the dead(1:00am and 3:00am) and dumped in turn, into the river under reference; with a malicious intent to close traces and heap blames on the host community(Amansea) and endanger their lives and those of their neighbours with false linkage to non-existent violent communal conflicts as the cause and source of the floating corpses. While credible independent sources including some media houses gave the number of the floating corpses as 25, 30 and 50, sources from the Police and the Government of Anambra State claimed that the number was 19. Nine members of MASSOB are believed to be among the dead. It is recalled that in October 2009, during the fatal road accident along Umunya portion of the Onitsha-Enugu Dual Carriage Way, involving multiple commercial buses (14 & 18-seater buses) loaded with passengers, and a fuel tanker lorry; eyewitnesses’ accounts including journalists, passersby and survived passengers put the number of the dead at 70-80, but the State Government and the Federal Road Safety Corps said it was 13. ( Continues below….. )

 Floating dead bodies in Ezu River

Photo Above: Floating dead bodies in Ezu River

Star Witness Account:

On Monday, 25th day of February, 2013, Mrs. Uchenna Ogbu, who is in her early twenties, spoke to the leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law at its Onitsha administrative headquarters. Mrs. Uchenna Ogbu, who is about six months pregnant, is the wife of Citizen Basil Ogbu, one of nine MASSOB members that went missing in the hands of SARS since 7th day of December, 2012. Citizen Basil Ogbu is strongly believed to have been extra judicially executed alongside eight others and dumped into Ezu River of Death by SARS on 18th day of January, 2013. Her Account: My name is Mrs. Uchenna Ogbu from Ogbaru, Anambra State, married to my husband-Mr. Basil Ogbu, 25 years of age, from Nsukka in Enugu State. I dropped out of 2nd year from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria about three years ago due to my mother’s death and got married in 2012. My husband is a businessman, dealing in cosmetics along Sokoto Road, near Onitsha Main Market. He has about five apprentices trading and working for him. Some stay in his shop, while others work for him in a motor park, located on Bida Road, near Onitsha Main Market. We live at No.100, Bida Road, in a flat apartment. My husband is also one of the local leaders of MASSOB in Onitsha. We returned from Okigwe in Imo State (headquarters of MASSOB in Nigeria) in early December 2012 and my husband was getting ready for his new administrative posting to Nnewi at Ojukwu’s house before his arrest and missing.

In the morning of December 7, 2012, my husband-Mr. Uchenna Ogbu told me he was going to their office, which is located at Ezeolisa Lane, off Sokoto Road, for a meeting on how to bury one of their members-Citizen Uchechukwu Ejiofor (from Imo State), killed by a combined team of security agencies on 12th day of November, 2012. In the evening of December 7, 2012, my husband did not come back; later a call came informing me that he had problem with the police and the Onitsha Main Market armed Vigilante Group. One of their members called me again and told me that my husband was shot and bundled away alongside others by a combined team of soldiers, SSS, SARS and armed vigilantes-called JTF, which stormed their office on the said date. On 8th day of December, 2012, we organized a search party involving myself, my husband’s elder brother and a lawyer and we visited the Onitsha Area Command and the CPS. He was located at the Onitsha Area Command alongside others. We saw him lying on the floor with one of his legs battered with gun bullets without any medical treatment, not even first-aid. His battered leg was covered with carton papers. He managed to speak to us. He said that some of their members were on peaceful procession along Sokoto Road, when the armed security team came and violently disrupted their procession and arrested some of them, after which they raided their office, shot and arrested him; and that about nine of them were violently arrested on the said date.

My husband later asked us to give him pure water(sachet water) and a police officer on duty advised us against it on the ground that he may die if given because of his gun-shot wounds. He suggested a pack of locozade boost and a bottle of malt, which were bought and given to him. The police officer who was touched by my condition and age (early twenties) advised us to hurriedly get a doctor to treat his gun-shot wounds before they are transferred to SARS or State CID. We went to the New Hope Hospital and the doctor on duty demanded police report and by the time we got back to the Onitsha Area Command, my husband and others have been taken away. We went to the State CID, at Awka and they told us that such suspects including my husband were not brought there. We went to the Awkuzu SARS headquarters and they chased us away. We returned to the Onitsha Area Command and pleaded profusely with the Area Commander-ACP B.S. Wordu before he brought out the transfer list showing that my husband and others were transferred to the Awkuzu SARS headquarters. It was when several efforts to see my husband at the Awuzu SARS failed that we went to the Awka Federal High Court to compel the O/C SARS to produce my husband in court, which till date, has failed to yield any good results. Since 8th day of December, 2012, a period of two months, two weeks and three days, I have not set my eyes on my husband-Basil Ogbu. I am tempted to believe that SARS have murdered my innocent husband!

From the foregoing, therefore, it has been incontrovertibly established that Citizen Basil Ogbu and eight other MASSOB activists, who were arrested since 7th day of December, 2012, were moved from the Onitsha Area Command, which also houses the Onitsha Central Police Station, to the Awkuzu SARS headquarters on 8th day of December, 2012, in the form of transfer and since then, they have not been seen by any member of the public or any member of their families. The inability of the police authorities to produce the detainees in courts or before their families’ members expressly means that they have been killed by the police through jungle justice. The police through the Awkuzu SARS are also responsible for the extra judicial killing of dozens of other detainees and their dumping into Ezu River of Death on or before 18th day of January, 2013. Therefore, the denial of any culpability by the Anambra State Police Command including its SARS in the unlawful killing and dumping is totally undeniable, hasty, baseless, senseless, watery, remorseless, beastly, immoral and criminal. The heinous killing is even outside the infamous and notorious Order 237 of the Nigeria Police Force, under which its field personnel kill Nigerians they accuse of resisting arrest or escaping from custody.

The unresolved questions to be answered by the Nigeria Police Force over the horrible development are: what are the whereabouts of the nine MASSOB activists transferred to SARS from the Onitsha Area Command since 8th day of December, 2012? Were they granted interim bail? If yes, who were their sureties and where are the records with which they were granted bail? Were the detainees arraigned in either courts of inferior records or in courts of superior records? If yes, which divisions of the courts in Anambra State and at what dates? What was their fate after the courts’ charges or arraignments? Were they granted bails or remanded in prisons’ custodies? If yes who were their sureties or which prisons or police stations were they remanded and by which courts and dates? Are they still being detained by SARS without being charged to, or arraigned in courts? If yes, which of the SARS units are they being detained? Failure by the Anambra State Police authorities to provide concrete and empirical answers to the foregoing stainless questions expressly means that they have committed crimes against humanity including mass killings, murder and torture as defined by Section 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of 1998, ratified by the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2001. It also has an inkling of genocide and ethnic cleansing because all the murdered were from one ethnic group (Igbo). During the recent visit to the Awkuzu SARS inmates by the Nigeria’s Senate Committees on Police, National Security and Intelligence, most of the detainees revealed that they have been in detention for two months (since January 2013). None of them, from the media accounts and analysis of what transpired, bore any name connected to the nine MASSOB missing members. This clearly sustains the strong accusation that the Awkuzu SARS authorities have carried out the extra judicial execution of those or most of those detained in their cells before January 2013 including nine MASSOB activists, innocent detainees and other unprocessed suspects accused of involvement in capital offences such as abduction/kidnapping, armed robbery and murder, whose bodies were dumped and made to float on Ezu River of Death on 18th day of January, 2013.

The remorselessness of the SARS operatives in the heinous crime under reference knows no bounds. The deadly outfit still arrests and extorts innocent citizens across the State with utter alacrity particularly in the evening times. Each raiding deadly squad usually operates with a Hilux Security van, with which it tows private motorcycles belonging to innocent citizens retiring homes and a hired L300 commercial bus, with which it piles up the innocent citizens arrested. The deadly SARS operatives attached to Okpoko Police Station in Ogbaru LGA, Anambra State, commanded by SUPOLs Anthony and Mike (2/Ic), engage in such illegal raids and arrests with reckless abandon. Once it is 7:30pm, any citizen found outside his or her residence is a potential guest to the deadly squad particularly in Fegge, Awada, Ugwuagba, Nkutaku, Iyiowa Odekpe and Okpoko areas of Onitsha and environs. The SARS unit attached to the Onitsha CPS also indulges in same unlawful conducts in Odoakpu, Inland Town, Nsugbe, Woliwo and Omagba Layouts, Nkpor and Ogidi areas under Onitsha zone. Those arrested are made to pay huge sums of money as summary bail fees and those who do not have money to pay run the dangerous risk of being labeled armed robbers or kidnappers and transfer to Awkuzu SARS Headquarters, where they are held incommunicado, grievously tortured and extra judicially executed. Such illegal raids are carried out in front of residential houses, along the streets, on the city roads, at restaurants and football cinema centers, between 7:30pm and 9:00pm on daily and weekend basis.

For instance, on 1st day of March, 2013, at about 8:45pm, Citizens Michael Okeke and Ifeanyi Okoye of No.22, Chukwudulue Street, in Okpoko, Ogbaru LGA, were arrested at PIETA Hospital by Nwaziki Avenue, Awada Layout alongside the wife of Citizen Okoye and another friend accompanying them to the Hospital. Mrs. Okoye who was being taken to hospital, was released on the spot, while others were bundled to the Okpoko Police Station with their two private motorcycles. On 2nd day of March, 2013, they paid their captors N26, 000(N20, 000 for bail and N6, 000 for the bailing of the two private motorcycles). The third detainee was refused bail for fighting police. He runs the risk of being held incommunicado, tortured and killed extra judicially. On 2nd day of March, 2013, Citizen Emmanuel Onyemeke of No.7, Nwaegbeigwe Lane, Awada Layout, Obosi, Anambra State was arrested at about 8:30pm in front of his residence. He paid the Okpoko SARS N10, 000 to secure his release. On same date, Citizen Ikenna Ekwueme, a resident of Tony Obi Street, Ugwuagba Layout in Obosi, was arrested alongside his female friend, Onyinye, at about 8; 30pm with his private motorcycle. He paid his captors N6, 000 on the spot and was released instantly, while his female friend was taken away because he could not afford her bail fee. Citizen Ikechukwu Odoh of No. 6, Tony Umeh Street, Awada Layout, was arrested and detained since 2nd day of March, 2013 because he could afford his bail fee of N10, 000. He was arrested along Ezeiweka Road, Awada Layout at about 8:45pm and as at today-04-03-2013, he is still being detained. Citizens Anthony Ogbonna(choir master) and Uchenna Obodougo( deputy choir master) of No.21B, Amanato Street, Ugwuagba Layout, Obosi, were arrested at about 8:50pm. They were going home from their choir practice at St. Peter’s Catholic Church Parish, Ugwuagba Lawyout and got arrested in front of their residence. Their captors demanded N10, 000 each for their bail-out. They were released without a dime after the leadership of Intersociety intervened on 3rd day of March, 2013. They told our leadership that an L300 bus with which they were bundled to the Okpoko Police Station was jam-packed with over 15 arrested citizens. They were detained alongside other arrested citizens in a batcher within the Station, where SARS detainees are held until they pay for their release or get labeled armed robbers /kidnappers and transferred to Awkuzu SARS with summary death tags.

Roles Of Nigerian Politicians In The Ezu River Of Death Disaster:

We note with sadness the lukewarm attitudes of top political office holders in Nigeria, from the presidency to the State officials, towards the sanctity of human lives. In organized and progressive climes, the unlawful death of their citizens and non citizens is considered a national calamity, but in Nigeria, it is utterly relegated to the background and becomes an avenue for blood money making especially by the relevant standing committees of the Nigeria’s National Assembly, in the form of legislative committee investigation, which never sees the light of the day at the end. The Ezu River of Death disaster is a clear case in point, because no positive outcomes will emerge at the end from the so called legislative committee investigations. The lukewarm attitude of the Government of President Goodluck Jonathan, which swore under oath to protect every Nigerian irrespective of tribe or race, from unlawful death and torture, is highly despicable and condemnable. It is a fact that the Federal Government of Nigeria, which faces the world at the UN Rights Council’s 2013 Universal Peer Review on 22nd day of October, 2013, has not made any categorical statement in condemnation of the world’s latest crimes against humanity, not to talk of ordering a full scale criminal investigation into the dastardly act. The leadership of the Nigeria Police Force under IGP, Mohammed Diko Abubakar, is also condemned for its quietness of the graveyard. Till date, not even administrative sanctions, which are the main disciplinary measures for violating the NPF’s new Code of Conduct, have been visited upon those senior officers at the center of the grave accusations including CP Bala Nasarrawa, CSP James Chima Nwafor(O/C SARS), DCP and ACP OPS, AC-State CID, AC-Onitsha Area Command and AC-Awka Area Command. CP Bala Nasarrawa and CSP James Chima Nwafor are the principal culprits. The field officers who carried out the heinous murder and dumping of dozens of Ezu River of Death corpses are still on the prowl with impunity. The recent clandestine investigations carried out by the NPF High Command into the dastardly act, is utter mostly suspect. We at Intersociety see it as operation erasure, meant to exploit loopholes and defenses, if any, with a view to extricate the Force from unhidden moral and legal culpability.

The conversion of the horrified tragedy into politics of borehole by some Anambra politicians including Senator Chris Ngige and some aides working for Governor Peter Obi is a clear indication of disrespect for the sanctity of human lives. Instead of truly expressing shocks and disbelieve over the resurgence of this Stone-Age cannibalism; observing mourning periods; and working tirelessly towards fishing out the culprits, establishing scientifically the circumstances of the killing of the murdered-criminal autopsy( whether they were shot, strangulated, clubbed, stoned, macheted or poisoned with lethal strings); and ensuring proper identification of their identities vide credible and efficient criminal investigations and public information; the politicians so called are bent on corrupting the substances of the earth-shaking tragedy with their politics of parochialism and naivety. It is correct to say that they leave substances and chase shadows. Today, media loyalists belonging to these political camps and politicians have introduced several theories lacking in empiricism, to the tragic saga, all in an effort to extricate or rope in their paymasters, or divert the clue sources, or to achieve cheap political goals with respect to the forthcoming Anambra gubernatorial poll. Some compromised media practitioners have attributed the tragic incident to campus cult killing, Ezu Shrine death revenge, victims of MASSOB kidnapping activities, victims of highway armed robbery, to mention a few.

Also, if I help you to be extricated, you will back me during my election or my party’s election deal has reportedly been brokered between the culpable senior police officers and their field formations and some of those politicians. Some of them, through their killer-squads, have resorted to the issuance of death-threats to the leadership of MASSOB to back out of their factual insistence that Police SARS killed nine of their members extra judicially, so that it will be easier for them to exonerate the accused senior police officers and their formations. For instance, the leadership of MASSOB dishonored its recent invitation to Awka by the Senate Committees said to be investigating the tragedy because of reported mounting threat-calls. Lately, some elements within MASSOB are accused of soliciting for, or collection of millions of naira from the Federal Government and politicians, via some elements within the legislative investigators to kill the matter. As a result, new field elements have been appointed to follow the matter. From every indication, therefore, there are serious cover-ups and bribery attempts going on in the tragic saga. From hurried evacuation of the corpses to their hurried burial; from selective exhumation of few bodies for autopsy to secluded and guided subjection of same to criminal autopsy; from the independent figure of the corpses’ number, ranging between 25 and 50, to the government/police skewed number of 19; and from the politicization of the tragedy to the politically motivated and criminal erasure oversight/clandestine criminal investigations. Justice will surely be murdered going by these contrived arrangements and conclave of hopelessness. There will be no light at the end of the tunnel unless the international community intervenes because the Nigeria’s municipal authorities blatantly lack moral, political and criminal will to get to the root of these internationally heinous crimes against persons.

Problems With Police/SARS Criminal Investigation & Trial:

Conventionally, criminal investigation is a serious criminal intelligence business, manned by professionally trained detectives in plain clothes, which involves a systematic collection of information about crime and assembling of physical and testimonial pieces of evidence within the framework of the law in order to identify the perpetrators of the crime and provide evidence for successful prosecution of the criminal suspects in courts of competent jurisdictions. The reason for high incidence of torture and extra judicial killings within the Nigeria Police Force is the absence of conventional criminal investigation knowhow and toolkits, and sluggish and archaic criminal justice system as well as non-application of relevant safeguards to sanction the perpetrators of such heinous acts owing to corruption. In other words, police torture detainees in Nigeria because they lack conventional criminal investigation tools, experience and management. They kill their detainees because their criminal investigation outcomes are legally unreliable, scientifically unverifiable and prosecutorially weak. They also kill because the court system and criminal laws and procedures are weak, twisted, sluggish and outmoded. The art of torture and extra judicial killings, globally speaking, is an express art of trial/killing by ordeal, which is universally outlawed. It also contravenes and destroys the seven key elements of crime, including, most importantly, the rules of mens rea(criminal mindset).

The Anambra State CID and SARS totally lack modern tools for criminal investigation such as conventionally trained personnel, scientific data, interrogation tools, information data, scientific crime data/records, etc. A modern crime detective is a well trained officer who is able to construct hypothesis and draw conclusions in problems relating to crimes in addition to reasoning soundly and logically. A crack crime investigator is someone with professional training and solid experience, who, by carefully completing every appropriate step in a criminal investigation, leaves nothing to chance. Most operatives of the Anambra State CID and SARS are computer illiterates and internet enemies. Their reasoning/ intelligence quotients have been blocked and corrupted by excessive liquor consumption and immoral lifestyles oiled by extortion and bribery proceeds. Because theirs are Ape-like reasoning/intelligence quotients hovering round 800 and 900 as against the universal basics of 1,300 and above, they act in a beastly manner such as deriving joy in inflicting grievous bodily harms on their detainees and indulging in rapacious killing of those under their custodies, outside conventional criminal procession. In other words, they are like serial killers and torturers.

The Anambra State CID and SARS also lack modern scientific/technical aids, which are fundamentally relevant in criminal investigation, including all the technical aids used in modern criminal investigation like modus operandi, lie detector, telephoto lens, detective dyes, x-ray kits, metal detector, etc. Conventional Crime Laboratories also elude the two important public anti crime formations. Crimes Laboratories-also called Forensic Labs are major crime labs where scientific tests are carried out to establish a triangular link between the suspect, the scene of crime and the victim. A conventional or standard crime lab consists of Mobile Unit (comprises scene of crime officer), Photography, Ballistic/Tools marks, Documents, Chemists, Biologists, Fingerprints, Photograph Examination, Voice Identification, Information Technologists, Cyber Crimes Experts, Criminal Lawyers, Criminologists, Psychologists, etc. The Crime Labs are expected to assist an investigator to establish an element of the crime, link the crime scene to the victim or criminal, corroborate or disprove an alibi, induce an admission or confession, exonerate the innocent or confirm the guilt of the accused and provide expert testimony in court. There are no modern interrogation techniques in the Anambra State CID and SARS, mentally and tool-kits wise, with which to skillfully and soundly question unwilling suspects and witnesses. There is lack of logic, craft and psychological insights in the criminal investigators attached to the two formations owing to blatant lack of training, information technology, practice and research. This is why torture is on the increase among the Nigeria Police Force crime detectors and investigators particularly in the Anambra State CID and SARS. Conventional Data of Crime is near-absent in the two police formations. It includes modern data warehouse for collection of information about criminals and maintenance of records of criminal activities, collection and preparation of information from those records as well as interviewing suspects to collect evidence to present in court. Where it exists, it will be easier to establish and link 90% of violent and property crimes to repeat offenders, who are usually the insignificant portion of the adult population.

Criminal investigation generally involves three stages of Scene of Crime Management, Information Gathering and Arrest/Identification. The latter must be devoid of mistaken identity-considered fatal to the criminal investigation if it happens. Among Nigeria’s three capital crimes of murder, armed robbery and abduction/kidnapping, the crimes of armed robbery and kidnapping/abduction are less difficult to investigate or unravel because of their easy triangular link to the scene of crime, the suspect and the victims, unlike the crime of murder, which is more difficult to unravel. Referrals to the DPP and arraignment of suspects with capital crimes charges in the courts of inferior records are partly responsible for extra judicial killings and largely responsible for long pretrial detentions and awaiting trials (act of remanding suspects in prisons with long delays in their trials). By the combine provisions of Sections 77 of the Nigeria’s Criminal Procedures Act, 56(1) and 57 of the Nigeria’s Federal High Court Rules and 23 of the Nigeria Police Act, legally qualified police officers(police lawyers) can prosecute any criminal offences including capital offences in any court in Nigeria, without referrals to the Federal or State DPPs, who are under the Federal or State Attorney General, except where the Federal or State AG has an interest in accordance with Sections 174 and 211 of the 1999 Constitution. In terms of case-laws or decided cases, this issue has also been settled in the case of FGN v George Oshahon & Ors (Court of Appeal).

Recommendations:

1. Federal Government of Nigeria should make a categorical public statement on the Ezu River of Death Disaster, which will include an unreserved apology to Nigerians and the world for maintaining silence of the graveyard over the issue.

2. The leadership of the Nigeria Police Force should formally condemn the atrocious acts of its officers and men in Anambra State and administratively sanction those officers involved including CP Bala Nasarrawa, CSP James Chima Nwafor as well as two killer-DPOs- Temitope Fasugba of the Onitsha Central Police Station, who shot twice at close range an innocent ASTA contracted driver, Citizen Chuka Nwankwo on 18th day of December, 2012; and John Mark of the Fegge Police Station, who lacerated the body of Mrs. Chika Obikwelu on 15th day of December, 2012. Mrs. Obikwelu is a mother of five children (see our report: NPF: the Good versus the Bad & the Ugly: 21-01-2013). Strong efforts should be made by the Force High Command to ensure the total stoppage of these criminal conducts of its officers and men not only in Anambra State but also in its entire 6,551 field formations in Nigeria.

3. The Special Anti Robbery Squad in Anambra State should be disbanded and collapsed into the State CID and rebranded as specially and conventionally trained crime detectives and investigators or rebranded special anti violent crimes’ squad. In the process of rebranding them through in-service examinations, re-orientations and trainings including ICT literacy courses, the Ape-like ones should be identified and transferred to the Nigeria Police Force Animal Division. The present State CID headquarters should be relocated with a befitting structure adorned with modern crime fighting, detection and investigation toolkits, knowhow and management as highlighted above. Alternatively, Anambra SARS should be surgically operated and made to be headquartered at the new expanded headquarters of the State CID under recommendation, with a view to enabling them share modern technical crime’s aids and information together as it is the case in USA and other organized climes.

4. Federal Government of Nigeria should expeditiously set up a special independent and credible panel of enquiry to unravel the circumstances leading to the horrific tragedy. Part of its terms of reference will be to exhume all the bodies hurriedly evacuated and buried for credible autopsy to credibly establish the circumstances of their death. Maximum security should be provided for victims and witnesses wishing to testify before the panel or observe and contribute during its proceedings.

5. Federal Government should undertake the sole responsibility of paying adequate compensations to the families of the nine MASSOB activists killed extra judicially by its Police Force as well as their funeral expenditures. In paying the compensations to their family members, each, especially their wives or mothers, should receive compensation equivalent to the five years salaries and allowances of the serving Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police.

6. The Government of Anambra State should, immediately, undertake the responsibility of reforming its criminal law and justice system. Example of reformed criminal justice law and system in Nigeria is that of Lagos State. Among 20 serving High Court Judges in Anambra State manning various High Court divisions, Criminal High Courts can be designated to speed off criminal trials. Particular attention should also be paid to the legal qualifications of the State serving High Court Judges. Criminal trials should be presided over by Judges with requisite qualifications in criminal law and criminology. Inviting Judges with degrees in marine, family and cannon laws, etc, to preside over criminal trials make the process professionally quackly. Arraigning suspects with capital crimes’ charges in the courts of inferior records should be discontinued.

7. Nigeria’s leading rights, labour and other social voice groups like National Human Rights Commission, NLC, NBA, etc, should not only speak out but also ensure that the horrific saga under reference is not swept under the carpet at the end.

8. Respected international voices should step up consistent pressures on the Nigeria’s municipal authorities to ensure that those behind the dastardly act directly or remotely, are brought before the law.

9. In the event, the Nigeria’s municipal political authorities failed to bring the culprits to book, then the international community including the International Criminal Court, the UN Human Rights Council, offices of the UN Reportuers on Extra Judicial Executions and Torture, among other international groups and governments, should take over the matter or influence its takeover by the internationally qualified groups and individuals, with a view to ensure untainted justice is done.

Signed:

Emeka Umeagbalasi
Chairman, BOT, International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
08033601078, 08180103912
umeagbalasi@yahoo.com, info@intersociety-ng.org.

*Read"Return of Anambra’s Killing Fields : A Criminological Evaluation Of The Ezu River Of Death & Related Tragedies Of Yesteryears(Part 1)" at http://nigeriamasterweb.com/blog/index.php/2013/02/19/return-of-anambra-s-killing-fields-a-criminological-evaluation-of-the-ezu-river-of-death-related-tragedies-part-1

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03/01/13

*Niger Delta: Science Education and NDDC’s push

By Ifeatu Agbu

“Kola nut will understand English today,” the Master of Ceremony[MC] intoned, directing his gaze at the array of chiefs from Isoko kingdom seated majestically in colourful traditional regalia. The jocular MC was obviously teasing the chiefs by asking them to allow the kola nut to be presented in English language, since they were being hosted in an academic environment. The chiefs had gathered at the Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro, in Isoko North Local Government Area, to witness the commissioning of internal roads built by the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. The bewildered looks on their faces told all and sundry that kola nut would never understand any other language other than the local one.

Everyone knew that any important ceremony in Delta State must be preceded by the often rigorous ritual of supporting the kola nut with a repeated chant of Isoko Wa doo! Urhobo Wa doo! And all the other ethnic groups that would have to be acknowledged with Wa doo!

The ceremonies were well worth the time and effort because it was not every day that the rector and his academic constituency come out in their numbers to celebrate development programmes laid out for the advancement of knowledge.

An obviously delighted Rector of the Polytechnic, Dr. Jacob Oboreh, moved around the tables, welcoming his guests to the commissioning of the main access road to the polytechnic campus constructed by the NDDC. He commended the interventionist agency, for developing the necessary infrastructure to support the advancement of education and human capital development. He noted that the 1.5 Km road was the first road built in the campus out of a total planned road network of about 20 kilometres for the entire Ozoro community. “We regard the NDDC as the trail blazer of road construction in the polytechnic,” he said. ( Continues below..... )

Map of Nigeria's Niger Delta Region showing Port Harcourt

Photo Above: Map of Nigeria's Niger Delta Region showing Port Harcourt

Dr Oboreh also gave kudos to the NDDC for other projects still under construction in the polytechnic. He said the on-going projects included a twin auditorium and electrification project which comprised power distribution lines, two transformers and a 500KVA generating set.

The rector said further: “Recently, the NDDC supplied two hundred [200] computers, 200 UPS and 50 printers to the polytechnic. It is also gratifying to mention that NDDC has commenced the construction of a very befitting two-story building ICT Centre for the polytechnic.”

Ozoro Polytechnic is not alone in the celebration of a new boost to technical education in the Niger Delta. Four other tertiary institutions in the region also had cause to rejoice as they also got 200 sets of computers and accessories too. The Beneficiaries include Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Imo State Polytechnic, Rivers State Polytechnic and the College of Arts and Science, Port Harcourt.

The NDDC Director, Education, Health and Social Services, Dr. Christy Atako, who handed over the computers, on behalf of the Managing Director, Dr Christian Oboh, said that the commission placed a lot of emphasis on education because if its intrinsic value to the society. “Education plays a vital role in societal development and ICT has made the world a global village, so we cannot afford to sit back and watch the world move ahead of us” she said.

Dr. Atako, said that the commission was partnering with relevant institutions to intervene in the education sector. The collaborations, she said, ranged from the supply and equipment of schools, to the building of infrastructure and training.

She said that the commission has so far supplied science equipment to schools from the primary to the tertiary levels. He said that 400 units of primary science kits and 700 units of junior secondary school kits were distributed to schools in the Niger Delta recently. In addition, he said, 36 units of 100kg Rotary Furnaces and 18 sets of Advanced Units of Manufacturing Technology facilities were distributed to tertiary institutions in the region.

The director said that the NDDC was determined to make the teaching and learning of sciences pleasurable by providing the necessary infrastructure and equipment to support the schools. According to her, the commission fully understood that providing quality science education required well trained teachers, thus it had accordingly expanded the scope of its Foreign Scholarship Scheme. The commission, she said, has so far sponsored over 600 students at the post-graduate level under the scholarship programme. The beneficiaries pursue Master’s and Doctorate Degrees in science disciplines.

Dr Atako said that the emphasis on the sciences was deliberate. "You know we have a lot of gaps in our oil and gas sector, and that is what we desire in the Niger Delta region and Nigeria at large," she said.

As part of its efforts to strengthen the teaching and learning of science, the commission recently organised a training workshop for primary and secondary school teachers in Akwa Ibom State in collaboration with the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure [NASENI]. The Train-the-trainers workshop was designed to improve knowledge on the use of NASENI primary and junior secondary science kits.

Dr Christian Oboh, the NDDC boss said that the special attention being paid to science education was justified because of the critical role it plays in the development of any nation. “We have resolved to demystify the teaching and learning of sciences in the schools spread across the Niger Delta,” he declared.

It was the same message which Chief Solomon Ogba, the Delta State representative on the board of the NDDC, took to the Ozoro polytechnic where students were already enjoying the facilities made available by the commission.

He said that the commission would continue to place priority on providing the necessary infrastructure for quality education in the Niger Delta region, noting that some of its university hostel projects would be commissioned soon. In all, the NDDC is building 19 hostels in universities and polytechnics in the 9 Niger Delta states.

The Chairman of Isoko North Local Government Area, Hon Samuel Idise, praised the role being played by NDDC in the education sector. “We are happy that the NDDC is partnering with the Delta State Government in promoting human capital development,’ he said.

As the Isoko people celebrated the facilities inaugurated at the Ozoro polytechnic, other communities spread across 4 local government areas of Delta State, were equally dancing to the tunes of their local drums as NDDC inaugurated 8 new roads for them. They include two township roads in Ovwian, three rigid pavement roads in Uvwie council area, two roads in Warri South LGA and a rigid pavement road in Orhuwhoron town.

The atmosphere at Izomor Street, in Ovwian town was electrifying as the youthful dancers exuded joy and happiness. Indeed, it seemed as if the entire community converged on the street for the ceremony to formally open their road. Their excitement could only be explained by the fact that the area was like a jungle before the road was constructed.

Mr Eugene Gedi, one of the community leaders, recalled that they were isolated because a big swamp covered where the road now passed. “The road has indeed brought to an end the suffering previously experienced by residents of Izomo and the Udu community at large.” He said. The joyous ambience at Izomo was replicated at Orhuwhoron town, also in Udu Local Government Area, where a rigid pavement road was commissioned. Mr William Saiki, the president general of the community, said that the NDDC did well to put smiles on the faces of his people. He praised the contractor engaged by the NDDC for the project for doing a quality job. He described the contractor as the Julius Berger of the Niger Delta.

At every stop of the commissioning train, people came out in large numbers to show their appreciation to the NDDC for giving them something to cheer about. It was a harvest of garlands for Chief Ogba, who stood in for the NDDC Managing Director at the ceremonies. Chief Ogba said that the on-going handing over of projects in all the NDDC states was meant to give the people the opportunity to see what the commission had been able to accomplish. “We want to give the NDDC a new face. We want people to see what we have done with the resources available to us.”

Mr. Ifeatu Agbu ( ifeatuagbu@yahoo.com ) writes from Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

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02/22/13

*There will be No "One-Nigeria" come December, 2013

By Ikechukwu Enyiagu

There will be nothing like a continued One-Nigeria by December this year. Those who plot increased abominations but say they are planning for a centenary celebration of goodness are living in the depth of darkness and ignorance. The abominations of a continued One-Nigeria have overflown their banks and there are no more reservations to contain Nigeria's collection of doom-treasures because the land has caved in as a result of overburdening.

The cycle of atrocities in Nigeria has grown and matured just as those who have recycled leadership amongst themselves - even to their hard-hearing and blind grayness. The perpetual shackle with which these verminous entities have bound the lots of these misjudged and mistreated, as Britain did do, has worn out and cut loose. Those who have thought, believed and reserved for themselves the taskmaster's whip will be bound and tasked by their very torturous hands.

The land upon which these abominations of bloodshed, deprivation and many injustices have been perpetually, ardently and joyfully perpetrated has long lost its graces for patience and forbearance. Her vengeful resistance has birthed escalating disorderliness in the psyche of the spirit of the country and the core of those hitherto bound under it. Its revolution has created a society with the willingness and passion but no reason to shed blood - blood of many innocents.

The blood of millions of quiet souls shed in the pretext of feeding a forced but continually-resisted oneness of distinctly different peoples have clouded the clouds and compelled natural repercussions. In the west of a well-placed continent, the skies have emptied themselves - not to bless the seeds of the wicked and the righteous but to curse them in anger. The seas have borne so much concealed wickedness; now it no longer wishes to hide the abominations of these abominable. Sacrifices no longer suffice because even the skies and the seas know too well that they will be judged as well. They now throw, both the sacrifices and the atrocities, back to the surface. What men do in secret have revolted in equal reaction and are now poking their repulsive revelations before the face of all. ( Continues below..... )

Map and Flag of Nigeria

Photo Above: Map and Flag of Nigeria

The sane are fighting to hold their sanity, the atrocious their atrocities. But nothing suffices and the heavens, the earth and the seas would no longer keep mum lest they be counted as accomplices against their maker and keeper. But how much longer can "the sane" hope to keep their sanity by ignoring the unobliterable truth?

Nigeria - both its amalgamation and its vision - was a mistake. But who feeds his mistakes and expects it to sum up to a favorable equation? For vehemently forcing this standing impossibility, Nigeria has gravitated from a correctable mistake into an intolerable abomination. Therefore it will be stopped; and along with it will be stopped all those who have thrived and still reap from it's putrid superimposed interference to natural and spiritual order.

For nearly a century, this mistake have been given time for correction. Sadly, this seed was not allowed to die so as to produce fruits of righteousness, justice and love. It rather matured into an imposing and arrogant abomination. For this reason of unquantifiable and unqualifiable magnitude, a One-Nigerian centenary debauchery will remain a dream that will pass away with those who hide their sins and joyfully stand before God for blessings. Abraham sowed the seed that begot the beloved Israel. He did this in strict obedience to the voice of truth. Every innocent soul whose blood was shed by the Nigerian society was the seed of Abraham - sown in the spirit of Saul and against God's intentions. Nigeria, for killing the seeds of Abraham in order to oppose and stop the Israel of God, may God stop you! May He remove the bolts and knots holding your wheel together and may He throw both your horses and their riders over the cliff of His fury against an increasingly wicked establishment! May He, as was done the foolish rich man just the very night he thought himself secure on every side, gather your soul for judgement with the urgency and the swiftness of His Spirit. Amen.

Ikechukwu Enyiagu can be reached at ike.enyiagu@gmail.com

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*From Oloibiri to Odi: NDDC Plays the Game Changer

By Ifeatu Agbu

Oloibiri, a historic landmark, gave Nigeria its first oil well in June, 1956 and thereafter seemed to have been forgotten. The mother of Nigeria’s black gold was literally sucked dry and left in a state of squalor. Oloibiri, in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, catapulted Nigeria into the prestigious league of major crude oil exporting countries of the world. But Nigeria has not been kind to Oloibiri.

Odi, another blur in our history, leapt into the Nigerian consciousness in November, 1999 when soldiers invaded the town in search of a militant group that allegedly killed 9 policemen that had gone into the community to arrest a notorious gang. The then President Olusegun Obasanjo promptly dispatched soldiers to the community and razed it to the ground.

The common thread running through these two iconic towns is their hunger for development. It is now 56 years since crude oil pipes tore through the soils of Oloibiri and pumped Nigeria’s first crude oil in commercial quantity, opening the door for Nigeria in the international oil market. Yet, what first catches the attention of a first-time visitor is an old signpost marked “Oloibiri Oil Well 1” with over-grown bushes.

Chief Belemi Ovoh, one of the community elders in Oloibiri said that the sin of neglect committed against the people of Niger Delta in Nigeria was first committed against Oloibiri. As far as he is concerned, the tokenism that is being dished out to his people is nothing to write home about. “Shell promised that it will develop Oloibiri. But the promises turned out to be lies, and by that act of lying Shell Petroleum Development Company initiated the first "rape' on Oloibiri,” he said. ( Continues below..... )

Nigeria's first oil well in Oloibiri

Photo Above: Nigeria's first oil well in Oloibiri

There is no doubt that changing the tide of injustice in Oloibiri poses a big challenge. However, The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has shown some eagerness in setting the tone for a positive change. The interventionist agency has over the years demonstrated that it is quite conscious of the historical importance of the town where oil was first discovered.

Recently, the NDDC demonstrated its interest once again when it commissioned concrete internal roads for the Oloibiri community. That was not the first time, but it was only an indication of an abiding interest to make a change.

For the people of Oloibiri, the long awaited change must begin to tumble down. So, they repeated their story of woe tothe visiting NDDC team. In an address signed by Chief Foster Inengeti Ikpesu, chairman of Oloibiri Council of Chiefs, they said: “The story of Oloibiri has been that of exploitation, rape of our natural wealth, destruction of aquatic life, environmental degradation, neglect and total abandonment. Our case is both peculiar and pathetic because exploration activities have seized in Oloibiri for some years now, which prompted the oil companies and development agencies set up by the Federal Government to completely forget the first goose that laid the golden egg.”

However, in spite of these lamentations, the chiefs of Oloibiri did not fail to acknowledge the contributions of the NDDC in recent years. Perhaps, they recognise that the years of neglect may be fading as the NDDC, continues to commission more projects in the area. They demonstrated their goodwill towards the NDDC by trouping out in their numbers to celebrate another development project executed by the interventionist agency.

The chiefs were in their best elements as they were all decked in their traditional regalia. As a way of showing their appreciation, the council of chiefs draped the NDDC Bayelsa State representative, Barr Orubo in a gorgeous wrapper as a mark of honour and appreciation. Chief Ikpesu said they were glad that the NDDC had given the people a sense of belonging. He said: "We are convinced that a new dawn has come through your commission for practical and sincere solutions to redress the past injustices meted out to the Olobiri people.” The traditional ruler said that the new direction has been demonstrated by the various infrastructural facilities provided by NDDC, such as: water project; link bridge, landing jetty, electrification project and the internal roads.

The NDDC boss said the government would try its best to redress the injustice meted to the oil-producing communities in the Niger Delta. He noted that the sufferings of the people of the region could no longer be ignored by the government. He stated the resolve of the NDDC to execute programmes that would impact positively on the lives of the people who have over the years borne the dire consequences of environmental degradation and occupational deterioration caused by oil exploration and exploitation.

From Oloibiri to Odi, the NDDC continued with its redemption efforts. In the case of Odi, it had to be helped to rise from the ruins of a military invasion. Here too, things are changing through the contributions of the NDDC.

Riding through the quiet streets of Odi today, one could hardly see the “scars of war” left by the invading soldiers. Slowly but steadily, development is blurring the dark marks of destruction visited on the town. The modest bungalow, which is the palace of the traditional ruler, Chief Shine Andrew Apre, did not betray the violence that the community witnessed thirteen years ago. Odi struggled to get back to its feet with the support of some government agencies such as the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. Acknowledging the important role played by the NDDC in the Odi transformation, the Amananowei of Odi kingdom, Chief Shine Andrew Apre, noted that the commission gave his people two very important keys to development. He said: “It is pleasing to note that NDDC has through her intervention projects touched the lives of people of Odi Kingdom in the areas of education, water, health and this time electricity and link road. These projects are visible and have direct impact on the lives of our people.” Waxing poetic, the king said: “With road you have given us access. With light, you have given us life.”

The people are now enjoying a steady power supply following the extension of electrification from Kaima to Odi from the Kolo Creek Gas turbine. The project entailed the installation of 33Kv transmission line and the rehabilitation of existing dilapidated networks in Odi town. Chief David Tombiri, one of the community leaders, said that the power supply from the NDDC extension project gave the town a new vibrancy and confidence in the future. “Our local economy has been energised and our people are no longer idle,” he said.

This turn-around of Odi was further given a boost with the commissioning of the ground-breaking Odi Trofani Road and bridges, which cut through a virgin forest. If Odi was given a gateway into the Nigerian nation, Trofani was liberated from topographic isolation. It would forever remain grateful to the NDDC, because before the road was opened, it was a swamp-locked community on the banks of the River Nun.

In fact, when the first set of vehicles entered Trofani last year, after the completion of the bridges, the community was thrown into tumultuous celebrations. The children ran out in large numbers shouting “moto, moto.” Their excitement was understandable because majority were seeing cars for the first time.

Performing the commissioning ceremony on behalf of the Managing Director of the NDDC, Dr. Christian Oboh, the representative of Bayelsa State on the board of the commission, Barr Eddy Orubo, noted that since infrastructure was the driving force of development, the commission thought it was necessary to help Odi overcome its chronic infrastructure deficit.

The 18-kilometre Odi-Trofani Road project traverses three major communities, namely Odi in Kolokuma-Opokuma LGA, Aduku and Trofani in Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.. Naturally, it has also opened up several other communities between Odi and Trofani. It has five bridges of various sizes and numerous culverts necessitated by the swampy terrain. It now provides a veritable access to rural dwellers to bring their farm produce from the hinterland. The intervention in Odi is very significant. The military face-off with Odi youths in 1999 left the ancient town in ruins. Its infrastructures were destroyed and the people sent packing into exile. The commission played a historic role in the restoration of Odi. It has at different times, rehabilitated failed sections of its only road which links it to the East-West Road, the major artery connecting all the states in the South-south zone. The commission also constructed internal concrete roads to previously inaccessible parts of the town and its environs. Chief Asherifa Torru, who represented the Trofani traditional institution, wrapped up the feelings of his people thus: “Our hearts are filled with profound joy on the commissioning and handing over of the Odi-Trofani road.” He said that the entire Trofani community highly appreciated the efforts of the NDDC in redeeming their town.

Mr Hope Okuta, a welder plying his trade along the Odi-Trofani road, suspended his work to witness the commissioning ceremony in Odi. He said the benefits of the electricity project and the road were immense. "We have never had it so good; we thought that we will not survive the 1999 invasion. But thank God for NDDC, better days have come for us."

Obviously satisfied, Okuta said that his people from Trofani could not easily forget that some years ago they could not drive their vehicles home because there was just no road for that kind of luxury. Then, he said, both the rich and the poor could only get vehicular access to Trofani through Patani in Delta State or through the River Nun."You can now imagine our joy to see a road from Odi to our town, which has also cut down drastically on the time and money we spend to travel to other communities."

Mr. Ifeatu Agbu ( ifeatuagbu@yahoo.com ) writes from Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

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