*Intersociety's Submissions On Constitution Review
House of Reps Constitution Review Committee
Honourable Victor Afam Ogene
Ogbaru Federal Constituency
Room 0.28, House of Reps New Building Extension
National Assembly Complex
FCT, Abuja, Nigeria
Our Submissions In Respect Of Your Committee’s Template & Related Issues
(Onitsha-Nigeria, November 12th 2012)-Based on your Committee’s template for voting on key constitutional issues needing amendment or retention, we, the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law wish to make the following submissions following your Committee’s template items:
Yes, Section 8 of the Constitution should be amended to rob it of ambiguities inherent in the creation of more States. The processes should be devoid of parochialism and sectionalism, but predicated on demographical, geographical and geopolitical equity. Section 8(1)(c) that requires all the States in the country to approve the result of the referendum for the creation of new State(s) by simple majority supported by simple majority of their Houses of Assembly should be amended to include simple majority reflecting federal character principle.
1. Yes, six new States should be created to bring the total number of States in the country to 42. In creating the six new States, the Southeast geopolitical zone that presently has five States should be given two more States, while others apart from the Northwest zone that already has seven States, should be given one more State each.
2. Yes, the six geopolitical zones in the country should be constitutionally recognized for administrative and political purposes.
3. No, the six geopolitical zones should not be included in the Constitution as a tier of government because that will be utterly wasteful and expensive, except Nigeria adopts religionalism and abolishes statism.
4. Yes, indigene-ship of an area within Nigeria should be defined to include persons who have resided in an area for a continuous long period and should be entitled to accruing rights, duties and privileges.
5. Yes, the Chapter Two (Fundamental Objectives & Directive Principles of the State Policy) should be made justiciable akin to Chapter Four of the Constitution (Fundamental Human Rights) by expunging Section 6(6) (c).
6. Yes, the laying before the National Assembly of the annual budget estimates should be done at least three months before the end of a fiscal year. To this effect, Section 81 should be amended.
7. Yes, Section 121 should be amended in a like manner for a Governor to do same before his or her House of Assembly.
8. No, the State House of Assembly does not need any financial autonomy to be independently administered and assertive. That given to itself by the National Assembly was a fatal blunder and a mistake. Financial autonomy in Nigerian context means immunity for fiscal roguery.
10. Yes, if the 774 LGAs are to be granted full autonomy as an independent third tier of government in Nigeria, then Section 162(6) should be expunged to eliminate State/LGA Joint Account so as to ensure direct allocations to the LGAs from Federation Account.
11. Yes, only on condition that the LGAs’ autonomy is discarded and all the 774 LGAs removed from the Constitution and disqualified from receiving allocations from the Federation Account, then States should be allowed to create LGAs and assume their administrative and financial responsibilities.
12. Yes, the LGAs should be accorded the status of a third tier of government with designation of a residual legislative list for their independent legislative jurisdiction. If this is to be the case, then there should be equal number of LGAs for each of the six geopolitical zones. The present case whereby Southeast has 95 LGAs as against Northwest’s 186 is demographically, geographically and geo-politically criminal and grossly lopsided.
13. No, because the issue of un-elected LGA officials would be taken care of once the LGAs’ autonomy is ensured and the seizure of LGAs’ revenues will no longer arise.
14. Yes, there should be a defined tenure for chairmen/councilors of the LGAs akin to the tenures of presidents and governors.
15. Yes, some contents of the Exclusive Legislative List like prisons and railways should be duplicated into concurrent list.
16. Yes, let Section 197(1) (b) be amended to expunge the States Independent Electoral Commissions and replaced with Independent National Electoral Commission, which will conduct elections into the country’s approximately 14,483 elective offices at federal, State and LGA levels.
17. Yes, Section 315 (5) (a) of the Constitution should be amended to remove, not abolish the National Youth Service Corps Act, the Land Use Act, the Public Complaints Commission Act and the National Security Agencies Act from the Constitution. This will enhance their amendment processes by lowering stringencies inherent in their amendments owing to their direct attachment to the Constitution.
18. Yes, Section 308 should be amended to confer civil responsibility on serving presidents, their deputies, governors and their deputies. For criminal aspect, indictment clause following credible and conclusive criminal investigations should be incorporated and entrenched in the Constitution with indictment bodies clearly mentioned. Once such indictment is certified judicially, impeachment follows and arrest and prosecution commence immediately after the impeachment.
19. No, instead, Section 215 (4) that requires the Commissioner of Police under a governor’s directive to request or refer such directive to the president or minister for approval, and Section 215(5) which forbids such development from being inquired in a court of law, should be expunged, and replaced with a provision empowering the governor and the House of Assembly to remove any disloyal or incompetent commissioner of police by way of two-thirds votes and executive proclamation. Once such legislative approval is obtained and proclamation made, such CP stands removed and posted out of the State, to be sanctioned further by the PSC.
20. No, instead, a provision should be inserted in the Constitution for the rotation of the office of the president among the six geopolitical zones, not between North and South.
21. Yes, our position in item 20 has answered this question.
22. Yes, it should be filled both on merit and by zoning. Every geopolitical zone has eminently qualified sons and daughters to govern Nigeria and no zone is born to rule.
23. Yes, Section 135 should be amended to provide for a single term of six years for the office of the president because it is the most controversial seat in Nigeria and its occupation has been very lopsided over the years.
24. Our position in item 23 has also answered this question.
25. Yes, the office of the governor should rotate among the State’s three Senatorial districts with a single tenure of six years.
26. Yes, office of the governor should be filled both on merit and by zoning because there is no Senatorial zone in Nigeria that is wholly peopled by morons and political buccaneers.
27. Yes, Section 221 should be amended to allow for independent candidacy in Nigerian elections.
28. Yes, in line with the international best practices, certain percentage of elective and appointive public offices should be reserved for women.
29. No, the current qualifying age for elective offices in Nigeria is in line with the international best practices.
30. Yes, there should be specific constitutional provisions to take care of the interests of persons with disability with the inception of mentally deformed in matters of elective and appointive public offices.
31. Yes, Section 77 (2) should be amended to allow Diaspora Nigerians voting rights to ensure demographic justice, provided it will not be used as an instrument of election rigging.
32. No, the existing bi-cameral legislature should be allowed but its individual and corporate fiscal allowances and overheads should be drastically trimmed down.
33. No, let Sections 4 & 5 on presidential system stay. But let them be clothed with local contents that are not repugnant to the international democratic standards such as fiscal prudence and minimized corruption or profligacy.
34. No, instead, Nigeria should implement the practice of Federalism that allows States more percentage of nationally accrued revenues than federal and local governments.
35. No, instead, the 13% derivation component of revenue should be extended to States with natural and non-natural resources, which generate revenues for the country.
36. No, the traditional rulers need not be made members or having representation at the National Council of State. They should be confined to their States and LGAs of origin.
37. No, the new amendment to the Constitution, setting time limit for the determination of election petitions should stay.
38. Yes, since such powers are no longer exercised by the President or Governor but by the National Assembly and the State House of Assembly with respect to modifying or amending existing laws under the transitional provisions of Section 315 (2) and the definition section related thereto, the relevant section should be expunged. The National Assembly and the State House of Assembly as new exercising powers should be constitutionally stated.
39. Yes, the Constitution should further be amended to address issues of electoral reforms including incorporation of salient provisions of the Uwais reports and times for conducting bye-elections and determination of electoral petitions into same.
40. Yes, the Constitutional provisions on judiciary should be amended to achieve reforms of judicial institutions and processes in order to ensure quicker dispensation of justice.
41. Yes, the Constitution should be amended to separate the office of the Accountant General of the Federation from the office of the Accountant General of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
42. Yes, the Constitution should be amended to separate the office of the Attorney General of the Federation from the office of the Attorney General of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
43. Yes, the Constitution should be amended to enable the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission to send proposals for revenue allocations directly to the National Assembly in order to avoid undue delays in preparation of the revenue allocation formulae.
44. Yes, Nigeria should have one police organization which shall be constituted in such manner as to give the State Governors reasonable control over the Commissioners of Police in charge of their States. The Governors’ disciplinary powers over their CPs should be exercised in conjunction with two-thirds votes of their State Assemblies so as to avoid abuse.
45. Yes, Nigeria should maintain the present police structure and system with some modifications as recommended above.
1. Section 12 (3) of the Constitution, which requires the ratification by a majority of the Houses of Assembly of States in matters of a bill for domestication of international treaty by the National Assembly before the president’s assent, should be expunged. This has substantially been responsible for the stagnancy of outstanding international treaties, which are yet to be domesticated years after they were signed and ratified by the Federal Government of Nigeria. Once the National Assembly passes a bill for the domestication of an international treaty and the president signs it, let it be binding on all authorities and persons in Nigeria.
2. A provision should be inserted into the Constitution conferring Nigeria’s courts of superior records powers to assume international jurisdiction in matters of special public interests (i.e. heinous rights abuse and economic crimes). A typical example of a country with this noble modern justice administration is the Republic of Belgium.
3. A new constitutional provision for the award of ex gratia compensations for victims of crimes including victims of inter-personal violence/crimes should be created.
4. Section 174(1)(c) of the Constitution and its sister section should be amended to make the powers of the Attorneys-General of the Federation and the States to discontinue at any stage before judgment is delivered any such criminal proceedings instituted or undertaken by him or any other authority or person very stringent to exercise so as to further strengthen the public interest, the interest of justice and further forestall the abuse of legal process, in accordance with Section 174(3) of the Constitution.
5. The Constitution of Nigeria should be gender oriented and depart from traditional and archaic law language of he/him and adopt modern norm of he/she and the like.
The attention of the National Assembly is also drawn to the existing anachronistic Acts of the Federation needing fundamental amendments. Many, if not most of these Acts have outlived their social usefulness to Nigeria and Nigerians, thereby begging to be upgraded to modern standards. Examples are Police Act, Prisons Act, Evidence Act, Criminal Code, Criminal Procedure Act, Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code, Private Guards Act, Land Use Act, Companies & Allied Matters Act, to mention but very few.
For: Intersociety Nigeria
Comrade Justus Ijeoma, Head, Publicity Desk
Submitted At The Public Forum On Constitution Review Organized By Honourable Victor Afam Ogene, Member, Representing The Ogbaru Federal Constituency, Held On Monday, November 12, 2012, At The Ogbaru LGA Secretariat, Atani, Ogbaru, Anambra State, Nigeria.
Note: Intersociety-Nigeria Headed The Steering Committee’s Secretariat.
*Tags: Nigerians, Intersociety, Council, Police, Service, Commission. Sack, Ringim, Africa, Masterweb
*Catholic Sisters Need Contact With Abused Nigerian Child
Masterweb Reports – Monday, November 12, 2012: An article published in Sun Newspaper of November 8, 2012 titled “Woman boils two-year-old stepdaughter’s hands” has drawn tears in the eyes of The Holy Family Sisters of the Needy who need immediate information to enable them make contact with the abused child to render help (both medical and otherwise) to her.
Please contact The Holy Family Sisters of the Needy immediately with any enabling information. In the U.S., they can be reached at +1 3479814758 or +1 9734897448, in Nigeria at Nekede, Owerri, Imo State; and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is a copy of the email that was sent to Masterweb News Desk by The Holy Family Sisters of the Needy -
We are The Holy Family Sisters of the Needy, a Roman Catholic Religious order founded in Owerri Archdiocese, in Imo State Nigeria. We are working in different part of the world which includes: The Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, Nigeria, France, Italy, England, Sierra Leone, United States and so on
OUR APOSTOLATE INCLUDES:
-Taking care of under privilege ones.
-Care of Infants especially those infected with HIV/ AIDS and are abandoned. We live with these children in some of our communities designated for this apostolate. We provide them with the basic need such as health, education, food, clothing, shelter etc.
-We also care for the elderly men and women who have no one to take care of them.
Our main and specific apostolate is the care of unmarried pregnant teens that have been abandoned or disowned by their families. We provide them with accommodation, rehabilitating and with the necessary counseling and spiritual guidance. We also provide counseling for the sexually abused and those with post abortion trauma.
In the case of Esther, we would like to establish a contact with her parents or the caregiver So that we can arrange how to rescue her in this inhuman condition and difficulty as soon as possible. We beckon on people of good will who are touch by Esther’s situation to support us financially in the course of giving this child an optimum healthcare requires in restoring her two hands in Nigeria hospital or abroad. We accept any gift, no donation is little
Thanks for your cooperation and assistance
May God Bless you
Below is our contact
526 orange street
Newark NJ 07107
Phone: 3479814758 / 9734897448
Holy Family Sisters of the Needy
P O Box 3967
Nekede, Owerri, Imo State.
*Follow the link below to read Sun’s “Woman boils two-year-old stepdaughter’s hands” article.
Here is the link:- http://sunnewsonline.com/new/cover/heartless-woman-boils-two-year-old-stepdaughters-hands/
Photo Above: Abused Esther and abuser-stepmother Kehinde (insert)
*We Admire Your Godly Style of Politics, Bishop to Obi
Masterweb Reports – Sunday, November 11, 2012: The Anglican Bisho of the Diocese of Niger West, Rt Revd Prof Anthony Nkwoka has called on the people of Anambra State to remain prayerful to God to give the State a Governor that will be like Gov. Peter Obi when his tenure expires. He said this yesterday while receiving a brand new 18-seater bus and 10 computers donated to Archbishop Patterson's Seminary, Igbariam as well as the donation of 1 Million Naira for the provision of infrastructure to the school, yesterday.
He said he had followed the Governor's politics over the years and see in him essential godliness that is absent among Nigerian politicians. "Your Excellency, we admire your godly style of politics which made it possible for you to be here today to fulfill your promises to us. Given your engagements and commitments to the flood issues and national assignment, a typical Nigerian politician has gotten more than enough reason to waive us aside"' the bishop said. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Gov. Peter Obi presenting computers and a brand new bus to Archbishop Patterson's Seminary, Igbariam. On his left is the Anglican Bisho of the Diocese of Niger West, Rt Revd Prof Anthony Nkwoka
The Bishop assured that the bus and computers will be deployed for the greater glory of God commended Obi for return of schools to the missionaries, saying : "by returning schools to the missions with sincere apologies and providing funds for their rehabilitation, you have left an indelible good legacy for generations unborn."
In his own remarks, the Governor said he would not relent in pursuing what is good for the society, such as education and called on the Church to always remember the State in prayers.
He assured of his commitment to partnership not just with the Church, but with other organizations that are genuinely committed to the good of the people.
In his reaction, the traditional ruler of Igbariam, Igwe Kelly Okaragwu who described Obi as a man of his words thanked him for his goodness to his Kingdom, referring to the massive infrastructure at the State University, construction of roads, among others.
*The Private Jets and the Chariots of Fire!
By Ikechukwu Enyiagu
"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but not one of my words will be left unfulfilled." The word of God, as the ultimate illuminant, reveals Truth in its perfection. It reveals man and his weaknesses and insufficiency; then it reveals the old serpent and all his ways. Above all, it reveals the stand of God, the father and creator of all, in and regarding all things. It's the mind, passion, and desire of God that all men know Him in Spirit and in Truth, for then, He stands assured that man has been given all he needs to stand shoulder above all the whiles of the devil. But, wait! That very God of love has everything within Him to consume as with fire; this very God who's given all things freely to man keeps closest account like no other and is sure to demand from each of us what we have done with the grace He’s also freely given. Man must fear and honor God in the way he relates with his fellow...or ‘die!’ The days of divine accountability surely draw near and we must choose how to meet our maker: by the wings of the system of the world, or by the speed of His Spirit. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Holy Bible
For us, Christians, the lives of those men and women of God who handed us their acts and the results of their faith through the Holy Bible are enough revelations to all that we are the generation St. Paul warned Brother Timothy against. And with the speed at which the word of God fulfills itself in our days, man has little or no time left to decide, let alone sitting on the fence. For those "men of God" in Nigeria whose "guiding spirits" draw even closer to baseness and vanity - causing them to choose flying on the wings of this world (at the expense of God's truths) rather than incubating for that Chariot of witness which crowned prophet Elijah's ministry, I have these to say:
1. The days of Paul's advice to Timothy is come upon us.
2. The clock of final separation ticks even faster.
3. God is all-knowing and there will be no hiding place to say, "it was not my idea; it was that of my flock which loves me and gave it to me as a gift.".
Although Jesus knew who it was in Judas Iscariot, He did not stop from letting him control the purse of the Master's ministry nor did He send him away empty; everyone has something to take from the presence of that Chief-corner-Stone. Evidently, my dear Lord allowed Judas for many purposes, amongst which are these:
1. He wouldn't let the devil stop Him from sharing his love to mankind; He wouldn't let His mind and mission stray.
2. He already knew who would betray Him and He already knew it was he who loves money and the false-safety it offers. He knew Judas would be made to say "yes" to the many yes of the world, as long as he was paid. And, in order not to let his ministry of the stomach and of betrayal permeate other disciples; He had to let him become the Central Bank Governor. Some would have wondered why He didn’t reject his discipleship outright; the answer is that He does not reject anyone except he who has rejected Him.
And, as for the betrayer, we all know his eventual destiny. What more can the Spirit reveal through "little me" which He's not made known to them in whose hands lay the lives of God’s many great flock? Yet, it's only to whosoever that has ear that the hearing will come. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Bishop David Oyedepo in his private jet
Abraham left his father's house because the Lord bid him come; Jacob persevered for yet another 7 years in the house of his crooked uncle, Laban, because he knew his God and the promises He's made; Joseph rejected the enticing spirit of betrayal and death personified in Potiphar’s wife, because he had a better promise in keeping to the precepts handed to him by his father; Moses, on realizing himself, became aware that true wealth lies in the salvation of his people, God’s people, and he sold himself to that cause. What more can we say? Prophet Elijah became as a vagabond as he diligently followed the voice of his master...and he was rewarded with a far greater glory: he was taken to heaven, far beyond the horizon of man's telescope, let alone the transcending ability of speed-jets. Elisha was so fired-up, even deep down in his marrow that, when he died, even his bones still contained the fire of his spirit's presence. It was that same presence, revelation and consciousness which moved Brother Elijah (without any private jets) ahead of the weak Ahab and his chariot; that very Spirit moved Saint Philip suddenly away from the Ethiopian eunuch of great authority after he had revealed to him the scriptures and got him baptized. One thing we can boldly affirm of the Spirit of God is that He's equally able to be our flight as He is our peace. He's so able that it would be as lying against Him for any of His servants to claim that the sufficiency of God's kingdom lies in the help that the wisdom of this world can provide/substitute. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Bishop David Oyedepo
I longingly look up to that day when my spirit will catch enough fire and revelation so as to give that Sweet Spirit the room He deserves in me to be both my jet of this age and my chariot of fire. But, until then, one thing I should do is allowing God to reveal more of His love through me to those in Him, especially those whom He's entrusted to my care. But pushing them/suggesting to them by any body language to get me a jet while my flock gradually moves from lukewarm state to becoming "the devils of Christ" so as to keep up with the “ministerial pressure” of my mundane, baseless and vain preaching, these will keep my body, soul and spirit at the very limit where the jets of the rich of this world can go, and not farther. No! I seek that Chariot of fire! I look to experience that speed with which the angels come to our ministration. Those whose comfort and wealth in Zion have turned into “competing fathers” with the Father should always look at where they were hewn from because there's a limit to God's tolerance towards abominations in Zion. Let those who can still hear even the seeming “faint voice” of the Spirit stand and testify to His truths, even as He testifies before us before our father in heaven. Build the Church! Build your flock, for in building them are you expanding your share of glory which the Father will be much willing to crown you with on that day when you have learnt to depend on the speed of the Spirit rather than that of man.
Ikechukwu Enyiagu can be reached at
*The Glory of the Award and the Awardee: Pastor Power Ziakede Aginighan
By Dr. Lewis Akpogena
Glory from the Greek “doza” speaks of the honour, beauty, character and perfection of the divine nature of God in manifestation or being displayed or demonstrated. At NDDC Estate, Port Harcourt, Rivers State on 8th November 2012, the International Association of World Peace Advocates under leadership of Prof. Long John Smithman of United States of America honoured Pastor Power Z. Aginighan with appointment of Director General, Nigeria Chapter of the Association. The Association was represented by Comrade Emmanuel Nkweke (Spokesperson), Dr. Lewis Akpogena (National Secretary), Chaplain Chief Willie-Ido Utip (Director of Protocol/Programmes), Chaplain David Willie-Ido (Director of Research and Training) among others. The presentation was witnessed by a cream of selected persons of high standing, the media and other relatives and political associates/friends of the awardee.
About International Association of World Peace Advocates: The Association is an assemblage of accredited United Nations Peace Volunteers with designated rosters code numbers that are certified as Volunteers (International, Natural or Online) with uncommon determination to promoting peace and mutual co-existence of persons at different locations and habitations. The Association came to Nigeria in the year 2010 following the re-election of Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of United Nations second term in office, who in his inaugural speech rolled out his five points agenda, a mission that has become our vision to propagate at all the grassroots levels of the 193 member countries of the United Nations with a view to enthroning lasting peace all over the world
The body specializes in promoting the United Nations International Observance Day ranging from January of each year to December, often time in collaboration with government agencies, departments and ministries whose vested interest are anchored in making peace a household affair. Since the birth of the organization at Heritage University of Southern California, USA, the Association have partnered and sponsored various programmes in Nigeria, example of sort are the Niger Delta Amnesty Group, South West Local Government Assessment Group, and The Movement for &Unity of the Christians and Muslims in Nigeria, alongside the promotion of the just concluded United Nations International Day of Peace. The day-to-day work plan of the Association is primarily centered in providing platforms for community participation in peace building and at the same ensuring that community leaders and followers become an active player in making peace an outr9ight necessity for our perpetual existence. This is because global peace cannot be achieved without community participation. In Accordance to our peace mission in Nigeria, we as agents of change do engage the stakeholders of each local society with dialogue as a means to achieving our set goals, such as youth leaders, traditional/royal fathers, religious leaders, women organizations and to a large extent involve students for various competition as to inculcate in their mind-set the gains of becoming peace maker. The Association also honour outstanding personalities with extra-ordinary accomplishments whose lifestyle exemplifies the purpose and uniqueness of peace and by their function as rural dwellers within built consciousness of reconciling airing and aggrieved persons at their place of domicile.
On criteria for the appointment cum award to Pastor Power Z. Aginighan: His relationship with God, contribution to development to society, contribution to his immediate environment/community, his academic achievement, and co9ntibution on peace building. This is attested to in the citation as presented by the National Secretary, Dr. Lewis Akpogena. Citation on the Awardee: Who is Pastor Power Ziakede Aginighan? Pastor Power Ziakede Aginighan fondly called PZ, sometimes you find it a complex task to introduce a towering personality that is already known to all. Pastor Power Aginighan in my judgment needs no introduction because the name is on most lips in the Niger Delta region. The name rings a bell in the whole of the Niger Delta region and the nation at large. Some call him Odudu a nickname derived from his zeal and passion to transform his own corner of humanity. He is a peace broker, a bridge builder and a goal getter any day. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Pastor Power Ziakede Aginighan
Aginighan demonstrated his passion for peace brokering when he was called upon to be the moderator of the cease-fire peace conference by the Warri Ijaw Itsekiri Grassroot Peace Front at the Warri Club in June 2004 held under the auspices of the Joint Military Task Force. Earlier in 2003, Aginighan initiated the peace process that led to the end of the bloody conflict between Ogodobri Community in Delta State and Ekeremor Community in Bayelsa State. He is an Ijaw with a strong passion for development in the Niger Delta region. He is a completely detribalized Nigerian. This explains why as Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, he appointed an Itsekiri, Mr Dan Sagay as one of his closest aides. It was difficult to expect this from an Ijaw particularly in view of the fact that the Itsekiri and the Ijaw had just come out from seven years of hostilities. As acting Managing Director, NDDC, he was among prominent men from the region that persuaded the erstwhile militants to lay down their arms and embrace the olive branch of presidential amnesty offered by the YarAdua/Jonathan presidency. He openly condemned the military option in addressing the Niger Delta crisis. He maintained several times that the crisis in the region was a response to the paradox of doom in the midst of boom. When the Isoko Development Union paid him a courtesy visit during his tenure as acting MD in July 2009, I still recall his words, “we need neither the blood of Niger Delta youths nor Nigerian soldiers to develop the Niger Delta region.” When Gbaramatu came under military bombardment leaving behind thousands of internally displaced persons, Aginighan was there to provide succour in form relief materials on behalf of the NDDC to the displaced.
He is a true concept of the nation’s unity. It would be recalled that as Executive Director Finance and Administration of the NDDC his aides were drawn from different ethnic groups in the Niger Delta. Probably, his passion for national development and tolerance for other ethnic groups informed why Mr. Dafe Onojovwo, Chairman, Editorial Board of National Mirror newspaper described him as “a rare patriot committed to a life of multi-faceted service to the society and the world at large”. The event was the public presentation of a book, Junior Secondary School Mathematics, authored by Aginighan on July 14th 1990 when he was a 31 year old Senior Accountant at the College of Education, Warri, Delta State. Mr Onojovwo was a lecturer in the English department of the College then. When recently reminded of these words, Mr Onojovwo said his views had not changed on Aginighan. His passion for service to humanity knows no bound. He holds an MBA degree from the Rivers state University of Science and Technology and a BSC in Accounting from the same university. He also holds a Higher National Diploma, Accountancy from the same institution. He is an Associate Member, Nigeria Institute of Management, Fellow Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria, Fellow Institute of Public Management of Nigeria and Fellow, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria. He was born on 9th January, 1959 at Ezebri in the then Western Ijaw Division of the former Western Region of Nigeria ,joined the College of Education Warri on the 9th August, 1982 after completing the National Youth Service Corps scheme with the Society for Aid to the Disabled, Enugu.
Aginighan was one of the frontline and most vocal student union activists during his days at the Rivers state University of Science and Technology. He was returned unopposed as General Secretary of the Students Union of the College (later University) of Science and Technology, PH (1979/80). He was a founding member of National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS. In recognition of his role in the growth of students’ unionism in Nigeria, the RSUST Students Union parliament made him a life member of the University Students Union in 1984. At the College of Education, Warri where Aginighan worked from 9th August, 1982 to 31st March, 1993, through an election in which ethnicity was set aside he emerged President of the Senior Staff Association of the institution. Again when provision was made for the Congregation to be represented in the Governing Council, he was elected the 1st Representative of the Congregation. During the same period, Aginighan taught Accounting and Mathematics courses for students preparing for various professional examinations. From 1984 to 1991, Aginighan also served as Secretary of the Izon Community Warri. He also served as Secretary of the Delta State Izon Consultative Committee headed by the late Chief F H E Brisibe, OFR AIG rtd. He is dear to his people. On the 23rd November, 1991 he moderated the All-Ijaw National Convention that was held at the palace of the Pere of Kabowei at Patani which was presided over by Chief F H E Brisibe, OFR, with Chief Dr Harold Dappa Biriye, Chief George Albert Weikezi (all of blessed memory) and other prominent Izons across Nigeria in attendance and was appointed Secretary of Prof (Rev) C.A. Dime-led Ijaw National Coordinating Committee (INCC) which mid-wifed the Ijaw National Congress. He served as the 1st Secretary of the Ijaw National Congress upon the ratification of the Constitution of the Congress on 15th May 1993.
In the Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC) where he was enlisted as one of the pioneer Assistant Directors, Aginighan had an impactful service. From November 1996 to March 1999, he represented the Commission in the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meetings during which period, he twice challenged the allocation to OMPADEC and had a ruling from the then Minister of State for Finance in his favour. This provided more funds for OMPADEC. When President Olusegun Obasanjo set up the Senator Liyel Imoke-led OMPADEC Winding-up Committee, Aginighan provided the inputs that assisted the Committee in discharging its assignment. Chief Dr Jasper Jumbo, a frontline Niger Delta Environmentalist and rights crusader stated during a reception held in honour of Aginighan by The Apostolic Church, Maritime Field in 2008 that Aginighan was the technocrat amongst the OMPADEC staff that was asked to calculate the financial provisions of the NDDC Draft bill first sent by President Obasanjo to the National Assembly. This enabled him, Senators Melford Okilo, Fred Brume, Emmanuel Diffa and others to press for improved funding provision for the NDDC.
During a Reception after a Thanksgiving Service to mark Aginighan’s 50th Birthday held on the 10th January, 2009 at the NDDC Estate, Port Harcourt, Chief Albert Korubo Horsfall, OFR who as Executive Chairman of OMPADEC recruited Aginighan in 1993 attested to Aginighan’s versatility, resilience, accessibility and sense of duty: His words: ‘When you talk of PZ Aginighan, he symbolises the Niger Delta. ….Today he is 50 and has justified every year of his existence. This is just the beginning. He has faced so many challenges but has always come out with resilience. When the Ijaw and the Itsekiri were fighting he was a peace broker and was accepted by the two parties. Imagine that he is an Ijaw but the Itsekiri trusted him enough to allow him be the moderator of the cease-fire’
Of a truth, Aginighan’s story in the NDDC is a lesson in the triumph of humility and selfless service. When NDDC commenced operations in PH in January 2001, Aginighan who was absorbed from OMPADEC as an Assistant Director, Finance and Supply made himself available in dousing tension created by rampaging youths who besieged the Commission at will. Aginighan ventured into the rough waters of gubernatorial politics in his own Delta State from 2004 to 2006. In terms of coverage, Aginighan ran the most comprehensive governorship campaign. For almost two weeks, he went through the creeks of Delta State with his multi-ethnic campaign team, a feat that no other Deltan has achieved in the history of electioneering campaign in the State. On 8th April 2006, he was formally admitted into membership of the G3, a political pressure group for the Ijaw, Isoko and Itsekiri ethnic groups in the Delta South Senatorial district. Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan who was the then Secretary to the Government of Delta State and Chairman of G3 had this to say about Aginighan on that day: ‘A respected gentleman from one of the ethnic groups in the G3, a well-known Nigerian who has made his mark in his work place’ Aginighan was screened out of the Delta State PDP gubernatorial primary that was held at Ogwashikwu on the 10th of December, 2006.
By the divine hand of God, the position of Executive Director, Finance and administration, NDDC became vacant for Delta State following the upliftment of the former occupant of the office (a Bayelsan) to the position of Managing Director. President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed Aginighan Ag Executive Director, Finance and Administration on 28th May 2007 and handed over power to President Umar Yar’Adua on 29th May 2007. Aginighan celebrated this upliftment with Thanksgiving Services in the Apostolic Church at Warri and Port Harcourt and an interdenominational Thanksgiving Service at Bomadi. When the 2nd Governing Board was dissolved on the 12th April, 2009, he was appointed Ag Managing Director/CEO by President Umaru Yar’Adua on the 17th April 2009. It is on record that he inherited N45billion from the 2nd Board and handed over N66billion to the 3rd Board. His 111 days as Ag MD/CEO was characterized by transparent and efficient administration that endeared NDDC to a large spectrum of its stakeholders. Again President Umaru Yar’Adua did not have any difficulty in appointing him as substantive Executive Director, Finance and Administration in the 3rd Board of the NDDC that was inaugurated on the 6th August, 2009.
At the 1st South South Economic Summit which held at Tinapa, Calabar, being Aginighan's first official outing as Ag Managing Director of NDDC, he courageously drew attention to the underfunding of the NDDC by the Federal Government. He stated that the underfunding was due to under-appropriation by the National Assembly. When he was screened by the Senate Committee on Niger Delta for confirmation as Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Aginighan still maintained the position he held at Calabar. Shortly after bowing out of career public service upon the dissolution of the 3rd NDDC Board, Aginighan congratulated the new Board of the NDDC and demanded the immediate release of over N500billion due to the NDDC from the Federal Government to enable the current Board deliver on its mandate.
In Nigeria, people hardly gather to celebrate retirees but his story was different. Aginighan was given a heroic civic reception by the entire Izon of Delta State on the 18th November 2011 at BB Hotel Warri. The occasion which was chaired by Elder Statesman, former Senator and former Federal Information Minister Chief Dr Edwin Kiagodo Clark, OFR, CON attracted the who is who among the Izon of Delta State and friends from sister ethnic groups. It turned out to be a day of tribute and celebration of Aginighan’s vindication, his meritorious service in various top management positions in the NDDC and his glorious retirement after 29 years of unblemished career public service. On that day, Chief Clark congratulated Aginighan on his meritorious service in various top management positions in the NDDC. He said: ‘Government set up Orosanye Committee to look into the activities of the NDDC. At the end of the day, our son PZ Aginighan was exonerated. If he was not exonerated, we would not have been here for a Thanksgiving Service. Our son is now at home, a happily retired man, no anti-corruption agency is looking for him’
His Royal Majesty, Pere Charles Ayemi Botu, JP, OFR and Brig-Gen Cletus Emein (rtd) who respectively spoke on behalf of the Delta State Izon royal fathers and Delta State Izon Elders Forum paid glowing tributes to Aginighan’s hard work, selflessness and patriotism. Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta, Senator James Manager, CON who was Special Guest at the occasion described Aginighan as a worthy son of the region. Hear him: “In him you find forthrightness, in him you find commitment and a man that can be trusted. Unfortunately PZ Aginighan did not complete his tenure as Executive Director, Finance and Administration, NDDC. When you look at the records of the NDDC, particularly the finances today, I want to say that PZ Aginighan was not found to be reckless in the management of the resources of the NDDC.
Governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan said the State was proud of him. The governor who spoke through his Commissioner for Works, Hon Solomon Funkekeme said thus, “On behalf of the people and government of Delta State, I congratulate our brother Pastor Power Ziakede Aginighan for meritoriously quitting, retiring from active career public service. We like to note that because he is a son of Delta State, any indictment on him would have been an indictment on Delta State. Our brother, we are proud of you and ask God to continue to give you the wisdom and rectitude of character that have earned you eulogies from everywhere in Nigeria.” Aginighan, an ordained Pastor with the Apostolic Church, Nigeria, happily married to Deaconess Amerikaere Aginighan for over 29 years and blessed with children; currently a member of the Governing Council of the Apostolic Church owned Samuel Adegboyega University, Ogwa, Edo State.
Award/Appointment as Ambassador of Peace: United Nations POLAC Peace Programme also presented Pastor Power Aginighan with award cum appointment as Ambassador of Peace. The award was in 2010 but was presented formally on 8th November 2012. This award is in appreciation of his selfless service to God and humanity. UN POLAC is also in cognizant of his effort in maintaining peace and promoting mutual co-existence of Nigeria Citizens within and outside Delta State. In the year 2001, which was declared by the United Nations as the International Year of Peace and Non-violence, FUCN began the “Ambassador of Peace Award” which is the highest calling and recognition to those individuals like him whose lives exemplify the ideals of living for the sake of others and who dedicate themselves to promote universal moral values, and establishment of a cultural peace. With this Award he has joined a group of prominent Nigerians who have made the list of United Nations Peace Advocates. The Award is in consonance with the United Nations General Assembly Declaration of the Year 2001 -2010 as International Decade for Peace and Non-violence. Congratulations Pastor Power Ziakede Aginighan, these double appointment cum award are honours well deserved. Have question you may call: 08033399821 or write; email@example.com. Stay blessed.
*Nigeria: The Blood is Against You!
By Ikechukwu Enyiagu
"Be fruitful and increase in number." These were the very words of Yahweh to man as recorded in the Holy book, the Bible. In every home where couples have waited for years but still could not have a child, even one child to their names, ridicule, shame, disappointment and many sorrows become the air around them: the man is ridiculed for seemingly not being "man enough” and his wife is often ashamed to walk in the market-square or even among her fellow married-women because, then, she'd become the topic of all gatherings and gossip. And even if people were scattered about the market or wherever she goes, her presence and passage would usually converge common disagreeing friends to a point where they could have a common interest as they try to figure out her “reasons for being barren." As for close friends, associates and relatives, disappointment dawns on them, not just because their loved ones who got married for years have not been blessed with the cry of a baby - even one baby; but also because as they look at the faces of these couples, they see a people who go about with pains which no man could heal - except God who spoke forth man. As for their parents, if they be still alive, sorrow of their children's childlessness suddenly makes them feel childless themselves. And so we have a close-society of ridiculed, ashamed, disappointed and sorrowful people. Oh! What blessing a child is! What joy we all feel when the blessed baby finally arrives! Thank you, Lord, for the grace of procreation. Nigeria, the blood is against you! The blood of my grandparents, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, in-laws, uncles, aunts, cousins and relatives happily, arrogantly and unrepentantly wasted in 30 steady months of shelling, butchering, murdering, torturing, dehumanization, humiliation, starvation and deprivation, speak against you to this date. What blindness could convince any otherwise? ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Map and Flag of Nigeria
The news going round for some time now, and even coming out from some northern political and religious notables, has been that the highhandedness of the Nigerian government under Olusegun Obasanjo, which led to the death of the leader of Boko Haram, Mohammed Yusuf, brought about the full-blown terrorist activities of the northern-Nigeria religious chauvinists against Ndigbo, Christians and the State. How highly a son is valued! Even if he were the most notorious in town, he'd still be "my beloved!" Hear me, all ye peoples! Boko Haram terrorist group, which has killed over 3000 people (65% of whom are arguably of the indigenous people of Biafra), according to the Nigerian Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika, has repeatedly been appeased financially, submitted to and, to a larger extent, adored by both the so-called “Nigerian government” and the political pillars of the northern Nigeria. The clear understanding here, then, is that the unlawful death of one man from the north of Nigeria brought about the brutal and unjust murder of over 3000 innocent Nigerians and the destruction of properties (of the State, companies, organizations, places of worship and of individuals) running into hundreds of billions of Naira. To cap this abomination of blatant and arrogant injustice from the Nigerian two-types-of-citizens government, enslaved by the "born-to-rules or destroy," hear The Northern Governors Forum (NSGF) on the murder of a northern ex General whose karma of his genocidal crimes sent home in pain, shame and anguish: " This is callous and one death “too many." Nigeria, the blood of your genocidal victims is against you and you will never prosper! ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Mohammed Yusuf's bullet-ridden body shown to journalists in a video hours on July 30, 2009 after Nigerian police announced they had captured him alive. Police said Yusuf was shot while trying to escape.
They easily waved it aside - the deaths - the gruesome murders committed against the sons and daughters of Ana-Igbo. They even thought it right, lawful and patriotic for us, Ndigbo, to have seemingly forgotten all about the deaths by starvation and bombs and rape and deprivation perpetrated against us by the abominable Gowon with his cabinet of murderers, some of whom ended up taking their own lives or being helped by the principle of euthanasia. Many of them who would evidently still exit via these means still wander about in the darkness of regrets and pride. What degradation! So, understanding this, one gets amazed, even amused at the look of wonder, surprise, confusion, and even ignorance on their guilty faces as they see the Spirit of Biafra stirring every single Biafran remnant to seek a redress. They, probably in their customary arrogant-foolishness, imagined that we, the Igbo, did not hopefully wait for the birth of each and every child they thoughtlessly snuffed life out from, nor did we celebrate their entrance into our homes. When they have succeeded in annihilation over three thousands of our "living," they went to their homes with loots and booties from the helpless innocents. But God is our help! Some even built places of worship with the blood of these innocents slain! They did these and still said: "God is for us, who can be against us?" Well, in the law of Jehovah whose son paid the final price for all with His Most-Precious blood, Nigeria and Nigerians, by happily killing the helpless, deprivedand unjustly treated Igbo children, in blatant and conscious opposition to Jesus' finished work which revealed Him as the Christ, the blood of these children remains against you. And in the slanted, unjust and lawless laws of the so-called "Federated Nigeria," if the northern leaders found justification for Boko Haram's killing of hundreds of my ‘brothers of blood and faith’ in retaliation for the death of one so-called "leader of a sect," and if both the Federal and State governments have continued to financially appease this very sect for the death of "one" man, then the unappeased blood of more than 3 million Igbo children murdered by the Nigerian government and by individuals who still move about all over Nigeria, holding several offices and bragging about how Nigeria owes them obeisance for these abominations done in her name, then the blood is against you. And this blood will reveal to Nigeria that there are only two types of blood that speak before God: that of Abel of vengeance and that of Jesus of Mercy and Salvation. To those who humble themselves and pray - confessing their sins, if they forsake them and turn to God and administer justice in the land, the blood of Jesus will stand in the gap, form a whole and heal every land so the peoples in them can genuinely prosper. But while men brag about not being their "brothers’ keepers," the blood of Abel will continue to speak against them. There remains only one remedy and one justice for Nigeria and the powers that hold unwilling people glued and spiraling towards a destructive destiny: A freed and Sovereign Republic of Biafra. Until then, the blood of vengeance and mercy will keep its stand against Nigeria and continue to speak against her until her remaining glory becomes her greatest burden and curse. Those who reject and oppose the chief corner-stone will forever live in offences and they will forever stumble. Yet Biafra IS and its sovereignty has come!
Ikechukwu Enyiagu can be reached at
*Focus On Anambra State (1): Security & Crime Under Review
By Intersociety Nigeria
(Onitsha- Nigeria, 7th November 2012)-The leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law having reviewed the issues foregoing as they concern Anambra State of Nigeria in particular and Nigeria in general, wishes to observe and take the following position:
Security & Crime: Fundamentally and criminologically speaking, Anambra State as one of Nigeria’s six blue-collar unit-societies (States) is crime-prone, particularly as it concerns crimes against person and property. Other Nigeria’s blue-collar unit-societies are Lagos, Ogun, Abia, Kano and Borno States. Semi unit blue-collar societies such as Warri and Port Harcourt also abound in Nigeria. Blue-collar society is synonymous with a society with high commercial activities where high cash carriage abounds. In such societies, high incidences of bribery and extortion on the part of public security agencies and administrative establishments are routine. In the process of committing these crimes, properties and persons are destroyed in the form of extra-judicial killing, etc. They can be described as public crimes against persons and properties. On the other hand, private crimes against persons and properties such as robbery, armed robbery, carjacking, shoplifting, stealing, arson, burglary/house-breaking, and kidnapping, assassination/willful homicide, ritual killing, rape ,aggravated battery/assault and trafficking in persons are common features of the blue-collar/commerce-prone societies. Some white-collar crimes like fraud and kick-backs are also found in blue-collar societies. Traditionally, white-collar crimes are features of the white-collar or civil service societies and can be described as cancerous crimes against members of the public by public officials. The two sets of crimes so described are found in every society with one dominating the other according to the blue-collar or white-collar nature of such society. There are also crimes against the State and crimes by the State such as Boko-Haram insurrection and government hash responses toward same, which are prevalent in the northeast and northwest regions of Nigeria. Cyber crimes also abound. Generally speaking, white-collar crimes are major contributors to other forms of crime in both societies, while law and economic development are their two major antagonists.
Public Crimes Against Persons & Properties In Anambra State: These official crimes are higher in the State Police Command and the local establishments of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria all controlled by Federal Government of Nigeria. On the part of the Nigeria Police Force, Anambra State Command, it may most likely be correct to say out of every five suspected crime incidents reported, four are subjected to bribery and extortion. The saying that he who pays the piper dictates the tune is a norm in matters of criminal complaints, investigations and prosecutions within the Command. It is widely believed in the State that ninety-nine percent of complainants bear the total costs of filing criminal complaints, arrest of the suspects including logistics for the arrests; investigations, obtainment of autopsies/medical reports, writing of police reports, procurement of human and material witnesses and arraignment/prosecution of the suspects/defendants, yet huge overheads go into the hands of the Command’s top echelon monthly. The accused and their relatives/associates are routinely extorted and made to process their defense/innocence through bribery. As a result, the records of dark figures of crime (crimes not reported to police) and grey figures (those reported but not recorded by same) are very high in the Command. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Map of Anambra State
Further, instead of complying fully with the IGP’s directive, effected from 30th January 2012, banning mounting of road blocks on Nigerian roads; various divisions of the State Command especially those in urban areas have devised other dastardly means to subvert it, such as going on mufti and stationing at strategic urban locations, arresting, impounding and extorting persons and properties with alacrity. One of the urban divisional commands indulging in the dastardly acts is Okpoko Police Station, which routinely stations over twenty of its mufti personnel between Chisco Park and Aba Park/Ogbaru Relief Market areas of Onitsha Upper Iweka. Another culpable-Police Station is Fegge Police Station, which adamantly stations its uniformed personnel permanently at some commercially busy routes such as Creek Road Roundabout, Niger Street by Zik’s Avenue, St. Jude Cath. Church by Port Harcourt Road and Iweka Flyover all in Fegge, Onitsha. Its personnel also arrest, impound and extort daily dozens of Okada riders before dawn at various locations in Fegge including Zik’s Avenue. Those who cannot afford bribery and extortionist sums are dumped in cells or charged to magistrate courts on trumped-up charges. For instance, on Sunday, November 4, 2012, the extortionist personnel of the Fegge Division were sighted at the afore-said roadblock joints including St. Jude by Port Harcourt Road, Fegge, Onitsha, extorting motorists and motorcyclists. One of those sighted by Intersociety on Port Harcourt Road by St. Jude extortion joint is Corporal Michael Orji. Awada and Ogidi Police Stations as well as the Onitsha Central Police Station and Onitsha Area Command are also very corrupt and defiant to the IGP’s directive. The motorized patrols ordered by the IGP have been abandoned and extortionist approaches adopted and sustained by these divisions of the Anambra State Command. These sharp practices also have tacit backing of their divisional, area and State commanders.
On part of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria-the Federal Government-controlled electricity provider, all its local Business Units in Anambra State particularly Onitsha, Ogbaru, Ogidi, Nnewi and Ekwulobia Business Units are corruptively and bribery disposed. They are also very incompetent and fraudulent. Within Onitsha and Ogbaru Business Units, bribery and extortion are a routine. They institutionalize roguish billing system by abandoning meter-based reading to outright imposition of N5, 000 flat rates for every flat apartment in their Business Units, not minding that 98% of the affected flat apartments operate with consumer-meters. They also create artificial scarcity for new digital pre-paid meters and deny consumers access to them. Few ones they made available were fraudulently sold to the highest bidders with their proceeds unknown to the official PHCN financial records. Pre-paid electricity meters make consumers to pay accurately what they consume and eliminate substantially bribery and extortion against consumers by corrupt PHCN officials. They also make the PHCN officials solely responsible for round-the-clock management and maintenance of distribution transformers and save the consumers from the agony of shouldering same responsibilities owning to near-total abdication of same by the PHCN officials.
But the said officials prefer the use and retention of analog meters, which reading they refuse to pick, and outrageously estimated billing system because of their proneness to sharp practices such as extortions arising from power line disconnection owing to non-payment, late payment or part-payment of outrageously imposed bills, and replacement, reinforcement and maintenance of distribution transformers and their accessories, which the Onitsha, Ogidi and Ogbaru Business Units’ power consumers are forced to bear. Out of every five new distribution transformers installed in the said areas, four are installed at the expense of the consumers; out of every five existing distribution transformers serviced, five are serviced at the expense of the consumers; and out of every accessory replaced, it is the consumers that bear the cost, yet statutory overheads for such works are collected and pocketed by the Business Units’ Business Managers and their Managers in-charge of Distributions at every month end. It may most likely be correct to say that 60% of outrageous sums generated at every month end in Onitsha, Ogidi and Ogbaru Business Units from the imposed N5, 000 flat rates for every flat apartment is not remitted into the official PHCN accounts. In all, the case of new 250KVA Abazuonu distribution transformer located at Iyiowa Layout, Ogbaru LGA, Anambra State, installed in June 2012 by its consumers at a whopping cost of over N2Million is a case in point. The transformer brought by a member of the House of Reps in 2011, from Federal Constituency Project, without its accessories had to be installed by the affected consumers when the top officials of the Onitsha and Ogbaru PHCN turned down the consumers’ request and directed them to a NEPA contractor after being forced to write and sign an under-taking-assisting NEPA (PHCN). When the transformer developed multiple faults in September 2012, two months after its installation owing to shoddy jobs done on it, the Ogbaru Business Unit through its SMD (Senior Manager for Distribution) again referred the consumers to another NEPA contractor, GAESHON ELECTROTECT NIG. LTD. of No.1B Gayius Ezeh Street, Awada by Onitsha-Owerri Road, Obosi, Anambra State, who gave them another bill of N463.000 for its repair. The Business Manager for the Ogbaru Business Unit, carved out of Onitsha Business Unit recently, is Engineer E.C. Anyaelesi. Instances such as the foregoing abound in the PHCN establishments in Anambra State, Southeast Nigeria. ( Continues below….. )
Private Crimes Against Persons & Properties In Anambra State: Crimes of kidnapping, assassination, stealing, robbery, armed robbery, pick-pocket, snatching of personal effects, assault/aggravated assault and battery/aggravated battery are Anambra’s leading headache- crimes as a traditional blue-collar society, while crimes of shoplifting, carjacking and political violence are on steady decrease. Crime of torture is still very alarming and routine among the operatives of over 1000 registered and unregistered armed vigilante groups in the State and the personnel of the Nigeria Police Force, Anambra State Command, particularly the operatives of its Special Anti Robbery Squad and the State Criminal Investigation Department. Torture remains the sole source of obtaining confessional statements among them. The only exception to this is the personnel of the State Security Services, Anambra State Directorate, who apart from applying tortuous methods on their suspects from time to time; also apply some modern methods of intelligence gathering in their intelligence gathering network. Extra-judicial killing is still high among the SARS and vigilante operatives in the State, but not as alarming as it used to be seven to ten years ago. In SARS, it is now substantially restricted to violent criminals like fleeing and detained armed robbery and kidnapping suspects, including those who are unable to buy their lives and freedoms.
There also exists pre-judicial handling of the properties of crime (crime proceeds) by the executive arm of the Government of Anambra State led by Governor Peter Obi, particularly properties belonging to the kidnapping suspects , whereby such properties (residential houses) are demolished by the government before commencement and conclusion of judicial enquiries and pronouncements into the suspected dastardly acts. This is clearly synonymous with extra-judicial execution of violent crimes suspects, be they kidnapping or armed robbery culprits. The legitimization of such blundered practice by the Anambra State House of Assembly via a Law of Anambra State is inexcusable, as such is a typical example of bad laws. Following international best practices and the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 as amended; such properties can be sealed and placed under criminal investigations on the orders of the State Chief Security Officer (i.e. governor) and confiscated afterwards through judicial applications and pronouncements after the persons of crime must have been criminally tried and convicted. Criminal Justice in the world over abhors pre-judicial destruction of properties and extra-judicial killing of persons by State actors or Pseudo State actors whether they are caught in the act or outside the act. The sealing and confiscation of properties (not demolition) that linked to the infamous Otokoto Ritual/Advance Fee Fraud Saga of the late 90s in Imo State, Southeast Nigeria, is a case in point. While the untiring determination of Governor Peter Obi to reduce to the barest minimum the high incidence of violent crimes particularly crimes of armed robbery and kidnapping for ransom/political reasons in Anambra State, Southeast Nigeria, through constructive governance and effective securitization is highly appreciated, but such securitization methodology must be thoroughly subjected to sound judicial processes and rule of law.
Proliferation Of Vigilante Groups/ Illicit Small Arms As A Major Threat To Security & Crime In Anambra: The saying that if you want to know how State Police would be abused and mismanaged in Nigeria, go and study the activities of motley of armed vigilante groups in Anambra and Abia States and government policy/attitudes towards them, has become a popular saying in Nigeria especially in criminology, securitization, arms control and rights communities. While it is widely believed in the security, crime and anti-arms proliferation communities that about, if not over 5million illicit small arms are in wrong hands in Nigeria including the country’s uncoordinated and poorly managed armed vigilante groups, the State of Anambra may account for over 6% or 300.000. A former Nigeria’s defense minister, retired Gen. Theo Danjuma acknowledged this years back when he said that over 1million illicit small arms might be in circulation in the country. Illicit small arms(machine guns, AK-47s, rocket launchers, double/multi-barrel guns, hand grenades, APCs, pistols, pump-action guns etc) are those weapons of death procured from black market or illegal sources, which end up in the hands of wrong bearers including armed vigilante groups and ethnic militias. Just like there are four million hidden security cameras currently in the UK for protective security, conversely speaking, there may be over 16million machetes/daggers/axes in Nigeria, on average of one for 10 Nigerians, which have substantially been converted from domestic/peaceful use to violent use. They are best described as dangerous weapons. Their negative use has skyrocketed Nigeria’s homicidal and social militancy index. Illicit small arms are believed to originate from dark spots in Togo, Ghana and Benin Republics and discharged/sold in Lagos, Onitsha, Aba and Kano black markets with smooth passage through the country’s dry and water borders. With 5million illicit small arms believed to be in circulation and in wrong hands in Nigeria, it may most likely be correct to say that one out of every 30 Nigerians bears same. In the early 2000, the BBC reported that one out of every 20 Africans had illicit small arms.
In Anambra State proper, one out of every 20 residents is in possession of illicit small arms, no thanks to monstrous vigilantism fed by Onitsha arms black markets. Continuing proliferation of armed vigilantes and illicit small arms is a time bomb and government patronage to its disastrous system for political reasons amounts to a suspension of catastrophic war from within for another day. Today, the number of armed vigilante groups in Anambra State, Southeast Nigeria, both registered and unregistered, and illegal arms in their hands is still swelling, reaching over 1000 uncoordinated groups. The government of Peter Obi is not helping matters too, as it may have carried out its planned recruitment of more 5,240 armed vigilante operatives (tomorrow’s assassins, kidnappers and armed robbers) into existing vigilante groups scattered in its 177 communities and dozens of urban and semi-urban centers. The militancy culture is steadily being entrenched in the State. Apart from clear porosity of the government management of these armed groups, their source of arms is black market oriented, which is very dangerous for present and future security of the State and the country. The government inventory for their members and arms is utterly shallow and poorly managed. Guns and machetes use by members of the groups freely appear and disappear unchecked because of poor government control and management. Character impeccability, basic secondary education qualification, surety and basic biometrics/computer literacy tests as basics for modern security works are strange and unknown to their recruiters and managers. Effective national and State legislation for their conducts and regulation is either poor or non-existent. The Nigeria’s Private Guards Act of 1986 and the Anambra Vigilante Services amended Law of 2007 are both archaic and poorly legislated and regulated. Most members of these armed vigilante groups are street urchins, ex convicts and indicted, ruffians, primary/secondary school drop-outs, thugs, touts and ex murderers. Public security cannot be entrusted in the hands of the black sheep of the society-akin to social deviants securing the deviant society. Above all, the policy of arms recovery, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration that usually accompanies such quasi security arrangement is totally absent in the social lexicon of the Government of Anambra State. This explains why militant youth groups are springing up from left, right and center within the State with alacrity. Today, even though banned, there still are militant/deviant MASSOB elements, Obosi Youth, Ogbaru Youth, Odekpe Youth, Nsugbe Youth, Onitsha Ado Youth, Fegge Youth, Oba Youth, Nkpor Youth, Awka Youth, Nkwere Youth, Ekwuluobia Youth, Nnewi Youth ,etc, with their stock-in-trade being extortion and other militant activities. In all, homicidal and militant culture is on steady increase in Anambra State. Illegal arms and their illegitimate bearers are flooded at every nook and cranny of the State. Also, armed police personnel and vigilantes are at every corner of the State, yet every corner of the State remains insecured.
Position: We call on the Nigerian authorities concerned to take firmly the social notice of this expert-public statement on Security and Crime, though centered on Anambra State, with a view to addressing frontally and immediately the relevant issues so raised. The over-reliance on manual and arms-and-ammunition concept (AK-47 driven) of security should be deemphasized and global concept of human and intelligence securities fully embraced. Concrete steps should be taken by the Nigeria Police High Command and its supervisory agencies to tackle endemic commercialization of criminal enquiries in the Force particularly in its Anambra State Command as well as to curb same of bribery and extortion. The express attention of the Inspector General of Police, Mr. M.D. Abubakar is also drawn to the clear flouting of his ban on unwarranted roadblocks on Nigerian roads by his Anambra State Command particularly the divisional and area commands so mentioned. Efforts should immediately be made to curb Nigeria of proliferation of illicit small arms and other dangerous weapons of death as well as to effect the amendment of the anachronistic Private Guards Act of the Federation 1986 to ensure proper control of proliferated armed vigilantes in Nigeria including their use of arms. The authorities of the PHCN and the Federal Ministry of Power as well as the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission should beam their searchlights on perceived criminal conducts of their subordinates in Anambra State particularly their Onitsha and Ogbaru Business Units so as to address the misconducts complained of, especially the criminal imposition of outrageous bills outside existing consumer-meters and subsisting tariffs; and abdication of their statutory duties of installing and maintaining distribution transformers. The Peter Obi government in Anambra State should, as a matter as of immediacy and public importance, expertly formulates far reaching policies towards the sound management of its motley of armed vigilante groups and tens of thousands of illicit small arms and other dangerous weapons in their possessions . Other related issues so raised should be tackled as well.
[ Expert-Statement By Intersociety Nigeria ]
Comrade Justus Ijeoma, Head, Publicity Desk
*Tags: Nigerians, Intersociety, Council, Police, Service, Commission. Sack, Ringim, Africa, Masterweb
*Gender Inequality: The Nigerian Case
Masterweb Reports – Saturday, November 3, 2012: Women are more than fifty percent of the world’s population. They perform two-third of the world’s work, yet receive one-tenth of the world’s income and own one-hundredth of the world’s property. They represent a staggering seventy percent of the world’s one billion poorest people. This is a stack development reality for our world.
My country-Nigeria has the highest population of any African country. With a population of over 162 million, Nigeria is ranked the world’s seventh most populated country. Of this magnitude, forty-nine percent are female; some 80.2 million girls and women. Comparatively, thirty-eight percent of women in Nigeria lack formal education as against twenty-five for men and only four percent of women have higher education against the seven percent of their male counterpart. Nigeria ranks 118 of 134 countries in the Gender Equality Index.
Commenting on the fore, it is apparent that no appreciable development can be made either at the local, national or international platform without recognising girls and women as equal players in the game of life whilst empowering, up-skilling and investing in them for a better world. “When we empower women, we empower communities, nations and entire human family” un Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
We live in a world where majority of girls and women face real-time poverty, gross inequality, molestation and injustice, which could run through from birth to death. From poor education to poor nutrition to violence and brutalization to vulnerable and low pay employment, the sequence of discrimination and atrocities a woman may suffer during her entire life is unacceptable but all too common in our global society.
In her assessment of gender inequality, Nigerian Ambassador to the UN, Joy Ogwu, rightly noted, “It is about having half of humanity participate. The progress of women means…the progress of the world”. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Woman & man images against their standard gender symbols.
Undoubtedly, Nigeria and the World at large has in the last decade witnessed an unprecedented expansion of women’s rights, being one of the most profound social revolutions the world has ever seen. Couple of decades back, only two countries allowed women to vote. Today, that right is virtually universal. Millions of men and women around the world now support the call for gender equality although there is much to be done especially in developing countries like Nigeria.
Reviewing the UK Department for International Development (DFID), 2012 Gender Report in Nigeria, “Nigeria’s 80.2 million women and girls have significantly worse life chances than men and also their sisters in comparable societies”. This reveals the neglect of the Nigerian people and government in tackling the issue of gender inequality despite calls from various quarters. It also brings to bare our frail understanding of preparing the girl child for tomorrow’s motherhood, family and societal challenges.
The report which succinctly stated that “Women are Nigeria’s hidden resource”, exposed that over 1.5 million Nigeria children aged 6-14(8.1%) are currently not in school, a situation which has effortlessly earned Nigeria the world’s largest out of school children country-an unfortunate achievement of a robust nation. “In eight Northern States, over 80% of women are unable to read (compared with 54% for men). In Jigawa State, 94% of women (42% of men) are illiterate”. Apparently, we have failed to realize that just a few investments have as large a payoff as girls’ education.
Some traceable factors to this ill-starred development include lack of funds resulting from wide-spread poverty, traditional and religious inclination which place low priority on educating the girl child, non-provision of educational facilities by government, poor funding of the educational sector, weak educational policies, early marriage, early childbirth, poor sanitation, ignorance amongst others.
“Nigeria has one of the lowest rates of female entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa. The majority of women are concentrated in casual, low-skilled, low paid informal sector employment. Only 15% of women have a bank account”. Educating and empowering the girl child implies preparing her for future motherhood challenges that will in the nearest future affect a family and the larger society either positively or negatively.
The huge geographical and ideological disparities of Nigeria, makes her a unique country with though global yet slightly peculiar challenges and opportunities, even as it relates to gender inequality. Human development outcomes for girls and women are worse in the northern part of the country where poverty levels are sometimes twice as high as in the south. Nearly half of all children under age five are malnourished in the North-East, with the figures expected to increase across the country in the wake of national and international food crises.
On maternal mortality, the 2012 DFID Gender Report in Nigeria noted that Nigeria has one of the highest rate of maternal mortality in the world, a case where in every ten minutes, one Nigerian women dies in childbirth. With about forty-seven percent of Nigerian women being mothers before the age of twenty, the report cautioned that without access to safe childbirth services, adequate and affordable emergency obstetric care, improved healthcare funding, enormous political will and civil society pressure, Nigeria’s maternal mortality rate could double from its current 545 deaths per 100,000 live births. Note, “Every 90 seconds of every day, a woman dies in pregnancy or childbirth”, world over.
“Women around the world are dynamic leaders and powerful advocates of change. But space for their leadership and broader social and political participation remains constrained. By mid-2011, only 28 countries could claim that women’s parliamentary representation had reached a critical mass of 30 percent or more. Only 19 women were leading their countries as elected heads of state or government”.
In Nigeria, only 25 out of the 360 members of the Nigerian House of Representatives being women and only about 4% of local government councillors are women, confirming that “women are under-represented in all political decision making bodies and their representation has not increased since the inception of democratic rule”. This could perhaps be an explanation for Nigeria’s low investment in sections that are crucial to human development outcomes such as health and education.
It is pertinent to note that the quality of our democracy, the strength of our economies, the health of our societies and the sustainability of peace —are all undermined when we fail to fully tap half of the world’s talent and potential. Where women have access to secondary education, good jobs, land and other assets, national growth and stability are enhanced, and we see lower maternal mortality, improved child nutrition, greater food security, and less risk of HIV and AIDS.
In a society like ours, violence against women and girls cannot be ignored though it is being ignored. “One in three of all women and girls aged 15-24 have been a victim of violence. Women who have never married are more likely to have been attacked than married women. Up to one third of Nigerian women report that they have been subjected to some form of violence. One in five has experienced physical violence”.
Rape, sexual insult and assault, brutalization and molestation, domestic violence on girls and women have in recent time upsurge in Nigeria, with victims feeling embarrassed to report such incidence to the right agencies for justice. However, kudos must be given to some individuals, civil society and media organisations that have continually been campaigning against violence on the female folk, though, there is more to be done noting that women and girls pay an unjustifiable price for violence and discrimination, but they do not do so alone.
The United Nation Women says “Ending violence against women requires know-how”. The know-how of judicial and health processes. In her words, Karen Valero, Colombia said “I dream of a world where women are free from domestic violence…Everyone is equal. We have the same rights in every way”
Curbing and stopping violence against women requires the creation and passage of laws regarding such violence, adopting action plans and budgets to implement legislation, instituting prevention programmes and protection services for women survivors, and campaigning to raise awareness whilst instilling sound moral and religious instructions in the girl-child towards a chaste and modest future.
Achieving gender equality and women’s rights in Nigeria and the world at large is crucial to establishing and sustaining developments as specifically addressed by three Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Gender inequality has a much greater impact than the explicit MDGs. Gender dynamics underpin all of the MDGs and to make progress, we need specific gender-sensitive policies and action across the entire project.
In promoting women’s livelihood, the 2012 DFID Gender Report in Nigeria, recommends that “Government policy should prioritise agriculture and rural development, because 54 million of Nigeria’s 80.2 million women live and work in rural areas where they constitute 60-70% of the rural work force”. It also advocates the formulation and implementation of laws that will assist the female gender in actualising her mandate.
On education, the report advised the creation of incentives for all girls to complete primary and secondary education, whilst delivering free education to girls and better funding for the educational sector both at the state and national levels.
This fight for gender equality can only be successful with YOU and I playing our individual yet concerted roles towards successful women’s leadership; strengthening women’s economic empowerment; ending violence against women; promoting women’s participation in peace and security processes; and ensuring that public planning and budgeting responds to the needs and rights of women. Together-we can make it happen!
According to the Executive Director, UN Women, Michelle Bachelet, “Gender equality must become a lived reality”.
At this juncture, let me drop my pen in recognition and appreciation of all female: girls and women across the globe, who despite societal inequality and discrimination have just like my mother and sisters continued to grow in leaps and bounds…I love, respect and cherish you all. PEACE!
Tayo Elegbede Jet reports.
*Anioma State! To be, or not to be: “A Bride of Equity”.
By Echiemeze Chizekene Ofili
“To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?”
The above Century old quote from William Shakespeare summarizes the predicament that Anioma People must confront as they approach the National Assembly Committee on the review of 1999 Constitution at Constituency level public hearing.
At last or at least it seems to appear, that balancing of the present geopolitical zones on basis of equity and fairness is one issue that Nigerians and their representatives at the National Assembly have come to agree.
A new Anioma State as the sixth State of South East geopolitical zone is being proposed and may well provide this master stroke. If it receives a favorable consideration, it is strongly being tossed as a Bride: “A Bride of Equity” that would bring to an end a history of imbalance and injustice, and provide the closure needed to foreclose the perception of marginalization. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing Anioma
Anioma People without big players in Nigeria politics presently hold the ace that could provide this balancing act for the South-South and South East geopolitical zones. A new Anioma State with the right composition and location in the proper geopolitical zone will be the pride a nation of people and manifestation of the peoples’ ability to solve their problems by compromise and precision.
However, the dilemma is whether a People with the longest agitation for a state in the history of state creation will boggle this chance. As it stands today, if no consensus is reached on the communities that would constitute a new Anioma State, and its best geopolitical location; Anioma People may have to live with a self-inflicted injury in many years to come.
There are propositions that a new Anioma State that is partly different from what has long been pursued or historically proposed may emerge more viable. Reasons are that times have changed, and communities and social formations have evolved and are still evolving.
First there are more challenges and opportunities today than far back when Sir Dennis Osadebe and his folks first conceived the idea of a separate political jurisdiction to be known as Asaba Division in the old Western Region. This political jurisdiction with some modifications constitutes what is presently known as Anioma.
Anioma region and people have evolved from seeing themselves as or being classified as: Western Igbos, Midwestern Igbos, Bendel Igbos and Delta Igbos to seeing themselves simple as Anioma people. This new identity is supported by many factors the most potent being a new Anioma Nationalism fueled by social media communications. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Igboland (homeland of Ndigbo of Nigeria)
To some people a little modification to the composition of communities that would constitute a new Anioma State or realignments both in terms of geographical composition and nomenclature may further promote and assure its future viability.
According to the above, a new viable Anioma state may be that which is created not only to provide succor to Anioma people’s historical demand for a state of their own, but that also takes into account the needs of its closest neighbors and the entire Nigeria nation.
This group advocates for a new Anioma State that is carved out from the present Delta State and that will provide a relief from the persistent tension between Anioma people and the Core Delta people in the present Delta State. This new Anioma will include the Igbankes and Egbedes presently in Edo State; the Ndoni people( Sir Peter Odili’s Community) that was originally part of Aboh Division but presently in Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area (LGA) Rivers State ; Onitasha people now presently in Anambra State but share historical and cultural links with other Onicha communities of Eze Chime Clan in Aniocha Local Government Area, in Anioma region of present Delta State; the Oguta people presently in Imo State but share historical root an culture with Aboh people.
To others, it is either an Anioma State as was conceived by our forefathers or nothing.
The pros and cons of these two positions must be fully communicated to Anioma people by each party making these propositions. In the coming state creation exercise Anioma people will resist to be left with the short end of the stick.
Echiemeze Chizekene Ofili , Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Chief Obafemi Awolowo: The Political Moses
By Adedare Oduguwa (Press Release)
Chief Obafemi Awolowo: The Political Moses is a story of a man who dedicated the entirety of his life in the service of humanity and the development of mankind.
27 years old Adedara Oduguwa launched his biographical book on Chief Obafemi Awolowo in front of well wishers and dignitaries on 1st of October 2012 at the university of West England.
He decided to write this book out of admiration for the man he considered the best president Nigeria never had. According to the author,the fact that Awolowo's contributions to the Nigeria outlives his existence is a sign of great leadership.
'The book is about how the struggles of one man contributed to the growth and development of mankind' says Adedara, whose other publications include Love nest in 2005, Chief Kofoworola Oduguwa: A miniature biography in 2010.
In recent month, the accusations against Chief Awolowo by Author Chinue Achebe from his newly published work has left many Nigerians infuriated and disappointed that the hope of a unified Nigeria is still under attack from some group of people.
'This book brings to light the true nature of the man that gave his life for the freedom of our nation. I was inspired to write this, first in 2004 after discovering that most physical developments in Nigeria were as a result of Awo’s efforts.'
Adedara is currently a post graduate student of Management at the University of the West of England and like many other humanists, Adedara’s political ideology is based on equity, justice, equal rights and happiness for all in every society.
Please find attached a copy of the press release questionnaire on the book from publisher and a photograph of Mr Adedara Oduguwa.
Below is a link to the book documentary -
761, Filton Avenue,
Photo Above: Chief Obafemi Awolowo
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