*Lord Lugard’s Cage Challenged As Biafra Drags Nigeria To Court October 30
[ Press Release For Immediate Release ]
By Bilie Human Rights Initiative
Bilie Human Rights Initiative is a human rights organization and the only legal entity in Nigeria registered with the United Nations as an Indigenous Peoples Organization (IPO) and also as Incorporated Trustees by the Corporate Affairs Commission Abuja for the purpose of protecting, defending and advocating for the rights of indigenous people of Biafra and all other indigenous peoples and nationalities within Nigeria whose rights and freedoms are violated by the Nigerian Government contrary to the United Nations Charter on Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights. The word “Bilie” means “Stand Up” or “Arise” in Igbo Language. We are calling on all Igbo speaking people in Nigeria to stand up for their rights. Bilie is a human rights group advocating for the rights of the descendants of the ancestors of Biafraland who are the remnants that were not consumed by the 1967-1970 genocidal war in which about three million Biafrans were killed. Bilie Human Rights Initiative is a national liberation movement for the purposes of international law with power to represent all indigenous people of Biafra in legal actions against any person Upholding justice and the rule of law or any Government whether in the Nigerian Courts or in the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
Gentlemen of the Press, we are here today to let the world know what is happening in Nigeria. The safety of the lives and properties of indigenous people of Biafra living in Nigeria are no longer guaranteed. The Biafrans were forced to surrender their sovereignty and become Nigerian citizens on the promise that their lives and properties would be protected by the Government of Nigeria. Now, it has become clear that the Government of Nigeria is impotent and incompetent to protect the indigenous people of Biafra who were not consumed by the war. In fact, the Nigeria Police and Army Officers have continued to harass, intimidate, arrest, detain and kill Biafran human rights activists who are agitating for the self-determination and independence of Biafra by peaceful means but spare the militant activists from other nationalities agitating for similar outcome. There is clear and demonstrable policy of discrimination, marginalization, oppression and racism against the remnants of the indigenous people of Biafra living in Nigeria which has caused some of them to deny their identity in order to receive favours from the Federal Government of Nigeria. The situation has compelled Bilie Human Rights Initiative to file multiple suits against the Federal Government of Nigeria and its agents on behalf of the indigenous people of Biafra to protect their human and peoples’ rights. At the moment, the two suits Bilie Human Rights Initiative has filed are as follows:
(a) Case number 1 is for the Self-determination and Independence of Biafra
(b) Case number 2 is an order seeking restraint on the part of the Federal Government of Nigeria and her agents from the continued intimidation, harassment and threat to life of the publishers and distributors of Eastern Pilot Newspaper and violation of the publication’s freedom of expression as guaranteed under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Case for Self-determination and Independence of Biafra:
On behalf of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Bilie Human Rights Initiative has filed the case, Suit No. FHC/OW/CS/102/2012 in the Federal High Court of Nigeria in the Owerri Judicial Division against the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Attorney-General of the Federation seeking to enforce the rights of indigenous people of Biafra to self-determination and independence. The said suit brought by way of originating summons requires the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Attorney-General of the Federation to appear in court to answer fundamental questions impinging on the rights of Indigenous People of Biafra which to date has remained unanswered and untested in any competent court of law.
LET the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Attorney-General of the Federation within thirty days after service of this summons on them, inclusive of the day of such service, cause an appearance to be entered for them to this summons which is issued upon the application of BILIE HUMAN RIGHTS INITIATIVE representing INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF BIAFRA who are indigenes of the South East geopolitical zone of Nigeria, parts of the South-South geopolitical zone of Nigeria and parts of the Middle Belt zone of Nigeria seeking to enforce their right to self-determination pursuant to Articles 19 - 25 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Cap 10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990, and to redress all wrongs occasioned on them by the Defendants in consequence whereof the Claimants pray for the determination of the following questions:
1. Whether the Indigenous People of Biafra who are the remnants that were not consumed in the Nigerian-Biafran war of 1967 – 1970 have the right of self-determination pursuant to Articles 19 – 25 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Cap 10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990.
2. Whether the Claimants who identify themselves as Biafrans by indigenous identity are committing any offence by doing so contrary to any provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 or contrary to any provisions of the Criminal Code and whether it is a crime under any national or international law to mention the name of BIAFRA or for the remnants of the Indigenous People of Biafra who were not consumed by the war to maintain their indigenous identity as Biafrans with their native emblems and symbols as they do now even though they are Nigerians by citizenship and nationality laws; and if the answer is in the negative, whether the Defendants are justified to arrest, detain, shoot and or kill the children of the Claimants for identifying themselves as Biafrans by indigenous identity contrary to the rights of indigenous peoples as guaranteed by Articles 19 – 25 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Cap 10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990.
3. Whether by the interpretation of Section 2 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 it is a crime for the Claimants and or the people of other ethnic nationalities held together in Nigeria against their will to exercise their right to self-determination by seeking for independence under the law as guaranteed by Articles 19 – 25 Cap 10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 and the United Nations Resolution 61/295 of 2007 known as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
4. Whether it is lawful under the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 and under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap 10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 for the Defendants to hold the ethnic nationalities in Nigeria together by force against their will who now constitute the six geopolitical regions namely: South East, South South, South West, North Central, North East and North West, in a forced marriage akin to slavery contrary to their human and peoples’ rights of self-determination as there is no provision in the Nigerian law or international law that makes it a crime for a people to seek for freedom by the rule of law.
5. Whether the amalgamation of the peoples of the south and north by the British Government to form one country called Nigeria was with the consent and agreement of the indigenous peoples of the lands; and if the answer is in the negative, whether the Order-in-Council 1910 – 1913 made by the British Government to create Nigeria in 1914 was null and void ab initio for lacking legitimacy as it could not form the basis of the Nigerian Constitution thereby rendering the amalgamation invalid.
6. Whether by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1963 which took effect on 1st October 1963 and remained in force until the midnight of 30th September 1979 the Defendants were right to seize and confiscate the assets, properties, money, and all treasures belonging to the Claimants by promulgating the Abandoned Properties Act of 28th September 1979 while the 1963 Constitution was in force, being more than nine years after the war and after the declaration of “One Nigeria” while regarding the Claimants as Nigerian citizens but depriving them of their properties, money and assets; and if the answer is in the negative, whether the Defendants are still justified to withhold the said money, properties and assets belonging to the Claimants.
7. Whether the Defendants were justified to violate the International Humanitarian Law and the Laws of War known as the Geneva Convention 1949 (to which the Defendants acceded and ratified on 20th June 1961) by bombing the Biafran civilians, killing the Biafran civilians and using starvation to kill the children, women and the elderly of the civilian population of the indigenous people of Biafra in the war of 1967 – 1970 in order to win the war.
8. Whether the Defendants by registering Nigeria as a member of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) in 1986 and licensing an Islamic Sharia Bank in Nigeria under the 1999 Constitution contrary to Section 10 of the Constitution of Nigeria have violated the Constitution and turned Nigeria into an Islamic country; and if the answer is in the affirmative, whether the Claimants have the right to dissociate themselves from the Defendants and refuse to answer the citizens of an Islamic country in the exercise of their right to freedom of worship, freedom of association and self-determination as a people.
AND LET THE DEFENDANTS TAKE NOTICE that the Claimants who are called Biafrans by indigenous identity and Nigerians by nationality have commenced the legal processes leading to their referendum for self-determination and shall at the hearing of this summons pray the Honourable Court for:
(a) An Order declaring that the Claimants have the right to self-determination pursuant to Articles 19 – 25, Cap 10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990, and are therefore free to exercise their right to self-determination for independence or any other political status of their choice.
(b) An Order declaring that the ethnic nationalities that make up Nigeria are not held as slaves under Section 2(1) of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 and therefore have the right of self-determination to decide their political status by the rule of law.
(c) An Order declaring that the Defendants are liable to pay to the Claimants by way of compensation or reparation the present value of all the money, properties and assets of the Claimants seized by the Defendants as a result of the Nigerian-Biafran war of 1967 – 1970 since the properties were not seized in wartime but nine years after the war based on the post-war discriminatory policies and laws made by the Defendants to suppress the Claimants from generation to generation.
(d) An Order directing the Defendants to comply with the provisions of Article 20 (3) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap 10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 and consequently give all assistance to the Claimants in the exercise of their right to self-determination for a peaceful conduct of their referendum for independence or for any other political status of their choice.
(e) An Order granting judicial protection to the Claimants, their homes, their offices and their correspondences individually and collectively as they exercise their right to self-determination and an Injunction restraining the Defendants, their agents and privies, from interfering, arresting, molesting, intimidating, disturbing, hindering or harassing the Claimants or doing any act or omitting to do any act aimed at frustrating the Claimants’ exercise of their right to self-determination which they have commenced with a referendum.
(f) An Order compelling the Defendants to release from its prisons and detention centres all indigenous people of Biafra who are agitating as pro-Biafra Movements for Independence of Biafra by peaceful means and to drop all charges of treason or treasonable felonies made against them and to release all their properties seized by the Defendants.
(g) An Order affirming the Memorandum of Ohanaeze Ndigbo dated 28th June 2012 submitted to the National Assembly for the restructuring of Nigeria into six autonomous self-governing regions, namely: South East, South West, South South, North East, North West and North Central, as a manifestation of the Will of the People in the exercise of their right to self-determination and directing the Defendants to present an Executive Bill to the National Assembly for a law granting autonomy and self-governing status to the six geopolitical regions in Nigeria; OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, in the role of the Judiciary as the last hope of the common man, an Order directing the Defendants to present an Executive Bill to the National Assembly for a law dissolving Nigeria in peace along the compatible ethnic groups instead of allowing the country to break up in bloodshed.
(h) An Order declaring that the Defendants by registering Nigeria as a member of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) have turned Nigeria into an Islamic country contrary to Section 10 of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 and therefore the Claimants being Christians have the right to dissociate themselves from the Defendants and refuse to be called the citizens of an Islamic country. The facts of the case and exhibits relied on are contained in a 44-Paragraph Affidavit filed with the suit. Bilie Human Rights Initiative is by this legal action accelerating efforts to bring legal clarity to the issue of arbitrary arrests of indigenous people of Biafra. We believe that what Biafra lost after the war was its sovereignty and not its people since we were not annihilated by Nigeria as Rome annihilated Carthage.
About 99% of the population of the indigenous people of Biafra are Christians holding tenaciously to their Christian faith, believing in freedom of worship, freedom of religion, freedom of association, freedom of conscience, freedom of thought and freedom of expression, and separating the State from Religion. We believe in democracy as the only system of government that guarantees our fundamental human rights. Unfortunately, the Moslems from the North who were merged with us in the country called Nigeria do not believe in democracy and do not separate their Religion from the State. They do not believe in freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, freedom of thought and freedom of expression. In a conflict between the law of the State and the law of Islam, the Moslems insist that the law of Islam must prevail while we insist that the law of the State must prevail. They regard democracy as a false religion as shown by the fliers and posters they are spreading in Britain, America, Nigeria and other countries of the world where democracy is practised. This shows fundamental irreconcilable differences in the ideologies of the two peoples. All the efforts of their ethnic militia called Boko Haram are aimed at Islamizing the whole country and forcing us to become Moslems! The Biafrans saw this Islamic virus ahead of time and sought to free themselves in 1967-1970 but the odds were too much against them since Great Britain and other developed countries of the west could not see what the Biafrans saw. In the Ahiara Declaration, General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu revealed that the Biafran Struggle was not only a political or military struggle but also a struggle for religious freedom. In his words, “The Biafran struggle is, on another plane, a resistance to the Arab-Muslim expansionism which has menaced and ravaged the African continent for twelve centuries.
Our Biafran ancestors remained immune from the Islamic contagion. From the middle years of the last century Christianity was established in our land. In this way we came to be a predominantly Christian people. We came to stand out as a non-Muslim island in a raging Islamic sea. Throughout the period of the ill-fated Nigerian experiment, the Muslims hoped to infiltrate Biafra by peaceful means and quiet propaganda, but failed. Therefore, to militant Islam, Biafra is a stumbling block to their plan for controlling the whole continent.
Nigeria obtained only a military victory over Biafra but not spiritual conquest. Nigerians and their Governments treat us like a defeated people though mouthing “No Victor No Vanquished” in hypocrisy. Any person who identifies himself as an Ibo or Biafran receives persecution, hatred and rejection from Nigerians. Fair-minded Nigerians have acknowledged that the Government of Nigeria is designed to marginalize and persecute us. Alhaji Salisu Lamido Salisu, in his Conference Lecture at Arewa House in 1999, said concerning us as follows: “They have been defeated in war, rendered paupers by monetary policy fiat, their properties declared abandoned and confiscated, kept out of strategic public sector appointments and deprived of public services. The rest of the country forced them to remain in Nigeria and has continued to deny them equity. The Northern Bourgeoisie and the Yoruba Bourgeoisie have conspired to keep the Igbo out of the scheme of things. In the recent transition when the Igbo solidly supported the PDP in the hope of an Ekwueme presidency, the North and South-West treated this as a Biafra agenda. Every rule set for the primaries, every gentleman’s agreement was set aside to ensure that Obasanjo, not Ekwueme emerged as the candidate… Now, with this government, the marginalization of the Igbo is more complete than ever before. The Igbos have taken all these quietly because, they reason, they brought it upon themselves. But the nation is sitting on a time-bomb”.
Yes, indeed, Nigeria is sitting on a time-bomb. Fair-minded northerners and westerners have acknowledged that the Government of Nigeria has been quite unfair to us. The maltreatments and persecutions have caused some of our people to deny their native identity in order to survive in Nigeria. Some of our people in the South-South region have changed their names to sound foreign in order to escape the persecution while some towns and villages have been forcefully assimilated into neighbouring tribes. Our spirits are still alive despite all the persecutions we suffer in Nigeria. This is why we are insisting on regaining our freedom because we still believe in our indigenous identity as Biafrans.
We want the Court to determine whether it is an offence for the remnants of the ancestors of Biafraland who were not consumed by the war to maintain their indigenous identity as a people and exercise their right to self-determination. We want the Court to determine whether it is an offence to mention the name of BIAFRA and believe in Biafra and preach Biafranism as a gospel of national liberation. We are fast-tracking legal efforts to compel the Nigerian Government to stop arresting anybody answering to or wearing Biafran emblem, insignia or any material that reflects their belief in Biafra. We believe that this a test case for the development of human rights law, not only for the benefit of the Nigerian legal system but also for the benefit of other countries of the world who are bound by the United Nations Charter on Human Rights.
Concerning our people who have denied their ancestral identity as Biafrans and Ibos in order to survive in Nigeria, we do not hold the denial against them as we see it as a self-preservation technique which is often caused by fear and lack of boldness. We remember the biblical example of the Apostle Peter who denied his Lord and Master Jesus Christ when his life was in danger. But as Peter repented and wept for denying his identity as a disciple of Christ, we advise our brethren who have denied their Igbo and Biafran identity to repent and return to their ancestral roots because our deliverance has come.
Gentlemen of the Press, we cannot comment on the merits of the case now since it is before the court but we enjoin you to follow the proceedings and give it a wide publicity in the interest of the public for the advancement of human rights law. The Court has fixed the case for 30th October 2012 when the parties will appear in Court for the first time. Thank you, Gentlemen of the Press, for your patience and rapt attention to this briefing.
Elder Eddy Anyanwu
Bilie Human Rights Initiative
Photo Above: Map of Defunct Republic of Biafra
*Kidnapping: Governor Obi Demolishes More Buildings
Two bungalows linked to a kidnap suspect Mr. Emeka Ezekwe have been demolished by the Anambra State Government at Umuihepune, Umuatu Village, Ihiala Local Government Area. Governor Peter Obi who led the demolition exercise said the war against kidnapping and other crimes in the State must be won.
The demolition followed the arrest of Mr Emeka Ezekude and recovery of arms and ammunition hidden underground in plastic containers in his premises. Among the items recovered were, one rocket grenade, three grenade propellers, two A.K. 47 riffles, zero six riffle, twenty-seven A.K 47 magazines, one hundred and seventy rounds of live ammunition and nine chains used in restraining kidnap victims. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: The Deputy Commissioner of Police, operations, Mr. Ayole Abeh (left) and Gov. Obi (right), during the demolition.
Governor Obi said that the demolition was in line with the State government policy that any property linked to a kidnapper will be acquired by the Government and demolished.
He made clear that government will not allow anybody to benefit from proceeds of kidnap and other forms of crime and disclosed that government. The Governor assured that government was already winning the battle as the wave of kidnap across the State has drastically reduced. He thanked the police and other security agents for their sustained efforts to rid the State of criminals and hoodlums. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: One of the buildings shortly before the demolition.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police, operations, Mr. Ayole Abeh said Mr. Ezekwu was a member of the kidnap gang led by Mr. Olisa Ifedike, alisas Ofeakwu who was arrested last month and whose houses have equally been demolished by the State government. Mr Abeh explained that the suspect was arrested through the statements by Mr. Ifedike alias Ofeakwu. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Underground plastic containers where arms and ammunition were hidden.
People of the community, Mr. Ambrose Ezekulie, Nnamdi Mbenobi and Juliana Elendu, disclosed that Ezekude has been masquerading as sand and stone supplier. They commended Governor Obi for his determination to eradicate crime in the State and assured him of total support.
The two demolished buildings consisted of nine rooms and parlour and four rooms and parlour respectively.
Photo Above: Police showing Gov. Obi underground plastic containers where arms and ammunition were hidden.
*Why Ondo State Election Results Are Beyond Judicial Revocation, Salami Magic & Media Noise-making
Masterweb Reports - Friday, October 26, 2012: (Onitsha Nigeria, October 26, 2012)-The leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law notes with gladdened heart the true reflection of the will of the great people of Ondo State in choosing their public officers democratically particularly the occupant of the office of their governor, who was democratically re-elected on 20th day of October 2012, having first been sworn in on 24th day of February 2009 after revalidation of his mandate by the Court of Appeal, Benin Division. The results of the October 20 Governorship Election, announced on Sunday, 21st were another credible match towards the institutionalization of the sanctity of the electoral ballot in Nigeria , which is in tandem with the immortal principle of-it is better to have 10.000 live votes than to have 10million dead votes. Unlike in Nigeria’s previous elections, particularly the pre-2011 elections where dead voters and votes held sway; the Ondo State election voters and votes were not robotically created. With 1.638,950 registered voters and 624,659 voted; out of which 594, 244 votes were valid and 30,415 invalid, the Ondo election is demographically and scientifically incontestable. It also passed the litmus test of common sense. The voters were also conscientiously fair in the choice of their candidates, especially their vote-distribution and electoral choice index reflected in the votes received by the three leading candidates-Mimiko, Oke and Akeredolu, who are now winners and losers.
By simple calculations, the 260,199 Ondo valid voters chose Dr. Olusegun Mimiko and his Labour Party as the most favoured and popular candidate and party in the State; the second most popular and favoured candidate and party went to Barr. Olusola Oke and his PDP with 155,961 valid votes, while the ACN; the Southwest (Oduduwa) regional party and its candidate, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN (former NBA boss) was chosen as the third most popular and favoured party and candidate in the State with 143,512 valid votes. By Local Government distribution, Labour Party and its winner was more popular in 13 LGAs, PDP and its candidate was more popular in 2 LGAs with runners up in others that made it to garner more votes than the ACN, while the ACN and its candidate was more popular in 3 LGAs. As a result of this, the people of Ondo State have spoken again in collective hallowed voice through their 594,244 valid representatives. They first spoke in April 2007, but the forces of evil and organized ballot criminals quenched their hallowed voice temporarily until in February 2009 when some mortal angels in the temple of justice returned their sacred mandate to its rightful owner, having been emboldened by Mr. Peter Obi of Anambra State and the State-based progressive democratic forces.
Lessons Learnt: One of the bitter lessons of organizing credible elections in Nigeria of late, such as the Ondo Election is the blatant refusal of the defeated politicians and their parties to accept defeat and use of some, if not many media establishments to discredit the credibility of such polls. Even when such media establishments are drafted to observe the elections and put their outcomes in black and white, the same media bodies go hell wire in discrediting the credibility of the said polls under the guise of hear the other sides and cash-and-carry journalism. Today, for reasons of parochial and material interests, defeated politicians, their parties and media collaborators have refused to adopt the natural and universal best parameters for determining credible polls and their results. It is correct to say that these malevolent political players never wish Nigeria and Nigerians to have credible elections and their results in their electoral industry.
The second bitter lesson is the trial of election cases on the pages of newspaper by lawyers hired by the defeated politicians and their parties. Court-room matters including election matters are like criminal investigations that strictly require confidentiality and authenticity to retain their substances. The raging Salami Scandal is a case in point. The undue uses of media by practicing lawyers make them the worst in litigation performance index. These lawyers are best described as 911 Lorry or Gwongworo lawyers. For instance, one of Nigeria’s new breed most creative and noiseless lawyers is Mr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN. He is hardly heard on the pages of newspaper in litigation matters, whether civil, criminal or electoral, yet he has turned out to be one of the Nigeria’s finest lawyers. On the other hand, the Nigeria’s most talkative lawyers are some, if not many of the Lagos-based SANs, who have also penetrated Abuja. Apart from getting fat briefs through media noise-making and litigating by media, their contributions towards the growth of law and rule of law in Nigeria are near-zero. They commit legal and professional blunders and turn them into objects for media and legal canonization. They function simultaneously as members of political parties, pro-democracy groups, civil rights groups and legal profession. The case of Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, who was the NBA boss during the Salami Scandal of 2009/2010 with alleged ACN links and the party’s governorship candidate in the just concluded Ondo governorship poll, is a typical example. Also, the case of Ayo Isa Salami, who was the Appeal Court boss then, accused of being the ACN sympathizer, is a second typical example. Through the antics and exploits of these Lagos lawyers, some, if not many of the Apex and Appellate decided cases in the country are not socially developmental in comparison with their counter-parts in Brazil, Ghana, South Africa and the Scandinavian countries. They dominate national discourse on socio-economic salvation yet they are the same accomplices who collude with Nigeria’s master economic criminals to return the country back to cave. Nigeria’s statutory laws and case-laws are steadily retrogressive courtesy of her rogue members of outer, inner and bench Bars (talkative lawyers).
The third good lesson is that in no distance future, indiscriminate filing of elections petition cases in electoral courts in Nigeria will fizzle out if the polls’ outcomes continue to reflect the true wishes of the Nigerian people. For instance, most of the 1,695 existing Federal and State electoral seats in the country were judicially unrevoked after the 2011 general elections. Unlike in the previous elections where petitions were filed in almost all of them, a reasonable number of the said seats were not judicially contested, while most of those contested were judicially affirmed particularly the 31 governorship seats. These were and still are hugely attributed to a slight departure recorded in the 2011 general polls, from the usual armada of frauds that characterize the Nigeria’s electoral industry especially the previous rogue voter-register. It is our total submission that the July14 and October 20 staggered governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States are an appreciable improvement in Professor Attahiru Jega’s Nigerian election midwifery. It is our firm hopes that billions of Nigeria’s tax payers’ money spent directly and indirectly during elections seasons in election petitions cases will be maximally reduced in no distance time if elections continue to be credible. Kudos to INEC over the Ondo credible poll!
Why Ondo Poll Is Beyond Judicial Revocation, Salami Magic & Media Noise-making: Unlike in Osun and Ekiti States’ governorship election disputes which were resolved through Salami Magic, the Ondo State election litigation, from all intents and purposes, is judicially irrevocable. It is also immune from the viruses of Salami Magic. Not even media noise-making can alter the sacred decision of the respected Ondo voters. Judiciary as the bastion of the commoners cannot taint the hallowed electoral decisions of the Ondo people no matter the amount of media noise-making and threat of litigation by the defeated sectional political players, who blatantly refused to accept defeat banking on judicial one-chance. Also, the possibility of Salami Magic replicating itself in the instant case has been done a fatal blow by many emerging factors. For instance, by Section 285(2) of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 as amended, the governorship election tribunal is created and the governorship election petition originates therein; by Section 246(3) of the same Constitution, first appeal from governorship election matter lies at the Appellate Court; and by Section 233(2)(e)(iv) , it ends or terminates at the Supreme or Apex Court. By the provisions of Section 285(5) (6) and (7), filing of the governorship election petition takes 21 days after the date of the declaration of the official results (i.e.22/10/2012); the matter is originally heard and determined within 180 days at the tribunal; re-examined and disposed of at the Appellate Court within 60 days; and affirmed or rejected at the Apex within 60 days. The foregoing provisions are subject to exceptional circumstances such as retrials at the original electoral tribunal as may be so ordered superiorly. In all, the entire governorship matter is to last for 10 months, from the tribunal to the Apex Court.
So even if Salami Magic still holds sway at the tribunal and the Appellate Court, it may not see the light of the day at the Apex Court, which is a mirror through which the country’s judiciary performance index is viewed by the outside world. To avoid the hallowed mandate freely given by the Ondo people being a victim of technical justice, we advise the winner of the sacred mandate to scout for and assemble sound, creative and noiseless lawyers both Silk and non-Silk so as to judicially prove the authenticity of the sacred mandate within the confines of preponderance of probabilities or credible pieces of evidence and retain same with a view to holding it in competent trust for the people of Ondo State in the next four years. The Ondo governorship election outcome is a critical moment of assessment and re-assessment for the losers especially the Action Congress of Nigeria in its zone of grip it came abysmally third despite its thirst and raging policy of politics of malevolent ethnicity and exclusion as well as candidates’ imposition and assemblage of election riggers in its fold. It is shocking and deafening that the party is relegated to the background as the third most preferred party after PDP; a party some have described as , a celebrated party of rioters and brigands. For ACN to have lost Ondo State poll after it lost Kwara and Kogi States as well as all its governorship elections’ litigations arising from the 2011 general poll, means that its sectional policy, among others require radical review. Judicially speaking, the party’s victory in Edo State in 2008 is still worth celebrating, but its victories Osun and Ekiti States in 2010 are still seen by many as a coup using the hallowed temple of justice. Once again, we congratulate Citizens Peter Obi of Anambra State, Adams Oshiomole of Edo State and Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State for their resilient judicial struggles to reclaim their stolen mandates from Nigeria’s unrepentant electoral criminals, who have been allowed to walk the country’s streets as free members of the society despite their heinous electoral crimes. Citizen Peter Obi is particularly commended for sleeping in electoral courts for almost three years in order to get back his brutally stolen mandate, which emboldened others to follow suit. The trio of Obi, Oshiomole and Mimiko are Nigeria’s three-pillared inventors of staggered election chemistry in the 21st century Nigeria.
We heartily commend INEC and the credible election monitors and observers including the media, the TMG and the Women Arise for their dogged roles that made the poll a success.
Emeka Umeagbalasi, BOT Chairman
*Tags: Nigerians, Intersociety, Council, Police, Service, Commission. Sack, Ringim, Africa, Masterweb
*Giant Strides in Sokoto State's Education Sector
By Amiru Adamu
There is no doubt,that Sokoto State was before now regarded as one of the educationally backwards states in Nigeria. However this assertion can no longer be made,considering the efforts that have been made by past and present administrations in the state to reverse the hitherto status of Sokoto State as one of the educationally backwards states of the country.
Like most administrations,the present government of Sokoto State being led by Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko,came into office with a promise of kick-starting an educational reform. It promised to take Sokoto State to greater heights in terms of education. Hence my decision to write this brief review of its strides in the sector for others to read, verify and come to their own conclusions.
At its inception in 2007 Wamakko's administration declared a state emergency in the educational sector and committed 22 percent of the state's budget to the sector. Structures such as classrooms,libraries,workshops,hostels etc are important considering the fact that effective teaching and learning process can only take place in a conducive learning environment. It is with this fact in mind,that the Sokoto State government expended over 3 billion naira into the construction,rehabilitation and expansion of most primary and secondary schools in the state. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko of Sokoto State
Poverty is the excuse often given by parents as the reason why they keep their children most especially the girl child out of school. The administration took measures to arrest this situation by abolishing fees from the school system in Sokoto including examination fees,for all students non indigenes inclusive. It also increased the feeding allowance of its students by 100 percent. This 2 policies have since yielded results,as survey has shown an increase in students enrolment to about 50 percent so far.
The fact that many women have married without completing their secondary education,prompted the creation of women education centres within the state and one in each of the 3 senatorial districts in the state,for women to enrol for their secondary education that will qualify them for tertiary education. This policy has given married women a renewed opportunity to acquire western education.
Qualified and competent teaching force,is essential to any educational reform. The administration has so far recruited over 1000 additional primary school teachers,1000 secondary school teachers,300 teachers for arabic and islamic board and over 200 lectures and support staffs for its college of education and polytechnic.
There is a tremendous increase in the provision of teaching and learning materials. Textbooks,science equipment s and other related learning materials are being provided to all schools in the state. It is in-line with its drive to foster effective learning that the administration recently approved a 46 million naira one laptop per child pilot programme, that will introduce its students to the new global ICT trend. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing its 36 states (including Sokoto State), and Federal capital (Abuja or FCT)
The vexed issue of almajiri also received a commendable attention from the government. It committed over 70 million naira in the establishment of a specially equipped boarding school that incorporates western and islamic education in the curriculum. The school now has an enrolment of over 600 children. The government provides feeding,clothing and other needs of the these children. The federal government has also partnered the state in this regard;it recently built and equipped another almajiri modern school in the state.
The Sokoto State government,has secured admissions for its indegenes in various higher institutions within and outside the country.NECO,WAEC,JAMB and DE forms are also being purchased on a yearly basis for distribution to its students free of charge. Over 1000 students with deficiencies in o/level were registered for extra mural lessons. The programme is being supervised by a consultant with coordinators that engaged qualified teachers for the programme. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Study Books
The administration also secured accreditation by NUC,for 17 B. ed programmes for its college of education and secured HND courses accreditation for its polytechnic. The state has further established a state university that shall accommodate the envisaged turnover of secondary school leavers.
Scholarships and study grants are necessary incentives in order to provide equal opportunities for all. The administration has done a lot in this regard. Apart from the payment of school fees and allowances to all Sokoto State students studying at home and abroad,it has sponsored a substantial number of its students to study specialist courses abroad. These projects and policies are all on ground in Sokoto State today for individuals or groups to come and verify. Perhaps the keen interest being shown by the Sokoto State government, in the development of education is due to the fact that the founding fathers of Sokoto helped in the spread of islam in Africa. And islam as a religion made it mandatory for every Muslim to seek for knowledge.
Amiru Adamu is the publisher of Northern Wind Magazine.
*Nigeria: Governor Obi Grants Amnesty To 12 People
Masterweb Reports - Thursday, October 25, 2012: In exercise of his Constitutional powers and to mark the 52 Independence anniversary of our country, His Excellency, Mr. Peter Obi, CON, Governor of Anambra State has granted amnesty to 12 persons.
A memo from the Attorney-General of Anambra State/Chairman, State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, Barr. Peter Afuba referenced AG.AN/S.198/Vol.VI/134, dated 5th October, 2012 states that these persons were serving terms in Enugu , Ibite-Olo, Onitsha , Awka and Aguata Prisons. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Governor Peter Obi
From Enugu Prison, Ikechukwu Nwafor had his death sentence commuted to life imprisonment while Emmanuel Izuchukwu Nwaziri from the same prison was released.
From Ibite-Olo Prison, Chinagorom Eze and Onyeka Okona were released, while Jude Okolo, Joy Audu, Chukwudum Nwasogu, Ngozi Chukwuasonibe and Felicia Asonibe were granted reprieve from Onitsha Prison.
Awka Prison had one beneficiary, namely Peter Chukwuka Asonibe while Ogbonna Okeke and Emeka Ukpabi in Aguata Prison were also lucky.
Photo Above: Map of Anambra State
*Re: Okonjo Iweala: Nigeria’s Weakest Link
By Ayodeji Sunday
My attention was drawn to an article (Ngozi Iweala: Nigeria’s Weakest Link) by one Sonala Olumhense. After reading the piece, I concluded that only someone who has absolutely no regard for conscience and truth could have attempted to create such large-scale deception as is being peddled by the writer of this malicious article. It is indeed amazing the extent some people can go just to bring themselves to limelight.
The efforts of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to reinvigorate the economy and fight corruption have been widely acknowledged by Nigerians and the world at large. Therefore, such a prejudiced concoction, as Olumhense’s, is not just a distractive tactic but also a tit-for-tat attempt in connivance with corrupt individuals in high places, whose evil machinery has been grounded by this exceptional woman. Indeed, this is another manifestation of the Nigerian analogy that when you fight corruption, corruption fights back! ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Nigeria Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Without much ado, I will like to examine the ten points on which Olumhense premised his baseless case.
Point One: His report on the failure of the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) is a blatant lie. Under this programme, Nigeria was able to pay its debts arrears owed to some International Finance Institutions (IFIs), particularly the Paris and London Clubs via: (1) Direct repayment where $6.4b was paid (2) Debt buy-back arrangement where $8b was settled at 25% discount, and (3) Debts write-off where $16b was written-off by the creditors. The entire Paris Club debt relief enjoyed by Nigeria totalled US$18b, or a 60% for a US$12.4b payment of arrears and buyback. Similarly, the debts owed to London club commercial creditors were also restructured and paid off. The domestic debts constituting about 12% of GDP in 2005, owed to contractors and civil service pensioners were systematically paid.
Other economic spheres where NEEDS recorded appreciable achievements include fiscal and monetary policies. Public spending was reduced from 47.0% in 2001 (before she assumed office) to 35.4% in 2004, which resulted in budget surplus of 7.7% of the GDP for 2004, up from deficits of 4-5% of the GDP in 2002-2003 (USAID, 2006). The list is endless. Anyone can search the records and see for themselves.
Point Two: Sonala claimed that billions of naira was drained and is still being drained into the poverty eradication programme involving 13 federal ministries. However, this is another vituperative attack against the person of Okonjo-Iweala. How could he possibly link the Finance Minister with the performance or otherwise of 13 other ministries in such a direct manner? As the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, she is supposed to carry out oversight functions – and that she seems to have been doing quite well. Her efforts to ensure that MDAs deliver have been widely acknowledged. Ministries, departments and agencies that are not living up to their billing are constantly being checked. It is only fair to acknowledge that, in spite of the challenges of corrupt officials who may be trying to divert the poverty eradication funds, the programme has recorded a commendable degree of success in the areas of youth employment, rural infrastructural development, social welfare services and national resources development. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Nigerian Naira Notes
Point Three: The writer also claimed that in the negotiations with the Paris Club, one “top member” of the government walked away with a personal fee of N60 billion. He went on to indict former president Obasanjo and Okonjo-Iweala claiming that none of them had ever challenged it, as if that would validate his spurious allegations. Obviously, madam minister has enough work on her table and is more concerned with serious matters of state to be taken in by such rootless ranting. How can someone who prides himself as a neutral social critic make such bogus claims as these without backing them with concrete facts? Who is the “top member” of the government that walked away with a personal fee of N60 billion? I dare Olumhense and his sponsors to name the person if indeed his claims are true. It is only unintelligent people like Sonala who would make stupid accusations like that in a process that is vetted internationally.
Point Four: The success of the MDG programme is another area where the writer of this malicious article has chosen to ignore the facts. Apart from the records, which are readily available, the impact of the MDG programme has been widely felt across the nation. Ask the students who now have new classrooms, or the rural dwellers that have now have access to basic facilities including well-equipped health centres. Time and space will not permit me to give a detailed analysis via this medium. But, really, how necessary is that when anyone can easily check the facts for themselves?
Points Five and Six of Olumhense’s article refer to Okonjo-Iweala’s tenure as finance minister during the Obasanjo regime without due recourse to the fact that she left that office in 2006. For conscience’s sake, you cannot hold her responsible for events that transpired when she was not in office!
Point Seven: Olumhense wrote, In a speech after she left office, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala said: “General Abacha looted about $3-5 billion from the Nigerian treasury in truckloads of cash in foreign currencies, in traveler’s checks and other means. Most of these monies were laundered abroad through a complex network including some of the world’s best known banks.” Now, how does that prove his point? Isn’t it obvious that this writer is only attempting to insult our intelligence? ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Nigeria Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala ( Photo 2 )
Point Eight: Olumhense wrote, the pioneer chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and a very close friend of Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala, has confessed that the Obasanjo government was more corrupt than that of Abacha. This is another serious blunder. I thought the EFCC is saddled with the responsibility of stemming the tide of corruption. Since when has that become part of NOI’s job description? Even at that, her relentless commitment to tackle corruption has been so effective as to have earned her the name “Okonjo Wahala” by those whose corruption coffers are being ripped open.
Point Nine: Obasanjo was said to have indicted Mr. Jonathan’s government of squandering $35 billion of Nigeria’s foreign reserves since May 2007, saying the money may have been “shared.” This is another lame point begging for validation. It is too bad that Olumhense would use this as a point against the Finance Minister, thinking Nigerians would be as gullible as himself to accept it hook, line and sinker. If he possesses such evidence of corruption against Mrs Iweala, then his patriotic duty is to report her to the EFCC. People like him are responsible for the persistent lack of progress in Nigeria, because they will rather have a mediocre in charge of the economy.
Point Ten: The writer’s claim that the ‘Transforming Nigeria Document’ is not yet available is the easiest pointer to his malicious intentions as the article has long been published and has been in the public domain for nothing less than seven months. Anyone can simply Google and download the document from the National Planning Commission website: http://www.npc.gov.ng/vault/Transformation.pdf.
How come Olumhense did not see all the good things being done by the Finance Minister? Why did he not mention the reduction in recurrent expenditure, the bringing of oil subsidy profiteers to book, the ports reform, the Sovereign Wealth Fund, the poverty eradication and women empowerment policies and other good things being implemented by the minister? Olumhense is like the proverbial loafer who, whilst ignoring the life-sustaining functions of the sun, frequently complains that it casts shadows. Sonala Olumhense and people like him must realize that any fool can criticize, condemn and complain.
I pity the future of this country with people like him wielding whatever modicum of influence they have on hapless Nigerian readers with the liberty that their pen – or more appropriately – their computer and internet modem afford them. Olumhense’s argument is warped and his reasoning debased. People like him don't amount to much on a penny worth of paper. And they make far worse administrators than the people they set out to criticise. It is obvious that Olumhense is the weakest link in all of Nigerian media given that he is an outright liar!
Ayodeji, a social commentator and community development advocate, writes from Lagos.
*Bishop Oyedepo, Prosperity Gospel, and 419 in the Church – Part 1
By Rev. Dr. C. Kingston Ekeke
Nigeria’s wealthiest pastor, Bishop David Oyedepo is in the news again – this time in the United Kingdom. Sadly for him, Britain is not Nigeria, where the corrupt courts absolved him of all wrong doings, his abuses and violence against a young worshiper of his church at Winner Chapel – aka “Cananland” It was the video of his satanic slap of a young girl, probably an uneducated parishioner, who didn’t know how best to express her love and witness for Jesus, that exposed the abuse and muddled message that is being promulgated by the bishop to his gullible and biblical ignorant followers. Since then, I have penned a couple of articles calling on the federal government intervention to enact laws and policies to checkmate abuses - physical, sexual, emotional, mental, and moral abuses in places of worship in the nation in order to protect the vulnerable. I’m not too concerned about the learned and intelligent parishioners that sit under such blasphemous teachings every week. Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” To earn a PhD or have a lucrative job or business does not make one knowledgeable. However, it still baffles me how an educated and intelligent person could sit under such teachers and listen to the junks that some of them teach from their pulpit every week. So, it behooves the government to protect the weak and vulnerable especially from physical and sexual abuses in the name of God.
Christianity is no longer an intellectual exercise in an age of prosperity gospel
The Rev. Dr. Jonathan L. Walton, the new Pusey Minister of Harvard’s Memorial Church, and professor at Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, in his first “morning prayers,” a ritual of welcoming freshman move-in day to Harvard University at Cambridge, said, “Religion (faith) is an intellectual as well as spiritual exercise. The Memorial Church, he declared, is a place to educate minds and expand hearts - action that defines faith, belief that encourages discussion, and joyousness that allows for the occasional bout of existential angst.” I agree with Professor Walton. If theology, spirituality, faith, religion and the call to teach the infallible Word of God, was not an intellectual exercise, I would have quit being one long time ago. Training to become a priest/pastor takes years of study and preparation. Sadly the “holy office” is no-longer sacred and intellectually stimulating because cone men and women, who have no business with the “holy calling”, have desecrated it in order to dwindle and deceive the gullible and weak in the society. This kind of unbalanced gospel messages that are being promulgated by the so-called “men of God” and super pastors and preaches of our day around the world is appalling and troublesome.
Christianity has lost its moral mandate and mission. Today, the gospel message, the good news of the kingdom is perverted. What we have nowadays is another gospel, a false gospel, and a religious syncretism. “The gospel teaching that subtly implies and often overtly states that God wants you to be rich is a false gospel,” writes Pastor Jim Bakker, a former prosperity preacher and proponent of “God wants you rich theology,” who dwindled his parishioners millions of dollars and later while serving term in prison, he diligently read and studied the Scripture and God opened his understanding. That teaching he says, does not lineup with the tenets of the Holy Scriptures. It is another gospel – another Jesus, in fact, a gospel of Satan and message of hell fire - a prosperity-tinged Pentecostalism.” ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Bishop David Oyedepo
Christianity is in crisis
Dr. Hank Hanegraaf, president of Christian Research Institute in California, and one of the finest and courageous Christian apologists of our time, in his book, “Christianity in Crisis” prophetically and passionately argued that modern-day Christianity is in crisis. He said that the Church is undergoing a major transformation and that millions of Christians have embraced another gospel, another Jesus, a gospel of false promises of prosperity, wealth, healing, signs and wonders. He attributes the problem to lack of sound biblical training and Seminary education. George Barna, the famous Church consultant, researcher and writer, also supports Dr. Hanegraaf postulations that the Church is dying due to lack of sound Bible teachers and strong Church leadership. There is no doubt that the Christian faith has lost its value, respect and dignity. C. S. Lewis, the famous Oxford apologist for the faith, wrote: “We must return to Christianity in order to preserve the things we value. But we cannot return to Christianity at all unless the thing we value above all else is Christ….. Otherwise, we are in effect, asking to save our idols for us.”
In his best-selling book, “Crisis in the Village,” Dr. Robert M. Franklin, a theologian and public intellectual, wrote that the “Church has lost her moral mission, call and commitment.” Today baby boomers and the new “millennials” are flooding to churches and synagogues because of widespread hunger for meaning and many bring aversion to such traditional teachings such as sin, evil, forgiveness, commitment, even truth itself. As a result, what we have today in many large churches is “designer gospel message” and “religious syncretism” where the gospel are re-packaged to suit those who want a faith to satisfy their “felt need,” the gospel message that “God wants you to be rich.” “Send money as a step of faith and God will bless you message.” “Give a $1,000 pledge and God will bless you.” Name it claims it.” “Give to get rich message.” “100 fold return-blessing and even 1000 times return” is another gospel, a different gospel from what Jesus Christ taught. Their tricks are working because many of those who profess faith in Jesus Christ are biblically ignorant and gullible and that is why ‘god-want-you-rich theology’ is a booming business for their proponents. It is true that Jesus taught on the subject of money and finance more than any other subject in the Bible – but all His teachings on money were in negative connotation. I will write more on Jesus’ teachings on prosperity in the part-2 of my article.
Big faith equals wealth $millions$
In the July 2007 edition of Christianity Today, it carried a survey conducted in 2006 by the PEW forum on religion and public life. They found that 25% of Nigerian Christians are renewalists - that is Pentecostals and Charismatic. The same survey noted that 33% of South Africans and 50% of Kenyans were also renewalists. Out of nearly 900 million Africans, which include Christians, Muslims, pagans, Atheists and other religious persuasions, about 150 million Christians are now renewalists. Professor Paul Gifford of the University of London, England, in his 2004 book: “New Christianity: Pentecostalism in a Globalizing African Economy” writes, “African Christians believe that success is determined by your faith.” Professor Gifford notes that these renewalists have moved beyond traditional Pentecostal practices of speaking in tongues, prophesying, and healing to the belief that God will provide – money, cars, houses, and even spouses – in response to the believer’s faith – if not immediately, then soon. In the same 2006 survey by PEW forum, 92% Nigerian Christians, 90% South African and 85% of Kenyan Christians agreed that “wealth and material blessings are based on one’s faith.” What a tragedy and travesty!
This is how sad and drastic prosperity gospel has become among Christians in Nigeria and most of Africa. Prosperity message is destructive and has negative effects. This blind spirituality is not only destructive, damaging, and deceptive but worse than slavery. It is bondage, abuse, deception, manipulation, godlessness and satanic capitalism. Most Nigerian Christians are only not enslaved spiritually, morally and financially but intellectually as well. It is economic, moral, and intellectual slavery. Million of Nigerian Christians are now victims of Satanic Churches and their false prophets. The prosperity gospel is also destroying Nigerian society –family, homes, causing a combination of disappointment, hurts, discouragement, and anger toward God and sometimes causes people to turn away from God. What we have nowadays is moral bankruptcy, biblical ignorance, a modern day voodoo and satanic spiritual spiritualism. In a nutshell, what we have today is 419 in the Church. What we have today is materialistic Christianity and there is enormous danger in it. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: US Dollar Notes
Warning against false doctrine and false prophets and teachers
Jesus Christ warned his disciples and followers about false prophets who would rise up to lead many astray and to destruction (Matthew 24:11). In Oliver Discourse, Jesus warned, "Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name. And will deceive many" (Matthew 24:4-5). Jesus said if you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free – John 8:31-32. People remain in bondage when they are ignorant of what has been provided for them through the life and death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, today, too many Christians are more interested in this present world materialism than in the balanced teachings of Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul dedicated the entire epistle of Timothy to teach against false prophets, false doctrines and godlessness in the last days. He warns Timothy, his son in the ministry, to flee from such things. He writes, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths” – 2 Timothy 4:3-4.
In 2 Timothy 3:1-5, Paul warns, “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God — having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17 say, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. The Apostle Paul charges Timothy, “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.” As teachers and preachers of the Word of God, we are reminded to do our best to study and show ourselves approved to God, a workman who odes not need to be ashamed but who correctly handles the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15).
There is no doubt that that the Nigerian Pentecostal Church and certain bishops in the fold are emulating and borrowing from the rich American Church and her superstar pastors, bishops and televangelists like Pastor Benny Hinn, Bishop TD Jakes, Dr. Creflo Dollar, Bishop Eddie Long, Bishop Dale Bronner, Pastor Joel Osten, Pastor Joyce Myer, Pastor Paula White, and Pastor Darlene Bishop etc. These imitators and imposters refused to understand that United States is a rich and capitalist country. The American Church organizations are big businesses and they have learned to tap into the wealth and prosperity of the nation without depending on the meager tithes and offerings from their members. Today, the streets of major cities in Nigeria are littered with all kinds of Churches promising healing, wealth, prosperity and happiness and yet Nigeria and vast majority of its citizens are among the poorest people in the world. Additionally, the presence and practice of rituals, divination, astrology, sorcery, witchcraft, voodoo, magic, envy, greed, jealousy, hatred, idolatry, hypocrisy, ungodliness, wickedness, lust, immorality, adultery and corruption remain rampant and alarming in the society. There is no sign of righteousness, love, peace and hope, but injustice, unrighteousness, hate, anger, resentment, bitterness, evil, wickedness, violence, killings, and hopelessness reign supreme in every household, neighborhood and city.
Modern-day designer Church is perverted
I’m afraid to say that what we have today is a perverted Church; a Church that is totally misconstrued, misguided and misinformed where spiritual witchcraft and biblical ignorance are in abundance. What we have today is a Church that is bewitched, a Church that is preaching and teaching another gospel; another Jesus and a message of “get rich and get healed theology,” a Church were the so-called men of God are preaching eisegesis rather proper exegesis and sound exposition of the Word of God, where they are using pragmatic psychological philosophies for attaining success and for solving spiritual issues rather than sound exposition of God’s Word, men who are using the Word of God for lucre and for profit.
The Church was called upon to uphold the honor, glory and authority of Christ on planet earth. Instead of upholding this divine mandate with dignity, the Church and her leaders have been deceived and trampled upon by demons of antichrist and cultic and pharisaic associations where the presence of God is completely absent and self and pride are enthroned. What we have today are Church buildings where sin, wickedness, witchcraft and all manners evil are practiced and people accept it so; multimillion dollar buildings and temples where the spirit of Christ has been thrown out and Satan himself is enthroned on the altar. No wonder atrocities and exploitations of worshipers such as the ones we read in our newspapers and watch on television are happening every day. The Church must pray for revival and renewal. I agree with Rev. D. Peter C. Moore, who wrote that, “The Church that God cherishes is one that is “Evangelical in Teaching, Catholic in Sacrament, Reformed in Doctrine, Charismatic in Ministry Gifts, and Liberal in Ethos and Global in Scope.” Anything else is just humanistic and designer religion.
The danger of prosperity and materialistic message rather than true gospel
The danger of Pentecostal prosperity and materialistic message is giving people false hope – that God will fulfill His promises based on their twisted interpretation of Scripture. Biblical hope is more of a simple wish; it entails certainty based on God’s demonstration of faithfulness to people in the history of salivation recorded in the scriptures and as experienced by promise of Christ’s return and the anticipation of resurrection from the dead. That is the blessed hope in God. Most of these prosperity preachers may have earned PhD’s in other fields of study but not in theology, divinity or ministry. They should go back to school – Seminary to study the Scriptures – and take course in exegesis, biblical interpretation, hermeneutics, homiletics, and biblical languages such as Hebrew w and Greek in order to be qualified to correctly teach the Bible. Because what most of them are teaching today is another gospel, a twisted and muddled gospel - a gospel of hell and that of Satan designed for the coming of antichrist. Prosperity teachers are preaching arrogance, foolishness, sin, and false doctrine – because what most of them are propagating today is not true gospel but another gospel, a muddled message. They should repent and confess their sins for contradicting and twisting the gospel message of Jesus Christ.
Rev. Dr. C. Kingston Ekeke is a public theologian, author, and leadership scholar. He is the president of Leadership Wisdom Institute.
*Ondo Guber Poll: Before Okei-Odumakin & Co Are Attacked By Extremist Sectional Politicians
Masterweb Reports - Thursday, October 18, 2012: (Onitsha Nigeria, 18th October 2012)--Four years ago, history repeated itself in Ondo State, Southwest Nigeria, when it became the third State in Nigeria, after Anambra and Edo to restore through credible judicial pronouncements, the sacred mandate of the Ondo gubernatorial voters to its rightful owner. These sacred judicial pronouncements were to be replicated in Osun and Ekiti States two years later, only for them to be brutally corrupted and bastardized by the Judases in the Silk and Bench as well as extremist sectional politicians, masquerading as central opposition party politicians. The abominable acts have since exploded into an unquenchable scandal called Salami Scandal. Like the brutal murder of the Igwes in Anambra State in September 2002, which has refused to be forgotten despite over N1.5billion squandered by the chief culprits to cover it, the Salami Scandal is still raging not minding that procured and stage-managed rallies, protests, processions, media propagandas, etc, gulping billions of naira of the public wealth have been squandered to cover it as well as to canonize its chief culprit.
Today, more revelations pertaining to the dastardly acts are coming out in torrents both by facts and by figures. Apart from one of the indicted, who vehemently denied being a card-carrying member of the political party at the center of the scandal, but a practicing Silk, being made the party’s gubernatorial candidate in the gubernatorial election coming up in Ondo State on 20thOctober 2012, the ongoing brutal verbal attacks directed at the national leadership of the Women Arise led by Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin by the Publicity Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria and the responses by the former is another eye-opener to the Salami Scandal. In less than 48hrs, the ACN image maker has issued three public statements, attacking the Okei-Odumakin leadership of the Women Arise over its accreditation by the INEC to observe the said crucial poll. The worse is that the ACN image maker has reduced his position to a market square women’s gossip and tongue-wagging and coloured and clothed his responses in the layers of gender and religious sentiments, thereby making mockery of his party and office. His accusations against the Okei-Odumakin leadership of the Women Arise are both morally and legally baseless. Also, the former’s party cannot go to equity with soiled hands. Instances abound.
The vehemence with which these attacks via three vitriolic public statements in less than two days are being so directed are giving us mountainous worries. They are both politically jittery and life-threatening. To confirm our intense fear, the Okei-Odumakin’s group has cried out and raised an alarm over possible violent attacks against its members and its leadership before, during and after the crucial poll. This is more so when her leadership has voiced out why it boycotted the so-called pro-Salami rally and issues therein, which suggest that the pro-Salami canonization bids, from the beginning,are politically oiled. The philosophies of hegemonic politics, information warfare and political intolerance are no longer in vogue in the polity of comity of nations. We not only support the Women Arise’s right of observation in the Ondo gubernatorial poll, but we also adopt it as our proximate rep in the said crucial poll. The ACN must be tolerant and accommodating in politics, and must no longer repeat its seeming infamous politics of exclusion and ethnicity especially in Lagos where despite the teeming population of the people of the Southeast resident in the strategic parts of the State including Ojo LGA, none of them was allowed to occupy by popular votes, an elected LGA/LGDA seat, not even in Ojo LGA that is popularly called Igbo LGA.
We wish to warn sternly that if anything untoward happens to Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin or any of her group’s members before, during and after the crucial Ondo gubernatorial poll, heavens will let loose locally, nationally, sub-regionally, regionally and globally. The coming Ondo poll must be totally participatory, popular, credible, free and fair, irrespective of political party, CSO and marital affiliations in the State and beyond.
Emeka Umeagbalasi, BOT Chairman
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law, Nigeria
*Tags: Nigerians, Intersociety, Council, Police, Service, Commission. Sack, Ringim, Africa, Masterweb
*Atlanta 2012 Igbo Day Symposium: Call For Paper Presentations
By Igbo Union Atlanta
Igbo Union Atlanta USA, Inc., in collaboration with the Igbo Community and friends of Igbo people, will hold the 2012 Igbo Day Symposium on Friday, November 9th, followed by the main event on Saturday, November 10th, 2012, in the Igbo Community building [aka “Obi Ndi Igbo”] in Atlanta. This symposium is one of the activities marking this year’s 2012 Annual Igbo Day celebrations and fund-raising events.
In our quest to advance the collective interests and well-being of Igbo people (Ndi Igbo), this symposium will focus sharply on the imperatives of the daily challenges of life and prosperity for Ndi Igbo who reside in the international community (aka Diaspora). Therefore, we are looking for dynamic presenters and creative, interactive presentations that can deliver unique insight and best practices on topics focusing on these three broad areas: (1) social family/youth/marriage issues, (2) transitioning/relocation to Nigeria from the USA, and (3) practical ideas on wealth building/financial management.
The Igbo Day Symposium Committee is now accepting presentation proposals that address any of the following topics of interest:
• Transitioning or Relocation to Nigeria - Best Practices and Strategies for Success
• Family/Marriage Challenges for Ndi Igbo in the USA
• Roles of Igbo Community Organizations and Framework for promoting and facilitating successful transitioning of Ndi Igbo to Nigeria
• Family Crisis – Strategies for Restoring, Rebuilding, and Strengthening our Igbo families
• Financial Management and Wealth-Building Strategies – Best Practices for Retirement and Education
• Facilitating Marriages among Young Igbo Adults in the Diaspora – Strategies and Supportive Networks.
Please submit your presentation proposal for review to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Saturday, October 27, 2012. Include the title and a brief summary/synopsis of your presentation. Selected presenters will be notified by email no later than Saturday, November 3, 2012.
Symposium Subcommittee: Prof. Martin Okafor (Chair), Dr. Chinedum (CT) Nwosu, Rev. (Dr.) C. Kingston-Ekeke, Dr. Bonn Otor, Dr. Jones Nwagbara, and Chief Ugo Onyemaobi (Igbo Day Event Chair).
Photo Above: Map of Igboland (homeland of Ndigbo of Nigeria)
*Little Tips For Nigerians Coming To Study in Thailand
By Emmanuel Nweke Okafor
Dear Fellow Nigerian Students, After due reflection, I have decided to provide you with some tips about Thailand and some of the university requirements. I could not do this completely without first and foremost letting you be aware of what it takes to study, work and live in Thailand. Please note that the information given in this write-up are my personal opinion and some research opinions about life in Thailand and what it takes a Nigerian to come, study and live in Thailand.
Thailand has common borders with Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Laos, and Cambodia. The Northern part is often seen as the poorest part of Thailand. The Southern part of Thailand is the Muslim dominated areas with some form of political instability. Thai people are well known for their welcoming smiles. They are also hospitable people. Thailand is welcoming tourists. The country is one of the few countries that are not colonized. Thai is their national language. Good numbers of Thais do not speak English. However, they are gradually improving with the help of foreign teachers including Nigerian teachers in Thailand.
Thais love and revere their King and the Royal Family so much. As a Nigerian you are expected to show respect for the King, the Queen, and the Royal Family. Avoid any comment/action that might be deemed offensive to the Royal Family. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Map of Thailand
Religiously speaking, Thai people are very calm and respectful to all religions. The level of religious tolerance in Thailand is acceptable. Thai laws also tolerate other people’s religion. In religious places, you are expected to dress neatly and properly. You are also expected not to make too much noise. You should not wear shoes inside the temple that has Buddha image. There is a place you can take off your shoes. In all avoid any thing that will demonstrate a lack of respect in such a sacred place. It is directly the same compared to sacred places when visiting African Shrines.
Thais greet in a prayer-like style which they called ‘wai’. Ordinarily, Thai people do not like to greet people by hand shake. Just as a young person greets the elderly one in our various Nigerian dialects, a younger Thai wais to an elderly Thai. When you arrive, you can easily learn this because it is very easy to learn. In Thailand, it is a bad manner to point your foot at a person. In Nigeria, it should be seen as nothing but in Thailand it could be seen as a bad omen. So it is preferable if you could use your finger, should you intend to point at anything to a Thai. Thais do not like people to touch their head or even any part of their body. This is different if considered in Nigeria, where such could be seen as a sign of good relationship but in Thailand you try to avoid unnecessary hand touch. Similarly, if you watch Thais at any social gathering, you will notice that young Thais go to considerable lengths to keep their heads lower than those of the elder ones. They do this in order to avoid giving the impression of disrespect to the elderly ones.
In Thailand public show of love between boys and girls are normally seen as a rudeness or uncultured behavior. Of course, just as in every other country, you can still see young ones who do not keep to the rules. You are expected to follow the footsteps of those who obey the rules. If you intend to be rude, then you may likely find things very difficult in Thailand. It pays to be calm and keep a cool head and conceal your emotions as much as possible. Talking too much or even losing your temper while talking with a Thai may likely make the matter worst for you. For Thais, such a behavior is simply a show of poor manners. As a Nigerian, if you abide by the rules and regulations of the Kingdom of Thailand, then, you are on your way to making more friends during your study. It simply goes to say that the more friends you make (if any), the more you will want to return to stay longer and study in Thailand without any problem from any angle.
From history, Thailand has a well-established hierarchical structure of status which begins from the Royal family and gets to everyone and everything else. So as a student, paying respect to your teachers should be a paramount important to you among other things. Again, Thais expect you as a visitor to dress appropriately in classrooms, and, in a formal public places. Hence as an undergraduate, you are expected to wear your school uniform while in the school vicinity otherwise you will not be attended to. It is good to note that Thais are quite conservative and patient. Thais do not talk too much and love to be calm and allow things to flow naturally.
How to get a student visa:
Firstly, you need to be in contact with the University and then apply for the program of your choice. Then the University is expected to ask you to provide your educational credentials. If you are applying for undergraduate courses then you are expected to provide the following:
• Six passport photos • Application Form • Application Fees • Copy of your WAEC / NECO / GCE / SSCE or EQUIVALENT • Three letters of Recommendations • Copy of your E-passport (the information page) if needed • School fees N/B: The lists are merely an educative estimate. Some universities request more while some request less. If you are applying for graduate courses then you are expected to provide the following: • Six passport photos • Application Form • Application Fees • Copy of your degree earned and the transcripts • Three Letters of Recommendations • Copy of your E-passport (the information page) if needed • School fees
N/B: The lists are merely an educative estimate. Some universities request more while some request less. The application procedures differ from university to university. While you can apply for some programs simply by sending application form and copies of your transcripts per e-mail, others request the complete documentation with certified copies and proper photographs. Note that Nigerian documents are carefully scrutinized for the simple reason that some Nigerians may have faked things. As soon as your application is accepted, you will be issued an acceptance letter, which is normally called ‘The Letter of Admission’. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Study Books
This Letter of Admission supposed and should in fact be printed on the official letterhead of the particular university that has accepted you. The letter must be signed by the authorized person or his assigned assistant. The content of the letter might differ from university to university but in all it must show that the university accepted you for a particular program and invites you to begin your studies at a certain date within a particular semester. Some universities will state the number of courses you will study.
In Thailand, the student visa is a one year visa. It is given to only to those who are qualified and actually intend to study. It is preferable if one pays for a complete school fees/tuition fees. You should try to register for at least 3 courses per semester. After the registration in a recognized or government approved university in Thailand, you should get your Thai student visa with the following documents:
• Letter of Admission • Letter from the university to the Thai Embassy requesting for Non-Immigrant Ed visa, • a photocopy of your E-passport (which must be valid for at least 6 more months), • recent passport-size photographs, • the NDLEA certificate, • the police criminal record, • the evidence of financial ability (bank statement), • all your educational credentials, • receipt of the school fees paid, • accommodation assurance, • Visa application form • Visa fees • ticket reservation
For those who are already in Thailand when they received the Letter of Admission, it is better and preferable to leave the country in order to apply for a non-immigrant ED visa from outside the country. While on tourist visa you may change it within the country without leaving to another country but the visa must be valid for at least 21 days in any case. Be informed that of recent, it is very difficult to change from tourist to Non-immigrant visa. As to the photographs, don’t carry or where anything that might change your face.
Thailand will give you a full one-year visa based on documents demonstrating that you are indeed ready to study at the Thai university. Be informed, that your application alone doesn’t make you a student. Therefore, the student visa is only valid for 90 days when you get it the first time. You are expected to report to the Immigration at the expiration of each 90 days. You must learn to practice this till you leave the country.
Working with a student visa:
Please you are not allowed to work with student visa. You are permitted to study. Should you intend to work then apply for Non-B visa with the appropriate documents with the company that had employed you. The idea of working and studying with student visa will only land you in jail and eventual deportation according to Thai laws. Reportedly, there are cases of students who, for instance, teach in order to finance their studies. Please be aware that this is illegal even if doing so is possible.
There are so many African foods or Nigerian food in Thailand. Normally as a new student, you may not find it easy with Thai food, therefore, you are advised to keep on with Nigerian food or other African food until your stomach gets adjusted to the Thai food. However, be informed that the African food could be very expensive but not too expensive.
Education in Thailand is stable. There is no strike action. You can choose to complete your studies within a short period of time provided you are able to pay for the studies. It is possible to complete your bachelor degree within three years. It is also possible to complete your master degree within a year. Ordinarily, Nigerian students do better than other students from other countries. Remember that you must try to make at least CGPA of 3.0 although at most instances some universities may overlook that. Studies here are done both on the weekend and on weekdays depending on the university, and, on the program you enrolled in. Some universities include the text books as part of the school fees and therefore as you pay your school fees you are also paying for your text books. Most often classes here are not too crowded. There are good facilities as well.
• Avoid doing your educational admission process with any agency except direct contact with the school or the university. • Avoid any form of forging of documents of any kinds. • Avoid telling lies in order to secure the visa. • Avoid any form of short cut in order to get the visa. • Avoid coming to Thailand to study when you have no sponsor. • Avoid moving with a person of questionable character. • Avoid avoiding the Nigerian Embassy in Thailand. • Avoid any form of drug trafficking. • Avoid any form of making money in an illegal way. • Avoid thinking that you are still in Nigeria when in fact you are in Thailand. • Avoid disrespecting your teacher. • Avoid unnecessary argument with your teachers in the classroom.
• Just maintain your normal African value, norms and culture and you will join us to smile in the land of smile. • It is not true that all Nigerians in Thailand are all in oddities. There are many Nigerians who are in Thailand with credible records. There are also many Nigerians who are in Thailand teaching, lecturing, and some are also doing genuine business. • Nigerian Embassy in Bangkok should be your home because they are always available if you prove to be a good student. The Embassy is very helpful. • Nigerian Student Forum is also very active and indeed very supportive. • Nigerian Community Association is also available and ready to help.
Recommended Thai Universities:
All the universities in Thailand are apparently recognized and approved by the Ministry of Education in Thailand. Approximately all the Thai universities have one exchange program with the world leading universities both in other parts of Asia, Europe and America. However, for Nigerians who would like to enroll in a university based on financial incentives; Siam University stands to be the best because the President of Siam University provides a scholarship for the African Students. Interestingly 99.9% of African students in Siam University are Nigerians. So far Siam University is the most favorable university in Thailand for a Nigerian applicant. However, essential screening is desired before one gets an admission in Siam University Thailand. I hereby recommend Nigerian student to try studying at Siam University Thailand. Your school fees/tuition fees in most cases are less than $1000. Incredulously, the university has the best of facilities/professionals/lecturers and teachers. Other universities are Assumption University, Ramkamheang University and so on. Good Luck.
Emmanuel Nweke Okafor is a PhD Student in Graduate School of Philosophy/Religion, Assumption University Thailand. He is presently a lecturer and the Supervisor in Language Laboratory Center, Siam University Thailand. He is a licensed teacher in Thailand. He also has his masters in educational administration in Thailand. He can be contacted vis his email address email@example.com
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