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06/22/12

*Delta State: Patience In Suffering - A Response To Ogeah

-Masterweb Reports

Tuesday, June 19, 2012: Dear Mr. Ogeah, I am constrained to respond to your statement in page 12 of “Vanguard” of Tuesday June 12, 2012 urging Deltans to be patient with Uduaghan. I must confess that very many of us have refrained from responding to your very many falsehoods fed to Deltans, this in the belief that you are almost like an alien who has little or no understanding of the issues your position has constrained you to address – a position to my mind, you were never prepared for in the first place. I decided to do this today because you chose a sacred day like June 12, a day I believe that people like you contributed significantly to truncate to insult our sensibilities. More so, it has been said that “to leave an error un-refuted will lead to an intellectual immorality”.

I sincerely believe that apart from the deliberate attempt at impoverishing and pauperising Deltans, you and your co-travellers in the Uduaghan cabinet may have thought that all Deltans have suddenly lost their sense of reasoning when you said that “the governor was not interested in playing to the gallery to win cheap popularity but has a vision to provide for the people, projects with longer gestation period that would impact positively on the present and future generations to come”.

I find it very disturbing that the people we thought we could trust can hoodwink their principles to the extent of allowing principles to play robot to the samba dance of opportunism. I believe that it is important to just let you know that Deltans are not as gullible as you people think we are.

On a very serious note Mr. Information Commissioner, can you summon the Asaba people that live in DLA road, Okelue Street, Ebenuwa street, Maduemezie Street, Odiachi Street, Chukudumebi Street, the street by Sizler’s, Parkinson Street, Nmunkwo Quarter in Asaba, the street behind Zenith bank in Ezenei Avenue, and all the adjoining roads off the popular Nnebisi Road and tell them to be patient at a time that many of them cannot drive their cars to their homes? Can you say that to the school children who have to almost walk naked out of their homes because of the large pools of water that has taken over their streets? How about the angry car owners whose meager salaries now go to the mechanic who has to fix their cars every now and then because of the high degree of dilapidation of the streets under review? ( Continues below..... )

Governor Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan

Photo Above: Governor Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan of Delta State

Can you go to the streets of Agbor and tell the residents of the town now turned to an ancient city to be patient with a government that has demonstrated its clear lack of focus on how to address the infrastructural challenges of the State? Can you say that to the people of Ika South that live in Aliagwu, Ewuru, Aliagwai, Ozanogogo, Oyoko, Obi Ayima,Obi-Agbor, Ekuku Agbor, Abavo Central and Igbogili communities who cannot drive their cars to their communities because of the high level of dilapidation of their roads and with every other infrastructure in a state of disrepair?

Are you aware that there is no access road in the entire Kwale town once the rain comes? Do you know that you cannot get to Ogume through Kwale once the rains are here? Do you not know that a journey from Obiaruku to Eziokpor is reminiscent of the route Okonkwo took on his trip to his mother’s kinsmen in Chinua Achebe’s famous book, “Things fall apart”?

Do you realise that the Oko communities just a few kilometres from Asaba are still wallowing in anguish, neglect and reckless abandonment with all their roads crying for attention? Do you know that if this government was focused enough to construct a road from Oko to Abala, that the trip to Aboh from Asaba would have been reduced to barely 20 minutes?

Can you stand before the people in a town hall meeting in Warri City or Udu LGA and urge the slaving mass of the people swimming in the artificial rivers in their streets to be patient with this administration and hope to escape without being lynched? Mr. Ogeah, as commissioner for information, how many times have you gone round the State to get firsthand information on the challenges in every city, town and village? How many times have you commissioned people to carry out perception analysis of the government that you speak for? I believe that to come out every now and then to peddle falsehood and say only things that will suit the hearing of your paymaster is to say the least a total disservice to the people of this State whom you claim to serve. ( Continues below..... )

Map of Nigeria

Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing its 36 states (including Delta State), and Federal capital (Abuja or FCT)

Does a serious Governor need 8 years in office before constructing street roads that are less than 500m? Can Mr. Ogeah show Deltans the projects the government has on ground as pointers to their plan to build for the future? Can a governor who has not been able to meet the needs of the present generation, dream of meeting the needs of the future generation?

Perhaps, we may need to ask if the Mariam Babangida Road is the example of the projects signposting Uduaghan’s dream for a greater tomorrow. There can be no greater testimony of the type of vision the governor has for the State than the quality of job done on that road built only in 2008 but yet has become completely comatose. Mr. Ogeah, does the Ughelli - Asaba dual carriage way awarded in 2008 have a completion date? Maybe it is a project for the future.

The Governor would need to take a trip to other States just within the South- South Region to see how not to govern a people. It is painful that the other South- South Governors Mr. Ogeah is vilifying as executing only short term and quick fix programmes have put in place solid strategies for the development of their States. Do we need to mention that Gov. Oshiomole has turned around the infrastructure in the nooks and crannies of Edo State? How about Godswill Akpabio who within his first four years in office has turned every town and village around, with the quality of the infrastructures competing with those you will find in Europe. Do we need to mention Hon, Rotimi Amaechi who stunned the nation with his unending list of high impact projects (completed and commissioned) and achievements in every sector in his State during the BRACED Commission summit hosted by this State!

Do we need to inform you Mr. Information Commissioner, that, the people in Ogwashi Uku are living in the brinks as there is no potable water and electricity? Does it occur to you that this state of affairs will have a very negative impact on the quality of graduates from The Polytechnic at Ogwashi Uku. Will it require a million years for a serious government to put in place a strategy to address these two all important basic necessities of life and for once rescue the Ogwashi Uku people from this anguish?

I challenge you to open the gates of the Delta Broadcasting Service and DRTV in Asaba and Warri respectively and allow Deltans an unfettered access to the State media and see if you can escape with your half truths reminiscent of the propagandist agenda’s of the military dictatorship in Nigeria.

Let me conclude by letting you know that come what may, the Uduaghan administration shall come to an end in 2015 and when that happens you will become a stakeholder like us. I sincerely hope that you will not say that you were only doing your job?

Chuks Erhire
Delta Rescue Mission

Article Source: Masterweb Reports

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06/21/12

*Nigeria: SAHCOL Begins Construction of Ultra-Modern Custom Bonded Warehouse

By Lateef Lawal

The Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL) has started the construction of an ultra-modern 9,000 square meters Custom Bonded Cargo Warehouse, at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Cargo Complex. The 9000 square meters cargo warehouse is designed and fabricated by Remco Romania, a division of the Remco Group of companies, with its headquarters in the Netherlands, a group which is specialized in designing, building and delivering industrial halls based on innovative steel construction concept.

The custom Bonded warehouse, which is expected to be first of its kind in the West African Sub Region, will include among others, a Cold Room, Strong Room, Racks, Office block of two (2) floors (covering a total space of 800 square meters per floor) and a loading bay with four (4) loading gates. In addition, the warehouse’s designs has an aluminium coated finish floor on top of concrete floor, which provides additional strength, more friction for rolling equipments and eliminates the possibility of dust emission. ( Continues below..... )

Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos

Photo Above: Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Nigeria.

The construction of the warehouse which is expected to be completed within Nine (9) months, is being handled by Mazin Engineering, a Zen Group Subsidiary, which specializes in steel fabrication, complementing with Civil Construction, thereby enabling them to deliver complete projects of Steel Structures, coupled with Civil Engineering.

The new face of SAHCOL is witnessing massive deployment of Modern State-of-the-art Ground Support Equipment (GSE), Training/Retraining of all categories of staff, Infrastructural development, Management Repositioning, Employment of new staff/skills, re-fleeting of Company Vehicles, Boosting Customer confidence/patronage, among others. ( Continues below..... )

Airborne Plane

Photo Above: An Airborne Plane

SAHCOL is an Aviation Ground Handling Company, fully owned by the Sifax Group, offering services in Cargo Handling/Warehousing, Passenger Handling, Ramp Handling, Aviation Security, Baggage Reconciliation, Executive Lounge Services, and other related Ground Handling Services; while ensuring that Ground Handling assignment is carried out in an efficient, speedy and safe manner, by deploying the right tools.

Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)

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06/20/12

*Nigeria: Only Anambra People Can Assess Me, Says Obi

-Masterweb Reports

Sunday, June 17, 2012: Anambra State governor Peter Obi says he has laid a proper foundation for the solid growth of the state from a near zero situation when he assumed office six years ago, pointing out that only those residing in the state can assess his performance within the period.

Gov Obi who spoke at an interactive session with newsmen in Awka was reacting to a question put to him on the issues raised by former FCT Minister El Rufai in a national daily concerning governance in Anambra State.

El Rufai had in the said publication stated among other things that Anambra was the poorest state in the country, educationally backward, lacked priorities and suffered from poor infrastructural development.

But Obi told probing journalists that only those who had not been to the state and who had poor knowledge of the state’s recent history could say that. According to him his government had nothing to hide and had always been open to assessment which was why the state became the first in the country to hold peer review mechanism where it threw its doors open to independent assessors. ( Continues below….. )

Anambra State Governor Peter Obi

Photo Above: Governor Peter Obi
- CLICK To Read Article - "Masterweb Team Scores Obi High"

‘We need people to help to assess and validate what we’re doing. We’re on course and we’re doing the right things,’ Obi stated, noting what was happening now was not a surprise as those who lived off the old order were averse to the changes he was introducing and so were kicking against it.

The governor recalled some of the revolutionary strides of his administration which include the state having the best road network in the country and the education and health sectors receiving unparalleled development. He particularly recalled the handover of schools to their former missionary owners and the take-off grant of N6b for their infrastructural development, a feat that was replicated in the health sector with handover of hospitals to mission schools. He regretted that some people preferred to sit in the comfort of their homes to comment on what they did not know and not making effort to know. ( Continues below….. )

Map of Anambra State, Nigeria.

Photo Above: Map of Anambra State, Nigeria.

On sports development he said the state’s fortunes had been witnessing a steady rise in recent years at sports festivals due to the state government’s conscious sports development strategy aimed at spotting and grooming young talents to stardom. ‘The emphasis is on the youth; not on adults and we’re marching towards a situation where the state will recapture its lost glory,’ Gov Obi stated.

Article Source: Masterweb Reports

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*Sanusi, Ohaneze and Timidity of Igbo Public Servants

-Masterweb Reports

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the Dan Maje of Kano has become the most controversial Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria. This grandson of the deposed Emir of Kano was reported to be among the masterminds of the 1994 Kano riot in which Gideon Akaluka was beheaded and thousands of Igbos slaughtered like fowl on the unsubstantiated allegation that Akaluka desecrated the Koran. He was also suspected to have met with Osama Bin Laden during the period he was in Sudan where he obtained a degree in Sharia and Islamic studies from African International University in 1997.

Sanusi, through the help of close family friend, Dr Umaru Abdul Mutallab, former Chairman of First Bank for close to ten years and father of the Christmas shoe bomber, joined the board of First Bank as an executive director in charge of Risk Management in 2005, and later became the CEO of the bank in 2009.

During Sanusi’s tenure as CEO of First Bank, he exhibited a level of fiscal discipline and helped restructure bad loans for debtors in a manner beneficial to the bank. He reduced incidences of sharp practices within First Bank which pitched him in conflict with MD’S of other Banks who derided his toga of a structural reformer. Sanusi reportedly instituted some level of sanity in the corporate governance of the bank and ensured effective risk management strategy. ( Continues below….. )

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

Photo Above: Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

Sanusi was recommended for the Governorship of Central Bank when the northern oligarchy convinced late president Yaradua that the South cannot control both the banks and the regulatory body at the same time. Sanusi, being a risk management expert, understood all the manipulations of accounting books to produce a determined favourable financial statement and cash flow statements used to hoodwink shareholders, investors and evade regulatory scrutiny. He equally understood the negative impact of massive unsecured loans towards liquidity management in the banking system. Sanusi took the banking industry by storm, by the time he finished the first stanza of his own transformational agenda, a list of monarchical bank MD’S were sent to their villages while others became perennial customers of the EFCC, Nigeria’s anti graft body.

Sanusi’s introduction of Islamic Banking has brought him in conflict with the majority of Christians and Southerners of Nigeria who are suspicious of his intentions. His sympathy for Boko Haram and his position that poverty was responsible for the bloodletting drew flaks from informed sources who believe that Sanusi is deliberately distorting facts to suit the north. When Sanusi donated the sum of N100 million naira of CBN money to his home state of Kano in the aftermath of the dastardly Kano Boko Haram attacks, he drew a lot of criticism from Christians, Southerners and other well meaning Nigerians who believe that Sanusi should have been fair enough to extend the same largesse to other non muslim states.

Ohaneze Ndigbo criticised Sanusi for the selective donation. According to Ohaneze publicity secretary, Ralph Ndigwe, ‘’We want Sanusi to tell us what he has done for the hundreds of Igbos who were victims of Boko Haram attacks in various parts of the north’’ The criticisms by Ohaneze Ndigbo is reasonably to some extent, but inadequate to redress the constant marginalization of Ndigbo. The fact is that Sanusi dared where his colleagues of Igbo extraction trembled. Sanusi, as CBN helmsman, is loquaciously protecting his people with his influence, position and power. He has succeeded in convincing the Europe and the United States of America with his theory of poverty being responsible for Boko Haram terrorism. He has also succeeded in drawing the attention of the entire world to the fact that Akwa Ibom State gets more federal allocation than all the six states of North East put together. How culpable is Sanusi of bias. Sanusi is guilty of bias while fellow public servants of Igbo extraction are guilty of indifference, petty jealousy and timidity in matters relating to their people. ( Continues below….. )

Nigerian Naira Notes

Photo Above: Nigerian Naira Notes

Andy Uba was presidential aide and the most influential person in Olusegun Obasanjo’s cabinet for close to eight years and yet there is no single project that was cited in Igboland as a result of his influence. The Niger Bridge could not get any federal allocation, Onitsha Seaport and Oba Airport couldn’t get federal attention. Enugu-Onitsha expressway was in a deplorable state of disrepair while some other federal roads were getting attention in other parts of the country especially the north. The only federal presence in Anambra State was the security forces who massacred thousands of people at Onitsha while claiming to be looking for MASSOB members.

Chukwuma Soludo was Governor of Central Bank; he discharged his duties professionally for Nigeria but there is no CBN policy of his that is beneficial to the commerce and cottage industry disposition of his Igbo kinsmen. He probably propagated Igbo cause by changing his name from Charles to Chukwuma.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala served Obasanjo and Nigeria to the best of her professional ability and she was another influential cabinet member yet she did nothing to draw the attention of the federal government to the fact that Delta Igbos is the most marginalized in Nigeria. There is no fiscal policy of hers that was favourable to the Igbo race. ( Continues below..... )

Nigeria Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Photo Above: Nigeria Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Ojo Maduekwe was influential throughout Obasanjo tenure and yet he was never known to have defended any Igbo cause. Oby Ezekwesili was another influential figure during the Obasanjo era and yet none of her policies was of assistance to the Igbo traders and businessmen. While in office it was a taboo to speak Igbo to these women and most of their male counterparts while their colleagues from the north and south west regale in using their native tongue as second official languages in their respective government offices.

When the presidency decided to replace Ringim as the IG of police, they settled for Azubuko Udah, the DIG Admininistration, the most senior public official of Igbo extraction in Jonathan’s cabinet brought a strong counter recommendation in his reply memo to the president which rubbished both Ivy Okoronkwo, 2nd in Command and Azubuko Udah, 3rd in command. The attempt by Elder statesman Edwin Clarke to convince the president to follow seniority and appoint Udah was shot down by his fellow Igbo and former church member. Anyim Pius Anyim, Ike Ekweremmadu and Emeka Ihedioha are senior Igbo public servants in the Jonathan presidency and they have considerable measure of influence. They should remember the South East now that budgetary cake is being shared because nobody knows the fate of Nigeria tomorrow.

Sanusi is implementing policies to help his people especially the masses through his position on revenue allocation, Boko Haram, appointments and donations. What are Igbo public officers doing? They are playing safe in order not to stir the hornets’ nest. They want to be in the good books of everybody in the North, West and South- South. These Igbo public servants should not hesitate to constantly draw the attention of the entire world to the lack of federal presence in Igbo land. They should also donate funds to victims of injustice and Boko Haram attacks from the South East. President Jonathan is channelling over 40 percent of all federal allocations to the Niger Delta region with about 15% of it going to Bayelsa State. He is also ensuring that ex- militants are given adequate professional training by allocating massive funds to the Amnesty Programme. He has handed over Nigeria’s waterways to former militant Tompolo. His people are enjoying unprecedented government patronage. This suggests that Nigerian public officials constantly use state privileges to enhance the progress of their regions. This is not so for Igbo public servants, they are more Nigerian than Nigerians yet the same establishment views them with suspicion.

Igbo public servants should wake up from civil war hangover. The war is over and the position of Biafrans for which over three million people lost their lives is now being revisited by other ethnic nationalities who sold the Igbos during the war. Therefore, instead of focusing on Sanusi, they should focus on themselves and use their offices to redress the constant marginalization and humiliation of Ndigbo in the scheme of affairs of Nigeria.

Obinna Akukwe

Article Source: Masterweb Reports

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06/19/12

*Nigeria: APGA will Grow Stronger -Obi

-Masterweb Reports

Governor Obi took a swipe on the newspaper report credited to Barr. Sullivan Chime, Enugu State Governor that Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) was dead. Obi said that APGA was more of mass movement that would not die by mere pronouncement. "Just like the Mosaic law was engraved in the hearts of the Jews, APGA is engraved in the hearts of our people", he said. ( Continues below..... )

Anambra State Governor Peter Obi

Photo Above: Governor Peter Obi

On the crisis in APGA, Obi said there was no crisis in the strict sense of the word, but a normal disagreement inherent in organizations populated and manned by the imperfect sons of Adam. "What we are witnessing is a minor understanding which we will get over. People and organisations come out of such stronger and more promising and such will be APGA", he said ( Continues below..... )

Obi Receiving Ex-ACN Chieftain
Photo Above: Gov. Peter Obi receiving the former chieftain of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Idemili local Govt Area, Hon. Ifeanyi Ibeziem into APGA, December last year. - CLICK FOR ENLARGED PHOTO.

On his optimism about APGA, he said that APGA governments were delivering democracy dividends to the people and as such the party would remain the toast of the people.

Article Source: Masterweb Reports

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06/18/12

*Ndigbo: The Days of Self-Pity & Defensive Advancement are Gone. Now is Time to Truly Advance

By Ikechukwu Enyiagu

I’m aware that there are men who do not believe in God, and some of them have even digressed as far as saying that they are “Gods.” While these groups are, there are still others who believe that what Africans picked up through courses and had in the last century was in every way better than the documented line of education and religion introduced by the west. As it is today and in other to define life in its fullest terms, many have found religion taking the center stage in all relations. This quest to impose individual gods on men produced the many ignorant zealots who go about killing and spilling blood in the name of the one whom they slave for. Others whose belly is their gods adopt kidnappings – even of children, pregnant women, and clergies. With these and a lot more at stake in mind, I do not intend to jump here on board the band-wagon of argument of opinions that consequently follow. There is, however, an established and accepted standard which, through centuries, have defied all oppositions. Many who first received it now tend to either reject it or relate to/with it passively solely because of the many unnecessary conflicts which man’s desires often threaten to impose. There is God. He is Peace Himself, and He gives His people peace. Compulsion is not found in Him because justice deals with every transaction. Therefore, every zeal, quest and patterned course to impose one’s own definition of peace unjustly will meet with self-opposition. Those who have died (especially the Igbo as statistics have repeatedly proven), whether in the hands of the Nigerian government or in the hands of Boko Haram, the terror arm of the North, or even by the frustration-driven kidnappings in the South, now face things which are higher than our wishes for them, therefore, let mourning be reserved for and expended on the living and not the dead because every man’s human existence is related to his flesh’s limited time frame. The times to mourn people are now and those to be mourned are the so-called leaders and their terror gangs.

I address the Igbo youths: those who work, in every way, for the good of Igbo land, those who have sacrificed for it, those who are indifferent to it, and those who bring destruction and judgment upon themselves. I address you because esi na ulọ adị mma apu na ama. Our father, late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu said: “Because I am involved;” I now say: because you are involved. It is because you are involved that you must know and seek the only path to true peace and happiness. The killings, the raping, the robberies, the looting, the injustices and the deaths must stop forthwith! Those Igbo sons who kidnap as a means of livelihood must blame their ignorance because one man’s death doesn’t necessarily translate to another’s living and success, nor does it bring any feeling of security or peace. Only Jesus Christ paid for the full price of salvation and peace (you may dispute this but you will eventually confess it). You started with kidnapping because you said “there was no job,” but now you have added rapping and killing to it. Who has bewitched you? ( Continues below..... )

 Map of Igboland

Photo Above: Map of Igboland (homeland of Ndigbo of Nigeria )

Do I need to talk about the Igbo governors and political leaders held bound by their allegiance to falsehood; everything is bare. To these people and their wicked thoughts: “Unless we protect the interests of our masters who are the taskmasters of our people and have always wanted us annihilated, we will lose our political positions and contract graces.” You therefore mortgage your people and their future solely for your political desires and posts which always come to nothing after all. Because of your slave-mentalities, you have perverted and helped to pervert justice in your areas of jurisdiction. And those who have refused to be nonchalant about your failures, secrets and wickedness, you have often tried to silence in many ways. And when you loot, it’s often with alarming, obsessive, aggressive and challenging impunity. When your masters kill the Igbo, your brothers and sisters, they equally compel you to declare that none of your people were killed, and you comply because you are “protecting” your political and thieving carriers and interests . Some of you even went as far as crying that the Igbo must remain in the North and be wiped off as the sacrificial lamb for the extension of his never-imagined political position in a never-satisfied and Igbo-hating One Nigeria . As a result, your brothers and sisters now become puns in your hands and in the hands of those whose terror breaks the silence of the nights. Yet you would do nothing because nwata nna ya dunyere ohi na eji ụkwụ agbawa uzọ. These things and more have their time of accountability and judgment now.

Now, let me tell you, my people, why these things must stop forthwith and why whoever continues on the desires for these abominations will be struck by the hand of divine justice. The Igbo were known as hardworking, accommodating and full of positive visions. That was before the war – to the eyes of many. The injustices through the pogrom, war, genocide and the subsequent Nigeria’s campaigns for Igbo marginalization and extinction helped to tighten the noose on every Igbo so much so that the desire for survival becomes more defined and focused. From the time of Nigeria’s pogrom and genocide against Igbo/Biafra to this day, surviving and living have remained the greatest challenges for the Igbo who are not only ready, but willing, able and gifted to reach enviable heights. Survival became the food they eat. Yet, survival is a blessed thing, for who thrives without surviving? Ask the Chinese why they celebrate each meal with a perfected uniqueness and you may yet hear a story.

The genocide extorted from my people so much that they had nothing left but their will to survive and their believe in Chị. Awolowo’s money deprivation campaign which followed the end of the war, and Gowon’s “divide-and-rule” of Igbo land imposed so much strain on the Igbo generation that many literally ran away and to many other African countries and holes, and hid their origin. To this day, there are many Igbo in different African countries whose children may not yet know what being Igbo means. These and a lot more are the many consequences of the British-backed Nigeria’s genocide campaign against Igbo, the indigenous people of Biafra. The obvious result of these and more of the many atrocious acts of the Nigerian government against the Igbo produced a tensed-up and survive-or-die Igbo – creating a mindset in the people to seek for help far away from home and in lands where help is not. These happened to our brothers in Germany in the hands of Hitler and his killing machine, it happened to the Igbo in the falsely amalgamated and created Nigeria, and it will not be repeated.

However, the Igbo of today must know that, even as God kept the Israelites in the wilderness without change of shoes, He has equally kept us in the red sea of Nigeria. With clarity of thoughts and mind, I need to state here that deaths for the Nigeria story no longer belong to the Igbo; rather those who compel slavery through false unity are those whom Pharaoh’s nemesis would befall because they neither fear God nor do they have respect for man. All of Igbo, including those whose claims and excuses for running away from Anigbo have remained their 'quest for survival in an Igbo-hating country,' must know that every Igbo is affected as the other in the Nigeria plots. I was in Abuja when it was almost a desert; Ndigbo developed it and made it business-friendly. There are many of such places in Igbo land: who stops those developing the bush-Abuja from doing same at home? With the likes of the Igbo governor who is purported to be building a billions-of-naira complex in Abuja while his state needs such buildings and his subjects every job they can get from it, ignorance becomes shameful, foolish, pathetic and punishable. The Igbo governor who creates factory jobs and settles insecurity has indeed started his journey towards earning true Igbo respect which cannot be refuted in any area of creation once given. The freedom of Igbo/Biafra is here; therefore, this calls for celebration, readiness and conscious, non-appealing advancements, and not for feelings of uncertainty, despair, and fear among our youths, governors, parents and leaders. ( Continues below….. )

Map of Defunct Republic of Biafra

Photo Above: Map of Defunct Republic of Biafra

Nigeria is dead and has remained a death trap for souls and nations destined for greatness. Therefore those bound by the decayed cords of the dead imposter called Nigeria must wriggle themselves free and stand in their light and freedom. The governors in whose chariots Igbo youths are often killed in MASSOB must straighten things or be bound heavily by the burden of insanity and lack of wholeness. Those who rob and rape, who kidnap and kill for fear of exposure will, forthwith, be stopped permanently by unseen hands. The Igbo governors, senators, commissioners, ministers, politicians, religious/academic/traditional rulers who support, ignore or deny the daily killings of Ndigbo in Northern Nigeria, at home, and by the Nigeria forces will, forthwith, be possessed with fear, influence and presence of uncertain justice and judgment so much so that the need for true salvation becomes their priorities. The Igbo women are working far below their powers and graces because the strength of women are far overwhelming before the muscles of the many ignorant and powerless men/leaders the Nigerian government have continually carved out and thrust upon Ndigbo and Igbo land. Every excuse, hitherto, by our women for not proving themselves as true “helpmeets” will no longer suffice. Our women must immediately form organizations to oppose, in their gifted ways, the invading spirit of Dan Fodio, the killing machine of the Nigerian government, and the racist and wicked diplomacies, politics and policies of the rivaling world in Anigbo. All the Pro-Biafra organizations - unborn, dormant, indecisive or active - must wake up now and be fulfilled in their duties. MASSOB, Bilie 1&2, VOBI, Ekwe-Nche, RBL, BZM, IWA, WIC, Ohanaeze, and several other Igbo bodies must, without further delays or excuses, reach and forge a common front towards Igbo emancipation and a manifested independence of the Republic of Biafra. Those who lead political parties in Igbo land must do so, first of all, for the full benefits of Ndigbo and their nation. Those who plan and wait for what they will do for the Igbo emancipation in 2015 must begin to do it now because Nigeria will be long gone from significance and reality when 2015 happens on the scene.

Those who oppose this and the independence of Biafra, from within or without, already knew they are bound and headed for failure and doom and that every magic has a soul-price; that’s why they have turned against themselves. But it’s not about to stop until justice is fully established regarding Nigeria and its many atrocities. Those who died from Boko Haram lived by their choices of eternity even before the enemy struck. Those too small and immature for personal conscious decisions were justly addressed by God from where they came and will return. It ought not to be for those who died that men still worry; it should be because of the dead and ever-dead future which everyone has seen in a Nigeria of this status quo. Nigeria is not! Let all men go their ways and prosper, or destroy themselves – depending on whom they have surrendered their hearts to. A man is not who has nowhere his soul derives strength, yet all truths are bare. Those who do not believe in God have what they still worship, albeit, in more pitiable ignorance. Spare no more sorrows on the dead, rather, use the stories of yesterdays to plumb the ideal and anticipated consequences of our actions and inactions forthwith. The Igbo must return home. Those who complain of land scarcity must receive grace to build skyscrapers and condominiums, those who complain of insecurity will be used to bring law, order, justice and peace in our lands, and those whose cries center on lack of job opportunities must create jobs and employ people. All that the Igbo/Biafra needs for its freedom has been released; therefore, it’s time to advance and to do so with deep-rooted and foreknown fearlessness and certainty of purpose.

When Jesus was about being sacrificed, he said to the crying Hebrew women: “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then “they will say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’” For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” Luke 23:28-31. These are times to paint the thresholds with blood because the angel of justice and judgment is passing over Nigeria and over Igbo land. In all of this, Biafra suddenly stands and a new era is revealed and a new chapter opened in Africa, and indeed, the whole world.

[1] Uzoma Ahamefule (2012), “The Massacre Of Igbos: Okorocha's Statement Very Unfortunate”, The Nigerian Voice, http://www.thenigerianvoice.com/nvnews/83091/1/the-massacre-of-igbos-okorochas-statement-very-unf.html (Accessed on June, 9, 2012)

[2] Madu Ezenoha (2012), “Boko Haram: Elechi decries calls on Igbo to return home”, National Mirror, http://nationalmirroronline.net/news/30267.html (Accessed on June, 9, 2012)

[3] REPUBLIC REPORT (2010), “BIAFRA: Adekunle’s Wartime Interview With German Randolph Baumann, Of Stern Magazine August 18, 1968 In Igweocha”, http://www.republicreport.com/biafra-adekunles-wartime-interview-with-german-randolph-baumann-of-stern-magazine-august-18-1968-in-igweocha/ (Accessed on June, 9, 2012).

[4] Available at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NIgerianWorldForum/message/116466 (Accessed on June, 9, 2012)

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

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06/17/12

*Point of Note On Behalf of The Uncelebrated Nigerian Road Accidents Victims

By Amiru Adamu

I ask God Almighty to grant eternal rest to the souls of the Dana Air crash victims and grant their families the fortitude to bear the loss. Though I have prayed for the victims of the airline accident, my article intends to at the less celebrated victims of road accidents,who perish daily in their hundreds due to bad roads in Nigeria.

It has been estimated that over 100 people die everyday in Nigeria due to road accidents. These people are also hard working Nigerians who could not afford plane tickets or have to transport goods within Nigeria in order to keep body and soul together. There is no doubt,that the untimely and heartbreaking death of the Dana air crash passengers is touching,but so also is that of road accident victims who died on Nigerian roads within the hour of the crash. There is no doubt in my mind,that had it been road accident victims have been receiving attention from us and our leaders,as the Dana air crash victims did something would have been done about the death traps we call roads in nigeria.

What amazed me the most in the whole air crash mourning saga,was the attention the accident got from us the youth on social networks such as twitter and facebook. The pictures of the accident circulated within an hour after the crash. This act is not bad,but it would have been more balanced if we also pay attention to the masses who die by their hundreds on Nigerian roads daily.

It is my opinion,that the attention we gave to the Dana air crash victims was almost hypocritical,because if we truly are serious about our daily campaigns,discussions and criticisms on and off the internet about social equality and justice,we should have been paying attention and voicing out about the road accidents that claim the lives of the masses that cannot afford airfares. ( Continues below..... )

Map of Nigeria

Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing some major cities, including the Federal capital (Abuja or FCT)

The president took time to visit the crash site and declared a 3 day national mourning for the victims,without even mentioning the daily road accidents in his address to the journalists.

This incident really shows that in Nigeria,we classify human beings in death as we do in life. It shows that though accidents in the air or on the roads leads to loss of lives,those who die in the air get more attention from us because they could afford airfares and are presumed to have higher social status than those who travel by road.

I am touched by the air crash as I am for the road accident that happened at the same time,but without the celebrity status accorded to the dead. I pray that God Almighty grant the souls of the departed peace, irrespective of how they died. I hope as action is being taken to sanitise and make air travel safe in Nigeria,same gesture will be extended to Nigerian roads.

Amiru Adamu is the publisher of Northern Wind Magazine.

Related Article - Nigeria Has One Of The Most Dangerous Roads

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06/16/12

Permalink 11:10:00 am, by admin Email , 485 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: Welcome, News, African News, African Issue, Tellers and Global Viewers

*Israeli Immigration Police Caught Picking Up African Woman Naked

-Masterweb Reports

Friday, June 15, 2012: In this photo, AFP captures a naked African female migrant described as a prostitute in a series of raids by Israel’s immigration police aimed at rounding up and deporting illegal African immigrants. The scene was recorded on Tuesday near Levinsky Park, in the Mediterranean city of Tel Aviv, where thousands of migrants reside. The question urgently begging for an answer is why was the woman not allowed to put on clothes before her arrest. ( Continues below..... )

Naked African migrant

Photo Above: Naked African migrant confronted by Israeli Immigration Police without allowing her put on her clothes ( Photo: AFP/JACK GUEZ ).

Israeli authorities on Monday [June 11] rounded up dozens of African migrants slated for deportation, most of them from South Sudan, as the government weighs tough penalties against Israelis who help illegal aliens.

The Population and Migration Authority said in a statement that officers arrested 45 migrants from South Sudan, along with three Nigerians, two Ghanaians, two Chinese, one from Ivory Coast, one from the Philippines and one whose nationality is being checked.

Israeli public radio said that in at least two cases, during early-morning swoops in the Red Sea town of Eilat, women with young children were picked up as they walked on the streets and were driven away.

Journalist and rights activist Toni Lissi told army radio that suspects in the town were picked up on the street, in banks, at their places of work and in door-to-door searches.

"The people arrested were taken on buses to detention centres. Their mobile phones were confiscated," she said.

"Other immigrants are hiding in their homes, not daring to go out until things calm down,' she said.

An Israeli court on Thursday ruled that the lives of an estimated 1500 migrants from South Sudan are no longer at risk in their homeland, clearing the way for their mass expulsion.

Israeli daily Haaretz said that a government committee on legislation had approved submission of draft bills which would raise the maximum penalty for Israelis who employed, housed or transported around the country illegal immigrants to five years in prison from two at present.

The bill is expected to go to parliament for a preliminary reading this week.

The interior ministry says that approximately 60,000 African immigrants have entered Israel illegally, including those from South Sudan, with which Israel has friendly relations.

In the photo above, AFP captures a naked African female migrant described as a prostitute in a series of raids by Israel’s immigration police aimed at rounding up and deporting illegal African immigrants.

The scene was recorded on Tuesday [June 12] near Levinsky Park, in the Mediterranean city of Tel Aviv, where thousands of migrants reside. The question urgently begging for an answer is why the woman was not allowed to put on clothes before her arrest.

AFP

Article Source: Masterweb Reports

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06/15/12

*Nigeria: El-Rufai’s Misplaced Gaffe (1)

-Masterweb Reports

It is really difficult to understand the motives of Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, the newly assumed do-gooder of the Nigerian polity, for his back page column in the ThisDay of last Friday, June 8th, which he entitled Anambra’s Budget of Misplaced Priorities. According to him, he had previously embarked on the analyses of the 2012 budgets of the other South East states. While it might not be apposite to query what might have warranted this sudden interest of Mallam el-Rufai in the affairs of Igbo people, many of whom he had maliciously and deliberately done in, when he destroyed and appropriated their property and means of existence in the FCT which he re-allocated to himself, his family members and friends, as it is his right and preserve to write on anything that catches his fancy.

However, querying eyebrows must be raised when he, in the process of discussing the socio and political economy of the area and one of its components, he takes a jolly ride on a road of abuse, distortion of facts and deliberate lies. By tarring Anambra State, its people and governance in such malicious and putrid brushes as he did in his said article, it would be foolish of him to believe that he would go unchallenged.

On the surface, el-Rufai, gave the impression that he was engaged in an intellectual and analytical treatise, by as usual, employing statistics and data which are not worth the pieces of paper on which they were issued. This is by the very fact that Economics is “a science of the commonsense”, and in daily socio-economic issues that govern human existence, you can tell a blind man that there is no oil in the food, but you definitely cannot tell him that there is no salt there. ( Continues below..... )

Mallam El-Rufai

Photo Above: Mallam El-Rufai

In order to arrive at his real mission of insulting the people and leaders of Anambra State, El-Rufai, back-grounded his treatise with certain tendentious, but highly naive fallacies that he tried to pass off as facts, having laced them with statistics whose veracity fly in the face of commonsense, and which expose at the same time the woeful capacity of the institutions from which such statistics and date emanate. For instance, El-Rufai claimed that the poverty and unemployment levels in Anambra State are crying to the high heavens for deliverance.

In his words, “unemployment rate in Anambra is among the highest in the South-east zone, at 21.3 per cent, it is higher than the national average of 21.1 per cent”. Because unemployment is always associated with poverty, he then further posits that, “the incidence of poverty in the state is very high – actually disappointing”. He argued further with his weird statistics that, “the South-east has a food poor incidence of 41.0 per cent of which 60.9 per cent is absolutely poor, while 66.5 per cent is relatively poor and 56.8 per cent live under a dollar a day. Anambra has a poverty index of 22.8 per cent, the third highest in the zone, and shares the sixth lowest position in Nigeria with Rivers State which also has 22.8 per cent. About 47.6 per cent of the state’s population is core poor, 45.0 per cent is moderately poor and only 7.4 per cent of the state’s population is classified as none poor.”

As to Mallam El-Rufai, the spectre of the poverty of Anambra State must be driven home, for whatever reasons, so he lamented what he saw as the paucity of natural resources in the state, and that where they exist in any quantity, they are not exploited, like the oil deposits which he claimed are found in where he described as Ebenebe Ridge. According to him, “Anambra State is not much endowed with mineral resources and the few known to exist are not exploited”. Added to what he saw as the high criminality and dire security situation in the state, El-Rufai, in his copious crocodile tears, urged Anambra and its neighboring Igbo states to “ address the security challenges arising from violent crimes and kidnapping that has scared the elite and investors from the state.” ( Continues below….. )

Anambra State Governor Peter Obi

Photo Above: Governor Peter Obi
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El-Rufai’s motives got a bit clearer when he inferred that this ‘sore’ state of affairs in Anambra State are in place or exacerbated by what he saw as the inability of the administration of the Mr. Peter Obi to rise to or overtake those calamitous situations in his state. That motive could not be hidden right from the title of his piece which indicated that the budget made and being executed by the government of the day which places extreme premium on all-round development of the state and its citizens, as misplaced.

But then, it is not easy to understand Mallam Nasir el-Rufai without understanding the duplicity of his personality and his character as a man whose ego is inversely proportional to his diminutive stature. It beggars understanding as to why el-Rufai suddenly wants Nigerians to start seeing him as the conscience of the public after his dubious performance as the minister of Federal Capital Territory. This is a man who was found guilty of a Senate committee of terrible and unspeakable fraud and told not to hold public office for the next ten years. But then, all that has to wait till the wrap up of this piece, when we shall see what all this has to do to the man’s current quixotic efforts.

Even if El-Rufai who claims to be a wizard in any new field he blunders into, including when he was undergoing tutelage in development studies during the Obasanjo era when he rubbed shoulders with the likes of Professor Chukwuma Soludo, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili, all who have amply extolled the management capacity of Governor Peter Obi and have often given an imprimatur to his development strategies. In fact, el-Rufai is an artful manipulator who twists any position he finds himself, including writing a column in a flagship newspaper, to claim laurels which he does not deserve in any form. I have no business defending Governor Obi, but being the governor of my state at a time when I am well appraised on the situation in my state, as well as the motives of the writer are suspicious, there is no way I can stand by and watch an El-Rufai drag my state, its government and pride to the mud.

If El-Rufai had ever physically gone to Anambra State, he would have understood the idiocy of the statistics he employed to interpret what he describes as the ‘poverty’ of the people and the state of Anambra. It has been said that there are three types of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics. El-Rufai has proven to be the master of all the variants of lies. Even while informed Nigerians look on, El-Rufai lies about poverty in the state where the per capita standard of living is about the highest in Africa. He describes Anambra State as a ‘rural state’ with a high level of unemployment even as he refuses to acknowledge that more than three-quarters of communities in that state have installed electricity and other forms of amenities by themselves. These are people who build their own roads, secondary schools, hospitals and cottage industries and where no Anambra indigene has been stopped from going to school on account of financial difficulties.

This is a state where every village has assumed or is assuming an urban status, even as the entire state is growing into a one-town community. If one is driving through the state, it would be difficult to know when one has entered the next local government area. This has been made even more possible through the network of road which has linked or is linking every hamlet in the state. While it is true that the road construction feat was started by Dr. Chris Ngige, it would be stupid not to acknowledge that it was Mr. Peter Obi who has linked all the parts of the state through his array of road networks and bridges which have reached areas which had never dreamt of road communications in their lives. Incidentally, those areas are mostly the hitherto locked out and obscured food baskets of the nation. ( Continues below….. )

Map of Anambra State, Nigeria.

Photo Above: Map of Anambra State, Nigeria.

El-Rufai talks about poverty of Anambra people because in his immaturity, he sticks to the classroom definitions of poverty where he divides the amount someone earns over the number of days in the month. That being so, he himself must have been a very poor man too, because hardly can the take-away pay of any public official in Nigerian take him home, and so, if he could garner estates and mansions all over Abuja and the world with his earnings as a minister, then he needs account to Nigerians. Having said so, my people in Anambra State are very communally minded people and as he even acknowledged, we are among Nigeria’s most successful Nigerians materially and professionally. In our system, we speak of “Aku luo uno” doctrine, which translates into the fact that we export all our fortunes home because that is only where we consider them secure and safe from such haters as el-Rufai and friends. They should understand that unlike where he comes from, Igbo fortunes spread to kinsmen.

El-Rufai might have thought that he succeeded in his ploy, alongside other Igbo haters like Obasanjo, to impoverish Igbo people by destroying all their properties in Igboland and allocating them to his people and himself. It must have been a very sad fact to him that he hardly succeeded and that must have been why he rued, that ’75 percent of the property in Abuja belong to Ndigbo and that FCT qualified to be described as the sixth South East State”. Does El-Rufai know that Anambra investors own about half of those Igbo investments in FCT, and not any of them had stolen the money with which they invested?

It is foolish to speak of misplaced budgeting in Anambra State because the government of the day did not put more funds in areas that El-Rufai, in his myopia, was informed by his ‘researchers’ to be more beneficial to the people. How is the man supposed to know where the eyes and priorities of the people lie? While the ANIDS development philosophy of government is geared towards spreading investments to all the crannies and circumstances in the state, Anambra people do not expect to be spoon-fed by any government; that is why the likes of El-Rufai would never understand that the so-called unemployment does not mean to an Anambrarian what it means to el-Rufai’s fellow Kaduna citizen. In fact, an Anambra person is not very hot about being employed by the government, as in fact, the concept of Olu Oyibo is not often a very attractive option. In fact, when el-Rufai believes that the government misplaces its priority when it invests less in agriculture than in education or roads, it clearly means he does not understand the Igbo persona.

It is needless to inform el-Rufai that our people are entrepreneurs and expect the government not to meddle in their lives more than it should. They just expect the government to equip their schools with good teachers and facilities. I did not say that we expect the government to build schools for us because we, have built them through our missions and communities and up till early this year, when Governor Obi handed over more than 1000 primary schools and many secondary schools to their owners, people had grumbled over government messing up things in those schools. A community that built and equipped secondary schools as out 177 communities had done could not be regarded as poor by any stretch of imagination, no matter what the crooked statistics say. In the same token, we expect the government to build our roads and provide policemen and other security officials to watch over and secure our lives and property. And should the appropriate government believes that means doing us a lot of favour, we strive to provide it for ourselves, as we did with the Bakassi Boys.

It is those states where beggars move around in droves and constitute a menace to daily life that are really poor. Poor people beg; in Anambra, the only beggars we have speak el-Rufai’s language.

In the next part of this article, I will strive to educate el-Rufai and his misguided analysts on the true nature of the Anambra person when it comes to industry, commerce and entrepreneurship that has made the state the destination of choice by an array of investors, who are genuine and well-meaning. I will also elaborate on the falsity of el-Rufai’s thesis as it concerns the exploitation of natural resources, so as to show how shallow those analyses have been relative to my state.

It surprises me that a man who flaunts several exposures forgets that in today’s world, intellectual property avails more than all the coal and gold that is under the feet. For, how did Japan become the world’s second largest economy without any discernable natural resources? It might interest the likes of el-Rufai, whose intellect is often questionable, to become aware that the best resource of Anambra State is their bold and bright people, who dare wherever and whenever the need arises.

I will also make an expose to debunk the wishful thoughts of the el-Rufais of this world that Anambra could be deterred by such bogus analyses of jaundiced writers who are seeking undeserved relevance and attention. I will do that by exposing the fallacies in El-Rufai’s analyses of Anambra’s political economy, concentrating on such factors as his take on criminality, natural resources and the way our people view the current efforts to open Anambra to the world to which our people have always looked. After that, those who do not know el-Rufai as many of us do, would start to have a clearer inkling into the man whose stock in trade is to run with the hare and chase with the hound…

So Nasir el-Rufai, keep your powder dry.

Uche Ezechukwu

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06/14/12

*How El-Rufai & Other Northern Elites Underdeveloped & Impoverished Northern Nigeria

By Intersociety Nigeria

Anambra Versus The North: How Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai & Other Northern Elites Underdeveloped & Impoverished Majority Northern Populations

(Onitsha Nigeria, Wednesday, 13th day of June 2012)-In the Social Bond or Control Theory of Travis Hirschi, social deviance including criminal offending becomes uncontrollable the moment people are made to disconnect from the core agents of socialization, especially the four areas that bind them with the core agents of socialization, that is to say: involvement, belief, attachment and engagement. The absence of the foregoing, criminologically speaking, leads to social disorganization as we see it today in the North.

Similarly, in the Strain/Anomie Theory of Emile Durkheim and Robert K. Merton, when there is disconnect between cultural goals and legitimate or socially approved means (when the two conflicts), a state of “anomie”(alienation of self from society due to conflicting norms and interests) sets in. When this state occurs, it results into five categories of social conditions of: conformity, innovation, ritualism, retreatism and rebellion. Those in the class of conformity accept the cultural goals and legitimate means; those in the innovation accept the cultural goals but use illegitimate means to achieve them; those in the ritualism lose faith in cultural goals but feel obligated to work under routines for legitimate daily life; those in the retreatism, such as drug addicts, reject both cultural goals and legitimate means and transform themselves into the dregs of the society; and those in the rebellion not only reject both cultural goals and institutionalized means, but also seek to redefine new values for the society through uprising and violence, i.e. Boko-Haram uprising in the Northern Nigeria.

It is on the premise of the foregoing that we at the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) , decide to critically evaluate the Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai’s assessment of the public governance in Anambra State of Nigeria, titled: Anambra’s Budgets of “Mispriorities” , which was widely published on 8th day of June 2012. This evaluation of ours, therefore, is in the context of Anambra versus the North in terms of soio-economic comparison. While it is a widely held view that Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, like other Nigerians, is entitled to his opinion, but his opinion should not be expressed at the gross expense of Anambra State and its People, especially in the context of returning the State to its former pariah status, as a pariah member of the States of the Nigerian Federation, which his piece tried in vain to do. As noted by many respected writers including Barrister Daniel Elomba, the Ahmad El-Rufai’s piece is fraught with utterly discredited facts and stranger’s information. It is purely an assessment from outside observation, fed by laptop statistics.

For instance, contrary to Ahmad El-Rufai’s position in his piece, Anambra State has minimum rural-urban drift. Non- Anambra State citizens of Enugu, Imo, Ebonyi, Abia States, etc vastly populate the State’s old urban areas of Onitsha and Nnewi as well as some of the new urban areas in the State. These brother and sister-citizens have also made an inroad into Asaba, Delta State, where they built many residential houses and business facilities. Also, contrary to Ahmad El-Rufai’s submission, Anambra now has over ten urban areas of Onitsha, Ogbaru, Idemmili(Awada, Ugwuagba, Obosi, Nkpor & Omagba), Nkwere-Ezunaka/Nsugbe, Ekwulobia, Oko/Umunze, Ihiala, Awka, Igbariam/Umuleri/Aguleri, Ogidi/Abagana and Oba. Anambra population is over 5million and not “4,2million” as he erroneously stated. The State is highly urbanized and densely populated with commerce as its major economic base, engaged in by over 70% of its adult residents. Anambra State is also second to none in self-help development index with evenly spread incomes per head. In old Onitsha and Nnewi urban areas, for instance, three out of every five commercial multi-storey buildings, have their own sunk bore holes. Also, sophisticated private hospitals adorn many of these old and new urban centers. In terms of primary and secondary schools, the number of government-approved private schools surpasses those of government and missionary schools and they are evenly distributed among the old and new urban centers and semi urban areas in the State.

The number of high and low rising commercial and private buildings in Anambra State surpasses the total number of same, if any, in the seven States of the Northwest geopolitical zone put together, from where Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai comes from. As at 1997, there were over 200 private large-scale industries in Nnewi alone. Presently, the major problem hindering the industrial growth in the State is the power epilepsy, caused not by the government and people of Anambra State, but by the Federal Government (power is in the exclusive legislative list). Presently, there are over 200 markets in the State alone and more are springing up. There is no major industry in Nigeria that does not have a link to Anambra State. Any item of legitimate human use is not in short supply in the State. Forty-percent of the Internally Generated Revenues of Delta State comes from Anambra State. Therefore, the State is typically a blue-collar society and one of the juiciest sources of the police illicit enrichment due to high carriage of cash or hand-to-hand cash transactions.

In terms of public governance, Ahmad El-Rufai ought to know that another name for high self-help development index is “government made easy”, in that a society with high self-help development records reduces the burden of government in the provision of social services to its people. Anambra, like other Southeast States, to a large extent, had two major set backs before now; its post civil war challenges, which deprived its post-civil war generations and their parents of conventional education, resulting in its present adult population’s limited education especially among the male adult traders, as well as the tragedies of the early 2000s when criminal gangs took over the management of the affairs of its men and women. Perhaps, the likes of Mallam Ahmad Nasir El-Rufai are still dwelling in this past ugly history of the State per his recent lopsided assessment of the State and its public governance, by utterly ignoring the great wind of change in the State epitomized by the present popularly instituted governance, which originated in March 2006.

To govern well in Nigeria’s context and under a democratic setting, a governor must not have identity or personality and moral bankruptcy. Very importantly, he or she must not be an electoral robber and he or she must have the hallowed electoral mandate of his or her people. There are four conventional ways of sourcing funds for public governance in Nigeria, that is to say: federation accounts receipts, internally generated revenues, borrowings and local/ international grants or development funds. Among these four core areas, borrowings are not socio-economically helpful because of their devastating effects on immediate and future well being of the affected State or locality. To this effect, we give it to the present government of Anambra State, which has successfully resisted the borrowing temptations in the past six years, unlike Imo State, for instance, that has over N100Billion internal debts to its deficit. In the inglorious epoch of Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju, a $10Million loan was secured from an Egyptian bank, for the “building of an international market”, which was never built. Another N650Million loan was secured from a Nigerian bank for “the building of a stadium complex” in Awka, the State capital, which was also never built, to mention but a few. The debt regime under the illegitimate and unlawful regime of Dr. Chris Ngige remains utterly sketchy. Today, these loans with hash conditions are part of the $24.4Million still owed international lending institutions by the government of Anambra State. In the four core areas of fund sourcing, the government of Anambra State, under Mr. Peter Obi, has done well in the international fund sourcing or development partnerships as well as in the area of maintaining almost zero-borrowing culture both internally and externally.

However, true to Ahmad El-Rufai’s observation, the government of Mr. Peter Obi has failed woefully in the area of improving the IGR fortunes of the State, considering its vast revenue potentials. This is due to weak revenue generation mechanisms, which tend to favour illicit revenue agents, sometimes backed by some corrupt officials of the government both at State and local levels. This failure appears to have been necessitated by bountiful international patronage enjoyed by the government as well as the availability of the Local Government funds, used, under special conditions, for the development of selected infrastructures in the affected LGAs. Again, some of the deficiencies of Mr. Peter Obi’s administration are poor maintenance culture, snail-speed response to matters of urgent public importance, non-conduct of the local council polls, armchair syndrome of some, if not many of his bookish top aides and weak/ untimely enforcement of law and other conventional social controls.

As for Ahmad El-Rufai’s criticism of the Anambra’s budgets and their sectoral allocations, he missed the point frontally and logically. This is because there exists legitimate and illegitimate budgeting. Budget is legitimate when it is realistic and executable, not fat and theoretical allocation with little or zero execution capacity. It is illegitimate when it is bloated, loan and white elephant driven. It is better to have a small and realistic budget than to have lofty, loan driven and white-elephant budget. Apart from attention being given to over 20 active gully sites in the State, our field team has also found that there exists a rapid response team that timely checks the newly developed gullies in parts of the State. On-going works on two of such young gullies at Uke Community in the State is a case in point.

Still on Anambra Budgets, the present government enjoys two “government-made easy” packages, one from the high self-help development index and the other from international funding and development institutions like UNICEF, EU, World Bank, UNDP, DFID, etc. For instance, we have found that many of the 177 communities, over 1000 public/mission primary schools and 258 public/mission secondary schools in the State now have bore holes courtesy of European Union, UNICEF, etc. In Ogbaru LGA, 30 boreholes are being sunk in thirty strategic places. In all, there are 434 water projects done in the State, excluding those done by the State Ministry of Local Government & Chieftaincy Matters. Bore holes under MDGs(millennium development goals) are 186, UNICEF through RUWASSA are 154, 17 EU Water schemes, 71 bore holes from MPUWRCD, to mention but few. This is in addition to high private borehole ratio per residence in the State and attention being given to the State’s major water schemes in Awka, Onitsha, Nnewi, Obizi-Uga, etc. State’s community/general hospitals and health centers are not in short supply in the State. Most, if not all of them are provided with boreholes. Conversely, it is very important to point out that there are some boreholes, especially those sunk in hilly and dry areas that are not functioning, either due to shady jobs by contractors or difficult terrains. In the area of education, about 800 mission primary schools and about 42 mission secondary schools were returned to their missionary owners (Catholic church-over 400, Anglican church-over 300, etc), excluding the payment of their teachers’ salaries and other welfare, which is still borne by the State Government, thereby living the State with 261 public primary and 216 secondary schools. The intent for returning the schools is for moral rejuvenation.

In the areas of roads, crime rates and other social services, Ahmad El-Rufai also goofed. While many States still find it difficult connecting one LGA to another, road-wise, Anambra has gone far beyond that. The 177 communities in the State are now divided into first class, second class and third class communities in terms of link roads. All the 21 LGAs, first class and second-class communities are easily accessible road-wise. The third class communities and some important street roads in old Onitsha urban like Iyiowa Odekpe/Odo-Rubber, Okpoko/Nkutaku, Awada, Ugwuagba, Nkpor, Ogidi and Woliwo Layout/ Omagba Phase 11, are still begging for government attention. Some of these areas are new layouts. Also, major parts of the Onitsha-Enugu Federal Road, which is at the heart of the State, are still an eyesore, except few parts that have been rehabilitated. On the other hand, urban areas like Fegge, Inland Town, GRA, Nsugbe 33 and Odo-akpu all in old Onitsha urban and major parts of Nnewi have very good road network. Also, the Omambala area of the State, which used to be utterly neglected, is being transformed. Igbariam/ Umuleri and Nsugbe/Nkwere-Ezunaka are the newest urban areas in the State, which are part of the hitherto neglected areas of the State. Over 15 medium and large-scale bridges and their connecting roads have been constructed across the State’s difficult terrains. Conversely, Awka is yet to wear the deserved look of a modern State capital city, though many of its old-fashioned roads are tarred as well as erection of some key public infrastructures like State Secretariat, CBN, etc

In terms of access to justice, there are court of superior records (high courts) in Onitsha (many sub divisions), Otuocha(serving the river-line areas of Anambra East/West, Oyi and Ayamelum LGAs), Awka (many sub divisions), Aguata, Nnewi, Ogidi and Ihiala. In the area of “ high crime rates”, Ahmad El-Rufai lacks professional know-how in criminology and security studies or related fields to understand what “crime rates” are all about. Though street crimes including property crimes are normal in blue-collar society such as Anambra State, which also provides job for social control agencies, other than Northeast zone which is the most crime-prone in Nigeria presently, it is difficult to pin point any State as “being among those with highest crime rates”. Since Ahmad El-Rufai is not a crime statistician, we wonder how he arrived at the lopsided submission that Anambra has one of the highest crime rates in Nigeria, especially taking into account “dark” and “gray” figures of crime statistics as well as prevalence of white-collar crimes and crimes against persons (prevalent in the North). To credibly assess crime rates, crime must be evaluated holistically. What two white-collar criminals steal in Katsina State in a month, for instance, may most likely outweigh the total proceeds of property crimes generated in one year in the entire Southeast zone by property criminals. Contrary to Ahmad El-Rufai’s submission, crime is not restricted to “property crime” of armed robbery and hostage for ransom.

From the foregoing, therefore, it is clear that Ahmad El-Rufai’s piece is ill conceived and utterly political. It may have derived its motives from the forthcoming 2015 political power games. The piece utterly portrayed Anambra State and its People as backward, manifestly poor, under-developed, crisis and crime-prone, and above all, a pariah partner in the Nigerian Federation Project. By canonizing an electoral usurper and thief, Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai is encouraging electoral roguery and telling the Anambra electorates to always allow their hallowed electoral mandate to be stolen by an electoral criminal gang. His piece ought to be titled:” How Ahmad El-Rufai & Other Northern Elites Underdeveloped & Impoverished the Majority Northern Populations” and not, “Anambra Budgets of Mispriorities”.

The truth is that Anambra surpasses the entire North West zone by any standards of social measurement. Therefore, it is “Anambra versus the North”. While Anambra is highly urbanized, the North West and the entire North excluding the FCT are bedeviled by higher rural-urban drift because of the primitive concentration of the business of governance in the capital cities of the North. While educational opportunities in the North are reserved for Northern elites like Ahmad El-Rufai, alms and religious radicalism are reserved for the vast majority of their populations. When the Northern elites want political power, they recruit this impoverished majority into misconceived religious zealotry and after ascending to power; they reward them with weekly feeding and chaplet incantations at their palatial homes. While the real political slogan of these inhumane elites is “take money or material things and give me power, but when I get power, I will use my power to take my money back from you”, they indoctrinate this majority with “God giveth and taketh power”

Therefore, in the North, the two theories aforementioned are utterly suitable. The Boko-Haram uprising in the North is not only an “intifada” against the Federal Government, but importantly, it is also an uprising against the Northern elites, who mindlessly blocked social opportunities for the vast majority of their people for more than 25 years they held sway at the presidency. Today, the uprising is against the Federal Government and its security establishments as well as Igbo-Christians and non-Igbo Christians as well, but tomorrow, Northern elites may most likely be joined. Ahmad El-Rufai’ s handling of the landed properties of the Southeast people during his days as the FCT Minister, which made him to reveal that”75% of the properties in the FCT are owned by the Igbo people”, as well as the fate of the displaced local indigenes (Gbagi-Gwari) may be a topic for another day. The foregoing, therefore, is part of how the Northern elites including Ahmad El-Rufai under-developed and impoverished the vast Northern majority. We wish to submit that Anambra State is not poor, backward or socially disorganized, and if the North is Mogadishu, then Anambra is Tokyo.

Even in the area of external borrowings and debts, Anambra State is among the five least indebted States, whereas the North including the Ahmad El-Rufai’s North West, is heavily indebted. Some insiders have also revealed that the heaven will let loose if the internal debts profiles of many States of the Federation including States of the North are made open. The Nigeria’s Debt Management Office’s recent report of March 2012 has it that the Southwest zone is the most indebted in terms of foreign debts, with $810Million or N122Billion, followed by North West zone $458Million or N67.9Billion, with Ahmad El-Rufai’s Katsina State owing $74.13Million or N11Billion (Kaduna State owes $182.2Million or N27.3Million); followed by South-south with $289.2Million or N43.6Billion; followed by Southeast with $193.7 or N29.1Billion; followed by North-central with $190.2Million or N28.7Billon; and followed by Northeast zone with $185.1Million or N27.7Billion. The Federal Capital Territory-Abuja owes $36.84Million or N5.5Billion. Anambra is in the fifth position among the five least indebted States of Borno-$12.9Million or N1.9Billion, Delta-$15.4Million or N2.03Billion, Taraba-$20.4Million or N3.06Billion, Plateau-$20.43Million or N3.07Billion and Anambra-$24.4Million or N3.66Billion, using the exchange rate of N150.00 per USD. The present government of Anambra State is also reputed to have borrowed nothing internally since 2006 except statutory controversial service pay arrears owed the workers of State parastatals like State water corporation, State printing company and the State-broadcasting outfit as well as the Federal Government bonded zero-interest World Bank facilities for health-care delivery in selected States repayable under soft conditions.

Finally, we must avoid the grave mistakes of running down our few comrade-governors, who have come to serve their people, simply because of certain primitive political interests. We have always maintained that Lagos people are lucky to have Tinubu/Fashola as their governors, even though they ran and still run government of budget deficits with staggering foreign debts of $491Million or over N73Billion and undisclosed tens of billions of naira of internal debts. Also, Edo people are lucky to have Comrade Adams Oshomoile as their governor and Anambra people are very lucky to have Mr. Peter Obi as their governor. Ekiti and Osun people may be lucky too to have their governors. Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has the mandate of his people, but he must refrain from further mortgaging the future of the State by reportedly being a loan seeking and borrowing governor. Public governance requires towering personality profiles, creativity and frontal initiatives. Therefore, all the 36 States governors are not the same, comparatively speaking. Some are charlatans with mechanical legitimacy. Others are hedonistic compradors, while the remainders are creative and innovative governors with hallowed mandates of their people.

Signed:

Emeka Umeagbalasi
Chairman, Board of Trustees
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
+234(0)8033601078, 234(0)8180103912
umeagbalasi@yahoo.com, info@intersociety-ng.org

Emeka Umeagbalasi

Photo Above: Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Intersociety, 41, Miss Elems Street, Fegge, Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria.
- CLICK FOR ENLARGED PHOTO.

Mallam El- Rufai

Photo Above: Mallam El- Rufai

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