*I did not hold any meeting with Jonathan says Tinubu .....Calls for collaborative efforts in solving insecurity challenge
April 30, 2012: National leader of Action Congress of Nigeria( ACN), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu yesterday denied having any meeting at the weekend with President Goodluck Jonathan, even as he affirmed that he was not in town for the said meeting. The former Lagos State Governor also said there was no meeting between the governor of Lagos State Babatunde Raji Fasshola and the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu with Jonathan.
The clarification from the ACN leader comes amid speculations that there was a meeting between the trio and the president when he visited Lagos. Tinubu said, he would be favoraurably disposed to meeting with the president, if it cuts across party lines, with a view to seeking their views on how to unlock the spate of threats, insecurity and other national headaches if the president invites him.
The ACN leader, said much as any of such meetings called at the instance of the president is convoked without politicizing issues, it will be good for all stakeholders in the Nigerian project to put their heads together to find a common solution to the problems starring the nation in the face.
Tinubu who spoke to journalists at a privste terminal at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos to visit the Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole, over the recent road crash involving his convoy was accompanied by the national chairman of the part, Chief Bisi Akande, former Ekiti State governor, Niyi Adebay, and the ACN spokeman, Lai Mohammed. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu
Tinubu said : " That report is not correct. To tell you categorically I did not attend any meeting with the president in company of Oba of Lagos . I wasn’t even aware that the president was coming to Lagos until later after the visit of the Oba at night. So there was no meeting between myself , president and the Oba of Lagos and have not , and I am very sure that the governor did not attend any such meeting with the governor." On his disposition to any meeting if invited by Jonathan, Tinubu said : " We have all been meeting on the national issues, we had the meetings several times in the past, so when the party leadership across the board are all invited to a meeting to solve the problems of the country why not.
This is a critical time when all hands must be on deck to help solve the security problems of the country, this is the time to get together to develop ideas , and all necessary reasons that can help the nation as a whole, the matter of security should be less politicized , advice should be solicited in good faith , if ideas are solicited in good faith , one must offer it , they should not reject the ideas outright of any person, but that has to come through the political parties; leadership" ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria
On the crisis of Boko Haram and the attendant insecurity in Nigeria, the ACN leader said : " You have touched on a critical issue confronting the nation and it is reaching a phenomenon dimension that we all can not afford to sleep with the two eyes open up or ignore the national issue of security.
The president as commander in chief of the Armed Forces , he is the first person who probably should commence the consultation with the people and must not politicize this problem.
Since 1999, the PDP has been ruling this country , they claim to have the wisdom and the apparatus and each time when they react to this question of national security the tragedy confronting the country, they have not gone without blaming one political party or the other .That is passing the buck.
They are the ones who would say we are in government, we are in power so if they can not solve the problem of security , why blaming it on others . Now there is a clear line and ideological differences between us yet but this Nigeria belongs to all of us . the best is that PDP led federal government should do is to cry for help and if they do they will get it instead of putting blames or categorizing one party as one man party , they are running around like headless chickens."
*This World Of Homosexuality: Expect The Angels Of The Fire!
By Ikechukwu Enyiagu
Oh, what a truth! It shall be lighter for Sodom and Gomorrah on that day than the men of this day. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.” These were the words of the only and infallible truth, Jesus Christ, to a world which has grown cold to the truth, a world where no amount of God’s love will appease those who have signed themselves unto eternal damnation and are speedily dragging others along. Woe to you, peoples of this world! Woe to you governments of this world! You who declare that human ‘freedom’ is to be followed than God’s ordinances; you who prefer sacrifices to obedience, and you who would rather wait to cure than prevent pain, I say, Woe unto you. You have ordained the abomination of Sodom and the filthiness of Gomorrah, and have led those whom you have been chosen to lead into pits of doom. Woe to you lawmakers who have made laws that a man can offer his pride to the filthiness of another man’s excretion. You have declared that it is right for a woman to lust after her fellow woman, and a man, another man – even to the point of the altar of matrimony. Woe to you! You are doomed, you world leaders, who have declared that freedom and human rights start with the rejection of common sense and the reproach of God. Woe to you, citizens and peoples, who have rejoiced at the foundation of your destructions. You have heaped for yourselves false prophets who will tell you what your flesh longs to hear: freedom from the all-wise and eternal God. Woe to you. If God has not, over again, proved Himself amongst you, you would claim ignorance as an excuse. But you have heard the truth and you have rejected it. Therefore, surely, it will be more bearable for Sodom on the Day of Judgment than for you. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: British Gay Priest Rev. Colin Coward with Nigerian Gay Fiancé Bobby Egbele
You hypocrites, you false prophets and teachers, woe to you! Woe to you, shepherds, who lead the sheep to the slaughter! You would not tend the sheep but you would demand a wage. You would neither listen to the truth nor would you declare it. Woe to you scribes and Pharisees who have occupied the altar of God in defilement. Sodom, even Gomorrah, will take comfort in your judgment because it will be harder for you on that fateful day than it will for them. You have called yourselves when God has not called you, and you have imposed yourselves on God’s flock as shepherds of His sheep when indeed you have come from your father, the devil. Woe to you. You are doomed, preachers, who have declared that the grace of God is an occasion to find faults with God’s perfect laws. You have brought in the abomination which defiles Gods presence in His temples, and you have told the sheep: “Behold! The Lord is in your midst!” You tell a man: Brother, God has ordained you to be married to another man and to have sex with him through his anus. You are doomed! You tell the sisters that God’s love warrants them to abandon their natural use for womanhood and lust after other women. And when they have found each other, you have brought them into the Holy of Holies, and have, in full view of the angels and saints in heaven, pronounced upon them the rights of holy matrimony. Woe to you! You claim to be rightly dividing the word of truth whereas your eyes have been veiled by your lust for the corruption of Lucifer and your desire to overthrow God’s eternal kingdom. I say: woe unto you! You have defiled God’s angels who were assigned to you and you have denied the Spirit of God before great witnesses. You who try to force the times of prophecy when you are not ready, and you who have brought the abomination which causes desolation: you have judged yourselves unto hell. Woe to you!
The power of the flesh is fed from the spirit of man; that’s why no one has any excuse before God. It’s a man’s conscience which bridges the spirit and the flesh of the man. The conscience stands in the presence of the mediation of the blood of Christ – filtering, by the power of the spirit through God’s word, truths which guide every pilgrim on earth. We have all come from God and will one day return to Him; and like the three servants of one master on pilgrimage, each will render the accounts of his life on earth to the king of all – prompting just rewards. Homosexuality, the abomination by a man having sex with another man through the anus, and a woman having sex with her fellow woman, and its culmination in unholy matrimony, is a nature, but not what man understands it as or tries to convince himself it is. Everyone living on earth was, by the nature of sin, born into the guilt of Adam. From the fall of the man, Adam, came the full swing of hell and its repulsive doctrines of perverted truths regarding who God is and how man must relate to Him. And with Adam, every man who has ever come to this world fell – deep into the pit of the perverted truth. God created us by His word which alone is The Truth and The Life. Since man fell, falsehood and death came through the perversion of satan’s knowledge of God’s truths. Therefore, things that were naturally wrong became the desires of men and nature was bound by the unnatural. Why had Cain murdered his innocent brother? It’s the fall of man attained through the nature of sin which was introduced by satan through Adam’s disobedience. Homosexuality, like murder, rape, lies, and all manner of falsehood and injustices amongst others, were the fruits of satan’s perversion of God’s truth before Adam who accepted from his wife, Eve, the voice of a lying tongue. Therefore, just as a man becomes addicted to anything wrong and shameful, even so homosexuals become addicted. Satan’s interference in God’s perfect creation did not only bring perversion, it brought ignorance and, therefore, death. Many people, who claim to be gay by birth today, and their apologists, simply have refused to be true to themselves on how they got themselves into it because, for many, it started with seemingly innocent acts between two or more childhood friends as they were growing up. And for many of these, after having been poorly lectured on the implications of sex with the opposite sex, hanged on to same sex – and possibly those with who he had explored ignorantly. For other children, inferiority complex characterized their introduction into homosexuality. For the women, the story is the same: in girls’ dormitories of every sect, these children were introduced, guided and nurtured in the acts of lesbianism. These are all the effects of satan’s corruption of the flesh through the perverted knowledge which he handed down to Adam through his disobedience of God. It did not come from God as one would count a blessing; it’s simply a nature of sin, just like every other sin, and can be done away with as long as the person involved is willing to receive the truth. Thank God! There is a solution: the act of baptism, which cleanses us from that original sin which has brought man to the level of wild animals. After baptism, a life truly and completely submitted and committed to the word of God and to His Spirit for the purpose of having a life grown and groomed in truths will see to it that victory over homosexuality, as over every other sin, is a permanent testimony. Thus, a generation of conscientious humanity who are in tune with nature and with God’s perfect laws is birthed and raised. Only in the eyes of the spirit can one see and understand the depth of self-destruction which homosexuality poses to a person, and the danger a world ruled by the spirit of sodomy portrays to all. No one who is born of God curses Him and anyone who declares that homosexuality is a right which God has given or a right which man must exert for himself, is of the devil and the truth is not in him - regardless of if he is the head of a church or a state. Although many churches of Christ today are filled with these abominations which cause desolation and the men and women who fuel this mass submission to the machinations of the antichrist, nevertheless, the truth of God remains the same. Homosexuality is an abomination before God, the deriding of His name, and a defilement of His truth. Of these, man cannot be innocent. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: A Christian Church service
When the Word calls satan “’the prince of this word,” it did not make satan the king of all of God’s creation; only man was given that charge over all things. And even when Jesus said that the ruler of this world comes, He also added that “he has nothing in me.” This means that, satan has no place in the destiny of those whose lives are hidden in Christ in God. As I address these perverse and abominable leaders of governments, religions and academic institutions all over the world, I make this declaration: If creation was made perfect through the perversion of what is right and good before God and even to nature, then homosexuality may prosper throughout the four corners of the earth; likewise, men who propagate and promote its relevance may be empowered for greater heights on global responsibility. But since the sin of homosexuality, as Genesis 19:1-13 and Romans 1:16 have clearly indicated, is an affront to God, an accusation before God, a perversion of God’s principles for sex (after He has created them, male and female, and smiled to Himself when He saw that they were good), and above all, a defilement of God’s name and an abomination in His ever-present awesomeness, I therefore make these pronouncements: Let God arise, first from His temples, to the ends of the earth, and judge by fire those who have not only become this abomination, but have advised and given others the rights to do so. To those false prophets and leaders who have welcomed into the temple of God such defilements and have consecrated them to God in unholy matrimony, you have aroused the interest of the angels of fire. Therefore, let God bind you, with the same chain with which you have bound these ones to hell, and make you one with shame, disgrace, pains and gnashing of teeth. Let God arise all over the world this day and begin to prove Himself faithful to His word. He is a God whose name derives form from His word and who has exulted His word above all else. In the name of Jesus Christ I have declared. Amen.
Ikechukwu Enyiagu can be reached at
*Tags: Nigerians, Al, Qaeda, Country, President, Africa, Masterweb
*The Lesson of Ngozi Iweala's Loss of World Bank Presidency
I knew right from the beginning that it would be easier for the carmel to pass through the eye of the needle than for Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to be the next World Bank President. As a student of history, international politics and economy, I knew that USA and Europe cannot commit class and geo-politcal suicide by relinquishing the headship of the WORLD ECONOMIC CZAR, the World Bank to a woman from a third world country, more so from a nation that has refused to get it right in everything. How on earth do we expect EUROPE AND USA to take such risk even with Ngozi Iweala's impeccable academic records and chains of degrees.
How on earth will a nation that has refused to get it right in her human rights record, politics, economy and infrastructures be trusted with such a global position. I am not one of those carried away with the fake patriotism and self-deceit that have kept us where we are today. A spade must be called a spade. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Nigeria Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
One thing Africans and the third world have refused or ignored to realise is that the world geo-economic and even geo-political order would continue to disfavour them until they build stable, and prosperous polity that would command the respect of the world. Granted that most problems in Africa and the third world were caused by Europeans, is it not enough time since the era of decolonisation for Africans and the third world to get it right and device home grown developmental strategies? It was this home grown strategies that made the former Eastern region of Nigeria the fastest growing economy in the third world in the 60s. Okpara, the Premier of that region did not need truckload of dollars or pounds to fastrack the Eastern economy. What he needed was the will power which many of the rulers of this generation either lack or are not ready to imbibe. Awolowo did it in the West. Ahmadu Bello did it in the North.
The interest of the present rulers is colossal SECURITY VOTES, IMMUNITY FROM THEIR CORRUPTION, AND MAINTAINING UNCONSTIUTIONAL OFFICES LIKE THE OFFICE OF THE FIRST LADY AT FEDERAL, STATE AND LGA LEVELS. Their interest is far removed from developing Nigeria, forget about their preachments and lip service. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing some major cities and Federal capital (Abuja or FCT)
Coming back to Ngozi Iweala again, she lost out to a world economic order that has no place for economic and political weakling and toddlers. The same thing happened to Nigeria in the choice of AU chairman, and other continental bodies. Something is expected from Nigeria by Africa and the World but they are awefully disappointed to see Nigeria as a GIANT ON MOSQUITO LEGS.
Well, Ngozi has tried her best. She should now get to work and see how she can influence her employers to turn a new leaf. By the way how come Nigeria paid colossal billions of dollars to the so-called creditor nations when OBJ was in charge and NGOZI as the Finance Minister then and yet we are worst-off today? The lesson all should learn is that it is not verbose theories and imperialists grandstandings that can save Africa. It is only prudence and homegrown economic measures that can do it. Europe and the West would continue to claim that we owe them and our naive rulers would fall into their antics only to discover that its all APRIL FOOL. WHAT A PITY.
A POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC ANALYST
WROTE FROM ENUGU
*Folashade Adebere Stands Tall in U.S., Refutes Biased Story On Her in 2004
Nigerians and the world woke up on December 7, 2004 to read a news article titled ''Internet encounter strands Nigerian woman" by Roselee Papandrea, a news reporter with Jacksonville Daily News ( www.jdnews.com ), a local newspaper based in Jacksonville, North Carolina, USA. The same news article was republished by different news media days after the original publication, either with the same title or slightly modified, for example "Nigerian deported after US Marine dumps her on arrival ". Masterweb News Desk received two phone calls early last week to alert her that Folashade Adebere, the Nigerian woman at the center of the news article by Roselee Papandrea was complaining that the write-up was biased and prejudiced. Masterweb Reports caught up with Adebere who now lives in U.S. in Virginia, to get her own side of what transpired in Jacksonville, North Carolina in 2004. The Nigerian woman who now stands tall with a promising career told our reporters that the article by Roselee Papandrea was nothing but a fabrication based on distorted facts, bias and prejudice. She said it was a case of the criminal running to press through a media associate to save face and discredit the weak and innocent.
Below is what Folashade Adebere had to say when Masterweb interviewed her on the incident.
Masterweb Reports - We took time to read the article by Roselee Papandrea before this interview and would like to hear your own side of the story regarding the incident.
Folashade Adebere - Thank you for the opportunity of reversing this great injustice on the innocent, weak and gullible.
Masterweb Reports - Why do you say weak and gullible?
Folashade Adebere - This is because at that time, I was a student in UK and invited by one Tyran Jay Loggins to the U.S. to visit while also doing some aspect of my research work. My research professor at that time was aware of my trip and he had given me a letter to take to another professor at the University of North Carolina, so I could work closely on some aspect of my proposed topic, while in the US. It was my first trip to the U.S. and that made me to be weak and gullible because I was in a new environment. I was innocent and trustful.
Masterweb Reports - That makes a lot of sense. Now what is your side of the story to the first paragraph of Papandrea's article which reads as follows: "A 27-year-old Nigerian woman was stranded in Jacksonville this weekend after a Marine she met on the Internet decided he didn't want her to visit."
Folashade Adebere - This is not true because Tyran Jay Loggins invited me and gave me a letter of invitation which enabled me get visa from the U.S. Embassy. It is untrue he didn't want me to visit, in fact he initiated the visit knowing fully well of my status as a student to enable me do part of my research work in the U.S.
Masterweb Reports - That also makes a lot of sense. One cannot invite another to a foreign country and after the invitee clears customs and immigration, the host claims his guest is unwanted. Then how was the invitee able to obtain a visa for the visit? Interesting. What do you say about the paragraphs that read: [ Jacksonville police on Sunday helped Folashade Adebere return to England, where she is attending school. Adebere was brought to the Jacksonville Police Department at 1:30 a.m. Saturday by a shuttle driver who picked her up at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, said David Shipp, deputy chief of the Jacksonville Police Department. When Adebere arrived in Raleigh, she called the Marine she had been corresponding with via e-mail for the past two months, Shipp said. "He advised her to get back on the plane and go back home," Shipp said. Adebere decided to come to Jacksonville anyway. She negotiated a $150 fare with the shuttle driver, even though she only had $80. When they arrived in Jacksonville, the Marine was called again to get directions to his house, Shipp said. "According to (Adebere), the Marine said again that she should go back home," Shipp said. "He wasn't going to pay for her fare." The shuttle driver wanted his money, so he took Adebere to the Police Department. "He said he wanted his money and would prosecute her if she didn't pay," Shipp said. Police officers negotiated with the shuttle driver and he reduced his fare to $125. Adebere was still $45 short, so several officers chipped in money and paid the shuttle driver the remainder of the fare, Shipp said. Throughout the day Saturday, officers worked to get Adebere home. They called several agencies, including the U.S. State Department and Nigerian Embassy. While she was at the Police Department, officers used their own money to buy her several meals, Shipp said. The Marine was called by an officer, and he eventually showed up at the Police Department. He didn't want to see Adebere, but he did want to pay the officers back for the portion of the shuttle fare that they paid, Shipp said. The officers allowed him to pay some of it, and the remaining $20 was given to Adebere so she would have some money when she arrived back at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Sunday, Shipp said. ]
Folashade Adebere - When I arrived in the US, I had with me a suitcase, a handbag and a purse where I had kept some cash of about 320 pounds an equivalent of about $600. I had even made some purchases earlier on the aircraft, where I had bought a wristwatch and perfume in flight. So, definitely, I had no cash problem on that trip at all. When we got off the aircraft I asked someone on the queue with me if I could use his phone to call my friend ( Tyran Jay Loggins ) who was to come pick me up. I used this man’s phone to place the call. Loggins then spoke to me and told me he will be coming in about an hour. I knew Loggins for about six months (and not 2 months as alleged in the article) before my travel. I could not use my UK cell phone because the battery was dead and I could not recharge it on US electrical outlet, the voltage of which is half that of UK (220 volts). I did not realize until when I got to the bureau de change area that my purse and a few documents were missing either on-board the plane or in getting through the checks at the airport. However, I took some of the other change I had and converted them to US currency and coins, and started calling the guy on the pay phones, so that he can come and help me with the trouble I had encountered here. I made a complaint to the customer services manager as well but I was told they will look into the matter and that was it. I had to go by what she told me because I was a visitor and I did not know what to do. At this time, my charger would not work with the wall units, so I could not retrieve numbers of contacts I had on my cell phone and time was far spent. Everything was different unlike when I left Nigeria for England, where I continued using my phone and charger without any problem. All I had to do when I arrived in London then was to get a new sim card and continue the use of my handset. So, not being able to use my phone, was one unexpected difference for me that day. I waited for an hour and did not see Loggins, so I called him that I could take a taxi if he was running behind schedule. Finally, I got the number for a taxi and I told the driver to take me to Loggins' address. The taxi driver did not tell me it was that far away, and how much it would probably cost to get there. I remember Loggins was going to come from work and pick me within an hour, so I thought it couldn’t have been that far away. I placed series of calls to Loggins on our way with the taxi driver's cell phone. The cab driver heard some of these conversations but did not know the antecedents to the conversation. When we were getting close to the address Loggins suddenly stopped answering his phone. It was already very late and dark; we couldn’t see anything. The driver started to get impatient and actually started acting out about his money, saying he has to go. I told him to take me to an ATM so I can use my credit card. He took me to a store like a 711 (I am not sure) with an ATM inside. This was unsuccessful for obvious reasons, it was a Barclaycard issued in London and this was 2004. When the trouble became too much I told him to take me to the police station as the police will be able to help me. I was the one who told the cab driver to take me to the police station as I needed to tell the police what has happened since I arrived at the airport. When I got to the station, the cab driver was just shouting and screaming for his money, so I told them I have been in trouble for hours, I lost my wallet, could not use my phone, now am in this area - middle of nowhere because a friend of mine whom I met online that is a Marine officer had abandoned me for no just reason and I obviously needed his help as my only contact there. So they promptly took his phone number and address from me, and in their database they pulled his information out and told him to come to the station and pick me up. Loggins showed up hours later but then I had already seen some stuff (bad records) about him on the computer in the police department that were unsavory and coupled with his shifty and unstable behavior that day, I decided not to have anything to do with him any longer. When he came in, he paid the fare and wanted to take me with him, but I refused to go with him. Note this, I was the one who told the officers that I am not going anywhere with Loggins and that once I get to the airport, that I can find my way from there. I later got help to go back to the airport in the morning were I used the airport internet portal to reach some friends via e-mail. I later checked into a hotel for the next three days before I returned to England.
Masterweb Reports - Did the police give you $20 so you could have some money when you got back to the airport? Did the police contact Nigerian Embassy?
Folashade Adebere - The police did not give me $20 nor any money. They did not tell me they contacted Nigerian Embassy and they did not put me on the phone to talk to any Nigerian Embassy official.
Masterweb Reports - Nigerian Embassies and Consulates do not open weekends as far as we know, unless the police called and did not get a response. If that was the case, they would have indicated so. What do you say about the last paragraphs that read: [ An officer managed to get the return flight date on her round-trip ticket changed, and another officer drove her to the airport, Shipp said. "They did a good job accommodating her and getting her back home as soon as possible," Shipp said. "The officers went out of their way to help her." ]
Folashade Adebere - My return flight date was not changed by police, I returned at my convenience. The police did a good job in providing me security; I thank them for that. However, it is ridiculous what was reported because I did call them from England when I heard about this news and they denied ever doing anything in connection with this story. Officer Shipp himself denied having said what he was quoted as saying.
Masterweb Reports - How will you describe your 2004 U.S. experience and how does it feel being a U.S. resident now?
Folashade Adebere - It was a horrible experience; I thank God for seeing me through it. It was shocking to read of being deported, knowing it was just impossible. In addition, to be maligned as a desperate woman looking for an American spouse cannot be furthest from the truth about what I stand for. I do not believe in being with a man because he is a citizen of a particular country, -that means absolutely nothing to me. I only associate with highly intelligent people who are committed to using their influence and substance to advance humanity positively; wealth or status without these attributes is inconsequential to me. I still demand an apology for the conduct of all those involved, however, it is hard not to wonder at how silly and childish the whole plot was. Like, I always tell people, America is a great country and I am glad to be part of it. I am very happy with my career as a project manager and a budding entrepreneur.
Masterweb Reports - Thank you for granting us this interview.
*NB: Masterweb contacted Jacksonville Daily News and was told Roselee Papandrea no longer works with the newspaper. When we told them that Folashade Adebere refutes the article on her on their paper, they said they would like to hear her own side of the story. Masterweb also contacted Jacksonville Police Department and was told David Shipp (Jacksonville Police Department Deputy Chief at the time of Adebere incident) was no longer with the department, neither did they have records of the incident. The staff we spoke to said that apparently a report was not filed in the case, otherwise it would have been in their system since they keep files 20 years before destruction. Masterweb Reports later gathered David Shipp retired from service in 2009.
Photo Above: Roselee Papandrea
Photo Above: From Left to Right - Jacksonville Police Deputy Chief Paul Spring, Capt. Tim Malfitano and Deputy Chief David Shipp ( 2008 Photo)
*Okonjo-Iweala And The World Bank: Time For Divorce
On the 15th of September, 2011; I posted a piece on my blog titled “Okonjo-Iweala: A Patriot Blinded by the West.” This piece was also published by some off and online media. I had attempted to highlight three major points. In the first place, I had wanted to drum home the point that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy has the passion and courage of a true patriot. The second point I wanted to establish was the fact that Okonjo-Iweala was an involuntary “apostle” of western democracies. Thirdly, I was of the opinion that western democracies can only use but never trust “apostles” like Okonjo-Iweala. The outcome of the election to select a replacement for the outgoing World Bank chief, Robert Zoellick has vindicated me. The withdrawal of Colombia’s former finance minister, Jose Antonio Ocampo from the World Bank presidential race was enough for Okonjo-Iweala to see the spirit of United States celebrating with bottles of champagne on the streets of Washington DC. Sentiment apart, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had a superior credential to occupy the World Bank presidency.
Typical of every vibrant and complex society, some applauded my candid opinion and others poured heaps of condemnation on my head. One fair point to note however is the fact that the criticisms that followed my piece had no capacity to change what was wrong to right. What was then wrong, if one must ask? It was wrong for Okonjo-Iweala to look at Africa with western eyes. While it is true that advancement in science and technology has compressed the world into a global village, we cannot stand on this truism to deny the fact that population, culture, and religion plays critical role in shaping the local economy of every society. Perhaps, owing to the fact that she was an “insider”, Okonjo-Iweala often times acted in manners that suggested she was too informed to accept contrary opinions- especially the ones dressed in the robes of criticism. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Nigeria Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Not only was the foundation of her campaign very shallow and stained with racial sentiments, she was undoubtedly a victim of her own characteristic arrogance. Right from the first day she came to work for the Nigerian government during the Obasanjo administration, Okonjo-Iweala has refused to accept the bitter fact that in economics, issues are isolated and treated on their individual merits. Only lazy people who do not believe in themselves will rely on the ideas of others without paying attention to associated evidences and facts. It would also not be fair for any person charged with managing the economy of a nation to rely only on old ideologies or viewpoints of political parties to design fiscal policies. What else can one expect from a World Bank apostle?
Not aware of the hidden agenda of her western mentors, Okonjo-Iweala was deliberately deceived into looking at Nigeria’s economic problems with “western eyes”. It was for this simple reason that she could not accept a fundamental truth spoken by even uneducated women in village markets: every society on the face of the earth has its peculiarities. Sadly, this was the very point her sole opponent and eventual winner of the World Bank presidential election on Monday 16th April, 2012; Jim Yong Kim used to sink her boat. Kim later revealed to the BBC that he would consider the cultural and social peculiarities of various regions to ensure that the Bank’s schemes achieved the desired results.
As part of efforts to successfully use both the IMF and World Bank to secure pole positions in global finance and economy, western democracies intentionally creates the false impression that population, poverty level, culture, and religion does not matter in designing fiscal policies. It was based on this false opinion that Okonjo-Iweala spearheaded the subsidy removal battle against the Nigerian masses. This was what I wrote on my blog: “It must be noted that every society has its own peculiarities. As a result of this, what has worked in country A may not necessarily work in country B. Africans wearing “western eyes” will never realize this fact even though it is profusely clear. For instance, the governor of Nigeria’s Central, Lamido Sanusi and Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala are all bitterly agitating for the removal of fuel subsidy simply because same has worked elsewhere in America and Europe. Since they are wearing “western eyes”, they have failed to realize that: (a) Unemployment figures are very low in America and Europe (b) An average American or European worker earn as much as $130 or N19,500 per day. With this kind of salary, Nigerians can afford to buy fuel even at N150 per liter.” ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria.
If after failing to win the confidence of her mentors, Okonjo-Iweala does not learn anything, repent, and jettison her World Bank “mentality”; President Goodluck Jonathan should waste no time to offload her. Industrialized western democracies have through her, succeeded in turning most Nigerian masses against the president owing to some non-aligning fiscal policies she introduced. We must not forget the fact that one of the veiled aims of the IMF and World Bank is to prescribe fiscal policies that will pitch the masses against governments of developing countries. This is to create crisis and give little or no room for political leaders to build their national economies and secure economic independence. Western nations are afraid that Africa securing economic independence will mean lesser exports and dwindling foreign exchange revenue. Is it not sad that Okonjo-Iweala suggested the removal of fuel subsidy as a sure way of fighting corruption in the nation’s oil sector? Is this how other countries fight corruption? Subsidy in itself is not a bad idea. Nations introduce subsidy to protect its citizens. As you read this, the EU subsidizes agriculture and fisheries and yet advice Nigerian government to withdraw fuel subsidy. This is not just ironic but suspicious. The fiscal policy of fuel subsidy removal is directly in conflict with the World Bank’s commitment to fighting poverty in developing countries. We are aware that the partial removal of fuel subsidy in January has expectedly jumped the prices of goods and services thereby weakening the purchasing power of a greater percentage of Nigerians. The direct consequence is increase in poverty level. Those that used N20,000 to meet the needs of their families now require about N40,000 or more to do same because the cost of transport, rent, food, education, and health care services have climbed up the ladder.
I have always maintained that just as there are many ways to kill a rat, there are also many ways to remove fuel subsidy. It is quite sad that Okonjo-Iweala preferred the option that will serve the parochial interest of her western mentors. We are no longer fools.
CEO, Nigeria Democracy Watchtower
2, Greenvilla-Customs Link Road
*Jonathan, Ndigbo And Structural Marginalization
It is disheartening that Igbo Political leaders and actors have kept pernicious mum over the issue of the structural disadvantage of the group in Nigeria, a situation that is affecting the ordinary citizens of the zone. Outside the governors and political office holders in the zone, the ordinary citizens of the South East are the greatest victims of the structural imbalance in Nigeria.
Since everything in Nigeria is shared on the basis of states and local Governments, the densely populated South East zone will continue to trail behind in all indices of development in Nigeria. Kano state alone has 44 local government areas, nearly what all South East states have. It is bizarre that political leaders in the zone are not doing enough to correct this imbalance now. They ought to be shouting, talking, protesting, and pushing for the rest of nation to listen to them. It is all about the future of the Youths and children of the zone. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria.
They are the ones that are not having the unfettered opportunity to be recruited in the army or security agents because of the restrictive quota system based on states and local governments. They are the ones affected by limited opportunities in the federal civil service, federal institutions, etc since all these are based on the number of states and local governments a zone has. With only five states and ninety seven local government areas, the South East is at the butt of everything in Nigeria despite a dense but unfairly assessed population.
The national political reform of recent time approved an extra state for the south east to bring it at par with other zones. Since then nothing has happened and when the zone renew their demands other zones that have been favoured all these while will also clamour for more states. Is that how we have a sense of fairness in Nigeria? Today there are policies that address the problems of the Youths of the Niger delta. We have the amnesty program, NDDC, Ministry of Niger Delta, etc. Now the federal government has begun the almajiri program for the youths of the north. There is also the nomadic education for the north. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Igboland (homeland of Ndigbo of Nigeria )
What is there for Igbo Youths who have borne the trauma of a distorted nation for long? What is there for our Youths that trade in all the streets of Nigeria? What is there for our Youths that criss-cross all parts of Nigeria in the nights with all the attendants risks when other Nigerians sleep? What is there for thousands of Igbo youths that are economic slaves in different parts of the world due to limited opportunity in Nigeria?
If a militant from the Niger Delta is now a pilot in South Africa, courtesy of the amnesty program why should a MASSOB activist not have the same opportunity to better their lives. This is food for thought to our selfish political leaders. JONATHAN GOODLUCK must address the structural problem affecting Ndigbo now. He is in a better position and have the moral ground to do it . If he does not, who, except an Igbo can do it. THE TIME IS NOW
Political And Social Analyst
*How Babangida, Abacha, Obasanjo Shared Nigeria's Oil Wells
The process of sharing Nigeria’s oil block national cake is as fraudulent now as when Ibrahim Babangida started the process of discretionary allocation of oil blocks to indigenous firms. Discretionary allocation of oil blocks entails that a president can reward a mistress who performs wonderfully with an oil block with capacity for cumulative yield of over $20 billion dollars without recourse to any process outside of manhood attachments. Babangida, Abacha, Abdulsalami and Obasanjo awarded discretionary oil blocks to friends, associates, family members, party chieftains, security chiefs and all categories of bootlickers, spokespersons and cult members without any laid down procedures.
The recipients of such oil blocks will get funds from ever willing offshore financiers and partners to graciously settle the benefactors, the awarders, facilitators and the Commander-in-Chief through fronts. These settlements mostly paid into foreign accounts runs into hundreds of millions of dollars according to the potential yield of the block. Sometimes, the awarder (sharer of national cake and direct intermediaries) demand additional stakes in the bidding company. The awarder sends fronts as part of the directorship and management of the bidding firms without leaving a link to them. That is how the oil block national cake is distributed to a few Nigerians. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Nigerian Presidecies Fraud Alert Symbol
Signature bonuses which are paid when an investor successfully bids, wins and signs agreement with the petroleum ministry, running into tens of millions and sometimes hundreds of millions of naira ,is often waived off. There is actually no waiver; rather a diversion of what would have been paid to government t coffers is paid into private purse as appreciation gifts. That is why those in the Petroleum Ministry dread retirement as though it signifies going to hell fire. No matter how little your influence, something substantial must enter your hands especially in hard currency. The nation loses billions of dollars in diverted revenue whenever any round of auction occurs.
OML 110 with high yield OBE oil fields was given Cavendish Petroleum owned by Alhaji Mai Daribe, the Borno Patriarch in 1996 by Sanni Abacha. OBE oil field has estimated over 500 million barrels of oil. In layman’s language and using average benchmark of $100 dollars per barrel, translates to $50 billion dollars worth of oil reserve. When you remove the taxes, royalties and sundry duties worth about 60% of the reserve payable over time you get about $20billion dollars worth of oil in the hands of a family. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Late Sanni Abacha
OPL 246 was awarded to SAPETRO, a company owned by General Theophilus Danjuma, by Sanni Abacha in 1998. Akpo condensate exports about 300,000 barrels of crude daily.
OML 112 and OML 117 were awarded to AMNI International Petroleum Development Company owned by Colonel Sanni Bello in 1999. Sanni Bello is an inlaw to Abdulsalami Abubakar, former Head of State of Nigeria.
OML 115, OLDWOK Field and EBOK field was awarded to Alhaji Mohammed Indimi from Niger State. Indimi is an inlaw to former Military President Ibrahim Babangida.
OML 215 is operated by Nor East Petroleum Limited owned by Alhaji Saleh Mohammed Gambo.
OML 108 is operated by Express Petroleum Company Limited is owned by Alhaji Aminu Dantata.
OML II3 allocated to Yinka Folawiyo Pet Ltd is owned by Alhaji W.I. folawiyo.
ASUOKPU/UMUTU marginal oil fields is operated by Seplat Petroleum. Seplat is owned by Prince Nasiru Ado Bayero, cousin to the Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi. This oil field has the capacity of 300,000 barrels of oil daily. This translates to $30million dollars daily at average benchmark of $100 dollars per barrel. Deducting all sundry taxes, royalties etc , this field can yield $12billion dollars daily for the owners. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd.)
Intel owned by Atiku, Yarádua and Ado Bayero has substantial stakes in Nigeria’s oil exploration industry both in Nigeria and Principe and Sao Tome. AMNI owns two oil blocks OML 112 and OML 117 which it runs Afren plc and Vitol has substantial stakes in oil blocks. Afren plc is operating EBOK oil fields in OML 67. Vitol lifts 300,000 barrels of Nigerian oil daily. Rilwanu Lukman, former OPEC Chairman has stakes in all these named three companies.
OPL 245 was awarded to Malabu Oil& Gas Company by Sanni Abacha. Dan Etete, Abacha’s oil minister owns Malabu Oil. In 2000, Vice President Atiku Abubakar convinced Obasanjo to revoke
OPL 245 given to Malabu Oil. Etete had earlier rejected Atiku’s demand for substantial stakes in the high yield OPL 245 and it attracted the venom of Ota Majesty who revoked the licence. However, in 2006, Obasanjo had mercy on Dan Etete and gave him back his oil block worth over $20 billion dollars.
OPL 289 and OPL 233 was awarded during Obasanjo era to Peter Odili fronts, Cleanwater Consortium, consisting of Clenwater Refinery and RivGas Petroleum and Gas Company. Odili’s brother in law, Okey Ezenwa manages the consortium as Vice Chairman.
OPL 286 is managed by Focus Energy in partnership with BG Group, a British oil concern. Andy Uba has stakes in Focus Energy and his modus operandi is such that you can never see his name in any listings yet he controls OPL and OML through proxies.
OPL 291 was awarded to Starcrest Energy Nigeria Limited, owned by Emeka Offor by Obasanjo . Immediately after the award, Starcrest sold the oil block to Addax Petroleum Development Company Limited (ADDAX) Addax paid Sir Emeka Offor a farming fee of $35million dollars and still paid the signature bonus to the government. Emeka Offor still retains stake in ADDAX operations in Nigeria.
Mike Adenuga’s Conoil is the oldest indigenous oil exploration industry in Nigeria. Conoil has six oil blocks and exports above 200,000 barrels of crude daily. The oil block national cake sharing fiesta could take twists according to the mood of the Commander-in –Chief at the particular time. In 2006, Obasanjo revoked OPL 246 which Abacha gave to Danjuma because he refused to support the tenure elongation bid of the Ota Majesty. In 2000, Obasanjo had earlier revoked OPL 241 given to Dan Etete under the advice Atiku. However, when the Obasanjo-Atiku faceoff started, the Ota Majesty made a u-turn and handed back the oil block to Etete.
During the time of Late President Yarádua , a panel headed by Olusegun Ogunjana was set up to investigate the level of transparency in the award of oil blocks. The panel recommended that 25 oil blocks awarded by the Obasanjo be revoked because the manner they were obtained failed to meet the best practices in the industry. Sadiq Mahmood, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum endorsed the report to then president with all its recommendations. As a result of the report Yarádua revoked eleven oil blocks.
In April 2011 Mike Adenuga attempted to buy Shell’s OML 30 for $1.2 billion dollars. The Minister for Petroleum and Nigeria’s most powerful woman refused the sale of the OML30 to Adenuga citing national interest. This block was later sold to Heritage Oil for $800 million dollars eleven months later. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo
This oil block business is so lucrative that Danjuma’s Sapetro divested of its investment in Akpo condensate for $1billion dollars. This business is second to none in Nigeria. That is why any attempt to investigate the activities in this sector will always be futile. The money is so much that they give bribes in millions of dollars. A birthday gift or child naming gift from an oil block owner to a government official could be as paltry as $2million dollars, and if the official’s father died, the condolence gift could reach mere $3 million dollars. When they want to bribe legislators, it is in millions of dollars and any ongoing investigation ends within weeks. They are so confident that with excess money they can buy up Nigeria and they are succeeding In the name of competitive bidding, which Obasanjo introduced in 2005, Officials bring companies overnight and through processes best described as secretive and voodooist they award blocks to party faithful, fronts and phoney companies. They collect gratifications running into hundreds of millions of dollars which is paid into offshore account and the nation loses billions of dollars of revenue to private pockets.
During the third term agenda, Obasanjo was deceived that the allocation of oil block to party faithfuls is to fund the third term agenda. With the failure of the third term, the beneficiaries went home with their fortunes and thanked God or Allah for buttering their bread. Senator Andy Uba co ordinate the award of the last rounds of oil block by Obasanjo in 2005 and 2007. The then minister of petroleum, Edwin Daukoru was a mere errand boy who took instructions from the presidential aide.
The regime of President Goodluck is not showing any signs of changing the status quo. Controversies have trailed the activities of the Minister of Petroleum and many players in the Industry accuse her of demanding stakes from every oil deal. It is hoped that President Goodluck Jonathan will remember his transformational promise to Nigerians and endeavour to face the hawks in the oil industry. The angst in the air is so much that if this monster of illegal allocation of oil block is not addressed, the much touted revolution could begin all of a sudden and all who condoned this illegality at the expense of hungry Nigerians may have nowhere to hide.
The religious leaders should tell these oil block beneficiaries, awarders, fronts, brokers and all involved in short changing the Nigerian people to find means or returning all these back to the Nigerian people, through massive development projects. They should curtail their constant visits to Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem for prayers and attend to the poverty they spread in the land. They should build affordable secondary schools, universities, specialist hospitals, roads, silos, etc for the Nigerian people. They should fund talent development programmes and sponsor activities capable of alleviating poverty. The voice of impoverished Nigerians is crying daily and if care is not taken the God who delivered Nigeria from Abacha dark days will visit them with calamities untold. With the rot in this oil block awarding system and other loot all over the Nigerian nation, something worse than revolution may happen. Obinna Akukwe
*Nigeria: NAMA Bags Agency of The Year Award
By Lateef Lawal
The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency(NAMA) was on April 21, 2012 in Abuja, the Federal Capital, honoured with the –Agency of the Year-award.
The award was doled out to the Agency by a news medium, Nigerian News Direct during this year’s Man of the Year and Distinction Award night held at the Yar’Adua Center, Central Business District, Abuja.
The award was received on behalf of NAMA by its Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mazi(Eng.,) Nnamdi Udoh who was supported at the occasion by some of the senior management staff of the agency.
In giving the Award, the Editor-in-Chief of Nigerian News Direct, Mr Samuel Ibiyemi remarked in a brief profile of NAMA that in compliance with the objective of the organisation when it was set up twelve years ago to provide air navigation services and to ensure a safe, efficient, expeditious and economic flight operations "the Agency has set a vision of making the Nigerian Airspace rank among the SAFEST airspace in the African-Indian Ocean(AFI) region and indeed ,the world over". ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) Logo
Among the achievements of NAMA was the successful completion and deployment into operations the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria(TRACON) project which had hitherto suffered seven-stagnation and controversy. It was commissioned by the President, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan on October 17, 2010.
In addition, Ibiyemi noted that under the current leadership of Mazi Udoh, Nigeria’s bold attempt to migrate from terrestrial to satellite air navigation, otherwise known as Performance Based Navigation(PBN) received a boost recently when two foreign airlines test flew the new procedure with pilots successfully landing their aircraft at both Lagos and Kano airports.
With this development, the Managing Director of NAMA, Mazi Udoh was quoted as saying-"With the success recorded in our quest of moving from terrestrial to a satellite based air navigation system, Nigeria has joined the league of big countries that are already operating the ICAO endorsed air navigation programme." ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: An Airborne Plane
While responding to the award given to the Agency, Engineer Udoh said the conferment of the award to NAMA was significant and encouraging to all the staff of the Agency to put in their best in sustaining the feat already achieved and a challenge to improve more.
He remarked: "With this award given to NAMA, we have made a statement today that leadership is a collective responsibility and that everyone in NAMA has in one way or the other contributed to the honour bestowed on the Agency by coming together to ensure transformation of the Agency for better service delivery."
Mazi Udoh commended the management of Nigeria News Direct for the recognition and the award given to NAMA and assured that the Agency would not relent in its efforts to ensure sustenance of the current ratings of the Agency as the best in the sub-region and ranked among the best in the world today.
Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)
*Nigerian Newspapers Bombed By Islamic Terrorist Group
Eight people were killed Thursday night around 11:30 GMT when Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist group carried out coordinated attacks on two offices of Nigerian ThisDay Newspaper and two other papers. Three people were killed in the Abuja ThisDay office attack and five in Kaduna blasts. Witnesses, including ThisDay's Editorial Board Chairman said the attack in Abuja involved a suicide bomber in a jeep. A suicide bomber in a black Isuzu jeep according to witnesses forced his way through the back gate of ThisDay office and rammed his truck into the main building housing the printing press and other facilities. The whole place was ablaze as the bomb went off. Some sections of the newspaper building were completely destroyed. The impact of the blast also destroyed nearby commercial and residential buildings and caused panic and commotion at Jabi Motor Park which is directly opposite ThisDay building. Police and security forces cordoned off the area while paramedics and emergency workers evacuated the injured and removed bodies of the dead. Samson Oliver, a ThisDay employee was sleeping after a night shift when the blast occurred. Oliver told reporters: "When I woke up with shock and fear, I saw everywhere was so dark, something like smoke everywhere, and I ran out and saw that it was a bomb explosion." "The roof of the building was blown off, company and staff vehicles were also destroyed. I am certainly sure of the death of the two security men at the gate," a ThisDay reporter told newsmen. In contrast to accounts by witnesses, a spokesperson for Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency said the Abuja blast appeared to have been caused by a bomb planted inside the building.
The Kaduna attack was carried out outside a complex housing several newspapers. Media offices that were affected by the blast included ThisDay, Daily Sun and Moment newspapers. A smaller explosion was reported in the city shortly before 16:00 GMT, some distance from the newspapers building complex, which according to sources wounded two people. Witnesses told reporters an explosive device was thrown by a passenger on a motor bike at the junction of a highway. A man suspected to be a member of Boko Haram has been arrested in connection with the blasts and is still being interrogated at the time of this report. Hardest hit was ThisDay whose office in Jabi, Abuja, was almost brought down by the impact of the blast. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: People gather to view ThisDay Newspaper Jabi - Abuja office building heavily damaged by Boko Haram suicide bomb attack.
Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the newspaper offices bombing. The group in a statement published on Premium Times, a news website claimed the media was not reporting them accurately. It said that Boko Haram attacked ThisDay to send a strong message to the media that it would no longer condone reports misrepresenting her or blaming her for acts she knows nothing about. Abul Qaqa, spokesperson for the group told Premium Times in an exclusive interview that Boko Haram was fed up with the deliberate misinformation about her both in Nigerian and foreign news media. "The media in Nigeria are not a problem to us if they do their jobs professionally without taking sides," Abul Qaqa said, adding that each time they say something, it was either changed or downplayed. "But when our enemy says something even without logical proof, it is blown out of proportion. We have repeatedly cautioned reporters and media houses to be professional and objective in their reports. This is a war between us and the Government of Nigeria; unfortunately the media have not been objective and fair in their report of the ongoing war, they chose to take sides," Qaqa added. He identified three instances he claimed his group was deliberately misrepresented by the press. The first was the rumour of his capture by Nigerian intelligence agencies. “Some reporters are aware that I am Abul Qaqa, they know my voice through our long interactions and they also know the role of Abu Darda who heads the enlightenment committee and sometimes facilitates interviews; yet they (media) go by the unsubstantiated view of government that Abul Qaqa is in custody and I am the new spokesman or number two,” he said.
The second media misrepresentation according to Qaqa was the report on the kidnappings of foreigners in Northern Nigeria. He said: “Another issue was the recent kidnappings in the north; we were clear with our position as a group during a teleconference with reporters but we were shocked the next day when newspaper headlines added a lot of things which I never said during that interview.” The third misrepresentation according to him was the mistranslation of the video the group posted recently on YouTube. “Another example is the recent video posted on YouTube by our Imam; I challenge every Nigerian to watch that video again. There is no place our imam either said he will crush President Jonathan or issued an ultimatum to the government in Nigeria; but nearly all papers carried very wrong and mischievous headlines,” he said to support the assertion. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: A victim of the attack
When asked why ThisDay was primarily targeted, Qaqa said ThisDay’s sins were more grievous. “It is not only THISDAY that has been engaged in negative media campaign, fictional stories and constantly promoting fake stories by the JTF to give an impression that they are making headway against us yet there is no time the media investigated further as an objective and responsible bystander in this war. They once insulted the Prophet Mohammed in 2001 and we have not forgotten. They recently said our Imam executed me which is false. Here I am speaking to you, I am alive and healthy. The sins of THISDAY are more,” he said. He warned of more attacks on media. "We have just started this new campaign against the media and we will not stop here, we will hit the media hard since they have refused to listen to our plea for them to be fair in their reportage," Qaqa warned. Last month the group issued stern warning to Nigerian journalists not to misrepresent its views.
Boko Haram whose name in Hausa language means "western education is sinful" is modeled after Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. It wants to impose sharia law across Nigeria through terror attacks in drawing attention to their demands. Human Rights Watch says over 1000 people have been killed since Boko Haram began its terror campaign in July 2009, including over 250 so far in January this year. Boko Haram casualties are from diverse attacks on churches, government buildings, police stations and other targets, including drive-by shootings. Many have fled the north from these attacks. The recent attacks, approximately a year after Osama bin Laden was killed by US Navy SEALs in Pakistan, were a bloody reminder of Al-Qaeda's growing "Africanization". Boko Haram of Nigeria, al-Shabaab of Somalia, Ansar Dine of Mali and similar Islamic African groups fly Al-Qaeda flag but autonomous from her. They receive little or no direct support from Al-Qaeda, but motivated by its idealogy. Boko Haram draws support from segments of Muslim northern Nigeria who see the current Nigerian administration as a Christian government. Some of their fighters are recruited from Muslim North African countries.
Boko Haram has announced its official name to be Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Liddaáwati wal-Jihad which in English means People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad.
*Press Release: The Amnesty Office Is Not A Security Outfit
Following the growing penchant for some persons to pick on the Presidential Amnesty Programme over occasional security breaches in the Niger Delta, the Amnesty Office wishes to reiterate once again that the Amnesty Office is not a security agency and that the mandate of the Presidential Amnesty Programme does not include curbing crime or enforcing laws in the Niger Delta.
Yes, it is true that the Presidential Amnesty Programme has aided the stabilization of security conditions in the Niger Delta by successfully overseeing the disarmament, demobilization and currently reintegrating the entire 26,358 Niger Delta ex-agitators who accepted the offer of amnesty and enlisted in the Amnesty Programme in two phases; however the Amnesty Office has neither the powers, competences or wherewithal to stop any person who willfully decides to commit crime in the Niger Delta. The Amnesty Office neither has guns nor ammunitions; thus cannot physically combat willful crime or criminality in the Niger Delta. The very critical role of enforcing extant laws that deal will crime in the Niger Delta and other parts of the country is constitutionally vested on the Nigeria Police, the State Security Services and of course the Armed Forces as currently represented in the states in the Niger Delta by the Joint Military Task Force (which now goes by the name Operation Pulo Shield).
The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and the Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Hon. Kingsley Kuku once again affirms his confidence in the ability of the gallant officers and men of the JTF to protect vital oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta and also to deal decisively with person or persons who for any reason or reasons attempts to attack oil facilities or generally attempt to breach the peace in the zone.
For emphasis, it must be clarified for the umpteenth time that pursuant to its mandate, the Amnesty Office, aided by gallant officers and Men of our Armed forces pursued a very successful disarmament campaign and huge cache of arms and ammunitions were submitted by the ex-agitators prior to their being admitted into the post-amnesty Programme. Disarmament was concluded in December 2009 but the arms and ammunitions collected were stored at the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army in Enugu and in compliance with extant DDR codes as spelt out by the United Nations, these arms and Ammunitions were on May 25 2011 completely destroyed by the Nigerian Army in Lokpanta, a boundary town in Enugu State, under the watch of the Amnesty Office. With the destruction of the arms and ammunitions, the Presidential Amnesty Programme exited its Disarmament component. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Seal of The President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is the official symbol of the Nigerian President, first used in 1979 by President Shehu Shagari.
Similarly, the Amnesty Office has successfully pursued and completed the Demobilisation of the entire 26,358 Niger Delta ex-agitators enrolled in the two phases of the Programme. The Demobilisation exercise which was carried out in two camps: Obubra in Cross River State and Akodo in Lagos State entailed biometric documentation, wellness check, nonviolence transformational training, series of counseling and career classification for the ex-agitators. In December 2011, the Amnesty Office completed and exited the Demobilisation component of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
With the completion of the full demobilisation of the 26,358 ex-combatants enrolled in the first and second phases of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, our great nation entered history books as one of the few countries in the world that achieved a successful closure to the Disarmament and Demobilisation phases of its DDR Programme. True, virtually all the 24 United Nations-piloted DDR interventions in Africa since 1992 are still battling to achieve full Demobilisation even with huge financial and technical assistance from the United Nations and several other international partners. Some of the nations still battling to exit the Demobilisation phase of their DDR Programmes include Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Given the successes of the DDR Programmes in Nigeria and Burundi, there is currently a global push to transfer all such programmes from the United Nations and other international agencies to national governments just like is currently the case in Nigeria.
Perhaps the most critical other component of the Amnesty Programme is the Reintegration of the ex-agitators. That is exactly where we are today. Following the completion of their non-violence training and career classification in camp, the Amnesty Office has successfully placed a total of 10,395 former Niger Delta agitators in skills acquisition/training centres as well as in formal education within the country and offshore. Similarly, about 12,067 transformed ex-combatants are currently being processed preparatory to their deployment to reintegration centres to pursue either formal education or vocational training in the 2012 fiscal year. Several of these trainees have graduated and a number of them have secured gainful employment. The Amnesty Office is also collaborating with key governmental institutions to aid the self-employment of many of the graduates.
Hon. Kuku also seeks to stress once again that the fact that several former agitators in the Niger Delta accepted the offer of Amnesty does not in any way mean that the region no longer has aggrieved persons. But he insists that all aggrieved persons any where in Nigeria should seek and embrace nonviolent and peaceful ways to express themselves, especially given that the Federal Government under His Excellency, President Goodluck Jonathan GCFR, has clearly shown that it has the capacity to listen and act in the greater good of the citizenry.
Flowing from the above, it is abundantly clear that the Amnesty Office has been discharging to the best of its abilities, the responsibilities and mandate assigned to it and as enshrined in the Amnesty Proclamation. Indeed if the Amnesty Office was charged with security duties, perhaps we would have pursued it doggedly and surely profound results would have been achieved by now.
Beyond the fact that Amnesty Office is not charged security duties, it must be made clear that aspects of the Amnesty Proclamation that deals with the development of critical infrastructures in the Niger Delta is domiciled in the Ministry of the Niger Delta while the Petroleum equity component is domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Petroleum. For example, the Amnesty Office is aware that a number of the ex-agitators have secured pipeline protection and surveillance jobs from the Ministry of Petroleum. Details of this can only be sourced from the Ministry of Petroleum since Amnesty office is not involved at all.
As the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Hon. Kingsley Kuku is on a daily basis in touch with leaders and stakeholders in the Niger Delta. These leaders and stakeholders are clearly of the view that the Amnesty Programme is making the desired impact in the zone. Indeed they are also of the view that the humble efforts of the Amnesty Office have helped to save the economy of our dear country from imminent collapse. Like most discerning Nigerians are now aware, the key objective of the Presidential Amnesty Programme is to stabilise, consolidate and sustain security conditions in the Niger Delta as pre-requisite for promoting economic development in the zone, which we all know is the nation’s oil and gas base. I make bold to assert that the target of restoring peace, safety and security in the Niger Delta using the instrumentalities of the Amnesty Programme, has been reasonably met; and as a result, the nation’s economy has rebounded. From a production level of a paltry 700,000 barrels of crude oil per day as at first week of January 2009, the relative peace that now prevails in the Niger Delta has aided the remarkable growth of Nigeria’s oil production to between 2.6 million barrels per day as at today.
To further underscore the fact that the proclamation of amnesty for former agitators in the Niger Delta as well as the successful management of the post-amnesty Programme saved the economy of our great nation from a looming collapse, kindly note that with Nigeria producing as at today 2.6 million barrels of crude oil per day as against the abysmally low 700,000 barrels per day at the peak of the Niger Delta crisis in January 2009, the Amnesty Programme is currently making production savings of 1.9 million barrels per day for our beloved country. If these savings are computed with prevailing exchange rate of N160 to $1, daily production savings for Nigeria and its Joint Venture (JV) partners currently stands at N33.4 Billion per day. If this sum is broken down further especially given that oil production in Nigeria hovered between 2.4 and 2.6 barrels for all of 2011, it would be discovered that savings for Nigeria and its JV partners for year ending 2011 is estimated to be a whopping N6 trillion!
Head, Media and Communication
Presidential Amnesty Office
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