*Like The Old Tower Of Babel, Nigeria Is Falling!
By Ikechukwu Enyiagu
Whenever one hears of “The tower of Babel,” one remembers Nimrod, “the rebel” against God. It also reminds one of Babylon, one of his centers of rule, before King Nebuchadnezzar almost turned it into a horizontal Babel. Of course, everyone who studies history, especially those of Zion (who do not only study, but take it to life), are not strangers to Nimrod and his futile dream of linking his kingdom to heaven through the staircase of his Babel tower; we also know the end of that pride of the flesh and the message it sent across to generations even unborn. Nimrod was the grandson of Ham and the great-grandson of Noah, the man who alone, carrying his believing family of eight along, surrendered to God’s will. And he was saved, him and his household. But as time flew, pride of self overtook the fearfulness and the love of God which was once their hold; Nimrod rallied the people against his God. And God brought his futile mission to nothing.
One now wonders how the infamous Tower of Babel and Nigeria correlate; others ponder on who takes the seat of that hunter of old, Nimrod, in the Nigerian setup. Wait! Before you burst your bubbles, let me explain, not only why Nigeria is the ongoing Tower of Babel of today’s world, but also why it’s already crumbling. Going through the story of Babel, you will note one thing: that God did not destroy the vision for that building because they had one mind and one voice; no, He destroyed it because they had one mind and one voice against Him- one mind to live in rebellion and one voice to stand in perpetual opposition to the word of God. And so, they planned on invading his throne and challenging His truths just like that old serpent did against Him before Eve. But how did God destroy that plan; simply by turning the understanding of one for the other upside-down. He made them utter strangers to each other and to their very selves. The Tower of Babel which Nigeria is building is the compelling of everyone under that name- the establishing of a strange generation of Nigerians. And how is that so; by erecting a society of corruption, crime and depravity. Nigeria, even when it has always been known as an epitome of falsehood, deception and the enslavement of souls, was not what it is today…and counting. Just as the old Nimrod knew very well the wise choice of his great-grandfather, Noah, but went ahead, not only to oppose his foundation but God Himself, even so our so-called founding fathers were informed enough to know that Nigeria was an impossibility, yet they went ahead and did all they could to preserve it- including by sacrificing the blood of the Igbo on the alter of Nigeria’s rebellion against God. And as times come and become history, evil replaces another. Today, Nigeria’s lingua franca has become not the mighty English, but corruption, crime and depravity. From the Federal government to the local councils, from the religious bodies to the custodians of traditions, from schools to markets, from the forces to the hospitals, and from the families to the society at large, the language is a trinity of opposition to God: corruption, crime and depravity. It’s increasingly becoming a badge of honor, a mark of the Antichrist, on Nigerians- that, without corruption, crime and depravity, you can’t possibly survive as a Nigerian. Gradually and with lesser resistance from the people (as a result of the chains of the federal government on the citizenry), everyone is doing everything to understand this very “language of the new Nigeria.” God frowns at it, He frowns at every rebellion. He frowned at Lucifer, the very spirit of rebellion, and laid eternal curse of him. He frowned at the rebellion of Nimrod and his people, and made nonsense of their unity. This day, He is frowning at Nigeria and her unity in corruption, crime and depravity. As long as He is God forever, no flesh shall glory over Him. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map and Flag of Nigeria
And dealing with Nimrod, “the rebel” and “the hunter” in Nigeria’s case, you can easily see our politicians bearing the same name and the same goal: “Nimrod and the Tower of Babel.” The impossibility of a continued Nigeria has remained protruding before their very eyes, yet they choose to unite it against all odds- even if it becomes the kingdom of the Antichrist. God forbid! May God alone be true and everyone else false. What He says, He will do; and as long as He remains God and on His throne, the knowledge of the glory of the LORD shall fill the earth as the waters cover the sea. Everyone must bow at the feet of Christ and confess His Lordship over all of creation. Even after many protests against the amalgamation of the North and the South of what is today called Nigeria, and the British-introduced electoral fraud which informed the coup, Nigeria’s leaders thought it the wisest thing to sacrifice the blood of the Igbo, everywhere they were seen, before the god all falsehood- the very god of Nigeria’s foundation and sovereignty. They suddenly remembered Mesha, king of Moab, and what he did with his eldest son (who should have reigned after him) when they were being defeated by the Israelites; and they sacrificed the Igbo on the alter of their god of falsehood and rebellion so they could keep the said country united against all truths. In their lifetime error, they made mockery of the blood of Jesus Christ and the efficacy and permanency of His atonement on our behalf. They would rather keep Nigeria united than not crucify Christ over again. So, God placed a curse on Nigeria. Yet the leaders would not listen. A curse was also placed on the nations which support and hold firm satan’s grip on those living within Nigeria; they were given over to depravity and all unthinkable abominations. Their men lust after other men and their women after other women; some fathers even lust after their daughters and sons, and mothers sleep with their sons, yet, to them, it’s alright and acceptable…because the curse on the accuser of the brethren follows those who obey him. It was so because a time of the great harvest and recompense is approaching. Nigeria’s leaders, He allowed in their folly. But this day, as they have unanimously been insisting on a continued Nigeria (even when they know that vision as an utter impossibility and a gross opposition and rebellion against the God of all flesh), He will strike again. First, He will strike the Nigerian society with total confusion, lack of understanding of each other, and lack of patience for everything Nigeria. Then He will strike those leaders who have assumed gods over a people whose true God lives in the abode of excellence and righteousness. He will strike them with the force of His anger that none of them will know what hits him. From the presidency, through the senate, house of rep, the judiciary, to the labor unions, everyone will misunderstand the other and grow impatient with the prevailing confusion. And the evil “Project Nigeria- the Tower of Babel” will cease. Then, after that, one language will be introduced. For the sake of the very elect, the language of disintegration will become the common mode of communication. And the chants of “break up, break up!” will fill the atmosphere. Then the Lord will take the center stage, and through peaceful separation, give us a new law- the law of love, faith and faithfulness. Because God still loves the world, His light shall come up again from the land of Africa, and reach the whole earth.
To those still bound in the spirit by citizenship to Nigeria, no matter your height or position, begin to set yourself loose in the spirit. Break yourself free from the language of corruption, crime and depravity so that you may not be caught up by with the fate of those who have led those leaving within what is still called Nigeria against the direction of God’s Spirit. Stand alone from the crowd; stand out today and echo the voice of Nigerians’ salvation: “break up, break up!” Until Nigeria breaks, it will not be gathered. Nigeria, the new Tower of Babel, is already falling. No man should be ignorant in the times of great light. Him that has ears let him hear.
Ikechukwu Enyiagu can be reached at
*How Corrupt Nigeria Police Illegally Enriched The Force With Over N53.48b ($336.5m ) From Roadblock Extortion
By Intersociety, Nigeria
63rd Anniversary Of The World Human Rights Day - 2011 UDHR
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law, Nigeria
With A Report (2) On:
Police Corruption As Human Rights Abuse: How Corrupt Nigeria Police Personnel Illegally Enriched The Force With Over N53.48Billion ($336.5 Million) Arising From Roadblock Extortion In Three Years 2009-2011
For Immediate Release: Onitsha-Nigeria, 11th December 2011
In 2001, this writer who was the Anambra State Branch Chairman of the Nigeria’s Civil Liberties Organization (formed in 1987), introduced an advocacy against Police roadblocks and extortions in Anambra State. The reports on the subject matter featured prominently in his leadership activities until September 2007 when he relinquished his Chairmanship of the CLO to Comrade Aloysius Attah. In 2009, he re-introduced the advocacy in the Intersociety. Until recently when the survey was extended to the Southeast Nigeria, Anambra State had been used as a case study.
In 2009, an internationally respected rights watchdog, the Human Rights Watch of USA (formerly Helsinki Watch formed in 1978) indicated interest in investigating “Police Corruption in Nigeria as a major factor sustaining the culture of criminal killings and impunity among the personnel of the Force”. The HRW Researcher for Nigeria, Mr. Eric Guttschuss made a trip to Nigeria and visited Anambra State, where he was aided in his investigation by Intersociety. In the HRW’s investigation, Anambra State particularly Onitsha was chosen as a case study as well as few other Nigerian cities. In May 2010, we commenced an investigation into the activities of Police personnel, especially the Mobile Police Personnel on the Southeast roads, including Anambra State.
In the course of our investigation, using traditional principles of investigation such as eye witnesses’ accounts, on-the-spot accounts, commonsense calculations, etc, we discovered, chillingly, that there were over 1,350 roadblocks on Southeast roads including those leading into and out of the zone. We also discovered that the major “business” of most, if not all the Police personnel manning the said roadblocks is sundry extortion of commercial and private vehicle, tricycle and motorcycle operators and owners as well as other road users, especially those carrying wares and personal belongings.
On 27th July 2010, we released a statement stating in details how Police personnel in the Southeast zone smiled to the banks illegally with N9.35 Billion (over $60 Million) arising from roadblock extortion in eighteen months (January 2009 to June 2010). On 18th August 2010, the leadership of Human Rights Watch, Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN), Access to Justice and Intersociety addressed an International Press Conference in Lagos, coordinated by the Human Rights Watch, with a report, titled: “Everyone’s In On The Game”, Corruption and Human Rights by the Nigeria Police Force, authored by the HRW. It gladdens our heart to say that we provided statistics including pictures that coloured the report through our two public statements dated 18th August 2010 and 26th August 2010, which were titled: “In Solidarity With Human Rights Watch (USA)” and “Re-Corruption In The Nigeria Police Force: Putting The Records Straight”.
The findings arising from our investigations in Anambra State and the Southeast zone in addition to other social variables were used in estimating that in eighteen months, that is to say, January 2009 to June 2010, the Nigeria Police Force illegally raked in N20.5 Billion ($133.5Million) from roadblocks nationwide.
Re-visiting The Issue:
Today, a critical look at the number of roadblocks by the personnel of the Nigeria Police Force and their patterns of extortion on Nigerian roads particularly in the Southeast zone shows that the situation is getting worse. These graft practices have become worst under Alhaji Hafiz Abubakar Ringim’s as Inspector General of Police (IGP), who was the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in-charge of the Southeast’s Zone 9 when the reports were issued in August 2010.
Our further checks since then show that other than September 2010, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has retained similar number of roadblocks in Anambra State and the States in the Southeast. September 2010 was probably the “roadblock and road extortion free period” for the people of the Southeast zone as a result of an order for “immediate dismantling of roadblocks” in the zone issued by the former IGP, Mr. Ogbonnaya Onovo, arising from public outcries from our reports of July/August 2010, which was greeted with several threats by those Police road blockers that the roads would be flooded with an army of “armed robbers”.
It is entirely correct to say that the best way to ascertain how serious or otherwise the Nigerian governing authorities are in anti-corruption crusade is it to look at the activities of the Nigeria Police personnel on the roads. Perhaps, the CSO to the President and ADCs to the former and present EFCC bosses have their “boys” on the roads, yet they said they are fighting corruption. Before our recent re-investigation of the menace of roadblocks on Nigerian roads, particularly Anambra and Southeast roads, the number of police roadblocks was still estimated at over 1,350 with Anambra State alone accounting for over 350 of them. But as of September, October and November 2011, when we went back to re-investigate the number of roadblocks and their patterns of extortion; the number had increased to over 400 in Anambra State and over 1.500 in the Southeast zone.
Roadblock Extortion As Part Of Blue-collar Criminality:
According to the Department of Criminology & Security Studies of the National Open University of Nigeria and the 2009 edition of the Black’s Law Dictionary, “blue-collar crime is regarded as any crime committed by any individual from a lower social class, as opposed to white-collar crime committed by an individual of higher social class. An example of a blue-collar criminal is a police officer that demands and collects bribes at a Police checkpoint or roadblock. On the other hand, it is bribery when one other than a public official corruptly takes the initiative and offers what he or she knows is not an authorized fee to a public official; and it is extortion when a public official corruptly makes an unlawful demand which is paid by one who does not realize it is not the fee authorized for the services rendered”.
The roadblock extortion is the easiest and most lucrative means of corrupt enrichment by the personnel of the Nigeria Police Force ranging from Police constables to Police Inspector General. This illegality has been so entrenched in the Force that it may be correct to say that every senior Police officer from the rank of Deputy Superintendent (DSP) to IGP is linked to the “Nigerian roadblock extortion culture”. It is well patterned; it starts from a Police road blocker or a team of Police road blockers usually three to five in number, who directly extort commercial vehicle, motorcycle and tricycle operators and indirectly extort private vehicle, motorcycle and tricycle owners and other road users traveling with their wares and personal belongings by crookedly enquiring into their vehicular papers and proprieties of their wares and personal effects. These extortionists usually station some people in mufti who “offload” money collected usually in N20.00 and N50.00 notes for safe keeping till end of the graft exercise when it is shared accordingly.
In sharing the graft proceeds, the “boys on the road”, “unofficially” corner half of its total and present the remainder, which is shared according to the dictates of the “Police-return-culture”, which takes the following shapes: the road team leader returns to the general team leader, who returns to the Mobile Police Squadron Commander or the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in-charge of the Police Division or Station where they are attached. The DPO collects from all his or her field squads and returns to his or her Area Commander; the Area Commander collects from his other DPOs and his or her field squads and returns to the Commissioner of Police through ACP for Operations; the CP collects from his or her ACPs and other formations and returns to the Assistant Inspector General in-charge of his or her zone, who collects from his or her CPs and other extortionist formations and returns to his or her DIG, who finally returns to his or her IGP. The IGP, in turn, reaches out to his or her “boys” (within the Force) and “men” outside the Force usually those manning oversight agencies, in the form of “cut” for his or her “boys” and “kola” for his or her men. This is done routinely, in return for protection and security of office.
According to Wikipedia Internet Encyclopedia-2011, “there are 371,800 sworn Police officers in Nigeria”. As of 2008, according to the TELL Magazine of 30th August 2010, at page 48, other than the Force Headquarters in Abuja, “there were 12 Zonal Commands of the Nigeria Police Force headed by 12 AIGs, 37 State Commands and FCT, headed by 37 Commissioners of Police, 127 Area Commands headed by 127 ACPs, 1,129 Police Divisions headed by 1,129 DPOs, 1,579 Police Stations, 2,165 Police Posts and 1,591 Village Police Posts in Nigeria. There were also one IGP, six DIGs, 20 AIGs, 99 Commissioners of Police, 141 Deputy Commissioners, 355 Assistant Commissioners, 1,407 Chief Superintendents, 1,498 Superintendents, 3,875 Deputy Superintendents, 13,221 Assistant Superintendents, 28,175 Inspectors, 42,975 Sergeants, 41,795 Corporals and 178,107 Constables” in the Nigeria Police Force bringing the total to 311,675 police officers and 6,651 field police formations in Nigeria as of 2008. As of March 2011, according to the Policy & Legal Advocacy Centre‘s Laws & Facts Guiding Nigeria’s Election 2011, there were “one IGP, seven DIGs, 21 AIGs and over seventy CPs in the Nigeria Police Force”. Also, according to Retired DIG Parry Osayande, Chairman, Nigeria’s Police Service Commission, “there were 377,000 police personnel in the NPF as of January 2009”. These varying figures clearly depict absence of sound database and e-policing in the NPF.
There are 3,500 kilometers of railways in Nigeria manned by the Nigeria Police Force through its Railway Police, 8,600 kilometers of inland waterways manned by Marine Police or Nigerian Port Authority Police of the NPF; and 22 airports manned by Airport Police of the NPF. In these places, various forms of extortion are going on including at the border posts.
There are also four trans-national highways in Nigeria. It may be correct to say that most, if not all Police officers in Nigeria particularly those in the command structure ranging from Assistant Superintendents of Police to Inspector General of Police are by far, living above their statutory earnings owing to bloody proceeds arising from graft practices. Out of the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria, Southeast is the most lucrative for graft Police jobs, followed by South-south, Southwest, North-central, Northwest and Northeast.
An average Police officer considers posting to any State in the North as “a curse” or “punishment” and posting to the Southeast zone as “a national merit award” because of its potentials to enrich him or her in a twinkle of an eye through graft practices. It appears that there exists a cabal in the NPF that ensures movement of Police officers to the Southeast zone under dubious circumstances. It is a routine for a Police officer to “work” for his or her transfer to the Southeast zone. It is even considered as a punishment culture in the NPF to post “erring” Police officers out of the Southeast zone usually to the North. The foregoing are some of the patterns that have sustained graft practices in the NPF till date.
Extortion & Its Proceeds:
There are various ways through which Nigeria Police officers engage in extortion. Various forms of extortion also abound, which include “wetin you carry”, illegal pre-detention and post detention bail fees, extortion at the point of arrest, extortion arising from mass arrest or “from where to where extortion”, extortion arising from crooked enquiries into vehicular papers, election-related bribes and extortion, and roadblock extortion. Among these, roadblock extortion is the most common and lucrative. As of 2004, N10.00 was used by the NPF as roadblock extortion benchmark in Nigeria especially in the Southeast part. By 2005, it increased to N20.00 and as at present, it has increased to N40.00/N50.00 on average per trip. The N40.00/N50.00 is basic because payment depends on the type of commercial vehicle and Police squad on the road. For instance, for the Federal Highway Police, it is N200.00 up to N5,000.00 depending on the “offence”. For the red-capped Anti-Terrorism Police squads, it is N50.00 upwards for every commercial bus, tricycle and motorcycle. For each commercial motorcycle carrying goods to motor parks, it is N50.00/N100.00 per roadblock. The general duty Police officers or those in black uniforms collect N20.00/ N40.00 toll and N1,000.00 and above from vehicle users accused of “incomplete papers”.
The Okada Law of 2009 passed by the Anambra State House of Assembly, limiting Okada (commercial motorcycle) operation to 7pm has been twisted by the State Police Command and the over 1,000 vigilante groups in the State, in the form of “curfew”. The private motorcycle and tricycle owners as well as pedestrians exempted by the Law are routinely targeted, arrested and extorted. For every private motorcycle impounded, it is N5, 000.00 and for every pedestrian arrested, it is also N5,000 while commercial motorcycles and tricycles owned by Soldiers, Police officers, Vigilante operatives and their friends are allowed to operate during the legally forbidden hours. Not even a single defaulter has been taken to Court for prosecution for violating the said law; instead, it has become an avenue for corrupt enrichment.
From January 2009 to June 2010, a period of 18 months, the number of the roadblocks on the Southeast roads was estimated at over 1,350, from which the police personnel in the zone illegally realized an estimated sum of N9.35 Billion from N20.00 roadblock extortion.
The sum of N3.3 Billion was reportedly realized in Anambra State from the graft practices between June 1999 and December 2008. As of June 2009, the reported number of roadblocks was put at over 150 in the State. They increased to 300 in December 2009 and 350 as of June 2010, yielding about N2.880 Billion in 18 months. In course of our field investigations, we counted 300 roadblocks on Anambra roads and 1000 on Southeast roads in April 2010, with Abia and Anambra States accounting for over 750 roadblocks, followed by Imo State with 250 roadblocks, Enugu State 200 road-blocks, and Ebonyi State 150 road-blocks, all amounting to over 1,350 roadblocks in the zone. Using the findings obtained in the Southeast zone, in addition to other social variables, we estimated that N20.5 Billion was illegally realized from the six geopolitical zones of Southeast – N9.35 Billion; South-south - N4 Billion, South-West - N4 Billion; North-Central – N1 Billion; North-West - N500 Million; and North-East - N500 Million.
We had in our research in 2010 established that different social variables abound in the five States of the Southeast as well as other geopolitical zones in terms of their potentials for roadblock extortions. For instance, Anambra and Abia States are core blue-collar societies that are very prone to roadblocks and extortions. Imo State, which borders them, is relatively blue-collar, but Enugu and Ebonyi States are relatively white-collar societies or “civil service” States. These have an impact on the number of roadblocks and patterns of extortion. Coupled with suppressive policies of the Southeast’s partners in the Nigerian project against the zone, arising from the 1967 -1970 Civil War, the Southeast has become a “Police zone” and “center of Police corruption in Nigeria”.
In 2010, from our work, we gathered that in Anambra, Abia and Imo States, an average of N20,000 is returned daily from each roadblock, while N10,000.00 is returned in Enugu and Ebonyi States because of their “civil service” status. A benchmark of N20.00 per ‘extortee’ was used in the five States. In some cases, as much as N60,000 is returned per roadblock, while in rare cases as low as N5,000 is returned. In this report, we have discarded the benchmark of N20.00 just as most of the extortionist Police officers have graduated to N40.00/N50.00 benchmark. It is often said that it is better to under-estimate than to over-estimate. We have adopted N40.00 for the Southern part of Nigeria including Southeast zone and N20.00 for the Northern part including North-central.
Accounts By Some Victims:
Mr. Chike Odoh is an Onitsha based commercial bus driver that engages in “town service”, plying Niger Bridge-head end of Onitsha - Enugu dual carriageway to the Old Toll Gate end of the road at Umunya, Anambra State that is about 12 kilometers. He told Intersociety that before now, he used to charge N40.00 per passenger for a trip with 10 passengers but because of increasing extortions at the Police road blocks, which are about six for less than 12 kilometers journey, he now carries 14 passengers and charges N70.00 for each trip. He makes N980.00 from a trip and spends N300.00 on Police extortion alone. He said he covers about 14 trips daily and spends N4,200 on Police extortion out of less than N14,000.00 and that each trip costs him five liters of fuel at N325.00. When money spent on fuel and Police extortion is deducted, in addition to “agboro fee”, Mr. Odoh says he is left with less than N5,000.00 per day.
Mr. Ozoemena Okoro is an Onitsha Okada rider, who ferries goods to Upper Iweka motor parks from Bridgehead market. He told Intersociety that before now he charged N200.00 for five cartons of engineering tools per trip, but because of four Police road-blocks on Port Harcourt Road, Fegge, Onitsha, who collect N50.00 per trip, he now charges N400.00 per trip. He said that on a good day, he records 15 trips worth N6,000.00 and spends N3,000.00 on Police extortion. Similar situations are obtained in other parts of Anambra State, which has over 200 markets and Abia State as well.
Translating The Findings Into Statistics:
Judging from the foregoing, the basic daily return of N20, 000 per roadblock may have been unarguably established. But because of the increases in the sundry extortion sums, this basic daily return of N20,000 has become unrealistic particularly in Anambra, Abia and Imo States. Our calculation is that if at N20.00 toll, an average police extortionist squad goes home with N20,000 per day, then at N40.00/N50.00 toll, which they now collect, the daily return will automatically change to N40,000 per day on average. Our arriving at N20,000/N40,000 daily return per roadblock was as a result of pieces of information we gathered from various police stations in the Southeast zone as well as police stations in Benin, Edo State, Okene in Kogi State and Abeokuta in Ogun State. They all chose not to be named. Our calculation was also authenticated by some roads users interviewed particularly the commercial vehicle drivers.
Therefore, the realistic basic daily return now is N40,000 for the three States, N20,000 for Enugu and Ebonyi States as well as N20,000 for South-south and South-west zones, and N5,000.00 for North-West, North-East and North-central zones. In the course of our research in the Northern part recently; we discovered that Police roadblocks and extortion are concentrated on Federal roads and few State and City roads. In the FCT (Abuja), for instance, roadblocks and extortion are almost absent in the towns of the FCT, but visible on Abuja - Suleja and Lokoja - Abuja federal roads. But in the Southern part, particularly the Southeast, which is also highly commercialized, urbanized and densely populated, the graft practices are found at every nook and cranny of the zone. In our calculations from July 2010 to December 2010, we retained N20.00/N20, 000 daily basic returns for Anambra, Abia and Imo States, and N20.00/N10, 000 for Enugu and Ebonyi States. But from January to December 2011, we used N40.00/N40, 000 for Anambra, Abia and Imo States and N40.00/N20, 000 for Enugu and Ebonyi States.
Presently, according to the information obtained from the official website of the Nigeria’s Federal Road Safety Commission, “there are 34,120 km of Federal roads (17%), 34,300 km of State roads (17%) and 129,580km of LGA roads (66%) in Nigeria amounting to 198,000 km. There are also four Nigerian transnational highways”. For the purpose of roadblocks and extortion, Federal roads, which are mostly inter-State roads with high traffic density (FRSC 2011) and chunk of the State roads, are used as instruments of Police roadblocks and extortion particularly in the Southeast zone. From our further investigations, “there are 3,231km of Federal roads in the Southeast, 4,150km in the South-South, 4,161km in the Southwest, 6,363km in the Northwest, and 6,787km in the Northeast and 9,756km in the North-central including the FCT”(source: Research Dept. Occasion Paper of the Central Bank of Nigeria).
As at the first week of December 2011, the number of roadblocks in the Southeast zone was estimated at over 1,500 with Anambra and Abia States accounting for over 800 Police roadblocks followed by Imo State with 300; and Enugu and Ebonyi States with 400. We counted 1,200 of such roadblocks in November 2011 alone. Some of the Federal roads we visited are: Onitsha - Owerri dual carriage way (90.5km) - 62 roadblocks, Onitsha - Enugu dual carriage way - 55 roadblocks, Enugu - Port Harcourt dual carriage way - 104 roadblocks, Onitsha – Asaba - Benin dual carriage way - 20 road-blocks, Oturkpa – Nsukka – 9th Mile Federal road - 20 roadblocks, Onitsha - Enugu old road - 25 roadblocks, and Enugu - Abakiliki Federal road - 20 roadblocks. There are also Aba - Ikot-Ekpene, Owerri - Aba, Uturu – Okigwe - Abakiliki, Oba – Nnewi -Okigwe, Ekwuluobia – Oko - Ibinta, AbakilikI - Ogoja, Umuahia – Ariam - Ikot-Ekpene, Owerri – Elele - Port Harcourt, Umuahia – Obowo - Owerri, Umuahia -Bende, and Atani – Ogwuikpere - Ndoni roads, all federal roads with at least 10 road-blocks on each of them. There are over 6,000 kilometers of Federal and State roads in the Southeast zone and a number of LGA roads paved and asphalted particularly those in urban centers called “street-roads”. They are part of the places where Police roadblocks and extortions are carried out. And it may be correct to say that for every three kilometers of road in the Southeast, a police road-block/extortion point is found. In the South-south and Southwest zones, it is 10km per roadblock and in the Northern part; it is about 20 km per roadblock. These are on average.
In Onitsha and Nnewi areas, the story is the same, if not the worst. For instance, on Niger Street to the Onitsha Main Market’s Sokoto Road, which is less than 1km, there are five roadblocks. From Zik’s Avenue to Ochanja market roundabout in Onitsha, which is less than 1km, there are four roadblocks. Others are Port Harcourt road to Onitsha Upper Iweka particularly Miss Elems/Port Harcourt road junction, there are five roadblocks; Upper Iweka to Modebe Street - six road-blocks, Bida Road to Onitsha Main Market - four road-blocks, etc.
With 350 roadblocks per day from July to December 2010, multiplied by N20,000, it may be correct to say that the Anambra State Police Command illegally realized N7 Million per day, N210 Million per month and N1.26 Billion for the period. It may also be correct to say that with 400 roadblocks per day from January to December 2011, multiplied by N40,000, the Anambra State Police Command illegally realizes N16 Million per day, N480 Million per month and N5.76 Billion for 2011, all amounting to N7 Billion in the past 18 months.
In Abia State, it is same with Anambra State, which is N7 Billion in the past 18 months. In Imo State, with about 300 road-blocks from July to December 2010, multiplied by N20,000, it is N6 Million per day, N180 Million per month and N1,08 Billion for the six months, while with 300 road-blocks from January to December 2011, multiplied by N40,000, the Imo State Police Command is likely to illegally realize N12 Million per day, N360 Million per month and N4.32 Billion in 2011. In Enugu State, it may be correct to say that the State Police Command illegally realized in the last six months of 2010, the sum of N2 Million per day, N60 Million per month and N360 Million using N10,000 to multiply 200 road-blocks. In 2011, using 200 road-blocks to multiply new N20,000 basic daily return, Enugu State Police Command is likely to illegally realize N4 Million per day, N120 Million per month and N1,44 Billion in 2011.
In Ebonyi State, the Police Command using 150 road-blocks multiplied by N10,000 basic daily return in the last six months of 2010 might have illegally realized N1.5 Million per day, N45 Million per month and N270 Million in the six months. In 2011, using N20,000 new basic daily return multiplied by 200 roadblocks, the Ebonyi Sate Police Command is likely to illegally realize N4 Million per day, N120 Million per month and N1,44 Billion in 2011.
In all, the over 1,500 Police road-blocks estimated to be in the Southeast zone are likely to illegally enrich the NPF to the tune of N21.91 Billion in the past 18 months, that is to say July 2010 to December 2011, with Anambra and Abia States coming top with N7 Billion each, followed by Imo State with N5.4 Billion; Enugu N1.8 Billion and Ebonyi N1.71 Billion. When the said sum of N22.91 Billion is added to the sum of N9.35 Billion believed to have been illegally realized between January 2009 and June 2010, a period of 18 months, it may be correct to say that in the past three years (2009 - 2011), the Police road-blocks in the Southeast zone are likely to illegally fetch the Police Force the sum of N32.26 Billion.
The above illegal sum only covers roadblock extortions, that is to say illegal toll collections and extortions associated with crooked enquiries into vehicular papers or documents. That September 2010 was relatively a roadblock and extortion free period did not have any significant impact on the said N32.26 Billion illegal proceeds.
In the South-south zone, which has 4,150 km of Federal roads, using 15km of road per road-block for July to December 2010 or about 400 road-blocks with old N20.00 /N10,000 daily basic return, it may be correct to say that the Police in the zone illegally realized N720 Million in the last six months of 2010, that is to say N4 Million per day and N120 Million per month. But from January to December 2011, using 10km of road per road-block or 500 road-blocks and new N40.00/N20,000 daily basic return, the Police in the zone are likely to illegally enrich themselves to the tune of N3.6 Billion, that is to say N10 Million per day and N300 Million per month. In the South-west with 4,161km of Federal roads, with 15km per road-block in July to December 2010 or 400 road-blocks and 10km per road-block or 500 road-blocks in 2011, the sum of N720 Million and N3.6 Billion might have been illegally realized respectively within the period under review, that is to say the zone share the same status with the South-south zone in terms of Police road-blocks and extortion. The Police roadblocks and extortions are mostly found on Lagos – Ibadan expressway, Lagos – Ore - Benin expressway, Ibadan-Ife road, Lagos-Badagry road and Ibadan - Ilorin road. It should be noted that while two major forms of roadblock extortions thrive in the Southeast zone, that is to say illegal toll collection and vehicular “incomplete papers” oriented extortion, illegal toll collection mostly thrives in the South-south and the Southwest zones.
Therefore, it may be correct to say that the extortionist Police personnel in the South-south zone had in the past three years, January 2009 to December 2011 illegally realized a total sum of N8.32 Billion from road-block extortions, that is to say N4 Billion from January 2009 to June 2010, N720 Million from July to December 2010 and N3.6 Billion from January to December 2011. A total of N8.32 Billion might also have been illegally realized within the same period in the Southwest zone because of the same number of roadblocks and same patterns of extortion. From the two geopolitical zones, it may be correct to say that a grand total of N16.64 Billion might have been illegally realized in three years, 2009 to 2011.
In the Northwest zone, Police road-blocks and extortions are mostly found on its Federal roads and few other strategic areas in Kano and Kaduna States dominated by people from other parts of the country particularly those from the Southeast zone (i.e. Sabongari area in Kano). There are 6,363 km of Federal roads in the Northwest zone on average of 20km of road per roadblock or 300 roadblocks in the zone. Using a daily basic return of N20.00/N5,000, it may be correct to say that a total sum of N810 Million was illegally realized by the extortionist Police personnel in the zone in the past 18 months, that is to say July 2010 to December 2011. Added to the sum of N500 Million reported to have realized from January 2009 to June 2010, it may be correct to say that a total sum of N1.21 Billion had been illegally realized in the zone since 2009 or in the past three years. The said Police roadblocks and extortions in the zone are mostly found on Kano- Katsina Federal road (156km), Katsina - Funtua Federal road, Zamfara - Sokoto Federal road, Sokoto – Argungu - Kebi Federal road, Kano - Wudil Federal road, Lamba – Kudini- Kazuere Federal road, Kankia – Dutsimma – Safana – Batsari - Katsina Federal road and Malunfashi – Dabai – Dayi - Bakori Federal road.
In the Northeast zone with 6,787 km of Federal roads such as Bauchi – Gombe - Yola Federal road, Bauchi - Tafawa-Balewa - Langtang Federal road and Bauchi - Ningi Federal road, using the same yardsticks used in the Northwest, it may be correct to say that the 300 road-blocks in the zone had illegally fetched the NPF the total sum of N1.21 Billion in the past three years, 2009 to 2011. In the North-central zone, with 9,756 km of Federal roads including the FCT, up to 400 roadblocks may exist. The zone is relatively “busy” because it hosts the FCT and connects Southwest zone to the Northern part of the country. Using daily basic return of N20.00/N5,000 toll benchmark, it may be correct to say that the total sum of N2.16 Billion had been illegally realized in the past three years, that is to say N2 Million per day from N400 road-blocks, N60 Million per month and N720 Million per year. Road-blocks and extortions in the zone are mostly found on Abuja - Minna Federal road, Abuja -Keffi Federal road, Keffi – Gubi - Akwanga Federal road, Keffi - Nasarrawa Federal road, Akwanga - Makurdi Federal road (90km), Abuja - Jos Federal road, Abuja - Ilorin Federal road and Lokoja - Ilorin Federal highway.
In all, it may be correct to say that in the three Northern zones of North-west, North-east and North-central, a total sum of N4.58 Billion had been illegally realized in the past three years, 2009 to 2011, from road-block extortions by the Nigeria Police Force. In other words, with average of 20km of road per road-block in the three geopolitical zones of the North, including the FCT (Abuja), it may be correct to say that the 1,000 Police road-blocks in the three zones have illegally fetched the NPF a total sum of N4.580 Billion in the past three years. This clearly shows that the three zones with over 20,000 km of Federal roads are road-blocked with only 1,000 Police road-blocks, whereas the South-east zone with only 3,231 km of Federal roads is road-blocked with over 1,500 Police roadblocks mounted by the NPF. It is safe to conclude that the Southeast now is like a war zone, courtesy of the Federal Government and its NPF. It may also be safe to submit that three pillars of war exist in the South-east zone, that is to say economic war; psychological war and physical war and these wars are executed using both visible and invisible coercive government instruments, including the NPF.
Totally, it may be right to conclude that Police roadblock extortions on Nigerian roads had in the past three years (2009 - 2011) illegally fetched the NPF a total sum of N53.48 Billion. That is to say South-east with average of 3km of road per Police road-block or over 1,500 road-blocks fetched the NPF N32.26 Billion in the past three years; South-west with average of 10km of road per road-block or over 500 road-blocks - N8.32 Billion; South-south with average of 10km of road per road-block or over 500 road-blocks - N8.32 Billion; North-west with average of 20km of road per road-block or over 300 road-blocks - N1.21 Billion; North-east with average of 20km of road per road-block or over 300 road-blocks - N1.21 Billion, and North-central with average of 20km of road per road-block or over 400 road-blocks -N2.16 Billion, totaling N53.48 Billion in the past three years - 2009 to 2011.
Consequences Of Police Corruption:
The roadblock extortions by Nigeria Police Force have grossly eroded its competence and professionalism, particularly in the area of crime detention and prevention. Of all the departments in the Force, their anti-riot departments, Mobile Police Personnel (MPF) now are the most spoilt and stained. Three, if not four, out of every five riffles carried by the extortionist Mobile Police personnel on the roads are believed by many not to be efficiently operational due to lack of routine servicing.
Also, four out of every five MPF personnel on the roads are not physically fit and combat-ready owing to the total absence of routine physical exercises, which now are swallowed by early hour rush to road-blocks so as to “meet up with Oga’s daily return”. It is important to state that corruption kills conscience; it disfigures individual, and destroys competence and professionalism. For instance, when a corrupt professor talks, he talks like a moron. Some, if not many MPF personnel, especially those on the evening “duties” hardly return their riffles to their stations’ armories for routine checks and servicing. Instead, they hang them somewhere at the end of daily “duties” and retire to liquor joints and brothels, after which they recover them and head back to their roadblock scenes the next day without undergoing any physical fitness exercise and subjecting their riffles to servicing.
This explains why they detach their service uniforms and numbers and run like fowls when children throw fireworks or knockouts in a neighbourhood. But in the Army, till date, it is a routine or compulsory to engage in early morning physical exercise so as to engender agility. Days are gone when admirers called MPF personnel “agile MOPOLs”. Today, they can best be described as “shivering MOPOLs” and “toyish combatants”, no thanks to roadblock corruption.
Again, using the personnel of the Nigeria Mobile Police Force, originally trained for crowd or riot control, as major crime fighters is a disaster. Why? Experience has shown that many of them lack requisite knowledge in anti-crime tactics, including crime detection, crime control and crime prevention. Basic knowledge in Police psychology is even lacking in them. On the other hand, criminals and other social deviants have taken the positions traditionally meant for law-abiding citizens in the society. Police in Nigeria now treat criminals and other social deviants like angels and treat law-abiding citizens like common criminals.
There are “official” and “unofficial” men of underworld in Nigeria today, killing, maiming and extorting innocent Nigerians on daily basis on roads. It is correct to say that the Nigeria Police Force has turned its guns against the same citizens they are paid to protect, instead of turning them on criminals. Southeast zone, indeed, is under siege! The present Government of Anambra State, for instance, had since 2006 till date provided over 200 patrol vans and other crime fighting gadgets, including monthly fuel and maintenance funds valued at over N4 Billion to the State Police Command and others to ensure effective patrol and surveillance throughout the State. The State Government has also set up a security trust fund with N250Million takeoff and an annual target of N1Billion to be attracted into it from donor agencies. More patrol vans have been purchased and are ready to be distributed to police and other security agencies in the State. Sadly, most of these vehicles now are used to convey the extortionist MPF personnel and the general duty Police personnel to their extortion points, described by the Anambra State Police Command sometime ago, as “nipping points”. Two out of every five roadblocks or extortion points in Anambra State are manned with an operational vehicle donated by the Government and People of Anambra State.
It is our recommendation that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as the President and Commander-in-Chief of the country’s armed forces should issue a detailed presidential directive to the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Hafiz Abubakar Ringim and the Chairman of the Nigeria Police Service Commission, Retired DIG Parry Osayande as well as the Police Affairs Minister to dismantle all the road-blocks on Nigerian roads, especially in the South-east zone and recall all the Police personnel engaging in such graft practices back to their stations for legitimate duties other than mounting road-blocks and extorting innocent Nigerians.
If there must be security checkpoints on Nigerian roads, they must be fewer in number and strictly meant for “check and go”. To avoid being abused again, the Inspector General of Police should be directed to compile the list of special security checkpoints nationwide and present it to the Federal Executive Council through the Police Affairs Minister for approval. If approved, the list should be made public by the Minister of Information, which must also be advertised in print, audio, audio-visual and online media. The list should also be posted on NPF and the Ministry of Police Affairs’ websites, if any.
Operational patrols, effective surveillance and intelligence gathering should be intensified nationwide and more patrol vans provided with their maintenance costs borne by relevant Federal and State governing authorities. The said special security checkpoints should be headed by Superintendents of Police (SPs), who must be present at all times at their duty posts. Effective Police patrol will deter criminal activities on our highways.
Every Police officer at such special security checkpoints nationwide must be made to wear his or her service uniforms and numbers for easy identification by concerned Nigerians in the event of any homicidal and graft practices. The un-announced or impromptu checks on vehicular papers by the Force should be discarded and the routine general checks re-adopted.
The use of and over-reliance on anti-riot Police personnel as major crime fighters in Nigeria should be drastically reduced. They should be withdrawn from roadblocks or extortion points and put to good use by being re-trained in effective crime detection, prevention and control. More attention should be given to the criminal intelligence department of the Force by way of overhauling and peopling it with more intelligent hands and adorning it with modern security or policing intelligence technology.
In view of the fact that the Nigeria Police Force is an agency of the Federal Government, which makes the Federal Government of Nigeria liable for its lawful and unlawful actions within the context of the principles of vicarious liability, it is our recommendation that the Federal Government should refund these stolen wealthy or sum of N53.48 Billion to the Governors’ Forum of the zones according to the total amount stolen. For instance, the South-east should be refunded N32.26 Billion, South-south - N8.32 Billion, South-west -N8.32 Billion, North-central - N2.16 Billion, North-west - N1.21 Billion and North-east - N1.21 Billion. The refunds should be tied to strategic road projects in the affected zones or States to be called “unity roads”.
In the event of failure by relevant Police authorities led by IGP Ringim to enforce the presidential directive, if approved, the IGP and all his sub-commanders including all serving DIGs, AIGs and CPs who are 50 years and above should be purged or weeded out of the Force. The headship of the Police Service Commission should not be spared as well. Also, the National honours bestowed on them should be withdrawn. We believe that Mr. President is also worried about this serious embarrassment and hope that such presidential directive would go a long way in addressing the problem of Police corruption in Nigeria frontally now.
The attention of the Government of Anambra State and the State House of Assembly is drawn to the graft activities of the Anambra State Police Command and the over 1,000 armed vigilante groups in the State by way of criminal conduct resulting from the misapplication of the Anambra State “Okada” Control Law of 2009, which now is translated into “a curfew Law”. It is our recommendation that efforts should be made to return the Law to its originally intended form and free the State residents from further agony in the hands of these graft infested security agents.
Prepared & Delivered At Media Forum In Onitsha, Nigeria, Today, 11th December 2011
Chairman, Board of Trustees
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule Of Law
Mobile Phone Nos: +234(0) 8033601078, +234(0) 8180103912
Attachments ( VIEW PHOTOS BELOW ) - Pictures Captured In November 2011 Showing Corrupt Personnel Of the NPF Mounting Roadblocks & Extorting N50.00 Note From Each Of The Nigerian Road Users With Guns Meant For the Security Of Nigerians.
Relevant Nigerian & International Public Institutions & Non Governmental Organizations
VIEW PHOTOS BELOW
*Nigeria In State of War: How Over 54,000 Nigerians Died Outside The Law Since 1999
By Intersociety, Nigeria
THE 63RD ANNIVERSARY OF THE UDHR (2011 WORLD HUMAN RIGHTS' DAY)
INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES AND THE RULE OF LAW, NIGERIA
WITH REPORT (1) ON:
NIGERIA IN A STATE OF WAR: HOW OVER 54,000 NIGERIANS DIED OUTSIDE THE LAW SINCE 1999
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: ONITSHA, NIGERIA, 11TH DECEMBER 2011
Nigeria¡¦s human rights problems during the year (2009) included the abridgement of citizens¡¦ right to change their government; politically motivated and extra-judicial killings by security forces, including summary executions, vigilante killings, abductions by militant groups, torture, rape and other cruel, in-human or degrading treatment of prisoners, detainees and criminal suspects; hash and life-threatening detention center conditions; arbitrary arrest and prolonged pretrial detention, denial of fair public trial, executive influence on judiciary and judicial corruption; infringement of privacy rights; restrictions on freedom of speech, press, assembly, religion, and movement; official corruption and impunity; domestic violence and discrimination against women; the killing of women suspected of witchcraft; female genital mutilation; child abuse and child sexual exploitation; societal violence; ethnic regional and religious discrimination, trafficking in persons for the purpose of prostitution and forced labour; discrimination against persons with disabilities; discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity; and child labour - The US Department of State Report on the State of Human Rights in Nigeria in 2009.
On 10th December 2010, the leadership of Intersociety marked the 62nd Anniversary of the UDHR by choosing dictatorship, which ravages Africa and world public governance, under civil and political rights, as our topic. We inquired and exposed most of the Africa¡¦s and world¡¦s dictators or totalitarian rulers and asked them to quit or they would be booted out of office. And on 17th December 2010, the Mohammed Buazizi inspired ¡§Jasmine Revolution¡¨ started in Tunisia and on 14th January 2011, former President Azedine Ben-Ali of Tunisia was forced out of office, followed by former President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and late President Mouamar Gaddafi of Libya. They had been in office since 1979, 1981 and 1969 respectively. We heartily congratulate the great Arab people for this rare feat and reiterate our earlier call on the remaining dictators in the Central, Southern, West, East and North Africa as well as Asia including Middle East and former Soviet Union to quit before it is too late for them. The rights of the peoples of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya to choose and change their political leaders must be upheld at all times.
Today, we are zeroing down on Nigeria against the backdrop of rising unlawful killings since 1999. Taking a critical look at the above - summarized 2009 US Department of State Report on Nigeria¡¦s Human Rights Records.
It is very clear that nothing in that Report has changed since 2009. Instead, bombing, arson and mass-murder associated with Boko-Haram terror as well as ethno-religious or sectarian violence has swollen the long list of the Nigeria¡¦s rights abuses. In other words, all the rights so mentioned are still observed in grievous breach. In the area of the ¡§citizens¡¦ right to choose and change their leaders¡¨, for instance, its violation appears unabated especially in the Local Government Council (LGC) administration, which constitutionally is supposed to be democratic at all times. The Government of Anambra State under Mr. Peter Obi appears to be the ¡§first degree¡¨ violator of this important right following its refusal to conduct polls into its 21 LGAs, which have not had democratic structure since 2002 when the last democratic structure elapsed. States that have conducted ¡§very glaringly¡¨ shambled LGA polls are the ¡§second-degree¡¨ violators, while Lagos State, which recently conducted ¡§glaringly¡¨ shambled polls into its LGA System, is the ¡§third-degree¡¨ violator. The Constitution of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), which failed in its Section 7 to clearly stipulate the autonomy of the LGA system in Nigeria, is the ¡§grand violator¡¨ of this vital political right. At this stage, we renew our call on the Government of Anambra State to ensure that the State Independent Electoral Commission conducts the LGA polls into the 21 LGAs.
In this report, our sources of information are derived from credible open sources such as the United States Department of State, the Human Rights Watch (USA), the Amnesty International (UK), AFP (France), Associated Press, Reuters, Bloomberg, CNN (USA), Aljezeera (UAE), BBC (UK), authoritative local and international online media, Nigeria¡¦s print, audio and audio-visual media, the Department of Criminology & Security Studies of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), NOPRIN (Nigeria), ERA (Nigeria), OSIWA, Black¡¦s Law Dictionary -2009 edition, Uche-Wisdom Durueke Law Firm, Owerri-Imo State, eye-witness accounts, on-the-spot findings and the Intersociety¡¦s library, as well as de-classified security reports from the State Security Service, the Police and the Army. We are immensely grateful to them.
How Over 54,000 Unlawful Deaths Were Recorded Since 1999:
According to recognized war dictionaries, war is simply an inter-state or intra-state violent conflict that claims over 999 lives. With the foregoing definition, Nigeria is truly in a state of war against herself and her over 150 million population (intra-state war) with over 54,000 citizens killed since 1999 outside the law. This type of war clearly goes beyond norms guiding wars, contained in the international laws of war or the Geneva Conventions. These shilling killings can best be described as ¡§genocide¡¨ and ¡§crimes against humanity¡¨. On 8th April 2003, the leadership under this writer in then Anambra State CLO estimated that over 18,000 Nigerians died outside the law since 1999. On 5th August 2009, we in the Intersociety estimated that over 30,000 unlawful deaths took place in Nigeria since 1999, a period of ten years, and on 17th March 2010, we reviewed it and concluded that the number might have increased to 34,000 as a result of the further rise in the killings. Our latest findings, however, indicate that these figures may have been under-calculated, hence the latest figure in the neighborhood of 54,000 illegal deaths.
Unconstitutionality Of The Killings:
The over 54,000 unlawful deaths in Nigeria since 1999 had arisen from ethno-religious and inter-communal/intra-communal conflicts, vigilante killings, politically and other socially motivated assassinations, abduction-for-death killings, election-related killings, extra-judicial killings (those killed outside the law by security forces), and involuntary disappearances (those abducted and presumed killed usually by State and non-State actors). These killings are unknown to Section 33 of the Constitution of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and other sub-regional, regional and international rights instruments recognized by the Federal Republic of Nigeria such as the African Charter on Human & Peoples¡¦ Rights of 1981. The illegal deaths are also a clear sign of failure of the State to ensure the security and welfare of the citizens of Nigeria in accordance with Section 14(2) of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and an inglorious attempt by the State to invoke as a policy the ¡§Malthusian theory of population control¡¨, which chooses mass-death as a form of population control.
In the vigilante killings, the periods of 1998 and 2002 were the bloodiest era for the Nigerian States of Anambra and Abia, followed by Lagos, Imo, Ebonyi and Enugu. Apart from mass-murder openly recorded in those States, their Houses of Assembly, particularly those of the five Eastern States passed legislations, indirectly sanctioning summary executions, abductions, false imprisonment, rape, torture, forceful possession of properties, etc through ¡§trial by ordeal¡¨, which is considered repugnant to Nigeria¡¦s written criminal laws, equity and good conscience, all in the name of ¡§fighting crime¡¨.
Within this period, married women were forcefully taken away from their husbands, abducted, raped and murdered; under-age female students abducted, held illegally and raped for days (at the Bakassi White House in Onitsha Main Market); 32 innocent traders abducted, locked up in a small illegal cell and allowed to suffocate to death (i.e. the ¡§Orie Ohabiam 32¡¨ of August 2005 in Abia State) to mention but a few.
Over 5,000 summary executions or killings were recorded in Anambra State (1998 - 2002) in the hands of Onitsha Traders Vigilante Group (OTA) (1998 - 2000) and those of Anambra State Vigilante Services a.k.a Bakassi Boys (2000 - 2002). In Abia State, 3,500 - 4,000 killings were believed to have taken place (1998 - 2002) in the hands of the Abia State Vigilante Service (also called Bakassi). In Lagos State, the O¡¦odua People Congress Vigilante Group (OPC), backed by then Government of Lagos State is believed to have carried out over 1,500 criminal executions. Imo State is believed to have recorded over 1,500 unlawful killings courtesy of the State Vigilante Service between 2001 and 2002.
In Ebonyi and Enugu States, which embraced the monstrous vigilante security methods in 2001, dozens of unlawful executions were recorded before the Federal Government dislodged them in the Southeast in September 2002.
However, they re-grouped later with a slight pattern change as seen today. In all, over 11,500 criminal executions or killings appeared to have taken place as a result of vigilante killings in the States mentioned between 1998 and 2002. Though the vigilante killings, particularly in Anambra and Abia States have continued since 2002, but the rate and pattern with which they kill have reduced.
Presently, there are more than 1.000 armed vigilante groups operating in Anambra and Abia States respectively that is to say that over 2,000 armed vigilante groups may exist in the two States. Even though they are code-named ¡§community-based vigilante groups¡¨, yet, they are still controlled by various States¡¦ government, which sometimes use them for political purpose. As it is now, secret killings have replaced open killings and body dismemberment methods hitherto applied by the murderous outfits. Today, Abia State appears to record the highest number of unlawful deaths arising from vigilante killings since 2002, which is in the neighborhood of 2,000 including the ¡§Orie-Ohabiam 32¡¨ of August 2005, followed by Anambra with over 1,000 and Imo with about 500.
Victims Of Vigilante Killings:
Some of those killed or tortured by the Anambra State and the Abia State Bakassi Boys as well as the Onitsha Traders¡¦ Vigilante Group (OTA) during the periods under review include: Citizens Chukwudozie Nwachukwu (29) and Okechukwu Maduekwe (27) (killed on 10th January 2000 by Abia Bakassi Boys), Chuma Onwuazo and Bonaventure Egbuawa (murdered in April and July 2000 by OTA Vigilante Group backed by then Government of Anambra State), Hon. Ifeanyi Ibegbu (then member of the Anambra State House of Assembly (abducted and tortured by Bakassi Boys on 21st August 2000), Edward Okeke (murdered in Anambra State on 9th November 2000 by AVS or Bakassi Boys), Ezeodimegwu Okonkwo (murdered in Anambra State by AVS on 18th February 2001), Ikechukwu Nwagboo (murdered in Anambra State by AVS in February 2001), Rockfeller Okeke (murdered in Anambra State by AVS in his residence on 23rd April 2001), Felix Ikebude (murdered in Anambra State by AVS in December 2001), Sunday Uzokwe (murdered in Anambra State by AVS on 30th January 2002), Mrs. Ngozi Oranu (raped and murdered in Anambra State by AVS at the Bakassi White House, Onitsha Main Market in November 2001), Barnabas Igwe (then Onitsha Bar Association Chairman murdered in Anambra State by AVS in the evening of 1st September 2002), and Barr (Mrs.) Amaka Blessing Igwe ¡§A. B. Girl¡¨ (wife of Barrister Barnabas Igwe murdered by AVS alongside her husband on 1st September 2002).
There were also cases of thousands of torture and rape involving the murderous groups mentioned. For instance, in 2002, 17-year-old Miss Chinenye Okoye, who was an SS2 Student of the Mathamavis Secondary School, Umuoji, Anambra State was abducted by Bakassi Boys, taken to the Bakassi White House in Onitsha Main Market and raped for 60 days (Source: The News Magazine, 21st October 2002, page 21).
In August 2005, Citizens Uchenna Elewa (23), Jonathan Ukaegbu (39), Onyebuchi Nwamuo (22), Uzoma Njoku Nwangwa (41), Onyema Ibeneme( 27), Goodluck Sunday (26), Uzoma Onyebuenyi (40) and 25 others were forced to suffocate to death by the Abia Bakassi Boys in Orie-Ohabiam near Aba in Abia State (Source: Human Rights & Justice Foundation, Aba, Abia State).
In all, it may be correct to say that vigilante killings in Nigeria since 1999 accounted for over 15,000 unlawful deaths. Those tortured and extorted within the periods are also in tens of thousands. It should be noted that many States and communities have also formed armed vigilante outfits, which sometimes engage in torture and summary executions expressly through ¡§trial by ordeal¡¨ crime methods, and in all these, most, if not all those responsible for the illegal killings, torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatments are neither investigated nor prosecuted, making them to be on the prowl ad infinitum thereby encouraging culture of impunity.
Deaths Arising From Police Crackdown On MASSOB Activists:
Those who died since 1999 as a result of several crack downs by the Nigerian security forces on innocent members of MASSOB - Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra other than some of them, the break-away members, who turned militants and took up arms against their fellow citizens, are believed to be in the neighborhood of 2,000. The bloodiest crackdown is believed to have resulted from several invasions of the Okwe headquarters of MASSOB in Imo State by the Nigerian security forces led by the Nigeria Police Force and the 2006 Federal Government¡¦s military action in Onitsha, Anambra State against the break-away militant MASSOB activists, which led to the death of scores of uninvolved MASSOB activists as well as innocent civilians. For instance, in the second week of July 2006, 14 people including a Pastor were killed in Iyiowa - Odekpe Layout in Ogbaru LGA, Anambra State by a combined team of soldiers and police personnel. They were accused of belonging to MASSOB, which is demanding for a separate territorial enclave for the people of the Southeast Nigeria called Ndigbo through non-violence means.
Deaths Arising From Inter-Communal & Intra-Communal Conflicts:
In the Ezza-Ezillo inter-communal conflicts of 2008 and 2010, over 300 unlawful deaths were recorded owing to the failure of the State to effectively manage the conflict. Other inter-communal and intra-communal conflicts in Nigeria since 1999 such as Ife - Modakeke inter-communal conflict in 1999/2001, Hausa/Yoruba Shagamu and Igbo/Yoruba (Alaba Market & Lagos Wharf) clashes in 2001, Umuleri - Aguleri inter-communal conflict in 1999/2000, Owerre - Ezukala/Ogboji inter-communal conflict in 2011, Umunya intra-communal conflict, Akpu - Ajali inter-communal conflict, Fulani - host farmers¡¦ clashes in Nasarrawa LGA, Nasarrawa State, which killed at least 50 people, etc have resulted in over 1,000 unlawful deaths or summary executions since 1999.
Deaths Arising From Military Invasion Of The Nigerian Hostile Communities:
It is estimated that over 4,000 civilians were killed outside the law by the Nigerian security forces led by the Nigerian Army during the military invasion of the Odi community in Bayelsa State in 1999, Zaki-Biam community in Benue State in October 2001 (over the abduction and killing of 19 soldiers), Gbaramatu community in Delta State in May 2009 and other troubled areas in the South-south or Niger Delta region between 1999 and 2009. In the Odi massacre, for instance, over 2,000 innocent citizens were massacred. The leadership of the Environmental Rights Action (ERA) believes that over 2,500 civilians were massacred; while in the Zaki-Biam community¡¦s military invasion, the Human Rights Watch stated that about 200 civilians were killed by the Nigerian Army in revenge for the abduction and killing of 19 soldiers.
Judging from several media and rights groups¡¦ reports, over 16,000 Nigerian civilians might have been killed in ethno-religious/sectarian violence in Nigeria since 1999. As of March 2010, it may be correct to say that over 13,500 civilians particularly women, children and the elderly were killed. Over 5,000 civilians may have died in Jos crises since 2001. In the 2000, 2001 and 2002 Kano and Kaduna ethno-religious violence alone, over 3,000 deaths were reportedly recorded. In the ethno-religious violence that hit Jos in September 2001, at least, 1,000 people lost their lives (Human Rights Watch). In May 2004, over 700 lives were lost in Yelwa, Plateau State. In November 2008, over 700 people were killed in Jos. The Human Rights Watch recorded about 133 extra-judicial executions carried out by the Police-led Nigerian security forces. Other media reports showed that on 17th January 2010, over 150 people were killed in Kuru Karama near Jos in Plateau State. On 7th March 2010, over 400 people died in the villages of Dogo Nahawa, Zot and Rassat in Jos South LGA of Plateau State as a result of early morning bloody attacks launched by armed suspected Muslim fanatics. Most of those killed were women and children. Over 120 people were killed in main and reprisal attacks in Jos prior to the Christmas Eve bloody bombings in the troubled capital city, which also killed at least 80 people. On 7th January 2011, 8 Muslim youths were killed in Jos and on 8th January 2011, 48 Igbo traders were ambushed and killed in Dilimi and Bauchi Road Markets in Jos. In the evening of same day, 14 Muslims were killed in several communities near Jos. On 10th January 2011, 11 Christians in the village of Wareng in Southern Jos were killed. Between 28th and 30th January 2011, 15 people including Police Corporal Jacob Mada were killed in Jos. In January 2011 alone, at least 42 Muslim commercial motorcycle operators and 51 Christians were declared ¡§disappeared¡¨ by their relatives. The Jos killings continued into August 2011 and even beyond it. On 9th August 2011, at least 23 people were killed. In August 2011 alone, at least, 50 people were killed. Therefore, it may be correct to say that up to 1,000 unlawful deaths have been recorded in Jos in 2011 alone.
According to media reports monitored by the Intersociety, following the Yelwa sectarian violence of 2004 that led to the death of over 700 people, some of them Muslims, the reprisal killings that took place in Kano in 2005 resulted in the death of over 200 Christians, who were mostly Igbo traders and in the reprisal killings that took place in early 2006 in Anambra State, over 80 people, many of them Muslims were killed. The Boko-Haram violence in Nigeria, which started in 2002 in Borno State, may have killed over 3,000 innocent citizens. The Islamic Sect abhors ¡§western education¡¨ and opts for the strict application of the Sharia Criminal Law as a State law governing Nigeria. The late Ustaz Yusuf Mohammed and Alhaji Fuju Foi, a former Commissioner for Religious Affairs in the Government of Borno State, who reportedly resigned in 2008, led it. Both of them are university graduates.
While the Niger Delta militants adopted bombing of oil installations and other strategic government facilities and abduction-for-ransom as its ¡§war methods¡¨, the Boko-Haram uses bombing of government facilities and mass-murder as its ¡§war tactics¡¨. Unlike the Niger Delta militants that are traceable, the members of the Boko-Haram sect are highly elusive and very scientific. The Sect has killed notable religious or Christian denominational leaders; and destroyed a number of Churches, beer parlours, hotels and restaurants in the Northern part of Nigeria.
Key government facilities including the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters, Military Barracks and the UN Headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria have also been bombed with the Sect claiming responsibilities for such attacks. In July 2009, for instance, the Boko-Haram inspired violence broke out in the Northern States of Bauchi, Borno, Yobe and Kano, resulting in the death of between 800 and 1,000 people. The ¡¥This Day Newspaper¡¦ of 2nd August 2009 reported ¡§about 700 dead bodies were recovered and buried in Borno State alone¡¨. One Colonel Ben Ahanotu, an official of the Nigerian Army in the area, according to the newspaper, confirmed the causality figures to the Associated Press. The violence sparked off by an attack at a Police Station in Bauchi State lasted for six days (26th July - 2nd August 2009). On 29th January 2011, at least 25 people were killed in Bauchi State and 4 people in Borno State, bringing the total to, at least, 29. The violence started in Belewa LGA in Bauchi State. In the 2010 Boko-Haram inspired bombings that hit the Nigeria¡¦s Golden Jubilee anniversary and the ¡§Mogadishu¡¨ Barracks, over 50 people were killed. At least, 30 people died on the 1st October 2010 attack. On 16th June 2011, at least 5 people were killed when a car bomb went off at the Force Headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force in Abuja. On 26th August 2011, according to independent sources, as many as 80 people were killed when bombs went off at the Nigeria¡¦s UN Building in Abuja. The Government of Nigeria and her security forces put the official figure at 24. On 4th November 2011, between 100 and 150 people including 11 security personnel were killed in Yobe and Borno States during bomb attacks suspected to have been launched by the Boko-Haram Sect, which hit five Churches, liquor joints and strategic security formations in Yobe State, where most of the casualties were recorded. The Nigeria Police Force puts the official figure at 65. On 26th November 2011, at least four Police personnel and an undisclosed number of civilians were killed in Geidam, Geidam LGA of Yobe State when bombs hit eight Churches and a Police Divisional Command.
The Boko-Haram Sect claimed responsibility for the attack. In all, over 3,000 people might have been killed since the Boko-Haram violence started in 2002 at the Nigerian - Nigerien border, which is close to Borno State, North-east Nigeria.
Election Related Killings Since 1999:
has conducted four major elections since 1999, that is to say; the 1999, the 2003, the 2007 and the 2011 general elections and none of them was violence free, though some were more violent than others. It is believed that up to 300 people died during the conduct of the 1999 and the 2003 general elections. In the 2007 general elections, at least 300 people were killed (Human Rights Watch, USA) and in the 2011 general elections, over 1,200 people including at least 50 members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) were killed. At least, 150 people were killed between July 2010 when the INEC released the first elections timetable and 1st April 2011(pre-election killings). Between 2nd and 26th April 2011, a period of 24 days, up to 1,100 people were killed. Some of these deaths were on: 9th January 2011 - 4 people were killed in the hometown of Mr. Timi Alaibe in Bayelsa State; 28th January 2011 - Engineer Fannami Gubio, Alhaji Godi Modu Sherrif and seven others including a ten-year old boy were killed in Maiduguri, Borno State, near a Mosque, 1st February 2011 - a MOSOP activist, Mr. Richard Nima was killed in Eleme LGA in Rivers State, 9th February 2011 - two kids were shot dead reportedly near the Palace of the Emir of Lafia in Nassarawa State when police fired at anti - government protesters, 12th February 2011 - about 20 people died in a stampede caused by security forces in Rivers State during a political rally attended by President Goodluck Jonathan, 3rd March 2011 - 4 people were killed when a bomb went off during a political rally attended by Governor Babangida Aliyu in Niger State, 19th March 2011 - three people were killed in Izzi LGA of Ebonyi State during a political rally, 21st March 2011 - three people were killed in Lagos State during a clash between the ACN and the PDP supporters, 21st March 2011 - seven people were killed in Jos, Plateau State during a political rally attended by Alhaji Mohammed Buhari of the CPC.
On 22nd March 2011, at least 12 people were killed in Akwa Ibom Sate during a bloody clash between the ACN and the PDP supporters. Over 200 vehicles and tricycles were burnt beyond recognition, and the violence continued into 25th March 2011 when five more people were killed. More violence erupted in Ogun, Ekiti, Osun and Jigawa States claiming more lives and destruction of properties. In March 2011 alone, at least, 40 people were killed. On 1st April 2011, at least, 10 people were killed. On 2nd April 2011, over five people were killed. On 13th April 2011, at least, 13 people died in the Suleja INEC Area Office bombing in Niger State. On 9th April 2011, 39 people were killed. On 16th April 2011, at least, 10 people were killed and between 26th and 27th April 2011 post presidential election violence that rocked over half of the 19 Northern States including Kano, Kaduna, Sokoto, Bauchi, Adamawa, Niger and Taraba, up to 1,000 people were massacred including over 50 members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). The Government of Nigeria reportedly put the official figure at ¡§over 200¡¨.
Strictly speaking, over 2,000 innocent Nigerians may have been killed since 1999 in election-related violence and out of the four general elections conducted in Nigeria since 1999. The 2011 general elections are the bloodiest, with at least 1,200 deaths.
In all these killings, including ethno-religious and sectarian violence, the people of Southeast Nigeria (Ndigbo) are the most vulnerable. It may be correct to say that out of every five people killed in the ethno-religious violence in the Northern part of Nigeria, four are from the Southeast Nigeria and out of every five killed in the Jos sectarian violence, one, if not two is from the zone. The Southeast also constitutes the bulk of those killed in Church, beer parlour and restaurant bombings by the Boko-Haram Sect in Borno, Bauchi, Plateau and Yobe States since 2009. Out of the over 16,000 unlawful deaths believed to have been recorded since 1999 in ethno-religious and sectarian violence, well over half of them (8,000) are likely from the Southeast Nigeria, which is similar to the 30,000 people from the zone killed in the North, particularly in then Kano sub province in 1966, which sparked off the Nigeria - Biafra civil war of 1967 - 1970.
Police Extra-Judicial Killings:
It is widely believed that the Nigeria Police Force carries out an average of 1,500 extra-judicial executions annually in Nigeria since 1999, resulting from custody and roadblock killings. There are also unlawful killings by the Police Force, which are associated with torture, highhanded crowd control and conflict management. Many, if not most of these killings originate from the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), the Joint Taskforce (JTF) and the Anti-riot Police Personnel (Mobile Police). The latter mount roadblocks on Nigerian roads and engage in killing and maiming those who resist their extortionist and other graft activities. Torture, which is nicknamed ¡§discipline¡¨ by the Nigerian Army, is also common among various departments of the Nigeria Police Force, particularly its Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and SCID or SCIB operatives. Rights groups have also recorded many deaths arising from torture and unlawful detention. Comrade Ifeanyi Onuchukwu of the Humane Justice International in Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria on 4th November 2004, at the Central Police Station, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria, witnessed the mass killing of 20 innocent detainees, who had been held for months without trial in the Station by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Anambra State Police Command.
According to Comrade Onuchukwu, who was also detained in the SARS cell from 4th to 19th November 2004 when he was granted bail, one of the Police officers handed a sheet of paper with a pen to one of the detainees to re-compile their names and their States of origin and at around 7:15pm same day, they were taken out of the cell. Comrade Onuchukwu said he took possession of the sheet of paper containing their names when the Police officer forgot to recover it from the detainee. The 20 detainees were lined up and shot dead by the corner of the Station and their remains taken to ¡§Agu-Awka dumping site¡¨ and mass buried. The burial site was revealed to him by one of the passers-by forced to carry their remains to the burial site.
The 20 massacred detainees, according to Comrade Ifeanyi Onuchukwu, are: Nduka Okoye, Ephraim Okenyeka, Samuel Odoh, Oforbike Odoh, Chibueze Ugwuoke, Ugochukwu Okonkwo, Chizoba Mbaebie, Ifeanyi Nwafunanya, Ugochukwu Anaekwe, Ifeanyi Izueke, Ekene Ejike, Chinedu Okoro, Uche Ubaka, Charles, Onyeabo Anaekwe, Leonard Obasi, Emeka Ofoke, Chibuzor Asouzu, Obiajulu and Ugoo Nwude. Their killers are still on the prowl. But, it should be noted that while the rate of extra-judicial and custody killings among the Anambra SARS operatives under Sir Felix Kigigha(Chief Superintendent of Police) seem reduced, torture and extortion including demands for and collection of ¡§bail fees¡¨ have continued.
On 7th June 2005, Citizens Ifeanyi Ozoh, Chinedu Meniru, Isaac Ekene, Paulinus Ogbonna, Anthony Nwokike and Tina Arebum (the popular ¡§Apo Six¡¨) barely left their Gambiya Street relaxation joint in Area 11, Abuja, when a team of Policemen from the FCT Command rounded them up. They were labeled ¡§armed robbers¡¨ and summarily dismembered with live bullets. Since then, the trial of the 10 indicted Police officers among them are DCP Danjuma Ibrahim, ASP Othman Abdulsalami and eight others, which commenced since June 2006 before Justice Ishaq Bello, Abuja High Court, has been at a snail speed despite the establishment of enough prima facie evidence. For instance, the former IGP Okiro headed Police report indicted the 10 Police officers and the Federal Government accepted same and approved the payment of N3 Million compensation to each of the six families. The Police authorities also apologized and catered for the funeral expenses of the six citizens, yet justice is still delayed and being denied.
Extra-judicial killing by the Police is partly responsible for the bloody bombings and violence carried out in various parts of Nigeria by the Boko-Haram Sect, especially since 2009. For instance, on Wednesday, 29th July 2009, according to media reports, the Nigerian security forces led by the Nigeria Police Force invaded a Mosque in Borno State controlled by the Boko-Haram Sect and killed over 100 suspected members of the Sect extra-judicially. On Thursday, 30th July 2009, the Police killed the leader of the Islamic Sect, Ustaz Yusuf Mohammed extra-judicially. He was captured alive by the Nigerian Army Taskforce, code-named ¡§Operation Flush¡¨ and handed over to the Nigeria Police Force. The pictorial evidence obtained by the British Broadcasting Corporation authenticated Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf¡¦s extra-judicial killing. The second-in-command in the Islamic Sect, which is also called ¡§Taliban¡¨, Alhaji Fuju Foi, died under extra-judicial circumstances too. In the Jos sectarian violence of 2008, where over 700 people were killed, according to HRW; there were about 133 extra-judicial executions by the Nigeria Police Force. As a result of the July 9, 2011 bombing of Kaleri, Ngomari Custain area in Maiduguri, Borno Stae, according to the Amnesty International, at least 25 people were killed extra-judicially by the Joint Military Taskforce in response to the bombing through house-to-house invasion and application of maximum force against the area¡¦s innocent residents.
In the course of our recent inquiries into criminal deaths in Nigeria, particularly the extra-judicial executions by the Police, we discovered that extra-judicial killings associated with the NPF in our March 2010 statement, which was estimated to be 34,000 Nigerians (killed outside the law since 1999) is most likely under-calculated. For instance, the leadership of the Network on Police Reforms in Nigeria (NOPRIN) and the Open Society Institute for West Africa (OSIWA) in their 2010 Report - ¡§Criminal Force¡¨, quoted then Inspector General of Police, Mr. Tafa Balogun as informing the Human Rights Watch researchers in April 2004 that ¡§the NPF killed 7,198 ¡§armed robbers¡¨ from January 2000 to March 2004¡¨. In other words, the NPF carried out 7,198 extra-judicial executions in four years. Those killed extra-judicially by the NPF are usually called ¡§armed robbers¡¨ in the Nigeria Police parlance (like the ¡§Apo Six¡¨). In November 2007, the Human Rights Watch reported that the Nigeria Police Force in eight years, 2000 - 2007, carried out over 10,000 extra-judicial executions. This figure, according to the leadership of NOPRIN and OSIWA, may be lower to compare with what could be fairly accurately obtained (¡§Criminal Force 2010¡¨ by NOPRIN & OSIWA).
In 2004 alone, according to the leadership of the Legal Defence & Aid Project (LEDAP), 2,987 cases of Police extra-judicial killings were recorded. These dastardly acts of the NPF are still unabated. For instance, on 26th November 2011, the NPF Warri Division killed Hon. Ogbe Onokpite, the Governorship candidate of the Citizens¡¦ Popular Party (CPP) in the 2007 and 2011 elections in Delta State, South-south Nigeria, extra-judicially, after his arrest in a hotel room. He was accused of ¡§gun-running¡¨. According to his lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo, he surrendered himself to the arresting Police officers who brought him out of the hotel and shot him on the leg and took him to their Station where he was, again, shot at in the delicate organs of his body. He was abandoned and left in the pool of his blood to bleed to death. The Police Area Commander-in-Charge of the Area claimed that he was ¡§maimed¡¨ while trying to escape from arrest and ¡§gave up to the ghost¡¨ on their way to hospital.
In all, it may still be correct to say that an average of 1,500 extra-judicial executions is carried out annually by the NPF since 1999. This further indicates that 125 innocent Nigerians are killed monthly. In some cases, this figure is much higher. Therefore, the Nigeria Police Force may have carried out over 17,000 extra-judicial executions since 1999. Over 4,000 extra-judicial killings carried out by other security forces including the Nigerian Army may have also occurred, bringing the total number of extra-judicial killings since 1999 to over 21,000. Extra-judicial killing simply means the killing of any Nigerian citizen by a member of the Nigerian Armed Forces, including a Police officer outside the processes provided by the country¡¦s body of laws. Vigilante killings are considered an act of murder because the law disallows the vigilante operatives to kill their suspects. But they can arrest and hand over to the Police for competent investigation and diligent prosecution. The Nigeria¡¦s body of laws abhors any form of ¡§trial by ordeal¡¨, which is very rampant among the Nigerian armed vigilante groups.
It may be correct to say that up to 220 prominent Nigerians have been assassinated since 1999 and most of those responsible have not been held to account for their crimes. Between 2001 and 2003 election seasons, over 60 Nigerians were reportedly assassinated. Some of those assassinated since 1999 are: Mr. Sunday Ugwu, elder brother to Honourable Nwabueze Ugwu of then Enugu State House of Assembly (9th September 1999), Chief Bola Ige, Alliance for Democracy chieftain and Attorney General of Nigeria (December 23, 2001), Chief Ezeodimegwu Okonkwo, a politician/musician of Anambra State (18th February 2001), Mr. Ikechukwu Nwagboo, Personal Assistant to Hon. Chudi Offordile, a member of the House of Representatives from Anambra State (February 2001), Chief Rockfeller Okeke, Public Relations Officer of Anambra State Ministry of Health (23rd April 2001), Mr. Felix Ikebude, a top member of Sir Emeka Offor¡¦s Anambra People¡¦s Forum (December 2001), Johnson Chukwuegbo, an LGA Councilor in Enugu State (2nd February 2002).
Others are Mr. Victor Nwankwo, younger brother to Chief Arthur Nwankwo of the People¡¦s Mandate Party (PMP) who was shot dead at Enugu -29th August 2002. Professor Chimere Ikoku, former Vice Chancellor of University of Nigeria, Nsukka (Enugu State, October 2002), Retired Navy Captain Anthony Onyearugbulem, former Military Administrator and ANPP Gubernatorial faithful for 2003 polls in Imo State (allegedly murdered via poison in a hotel - 22nd July 2002). The rest are: Chief Sunday Uzokwe (Anambra State, 30th January 2002), Mr. R. Odigwe, a top official of the Anambra State Sanitation Authority (Anambra State, August 2002), Barristers Barnabas and Amaka Blessing Igwe (Anambra State, 1st September 2002), Chief Ogbonnaya Uche (Imo State, 7th February 2003), Chief E. Emenike (Imo State, 15th February 2003), Chief Egwuatu, Principal Secretary to the Government of Imo State (22nd February 2003), Mr. Kenneth Ije (Ebonyi State, 2002), Mr. Dele Arojo (Lagos State, 25th November 2002), Chief Odunayo Olugbaju (Osun State, 21st December 2001), Dr. Harry Marshall (from Rivers State but assassinated in Delta State on 7th March 2003), Alhaji Ahman Pategi (Kwara State, 2nd August 2002), Mr. Musa Dayo (Bauchi State, 2003), Mr. Udo Marcus Akpan (Akwa Ibom State, May 2002), Chief Funsho Williams (Lagos State, 2007), Comrade Chima Ubani (believed to have been killed in a stage-managed accident, September 2005), Comrade Chidi Nwosu (Abia State, by suspected State agents, 29th December 2010) and Alhaji Modu Gana Mechanici (Borno State, 27th March 2011). Bloody clashes among supporters of some politicians within the period also left at least 60 people dead.
Human Abductions Arising From Political & Business Disputes:
It may also be correct to say that at least 4,000 Nigerians and expatriates have been abducted since 1999. According to the Nigeria¡¦s ¡¥Daily Independent Newspaper¡¦ of July 23, 2009, quoting then Minister of Police Affairs, Mr. Yakubu Lame, it stated that ¡§over 850 Nigerians and non-Nigerians were abducted between January 2008 and June 2009¡¨ .The report also stated that 353 people were abducted in 2008 and 512 between January and June 2009.
The Niger Delta militants first adopted the art of abduction-for-ransom as an asymmetric war tactics against the Federal Government of Nigeria. A belligerent breakaway from MASSOB group later embraced it in 2005 and 2006 particularly in Anambra and Abia States. Later on, deadly politicians in Imo, Anambra and Abia States adopted it. Killer-business moguls particularly in Nnewi markets and the Iron Dealers¡¦ Market in Onitsha now use it to settle business scores. Armed robbers and their sponsors including some senior officers of the Nigeria Police Force, particularly in the Southeast Nigeria have also embraced it. It has evolved from abduction-for-ransom to include abduction-for-life robbery tactics. Today, out of every five citizens abducted, five pay ransoms for their freedoms. According to some recent media reports, quoting an American FBI official, Nigeria is now fourth in the world ranking in terms of human abduction index.
The chilling killing of over 54,000 innocent Nigerians outside the law since 1999 depicts the failure of the Nigerian security system and gross inability of the Nigerian State to protect innocent citizens. Nigeria is a party to many sub regional, regional and international treaties meant to protect citizens¡¦ rights. Sadly, Nigerian citizens have continued to die unnaturally. The Nigerian security system seems terribly sick.
There are over 600,000 security operatives bearing arms in Nigeria with the Nigeria Police Force accounting for 371,800 (Wikipedia Internet Encyclopedia, 2011), yet their security approaches have remained grossly out-dated and anti-social. The vigilante security system in Nigeria particularly in the Southeast States of Anambra and Abia is a time bomb, waiting for explosion! Today, there may be over 2,000 armed vigilante groups operating in the two States with little or no effective regulations over their sources of arms and numbers. Also, there may be over 500,000 small arms in the wrong hands in the zone and the number increases steadily. It may be correct to say that unless extreme care is taken, otherwise, the vigilantes of today will be transformed into armed robbers, kidnappers and assassins of tomorrow. Nigerian history tells us that one of the reasons that led to dissolution of the various Police forces in the 60s maintained by regions, Emirs, Obas and LGAs, which gave room for a unified Nigeria Police Force of today, is hyper proliferation of arms and gross rights abuses.
Communal, ethno-religious, election, sectarian, and Boko-Haram-related killings are barbaric, highly political and deeply religious. The political, religious and security leaders in the Northern part of Nigeria are directly and indirectly responsible for the unlawful killings. Apart from using and dumping, deceiving and misleading their people, they have done little or nothing in terms of effective infrastructural and human capital developments of their zones. Other than their capital cities, other important parts of their States are nothing to write home about, thereby spiraling rural-urban migration and incessant urban violence. While their children are sent to the best schools in Arab and Western capitals, they continue to play ostrich with Western education.
They siphon billions of Naira meant for their people and turn round to propagate strict adherence to Islamic Criminal Law, which they apply with utter discrimination. We are not in the know of any child of these leaders who has participated or got killed in any of the holy wars.
The porosity of some key border posts in the country such as the Nigerian - Nigerien and the Nigerian - Chadian borders help to fuel the Boko-Haram and other ethno-religious violence because of the unchecked influx of poor and jobless Nigeriens and Chadians in the country. These foreign unemployed nationals are easily recruited as political thugs and holy-war fighters by some, if not many crooked politicians and religious zealots in the North. The Nigerian citizens from the zone and the nationals of the two countries also belong to the Afro-Asiatic Language Family, which further makes it somehow difficult to distinguish them from non-Nigerians.
We have severally pointed out that the educational system as we have it today did not originate from the so-called ¡§Western World¡¨, which is contrary to the ¡§Boko-Haram¡¨ doctrine, which holds that ¡§western education is a taboo¡¨. History tells us that the first ancient University in the World was ¡§the Egyptian System Mystery School¡¨. Presently, the world¡¦s oldest university is ¡§the Al-Ahzar University of Cairo¡¨ opened in 970AD. The division of days into seconds, minutes, hours, weeks and so on originated from Egypt and Iraq (Babylon). The first world calendar, which got transformed into the present ¡§Pope Gregorian Calendar¡¨, also originated from them. During the Dark Ages (450 - 800AD) and the Renaissance (800 - 1400AD), Islamic learning in ancient science flourished. Apart from criticizing and innovating, Islamic scholars also developed the primitive Greek Alchemy into today¡¦s chemistry. Many Greek writings were translated into Islamic languages. The Islamic thinkers also borrowed the idea of zero from the Hindu Mathematicians and invented the Arabic numerals. They created the science of Algebra and the study of Algebraic functions. Today, many scientific terms such as alcohol, syrup, camphor, lute, guitar, azimuth, azure, cipher, zenith, algebra, zero, etc are the legacies of Islamic thinkers and their contributions to modern education, including science and technology. Even words such as almanac, mattress, take, tartan, astronomy, etc also originated from Arabic terms. The most eminent Muslim physicist was Ibn-al Houthan (965 AD to 1020 AD). His chief work was done in optics and he showed a great advancement in experimental method. What about the great Razes (865 AD to 925 AD)? He was the greatest of the Arabic Alchemists (chemists).
With the foregoing, it is obvious that the ¡§Boko-Haram¡¨ doctrine is grossly misconceived. The Northern leaders should face realities by embarking on aggressive mass education of the ¡§Almajaris¡¨ and other brains they are allowing to waste in their zone as well as effective infrastructural development of their States. The recent confessional statement made to the Nigeria State Security Services by Malam Ali Sanda Umar Konduga a.ka. Al-Zawahiri, an expelled spokesman of the Boko-Haram Sect, to the effect that some Northern politicians (like Senator Ali Ndume and late Ambassador Saidu Pindar) were behind the violent activities of the Sect, is a case in point. We ask that justice be done, according to law, in that case.
Further Report Analysis On Security & Criminal -Justice:
The extra-judicial killing by Nigerian security forces, which includes the unwarranted bloody military attacks on Odi, Zaki-Biam and Gbaramatu communities, roadblock killings and deaths in Police cells as well as abductions, armed robbery attacks and assassinations, has shown clearly that the Nigerian security system and her criminal justice administration are nothing to write home about. The preemptive security system in Nigeria is a disaster likewise in crime detection and prevention methodologies. The country¡¦s criminal investigation and prosecution have been defaced by graft practices. The entire policing system in Nigeria seems not intelligence based or sensitive. Instead, it is AK-47 driven. Poor data mining and near-absence of sound database and ¡§immunity from modern security technology¡¨ are other factors seriously challenging the competence and efficiency of the Nigerian security organizations, especially the Nigeria Police Force.
Of the entire border posts in Nigeria including her four trans-national highways, airports and international waterways, the trans-sahelian highway to Algeria and the trans-sahelian highway to Dakar, Senegal are most terrorists prone. They are grossly under-secured likewise the Nigerian - Nigerien and the Nigerian - Chadian borders. The Nigeria Police Force clearly lacks the capacity to provide the security direly needed in a democratic Nigeria. Apart from the few efforts of the State Security Services (SSS) in anti-terrorism crusade, the NPF with its 371,800 officers can best be described as ¡§a failed Police force¡¨. Its intelligence gathering capacity is non-existent. The Force is grossly corrupt and incompetent. It may also be correct to say that the Force does not have an accurate data about its members not to talk of possessing effective crime management skills. The corridors of the Force can easily be walked in and worked out with utter alacrity, more so when there is no credible modern record keeping for its ¡§in-service¡¨, ¡§out-service¡¨ and ¡§out-of-service¡¨ personnel.
The Force lacks modern tools of crime fighting, including criminal investigation. For instance, modern criminal investigation now involves e-investigation. Sadly, early criminal investigation methods, which are mainly crude or backward because of their reliance on eyewitnesses¡¦ accounts, inferences and confessions extracted under torture, are still the order of the day in the NPF. The Scotland Detective Department of the London Metropolitan Police, established by Robert Peel and his team in 1829 remains the best modern detective Police in the world today. Crime detection, which is the discovery, identification and analysis of criminal evidence as a means of law enforcement (Criminology & Security Studies Dept of NOUN 2010), is totally unavailable in the NPF likewise crime prevention. Parts of the modern crime management techniques, include decoy methods, stakeout or surveillance and comparative scientific criminal investigation. Under the latter, there is yet no computerized database for criminal records in the Nigeria Police Force.
In the modern policing, there are also scientific firearms examinations and biometric technology. Others are: serological investigations (study of body fluids in relation to sickness and treatment); toxicology (science study of poison); science study of hairs and fibers; mineralogical investigation (study of soil, plaster, cement, brick, concrete and glass for any criminal evidence); metallurgical investigation (an identification of the sources of an item whether made of metal, plastic, ceramic, etc found on crime scene); and science study of documents to determine forgery or otherwise, etc. There is also numerous modern scientific security tracking devices such as closed circuit televisions, hidden cameras, etc. In the cyber security technology, numerous crime preventive and combating appliances abound.
Sadly, none of these modern security technologies has been fully embraced by the NPF. As a matter of fact, many, if not most top Commanders of the NPF ranging from CPs to the IGP hardly operate and maintain e-mails except aided by outsider parties. In the average Nigeria Police field formation or station nowadays, every Police officer including Police tailor, Police driver and Police animal keeper is an ¡§Investigating Police Officer¡¨ (IPO), who applies torture and crude inferences as his or her tools of investigation with zero knowledge in modern criminal investigation technology. Effective criminal investigation and prosecution are the hallmarks of a modern criminal justice system. Intelligence, counter-intelligence and strong political will anchored on due process are the non-negotiable answers to Nigeria¡¦s rising rate of intra-state violence and other criminal killings. It amounts to total shallowness to amass Armored Personnel Carriers, war helicopters and anti-riot Police personnel to combat the Boko-Haram terror, when the Sect¡¦s operatives are applying information intelligence and ¡§demobilized intelligence¡¨ warfare as asymmetric war tactics against the Federal Government of Nigeria.
For effective or diligent criminal prosecution to be ensured there must be effective criminal investigation. It is correct to say that criminal prosecution in Nigeria is more of a colossal failure. While legislative bottleneck contributes a part, many Police prosecutors, top officials of the Directorate of Public Prosecution and some, if not many Magistrates are drenched in corruption, thereby messing up the system. These corrupt Magistrates indiscriminately allow the arraignment of accused persons over matters with heavy penalties such as capital punishments, which are outside their jurisdictions, which lead to the accused persons being dumped and abandoned in prisons for months, if not years. Even when the files of the accused persons are taken to the DPP for ¡§legal opinions¡¨, it takes many months further before they either bribe their way out of the prisons under ¡§no-case-to-answer¡¨ or face the appropriate prosecutions at High Courts.
For instance, on 29th September 2011, 62 MASSOB activists including three juveniles were arrested by the Abia State Command of NPF on their way to Abakiliki, Ebonyi State, Southeast Nigeria to celebrate the World Igbo Day. 52 of them were arraigned on 30th September 2011 in an Umuahia Magistrate Court in Abia State that lacked the jurisdiction over criminal charges preferred against them, usually treason and other spurious capital criminal charges.
They were remanded in prison custody for want of jurisdiction. Till date, they have not been properly arraigned in the appropriate Court or granted bail. Out of the 62 of them, 52 were arraigned wrongfully and remanded in prison custody, while the Police released seven of them after their families reportedly bribed them with huge sums of money. The three juveniles detained among them since 29th September 2011, who have not been taken to Juvenile Court till date, in accordance with the Juvenile & Young Persons¡¦ Act, 1944, are Irechukwu Nnogidem (16), Chukwuebuka Okata (15) and ThankGod Nwachukwu (13). Four members of the group were also arrested and currently detained at the State CID, Asaba, without trial by the Delta State Police Command since third week of November 2011.
Grand Data Summary:
Totally, it may be correct to say that over 54,000 Nigerians have died outside the law since 1999. Vigilante killings account for at least 15,000 murders; ethno-religious and sectarian violence including Boko-Haram terror account for at least 16,000 criminal deaths; extra-judicial executions by Nigerian security forces led by the Nigeria Police Force account for at least 21,000 killings, which include Odi, Zaki-Biam and the Niger Delta (i.e. Gbaramatu invasion) massacres. Police killings or extra-judicial executions may have accounted for over 17,000 deaths. The election-related killings since 1999 may also have accounted for over 2,000 deaths. These figures did not include deaths arising from other man-made tragedies such as road accidents, flood menace and those killed by arm robbers including deaths arising from robbery gunshot injuries.
It is our considered view that the first step towards remedying the rot in the Nigeria Police Force is a total purge of its top command structure. To this effect, the President & Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, who is also the Chairman of the Police Council of Nigeria should, by a presidential directive cause the retirement with benefits of all serving Commissioners of Police holding ¡§State command positions¡¨ and those not holding such positions, who are 50 years and above and all the serving AIGs, DIGs and IGP. This directive should concurrently run with an immediate approval for mass promotions in the Force to fill the vacancies left by them. Among the newly promoted senior officers, an intelligence egg-head, who is also a modern technology expert, could be made the next IGP in line with Section 215(1(a) of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 as amended, which states: ¡§an Inspector General of Police who, subject to Section 216(2) of this Constitution shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Nigeria Police Council from among serving members of the Nigeria Police Force¡¨.
It has been observed that most, if not all the senior police officers are ¡§enemies of modern technology¡¨, which is the bedrock of modern policing. They constitute a serious threat to e-policing and e-investigation. Also, there is gross lopsidedness in terms of geopolitical equity with respect to the promotion and appointment of CPs, AIGs and DIGs, which is contrary to Section 14(3) of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 as amended. Among the present 37 CPs of the 36 States and the FCT, Abuja about 25 of them are from the North. Among the 21 AIGs in the present NPF, 13 are from the North. While among the seven DIGs, four are from the North (Source: Laws & Facts Guiding Nigeria¡¦s Elections, published by the Policy & Legal Advocacy Center (PLAC) 2011). Therefore, these anomalies should be corrected.
It is our recommendation that the Nigeria Police Force should return to intelligence -based crime management. To this end, the NPF Detective College in Enugu, which offers programs in Detective, Anti-Fraud, Fingerprint, Modus Operandi, Prosecution, Photographic, Criminal Intelligence, Scene of Crime and Criminal Records & Statistics, should be technologically overhauled, expanded and elevated to the status of ¡§the Nigeria Police Detective University¡¨, while modern technologically advanced Police detective colleges should be established in each of the Nigeria¡¦s six geo-political zones.
The age-long monopoly enjoyed by the NPF in the field of criminal investigation and criminal prosecution should be clearly broken. An Act of the National Assembly should be enacted for registration and regulation of private detectives and/or investigators as well as to ensure the citizens¡¦ right to seek alternative avenues for criminal inquiries, if unsatisfied with Police handling of a criminal complaint. The Coroner Law in the country should also be thoroughly updated in line with the international best practices as part of the new alternatives.
On the same note, the right of every Nigerian to effective criminal prosecution should be ensured. The powers of the Federal and the State Attorneys-General to grant fiats to interested citizens according to their dictates should be liberalized and translated as a right into legislation with laid down conditions, so as to stamp out any form of abuse. The constitutional powers invested on the Federal and the State Attorneys-General to ¡§continue¡¨ or ¡§discontinue¡¨ any criminal proceedings in Courts, which are now subject of abuse, should be reviewed as well.
On the issue of ¡§holding charge¡¨ or ¡§committal proceedings¡¨, which is unduly used by the Nigerian Magistrates, there should be an effective disciplinary body akin to National Judicial Council to sanction these ¡§junior juries¡¨, who technically assume jurisdiction over serious criminal matters that are clearly outside their jurisdiction. There should be ¡§practice directives¡¨, as a takeoff, to be issued by the States and the FCT Chief Judges and an Act of the National Assembly, later on, barring Magistrates from allowing the commencement of criminal charges that are outside their jurisdictions in their Courts. Criminal prosecutors should be made to take their suspects or defendants to the appropriate Courts.
The 6,651 field Police formations in Nigeria should be fully computerized and adorned with sound database. There should be a central computing and control system digitally linking the 6,651 field Police formations in Nigeria, which should be situated at the Force Headquarters of the NPF. Specifically, the art of criminal investigation in the Force should be professionalized and removed from the hands of quacks. To this end, the Divisional Crime Offices and the SCIDs/SCIBs of the Force nationwide should be overhauled and computerized; peopled with more competent hands and retrained on regular basis in technological criminal intelligence and investigation.
Offices of the NPF legal departments, which appear to exist only at the 12 Police Zonal Commands and the 37 State and FCT Police Commands, should, as a takeoff, be established at all the 127 Area Commands and later extended to the 1,129 Police Divisional Commands in Nigeria so as to eliminate congestions associated with rising number of criminal cases in the country. To this end, more lawyers with experience in criminal law should be recruited by the Force and the existing O/Cs-Legal in the above mentioned police formations, should be absorbed into such legal departments. The Investigating Police Officers, who must be trained in modern criminal intelligence, biometric, ICT technologies and human rights, should keep their legal departments updated on their investigations, which must be devoid of torture and crude inferences.
The Federal and the States¡¦ Attorneys-General should overhaul their Directorates of Public Prosecution nationwide and put effective disciplinary measures in place to monitor and curb their corrupt practices including their poor attitudes to work. There shall be established the Federal DPP offices in the 109 Senatorial Districts in Nigeria to ensure timely and diligent criminal prosecutions in matters of federal jurisdiction. There shall also be established in the 774 LGAs in Nigeria the States¡¦ DPP offices for effective access to criminal justice in Nigeria in matters of States¡¦ jurisdiction, with more qualified lawyers and criminologists recruited to man them. The recruitments and promotions as per the personnel of the DPP should be based, strictly, on merit. And the police criminal investigators should be made to duplicate their files and forward to the Directorates of Public Prosecution before the arraignments of the accused persons or defendants in courts.
Police prosecutors should be barred from preferring charges with capital punishments and other charges that are outside the magisterial jurisdictions of the magistrate courts against the accused persons in any magistrate courts in Nigeria. Only qualified police lawyers should be allowed to prosecute capital offence cases in the appropriate Courts, not Magistrate Courts and police investigators should duplicate and send their files to the DPP before prosecution. There must be an end to the investigation of criminal matters in Nigeria. To this end, where the accused persons are at large, such investigations may continue, but where they are in custody or not at large, their investigations must be brought to an end within a specific time frame. An Act of the National Assembly may be required in this case.
We further recommend that the National Assembly of Nigeria should re-enact a new Nigeria Police Act and Regulations. The present Act is outdated and antithetical to modern intelligence, protective and preventive policing. The infamous ¡§Order 237¡¨ of the NPF, which permits a Police officer to shoot any person suspected or detainee ¡§trying to escape¡¨ or ¡§avoiding arrest¡¨ should be reviewed, if not abolished. It has become a ¡§license to kill¡¨ for the personnel of the NPF.
In view of the rising proliferation of vigilante groups and small arms in Nigeria particularly in the Southeast, we recommend that the Federal Government of Nigeria should take steps to effectively put them under tight checks forthwith before it becomes too late. Also, disciplinary measures should be taken against personnel of the NPF who failed to attach their service uniforms and numbers while on duty. Some of them now wear bathroom slippers, pyjamas and rags while on road duties, thereby degrading the NPF and making it difficult for citizens to differentiate them from criminal-citizens.
Nigeria should aggressively pursue national intelligence, external intelligence and foreign counter-intelligence policies with human rights consciousness. To this end, the Acts setting up the Police, the SSS, the NIA and the DMI (Army) should be over-hauled and expanded to clearly define the new intelligence security roles as per internal intelligence, external intelligence and foreign counter-intelligence. This is because the intelligence roles by these bodies seem blurred. To add life to this, the Nigeria¡¦s Criminal Reforms Bill lying unlegislated before the National Assembly should be passed into law immediately. Also the Nigeria¡¦s trans-sahelian highway to Dakar, Senegal and to Algeria as well as the Nigeria - Nigerien and the Nigeria -Chadian borders, which have become ¡§the routes of terrorism¡¨, should be properly policed so as to check the Boko-Haram violence and other homicidal activities.
There should be massive investment by the Federal Government in intelligence security and intelligence policing. To this end, selected departments of criminology & security studies, pathological science, psychology, sociology and criminal law of selected Nigerian universities(like NOUN-National Open University of Nigeria) should be designated as intelligence priority list, equipped and funded properly to serve as research grounds for countering the steady intra-state violence in Nigeria.
It is obvious that Mr. President has not demonstrated enough political will to nip this recurring unprovoked sectarian violence in the bud. His ¡§Commander-in-Chief¡¨ status appears under-utilized particularly as per bringing those responsible for these abominable killings to justice. To this end, President Jonathan should re-organize and re-shuffle his security chiefs including the leadership of the Police Service Commission and take full charge of the security of the nation.
While commending Mr. President for his recent presidential directive, ordering the release of all MASSOB members detained unjustly across the country, which led to over 98% of them being released, we wish to draw Mr. President¡¦s attention to the continued detention of S2 of them including three juveniles in Umuahia, Abia State and four of them in Asaba, Delta State since September and November 2011 respectively by the Nigeria Police Commands of the two States. We demand for their immediate release in compliance with the presidential directive.
It is our recommendation that a day should be set aside every year with a national holiday for the remembrance of those killed outside the law. A posthumous national highest honour of the GCFR should collectively be bestowed on them to be hung around a status dedicated to them at the FCT, Abuja. Further steps should be taken by Mr. President to ensure that these senseless killings are nipped in the bud, through effective security and conflict transformation.
Lastly, it is our recommendation that the Prosecutor for International Criminal Court and the UN Raporteur on Extra-judicial Killings should carry out extensive investigations into these unlawful killings, including finding out what measures, if any, the Government of Nigeria have taken to ensure that those responsible for the killings are brought to justice. If in their opinions, the measures are insufficient, and then relevant UN Charters should be invoked so as to bring those responsible to account for their crimes against humanity.
Prepared & Delivered At Media Forum In Onitsha, Nigeria, Today, 11th December 2011
Chairman, Board of Trustees
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule Of Law
Mobile Phone Nos: +234(0) 8033601078, +234(0) 8180103912
Attachments ( VIEW PHOTOS BELOW ) - Pictures Showing Some Innocent Citizens Murdered By The Bakassi Boys As Well As Those Killed Extra-judicially Or Maimed By The NPF Personnel
Relevant Nigerian & International Public Institutions & Non Governmental Organizations
VIEW PHOTOS BELOW
*Nigeria: Shut Up, Jubril Aminu; And Be Bound, You Spirit!
By Ikechukwu Enyiagu
Righteousness, the Word says, exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. A nation bound with the cords of lies would only experience one disgrace to another; it’s an everlasting standard. It doesn’t matter what its leadership does to cover up one crime, more crimes would be the only result such false and sinful nation and government will reap. Only righteousness- foundation built and sustained by God’s standards- will truly exult any nation. Every other way will only lead to disgrace and further disgrace. Listen, the Word says: “a nation” and “a people;” it means that every single person, intertwined with everyone else by the false cords of Nigeria’s unity, is affected. When God looks at a nation, He sees you; then He sees a people- bound by whatever they choose to call themselves. Righteousness! That’s what the Spirit of exultation cries out for- day and night. Who is that man who wants to stand tall and firm in the part of true progress? Pursue righteousness. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” became a worthless excuse (for that man who wants to live a fulfilled life- here and hereafter) when Jesus came on the scène; and, above all, when Christ manifested through the power of resurrection. Now, therefore, faith in God demands that man lives right since he knows that he will never be disadvantaged in doing good deeds. However, since the lesser is included in the greater, and since the government of Nigeria has forcefully held everyone bound in its sinful existence, I therefore address whatever and whoever affects negatively on Nigerians (Nigeria’s leaders, to be precise) - especially affecting those who are called according to God’s purposes by Christ Jesus. And for this reason, I say to the so-called senator and professor who read nothing but “holly war, Jubril Aminu: shup up! And to that spirit through which you represent and speak for the outlawing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN): be you forever bound in Jesus’ name. Amen.
To the noble body uniting Christians in Nigeria, I have to humble say: The challenges that Christians face in today’s Nigeria have become bigger than issuing mere counter-talks and words of regrets; it’s, above all else, a time to demonstrate the power in the kingdom since mere talks and negotiations have never put the devil where he belongs. No one gains in negotiating with that man who has rejected God and His truths. This times call for help from “the spirit of Elijah;” it’s not a time for negotiations. While “the man of the spirit” wastes his time, negotiating with men operating from the level of gross matter, he gradually leaves his higher dimension of operation to the lower level of satan’s baits, tricks and intrigues. Like St Paul would let us know, the kingdom of Zion carries power to make known our great God. The CAN, of all people, should know the problems bedeviling Nigeria, and therefore, must tackle it from that angle. Why would any Christian organization think that their prayers would be heard when they consciously avoid the issue of the Biafran genocide and the wickedness and marginalization that followed which results are largely evident everywhere one looks at, and then expect God to reason like men do-calling great offence nothing and, at the same time, expecting a blessing from God. The Word says: “…If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land:” not any other way round, and not through any short-cuts will God walk in our midst. Why on earth has Christianity become a near taboo in Nigeria? Why do we have so many mission points yet the devil dances in our midst when we sing the songs of Zion? The answer is simple: the shepherds have left their true calling, and longed, in the hills of men of ignorance, the baits of hell. They forget that, if the government is on Jesus’ shoulder, and we are His body (which shoulder is a part of), then we cannot separate what happens in our polity from our journey in Zion. That ought to be so because, without that, the old serpent will drag many to hell who have been ordained for the kingdom. Zion is one kingdom; the house of God is one and only in oneness of true faith in Christ shall the sons of God truly manifest. The answer to men like Jubril Aminu should be a demonstration of power and not mere worded challenges and verbal exchanges. What he fights against is not man, but the Spirit of the church; what he intends to establish is not the truth, but he seeks to advance the abomination which causes desolation. He seeks to desecrate the sanctuary, and like those who stood for what God sent them in the past, the CAN leadership should settle quickly his matter in the spirit- settle it until it becomes truly settled. I can assure you, until the devil is truly rebuked, he will not walk away, let alone flee from you. The CAN, just like The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, represents the Christian population; the Sharia council itself represents another recognized sovereignty within a sovereign Nigeria. No Nigerian should be ignorant of these any longer. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing some major cities, including the Federal capital (Abuja or FCT)
To the good Nigerians- from all corners of the nation and no matter your faith, I say: Peace is peace, and justice is justice. It doesn’t matter in what language it is spoken, or in which religion peace and justice are mentioned, peace remains what it is, and justice cannot mean anything less. One thing everyone agrees to is that only the true God can bring peace and justice amongst men; yet He has to be invited. If He is locked out, then He will break in and carry out His justice against men. In many of my articles, amongst which are: http://nigeriamasterweb.com/blog/index.php/2011/07/26/nigeria-an-al-qaeda-country-led-by-an-al-qaeda-president http://nigeriamasterweb.com/blog/index.php/2011/10/05/disintegration-of-nigeria-cheapest-means-to-containing-islamic-extremism-in-africa http://nigeriamasterweb.com/blog/index.php/2011/10/06/boko-haram-islamized-nigeria-really and http://nigeriamasterweb.com/blog/index.php/2011/12/01/nigeria-s-north-what-do-they-want , I have made it abundantly clear that our Muslim brothers in Nigeria do not have the interest of all Nigerians at heart. They clearly are on a mandate which is not for the good of all. It’s not a sect that is making this clear, it from their very best- form their leaders. But what I stand to say here for all to see is this: On me and my family, on my people and those who believe- no matter where they may live in Nigeria- the Dan Fodian spirit is futile, null, void, and of no effect. Like the water sprayed on well-feathered birds, the invading spirit of Dan Fodio shall will have no effect of my people. Nigeria is a country with people of many faiths; if any faith or group will not tolerate the other, then only an earlier-than-envisaged breakup will be the only answer. The other day, it was the CBN governor, Mallam Sanusi, sponsoring the introduction and establishment of Islamic bank in Nigeria; yesterday, it was Boko Haram- declaring that all of Nigeria must be Islamized, and killing those who could not recite the Quran; and today, it’s a one-time ambassador of falsehood and now a senator, who has come openly to demand the abolishment of The Christian Association of Nigeria. Who is that one in Nigeria who still feigns ignorance of the never-stopping plans by the Muslims North to rewrite Nigeria to the favor of their family and faith while, at the same time, finding it difficult to go their separate way and worship whom they worship, and then make the best of their ideal nation of faithfuls? If you do not speak up and act, you surely will be carried into exile when the spirit of Dan Fodio comes calling. If your selfishness has blinded you with false satisfaction, then you too cannot escape it when the repercussions oppose your purposes in life. Already, they are dripping like the rain in an-already swamped area.
This falsehood called Nigeria has long decayed in its foundation, and must crumble soon. Nigeria is the result of an uncultivated land- weeds are its only results, and it cannot be anything more as long as the present Nigeria remains. Unity does not mean a word in a society where acceptance means nothing; and progress cannot thrive in a nation where reproach follows reproach as a result of its foundation of sin and corruption. Nigeria is a seed, and until and unless it is planted, it cannot bring forth fruits. The fruits of the 1914 amalgamation should not be a continued Nigeria, but states once bound by a common name. Since the shackles of Nigeria are in the foundation, and everyone is bound by it- one way or the other (for when your neighbor is bound, do you really think you are free?)-; and since those who lead have no will and grace to lead rightly, then a mass-call for a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) clearly is the way out. But until then, everyone should keep alert against the invading sprit of Dan Fodio. To the man, Jubril Aminu, I, once again, say: shut up; and to that dirty spirit which drives your falsehood, I say: be bound and thrown into hell in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Ikechukwu Enyiagu can be reached at
*Nigeria: Kudos To The National Assembly For Banning Same Sex Marriage
By Amiru Adamu
Whatever the gay rights campaigners may say, the senate of the federal republic of Nigeria has done a commendable job by passing the bill prohibiting same sex marriage in Nigeria. This law banning marriage and public display of affection between homosexual couples, with a provision of up to fourteen years imprisonment for violators is a historic and brave move that will help save our generation and the upcoming generations from descending into one of the most sinful acts known to humanity, and the total collapse of shame and honor in our country We’ Nigerians are cultured people. We are religious people who follow the teachings of Islam and Christianity. And though Nigeria has a constitution that guarantees’ our rights, we are also bound by our religious commandments that forbids us from engaging in acts that are ungodly, unnatural, unprofitable, un-cultural and unhealthy. Homosexuality and lesbianism have no place in Islam and Christianity as clearly stated in the following quotes from the two holy books; Qur’an and Bible. The holy Qur’an in surat Al-Araf (The heights) (7:80-84) states “We also (sent) Lut: he said to his people: "Do ye commit lewdness such as no people in creation (ever) committed before you? "For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds." And his people gave no answer but this: they said, "drive them out of your city: these are indeed men who want to be clean and pure!" But We saved him and his family, except his wife: she was of those who lagged behind. And We rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): then see what was the end of those who indulged in sin and crime! ( Continues below…… )
Photo Above: British Gay Priest Rev. Colin Coward with Nigerian Gay Fiancé Bobby Egbele (Photo 1)
The holy Bible in Romans (1:21-27) also states “21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. 26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error! ( Continues below…… )
Photo Above: British Gay Priest Rev. Colin Coward with Nigerian Gay Fiancé Bobby Egbele (Photo 2)
These verses from the two holy books alone are enough justification for the passage of the bill. Though the bill has a uniform support from majority of Nigerians, the gay right campaigners have refused to see reason. They insist on instigating some foreign countries to descend so low, as to threaten the withdrawal of the assistance given to Nigeria for its fight against HIV/AIDS. They also went further to instigate some youths to storm the national assembly to protest against the bill. The brainwashed youths shamelessly demanded for their right to carryout same sex marriages as is the case in other countries which have legalized Homosexualism and lesbianism. The most amazing part of the debate is the fact that, some of these countries trying to pressure Nigeria on human rights issues are the same countries that banned the use of veil (Hijab) by Muslim women, who chose to cover their faces in accordance with the teachings of their faith. As they argued that veils are alien to their culture, so also is homosexuality and lesbianism to ours. It is my opinion that banning same sex marriage will bring nothing but the much needed good luck to Nigeria. I want to use this medium to call on members of the House of Representatives to hasten the passage of the bill, so it can be signed into law by President Jonathan. Thank you Nigerian Senators for a job well done!
Amiru Adamu is the publisher of Northern Wind Magazine.
*Nigeria: ATSSSAN President Sues For Unity Among Aviation Unions
By Lateef Lawal
Members of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) have been urged to unite to fight the social ills in the aviation sector in the country for the emancipation of workers from the chackles of injustice. The call was made by the re-elected President of ASSSAN, Comrade Benjamin Okewu while speaking after being sworn in for the second term of four years, who described his election as that destined by God, called on executives of all branches of ATSSSAN to work for the over all enhancement of workers welfare.
According to him, it will be difficult for any association to grow or fight for the well being of its members where acrimony and rancor was the order of the day. He enjoined everyone to desist from anti-association activities in the interest of members of the association. He declared that union’s agitation for a comprehensive road map and plan for the development of the aviation sector will not stop until the road map was made to reflect the various tangible expectations of stakeholders. ( Continues below….. )
Okewu urged the government to learn from the unpopular decision of liquidation of the Nigeria Airways to be harnessed into the aviation road map. The ATSSSAN President called on the government to conclude the process for the final payment of all outstanding indebtedness to Nigeria Airways workers immediately to put an end to incessant deaths. According to Okewu, “ATSSSAN will not stop calling for the review and cancellation of various concession agreements that are skewed in favour of the concessionaires to the detriment of the organization, workers and Nigerian people”
While commending the steps taken by the aviation minister over the Bilateral Air Service Agreement with the British government, Okewu expressed delight over the commencement of work aimed at re-modeling some airports across the country saying it was as a result of the workers out cries and agitations which will never be in vain. ( Continues below..... )
Other national executives elected at the just concluded elections for various offices are : Sarah Rimdans,Deputy Nat. President; Giwa Rimanchatin,Deputy Nat. President; Ogbonda Evans,Nat. Vice President; Ilitrus Ahmadu,Nat. Vice President; Olanipekun Olaniran,National Treasurer; Emeto Philips,Nat. Financial Secretary.
The rest are-Imafidon Edwin,National Auditor; Toyin Awonusi,National Auditor; Abiodun Adewuni,National Trustee; Onoja Pius,National Trustee; Okpokpong John Donald,National Trustee; Danjuma Ahmed,National Ex-Officio; Ajayi Ganiyat,National Ex-Officio; Agom G. A. National Ex-Officio; Andrew Inalegwu,National Ex-officio.
Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)
*Nigeria: NSE Honours NAMA MD, Mazi Nnamdi Udoh
By Lateef Lawal
The Managing Director of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency(NAMA), Engineer Mazi Nnamdi Udoh was on Tuesday, 29th November, 2011 enlisted in the honours roll of the distinguished members of the Nigeria Society of Engineers(NSE), Ikeja, Lagos branch.
Honoured alongside the NAMA boss at the well attended ceremony held at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Ikeja is the current Commissioner of Agriculture, Ondo State, Engineer Ademola Olorunfemi. In his welcome address, the Chairman of the Ikeja Chapter of NSE, Engineer Bola Bido said among others that "It is a day of joy, because from among us, came engineers that have been found worthy of State and National Service." ( Continues below….. )
He explained that the branch decided to honour "these great men now, in their lifetime and not after they passed on. In the light of this recognition, the two recipients of these Awards must continue the business of bringing the needed changes into the office they now occupied and imparting the life of young generations of engineers by their exemplary performance".
Engineer Bido said as ambassadors of the group, members look forward to the two awardees to create more opportunities for engineers to assume political positions,adding that "as evident, we recognised, today, your contributions to the engineering profession and the opportunities you have created for young engineers within your sphere of influence".
Engineer Udoh, who was the immediate past Director of Safety Electronics and Engineering Services in NAMA holds a Master of Science(M.Sc) in Air Safety from the School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, City University, London among several other academic and professional certificates prior to his recent appointment by the Federal Government as the Managing Director of NAMA three months ago.
Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)
*Gowon And The Curse He Took Home: Nigerians And Their Harvest
By Ikechukwu Enyiagu
Yakubu ("Jack" Dan-Yumma) Gowon, the man accorded ‘General’ for his led genocide against Biafrans, is the symbol of the curse of Nigeria today. You will do well to pay close attention to me because this is no a vain saying. He is the symbol of Nigeria’s evil, wickedness, stubbornness, and prevailing curse. When God punishes a king, his subjects-those who support him while he goes about his many abominations and defiling of God’s name, people, and temple-will suffer even greater consequences. Such a man has an end that visits the wicked and ungodly. The danger of having a wicked king, who has no fear for God or feelings for his subjects, is that his end is a long experience of spiritual torture and regrets, and his subjects, especially those who bow before him in false adoration, exclaiming: “Long live the king-” these people shall not go unpunished; their generations shall meet the consequences of their fathers’ rebellion against truth, and shall partake of the results of self-induced ignorance. Yet, to those that have parted ways with a life of lies and illusions, those who have recognized and accepted their sins and the consequences thereof-to them, there may yet be a way out. But for Yakubu Gowon, the man who led Nigeria, Britain, Russia, and the entire Arab in a hell-conceived plot to “wipe Israel off the map,” his generation shall know no peace. He will live to see the full result of his choices made out of great hatred for a people who have only done well in the land-to a people who offered themselves and their tribe to bring positive changes wherever they may be found. Ojukwu may have died today, yet he has gone home to rejoice; but you, Gowon, shall live to suffer the full wrath of the demon you have unleashed on yourself and your people.
I make bold to tell you and all who care to listen: you killed Nigeria and paid her burial with the blood of over one million Ndigbo. Since you championed “one Nigeria” where Igbos are the sacrificial lamb and the slaves, and since Nigeria has died, you shall die with her-you and your generations. You are happy Ojukwu died as a Nigerian, really? It only goes to show your eternal hatred against your very self and against your generation, because hating Igbos only means hating your life; and opposing a realized Biafra is called self-opposition. What choices do you still think are available to your dying soul; what more resistance can you put up which has not already been quashed? Your statement clearly displays the vanity of a callous and unrepentant man who still believes, even after 40 years, that a united Nigeria is depended upon the continued slavery of Igbos. You remain the greatest curse and the worst thing that has ever befallen Nigeria, even though you are alive. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Nigeria Ex-Military Head of State, Yakubu Gowon leaving after attending Late Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua's funeral in Katsina, Katsina State May 6, 2010.
Plateau state today has become the first graveyard of the judgment on Nigeria, courtesy of the acclaimed “General of Nigeria’s unity.” Blood has spilled on the ground of Plateau state to the very level where unbelievers should believe, and where rebellious people should repent and obey. This is the hometown of the said General of Nigeria’s unity, Gowon. Who shall deliver you; who is there to save your families? No one! Plateau has become the Armageddon of the North, the judgment place against Nigeria. And this blood is spilling over…ever to yonder places, to those whose signatories saw to the Biafran genocide. It has become a wave of fire and transported by the wind. Presidents have come and gone without addressing the issue of Biafra, and God has stamped His feet against Nigeria. Leaders have brought up many measures to, according to the only true General Nigeria has ever seen, Dim Ojukwu, “patch things up,” but everything has gone from bad to worse. Don’t live in rebellion because that is the only blindness that truly blinds. Nigeria was cursed the day it went to war against Biafra, and as in justice, the man who championed it will suffer more terrible fate than others; Gowon brought punishment to his people.
Where are those songs sung during the massacre; where are those who said they were fighting to kill our fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons; where are those who sang on national broadcasting stations that they would rape our mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters? Where are they today? Even in your midst, you are being killed and raped by your sons-the sons you bore in abominations. The judgment has long begun and the angel in charge has no mercy to give. Your fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons shall be slaughtered in broad daylight; and your mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters shall be raped in your presence before being slaughtered as well. Those Igbos killed amongst you can only be a breed of those who have hated their lives for the sake of the world; and to them who walk in the counsel of the ungodly, who stand in the way of sinners, and sit in the seat of the scornful-to them shall the judgment of the guilt befall. They are equally counted for the rebellious and shall be punished alongside. Those who forfeit the spirit for the flesh shall lose both in the days of accountability and recompense. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map and Flag of Nigeria
Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu led us in a defensive fight against the invading team of Dan Fodians; he never started any war. It was the very spirit which led Usman Dan Fodio to invade the North that led the genocide mission against the Christian South-Easterners. No man born of a woman has any rights to compel a dissatisfied man into remaining in an unholy marriage; even husbands have lost right to keep a dissatisfied woman beyond her wish. The massacre of Igbos in the North should have been more than enough to appease those whose generation came from a bloodline of murderers; from those whose god feeds on the blood of the innocent, and before whom killing of innocents is a direct passage to paradise. The very reasons the spirit of Biafra manifested when he did have always been there, and even now, in their dynamic explosions. Igbos are still killed, Igbos are still deprived, and Igbos are still hated in all of Nigeria. You only have to be an Igbo or a Christian to incur the wrath of the murderous North. To hate an Igbo man has become a culture in Nigeria and not even the forces put to compel the deluded Nigeria’s unity have been enough to stop the bloodsuckers from seeking the blood of my people in every corner and for any reason. Dim Ojukwu was a man no Nigerian, past and present, could ever be; he is a man who saw the truth and stood for it. He stood for his people, and against corruption. The clear disparity between the man, Ojukwu, and the so-called leaders that Nigeria’s genocide against Biafrans has produced in Nigeria today, is largely evident. While Ojukwu forsook self and fought all the way, with all he had, to defend his people, Nigeria’s wickedness only produced leaders whose only agenda is self. They care for themselves alone; even a neighbor is a stranger to them.
The effect of Gowon’s rebuttal, refusal, and denial of the Aburi Accord, which he signed willingly after having understood it, rubbished whatever is left in Nigeria’s legitimacy to sovereignty of a nation where Igbos are a part. A so-called General, the so-called president of Nigeria, who found it hard to match Ojukwu in common sense, ought to have allowed Biafra to go. But, no; his strength was in his guns, bombs, Her Majesty and the Arab league whose only agenda in the world is to enforce one faith, yet their very people have turned against them even this day. It doesn’t matter how long the man of gun compels, one day, his gun shall become obsolete, and him, powerless, helpless and judged. The mighty hand of God will assure that. It does not matter how long Nigeria’s rebellion holds, eventually, the hand which pressed down the truth will be weak and broken; and it will fall off. Compulsion never achieved anything lasting; if anything, it breeds great animosity in generation after another against those who compel-even against their generations unborn. It’s the same blood.
Biafra is the only solution for Nigeria; a separate state called Biafra is the only remedy for Nigeria’s ever increasing and chronic illness. The constant waving aside of this possibility is a clear indication of utter ignorance which destroys. Biafra is! To any country or government which went through the story of Nigeria and Biafra, the events of these last forty years are enough to pinpoint the log which holds everything back. The delusion of Nigeria’s leaders-past and present-is the constant decay of whatever is left of Nigeria. To some who believe that the Biafran war should be likened to those fought in other places that eventually remained as one, you are equally deluding yourself because you have not done your research well enough to notice the clear uniqueness of the 1967 war in the west of Africa. To those who loot public funds and refuse to call for a Sovereign National Conference, you shall not escape. The judgment shall start from you. And even now, it has. Gowon and those who followed his orders to “wipe Israel off the map” have only one thing remaining to be grateful for: An independent state called the Republic of Biafra. And to every government that comes and goes without addressing the issues of the wickedness which the entire Nigeria and its government meted out on Biafrans, you will never succeed. As long as Biafra is a sin in your mind, you shall remain an abomination before heaven. And be sure that your wheel is forever stuck. Your rule shall be sustained with chaos and your end shall be more disastrous than you came in to see. You, too, cannot go unpunished. And, no matter how long your rebellion stays, Biafra will eventually stand; and it shall not delay longer than written. Ojukwu’s transition didn’t erase it, it rekindled it. Be sure of this.
Ikechukwu Enyiagu can be reached at
*Nigeria: Governor Aliyu Magatakarda - The Journey So Far
By Amiru Adamu
To many admirers, governor Aliyu wamakko is an exemplary leader and a rare breed of excellence whose quality of character and sincerity of purpose endears him to the administration and respect of the people of sokoto state. His immense contributions in the society and his concern for the wellbeing of the common man will forever remain indelible in the political history of Sokoto State. When Aliyu magatakarda wamakko took the reigns of government in may 2007, it was clear to us that the task before him was not an easy one, considering the enormity of the development were complex and had been compounded by the lack of seriousness and courage to grapple with them by his predecessors.
Impressively, with greater enthusiasm and utter determination not to fail the people who gave him their mandate, governor wamakko resolved to sacrifice his time, energy and acumen the almighty Allah bestowed on him to make sokoto great, socially, economically politically, and to be at par with other states of the federation. It is worthy of note, that within three and half years of his four year term, it is encouraging to note that the policy objectives of the administration are not only being pursued but that significant progress has been made in implementing these policies. In every nook and cranny of sokoto state today, are scores of projects touching on all facets of human endeavours representing an integral part of the developmental influence of governor Aliyu magatakarda wamakko. Name them: from housing development, through education, water supply, youth empowerment, healthcare delivery, poverty eradication, transportation, rural electrification and roads. All these and many more are today practically transparent in every nook and cranny of sokoto state. The ever increasing focus on education as the most decisive factor in the progress and development of modern societies and as a tool for fighting ignorance and disease, explains the high rating accorded to education in sokoto state. At its inception the administration declared a state of emergency in the educational sector and committed 22% of its budget to it. The administration has so far renovated most primary schools, expanded over 30 secondary schools including classrooms, hostels libraries workshops and staff residential quarters.
It went further to provide model libraries in some selected post primary schools, purchased and distributed relevant textbooks for all subjects as well as equipping classrooms and hostels with furniture’s and generators. The administration also increased the students feeding allowances by 100% and abolished examination fees, school fees and other miscellaneous expenses for all students’ non indigenes inclusive. These policies have increased students enrollment to about 40%. In order to back its policies with enough manpower, the administration recruited additional 700, primary school teachers, 1000, secondary school teachers190, teachers for Arabic and Islamic board and 172, for Shehu Shagari College of education. Other efforts by the administration in the educational sector include: establishment of additional normadic schools, establishment of Almajirci integrated school, purchase and distribution of free JAMB/DE forms on a yearly basis, extra mural lessons for students with deficiencies in o/level, scholarships and study grants etc. The first phase of the sokoto state university is in its completion stage. Health care delivery, has also received attention from the administration. With clear understanding of the need for improvement and expansion of healthcare delivery services in the state to correspond with the rapid population growth, increase in the sophistication of the pattern of life of the people and demand for better health services. The administration immediately swung into action, by putting in place articulated strategies to deal with these inadequacies. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko of Sokoto State
It ensured the completion of all inherited projects, constructed six general hospitals, 15 primary healthcare centers, ongoing construction of an orthopedic hospital, constant supply of drugs and medical equipments, supply of ambulances, training and retaining of all cadres of health personnel etc. to ensure accessibility to medical care, the administration procured 30 mobile clinics and utility vehicles. It also supports immunization against child killer diseases, resulting to ranking of sokoto state 2nd lowest in infection North West zone. The administration also established a drugs revolving fund, and procured drugs worth 100 million under the scheme to ensure hospitals do not lack drugs, it also provided logistics for aggressive campaign against drug abuse, HIV/AIDS and STI’S. The administration is also providing free medical care to pregnant women and children under five years in its FREMCARE programme in which customized drugs and diagnostics services are provided free of charge in all general hospitals and primary health care centers. The overall health policies have been geared towards the attainment of state economic empowerment development strategies (SEEDS) and millennium development goals (MDG’S).
The administration has boosted the agricultural sector, through increased participation and funding. The fact that Fertilizer is the most important commodity to a farmer prompted the administration to commit a lot of money into procurement of assorted fertilizer which it distributes to farmers yearly at a subsidized rate. It has also procured and distributed over 300 tractors,50.000 irrigation pumps,200 rice threshing machines and over 1.5 Billion Naira worth of aerial spray materials, pesticides and agrochemical materials for control of Quella birds and other crop pests in the state. To boost dry season farming the administration rehabilitated over 10 irrigation schemes and disbursed over 100 million Naira loan to farmers for dry season farming and animal tractions. Animal health was not neglected as sokoto state is noted for its large herds of cattle, sheep and goats.
The administration embarked on the vaccination of different animals against diseases in all parts of the state. Shelter as a key necessity of life was not left out of the administrations’ development agenda. Wamakko’s administration took a giant leap in the housing sector when it went all out to construct a total of 2000 housing units within the state capital and 30 units in each of the 23 local governments of the state. Most of these houses have been completed and allocated to civil servants on owner/occupier basis. The state’s NYSC permanent camp is presently under construction, to provide a befitting accommodation to Youth corps members posted to sokoto state. Economically stable electricity supply brings a lot of development and a considerable decline in the number of the unemployed, due to increase of economic activities. These foreseen prospects prompted the administration to embark on a 3.8 Billion Naira state independent power project, to provide 30 mega watts in addition to the PHCN supply. The promise of rural electrification is also being fulfilled.
The administration has so far connected over 300 towns and villages to the national grid. This step has encouraged the establishment of cottage industries and other commercial activities of the people living in the rural areas. It has also triggered a decline in the migration of people from rural to urban areas, most especially the youth whose absence affects agriculture, which is the dominant occupation in the rural areas. The provision of portable and clean water supply should be a top priority issue to every responsible government. Clean and properly treated water prevents the populace from being infected with various water borne diseases. At its inception the administration took a step to arrest the perennial water shortage in the state by setting up a committee to ensure adequate water supply in the state within the shortest time possible. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing its 36 states, including Sokoto State and Federal capital (Abuja or FCT)
The committee immediately after its inauguration embarked on the replacement of old pipes and refurbishment of tank reservoirs, a step that alleviated the acute shortage of water within the metropolis dramatically. The administration has so far converted 35 motorized water schemes to solar water schemes, rehabilitated more than 200 semi urban water schemes, the work on the diversion of kware main line to Achida and rehabilitation of the impressit water supply extension for Sokoto Township among others. The government through its department for rural water supply embarked on special projects to supply the rural areas with water. Some of these projects include 90 motorized water schemes,40 solar powered motorized water schemes, reactivation of 200 hand pumps,50 overhead tanks,100 boreholes and the rehabilitation of Binga, Yaka, Yar abba and Tungar malam Rashidu rural water schemes among others. The administration further drilled 50 additional boreholes in guinea- worm infested communities of Binji, Gada, Rabah, Silame, Tangaza, Tureta and Tambuwal local government areas. The construction is also on, for a water station at Asare capable of providing 45 million litres of water per day.
These calculated and people oriented projects, have brought succor to the people of sokoto state in the area of water supply. The youth as the leaders of tomorrow, are given a high priority by the administration. The youth empowerment programme of the administration picked up on a sound footing. By design the programme is aimed at providing succor to the vibrant youth and other unemployed persons in the state. The administration established a skills acquisition mega center in each of the three senatorial districts; two skills acquisition centers in each of the 23 local government areas to cater for male and female training. The scheme has so far trained more than 30.000 youths in various skills and tools of the trades provided for the graduates. The administration has so far provided 300 buses, 200 taxis and over 1000 tricycles which were distributed on loan to individuals. The administration also secured a 2 billion Naira loan, on behalf of the traders in the state. An arrangement was reached between the state government and the banks, with interest being remitted to the banks by the state government on behalf of the traders. Women form the larger segment of the society.
It is in line with this fact that the administration gives top priority attention to the development of women in the state. The women development center in sokoto was provided with working materials, computer center, fitness center and a daycare center. Centers in all the 23 local governments of the state were also provided with equipment and materials worth millions of Naira. Over 30, million, Naira, assistance was given to distressed women and petty traders across the state, while cooperative groups got loans. Good roads are essential for the development of trade and tourism. It also makes movement of people and goods from one place to another safer and easier. As a mark of commitment towards structural transformation, the administration has within the period under review, constructed, dualised and upgraded more than 600 standard and feeder roads within sokoto and its 23 local governments. A contract was recently awarded, for the fitting of all major roads within sokoto metropolis with solar powered street lights; an overhead bridge that runs through the town centre has been constructed.
The administration takes the welfare of its less privileged very seriously. The government through its ministry of social welfare pays minimum wage to every disabled person in sokoto state. The ministry has so far achieved a great success in its field of operation some of which include: clearing of mentally challenged people from the streets of sokoto and facilitating their treatment at psychiatric hospital, renovation and increased funding for the state orphanage homes, payment of hospital bills for the less privileged with critical and expensive medical conditions. The Ramadan feeding programme being carried out by the administration is also another landmark achievement. Sokoto state being the seat of the caliphate is a predominant Muslim state, hence the administration’s commitment to the development of religious affairs. At its inception the present administration established a ministry of religious affairs that is in charge of overseeing all religious matters in the state. The ministry has so far constructed 4 type “A” Jumu’at mosques, 33 type “B” Jumu’at mosques and Islamiyya schools.
It also provided motorcycles to its recruited Islamic teachers, for easy access to the rural areas. The ministry is participating fully in the collection and distribution of zakat within the The administration took a giant step to curb the problems associated with “Almajirci” in the state, by establishing the Almajirci model school, a first of its kind in Nigeria. Indeed the journey so far did not come without some pains and deprivations. It is rather impossible to have attained the level of achievement recorded with so little resources. The state’s finances are not all that encouraging especially with the bulk of civil workforce on its payroll consuming a substantial slice of the monthly cash allocation from the federal government. The minimum wage saga inherited by the administration at its inception is also history. Without reservation Governor wamakko has justified himself as an exemplary leader, whose personal qualities and proficiency as demonstrated in the past 4 years of his stewardship, has restored a new lease of life to the people of sokoto state in terms of belonging and hope for the future.
Amiru Adamu is the publisher of Northern Wind Magazine.
*Arik Air Returns to Abuja - London Heathrow Route December 12
By Lateef Lawal
Arik Air is to recommence operations between Abuja and London, Heathrow by 12th December, 2011. This is as a result of the positive negotiations between UK and Nigeria governments on the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) two weeks ago..
It has been agreed that Arik will now receive two additional weekly slots at Heathrow Terminal 4 in order to operate a daily Abuja – London, Heathrow flight compared to five times weekly that the airline had operated from November 2009 until the end of the last summer schedule in 2011 when it suspended operations due to a number of extraneous factors.
The increased frequency on the route means Nigeria is now operating 14 of its 21 agreed frequencies between the two countries. The airline will operate a daily flight between the two capitals, complementing its daily Lagos – London, Heathrow service bringing Arik’s total frequency of flights between Nigeria and the UK to 14 per week.
Arik will fly in to Terminal 4 operating a New Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft with a two class configuration with 16 Business Class cradle style seats with 8.6’’ TV monitors and 126 ergonomically designed Economy Class seats with a pitch of 34’’. It will depart Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja at 11:35am (local time) and arrive in London at 5:05pm (local time). The inbound flight will conveniently depart Heathrow at 9:45pm, arriving in to Abuja for 5:10am affording passengers time to connect on to any one of the 16 domestic destinations served by Arik from its secondary hub. Sir Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide(CON), Executive Chairman and founder of Arik Air, noted:“It had always been our intention to recommence flights between Abuja and London, Heathrow and I am very happy that we will meet that promise before the end of this year. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: A landing Arik Plane
Both governments and associated bodies have worked amicably and swiftly to resolve the issue, redress the imbalance and reciprocate on the agreed number of slots. We would like to thank The Federal Government of Nigeria for its unwavering support in this matter; the nation owes its Honorable Government a debt of gratitude for championing the cause of the aviation sector in Nigeria.
This outcome will ultimately be in the long-term interest of Nigeria and her people. I would also like to pay a special thank you to the Honorable Minister for Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah OON, for her leadership and resolve in addressing this imbalance and seeking a solution that is to the benefit of the indigenous airlines for a change.
“As Nigeria’s largest airline it is imperative that we continue to fly the flag for the country and operate daily between London and Nigeria’s federal and economic capitals. The route has for many years been under-served and there was very little value for money being offered. Arik’s entrance in to the market in December 2008 and November 20 09 had addressed some of that and the increased frequency negotiated under these new terms goes a long way to addressing it further.”
Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)
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