*Arik, BA Imbroglio: Lufthansa Owns 100% of BMI, Investigations Reveals
By Lateef Lawal
Contrary to the claim in certain quarters that the British Midland was owned by British Airways and that it was the airline used as fronts to scuttle Arik's slot at London Heathrow Airport, it has been discovered that the claim is a fluke. It was also claimed that the slots in question were sold by BMI to Arik. BMI was also said to be one of the subsidiaries of BA. From investigations by NigerianAviationNews, as at this moment, Lufthansa initially owns 50% and later 100% of BMI which it bought in 2008 from the previous Chairman, Sir Michael Bishop who at the time owned 80%.
Lufthansa is just about selling British Midland (BMI) to International Airlines Group (IAG), which owns British Airways and Iberia. No details have yet been given of how much will be paid for the loss-making carrier. The airlines said they hoped to sign a purchase agreement "in the coming weeks" and complete the deal before April 2012. The sale still has to be cleared by regulators. BMI, which is based in Castle Donington in Leicestershire, operates flights to Europe, the Middle East and Africa. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: An Airborne Plane
The key issue for regulators will be the extra take-off and landing slots at Heathrow Airport that BMI owns. The acquisition would mean that IAG would have more than half of the landing slots at the UK's busiest airport. Virgin Atlantic, which said it had also made a bid for BMI, is likely to strongly oppose the deal. "British Airways' hold over Heathrow is already too dominant and we are very concerned - as the competition authorities should also be - that BA's purchase of BMI would be disastrous for consumer choice and competition," Virgin Atlantic said.
Geoff van Klaveren from Deutsche Bank said the deal would make a big difference for IAG. "It boosts their slots at Heathrow to 54% share from 45%. Given that no new runways are likely to be built in the South East of England in next 10 years, this is a crucial strategic move," he said. It decided to sell it as the carrier's losses widened. It reported a loss of 154m euros ($213m; £133m) for the first nine months of this year, hit by rising fuel costs and social unrest in some of its destinations in North Africa and the Middle East. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: A landing Arik Plane
BMI also has a no-frills subsidiary called BMIBaby and the Aberdeen-based BMI Regional. BMI announced on 28 October that it was in advanced talks to sell BMI Regional to a UK-based investor group that would continue to run it as an independent airline. British Midland Airways Limited (styled as bmi, British Midland International), is an airline based at Donington Hall in Castle Donington, England, United Kingdom, close to East Midlands Airport, and a fully owned subsidiary of Lufthansa.
The airline flies to destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia from its operational base at London Heathrow Airport, where it holds 11% of all take off and landing slots and operates over 2,000 flights a week. In January 2007, BMI bought British Mediterranean Airways which has enabled it to serve a wider range of mid-haul destinations. British Midland Airways Limited holds a United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority Type A Operating Licence, permitting it to carry passengers, cargo and mail on aircraft with 20 or more seats.
The airline is currently ranked as a 3-star airline by Skytrax.
Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)
*To Those Who Claim ‘World Powers’ & 'Democracy Bringers'.
By Ikechukwu Enyiagu
Yes, to those who claim world powers, I write. I write to you even when the seed of the issue on ground has its gained-roots in Nigeria. I chose this title, not because you do not already know the truth in the case of Nigeria, but because it’s important for everyone-not just you-to understand that no one is oblivious of the happenings and of this blaring truth which greets everyone like the air of survival. The title of this piece could have been: “Gaddafi: One Truth In Nigeria,” however, the aim herein far outweighs the truth of the past. Gaddafi is gone but we are still, therefore, the living still has beliefs to choose from before time calls no more. The truth of times has never changed; this time will not be different. The truth of Nigeria lies bare to all before whom truth is the saving grace. This truth which has taken over the influence of Nigeria is this: Disintegration of Nigeria stands as the only true justice which will change Continent Africa and propel minds and wills for the next phase. Much ado has been going on about “project Nigeria,” yet Nigeria’s situation which, invariably, bears evidence on the citizenry, cannot be overemphasized; the need to address Nigerianism has become more resounding as the days roll in and subsequently become history. I write to you, world powers, because, at the end of it all, you have to take a clear stand; only, let it not be too late-even for all involved.
Democracy is the best leadership and government man can give in a world of godlessness. It’s a mockery of what is true and right, yet it serves to remind all that there must be something better, deeper, fulfilling, and everlasting. Democracy tries to maintain peace among men who think that there is no need for God whatsoever. Democracy says: “we all have a say, and we don’t care even if we are sure that our say is borne out of selfishness, greed, and callousness-our rights are to be counted.” Now, that is wonderful because it is the peak of man’s quest for excellence in relationships. However, there is a standard limit for science and it has proven that without godly principles, no human will ever attain complete satisfaction-the quest for rights and wants can only multiply. Yet, democracy serves in it’s time. I still commend the efforts of the likes of the great Abraham Lincoln of the blessed memory for his stand on issues of the slavery of blacks in the days of white men with prevailing dark minds. I also appreciate the gains of democracy in parts of the world where it’s properly practiced. Democracy replaces what will fight peace, that’s why democracy is better than war. And to avoid further degradation which could spur another war amongst the peoples of Nigeria, sovereign-democracy should be established for the peoples living within what is called, presently, The Nigerian Federation. When sovereign democracy fails, how difficult it shall be to have any form of truth in the democratic running of state! ( Continues below….. )
Muammar Gaddafi, the man whose seed of destruction was planted when he took “king of kings” as a name to himself, who damned his people and challenged the world, was not entirely the picture of evil. He had his graces, but selfish leadership is a blindfold of its kind; his almighty-kingship could not reveal to him the times. Nevertheless, in the midst of his vices and demons, he wriggled free and spoke the one truth I’ve heard from him in all my awareness: He said that the only way to settle the matter in Nigeria is to divide it along religious borders. It was alleged that he made two different recommendations regarding Nigeria’s problem, but one thing was clear from his speeches: Nigeria must divide for peace to reign in this part of the world. Leaders who bear ‘honorable’ in democracy were said to have retorted in anger from different quarters, yet they all know he spoke the absolute and inevitable truth. Even at his death, some of these clueless leaders have gone ahead to blame every calamity that happens in Nigerian on Gaddafi; now, they say he is more dangerous dead than when he was alive. The truth is: My questions are: are you being true to yourselves? Does democracy have boundaries demarcating those who should benefit from it and those who should not? It’s clear enough: division (or disintegration, whichever you choose) of Nigeria stands as the only possible chance of salvaging much more of what remains of Nigeria. Over fifteen billion naira are wasted monthly just for the presidency’s foreign security unit, wasteful contracts have gone out to set up CCTVs in every strategic point in places where people who claim to be more Nigerian than others live, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are getting ready to keep surveillance over Nigeria’s borders as means and measures to check the Boko Haram disease.
While these steps are good, they are no solution for any people going through Nigeria’s phase. All these serve as the dividends of the Nigeria-type democracy-wastage of money over matter which solution is simple and clear, and continued and conscious degradation of lives by those very leaders. Evil had been around in Nigeria before Boko Haram branched out. This evil stands fixed at the root of the pillar of Nigeria’s unity. To properly address the challenges of Boko Haram, Nigeria’s oneness must, as a matter of no alternative, be revisited, and proper adjustments made. Two can never work together unless they agree, and as long as agreement remains elusive, progress is only a false dream. The setting of CCTVs, the paying foreigners to guard those who believe death is not coming-and speedily-, the wasteful budget on drones-all these only aggravate matters. Pakistan, Afghanistan, and other states like them are enough lessons for those leaders who claim to have peoples’ agenda in Nigeria. You cannot use force to counter-measure a man who has decided to kill you or die with you unless he has his way, and expect to survive it. The only way is a permanent severance of bonds of oneness.
The Arab world has had a very large share of changes in this century; what has happened, and indeed are yet happening in the Arab world, point only to one thing: Change is imminent and already taking roots. America is in a critical moment of decision; Europe is in confusion, while the Arab world is in painful but indispensable transition. China is fighting for supremacy, while Africa is being prepared as the battleground for powers. Yet, whoever comes in peace must also come in truth; it’s the very case of Nigeria. And in Africa, powers that cannot be controlled for good will become scapegoats. Contrary to economists, it’s not all about the money and power-these fail when they are needed the most, as can been seen in most parts of the world today and yet to be seen in other arrears as well. It’s about legacy, and posterity; it’s about laying foundations of truth-laying foundations in truth. Gaddafi’s defiance and pride made a mess of Libya; Assad’s ignorance will make a bigger mess, if not immediately halted, and Iran’s stupidity is just a suicide mission. My question, therefore, is: Must there be civil wars and deaths before those who claim to have the right leadership and dependable muscles stand for what is necessary? Does Syria have to be engulfed in a civil war before it’s clear that Assad is the enemy of mankind and quickly removed? And must another civil war be recorded of Nigeria before these world powers address what needs to be addressed? Most times, I wonder what the governments of China and Russia truly stand for, what their goals are when they often take decisions which do, clearly, not favor the survival and thriving of mankind. But I can assure man of one thing: except for the Antichrist whose mission and ushering-in events have been predetermined, powers mean nothing except God’s, and those who oppose truths in their pursuit for power are really standing on a hollow ground. By the way, the Antichrist shall only manifest to fulfill his own doom. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: U.S. President Barack Obama
Boko Haram has indeed come to stay, as it’s said, and no number of drones can drive them to extinct; if it were that possible, the Taliban would have become history, instead, they grow in leaps and bounds by the day. Al-Qaeda has taken shape in some African countries, and now bonding strongly with their Nigerian extension; the only way to avoid an Al-Qaeda-fully-controlled Africa may be a quick decision to dissolve this false entity which brings no news of joy to anyone from any country all over the world-whatsoever-this entity called Nigeria. So much can be addressed now, and in the case of Nigeria, a break-up is the only way out. It does not have to come to a place where reprisal attacks will be directed against northerners in Nigeria by other citizens, and our Southern graduate children who are faithfully serving Nigeria in the Northern parts of the country must not be entirely wiped off before these world powers realize that a war has been going on- a war against democracy and a war against humanity.
In the 1967 war, truths were silence and the world has not finished paying for that; governments who should have stepped in to do the right thing kept mute, and today, they are paying dearly for it. Churches have remained targets, and worshippers, sacrificial lambs to the god of bloodshed; must every Christian be killed before the UN Security Council understands that what has been going on in Northern part of Nigeria has advanced from tribal/ethnic genocide to a religious cleansing? Is the price of an eventual NATO presence considered cheaper than the prevailing wisdom-than a Sovereign National Conference (SNC), and a disintegrated Nigeria? These questions are directed both to Nigeria’s leaders, and to the World Powers-to those whose words and actions have largely participated in the woes and gains of the now all over the world. Another moment of decision has come for Nigeria’s leaders, and for the World Powers regarding Nigeria: Have the results of a Pakistan, an Afghanistan, and a Yemen of today pleased us so much that a repeat of their story is happily awaited in Nigeria? The speed and determination of Boko Haram can only drive the country to one thing: another civil war. But this time, it will be a never-seen-before experience. NATO/UN’s military intervention has no use for Nigerians. A good NATO and UN leadership would pressure and implement on Nigeria decisions which saves lives and costs before it blooms into another war. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria
Just as Gaddafi voiced out his one truth which many heard, I stand in the division of this entity called Nigeria. Among the things every man who desires growth learns is that change is constant and should be embraced and encouraged. The story of today’s Nigeria has gone beyond regional differences to a religious mission. It’s now a religious mandate and a spirit-goal: An Islamized Nigeria or nothing. Nigeria, as a country, would not be a bad idea if it becomes an Islamic country, because there are so many Islamic countries that are at peace and progressive. However, having an Islamized-Nigerian will only be achievable after the South and those who want out are removed from that false and evil amalgamation. Nigeria was not set up with that understanding or agreement, the amalgamation deal was not sealed with the understanding of a 21st-century Islamic Republic of Nigeria. Opposing this clear revelation or playing politics with it can never go unpunished; there is every repercussion for every negligence and wickedness. Simply waving aside the clear demands of Boko Haram as mere rants would also be rated as negligence of duty, and selfishness on those whose positions hold all responsibility; each has its rewards also. The true picture of a disintegrated Nigeria can never be given those whose god is self. Many leaders in Nigeria have ignorantly assumed that a divided Nigeria translates to weaker groups of new West African states. To them, maintaining a “One Nigeria” is their sacred vow-in life, and till death. But that is evil in clear manifestation; that is the insistence of the enemy of mankind. Contrary to these fears, a divided-Nigeria would actually result to more prosperous and free people, living as understanding and cooperating neighbors.
Since true democracy does not tolerate the selfish and outright wicked choices of the past, Nigeria’s breakup will be the first true step towards true democracy in Africa. South Africans still have the marks of Apartheids to bear in their bodies always, yet they were able to call it history soon enough because there are ‘white-skin’ citizens; those who claim to know better, selfishly, felt more concerned. In Nigeria’s case, it’s black-against-black, and so, all interests, influence, and support from the outside-from those who claim ‘world powers-’ now lie on whose promise has more relevance in their continued insatiability and crookedness. So in Nigeria, it seems, the World Powers resist democracy, but in their countries and other places, they fight to keep democracy. What hypocrisy! What wickedness! To those who claim to be at the top of the world’s stabilization: until you address, and urgently, the matters of Nigeria’s continued oneness,(which, obviously, you are sitting on) you have not made any point; make it now, because time and beauty are fleeting. The beauty of justice is that it comes when it pleases, but man can make a choice now to stand in its arm of favor when it eventually comes. And no matter what happens, there still will be remnants; let the decisions we take today judge us fairly in the days of calamity. Those days are fast coming upon men. The times still speak.
Ikechukwu Enyiagu can be reached at
*Nigeria's Civil Aviation--Journey To Transformation or Retrogression?
By Lateef Lawal
The new Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah since assumption of office about five months ago is used to talking tough on her vision for the industry and other sundry issues that ordinarily should have been left for Chief Executives of Agencies under her Ministry to address.
One of such major pronouncements was the remodeling programme of 11 airports in the country.
She emphatically stated in July this year that in three months, that is, by October 2011, at least the remodeling of the four major international airports of Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt would have been completed. Good talk! ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Nigeria Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah
October has come and gone, no physically visible re-modelling of any of the airports listed in the first phase of her projected re-modelling can be seen on ground.
One incontrovertible fact is that before the appointment of the Minister, the Management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria(FAAN) has had the plan of carrying out total infrastructural overhauling of old terminals across the country in gradual phases, starting with the major international airports aforementioned.
Next, was the Committee set up also in July, 2011 to look into the problems of high cost of operations by Nigerian registered airlines, especially the cost of Jet-A1 which members of the Airline Operators of Nigeria(AON) complained, was on the high side selling as high as between N180 and over N200 per liter depending on the location from where an operator lift the fuel.
The Minister gave the Committee 30 days within which to complete its job and churn in its report and recommendations to soot the operational 'sores' of the airlines. ( Continues below….. )
Thirty-day has rolled on to over 90 days, there is yet to be submitted any report nor recommendations to address the airlines' complaints.
The most the public heard of the issue was from the Technical Adviser to the Minister, Mr Victor Oche was that the Committee would soon submit the report(when asked about the report three weeks ago by journalists. How soon after sixty clear days from the initial 30 days directed by the Minister?
Effective administration is not run this way, if at all the Transformation Agenda of the President Jonathan's administration is to be felt in the Aviation Sector.
Before setting one month deadline within which the Committee was to sbmit its report, the Minister ought to have weighed the enormity of the job given to the committee.A leader's pronouncement on issue affecting all of human endeavours must always be his/her unshakeable bond with the people and the environment within which such leader operates.
Taking a second look at the Minister's recent strides and pronouncements, I want to believe that, fresh from being in the saddle, the Minister was unaware of the enormity of what she was into or She must have been deceived by some so-called experts within and outside the Ministry of Aviation in taking some actions not well thought out.
If the re-modelling as earlier pronounced by her had been achieved within the set three months she told the public, it should have been a great feat no other Minister before her had achieved! You talk of MIDAS touch?
Much as one appreciates the good intension of the Minister to put things right, She must be very cautious in making specific pronouncement which from all intent and purposes can not be achieved within the set time frame.
Her recent public outburst on the planned review of concession and lease agreements entered into by aviation agencies, especially the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria(FAAN) before her coming into the saddle is understandable.She deserve commendation on this.
This is because there had been calls from several quarters for such an exercise in view of the apparent lopsidedness observed in some of the agreements but previous Ministers foot-dragged on taking necessary steps to rectify tha anomalies.
However, shock again was the word, when I read an advertorial placed by the Ministry of Aviation in the Nation newspaper of October,17, 2011 tagged "Invitation To Tender".
To quote the introduction of the tender: "In furtherance of the Federal Government commitment towards improvement of the Aviation Industry, the Federal Ministry of Aviation is embarking on improvement infrastructure at some of the Fedral Government owned Airstrips Nationwide".
I was surprised and pissed-off with the word "Airstripes". I had thought it was "Airports". Should improvement of airstrips be the priority of a government that prides and touts its transformation agenda. Airstripes across the country are known to be veritable points from where all sorts of atrocities are comitted in the smuggling of arms and ammunitions illegally into the country by politicians and people that are well connected. Of what urgent economic relevance is an airstrip to the industry and the contry at large today? ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: A Dana plane
The advertorial was specifically calling for the invitation to tender for the -Fencing of Potiskum Airstrip-. Again the question that arises from this tender is-What is the economic relevance of Potiskum Airstrip placed side-by-side with the myriad of problems facing the industry? Must the fencing of this particular airstrip be the focus of an aviation minister that is barely five months in office.
The problems of incursion by unauthorised human andanimals onto the sterile areas of all the four major airports of Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt have not beenfully addressed not to talk of other commercially operational airports of Kaduna, Sokoto, Enugu, Maiduguri, Calabar and Jos and several others.
I should reiterate here again that airstrips that dotted the country's landscape are first anf foremost routee used by the super-rich for their convenience and in most cases to smuggle into the country, illegal items. There is more or less no security presence at almost all the airstrips that are even more than the number of funtional airports we have in the country.The must be very cautious of her action and inactions. Aviation industry is much more sensitive than other sectors of the economy.
Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)
*United Continental Launches Inaugural Flight Between Houston - Lagos
By Lateef Lawal
"Nigeria is open to exploration by foreign investors and closed to exploitation", this was the statement with which the Director General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA), Dr Harold Demuren early on November 17, welcomed United Continental Airlines inaugural flight from Houston, Texas (US) to Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, Nigeria.
He said that Nigeria has the market and good environment with which to accommodate investors and that the Federal Government was willing to assist foreign business men and corporate investors, but unfair dealings would not be tolerated in any guise. Saying that the maiden flight of United was historic and the demonstration of the government's resolve to look after the welfare of her citizens at home and abroad, the commencement of daily flights between Houston and Lagos would bring great relief to Nigerians in the U.S and especially in the state of Texas which host the largest percentage of Nigerians in the United States of America.
Dr Demuren who attributed the coming of United Airlines as one of the gains of the attainment of Category 1 Status by Nigeria therefore implored the management of the airline to give their passengers on this route, especially Nigerians the best of service and not to engage in unfair dealings. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: An Airborne Plane
Also speaking, the Nigerian Ambassador to the US, Professor Adefuye Ibidapo noted that the development was an attestation to the Fedral Government's commitment to improve on the high standard already set in air transport business in the country and also ease foreign investments by opening up to foreign investors. He said he was delighted with the commencement of flight services by United between Lagos and Houston because the State of Texas has the largest concentration Nigerians in the US and these Nigerians had contributed positively to the economy of US in various human endeavours.
Before yesterday,he said it has for years been ardous for Nigerians in Texas to come home through direct flights and had to go to Europe first to connect flights to Nigeria and on many occasions spent a whole day at the European airports to be able to come home adding,:"Now, they will feel comfortable having direct flights from Houston to Lagos and back". Speaking earlier, the Vice President of United Continental Holding, Mr Charles Duncan said he was greatful to the Minister of Aviation,Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah, the Nigerian Ambassador in the US , the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority,Dr Harold Demuren and everyone that have assisted the airline in making the launching of the service a success. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Nigeria.
According to him, "Houston, is an important destination for both business travelers, particularly from the energy sector and leisure traffic.At the same time,our Houston hub provides Nigerian travelers with fast and easy connections to destinations across the US and throughout the Americas.The launch of this new route underlines the importance of the Nigerian market to United and we are confident that it will further strenghten commercial and cultural ties between the two nations." The 10,460 km flight is operated with a Boeing777 aircraft, featuring a total of 276 seats-50 in BusinessFirst(business class) and 226 in Economy.Flying times are approximately 13 hours 20 minutes westbound and 11 hours 35 minutes eastbound.
Present at the ceremony today apart from the aforesaid speakers include, Mr Joseph Stafford, U.S Consul General, Mazi Nnamdi Udoh, Managing Director of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Mr George Uriesi,Managing Director,Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and Captain Edward Boyo, the Managing Director of Landover.
ABOUT UNITED CONTINENTAL
United Continental Holdings is the holding company for both United Airlines and Continental Airlines. Together with United Express, Continental Express and Continental Connections operate an average of 5,717 flights daily to 376 airports across six continents from their hub in Chicago,Cleveland, Denver ,Guam, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark Liberty,San Francisco, Tokyo and Washington DC. United and Continental are members of the Star Alliance which offer more than 21,200 daily flights to 1,185 airports in 185 countries and employs 80,000 staffers in all the 51 States of the US and in many countries around the world.
*BASA Controversies- Truth Should Be Told
By Kolawole Adeoti
I wish to comment on the lingering controversy going round in the aviation industry in the country. If you could recall, there was a move to reduce the frequencies of British Airways to Lagos from 7 days a week to 3 days a week. This action was alledged to have been prejudiced on the BASA agreement with UK. This is a blatant show of shame on the part of our government officials. The critical questions to ask are "Why is it that the government officials remember the BASA agreement when Arik frequencies was reduced at Heathrow?. Is Arik Air a National Carrier? What is the connection of British Airport Authority (BAA) with British Airways? I wonder whether people forget the anticident of Arik Air as to the ways the Airline owes every airports it patronised. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: A landing Arik Plane
Reports say one of the Airbus was recently seized in South Africa because of Debt. Sierra Leone Airport Authority also seized one of the planes because of debt, ASL was reported to have gotten a judgement debt over Arik and seize one of its planes in Kano, not to talk of over N4billion the airline is owing FAAN and other agencies. One wonders, why our government officials will want to indulge in this kind of show of shame: Do they realise the effect of what they are trying to do? ( Continues below….. )
It will send wrong signal to the International Community at this time that we are campaining for Direct Foreign Investment. BA has established her clientele for the past 75years of operations. There is nothing anybody can do to make British Airways customers to go and fly Arik. The most annoying part of the issue is, as we understand, that BA pays its dues regularly while for the past one year, Arik refused to pay a dime to Aviation agencies even the Passenger Service Charges that Arik collects on behalf of FAAN are being held by it. We should be careful of our actions and watch the after effect of it.
*Nigeria: Case For Conference & Referendum Organized By The States
By Folorunso Makinde
Nigeria today is bedevilled by a lot of problems that requires more than what elected representatives can resolve on their own. The problems are various and many - there is the problem of the cost of administration brought about as a result of the unending states creation exercise embarked upon by successive administrations. Currently, Nigeria is reported to be spending over 80% of its GDP on the cost of administration. No enterprise on such a spending scale in proportion to its revenue can survive. This is already calling into question the viability of Nigeria as a going concern. This is more than any one president can resolve.
There is the problem of revenue allocation that we have not been able to actually sit down, discuss and resolve. This can never be resolved by elected representatives on their own without consulting the electorate to find acceptable formula.
As a country, no one actually know the size of our population. It has ranged from 100 million to 120 million to 150 million. The truth is that the federal set up has made it impossible for the accurate and true head count of Nigerians as figures have been inflated time and time again. There are also problems associated with the breaking down of infrastructures, tribalism, incessant religious violence, degrading level of our education, to mention but a few. Many Nigerians who could afford to leave the country have voted with their feet. Many of our youths have lost their lives in their efforts to find greener pastures outside the country when the opportunities to maintain a living in Nigeria after their education are very scant. No country sustaining such a high level of skills drain can develop at a dignified rate or maintain a respectable level of development. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing its 36 states, including Sokoto State and Federal capital (Abuja or FCT)
Many have called for a national conference to discuss our problems as a country. We in Nigerians For Referendum (NFR) also support this view but we disagree on the focus for the call and the method being advocated to bring it about. Many who have advocated for National Conference have directed their calls towards the President of the Federation. We in NFR believes that the call was directed towards the wrong quarter.
Firstly, the Presidency in a country practicing a federal system of government like Nigeria is, should not be the first point of call for the convening of a National Conference. The purpose of a National Conference is to discuss and address issues affecting the people. No one belongs to a federal constituency unless he/she has initially or originally belong to a local constituency that is part of Nigeria. A person is identified as a Nigerian because that person first belongs to a state or locality that forms part of Nigeria. The President of Nigeria today was able to contest and holds that post because he belongs to a local area of a state that forms part of Nigeria. Just as they say in the European Community (EC) that the main requirement for anyone to hold an EC passport is that such a person must first hold a nationality of a member state of the EC. The same thing applies here.
This is akin to an association formed by members who then decide to elect a chairman for the association. The duties and responsibilities of the chairman will be determined by the collective agreement of all members of the association who can also determine when and whether to reduce or increase the role/powers of the chairman. The agenda of the meeting of such association will be determined by members of the association and not by the chairman alone, and being elected a chairman does not give whoever holds the post the right to disenfranchise any member of the association or restrict the right of any member to include a particular item on the agenda for discussion provided such item is not restricted by the collectively agreed rules and regulations of the association.
As a matter of fact every member would have equal right to include an item on the agenda of the meeting of the association. However, what made the Nigerian system to become muddled up is the fact that in Nigeria, the federal government and hence the Presidency, rather than being seen as a product of agreement of the various constituencies that make up the country, it is seen as an entity with a separate and independent existence. The consequence of this is all around us - duplication of authorities, duplications of services etc. Take for instance, education; we have state universities and federal universities, when it is the same people the two level of authorities are trying to provide education services to.
Secondly, asking the President to convene a National Conference shows lack of understanding of the politics at the federal level. The Presidency has as its constituency the whole of Nigeria and as such the President has a balancing job to do. Some people will want one thing, others will not want that thing. For a politician to successfully contest for the post of a president and win wider support for his candidacy, he has to be everything to everyone. No wonder why successive Presidents has given the idea of a National Conference a cold shoulder. President Goodluck Jonathan publicly declared that he would not do it. This is not to say that he or Presidents before him do not believe that as a country Nigeria has serious problems or does not see the need for a National Conference to discuss the issues. President Jonathan like any other candidate for the presidency of the nation must thread very carefully in order to gain wider support. The state governors has no such inhibitions. This is not to say that each state has homogenous constituents but the diversity within the states are not as many and not as distinctly pronounced as in the wider country, and the issues affecting a state is more likely to affect the constituents in a similar way though not necessarily equally. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria
NIGERIANS FOR REFERENDUM - NFR
We in the NFR believes that the focus for agitation for a conference and subsequently a referendum should be the state authorities rather than the federal authority. Whatever the agitation of the people, they should first discuss it at the state level. This is why we are advocating for a state level conference followed by a referendum organised and conducted at the state level and the results analysed at the state level or by regions. The outcome will then be used as the basis for negotiations among the constituents/regions that make up the country. The advantages of this type of arrangement are enormous. Firstly, it will help to give a voice to people that otherwise would not have got a voice. When the debates start at the grass root level, everyone will be able to voice their views, and aggregation and alignment of views can take place. This will help to ascertain the actual views of the people and avoid the usual criticism of second guessing what the people’s views are, a criticism that is usually levelled at representative democracy.
Furthermore, it is a well known fact that politics at the federal level is not conducive to allowing all the necessary issues and views to be given air time. It does not allows for all the views to be properly heard and considered. Business at the corridor of power and in particular at the centre is done by negotiation, trading off and compromise without enough time being given to actually analysing the issues. With the debate conducted and the referendum held at the various states, groups within the states can put forward whatever views they considered important to them and then vote on it in a referendum.
We understand that there are 36 states in the federation together with the capital territory Abuja but we anticipate that during such debates and referendum, alignment of views and demands will emerge which will help to aggregate the various views and demands. We understand that there are elected representatives however certain issues are best discussed by the ordinary people themselves. Some of the issues involved may also affect the positions of the elected representatives and as such will raise the question of conflict of interest. For instance, the issue of the kind of government we want at the centre or addressing the formula for revenue allocation or even reducing the number of seats in the national assembly. Issues like this cannot be left in the hands of the elected representatives.
Secondly, decisions in a referendum organised at the grass root level will attract a higher legitimacy as it is the undiluted decision of the people. The fact that everyone is involved or has the opportunity to be involved in the debate and the decision making will give such a process or decision a wider acceptance and thus wider legitimacy. Thirdly, everyone should be given the opportunity to be involved in taking decision on the future direction of the country. Nigeria today is completely different from the Nigeria our forefathers signed up to and it is only fair that everyone should be given the opportunity to participate in crucial decisions that will determine where we go from here as a country.
Nigeria is at a crossroad and important decisions are necessary to determine where we go from here as a country. The status quo is no longer defensible. We in the NFR believes that conference and referendum organised and conducted at the state level and analysed regionally is the way forward to ascertain the wishes of our people and determine the future of our country. This is why we are urging all progress minded Nigerians to join us in demanding that each state governor organise a state-wide conference and holds a referendum in their individual states to determine what their constituents want and this will then form the basis for negotiation among the various constituents or regions that make up the country.
Tel. + 44 - 07574342640
*Prostitution in Nigeria’s Ivory Tower
.. I "inherited horrible Concession Agreements" -aviation minister
By Amiru Adamu
Prostitutes have been in business from time immemorial and are viewed as social outcasts by all generations from way back then to date. Prostitution in Nigeria has thrived despite religious injunctions and countless laws enacted against it. Though the act of prostitution is still practiced in brothels and streets of major cities all over Nigeria today, the dark trade has shifted and is flourishing in Nigeria’s higher institutions of learning. Young girls sent to schools to acquire knowledge and become productive citizens in the nation, have found a vocation in prostitution and now practice one of the oldest trades within and outside our institutions of higher learning.
One may be wondering why the act will be flourishing in our institutions, under the very nose of the authorities concerned? One of the reasons I believe is the misconceived notion that students of higher institutions of learning are adults, hence at liberty to behave as they wish most especially outside the lecture halls. But didn’t they take an oath during their matriculation ceremonies to be of good conduct? Didn’t they swear to abide by the rules and regulations governing their institutions? Or is prostitution part of the academic achievements? I can go on and on. ( Continues below...... )
Photo Above: A commercial sex worker (prostitute) in action in a bar.
Another reason why prostitution thrives in our higher institutions unchecked, I believe is because most of the stakeholders in the schools most especially the lecturers are benefitting directly and indirectly from the trade. My reason for so saying is the fact that most of the students who practice such trade do not take their studies seriously, but still manage to pass and graduate with flying colours because they sleep with some of their lecturers and pay some for grades from the proceeds of prostitution.
Though prostitution has been in existence in Nigeria long before now, I believe the present high rise being witnessed is not unconnected with the fact that our politicians who are the major customers of the “academic prostitutes” are paying a lip service to the menace. They patronize the girls in the night and climb unto the moral high ground in the morning calling for action to be taken to curb the menace. I recently interacted with a young lady whom I will like to refer to as madam K. She is a student at one of the teacher training institutions of a certain Northern state.
Madam K. is a prostitute and a pimp of some sort; she explained how she operates to me. Every evening she said, “I visit a hotel where I have a contact who supplies girls to people, mostly highly placed personalities and politicians. My contact usually requests for 5 to 10 girls to be brought and if there is an event in town, he requests for up to 30 girls or more at a time.” When I asked her how she manages to get such a number of girls, she said, “I have more than 200 phone numbers of girls who are ever ready to render service anytime I call upon them.” Her story is just one out of thousands of such transactions being carried out in our society today. This high level of patronage coupled with the usual excuse of poverty has made students of higher institutions of learning, embrace prostitution or “RUNS” as they like to refer to it with almost a total monopoly. ( Continues below...... )
The deputy senate president Ike Ekweremadu recently asked the senate to consider the possibility of legalizing prostitution because according to him, it has defied all laws. What they failed to realize is the fact that, most measures taken to curb prostitution concentrates largely on trafficking rather than addressing the menace of prostitution here in Nigeria. I am a realist who believes in calling a spade, a spade. I do not expect any legislation or law to stop or at least address the situation, because most of the people responsible for bringing about such laws are directly benefitting from the trade or rather are the so called clients.
In my opinion the possible solution to this menace lies with the parents who should supervise their wards at schools more effectively, since the authorities trusted with the job have failed. Religious groups such as Federation of Moslem Women’s Associations of Nigeria (FOMWAN) and its Christian counterpart as well as other concerned groups should come up with effective campaigns against prostitution in our higher institutions. The campaigns should aim at educating the students on the negative effects of these acts, health and moral wise. Efforts like this might perhaps arrest the situation or at least save those who are yet to go beyond redemption.
Amiru Adamu is the publisher of Northern Wind Magazine.
* - Interview & Lecture Regarding Congo
By Nehanda Sankofara (Nana)
On Wednesday November 16, 2011 at 4:30 AM Pacific Time, I Nehanda Sankofara (Nana) will be interviewed about the Genocide in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on 102.3 FM, KJLH, the Front Page show with host Dominique Diprima . You can also listen and view this interview live on line at and . I will discuss my trip to the Congo and recent incidents occurring on the ground and similarities between the Congo and Haiti.
On Saturday November 19, 2011 at 3:00 PM I will speak about the the Congo at the AFIBA Center, 5730 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90043 this lecture will include a Power Point presentation, again I will be speaking about the Genocide in the Congo and the similarities of the post earthquake chaos occurring in Haiti. I will also speak about international grassroots efforts to help both countries and how you can get involved.
We will discussed our up coming Student Exchange Program/Trip to Ghana to teach students about International Trade and Commerce and Multimedia. Adults are welcome on this trip but only students will receive help from Mothers for Africa towards their travel expense. We are making special accommodations for adults who wish to travel with us, including sight seeing tours while the students are in school and you will also receive information about International Trade and Commerce.
Mothers for Africa the Nana Sekyiaabea Foundation
President Nehanda Sankofara (Nana)
P.O. Box 6579
Altadena CA, 91001
2061 N. Los Robles Ave. Ste 205
Pasadena CA 91104
626-710-6676 / FAX & Office 626-710-4304
Photo Above: Nehanda Sankofara (Left), Sarah Jubril, four-time Nigeria presidential aspirant (Right)
*President Jonathan or the Peoples: Restructure Nigeria Now.
By Oguchi Nkwocha, MD.
Today, there is governance and leadership in Nigeria which is demonstrating what Nigeria is known for: long on dreaming and potential, short on performance and delivery. Long on sweet talk, short on effective action. Long on denial, long on pretense; short on reality and short on practicality. Nigeria loves to lie to itself and loves even more to believe those lies. Nothing exemplifies this more today than Nigeria’s President Jonathan’s recent invitation of global investors to invest in Nigeria because according to him, the recent worsening security situation in Nigeria is more like a passing fad which should be ignored and not taken seriously. Imagine that—in this the month of November in the year 2011!
It is perhaps owing to this phenomenon that luminaries like Chinua Achebe once argued (in futility, truth be known) that Nigeria’s fundamental problem is that of (lack of) leadership rather than structure. Who knows if he has since changed his argument with the unfailing understanding that for Nigeria, the fundamental problem is in fact structure: a poor foundation right from the start, clearly recognized and understood as such, even then, on which was erected a construction that was purposely designed not to serve the peoples but strictly to protect the interests and pleasures of Nigeria’s masters. It was all wrong from the standpoint of the peoples; it is still all wrong, this structure thusly designed, christened “Nigeria.” Nigeria is really a structure-problem. Leadership has nil to do with the faulty foundation.
It is not leadership that produced nor sustains Boko Haram: it is the structure of Nigeria which continually breeds and nurtures and justifies suchlike. President Jonathan, in the same speech, glibs over what he calls Nigeria’s thirty-month “Civil War” like a pupil reciting by senseless rote a colonially-scripted History lesson. That Nigeria’s war he speaks of, which is veritably a war of Genocide by Nigeria against Biafra (against the Igbo and other Biafrans), will ultimately be traced to the same fundamentally flawed structure and design which deliberately forces incompatible peoples together into a false union. Unfortunately, President Jonathan on that occasion chooses to profess ignorance of this, but there is neither reason nor excuse for him to imply that Nigeria ever got through that war successfully. Nigeria has not and will never recover from that war. If Nigeria had any hope of ever taking off as a nation, the Nigeria-Biafra War destroyed such a hope; the result is that Nigeria languishes today, a wandering body without Spirit, an irredeemable basket-case. No, Mr. President: Nigeria did not get through that war successfully; Nigeria was actually buried by that war. It is a war whose clouds were pre-seeded by the faulty structure of Nigeria, and whose execution was clearly dictated by that awful unbalanced structure. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria (2010 - present)
It is really up to the peoples suffering in Nigeria to get up now and do what their leaders are completely incapable of doing: face reality, admit the clear and present danger, and restructure Nigeria so to save themselves from having their already devastated life completely crushed out of them. President Jonathan and his ilk want to tell the peoples that Boko Haram is being defeated; and even if not, that the people should live with and endure the violence and terrorism since terrorism is known all over the world. Well, the cowering and suffering peoples in Nigeria should be reminded of history, thus…
In the early 1930’s in Germany, the Nazi party, a tiny minority of the population, terrorized the German people. The Nazis told the people what terrible things they would do and then proceeded to do such; it was quite violent, criminal and inhumane. But the German people who considered themselves “peace-loving,” civilized, cultured and Christian chose not to believe that the minority Nazis were serious and a real threat. In the end, all German people became Nazi in one way or another. We all know today what happened then. Yes, Today, when President Jonathan is busy telling the peoples of Nigeria that Boko Haram is not a serious threat. But the reality is that with Nigeria as currently configured, there is in fact nothing to stop Boko Haram from eventually taking over Nigeria and then “owning” all the peoples. History is the witness. Especially, when it is now reported that Boko Haram is linking up with the global network of known terrorist organizations.
Even if it is not Boko Haram, still, it is something else, something just as terrible or worse, which comes along and ravages the peoples, of which contrary to what they prefer to believe, such Evil stays and soon becomes the people and the peoples become it. Whether it is what they want or not, President Jonathan and his league, just like previous Nigeria’s so-called leaders, have condemned the peoples to such a fate when they pretend or actually believe that the situation in Nigeria is somehow normal—enough to invite security-sensitive investors— and should be endured as such by the hapless peoples.
The peoples need to rise and restructure Nigeria. A mere two or three years ago, how to restructure Nigeria would have presented a daunting conceptual proposition. Today, global winds of change have introduced a tested and effective People’s Power Tool which is here to stay, in the name of “Self Determination.” Self Determination gives the right of the people back to the people: it is the people who decide how they want to be, what they want to be, and how they want to relate one people to another. Restructuring based on the people’s self-deterministic choices presents a simple, concrete workable agenda. And, luckily for those residing in the Nigeria geopolitical space, the peoples and their respective nations are essentially distinct and have their own distinct ancestral land. The restructuring template and lines are already naturally in place. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing some major cities, including the Federal capital (Abuja or FCT)
Self Determination will result in a new structure of indigenous nations reclaiming each its own original God-given (man-stolen) sovereignty. Each sovereign nation will protect its citizens from hurtful activities such as Boko Haram’s, and at least will not have its national character tarnished by such activities originating from other nations. Each will determine which other nation(s) it can enter into mutual relationships with and what types of relationship. The people of each nation will determine what kind of citizenry they want for their own nation as well as what type of nation; and what kind of world-citizens they want to be.
Restructuring Nigeria as such has many other benefits for the peoples. It is the equivalence of building firewalls in a threatened and threatening arena in order to provide an independent and relatively secure internal environment for stability, accountability, growth and development while managing and controlling inbound access and preventing dangerous breaches that intend harm on the people. Every successful biological and sociological family relies on these tenets to raise and sustain the family. The best cure for Corruption now is self-determined nations wherein citizens will be held truly accountable to their kith and kin by their own kith and kin in a structure which would not provide, would not permit, and could not tolerate, the kind of free-for-only-the-connected “national cake” and excesses and parasitic opportunities that is the badge and bane of Nigeria. The best chance for “free and fair elections” (hithertofore a mere distractive election sloganeering), is within self-determined nations: same for effective corrective, remedial and redemptive action when called for. The best answer for a non-working Civil Service which nevertheless extracts pay “at the source” while leaving nothing and providing nothing for the masses which it is supposed to serve, is a self-determined nation.
If the peoples languishing in Nigeria want to live and thrive again, they ought to restructure Nigeria—today. Self Determination is the template; it is supported and available now. Now is the time. On the other hand, if all they are only capable of doing is grumbling and groaning and complaining, waiting to be eventually assimilated by resident Evil, then, the peoples may continue to criticize President Jonathan (well-deserved), yet without forcing him to do the right thing—embrace and start the restructure process! For that matter, it is within the power of the peoples and it is also in both their immediate and long-term interests to act now to redeem themselves, in spite of President Jonathan and Nigeria’s longstanding oligarchs. Thus, in these heady days of Self Determination, any permanent failing is the peoples’, not the government’s. Every accusing finger the peoples point at President Jonathan means three fingers pointing back at the peoples: do the math.
Restructure now! Self Determination is the most fair and most natural winning formula to accomplish this, and it is available today. For those people praying for miracles to solve Nigeria, Self Determination is a Godsend: it is the right answer, the right divine gift and tool, at the right time, for the otherwise insoluble problem that is Nigeria. Use Self Determination; use it wisely and use it with confidence, to restructure Nigeria—today.
Oguchi Nkwocha, MD
*Inhalable Toxic Chemicals in Aircraft Cabin Air
-Poses no significant safety and health hazard,says report
By Lateef Lawal
A significant concentrations of organophosphate neurotoxins and other noxious substances have been found in cabin air of aircrafts, even under normal flying conditions. This was the outcome of report commissioned by the UK Department of Transport, on "Aircraft Cabin Air Sampling Study" carried out by the Institute of Environment and Health at Cranfield University. This was brought to public knowledge during a workshop on "Inhalable Toxic Chemicals in Aircraft Cabin Air" (ITCOBA), held on 11 October 2011 at Cranfield University, organized in order to respond to the disinformation that has increasingly surrounded the issue of whether aircraft cabin air is contaminated with organophosphate neurotoxins, and whether those substances caused ill-health.
Unfortunately, the final conclusion of the report is the statement: "With respect to the conditions of flight that were experienced during the study, there was no evidence for target pollutants occurring in the cabin at levels exceeding available health and safety standards and guidelines." The first phrase underlines the fact that the study failed to achieve measurement of a "fume event", even though that was one of its principal objectives. Even for "normal flying conditions" the purported conclusion is irrelevant because no standards are available for some of the most problematical substances.
Nevertheless, despite the fact that this "conclusion" is neither sound nor justified by the actual work carried out, it has been carelessly and uncritically quoted, including by the UK Minister for Transport Theresa Villiers, and widely used to infer that there is no safety and health problem. The ITCOBA workshop embraced a more comprehensive and integrated approach to the problem than has ever been attempted hitherto. All relevant academic disciplines were represented and the medical, economic and legal implications surrounding the issue were also tackled. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: An Airborne Plane
It attracted a remarkably diverse group of participants, among whom were aircrew (both pilots and cabin staff), doctors specializing in aviation medicine, molecular biologists developing biomarkers for the medical conditions resulting from exposure, engineers developing possible remedial technologies, journalists and lawyers. It is generally recognized that, while not every possible experiment and observation has been carried out, there is already a great deal of data pertaining to the problem available. What is lacking is an adequate analysis of the data and a consequential plan of action. The key starting hypothesis is "Certain substances present in aircraft cabin air cause neural degeneration". It was the aim of the Workshop to advance towards considered acceptance or rejection of this hypothesis and, along the way, to make it more precise.
The primary focus should undoubtedly be on the tricresyl phosphates present in jet engine oil as antiwear additives. Careful laboratory studies in animals have demonstrated their severe neurotoxicity. They can leak into the cabin via the oil seals in the engines and, as noted above, measurements have confirmed they do. There is, therefore, prima facie a health risk, increasing with the degree of exposure. Since practically the entire human body is innervated, functions such as thinking and motor control may be affected. Prima facie there must also be a safety risk since the pilots are breathing the same air, even before inhalation is sufficient to cause complete incapacitation. Due to the wide range of symptoms  expected from a neurotoxin, especially those that cause physical degeneration of parts of the nervous system, and the delay (of the order of days after exposure of the order of hours) in their appearance after exposure, affected people may not consult a physician and even if they do their condition may be misdiagnosed.
A particularly pernicious example is vague diagnosis as a psychiatric ailment which, if nothing else, prevents the correct treatment being applied. Highly encouragingly, successful biochemical treatments are being developed and are already available. A very important advance in biomedical science is the development of an assay for the main metabolic products of inhaled tricresyl phosphates. This will enable anyone thought to be suffering from exposure to be promptly and correctly diagnosed. It seems obvious that whenever aircrew have to be hospitalized after a flight all passengers should be medically checked. ( Continues below….. )
The existing evidence is that even the effects of low-level chronic exposure can be progressive and debilitating. Technical solutions. Given what would appear to be overwhelming evidence in favour of the hypothesis, the focus should move to possible technical remedies. One is to stop bleeding air. The Vickers VC10 from the early 1960s was, apparently, the last jet airliner to have a separate compressor until the Boeing 787, which today enters regular service for the very first time (with All Nippon Airways) and which resumes this earlier practice.
But it will take many years before the world's stock of bleed air jetliners is replaced, hence other remedies must still be sought. One is to reformulate the oil to eliminate tricresyl phosphate. Steps are being taken in this direction but it is proving hard to find substitutes with the same mechanical properties. Yet another is to decontaminate the air before it reaches the cabin, using adsorbent material. Again, work is being carried out without, as yet, a wholly satisfactory system having been developed. This remedy will, in any case, only work in conjunction with technology to continuously monitor the air composition. The development of a retrofittable monitoring system should be given a high priority. It will alert pilots to any malfunction of the air supply leading to chemical contamination and enable a sound decision on what action to take in response to the reported level of contamination.
Finally, according to the report,there are wider issues beyond the technical and medical ones on the aircraft. It appears that a significant (i.e., more than 10%) proportion of the population has a genetic susceptibility to organophosphate-induced pathology. Can they be identified and asked to take special precautions? Estimates of the numbers of sufferers -- bearing in mind that frequent flyers, who obviously have a greater chance of exposure, tend to be above-average contributors to gross domestic product -- suggest that, at national level, there is a strong economic case for prompt and effective remedial action. Retrofitting chemical metering on jet aircraft is probably the most immediately realizable solution. The mandatory inclusion of a health warning on air tickets, as on cigarette packets, would seem to be the alternative in the face of technical inaction.
Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)
*HOW TO USE NIGERIA MASTERWEB DAILY NEWS BLOG:
(1). To Post Articles:- Click on "Log in" above on the top left hand side of this page, then click on "Register" to set up an account to enable you post articles. Enter required fields including Username, Password and Email Address. You will be required to validate your email. Your membership will be approved 2 to 24 hours after your validation. Thereafter, go to the blog, click on "Log in" and log in and click on "Write" to post articles. *Returning members - click on "Log in" and log in and click on "Write" to post articles. It takes beteween 24 to 72 hours for posted articles to be released by moderators. ( Please note that only news articles can be published here. Unconfirmed reports and controversial articles are not allowed and will not be approved. )
(2). If you do not include your full name in posted articles, they will not be approved and will not be published.
(3). To Read Posted Articles/Blogs:- Just click on any of the "Categories" or "Sub-Categories" below