*To The Nigerian Gov: Before You Conclude Your Plots To “Blacklist” Students...
By Ikechukwu Enyiagu
Before the Federal Government of Nigeria goes ahead to “blacklist” students allegedly involved in examination malpractice, before those who claim to know how to lead make yet another unjust plan against our youths, let them have a thorough rethink. Before those who frustrate our youths with every thoughtless step they take while thinking that they are doing what is right for the education system go ahead to tighten their democratic cuffs on their perceived slaves, they should ask themselves how they got all their many proudly displayed certificates. Before those who accepted that the Delta state government should give out laptops to JSS1 females students in the name of “women deliverance” go ahead to blame the students for exam malpractice or even blunt failures in exams, they should ask themselves how they went through their own schooling. Of course we all know. But before they claim that today’s youths are more wayward and unconcerned about their future than they ever were, they should look inward and ask themselves: “are we not the reason that students no longer read, have we not actually pushed them to the point where the ability and willingness to read and understand have become a near-impossibility?” I’m sure that this should be the beginning of solving the mountain-like challenges that Nigerian education system faces.
First, the federal government should and must take the full responsibility for the failure in the education sector. According to Hon. Patrick Obahiagbon, one must “place culpability where culpability lies.” Until and unless the government of Nigeria learns how to place culpability where culpability lies, it will continue in this road of stumbling and falling which will eventually reduce it to crawling and a complete stop. Our politicians, those who claim to represent us everywhere mastered in themselves the art of taking much and giving nothing. They write away our money into their personal accounts and turn around to accuse us of not producing; such an idiotic irony! Why on earth would a king, whose law cannot be broken for anything, make a law and break it, and then expect his followers to adhere strictly to that same law? No! Such a king will die suddenly even through the hands of his trusted companions. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria
The best brains, no matter from which angle one looks at it, will be found among those from the present Nigeria; our children came to life with the curiosity for survival. The problem or challenge which has been eating off Nigerian schools did not start from the youths, and so, the solution should not be directly focused on them. Nigerians have the rare ability to make mountains out of molehills. It’s only in Nigeria that you see men “suffering and smiling.” The reason to this is not far to seek: every Nigerian, no matter how lowly placed, still believes strongly in the hope that life offers. Our youths are not being encouraged at all; if anything, they are being chased like rats, from everywhere, into the blazing fire of frustration. In America and other countries, when a young man lives a life of bullying and beating up everyone, he will be picked up and turned into a professional fighter. If someone is discovered with the rare ability to steal out things successfully, he will be used by the federal security agencies for security purposes. If a young man is found in the club singing always, he is immediately turned into one of the great stars that the world enjoy their songs today through enabling environment. If they find among them a young man who has his way through securities and encryptions on the net, they quickly get him to their side, re-orientate him, and make him useful, both to himself, and to the state.
The opposite is the case in Nigeria: if a young man is found to have exceptional strength to fight, the police and the army will break all his bones and render him useless for life. If one is good with the net, they quickly arrest him, torture him, and then hand him over to the US, or worse still, hide him deep down in an unknown dungeon. If a young man is caught singing some songs, which are true, by the way, the likes of Obasanjo will throw him into the prison without legal process. There are people I know who, in their youths, had rare technological talents but6 they were simply wasted by this government. Why on earth would any sane leader turn around and think of imposing further burdens on our present-day children? Granted, there are willing bad eggs amongst them, aren’t there such people in all societies?
Before the Federal government of Nigeria ever moves towards its campaign of further “blacklisting” these already blacklisted children, the affected schools not withstanding, let the right things be done. OBJ and IBB taunt themselves and make mockery of Nigeria for the way they embezzled our money; every Nigerian feels amused, and somewhat, entertained, while the government just mopes on, doing nothing. I reiterate that the government should “sit up” if it expects its subjects to sit up, the teachers must teach if they expect their students to learn, and the parents must train up their children “in the way they should go” so that they will not depart from it when they grow up. To apportion acceptable blames on Nigerian students who study in Nigerian schools, those in the government must make the Nigerian schools as conducive as those schools they have shipped off all their children to. In order to expect fair results from our youths in Nigerian schools, the government should be fair to the schools where they study. It’s not a secret that many leaders, amongst whom are some who could not sing the national anthem or even write their names properly, have come and gone in Nigeria; many others are still in the system with puffed-up names they dread to defend anywhere but in hell. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria
A commissioner-elect was recently rejected in Ebonyi state because he could not recite the national anthem; what are you doing showing off even a secondary school certificate when you cannot recite what you claim binds us together? The irony of this whole thing is that the Ebonyi man in question was simply used as a scape goat because there are a thousand and one of them with prefixes that are too heavy on their miniature and below-level brains; yet they pose as the leaders of the great giant of Africa. It’s a poisonous shame and every Nigerian should be ashamed of such leaders.
To president Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, and to Mr Nyesom Wike, Minister of State for Education, I say: make the ground conducive for your children, for the millions of Nigerians you represent to study and practice what they have studied. Raise schools to standards. Any higher education center today without up-to-date libraries, Internet and Ethernet facilities should be upgraded or phased-out. Classrooms should be air-conditioned and comfortable seats installed to replace all those mad-men benches in our universities. And if any of you thinks it too much to ask for air-conditioned classrooms, perhaps you may want to explain to Nigerians why your houses, cars, and offices have round-the-clock operational air conditioners.
Better still, you may want to tell us why you have sent your personal children to the UK, US, CANADA, AUSTRALI, MALAYSIA, SINGAPORE, UKRAINE, etc to study if it’s not for the sole reason that Nigerian schools are not conducive for learning. In these above mentioned places, one only fails by choice. Stop putting heavy loads on Nigerians if you are unwilling to lift a finger to help them. These students will, one way or the other, find their feet. This is both an advice and a prophetic warning; if you think it not enough loads that these people graduate without having works to do, and if you think that your place is to judge God’s children and condemn them to hell on earth, then I tell you this day like OBL was told before he answered his final call: you will be enchained by your many evil thoughts against Zion. God is not asleep.
Ikechukwu Enyiagu can be reached at
*Tags: Nigerians, Governor, Plots, Blacklist, Students, Africa, Masterweb
*God’s Judgment Has Begun; There Is No Safe Place For The Wicked.
By Ikechukwu Enyiagu
Jehovah, through the prophets, pleaded with King Ahab not to repeat the mistakes Adam made in Eve because of his wife, Jezebel; but his arrogance and denial of the only true God cost him, not only his throne and his wife, but his life and everything. Herod the king was given every grace to repent, even after he had started celebrating his killing of the apostles which he began with James, an elder brother of John of Patmos; but with all the wonders which surrounded the escape of Peter, and the unique lives of all the apostles, he proudly went further to accept being called “a god” amongst people before whom his terror meant the beginning of wisdom. Then he was immediately smitten by a higher hand before their presence to show the people that there is but one true God who rules over all.
The hell-bound General Sani Abacha had every chance and reason to aspire to higher heights when he was still alive and on top of issues, but he chose instead to pick his seven virgins here on earth and make his own paradise. And he paid dearly for it. As it is today, the self-acclaimed “god of Libya,” Colonel Muammar Gaddafi- a man whose hatred for monarchical rulership led him, among many other reasons, to depose his monarch, King Idris, on the 1st of September, 1969-has become a disgrace to his history. Not even the respectful flee of the former Tunisian president nor the final bowing-out of the great Egyptian Mubarak was enough wake-up call for Colonel GAD to liberate his people from a worse-than-monarchical bondage which he himself has become to his people. No, he would rather sacrifice his children and all he ever acquired on the alter of pride and selfishness than “let my people go and worship me;” he would rather lay the blocks of his grave with the blood of countless innocent souls, including his generations, than accept that, since he is neither a king, a prime minister, nor a president, he has made himself a god to his people before whom their God has no resemblance with Gaddafi.
A true king sees beyond the now; kings are graced with rare privileges to discern times. The rise of kings is not in their making, while their end or fall thereof is what they make of their rulership. It remains a puzzle, even with all well-known factors which drive selfishness, why men still cling to this very spirit of self-destruction. With all the shame which has taken away every glory from Mubarak of Egypt and the great Gaddafi of Libya, one can only continue to wonder why men like Paul Biya of Cameroon has not swiftly taken up this opportunity to establish a true democracy in that part of Africa instead of his poor reasoning that true democracy and leadership begins and ends with him alone, why the Assad of Syria wants to test hell on earth before inevitably going there eventually, and why president Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria thinks it not part of his responsibility to probe every past leader in Nigeria (while they go about celebrating their idiocy, callousness and nonchallance before the whole world) and retrieve all the stolen money from them. It’s only a man with no knowledge who does not understand that responsibility and accountability do not end with what he does alone, but include what he fails to do-what he ignores. ( Continues below….. )
As always, God gives evil doers ample time to consider the effects of their wickedness on others and on God’s creation-enough time to make them decide between continuing in the path of evil and showing gratitude to God who alone elevated leaders above others as his extension of justice. Retired Generals OBJ and IBB were of such men graced in their times. As the Good God He always is, Jehovah has granted them, along with other men who, with them, destroyed Nigeria with looting and killing, enough time to make amends, both with Nigerians and God. No amount of ill-gotten wealth or blood money will pacify the outstretched hand of God’s anger; no amount of offering and sacrifices will turn the face of God to favor those who feed on the flesh of others! Nothing is ever hidden before God; no man involved in the bloodshed carried out on Nigerians at different times and in different places and circumstances is ever hidden before God-none amongst them is ever innocent. Every secret lies bare before His gaze; everyone’s path is woven into the center of His creation. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd.)
God will not be mocked forever, He will not remain silent. Unlike the dead Ashteroth and Baal of Jezebel and Ahab, the God of Elijah does not hesitate to send fire in its time. OBJ, in his birthday gift to his accomplice in the destruction of Nigeria, IBB, called him “A fool at 70,” …a fool to the grave, while IBB retorted, “He’s the bigger fool!” Uninformed Nigerians would clap their hands and exclaim, “Aha, aha, they are now disgracing themselves!” But those who are interested in the route of the journey, the journey itself, as well as the destination would easily read the handwritings on the wall. God has a limit to His tolerance of “satisfied evil men;” He has a time mapped out for each person as a time for “reasoning together with the Almighty.” For OBJ and IBB, the final phase of choosing on which side of history to belong has arrived and speeding away. There is no hiding place for the wicked.
Indeed, there is no safety, no hiding place and no vindication for the wicked on that day of reckoning. We know what OBJ and IBB, along with those who served them instead of serving with them, did with our money and to us; we know where they stashed them, which deserts they turned into cities and which forests they turned into great sources of life, all to their personal accounts and credits, and with the peoples’ money, while leaving the nation and the people in worse states than they met them. We know how big a fool they have made of themselves, but unlike the type of a fool each thinks the other is, what qualifies them to those names has everything to do with their denials of God and His word rather than individual self-importance and bigotry. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Nigeria Ex-President Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo
It’s an affront to God for OBJ to quote God in His game of shamelessness with IBB; by bringing God into this matter and using the word of God as leverage for gambling away Nigeria, God will not leave until justice meets them both. Until and unless these men release Nigeria by speaking the truth, starting from what they did with our money, where they have kept them, the peoples involved, paying retributions, and joining forces to dismantle and destroy the cities of corruption they have built and supported and still do, their foolishness will not only end with their names calling; the heavens above will call them names, the earth upon which they thread will echo how foolish they are.
The water they drink will disassociate itself with their foolishness and the air they breathe will compel them to repent or pay dearly. As Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, Ahab of Israel, Pharaoh of Egypt, Herod the killer of Rachael’s children, Mubarak of shame, Gaddafi of blindness and pride, and others like them paid dearly for their arrogance against God when their days of mercy ended, these men will not escape His hand of justice. Since they have acknowledged that each is a fool, since they both forced us to be ruled for decades by fools (thereby making us idiots as pastor Tunde Bakare once said) and since, in their foolishness, they have exhibited great wickedness against Nigerians, the reward of foolishness shall not depart from their loins from this day. Until they undo what they have done, like King Nebuchadnezzar, they will be driven into the forest pending their repentance. I pray that even the grace extended to this man of Babylon, the grace to eat grass and live among animals, be extended to them. I pray that they enjoy the grace of Mubarak and not fall into the trap which caught Saddam Hussein where arrogance matched with justice and shameful exit. God’s judgment in Nigeria has begun! Watch out!
Ikechukwu Enyiagu can be reached at
*Tags: Nigerians, World, God, Judgment, Wicked, Africa, Masterweb
*If Only The World Powers Are As Concerned For Africa As They Claim…
By Ikechukwu Enyiagu
Sorry is as sorry does. Love gives. But Cain killed his brother because he refused to learn from God a higher lesson, denied being his ‘brother’s keeper,’ and as a result, wandered through life in constant fear, uncertainty and regrets. He was the first man who felt the fear of uncertain terror, but unlike most terrors of today, his was self-inflicted. Yet the blood of his slain brother kept speaking from the ground against every step he ever took. If only America truly cares about Africa; if Britain, France, China, Russia and all other countries who champion the “UN mission to Africa” really give a hoot about the lives God placed in the land of Africa instead of being harmfully envious, the stories would not have been what they have become in Somali, Egypt, Libya, Cameroon, Nigeria, and other countries going through different types of unnecessary wars within Africa. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Map of Africa
If World Powers did really consider Somalis as humans as they demonstrate in the several billions of dollars worth of UN’s humanitarian aids sent from different places into their new homes in the deserts, caves, and forests amongst wild and dangerous animals, they should focus more instead on how to pull out from its root the tree of whatever has made Somalia what it has become. A friend who truly cares for you should not just concern himself with bringing you food in the hospital bed, but doing everything to make sure you have the best treatment so you could get out of the hospital bed and into having a normal life. The world power that has an iota of pity for Somalis should know that it’s wicked to goad the further and systematic driving into the desert and into extinct of many Somalis who have never picked up a quarrel in their lives by providing them with the many so-called humanitarian aids in the deserts instead of stopping and bringing to justice, just like they would in other countries, the very people who perpetuate these crimes against humanity-those people who deny justice to their fellow citizens.
EGYPT & LIBYA:
If World Powers really cared for the African people as they claim in their interventions in both Egypt and Libya, why has the Somali case been left to deteriorate to the point that women and children now live in caves, forests and deserts as animals? Is it because Libya has oil and Egypt pays its dues? Or perhaps, this is another calculated plan to reduce the world population in line with the much New World Order conspiracy theories; is it? If it’s so, why does it have to start with Africa instead of those countries with almost half of the world’s population, and still counting?
If World Powers have genuine interests in Africa, why is France still backing up Paul Biya of Cameroon against the development of Cameroon and the Cameroonians for almost thirty (30) years now? Must there be a war before the West make money? Does the blood of innocent people always have to be spilled before the so-called World Powers would come in to say the truth and do what is right in accordance with what UN represents? No Western country would tolerate a Mubarak, a Gaddafi or even a Biya for more than eight (8) because it would be clear that the person no longer represents the people’s interest, why are these powers backing a dictator in Africa? Why is Paul Biya of Cameroon still seated there in the midst of so much while he does nothing except to waste millions of francs daily on food alone? ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria
NIGERIA & BIAFRA:
America, the Great Britain, France, Russia, China- all these claim that Nigeria is strategic to the world, that the “giant of Africa” plays a huge role in global peace. My questions then are these:
1. What do these countries and super powers call Nigeria-the barrel of their guns? Why do they place much concern on what Nigeria as a country stands to do for them even if Nigerians are living like slaves in the midst of plenty?
2. Is peace achieved and maintained in America, France, China, Russia and Britain through bribery and corruption?
3. Would these above mentioned world powers ever be able to intervene in other countries for peace if they do not have peace at home? Would America, Britain or France be able to internee and bring needed changes in any country if they do not have what they want to export right at home?
4. How many of IBB, OBJ, Ibori, Chimaroke, Orji Kalu, Igbenidion, Abacha, Bankole (Nigerian leaders helped by the US and British governments to steal our national money by offering them security), etc would any of these countries making up the world power and championing many Africa’s initiative tolerate even for a week as their native politicians?
5. Which country in Africa would be safe if the Cameron of Britain, the Obama of America, the Sarkozy of France, the Dmitry of Russia or the Jintao of China were to be transferring their country’s finance into personal accounts in many African banks?
6. Which of these countries that make up the world power would spare any country that allows their leaders safe passages and safe investments in Africa with looted public funds?
7. What is really the purpose of the World Bank: a bank opened for fraudulent African leaders into which their siphoned national fund goes as long as they keep to their end of the bargain?
8. Britain is great, America is united, and China is one-all because their similarities far outweigh any reason for disunity; why do these world powers then secretly support a prolonged “One Nigeria” even when they are very sure that one Nigeria has been and remained the only problem in Nigeria and in all of Africa-a seed which sprung up different levels of corruption and scattered Nigerians everywhere, multiplying corruption throughout the world with an unimaginable speed?
9. Years come, go, and come again, yet Nigerians everywhere get worse in the midst of great mineral resources. Wherever wickedness is done in the world, these world powers search for a Nigerian amongst the culprit; is this another deliberate attempt to depopulate Africa? The Bomb which went off In the Abuja UN building, as inexcusable as it may be, could have been carried out by a group of people who, out of frustration, felt that the world leaders have turned blind eye, as a result of all they stand to gain in a continued disorganized society like ours, to (or even supported) the many atrocities going on in the national polity through their neglect to hand over to Nigeria all guilty politicians as well as their loot stored in many of the countries that make up the UN leadership, to be on the front line in bringing these wicked men to justice; and to compel the Nigerian government to call for a sovereign national conference or even speak out and work towards a speedy division of the country. Whatever may have motivated that attack could not possibly have been directly directed to the international community but another way to say them, "Hei, you know what is right concerning Nigeria but you have kept silent. It's even reasonable to speculate that you are directly responsible for our plight here in Nigeria by not doing anything to expose those Nigerians who have and are still milking us dry and establishing conglomerates amongst you with our money."
10. Why are Africans treated with disregard everywhere even when it’s clear that whoever shaped every life on earth has favored us? How long can you hope to hold on against Nigerians with this colonial mentality? How long do you hope to last with your denials that, for a true Africa to stand, Nigeria should divide, and fast, before God displays another wonder in our favor to your face? You make it a near impossible mission for ordinary Africans to cross your boarders, yet you do not think it robbery on you to enter Africa, squeeze us dry and still reject offering any help? No! It’s wicked! It’s demonic, and unacceptable anywhere! You cannot claim that Nigeria is strategic to your global vision as long as Nigeria remains one and still lives in denial, both to the truth and to set free its citizens from decades of wretchedness; the world powers cannot call Nigeria “relevant and strategic” even in the midst of these injustices unless it’s obvious that they are openly accepting that they have been systematically plotting the extinct of Africans through mass poverty, war, sickness and disease through their policies of opening their borders to these African politicians with their loots and with a promise of a place in the new world. ( Continues below….. )
America, Britain, Russia, China, France-these countries and more have sworn, by their silence, speeches, and actions, never to see healthy, living, peaceful, wealthy, and democratic countries and people in Africa. By their actions, they have failed in hiding their evil intents against this and future generations of Africa. Like the Brits, the so-called world powers still see nothing good in Africa except the mineral resources. It initially was “Africa for human resources,” now it’s “Africa for mineral resources.” No consideration, whatsoever, for human lives in Africa. Since the individual countries of this said “world powers” have remained on a deadly competitive race against each other for Africa and oil as the golden trophy, none would be allowed a single sweep through modern colonialism; so, like vultures feasting on decomposing bodies, they have descended on the continent of Africa, with each country and interest situated at different sides and chopping off lumps from countries which are still very much alive because God keeps their roots watered.
There was a time Nebuchadnezzar held sway over all flesh. The Greeks, the Romans, the Russians, the Germans, the Brits-these individual countries once had times when the fear of them was the beginning of wisdom. No matter the commissions and omissions which slipped world power from country to country until it came close to a UN, the truth remains that the hand of God is fixed on man’s times. There would be no terror if the world powers allowed Africa, like they do their very selves, to thrive in equity, justice, and peace. The world would be a better place if America and its allies allowed and supported a truly democratic African continent. Terrorism would return to its base if these developed countries come into Africa with the vision and purpose to, first and above all, make Africa a picture of their home and knowledge which they claim to be bringing. I call on the UN and every body concerned to revisit the world mission on Africa, especially in this critical state of life which threatens, not only Africans, but both the great and small of all nations. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria
If the answer to the West’s view and treatment on Africa as a whole and Nigeria in particular has to do with the so much announced New World Order, then I must beg to differ; the start would have had a wrong footing. A New World Order, as strange as it may sound, could be a good thing. God Himself wants us to be one. Jesus, in his final prayer said, “That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me;” It’s indeed God’s design, contrary to many people’s belief, that the world be united. Good enough, the God of all wisdom has made unity impossible outside of love; there can be no unity where there is no love-no matter what unity and for what purpose. Compelled loyalty hatches all forms of terror, both against the compelled and the one who muzzles. For a global unity to become a reality there has to be personal unity, family unity and national unity. A divided person or nation in any global purpose would be as an insurmountable wedge to the wheel of any global dream.
Instead of creating more terror and wickedness by their support of these evil and slavery carried out by many governments in Africa against their people, especially the one that has gone on and still do go on in Nigeria, terror which often turns the terror into the terrorized, let all these world powers revisit their plans, plots, goals, and contributions in the fire burning all over Africa soon enough before it becomes a wildfire. Even this day, the very nature around us has begun judgment against wicked men and wicked nations. If you will not do what is right in Africa, return to your homes or seek elsewhere to plant your seeds of discord and wickedness. God alone is power that controls the world and He will give us what yearn for.
Photo Above: Mr. Jean Ping, Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission
Ikechukwu Enyiagu can be reached at
*Tags: Nigerians, World, Powers, Concerned, Africa, Masterweb
*Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: Patriot Blinded By The West
By Kali Gwegwe
In one of my books, “Western Democrats in Glass parliament”, published in 2000, I have argued that western democracies will never tolerate Africa’s economic independence owing to the direction of their national ideologies. It is no secret that the economies of many western countries are energized by the inability of Africa’s political leaders to deploy sound fiscal policies aimed at stimulating rapid economic growth. This sad development has continued to keep Africa as an export- dependent economy despite the fact that the bulk of the raw materials used in the manufacture and production of finished goods imported by African countries are sourced from the continent.
There is no doubt about the fact that Nigeria is blessed with great brains and patriots. Among them are Wole Soyinka, Dora Akunyili, Oby Ezekwesili, Lamido Sanusi, and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala among others. What is in doubt is whether all of them are aware that the developed democracies will be too willing to do anything under the sun to promote and protect their national economies. Colonisation, the Cold War, civil wars, tribal conflicts, and the several international humanitarian/peace-keeping missions are all tools used by western democracies to secure economic victories over the African continent. It has become evident that both the World Bank and IMF are tools in the hands of western democracies. As long as African intellectuals refuse to accept this overflowing truth, their brains and patriotism will do the continent very little or no good at all. Is it not surprising that the many Africans in diaspora have not been able to make meaningful differences whenever they are given the opportunities to serve their countries in various capacities? ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Nigeria Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Perhaps, I should also point out here that Structural Adjustment Program, Currency Devaluation, and Subsidy Removal are examples of some of the pills western democracies such as the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain prescribe as cure for the continent’s economic problems. In actual sense, they hide behind these false fiscal policies to cripple the economies of African countries. As part of the plot, they task international institutions such as the World Bank, IMF, and world class universities to recruit the best brains from the continent. These intellectuals are hurriedly thought the Core Values of human and economic management. This is aimed at arousing the patriotic fiber in them. At this point, they are drugged (paid far more than their contemporaries at home), blinded (unable to recognize the evil in their employers), and given a pair of “western eyes.” At this point, these intellectuals no longer see things from the African perspective. They both reason and look at Africa with “western eyes.”
It must be noted that every society has its own peculiarities. As a result of this, what has worked in country A may not necessarily work in country B. Africans wearing “western eyes” will never realize this fact even though it is profusely clear. For instance, the governor of Nigeria’s Central, Lamido Sanusi and Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala are all bitterly agitating for the removal of fuel subsidy simply because same has worked elsewhere in America and Europe. Since they are wearing “western eyes”, they have failed to realize that: (a) Unemployment figures are very low in America and Europe (b) An average American or European worker earn as much as $130 or N19,500 per day. With this kind of salary, Nigerians can afford to buy fuel even at N150 per liter. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria
There is no doubt that both Okonjo-Iweala and Lamido Sanusi will not try stampeding government into removing fuel subsidy if they were earning monthly salaries of N50,000 per month. While tens of millions of Nigerians are earning less than $2 daily, they go home with outrageous salaries and allowances. One had expected them to suggest better ways of putting the nation’s economy back on track. The poor masses cannot continue to sacrifice the little they have while the few well-heeled federal government officials are allowed to laugh away in the comfort of their cars, offices, and houses each time government decides to find solutions to the problems of the country. Okonjo-Iweala and Sanusi do not need to be reminded that the removal of fuel subsidy will translate into the sharp upward movement of the prices of goods and services such as food, rent, transportation, education, health care, and building materials among others.
But if one may ask: What is wrong in subsidizing fuel? Are the beneficiaries of fuel subsidy not Nigerians whose interests the president, ministers, legislators, governors, and governor of the Central Bank all swore to protect? As a matter of fact, owing to the collapse of the culture of sound political leadership, fuel subsidy has turned out to be the only sure way Nigerian masses can benefit from the oil and gas revenue accruing the nation. There is no citizen that does not benefit from fuel subsidy direct or indirectly. Removing it will therefore bring out the fire in the heart of millions of suffering Nigerian masses. This is what the west is looking for. President Goodluck Jonathan must therefore not allow American and European powers to tie his hands behind him and plunge the country into the abyss of socio-economic instability. The west does not want Africa to gain economic independence. It is only through orchestrated socio-economic instabilities that they can achieve such evil plots. This is the more reason why despite all the noise they make about corruption; American and European banks still accept billions of stolen dollars from Africa. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
With the way Okonjo-Iweala and Sanusi are going about the fuel subsidy removal debate, I am pretty sure that they will one day ask the federal government to stop spending billions of Naira to construct roads. While our fiscal policy formulators and advisers are busy giving subsidy a bad name, agricultural subsidies accounts for more than 40% of the total budget of the EU. Who is fooling who? Hugo Chavez is definitely on my mind. The time has come for President Jonathan to call all the anti-people members of his team to order or fire them out rightly. There is enough evidence to show that the nation’s fiscal policy formulators and advisers are out of touch with the vision of the present administration. They have clearly run dry of ideas. Spending N600b to assist Nigerians buy fuel at an affordable price is not a crime. Rather than call for the removal of fuel subsidy, the anti-subsidy apostles should task their brains and think of better ways to increase the revenue receipt of the nation without worsening the already bad plight of ordinary Nigerians.
In this regard, government should be serious with the war against graft, reduce the monetary rewards of elected officials and political appointees, stabilize electricity to expand industrial production, increase investments in the non-oil/gas sectors, improve basic socio-economic infrastructure such as roads/railway/waterways, provide affordable quality health care service, and provide free quality education from primary to secondary levels. All of these will help energize and expand the national economy. With this, the likes of Okonjo-Iweala and Sanusi will not have any reason to bother about how much government spends to subsidize fuel.
More than that, concerted efforts must be put in motion to stop the continuous importation of petroleum products. This is part of the wider agenda of western democracies. They simply coopt a few willing Nigerians to ensure that our refineries do not work at optimum capacities. With this, they will be able to import crude from us and sell petrol and kerosene to us with a very appreciable profit margin. The same thing applies to the power sector. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala should wake up from her slumber and return the “western eyes” she is wearing. Also help Lamido Sanusi do same.
Kali Gwegwe, CEO, Nigeria Democracy Watchtower writes from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State and can be reached at email@example.com ( 0806 407 4810 )
*Tags: Nigerians, Okonjo, Iweala, Patriot, Blinded, West, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb
*Nigeria’s Terrorism Against MASSOB: An Affront To UN
By Ikechukwu Enyiagu
It’s unfair, and the UN knows this well enough. It’s gross injustice yet the UN remains silent. The many atrocious and terror acts carried out against MASSOB and its leadership by the Nigerian government is not only highly condemnable, it’s a direct affront to the United Nations and everything it stands for. The constant harassing, killing, torturing and detaining of many MASSOB members in the South-East of Nigeria by Nigerian security operatives should and must be condemned in its totality by the UN’s body, the United States of America, Britain and other world powers. When an individual or a group attacks a people for no justifiable reasons, it’s quickly called terrorism by the international community, but when a state marginalizes, deprives, tortures, kills, arrests and detains peace loving and innocent citizens because they are asking for their rights through due process, what is it called-modern slavery, perhaps? No! It’s terrorism; terrorism in the highest order! It’s worse that slavery!
In 1960, Nigeria joined the United Nations and consequently became a signatory to the Geneva convention treaty. As a result of this membership, Nigerian government is required by global law of rights and governance to , wholly, abide by all UN accords in relation to how its government is run-whether towards foreigners or its citizens. After the 1967-70 Nigerian-masterminded genocide against Ndigbo, and till date, the very reasons against which the declaration of the Sovereign State of Biafra were made still show themselves; only this time, in a much higher scale. It’s only a man without common sense who sits down and allows others to strangle his children one after another right before his eyes without as much as saying a word. Nigeria prides itself in the systematic extinction of the Igbo race within Nigeria, but Ndigbo would not sit down and watch silently why the very reasons we started our journey towards a separate nationhood repeat themselves; should we? By all mean, no! ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria
In line with these United Nations Human Rights declarations, and especially in the general silence of the UN body towards the brutalization, killing and unlawful arrests and detention of MASSOB members by the Nigerian government, I would like to ask from these few articles:
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Question: Many Igbo people in the military answer Hausa and Yoruba names simply because the Nigerian government has a standing order against everything Igbo in Nigeria. How has this law been to the interest of Ndigbo in Nigeria as it has been for other tribes and ethnic groups?
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Question: Since the Nigeria civil war ended and MASSOB came up to continue the fight for a Sovereign State Of Biafra through a non-violent means, they have been brutalized, killed, arrested and detained in their numbers without any reasonable proof of any sort; is this not an affront to this article of the UN declaration? If this declaration covers every person and state in the world, why has the UN remained unconcerned while the Nigerian government continuously disregard these rules? Since no distinction shall be made of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty, why has the UN thought it unimportant to openly defend the rights of MASSOB but allowed the Nigerian security personnel to carry out, in defiance to this declaration, criminal acts against innocent people?
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
Question: When the Nigerian government negotiates with and doles out money to Niger-Delta militants, releases without charge and seeks to negotiate with those who murder Ndigbo and other Nigerians all over the North, is it not considered a form of slavery when the same government jumps at will on Ndigbo here and there, throwing them into prisons without charge, and killing some of them even when they are clearly non-violent in their rightful pursuit and determination for a a state where they will be treated as fellow humans?
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Question: Is the unwarranted arrests, torture, detention and killing of MASSOB members by the Nigerian government thugs not an enough subjection to torture to bring the UN in?
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
Question: When the Nigerian government negotiates with and doles out money to Niger-Delta militants, releases without charge and seeks to negotiate with those who murder Ndigbo and other Nigerians all over the North, is it not seen as a great form of discrimination when the same government, on the other hand, jumps at Ndigbo here and there, throwing them into prisons without charge and killing some of them even when they are clearly non-violent in their rightful pursuit and determination for a state where they will be treated as fellow humans? The Movement for the actualization of the sovereign state of Biafra (MASSOB) is internationally recognized as non-violent; when the government discriminates in their response to non-violent MASSOB from that of violent Niger-Delta militants and Boko Haram, is that not clearly an affront to the UN and all it stands for? When the people of the North in Nigeria jumps on Ndigbo in the North because of or without any slightest provocation from Ndigbo, killing them in their numbers, burning their places of worship and houses, and carrying away their property and goods as war loots while the federal government does nothing but releases the culprits and arrests and detains, instead, the policemen involved in the arrests, isn’t that enough reason for any group, community, or tribe to be frightened in the midst of the people they live?
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
Question: If the Nigerian government is a signatory to the United Nation, it invariably means that most of Nigerian constitutions are accepted or under review by the international community; if that happens to be that case as indeed it is, then the Nigerian government is clearly violating the rights of movement, speech and pursuit. Why has the United Nations looked the other side when the Nigerian government flaunts their wickedness against Ndigbo? If people indeed have a right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law, would I be faulted if I said that it’s time that UN came in to remedy the many injustice carried out against MASSOB and the entire Ndigbo by the government of Nigeria? Certainly not.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
Question: Clearly, this violation of human rights against Ndigbo is perhaps more wicked than terrorist acts. The story of subjected arbitrary arrests, detentions or exiles is a common treatment against the Igbos of Nigeria. Now that hundreds of MASSOB members are in different prisons all over Nigeria, and many other Igbo youths, through many carefully crafted plans by the Nigerian government to achieve its vision of an extinct Igbo race-to achieve the very intent of other states against Israel, have been forced into exiles in different parts of the world, should the United Nations not call the Nigerian government to order and to call for a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) without further delay; should the UN not accept the fact that Nigeria is long overdue for a peaceful breakup after years of hot and cold war which have all been to the detriment of Ndigbo in a ‘One Nigeria?’
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
Question: Every dot in this declaration is clearly bent on maintaining human rights to the highest level. MASSOB members were and still are arrested and detained (for those who managed to stay alive after the indiscriminate shooting from the Nigerian security operatives) without any public hearing. They are kept without any legal rights and against their wish; the UN knows this, why has it kept silent?
(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
Question: According to the Nigerian government, Chief Barrister Ralph Uwazuruike, along with other Igbo sons, were arrested in Enugu on the 24th of August, 2011, as they were going for/celebrating an award to Chief General Chukwuemeke Odumegwu-Ojukwu (retd) and charged with ‘treasonable felony;’ since these incessant arrests have become a terror act against, not only Ndigbo, but the entire humankind, should the UN not insist that their case be brought to the international court where all the guarantees necessary for their defence will be in place, and treated, once and for all and without further delay?
(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.
Question: The Nigeria security personnel shoot at peaceful MASSOB members with live bullets and kill many amongst them every now and then even when it’s clear that MASSOB does not threaten Nigeria in any way. Those that promised threats to the Nigerian government have been carrying them out and the federal government has been pleading with them while, at the same time, killing, arresting and detaining innocent Igbo people simply because they have refused to threaten any part of the country. With the big offices that UN has in Nigeria, why has it refused to defend the rights of MASSOB and that of Ndigbo; why has the UN not considered the action of the Nigerian government against MASSOB and Ndigbo in general a ‘treasonable felony’ since it directly undermines Nigeria’s signatory to the UN?
(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
Question: Before the war, many Igbos have property in different parts of Nigeria; but after the war, even when most of those property were still standing and valid, the Nigerian government refused every step the Igbo owners made towards reclaiming their property even after the said Nigerian genocide against Ndigbo was declared a ‘No victor, no vanquished.’ The Nigerian government, along with depriving Ndigbo of their many property in different parts of Nigeria outside of the South-East, still deny that it’s been guilty of genocide all along. This is very clear; what has the United Nations done about this and why the continued silence?
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
Question: The United Nations had been before Nigeria became an independent state; this means that the United Nations can’t possibly claim to be unaware of matters going on in places throughout the world. Non-violent MOSSOB members have assembled severely in their pursuit for a different state where everyone will be treated with mutual respect and equality; but, with each assembly, has often come a ruthless crackdown by the government of Nigeria. Not only has the government of Nigeria been carrying out this affront against the UN, it has often done it with bloodshed. Why the silence?
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
Question: Since the war ended, everyone knows that the Nigerian government has systematically denied Ndigbo of relevance in the Nigerian polity. For forty years and counting, no person of Igbo race has been allowed in the presidency, nor as Nigeria has proven, will ever be elected as a president. A call for a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) has been coming out from the great and simple alike in Nigeria, yet the federal government won’t hear anything of it. Is the United Nations truly representing the people or is it just a global body set up to further the destruction of the minorities and the downtrodden by the great and mighty?
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.
Questions: Clearly, everything the Nigerian government does deprives Ndigbo of the South-East of all these above-mentioned entitlements. Ndigbo have been and are still treated as second-class citizens in Nigeria, why has the United Nations kept quiet as these wickedness continue?
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
Question: The people of the South-East Nigeria have cried out for close to fifty years against injustice, and insisted on becoming independence; the government of Nigeria refuses and crushes, with every strong measure, the genuine desires of a people driven beyond the banks slavery. In accordance with this declaration, should not the UN rise up to defend these rights and these people deprived in Nigeria?
(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
Question: What wrong has the MOASSOB members in Igboland committed in carrying out the duty of seeking freedom from slavery and marginalization for their community away from the state called Nigeria?
(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
Question: The reason that MASSOB adopted a non-violent approach in their quest is clearly in honor to this declaration, why then has the UN kept silent when the Nigerian government refuses to respect the same law and crashes, every now and then upon the MASSOB members and its leadership?
(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
Question: Like already said above, MASSOB follow due process, why is the UN silent even against the wickedness of the government of Nigeria and its unacceptable crackdown on men seeking peace and their human rights in the most peaceful way in a country where violence is the order of the day?
Having weighed in the balance of these UN declaration acts the reactions of the Nigerian government against MASSOB and what MASSOB stands for, I have come to an obvious conclusion and to make these recommendations:
1. That the United nations and the world powers prevail upon the Nigerian government to call for and hold a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) where every community would be made relevant towards the pursuit for any possible future as one truly functional country or as separate states
2. That it’s high time the United Nations and the world powers, for peace in this geographical area called Nigeria and in Africa as a whole, stood up to the Nigerian government to demand, once and for all, the freedom of the South-Easterners, their rights to an independent and sovereign state of Biafra
3. That a complete release of all MASSOB members held in different prisons throughout the country be immediately demanded by the UN and effected.
4. I further ask that the United Nations, without undue delay, issue a statement which confirms that Ndigbo, the people of the Sout-East of Nigeria, and indeed, the people who have gone through years of masterminded cruelty and genocide from the Nigeria government, be given a clean bill to further their pursuit for a Sovereign State of Biafra.
5. Among these, I request that those in and out of the Nigerian government who have been accused of the genocide carried out against Ndigbo in the Nigeria-Biafra war be summoned to the Hague to defend their cases without further undue delay.
Photo Above: Chief Ralph Uwazuruike (middle) being led into Federal High Court, Abuja., Tuesday, November 9, 2005 to face treason charges.
Photo Above: Chief Ralph Uwazuruike in Federal High Court, Abuja., Tuesday, November 9, 2005 facing treason charges.
Ikechukwu Enyiagu can be reached at
*Tags: Nigerians, Terrorism, Against, Massob, Affront, United, Nations, Africa, Masterweb
*Nigeria: Niger Delta Ministry Vs NDDC
By Ifeatu Agbu
There is no disputing the fact that the challenges of developing the Niger Delta are enormous and perhaps intimidating. This gargantuan task, no doubt, requires the concerted efforts of all stake holders. The indications are that the Federal Government understands this, which explains why it adopted a multi-faceted strategy in tackling the challenges, realising that it is not an undertaking for only one or two development agencies. The justification, of course, is that undoing the damage wrought by decades of neglect and injustice would need team work.
Thus, the creation of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs tallies with the reasoning that all hands must be on deck to fast-track the development of the region that produces the oil-wealth of the nation. The ministry was supposed to lead and co-ordinate the infrastructural and environmental development as well as the youth empowerment programmes of the Federal Government in the region.
Despite this good intension, the ministry took off amidst controversies and apprehensions. Those who had reservations about the ministry feared that it would add another avoidable layer of bureaucracy to the effort at speeding up the development of the Niger Delta. However, those who supported its creation were hopeful that it would attract additional funds and expertise for the rapid development of the region.
A lot of premium was placed on the advantage of having two ministers who, as members of the Federal Executive Council would have a platform to articulate the development needs of the Niger Delta. Those who were still not convinced were told that the ministers would have easy access to Mr. President to ensure that he never loses sight of the Niger Delta question.
Today, however, the story appears to be different. The ministry which many had thought was coming to add value to the fortunes of the region is now confirming the worst fears of critics who predicted that it would slow down rather than enhance the activities of the Niger Delta Development Commission [NDDC] that it was supposed to complement. This is contrary to the general expectations that the ministry and the NDDC would team up to implement the Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan. This unpleasant turn of events is, to say the least, shocking. You can be sure that political and community leaders who had justified the creation of the ministry are not amused. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria's Niger Delta Region showing Port Harcourt
Most people in the region had thought that a massive inflow of funds would follow the creation of the ministry to translate the lofty goals of the Master Plan into projects and programmes that would make significant impact on the lives of the people of the oil-bearing communities spread across the Niger Delta region. In fact, some people had suggested a Marshall Plan approach in addressing the developmental challenges in the region.
It is rather sad that this has not happened. To make matters worse, the ministry appears to be in a contest for superiority in its relationship with the NDDC. While other stake holders are looking up to them to play a leading role in co-ordinating the implementation of the widely applauded Master Plan, the ministry seems intent on bringing NDDC under its control. The power tussle is uncalled for and the ministry should know that it was not put in place to reinvent the wheel. Basically, it was created to add more impetus to the activities of other agencies of government that are already on ground and partnering with them for the benefit of the region.
Senator Ndoma-Egba, a strong voice in the Upper Legislative House of the National Assembly, puts it this way: “My understanding of the decision by the executive to create a ministry for the Niger-Delta was to empower it to help in the infrastructural development of the area in addition to, not as a replacement for ,what the NDDC is doing.” Another lawmaker, representing Warri Federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Daniel Reyenieju, noted that the commission was established by an Act of Parliament. “On no account should the commission be merged with the ministry because the Niger Delta Ministry was created by an executive fiat while the commission came to life via an Act of Parliament which is far stronger than that of the ministry,” he said. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria
Again, the ministry should be conscious of the fact that up to this day, many people still believe that it is a superfluous political contraption. Only recently, for instance, the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir El-Rufia said “the creation of the Niger Delta Ministry is a political gesture and unnecessary bureaucracy that will fail to solve the problems facing the troubled region.”
Unfortunately, the ministry seems to be preoccupied with annexing more powers and extending its spheres of influence, especially over other statutory agencies. The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, has never hidden his disdain for an autonomous NDDC. He has argued at every opportunity that the commission should be supervised by his ministry. Here is what he said in a recent interview published in a national newspaper: “There is no correlation between the NDDC and the Niger Delta Ministry. If you go and attend a meeting anywhere in the world, people are talking to you about the NDDC, people are talking to you about development and as a minister, you have little or no information about what the NDDC is doing; does that present any meaningful reasoning? A minister of the Niger Delta should be able to tell development partners and whoever that is concerned what is being done by the NDDC. But today, there is no correlation.”
The minister is right in insisting on collaboration between his ministry and the NDDC. But who or what are the hindrances to this very necessary partnership? Before the ministry came on board, the NDDC had already set up a clearing house called the Partners for Sustainable Development [PSD] Forum. This important organ brings together representatives of federal and state governments of oil-bearing states, youth and women leaders, traditional rulers as well as the organized private sector, civil society, the mass media and international development agencies such as the UNDP and the World Bank. Its main function is to ensure that the developmental activities in the Niger Delta by all stakeholders are synchronized. This important organ is all that the ministry needs to key into the development programmes of the region.
Indeed, it is surprising that the ministry has not adopted the Master Plan facilitated by the NDDC as its own road map, since the Federal Government gave its blessings for the production of the comprehensive plan. The 15-year period of the plan must not be allowed to run out without any significant impact on the Niger Delta.
There is no need for this distractive schism in what should be a collective effort to rescue Niger Deltans from the pits of squalor and want. The Act setting up the NDDC clearly puts the supervision of the commission directly under the President. Note, not under the Presidency. This means that there are no obstructive go-between for the commission and the President to ensure expeditious implementation of decisions. The framers of the law were conscious of the fact that the interventionist agency must be freed of all the encumbrances of ministries which are usually weighed down by bureaucratic red tape. Part II, Section 7 of the Niger Delta Development Commission [Establishment] Act 2000 states that: “The Commission shall be subject to the direction, control or supervision in the performance of its functions under this Act by the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Royal fathers in the region, under the aegis of Association of Traditional Rulers of Oil Mineral Producing Communities of Nigeria, have given their wise counsel to President Goodluck Jonathan on this matter. Their warning: “Don’t contemplate merging the commission with the ministry. Such action will be detrimental to the entire people of the area.”
The urgent task now is to secure more finds for the full implementation of the Master Plan for the region. There is enough room for both the ministry and the NDDC to operate and collaborate for the benefit of Niger Deltans.
Mr. Ifeatu Agbu ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) writes from Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
*Tags: Nigerians, Niger, Delta, Nddc, Ministry, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb
*Nigeria: Myth of Free & Fair Elections – Even The Almighty June 12….
By Sulayman Dauda Daura
On what basis SAM NDA ISIAH relies upon to insist there was a free and fair election in one part of this country is still opaque and hazy. But let us dissect what those custodians of intellect and wisdom referred to as a ‘’living history’’ in Nigeria’s political timeline; The June 12, 1993 election.
Was the June 12th, 1993 presidential election free and fair? Was it the “freest and fairest election” in Nigerian history? If it was free and fair and it was actually won by Chief M.K.0 Abiola, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party, what electoral mandate did it give him? Did it give him the mandate to become the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Commander - in - Chief of its Armed Forces, for a period of four years, from 27th August, 1993, to 26th August, 1997, under the relevant provisions of the Nigerian Constitution of 1989? Or, did that election and its results, gave him a special mandate, higher than the mandate given by any previous or, subsequent, Nigerian election, to become the President of Nigeria for four years, from any day he is installed, during his life time? That is, did Chief Abiola, on June 12th 1993, obtain a mandate from the electorate of Nigeria, which is not defined, or limited, by any time framework, any constitution, any laws, and even the existence of the other essential political institutions of civilian democratic government in a federal Nigeria, like the federal legislatures and the state executives and legislatures?
These are some of many questions millions of Nigerians should be asking as their response to the deafening media campaign and threats of secession, since the death of General Sani Abacha, to have Chief M. K. O Abiola installed by the then military regime as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Commander - in - Chief of its Armed Forces, heading a "Government of National Unity", outside the provision of any constitution, for the period of four years. These questions did, not only not received any answers, but are even being put forward from then up till today as a turning point in having a free and fair polls, promoted as a yard stick of measuring the decency of an election in our political debate in this country. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Late M.K.0 Abiola
These questions cannot be avoided, because they address some very important political issues, which go far beyond the fate of Chief M. K. O. Abiola and what is called "his mandate". These issues are central to the building of democratic civilian rule in Nigeria on solid foundations. Nigeria cannot start rebuilding democracy without a clear public understanding of, what actually is a free and fair election and the meaning and the basis of the electoral mandate derived from such an election.
The campaign for what is called “the actualization of June 12th” is promoting the false impression that the freedom and fairness of an election is determined solely by what happens on the day of the election; and has nothing to do with the whole political process of party formation, party control, the nomination of candidates, the election campaign and the extent of the democratic space within which these are conducted. There are six aspects of an election which determine whether, or not, it is democratic, free and fair. The first aspect has to do with the composition of the electorate. The second aspect has to do with the formation and control of the political parties putting up candidates for the election. The third aspect has to do with the nomination of the candidates. The fourth aspect has to do with the election campaign. The fifth aspect has to do with the polling, the counting and recording of votes and the announcement of results. The sixth aspect has to do with the operations of the judicial system in its handling of the election petitions. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Seal of The President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is the official symbol of the Nigerian President, first used in 1979 by President Shehu Shagari.
The extent to which an election is free and fair, is determined by the freedom with which the adult citizens of a country can participate in it as voters. In an electoral system in which primaries are conducted by political parties for members of each party to elect their candidates, this freedom of participation has to include the freedom to form political parties which can contest elections and to vote for, or against, candidates in the party primaries. This freedom was denied to the citizens of
Nigeria in the presidential election primaries of 1993 which produced Chief M. K. O Abiola as one of the two presidential candidates. The convention of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) which was held in Jos on Saturday, 27th March, 1993, in which 5,215 delegates voted and Chief Abiola won with a majority of 272 votes, cannot by any democratic standards be regarded as free and fair. This is because the S.D.P itself was decreed into existence in 1989 by the Armed Forces Ruling Council. In fact, the formation of the SDP and the National Republican Convention (NRC), violated all universally acceptable democratic principles of party formation. Before the SDP and the NRC were imposed on the people of Nigeria, by the then ruling military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida, 38 political parties and associations had been freely formed to contest for the elections which were to return the country to civilian rule. These parties and associations were, for the avoidance of doubt:
1. People’s Liberation Party (PLP)
2. People’s Front of Nigeria (PFN)
3. Nigerian Peoples Welfare Party (NPWP)
4. Nigerian National Congress (NNC)
5. Peoples Solidarity Party (PSP)
6. Nigerian Labour Party (NLP)
7. The Republican Party of Nigeria (RPN)
8. National Union Party (NUP)
9. Liberal Convention (LC)
10. Patriotic Nigerian Party (PNP)
11. Ideals Peoples Party (IPP)
12. All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP)
13. Peoples Patriotic Party (PPP)
14. United Nigerian Democratic Party(UNDP)
15 . Democratic People’s Congress (DPC)
16. People’s Party of Nigeria (PPN)
17. Black But Beautiful Party of Nigeria (BBBPN)
18. Welfare Party of Nigeria (WPN)
19. Liberal New Movement Party (LNMP)
20. Movement of Nationalists And Dynamos (MONAD)
21. Brotherhood Club of Nigeria (BCN)
22. United Front Party of Nigeria (UFP)
23. Abuja United Front (AUF)
24. New Democratic Alliance (NDA)
25. People’s Alliance Party (PAP)
26. The All People’s Party (TAPP)
27. People’s Progressive Party (PPP)
28. National Development Party (NDP)
29. People’s Convention Party (PCP)
30. Oriental Progressive (OP)
31. Nigerian Emancipation Party (NEP)
32. The Voice Group (Bendel) (THVP)
33. Commoners People’s Party (CPP)
34. Nigerian Democratic Congress (NDC)
35. Nigerian Farmers Revolutionary Council (NFRC)
36. Northern Youth Council (NYC)
37. Socialist Party of Workers, Farmers And Youth (SPWFY)
38. Nigerian Republican People’s Party (NRPP)
Of the 38 political parties formed, 13 had applied for registration by 6 p.m. of July 19th, 1989, the deadline fixed for the submission of application. These were:
1. Peoples Front Party of Nigeria ( PFN)
2. Nigerian People’s Welfare Party (NPWP)
3. Nigerian National Congress (NNC)
4. People’s Solidarity Party (PSP)
5. The Republican Party of Nigeria( RPN)
6. National Union Party (NUP)
7. Liberal Convention (LC)
8. National Labour Party (NLP)
9. Patriotic Nigerian Party (PNP)
10. Ideal People’s Party (IPP)
11. All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP)
12. People’s Patriotic Party (PPP)
13. United Nigeria Democratic Party (UNDP)
Among these parties, were several which in the words of General Ibrahim Babangida himself, had “deep roots” in Nigeria politics. Indeed, veterans of the National Council for Nigeria and Cameroun’s (NCNC), Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU), Action Group(A.G), and United Middle-Belt Congress (UMBC) of the First Republic, many of whom had played active roles in the struggle for Nigerian independence were found in these parties. Also found, were activists of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP), the Great Nigeria People’s Party (GNPP), the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), the Nigerian People’s party (NPP), and the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) of the Second Republic.
Impossible conditions were set by the military for the registration of political parties. Satisfying the conditions for registration did not only require the parties to spend hundreds of millions of naira, it also required them to put in place elaborate organisation, logistics, equipment and personnel, which even the military government could not fulfill, even when they later banned these parties and decreed the SDP and the NRC into existence. It was clear that the regime had imposed these impossible conditions because it had no intention of handing over to a democratically elected civilian government. This was known to Chief M. K. O Abiola as he himself said in a lecture he gave in a public meeting in London, on 14th August, 1993, to justify his anger at what Babangida later did to him. He said,
“Yes, Babangida is my friend. We have been friends for quite a long time. The first time he started this democratic race of his, I asked him whether indeed there was a vacancy, since I do not like applying for a job which is not vacant”. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd.)
When he satisfied himself that the office was not vacant, that means General Babangida had no intention of handing over, Chief Abiola issued a statement to the effect that “over the last few weeks, thousands of people have urged me to stand for the presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, whilst some have counseled otherwise. Having carefully considered both sides of the argument, I have decided that I will not offer myself for this great office at this time”
In a broadcast to the nation, on the 8th of October, 1989, General Ibrahim Babangida announced that “the thirteen political associations are dissolved with immediate effect.” Not only were these parties banned, they were also forced to close their offices and stop all activities, or risk having their members being arrested and detained by the military regime. The military regime then created two political parties, the SDP and the NRC, and directed all those who were interested in politics to join either of the two.
Thus, the SDP, the primaries of which Chief Abiola won to become the candidate in the June 12th presidential elections, and the NRC, had their constitutions and manifestos produced by the military and formally launched by General Babangida at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Press Centre in Dodan Barracks on Monday, December 4th, 1989. In his broadcast to the nation, on October 9, 1989, General Babangida said that
“The draft constitution of these parties as approved by the Armed Forces Ruling Council shall be identical. The National Electoral Commission shall submit (these) draft manifestoes to the Armed Forces Ruling Council for preliminary approval within two weeks from today…The draft manifestoes may be amended at the national conventions of each party subject to NEC guidelines. They shall then be sent to the Armed Forces Ruling Council, which shall approve the amendments, after which the draft becomes a party manifesto”.
Thus, not only had the parties no independence whatsoever, their members and even the ordinary Nigerian voter were denied even the choice of programmes, as the parties had “identical manifestoes” which they cannot in reality amend. This undemocratic situation was captured by the editorial in The Guardian newspaper of Friday, 22 December, 1989, which states that: “Whether it is in the area of the economy, education, health, etc. that one takes, we find that there is little fundamental difference between the manifestoes of the parties. Even their preambles, which should reveal the basic philosophy and the nature of social order they want to construct, fail to provide any meaningful differences between the two parties. And if parties do not differ in their basic philosophy of society, then, differences over strategies become cosmetics. Their language, uniformly bland, is bereft of the commitment and dedication to goals and ideals that should inform manifestoes’’,
The SDP and the NRC were not only creations of the military regime, but they were also funded by that regime. Their state, local government and national offices were built by the military government. The Federal Military Government alone voted N676.5 million for the construction of 21 party offices in the state capitals, while the state military governors were ordered to construct two offices each for the parties, in each of the local government areas of the country. They budgeted a total sum of N546.6 million for this, making the total expenditure on the offices of these two parties, to come to the huge sum of N1.22 billion, equivalent, at that time to US$111.2 million.
Even the membership cards of the two parties and their symbols and colours were dictated by the military regime of General Babangida. What is very significant with regards to the status of the June 12 election is that the adoption of the two- the party system was what Chief M. K. O Abiola had canvassed for since 1985. In an interview in the New Nigerian of 31 May, 1985, Chief Abiola, “commended a two-party system and described the five party systems as ‘ridiculous rubbish’ because it was expensive to run and did not guarantee a better government.”
Clearing the field for the emergence of Chief Abiola as the SDP presidential candidate by the military government of General Babangida started since 1991. First, General Babangida announced a ban on most people who had held public offices and who wanted to become presidential candidates. When some of these politicians refused to accept such a ban and continued with their political activities, they were arrested and detained on 2 December, 1991, and later arraigned before the Transition to Civil Rule Tribunal, in order to frighten and intimidate them. These politicians were:
1. Major General Shehu Musa Yar ‘Adua (rtd)
2. Alhaji Lateef Jakande
3. Chief Bola Ige
4. Chief Solomon Lar
5. Alhaji Muhamadu Abubakar Rimi
6. Chief Christian Onoh
7. Dr. Olusola Saraki
8. Chief Francis Arthur Nzeribe
9. Alhaji Bello Maitama Yusuf
10. Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu
11. Mr. Paul Unongo
12. Alhaji Lawal Kaita
After this, the effort of clearing the field for General Babangida’s best friend moved to the organisation of the party presidential primaries. One of the conditions for free and fair election is the conduct of free and fair election of candidates by members of the political parties in the primaries. These primaries must be organized by the elected officials of the parties concerned. This was the case with the presidential primaries in the two political parties conducted in October, 1992. However, these primaries which were won by the late Major General Shehu Yar Adua, in the SDP, and Alhaji Adamu Ciroma, in the NRC, were annulled on 16th October, 1992, on the spurious ground that they were not properly done. The candidates, together with all other contestants, were banned again from contesting for the office of the president. Many others were cowered into silence. It was no other person but Chief M.K.O Abiola who rose to defend this brazenly unfair decision by General Babangida saying in The African Guardian of 10 March, 1993 that “I do not agree with those who believe that it was the government that sabotaged the presidential primaries.” When Chief Abiola joined the SDP to contest for the presidency, the ground had been further cleared for him. First, all the elected officials of the parties, from the federal down to the state and local government levels were dismissed by General Babangida.
In their place, the military regime appointed administrators at the national and state levels, on the 26 of January, 1993 to administer the parties. In all, the 88 sole administrators and executive secretaries were appointed to run the parties in all the states of the federation, including Abuja. All the officials were answerable not to the members of the parties they were administering but to the Armed Forces Ruling Council headed by General Babangida through the National Electoral Commission. The undemocratic, and regimented, nature of the parties is even more glaring in the case of the SDP. For, in the period 26 January to 27th March, 1993, when the party’s primaries which produced Chief Abiola as presidential candidate took place, the party was administered by a retired air force general, and former military governor of Kano State, Air Vice Marshal Stephen Shekari. This air force general presided over the Jos convention of 27 March, 1993, which produced Chief Abiola as the SDP’s flag-bearer. As far as the composition of the party electorate which voted for Chief Abiola to become the SDP’s flag-bearer is concerned, there was nothing free or fair about it. There was also nothing democratic, or free and fair, about the formation and control of the party which nominated him. Therefore, Chief Abiola’s candidature had its roots in the military regimentation of the electoral process, in violation of all the norms of freedom and fairness in democratic elections.
Any attempt at honestly, and rigorously, understanding the June 12th, issue, cannot ignore the role of Chief M. K.O Abiola in the campaign for the perpetuation of military rule in Nigeria. Far from being a democrat, as we are now made to understand by those shouting for “the actualization of June 12”, Abiola is one of the leading Nigerian civilian public figures who had always supported military governments. Thus, when he fell out with the National Party of Nigeria, in 1982, over his failure to get elected as the chairman of the party in order to be in a position to contest as its presidential candidate in 1983, he resigned from the NPN, claiming that he had left active politics, while in reality he was busy befriending the military that overthrew the democratically elected government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari.
When the ‘sterility and repression’ of the General Buhari’s military regime became obvious and its draconian decrees widely hated by the political and commercial elites. Although, the level and extent of system collapse and deterioration of the nation’s moral values is so perverse that make it imperatives for a military draconian rule. Chief M. K. O. Abiola came to the defence of the regime, adding that “Any body that is a threat to the government can be restricted”. As his newspaper, National Concord of 12th January, 1985 reported, he wasn’t putting his full weight behind the curtailment of dangerous elements within the system”. These “dangerous elements” were the 1979 and 1983 democratically elected civilian political leaders at the state and federal levels, who had been locked up in jail for over one year without proper legal trial. Those who were tried were tried before secret military tribunals.
When the Buhari’s regime came under intense public pressure to allow people to discuss the political future of the country, Chief Abiola was one of the very few leading, civilian, Nigerians who gave yet another spirited defence of the military regime, by saying in the New Nigeria of 31st May, 1985 that,
“We have a government headed by Major General Buhari, Head of State and Commander-in- Chief. What is of concern to me is that he rules Nigeria well to the betterment of every Nigerian that is all. It doesn’t bother me how long he stays there. The longer he stays from my point of view the more stability we will have.”
When General Babangida seized power on 27th August, 1985, Chief Abiola became even closer to the military regime, because Babangida was his close friend. He defended almost every action of that regime, stating blandly that “there was nothing they have not done that I don’t particularly like”, as reported in the National Concord of 28th January, 1986. After falling apart with Buhari, Abiola was openly bragging to have supported the 1985 coup with a whooping sum of 10million Naira to ousted the Buhari/Idiagbon lead government for their ‘rigid and uncompromising ideology’ thanks to Prof. West fact on Democracy within the Military during that era. In spite of some hiccups in his relationship with the regime, connected with the actions of some of his journalists and his children, Chief Abiola was seen by the generality of Nigerians as General Babangida’s man. The main pillar of his election campaign was that he was so close to General Babangida and the military, that Nigerians thought, he should be voted for to get rid of the military, who would be willing to hand over to him, as he has been very close to them, at every level. This view was reinforced by the fact that the security apparatus of the regime had imposed a light-weight businessman, Alhaji Bashir Tofa, as the candidate of the other party, the NRC. For, while Chief Abiola is a giant among Nigerian businessmen, Alhaji Bashir Tofa remained, up to his nomination, essentially an errand boy of Brigadier General Halilu Akilu, head of Babangida’s security services; as he has earlier been an errand boy of Kano NPN tycoons, who made him the National Financial Secretary of that party. The election campaign was therefore heavily loaded in favor of M. K. O. Abiola, by this very fact of his personal and warm friendship with General Babangida and the light weight rival candidate produced for him by the military regime. Not only was the campaign made easier by the puny status of Alhaji Bashir Tofa, as against Chief Abiola, even in Kano, but the security apparatus of the regime promoted a campaign against Alhaji Bashir Tofa publicizing accusations of dishonesty in the oil business against him. Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Muhammadu Buhari
Chief Abiola, meanwhile, continued to bask in his aura of belonging to the magic circle of the closest personal friends of General Babangida, A few months before he joined the SDP to contest for the presidency, General Babangida sent him a warm message of congratulations on the occasion of his 55 birthday, on 25th August, 1992. The National Concord of 26th August, 1992, the former editor of which was a close aide to Chief Abiola, Mr. Duro Onabule, who became General Babangida’s Chief Press Secretary, reported that the message was unique. In it, General Babangida said: “…you have not stalled in your philanthropic activities for which I assure you history will duly reward you most appropriately. It is also noteworthy that your business continues to widen, all aimed at providing job opportunities and enhanced standard of living for our fellow countrymen. May Allah grant you more years of useful service to the nation and humanity?”
The conduct of the election of June 12th did not make it the freest and fairest in Nigeria. In the first place, it is well known that Chief Abiola used massive amounts of money to bribe election officials and security personnel to ensure his victory. For, in spite of the way the campaign had greatly favoured him, he was not the one to take any chances with his wily friend, General Babangida. Everybody knows that with regards to the bribing and corrupting of election officials and security personnel, the 1993 presidential election was worse than the 1979 presidential election. As far as the turnout of voters was concerned, the number of people who came out to vote in 1979 was 16.8 million, while in 1993, with a larger population, only 13.6 million voted in the presidential election. There was no time for election petitions, since the results were annulled before they were formally announced. Therefore, it is very difficult to assess the freedom and fairness with which it was conducted and with which the judicial machinery for it operated.
The fact that the results of 12 of June Presidential election were annulled by the military regime of General Babangida cannot by itself make the election free and fair. The evidence available clearly establishes that, right from the way the two parties were imposed by military diktat, funded, housed and controlled by the regime, and had their primaries and campaigns largely determined by the regime, there was very little that was democratic in the whole process culminating in the June 12, 1993, election. The only inference one can draw from the facts available, is that a conspiracy to install Chief M.K.O Abiola was, at the last minute, aborted by General Babangida and others, perhaps including General Abacha. This conspiracy may actually go back to the early 1980s, when these two generals began plotting with Chief Abiola, and others, against the democratically elected government of Nigeria; a conspiracy which successfully bore fruit on 31 December, 1983, when, the then Brigadier General Sani Abacha, announced the overthrow of the democratically elected governments of Nigeria and M. K. O. Abiola led in the campaign to support this act of treason, and General Babangida took up the strategic position of Chief of Army Staff, which in August, 1985 he relinquished to General Abacha on becoming Head of State. Indications of such a conspiracy can be seen in the way Chief M. K. O. Abiola consulted very closely with General Babangida over who was to be his running mate, even after, according to him, he had felt that his friend was no longer with him. He, on the 14 August, 1993, said: “ We got to Jos, the first shocker for Babangida was that I won in Jos very narrowly but I won…the problem is that I need a Christian as a running-mate…The President (Babangida) was suggesting that I should pick Bafyau…So I went back to see Babangida the next day Friday. He was still insisting on Bafyau. It became very clear that we were on a collision course…I phoned the President at midnight before the announcement and told him that out of courtesy I must let him know that there is no way I can pick Bafyua. I was going to announce Babagana Kingibe in the morning.”
Other indications of Chief Abiola’s deep conspiratorial involvement with the military, particularly with the two generals most influential in the overthrow of our last democratic governments, also come out in the way he went to express such public confidence in General Abacha’s commitment to hand over power to him as soon as the latter had executed the November 17, 1993 military coup. Speaking at SDP Kaduna State office, at Kawo, Kaduna, on 28 September, 1993, he said:
“I really commend General Sani Abacha because out of love of the country, he puts his common sense, experience, tact and intellect to ease out (the former President, General Ibrahim Babangida). I have no doubt that it is that common sense, that patriotism, that intellect that will enable him to ease out his Babangida surrogates. But if not for people like Sani Abacha this country would have plunged into bloodshed”. If, what Mrs. Titilayo Abiola told The Post Express in an interview on Sunday, 28 June, 1998, that: ‘’Chief M. K. O. Abiola was so much looking forward to coming out and meeting General Abacha, that he cried when he heard of his death’’ is true, it further indicates that his connections with General Abacha, at least as far as he was concerned, remained a very important part of his life, even after the latter has locked him up for over four years.
It is difficult at this stage to fathom the depth and ramifications of the layers, upon layers, of conspiracy involved. But there can be no doubt that an election cannot, suddenly, become free and fair, just because a military President falls out with one of the candidates in a presidential election, with whom he had a long standing conspiratorial relations against democracy in Nigeria, and goes ahead to annul the victory of his co-conspirator.
The fact that those who campaigned for the “actualization of the June 12 election” refused to face was that out of 36.7 million Nigerians who registered to vote in that election, only 7.7 million voted for Chief Abiola while 5.9 million voted for Alhaji Bashir Tofa and 23.1 million abstained. In other words, 29.0 million Nigerian voters, equal to 79% of the registered voters refused to vote for Chief Abiola, either by abstaining, or by voting for the NRC candidate. How can a candidate, who fails to obtain the support of 8 out every 10 voters in a country, be made to appear to have obtained a special mandate to rule that country, irrespective of time, of laws and of the constitution? Certainly, in democratic elections of the type we had and still have, a candidate can be validly elected, even with a smaller proportion of the registered voters voting for him, or her. But to claim that a candidate has a mandate to rule a country even five years after the election, there surely should be better evidence of solid electoral support, in fact, repeated over a number of elections.
It is not only when looking at the figures for the whole country, that we find that the overwhelming majority of Nigerians refused to vote for him but even in the South-western States of Nigeria, 61.1% of the voters either abstained, or voted, for Alhaji Bashir Tofa, thus effectively refusing to vote for M. K. O Abiola. In Lagos State, where it is claimed he has his main support base, 63% of the registered voters refused to vote for him by either abstaining or by voting for Alhaji Bashir Tofa. The table below brings out these facts clearly.
Those leaders of NADECO, and the pro-democracy groups who threatened that if Chief M. K. O Abiola was not installed as President of Nigeria, because he won the 12 of June election, the Yorubas will break away, have to explain how the political fate of Abiola who 61.1% of the registered Yoruba voters refused to vote for can be used to legitimize the secession of the Yorubas from Nigeria. Is it because this majority does not have any rights because they choose to refuse to vote for Chief M. K. O. Abiola? Clearly, this secessionist threat had nothing to do with justice, equity, and the democratic rights of the great majority of Yoruba voters, who refused to vote for Abiola on June 12, 1993, and, therefore, cannot be expected to fight for “the actualization of the mandate” which they never gave him.
Clearly, Chief Abiola did not obtain any democratic mandate through a free and fair election, for; no such election took place June 12, 1993. But, even, granted that in spite of all its severe limitation, that election reflected the will of the Nigerian electorate, at that point in time, and in those special circumstances, it does not provide a basis for Chief Abiola to be installed as a civilian dictator, outside any democratic political party, without any elected federal legislatures, without any, elected, state executive and legislatures, or, elected, local government councils; leaving him effectively propped up by the military, in this so-called “Government of National Unity”. For, those who advocated that he should have headed that government were asking for this; including his taking the powers to appoint sole administrators over the states and the local governments, for the next two years as at then. If, as has been clearly established above, he received no genuine, democratic, mandate to rule Nigeria, in the years 1993-1997, how could he have had this mandate, after 1997? Is it because Chief Abiola is placed on a special pedestal of representing the Yorubas, even though 61.1% of voters in the Yoruba states refused to vote for him? Those who advocated this, whether explicitly or implicitly, have to explain what it has to do with democracy or national unity. In fact, they have to explain what it has to do with any form of constitutional government under the rule of law. For, to install Chief Abiola to head a “Government of National Unity” as at then simply because of his tribe, or race, is to actually establish a Government of National Disunity and National Confusion. For, such an imposition by the present military regime, even for one month, as NADECO had pleaded, has no basis in democracy, but amounts to an unprincipled and dangerous compromise with the military and civilian conspirators who have taken our country backwards from where it had reached on the weak, but sound, democratic, system we were gradually building in the Second Republic, on the basis of the 1979 Constitution. Even though, it was the reckless behavior of the political class that became a source of concern for the Military to step in at the time of national crisis, yet none of them came of their own volition, according to General Buhari. “…They were pushed, cajoled, encourage and welcome by the civilian, both those in active politics and out of it”
A question to ask here is if India could survive as a democracy despite its population, multi-ethnic and religious diverse and its souring poverty, then why not Nigeria?. We must sincerely stop deceiving ourselves the fact that Nigeria has never qualify to any of either the Liberal-representative, Electoral, let alone Pseudo democracy as termed by Larry Diamond. We can rather call our own type of Democracy as “War in Peace”. After all Nigeria has never witness a credible free and fair Election.
Sulayman Dauda Daura can be reached at
*Tags: Nigerians, Myth, Free, Fair, Elections, Almighty, Africa, Masterweb
*Nigeria: Intersociety Submits Memo To Presidential Committee On Cost Cutting
The Presidential Committee On the Restructuring & Rationalization of the Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions & Agencies
The Legal Unit, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation
P-Wing, Shehu Shagari Complex
Three- Arms- Zone
Asokoro, Abuja, Nigeria
Dear Presidential Committee,
Age-long Discriminatory Practices By The Authorities Of The Nigeria Police Force Against The Personnel of Nigeria Traffic Wardens Service: A Memo For Freedom And Justice
Above subject matter refers.
(Onitsha Nigeria, September 6, 2011)-International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law-Intersociety is an incorporated international rights and democracy group based in the Southeast State of Anambra, with a focus on civil liberties, rule of law and good governance.
Power of Representation:
As a matter of public interest, we write to submit this important memo on behalf of the personnel of the Nigeria Traffic Wardens Service and millions of concerned Nigerians. We have also been reached and implored by other well-meaning Nigerians to intervene on behalf of members of the Service. Our locus is both statutory and public oriented.
It is our information to your Committee that there is a statutory body known as “Nigeria Traffic Wardens Service”, established by Decree No.21 of 1975. The body was created to: “effect general control and direction of motor traffic on the highway”, “assist pedestrians to cross the road,” and “control vehicles stopping or parking in unauthorized places” etc. In other words, the Service is empowered to take charge of traffic control and related duties on major government urban roads including inter and intra-city roads. Statutorily, the Service was created and handed over to the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force for efficient management including ensuring good conditions of service for its personnel. But the events that unfolded thirty-six years after (1975-2011) have made the personnel of the Service “victims of the modern day slavery and servitude”. Pained and unsatisfied with these sad developments, the leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, launched an advocacy over same in July 2011 with letters addressed to the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Hafiz A. Ringim through the DIG Operations, Mr. Audu Abubakar, dated July 26, 2011; President Goodluck Jonathan, dated August 2, 2011; Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Chief Parry Osayande, dated August 3, 2011; leading foreign missions in Nigeria, dated August 18, 2011; President Goodluck Jonathan, dated August 24, 2011; and leading foreign missions in Nigeria, dated August 24, 2011. Copies of the said letters are hereby marked and attached. For ease of reference, the attached letter to leading foreign missions in Nigeria, dated August 18, 2011, referenced: Intersociety/NG/Vol.02/08/2011/FMs/ABJ/FRN and marked as “Exhibit 4”, contains necessary details concerning the matter.
Owing to the fact that Decree No. 21 of 1975 or “Nigeria Traffic Wardens Decree 21 of 1975” is out-fashioned and discriminatory, we pray your Committee to recommend for its repeal or amendment. In line with your Committee’s terms of reference, we have perused the provisions of the said Decree No. 21 of 1975, Sections 59 to 69 of the Nigeria Police Act and its Regulations, the FRSC Act, the 1999 Constitution, as amended, etc and made the following findings:
1. That the discriminatory practices being visited against the personnel of the Nigeria Traffic Wardens Service by the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force are partly predicated on the awkward Decree No. 21 of 1975.
2. That the discriminatory practices predicated on the obnoxious Decree No.21 of 1975 are clearly at variance with Nigeria’s democratic ideals including human rights and natural justice.
3. That it was on the strength of these that various ministerial committees were set up including the ministerial committee set up by Ministry of Police Affairs on August 25, 2010 to look into the said age-long discriminatory practices, which include restrictive ranking, stagnated promotions, indiscriminate arrests and long detention without trials of key Traffic personnel, discriminatory promotions, non-allotment of offices and positions, “outsider” treatment of the Wardens by the Police, imposition of criminal “returns” culture on the Wardens, exclusion of the Wardens from police promotion examinations, over-labouring or over-burdening of the Wardens at their duty posts, maintaining a “Civil Service Grade Level 06” as the highest vertical mobility in the Service, and other poor conditions of service.
As a stickler of “higher capital expenditures and lower recurrent expenditures,” we are totally in support of your Committee’s establishment. In the light of the above, therefore, we wish to align ourselves, with some conditions, the options 1& 2 of the “recommended options”, reached by the Ministry of Police Affairs Committee, on January 24, 2011. It is recalled that a ministerial committee was set up on August 25, 2010 by the then Minister of Police Affairs, on the strength of a petition filed by the leadership of the Vanguard for the Actualization of the Traffic Wardens Service Welfare, led by Mr. J.K Johnsonapla, over discrimination against the Traffic Wardens Service by the Nigeria Police Force. At the end of the Committee’s sitting, the Minister directed his Permanent Secretary to hold a meeting with the Nigeria Police Force Secretary so as to fine-tune the committee’s report before its final presentation at the tripartite meeting involving the Minister, the Chairman of the Police Service Commission and the IGP. The Force deputy Secretary attended the meeting, which took place on January 24, 2011, on behalf of the Force Secretary. At the end of the meeting, three recommendations were chosen and explained with the following implementation implications:
“That the Traffic Warden Services (TWS) should be granted autonomy as declared in the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Kaduna, on Monday 18th, May 2000. In this regard, they would have a clear-cut career structure (organogram) to enable them rise to the peak of their career.
This will result in the creation of an autonomous agency of Government, (b) it will require annual budgetary provision to enable the new Agency carry out its various activities, (c) the creation of the new Agency will be at variance with the recent recommendations of the Presidential Advisory Committee that MDAs have become too many and need to be merged/rationalized to save costs and free resources for infrastructural development in the country”.
“That the cadre of Traffic Wardens should be abolished, renamed Traffic Police and merged with the Motor Traffic Division (MTD) of the Nigeria Police Force.
The TWS will now operate as a cadre under MTD (i.e. wearing the police uniform but with a distinct identity), (b) the TWS is already a part of the NPF, hence merging the service with MTD of the police will make for easy management of the career of the personnel of the absorbed new cadre, (c) the recruitment as well as the career progression and/or conversion of TWS will however depend on the acquisition of appropriate/additional qualification(s)”.
Consequently, while the implementation implications of Option 1 are noted, if your Committee still considers it necessary to be recommended (i.e. granting the TWS a full blown autonomy), we are not opposed to it, however, we are at home with the Option 2 with the following conditions: 1 That the Decree No.21 of 1975 should be repealed or abrogated. 2. That Sections 59 to 69 of the Police Act and the Traffic Wardens Maximum Number of Persons Notice contained in the Police Act as well as related enactments should be deleted or replaced with new provisions relating to the “Nigeria Traffic Police”. 3. That all the discriminatory provisions with which the Decree No.21 of 1975 and Sections 59 to 69 of the Police Act, etc, are known for, must never find their way back into new enactments or provisions relating to the “Traffic Police”. 4. That the personnel of the TWS should take over the full functions of the new Traffic Police, both horizontally and vertically. 5. That the takeover of functions should include the creation of traffic offices in all police establishments in the country, that is to say: from police posts, district offices, divisional commands, area commands, State commands, zonal commands, to the Force Headquarters, and such offices should be manned by qualified personnel of TWS. 6. That the new Traffic Police personnel (i.e. former TWS) should retain their original areas of jurisdiction with further expansion to cover traffic control, checks or investigation of vehicle/motorcycle papers, investigation and prosecution of all traffic offenses including traffic accidents and vehicle/motorcycle paper offenses throughout the country. Retraining of the personnel of the new Traffic Police should be carried out regularly.
7. That the Police Act should be amended to reflect these changes so as to be brought in consonance with the Constitution of Nigeria 1999, as amended. 8. That the issue of promotion stagnancy and exclusion from regular police promotion courses or examinations involving the qualified personnel of TWS should be totally addressed, and in addressing same, the years of enlistment and service, as well as present ranks worn by the personnel of the NPF, who have same years of enlistment and service as well as same qualifications with the affected personnel of TWS, should be used in remedying the ugly situation. Credible efforts should be made to ascertain the criminal records, if any, of the affected personnel of TWS with a view to ensuring unstained new Police Traffic. 9. That the positive outcomes of such review should be extended to the retired cadres of TWS, that is to say: a retired Senior Traffic Warden/Assistant Superintendent of Traffic should be addressed as a retired “Inspector/ASP”. 10. That as many WAEC, Diploma, Graduate, Post Graduate Certificate or Degree holders including doctors and lawyers abound in the NPF, so they are in TWS, therefore, there should be re-screening exercise in TWS, so as to ensure and effect meritorious promotion exercises geared towards unveiling the re-branded “Traffic Police.” The birth papers or age declarations of the personnel of TWS should be thoroughly investigated so as to ensure that age falsifiers are fished out and penalized accordingly. The third option of merging the TWS with the Federal Road Safety Corps, canvassed by the Ministerial Committee, may be more cumbersome and friction-ridden, but if your Committee must consider it, then, conditions similar to those stated above, should be attached to it. There should also be injection of more personnel into the re-branded TWS, or “Traffic Police”, or “Road Traffic” (if merged with FRSC) through periodic recruitment, training and retraining exercises, so as to lessen the burden of the present TWS, peopled by only 8,500 personnel nationwide.
In line with your Committee’s mandate or terms of reference, the need to overhaul, legislatively, the Nigeria Police Act and its incorporated Regulations is overdue. Many, if not most of its provisions are inconsistent with the Constitution of Nigeria 1999, as amended. For instance, its Section 9 provides: “…there is hereby established a body, to be known as the Nigeria Police Council, which shall consist of- (a) President, as Chairman, ((b) the Chief of General Staff, (c) the Minister of Internal Affairs; and (d) Inspector General of Police”. This is clearly at variance with Section 153(l) and Article 27, Part 1 of Third Schedule to the Constitution of Nigeria 1999, as amended, which states that the Nigeria Police Council shall consist of the President (chairman), Governor of the each State of the Federation, Chairman of the Police Service Commission and the Inspector General of Police. The Police Act also recognized and restricted its functions and operations to 21 States and the Federal Capital Territory, instead of 36 States and the FCT, as well as the 774 LGAs. The Act still contains service emoluments for non-commissioned police officers in the form of “N1, 188.00”, “N1, 226.00 per annum” etc. It is also our recommendation that new technologies and modern tools of crime fighting and criminal investigation and their procedures should be recognized and incorporated into the re-branded Nigeria Police Act and its Regulations.
Importantly, high costs of public governance in Nigeria, especially at the Federal level, are not totally rooted in over-bloated Federal Government Agencies, Parastatals and Commissions. Rather, they are substantially rooted in the institutionalized “criminal allowance culture”, indiscriminate use of personal aides by top public officials and coded or classified jumbo pay for federal lawmakers and top executive political appointees, as well as official thievery. It is evidently clear that while statutory salaries for public servants in the country run into tens of billions of naira, questionable allowances for them run into hundreds of billions of naira. Out of the country’s 469 federal lawmakers, there are over 1000 personal aides recruited and attached to them, with tens of billions of naira public funds expended on their needless upkeep annually, in the form of “allowances”. Your Committee, therefore, should recommend for drastic pruning of federal ministries and their supervising ministers. The needless provisions for “Ministers of State” should be recommended for abolishment and their statutory functions, if any, taken over by substantive ministers and their permanent secretaries. Provisions for “Senior Special Assistants”, “Special Assistants”, “Executive Assistants”, etc, other than Special Advisers, Ministers and Commissioners are unknown to the Constitution of Nigeria 1999, as amended, and therefore, they should be discarded.
Top political appointees/public officials who hire personal aides, should be made to sustain them through their statutory salaries and allowances. The culture of coded or classified jumbo pay for federal lawmakers and top executive political appointees should be recommended for abolishment, because Nigeria is not secretive but open society founded on ideals of democracy and social justice. The outrageous allowances for top political appointees and federal lawmakers should be radically reviewed downwards and formalized. All these should be geared towards discontinuing the culture of “stomach economy” or “economy of intestine” in Nigeria. The non-justiceability of the Chapter Two of the Constitution should be an interim “defence” for President Goodluck Jonathan in trimming down his federal cabinet, especially the number of Ministers and Special Advisers pending when the relevant provisions are amended.
We hope that Your Committee should consider this memo meritoriously.
For: Intersociety, Nigeria
Comrade Justus Ijeoma
Head, Publicity Desk
Phone: +234(0) 8037114869
Amaka Biachi Nwosu
Head, Research & Strategy
Phone: +234 (0) 8035532707
1. The President & Commander-in-Chief, Federal Republic of Nigeria, FCT, Abuja
2. The Senate President, FCT, Abuja
3. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs, FCT, Abuja
4. Speaker, House of Reps, FCT, Abuja
5. The Minister of Finance & Coordinating Minister of Economy, FCT, Abuja
6. The Minister for Police Affairs, FCT, Abuja
7. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, FCT, Abuja
8. The Chairman, House Committee on Police Affairs, FCT, Abuja
9. The Inspector General of Police, FCT, Abuja
10. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva, Switzerland
11. The Secretary General of the Commonwealth, London, UK
12. Chairperson, African Commission on Human & Peoples’ Rights, Banjul, The Gambia
13. Secretary General of Amnesty International, London, UK
14. The Executive Director, Human Rights Watch, New York, USA
15. The Australian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Australia High Commission, Oakland Center, 48, Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, FCT, Abuja.
16. Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria, Embassy of Norway, 54, T.Y. Danjuma Street, Asokoro, FCT, Abuja.
17. Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, the Embassy of Sweden, Plot 1520, T.Y. Danjuma Street, Asokoro, FCT, Abuja.
18. The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Embassy of the USA, Plot 1075 Diplomatic Drive, Central Business Area, FCT, Abuja.
19. Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, the Canadian High Commission, 15, Bobo Street, Maitama, FCT, Abuja.
20. The Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria, Embassy of Switzerland, Plot 704, Adetokubo Ademola Crescent, Wuse 11, FCT, Abuja.
21. The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, British High Commission, Dangote House, Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Wuse, FCT, Abuja.
22. The Royal Dutch Ambassador to Nigeria, Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, Plot 622, Gana Street, Maitama, FCT, Abuja.
23. The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Nigeria, Embassy of Germany, No.9, Lake Maracaibo Close, Maitama District, FCT, Abuja.
24. The French Ambassador to Nigeria, Embassy of France, 32, Udi Hills Street, Off Aso Drive, Maitama, FCT, Abuja
Photo Above: Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Intersociety, 41, Miss Elems Street, Fegge, Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria.
Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria
*Tags: Nigerians, Intersociety, Submits, Memo, Presidential, Committee, Cost, Cutting, Goodluck, Jonathan, Africa, Masterweb
The Anambra State Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Akunwata Mike Kwentoh has described the owner of the moribund Rogeny Stadium as among what he called the “disasters that Anambra State harbours.” He said he was among those that the Governor usually described as lunatics that escaped from the asylum that needed to be taken back to the asylum for the health of the State. Kwentoh said this yesterday to some journalist while reacting to the statement credited to Ezeonwuka saying that Obi’s Government was a failure.
Kwentoh said he believed either Ezeonwuka did not understand some of the things he was reported to have said, if he spoke in English or that the interviewer did not translate his Igbo properly into English. He insisted that the man was not qualified to speak about Anambra State. Asked to explain, Kwentoh said that his comments on Anambra were like a bald man lecturing us on how to grow the hair. In his words: “the man has the record of running failed businesses, including the Rogeny Stadium, toothpick industry, among others. One can therefore say that he has rich experience in failure, and a man who has a failure syndrome in life cannot tell you and I how to run a successful State.
Kwentoh said that it was not surprising that Ezeonwuka criticised the practice of equipping schools with computers, donating buses to them and rebuilding their dilapidated structures because, according to him, he may actually be protesting that the Governor did not bring the money for sharing as was the practice in the past. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Map of Anambra State, Nigeria.
“Now I know why he quarrels with everybody that has done one thing or the other with him, including the revered Monsignor John-Bosco Akan over ownership of Tansian University and I believe you guess is as good as mine.”
Kwentoh advised him to go and re-build his battered life and businesses as the Government, as he insinuated in his comments, cannot give him funds directly.
Kwentoh regretted that while the cream of Anambra people the likes of Chief Emeka Anyaoku, HRM, Igwe Alfred Achebe, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, Dr. Muoghalu, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, the Deputy Gov. Of Central Bank, among other where pouring encomiums on the Governor and charting a new course for the State, some Charlatans are elsewhere scheming the return of dark ages for the State.
RELATED ARTICLE => Nigeria: Peter Obi Holds Post-Election Press Conference
*Tags: Nigerians, Ezeonwuka, Living, Disasters, Anambra, Governor, Peter, Obi, Abuja, Africa, Masterweb
By Jude Otuonu
At last the long awaited day is here. Anambra, a state blessed with enormous and unbelievable human potential is 20 years old today. After tottering, falling and groping for direction, the state has finally steadied her legs and is up and walking at an admirable pace. It may not be running yet, but when what it passed through in recent years is considered, then one will surely doff one’s hat for the efforts, vision and commitment of a certain man called Peter Obi, a.k.a. ROCK of Anambra.
At the formal kickoff of the anniversary, August 26, held at the Women’s Development Centre, Awka, Obi himself echoed this when he said inter alia: ‘we are celebrating because for the first time since the last four years, the state did not experience any form of what we were known for and it is worth celebrating.’ He challenged anyone doubtful of what he said to dig into the state’s recent history.
I will help him here by highlighting some of them. Anambra made notorious history as the first and only state in the world where a serving governor (illegal or illegal) was abducted by civilians. It also became the only state to date where political godfathers went on a wild orgy of burning and destruction of public property in a shameless war with their godson. It was and still is the only state where a governor was impeached for good governance. Recall that Obi was impeached illegally in 2006 because he saved money earlier inflated by his predecessor and house members for rebuilding the burnt govt house and lodge! He did it by far, far less and they were unhappy he blocked their means of milking the state. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Map of Anambra State, Nigeria.
Then the state was denied revenue by touts sponsored by the Ubas and the motor parks were a hell to visit. The state had no master plan, Awka was a glorified village as nothing was done there while a past governor spent every kobo on his village axis. Roads were built lopsidedly to favour then governor’s area and all the remaining sectors of the economy were ignored as though they never existed. Touts were glorified and intellectuals blacked out. Hence when Obi’s predecessor was being sworn in in 2003, he devoted a large portion of his address to thank Chris Uba, a common tout, for facilitating his election and for making the day possible! Can you beat that?
Then, and before then, contracts were awarded to cronies and quacks and the results were disastrous. Recall that the ABS mast fell twice during construction, killing the engineers each time because a local chief who knew next to nothing about such work was given the contract in the name of carrying politicians along!
These are some of what Obi stopped and which have triggered off a flurry of mad reactions from the looters but he has remained focused and Anambra adiba go mma taa (is getting better) today. Emeka Anyaoku, the only Nigerian to have occupied the highest post in a world body agrees with this and stated it clearly that day in Awka on the occasion of the anniversary.
‘It’s a celebration for all Anambrarians, irrespective of political affiliation. It is something worthy to celebrate,’ he said.
He described Obi’s projects as things to see and appreciate. ‘In many respects, Obi is building on the foundations and expanding on them in a new way I’ve not seen anywhere in any other state of the federation,’ Anyaoku said.
He hailed Obi’s ANIDS as holistic and one that emphasised the people. It was through this ANIDS that Obi has transformed the entire state, taking development to hitherto forgotten areas and touching every sector simultaneously, be it health, education, sports, commerce and industry, etc. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Governor Peter Obi
Any surprise that this has been winning him accolades and approval from local and international bodies? This Day newspaper first awarded him best governor on fiscal management. Recently the presidency made him honorary adviser on finance and member of the elite Nigeria Economic Management Team because of his financial wizardry that has seen him managing the state’s lean purse so well that he is yet to borrow money like many, many governors.
It was an occasion that saw the governor inviting the who’s who of the state, including his opponents. The roll call included Emeka Anyaoku, chairman and former secretary general of Common Wealth; the finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala who was key note speaker; Oby Ezekwesili; Prof Barth Nnaji, minister of power; Mustapha Chike Obi; Prof. Soludo; Prof Akunyili, Dr. Ngige; Chris Okeke; Ambassador Ralph Uwechue; Dozie Ikedife; Bianca Ojukwu; Ambassador Jerry Ugokwe, Ralph Okey Nwosu; Cardinal Arinze; Bishop Anikwenwa; innocent Egbunike (former renowned athlete who was also honoured), ex-Rangers players like Okala; Dominic Nwobodo; Stanley Okoronkwo; Nwabueze Nwankwo; Aniedobe; Francis Nwosu; Ernest Ufele; Luke Okpala; Paul Obiakor; Mike Ogbuodudu, among others. The Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, was also there.
Awards were given to 75 deserving accomplishers and Obi said it would be an annual event.
It was an occasion that united Anambrarians and the governor noted that the state had everything but lacked love and cooperation. He urged everyone to join hands to change the state.
Those who missed the event only have themselves to blame.
Otuonu wrote from Nimo, Anambra State.
RELATED ARTICLE => Nigeria: Peter Obi Holds Post-Election Press Conference
*Tags: Nigerians, Anambra, Governor, Peter, Obi, Abuja, Africa, Masterweb
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