*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
*Nigeria: Igbo Landlord Away In Lagos & Kano - Shame On You!
By Ikechukwu Enyiagu
If you are an Igbo man or woman and you have houses in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Kaduna, Maiduguri, etc but you have none to your name in Enugu, Anambra, Abia, Imo, Ebonyi, then you are the one I’m talking to; shame on you! If you are the type who would be lost if cut off from the North, the South-West and several other parts of Nigeria just like it happened after the war, then you are the shame of your generation. And I say again and again to your shame: shame on you and whatever has turned you blind! You are not an Igbo blood. You are what our fathers call, “Ajọ nwa sị owere baa nné ya afọ;” you are an evil seed, and as every evil seed is treated, your place with eternity will be in the evil forest. It’s time to talk to some of my people who have gone beyond the border of the living in search of the living; your journey is in the midst of the dead. I’m addressing Ndigbo, so a stranger who jumps into an argument between brothers knows his place.
Ndigbo are hospitality themselves and, in our ignorance, we have imagined everyone- every tribe and group-to be like us; we have imagined everyone to see us as we have always seen them-as one. But, in spite of the many hard and tough lessons which that line of thoughts and actions has taught us in the past, some of my people still go ahead, making enemy out of themselves against their very selves. Before the war, Ndigbo, considering Nigeria as one even when we saw all the glaring and ever-increasing dissimilarities, accepted every Nigerian in our midst, and went, in the same spirit, into every part of Nigeria, developing and bringing every needed help and change to every community we enter-doing all sorts of business. We made our homes wherever we go in the spirit of one who accepts strangers as brothers and sees every Nigerian as a brother. But when the civil war broke out, it became a horror for all Igbo sons and daughters all over the nation. By the end of the war, Ndigbo had lost all their property in all other parts of the country even after the war was declared by the government as “no victor, no vanquished.” The Nigerian government did not stop at their genocide against Ndigbo, it went ahead and stole our money and property in every part of Nigeria, and even encouraged stealing amongst Nigerians as one of the foundational blocks for the post-war Nigeria as long as what they steal, whether they were lives or property, belonged to Ndigbo. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing its 36 states and capital (Abuja or FCT)
After the war, Ndigbo lost money and uncountable houses-uncounted landed property. And even when some of us went back to claim our houses and property in line with “one Nigeria” campaign, the federal government did everything and quashed every claim. Those that were landlords of many houses built through hard labour became not only tenants, but suspects even as tenants. We lost money, houses…everything to those whom we called our brothers; those who killed, maimed, raped our people and then seized all our property. If Ndigbo were known for commerce, it tripled after the war because everyone was squeezed dry of whatever he had and then thrown into the forest, as it were, to live or die. Forty (40) years have come and gone and nothing has changed except that “one Nigeria” became a tool to further frustrate Ndigbo; governments have come, gone and come again, but neither the governments nor those around us whom we still call brothers ever considered it criminal to still hold our lands and property. In so doing, the guilt does not lie with the government alone but also with other states, tribes and ethnic groups who, till date, have not considered it gross injustice that they allowed themselves to seize, loot and retain amongst themselves what we laboured for in their midst. Aru!
Lagos, with all its pomp and circumstance, all its glory, was speedily elevated by Ndigbo. Kano, Kaduna, Port-Harcourt…; there is scarcely a developed place in Nigeria where Ndigbo did not contribute immensely to. Yet, that has not stopped us from being what we are before those whom we call brothers in one Nigeria: strangers.
One would think that, after what happened during the war, Ndigbo would recoil a little and ponder on our true drive-what pushes us to feel relaxed in every other part of Nigeria. One would also think that Ndigbo, having been globally known as rich in commerce, would have, at least, one seaport and airport. But the reverse has remained the case. Some time ago, an airline, on hearing that Enugu airport has been upgraded to an international airport, sought for a license to fly direct to and from Enugu but was bluntly denied. And Ohanaeze Ndigbo kept silent! Onitsha Bridge is an Icon in the whole of Africa, yet turning it into a seaport is out of the federal government’s question. They would readily argue that contracts have severally been awarded for that very purpose; but whoever sends for something and feels comfortable when it’s not bought even after he has paid hugely for it? Who is fooling who? If there are houses in Igboland owned by people from the South-West and South-South, they would be in their few, but I could come close to swearing (which is unneeded, by the way) that there is no Northerner who answers a landlord in all of Igboland, not because we do no have lands nor because we do not lease and sale lands, but only because of one thing: Ndigbo are still looked upon as strangers among Nigerians. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Igboland (homeland of Ndigbo of Nigeria )
At a time, the Ikemba Nnewi, Eze Igbo, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, on talking to Igbo traders in Lagos, cried and asked them why they can’t develop their lands just as they do in about every other state; why they can’t come home and build their houses and businesses in our lands. He saw before time what has been and what may yet be. I neither accept nor let slide the argument which says that it’s because Ndigbo love money; that saying has become old-fashioned and redundant because Ndigbo today may well neither take the 1st nor the 2nd position amongst people in Nigeria with an acute love for money. Chief Ojukwu knew that there would still be repetitions of what happened to Ndigbo which led to the civil war, he knew that some of those we called and still viewed as brothers in the North would, one day, rise up again to kill Ndigbo for sport while the so-called federal government of Nigeria watches on and does nothing. He knew that if the federal government of Nigeria would condescend to denying us our several property in several other parts of Nigeria after the war, they would not hesitate to repeat the same having seen that Ndigbo are too blinded by “one Nigeria” to read the handwriting on the wall. After what happened to us during and after the civil war-where we were forced to give up our money, businesses and even landed property-one would think it unthinkable for any Igbo son or daughter to ever give a thought to making any other parts of Nigeria his comfortable home, let alone consider buying landed property or even developing any plots. If the federal government reclaimed what they claimed were in one Nigeria, if they reclaimed the whole of South-East and did as they liked with Ndigbo, what has their silence and refusal to return to Ndigbo all our property stolen in broad daylight in several other parts of the country told us?
Lagos is what it is today because it was developed, and so are Kano, Kaduna, Port-Harcourt, Abuja, etc. There are mass acres of uncultivated lands in Anigbo, more than enough for any business we may ever consider venturing into; there are enough lands for factories and businesses that will be enough to feed Africa and beyond. Ndigbo knows that, because we are good at what we do, we would be sought after by consumers from everywhere, no matter where we situate. This year alone, several sons and daughters of Ndigbo were wasted in the North along with their property ranging into hundreds of millions of Naira and the. Yet some are still bargaining for houses and plots in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Kaduna, etc on which to develop. It clearly seems a true saying that “Ofeke adịghị akọ na-obi.” If you are of Igbo blood but have preferred buying and building houses in other parts of Nigeria instead of Anigbo, you are the ofeke of our time. If your quest for money has turned you into an Esau, you have yourself to blame. And if you answer “ landlord or landlady” in Kano, Kaduna, Jos, Lagos, Abuja and some other parts of Nigeria while no one knows you at home, you are the “Ajọ nwa sị owere baa nné ya afọ.” If you can boast of plots of land in Lagos and all over North, and you can brag about many warehouses and shops to your name all over Nigeria but not in Igboland, you have no Igbo blood; but if by chance you do have, you are living in denial of yourself. A man who denies himself is worse than an infidel.
I congratulate the leaders of Nnewi, Ariaria and Onitsha for what they have made of those areas. The British, in their smallness, were able to conquer most of the world simply because they had a front, they had a base. They were united to the decision of turning their small village into the London of today and did everything needed for that change. The Americans, no matter how much oil you think you have, will never deal with you to the detriment of their greatness. Charity begins at home, my people. Return home, Umuigbo, come and establish in our land because there are enough spaces for everyone. We need landlords and we need tenants. We need warehouses and we need shops. This ought to be a generation of men filled with knowledge, history and wisdom. Ụkwụ adịghị éjị onye nọ bé ya éché onye ọbia. But to you who has sworn to remain on the run, to you who runs when no one pursues him: shame on you! To you who has traded his sweet mother tongue for other languages and to you who brings up his children in other tongues in Nigeria instead of your mothers’, you are of all most pitiable. To you whose motto is “Ala bu otu,” you will be put to shame at last when strange lands will reject strange bodies. To you who would rather answer a landlord in a strange land than have a stone to your name amongst your own people: shame on you! Ndigbo, kéénu nkwucha n’ịhi na nkwucha abughị ajọ ịhe; nkwucha abughị ụjọ.
Ikechukwu Enyiagu can be reached at
*Tags: Nigerians, Igbo, Landlord, Lagos, Kano, Africa, Masterweb
By Masterweb News Desk
Anambra State under the leadership of Governor Peter Obi has concluded elaborate arrangements for the celebration of its founding. The state was created on August 27, 1991 by the military government of Ibrahim Babangida. On that day, East Central State, one of the 12 states created by Yakubu Gowon's military government in 1967 was split into two giving birth to Anambra and Imo States.
In preparation of festive activities which kick-off today and ending on Saturday, streets of the capital city, Awka have been given impressive face-lift. These include paint job and beautification with flowers and banners. The traditional ruler of Onitsha, Obi Alfred Achebe is billed the royal father of the three-day festivity. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: His Excellency Governor Peter Obi
Invited guests, which include important dignitaries and people from all walks of live, will today take an inspection tour of projects completed by Governor Obi's administration.
A special summit/lecture titled "Anambra At 20: A Case For Collective Action" will be held on Friday at the Women Development Center, Awka. This will be followed by the presentation of awards to seventy-five indigenes of the state who have excelled in their various fields of endeavour.
Activities will wind up with an investor’s breakfast forum on Saturday, with Governor Obi as Chief Host and Obi Alfred Achebe as the Royal Father of the day.
Masterweb news team will be on the ground to cover the historic celebration and activities. This will not be the first time Masterweb team is on the ground in Anambra State; our team in conjunction with citizen reporters (live) Anambra 2010 gubernatorial election.
Photo Above: Map of Anambra State, Nigeria.
RELATED ARTICLE => Anambra Election Watch Log For 6/2/10
*Tags: Nigerians, Digital, Elibrary, Project, Governor, Peter, Obi, Abuja, Africa, Masterweb
*Nigeria: Intersociety Reports Police Service Boss To Jonathan
Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan
President & Commander-in-Chief
Federal Republic of Nigeria
The State House
FCT, Abuja, Nigeria
Re-Justice For The “Road Traffic Four” & The Entire Nigeria Traffic Warden Service: Intersociety Has Lost Confidence In The Competence Of The Chairman Of The Police Service Commission
Above subject matter refers.
On 26th day of July 2011, we wrote the Inspector General of Police through the DIG Operations, over the unwarranted detention of some Traffic Wardens and their age-long plight in the hands of the authorities of the Nigeria Police. The letter was referenced: Intersociety/Vol.01/07/2011/IGP/F/HQRS/ABJ/NG. On 2nd day of August 2011, we addressed another letter to Your Excellency on the strength of the refusal of the IGP to release the detained Wardens etc. The letter was referenced: Intersocity/Vol.02/08/2011/C-in-C/Presidency/FRN, and on 3rd day of August 2011, we wrote the Chairman of the Police Service Commission and the letter was referenced: Intersociety/Vol.02/08/2011/PSC/ABJ/NG. These letters were written and rooted to their recipients in accordance with powers vested on them by the Constitution of Nigeria 1999, as amended, within the context of the subject under reference. We also alerted the leading foreign missions in Nigeria over the ill manner the authorities concerned responded to the matter. The alert letter was dated 18th day of August 2011 and referenced: Intersociety/Vol.02/08/2011/FMs/ABJ/FRN.
On Monday, 22nd day of August 2011, at 2:47pm, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of this Organization, Emeka Umeagbalasi, got a call from the cell phone No.+243(0) 8064298476 on his cell phone No.+234(0) 8033601078. The lady-caller handed over the phone to a man who introduced himself as Chief Parry Osayande, Chairman, Police Service Commission. After he made sure that the call receiver was Emeka Umeagbalasi, he opened the following conversation: Chief Parry Osayande: “Is that one Emeka Umeagbalasi?” Emeka Umeagbalasi: “You are unto him sir!” Chief Parry Osayande: “You wrote a letter to the President against the IG over some detained traffic wardens, where are they detained?” Umeagbalasi: “Our organization did sir!” Chief Osayande: “Why did you write to the President instead of me?” Umeagbalasi: “Sir, we wrote the President in his capacity as the Chairman of the Nigeria Police Council, who has control over the IGP.” Chief Osayande: “Am I not a member of the Council?” Umeagbalasi: “Yes, you are sir, but you constitutionally have control over the DIGs “A” & “B” Departments, which explains why we also wrote a different letter to you sir!”
At this point, Chief Parry Osayande’s tone became harsher and he exploded thus: “Who are you to be answering me yeah, yeah, why am talking to you!!! Umeagbalasi: “No sir! I was only saying yes, yes, meaning that I can hear you clearly!” Chief Osayande: “You wrote to the President instead of writing me, now the President has referred your letter back to me. You want me to discipline the IGP, what do you know about the police?” Umeagbalasi: “Sir, we never asked you to discipline the IGP, but the President was asked sir! But, we asked you to look into the involvement of the DIGs in the matter because that is where you have constitutional power sir!” Chief Osayande: “You want me to sanction the DIGs, what do you know about the police? You wrote the President instead of me, now he has returned the letter back to me, asking me to investigate it”. Umeagbalasi: “Sir, all I know is that our letters were written in good faith and properly rooted too”. Chief Osayande: “Oh it was written in good faith! Stay there and wait for result, you think you can write!” At this point, Chief Parry Osayande withdrew his voice from the cell phone, left it open and possibly, put it on speak-out and was heard speaking from the background, saying a lot of unprintable things against Emeka Umeagbalasi. Umeagbalasi: “Hello sir! Hello sir!! Hello sir!!!” Chief Osayande (speaking from the background): “He still has the guts to be shouting Hello! Hello!! Stupid Man!!!” At this point, Emeka Umeagbalasi cut the cell phone’s conversation.
Apart from the fact that the above hostility of Chief Parry Osayande is clearly unbecoming of a top public official maintained with public resources, we in the Intersociety are not surprised at his hostile conduct. A rat, they say, will always beget a rat. Appointing a police retired DIG to head the Police Service Commission was and still is a grave mistake on the part of the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s regime, deputized by Your Excellency. It also defeats the very aim of setting up the Police Service Commission, which is to civilianize and sanitize the Nigeria Police Force. Judging from the foregoing, Your Excellency, it is very clear that Chief Parry Osayande does not understand the letters of the Nigeria Police Service Commission Establishment Act No.5 of 2001, Section 153(l) of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999, as amended, as well as Article 29, Part 1 of Third Schedule to the Constitution.
For avoidance of doubt, Article 29, Part 1 of Third Schedule to the Constitution states: “The Police Service Commission shall comprise the following members- (a) a Chairman; and (b) such number of other persons, not less than seven but not more than nine; as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly”. Article 30: “The Commission shall have power to- (a) appoint persons to offices (other than the office of the Inspector General of Police) in the Nigeria Police Force; and (b) dismiss and exercise disciplinary control over persons holding any office referred to in sub-paragraph (a) of this paragraph”. On the other hand, Article 27, Part 1 of Third Schedule to the Constitution states: “The Nigeria Police Council shall comprise the following- (a) President who shall be the Chairman; (b) the Governor of each State of the Federation, (c) the Chairman of the Police Service Commission; and (d) the Inspector General of Police”. Article 28: “The functions of the Nigeria Police Council shall include- (a) organization and administration of the Nigeria Police Force and all other matters relating thereto (not being matters relating to the use and operational control of the Force or the appointment, disciplinary control and dismissal of members of the Force); (b) the general supervision of the Nigeria Police Force; and (c) advising the President on the appointment of the Inspector-General of Police”. Section 216(2) of the Constitution states: “Before making any appointment to the office of the Inspector General of Police or removing him from office, the President shall consult the Nigeria Police Council”.
From the foregoing Your Excellency, it is elementarily clear that we acted in accordance with the letters of the law. It is also wrong for the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Chief Parry Osayande, to have questioned the powers of Your Excellency to delegate duties including matters of investigations to any of Your Excellency’s subordinates including Chief Parry Osayande. By telling us to “wait there (till thy kingdom come) for result”, Chief Parry Osayande has defied and disobeyed Your Excellency’s presidential directive and exhibited manifest bias over the matter under reference. We also felt and still feel shock and threatened. If a top public official could exhibit this height of crudity on phone, it is unimaginable inferring the devilish extent he can go remotely. It is also possible that his crude conduct is blessed and aided by the top police officers mentioned in the saga including IGP, Hafiz A. Ringim, DIGs Azubukor Udah and Audu Abubakar as well as CP (Mrs.) Sherifat Disu.
Our immortal question to Your Excellency as a result of Chief Parry Osayande’s militarist utterances is that as a corporate or individual citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, do we not have a right to complain to our President over certain unconstitutional acts by Mr. President’s subordinates? Who is Retired DIG Parry Osayande to question our constitutional right to run to our dear President for succor? Obviously Your Excellency, Chief Parry Osayande is unfit to be a Police Service Commission’s Chairman in a democratic Nigeria. It may be correct to say that he belongs to the military’s inglorious epoch and fits to be made “Ambassador to the Republic of North Korea”, a highly secretive and closed society. This also explains why we think that time is ripe for Your Excellency to release to about 150Million Nigerians Your Excellency’s dedicated phone numbers and electronic contacts. Ordinary citizens of other democratic nations easily interact with their Presidents; unfortunately, Your Excellency has cocooned and barricaded self from Your Excellency’s countrymen and women. In the spirit of Freedom of Information Act 2011, we beg Your Excellency to “democratize” Your Excellency’s dedicated phone numbers and electronic contacts.
In view of all these Your Excellency, we wish to state that we have lost confidence in the character and competence of Chief Parry Osayande, Chairman of the Police Service Commission. We shall not directly or indirectly respond to any correspondences emanating from his office as far as the subject under reference is concerned. We have also suspended all forms of communication with his Commission until further notice. Also, we wish to inform Your Excellency, as the Commander-in-Chief, that we, particularly, our BOT Chairman, Emeka Umeagbalasi, feel threatened by Chief Parry Osayande’s latest militarist disposition, possibly aided by the IGP, the two DIGs and the CP Provost. As a result, if any untoward or unnatural harm is inflicted on our BOT Chairman or any of our principal officers, either overtly or covertly, Chief Parry Osayande, IGP Ringim, DIGs Udah and Abubakar and CP Disu should be held culpable. We have also alerted the international rights organizations as well as the leading foreign missions over this manifest, unprovoked and unwarranted threat.
Finally, Your Excellency, it is our information that in the “police sub-culture”, there exists “police personality”, “blue-wall-of-silence” and “blue-curtain”, all geared towards making a police organization protective of itself and its personnel, especially in intra-police sharp practices. It was in order to cure this serial sickness that an idea of a civilianized and professionalized body of oversight agency was muted in the form of “Police Service Commission” by the framers of our laws. As a result, the Chief Simon Okeke and Barrister Ayoola Obe’s era in the Commission was and still is the best by any standard. Therefore, it is time to reconstitute, properly civilianize and professionalize the Nigeria Police Service Commission for uncompromising competence and efficiency. We reiterate our earlier calls upon Your Excellency to ensure that all discriminatory practices against the personnel of the Nigeria Traffic Warden Service including the trumped-up recommended dismissal of the “Road Traffic Four” are totally prohibited. Those senior police officers involved should be properly probed and sanctioned accordingly.
Also, credible pieces of information reaching us from various commands across the country indicate that various divisional and area commands of the Nigeria Police Force have continued to sustain all forms of discriminatory practices and ill-treatments against the personnel of the Nigeria Traffic Warden Service, ostensibly, in furtherance of the Force standing policy of “outsider mentality” sustained over the years against the Traffic Wardens. The Traffic Wardens in the said various commands including Cross River and Abia States Commands are extorted, harassed, arrested at their duty posts, falsely accused and made to pay “return” to the “general duty” police officers who control them. Your Excellency should put a stop to all these please.
Despite sustained efforts by the Chairman of the Police Service Commission and his “four espirit-de-corps” to silence us physically and psychologically, we are determined the more to sustain our priceless contribution towards advancing democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law in Nigeria not minding whose ox is gored. It is no retreat, no surrender! Aluta Continua!! Victoria Acerta!!!
We look forward to this letter being considered expeditiously and humanely by Your Excellency.
For: Intersociety, Nigeria
Comrade Justus Ijeoma
Head, Publicity Desk
Phone: +234(0) 8037114869
Amaka Biachi Nwosu
Head, Research & Strategy
Phone: +234 (0) 8035532707
1. Chairman, Nigeria Police Service Commission, FCT, Abuja
2. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva, Switzerland
3. The Secretary General of the Commonwealth, London, UK
4. Chairperson, African Commission on Human & Peoples’ Rights, Banjul, The Gambia
5. Secretary General of Amnesty International, London, UK
6. The Executive Director, Human Rights Watch, New York, USA
7. The Australian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Australia High Commission, Oakland Center, 48, Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, FCT, Abuja.
8. Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria, Embassy of Norway, 54, T.Y. Danjuma Street, Asokoro, FCT, Abuja.
9. Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, the Embassy of Sweden, Plot 1520, T.Y. Danjuma Street, Asokoro, FCT, Abuja.
10. The Danish Ambassador to Nigeria, Embassy of Denmark, Plot 63, Europe House, Usuma Street, Maitama, FCT, Abuja.
11. The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Embassy of the USA, Plot 1075 Diplomatic Drive, Central Business Area, FCT, Abuja.
12. Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, the Canadian High Commission, 15, Bobo Street, Maitama, FCT, Abuja.
13. The Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria, Embassy of Switzerland, Plot 704, Adetokubo Ademola Crescent, Wuse 11, FCT, Abuja.
14. The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, British High Commission, Dangote House, Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Wuse, FCT, Abuja.
15. The Royal Dutch Ambassador to Nigeria, Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, Plot 622, Gana Street, Maitama, FCT, Abuja.
16. The Head, Association of Foreign Diplomats in Nigeria, No. 12, Kainji Crescent, Maitama, FCT, Abuja.
17. The French Ambassador to Nigeria, Embassy of France, 32, Udi Hills Street, Off Aso Drive, Maitama, FCT, Abuja.
18. The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Nigeria, Embassy of Germany, No.9, Lake Maracaibo Close, Maitama District, FCT, Abuja.
Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria
*Tags: Nigerians, Intersociety, Reports, Police, Service, Commission, Goodluck, Jonathan, Africa, Masterweb
By Valentine Obienyem
As usual, he always breaks bad news to me. In the morning of Tuesday, the 16thof August he came into my office and sat down for minutes in silent, pensive melancholy. I knew that something has happened. Opening up, Johnson said: “Okey Ndibe and his mischief again! He called Governor Obi a propagandist. Can’t he appreciate the Governor’s good work?”
I tried to lecture Johnson on why everybody will not agree on the same point. I recounted to him how Heraclitus said, Panta rei, all things change; while Parmenides said Henta panta, all things are one and never change. We must always have our individual differences, but I quickly pointed out that it becomes dangerous when we do not tell ourselves the truth. Thus, Heraclitus and Parmenides views could have been borne out of what they genuinely thought to be the truth. I refrained from saying more, until I had read Okey’s piece to find out why he attributed propaganda in a 9derogatory sense to Anambra State Government.
Propaganda is not essentially a negative phenomenon. The modern Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in the Catholic Church is the son of a department in the Church that used to be called Propaganda Fide created in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV to spread Christianity and defend the Church against multiplicity of heresies.
Okey Ndibe’s latest in the series of his usual attacks on Governor Obi and Anambra State was entitled: Anambra and the Politics of Propaganda. But before I take him on, I will like to say that both the Government of Anambra State and Okey Ndibe are engaged in propaganga. While the Government tries to propagate what she has done that are verifiable; Okey propagates his own views and that of his masters about the Government. In the midst of this, I will like to pose a question: Between Anambra State Government and Okey Ndibe, who is propagating truth or falsehood? We shall come back to that, but first, let us see what Okey is up to. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Map of Anambra State, Nigeria.
One thing striking about his pieces against the governor is the fact that text messages were received one full day before their publication from an Anambra Senator’s camp, telling people, as the one I received on the 15th to “kindly buy the Sun newspaper of tomorrow as our man, Okey Ndibe takes on Saint Peter Obi.” Obviously, due to this inelegant strategy, we know where his articles are coming from these days.
In the article under reference, he celebrated what he felt was the humiliation of the Governor by workers during the rally that preceded their recent warning strike, now called off. In Okey’s words: “Last week, Governor Peter Obi of Anambra received unflattering epithets when he intruded on a rally where state workers were discussing his unpopular proposal on the implementation of the new minimum wage.”
Reading this, you could observe a sadistic streak in the words. It has the ring of a person who prays for the worst to befall the Governor. I am sure he does not understand the casus belli, which is where objective writers would have started. For example, I can tell you that Okey does not know what other States offer their workers vis-à-vis what Governor Peter Obi offers. He has become a clear case of a character seeking fault and seeing it even among the Saints.
In Oyo State the other day, workers were commending and thanking their Governor for pledging N13, 000 relativity across board. In Anambra State Obi agrees to pay the minimum wage to level 1 to 7 workers and an increment of not less than N20, 000 to other categories of workers. What this means is that a worker whose salary is N30, 000 now will henceforth receive not less than N50, 000. Of course, the proposal was shielded from the workers because labour leaders were bent on declaring the strike even if for a day, to justify the money they collected from an Anambra Senator.
Okey can celebrate what he called “unflattering epithets” and “torrent of insults” against Obi, but anybody in Nigeria knows that at this season of bargaining, not even the Presidency has been spared the angry and often vitriolic outburst of workers. In the history of labour dispute, that has remained the trend.
One of the problems of Okey Ndibe is that he lacks the nobility of character, that living force that spurs one to act with understanding leniency. He is one track-minded and the danger with such a person is that with poor power of perception, his thoughts are often subject to passion. It is such a life that Spinoza described in his Classic Book iv Of Human Bondage. In spite of their “unflattering epithets” and “torrent of insults”, and sufficiently emancipated from human bondage, Obi made a broadcast to the State and thanked God for letting the workers listen to the voice of reason. He did not pay them back by unleashing his own “unflattering epithets” and “torrent of insults” as little mind do. He knows that those who are appointed to lead great institutions are like criminals condemned to torture, only this difference, that the latter receive punishment due to their crime and the former for their selflessness.
In the said broadcast, Obi said, and challenged anybody to prove to the contrary the proposition that he had done for workers more than what all past Governors of the State did for them in Anambra State.
Concerning those things he said he did, let him better speak in the first person: “Under the present Government, and for the first time since the State was created: Salaries of civil servants have been increased five times and have been paid consistently. Workers are sponsored to various workshops and trainings, both within and outside the country. Workers’ promotions are now released as and when due, unlike before 2006 when there were no promotions because promotion was said to be a privilege. Before this Administration, teachers stagnated on GL 15; it was my Government that lifted this barrier and they can now be promoted to GL 16 with all the privileges. Similarly, Primary School teachers who obtain university degrees can now be promoted alongside their secondary school counterparts with equivalent qualifications, instead of being discriminated against, as was the case before my administration. Official vehicles/furniture allowances were provided for Permanent Secretaries and buses for all the Ministries and extra ministerial departments. 16-month arrears of the state share of pensions inherited from previous administrations to the tune of about 1 billion naira have been settled. The liquidation of arrears of Federal share of pensions owed State Pensioners has commenced. Arrears of gratuities inherited from previous administrations have been settled. Retirees now receive their gratuities soon after their retirement along with pensions as at when due. Arrears of Course allowances accumulated between 1997 and 2006 have been settled. 23-month arrears of Call Duty allowances owed Medical/Dental practitioners from January 2001 to March 2002 have been liquidated.
The first and second phases of the State Secretariat have been completed and put into use with necessary amenities. Salaries of State Counsels and those of Magistrates have been harmonized. Public Service Lecture Series aimed at improving the quality of public officers through strategic exposure to knowledge have been initiated and sustained. A 1,000 KVA generating set for the new Secretariat Complex was purchased. Over 3000 staff have been employed in the Civil Service by this Government. Group Personnel Accident Insurance Scheme abandoned since 2003 has been resuscitated with effect from 2008 and premium paid accordingly. The first beneficiaries of this scheme will be paid in two week’s time.” I suspect Okey is not aware of all these because he writes without intending to even understand the subject he often writes on.
Okey talked about the exploitation of priests by Gov. Obi and that those priests have deserted him for his failed leadership. He has said this many times to know that people will no longer believe his pettiness. I am in Anambra and can tell you that Obi takes everybody as one irrespective of positions.He would always say that he is the Governor of all Anambrarians, including Christians and non-Christians. What happens is that because he thinks so much about the future, the more enlightened a group is, the better they understand him. As an enlightened class, the priests’ love for him is deepening with every passing day. ( Continues below..... )
The profundity of Aristiphus mind has never ceased to amaze me. He said humorously that just as, in a far northern city, words froze into ice as they were spoken, and were heard in the summer when they thawed, so the words spoken by Plato to his students in their youth were fully understood by them only in their old age. Likewise the deeds of Peter Obi, understood by the brightest and the most experienced now, will be understood by others in future.
If any priest does not understand him now, he will surely do so in future. However, let me use the last three encounters Obi had with priests – Bishops at that – to gauge what that class still feel about him. During the 50th priestly anniversary celebration of Bishop Emmanuel Otteh at the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, Onitsha, he said that Gov. Obi “is the first Governor both old and new Anambra State has had comparable only to Senator Jim Nwobodo. He is developing all sectors in the State, and for the first time no town in Anambra State is deprived of development one way or the other. I am proud of the Governor’s humility and life laced with integrity. I commend him highly, particularly his achievements in Education. Today Anambra schools are better than they were before and the Governor crowned it all with the return of schools to their original owners.”
In the words of The Apostolic Nuncio in the Central Africa Republic and the Republic of Chad, Archbishop Jude Okolo “God has used Governor Peter Obi to wipe away the tears of the people who have suffered the burden of incompetent and greedy rulers. He has inspired the youth unto righteousness and has become a symbol of reference.” Most Reverend Efobi, the Anglican Bishop of Ekwulobia passes his own verdict: ‘Obi’s humility and integrity have provided a sound base to project the State from hitherto political and economic quagmire to a superstructural platform that is comparable to any State in the world. His calm, but tactical approach to issues of governance has engendered the stability prevalent in the State today. The accolades and awards he received in recent time had been attributed to his hard work and visionary approach to Statecraft. I enjoin him to continue to ensure justice and fairness in his administration as well as speak eloquently against evil.”
The Catholic Bishop of Nnewi, Most Reverend Hilary Odili Okeke was at it too. He said that “God has raised the Governor as a prophet, Leader and Rock in Nigeria to show the way of the Lord in many aspects of the society. He has remained God-fearing and has brought sterling qualities of simplicity, humility, contentment and wisdom to governance. He has built a legacy of outstanding contributions to the restoration and revamping of good governance through multi-sectoral development and has sustained efforts in promoting the value system of the society.” These comments were made in the last one month. So what exactly is Okey saying about priests becoming disenchanted with Obi?
Unlike in his earlier pieces, when, drunk with the inexplicable passion of hate and with cavalier contempt for the truth, Okey attributed Obi’s political successes to luck instead of acknowledging his resilience, he now somewhat corrected that impression. We thank him for that, but he went ahead to extinguish that ray of light by saying that Obi thrives on propaganda, with nothing to show for it. He talked about Obi’s “hollow accomplishments”, “Awka as wretched as war-ravaged Mogadishu.” He touts Obi’s efforts to supply computers to schools, questioning if the schools are connected to the INTERNET, have power supply, among others. He described the Kenneth Dike Library as a huge joke.
But it is with difficulty that I reply to all this. In the bid to satisfy his fancy and in the ecstasy of hate as if permanently divorced from reality, he assumed what he cannot prove. The fact that can easily be verified is that over 120 schools in Anambra have been supplied with 50 laptops and 10 desktops with ICT teachers. Over 120 schools have been supplied with 30 KVA generators each, with Government undertaking their maintenance for some years. I guess Okey wants us to forget everything about ICT until Nigeria has stable electricity. I have no problem provided he will convince the entire world to wait for us while we fix our energy problem. Today, over 100 schools in Anambra have brand new buses, the first since the Old East Central State. Today about 200 schools in Anambra are connected to the INTERNET via Galaxy Backbone at great cost. The State renews this facility yearly. For a more comprehensive picture of what the Governor has done in Anambra he could visit www.anidsinanambrastate.com if he so wishes. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Governor Peter Obi
As for the Professor Kenneth Dike Central Library, does Okey know it is the first library built in Anambra in over 40 years? All these years that library development died in the State what did he do? His only compliment is to say that president Jonathan commissioned an empty building, when the library is yet to be commissioned. When he was saying that the place has nothing to do with an E- libarary, Anambra State was receiving a letter signed by the Director/Secretary of Universal Service Provision Fund, Mr. Funso Fayomi conveying the news that Anambra State has been selected as one of the beneficiaries of the Federal Government Digital E-library project under the connectivity for Development programme of the Universal Service provision Fund (USPF). But Okey is immune to such news.
Okey described the new teaching hospital under construction, and one of the best legacies Obi will leave thus: “I drove past a huge structure under construction in Awka that the governor has named a teaching hospital. I am no medical expert, but I knew that the building was ill suited for a hospital. A hospital needs a lot of ventilation and light. The alleged teaching hospital in Awka has only its bigness going for it. The windows are horribly small. In fact – judging by their poor ventilation – it would be cruel to house prisoners in those structures.”
That hospital was conceived by a panel led by Professor Frank Akpuaka, who founded the College of medicine in other universities such as Abia State University. Other members includes Prof Rob Ofieli (NAUTH), Prof. Okey Mbonu(Chairman, West African College of Surgeon), Prof. Eddy Nwobodo (Dean, faculty of Basic Medical Science, NAUTH), Prof. BC Jiburum (provost, College of Medicine, Imo State University), Dr. Lawrence Ikeakor. The place is being built according to specifications they gave and it has just got the accreditation of National Universities Commission (NUC). In trying to malign the Governor, or by plain sadism, Okey became an architect, a civil engineer and even a medical doctor, telling us what is wrong and right. Because he described the building upside down, I am left to believe that his sense of hate has overtaken his reason. Now I know while sadists can stand in front of Burj Khalifa in Dubai and proclaim it is not tall. Middleton had his reasons to call some metaphysician “learned lunatics.”
That teaching hospital is being built in Awka as well as other structures such as the completed two giant Secretariats, the Ekwueme Square, a network of asphalted roads, the ASUBEB building, the new courts, pedestrian crossing, and many more and yet Okey described Awka as Mogadishu. If he were correct, then Awka must have been a stone-age towns before Obi took over. We hope the person that comes after Obi will move it many notches up, but I challenge Okey to tell us what other past Governors did to the town. He probably would not want to know that even the compensation for land acquired by past Governments in Awka were paid by Obi. Awka is not developing and yet when Obi became Governor, it had only three hotels but now it has more than 30. Bank branches have tripled. These are indices of development.
Okey’s pieces these days are interesting. Through him we realise what it means when we attribute the problem of Anambra to Anambra people. Today, Saharareporters, which he is a part owner of, is fighting Anambra State. In deed we are our greatest problems. Gov. Obi is the Chairman of South-East Governors’ Forum and the Vice Chairman of the Governors’ Forum, but sadly, 99 per cent of those who want him to be removed are people from Anambra State.
If you have been following Okey’s write-ups, you will have noticed that he has not written a single article that is idea-based; it must be this person or that person. He is so childishly personal and should be told that columns are meant for serious people that understand it is for them to generate ideas and propagate them. This is not a virtue but inherent weakness. If you interprete his character striat to an elder in the village, he will surely conclude na nwataa ga-akpa nsi. One of the problems we have in Anambra is the terrible condition of Federal roads, yet Okey will never use his column to bring such to the attention of the Government. Instead, he will bury himself in cynical pessimism denouncing everybody with violent hyperbole. He reaches a dizzy height when it concerns Gov. Obi.
Gov. Obi, in spite of Okey will remain one of the best things that have happened to Anambra State. He is at home here and he is delivering because long before he became the Governor, he had disciplined his body to hardship, his appetite to moderation and his thoughts to objectivity. He has been tested and he faced the tests with amazing stoicism. He lives an exemplary life, untouched with any scandal of gallantry or intrigue.
Today, development partners are falling over one another to identify with the successes of Anambra State. Obi has attracted a fortune 500 company that is presently investing about 120 million Dollars in the State. This may mean nothing to Okey. I know our people who are in the USA like him who everyday try to attract one investor or the other to the State. Okey has no time for such patriotism but only criticises blindly, which is actually the easiest thing anybody can do. Pettiness you may call it!
Obienyem wrote this piece from Awka, Anambra State.
RELATED ARTICLE => Nigeria: Peter Obi Holds Post-Election Press Conference
*Tags: Nigerians, Committed, Governor, Peter, Obi, Abuja, Africa, Masterweb
*Nigeria: Intersociety Launches International Campaign For Traffic Wardens
1. The Australian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Australia High Commission, Oakland Center, 48, Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, FCT, Abuja.
2. Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria, Embassy of Norway, 54, T.Y. Danjuma Street, Asokoro, FCT, Abuja.
3. Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, the Embassy of Sweden, Plot 1520, T.Y. Danjuma Street, Asokoro, FCT, Abuja.
4. The Danish Ambassador to Nigeria, Embassy of Denmark, Plot 63, Europe House, Usuma Street, Maitama, FCT, Abuja.
5. The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Embassy of the USA, Plot 1075 Diplomatic Drive, Central Business Area, FCT, Abuja.
6. Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, the Canadian High Commission, 15, Bobo Street, Maitama, FCT, Abuja.
7. The Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria, Embassy of Switzerland, Plot 704, Adetokubo Ademola Crescent, Wuse 11, FCT, Abuja.
8. The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, British High Commission, Dangote House, Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Wuse, FCT, Abuja.
9. The Royal Dutch Ambassador to Nigeria, Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, Plot 622, Gana Street, Maitama, FCT, Abuja.
10. The Head, Association of Foreign Diplomats in Nigeria, No. 12, Kainji Crescent, Maitama, FCT, Abuja.
11. The French Ambassador to Nigeria, Embassy of France, 32, Udi Hills Street, Off Aso Drive, Maitama, FCT, Abuja.
12. The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Nigeria, Embassy of Germany, No.9, Lake Maracaibo Close, Maitama District, FCT, Abuja.
Justice For “Road Traffic Four”: A Letter Of Law And Facts Requesting Your Excellencies’ Pressures Stopping Nigeria From Becoming A Militarized Democratic Nation
Above subject matter refers.
(18th August, 2011, Onitsha Nigeria)-International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law- Intersociety is a Nigerian incorporated international organization based in Onitsha, Anambra State of Nigeria. We focus on protection and preservation of the citizens’ liberties recognized by the international rights norms. We also advocate for popular democracy, good governance and the rule of law. Our website is www.intersociety-ng.org and our email is email@example.com.
Subject Matter & Its Background Information:
On 19th day of August 1975, the then Federal Military Government of Nigeria, under Brigadier Murtala Ramat Mohammed (as he then was) promulgated Decree No. 21 of 1975, otherwise called “Traffic Warden Service Decree of 1975”. The Decree was in response to the rising incidence of traffic jams, accidents and related traffic criminality or offences. As a result, the para-military body of 2,800 personnel was created and incorporated into the Nigeria Police Force as a semi-autonomous outfit within the Force. The Nigeria Police Ordinance of 1st April 1930 was amended by the military government of Nigeria in 1990 to accommodate the incorporation.
The Decree enthrusted the management of the Service in the hands of the Inspector General of Police, who is empowered to “recruit, confirm the recruitment, train, promote, demote, reward, dismiss, transfer and post” any traffic warden in accordance with relevant laws and regulations. Section 4 of the Decree gives every traffic warden in Nigeria “powers, privileges and immunities of a police officer in Nigeria”, and the term “police officer”, by law, applies to Constable to Inspector General of Police. According to the Decree, every traffic warden is to be regulated by the Nigeria Police Regulations of 1968, incorporated into the Nigeria Police Ordinance Amendment Decree of 1990 (Cap 359). It is very important to mention to Your Excellencies that the above-named laws and regulations surrender their supremacy to the Constitution of Nigeria 1999, as amended, in the event of inconsistency. One of the grossly deficient provisions of the said Decree No.21 of 1975 is the creation of restrictive ranking and public service grades. Section 6 of the Decree creates four junior rankings for the personnel of the Service and maximally seals the vertical mobility or hierarchy of the personnel of the Service at Grade Level 06, in the context of public or civil service ranking, as against Grade Level 17, which has a universal application. The four rankings are as follows: 1.Traffic Warden Grade 111 (equivalent to Police Constable). 2. Traffic Warden Grade 11 (equivalent to Police Corporal). 3. Traffic Warden Grade 1 (equivalent to Police Sergeant). 4. Senior Traffic Warden (equivalent to Police Inspector).
There are 21 rankings in the Nigeria Police Force, whereas only 4 are given to the personnel of the Traffic Warden Service. Sadly, those who joined the Service in 1977 to 1981, for instance, through the Police Training Colleges have remained at the Sergeant and Inspectorate ranks, whereas their colleagues in the Nigeria Police Force, with the same year of enlistment, school qualifications, trainings and postings have risen, at least, to the ranks of Chief Superintendent of Police (five-gap ranking) and Assistant Commissioner of Police (six-gap ranking). Presently, for the purposes of administration and operations, the Traffic Warden Service is grouped under “A” and “B” Departments, headed by DIGs Azubukor Udah and Audu Abubakar.
Police Age-long Onslaught & Discriminatory Practices Against The Road Traffic Personnel:
The Nigeria Police Force is noted for managing most of the country’s para-military organizations except the National Youth Service Corps (managed by the Nigerian Army). Some para-military establishments managed or being managed by the Nigeria Police Force are the Nigerian Prisons Service, Immigration Service, State Security Services (formerly National Security Organization), Federal Roads Safety Commission, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Economic & Financial Crimes Commission and Nigeria Customs & Excise. As a matter of fact, the Nigerian Prisons Service separated from the Nigeria Police Force in 1920, while the Immigration Service got separated in 1958.
Sadly, while the bodies above-named had their good conditions of service including statutory rankings and optimum public or civil service Grade Levels, intact, those of the Nigeria Traffic Warden Service have continued to be suppressed by the successive and present leaderships of the Nigeria Police Force. The present leadership of the Nigeria Police Force, under IGP Hafiz A. Ringim appears to be the worst. The authorities of the Nigeria Police Force, as presently constituted, have exploited the mischievous and deficient provisions in the infamous Decree No. 21 of 1975 to further worsen the plight of the personnel of the Nigeria Traffic Warden Service. In 1997, as a result of the refusal of the then authorities of the Nigeria Police Force to pay the statutory entitlements of the four-graded hierarchies of the personnel of the Nigeria Traffic Warden Service, which accumulated for several months as well as allied discriminatory practices, some courageous personnel of the Service, led by STW (Inspector) Sunday Etim instituted a suit against the then Inspector General of Police & 2 others before a Kaduna State High Court, which was later quashed for want of jurisdiction. The suit was later moved to the Federal High Court, Kaduna Division, which heard and determined same. Unsatisfied, main appeal and cross-appeal were instituted at the Court of Appeal, Kaduna Division by the two parties, in suit No. CA/K/112/99 (Inspector Sunday Etim & 4 ors v. Inspector General of Police & 2 ors).
In the Appellate verdict, determined on 18th day of May 2000 by His Lordship Danlami Mohammad, with his two Learned Brothers, Their Lordships Mahmud Mohammed and Oludabe Oladapo Obadina, the Appeal Court among other things, upheld the argument of the Nigeria Police Counsel, Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, to the effect that “the Nigeria Traffic Warden Service is not part and parcel of the Nigeria Police Force”, based on the point of argument that “the Service cap, uniform and badges of the personnel of the Nigeria Traffic Warden Service are different from those of the Nigeria Police Force”. The verdict under discussion contradicted and still contradicts Section 3 of the said Decree, which provides as follows: “The Traffic Warden Service shall be a part of the Nigeria Police Force, and accordingly references in the Police Act to the Police Force established under the Police Act shall, subject to the provisions of this Decree, include references to the Traffic Services”. The main grounds upon which Inspector Sunday Etim & 4 others sued the Police and the then Attorney General of the Federation were predicated on Section 3 of the said Decree, meaning that as part and parcel of the Nigeria Police Force, they ought not to have been discriminated against and denied conditions of service enjoyed by their counterparts in the Nigeria Police Force.
While the litigation led to their statutory entitlements’ arrears being liquidated by the authorities of the then Nigeria Police Force and periodic payment of their entitlements, other discriminatory practices including promotion stagnancy, retention of restrictive ranking and maximum of Grade Level 06 vertical mobility, uncouth labeling and name-calling, non-allotment of Service portfolios, professional accountability of Traffic Superintendents and Inspectors to Police Constables, Corporals and Sergeants, etc, were continued with utter alacrity. Promotion exercises for the personnel of the Service rarely took place and till today, many, if not most of the Traffic Wardens have stayed ten (10) and even twenty (20) years in one rank. They are also over-laboured and over-burdened as most of them work from 6am to 6pm seven days in a week. Presently, only 8,500 personnel people the Nigeria Traffic Warden Service, manning about 40% of the country’s 178,427 localities, which are highly urbanized and motorized especially in the Southern parts of Nigeria.
In 2002, there was an attempted presidential intervention, courtesy of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. The then President had directed the then Inspector General of Police, Mr. Tafa Balogun to create three new ranks of Assistant Superintendent of Traffic (on probation), Assistant Superintendent of Traffic (equivalent to Police Assistant Superintendent) and Deputy Superintendent of Traffic (equivalent to Police Deputy Superintendent), without any efforts towards repealing or modifying the infamous Decree No. 21 of 1975. By law, it may be correct to say that the three service stars worn by the personnel of the Service is courtesy of the presidential pronouncement, not by law.
For instance, while only four-grade ranking exists in the Nigeria Traffic Warden Service, allotment of portfolios and creation of same are non-existent in the Service. Even the position of the Divisional Traffic Officer (DTO), meant for every Police Divisional Command, which ought to be controlled by the Wardens, is manned by Police Sergeants to Police Inspectors. The personnel of the Service also operate horizontally till date. Even after the creation of the one to three-stars ranking for the Traffic personnel in 2002, the payment of the accompanying service entitlements elicited another round of cold war between the Service and the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force. The payment of the said entitlements, delayed for years, was also clothed with discrimination. Discrimination also abounds in recruitment and promotion examination exercises as it affects the personnel of the Traffic Warden Service.
In a policy statement, titled: “Regularization of Status: Traffic Wardens In Nigeria Police Force”, dated 21st day of June 2010, signed by Deputy Inspector General of Police, in-charge of Administration, Uba B. Ringim (as he then was), for Inspector General of Police, Ogbonnaya Onovo (as he then was), which was dispatched to all police formations in Nigeria including Police Training Colleges, the following observations and directives were made and issued: “The Inspector General of Police has observed the need to regularize the status of the Traffic Wardens Personnel as provided by Decree No. 21 of 1975 and Section 59 of Police Act and Regulation from which the Traffic Warden Services was established, solely to complement the functions of Motor Traffic Divisions of the Nigeria Police Force in areas of Traffic Control, Regulation and Enforcement of all Laws relating to Road Traffic under the directive of the Police. It is observed that Traffic Warden Personnel are being promoted to Officers cadre wearing the rank of AST with the first set of the beneficiary of this promotion wearing the rank of DST with the rank insignia similar to that of ASP to DSP in Nigeria Police Force. The situation is found to be a deviation from the rank structure as provided by Section 64 of Police Act and Regulation LFN Cap 359 which provides as follows: “A traffic warden shall have such rank as may be assigned to him by the Inspector General of Police within the following grades:
Warden Grade 111
Traffic Warden Grade 11
Traffic Warden Grade 1
Senior Traffic Warden”
Following the above anomaly, it is considered imperative to issue a policy statement to serve as a guide for future promotion and other related issues as it concerns Traffic Warden Personnel. The Inspector General of Police has therefore directed as follows:
1. Traffic Warden Personnel shall no longer participate in Departmental Selection Board (DSB).
2. Traffic Wardens are exempted from sitting for SPOs confirmation exams and any other Police Regular Courses/Promotion Exams.
3. All issues relating to promotion, confirmation of appointments, retirements and any other issues as may be directed by the Inspector-General of Police relating to Traffic Warden Services shall be handled by ‘A’ Department under special committee to be set up by the Deputy Inspector General of Police (in-charge of the Department).
4. The rank of DST shall be the highest rank to which the traffic wardens personnel shall be promoted.
5. Note Item 4(iv) above should be seen as an act of magnanimity of the Inspector General of Police to boost the morale of the Traffic Warden Personnel, bearing in mind the provision of Section 64 of Police Act and Regulation LFN Cap 359 which limited the highest rank to which the Traffic Warden Personnel can be promoted to that of Senior Traffic Warden.
6. You are all directed to make this a subject of lecture for all personnel, please.”
In another circular issued to all police formations in Nigeria, signed by the DIG “E” (Training, etc) on behalf of the Inspector General of Police, dated 1st February 2011, titled: “Re-2010 Departmental Selection Board- Inspector To ASP 11 Promotion Course 1/2011”, names of the police officers qualified for the course, which included some Senior Traffic Wardens (equivalent to Police Inspectors) were released and published in the police official bulletin. But to the greatest shock and surprise of the participating STWs, they were humiliated out of the exams halls after they had successfully taken the first part of the two examinations. They were stood up and chased out of the halls. When the promotion list of the said exams was reportedly released on 9th August 2011, via Police Wireless Message, to all police formations including the Anambra State Police Command, the STWs, whose names appeared in the list, were reportedly directed not to wear their new AST ranks on the ground that the promotion list was “released in error”, and that a new comprehensive list would be counter-released. The verdict in the suit No.CA/K/112/99 (Inspector Sunday Etim & 4 ors v. Inspector General of Police & 2 ors (2000) and these discriminatory practices have also propelled sustained agitations by the personnel of the Nigeria Traffic Warden Service for an end to the said discriminatory practices or alternatively, to be made independent from the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force.
The Death of AST Nangor Dangtim And Clampdown On Key Personnel Of The Traffic Warden:
On 16th day of June 2011, bomb blasts, suspected to have been blown by elements of the Boko Haram Islamic Sect, hit the Force Headquarters of the Nigeria Police, killing about five people including Assistant Superintendent of Traffic Nangor Dangtim. The late AST Dangtim was, before his killing, in-charge of traffic control in the IGP’s parking garage as well as the general parking garage at the Force Headquarters in Abuja. He single-handedly stopped the suspected bombers from parking in the IGP’s parking garage, where the bombs would have been detonated. He was killed while commanding the suicide bombers to park in the general parking garage during which the bombs detonated, killing him and four others instantly.
On 2nd July 2011, his remains were interred in his home town, Yashi Community, Langtang in Plateau State, where the following funeral oration was read by some of his colleagues and funeral’s committee of friends: “With deep feelings in our hearts we sincerely sympathized with the family of … our colleague, Late AST Nangor Nangtim. The death comes as a shock to the entire family of Traffic Wardens Nationwide. However, he became the sacrificial lamb to save the Nigeria Police Force and the Inspector General of Police in particular. With one voice we cry and plead with President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and the Inspector General of Police to use the death of our colleague to remember the lingering issue of promotion and over-dependence on the Nigeria Police Force precisely ten years and thirty-seven years respectively. We also plead that Mr. President should step into the issue of the Ministerial Committee set up on the instruction of him (Mr. President) which was given just a week to submit their report but since then the report has not been given to him, despite the fact that the committee has finish(ed) their findings. We pray that God will grant the family of Late AST Nangor Nangtim the heart to (bear) this irreparable loss. Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Long live the Nigeria Police Force. Long live the Nigeria Traffic Warden Service”.
After the unsigned oration was read, the pressmen that covered the event got interested in its content and became sympathetic as well, and requested for the signing of same so as to make it publishable. As a result, some members of the late AST Nangtim’s funeral committee of friends including STWs Emmanuel Mlanga, Samuel Uwakwe, Adamu Dogara and AST Yahaya Jezhi asked the Executive Director of the Vanguard for the Actualization of the Traffic Warden Welfare (Johnsonapla J.K.), an NGO, who authored the oration, to put their names. The representative of the Inspector General of Police from the Police Provost Office at the Force Headquarters, Superintendent of Police John Mboy Shinkut, collected a copy of the oration and took it to the IGP, Hafiz A. Ringim, through the CP Provost, Mrs. Sherifat Disu.
Based on the forgoing, Your Excellencies, the Inspector General of Police ordered a clampdown on key personnel of the Traffic Warden Service including AST Sunday Haruna of the Lagos State Command, STW Adamu Dogara of the Plateau State Command, STW Samuel Uwakwe of the Cross River State Command, STW Emmanuel Mlanga of the Kano State Command and TW Grade 111 (Constable) David Oyishoma of the Bwari-FCT Command. On 8th July 2011 and 11th July 2011, respectively, STWs Emmanuel Mlanga and Adamu Dogara reported to the IGP’s office in Abuja and IGP Ringim ordered their detention through the DIG Administration Department down to the CP Provost. They were detained at Asokoro and Wuse Police cells in Abuja. On 28th July 2011 and 8th August 2011, TW Grade 111 David Oyishoma and STW Samuel Uwakwe were taken into detention in Wuse and Asokoro Police cells. AST Sunday Haruna was arrested in Lagos on July 28, 2011, taken to the IGP’s office and granted bail on July 29, 2011.
Detention Without Trial And Solitary Confinement Of The “Road Traffic Four”:
The detention of STWs Emmanuel Mlanga, Adamu Dogara, Samuel Uwakwe and TW Grade 111 (Constable) David Oyishoma by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Hafiz A. Ringim, assisted by DIG Administration, Mr. Azubukor Udah and the CP Provost (Mrs. Sherifat Disu), who is under the DIG Administration, was gravely in violation of the provisions of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999, as amended, the African Charter on Human & Peoples Rights Domesticated Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004, the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights of 1948 and the U.N Covenant on Civil & Political Rights of 1976 (ratified by Nigeria in 1993). The detention of “the Road Traffic Four” was also in gross violation of the Nigeria Police Act and its incorporated Regulations as well as the Criminal Procedure Act and the Criminal Code (for Southern Nigeria) and the Criminal Procedure Code and the Penal Code (for Northern Nigeria).
STW Emmanuel Mlanga was arrested and detained on 8th July 2011 and granted bail on Friday August 12, 2011 without proper court trial. He was detained for 36 days or 864 hours, 32 days or 816 hours more than constitutionally allowed. STW Adamu Dogara was arrested and detained on July 11, 2011 and granted bail on Friday, August 12, 2011. He was detained for 33 days or 792 hours, 31 days or 744 hours more than constitutionally allowed. TW Grade 111 (Constable) David Oyishoma was arrested and detained on July 28, 2011 and granted bail on Friday, August 12, 2011. He was detained for 16 days or 384 hours, 14 days or 336 hours more than constitutionally allowed. And STW Samuel Uwakwe was arrested and detained on August 8, 2011 and granted bail on Friday, August 12, 2011. He was detained for five days or 144 hours, three days or 72 hours more than constitutionally allowed. His right to freedom of movement was also threatened for 31 days (since July 8, 2011).
In view of these, Your Excellencies, their rights to freedom of movement, personal liberty, fair hearing, proper court trial, dignity of human person, etc were utterly deprived. Section 35(5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, prohibits the detention of any citizen more than maximum period of two days or 48 hours, while Section 35 proper, prohibits the denial of any citizen his or her right to personal liberty. Section 36(8) states: “No person shall be held to be guilty of a criminal offence on account of any act or omission that did not, at the time it took place, constitute such an offence, and no penalty shall be imposed for any criminal offence heavier than the penalty in force at the time the offence was committed”.
There are five sets of written criminal laws in Nigeria that create offences, define them, create punishments for the offences and define them and stipulate the procedures for punishing the offenders. They are: Criminal Procedure Act and Criminal Code for Southern Nigeria, Criminal Procedure Code and the Penal Code for Northern Nigeria and the Criminal Laws & Procedures of the States of the Federation. In view of the foregoing, the IGP, Mr. Hafiz A. Ringim and his sub-commanders acted in gross violation of Section 36(8) of the Nigerian Constitution by holding “the Road Traffic Four” over acts unknown to the Constitution and her subordinate criminal legislations. By this singular despicable act, the IGP also manufactured his own offences and punishments, contrary to the Constitution.
The “Road Traffic Four” were also held in solitary confinement, apart from being detained without proper court trial. Access to their families, doctors, lawyers and conjugal visit right was utterly blocked by the IGP and his sub-commanders. While in detention, they were denied means of open-source communication including Newspapers, Television, Radio and cell phones. All their cell phones were seized. When sick and reported, they were not attended to, and their captors even turned down the medical advice offered by the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters Clinic, when STW Adamu Dogara was diagnosed of pneumonia, fever, stomach pains and high blood pressure from 70/110 to 110/140. He was denied medical treatment and returned to the Police cell. This happened on August 9, 2011. Also, the sanitary conditions around their detention cells were horrible. Apart from their stinking cells, toilets and bathrooms, they slept on bare floors and hardly ate food, except they induce sympathetic police cell guards to fetch dietary food for them.
Spurious Charges And Kangaroo “Orderly-Room Trial”/Recommended Dismissal:
In order to clear the Force of messy situation its leadership got it into, the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force, headed by IGP hafiz A. Ringim, hurriedly arranged for the so-called “Orderly-Room Trial” of “the Road Traffic Four”, in the form of “internal affair of the Nigeria Police Force”, after unlawfully and solitarily detaining them. The IGP and his sub-commanders had alleged that the “Road Traffic Four” defaulted by “engaging in offence against discipline, to wit; betrayal of confidence and discreditable conduct”. According to IGP Hafiz A. Ringim, who is also the sole constituting authority of the “Orderly-Room Trial”, by reading a funeral oration at the funeral of their dead colleague and given it to the press, the “Road Traffic Four” have released information not meant for the public (betrayal of confidence) and engaged in acts unbecoming of a police officer (Traffic Warden), which, according to him, amounted to “discreditable conduct”. The IGP also acted in utter violation of the Appellate Court judgment in suit No.CA/K/112/99(Inspector Sunday Etim & 4 ors v. Inspector General of Police & 2 ors), the verdict, which is yet to be set aside by any superior court, said, “the Nigeria Traffic Warden Service is not part of the Nigeria Police Force”.
Our thorough search into the 420 sections of the Nigeria Police Act and its incorporated Regulations clearly showed that processes adopted by the Inspector General of Police, Hafiz A. Ringim, and his sub-commanders, for the so-called “Orderly-Room Trial” of the “Road Traffic Four”, were in gross breach of the Act and its Regulations. For instance, no provisions in the Act and its Regulations empowered IGP Hafiz A. Ringim to detain the “Road Traffic Four” more than 48 hours, not to talk of over 30 days. The two accusations (breach of confidence and discreditable conduct) in the “Offences Against Discipline”, contained in the Police Regulations are low degree misbehavior. Also, the two accusations and the recommended “punishment”- dismissal from the Service, were wrongly rooted, arrived at and applied.
For instance, Regulation 370 of the Police Act under “Offences Against Discipline”, defines “Breach of Confidence” in Regulation 370(b) (iii) in the following way: “that is to say, if he-without proper authority, communicates to the public press, or to an unauthorized person, any matter connected with the Force”. Regulation 370(e) (iii) defines “Discreditable Conduct”, in the following way: “that is to say, if he-acts in any manner prejudicial to discipline or unbecoming of a member of the Force”. The Regulation, under “Offences Against Discipline”, also contains numerous high degree offences such as offences of “deserter”, “being drunk while on duty with riffles”, “misuse of riffles or accidental discharge”, “leaking security top secrets” (security intelligence and weaponry), “involvement in criminal offences against the State, person and property”, etc.
Furthermore, Section 371 of the Police Act provides as follows: “A junior officer (Constable to Inspector) who is guilty of an offence against discipline shall be liable to any of the following punishments, that is to say- (a) Dismissal, (b) Reduction in rank, (c) Withholding or deferment of increment (in salaries), (d) Reprimand, (e) Fine not exceeding N10.00, (f) Confinement to the barracks for any number of days not exceeding fourteen days, (g) Fatigues or other duties or punishment drill not exceeding a total of ten separate hours”. Therefore, apart from grossly faulty processes that were applied, the recommended “dismissal” of the “Road Traffic Four” over lesser accusations of “breach of confidence” and “discreditable conduct” is too harsh and an unwarranted punishment, wrongly situated, which is also a gross breach of Section 36(8) of the Constitution. In the first place, the mere reading of the funeral oration and its content ought not to have been fitted into the two accusations, because the express intendment of the two accusations is known to all and sundry.
Other grossly faulty processes, which the IGP, Mr. Hafiz A. Ringim, applied in the course of the so-called “Orderly-Room Trial” of the “Road Traffic Four”, in utter breach of the Constitution and the Police Act and its Regulations, are as follows: 1. The extra-constitutional detention of the “Road Traffic Four”. 2. Taking them to the “Orderly-Room Trial” from cells. 3. Holding them in solitary confinement. 4. Failure to notify them of the imminence of the so-called “trial”. 5. Failure to give them reasonable time to prepare themselves for the so-called “trial”. 6. Failure to allow them to consult their lawyers, prepare for their defence and call witnesses. 7. Failure to give them copies of the so-called “judgment”. 8. Recommending punishment heavier than the alleged offences. These are in utter violation of the 1999 Constitution, the African Charter on Human & Peoples Rights LFN 2004, the Freedom of Information Act of the Federation 2011, as well as the Police Act and its Regulations, which cumulatively made the “trial” and its findings null and void.
It is our further information, Your Excellencies that the so-called “Orderly-Room Trial” was instituted on Friday, August 5, 2011, at the Force Headquarters in Abuja by the IGP, Hafiz A. Ringim, through the DIG- Administration, Mr. Azubukor Udah and the CP Provost (under DIG Administration), Mrs. Sherifat Disu. The two-man committee was headed by the acting Assistant Commissioner of Police in-charge of the Provost Office, CSP Anthony Ekong and assisted by Assistant Superintendent of Police Joseph Akubo. The “Road Traffic Four” (three of them appeared on 05/08/2011) were taken from their cells and marched into the “Trial Room” where they were told of the two accusations leveled against them. They were taken back to cells at about 7pm same day after they pleaded “not guilty” and the “trial” was adjourned to Monday, August 8, 2011. Then, on Monday, 8th August 2011, STW Samuel Uwakwe was “co-arraigned”, after which the “trial-Delegated Officer”, CSP Anthony Ekong, announced disqualification of his committee on the grounds that the trio of Emmanuel Mlanga, Adamu Dogara and David Oyishoma probated and reprobated, having allegedly admitted the accusation of “breach of confidence” during their first arraignment. This, the trio vehemently denied, resulting in the committee’s disqualification of itself for want of confidence on its committee by the “Road Traffic Four”.
They were taken back to cells pending when a new committee would be reconstituted. On Tuesday, 9th August 2011, they were returned to the Force Headquarters for the continuation of the “trial”, but after about five hours, they were returned to cells without any proceedings. On Wednesday, 10th August 2011, the “Road Traffic Four” were returned to the “Orderly-Room Trial” and the former committee, headed by CSP Anthony Ekong, announced its committee’s continuation of the “trial”.
The committee introduced Superintendent of Police John Mboy Shinkut and Assistant Superintendent of Police Frank as “Police witnesses”, while ASP Murtala Shafi’u was named as “Investigating Police Officer” for the matter. Police witnesses were asked to testify against the “Road Traffic Four”, after which the “Road Traffic Four”, were asked to “address” the committee. The “trial” was adjourned for “judgment” and they were returned to police cells at about 6pm same day (10/08/2011). The ,b>“Road Traffic Four” remained in cells till Friday, 12th August 2011, when they were marched into the Force Headquarters’ “Orderly-Room Trial” for “judgment”. The committee recommended for their “dismissal” from Nigeria Traffic Warden Service and gave them seven days to “appeal” against the “recommended judgment”, subject to the IGP’s final confirmation or otherwise (Section 393(c) of the Police Act). Strangely and sadly, too, they were asked to sign bail bonds and find a Superintendent-surety to stand for them. They were also asked to report to the Force Headquarters on 24th August 2011. SUPOL Yahaya of the FCT Command took them on bail.
Why We Write Your Excellencies:
On 2nd May 2011, we alerted Your Excellencies through our letter, dated May 2nd, 2011, over plans by the Nigeria’s ruling party and its rigging machineries to subvert the electoral wish of the People of Imo State, Southeast Nigeria. Undoubtedly, Your Excellencies’ pressures and interventions substantially made the May 6, 2011 governorship election extra-ordinarily popular and credible. In the instant matter, we had before this noble letter, caused similar letters to be addressed to the Inspector General of Police, July 26, 2011; the President & Commander-in-Chief, Federal Republic of Nigeria, August 2nd 2011; and the Chairman, Police Service Commission, August 3rd 2011. We also issued a press statement on August 6, 2011, rejecting the so-called “Orderly-Room Trial”, because of the constitutionally abhorrent processes adopted in the instant case by the Inspector General of Police, Hafiz A. Ringim. The letters were also copied to other relevant authorities including the Police Affairs Minister and Nigeria’s Senate and House of Reps Committees on Police Affairs. The letters were confirmed “duly signed and received” by the authorities they were meant for. They were also widely publicized in the print and online media within and outside Nigeria. The said letters and the press release are available on www.intersociety-ng.org.
Yet, little or no efforts were made by the relevant authorities to address their contents, possibly, because they are co-travellers in such official brigandage. The awkward mentality of the Nigerian public officials (conspiracy and silence of the graveyard) towards crucial matters of extremely public importance such as this is clearly understood by all and sundry. Our writing Your Excellencies is frontally situated on several grounds. Apart from age-long socio-economic relationships between Your Excellencies’ home governments and the Government and the Good People of Nigeria, Your Excellencies’ supports are direly needed by the present government of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to actualize Nigeria’s ambition of becoming a permanent member of the UN Security Council. Nigeria is also in dire need of robust foreign investments to actualize her intractable match to socio-economic greatness.
The country has benefited, pricelessly, from Your Excellencies’ multi-billion dollar economic, humanitarian and military supports in the past years. In 2006, for instance, through Your Excellencies’ robust help, Nigeria’s 18Billion US Dollars foreign debts were written off, thanks to the Paris Club of Creditors, which many; if not most of Your Excellencies’ home governments belong. Nigeria’s health, educational, electoral, technological, security and justice reforms had attracted hundreds of millions, if not billions of US Dollars supports from Your Excellencies’ home governments since 1999.
Therefore, to whom much is given, much is also expected in return. Funding oppressive political regimes has become a social taboo in the world over. From the look of things, it is clear that while Ghana, Mauritius, Botswana, South Africa, Tanzania, Brazil, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, etc, are busy, finding and consolidating their ways to the democratic paradise, Nigeria is busy, racing back to the Hobbesian jungle, where life was nasty, brutish, short, with survival of the fittest as the grand-norm. The major condition to be attached by Your Excellencies to future material and technical supports to the Government and the Good People of Nigeria, is the unconditional improvement on the country’s bad human rights records and weeding out of antihuman rights elements within her security establishments.
Section 22 of the Nigeria’s Constitution states: “The Press, radio, television and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the Fundamental Objectives contained in this Chapter (two) and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the Government to the people”. The new (2011) Freedom of Information Act of the Federation is solely predicated on this important Section. Also, as the main contributor towards the realization of Nigeria’s five cardinal objectives, namely: Political Objectives (Section 15), Economic Objectives (Section 16), Social Objectives (Section 17), Educational Objectives (Section 18), and Foreign Policy Objectives (Section 19), Your Excellencies are called upon to insist that Nigeria must become a human rights conscious and respecter nation. By adopting Fundamental Objectives, which are an indication of the ultimate objectives of the country, and by enshrining the Directive Principles of State Policy, which are the paths that lead to the full realization of the Objectives, Nigeria must not be allowed by Your Excellencies to decay and degenerate to militarized democratic country or to the jungle of “Animal Farm”
Consequently, we call upon Your Excellencies to: 1. Intervene in the current plight of ,b>the “Road Traffic Four” by prevailing on President Goodluck Jonathan’s government to ensure that they are discharged and acquitted of the spurious accusations by the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force, headed by IGP, Hafiz A. Ringim, aided by the Nigeria Police Council, headed by President Goodluck Jonathan; and the Nigeria Police Service Commission, headed by retired AIG Parry Osayande. 2. Intervene so as to ensure that Nigeria’s obnoxious and draconian body of civil and criminal laws including the infamous Decree No.21 of 1975 are overhauled. 3. Call upon President Goodluck Jonathan and the leaderships of the Nigerian Senate and House of Reps to specifically repeal or amend the infamous Decree No. 21 of 1975. 4. Urge the President & Commander-in-Chief (Jonathan) to direct the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force to end all discriminatory practices against the personnel of the Nigeria Traffic Warden Service and address other anomalies thereto. 5. Urge President Goodluck Jonathan to direct IGP, Hafiz A. Ringim, not to confirm the recommended dismissal of the “Road Traffic Four”, but to discharge and acquit them of the spurious accusations, in accordance with powers vested on him by Section 393(c) of the Police Act LFN 2004.
6. Urge President Goodluck Jonathan to query and sanction IGP, Hafiz A. Ringim, for gross misconduct or grave violation of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, to wit; detention without court trial of the “Road Traffic Four” for over one month, on the ground of unconstitutional accusations, as well as to weed the Nigeria’s security establishments of Abacha-like beasts worsening the Nigeria’s horrible human rights records. 7. Urge the Police Service Commission to query and sanction DIG Azubukor Udah and CP Provost, Mrs. Sherifat Disu, over their involvement. 8. Urge President Goodluck Jonathan to call for the Ministerial Committee’s report, set up since September 2010, so as to find a final solution to the plight of the personnel of the Nigeria Traffic Warden Service. 9. Any other mode of intervention or pressure considered relevant and vital that would facilitate a clear departure from the present despicable adamancy of the relevant Nigerian authorities, within the context of the subject under discussion.
To make it easier for Your Excellencies and other interested bodies for the above requested interventions and pressures, the following relevant public officials can be reached through the following open-source communication medium:
1. President Goodluck Jonathan, Chairman, Nigeria Police Council, State House, Abuja, Nigeria 2. Mr. Hafiz A. Ringim, Inspector General of Police, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Force Headquarters, Abuja, Nigeria- +234(0) 8033225349 3. Retired AIG Parry Osayande, Chairman, Nigeria Police Service Commission, Federal Secretariat Complex, Abuja, Nigeria +234(0) 8074208602 4. DIG Azubukor Udah, DIG Administration Department, Force Headquarters, Abuja, Nigeria- +234(0) 8035986738 5. DCP Olushola Amore, the Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, Abuja, Nigeria-+234(0) 8037391280 6. DIG Audu Abubakar, DIG Operations Department, Force Headquarters, Abuja, Nigeria-+234(0) 8034433148 7. CP (Mrs.) Sherifat Disu, Commissioner of Police, Provost Office, Force Headquarters, Abuja, Nigeria. 8. CSP Anthony Ekong, Acting ACP Provost Office & “Delegated Officer” (Chairman), “Orderly-Room Trial” of the “Road Traffic Four”, the Force Provost Office, Force Headquarters, Abuja, Nigeria- +234(0) 8034308313
If Your Excellencies wish to clarify one or two things from the family of the late Nangor Nangtim (killed in the Force Headquarters bomb blasts) or any of the “Road Traffic Four”, they can be reached through the following cell phone numbers:
1. Mrs. Nangor Nangtim -+234(0) 8164274395 2. SUPOL Yahaya (the officer who took the “Road Traffic Four” on bail on 12/08/2011) - +234(0) 8036785939 3. STW Emmanuel Mlanga- +234(0) 7038133443 4. STW Adamu Dogara - +234(0) 8036380898 5. STW Samuel Uwakwe- +234(0) 8062559189 6. TW Grade 111 David Oyishoma - +234(0) 7064999692
Finally, we wish to seize this opportunity to thank the Nigerian Press, especially the Print and the Online News Media for robust publicity given to the struggle under discussion. Our immense thanks and appreciations particularly go to the Nation, Compass, Punch, Champion, Next, Vanguard, Sun, National Mirror, Nigerian Pilot, Daily Independent and the Leadership Newspapers, Insider Magazine, and the Nigerian Masterweb and its publisher, Chief Charles Okereke (USA), Elomba.Com and its publisher, Mr. Daniel Elomba (USA), Nigeria News 24 (USA), the Nigerian Police Watch (Nigeria), Odera.Com (China), the Willnigeria.Com (Nigeria), to mention but few. We urge them not to relent until the battle is won.
We look forward to this letter being considered expeditiously and humanely by Your Excellencies.
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 Chairman, House Committee on Police Affairs, FCT, Abuja
6. Chairman, Nigeria Police Service Commission, FCT, Abuja
7. The Inspector General of Police, FCT, Abuja
8. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva, Switzerland
9. The Secretary General of the Commonwealth, London, UK
10. Chairperson, African Commission on Human & Peoples’ Rights, Banjul, The Gambia
11. Secretary General of Amnesty International, London, UK
12. The Executive Director, Human Rights Watch, New York, USA
Photo Above: STW Emmanuel
Photo Above: Nango Dantim
Photo Above: Samuel Uwakwe
Photo Above: TW Grade 111(Constable) David Oyishoma
Photo Above: STW Adamu Dogara
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