*Nigeria: Anambra Celebrates 20th Anniversary
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
*Tags: Nigerians, Intersociety, Launches, International, Campaign, Traffic, Wardens, Africa, Masterweb
By Valentine Obienyem
Governor Peter Obi says the welfare of the State Workers and the good of Anambra State remain top priorities of his administration. Governor Obi was speaking in a broadcast on the recent industrial actions in the State.
Governor Obi who noted that there was no compelling reason for the strike actions, recalled that from the inception, his government has continued to demonstrate commitment to the welfare of workers as evident from the resolve to constantly upgrade their conditions of service and for being one of the states in the country to express readiness to obey the minimum wage Act that stipulates N18,000 as the new minimum wage.
He explained that since the creation of the State his administration has done more than all the previous governments put together towards the uplift of the state in all sectors of development including the welfare of workers.
The Government said that in line with policy of ensuring that the State lived within its means, his administration had drastically reduced the cost of governance, including receiving one of the lowest personal enrolments and allowances for himself and members of his cabinet among the states in Nigeria. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Governor Peter Obi
He stated that what he offered to workers based on the Minimum Wage Act is what will not lead the state into debts nor jeopardize both their pension and gratituty.
Governor Obi noted that in addition to employing over three thousand workers into the State Civil Service, his administration has equally resuscitated the Group personnel Accident Insurance Scheme which was abandoned since 2003 and premium paid accordingly while the first beneficiaries of the scheme will be paid in two weeks’s time .
He regretted that some politicians who lost at the polls and who had in the past led a visionless and missionless governments are bent on destroying the vision and mission for a better state lamenting that when they had the opportunity to serve, they dragged the state into anarchy, state of war and pedestrian politics and are today trying to desperately to destroy the enviable achievements of the present government which have made the state a reference point in the area of good governance and international best practices and a pacesetter for others to emulate and attracted many rewards and awards from international donor agencies and development partners. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Map of Anambra State, Nigeria.
Governor said time had come to stop reckless and irresponsible politics and embrace a committed vision to live a better State and appealed to privileged individual to shun conspicuous consumption and help in uplifting of their communities as well as endeavour to pay taxes and levies accordingly.
He stressed that with the present vision and mission, the state is on course towards achieving the Millennium Developing Goals by 2015, assuring that the on-going massive infrastructure development in the State will be sustained while new ones particularly toad construction will commence immediately after the rains.
RELATED ARTICLE => Nigeria: Peter Obi Holds Post-Election Press Conference
*Tags: Nigerians, Committed, Governor, Peter, Obi, Abuja, Africa, Masterweb
By Masterweb News Desk
Anambra State has been selected as one of the beneficiaries of the Federal Government Digital E-Library project under the connectivity for development good of the Universal Service Provision Fund – (USPF).
The Fund was established by the Federal Government to facilitate the achievement of the national policy goals for Universal Service and Universal access to Information and Communication Technologies – ICTs in rural, unserved and under-served areas in Nigeria.
This is aimed at promoting the connection of government schools, libraries and institutions across the nation to broadband internet.
The project awarded to Zinox Technologies Limited will include the supply, installation, configuration and commissioning a completed digital e-library solution in the selected center which will have the capacity of accommodating about fifty computers with computer tables and chairs as well as suitable location for the installation of V-sat equipment and generator for back-up power supply. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Map of Anambra State, Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Library Association has expressed gratitude to Governor Peter Obi for his remarkable contributions and support in ensuring successful hosting of the 49th Annual Conference and General Meeting of the Association held in Awka last month.
A letter signed by its National President, Professor Olatokunbo Aina said the success of the conference was largely due to the Governor’s moral and financial support and extolled his motivational Dinner Speech which he described as informative and interesting and will be made available to all members.
He commended the Governor’s continued support of the State Library Board and his vision to establish functional libraries in schools, while expressing the hope that the State will continue to be shining example to all other states in terms of library development in Nigeria.
Photo Above: His Excellency Governor Peter Obi
RELATED ARTICLE => Intersociety’s Scorecard On Anambra State Govt.
*Tags: Nigerians, Digital, Elibrary, Project, Governor, Peter, Obi, Abuja, Africa, Masterweb
*Is Nigeria Really “None Of” Your Business?
By Ikechukwu Enyiagu
Nigeria’s script played by Nigerians:
Nigerian Politician, alias “Mr. Genesis”: Since the British left, I’ve been in politics one way or the other and its corrupt platform enabled me to squeeze out more than enough for my children and their lines yet unborn. So, you see, I'm not concerned anymore, as you may still wrongly imagine, whether Nigeria moulds or melts; it’s none of my business. After all, my family is overseas in one of my mansions. Oh! I love America and Britain.
Usman: As long as I am at the top of what’s going on in the polity and an advantaged beneficiary of the federally-arranged loot of public funds, I’m OK. So far, I’m not sure if my lineage will ever be able to finish up my wealth-I have them is Swiss, USA, Britain, Saudi…everywhere. I’m very rich and you are not richer than me. Who cares if Nigeria burns and for what? All my children are aboard, anyways.
Gbenga: Sometimes, you people make fun of yourselves; how much do you have, in the first place? See, I know how to play my cards well; I know how to rub Mr. Genesis to pay Usman, and how to rub Usman to pay Mr. Genesis; but my profits always outweigh. You see, no matter how poor I get, I’ll never be as poor as Dangote. So, how does Nigeria concern me in any way? I don’t care!
Okeke: That’s why I’ve said that you all are very wicked, selfish and lazy… and yet you call me names. I don’t have to wait for government money or good governance in other to make money-I’ll look for money anyhow, anywhere. This country has deprived me so much, so, I’m going my own way-I’ll manufacture anything, travel to everywhere, do all kinds of deals, enter every whole as long as I can find my own money there. And so far, I’ve made enough for my family and myself-enough to build me a house with fence so my neighbour won’t have to disturb my peace. Do you think I care about Nigeria anymore? I don’t! To hell with Nigeria!
Tsebor: You cannot cheat me even though you think I have nothing to say. I’m watching you and waiting for my time. You think I’m saying yes to you because I believe in you? You must be joking. As you milk Nigeria, I milk you while I still wait for the time to overthrow you. To tell you the truth, neither you nor Nigeria matters to me-all I care for is my schemes and I’ve made so much from them. Why do you think I’ll starve because of Nigeria? It’s true that it seems like I'm kneeling down before you, but in my heart, I’m standing upright-taller than you. I don’t care, Nigeria is not my business. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria
Iniobong: Do you mean Nigeria? I’m tired but what can a minority like me do? Thank God we have oil and my brother is Ekaette and my uncle, Etiebet. Honestly, I feel like changing my name but I won’t. I will sit and wait, I will sit and watch-Ntiense. So far, the way politics is run in Nigeria gives me money and I will not give it up for anything or anyone. Anybody in the majority is my favoured candidate-that’s how I survive. Nigeria is not my problem right now. Please, leave me alone. Yak mi!
Niger Delta Man: You people speak long grammar. As long as we receive the amnesty fund and I get mine constantly, I do not care if Nigeria is in the skies or in hell. You talk too much; me, I don’t talk too much-my gun talks for me. But if Nigeria gives me the money I ask for from time to time, that would be my only care; otherwise, is Nigeria the name of a person, place or thing? ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria's Niger Delta Region showing Port Harcourt
Boko Haram: Nigeria? We will never take it. It’s either our man or Nigeria will burn; Infidels will never rule us. We are ready for war anytime, anyway. Unless the presidency comes back to the North, we will destroy everything; we will burn churches and mosques, and we will kill anyone we want to kill. In fact, we will make Nigeria ungovernable for this Infidel called Jonathan. We did not vote for him, so he cannot be our president. Even though we hate western education, we will use western weapons to keep on creating panic in Nigeria. We do not care who or what Nigeria is, all we want is our man on that seat-nothing more, nothing less. And when he enters, we can reclaim “our father’s estate.” We do not believe in Nigeria. Shikena.
Commercial Driver/Okada: Why do you look at me this way and ask me about Nigeria as if I’m the one who destroyed it? Go and ask those politicians, those thieves. I drive my “Molue” and I ride my “Okada;" thank God I can still feed my family. And some lucky days, passengers leave things behind. Did you ever think I would take them to the police? They would arrest me and charge me for robbery. God punish this country! Leave me, my bus don full!
Police Woman: Abeg, make I hear word; na grammar I go chop? U no sabi say police woman follow dey rub cream? Roger me now or…Well, Mr. Journalist, as I was saying before this thief interrupted me, I really thank God o. If it’s not this police work, I would still be a prostitute and my father doesn’t like that. I make money here and my fiancé, that Inspector over there, is really sharp-if only you see how he controls the posts (Please don’t tell him I was once a prostitute, he doesn’t know even though we met in a hotel before he helped me into the police force). They call him “business man.” So, together, we make a lot…plus our stupid salary. Politicians don kill us all, wetin again you wan make I talk? Nigeria na good country sha and we want it to remain like this so we could make more money because our wedding is fast approaching. Hei! Stop there, you thief! Park right there and come down, hands up! Whose car is that? If you move, I shoot! Journalist, please don’t mind me, na de way we dey take chop o. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: A policewoman blocks a driver who was reluctant giving them money, while her partner puts pressure on the driver to meet their demands. Eventually the policewoman was knocked down by the unyielding driver, who successfully sped away -
Nigerian Woman: I’m talking to you about “gender inequality” and you are asking me about Nigeria. Do you think that I care one bit? Have you not seen how gender equality campaign is lucrative in the western world? Why can’t a woman do the things a man does and the man do the other-like bearing children? God must be a sexist. Right now, nothing matters to me than fighting men everywhere; they are so proud and arrogant. Who told you that God made men to be the head or are you saying this because you are a man? I see you are a sexist. Please get out of my sight this moment or I’ll tear my cloth, start shouting and accuse you of attempted rape; you know what will happen to you, don’t you? So, don’t spoil my business-this is how I make my money. Men have caused me a lot of havoc so I will make them pay. Who cares about Nigeria? Men spoilt it. Get away from me, wicked sexist!
Armed Robber/Kidnapper: Whether Nigeria is good or bad o, I must chop. You no see, I know how to make my money. Don’t ask me too much, I don’t know if you are a spy. I don’t care who or where Nigeria is; since these leaders have spoilt my life, I will use any means to get what I want, and that includes raping and killing people, if I have to. I have money; can’t you see my gold chain? I’m tired of Nigeria, piss off!
Student/Youth: I like myself, I’m a “runs man” and I make money for myself and my babe. Nigeria is a mistake. How I survive? Well, like I said, there are so many runs here…in this college and this city. I will not explain further, but as you can see, I’m living fine. Nigeria doesn’t give me anything, so don’t ask me that question. I even pay a lot for school and receive only strikes…most times. Right now, I think I don’t want to graduate. There are runs here and I make money, but if I graduate, I don’t know if I will ever find a decent job. Hei, it’s time for our usual class without lecture; nice speaking with you. What’s that your name again?
Religious Leader: Our Lord said we should be as wise as serpent and as gentle as dove. You know, these are the last days and we must not concern ourselves with earthly things. Do you mean my mansions and cars? Oh, God has been good to me. You know, a man who waters must be watered also. When I started I had nothing, but now I have many cars and houses. My children are abroad, studying. God has given me people and I can never lack. Hallelujah! Well, Nigeria belongs to God and he will do with it as he pleases. We should not criticise our leaders because it is not good. I don’t criticise them; in fact, I have many friends among the governors and ministers. I’m even waiting on the Lord to open the door for me to see the president. Meeting with him will boost the awareness of my ministry; it’s good for my congregation since ministry is becoming highly competitive(off the record, please). And don’t forget that “the kingdom of God suffereth violence and the violent taketh it by storm.” (On the record now)God bless you, and thank you for the seed faith.
Internet Fraudster: I know that what I’m doing is not good but what else do you expect me to do? What other choice do I have left in this damned country? Look, I graduated with 2nd class upper five years ago and I’ve not been able to find a reasonable job. They always demand for 3-5 years work experience, but how can I ever get any work experience if they do not allow me to work? That’s why I thank God for this Internet business; now I’m a big boy-maga dey drop steady. God punish anybody who is against 419; u wan make I chop wetin, your head? See, you are here criticizing me while my pastor is always praying and fasting for me to get rich “magas” and pay "God" my tithe. He’s a hustler, my pastor is-no dulling. Naija na my country sha, we go dey shake town. You wan sip beer with me before you waka, eh?
Drug Trafficker: Well, all I can say is that it’s not easy but I make it; God blesses and protects me. All this noise that government makes about drug trafficking is bullcrap. They themselves consume these drugs, let’s face facts here. And even if it were not so, what do they want the youths to do? I can’t be an armed robber, I have no job, and, unfortunately, I’m not a politician; how else shall I make money? Look, those that say my business kills people are lying, my business actually does the opposite. By the way, I make money-a lot of it, and that’s what counts to me. Those drugs law enforcement agencies can go to hell for all I care, they will never catch me. I have men of God praying for me and I have many “Babalawos” monitoring my routes-nothing dey happen. Those people caught trying to enter Malaysia with drugs are small boys in this game-they don’t know levels. And that poor one who died onboard a plane with ingested heroine simply died in his time; everyone must die someday, right? It's sad, but to me, was is a drug hero who died on the warfront. Forget Nigeria. What I’m thinking about now is how to finish my hotel building; I don’t care about Nigeria, it’s too late for that now.
The Poor/Less-Privileged: My brother, I thank God that I’m still alive. If the air we breathe is bought with money, our leaders would not spare any for me and my children. Look at that one-she has been sick for a week and the doctor demands for a deposit of N5000.00 but I don’t have that amount of money. In fact, I’ve not touched such money for a long time and I don’t know where to get it. We have been surviving and I believe that God will “give us this day our daily bread.” As for this child, if she dies, then God has taken away because he is the one who gives. Nigeria caused all these since they closed down the railway business where I used to work, and left me with no benefits. I have no one to speak for me but God will judge them. I will never forgive Nigerian politician, even in my grave! May God bless me o!
Journalist: I love my job but I don’t want to become another Dele Giwa. I support the ruling party, that’s modern journalism. No one wants the truth, so why put yourself in danger trying to reveal it? Sometimes, what they call “bribe” is nothing but “a gift of understanding extended from one friend to another;” that’s how I see it because my friends in politics have really extended these gifts to me a lot. Nobody really wants to hear the truth and, believe me, the truth will tear this country apart in a day. You know, we know so much. Presently, I concern myself much with “fair journalism,” I do not get in anybody’s way. That way, I can make money without making enemies. Forget your definition of Journalism, it doesn’t apply to Nigeria. But, off the record: Nigeria is a mess, and the citizens are living in hell. I know many politicians and the evil they do, how and where they stash our money-I have all the documents to back up my claims. But, thank God, I’m not the Messiah. Even Jesus Christ was killed by the very people he came to save. In fact, on the record, Nigeria is the giant of Africa, and we are moving forward, despite what people may be thinking. It’s been nice speaking with you, comrade.
This is just a sketch of the picture of Nigeria, Nigerians, and the story that goes. No one cares, no one really cares; so, it’s “to your tents, oh Israel!” No one, from the bottom to the rooftop, really cares which way Nigeria goes. Some who would care have no relevance. Underneath every claim of "I don't want to get involved, let them be and let me be" lies an insatiable appetite for greed and selfishness. Not even our experiences and poor history have proven anything to us yet; we have all been blinded by selfishness. Selfishness was what we borrowed from the British but have now refused to send back. Like every living thing, countries have life. But when improperly attended to, decay sets in from the roots below. Nigeria is decaying and everyone says, “It’s not my business.” We should be observant enough to have noticed that, as a country, we are headed for nowhere but the pit of nothingness if status quo remains; and when the country implodes, those outside will not see just buildings on top of others, they would see flies buried alongside corpses. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing its 36 states and capital (Abuja or FCT)
If the traditional rulers claim to know their work, they should have spoken by now. If the religious bodies claim to be the shepherds, they should have had enough of what goes on in the lives of their flock which was a direct result of the filthy political air. If the mothers who know the pains of labour still care, they should have begun proving to men how much helpless and hopeless a world without women would look like by gathering themselves together and saying a big no to the evil leadership of the country. If the students/youths care a bit, they should have organised from school to school, a mass protest against all the wickedness in the government which tell on them so much and so clearly. If the NLC claims to be representing the labour force-all those contributing to the building-up of the nation while few politicians tear every block down- they should have called all their members off every site and office and into the streets and on roads, protesting and demanding a total overhauling of the system-demanding not to get off the streets and roads until and unless their demands are met. If those who call themselves elders, fathers and god-fathers are not of the devil, they should have started calling for a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) because they know that only that could ever address the many faults and failures in Nigeria.
No sane elder sits in the house and watches a goat deliver its young while a rope is still tied on its neck. If those who call themselves lawyers, Esq., lawmakers, and all other beautiful names claim to know what their oath is, who a lawyer is and what their roles are, they should have demanded, from the a to the z, a revisit of the entire constitution; they should have stood out and demanded for a SNC since the core of their duty is to defend to the last the rights of humans and the rights of justice. If the journalists claim to be reporting on the truth, they should have known that the power to change the nation lies with them greatly, and instead of turning themselves into political errand boys on pay-rolls, they should have used the mass knowledge in their reach to expose all evil and bring the needed.
Silence and nonchalant posture will never suffice. A farm left unweeded will spring forth weeds in their varieties. A Sovereign National Conference must be called for and held; the usual copy and paste, cut and paste, and cut and bind renovations going on with the constitutions will not suffice either. An open audition must be carried out on Nigeria, and fast. Until this seed of selfishness which has grown into a forest of deadness is uprooted, Nigeria will experience an implosion like never recorded in history. To every Nigerian: Selfishness is smallness in its smallest measure. Instead of thinking and acting selfishly, let’s broaden our concerns to consciously accommodate Nigeria and what becomes of it. Instead of lying down, as satisfied or helpless as a snake that has just swallowed another, let’s remember our true posterity. Whenever God came to help His people, it usually was because He "heard the cries" of His people. Silence in the midst of evil indicts even the righteous; that's why, in the Bible days, God's punishment usually fell on an entire country because no one cared what happened-not even the priests. No house built on selfishness will stand the test of time, let alone shelter your generations unborn.
No ill-gotten wealth will grant you the satisfaction and security every soul comes to earth yearning for. Until tougher stance in favour of positive economic and political change becomes convincing and deeper, the rich and powerful in Nigeria will be driven by the wheel of their silence and selfishness into becoming the Mubaraks, Gaddafis, and Assads of Nigeria; and unless the cries of the poor, downtrodden, deprived, falsely accused, maltreated, and marginalized in Nigeria become louder until they overflow the banks of the Nigerian map and into the international sphere, many, as Libyans, will run from Libya into Tunisia, and many from Syria, into Turkey. How is the life of a refugee better than your rights as citizen of a true country, tell me? Obviously, everyone has a stake. So, get up today form wherever you are and speak to the government. Ask for a Sovereign National Conference. Ask for the rights of your children. Ask for it now, and make your voice count for this change!
Ikechukwu Enyiagu can be reached at
*Tags: Nigerians, None, Business, Africa, Masterweb
*Governor Obi Says Africa Has Lots of Potential
By Valentine Obienyem
Governor Peter Obi says Africa has the potentials to drive the future global economy. Governor Obi was speaking in a dinner organized for a delegation of Anambra State Associations in the United States of America who are on Integrated Mission in the State. He noted that Africa has abundant untapped resources locked up in various parts of the continent that will provide solution to future global challenges.
Governor Obi said that through multi-sectoral development strategy the state was on course to achieve the MDGs as it was using effective data bank to pursue programmes that impacted directly on the lives of the people which had been attested to by International Donor Agencies and Development partners.
He recalled that his administration is the first government to initiate and sustain collaboration with all associations of the State across the world as part measures to encourage them to contribute in the collective efforts to rebuild the state.
The President of the Association, Dr. Allison Anadi expressed satisfaction that through the collaboration with the State Government, they have successfully achieved an integrated mission that include medical, Education, women and children, youth empowerment, research and development as well as Economic empowerment and disclosed that on twenty-fifth of this month, they will embark on tour of projects executed by the present administration as a follow up to similar tour they conducted in 2009 during which they visited one hundred and seventeen projects completed by Governor Obi’s government. ( Continues below..... )
Dr. Anadi assured that the Association will sustain its partnership with the State government to elevate the State to a pride of place, noting that no administration has given such a support to any mission in any state.
A member of the mission and Dentist from Haiti Dr. Daniel Duroseau said he attended to two hundred and eighty one patients during the exercise and thanked the Association for giving him the opportunity to be part of the success story of the State. Dr. Duroseau assured that he was ready to participate in the next mission and would equally attract other volunteers.
Another member of the Association Chief Tony Idigo said unlike past administrations, Governor Obi had extended massive infrastructural development to all parts of the State including the rural areas, not that his achievements would remain a challenge to future governments.
Obienyem wrote this piece from Awka, Anambra State.
*Tags: Nigerians, Governor, Peter, Obi, Putential, Africa, Masterweb
*Everything Must Change
By Ikechukwu Enyiagu
Everything must change, nothing will be left out. From the centre of the earth to the four corners of life, change is the wind. Everyone must experience the change, no one will be exempted. The ongoing global change is not directly manmade and cannot be avoided; it’s a wave that must sweep through and through for the next season of history. Man abhors the spirit of change, yet refuses to change by himself. But change is one of the roots of life and living-change must. Change is a beautiful thing, but as water in its importance and benefits, it can be a very deadly wave when decisions oppose the flow of its current. Change must! Change will. Change is. Change did not begin with the much blazing and blasting “Arab Spring” nor did it end with black slavery; change evolved with time and lived in times. The Mayan calendar will not stop the clock of time, nor will the revealing of the antichrist become eternity for all-the end of change is at the foot of Christ. It’s a phase which ushers in a dawn; change is the other page of life and history…at intervals. The power of change is the breaking of the dawn in societies, but the destruction of empires and kingdoms is the result of unyielding opposition to change-it destroys everything in its path. That’s why men should embrace change with open alms, optimism and all positiveness. The beauty of change is all around us: in science, technology, in man’s deepened hunger and pursuit for truth, for freedom; for God, and in the choices of personal decisions over fate-choices brought into play by every dot in the many human rights codes. Change is always beautiful; howbeit, it produces on mankind the very results which truth is known for, only this time, quicker. Truths may be reserved for the seventh seal, but change bulldozes its way. The angle from which man views change determines how he responds to it. The path which leads man from the cradle to the grave and glory is paved with the colour of change. Many roads lead to the intermittent stops of change but man chooses which to take. ( Continues below….. )
From the Arab world through Europe and all of Africa the cries of change are heard. The earth cries for change and the inhabitants echo her wishes. Every society or state ruled by men accepts change when it comes, but when demons sit on kingdoms and governments, they do not end up destroying themselves alone but, like the devil of old, draw down with them many stars set in glory to shine forth in every sphere for all-round illumination. When it comes to Nigeria, change takes greater hold as it stands; everyone, every area cries, knowingly and not, for change-a quick one. And change in Nigeria must. It’s not only pertinent for the Nigerian government and everyone in positions to either accept or oppose change to consider, and fast, how to react to the unavoidable change which is fast becoming the cloudy sky, what is decided in the long run of this no-time will become the history of all times, and therefore should be made decisively and promptly. Nigeria needs a greater change-from its foundation blocks, through its claims for reasons to remain as one, to the overwhelming and ever-growing dissimilarities. The political structures in Nigeria need change and change must come in, whether invited or not. Israel and Britain, two nations with high regard for human rights and democracy, still undergo the present needed changes; why would anyone ever think that Nigeria is not the more in need of these changes than anything else, and anyone else? Change is coming to Nigeria and sweeping through everything that situates within this name. Individuals must change for a changed nation to be birthed. Change is newness and everything will experience it. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing its 36 states and capital (Abuja or FCT)
It’s time for Nigerian leaders-all of them-to start responding to the change which is already too close for comfort. Considering the global happenings, it would be the wisest choice, and in earnest, the only way out for Nigeria if its leaders call for a Sovereign National Conference without further delay. Change is a friend, and as water, is essential to life. But to the Assads and Gaddafis of Nigeria, and to any leader in Nigeria who preaches that the highly corrupt, wicked and ousted Mubarak of Egypt be freed from his many atrocious and stubborn stance against change and, instead, be crowned with gold: the water which lifted and saved Noah with his family will drown them that feed on selfishness, wickedness, bigotry and rebellion against the God of all flesh. Who are you consider yourself able to rise and stand against the tide of God’s timing? It is change or change-either way, change must prevail. And when resisted for long, will become gully erosion in the living room of the obstinate.
Ikechukwu Enyiagu can be reached at
*Tags: Nigerians, Everything, Must, Change, Slavery, Africa, Masterweb
By His Excellency Gov. Peter Obi
My Dear Ndi Anambra,
Today our workers who had been on strike for five working days and those who had been on strike for a much longer time – the Judiciary and health workers – have resumed work. Let me therefore start by thanking the workers and labour unions for listening to the voice of reason at last. Let me also thank the Anambra State Elders Advisory Council, the Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council and Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASATU), as well as other organizations and individuals who contributed to the resolution of the labour crisis.
Above all, let us thank God for His infinite mercy and for allowing us all to listen to the voice of reason.
From the onset of these strikes, I have maintained that we have no compelling reason to take such an action either in the past, today or in the future. I say this with the greatest sense of responsibility, bearing in mind that we have from the inception of this Government, demonstrated commitment to the welfare of workers as evident from our resolve to constantly upgrade their conditions of service. It is on record that we were among the first batch of States in the country that expressed readiness to obey the Minimum Wage Act that stipulates N18, 000 as the minimum wage.
Since the creation of Anambra State, this Government has done more than all the past Governments put-together towards the upliftment of the State in all sectors of development, including the welfare of workers. I challenge anybody to prove the contrary.
Under the present Government, and for the first time since the State was created:
(a) Salaries of civil servants have been increased five times and have been paid consistently.
(b) Workers are sponsored to various workshops and trainings, both within and outside the country.
(c ) 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.
(d) 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.
(e) 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.
(f) Official vehicles/furniture allowances were provided for Permanent Secretaries and buses for all the Ministries and extra ministerial departments.
(g) 16-month arrears of the state share of pensions inherited from previous administrations to the tune of about 1 billion naira have been settled.
(h) The liquidation of arrears of Federal share of pensions owed State Pensioners has commenced.
(i) 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.
(j) Arrears of Course allowances accumulated between 1997 and 2006 have been settled.
(k) 23-month arrears of Call Duty allowances owed Medical/Dental practitioners from January 2001 to March 2002 have been liquidated.
(l) The first and second phases of the State Secretariat have been completed and put into use with necessary amenities.
(m) Salaries of State Counsels and those of Magistrates have been harmonized.
(n) Public Service Lecture Series aimed at improving the quality of public officers through strategic exposure to knowledge have been initiated and sustained.
(o) A 1,000 KVA generating set for the new Secretariat Complex was purchased.
(p) Over 3000 staff has been employed in the Civil Service by this Government.
(q) 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.
is clear that neither planning nor policy is our problem, but lack of selfless service and commitment to a better Anambra State. It is also unfortunate that some politicians who lost at the polls and who had in the past led visionless and missionless Governments are bent on destroying our vision and mission for a better Anambra State. When they had the opportunity to serve, they dragged the State into anarchy, state of war and pedestrian politics. Today, they are on the prowl, trying desperately to destroy the enviable achievements of the present Government, which have made us a reference point in the area of good governance and international best practices, and therefore an example for others to emulate.
At this juncture, it is pertinent to mention a few of those examples that distinguish the present Anambra State from the one we used to know:
1. the European Union has adjudged us the best in the recently concluded 9th Edition of its programme (9th EDF), which has earned us additional 4 Billion Naira support;
2. we recently received close to 1 Million Dollars for our exceptional performance in UNICEF programme;
3. we received the highest grant under the Millennium Development Goals- Conditional Grant Scheme;
4. we are receiving support from the World Bank for improvement in Health, Education, Community Development, Good Governance and recently in Control of Erosion;
5. we have attracted a Fortune 500 company which is investing 120 Million Dollars in the State in building their facility that will employ 1,200 people as well as attract other companies;
6. and many more.
At the presentation of my first actual budget to the State in 2008, I maintained that this State must live within its means and that everyone should make necessary sacrifices and ensure that we do not bequeath debt to our children. On my own part, I have drastically reduced the cost of governance, including receiving one of the lowest personal emoluments and allowances for myself and members of my cabinet among the states in Nigeria. Consequently, what I have offered to workers based on the new Minimum Wage Act is what will not lead the State into debts nor jeopardize both their pension and gratuity.
It is time we stopped this reckless and irresponsible politics and embrace a committed vision to building a better Anambra State.
I wish to take this opportunity to also plead with our wealthy citizens to give up on conspicuous consumption and help their communities instead. I also plead with them to endeavour to pay their taxes accordingly.
Finally my dear Ndi Anambra, the good news is that with the vision and mission we have today, we are on course towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals by the year 2015. The major infrastructural development going on in our State will continue, while new ones particularly in road construction will commence immediately after the rains.
Thank you and may God Bless you all.
Photo Above: His Excellency Governor Peter Obi
RELATED ARTICLE => Nigeria: Peter Obi Holds Post-Election Press Conference
*Tags: Nigerians, Anambra, Woekers, Strike, Broadcast, Governor, Peter, Obi, Abuja, Africa, Masterweb
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