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08/04/11

Permalink 05:05:00 pm, by admin Email , 530 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News

*Nigeria: Intersociety Seeks Police Commission Sanctions

Our Ref:Intersociety/Vol.02/08/11/PSC/ABJ/NG

Chairman, Nigeria Police Service Commission
The PSC Headquarters
Federal Secretariat Complex
Shehu Shagari Way
FCT, Abuja, Nigeria

Dear Sir,

Detention Without Trial & Clamp Down On Key Personnel Of The Nigeria Traffic Wardens: Intersociety Seeks Sanctions Against The DIGs In-Charge Of Administration & Operations Departments/CP Provost

Above subject matter refers.

We hereby attach two copies of our letters to the Inspector General of Police, dated July 26, 2011 and referenced: Intersociety/Vol.01/07/11/IGP/F/HQRS/ABJ/NG, and another addressed to the President & Commander-in-Chief, Federal Republic of Nigeria, dated August 2, 2011 and referenced: Intersociety/Vol.02/08/11/C-in-C/Presidency/FRN

1. The attached letters are for Your Commission’s perusal and urgent action

2. Section 6 of the Nigeria Police Service Commission (Establishment) Act N0. 15 of 2001, charged Your Commission with the responsibility of: 1. Appointing and promoting all officers of the Nigeria Police Force other than the Inspector General of Police. 2. Dismissing and exercising disciplinary control over the same persons other than the IGP.

3. In the light of the above as well as the contents of the two letters so quoted, Your Commission is called upon to investigate the roles of the trio of the DIG Administration, Mr. Azubukor Udah, the DIG Operations, Mr. Audu Abubakar and the CP Provost, Mrs. Sherifat Disu, in the current travails of key personnel of the Nigeria Traffic Warden’s Service, especially the ongoing clamp down on them, their solitary confinement and detention without trial.

4. It is our reasonable suspicion that the trio of top Police Commanders individually and collectively acted beyond their constitutional limits, which amount to gross misconduct or grievous violation of the provisions of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999, as amended.

5. Consequently, they should be sanctioned, which would include loss of ranks and portfolios.

6. Efforts should be made by relevant authorities including Your Commission to end all the discriminatory practices against the entire personnel of the Nigeria Traffic Warden’s Service including discrimination in ranking.

We hope that this letter shall be given diligent and expeditious attention.

For: Intersociety, Nigeria

Emeka Umeagbalasi
Chairman, Board of Trustees
Phone: +234(0) 8033601078
Email: botchairman@intersociety-ng.org
www.intersociety-ng.org

Comrade Justus Ijeoma
Head, Publicity Desk
Phone: +234(0) 8037114869

Amaka Biachi Nwosu
Head, Research & Strategy
Phone: +234 (0) 8035532707

CC::
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, Governing Council, National Human Rights Commission, FCT, Abuja
7. The Head, European Union Mission in Nigeria, FCT, Abuja
8. The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, FCT, Abuja
9. The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, FCT, Abuja
10. The Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, FCT, Abuja
11. The Secretary General of the United Nations, New York, USA
12. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva, Switzerland
13. The Secretary General of the Commonwealth, London, UK
14. Chairperson, African Commission on Human & Peoples’ Rights, Banjul, The Gambia
15. Secretary General of Amnesty International, London, UK
16. The Executive Director, Human Rights Watch, New York, USA
17. Other Relevant Bodies Within & Outside Nigeria

Emeka Umeagbalasi

Photo Above: Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Intersociety, 41, Miss Elems Street, Fegge, Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria.

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Permalink 11:42:00 am, by admin Email , 2414 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, World News

*Intersociety Writes Jonathan, Demands Removal Of Nigeria Police IG

Our Ref:Intersociety/Vol.02/08/11/C-in-C/Presidency/FRN

Dr. Goodluck Jonathan
Chairman, Nigeria Police Council &
President & Commander-in-Chief
Federal Republic of Nigeria
The Presidency, Presidential Villa
Three-Arms-Zone, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria

Your Excellency,

Detention Without Trial, Solitary Confinement & Age-Long Discriminatory Practices Against The Personnel Of Nigeria Traffic Warden’s Service: A Case For The Removal Of The Inspector General Of Police

Above subject matter refers.

It is our information Your Excellency that on 26th day of July 2011, we dispatched a letter of facts and law to the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Hafiz A. Ringim, through the DIG in-charge of “B” or Operations Department at the Force Headquarters, Mr. Audu Abubakar. We also availed the IGP an advanced copy of the letter because of its urgency. The receipt of the letters has since been confirmed. The letter bordered on the age-long discriminatory practices against the personnel of the Nigeria Traffic Warden’s Service as well as indiscriminate arrest and detention without trial of their key personnel. A copy of the said letter, referenced: Intersociety/Vol.01/07/11/IGP/F/HQRS/ABJ/NG, dated 26th day of July 2011, is again attached for Your Excellency’s perusal and necessary action.

In addition to the contents of the said letter, it is our further information that on the 2nd day of July 2011, the following funeral oration was read at the funeral ceremony of the Late Assistant Superintendent of Traffic, Nongor Nangtim in Lantang, Plateau State : “With deep feelings in our hearts we sincerely sympathized with the family of … our colleague, Late AST Nongor 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 Nongor 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” .

It is important to inform Your Excellency that apart from the fact that the funeral oration was prepared by a pro-Traffic Warden’s Service welfare outfit, Vanguard for the Actualization of the Traffic Warden’s Welfare of N0. 4, Omotashe Compound, Off Lawanson Road, Itire, Surulere, Lagos State, it was signed at the venue of the funeral ceremony by some Traffic Wardens that graced the occasion, on the insistence of some journalists who covered the event, for it to be publishable. The allotment of “Chairman” and “National Secretary” as well as or “Traffic Warden’s National Welfare Committee”, was the sole making of the leadership of the Vanguard for the Actualization of the Traffic Warden’s Welfare.

On the other hand, the agitation for the better welfare of the Nigeria Traffic Warden’s Service or its autonomy, was brought about by the verdict of the Court of Appeal, Kaduna Division in the Year 2000, in Suit N0: CA/K/112/99 (Inspector Sunday Etim & 4 ors v. Inspector General of Police & 2 ors) . In the said verdict, the Appellate Court, among other things, answered the prayers of the Nigeria Police Force to the effect that “the Nigeria Traffic Warden’s Service is not part and parcel of the Nigeria Police Force”. The Court was invited to determine whether the former was part and parcel of the Nigeria Police Force, a position canvassed by the Traffic Warden’s Service and why the same body was not part and parcel of the Nigeria Police Force, a position maintained by the then leadership of the Nigeria Police Force. The crux of the litigation, originally commenced at the Federal High Court in Kaduna in late 1990s, was the denial of statutory welfare and allied ill-treatments.

Abominably, Your Excellency, the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters led by IGP hafiz Ringim, has apparently become an outlaw. Since 8th and 11th July 2011, respectively, the duo of STWs (Inspectors) Adamu Dogara and Emmanuel Mlanga of Kano and Plateau States’ Commands have been languishing in police cells located in Wuse and Asokoro Police Divisional Commands, on the orders of the Inspector General of Police. By our express calculations, they have been detained for 25 and 22 days respectively without any form of trial, be it “orderly room”, “committal proceedings” or formal trials. The worst is their solitary confinement and erosion of their pre-trial legal rights, as access to their families, lawyers, doctors, conjugal visit rights, etc, have apparently been blocked, no thanks to the “orders from above” under IGP Ringim’s midwifery.

The clamp down on key personnel of the Service is continuing. On Thursday, July 28, 2011, STW Emmanuel Mlanga was moved to an undisclosed location in Lagos State where the Nigeria Police Force arrested AST Sunday Haruna and taken them to the Force Headquarters. While AST Haruna was ordered to make a statement, after which he was directed to be reporting to the Force Headquarters from his Lagos base, STW Emmanuel Mlanga was taken back to his detention cell on the same day. On the same date (July 28, 2011) Traffic Warder Grade 111 (Constable) David Oyishoma of the Bwari Division in the FCT, Abuja, was arrested and detained at the Wuse Police Divisional cell, alongside STW Adamu Dogara. On Wednesday, July 27, 2011, the signals for the arrest of STW Samuel Uwakwe of the Cross River State Command were sent to the Command from the Force Headquarters. STW Uwakwe, who is presently on annual leave had reportedly fallen sick and presently in an undisclosed hospital bed in Southeast Nigeria. He had earlier been penciled down and included in the “wanted list” of the Force Headquarters.

On Thursday, July 28, 2011 calls and text messages were made on, and sent to the cell phone numbers of the Inspector General of Police (Mr. Hafiz A. Ringim) (+234 (0) 8033225349) and the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP (Deputy Commissioner of Police) Shola Amore (+234(0) 8037391280) by some journalists working on our letter to the IGP Hafiz Ringim, so as to get the Police angle in the matter. While Mr. Hafiz had this to say in his reply via text message, “if u a fair as required by the ethics of ur profession why don’t u ask the investigators, the Fppro or the person that ordered their detention. Why do u always enjoying vilifying Mr. Ringim(?)”, the Force Public Relations Officer told the journalist-inquirer that “the matter is purely an internal affair of the Nigeria Police Force that is bordered on indiscipline, which is not for public consumption”. True to his words, efforts were effected, reportedly, by his office to stop the publication of the story in leading national dailies, with a view to killing the message and possibly the messenger.

The present travails of the personnel of the Nigeria Traffic Warden’s Service, which snowballed into clamp down and detention without trial of its key personnel, is believed to be collectively coordinated by IGP, Mr. Hafiz A. Ringim, DIG in-charge of Administration, Mr. Azubukor Udah, DIG in-charge of Operations, Mr. Audu Abubakar and Commissioner of Police in-charge of Provost Department, Mrs. Sherifat Disu. The charges slammed on the Citizen-Warders, which are unknown to our criminal laws are “discredible conducts” “betrayal of trust” and “betrayal of confidence” . The most abominable part of it all is over 600 hours detention of these Citizen-Warders, in a democratic setting, without trial, and the IGP’s total approval of such abominable act. Even when his (IGP) attention was formally brought to it via our letter and the Press, he apparently chose to remain lawless. Even when the wife of the Late AST Nongor Dangtim and her children went to plead with the IGP for the release of the detained Citizen-Warders, she and her children were reportedly chased back, reportedly on the order of the IGP.

We have thoroughly searched the 320 Sections of the 1999 Constitution and her Schedules as well as her subordinate legislations, especially their criminal part, so as to locate where, under this democratic setting, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Hafiz Ringim, either through himself or subordinates, derive powers to detain citizens beyond 48 hours, not to talk of over 600 hours or 25 days, without trial, not even by “committal proceedings” or “orderly room trial”, but we could not locate such powers.

If the four cops accused recently of involvement in armed robbery could promptly be arraigned in Court, how come the “discredible conducts”, “betrayal of trust” and “betrayal of confidence” suspects are detained without trial? Even if they are slammed with “treason” and “treasonable felony” charges, the law still accords them trial rights. It may be correct to say that the IGP and the top commanders concerned have arrogated themselves the status of the “Commander-in-Chief” by their constitutionally abominable conducts. Having so arrogated themselves, the “emergency powers” of the “Commander-in-Chief”, contained in Section 305 of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999, as amended, under which, the constitutional safeguards and legal rights of the citizens including those of AST Sunday Haruna, STWs Samuel Uwakwe, Adamu Dogara and Emmanuel Mlanga as well as TWGD 111 David Oyishoma, may be limited under a State of Emergency rule, appear as if they have been taken over by the trio from the “C-in-C”. It also looks as if the personnel of the Nigeria Traffic Warden’s Service are under an emergency ruler-ship of the IGP.

Consequently, our writing Your Excellency is in recognition of powers conferred on Your Excellency by the Constitution of Nigeria 1999, as amended, as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigeria Armed Forces including the Nigeria Police Force, and the Chairman, Nigeria Police Council. Sections 215 (1)(a) and 216(2) of the Constitution empower Your Excellency to appoint and remove, in consultation with the Nigeria Police Council, the Inspector General of Police. As the President, Your Excellency is the general-overseer of all authorities and persons in Nigeria including the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force headed by IGP Hafiz A. Ringim. And as the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigeria Armed Forces including the Nigeria Police Force, Your Excellency commands respect, loyalty and obedience among officers and members of the Nigeria Armed Forces including IGP Hafiz A. Ringim.

It is in the light of the foregoing that we call upon Your Excellency to query and remove IGP Hafiz Ringim for gross misconduct. Section 15(5) of the Constitution, under Fundamental Objectives & Directive Principles of State Policy, outlaws “all forms of corrupt practices and abuse of office” . The Constitution also defines “gross misconduct” as a grave violation or breach of the provisions of the Constitution. By detaining the duo of Emmanuel Mlanga and Adamu Dogara for over 600 hours and 528 hours (25&22 days) respectively, without trial, the Inspector General of Police has gravely violated Section 35 (4) of the Constitution, which is also justiceable. He also violated, gravely, Section 36(8) of the Constitution by detaining the Citizen-Warders over “criminal” offences not known to our Constitution and criminal laws. This may be a clear case of “trial by ordeal”, which is repugnant to equity and good conscience. This anti-democratic attitude of Mr. Rigim makes him unfit as the Inspector General of Police in a democratic Nigeria. Democracy in the world over goes with civilianization of the Police, but sadly, that of Nigeria under Mr. Hafiz A. Ringim’s IGPship is highly intolerant, brutish and militarized.

We wonder with which face will Your Excellency be facing the likes of David Cameroon of UK, Barak Obama of USA, Angela Markel of Germany, Prof. John Attah Mills of Ghana, Mr. Ian Khama of Botswana, Mr. Jaykaya Chikwete of Tanzania, etc whenever democracy and human rights are discussed in the comity of civilized and democratic nations. This shameful attitude of the IGP and his “boys” are also capable of eroding the Nigeria’s chances of becoming a permanent member of the UN Security Council. If an IG of Police can supervise the detention without trial, solitary confinement and rabid clamp down on innocent Service Personnel, what becomes of his sub-commanders? This is a clear case of “kill the messenger and the message and a height of abuse of public office”.

Therefore, apart from immediate removal of IGP Hafiz Ringim, Your Excellency should also order for the immediate and unconditional release of those Citizen-Warders in detention and halting of further clamp down on other key personnel of the Service. Also, all the age-long discriminatory practices against the personnel of Nigeria Traffic Warden’s Service as well as their poor conditions of service including stagnated promotions and restrictive ranking should be proactively and holistically looked into with a view to addressing them head on. Further threats to the personal liberty, dignity of human person and freedom of movement of other Traffic Service personnel such as STW Samuel Uwakwe, AST Sunday Haruna, etc who are still wanted or asked to be frequenting Force Headquarters on daily basis should be discontinued immediately.

It is our solemn hope that Your Excellency would promptly and diligently consider this letter.

For: Intersociety, Nigeria

Emeka Umeagbalasi
Chairman, Board of Trustees
Phone: +234(0) 8033601078
Email: botchairman@intersociety-ng.org
www.intersociety-ng.org

Comrade Justus Ijeoma
Head, Publicity Desk
Phone: +234(0) 8037114869

Amaka Biachi Nwosu
Head, Research & Strategy
Phone: +234 (0) 8035532707

CC::
1. The Senate President, FCT, Abuja
2. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs, FCT, Abuja
3. Speaker, House of Reps, FCT, Abuja
4. The Chairman, House Committee on Police Affairs, FCT, Abuja
5. Chairman, Police Service Commission, FCT, Abuja
6. Chairman, Governing Council, National Human Rights Commission, FCT, Abuja
7. The Head, European Union Mission in Nigeria, FCT, Abuja
8. The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, FCT, Abuja
9. The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, FCT, Abuja
10. The Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, FCT, Abuja
11. The Secretary General of the United Nations, New York, USA
12. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva, Switzerland
13. The Secretary General of the Commonwealth, London, UK
14. Chairperson, African Commission on Human & Peoples’ Rights, Banjul, The Gambia
15. Secretary General of Amnesty International, London, UK
16. The Executive Director, Human Rights Watch, New York, USA
17. Other Relevant Bodies Within & Outside Nigeria

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

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08/03/11

Permalink 11:00:00 am, by admin Email , 2974 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, World News

*Nigeria: Intersociety Seeks Immediate Release Of Traffic Wardens

Our Ref:Intersociety/Vol.01/07/11/IGP/F/HQRS/ABJ/NG

Inspector General of Police, Mr. Hafiz A. Ringim
Thro
Deputy Inspector General, in-charge of “B” Department (Operations), Mr. Audu Abubakar
Office of the DIG, “B” Department
Force Headquarters, Sir Louis Edet House
Shehu Shagari Way
FCT, Abuja, Nigeria

Dear Sir,

Alleged Arbitrary Detention And Discriminatory Practices: Intersociety Seeks For Immediate Release Of STWs (Inspectors) Adamu Dogara And Emmanuel Mlanga And Abolition Of All Discriminatory Practices Against The Personnel Of The Nigerian Traffic Warden’s Service

About Intersociety:

(Onitsha-Nigeria, July 26, 2011)-International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law is a registered Southeast-Nigeria based international organization that focuses on preservation and protection of the citizens’ liberties and the rule of law as well as enthronement of political, social and economic accountability in government, under a credible democratic setting.

Subject Matter:

It is our information that in August 1975, the Brigadier Murtala Mohammed (as he then was) led Federal Military Government, enacted Decree N0. 21 of 1975, otherwise referred to as the “Traffic Warden’s Service Decree of 1975”. The Decree was intended to establish a quasi-military body to control the rising incidence of traffic offenses across the country. The said Decree was also meant to complement the allied provisions in the Nigeria Police Act of 1930, as amended, such as Nigeria Police Motor Traffic Control Division.

Consequently, the Decree made the Nigerian Traffic Warden’s Service a part of the Nigeria Police Force and empowered the Inspector General of Police to “recruit or appoint, confirm such appointment, promote, transfer, dismiss or exercise any disciplinary control over any traffic warden in Nigeria”(see section 2(1) of the Decree). Section 4 of the Decree accorded every traffic warden the “powers, privileges and immunities of a police officer under any law relating to the road traffic in Nigeria”. Section 6 of the Decree created four categories of ranking for the personnel of the Traffic Warden’s Service and they 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), and 4. Senior Traffic Warden (equivalent to Police Inspector).

It was also provided in the Decree that the personnel of the Traffic Warden’s Service should be guided by the Nigeria Police Regulations of 1968, as amended, in matters of discipline. The mode of recruitment of the Traffic personnel as provided in the Decree is almost the same with that of the Nigeria Police Force. The recruits of the Traffic Service receive the same induction training or course with Police recruits at the Nigerian Police Colleges, though with three months difference. Qualification requirements are also the same. Presently, “the Traffic Warden Service” is grouped under “B” or Operations’ Department in the Force Headquarters, headed by a Deputy Inspector General of Police. When the basic requirement of the First School Leaving Certificate for police recruits was replaced in 1981 with the West African School Certificate, the requirement was expressly extended to the Traffic Warden’s Service.

Unfortunately, the deficiencies inherent in the now socially harmful Decree such as the restricted Four-Grade ranking had been used and are still used against the personnel of the Nigeria Traffic Warden’s Service by successive Police Inspectors- General including your incumbent leadership. The above discriminatory practices were reportedly compounded by the Year 2000 Appellate Court verdict (Court of Appeal, Kaduna Division), which reportedly declared the Traffic Warden’s Service a “ separate body from the Nigeria Police Force”, on the strength of the Police claims before the Court. The matter started at the Federal High Court, Kaduna Division, at the instance of some members of the Traffic Warden’s Service, over alleged denial of their welfare and poor conditions of service by the Inspector General of Police. The Suit reportedly resulted to the liquidation of arrears owed them over the years and commencement of the statutory payment of their entitlements, which are equivalent of those of Police Constables to Police Inspectors.

However, the verdict in Suit Number: CA/K/112/99(Inspector Sunday Etim & 4 ors v. Inspector General of Police & 2 ors), did not resolve the issue of limited and discriminatory ranking as well as the age-long stigmatization of the Traffic Warden’s Service Personnel by the officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force. These resulted to advocacy activities by some activist members of the Traffic Warden’s Service for autonomy from the Nigeria Police Force. In 2002, as a result of the presidential intervention by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the then Inspector General of Police, Mr. Tafa Balogun, introduced three more ranks into the cadre of the Nigeria Traffic Warden’s Service in the form of “Assistant Superintendent of Traffic or AST (one star unconfirmed), Assistant Superintendent of Traffic or AST (two stars confirmed) and Deputy Superintendent of Traffic or DST (three stars). As noble as this step was, the infamous Decree N0. 21 of 1975, which limited the maximum ranking to “Senior Traffic Officer or Warden”, equivalent of Police Inspector was left un-repealed or un-modified.

Generally speaking, members of the Traffic Warden’s Service of the Nigeria Police Force, with present numerical strength of about 8,500 are discriminated against, especially in the areas of ranking and allotment of portfolios. For instance, while all departments in the Nigeria Police Force, such as Police Mobile Force, Airport Police, Railway Police, Ports Authority Police, Police Animals Division, Marine Police, Force Armament, Police Highway Patrols, Police Central Motor Registry/Motor Traffic Control Division, etc are headed by Commissioners of Police or Officers-in-Charge, none exists for the Traffic Warden’s Service. The worse is that a DST (Deputy Superintendent of Traffic) is said to be inferior and answerable to a Police Assistant Superintendent or Inspector and a Senior Traffic Officer or Warden (equivalent of Police Inspector) is inferior and answerable to a Police Sergeant or Corporal.

Wearing “Police belt” or identification as “Police Officer” (by Traffic Wardens) is reportedly frowned at in the Police Community and considered a “gross misconduct”. Uncouth “labeling” also exists in the Nigeria Police Force, whereby the Traffic Personnel are labeled “women,” “civilians”, “lazy people”, etc. The post of DTOs or Divisional Traffic Officers in various Police Divisional Commands or Stations is practically controlled by general duties Police Officers, whereas they are supposed to be manned by personnel of the Traffic Warden Service.

These discriminatory practices also appeared to have received official backing of the Force top hierarchy. In 2008, for instance, Your Public Office reportedly ordered for the recruitment of 100 would-be Traffic Wardens from each State of the Federation. While the exercise was reportedly greeted with gross disenchantment owing to the said age-long discriminatory practices, which scared prospective applicants away, that of Sokoto State was reportedly disturbing. Her slot was reportedly filled by people outside the State and on getting the wind of it, about 85 of them were reportedly summoned to the Force Headquarters in Abuja, where their new badges and uniforms were reportedly torn to shreds publicly, without recourse to the right to dignity of their person. Female new entrants were reportedly not spared.

As if the above reported damning official conducts were not enough, on 1st February 2011, Your Public Office, through the DIG, “E” Department, issued a written notice to all Police Formations in the country, titled: RE-2010 Departmental Selection Board Inspector To ASP 11 Promotion Course 11/2011. The Course, which reportedly had two sequences of examination, included members of the Traffic Warden’s Service. But in the middle of the second sequential examination, having taken the first examination, the participating Traffic Warden’s Service members were stood up in the examination halls and chased out under the guise of “order from above” . On 18th day of July 2011, all the Traffic Warden’s Service personnel serving in various Police Formations across the country were summoned to States Command Headquarters by the Commissioners of Police in-charge, at the instance of Your Public Office and reportedly directed to be ready to revert to their “statutory maximum ranking” (Senior Traffic Officer or Police Inspector), provided in the infamous Decree N0. 21 of 1975.

They were reportedly told that “Mr. Tafa Balogun acted ultra vires” by creating the three ranks without recourse to the obnoxious Decree N0.21 of 1975. They were also reportedly threatened with “grievous punitive measures”, should they form “an open union” or engage in “open agitation”. They were reportedly advised to seek for the amendment of the Decree through the National Assembly. In Civil Service parlance, the maximum level to be attained by a member of the Nigeria Traffic Warden’s Service is “Grade Level Six”. Apart from limited or stunted promotion ceiling, promotion exercises in the Service hardly come by, as there are rampant cases of ten, twenty and even thirty years promotion stagnancy in the Service. This is clearly a modern day slavery and servitude, seemingly aided by Your Public Office.

Continued Detention of STWs (Inspectors) Adamu Dogara & Emmanuel Mlanga:

On 1st day of July 2011, STWs Adamu Dogara, Emmanuel Mlanga and Samuel Uwakwe attended the funeral of their colleague, AST Nangor Dangtim at Yashi in Langtang LGA of Plateau State, where they read a funeral oration and seized the opportunity to call for an end to the age-long discriminatory practices by the Nigeria Police Force against the Nigeria Traffic Warden’s Service. As a result, the representative of Your Public Office, Superintendent of Police Shinkut, from the Force Provost Office, demanded for a copy of the oration as well as the names of the three Traffic Wardens that jointly signed the oration. The dead colleague of the trio was killed in the bomb blasts that hit the Force Headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria on 16th day of June 2011.

The duo of Adamu Dogara and Emmanuel Mlanga were asked to report to the Force Headquarters by Your Public Office, through the Commissioner of Police in-charge of Provost, Mrs. Sherifat Disu. They reported on 8th and 11th day of July 2011 respectively, after which they were accused of “discredible conducts and betrayal of trust”(said to be lack of discipline and exposing official secrets in police parlance) and clamped into detention. From the CP Provost, they reportedly passed through the office of the DIG, “A” Department (Mr. Azubukor Udah), from where they were moved to Wuse and Asokoro Police Divisional Commands respectively, where they are detained till date. STW Adamu Dogara is held at the Wuse Police Divisional Command and STW Emmanuel Mlanga is detained at the Asokoro Police Divisional Command. The third “accused” officer, STW Samuel Uwakwe is still in the “wanted list”.

Information reaching us from the Force Headquarters of Your Public Office today, Tuesday July 26, 2011 reveals that STW Emmanuel Mlanga has been moved from his detention cell at the Asokoro Police Divisional Command to an undisclosed location in Lagos State. He was reportedly whisked away by some police officers attached to Your Public Office early this Morning (Tuesday, July 26, 2011). His cell phone was reportedly seized and searched before he was whisked away. Since the duo’s arbitrary detention over two weeks ago, all the legal and pre-trial rights due for them have been denied. In addition to their solitary confinement, access to their families, lawyers and doctors has been blocked. Their right of bail has also been severally denied. Efforts by Barrister Sam Ogara of the Femi Falana Chambers, Abuja and a Northern Catholic Bishop to take them on bail were also rebuffed. The CP Provost, Mrs. Sherifat Disu, when approached, claimed that she was acting on the “order from above” .

Conclusion:

The continued discriminatory treatments and stigmatization of members of the Traffic Warden Service are totally frowned at. The invocation of the dead doctrine of “detention without trial” by Your Public Office is also frowned at and condemned as well. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, in her Chapter Four, abhors and prohibits arbitrary treatments, including any arbitrary detention suggestive of “trial by ordeal” , or detaining citizens outside a known criminal offence clearly written and defined in our criminal laws with defined penalties, which are rooted in parenthood of the 1999 Constitution, as amended. “Detention by fiat” is no longer fashionable in today’s democratic Nigeria, not to talk of “detention without trial”. The idea of clamping innocent citizens into detention for over two weeks without trial by Your Public Office is administratively damnable, socially abominable and legally inexcusable. Permit us to say that Your Public Office appeared to have acted beyond its powers. This action is clearly at variance with the Nigeria Police Regulations of 1968, as amended, the Police Act of 1930, otherwise called “the Nigeria Police Act, LFN 2004”, the African Charter on Human & Peoples’ Rights Domesticated Laws of Nigeria, 2004, the UN Covenant on Civil & Political Rights of 1976 (ratified by FRN in 1993), the Constitution of Nigeria 1999, as amended. Such arbitrary detention also flouts the spirit and letters of the Nigerian criminal laws, namely: Criminal Procedure Code and Penal Code (for North), and Criminal Procedure Act and Criminal Code (for South), Laws of Nigeria 2004.

Consequently, we call for immediate and unconditional release of STWs (Inspectors) Adamu Dogara and Emmanuel Mlanga from their respective Police Detention Centers. The third “wanted person”; STW Samuel Uwakwe should also be removed from the “wanted list”. The trio should carry on with their duties unmolested. Nigerians would want to be addressed by Your Public Office concerning the offences, known to our criminal laws, which they committed, which warranted their detention without trial. Not even the so-called “orderly-room-trial” has been visited against the innocent detainees. Nigerians would also want to be addressed by Your Public Office over the criminal qualification of “discredible conducts” and “betrayal of trust” within the context of simple offences, offences of misdemeanor and offences of felony and in relation to the over two weeks non- trial detention of the said citizens.

Generally, our writing Your Public Office is to formally bring the foregoing age-long discriminatory practices and stigmatization to the attention of Your Public Office as well as to the attention of Nigerians. Another reason why we write is to inform Your Public Office that the said discriminatory practices are over due for abolition. A good and humane Inspector General of Police would have raised an alarm over the existence of this infamous Decree N0. 21 1975 and championed its abrogation or modification as well as improved conditions of service for the personnel of the Traffic Warden’s Service. But the reverse is sadly the case in this respect. IGP after IGP since 1999 had used this obnoxious legal instrument to further castrate the career growth of these patriotic citizens who had diligently served and still serve their fatherland.

We are aware that Customs & Excise Service, Immigration Service, National Security Organization (now SSS), Federal Road Safety Corps, Prisons Service, etc were at one time or the other created out of the Nigeria Police Force. The Prisons Service, for instance, was separated from the Nigeria Police Force in 1920. Yet their conditions of service then including ranking were not discriminated upon. Police personnel presently serving under the EFCC and ICPC have their conditions of service including ranking intact. Why are those of the Nigeria Traffic Warden’s Service different? If there could be in the Nigeria Police Force Bomb Disposal Unit, headed by OC Bomb; Anti Terrorist Unit, headed by OC Anti Terrorism; Drivers Unit, headed by OC Transport; Works Department, headed by OC Works; Tailoring Unit, headed by OC Tailoring; Dogs Section, headed by OC Dogs; Police Band Unit, headed by OC Police Band etc, why would that of all-important Traffic Service be different? Why would a general duty junior Police Officer be asked to head a Senior Traffic Warden’s duty, such as the post of the Divisional Traffic Officer or DTO?

It is our express demand that the planned demotion of all members of the Nigeria Traffic Warden’s Service wearing one to three stars (AST Probation, AST Confirmed and DST) to the lower rank of STW or Senior Traffic Warden (Inspector) should be put on hold immediately. Apart from our call for unreserved reversal of all the discriminatory practices and stigmatization of the Traffic Wardens, we further task Your Public Office to incorporate in your statutory annual report to the President & Commander-in-Chief, the need to repeal or modify the infamous Decree N0.21 of 1975. Other improved conditions of service for the personnel of the Nigeria Traffic Warden’s Service of the Nigeria Police Force including unrestricted ranking, active and post-retirement promotions (stagnated over the years) and allowing Traffic Wardens to head their various departments (created and to-be-created), should also be incorporated in your annual (2011) or statutory report to the C-in-C. There shall be injection of more competent hands into the Traffic Warden’s Service to lessen the duty-burden of the meager 8,500 personnel across the country. The 8,500 personnel is too small to tackle the mountainous internal traffic problems associated with traffic congestions and offences in major urban Trunk B and Trunk C roads across the country, more so when it is believed that out of the country’s 178,427 localities (National Population Commission 2010), 40% is highly urbanized especially in Southern parts of the country.

We hope that this letter shall be treated meritoriously and expeditiously.

For: Intersociety, Nigeria

Emeka Umeagbalasi
Chairman, Board of Trustees
Phone: +234(0) 8033601078
Email: botchairman@intersociety-ng.org
www.intersociety-ng.org

Comrade Justus Ijeoma
Head, Publicity Desk
Phone: +234(0) 8037114869

Amaka Biachi Nwosu
Head, Research & Strategy
Phone: +234 (0) 8035532707

CC:
1. The President & Commander-in-Chief, Federal Republic of Nigeria
2. Attorney General of the Federation & Minister for Justice
3. The Senate President
Thro
Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs
4. Speaker of the House of Reps
Thro
Chairman, House of Reps Committee on Police Affairs
5. The Minister of Police Affairs
6. Chairman, Police Service Commission
7. Chairman, Governing Council, National Human Rights Commission
8. The Deputy Inspector General of Police in-charge of “A” Department (Administration)
9. The Commissioner of Police in-charge of Provost Department
10. Secretary General, Amnesty International, London, UK
11. Executive Director, Human Rights Watch, New York, USA
12. Other Relevant Bodies Within & Outside Nigeria

Emeka Umeagbalasi

Photo Above: Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Intersociety, 41, Miss Elems Street, Fegge, Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria.

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08/02/11

Permalink 12:53:00 am, by callmeike Email , 2109 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News

*Nigeria: The Argument Against A Longer Tenure Bid

By Ikechukwu Enyiagu

I believe in everyone’s ability to do well, and I believe that our president has something good in him to deliver; that’s why he became the president in the first place. But an office does not run a man, rather it’s a man that runs an office; that tells why people can be assigned with responsibilities and yet they come out only with excuses even when the resources are all at their disposals while others, given little, create entirely new states. The former is the story of a people laden with the burden of wickedness and self-destruction, the story of one who happily digs his grave with his own hands. We now have a new president in the person of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, a person believed by many to serve his party rightly by serving the people totally. But so far, the direction he’s veering towards is not only unsatisfactory, but insulting on all Nigerians who believed in him enough to have voted for him en masse. ( Continues below..... )

Seal of The President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Photo Above: Seal of The President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is the official symbol of the Nigerian President, first used in 1979 by President Shehu Shagari.

The new idea and campaign of tenure extension for politicians is not totally bad in itself, but is uncalled-for in today’s Nigeria, especially when it’s coming from one to whom the people have rightly bestowed love and faith. As I’ve always said, it’s not difficult to read times and seasons; it’s not hard to figure out where a government is headed for as long as your interest is for the good of the people. And from what I’m seeing and hearing, the president got it all wrong this time. I will state a few things the president should concern himself with if he really is ready and willing to serve the people and rewrite history:

1. He must become selfless and daring. Selflessness will enable him the needed focus to discharge his presidential duties to his subjects without his flesh coming in the way of kingly qualities. A president who truly wants to make a change must be daring before the so-called godfathers, fathers of compromise as a result of wickedness, robbery, embezzlement, nepotism and callousness which have eaten deep into their very souls. The president must be defiant, confrontational and unbiased; he must hold tenaciously to the rule of law and be driven by it. If God is not present in the “fatherisms” of those seeking to be seen and respected as godfathers, then such a name, respect and those championing their godlikeness with it should be stripped of all its vain glory to save us all from unnecessary political family-war.

2. The president should start his mission of “a new era” from the foundation of his government by making sure that no one with questionable character and bad records as regarding incompetence and embezzlement is among his cabinet members. He must rid himself, the government and the nation of those very ones that have been in the previous failed governments, and especially those who sat on those seats of failures in their times.

3. The president should fully institute the rule of law and allow the Freedom of Information (FoC) act to begin its work and start running its course. This means that the president must give maximum room for the masses and the law to audit the past and present Nigerian governments, and the finances which ran and still run them. A president who is not selfless will never put his subjects above his fear and human gluttonous tendencies to rob others. There should be a free passage for the probing of those accused of different forms and levels of embezzlement in the past governments. This will enable wise and productive inputs from all corners.

4. If he is a true democratic president, he should call for a sovereign national conference because no selfless leader turns a blind eye to the cries of his people. Nigeria is dysfunctional in all bodies and before things could have a common line of understanding and operation, there must be a national dialogue which must integrate all interest groups.

5. The news on ground is that the federal government is opening up a “youth development” project or whatever name it’s given; that is the biggest show of ignorance in the part of these leaders. What does that mean, that the youths are a different body from the whole? The youth is the country and therefore, EVERY step the government takes must centre on the youths. The creation of this pet-project is a new avenue for looting-it not for youths. Soon, they will bring up a highly corrupt and out-of-reality son of a corrupt politician to parade as the youths minister while there are millions of Nigerians out there who are both trained, taught, equipped, able, willing and ready for such work if anything is to be made out of it. This latest news only reveals the blind man’s try-and-see approach on new grounds, an approach which the federal government has mastered in its day-to-day operations. It’s the highest height of insult to the youth of this country because it proves that these politicians have been aware, all along, of their wickedness to the youths. Then, if that’s the case, the youths should rise up as one body and voice and bring them to book. A president who is bent on changing the story must flush out the old and never-productive hands in ministries and put in youths on merit instead. ( Continues below….. )

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

These are the very basics a president with the true intent on reforming the nation like Nigeria should start with. However, the recent developments in the country have almost left everyone who voted for GEJ speechless and hawkish. The central bank governor is rightly setting stages for Nigeria disintegration but he has set out on it in the wrong ways while the president looks on. Instead, he is asking for a tenure extension. This is obviously a display of either another season of wickedness or madness by Nigerian leaders; how can you leave the very things you promised your people before election, the things which they hold dear, to start looking for an extension of your stay in office when you have not even spent a year?

Every husband knows that a good wife does not need all the thousand to make a good soup for her loving family; you do not even need extended tenure to perform-show us who you are and what you are and show us now. Everyone is familiar with this saying that “it’s not how far but how well,” I wonder why the president is introducing a higher level of legal criminality, a nuclear embezzlement amongst the politicians. The reasons, whatever they are, he seeks for this extension for the presidency and the governors are highly egocentric and terribly evil in every sense. Does he think that he can ever achieve anything for the country in six years what he could not achieve in four? It’s ridiculous. Obama did not need a new tenure or an extension in office to catch Osama, a man who has been an impossible task for his predecessor’s eight-year rule.

Many governments have come and gone, leaving the nation in blinding darkness. At a time, president Olusegun Obsanjo chaired the committee on the plans to deal with the power sector once and for all; billions of Naira was mapped out as is often the case, but at best, they succeeded in doing what they know better-in sharing the money amongst themselves. Even a small child in Nigeria knows what our leaders have done to us, but when president Goodluck was voted for, the people saw a new sun and a new hope rising from an area which is not new to marginalization and injustice. Is he crushing it even before it is morning?

Mallan Sanusi boasted that no one was good enough to stop his plan to hijack Nigerian economy through Islamic banking and, as if that was not enough, his brother, Dr. Ibrahim Datti Ahmad, boasted that the North will go to war and spill blood like they did to Biafrans in the civil war if Islamic banking is “denied them.” In his quotes, “Jaiz bank has come to be and there is nothing they (Christian leaders) can do about it and if we have to go to war on this, we’ll go to war,” “let those wearing cassocks stop disturbing our peace,” and “whatever they call themselves, whether archbishops, priests or whatever they are, let them stop disturbing our lives. ( Continues below….. )

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

Photo Above: Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

We have had enough; let the government warn them because these abuses are enough. We have been patient but there is a limit to what we can take,” he made it very clear that Nigeria was never and will never be one. So why still pretend we are? The masses should ask themselves: “who benefits from this unholy union which has done us greater evil than any good?”

I must state categorically that we know your plots; Nigerians know the unwritten law of “buying time” which Nigerian leaders have mastered. Why on earth would a father run around, chasing rats, when his house is on fire? Which man is ever happy whose wife, immediately after marriage, begins to prod him on the writing of his will? Why has Nigerian leaders, from top to bottom, been working as people under a spell from hell? Why can’t one person stand out and make that difference since we all know that life on earth is not eternal? My advice to the president is this: Even though it’s clear to all that Nigeria will soon divide, the founding fathers of the new republics will be honored much more than any loot ever will. A good name, they say, is the true wealth. Make a good name for yourself by truly serving the Nigerians, not Nigeria. The opposite is the reason for many woes encountered so far.

Finally, I advice you, Nigerian politicians, to stop disgracing everyone with the name “Nigerian” to his identity; stop making everybody look as childish, silly, selfish, foolish, myopic and self-destroying as you all have proven to be. It’s true that most of us were borne out of pain, but "Out of the eater, came something to eat and out of the strong, something sweet." We are no longer a generation of you politicians as fathers because you have failed us all; we are a new generation of patriots, not to an evil marriage, but to true freedom and peace for all. It’s no longer news that you leaders are the mockery of this century, but we will never be like you because all we have to do to keep looking ahead is to look back and down into the hole of darkness which your hopeless characters have plunged you and your generations, and remember the woes of selfishness and self-induced blindness. We are not a part of you and will never be. The youths of today have grown out from the rocky ground-strong and determined. We have decided to carve out a future for ourselves and posterity in a healthy competitive ground.

To the president, I say: To whom much is given, much is expected. Posterity will deal with you if you allow this much needed change to slip through your fingers when God has given you all that’s needed to usher in a truly new era for all. I advise you to drop that unholy and an-already failed bid to extend the tenure of looters when you have not proven that you are otherwise. And with stronger emotion, I advice you to follow the above mentioned steps and engraft your name in the hearts of people who will remember you with longing after you have gone, and those who will celebrate with you in heaven when you get home. It’s just an advice; however you may do what you will. After all, a king may have and listen to many advisers but will eventually follow his heart. Nevertheless, the hearts of kings are in God’s hands and he turns them, including yours, at will. No one has the power or mandate to stop the purpose which God has started to bring about in Nigeria.

Ikechukwu Enyiagu can be reached at ike.enyiagu@gmail.com

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07/29/11

Permalink 10:01:00 am, by ifeatu agbu, 1341 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, Niger Delta( SS ) News

*Nigeria: Bureaucracy & Niger Delta Development

By Ifeatu Agbu

President Goodluck Jonathan told Nigerians in his inaugural speech that “the time for lamentation is over.” In his view, we are in the era of transformation and that calls for urgent action on all fronts of our national life. The President added a caveat though. He said that “Nigeria can only be transformed if we all play our parts with commitment and sincerity.”

Obviously, the President would want to leave an enduring legacy by the time he finishes his tenure in 2015. To do this, however, he has to rely on his ministers, aides and a whole gamut of workers in the civil service. Unfortunately, we have a civil service system that is anything but efficient and result-oriented. So, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if the President’s transformational agenda is scuttled before it sets sail.

Perhaps, the President anticipates this and has, therefore, launched a pre-emptive strike. He charged his new ministers to gird their loins for an all out war against corruption, describing it as a monster that must be confronted and defeated. Surely, that is the way to go and the President should insist of this tough stance, otherwise he may find his lofty plans and programmes encumbered by a sloppy, sluggish and corruption-ridden bureaucracy. This is not to say that bureaucracy in itself is bad and should be jettisoned. On the contrary, efforts should be made to instill the positive aspects of bureaucracy in our system.

In their book ‘Reinventing Government’, Osborne David and Gaebler Ted said: “It is hard to imagine today, but a hundred years ago, bureaucracy meant something positive. It connoted a rational, efficient method of organization – something to take the place of the arbitrary exercise of power by authoritarian regimes. Bureaucracy brought the same logic to government work that the assembly line brought to the factory. With the hierarchical authority and functional specialization, they made possible the efficient undertaking of large complex tasks”. ( Continues below….. )

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

Even now, one can still point at some countries where bureaucracy has been put to good use. Here, the good fortunes of some East Asian countries, where bureaucracy played a positive role in the rapid growth of their economies, stand out. Indeed, it could be said that bureaucracy was a key ingredient of their economic .miracle. Many economic experts agree that the four Asian Tigers – Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan - owe their success not only to good visioning but to efficient and well oiled bureaucracy.

Sadly though, this dramatic turnaround in Asia could not be replicated in many African countries, including Nigeria. Unlike the situation in East Asia, what takes centre-stage in our country is the negative aspect, which highlights the weakness of bureaucracy and this explains the poor development performance of many countries on the continent. Issues of bureaucratic governance are seen as crucial determinants of the degree to which a country makes social and economic progress or fails to do so. This set of issues has been of concern since the advent of centralized administration, but they have taken on particular significance since the work of Max Weber some hundred years ago. In recent years, there has been increasing evidence that bureaucratic performance is important for development performance.

These days, there have been massive pressures across the world for governments to become leaner, more efficient and bring services closer to the people. In many developing countries, in particular- often as part of structural adjustment programs, there have been pressures to reduce the role of the state in relation to the market and cut the size of the civil service.

The Presidential Advisory Committee, PAC, set up by the President Jonathan and headed by General Theophilus Danjuma [rtd], to audit all Federal Government projects, said in its report that the size of government bureaucracy was unwieldy. The committee decried the high cost of governance and advised the government to prune down the ministries, departments and agencies, for more effective governance. According to the committee, the Federal Government spends about N200 billion annually on the official emoluments of civil servants. Danjuma said that cutting down on the cost of bureaucracy would free the funds for government to provide needed infrastructure. The committee noted that government has spent N15.6 trillion on public servants alone since 1999.

The 2011 budget follows the same pattern as more than N3.2 trillion of the N4.2 trillion estimates was allocated to recurrent expenditure, statutory transfers – which include payments to institutions such as the judiciary – and debt servicing. So, the government is going to spend nearly 75 per cent of the 2011 budget on recurrent expenditure. This leaves less than N1 trillion for capital expenditure. In other words, the country is spending far more on government than on critically needed infrastructure. ( Continues below..... )

Map of Nigeria's Niger Delta Region showing Port Harcourt

Photo Above: Map of Nigeria's Niger Delta Region showing Port Harcourt

If President Jonathan wants to perform in the next four years, he must cut down on the cost of governance and restructure the civil service which runs the government’s bureaucracy. Any critical observer would acknowledge that bureaucracy is being used by civil servants to serve their selfish interests and line their pockets. For us in this country, bureaucracy is more of a drawback than a facilitator as envisaged by Max Weber and other great thinkers.

It is rather unfortunate that, like most other aspects of Nigeria’s national life, the bureaucracy has degenerated over the years. During the first Republic, the civil servants that were inherited from our colonial masters served creditably as veritable agents of socio-economic transformation. That is no longer the case. The notorious Nigerian factor has diluted the bureaucracy to a miserable point where it is now a burden rather than an asset to this country.

No doubt, we have a bloated bureaucracy that is more or less counter-productive. Although it provides employment; most of the people employed are unproductive and idle. The Jonathan administration must check this unsustainable trend and employ people where there are genuine jobs to be done. The case of the Imo State government, where an out-going administration employed 10,000 workers without any job description, paints a sad picture of the rot in the public service across the country.

This point was underlined recently by the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr. Chibuzor Ugwoha. He said: “We know that the commission itself was created to respond to the developmental challenges in the Niger Delta. The idea was to fast- track development. And we all know in this country that the bane of our development is bureaucracy. You can never attain high level of development with bureaucracy.” “You can follow due process and get things done without unnecessary bureaucracy that ensures that before a file comes from one point to another it takes months. No country in the world can develop with that kind of bureaucracy. That is why those who created NDDC called it an interventionist agency. It means that it is supposed to function as a task force.

Every task force does not follow bureaucracy. But they will follow due process as stipulated by law,” Ugwoha said Perhaps, one can say that the NDDC has done relatively better than other agencies of government because it has managed to break loose from the bureaucratic manacles which hinder progress and development. Other stakeholders in the Niger Delta such as the state and local governments must also wean themselves of excessive bureaucracy to be able to deliver good governance to the long-neglected people of Nigeria’s oil basin.

Given the strategic role that the bureaucracy is expected to plays in the realization of the development dreams of any nation, President Jonathan’s administration should comprehensively re-orientate the civil service. It should transform the bureaucracy into a reliable vehicle for ending the depressing era of lamentation in Nigeria as envisioned by Mr. President.

Mr. Ifeatu Agbu ( ifeatuagbu@yahoo.com ) writes from Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

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07/28/11

Permalink 02:13:00 pm, by callmeike Email , 2547 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, South East News, Niger Delta( SS ) News

*Ohanaeze Ndigbo: Speak Up & Act! Your Divine Purpose Is Here

By Ikechukwu Enyiagu

My elders, my fathers, ekenem unu! Ndi ichie, nke onye chiri, ya zalu! My people, it’s time to speak. I’m talking to my fathers and mothers of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in all of Igboland and all over the world. I’m addressing all Igbo leaders in different levels of the Nigerian federation, be you a chief, traditional ruler, king, commissioner, minister, governor-whatever position you hold, and to all Ndigbo in Diaspora: it’s time to stand for your fathers. Ani Igbo has been silent and quiet for long but now is the time to speak up and speak to this federation called Nigeria. Now is the time to gather and wrap tightly our loins around our waist and act. You either speak and act now or stand forgotten forever by history.

After the thirty (30) months civil war which saw to the genocide perpetrated against Ndigbo by the federal republic of Nigeria led by the then commander-in-chief, General Yakubu Gowon, Ndigbo were relegated to the background, ignored, and yet used as a taskmaster uses his slaves. Even though Yakubu Gowon, at the end of the war which inflicted much pain on Biafra with the help of the Britain while the USA looked on, declared it to be a “no victor, no vanquished” result, he as the head of state started his show with separating the Igbo from their brothers in other states around. ( Continues below….. )

Hon. Amb. Ralph Uwaechue

Photo Above: Hon. Amb. Ralph Uwaechue, President General Ohaneze Ndigbo

It’s been more than five decades since Nigeria got her independence and over four decades since we fought the civil war which result was declared to be square, yet Ndigbo has endured more than is required from Nigeria and its government or any government for that matter and has paid enough price for her freedom. It will do my stomach no justice in recounting the much wickedness perpetrated against the South East since the war ended. It’s true that we have brothers in places like Cross-River, Delta, and Rivers, etc who were also affected as a result of the federal government’s unwritten decision to reduce Ani Igbo to nothing, but in this piece I’m zooming in on Ndigbo in the said five states of the "South East" because of her obvious strategic position, both to vulnerability, ability, and grace. ( Continues below..... )

 Map of Igboland

Photo Above: Map of Igboland (homeland of Ndigbo of Nigeria )

Ohanaeze Ndigbo, I humbly wish to ask you these few questions:

1. Since OHANAEZE stands for us all and represents us as true fathers and mothers, what then are you waiting for? What have you been waiting for?

2. Don’t you see that it’s time to truly carry the burdens of your inheritance, speak and act out?

3. What do you call “unity,” or does the word mean something different but acceptable when it comes to Nigeria? Every one of you has his individual family, how do you apply the word “unity” in your homes?

4. Do you really believe that Nigeria, as it has been and still is, will sit up and do what is right for Ndigbo?

5. It’s no longer a hidden thing that we are known in Haitian history, in the USA, and even in some other parts of the world as a people who would rather die trying to keep their freedom than give in to slavery and wickedness because we are legitimate in our birth, why do you all then attack your root by your silence? Tufia! Akum efuna!

6. Igbo is a family, and when people define “Igbo enwe eze” (sadly, in their context and chronic ignorance, unwillingness and, in fact, inability to assimilate the truth) as “a people without direction,” they fail to note the root, meaning, and reason of proverbs, "the palm oil with which words are eaten." We have always known that ours is an established, democratic, and functioning society from the onset. We came from an organized heritage. We are a people who do no fear change; what then do you fear now?

7. Even though Gowon made his deceitful speech after the war about Nigeria being one and all those, Nigeria actually went on to deprive Ndigbo of everything, including the right to live and thrive in their homeland, and left our children running from pillar to post for alternative means in the quest for survival. In some parts of Igboland, some people answer Igbo names, speak Igbo language, and maintain Igbo tradition, yet claim not to be Ndigbo as a result of the many wicked plots by Nigeria against Ndigbo-trying without obvious success to pitch a brother against his brother. Look at how the Nigerian government has turned Ani Igbo into a police state with uninformed people waving guns around and threatening the peace and progress of Ndigbo in our land all in a failed bid to further frustrate Igbo generation. No one is a stranger to the pogrom and genocide against Ndigbo by Nigeria, yet the federal government never deemed it fit to sincerely ask Ndigbo for forgiveness and make retributions as required, even when it went ahead to recognise Gowon, the war criminal who must be tried in the Hague, as a great leader and granted him medals for spearheading the Igbo-Biafra genocide, while at the same time, ignoring the great Ikemba of our time, Ojukwu as if he never fought for his people. If Nigeria has neglected the Ikemba Nnewi since after the war, is it not a clear pointer to all of us that Nigeria still sees Ndigbo as strangers, because if they disregard the one who led us in our quest for freedom, they have disregarded all of us? Do you not know that Nigeria's total disregard to General Ojukwu who led us during the days is a total disregard against all of Igbo, which thing tells on us all? Do you really believe you fought in vain or that the purpose for which you sought and still seek a land of freedom and equality for your generations was not right and divine? Any Igbo son or daughter who does not hold to heart the sacrifices of Ikemba Nnewi is an “unrecognized bastard” and has no inheritance in our fathers because our fathers never accepted slavery without a thorough fight. And anyone from among Nigerians who still thinks that Ojukwu is a failure, such person is born in great iniquity and ignorance, and shall die therein-he is only a man without foundation, a man without any family root.

8. Tens, hundreds, thousands, and millions of your children whom Ani left in your care have systematically been killed in the North and in Nigeria on your watch; what did you eat since after the war that your slumber seems unending? The North kills your children at will, yet all you do is lie prostrate like a Black Mamba with undigested elephant in its belly. Who ever told us that cowards inherit the "Obi?" Some of you in a show to display your richness have even gone as far as erecting great Obis in your father's lieu without knowing or asking what it stands for. They have killed enough Ndigbo and we have sacrificed more than anyone else in Nigeria for her unity, peace, and progress; in fact, no single Igbo blood should drop on any part of Nigerian ground ever again in the name of unity. Now that they are dispatching another batch of your sons and daughters to the North to be maimed again, why are you silent? No true son of his father ever remains silent in the face of an enemies’ attack, only unrecognised bastards do so. Is that our story? God forbid! You are our great fathers, the sons and daughters of our great ancestors. It’s time to stand and show Nigeria and the whole world your height. We have tried hard enough to convince our neighbours of the truth, to let them treat us as we treat them all to no avail, now is the time to “gather your chicks together."

9. Ndigbo, what is your crime in Nigeria? Why is it thought so strange that we should ask for and have our freedom, and why does Nigeria fight against our being free? Is it not obvious that their very wickedness against Ndigbo is the frustration Nigeria has been going through and that nothing meaningful will be achieved until Ndigbo are given their rights amongst which is the choice to remain in Nigeria as slaves, or to have her separate state?

10. Why do you still believe the testimonies of those who hate you for no reason? Whoever told you that the devil will, one day, come to his senses and let you be unless you stand your ground in what you know to be the answer and the truth? Whoever deceived you to believe that Ndigbo have no voice? We have the voice that strikes its every target. When Enugu coal was the oil, no indigene attacked the government for anything, and Ndigbo were seen as fools. Mend and other groups came up, destroying everything and Niger Delta Development Commissison (NDDC) was created to listen to them-simply by sharing and wasting money instead of building infrastructures and factories to engage them positively. When some have killed lives and destroyed property, they were pleaded to and invited by the government, paid off and sent to different countries for all sorts of trainings. Boko Haram kills anything they care to kill and, even when some of them are caught, they are immediately released with apologies. The governors beg, the police die, the judges fear for their lives, and the government shakes like a leaf under the influence of the wind. But when MASSOB comes out for peaceful and non-violent demonstrations, its members are shot without restraint by the police, arrested and jailed. What the hell! Where are our fathers? May Ani (the land) not remember and judge you through your children and their children for your silence and wickedness.

Ndigbo are a noble family, we are what other people are not: we have numerous qualities but, perhaps, one of the outshining ones is that we treat strangers in our midst like dignitaries. We honour our elders, and we are law abiding. Before Nigeria was, we already had our traditional democracy. It’s a waste of time to listen to our critics and their numerous charges against us because it’s obvious to all how jealousy manifests. And if Nigeria truly believes that Ndigbo are bad eggs and no-goods who spoil the society, why do its leaders still insist on an illusory “one Nigeria?” In this generation that women in most countries have the right to divorce their husbands for no reasons, claim children and property, should anyone still think it robbery that, decades after active war against us ended, Ndigbo would still rightly want to be on their own? What you do to the one you hate is to part ways with him, but Nigeria has proven to the whole world that it’s an evil entity, a blood sucker and a sham; who made you gods over others? Unless you repent today and do what is right, just like other gods that are no gods, you shall fall for your numerous atrocities against God’s people, against your neighbours. ( Continues below….. )

Map of Nigeria

Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing its 36 states and capital (Abuja or FCT)

Now is the acceptable time, now is the day of freedom. I implore you, as to true fathers, to speak up as and with one voice now and call without delay for a Sovereign National Conference (SNC). And, if the federal government still insists on enslaving your children, proceed as a nation to the UN, the USA, and other world powers, and demand they recognize the Republic of Biafra because we have paid every price for it. Nigeria has done her worst against Ndigbo and cannot do anything more. In fact, Nigeria has received her full price for our freedom and peace-as if it ever depended on her. Ndigbo has rich traditions and every elder knows that one cannot maintain a societal unity if he cannot maintain family unity.

I implore you to come together as we truly are and stand for Ndigbo all over the world. A son rarely assumes the throne while the fathers still is, that's why you must take the lead. We need our freedom, we need our peace; we need to exercise our rights in a country where everyone will be treated as equals. We need our pride, honour, and destiny back. Your children are scattered all over the world, suffering for the sins they did not commit and God is saying that it’s time for our freedom. Rise up, you fathers, rise up Ndigbo, and stand for your family.

Ndigbo are not slaves, and even if slavery were still a system, Nigeria is too small to make the great Ndigbo her slave. We are a great people, a great nation, blessed and kept by the God of faithfulness. We are free, we were born free and we shall live and die as free men. Enough is enough. I call on all our fathers serving in different positions starting from individual positions, through religious offices, political seats, to conglomerates: stand up, be sober! Rise and defend your inheritance. Look! The enemy is not done with you yet, but we shall wait no longer. We are ready for the blood suckers. There is no more time to wait. Ndigbo, without a second thought, voted this government in, yet, like every other time, we are treated as second-class citizens; WHO ARE YOU TO LOOK DOWN ON NDIGBO?

From today, the God of all creation will look down on any soul, individual, family, government, or country that looks down on our precious presence. God will ignore the prayers of anyone who ignores our presence and who plots, by presence or proxy, the downfall of Ndigbo; He will destroy those who destroy us in different ways. He will stop the enemy and get him enchained in his evil plots against Zion. Ohanaeze Ndigbo, speak up now or forever hold you peace. But know that, if you choose to ignore this call, and like other times, feel unconcerned, then our sun shall rise from a new horizon and God shall swiftly send deliverance, but none of your seeds shall be planted in this inheritance. I love you fathers. I have only told you the truth and if my words were not respectful enough, forgive me; the blood of Jesus is the "nkata" that covers my face. What every true father should live and/or die for is his inheritance-his generation. Any nation that forfeits its heritage is gone for good. I will never forget my blood, I will never forget Igboland, and I will never forget my great fathers and mothers. Ka Chineke gozie Ndigbo n'uwa nile. May God bless Ndigbo all over the world, and may He hasten His word to perform it for us in Christ Jesus, I pray. Amen. UKPANA OKPOKO GBURU, NTI CHIRI YA; ONYE NWERE NTI, YA NURU O!

Ikechukwu Enyiagu can be reached at ike.enyiagu@gmail.com

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07/26/11

Permalink 01:14:00 pm, by callmeike Email , 2182 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, World News

*Nigeria: An Al-Qaeda Country Led By An Al-Qaeda President?

By Ikechukwu Enyiagu

“Each country gets the leader it deserves,” a quote attributed to many great philosophers of the past, men like Joseph-Marie, Alexis de Tocqueville and Abraham Lincoln, may yet prove itself before our very eyes in Nigeria if Nigerians everywhere do not speak out and challenge the seeming and vexing inert posture of the no. 1 man in Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, on core issues which directly challenge our natural rights-not just as Nigerians, but as individuals born free in a free earth. This old quote, which in its original context could mean: “'a people should have a leader as tough or as soft as they,' 'when people do not stand up for themselves, they are forced to sit down,' or 'when the citizens are corrupt, they can only have corrupt leaders,” and in today’s world, another way of defining “democracy,” is now taking a more serious monarchical and caliphal turn in the confused Nigeria, dancing towards what I call “Shaihu Usman dan Fodism.”

Without recounting the many woes some religious fanatics have thrown us into over the decades, a new chemical which aids Nigeria’s putridity is now added as a result of the insatiable quest by many “unmohammedic” zealots in Nigeria to compel Islam on all and sundry. This chemical is in the persons of this Islamic radical they call Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who controls the federal financial destiny as if they are proceeds from offerings in the mosque where he is the Imam, and the president of the much paraded “federal republic of Nigeria,” Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, who sits on the nation’s highest seat of power as if he is the “ceremonial Shonekon” of our time. ( Continues below..... )

Map of Nigeria

Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing some major cities, including Enugu and Federal capital (Abuja or FCT)

Nigeria, even with its foundational wrongness, was set up as a secular state which will accommodate diversities that are functional within the national wheel. Although the British did not hide their glutinous heredity for covetousness which eventually graduated them into “masters of encroachment,” a glutinous heredity which made BBC broadcast in Hausa alone as if the North has the largest population or people who listen to news, Nigeria, as an independent state, was left to run an accommodating society for every Nigerian. Yet in 1986, Nigeria, under this generally abhorred Hitler of Nigeria called Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, was registered as a member of The Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) for no reasons that justify our celebrated nationality and unity. Every Nigeria is a witness to the dividends of that decision; it literally gave our Northern “brothers” the impression that Nigeria and its wealth belongs only to them, no wonder one cattle-rearer, on being made a governor, immediately declared his state as “born to rule” state. And the result of OIC and many more is 50 years of stack darkness.

CBN governor, Sanusi, recently revealed in one of his childish rants that Al-Qaeda requested to be formally registered in Nigeria in 1999 and was refused, however he did not tell us that the real reason for the much displayed “refusal certificate” could be because a radical like him was neither the president nor the CBN governor at the time. At a time when the Nigerian polity is on fire and the Islamic radicalism is the celebrity of death, one wonders who this Sanusi is: a CBN governor, or an Al-Qaeda recruit and representative in Nigeria. In this age when Islamic radicalism is hated by all true Muslims, a time when terrorism is mostly associated with the misinterpretation of Islam and a period when Islamic radicals are terrorising the whole country, it still amazes me why a “central bank governor,” an egoistic mallam and a core Muslim, should even consider uttering such gibberish and unintelligent talks like: “No one can stop me from the Islamic banking decision” and “I owe no one any apology” when he should be serving the country in his capacity as a federal employee to avoid making worse mistakes than his fingers accuse others of. ( Continues below….. )

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

Photo Above: Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

Sometime ago when Arabic inscriptions were secretly introduced into the National Naira, people cried out and it was later removed and replaced with the major unity signs. This day, as it has been revealed, that very Arabic inscriptions have come back and replaced the legally accepted inscriptions. Is this another step towards world Islamization or what? Lately and just as Boko Haram, an offspring of Al Qaeda, had started its ground and territorial campaign for Islamic radicalism in the Northern states of the said federation, it was learnt that Al- Qaeda is now planning a massive “homecoming” in Nigeria. Who would refute that? They first registered Nigeria as an Islamic state, which is what it should be if they are not cowardly enough to fear their emptiness and extinction in the event that Ndigbo becomes a separate state. Next, they registered Hausa as their “Dan Fodian” country language in the BBC. Then they proceeded to Islamize the national currency. As if that is not enough, in their planned time, this mad mallam was schemed into the CBN to pave way for Al Qaeda funds for a total showdown against the world. Now, it will be Al-Qaeda announcing that Nigeria belongs to their radical mentor, whoever he is. It’s the seeming silence of the Yoruba, known for their political wisdom, and the Igbo, known for the wisdom to always come out unscathed in all, that still baffles me. It’s on this note that I ask these questions along with recommendations:

To President Goodluck Jonathan: Sir, the truth of democracy is not that the president sits silently and allows other evil foundations be built on top of the ones built by colonialism and military dictatorship; the beauty of such leaderships is the responsibility which enforces courage, determination, and unwavering resoluteness. President Obama never cowers from responsibilities as longs as he is sure of the way to go, even when he knows that the Republican and some redundant critics and oppositions are always on their toes for his head. Being what some call “black” could not make him think less or act in fear. If you believe that Nigeria needs change and that you can bring that about, you ought to SIT UP! This is not a call to callousness and wickedness, but a call to bravery in the face of illusory dangers and ever growing threats of enmity and failure. ( Continues below….. )

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

Everyone knows that Sanusi’s childish obstinacy will not only burn Nigeria up in more ways, the fire will start from your very house, sir. If mallam Sanusi, because of his faith, finds it impossible to accept the fact that, as long as Nigeria remains a country, the CBN is not for Muslims or any other religious body, but for the nation; if he is daft enough to start his militancy’s first assignment with the lives of all Nigerians in CBN, or is simply showing arrogance and laughable defiance, let him be recalled and removed without further delay. However, if you did ignorantly (in these days when a well trained boy of 23 can successfully lead a nation of millions) consent to the North on an Islamic banking as one of their leverages in any support you may have sought from them during elections, then that would enlist you in the book of records as the worst president the world has ever seen. Apart from the presidency which you are comfortably occupying as “the newest Shonekon,” you have given out all other sensitive positions to the North, leaving your office porous before people who believe they are born to rule, and making yourself vulnerable to impeachment and/or even assassination. The entire Igbo, despite the uncalled-for hatred of your brothers on Ndigbo from the active war days, voted for you en masse without demanding the compromise of your seat or the insecurity of Nigerians.

If you allow Nigerians to drift further down the drain of hopelessness by your dormancy, cowardly posture and indecision to make use of your democratic presidential power to veto the wicked man’s plan and rewrite the story, posterity will not only abhor your generation for that, you will have succeeded in convincing the whole world that “minority in Nigeria is not limited to human population but to the smallness and near-dead states of the minorities’ brains.” Wake up! Stop this mad man Sanusi! What you portray as “good leadership” by your silence when you should act is nothing but childishness, timidity, betrayal, and a life-time mistake. But I hope that we get what we bargained for in the context of a true democracy.

To Malam Lamido Sanusi: Where did you get your many degrees in economics and management? Who was your teacher? Did you ever find the meaning of Central Bank before running for the post of a CBN governor? At this point, I do not wish to speak to you any further because you are not a case as long as the president wakes up from his slumber and show his manliness in the face of unwarranted threat to his duly elected office. Your boasts, threats, and gallivanting are only a match to the president’s silence, not because you are anybody of refute; after all, the Naira has seen worse days on your watch. A tiny lawful and presidential rope is enough to tame you and bring you to your senses forever. ( Continues below….. )

Nigerian Naira Notes

Photo Above: Nigerian Naira Notes

To All Christian/Religious Bodies: I highly commend all the steps which CAN leadership has taken so far in dissuading this mad man from carrying out his antichristic mission. As long as Nigeria is still one on paper, the CBN which is the headquarters of all Nigerian papers, must not have any religious undertone. The said Arabic inscriptions in the Naira is not only an affront to all other religions in the country, it’s a blatant and glaring show of “born to rule” mentality-the mother of hell and its inhabitants. However I still believe that more stringent measures should be urgently taken by all religious bodies in Nigeria and explicit and emphatic demands made in the event that these demonic ploys linger.

Christianity seems a religion for the weak, confused, and defeated only in the heart and minds of those who have been confused, weakened, and defeated by their unbelief. If Muslims in Nigeria demand a right to imprint trademarks of Islam on everything, is it not right that Christians also demand, without mincing words, a right to imprint Jesus Christ even in the air that everyone breathes? If it should not be so, then let the country split this day! Let everyone live by his beliefs since you can’t separate a man from his deepest convictions unless he changes it. No one who pursues his freedom and rights while denying his neighbour of his will ever be free or have any rights.

ll Nigerians: To all who voted for GEJ with every belief that he would do justice, I say: Do not keep silence, do not let it slide this time. If he is wimpy enough to worsen our situation, at least he should call for a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) where people who are men and women enough would speak and stand for their people if he no longer stands for us but PDP and his pocket. Do not, please, be deceived by the political twist of the word “time;” TIME IS NOW! A lion is known by its look and no one dares him. From the look of his leadership so far, he truly is “the peoples’ president” which means that he sits there to wait for our push or pull. Let’s push and pull him in the right directions when duty calls. But if after all, he still insists on his indifference and prostrate state, we can then animate him by massively calling for his impeachment.

A MAN WHO IS BELIEVED IN SHOULD EQUALLY BELIEVE IN HIMSELF. I reiterate this: If Muslims in Nigeria demand a right to imprint trademarks of Islam on everything, Christians also must demand, without mincing words, a right to imprint Jesus Christ even in the air that everyone breathes. It’s no longer a secret that Nigeria shall be divided, but how the separation will be is the matter we should all consider: shall it be in maturity, justice and all rightness, or shall it be a repeat of the terrible past? Looking at the president’s silence, Sanusi’s mad ranting, Boko Haram’s ground and territorial “Al-Qaeda military drills,” and the planned invasion of Nigeria By Al-Qaeda, one can’t help but ponder the meaning of all these and wonder: "Is Nigeria a formal Al-Qaeda country, and is president Goodluck Jonathan its first Al-Qaeda president?" I hope not.

Ikechukwu Enyiagu can be reached at ike.enyiagu@gmail.com

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07/25/11

Permalink 01:46:00 pm, by bola odus Email , 345 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, South West News

*Nigeria: Future Lawyers Appeal To Fashola To Pay Bursary

By Bola Odus

Students have called on the Lagos State Government particularly the Governor of the State, Babatunde Fashola to pay up their Bursary in order to acquire more reading materials for their study.

Speaking with Nigerianmail at the Lagos State Law School, Victoria Island, the Students appealed to the government to assist in making their study easier for them.

As part of Lagos State government’s passion for education, it put up a Bursary Scheme where indigenes of the state in all tertiary institutions get a refund of their fees annually. Also, in order to reward hardworking students, the State Government also provided a Scholarship Scheme where students of Lagos State University as a whole that meet 4.0 (GP) at the end of the session get N25,000 which is also equivalent to a refund of their fees. ( Continues below….. )

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, Nigeria

Photo Above: Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, Nigeria

This means State Indigenes of Lagos State University that meet 4.0 at the end of the session get double payment, which is the general bursary of N25,000 and scholarship of N25,000 also.

In this, the Lagos State Law School Students are not left out as the government decided to assist them by refunding the sum of N250,000 to them having paid about N300,000 for their law fees. ( Continues below..... )

The Law

According to a student of the School, Fadekemi who stated that after paying about N300,000, she cannot go back to her parents for books allowance. She said: “My Parents have tried by paying N300,000 for my fees, now I would be an ingrate going back to them to demand for money for books and our books are pretty expensive. Though we heard the Government has paid to the bank, but it’s the bank holding back our money.”

Another Student who pleaded anonymity said: “Even as we round off the session, we appeal to the government to please help in getting the money."

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07/24/11

Permalink 01:42:00 am, by callmeike Email , 1245 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, World News

*Nigeria: "Basic Needs?" No! We Need All Our Needs Met

By Ikechukwu Enyiagu

It’s no longer just a mistake to dream small in our time, it’s become a crime committed against oneself. And as a country, it’s not just insulting to keep pressing and demanding for crumbs from our leaders and from democracy, it’s sheer stupidly; it’s a show of foolishness and acute ignorance. From inception, we have magnified and eulogized our “basic needs” in this country until they have become contrabands for the common man. This phrase “basic needs” has become “gold rush” only in the hearts of Nigerians to a point that providing electricity seems to the federal government as difficult as being demanded by the world to provide a cure for HIV; perhaps, even as impossible as raising the dead through scientific means.

“Basic Needs” need not be used anymore in the course of advancement. It’s become both archaic and redundant in a land that must yield because it’s good at maintaining the status quo-the rich getting richer and the poor becoming poorer. What is this jinx of a phrase which has held our leaders bound and has kept them moving round the circle? What does it have with letting every Nigerian living like every other human being on earth? When one carefully considers this phrase as it concerns Nigeria, one cannot help but see that just as “Giant of Africa” should be replaced by “undeserving father,” “basic needs” should also be replaced with “all needs.” ( Continues below..... )

Map of Nigeria

Photo Above: Map of Nigeria

The gun becomes a self-threat to a man given many bullets without a good number of pointers. When a lecturer has no real work assigned to him, he joins the school cult; when the police have no true challenges to tackle, they resort from road collection as a hobby to making it a permanent stay. No matter what needs should be met, as long as they are not stated emphatically, then the people saddled with such jobs might as well resort to anything fanciful. That tells why the government of the day looks like the gathering of colleagues-the governors create commissions for almost anything imaginable why the federal duplicate offices. The police is now dancing a higher tune of ignorance.

We need “all our needs” met, Nigerians need every human need met. We have outgrown basic needs and are no longer interested in the “basics” after 50 years of self-governing. It’s an insult on Nigerians when any political leader comes out to speak of things like power, road, and water. These small minds with their absolute lack of will to be creative are exactly the very reasons we have remained where we are. Why, after 50 years of independence, has power supply remained a basic need in Nigeria? Why is it still considered a miracle for us to have good roads after these decades, and water has remained the “rich man’s drink? “ No! We do not need basic needs anymore, we need all our needs met: we need power and water running in every place, roads, rails, seaports, factories, mechanised agric products, raw materials, jobs, justice, good leadership noted for prompt delivery, responsibility, accountability, etc. We need our own pride as fellow humans in this life’s journey.

It is such a small thought as “basic needs” which has kept our so-called leaders non-competitive, drooling, and intoxicated by failures: they lack creativity-most of them, and carry great prefixes like Dr., Chief, Honourable, etc as if they know their meanings or can defend them. Sometimes I can’t help but wonder what they veil their faces with whenever they sit before other world leaders, considering their peacock pride which made them think that a name as magnificent as “the giant of Africa” is big enough to frighten away the punishment for ignorance, stupidity, nepotism, and levity. ( Continues below….. )

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

It has become clear that small prospects make our leaders even smaller, just as asking for “basic needs” has made Nigerians live with basically nothing. Therefore, henceforth, let us do away with this smallness, with this jinx of a phrase, and sit up to harness our bests. Let’s make our leaders understand that, though we may walk about, we know the value of driving around; that, even when we queue for kerosene as if it’s a ticket to heaven, we know how much better life would be with electric cookers in our homes. Amnesty should no longer be lucrative; it is an insult to every sensible Nigerian. Instead of crumbs in the name of amnesty and rehabilitation trainings, we need establishments that will make us not seem insane-we need our normal lives back. And if Nigeria can’t afford that now, let it divide!

Away with “basic needs” list! Away with leaders who champion the “basic needs” agenda! Away with mediocrity-with this generational numbness! Let us rise above the desires to survive unto the wills to live and thrive. God has already given us the “basic needs” when He gave us life, air, and the resources with which we have to live out our fullest potentials. Any leader who still centres his political astuteness on “basic needs” is not just an ignoramus, he is showing both his ignorance and his inability to lead anymore, and such persons should be uprooted from offices and places of responsibilities, and their works given to people willing, able, and ready to deliver.

What’s all this celebration of blindness in the midst of a beautiful light? Why do we seem to derive the great joy and feeling of having done something simply by playing the monkey games day in, day out? If any of our leaders claim to be even slightly educated, or even trained by a good father, let him simply shine and illuminate all areas. For some time now, Prof. Barth Nnaji has been shouting at the top of his voice that power availability in Nigeria will not be feasible before 2014, what a shame; however, whenever their house generators give any sign of being unstable, they simply replace them without any second thought. It’s time for our youths to challenge their numbness and their claims to knowledge when, indeed, they know nothing.

The general air of joy and "a goddess has come to our rescue" attitude all over Nigeria as a result of the good Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala's coming into this new government should be a thing of shame to the supposedly “Giant of Africa” where people like her are all over the land while the government goes about picking people notorious for looting and callousness. We are tired of and worn out with your slumbers, but if you must wallow in your small minds, step down from those seats and retire to your beds!

We want all our needs met, we no longer ask for basic needs since God had made them available to all. Better still, we demand you assent to the people calling for their freedom from Nigeria since it’s no longer news that Nigeria has no iota of space for unity, tolerance, peace or progress. It's left for Nigerians to decide whether they would galdly remain in a forced-country where unity is compelled in the absence of life or to gain their freedom, go their separate ways, and establish themselves in a truly united state.

Ikechukwu Enyiagu can be reached at ike.enyiagu@gmail.com

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07/22/11

Permalink 12:05:00 am, by kali Email , 879 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, World News, African News

*The Art & Culture of Living Above One's Income

By Kali Gwegwe

Corruption has since turned into an art following the sophistication of anti-graft protocols by national governments and the global community. The reason for this development is not far fetched. It has been acknowledged globally that corruption is mostly responsible for the many cases of poor political leadership, pandemic poverty, snail-speed economic growth, decaying socio-economic infrastructure, and political instability especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.

It has also become an acceptable norm for people who occupy public offices to acquire fleet of expensive automobiles and own landed properties in major cities across the globe. Those who fail to meet this mark are hurriedly dismissed as dull or out of tone with current realities. This is most regrettable. ( Continues below….. )

Map of the World

A careful analysis of this sad development has shown that people are forced into living above their incomes for varying reasons. Chief among them are weak national socio-economic framework which is too feeble to support citizens survive on their legitimate incomes. People are therefore forced to seek alternative means of finding funds to take care of their basic necessities such as shelter, food, clothing, health care, and educational needs of their families. This is one of the many ways corruption grow in developing societies.

There is no gainsaying that in addition to the high level of unemployment, close to 50% of Nigerian subsistent farmers, artisans, and junior workers in the public service earn barely $1 dollar daily. Another 30% earn about $2 daily while 20% earn close to $5 daily. The percentage of Nigerians that earn up to $100 daily is less than 10%. With such realities staring us in the face, one can rush to the conclusion that most Nigerians are living above their legitimate incomes going by the cost of imported cars, household equipments, and sprawling mansions springing up every minute of the day across the country.

Disturbed by the near boiling-point anger of the masses, the political class has now devised some strange mechanisms to launder proceeds of corruption. These are in the form of outrageous allowances, over invoicing of contracts, frivolous travels and seminars among others. ( Continues below..... )

Map of Nigeria

Photo Above: Map of Nigeria

As part of efforts to discourage people from living above their legitimate incomes, government must act fast and address the following issues:

1. Reduce to the barest minimum, the percentage of unemployment and poverty
2. Carry out Socio-cultural re-orientation
3. Redesign the nation’s anti-graft protocols

In order to achieve these three fundamental objectives, government will need to energise the organized private sector to stimulate rapid national economic growth with specific emphasis on agriculture and other non-oil sectors of the economy. This will not only expand the employment market but also help to reduce poverty significantly. With this development, crime rate will fall drastically.

Furthermore, government will have to embark on the revitalization of all national socio-economic infrastructures like roads and power in order to reduce the high cost of doing business. Government should also pursue the inland waterways and railway transport infrastructure as part of efforts to reduce the high cost of moving goods and services around the country. Insecurity is another problem threatening the nation’s economic growth. ( Continues below..... )

Tafa Balogun, Nigeria's former Inspector-General of  Police in cuffs being taken to court  April 4, 2005,  after arrest for corruption.

Photo Above: Tafa Balogun, Nigeria's former Inspector-General of Police in cuffs being taken to court by EFCC April 4, 2005, after arrest for corruption.

The various security agencies should collaborate and invest massively in intelligence gathering mechanism. More than that, government should strengthen existing specialized banks like Bank of Industry and National Agriculture and Cooperative Bank to provide cheaper access to funds for farmers and those that desire to establish new businesses. The commercial banks are usually not ideal for these kinds of enterprises.

The National Orientation Agencies to me have not been doing enough to service its mandate. The agency should liaise with religious, social, and community based organisations to re-orient citizens on the importance of hard work and integrity.

In addition to all the existing anti-graft legislations establishing and empowering both the EFCC and ICPC, there is still the important need to establish a National Wealth Verification Commission (NWVC). Whoever- citizen or foreigner that intends to spend N3m or more should be required by law to approach any recognized court of law to swear to an affidavit indicating the sources of the fund and lodge the original copy with the NWVC. Within a maximum of 24 hours, the deponent will be issued a clearance certificate with which to spend the said amount.

However, the issuance of the Clearance Certificate must not be tied to confirmation of facts deposed to by the deponent. NWVC will however within a period of not more than 12 months carry out thorough investigation of sources of funds and issue a Certificate of Confirmation of the previous Clearance Certificate. Where the deponent is found to have sworn to a doubtful or false affidavit, such person will be prosecuted in a specialized court set up to try cases of financial corruption alone. It is my belief that the introduction of NWVC will go a very long way to reduce the menace of corruption in Nigeria.

Kali Gwegwe, CEO, Nigeria Democracy Watchtower writes from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State and can be reached at kali.gwegwe@nigerianfootballpost.com ( 0806 407 4810 )

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