*World Rights Day Message Of Intersociety - Understanding Credible Polls As A Pillar Of....
A Speech Delivered By Emeka Umeagbalasi At The 2013 Anniversary Of The UDHR (World Rights Day) Organized By Anambra State Branch Of The Civil Liberties Organization(CLO) Held In Onitsha On 08/12/2013
Topic: Understanding Credible Elections As A Pillar Of Popular Government & Development: A Case Of Anambra State Of Nigeria
(Onitsha Nigeria, Tuesday, 10th of December, 2013)- On behalf of the leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law, I pay a sincere tribute to the founding persons of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, enacted on 10th day of December, 1948 (65 years ago). The chairperson of the UN 18-member committee of seminal thinkers that worked tirelessly and produced the all-important global document; late Mrs. Elizabeth Eleanor Roosevelt, is particularly remembered today by Intersociety. Also, particularly important and worthy of mention is one of the great thinkers of the 20th century, Mr. Woodrow Wilson, who was popularly credited as the first international leader to mention the concept of “human rights” in his famous “14-point program” for the formation of the League of Nations in 1914. Mr. Woodrow Wilson was then the visionary President of the United States of America.
Though, “human rights” as part of “religious rights” has been in existence as far back as 304 AD, it became part of Europe and Americas’ post conflict transformation mechanisms starting from the Roman Empire’s 30 years civil war of 1618, which ended in 1648 to the 2nd world war of 1939 to 1945. The concept of “human rights” was crudely mentioned in the all forerunners of the United Nations, starting from “ the Holy Alliance” (1648-1818), “the Concert of Europe” (1818-1919), to “the League of Nations” (1919-1945/6). But the concept became seminally pronounced in Woodley Wilson’s 1914 famous 14-point program for the formation of the League of Nations, finally formed in 1919. The journey to the present day UDHR being marked in 225 independent countries and occupied territories around the world actually began in 1941 courtesy of the “Atlantic Charter of 1941”,issued in August 1941.
The then leaders of the Great Britain and the United States, Sir Wilson Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt came together and agreed on “human rights and democratic freedoms” (self determination as a right of the people and freedom from want and fear). This landmark feat made it possible for successful convocation of other world leaders’ conferences leading to the historic formation of the UNO on 24th of October, 1945. The UN Charter was originally signed on 26th June, 1945 by 50 countries leading to successful lobbying by 40 NGOs in the San Francisco Conference of same year and time for the internationalization of human rights including basic freedoms and freedom from want and fear.
After the successful formation of the United Nations in 1945, a body known as “UN Commission on Human Rights” was set up in 1946 under the leadership of Mrs. Elizabeth Eleanor Roosevelt with other 17 members. Mrs. Roosevelt was a well known rights activist and widow of late US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who died in 1945. The Committee’s fundamental task was the “definition of human rights and freedoms” within the contemplation of the UN Charter. Other major contributors to successful production of this famous document then, who are worthy of mention today are Rene Cassin (France), Charles Malik (Lebanon), Peng Chun Chang (China), Herman Santa Cruz (Chile), Alexandre Bogomolov Alexei Pavlov (USSR/Russia), Lord Dukeston Geoffrey Wilson (United Kingdom), William Hodgson (Australia) and John Humphrey (Canada). On 10th of December, 1948 in Palais de Challot, Paris, France, the famous global document was enacted and signed by over 30 countries present through their representatives.
The link between human rights and popular polls is strong and a truism. What credible democracy is to Nigeria is what “truth and reconciliation” mechanism, which originated from the Southern America, is to the Union of South Africa. Popular polls and human rights are like biological encirclement, which goes round without ceasing. Human rights friendly environment engenders participatory/popular polls, which in turn, produce popular government and when a government is popularly instituted and legitimized, human and material development becomes abundant. A government propelled by popular votes and development has a combination of input and output legitimacy to its credit. No matter the quantum of physical development embarked upon by a government, once it lacks popular electoral foundation, it ends up wearing the toga of mechanical legitimacy. This is always the fundamental difference between Obi’s legitimate government and Ngige’s illegitimate regime in our beloved State. When a government is popular and development oriented, the masses rejoice and human rights environment fares better. Illegitimate civilian government founded on electoral banditry is worst than a military government.
Human rights and credible democracy are inseparable. This explains why the granting of independence and organization of transitional polls were the first fallout of the formation of the UN and the enactment of the UDHR in 1945 and 1948 respectively. Following from this was the granting of independence to India and Pakistan in 1947, Israel 1948, Sudan 1956, Ghana 1957, Guinea 1958, Nigeria 1960, to mention but a few. Where the colonial masters refused to grant same, the colonized armed themselves with “right to self-determination” and fought for their self-governance until it is achieved. Instances of this abound, Angola to Mozambique; Zimbabwe to Zambia; and South Africa to Namibia. As the saying goes, “democracy may be the worst form of government and governance, but the best form of same has not been found and in absence of this, democracy remains the best”.
The fundamental question is: what are credible polls? Fundamentally, credible polls are determined by “living votes” as against “dead votes”. When people of voting age (18 years and above) who have registered to vote, file out diligently and submit themselves for accreditation on poll day arising from the voters’ register, after which they queue up and thumbprint with their fingerprints on valid ballot papers and their votes counted and entered into result sheets, collated and announced with a winner and a loser emerging; the aggregate votes of theirs become “living votes” and the outcomes are called “credible polls”. Any voting process that falls short of these expressly yields “dead votes”. In determining the sacredness/sanctity of “living votes”, one thousand “living votes” are worth more than one million “dead votes”. In law, any poll premised on “living votes” is beyond judicial revocation. “Living votes” are also unknown to the axe of the judge’s ratio decidendi and long arm of the “technical justice” in matters of poll litigation.
The governorship poll in our beloved State of Anambra, held on 16th of November, 2013 and completed on 30th of the same month, may have come and gone, but lessons arising from it will remain indelible. It was one election too many. For us in the rights community, it was a test case. It was a battle of wits between “sedentary rights activists of Igbo-Southeast” and “pastoral rights activists of Igbo extraction”, milked and quartered in the Yoruba-Southwest of Lagos Nigeria, who joined forces with one of the worst opposition political alliances in Africa, in the name of “revolutionary progressives”. Their so called “poll monitoring roles” were purely a failed coup and vendetta mission. The “pastoralists” applied all guerrilla tactics known to them and their “progressive comradely” political alliance to upturn the sacred political destiny of the Anambra People including importing and masquerading thousands of fake ballot papers’ thumb printers and when all their criminal plots got foiled by security agencies, they relocated to the pages of sectionalized and sensationalized Nigerian Newspapers with intent to blacken the poll’s credibility.
As “sedentary rights activists”, it is our duty not to allow any attempts to deny our people right to choose their leaders democratically. We must insist on doing the right thing and ignore “Nigeria’s disgusting labeling culture” of giving a dog a bad name so as to hang it. It is better to be labeled “a trader” than to be labeled “an armed robber”. Some of these “comrades of military juntanism” condemned us for choosing decent trade occupation instead of armed robbery and stealing, yet we put food on their tables from time to time through comradely begging and assistance.
Some of them asked us for “loans”, given and not given, yet they turned around and labeled us “mercenaries”, “merchants”, “clowns”, “charlatans”, etc. If one out of every ten “occupational rights activists” fits into the labeling above, then nine out of every jobless rights activists are worst than the former. Our detractor comrades became unsettled when they noticed that we have transformed ourselves academically and vowed not to stop until we become doctors of philosophy in ivory towers. Or is it that university education closed when they graduated? You must always remember the theory of “Ojukwu versus Gowon”. The theory simply tells us that there is no lateness in education. Today, it is a case of “Assoc. Professor” and “parental master’s degree holder”.
Fellow Comrades, your contributions towards the all-sector transformation of our beloved State in the past seven years will forever remain in gold. Between 2003 and 2006, you fought gallantly for the restoration of the culture of one person one vote in our dear State and chased away electoral criminals from the State’s corridors of power. In June 2006, having achieved this great feat, you began the journey for the transformation of the State through constructive and transformative partnership with the government you popularly instituted. For “pastoral Igbo rights activists”, you are “shopping” from the Government of Anambra State, but for you who wear the shoes and know where they pinch, you see food but choose to fast for the collective good of our beloved people. Always remember that criminal government invests heavily on individuals willing to do its criminal biddings for the purpose of acquiring mechanical legitimacy, but legitimate government invests hugely on people from whom its natural legitimacy is derived.
The same political criminal gangsters, chased away years ago from our beloved State cycled again with utter ferocity and accompanied this time around by a number of “pastoral Igbo rights activists” so as to take over our beloved State in a crudest manner, but you fought gallantly and dwarfed them, by exposing all their reprehensible plots to crown their candidate next governor of Anambra through “Oshogbo manufactured votes”. Until they came to our beloved State on a failed civilian coup mission, they had taken our beloved State to be as socially disastrous as “Oshodi” and “Ajagunle”. But, their eyes could not believe what they saw on the ground all over the State. It was a case of supporting a man with “Okada popularity” against another, whose is predicated on “mass movement/consciousness”. It is always better to run “government on the ground” than to run a showbiz or an “owambe” or a media government.
Lastly fellow Comrades, remain resolute and unyielding. Do not see your choice of occupation as a wrong choice. As human beings, we have three fundamental tasks on earth: to work, to eat and to render service to humanity. Occupationally, you must work and eat. Your joining human rights crusade is not to “eat”, but to render service to humanity. This is why you should help me spread the message to other comrades including some of them in Lagos part of the country, “working and eating” with human rights, which make them willing tools in the hands of Africa’s most violent and militant opposition political alliance, to look for decent jobs or occupations even if it means being a graduate-hawker. Human rights works do not belong to “business enterprises”, but “not-for-profit establishments”.
Starting from my days as your chairman, I have never stopped educating those of you with limited education to dust yourselves up and head back to school. This is because as it is difficult asking a brilliant JSS 3 student to go and teach “economics” in the university, so it is, faring well in the field of rights activism with limited education. Rights activism comrades with limited education are always known to us as “police station and libertarian comrades”, while academically grounded rights activism comrades end up as “egalitarian, formidable and reformative rights comrades”.
I am happy to announce to you that today my message has turned in about ten graduates/graduating students including your chairman, who joined rights activism years ago with WASC. He is now a master’s degree student and reporter with the Sun Newspapers. He told me clearly that it is not academically over yet until he earns an academic “doctor of philosophy”. The challenge before us now is to take over the human rights community in the Southeast and put our detractors out of relevance. We must also insist on engaging the electoral process, because if we allow political criminals to take over the polity, anarchy and backwardness will become the societal norm to be dislodged no more. We must use personal intellect, ICT resources, volunteerism and in-kind resources to cushion the effects of declining “dollarization of rights activism” in our beloved country. This is to ensure that the absence of dollars does not affect the speed of our rights advocacy works. It will also engender neutrality and institutionalize human rights with local contents that are outside the dictates of white man and his dollars.
This Speech Is Pricelessly Dedicated To Late Dr. Nelson Madiba Mandela (1918-2013). I Wish His Soul Permanent Peace.
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law, Onitsha Nigeria
*Tags: Nigerians, Intersociety, Council, Police, Service, Commission. Sack, Ringim, Africa, Masterweb
*Summary of Performances of Candidates in Anambra Gubernatorial Election of Nov. 16, 2013
By Masterweb News Desk
All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, Chief William Obiano emerged the front-runner (‘winner’) with 174,710 votes. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Comrade Tony Nwoye polled 94,956, trailed by Dr. Chris Ngige of APC with 92,300 votes and Ifeanyi Uba with 37,446 votes to place fourth. INEC declared the election inconclusive because the total number of cancelled votes (113,113) was more than the difference (79,754) between the number of votes cast for the ‘winner’ (APGA) and the runner up (PDP) in the election. INEC is currently meeting to schedule supplementary election were votes were canceled. All parties that participated in the election would participate in the supplementary election; this means that votes cast for them in the exercise would be counted even if they boycott the election. Below is the summary table.
*26-Year-Old Nigerian Woman Murdered In U.S. By Roommate
By Masterweb News Desk
The body of 26-year-old Nigerian woman identified as Adaobi Michaella Obih was found on Tuesday in her apartment at Westside Columbus Apartment Complex in Columbus, Indiana, USA. A spokesman for the Columbus Police Department said the death is being investigated as a homicide and Obih’s roommate, 36-year-old Ryan Allen Klug, is a person of interest in the case. Klug went missing after Obih’s body was found. He was yesterday charged with felony murder and a warrant for his arrest issued.
Obih suffered multiple knife wounds with her throat slashed, according to a probable-cause affidavit. Blood-stained clothes of Klug’s size were found in their two-bedroom apartment. According to the affidavit, her boyfriend, Jude Osara, last communicated with her Sunday afternoon, and later was unable to get her on the phone nor receive text-message replies from her. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Late Adaobi Michaella Obih –Left; Ryan Allen Klug -Right
Obih was the first of two children and a doctorate degree student in Electrical Engineering. Klug may be driving a silver or grey 2008 Subaru Legacy with Indiana registration plate 357BPC. Columbus Police Department can be reached at 812-376-2600 with any information on the murder or the whereabouts of Klug.
*Anambra Governorship Poll: Intersociety Insists On Free & Popular Poll
Anambra Governorship Poll: Intersociety Ends Pre-Election Advocacy & Insists On Free & Popular Poll
(Public Information, Onitsha Nigeria, 15th of November, 2013)-It is our observation at Intersociety that the all-important Anambra Governorship Poll is here for real. We also observe that except the “perfect crime” that led to “perfect killing” of about 28 citizens at the Uke Catholic Church Adoration Vigil, propelled by politically oiled intervening forces; Anambra’s pre poll season is the best in Nigeria.
The State’s great transformation from its notoriety in the modern world map of poll rigging and rascality governance to Nigeria’s center of excellence in matters of free, non-violent and popular poll and its transformative socio-economic governance; makes it a qualified candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize Award. Popular poll institutes popular and powerful government, which leads to mass and massive development. In other words, another name for popular poll propelled government is “development”.
However, this priceless feat is under serious threat in the State. This is because the puppets, puppeteers and their grand masters of the Anambra’s disastrous past, have staged a fierce come back. This time around, they have found strong allies in the western part of the country, which dry quest for expansionist conquest is never hidden. While the sole interest of the grand masters under reference is “turning Anambra State into business enterprise”, those of their former puppets are negative political power, immorality in public shrine (government house) and “treaty of cession” with the west. In other words, it is “give us Anambra and Igbo land and we will give you the governorship seat” deal.
Those who “bought” Anambra governorship seat from Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in April 2003 and handed it over to Mr. Chris Ngige under stiff conditions are back. More “ Anambra governorship oil block” bidders have also joined. The other day, it was one of them that chased around three security chiefs designated for this crucial poll with a whopping sum of N300M (N100M each) so as to compromise the poll day security in favor of his party. Other field instructions such as “deliver your ward and get an instant sum of N7M.” have been given by some of the said Anambra governorship oil block bidders.
Generally in this poll’s electioneering, we have seen clear acts of desperation on the part of political parties and their candidates. All manner of unconventional methods grounded in political guerrilla tactics were deployed. Among the top contestants are academic touts and morallyl rotten eggs. Some dropped at JSS3 and padded up the constitutional educational basic requirement of “West African School Certificate or its equivalents”. Others crashed academically from top to bottom by reaching final year before crashing to O’ Level. Modern public governance, especially gubernatorial governance is like asking somebody with a junior secondary certificate with primary “social studies” background to come and teach “economics” in the university. Those with these “not less than” academic certificates are “graduates” of “JSS Social Studies” wanting to teach “economics in the university”.
Among the top contenders are “morally rotten eggs”. Some are padded and canonized by the Southwest media. In governance of Anambra State, the stock in trade of “a rotten egg” governor is governance rested in borrowings and statutory receipts only. His or her morally rotten eggness will be a boarding pass off international development funding institutions and “beyond the border resources mobilization” will be grounded to zero. Other core attributes of his or her governance are showbiz or “owambe” governance as well as propaganda and populist governance (government by media and sightseeing).
Though democracy demands that even if people choose a goat to govern them, so be it; but it also allows room for the voters to be properly guided so as to make a right choice. Our proactive engagement in the electoral process under reference, especially the pre-election aspect, is well grounded and pronounced. In the course of this, most of the sharp practices of some front line political parties and their candidates were extensively exposed and brought to public notice. The quality of some front-line candidates picked by some political parties is shockingly disappointing. They are nothing but termites. This political candidates’ choice blunder has, again, opened a room for the agitation for a constitutional or legal provision for independent candidacy on the polity.
Following from the recent field assessment of methods of campaigns deployed by the leading political parties and their candidates, which was done by the Southeast Group 8 Rights Coalition, coordinated by Intersociety; we have strong information that the importation of strange persons into the State especially during the continuous registration exercise was linked to the Labour Party. The party was also accused of buying voters’ cards in Ayamelum.
On Wednesday and Thursday evening of 13th and 14th of November, 2013, some members of the Labour Party were sighted at 29, Orakwu Street and Oraifite Town Hall, on Miss Elems Street, all in Fegge, Onitsha, engaging in “voters’ cards buy back” wonder lotto or raffle draw; whereby you submit your voters’ cards irretrievably and thumb-print on a blank space provided in the camouflage lotto raffle tickets. Some of the victims are instantly given attractive gifts like motorcycles, standing fans, refrigerators, electric irons and kettles so as to draw more victims or public rush, while others are promised to be given later.
The massive operation “share money”, including a reported instruction to each of the 326 wards to “deliver your ward and get N7M” is linked to the PDP. On the part of APGA, which controls the State, it is accused of banning other political parties from campaigning in the markets in the State, citing security reasons. It was also reported by a journalist that the party’s agents were sighted in a location in Awka on Thursday, 14th of November, 2013, sharing money among its agents, who will man the polling centers in the State, numbering 4,608. The reporter said they recorded their conversation.
The APC is seriously linked to the inducement of registered voters in their houses with money and other lofty monetary promises, during which they are asked to surrender their cards for extraction of their polling units’ pin numbers and other useful code numbers. Some have their cards withheld, while few who protested and backed down have theirs returned.
Further, at No.9, Ihitenansa Street, Iyiowa Odekpe in Ogbaru LGA of Anambra State, a woman, who sells provisions in a kiosk, told Intersociety that the APC people came and collected her voters’ card and gave her N2, 000 and as at 14th of November, 2013, it has not been returned. During an ABS Television live program held in the morning of 14th of November, 2013, callers from Federal Housing, Onitsha and Nnewi areas confirmed that the criminal exercise is a State wide operation that started days after the Anambra INEC handed over the soft copies of the last updated voters’ list to the 23 contesting political parties. The list, which was given to them on 16th of October, 2013, contained 1, 784, 475 registered voters.
The collection of photos of non-registered voters and other personal data including name, age, gender, State and LGA of origin, street address and phone numbers, is also traced to the APC’s doorstep. Mr. and Mrs. Sunday Umejesi, who reside at Iyiowa Odekpe, are one of those approached by the APC in that respect. They were interviewed by Intersociety and they not only confirmed it, but also revealed that a number of their neighbors are “already involved”.
The Independent National Electoral Commission is called upon to be extremely vigilant and be mindful of the foregoing. This has further heightened our earlier fears that the INEC adhoc staff hierarchy may include hundreds of card-carrying members of some contesting political parties. The recent arrest of hundreds of un-named persons quartered in a hotel in Imo State, who are said to have been caught bearing Anambra voters’ cards, is another example. While detailed investigation by security agencies into the incident is required to ascertain the truth, security searchlights should be beamed the more throughout the State and its boundaries to unmask other criminal plots to deny this important poll its deserved credibility and popularity.
In all, the leadership of Intersociety has since July 2013, when the time-table for the all-important poll was released to the public, featured in fifteen television and radio appearances in the State in respect of pre-election public advocacy activities. These include six appearances on the Anambra Broadcasting Service Television’s “Face the Press”, two appearances on the same ABS TV’s “People & Politics” and two appearances on the television’s Onitsha section’s live program called “Issues of the Moment”.
Others are three phone-in radio programs, three appearances on the Onitsha NTA programs and other interviews with the Silver Bird and Channel’s televisions. Over fifteen public statements and letters were issued or written during this period, in addition to four major public forums on “voter education”. Interestingly, all these were carried done free of charge. In other words, all the television and radio programs and interviews as well as newspapers and online publications during the public advocacy under reference, were free of charge. The public forums were also free of charge.
We are very grateful to the managements of the aforementioned media industry for their priceless assistance to us. We appeal to Anambra voters to vote wisely and conscientiously. They have the option to vote in hugely indebted and bankruptcy governance. They also have the option of vote in “showbiz or “owambe” governance” as well as riotous or rascal governance. Option also is theirs to vote out the 2nd Niger Bridge, formidable reconstruction and completion of the Onitsha-Enugu Dual Carriage Way, the Akanu Ibiam International Airport and the collective Igbo identity.
On the other hand, it is also the wisdom and right of Anambra voters to vote in all the positives mentioned above including the 2nd Niger Bridge and the Igbo identity. They can as well vote out the negatives so mentioned including “owambe” governance, Igbo political slavery, huge public indebtedness and rascality governance.
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman of the Board
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
Comrade Justus Ijeoma, Head, Publicity Desk
Photo Above: Map of Anambra State
*Tags: Nigerians, Intersociety, Council, Police, Service, Commission. Sack, Ringim, Africa, Masterweb
*Another stride achieved as Sokoto opens its own university
By Amiru Adamu
As Sokoto State opened its own university October 29, 2014,let's take a look at the policies that were implemented by Wamakko's administration to warrant the creation of the state university.
There is no doubt,that sokoto state was before now regarded as one of the educationally backwards states in Nigeria. However this assertion can no longer be made,considering the efforts that have been made by past and present administrations in the state to reverse the hitherto status of sokoto state as one of the educationally backwards states of the country.
Like most administrations,the present government of sokoto state being led by governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko,came into office with a promise of kick-starting an educational reform. It promised to take sokoto state to greater heights in terms of education. Hence my decision to write this brief review of its strides in the sector for others to read, verify and come to their own conclusions. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Map of Sokoto State
At its inception in 2007 Wamakko's administration declared a state emergency in the educational sector and committed 22 percent of the state's budget to the sector. Structures such as classrooms,libraries,workshops,hostels etc are important considering the fact that effective teaching and learning process can only take place in a conducive learning environment. It is with this fact in mind,that the sokoto state government expended over 3 billion naira into the construction,rehabilitation and expansion of most primary and secondary schools in the state.
Poverty is the excuse often given by parents as the reason why they keep their children most especially the girl child out of school. The administration took measures to arrest this situation by abolishing fees from the school system in sokoto including examination fees,for all students non indigenes inclusive. It also increased the feeding allowance of its students by 100 percent. This 2 policies have since yielded results,as survey has shown an increase in students enrollment to about 50 percent so far.
The fact that many women have married without completing their secondary education,prompted the creation of women education centers within the state and one in each of the 3 senatorial districts in the state,for women to enroll for their secondary education that will qualify them for tertiary education. This policy has given married women a renewed opportunity to acquire western education.
Qualified and competent teaching force,is essential to any educational reform. The administration has so far recruited over 1000 additional primary school teachers,1000 secondary school teachers,300 teachers for arabic and islamic board and over 200 lectures and support staffs for its college of education and polytechnic.
There is a tremendous increase in the provision of teaching and learning materials. Textbooks,science equipment s and other related learning materials are being provided to all schools in the state. It is in-line with its drive to foster effective learning that the administration recently approved a 46 million naira one laptop per child pilot programme, that will introduce its students to the new global ICT trend.
The vexed issue of almajiri also received a commendable attention from the government. It committed over 70 million naira in the establishment of a specially equipped boarding school that incorporates western and islamic education in the curriculum. The school now has an enrollment of over 600 children. The government provides feeding,clothing and other needs of the these children. The federal government has also partnered the state in this regard;it recently built and equipped another almajiri modern school in the state.
The sokoto state government,has secured admissions for its indegenes in various higher institutions within and outside the country.NECO,WAEC,JAMB and DE forms are also being purchased on a yearly basis for distribution to its students free of charge. Over 1000 students with deficiencies in o/level were registered for extra mural lessons. The programme is being supervised by a consultant with coordinators that engaged qualified teachers for the programme.
The administration also secured accreditation by NUC,for 17 B. ed programmes for its college of education and secured HND courses accreditation for its polytechnic. The state has further established a state university that shall accommodate the envisaged turnover of secondary school leavers.
Scholarships and study grants are necessary incentives in order to provide equal opportunities for all. The administration has done a lot in this regard. Apart from the payment of school fees and allowances to all sokoto state students studying at home and abroad,it has sponsored a substantial number of its students to study specialist courses abroad.
These projects and policies are all on ground in sokoto state today for individuals or groups to come and verify. Perhaps the keen interest being shown by the sokoto state government, in the development of education is due to the fact that the founding fathers of sokoto helped in the spread of islam in Africa. And islam as a religion made it mandatory for every Muslim to seek for knowledge.
It is our hope and prayer,that Sokoto state University lives and performs above expectations.
Amiru Adamu is the publisher of Northern wind magazine.
*Tags: Nigerians, Intersociety, Council, Police, Service, Commission. Sack, Ringim, Africa, Masterweb
*Anambra Governorship Poll: Intersociety Frowns At Nwuruku’s Inclusion, Points Out......
Anambra Governorship Poll: Intersociety Frowns At Nwuruku’s Inclusion, Points Out Other Challenges Facing INEC & Security Agencies
(Public Information, Onitsha Nigeria, 12th of November, 2013)-The International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law wishes to remind the Independent National Electoral Commission on the urgent need to re-scrutinize all its newly recruited ad hoc staff or workers that will work for the Commission in the all-important Anambra Governorship Election, fixed for this Saturday, November 16, 2013. This is to ensure that card-carrying party members are not recruited as collection officers, returning officers, presiding officers, etc and to avoid a repeat of the 2011 Anambra Central Senatorial poll incident, during which an adhoc INEC returning officer, one Mr. Alex Anene went and announced the poll result in an Awka hotel.
the inclusion of Mr. Lawrence Nwuruku, the former chairman of the Ebonyi State PDP, as one of the Commission’s special Commissioners for the crucial poll is totally frowned at and protested against by our organization. Our firm opposition to Mr. Nwuruku’s inclusion stems from the fact that he is a career politician and a well known card carrying member of the PDP of the immediate past. Many people in Anambra State are uncomfortable with his inclusion as one of the Commission’s special commissioners for the Anambra governorship poll. Every indication clearly points to his inclusion as patently and manifestly bias. It is our call that his name should be removed and another fairly neutral name included.
Ascertaining the true particulars of the adhoc staff recruited by INEC for the poll is extremely important. Recruiting card carrying members of political parties, smuggled into the Commission by their parties with indoctrinated scripts, are very dangerous and have the capacity of rubbishing the credibility of the poll as well as ruining the image of the Commission. The “coupist” announcement in a hotel, of the senatorial poll results for the Anambra Central Senatorial District and the sectional roles played by the electronic and print media therein, is one of such disasters that must be avoided in this respect. Proper policing and monitoring of INEC’s adhoc staff in all the 4,608 polling centers in the State including ensuring that they do not compromise by allowing rooms for holders of faked voters’ cards and non-voters’ card bearers to vote, for a fee, is extremely necessary.
We have credible reports that registered voters are being hunted and haunted in their houses with inducement packages all over the State including Ogbaru, Onitsha South, Onitsha North, Oyi, Nnewi North, Nnewi South, Aguata, Anambra East and Anambra West LGAs of the State. Such compromised registered voters are made to tender their cards for extraction of their polling unit pin numbers and other relevant code numbers. Some members of the public who do not have voters’ cards are also hunted and asked to bring their passport photos and other personal particulars such as residence address, age, gender, ancestral origin, phone numbers, e-mail addresses etc.
The latter is designed for the purpose of “creating” voters cards for them, with a promise by their inducers to sort out the INEC staff manning voters’ accreditation exercise on Election Day so as to allow them vote in off voter register manner. These criminal and morally reprehensible conducts by some desperate political parties and their candidates are incorporated in their so-called “house to house campaigns”. One of the political parties that commenced the said “house to house campaigns” in earliest time is the APC. The exercise was later embraced by other parties including Labour and APGA. Our firm position is that INEC should re-scrutinize its entire adhoc staff both senior and junior and flush out or ground those found to be injected by political parties or with selfish political interests.
The all-important Anambra governorship poll will be conducted in the 4,608 polling centers, 326 electoral wards, 21 LGAs and 3 Senatorial zones in the State. It is also our call that the Nigerian security agencies led by the Nigeria Police Force should brace up for the challenges posed by obvious desperation of some political parties and their candidates to be returned as the winner through acts of political gangsterism and brigandage.
Ominous signs are all over the place that except INEC and security agencies do and get it right without fear or favour, otherwise, Anambra will be set ablaze during or/and after the poll. The role of the media in the important poll is also very crucial. Sensational and sectional media reports of the poll conducts are as dangerous as security lapses and breaches during the poll. Such reports should be ignored by the poll conductors and security providers and not allowed to distract them or make them lose focus, which will give room for the alarmists and their paymasters to have a crooked edge over the collective electoral interest of the Anambra People. Other than these, credible media alarms and reports during the poll should be taken seriously and addressed promptly.
Finally, there are credible reports that our dear State of Anambra is flooded with Lorries of “dregs of the society” and quartered in various hotels and other hiding places for the d-day to come. Many of these “dregs” are “retreatists”, who are “forest or jungle warriors” that have “downed many heads” to their “bravely”. If allowed an iota of breathing space in the crucial poll, they will down more heads and drink their biological water with impunity. It is to the information of Nigerian security agencies that Lorries of these “clearers of road for the person (man) wey sabi” are very much around in town. And they should be confined to the “spectators’ corners” and not allowed into the playing ground so as to avert “downing heads” and emptying their killer “cashew nuts” into the ballot boxes for the purpose of producing Anambra’s next governor through “dead and non living votes”.
To this effect, all the 4,608 polling centers in the State especially in urban and river-line areas must be manually and forensically policed with clearly designated strategic “nipping points” and rapid respond squads. More than deployment of armoured personnel carriers in strategic exits and entries in the State, the RRS formations should be stationed very closed to every polling/collection center. Other than those rapid response squads to be placed for general stationing and patrolling of strategic outer places including roads and routes in the State, there is need to create and station about 1,600 special rapid response squads and put all the 4,608 polling centers and their collection centers under their competent care. This will be on average of one RRS for three polling centers/collection center. Each RRS should be made up of joint uniformed securitization personnel with their rapid response electronic and manual contacts made available to core stake holders in the poll.
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman of the Board
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
Comrade Justus Ijeoma, Head, Publicity Desk
Photo Above: Map of Anambra State
*Anambra Governorship Election Campaigns & Related Issues
Anambra Governorship Election Campaigns& Related Issues: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Introduction
(A Joint Statement, 5th of November, 2013)-The Southeast Group 8 Rights Coalition is a coalition of eight like-minded rights groups of the Igbo Southeast extraction with thematic focus on building and sustaining democracy, citizens’ rights, good governance and rule of law in Southeast Nigeria. It also fights for Igbo rights and interests in Nigeria including protection of top Igbo political and public service appointees at the Federal level provided they are not criminal appointees. It supports creative governance and fiscal prudency and opposes jamboree governance including huge public debt policy.
The G8 Rights Coalition does not support Igbo rights and interests that are repugnant to equity and fairness. This means that Igbo rights and interests should stop where those of other Nigerian nationalities begin. While the name Southeast G8 Rights Coalition remains, names of its participating groups are not steady. This method allows any group to opt out any time it chooses. It is also designed to ward off parochial interests and possible infiltration of the group by criminal politicians and their agents in Nigeria. The G8 Rights Coalition is coordinated by the secretariat of International Society for Civil Liberties& the Rule of Law in Onitsha, Southeast Nigeria.
Anambra Governorship Poll & Its Campaigns So Far:
Out of 23 participating political parties in the poll, only four are “primus inter pares”. They are Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressives Congress (APC), Labour Party (LB) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). The fifth visible party in the race is Peoples Progressive Party (PPA). The five governorship candidates of the parties under reference are: Mr. Tony Nwoye PDP, Mr. Chris Ngige APC, Mr. Ifeanyi Ubah LB, Mr. Willie Obiano APGA and Mr. Godwin Ezemo PPA. By global convention, issue based election campaigns are precursors of positive social change, decency and tranquility. Their collective outcome is free, popular and credible poll. Where these are patently lacking, insecurity and its perception holds sway. The result of this can lead to violence, low voter turnout and election rigging. Campaigns also include mounting of bill boards, pasting of posters and playing of jingles using audio-visual media, public sound system and traditional town criers.
Labour Party is so far leading other four main parties in terms of peaceful governorship campaigns. No strong evidence has been obtained linking it to destruction and defacing of its opponents’ bill boards and posters including those in its stronghold areas like Nnewi where its candidate comes from. Our checks in Nnewi areas indicate that most of the posters and bill boards of its opponents are left untouched. There are very few isolated cases in the area linked to the party, but they are not sufficient. The LB’s campaign jingles are also played on the Anambra Broadcasting Service belonging to the Government of Anambra State, which includes radio and television. The party has not been linked to any physical disruption of campaigns of other political parties in any part of Anambra State or planting of jeering crowds in any rallies or campaigns organized by other parties.
However, Labour Party is strongly accused of money and material inducement of members of the public especially the registered voters. Such material inducements include grading of some streets in the Ugwuagba area of Obosi in Idemmili North LGA of Anambra State and free distribution of premium motor spirit or fuel to selected members of the public. It was also accused of involvement in the purchase of voters’ cards especially in the river line areas of the State where the poverty level still very high. Each voter’s card is reportedly sold for N5, 000. The party was mentioned as being involved in the importation of people from outside the State during the continuous voters exercise that took place two months ago with a view to mass-registering them as voters.
The All Progressives Grand Alliance comes second in the rating as in peaceful poll campaigns. But the party, which is the State ruling party, is accused of using its apparatus to remove and destroy dozens of the bill boards belonging to the All Progressives Congress and its governorship candidate, Mr. Chris Ngige. The APC, on its part, was found to have embarked on indiscriminate and combative erection of its bill boards including in places not environmentally fit to erect such bill boards. Other APC’s bill boards are said to have been erected against the procedures prescribed by the State House of Assembly. For the fact that the State Government was hash in its handling of the APC’s bill boards’ removal at the threshold of the campaigns, denies it the status of the “most peaceful election campaigner” in the Anambra State governorship poll, which has gone to the Labour Party. There are also pieces of evidence that in some places where the APC posters and bills are removed, those of APGA and its candidate are pasted or hung.
The Peoples Democratic Party comes third in the rating. This is largely because of the candidacy tussle, which was ended yesterday at the Nigeria’s Apex Court, which reaffirmed the candidacy of Mr. Tony Nwoye. Now that the Supreme Court of Nigeria has reaffirmed Mr. Tony Nwoye’s candidacy, our searchlight will be beamed on his party’s style of campaign in the remaining ten days.
The PPA comes fourth in the rating. Its campaigns so far have not breached the universal standards for election campaigns. It has so far conducted itself in a very civilized manner. The post of “most violent and trouble-mongering Anambra governorship poll campaigner” goes to the All Progressives Congress and its candidate. The party has been strongly accused of “importation of jeering and booing crowds” into the campaign rallies organized by its main opponents for the purposes of disrupting them. The party’s main target is the All Progressives Grand Alliance, which it considers as its main threat and challenger.
For instance, at the recent rally of the latter at the Onitsha Main Market, a “booing crowd” was reportedly planted. Complaints of disruption of church services by the APC have also been reported in different parts of the State. From Amichi to Mbakwu Communities; from Onitsha Prisons to the Immaculate Catholic Church in Onitsha; and from Awka to St. Gregory Catholic Church, Iyiowa in Ogbaru LGA of Anambra State. By Christian convention, late comers in any church service, are seen as recipients of “half blessings” and kept outside the church halls until the end of general sermons.
They are called “bad church attendants or church goers”. Good church attendants are those who get seated before the commencement of church services. They receive “full blessings” from the beginning to end. From our in-depth investigations, it is not that Mr. Chris Ngige and his supporters deliberately storm church services and disrupt same, but they have made themselves deliberate late comers, which disrupt church services anywhere they go by making the seated church attendants and presiding priests and bishops to be distracted. In such occasions, the church halls are flooded with brooms and posters while church services are in progress.
While other political parties and their candidates attend church services with few aides and sizeable supporters and get seated usually before the commencement of services, the APC is in the habit of large recruited crowd movement. Some, if not many members of the crowd are the “dregs of the society” with common trait of unruly behaviors. They are used to mount bill boards, paste posters, destroy and deface bill boards and posters of their main opponents and infiltrate the camps of their main opponents as “booing and jeering crowd” and false alarmists. The recent fatal stampede at the Uke Adoration prayer ground that took the lives of 28 people is a clear case in point. The false alarmists had planned to cause the stampede earlier in the late night of Friday, November 1st, 2013 when a false alarm of sudden snake appearance in the arena was deliberately raised the planted crowd to cause unquenchable commotion.
Our investigation into rampant destruction of bill boards and defacing of posters also indicted the APC and its candidate. This is most likely to be revenge over the State Government’s ordered dismantling of campaign bill boards deemed environmentally “ugly”, which substantially affected those of the APC. Apart from interviewing some residents and traders in the areas where such destroyed bill boards and defaced posters of the APGA and its candidate are located, our field investigators sighted some APC supporters yesterday, being 4th of November, 2013 in Onitsha, Awada, Nkpor and Ogbaru areas. The supporters while pasting their party and its candidate’s posters engaged in malicious and reckless defacing and removal of other posters especially those of APGA.
While the supporters of other parties leave their opponents’ posters untouched and paste theirs in other blank spaces, the APC supporters, seemingly working on instructions, remove and deface those of other parties especially APGA before pasting their own. Our several visits to Nnewi (stronghold of LB), Idemmili North & South (stronghold of APC), Aguata (stronghold of PPA), Anaocha LGA and Omambala zone (strongholds of APGA and PDP), showed that most of the bill boards and posters of the opponents of the domiciled political parties and their candidates are left untouched except in Idemmili North and South LGAs where many bill boards and posters of the APGA and its candidate are either defaced or destroyed. The despicable conduct of the APC, which is strongly being fingered, has also been imported into Awka with a number of the APGA posters defaced or destroyed.
APC is strongly accused further of commissioning some people including women to trace many registered voters to their residencies and market places, using the recently released copies of the final voters’ list Such voters are induced to tender their voters’ cards whereupon the polling unit and other code numbers are copied in exchange for cash gifts. Others are recruited into certain committees and made to give up their voters’ cards or their pin numbers and ordinary passport photographs.
They are said to be paid “one month salary” of up to N15, 000 and given other cash sums and indoctrinated on how to recruit others. These categories of people are tagged “special agents”. This despicable and criminal exercise has been widely reported especially in Awada, Okpoko and Ogbaru areas of the State. Similar patterns may have been applied to hoodwink voters in other parts of the State. This may most likely be a new innovation in election rigging industry, which may be called “forensic poll rigging software”.
Issue Based Campaigns:
Most of the participating political parties in the Anambra Governorship race are far from engaging in issue based campaigns. Rather than convincing the voters by showing them the masterful ways they intend to transform the State if elected, most of the parties and their candidates resort to guerrilla warfare by peddling lies and falsehoods using the instrument of sectionalized media. Some contestants are not even aware of the existence of Exclusive, Concurrent and Residual Legislative Lists of the Federation that divide items of governance jurisdictions among the three tiers of Federal, States and LGAs. Some have promised to do things that are purely outside their jurisdiction like building cargo “international” airport, providing steady power supply, building seaport, etc. Others have promised “free medical services”, “free secondary and university education” and “constant increment in workers’ salaries”.
All these lofty promises are not accompanied with forensic disclosures as per the effective sources of resources mobilization with which to implement the lofty programs. The silence of these candidates and their parties, other than APGA, on how monies will be sourced without mortgaging the future well being of the State by reckless loan borrowings and over-bloated governance including jumbo security votes, clearly shows that the low debt records of Anambra State is a gold mine for these contestants. In other words, their sole hope is returning the State to the status of “a highly indebted State”. Lagos State presently owes a total debt of N330Billion locally and internationally. Campaigns deceits such as the foregoing are called “psychology of politics” or “confusion of many for the parochial interest of the few”.
Lastly, we have also observed that Anambra State is being invaded by some strange faces including social miscreants and recidivists hired by desperate politicians and their parties from neighboring States of Delta, Imo and Enugu. All these are to step up criminal activities of various forms and shapes including politically oiled abductions, real, perceived and false armed robberies and other street criminal activities like youth militancy and pick-pockets.etc.
Extensive intelligence information gathering and other preventive policing measures should be put in place by the present Government of Anambra State and its security agencies to ward off these precursors of anarchy threatening to mar the popularity and credibility of the all-important governorship poll. The collective security of Anambra State of Nigeria must not be compromised and any political party or candidate found fanning the embers of violence must have its wings clipped within the law.
From the forgoing, therefore, the Anambra Governorship Poll campaigns are facing several challenges, which must be nipped in the bud and disallowed from resulting into uncontrollable social disorders capable of robbing the crucial poll of popular participation and credibility. We wish to use this medium to congratulate the Labour Party for emerging the “most peaceful Anambra Governorship Poll campaigner” so far. The winner and the runners up like APGA, PDP and PPA are urged to refuse to be provoked by their opponents and embrace peaceful campaigns premised on issue based electoral campaign messages.
For: Southeast Group 8 Rights Coalition:
1. Emeka Umeagbalasi: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
2. Aloysius Emeka Attah: Civil Liberties Organization, Anambra State Branch
3. Justus Uche Ijeoma: Society Watch (a membership project of Intersociety-Nigeria)
4. Peter Onyegiri: Center for Human Rights & Peace Advocacy
5. Samuel Njoku: Human Rights Club, Anambra State Branch
6. Alexander Olisa: Forum for Justice, Equity & Human Rights
7. Anthony Emeka Itanyi: Southeast Emancipation Network
8. Onyeozielu Ujunwa: Committee Against Political Crimes in Nigeria
Photo Above: Map of Anambra State
*Intersociety Fights For Igbo Cause & Good Governance In Nigeria - Part 3
Intersociety, Igbo Cause & Good Governance In Nigeria: An In-depth Look Into The APC’s Epicenter(Central Point) Of Political Governance & Its Huge Debts In Nigeria
(Public Information, 1st of November, 2013)- This is the continuation of our public information, which was first issued on 20th of October, 2013 and titled: “Intersociety Fights For Igbo Cause & Good Governance In Nigeria: APC’s Attacks On Our Leadership Another War Against Igbo Gods & A Boarding Pass Off Anambra 2013(part one)”. On 23rd of October, 2013, the second part was issued and it was titled: “Separating Igbo Cause, Democracy & Good Governance In Nigeria (Egalitarian Partisanship) From Pecuniary Politicking (Libertarian Partisanship): Putting The Records Straight”. The issuance of the Public Information under reference is in response to coordinated attacks launched against us from several angles by the All Progressives Congress using its key members, branches, malicious elements in the media and some conformists in the rights community.
We wish to reassure our teeming followers and supporters all over the world that the leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law is equal to these challenges and unprovoked attacks. It is also our assurance that we will ensure at all times that our armpits are not hairy in order to be competently positioned to set and defend parameters of modern rights activism, good governance and accountability in public governance anywhere in Nigeria and its beyond.
It is sad that many Nigerian NGOs are still peopled and led by military confrontationists who still live in the past. These sets of NGOs’ leaders are not different from “BBC(born before computer) academicians” that are killing the Nigerian higher education because of their insistence on keeping the country’s higher education on “typewriter” path, or the present Nigeria Police Force that still promotes “homicidal policing” in place of modern “electronic and preventive policing”.
Focus On APC’s Epicenter Of Political Governance In Nigeria:
Lagos State is the epicenter of the APC’s political governance in Nigeria. APC’s forefather is the Action Group of the 40s. The AG later begat UPN (Unity Party of Nigeria) in the late 70s, which gave birth to AD (Alliance for Democracy) in late 90s. Though AD claims that it still exists till date, but its bones are off leaving it boneless. The mainstream AD begat AC/N (Action Congress; plus “of Nigeria”) in the 2000s and this led to the recent birth of the All Progressives Congress.
Like its forefather, AG, the APC is southwest and northern Muslims’ dominated. Its leadership is presently dominated by its politicians of the Southwest orientation. Lagos has served as the epicenter of “opposition politics” in Nigeria since 1999. The Southwest “opposition politics” collapsed in 2003 and resurfaced in 2007 and 2008. The collapse was owing to the emergence of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as a second term President in 2003. It was then calculated that since Chief Olusengun Obasanjo came from the Southwest, continuing an opposition politics might rob the zone of “its national cake” and mainstream political inroad into the center.
Lagos is Nigeria’s most populated State with over 15 million residents and has 20 constitutionally recognized LGAs. The State is one of the smallest in terms of land mass, measuring 3,577 square kilometers, out of which 787 is occupied by lagoons and creeks. It is also Nigeria’s richest State in terms of internally generated revenues hitting between N288Billion and N348Billion yearly. Its 2013 budget is N499.105Billion with a capital expenditure of N269, 376Billion and recurrent of N229.777Billion. The State has a monthly wage bill of under N7Billion and has served as the capital of Nigeria between 1861 when its illiterate Oba Desomu ceded it and by extension, other “Niger Area” social entities to the British colonialists through the “Treaty of Cession”, and December 1991 when Nigeria’s capital was moved to Abuja. Lagos has lesser land mass than Anambra, which measures 4, 416 square kilometers. Kano is more than two and a half larger than Lagos, measuring 9,398 square kilometers of land mass.
Lagos Huge Foreign & Domestic Debts Of N330Billion:
Recently, Lagos State was in the news in a section of the Nigerian media as the “most indebted State” in Nigeria. Having successfully silenced larger section of the Nigerian media and many of the rights groups particularly those headquartered in the State, pens, voices and tongues were turned in glorification of its attainment of “this wonderful feat” by becoming “Nigeria’s most sustainable loans’ borrower”. The Lagos media and silenced rights groups joined in the “celebration” by making repeatedly a reference by the DMO (Debts Management Office)’s DG to the effect that “owing to Lagos fat revenues accruals”, its loans are “sustainable”. By implication, it has been licensed to borrow with utmost alacrity. Questions such as: “since Lagos is a sustainable or maintenance governance economy with huge revenues’ receipts, why the huge borrowings and for what purposes?” are kept in the cooler.
According to the official releases from the Nigeria’s Debt Management Office, Lagos State is the most indebted State in Nigeria both domestically and externally, with N193Billon (Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, DG-DMO: 2013) as at September 2013 and $857.53Million ( about N137Billion as at June 2013). The State’s total domestic debt as at December 2011 was N157.53Billion. In other words, Lagos State presently owes total local and foreign debts of N330Billion or about $2.07Billion. The Nigerian Senate recently approved another $200Million (N32Billion) for the State to be borrowed from the World Bank in the incoming 2014 fiscal year. The total loan approved for the State by the World Bank in the 2010 Borrowing Plan is $600Million, out of which, first tranche was secured in 2011. With this, Lagos debts by 2014 fiscal year will be N362Billion or about $2.25Billion.
States’ Local & Foreign Debts By Geopolitical Zones:
In the area of geopolitical zone, South-south is the most indebted zone in terms of domestic debt with a total of N508, 692Billion, followed by Southwest with N305.9Billion. The North-central zone and the FCT is the third most indebted zone in Nigeria in terms of local debt with N214.7Billion, followed by Southeast with N107.1Billion. The Northeast zone is the fifth most indebted zone with N72.7Billion and the least indebted zone is the Northwest with N69.8Billion. In the area of foreign debts, Southwest zone is the most indebted with $1,18Billion, followed by Northwest with $540Million. Nigeria’s third most indebted zone in foreign loans is South-south zone with $302.2Million, followed by the North-central and the FCT with $230.6Million. The Southeast zone comes fifth with $217.1Million, while the Northeast is the least most indebted zone in terms of foreign loans with $198.6Million.
15 Most Indebted States:
The fifteen most indebted States in Nigeria both domestically and externally for 2013 are: Lagos N330Billion, Bayelsa N167Billion, Cross River N107Billion, Delta 93Billion, the FCT N91Billion, Rivers N89Billion, Kaduna N75Billion, Ondo 56Billion, Akwa Ibom N50Billion, Ogun N47Billion, Ebonyi N46Billion, Edo N45Billion, Kogi N39Billion, Imo N34Billion and Adamawa N30Billion. Anambra State is one of the least indebted States in Nigeria with a total debt of N10.7Billion, which is made up of a local debt of N6.4Billion and a foreign debt of $27.3Million or about N4.27Billion. The source of the foregoing debts and their statistical breakdown was obtained from the official website of the Debt Management Office of the Federation. While the available DMO information concerning foreign debts is updated to June 2013 that of domestic debts is of December 2011. This clearly shows that the States’ official domestic debts records are most likely to be under-reported.
States’ Domestic Debts Statistics May Be Inaccurate:
While the local debt statistics of Lagos both domestic and foreign, looks officially updated because of a recent statement credited to the DG of the DMO by the media to the effect that “Lagos internal debt as at September 2013 stood at N193Billion”. A further enquiry by the leadership of Intersociety reveals that the States’ internal debts records obtained and used by the DMO may not have represented accurately what most of the States actually owe domestically. The DMO had in 2012 reported that it was having hitches compiling the States’ local debts. Pieces of information supplied to the DMO statisticians by some, if not many States, may have been half-baked especially when some States like Lagos and Imo are said to have reached “debt ceiling”. Yet the DMO official records still put Imo’s domestic and foreign debts to “N25.4Billion” and “$51.2Million” respectively. It appears that some, if not many States particularly those engrossed in huge domestic debts, are hiding the truth as regards their actual domestic loans figures.
Part Four In Making:
In part four of the subject under reference, we shall x-ray the APC and its policy of “loan governance in Nigeria” with Lagos State as a case study. We shall soon return to regional and international levels to take a stock of dictators and tyrants still holding sway in public offices in their respective countries, who continue to bring calamities and hardships to their peoples by their sit-tight.
Bottling APC Flies & Their Ranting:
Lastly, we are not unaware of “flies” hired by our detractors to come and implant hairs in our armpits with a view to blackening us and dampening our spirits locally, nationally, regionally and internationally. We shall bottle them together with their empty noises and put them to shames as we have done to several others in recent past. We urge our teeming followers and supporters not to be distracted one bit. Anambra Governorship poll will come and go and we shall remain. Once the wind of the important poll settles our jungle and paid attackers and other jungle rights activists running riot on us will roost and wait for another poll year.
Refusing To Be Distracted & Matching On:
Just two days ago, our gallant field officers led by Comrades Justus Ijeoma and Alex Ijeoma freed 42 residents of Iyiowa Odekpe in Ogbaru LGA of Anambra State, who were mass-arrested by a unit of deadly Anambra NPF’s SARS (Special Anti Robbery Squad) in their various residences and streets between 7:30pm and 8:20pm on 29th October, 2013. Among them were pregnant women, husbands and wives. On prompt intervention of our crack team the next morning, all of them were freed and two of them who have paid N10, 000 each as “bail fees” before the arrival of our crack team were refunded after the extorted sums were recovered from the SARS extortionists. The SARS guys later apologized to our crack team with a bottle of “Henkel Wine” and begged us to offer prayers for them with it. Some of the arrested citizens were tortured with gun buts and other lethal objects.
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman of the Board
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
Comrade Justus Ijeoma, Head, Publicity Desk
*Sokoto Asare water project is now a reality
By Amiru Adamu
“By means of water we give life to everything” Qur’an, 21:30. This quote from one of the world’s most popular books alone clearly spells out the importance of water mankind. Provision of potable and clean water to the people should be a top priority issue to every responsible government. At its inception the present administration in sokoto state met a water system capable of pumping only 9 million litres of water to the state and its environs per day. This prompted it to embark on the Asare water project which will provide 20 million gallons within sokoto metropolis on a daily basis.
The Asare water project linked 40 boreholes drilled at the Asare valley, to 3 water tanks located at the top of Arkilla hills, a distance of about 10 kilometres. This water station is equipped with modern water pumping and treatment machines capable of 20 million gallons per day. Though the Asare water project is its latest, the Wamakko administration has been taking steps to arrest the perennial water shortage in the state. At its inception, the present administration constituted a committee that was charged with the task of making sure the state gets adequate water supply.
Rural water supply was also not neglected by wamakko’s administration. The government through its department for rural water supply embarked on special projects to supply the rural areas with water. Some of these projects include 1000,motorized water schemes,600 solar powered motorized schemes, reactivation of over 250 hand pumps,200 overhead tanks and boreholes. Rural water schemes of Binga,Yaka,Yarabba,Tungar malam rashidu among others were also rehabilitated. Over 200 additional boreholes were also drilled in the guinea worm infested communities of Binji,Gada,Rabah,Silame,Tangaza,Tureta and Tambuwal local government areas.
As the Asare water project is commissioned, it is our hope that those placed in charge of the project, will manage it effectively for the benefit of all. ALU MUNGODE!
Amiru Adamu is the publisher of Northern Wind Magazine.
*Igbo SE Political Appointees Sit On A Keg Of Gunpowder In Nigeria
Igbo Southeast Political Appointees Are Sitting On A Keg Of Gunpowder In Nigeria: Administrative Investigation Into Oduah’s Alleged Fraud A Bold First Step, But Not Enough
(Public Information, 24th October, 2013) -It has again come to the knowledge of the leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law that the Igbo Southeast political appointees occupying plum offices including ministries, parastatals and agencies at the federal level, are sitting on a keg of gunpowder in Nigeria. Almost all key Igbo Southeast appointive public office holders serving under the present administration of President Jonathan are under threats. Already, the likes of former Minister of Power, Prof Bath Nnaji, former Controller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Mrs. Rosemary Uzoma and the immediate past Chairman of the National Population Commission, Mr. Festus Odimegwu, have either been sacked or forced to resign. The major weapon used for this “ethno-centric warfare” is the Nigerian media, controlled and sectionalized by the Southwest Nigeria.
Apart from thickening plans to restore the age-long Hausa-Fulani/Yoruba political slavery in Nigeria, whereby other ethnic nationalities including the Igbo Southeast will remain politically and economically enslaved under them ad infinitum; extensive sectional media warfare has been massively deployed to weaken and frustrate the priceless contributions of eminent sons and daughters of other nationalities to the national development. Nigeria has three major tribes of Hausa-Fulani, Igbo and Yoruba and two major concentrations of minorities of southern and northern Nigeria extractions. In 1957, “the fears of the minorities” forced the outgoing British colonialists to enshrine the “fundamental human rights code” into the Independence Constitution of 1960.
In other to address these fears of political and economic domination by the three major tribes, particularly the Hausa-Fulani and Yoruba nationalities, the 1994/5 constituent assembly divided Nigeria into six geopolitical zones with the mindset of creating two zones for southern and northern minorities. While the minorities of the south were successfully given one geopolitical zone, their northern counterparts were further Balkanized. The mainly Christian minorities of the north are supposed to be composed of southern Kaduna, Plateau, Benue, Taraba, Adamawa, Kogi, Kwara and a part of Niger State. It was expected that the last States and LGAs creation exercise of 1996 would have addressed these. But the State creators and boundary adjusters of 1996 twisted the whole thing and included Taraba and Adamawa States in the Northeast geopolitical zone instead of North-central zone where most of others were included.
These arrangements were gazetted and included in the Decree 24 of 1999, which is now called “the Constitution of Nigeria 1999”. Section 14 (3) & (4) was inserted into the Constitution to ensure that no particular zone, area or tribe dominates Federal and State appointments and revenues. This was followed by the establishment of the Federal Character Commission to ensure strict adherence to the geopolitical equity principle. Yet, these provisions have been observed in reckless breach. The Nigeria Police Force and the Police Service Commission, for instance, now promote senior police officers without disclosing the names and geopolitical identities of those promoted. While the Hausa-Fulani nationalities use violence and political suppression to dwarf Igbo-Nigerians resident in the north as well as its mainly Christian minority nationalities, the Yorubas of the Southeast make extensive use of its media to hunt down top Igbo political appointees at federal levels. The Yoruba media canonize Igbo clowns and destroy her upright personalities.
Even where there is no stain or scandal, one will be created using traps and sectionalized media reports. To have their way if no scandal is seen, malicious subordinates and personal aides are induced with scripts aided by malicious media arrangements to blow open the scripted scandals. Today, Southwest political appointees at State and federal levels are shielded from public scrutiny and where it rarely occurs, media formations and legal technicalities will be massively and consistently deployed to shield such appointees from criminal investigation and prosecution.
In the case of, some say, disgraced former Court of Appeal President, Ayo Isa Salami, the highly sectionalized Nigerian media was strongly believed to have been massively deployed to shield him, despite being reportedly caught in the act electronically. Instead, the media attention was massively beamed on Hon. Justice Aloysius Katsina Alu; a former CJN over his alleged unethical roles in the Sokoto State governorship litigation. The learned jurist came from a northern minority Christian nationality. Similar case was the in thing in the aborted trial of one Tinubu Ahmed by a Code of Conduct Tribunal. The said ex public office holder is neither guilty nor innocent because of mass deployment of sectional media and legal technicalities. The trial was stalled and inconclusive.
Stella Oduah’s Alleged Fraud:
Though, we believe strongly that Aviation Minister Stella Oduah is being hunted in the immediate by the Yoruba media and their sponsors because of her efforts in making the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu an international one, but if at the end she is competently indicted over rumors of fraud, not by the highly sectionalized Nigerian media, but by competent administrative and criminal investigative agencies, then she should not only be administratively sacked, but should be diligently prosecuted as well. The intervention of the Federal Government of Nigeria in this respect is a bold first step. The promise made by the FGN to “set up 3-person administrative investigation committee” is not enough. While the administrative enquiries or investigations only serve the purpose of “administrative punishment or exoneration”, they do not serve the fundamental purpose of criminal law. The issue of fraud is not purely an administrative matter in Nigeria. Its mother name “corruption” is mentioned in about 22 anti corruption agencies in Nigeria. In other words, corruption be it fraud, bribery, over-invoicing, kick-backs, contract inflation, theft or extortion, is a criminal offence in Nigeria.
The entry gate of media is report and the exit gate of media is also report. Punishment of any citizen whether criminal or administrative based on media reports without proper investigation, is the height of injustice. Many Nigerian egg heads, who volunteered to serve their country, have been destroyed by the highly sectionalized Nigerian media. This has scared away others who want to assist in rebuilding their battered country. Nigeria has over 25, 000 professorial and doctorial experts in US alone. The limits of media involvement in the scene of crime and criminal investigation managements are universally pronounced. This is because the potentials of the media to distort facts and destroy pieces of vital evidence because of vested interests and unprofessionalism are very high.
In the world over, any reports solely based on “media reports” are dead on arrival. Once media uncovers a presumed social deviant act or crime, it stops and allows an in-depth ethical and criminal investigation to unravel proper parties to crime or deviant act and related others. In the eyes of criminology and criminal law, no matter how investigative a media report is, it cannot be prosecutorial and judgmental. It does not quality as basis for administrative or criminal punishment, except where the accused openly admits. Other than the latter, it amounts to “trial by ordeal” or jungle justice. Such an investigative media report must be surgically operated by criminal or ethical (administrative) investigative detectives. Keeping the NPF’s Force Criminal Investigations Department redundant and inoperative is totally condemned. The Force CID should go into the matter to look at the criminal aspect of it dispassionately.
Therefore, the Federal Government of Nigeria must be careful and refrain from punishing Nigerians including its political appointees based on highly sectionalized media reports without proper investigations be they administrative or criminal. In Stella Oduah’s case, all the characters mentioned in the alleged scandal or fraud must be administratively and criminally investigated. The idea of forcing any political appointee with tenure of office to resign on the basis of planted subordinates’ disloyalty or uninvestigated media reports must be done away with.
The unceremonious and forced resignation of Eze Festus Odimegwu as the five years tenured chairman of the National Population Commission as a result of his vow to make a difference in the forthcoming census exercise, which has been mired in roguery since Independence, is roundly condemned. The idea of replacing any sacked political appointee with another from the same geopolitical zone, as was the case in the NPC and the Power Ministry, is very commendable. But it is our condemnation that this was not the case in issue of the Nigerian Immigration Service boss.
We call on top political appointees of the Igbo Southeast to always watch their backs because “their enemies are within”. While they must be upright at all times and stay away from any frauds, they should also be careful with the type of personal aides they recruit to work for them including media aides. They should also work harmoniously with their subordinates, but at the same time, watch them very closely to thwart any moves by their hunters to plant or instigate any scandals that may bring their downfall. All the those from the zone holding any command, administrative and other appointive positions should have effective media counter forces including reaching out to those in the social media to fight back when under malicious attacks. They should also establish periodic constituency consultations with formidable CSOs and other upright figures in their zone.
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
Comrade Justus Ijeoma, Head, Publicity Desk
Photo Above: Nigeria Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah
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