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03/28/11

*Never Again Miss Any Nigerian or World News Event

By Masterweb News Desk

To adequately keep abreast of Nigerian and world news events daily, below is a guide to follow so you do not miss any single news event in Nigeria and around the globe. This means that the news guide is important to both Nigerians and everybody irrespective of his or her nationality and country of residence.

STEPS TO FOLLOW NOT TO MISS ANY SINGLE NEWS ITEM

1. STEP ONE - Start-off by subscribing to Masterweb RSS News Feed - This is a one time action. Subscription to Masterweb RSS News Feed allows for the automatic download of our news updates to your computer - that way Masterweb news updates come to you automatically. Click here to subscribe to Masterweb RSS News Feed

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2. STEP TWO - Start the day by visiting our Newspapers Section ( www.nigeriamasterweb.com/paperfrmes.html ) or Newsflash Section ( www.nigeriamasterweb.com/newsflash.html ) and read Nigerian and world news from different sources including Nigerian newspapers.

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3. STEP THREE - Check out what our news contributors may have posted for the day at our Daily News Section ( www.nigeriamasterweb.com/blog/ ) and Masterweb Reports Section ( www.nigeriamasterweb.com/Masterweb/ )

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4. STEP FOUR - Visit both our Nigeria News Headlines ( www.nigeriamasterweb.com/NigeriaNewsHeadlines.html/ ) and World News Headlines ( www.nigeriamasterweb.com/WorldNewsHeadlines.html/ ) several times (up to 12 times) daily as the pages are updated every 45 minutes. During a visit, if the news is not updated, hit the F1 key on your keyboard to refresh the page for the latest news update.

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Below are the News Headlines Links (URLs) again:-

1. Nigeria News Headlines:- www.nigeriamasterweb.com/NigeriaNewsHeadlines.html/

2a. World News Headlines (1):- www.nigeriamasterweb.com/WorldNewsHeadlines.html/

2b. World News Headlines (2):- www.africamasterweb.com/WorldNewsHeadlines.html/

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5. STEP FIVE - Revisit our Newspapers Section ( www.nigeriamasterweb.com/paperfrmes.html ) or Newsflash Section ( www.nigeriamasterweb.com/newsflash.html ) before bedtime for late updates and/or following day's early updates by Masterweb and Nigerian newspapers.

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6. YOU ARE NOW FULLY INFORMED FOR THE DAY - If you follow the guide above, you will never miss any news event in the world. This means that you will be fully equipped to engage in any news or current affairs discussion anywhere and any place in the world. Best of luck!

6. ALL NEWS LINKS ABOVE ORGANIZED ON ONE PAGE - Masterweb has put together a unique page that has all the news links above that you need to adequately keep abreast of Nigerian and world news events - Click here to go to the page ( the Link or URL is http://www.nigeriamasterweb.com/NeverMissNewsEvents.html ).

Stack of Newspapers

Photo Above: Stack of Newspapers

Internet surfers at a cyber cafe in Nairobi, Kenya

Photo Above: Internet surfers at a cyber cafe in Nairobi, Kenya

*To forward this article to friends and associates, here is the link to send to them:- http://nigeriamasterweb.com/blog/index.php/2011/03/23/keeping_abreast_daily_nigeria_aamp_world

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03/27/11

Permalink 01:37:00 pm, by callmeike, 712 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, South East News

*Nigeria's Coal City, Enugu - Milked & Forgotten?

By Ikechukwu Enyiagu

Enugu State, for some of those born after the 70s, and whose interests in history are nothing of pride, was popularly known as the Coal City. And for those born well ahead of the Nigerian civil war, the Coal City remains a great part of our collective history as a nation. Coal was discovered in Enugu in 1909, almost 50 years ahead of oil discovery. Until the discovery of oil in Nigeria, coal remained our major stay as a country. At that time, when the British were brutish, the workers, amongst whom were some indigenes of the State, couldn’t dare to voice their truest demands even if they had a hint of what their rights were.

Now that oil has force-retired coal in Nigeria, the entire nation, especially the government seems to have little or no use and respect for history. Any nation or person that advertently ignores history is set for an uncertain future. With all the oil and pomp, the Nigeria of today has become more of a must-read for the the schools of the world. It’s even a laughable twist when one remembers that the same coal which the Nigerian government has toyed with and discarded, along with the indigenes where the mines are located, is the very coal which drives China into its super power dreams. China, a country with the largest single population in the world, is being driven by the same coal that the Nigerian government mocks. ( Continues below..... )

Map of Nigeria

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

Billions of Naira have been poured into the so-called Niger Delta regions because of the location of the nation’s oil deposits. The indigenes of the Niger Delta are treated with a high level of care and respect in the nation because of the oil. It’s deserving to acknowledge the source of your stay, but my questions in reference to the Coal City are these:

1. If the Niger Deltans now receive greater attention solely because of the large oil deposits in the region, why has Enugu State constantly been treated like it was never carrying the entire nation-single-handedly?

2. Recently, the salaries of former heads of state were reviewed in their favor, why is it difficult for the country to see that the government has marginalized the Coal City decades before that word got across to the Niger Deltans? Why is the Coal City treated as if it never served any purpose worthy of even greater rewards than the ex-presidents who, in their time, ruled and left without results?

3. If the Niger Deltans are compensated, and the heads of states, promoted, even after their retirement form office, why does the federal government think it not robbery to continue to ignore the Coal City indigenes and to ride on their kindness? ( Continues below..... )

Map of Nigeria's Niger Delta Region showing Port Harcourt

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

By His grace, oil has also been discovered in Enugu State. What does this entail for the nation and the state, and how is the government planning on defrauding, yet again, the good people of Enugu State? This injustice has overstayed its welcome; I, therefore, request that the federal government visit this matter and treat it in the spirit of urgency.

This has nothing to do with the history of Biafra, nor has it anything to do with the seeds that the British planted in Nigeria; it has everything to do with the way the federal government treats minorities, be they of people, resources, or concerns, and, most especially, the way the federal government views Enugu State and its indigenes as a whole.

In spite of all her worth, the Coal City has no direct outlet to the outside world except for the long-overdue minor renovations going on at the state airport. I ask that the same privileges, treatments, and incentives given to the youths of the Niger Delta and our former heads of state be extended to the Indigenes of Enugu, the great Coal City. A stitch in time saves nine.

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

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*Tags: Nigerians, Enugu, State, Coal, City, Milked, Forgotten, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb

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03/23/11

Permalink 06:25:43 pm, by admin Email , 421 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News
*Keeping Abreast of Nigeria & World Daily News Events

By Masterweb News Desk

To adequately keep abreast of Nigerian and world news events daily, below is a guide to follow so you do not miss any single news event in Nigeria and around the globe. This means that the news guide is important to both Nigerians and everybody irrespective of his or her nationality and country of residence.

STEPS TO FOLLOW NOT TO MISS ANY SINGLE NEWS ITEM

1. STEP ONE - Start the day by visiting our Newspapers Section ( www.nigeriamasterweb.com/paperfrmes.html ) or Newsflash Section ( www.nigeriamasterweb.com/newsflash.html ) and read Nigerian and world news from different sources including Nigerian newspapers.

_______

2. STEP TWO - Check out what our news contributors may have posted for the day at our Daily News Section ( www.nigeriamasterweb.com/blog/ )

_______

3. STEP THREE - Visit both our Nigeria News Headlines ( www.nigeriamasterweb.com/NigeriaNewsHeadlines.html/ ) and World News Headlines ( www.nigeriamasterweb.com/WorldNewsHeadlines.html/ ) several times (up to 12 times) daily as the pages are updated every 45 minutes. During a visit, if the news is not updated, hit the F1 key on your keyboard to refresh the page for the latest news update.

_______

Below are the News Headlines Links (URLs) again:-

1. Nigeria News Headlines:- www.nigeriamasterweb.com/NigeriaNewsHeadlines.html/

2a. World News Headlines (1):- www.nigeriamasterweb.com/WorldNewsHeadlines.html/

2b. World News Headlines (2):- www.africamasterweb.com/WorldNewsHeadlines.html/

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4. STEP Four - Revisit our Newspapers Section ( www.nigeriamasterweb.com/paperfrmes.html ) or Newsflash Section ( www.nigeriamasterweb.com/newsflash.html ) before bedtime for late updates and/or following day's early updates by Masterweb and Nigerian newspapers.

_______

5. YOU ARE NOW FULLY INFORMED FOR THE DAY - If you follow the guide above, you will never miss any news event in the world. This means that you will be fully equipped to engage in any news or current affairs discussion anywhere and any place in the world. Best of luck!

Stack of Newspapers

Photo Above: Stack of Newspapers

Internet surfers at a cyber cafe in Nairobi, Kenya

Photo Above: Internet surfers at a cyber cafe in Nairobi, Kenya

*To forward this article to friends and associates, here is the link to send to them:- http://nigeriamasterweb.com/blog/index.php/2011/03/23/keeping_abreast_daily_nigeria_aamp_world

_______

[ Click here for CHEAP PHONE CALLS FROM U.S. To NIGERIA & OTHER COUNTRIES ]

[ Click here for AFFORDABLE DOMAIN REGISTRATION, WEB HOSTING & MORE ]

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03/20/11

Permalink 01:13:53 pm, by martins, 1665 words   English (GB) latin1
Categories: News
*Nigeria: Buhari's Unfinished Business

By Martins Tokode

A friend of mine sent the first post-coup broadcast of Mohammed Buhari to me recently. Reading through the address, I came to one conclusion that Nigeria has not improved regarding the issues raised in the address. Almost everyone knows that PDP is a rejuvenated NPN that was in power at the time. It seems to me that the same NPN is now doing exactly the same thing done then but under a different nomenclature and at a different time in the history of Nigeria. ( Continues below..... )

Muhammadu Buhari

Photo Above: Muhammadu Buhari during an interview with Reuters at a private residence in Lagos, Nigeria, February 19, 2011.

Recent report in FRESHFACTS newspaper about the views of the international community regarding our April election, paint a picture of shoddy preparation and systematic corruption of the electoral process. I will like the general public to read the broadcast of the General in 1984. I do not intend to show affection for service men's intervention in politics; my point is that we need a man who is courageous and resolute to clean our country of corruption- our major devastating problem. One good turn deserves another.

HERE IS THE BROADCAST

In pursuance of the primary objective of saving our great nation from total collapse, I, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari of the Nigerian army have, after due consultation amongst the services of the armed forces, been formally invested with the authority of the Head of the Federal Military Government and the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is with humility and a deep sense of responsibility that I accept this challenge and call to national duty.

As you must have heard in the previous announcement, the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1979) has been suspended, except those sections of it which are exempted in the constitution.The change became necessary in order to put an end to the serious economic predicament and the crisis of confidence now afflicting our nation.

Consequently, the Nigerian armed forces have constituted themselves into a Federal Military Government comprising of a Supreme Military Council, a National Council of States, a Federal Executive Council at the centre and State Executive Councils to be presided over by military governors in each of the states of the federation. Members of these councils will be announced soon.The last Federal Military Government drew up a programme with the aim of handing over political power to the civilians in 1979. This programme as you all know, was implemented to the letter. The 1979 constitution was promulgated. However, little did the military realise that the political leadership of the second republic will circumvent most of the checks and balances in the constitution and bring the present state of general insecurity. The premium on political power became so exceedingly high that political contestants regarded victory at elections as a matter of life and death struggle and were determined to capture or retain power by all means.

It is true that there is a worldwide economic recession. However, in the case of Nigeria, its impact was aggravated by mismanagement. We believe the appropriate government agencies have good advice but the leadership disregarded their advice. The situation could have been avoided if the legislators were alive to their constitutional responsibilities; Instead, the legislators were preoccupied with determining their salary scales, fringe benefit and unnecessary foreign travels, et al, which took no account of the state of the economy and the welfare of the people they represented. As a result of our inability to cultivate financial discipline and prudent management of the economy, we have come to depend largely on internal and external borrowing to execute government projects with attendant domestic pressure and soaring external debts, thus aggravating the propensity of the outgoing civilian administration to mismanage our financial resources. Nigeria was already condemned perpetually with the twin problem of heavy budget deficits and weak balance of payments position, with the prospect of building a virile and viable economy.

The last general election was anything but free and fair. The only political parties that could complain of election rigging are those parties that lacked the resources to rig. There is ample evidence that rigging and thuggery were relative to the resources available to the parties. This conclusively proved to us that the parties have not developed confidence in the presidential system of government on which the nation invested so much material and human resources.While corruption and indiscipline have been associated with our state of under-development, these two evils in our body politic have attained unprecedented height in the past few years. The corrupt, inept and insensitive leadership in the last four years has been the source of immorality and impropriety in our society. Since what happens in any society is largely a reflection of the leadership of that society, we deplore corruption in all its facets. This government will not tolerate kick-backs, inflation of contracts and over-invoicing of imports etc. Nor will it condone forgery, fraud, embezzlement, misuse and abuse of office and illegal dealings in foreign exchange and smuggling.

Arson has been used to cover up fraudulent acts in public institutions. I am referring to the fire incidents that gutted the P&T buildings in Lagos, the Anambra State Broadcasting Corporation, the Republic Building at Marina, the Federal Ministry of Education, the Federal Capital Development Authority Accounts at Abuja and the NET Building. Most of these fire incidents occurred at a time when Nigerians were being apprehensive of the frequency of fraud scandals and the government incapacity to deal with them. Corruption has become so pervasive and intractable that a whole ministry has been created to stem it. Fellow Nigerians, this indeed is the moment of truth. My colleagues and I ¨C the Supreme Military Council, must be frank enough to acknowledge the fact that at the moment, an accurate picture of the financial position is yet to be determined. We have no doubt that the situation is bad enough. In spite of all this, every effort will be made to ensure that the difficult and degrading conditions under which we are living are eliminated. Let no one however be deceived that workers who have not received their salaries in the past eight or so months will receive such salaries within today or tomorrow or that hospitals which have been without drugs for months will be provided with enough immediately.We are determined that with the help of God we shall do our best to settle genuine payments to which government is committed, including backlog of workers¡¯ salaries after scrutiny. We are confident and we assure you that even in the face of the global recession, and the seemingly gloomy financial future, given prudent management of Nigeria¡¯s existing financial resources and our determination to substantially reduce and eventually nail down rises in budgetary deficits and weak balance of payments position.The Federal Military Government will reappraise policies with a view to paying greater attention to the following areas:

¡öThe economy will be given a new impetus and better sense of direction. ¡öCorrupt officials and their agents will be brought to book. ¡öIn view of the drought that affected most parts of the country, the federal government will, with the available resources, import food stuffs to supplement the shortfalls suffered in the last harvest. Our foreign policy will both be dynamic and realistic. Africa will of course continue to be the centre piece of our foreign policy. The morale and combat readiness of the armed forces will be given high priority. Officers and men with high personal and professional integrity will have nothing to fear.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria and all other holders of judiciary appointments within the federation can continue in their appointments and the judiciary shall continue to function under existing laws subject to such exceptions as may e decreed from time to time by the Federal Military Government. All holders of appointments in the civil service, the police and the National Security Organisation shall continue to exercise their functions in the normal way subject to changes that may be introduced by the Federal Military Government. All those chairmen and members of statutory corporations, parastatals and other executive departments are hereby relieved of their appointments with immediate effect.

The Federal Military Government will maintain and strengthen existing diplomatic relations with other states and with international organisations and institutions such as the Organisation of African Unity, the United Nations and its organs, Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, ECOWAS and the Commonwealth etc. The Federal Military Government will honour and respect all treaties and obligations entered into by the previous government and we hope that such nations and bodies will reciprocate this gesture by respecting our country¡¯s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Fellow Nigerians, finally, we have dutifully intervened to save this nation from imminent collapse. We therefore expect all Nigerians, including those who participated directly or indirectly in bringing the nation to this present predicament, to cooperate with us. This generation of Nigerians, and indeed future generations, have no country other than Nigeria. We shall remain here and salvage it together. May God bless us all. Good morning.

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I am not a mouth piece for Buhari and I have neither seen him face-to-face or remotely related to him in anyway. I do not even live in Nigeria. But I knew how Nigeria was during his short rule. He is man of his word. He did exactly what he said in the speech above. Unfortunately his mate Tunde Idiagbon is no more with us. Nigeria needs men who will say and do. Nigeria needs strong and courageous leader. May God bless you and may God bless Nigeria.

Martins Tokode can be reached at martins_tokode@rocketmail.com

Muhammadu Buhari

Photo Above: Muhammadu Buhari

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Muhammadu Buhari and Pastor Tunde Bakare

Photo Above: Muhammadu Buhari -Left, Pastor Tunde Bakare -Right

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03/15/11

Permalink 05:00:00 pm, by lateef lawal, 294 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, World News

*Nigeria: NAMA Trains Over 60 ATCs In The U.S.

By Lateef Lawal

Fifteen Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) from Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) sent for retraining in the United States under World Bank sponsored program have completed their course and returned to Nigeria.

This brings to 64, the number of Air Traffic Controllers so far trained under this program in the U.S. In 2009 three batches of ATCs were sent while in 2010 two batches went for the retraining program. Members of the sixth batch that left for the program late January 2011 are expected back in the country before the end of this month. ( Continues below..... )

Airborne Plane

Photo Above: An Airborne Plane

Reports reaching NigerianAviationNews over the weekend indicates the ATCs which included two female Controllers were trained at the Pan Am International Flight Academy, Miami, Florida, USA for 7 weeks on Terminal, Approach and Area Radar operations.

Receiving the members of the fifth batch, the Managing Director of NAMA, Alhaji Ibrahim Auyo, enjoined them to brace up for future challenges in the discharge of their duties in the safety critical industry and ensure dilligence. ( Continues below….. )

A Landing Arik Plane

Photo Above: A Landing Arik Plane

Speaking on behalf of the team, Mr Esona Ituka described their experience as rewarding and wonderful, adding that it afforded them the opportunity to train-on and see world class facilities.

He pleaded with the management of NAMA to ensure that more of such trainings are embarked upon so as to expose more of his colleagues to such retraining program.

Before now, not less than 12 Air Traffic Controllers of NAMA trained and obtained Private Pilot License (PPL) to further enhance their technical skill.

Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)

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03/11/11

Permalink 05:50:12 pm, by admin Email , 451 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News
*Press Release » Buhari/Bakare Campaign Salutes Nigerian Women

By Buhari Campaign Organization

The Buhari/Bakare campaign sends warm greetings to the women of Nigeria as the world marks the International women day today. The Nigerian woman symbolizes the enduring human spirit that stands tall in the face of trials and tribulations over the years. We must celebrate the women of Nigeria either as mothers or wives for their roles as continuation of God’s creation process. In recognition of the importance of our women in National politics, General Buhari is on record as being the first Head of State in Nigeria to promote affirmative action for women by directing all State cabinets to have women commissioners as a military ruler between 1984 – 1985.

In his bid for the presidency in 2011, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) which he leads has placed special emphasis on women in its manifesto with clear commitment:

1) “Ensure the rights of women are protected as enshrined in our constitution”,

2) “Guarantee that women are adequately represented in government appointments and provide greater opportunities in education, job creation and economic empowerment”,

3) “Recognize and protect women empowerment and greater equality with special emphasis on economics activities in development and in rural areas”

4) “Promote the concept of reserving a minimum number of seats in National Assembly for women”

The Buhari/Bakare campaign feels the pains our poor women in particular had and are having to bear in the midst of general deprivations in our Country in the midst of vast recourses being mismanaged by leaders who are not committed to the welfare of the people. We make solemn promise to ease their pains and guarantee better living conditions for all if given the mandate to lead the country from May 29, 2011.

May the next celebrations of the women’s day be under a better clime for our women.

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*Read Related Articles:-

(1). Buhari Accorded Distinguished Women's Award In The U.S.:- http://nigeriamasterweb.com/blog/index.php/2011/02/28/buhari_accorded_distinguished_women_s_aw

(2). Buhari Deserves AAUW Distinguished Women's Award:- http://nigeriamasterweb.com/blog/index.php/2011/03/03/masterweb_commentary_buhari_deserves_aau

(3). Buhari Award: Saharareporters Shamed As AAUW Responds:- http://nigeriamasterweb.com/blog/index.php/2011/03/04/buhari_award_saharareporters_shamed_as_a

(4). Buhari Award: SADA Finds It Difficult To Understand Saharareporters:- http://nigeriamasterweb.com/blog/index.php/2011/03/07/buhari_award_sada_finds_it_difficult_to_

(5). Buhari Honored With Award:- http://blogs.cfr.org/campbell/2011/03/02/buhari-honored-with-award/

(6). Buhari dazzles American women:- http://nationalmirroronline.net/news/7030.html

Muhammadu Buhari

Photo Above: Muhammadu Buhari

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Muhammadu Buhari and Pastor Tunde Bakare

Photo Above: Muhammadu Buhari -Left, Pastor Tunde Bakare -Right

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03/10/11

Permalink 04:14:18 pm, by lateef lawal, 475 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News
*Nigeria: N6.5b Aviation Scam - Court Admits EFCC Evidence

By Lateef Lawal

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, presided over by Justice Abubakar Sadiq Umar, on Tuesday, March 1st , 2011, ruled that the confession of Mr. T. A. Dairo, Personal Assistant to a former Minister of Aviation, Professor Babalola Borishade, on July 25th, 2008, was made voluntarily; hence admissible in court.

The judge also ruled that all the authorities cited during trial within trial by a counsel to a former Managing Director of the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency to Rowland Iyayi, are inapplicable and should therefore be discountenanced.

Borishade and Iyayi are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), alongside two others for allegedly taking bribes and forging documents relating to a N6.5 billion aviation contract awarded by them. The other two accused persons are Mr. George Eder, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Avsatel Communications Limited. ( Continues below..... )

Aviation Scam Symbol

Photo Above: Aviation Scam Symbol

It would be recalled that the court had on June 9, 2010, ordered a trial within trial to determine vel non the voluntariness and admissibility of the statement of T. A Dairo made on July 25th , 2008 based on the objections of the defence counsel on the admissibility of same.

In a seven-page document dated January 25th, 2011 and titled: “Written address of the prosecution to the court, urging admissibility of the statement made by the 3rd accused person on July 25th, 2008 and in response to written address of counsel to 2nd accused person”, EFCC counsel, Sebastine Hon, had urged the court to "adopt our review of the evidence, preliminary objection and issue for determination in our exhaustive and comprehensive written addresses to counsels to 1st and 3rd accused persons respectively as our submissions in response to the written address of counsel to the 2nd accused person". ( Continues below..... )

Airborne Plane

Photo Above: An Airborne Plane

Hon added that counsel to Iyayi, Barrister Chidi Ezenwafor, seemed to misconceive the real issue for the trial within trial which is whether or not the statement made by Dairo on July 25, 2008 was voluntarily made.

Ricky Tarfa, SAN, counsel to 4th and 5th accused persons, had also argued that the statements from the accused persons were taken under duress and therefore not admissible in court. The other defence counsel aligned with Tarfa. But in his ruling, the judge said that the prosecution had proven beyond reasonable doubt that the statements were not taken under duress, but voluntarily; hence admissible in court.

The judge, after ruling on the admissibility of the EFCC’s evidence, adjourned the case till March 28th, 2011 for continuation of hearing. The EFCC had filed a 15- count amended charge against the accused on November 19, 2009.

Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)

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03/09/11

Permalink 08:14:34 pm, by aviationreport, 469 words   ng-NG
Categories: News
*Cocaine On The Rise Again In Africa

By Nosa Osula-Aituamen

The Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Ahmadu Giade has amplified his call for intensive regional drug control approach. The NDLEA boss made the call following the release of the International Narcotic Control Board {INCB} 2010 report which was launched in Vienna last week.

The report states that cocaine smuggling through Africa to Europe is on the rise again after a decline in the past two years. While re-echoing an articulated and sustained collective approach in drug control, Giade noted that drug trafficking as an organised crime transcends national frontiers. ( Continues below….. )

Map of Africa

Photo Above: Map of Africa

The NDLEA helmsman stated that illicit drug trade involves a minimum of two countries, a condition that makes inter-country collaboration inevitable. He therefore advocated a pragmatic and comprehensive collaboration. “Drug trafficking usually involves two or more countries. It has to do with production nations, transit countries where the drugs are smuggled through as well as the final destinations where the drugs are ultimately consumed. As a result, the excellent performance of one country cannot guarantee a drug-free world” Giade declared.

“Drug traffickers from experience avoid countries with strict drug law enforcement to those with weak anti-drug legislation. This is in addition to the adoption of new modes of drug concealment to prevent seizures of their drugs. It is therefore compelling that nations of the world must form a formidable force against drug syndicates” the NDLEA boss stressed.

Determined to propel the collective drug control initiative, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is working with counterparts, particularly NDLEA and the European Union on long term cooperation under the 10th European Development Fund. This is expected to advance evidence based drug prevention and control policy. Other areas include improved drug demand reduction programmes and enhanced law enforcement capacity. ( Continues below….. )

Sack of Cocaine Blocks

Photo Above: Sack of Cocaine Blocks

The {INCB} report equally highlights the tremendous rise in designer drugs and presents recent regional developments. It points out that designer drugs are often produced by modifying the molecular structure of illegal substances, resulting in a new product with similar effects which then circumvents control measures. Another worrisome dimension is the detailed instructions for the manufacture of designer drugs which are often shared via the Internet.

In Europe, 16 new designer drugs are being monitored even as the figure in Japan is believed to be as high as 51. According to the President of INCB, Mr. Hamid Ghodse “given the health risks posed by the abuse of designer drugs, we urge Governments to adopt national control measures to prevent the manufacture, trafficking in and abuse of these substances”.

Nosa Osula-Aituamen (Aviationreport)

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Permalink 11:57:00 am, by mark hirnyam, 1304 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, World News, African News

*Constitutional Democracy & Smooth Succession of Government in Africa

By Mark Hirnyam

The continent of Africa is currently witnessing an increasing wave of democratization as countries increasingly adopt the practice of constitutional and democratic governance. As this democratic culture sweeps across the continent, there have been, in many countries, reasons to doubt or question the expected benefit of the practice. A number of countries, even though under constitutional democracy, have encountered very serious political crises in its practice. From the last crisis in Kenya to the ongoing succession question in Nigeria.

The issue of constitutional democracy is a relatively fragile phenomenon in Africa. We have cause to be delighted with those countries in Africa that have strived above our peculiar challenges to uphold the virtues of democracy that guarantee smooth succession of governments.

Corruption, ethnic, tribal, religious, gender discrimination, violence and election rigging to mention but a few have characterized political regimes in Africa. However, amidst these confrontations, African countries like Botswana, Ghana, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Tanzania and recently South Africa and Sierra Leone would stand up tall if we are to celebrate smooth government successions in the continent. Constitutional democracy is viewed as a system of government based on popular sovereignty in which structures, powers and limits of government are set forth in a Constitution. In upholding this concept of democracy, there must be an effective system where the electorate would control its elected representatives and hold them accountable for their decisions and actions while in government.

Constitutional democracy has two ideals; first, by constitutionalism, it relates to the regulation of political authority by law. Under this idea, the Constitution which is the ground norm defines or limits the power of government and determines the level and manner of distributing political authority amongst the arms of government. Secondly, democracy by this notion refers to representation i.e. who holds and exercises political authority on behalf of others, how is political authority acquired and retained as well as ensuring public accountability of public office holders. ( Continues below….. )

Map of Africa

Photo Above: Map of Africa

Inferring from the above, the most important part of constitutional democracy is the electorate or the citizen. This is why we accept the democratic system of government which ensures that government in power is accountable to the people and the laws of the land. However, it is important to state that a democratic government is not a guarantee for good governance, but invariably provides a basis for it.

The development and progress of constitutional democracy in Africa has indeed begun. Since 1992, the number of leaders that have voluntarily relinquished power is estimated to be 40. Some of them handed over power after serving their constitutional tenures while others lost elections and accepted the election outcome. The number of democratic nations in Africa has also grown just as political reforms have increased even in those countries with monarchy.

Instilling the idea of constitutional democracy in Africa, the Organization of Africa Unity (OAU) in July 1999, at a summit of member nations in Algiers adopted a policy against unconstitutional change of government. The policy was later consolidated in Article 30 of the Constitutive Act of Africa Union (AU) which declares that “governments which shall come to power through unconstitutional means shall not be allowed to participate in the activities of the Union”. In Bamako in 2000, the Organization Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) agreed to suspend member states that have experienced a military coup d’etat. Togo was indeed suspended in 2005 following the attempt by the military to impose Faure Gnassingbe after the death of his father, Eyadema.

Irrespective of this pacts and agreements, democratic practice in some African countries have been dominated by one party system, such that the idea of being voted out of power becomes a near impossibility. Hence, the transfer of power from an incumbent party to the opposition remains a formidable challenge. Although there is nothing wrong with the same ruling party winning in every election, the way and manner in which these transitions have taken place leaves doubt in the emergence of proper multi-party politics but continues to uphold the one party tradition in Africa.

If we agree that constitutional democracy dwells with the laws of the land, then we must accept that such laws have not been effectively used or are minimally implemented. The scenario connotes the inability of political actors and elites to do the right thing and subject themselves to the will of the people. ( Continues below….. )

Mr. Jean Ping, Chairperson of the African Union Commission

Photo Above: Mr. Jean Ping, Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission

There is no gainsaying the fact that democracy and indeed succession problems include self dominant forms of government, corruption, insufficient accountability, inadequate checks and balances, non-compliance to rule of law, absence of peaceful means of relinquishing power, sit-tight leadership, election disputes and so on.

In addition, as a carryover from long years of military existence, there is increased dominance of the executive in our political regimes. Hence, the balance of power is heavily skewed to the all-powerful President in most cases. This is evident in attempts by these all-powerful Presidents to extend their respective tenures or to decide at the exclusion of others who succeeds them. In some cases, these attempts have been successful but have rendered leadership succession complicated and smooth government transition more difficult to achieve.

If we desire to sustain democracy in Africa, then we must ensure that our democratic systems require continuous nurturing support and strengthen those institutions and mechanisms that uphold democracy- these include the judiciary, parliament, an independent electoral management body, Human Rights Commission, virile political parties with comprehensible manifestoes, vibrant and free media and an engaged civil society. What we have done in Nigeria to ensure the independence of the parliament and the judiciary is the historic review of our Constitution which has sections that provide for funding these institutions through a (direct) first line charge method rather depending on the executive for finance (and obvious control).

In view of the above also, there should be a proper symmetry between the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary based on the principles of accountability or checks and balances and a better relationship between the three arms of government. Succession under constitutional democracy is beyond the issue of tenure limits. It is on this basis that we suggest that provisions should be made for outgoing leaders to be able to maintain a decent and meaningful way of life while contributing further to national, regional and international development.

The conduct of free and fair elections is paramount in encouraging smooth succession of government. For this reason, the independence of the electoral system including representation of the individual political competitors must be assured. Parliamentarians in the region particularly, need to enhance those necessary laws and ensure their implementation through proper oversights while the armed forces should participate as private individuals not security operatives during elections.

It is also their duty as parliamentarians to ensure that our laws or even constitutional reforms (where necessary) are clear and easily understood, just as they increase the value of electorates and elections rather than consenting to provisions that are either vague or are easy to be manipulated.

In conclusion, the efforts of the executive in ensuring transparency in governance and credible elections through pacts and eventual practice must be commended. However these actions may not be as objective and as desirable for the common good. It is in this regard that the makers of the law must ensure that those laws that are unbiased and promote good governance are upheld. This is because democracy depends on adequate electoral laws and constitutional democracy simply means guaranteeing the rule of law.

Mark Hirnyam is an Associate Editor with the National Assembly Legislative Digest ( Website: www.nasslegisdigestonline.com ).

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03/08/11

Permalink 06:23:43 am, by admin Email , 1787 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News
*Nigeria: As Goodluck comes Home to Bayelsa State

By Nwokedi Nworisara

On Tuesday, March 8th 2011, Bayelsa State will witness a rousing reception for her illustrious son, President Goodluck Jonathan at the Sampson Siasia Sports Complex. This reception originally expected to attract more than one million people has been toned down because of the obvious logistic difficulties it will present in terms of crowd control. Accreditation to this event has been tight even for journalists. This has been the case with every stop of the President in his nationwide campaign. His popularity and widespread acceptance is not in doubt. The question has always been that of space constrains and how to secure the people and their visitors never whether the crowd will come. I say this because of the hype following the crowd pulled by the Gen.Buhari, the CPC presidential flag bearer’s campaign in Kaduna and attempts by the press to judge his popularity with this criterion. There was also the talk about the PDP’s Lagos campaign which “attracted a smaller crowd”. Some analysts have even been fixated lately on the relatively small voter’s numbers in Bayelsa State vis avis the so called opposition States as signal that the President was already disadvantaged in going into the polls. These things happen in politics but the reality is different from visuals being created by opposition parties. Let me crave your indulgence to explain the reality here.

On the issue of registered voters in States, people should understand that voting in the new system of DDC machine is a different ball game altogether from what we used to know. Here the nitty-gritty will be as different as black and white. It is true that there were allowed double registration and you wonder how they could still do it but nothing is perfect. It is true that under aged registration may have occurred in those Northern States with figures that defy logic but not to worry, for instance those in Puddah during registration, those whose registration could not be effected but through their computer literate husbands or relatives will come out to vote and we shall see their faces and determine whether they are toddlers even if we cannot know whether they are Nigerians or from across the border. At that time it will be the Party on ground that has the right to make a complaint or query a result. To be on ground requires a lot of finance and logistics input and not many parties today can match the national spread of the ruling Party. ( Continues below….. )

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

So what may happen is that those states with inflated numbers will have actually reduced voting population to the extent that eyebrows will be raised again. The taste of the pudding is in the eating they say. So do not be carried away yet. Sectional parties have always found it difficult to survive the Nigerian political terrain all through history and this time will not be an exception. The fact that a party takes control of the states of South West with the second highest voter strength does not translate to a loss for the President in the Presidential election here. The revise is more likely to be the case however because it is more likely that the people will vote a more likely to win President of southern extraction than anyone else and this may create a bandwagon effect to affect even the result of the gubernatorial elections here. The safeguard here is that the South Western electorate is relatively better informed and therefore also more flexible in their choice patterns.

One of the reasons for caution in predicting from the registration is of course the requirement for spread in electoral votes across two thirds of the country. It is better that you are everywhere accepted in smaller numbers than you score ninety percent in few. We have seen it in Chief Awolowo and his Action Group AG; we saw it in Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and his Nigerian peoples Party NPP in the past. The issue of drawing crowd by raising local sentiments has always been counterproductive in this political system. It may win you some states but the Nigerian Presidency is not for extreme ideologues.

The Jonathan Presidency is sponsored not by Bayelsans but all Nigerians who yearned for change. We decided that he should be the bridge in our effort to cross this putrefying river of national stagnation. Our basic judgment was to answer the question “Who is capable of going for us? We saw that under the circumstances that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was the best choice so we decided to support him. Each mission is limited by the requirements of it. Nigeria is in a transition because we are yet to attain Nationhood to enable us act as one people more easily. What we need most is a uniting element not a tiger. A tiger acts for the body that is already united and strong otherwise by his sudden strength he will only pull it apart. The South South Presidency is the uniting factor for Nigeria because it will give the so called minorities a sense of belonging and will restore hope for a permanent move towards nationhood through citizenship. Therefore competence is qualified in this instance to suit the goal. We cannot be looking for someone to unite Nigeria towards nationhood and we are seeking the one that can tear her apart.

So as the President comes to campaign in his home state Bayelsa State, it is important that all well wishers know that the place of his presidency amongst the array of Presidential candidates seeking your votes com April. Since the time of Nnamdi Azikiwe, Nigeria has never seen another bridge builder like Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. Maybe this assertion will become clearer with time. Permit me once again to introduce him here. Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger, GCON, and President, Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, was born to a humble Niger Delta family of canoe makers on November 20, 1957. He attended St. Stephens and St. Michaels Primary Schools, Oloibiri, finishing in 1969. He proceeded to Mater Dei High School, Imiringi, where he passed his West African School Certificate with flying colours in 1975.

On completion of his secondary education, he worked as a Preventive Officer with the Nigerian Customs Service for two years before proceeding to the University of Port Harcourt as one of the pioneer students of the new University nestling on the shores of the Choba River. He graduated with Second Class Upper honours in 1981. In 1985 and 1995 he studied for his Master’s and Ph.D degrees in Hydrobiology and Fisheries Biology, and Zoology respectively, from the same University. But this was not until he had completed his mandatory one year of National Youth Service in Iresi, old Oyo State, and now Osun State of Nigeria. ( Continues below….. )

Map of Nigeria

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

Returning to the warm embrace of family and friends in 1982, he was appointed as Science Inspector of Education, Rivers State Ministry of Education, while studying in between for his post-graduate and graduate degrees. Between 1983 and 1993 he took up employment as a lecturer in the Department of Biological Science, Rivers State College of Education. In 1993, he was appointed Assistant Director (Ecology of the defunct Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC) in charge of Environmental Protection. He resigned his job in 1998 and went into politics.

His honesty, simplicity, charisma, quiet strength and determination made him an ideal running mate to Chief D.S.P. Alamieyeseigha on the Bayelsa People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and gubernatorial ticket. They won the elections, and he served as a Deputy Governor from 1999 to 11 December 2005. On 12 December that year, he became the substantive Governor of Bayelsa State.

It wasn’t long after that fate once again beckoned. He was busy preparing for re election to his first full term as substantive governor, when the PDP, which is the largest political party in Africa, nominated him as running mate to the Presidential candidate, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’adua. After a keenly contested election, the Yar’adua/Jonathan ticket won, and on May 29, 2007, he was inaugurated as Nigeria’s Vice President. Precisely on February 9, 2010, Dr. Jonathan assumed office as Nigeria’s Acting President by virtue of a National Assembly resolution empowering him as Acting President, following President Yar’Adua’s long absence for medical attention in Saudi Arabia. This popularized the doctrine of necessity. Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was sworn-in on May, 6, 2010 as President, Commander-in-chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria following the passing away of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua on May 5, 2010.

Dr. Jonathan has received several local and international awards. He was voted the ‘Best performing Deputy Governor’ in 2002 by IPAN, given the ‘Democracy and Good Governance Award’ by Nigeria Union of Journalists in 2004. The Africa International News magazine league conferred on him the ‘Niger Delta Development Award’; the Nigerian Bar Association, the ‘Distinguished Personality’ award in 2006, and the All African Students Union in South Africa, the ‘Africa Leadership Award 2006’.

Additionally, the Nigerian Union of Teachers voted him the ‘Best Performing Governor in Education in the South-South’ in 2006. He was also recognized by the International Federation for World Peace (IIFWP) in 22 July 2006, with ‘Ambassador for Peace Merit Award’ as well as the ‘Leadership and Good Governance Merit Award’. There is no complete introduction of the President without mentioning the indefatigable First Lady Dame Goodluck Jonathan who is actually the engine room behind the President’s success. As Bayelsa’s turn out in large numbers led by Governor Timipre Sylva to welcome a man whose personality has literally shut down all quarrels between brothers in the State, it is expected that all political parties and their supporters will be represented a this unique rally of solidarity. The only problem to grapple with is space and consideration for the safety of the crowd. Organizers are toying with the idea of setting up huge screens TV screens for those who cannot make it into the Stadium. The last time he visited Otueke the logistic problem forced some visitors to watch the event on television from their hotel suites. .This time around the focus is on accrediting only leaders and representatives of the people to such rallies but in Yenagoa, the President is likely to interact directly with the crowd of his home State.

Nwokedi Nworisara a Public Policy Analyst and Media consultant, writes from Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

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