*Nigeria: Bankole - The Potrait of Political Arrogance
By Kali Gwegwe
The decision of the immediate past speaker of Nigeria's House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole to dictate when to respond to official invitation from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was most regrettable and should be condemned by all well-meaning Nigerians.
By his actions, Bankole attempted to rubbish the collective efforts by government and the citizenry to sanitise the nation's economic, social, and political landscape that is bedeviled by pandemic corruption. With this shameful act, it will take more efforts and time to convince the international community that the much talked about war against graft in Nigeria is genuine. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Dimeji Bankole, Speaker Nigeria House of Representatives (November 1, 2007 - June 2, 2011).
Let us not forget the fact that as a nation, Nigeria cannot make much headway if the global business community does not have confidence in the ability of government to isolate corruption from private and public businesses in the country. It is the economic sector that sustains the socio-political framework of every nation. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Nigerian Naira Notes
With the Bankole saga very fresh in mind, this writer is compelled to suggest that the National assembly quickly create a law that will punish whoever that refuses to honour the invitation of any of the anti-graft agencies in the country. With such law, Bankole and his likes will not make the mistake of ignoring the invitation of either EFCC or ICPC in future. ( Continues below...... )
Photo Above: Nigeria National Assembly Complex
Many had thought that Bankole will hurriedly use the opportunity of his invitation by EFCC to clear his name of all charges and insinuations. By his actions, he has indirectly given credence to the opinion of the EFCC and thereby raising even more suspicion. With the quality of the nation's justice system, there was no need for him to attempt to hide from the long arm of the law.
Thank God that despite all the pride and arrogance he displayed, the arm of the law was long and strong enough to catch him. At least, the whole world will know the truth. More than that, the international community will be convinced that we are serious about the war against graft. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Did Bankole throw stones? Let the courts answer this question.
Kali Gwegwe writes from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State and can be reached at email@example.com ( 0806 407 4810 )
*Tags: Nigerians, Dimeji, Bankole, Political, Arrogance, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb
*Helping Local Govts Perform In Nigeria
By Ifeatu Agbu
The local governments, which are the third tier of government, were designed to bring development to the grassroots. It cannot be otherwise, as the Federal Government, which is calling the shots from Abuja, is too far away from the headquarters of the 774 local government councils in the country. Similarly, most of the state capitals are equally far from the many towns and villages in the local government areas.
It is no wonder then that the federal and state governments are often too far removed from the generality of Nigerians to appreciate their urgent needs. This yawning gap that is supposed to be filled by the local governments is, unfortunately, left as a gaping hole because the so-called grassroots government is often unable or incapable of delivering on their constitutional mandate.
If you move round the local governments in the country, it is only in very few of them that you would see projects they executed. In fact, many of them have served no other purpose other than being used as drain pipes. There are indications that some local government chairmen and their councilors stay in the cities, only to converge at their headquarters at the end of every month to share the money allocated to the councils from the Federation Account. They do this on a regular basis without any qualms because of the absence of an effective accountability mechanism.
The woeful failure of most local governments as agencies of development has prompted some people to advocate that the third tier be scrapped, ostensibly because many of them are not adding any value to the development process of this nation.
There shortcomings notwithstanding, the local governments have an important role to play. The nation needs them to perform some basic functions at the grassroots to accelerate the overall development of the country. In the light of this, rather than scrap the local governments, as some people have suggested, they should actually be roused from their slumber. The sure way to do this would be to assign definite and measureable roles to them every year. In other words, allocations from the Federation Account to the local governments should be tied to specific projects and programmes, which should be monitored by credible federal and state agencies. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing its 36 states and capital (Abuja or FCT)
As part of the efforts to make the local governments relevant in the development process of the country, the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, recently held a meeting with the chairmen of the 185 councils in the Niger Delta region. For the commission, the main objective of the meeting was to forge a development partnership with the local governments.
In order to achieve this, the Managing Director of NDDC, Mr. Chibuzor Ugwoha told the council chairmen that the sum of thirty million naira had been set aside by the commission for every council area that was eligible. “It is part of the commission’s efforts to drive development down to the grassroots,” he said.
However, since the resources of the commission are limited, the financial lifeline being offered to the councils would not be enough to go round the 185 council areas in the region at once. Ugwoha said: “What is available to kick start the scheme is N1.35 billion, which without recourse to other parameters of wealth allocation among the nine NDDC states, uniformly translates to N150 million per state. At N30 million per local government, the amount available to a state can only accommodate five council areas. It simply means that other LGs may have to wait a while for the scheme, which shall ultimately evolve, to benefit all 185 local government areas in the Niger Delta”.
In a way, this will ginger the local governments into action and it would also bring out those that are truly committed to developing their areas, since the partnership requires some commitment from the councils. The councils that would benefit from the NDDC largesse are required to match the NDDC grant by 50 per cent, which means that they would contribute N15 million to raise the fund to N45 million which must be used to execute a project that would have direct and immediate benefit to the various communities.
No doubt, this is one good offer that the LG chairmen should grab with both hands. Again, it is a grant that must be put to the best possible use. The LG chairmen should use the bottom-up approach in the selection of projects. Their people must be involved in determining what is actually needed, to ensure that they take the projects as theirs and as such do everything necessary to safeguard and protect them.
The good thing about projects like this is that the other partner would serve as a counterpoise necessary to put a check on abuses. There would be no room for the cavalier approach to local government contracts in this partnership arrangement. In this wise, the NDDC boss laid the ground rules for the council chiefs. He said: “We need to be careful in choosing contractors for the projects. We should go for those with competence and tract records, so that the work time does not drag beyond what is being envisaged and thereby create basis for contractors to demand payment of variations”. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria's Niger Delta Region showing Port Harcourt
The Federal and State Governments as well as other development agencies, should take a cue from this to enter into similar partnerships with the local governments to ensure that they are encouraged to perform their duties diligently. Granted that the local governments are not getting enough funds to adequately address the important functions assigned to them in the constitution, but that cannot justify a situation where many of the LGs virtually go to sleep.
That the local governments don’t have much to show for their existence is a sign that there is something fundamentally wrong with the system of resource allocation and sharing of responsibilities. It would appear that there is a mismatch between the statutory functions of the local governments and their capacities. Obviously, an appropriate balance is yet to be struck in the use of revenue allocation to correct the imbalance between responsibilities and revenue power at the lower levels of government. The Federal Government currently takes 52.68 per cent of the centrally collected revenues, leaving the states and local governments with 26.72 and 20.60 per cent respectively. With this relatively small amount, prudent local governments could still manage to execute some projects. The problem is that by far the majority have nothing tangible to justify what they receive monthly from the Federation Account.
That apart, the federal and the state governments that get a larger chunk from the Federation Account should assist the local councils, just like the NDDC has demonstrated, to address the basic needs of the people at the grassroots. Some states are already doing this as was stated by Prince Timothy Nsirim, the chairman of Obio-Akpor Local Government in Port Harcourt metropolis. He said that the saving grace for the LGs in Rivers State was that the government of Governor Rotimi Amaechi took the burden of teachers’ salary off their shoulders. Before then, he said, the council could not execute even small projects. Virtually all the chairmen who spoke attributed their inability to execute capital projects to the financial burden of paying the salaries of primary school teachers in their council areas. To make the local governments deliver on their mandates as veritable agents of development at the grassroots, the governors of the Niger Delta states should heed the advice of Prince Nsirim that they should “assist their local governments in paying teachers’ salaries so that they would have money to spare for projects.”
Given the statutory funds available to the local governments of the oil-rich region, it would be dishonest for their chairmen to blame their poor performances entirely on the payment of teachers’ salaries. That would just amount to finding an alibi to cover up for the financial mismanagement, which is mostly responsible for their dismal performance.
Any government that spends all its revenue on recurrent expenditure as most of the local governments seem to be doing, will in no time outlive its usefulness and incur the wrath of its people. This reality should make our local governments to improve on their financial management, which will help them to improve on their service delivery to their people.
Mr. Ifeatu Agbu ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) writes from Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
*Tags: Nigerians, Local, Govts, Lgas, Perform, Niger, Delta, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb
*Are Nigeria / Cameroon's Jukuns Jews?
By Apostle Dr. Genesis Dawuda
The people shall dwell alone and shall not be reckoned among the nations; Numbers 23:9. They shall be wanderers among the nations; Hosea 9:17. Jukuns! Jews? I know it sounds so funny, crazy and unbelievable. But don’t laugh and fall off your seat. I am serious, are the Jukuns Jews? History is a very wonderful subject, unappetizing when starting it but rewarding when it comes to applying it to real life situations.
In tracing one’s root there are many sources of information that an individual can draw from. It could be anthropological, biological, biblical, archeological or historical.
Some very important things we must put at the back of our minds are that:
1. The Jukuns came from the middle east (Yemen)
2. The ten lost tribes of Israel taken into captivity by Assyria lost all traces of their heritage.
3. And the other two tribes that went into captivity in Babylon did not stay long in captivity.
4. God asks Ezekiel, can this dry bones live again?
5. God said in Deut. 28:58-ff (The Message Translation) If you don't diligently keep all the words of this Revelation written in this book, living in holy awe before This Name glorious and terrible, GOD, your God, then GOD will pound you with catastrophes, you and your children, huge interminable catastrophes, hideous interminable illnesses. He'll bring back and stick you with every old Egyptian malady that once terrorized you. And yes, every disease and catastrophe imaginable--things not even written in the Book of this Revelation--GOD will bring on you until you're destroyed. Because you didn't listen obediently to the Voice of GOD, your God, you'll be left with a few pitiful stragglers in place of the dazzling stars-in-the-heavens multitude you had become. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing its 36 states including Taraba State (Home of Jukuns in Nigeria). *Jukuns also live in parts of northwestern Cameroon.
And this is how things will end up: Just as GOD once enjoyed you, took pleasure in making life good for you, giving you many children, so GOD will enjoy getting rid of you, clearing you off the Earth. He'll weed you out of the very soil that you are entering in to possess. He'll scatter you to the four winds, from one end of the Earth to the other. You'll worship all kinds of other gods, gods neither you nor your parents ever heard of, wood and stone no-gods. But you won't find a home there, you'll not be able to settle down. GOD will give you a restless heart, longing eyes, a homesick soul. You will live in constant jeopardy, terrified of every shadow, never knowing what you'll meet around the next corner.
In the morning you'll say, "I wish it were evening." In the evening you'll say, "I wish it were morning." Afraid, terrorized at what's coming next, afraid of the unknown, because of the sights you've witnessed.
GOD will ship you back to Egypt by a road I promised you'd never see again. There you'll offer yourselves for sale, both men and women, as slaves to your enemies. And not a buyer to be found. Anthropologically, I’ll refer you to Dr. C.K. Meek’s book “A Sudanese Kingdom” in order to find some Jewish heritage among the Jukun. These are:
(a) The eastern gate entrance by the king: All turn their horses swiftly and gallop back again to meet the king as he enters the eastern gate amidst loud shouts welcome from his people. Page 152
(b) The triumphant entry by the King: About 3pm most of the commoners return to Wukari in order to welcome the King when he makes his triumphant entry. It is note-worthy that whereas during the day the king and his officials are all dressed in the typical Jukun fashion, i.e. with a cloth rolled at the waist and extending to the feet, the upper part of the body being left bared, these garments are changed for the triumphal return to the capital. All the officials wear gowns, the king dons the coat known as nyipo, which is decorated with red and white representations of birds and scorpions. He is surrounded by twenty grooms one of whom fans him while another holds the State umbrella close to his head. Pages 151,152
(c) Lion as a symbol of kingship: The drummers announce the Kings arrival by playing two chants… The second is a tonic representation of “Gâ kyô ri bi, Zêku Gâ kyô ri bi, ni she.” i.e. the slouching gait: the lion approaches with slouching gait: take to your heels!” When the king reaches the shrine of Yaku he reins his horse and says “Hî” in imitation of a lion’s grunt.
(d) Jacob and Esau relative account.
(e) Feared by other nations: “The very thorough study of the Jukun peoples and peoples under Jukun influence presented by C.K. Meek in these pages is based on data obtained during considerable sojourn among the Jukun groups of Nigerian peoples who extend more or less from the Gongola River to Igboland, but are now merely a shrunken relic of a confederation known as Kwararafa which, in the middle ages dominated a very large portion of the country now called Hausaland, as well as the Benue region and further south.” H.R. Palmer (page xiii)
(f) Feast of In-gathering (Puje) or festival of booths. There is a striking resemblance between the Arago custom and the Hebrew seven-day Feast of ingathering. The Puje festival is held in the booths outside Wukari at the close of the harvest, and last seven days. “It may be that the Israelitish festival also had originally to do with the cult of the moon.” C.K. Meek
(g) Proud as a chosen race
(h) Intelligent: Their concept of running a loosely knit confederacy is second to none.
(i) Wanderers: It will be seen therefore that the general African ethnographical bearing or application of this study of Jukun influence or culture which radiated through a large number of other tribes in greater or lesser degree will be largely determined by the answer to the question: Who are the Jukuns and where did they come from? For, according not only to their own traditions but the traditions of their neighbours, they were not originally indigenous either to the the Benue region, their their present main habitat, or in fact to Nigeria, but migrated from Kordofan and the region of the Nile, through the Fitri region, Mandara, and the Gongola region of the Nile Valley then many of Mr. Meek’s cultural comparisons with Egypt gain a weight which will not otherwise attach to them. If the half-hamitic connection of the ruling caste is true could it mean that God really brought the Jews back to Egypt? Who must have written some coded messages in the pyramids in Egypt that’s related to the messianic prophecies.
(j) Theocratic system of Government: They represent the gods in administering the whole land after their dictates. In which he operates both in the priestly and kingly authority.
(k) A supreme Temple: There is a Temple in the premise of the Aku’s palace. ( Continues below….. )
1. Hosea 3:4,5; For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king and without a sacrifice and without an image. Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their King; and shall fear the LORD and His goodness in the latter days. 2. Israel hath cast off the thing that is good: the enemy shall pursue him. They have set up kings but not by me. Hosea 8:3,4 3. They shall be wanderers among the nations. Hosea 9:17 4. Appearance: Tall and feared, Isaiah 18:10-ff 5. Eastern gate entrance: Ezekiel 44:1-3; 46:12 6. Lion as a symbol of kingship; Numbers 23:24; 24:9; Gen 49:8-12; Deut. 33:7 7. Feast of In-gathering or festival of booths; Lev. 23:33,34; Deut. 16:13-17 8. Israel among gentiles: Hosea 8:8 9. I will gather her that was driven. Micah 4:1-ff 10. Deliverer: Micah 5:1-ff 11. I will surely assemble Jacob Micah 2:12,13 12. Proud as the chosen race: Deut. 7:6,7 13. Triumphal entry: John 12:1-16 14. Temple: Ezra 6:1-ff; Ezekiel 40:1-ff - 48:1-35
A few years ago, I learnt that some Jews came all the way to Nigeria, even to Wukari, looking for an archaeological remains, an ancient weapon of war. The rest is not for me to reveal, because it is not in my power to do just that. Graphology:
The Jukuns have a unique style of handwriting which is synonymous with the Hebrew language. Not all write it but some special people with the court of the King. The rain makers use it and when crowning a new king, that cryptic identical to the Hebrew cryptic is used to make some inscription on his (the Aku’s) thigh. Rev. 19:16 (On his robe and thigh is written, KING OF KINGS, LORD OF LORDS.) ( Continues below….. )
Haven’t you wondered why God is still so interested in Nigerian affairs? To the extent that some people have even said that God must be a Nigeria. If not so, just one crisis is enough to do jaga jaga (mess up) with this country.
Honestly, I have not embarked upon this project. Most lost jewish tribes are confirmed by result of Y chromosomes found in all males. Do you know that the Jukuns are always sleeping with one eye opened? If it’s not war with one ethnic group it’s territorial crisis with another. When it’s night they wish it’s morning, if it’s morning they wish it were night. How they survive their wars is really a miracle attested to by so many natives.
History shows that the Jews have always survived and participated in different civilizations and onslaughts by their enemies. Now that the jews in diaspora (the true Israel) are gathering together, to mark the end of the prophetic Gentile times recorded in the Bible; it’s no surprise to me that the Kwararafa Heritage is making a roll call of those in diaspora by a divine hand that is making the dry bones to live again.
If America wakes up to find out that most of the people that make up her population are Israelites (of the ten lost tribes) her role in global politics will take another dimension. For more please visit www.vinesbranch.com Even though it seems they have lost their identity, they have not lost their blessings of re-gathering to inherit their promised land. Isaiah 49:1-ff must be fulfilled before Our Lord Jesus Christ returns to earth.
To get the favor of God back we need to follow the instructions below in God’s Holy Writ (The Message Bible Translation):
If you listen obediently to the Voice of GOD, your God, and heartily obey all his commandments that I command you today, GOD, your God, will place you on high, high above all the nations of the world. All these blessings will come down on you and spread out beyond you because you have responded to the Voice of GOD, your God:
GOD's blessing inside the city, GOD's blessing in the country; GOD's blessing on your children, the crops of your land, the young of your livestock, the calves of your herds, the lambs of your flocks. GOD's blessing on your basket and bread bowl; GOD's blessing in your coming in, GOD's blessing in your going out. GOD will defeat your enemies who attack you. They'll come at you on one road and run away on seven roads. GOD will order a blessing on your barns and workplaces; he'll bless you in the land that GOD, your God, is giving you. GOD will form you as a people holy to him, just as he promised you, if you keep the commandments of GOD, your God, and live the way he has shown you. All the peoples on Earth will see you living under the Name of GOD and hold you in respectful awe. GOD will lavish you with good things: children from your womb, offspring from your animals, and crops from your land, the land that GOD promised your ancestors that he would give you. GOD will throw open the doors of his sky vaults and pour rain on your land on schedule and bless the work you take in hand. You will lend to many nations but you yourself won't have to take out a loan. GOD will make you the head, not the tail; you'll always be the top dog, never the bottom dog, as you obediently listen to and diligently keep the commands of GOD, your God, that I am commanding you today. Don't swerve an inch to the right or left from the words that I command you today by going off following and worshiping other gods.
In conclusion, I didn’t say the Jukuns are Jews, I’m just asking you to help me find out. Anyway, what if I tell you that they are? There’s nothing that you can do about it.
*Tags: Nigerians, Jukuns, Jews, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb
By Masterweb News Desk
A 36-year-old Turkish woman last Saturday set a man she alleged raped her on fire in a mosque in Reutlingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. She said her action was revenge for his sexual assault of her. The woman poured petrol on the 38-year-old man before setting him alight.
According to the police, the woman and the alleged molester had been friends for some time. The man denied sexual molestation of the woman, saying their sexual encounters were consensual.
On Saturday afternoon in the mosque, according to the police, the woman’s husband and the man got into a fight. People intervened to break up the fight and in the pandemonium the woman poured petrol on the man from a canister and set him ablaze. The man was able to run outside and with the help of others, was able to take off the burning clothes.
The woman and her husband were arrested at the scene by police. The husband was later released and the wife taken into custody on charges of attempted murder.
Photo Above: Worshipers in a mosque
*Tags: Nigerians, Woman, Sets Sexual, Attacker, Fire, Mosque, Africa, Masterweb
By Masterweb News Desk
In the Jhalakathi district, about 200 kilometers (124 miles) south of Dhaka, Bangladesh, a man lost his manhood in a secret drama that only the police and the court would determine the truth. There were no witnesses, but "his words against hers". What a scenario! Last Saturday night, Monju Begum, a 40-year-old married Bangladeshi mother of three cut-off a neighbour's penis as he allegedly tried to rape her while she slept in her shanty home.
Begum took the severed penis to the police station as evidence, claiming the attacker, a married father of five had been harassing her for six months. The alleged attacker was identified as Mozammel Haq Mazi who denied Begum's accusation. Mazi speaking to reporters from Sher-e-Bangla Medical College and Hospital where he was receiving treatment said: "We were having an affair and recently she suggested that both of us can go and settle down in Dhaka. I refused and told her that I cannot leave my wife and children, so she took revenge on me." ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Monju Begum
Abul Khaer, police spokesman in a statement to newsmen said: "It is quite an unusual incident. As far as I am aware, this is the first time that a woman has brought a severed penis to the police station as evidence. She has registered a case accusing him of attempted rape. She said she fought back and cut off his penis and brought it to our police station in a polythene bag to prove that Mr. Mazi tried to rape her." "We will arrest him once his condition gets better," Khaer summed up.
Dr. Sharfuzzaman, a surgeon at Sher-e-Bangla Medical College and Hospital in Barisal said it was not possible to reattach Mazi's penis because it was brought to them several hours after it was severed. He said they were treating him so he could be able to urinate. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Seaweed that looks like penis.
In a related story, Borendo Mavhunga, a 52-year-old Zimbabwean man hit his girlfriend with the side of a machete on the head and hands until she fell unconscious. Mavhunga was enraged because his girlfriend demanded bus fare to attend a memorial service at her rural home.
Enraged Mavhunga woke up the girlfriend carrying a machete later in the night after they had gone to bed. Mavhunga struck her with the machete until she passed out. When she eventually regained consciousness, instead of calling the police she drank some Zed, an illicit cheap brew that she thought would make her get better. At this time Mavhunga gave her the machete demanding she cuts off his penis.
The girlfriend refused to perform the act which she deemed evil but instead cried out for help. She was taken to Chitungwiza Hospital for medical treatment.
Meanwhile, Mavhunga has been charged in court for battery and attempted murder where he pleaded guilty to the charges. He told the judge he was possessed by evil spirits and lost his senses when he almost killed his girlfriend
*Tags: Nigerians, Mans, Penis, Cut, Off, Africa, Masterweb
*Security Report On Security Challenges In Nigeria
By Albert Akpor
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan says he is determined to improve security in the country with a new administration that takes power with Sunday's inauguration.
Security was a driving issue in the presidential campaign following bomb blasts by militants from the oil-rich Niger Delta and attacks on police by members of an extremist Islamic group in the north.
President Jonathan campaigned hard to convince Nigerians that his government was meeting those security challenges. But rioting that immediately followed his election raised anew, questions about security preparedness. The New York-based rights organization Human Rights Watch says Muslim-Christian electoral violence in northern states killed at least 800 people. President Jonathan says he is determined to protect Nigerians wherever they live.
“As president, it is my solemn duty to defend the constitution of this country. That includes the obligation to protect the lives and properties of every Nigerian wherever they choose to live,” he said.
Delta State University political science lecturer Benjamin Agah says part of the problem is that suspects arrested after attacks are often released without prosecution, returning to the streets for the next round of violence.
“The same people who ought to be found guilty, who ought to be jailed or who ought to be punished, they are the same people who will still come out again, untouched by the law. So the president has a lot of security challenges,” he said. Agah says the new government must be willing to better equip security forces, especially in remote areas of the north.
“There are some places now that can not be policed ordinarily except through air. So the police should be fully equipped. They should be given the requisite necessities to enable them to fight these criminals,” he said. Public affairs analyst Kole Shetimma says insecurity is a problem for the president that runs far deeper than spending more money on police.
“In these security challenges, I think that we should not approach it from a law-and-order perspective. I think we have to look at the socio-economic and political conditions that have given way to some of these major problems,” said Shetimma. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria (2010 - present)
In the Niger Delta, for example, President Jonathan helped organize an amnesty for militants fighting against a federal government that they say have failed to develop the oil-rich region. There have been delays in paying monthly stipends to those demobilized combatants and far fewer job-training programs than were promised. Shetimma says the president must address the underlying economic grievances in the Delta.
“How do we ensure that the communities in which this oil is produced have access to some of the oil resources that we have. The new petroleum bill, which gives like ten percent of the oil resources to the communities, I agree that that should be fast-tracked,” said Shetimma.
In the north, the extremist Boko Haram group is fighting to establish Islamic law and says it recognizes neither the Nigerian constitution nor the just-completed election. It is rejecting an amnesty offer from the governor-elect of Borno State, who is trying to end months of attacks against security forces. Shetimma says one of the obstacles is the government's refusal to recognize that security forces acted outside the law last year in killing Boko Haram members in Jos.
“It has to be on how do you respond to the loss of property? How do you respond to the security implications? So I am hoping that this is going to be a comprehensive approach to the issue of Boko Haram,” said Shetimma.
President Jonathan says part of his plans for improving security in the north and in the south is to increase employment for young men who he says are being used as “cannon fodder for the ambitions of a few.”
One of the greatest challenges presently facing security agents in the country, especially the Police is the constant threat by members of the notorious Boko Haram sect operating freely in the northern part of the country. The dreaded group has so much instilled fear and trepidation on our law enforcement agents to the extent that the fear of Boko Haram is now the beginning of wisdom to them all.
In fact, posting to the northern part of the country has become an anathema to, especially members of the police force from the southern part of the country going by the constant killings and attacks carried out by members of this sect who are gravely averse to all kinds and nature of civilization or education. Life before perpetrators of these heinous, sectarian and or religious upheavals has become meaningless and something that could be cut short at will.
Like the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) in the West, the Egbesu (militants) in the Niger-Delta, Boko Haram came to limelight in 2002. But unlike the OPC and Egbesu, the ideology of Boko Haram was purely Islamism and anti-western civilization.
This sect led by the (late?) Ustaz Mohammed Tusuf, Mallam Sanni Umaru and Abu Darba has as its sole aim, entrenching Shariah law as the official and only religion not only in the North but also in Nigeria as a whole. With its operational headquarters in Kanamma, Borno state of Nigeria, the term ‘’Boko Haram’’ comes from both the Hausa and Arabic words meaning, ‘’western or non-Islamic education’’ and ‘’sin’’ respectively. So, to believers of the faith, ‘’anything western or non-Islamic education is a sin.’’ It therefore goes to say that members of the sect are totally averse to anything that has to do with western civilization and this literally means that ‘’Western or non-Islamic education is a sin.’’
Investigation carried out by Crime Alert revealed that though the fanatical religious movement started in 2002 in Maiduguri, its anti-people, anti-government activities became intense in 2004 when the group reportedly attacked a police formation and killed several senior police officers for reasons only known to members. Afterwards, it became much more hostile to non-members, secular education and of course, the nation’s nascent democracy. In fact, the leader of the sect, in his avowed determination to drive home the group’s ideology was once quoted as saying, ‘’This war that is about to start would continue for a long time’’ if the political and educational system in the country was not changed. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing some major cities, including the Federal capital (Abuja or FCT)
In the mean time, the group’s notoriety assumed international dimension in 2009 as a result of the orgies of violence carried out in nearly all the Northern states, especially, Kaduna, Adamawa, Bauchi and Borno states during which several lives and property worth millions of naira were destroyed by members of the sect.
Apparently irked by this disturbing dimension, the Police in the month of July 2009 commenced investigation into the nefarious activities of the group especially when it was reported that it was stockpiling arms. The police succeeded in not only arresting several of its members but killed their leader. This sparked off another violent clash to the extent that security reports showed that the group was arming itself. It was revealed that, prior to the clashes, many Muslim leaders and non-members of the sect and a security official had warned the authorities about the heinous activities of Boko Haram and their plans to strike a deadly blow on the nation’s stability.
However, Crime Alert scooped the reasons behind the group’s guerilla-like modus oparandi and why security agents, especially the Police is seemingly helpless over the ugly development in spite of their heavy presence in the Northern states where the sect is noted to have wrecked and is still wrecking havoc.
A senior security operative who spoke on the condition of anonymity alleged that a reasonable number of officers and men of all the security agencies from the Northern part of the country, the physically challenged persons from the area and Muslim women who wear hijab are members of the deadly sect. According to him, ‘’I can tell you that the reason why you think we are helpless is that most of us who are members of the group are constantly working against ourselves. As a commander of a squad and secret member of the group, if it is known that the group is operating in one area, you will lead your men to another area. Secondly, if you are the landlord of where the sect grouped or re-grouped to wreck havoc, you dare not inform security agents; it is part of solidarity.
Again, the fact that you hear of sporadic bombings is not because we were not doing our best, but because as security men, you dare not search Muslim women who wear Hijab. Searching them would amount to indecent assault. Meanwhile, most of them carry the bombs, pass them over to the common cripples on the streets begging for alms and before you know it, you will hear explosion even close to checkpoints and most times at police formation or the barracks.’’
Continuing, the source said, ‘’This is why we are seemingly helpless. Except we are able to correct this visible errors which are of course, security lapses, bomb explosions and the menace of Boko Haram sect would continue for a long time.’’ It was also gathered that this ugly development which is receiving the attention of the powers that be will soon be addressed following revelations that the Presidency is taking time to ascertain the veracity of the report while at the same time compiling names of those suspected to be involved.
More over, the Presidency is said to be holding series of meetings with all the security agencies with a view to identifying where there is laxity in the pursuit of this goal. It was also gathered that security at the borders will be strengthened with a view to making it impossible for foreigners to capitalize on the activities of members of this sect and infiltrate into the country.
Meanwhile, reports said the Controller-General of Immigration, Mrs Rose Uzoma has ordered her men at the borders to swing into action and fish out foreigners that collaborate with members of this sect without delay. Sources at the Immigrations headquarters in Abuja said she had already set up a special task force that will report directly to her over the issue with a mandate to deliver positive results within one month. On their part, the State Security Services (SSS) are said to have intensified efforts towards rounding up all those connected with the activities of this sect remotely or otherwise. Albert Akpor is a correspondent for NTA from Abuja.
*Tags: Nigerians, Report, Security, Challenges, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb
"Welcome Back" Masterweb Writers - Can Now Post Articles
By Masterweb News Desk
This is to inform Masterweb authors (writers) that they can now post articles here on our redesigned Daily News Section. We apologize for your inability in posting articles while this section of the website was being redesigned and tested.
To post articles, follow the instructions on the left hand side of this page below the waving Nigerian flag. The instructions are summarized below.
1. Login and click on "Write" on the menu bar (on top of the page).
2. Type or Paste article and click "Save". *Your article will be reviewed and released by one of our moderators, unless it does not qualify for publication.
Please note that your article will not be published if you do not include your full name (an example By John Onyema). Masterweb appreciates your contributions which are helping to make Nigeria and the world in general better place. Thank you.
*Tags: Nigerians, Welcome, Back, Masterweb, Writers, Post, Articles, Africa, Masterweb
*African Hymn Graces Africa Day 2011 Celebrations
By Masterweb News Desk
"God Bless Africa", an African Union award winning anthem composed by Chief (aka People's Servant) Charles O. Okereke filled the air with grace at various Africa Day celebration gatherings. In the U.S., it was the most sang song for the festivity. The anthem is a soul touching hymnal composition.
God Bless Africa has online video at -
Selected Africa Day write-ups mentioning or discussing the featuring of "God Bless Africa" in the festivity are highlighted below.
1. AfDB joins the rest of continent to observe Africa Day 2011 - Africans in Africa and all over the world will celebrate Africa Day on Wednesday 25 May, and the African Development Bank – “Africa’s Bank” ever since the days of independence in the 1960s – will be joining in the celebrations. Africa Day was originally known as “Africa Freedom Day” or “African Liberation Day”: The Day commemorates the founding of the Organization of African Unity on 25 May 1963 by the then ......Read More
2. Sullivan Foundation Celebrates Africa Day With Nigerian Composition - The Leon H. Sullivan Foundation is a U.S. based non-profit organization with the primary mission of empowering underprivileged people worldwide by promoting the principles of self-help and social responsibility. The organization was founded in articulation of the vision of ......Read More
3. Celebrate Africa - Africans all over the world on Wednesday celebrated Africa Day. Originally known as "Africa Freedom Day" or "African Liberation Day", the Day commemorates the founding of the Organization of African Unity on 25 May 1963 by the then 30 newly-independent African countries. The OAU itself became the African Union in 2003, moving away from its original purely political orientation to a stance concentrating more on development and now working towards an African Economic Community. On this day, leaders of ......Read More
4. AGI joins the rest of continent to observe Africa Day 2011 - Africans in Africa and all over the world will celebrate Africa Day on Wednesday 25 May. Africa Day was originally known as “Africa Freedom Day” or “African Liberation Day”: The Day commemorates the founding of the Organization of African Unity on 25 May 1963 by the then 30 newly-independent African countries. The OAU itself became the African Union in 2003, moving away from its original purely political orientation to a stance concentrating more on development and now working towards an African Economic Community. This year, the day will be marked in ......Read More
5. Africa Day - Africa Day is commemorated on 25th May every year in most states which are members of the African Union (AU), although the biggest displays are undoubtedly to be found in those where the population has the least freedom. It commemorates the founding of the Organisation of African Unity in 1963, which became the African Union in July 2002 after amalgamating with the African Economic Community. There are 52 members of the ......Read More
*Tags: Nigerians, Hymn, Graces, Day, 2011, Celebrations, Celebrates, God, Bless, Africa, Day, Composition, Africa, Masterweb
*Sullivan Foundation Celebrates Africa Day With Nigerian Composition
By Masterweb News Desk
The Leon H. Sullivan Foundation is a U.S. based non-profit organization with the primary mission of empowering underprivileged people worldwide by promoting the principles of self-help and social responsibility. The organization was founded in articulation of the vision of .
Sullivan Foundation proudly celebrates the 48th annual Africa Day and calls on everyone to join them in the singing of "God Bless Africa", the award winning anthem composed by Chief Charles O. Okereke. The Sullivan Foundation wants you to show support for Africa by ......Read More
Photo Above: Charles O. Okereke, Composer God Bless Africa (African Union Award Winning Anthem)
*Tags: Nigerians, Sullivan, Foundation, Celebrates, God, Bless, Africa, Day, Composition, Africa, Masterweb
*Nigeria: President Jonathan & Niger Delta Challenge
By Ifeatu Agbu
With the general elections over, attention should now shift to the critical issues of governance and development which in any event are the essence of the political contest. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who has now been elected President in his own rights, has a firm mandate to pilot the affairs of this nation to greater heights in the next four years. In many ways, it is a new dawn for Nigeria. It is a new beginning not only for the President but for all Nigerians who participated in the elections adjudged nationally and internationally as the freest and most credible since the 1993 poll won by Chief MKO Abiola.
For the people of the Niger Delta, where Mr. President comes from and indeed for all minorities, it is a dream come true that one of them has for the first time been democratically elected as the president of this country. Will this mark the end of marginalization and underdevelopment of the oil-producing communities? The answer will surely come as the Jonathan Presidency unfolds. The people of the Niger Delta region are looking up to President Jonathan to vigorously tackle the problem of inadequate infrastructure in the region. They expect him to attract accelerated development to the region which had over the years suffered environmental degradation because of the operations of the oil and gas companies.
The situation is further worsened by the neglect of various tiers of government. The new government would need to build on the gains of the amnesty programme for the former militants and resolve the problem of youth restiveness in the region once and for all. In doing this, it must also ensure accelerated development of the region and create employment opportunities for the youths as a way of effectively tackling militancy. Surely, President Jonathan knows where the shoe pinches in the region. He made it clear during the presidential campaigns that his administration would refocus the energies of federal ministries and agencies towards sustainable development, employment generation and youth empowerment. He declared his “irrevocable commitment to restore hope and confidence” in the hitherto volatile Niger Delta region, while reassuring that the Development Master Plan of the region would be implemented with renewed vigour. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria
The Regional Development Master Plan, facilitated by the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, provides the platform for the harmonious development and massive injection of funds to quickly transform the long-neglected region that produces the oil wealth that sustains the entire nation. The blueprint, which all stakeholders agree is a worthy compass for the development of the region, needs to be adequately funded in order to translate the lofty plans into tangible projects and programmes. The projects articulated in the plan require enormous resources to execute.
Take the 700km coastal road for instance, the project which traverses many states in the region, is expected to gulp over N1.3 trillion. Those who are familiar with the difficult deltaic region would not be surprised at the enormous price tags for the big ticket projects. Nevertheless, it is a price worth paying given the contributions of oil to our economy. There is no doubt that the Niger Delta deserves massive structures like the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos to link up the communities and towns in the creeks.
The new Jonathan administration must go beyond platitudes and begin to put massive projects on the ground to make a clean break from the previous style of adopting plans that were never implemented. It should be noted that non-implementation of lofty plans dating back to the Willinks Commission’s recommendations of 1958 has sowed the seeds of mistrust, which is now a hindrance in getting all stakeholders in the region to act in one accord. The people have seen the failure of one promise after the other. Hence, there is a loss of confidence. The concrete achievements of Jonathan, since he became the substantive president, have revved up the confidence of Nigerians generally. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria's Niger Delta Region showing Port Harcourt
The challenge for the new administration, therefore, should be to sustain and further enhance the confidence of the people. This can be done through actions and visible projects that touch the lives of the people substantially. The era of neglect and reneging on promises must be consigned to history. For strong and respected voices like Ledum Mittee, the President of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), the Jonathan administration needs to work extra hard to win back the people’s confidence, “ because there has been a long history of mistrust of government actions”.
The MOSOP leader is confident that President Jonathan will succeed where others failed since the road to success is already charted for him. The Mittee Technical Committee stressed the need to approach the problem holistically and bring all stakeholders on board for maximum impact. Although the Federal government did not issue a white paper on the report, it is obvious that it had initiated actions on several fronts in response to the recommendations of the committee. For instance, the post-amnesty programme has been pursued with vigour and the main federal interventionist agency in the region; the NDDC has increased the tempo of executing its projects.
Not too long ago it got approval from the Federal Government to execute 18 new projects worth over N48.5 billion across the region. This is in addition to the 44 mega projects worth over N156 billion that is already being executed. The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the NDDC, Mr. Chibuzor Ugwoha, said the newly approved projects would provide a fresh impetus in the task to quicken the pace of the ongoing restoration efforts in the Niger Delta. He said: “The NDDC has received anticipatory approval of the Presidency to award contracts for 18 critical infrastructural development to expedite the massive and sustainable development of the region in a way that will create a conducive environment for investment.” ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Workers at work in a Nigerian oil rig
According to the NDDC boss, the projects were for erosion control, According to the NDDC Managing Director, the 18 projects which are expected to cost a total sum of N48,536,650,191.99 include erosion control, construction of roads, shoreline protection, drainages, health centres and tourism. So far, the efforts to sustain the gains of the post-amnesty programme are commendable. However, there are fears that the government might lose the momentum if the budget process continues to delay the release of funds for the execution of projects in the Niger Delta.
This much came to the fore when the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, defended the budget proposals of his ministry in the National assembly. He said that key projects that have helped to sustain months of improved security in the volatile area, are now left uncompleted. "To sustain and consolidate on the progress achieved in the Niger Delta that has brought the relative peace, especially in the area of amnesty programme, the Niger Delta region should be adequately funded," he said. It is obvious that no meaningful economic progress can be made unless the developmental challenges of the Niger-Delta are comprehensively addressed.
The current federal administration is well placed to make history by fast-tracking the development of the region. This is even more so because of the in-depth understanding of the developmental needs of the area by Mr. President. No matter how well meaning the Federal Government may he, it cannot achieve the much needed socio-economic transformation of the Niger Delta alone. The states and local governments of Nigeria which receive huge sums of money from the Federation Account should also be more active in executing people-oriented projects.
For instance, between May 1999 and December 2006, the nine states making up the Niger Delta region received a total of N2.16 trillion, while local governments got a total of N671 billion. Over the same period, the NDDC received only N241.5 billion, representing eight percent of the total amount of N3.07 trillion from the federation Account. With its 8 per cent, the NDDC seems to have more viable projects in all parts of the region than the other agencies of development.
That speaks volume for its commitment to delivery on its core mandate. Everything considered, funding remains the most critical factor in the urgent task to develop the Niger Delta. As Orubebe told the federal lawmakers, the region can only be developed by long-term fund provisions and "not from annual budget processes."
Mr. Ifeatu Agbu ( email@example.com ) writes from Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
*Tags: Nigerians, Goodluck, Jonathan, Niger, Delta, Challenge, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb
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