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02/14/11

Permalink 12:34:00 am, by admin Email , 4397 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, South East News

*Ojukwu, The People’s General Lives On!

By Sakhos Silas Ejiofoh

While reflecting on why Biafra lost the war against Nigeria, some non-Igbo critics of Ojukwu are of the view that he led his own people tactlessly into what was clearly a foreseeable disaster. Others claim that due to his passion for power, he paid more attention to the politics of the war than to the one basic question of security. Yet, there are others who blame him for not securing the support of any of the world super powers before going to war with Nigeria, etc. Though, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu who, like every human being, may have his weaknesses obviously must have made some mistakes in life, given a lot of reasons.

Unlike the typical corrupt African politicians averse to steadfastness, Odumegwu, for instance, did not betray the Germany educated Chuba Okadigbo who engineered his return back to Nigeria from exile in the Ivory Coast. As a one-time special adviser on political affairs to the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) Dr. Okadigbo advised the Shehu Shagari government that granting Ojukwu a state pardon would ensure appreciable level of Igbo support for NPN, which prior to that time, was seen by Igbos as a `Hausa-party` and therefore had feeble presence in Igboland. How people connected with Ojukwu was evident in the hero’s welcome he got when he set his foot in Nigeria after 13 years of exile. Prominent politicians from various political parties in the land wanted to tap into the NPN investment, holding out before him some goodies, promising to add the heavens to the earth being dangled by the NPN, if he could throw the NPN pact into the nearest dustbin. Indeed, he was tongue-lashed by some of his Igbo people, who felt he had broken ranks, and might cut into the Nnamdi Azikiwe-led Nigeria Peoples Party’s (NPP) electoral advantage in the East. NPP which controlled the Igbo states of Anambra and Imo, and another outside Igbo land. Therefore, NPP was where much of Igbo loyalty lay. But Ojukwu firmly stood his ground, as he dutifully maintained the political-pact with the second republic government. ( Continues below….. )

 Ojukwu and Okadigbo

Photo Above: Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu( left ), Chuba Okadigbo( right )

Ironically, he found himself being the centre of intrigue by the NPN, which had a capacity to trivialize even the most serious issues. Concerned about Ojukwu`s enigmatic influence, they did not only abandon him, but rigged him out of a senate seat to a little known state commissioner called Dr. Edwin Onwudiwe, who was in then Governor Jim Nwobodo’s cabinet. The path home was laced with treachery, as he was, for instance, restrained by successive military governments from laying down his head in his father’s house at 25 Queens Drive Ikoyi, Lagos. The government had used the excuse of rebellion against the state of Nigeria to confiscate the property. Nigerians stood by him out in the open, and with the awkward walls within which he had anything being an old rickety bus, all that in the rainy season. It was from there that he fought to reverse an eviction. According to him, as an old soldier, he could adapt to any condition. The military government’s arm was eventually forced by public anger it couldn’t stand any longer to let go of the man’s property, but not after series of court rulings. Even, Ojukwu’s military pension which was also one of the conditions for the state pardon didn’t start coming until 41 years after the end of the civil war.

Ojukwu has held many important positions in the country. His first job was to oversee colonial affairs as a district officer in the town of Udi. He had also worn the UN helmet as a peace keeper in the Congo-Kinshasa war of the 1960s. Ojukwu was to hold forth as the first Quarter-Master-General of the Nigerian Army, and discharged himself satisfactorily as the commander of the 5th battalion of the Nigerian Army in Kano. His next posting was as the Military Governor of the old Eastern Region in Nigeria. He moved with the circumstance in Biafra to become a four-star general and head of state of that country. He threw his heart into the political arena once again in 2003, founding the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and contesting the Nigeria presidential elections as the party’s flag bearer.

At no time in his public service has Ojukwu been swayed by corruption, something to which his contemporaries look kindly. This is an excellent record in a country like Nigeria. It is believed that part of his father’s wealth was channelled into the Biafra war effort. Ojukwu is guided by the principle of contentment. You don’t look any further for a true and astute leader. When he was once addressed as a chief by an interviewer, he replied, saying, “I am not a Chief; it rhymes with thief.”

Intellectually, and among his contemporaries, Ojukwu is one of the brightest. Not surprising, Ojukwu’s father was Sir. Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu, a Hope Waddell Institute educated-parliamentarian in Nigeria’s first republic. Ojukwu senior was a business mogul and reported to be the richest man in Nigeria in his time. He was also founding president of the Nigeria Stock Exchange, as well as president of the African Continental Bank {ACB}, and was in the boards of most of the powerful British companies in Nigeria at the time. The senior Ojukwu made no mistake of what he wanted his son to be, sending his son to the elite Kings College in Lagos. At 13, Ojukwu was on his way to Europe to enrol at the elite Epsom College. Ojukwu proceeded to the famous Oxford University, where he obtained a Bachelor’s as well as a Master`s Degree in History. But Ojukwu would downplay these academic acquisitions, and tell you that “Education is not elitism, education actually, to me, is more a question of sharpening one’s choices and consciousness. The value in it is the effect one has on one’s people.” ( Continues below….. )

Charles O. Okereke interviewing Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu

Photo Above: Charles O. Okereke( left ) interviewing Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu( right ) Click Adjourning Link For The Interview Encounter:- http://www.africamasterweb.com/AdSense/OjukwuVisionaryStatesman.html

Ojukwu is a highly talented man who can strike it out with you in various Nigerian languages. The English author Frederick Forsyth recollects that Ojukwu made the atmosphere in the flight that brought him back to Nigeria from exile very cordial, as Ojukwu freely cracked jokes and interacted with all the delegations sent to receive him in their original languages of Yoruba, Hausa and, of course, Igbo. He also interacted in French with the Ivorian delegation sent by his host president late Félix Houphouët-Boigny of Ivory Coast.

Also, unbeknownst to many people, Ojukwu learnt how to speak Yoruba language first before his own native Igbo language. The early sign that Ojukwu would not grow up to become a weakling but the defender of people against injustice and oppression started when he was only 11 years old. He was briefly imprisoned by the colonialists for assaulting a white British colonial teacher, who had humiliated a black woman at King's College, Lagos. The incident generated widespread coverage in local newspapers. The second incident was at the age of 13 at Epsom College in surrey, United Kingdom, where a naughty white boy caused Ojukwu’s African accent to make his colleagues shake with laughter. One day, at the hallway to the chapel, he heard one of them call him `monkey` and another tripped him and his books were all scattered on the floor. The boy had no idea they have been provoking a sleeping lion by always fondling at its tail hence he got the beating of his life and a three-day admission in the hospital to go with. Ojukwu would be among those who would eventually be at the boy’s bedside, and they became friends thereafter. These incidents serve to prove the Igbo adage which says that “the sign of a pear that would darken to maturity starts with a dark spot at the head.”

Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu was born on November 4th, 1933 in Zungeru. Mysteriously the same month and town Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe also came to earth. Dr. Azikwe the first president of independent Nigeria and the famous “Zik of Africa” was also born on November 16th, 1904 in Zungeru. Zungeru located in the modern day Niger state of Nigeria was the capital of the British colony of Northern Nigeria from 1902 to 1916. As one of the detribalized leaders in Nigeria Ojukwu played an outstanding role in neutralising the first coup in Nigeria, even though he had to confront the coup leader and a fellow Igbo officer, Major Chukwuma Patrick Nzeokwu and other officers from mainly southern and, especially eastern Nigeria. It weakens the argument of people determined to justify an assault on a people by claiming it was an all-Igbo coup. The coup was largely seen as successful in the North and partly in Lagos as Lagos was then the seat of power, and both the prime minister of the country and the premier of the North had been killed. But it lost momentum as Ojukwu refused to the coup plotters in the North and pitched loyalty with Gen. Aguyi-Ironsi, the legitimate commander of the Nigerian army, who ensured the coup plotters wouldn’t accomplish their aims in Lagos. Then, came the unrestrained killings in the North led by mainly northern military officers among whom were, Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon, Lts ADS Wya, Ibrahim Babangida, Garba Duba, Lt. Col. Murtala Muhammed, Lt Col. Shehu Musa Yar`Adua, Capt. Ahmadu Yakubu, Capt. Daramola, Lts. Buka Sukar Dimka, Lts. Shelleng, Hannaniya, Muhammadu Jega, Sani Abacha, Saleh Dambo and many others. Over 20 Igbo officers were executed at the Brigade HQ on 29 and 30 July 1966. Some of the eastern and southern officers killed during the first batch include Major OU Isong, Major Ogunro, Lt. Col. I.C Okoro, Capt L.C. Dilibe, Major CC Emelifonwu, Capt. I.U. Idika, and Major A. Drummond – a mixed Igbo-Scottish. In accordance with the spirit goading the killers, Lt. Col Mohammed Shuwa, the commandant of the 5th battalion would preside over the massacres of Igbos at both the Kano airport and the railway station in Kano. ( Continues below….. )

Late General Aguiyi-Ironsi addressing the nation in his 1st press conference as Head of State.

Photo Above: Late General Aguiyi-Ironsi addressing the nation in his 1st press conference as Head of State. *In photo - sitting from left to right are Hassan Katsina, Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, David Ejoor, J.E.A. Wey and Yakubu Gowon. Click Adjourning Link For Enlarged Photo:- http://www.nigeriamasterweb.com/Etc4/AguyiIronsi1stNationAddressLarge.jpg

Click Adjourning Link For Aguiyi-Ironsi Video:- http://www.itnsource.com/shotlist//BHC_ITN/1966/01/19/X19016603/?s=nzeogwu

Earlier, on July 29, 1966 in this on-going northern counter-coup, Theophilus Danjuma, Sani Bello, Martin Adamu and other Northern military officers had taken General T Umunnakwe Aguyi-Ironsi the military head of State of Nigeria and his host Col. Francis Fajuyi to a location outside Ibadan and shot them to death. In the face of the madness, Ojukwu pursued a peaceful course. He had held onto the concept of one Nigeria. It caused him to make the tactical mistake of asking Igbos to return, after the first killings, to their former stations in other parts of Nigeria, following assurances by various individuals and groups. But the northern and other counter-coupists couldn’t resist a second round of bloodletting. Igbos killed in the two waves of attacks had totalled about 50,000. This is coupled with the fact that Ojukwu and Lt. Col. David Ogunewe for days had been pushing back against Igbos who wanted to go into and cut down northern soldiers at the barracks in Enugu. According to Nowa Omoigui, quoting Lt-General JS Jalo, the same “Northern soldiers who left Enugu unmolested got themselves involved in molesting departing Igbo refugees and looting their property in Ikeja barrack. The Igbo were going away and looting set in and some senior officers, I must confess, encouraged this to happen." In fact, 90% of officers from the East and some from the West were massacred in the North. Just a handful escaped to their home regions.

Regrettably these killings in the North are still continuing nearly 50 years on, though modified as religious riots. It is unfortunate that the Nigerian youth today would need special education to remove the image of death associated with the North, a place where petrol is poured on homes, fire lobbed in and the occupants consumed by raging fire. Where innocent people, including infants, are hunted and hacked to death with flimsy excuses. If it is not Zango-Kataf massacres, it would be Kano Maitatsine, numerous other Kano, Kaduna riots, Gombe Riots, Tafawa Balewa Riots, Kafanchan Riots, Bauchi Riots, Bulumkutu Riots, renewed Maiduguri Riots aka Boko Haram, Abuja Bombings, then the festering Jos Riots and Bombings. The list is endless, killing, killing and killing, every now and then! Interestingly, the culture is to keep your mouth shut and not openly frown at these silly acts, otherwise you would be seen as fanning the embers of disunity in a nascent democracy. Long live one Nigeria! May Allah and God help us all. Hey, what set off these two names simultaneously from my mouth? I digressed. ( Continues below….. )

Scene from Abuja MEND Nigeria golden jubilee independence celebration car bombing.

Photo Above: Scene from Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) militants' Abuja bombing of Nigeria golden jubilee independence celebration. In the photo, security, paramedics and emergency personnel stand beside a damaged car following the blasts.

Following the slaughters in the North before the war, steps were taken to revert to normalcy. However, after series of meetings, including the one in Aburi, Ghana, some northern elites and Britain instigated the Gowon government to renege on the Aburi Accord. Gowon unilaterally split the Eastern Nigeria into three states contrary to the federal structure agreed upon in Aburi, while Ojukwu, after consultations with leaders in the East, responded after three days by declaring the whole Eastern Nigeria as a sovereign state called the Republic of Biafra on 30th July 1967.

Ojukwu’s War Effort

For effective results, natural resources are relied on in the prosecution of wars around the world. For example, Kuwait pays America with oil. In the Angolan war, UNITA traded in diamonds to obtain weapons, MPLA exchanged oil for weapons. See http://www.diamondfacts.org/conflict/background.html. Also, see www.worldbank.org/afr/wps/wp13.pdf. The Taliban fighters and Al Qaida in Afghanistan are handing out raw, hard drugs for weapons. Even Charles Taylor of Liberia traded raw diamonds from neighbouring Sierra Lone with weapons. See http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/05/video-of-naomi-campbells-blood-diamond-testimony/ Likewise, Hamas in Palestine and Hezbollah in Lebanon are supplied with weapons by Iran and Syria. For the weapons it got, a country like Nigeria has an arrangement in which some advanced countries own and suck the oil in the country till it perhaps runs dry. Foreign countries are given the free hand on projects like the sport the Russians made of Katsina, Itape, Jos and Ajaokuta rolling mills. It was only the Ojukwu-inspired Biafran scientists and inventors, led by Ugah-Aguata-born science genius Engineer Roy Umenyi, Ben Nwosu, Godian Ezekwe, Emma Osolu, Sam Orji , Njoku Obi and so many others who during the Nigerian civil war, continued to dazzle with invention and manufacture of their own weapons. They wouldn’t stop at pulling off weapons like surface to surface missiles, ground to air missiles, rocket launchers, rocket-propelled grenades, assault rifles, but kept the world gaping with gun boats for amphibious attacks. There was also the famous Biafra Bomb popularly known in Igboland as either `Ojukwu Bucket` or ‘Ogbunaigwe,` meaning the mass killer. The Biafran Shore Battery easily devastated marine craft, like the Oguta feat masterminded by Ojukwu. In Biafra, lorries that rolled into underground warehouses rolled out as armoured vehicles. Refining crude oil wasn’t a preserve of any refinery. It got domesticated, and was plentiful. What is interesting is that all this was achieved in the midst of the chocking hold on Biafra through blockade by the advanced countries, including the neighbouring Cameroon and Nigeria. That was also the time Nigeria signed off the oil rich Bakassi Peninsula which was on Biafra territory to Cameroon for their kindness in starving infants in Biafra. In fact, the Nigerian Santa Claus did really come to town after its victory over Biafra, throwing largesse anywhere one looked. ( Continues below….. )

Biafran war plane

Photo Above: Biafran BB-905 war plane ( popularly known as Biafran Baby )

The feats by Biafra under Ojukwu definitely were some of the reasons why Nigeria became deserving of assistance from most advanced nations in the world, especially with the Civil Rights movement in America being a front burner issue worldwide. Were these spectacular stories coming from Africa? observers wondered. According to Major Abubakar A. Atofarati, a former Student of US Marine Command & Staff College, Ojukwu’s Biafra “established Research and Production Board and they researched and manufactured rockets, mines, tanks, grenades, launchers, bombs, flame throwers, vaccines, biological and alcoholic beverages, textile factories which produced military uniforms, and so forth.” Also see http://www.africamasterweb.com/BiafranWarCauses.html. It is known that after the war the British and American military intelligence confiscated all Biafran classified research and production documents and files which the British and the Pentagon are using today to manufacture and modify both their military weapons and other technological devices, some of which military and weapon specialists confirmed they have used against the Iraqi forces and in the current Afghanistan conflict. A clear example is the cluster bomb used by the Americans for the first time in Iraq and which the Americans held up as one of their greatest inventions. Biafran agricultural engineers had a gift for their people, and the nation was going to hold out, trying to capitalize on disquiet in 1968/69 in the British parliament. It was the attempt to mass produce foods in the vast fields of the Afikpo area. But this place, including the facilities therein, thanks to sabotage, British intelligence and help, was taken out by the enemy. The splendid Biafran paper currency is of an unrivalled quality. The Biafran communications system was sustained throughout the war. Air tarmacs were being reconstructed on nightly basis in the face of intense bombardments.

One man was surrounded at table by his technocrats. According to Frederick Forsyth, this man, Ojukwu, who has never been given the credit for risking his life against Nzeogwu, Ifeajuna, Okafo, Ademoyega, Onwuatuegwu and co, and foiling their coup, was involved in the training of the Biafra military intelligence, which then rated second only to the Israeli Mossad. Again, as the Biafran forces mobilised to retake Owerri, the UK government and the Russians doubled their military aid and direct involvement, which enabled Nigeria to unleash over 120,000 troops against Biafra, thus leading to the final fall of Owerri, which was regarded as the Igbo heartland. What Ojukwu told the London Times correspondent James Wilde, can best explain the reason for the Nigerian-Biafran war. He said, "What you are seeing now is the end of a long, long journey. It began in the far north of Nigeria and moved steadily southward as we were driven out of place after place. Now this path has become the road to the slaughterhouse here in the Ibo heartland."

Ojukwu`s Mantra

The elder statesman’s benefit to the country and Igboland in particular is even becoming more and more invaluable by the day. For example, his APGA has succeeded in giving Anambra State headed by the resourceful and amiable Governor Peter Obi a democratic, stable and meaningful government. Apart from the ex-Nigeria Information Minister Prof. Dora Akunyili who has resigned from both her office and her party PDP and joined Ojukwu`s APGA to contest a senatorial seat, there are many other prominent Igbo politicians who are abandoning their parties, mainly PDP, to join in the APGA queue. In Imo state, for example, the man who emerged runner-up to late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua in the run-up to the 2007 PDP presidential primaries, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, and his chief of staff the Achi-Mbieri-born Prince Eze Madumere and his group have also decamped to APGA from PDP. And Okorocha has declared his interest in the Imo State governorship election this year. With this trend, I foresee Ojukwu‘s APGA taking over all the Igbo states in Nigeria. And, with the success of APGA so far and given the current situation on the ground, it appears that what Ojukwu could not achieve militarily, he has succeeded in achieving through democratic means, by giving the Igbos a party they can call their own, at least in Anambra State and, with time, this will happen in all states in Igboland. Only time will tell. Also, see http://www.nigerianelitesforum.com/ng/politics-and-politikings/4333-apga-targets-imo-abia-adamawa-in-2011-polls.html

It is believed that once APGA becomes the ruling party in majority of the Igbo states, definitely, that will no doubt change the whole political equation in Nigeria. This is because some of the Igbo neighbouring states hitherto classified as South-South geo-political zones will gradually become APGA. I foresee APGA playing the role of Christlich Soziale Union (CSU) in Germany. In a country like Germany, Edmund Stoiber’s conservative CSU, a regional political party, has been ruling the state of Bavaria for decades. Bavaria is described as one of the richest, influential, and conservative states in Germany. The CSU is so powerful that with the Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands (CDU) they have once ruled Germany for 16 uninterrupted years under Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

Confederation, which Ojukwu advocated in Aburi, a fact missing in discussions among Nigerians, and which they would swear never happened, is what a country like Nigeria with many different ethnic groups needs. Most European nations that have attained economic sufficiency and good democratic governance were able to achieve all that through confederation. Switzerland is a very good example. The original ethnic groups that came together and formed the Swiss confederation in 1291 were the Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden, and the last units that joined the union were the Valais, Neuchâtel and Genéve in 1815. The CH in the country’s official records means Confoederatio Helvetica. "Confoederatio" stands for "confederation." "Helvetica" is taken from Latin "Helvetier." And, in order to maintain the original language of their ancestors, they adopted four different official languages, namely, German, French, Italian and Romansh. In the case of Nigeria, a weak central government and stronger states that would manage their natural resources and send the agreed percentage to the weak federal government would ensure strong economic growth through healthy competition between the states, as the states would be trying to emulate each other. This would reduce the political tension in the country among ethnic groups. It will also make Nigeria’s Aso Rock less attractive, as there would be no more `National-Cake` at the centre waiting for any person/group to cut up and chew. Agreed, it will not remove completely the sectarian violence in the country, but will reduce it drastically. ( Continues below….. )

Map of Nigeria

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

This is what Ojukwu has tried unsuccessfully to effect in Nigeria and for the betterment of the life of the average Igbo. Definitely, from the foregoing, one could see that the man`s life is tied together with the Igbo history in Nigeria. According to his wife, Bianca Onoh, a University of Nigeria Nsukka educated lawyer and the daughter of a former Anambra state governor – late Christian Onoh in an interview granted the Daily Sun on 10 April 2010, Ojukwu has “done nothing but live and breathe the Igbo cause. Sometimes he would hear of some injustice somewhere and he would stay awake all night, trying to find how it can be redressed.... Any time an Igboman suffers any form of injustice, it makes his blood boil, even in situations when he feels helpless.” Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State described him as “a unique personality that will always advise on what will be for the good of the Igbos without seeking, as many other people do, his entitlements or any form of gratification.” Obi goes further to say that the “last thing he said to me, when he was already down with the current sickness, before it developed further, was to remain an Igboman in all its ramifications and to continue to do whatever is possible for the ultimate good of Igbo people. Do them without expectation of payment, but out of love for the Igbos.” Before he boarded a flight from the Biafran-built Uli-airstrip that took him to exile the American `Newsweek` quoted him to have sworn that “Whilst I live, Biafra lives."

Conclusion

The world has seen that Chukwemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu is a wonderful man who has risked his life, including his family’s wealth for the unity of Nigeria and for the defense of his oppressed Igbo people, which is why they love him so much. Recently, Anambra state honoured him with his last request which was for them re-elect the incumbent governor of the state. The appreciations he receives and the crowd that follows him anywhere he goes is unimaginable, which is one of the reasons why where he is currently hospitalised in the UK is still a top secret the UK and Nigerian government are not ready to divulge. Again, according to his wife, an ex beauty queen who won the 1988 edition of the most beautiful girl in Nigerian pageant as well as Miss Intercontinental beauty contest in 1989, at a time during a trip at in the city of Aba, a market was dismantled to make way for Ojukwu’s motorcade. She says, referring to the man, that people believe it is human to make mistakes. Therefore, he has been bestowed with extraordinary titles never ever given to any person in Igbo history. For example, his Nnewi town of origin gave him the title of Ikemba Nnewi (the strength of Nnewi), while the entire Igbo nation calls him “Dikedioramma,” (beloved hero of the nation) and also the Eze Ndigbo Gburugburu (the maximum ruler of the whole Igboland).

I doff my hat in salute to Odumegwu, One of the giants of Afrika. To you, I say I fall where you fall, and I stand where you stand. The people’s General continues trudging on! I wish you a good recovery!

As a soldier, academic, historian and head of state and commander in chief of the defunct Republic of Biafra, his much-awaited memoir is going to be one of the most important books in the history of the “Giant of Africa” Nigeria. This is because it is going to straighten the records and uncover the mysteries surrounding many events that took place on both sides. As a Biafra survivor myself I cannot describe how much I am craving for it too.

Sakhos Silas Ejiofoh ( irokoafrika@yahoo.com ) writes from Wiesbaden, Hessen Germany.

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02/13/11

Permalink 12:52:00 am, by lateef lawal, 1163 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, South West News

*Nigeria: Lagos Governor Lambasts Jonathan, PDP Over Comment

-Fashola says PDP Federal Government Bereft of Ideas, Lack Planning

By Lateef Lawal

The Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) controlled Federal Government has been described as an administration bereft of ideas and planning to develop the country and move it to greater heights. This was how the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola responded to the statement of the president, Goodluck Jonathan during the flag off of his party’s campaign in Ibadan, Oyo State early in the week where he referred to opposition controlled sate governors in the Southwest as "rascals".

Speaking with journalists last Wednesday on his return from Abuja, Fashola noted that the statement by the president was unbecoming of the person of Jonathan who was presently occupying the exalted office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He told the president to channel his energy towards addressing the infrastructural decay that dotted the country’s landscape such as bad roads instead of engaging in cheap diatribe and name calling which was unbefitting of the exalted office of the President. ( Continues below….. )

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, Nigeria

Photo Above: Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, Nigeria

Expatiating on his challenge to President Jonathan, Governor Fashola asked the president to come to Lagos and see lots of abandoned federal roads adding that if governors qualify as "rascals", Jonathan himself is a "president of rascals". Fashola went on: "I think that I am happy that you have put the remark in its very appropriate perspective. The office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is a very high office and I do not think that that kind of language coming from the PDP presidential candidate is unpresidential.

"And it is interesting that these remarks are being made from outside Lagos, so I hope that when they come here they would be able to call us rascals again. And if we are rascals it means that some of the other governors he has been presiding over are in a republic of rascals." He added: "But I leave him to decide his own choice of words. Why should they be worried about our success in Lagos? If it(our success) gives them sleepless nights and it makes them uncomfortable, I make no apologies, that is why I am in government, to succeed here, to improve the quality of lives of people as best as I can."

Governor Fashola pondered: "Look. This party, PDP , has spent 12 years trying to provide electricity. We have provided three major electricity plants in Lagos, the next one will be completed in a few weeks. And clearly therefore they are deficient in ideas, they are deficient in planning. They spent four years trying to build 400 meters bridge in Ota, Ogun State and on the day that they finally came to open that bridge instead of apologizing to the people, Lagosians, they inundated us again, they were fighting themselves about who will cut the tape." ( Continues below….. )

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria (2010 - present)

Said Fashola : "Meanwhile the road that leads to the bridge is not completed. We built Okota link bridge in 18 months. It is longer than that bridge in which they were fighting. So, that is what we expect them to come and talk about. Apapa-Oshodi-Oworoshoki express road their road, is potholes ridden. The road, leading to the biggest airport in the country is a national embarrassment.

“We cleared Oshodi, asking them to finish their roads so that Nigerians can even begin to change our image to foreigners who come here. These are the issues that we expect them to come and address our voters about. We are waiting for them. But Lagosians will have to be determined to see clearly the pattern of the candidacy of the PDP candidates who seek to continue to lead this country into poverty, into inefficiency, into insecurity. But having said that I think that I have asked myself whether the president is more concerned about who is governor of Lagos or about becoming president."

The governor continued, "I think that if the PDP wants to swap candidates for the governor of Lagos I will be ready to face him because their candidate is not talking about what he wants to do in Lagos. Why have federal roads in Lagos not been fixed? Why do Lagosians not have electricity? Why do Lagosians have to bear the cost of their own security in spite of the enormous votes every year in the federal budget?

"These are the issues that concern Lagosians and those are the issues about which their votes will be cast. Lagos voters will not vote on the basis of luck. I did not win this office on the basis of luck, it was won on the basis of very clear manifesto of the ACN, very clear ideas about how to propel this economy, very hard work that we have done since 1999 as a people, progressives who have shown our common touch with the people."

He further said: "Elections will not be won by resulting to derogatory language and by claiming luck, elections require those who seek elective offices to focus on the people over who they plan to exercise authority and to communicate to them in a very clear and practical manner how they intend to improve thier lot. I think that the PDP led federal government has a lot of questions to answer in Lagos."

On the controversial elevation of the president of the Court of Appeal into the Supreme Court, Fashola said: "Seriously, I don’t have all the facts, and you know that until I have the facts it is dangerous to make conclusions, more importantly I think I read somewhere that there is now a court action so I more than anybody should respect and not make the work of the court difficult in this matter.

"Except of course to say on a general basis that I know as a fact that the president of the court of appeal has opted on occasion not to be elevated to the supreme court, he made that choice. And therefore many of his colleagues some of whom were his juniors have been elevated to that place. And it is common knowledge in our profession that if we were colleagues or classmates on the day that I get appointed to the court even if I were your junior, on the day I get appointed to a court and you come after me, you become my junior in that court.

"So, if his colleagues and juniors have gone to the Supreme Court ahead of him and we are promoting him, is there a real promotion there? Because he is going to take a queue behind them. If it is a promotion, is that a real promotion to go and queue up behind those you presided over?"

Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)

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02/11/11

Permalink 12:04:31 pm, by hyeldajoe, 615 words   ng-NG
Categories: News
*Adamawa State, Nigeria: Land of Beauty or Bitterness?

By Hyelda Joseph Fomnya

Adamawa State was created in 1975 from the old Gongola State. There have been a lot of setbacks in the development of the state due to the fact that most of its leaders since inception were military men who in most cases were imposed on the masses.

After Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999, we thought Adamawa state will at least claim its slogan “LAND OF BEAUTY” because we were privileged to have an elected governor along side the number two citizen (Vice president) of Nigeria. Although some progress was made in transforming the state, government efforts were infinitesimal as a result the impact of development in the state was insignificant. ( Continues below….. )

Map of Nigeria

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

In 2007, eight years after Nigeria’s return to democracy, we expected by right, that we will be allowed to vote our leaders as it ought to be in a democratic setting, but unfortunately a military retiree was brought in a military way to govern the state. The effect of this unfortunate, inhuman and crazy act of selection instead of election is visible in the state today as poverty level is the same if not worse than that of Niger and Chad republic. There was no capital project in Adamawa state that has direct impact on the life of the common man in the last four years, in-fact Adamawa state is the least developed amongst the states created in 1975…Beauty or Bitterness?

This article is by no way political because if you have had the misfortune of taking a trip to Adamawa State you will appreciate what I am saying. It is regrettably lugubrious to note that instead of dwelling in the land of beauty we are dwelling in the land of bitterness!

The most pitiable happening in Adamawa state is the employment of illiterates and political thugs (mostly) in the name of Special Assistants (SA’s) in a state where hospitals look more like a prison in the 21st century, where ninety five (95) percent of the people do not have access to portable drinking water. I thought SA’s, and what have you, are meant to advice and assist the Governor in developing the state? Quote me; “seventy percent (70%) of the SA’s in Adamawa state cannot advise themselves”, they are just appointed to help in embezzling the state funds. ( Continues below….. )

Map of Adamawa State, Nigeria.

Photo Above: Map of Adamawa State, Nigeria.

Let me inform the general public that the credibility of the Foundation for Transparency and Accountability is questionable or that the association is political for awarding the governor of Adamawa state an award for transparency, believe it or not there is no transparency in the governance of Adamawa state! Please let us stop deceiving the world by giving awards to undeserving people. I hope this article will get to those concerned.

Greatest concerned Nigerians I know there are many other states with similar issues, we have to do something! please let us open our eyes and shun political thugrey and gangsterism let’s work towards electing people with vision to transform our states and country at large, people who can turn around our economy; not people that will embezzle our funds in the name of running state affairs. LONG LIVE ADAMAWA STATE, LONG LIVE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA!

*PMM says "We Must Change Nigeria" - (1). Click here to listen to National Call To Action (2). Click here to listen to Election Rigging Riot Act audio clip

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Permalink 12:09:48 am, by ifeatuagbu, 1389 words   ng-NG
Categories: News
*Nigeria: Niger Delta & Avoidable Legal Tussle

By Ifeatu Agbu

It is rather unfortunate that the Federal Government has not quite lived up to its billing in dealing with the developmental challenges of the Niger Delta region. For some inexplicable reasons, the central government has consistently failed to adequately meet its statutory obligations to the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, since the inception of the interventionist agency in 2001. This has now forced the traditional rulers from the region to run to the courts to get the government to comply with its own laws.

In spite of the provisions of the NDDC Establishment Act, which says that the Federal Government should contribute an equivalent of 15 per cent of the total amount accruable to the nine oil-producing states from the Federation Account, the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, unilaterally decided to pay only 10 per cent. The difference between what the law says and what Obasanjo decided to pay was what accumulated to N244 billion at the time he left office.

This was the genesis of the problem that has now pitched the government against the royal fathers. The current lawsuit has revealed that the disregard of the law continued during late President Umaru Yar’Adua’s administration. As at 2009, the withheld funds had ballooned to a staggering N484, 450, 551, 137.91 billion.

In a way, the traditional rulers cannot be blamed for going to court because in addition to being the custodians of their people’s culture, they are also expected to take care of their well being by supporting development efforts. Since most of the other development agencies, such as the oil companies, local and state governments have not lived up to expectations, the people have come to place their hopes on the NDDC. The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, which was set up ostensibly to add fillip to the activities of the NDDC, has more or less proved sceptics, who saw it as an unnecessary duplication, right. Rather than attract more funds for the development of the region, the ministry has ended up sharing funds that would have ordinarily gone to the NDDC. ( Continues below..... )

Map of Nigeria's Niger Delta Region showing Port Harcourt

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

Since the Willinks Commission report of 1958, several interventionist agencies have tried with little success to change the fortunes of the region. The performances of these agencies, starting from the Niger Delta Development Board [NDDB] set up in 1961 to the Oil Minerals Producing Areas Development Commission [OMPADEC] inaugurated in 1992, were nothing to write home about. It is no secret that one of the reasons for their failure was inadequate funding.

It was against this background that a better legal foundation was laid for the NDDC when it was set up. A deliberate effort was made to ensure that the funding of the commission was grounded in law. It is regrettable that the current administration, which prides itself as having enormous respect for the rule of law, has continued to perpetuate the injustice brought about by Obasanjo’s action. In fact, it is an embarrassing contradiction for the Federal Government to refuse to obey its own law.

As if to add salt to injury, the late President Yar’Adua said that the debt had expired. It was inconceivable, since the same President had said in September 2007 that “I have directed that all the funds for the NDDC be released in conformity with the law.” One wonders, therefore, why he reneged on his promise which was applauded in the Niger Delta and beyond. ( Continues below….. )

Nigeria Ex-President Umaru Yar'Adua

Photo Above: Nigeria Ex-President Umaru Yar'Adua (2007 - May 5, 2010)

The injustice inherent in that denial rankled many people in the Niger Delta. The former Petroleum Minister, Prof. Tam David-West described the claim that the money had expired as preposterous. He said: “Money that is statutory cannot expire as long as the Nigerian state continues to exist”. Speaking in the same vein, the leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force [NDPVF], Alhaji Mujaheed Asari-Dokubo asked: “How can our money expire when our oil has not expired?” Weighing in on the vexed issue, the President of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Mr. Ledum Mitee observed that “one of the cardinal programmes of this government is to remedy the wrongs of the past administration by complying with the law. ( Continues below….. )

Nigeria Ex-President Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo

Photo Above: Nigeria Ex-President Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo (in office 1976 - 1979 & 1999 - 2007)

An administration that claims to be guided by the rule of law should try to comply with the law by remedying those wrongs; otherwise you will just be rubbishing your claim to be dealing with the Niger Delta issue”. Now, the agitation for the development of Nigeria’s oil-rich region has shifted to the courtroom as 21 monarchs from the oil producing areas sued the Federal Government to press for the release of N484, 450, 551, 137.91 billion meant for the development of the region. According to them, the amount represented the difference between the statutorily generated 15 per cent total figure from the Federation Account, as prescribed in the NDDC [Establishment Act], between 2001 and 2009. ( Continues below….. )

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria (2010 - present)

The monarchs, who commenced the legal action on behalf of themselves and their communities under the platform of the Traditional Rulers of the Oil Mineral Producing Communities of Nigeria (TROMPCON), stated that their action was a consequence of years of foot-dragging on the release of funds meant for the development of infrastructure in the oil-rich region by the Federal Government.

Apart from this case, the NDDC is also being short-changed in the disbursement of the ecological fund. This is in spite of the fact the commission spends huge resources on combating ecological problems such as coastal erosion, flooding and shore protection. Sadly, the NDDC has been denied this fund which it is constitutionally and legally entitled to, since its establishment. The Ecological Fund, which was set up by Decree 36 of 1984 and the amended version, Decree 106 of 1992 was meant to ensure that adequate provision was made to address environmental problems in all parts of the country. ( Continues below….. )

Map of Nigeria

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

These cases of underfunding could be attributed to the unwillingness of the executive to do what is needful in the troubled Niger Delta region. Many have blamed the central government of not showing that it has the will to right the wrongs of the past. The resort to legalism is not in the interest of the long-neglected people of the Niger Delta. Now, more than ever before, all stakeholders need to collaborate to lift the region from the throes of underdevelopment. The challenges of developing the Niger Delta are such that all the stakeholders must sincerely partner to achieve the desired goal.

Is it not double jeopardy for the deprived people of the Niger Delta to spend their meagre resources in prosecuting an avoidable court case? It is tantamount to what Senator Uche Chukwumereije once referred to as “an arrow on the conscience of the nation” In the light of the moral burden hanging over the Federal Government, it is only wise that it invites the aggrieved traditional rulers to negotiate so that the matter could be settled out of court. In other words, the government should bite the humble pie and release the withheld funds of the NDDC. If this happens, then of course, the royal fathers should withdraw the matter from the court and set up a monitoring process to track the utilisation of the funds.

The money involved is huge and as such should be released in installments over a period of five years. It should also be tied to the execution of mega projects, which all Niger Deltans will see and appreciate. That is the best way to make posterity applaud the efforts of the traditional rulers to retrieve what legally belongs to the people of the region.

Obviously, a negotiated settlement is by far in the best interest of the government and the people of the Niger Delta than a wasteful engagement in litigation that may drag on for several years at great financial cost to all concerned.

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

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02/10/11

Permalink 03:02:57 pm, by obaro, 1382 words   ng-NG
Categories: News
*Beware! Fraudulent Qatar Work Visa

By Felix Obaro

The attention of concerned Nigerian Professionals resident in Doha, State of Qatar has been drawn to the activities of some unscrupulous agents in Nigeria, with collaboration of some Nigerian elements in Doha offering Work Visa to unsuspecting Nigerians to work and live in Qatar. This practice has been on for some time but of recent has reached a dimension that is portraying the image of Nigeria and Nigerians in Qatar in a bad light. It is based on this development that concerned Nigerians are putting up this information to alert the Nigerian public on the need to take caution and not to fall into the deceit of these individuals.

Qatar as a country is rich in oil and gas resources which have fueled the infrastructural and economic development of this Arabian peninsula nation over the past decades. This economic boom has seen the migration of people from South East Asia, Europe, America and Africa to this small Gulf State. The local Qatari people are also friendly and receptive to foreigners of diverse languages, cultural and religious background. In anticipation of the influx of economic migrant to support the Nations growth, the government of the State of Qatar has an effective immigration system that has been designed to ensure that only legal immigrants are allowed to live and work in Qatar.

While Work Visa as it’s currently being secured for Nigerians by Local Nigerian agents in Qatar and their collaborators in Nigeria did grant you the right to live in Qatar, there is no job attached to this Visa. The impression given is that once you arrive in Qatar, Jobs are waiting for you as there are opportunities everywhere. This is not the truth as there are many Nigerians on the streets of Doha today seeking employment without headway for months and in some cases over a year. ( Continues below….. )

Map of Qatar

Photo Above: Map of Qatar

Some have returned home disappointed after borrowing money and selling properties to secure Qatar Work visa with high expectations of better life. They lived in harrowing conditions in slums and labour quarters before finding their way back to their motherland. The Agents, who procured the Visa disappeared and live these individuals to the mercy of friends and fellow Nigerians to assist to the best of their abilities. The saddening thing is that most of these unfortunate migrants left paid employment behind in Nigeria, to seek “greener pastures” as painted by this Work Visa Agents.

While we must state clearly that, there are indeed job opportunities for qualified professionals in Qatar, and many Nigerians are gainfully employed and practicing their professions in Qatar, it is important to highlight the danger posed by the activities of these nefarious individuals not only to law abiding Nigerians in Qatar, but also the image of the Nigeria Nation. In addition, because of the bad publicity this has generated in government circle, stricter restriction on the issuance of Visa for Nigerians is in place. Most hotels do not process Nigeria tourist Visa as applicable to Nationals of other countries willing to come to Qatar on holiday.

The implication of this is that, Nigerians with genuine business/holiday interest are refused entry visa. This was not the case five years ago, as you can apply for Visa for anyone by approaching any of the hotels in Doha. ( Continues below..... )

Map of Nigeria

This article is aimed at educating Nigerians about the facts surrounding Qatar Work Visa and for them to review their plans based on the information provided below on the Work Visa in Qatar. What You Must Know about Qatar Work Visa.

• Any genuine employer of labour in Qatar will not ask prospective employees to pay a Visa fee. The employer will also be responsible for the flight ticket from Nigeria to Doha.

• The pretext of the people involved in the work visa racket is that they are providing opportunity for people to travel. This cannot be true as this is rather for their economic gains. The actual cost of work visa in Qatar is about N30000 equivalent, however charges for this Visa in Nigeria ranges between N500000 and N600000. This clearly shows that this is for economic gains of individuals

• The Qatar Visa is issued in different categories depending on the job being offered. The category of the job/title is written on the Visa in Arabic language, thus many are not aware of the job category that has been indicated on their Work Visa. The implication of this is that, an experienced graduate can be given a visa indicating his level of job is a Laborer without his knowledge as he cannot read nor understand Arabic. This individual will come to Qatar looking for a professional job, not knowing that by his Visa status, he cannot use his credentials to work. There have seen cases of graduate that are denied employment to qualified positions, after long term search for job because of the limitation posed by their visa category.

• As applicable in all countries of the world including Nigeria, trainee positions are reserved for Nationals of the country. Just like it will be difficult for any employer of labour in Nigeria to employ a Non–Nigerian without any demonstrable experience, while young graduates in Nigeria are looking for jobs, Qatari government also has the policy of recruiting young Qataris to development position in both private and government institution. Thus, as a prospective expatriate in Qatar, you need to be able to demonstrate skill in a particular area that cannot be resourced internally. A fresh Nigerian graduate that has no working experience, and is promised job in Qatar should have this understanding. You need to have a number of years of experience before you can be considered for position. It is better you develop yourself to that level before you look out for international opportunities. Then, employer will source for you and you do not need to pay for your visa and flight tickets to Qatar

• Within three months of entering into Qatar on work visa, you will be required to complete the process of your residence permit. This information is usually not mentioned by these unscrupulous agents to their clients. Work Visa grants you access to the country as a legal immigrant, but without the residence permit, you cannot stay in Qatar. You will still need to pay for the processing of the residence permit. Before the permit is issued, you need to undergo a medical test, anyone that fail will be deported to his home country at his own cost immediately. There have been cases of deportation based on this requirement.

• Another deception by these agents is that the Work Visa issued is a freelance Visa and you do not have to work with the company that issued the Visa. This is being economic with the truth. The fact is that, if you are lucky enough to get a job before you complete your residence permit process (Note the time limits in point 5 above and the restriction posed by visa type in point 3), it may be easy to process your residence permit under the new employer. However, if you are not able to get a job within three months, and you have to do the residence permit under the company that processed your visa to Qatar, then you cannot change job or sponsoring company until after one year. The implication of this is that you will be in Qatar without any paid employment for the next one year. That’s a whole year wasted and many in that condition are very much dependent on relations from Nigeria to send money for their upkeep or rely on the benevolence of other Nigerians in Qatar.

With the issue of the hosting right of the 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar, the activities of this Work Visa agents has stepped up with promises of lofty jobs on arrival in Qatar. This is nothing but a fleece. Nigerians should be guided by the information provided above in making any decision about paying through their nose to procure this “freelance work visa”. Beware!!

Felix Obaro can be reached at obaro_felix@yahoo.com

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02/08/11

Permalink 02:07:23 am, by admin Email , 182 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News
*PMM Endorses Buhari for Nigeria Presidency

By People's Mandate Movement (PMM)

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People's Mandate Movement (PMM) after thorough screening, review and due consultations as communicated to her members, endorses Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.) for President of Nigeria 2011 - 2015 and Pastor Tunde Bakare for Vice President of Nigeria 2011 - 2015. ( Continues below….. )

General Mohammadu Buhari

Photo Above: VENUE: Abuja, DATE: December 9, 2010 - Buhari displays a clenched fist (PMM symbol) during his declaration of his intention to stand for the 2011 presidential election.

PMM's initial endorsement was Buhari for President and was extended to the running mate after his nomination. PMM's endorsement of the ticket is based on the fact that corruption and indiscipline, the foremost problems facing Nigeria would be best handled by Buhari. The addition of Bakare on the ticket is testimony of the plans of a Buhari presidency - government that is God-fearing and people-serving. Nigeria would grow to..... Click here to read full story.

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.....Click here to read full story of PMM Endorsement of Buhari.

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02/06/11

Permalink 08:05:00 pm, by drgenesis, 944 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News

*Nigeria: If I Were President

By Dr. Genesis Dawuda

The Leader who is willing to go the farthest and bear the impossible fearlessly will be followed the most. The number one seat of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is really an enviable one. I mean that of becoming the Executive President, the Commander-in-Chief and number one citizen of the country. I will start by the conventional “fellow Nigerians,” I wish to congratulate you on the 50th year of proving how independent we are from the masters that colonized us. Making all efforts to manage and govern ourselves.

Fellow Nigerians, many waters have passed under the bridge and we are still a sovereign state. I will like to categorically state clearly here that my government shall not take as trifle any contribution as an effort to foster the unity and peace of this great nation. The noisy notions of a national conference have been looked into that each ethnic nationality should draw out their constitution and how best they can govern themselves. Each ethnic nation should send two delegates to this National conference, which will be taking place soon.

With our eagle-eye of leadership we have foreseen that soon petroleum will no longer be relevant as such, research has been embarked upon for an alternative to oil. Fellow Nigerians, we found out that water; which is cheap, habitat friendly and common is a good alternative to petrol in a bid to safeguard our habitat from the ozone layer depletion and other environmental hazards caused by petroleum. This also will put an end to the Niger-delta crisis, the resource control issue and the oil spillage palaver. We have made contacts with three major players in the water energy project. ( Continues below..... )

Seal of The President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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

Fellow Nigerians, change is a natural phenomenon, which is often painful. But we will have to take some decisions in the interest of all at the detriment of few that are controlling and increasing the depletion of the ozone layer and causing hardship to our people in the name of deregulation. This water-fueled car will be in production soon. We are soliciting for donations to make this a reality.

On religious crises in this country, I have come to a conclusion and resolved that any religious leader that foments trouble or cannot control his faithful will face the firing squad to serve as a deterrent to other leaders. Considering CAN’s irrelevance I have decided to restructure her to cover spiritual, soci-political, socio-economical and educational issues. All doctrinally imbalance religious organizations will be sealed.

I authorize that all religious bodies operate from individual houses. There will be a central temple for everyone. A municipal trust fund is put in place to manage all donations that will be recycled to meet the demands of the needy. The status of the poor and the rich will common. The big and the small will be equal. This will take care of the greedy people in a community. Transportation, food, and housing is given serious and urgent consideration.

As an alternative to petroleum for economic generation, my government is looking into the future of the global economy, as such, is going to invest heavily into computer software and hardware development. My government will not take lightly the place of the poor, orphans, widows, almajiris, and strangers; until poverty and hunger is completely wiped out. ( Continues below….. )

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

Fellow Nigerians, we all know that something is wrong with the world and united nations seem not to be able to manage the government of the world.

Now over 6000 years of human existence has brought mankind to the brink of world suicide. The so-called United Nations are not united. The world’s leading scientists and statesmen say the only hope now is New World Order (NWO) a world government. Sir Winston Churchill, before the United States Congress, said “there’s a purpose being worked out here below.” God Almighty had great purpose in creating the human family and placing us here on this earth. And he has a perfect master plan for accomplishing that purpose. But what we need on earth is godly order not NWO. That is, God running the affairs of the world through the offices of holy apostles and prophets. ( Continues below….. )

Map of Nigeria

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

Fellow Nigerians, as we celebrate this independence, I will like you to know that the figure 50 is a very important number to God. It is associated with celebration and ceremony. It’s a year of jubilee when all those who have issues in all areas of their lives receive divine settlement by God.

On our journey into our national destiny, I’ll say we are in the darkest moment of our lives as a nation; socio-economically, socio-politically, and educationally. The darkest night lies near dawn. Light shines the farthest in the dark. We are just close to the end of the tunnel. Hope is our anchor in this ship of nation building. Patience our fortitude and belief in God and self. If your lights are out you can light it from mine and herald to the hopeless the advent of a great and new Nigeria.

May god bless you all, may God bless Nigeria and the world through us.

Apostle (Dr.) Genesis A. Dawuda is Administrator, Centre For World Rebirth ( Website: www.drgenesis.com ) Phone: 08028063695 or 07027001527, E-mail: info@drgenesis.com or centreforworldrebirth@yahoo.com

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Permalink 01:03:11 pm, by Online preacher D, 1606 words   en-UK
Categories: News
*Ex-Nigerian Leaders 'Phoned' Satan To Thank Him

By Adria Opa (aka The Preacher)

A child is crying in a remote village, no food, no social amenities and the worst is that she is seriously ill. Very sadden is that the only access to medical clinic is very far; to reach to this clinic she needed to be conveyed by a car but please guess what? no car and no road. What do you expect the poor parents of the sick child to do? They are bruised by the deadly realities of poverty, chained by the armies of corrupt political barons and destroyed by man's inhumanity to man. The painful part of it all is that death refuses to take the child. They poor parents are only spectators to their son's unwanted visitor. They are beckoning death to wipe them out but death remained mute to all their tears.

Imagine if you were such parents and the child. Kindly take your time and think about them now. As they faced the ugly intense heat of poverty, then emerged a political rally in this hinterland. How did politicians arrive to this outdated place where roads and transportation do not exist. It is pertinent to know the wickedness of events and the real crime against humanity. One of the so-called politicians emerged with their dubiously acquired helicopter. He pretended not to know the harshness of his political crime.. He has come to promise the well known marathon false political promises only to ask for votes.

The poor child and her parents are busy watching the pains of boxing between their sick son and death. The real thief is busy campaigning to the myopic community with his so-called 30 bags of rice which he has come to donate to the hungry. Why so wicked? Inhumanity to man, death refuses to take away her victim who is ready to leave this world. Who is the real hero? it is this seriously sick girl and her parents. To me they are the heros who we must all clap our hands for. They have staged a good fight, they have paid the price, they committed no crime. The political thieves are free of hunger, free of all the shotcomings and they keep on running the affairs of this nation with impunity. ( Continues below..... )

Women and children in Gitata village,  Nassarawa State, Nigeria

Photo Above: Women and children in Gitata village, Nassarawa State, Nigeria - without much to do for the day, idle away time on the side of the road.

Mr politician has come and gone and he has got his vote to continue stealing the wealth of the poor citizens. I am aware of the tears of this poor boy, I know what she is facing, her ordeals and how punishing is hunger. The poor child called on God to come but it seems that her cry does not cross the thatched house where she was layed. Who will help this child?. They are many in this world, but we eat and drink, dancing and fashioning, setting up gigantic projects to excavate the moon, building and researching on frivolous matters. It is sadden that many are busy paying debts that they did not create by themslves; many are the likes of the above mentioned child, many are watching their sick ones helplessly, Many, the likes of this girl are future scientists, Hilary Clintons, Merkels, world renowned ladies of tomorrow, but no one is there for them. Wake up and go for them.

I call upon the United Nations to please set up another world court that will trial those past political demons and future 'dead' leaders who have not done enough to alleviate the suffering of their people. War crime is not the only crime, the real crime is the dubious nature of these heads of states and their collaborators. I will be ready to recommend the worst and present past leaders. The poor child is still in pains, faced with death and hunger. The poor parents are helpless and on their way to be executed by their master Mr death. The journey is still far. Wickedness has many strategies and as such, they blocked the external eyes from seeing and reaching out for the likes of this poor community.

Food aid cannot reach such people, the evil politicians will not like such evil to be seem by external eyes. No amount of religious sermon would bring those things to the likes of the poor child. The parents relax their eyes with the poor man`s words of hope “God dey" (God exists) only to wake up in the morning with the same experiences. My wicked political thief is gone with his helicopter accompanied by his gangs and will return again at the end of his tenure. Why not? He has given the hungry rations. I mean his devil`s 30 bags of rice knowing that they poor community does not have school so how will they know their rights. The fear of revolution of the poor keeps on hunting those who embezzled the wealth of this nation and as such they continue to fight for come back either directly or indirectly.

They fabricated zoning and as such assumed the position of martys as if they have come to rescue their poor wards, whereas they had tested power before. Ask them why they did not solve their now forseen problems. Ask them how they acquired their wealth and their haven of mansions. Ask them if they did not travel to Europe during their reigns? If yes, why did they not build their nation like Europe? Ask them why they failled to provide free healthcare and free education. Ask them why there was no stable electricity. Ask them why they did not construct good roads. Ask them why they agreed to keep their subjects in darkness. Ask them why they did not have agenda during their reigns. Ask them to look around and tell us any key development they contributed during their days? ( Continues below..... )

Map of Nigeria

Now tell them to bring back the nation`s wealth which they dubiously acquired. Tell them to hands-off. How can they continue to be owners of oil blocks which does not belong to them. Tell them to confess and hand over all that belongs to this nation which they shared with their gangs. Tell them to hand over their mansions to the government so that we can use them to house the poor. Who are they fooling? Have they forgotten that nothing is permenent? Death is here, revolution will come one day. Let them get prepared to asnwer the Almighty father as judgement awaits them all. Let us all remember Awolowo`s legacy credited for Yoruba strong presence in the international community.

Let us thank him for the vision. He was a genius of many faces inspite of his pitfalls and his obnoxious program which thwarted Biafra and rubbished Igbo children. Being a direct victim to his blockade of Biafra I still see him as a political messiah to this nation. No part of the nation can be compared to the Yoruba standards. Just look at their empires, Churches, law firms, and all their projects. May Awo rest in peace. No Nigerian have ever done like Awo. The worst is Igbo ignorance. Every year come and gone they only think of developing other parts of Nigeria thus putting their land in abject poverty.

Consider the great achievements of the Ibos and you will see that they own much of the giant economic presences in the country. Wait a minute, where did they site all these? In Iboland? Of course No. Instead of fighting for their people, they fight for their personal wealth and sell their peoples' rights. None of them can be compared to Ojukwu who led Biafra with his father`s wealth. The so-called Ibo politicians are only their brothers' sellers. There are no known projects, companies, nor business zones in the east. They failled. Today their wickedness is hunting them. They cannot flash their wealth again in the East since the poor have formed squads of kidnappers who are direct dividends of their evil. Ask them why are they crying now. Ask them if they have repented. If yes, when are they going to start developing their land. Why always Abuja? Ask them who is going to build hospitals, clinics, companies, five star hotels, car factories, etc.

The poor sick girl needs help and wants to be the last victim. Her wish is that no child will ever be a victim again. She would like to give up now but she has concluded to invite billions of allien rebels who will resists and fight for the poor. She has sworn to send alliens to this nation and there is no hidden place for the wicked. Tell them that revolution is coming. God has heard the cry of the poor child and the time is coming for the poor who are the rightful owners of this nation's wealth.

Now that another election is coming, many use the poor for rituals, as kidnappers, killers and slaves only to secure another right of evacuting this nation's wealth. Let me warn you all, God has heard the cry of the poor and the appointed time is here. No one is more than God and He is not happy with the situation of this poor girl and her likes. I am checking out of poverty - how about you?

Adria Opa - aka The Preacher ( http://shameguilty.blogspot.com )

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02/05/11

Permalink 12:01:00 am, by wordaz, 2876 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, World News

*Of Nations, Honor And Men

By Jide (Oso-) Alabi

Principles and Honor. These are two chief virtues that will be found pertaining to the ethos of any great society. Whereas the two concepts have various senses of usage, the sense in which I refer to them here; is as it pertains to morality. Thus, while honor is defined as the quality of knowing and doing what is morally right, in one of its three verb forms-to keep ones promise, principle on the other hand is also defined as a moral rule or strong belief that influences your actions. And this latter definition of principle is fine except that, for though we may infer it, it doesn’t actually suppose the rightness of such moral rule or belief. Thus Jason’s principle as an employer to deduct the salary of late comers may lead him to do so to Harry without taking consideration of the extraordinary circumstances of Harry’s lateness on this particular morning.

As such though principles are rules which make life easier and decision making faster, they can be rigid and sometimes injustice is invariably done. Unfortunately principles sometimes then develop into policy. Note though that principles in themselves are not bad and in fact ought to be cultivated. What should be avoided is a blanket application of a single principle to all situations. The quality of a principle and ultimately a policy will therefore depend on the depth of its moral content and the circumstances surrounding its application.

Where the (moral) content is minimal, individuals and countries may find themselves offending moral sensibilities. Generally, being that principles look to the generality and not the individual, often to the ends and not the means, sometimes the difficulty of a prevailing situation may force an individual or nation to make on principle, a morally questionable decision. As such it is possible to have a powerful nation, a well developed country where government runs like clockwork, industry charges along like a steam train, infrastructure is first class and the streets are so clean one can eat off the sidewalk, equally practicing alongside these achievements a policy sanctioning the killing of infants, the slaughtering of thousands, and other abuses of human rights.

Conversely you can have a nation in which underdevelopment and societal disaffection with the government as we predominantly have in many in African countries is the defining hallmark government even though there is relatively a better observation of the dictates of Human Rights. Whatever the case, the truly great nations though will always be those who have been able to incorporate the highest moral values of the two concepts within the framework of their national psyche. Indeed, it is inevitable that, even when one nation has opted for less surely as that nation reaches a critical point in its development, as the basic instinct to feed, cloth, shelter and ensure the future of its citizens is met, a further instinct prompted by the stirrings of the people as they become more enlightened, must turn that nation to higher values, to imbibe the highest form of morality. Within that, if never having existed, honor, if having first existed elevating honor to a higher plane. ( Continues below….. )

Map of the World

If we pause here briefly to consider nations as men, aside from the fact that reality readily attests it, then it is obvious that Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pertains in equal measure to nations. In view of this, it follows that the nations that will enjoy the most acclaim, the place where people will be most satisfied relatively with their lot in life, are those where existing simultaneously with the provision of an enabling environment for the ordered pursuit of happiness, good principles and honor is an integral part of its national life. Where, the focal points, the hub of its wheel-the leadership, are unrepentant patrons of these two virtues.

Yes some have opined that man is not naturally predisposed to do good unless there are systems in place to make him do so. That temptations will always make him a potential victim of his baser self. Indeed, but we should remember too that it is also man, yet man realizing this weakness that has come together with others of his kind to devise means of checking it. That in itself speaks of an higher mind. Speaks of courage, speaks of principles speaks of honor.

Others may argue that the social contract endeavor is merely aimed at self preservation. True, self-preservation forms an undeniable part. However these should equally realize that one could just as well attain that, at least within his life time where ever and when ever he, the chief protagonist controls all the factors of violence, information infrastructure and has neutralized or mollified all opposing forces or ideologies. (The case of Omar Bongo of Gabon is a case in point). After all as Edmund Burke rightly stated- all it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing. No, the men that agree to make laws and guide lines that bind them also have incontrovertibly conceded one fact and it is this- that they are not gods. That they recognize their weakness, that for the greater good of the commonwealth, though they may have it within their power to rule as they like, they would nevertheless submit themselves to the dictates of reason and the same standards of justice.

Ironically it is through this concession to their weakness and their attempt to check it that many attain the status of super human beings. Today as I reflect upon the sleeping behemoth which is Africa, particularly Nigeria, I realize that beyond the obvious reality of lack of good leadership from which the continent suffers, the youth in particular and this is critical, lack good role models. We are starved of virtuous mentors. ( Continues below..... )

The World

Just think what Nigeria, Africa can become with 20 Mandelas on the continent, 20 Mo Ibrahims, 5 Gani Fawenhmis per country. Think what this “cradle of civilization” can become if we had two Ribadus per nation on our continent or the likes of Akunyili (I daresay before she became an outright politician),Alfred Taban from Sudan, Reginald Matchaba-Hove from Zimbabwe, Zainab Hawa Bangura from Sierra Leone, Immaculée Birhaheka from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Donald Duke the visionary former governor of Nigeria’s Cross-River state.

Just think what Nigeria, Africa can become within the space of 50 years if we had men like Farouk Lawani of the Nigerian federal House of Representatives, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and other men of integrity in the key sectors of our economies. In power, security, the financial sector working their magic. Just think of the developmental possibilities where these, the real soldiers on Africa’s march to true economic independence, start working together, start actively engaging the youth, inspiring them, molding them, collaborating in government and on national issues to bring a lasting change to their nations.

We need to see more of these people in the public domain, being celebrated and praised. Because it is when we do this, when we celebrate men of such constitution, such character, that we the nation, the people will strive to emulate them and accordingly grow.

For me myself being a Nigerian, I’m most concerned about my nation. I am appalled at the politics of the land. The penchant to compromise, to turn a blind eye to the evils and paint the kettle white, to go back on ones words just for quick gain or to save ones own skin. For inasmuch as king Solomon as advised us to not be too foolish, why should we destroy ourselves, and not to be too righteous, why should we die before our time… and that the man who fears God will succeed with both. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the greatest hallmark of such fear is righteousness. Doing the right thing and being morally upright.

It is in that wise that it invariably warms the cockles of my heart when I see a Sanusi Lamido Sanusi taking on the great upper chamber of Nigeria’s Federal house. A Sanusi staunchly defending his statement politely but unrepentantly before a “court” ready to crucify him, ready to throw him to the dogs and prematurely end his career. In Nigeria today men like these are a dying breed. They are rare and though existing, exceptionally hard to find. And why should they not be, why should they not be rare and few and far between when we live under a culture of sycophancy and saving our own skin. Isn’t it so much easier to go with the flow, to join the crowd? To blend, just fit in rather than trying to stand out? But why is this so... Because singularity is dangerous and there is safety in numbers. If even indeed there is too the danger of being swallowed up by the crowd, of having your individuality erased under the dynamism of a faceless mob. But note, that is only when the mob lacks direction. ( Continues below..... )

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Map and Flag of Nigeria

Photo Above: Map and Flag of Nigeria

Where it acquires focus, it becomes a movement and a pivotal force for lasting social change. It is that social change which Nigeria, Africa needs and that change will be initiated by an individual. And so yes, singularity is dangerous but cowardice, indolence is just as so. Unfortunately in our modern culture we see nothing wrong with this. We don’t see it has a problem and that exactly is where the problem lies. For though singularity risky, note that the men who have really ever made an impact in life were those willing to stand out from the crowd, those willing to deviate from the norm. The men and women who got out of their comfort zones, refused to sail by the prevailing winds of the times or submit reason to the established powers, the domineering laws.

In time these became the leaders of the “mob”, the pivotal force behind social revolutions. As such just think where Christianity would be today if Jesus had capitulated, had turned that stone into bread, decided to give the devil just that one singular act of worship (after all nobody would have been there to see him do it and accused him later on) or faltered before the Sanhedrin at his questioning. Or think, what form of Islam would you call to mind now, had Muhammad (peace be upon him) succumbed to the pagan Meccans and abandoned his mission. Indeed for that matter, where would they be today- the Mahatmas, the madibas and kings, men who have by their actions of courage, principle and honor inspired generations of people to stay the course and reach for something beyond their present beings, if they themselves had wavered in their crucible hour.

Yea, I cannot deny that the path of honor, doing what is right, the path that leads to lasting glory is fraught with dangers, that it demands sacrifice. No greater example can be given us of this than that of our Lord Jesus Christ. And yet in a nation where the people thirst for change, where they seek redemption and a new way, is it not worth the risk? In our society today many of us lie prostrate, yet the laws of leadership, the immutable codes of progress demands that one man must stand up before others will follow. That one man must first speak before others will add their voices, that the motion must first be raised, by one man before it can ever be adopted.

One man, yes the one that will volunteer to bell the cat. And that my friends is the true test of leadership- the readiness to bell the cat. The ability to offer oneself out on a limb- sometimes not knowing what will follow or the scene that will play out. It is this resolve to die if need be, this act of faith, this staking of ones whole being on a single (worthy) toss that inspires the crowd to coalesce round the leader and bring the vision to being. The world eagerly awaits the revelation of the sons of righteousness. The instigator who will shake the people, rouse them from their sleep and commit them to action.

Those who are ready to die, willing to bear the cross and lead. It must be so for in every journey, in every quest, there must be a guiding light. The captain of the ship need not be the most intelligent, beautiful or capable but of the many obtaining qualities, there is one he must not miss; Courage, boldness, passion, honesty and alacrity. He must be honorable. He must have integrity.

There is another reason why the leader most often starts out alone, why he must first stand up. It is this; if he seeks to convince others to join themselves to him, he must first show them not only his sincerity but also the do-ability of the change he seeks. This is necessary for the price he asks his potential followers to pay; to leave the relative safety of their indolence is often times a heavy one. ( Continues below…… )

People's Mandate Movement (PMM)  Logo

Photo Above: People's Mandate Movement (PMM) Logo Click Adjourning Link To Visit PMM Website:- http://www.nigeriapmm.org/

And yet admittedly, there is a danger to being a lone crusader and this is precisely the reason why the provision of role modeling and mentorship is so important. There is the need to build a base of citizens, Nigerians, Africans whose values are alike and who united will be strong enough to first resist then launch their attack to bring about the destruction of a corrupt socio-political system. Indeed it is crucial to building the numbers, that critical mass that will eventually overthrow the status quo. This considered, reflect on the fact of how it took one man who became an example to others those others to many still, to initiate a religious revolution which though resisted eventually over ran an empire and today is the preferred choice of the so called world powers.

As a result, he attained immortality. Since then, today and for centuries to come man has and will continue to seek strategies to do the same- to cheat death or continue an existence from beyond the grave. Reflective of this, note the popular folk lore tales of vampires and the living dead. Beings who through the use of the dark arts were able to transcend death. On the flipside, all the great religions of the world equally promise us this ultimate- everlasting life, if only we observe their tenets. Traditionally still, man has, some will opine vainly tried to attain that end by siring at least one male child to perpetuate his name after he has gone. Still others have sought to leave a legacy behind, some work of genius or greatness, some task or cause to which their names will be forever bound.

I daresay of all these the one which man most firmly has within his grasp and is thus more sure of attaining, is the latter. Accordingly, as we look at the many challenges confronting our nation today: the issue of power, the problem of corruption and mismanagement. The travails of an ailing economy, ethnic conflict, grinding poverty and bad leadership, it is incontrovertible that Nigeria and Africa like no other offers the greatest chance for the individual man to attain this most elusive of dreams.

And so therefore, once again, immortality throws down the gauntlet. It speaks to us from the fields of Palestine, the plains where once one mighty soldier marched down the rank and file of Israel boasting invincibility and defying the armies of God. Immortality whispers to us from across the Rubicon challenging us to stake our claim to Rome. It speaks to us through the story of Macedon’s son who conquered the then “known world” and though dying at the mere age of 33 is forever called great. Yes, immortality the prize we all seek. ( Continues below..... )

Church & Mosque Coexisting in Syria

Photo Above: Church & Mosque Coexisting in Syria

Ho my God, this I pray, In the struggles of life, I have lost once, But now give me another chance, Let me fight another day.

Let me fight the good fight, Let me run the good race.

Let me live like you made man to live, Happy, honorable and unafraid, And let me win.

But, should I lose, Then let me go with happy face, Let me go not like sheep, Docile and bleating But with screaming, Clawing the earth to the bowls of the deep Let me, go not, like the dead before death, That sleep before sleep, Yea when it’s done, Let it be, Either of two words My tomb stone read, He won or he tried.

As for you, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and others of your ilk. May you live long. May your tribe increase (Nwachukwu Egbunike) and your race multiply on honors’ milk. May your children proliferate, and your kingdom take over the kingdoms of men, that men may stay men, but one day in a land flowing with milk and honey, die like gods. NIGERIA WILL GET THERE.

Jide (Oso-) Alabi can be reached at wordaz@yahoo.com

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02/04/11

Permalink 12:01:00 am, by wordaz, 3441 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News

*Nigeria: Stumbling Into 2012

By Jide (Oso-) Alabi

But surely I must be wrong. Surely I must mean 2011 and not 2012. And why the allusion to Nigeria stumbling? Surely, I must be talking of another country-maybe Cote D’Ivoire or perhaps Sudan. Indeed, most surely this piece here, the above title must be a typographical error. After all, can it not be said that things are beginning to look up for the nation? What, with the price of oil in the international market inching closer and closer to the $100/barrel mark, the relative calm in the Niger Delta, our president exhibiting a democratic sense of openness by dialoguing with the youth- the so called leaders of tomorrow on Facebook.

What about the agreement of our legislators to a reduction in the size of their much criticized federal pay package or the fact that a life line has been thrown to the textiles manufacturing sector in Nigeria and a $200 million facility promised to help out the entertainment industry. Yes, we may not be out of the woods yet but surely things are finally beginning to look up.

Do not be deceived, for I have been selective with the truth. Take a minute to survey the political terrain. Ponder the fact that 3 years ago, we had a sum of N20-21 billion in the excess crude account and that today it has been depleted to less than 6 billion naira (some reports put the figure at 3 billion). The fact that despite of governments best efforts we are still hobbling along on a deficit budget. Consider the fact that insecurity is rife, that our educational system continues to languish and there is no appreciable improvement in industrial development or poverty alleviation. Yes, ho yes. Surely. Surely not.

And so therefore, I admit it, I am guilty. In that sense I have betrayed you. For I have wily-nily led you up the garden path, the rose bush, allowed you to build a comforting picture in your mind of fluffy clouds and progress, only to at the very last moment dash your hopes, burst your bubble and denude you of your fantasy. No, right now my friends, it is not all well, for as much as we seek heaven, just as close too could lie hell. But I am not a pastor, so I will lay off the sermon and come directly to the point; President Jonathan and the 2011 elections. ( Continues below..... )

Map of Nigeria

Admittedly the making of the parlous state of the nation that is Nigeria today precedes him. However as we look forward to the future. As we seek the Joshua that will lead us over the Jordan and into the Promised Land, one question alone begs for answer; Is this really the man Nigeria needs as president in Nigeria today? One man of many like-minded thinks so.

In a commentary written by Adagba in the December 21st edition of Thisday newspapers, he made the case on the basis of ‘honesty, integrity, possible aversion to corruption, political factors that aid electability, least of the aspirants and perceived ability to make a difference- to President Goodluck, being the least objectionable. Or indeed, if he continues in gross estimation to be, the type of leader we need in Nigeria today. For lo and behold, with each passing day, what I see is a man merely bent on returning to office come 2011. A man shorn of backbone typical of men of character and will to power.

A man ready to compromise and go with the flow. So labor is crying for wage increase right, why well increase the minimum wage to N18, 000 by fiat without first critically looking at governments capacity to implement it across all tiers, nor minding the fact that Nigeria is running a deficit budget. Meaning, if at all once the elections are over, the promise is kept, we probably have to resort to unnecccessary borrowing to finance the sum. A better approach would have been to seek for a more robust reduction in governments recurrent expenditures in order to meet up with the proposal.

Yep, I could just imagine the president’s advisor telling him –Okay John, we all know how religious Nigerians are, right? Well, why not apart from just out rightly seeking Gods favor, kill two birds with one stone by identifying strongly with the Nigerian Christians at the Redeemed camp. Kneel down before the General overseer that all may see your meekness and thus increase your acceptability. Good, again, we know just how effective Obama’s campaign on the net was don’t we, well why not launch a generic-My friends and I – conversations of the president with Nigerian youth on government policy and strategy. This will clearly identify you with the youth by far the most numerous segment of the Nigerian population. Further, the governors are threatening not to support you for 2011.

Well why not promise them an automatic ticket to contest their second term in office? That ought to pacify them. Excellent! By the way textiles manufacturers are crying foul over the moribund state of their industry. Na so? Well extend them a textiles fund loan and yet at the same time revoke the ban on the importation of like fabrics in order to satisfy our importer friends and impatient we want it today Nigerians. Good, good, I like that. Did I hear somebody say that the economic superpower that China is today, that everybody friend and foe alike is so mindful of was not achieved without a measure of protectionism and sacrifices? Well this is not China and anyway please note that for all their super poweredness-our Indomie noodles still tastes better than theirs. And as for criticism of the importation of tooth picks and other once import- prohibited materials, I only have this to say- does the beauty of democracy not lie precisely in the choice it affords us to pick between two competing ends? Should that choice happen to include choosing what type of tooth pick to pick ones teeth with, whether local, scented and imported, well so be it.

On the matter of security, the president has been uninspiring, if not as bumbling as ever. First, in the aftermath of the Independence day bombing, he resolutely refused to consider the fact that disgruntled elements within MEND could be responsible. If even some people could have been hiding under the name of the group or the now infamous pseudonym Jomo Gbomo to further their political agenda, it is nevertheless worrisome to see a president who jumps to the defense of this group without first thorough investigation just to allay the impression that he did not enjoy the support of his fellow Niger Deltans. Needless to say that some time later John Okar, a notorious supplier of arms to MEND (and principally only that as attested to by him on the BBC), was arrested and is being prosecuted in South Africa with Nigeria’s covert support, as leader of MEND, virtually in relation to the said bombings. Obviously Jonathan is inexperienced in government and has admitted has much courtesy of Nigeria’s wiki-leaked diplomatic cables. ( Continues below….. )

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

Yet the man from Bayelsa is a savvy politician (or at least his advisors anyway). He must be praised for President Goodluck has left nothing to chance. At the Holy Ghost camp ground, he humbly likened himself to King David, a man who was uplifted from rural obscurity to the most eminent position in the land. However, there in my opinion much of the comparison stops. For while David’s battles with the lions and bears whilst shepherding his flocks on the hills of Bethlehem prepared him for the greater challenges of kingship ahead, the same cannot be said of Jonathan.

Indeed, what political goliath has Jonathan had to battle or killed so far in his career. Indeed the Obasanjos that bestrode the political landscape until very recently like colossi have always been in his corner. And neither has he ever been instrumental in retiring them. No, the type of good luck that our president has been enjoying so far, not being of the constructive, building up kind- being one which tended always to hand things out to him on a platter of gold could eventually prove Nigeria’s undoing. Yes, for in so much as God may rule and direct much of the affairs of man, it takes individuals, men of unique frame and boldness to not only hear but carry out the directives of that still small voice.

In the mean time, a still “small” storm brews on the horizon: Jos and President Jonathan’s handling of the crisis. On almost a weekly basis now, I turn on the television to be appalled at the atrocities being committed there. As a person who wrote his bachelors degree thesis on the nature of the 2007/08 violence in the Darfur region of Sudan, it is clear to me that the present situation in Jos shares many of the hallmarks of that crisis. Assuredly, the recurring violence approaches crimes against humanity. When we had some similar civil unrest in the state in 2004, the then president, Olusegun Obasanjo wasted no time in declaring a state of emergency and reining in the activities of the agent provocateurs- the generals, their middle men and settlers/indigenes within the state. But not so our present president. Jonathan’s handling of the Boko Haram insurgency equally leaves much to be desired. This is especially so when contrasted alongside the Maitatsine revolt of the Buhari era and that administrations effective handling of it. Perhaps, due to his non- military background and personality bent, President Jonathan has been unable or unwilling to be more forceful for Indeed in as much as we see the security lapses in the country continue, it is noteworthy that in other climes, heads would have rolled. However on the eve of the 2011 elections, the president is clearly unwilling to remove those security heads who he personally selected and would thus remain loyal to him come any eventuality.

In view of all this it is plain that President Goodluck’s sole focus right now is winning the upcoming elections. As such the president has failed to present Nigerians any articulated manifesto as to how he plans to tackle Nigeria’s plethora of challenges. To those who opine that he will be more forceful once he has won the elections, I can only say this; as surely as the morning shows the day, so also does the boy show the man. As such I am reluctant to believe things will be different the second time round.

And so we are inundated on a daily basis with the presidents campaign adverts presented by contracted Nollywood stars and musicians who tell us we are more or less unwise if we fail to choose the president. Apparently all Nigerians need do is vote Goodluck in order for them to receive a sizeable dose of that into their daily lives. How tragic. What has happened to robust presidential debates that should be the hall mark of any serious elections, the discussion of issues and competences? And that aside, where too might I ask is the president getting the money to finance his campaign? Might a substantial amount of this not be said to be state funds? I raise this query on the back of the unprecedented second meeting within a month (December) of the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee to withdraw $1 billion from the excess crude account. With this latest development it is instructive to note that an account which stood at some $20 billion as at June1 2007 has been progressively depleted to less than $3 billion at the end of 2010, a sizeable part of that under his watch.

Again, even where donations come from individuals, with regard to allegations that six Peoples Democratic (PDP) governors (were made to ) donated N500 million each to the Goodluck/Sambo campaign fund, is it not obvious that the president is likely in breach of electoral guidelines which state that not more than $1 billion should be spent by a candidate on presidential elections? Allegation or not, accountability demands that information on such sums should be disclosed.

All these questions beg for answers and in fact show that the president is either too weak, desperate or needs be better advised. True, in the biblical sense of the word, President Jonathan comes across as a lamb or sheep. However, what we need in Nigeria today is not a lamb but a goat. A goat of the Grecian hue. He does not have to be a world conqueror, but he should have some form, some horn of vision. A man with a plan and a purpose and the will to carry it through. Not a man who merely wants to create a record. And yet when I survey the field, I am disturbed for I see no such man in view. ( Continues below….. )

Map of Nigeria

Photo Above: Nigerian Naira Notes

Those that might (just might) be approximated to this-the Buhari/Idiagbon, Kaduna Nzeogwus of old-the Lamido Sanusi Lamido, Donald Duke and Ben Murray Bruce’s of now. Men of character, honor, vision and purpose. Men with backbone, sit on the sidelines watching the unfolding gladiatorial contest for reasons best known to themselves. President Jonathan might be “the least objectionable” but being least objectionable should not be the over riding factor to being most desirable. In my opinion least objectionable should be a subset of this. Indeed the ability to “make the ‘most’ difference” should weigh more heavily in the scheme of things.

Where that is the case, then other candidates, particularly Buhari or Ribadu beat President Jonathan hands down. That said, Buhari however carries a defect. Though a man of character, apart from being a hard sell to the South, he has lost much of his youthful dynamism and instep with the Nigeria of today. In a word-he is old-school. To make matters worse he is lacking in political infrastructure and a readily available pool of technocrats. That first rate team of brains that helped ensure the Obasanjo administration not only barked but bit with an equal military precision. The Okonjo-Iwealas, Obi Ezekwesili, Akunyilis, Chuckwuma Soludos, El Rufai and Nweke Juniors.

We are thus left with Ribadu, himself an alumni of that class. Ribadu, a man that has been tried and trusted. A man that has been passed through the furnace in the unenviable position of: head Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency and chief cleaner of the nation’s Aegean stables. Yes, some have claimed that former president Obasanjo used him to persecute his political enemies. Whatever the submission, what is clear is that he has ably demonstrated his readiness to step on toes- be they big or small. This should not be limited to corruption alone, corruption, alongside leadership the chief bane of Nigeria’s development. No the readiness to step on toes denotes a mindset to get things done. A mindset which once fully empowered will brook orders from no one. Moreover in view of bringing new ideas and a can do spirit to government, it is instructive that Ribadu belongs to ACN- the Action Congress of Nigeria. ACN, the party that brought you Fashola of Lagos state. Yes, go ye fellow Nigerians to Lagos and marvel at the change that that administration has brought to the state in just four years. There’s no reason why this success cannot be replicated nationwide. Indeed, there’s no reason why political permutations should not see Fashola vice president some time in the near future.

But I know, I may be talking to the wind, for most Nigerians are already decided. They have made up their mind that president Jonathan is the lamb with no blemish. So in 2011, what do I see? I see a Nigeria where President Jonathan wins the PDP presidential primaries (He has since done this after I started writing this article). A Nigeria where he contests and wins the presidential mandate in a relatively free and fair (presidential election), riding on the back of votes from Nigerians who see him as the least objectionable. I see a Nigeria in which there will be electoral violence at the grass roots level. Post election, I see a Nigeria in which insecurity will continue to increase and President Jonathan sit helpless to address it. I really hate to be the prophet of doom here but I see a Nigeria in which president Jonathan will be unable to fulfill many of his electioneering promises-the $200 million loan facility to the entertainment industry, significant improvement in power generation and supply. I see a Nigeria in which President Jonathan will continually fail to assert himself and will have to depend more and more on the support and advise of persons who might have theirs not the country’s best interests at heart. ( Continues below….. )

Scene from Abuja MEND Nigeria golden jubilee independence celebration car bombing.

Photo Above: Scene from Abuja MEND Nigeria golden jubilee independence celebration car bombing - An owner of a damaged car tries to unlock the driver side door.

I hope to God I’m wrong. That I will one day look sheepishly back at this article and wince, but for now this is what I see happening throughout much of 2011. And so, ultimately, Nigeria will stumble-stumble into 2012. But before that let us play gods for a minute. Nigerians, let us see how we might avert a situation that carries the weight of prophecy. How? I urge all Nigerians to quell the instinct to vote for those they think likely to win anyway, rather than those who they think can best get the job done. To smother the desire to jump on the bandwagon, to submit reason to the prevalent spirit of the times and vote for the so called “least objectionable”. I encourage Nigerians everywhere to carefully consider the alternatives especially Nuhu Ribadu, so as to avoid the predicted outcome.

In a parody of Martin Luther’s response to a demand by the catholic church that he recant his attack on the practice of granting indulgences- I say this to you all; unless you shall be convinced by the testimony of the candidate, his antecedents and manifesto, by clear reason or by God himself; do not cast your vote for him, since it is neither safe, honorable, patriotic or expedient to follow the crowd, or choose leadership on the basis of group think- convenient candidature or feelings of electorate helplessness.

As for the president he should not take this article in the wrong way. Far from being an attack on him, he should see it as a wake up call. A call to be pro-active, to be resolute and to get better hands as mates for his ship. If the “sofry, sofry” approach has worked in the past, he should now take the bull by the horns. He should realize that the situation now is different. That his constituency is greater than that which attaches to a constituent state and that his mandate goes beyond getting into office but encapsulates the future destiny of over 150 million Nigerians. Moreover, let him note what Sun Tzu, the pre-eminent Chinese military strategist has advised centuries of men who have at one time or another stood in similar position. “Do not repeat the tactics which have won you a single victory, but let your actions be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances.”

Come 2011, the field bereft of a Lamido Sanusi Lamido, Donald Duke or Ben Murray Bruce, I will choose the next best thing- Nuhu Ribadu. And so with that, let us look forward to a corruption free society, a stable polity, an economic powerhouse. A nation where the youth are provided the enabling environment to explore their creative energies and unleash their latent potentials. A place where every man can sit under his own palm tree, drink and enjoy the just fruit o f his labors. A land where insecurity and endemic poverty is a thing of the past.

Where the greater majority of its men, women and children can truly be happy with their lot in life. A place where it can honestly be stated, that the happiest people live. Yes, a land truly deserving of that great name: Giant of Africa. Giant Nigeria, the black colossus threading the earth. Threading the earth bringing confidence to its friends and fear to its enemies. An entity whose children will no longer be afraid or disdained, but hold their heads up high whatever part of the earth they may go. A mad mans folly? No. You, yes YOU, Nigerian willing, NIGERIA WILL GET THERE, And it starts with your vote. RCP. Register, Cast your Vote, Protect it.

Jide (Oso-) Alabi can be reached at wordaz@yahoo.com

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*Tags: Nigerians, Stumbling, Newness, Lagos, Goodluck, Jonathan, Political, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb

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