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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

Map of Nigeria

02/03/11

Permalink 12:05:21 am, by lateef lawal, 5379 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News
*Exposed: Labour-Gate Scandal In Nigeria Aviation

-DEMANDS N20m from Bi-Courtney for Labour Consultation

-DEMANDS N10m from PAN Express

-THREATENS to Invite Niger Delta boys to fight Concession

By Lateef Lawal

The Aviation Industry in Nigeria has for some years been bedeviled with corruption at various levels from the Ministry of Aviation to some of the agencies not leaving out leadership of the various labour unions in the industry. The corruption of the system with the collusion of both the management at various levels and the labour leaders compromising their stand on the pot of porridge was part of what contributed to eventual liquidation of Nigeria Airways, the national carrier of pride for Nigeria of old.

A similar corruption of the gullible mind and pockets, since the demise of the national carrier has not abated a bit. Rather it has been moving from leaps and bounds to higher pedestal with labour leaders falsely claiming to be fighting for the cause and welfare of workers but behind the scene they resort to bargaining for several millions of Naira and some even prefer to be paid in hard currency to line their own pockets and smile to the banks while the workers they are supposedly fighting for continue to wallop in abject poverty. ( Continues below..... )

Airborne Plane

Photo Above: An Airborne Plane

Though, the stories about the labor leaders antics are all over the industry, but nobody has been able to really come up or ready to volunteer concrete evidence to buttress the devilish and corrupt antics of any of them. We are all aware of the several protests and street processions called out by labour leaders in the past two years, especially those of the National Union of Air Transport Employees{NUATE) and the Air Transport Service Senior Staff Association of Nigeria(ATSSSAN) to challenge and condemn the concessions enter into by the Ministry of Aviation and Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria(FAAN) with some companies.

The companies of target by the labour leaders are-Bi-Courtney, the builder and operator of MMA2 Terminal which fruitlessly fought to add the General Aviation Terminal(GAT) to its portfolio of terminal to be managed; next is Maevis Nigeria Limited and PAN Express both assigned with revenue generation and collection. While in the public eyes carry a semblance of genuine protest as painted by the labour leaders, little did their members(workers) knew that their protestations were being subtly traded of by their so –called leaders through blackmail, sleazing , arm-twisting and underhand dealings with officials of the affected companies. For clarity of purpose of this expose, NigerianAviationNews recently has in its custody the audio recording of conversations between the Secretary-General of NUATE, Mr Gideon Ogbuji and an official of one of the companies in question. ( Continues below….. )

United Airlines Airborne Plane

It is a mind-boggling exposure of the extent to which a supposed labour leader can go to trade-off and betray his employers-the Workers- in pursuit of self aggrandizement.If we call this unfolding story a 'Labour-Gate' scandal in Aviation history of Nigeria, like the U.S Water-Gate, we are not far from the truth! Below is the transcript of the bugged controversial conversations.The conversation is a mixture of English and Pidgin. Readers response are welcomed and will be given necessary attention:

INT:You are not being fair to me ooh.

Obuji: Don't tell me that. If I can tell the Minister to resign, I can equally tell you resign.

INT:How would you tell me to resign (laughter).

Ogbuji: Let me tell you, this matter don pass weytin you think before.

INTER: Weytin don pass? I have seen you release. What relevances does that have with us, because, me I don’t understand. Where does it have relevance with us.

Ogbuji: (Laughs) heen heen! Let me tell you. I know, I spent my time, my money to come to you------

INT:Yes, likewise, I do.

Ogbuji: You understand.

INT: Likewise, I do.

Ogbuji: There is never a day, we made progress.

INTERJECTION BY OGBUJI

INTER: Mr Ogbuji, let me ask you, let me ask you – You know I respected you a lot, being an elderly person and a comrade in this battle. You have been to our office.

Ogbuji: Yes yes.

INTER: We’ve laid everything bare to you.

Ogbuji: Yes.

INTER: You have seen the truth. Now, your union has come to our office and seen things fro themselves. Now, ----- my own and your own is personal to see how we would move.

Ogbuji: I could have blocked this thing that is happening now.

INTER: But, what is happening is ignorance.

Ogbuji: It’s not.

INTER: Can you advice, why its not ignorance.

Ogbuji: No o – eh – you will pay ooo!

INTER: I will pay now.

Ogbuji: When Babalakin -------

INTER: I am ready to pay!

Ogbuji: Wait, wait.

INTER: Let me know ---------

Ogbuji: Wait now. When Babalakin came into the school something here.

INTER: Heen heehn.

Ogbuji: There was war! Even Police could’nt ----

INTER: Where is your house.

Ogbuji: My house is that Maf------ area

INTER: So, that we can turn back here.

Ogbuji: So after the whole war --------- Babalakin—now ask me ------ It was even his vice chairman. He said what do we do. I said let us sit down and harmonize things ------ and agree ----- on ----- which will not affect your contract with FAAN Management. After the vice-chairman ----- I told him I am going to be adviser on labour issues on this thing. You pay me little money. ----- He now called Babalakn and Babalakin now said --- ok, anybody who can assist him he will ---- Babalakin problem is to sit down and say ---- or even give power to do this things and left them, even before he got into this GAT wahala. After -----this ---- he though I was talking rubbish. They were carrying money in their bag --- I said even if u give me N1 Billion, I will never touch it until I have people who belief they can only do something when they are in trouble. I said we have people in government here, let’s go. Babalakin was so shocked -------- I said with, workers around and police, I said let us see if they throw tear gas and kill one worker, let us see if the trouble will go away. So o, now we are in court , Babalakin went and confused ------- he even got court injunction --- to unlimited other people that will come and disturb him. I said this court injunction will not safe you. And the minister came by himself and he packaged -------- somebody was calling me on radio/tv program that they knew that Babalakin gave me N200 million – openly oh. He said he has my number and my name and that he was prepared to testify. Another person called and said he was a party to that contract ------- that so so thing happened. So, he was now getting public sympathy. So, no do, no do, senate committee on Aviation came in. House of representatives committee on aviation came in. they called us to open hearing. I presented my matter and I now asked Babalakin that “How many times did I come to you.” I was the one coming and spending my money.

INTER: Mr. Ogbuji ----- Mr Ogbuji. I want to ask you --------- you came to me because of our –understanding-------- Ogbuji: I know what workers were planning as at that time. If they (workers) talk, I go block dem. If dey talk I go block dem. Then it got to a stage they said Maevis has given me millions. Somebody said about N5 million was given, somebody said it was N10 million. But it not truth. Another said if ogbuji had got the money he would have bought the car he had been talking.

INTER: Now Mr. Ogbuji ------- I want to ask a question. You said I would pay. I want to know what is the ------ which area the union saying we have issue with them.

Ogbuji: I am not going to discuss anything

INTER: Why?

Ogbuji: You know when issues are like this, people who would raise issues are always the union leaders.

INTER: OK.

Ogbuji: He is not ----- but you know it.

INTER:But what I am saying is – there must be an issue that -----

Ogbuji: That is the secret we are talking about. No that I will have something and just drop it for you like that.

INTER: No o. You see, Mr Ogbuji.

Ogbuji: I am just you. It’s the union leaders now educated ---- let me tell you, even we were looking for some management heads during that time and even from the ministry, there are some people who are backing up the union to make this trouble. Babalakin was saying he was going to kill people. You know all this police wey he don bribe dem. They came and I now told the commissioner of police, if we see any police with gun, we will go and carry our own gun. We have Niger Delta Boys here. The say ---------- I am telling you they can’t do anything. He (commissioner) said , come my children are very young oooh.

INTER: In the olden days, unionism is against --------- its to fight against imperialism----

Ogbuji: Yes now. Yes now.

INTER: That is let the foreigners go because they are exploiting us. These days unionism ---- thank God, you know that I am a Comrade heenh.

Ogbuji: You, when we started this talk, its almost two years…….What I am going to say…. We have enough time to…… this thing wouldn’t have taken us time… more…highest, one hour. The time I came to your office and introduce ….Aturu told me you called and later brought N20,000 and said he cannot drink alone and that we should go and drink and I said thank you. Even, if you go to that place now, I am even owing N500. We had meeting with International Federation of Workers Union. We went to Senegal. I was elected vice-chairman(Africa) and by August, I am going to Mexico, representing Africa on the 20th of this month, they gave me Great Africa Merit Award. Mandela had been given this kind of award. I don’t know what I did for them. They said, they have investigated the Aviation Industry and that what I did was not for selfish interest. You understand and when you do all this things you never know . You wouldn’t know the facts the workers are holding against you and that is why I know when this thing was coming. The management who signed this agreement with you would have been able to fortify their own end,as to make sure that if they are making trouble you cannot…..it will not affect you.

INTER: That is why we are here now!

Ogbuji: I want to tell you that if you are not fast and come 21 days to come, you will be surprised. Our people ‘dey talk say tree wey talk say e dey fall no dey kill somebody’.

INTER: Mr Ogbuji, you know you are my friend, you are my uncle and you know I am a Comrade and a Comrade is always a Comrade. We are in this thing situation now. Now, I have two questions. One question—How do we go from here? The second question—is since we would now know how we would go, may be the question will be answered from---what actually are people angry with?

Ogbuji: You know…..

INTER: First one, how do we go from here.

Ogbuji: The idea now, is not whether you are right or wrong. The idea is that the workers are agitating. They don’t want concession again. One, its because of the idea that Federal Government want to impose….There will be some publications tomorrow in THIS DAY. There is a letter I wrote to the Federal Government, the honourable Minister know it, when he was saying he was ready for concession. I told him, we are not ready. But, look at the summary of the letter. It was like we are not ready.

INTER: On this issue….

Ogbuji: Yes. The House Committee invited the Minister and the Committee on this Concessioning to find out what they have done that is making the Minister say that…first quarter of this year… that they are ready. The letter went to the House today. When the P.A to the honourable Minister saw the letter, he knelt down and thank God and said this is exactly how they wanted to go about it… the problem. I say anybody who say this thing is not necessary or is not important, let him try it and we told Babalakin…we said he can never enter that place(GAT) until some of this issues are solved. He was saying the unions were demanding money . That is why he can not talk to them. The Press go and meet him. He didn’t know the Press are our own Press. I told them….Why didn’t you ask him whether he gave the money? They say he said he did not give the money. I say tell him, what was my instruction. My advise to them. I gave them free advice. The Vice-Chairman to be honest to him agreed 98% to handle the matter. He should beg the man to give him free hand… I told him. I said if I charge you say N20million per annum on Advisory aspect of it. This one now, give me N10million to go and drink. I said they may come OOO in bulk but not in war, but how to find solution to the problem. So, the man said that is ‘chicken change’! But, he was able to give the Minister N200million to come and declare say he has taken over he place(GAT) on Saturday. We waited for the Minister to come. Waited and waited. The boys were tired. We finished all the pure water we brought, no food again, na puff-puff, e don finish. So, we now ask them(workers) to go. Immediately we left by 6o’clock, fiaaam, they land and say they have declared the take over…..ask the General Manager……. We went back. He now called me and say….’Comrade, you see this thing, I was not properly advised’ and I say na lie. To be honest, this year your Vice-Chairman is not here. Is a man you can use anytime, anyday. You said, how do we go forward. I am not prepared to say that now ,because a Snake seen by one person is as big as a pyton because if every eyes see am e don become public thing and they will say…. ‘But this is a small Snake’! It is something that must be tackled technically and tactically.

INTER: Advise. I am ready to pay you.

Ogbuji: I am not ready to say anything here. The only thing is-If your Chairman is ready and prepared….. this thing is not something am giving Ogbuji. N5million to stop this war. Nooo. If it is N5million,N6million,N7million,N8million , first is to advise us and it which must involve FAAN tremendously.

INTER: It must involve FAAN.How?

Ogbuji: what I am going to tell you,and how to get it ready and FAAN will now be….make sure it doesn’t cause trouble the way the workers want it.

INTER: O.K

Ogbuji: There is one man….handling Port Charges

INTER: Where

Ogbuji: Both Lagos and eeenh Port Harcourt

INTER: Now or before?

Ogbuji: Now! Port Harcourt, Abuja and eeeem Port Harcourt. Nooo. Port Harcourt,Abuja and Kano. So, PortHarcourt raised alarm that one man came here to say he signed agreement with FAAN to handle Port Charges.We found out that this was a company that was clearing for Central Bank(Mint) and they refused to pay and went to Aso Rock and get a waiver. The waiver rose up to N10million. FAAN wrote it off. I have the letter. I have every thing. I say this man who refuses to pay port charges, is not…..we will not allow him to work…..without knowing that the man has gone into this business almost one year now in Abuja and Kano. So, because they close Port Harcourt, he went to Owerri and now came back not knowing that one of our Comrade, who retired was the brain behind that contract. So, he came and was begging. I say, I have written letter and FAAN say they are not going to reply. That they should be in position to take charge of…..I say O.K, if trouble comes…go and kill those workers, they are bound to fight the man. When he came, he said let’s discuss. After discussing , he say…. That I should tell the boys to move away…..before they could do anything. I said……MD wrote letter that the Port Charges man has taken over and workers should know their limitations. When he went to Port Harcourt to talk to the boys, the workers, he couldn’t talk when he saw the anger of the workers. You people believe you can talk to the MD, talk to Minister or Inspector General of Police and …I am working here o. What I am going to say is that on Monday. I am going to Abuja. I have meeting with the government over the concession something. Even though, it is in court, it has been adjourned indefinitely. Arik is going to lose that case. He doesn’t have any… too much stake there. So, I will be in Abuja, Monday, Tuesday to come back on Wednesday. But the, this matter could equally be discussed this weekend and I will say for opening mouth t tell you….if you don’t give me this…go and fight. I signed the letter with Aiyede of the Senior Staff Association. The man may call you and talk to you. Two of us signed the letter when the decision was taken. So, he may talk oo, he may not talk, but…..if you give am drink now, that is all. You may see him or you may not.

INTER: You see, I don’t talk to anybody.

Ogbuji: He is an experienced unionist and very simple guy.

INTER: I don’t talk to any body.

Ogbuji: What I intend to tell you is very simple which you must have that in your mind, but if you do it, there is no person to advise the union, they don’t care ooo. They don’t care to enter prison.

INTER: Mr Ogbuji, we’ve started this thing for a long time. The only problem we had was… we also have plans before. I have discussed with my boss before. We are supposed to have met somewhere. Ogbuji: Is he aware of this matter? Have you seen the copy of the ultimatum?

INTER: I saw it. That’s why I said from the grievances you people are saying, how does it affect (us)?

Ogbuji: (laughs)…Heeey!Heeeey!! You know say if one finger touch oil, e go affect the others. Do you know.

INTER: Heeennh.If one finger touches oil…

Ogbuji: Yes, e go spread to the others oo. Let me tell you, I am not coming…war. I will sit down in my office and cause….Bi-Courtney, it was once or twice.

INTER: You mean you just cook up that one to…….

Ogbuji: Yes now. Police called me to come to quench this war. I came. When I came…. Heeeheee(the workers hailed). I asked them say if I go to prison now,will you people follow me. After talking…..If it is your boss that you will call, you better act very fast, very fast.

INTER: My boss will come, then you will not come behind me.

Ogbuji: No, No. I wouldn’t even talk to him because he has no time. The day we were calling him, the line was not gong, but…

INTER: Even this night.. he was in the office. He has to release me to come and meet you.

Ogbuji: If he is serious, he would have…..Let me tell you, if you see Babalakin….Babalakin is looking like a chicken now. He has to leave his own seat and came to me and say…..” Hmmmmn, powerful General Secretary”, even when the chairman was talking ooh, chairman of the Aviation Committee. He now came and said who are those making noise, they it was Babalakin and the union. He don join the union members. I refused to go and meet them.

INTER: Fine. Now, Mr. Ogbuji, I want to tell you that ------ you see, I want to relate with you on very long a time I don’t want you to say ------ today because of what you want to do for me (paam) do you understand. I want you to look at it this way. You know these are politics.

Ogbuji: Of cause, yes! If I tell you the people behind me, e, he heh (laughter)

INTER: I know that some people are sponsoring you people.

Ogbuji: If you see people, no let me tell you ---- even this one wey we have with Babalakin, believe you me, they accused Arik of sponsoring us. If you see my community onTVs/Interviews and allover, believe you me, my own in-law, I gave him a wife is the chief of accountant or director of finance of Arik, he said how can they --- he gave out money to some union leaders --- but they are afraid of me. They say hnmmm Comrade Ogbuji, you better be very careful o o (with him). Do you know say air Arik, we wrote them, they even bluff us. Babalakin, no wan see you us. ------- The one am saying is my In-law. Arik gave out N5million and that they should give me N2.5million they chop the whole money. They didn’t give me.

INTER: Let me do it this way. You know, I ---- there are companies that can be throwing money around, you understand comrade Ogbuji, being the way I know you, I wouldn’t want to say today --- take --- hee because, tomorrow lets say another person is there--- they will bring out --- and they will now go and look for me. I want to maintain a permanent relationship with you. That is the idea. I want to get the confirmation from you so that so that I can sell the idea to my boss. Ogbuji: Let me tell you what will happen from my own angle. I am not talking the angle that people sit down, because management ----.

INTER: No that people will sit down. What speaking with you should not go to somebody.

Ogbuji: Yes. Exactly.Before ---If somebody is supplying information from enemy sides, you will be safe faster and better, than when you want to investigate it by yourself.

INTER: Yes, because you are on ground.

Ogbuji: And secondly, there is no way my idea will be swept under the carpet. By the special grace of God today, I am the Secretary General. I wanted to retire at the age of 55 which will come MAY. But, it was challenge, they are giving to me now. My friends are saying, if you leave now, the union will crack. One yeh yeh boy there who was working with Nigeria Airways who believes he knows everything and nearly put us into court process. The one we get with Babalakin, do you know how much they charge, N5m. That is what lawyer charge. Five good million. And that was what I was telling them. I say --- I am going to be your adviser, so that anything a thing like this is coming up, I will quickly let you know.

INTER: That is what I was saying; I want to make it a permanent something.

Ogbuji: The man agreed o, and I say for this issue if you don’t bring go and change it to dollars, or pounds or anyhow you want to change it. N10 million. If you don’t ‘gree’ carry your wahala go! He said --- but its on high side. Ok, he said what about theadvisory something, I said it is N20m per annum.

INTER: Hmmmmh!

Ogbuji: He now say, is it negotiable, I said I am a negotiator. So he even priced N10 million per annum, but said he was going to give N8m first. I said what is the difference between N10m and N8m. I said do you know what I am going to do with the N10million. You think na only me go chop am. Even in church, prayer warriors ------ if am going, I will be safe-guarded you know, this people are wicked. He say okay, the man went. Even Babalakin agree O, but he say to sit down--------

INTER: Saturday and Sunday, I am not in. Can we make it tomorrow evening? You and my boss will see.

Ogbuji: Tomorrow is Friday.

INTER: Or can we make it on ---- on Saturday, I wouldn’t be around. I am going to my village. Friday, I am around, my boss will be around.

Ogbuji: Friday is o.k

INTER: If you cannot make it, then lets make it next Tuesday.

Ogbuji: No o, Monday afternoon by 3 o’clock flight, I am in Abuja. I will be in Abuja, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.

INTER: When do you think it will be right?

Ogbuji: To do this thing faster is better.

INTER: When do you think it will be right?

Ogbuji: Ok tomorrow I will be at NIMET that is Nigeria Meteorological Agency. I have meeting with them tomorrow morning, though I will go somewhere in the morning. They just came without notice and proper arrangement and we don’t have money. The problems caused by this e-payment scattered the whole thing, I couldn’t roll in. even, I have not been able to pay my staff salaries. Even, the Abuja I am going on Monday is at my own this thing. So, tomorrow, if ---- I will go round to look for N250, 000 to pay them. Look at that non sense. --- So tomorrow evening; then I will contact you to know. If it means going to ------

INTER: It wouldn’t be at airport oh ----

Ogbuji: No ehn, if people see – two or three people, everybody’s eye is shining - to look for people who go sell ‘us’. If I sit around and they see me, it is a sell out. If you agree, you bring it Saturday or Sunday, in dollar no be naira. There is a Mallam there you go and change it. Then, this is my advise. This is how you move it. This is my labour consultation but it may be paid either quarterly or monthly as we agree, then---- how can we pay you as secretary and you will be coming to fight us. I say I am not the one to come and tell you. I have my own consultance. After discussing with them, they come and package it and follow it.

INTER: When do I expect your call tomorrow

Ogbuji: Between 4 and 5. It’s a very ---- this workers.

INTER: Let me tell you ---- you think we don’t have reason? You said this point FAAN Management is paying 35% on excess revenue, pays 2% on whatever concession agreement and ---- Do you know I went to PAN Express. The man is not an Ibo man --- and his from Delta speaking Ibo ---- so, I went to him after discussing with 3-4 of m national officers. After discussing with him, he saw very big reason why he should listen. He paid very good money--- bla bla bla, we left. So, I told him there is going to be war. This is what we are going to do.you are going to pay me N5million naira cash, in-fact go and change it to ---- from tomorrow, we start action. The man said “its ok I am going to look into it”. He went and discussed with Mahonwu who was working with Nigeria Airway as a director of airlines. Do you know the man did not do this thing. The workers went and took over his business. I told him to ‘go to court’, he said he no go go. I said why you no go go. They were now asking him to pay N40million N50m and these boys were making N80 and N90million.

Ogbuji: He would have stopped that action easily. Do you know when the workers took over, they now called me --- I just laugh laugh laugh.I say ha ha why are you calling me. He said they deceived him, what is N5million. I say no problem nobody will have come there if you have done what I asked you to do, because MD FAAN would have backed out. Who is he? He look look. He go and meet---- I said I no go. He asked them. When he saw my publications on certain things he called me, he said na wa o, I never knew you people are so strong. Mahonwu believed we cannot do anything. That was the man who deceived him. When I went to his office last three – four weeks ago, I pitied him. The office that was bubbling, everything gone. Said did I not tell you. I spent more money, fuel my motor to come here and he was giving me N2,000. I said it is N5million you will pay. He said if he had known --- he said he agreed o if he had not discussed with anybody. He called one Mallam to bring N5m in dollars. I am telling you. I said look at how much you have lost. The boys there are now making N90m and you are paying (FAAN) N30m ---- I will never talk to Babalakin or his vice again. ----- if he had agreed on N15m annually on labour advisory and may be when I told him N10m and he agreed to pay say N5m, I would have shut up my mouth. I would have say, O.k, lets do it this way, lets do it this way. But he ‘I will kill them’. Even when he blocked runway. He blocked the cargo. Aaah, SSS say, who --- how can you enter the tarmac and block runway. SSS Director say, if he doesn’t remove the thing within five minutes, he will lock him. He called Babalakin straight o o. Babalakin now ordered them ----- you know, one man in my yard was the one who told them to go through Comrade Ogbuji and work with him. This matter will be solved. He refused ---- according to the vice o, not that he totally refused but said this man doesn’t have time of his own that he his into so many things. Even some he doesn’t even know ---- look at this Ibadan express road, see the wahala. Has he started work? He has not even mobilized to the site, because the money he would have gotten is from here (Aviation) and his hotel something has crashed. He was still pursuing the case he has lost. I say if I lose this case, I will resign. He has lost how many months now? He was making about N400million monthly from the airport and he has refused to pay me paltry N5million. If you people are --- work out something very fine, then we meet tomorrow, by Monday, we start action as quickly as possible.

Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)

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01/31/11

Permalink 12:37:00 am, by Ikechukwu, 1137 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News

*Nigeria: Only Madness Will Drive These Mad Leaders Out

By Ikechukwu Enyiagu

I’m not of the opinion that our leaders, the very ones who have been there for decades, would suddenly change unless a rope is tied round their necks. I do not agree with some people who would keep on thinking that a little madness is not necessary, and even unavoidable, towards achieving the much desired change in the country. History has proven that guns and chains cannot forever deprive; even the slave masters of the old were not able to hold back to their pride. Having Mr. Obama today as the first African-American president is not only an example of a people who have overcome slave chains, but those who also have taken their place among their one-time imposed masters.

Tunisia, Lebanon, Egypt, etc, are examples of a people long subdued. Even with nothing but their will power, they match to root out evil leaderships. Nigeria cannot remain slaves to England and its allies in anti-Nigerian greatness, nor will Nigerians remain slaves to their evil, callous, and animal brothers who call themselves our leaders. The fear of death is the killer of a poor and uniformed man, while bravery makes good and progressive history-whether in life or after death.

Nigerians, everywhere, are gifted in all things yet, the whip of satanic leadership has managed to keep us frightened from using our wisdom to demand our rights. We have prayed but they have managed to infiltrate our worship centers, we try to learn in school for ways to move ahead but they say that we do not deserve to learn while they, at the same time, send their children abroad for the best education. The minister for education's child studies abroad and the minister for agriculture imports food supplies-all these in broad daylight. The house of rep. and the senators earn unimaginable amount annually while their teachers beg for money to feed their children. ( Continues below..... )

Map of Nigeria

A politician who stole billions of Naira is asked by the federal court to refund a few millions and be free for the next pen robbery while a poor man who borrows corn from a strange field is sentenced to decades of torture in one of the Nigerian hell locations called prisons. The politicians buy guns and distribute them among youths (who are looking just for what to eat) to help them rig elections, thereby, hijacking power and money, and nothing is usually done about it, but as these youths turn around to use the same guns for crumbs, they opt to use the police in wiping them out without legal procedures, not because they are keen on eradicating crimes, but because they would do more than destroy lives to protect, not their lives, but their evil deeds.

All around me are the children of politicians (who suck the blood of the poor) moving from place to place, seeking for somebody to help them write simple English, an assignment or a project, while the super-brilliant among us have been denied ways to help in bettering the lot of our country by giving them a chance to be educated. About 95% of Nigerians awarded scholarships abroad are below illiteracy level while the intelligent ones are removed in the first run. Jamb has been used for decades to stop the children of the poor from getting the only thing that will help them-education, while the children of these politicians go to private schools with no papers at all. Who is saying that Nigerians have not gone mad now out of constant draining? Go to the streets, market places, schools, and even families to find out. Turning Nigeria to Naija (which one minister ignorantly objects to) was not borne out of style; rather, it was a way to avoid mental overload as even pronouncing the full name of our country now amounts to additional load.

If you are not a bit mad about the story of our country, I am. If you are not seeing these things, I am. If you are not thinking about the happenings in these above mentioned countries, well I am. And if you are not of the opinion that a little madness is needed to show our leaders that they are only humans like everyone else and, therefore, cannot ride us like horses forever, I am. Only I am can help you know who you are. Who are you? I am a Nigerian, entitled to everything anyone else enjoys from the same country: education, food, shelter, job, security, water, to name but a few. I deserve an equal opportunity, like the children of these callous men, to prove that I have something great to offer to my country. ( Continues below….. )

EnoughisEnough Nigeria Coalition demonstrating

Photo Above: EnoughisEnough Nigeria Coalition demonstrating - EnoughisEnough Nigeria is a coalition of individuals and youth organizations committed to instituting a culture of good governance and public accountability in Nigeria.

I deserve the right to have my country stand by me anywhere, no matter what. I deserve to go to school like the children of these men without being kept in the house for years, trying to get a so called Jamb. As a teacher who makes great use of his brain, I deserve to have financially agreeable environment in other to deliver properly. And as a medical doctor, it’s unimaginable for you, leaders, to wait until my pains force me into a strike action before you realize the number of lives you are wasting.

Fellow Nigerians, if you have had enough, now is the time. If you truly believe that you deserve what they and their children are getting in this same country, now is the time to say it. If you believe that an African is still sitting on the throne of White House after years of untold torture, then you should believe that it’s time for Nigeria to shout a big ‘NO!’to strangers in our various administrative offices.

Let our leaders learn from the rest of the world. Let every Nigerian know that, as the giant of Africa which we have added to our many names, it behooves us to lead the force of ‘NO’ against these corrupt leaders, thereby helping our brothers all over Africa and beyond to be strong. The Niger Deltans are getting a great measure of attention from the federal government today because they decided to “get mad’ in their own way. If, after the general elections, Nigerian leaders do not sit up, and there are no widely-seen changes, Nigerians should borrow knowledge from the brave. A little madness, perhaps, will make these mad men realize that our lives are not, after all, in their hands.

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

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01/30/11

Permalink 01:41:33 am, by sandy_mike, 606 words   ng-NG
Categories: News
*FG Predicts Massive Growth of Nigerian Economy

By Sandy Mike

Nigeria starts a glorious New Year with a successful debut in the international bond market with a massive subscription rate on the 10 year $500 million Eurobond. The Nigerian officials met the prospective investors in New York to promote the country’s grand success. This positive financial step by Nigeria came after the initial apprehension of the attractiveness of the bond market in 2010. As per the reports of the Finance Minister of Nigeria, the Nigerian bond market is all set for an exceptional growth. Therefore, those debtors who haven’t received desirable results from the debt consolidation non profit companies can easily look for investing in the Nigerian market.

Although Nigeria has already recorded a growth rate of 7% in the last 5 years, the Federal Government has predicted that with the present state of the Nigerian economy, it is ready for a double-digit growth in the year 2011. An eminent spokesperson has declared this prediction in a meeting in London with the stakeholders in the $500 million Eurobond. Due to the political risk that thrives in Nigeria due to the forthcoming elections, Nigeria has still managed to maintain poised economic growth throughout 2010. Global economic leaders must follow the Nigerian economy in the coming decade and this comment has boosted the confidence of Nigeria, as a nation. ( Continues below….. )

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

According to the minister of National Planning, Nigeria has got the capability of surprising the entire world. Any kind of political uncertainty and financial problem cannot derail the success rate of this nation. Their future financial planning for the year 2020 will have the capacity to push the country among the top 20 economies of the world.

What are the strong points of the Nigerian economy?

Highlighting some of the strong points of the Nigerian economy, a minister has said the current reforms in the financial sector are complementing the functioning of the Nigerian economy. The contribution of the non-oil sector is boosting the economic growth of Nigeria and the price of crude oil among the international market is also a positive strength of the nation. The democracy prevailing in Nigeria is also among the most viable democracy in the world.

What the US government feels about the Nigerian economy?

The United States Government has told the Nigerian government to diversify their economy by moving out of oil and gas export as the main source of revenue earner. The US embassy in Nigeria has also requested the Nigerian government to invest in education and infrastructure in order to create a solid base to the foundation of the Nigerian economy. She has also added that the only thing that is barring the government from heightening its growth rate is the lack of infrastructure and certain levels of education. She has expressed her concerns on the power of the Nigerian economy and has urged the people of the nation to address their problems so that they reach an effective solution. ( Continues below….. )

Map of Nigeria

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

Nigeria’s debt profile has also improved than what it was a few years back. Even though there is a slight rise in the domestic and external debt profile once again, the debt relief industry, especially the debt consolidation non profit companies are assisting the people to stay out of debt and boost the economy of the country.

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

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01/29/11

Permalink 12:40:29 am, by ifeatu agbu, 1475 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News
*Unemployment: Averting A Revolt In Niger Delta

By Ifeatu Agbu

The time-bomb primed by pervasive youth unemployment is beginning to detonate in some African countries. First, it was Algeria that started the year on a sad note as youths, mostly university graduates, burned government buildings and commercial houses, paralyzing the capital, Algiers. The rampaging youths said they are tired of remaining unemployed, years after graduation.

Then, Tunisia followed quickly in a revolt against joblessness that has sent their President Zine-el-Abi-Dine Ben Ali scampering for safety in Saudi Arabia. As in Algeria, the protesters were calling attention to the biting unemployment and under-employment that led one university graduate to sell fruits and vegetables on the streets for a living. The police aggravated the situation by confiscating his wares for allegedly not having a vending permit. The hapless graduate couldn’t take it anymore. So, he set himself ablaze and died later from his wounds.

Now Egypt is virtually at a boiling point with unemployed youths setting themselves ablaze in curious acts of self-immolation. The question is where next? The excruciating socio-economic conditions that have put these countries on the boil are also prevalent in many African countries, including Nigeria. In fact the Nigerian condition may even be worse than what has sparked the revolt in Algeria and Tunisia. Nigeria is indeed fortunate to have people who are imbued with an enormous capacity for soaking-up the pains and pangs of want. Here is a country where jobless university graduates are eking out a living by riding commercial motorcycles (Okada), while those representing them in parliament are going home with mouth-watering salaries and allowances ranging from N10 million to N15 million monthly. Of course, this unfair distribution of wealth is a disgusting invitation to the kind of crisis that has hit the Arab countries. ( Continues below..... )

Map of Nigeria's Niger Delta Region showing Port Harcourt

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

So far, Nigeria has been spared widespread violent dissent. What could be likened to a revolt has been limited to the Niger Delta region where the agitations for resource control have thrown up all kinds of militant activities, including sabotage of oil installations and kidnapping of oil workers.

The militants in the Niger Delta have relied on the tactic of guerrilla warfare to register their grievances against the Nigerian state. The strategy may change as the army of unemployed youths continues to swell by the day. The country cannot afford to wait to be overrun by these increasingly restive and angry youths.

“Job-creation is the need of the hour”. That is the view of experts like Dr. Ismail Radwan, a senior economist with the World Bank. According to him, 50 million youths were underemployed and three million new job seekers join the unemployment queue each year. The World Bank official wondered if there would not be social unrest eventually if the situation was not urgently addressed and canvassed a vibrant industrial sector as a way forward.

To buttress this point, the President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said: “The rate of unemployment in the Nigerian economy is currently one of the highest in the world at 19.7 per cent. Over 50 per cent of the youths in the urban areas are unemployed. It is a very disheartening situation for parents who had laboured and strained to educate these youths. The state of affairs has assumed the dimension of an economic and social crisis. There is a relationship between rising criminality and unemployment. We should do something urgently to create jobs.”

The way forward for the different levels of government is the provision of basic infrastructure such as power and roads. Along this line, there seems to be a glimmer of hope as a key interventionist agency of the Federal Government, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has taken some bold initiatives in infrastructure development. Here, the East-West Coastal Road project, which is a product of the Niger Delta Development Master Plan, stands out.

This mega project will no doubt open up the region that is unarguably the engine of the nation’s economy but sadly neglected over the years. The proposed 700 kilometres highway would gulp a staggering N1.8 trillion and begins from Akamkpa in Cross River State while terminating at Ibeju Lekki in Lagos State. ( Continues below….. )

Map of Nigeria

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

The road holds enormous prospects for agriculture and economic development and must, therefore, be fully funded. This is one project that must not be neglected or abandoned as the people are already looking forward to its many benefits. For instance, Mr. William Dacoax, a surveyor, envisions a boom in fish production from the region. He said: “Based on our historical experiences on similar roads - the initiation of the project is bound to be fraught with all kinds of structural and political hindrances. The most visible impact is that there would be easy flow of fish products from the Niger delta to key commercial centres such as Lagos, Kano and Onitsha, with attendant promise of more income to its inhabitants”.

Although building infrastructure is critical to growth, human capital development is an equally important component in achieving a holistic advancement. In this wise, the NDDC deserves commendation for trying to strike a balance between building roads and bridges and enhancing the capacity of the human person. The commission has been organising various skill acquisition programmes as well as offering scholarships to deserving students to study in both Nigerian and foreign universities.

As part of this effort, the NDDC, also embarked on a Technical Aid Corps [NTAC] programme, as a means of alleviating the unemployment situation in Nigeria’s oil-producing region. The commission said that it designed the programme to meaningfully engage graduates from the region and reduce the level of unemployed youths. Since the programme took off last year, thousands of unemployed graduates have been enlisted by the commission and sent to various companies, including the Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, to work for two years. During the period the commission will pay each of the beneficiaries N30,000 a month which will be augmented by the employer with N15,000. Like the National Youth Service Corps [NYSC], the scheme is expected to help the young graduates gain the necessary experience, which would enhance their chances of securing gainful employment or to become self-employed at the end of their tutelage in the industries.

The NDDC scheme has the potential of reinvigorating the SMEs which are among the most potent forces responsible for the fast-tracking of the economic transformation of any country. Most of them lack the resources to hire graduates to boost their productivity. They can therefore take advantage of the availability of this relatively cheap labour to optimise their productivity and profitability. It is thus a win-win situation—the Federal Government mops up unemployed graduates from the labour market and the employers smile more often to their banks. ( Continues below..... )

Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) militants

Photo Above: Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) militants

In order to get a good mileage from the scheme, the young graduates should be given an opportunity to hone their skills in their areas of specialisation. The graduates are expected to acquire specialised trainings that would at the end of the day empower them to set up their own businesses and stand on their own. The Technical Aids Corps is a programme that the three levels of government and the private sector should be encouraged to buy into so that they can collectively mop up the teeming youths roaming the streets in search of employment.

The task of creating jobs can only be tackled successfully when the right socio-economic conditions are created. Achieving this, of course, requires an investment-friendly climate, which presupposes that security of lives and property must be given top priority. According to an investment expert, Dr. (Mrs) Ngozi Awa, the quest to develop the Nigerian economy may remain a mirage unless efforts are made to boost the emergence of vibrant small and medium businesses in the country.

Awa said in an undeveloped economy like Nigeria with massive unemployment and poverty, only small businesses hold the key to unlocking the potentials of the country and its citizens. According to her, there was the need to place more emphasis on boosting SMEs in the country because through this the economy and livelihood of more grassroots people would be affected for the better.

The sooner more jobs are created to gainfully engage the teeming unemployed graduates, the better for everyone. Efforts in this regard should begin in the Niger Delta which is the main artery that supplies the economic lifeblood of Nigeria.

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

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01/26/11

*Party Primaries & Development of True Democracy in Nigeria

By Engr. Steve Ochonma

As I sat at table in one of the fast deteriorating garden parks in Abuja on Friday January 21, 2011 with friends over a bottle of soft drink and a plate of ‘Chicken Nkwobi’, we discussed politics. We analyzed the just concluded parties primaries in the country and pondered over their impact on our democratic development. As the discussions progressed, one obvious fact and pattern emerged- the manipulation of the processes by the parties’ hierarchies in favour of their anointed aspirants over others. Almost everyone at the table agreed that the wish and will of the majority in some of these parties means little or nothing in some instances. Majority seem to have their say while the minority have their way. What a pity? What an irony? What form of democracy is that? This is simply ‘democrazy’ – nothing more, nothing less.

This is the general pattern across party lines. Only a few parties conducted in some cases what have a resemblance of true democratic primaries, at some levels.Of particular interest is the way and manner the Peoples democratic party (PDP)primaries were heavily manipulated from start to finish, at all levels, to ensure total victory for the lords in the party. Delegates where coerced and tele-guided to vote for only the ‘anointed aspirants’. Many of the delegates are expressing regrets at the fashion their leaders boxed them into voting against their conscience. One of such persons is my friend Ahmed Garuba from one of the North Central States. He sat at that table with us at Wuse 3 that Friday night. To buttress his point Garuba went to his car, pulled out ‘The Nation’ issue of Wednesday January 19, 2011, turned to the back page and pointed our attention to an article by one Mohammed Haruna, entitled; ‘Jonathan’s victory: Nigeria’s new dawn?’ Haruna submitted therein that the PDP convention of January 13 2011 at eagle square was full of intrigues and manipulations. ( Continues below….. )

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

He noted that the context was neither free nor fair. He emphasized that money played huge role in swinging the votes for the president. Haruna went further to say ‘ From media reports of the events both sides spent tonnes of money in both local and foreign currencies; But everyone knows that the birds were asymmetrical between a president with access to the public treasury and innumerable means of patronage and a rival who has to count his pennies no matter how huge his private wealth is. But Haruna needed to be remindered that the monies spent by both sides were from the same source- Nigeria treasury. The only difference was that they were stolen at different times. Again Haruna insinuated that publicity played a great role in the game and that the field was not balanced. Atiku he said, was kept away from the delegates right up to the time of voting and that accreditation was shrouded in mystery. At all these my friend Garuba asked ‘Is this democracy? I responded that it has always been this way in the PDP from outset in 1999.

Nothing has been added and nothing has been removed. The trick has simply been perfected. An old trick was simply embellished to deceive the vulnerable. An Igbo idiom says; ‘e buru ozu onye ozo odika nku’. Literally meaning when you carry the corpse of a stranger, you think it’s firewood, but when that corpse is the remains of a loved one the feeling is different. In 1999 and 2003, Dr Alex Ekweme shouted that what was been orchestrated in PDP was a charade but nobody listened. Atiku was a direct beneficiary then. In 2007, the story was not different.

All the intrigues, coercion, monetary inducements and manipulations are the out- of- the- cameras manoeuvres that the public are unaware of, at all. But they are what determines the outcome of the so-called free, fair and credible primaries. The cameras would always portray an orderly, matured, free and fair context their operators want us to see, as was the case on January 13. In 1999, Obasanjo’s backers manipulated the primaries in his favour. In 2003 Obasanjo have the delegates compromised in partnership with the PDP Governors. In 2007, the same scenario played out. Now in 2011, same ‘scratch my back I scratch your back’ tactic has been used to return all incumbents. So it is the ‘usual charade’ that we have just witnessed.

This is why many believe that PDP actually mean ‘Peoples deception party’. What can be more deceiving than to preach a thing and do just the opposite. They talk about one man one vote but are champions of rigging. They preach against ballot box stuffing and how power belong to the people but do they allow the people a chance to exercise their franchise willingly? The Saturday sun issue of 22.01.11 reported that ex-president Obasanjo recruited ‘Mr. Fix‘ Anenih to orchestrate that charade that produce the candidacy of president Jonathan at eagle square by carrot and stick tactic. ( Continues below….. )

Nigeria Ex-President Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo

Photo Above: Nigeria Ex-President Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo

Anenih having delivered again at the convention has since taken over the running of the PDP to ensure Goodluck is returned at tha April general election, that Newspaper further reported. This may be the main reason Nwodo was thrown out without any tangible explanations. Does Mr. Fix it now have a fresh mandate to fix the general elections in favour of his pay masters. Anenih has proven time after time that he has the capacity to deliver against odds, as long as the job is beneficial to him. But this times are not normal. So I doubt if his mission would be accomplished as before. The opposition is becoming increasingly aware of the need to fight the ugly monster called PDP together. They are also strategising better today. Formidable alliances are being formed. Nigerians are getting wiser and appreciative of the need to play active participatory role in who leads them. The road may be rough and tough, the paths to victory may be challenging and the tasks ahead daunting, but we must persevere. I am cocksure Nigerians have woken up, so it won’t be business as usual.

Before now PDP had operated with impunity to the detriment of Nigeria. Having grown from a moderate but promising party in 1999 to a mega party in less than 12 years of it’s existence, and having her fortunes surged, PDP had taken Nigeria for a ride, for too long. This was because there was no formidable opposition or alternative party to PDP before now. The registration of multiple parties helped to weaken the opposition and strengthened PDP. Many of these new parties were virtually non existent outside the papers, their leaders were mainly interested in getting INEC funds more than in wining elections. The registration of over 60 parties obviously seemed a strategy of PDP to perpetuate itself in power. PDP utilized her vintage position to exploit Nigeria and cart away our collective wealth and deposit same into personal boxes. For almost 12 years that PDP had sway in power, there are very little positive and relevant development.

The article by former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu of Abia on page 71 of the Saturday Sun issue of January 22, 2011 gave us ample information as to how this peoples deceiving party has plundered and destroyed the nation. Orji himself is an astute politician and a former chieftain of PDP, so he should know what he was talking about. But my concern about all that information provided by Orji is that it shows us even more the kind of people our so- called leaders in Nigeria are-persons of low values and no conscience. All Orji Kalu stated therein were correct. But the apply to him as a person more than any other politician that I know in Nigeria today. Orji in re-proposing the old dead issue of 5 years single term for presidents and governors, had stated thus; ‘I have since realised, though painfully, that some of our leaders have no shame.

They have no modicum of conscience and are so selfish that all they think about is how to perpetuate selves in power and amass as much wealth as they can. And whatsoever stands in their way is uprooted with such force and hatred that he would live all his life regretting. That is to say, if he comes out of the encounter alive. The just concluded party primaries across the country tell the whole story about the rot in our democracy. Incidentally, all the serving governors have been return by their parties even where they have nothing on ground to justify it’. ( Continues below….. )

Map of Nigeria

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

Let me not bore you with the Orji Kalu’s pedigree and legacy in Abia for 8 whole years. Let me submit herein that all those applied to the Orji Governorship as well. He too was a PDP governor and benefited from this ‘ chop I chop’ scheme of PDP. He got the PDP ticket in 1999 without a primary, he was the highest bidder and therefore got selected. He got the second term without performing. Now he is aspiring to go to the senate on the platform of PPA, after failed attempt to return to PDP last year. He imposed the failure ‘T. A. Orji’ on Abia.

Now that judgment has been called to question by the flat failure of T. A. Orji. So on what moral grounds does Orji Kalu castigate his colleagues and partners-in-crime. But all the same, I thank Orji Kalu for showing us that PDP, PPA and such other deceitful parties can not and should not be trusted with our mandate. Orji also stated further ‘according to newspaper report, these governors and their willing cronies in their respective parties hierarchies orchestrated all kinds of rigging stunts and bulldozed their way through the gullible an heavily compromised delegates. As anointed of their parties, they went on rampage, engaging in outright rigging, doctoring of results, orgy of violence against perceived oppositions, bribing of delegates and other forms of malpractice, just to meet their egocentric objective’. One thing is very clear from the foregoing-our democratic system is under siege and our electoral processes hugely manipulated.

So what is the key to remeding the situation and re-addressing these ugly trends? Firstly, I suggest that every card carrying party member be directly involved in primaries or caucuses, from local level to the presidency. This entails the abolition of selective delegation or delegates by appointment. This is were the governors power of life and death lies. That is how it is done in advanced democracies. Secondly, elective positions should be open to all interested party members whether rich or not –no consensus. Associated fees should be relatively reasonable and affordable too. Intellectual capacity and mission objectives should have precedence over financial ability. Thirdly in the immediate, opposition should re-strategise, unify and pursue common agenda-to get PDP out of power. This is necessary to loosen her unholy grip on our body polity. I do not see us making significant leap forward if PDP continues in power. For 12 years everything has remained unchanged- manipulative democracy. ( Continues below….. )

Prof. Attahiru Jega, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Nigeria

Photo Above: Prof. Attahiru Jega, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Nigeria

A lot of people have blamed Professor Maurice Iwu for the flat failure of the 2007 general elections, but Iwu just read out the script written for him by his pay masters. Prof. Jega would only succeed to the extent that his recruiters are willing to allow him. I am positive that the fight against corruption, be it in our democratic systems, electoral processes, economic activities, political appointments and public service would be better addressed under the presidency of Alhaji Mohammadu Buhari and Vice presidency of Prof. Patrick Utomi.

I have followed these two great Nigerians for some time now and believe they can put us in a better direction than we are presently going under the PDP governments. President Jonathan seem to be under siege by the lords in his party. The way and manner the recent PDP primaries and convention were conducted has greatly tarnish his image before all well meaning Nigerians. I wish he had depended on his achievement in office and goodwill messages to win than through the usual manipulative processes. For now all we can say is ‘Good luck to Jonathan’. ( Continues below….. )

Maurice Iwu, Ex-Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Nigeria

Photo Above: Maurice Iwu, Ex-Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Nigeria

Ribadu has confirmed chief Akinjide’s assertion that he Ribadu is not even ripe for a shot at governorship position talk more of the presidency. He is too naive and uncut yet for a 21st century Nigerian presidency. His unguided utterance recently has betrayed him out rightly. Ribadu has been credited with the following words at his inauguration as the presidential candidate of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, ‘ looking back a little I and the rest Nigerians appreciate how far we have come, because. . . in that cold moment of our national discord, during the civil war (Pogrom against Ndigbo), we came together. . . Any time we come together, no force, negative and retrogressive can defeat Nigeria. ( Continues below….. )

General Mohammadu Buhari

Photo Above: General Mohammadu Buhari (rtd), Ex-Nigerian head of state & presidential aspirant of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC)

We can do it again’ I really doubt if Ribadu truly said all that. But if he did, it is a pity. It is end of road for him as far as the Nigerian project is concerned. I suggest he contest for chairmanship of his local government area in Adamawa. For that’s what he rightly deserves. No more, no less.

Buhari seem to be the last man standing undaunted after the parties primaries. Though some have expressed reservations about the rumoured religious extreme views of Buhari. Many believed he is principled, disciplined and less corrupt than any other candidate today in Nigeria for the office of President. Again religious beliefs are trivial issues world over in matters like this- presidency in a democratic setting.

We should therefore de-emphasize ethnic and religious considerations now and look for the most suitable and credible candidate to lead us. That candidate is undoubtedly Mohammadu Buhari. I do not see any other candidate with better pedigree in the field today. I therefore look forward with excitement to a Buhari/Utomi presidency. Good luck Nigeria, Welcome fresh air.

Engr. Steve Ochonma

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