By Lateef Lawal
National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) uncovered a suspected drug ring at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport(MMIA) Lagos. This followed the arrest of a South Africa Airline manager, Adebulehin Michael, 46, and a NahcoAviance baggage officer, Olude Hakeem, 39, over attempt to smuggle a bag containing 500 grammes of cocaine unlawfully imported from Brazil out of the airport. The suspects are believed to have links with major drug traffickers in Brazil.
NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive, Alhaji Ahmadu Giade described the suspects’ action as an act of national sabotage, adding that they would be prosecuted to serve as deterrent to others. The NDLEA boss who decried the action of the suspects also warned that the agency was prepared to counter any move by drug barons and drug traffickers to thwart NDLEA's efforts at the nation’s airports. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Nigeria "National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)" Logo
According to NDLEA Airport Commander, Alhaji Hamza Umar, operatives of the agency on October 31, 2010 arrested one Jinadu Babatunde Ganiyu, 37, with 1.500kg of cocaine. The drug was concealed in the metal handles of his luggage on his way back from Brazil aboard a South Africa Airways flight. “Each metal handle of his bag contained 500 grammes of cocaine. He told us he checked-in 4 bags but on arrival in Lagos only 3 bags were found. He then reported that one of his luggages was missing. We monitored it closely until we arrested the two suspects attempting to smuggle the bag out” Hamza stated.
Adebulehin Michael, one of those arrested by NDLEA at MMIA, has been working with South Africa Airways for 8 years. He is currently the Passenger Service Baggage Manager. According to Michael, “the passenger reported a missing luggage on October 31. The bag arrived on November 9 and Mrs. Jinadu called me on Thursday November 18 that the husband reported a missing luggage from Brazil. She begged me to assist by sending the bag to her at Abuja that she had sent somebody to collect the bag but he was not given. I was only assisting her as the baggage manager because I have sent several bags like that in the past”. He is married with three children and hails from Ekiti State.
Olude Hakeem also arrest by NDLEA at MMIA, works with NahcoAviance as a Baggage Officer. He was first intercepted at the arrival hall with the bag. He however told NDLEA operatives that he was sent to carry the bag by one Adebulehin Michael who is the South Africa Airways baggage manager. “I am only acting on the instructions of the baggage manager. He told me to carry the bag from the store. When NDLEA indicated interest in the bag, I immediately told them that it was Adebulehin that sent me” Olude stated. He hails from Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Both suspects in their confessional statements had admitted their roles in the failed attempt to smuggle the luggage out of the airport. The case is being investigated. Meanwhile, NDLEA boss said that if the airline is found wanting, the agency will not hesitate to take necessary legal action. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, Nigeria.
In his words, “we have commenced investigation into the case. If the airline is found wanting, we will not hesitate to sanction it and take necessary legal action” Giade stated.
The first suspect, Ganiyu who was arrested with 1.500kg of cocaine in the handles of his travel bag said he had lived in Brazil for three years. He explained drug trafficking was the only means for him to make money for any meaningful livelihood. “I work in a poultry farm in Brazil. I was home sick and needed to come to Nigeria. My wife and child live at Ikene, Ogun State. They told me there was drug in the bags and offered to pay for my return ticket and also give me half a million naira. That was how I was convinced because I need to settle my family for the end of year festive period;” Ganiyu who hails from Ayepe in Ogun State added.
Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)
*Tags: Nigerians, Ndlea, Drug, Trafficking, Abuja, Lagos, Airport, Africa, Masterweb
By Charles Akpan
Dear readers, fellow Nigerians, INEC authorities, may I introduce myself simply as a concerned Nigerian living in the Diaspora (precisely, in Berlin, Germany). I wish to start my contribution to the above “hot” topic by first pointing out, that this is just complimentary to what one Mr. Ikechukwu Enyiagu’s earlier much detailed suggestions/advice to INEC on the way forward to a successful election in Nigerian terrain, which is often a very difficult one. For successfully carrying out this duty, first of all, I still strongly believe that, both the Federal government and NASS (Nigeria National Assembly) should help or greatly enhance INEC’s success in the elections by passing law that will make it compulsory for every Nigerian to register and a possess National ID card. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Prof. Attahiru Jega, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Nigeria
National ID card eliminates fraud and promotes security, in that by the very nature of it’s complete biometric data capture of every true Nigerian citizen in it’s database, every and any cheat, fraudster or criminal would immediately be traced in a matter of seconds; no non-Nigerian would be able to partake fraudulently in our elections (porous border or not)!
Secondly, election results would always be transmitted to the headquarters without delay in a few seconds. Thirdly, compulsory possession of National ID would enchance the Nation’s security via the current compulsory SIM-card registration exercise nationwide. Fortunately, to save money (or funds) for thr elections proper, there is already an agency on the ground; a Federal Govt. agency called the National IDentity Card Management Commission (hope the name is correct?); estabilshed by law, just like INEC, which the Federal Govt. has spent so much money already to make functional. ( Continues below…… )
Photo Above: Nigerians line-up to vote during election, while a cattle herder remains on his normadic job with his herd.
Why then have the authorities not created a sinergy between these two national agencies for the common good of Nigeria? Why are they working poles apart? The forthcoming “Voters’ Registration” would be most successful, if these two are seen to be working together. To the actual modalities for conducting the elections electronically and successfully, of which Mr. Enyiagu had earlier written much about, wish to add here that, the new INEC should built permanent structures, both electronically (with computers) and electrically (with solar energy) equiped in every village of the 774 LGAs of Nigeria; even in hitherto inaccessible villages. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Maurice Iwu, Ex-Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Nigeria
These permanent structures and buildings would save money for future elections. These infrastructures would also serve as Federal Govt. Call-Centres for National Directorate for Employment (NDE) and NYSC deployment, after the elections - to enhance job-creation, adult education exercises in the remotest villages and serve as “computer-leteracy” and skills aquisation-centres of the Federal Govt.
At these “electronically wired election centres", voters who must have National ID cards, would simply be made to line-up outside the building behind their parties’ symbols /nay candidates of their choice; then a pre-voting count of the eligible voters could be made by independent observers and accredited party agents. Verified voters, one at a time, would be called into the voting-building, to the electronic voting-booth or machine to cast their votes. The rest would be history!
That’s my take on this subject. Wish INEC and our dear country Nigeria all the best, and hope the authorities would read and apply these suggestions in due course.
Charles Akpan ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) writes from Berlin, Germany.
*Tags: Nigerians, Inec, Free, Fair, Elections, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb
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*Tags: Domain, Registration, Web, Email, Hosting, Africa, Masterweb
By Ifeatu Agbu
At last, the big ticket projects that would change the fortunes of the long suffering people of the Niger Delta region are beginning to leave the drawing board. Just last year, 45 mega projects worth about N180 billion rolled out of the pipelines to spread development across the region. Significantly, this has prepared the grounds for even bolder initiatives. A few years back, the talk about a coastal road appeared utopian and farfetched. That is no longer the case as it has since left the realms of idealism. In fact, the design for the road, which is about 650 kilometres, is almost ready and the Federal Government is willing to pick up the bills.
According to Mr. Chibuzor Ugwoha, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the coastal road, which will traverse the deltaic region, will soon be a reality. “NDDC has done the design of the coastal road running from Calabar to Lagos. Before the end of the year, the final design will be ready,” he said. Without doubt, the NDDC would have loved to execute this lofty project if it had the necessary financial muscle. Unfortunately, it couldn’t shoulder the enormous burden on account of the limited funds available to it. In this year’s budget, for instance, it has only N240.5 billion to spend on both projects and overhead costs.
Certainly, that will not scratch the surface for a project estimated to cost about N1.8 trillion. However, NDDC’s loss is the gain of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs. Not that it matters though, since the common objective is the rapid development of the oil rich region, using the Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan as a compass. It is no surprise, therefore, that the Federal Government has transferred the responsibility for executing the project to the Niger Delta Ministry. The Vice President, Mohammed Namadi Sambo offered a justification for this when he said: “The Federal Government, in its quest to complete all major projects in the Niger Delta, has directed that the coastal road construction be transferred to the Ministry of Niger Delta since the money needed for its construction is over N1 trillion and is beyond the capability of the NDDC.” ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria's Niger Delta Region showing Port Harcourt
In any case, the ministry was established to play such pivotal roles in the quest to actualize the government’s objective to fast-track the development of the Niger Delta. It is expected to lead and co-ordinate the infrastructural and environmental development, as well as the youth empowerment programmes in the region.
The perennial violence in the region has made it imperative for the government to accord the Niger Delta a special treatment that goes beyond mere tokenism. It is no longer sufficient to hide under the cover of an interventionist agency that is underfunded. Obviously, the country needs to do what the United States of America did for Europe at the end of the Second World War using the Marshall Plan.
The regional development Master Plan, accepted by all stakeholders as the way forward, provides the platform for the massive injection of funds to quickly transform the long-neglected region that produces the oil that sustains the nation. This widely acclaimed roadmap for the region would require trillions of naira to actualize. The Master Plan, which all agree is a worthy compass for the development of the region, needs to be adequately funded in order to translate the lofty plans into tangible projects and programmes.
There can’t be a better time than now to take concrete steps to accelerate the development of the Niger Delta region, to at least convince the indigenes about the commitment of the Federal Government to the socio-economic transformation of the region. Visible development projects must now be embarked upon before the peace won through the amnesty programme is lost. The Ledum Mittee-led Technical Committee did a thorough job, synthesizing the reports and recommendations of previous committees. Sadly, the report is yet to be fully utilized. Moreover, the Master Plan facilitated by the NDDC is another document that should be seen more like a bible by the ministry. ( Continues below..... )
Spear-heading the implementation of the Technical Committee’s report and the master plan will be the best strategy to make an enduring impact within the short time available to this administration. The ministry should give financial bite to the Master Plan, which is a product of elaborate and intensive collaborative efforts of various stakeholders in the Niger Delta. Although the NDDC facilitated its production, it was, indeed, a product of all the stakeholders who spent over four years jointly in putting it together.
Given the volatile nature of the oil-bearing communities, it is only wise that the government takes urgent measures to address their age-old grievances. Unlike in the past when communities were contented with freebies, the ministry should aggressively provide basic infrastructure and human capital development that can guarantee long term benefits for the majority of the people of the region.
Good enough, the NDDC has set the ground rules, many of which have worked very well in bringing succour to the people. The ministry should do well to take a cue from the commission. In all, quick execution of tangible projects in the Niger Delta is the enduring solution to the lingering crises in the region. The ministry should, indeed, call the meeting of all the major stakeholders – the state and local governments, the oil companies, the NDDC and the international donor agencies - to agree on the specific roles each of them should play in the faithful implementation of the master plan with definite timeframe. It is obvious that no meaningful economic progress can be made unless the crisis in the Niger-Delta is comprehensively addressed. The Jonathan administration has a chance to make history by fast-tracking the development of the region. With an established blueprint in its hands, the government has all it takes to succeed.
Undoing the damage wrought by decades of neglect and injustice requires partnership and synergy. The ministry and other relevant agencies should serve as rallying points for harnessing the energies and ideas needed for the comprehensive development of the region. Virtually all the stakeholders agree that there is high level of poverty and underdevelopment in the Niger Delta. To give effect to the urgent task of transforming the region, several strategies and options should be adopted. In all, however, funding remains the most critical factor. Even now, the Federal government is yet to release a balance of N500million owed the NDDC. One can only hope that the funding situation will improve henceforth.
Apart from the critical issue of funding, it is also important that all stakeholders collaborate to lift the region from the abyss of underdevelopment. It is, ostensibly, in response to this need that the NDDC set up a clearing house called the Partners for Sustainable Development [PSD] Forum. This important organ brings together representatives of federal and state governments of oil-bearing states, youth and women leaders, traditional rulers as well as the organized private sector, civil society, the mass media and international development agencies such as the UNDP and the World Bank.
Their main function is to ensure that the developmental activities in the Niger Delta by all stakeholders are synchronized. This important organ should be more alive to its responsibility and the ministry will do itself a lot of good by making use of the forum. Now that the development efforts in the region are largely driven by the Master Plan, there is bound to be better coordination and faster delivery on projects that would make profound impact on the lives of the people.
Mr. Ifeatu Agbu ( email@example.com ) writes from Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
*Tags: Nigerians, Delta, Youths, Projects, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb
By Kinika Owhonda
Dear Mr. President,
Please permit me to use this medium to bring to your attention, the birthing of a veiled form of Niger Delta youths stereotyping that is hatching its rotten eggs and perpetrated by our so called naval security personnel right here at the shores of Takwa Bay in Lagos State.
This act of criminality was visited upon a group of 17 unsuspecting young men and one female who were on their way to felicitate and lend support to a friend who was about to tie the nuptial knots. Ordinarily as would be expected of anybody with loyal friends and colleagues, they went en mass. Their journey took a rather bizarre twist when they were accosted on their way by some prejudiced naval security officers with questionable motive. They were quizzed about their identities and destinations, etc……and with no element of resistance whatsoever; they obliged the officers with answers freely.
Too, an on the spot search which summarily offered up nothing indicative of sabotage did little to give them a clean bill of health. To further lend credence to the victims ‘claim of heading to the venue of a wedding ceremony, they had with them in the boat, preservation coolers, stacked with assorted kinds of cooked foods with which they were heading to the venue of the ceremony. Going further even, the young man who invited them to his wedding reported himself the following day at the station too to tell them that those were his guests and that they were apprehended for the wrong reasons.
It is unimaginable how a happy looking day for these group of young men and a lady who by the way is coupled to one of the victims turned into a nightmare as a chain of unspeakable wickedness began to unfold. These so called trained naval personnel I would assume they are, shot down every form of defense presented to them by their victims at the point of inquisition and quite understandably so. Without any incriminating weapon suggestive of any malicious intent found on them, these naval personnel forcibly made them tie scarf and bandanas which they brought along with them…a trade mark of the militants in order to portray them as such……..this was a far cry from the truth as they started beating and piling up all manner of spurious allegations on them. Shots rang out in the air...they were asked to lay barefaced on the ground and fired shots into the ground around them.
All of this razzmatazz was done to instill fear in them in order to draw up voodoo confessions from a seemingly unwarranted situation. Questionable also is the fact that they had the press readily available to document, film and publish this event so speedily without any room to hear the stories of the victims, nor was there any exhaustive inquiry conducted to illuminate any hidden agenda. On top of the character assassination and untold hardship which this cooked up story has brought to bear on these innocent victims and their families, the police have unlawfully continued to detain them at the Apapa area B police station for eleven days now and counting for no just course.
They are responsible working class citizens with families who love them very much. It is incumbent on every well meaning and concerned Nigerian to rise up against this ugly monster that has for long been foraging and riding freely on our collective human liberties and psyche which the constitution of this country explicitly declare as free for all good and law abiding citizens.
A probe into this rather mischievous and perverted display of total abuse and misuse of powers should be launched immediately to address this great injustice. Thank you Sir, as the families of these innocent victims patiently await your expeditious intervention.
Kinika Owhonda can be reached at 0705-577-3790 or 0706-294-5640
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria's Niger Delta Region showing Port Harcourt
*Tags: Nigerians, Delta, Youths, Stereotying, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb
Photo Above: Late Prof. Emmanuel Obiechina
By Sakhos Silas Ejiofor
First and foremost I am neither the spokesman of Philip Emeagwali nor do I intend to hold brief for him. Rather I am only trying here to look at the accusations levelled against him by Toyin Falola and his Yoruba friends, without bias. According to Saharareporters, Mr. Alan Karp the chief judge of the panel of judges for the Gordon Bell Prize recognized Emeagwali´s unique intellectual ability when he said: “Mr. Emeagwali didn`t win by default. As a lone graduate student he solved a harder problem that could have taken a team to solve.” End of quote.
Aside from numerous awards and recognitions both from the low and high places, in 1998, Emeagwali was also awarded the Distinguished Scientist Award by the World Bank. The writer of the article - Toyin Falola - and his friends concluded that unfortunately Emeagwali was filled with a false sense of entitlement and also described him as a lazy student who only wanted to earn a PhD without putting in much work. At the same time, however, they went further to contradict themselves in many areas. For example, they admitted that Emeagwali was a fairly brilliant student. Another example is that they admitted that Emeagwali holds two Masters of Science degrees in Engineering from George Washington University. And yet another Master’s degree in applied Mathematics from the University of Maryland in 1986. So, a pertinent question here is, how can a lazy student, who does not want to work hard to earn a degree earn three Master’s degrees in such difficult fields as science and engineering? Does it mean that because he could not manage to get his acts together to also get the “almighty PhD” that he must be seen as a failure and should be discredited by any means necessary? There are many known inventors who did not have a PhD.
Anyway, if these writers were not biased, why didn’t they bother to conduct an interview with Emeagwali to hear his own account of the whole problem he had with the University of Michigan? I ask this question because they reported that Emeagwali took the university to court because of the PhD issue. I know about two African students who had problems with some white professors who supervised their PhD work and the lecturers failed the students. One of these two students later went to another university and received his PhD. Today, he is a professor and head of department in a university in one of the universities in Ireland. Students could get messed up sometimes by professors supervising their work.
The impression the writers of the article laboriously created on reader’s mind was that Emeagwali was not capable of gaining any sound academic qualification, not to talk of winning any award. They even reduced the Gordon Bell Prize he won in 1989 to the level of your run-in-the-mills-awards. Nevertheless, Mr. Alan Karp informed the world that Emeagwali did not win the prize by default. This is contrary to what Mr. Falola and his friends wanted the whole world to believe. They claimed that Emeagwali actually got a second position and not a first position. But, because the Mobil company team got two first positions and as a company team, they are allowed to hold only one position, therefore, Emeagwali had to be declared winner since he was a lone graduate student. This is cruel seeing the extent Falola and his Yoruba friends have gone to distort official records, all in an attempt to discredit and rubbish Emeagwali`s reputation. The judge did fault some of Emeagwal´s wife’s claims. This is not a surprise since it did not come from Emeagwali but from his wife. I have visited Emeagwali´s internet website. I did not read where he described himself as a doctor or a professor. It is only his wife that has the title of a doctor. You will find this at Emeagwal´s contact information at the top right on his internet homepage, www.emeagwali.com. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Philip Emeagwali
NO HUMMAN BEING IS PERFECT
As aforementioned, I am not trying to exonerate Emeagwali from any of his weaknesses. There is no doubt that Emeagwali exaggerated and “over-milked” his achievements. For example, he allows people to call him doctor or professor and has done nothing to correct that. And he had gone haywire since his recognition as a scientist, instead of embarking on new research. But come to think of it, there is no human being without blemish. Hence the question, is Emeagwali the only one in the whole wide world that has a bloated ego and has over exaggerated and over milked his achievements?
WHAT ABOUT WOLE SOYINKA AND LATE GANI FAWEHINMI
I have enormous respect for Wole Soyinka and there is no doubt that he is a world-acclaimed scholar. But, for the past 24 years, there are no nooks and crannies that Soyinka has not set his foot on. He once boasted that he spent most of his life flying and couldn’t even remember where he was a few days before. He is always showing off and wants his audience to know which of the world VIPs he had dinner or a chat with the previous night. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnHV0HG6vM4&feature=related Today, a good proportion of the world sees and addresses Soyinka as a professor (which he is not, since I fear he may not have a PhD-see, http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20080327105613634) - and as the first African to have won a noble prize for literature. Though he knows that this (even the first) assumption or claim is false, yet he has done absolutely nothing to correct the falsehood. During his life time, Emperor Haile Selasie 1 of Ethiopia went to a radio station in Canada to let all Rastafari religion adherents around the world know that he was not a divine being and the messiah contrary to their belief, and that he could die like any mortal. And, true to his words, he was abducted in 1974 and murdered in 1975 by Ethiopian Marxist Military officers led by Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam.
In fact, contrary to Wole Soyinka´s claim, Albert Camus from Algeria who also held a French passport was the first African to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. That was as far back as 1957 before Soyinka in 1986 and Nadine Gordimer from South Africa in 1991. But the way Soyinka is running around the world exploiting his oratorical English speaking skill, implicitly coercing his unsuspecting and his admiring audience to see him as the only African sage by wearing his trade mark of blown-up white hairs and beards leaves much to be desired. Obviously, he has succeeded in misleading so many people to assume that the Nobel Prize for literature is something no other person can win except him. Unlike him, numerous past winners across the world, including his fellow African scholars have maintained philosophical calm and have invested their time in more research work to benefit present and future generations. Soyinka should learn some element of humility from Chinua Achebe. Chinua Achebe´s latest work is The Education of a British Protected Child (2009). He is currently working on another project about the Nigeria-Biafra war due for release next year. Wole Soyinka has also soiled his reputation by venturing into the corrupt, dirty and mucky waters of the Nigerian politics, by forming many quack and corrupt political parties in the past that never saw the light of day. His current Democratic Front for a Peoples Federation (DFPF) political party is well known by many Nigerians to have links to the “Evil-Genius” Babangida,- his old-time friend, who gave him the post of the director of the Road Safety Corpse, during his evil rule. And at that time Soyinka´s Nigeria Road Safety Corpse overtook the Nigeria police in bribing and corrupting Nigeria, particularly road traffic users. As a dramatist, he has never stopped dramatizing his life. Even the novel that won him the Nobel Prize The Man Died he wrote in 1972 and which was influenced by his prison experience and notes is not seen as a masterpiece by the majority of the people. The late Afro-beat king, Fela Anikulakpo Kuti heavily criticized the book. Indeed, when it comes to literature and other academic fields, we all know that the Yoruba people have many great and humble scholars. Hardly anybody hears about them except Soyinka. There are people like Wande Abimbola, Femi Osofisan, Niyi Osundare and countless others whose names ring bells.
This serves to show that no matter how good or bad you are in whatever you do, bold steps, oratorical skills, and self-promotion are important in our crazy world of today. Maybe this is why people like Soyinka and Emeagwali have gone haywire in drawing attention to themselves. This maybe also the reason why people like our most respected human rights crusader and legal luminary in Nigeria, late Gani Fawehinmi, was able to make it in life. He was bold enough to take on the Nigerian governments of the day squarely. He also vigorously promoted himself through championing the cause of the ordinary people, despite his very weak academic qualification from the United Kingdom. According to the Yoruba-born Alex Akinleye, erstwhile minister for information of Nigeria, Gani Fawehinmi only earned a third class law degree. But, today, Gani Fawehinmi is a household name in Nigeria and beyond, and did win many awards.
From time, superstitious beliefs, myths, and assumptions, which give rise to spurious claims, have been part of human nature. The world has been told that Christopher Columbus discovered American. But you and I know that before he arrived in “the new world,” as America was known at that time, there were natives living there. Also he is credited to have discovered Jamaica, whereas there were already Awrak-Indians and a few people of African descent inhabiting the land. And those people swam to his ship and offered him food and tobacco, because he was too afraid to swim ashore. See, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHxw088qQms
There is no other place in the world this deceit has become the order of the day than in Nigeria and the self-styled “God’s own country” - America. In “God’s Own Country”, dangerous lies are perfectly covered. For example, when a husband is caught in an extra martial affair, because such disclosure could cause both political damage and undermining of the country ´s authority at home and abroad, the wife would go on the mainstream media to cover up the lies. No wonder, Dr. Donita Brown-Emeagwali, the wife of Emeagwali is doing her best to shield Emeagwali from allegations levelled against him by Toyin Falola and his friends. What is unique about America is that the lies are promoted and nurtured to earn liars millions and billions of dollars. This is why Americans like to live bombastic life and their economy by and large a credit-based economy, built on lies upon lies. For example, while I respect many of their Hollywood stars, yet the fact remains that some of the Indian-Bollywood, Nigerian-Nollywood and even recently Ghanaian-Gollywood stars are better actors than them. But, because they have the big media, big plots, big budgets, big markets, everything about America will continue to dominate in the world. In America, everything has to be big, otherwise it will not be perceived to be good enough. I was amazed at the size of the Georgia International Congress Centre when I visited there in 2004. I was also amazed at the size of a non-denominational World Changers Church International (WCCI) in College Park Atlanta, owned by African-American “Man of God” - Creflo Dollar. One wonders how America got this whole land, I have heard many times that they intimidated and stole lands from Mexico. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Philip Emeagwali (Photo 2)
The world loves our only living boxing legend Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. aka Muhammad Ali. But as the American he is, the rest of the territories he could not conquer through boxing he did with his humorous and oratorical skills, and self-promotion, by making many spurious claims upon claims. For example, he claimed that he has the type of knowledge that Jesus Christ had or the type of knowledge the biblical Moses and Abraham had, and posited that as a religious leader you must display your wealth otherwise people would not believe in you or become members of your church. Aside being a one-time boxing heavy weighty champion of the world, this other side of his life made him to become one of the “most beautiful brides” that were courted by the mainstream world media. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnYCTh_DSLM&feature=related. Therefore, there is little wonder that Philip Emeagwali imbibed this typical American mentality and bombastic lifestyle having lived there for over three decades.
PERTINENT QUESTIONS AND ACCUSATIONS
A pertinent question here is, was it a happenstance or by design that the writer of this most disparaging article about Emeagwali on Saharareporters.com and his friends are all Yorubas? Once again, let us take a look at their names: Professor Toyin Falola, the author, with contributions from his friends, Dr. Ms. Okelola, Dr. Ola Kassim, and Professor Mobolaji Aluko. They tried to be smart by half by including a Benin man - Professor Pablo Idahosa, to make it have some kind of national outlook. Even though I do not have any problem that many Benin guys force themselves to appear Yoruba. Bolaji Aluko, in his envy is, still with the help of Saharareporters.com, battling one Igbo lawyer in the USA called Emeka Ugwuonye. Aluko, whose family lived at Nsukka before the Biafra War, has been an Internet Tiger, writing all sorts of nonsense about Igbos. He is so filled with envy against Igbos and their achievements. He has ganged up against Igbo lecturers in American universities and elsewhere. Even the Emeagwali he had vowed to destroy was the same man about eight years ago, who once came to his defence against some Igbos whom Aluko had wrongly offended. This is how Aluko and his father pay back the Igbos for harboring them during the Nigeria-Biafra war, and ensured their easy passage to Western Nigerian. It is unfortunate that because Aluko apparently has no more readership in the underground, he has now come out with his anti-Igbo crusades. And unfortunately the saharareporters.com has stoop too low by becoming a willing accomplice. Otherwise, how come that not only they have published more than 5 sponsored disparaging articles in less than one week on the Emeagwali, but has wickedly published a picture of Emeagwali posing in handshake in an event in New York with the discredited Governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan, conspicuously the same day he was sacked as the governor of Delta State, by the Court of Appeal in Benin City. Unlike the good work they were doing when they started, the saharareporters.com has been lately losing readers every day because they have derailed by engaging in “junk journalism” every now and then.
Obviously this composition on the Emeagwali write-up has made the writers vulnerable to all kinds of accusations. For example, they have been accused by the majority of Igbos of blackmailing of an Igbo illustrious son who had achieved world fame. While Falola and his Yoruba friends might quickly scurry to a cheap defence by accusing those Igbos of being tribal jingoists. But then, how about the majority of Africans, and people of African descent and patriotic Nigerians who viewed their article as rubbishing the reputation and outstanding work of a fellow Nigerian and African. Another accusation is that since all of them are PhD holders, did they not act out of jealousy, considering the fact that Emeagwali without a PhD has achieved world fame in both academic and scientific fields and collects appearance fees and lecture fees or speaker fees that is many times the annual remuneration of a senior university professor? Perhaps, this could be one single reason why one of them, Dr. Kassim the head of a department of one of the Canadian universities, turned down his students’ request of inviting Emeagwali to come to their university to deliver a lecture and to interact with them. He claims that Emeagwali´s asking fee of $10.000 and a driver during his stay in Canada was too much, coupled with the fact that Emeagwali did not have a PhD. But, maybe, if Emeagwali were a Caucasian academic or better still one of his fellow Yoruba friends in the academic field maybe Dr. Kassim would not have denied those poor Canadian university students that rare opportunity to come face to face with their role model. Also, another one of Falola`s female Yoruba friends Ms. Okelola bragged about how she refused to publish Emeagwali on her Africanacafe website when Emeagwali requested her to do so.
The gist of Toyin Falola and his Yoruba friends’ article about Emeagwali centered on these key points: Emeagwali does not have a PhD, but claims to have one and allows people to address him as a “doctor or professor.” Emeagawli claims or allowed people to call him “father of the internet.” They claimed that they wrote the article to expose these lies and to inform the world who the real Emeagwali is. But the irony of it all is that it is the same world that gave him those accolades, titles and prefixes that Falola and his friends are complaining about. So what is actually their problem? I have seen the interview where Emeagwali had clearly told a beautiful Jamaican TV moderator that he is not the father of the internet or the inventor of the internet. Continuing, he explained on the same TV Programme to another male host that many people contributed to the development and invention of the internet, and that it is not a one-man thing. He also said that the Gordon Bell Prize he won was viewed at that time (1989) as a Nobel Prize in computing. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMFy9sBLFQQ&feature=related. And also http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa111097a.htm#cm2.jpg
Judging from the above claims allegedly made by Emeagwali, one would like to know if they are serious enough to warrant that onslaught. Hence, real facts simply put across without bias will be understood by the whole world. But, since this is not the case, many people therefore believed that Toyin Falola and his Yoruba friends must have some kind of ulterior motive behind this attack. Otherwise, they would not have spent such amount of time writing pages upon pages of comments demonizing and describing Emeagwali in a most despicable way. And, also, they would not have been so bitter in their writing, which manifested in the many denigrating and unprintable names they called him such as fraud star, most sophisticated con man, 419 kingpin, biggest liar of all time, etc. There are yet other people who believe that Toyin Falola and his Yoruba friends were unjust to the world-acclaimed computer scientist and Mathematician, a harmless man, who never duped anybody but just working hard to promote himself, the African race and his work to the benefit of the world. And many people are wondering and do want to see Toyin falola and his Yoruba colleague’s article about the white American Bernard L Madoff, who perpetrated the world’s biggest financial scam by swindling his depositors of over $50 billion. They also want to see Toyin Falola´s article about the biggest financial scam of $6.7 billion in France, perpetrated by debonair white French man Jerome Kerviel, an employee of Societe Generale SA. The whole world is waiting to see if Toyin Falola and his Yoruba friends would use the same despicable words and venom they have poured on harmless Emeagwali also on these two world’s biggest white swindlers. Up till now, the world has assumed that it is only Nigerians, people of African descent and indeed people from so-called third world countries that are scammers.
Superstitions, self-promotion and wild assumptions, which give rise to claims upon claims, have always been there from time immemorial. Although, this mentality has been part of human nature, but there is no country where this mentality has pervaded all facets of life than in America, in which Emeagwali has lived for three decades and therefore has become assimilated. Finally, majority of the people that read Toyin Falola and his Yoruba colleague’s disparaging article on Emeagwali viewed it as a disingenuous act and, therefore, concluded that it is a typical crass case of (PhD) “Pull Him Down” syndrome. And, since Toyin Falola and Yoruba friends are Africans and also Nigerians as Emeagwali, the people had also viewed it as a good example of the African adage that says “it is only the frog’s kith and kin that can mercilessly kick on his delicate water filled-belly.”
Sakhos Silas Ejiofor firstname.lastname@example.org
*Tags: Nigerians, Philip, Emeagwali, Saharareporters, Toyin, Falola, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb
By Kali Gwegwe
Immediately after the surprise nomination of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as PDP’s vice presidential candidate in the 2007 presidential elections, many have attributed his uncharted rise to prominence to luck. A lot of people quickly pointed out the source of his luck to his first name- Goodluck. Personally, I do not think so. This is because; I know of over twenty people that share the same first name with the president but have experienced great misfortune in their careers. That does not in anyway dismiss the merit in a good name.
The success of every human being is determined by varying factors. Prominent among them are destiny, hardwork, patience, and faith. God has destined every man for excellence in one field or the other. One would only appear to be lucky when he or she identifies God’s destiny and pursues it with hardwork, patience, and loyalty. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria
Goodluck Jonathan did not just identify God’s destiny concerning his life; he was known to be hardworking right from his primary school days. Hardwork earned him the position of a prefect in Mater Dei High School, Imiringi in Bayelsa State. It was hardwork that made him graduate with a second class upper degree in the University of Port Harcourt. His spirit of hardwork caused him to brave the numerous challenges surrounding his fragile youth to acquire masters and doctorate degrees early in life. ( Continues below..... )
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.
As for his level of patience; Goodluck Jonathan is one that would ignore every temptation to “wait for his turn” as destined by God. He believes that life is a queue and as such, everybody’s turn must surely come. Many have actually missed their turns because they jumped the queue of life. Goodluck Jonathan has always waited patiently for his turn. This could be the only reason why he was able to rise from the position of deputy governor of Bayelsa State to president of the federal republic of Nigeria. ( Continues below….. )
Today, he has become the benchmark of loyalty in Nigeria. Right from his days as deputy governor to when he was vice president under the late Alhaji Musa Yar’Adua; Goodluck Jonathan had believed that loyalty has to be 100%. His strong belief in 100% loyalty has most times earned him thump-downs from his admirers while he was deputy governor and vice president.
But most importantly; Goodluck Jonathan did not sleep and wait for his first name to do the magic for him. He did not also fold his hands and rely on his being a native of Nigeria’s oil producing region. He went to school, identified his destiny, served his society well, and waited patiently for his turn. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan is destined for leadership. No nation would experience growth and prosperity if those not primed for it are in power.
Kali Gwegwe writes from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State and can be reached at email@example.com ( 0806 407 4810 )
*Tags: Nigerians, INEC, Destiny, Abuja, Lagos, Airport, Africa, Masterweb
By Ikechukwu Enyiagu
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), like the judiciary, has been saddled with the most honorable and delicate responsibility of steering the rudder of our country’s destiny in the direction the masses want to go every time a new course is to be charted. This commission has the responsibility of protecting the future of the citizenry and the country by making sure that only the winners in any election are announced with a detailed explanation on how they won, and presenting a well documented evidence of their assertions.
As a result of this, the INEC chairmanship holds a greatly influential position in the advancement of our country’s democracy. If any election is to be free and fare, it will start with the INEC leadership. If, on the other hand an election is to be marred by any party, it receives its backing from the INEC leadership too. This therefore makes the INEC leadership solely responsible for any election malpractice, incompetence and rigging. The INEC, like its brother the judiciary, is created to be outside the “puppet-control” influence of the governing authority.
Apart from the June 12 election of 1993, every other election conducted in most parts of Nigeria, from the ward level to the presidency, has been terribly marred with incompetencies and rigging. So many people have been blamed for that with accusations and counter-accusations coming from different parties. Whichever party rigged election at any time in any part of the country, the truth remains that the INEC played the most important part in the rigging. With all the millions of dollars often released to the INEC, Nigeria should by now be teaching other nations on how to conduct free, fare and credible elections. But the INEC has been so corrupt that the only truth they have been willing to speak so far is the truth traded with them for money. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Prof. Attahiru Jega, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Nigeria
Getting Nigeria to have a free, fare and credible election this time or even in the future should not be a task that will get all Nigerians worked up if the INEC leadership is ready to serve the country this time and not their personal interests which always go at cross-purposes with what Nigeria stands for. If the result of this coming election is to represent the voters’ wishes, the INEC should be able to prove to the entire country that it’s willing and capable to work this time. With the ocean of money allotted to the INEC for this coming election, and with the INEC setting in place what needs to be for a credible election, no one can fault this 2011 election-from the councilorship to the presidency. I have carefully listed steps that will rubbish election rigging in Nigeria and present to the citizens their choice candidates as their representatives after all votes are counted. Here are the carefully listed steps towards protecting our votes in Nigeria and making them count:
1. Laptops for each voting center throughout the country
2. Live cameras (probably CCTVs) in each voting center throughout the country
3. Internet. A credible Internet provider should be contracted to provide each voting center throughout the country with unbreaking network connectivity which must use an SSL for transmission. A high speed broadband will do for every voting center.
4. Thumb printing devices that will be connected to each laptop should be made available to all centers throughout the country. This will detect a double voting by a single person.
5. Stand-by generators and spare laptop batteries or self-chargers.
6. An office should be created in Abuja by the INEC which will have among its members trusted representatives from all the political parties, EFCC, ICPC, Nigerian Army, SSS, The Police, The Navy, The Air force, The Customs, The Immigration, Religious Leaders, Student Union, NBA, Traditional chiefs, The presidency, and other relevant bodies.
7. The said Internet provider should configure the office with wall computers to receive transmissions directly from all the voting centers.
8. Voting should be by thumb-printing with the voter’s information keyed in beside the thumb print.
9. As each voter casts his vote by thumb-printing on his/her selected candidate’s drive, the representatives, with the INEC officials should be able to see where the vote is cast directly on the screen without having to display the voter’s information.
10. The live cameras are to relay directly and immediately everything that goes on in the voting centers to the election storage drive which will be saved with the INEC, the Internet provider and the representatives’ office.
11. In the case of claims of irregularities by any party even after being present in the counting, the stored information containing how and where individual voters cast their votes will be taken to the court in charge. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Maurice Iwu, Ex-Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Nigeria
Technology has gone too far that anyone who wants the truth to prevail knows in which direction to look. No election can go wrong in Nigeria if these procedures are dully put in place. The INEC should completely set up the modalities and logistics while the representatives will join them in the monitoring. To set these up will take less money than expected and will serve the country in years to come. As Nigeria evolves in the line of democracy, innovations will come in handy. Whether you call this “Electronic Voting Method (EVM)” or “Save Nigeria Method (SNM)”, the overall intent is to steer Nigeria back on course.
This method will nail election malpractice and rigging in Nigeria to its coffin once and for all. While the police and the army are stationed in each voting center to ensure smooth process, the cameras will do the recording of events. Any party or group that opposes these measures without coming up with a generally accepted alternative(by the citizenry and not just a party) is the enemy of democracy and the enemy of the state, no matter where they may be speaking from. Such a group or party should be descended on by the full force of the nation.
Ikechukwu Enyiagu can be reached at
*Tags: Nigerians, INEC, Destiny, Abuja, Lagos, Airport, Africa, Masterweb
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