By Masterweb News Desk
Nine soccer fans were tied up and robbed at gunpoint with one victim raped, in a terrifying hold-up in their hotel rooms following the Australia-Serbia World Cup match in South Africa. The fans which included five Australians, were on their way back to the hotel in the early hours of Thursday morning, June 24, after the match. The Socceroos of Australia defeated Serbia 2-1 in the encounter.
According to reports reaching Masterweb News Desk, four armed men trailed nine soccer fans back to their hotel in Nelspruit, South Africa, invading their rooms and robbing them, allegedly raping a female victim. Steve Gaynor, one of the victims who had $10,000 worth of equipments stolen from him said the robbers were Nigerians. He said the men were armed with rifles and handguns, and five of the victims, including himself and the raped female, Australians. According to Gaynor, one of the victims, an off-duty Australian Federal Police officer, for safety reasons, kept others calm during the robbery and assault. ( Continues below…… )
Photo Above: Steve Gaynor, one of the World Cup robbery victims.
"I had watched the match from the hotel that night and about 12.30 am three cars arrived back at the hotel and people started filing in. I was in the bar and some people came in there while others went back to their rooms. We were oblivious to what was going on. These poor kids were tied up, held at gunpoint and robbed. My room was robbed, but luckily I wasn't in there when they broke through the window." Gaynor was quoted as telling reporters.
“They took cash, jewelry and watches off the people they had tied up and stole phones and laptops. It was robbery with violence. One guy was on the floor and the man had his boot on his head and told him not to move or he is dead - it was serious." Gaynor added.
Masterweb will keep you updated as more information becomes available.
Photo Above: Map of South Africa
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*Tags: Nigerians, Gunmen, Attack, Rob, Rape, Soccer, World, Cup, Fans, Woman, Crime, Africa, Masterweb
By Lateef Lawal
The Secretary General of African Airlines Association(AFRAA), Mr Nick Fadugba has reportedly resigned his position in the continental body. He is barely seven months in the saddle before his sudden resignation letter dated June 10, 2010, handed to the secretariat of AFRAA in Nairobi, Kenya. He was elected into office, November 24, 2009 following a keenly contested election held in Maputo, Mozambique.
Giving reason for his decision, Fadugba wrote in his resignation letter that "Since 18 February, 2010, it has been an honour and a privilege for me to serve as Secretary General of AFRAA, an intense period spent single-mindedly addressing the many challenges facing African airlines today.
"After careful deliberation, I have now come to the conclusion that I can better serve the African Aviation industry and African airlines in my previous capacity as founder and Chief Executive Officer of African Aviation Services (AAS) rather than as Secretary General of AFRAA. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: LEFT: Mr. Christian Folly-Kossi - Former AFRAA Secretary General, CENTER: Mr. Nick Fadugba - Outgoing AFRAA Secretary General, RIGHT: Mr. David Tokoph, Chairman AFRAA Executive Committee. Photo in Nairobi, Kenya after handover from Folly-Kossi to Fadugba as Secretary General.
"Consequently, I have tendered my resignation as AFRAA Secretary General in accordance with the terms of my contract to Mr Girma Wake, President of AFRAA."
Fadugba thanked the Chief Executives, management, staff and all members of AFRAA for entrusting him with the responsibility of leading the association and for the valuable experience and insight gained. He expressed his gratitude to Mr Giovanni Bisignani, Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for his valued support during his tenure as AFRAA Secretary General. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: AFRAA Headquaters decorated with map of Africa
He said that he was pleased to have initiated steps to resuscitate the fortunes of AFRAA, through the "3 Rs" strategy involving improving the Association’s Relevance to its members, enhancing its international Reputation and boosting its Revenues.
"I look forward to supporting my successor as Secretary General, as well as the AFRAA Secretariat and all AFRAA members. I also look forward to continuing the longstanding close relationship between AFRAA, African Aviation Services (AAS) and African Aviation Magazine in promoting aviation development in Africa, a goal which unites all of us", Fadugba wrote in conclusion of his letter.
Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)
*Tags: Nigerians, AFRAA, Nick, Fadugba, Resigns, FAAN, Airlines, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb
By Lateef Lawal
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos have apprehended an ex-convict, Uzoaru Oliver over drug trafficking. The suspect tested positive for drug ingestion on Thursday June 3, 2010 during the screening of passengers on Iberia flight to Madrid, Spain. Also arrested include a traditional doctor, Longe Moshood Adewale, 58, and five others for alleged drug related offenses.
While on observation, Uzoaru expelled 60 pieces of powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine, weighing 915 grammes. Uzoaru was first arrested April 9, 2009 while about to board a KLM flight to Holland with 1.273kg of cocaine in his stomach. He was charged to court and sentenced to eight months imprisonment after which he regained his freedom on Friday December 11, 2009. Prior to his first arrest, Uzoaru lived in Padova, Italy for nine years before returning to the country in January 2009. The ex-convict who used to sell fridges is married with a child and hails from Orlu in Imo State. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Nigeria.
In his confession, Uzoaru blamed his involvement in drug trafficking on human error and frustration. “All I know is that it was a big mistake. It is not a good thing to be in this condition, but I was frustrated and could not explain how it happened again. When I came out of the prison, there was nothing for me to do. I even begged for transport money to get home. In the process, I met a contact that prepared another international passport for me because NDLEA seized my first passport. I would have been paid 2,000 Euros but unfortunately I was caught again. It is a mistake and I regret everything” he lamented.
NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive Ahmadu Giade said that the situation would have been prevented if the court had sentenced him to 15 years as stipulated by the law. According to the NDLEA boss, “this unfortunate situation where drug convicts get recycled is avoidable. The re-arrest of the ex-convict is an indication that light sentences do not deter criminals. This is a collective responsibility and we must all work towards a drug free Nigeria of our dream, because crime that is highly lucrative requires stiff penalty to enforce compliance.”
The traditional doctor, Longe Moshood Adewale who was caught on June 8, 2010, attempted to board Iberia flight to Paris with 77 pieces of cocaine which he was got to expel. He is married to two wives and has nine children. According to Longe, he had fortified himself with charms and was surprised that he was found with the drugs. “I am a traditional doctor and prepared myself before the trip, so it is shocking that they were able to detect me” Longe stated. He hails from Iperu in Ogun State. ( Continues below….. )
NDLEA Airport Commander, Alhaji Hamza Umar gave the name of other suspects as Okwara Calistus Chinonye, 30, Mgbakogu Nnaemeka, 34, Kadaji Hadija Shettima, 57, Emeto Lucius, 42 and Uzoma Nnaemezie Gerald, 39. Emeto Lucius, a trader based in Italy for over 14 years ingested 100 wraps of cocaine weighing 1.535kg for a fee of 2,800 Euros. He was to board Air France to Paris when he was nabbed. His reason was that he lost his job, and his trading business was in financial distress. He hails from Imo State. Mgbakogu Nnaemeka that sells cars at his home town Asaba, Delta State was nabbed on June 3, 2010 for ingesting 46 pieces of cocaine weighing 950 grammes. He was to board an Iberia flight to Madrid.
Uzoma Nnaemezie Gerald, a cleaner in Greece also confessed to have swallowed 85 pieces when he was arrested on June 6, 2010. Luck ran out for the Imo State suspect, while he was attempting to board an Iberia flight to Madrid. He would have been paid 3,500 Euros. A 57 year old female trader at Akute who is the only female among the seven suspects, equally fell into the NDLEA dragnet on June 6, 2010 on her way to London in an Arik flight. She ingested 85 wraps of cocaine for which she would have received 3,000 Euros. Okwara Calistus Chinonye, who lives in Spain, was caught on June 3, 2010 on his way to Madrid in an Iberia flight. He swallowed 100 wraps and was to be paid 6,000 Euros. He said that he lost his job and he met his contact at a night club.
Some of the suspects are still under observation.
Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)
*Tags: Nigerians, NDLEA, Airlines, Drug, Jailbird, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb
By Frank Ediagbonya
If the Nigerian constitution makes it mandatory for any Nigerian seeking special privilege(s) from the Federal Government of Nigeria by way of paid employment, contract, appointment or election into public office to undertake oral and written test on patriotism, National Consciousness and how to boost the national treasury for economic and social growth of all Nigerians, seventy-five percent of Nigerians who now enjoy those special privileges mentioned herein, would have been disqualified on the ground of hypocrisy, pretence, lack of national consciousness, lack of genuine patriotism, greed and looting of tax payers' money with impunity.
Which is worth dying for; your country, your tribe or looting the national treasury? Since the end now justifies the means in modern day Nigeria, many Nigerians would chose to loot the national treasury and wait for the "consequences", of which 94% high profile cases of looting are consequential in Nigeria. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Nigeria anti-graft agency would confirm their frustration in this regards. There are reported cases where those who looted the treasury have broken the long arm of the law stretched to them by the EFCC. The EFCC is being suppressed and confined by looters of the national treasury to pursue low profile cases. Those who are privileged to be occupying juicy government positions know the answer to this question without mincing words. For those who try to get appointments, win elections by rigging and failed because of their ineptitude as well as their past "unofficial" criminal records know the answer to the above question. To cover their tracks, they would set one tribe against another. The most comical Nigerians, are those who parades themselves as "nationalists" yet they take pleasure in plundering the nation's scarce resources to finance their conspicuous consumption.
They would tell you that they love Nigeria till thy kingdom come. The masses whose destinies is being manipulated and reordered into the abyss of social mysteries, a life-wire that has disconnected them from the real world. They would ask you; "which Nigeria are you talking about?" "Theirs" (the rich, the unstoppable, the law breakers and the untouchable). "Or ours?" (those who wallows in social exclusion). "Let's not talk about it my brother, "shine your eyes", we look up to heaven and wait for divine intervention". Patriotism, National consciousness and national unity comes alight when the Super Eagles of Nigeria is playing international matches and when stopping IBB political ambition suddenly became a platform of national unity regardless of social class, political bitterness, tribal and religious differences. Is stopping IBB and the National Football Team what Patriotism and National Consciousness is all about?
Patriotism is an emotional journey of loyalty, allegiance, impartial love and total obedience to one's country or one's chosen country other than one's own country of birth; the country which has given you all the rights and privileges accorded to you by the constitution. The most challenging quest before many law abiding Nigerians is their total submission, full obedience and impartial loyalty to their country. Unfortunately, Ninety-five percent of Nigerian leaders have tinted patriotism with looting of the national treasury, just as they painted Nigerianess with tribalism and religious fanaticism. The task of reviving patriotism, accountability, transparency and National consciousness in a materialistic Nigeria remain daunting unless drastic measures are put in place. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria
The current tribal divide in Nigeria has become a source of nightmare to most people who want Nigeria to progress in the speed of lightening. There is one thing I am not very sure of, why some politicians are making a big deal of why the North must complete Yaradua's tenure. Is that where the solutions to problems of Nigeria lies? In a country where Voters decision matters, there can be an upset to political tradition. What bothers political analysts is if PDP's alleged gentleman's agreement represent the decisions of eligible voters in Nigeria? There is definitely something wrong some where.
An alleged comment from Buhari, Atiku and Bafarawa that "Nigeria is set to disintegration in 2011 if there is an imposition of candidate on Nigerians", reflects how leaders creates problems for ordinary Nigerians out of frustration. I will assume that they were misquoted by the press. This men are role model to millions of Nigerians. You can read the full story from the following link (http://234next.com/csp/cms/sites/Next/Home/5475019-146/Buhari,_Atiku,_Bafarawa_say_Nigeria_may.csp). If they did made the said statement, it demonstrates the height of Diluted Patriotism from role model like Buhari and Atiku. They should do better than that. They could have said "Nigerians would revolt if there is an imposition of candidate". Not "disintegrate" as alleged.
Some Nigerians perhaps out of frustration are placing their tribes over the good cause of Nigeria. It is unfortunate that most Nigerian politicians are not willing in a million years if given the opportunity to learn from their past mistakes. The notion that Nigeria must continue to wait for one tribe or some ex no good leaders before the country can move forward still remain a mystery. ( Continues below….. )
Globalization has brought positive CHANGE to politics in most serious countries of the world. The patient of hungry and angry Nigerians has been overstretched to the limit due to incompetent and non performing leaders who have managed Nigeria for nearly five decades. Using all sort of threats to find your way into power is not a very good tactics. Toying with the Nigerian voters with words that may lead to violence could backfire for those who want to use threats of disintegration to achieve their political ambition. Leaders caught in the web of defamatory comments against Nigeria should be barred from competing or holding any public office.
In the past, leaders have been caught in the web of questionable behaviour and comments capable of tearing Nigeria apart. These were comments from some so call Nigerian leaders; "Nigeria is a mere geographical expression." Nigeria is an unholy marriage of nations by the British." "Nigeria is gradually becoming a failed state." "The North must produce the next president in 2011" etc. Does these comments reflect the tone of Patriotism or tribal chauvinism? This is how Nigeria has and is being governed by leaders who want their followers to be patriotic when majority of them lacked the spirit of patriotism.
Just like any prosperous nation in the world today, Nigeria has pass through many ups and downs. The reason why the downs seems to outweighed the ups is due to Diluted Patriotism which is prevalent among most leaders and then copied by their followers. Nigerian leaders especially those that has been diagnosed with the syndrome of diluted Patriotism are the ones stopping Nigeria from reaching the full fledged of patriotism and National consciousness. Ordinary Nigerians are helpless in this regards. They only copied what they saw from their role model. The syndrome of diluted Patriotism includes:
*Statements capable of tearing Nigeria apart.
*Placing one tribe above the other or down grading National interest for selfish reasons.
*Placing one's religion above National interest.
*Placing one's pocket above National treasury.
*Converting money for the progress of Nigeria, state or Local Govt. into fraudulent and personal use.
*Not showing the spirit of Patriotism when settling national issues.
*Failing to provide basic Social amenities to all Nigerians irrespective of tribe or religious affiliation.
*Failure to provide security for lives and properties to all Nigerians irrespective of social class.
*Aiding and abetting electoral fraud.
*Inflating government contract.
*Discriminating against fellow countrymen/women on the ground of tribe and religion. (this includes the obnoxious Quota system).
*Using Federal government infrastructure and resources to achieve tribal and personal gain or; to frustrate other tribes who also are Nigerians.
*Denying fellow Nigerians from equal opportunities in their fatherland. etc.
Diluted Patriotism has becomes the mechanism within which tribes and individuals pockets are prioritised over Nigeria's progress. It construes why most Nigerian leaders are persecuting those who are calling for accountability, transparency, electoral reforms, true Federalism as practised by the United States, the rule of law, sanity and civility in the way Nigeria is managed. These people who are fighting for the good of Nigeria have been labelled Public enemies by those who are benefiting from the largesse and booty of the National Treasury. For example, Ibori said he was contented with the way Nigeria was being governed when the former Attorney General of Nigeria, Aondoakaa took it upon himself at tax payers' expense to make sure that Ibori eludes Justice in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. Now Ibori is not contented with the way Nigeria is being governed because his sister and accomplices were jailed in England for helping him to launder money he looted in Nigeria. Nigeria is good for the untouchables when they break the law and evade justice. When they loot the treasury with impunity and are rewarded with national honours. This is Diluted Patriotism in action.
Diluted Patriotism overtly or covertly gave impetus to the Nigerian Civil War in the late 60s. It became the pivot of Quota system and state of origin in the Nigerian social system. A system consciously designed to encourage mediocrity. It marks the origin of discrimination against some tribes in Nigeria. Nigerian leaders whom millions emulates have exhibited the love for their tribes and their pockets more than the love they have for their country. There are suggestions that the new phenomenon of divided and rule Nigeria through Arewa consultative Forum (Hausa/Fulani and Middle Belt), South-South(Niger Delta), South East(Ndi Igbo) and Oduwa (Yoruba) etc. is evidence that things are not working constitutionally in Nigeria. Politicians have taken the shortcut to satisfy their tribal and personal enthusiasm at the expense of a united Nigeria. Why not settle for devolution of power as obtainable in the Welsh and Scottish Parliaments of United Kingdom through constitutional means. These regional consultative phenomenon only came into existence in less than 12 years in Nigeria. It has energized the level of diluted patriotism amongst ordinary Nigerians. It is a clear indication of how Nigerian Politicians have unconstitutionally, consciously and unconsciously remodelled power sharing in the outlook of tribal and religious platforms. ( Continues below..... )
Diluted Patriotism has made it impossible for Nigerians to chose a good leader from anywhere in the country. Patriotism is in intermission in Nigeria. Those campaigning against Goodluck Jonathan Presidency are suffering from induced syndrome of Diluted Patriotism if they are doing so on the ground of ethnicity and religion. If Goodluck Jonathan is good enough to put Nigeria in the centre of global excellence, he can win election as an independent candidate if votes counts in Nigeria and If Nigerians knows what they want. If he is not good enough, it mustn't be on the ground of his tribe or religion. Loving Nigeria less and tribe more is a myopic and barbaric concept. The next president must possess the quality of a Servant-Leader, a listener to yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians as demonstrated by Goodluck Jonathan. He did this when he removed the enemies of Nigeria from their positions. His first three major decisions when acting as President earned him the respect and popularity he now enjoys.
What is the best for Nigeria? Mediocrity or competent reliable leaders? The best of Nigeria is being edged out of limelight while the worst of Nigeria are being elevated to limelight to handle affairs of Nigeria for tribal sake. Who would have thought that Nigeria have fearless, patriotic and intelligent minds like late Gani, Femi Falana, Dora Akunyili, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Obiageli Ezekwesili, Nuhu Ribadu, Col. Umar rtd., Donald Duke, Fashola, Pat Utomi, Wole Soyinka, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Adams Oshoimole and many other great managers of human and material resources.
At 50 in October, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan should implore all Nigerians at home and abroad to task themselves with the goal of promoting the best of Nigeria; resist, discourage, disassociate themselves from corruption and work against those who are working against Nigeria's progress. Enough is enough. The need to ensure that Nigeria's progress remain on course after 50yrs cannot be overemphasised. Nobody should be allow to compromise Nigeria's prosperity no matter how big or how highly placed in the society. If the progress of Nigeria is cursed, all Nigerians must do everything within their power to reverse it. The media should stick out their neck even if it is a matter of life and death, to make sure that Nigeria becomes one of the greatest countries in the world. The media should target, expose and disgrace those leaders who are spreading division and hatred through their utterances among Nigerians. There should be more investigating journalism in the Nigerian media to enable people account for their action and utterances about Nigeria.
At 50, Nigerians should place their country first before greed and tribal chauvinism. The secret behind Britain and America greatness is impartial patriotism and zero tolerance to corruption. Tribal Importance should be used to promote Nigeria's tourism, culture and greatness. Tribalism and religion should not be an avenue to disturb peaceful coexistence or divide law abiding Nigerians.
The election of President Barack Obama exemplified how American interest superseded pettiness and the way the British Politicians Placed National interest above Party and personal interest to form a coalition government shows that the name Great Britain did not just fall from the sky. Can Nigerians rise above pettiness like the American? Can Nigerians put their country first for the interest of the nation and its people as exemplified by the British politicians who solved their recent political logjam in a wink? It is up to Nigerians to decide what is best for them. Those who are pretending to serve Nigeria with all their strength and all their heart yet, are paying lip services to the progress of Nigeria would soon have themselves to blame. Those who are dwelling in tribal and religious politics in a 21st century Nigeria, are sunbathing in the gallery of stupidity if they cannot bargain for the very best.
Does it matter who rule Nigeria? Does it really matter whether an Isoko, Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Edo, Ijaw, Tiv, Isekiri, Urhobo, Calabari, Fulani etc. rule Nigeria? Does the Nigerian constitution forbids some certainty tribes from becoming the Nigerian President? Why is this a BIG ISSUE in Nigeria if some tribal chauvinists haven't got some ulterior motives to destabilized Nigeria? I opined that it does not matter. What matters to many Nigerians is wealth redistribution. Wealth is poorly distributed among Nigerians. What really matters to Nigerians is for them to have power (energy) supply 24/7, for all Nigerians to be gainfully employed anywhere in Nigeria; even those without employment can be on dole, for all Nigerians to sleep in their houses at night and leave their doors and windows open if they so desire. It matters to all Nigerians to have three square meal a day. It matters most to Nigerians to have good roads, free education and free medical care. It also matters if Nigerians pay their taxes to the government in order for the government to provide them with these basic amenities. If Nigerians continues to play tribal politics at the expense of National Unity and good leaders; Nigerians should not expect answers to their prayers because they would have deliberately told God that they have rejected Him.
Just like Dr Martin Luther King, he had a dream that he saw the day when Blacks and Whites in America would no longer fight each other or discriminate against one another because of the colour of their skin, Dr. King saw the day a Black man in America would not be judge by the colour of his skin but by the content his character. In that same spirit, I saw the day when a Nigerian would not be considered for a job or appointment inside Nigeria because of the content of his/her tribe, cult or religion but on merit and on the account that he/she is a Nigerian of good behaviour, patriotic, incorruptible and a zealot fighter of corruption. I also saw the day in Nigeria, when evil doers would no longer hide their wickedness under tribalism. A day when every Nigerian who'd embezzled public fund in Abuja or elsewhere would be ostracised in his/her home town for bringing disgrace to his/her tribe. If this dream becomes reality like that of Dr Martin Luther King, then, Nigeria is fulfilled.
*Tags: Nigerians, Patriotism, Governance, Secrets, Abuja, Lagos, Yar’Adua, Jobs, Africa, Masterweb
By Lateef Lawal
Skypower Catering and Hotels Limited in the early hours of Saturday, June 12, lost over a million naira when men of the Nigeria Air Force invaded its premises at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos and forcefully occupied it. One of the domestic airline-Chanchangi, was also caught up with the illegal takeover of the premises as it could not have access to its hydraulic equipments kept in the compound for safe keeping. It's early morning flights were delayed as a result of this.
Skypower workers, who were preparing food for supply to their airline clients were sent out of the premises, while all other staff-both junior and senior including the General Manager, were locked out.
According to eye witness accounts, the military men who were armed, invaded the company in a Gestapo-style demanding everybody evacuated as they were asked to take possession of the premises because "it is the property of the Air Force." ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Nigeria.
Everybody that saw what happened was surprised by the claim of men of Nigeria Air Force. This is because Skypower Catering is a Federal Government owned outfit supervised by the Ministry of Aviation. In addition it is the last of the subsidiaries of the defunct national carrier-Nigeria Airways which is yet to be sold or privatized by the government.
The Minister of Aviation had been contacted through the Permanent Secretary in the ministry. The Air Force men who had removed the company’s signpost and replaced them with theirs were still occupying the premises as at the time of this report.
Speaking on the incident, the Secretary General of the Air Transport Service Senior Staff Association of Nigeria(ATSSSAN), Comrade Frank Aiyede condemned the action of the Air Force and called on the Federal Government through the Minister of Defence to call the rampaging military men to order. He argued that the establishment of the defunct Nigeria Airways in 1958 preceded the coming into being of Nigeria Air Force for it to be laying claims to the premises of Skypower Catering. ( Continues below..... )
Aiyede continued: "We never had it so tough. Things were carried out with decorum not to talk of now that we are in a democracy. The air force men must be called to order."
Also, Comrade Abdul-Razaq Saidu of the Civil Society Group of the Safe Aviation Committee, described the action of the military men as highly condemnable. "Was there any court pronouncement asking Skypower Catering to vacate the premises the Nigerian Airfoce is laying claims to? If there is none, then their action is illegal. They must subject themselves to the dictates of civility not take action that will embarrass the top echelon of the military and the Federal Government of Nigeria in the eyes of the civilized world. The Nigeria Air Force should not be seen as an Occupation Force," Saidu was quoted as saying in his remarks.
Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)
*Tags: Nigerians, Air, Force, FAAN, Airlines, Skypower, Catering, Hotel, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb
*New Order Of Leadership As Nigeria Turns 50
By Princewill Ogbobula
The constitutional controversies that surrounded the presidency in the wake of Yar’Adua’s illness ended on 5th of May, 2010 with the passing on of our president. I do share our elder’s views that no matter how hard the loss, defeat might serve as victory to shape the soul and let the glory out.
The painful demise of President Umaru Musa Shehu Yar’dua has indeed ushered in a new order of leadership for our great country Nigeria as she turns 50. While it is still very difficult for us to accept this fact, we must accept it gracefully as it has finally ratified a new order of leadership and altered the power sharing formula of Northern and Western regions. A good development for the Niger delta. The Niger Delta region, in spite of the vast economic contributions to the nation, is yet to have political control and had been oppressed and seriously marginalized hitherto.
Today, the situation has become different with the exit of Yar’dua. We now have a president for the very first time in the history of Nigeria. For the sake of our continued unity of the people of Nigeria and the growth of our democracy, I urge every responsible Nigerian to offer support and prayers to this new administration. President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan needs us as he pursues Electoral Reform, Niger Delta Development and Power sector reforms as stated in his inaugural speech to the nation. ( Continues below….. )
Nigerians need to discharge their responsibilities unconditionally to honour the new president and do everything possible to help in the fulfilment of the great call on him to serve our fatherland at this critical point of the nation’s history. No doubt, the remaining time of this present administration will not be enough to conclude these objectives, but it sure has opened new doors for political and social landmarks before the forthcoming 2011 elections.
I believe that what remains of the party rancours over the alleged internal zoning arrangement should now be a thing of the past for sustainable progress and peace of the nation. History has given us examples of how some past heroes of Niger Delta like the Adaka Boro’s and Ken Saro’s have fiercely fought for the emancipation of the region with their own challenges and how both the victor and the vanquished have accepted the result peacefully and in the spirit of reconciliation for one Nigeria.
So in that same spirit, let us give President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan the support he needs towards his commitment to serve again in the next dispensation. I know that some will be disappointed but this should be overcome by the love for one Nigeria, for the strength of our love can be established through the difficulties and challenges we collectively overcome. On my part, I urge the entire Orashi region as the “Prince of Orashi” to stand behind President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, come 2011 election. This is ‘Nija’ we need to fight to keep Nigeria first and above all sectional or group interests. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan
With so much faith in God and in Nigeria, Goddluck Ebele Jonathan has served from Deputy Governor to Governor with the support of PDP and the entire Nigerians. He served again as Vice President, now President and should be encouraged as he continues the first tenure of his late boss which is just a matter of months.
Now the campaign for the second tenure is on and I plead with all Nigerians to give him our support again so that the support of our heroes past will never be in vain. Let us grow above sectional and partisan wranglings that have impeded the growth of our country and give President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan all the support he needs to establishment the divine liberty rights of all Nigerian as stated in Lev. 25: 9-13.
Niger Delta people have given Nigeria and indeed the world so much with her human and mineral resources, so I believe that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s re-election as President and commander-in-chief of The Federal Republic of Nigeria come 2011 should be a way of paying back the rich Niger Delta Region.
*Tags: Leadership, Nigerians, Turns, fifty, Yar'Adua, Africans, Goodluck, Jonathan, Political, Politics, Leadership, Masterweb
By Kali Gwegwe
I have in the past, and will continue to disagree with the minority elitist clan of bureaucrats calling for the removal of fuel subsidy. I do this just for one simple reason: Nigeria’s present socio-economic framework is too weak to carry the additional burden that will arise owing to any further hike in the pump price of petroleum products. The removal of fuel subsidy will for sure leave millions of hapless Nigerians at the mercy of international market forces. This is not only dangerous, but undemocratic.
Let it be understood that subsidy is an indirect way of putting money in the pockets of citizens. It should therefore not be seen as waste of money as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF) would want us to believe. Furthermore, the removal of fuel subsidy is just one among the several means through which government conserve funds. Despite this fact, most developed countries still subsidise critical sectors of their national economy. For instance, agricultural subsidies alone accounts for more than 40% of the total budget of EU. This has not only helped the agro-allied sector to grow; it has equally promoted food security in the EU. The message here is that, subsidy is not as bad as is being painted.
Like in every other country on the face of the earth, activities in the petroleum sector are strongly tied to international market forces. Apart from the fact that Nigeria does not have influence over the pricing of crude oil in the international market, our local currency is too weak against the US Dollar. Those campaigning for the removal of fuel subsidy must also take into account the fact that Nigerian workers are not paid the Dollar equivalent of what their contemporaries earn in developed countries. ( Continues below….. )
This fact alone should rubbish the bases for anyone to assume that the income of the average Nigerian workers can withstand the effects of removal of fuel subsidy. The very wide disparity in the wages of Nigerian workers and their contemporaries in developed countries where fuel subsidy was removed should act as bumps along the economic road Sanusi Lamido and Olusegun Aganga are driving. President Goodluck Jonathan is also reminded that there are inherent dangers associated with leaving the fate of the down trodden masses at the mercy of international market forces, which Nigeria does not have any influence over. This is the major reason why fuel is still being subsidised all over the world.
The Economist reports that over half of the world’s population enjoy fuel subsidies. However, the level of subsidy varies from country to country. For instance, the official pump price of a litre of petrol in Nigeria is N65- about US45₵. However, petrol marketers sell a litre of petrol for as much N100 in the riverine areas of the Niger Delta region due to the dearth of major marketers. Venezuela is reputed to be the nation with the cheapest fuel. There, a litre of petrol goes for just 4₵. It is 79₵ in China, 15₵ in Saudi Arabia, 30₵ in Kuwait, 29₵ in Egypt, 16₵ in Libya, 24₵ in Qatar, and 13₵ in Iran. Compare this to the $2.77 in Britain, $2.62 in Germany, $2.69 in France, and $1.15 in the United States. The percentage of subsidy is mostly influenced by government’s evaluation of the country’s socio-economic framework.
While it is true that the subsidisation of petroleum products is costing the country huge sums of money annually, it must also be noted that democracy has a distinct fundamental character- good governance. Under normal circumstances, this character is not supposed to be killed on the alter of narrow and shallow economic theories, strongly influenced by lack of practical ideas by fiscal policy formulators and economic advisers.
In every democratic society, leadership is mostly about offering selfless service. On the other hand, politics is a democratic exercise aimed at securing the mandate of the electorates in order to offer quality leadership for the good of man and society. There is no doubt that sound political leadership is the hallmark of every healthy constitutional democracy. Fortunately, Nigeria is gradually adjusting to the culture of good governance. Eleven years of uninterrupted democratic governance is indeed a huge achievement. The important need to sustain this political culture cannot be overemphasised. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria
It is sad to note that for more than one year now, there has been an orchestrated pressure on the federal government to withdraw fuel subsidy. This pressure has been mostly from the leadership of the FMF, CBN, and membership of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum. It is necessary to note that by virtue of their remuneration and accompanying entitlements, this category of government officials can afford to buy petrol even at N500 per litre. They are definitely not representing the interest of the over 60m unemployed Nigerians. Even among the employed citizens, how many can rely on their salaries for feeding, transportation, rent, medical, and academic needs of their families? In calling for the removal of fuel subsidy, the two ministers in the federal Ministry of Finance, Governor of the CBN, and membership of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum failed to look at the nation’s socio-economic framework critically. Quite frankly, an average Nigerian family (father, mother, and three children) would need about N5,000 daily in order to escape poverty and withstand the negative effects of increase in prices of petroleum products. Of this amount, feeding alone will gulp N3,000: N200 x 3 meals x 5 persons. Transport will take another N1,000: N200 x 5 persons. Another N1,000 would equally be needed to cover rent, medical, academic, and miscellaneous expenses.
Unfortunately, a large chunk of the nation’s workforce is earning in a whole month, what they would need for just a day. It is in this very sad situation that highly informed persons in government are calling for the removal of fuel subsidy, which will no doubt drive up the price of transportation, rent, essential commodities, and services. I am of the opinion that the inability of fiscal policy formulators and the several teams of economic advisers to find appropriate solutions to the nation’s poor socio-economic infrastructure are forcing them to look for shortcuts. The removal of fuel subsidy is by all indications a dangerous short cut to our economic recovery. Rather than rely on the immediate gains from subsidy removal, the nation’s fiscal policy formulators and economic advisers should encourage government to diverse the economy by opening up the non-oil sector.
Through this way, the already battered Nigerian masses would not be forced to carry the burden of a few corrupt officials and inefficient team of economic advisers and fiscal policy formulators. There are abundant potentials in the agro-allied sector alone. In case Aganga, Sanusi, and Babalola need help, I would offer it free of charge for the sake of our dear nation. Government can raise huge sums by rejigging the nation’s anti- corruption protocols. Corruption is costing Nigeria more money than fuel subsidy. They should also advise government to embark on a thorough review of all contracts and audit the activities of the NNPC. It is very clear that most contracts have been inflated to oil the wheels of corruption. The fact that the activities of the NNPC have been shrouded in secrecy for decades is an indication that Nigeria was being milked dry by a few dishonest people in the system.
Worse still, it is a huge shame that government officials have had to resort to blackmail and propaganda in order to stampede government into withdrawing fuel subsidy. From a safe distance, the anti-subsidy apostles appear as though they love Nigeria so much. Far from it! They are only trying to cover up their abysmal lack of credible ideas. Why must anyone deceive the Nigerian public just to score a point? Only recently, the Executive Secretary of PPPRA, Mr. Abiodun Ibikunle told the world that the 2009 payments for fuel subsidy was N450b and not N1trillion as alleged by the CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. This is ridiculous and calls for an immediate investigation. It could be that some persons are short-changing the country. Ordinarily, the operation of Petroleum Support Fund (PSF) is so detailed that corruption cannot find root except more than three key players are involved. The agencies involved in the activities of the PSF are Nigeria Customs Services, Nigeria Port Authority, Department of Petroleum Resources, Federal Ministry of Finance, Office of the Accountant General, marketers, security bodies, external auditors, and inspection agents.
Kali Gwegwe writes from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org ( 0806 407 4810 )
*Tags: Fuel, Subsidy, Nigerians, Yar'Adua, Africans, Goodluck, Jonathan, Political, Politics, Leadership, Masterweb
By Lateef Lawal
The much awaited name change promised by the Chairman of Virgin Nigeria, Chief Jimoh Ibrahim soon after he took possession of the airline five weeks ago has finally come into being. At a not-too-crowded press briefing in Lagos last week Ibrahim declared: "Virgin Nigeria Airways has finally changed her name to Air Nigeria Development Limited, and the airline is now to be known as Air Nigeria."
The name change, according to him was effected sequel to the airline’s Board resolution on May 14, 2010 following the approval by the Corporate Affairs Commission which registered and issued it with Certificate Number RC 501975. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: A Virgin Nigeria Plane
The Chairman explained that the name change became necessary so as to make the airline fully indigenous, adding that, "everything about the airline will reflect Nigerian culture with integrity, showcasing that we as a nation can do it."
Ibrahim promised that the first branded aircraft in the new name and logo would arrive Lagos before the end of next week from France, while the remaining aircraft would follow in quick succession so as to conclude in record time the rebranding. He said the airline would have a minimum of ten aircraft in its fleet by October 1, 2010. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Nigeria.
He also assured staffers of the airline of beneficial working environmental with take home pay, adding that: "As we increase the number of aircraft in our fleet, job security will be guaranteed as more people will be required to run the airline while we build customers' confidence through established commitment to service delivery."
The Chairman admonished the management of the airline to always embrace the high-road to financial success as against low-road balance sheet, which always leads to negative short end.
Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)
*Tags: Air, Virgin, Nigerians, FAAN, Airlines, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb
By Lateef Lawal
The board of directors of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO Aviance) has announced the resignation of Patrick Dele-Cole as chairman and director of the company with effect from May 27, 2010. The board also announced the appointment of Ike Omar Sanda Nwachukwu as chairman of the company with effect from May 27.
Prior to the 29th annual general meeting (AGM) of the company held in Ibadan on Thursday, May 27, 2010, Dele-Cole had at the pre-AGM board meeting announced his resignation as the chairman of the company. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Ike Nwachukwu shaking hands with Late President Yar'Adua
The company’s head of corporate communications and business development, Demola Akingbola, said the board of directors thanked Dele-Cole for leading the company to significant growth and successfully managing its transition from a government institution to a publicly quoted company. The board appreciated him for his significant contributions to the success of the company and wished him well in his future endeavours, Akingbola said. According to Akingbola, Nwachukwu will be responsible for leading the company through the next stage of its growth and transformation.
The board noted that it has enjoyed the benefits of the wisdom and insightful contributions of both Dele-Cole and Nwachukwu. The resignation of Dele-Cole and the appointment of Nwachukwu is a reflection of the internal democracy and corporate governance which the company advocates and cherishes. ( Continues below..... )
Nwachukwu is an alumnus of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies. He holds an honorary Doctor of Law (LL.D) (Honoris Causa) degree of Abia State University. He is a graduate of the Institute of Humanitarian Law, San Remo Italy.
Some of the institutions he attended in the course of his military training are the Royal Canadian School of Infantry of the Royal Canadian Military Academy; the Royal School of Infantry, Warminster; United Nations Peace Academy.
Ike Nwachukwu has authored several publications on military strategic studies, social engineering, and diplomacy. He has a long list of national and international honours including: Commander, Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFR), Knight, Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (GCMG) given by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. He joined the Board of nahco aviance on 9th May 2008.
Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)
*Tags: Nigerians, Ike, Nwachukwu, Dele,Cole, Nahco, Aviance, Chairman, Airlines, Aviation, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb
- John W. Walker, a man of the people
John W. Walker
In the state house of representatives, he will be the people’s voice.
For Fairness, Justice and the future, our choice is John W. Walker
It is time for John W. Walker to be our lawmaker!
By Dr. Chima Uko Igwe -for Friends of John W. Walker.
*Tags: Arkansas, House, Representatives, John, Walker, Africa, Masterweb
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