Clippings from 2005:

Telling the story of failing Nigeria with words in slow motion:

Musa described the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as "the tragedy of Nigeria," saying "it is the tragedy of democracy in Nigeria."

"PDP did not win a free and fair election, they declared themselves the winners.

Secondly, the PDP led government has not been able to perform for six years, and they want to deceive themselves that in the next one and half years they will make the difference. It is impossible.

PDP is so bankrupt that even the party has no respect for its constitution.

The President does not respect any constitution of the party, as far his concerned President Obasanjo is the party.

As it is now, the President has abused all the provisions for separation of powers contained in 1999 constitution. the legislature, the judiciary and the executive are supposed to check one another in a system of separation of power.

But President Obasanjo has now consistently transformed this into only one power-executive even that power has been personalised, it has become the Obasanjo power, PDP cannot even do anything.

Obasanjo decides at anytime who should be the leader of PDP. He decides what should be the action of PDP members of National Assembly who are 2/3 of the assembly. PDP is involved in self-elimination. Even the anti-corruption campaign. PDP is not helping matter at all," he said

--PRONACO Established in Bad Faith - Balarabe Musa By Idowu Sowunmi,THIS DAY 10.21.2005,

FG bans tokunboh spare parts

CHAMPION Friday September 30 2005 

•To buy 15 war planes



IMPORTATION of used vehicle spare parts popularly called tokunboh, has been banned with immediate effect, by the Federal Government.

Government also approved the purchase of 15 new war planes, valued at about N32.7 billion ($251.4 million), as part of efforts to boost defence operations by the Armed Forces.

The ban on used vehicle spare parts importation, according to government, was meant, among others things, to protect the country from becoming a junkyard, ensure road safety and vehicle worthiness, protect local industries as well as widen capacity of employees in the sector.

Briefing State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting yesterday, Information and National Orientation Minister, Mr. Frank Nweke Jnr. said decision to impose the ban followed council’s approval of the draft white paper on the report of a presidential committee on spare parts production.

He said government was bothered about the absence of first-class maintenance system, as in past decades, where vehicles could be taken to garages and refurbished with genuine parts.

"It’s common knowledge that in the not-too-distant past you could go somewhere, take your car for maintenance and you are told you need this or that kind of spare parts. Then you procure it at great cost, fix it but one or few days after they tell you it has gone bad.

"Government is also of the view that there is a more recent development in the context of the fact that we used to have garages by Leventis, UTC, Peugeot, Leyland, BEWAC. Government thought it would be appropriate to try and find out what has gone wrong," he said.

Mr. Nweke further stated that other recommendations of the committee, upheld by council include the formulation of policies that could encourage local production of spare parts within two years and the privatisation of Nigerian Machine Tool (NMT) Factory, Osogbo, Osun State.

The company, when privatised, he stressed, would spearhead development of machinery and equipment industry for local production of spare parts while a National Metallurgical Laboratory will be established to widen calibration services necessary for self-sufficiency in local production.

On the fate of Igbo spare parts dealers, the ministers said government was concerned about them and has therefore, planned to encourage them to form cooperative to enjoy economy of scale and have access to easy bank loans and institutions dedicated to the promotion of small and medium enterprises.

His words: "we are aware, for instance, that there is a whole lot of people in this country, especially in the South-Eastern part whose livelihood depends on incomes from their trade in spare parts. Government is also concerned about protecting this category of people.

"However, government is of the view that they will be encouraged to form cooperative associations so that they can leverage or consolidate their businesses and enjoy economy of scale to help them prosper, rather than go under," he said.

On the new war planes, Mr. Nweke explained that the step was aimed at making the three services of the Armed Forces combat-ready and well-equipped for the task of protecting the nation’s territorial integrity.

He said the planes comprise 12 units of F7NI multi-role combat aircraft and associated equipment, awarded to China National Aero Technology Corporation at a negotiated price of $251.4 million.

© 2005 @ Champion Newspapers Limited (All Right Reserved).
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New Age Online Tuesday, October 04 2005

Nobody can stop Obasanjo if he wants 3rd term - Mrs. Anenih

President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Special Assistant on Women Affairs, Mrs. Josephine Anenih has declared that if the president desires a 3rd term in office, he would get it and there was nothing anybody can do about it.

Mrs. Anenih who is also wife of the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party’s Board of Trustees, Mr. Tony Anenih and women’s leader of the party told NewAge in Abuja, that President Obasanjo was no a coward and if he decides to stay beyond 2007, there was nothing anybody can do to him.

“Mr. President is not a coward. If he wants to go for a third term, he will say so and there is nothing anybody can do to him. He has never shied away from speaking his mind. If he wants to do third term, he will say it and we will debate it and if we feel he should do third and fourth terms, he will do them,” she insisted.

Giving reasons for her call for the extension of the President’s tenure, Mrs. Anenih said Obasanjo, apart from entrenching discipline in the system curtailed reckless spending by public officers.

“Where are the hands that Nigerians will use in stoning him, if Mr. President says he wants third term? Why would they stone him to death? What has he not done for Nigeria? We were really reckless and because loose money is not flowing again, that is what is giving the impression that people are suffering.

If that is all Mr. President has taught us, God will continue to bless him.” On the crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mrs. Anenih said most of the problems were not created from within but from outside.

“It just shows that we are a vibrant people. There are contentions; there must be disagreements, people should be reasonable and listen to each other, concede when the other persons has superior argument. You cannot win all the time. Most of the problems I find in PDP are not from within but from outside. People create the problems for PDP,” she said.

Debunking the perception that majority of PDP leaders are not democrats, Mrs. Anenih said if there is no disagreement, it will be difficult to have consensus.

“It is when these disagreements arise, we come together, agree and it becomes consensus. If there is no disagreement, then, there will be no agreement,” she argued.

On the president’s reform programmes, Mrs. Anenih said Obasanjo never promised result would come within a second, but said that it was going to be hard, painful and time consuming.

“It was a necessary thing that had to be done. He didn’t say it was going to be automatic. The president said there is hope and he sees hope for this country. All we need to do is support him.”

When asked to compare the Obasanjo-led PDP administration with past governments, Mrs. Anenih said Nigerians could never have had a better government and don’t see any government that can offer Nigerians better leadership than what Obasanjo and the PDP are offering now.

On the allegation that President Obasanjo has hijacked the PDP, Mrs. Anenih said Obasanjo is the leader of the party and the question of hijacking by him does not arise.

“Mr. President is the leader of the party. So where is he hijacking it again to? The party is inside his pocket already. He is not aspiring to be a leader. He is the leader of the party,” she noted.

On the fear that the party is on the path of self destruct, the national women leader said it would never happen. “Since 1999, people have been predicting that PDP will explode; but you can see that the party is still strong. The fact that there are some statements made in the press, does not mean that there is war in the presidency.

There is no war in the presidency, they are human beings and they will have their different opinions, and perceptions but at the end of the day, we have one president. We don’t have any problem in PDP,” she said.

10/4/2005 UK report wants Obasanjo to quit. DAILY INDEPENDENT Tuesday 4th October, 2005 HOME | Previous Page


"We know this country is headed by thieves. It is quite clear. Look at all these allegations of corruption against the governors, against the president, against the National Assembly and even the Judiciary. It is ridiculous that the EFCC is the one investigating Obasanjo on Governor Kalu’s allegations. EFCC, in all honesty, cannot investigate Obasanjo because it is like Obasanjo investigating himself

The former governor urged Nigerians to insist on a serious probe of the Obasanjo government instead of just watching a few clique milking the nation dry.

"Alamieyeseigha’s arrest in London: Govs scramble to close foreign accounts" Tony Ita Etim, Port-Harcourt, John SHiklam, Kaduna and Alphonsus Nweze, Onitsha. Monday, September 19 2005 Daily Champion


Reactions have continued to trail the Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar's admission of failure of the Federal Government in certain key areas of policy direction, with calls for him, and others in government, including President Olusegun Obasanjo, to resign immediately.

"...If they have failed, which is obvious to all Nigerians and which the number two man, Abubakar, has now admitted publicly, I wonder what they are still doing in government. What is happening is consequent on the corruption they have visited on the country. The PDP is not only corrupt at the Federal Government level, but also at the State Government and Local Government levels. They have admitted it many times over and we can all see it. They lack moral aptitude to remain in office even a day longer.

"Is he just waking up to the failures of a government where he is the second in command? Or are we just witnessing lame excuses, a grand political design? Why is he just crying out now? What does he want Nigerians to now do? He and his ilk should just pack their bags and leave this country alone; they should allow people have genuine intention to move this country forward". --Dayo Adeyeye



According to Fred Agbaje:

"The Federal Government has become a one man show. A man who does not listen to the voice of the opposition and who also fail to take Nigerian masses along in government's policies. The type of attitude we are witnessing is very common with people with military background. The unfortunate thing is that they are again lining up to succeed themselves in power. That is why when people talk of self-succession, we are not necessarily talking of Obasanjo succeeding himself, he may just hand over to another brass hat".

"However, what he [Vice President Atiku] did not say or forgot to say or admit is that governments at both the Federal and State level should resign honourably. They should resign, because they are both corrupt, hence the country has been treated to a shameless regime of accusation and counter-accusation by these supposed leaders who are showing the whole world that they are just dealers," he said

"OBJ, Atiku, Others Urge To Resign" BY KAMAL TAYO OROPO Guardian Monday, September 19, 2005


October 1 2005 Clippings

"The biggest problem that we face as Nigerians at the moment is the darkness, anxiety and the uncertainty that surround us. We are, as a people literally in the dark."

"In 1999 when civilians assumed office at all levels, Nigerians had great hopes in their hearts; the enthusiasm of the time was so infectious, ..."

" in Nigeria, under a democracy, the people have been turned into spectators. We, the people no longer count...."

"...Obasanjo has become an Emperor whose every gesture assumes a larger-than-life dimension.

"...He [Obasanjo] is no longer a leader who is a servant of the people, but the Lord and Master of Nigeria with dominion over all things under and inside it.

"...At all levels, our democracy is built on a foundation of falsehood partly because we do not have leaders who are interested in the truth.

"Elections are rigged anyway. Politicians know that they can always win elections without the people's mandate. We are part of the lives of the men of power only as things to be manipulated.

"We Are In The Dark" --Editorial Guardian Oct 2 2005 By Reuben Abati

"...THE patent feature of Nigeria today is summed up in three attributes: the appalling state of decay of the broad national equipment - the complex of failed infrastructure, failed public organizations and failed institutions - the unprecedented desolation of the polity, and the structural unconcern of government.


"...This perilous state, the result of years of political-economic mismanagement, has severely worsened in the past six years.


"There is loss of social peace, orderliness and security. There is the loss of community. Normal conduct of socio-economic life by the individual is well-nigh impossible. Frustrated at every turn by the inefficiencies and blockages of public policy, the genuine enterpriser’s story is a catalogue of daily woes, while the masses are overwhelmed with despair and cynicism. No level or branch of government is free from its corrosive debilitating effects. Even the oil enclave is subject to its blight. The decay has inevitably taken a toll on quality standards and their administration.


"There is also increasing arbitrariness and terror on the part of what stands for the state.

"Instead of taking appropriate measures to redress the decay and restore system stability, policy controllers enthrone political gangsterism as an instrument of state policy, further stoke the flames of social discord, and persist in economic mismanagement.

"The increasing uncertainty in the environment promotes exceptional levels of corruption, economic myopia, and capital flight, and drives the system further from recovery

"President Obasanjo did not bring this key dimension of our existence to the attention of the citizens of the republic and their representatives in the National Assembly, in his broadcast to the nation on June 30, 2005 and consequent address to the National Assembly on July 26, 2005. Precisely, he failed to duly inform the citizens of the republic and their representatives in the National Assembly on the extent of the decay in society’s capital base (the broad national equipment inclusive of human capital) and the massive extent of work to be done to urgently redress the situation and then get the economy on a rapid stable growth course

"President Obasanjo also did not bring to the attention of the citizens of the republic and their representatives in the National Assembly the continued essential financial-economic fragility of the republic. This fragility, which arises largely because of the truly underdeveloped structure of the domestic economy, its over-reliance on crude petroleum, and the volatility of the world oil market and its prices, in turn dictates at least two imperatives: (a) an urgent drive to secure in minimal time diversification of the productive base of the economy; and (b) the maintenance of an adequate stabilization cover..."


The real task before Nigerians: A further note on the claimed debt relief by the Paris Club DUNU CHU S. P. OKONGWU Posted to the Web: Vanguard Sunday, October 02, 2005


"...Considering that the country had been under British colonial rule for a couple of hundred years or so before then; and that full independence was not obtained without a committed fight and a lot of sacrifice by our nationalists, another Independence Day is worthy of celebration and proper commemoration. The realities of the country however, as reflected in the political, economic and social conditions are not exactly in favour of such celebration.

"Without mincing words, Nigerians are worse off today than they were on October 1, 1960.

"The quality of the average Nigerian life is drastically reduced and ranks among the lowest in the world, going by international yardstick provided by global organisations including the recent World Bank report that classified Nigeria as the second poorest country in the world

"...Nigeria's 45th Independence Anniversary should be an occasion for sober reflection; a time to look inward and ask: What went wrong? More importantly, to seek to halt the creping lawlessness and anarchy in the society including government.

"...The major problem with Nigeria is that forty-five years on, we do not seem to have started the work of nation building.

"...practically all the infrastructural and institutional development achieved during and immediately after the colonial administration have been destroyed

"...The legacies of our founding fathers have been replaced by visionless policies derived from selfish, greedy interests and foisted by corrupt and inept rulers who have not the faintest idea of what leadership is about.

"...We can tell similar tales of woe in respect of development of agriculture, infrastructure, education and health sectors as well as a dozen other areas.

"...Governments at all levels in the country are traditionally inclined to enumerate their perceived achievements during Independence Anniversary days. They spend hours making long statements to praise themselves and to highlight what in real terms constitutes only marginal growth with almost imperceptible positive impact on the populace.

"... we believe that the country's rulers have taken their subjects for a ride for too long.

"...It was easy for us to blame military aberration of the past for much of our national follies. Undoubtedly, the military did a lot in destroying the political, social and economic fabric of the society. Heaping all the blame on them is however no longer tenable.

"Six years into the present civilian administration, the politicians have been compounding the problems inherited from the military. The present rulers are not behaving like democrats, as they want to have their say and their way at all cost. The spirit of politics is that of winner takes all. Political parties and groups, including the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) operate in rancour and treachery with greedy intention. Intra-party relationship is mired in envy, hatred and ego trips that have been manifesting in character and physical assassination. These are not progressive ideals. They cannot take the country to the dreamland envisioned by her founding fathers. Politicians must search themselves and put their house in order.

"...Perhaps the major dividend of democracy that has taken place in the last six years is improved observance of human rights. This has reflected for instance in enhanced freedom of expression of citizens. Sadly, government officials who frequently disregard the expressions and instead, implement anti-people policies have rendered that freedom nugatory.

"...Freedom of expression that does not translate into improved quality of life for the ordinary citizens is no freedom at all.

"...Failure by government officials to bring the dividends of democracy and good governance to people's doorstep is fraught with danger that may imperil the democracy itself.

"...And instead of catering to the interests of the long suffering Nigerians, our leaders openly pursue their selfish agenda and seek to foist same on the whole nation. For instance, the President and Vice President are locked in a fratricidal battle on the direction the country should take in 2007. Never before in our history have we witnesssed such a dangerous theatre of the absurd. The only persons who do not see the disgraceful conduct and the threats they portend for the entire polity are the combatants themselves. In the event, they have opted for anything but due process in seeking to unseat or unsettle each other. Such lawlessness is condemnable and must stop in the interest of this country.

Nigeria at 45 Editorial Opinion Guardian October 1 2005


Obasanjo is enemy of democracy 
Osita Okechukwu Lagos 
INDEPENDENT Sunday 9th October, 2005

CNPP after a careful analysis of the Independence Day speech of President Olusegun Obasanjo decided to reply him to correct the misrepresentation and misleading contents of his address, that bothers on disservice to our dear country.

CNPP laments and regrettably, that Mr. President is still hovering in the sky, totally alienated and disconnected from the people.

We thought that the speech could have afforded a responsive President the golden opportunity for sober reflection, to painstakingly assess the situation, honestly admit pitfalls and undertake gap analysis on why Nigeria is not working and why his economic and political reforms are jaundiced.

To our chagrin, rather than address the contradictions inherent in his anti-people macro-economic policy, he mounted a high horse, waving doubtful messianic garb, claiming that his government is a listening and caring government. To add insult to injury, he sent a note of warning that he cannot be intimidated, teleguided or pressurized to take immature or populist decisions with no lasting effects.

CNPP is at a loss, what is immature in meaningful advice and constructive criticisms, Nigerians have lavishly given to the regime, all in an effort to strengthen and deepen the foundation of our economy and democracy, create jobs, wealth, productivity, efficiency and management of resources and social justice.

CNPP opines that the road map is to first and foremost get Nigerians back to work. We disagree with those who claim that Nigerians are bad and hang on the loose term – Nigerian Factor.

Nigerians are not bad specie and had shown that we are good followers provided the leadership is trust worthy; do not betray trust, dash hopes, compromise and mortgage opportunities.

The regime instead of getting Nigerians back to work, what we have today is an army of unemployed and under-employed, mass poverty and import dependant economy, characterized by closure of industries, retrenchment of workers and stifle growth.

CNPP had earlier alerted the nation that no nation had successfully transformed from an agrarian economy to a capitalist economy driven by market forces, without an industrial base and there is no industrial society without solid infrastructure base. To do otherwise is suicidal and the outcome is mass poverty, brain drain, import dependent economy and crass corruption.

The past six years was spent in a forlorn hope of quantum Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Mr. President himself had admitted that he toured all parts of the world and no Direct Foreign Investment. The huge cost of globetrotting by Mr. President went down the drain, for the world recognition we have today is because Nigeria transited to civil rule in 1999.

CNPP had for the umpteenth time posited that given the bounty and unprecedented oil sales, the regime should repair the refineries; construct micro and medium ones, in order to halt the disequilibria in our transport sector. Rather the regime connived with the rogue contractors inherited from the military regime and squandered over $1 billion and abandoned the Turn Around Maintenance mid-stream.

The outcome of failure to listen is incessant hike in petroleum product prices, distortion in the production process and negative multiplier effects. The beneficiaries of the impasse are the cronies of the regime, who jumped into the opportunistic tendencies created. Nigerians are worse off and the regime instead of admitting guilt is still pleading charity, of substantial level of subsidy in petroleum products, supplied to the domestic market.

A caring government cannot deliberately in the name of privatisation and commercialisation institute criminal profiteering against the people.

Today even the so-called captains of industry, who in actual fact have no industry, are complaining. They used to be friends of the regime and supported the entire anti-peoples programme.

CNPP is of the view that a regime that sincerely desires more products for domestic and export market, diversification of the economy and intensive export drive, could have used opportunity provided by modern technology, to overhaul the energy sector, rather than encourage avenues of corruption and waste.

The loud noise for subsidy of petroleum products and other vital economic indices has refused to die down, continued to date and cannot be swept under the carpet as immature or populist.

CNPP is borrowing our agitation for subsidy, from those stable economies, that are driven by market forces, which refuse in the World Trade Organization meetings, to cancel subsidies to their citizens especially in the agriculture sector. If Europe and America subsidize the prosperous existence of their citizens why is the Obasanjo regime roasting Nigerians?

It is truism that as far as electricity is concerned, that Nigerians are in darkness, all the promises made for reinvigorated energy sector failed. The jumbo mega watts production touted became a façade to cover the billions siphoned abroad.

A patriotic regime could have embarked on construction of micro and medium generating plants instead of relying on foreign investors. In an age where with $100 million medium generating plant can be erected. The irony of the situation is that we continue posting mind-boggling foreign reserves, while the country is in flames.

The consequence is that Nigeria is now a visa factory: where citizens are leaving in droves. The mass exodus to foreign lands, after the return of democracy is the metaphor and caricature of a failed regime. It is the greatest insult to find Nigerians engaged in all manner of odd jobs in North Africa, Europe and other parts of the world in what can be defined as new slavery.

It is only a regime that is either on a genocide of hate mission against its countrymen that will leave over 3 billion tons deposit of coal to lie fallow for years. Coal is an alternative energy resource and forms the bedrock of South African energy sector, a country President Obasanjo, venerates, but could not learn from. This is not immature or populist loud noise it is granite fact.

Nigerian Coal Corporation records show that with less than $80 million, the coal industry with micro power stations will be back on stream.

CNPP reasons that Nigerians can create sustainable development for future generations only by diversifying our energy source and this is where coal comes in. By deliberately abandoning coal, bitumen and other treasurable resources that could have turned around our economy, the regime has demonstrated crass indolence and social rascality.

President Obasanjo should as a matter of urgent national importance come to terms with the fact that money is difficult, to cross border, because of competing demands. Let us use our money to transform our economy instead of waiting for the Chinese or European. It is not a loud noise or immature agitation, it is a programme for new Nigeria, new focus and new determination.

In tandem with the criminal neglect of the coal industry, is the criminal neglect of bitumen. A regime that does not want people to complain nor undermine its reform programme could have diversified our transport network by re-positioning the railways. Alternatively since we are confined to road transport, the bitumen deposit could have been fully exploited. Instead, the bitumen sector became propaganda instrument that left Nigeria on unwarranted dependence on importation of bitumen. The outcome is that the cost of constructing one-kilometer road in Nigeria is the costliest in the world.

CNPP study shows that rail system is the cornerstone of transport sector of the developed world and none of their rail system was privatized when they were at kindergarten level of development.

Our study shows also that with $3 billion a modern rail system covering about 2000 kilometres will be in place. CNPP prefers this kind of investment that will revolutionise our economy and catapult Nigeria into prosperity.

Our aggregate loss per annum for inefficient and prohibitive transport and energy sectors is over $4 billion. Contrast it with the haste with which the regime wants to pay $6 billion to the Paris Club and another $6 billion through buy back instead of investing the $12 billion in our energy and transport sectors.

CNPP does not canvas repudiation of our debt, but while we continue to pay our debt at current repayment rate of $1 billion per annum to our creditors, we continue to plead for debt cancellation.

CNPP is not opposed totally to privatization, but we rely on hindsight to know that an item sold as a scrap attracts pittance, while a repaired and refurbished item attracts better price. This was the position of NAFCON. The fertilizer company had already procured spare parts for total overhaul before it was shut down. At any rate it was operating when it was closed.

The outcome is that today, a plant that was producing 1000mt of urea, ammonia and NPK respectively, was auctioned for $152 million, while between the closure and when it will resume production Nigeria must have lost over $500 million in importation of fertilizer, the resultant outcome is food insecurity.

The insensitive, insincere and intolerant attitude of Obasanjo’s regime cost the nation these gruesome losses. A listening and caring regime could have gotten Nigeria in six years back to work and the system could not have failed.

CNNP cannot conclude the catalogue of scandals that bedeviled the privatization and commercialization programme ranging from Ajaokuta, NITEL, to the sale of Federal Government houses in this piece. Suffice it to say that the scam will be unraveled when we vote the regime out.

The deceptive arsenal of the regime was exposed when Mr. President undertook self-glorification by beating his chest for consolidation of democracy.

CNPP joins Mr. President in thanking God, while at the same time, we note that Chief Obasanjo has driven Nigerian democracy dangerously into fascist dictatorship. He has closed the Ballot Box Option, reduced the legislature to rubber stamp, shut out foundation members of his party, thus becoming the first leader of a political party in history we know, who instead of sustaining engagement, authors culture of exclusion and impunity, all in an effort to actualize his Life President project.

CNPP concludes that Chief Obasanjo is an enemy of democracy and agent of instability, corruption, mass poverty and has contempt for the rule of law and constitutionalism.

The loud noise of the minority is the voice of the voiceless majority of Nigerians who are frustrated from dashed expectations.



"Former Head of State, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd) and the chairman of the conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), Balarabe Musa have canvassed mass resistance against any plot by the President Olusegun Obasanjo-led administration to stay in power beyond 2007."


"...Nigerians should be mindful of the mal-administration of the government since its inception in 1999, "and get it right and come out and take a stand that come May, 2007, this government must go." --Colonel Hamid Ali


"Buhari...reviewed the historical voyage of the nation since independence, pointing out that rather than the country moving forward, its development had been thwarted by bad leadership in recent times. "


"it is regrettable that since the inception of Nigeria as a country in 1914, she had at no time ever had the type of revenue income or money it has gotten now" adding that in spite of this, the people are still wallowing in abject poverty, disease and hunger. --Buhari


"Said Buhari: "I urge Nigerians to stand up enmass to stop the present poor administration and to ensure that only the truth prevailed in the 2007 elections. And whoever will be the president, he should be the right person and of quality and credibility."


"In spite of the fact that the Nigerian nation is 100 years old, we have remained backward because these things have remained like this and we are not bothered about change. No respect for human rights and dignity, except for Naira, hence change cannot be possible," Musa agonised. (chairman of the conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), Balarabe Musa )


 "ACF has two slogans, and will continue to say, we will fight it to the last point of our blood to make sure that power shift to the North is realized, that is one. Obasanjo must leave the seat of power as president come 2007, whether he likes it or not; we will fight him with our blood and we will do it. He must leave power, come 2007. And I hope Nigerians must understand that power must come to the North in 2007. That ACF will stand upon, that ACF will fight and the ACF must make realizable."--Colonel Hamid Ali

Opposition Urges Mass Resistance Against Alleged Third Term Bid
From Saxone Akhaine, Kaduna Saturday october 1 2005


"We know this country is headed by thieves. It is quite clear. Look at all these allegations of corruption against the governors, against the president, against the National Assembly and even the Judiciary. It is ridiculous that the EFCC is the one investigating Obasanjo on Governor Kalu’s allegations. EFCC, in all honesty, cannot investigate Obasanjo because it is like Obasanjo investigating himself

The former governor urged Nigerians to insist on a serious probe of the Obasanjo government instead of just watching a few clique milking the nation dry.

"Alamieyeseigha’s arrest in London: Govs scramble to close foreign accounts" Tony Ita Etim, Port-Harcourt, John SHiklam, Kaduna and Alphonsus Nweze, Onitsha. Monday, September 19 2005 Daily Champion


Reactions have continued to trail the Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar's admission of failure of the Federal Government in certain key areas of policy direction, with calls for him, and others in government, including President Olusegun Obasanjo, to resign immediately.

"...If they have failed, which is obvious to all Nigerians and which the number two man, Abubakar, has now admitted publicly, I wonder what they are still doing in government. What is happening is consequent on the corruption they have visited on the country. The PDP is not only corrupt at the Federal Government level, but also at the State Government and Local Government levels. They have admitted it many times over and we can all see it. They lack moral aptitude to remain in office even a day longer.

"Is he just waking up to the failures of a government where he is the second in command? Or are we just witnessing lame excuses, a grand political design? Why is he just crying out now? What does he want Nigerians to now do? He and his ilk should just pack their bags and leave this country alone; they should allow people have genuine intention to move this country forward". --Dayo Adeyeye



According to Fred Agbaje:

"The Federal Government has become a one man show. A man who does not listen to the voice of the opposition and who also fail to take Nigerian masses along in government's policies. The type of attitude we are witnessing is very common with people with military background. The unfortunate thing is that they are again lining up to succeed themselves in power. That is why when people talk of self-succession, we are not necessarily talking of Obasanjo succeeding himself, he may just hand over to another brass hat".

"However, what he [Vice President Atiku] did not say or forgot to say or admit is that governments at both the Federal and State level should resign honourably. They should resign, because they are both corrupt, hence the country has been treated to a shameless regime of accusation and counter-accusation by these supposed leaders who are showing the whole world that they are just dealers," he said

"OBJ, Atiku, Others Urge To Resign" BY KAMAL TAYO OROPO Guardian Monday, September 19, 2005


 "...we [EFCC] report absolutely to the president"
--[EFCC] commission secretary, Mr. Emmanuel Akumaye

chairman of the EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, said emphatically that
"...he is answerable to no other person other than Obasanjo..."


Public anxiety and fears over the ability of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to conduct a credible investigation on allegations of corruption against President Olusegun Obasanjo received credence Wednesday, as the anti-graft agency declared its absolute loyalty to the president.

At a session with a team of United States government officials on a visit to the commission’s head office in Abuja, chairman of the EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, said emphatically that he is answerable to no other person other than Obasanjo.
Responding to enquiries by a member of the team on channels of reporting the agency’s activities, Ribadu, who was represented by the commission secretary, Mr. Emmanuel Akumaye, said "we report absolutely to the president".

"We report to nobody but Obasanjo – EFCC"
By MURPHY GANAGANA, Abuja SUN Thursday, September 22, 2005

"We know this country is headed by thieves. It is quite clear. Look at all these allegations of corruption against the governors, against the president, against the National Assembly and even the Judiciary. It is ridiculous that the EFCC is the one investigating Obasanjo on Governor Kalu’s allegations. EFCC, in all honesty, cannot investigate Obasanjo because it is like Obasanjo investigating himself

The former governor urged Nigerians to insist on a serious probe of the Obasanjo government instead of just watching a few clique milking the nation dry.

"Alamieyeseigha’s arrest in London: Govs scramble to close foreign accounts" Tony Ita Etim, Port-Harcourt, John SHiklam, Kaduna and Alphonsus Nweze, Onitsha. Monday, September 19 2005 Daily Champion


Reactions have continued to trail the Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar's admission of failure of the Federal Government in certain key areas of policy direction, with calls for him, and others in government, including President Olusegun Obasanjo, to resign immediately.

"...If they have failed, which is obvious to all Nigerians and which the number two man, Abubakar, has now admitted publicly, I wonder what they are still doing in government. What is happening is consequent on the corruption they have visited on the country. The PDP is not only corrupt at the Federal Government level, but also at the State Government and Local Government levels. They have admitted it many times over and we can all see it. They lack moral aptitude to remain in office even a day longer.

"Is he just waking up to the failures of a government where he is the second in command? Or are we just witnessing lame excuses, a grand political design? Why is he just crying out now? What does he want Nigerians to now do? He and his ilk should just pack their bags and leave this country alone; they should allow people have genuine intention to move this country forward". --Dayo Adeyeye



According to Fred Agbaje:

"The Federal Government has become a one man show. A man who does not listen to the voice of the opposition and who also fail to take Nigerian masses along in government's policies. The type of attitude we are witnessing is very common with people with military background. The unfortunate thing is that they are again lining up to succeed themselves in power. That is why when people talk of self-succession, we are not necessarily talking of Obasanjo succeeding himself, he may just hand over to another brass hat".

"However, what he [Vice President Atiku] did not say or forgot to say or admit is that governments at both the Federal and State level should resign honourably. They should resign, because they are both corrupt, hence the country has been treated to a shameless regime of accusation and counter-accusation by these supposed leaders who are showing the whole world that they are just dealers," he said

"OBJ, Atiku, Others Urge To Resign" BY KAMAL TAYO OROPO Guardian Monday, September 19, 2005


"...I can assure you that that [PDP] meeting has effectively make the President the alpha and omega of the party [PDP]. He can now decide who gets what in the party...” -- [Obasanjo] Presidential  aide

PDP: STILL A DIVIDED HOME, Musikilu Mojeed, Abuja Saturday Punch Saturday, September 17 2005

"...and for your information, we always reason along with the position of Obasanjo whom we all see as the messiah the country needs now. He has his excesses but ..."

"“We are not saying this man is perfect, however, we see him as the pillar that can sustain the PDP. He is not a corrupt leader in the actual sense of it and for the PDP to survive and to move the country forward the party needs the President...

--by the (G88) NEC members backing the President’s plan


Said a [Atiku group] source at the meeting: “We know that the only opinion Obasanjo respects is that of foreigners and Western powers. That is why we took the decision to consult world leaders on this matter. There is no point rubbing shoulders with foreigners if you have no respect for democratic values”.

"Atiku group enlists U.S., UK democrats" Challenges Obasanjo’s G88 on PDP control Daily Independent Septemebr 15 2005


Meanwhile, Citizens Rights Watch (CRW) said it had constituted a team of lawyers to defend anybody arrested in during the protest

Addressing a press conference in Lagos, President of CRW Mr Gabriel Ojumah said: "This government is the most incompetent, the most reckless, most dubious Nigeria has ever had. And as such the masses have passed a vote of no confidence on it. This government must go."

"Police arrest two activists as NLC protests begin" By Victor Ahiuma-Young, Nduka Uzuakpundu & Godwin Akor
Posted to the Web: Wednesday, September 14, 2005 Vanguard



Soyinka said: “Very clearly the PDP has no respect for democracy, the constitution, the law; and this is in particular, the leadership of the party. It is the chief executive [president Obasanjo] himself that despises the law in the country. So how can I get excited about the quarrel of the two.? I am not interested.”

On the implication of the development for the country at large, Soyinka said, “the international adverse effect is that investors will see that the leadership of the nation does not respect the law, and therefore encourages lawlessness. And so, are likely not to come into the country.”

Adding that home governments of willing investors “will certainly discourage such people from coming,” saying: “I believe when you encounter a situation like the hike in fuel price, there is a degree of insensitivity which our people have in right to protest.”

Tuesday, September 13 2005 New Age Online


An ANPP chieftain Buba Galadima, says the opposition in the country is weak and therefore not capable of righting the wrongs in the polity.
Galadima told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Abuja, that a lack of patriotism, selfishness, and absence of a focus and clear mission were the militating factors against the opposition.

He said: “The government has emasculated and incapacitated Nigerians, opposition parties and the civil society.
“Besides, the labour leadership has abandoned the masses in pursuit of selfish economic and political interests ahead of 2007.’’
Galadima, a Director in the Buhari Organisation (TBO) and chairman of CNPP’s contact and mobilisation committee, said: “The position of the opposition in the country is weak,cowardly and cannot stand out.’’

Daily Triumph Monday, September 12, 2005.

Nigerian Tribune was told that the president’s men also resolved that if the vice president renounced his ambition, he would be admitted to the club of G8 who would decide who rules the country again after President Obasanjo. Members of G8, Nigerian Tribune learnt further, are the president, Generals Theophilus Danjuma, Abdul-Salami Abubakar, the National Security Adviser, General Aliu Gusau, the Chief of Staff, General Abdulahi Mohammed, General Ibrahim Babangida and two other unnamed leaders.

Three conditions were reportedly issued to the vice president to fulfil failing which the ongoing offensive against his machinery and his interests would be intensified, heading to his removal from office. “He should tender a public apology to the president for the speech he delivered at the Yar’Adua Centre and for insulting the president by comparing Baba to Reagan and Thatcher,” the source said, declaring that “the apology should be public and unreserved.

“He should call his boys to order. We have refrained from engaging them because of the president’s admonition. After the apology, he should tell them to refrain from further attacks on the president and what he stands for. “Importantly, he must renounce his presidential ambition as the president would not endorse him or hand over to him. He must dismantle what is left of his structure. This is the key condition,” the source said, noting that the presidential caucus did not contemplate any scenario that would produce a President Atiku Abubakar

The source affirmed further that the president was not interested in handing over to both General Babangida and the vice president, commending General Babangida for remaining loyal to the president in the ongoing power tussle. “General Babangida is a leader and he recognises the president and his vision. Atiku can join this group if he fulfils those conditions,” the source noted. Blaming the vice president for the state of affairs, the right-wingers were said to have commended the ditching of the original succession plan due to the alleged intransigence of the vice president.

“The original plan was to allow the vice president to succeed Baba, especially for the good memory of the late General Yar’Adua. We don’t want the conservative but the progressive North to have a go but Atiku bungled that plan,” the source said. Nigerian Tribune learnt that the vice president would not accept the demand for the renunciation of his presidential ambition though he believed he had no problem with the president.

A close aide of the Turakin Adamawa told the Nigerian Tribune that the Nigerian constitution guarantees the right to vote and be voted for to all eligible Nigerians, stating that “in a democracy, you cannot stop anybody from exercising his democratic rights to seek elective office. “The vice president will seek the mandate of Nigerians and they will determine his fate. Through their votes, Nigerians would determine who should be their leaders. Nigeria is not and will not become a Banana Republic in 2007,” the aide said, explaining that if PDP was not available, “countless other platforms are available.

“And on the issue of his remaining as a vice president, I think the constitution is very clear on this. The procedure for removing the vice president or the president is clear. If anybody thinks the vice president has committed any impeachable offences, let him or her proceed to file impeachment charges at the National Assembly,” the aide noted. Nigerian Tribune was told that the rift between the two men (president and vice president) was deepening despite last Friday’s National Executive Committee meeting. Meanwhile, no fewer than 62 supporters of Vice President Atiku were arrested in Abuja at the weekend.

Nigerian Tribune Newsupdated: 12 Sept 2005

2007: S’East govs abandon agitation for Presidency


THERE are indications of confusion among the major stakeholders in the South-east over the clamour for the Igbo to produce the next president for the country in 2007.

Findings by Sunday Punch showed that virtually all the five governors from the zone may have abandoned their agitation on the matter because of uncertainty surrounding the zoning policy of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The obvious lack of unity and an unwillingness of the main political gladiators to pursue their presidential ambition on the platform of any other party, have reportedly forced the governors to abandon their agitation for the presidency.

Sources close to South-East Governors’ Forum told Sunday Punch that the governors might have given up hope that the zone would produce the next president for the country, and had decided to each pursue their individual ambitions.

“I can tell you authoritatively that the governors have jettisoned their clamour for the presidency in 2007.There is no any meeting going on in that regard. There is no obvious intention on their part to insist on the South-east producing the next president,” a source said.

He disclosed that the 2007 presidency no longer featured on the agenda of the governors’ forum, except for the purpose of “playing to the gallery”.

The reasons advanced for the governors’ volte face on the issue include the zoning arrangement of their party, the PDP, which is likely to zone its presidential ticket to the North for 2007.

“The governors are all PDP governors, and their party has zoned the 2007 presidency to the North. Even if they say they want to pull out of PDP, they have also reasoned that no other party is as popular as the PDP in the zone and other parts of the country. So, they have decided to go along with the PDP, even if it means sacrificing the 2007 presidency, “ another source explained.

He said it was because of this “reason that some of the governors have decided to keep their presidential ambition to themselves, instead of seeking to “turn the tables” and heat up the polity.

“Only Governor Oji Uzor Kalu of Abia State, perhaps, because of youthful exuberance, has insisted on carrying on with his presidential campaign, against the party arrangement. Most people here even think that he is actually positioning himself for a vice-presidential slot”, the source added

The apex Igbo socio-culturally organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, which had consistently insisted on the 2007 presidency, may have also taken a cue from the governors.

The issue of the 2007 presidency is no longer on the agenda of its meetings, but now only an issue addressed when reporters ask questions after any of its meetings.

During the last joint meeting of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the governors forum summoned by the president of the senate, Chief Ken Nnamani, at Ebony State capital, Abakaliki in June 2005, the 2007 presidency did not feature in their deliberations.

The President-General of Ohanaeze, Prof. Joe Irukwu, could not make any categorical statement on the 2007 presidency when reporters asked him, and had to be rescued by the host governor, Dr. Sam Egwu, who gave the press what they wanted to hear by saying, “We are still interested in the 2007 presidency and we insist that the next president should come from the Southeast.”

However, the Igbo elite, some of who have expressed disappointment at the governors’ attitude to the aspiration of Ndigbo, has evolved an alternative platform called the Southeast Political Leaders Forum, to sustain the agitation.

One of the founders and Second Republic Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Edwin Ume-Ezeoke told Sunday Punch that his group was determined to realise the Igbo presidency project in 2007.

“We know that the governors are not doing much because of the policy of their party, but I can assure you that we are determined to have the presidency in 2007.We’re going to start holding meetings very soon on the matter. In fact we are going to have meetings with the governors. I ‘m already discussing the issue with some of them who are my friends”, Chief Umezuike said.

Other members of the forum, which cuts across party lines include: Senator Uche Chukwumerije, Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu, Chief Chekwas Okorie and former minister, Chief John Nwodo.

SUNDAY PUNCH, September 11, 2005




Nigerians are becoming poorer and poorer over the years let me say that this administration by its action and policies have turned people to desperate human beings..."

Owei Lakemfa, Head of Information of the NLC., in: "NLC: No Going Back on Protest Rally"  By Chris Nwachukwu in Lagos and Juliana Taiwo in Abuja, 09.08.2005 THISDAY


"The yoke of enslavement of our people must be broken and overthrown together with the looming spectre of another self-succession bid, long before 2007.

"The audacious and illegal spending of tax-payers' money running into several billions of naira by Obasanjo to assemble his chorus boys in Abuja recently, all for the singular purpose of his self-succession, or the elongation of his purloined office, in the pretence of a political reform conference, is yet another trampling under the feet, of the sovereignty of Nigeria

"One only needs to look at the dramats personae now on stage and those already taking up huge bill boards throughout the length and breadth of our vast nation, positioning themselves for 2007 elections, to appreciate your concern for the immediate and long term horrible implications of their self-succession or re-cycling bid.

"The same set of parasitic elements and oppressive characters are still very visible on the country's political space,

"...the despoliation of Nigeria did not start with the Babangida junta but that the junta accentuated it adding that since then, the country had been rapaciously raped by successive impostors and their cronies who forced themselves on the populace and expropriated the national patrimony for their private ends.

"...the truth is that Nigeria at this point in time is far from being a democracy.

--Dr Tunji Braithwaite in "Soyinka, Braithwaite Urge Lawmakers To Probe Graft Charge Against Obasanjo"


"The politician [Dr Tunji Braithwaite] also noted in dismay that despite the country's earning of over $800billion from oil since exploration started in Oloibiri, there was little to show for it in terms of development of infrastracture or enhanced quality of the life of the people"

"It warned that should the National Assembly fail to impeach the president, the Nigerian populace must have to take action to liberate themselves from their impostors and oppressors"

"The forum through its national convener urged all Nigerians to support all legal steps by the civil society to retrieve the sovereignty of Nigerians from the hands of those who plundered the nation".

"Soyinka, Braithwaite Urge Lawmakers To Probe Graft Charge Against Obasanjo"


"Something must be done to this Government before it scuttles our hard-earned democracy. The only feasible action is to sack Obasanjo's government by mass protests - preparatory to the invocation of Section 143 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 by the National Assembly for the removal of President Olusegun Obasanjo from office.

"General Olusegun Obasanjo is a stubborn brute who is totally opposed to Section 14(2)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 which provides: "The security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government". By this latest increase in petroleum product prices, General Olusegun Obasanjo has defied and defiled the Constitution he swore to defend, observe and uphold. If we do not react by mass revolt against General Olusegun Obasanjo's latest move, we would lose our moral authority to oppose his next gamble: third term bid as a monstrous dictator.

"Finally, I consider it insensately unpatriotic for General Olusegun Obasanjo to make Nigerians bleed with groaning pain while the oil companies including the marketers rip us off only for them to unconstitutionally and illegally compensate President Olusegun Obasanjo as they did when they gave him billions of Naira for his Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library; a private project at Abeokuta on Saturday, May 14, 2005 - an event which violated the Code of Conduct for Public Officers in Items I and 6 (1)(2), Part 1of the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and breached Section 46 of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Act as well as Section 8(1), 9(1), 10, 17 and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, Cap. 31, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.


"The need for national revolt" By Gani Fawehinmi
Fawehinmi is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.


"....Another big lesson is, a candidate that is not accepted by his people should not be accepted by other regions by forcing him on others. In 1999, Obasanjo lost in his ward as witten in the paper recently and in 2003 the votes casted for his presidency were cancelled because of "voting magomago" in his State --- charity begins at home.



"...The sad part of the story however is that the man [Obasanjo] thinks he is the only one who can do anything right. No one can rule Nigeria better. In the days of Babangida and Abacha, Obasanjo, in his interviews and public speeches gave the impression that he could manage the economy better, but in retrospect, I do not know whether we can rate him better than them...

"The man [Obasanjo] would not just agree that anybody is better than him and pride and arrogance are really his Achilles heels...

"What the poor people of this country have paid for having Obasanjo in government for six years now are hyper-inflation, hunger, poverty, disease, massive corruption, ineptitude, and utter hopelessness.

"We now pay more for petrol than ever paid before with its attendant effects on the masses.

"The failure and insincerity of his [Obasanjo's] government has been further promoted by the failure of his national conference.

"Up till now, nobody knows where he [Obasanjo] got the money to fund this jamboree [National Political Reform Conference] which ended in disarray.

"Well, because he [Obasanjo] is minister of Petroleum and accountable to nobody, he can choose to do things his own way and nobody is asking questions and even when they are asked, he is not bothered.

"One would have thought that a man as the last lap of his life will make sincere efforts to champion the course of truth, justice and fair-play knowing that he is going to answer for his actions before God but the reverse is the case [with Obasanjo]. The murder of Bola Ige, Chief Dikibo, the Odi killings and many others took place and are still unresolved till now.

"Yet, Obasanjo prides himself hypocritically in promoting the ideals of democracy.

"He [Obasanjo] is truly the king of the jungle for Nigeria is a lawless place and only a lawless man can preside over such a mess that Nigeria has become.

"With an Obasanjo government, it is clear that we are not going forward. Indeed, our reverse gear is working extra hard.

"...this is the time God wants to show him that he is nothing and make him pay a big price for his misdeeds of the past.

"People have been very economical with the truth by saying we need a revolution but only a peaceful revolution. The truth must be told that Nigeria, as it is today can only do with a more radical revolution.

"We are not a united people and may never have a united voice about anything.

"I am not a prophet of doom not a lover of military take over but I do not see anything good on the horizon for now. I think we are creating the room for the military to come back and come back they will.

"Our leaders must listen to the voice of reason which they have refused to do for so long.

"...unless our political elites are taught some bitter and lasting lessons, the political situation in Nigeria will remain a vicious cycle.

"People have got to pay for all these crimes and the looting of our treasury while the hewers of wood and drawers of water in the Niger-Delta and every other section of this country are living in poverty.

"The sheer indiscipline and lack of respect for the opposition within the ruling PDP has not set a good example for the survival of democracy in this country.

"The PDP itself may soon be carried away by a Tsunami of horrendous proportion.

"I hear the President himself was there to dance with his thugs who are the so-called party [PDP] chiefs.

"It is a pity we are ruled by a whole set of indecent people who are not in any way positive role models for our youths.

"The present state of affairs cannot continue because Nigerians are suffocated economically, politically and morally.

"There is simply no light at the end of the tunnel..."


"Third term: Let him dare" By Emmanuel Ogundele.  The Guardian, September 7 2005
Fr. Ogundele is Head, Department of Philosophy, Ss. Peter and Paul Seminary, Ibadan.




"THE tide of his anti-corruption crusade, a key plank of his reforms agenda, may be turning thick and fast against President Olusegun Obasanjo, as a flurry of allegation of corruption continue to sail around his person and his presidency....

"In an exclusive interview with Sunday Champion yesterday, Chief Fawehinmi (SAN) alleged that "President Obasanjo has committed so many corrupt offences ranging from funds raised to finance his re-election in 2003 and contracts awarded to many businessmen in and outside the country."...

"The fiery lawyer [Chief Fawehinmi] added: "President Obasanjo has a lot to hide and doesn’t want to be exposed." Chairman of EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu had last Friday said that the commission, together with ICPC would start probe of the President, his aides and the leadership of the Senate over alleged corruption....

"According to Ribadu, in acknowledging Governor Kalu’s petition, nobody irrespective of his position was above the law of the land...

"But in his charges against the President, Chief Fawehinmi said he had reservations that the EFCC and ICPC would be given free hand to do a thorough investigation. "I doubt if the President will allow them do that, because he knows deep inside him how corrupt he (Obasanjo) is, and this is what I have been saying for a long time now"...."

"Fawehinmi, Rimi hit Obasanjo": DAN ONWUKWE, Lagos & MUHAMMAD KABIR, Kano
Daily Champion Monday, September 05 2005


Editorial   / Opinion

The Guardian

Monday, September 05, 2005

A Contraption Of Lies And Deceits
By Kunle Sanyaolu

"IT surprised me that the legacy I left behind has been rubbished. I laid a solid foundation before I left Nigeria." That is Clemens Westerhof, the Dutch coach who took Nigeria's senior football team, the Super Eagles, to its first outing at the World Cup, way back in 1994, United States of America. He added: "There is no excuse for a country like Nigeria with abundance of talents, to struggle with qualification in any football event be it world or nations cup." As he examines the precarious fate of Nigeria among African countries bidding for Germany 2006, Westerhof has every reason to be sad. He couldn't understand why a country like Togo that has been poaching players from Nigeria is on the verge of qualifying for the mundial, while Nigeria is now banking on a miracle as the only means to take it to Germany. Without doubt, the Westerhof years have so far proved to be the best for Nigerian soccer. The years produced great names who, even years after retiring, continue to ring exciting bell in the circle. They include names such as Rashidi Yekinni, Stephen Keshi, Daniel Amokachi, Samson Siasia, Emmanuel Amuneke and of course, Austin "Jay Jay" Okocha who, 11 years after Westerhof discovered him, remains the bedrock of the Super Eagles. In 1994, Nigeria's outing in the World Cup was good, definitely not a write off. We have seen now after two more World Cup competitions, France '98 and Japan - Korea 2002), that that debut outing is the best. Since then, the country has been sliding backward.

As it is in football so it is in other spheres of life. Helsinki 2005 proved that we are not faring any better in athletics. If we are sliding back in sports in arithmetical proportion, I have no doubt that we are sliding back in other areas: politics, economy and social life, in geometrical proportion. News around us, including those we see and hear as well as those we read in newspapers is so disheartening that I think we really should reopen the debate about the national question. It is easy for us to say that many developed nations went through our experience, learned and came out stronger. Whether the experience of those countries can be likened to Nigeria's is quite another matter. When developed countries like Britain and America fought wars, their pattern of development was clear. Their target, after the war, was also clear. And the methodology of achieving that purpose was discernible. It is not surprising that after years and decades of such purposeful existence, the developed countries arrived at their advanced stage. They have since sustained their leadership progress and growth at the world level in several spheres. On its part, Nigeria has fought a war and went through several crises, including June 12, 1993. It seems to me that after every crisis, we have somehow managed to assuage our immediate temperament without necessarily addressing the crux of our disagreement. Many of us, particularly the so-called leaders in government and the politicians, dread to even talk about the crux of our problems. They fear that starting a discussion of the fundamental issues may cause further divisions. This they cannot contemplate because they thrive on the country as presently constituted. They are experts at hunting with the cheetah and running with the hares, just so that they can eat from the two corners of their mouth.

The citizens in focus know the full import of their deeds. They have no remorse that their deceits and contraption will lead the country nowhere. They have no qualm as they watch the country take a step forward and then four steps backward. Each time there was a step forward, as when everyone agreed that power must shift to the South West (1999), or when we eventually joined the league of GSM users, this set of Nigerian would hail the country and the government at hand. The hailing would be loud and clear, to suggest to the unwary that the country has recorded no mean achievement, nay the first of its kind in the world and thanks to government. More often than not, the brandished achievements turn out to be largely hoaxes. It is like giving with one hand and taking double with the other hand. Currently, the Nigerian debt pardon issue from the Paris Club is an example of the deceit and contraption called Nigeria. What our leaders and politicians acclaim to be an unsurpassable achievement is blowing up right in their face. All of a sudden, we know that it is a trap to further enslave the country financially. Trust the Nigeria leaders. They can rationalise, explain things and philosophise to the effect that it is wrong for us to expect to win every time. If anything patently retrogressive happened, we say that it is an exception that should not discourage us. But our leaders have already lost hope and confidence in Nigeria. They preach Nigeria all right, but they practice something else. They use Nigeria largely to make money, legitimately and otherwise. Then they use the money to sustain their families in countries they know are safer. At the slightest sign of instability in this country, our people are already on the plane abroad, heading for sanctuary.

I don't know how long Nigeria can go as a contraption of dishonesty, greed, lies, distortion and often, evil. The general principle is that the good always catches up with the bad and that the truth shall prevail. That principle appears to be an exception in this country. Evil has triumphed over good much more than otherwise, with a resultant hunger, poverty, disease, Ignorance, despair and stupendous crime all over the land. No one from a sane community can read Nigerian newspapers for three days consecutively without losing appetite for food or becoming disenchanted with life itself. When you think one story is gory, wait for the next story in the next page. It is more loathsome, more ungodly. There is so much cheating in the land. People are using their ill-gotten wealth and political connections to commit heinous crime and unprecedented atrocities. Everybody has his price in all tiers and arms of government to pervert justice and perpetuate greed and evil. The other time, President Olusegun Obasanjo said there is corruption in the judiciary. He might have been talking about the uppermost section of the judiciary. Of course the statement is not altogether news. Judges of the courts of superior records had been sacked before on account of corruption. At the same time, people do not mind to destroy other people's character and reputation, again unjustly, and for selfish reasons. Many judges are clean in all the benches. But they seem powerless against the corruption endemic in the institution as a whole and which they see regularly among their colleagues. Yet they can hardly complain. Over the years, the executive arm of government has failed us. This was manifest in the days of Babangida and Abacha. Unfortunately, Obasanjo has been unable to stop the rot or to recover the lost confidence in the executive. Rather, the government has characterised itself as a pioneer of false reforms, so long as it can realise money to pursue selfish political agenda, without minding the increasing poverty such reforms are visiting on the masses.

It cannot be sufficient for the President to simply say he cares about the plight of average Nigerians when his deeds and actions suggest the opposite. The President set up a committee headed by Senator Ibrahim Mantu to proffer ways of ameliorating the suffering of the ordinary citizens occasioned by vagaries in the prices of petroleum products. The President failed to implement recommendations of the panel but went ahead to impose higher prices, and consequently greater suffering on Nigerians. He should know that the peace in the country is that of the graveyard, very ominous. In a few weeks' time, the peace is certain to be disrupted when the effects of the new price regime starts biting on other goods and services needed by the populace. Yet, the country is blessed with huge resources, both tapped and untapped. Given the kind of budget we have been operating by this government and also, given the amount of money that we know is being shared by top government personnel under one guise or the other, Nigerians do not deserve the punishment they are going through now. There is a clear failure of government at all levels beginning from the presidency and through the councils. None is pursuing public agenda but private interest. The level of unemployment and joblessness is high. Why are we complaining of high crime rate? The youths have to do something. In most cases however, the criminals are venting their anger and frustration on the society. They know the opulence under which some Nigerians are living. In their present state, they have no hope of working legitimately, or even securing any job, that can take them to half the height they dream for themselves. They then take to crime.

What is the solution? Your guess is as good as mine. I do believe we need a complete change of orientation, which we are unlikely to get with the old crop of personnel around. Nigeria is unwieldy as presently constituted. Where the President wields the kind of power and influence of Obasanjo, struggle for power is likely to be violent. Ditto for the governors. Our leaders at the national level have always spoken against disintegrating the country. Obviously, there is strength in number. But the strength is grossly lacking in balance and proportion. The president has lost opportunity to redress the imbalance through the political conference. Reports of the conference, which gulped more than a billion naira, are inconclusive and controversial. Even then, the government has no idea what it wants to do with it. And the National Assembly, which has always been averse to the idea, is not ready to touch the report with a 10-foot pole. It seems there is no way to move forward. We keep deluding ourselves. The police are not as interested in fighting crime as they are of lining up their pockets. One likely thing is that neither Nigeria nor the Police can change drastically for the better, in their present circumstances. We are likely to be going round a vicious cycle, until it dawns on the powers that be that this is a nation of contraption.

© 2003 - 2005 @ Guardian Newspapers Limited (All Rights Reserved).



"Why Nigerians Disrespect Ndigbo--Nnamani"
Nnamani has got it wrong--predictably!
Nigerians loathe Ndigbo--that's a given, and another matter altogether. But also, Nigerians do in fact disrespect Ndigbo, and that is precisely because of the this type of actions by the likes of Nnamani and the attendants to this so-called "South East Stakeholders Summit," and such organizations as Ohaneze, Ohaneze Youth Wing, and WIC.
Look at what is happening now. 16 Igbos were slaughtered in the most despicable display of racism, genocide, massacre, and persecution against the Igbo, and the most unfathomable display of brazenness, arrogance, and "in-your-face-what-can-you-do-about-it?" by the Nigeria police, right there in Abuja for all to witness, who committed the crime on behalf of Obasanjo and Nigeria. Rather than the South East so-called Stakeholders talking about this, being that it is a consistent story and pattern, they are talking about banking! Shame! Shame! Shame! What is this other "stake" they are holding, anyway, that is more important than the most important issue to the entire world today, respect for human life, and abhorrence of racism, persecution and genocide against their own people? I, too, have more than disrespect for this class of so-called Ndigbo, and it is more than well-deserved: I have lost any and all respect for such. I would not even patronize their idiocy by reminding them that most of the money in most of those banks of their "stake" issue, is owned by the Igbo, any way.
Elsewhere, Obasanjo and Nigeria are busy violating the civil rights of Igbo people and Biafrans all over, but most notably in Biafraland, which has been turned into an armed-occupied territory where the people are under constant armed police and military harassment, murder and extortion. Obasanjo, PDP and Nigeria won't even obey court orders as they relate to the on-going Anambra crisis engineered, precipitated, stoked and executed by Obasanjo himself or his proxy. Yet, the Igbo "Stakeholders" are talking of other "stakes."
Remember the faltering so-called National Political Reform Conference (NPRC)? The Delta people stand on principles and demand what is rightly due them, calling Nigeria's parasitism and exploitation of Delta people's natural resources. Who would fail to respect the Delta today? I duff my hat to them! Even the arch-parasites, the North, now completely have a new and healthy dose of respect for the Delta. All the North has been doing is fighting tooth and nail (now, they do have to fight, having previously, in unwarranted arrogance and using intimidation, assumed that they were born to [mis]rule and rape and suck Nigeria dry!) for the interest of Northern Nigerians. Gone is the pretense that the Delta are their natural allies or even brothers--a hypocrisy played up even up to last week, before the Delta wizened up. In a twisted way, one can still show some respect for the North's stance, perverted and selfishly tilted in their balance, though it may be--it is. The Yoruba played their own game: nothing to lose, but do stand to gain whichever way it goes (for now), holding the trump card to play at the right time in order to protect the Yoruba ethnic nation's interests, no matter who else gets hurt (and, historically, it's the Igbo who will get hurt.) Here again, one can respect the Yoruba for their sophistication.
Compare that to the Igbo delegates led by Irukwu, one of the Stakeholders, whose instruction right from the beginning is to forget any Igbo interests, but to focus exclusively on one-Nigeria's interests, all the way. So, while other groups carve out what is good for each of them, the Igbo give away everything in compromise, without as much as a whimper; the Igbo even fail to bring up obvious issues impacting negatively on the Igbo, all so that they won't upset the unity of Nigeria (an oxymoron). Even when the presidency smuggled in a constitutional draft specifically targeting Igbo language and removing it from the list of official Nigerian languages, these delegates and their leader sat there, saying nothing, and doing nothing. Oh, they did ask for a low-risk, low-controversy thing, but that did not stop the provocation of the expression of the same disrespect which we are talking about, a collective insult to Igbo people, from the Northerners employing true-to-type ignoramus' arguments. An extra Igbo State? Sure: NPRC will not bother to oppose that because only fools do not know:  the first thing Obasanjo will do when he gets the report will be to erase such a recommendation, and he will do it with punishing public fanfare in order to continue the insult to the Igbo. And even then, the Igbo delegates and their leader and "stakeholders" will find a way to defend Obasanjo's action. Now, tell me: who, in their right mind, would fail to show disdain, disgust and disrespect for the Igbo typified by this bunch?
So, you see why Nnamani and his ilk of efulefu got it all wrong? God help them: because, the burden of their misdeeds and their consequences to Igbo people will certainly judge them when we get into Biafra. That time is well at hand. Biafra will deal effectively with the loathe and disrespect harbored and practiced by Nigeria against the Igbo.
Biafra is the answer.
Oguchi Nkwocha
Nwa Biafra
A Biafran Citizen.



Subject: Why Nigerians Disrespect Ndigbo Nnamani


Why Nigerians Disrespect Ndigbo – Nnamani

From Chinedu Eze in Abakaliki, 06.25.2005

Senate President, Chief Ken Nnamani, yesterday in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, said the poor presence of the people of the South-east in the real sectors
of the nation's economy was one of the reasons why the rest of Nigerians had qualified respect for Ndigbo.
Speaking at the opening session of South East Stakeholders Summit which was held in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital yesterday, Nnamani said that the Igbos have lost their grip in the political foothold of Nigeria and they were now losing their dominance in the marketing sector of the nation’s economy due to lack of unity of purpose.
“You cannot talk about economic growth without having footprint in the banking industry. The South West has eight banks among the recapitalized banks; the South South has four banks that have recapitalized, while Bank of the North has been recapitalized by the Northern governors. They are establishing Islamic Bank and will receive a waiver from CBN,” the Senate President said.
N! namani who said that the objective of the meeting was for the  
Igbo leaders to deliberate on their unity and economic empowerment in Nigeria, regretted that out of 18 banks that have recapitalized in the country and which has been approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) non is predominantly owned by the Igbos.
The Senate President frowned at the lack of agreement among the South East governors whom he said were yet to come together to fight for the cause of Igbos in spite of the fact that the zone have the least number of states in the federation.
He disclosed that the governors of northern states met and agreed to recapitalize the Bank of the North, which has met the criteria of CBN, remarking that the governors went further to establish another bank called Islamic Bank and were able to secure for the bank, CBN’s waiver that would free it from raising N25 billion capitalization fund.
He said that the South East governors can recapitalize a bank that! has predominantly Igbo interest, noting that for the Igbos to make th emselves relevant in Nigeria they have to be united and create opportunity for regular meetings, saying that without such meetings where stakeholders would articulate ideas and unanimously agree on them, the zone cannot make progress.
In an address, the host governor, Dr Sam Egwu, said that the summit would provide Igbos a veritable platform for communal re-union “to rub minds on contending issues that affect us as a people at this critical juncture in the nation’s socio-political evolution.”
Egwu regretted that the Igbos have not been fully integrated into the mainstream of Nigeria’s socio-political calculation, saying that it is the duty of the leaders of the zone to zealously and relentlessly pursue a corporate agenda of Igbo demarginalization within the context of the Nigeria Federation.
He reiterated the call for Nigeria’s president from Igbo extraction in 2007, remarking that apart from the fact that the principles of equity and natural justice support this ca! use, the fruition of the aspiration would go along way in strengthening the ideals of political accommodation and national unity within a six-zone rotational framework.
“I invite all of us to be steadfast in the struggle to enthrone a society where merit and social justice hold sway. That is why our aspiration to produce a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction in 2007 must be sustained and impassioned. Apart from the fact that the principles of equity and natural justice support this cause, I also believe that the fruition of this aspiration will go a long way in strengthening the ideals of political accommodation and national unity within a six-zone rotational framework,” Egwu said.
He also called for all Igbos to support and continue to partner with President Olusegun Obasanjo in his efforts to further the frontiers of structural reforms and national stability.
The summit was attended by top Igbo politicians and business magnets including Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyan-! wu, Senator Uche Chukwumerije, Chief Nnia Nwodo, Professor Joe Irukwu, the President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo and many others who thronged the Women Development Centre, the venue where Ebonyi state welcomed the Senate President before reconvening at the banquet hall of the Governor’s Lodge, where the summit took place.



Abuja Killings: Tears as Photographer Gives Evidence

From Funmi Peter-Omale in Abuja, 06.25.2005

The spectators at the disbanded Mike Okiro Administrative panel were shocked and moved to tears when a witness gave an evidence of how he was called in the early hours of June 8 to take the pictures of the five of the victims of the extra judicial killing by some Policemen.
Counsel to the victims' families, Amobi Nzelu called to witness a 32 year old photographer Chukwudi Chukwu who said he was called on his mobile phone around 3.30 am by one PC "Comrade" who escorted him to the Garki Police station where he met Deputy Commissioner of Police Danjuma Ibrahim, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) Abdulsalam Othman and two other policemen he can not remember their names but would possibly identify them if he sees them.
"I have been working for the Police for over seven years. First at 3.30am, I snapped three dead boys and then later they came to call me at about 6.30am and I snapped five of them, one small girl and four boys.
They asked me to snap them together but I! also snap each of them separately." according to him, when he was summoned to take the pictures, he was told they were armed robbers adding that he was used to snapping like that for the Police. he further stated that when he noticed that there were no gun shot wounds on the girl though there were blood stains on her body, he had to turn her around to snap the pictures. He also said it was like the girl was still alive as at the time they called him to take the pictures.
At this stage, there were shouts in the spectators as some women joined the mother of the deceased girl to weep openly.

The photographer revealed that he had to use his initiative to keep negatives of the pictures having noticed that he knew one of the boys as well as the fact that he had had problems with the Police over pictures he had taken sometime ago.
He also gave evidence that the remains of the victims were bundled into a Police van (with no number) in his presence and they said they were taking their bodies to the mortuary.
Chukwu also revealed that a member of the Ambush Squad, Anthony Idah that allegedly died last Sunday was with him on Saturday and there was nothing wrong with him. He swore that he was also called by the Police to go and snap his picture at Garki mortuary.
"I was surprised when I was called to come and take some pictures only for me to discover that it was that of Anthony Idah. I was with him on Saturday and there
was nothing wrong with him.
In his evidence, he affirmed that the DPO Othman had called him to his office and told him that he should ! not worry that no one would call him before the panel and that the Police will give him protection.
Before the commencement of the sitting, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Sunday Ehindero had paid an unscheduled visit to the venue and spoke with family
members and spectators.
According to, he had to come because he had been briefed about the proceedings and needed to see things for himself. He appealed to the people to be calm and
allow the Police to do their work.
He announced the interdiction of Othman, Zakariya and Audu. Nothing was said about Danjuma Ibrahim who has been fingered to be the alleged brain behind the
He also barred journalists from covering the sitting of the now disbanded panel.
In an interview with newsmen later, Chukwu revealed that he had been receiving telephone threats from unknown people saying his life was at risk but that he had to satisfy his conscience that was why he came out to give evidence.
Imm! ediately after the sitting, the witness was whisked to an unknown dest ination as there were fears that he could also suffer the same fate that befell Private Anthony Idah.


South-South and the Nigeria project

Our rulers must come to terms with the reality that something fundamental is wrong with the nation’s federal structure. It is not the secret meetings held with PDP governors from the South-South by President Obasanjo that would solve this problem if further short changing of South-South people is not stopped.  The bait of 17 per cent thrown by the government might not bring an end to the matter. The issue at stake is not something that could be waved aside as a party affair...

Whoever is against a proper restructuring of Nigeria must understand that undue obstinacy will only move the nation closer to the conclusion in  the United States intelligence report. Nigeria can only remain one on its people’s terms. Not that of greedy leaders. There can be no Nigeria  and Nigerians except issues creating injustice within the  federation are addressed....

The error in the federation called Nigeria by virture of the forced 1914 amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates by the British for administrative convenience could become a mistake if the opportunity presented by this conference to resolve knotty national issues is allowed to elude the nation by our ruling elites. What is unfortunate about the current non-challant and nothing-can-happen attitude of the federation’s ruling elites is that by the time the error turns to a mistake,  it may be too late to rescue the Nigerian project. The reality of the Nigerian situation is that genuine and agreeable restructuring is inevitable...

Apart from the twenty-five per cent derivation formula demand by the South-South delegates at the confab, there is the lop-sided number of states and local government councils in favour of the northern part of the country; That  is one defect of the  federation...

The current ruling elites in the nation must not allow things to further degenerate  because “it takes less time to do a thing right than it does to explain why you did it wrong,” according to Henry Wadsworth Long Fellow. It will be a belaboured explanation for any leader to tell  the world why the Nigerian nation failed when such a leader had the opportunity of salvaging the situation when in power...

Walter Lippman sums it up when he said “The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on.” The way it is in the past and today, Obasanjo could not be said to have left  in other Nigerians, especially those from the Southern part of the nation, the conviction and the will to carry on....

South-South and the Nigeria project Vanguard Friday, June 24, 2005 Personal View by Mobolaji Sanusi

Executive Lawlessness as recipe for Instability

What does a beneficiary of a judgment delivered by the apex court in the land do when the executive arm of government refuses to abide by the judgment and carry out the orders given by the court in the judgment? Does he resign himself to fate and leave everything to God the ultimate Judge? Or will he be justified to take laws into his hands since the other party has chosen to snub the judgment of the highest court in the country?...

In the lead judgment delivered by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Muhammed Lawal Uwais on December 10 2004, the Supreme Court declared among others that it is unlawful and contrary to the provisions of the constitution for the Federal Government to suspend or withhold for any period whatsoever the statutory allocation in respect of the old 20 Local Government Councils as he has no power to do so under the constitution.

The court then went ahead to make a consequential order compelling the Federal Government to pay immediately all outstanding statutory allocation due to these 20 Local Government Councils as well as an order of perpetual injunction restraining the President or any functionaries or agencies of the executive from withholding the monies. The court summed up the judgment saying, “the plaintiff’s (Lagos State Government) action succeeds, all the reliefs sought are granted but applicable only to the 20 Local Government Areas specified in part 1 of the First Schedule to the constitution. The counter claim by the defendant succeeds in part.”

President Obasanjo has however refused to give effect to the judgment of the Supreme Court arguing that the names of the old 20 Local Government Councils in Lagos State who are entitled to allocation from the Federation Account have been altered and as such they no longer exist. He insists that unless and until the state reverts to the old 20 Local Government Councils there will be no allocation to any Local Government Areas in Lagos State. Governor Bola Tinubu of Lagos State on his own part is contending that reverting to the old councils amounts to going contrary to the Supreme Court judgment which affirmed the power of the state government to create the additional 37 Local Government Councils and as such it is beyond him to do.

...“flagrant disobedience to court order by the Executive arm of government was more entrenched under a military dictatorship. But in a democratic dispensation, it is an aberration, except for the likes of President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. However, in view of latest developments in Nigeria, particularly with the utter disobedience to various court orders from Awka to Enugu to Abuja, it is obvious that we have a variant of Mugabe on our hands particularly the flagrant disobedience to the order of the Supreme Court that the seized local government allocation of Lagos State be released immediately.”

Going down memory lane, Mr Akinnola cited instances under the military regimes where the authorities disobeyed the orders of court and the attitude of some judges to such denigration of the judiciary. He also gave a diary of government disobedience to court orders under the present political dispensation. These include: refusal of government to re-instate the security details of Governor Chris Ngige of Anambra State despite Appeal Court order; refusal of the Nigerian Army to re-instate dismissed ECOMOG soldiers despite Court of Appeal order; refusal of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to obey the decision of an Awka High Court, nullifying the purported expulsion of Governor Chris Ngige of Anambra State from PDP and the refusal of the Federal Government to give effect to the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of AG Lagos State V AG of the Federation and 35 others in respect of environmental and urban planning in the state. Mr Akinnola submitted that the refusal of the Obasanjo-led Federal Government to release Lagos State local government councils allocation in obedience to the order of the Supreme Court is “a collective assault on the psyche of Nigerians and this has to be resisted.”...

Thus it is obvious that like the Bourbons of old, the current operators of the political system would seem to have learnt and forgotten nothing. However, if they do not wish to suffer the same fate as that of the ancien regime, they are better advised to retrace their steps from utter contempt and disregard for the rule of law and the tenets of liberal democracy. Executive lawlessness has no place under elected, constitutional government and the earlier this is grasped by all concerned, the better for the health of the republic.”...

Summarising his lecture, Professor Oyebode submitted that “the happenings on the political front since the country’s return to civil rule have not provided cause for cheer regarding the future democracy in Nigeria. It seems the various factions and fractions of the ruling class are yet to imbibe the democratic ethos. Thus far the country seems to have been attempting to run a democratic set-up without fully committed democrats.

There are increasing signs of a reverse to the irreverent and unacceptable habits of unelected, praetorian rule characterised by executive lawlessness.”

Executive Lawlessness as recipe for Instability Vanguard By Kayode Matthew Posted to the Web: Friday, June 24, 2005

Revolt of the South-South

....The first is that oil is the curse of Nigeria...

... As the sale of crude oil brought enormous resources, and easy money, with our excess crude earnings now about N1.15 trillion, the country became indolent. Government officials looted the oil money, and awarded oil blocks and other facilities to themselves, their agents and friends. States and regions which were established as centres of economic activity prior to 1969 became rent-collection units. The Federal Government collected oil revenue, and states went to Abuja to collect their share….

...The bitter, second lesson, is that this easy money did not translate into development, rather it encouraged greed, and a desperation for the control of the Federal Government, and its increasing powers. In practical terms, every other economic resource in the country was abandoned: the Western region which had been sustained by cocoa, and other resources and 50 per cent derivation suddenly stopped being creative; the North abandoned its groundnut pyramids, its hides and skin, the Middle Belt closed down its tin mines, ignored its reserves of uranium, and in the East, the coal mines, home of about the finest grade of coal in the world, were left to grow into bushes. Farmers across the country deserted the villages, everyone wanted to be in the city to share out of oil money. Oil had become gold, and it was proudly referred to as the national cake….

...If the oil resources had been distributed on a just and equitable basis, perhaps there would have been no problem. But while the rest of the country lived in open affluence, spending the proceeds of oil exploration, the people of the Niger Delta whose soil and waters produce the oil wealth which accounts for 95 per cent of Nigeria's contemporary resource base, wallowed in abject poverty. The Niger Delta is not just an endangered region, since the days of the Royal Niger Company, its people have grown from poverty to poverty; and throughout this history, they have resisted this marginalisation, this injustice: it is the refusal to listen to them that has now radicalised the entire region fully and irretrievably…

...For over 40 years, the Nigerian state has refused to address the key question of nationhood, and transform itself properly into a nation-state with a shared consensus on its identity and future. An invidious kind of conspiracy has sustained Nigeria as a country of many nations, surrounded by the explosives of political, economic and social differences...

...And again, in 2001, rather than address the defects in the 1999 Constitution, inherited from the military, the Obasanjo government had tried to re-invent the Petroleum Decree of 1969, which the Babangida administration had abrogated, by re-introducing the onshore-offshore dichotomy in determining the allocation of oil and gas revenue...

...The first lesson to be extracted from this- the walk-out by South-South delegates, the refusal of Northern delegates to give the South-South free scope for its demands, and the adjournment of the Conference - is that there is no way Nigeria can run away from its own national questions. Even if the Conference is aborted, the issue would come up another day, for it is about POWER and RESOURCES and ultimately the survival of the Nigerian state....

...It is curious that there is so much furore over derivation; for before 1969, this was not the case. Section 34 (I) of the 1960 Constitution as well as Section 140 (I) of the 1963 Republican Constitution provided 50 per cent derivation. The civil war changed this, and by 1969 with the Petroleum Decree of that year introduced by the Gowon government, the Federal Government discarded the revenue formula that had been agreed by the regions and the federal government in 1954. The Gowon government introduced this decree to establish full federal control over the oil resources; it was the prize that the Nigerian government awarded itself for winning the civil war...

...Successive governments found it convenient to hold on to this power over resources, and the unitary state that had emerged. As the sale of crude oil brought enormous resources, and easy money, with our excess crude earnings now about N1.15 trillion, the country became indolent. Government officials looted the oil money, and awarded oil blocks and other facilities to themselves, their agents and friends. States and regions which were established as centres of economic activity prior to 1969 became rent-collection units. The Federal Government collected oil revenue, and states went to Abuja to collect their share....

...The bitter, second lesson, is that this easy money did not translate into development, rather it encouraged greed, and a desperation for the control of the Federal Government, and its increasing powers. In practical terms, every other economic resource in the country was abandoned: the Western region which had been sustained by cocoa, and other resources and 50 per cent derivation suddenly stopped being creative; the North abandoned its groundnut pyramids, its hides and skin, the Middle Belt closed down its tin mines, ignored its reserves of uranium, and in the East, the coal mines, home of about the finest grade of coal in the world, were left to grow into bushes. Farmers across the country deserted the villages, everyone wanted to be in the city to share out of oil money. Oil had become gold, and it was proudly referred to as the national cake...

If the oil resources had been distributed on a just and equitable basis, perhaps there would have been no problem. But while the rest of the country lived in open affluence, spending the proceeds of oil exploration, the people of the Niger Delta whose soil and waters produce the oil wealth which accounts for 95 per cent of Nigeria's contemporary resource base, wallowed in abject poverty. The Niger Delta is not just an endangered region, since the days of the Royal Niger Company, its people have grown from poverty to poverty; and throughout this history, they have resisted this marginalisation, this injustice: it is the refusal to listen to them that has now radicalised the entire region fully and irretrievably.

The people have turned their anger on oil companies, and the Nigerian state, and they have produced heroes of their own struggle in the process. Every Nigerian government tries to resolve the issue through legalism or the introduction of development projects that are in the real sense anti-development in orientation and execution, or at best no more than mere tokenisms. But the solution is political. It is so to the extent that it is about federalism; and the creation of a Nigerian state in which every Nigerian can be a shareholder, and a contributor, not a parasite, or rent-collector...

The only solution is for Nigeria to return to its pre-1969 position on revenue allocation, whereby every state shall be entitled to 50 per cent derivation. The victorious argument cannot be that of the lazy parasite, or the venal rent-collector such as is being articulated by the political North, or as previously disingenuously argued in Bala Usman's pamphlet, The Misrepresentation of Nigeria in which he argues that the North should be entitled to 60 per cent of oil revenue because the oil and gas resources in the Niger Delta were formed by deposits that flowed from the North. Nothing can be more simple-minded, and it is clear that the people of the South-South would never be persuaded by this brand of unscientific politics, which sadly has many adherents in the North.

The principle of resource control is not for the South-South alone; it is in fact meant to benefit the whole of Nigeria. Which is why it needs not become a South-South vs North affair, although the truth is that it is the present status quo that has sustained Northern feudalism. If states control their resources, then the Federal Government would become weaker, Abuja would become less attractive and there would be a greater emphasis on productivity and development as each state would have to start thinking more creatively about how to manage its own resources. The impasse is also not about oil alone: other related issues that would need to be re-examined and resolved include the nature and future of the Nigerian state, the collection and management of the Value Added Tax, the Land Use Act and Constitutional Review.

Whatever happens, we can only either address these problems once and for all, in keeping with the democratic spirit, or risk the infernal danger of eternal repetitiveness or postpone the evil day. Resource control is both the way to the past, and the way forward for Nigeria: we can only ignore it, over-politicise it, or force the wrong issues, at our own peril. The radical youths of the Niger Delta, those "children of Ken Saro-Wiwa" in the creeks and the oil producing communities are the ones who hold the key to that evil day not the politicians and their dubious rhetoric...

Revolt of the South-South Guardian Friday June 24 2005 Editorial By Reuben Abati


Biafran flag, currency flood Calabar

Sunday Independent June 12 2005

Bassey Inyang



   The flag and currency notes of the defunct Republic of Biafra have surfaced in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.

At different sections of the town, the flags could be seen hanging in strategic corners, especially areas close to public institutions.

Although no arrest has been made as a result of the development, it is generally believed that the emergence of the flag and currencies could be traced to the activities of the Movement for the Survival of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) whose activists have invaded Cross River State with a view to carrying out their pro-Biafra campaign.

Sunday Independent’s investigation revealed that MASSOB has commenced a mass recruitment of members in the state.

In line with the development that has caused serious concern in the state within government and private circles, security agencies have stepped up measures to track down members of MASSOB responsible for the action.

As one of the measures aimed as stopping MASSOB activists in the state, the State Security Services (SSS) last week invited some leaders of the Igbo community in the state for discussion on the issue.

Sources at the meeting, who pleaded anonymity, told Sunday Independent that some of the leaders were quizzed and advised to dissuade their youths from propagating the message of MASSOB in the state.

The sources further disclosed that the leaders were admonished not to engage in any action that could led to the breakdown of law and order in Cross River State, moreso as the state was a tourism destination in Nigeria.

At the weekend, Sunday  Independent still discovered that some of the flags were still displayed in business areas in Calabar metropolis.

Few weeks ago, an activist of MASSOB was jailed in Asaba, the Delta State capital for attempting to hoist the Biafran flag.




A testimony to Igbo marginalisation

[...] Lawal

As a non-indigene who has lived in the East for a long time, I can make an assesment of the disenchantment that pervades the thinking of most Igbo. To say that there is very low federal prescence in the South-East will be an understatement. There is no Federal Government presence in the East, as far as I am concerned. Anyone who wants to prove me wrong can simply travel down and see things for him or herself.

Whereas most roads in other geopolitical zones are awarded to reputable and competent construction companies like Julius Berger, those in the East are awarded to less competent construction companies. And even at that, the roads are never comp! leted, but the contract money is always paid to them in full. Simply put, the roads in the East are death-traps. The second Niger Bridge, which the President had promised the people during his electioneering, has remained just a campaign slogan. Mind you, this is the only structure that links the East to the rest of the country, except, of course, you want to go through Benue State. The bridge right now is under serious pressure and experts say there is a need to relieve it of the excess pressure.

The fact that the Nigerian civil war ended 35 years ago is like a fairy tale to most Easterners. The policemen and soldiers still act as if they are an occupying force in an enemy territory, subjecting the people to their whims and caprices. Policemen here do not collect N20 at checkpoints, but demand thousands of naira especially during festive periods when many of the people will be coming back home.

While Arewa youths in the North, opc in the West, and Niger Del! ta Force in the South-South are allowed to run amok, causing terror, f ear, and death, massob members who are not violent are usually hunted, killed or imprisoned without an option of bail. 54 footballers, spectators and match officials participating in the Uwazurike Cup tournament, were arrested and detained by the police last year. No one, not even journalists, ngos or rights activists ever fought for their fundamental human rights. Yet, Asari Dokubo was given a presidential welcome in Abuja with a N300 million gift to stop his chaos in the creeks of the Niger Delta.

It is only the Senate presidency, which was zoned to the Igbo, that has been targeted for ridicle with the potent weapon of bribery and corruption, as if it is only the Senate that is corrupt. Yet, little or nothing is done about the corrupt practices of our past and present rulers.

While economic policies are directed towards stemming the importation of goods, which is usually dominated by the Igbo, nothing is done about trade in foreign currencies in most maj! or towns and cities in the country. This is a business run by our Northern brothers. But the truth is that this trade has continued to damage the preference for our local currency, the naira, and increase the demand for the dollar, pound and other foreign currencies.

The Igbo must go back to God in prayers. He will surely restore them to their glorious days.

Lawal wrote from [...], Onitsha, Anambra State.

The Punch, Friday June 10, 2005


EFCC forced me to write statement - FUTO VC

THE Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), Professor E. Njoku, on Wednesday appeared before the House committee probing the N55 million bribery scandal rocking the National Assembly, stating that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) made him write a statement under duress.

Njoku, who could not recall the date he was summoned by the EFCC in connection with a petition linking him to a bribery case on the 2005 budget, said also that the EFCC had planned to dictate a statement to him, although he insisted against such bid.

He told the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges that on appearing before the EFCC, “they asked me to make a statement and then they said the statement would be dictated to me but I refused and said no.”

The vice chancellor said “they forced me to sign something and I did,” adding that he complied easily because he was traumatised by the name of EFCC, even right from the point that he was summoned. Njoku told the committee he never offered money to any of the legislators named by President Olusegun Obasanjo to have collected the bribe from him on behalf of the former minister of education.

He expressed surprise at what he called the contradictory reports on the alleged bribery involving the National Assembly members, stating that he only read about the supposed statements allegedly written by him for the EFCC on the pages of newspapers.

Prof. Njoku also claimed that he never knew he was being quizzed based on issues of the 2005 budget, adding that he only got to know about this during the interrogation by the House of Representatives committee.

Njoku also stated that he was not aware of any illegal jacking up of the budget of some universities in the 2005 budget, although the House Committee Chairman on Education, Honourable Garba Matazu, had earlier admitted that the 2005 budget was jacked up to the tune of N150 million, with FUTO as a beneficiary.

The vice-chancellor further denied being ordered by the former minister of education to provide the sum of N25 million to the National Assembly Committee on Education.



Balogun arrested over theft of crude oil, N70b police fund
As he drags FG, EFCC to court

MORE facts have emerged on why the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested the immediate past Inspector General of Police, Mr. Tafa Balogun.

Balogun, according to the EFCC, is suspected to have aided those behind the theft of crude oil and vandalism of oil pipelines. He is also said to have been arrested to account for the N70 billion the government voted for the Nigeria Police in 2004 and the N3 billion Shell Petroleum Development Company paid for law enforcement in 2003 and funds released by other oil companies for the same purpose.

Narrating his experience at the 33rd management training programme organised by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in Abuja, the EFCC chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, said when the commission decided to confront illegal oil bunkering and vandalism of oil pipelines and sought the assistance of the police and the navy, only the navy cooperated with the commission, while Mr. Balogun allegedly became a stumbling block.

“We wanted to work closely with the police and the navy because we did not have the capacity on the ground to arrest these people . We got some cases but the police later decided to call it off. “I visited Balogun for cooperation but he frustrated us in our work, including the fight against vandalism. We wanted them to train our newly recruited staff by using police facilities because I believe we have some of the best people in Nigeria today in the police force, wonderful people that have never been given the opportunity to work for this country.

Ribadu said it was during the visit that he found out that the police headquarters building had no electricity and as the elevator was not functioning, he had to walk from the ground floor to Mr. Balogun’s office on the seventh floor. After the visit, he said, “when I got out of his office, I went to the man in charge of works, a DIG, I asked him how come there is no generator to run the building, he said ‘there is a generator but we have no money to buy diesel’. Meanwhile, I knew he had over N3 billion in his account in one bank in Abuja while he is sitting there and the place he is in charge, he does not have money to run the generator. I said God, I will take up this matter, no matter what happens.”


Yoruba nation wants two zones/regions
By Kanmal Tayo Oropo

THE Yoruba Agenda, a chronicle of demands and ideas of the Yoruba people on national governance to be presented at the ongoing national political reform conference in Abuja, was yesterday presented to a multitude of elders from the South-West geo-political zone in Lagos.

The presentation, held at the Onikan Stadium, Lagos Island was conducted in a dual language fashion. While the renowned jurist Prince Bola Ajibola explained the agenda in English Language, Baba Omojola made the translation into Yoruba Language.

Yoruba leaders who attended the event cut across political parties and groups.

In attendance were Afenifere leaders including Chiefs Rueben Fashoranti, Ayo Fasanmi, Ayo Adebanjo, Olu Falae, Bisi Akande, Mojisoluwa Akinfenwa and Ayo Adebanjo. The Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) was led by its National Chairman, General Adeyinka Adebayo and the council's leader in Kwara State, Senator Sulaiman Salawu.

Others present at the occasion include the National Publicity Secretary of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) Otunba Dayo Adeyeye; national chairman of the National Advanced Party (NAP), Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, the Oodua People's Congress (OPC) founder, Dr. Frederick Fasehun and it's national co-ordinator, Chief Gani Adams.

According to the publication, the aim of the Yoruba political agenda "is to secure considerable autonomy for Yoruba nation within the context of a restructured Nigeria. This would entail the restructuring of the Yoruba political landscape itself.

"Presently, the Yoruba nation occupies Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Osun, Ekiti and parts of Kwara, Kogi, Edo and Delta states. It is our belief that the Yoruba nation located in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti states should be grouped together to form a region or zone. The Yoruba people in Kwara, Kogi, Edo and Delta states should be given the right to decide whether to join the Western region/zone or not," the people demanded.

Other requests of the South-West zone include:

  • institutionalisation of the concept of federalism into the command structure of the armed forces;'
  • regional police;
  • adoption of six functional national capitals, one in each of the six geo-political zones;
  • a federalised judiciary where the composition of the Supreme Court must reflect the zonal structure;
  • practice of true federalism; and
  • secularity of the Nigerian State.

    Ajibola said that there was a general consensus on the Yoruba Agenda and that any Yoruba member of the on-going National Dialogue that said anything contrary to the provisions of the Agenda would have to answer to the people.

    He also declared that it had been discovered that there is nothing in the Yoruba Agenda that is not in tandem with the aspirations of the people of the South-East, the South-South and the North-Central.

    Most of the Yoruba elders commended the recent effort of President Olusegun Obasanjo to fight corruption in the country, but wondered why he left it so late into his administration.

    Falae expressed concern that it took President Obasanjo six years into his administration before taking the serious step.

    "We praise the belated effort of the President. But one must point out that the same thing goes on in states and so, the search-light must also be beamed on them and not only on the Federal Government", he said.

    He also noted that as a former Minister of Finance, even though he served a military government, he never had course to lobby anyone for budgetary approval, describing the Fabian Osuji case as unfortunate.

    But Chief Dayo Adeyeye insisted that the President's anti-corruption crusade is just a ruse meant to satisfy his foreign friends.

    He expressed surprise that six years into the administration only one person has been convicted of corruption under the Obasanjo administration, and wondered what had happened to those that had been indicted in the past.

    Salawu, speaking on the agitation of the Yoruba of Kwara State, said that the splitting of the Yoruba nation into two in Nigeria is a mistake of the powers that be, which must be corrected at the national political conference.

    "The Yoruba of Kwara and Kogi in the present arrangement have always been held in contempt and victimised," he said.

    There were also representatives of Isekiri and Urhobo groups during the presentation, which was adopted by a team of consultants to the Technical Committee, which had as its chairman Dr. Yemi Farounbi. Others members are Kola Awodehin (SAN), Sen. Yinka Omilani, Jimi Agbaje, Olu Maduka, Yinka Odumakin, Femi Otubanjo, Richard Akinjide and Kunle Olajide among others.
    A mild drama, almost ensued when a representative of the Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu, introduced the former Osun State governor, Chief Bisi Akande, as the chairman of the Alliance for Democracy. This was shortly after a show of comradeship, hugging and backslapping, between Akande and Senator Akinfenwa, the factional national chairmen of the party. A few minutes later, Akinfenwa stormed out of the venue even before the formal presentation of the Yoruba Agenda.

    One of the Afenifere leaders played down the seeming ill feeling. He told The Guardian that: "There is no problem. Can't you see the two of them hugging each other? They even sat together. It is you press that sometimes blow this thing out of order". But the factional crisis within the AD may still be far from over, Senator Akinfenwa sounded furious when he accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of being peopled by very corrupt people.

    His words: "It is you younger generation of Nigerians I pity the most. How can a court of law gave a ruling, which was duly served on the INEC not to recognise any of the two contending factions, yet INEC declared its recognition of a particular faction and everyone is just merely looking on".

    He also wondered why people are saying that he is President Obasanjo's surrogate in the AD.
    "Obasanjo is my friend, but if he is truly behind me, would he be watching on while INEC perpetrates the illegality", he queried.

    It was also observed that contrary to usual practice during Yoruba ethnic nationality gatherings where members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) provided security, a new organisation, United Self Determination Platform of Oodua (USDPO) appeared to be in charge.

    According to Gani Adams, there are many associations in Yoruba land and USDPO is just one of the those that emerged from OPC.



Wabara begs: ‘Please don’t disgrace me, “l’ll resign today’
PDP senators demand freedom to pick replacement
•Caucus meeting continues today


Embattled Senate President, Adolphus Wabara yesterday caved in and sought a face-saving formula to resign from his position.

The development was a fall-out of a meeting of the principal suspects in the N55m bribery scandal with members of the PDP National Working Committee, NWC in Abuja yesterday. Though NewAge could not confirm the party’s position it was learnt that the NWC members may have accepted to study Wabara’s plea. According to a national officer, “he agreed to resign as he no longer possesses the moral justification to remain as Senate President.” Our source hinted that the development resulted in the senate president’s lateness to the party’s caucus meeting held moments later at the National Assembly, adding that PDP National Chairman, Senator Ahmadu Ali, alongside “two other top leaders” were at the meeting.

Meanwhile, PDP members of the Senate yesterday called on the Presidency to allo! w them a free hand in the choice of who replaces Wabara .

The PDP Senate caucus meeting continues today after the over two-hour session yesterday, which according to insiders was stormy as lawmakers told the party’s national chairman, Ahmadu Ali that no longer must President Olusegun Obasanjo be allowed to foist leadership on them.

Confirming the development, Senator Dalhatu Tafida told reporters after the meeting that “we told Ali that the President foists leadership on us at all times, but we will no longer take it.” Continuing the lawmakers said, “we have resolved to have our own leadership if there is going to be any election. We are squarely facing the global problem it has caused.” Though Ali told journalists that “we finished amicably” before going into another meeting with members of the House of Representatives, he did not give details of deliberations.

NewAge was told by another Senate source that “there was a consensus in our sweeping critici! sm of President Obasanjo’ broadcast on the matter.”

According t o the source , the presidency prefers a new Senate President from Ebonyi State while “most of us from the South-East want somebody from Enugu.” Earlier yesterday, Senators fingered by the EFCC in the Senate bribery scandal met with top leadership of the party at the PDP national secretariat in Abuja.

Meanwhile, The ANPP said today that it was yet to receive a report from the presidency on the involvement of one of its members in the alleged N55 million bribery scandal. ANPP's national secretary, Malam Sani el-Katuzu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)yesterday in Abuja, that the party had not received any official correspondence from the Presidency on the matter. ``I confirm to you that I have not seen any letter or request on this issue from the Presidency. I had earlier told you that as soon as ANPP received the request we (the party) will act accordingly,'' el-Katuzu said.

The President had told the nation that the leadership of the affected political pa! rties (PDP and ANPP), on whose platform the alleged corrupt legislators got elected, and the National Assembly leadership would be requested to investigate and take appropriate disciplinary actions against the culprits.



Jokolo: Stoking the embers of disunity


Nnamdi Okosieme

reporter, Lagos 

When President Olusegun Obasanjo mooted the idea of a national conference he definitely knew he would be opening up a flood of criticisms. Given Nigeria’s ethnic and religious diversity, particularly against the backdrop of complaints of marginalisation, a storm of protests was expected. And it did come.

Elder statesman, Anthony Enahoro and renowned writer, Wole Soyinka and some elements in the civil society groups under the aegis of the Pro National Conference Organisations, PRONACO criticized the terms of reference of the conference describing them as not broad enough to satisfy the many expectations of Nigerians. They vowed to organise a parallel conference in June and are working assiduously towards it.

While PRONACO faulted the conference on the basis of agenda, Muslim leaders joined issues with Obasanjo for what they termed the lopsidedness of the president’s selection of delegates in favour of Christians. They vowed to press on until the matter is addressed. At a meeting of the Jamaatu Nasil Islam,JNI, in Kaduna last month the body said the appointment of Christians chairman and secretary of the conference was part of a grand design by the Obasanjo administration to assign Muslims a “subordinate” position. The JNI’s Deputy National President, Mustapha Jokolo, who is also the emir of Gwandu, chaired that meeting.

In a bid to stave off further criticisms from Muslims, Obasanjo two weeks ago appointed Ishaq Oloyede, a Muslim and deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin as co-secretary of the conference. The appointment of the professor seems not to have achieved the desired result, as the JNI is still up in arms.

This week in Kaduna the group under the chairmanship of the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Maccido met. At the end of the emergency meeting, the JNI issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Obasanjo government to redress the imbalance at the conference or they would rise to defend their rights.

Reports indicate that the meeting was a stormy one. Attended by the cream of northern Muslims, tempers ran very high. Even the Head of Service of the Federation, HOS, Yayale Ahmed, sent by President Obasanjo to deliver a goodwill message barely escaped physical assault as he was said to have been called a “ betrayer and an imperialist stooge against Islam.”

At the head of the onslaught against the Obasanjo regime was Jokolo. A former soldier, he is not known to pull punches. His penchant for saying things no matter the consequences is well known. In 2003 in the build up to the presidential elections, the Vice-president Atiku Abubakar in a visit to Kaduna in January called on northerners not to mix politics with religion, Jokolo reacted angrily describing the vice-president’s call as belated. He said that the north was “unhappy to hear such talk. If anybody starts showing religious differences - with some saying we only want a Muslim, others saying we only want a Christian and so on - it will bring an unpleasant disagreement among us," the emir said.

"If a Muslim person chooses a Christian person as their running mate - or vice versa - and if he wins the elections and then dies, what would happen then? The vice president becomes president, don't they?"

At this week’s meeting in Kaduna, he had lost none of his fire. He pointedly accused Obasanjo of having a hidden agenda to eliminate Islam and its adherents in Nigeria. According to the embittered emir:

“ We have been following keenly, since the coming of the Obasanjo government, all its policies are aimed at totally marginalizing the north and its people. Virtually all the sectors of our national life, the north and Muslims have been marginalized. Today the highest military officer the north has is a colonel.”

Not done he puts the Obasanjo government on notice that “unless the president and his government are prepared to correct all these injustices against us, we must rise up to defend our rights”.

Jokolo’s tirade is not new. Since he assumed office as the 19th Emir of Gwandu in 1997, he has become a crusader for Islam. Since the adoption of the Sharia legal system by the Zamfara State, he has been in the forefront in the crusade for the entrenchment of the system in as many states in the north as possible. In fact during a conference of Sharia by northern Muslim leaders and traditional rulers in 2000 he was said to have advised traditional rulers to drop their opposition to the system or risk falling into irrelevance.  




DESERTED •Wabara out in the cold...As Senators dump him
By JACOB EDI, Abuja, Kenny Ashaka, Kaduna
Thursday, March 31, 2005

In a radical departure from their earlier stance to sink or swim with their embattled President, Chief Adolphus Wabara, a large number of Senators are now poised to save their political careers, opting to throw Wabara to the sharks.

The senators plotted throughout Wednesday night, trying to find a soft-landing for the embattled Senate helmsman, and the question on the lips of most of them at the Apo legislative quarters and the National Assembly complex was not whether Wabara will go, but how to secure a face-saving exit for the indicted man.

Sources also told Daily Sun that at several meetings on Tuesday night at the residence of a two-term senator from Benue State, the senators in attendance expressed concern over the damage already done to the credibility of the senate, especially by President Obasanjo’s nation-wide broadcast.

This development is coming on the heels of disclosures that the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] Wednesday failed to persuade Wabara to resign his position after two separate meetings in Abuja. The senate president was said to have opted for a judicial resolution of the crisis, rather than a political one, which will see him quitting his plum job.

After about three- hour meeting between PDP’s National Working Committee and the party’s Senate caucus at its Wadata Plaza headquarters, the senators were said to have demanded that the presidency remove its hands from goings-on at the upper legislative chambers having done sufficient damage to its credibility.

Senate leader, Dalhatu Tafida, said: "We are only thinking of the way forward so that we can prevent the occurrence of either disagreement between us and the president of the federal republic or between us and the party and apparently we understand ourselves
better now."

However, n! either the leadership of the PDP nor the senate officially accepted to confirm to newsmen details of Wednesday’s meeting which held behind closed doors.
"Something happened and we are trying to look at it squarely. We have resolved to choose our leader ourselves at the senate if there is any election", Tafida said.

But deputy senate president, Alhaji Ibrahim Mantu, was evasive when confronted on the outcome of the meeting. He instead chose to be sarcastic. "It was a family affair. Ali is like a father who came to see how his children are faring. But the meeting was successful."
Earlier, the PDP National Working Committee had met with all the legislators who were indicted in the N55million bribery scandal.

Wabara arrived the PDP secretariat at 1.09pm and left at 1.50pm, beaming with smiles, as if oblivious of the crisis at hand. He was in company of Senators Emmanuel Okpede, David Mark, Azuta Mbata, Adighije and Azuta Mbata.

Honorable Osita Izunaso! and Shehu Matazu were also at the PDP secretariat. But none of them a greed to talk on what they discussed with the leadership of the party.
Indeed, Matazu was dramatic about his own escape. As soon as he left the third floor of the party secretariat, he quickly rushed into a waiting Toyota RAV 4 mini-jeep, which seemed to be strategically packed to aid quick escape, ordered the driver to zoom-off, leaving reporters with mouth wide open.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the 19 northern states and Abuja, Archbishop Peter Jatau, has asked Chief Wabara to resign.
Archbishop Jatau, who is also the Catholic Bishop of Kaduna Diocese said the sit-tight kind of attitude being exhibited by the embattled Senate President has the tendency to exacerbate corrupt practices in the country.

"Nigeria is a terrible place. If this thing (N55million bribery scandal) had happened in England or in America, once somebody in high public office is found wanting, even if there are no facts brought, the very fact t! hat his name is mentioned, he would resign.

"But here, people who have been found to be corrupt still want to remain in their seats. This kind of attitude will further encourage corruption. There are laws in this country. Irrespective of whoever he/she is, once the person is found guilty, that person should face the wrath of the law. There should be no sacred cows."
Corruption in high places
Jatau said that he was not surprised at the revelations because he had always known that there is corruption in high places.

"And we have been saying that in order to minimize corruption in Nigeria, we must start from the top. If there is corruption in the presidency, National Assembly, among governors, state houses of assembly, how can you stop it? But if the top is not corrupt then we can fight corruption successfully. But as long as the top is corrupt, there is no way you can fight corruption successfully in this country.
"If you as the father and head of the ! family tell your children not to take anything alcoholic but if they k now their father is an alcoholic, I think they will say ‘our Baba must be enjoying this thing, let us try and see what he is gaining from it’. But one day it will blow up. And I think it is better late than never.
"Nuhu Ribadu should go deeper. If there is further investigation, many people will be caught. If this is done the better because there is no other way we can fight corruption except we start it from the top. If, for instance, Obasanjo is corrupt, what courage will he have to tell his ministers and also the National Assembly members not to be corrupt? He (Obasanjo) will have no moral right to tell his subordinates not to be corrupt".



I Signed Statement Under Duress, Says VC

Ahamefula Ogbu

Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Professor Jude Njoku, yesterday told the House of Representatives Committee on Ethics and Privileges probing the bribe-for-budget scandal that he was forced to sign a statement prepared by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commis-sion (EFCC).

President Olusegun Obasanjo, acting on the report of an EFCC investigation, had in his broadcast on the scandal Tuesday last week indicted Chairman House Committee on Appro-priations, Hon. Gabriel Suswam, Chairman Committee on Education, Hon. Garba Shehu Matazu and Chairman House Committee on Housing, Hon. Osita Izunaso of collecting N10 million bribe from Njoku during the 2004 budgeting process.

Njoku yesterday, however, denied giving bribe to any of the lawmakers, saying that his alleged involvement in the scandal was as confusing as it was surprising to him.

"I was invited by the EFCC and when I went there, they asked me if I gave bribe to the lawmakers to increase my budget in 2004 by N150 million and I said no. They asked me to write my statement, which I agreed to. They at a stage started to dictate to me what to write and I refused to write that. Later they brought a statement and forced me to sign.

"Finding myself in such a situation was a harrowing experience. The last place I expected myself was the EFCC. Given my training and experience as an academician, I was hysterical and out of control. I was so devastated as EFCC was supposed to investigate people on financial crimes and I became afraid. I asked myself what I had to do with such an organisation," he said.

Asked when he was invited by the EFCC, he said it was sometime between late January and early February, adding that he was so traumatised by the experience that he found it difficult to coordinate himself.

Asked if he gave any bribe to Suswam, Izunaso or Matazu, he replied in the negative, saying that he had only met Suswam once and may not be able to identify him if he sees him now.

He said he does not know Izunaso and could not have offered him bribe but admitted knowing Matazu who he said invited all the Vice Chancellors in the federation for the usual meetings preceding their budget defences.

According to him, he had in 2002, written a letter to the Senate President, House Speaker and some members of both chambers especially in Appropriation Committee to seek their understanding in approving enough funds for personnel cost and other monies for the opening of new departments and courses.

He said it was in the course of distributing the letters and seeking for the assistance of the lawmakers that he met Suswam.

Asked why he did not address the press immediately after leaving the EFCC to the effect that he was forced to sign a document he did not author, he said that as a civil servant who should not talk to the press, it did not occur to him that was the right step to take.

On how he felt now that his name was linked to bribery, he replied, "I feel devastated, debased and very very sad. It is very unfortunate, coming just three months after I was named the best Vice Chancellor in the country. I feel something is behind it; there is a deliberate attempt to destroy me. I must tell you that I was thoroughly devastated and I have not been able to eat properly since that day."

On whether he was aware that his budget was increased by N150 million for which he was alleged to have given N10 million to the lawmakers, he said he was not aware as all he got was the budget he asked for.

On whether he was given a copy of the document he said he was forced to sign by the EFCC, he answered in the negative, "If taken unawares even when you are at your best, you can act like the most stupid man."

Izunaso, Suswam and Matazu had earlier denied collecting bribe from the Vice Chancellor. Suswam in his testimony said that he never met Njoku in the course of appropriations work.

Suswam said that even the report of the EFCC was not dated and had a different kind of presentation from the one signed by the commission's chairman, Alhaji Nuhu Ribadu.

He said though the report stated that investigation was yet to be concluded, the President went ahead to make conclusive statements in his broadcast by portraying him as having collected bribe.

Izunaso also washed his hands off anything concerning the issue. Matazu, however, admitted knowing Njoku just like every other varsity vice chancellor but denied taking bribe.

On the N55 million bribe allegedly collected from sacked Education Minister, Professor Fabian Osuji, Matazu said the only interaction that came close to what the President alleged in his broadcast was when members of his committee were invited to a dinner after which Osuji said his Finance Director would reach them.

He said that he was later called by the ministry to come and collect the message and he sent the secretary of the committee to collect it, adding, "When it was brought, it was in an envelope and when I opened it, there was N100,000 for me and N50,000 for each member so I returned it to the ministry. I told those who wanted it to go to the ministry and collect it.

He also admitted being invited to a meeting with the minister and the Senate President with some others but denied that he shared from any money that was allegedly given. He swore by Allah that he did not collect any money if the minister gave it.

Matazu said he learnt of the allegation through his wife who cried when he called her from Malaysia where he had gone on official assignment.


When shall Umuigbo learn to defend Umuigbo and Igbo Leaders?

1. Obasanjo`s selective Justice: Minister, Prof. Osuji arrested, detained and dismissed via national broadcast while IG Tafa Balogun was honourably retired.

2. In Yorubaland including Lagos, OPC is the official security outfit operating without any molestation while in Igboland, Bakassi and Massob members are being arrested and detained.
" In Lagos however, he was looking for trouble. When he stepped out of the studio, he was confronted by a Yoruba "nationalist", and something of a scuffle ensued. Before long, a detachment of the militant wing of Yoruba politics, the Oodua Peoples Congress arrived at LTV 8 to teach Dokubo a lesson for denigrating Awo's memory. But either luckily or unluckily, Dokubo had left the LTV premises before the OPC arrived. He apparently realised that he had stirred the hornet's nest, so he reportedly went straight to the airport and out of Yoruba territory. Since then, the OPC leader, Gani Adams has demanded an apology. Dokubo has also been banned from Yorubaland until further notice. But he is insisting that he does not owe anybody any apology. "I'm battle ready", he says, adding that if he is attacked, thousands of Yoruba souls "will go". In an interview with The Champion, he even repeated the offence: "Awolowo was a devil and his policies led to the present problems that the people of the Niger Delta are fighting against." Dokubo is mistaken"

Awo and Asari Dokubo
By Reuben Abati

Guardian 25.03.05

THE other day, Asari Dokubo, an Ijaw freedom-fighter, went on television, in Lagos, in Yoruba territory, and abused the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He had been invited for an interview by the Lagos Television, LTV 8, a station that was established under the aegis of an Awolowo government led by Alhaji Lateef Jakande in the Second Republic. In the course of the interview, Dokubo started saying something about Awo being a devil.

Dokubo was doing something rather reckless: he was using a Yoruba platform in Yoruba territory, to condemn a Yoruba icon. The interviewer tried to steer him away from this line of talk, but Asari Dokubo refused. Here is a man who forced himself into public reckoning out of nowhere, and earned a reputation for raw gangsterism and bravura in 2004 when he took on the entire Obasanjo government and the multinationals and threatened to blow up all oil installations in the Niger Delta. The Federal Government had to call him to a meeting in Abuja. They gave him royal treatment and begged him. And he became a hero of sorts.

In Lagos however, he was looking for trouble. When he stepped out of the studio, he was confronted by a Yoruba "nationalist", and something of a scuffle ensued. Before long, a detachment of the militant wing of Yoruba politics, the Oodua Peoples Congress arrived at LTV 8 to teach Dokubo a lesson for denigrating Awo's memory. But either luckily or unluckily, Dokubo had left the LTV premises before the OPC arrived. He apparently realised that he had stirred the hornet's nest, so he reportedly went straight to the airport and out of Yoruba territory. Since then, the OPC leader, Gani Adams has demanded an apology. Dokubo has also been banned from Yorubaland until further notice. But he is insisting that he does not owe anybody any apology. "I'm battle ready", he says, adding that if he is attacked, thousands of Yoruba souls "will go". In an interview with The Champion, he even repeated the offence: "Awolowo was a devil and his policies led to the present problems that the people of the Niger Delta are fighting against." Dokubo is mistaken.

There are so many people alive today, sleeping and waking up and performing all the rituals of living, but whose total existence amounts to nothing. They are no better than mere footnotes to the grand events of existence; they are an embarrassment even unto themselves, were they to die, no one will take note of their passing. Their graves will carry no flowers, no significance, no piece of useful history. And yet there are some people who though dead refuse to die. They continue to live on in the people's minds and lives with such force that seems physical and real, and always their significance is continually remarked upon; they rule as it were from the grave, as the people for whom they have become heroes, icons and legends refuse to allow them to die. The late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, leader of the Yoruba, Grand Commander of the Federal Republic, politician, thinker and statesman was one of those..........................

Naturally, Awo attracted so much envy, and there were all kinds of objections to his person and politics. But he had the people behind him. If any traditional ruler disrespected him, he was promptly removed from the throne and banished. Families refused to marry the daughters and sons of anyone who opposed Awo. Those who belonged to opposition parties or who made the mistake of criticizing Awo in public had their houses burnt, their vehicles destroyed, and their names dragged in the mud.

Awo died in 1987. He has been ruling Yorubaland since then from his grave. Till date, the easiest way to gain relevance in Yoruba politics is to invoke Awo's name. In 1999, the Alliance for Democracy won the election in the South-West simply by using the name of Awolowo. They lost in 2003 because they were beginning to behave as if they had found new masters, and the people were beginning to suspect that Awo's name had been taken in vain for opportunistic reasons. There were other reasons of course, but this was the strongest reason, and it was in part why the Yoruba who can be unreasonably violent when they choose to be, refused to burn down houses in 2003. Every year, Awo's birthday is celebrated with great ceremony. Living persons do not receive as much attention.

Almost on a daily basis, politicians who are seeking recognition troop to Awo's home in Ikenne, Ogun state, to pay homage at his grave, and pay obeisance to his wife. They also ensure that this is well-reported by the media afterwards. No other politician has been able to capture the people's imagination and mind with a similar force. There is even a younger generation of Yoruba who were born after Awo had died, and they too have learnt about Awo from their parents who heard part of the man's legend from their own fathers before them. From all indications, Awo is not going to die very soon as a symbol of Yoruba politics and aspirations. Thus, the protection of Awo's legacy has become a sacred Yoruba pre-occupation as if the destiny and prestige of the race is tied to this special task.

Now, this is the kind of man whom Asari Dokubo has chosen to abuse. Awo has been called worse names in the past by his critics. But when an Asari Dokubo who claims to be fighting the Ijaw cause makes very provocative and inciting statements with an ethnic colouration, he is likely to inflame passions. The assumption is that he is speaking for all Ijaw, whereas the average Ijaw man does not even think that Dokubo is anything more than an irritant. But imagine what could have happened if he had been confronted by the OPC team that went to look for him at LTV 8. He could have been assaulted or he could have been killed. And then, this would have caused serious problems between the Ijaw and the Yoruba. There would have been arguments about Dokubo's right of free speech and the intolerance of the OPC. The resultant ethnic tension could result in more killings, and battles from Lagos to the Delta creeks. And it would have been a thoroughly pointless exchange of hostilities.

What is Asari Dokubo trying to achieve? Picking up a fight with the Yoruba and the OPC does not in any way advance the Ijaw cause. Abusing the dead for the problems of the living serves little purpose; it is cowardly and crude. As Dokubo tries to learn the complexities of Nigerian politics, and seeks to make the transition from gun-slinging to power-games, he should realise, for his own good, that certain things are better left unsaid. May be the OPC is just being needlessly silly by trying to intimidate a man for no reason other than that he expressed an opinion, but the Nigerian government has a duty to call Asari Dokubo to order. Awo's place in history is secure; that of Dokubo remains unknown.



Starvation: A Legitimate Instrument of War -- Awolowo


But we {Ndi Igbo / Biafrans] survived it all and amazed Nigeria at the speed with which we started to command enviable heights in the Nigerian economy since the 1970's. What Awolowo started has been continued by Obasanjo as he works to destroy Ibo land. Beginning with Senate Presidents of Igbo extraction, to Anambra State and Ngige and now to Osuji.

We will too survive Obasanjo. 
Starvation: A Legitimate Instrument of War -- Awolowo
Perhaps, no other Nigerian has been perceived by Ndigbo to be personally responsible for crafting the policies that compounded the misery of ex-Biafrans as the Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Serving his jail term for treason at the Calabar Prison by time the Civil War was imminent, Awolowo was set free by General Ojukwu with an understanding that the Yoruba leader was bent on using the opportunity of ongoing national crisis to pull his people out of the Nigerian federation and declare the Oduduwa Republic in the West.

But the master tactician had something else in mind as he paid lip service to an accord with Biafran leadership before his release from jail. As soon as he made it safely out of Biafra, he pitched his tent with General Gowon who rewarded him with appointment to the highest c! iv! ilian post in the military junta in Lagos. Awolowo also was the Minister of Finance where he had full rein on the national coffers.

His elevated position instantaneously made tens of thousands of Yoruba recruits to join the Nigerian armed forces. The command structure and bulk of foot soldiers that spearheaded the maritime invasion from the southern front were mostly Yorubas. As the Yoruba chieftain acquired more control of the federal bureaucracy, he became more aggressive and vocal in defense of federal war policies in Biafra, which included deprivation of food and medical supplies to the civilian victims of the Civil War. He was reported to have told foreign media correspondents, who expressed global outrage at the level of misery inside Biafra, that starvation was a legitimate instrument of warfare.

It was the post-war policies of Awolowo-led Ministry of Finance that inflicted the most lasting pai! n ! on those who managed to survive his starvation policy. The Biafran currency, which was the only legal tender of the survivors of the Biafran siege, was overnight declared worthless and everyone with a bank account was issued a measly N40 (40 cents US), in lieu of their deposit, to start life anew on their own. A few years afterwards, the same Ministry embarked on the process of selling off foreign-owned businesses to Nigerians who were able to pay. In that indigenization process, penury did not allow Ndigbo to participate as the collective wealth of Nigeria was handed out only to those who had the cash in hand. It could be said that Chief Awolowo was not only a proven bedfellow of the Nigerian military establishment, but he also sanctioned the tacit gang-up by the North and West to use authoritarian military rule to keep Ndigbo marginalized for the next 30 years.
"All is fair in war, and starvation is one of the weapons of war. I don't see why we should feed our enemies fat in order for them to fight harder." - Awolowo

Nigerian Separatists Face Death Penalty

By DANIEL BALINT-KURTI, Associated Press Writer

LAGOS, Nigeria - Defense lawyers and family members say the accused had gathered for a simple soccer match - but the tournament was organized by an outlawed separatist group, and now 53 people face the death penalty on charges of treason and plotting war.

At a hearing Tuesday, 52 of the defendants crowded onto wooden benches or sat on the floor of a stuffy courtroom, many still in the soccer uniforms they were wearing when they were arrested.

Jailed for half a year in the case involving Biafran separatists, they asked to be granted bail. The judge was to rule on the bail request April 11.

A defense lawyer said he feared a 53rd accused who was not in court Tuesday had died in custody. The judge said the man had been released on bail Monday, but both prosecution and defense lawyers said they had not been informed of his release.

A soccer tournament seems far removed from the 32-month war that broke out when the Republic of Biafra, an area in southeast Nigeria, declared its independence in 1967. The southeastern war killed more than 1 million people, most from starvation and disease, and saw the French and British arming opposing sides.

People in the region, which is still a part of Nigeria, say they still are discriminated against and are among many restive groups in a multiethnic country where talk of secession is sensitive.

The September soccer tournament was organized by the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, which wants to revive the short-lived Republic of Biafra. The government says the group has been outlawed, though there has been no official decree.

Human rights groups say the group is nonviolent. It proved it has a strong following in August, when it called a stay-at-home protest that shut down large markets across southeast Nigeria.

"The whole thing is very ridiculous. They went for a football tournament. Even some of the people just selling water were arrested," defense attorney Anthony Omaghomi said after Tuesday's hearing.

He said several accused were beaten by police in failed attempts to make them sign incriminating statements.

Chris Mokwe told a reporter that his wife, Gloria Okafor, had a miscarriage in prison after being beaten by police. Mokwe said his wife had gone to the tournament only to sell water.

Lagos police spokesman Ademola Adebayo denied the accusations of abuse.

The accused have pleaded innocent to three charges: treason, plotting war against the president and the army, and interfering with the administration of the law.

In March 2003, police shot and killed seven members of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra and arrested more than 20 to forestall a rally where they planned to make a symbolic declaration of independence.

The leader of the failed Biafra state, Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, now is a leading opposition politician who lost 2003 presidential elections that were widely alleged to have been rigged.

Umu Biafra,
This morning at the Federal High court ikoyi, where the 53 great massobians were docked.
We gartherd in thousands outside  the court room- by the sea-side,  since the court room were full to capacity, press people( including some international jounalist who came to monitor and report the  judgement, some could not find their way in) with hundreads of fully armed police men were standing.
But as soon as the court was over and they start to come out one by one, we stood up in front of those hundreads of fearcely -looking and heavely armed policemen, as they were passing from the court room to the black maria, we began to wave hands, hail and singing, chanting Baifra songs ,,
They(massobians) Were also repling back, by waving and shouting to us 'we can't give up', and the police men with some of our security men help in  controling and calming people down .
Imagine when  thousands of people start to sing many Biafra songs like ' anyi agaghi alapu Biafra'  with many others  mostly we  keep singing to them..
The first to pass was the yongest of them all- Chioma, who will be 15 year old this year,
When i saw this young girl, i caught cold-  what a weaked nation, what could  has this young girl done to them  to be remainded in prison all this while?.  
May be with a bit of shyness she garrantly wave at us, as jounalist scrumbling to take her picture. 
Though  i was with her mother out side, thruout the time, inwhich thereafter i help her to recover two of  Chiomas picture from our former lawyer ,who was not smart with the case- the present team of lawyers are wonderfull,  i can let you see her ( Chiomas picture next time
Then, when the other lady were passing all Biafran keep singing, and  some jounalist were opurtune  to intervew her, but the the police   strongly prevented one particular white man from interviewing or taken her  a picture, some BIafran intervened. but she left
When the men were passing, we all stood side by side chanting Biafra songs to them,and every one of them , before   climbing the black maria will alway hail back to us to acknowledge our solidarity  .  though with cuff they move traumphantry back tothe black maria .
And finally, when the enemies took  them all away, we were left  singing and counseling each other, the lawyers brief us.
The court was adjoin till 11th of next mounth, we are hopefull that with this new team of lawyer and by Gods grace, they will be out soon. and the struggle  continue .




Fellow Biafrans, i wish you happy Easter cellebration.  May almighty God bless you all .Amen.
Infact, when i saw the puplication of  the 53 MASSOB members that were  arrained before the Federal high court, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria  yesterday on the net, I felt happy .
Mr Daniel Kuti is one of the international news agents[AP] that i invited to withness the court procceeding of the 53 massob members 0n the 22nd of march 2005.
Among other international media houses include: BBC,CNN,AP,CANAL FRANCE,VOA etc.
The reson why i took that decision of inviting them was to let the international communities know about how the Nigeria govt. is playing politics and their lies about the charges leveled before these 53 massob members.
I also want to tell my fellow commrades living abroad that from now upwards, you will be watching massob's activities live in CNN, CANAL FRANCE INTERNATIONAL and other international cables where ever you are. 
Thanks and God bless.
Nwa Biafra 
reporting from Biafraland.


Igbo monarchs ask FG to cancel Ogun refinery pipeline contract


Oh yes: I only addressed the modus operandi (M.O.) of the Biafran Royal
Fathers for acting under the Biafran Umbrella. The courage is inspiring.

There is still the serious matter of Obasanjo playing nepotism in broad
daylight by building a Gas Company in his home State and in his
home(Yoruba)land. Yet, Obasanjo will be the first to preach to people to put
Nigeria's interest first; but in all his acts, it is always his own selfish
interests first, then the interest of the Yoruba people next. When he
perceives serious threat from the North, he will throw something their way.
But, when it comes to the East, he, in carrying out Nigeria's long-standing
and ongoing anti-Igbo-anti-Biafran policies, actually takes away what the
East has and gives it to himself, his Yoruba kin, and to the North, in that
order. When Northern military leaders were in charge, it was similar: give
to himself/themselves; then, to the North, and if the Yoruba complained,
then a little to the Yoruba; BUT ALWAYS TAKE FROM THE EAST!

Now, if that's not maddening enough, consider that Ogun State is now
bloatedly rich enough from Obasanjo's nepotistic favoritism and patronage
that Ogun State is advertising for Igbos to come to specially created (by
Ogun State) "Igbotown" in Ogun State, presumably for the Igbo to do what
Igbo do best: be the engine for development and sustenance of all successful
and progressive edifices, projects and businesses in Nigeria.

More maddening to think that they (Obasanjo/ Nigeria) came to our
Igbo-Biafraland, stole our own resources, piped them to Ogun State, in this
case, and then turned around and "invited" our people to go over there to be
employed in refining the product. How better can you define colonialism? How
else do you define slavery?

But, the most maddening thing of all is that:

1)Igbos will respond with gratitude and alacrity to the call of Ogun State
2)Igbos will continue to support Obasanjo and his cronies, without
challenging his / their hypocrisy
3)Igbos will continue to support one-Nigeria even though it is one-Nigeria
which makes the terrible situation above possible--witness their
froth-at-the-mouth folly in Obasanjo's conference. (And, why do you think
Obasanjo keeps saying that he will die for one-Nigeria, if not to sustain
this structure which severely oppresses and robs Igbo-Biafrans to benefit
his own self and his own people?)

Now, you understand why we have had to condemn WIC in its latest press
release or document where WIC filleted Azike for begging the conference for
Igbo presidency, when WIC itself clearly supports one-Nigeria--imagine that!
It is a case of WIC "remove the log from WIC's eye first..."

Finally, we also have to also acknowledge the Biafran Royal Fathers for
taking a stand against Obasanjo-Nigeria's colonial and slavery practices
which victimize our people. Neither Ohaneze nor WIC has the clarity to even
detect this (though it is quite obvious), never mind the guts to challenge

One-Nigeria makes all the evil that is Nigeria possible. Biafra is the
complete answer.


Laying pipeline from Biafra to Yoroba land was a cheap provocation by the Yoroba. You wonder what is in their head in even trying that cheap shot; but I tell you, if everything dies out with only the so called royal monarchs expressing their anger over this cheap Yoroba provocation, then know that there is indeed a serious problem in the area.

I join you in congratulating the so called royal monarchs for taking on the name of Biafra, however. That is the way to go!

Their move was a good one. Who could fault them? Let he who would fault them also find fault with the cheap Yoroba provocation.

I only had wished that more moves such as this would be made by the Biafran people at every slightest opportunity. No more fears, for Biafra is freedom [fra] come [bia] to us, not oppression by other people even over our own God given resources. Tufiakwa!


Date: Tue Mar 22, 2005 5:51 pm
Subject: Igbo monarchs ask FG to cancel Ogun refinery pipeline contract

"…who said they were under the umbrella of Biafran Royal Fathers …"

Courage is in! Sycophancy is out!
We want to acknowledge the courage of our fathers for identifying with Biafra. Such courage will yet be tested in the next several days as the SSS gets wind of this, and as Obasanjo hears about it, from paid Igbo saboteurs, informants and efulefu's.

We direct all our people--every Biafran--to defend and stand by anyone and any group operating under the flag of Biafra. We ask all our people to stand by the Biafran Royal Fathers and all working under that umbrella.

Do your part, now!
Biafra lives!


Igbo monarchs ask FG to cancel Ogun refinery pipeline contract

By Felix Uka, Monday March 22nd, 2005
Daily Independent Special Correspondent, Abakaliki

Some traditional rulers drawn from the five Eastern states and South South have urged the Federal Government to cancel the contract of laying pipes from their areas to Abeokuta in Ogun State for the purposes of transporting liquified natural gas to a planned refinery in Ogun State.

The monarchs said the project is not only wasteful of the Nigerian resources but could be seen as a cheat on those from whose land the natural gas were being sourced.

In a resolution that arose from their meeting at the weekend, they expressed worries why the existing refineries were left to rot away only to turn around to build a gas refinery in another area.
Representations of the monarchs who said they were under the umbrella of Biafran Royal Fathers were Eze Ben Ikeokun (Enugu State), the Coordinator, Emma Igweokeh (Ebonyi), Augustin Uchendu (Anambra), Brenthan Okafor (Imo), Amaraegbunom Ihendu (Abia) and David Eku (Cross River).They warned some Igbo politicians whom they alleged are willing tools in the hands of those who were bent on destabilising the Igbo nation and their neighbouring South South geo-political zone.

On the planned 2005 census, they emphasised their concern that unless religion and ethnic group were in the forms to be filed they would convince their subjects not to participate in the exercise.


Anambra crisis stirs confab delegates - As Arewa threatens religious war if...

By Bolade Omonijo, Emeka Mamah & Emmanuel Aziken
Wednesday, March 9, 2005

ABUJA- THE prolonged political crisis in Anambra State caused a stir at the National Political Reform Conference yesterday with majority of delegates objecting to an attempt to query President Olusegun Obasanjo's role in the crisis.


Meanwhile, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) yesterday threatened that the nation was on its way to a possible religious uprising if the Federal Government failed to heed calls by Nigerian Muslims to change the lopsided composition of the conference which favours Christians

Also at the conference yesterday, Justice Chukwudifu Oputa, chairman of the defunct Human Rights Violations and Investigation Panel lamented the inability of the Nigerian nation to add value to the lives of ordinary Nigerians just as Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (rtd.), Chief of General Staff in the Gen. Ibrahim Babangida regime, traced the nation's failures to the limited vision of its former leaders.

Besides, female delegates at the conference took opportunity of the day's declaration as International Women Day to draw attention to what they alleged were gender disparity in the allocation of the instruments of political power by government. Former President of the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), Hajia Zainab Maina, particularly chided state governors for their low political value of women, lamenting that only five women were nominated out of the more than 200 nominees made by governors to the conference.

Other delegates that spoke yesterday were Chief Bayo Ojo, President of the Nigerian Bar Association; Mrs. Margaret Ichen, former Speaker of the Benue House of Assembly who came as a delegate of the Arewa Consultative Forum; Mrs Bisi Ogunleye, who introduced herself as a representative of rural women and asked for $2 billion on behalf of rural women to help eradicate poverty in the land.

Other speakers included Nze Ozi Chukwu, national vice-chairman of the People's Democratic Party (PDP); Alhaji Tukur Mani, a former Federal Permanent Secretary; Alhaji Awaal Tukur, an immediate past member of the House of Representatives; and King Alfred Diette-Spiff, former Military Governor of the old Rivers State.

Arewa's threat


In a statement yesterday, the ACF said the lopsided composition of the conference by President Obasanjo might spark off religious hostilities in the country. The ACF said by making such lopsided appointments without regard to constitutional requirement for quota system and balance, the Obasanjo government was pitching Muslims against Christians, thereby fanning the embers of religious antagonism and hostility in the country.

The statement which was signed by its Publicity Secretary, Mr Aliyu Hayatu, warned that unless government took urgent steps to correct the religious imbalance in the composition of the membership and leadership of the conference, religious crisis was most likely to rock the country. It described the alleged lopsided appointment as most "reckless and irresponsible."

Muslim groups such as the Jama'atu Nasil Islam (JNI) and the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs had earlier criticised government for what they called lopsided composition of the leadership and membership of the conference, while the Northern Christian Elders Forum (NORCEF) also alleged that Christians in some northern states were marginalised in the selection of delegates. The Northern states chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) alleged that the composition of the conference was a true reflection of the country.

The press statement reads in part: "The fact that Obasanjo had gone ahead to make these appointments in deliberate and total disregard of the religious controversy he would thus ignite, may be seen as a manifestation of a desperate intent to actualise a hidden agenda. ACF wishes to state that this is sad and frightening.

"Therefore, the ACF wishes to reiterate that by making appointments in defiance of the constitutional requirement for quota and balance, the Federal Government has only succeeded in pitching Muslims against Christians, thereby fanning the dangerous embers of religious antagonism. This, ACF wishes to observe, is reckless and irresponsible.

"ACF is fully aware of the constitutional provision which compels government to use quota and balance as yardstick for appointments. The unmistaken constitutional intendment here is not only to give all sections suspicion and rancour, which, in an emerging Nigerian society, have continued to be a source of animosity and violence.

"ACF wishes to observe that given the extreme importance and sensitivity of the NPRC to the future direction of Nigeria, the natural expectation is that the Federal Government will exercise utmost care and responsibility in making appointments so as to ensure that no ground is given for this suspicion and rancour. This, the government failed to do.

"As things now stand, Nigerians are only left to conclude that the Federal Government is unwilling to demonstrate the required level of care, maturity and responsibility to re-assure the nation of official impartiality and goodwill. President Obasanjo knows Nigeria very well. He knows that the kind of lopsided appointment he made for the political reform conference will definitely ignite religious controversy and attendant hostility."

In his contribution at yesterday's session of the confab, however, Alhaji M.T. Waziri from Kano State lamented that while Nigeria was seemingly being seen as a big brother in Africa, it was remarkable that the people of the country were suffering. "I have discovered that whenever there is an oil boom that Nigeria makes much money, but Nigerians don't get to see that money."

Alhaji Waziri questioned Nigeria's claim to pre-eminence in the continent, saying: "We are saying that we are the leader of Africa, but that is false as a country is as big as the contentment of its people. Where on earth would you hear that the President of a country would write the chairman of the ruling party a letter and say that a godfather would tell a Governor 'you know that you didn't win an election' and the Governor would accept."

As he spoke, Alhaji Waziri was challenged by an unidentified female delegate who raised a point of order and some other conference delegates who chorused that Waziri had departed from the agenda which was reactions to the President's inaugural speech.

Following the disruption, Alhaji Waziri was forced to seek the help of the conference chair, Justice Niki Tobi who bade him to continue with his remarks. However, as Alhaji Waziri started to speak, he was stopped by Justice Tobi who told him that his time was over and quite unlike other speakers before him and after him, no extension was given him to round up his remarks. Justice Tobi immediately after cautioned delegates to watch their utterances.

Mr Zik Obi from Anambra State was the only other delegate yesterday that made reference to the situation in Anambra State as he called for fundamental restructuring of the polity that would give heed to calls for a decentralisation of the Armed Forces and the Police. According to him, the creation of State Police would give protection to governors like Dr. Chris Ngige whose police security was withdrawn for the better part of 2004.

In his remark yesterday, Justice Oputa asked for a redesigning of the political framework to enable the promotion of values that promote good governance and unity of the land. Lamenting that India which had the same colonial experience as Nigeria had gone far ahead of Nigeria in all respects, the retired Supreme Court Justice said it was unexpected that Nigerians who had received little value from the country would give their loyalty to the fatherland.

Nze Chukwu, PDP national vice-chairman, endorsed the presidential system of government but sought a rotation of the office of President among the six geo-political zones even as he affirmed that Nigerian unity must evolve through understanding.

In his contribution, King Diette-Spiff said those accusing the military of having held the nation hostage now had an opportunity at the conference to liberate themselves. The former military governor rationalised the introduction of presidential system of government to the military's command and control culture which he said was closely related to the unitary form of government.

Commodore Ukiwe, former Chief of General Staff lamented the limited vision of some of the country's former rulers, saying: "Many delegates have laid emphasis on their frustrations with the system. This gathering should start with a collective principle."


We expect WIC to kneel down before Ndigbo to apologize for continuing to insist on one-Nigeria for Ndigbo when it knows that Nigeria is in fact bad for Ndi Igbo. We state that WIC does not represent Ndi Igbo, either, any more than the PDP-Obasanjo selected delegates to Obasanjo's conference, nor the conference itself, represent Igbo interests.
Azike's gestures are only an imitation of WIC's sycophantic and prostrate posture at the feet of one Nigeria.
For WIC to castigate Azike while failing to self-flagellate is like Obasanjo-PDP castigating Ngige while doing nothing about Obasanjo; or like Obasanjo claiming moral high ground while condemning lesser criminals.
WIC can live in a fantasy and dream-world and operate on a one-sided belief in "...“No Victor, No Vanquished”: that will not correct the prevailing attitude of Nigeria as the absolute Victor dishing it out to Biafra as the undisputed vanquished. Just last week, Obasanjo was "high-fiving" with another Yoruba General about their exploits in the Biafra war, going as far as stating that he hopes that he would have another opportunity in the future to publish and celebrate such exploits: imagine that coming from a so-called president of Nigeria?  "No victors, no vanquished"...? Dream on WIC!
WIC describes what it  calls its "absolute conviction"  in "a Nigeria worth keeping..." and conveniently fails to acknowledge that such a Nigeria is impossible, if not because the likes of WIC would never develop the balls to challenge the establishment and bring such a Nigeria into fruition, then because the Northerners and the Yoruba have sworn never to allow "...all citizens [have] equality of rights, liberties, and justice." if such citizens are Igbo.
We want to advice WIC that hypocrisy only puts them at the same level as Obasanjo. We want to tell WIC that its ambivalence with regards to the sovereignty of Igbo-Biafra as completely independent of Nigeria places them in the camp of enemies of Igbo-Biafra, and sets the example for the buffoonery of the Azike's.
Let' s point out to WIC that insisting that the Igbo stay in one-Nigeria which it clearly knows does not even meet its own stated conditions, and which WIC would never mount an effective corrective challenge against, is a much worse show than Azike's.
WIC knows that Nigeria is bad; but especially worse for the Igbo. WIC knows that it cannot change Nigeria. WIC knows that it does not even have the balls to try to change Nigeria; rather, accommodates and tries to benefit from the evil that is Nigeria. Nevertheless, WIC still insists on Nigeria for the Igbo; with its clumsy, dreamy argument of "a Nigeria worth keeping..." with the full knowledge that those conditions will never be met.
It is in fact WIC that is prostrating and begging; Azike is just the human face and body in this shameful and humiliating performance. And the conference laughed--properly so, too.
Ndigbo and other Biafrans: it's Biafra for us. Let us spend time, energy and effort actualizing and building our own nation of Biafra. WIC and Azike can keep staying in, and begging Nigeria.
Biafra, Biafra.




The Secretariat, World Igbo Congress, Inc.

1107 Drew Street, Houston, Texas 77004



The World Igbo Congress (WIC) strongly repudiates the beggarly statement and most repugnant behavior attributed to one Chief Ziggy Azike, an Imo State delegate to the National Political Reforms Conference (NPRC) currently ongoing in Abuja. It has been reported that Chief Azike allegedly got on two knees to beg the delegates to the national conference that ‘the best thing they can do for Ndi-Igbo in 2007 is to vote one of our Igbo sons or daughters for President of Nigeria.’



SUBJECT: S' East importers protest auction of N5b goods

February 22 2005




"President of Anambra State Market Amalgamated Traders Association (ASMATA), Mr. Sylvester Odife, said the affected importers should have been given at least 36 months before the ban, nothing that a lot of people would be thrown into the unemployment market."

 That is the goal, make Igbo economic useless now towards an end goal of enslaving the Igbo and her children to come.  This is a new type of war, the effect which is suppose to leave all of us useless if we do not stop chasing crumbs from under the enemy's tables and think bigger picture.  What happened that NdiIgbo cannot think anymore, and what happened that NdiIgbo has become too simple that our land is now a perfect medium for evil.  People can no longer raise decent children in our land which our fore parents left for us in peace.  Something must be done NOW! or we will be finished for good.



THE IGBOMAN is always the victim ! Can they do this to housa or yoruba traders? 


S East importers protest auction of N5b goods

By Okey Maduforo

Correspondent, Awka


The South East zone of the National Association of Nigerian Importers (NANI) has protested the auctioning of containers worth N5 billion at the eastern ports, saying it is an act meant to frustrate their members.

The Zonal Coordinator, Chief James Clark Onuchukwu, said in Onitsha that the 18,000 containers at Calabar, Onne and Port Harcourt ports were confiscated before the Federal Government ban on 41 items.

Onuchukwu said the Alhaji Abubakar Sani Presidential Taskforce on the Auction had earlier given the importers eight months to clear the goods, but due to governments inefficiency and laxity the directive was not carried out.

For government to now say the goods should be auctioned is improper. It was their fault that the eight months given were not carried out and they went to commence auctioning in seven days without prior notice. This is frustrating and points to the fact that the Igbo are once again being punished in the process, he said.

He noted that for government to ban the goods, it has to give at least three years notice within which local manufacturers would have made plans to cushion the effect of the ban.

He, however, lamented that the failure of their members to clear the goods was as a result of 300 percent increase on the tariff for goods imported into the country.

President of Anambra State Market Amalgamated Traders Association (ASMATA), Mr. Sylvester Odife, said the affected importers should have been given at least 36 months before the ban, noting that a lot of people would be thrown into the unemployment market.

Odife said this would affect importers of the Igbo extraction as majority of the goods belong to them.


Copyright) 2004. All Rights Reserved.
Independent Newspapers Limited
Block5, Plot 7D, Wempco Road, Ogba, P.M.B. 21777, Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria.





( Umuigbo, where is our share in Nigeria ? )

The Igbo: Living in the belly of the whale
Obi Nwakanma, Vanguard 06.02.2005
..........Democracy, we thought, would stimulate these things. One however does not need to be a futurologist to see, that in the circumstance, the development of the Eastern economic corridor remains a dream deferred, possibly until that zone is freed of the devils riding on its back. The twin devils include, the current government of President Obasanjo, who has continued to enforce a treaty which the Igbo and the rest of the old Eastern region were forced to sign, and which the president supervised in 1970; whose central goal, even if unstated in any bold letter, was the strategic dismantling of eastern economic, technological or political potential. Such a potential, for various reasons, remains a threat to some interests within Nigeria. It reminds them of the old spectre of "Igbo domination." Needless to say that Nigeria is not the beneficiary of the destruction of the Igbo potential, it is in fact its greatest loss.
In the six years of the Obasanjo presidency, we continue to experience a skewered attention to the various parts of the federation. Igbo interests still do not count. New power stations for instance have been built in Ondo and Ogun states, the entire infrastructure of the Nigerian oil industry has been strategically appropriated by Obasanjo and his kinsmen, from oil production to oil pricing. A new multibillion-naira terminal is being constructed at the Lagos airport, the Gateway Cargo airport is currently under construction by the federal government in Ogun state, the largest LNG project is slated for Ondo, and all these are good things. They should be built in those places. What the Igbo ask is: "where is our own?" What is the Igbo stake in Nigeria worth? The Nigerian commonwealth has treated the Igbo, especially, and our minority neighbours shabbily. The Obasanjo government continues a relentless pattern of subjugation. Eastern roads are no longer the issue. The complaints are to no avail.
The Niger Bridge is about to collapse; the minister of work says, there is nothing Nigeria can do about it, except privatize that bridge, and raise N50 billion, which means an endless tax on the people of the East. Igbo merchants have been subjected to indignities and losses because they can’t import through Port-Harcourt or the Warri ports. They have to import textiles through Lagos or risk the seizure of their goods! The Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu has been upgraded only in name.
Meanwhile, Easterners wishing to fly directly to the East from across the world cannot do this because of a deliberate federal government policy that restricts international air travel to the East. Above all, where the federal government makes huge investments in energy generation and gas production in Ondo and Ogun and the west of Nigeria, the East is left as an abandoned patch, even though this oil which will kill Nigeria is to be found in Igbo land and its surroundings. The question again: what is Nigeria to the Igbo?
The Igbo were of course the builders of modern Nigeria. I need ever so often to remind Nigerians of this fact. They constituted the engine upon which Nigeria functioned before its utter collapse. They dreamed about a Nigeria equal to any great power in the world, and resilient enough to protect the black races from any more form of subjugation. The seed of pan-African cooperation and solidarity was sown in Africa through the soul of that great Igbo, perhaps the greatest African statesman of the 20th century, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, who saw a global vision in which Nigeria was in all her strength and complexity, the leading black nation of the world. But here I speak, about a Nigerian ideal. Azikiwe’s dream collapsed in spite of his best efforts. .........Azikiwe shaped the original Igbo attitude to Nigeria which took Nigeria as a great work in progress, and the Igbo in the smithy of its history, shaping its future for the great good of the black world. Igbo universalism came however to clash with the parochialism of its "competitors" –– those who feared that "the great Igbo horde" had been unleashed onto the Nigerian space, and that they were about to take everything.
This fear of the Igbo and their settlement across Nigeria, and their great attempt to domesticate the Nigerian chaos, which threatened certain settled cultures, has shaped the direction and nature of the Nigerian conflict. A talented and fearless people, unwilling to submit to any king or potentate, is a strange phenomenon in normally feudal and monarchical societies, where people conform to their historical places, either as serfs or as lords. The Igbo knew no lords and was serf to none. He thrived and in thriving set himself up for destruction. The Igbo, the fear of the Igbo by other Nigerians, remain the issue in neo-colonial Nigeria. That is exactly why the attempt has been made to delete ethnicity, language and religion, and a critical demographic index in the proposed federal census. It is precisely the fear of the Igbo that has led the federal government to enact various policy decisions which have led to the under-development of Nigeria, because such development initiatives would require that Nigeria place the right pegs in their right holes. The other devil on the Igbo shoulder thus is the Nigerian state itself as it is currently constructed. I have written that Nigeria is a burden to the Igbo. Left alone, the Igbo would soar to the stars. Nigeria has almost destroyed the Igbo dream and ability to transcend the conditions of coloniality.
The gains of the anti-colonial struggle which the Igbo led have been lost for today, Nigeria remains a romping ground for those imperial interests whom the Igbo fought with zeal. They have become even bolder in their cultural, economic, political and administrative penetration of Nigeria. That is why, those who go to speak for the Igbo in any conference or dialogue should remember, that they carry a great burden of history. In any case, the outcome would determine the real options before the Igbo.The Igbo are tired of living in the belly of the whale. It is not a comforting place. Ask Jonah.



Anambra: The people will free themselves someday
Dr. Francis Egu - Sunday Independent 6.02.05
Chief C. C. Onoh (former governor of old Anambra State) has offered to chase away those who are fomenting this trouble in Anambra, from Enugu where they reside.
(cuts in) That is why I said that before long, it will not just be Onoh, the business community in Aba will say “we have lost enough.”  It is bad enough.  You have no roads around Aba now.  You can’t enter Aba.  And unfortunately, we have a senator who is said to represent Aba and who is seen to be presiding over the affairs, legally or illegally, at the senate and yet you can’t pass through Aba.  During Christmas, that is when people do their business in the markets in Aba but you can’t go.  If you go to Aba you spend eight hours on the road.
And I can’t tell you the amount of economic loss that is going on there.  So to add that to another one that is man made, it won’t be long before the people would say, we have had enough ooo.  If Awka is in Jericho, we are going there and we will stop this mess because we can’t continue to suffer.  He (Onoh) has said so about Enugu, I am saying so about Abia, about Aba.  Aba will not continue to tolerate the economic loss that we are suffering.  I live in Aba, I am from Abia State, the heart land of the Igbo nation. I want to tell you and announce it to the world that enormous economic loss is being incurred by the people, through this evil that is being perpetrated in Anambra State because that is the gateway and again, by the ugly roads that surround the city. So these things are building up, let nobody say anybody has done something wrong when tomorrow, people say we have had enough.
My understanding of the picture you are painting is that it is possible in the nearest future, if what is happening in Anambra continues, that Aba traders could rise and decide to attack those who are perpetrating it?
I can predict that without much fasting and prayers.
Is it only Awka that you think that they will go to?
I don’t know.  That (Awka) is the capital of the trouble making.  I don’t know I am just saying that in the south-east if those who have made it their centre for trouble making and destabilization, continue, it won’t be long before the people would say, “it is enough.  We cannot take it any longer”.  And nobody can tell the consequences of such decision.




(How Obasanjo is developing Yorubaland at the expense of Igboland)
Vanguard, 01. 02. 2005

Last two weeks, I was at the departure lounge of Nnamdi Azikiwe airport Abuja waiting for a flight to Lagos. Bad weather had caused the delay of several flights. And so the lounge was brimming with agitated passengers. I squeezed myself into a seat opposite two middle-aged men, friends obviously, who looked and sounded boisterous as if their contract bids had just passed Oby Ezekwesili’’s Due Process. Indeed it was the mention of Oby’’s name by one of them that riveted my interest in their friendly bad-mouthing, what we call njakiri or yabbis.

The one with abeti aja cap was yabbing the other: "Your people are now controlling the economy. Oby Ezekwesili, Madam Due Process, decides what contracts are approved. The Minister of Finance is your sister. You are at the head of Central Bank, NAFDAC and……". But the man in red cap cut him short. "My brother, late MKO Abiola had the most apt name for what you are saying. My people are just holding the cow while someone else is milking it!" And they roared with laughter at the recall of Abiola’’s legendary repertoire of proverbs and wise-sayings. "Tell me", continued the red cap man, "How many new banks have my people established because of Soludo? Do you think that the Minister of Finance finances my people’’s business? Or don’’t you know that the victims of NAFDAC are mostly my people?" To which abeti aja man quickly added: "Because they control fake drugs business!". Now more people were taking interest, judging from the guffaw all around.

"You are right", admitted the red cap man. "But you have cleverly avoided the fact that you control the life-wire of the economy. Baba is the Petroleum Minister and Commander-in Chief. You know what that means. You are on top of NNPC. How many of my people are there at the top management level? I even hear that in the new recruitment exercise 30,000 applications came from Ogun state alone! You are heading the PPPRRA or whatever they call it. Even the Secretary is your brother.

The two major oil marketers setting the price with PPPRRA are your brothers. Over sixty per cent of the oil servicing companies, where the real billions are made is in your hands. The so-called oil multi-nationals pa pa are controlled by you! And do you know what? The MT African Pride enquiry has revealed that you have also seized the illegal bunkering business!" The two and every body around them, exploded in laughter. But the announcement of a flight compelled a momentary silence, and then a scramble. But not without a man adding as he dashed for his flight, "that was a good national conference!"

I was forced to ruminate on this airport "national conference" last week as I watched President Obasanjo announce the establishment of a US$ 70 billion Liquified Natural Gas project in Ogun State. According to the President, the Ogun LNG project will be the largest in the world! The Ogun project is in addition to the earlier announcement by the NNPC Group Managing Director, Funsho Kupolokun, a native of Ondo, of the citing of an LNG project in Ondo state.

I laughed as I remembered the airport red cap man. I wished I could put him and his abeti aja friend together once more for a "national conference". Ondo State apart from producing the NNPC Group Managing Director at least produces condensate. But Ogun State? It only produced the President! I don’’t know which of these two states produces natural gas. The logic seems to be, if you can pipe crude to Kaduna, you can pipe gas to Ogun and Ondo!

Abia and Imo states are both Oil and Gas producers, and are mercifully members of the Niger Delta Development Commission. Owerri still bears the legacy of the earliest exploration of oil by the then Shell D’arcy. Shell Camp Owerri is still a living evidence. But in the citing of petro-chemical industries nationwide, the Federal Government continues to follow the post-civil war blueprint that informed the citing of iron and steel complexes in the seventies.

The entire South-East was excluded. In the development of airports, the South-East was again neglected. If the Enugu airport were not there before the war, there probably would not have been one, except the people undertook to build one for themselves, as was the case with the present Igwebuike, now Sam Mbakwe, airport Owerri! This war of attrition fought against the South-East with federal infrastructure continues with the total deliberate neglect of federal roads in the entire East.

Since the seventies, there has been an agitation for a petro-chemical complex in Oguta. But the Federal Government considered it an anathema. What qualifies Ondo and Ogun to have the world’’s largest LNG for which that zone is being turned to an export free zone other than that the men currently at the helm of the oil industry are from there? One day I was on the KAKAKI programme on AIT, when one obviously inebriated caller started abusing me on air for discussing resource control.

What resources do the Igbos have, he asked? I was forced to quietly remind him that most of the oil fields in the Niger Delta today were carved out of Igboland and given to the Niger Delta in an economic boundary gerrymandering supervised by Justice Mamman Nasir. The strategy was to secure as many of the oil wells as possible with the minorities, away from the reach of the secessionists! In the process many oil wells in Abia were, for many years, adjudged as in no-man’’s-land. Still Abia and Imo are today very significant in oil and gas production with at least four different oil multi-nationals operating there!

Honestly, I do not envy Ondo or Ogun state for their luck. Indeed envy is not one of my vices. I have long ceased bothering about or expecting any justice from the Federal Government. After all, late Ajie Ukpabi Asika, a great friend of President Obasanjo, had long established the principle that onye ube ruru ya rachaa! Those who are rubbished and who must bear the shame of the continued exclusion of the South-East from the core of the economy of the nation are those so-called leaders from the zone who swear with the name of whoever appoints them to offices, and seduce their people into false expectations from vengeful federal allies! Where are Obasanjo’’s apostles of yesterday, who swore to the people of South-East that their roads are being repaired? Who will speak up for the South-East on this parochial distribution of the petro-chemical complexes? Senate President Wabara?



While Obasanjo is destroying Anambra cum Igboland, economically and politically, he is busy developing Ogun cum Yorubaland. See below:
FG to invest $70bn in Ogun NLG Plant–Obasanjo
Daily Champion 24.1.05
PRESIDENT Olusegun Obasanjo weekend said government will invest about $70 billion in the next 10 years on the establishment of a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant in Ogun State. Speaking at the 32nd president’s party of the Abeokuta Club last Saturday, Obasanjo stated that the project to be sited in Olokolo, would be built in phases............................
First private refinery set to take-off in Ogun
Vanguard, Monday, January 24, 2005
LAGOS — Arrangements for the flagging off of Nigeria’s first private refinery would be concluded in the next few days, as a high-powered team of American investors and state officials visits Nigeria from today to February 2. The visit is a follow-up to recent negotiations between Oil & Gas Consult International Limited, promoters of the refinery and its international and strategic and financial partners led by Premier Energy Group LLC. The visiting delegation will comprise 14 members of the underwriters group of partners including a member of Premier’s Board of Directors. The delegation will undertake site assessment of the proposed refinery, being the final stage prior to construction scheduled to begin in February 2005. The refinery will be sited near the town of Ipokia, Ipokia Local Government, Ogun State, and will have a minimum capacity of 100,000 barrels per day (bpd)......................
Work to Begins on Gateway Cargo Airport –Gov
By Idowu Sowunmi, This Day, January 24, 2005
Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel weekend reaffirmed his government's commitment to the establishment of Gateway Cargo Airport in the state, saying major work would begin on the project before the end of the year. ............................
Ogun enters world tourism map
From Charles Coffie-Gyamfi, Guardian 24.1.05
ONE of the tourist points in Ogun State, Sungbo Eredo, has been given official recognition by the World Tourism Organisation (WTO), the highest policy making body for tourism in the world. Governor Gbenga Daniel, who disclosed this at the weekend said by the recognition, the centre became an international tourist attraction towards listing it as world heritage site alongside other tourist places of interest like the Great Pyramids of Egypt. Sungbo Eredo is the protection boundary ditch of Ijebu kingdom and is about 100 years of age.............
Obasanjo and Anti-corruption
"Former IGP Tafa Balogun corrupt practices, EFCC have received presidential orders to back off from further investigation"
"Last week, several newspapers reported that Nuhu Ribadu and his Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have received presidential orders to back off from further investigation of their latest quarry alone. The newspapers suggested that the nation's leader and official head of Corruption Incorporated had received entreaties from a top Oba as well as several "prominent" Nigerians to the effect that Balogun had suffered enough. And since President Obasanjo wants to slough off the slur that he is an unlistening president, one conjectures that he must have jumped at the chance"
Prisons are for the poor
By Okey Ndibe , Guardian 03.02.2005
FROM the outset, I suspected that the brouhaha over Tafa Balogun's sudden retirement as Nigeria's Inspector-General of Police would blow over quickly, and that has come to pass. The dust of corrupt enrichment that allegedly brought Mr. Balogun's unimpressive career to a sorry end has gone the way of dust: settled back on the ground. In a tested Nigerian ritual, Balogun seems to have gone into a temporary phase of hibernation. He will emerge soon more powerful and more decorated. He will arise, I predict, to the accompaniment of zestful adulation. He will be apotheosised, invited to mount the podium for his induction into the ranks of "a prominent Nigerian," a "kingmaker," or "elder" (whichever he chooses).

Last week, several newspapers reported that Nuhu Ribadu and his Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have received presidential orders to back off from further investigation of their latest quarry alone. The newspapers suggested that the nation's leader and official head of Corruption Incorporated had received entreaties from a top Oba as well as several "prominent" Nigerians to the effect that Balogun had suffered enough. And since President Obasanjo wants to slough off the slur that he is an unlistening president, one conjectures that he must have jumped at the chance. I was not surprised in the least. For the record, I never took seriously the blather that Mr. Balogun's ouster had something to do with his alleged corruption. It would be out of character for the president to censure any big man for corruption, much less his beloved "Man Friday," a cop whose every excess and abdication was informed by a singular desire: to please and flatter Mr. Obasanjo.
All we know for sure is that the former IG of Police seems to have disappeared from the pages of newspapers. Don't be surprised if the next thing you hear is that he has been freighted out to some European or North American capital for medical check-up (of course at the expense of all Nigerians). He is, don't forget, a big man who, in the parlance of Nigerian speech, "bagged" an exalted national honour for his "meritorious service to the nation."
As far as I can recall, no government official in Abuja has felt the need to assure Nigerians that the billions of naira allegedly pilfered by Balogun would be recovered and put back in the public treasury. The going rule these days is that, when a top government official helps himself to public funds, his act is not deemed felonious or treacherous. Instead, the act is framed in a vocabulary that states that "God has blessed" the man. Such warped logic and deformed language are at the core of Nigeria's deepening moral and ethical effluvium.....................



Exploitation of Nigerians by the Nigerian Embassies

Attention, foreign affairs minister

The age-old mindless, and unconscionable exploitation of the Nigerian people has been exported to the Republic of Ireland. The Nigerian embassy charges 400 euros per person for a passport which translates to N72,000 for a single person, and N144,000 for a couple.

No other Nigerian embassy or indeed any other nation around the globe charges such an outrageous amount for a passport. What manner of men are our leaders? How on earth can such a fee be justified? Why is it that our leaders, even in a democracy, thrive on the misery, and strangulation of Nigeria? What have we Nigerians, and indeed black people done to deserve this continuing slavery?

My heart bleeds as I ponder these questions. For democracy to make sense, the minister of foreign affairs, and even President Olusegun Obasanjo must intervene as a matter of urgency to stop this robbery of Nigerians.


County Louth, Republic of Ireland

Please send in your comments or experiences with the Nigerian Embassies in US, Germany, UK, Italy, all over the world




-  B F, Washington DC, USA

The problems facing the Igbo today are enormous and complicated. But there is a solution. The solution is at your feet not in any buffoon who calls himself some fancy name and sits in a big office in Abuja. Ndigbo, your destiny is in your hands, take it and do it now.  
Every society, indeed every community has its criminals. The first instinct of the criminals is to take over the society or community, do whatever he can if can get away with it. Often the criminal will actually try to take over the society or hold it hostage. Some societies will cuddle the criminals, some will play chicken, others will charge at them like a roaring lion. Whatever strategy the society takes it will eventually arrive at one goal if that society plans to continue to exist. That bottom line is “destroy the criminals or they will destroy you.” In traditional Igbo society a local thief knows well enough where the society has drawn the line. If he crosses that line, he will be kidnapped in the dead of night and probably buried alive far away from home no questions asked. As brutal as it might sound it saves the community from destruction and serves notice to other criminals not to cross the line.
Since the end of the Biafra – Nigeria war in 1970, several Igbo criminals have been doing things to completely destroy Igbo society. First you had traitors who called themselves Ndigbo then joined the enemy to slaughter and starve to death millions of Ndigbo. The war ended and they just walked back into Igbo land to share kola nut, food and drinks with the same people they just planned to murder. The Igbo did not ask any questions. Igbo did not protest or take action against these murderers. After watching how these traitors were received a new group of criminals emerged. They took money meant for contract jobs like providing electricity, pipe borne water, roads and bridges for the Igbo. They took the money and did not do the job. The Igbo made them chiefs and gave them big titles. The Igbo did not protest. Igbo did not ask questions. Igbo did not punish them. The next group of crimi! nals watched and learned.
The new group was no longer satisfied with just stealing the money meant for development projects for the Igbo, they actually shut down institutions like schools, hospitals, courts and the civil service meant to serve the people. Not only did the Igbo not ask any questions, the Igbo gave them titles. The Igbo called them big names like “Oderaa” and worshipped them. The Igbo did not fight back, they merely protested meekly. Other criminals watched and learned. Now there are new kids on the block, the new criminals. Since the Igbo never fight back the new criminals have a new program for the Igbo: First they will take over the government and its apparatuses including governor, commissioner, police, everything. Then they will take over institutions like schools, courts, hospitals and use them as their private property. They will give themselves the right to use them or destroy them as they wish. Finally they will deal ruthlessly with anyone who opposes their wish to do whatever they like. They will kill, maim, burn, rape, you name it and they will do it. Once they arrive at this point the society goes into coma and needs intensive care to survive.
Ndigbo! Ndigbo!! Ndigbo!!! It is time to take your society back. First it was Asika, then Nwachukwu, Eze, Offor, Iwuanyanwu, and now Nnamani, Kalu, Ngige, Uba, Udenwa, Emordi, Ulasi, Nzeribe, Nzeribe, Eze, Ugokwe, Enechukwu, Okoye, Ugokwe, and so many others. Let us take Anambra as a test case. The people of Anambra went to the pools and chose Peter Obi as their governor. A bunch of criminals headed by Uba and Ngige stole the election and installed Ngige as the governor. Then they took over the state and made it their personal property; the money, infrastructure and all became their personal property. Unfortunately they started fighting over how to share the money they stole from the people of Anambra. When Ngige was outflanked and cornered he ran back to the people of Anambra and pretended to be a saint. Using the funds allocated to Anambra State Ngige started paying salaries and resurfacing some roads. Good and we thank him. However he is still a criminal who conspired to steal the mandate the people of Anambra gave to Peter Obi. Anambra people should thank Ngige for paying salaries then tell him to hand over the government to Peter Obi! the rightful governor of Anambra State and get the hell out of government house. That is the only right thing to do. After that Anambra people should tell all the fake senators representatives and assemblymen to give their seats to the rightful winners, get out of town or face the music. This fight is between good and evil, and good must win. There will be no half measures. This fight must start and Igbo must win in Anambra, Imo, Enugu, Abia, Ebonyi, Rivers, and Delta. MASSOB, the honest dedicated and patriotic Organization and APGA, the Igbo party has shown the way. Ndigbo must take it from here. There will be no excuses.
On another note at this time last year, Orji Uzo Kalu was celebrating Salah with Ndi Uka Alakuba in an Emirs palace in Katsina, Northern Nigeria. This year he just did the same thing and boasts about it. He has built mosques in Umuahia and is actively importing Islam into Igbo land. Ndigbo! Ndigbo!! You are playing with fire. Ndigbo as you bury your head in the sand remember that your entire body is exposed above ground. Can you show us one place on earth where Islam exists peacefully with another religion? Ndigbo, if you don’t remove and neutralize Orji Kalu right now you will have yourselves to blame when the fire he is setting becomes a conflagration. You will not be able to put out that fire. Ka Chineke mezie okwu. May God bless the sovereign Republic of Biafra and all those fighting for her freedom! 
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- Osita Chidoka, Virginia, USA

Thisday in its inimitable style recently published its ten years governance awards nominees. A very noble effort, I must say, in this season when the media have unwittingly deified President Obasanjo, as the Alpha and Omega of our democracy. This deification has created a grotesques situation where like in a theatre the audience only see the lead character, on stage soliloquizing without the antagonists or the supporting characters playing any role. The Pesident Obasanjo that is the problem and possibly the solution is a myth, created by the media. In a democracy civil society is the determinant of the extent the powers they delegated to elected officials can be used. The attempts to expect President Obasanjo or any elected official for that matter to provide transformational leadership without any sustained pressure from an aware and empowered citizenry is a mirage. If our opposition Parties, Pro democracy groups, student and labor groups remain unconscious of their historical role then the issue of unaccountable leaders will still dominate the headlines long after President Obasanjo. It is against this background that I salute Thisday in reminding us that Nigeria’s democracy is more than Obasanjo through the governance awards.


The award for the Governor of the year was given "to honor and encourage governors who are oasis of integrity in a desert of corruption and who are doing something uniquely different to empower their people". The nominees for the award were Gbenga Daniel of Ogun State, Sam Egwu of Ebonyi State, Danjuma Goje of Gombe State, Bukola Saraki of Kwara and Umar Yar Adua of Katsina. Going through the rationale for the nominations, only Governor Yar Adua was nominated for Personal integrity. The others were nominated for performing their jobs as Governors. In the case of Governor Daniel he was nominated for the net work of roads constructed by direct labor; focusing on tourism, agriculture; and displaying forward thinking in the discharge of his assignment. Governor Egwu was nominated for elevating education to the top of his priorities. Using these Governors as example lets examine the nominations.


The question is how does performing this basic functions as Governors translate to their emergence as "Oasis of integrity in a desert of corruption". Thisday’s nominations betray a laziness and arbitrariness that is incompatible with the newspaper we have come to cherish and respect. Let’s look at Sam Egwu who has spent close to Six years in Ebonyi State as a test case. The criteria for his nomination are very puerile and insensitive. How many tender advertisements have been published in the Press for Contracts? Have you seen any advertisement for graduate employment in to the State Civil service? Are promotions in the public service merit driven with clear objective criteria? Have you heard of any Commissioner in Ebonyi State summoned before the State House of Assembly to explain lapses in budgetary implementation? Education is a low specificity activity with difficult to measure output; how do we then measure the output for the money spent in Ebonyi? To avoid being misunderstood I support the investment in education and give kudos to Governor Egwu for it, but how will Ebonyi people know if the investment is producing commensurate outcome? Is it by the number of students who take the WAEC exam or the jamb score of Ebonyi students?


Do we know how much it cost to construct a kilometer of road in Ebonyi State? Do we know how much the Government of Ebonyi spend on elected government officials as a percentage of the budget? If all these data are available then Thisday chose wrong parameters for their stated objectives of honoring Governors who are oasis of integrity. These Governors, save for Yar Adua, who is acknowledged for personal integrity, but has not shown any capacity in institutionalizing transparency, do not qualify for these nominations. To empower People is beyond providing physical infrastructure; it requires access to information, functioning institutions, delegation of power and knowledge of duties and responsibilities. By way of example, I only hear or read of Commissioners making Policy statements or explaining policies in Lagos State. The nomination of Governor Danjuma Goje for his role during the disaster that afflicted the State is not only ridiculous but an affront to the concept of integrity which is what the award is about. A Giuliani award for leadership may have been appropriate.


Another example of the lazy approach to a very serious issue is the nomination of Chief Chukwuemeka Chikelu, the smooth and brilliant Minister of Information for "bringing initiative and genuine zeal into governance with a view to making a difference". Again I beg to differ with Thisday for their cavalier and roadside view of governance. Chief Chikelu’s nomination was hinged on his pet project of rebuilding Nigeria’s image abroad through the showcasing of successful Nigerians; and advertising in major Airports across the globe. A very good project, in my estimation, but does not amount to genuine zeal in governance. What has the Minister done to rein his boss the President from his new found love for replying every letter? Is he not the head of the information machinery of this government that is enjoying one of the worst media attacks in Nigeria’s recent history? How does he want to show case successful Nigerians when a garrulous Special Assistant accused Nigeria’s foremost cultural icon of less than noble intentions for rejecting an award? Is he kept in the dark when these inelegant letters are written from the Presidency? Has he shown any zeal in the defense of the programs of this government or did he choose the Image project as his Afghanistan? Is the Obasanjo story being told as it should or is there no story? Pray how can the media hate a President and love his Chief Spokesman?


The image of Nigeria is decided by the Nigerian media and not by any advertisement abroad. When foreigners want information on Nigeria they go to Google and the bulk of information that comes up are reports from Nigerian Newspapers. How can anyone ignore this incredible minefield of information and yet be said to bring initiative to governance? How much has the Minister’s style influenced the President’s opinion of the press as hired guns? Does the Minister’s job schedule not include bringing order and sanity to the incoherent information machinery of this administration? Thisday can nominate the Minister for an award and he deserves it in many areas not related to zeal and initiative in governance because he has shown neither in managing the image of the government he represents. Imagine if this groundswell of negative public opinion were to lead to the demise of this government the Minister will have no platform for his award winning image project. The nomination of Adeseye Ogunlewe for zeal and initiative would have been in order if it is for acrimony but definitely not for governance.


Senators Mamman Ali and Uche Chukwumerije definitely deserve the nomination for courage and conviction in the building of a strong legislature, same also for Anthony Aziegbemi and Chudi Offodile. Senator Chukwumerije deserves the nomination for displaying uncommon courage in charting an individual course against the tyranny of the majority that is becoming the hallmark of the National Assembly. His article published in Thisday, on the State of Emergency in Plateau remains the finest, most eloquent and reasoned contribution to our contemporary political literature. Senator Mamman’s insistence on refund of the monies paid to the FCT Special Assistants remains one of the redeeming acts of a National Assembly in a crisis of identity. Hon Chudi Offodile has been impressive with his consistent avowal of reason and individuality on touchy issues in the house. However beyond all these is a more fundamental question why are all the Legislators nominated by virtue of performing their oversight functions? What of the real task of making laws or innovation and initiative in tackling social issues?


Again we turn our gaze to Senator Ali’s effort at making sure that Ministerial aides do not earn more than stipulated by the rules. His efforts should have created the necessary ferment for legislating on a problem plaguing the public service with some enduring consequences. The award winning act of ordering the offending Assistants to refund the salaries they were paid only begs the question. How does that solve the problem of lack of human capacity in the Ministries? This was the rationale for appointing non Civil Servants as aides. Does he know that a former Secretary to Government Alhaji Gidado Idris with the then Head of State’s approval abolished the position of Personal and Special Assistants? Did he invite him to find out why? Why does a Minister need Assistants if their job is to oversee household matters and travel abroad with him or her at government expense? Yet how will a Minister who needs technical advice that is not available in the Ministry get such advice from qualified Nigerians who will not be chasing Parastatal Chief Executives for contracts or setting up toll gates for those seeking to see the Minister? I think that is the conundrum the FCT minister was trying to break in his own style. Does Thisday not know the havoc this tribe of non technical Assistants wreck on the system where they wield informal authority without responsibility?


I thought Senator Mamman should have used the FCT opportunity for a much wider ranging reform that may see Ministers and even legislators become entitled to one consultant, who has professional competence in the field relevant to the Minister and be remunerated outside the Civil service scale so as to attract competent Nigerians from the private sector or abroad. These consultants will only have staff responsibility as policy analysts and advisers to the Ministers while observing strict rules on conflict of interest. The truth of the matter is that many Assistants are still collecting huge subsidies via contracts and other scams, the FCT case only sought to bring to the table what was happening under the table. Courage to catch the thief should also extend to innovation to stop other thieves, including aspiring ones.


Thisday has developed into a strong brand and should be careful not to send wrong signals about the depth of its intellectual resource. It has consistently thrown its weight behind many Nigerians perceived to be leading us to the Promised Land. Here I will digress from the awards and touch on an issue that the Paper has always celebrated. The government has always announced with glee how much it saves each year from the due process mechanism; a very worthy concept that deserves our full support. But has anybody stopped to ponder on the implications of the claims of the due process unit? First, the contracts that go to due process originates from a department in a Ministry headed by a Director, or a Parastatal led by a chief Executive, before going through the Permanent Secretary, the chief accounting office of the Ministry, to the Ministerial tenders board. This contract, let us say for building an office complex, goes to Ministry of Housing for evaluation by the quantity surveyors employed to ensure that government contracts are well priced. In most cases a consulting firm is also involved in evaluating the tender documents and choosing the best submission. After all this process, sometimes the Minister gets anticipatory approval from the President or a full approval from the Federal Executive Council before heading to Due process unit or in the reverse order starting from Due Process first.


On getting to Due Process the contract is found to be inflated by X percent and the contractor is forced to accept a new price less the X amount. Due Process announces the saving of X amount with relish and every body is happy. The question them is who inflated the contract? Did the Permanent Secretary know of the inflation? What of the Minister, did he deliberately deceive the President and the Federal Executive Council? If we say that the Minister and Permanent Secretaries have no technical capability, which resides only in the Due process unit, to see the inflation what of the Consultants and the Ministry of Works officials? Where in the chain did the inflation take place? Have you heard of any Minister or Permanent Secretary resigning or fired for bringing an inflated contract to council? What has the Due process Unit done to strengthen the institutional chain than merely announcing savings? What if Mrs. Ezekwesili, the patron saint of the unit on whose personal initiative and integrity we rely on moves on to higher responsibilities and an honest but less zealous person takes over? Yet Thisday celebrate Due Process as the high water mark of this administration.


Due Process should be a verb and not a noun. It should be about strengthening the integrity of systems and People. Maybe the Unit should consider attaching an indemnity form on every contract submission, signed by Permanent secretaries and Ministers accepting Personal responsibility in the event of discovery of any inflation or failure to abide by stipulated guidelines. This may improve the corporate governance mechanism of government agencies and balance authority with responsibility, like company audited accounts. Also that will reduce the burden on the unit as it can begin to use random assessment as opposed to the current system of reviewing every contract and wasting the little time this regime has to deliver on its promises.


Thisday should partner with Universities or Non Governmental organizations with the technical and intellectual resource base in future awards to avoid these seemly arbitrary criteria for selecting its nominees. If Thisday had done a thorough job this governance awards would have been like the NLNG award for literature; without winners. That would have been a better ten years anniversary prize from Thisday.

Osita Chidoka,
School of Public Policy, George Mason University, Virginia, USA




What's the PDP Up to in Anambra?

Chuks Iloegbunam - Vanguard, 11. 01. 05
........The job of any president is to serve the people. The issue to address is therefore different and is captured by the following questions: Is Obasanjo serving the Nigerian people? Or is he riding roughshod over their interests? Let us borrow from Obasanjo. "The first responsibility of a government is to do justice", says Obasanjo on page 227 of his book This Animal Called Man. "A good government that cannot do justice forfeits the right to govern." Talking Anambra State, is Obasanjo's government doing justice? If it isn't doing justice, as this writer believes, doesn't the consequence of forfeiture of governance apply to it? Or is Obasanjo in the brigade of "Do as I preach but not as I do?" Again, let us borrow from Obasanjo. On page 267 of This Animal Called Man [ALF Publications, Abeokuta], Obasanjo gives a recipe on how to be a good leader. He calls it the "God-and-man six-way test":
"First, how will my family react to or feel about this? Will they feel proud or ashamed by it? Secondly, how will my close friends feel about my words and deeds in specific details? Thirdly, my community, will they be proud of my action or be shamed by it? Fourthly, the Church test; how will my Church feel; will they approve of my words and actions and be comfortable with them? Fifthly, the Press test; how will I feel if it comes on the front pages of the national newspapers tomorrow? Will I feel embarrassed or can I comfortably and stoutly defend my action and words? Sixthly, will God be pleased or satisfied or have I disobeyed God's law. It is (the) family-friends-community-church-press-and-God test. It is foolproof. Soundings can be made. The final and ultimate test of my thought, word and action is: Will God be honoured and glorified by it? It is a cardinal rule and principle to govern decision-making process in all situations. If God will not be honoured and glorified, then it may not be right."
Presumably, therefore, it is by the above "way" that Obasanjo presides over the affairs of Nigeria. It leads us to a central question, which is also the title of this article: What is the PDP up to in Anambra State? It leads us to another question: Has Obasanjo always applied his six-sided test in mediating the affairs of Anambra State? It is important to review some of the key developments in Anambra State since Obasanjo's second term of office began. On July 10, 2003, Governor Chris Ngige of Anambra State was abducted at gunpoint by 200 heavily armed policemen led by a senior police officer based in Umuahia, Abia State. As this happened, identified gunmen seized the Anambra State House of Assembly which was in session and forced it to accept the "resignation" of Ngige. Obasanjo stood between the perpetrators of this treasonous acts and justice. Will the president like to mention which one of his six-sided test justifies his position?
Justice Wilson Egbo-Egbo of the Abuja Federal Court abused his position by ordering, without legal backing, that Ngige must relinquish his gubernatorial seat. The National Judicial Council (NJC) tried and found Egbo-Egbo guilty and recommended his dismissal from the bench. The recommendation warmed the president's table for months, until a member of the NJC protested in the media. Thereafter, Egbo-Egbo was announced retired with full benefits, just as Mr. Ralph Ige, the late Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) that abducted Ngige was retired with full benefits. Which one of these retirements was cheered by the Press portion of the six-sided test?
Between November 10 to 13, 2004, Anambra State witnessed an organised mayhem during which large-scale destruction of public buildings took place. The police, a Federal institution answerable to the president, stood by and watched as one public building after another went up in flames. One television footage after another showed policemen idling away their time while fire gutted the people's dreams and aspirations. All newspapers reports underlined the perfidy of the police in the mayhem. Yet, the president said he was told by the Inspector General of Police that the police was overwhelmed! Was that why no arrests were made and nobody prosecuted? Is that why the Federal Government is not interested in funding the repairs of the billion Naira damages. Will God be cheering at all of this?
When Obasanjo and Chief Audu Ogbeh exchanged letters, the President let it be known that he was all the time aware that the gubernatorial election in Anambra State was manipulated. "I got the real shock of my life when Chris Uba looked Ngige straight in the face and said: 'You know you did not win the election' and Ngige answered 'Yes, I know I did not win.' Chris Uba went further to say to Ngige, 'You don't know in detail how it was done.' I was horrified and told both of them to leave my residence." These are the words of the President of Nigeria. Chief Audu Ogbeh himself has confirmed what Chris Uba and Chris Ngige jointly admitted in his presence that Ngige did not win the Anambra governorship election. Further, Chris Uba has issued a press statement on how he organised the manipulation of the election result. Which one of Obasanjo's six-sided test supports the retention of stolen property? Which one is against the concept of restitution? What is the PDP up to in Anambra State?
The PDP has set up yet another committee, headed by the Governor Oyinlola of Osun State, to look into the Anambra "crisis". What happened to the investigations carried out by the Federal House of Representatives and the Senate Committee led by Senator David Mark? What has become of the "Reconciliation" Committee headed by the Governor of Ebonyi State, which Obasanjo set up? The story is that the PDP "plans" to use Oyinlola's report and that other report by a Senate Committee headed by Mrs. Iyabo Anisulowo to recommend the declaration of a state of emergency and fresh governorship polls in Anambra State. One wonders how they intend to conjure these objectives. Not one of the conditions for a state of emergency is met by the situation in Anambra. Again, there cannot be a fresh election when nothing was wrong with the first one, except the manipulation of figures which can be set right by the Election Tribunal...............
What the PDP wants in Anambra State is fairly obvious, which is why they have continued to beat about the bush. They want Ngige out but they don't want (themselves) out. The solution to the problem in Anambra, which is a creation of the PDP, is to allow justice to run its course. The Elections Petitions Tribunal in Awka should decide the gubernatorial petition before it. It is no use trying to cut corners as the PDP is doing. It is disgraceful to see those sworn to serve the people turn around to celebrate two armed robbers engaged in a bitter war over the sharing of loot. This is the time for restitution. People who have owned up to electoral manipulation should voluntarily go before the tribunal to testify. Or they should be subpoenaed. Anything short of justice will not do. To quote Obasanjo one more time, "A problem trampled upon with the boot or swept under the carpet is not solved. It will incubate and get bigger and worse."
Whose interest is Uba serving?

I have been watching with keen interest the development in Anambra State right from the beginning of the present administration of Governor Chris Ngige. That Ngige is ruling on a stolen mandate is not news anymore. What is, however, worrisome is the attitude of his godfather, Chris Uba, and the failure of the government at the centre to check him.  That he is still walking freely after all the atrocities he allegedly committed is something extremely strange. In most nations of the world, Uba and his group would have been forgotten in the dungeon............

All the noise about ‘no sacred cow’ by the present administration is a charade afterall.  I am of the opinion that all those exchange of words between Obasanjo and Ogbeh and the tension their friction generated in heating up the polity, is just a window rehearsal to cover up his tracks.............   History will not forgive the present administration led by the PDP if the perpetrators of the heinous crime in Anambra State are not brought to book. Let it be said that the issue of constitutional violation is not ‘a family affair’.    Bola Akinrinola, Lagos. PUNCH,15.01. 2005
Ogbeh's exit
Reuben Abati. Guardian 14. 01.05
..........But the big scandal is to be found in the circumstances of Audu Ogbeh's eventual exit from the PDP chair. According to reports, he was placed under house arrest. When his own daughter sought to enter his house after 6 p.m, she was told by security operatives guarding the house that her father, Ogbeh, cannot receive visitors after 6 p.m. Why? Order from above. Ogbeh came out and identified his daughter. The guards, who had taken over his premises without his knowledge or instruction, told him they had orders to do what they were doing. This was an abuse of power, office and privilege in the extreme; for it soon became clear that the guards were indeed acting on Presidential instruction. To keep anyone under house arrest, without a court ruling to that effect, runs contrary to the rule of law. It amounts to an abuse of human rights and a violation of democracy. If indeed it is the President who unilaterally placed Audu Ogbeh under house arrest, then the National Assembly has a duty to take up the matter. Who are those guards in front of Ogbeh's house? Who sent them there? Are they public servants paid with taxpayer's funds? Or are they members of a private guard; wearing the wrong uniform?
As the story goes, Ogbeh was eventually summoned to Aso Villa where the President asked for his resignation letter, and he quickly tendered it. Ogbeh has been quoted as saying that he did not resign under duress. Or that he is not in conflict with the President. How else can duress be defined? Ogbeh submitted his letter at the Presidential Villa. Is that the PDP Secretariat in Abuja? The PDP National Headquarters is in Abuja, why didn't Audu Ogbeh take his letter there? When asked to whom he addressed his letter of resignation, Ogbeh mentioned the PDP National Secretary, Vincent Ogbulafor. So, does Ogbulafor live in Aso Villa? Given the circumstances of Ogbeh's exit, it is not impossible that he does not have a copy of his own letter of resignation! The full story of this resignation is yet to be told.........
President Obasanjo and his boys may gloat to their hearts' content that Audu Ogbeh has been taught a lesson, and or that he has been put in his place, but let them be told, in plain words that the use of ambush tactics, blackmail and intimidation such as deployed in the Ogbeh case belong to Idi Amin's Uganda, and Kamuzu Banda's Malawi, rather than a civilised, democratic state. In getting rid of Ogbeh, President Obasanjo does a little more damage to his own image. It is bad news that a similar strategy is being adopted in the President's response to the ruling of the Appeal Court in the 2003 Presidential Election case. The President is asking the Supreme Court to reverse the decision of the lower court; he is confronting that court with the might of the Presidency. Almost simultaneously, the Electoral Commission is also talking back at the Court on the conduct of the 2003 Presidential Election in Ogun State. And yet, this is the same INEC which refused to present before the Appeal Court, the certified true copies of election results when the Court demanded to see them. So, is this what we all fought for in 1993? Did we oppose military rule, so we could have this?
Pounded yam, treachery and Obasanjo's politics
Levi Obijiofor , Guardian 14. 01. 05
...........Many people did not expect, after Ogbeh and Obasanjo made a show of the so-called meal of pounded yam and driving around together last week, that Obasanjo would still exact his revenge on Ogbeh. Ogbeh was simply naive to have had the meal with Obasanjo, or to have created the impression that his quarrel with Obasanjo had been sorted out. Obasanjo does not forgive easily. He has the uncanny ability to dine and dance with his enemies while plotting with grit on his teeth for their downfall. No one can buy Obasanjo's treachery with a mere bowl of pounded yam, not even the late Chuba Okadigbo. William Shakespeare must have had Obasanjo in mind when he wrote about the difficulty of attempting to decipher the mind's construction through the face............
Ogbeh's forced resignation symbolises humiliation not only for Ogbeh but also for the entire PDP leadership. It signifies the subjugation of truth in the PDP. Ogbeh's resignation underscores the popular belief that the model of democracy being practised in Nigeria under "King Obasanjo" is dictatorship by another name. Ogbeh's resignation as party chairman underlines the widely held view that the PDP is in large part a group of spineless men and women who would rather suffer in silence than speak out against evil acts perpetrated by their leaders. Above all these, Ogbeh's resignation and the failure of a large section of the party to confront the evil plotters of his resignation portend an unhealthy democratic future in Nigeria. If this could happen in Nigeria under Obasanjo, the civilian dictator, consider what would happen if Babangida, the architect of higher acts of dictatorship, succeeded in his silent campaign to return as an elected president in 2007..............

Although Ogbeh claimed he was not forced to resign, verifiable evidence suggests he was forced "at gunpoint" not only to write his own letter of resignation but also to sign it. It's like forcing a man at gunpoint to dig his own grave and to jump inside and bury himself. Ogbeh's resignation does not only reinforce public opinion of Obasanjo as a man who uses public office and his servants to victimise and harass people who express opinions that are critical of his government but also as a man who has developed a reputation for smiling in public with his perceived enemies while at the same time stabbing them metaphorically in private. Political mischief cannot come in a better or more villainous form.

In an essay published in the Vanguard of Tuesday this week, Pini Jason captured the sense of outrage that one felt toward the people who forced Ogbeh out of office, in the manner they did. "Why is it that anytime anybody disagrees with the President he must be guillotined? Is it that the President is incapable of sustaining a debate or is it impatience with alternative views? Yet those close to the President swear all the time that he is a listening President. What does he listen to, if he cannot listen to the advice of his party chairman? Who does he listen to, if he cannot listen to his party chairman? Must every disagreement be resolved with the removal of anybody who disagrees with the President?"

Last week I described Obasanjo as an authoritarian practising the art of democracy. After the events of the past two weeks, after Obasanjo's recent confessions about what he knew in regard to the crises in Anambra State, after Ogbeh's announcement of his resignation, I am now convinced that Obasanjo is nowhere near conceptualising the art of democracy. Intolerance is not an element of democratic leadership. Indirectly encouraging a cowboy to cause political trouble in another state is not a noble act.

There is something officially evil in a democratic country where a president shuts his eyes when someone confesses to committing a high crime in the election process. There is something weird when a so-called defender of democracy and a "born-again" Christian president argues that there must be honour among two thieves who conspired to rig elections in Anambra State. Obasanjo believes that in sharing their loot, the two robbers must honour their agreement before the crime was committed. How horrendous! Part of the reason why religious revivalism and the "born-again" mantra will not stick with many people in Nigeria is that those who latch on to God's name when they are awake and when they are asleep have been exposed in public to be worse than the flock to which they have been preaching.

Obasanjo's lack of tolerance for critical opinion, his arrogance and his all-knowing attitude to matters of governance imply that Nigeria has a long way to go before it can practise true democracy. It is one thing to proclaim one's self " as Obasanjo does in a self-conceited manner " as a democrat. It is another thing to live like a democrat. Obasanjo's conception of democracy, in my view, equates with participation in the village level chieftaincy tussle. He must do better. Obasanjo must respect the principles of democracy that he swore to defend.




Anambra Crisis:
" .......I believe that the roots of the crisis in Anambra State lie in the ruling party's subversion of the people's electoral choices. From all accounts, Peter Obi and APGA resoundingly triumphed in the 2003 elections. Regardless of the returns certified by an inept and corrupt INEC, neither President Obasanjo nor Dr. Ngige came close to winning any election in the state. I'd like to see Obi's victory quickly upheld by the state electoral tribunal. In the name of morality, I also challenge Obasanjo to immediately concede that Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu thrashed him in Anambra State and in most of the south-eastern states. For not only does this president hold a questionable mandate from Anambra state and several Igbo states, but the nation's highest court recently nullified the presidential election in his own home state of Ogun. The judges were shocked to discover a massive discrepancy between number of votes cast and the number of registered voters in the state. Why is the president blind to the moral implications of that electoral oddity? "  -  Okey Ndibe - Guardian 13.01.05
"For instance, the revelations by President Olusegun Obasanjo that Dr. Chris Ngige admitted that he did not win the elections had lent credence to the belief by the opposition parties that the so-called landslide victory by the PDP was a ruse. In fact, it is very unfortunate and disheartening to know that the ruling party has been encouraging and participating in political robbery and illegality. So, what type of leadership do we have in Nigeria? However, the ruling party has a lot of things to do in order to redeem its image. In the case of Anambra State, the band of renegades, touts and thugs should be brought to book in order to serve as deterrent to others. Then, the stolen mandate of Anambra State should be given back to the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, who won the guber election freely and fairly. In addition, other stolen mandates should he handed back to the right candidates, especially the nullified PDP candidates, still occupying illegal offices should vacate their seats. Yes, PDP must learn the truth of history."  Victor Adeola, Lagos. Guardian, 13.01.2005 -  PDP and the political crisis in Anambra
"Uba makes U-turn, wants to be governor: Claiming to be broke presently, Uba who gave evidence for about six hours therefore urged the committee to devise a way through which he could be made governor for, at least six months.  The source said, "The committee upbraided Uba when he made the suggestion that he would like to be governor of the state for six months so that he can get back the N1billion loaned to Ngige. To support his point, he brought out signed documents detailing the financial dealings with Ngige. He showed the committee Ngige's signature as regards the loan of N1billion." The Punch, January 12, 2005
"THISDAY gathered that when the committee reminded him that if Ngige is removed, he will be succeeded by his deputy, Uba interjected and said, "let Ngige and his deputy be removed and a Sole Administrator be appointed for Anambra State, pending when a fresh election will be conducted."  At yesterday's meeting of the committee where Uba alongside seven of his supporters and Ngige also with seven of his supporters met the committee members together, a source said Ngige allegedly pledged to reimburse Uba with N4 billion for his efforts in ensuring that he became governor. The said N4 Billion offer was made in the presence of Oyinlola, and other members of the committee.  But, Uba was said turned down the offer and insisted that Ngige must vacate his seat as the governor. According to a source, Oyinlola expressed surprise at the offer of money as panacea for peace and said the committee has nothing to say than to make its recommendation to the NEC of PDP that set it up. The committee which has two weeks deadline to submit its report has taken evidence from the two principal actors in the crisis in the state."  Chuks Okocha, This Day 14.01.05
"Okorie also used the medium of the press conference which was attended by all the members of the party’s new NWC, to expose what he called the “new trick” of president Obasanjo and the PDP, to rob his party of its victory in Anambra State saying the new plot is in the Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola Committee probing the crisis in Anambra State. Okorie said he has information that the committee would be used to slam emergency rule in the state adding: “We have it on good authority that that committee will submit a report that the tragedy that occurred in Anambra was a child’s play compared to the one that is going to happen in due course and if nothing was done, more lives and property would be damaged”. He also hinted that with the recommendations the committee would make, Obasanjo will go to the Senate where he would “quickly get the approval he has always been looking for to get through the back door, to impose a state of emergency in Anambra State and deny APGA its victory”.He said the government has concluded plans to appoint a sole administrator in the state who would be there until it would be too late for APGA to expect anything to come out of it adding that this was what informed the party’s court case against the committee headed by Oyinlola." Daily Independent 14.01.05
" The irony of the whole drama is that many Nigerians have expressed support for Ngige to remain in office despite the unfolding events. Many well-placed individuals are prevailing on Peter Obi to withdraw his election petition. The ordinary Anambra State citizens seem bought over by the fact that Ngige is paying civil servants and teachers' salaries and doing roads. Pray, what is a governor expected to do? What is Ngige doing that the Tinubus and Attahs of this world are not doing? Meanwhile, has anyone seen the filth and total disrepair of Onitsha roads lately? Agreed, Mbadinuju was a bad dream, but do you judge how white a shirt is by comparing it with a brown shirt? Or do you allow a stranger to run away with your mother simply because he appears manlier than your father?  Some say Ngige should stay because God has used him to expose the ills of 'God Fatherism' in Anambra (and by extension, Nigerian) politics. They see Ngige as a courageous Saint for standing up against Uba and his army. To the first, I say it is possible because God Almighty who turned murderer Saul into Paul, the greatest witness of the Gospel, can use anyone to achieve his purpose. But Ngige should see himself rather as a Moses and not a Joshua. To the second, I say well done, after all a Saint is only a repentant sinner. But Ngige, if he is a good Catholic, should know that when someone confesses to stealing before a priest, full absolution is contingent on the person returning what is stolen when that was still possible.  Others say that Ngige should not be made a scapegoat, after all he is not alone in this rigging pneumonia. My own submission is that two wrongs do not make a right, what is wrong is wrong, Period. What happens to the peoples' sacred mandate and the man that legitimately got it? If the cleansing is to start with Anambra State let it be." - Henry Onukwuba,This Day 01.09.2005  Ngige: A Saint? A Sinner?
Two governors in Anambra...  Guardian, 14. 01. 05
SIR: One hundred investigation committees on the Anambra political crises will never solve the problem there. The reason is that there are two governors in Anambra State: Dr. Chris Ngige installed by Chris Uba, and Chief Chris Uba installed by Chief (General) Olusegun Obasanjo, the Balogun (general) of Owu Kingdom. Until one of the governors is removed by the sponsors, there will never be peace there. Who is so blind in Nigeria as not to see this?
Consider what happened in Abuja recently. Because everyone in the "Peoples Destruction Party" (PDP) is afraid of Obasanjo, rather than condemn him for his attempt to remove Chief Audu Ogbeh from the chairmanship of that dreadful party, which was their only reason for gathering there, they turned round and suspended from their party a governor and his so-called godfather. Until the musician in the bush stops making music for nwanza, it will continue to dance in the middle of the road!
 - Onyekwere Njoku,  Lagos
Uba makes U-turn, wants to be governor
The Punch,Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Godfather of Anambra State politics, Chief Chris Uba, has raised his stake in the politics of the state, jettisoning his self-declared ambition to be the deputy to Governor Chris Ngige. Instead, he would like to replace Ngige in order to recoup his investment during the 2003 general elections.  Uba also claimed that he loaned Ngige N1billion to prosecute the governorship election in 2003 and that he had hoped to recoup the money and interest from the Ngige administration. Uba spoke on Monday in Abuja while giving evidence before the Olagunsoye Oyinlola committee investigating the crisis in Anambra State. Uba's desire to be governor is a radical shift from his earlier position, which he made before the Senate Committee on States and Local Government that he should be made Ngige's deputy.

The eight-man Oyinlola committee was constituted by the party's National Executive Committee last week to investigate the crisis arising from the gubernatorial election in Anambra State. Claiming to be broke presently, Uba who gave evidence for about six hours therefore urged the committee to devise a way through which he could be made governor for, at least six months.  The source said, "The committee upbraided Uba when he made the suggestion that he would like to be governor of the state for six months so that he can get back the N1billion loaned to Ngige. To support his point, he brought out signed documents detailing the financial dealings with Ngige. He showed the committee Ngige's signature as regards the loan of N1billion."

Uba, our correspondents learnt, also came along with video clips of his deals with the governor, which members of the committee watched. According to the source, the first video clip showed images of Ngige and members of his family, including his parents, paying a "thank you" visit to the country home of Uba for helping Ngige to emerge as governor. When Ngige appeared before the committee on Tuesday, he demanded to know whether the terms of reference of the committee included “Anambra electoral fraud.” Oyinlola responded that the committee had no power to probe Ngige on alleged election irregularities. He said that a probe into the alleged electoral fraud was not in the terms of the committee, whom it said was limited to the objective of restoration of peace to Anambra. “The issue of alleged electoral fruad is already before a competent electoral tribunal,” Oyinlola said....................
Pounded yam politics
By Okey Ndibe - Guardian 13.01.05
....... It was as if Ogbeh had handed the president a rope, and Obasanjo had then proceeded to hang himself. Not only did the president fail to show that he had taken the most elementary measures to protect lives and property in Anambra State, he confessed to being privy to the massive rigging that gave the PDP the mandate in that state. If anything could more dramatically point to a president's contempt for the constitution, I'd like to know what that is. Part of the president's tragic flaws lies in his lack of a sense of irony, or of shame. In the same breath of his unwitting self-incrimination, Obasanjo rebuked Governor Chris Ngige for holding on to an illegitimate mandate. Having heard Chris Uba and Dr. Ngige confess that the election in Anambra State was rigged in favour of the PDP, the president implied that the governor had a moral duty to abdicate office.
Let me be unequivocal here. I believe that the roots of the crisis in Anambra State lie in the ruling party's subversion of the people's electoral choices. From all accounts, Peter Obi and APGA resoundingly triumphed in the 2003 elections. Regardless of the returns certified by an inept and corrupt INEC, neither President Obasanjo nor Dr. Ngige came close to winning any election in the state. I'd like to see Obi's victory quickly upheld by the state electoral tribunal. In the name of morality, I also challenge Obasanjo to immediately concede that Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu thrashed him in Anambra State and in most of the south-eastern states. For not only does this president hold a questionable mandate from Anambra state and several Igbo states, but the nation's highest court recently nullified the presidential election in his own home state of Ogun. The judges were shocked to discover a massive discrepancy between number of votes cast and the number of registered voters in the state. Why is the president blind to the moral implications of that electoral oddity?
In the warped reckoning of Nigerian politics, there may well be many who consider Ogbeh a loser. He may appear, in the short run, as beaten. Yet, in the long run (which is the run that counts historically), his actions are bound to emerge in heroic light. By contrast, the president's role will be viewed in villanous terms. For how does a man so morally impaired and ethically handicapped find the voice to appeal to morality? If we have a newly retuned president, one who has lately embraced moral imperatives, then we must expect him to take the pill that he so glibly recommends for Dr. Ngige. He should admit that the 2003 polls were unconscionably rigged; he should renounce his office, and convince his party to adopt the idea of a new round of clean elections.
...As it happens, a lot. I can think of one thing worse than fiddling while your nation burned: eating pounded yam and egusi after your friends made a big bonfire of a state under your charge. I was not impressed by the president's feigned chumminess with Ogbeh. Nigerians must not soon forget, or ever forgive, the wanton destruction of public property by men recognised to be close friends of the president. Justice must be pursued, and justice lies in the arrest and prosecution of the arsonists and their sponsors. Nigerians must not permit themselves to be lulled into amnesia by the president's untenable, expedient and fragmentary notion of morality. They must remember that the men and women who bought and commanded the hoodlums who set fire to government establishments are still gallivanting in freedom.
If Nigeria must mean anything, then Nigerians must not allow real issues of national import, issues touching on the very foundations of the nation's corporate existence, to be buried under mounds of pounded yam or soiled by egusi soup. Gorging on food and quaffing wine are no substitute for astute statecraft and adept leadership. A leader who eats while his followers starve, who flies abroad in a plush private jet for routine medical check-ups while millions of fellow citizens are decimated by disease, who secures his private property with well-armed police and soldiers while leaving public property to be ravaged by arsonists, and who shields big-time criminals while incarcerating pick pockets " such a leader is anathema ..............
Ngige’s Removal, Only Road to Peace, Says Uba
- Chuks Okocha, This Day 14.01.05
.........Uba said in his final prayer to the Committee that Ngige should be dismissed or expelled from PDP. He noted that the governor’s expulsion and removal from office are the only solutions to the intractable crisis in the state. He further reiterated his earlier admission that Ngige did not win the April 19, 2003 governnorship election. He explained that two members of the PDP National Executive Committee (NEC) were witnesses when Ngige confessed before President Olusegun Obasanjo that he did not win the election.  "The admission of Dr. Ngige that he did not win the governorship election was made in the presence of two members of NEC of PDP, namely, Barrister Olisa Metu (Ex Officio Member) and Alhaji Bibi Farouk (PDP Youth Leader) who in fact arranged the reconciliation meeting with Mr. President." Uba noted.
THISDAY gathered that when the committee reminded him that if Ngige is removed, he will be succeeded by his deputy, Uba interjected and said, "let Ngige and his deputy be removed and a Sole Administrator be appointed for Anambra State, pending when a fresh election will be conducted."  At yesterday's meeting of the committee where Uba alongside seven of his supporters and Ngige also with seven of his supporters met the committee members together, a source said Ngige allegedly pledged to reimburse Uba with N4 billion for his efforts in ensuring that he became governor. The said N4 Billion offer was made in the presence of Oyinlola, and other members of the committee.  But, Uba was said turned down the offer and insisted that Ngige must vacate his seat as the governor. According to a source, Oyinlola expressed surprise at the offer of money as panacea for peace and said the committee has nothing to say than to make its recommendation to the NEC of PDP that set it up. The committee which has two weeks deadline to submit its report has taken evidence from the two principal actors in the crisis in the state...............



Those Obasanjo wants to destroy, he eats with...
By Jonathan Elendu
- USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston

January 12, 2005: It was reported that after the January 4, 2005 meeting of the PDP National Executive Council, the President Obasanjo and Ogbeh went to Ogbeh's house to eat lunch. Some commentators had viewed that as an ominous sign as this was the same way he ate at Dr. Okadigbo's residence, and within one week, mounted a campaign of impeachment against Okadigbo as Senate president. Nigeria's 3-time ruler retired Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo has added a new phenomenon to Nigeria's polity--a last supper.

We can comfortably add this to the president's repertoire: Those Obasanjo wants to destroy, he eats with.... Nigeria's President, retired Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, in his vindictiveness, has gradually taken us back to the dark days of late retired Gen. Sani Abacha. It was such vindictiveness on the part of Abacha that landed Obasanjo in prison on trumped-up charges. He is now walking in the footsteps of the man who jailed him. Obasanjo as a military man should be a student of history. Maybe he has conveniently forgotten history's lessons.

I would like to remind him of one: Those who push Nigeria too far down the edge of a precipice fall off before Nigeria.

The other troubling thing about President Obasanjo is his penchant for using State institutions in his fight against opponents. There have been reports that Ogbeh had to write his resignation letter at the prompting of members of the State Security Service who held him at gunpoint. There were also reports that he was placed under house arrest by men of the State Security Service (SSS). Ogbeh is quoted as saying that the last straw for him was the harassment of his daughter by men of the State Security Service right in front of his house. Like I have asked in the past: Where is the outrage against this president?

- Elendu is Michigan-based columnist for, first African-owned, U.S-based professional web site to be published on the Internet. Full text of commentary appears at


Dangers facing Nigeria's return to democracy and Obasanjo's slipperyslide.

By Chido Nwangwu
Founder & Publisher of

May 10, 2001: Evident failures of his government are tucked away in massive pr blitz and global junkets. But we're not fooled. Karl Maier, a seasoned and credible chronicler of Africa's economic history and politics knows even better. Maier, author of best selling book, "This House has fallen: Midnight in Nigeria", summed it up thus: "This (Obasanjo) government has got very good public relations internationally but domestically, they are not solving the problems. And this government so far has not tackled the key problems. The unrest in the Niger Delta, the issue of the Sharia Islamic law in the North, the unrest in Lagos, and until they do that, trade agreements, new engagement with the international community will not make the difference." Bush & Co should take heed.

Obasanjo has also surrounded himself with some of the same ruinous gangs who loot(ed) Nigeria's national treasury and have since the past 40 years turned Nigeria into their barnyard and playpen for corruption. Many of them, late dictator Sani Abacha's henchmen and praise singers, co-sponsored Obasanjo's (s)election as President in May 1999. Any wonder that the Nigerian leader's pre-occupation has been probes which go largely after the dead than the living miscreants who ruined Nigeria's emerging destiny and still spit into our faces.

I toured the major cities in the Northern, Western, Eastern and oil-rich delta and riverine states (see OIL in NIGERIA: Liquid Gold or Petro-Dollars Curse? by Chido Nwangwu), shortly after concluding my assignment to report former president of the U.S. Bill Clinton visit to Nigeria, August to September 2000. The same questions Nigerians asked then, today, remain: when shall we have only 500 minutes of uninterrupted power supply in Nigeria? When will the water pumps cough out enough to fill a glass? Although, among the world's leading oil producers, Nigerians, sometimes, park their cars at fuel stations overnight, on lines stretching almost one half of a mile or more, to get gas/fuel/diesel. Worse, the costs per visit are nearly half of an average worker's monthly salary.

Full text of commentary appears at

USAfrica: The Authoritative Link
832-45-CHIDO (24436)



35 years after Biafra
- Godwin Nzeaka

This week, as we celebrate the 35th anniversary of the end of the civil war, let us sincerely ponder the state of the nation. Is this what we dreamt of in 1970? Thirty-five years after the war, why are we still faced with liberation movements? Why has Dokubo Asari emerged? Why have Uwa-zuruike and Gani Adams emerged? Why does Arewa Youth Congress exist? Why MOSOP? Thirty-five years after that national tragedy, why has Nigeria not emerged as a new, peaceful, prosperous and stable nation?

I remember the words of Gen. Hassan Katsina. He had observed, this month in 1973, that Nigeria was sick -- “sick from the level of policy-makers to the executives and least member of the public.” He said that everybody here deserved to “be whipped and thoroughly shaken to awake from the slumber” (see Nnamdi Azikiwe, Democracy with Military Vigilance P. vii).

It is shamefully painful that Nigeria’s sickness is still traceable to the selfsame troubles that caused the war. They have only returned, reinforced by military greed. Were Agwu Okpanku alive today, he would be more than entitled to Gowon’s apologies. When, in the seventies, in an effort to strengthen Nigerian unity, Gen. Gowon looked at our map and deleted the Bight of Biafra, Okpanku it was, who, writing in his column in the then Sunday Renaissance, told the General that empty sentiments have never helped anybody.

According to Okpanku, you don’t kill Biafra by merely banishing the name from the map. “The most effective way to kill Biafra,” he argued, “is for us to remain vigilant, to always watch the moral foundations of our country lest they be weakened.”

Biafra “as an active physical rebellion,” he pointed out, “is dead; it died in 1970. But there is always Biafra,” he warned. “In other words, any group of Nigerians, whether defined ethnically or in terms of their geographical origin, would revolt if they felt mistreated by this country,” he prophesied. Poor journalist that was it. Gowon quickly threw him and his editor, Henry Onyedike, into the gulag. Gen. Murtala Mohammed only released them (see Paul Obi-Ani, Post-Civil War Social Reconstruction of Igboland: 1970-1983).

Have events, today, not somehow proved Okpanku right? At no other time have our rulers been so reckless with the moral foundations of the country. Imagine a situation where they have now coined a euphemism for aiding and abetting official misdemeanor and incompetence. They call it “soft landing” – a process whereby incompetent party loyalists -- those stinking contents in corruption inclusive -- who otherwise should be catapulted to hell and allowed to land headlong with a crippling thud, are nowadays being offered guided parachutes to paradise. Look at how they have now practically messed up the electoral process.

Did you know that in the last sixty years, Britain has had sixteen general elections, and the Labour Party and the Tories won eight apiece? Ditto for the U.S. Out of sixteen presidential polls since 1945, the Republicans won nine to the Democrats’ seven. How splendid! Two-party system at work. Election rigging may occur in these countries, but because it is minimal and negligible, it is tolerable. Even the few cases in the U.S. which some of us regard as “rigged” were not such per se.

For example, in the election of 1876, Samuel Tilden of the Democratic Party won the popular vote by 4,285,992 to Rutherford Hayes’ 4,033,768. But both had tied 184 to 184 at the crucial Electoral College. In the end, a special committee recommended Hayes, who thus became America’s 19th President.

In 1970, the London Guardian alerted Gowon, according to Obi-Ani, that the problems ahead in Nigeria went deeper than that of the Ibo alone: “Not only the Ibo now want to ensure that state boundaries are fairly drawn …that a workable balance of power is struck between the states and the centre, and above all that no one group dominates the centre.” The paper, therefore, warned that “the federal victory has not remade Nigeria, it has only provided a chance to do so.”

We lost that chance. Aburi had failed earlier. Oputa failed (?), too. Which way, the National Confab?

The Punch,Wednesday, January 12, 2005



(Anambra) The Wind Vane of Emergency Rule
This Day -  01.09.2005
.............But an intriguing aspect of the unfolding drama is the unanswered question of why is it that the police and INEC would easily pander to the whims and calls of PDP while both agencies have done very little if anything at all, in assisting the dispensation of justice at the tribunal where the party's mandate is being keenly contested by APGA. Indeed, it seems there are more questions than answers in this regard: Why has the police not deemed it fit to tender such damaging report at its disposal to the tribunal where such would be most appreciated and useful? Why has INEC which duly declared and returned Ngige as winner of the election sit on a report indicating the contrary instead of simply just approaching the tribunal and let justice be done?
It is recalled that the closest the police had gone in the tribunal's work is the testimony of a handwriting expert in its fold, one Simon Kolawole, who had testified under oath that ballot papers used in the election were thumb-printed by a single source. On the part of the commission, its actions and inactions with regards to explanations at election tribunals have generally left much to be desired. It is recalled also how INEC had claimed helplessness and failed to produce documents relating to the 2003 presidential elections in Ogun state when it was summoned to do so by the Court of Appeal which heard the petition against the victory of Obasanjo. Unfortunately, both agencies which have been awkwardly avoiding the searchlight in terms of unravelling the Anambra matter, are now expected to hurriedly provide a PDP committee with information that should have been readily despatched to the tribunal sitting in Awka. While questioning the rationale for police report to be given to a PDP committee, the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, reacted thus: "This has finally confirmed our previously held view that the police is virtually Peoples Democratic Police. It is totally unacceptable that to the CNPP that one of the political parties is ordering the Inspector General of Police to do his job."
........In all of this however, the alleged ploy to engage the current dimension of the Anambra saga in securing right conditions for emergency rule to be declared in the state, cannot but have its own organic drawbacks and disincentives. It is not clear for example how the dissolution of democratic structures which emergency rule implies, would be of benefit to the protagonists of the idea and indeed, the PDP as a party. This is besides the issue of legality-cum-constitutionality, expediency, and political wisdom or otherwise of an emergency rule in the state. Then there is the salient aspect of how such a scenario would impact on judicial process at the tribunal. All these and other knotty issues make the present scheming a difficult and an uninspiring one even to some of those sympathetic to the anti-Ngige elements. There are many questions to whch an answers are required: if getting Ngige out is tantamount to putting the state in further limbo, who really stands to benefit? Can the PDP continue to impose illegality upon illegality and hope to continue to benefit therefrom? Why can't the tribunal be allowed to do its job without being unduly influenced and prompted?
..........On its part, CNPP noted that the PDP's action was "a contemptuous attempt to pull wool over the eyes of Nigerians." In a statement signed by Maxi Okwu, its secretary general, the CNPP which also took strong exceptions to the PDP's order to the IGP and INEC, said: "It is clear that by announcing the suspension for 30 days of 'armed robbers' of the sovereign mandate of Anambra people in 2003, the PDP is engaged in an expensive joke with the lives and destiny of the people of Anambra state in particular and Nigerians in general." But while the party's action is seen a tactic to cloak the ulterior motives of anti-Ngige gladiators, Speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon. Mike Balonwu, called on the governor to ignore the suspension order and concentrate his efforts on governance. Accusing the party hierarchy of double standards, the legislator averred that Ngige did not merit the temporary sack which he said, was subjudice since the tribunal was looking into the matter.
Be that as it may, it is generally expected of the tribunal to discharge the burden of justice now hanging heavily on Ngige's neck as well as that of the party. But this can be done if principal actors of the saga who have found it convenient to inundate the public with tales of how Ngige was rigged into office would honourably take their case to the tribunal.
It would be recalled that to add salt to injury, Uba had owned up to Obasanjo's allegations of how PDP rigged the 2003 polls in Anambra. Expressing regrets for his role in the manipulation of election results in favour of Ngige, Uba spoke of how Ogbeh asked himself and Ngige to "keep quiet on the issue." Part of the text of Uba's press release had read: "As the truth of Anambra issue is being gradually revealed and denials and lies are being traded, I believe that as one of the main activists in the whole issue, the moment of truth and remorse has come."First of all, let me express my heartfelt regret for my error and the activities involved with others in Anambra to put Ngige in power as the governor of the state. "In showing remorse, I sincerely ask for understanding and forgiveness of all our people in Anambra state and those Nigerian leaders and citizens who have been affected and insulted by the Anambra issue."My mistake for which I ask for understanding stemmed from my belief that election is like a battle and since all is fair in war, I believe the end justifies the means in an election. We did everything possible, to put Ngige in power. In the presence of the President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, I asked Dr. Chris Ngige whether he actually won the election, he confirmed he did not win the election. The President drove us out. As from that point, he did not want to listen to our story again." But despite these revelations, Ngige has consistently maintained that he did not lose the 2003 gubernatorial elections while insisting that he did not participate in the alleged malpractices.

In a statement signed by Fred Chukwulobe, the governor's Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Anambra state government had said: "Governor Ngige has never admitted before anybody to have lost the elections. The claim by Chief Chris Uba that the governor did so before President Obasanjo and Chief Audu Ogbeh is untrue.
"The matter of the elections is before the Election Tribunal and it is subjudice to continue to comment on it. The tribunal and the courts are there to adjudicate on the issues pertaining to the elections. We have confidence in the courts and believe they will do justice."
PDP, Ngige share the same destiny
- constitutional lawyer, Chief Mike Okoye
By John Nwokocha  Vanguard, January 09, 2005
....I think it is very sad and indeed reprehensible for a party in power, that’s the ruling party to subject the whole nation to trauma caused by a chieftain of the ruling party, the PDP, Chris Uba rigged the governorship election for Dr. Chris Ngige of the PDP. PDP is the accuser and the accused. I think it would be right to assume that PDP as a party is aware that the case whether Ngige rigged the governorship election of April 19, 2003 is the subject-matter before the elections tribunal, the appropriate body constitutionally invested with powers to decide who rigged an election and therefore the whole matter is subjudice.
I would want to believe that in line with our constitution, under the rule of law and separation of powers, PDP is fully aware that to interfere or pre-empt the decision of the elections tribunal would amount to an affront to the rule of law and clear invitation to anarchy and the rule by force contrary to the tenets of our democracy. May I say that ironically, PDP’s comments, action and decisions may portend great danger for PDP. The validity by some PDP chieftains to remove Chris Ngige from office may have and I dare say beclouded their judgements to the effect that their action may inevitably lead to the annulment of the presidential election. Ubah, a PDP’s chieftain confession to have rigged the governorship elections in Anambra State for Chris Ngige, a PDP candidate may boomeranged against the presidential election. It seems PDP may have forgotten that the Anambra State governorship election of 19 April, 2003 was held together with the presidential election and identical results were returned for the governor and president in each unit, ward, local government and state constituencies, it follows naturally that Ubah’s clear confession will also apply to the presidential elections of Anambra state.
It is very disturbing to me and I hope, to many Nigerians that Ubah who is not a government official nor INEC official can rig the election in a whole state for a governor, one therefore wonders what happened in other states. Your guess is as good as mine. No doubt the people’s mandate is sacred and when disregarded the result is bound to be what’s happening to PDP. Ubah’s confession and more fundamentally, the manner with which it was handled by PDP has the tendency to cast a big question mark as to whether the entire elections of 2003, was not rigged. The credibility of the PDP as a government legitimately elected by the people of Nigeria is seriously in doubt............... As a lawyer, it seems to me that the PDP may have not done enough research on our constitution and the electoral act. If they had, it would have revealed to them that suspension of Gov. Ngige or even expulsion would not affect Ngige, the office of a governor who has been returned by INEC and sworn-into office. The 1999 constitution only provides that a governor has to belong to a political party to vie for office but once returned by INEC and sworn into office, there is no provision in our constitution to the effect that a governor would cease to hold office by his political party.
The condition under which a governor can be disqualified to hold office is not spelt out by our constitution. It should be borne in mind that a governor represent a whole state as his constituency and not just his political party. In the light of the constitution and the electoral act, a resignation from office by Ngige would have the effect to negate or defeat the petition of APGA by Peter Obi, who has asked the Tribunal to return him as winner of the election. For the very fact that Obi of APGA is claiming the seat of office of governor of Anambra State and not cancellation of the election , a resignation by governor Ngige would inevitably lead to a cancellation of the election. Because election petition is an action against the person returned, and not an action in realm. Therefore, if the candidate returned by INEC dies, just like in the case of Chuba Okadigbo, his name would be struck out as party to the petition and INEC would be ordered to conduct another election. It seems to me that INEC is without power to remove the name of a candidate in a bar or re-election even at the request of his political party. The right of a political party to swap candidate at a bar or re-election is not provided in our law books and as such is presumed that such powers by INEC is unavailable and PDP is very much stuck with Ngige. Their destiny is intertwined. It should be noted that even where Ngige decides not to contest if he resigns PDP would still not be in a position to field another candidate and INEC is without power to accept a fresh candidate from PDP as there is no provision in our laws to enable INEC to so do. The contest would be between Peter Obi and other contestants on the platforms of other political parties during the April, 19, 2003 governorship election. It follows therefore that the only legal avenue to remove Ngige is through tribunal as the only constitutional means provided by law. To do otherwise would be to prolong the matter. Justice may sometimes be allow, but it still pays every law abiding citizen to wait for the law to run its full course. That is the democracy which we all have subscribed to.
Having said that, it is subjudicial the way PDP is handling the Ngige case, is the implication therefore, is to wait and see the outcome of the elections tribunal?
I have said that the matter is subjudice. There is no other option and any investigation or utterance by any person, body or bodies not constitutionally empowered to decide whether an election was rigged or not goes contrary to the tenets of separation of powers. The executives have no right to usurp the functions of the judiciary when the judiciary has been called upon to determine whether the election conducted had been rigged, it is against the rule of law. I think what’s happening is an affront to the judicial system. Those decisions taken by the PDP, in fact, for the PDP to have entertained the whole issue, to have gone into a big discussion of the whole issue of a matter before a court of competent jurisdiction is to say the least unfortunate........................
 "Igbo leaders" should be blamed for the Anambra crisis"
- Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, a Special Assistant to President Obasanjo
Ihonvbere, how you shock us!
By Ochereome Nnanna Vanguard - January 06, 2005
................THE disagreement between Ngige and Ubah, which plunged the state into two years of political impasse, only became a problem for the nation at large and for so long simply because of the support Ubah and his campers have enjoyed from the Presidency, mainly through the Nigerian Police. The Police helped him stage the abortive abduction of Ngige on July 10, 2003. The Police would have implemented the Justice Stanley Nnaji judgment of January 2, 2004, had the Nigerian public not set up an uproar at such brazen abuse of the processes. The Police withdrew from Ngige’s security. The Police provided security for the thugs sponsored by the Ubah camp to burn, bomb and loot Anambra government property as from November 10, 2004 as a calculated prelude to a declaration of a state of emergency by the President. President Obasanjo is the number one culprit in the Anambra crisis, because he gave Ubah an open franchise to use the Police Force of this nation as he wished to fight his personal political battles. Obasanjo is the number one culprit because he was the one who swayed the PDP away from expelling Ubah after the aborted abduction.
He was the one who made the Party to treat it as a "family affair", a term he employs whenever he decides to rig due processes in order to secure his personal political ends. Remember, he used the same term during the Owu chieftaincy crisis, when he disrupted an electoral process because his chosen candidate was going to lose. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is a known tool at the service of the ruling Party and the President. That was why it was possible for all of Ubah’s men and women who did not even contest elections to be given certificates of return. In fact, Ubah still boasts that Ngige’s certificate of return is still with him! Who gave it to him? Was it Igbo leaders? Was it not the INEC?
Anambra (1)
By Al-Bashir, Vanguard January 06, 2005
Sometime last year, Governor Chris Ngige of Anambra state was abducted from his office by a combined team of the Nigerian Police Force, led by an Assistant Inspector General, AIG, now late and hired arsonists said to have been led by Chris Uba’s cronies, a favored godson of President Obasanjo. ........Realizing that it is not a problem getting a way with such a crime, they wasted no time indulging in a repeat performance, some days ago precisely between Nov 10-12, 2004. According to the Newswatch of November 29, 2004, "the meetings where the plot to dastabilize Anambra state was hatched was said to have lasted eleven days (and).. Was allegedly held in Nzeribe’s house (and he is a honourable law maker) in Omouduke village in Ihiala." The report goes on to name names, "Danulasi, Uche Eordi, Oke Odunze, Ifeanyi Inemchukwu and Emeka Eze..." all Chris Uba's field commanders.
This isn’t all,"the vehicles, arms and ammunitions used," adds the magazine,"... were allegedly kept at Toronto Hospital Onitsha, (a hospital for arsonists) belonging to Emeka Eze’s father." From there, they were said to have hired twenty buses, marched, all the way to Akwa, (apparently undetected at numerous road blocks) and before you cloud shout ‘terrorist’ the building housing the offices of the Governor and his deputy, the state assembly, the state electoral commission and the Anambra Broadcasting Service, all vital democratic institutions, were destroyed. Estimates; N45 billion tentative, plus 29 lives.
Obviously, feeling satisfied and happy that the boys had done an excellent destructive job, the almighty Rep. Chuma Nzeribe, (the law maker in case you have forgotten) beat his chest that the Nov 11th 2004 terrorist action, was just the beginning of hostilities. Hear him, "Ngige would not know peace. We will continue (emphasis mine) to pursue him until we chase him out of the corridors of power." (Same Newswatch). By this statement and the operative word, "continue" the untouchable Nzeribe (a lawmaker) has confirmed that the N45 billion destruction that took place in Akwa, was the brain work of the sponsored arsonists (read terrorists).
From this sketchy preamble and particularly that Chuma Nzeribe (the honourable legislator of the Federal Republic) is walking the street free, as air, was never invited to see IG Tafa, ala Ojukwu, not even one with a quixotic mind will doubt the culpability of Aso Rock in this clearly terrorist action.
If in doubt however, consider the followings. When the news first broke out, the action was not to arrest those involved but to have them dialogue with the Governor. If Aso Rock knew that they were not involved, they wouldn’t have invited figures to the meeting. In other words, the act of inviting them means a fore knowledge of their involvement in the destruction. The obvious truth, therefore, is that they were invited to dialogue with Ngige because those who so invited them knew they were the culprits and by so knowing and refusing to prevent it, they themselves were part of the plot. If you interpret this to mean that some persons had fore knowledge of what happened in Anambra but pretended otherwise, it is quit a legitimate and well informed assumption.
You see, when arsonists took over Plateau state, Obasanjo swiftly declared a state of emergency, therefore sanctioning them. In the case of Anambra, the terrorists were heavily protected as no one was arrested. For about five years, the Bamaiyi’s have been behind bars, for, among others, allegedly attempting to burn down the offices of a media house. But when the Anambra terrorists destroyed public properties, worth tentatively about N45 billion, they were invited for dialogue and never arrested! Which is to say, the crime of destroying 45 billion worth of Anambra state properties is less offensive than an attempt to destroy the building of the said media house! Of course, crime is crime, but sure enough, others are more weighty.
Look at it another way, for saying he agrees with MASSOB, Ojukwu was invited to dialogue with security agencies. For destroying Anambra, the same security agencies were made to look the other way as if what happened wasn’t important because some other persons were allegedly involved. See how government rates some above the law and for that matter, at our own expense and only because some consider them more Nigerians than us and are allowed to break the law with impunity.
By his own admission, representative Chuma Nzeribe is deeply involved in what happened. How does the honourable House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria feel about the involvement of its own in acts of lawlessness and engaging in a coup plot as he did last year in Anambra state? What about the involvement of the police, which the NTA has documented?............




- BF, Washington, DC, USA

Ndigbo have been very upset about what has been happening to them lately. The terrible situation the Igbo find themselves has been demonstrated by the shameful thing going on in Anambra State. Many Igbo in anger have blamed Obasanjo for the troubles the Igbo are facing. Yes Obasanjo has his blame. But if the Igbo must be true to their conscience they must look inward for what is ailing Igbo society today.

How did Igbo land go from “virtual paradise” during the leadership of Dr. M. I. Okpara and Dr. Akanu Ibiam (1958-1966) to “hell on earth” since 1970 and especially since 1999? During his time as Premier of Eastern Region, Igbo land and indeed all of Eastern Nigeria had one of six fastest growing economies in the world. The Igbo had the best schools, best education in Nigeria and one of the best in the world. Education was accorded such prime position that the government had mobile libraries that toured even the remotest villages and enabled children and adults to educate themselves. Illiterate old women and men including Ozo titled men were going to evening school called Adult Education Program just to become literate. Eastern Nigeria was supplying food to other parts of Nigeria including Northern Nigeria. Okpara’s government was appealing to the people of Eastern Nigeria to eat chic! ken and eggs which was plentiful because of his agricultural policies. His government built numerous industries from Nkalagu to Port Harcourt to Calabar. He built numerous farm settlements, rubber, cocoa, oil palm, and cashew plantations which produced cash crops and provided employment for our people. There was virtually zero unemployment.

The children of Eastern Nigeria had a solid moral compass provided by Catholic and Anglican Missions as well as Traditional Religious Groups. Children knew who they were and where they were going. The people of Eastern Nigeria were happy and contented and political, social, and technological development was galloping at a very fast pace. The Igbo and their brother Easterners were set to join the developed, technological world. Then came the 1966 crisis and the disruption that followed. The policies put in place by the government of Dr. M. I. Okpara were continued under the leadership of C. Odumegwu Ojukwu in Biafra.

Dr. Okpara and the leadership of Eastern Nigeria were men and women of moral integrity and conscience. They stood for and defended truth, honesty, justice, fairness, and freedom for the people of Eastern Nigeria. When Dr. Okpara and Dr. Ibiam died neither of them left fancy palaces or millions of dollars in their personal bank accounts. They left something else – a legacy of honor and integrity. Look at our society today and tell us what legacy our political leaders, traditional rulers, and church leaders are leaving behind. >From the highest politician to the lowliest local government counselor all are likely to be common thieves. The only thing that matters to them is money. They steal, cheat, subvert justice, undermine freedom, lie like drunks, and pervert justice. What legacy has Dr. Alex Ekwueme left for the Igbo? Chief Mbazulike Amaechi was in politics with Dr. M. I. Okpara and ! knew the legacy of that administration yet when criminals like Ngige and Uba who conspired and stole the mandate the people of Anambra State gave to Peter Obi started rolling around in their mound of excrement, he agreed to dip his hand in it rather than stand up for justice and tell them to hand over the governorship to Peter Obi, the rightful winner of the election. Chief Edwin Ume-Ezeoke was Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 1980’s when the House meant something. What in the world is he doing in the party of murderers and thieves? Is he willing to stand up for truth and justice? There are so many Elders and Intellectuals in Anambra State. Why are they not standing up for justice, truth, honesty, and freedom? Why are they keeping mum?

Look at our Churches; bishops, priests, and pastors will gladly accept a bag of money from a man they know to be a criminal even if the money is still dripping with blood of the victim. They will put this person in the front seat in the Church, sing his praises and tell the congregation what a wonderful person he is. Because everyone knows that this person is a murderer and an armed robber the pastor will simply say, “Thou shall not judge, let God be the judge.” What kind of nonsense is that? There used to be bishops and priests who had moral character and who would stand up for honesty, justice, and morality no matter who was involved. We remember late bishop Okoye of the Catholic Diocese of Enugu and the late Bishop Benjamin Nwankiti of the Anglican Diocese of Owerri. There are many others who are good role models. We remember them with pride and pray that God grant them eternal re! st.

The only thing that matters now is money. Today in Igbo land everybody is a “Chief”, men, women, even children. Fourteen year old apprentice houseboy wants to be a multimillionaire before he is fifteen years old. Where do you think that is coming from? They are looking at the old men and women and their crooked ways, their criminality, their support of injustice, dishonesty and falsehood. Yet Elders, title holders, the clergy (minus a few honest ones), who lived in decent Igbo society of the 1960’s are keeping quiet or even worse supporting injustice, dishonesty, falsehood, and at the same time they are hoping that justice, peace, security, freedom will be the order of the day in our communities. Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa fought apartheid to a standstill with his sermons and activism. He was promised anything he wanted by White people but he stood his ground and fought inju! stice until he and his people won. The world rewarded him with a Nobel Prize. Nelson Mandela, remember him? The most revered statesman in the world today, Black or White! He fought injustice in apartheid South Africa and with his colleagues won freedom for his people. For 27 years he was imprisoned with hard labor. White people all over the world begged him simply to name his price, whatever number of millions in whatever currency so long as he agrees to give up the fight for the freedom of his people. But he refused and continued to speak up and fight injustice in South Africa until he won the war at the ripe old age of over 70 years. The world rewarded him with a Nobel Prize.

Dr. Akanu Ibiam, the Eze Ogo of Unwana was so disgusted with the role played by Christian Britain in crushing Biafra and starving 2 million Biafran children to death that he renounced the British Knighthood bestowed on him by the Queen of England and sent it back to her. Today Ndigbo are falling over each other to have the meaningless appellation “Sir” attached to their names. Look at the traditional rulers we have today. How many of our traditional rulers today are well known armed robbers and thieves? Are traditional rulers custodians of the culture, and traditions? If they are what in the world are we doing with the criminals in this group who parade as traditional rulers? Which culture and tradition will they protect and defend?

What is happening in Anambra State is gradually spreading to all parts of Igbo land. Wabara steals the mandate of Elder Dan Imo and Obasanjo makes him puppet senate president. The Elders, traditional rulers and even clergy cheer. Nzeribe steals the mandate of the people of Orlu senatorial zone. He goes around Nigeria and creates the image of the Igbo man as a criminal, crook, psychopath, no good bastard. Shameless traditional rulers cheer and tell the people of Imo State to make this despicable man the governor of Imo State.

Even the Church is not spared. Of all the people in Nigeria today the man who most deserves an honorary doctorate degree according to Madonna University is Ibrahim Babangida. Where did the chancellor and Executive Officers of that University leave their brains? They must have their brains on the soles of their feet and have been walking on them all these years. Babangida is the prime suspect in the murder of Dele Giwa and has refused to answer questions even when he was invited by the duly constituted Oputa Judicial Panel. He annulled the result of a duly conducted election. He secretly smuggled Nigeria into the OIC and ignominiously removed an Igbo man, Ebitu Ukiwe who had the balls to query his unilateral decision. According to Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Ede and his men of wisdom this is the most upright man the Igbo need to honor and emulate. He is a role model for the students of Madonna University and the general public. See how much respect he has for the institution and its administration, he didn’t even bother to go to the convocation though he was in Benin but sent someone to get “the piece of paper” from them.

Think of the so-called governors – how many Igbo men and women has Nnamani killed since he was in office? Udenwa paid Raphael Ige and his goon squad to kill members of MASSOB, Udenwa’s own brothers and sisters – imagine that. Orji Uzor Kalu is busy building mosques all over Igbo land. Wait until Islamic fundamentalism takes root in Igbo land and every one will see the shit hit the fan. Look at the holy Nweje, Ngige. He stole the mandate of Peter Obi and has the balls to talk about justice. Two months ago when his problems with Uba appeared to be settling down, he immediately declared that there will be no other party in Anambra State except the PDP. He just stole the mandate the people of Anambra gave to Peter Obi under the umbrella of the APGA. Then quickly tells the people of Anambra that he will not allow any other party in Anambra except Ali Baba and his four hundred thieves. Nev! er mind when his partners in crime burn down millions of dollars worth of property belonging to the people of Anambra State he will shed crocodile tears and everyone will cheer.

Anambra State will become as cool as ice water the day the elders, top intellectuals, clergy, men and women of Anambra wake up and tell Ngige to hand over the governorship of the State to Peter Obi and go home and settle the quarrel with his friend Chris Uba. People of Anambra State, so long as you condone injustice, lying, cheating, dishonesty, worship of stolen money, and refuse to take a stand and defend justice, honesty, and truth, so long will peace, freedom, and liberty elude you. The same thing applies all over Igbo land.

By the way, now that the Hausa/Fulani/Yoruba oligarchs who own the PDP and Nigeria have told the stupid Igbo Governors, Igbo and other Easterners who were hoping to be president of Nigeria that they won’t even smell the nomination forms, not to mention participate in the election, may be these fools will now go home, lick their wounds, and hide their heads in shame. We told you that you are nobody in Nigeria. MASSOB also told you so. But you didn’t believe us. Today you have seen that you are nothing, nothing, but boy boy, n’agbo oso ahia. Boy boy Governor; boy, boy Senator; boy, boy minister; boy, boy Adviser; boy, boy Chairman. Efulefu who sold his sword and wore the scabbard to battle! Boy, boy go on singing your masters song and shinning his shoes. Don’t listen to us. Ewu Awusa!

Alexander Amaechina! Alexander Amaechina!! Alexander Ama gi echiela!!! Onya ara Ariari market. You have been chasing Chief Ralph Uwazurike and plotting to kill him. You have absolutely no idea the hell you are about to create for yourself and your family. From now on the life of Chief Ralph Uwazurike and his family is in your hands. If he or any member of his family has even a headache you and your entire family will answer for it. You have also declared war on members of MASSOB and have been making their lives a living hell. You , fly wey no get legal adviser go follow dead body enter grave. You the chicken that no dey hear you go hear inside woman’s soup pot. Hm! Hm! Hm! Okay O!  

Ndi Igbo, you can not eat your cake and have it at the same time. You must stand up for justice, truth, fairness, so you can get justice.
Ka Chineke mezie okwu. May God bless Biafra and all those fighting for her freedom!
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Obasanjo’s Scorched Policy in Anambra

By Uzochukwu Nwokwu, This Day 12.28.2004
It may be a little bit difficult for the average sane person to understand the ongoing situation in Anambra state. It may be even the more difficult for such a person to explain it. Yet one of the most amazing dimensions to the crisis is the readiness of many a Nigerian to perceive the average Anambra person as either a psychiatric case or a money-miss road. Another is the tendency on the part of many Nigerians, including those from sister states of the south east to view the problem as strictly an Anambra affair. As one young chap from a sister state in the south east asked the other day, what special interest does Obasanjo have in Anambra for which he would like to destroy the state? What makes it unique?. The problem, he posited, is with Anambra people. They are the ones destroying their state.

Interesting. Yet nothing can be farther from the truth. The truth is that few, if any state at all in Nigeria can demonstrate the same level of maturity so far exhibited by the people of Anambra State in managing president Olusegun Obasanjo, the People's Destructive, sorry, Democratic Party and their gangsters. Those who think Anambrarians are cowards simply miss the point. Only a mad man would dare to stop a train in motion. Yet we are at a point where people are bound to say, enough is enough to this infamy. Anambra is unique in many respects. Unique to Nigeria, unique to the Igbo, unique to the south east and unique to the PDP. It is unique in the calibre of personalities which it has given to Nigeria; and this is part of her travails today. It is unique in its maturity. It is unique in its resilience. Anambra is unique in its patience and capacity both to fight and to keep the peace.
Long before the so called 2003 general elections, the PDP had mapped out Anambra as one state in which it had a special interest. In the words of a top official of the party, it was decided at the highest level of the party to take the state at all costs and demonstrate that the heavens will not fall.For one, Anambra is the home state of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu. Ojukwu had emerged presidential flag bearer of the newly registered All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for the polls.The young party was flourishing nationwide and clearly the favourite to sweep the polls in the south east. Chinwoke Mbadinuju was at his worst as governor of the state. He was engaged in a war of nerves with another Abuja funded group,the Anambra Peoples Forum (APF) and Anambra was aflame. Anambra people insisted on a change even as the PDP had resolved to return all its governors as one of its strategies to enforce Tony Anenihнs no vacancy-in- Aso Rock order. APGA was set for victory but PDP needed the state, if only to make a point. Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo had to be returned at all costs. Beside all this, Obasanjo found it unpardonable that Anambra State alone produced all the candidates who gave him лtough time at the last presidential elections, namely Dr Alex Ekwueme, The Rt. Hon. Dr Chuba Okadigbo of blessed memory, Chief Edwin Ume- Ezeoke and of course Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu. Anambra therefore, is to him the arrow head of the Igbo challenge and resistance in Nigeria and crippling her, in the calculation of the Obasanjo camp, will ensure that no resistance emanates from that angle by the time he pulls out his joker for 2007.
Within the south-east itself, there is a surge of evil men in the political arena aspiring to impose themselves on the people as the new set of Igbo leaders. More than ninty-five percent of the people are found in the PDP. They range from 419ers to ritualists, drug barons, murderers and never-do-wells. None of these folks can pass the ordinary test of moral rectitude in the Igbo society. Yet these constitute the president's armada in Igbo land. Igbo people have not sent or elected them. They are simply what they are: impostors and agent provocateur, busy, lining their own pockets at the expense of their people.For those who still believe that this crisis is orchestrated by the Anambra people, it might interest them to take a closer look at the leadership of the PDP both at the national and zonal levels. How many Anambrarians of note are there?. Yet these are the leading weapons of mass destruction behind Chris Uba and President Obasanjo. And if Ohaneze is not doing enough in defence of Anambra today, it may not necessarily be a reason to suspect it of compromise. But certainly, it wonнt be because that August body is led by Anambra people. Let us not mention the south east governors forum here. But these are fora to which the people of Anambra State look up to for succour in this moment of trial.
Former Chief of Army Staff , Lt. Gen. Victor Malu once said in an interview that while it took him 33 years to get to the rank of Lt.General, it took Obasanjo only 18 years to become a four-star general. Against this background, the president's war plan in Anambra is understandable. Led by a general whose competence is at best suspect, these rascals whose sole motivation is a vaulting ambition to secure federal appointments and other patronage have shown that they do not know when to beat a retreat in war. Apparently they only know of Hannibal, but never heard about Leonidas. These are men who in a normal society should have long been in jail for their numerous crimes against both the state and the people especially on July 10, 2003, and November, 2004. History shows us that such generals and their troops end up, invariably like Jonah, in the belly of the whale. What I find rather shameful is Mr president's continued claim that he is not behind the crisis and his refusal to comment on it. Clearly not an intelligent answer to such a national disgrace from a democratically elected presidentof a democratic giant of Africa in this new millennium.
Both President Obasanjo and Chris Uba have left the legacy to wit: that in Nigeria, it is not only presidents who are above the law. Their in-laws, co-in-laws and families are even the more so. But while the president and his armada are in the air bombing Anambra State, we the people are on our knees entreating the Almighty to come to our rescue and we are rest assured that evil shall never triumph over good. We are solidly behind our own able and dynamic governor-our own CNN- Chris Nwabueze Ngige (MON). Be that as it may, Obasanjo is the president of Nigeria as much as Ngige is governor of Anambra State. Both emerged from the same process, however flawed. Both deserve the respect of each other. Right now, not many believe the president in his attempts to deny involvement in the crisis. The evidence is overwhelming. Indeed, the more he tries, the more fraudulent he sounds.
It is even possible that the president has one or two genuine grounds against Gov. Ngige. But such will never justify his present role in the Anambra crisis.
As governor, Ngige has acquitted himself creditably as a man with a heart for his people. In one year, he has demonstrated a full grasp of the needs of his people as well as the will and ability to tackle them. He has exposed the reason behind the state's anaemic health. That is governance and that's what the people yearn for.
The property being destroyed by Uba and his group belong to the people, not the governor. It is a paradox that a group so desperately seeking for power, ostensibly, in the interest of the people could be busy destroying what is on ground. Why then does it want power? The president must now speak up on this issue. Beyond that, he must act and on the side of the law too. He should now arraign Uba and his group before a court of competent jurisdiction to answer for their atrocities against the state. We have come to a point where silence is certainly no longer golden.



OBJ: Man of the year 2004
By HABIB YAKOOB  - Vanguard -January 02, 2005
...........Well, happy New Year to you all. This small column, has decided to vote our able and charismatic leader, Chief Mathew Okikiola Aremu Olusegun Obasanjo, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigeria Armed Forces, the man of the year 2004. ........What do you mean, the president doesn’t deserve the man of the year award...? Who else has his fingers almost in all the bad, the ugly and I think the good things that occurred last year aside from the president? I am asking you, who else...? Now you are quiet! Bad belle...that’s what is killing this country!

To be sure, among the candidates that presented themselves for this very award last year, this column could not find a worthier candidate than the president. Those unqualified but highly commended candidates were Adam Oshiohmhole, Asari Dokubo, Ibrahim Mantu, Chinua Achebe, Audu Ogbeh, Orji Kalu, Nasir El Rufai, Ngige, Uba, Anambra crises and many others. Even though these figures were sometimes involved in some remarkable national events, they were still not as generally influential and central to them as the president.

Well, to start with, it was the president who intervened in August last year, when his stubborn Minister of the FCT, Nasir El- Rufai, gathered the 109 Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under one class and called them Fools. By his intervention, the president succeeded in quenching a legislative-executive feud that might have been as unending as the Ngige-Uba wahala. It should be noted that it was the president who first called a certain Reverend getleman a "total idiot" in Plateau State……

The president, in October also succeeded in raising the price of fuel in the country to an all time high of N52 before Adam Oshiomhole and his group fought its drop to N49. This increase was no mean performance. I understand credit cannot go to the president alone because the oil marketers were involved, but then there is no doubt that his role in this remarkable feat helped in pushing up his marks.

Again, it was the president who almost single handedly imposed that controversial State of Emergency on Plateau State in May 18, last year. The imposition was significant in that it was the first time it helped give the original impression that Governor Dariye was nothing but the synonym of alleged fraud.

Perhaps by far, the best justification for this award is the president’s romance with the Anambra crisis. For your information, the Anambra crisis as a candidate could not over take the president in this competition because there might as well not have been Anambra crisis without our president.

It could also not have gotten that level of publicity it got without the president’s involvement. In fact, as a consequence of the Anambra crisis, President Olusegun Obasanjo’s attempt to establish some level of friendship with Achebe was rubbished. Achebe said he rejected the CFR award that year because of the president and his government’s seeming support for a "small clique renegades" in the Anambra crisis.

Throne of leadership: Since the Anambra crisis began with the ‘stealing’ of Governor Chris by godfather Chris in the state, on July 10, 2003, an incontrovertible impression has been that the president ensured that the person who stole people’s votes was not made to peacefully mount the throne of leadership in the state. How he did it was well known to this year 2004 awarding column.

For his active role in the crisis, he got a damning letter from the chairman of his party, Chief Audu Ogbeh, who also implicitly saw the president’s hands in the most recent mayhem unleashed on the state government property. This column took "judicious note" of Obasanjo’s reply to Ogbeh and considered it the most diplomatic letter ever written by the president himself. The letter, the column speculated must have been written with the president's temperament running at 120 degrees. The degree at which the word "total idiot" emerged in Jos.

As this year begins, we are looking forward to the way the president would work his ways again to winning the 2005 award. This time, we surely will still be treated to some factors, which gave him an edge in this competition: fuel price increase, Anambra, state of emergency, etc. Besides, we shall be presented with facts about his 2007 presidential bid, the constitutional review and many others.For this wonderful performance, shall we clap again for the president of the federal Republic...?

A president in slices
By DELE SOBOWALE Vanguard, January 02, 2005

SPOKEN words are dangerous enough but written words are more deadly, especially when they should not have been written in the first place. They reveal more of ourselves than we sometimes would want to expose. This series will quote verbatim from the President’s’ letter to Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Chairman of the PDP. You be the judge of the character of the writer.
“However your discrete investigation convinced you that I was right and you brought Mbadinuju to me, for you and I to tell him that he could not be a gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in Anambra. You rightly, I believe, requested that I should work with you to give him a soft landing and we agreed to make him an Ambassador after the election and we agreed on which Mission abroad”. Thus for a president who preaches ethical conduct and who canvases good governance, the right punishment is appointment as Ambassador. Since when has the position of the country’s envoy been reserved for losers?
 By Lanre Banjo (Nigeriaworld 31.12.04)
............I am neither amused nor shocked by the unrefined contents of General Olusegun Obasanjo's letter. The revelation is not out of his volition. The spirit of Nigeria is fighting against all of them. Obasanjo knew that the date of the election says it all 4-19 (April 19). This was considered by the evil genius among them before they scheduled the elections. How could some people expect Obasanjo to hand over Uba and Ngige to Police when the date of the elections indicated that the elections were predetermined? Which Police are they going to handover Uba to? Is it the Police under corrupt Tafa Balogun who is part and parcel of the riggings? How would they expect Obasanjo to invite the Police when he himself was a beneficiary of the robbery in all the states that he was declared the winner, including Anambra and my State, Ogun?

Because Obasanjo knew his instructions to Abel Guobadia and the rest resident electoral commissioners, nothing in Obasanjo's letter wonders how Uba could have rigged without the collusion of his staff in INEC. Because they are planning to repeat the same thing again in 2007, no serious diagnosis is done of our electoral process to ensure that election would be free and fair. Obasanjo's letter mirrors lack of institution of government in Nigeria. How could a seasoned Command in Chief make such a misguided statement without regard to the case in Court if his brain is not in the whirlwind or some spiritual forces are not toying with his mind? How could anyone expect Ngige to resign when Obasanjo has already exonerated him in his letter and the morally lame Obasanjo himself is not resigning despite the revelations?

Obasanjo mentioned in his letter that "Chris Uba went further to say to Ngige" "you don't know in detail how it was done", referring to the rigging. This has let Ngige off the hook and his defense would be that his elections might have been rigged but the burden of proof is on Uba who did it without his knowledge. He had already denied telling Obasanjo that he did not win the election, but he did not refute the fact he did not know how Uba rigged the election as mentioned in Obasanjo's letter to Ogbeh.................

By Adekunle Ajisebutu (Nigeriaworld 31.12.04)
...........Let's face it, Uba is not asking for a small amount; he wanted billions of Naira. He wanted everything, and the president knew. What would Obasanjo do, if this had happened in Ogun State? Would he have allowed Uba to hold the governor and the state to ransome while the people suffer from lack of government? Ngige has never had a day of rest since he assumed office. He has never had a chance to serve the people. He has moved from one plot to another and the president knew.

Did the president know about the 2003 aborted coup in Anambra State? When AIG Raphael Ige said he was acting on orders from the top, was he referring to the Presidency? How could atrocity of that magnitude happen in this day and age? How come nobody, except Raphael Ige, answer for that crime? How come nothing has been said about that coup?  Every terrible thing that one cannot or ever imagine is happening under Obasanjo's administration. It was under his watch that the Chief law officer of the country was murdered like a nobody, and like a nobody, nobody has been indicted or made to pay for this heinous crime. Now, people are comparing Obasanjo's regime to Abacha. I assume they are saying God made a mistake to remove Abacha and place Obasanjo in their hands. So, what lesson has Obasanjo learn in life? The prison thing and coming close to death have faded, just like that. This is a man that miraculously escapes death in Abacha gulag, but God spared him to serve the people. He is now the people's adversary.

At least, he is an adversary of the Anambra people, because he allowed evil to thrive in their state and refused to do something about it. Let us assume for a moment that Obasanjo hate Ngige and would not rescue him from Uba, what of Anambra people. The president after learning about the cause of the impasse between Ngige and Uba, has the power to compensate Uba through other means, through other party patronage, and order Uba to leave Ngige to serve the people. He failed. His penchant for vindictiveness will not let him see pass the real issue: Anambra people...............


Audu Ogbeh And The Verdict Of History
By Dr. Said Adejumobi – Guardian 26.12.04
..........I would tease out four of those paradoxes in the president's response to his party chairman.
Paradox one: Ogbeh, from the insinuation of the president may likely be accused of treason, for the possibility of inciting a coup. What a paradox? Who could better be inciting a coup than those who foment anarchy, burn government properties, waste taxpayers' money, and put life in jeopardy in a whole state? Regrettably, it is these same characters that the president embraces and gives red carpet reception. The villains have become heroes. The innocent becomes guilty. What a country!
Paradox Two: Obasanjo is the Chairman of the African Union. He is also the Chairman of the NEPAD Implementation Committee. He talks highly about democracy, yet he admitted through his response to Ogbeh that his party stole the Anambra governorship election. Those who masterminded the fraud were asked to go home and sin no more. Can we then assume that the PDP probably stole all the last general elections? What a shining example of democracy the president and his party are?
Paradox Three: The President tacitly alleges that Audu Ogbeh has suddenly become rich. To put it bluntly, Ogbeh has either peculated national resources or used his official position as Chairman of PDP to material advantage. If this is true, the paradox is that the president is confirming that his party is a party of get-rich quick, fraud, stealing and criminality. If the party chairman can steal, then where is the moral soul of the party? Everybody in the party can easily be suspected of being a thief. Yet, the president sits by and lives with it. Ogbeh's alleged theft (which is questionable) cannot but pale into insignificance in the rat race by the PDP governors to out-do themselves in the keen competition for Transparency International award for global corruption.
Paradox Four: Obasanjo claims that "Nigeria is moving to the cruising level and at cruising speed". I am not sure which Nigeria the president is talking about. Perhaps, the president is living in another world from those he governs. The Nigerian boat is not cruising at all. Currently, it is a drowning boat-Nigeria is virtually a failed state that cannot perform the basic functions of a state. It can hardly provide security, ensure food for its citizens, supply mere electricity, or provide justice. Both the rich and poor bear pain and anguish on their faces. Evidently, there is a wide distance between the president and his people.
The President’s men are playing the blame game
By Obi Nwakanma - Vanguard 02.01.2005
.........What took place in Nigeria in 2003 was worse than the electoral manipulations in Ukraine. In Ukraine, the government of the day did not use mobile policemen and soldiers to threaten an aggrieved population as happened to Nigerians who in various ways indicated their dubiousness about the PDP’s claim of victory. Even then, Ojo Maduekwe’s assertion that all parties rigged in 2003 raises another important question: so, upon what is the current government constituted? On illegality apparently. If all parties rigged, the PDP with the widest swath of unearned victory, took over government forcefully. It does not seem that APGA, NAP, UNPP, NDP, AD and the other parties who were forced to lose their deposits were quite in the game of rigging or they would have something to show for it. Mr. Maduekwe’s claim is thus flat. From where I stand, it is not difficult to see how the elections in 2003 became an "endgame." The president went into the elections as a vulnerable and unpopular president. The PDP had mostly failed the nation and the party had nothing really to show for the four years it spent in government, save mendacity, corruption, squabbles, presidential waka-about, and a failure of the imagination.

The Eastern flank remained the president’s most vulnerable and volatile spot because the Igbo had catalogued his numerous forms of disrespect and abuse both against the people and against their political leaders. The president has this "Napoleon complex" in his relationship with the Igbo, a condition which makes him seem perpetually trapped in the fog of war. With Alex Ekwueme challenging his troubled incumbency in 2003, and Ojukwu massing the Igbo behind him, the president panicked, and once more deployed a cloak and dagger means to subdue the Igbo political will. He chose his foot-soldiers from the usual lot: the Igbo never do wells who front for any spirit that jingles a coin. The entire East went to the polls. But by the time the polls closed, they were in for a surprise. They were hearing different results. I was in the East from the United States in late May up to the presidential inauguration. The entire region seemed like a war zone.

It was crawling with armed mobile police personnel. I counted twenty-six road blocks from the Port-Harcourt International Airport to Owerri, a distance of under an hour. I had not, even under the infamous Sani Abacha, encountered such level of police presence. The East was under quarantine, so was the rest of the country. The president’s inauguration took place under the nose of an indifferent nation which knew that "democracy dividend" only meant the deregulation of crassness, brutality, corruption – an oligopoly of moral deadweights. Those who raised their voices were accused of "overheating the polity." Then the Anambra imbroglio opened up the internal contradictions. It has led to exchanges of letters, and confessions, and all what not. Talk about robbers squabbling over booty!

The heat has forced key officials of this troubled government to begin to creep out of complicit silence. Ojo Maduekwe prefers to blame all the parties. Ihonvbere blames Igbo leaders. The "top intellectuals, politicians, traditional rulers, businessmen capable of calling their children to order." What I’d like to ask Ihonvbere is, did this government consider these citizens who should "call their children to order" when it went about rigging the elections, and using these "children" to subvert the communal will? Such misdirected paternalism – talk about children – is unbecoming of a so-called "radical" democrat, and political scientist, who ought to know that the resolution of this lies somewhere else: it lies in the reaffirmation of the peoples electoral will.

DR: Alex Obiogbolu  -Nigeriaworld  23.12.04
Your Excellency,

Every society moulds its heroes. For a multiethnic nation whose contraption was created by the colonialists, we are still searching for our heroes.

As for me, Gen.Olusegun Obasanjo was one worthy of the national honor of hero and statesman. I have remained enamored by his personality. Spartan but proud, brash yet intelligent, demurring yet brave. His subordinate, Gen. Muhammad Buhari had once described him in no less eloquent words. "One of the very few officers who inspired his subordinates by example, never shirked a challenge and never declined a responsibility". Without prejudice to the terrible human rights records of your government in the seventies which included the shooting of protesting students and destruction of late icon, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti's home, I shared the general view that you had improved yourself in terms of your view and understanding about democracy and the proper role of the military in the new world order.

You inspired young men like us to speak out even in the face of tyranny with particular reference to your opening address at the meeting of statesmen at Ota farm on 25th may 1993 where you said "all that is necessary for the enthronement of evil is for good people to remain silent and inactive. The silent majority looks almost helplessly on as the nation is allowed to be toyed with". Since the current crisis in my home state, Anambra State. I had hoped that you will deal decisively with this crisis or would at least speak about it. However, your public outrage on the bedeviling crisis in Anambra State in Mr. President's letter to the National Chairman of our great party is not only embarrassing but raises more questions begging for answers. Questions on morality and leadership.

Thus, taking a cue from your teaching, I shall not fail to elicit these questions and extend my advice as one of the elders of our great party, PDP in Anambra State who has witnessed the entire crisis. Following in the vein of the content of the letter addressed to Mr. President by our chairman, Chief Audu Ogbeh on the drift of the nation. I wish to bring to your notice many seemingly contradictions in what you said before you entered Aso Rock and now you have been there. There is no gain restating the facts that you have spent the better part of your life working for the unity of Nigeria and the democratization of our country befitting a statesman.

Albeit, in your inaugural address on 29th May 1999, you told Nigerians, "you have been asked many times in the past to make sacrifices and to be patient. I am also going to ask you to make sacrifices and to exercise patience. The difference will be that in the past sacrifices were made with little or no results. This time however, the results of your sacrifice and patience will be clear and manifest for all to see". It will be gross insensitivity on the part of Mr. President to write "we are moving cruising level and cruising speed" with the level of poverty, inter-ethnic strife, low purchasing power of Nigerians, level of unresolved assassinations, cost of kerosene and worsened power supply today in Nigeria.

As you had always admonished past Governments, I recollect that you urged General Abacha to make moral restitution the basis of his authority to govern Nigeria. Despite describing Abacha's putsch as unfortunate but necessary, you did not fail to chastise his government. In your keynote address at Arewa house, Kaduna on 2nd February 1994, you said "the present economic hardship is suffocating. Apart from that, the threat to the nation's corporate existence is really grave", and drew parallels between Abacha's and Babangida's governments. Your address drew a standing ovation.

Therefore, I am at total loss at the reactions of Mr. President on the advice and urgings of the National Chairman of PDP, Chief Audu Ogbeh. The constitution of our great party, PDP clearly gives him such mandate, as the " National Chairman shall promote and defend the integrity, policies and programmes of the party and make pronouncements for and on behalf of the National Executive". The action of our National Chairman is what Mr. President has always advocated and done himself in the past. Permit me to quote from your address at Arewa House in 1994. " While private urgings may be good, they are insufficient when a government is deaf and mischievous. Such a government sees private urgings and correspondences either as a tacit approval or an invitation to be quietly settled. It will be better for us to step on a couple of toes and some economic interests rather than allowing the country to be destroyed almost to point irreparability". Also in your eloquent address at University of Ibadan in 1992 titled "Our situation is desperate", you said. " A Nation may become moribund through paralysis of silence born out of fear and intimidation. " Is your response to our chairman not intimidating?

Consequently I am at grave loss at the increasing level of intolerance exhibited by Mr. President's government to any form of opposing or critical view since May 2003. The demonic visitation on the Insider Magazine by alleged State agents is but one of the most recent cases. In my view, I can draw a parallel between what happened to Insider Magazine and what Abacha and Babangida's Governments visited on The Tell and TheNews magazines to mention a few. The debasement of our democracy can only lead to disillusionment and cynicism. Our National Chairman is not wishing you a coup but rather pointing out the possible consequences of your government's inaction or mistakes.

Mr. President in his popular address at Arewa House had also said of the Abacha's government. "A constitutional conference to keep all agitators quiet no matter how much it is dressed up can not achieve the objective of genuine national conference designed to examine critically the political and other essential areas of our lives of which there must be a consensus for effective government action". This drew you one of the longest standing ovation that may have come your way. Why then has Mr. President refused the convocation of this true national conference since you assumed office? I assume Mr. President that all your numerous worthy foreign trips to attract investment and capital will remain burgeoned by the insecurity that these political rascality that abound in our polity today provide.

This brings me to the issue, which has drawn the worst vitriolic flak for the PDP and Government:- "The Anambra saga". I had always maintained studied silence so as not to inflame passion hoping that our National Leaders will officiate, mediate and remedy this albatross.

I find Mr. President smarting remark on his role in the Anambra saga so far truly embarrassing for a man we yearn to be Nigeria's finest hero. You are aware that His Excellency, Dr. Chris Ngige has always maintained that he was declared winner by INEC and he (Ngige) did not rig any election. Albeit Mr. President has confirmed taking the confessions of both gentlemen. May I remind Mr. President that the said election was conducted along side the presidential election on the same date and time. In that election, which I participated, you secured 466, 866 votes while Dr. Chris Ngige secured 452,820 votes. Thus, anyone in the PDP who accepts that he or she rigged the gubernatorial election in Anambra state must have obviously rigged the presidential election in your favor. Thus, Mr. President's disclosure also impugns on the validity of the presidential election that declared you President, the integrity of the umpire- INEC and its chairman, and the integrity of the nation at large.

Mr. President! That Chief Chris Uba and Dr. Chris Ngige accepted rigging the election as you wrote is not to me the only moral dilemma. Rather that Mr. President likens their case to "the case of two armed robbers that conspired to loot a house and after bringing out the loot, one decided to do the other in" is the real moral issue. Your allusions contradict all that I have learnt from Gen Olusegun Obasanjo in his leadership forums. Permit me Mr. President to quote verbatim what you said at Arewa House in 1994. "Once in a while a corrupt man can be a leader. If however you are corrupt and attain a high public office, you either purge yourself or you put your authority on question. If you don't purge yourself you will never be able to perform adequately". Is What Dr Chris Ngige did by taking the oath of public office and deciding to purge himself so as to deliver democratic dividends morally wrong? May I remind Mr. President of his beautiful address at University of Ibadan in 1992 titled "Our situation is desperate"? Mr. President said "I felt disappointed the other day while talking to a young MD of a bank when he said that he has no responsibility and business for the development of Nigeria. His obligation is to his stakeholders. He was wrong and I told him so". You equally said, "Fear of being arrested is what leads to reduction in crime. When crimes are perpetrated with cover-up or non-detestability of culprit crime will thrive" The clear truth is that the Nigerian Police stood aside while public property was destroyed and looted. You must have been seen to have engaged the arsonists before you can claim to have been overwhelmed. Chief Chris Uba and Dr Chris Ngige's case is not the first nor the last of disputes that arise between Godfathers and Godsons or Sponsors and sponsored. Saraki VS Lafiaji, Saraki VS Lawal, Mbadinuju VS Offor, Nnamani VS Nwvobodo, Adebibu VS Ladoja are just a few to mention. Even Mr. President VS His sponsors cannot go unmentioned. I recollect Mr. President informing all his sponsors cum donors to consider their donations as contributions to the national development and not expect anything. Did the heavens fall? Was Mr. President abducted? Was there any moral burden? Mr. President has always maintained that he (president) will not be forced to negotiate out of intimidation or threat. I wonder if Mr. President is changing his renowned traits and thoughts on leadership developed over thirty years after five years in Aso Rock.

I urge Mr. president to bring to a halt in your usual decisive manner these spurious attempts at unseating undemocratically an incumbent Governor. The Nigerian Police must assist the Director of public prosecution in Anambra state to bring to book the perpetuators of this heinous crime and destruction visited on Anambra state to serve as a deterrent to others.

I urge you to have a rethink on these events. Seven years ago, nobody dared cast an opposing public view to the Head of state. You braved it and got incarcerated with a 15years sentence, though I remember your words of brevity at Ota farm in 1993. "If a government is not working or able to work with us, we must persist in educating and we must exercise patience until there is a change of heart or a change of hats". The beauty of democracy is the freedom of expression of thoughts and speech. The worst form of any democratic government is still better than the best military cartel. Today, majority of Nigerians recognize that the world has no future for military excursions into governance. However, Nigerians are desirous of enjoying the dividends of democracy and quickly.

I leave Mr. President with his words of response to Allison Ayida's letter following criticisms of "Not My Will". "In my private and public life, I think of tomorrow in acting today". In your controversial book "Not My Will", you had alluded to Zik as one who started his career on a very high and admirable plane as Zik of Africa and whittled to Zik of Igboland, who should not end up as the " Owelle of Onitsha". It is your action today that will place you in history as " Nigeria's finest statesman " or the " Balogun of Owu"

God bless Mr. President!!! I remain

Your loyal party Servant


Rhythm & Business: Oil & Corruption in Nigeria

By Norman Kelley, AOL BlackVoices Columnist

Nigeria, after South Africa, has the potential to become the financial engine of Africa, a hub of commercial and political importance. It is that continents most populous nation and it has a striving, well-educated middle class. But it has had (and still has) its share of problems, mostly dictatorships, corruption -- and oil. Nigeria is one of those nations like Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Iran and Iraq that have suffered from what some call the "curse of oil."

The effects of this curse leads to oil-dependent superpowers like the United States taking an interest in these oil-soaked countries development and engineering their politics and economics to meet their needs. Aided and abetted by the home-grown elites, they use oil profits not for national enrichment and development, but for self-enrichment, and that of their patrons in the developed world. While Nigeria is one of the richest countries in the world in! terms of its natural resources, a mind-numbing 70 percent of the population lives in destitution.

The politics of local development in nations like Nigeria -- with its North-South, Christian-Muslim schisms, as well as ethnic divides -- have fueled corruption and a get-over mentality. Nigerians such as Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe have denounced this tendency in their society. The late Afro-beat master Fela sang about it in numerous songs. Environmental activist Ken Saro-wira was executed by the state through what some have called an extra-legal judicial lynching.

If one wants to get a good idea of how a nation like Nigeria has been plundered and its people driven to criminality, one should consider the phenomenon of what Nigerians and international police agencies call "419" (pronounced "four-one-nine").

"Four-one-nine" is the Nigerian penal code for fraud, and Nigerians are world-famous for such. According to Reuters, every year corruption eats up about 40 pe! rcent or $40 billion of the oil-rich west African countrys annual income. Everyday, 100,000 barrels (some 4 percent of the countrys total oil production) are also squandered.

But the countrys corruption runs much deeper than oil theft. In Lagos, the Nigerian commercial capital, the streets are filled with con men who constantly devise shrewd ways to rob people. And crime has risen to epidemic levels both on the street and in the countrys public institutions. In Europe and the United States, Nigerian criminals have cultivated a reputation for themselves by organizing sophisticated scams and criminal networks, raising the suspicion and rage of law enforcement agencies all around the world.

Weve all heard of the e-mail scams where Nigerians, usually working from Internet cafes in Nigerian cities like Lagos and Abuja, have managed to bilk unsuspecting Americans and Brits of millions of dollars.

Example: "You have been recommended by your countrys Chamber of Co! mmerce in confidence of your ability and reliability to prosecute a transaction of great magnitude involving a pending business transaction requiring maximum confidence."

Or: "My name is Maryam Abacha, the wife of the former President of Nigeria. I am writing you this letter to propose a business that will be of mutual benefit to you and me."

Nowadays such entreaties arrive via e-mail. The modus operandi is to appeal to a "mark" (con men lingo for a potential fraud victim or sucker) and ask his or her assistance in transferring money from one party to another. For example: "I need your assistance to claim this fund from the security firm and invest part of it into a profitable business in your country under your supervision and control. As soon as the fund gets into your country you will then assist me and my family to come over to your country where we hope to start a new life."

If the e-mail recipient falls for the pitch, then the person then the person is usua! lly asked to turn over credit or banking information to the Nigerian 419er. The appeal to the mark is usually "advance fees" said to be in the thousands or millions of dollars for the marks assistance. In the eyes of the mark it's easy money, or put another way: greed. Before the Internet, the con men would send solicitations via the mail or fax on an official-looking letterhead.

This form of fraud is well-known to the United States Secret Service and the United Kingdom National Criminal Intelligence Service. They keep a close eye on this crime specialty. It has been estimated that American citizens have lost more than $100 million a year in 419 scams -- and thats considered a conservative estimate.

When Frantz Fanon wrote his seminal work 'Wretched of the Earth' more than 40 years ago, his chapter on violence and the colonial situation was either condemned by the establishment or lauded by revolutionary anticolonial intellectuals and activists. However, his most pres! cient chapter -- "The Pitfalls of National Consciousness" -- outlined the corruption and cronyism that would befall those nations that had liberated themselves from colonial masters and installed native elites:

"Neither financier nor industrial magnates are to be found within this national middle class. The national bourgeoisie of the underdeveloped countries is not engaged in production, nor invention, nor building, nor labor; it is completely canalized into activities of the intermediary sort. Its innermost vocation seems to be to keep in the running and to be part of the racket."

About the author

Author Norman Kelley is the editor of Rhythm & Business: The Political Economy of Black Music (Akashic Books). His latest book is The 'Head Negro in Charge Syndrome: The Dead End of Black Politics' (Nation Books)

Jan. 18, 2005