Nigeria Elections 2011: “Don’t Expect A Perfect Election,” Jega Warns

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“It is a formidable task,” he said, “But it is a doable task.”

He announced that his commission would use members of the National Youth Service Corps as well as senior level students of Nigerian universities as temporary staff.

“We have been inspired by the growing and overflowing positive feeling of Nigerians to get things right,” Prof. Jega said.

He acknowledged that INEC is aware that 2011 election is an important threshold for Nigeria. The former Vice Chancellor of Bayero University, Kano, promised Nigerians that INEC “will bring a remarkable and substantive improvement that will make Nigerians accept the credibility of the elections.”

In an earlier contribution, the Managing Director of the Guardian Newspaper, Mr. Emeka Izeze expressed confidence in Prof. Jega ability to do the work. But he also warned that it would take more than a good man to conduct a good election in Nigeria.

The veteran journalist said that the disposition of Nigerian politicians had remained the same and that the electorate had not shown that they cared. He decried Nigeria’s culture of preparing for nothing as if preparation didn’t matter.

“The pity is that good luck can carry you so far,” he said. “Good luck cannot conduct good election.”

In his remark, Prof. Richard Joseph of Northwestern University noted that if Brazil, India and Indonesia could conduct credible elections, Nigeria had no reason not to. Quoting Dele Olojede, Prof Joseph said that, “Nigeria is going down an escalator that is moving up.”

He feared that the forthcoming elections in Nigeria were already programmed and reprogrammed to fail.

“Should this coming election fail”, the political scientist warned, “the peace, unity and stability of Nigeria can be compromised.”

Ayo Obe, a Lagos based human rights lawyer, also expressed faith in Jega. But she listed urgent things INEC must do to get things right. She specifically asked that the voters’ register should be published online and for INEC to allow television cameras in the collation centers.

Like other panel members, Darren Kew of McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies at the University of Massachusetts called Jega’s appointment as INEC chairman a game changer.

The experienced Nigerian election observer warned about questionable INEC officials at the state and federal level. He mentioned Plateau State and Kano as potential flash points in the upcoming elections.  

“The Nigerian police is deeply compromised,” he said about the role of the police in Nigeria’s elections. “In past elections, we’ve seen  large numbers of fake police men. “You can identify them because they wear new uniforms.”

Professor Jega revealed that INEC would place the voters’ register online. “I’m determined not to fail,” he said. “I have to say that some people think that we are magicians but we are not.”

Prof. Mobalaji Aluko of Howard University asked the INEC Chairman what his plan B was if he could not meet certain requirements of the electoral laws.

“We have a plan B,” Jega answered, “but it is secret.”

“I know Jega before the election,” Prof Aluko confessed, “I hope I will be able to say that I know him after the election.”

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Nigerian soldiers killed civilians – why the brutality

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WARRI, Nigeria — Nigerian soldiers who launched a raid on militants hiding in the nation’s oil-rich southern delta killed civilians and purposely destroyed homes, a human rights lawyer who visited the attacked region said Sunday.

Preye Onduku told The Associated Press he saw the site of one grave containing six civilians allegedly killed by the military during a brief visit Saturday to the village of Ayakoromor. While soldiers blocked journalists from the AP from seeing the Niger Delta village, they allowed Onduku to visit as his father owns a home there.

The fresh grave sits near the ruins of a local court in Ayakoromor, with many other homes destroyed by what appears to be fire and heavy weapons fire, the lawyer said. Onduku said local people told him that soldiers made them bury other bodies in graves around the village and others are feared dead.

The Nigerian military has denied civilians died during the attack to capture a wanted militant leader called John Togo. The general in charge of the military’s operations in the delta has said soldiers only opened fire when someone fired upon them as they neared Ayakoromor’s shoreline at the start of the raid Wednesday.

However, human rights activists say as many as 150 people died as the military used heavy machine gun fire and aerial bombing on the village. Onduku said he saw five people suffering from gunshot wounds during his brief visit.

The military raid came after an unknown number of soldiers died days ago in an effort to apprehend Togo.

“They were angry that (the militants) had gone and killed their officers and they went to bomb the community. That is the simple reason,” the lawyer said. “I don’t know whether it is anger or how to put it, but it is cowardice.”

The military has yet to capture Togo. The militant’s lawyer has said his client is “on the high seas” far away from Ayakoromor.

Mamadou Sow, a leader in the Niger Delta with the International Committee of the Red Cross, said the attack displaced more than 200 people, who are now living inside a local schoolhouse.

“When the fighting started, they rushed into the forest,” Sow said. “When they got back, their homes were destroyed.”

Sow said the Red Cross is providing food and medical treatment to villagers, as is the Nigerian military.

Militant and military attacks are nothing new to the Niger Delta, a region of creeks and mangroves about the size of South Carolina. The attacks from an insurgency that began in 2006 cut drastically into crude production in Nigeria, an OPEC-member nation that is one of the top suppliers of crude oil to the U.S.

Production has risen back to 2.2 million barrels of oil a day, in part because many militant leaders and fighters accepted a government-sponsored amnesty deal last year.

But as militants over the years profit from kidnapping and oil theft, the military has launched several reprisal massacres against villages. Often, civilians find themselves caught in the middle of a war over oil they never profit from.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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The situation Of Nigerians in China is getting worse

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Over the years, Nigerians in China have been suffering untold hardship in the hands of the communist police of China,notwithstanding the diplomatic and trade relations between Nigeria and China.While other smaller African country’s citizens are treated fairly one wonders why the citizens from the most populous nation in Africa is being treated with levity in China.For example the Chinese authorities has been very considerate in renewing the visas of other African countries with the exception of Nigeria.

Other African countries have been getting their resident permit with ease but the case of Nigerians is different.Even when a Nigerian is married to a Chinese Citizens according to the Chinese law the person is still being denied the one year resident permit that the Chinese government give to people in that category rather they will be renewing the person’s visa every three months in the case of Nigerian Citizens.One therefore is pushed to ask if the then president Olusegun Obasanjo just signed a bi- lateral relation with Chinese government just to give millions of Chinese citizens free access to enter Nigeria so that they help and send our half dead industries to their graves. It is surprising that these Chinese citizens scattered all over Nigeria enjoy their freedom and carry on their businesses without any interference.It is absurd to hear that Nigerians in China do not enjoy any freedom at all and that there are many Nigerians that are being detained by the communist police in an underground cell.It is too bad that while many Nigerians wish to go about their legal businesses that the Chinese communist police are trying their best to frustrate their efforts especially in the commercial city of Guangzhou.

The police in the commercial city of Gunagzhou is a carbon copy of Nigerian police in corruption.The difference is that while the Nigerian police collect a pea nut as bribe their Chinese counterpart collect a fortune.Right now in Gunagzhou Nigerians are paying between 10,000 to 13,000 RMB that is 175,000naira to 227,500 naira bribe just to get themselves released as soon they are arrested to avoid being thrown into the underground cell.Even as the Chinese government says that anybody that overstayed should pay a fine of 5000RMB they still cannot not allow Nigerians to pay the fine with ease and go home if they wish to go,rather they will handcuff the person and make him to suffer in the cell and still pay the fine.The wife of a Nigerian who have a resident permit can never claim through her husband’s residency, rather if she wish to come to China she will apply and get a one month visiting visa within which she will leave. If not she will be there as illegal allien.Many Nigerian wives are in these category right now.

The most annoying thing is that these Nigerians that are being denied the legal stay in China employ Chinese Citizens in their various offices and shops, where they pay them a huge sum ranging from 2000 to 3000RMB monthly that is 35,000 – 52,500 naira. An amount that most Nigerian graduates are not receiving as minimum wage. I was recently informed that among the multinational companies in Nigeria that Chinese are the least paid workers. It is disheartening that these Chinese will cheat us in their country and rob us of our due at home. In Nigeria Chinese are importers, hawkers, clearing agents even visa vendors. In China, most Nigerians hardly see breathing space to carry out their legitimate businesses. A situation that most Nigerians have been helpless about.
I need a general advice on how to get this problem solved.
Since Nigeria have her own laws, is there any means that we can get Mr Ude the boss of Nigerian immigeration to try and enforce our own laws?

Can we unanimousely in this discussion group write pettition to Mr president about this situation.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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