2011: The emergence of two party politics?

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Read Time:7 Minute, 31 Second

There is much talk going at the moment amongst the political class of coalitions, alliances and mergers. The general consensus seems to be that the election machine of the PDP will simply be unstoppable come 2011 and the only way that non-PDP politicians can have a say is by forming a coalition (or coalitions). The story bubbled earlier in the year as legislators debated whether to include a two-party amendment into the Electoral Reform Bill, on that occasion the idea was shot down, albeit after some political manoeuvring, but nonetheless it raised the profile of the grand coalition agenda. The idea was first floated by the ‘love-him-or-hate-him’ Godfather of Nigerian politics, General Babangida, in the ‘Third Regime’ and eventually lead to what was considered the freest and fairest elections ever held in Nigeria which was contested between the National Republican Convention and the Social Democratic Party ( Who won the election with candidate MKO Abiola).

As the elections have drawn nearer, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) are reported to be in talks over an alliance (but probably not a merger) with the All Nigerian People Party (ANPP) and their splinter party the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). In addition to all the politicians who are criss-crossing the carpet from one party to the other, Presidential aspirant Pat Utomi of the Social Democratic Mega Party (SDMP), the day after announcing his candidacy indicated on his Facebook page that he would be ‘going round Nigeria to build a coalition with ALL progressives’. The question is now why the sudden clamour for unity?

There are two scenarios here that though inter-related are best looked at separately. The first of which was that raised in May in the legislature, where The National Assembly sort to pass an amendment limiting the parties allowed to run to two. The argument being that a two-party system is a stable political system that has succeeded in polities all over the world (and indeed in Nigeria albeit briefly) and will have a number of beneficial consequences include reduced cost of elections, greater accountability and higher participation. As such it was advisable to have it in law. This move although apparently supported by many was opposed by PDP legislators, but is also opposed by a number of academics who contend that besides the problems of rigidity and restricted choice this may imply, the emergence of two-party politics in the US or Japan or for that matter anywhere in the world has never been induced by the passing of law or amendment of constitutions. These changes have always happened by evolution, with two parties emerging as dominant over time but with the existence of other parties not expressly outlawed. This is of course the second scenario for Nigeria, that parties will splinter and merge, grow and wither and two parties will emerge; one of which in all likelihood has already emerged, The PDP.

There is a degree of inevitability about as French sociologist Maurice Duverger outlined in what became known as his principle. Duverger’s law asserts that a plurality election system, like the one that exists in Nigeria, tends to encourage a two party system, as opposed to a system of proportional representation which tends to favour a multiparty system. The argument being that in a country like Nigeria, where each legislative seat (and the Presidency) is divided by a simple majority of votes casted by constituents, the party with the most seats is the majority (or gains the Presidency) and the second party is in minority (or is in opposition). In each individual seat there is no role for the party that comes third, and any party that consistently comes third across the seats will have no role at all on a national level. People will stop voting for them as they will begin to see it as a wasted vote and/or the party itself will seek to ally itself with one of the more successful parties. This model has been applied to analysis of the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom and is widely accepted, however it is only a theory and it is the practice of politics that concerns Nigerians.

This would be a good time for the opposition parties to unite. The PDP is suffering a dip in support; people are dissatisfied after 12 years of the party in Government. The pressure for free and fair elections is overwhelming, this combined with the cheap publicity via modern technology means that the elections will be more open than in previous idea. The concept of a non-partisan coalition chimes with the electorate and the theme of change that the parties are planning to run on and cooperation might give them the financial muscle to challenge the PDP’s hegemony. In practice, amalgamation looks unlikely. Though the parties are currently in talks with the view to some sort of understanding, there are a number of issues in the way so much so that Alhaji Bafarawa (formerly of the Democratic People’s Party (DPP), now of the ACN) has come out to dispel talk of an alliance as just that, talk.

“As a democrat and I believe ACN is a democratic party. Whoever that is taking our ticket must be our member. I am assuring you there is no way ACN will adopt a presidential candidature without recourse to democracy. There is no way merger will work”

The CPC is a splinter of the ANPP and such is unlikely to enter any coalition with them, leaving the ACN to choose a suitor. The major problem hindering any agreement is that there is no real acknowledgement of who is the ‘second’ party and who is the ‘third’, in other words who will be senior and who will be junior partner. The CPC is a new party that although has considerable support particularly in the North, has no tangible political assets to bring to the table. The ANPP despite its state Governors and significant stake in the legislator has taken some political blows as a result of the defections that have plagued the party this year. The ACN would seem to be perched in the driving seat with the popular acclaim for Governor Fashola of Lagos and its recent court successes in the South-West, however they don’t appear to be able to put forward a heavy hitting presidential candidate and such seem to be very much playing second fiddle to the other parties. The latest gossip is that the coalition will be between the CPC and the ACN, with former head of state, General Buhari, being lined up as the presidential candidate with a running mate from the ACN, possibly former governer of Lagos State, Mr Tinubu.

If a deal is struck, there will be a number of losers including ACN aspirant, Mallam Ribadu, who seems to have been overlooked as well as Pat Utomi’s SDMP and a whole host of smaller parties who will have little or nothing to bring to the table. However, in this writer’s opinion a deal is not likely to be struck, Nigerian politicians are not well known for their cooperation or their selflessness. For progress to be made one or more parties will have to give up their claim to the presidency and accept a diminished role. The parties will have to choose a platform on which to run and that is proving a sticking point at the moment as all sides would want to preserve their political capital by running on their own party ticket. Then there is the question of what will happen in the likely situation that the PDP retains power, the PDP currently has 26 of the 36 gubernatorial seats while the other parties combined have only 10. What are the realistic prospects of any coalition continuing beyond the elections and forming a credible opposition? One can only speculate and on some level that is the problem in Nigeria, there is no power in opposition and so every election is winner takes all. Duverger’s theory doesn’t hold up for Nigeria because there is no second place, no shadow cabinet, in effect no opposition. Opposition that should be shadowing government activity, scrutinizing government agenda and formulating alternative policies simply doesn’t exist. It should act as check on the party in power and should fight to get the upper hand on its opponent by reflecting the will of the people. So this brings us back to the first scenario and perhaps instead of the National Assembly trying to legislate on a two party system, they should legislate on reform to the Assembly that will allow for or even require credible opposition and maybe this will bring about the evolution of a two-party system if it is indeed inevitable.

Enyinnaya Emmanuel Chukwueke

Green Label Project, Changing Nigeria Together

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

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 True Nature of the Private Sector in Nigeria

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Read Time:10 Minute, 51 Second

Generally, every free market economy is divided into two sectors, the public sector and the private sector. The former is “the portion of a nation’s affairs, especially economic affairs, that is controlled by government agencies”, while the latter is “the part … that is made up of companies and organizations that are not owned or controlled by the government.” Despite this distinction, instances exist where the state invests in private sector concerns and becomes part-owner thereof, in addition to floating new companies or commercializing existing ones to compete with private sector organizations in economic activities.

The above distinction between the two sectors is upheld in Nigeria on paper.  But a scrutiny of the composition and modus operandi of most ‘private sector’ organisations and the intricate connection between them and ‘public sector’ institutions and officials in Nigeria reveals something quite contrary to the commonplace understanding of the two expressions. This distortion is rooted in the pervasive corruption and mal-administration which give every principle a different colouration and meaning in the country. As a result, we have the Nigerian version of almost every concept, such as the amusing Nigerian “home-grown democracy” which is nothing but a pervert of the generally accepted principles of democracy.

 

As we shall soon see, many ‘private sector’ outfits in Nigeria are actually owned by public officers, their relations or fronts. This creates the impression that such organisations are extensions of the public sector and makes it difficult to know, in real terms, what constitutes the ‘public sector’ and ‘private sector’, respectively, in Nigeria. However, I will present my perception of the true nature of the Nigerian private sector, by looking at the actual structure and operations of the organisations which are passed off as such in Nigeria. This analysis does not pretend to be exhaustive.

In the first group, we have corporations and institutions built and operated with public funds which are privatized and sold, under suspicious circumstances, to persons or companies fronting for high-ranking government officials, and thereafter presented as ‘private sector organisations’. Often, these government institutions are first run down by the officials who are bent on privatizing them, in order to justify their privatization. Then they are undervalued and sold at a discount, with no store set by the value of their assets and government’s investments therein. The funds used to purchase them, which were initially looted from public treasury, are further looted after their ‘remittance’ by the ‘buyers’ to government coffers. Till date, no one can point to any specific, genuine project to which the proceeds of the privatization of public institutions in Nigeria were channelled. The new owners may liquidate the company, merge or combine it with existing companies to form a monopoly or cartel for the exploitation of poor Nigerians. For instance, it was alleged that the ‘core investor’ who ‘bought’ the Ajaokuta Steel Company was busy cannibalizing and taking outside Nigeria the raw materials and products found within the complex.

The next group is made up of companies incorporated by serving government officials, either using their names or (often) those of family members and friends as members/directors. What do these government officials do? They channel almost all juicy contracts in their organizations to such companies, while exploiting their links in other government institutions to secure more lucrative jobs for them. Such contracts are hardly ever executed according to specifications; most times, from the outset, the intention to do a shoddy job is shared by the parties, yet the company gets paid handsomely and continues to earn patronage from public institutions.

Closely related to the above is another group consisting of companies owned by retired high-ranking government officials who corruptly enriched themselves while in service. These persons become contractors immediately upon leaving public office, use their ill-gotten wealth to establish blue chip corporate outfits and continue the looting of government funds in a private capacity. Where they have a good rapport with their successors-in-office, they easily secure very lucrative contract awards based on quid pro quo basis, and also exploit their connections in other government agencies to the same effect.

The fourth group comprises private companies or organizations that depend solely on government patronage in order to remain afloat; they have no other customer(s) outside the government and its officials. These corporate outfits do everything – including bribing and blackmailing influential government officials – to secure contract awards from governments, its ministries and agencies. Thereafter, they supply substandard goods, render low-quality services, fail to execute jobs or execute same poorly, and then share the windfall with their benefactors. The companies here could be owned by politicians-cum-contractors, retired or serving public servants and their private fronts. From the proceeds of such corrupt contracts, some of these people make a public show of acts of philanthropy and arrogate to themselves the appellation ‘philanthropist’.

The fifth class consists of companies owned by expatriates and their Nigerian collaborators. Here, we have the multi-national companies which have acquired the status of sovereign nations, being treated as extensions of their countries of origin. These outfits, whether owned solely by expatriates (which Nigerian law permits) or in association with their Nigerian fronts, create the impression of being in the country to do genuine business. The reality is that their mission is profit maximization, even at the loss and pain of their host nation. Aided by their local fronts and collaborators, they do everything to milk the country dry and contravene its laws. The recently unearthed bribery scandal involving the USA company Halliburton and some Nigerian officials is a case in point.

In the sixth type are banks which depend heavily on deposits by the government and its agencies. Although they complement this with unwholesome, sharp banking practices against innocent depositors, most of these banks will soon collapse should state funds be withdrawn from them. Under the dubious ‘public private partnership’ (PPP) arrangements, these banks collude with public officials in a sham sponsorship of public projects by applying government funds in their custody thereto, which moneys are then presented as coming from the banks and to be repaid by the government with high interest charges.

Also within this group are some private estate developers. Rumour has it that, based on underhand deals between them and some government officials, they easily get land allocations from the government and funds from public institutions like the National Housing Fund (NHF) with which they execute mass housing projects. These low-quality houses are then offered for sale to Nigerians at cut-throat prices, under the guise that the funds came from the private estate developers. This may explain why the NHF hardly ever gives housing loans to civil servants who are entitled to same, being legally bound to make monthly contributions to the Fund. At this juncture, I commend President Goodluck Jonathan’s decision to give housing/land loans directly to public servants.

In the seventh group are some prominent Nigerians who are granted oil blocs by the government or granted licences to lift crude oil or import refined petroleum products. These select few undeservedly feed fat on our common wealth and short-change Nigeria and Nigerians. In a country with more than 80% of its citizens in the throes of abject poverty, where successive governments ascribe their abysmal failure to ‘paucity of funds’, one is dumbfounded that few persons are given official licence to amass immense wealth from what belongs to all. Where is the sense in an oil-producing country, with four refineries, importing refined petroleum products? Some past rulers, after defrauding Nigeria, use their loot to build refineries in other countries to which our crude oil is now sent for refining! Again, allegations are rife that the licensed importers lift refined petroleum from Nigeria, move some nautical miles away, return to the country and make claims on government for importing same! This unchecked fraud accounts for the huge money successive regimes in Nigeria since the middle 1980s claim to be spending as ‘subsidy’ in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry!

The eighth category is made up of companies which, apparently, may not depend much on government patronage in the real sense of it for their operations, but rely on the complicit indifference of regulatory agencies to their unwholesome business activities whereof they rip off poor Nigerians. The telecommunications and transport outfits are some very handy examples. These companies subject Nigerians to subhuman treatment and untold exploitation, while the authorities exhibit inertia. For instance, it is certain to the average Nigerian that the Nigerian Communications Commission, National Assembly and Ministry of Information and Communications are apathetic to the exploitation of Nigerians by the providers of mobile telephony. These companies impose whatever tariffs that suit their fancy, and arbitrarily review same upwards.

The use of the expression ‘private sector organisations’ here includes the supposed non-profit oriented NGOs and companies limited by guarantee. A common characteristic of almost all these ‘private sector’ concerns is their penchant to do everything to frustrate any form of regulation in their relevant industries. The government agencies charged with their regulation easily become victims of regulatory capture, willingly or owing to blackmail, enabling the companies to feed fat on corrupt contract awards and profiteer at the expense of Nigeria and poor Nigerians.

Without prejudice to the pervasiveness of this version of ‘private sector’ in Nigeria, one does not deny the existence of some private sector concerns in the real sense of the expression. Granted that some of the proprietors here may be fraudulent and predatory, others eke out an honest living in the midst of epileptic power supply, high expense on alternative power supply, bad roads, insecurity of lives and properties, high cost of transportation and other militating factors. Most of these people sold their family lands, buildings or other choice assets or even borrowed money from shylock-like money lenders to establish their businesses, and have no connection with public funds in terms of inflated, poorly executed or unexecuted contracts and corrupt deals through which public funds are embezzled in Nigeria.

In my humble view, the foregoing is the true nature of the Nigerian private sector. It is this ‘private sector’ that successive Nigerian governments since the middle 1980s claim is duty-bound and best positioned to provide and manage basic amenities such as motorable roads, potable water, hospitals, schools, housing and electricity for the citizenry! But how organizations and proprietors that depend solely on government patronage, corrupt deals with public officers, shady contract awards from government agencies, the inertia of regulatory agencies, and who hardly deliver on such jobs are considered better placed to carry out this alien ‘duty’ remains a mind-boggling puzzle to me.

Against this background, it is no wonder that despite huge annual budgetary allocations to capital projects and overheads, no appreciable progress has been made in Nigeria over the years. Almost the entire funds meant for capital projects and overheads end up in the pockets of serving or retired government officials, their fronts and private persons who are parasites on government funds. The much talked-about Public Procurement Act has not changed anything, for it is still business as usual in the award of government contracts. Government contracts are still awarded to the categories of ‘private sector’ organisations whose modus operandi we have seen above.

Contrary to the accusing fingers the government points at the impoverished civil servant who earns less than N18,000 monthly, it is the incidence of corrupt contract awards, other corrupt deals, outrageous salaries and allowances of Federal legislators and political office holders, wastage of huge resources on white elephant projects, Nigeria’s sponsorship of several ventures which benefit foreign countries, etc, that deplete government funds. Within a space of four years, the salaries of political office holders have been reviewed upwards twice because same is no longer realistic under the prevailing economic conditions, while poorly paid civil servants are not considered equally entitled! It is not large workforce but misappropriated capital and overhead budgetary votes that greatly account for Nigeria’s stagnation. Is it the poor civil servant that awards contracts or disburses overhead votes?

By induction from the foregoing, one can confidently say that Nigeria serves both the privileged public servant and the ‘private entrepreneur’ and nobody serves the country. If this ugly, unfortunate and dangerous trend is not checked, Nigeria will never move forward. In the midst of these corrupt practices, whatever lofty plans the government may have will certainly come to naught. May the merciful God salvage Nigeria and poor Nigerians from evil Nigerians in Jesus’ name, amen.

Ikechukwu A. Ogu, a legal practitioner, writes from Central Business District, Abuja (ikechukwuogu@yahoo.com).

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

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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Stop Destroying Africa with Your Own Hands

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Read Time:5 Minute, 43 Second

“…those that order the destruction of African religion and culture are true advocates of mental closure, fanatics and agents of terrorism…,” allafrica.com reported of Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, yesterday, 17 December, 2010.

Reason: “an army of Nigerian believers, the United Congress of Mbaise Christians is on its mission to raze some 1,000 shrines in Imo State, eastern Nigeria, all to set their community free.

“Shrines were destroyed in Umuhu-okwuato, Mbutu, Lorji, Uvuru and Lagwa. It will not end there, it’s a continous thing. We are getting good responds from the worshippers of these shrines and very soon, the over 1,000 shrines in Mbaise land would be destroyed completely…,” the Nigerian Arts and Culture Directory quoted one of the local evangelists in the article: “Mbaise Destroys 100 Shrines to Cleanse Land”.

Believe me; I have nothing against you or your faith. You are a Christian and you have secured your way to heaven, fine. But, how does that permit you to destroy the community shrines, which neither belong to you or the member of your faith?  Where is the justice and equity?

I don’t want to know how much you have been fed with, but remember that this is how the conflicts usually start.

We are sometimes carried away by the fantasies in our heads and we easily outreach our bordering, and when the trouble comes we would recoil and begin to claim innocence.

Imagine that some people from other faiths invade your church and destroy it, only to confidently tell you that they are setting you free. If as I’m well sure of that you will never treat such invaders as friends, why then are you destroying the cultural relics of a people just because they cannot fight you; just because they will be called horrible names if they ever react to protect their heritage and identity?

See the following extract; you might be convinced that you have no right to do this.

“Till date, many Africans still have not realised the importance of the thousands of sculptures they have destroyed in the name of Christianity. They have not realised that those sculptures are some of the most reliable evidence of their own civilization, their own identities and heritage as a people. Yes, sculptures are mere pieces of woods and earthen materials, but they actually work wonders over a passage of time. They talk and explain the civilisation they once belonged. So they are the windows to their past, the reason we can better understand our own history.

 

Born in Berlin, 1873 and died in Biganzolo Italy, 1938, Leo Viktor Frobenius was a German authority in prehistoric art, ethnologist and archaeologist. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica online, Frobenius was one of the originators of the culture-historical approach to ethnology. He led 12 expeditions to Africa between 1904 and 1935 and had explored centres of prehistoric art in the Alps, Norway, Spain Northern and Southern Africa. Not without saying a word about some cultural icons in West Africa.

“In 1911, Frobenius claimed that he had found proof of the existence of the lost continent of Atlantis. This was based on some sculptures, which he discovered in the area of Ile-Ife in Southwestern Nigeria. The statues were made in bronze and terra cotta, and were so naturalistic that Frobenius concluded that they could not have been made by Africans, but rather by some unknown civilization. He believed that a great civilization existed in the heart of Africa, and that it gradually disappeared. He saw evidence for his claims in local vegetation, architecture, and even local myths and fairytales. Later, archaeologists, however, attributed the artefacts found by Frobenius as belonging to the Yoruba culture”

Without repeating the previous part of this discussion, I think it is important that the aforementioned group of Africans realised a simple fact; that under any guise, rejecting what civilisation has rewarded them, in the form of culture and cultural relics are irreparable lost and a shameful thing to do.

Just to throw a little more light on the above extract from the New World Encyclopaedia. It should be noted that before Viktor ever came to Ile-Ife, that the created school of thought about Africa and Africans had already been widespread among many Europeans. Putting that into consideration when he saw the sculptures of bronze and terra cotta, only two main arguments could have been triggered in his mind.

One could have been that the sculptures had nothing valuable in them and so could be regarded as the works of Africans in their savagery display. The other, a rather easier one, based on the sophistication of the works of art was to claim that the works were done by other people, other than the Africans. And if anything has to be added here, either of the above views was fully in line with the already cooked up ideas. That Africans generally have a limited ability to creativity; that they cannot express themselves in such an aesthetic manner, as to have a profound interpretation of their own culture, if indeed they should be considered to have any. These were the arguments, so it cannot be more unfortunate if Africans do not hold these cultural icons dearly and use them to tell the world that their history did not start with slavery.

Below are two terra cotta sculptures, one from Ile-Ife and the other from the Nok culture, Central Nigeria. The accompanying extract is about the Nok culture, and it’s equally about the connection between these works of art and the people who made them.

“Comparatively little is known of the Nok culture, which is defined largely on the basis of its superb terracotta artworks. Flourishing between 900 BC and 200 AD, the Nok style is a tradition, a style of manufacture that was adopted by different Iron-Age agriculturally-based communities that in fact had widely varying cultures in all other respects. What does unite the trends, however, is a series of outstanding ceramic sculptures, which constitute the most sophisticated and formalised early African artistic tradition outside Egypt.

It should be noted that the sophistication of these terracottas makes some scholars believe that they sprang from a hitherto undiscovered ceramic tradition. Technically, they are very unusual because of the manner in which coiled and subtractive sculpting methods were used to capture likenesses. Aesthetically, they are both naturalistic and expressionist, with highly distinctive elongated forms, triangular eyes, pierced pupils/nostrils and elaborate hairstyles…,” page 155 to 160, “Indoctrination Of The Local People”. From the research, UNDERDEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA: My Hands Are Clean, as was published on the 10th of November, 2010. Images and footnotes are omitted; see the book for more on the argument.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

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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Dubai: World’s Most Expensive Christmas Tree

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Read Time:50 Second

This 40ft Christmas tree will definitely command attention anytime not only because of its height but also the decorations that goes with it.

Dubbed one of the ‘most expensive Christmas trees ever’, the glitzy Emirates Palace hotel in Dubai has unveiled the 40ft evergreen in its gold-leaf bedecked atrium.

Decorated with traditional silver and gold bows, baubles and white lights, the tree is also decked out in necklaces, earrings and other jewellery giving it its record value of $11 million.

It holds a total of 181 diamonds, pearls, emeralds, sapphires and other precious stones according to Khalifa Khouri, owner of Style Gallery which provided the jewellery.

Hans Olbertz, general manager of the hotel, said: ‘The tree itself is about $10,000. The jewellery has a value of over $11million – I think 11.4m, 11.5m.’

He added that the hotel would apply to the Guinness Book of World Records to find out if its tree is the most expensive ever.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

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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Grace Mugabe Sues Newspaper

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Read Time:1 Minute, 2 Second

Zimbabwe’s first lady, Grace Mugabe is suing a newspaper for $15 million for publishing a WikiLeaks cable saying she benefited from illicit diamond trade.

Last week, The Standard newspaper quoting a cable sent by US ambassador James McGee to Washington in 2008, reported that Grace and other cronies of President Mugabe like Gideon Gono gained millions of dollars from illegal diamonds mining, in the Marange district of eastern Zimbabwe.

The state-owned Herald newpaper reported that the first lady had on Wednesday filed a $15 million defamation suit against The Standard, as damages over the article.

“The plaintiff is of high standing in Zimbabwe… furthermore she is the wife of His Excellency the President of Zimbabwe,” Mugabe’s lawyer, George Chikumbirike said.

“The imputation of such conduct on a person of such high standing, the mother of the nation, is to lower the respect with which [she] is held by all right thinking persons, to a point of disappearance,” said the summons.

Chikumbirike said the article wrongly portrayed Grace as corrupt in that “she used her position as the First Lady to access diamonds clandestinely, enriching herself in circumstances in which the country was facing serious foreign currency shortages.”

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

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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Clara Oshiomhole’s Burial Holds Today

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Read Time:25 Second

The body of the late wife of Edo State governor, Mrs Clara Oshiomhole, who died last week, will be committed to mother earth today in her husband’s hometown in Iyamho, Edo State.

Her body arrived at the Benin airport around noon yesterday and immediately proceeded to Iyamho in a motorcade after a brief airport ceremony.

Amongst the dignitaries at the airport are two former heads of state, Generals Babangida and Buhari and top Edo state government officials.

May her soul rest in peace

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

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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Hollywood:I Don’t Know Why I’m Still Single” – P Diddy

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Read Time:1 Minute, 21 Second

“‘Why I’m not married yet?, I don’t have the exact reason. Some things in life you don’t have the exact reason for”, says P.Diddy.

Who needs a commitment for what you can get freely? He already has 6 kids from 3 different women, dated tons of women and there still millions of ladies out there that will give up anything (even their marriage) for a one-night stand with him.

During an appearance on the day-time TV show The View on ABC network to promote his newly released CD, ‘Last Train to Paris’. Diddy was asked by co-host, Barbara Walters why he has not married one of his baby mamas.

Clearly caught off guard, Diddy danced around the issue, first admitting he isn’t ready for marriage, then blaming the fact that he grew up without a father.
‘My father was killed when I was three years old… I never got a chance to see the way a family lives, but I’m not making an excuse.’

Not satisfied with his answer, Walters further inquired, ‘Six children by three women, how much time do you need?’

Diddy cut her off saying: ‘I get to spend a lot of time with my children. Everybody has a different life. Mine and your life is totally different. â€™That’s the way it is. My life works for me, it works for my family.’

He is the biological father of five children and a stepfather to one.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

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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Atiku Abubakar’s Desperation and His Politics of Entitlement

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Read Time:9 Minute, 10 Second

(Codewit World News)The reported events of Thursday 16th day of November, 2010, highlighted what Nigerians knew all along. For starters, a group known as Coalition of Atiku Northern Supporters (CANSU) who are staunch supporters of the former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, was reported to have issued a statement. In their statement, they alluded to the fact that crisis would engulf Nigeria if the Atiku who is the candidate for the North did not get the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) nomination. They stated that the crisis they would cause would be much greater in proportion to the Boko Haram massacres! In their own words:

“This is no threat. Boko Haram will be a child’s play compared to the actions our members can take. We have been patient enough. And enough, they said is enough. The presidency is our right. The fact that we bowed to allow a southerner, Chief Obasanjo, who has now turned to be a betrayer and a disgrace to us to become president in 1999 does not mean we do not know what to do to reclaim our right. We are happy that Turaki has now seen reason with us that what Nigeria needs is a violent change and not a peaceful one.

“We wish to state equivocally, without any ambiguity, that we, the Atiku supporters, are prepared for any eventuality should our patron be refused the ticket he has worked for. Our position remains: Atiku Presidency ‘Za mu iso waje ko wace irin hali’ (We will get there by whatever means) may Allah, the Almighty not CANSU, cancel Nigeria….”

When the above statement was made, I was thinking that they were bunch of fanatics that are getting restive that their candidate was about to lose the nomination and they now resort to threat to intimidate the country. However, to my greatest surprise, the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, not only endorsed their statement but also rationalized it! In a statement by his Campaign Organization, he quoted Late President John F. Kennedy saying “those who make peaceful resolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable”. Instead of the former president disowning the group’s statement, he poured fuels into the already volatile situation. It could now be seen that the group is being sponsored by Atiku himself. That little bird dancing fearlessly in the street has a drummer by the bush side urging it on.

It is most unfortunate that the person aspiring to lead the country would sanction violence to achieve his selfish ambition of being president. In my place, we have a proverb which says that it is when the wind blows that we see everything hidden under the chicken’s ‘underwear’. The nomination battle has exposed Atiku Abubakar for what he is. He believes that power belongs to the north and that they only leased it to the south and now wants to take back what belongs to them. To him and some people from the north that have same mentality, Nigeria is their birthright and only they could decide what they would do with it. Whoever denies them of their birthright would be dealt with. To them it does not matter what any part of the country thinks, they owned Nigeria! This means, if you are from any other section from the country, or even other major ethnic groups, good luck to you. To him, the north holds the yam and the knife, whoever the north gives a piece of the yam, would eat it.

Out of Nigeria’s 50 years of independence, the north has ruled for 38 years leaving the south with only 12 years. In fact, out of the 12 leaders Nigerian has produced since independence, the north accounted for 9! On the south’s side, Gen J.T.U. Aguiyi-Ironsi, Chief Ernest Shonekan and Olusegun Obasanjo shared the 9 years among themselves. As John Adams would say, “facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence”. This is our history and they are undisputable. Many people from the north including Atiku want to maintain that status quo. Left for Atiku, anyone else can go to hell! Where is Atiku’s sense of justice? He is touting justice and fair play as slogan without understanding what it means or so blinded by his ambition.

That arrogance and the air of entitlement is what the problem is. The north and even some people from the south believe that no one can smell any federal appointment let alone the presidency unless they leak the north’s behind. Most northerners grew up with the same ‘born to rule’ mentality. Do you blame them? Since they were born, every president comes from the north whether military or civilian, so the attitude would be that it is theirs for the asking. So if anyone from the south becomes president, it would just be like the person is holding it in trust for them, or they just wanted to take a little break. Now that the shoe is on the other feet, it seems like the heavens is about to fall on top of the earth. There is a wise saying, “let the Chairman take the place of the Provost, so as to see what it feels like to be on your feet during meetings”. How about the South East and many ethnic minorities that have never smelled the presidency? Have they lost hope in the union called Nigeria? Of course, they are still alive even if their hope is wavering.

This reminds me of the event in the Holy book, the Bible, where the Israelites were about to be delivered from Egypt. The heart of Pharoah and his servants were turned against his people and they said “why we have done this that we have let Israel go from serving us”. The action of Atiku and some of his northern supporters reminds me also of the actions of the supporters of Senator John McCain. When their candidate was roundly defeated by Barack Obama on the November 4th, 2008 United States Presidential election, at the concession speech of Senator McCain, you could observe lots of his supporters that are bitter, not because their candidate lost the election, but because he lost to a blackman! Most of them were crying ‘how could this happen? How can this black man rule ‘our’ America’? To them America belongs to the white man, period. It was after that incident that the slogan “we want to take our country back” started making waves. To the racist whites, it was desecration of the White House to allow a black man to occupy it. This is what Atiku and his supporters are implying.

Article 7.2 of the PDP constitution that made for the rotational presidency is not superior to the Constitution of the Federal Republic Nigeria. Section 1 of our constitution provides that our constitution is supreme to any other law. In other words, any law made by any group in violation of the Nigeria’s constitution, to the extent of that violation is void. Our constitution gives every citizen right to vote and be voted for in elections. This means that every Nigerian has a right to aspire for any elective post in Nigeria including that of the presidency. I believe that when PDP added that Article 7.2 in their constitution, they were thinking ‘north’ instead of thinking Nigeria. In fact their thinking is that PDP is superior to Nigeria.

Now we know how desperate Atiku could be. Instead of counting delegates, he appears to have seen the handwriting on the wall. He could already smell defeat. Before, he thought that having manipulated the Northern Elders Forum to pick him as the Northern candidate, that being the candidate for the old order is the only thing he needs in order to get the nomination. Also he thought that every northern politician would line up behind him just for the asking. But they got news for him; it is not going to work. Not this time. People are beginning to be wise. What has he done for Nigeria? In fact, what has he done for his northern brothers? How many outside his immediate family has he sent to school? What developmental stride has he attracted to his constituency? Their age long strategy is to keep the poor masses in the north in the dark to better exploit them. The cabals do not want to liberate their own people so that they would keep the power for themselves. They know that liberation of the north and Nigeria is coming and they want to stop it. You cannot stop a moving train without being consumed by its fury! He is touting himself as fighting against the status quo. Who is the status quo?

His song of violence is a sign that things are not going well in the Atiku Camp. I don’t think that he understands what he wishes for. I hope he understands the consequences of his call for arms or his drumming for war. He was on the safe side during the Nigerian/Biafran War so he does not fully understand that war is about life and death. I hope he is ready to match his war rhetoric with action. If he believes in violent revolution, he must bring his family including his retinue of wives and concubines back from their comfort in Dubai, London and United States. Let him lead the charge. He should not use other people’s kids to fight his selfish and irrational battle. It has always been the modus of these privileged fat cats to use the poor and the uneducated ones to fight their battles only for them to be dumped if they are even lucky to be alive.

His statement threatens national security and also threatens the corporate existence of Nigeria. Nigeria fought a bitter war to keep the country one. Nigeria must quell any threat to its national security. Any reasonable government would not stand by and watch politicians inciting the public to resort to violence to hold the country to ransom.  The PDP primary is not the general election. As they would say, it is their family affair. Winning the PDP presidential primary does not automatically mean winning the presidency, just as being the choice candidate of the north does not guarantee PDP nomination.

Atiku or even former dictator Ibrahim Babangida must be made to understand that no individual or even group of individuals is bigger than Nigeria. No one is above the law of the land. They have milked the country dry, what else do they want from the country that has bled for their stupendous wealth? Nigerians are watching and Nigerians are waiting.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

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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U.S. hails deal with Nigeria says Dick Cheney:

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Read Time:3 Minute, 6 Second

Washington is delighted by the deal Abuja struck with Halliburton to drop  corruption  charges against former Vice President Dick Cheney.

State Department  officials described the agreement  to have Halliburton pay a hefty fine as “a private arrangement between Nigeria and  the oil services firm.”

They  admitted that it was unlikely that Cheney  would have  been tried in a Nigerian court, and that “this is the best out of  a bad situation.”

Since Washington was not willing to hand Cheney over, “Nigeria  looks good forcing Halliburton to pay a fine,” they added.

It also staves off a messy  diplomatic row between  Nigeria and the U.S.

Sources confirmed that Justice Department  officials  had preliminary discussions with Cheney’s attorneys on the request from Nigeria.

“They were informed that one of the ways to avoid an embarrassing situation is to reach a settlement with Nigeria that would  avoid the possibility of Cheney being arrested by INTERPOL if he travels outside the U.S.”

However, the deal opens Halliburton to prosecution by the Justice Department.

“We will look into the case and if any laws were broken, the administration will go after the firm – with  the payment of fine  to Nigeria as a major evidence.”

Cheney remains holed up in his posh St. Michael’s mansion in Maryland, a get-away fishing town for millionaires and government officials.

He is respected by the Republican leaning community and protected round the clock by the Secret Service.

His personal security detail has been beefed up since Abuja announced plans to try him over the $180 million bribe Halliburton allegedly offered Nigerian officials to get gas contracts on Bonny Island in Rivers State between 1995 and 2005.

Cheney was Halliburton Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) from 1995 to 2000, before he became Vice President to George W. Bush in 2001.

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman, Farida Waziri, announced on Thursday that the matter “has been settled out of court; it has been settled amicably and all the charges have been withdrawn.”

But the U.S. urged the EFCC to stay neutral in next year’s ballot and stick to its mandatory role.

U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Terrence McCulley, said when he visited Waziri in Abuja that America, like the rest of the international community, is keenly following the preparation for the vote and wants it credible and transparent, right from the primaries.

“It is important that institutions of the state maintain strict neutrality and should not be used to support any particular party or candidate; the EFCC must be neutral also so that it can play the important role it has been given,” McCulley stressed.

He described corruption as a pernicious thing that undermines citizens’ confidence in their leaders while giving the impression that public office is for private gain and not public service.

He said Washington will support legislation that would “allow the anti-graft agency pursue individuals, high and low, who engage in corrupt practices.”

Waziri lamented the lack of equipment to do the job, but noted that the EFCC has recovered over $11 billion corruption benefits since the seven years of its existence, and secured 400 convictions against cybercriminals, advanced fee fraud, and treasury looters.

She said it also recovered over $20 million from companies and individuals who evaded tax.

She lamented, though that the National Assembly (NASS) has failed to pass the Asset Forfeiture Bill.

She requested American assº¡¡istance in the training of EFCC personal and provision of modern gadgets.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

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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Nigeria: MTN secures rights to sponsor Nigeria Premier League

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Read Time:2 Minute, 53 Second

After bidding for the Nigeria Premier League twice and losing out to rival, Globacom, telecommunications firm, MTN Nigeria, on Thursday, won the rights to sponsor the Nigeria Premier League for four seasons. Details of the agreement have yet to be made public, however, MTN is said to have made a commitment to pay N2.6 billion over the next four years to the league. The deal will come as a relief to beleaguered Chairman of the league, Davidson Owumi, given that Rumson Baribote, former Chairman of Bayelsa United is contesting the legality of the NPL elections that threw up Owumi as chairman, in the courts. The battles The rivalry between the two telecoms companies over sponsorship of the league started as far back as 2006 when for the first time the league came up for sponsorship. MTN were initially thought to have wrapped up the deal with a sponsorship fee of N300m. That was not to be as Glo, reportedly availing itself of contacts in the Presidency, won the bid with an offer of N70 million. When the contract lapsed in 2008 under Oyuiki Obaseki, a new deal brokered by MTN for N500m failed with Globacom retaining sponsorship. In January 2010, former league boss, Obaseki, had led his team to Globacom to re-negotiate the sponsorship. Globacom complained that having spent millions in league sponsorship, they were not getting the desired results. Therefore it was not a surprise when the 2010/11 season arrived and Globacom pulled out of the sponsorship deal. The NPL again threw its doors open for new sponsors. This time around, MTN, floored twice by Globacom, decided not to show its hands openly electing to use a front, an organisation known as Total Promotions to push its bid. Total Promotions already does business with the league, having signed a deal with the NPL over broadcast of league matches. After two days of intense negotiations, news emerged that MTN had clinched the deal ahead of its rival. “It is a good one. It shows that there is still potential for the league if MTN can do business with the NPL,” said Emeka Nwani, Head of Media, NPL. “We are assuring Nigerians that the money will be used judiciously for the improvement of the league.” The NPL has debts of over N700 million as part of recurrent expenditure as they are yet to be paid for last season’s sponsorship. The former sponsors, Globacom, are reportedly owing N923 million for the 2009/10 season. Monkey business While Nigerians await a formal announcement of the new deal, there are indications that the last may not have been heard of the matter. Globacom is not taking the latest development lying down. An official of the organisation, who asked not to be named, said “The last has not been heard of the matter. The entire process has been less than satisfactory. We have a situation where one company put it in a bid and then another organisation, which did not formally enter the race, is said to have won the bid.” Attempts to reach Shehu Gusau, the Chairman of the bid committee, to explain to clarify whether the rules permit the use of fronts, proved unsuccessful. Equally, efforts to contact Owumi were unsuccessful as his mobile phone was switched off. MTN also sponsors the Africa Cup of Nations and the CAF Champions League tournaments in Africa and the Zambia Premier League.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

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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