2015: Jonathan is wasting his time – Shuluwa

0 0
Read Time:5 Minute, 1 Second

Elder statesman and one of the founding fathers of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Abu King Shuluwa in this interview spoke on nagging national issues and gave reasons why the government should negotiate with the Islamic Boko Haram group, why Nigeria could break up after 2014 even as he expressed opposition to any bid by President Jonathan to sustain his presidency beyond 2015. Excerpts:

ON Boko Haram’s choice of Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) to lead the dialogue.

Anybody’s name could have been mentioned. The people (Boko Haram) are the ones who said this is the person we want.

And if they said this is the man we want, perhaps, they discovered that of all the people in Nigeria, he is in-between; he is not for them, he is not for the Federal Government.

Shuluwa: Any part of the country can break away from 2014

So, they are probably looking for a neutral person. Another issue is that a lot of people believe that Boko Haram is the making of the PDP which I belong.

There is no way Obasanjo and Modu Sheriff will not have a hand in what is called Boko Haram insurgency today.

It was an organization that was formed to make sure that Ali Modu Sheriff became a governor against the PDP candidate. Eventually, either they may have been hijacked by another organization or they metamorphosed into what is today called Boko Haram.

What do you think the sectarian agitations by such groups like Bakassi, MASSOB portend for the unity of the country?

I am not a prophet but I have talked about the amalgamation which brought this country to being in 1914. And I said that by 2014, if we are not careful,Nigeria will not be the same.

And from the statements coming from the South-South particularly the Niger-Delta region, one can deduce that this country will no longer be the same again as from 2014. For instance, there was a time that Chief Edwin Clark said Jonathan will be President but not the President of Nigeria.

Sadly, people don’t understand some of these statements. There is a clause in the amalgamation of 1914 which says that after 100 years of existence, any part may decide to go. Therefore, because of the oil that we have in the South-South, the Niger-Delta people believe that they can go on their own.

And all the arrangements they are making is to make sure that by 2014 they will write a memorandum to the United Nations saying they want to become a nation separate from what is today known as Nigeria and they will draw a map, they will compose their national anthem.

It’s just like what happened in Sudan. And that is the reason they insisted on Jonathan being the President this time because if you allow a northerner to be president, it will not be as easy to break away as when Jonathan is President.

But do you think the North can sustain itself if the South pulls out?

We can. Before we discovered oil what were we doing? We will now go back to agriculture. We will lock up ourselves. We can discover oil in the North also.

If you can discover oil in Niger Republic or even Chad, why can’t we discover oil in the North? Mind you, there is now oil in Kogi State which Anambra and Enugu are now fighting to take. Who says we cannot discover oil on River Benue?

It is a matter of exploring and discovering. If you can discover oil in the far desert why can’t we discover oil here? Even if we don’t discover oil, tell me, there are a lot of countries that don’t have oil and yet they exist. Who ever knew that there would be oil in Ghana?

Oil from Niger Republic

Niger Republic can sell oil to us while we sell food to them. Today, if you go to Katsina State, the fuel they are using comes from Niger. They don’t care about what is happening here any longer because Niger must sell its fuel.

And if that happens, we will now either say Niger-Delta should go which also gives Biafra the opportunity to take over. Remember it was the North that prevented Biafra from existing then.

The Niger-Delta alone cannot stand the force of Biafra. They can’t but if they think they can, that country will be destroyed because I know that America will back them up and there will be fighting for a long time and we will be watching them fighting.

So, it then means that in the South, you are going to have more than five nations. Everybody that has oil will not want the other person to be part of it.

So, how will the Middle-Belt in the North fare given that the Core North almost always takes everything?

I believe in one thing, that whoever is competent should be allowed to run. Unfortunately when a minority is occupying a seat, he looks for the majority for support. He doesn’t look for the minority and that is what President Jonathan is doing now.

When Jonathan comes to the North, he doesn’t give a better job to the minorities of the North. You people were just supporting him for nothing. I did not support Jonathan and I will never support him.

But he is planning to go for second term….

He is wasting his time. By the time Jonathan goes for second term, some of us will become like old trailers without brakes and we will be descending a slope.

So, anything on the road we will be crushed. 2015 is the last time I will be in active politics. So, does it mean that I will lose out again? No way. I am not prepared to lose out.

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.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

Kim Kardashian Pregnant: Her Family Reacts to the Big News

0 0
Read Time:1 Minute, 13 Second

Get ready for yet another Kardashian to keep up with! On Sunday night, Kanye West “announced” that he and Kim Kardashian are expecting a child together when he told the crowd at his Atlantic City concert to “Stop the music and make some noise for my baby mama,” according to a fan on Twitter who was at the show, and then reportedly pointed to his girlfriend in the audience. Although Kim – who is still married to her husband of 72 days, Kris Humphries – has yet to say anything to her nearly 17 million fans on Twitter, her rep did confirm that the reality star is pregnant. This will be the first child for both Kim, 32, and West, 35, who began dating in the spring of 2012.

Of course, the moment West, 35, made the big announcement, Kardashian’s attention-loving family took to Twitter to share their well wishes and blessings to KimYe’s unborn “kash kow.”

Youngest sister Khloe Kardashian, who has struggled to get pregnant with husband Lamar Odom, wrote, “Keeping secrets is hard with so many family members! Especially when you are so freaking excited!!!!! LOVE is everything!!!!”

Oldest sister Kourtney Kardashian, who just gave birth to her second child in July, also gushed, “Been wanting to shout from the rooftops with joy and now I can! Another angel to welcome to our family. Overwhelmed with excitement!”

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.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

Nigeria: ‘Ex-gov Ibrahim’s call for Boko Haram talks reckless’

0 0
Read Time:2 Minute, 7 Second

Christian Association of Nigeria has restated its opposition to Federal Government’s dialogue with Boko Haram, criticising former Yobe State Governor Bukar Ibrahim for saying it is the only way to check the insurgent islamic sect.

CAN President Ayo Oritsejafor condemned the comments credited to Ibrahim, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Housing, saying “it is reckless and shameful”.

Oritsejafor, in a statement by his Special Assistant (Media and Public Affairs), Mr. Kenny Ashaka, also said the comments were “irresponsible and insensitive and is capable of encouraging the increasingly violent and daring sect”.

The statement read in part, “It is hypocritical for Ibrahim to now make the country and her citizens to pay a heavy price for their ineptitude. In fact, apart from the extremist ideology of Boko Haram, I am tempted to believe that Ibrahim’s statement is also a confirmation that the increasing violence in the North is a sponsored revolt to pressure the Federal Government into making huge regional concessions.

“I am shocked that Ibrahim is not worried by the killings of Christians in his home state, Yobe, where five Christians, including their pastor, were killed on Christmas Day. A few days after these killings and burning of 20 houses, Ibrahim is only concerned with government’s dialogue with the sect. What a shameful act.

“Let me state that any dialogue that ignores the issue of compensation for the families of Christians killed and churches bombed or burnt, businesses destroyed, would be unacceptable to CAN.

“I believe that elders in the North, especially those in the North-East zone hold the key to the cessation of violence in the region and should begin to discuss how to end the unprovoked attacks on Christians and their churches.

“The Federal Government should, therefore, not succumb to blackmail from any quarters on account of the Boko Haram issue but should remain focused in dealing with the sect in accordance with the laws of the land.”

The CAN President described as “blackmail” Ibrahim’s suggestion that if the Federal Government dialogued with Boko Haram, the sect would limit itself to concessions made “when they have stated, clearly, that their aim is to do away with western education and enthrone Islamic Law.”

Oritsejafor added “If, today, the people are fighting biting poverty, inequality and injustice as Ibrahim would want us to believe, it is his likes that should be held responsible for being the source of their poverty.”

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.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

Oritsejafor gives condition for dialogue with Boko Haram

0 0
Read Time:1 Minute, 18 Second

President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, has reacted to call by former governor of Yobe State now Senator Abba Bukar Ibrahim for dialogue with Boko Haram sect, saying any dialogue with the group without compensation to Christians is null.

Oritsejafor in statement emailed to this reporter by CAN spokesman, Kenny Ashaka, quoted the CAN president as saying, “Let me state that any dialogue that ignores the issue of compensation for the families of Christians killed and churches bombed or burnt, businesses destroyed, would be unacceptable to the Christian Association of Nigeria.

“I believe that elders in the north, especially those in the north-east zone hold the key to the cessation of violence in the region and should begin to discuss how to end the unprovoked attacks on Christians and their churches.”

Oritsejafor faulted Ibrahim’s position that Boko Haram’s insurgency was  sparked by inequality, neglect and injustice.

“The statement by the senator that ‘we can find a way really to help dialogue with this group; after all, they are all Nigerians at least as far as we know…’ is overly reckless, irresponsible and insensitive, just as it is a panacea for encouraging  the increasingly violent and daring sect,” he said.

He advised that “The federal government should, therefore, not succumb to blackmail from any quarters on account of the Boko Haram issue but should remain focused in dealing with the sect members in accordance with the laws of the land.”

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.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

Nigeria: Jonathan, others sued over fuel subsidy

0 0
Read Time:57 Second

An Anambra State governorship candidate in the 2007 elections has sued President Goodluck Jonathan to an Abuja Federal High Court asking it to compel him to remove the subsidy being paid on fuel.

In the suit filed through his counsel M.A Ebute, Stanley Okeke is also seeking an order compelling Jonathan to refund to the Federation Account the monies earlier appropriated and or approved under the sub-head of fuel subsidy funds on the basis that it cannot be justified.

Apart from the President, Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke and Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala have been mentioned as defendants in the suit.

Okeke is asking the court to declare that the fuel subsidy currently being funded by the Federal Government is a waste of public funds and therefore, unlawful and illegal to sustain same.

He is equally seeking an order directing Okonjo-Iweala to stop further payment of fuel subsidy money predicated on the corrupt and unlawful fuel subsidy regime.

He similarly wants the court to determine whether the petroleum and finance ministers have not failed in their principal duty to Nigerians by not ensuring a corrupt free subsidy regime.

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.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

Spain police arrest 17 pimps who forced Nigerian women into prostitution with ‘Voodoo threats’

0 0
Read Time:38 Second

MADRID – Spain‘s Interior Ministry says police have arrested 17 people on suspicion of smuggling Nigerian women into Spain and forcing them into prostitution using threats including claims they would cast Voodoo spells on them if they didn’t comply.

An investigation began when police detected in January that around 10 women had been brought into the country illegally using a small boat.

Police said that following an investigation its raids seized computer equipment, mobile phones, false identity and work permit documents, as well as objects which detectives said were allegedly used in “Voodoo rituals.”

Officers tracked down the suspected pimps in cities throughout Spain and arrested 16 Nigerian nationals and one Ugandan citizen, a statement released Sunday said. It was not clear when the arrests took place.

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.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

Siasia keen on Kenyan coaching position.

0 0
Read Time:51 Second

Former Nigeria national team coach Samson Siasia has thrown his hat into the ring for the vacant Kenyan coaching position.

Former France, Cameroon, Morocco, Tunisia and Ivory Coast boss Henri Michel stepped down from the post after just three months in charge over issues surrounding his contract.

Henri’s assistant, James Nandwa, was named as his temporary replacement until a suitable candidate could be found.

And Siasia, who has a significant amount of experience at international level, is hopeful of an invitation to apply for the vancancy.

Siasia has previously been assistant to the Super Eagles before being appointed coach of the Nigeria U-20 team in 2004.

But he was sacked from his position after failing to guide Nigeria to AFCON 2012, having been appointed in 2010.

He told SuperSport: “Managing the Kenyan national team would be an exciting opportunity for me.

“They have such enormous talent, with players in the local leagues and in Europe. It would not take so long before they become a formidable force in football.”

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.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

Abidjan: Chris Brown at ‘African Grammys’ with Rihanna

0 0
Read Time:1 Minute, 47 Second

Abidjan – US rapper Chris Brown arrived with singer Rihanna in the Ivory Coast city of Abidjan on Sunday, where he was due to perform at an African music awards show.

Brown was billed as the star attraction at the glitzy Kora Awards, dubbed the “African Grammys”, that recognise musical achievements from around the continent.

The event was initially set to take place on Saturday, but was delayed at the last minute. Organiser Ernest Adjovi initially blamed the delay on Brown missing his flight, but later said heavy rains and other logistical hiccups were behind the postponement.

R&B star Brown landed overnight in Abidjan, the Ivorian economic capital. Rihanna, who hails from Barbados, was by his side, wearing dark glasses.

The pair have a tumultuous history, and celebrity watchers obsessed about whether they are an item again after Brown admitted assaulting Rihanna in a case dating back to the 2009 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.

Past Kora ceremonies have been attended by Nelson Mandela and the late “King of Pop” Michael Jackson.

Brown, whom fans call Breezy, was also slotted to perform at a “Peace for Africa” concert at a stadium in Abidjan on Sunday afternoon.

Artists including the Nigerian duo P-Square, winner of the last top Kora prize in Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou in 2010, will also take part in that event.

The Kora Awards were due to start at 20:30 GMT at a luxury hotel.

For Ivory Coast, which is still recovering from four months of post-election violence that ended in April 2011 after claiming some 3 000 lives, the event signals a return to normalcy.

But the awards have drawn fire over the price of admission, with tickets costing one million CFA francs for a seat in the luxury hotel for the ceremony.

Such a sum is far from the reach of this poor west African country, the world’s top cocoa producer.

Brown was sentenced to five years probation, a year-long domestic violence programme and 180 days of community labour after pleading guilty to assaulting Rihanna on the eve of the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in 2009.

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.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

Abacha Memo Sanctions Killing Of Ken Saro-Wiwa and Others

0 0
Read Time:8 Minute, 57 Second

In November 1995, while there was an overwhelming international outcry mounted against the execution of the Ogoni leader, Ken Saro-Wiwa and his colleagues, defiant military dictator, Sani Abacha, backed by a small band of military officers, convinced themselves that executing them, swiftly, was the best way to resolve the Ogoni unrest “once and for all”, and to make it clear to Nigerians and the world that the authoritarian regime was no weakling.

A recording of the final meeting, where the decision to hang Mr. Saro-Wiwa and eight of his associates was taken, said, two days before the execution, Mr. Abacha told members of the Provisional Ruling Council, PRC, the regime’s highest decision making body, that the activists deserved no sympathy, and that hanging them would stem further discontent and prove to the world that the regime was bold and courageous.

“He was of the view that no sympathy should be shown on the convicts so that the sentence will be a lesson to everybody. He stated that the Ogoni issue had lingered on for a very long time and should be addressed once and for all,” Mr. Abacha was quoted in the document now available exclusively to PREMIUM TIMES.

The former head of state said Mr. Saro-Wiwa was a foreign agent used to destabilize Nigeria, and a “separatist” who cloaked himself as an environmental activist, but whose true intention was to split the country and subvert its authority.

Members of the PRC at the time were Mr. Abacha; Maj. General Patrick Aziza (Minister of Communications under Abacha); Major Gen. Tajudeen Olarenwaju (GOC); General Abdulsalami Abubakar (Chief of Defence Staff); Lt. General Oladipo Diya (Chief of General Staff); Maj. Gen. Victor Malu (GOC); Ibrahim Coomasie (Inspector General of Police); Mike Akhigbe (Chief of Naval Staff); Maj. General Ishaya Bamaiyi (Chief of Army Staff); Nsikak Eduok (Chief of Air Staff); Lt. Gen. Jeremiah Useni (Minister of the Federal Capital Territory) and Michael Agbamuche (Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice).

Mr. Saro-Wiwa, a respected writer, activist and environmental campaigner, had been sentenced to death by a military tribunal set up by the regime. He was accused of masterminding the killings of four prominent Ogoni leaders – charges he forcefully denied.

The charges were widely viewed as framed to silence Mr. Saro-Wiwa’s campaign against the exploitation and degradation of the Ogoni land by international oil majors, especially Shell.

But while a global campaign to block the implementation of the tribunal’s verdict intensified, the regime, on November 10, 1995, two days after its meeting, staged a fast-tracked execution of the ruling, with a gruesome hanging of the nine leaders.

Others killed were Saturday Dobee, Nordu Eawo, Daniel Gbooko, Paul Levera, Felix Nuate, Baribor Bera, Barinem Kiobel, and John Kpuine.

The Condemnations

The killings sparked international outrage. While the European Union and the United States placed an economic embargo and other restrictions on the country, the Commonwealth promptly suspended the country from its fold.

Shell, at the centre of the unrest, was accused of complicity in the killings, with allegations it sponsored the military junta’s onslaught on Ogoniland.
The company denied the allegations despite testimonies stating otherwise, and a $15.5 million out-of-court settlement it agreed in favour of the families of the victims in 2009. Shell said the payment was not a concession of guilt, but a gesture of peace.

The minutes of the military council meeting preceding the executions, a four-page memo, kept secret for years, document the behind-the-scenes moves at the highest echelons of the Abacha regime’s decision-making organ, as it hurried through with the executions.

The details shed light on how the junta, accused of rights violations and fierce brutality, considered an unprecedented domestic and international calls to suspend the killings.

Besides deciding to forge ahead with the execution, the document states, the PRC offered frantic justification for the killings, planned broad state-sponsored propaganda against the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP; considered the proscription of MOSOP; and how to further divide the group’s ranks, and “neutralize” its members.

Mr. Abacha chaired the meeting on November 8, 1995, and led junta officials through a deliberation that sought a speedy implementation of the death verdicts-which was implemented less than 48 hours after the meeting.

Ignoring Pressure

While a global campaign pushed for the rulings of the Kangaroo tribunal to be shelved, the minute shows, the 11-member PRC, comprising service chiefs, top military commanders, the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General of the Federation, never considered backing down.

Instead, junta officials warned that a reversal would portray weakness. They accused the international community of double standards; choosing, for economic reasons, to look the other way when similar state decisions were taken elsewhere.

“The council was advised not to yield to pressure from the West, championed by the United States of America. The council was reminded that the Arab countries visited crimes with measurable punishment for which the West saw nothing wrong because of their economic interest,” the minutes said.

“It was therefore advocated that minimum time be wasted between the council decision and its implementation,” it adds.

The junta described Mr. Saro-Wiwa‘s alleged crime as “heinous” and accused the media of attempting to whip up sympathy for him and the other accused.

“It was cautioned that if members soft-pedaled, the administration would be regarded as a weakling,” the document states.

The ‘Ungrateful’ Ogoni’s

With the backing of the council members, Mr. Abacha then declared that “anyone who killed his fellow citizen did not deserve to live”.

Mr. Abacha believed the Ogonis were asking for too much, and were ungrateful for “ sizable federal investment” located in the area- possibly a reference to Onne port and Eleme petrochemicals, both near Port Harcourt.

Despite the extensive considerations, barely did the meeting brook counter-opinion not in line with Mr. Abacha’s.

A suggestion by an unnamed member that in future such trials should be conducted by civil courts not to unnecessarily rile the international community was promptly overruled by Mr. Abacha who spoke of his preference for military tribunal for its speed.

“On whether the military tribunals should be replaced with civil courts, he expressed preference for military tribunals which he said considered and decided cases with dispatch,” the minutes said of Mr. Abacha.

The tribunal that convicted Mr. Saro-Wiwa turned out amongst the most controversial. Headed by Justice Ibrahim Auta, the current Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, the panel delivered a speedy, but severely criticized verdict on October 31, 1995, barely nine months after it was convened.

The panel faced severe criticism for alleged high-handedness, prompting defense lawyers, led by late Gani Fawehinmi, Femi Falana and Olisa Agbakoba, to stand down after accusing the Auta-led tribunal of violating all known judicial ethics and rules.

Mr. Auta, then a mid-career judge, turned down two key requests from the defence team, namely, two weeks of access to Mr. Saro-Wiwa and the rest, (having been denied access to their counsels); and an order transferring the accused from a military cell in Port Harcourt to a civil prison.

Mr. Saro-Wiwa and his colleagues were condemned to death without legal representations.

In years, Mr. Auta has risen to become a Chief Judge while the lead prosecutor, Joseph Daudu, is the immediate past chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association.

Praising Justice Auta, Others

As the military brass met that November 8, 1995, the severely-castigated tribunal came up for a decent dose of praise for its “painstaking consideration” of the facts.

Mr. Saro-Wiwa’s campaign dated decades, but peaked in the 1990s as he struggled to draw national and international attention to the deprivations the Ogonis faced while Shell and American firm, Chevron, degraded their land and carted away billions of petrodollars.

Arrested and released repeatedly, the crisis took a fatal twist after four Ogoni leaders – accused of selling out to the government and Shell- were mobbed to death by some youths.

Mr. Saro-Wiwa denied the youths carried out his order; a claim countered by the military government, which, before then, had endured devastating restiveness the activist led to cripple oil production.

In turn, the military was accused of staging the killings as a way of eliminating the activists.

As the Abacha government faced the Saro-Wiwa episode in 1995, it had its hands full with a coup’detat case in which former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, and others were indicted.

Amid international condemnation against the coup indictments, an allegation also viewed as staged to hound opponents, the regime backed down from its initial plan to execute the alleged coup plotters. But it later regretted that compassion, feeling it acted feebly.

The Saro-Wiwa case presented an opportunity to right that wrong and proved a strong point, the document said.

“Council was reminded that the government’s decision on the plotters had sent wrong signals to the generality of Nigerians and that the current case should be used to correct that wrong impression,” the minute said.

That concern turned up repeatedly in the meeting, according to the recordings, with some members appearing to compare the relatively mild response to the alleged plotters to the draconian reaction that trailed the Ogoni’s case.

Mr. Abacha laid that concern to rest as the meeting wound up, declaring that while the Ogonis’ case was a “premeditated murder”, the alleged coup plotters had yet to carry out their plot.

The Ogoni’s Have A Case

In a brief humane consideration, the council conceded that the trouble in Ogoniland was a result of years of neglect, failure and pent-up anger.
But members also swiftly argued that agitators like Mr. Saro-Wiwa were mischief makers who cashed in on a genuine grievance to seek selfish motives.

“It was therefore not surprising that a few mischievous individuals could exploit the situation for their selfish ends,” minute said. “Council was therefore urged to approve the judgment of the tribunal and ensure its expeditious implementation.”

Download full memo below.

PDF
Download link
http://www.premiumtimesng.com/docs_download/nv26_106_Combine.pdf
JPGs (4 files)
Page 1 – http://www.premiumtimesng.com/docs_download/nv26_106.jpg
Page 2 – http://www.premiumtimesng.com/docs_download/nv26_107.jpg
Page 3 – http://www.premiumtimesng.com/docs_download/nv26_108.jpg
Page 4 – http://www.premiumtimesng.com/docs_download/nv26_109.jpg

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.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

Ghana: Overcoming Corruption in Ghana – A New Dimension Towards a Model

0 0
Read Time:10 Minute, 20 Second

As the year 2012 draws to a close, it is germane to reflect once more on our lives in order to plan ahead for the year 2013. This article is the final in the series of four articles on corruption. In this last one, as in the second, I wish to propose a model which I have dubbed the OPENS model. O stands for Organizational, P for Political, E for Economic, N for Natural resources and S for Socio-cultural factors. We can therefore safely state that corruption emanates from these five broad sources in all the countries of the world.

Organizational corruption is associated with bureaucracy, red tape and officialdom. It is a systems or structural corruption which manifests itself in the way an organization is structured, or the way it operates. This organizational corruption may also be linked to the culture of the organization. The internal or immediate micro environment of the organization may determine whether corruption exists or not. This may be a stable or competitive and turbulent environment. In most rigid and tall organizational structures in stable and less changing environments, with many levels of hierarchy, decision making is slow as many conservative procedures have to be followed, such as excessive form filling and having to produce many documents. Of importance, also are internal controls and effective risk management measures which are in place.

Organizations operating in stable and uncompetitive environments in LDCs tend to be corrupt, such as the civil service, the police, the judiciary, tax and revenue offices, local government, licensing offices, public educational institutions, and public health institutions in Ghana. The degree of freedom or decision making latitude or centralization/decentralization will also determine whether or not corruption exists. If the organization is highly centralized, it gives room for corruption. If it is also highly decentralized, there is crisis of control and lack of standardization, giving rise to petty and localized corruption. Therefore, the ideal structure is a middle way of some centralization of critical functions, and some decentralization of less critical functions. Dysfunction and atrophy, in organizations which do not undergo change, can cause corruption. This is why we need more of mixed economies and Public Private Partnerships (PPP).

Organizations which substitute technology for labour, and which tend to ignore people skills and 360º communication, may also experience heavy doses of corruption.

Political corruption becomes prevalent where too much power is concentrated in the hands of the ruling elite, where election results are manipulated and it is a foregone conclusion, where multiparty democracy is endangered, because minority political parties are crowded out of political space, and the NGOs are crippled, muzzled and given no political space. Fortunately for Ghana, our democracy is burgeoning, as there is political space for opposition political parties, and we have a lot of checks and balances in place, among the arms of government, namely the executive, legislature and judiciary.

It seems our judiciary is not doing very well in Ghana because of organizational capture and paralysis. This is because the judicial procedures are long, convoluted and obscure. Oversight in the judiciary is weak as members of the bar and bench, manipulate the system to gain personal pecuniary advantages by invoking legal technicalities. This is where we need a radical shake-up of the judiciary by the Legislature and Executive, despite their independence. We need to strengthen the gatekeeping functions. Judges and magistrates delay cases unnecessarily in order to continue exploiting clients financially. They forget the axiom of justice delayed is justice denied.

Even though judicial independence is cherished, I think the Executive and Legislature in Ghana have to move in to stop the rot in the judiciary by using their checks and balances. Political corruption can also be stopped in its tracks by considering the funding for the political parties. Politicians have to declare their assets prior to taking office, and after leaving office. We need more entrenched separation of powers.

Economic genesis of corruption results from lack of state intervention or state failure, whereby the state is supposed to support the unemployed and the vulnerable, such as widows, the disabled, dependants, students and old people. The state should create a lot of job openings for graduates, and consider providing transfer payments to students, the old and invalids. Government has to consider using revenues from taxes and exports to subsidize education, health, pensions and agriculture to help close the wide income gap and help redistribute income to ensure equity. Economic corruption arises whereby many people are unemployed, and the few employed people have to cater for large numbers of dependants at home. Furthermore, salaries and wages in Ghana are too low, such that workers become corrupt so as to top up their meager incomes. It is said that demand for higher wages should be backed by increases in productivity and profitability.

Employers pay according to their ability to pay and their cost structure, as well as industry standards and government guidelines. However, employers should consider paying a living wage, and not salvation or mere subsistence wages. If they do so, they create room for workers to engage in corruption. The Ghana government has tried in the past one year to streamline salaries through the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS), but many critics and onlookers have given a lowdown of the program as an exercise in futility, and perhaps a political gimmick. It is important that our leaders look again into salary or wage structures in Ghana to bring them in line with international market standards. This calls for genuine political will on the part of our political leaders.

That will also stop the brain drain and encourage many skilled Ghanaians in the Diaspora to troop back home. In the past year, Ghana has been rocked by mighty and gargantuan political scandals, such as the judgment debts, STXgate, Woyomegate, Isofotongate, among others. These gargantuan judgment debts have been linked to political machinations and they do not augur well for the financial stability of the country. Political corruption also manifests in the tender and procurement processes involving government departments.

Added to this is the single sourcing in the award of contracts, such as the South Korea STX multi-billion contract for 1.3 million housing units, which fortunately for us, floundered because the Ghana Parliament did not approve it because of its questionable origins. Government needs to monitor closely the levels of inflation so that if the cost of living is low, there will be less tendency for economic-related corruption. Perhaps, the tax base needs broadening to capture those in the informal sector so that workers can pay less tax. Government needs to automate collection of revenues at the toll gates, entry points, among others. There should be regular head count of government workers to prevent ghost workers’ names on payrolls.

The staff at the Auditor and Accountant General’s office needs to be rotated often, or transferred or appraised often, in order to throw out the bad eggs who engage in corrupt practices. Currently, some senior teachers who were promoted more than four years ago have not had their salaries adjusted, for them to be put on the correct salary scales and to collect their salary arrears. The officers at the Accountant General’s office deliberately hold on to such promotions so that they can be bribed to start effecting payments to the teachers concerned. Is this transparency?

Our N in the OPENS model stands for Natural resources. One cardinal natural resource whose discovery and eventual exploitation leads to massive corruption is oil. Others might settle for diamonds, as we have had the case of blood diamonds in countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone and Angola. In Nigeria and Angola, they had brutal civil wars. We also continue to have skirmishes in the Congo DR because of the country being awash with rare earth minerals such as uranium, tantalite, and other resources such as diamonds, gold, copper, among others. The type of corruption which is associated with the possession of some natural resources is a serious one as these strategic reserves attract the attention of the MNCs, superpowers and foreign business predators. Nigerian oil production has been a curse rather than a blessing because of their leaders having a high propensity and proclivity for collusion and shady business deals, which rob their citizens of the enjoyment of proceeds from the sale of oil. They are simply kleptomaniacs.

The few ruling elite collude with foreign business tycoons to siphon oil wealth into the accounts of some selfish individuals, some of whom own private executive jets and mansions in foreign capitals. Natural resource corruption is geopolitical and has deep international linkages. This type of corruption can be fought only in cooperation with international agencies such as Interpol, WTO, Transparency International, EU, UN, among others. It also calls for patriotic leaders and citizenry.

S in my OPENS model stands for Socio-cultural corruption. This is a vast and ramified area, which I cannot fully exhaust in an article like this. In a country with a large population and one which is growing rapidly, corruption is a condition sine qua non. In such a country, corruption is the order of the day and a way of life. Consider countries like India, China, Nigeria, Pakistan, among others. Social corruption also arises where men are polygamous and they have large families, including the extended family. In such collectivist societies, there is a lot of tribalism, nepotism, favoritism, among other vices.

Giving of gifts is a norm. Women in some cases are disempowered so they cannot contribute to the family income. This being the case, males are the ones who have to struggle to support large families. Men, therefore, become heavily prone to corrupt practices at work, so that they can earn extra money to meet their heavy family responsibilities. Besides, our social practices such as lavish traditional weddings, funerals and festivals mean that people have to use fair or foul means to raise enough money for such social eventualities. This is the more reason we need to emancipate and empower our women to make them economically viable citizens, by giving them access to jobs and business opportunities.

The saving ethic is not well pronounced in Ghana because of low incomes. Educationally, few people even get up to high school or college or up to first degree level. Few people in Ghana and Africa are professionals. This being the case, few people are aware of high professional ethics or the need for transparency and accountability in business. Many people cannot read or write or speak English. Such high levels of illiteracy mean that only a few people are exposed to the ill effects of corruption. Someone commented on my first article in this series that corruption is in the DNA of the African. I think I disagree with him because corruption knows no racial barrier. Even in the advanced countries, there are worse cases of corruption, especially in the corporate world. I hereby propose that we can model corruption by using an exponential function, axb, where ‘a’ is a constant representing the national culture.
Thus, the corruption function is
i=n
Corruption = log a + b (log ∑xn)
I = 1
Xi – made up of corruption variables
X1 – % of population with bachelor’s degree
X2 – per capita income
X3 – % of the informal sector
X4 – % of unemployment
X5 – gender parity or equality
X6 – level of media freedom
X7 – Human Development Index
X8 – % of labour force who are professional
X9 – rate of population growth
X10 – degree of bureaucracy in government institutions
X11 – measure of pluralism or political space
X12 – perception of human rights in the country
X13 – % of forex earnings generated by natural resources
X14 – residual or unexplained factors not captured in the variables above

The ‘b’ coefficient could be assigned weights to the X variables, and they should add up to 1 or 100%. A weight assigned should reflect the importance of the variable. This could be subjective, but it could be done by aggregating views of experts or the opinion poll of the public. The summative result should be disaggregated and each variable examined for its correlation coefficient significance for corruption.

Contact: kwesiattasakyi449@gmail.com
Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @KwesiSakyi

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Codewit World News

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.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %