NIGERIA: 4-year old girl raped to death

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Read Time:2 Minute, 7 Second

The Anti Crime Squad of Imo State Police Command has arrested a 30-year old man, Onyebuchi Ejimkonye, for allegedly raping a four-year old girl, Chinasa Dickson, to death.

The poor little girl was on her way to school when she was ambushed by Ejimkonye, who mercilessly subjected her to a marathon sex in a nearby bush and she died on the spot.

The police equally rescued a 15-year old girl, Miss Odinaka Chukwu, who was abducted by suspected ritualist and taken to a shrine a forth-night ago.

Parading Ejimkonye in Owerri, Thursday, the State Commissioner of Police, CP, Mr. Mohammed Musa Katsina, however said that although the ritualist is now on the run, his identity has been known and the police is trailing him.

On the death of little Chinasa, the CP explained that some villagers, who were passing close to the scene of the crime sensed that something fishy was going on and sought to find out what it was.

“Ejimkonye, who hails from one of the communities in Oru East local council area of Imo State, was on the verge of burying the little girl in a shallow grave when he was nabbed by the villagers”, the CP said.

According to the Imo police boss, the villagers quickly alerted his men, adding that the suspect was arrested on the spot.

“The lifeless body of the unfortunate child has been recovered but post mortem examination was yet to be conducted”, the CP recounted with grief.

Answering questions from journalists, Ejimkonye gave a graphic account of how he committed the heinous crime but blamed the entire incident on “devil’s work”.

In a similar development, Mr. Katsina disclosed that a gang of dare devil kidnappers, led by one Alaribe Martin Uche, from Ngor Okpala local government area, has been smashed.

“Our operative, on a credible tip off, stormed their hideout. On seeing the police, the hoodlums engaged our men in a gun duel. This led to the killing of Alaribe on the spot and the recovery of their operational vehicle”, Katsina said.

Additionally, the Imo police chief said a 75-year old man from Aniocha, Delta State, who was kidnapped in Ohaji/Egbema local council area, has been rescued after exchange of fire with the hoodlums.

“One of them, who fled in the process but later resurfaced, has been arrested. His confessional statement took the police to Rivers State, where his colleagues in crime were arrested”, the CP said.

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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US vows $60m to Syria opposition

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Read Time:40 Second

US Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that Washington would provide $60 million in “non-lethal” assistance to support the Syrian political opposition against President Bashar al-Assad.

Speaking after talks between foreign officials and the opposition in Rome, Kerry also said Washington would provide direct assistance to rebel forces in Syria in the form of food and medical assistance.

“The US will be providing an additional $60 million in non-lethal assistance to support the efforts of the Syrian opposition coalition over the coming months,” Kerry said.

“We will be sending medical supplies and food to the (rebel) Supreme Military Council, so there will be direct assistance,” he added.

“All Syrians… must know that they can have a future,” he said.

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’s economy is strong’, FG replies Clinton

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Read Time:3 Minute, 53 Second

Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has replied critics of the Nigerian economy, saying the economy is buoyant and strong.

Okonjo-Iweala, in a message put on social media, yesterday, dismissed reports of the poor performance of the economy and the management of the excess crude revenue.

Her statement came few days after former American President, Bill Clinton, indicted the Federal Government for not using the huge revenue realised from crude oil exports to positively impact on the lives of Nigerians.

Mr. Clinton had, weekend, expressed disappointment that his inclusion of Nigeria a few years ago among 10 countries that were well positioned to emerge as the world’s greatest economies has been proved wrong with the visible lack of progress in recent times, despite the huge resources at its disposal.

Okonjo-Iweala, however, argued that such views were misleading as the economy was healthy, with other indices, including inflation and foreign reserves, showing positive levels of performances.

In the statement entitled Federal Ministry of Finance Clarifications on the State of the Economy, the Excess Crude Account and Related Issues, signed by Okonjo-Iweala and pasted on Facebook and Twitter, the Finance Minister said: “It is essential that Nigerians understand the exact position of the economy and the integrity of these important government accounts.

“This note aims to provide some facts for Nigerians on these issues, to clarify the exact position, and finally to put these concerns to rest.”

Apart from Mr. Clinton, some former public officials, including a Minister of Education under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Oby Ezekwesili, have criticised Nigeria’s management of the Excess Crude Account.

Ezekwesili alleging that the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan and that of his late predecessor, Umaru Yar’Adua, mismanaged the funds left in the account by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration.

While not mentioning Mr. Clinton or Ezekwesili’s names, Okonjo-Iweala said her statement was borne out of “a number of comment” that had appeared in the Nigerian media.

She wrote: “In recent times, a number of comments and articles have appeared in the media, which have tended to talk down the performance of the Nigerian economy and question the accuracy and transparency of the Excess Crude Account and the External Reserves of the country.”

According to her, the specific issues that have been raised in recent times include the health and prospects of the Nigerian economy, the composition of the external reserves, and purported discrepancies in account balances reported by the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

“Facts, figures”

To back up the claims, the minister highlighted improvements on the nation’s economic indices, saying “Inflation is now down to single-digit at 9.0 percent in January 2013, compared with 12.6 percent in January 2012.

“The exchange rate has been relatively stable, and the fiscal deficit at just less than 2 percent of GDP is on a downward trajectory, and below our threshold of 3 percent of GDP.”

According to her, national debt is at a sustainable level at about 19.4 percent of GDP. Overall, GDP growth2012 was 6.5 percent, and projected at 6.75 percent for 2013, compared with the projected global growth of 3.5 percent.

She said: “The above facts have been independently noted and validated by international ratings agencies such as Fitch, Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, who have upgraded the country’s economic outlook, even as other countries are being downgraded.”

But…

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala said the Ministry admits the socio-economic challenges the nation faces despite these seemingly impressive indices.

She said: “We know we still have a long way to go but let us keep working to correct what is wrong and stop focusing on the denigration of what is being done right.”

She highlighted the need to create more jobs to curb unemployment and that poverty needs to decrease at a faster pace as “we do not want excessive inequality to be a feature of our economic growth.”

According to her, the recent poverty statistics released by National Bureau of Statistics show a slight decline in poverty levels of about 2 percent between 2003 and 2010.

Okonjo-Iweala said: “This needs to be further accelerated. The cost of governance also needs to be reduced, and the government is taking steps in this direction.

“In conclusion, the Federal Ministry of Finance wishes to stress that the outlook for the Nigerian economy remains good, despite the current global economic uncertainty.”

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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Pope Benedict vows ‘unconditional obedience’ to future Pope

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Read Time:4 Minute, 42 Second

Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday vowed “unconditional obedience” to his successor on his historic final day as leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, when he will become the first pontiff to resign since the Middle Ages.

“Among you there is also the future pope to whom I promise my unconditional obedience and reverence,” the pope said as he bade farewell to cardinals in the Vatican’s ornate Clementine Hall.

“Let the Lord reveal the one he has chosen,” said the 85-year-old pope, wearing an ermine-lined red stole over his white cassock.

“We have experienced, with faith, beautiful moments of radiant light together, as well as times with a few clouds in the sky,” Benedict said, reprising a theme from his adieu to some 150,000 pilgrims in St Peter’s Square on Wednesday.

The cardinals with their black cassocks and red sashes then took turns bidding farewell to the pontiff, kissing his gold papal signet ring according to time-honoured tradition.

Many doffed their berettas in a sign of deference.

Just hours remained before Benedict will make history as only the second pope to resign of his own free will in the Church’s 2,000-year history.

The German pope stunned the globe when he announced on February 11 his surprise decision to step down, saying he no longer had the “strength of mind and body” to carry on in a fast-changing world.

“I took this step in full awareness of its gravity and novelty but with profound serenity,” the pope said Wednesday.

The theologian pope — a shy academic who struggled with Vatican infighting and a raft of toxic sex abuse scandals — said his eight-year pontificate had seen “sunny days” and “stormy waters”, but he added: “I never felt alone”.

The Vatican has said that the moment the pope’s powers officially expire at 1900 GMT, the ex-pontiff will formally be known by the new title of “Roman Pontiff Emeritus” although he will still be addressed as “Your Holiness Benedict XVI”.

The only other pope who resigned by choice was Celestine V, a humble hermit who stepped down in 1294 after just a few months in office out of disgust with Vatican corruption and intrigue.

Once Benedict takes up permanent residence in a former convent on a hill within the Vatican walls, the Church will find itself in the unprecedented situation of having a pope and his predecessor living within a stone’s throw of each other.

Vatican analysts have suggested his sudden exit could set a precedent for ageing popes in the future, and many ordinary Catholics say a more youthful, pastoral figure could breathe new life into a Church struggling on many levels.

But Australia’s top Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, said he was concerned at the implications.

“People who, for example, might disagree with a future pope, will mount a campaign to get him to resign,” Pell told Australian television.

Pell, who will help choose the new pope as one of 115 “cardinal electors” expected at next month’s conclave, also criticised the outgoing pope, saying the departing pontiff was a “brilliant teacher” but “government wasn’t his strong point”.

– A tough agenda –

From Catholic reformers calling for women clergy and for an end to priestly celibacy, to growing secularism in the West and ongoing scandals uncovering sexual abuse by paedophile priests going back decades, the next pope will have a tough agenda.

French cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, one of the electors, spoke of the upcoming conclave in an interview with Italian daily Il Messaggero saying: “Our eyes will be turned on the conditions of the world, to the great challenges the Church faces.”

According to Church rules, any Catholic adult male can be elected pope — but the last non-cardinal to land the top job was Urban VI in the late 14th century.

The run-up to Benedict’s historic resignation has been filled with emotion and drama but his departure will be surprisingly low-key for the Vatican.

Benedict will have a small parting ceremony with some of his staff in a Vatican courtyard at 1550 GMT and a few minutes later he will board a white helicopter emblazoned with the papal insignia from the Vatican grounds.

The soon-to-be former pope will see the Vatican City — the world’s smallest state — from the sky one last time as its sovereign ruler and fly to the 17th-century papal residence of Castel Gandolfo on a rocky outcrop near Rome.

There the pope will begin a quiet life of prayer and academic research.

Within a couple of months, he is expected to return to the Vatican.

Benedict has said he will live “hidden from the world” but the Vatican has said he could provide “spiritual guidance” to the next pope while not intervening directly in Church affairs.

After eight difficult years, some of the pope’s parting words in recent years have been harsh.

At his last public mass in St Peter’s Basilica, he condemned “hypocrisy” and “rivalry” in the Church.

“The face of the Church… is at times disfigured,” he told a tearful congregation. “I am thinking in particular of sins against the unity of the Church.”

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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Somali president offers amnesty to pirates

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Read Time:1 Minute, 3 Second

Somalia’s president has offered an amnesty to young pirates in a bid to end attacks off the Horn of Africa nation’s coast, he told AFP.

“We have been negotiating with the pirates indirectly through the elders,” said President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. “Piracy has to end”.

Mohamud, elected by lawmakers six months ago, said that he wanted to offer an “alternative means of earning a living” to young Somalis who have taken up the gun to join pirate gangs.

However, Mohamud said that the amnesty was not open to pirate kingpins — those who take the vast majority of the profits from the attacks — some of whom are wanted by Interpol.

“We are not giving them amnesty, amnesty is for the boys,” he said.

Somalia has been ravaged by conflict since 1991 but a new UN-backed government took power in September, ending eight years of transitional rule by a corruption-riddled administration.

Large parts of Somalia have been carved up by rival militia forces who have developed autonomous regions that pay little, if any, heed to the weak central government.

Many of the most notorious pirates are based along the northern coastline of the semi-autonomous Puntland region.

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: Attacks on my book’ll not change facts – El-Rufai

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Read Time:1 Minute, 6 Second

FORMER Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has said that attacks on him following his newly published book, would not change the message of the  book, saying the contents were facts that happened.

He said this against the backdrop of criticisms from some former public office holders, who described the contents of the book as misleading.

El-Rufai, who said this, yesterday, in Lagos at the public presentation of the book entitled: ‘The Accidental Public Servant’, disclosed that the concluding part of the book would soon be published.

His words: ‘’I hope this book will inspire others to write books because the country deserves to know how the government works and worked.

“I did not write about their girlfriends, I only wrote about what happened in government and my experience.  And this is what I think we should be doing in this country.

“They have been attacking me on the issues in the book, but they will not change anything in the book because those are things that happened.”

Also speaking at the event,Pastor Tunde Bakare of Latter Rain Assembly, challenged those, who are uncomfortable with the book to write theirs, adding that Nigerians need the book to fix all that is wrong with the nation.

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: Britain warns against travel to North after Islamist raids

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Britain has warned its citizens in Nigeria to stay away from northern parts of the country where Islamist militants have threatened to attack and abduct nationals from Western countries.

The warning came against the background of the threats by Islamist groups which posted their threats on the Internet.

A statement from the foreign office, advised “against all-but-essential travel” to Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa and Katsina states.

Britain upped its travel risk ratings on Wednesday, advising against any travel to Bauchi State and Okene city in southern Kogi State where militants last month attacked Nigerian troops who were bound for Mali to counter an Islamist insurgency.

Britain put Ansaru on its official “terrorist group” list in November , saying it was aligned with al Qaeda and was behind the abduction of a Briton and an Italian killed last year during a failed rescue attempt.

Western governments are concerned the militants may link up with groups elsewhere in the region, including al Qaeda’s North African wing AQIM, especially given the conflict in nearby Mali. France sent troops to Mali last month to help oust Islamist rebels.

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: Court orders IGP, 2 others to pay lawyer N25.5m as damages

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An Owerri High Court presided over by Justice Nonyerem Okoronkwo, has ordered the Inspector General of Police to pay a Lagos-based legal practitioner, Mr. Emeka Ozoani, N25.2 million instead of the N50 billion sought as aggravated damages for assault and humiliation.

Delivering the judgment that lasted nearly two hours, yesterday, Justice Okoronkwo said others who are to jointly and severally pay the bill include the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 9 Umuahia and Julius Berger Plc.

The High Court Judge agreed that Ozoani simply acted as counsel to Mrs. Philomena Ugo, a staff of Imo State University, Owerri, irrespective of his relationship to the woman.

“The police have no hiding place under the law, in this matter before me. The arrest or attempted arrest of a lawyer stepping out of a courtroom, which attracted lawyers and the state Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Benjamin Njemanze is most disgraceful,” Okoronkwo said.

Okoronkwo wondered why Julius Berger Plc, through their lawyer, turned round to accuse counsel and client of forging documents earlier tendered in court and no objections raised during trial in suit, HOW/581/2007 earlier decided by Hon. Justice Ngozi Benardine Ukoha.

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: Chief Tony Anenih, the political dinosaur returns

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Read Time:8 Minute, 11 Second

HE was the “most natural” choice for the position.  Chief Tony Anenih, is the “new” Chairman of the PDP’s Board of Trustees. The old dinosaur is back to where he loves the most: as the central figure, inside the smoke-filled, inner recess of PDP politics.

The man that was disgraced from his perch a few years ago by Obasanjo, has finally returned to inherit the position which the old despot abandoned hurriedly as his stranglehold on the political process seemed to be loosening. It is revenge time in Nigerian politics and there will be no prisoners taken!

For President Goodluck Jonathan, the party is far too broken and he hasn’t the requisite experience to mend it not to talk of bend it, in the direction which satisfies his ambition to become the  PDP candidate in 2015. The emergence of adversaries from  the different tendencies within the party means that this ambition has become a source of serious tension. Who better to recruit to fix things than the ultimate “fixer-in-chief”, Tony Anenih?

It is testimony to the rottenness of Nigerian politics, that it is the like of Tony Anenih that must still be reached to provide solutions to contemporary political problems. In a national where 75 percent of citizens are under the age of thirty-five, politics remains the monopoly of its political Neanderthals.

This colonial-era policeman has become the legend in the neo-colonial political order that has singularly been central to the underdevelopment of Nigeria, while enriching those who have played by the rules set by Tony Anenih and his group. Tony Anenih was described by Nasir El-Rufai, in his new book “THE ACCIDENTAL PUBLIC SERVANT”, as “one of the project managers of the third term effort” and further more, El-Rufai said of “Mister-Fix-It”, that “he believed so much in the power of money to modify the principles and actions of political actors”.

It is this man of no known ideals or principles but expediency and political brinkmanship, who thrives only in the context of dominant political tendencies able to wield state power, money, cunning and ruthlessness to achieve set objectives, that is back at the heart of PDP politicking.

Operation clear all opposition

In this situation, the set objective is
to clear all opposition to Jonathan’s ambition in respect of the 2015 election. Political know-how to achieve this ambition has been left to two old men in their 80s. The opposition has been clearly demarcated and the fight is already being taken to them in a big way.

Obasanjo is being de-robed  in the open, with the removal of his lieutenants from the party hierarchy; the Nigerian Governors Forum is to be undermined from within and without, in order to end its role as a redoubt of opposition or a platform for governors like Rotimi Amaechi who is accused of nursing a presidential ambition on a joint ticket with Sule Lamido; then others will be picked off one after the other, including the recently leaked plan to remove individuals like Atiku Abubakar from the BOT, following a script that is written through Jerry Gana.

We are in the midst of what promises to be one of the most bitter political fights in a very long time in Nigeria’s political history. The battle within the PDP needs to be joined early because the emergence of the All Progressive Congress (APC), is seen as a major challenge which must not be underrated. The political Mandarins of the PDP, like Tony Anenih are aware that President Jonathan cannot go to the Nigerian people on the basis of his record of performance.

As I have written elsewhere, I have only ever met Tony Anenih once and that was in January 2006. The only game in town was the Third Term Agenda. The old dinosaur was holding court in the expansive settings of his Asokoro residence. Waiting to be received in audience included serving ministers; members of the National Assembly; party hacks and sundry flotsam and jetsam of Nigerian political society. In my presence, Tony Anenih received calls from governors; gave directives to one governor, to see him in the company of his party chairman; many of the people who came in search of favours prostrated fully on their bellies in front of the Fixer-In-Chief. It was clear to me that this was a really powerful political operative, who gets things done. The myth was very much the essence of the man. It took Obasanjo to dent the myth, when as part of revenge for failure of Third Term, even a “Project Manager” like Anenih, could not escape the old despot’s wrath. He was knocked off his perch as BOT Chairman. The man found a temporary respite under Yar’adua but with Jonathan he has completely been returned to the heart of intrigues. For Tony Anenih, this must be one of his finest political moments.

In the evening that I met Tony Anenih in 2006, it struck me that not even the old man wanted to be seen as a “bad man”. He assured me that he is a much misunderstood man who stands for goodness. He rolled out a long list of friends that he has made all over Nigeria and when he asked where I came from, he named as a friend my cousin, Justice SMA Belgore.

I nevertheless left the man unconvinced about the content, value and direction of his politics. The truth for me is that Tony Anenih has resided for too long in the inner recesses of the cloak-and-dagger world of politics. Within that stuffy, hot-as-hell redoubt, what they cook is conspiracy against the best interests of the Nigerian people. The broken and dysfunctional country in our hands today, is testimony to the politics which Tony Anenih has represented since 1999. He is back to his perch as PDP’s BOT Chairman, but that will only deepen Nigeria’s problems.

 The Nigerian political elite’s deep-seat inferiority complex

LAST Friday, February 22nd, 2013, THE NATION newspaper carried on its front page a picture of leading members of the nation’s political elite, ruling party and opposition, in a photo-op with former American President Bill Clinton, and a host of foreign contractors, during the dedication of Eko Atlantic 5, 000, 000 square meters of reclaimed land for Eko Atlantic City.

It was without doubt a major development project that all can be proud of, but what I find worrisome is the deep-seated inferiority complex that drives these politicians desperately to want to be seen in the company of imperialist politicians, like Bill Clinton. In that picture, Bola Tinubu, the self-styled “progressive” opposition leader snuggled close to Clinton and was grinning from ear-to-ear, in obvious satisfaction at the “privilege”.

It was the same Tinubu who  lied about a gold card invitation from Barack Obama to attend the National Convention of the US Democratic Party, as “leader of Nigeria’s opposition”. To further the lie, he got a picture of himself clapping and grinning heartily at the Convention, to be published in newspapers.

That inferiority complex was a central baggage of the transition to civil rule in 1999. Obasanjo became a past master at dropping the names of leading Western politicians as I noticed repeatedly on the various occasions I attended events at the Aso villa, when I edited DAILY TRUST newspapers. His administration constantly fawned at emissaries from Western nations, but especially those from the United States; and public policies became subservient to what pleased the imperialist nations. The height of absurdity was when Obasanjo threw out his Army Chief, General Victor Malu, for his opposition to American domination of our security interests.

Imperialist reprimand

This subservience has deepened ever since. Umaru Yar’adua described a visit to George Bush’s White House, in 2007, as the greatest event of his life. These politicians who treat Nigerians with disdain shake like leaves at any form of imperialist reprimand. Obasanjo appointed Lynda Chalker to head a Nigerian presidential investment body. The reactionary woman was a minister of the Conservative Margaret Thatcher administration, notorious for its anti-African foreign policy. Jonathan has also copied from the Obasanjo script by appointing a presidential body on agriculture made up of foreigners who have no relevance to the agricultural fate of Nigeria.

Just as I was thinking about the groveling lack of self respect of the thieving crop of politicians that rule us today, I went back on the net to watch the documentary produced during the 1960s visit to the USA by Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.

The popular narrative in the media is to describe him as “conservative”, but the dignity with which he carried himself wherever he went, was far superior to the slave-like, subservient, ear-to-ear grin of Tinubu; the clueless befuddlement of Jonathan or the self-deprecating assertion of Umaru Yar’adua.

This crop of politicians is deficient in honour; and not organically linked to the best interests of the Nigerian people. They wrongly assume that acceptance by imperialist politicians is superior to genuine affection of the Nigerian people.

In truth, they know that the Nigerian people loathe them for the crimes they have continued to commit against them. But groveling lack of self respect and complete surrender to Western Imperialist politicians cannot trump genuine acceptance by the Nigerian people. This is what heroes like Murtala Muhammed demonstrated while in power.

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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Since when did pacts count in Nigeria?

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Read Time:5 Minute, 8 Second

SO much hot air is being wasted on the speculated “agreement” allegedly signed by President Goodluck Jonathan promising the North he would do a single term. The Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Dr Babangida Aliyu, recently resumed commotion over the issue, without showing evidence of the pact.

The Presidency is vague on the matter. Reuben Abati, presidential spokesman, says it is a distraction, while the Political Adviser to the President, Ahmed Gulak, oscillates from “I am not aware” to “I hope they will not produce a forged document”.
The impression I am getting from the presidential quarters is that even if such a pact exists, they will ignore it; GEJ will run for a second term.
Many commentators are of the view that if the President signed such a deal he should respect it. For them, it is a path of honour, and a president’s word should be his bond. Oh yeah?

Let someone answer this important question: Since when did pacts count among Nigerian power brokers? As far as I am concerned, the foundation for the current dispensation was laid, not in 1960 but as from July 1966. That was when the rapidly expiring ruling class of today swept into power following the overthrow and murder of General Thomas Aguiyi Ironsi. President Jonathan was sponsored to power by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, a great pillar of that ruling establishment.

To that extent, Jonathan being a beneficiary of that establishment is running on its fuel; the last leg of its 46 year-old marathon. So, on what basis should he be expected to honour an agreement to cede power after one term? What moral platform will Northern leaders, who are instinctive pact-breakers, stand on to demand respect for pacts?

Let me recall at least two epochal pacts they broke and since then Nigeria has never been the same again.

The first one was the famous Aburi Accord, which General Yakubu Gowon signed on behalf of the North-controlled Federal Military Government while Col Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu signed for his breakaway Republic of Biafra in Ghana. Had they respected that pact, it would not only have prevented the outbreak of the civil war, it would also have given the nation a balanced federation and an opportunity for peaceful and stable development.

It would have corrected the imbalances left behind by the colonial masters. Every region would have grown at its own pace amidst healthy competition. We would long have stopped questioning the basis for our national unity. But respecting that pact would have ruined the North’s single-minded determination to emasculate Igbos and seize the oil resources of the Eastern Region.

The second pact also happened shortly after the Aburi Accord was violated. I want to quote copiously from an epochal cover story published in the February 24, 2013 edition of THE NEWS Magazine anchored by Demola Awoyokun, its London Correspondent. It was titled: “American Secret Papers: The Biafra Story”. Reports the magazine:

“According to a secret cable (dated 24th/08/67) sent by Dr Martin Hellenbrand, American Ambassador in East Germany, to his counterpart in Lagos, MCK Ajuluchukwu, Ojukwu’s Special Envoy met Soviet Ambassador to Nigeria, Alexandr Romanov in June 1967.

Romanov said that for the USSR to recognise Biafra and supply arms the latter had to nationalise the oil industry. Ojukwu refused, saying that he had no money to reimburse the oil companies and that Biafrans did not have the expertise to run the oil installations.

“A month later Anthony Enahoro, Federal Commissioner for Information and Labour, went to Moscow, signed a cultural agreement with Moscow and promised to nationalise the oil industry, including all its allied industries once they got arms to recapture them from the Biafrans. Within days, 15 MIG’s arrived in sections in Ikeja and Kano Airports, awaiting assemblage. There was no nationalisation”.

The Federal Government simply used the old-fashioned “419” (an option Ojukwu with conscience and character, had shunned) to obtain by false pretense, the war planes it used to turn the tide of the war in its own favour.

After the war though, the FMG used the Ajaokuta Steel Complex to compensate the Soviets; a $6 billion investment that remains bogged down under its own fraudulent and blood-soaked origins.

All the Northern leaders now pussyfooting behind the scenes waiting for Jonathan to do what they never did when the ball was in their court had benefited immensely from the betrayal of the two above-mentioned pacts when the war ended in favour of the federal coalition.

Some got juicy posts and dispensed favours like little gods. Many got oil wells. Some, power drunk, gloated to other Nigerians that the Presidency was “not for sale”. I once interviewed Dr Umaru Dikko just after the Abacha Political Conference in 1996. I teasingly asked him whether he still stood by his notion that the presidency was not for sale. He replied boastfully: “Yes! We don’t sell it!”

If Jonathan did sign a pact and now refuses to abide by it, that won’t be honourable. But he will not be the first to do it. Not only that, he will be doing it to a section of Nigeria that climbed back to power on the debris of broken pacts and reigned for over 40 years on serial abuse of the rights of other Nigerians. I will not be losing my sleep over that. Whoever wants equity must come with clean hands.

Besides, why should the President, simply because he found himself in a vulnerable position at that time, be forced to sign a pact that would favour only a section of the country – an unholy pact? I am not interested. If there is going to be such a deal it must be in the overall interest of all Nigerians.

Right now, for me, President Jonathan must put more weight on his constitutional right to re-election. If we say yes he gets it. If we say no he goes home.

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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