Upbraiding the Invalidation of Cards Trapped in ATMs.

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Read Time:5 Minute, 31 Second

Some weeks back, I received an sms from FCMB Plc. It read that, henceforth, any of its automated teller machine (ATM) cards stuck in another bank’s ATM would be destroyed and a new one issued at the customer’s request and cost. I pondered over it and soliloquized that the policy is not customer-friendly, whatever may the bank’s reasons.

However, the policy now cuts across all Nigerian banks, courtesy of a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s directive to that effect. On Saturday, 17May, 2014, the Africa Independent Television (AIT) 8pm news had it that the CBN has directed banks to perforate and invalidate all ATM cards which are jammed in cash-dispensing machines, regardless of whether or not the cards belong to them. The CBN cited international best practices (an expression abused by Nigerian public officials), likelihood of such cards getting compromised, the need to protect bank customers, as being among its reasons.

No sooner did the CBN announce the directive than many Nigerians took it to the cleaners. The incidence of trapped ATM cards is a recurring problem which plagues bank customers in Nigeria. When a cash card gets stuck in an issuing bank’s ATM, the process of retrieval may be relatively easy, as a customer could recover it after a while, same day. That is, if the bank official in charge is willing to retrieve same from the machine. However, if one bank’s card gets trapped in another bank’s ATM, it may take weeks before the customer-owner recovers it. In the latter case, the customer is usually asked to pick up the card from the branch of his bank where same was issued to him.

To avoid this stress, some Nigerians now use their cards on only the issuing banks’ ATMs. This may be inconveniencing, especially if the issuing bank has no branch or ATM nearby. But it becomes a lesser evil vis-à-vis the trouble of being asked to visit the issuing bank branch to pick up one’s card trapped in another bank’s machine. Imagine an Abuja-based UBA Plc customer who travelled to Lagos, his card got stuck in an Ecobank Plc ATM, and he was asked to pick same up at the issuing branch of UBA in Abuja! What could be more inconveniencing, stressful and cost-intensive?

The problem of cards getting jammed in ATMs is traceable to system errors in the machines. It is analogous to cases where the machines fail to dispense cash to customers yet debit them. Bank customers are not to blame for these system failures, and should not be penalized therefor or made to pay for same. The problems associated with ATMs in Nigeria are many.

One issue regarding this new policy is the length of time it takes an average Nigerian bank to issue or reissue an ATM card from the date of application by a customer. It takes weeks. Most times, a customer visits the bank severally before he gets issued or reissued a card, incurring monetary expenses and loss of man hours in the process.

Secondly, there is the requirement by banks for customers whose cards are trapped in machines to pay for new cards. This is inequitable. Since CBN directed banks to perforate and destroy cards trapped in ATM machines, it is only fair that it equally directs them to issue fresh cards to affected customers free of charge.

A related problem is the difficulty, if not impossibility, of having some ATMs dispense cash when one uses another bank’s card on them. Most times, when a customer persists in inserting his car, it gets stuck. It seems some ATMs are configured to recognize only cards issued by the owner-banks and some cards designed for select ATMs. In January, 2014 I tried unsuccessfully to get cash from the ATMs of First Bank, Ecobank and Diamond Bank at Eke Ahiara, Ahiazu Mbaise, Imo State, using my GTB card.

Another snag with the use of ATMs is the recurring “out-of-service” and “out-of-cash” syndromes, especially with ATMs in heavy use, and during weekends and public holidays. On Fridays and days preceding public holidays, most bank customers hardly make withdrawals, trusting that ATMs will function, and have enough cash.  Often, on such days, customers are forced to move from one bank to another in search of a functional and cash-backed ATM.

A way to get around the problem of risk associated with trapped cards is by banks ensuring that once such happens, the card is retrieved immediately and handed over to the customer. This should be regardless of whether the bank is the issuing bank or not. Such prompt response will surely reduce the chances of the card’s secret number getting compromised. It will also forestall the possibility of the card being used for any transaction which may not require the use of the secret number. After retrieval, customers should be advised to change their secret numbers.

If the CBN, banks and the ATM suppliers/operators cannot solve the incidence of trapped ATM cards, they should not pass the cost to innocent customers. Nigerian banks claim to have cutting-edge ICT and competent hands, yet their ATMs and computers are daily bedeviled by system failures. In addition to servicing their ATMs and computers frequently, banks should educate customers on the use of ATM cards at the point of issuance. Furthermore, the CBN and banks should carry out regular public enlightenment via TV and radio on tips for smooth banking transactions and the use of banking products.

Let us suppose a bank customer is unfortunate to experience repeated jamming of his cards in ATMs. Imagine how much he would pay for the several fresh cards his bank would reissue. This CBN policy may seem and sound protective of bank customers but, all considered, it will surely subject them to untold expense and inconvenience. Therefore, the CBN is urged to suspend the policy and rethink it.

A related issue is the daily N140,000 ceiling placed on ATM withdrawals. Purportedly to reduce congestion in banking halls, the CBN urged customers to use more of ATMs, POS, online banking, etc. It placed daily ceilings on across-the-counter banking transactions, and imposed penalties for any in excess. Yet, it equally laid a ceiling on daily ATM withdrawals. This double-edged policy can only hamper smooth business transactions.

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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UK Local Government and European Elections: A Lesson for Nigeria.

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Read Time:3 Minute, 16 Second

How many times have we in Nigeria been observing how elections are conducted in other countries we try to emulate or copy, yet we refuse to do the same in our own country for our own progress? I do not believe it cannot be done, but we all know why it is not being done for the past 50 years of our existence as a nation. The problem is mainly with both the leaders and the followers. And it is the reason why our very existence as a union, as a nation, as a people, as a republic is under very serious threat of falling apart today.

 

In today's (22 May 2014) UK Local Government and European Elections, officially today, I and other eligible members (age) of my family voted over 2 weeks ago via postal vote. We do not have to go to the Polling Booth. Those who have to go to the polling stations do so without any inconvenience – no long or no queues, no thugs intimidating you, no policemen or soldiers, etc.

 

The only way you will know there's an election going on is by seeing Posters directing you to the Polling Station. For the campaigns, there were no huge mass rallies, hence no thuggery. Political candidates and/or their campaigners and representatives go from house to house, neighbourhood to neighbourhood, ward to ward ONLY throwing their leaflets through your post-box and door, or contact you by phone to determine how you will vote, or if you need help filling your postal ballot or if you need help to reach the polling station on the day. They MUST NOT pressure you to vote for them.

 

In the evening, after the official close of the elections, I will be going to count the votes (including postal, electoral and conventional ballots), absolutely under a relaxed atmosphere.

 

No rigging, no cheating, no thuggery, no intimidation, no fear, no deceit. This is democracy at its practical and sustained best. And after the results are announced, it is 99.9% certain that the results are true reflections of the voting. No fights, no rejection of results by the losers (because it is not a do-or-die affair for them), no dragging of the winner or electoral commission to court, no bitterness, no name-calling or thuggery, etc.

 

How I wish we can have something just 50% of this in Nigeria (I always feel sad every time I watch or participate in elections in the UK and remember what happens in my country). I know their system has been perfected (and continue to be improved) over centuries of democracy, but do we have to re-invent the wheel? Wouldn't life be good for ALL of us?

 

It is like we are our worst enemy. Why don't we ever seem to be able to get things or do things right for our own benefit, welfare, progress and betterment? Why do some cliques or cabal of people think that the only way to get power is to rig elections or kill? Why must they be in power if they are not willing and committed to make life better for their weaker people who they want to rule or lead?

 

When the wind blows, trees are falling, monkeys are laughing; the monkeys don’t realise that it is their own houses that are falling. The chicken lands on a rope; the rope is not comfortable, neither is the chicken.

 

We simply cannot continue to do thing things the same way we have been doing, which has not led us anywhere better. We have to change to doing things the right way, so that we will get the right result.

 

Let's think it out, my people. We cannot continue to exist this way. Or we are doomed.

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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RELEASE OF RIVERS AIRCRAFT DOES NOT EXCITE US – RETURN RIVERS OIL WELLS NOW

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Read Time:2 Minute, 18 Second

The All Progressives Congress (APC), Rivers State Chapter, received the news of release of the Rivers State Government-owned Bombardier aircraft by the Federal authorities without any excitement whatsoever

We have repeatedly expressed our conviction that the Federal authorities should not have been used by the Presidency to illegally seize and detain the aircraft in the first place. Such belief stems from the fact that the Rivers State Government did not commit any strange infraction unknown to the aviation sector or laws, assuming without conceding, that any offence was committed in the first place. We believe that if any infraction was committed, it should not have gone beyond paying appropriate fine, something the authorities are now demanding after denying the state the use of the aircraft for over a year.

For the APC, Rivers State Chapter, what the Presidency has now done reminds of the popular saying that no matter how long an adult seizes a child’s property and raises his hand up, at some point he/she will feel pains, bring his/her hand down and return the property to the child.

Again, it is said that the Rivers State Government has finally been permitted to bring in the two security surveillance helicopters which the Presidency hitherto barred from coming into the country to assist with the fight against kidnapping, pipeline vandalism and oil theft. The Presidency must accept that it shot itself on the foot by stopping the Rivers State Government from bringing in those choppers at a time when it became obvious that the Federal Government has run out of ideas as to how to combat oil theft, kidnap, killings and other violent crimes in the Niger Delta and across Nigeria.

The All Progressives Congress (APC), Rivers State, wants the Presidency to note that any meaningful attempt to placate the good people of Rivers State must start with the return of the Soku Oil wells in the Kalabari heartland and such other oil wells that have been surreptitiously misappropriated to neighbouring states. The APC continues to feel that the Presidency is deliberately undermining the economy of Rivers State, and by implication, pauperizing the Rivers man and woman through the brazen transfer of oil wells of Rivers State to other states.

 

The APC also wants the Presidency to rescind its order preventing the commencement of work on NLNG Bonny Train 7. Again, the insistence by the Presidency that work on Brass LNG must commence before Bonny NLNG Train 7 can see the light of day is only but disingenuous and brazen injustice against the Eastern Niger Delta Ijaw people of Bonny and other Nigerians who will benefit from the over 10,000 jobs the Train 7 project will generate.

Chris Finebone

State Publicity Secretary

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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Boko Haram Has Exposed Nigeria

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Read Time:4 Minute, 55 Second
If a nation is at red alert, yet a terror group like Boko Haram strikes at will and ups the number of its victims, then such a country is obviously a cassava republic that cannot guarantee security of lives and property.

While Aso Rock makes noise about the determination of the government to bring back the abducted Chibok girls and also to finally thumb Boko Haram, the group continues to strike audaciously as it pleases – in Borno (four times, with the recent killing of forty soldiers and policemen), Kano and Plateau (twice).

It seems they want prove that this government has no clue of what it is talking about. Boko Haram wants to tell Nigerians that we live at their mercy. And that our so-called leaders are only making speeches – as usual.

Nigeria is now a laughing stock, especially among Africans, who had seen our country as a giant in the continent and had looked up to us for leadership. A Ghanaian, living in Berlin, had recently joked that they (Ghanians) never knew they were fearing Nigeria for nothing. „So we could have defeated Nigeria in war?“he had jested, due to the inability of the Nigeria State to deal with a little insurgency.

Though a war against terror is a different ballgame, the view of the Ghanian might not necessarily be correct, nevertheless it is representative of how others see us at the moment.

The helplessness of our poorly trained and poorly equipped military (no thanks to corruption) to deal with a hitherto unknown terror group is a national embarrassment with international acclaim. I felt sorry for President Goodluck Jonathan when he was corrected by the United States of America that Boko Haram has nothing to do with Al-qaeda. In their bid to mystify Boko Haram and excuse their inability to crush the group, Jonathan was misled by his intelligence chiefs into believing that Boko Haram is an offshoot of Al-qaeda. And he believed!

Nkem Chidebelu is a student of University of Jos. Her late mother, Monica Chidebelu, an orange seller at the Jos Terminal Market, threw all she got from peeling oranges into making sure her daughter does not end up like her. She sent her to the university to acquire education. While she studied, amid her numerous challenges as the daughter of an orange seller, her mother was her life-wire. Unfortunately, that wire was cut when Nkem's mother was sent to her early grave as terrorists bombed the Jos Terminal market last week.

Speaking to one of the national dailies, Nkem regretted that she was born a Nigerian. She could not understand why the Nigerian government, with the amount of resources at its disposal, can not protect the citizens.

I understand Nkem's disenchantment and frustration. Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala recently revealed that defence takes almost a trillion of the budget. During a press conference in Abuja last Friday, Okonjo-Iweala disclosed that  the Federal Government has released a total amount of N130.7bn to the Ministry of Defence for military operations between January and April this year. She also told journalists that in 2013, N281.51bn was allocated to the three security agencies (Army, Air Force and Navy) in Nigeria. This is almost $2billion US dollars.

Juxtaposed against the impunity with which Boko Haram is killing the citizens, one can only ask: where did this money go? If $2billion dollars were diligently spent in the fight against terror, surely Boko Haram would have been history. As I said on this platform recently, the country is in the mess it is because of depraved corruption. The defence budget has been seen over the years as a big cake to be shared by the top military brass and their collaborators in government.

The result is that we now live in a country that cannot actually be called a country since it is incapable of protecting its citizens. This is also why over 200 Chibok school girls, who thought they could pursue quietly their dreams by seeking education, were taken into bondage by Boko Haram (we should not forget the 59 school boys who were also butchered by the same group in February).

The lives of the Chibok girls got shattered, because like Nkem, they had the misfortune of being born citizens of one country called Nigeria. Whether Jonathan finds them as he promised, with international help, certainly their lives will never be the same again. If they ever return alive, they will forever live with the trauma of their ordeal in the captivity of Boko Haram.

Normally, people aspire to govern because they have a vision or a direction of where they want to take the country or people. But in Nigeria, people aspire to govern because they want to line up their pockets with public funds. This is a national tragedy. Our leaders, apart from being vision-less and clueless, are simply wicked people. They neither love the people nor their country. They never spare time to sit down and figure out what is good for the people and the country.

For them, leadership is a frolic and meeting at midnights to decide how to share the budget. A typical Nigerian leader would do everything to get money to maintain a permanent suite at Hilton Abuja for his girlfriend than to do the least that would benefit the shoeless boy in Otuoke. So is anyone still trying to figure out why we got where we are today?

Nigeria was not run how a normal country should be. The leaders were fooling the people (they foolishly failed to realize that they were in the same boat with the people). That foolishness left Nigeria a skeleton of a nation. Mindless corruption and bad governance reduced the nation to a bubble. Now, Boko Haram has burst that bubble.

*checkpointcharley@yahoo.de

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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Taking Your Husband’s Name: Yes, We’re Still Having This Debate

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Read Time:4 Minute, 5 Second
Kim Kardashian changed her last name to “Kardashian West” earlier this week, and just like that, the newlywed’s decision has triggered debate on social media, with some saying her decision was the "respectful" thing to do, while others balked at the tradition.
 
While the decision to keep or change one’s last name after marriage is a highly personal one, a debate rages over the politics of the name game, with 65 percent of women in their 20s and 30s taking their husbands' last names, according to a survey conducted by Facebook and The Daily Beast. It’s a weird paradox. In our “Lean In” culture, women are outpacing men in education and in the workforce. We no longer need men for financial security or to procreate. So why forfeit our names for the sake of marriage?
 
For some, the decision is practical. Sharing the same last name unifies the couple and their future children. That’s especially true for some gay couples in states where same-sex marriage isn’t legal, so sharing a last name may serve as an extra measure that they’ll be viewed as a family. For others, it’s just plain romantic with many saying that taking their husband’s name makes them feel like a “team.” Then, unfortunately, there’s societal pressure — one Penn State University study found that 10 percent of people view women who keep their maiden names as less committed to their marriages.
 
Other women argue that relinquishing their name is anti-feminist, even a loss of identity. And then there's the concern that one's new name can confuse professional contacts, not to mention the sheer hassle of acquiring a new Social Security card, driver’s license, and passport, and renaming social media accounts. There is even research that suggests that women who keep their maiden names are seen as more intelligent, ambitious, and competent.
 
Yes, it's absolutely unfair that many women are expected to change their last names. But there are plenty of compromises — keep your maiden name, hyphenate, ask your husband to take yours, or acquire a new family name, like this couple who meshed their last names together to form a new, unique one.
 
But if taking your husband name is sexist, isn’t the entire institution of marriage? Today people in the United States largely wed for romantic love, but marriage was historically an economical and strategic decision, motivated by a family’s desire to gain more power in its community. Under the centuries-old coverture law, along with their names, married women forfeited their rights to owning property and had to get permission from their husbands to sign legal documents. And any job pay they were allowed to earn went directly to their spouses.
 
Then there’s that sparkly diamond engagement ring that 27 percent of women claim is a necessity to accepting a man’s proposal. According to a story published by The Atlantic, its history stems from a now-eradicated medieval law called “breach of promise” that allowed women to sue their fiancés if they called off an engagement. In the case that the couple had been intimate before the wedding, the woman was viewed as “damaged goods.” When the law ceased to exist in the 1930s, women lost bargaining power in the wake of a broken engagement so they demanded financial collateral, a sort of “virginity insurance."
 
If we as a culture have changed the meaning of marriage to suit our evolving identities, then why do many stubbornly cling to the notion that changing one's name is a degrading decision? For me, the decision to take my spouse’s last name four years ago was paramount to getting married in the first place. I married a man who is not an American citizen. And as anyone who has ever muddled through the expensive, incredibly invasive, years-long immigration process can attest, doing whatever it takes to convince the government that your marriage is real is worth it in order to marry the person you love.
 
And yes, I do find it a tad romantic. Some may roll their eyes at the notion, but my relationship doesn’t make me feel any less complete without my birth name (which, by the way, was given to my mother from my father). It doesn’t feel like a sacrifice because my husband didn't demand it and my name, much like my marriage, doesn’t define who I am. And above all, it’s my choice. And there’s nothing more feminist than that.
 

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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Derivation: We almost fought like Mike Tyson – Mantu

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Read Time:5 Minute, 47 Second
Alhaji Ibrahim Mantu was the deputy president of the Senate between 2000 and 2007 and is currently, a delegate at the National Conference from the North-Central zone. In this interview, he gives insights into the deliberations of his Committee on Devolution of Powers and how the eminent Nigerians in the committee turned mutual suspicion to camaraderie. Excerpts
How would you describe your time in the ongoing conference?
So far, I can describe the conference as a huge success. Huge success in the sense that for the first time we brought people from different parts of the country with divergent views and they are being given the opportunity to speak out their minds on issues that have been very, very controversial in the nation. And as you can see when we started debating the president’s speech, everybody’s position came out very clearly because there were some people who came with a mindset that I am here to achieve this. It is either this or nothing.
 
Like my committee, the Devolution of Power, the committee carries most of the sensitive issues. So, there were heated moments that people almost become like Mike Tyson and the rest of them. Of course, appeals from well meaning members calmed down nerves and we brought people back to table to discuss meaningfully and so on. The good news is that in spite of all these positions, we were able to arrive at consensus or at least unanimous decisions in almost all the issues.
I believe that we need to make sacrifices. But the most important thing, the greatest news of the century is the fact that in the course of this work, we have discovered that every state in Nigeria has not one, two or three different types of mineral resources including the oil producing states.
If not that we have neglected the solid minerals sector; if we pay attention to it and develop the solid minerals sector; look at bitumen, I think we have the largest deposit in the world but it is untapped in Ondo State.
And then, we are now importing bitumen for our roads. Why? We could have sufficient for our use and then export the rest to the needy world but we are not doing that. They said that the gold in Zamfara is even better than the one in Ghana, but it remains in the ground and so on and so forth.
I believe that one of the greatest decisions we took at the Devolution of Power Committee which I am very happy about and I hope that government will immediately put to use, is to say that 4.5 percent of our national revenue should go into development of other resources that are not tapped yet, so that in the next 5 years or so, every state of this federation will bring something to the table and when everybody sees everybody contributing, then, of course, the issue of looking at other people as parasites will not be there. There will be more unity, better understanding, friendliness, respect and so on.
Some people felt shortchanged with the decision not to increase the derivation percentage?
Well, I don’t know. Apart from one person that I noticed talking to the press or feeling bad about the decisions that we took, I am not aware of any member of our committee feeling bad about the decisions that we took. What is important is that we should remember that while the people where these resources are being found came with the intention of gaining more than they currently have, there are those who came with the feeling that offshore should be totally removed.
As of now, Akwa Ibom takes the lion share from the federation account. If you remove offshore, Akwa Ibom will become like Zamfara; will become like Jigawa, because there will be nothing for them at all to share. They don’t have even a single onshore resource.
So, many people came and said look the land belongs to the state but high seas of the nation belong to the nation. So, therefore, there is no justification for any state to claim resources from the high sea and they were very, very dogged and resolute about it. Now, for us to be convinced and allow status quo to remain, it wasn’t an easy task. So, the South-South gained tremendously. That they were able to at least argue their way and allow onshore/offshore dichotomy to remain is a major success for the South-South delegates where this oil is found.
Would you say now that the cord of unity between the south and the north has been strengthened after the work?
I can say that your observation is absolutely correct because even in my committee, I don’t know, it was not arranged, not by deliberate arrangement. But the sitting arrangement so happened that those from the north just happened to be sitting together.
What happened was that some people arrived earlier on the day of the beginning of the job. Naturally you know when you are conversing, you will sit down. So, by the time the leadership came and sat down, everybody just remained where he was sitting. And it so happened that on the right hand side of the leadership, starting from me sitting very close to them was about 99 percent of northerners. But later on, some people on their own just decided to change their seats and mix.
That was the beginning. So, to say that what started even from the sitting arrangement, people who were hostile and discriminatory to each other ended up embracing each other for a job well done, I think it is a major, major achievement.
Some of you have formed the National Unity Forum. Is this an agenda Some people are now wondering whether the conference is now skewed to the realization of the second term ambition of the President even though you spoke on issues that touch on the conference.
Thank you very much for asking this question. First and foremost, the national unity forum was actually formed immediately we were inaugurated.
We discovered that so many of us are from the National Assembly and there were many of us who had interacted politically at different fora at different times. So, this special conference became a rallying point for most of us. There are people I have not seen for about 30 years and yet we were together during NRC, NPN era. But we are being reunited courtesy of this conference.
And we know that all over the world, in conferences like this, there are interest blocs; like-minded people who come together and brainstorm on the issues and see how all of them can actually go on the same direction. We are over a hundred members. We call ourselves National Unity Forum.
 

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 will be great if leaders like Sultan will tell the truth – CAN

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Read Time:3 Minute, 46 Second
ABUJA – CHRISTIANS under the aegis of TEKAN/ECWA, weekend, urged President Goodluck Jonathan to ignore a statement credited to the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, alleging marginalisation of Muslims in the country and that Nigeria will be great only if leaders like the Sultan will tell the truth.
The Sultan was reported as saying during a national prayer session organised by the NSCIA where eminent Islamic scholars gathered to pray for peace and security in the nation that if the government can address injustice against Muslims, the seemingly intractable security challenges will be surmounted, adding that Muslims are not happy, but willing to support the government in its efforts towards peace and stability.
 
Reacting to the statement, the National Head of TEKAN/ECWA bloc of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Rev. (Dr.) Emmanuel Dziggau argued that if the head of NSCIA was serious, he should identify those marginalizing Muslims in the country.
The Christian group also described the Sultan’s claim of marginalization which was widely reported, as inciting.
They explained that a close look at the statement could be interpreted to mean that unless the perceived injustices against Muslims are addressed there will be no end to the current insecurity in the country.
“We are yet to overcome similar statements by an eminent Muslim politician who vowed to make the nation ungovernable if he was not pronounced winner of the 2011 presidential election. When the CAN leadership called for his arrest for making such inflammatory statement many Muslims accused him of heating up the polity, but today Nigerians know those who are heating up the polity,” the statement added.
The Christian group therefore warned traditional, religious and political leaders in the North against such inciting statements capable of motivating uninformed Muslim fundamentalists into killing innocent adherents of other faiths in the name of fighting perceived injustices.
“We therefore call on the Federal Government to call the revered Islamic leader to order before another Islamic group will begin another round of terrorist attacks on innocent Nigerians perceived to be marginalizing Muslims as the Sultan had claimed,” TEKAN/ECWA pleaded.
It maintained that the Christian community in the North in particular and other parts of the country which has been at the receiving end of several untold injustices in the country is, however, happy that the recent adoption of over 275 schoolgirls from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok has loosed many tongues who had hitherto remained silent.
“Over the years, Christians in the North had cried themselves hoax over discriminatory laws which had made it impossible for them to practice their religion without let in accordance with the tenets of the 1999 Constitution. As a deliberate matter of policy most core northern governments have refused to sign Certificates of Occupancy, C of O, for Christian organisations to build churches.
“It is also a well known fact that governments in the region have also deliberately discriminated against Christians in appointments into government service for the simple reason that nobody will speak on their behalf. There are several cases of elected Christian politicians who were suspended on some flimsy excuses and who have not been reinstated despite numerous pleas for justice.
“It is only the truth that will save this nation from the present morass that we have inadvertently found ourselves. For far too long we have pretended and lied to ourselves. We must therefore take advantage of the Chibok schoolgirls to tell ourselves so home truth for a proper and true healing process,” the statement said.
Continuing, Dr. Dziggau said: “Nigeria and the international community must appreciate the leadership of CAN for his unwavering efforts to restrain Christian youth from retaliating numerous unprovoked attacks, institutionalised marginalisations of Christians in the hands of political, religious and traditional leaders.
“Our appeal to His Eminence, the Sultan, is for him to ensure that truth is being told at all times even of it hurts, rather than deceiving the whole world with this story of marginalisation of Muslims.
Nigeria will be great only if leaders like the Sultan will tell the truth at all times and in all situations because if there is any seemingly marginalisation of Muslims, it’s the traditional, political and religious leaders of Northern extration who have pauperised and marginalised their followers that have led to the current mass poverty in the region.
 

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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 insulting Jonathan, others who ended N/D militancy – Kuku warns MEND

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Read Time:2 Minute, 50 Second
The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, has warned the controversial Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) to desist from distorting the history of the Niger Delta struggle for its selfish interest.
In particular, Kuku, who claimed to have played a prominent role in ending the Niger Delta crisis, also warned the shadowy group not to drag the name of President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Patience, into the mud because of its pecuniary interest. Kuku told journalists in Abuja that he could not understand what MEND wanted to gain by trying desperately to change the history of the Niger Delta struggle and denigrate the persons of Jonathan and his wife, who also risked their lives to bring about peace in the region.
MEND at the weekend criticised Kuku over his comments in a televised interview on Boko Haram’s insurgency in the North-East and the role of some individuals in the Niger Delta agitation prior to the Federal Government’s offer of amnesty to former militants as a way of ending the restiveness in the region.
Kuku, who is also chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), spoke to journalists in Abuja, flanked by a Niger Delta leader, Elder Timi Ogoriba.
He wondered when MEND became Boko Haram’s mouthpiece as to know the real reason the terrorist’s group spurned the government’s offer for dialogue.
“I have no apologies to offer MEND for my comments on Boko Haram and the commendable and patriotic role of the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, since the Chibok schoolgirls’ abduction saga commenced. If it angers MEND, then I wonder whose interest they are fighting for,” he said.
He particularly upbraided the shadowy militant group for trying to write a negative and skewed history of the Niger Delta agitation in order to discredit some individuals, particularly President Goodluck Jonathan, Chief Government Ekpemupolo (aka Tompolo) and Mujahid Dokubo-Asari.
Kuku said: “Some of us who played significant roles in ending the agitation in the Niger Delta cannot be silent when some persons try to foist a skewed history of the crisis on us.
“The persons that claim to be behind MEND are in no position to write the history of the Niger Delta agitation. I challenge whoever is claiming to be MEND now to controvert the fact that President Goodluck Jonathan, at the time he was Vice President, played a significant role in ending the insurgency in the Niger Delta.
“Where were those behind MEND now when our late beloved President Umaru Yar’Adua, who because of his concern for the peace of the region, sought to end the conflict and destruction of oil facilities, the kidnapping of expatriates on the Niger Delta waterways and the proliferation of arms, then dispatched his Vice, Dr. Jonathan, to Tompolo’s Camp 5 in Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State?”
Kuku said in furtherance of this, Dr. Jonathan on June 28, 2007 held a meeting with Tompolo at Okerenkoko, after which he (Tompolo) was invited to Abuja. But rather than Tompolo going alone, he called a meeting of Ijaw leaders and stakeholders, who converged on Gbaramatu. A 10-man team was then put together to dialogue with the Federal Government on the way forward.

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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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S-South delegates should insist on 50% derivation or remain in Abuja – Ayemi-Botu

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Read Time:9 Minute, 37 Second
FORMER national chairman of the Association of Traditional Rulers of Oil
Minerals Producing Communities of Nigeria, ATROMPCON, and the paramount ruler of Seimbiri Kingdom in Delta State, HRM Charles Ayemi-Botu, aka Lion of the Niger, spoke to Saturday Vanguard on the reign of terror by Boko Haram and what South-South delegates to the National Conference at Abuja must put on the table. Excerpt.
Boko Haram has clearly gone wild, what are your thoughts on the group’s violent activities?
Well, it is a very sad commentary, the Boko Haraam we are talking about now never started now, you would talk about the Maitatsine men in the early ’80s, where some religious fanatics started in Kano, Kaduna and were cutting people’s neck, maiming and doing all other things, that was the period of Shagari government.
It ended but unknown to us, it has not ended. It is like having a private army, some of the ethnic groups have some sort of people they use before the coming of the British colonialist, it could be tribal war lord or any name, you can also remember Usman Dan Fodio, who was seen as having a kind of the Hittites, a megalomaniac kind of idea, not satisfied only living in a place, but conquerors, those who conquer where they are but others perceived to be as strong neighbour, thinking of conquering from the desert till the Atlantic.
 
Without mincing words, in 2011, unfortunately with the death of former President Yar’Adua and with Jonathan, then his Vice President completing his tenure and seeking to contest proper as president, hell was let loose. While the results were still being announced, his opponents in the North said that they were going to make Nigeria ungovernable; that they were going to heat up the polity if Jonathan wins. We have a very shallow memory; this is where the whole thing started again.
If you say so but Boko Haram has gone beyond merely heating up the polity over election result?
My take on Boko Haram is that if you create a masquerade, and lead it out to dance, either for alms or for festival to entertain, the masquerade knows its master’s voice as to when to end or start, but when the masquerade turn and not listens to the master, it now turn to be a boomerang, that is the Boko Haram that we are seeing today. It was a ploy to create or to heat up the polity so as to make the governance of this country ungovernable. Unfortunately, the plan of using Boko Haram in doing it has now backfired by now going round within the axis which it knows best.
The US and some other countries have come on the invitation of Nigeria, are you okay with the foreign intervention?
In my own opinion, I think terrorism is a worldwide problem and no one is an expert in it, I do welcome the international community coming into it because Boko Haram has a link with Al Queda, Almagreb, ElShabab, they are working in synergy.
Terrorism now has a syndicate and being sponsored by multi-millionaires giving them all what they need. Since they are working in tandem and we don’t know when it will end, the advanced countries have not been ableto curb Al Queda and their splinter groups are spreading in Africa, and now in West Africa. It will also do them good, as Nigeria is a very important country to them in Africa.
As a retired soldier, what will you advice Jonathan to do in the search for the Chibok girls?
What Jonathan need now is community policing, we need to have the local fighters from the area who understand the Sambisa forest, Can I come to a place I don’t know and achieve results, look at Borno state governor, the man is cantankerous, the governor is saying things as if he is sponsoring them, I mentioned that there is a political dimension to this, what they are doing is simply heat up the polity, as Aso Rock Villa is meant for some people, and not everybody. So for that reason when there is crisis, then the country becomes ungovernable and we are now looking to the prediction of John Campbell, the American Ambassador, who in 2005 said Nigeria will break into precipice come 2015.
This was 10 years ago when Boko Haram has not been known to be visible, but political interest has set in, some are saying the girls are in Nigeria, others say they are not in Nigeria, Chinese people were abducted in Cameroun and whisked to Nigeria, so if you are a governor of a state where this hell is let loose and the man is not cooperating, how can we be able to get them, only Jonathan cannot do it because some people have their selfish interest to rule this country eternity and for that reason, all what they are after is let that innocent man be pulled out of Aso Rock so that they will come back.
So I am seeing that it requires us all to synergize, those in the flash point states that are having something to hide. They should all come out. Recently, you see the North resisting extension of emergency rule, you see people with animalistic instinct, in spite of the hell that has been let loose, people are being bombed daily, some people are saying they should no longer extend the emergency, do you think that these people have the sensibility of human beings, do you think that this thing really affect them, do they think it is only a particular set of people that are suffering this thing? So my feeling is that Jonathan is doing well, we now have the sympathy from politicians, military, international community and these people are not ready to assist because they wanted to use these girls issue as a kind of ransom, hold them, we will get this, that is what is going on.
I want you to talk about the goings-on at the National Confab?
I think the national confab is one of the best thing that the President has done, it is something that his predecessors dreaded, some even think when you put up a national conference it would jettison the position, but will push that the President and National Assembly should go, and when he announced it, some people kicked against it, a set of people said no, that it was a political agenda of the President, that he want to use it to allay the fears of people so that he could find his way back.
But while there now, those who initially say they don’t want to attend have now changed their mind after consultation that they are coming; they have come up with a sinister agenda against their opponents.
You know the North and South dichotomy; they don’t want a kind of Presidential constitution with t a loose federation where states, ethnic groups that that make up this country are federated under the name Nigeria will have equal rights.
What they want is that if I have anything that is coming from my own state, the government shares it for use for the entire country. They don’t want others to have a say on it, which is the negative agenda they came with, to run down certain policies and programmes that have been put in place before the conference started.
They want to jettison them, take for instance- that 13 per cent derivation be reduced to 5 per cent, they should dissolve Niger Delta Ministry, they should dissolve NDDC, but with that kind of shallow mindedness, one wonders whether they forgot the past, so they don’t remember that in the past, when agriculture was the economic mainstay in the 50s, the principle of derivation was 50 per cent and they used it to their advantage.
How do you assess the performance of South-South delegates so far?
Some South-East and South-West professionals were not happy the way our members are going, they appear so miffed and so dumbfounded that they cannot be able to withstand their Northern counterparts, suffice it to say that a fiscal federalism has to do with equity, principle of fairness and justice.
We are saying that if there was any time in the annals of the country there was 50 per cent derivation and we are just far below in 13 per cent per cent, the Abacha government said not less than 13 per cent, so why should somebody, who said he does not have a sinister agenda wake up today to say it should be reduced to 5 per cent.
I think it is time to redefine our destiny, the national conference is to redefine our destiny, our destiny to be or not to be, this time, we have to say that you people have been cheating us, during the agro-economy, now it is oil that has been keeping us going, every bit, federal character the North gets the majority, so let it be 50 per cent.
My very solemn advice to our delegates, we have a lot of fire brands among them, we have the likes of Chief Edwin Clark, Prof Godwin Darah, they can hold their own position in the conference, they are so many, what we are seeing is that some are saying is that the President is a Southerner, if the President is a Southerner, that should not in any way make them to mellow down or reduced us before the North. Besides the President have many political appointees from the North, so why must you use because Jonathan is from the South and that we cannot stand our ground?
It is to be or not to be, they should stand their ground and say that since 1994 the principle of derivation is 3 per cent, Abacha also created a Ministry of Solid Minerals Resources and in 1995 Abacha announced that it has increased to 13 per cent and that also a Ministry of Solid Minerals be created with a minister, and that one commenced immediately but the derivation did not commence until 1999 when Obasanjo took over and the money was not paid until 2000.
What am I saying; I understand they are proposing 5 per cent for the North, from where? They should stand their ground, let them not go there and come back if derivation does not increase from the present 13 per cent. We are saying the present 13 per cent is too small and the North is slapping us on the face by saying it should be reduced to 5 per cent.
We will hoot at our delegates for a shoddy job done if they play a Second fiddle, the 13 per cent must go to 50 per cent, if they cannot stand on the 50 per cent, then they must have something to show for it, at least 30 per cent, so let them remain in Abuja if they cannot fight to increase the 13 per cent.
What we are saying in the South-South is that our delegates must fight to see that the 13 per cent derivation does remain stagnant because Abacha said not less than 13 per cent. They should insist on true federalism, regional autonomy, that is what the South-West is also saying.
 

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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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CBN: Why Sanusi shouldn’t return to office – AGF

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Read Time:7 Minute, 29 Second
ABUJA – The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN, yesterday, re-affirmed his position that the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, should not be allowed to return to office.
 
The AGF, who earlier advised the ousted CBN governor to surrender himself to be investigated over allegation that he was grossly involved in sundry acts of “financial recklessness”, also challenged the powers of the National Industrial Court, NIC, to hear the suit seeking to restore Sanusi back to position.
Consequently, Adoke, yesterday, asked the President of the NIC, Justice Babatunde Adejumo, to hands-off Sanusi’s suit.
It was the argument of the AGF that the Industrial Court should not hear the suit since the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal is already seized with the facts of the case.
Sequel to Adoke’s contention, the NIC, yesterday shifted its planned hearing on the matter to June 13.
Specifically, the AGF, asked the NIC to abandon Sanusi’s matter and allow the appellate court to determine whether or not the Federal High Court in Abuja had the jurisdiction to transfer the case to the Industrial Court for adjudication despite that it had ab-initio declined jurisdiction on the matter.
It will be recalled that trial Justice Gabriel Kolawole had on May 20, held that the high court lacked the jurisdiction to reinstate the ousted CBN governor.
The Court stressed that the nature of Sanusi’s suit bothered on a dispute between an employer and his employee, which it said only the NIC has the statutory powers to adjudicate on.
However, before referring the case to the NIC, Justice Kolawole described as baseless, Sanusi’s claim that he was not an employee of the federal government but that of the CBN.
According to the high court, “It is not in dispute that the CBN is an agency of the federal government and a statutory body created by the National Assembly. The appointment of the plaintiff was made in-line with the CBN Act, by this, the plaintiff, qualifies as a public officer in the public service of the federation”.
The high court further struck out the name of the Inspector General of Police who Sanusi joined in the matter as the 3rd defendant.
President Goodluck Jonathan and the AGF were listed as 1st and 2nd defendants in the matter.
Specifically, Sanusi prayed the court to determine whether President Jonathan, had the constitutional powers to suspend him from office without firstly securing the approval of a two-third majority of the Senate.
Meantime, all the parties in the matter had since gone to the appeal court to challenge the high court verdict.
Whereas Sanusi is insisting that the high court wrongfully declined jurisdiction to reinstate him back to office, President Jonathan and the AGF are on the other hand contending that the matter ought to have been out rightly dismissed or struck-out, adding that Justice Kolawole had no powers to refer the case to the NIC.
Therefore, the AGF through his lawyer Chief Mike Ozhokome, SAN, yesterday, requested the NIC to stay the proceeding before it and await the outcome of the appeals.
However, Justice Adejumo who presided over the case yesterday, said he would not hands-off the case since it was directly transferred to the Industrial Court by another court of coordinate jurisdiction.
Justice Adejumo maintained that in the absence of any express order from the appellate court asking the NIC to suspend hearing on the matter, he said nothing stopped him from adjudicating on the dispute.
Thus, he directed all the parties to appear before him on the next adjourned date to address the court on the import of section 47 of the NIC Act, 2006, which gave the court the right to hear and determine any suit referred to it by a high court.
Meanwhile, adducing reasons why Sanusi should not be allowed to return to the CBN, the AGF, in an affidavit deposed to by one Dominic Ezerioha, maintained that Sanusi still has a case to answer in relation to the report of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, FRCN, which accused him of squandering over N163billion from the CBN treasury.
According to the AGF, the FRCN report, “indicated that the tenure of the Plaintiff as the Governor of the CBN was characterized by various acts of financial recklessness which are inconsistent with the 1st Defendant’s administration’s vision of a Central Bank propelled by the core values of focused economic management, prudence, transparency and financial discipline; The report of the FRCN and other reports indicated the following amongst others infractions committed by the Plaintiff.
“That the Plaintiff spent a whopping N1.257 Billion for lunch for policemen and hiring of private guards in 2012. That Plaintiff made N1.9bn bogus payments to some airlines for alleged currency distribution within Nigeria when such airlines are either unknown or fly only international routes.
“The Plaintiff allowed an account balance of N1.423bn for an unidentified customer since 2008, contrary to CBN guidelines. The Plaintiff allegedly spent N7.03b on facility management (Diesel) in one year alone.
“That the Plaintiff’s response to the President’s query was “a clear display of arrogance, incompetence, nonchalance, fraud, wastefulness, abuse of due process and deliberate efforts to misrepresent facts. The Plaintiff spent N9.24b in 2012 alone, allegedly for training and travel expenses.
“That the Plaintiff violated financial regulations and carried out activities with financial implications not related to the CBN’s mandate, all done with impunity. That the Plaintiff expended N1.67b on newspapers, periodicals and books in 2012 alone; while spending a bind-bungling N20.20b on “illegal and professional fees” in 2011 alone.
“That the Plaintiff approved billions of naira in ambiguous payments to invoices referred to as “Centre of Excellence” and “Contribution to Internal National Security,” and the CBN’s claim that it paid NGN38.233 Billion to the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Plc in 2011 for the “printing of bank notes”, whereas the turnover of the entire printing and minting company group for that year was NGN29.370 Billion.
“That the Plaintiff ran sundry expenses of N1.197b in 2012 alone, whilst engaging himself in about 63 “intervention projects” across Nigeria, all without due process and compliance with extant laws.
“That the Plaintiff made humungous and unapproved donations of N10b to Uthman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, N5b to Bayero University Kano, N9.5b to ASCON Badagry; N500m to University of Benin, N250m to Sokoto State Government; N100m to Kano State Government, etc.
“That in view of the findings of the FRCN, the FRCN urged the President to exercise the powers conferred on him by the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007, and cause the Plaintiff to cease from holding office in the CBN and also direct the FRCN to carry out a full investigation of the activities of the CBN,” the AGF told the court.
Sanusi who was on February 20 ousted from office had gone to court to challenge the powers of President Jonathan to suspend him on the basis of the FRCN report.
He insisted that the action of the President ran contrary to provisions of the CBN Act relating to the appointment and removal of the CBN Governor, saying it was an “unlawful interference in the administration and management of the apex bank and is therefore illegal, null and void.”
Sanusi who is due for retirement in June, prayed the court to restrain the defendants from obstructing, disturbing, stopping or preventing him in any manner whatsoever from performing the functions of his office as governor of the CBN and enjoying in full, the statutory powers and privileges attached to the office.
Likewise, he alleged that the President illegally removed him from office following some discrepancies he discovered in respect of amounts repatriated to the federation account from the proceed of crude oil sales between the period of January, 2012 and July, 2013.
He told the court that his sin was that upon discovering the financial anomalies, he had cause to inform the National Assembly considering the fact that the revenue of the federation and the national economy was directly affected.
Besides, Sanusi argued that his suspension by President Jonathan was aimed at punishing him for the disclosures he made with regards to how revenue that accrued to the federation was being mismanaged, adding that the President did not approach or obtained the support of the Senate before taking the action against him.
Sanusi told the court that discussions he had with several lawmakers including Senator Bukola Saraki confirmed that the decision to oust him from office was unilaterally taken by the Presidency.
 

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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