NIGERIA: Akwa Ibom and the question of progress

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EVERY human being desires progress. Sometimes, the desire is an individual one. At other times, it is collective. When it is collective, it can be for the family, the village, an ethnic group or any other coalition of people with shared hopes and future.

Thus, over the decades, it became well established that the desire for progress among the people of Akwa Ibom is a keenly felt one. Anyone who is familiar with the collective history of Akwa Ibomites within the agglomeration of the peoples of Nigeria should easily recollect that a conscious effort was made to redirect the orientation of the people away from the occupation of domestic servants in the homes of wealthy Nigerians to more respectable professions.

The resounding success of the effort can be clearly seen in the enviable status of many proud sons and daughters of the state who are leaders in their own rights in every sphere of life in the Nigerian nation today.

Providentially too, in the midst of this effort, the fortunes of the state took a turn for the better as it joined the ranks of oil producing states and later became a major beneficiary from the 13 per cent derivation fund reserved for oil producing states in the sharing formula of revenue from the sale of crude oil by the Federal Government every month. In the pursuit of progress, the bounty was utilized by successive administrations to transform the state from the backwaters to a powerhouse in the Nigerian federation.

Powerhouse in Nigerian federation

Uyo, the capital of the state, has most graciously evolved in the last 28 years from a glorified village to a modern metropolis with perhaps the most modern road network in Nigeria.

If the pace of development was at snail speed during administration of successive military regimes, it accelerated in 1999 under Obong (Arc) Victor Attah and turned into a gallop from 2007 when Senator Godswill Akpabio assumed office as governor of Akwa Ibom State. By May 2015 when Senator Akpabio completed two terms of four years each in office, he had started the march towards industrialization of the state by concentrating on the construction of the infrastructure backbone needed for the state’s development.

But the struggle for power in the state is threatening to unravel the dream of turning Akwa Ibom into a destination of choice for Nigerians and tourists from across the world.

The Justice Sadiq Umar-led Akwa Ibom State Governorship Tribunal has ruled that a rerun of the April 11 governorship election must take place in 18 out of the 31 local government areas in the state.

If it is true that “all politics is local,” then the fate of the state will depend on the candidate who is able to effectively appeal to the simple, mundane and everyday concerns of the electorate. The principle presupposes that most people will not decide who to vote for in local elections simply as a means to act on feelings about national politicians. The emotional tie of the people to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) cannot be ignored.

Their intense desire for progress is also a factor that will urge them on to vote for continuity in the governance of the state. Fortunately, a closer look at Mr. Udom Emmanuel’s career in the private sector will reveal that he is well placed to provide a purpose-driven leadership in his new assignment as the governor of Akwa Ibom State.

Mr. Udom Emmanuel served as the secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government after which he assumed the role of governor of the state in May 2015. By September 2015 when Udom marked 100 days in office, the long list of his accomplishments had become a testimony to the good judgement of the Akwa Ibom electorate.

Under him, the state government started work on 137 kilometres of road building, some of which include: dualization of Uyo-Etinan Road; construction of Etinan-Ndon Eyo Road with two bridges and spur; construction of Ikot Ebekpo-Ikot Ebidang Road for easy access to a clay refining factory; and construction of Ikot Udom Road with 15m span bridge in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area, among others.

Work has also resumed on the dualization of Eket-Ibeno Road just as urban renewal projects within Eket and Oron townships are ongoing. In addition to these, the construction of a second runway at the Ibom International Airport and construction of three collapsed bridges and internal roads in Obot Akara Local Government Area are projects that are quietly transforming the face of Akwa Ibom. Progress has not been confined to construction of roads and bridges alone.

The state government also commissioned the water reticulation and head-works in Ifa Atai and Idu Uruan, in Uyo and Uruan LGA respectively while an ultra-modern gynaecology ward named after Dr. (Sister) Ann was commissioned in the 78-year old St. Luke’s Hospital Anua. The government also renovated male and children wards in the hospital.

Efforts to industrialise the state and provide quality employment to the people saw the revitalisation of Peacock Paints and provision of infrastructure for the car assembly plant in Itu LGA as well as the Low Energy Display (LED) manufacturing plant at Itam. The Ibom deep sea-port project is on course and several substations were built to improve electricity supply.

The state has invested heavily in skill and manpower development by providing training for a thousand youths in oracle technology. Youths have also been sent to Israel to acquire skills in agriculture while another set will be sent for power sector training. The list continues with the groundbreaking ceremonies of a fertilizer plant and the Daar Communications broadcast complex at Abak. At the same time an electric meter assembly and clay processing plant are underway in Onna LGA.

Important to note is the underlying ideology of Dakkada – the call for Akwa Ibomites to rise in the cause of moral transformation and spiritual re-birth which the Governor launched and is very popular with the people. The foregoing is merely a glimpse at the achievement of Mr. Udom Emmanuel in his first 100 days in office.

Clearly, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has brought his more than 23 years experience in managing the investments and life savings of diverse customers to the service of the people of Akwa Ibom State. He is more than qualified and equipped to fulfill the yearnings and expectations of Akwa Ibomites for progress.

Mr. Udom Emmanuel was educated at the University of Lagos where he graduated in 1988 with a 2nd Class Upper Degree in Accounting. He also studied at the Leeds Metropolitan University where he graduated with M.Sc in Corporate Governance. He is highly-regarded within the financial services industry as a leading authority in corporate governance and related issues.

Mr. Umana Umana, on the other hand, is an establishment man who worked in the public service for decades. His track record in the public service is not easily verifiable.

This is why Akwa Ibomites will do well to ensure that the person who occupies the government house in Uyo as governor is one with the relevant training and experience to manage the resources of the state and utilize them in the best interest of the people.

The governor that Akwa Ibom needs in the coming days of lean resources from the federal purse is one that has a mastery of expertise including financial management and not one that will use the office of the governor as an avenue to provide compensation to career politicians for their long years in the system.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Hon. Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje attend FGGC Owerri Global Reunion media briefing with 20+ media houses

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Hon. Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje, Perpetua Ohammah, Mary-Helen Nnadi attend FGGC Owerri Global Reunion media briefing with 20+ media houses

It was an atmosphere of excitement and joy as the media and publicity committee of the 2015 Federal Government Girls’ College (FGGC) Owerri Global Reunion scheduled to hold in Abuja from Thursday 5th to Sunday 8th November, had a media briefing with 20+ media houses drawn from television, radio, print and online media. As early as 10am of Monday, 2nd November, 2015, the Fountain hall of Nanet Suites was filled to capacity and the soft music blaring in the background ensured a value adding pre-event networking session. In attendance was Lady Perpetua Ohammah, the President, FGGC Owerri Alumnae Association, Abuja Branch. In her key note address she unveiled the theme of the 2015 Global Reunion as “Renewing ties, inspiring generations.” She further informed that the grand event will gather more than 250 alumnae, guests, staff, and friends. The highlight of the global reunion will include a visit to the Durumi IDP camp and the Global Reunion dinner that will be the platform to introduce “Girls Unite” Mentoring Programme for young school girls.

In addition, there will also be an award ceremony for outstanding alumna and school staff as well as the launching of “The Cord” reunion magazine. Proceeds from the magazine launch and sales will be used to upgrade the ICT facilities at FGGC Owerri.

Also in attendance at the media briefing was Honorable Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje (Member Representing, Bende Federal Constituency, Abia State, Nigeria) of the Class of 1984 and a formidable Green house tenant. She observed that the essence of Unity Schools was to help rebuild a nation that was torn apart by war. She further opined that the establishment has enhanced the existing bond seen amongst unity school graduates in the market place.

Also in attendance was the National President of the association, Mary-Helen Nnadi. She further reiterated on the need to heal wounds brought by the focus on religion and ethnicity while advocating for a trained teacher force that will champion learning and development in unity schools.

Federal Government Girls’ College Owerri, one of the foremost Unity Schools in Nigeria will be celebrating her 42nd Founders Day on November 14th and the Global Reunion celebration is being hosted by the Abuja Alumnae on November 5th to 8th, 2015. The Alumnae of this great school will gather in Abuja to renew friendships, reminisce and give back to their community.

Signed

Felicia Edoigiawerie

Chairperson, Media and Publicity Committee

Federal Government Girls’ College Owerri 2015 Global Reunion

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

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

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president Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, was born on December 17, 1942. He was at various times Military Administrator of the defunct North Eastern State (now Borno and Yobe states) from July 1975 to February 1976; Federal Commissioner of Petroleum and Natural Resources from March 1976 – June 1978; and Head of the Federal Military Government from 1984-85. He later became Chairman of a major interventionist initiative, Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF). A respected elder statesman and one of the few celebrated saints in Nigeria and the only Nigerian who have contested for president of Nigeria three consecutive times, Buhari won on the fourth attempt. His first shot at the number one position was in 2003, against President Olusegun Obasanjo during his second term; and in 2007, he ran against Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua (now late) and in 2011, he contested against Dr Goodluck Jonathan – all of the Peoples Democratic Party. He lost all the three elections. And on his fourth attempt in 2015 – on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), an amalgam of major opposition parties – he defeated an incumbent President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan.

To emerge as the APC presidential candidate, Buhari scored 3,430 votes to beat Kwankwaso the former Kano State governor and now a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to a distant second with 974votes. Surprisingly, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar came third with 954 votes, while Owelle Rochas Okorocha, the Imo State Governor, polled 624 votes to come fourth while the publisher, Leadership Newspapers, Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah, came fifth with 10 votes.

For the avoidance of doubt, the main attempt of this treatise is to examine the facts that led to President Buhari’s victory in the 2015 presidential election of March, 25, 2015 so convincingly; and to ascertain if the involvement of Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi was all that was required in turning this giant of Nigerian politics into a winning candidate, after three failed attempts. Most interestingly, the part erstwhile President Jonathan played in midwifing the union between Buhari and Amaechi, thereby indirectly making the presidency of Gen Muhammadu Buhari a reality will also be examined and discussed.

Now that the main task of this attempt has been exposed, let us critically examine why Rt Hon Chibuike Amaechi, a thoroughbred PDP man should be the one to lead and spearhead, not only the loss of the presidential election of 2015 by PDP but reducing the party to a mere unprepared opposition political party after 16 years as the main ruling party in Nigeria. For a party that brags and prides itself as the largest political party not only in Africa but in the entire black nation of the world to be so decimated by the attempt of one single man is a study in political wonder. This political phenomenon and enigma, described in some quarters as the Lion of Niger Delta Politics, is a study in modern political engineering. Two-time Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly under the PDP, two-term chairman of Speakers’ Forum of Nigeria under the PDP; two-term governor of Rivers State under Peoples Democratic Party, of which he spent two years out of the eight as an APC governor and two-term chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum. If you talk of a truly thoroughbred PDP personality in Nigeria, then Amaechi should be the fellow. The reason why he joined the opposition to wrestle power from his party, as I stated earlier, is one of the attempts of this study.

Amaechi And Opposition Politics: The Foundation

Understanding Amaechi’s role in opposition politics in Nigeria can only be well understood if one reflects on the university days of this radical unionist. University of Port Harcourt (Uniport) in Rivers State was where Amaechi laid the foundation of his political life: participating actively in student union politics, especially in the National Union of Rivers State Students (NURSS), of which he was president, and the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS)

He led other students to protest some of the policies of then Military Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari the incumbent President of Nigeria under which he is to serve as a Minister. After graduation, he cut his teeth in politics as Secretary of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, from 1992 to 1994. He was Secretary of the Caretaker Committee of the Rivers State Chapter
of the disbanded Democratic Party of Nigeria (DPN) in 1996 during the transition programme of the late General Sani Abacha junta.

As stated above, from 1999 to 2013, a span of 14 years, Rt Hon Amaechi has been a pivotal member of PDP, the ruling political party from 1999 to 2015. Let me, therefore, examine the factors that led Amaechi to spearheading the near collapse of the PDP during the 2015 general election.

The relationship between Amaechi and the ex-President Jonathan before he created the Amaechi of APC

Before divulging how Dr Goodluck Jonathan created the Amaechi of APC, let me point out the relationship between these two great sons of Niger Delta. Reminiscing on the orchestrated problem between former President Jonathan and former Governor Amaechi, I took out time to study the gladiators and the bond between them which, ordinarily, should have made their friendship impenetrable. The word bond means something that binds, fastens, confines, or holds together a cord, rope, band, or ligament, something like an agreement or friendship that unites individuals or people into a group. According to Catherine Beecher, “The principle of subordination is the great bond of union and harmony throughout the universe.”And, according to Rainer Maria Rike, “I hold this to be the highest task for a bond between two people: that each protects the solitude of the other.”

Facts available to me show that these two great exponents of democracy share similar family background – raised in humble families and experienced the pains of being educated by poor parents. Former President Jonathan won the hearts of Nigerians with his expose that he was that student who trekked to school without a shoe, while Governor Amaechi also won hearts by revealing that he had a sandal and one pair of trouser, which he washed every weekend to be used the following week for the major part of his undergraduate days. The two political leaders are products of UNIPORT, and are among Port Harcourt big boys.

Although President Jonathan is the older of the two, Amaechi has greater political experience. He has been in politics right from his days in the university, eventually becoming the only Nigerian that was a speaker of a State House of Assembly for eight years and at the same time chairman, Conference of Speakers in Nigeria, while later becoming Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF). President Jonathan, on the other hand, is the first PhD holder (not honorary) to preside over the affairs of the country and the only Nigerian that left the academic environment where he was a lecturer, after having a stint with the defunct OMPADEC and rose to become a deputy governor and later governor (Bayelsa State), vice-president and president – all these without contesting a single election, until 2011 when he contested a proper election and won. And in 2015, he lost woefully to President Buhari. Talking of the significance of their names, Chibuike means God is all powerful and Rotimi, an abridged version of Oluwadurotimi, meaning the Lord stands by me, while Amaechi means who knows tomorrow? On the other hand, Ebelechukwu, which is the native name of the ex-president, means God’s Mercy. Remember the popular phrase, what is in a name? One does not need to be a sage to know that all the meanings embedded in their names are playing out nicely in their lives.

While Jonathan, as the vice-president of Nigeria, was suffering every humiliation in the hands of the cabal during the Umaru Yar’Adua-led administration, Amaechi proved to be a reliable pillar of support behind him. When President Yar’Adua passed on, and Jonathan was being pushed around, Amaechi was among those in the forefront of ensuring that the vice-president assumed office as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; before the National Assembly came up with the ‘Doctrine of Necessity.’

During the 2011 elections, Governor Amaechi, not minding some other options available to him, opted to rally other governors to ensure that Jonathan won the PDP ticket; and during the election proper, Amaechi delivered two million votes from the state to ensure that Dr Jonathan got elected as the 14th President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Not done with all this affection to his own brother with whom he shares some invisible bond not known to many Nigerians, Amaechi went ahead – even while Jonathan was the vice-president – to ask him to nominate candidates to his cabinet in Rivers State. This resulted in the nomination of Prof Israel Owate, who was once the president’s classmate, as the Commissioner for Education. Unfortunately, Prof Owate could not drive the vision of the governor on education as fast Amaechi wanted, so he was dropped.

Amaechi still requested a replacement from Jonathan, who this time nominated Mr. Moses Ahubele, who manned the Ministry of Empowerment and Employment Generation, till he died after an illness in the later part of 2010. After the 2011 general election, Amaechi requested from Jonathan, and he graciously nominated Mr Charles Okaye, who served as Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Community-related Affairs.

Amaechi’s Travails in the Hands of Jonathan

Despite his great show of love to former President Jonathan, ex-governor Amaechi was subjected to monumental humiliation by the Jonathan administration. A few examples: The private jet of the Rivers State Government was grounded for no just cause; the PDP structure in Rivers State was taken away from Amaechi and his election as the chairman of NGF duly certified and acknowledged worldwide was annulled by President Jonathan and his cohorts. As if that was not enough, Amaechi was suspended from a party he so much loved and spent so much to build. Indeed, if not for divine providence, he would have been illegally impeached by five legislators in a house of 32 members; a Police Commissioner, by name Mr Joseph Mbu, was posted to Rivers State with a mandate to haunt, insult and abuse the governor gublicly, calling him a despot. What is more, Governors that came to visit him were stoned! In the eyes of Nigerians, Amaechi stands as a great man, whereas he was regarded as persona non grata to those haunting him.

Achinike Godwin William-Wobodo, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Amaechi on Inter-Governmental Affairs, a legal practitioner, who holds LLM in Criminal Law and Practice and currently pursuing a PhD in Money Laundering and Anti-Corruption Law. In his submission on the travails of Amaechi at the time stated: “The induced situation is caused by third party elements that are either driven by the hunger for power or jealousy. The seeming situation is induced principally by two classes of persons: those driven by hunger for power which represents the group in Rivers State, and those driven by envy, which houses external factors. For instance, the Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, my friend and brother, is at the centre of the group opposed to Amaechi’s style of governance and bent on wresting power from the governor. My worry is not that they seek to wrestle power from him, because that basically is politics. My quarrel is the approach: the crude, undemocratic and uncivilised manner that they are going about it. In the process, they have undermined the rule of law, breached the peace of Rivers State and are threatening a breakdown of law and order. “In the second category are persons who are driven by envy and the rising profile of the governor. And the only way, to them, to break the rising profile of Governor Amaechi, is to pit him against the president and hiding under the cover of the Presidency. For these persons, I think and honestly too, that they have proven that they are not men enough to personally handle their affairs.”

To an illustrious son of the state and former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Prof Tam David-West, Amaechi is an innocent man and his travails illustrate the Nigerian paradox, where excellence is relegated to the background and mediocrity is elevated. His words: “I’m particularly worried about the trend, not only because I am a Rivers State elder, not only because I am a strong supporter of Amaechi without any regret, I am also worried as a Nigerian because what is happening to Amaechi underscores a terrible Nigerian paradox, which I call the paradox of excellence. We support him because those of us who grew up in Port Harcourt as a famous ‘Garden City’ knew how the city changed to a rotten city. And Amaechi, who is also a Port Harcourt boy, returned the city back to its glorious “Garden City” status. Any person that does not realise this is not only blind but terrible.” This great sage reminded Amaechi’s detractors that he who laughs last, laughs best, stating with emphasis that the governor would laugh last, because his first name, Chibuike, means God is strength.

Jonathan’s 25 Sins against Rivers that forced Amaechi out of PDP

1. President Jonathan failed to muster the courage and political will in a PDP-controlled National Assembly to see to the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in the over six years of his administration, to demonstrate his hatred for the Niger Delta Region,
knowing that communities in Rivers State will benefit from the bill

2. The East/West Road, especially Eleme-Onne axis in Rivers State, has not only been abandoned but has become a nightmare to travellers and commuters.

3. Bodo-Bonny Federal Road is completely abandoned, just because it is situated in Rivers State

4. Refusal to refund to the state government over N120 billion used in the dualisation of Ikwerre-Owerri Road, approved by late President Yar’Adua, and other federal roads in the state executed by the state to ease the suffering of the people of Rivers State.

5. Wickedly stopped Train 7 at NLNG Bonny with its attendant loss of jobs to our people and revenue to government.

6. Non-implementation of UNEP Report on the clean-up of Ogoni land, despite all the pleas by our people and the international community – just to punish the Ogonis and Rivers State, despite their overwhelming support for him during the 2011 elections.

7. Lack of any visible Federal Government project in Rivers State throughout his over six years as President of Nigeria. Instructively, of all the states President Jonathan visited in the course of his re-election campaign, it was only in Rivers that he could not name a
single development project he initiated, not to talk of executing.

8. Ceding of oil wells belonging to Rivers to Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Abia states, to ensure that the revenue accruing to the state is reduced

9. Abandoned construction of the Port Harcourt International Airport after completing other airports started at the same time with it. The airport has thus become an eyesore and declared as one of the worst airport in the entire world. Pictures of the current state of the airport attached explain the level of hatred President Jonathan had for Rivers State and her people.

10. Turning the Port Harcourt axis of Enugu-Port Harcourt Express Road into a death trap.

The pictures attached of the bad state of the road explain everything

11. Posting and encouraging the excesses of the tyrannical Police Commissioner Joseph Mbu during his inglorious days in the state.

12. Supporting the impunity of daily killing, maiming of members of Rivers APC by the PDP and their agents’ killer squads.

13. Supporting every imaginable act of impunity in the state, including the plot by five State Assembly members to impeach the speaker in a house of 31 members, with the hope of impeaching Amaechi thereafter.

14. Seizing and grounding the planes of the state for no just cause.

15. Harassing and intimidating the duly elected governor of Rivers State for no just cause, and even supporting the splitting of the Governors Forum into two, to ensure that Governor Amaechi, who was duly elected by his colleagues, does not have an easy reign as the chairman of the forum.

16. Refusal to allow the governor to construct the federal road that leads to the Kalabari kingdom, just to ensure that during the rainy season the Kalabaris will not have a road to their place.

17. Forcefully taking over the 50,000-seater Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium. Incidentally, his party could not mobilise enough supporters to fill the stadium during his rally, even after hiring supporters from Bayelsa, Abia and Akwa Ibom states.

18. Refusal to refund the state the money used to construct the smooth, beautiful dual carriageway from Omerelu to Port Harcourt – particularly up to the Airport Junction from Owerri in Imo State, which the Federal Government abandoned just because Rivers State
people ply that road.

19. Refusal to refund the money used by Rivers State to construct the
Ahoada/Elele Alimini Federal Road and the interchange (flyover) at Obiri Ikwerre.

20. Refusal to rehabilitate the Onne – Port Harcourt component of the East/West Road, which services the Port Harcourt Refinery from where petroleum products are supplied to the South-east and parts of the South-south; the road that leads to the Onne Free Zone and to Okrika, the home Local Government of Dame Patience Jonathan, then First Lady.

21. Turning a blind eye while his party continued to kill, bomb and disrupt APC rallies.

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22. President Jonathan released all the N25 billion that accrued from the principle of derivation from the five Soku oil wells that rightly belong to Rivers State kept in reserve for Rivers State and Bayelsa State were all paid to Bayelsa State, his home state.

23. As president, Jonathan continued to under-fund the NDDC, to ensure that Rivers State and in extension the Niger Delta Region is not developed; till date, N500 billion owed by the Federal Government is yet to be paid to the Niger Delta Development Commission.

24. Refused to empower and fund the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs initiated by the Yar-Adua’s administration. The Minister of Niger Delta recently stated that the N41.7 billion due to the ministry was not paid, thereby affecting 90 percent of the projects initiated by the ministry, just to ensure that projects to be executed by the ministry in Rivers State and other Niger Delta states are not executed.

25. The unseen hand behind the travail of Amaechi during his ministerial nomination and confirmation macabre dance.

For the record, Jonathan is from Bayelsa, a sister sate to Rivers. He is married to Dame Patience, who also hails from Rivers State; and having schooled at UNIPORT and lectured in the state before joining politics, one would have expected him to be a key factor in any election in Rivers, after the State gave him the highest number of votes in the 2011 presidential election. But, shockingly, all these contributed to his abysmal performance and the greatest undoing of his party in the 2015 general election.

Prof Wole Soyinka was right when he stated: “Only four sets of people can vote for the PDP:

“*Those who are intellectually blind,

* Those that are blinded by ethnicity.

* Those who are blinded by corruption and therefore afraid of the
unknown, should power change hands,

* Those who are suffering from a combination of the above terminal sicknesses.”

Why Amaechi Joined APC

The desperation of the PDP leadership to completely destroy Amaechi led to his departure, alongside six other PDP governors, to form the New PDP, with five of them later joining the mega opposition political party, the All Progressives Congress . Explaining why he joined APC, Amaechi said: “Unfortunately, recent events within the PDP have given me reason to reconsider our collective interest as people of the South-south and, indeed, as Rivers people. At various times, as the one whom you gave your mandate, I had cause to complain about the marginalisation of our state and our people, despite our huge contribution to the national coffers and our unflinching commitment and support for the ruling PDP. While the political and economic importance of Rivers State cannot be contested, we continue to hold the shorter end of the stick. “A few instances may suffice. Our demand that the Federal Government return oil wells belonging to Rivers State to us has gone unheeded and been treated with levity under this administration. Rather, our oil wells have been ceded to Bayelsa, Abia and Akwa Ibom states. Even after we got a judgement that the oil wells were wrongly ceded to Akwa Ibom State and should be returned to us, only dry wells that were no longer producing oil were returned.

“In the specific case of the Soku oil wells, despite a decision reached that the monies should remain in an escrow account, till all matters concerning it were resolved, the Federal Government continued to pay neighbouring Bayelsa State the revenues meant for Rivers State, in a classic case of robbing Peter to pay Paul. It is indeed noteworthy that we have made several representations formally and informally on this matter.

“A second instance is the total absence of federal presence in Rivers State. The ‘National Good Governance Tour’ provided a good opportunity for the Federal Government to showcase its presence in Rivers State. The tour, if nothing else, proved that there was not much to show in a state that is the cash cow of the federation. The East-West Road
remains abandoned, work has been deliberately slow on the Port Harcourt International Airport, the third busiest airport in the country, while all airports started along with it have long been completed and commissioned. The Bonny-Bomu Road that leads to the only functional liquefied natural gas project remains uncompleted. In the midst of all these, our administration went ahead to fix federal roads to the tune of N103 billion. After several correspondence and representations, not one kobo was been repaid. The Federal Government was actively discouraging investments in Rivers State.”

My Encounter with Amaechi over Buhari

On August 25, 2013 by 6 am, as I was concluding my usual morning prayer session and packing my things to leave Port Harcourt to see my family that left Yola due to the menace of Boko Haram, Rt Hon Chibuike Amaechi, my principal, called me through Mrs Ibim Sementari, then Rivers State Commissioner for Information and said: “Chief Eze, I have a serious national task for you but decided to call to find out from you first if your past political background can cause you to renege on the task.” I told him, Your Excellency, you called me because you know that I have not disappointed you in the past and I don’t intend to in the near future.” So he told me to wait for further instruction.

On September 7, he sent for me and on arrival to the Rivers State Governor’s Lodge, I had a breakfast meeting with him that lasted for about thirty minutes and Amaechi could neither allow me enjoy my meal as he continued to say: “Buhari! Buhari! Buhari!! Is the only solution to the challenges of Nigeria, which is corruption.” As if he was not done
with Buhari, Buhari, Buhari, he embarked upon another issue, President Jonathan is a history-maker: he will make history as the first sitting President to lose power. After the breakfast, he asked me to see Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola then secretary of the newly-formed New PDP that came into being when seven governors comprising G7 Governors – namely: Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara) and Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers) – with former vice-president, Atiku Abubakar with some senators, PDP chieftains left the Eagle Square venue of the PDP National Convention to Yar’Adua Centre to have their own convention, where they expressed their reservations about how the party was being run.

I later met with Prince Oyinlola and Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, the National Secretary and Chairman respectively. And on September 9, 2013, I was announced as the National Publicity Secretary of the New PDP. I became confused when I was told that other governors and chieftains of the new party wanted to recruit a very visible
personality to man the office of the National Publicity Secretary (NPS) and Amaechi insisted that if the new party needed a person that would create the immediate awareness the party needed at the short time available for the party, the only Nigerian that can achieve that feat is one Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze who is currently in Port Harcourt. His colleagues gave
in. When I came in, they were expecting to see a huge and domineering personality, but could not make any complain. After two weeks, they were pleading with me to slow down a bit. They went back to Amaechi to query him on where and how he fished out such a fellow.

Buhari And Amaechi

By the time I put both President Jonathan and the PDP leadership under my uncle Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, as both of us came from Adamawa. As PDP was put on edge, security organs were all over the place looking for me and other key actors of this new movement. We became the new bride of political groups in Nigeria, mostly PDP and the then main opposition political party, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). In carrying out my task, what was always ringing in my head was: Buhari! Buhari!! Buhari!! being echoed by Amaechi. And to pave way for the smooth ascension to the presidency was to work with other leaders to point to Nigerians not only lapses but the sins of Dr Jonathan. Within three months, Jonathan knew that he has created another Amaechi, and his days as the President of Nigeria were truly numbered.

The fact remains that when it comes to believing in the abilities of President Buhari, I am yet to see anyone who can rival Amaechi. His love for Buhari and strong belief in his ability to take Nigeria out of the woods is like an obsession.

“I can still vividly remember how Amaechi predicted Buhari’s emergence as president during the early days of APC and long before the issue of who would fly the party’s flag came up. When on 9th September, 2013 my appointment as the National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New Peoples Democratic Party was announced to Nigerians, the only brief I received was the 30-minute encounter I had with Governor Amaechi. During that encounter, he kept repeating that whenever Gen Buhari (rtd) accepted to fly the flag of the emergent mega opposition political party in the country, the unseating of President Jonathan and PDP would become a reality. I was deeply impressed by his strong belief in Gen Buhari. It was based on this that I went boldly into the field and with the cooperation of the G7 Governors and other leaders of the New PDP, we were able to dismantle what was the famous and largest political party in Africa, PDP.”

Amaechi pursued Buhari’s emergence as APC presidential candidate with evangelical zeal, after the New PDP joined APC. “This obsession explains why Amaechi did all within his power to ensure that Buhari emerged as the flag-bearer of APC during the Lagos Convention and, as the Director-General of the Buhari Campaign Organisation, worked even harder to ensure the ouster of former president Goodluck Jonathan during the March 28, 2015 presidential election.”

If not for the emergence of Buhari as President, Jonathan and his cohorts would have arrested and jailed Amechi for championing the defeat of his own brother from the Niger Delta.

Conclusion

You have read what Amaechi went through in the hands of Dr Jonathan, Wike and their cohorts. Now, judge if Amaechi was right in joining APC to pilot the fall of Dr Jonathan and PDP. If not by the grace of God, President Buhari and the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, this misguided group would have still succeeded in frustrating Amaechi from becoming a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in their continued persecution of an innocent man who did everything possible to promote and reposition Jonathan, Wike and PDP to greater heights.

Let me conclude by bringing Chief Nyesom Wike to tell us their plot against Amaechi, if Jonathan had won the 2015 presidential election. The PUNCH of February 22, 2014 under the title, FG’ll arrest Amaechi after Jonathan’s victory –Wike, reported and I quote: “Once the Independent National Electoral Commission announces the victory of President Jonathan, we will immediately shut down the Port Harcourt International Airport and all land and sea borders in Rivers State to prevent Governor Amaechi from escaping.

“Does he (Amaechi) think we don’t know that he is planning to run away? But he and his cohorts will not succeed. All they can do thereafter is to lock themselves inside the Government House and at the appropriate time, we will go there and pick them up one after the other.”

The fact remains that if Jonathan had succeeded, the travails of Amaechi during his nomination and confirmation as a minister would have been a child’s play if they failed to kill him.

Eze Chukwuemeka Eze is a Media Consultant based in Port Harcourt and can be reached either through ezemediaconcept08@rocketmail.com

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

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

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Read Time:6 Minute, 24 Second

Dr. Dakuku Peterside, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Rivers State in the April election has described the allegation by Chief Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers State of launching his campaign ahead of the re-run election as wicked, malicious and the vituperation of a drowning man.

Peterside who spoke in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital said Wike and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Rivers State need sympathy because finally, they have come to their wits’ end. According to the APC chieftain, PDP’s desperation and proclivity for lies and outright misinformation is borne out of nervousness and fear of the impending governorship election re-run.

“I am aware that Wike and his associates who perpetrated the worst impunity and electoral fraud during the last general election are in panic. One would have expected a sober and repentant PDP after that landmark judgement but honestly, those guys are incapable of introspection.

“Rather than tow the path of honour, they have chosen, not only to pour invectives on the judges but also misinform the general public on issues around the judgement, particularly with regard to the card reader.

“For the avoidance of any doubt, I wish to state categorically that the fraudulent Rivers State election of March 11 was not cancelled only on non compliance and usage of the card reader. The judges cited other irregularities and breaches. For instance, the APC provided evidence that Dr. Chituru Orluwene who was INEC’s collation officer for Degema LGA is a known PDP member and was also a member of the PDP Campaign Organisation (the medical team). APC also established that known members of the PDP worked as INEC’s ad hoc staff for the election.

“Our party proved beyond doubt that in all the LGA’s, total accreditation for the Governorship Elections was at variance with that of the House of Assembly. We provided evidence with Omuma LGA where they alleged that election did not hold for Governorship but held for the House of Assembly. The same cheap and criminal manipulation took place in Wards 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 in Obio/Akpo LGA.

“The documents filed by PDP and Wike which showed photographs of the former governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi casting his vote at Ubima Ward 8, Unit 14 also failed integrity test because INEC could not provide results from the former governor’s unit. We also proved to the tribunal that results were clearly written while some were snatched. We pointed to the disparity on number of accreditation on the result sheets which is different from the tick of accreditation on voter register and the card reader report. APC also established the inconsistency between accreditation figures for Governorship and the House of Assembly elections even in same units.

“Again, APC proved that the RAC Centre at Asari-Toru LGA with electoral materials for 10 out of 13 wards was burnt, this is in addition to providing incontrovertible evidence that there was large scale violence across the state.

“I have gone through this whole length just to debunk the many lies of PDP. The question is: how could there be an election in an atmosphere of chaos and lawlessness?

“The propaganda and insistence that Wike was duly elected even in the face of undisputed evidence of violence and malpractices is now meaningless and sounding like a broken record.

“Unfortunately, the repeated attempt at portraying Wike as an excellent manager of men and resources is not only nauseating but laughable. This absurdity of false tales and propaganda was recently taken to another level when he was described by his agents as “the best governor in Nigeria today”.

“Instead of facing the real issue of monumental electoral fraud and violence, the governor and his spin doctors are busy misinforming people, obtaining loans running into hundreds of billions and mortgaging the future of our state, including the unborn generation.

“And what of the fictional and frivolous projects that are being peddled every where? These are all desperate attempts to hoodwink the general public and distract people from the unfortunate issues that brought Rivers State to this crossroads.

“Let me state here as a God-fearing person that there is no way I could have launched my campaign, knowing full well the dictates of the law and the consequences of such an action. Wike and PDP are the ones who are planning to kick off their state campaign next week and this is a well known fact.

“Unlike Wike, I detest impunity and lawlessness, and I am not somebody who takes delight in violating the laws of the land or constituted authority. I have a name and my background speaks for me! Those who know me can attest to my integrity, good breeding and respect for laws. These are qualities my opponent cannot flaunt publicly in good conscience.”

Sack Inko-Tariah to prove that you are protective of the judiciary – APC Tells Wike

The Rivers State chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, has called on Governor Nyesom Wike to prove that he is honestly and genuinely against the verbal assault on the Nigerian judiciary by his Spokesman, Mr. Opunabo Christian Inko-Tariah who described the judiciary as conducting judicial terrorism and gang-up over their rulings that separately went against Nyesom Wike at the Rivers State Election Petition Tribunal and the Supreme Court.

The Publicity Secretary of the party, Chris Finebone in a statement said, “The APC finds it curious and unacceptable for the Rivers State Governor to only go on air and pretend to denounce the behaviour of his appointee who had, on his behalf, declared war on the Nigerian judiciary and used all kinds of unprintable words against the nation’s judicial officers. Logic and standard administrative practice behove on Nyesom Wike to summarily dismiss Mr. Opunabo Inko-Tariah for portraying the government as in a state of utter confusion where officials say different things much to the confusion of the citizenry who are at a loss as to who to believe when officials speak.”

Continuing, the party said, “in effect, what the situation clearly signifies is that what we have in Rivers State is not a government but a gang of bandits where every buccaneer is lord unto himself or herself. It further underscores and confirms the widely held view by Rivers people that what Nyesom Wike is running is a one-man show in the name of government.”

To the APC, it did appear that Mr. Opunabo Inko-Tariah spoke the mind of his Principal, Governor Nyesom Wike because, ab initio, the latter had verbally villified the judiciary to the hearing of many including Mr. Inko-Tariah but was advised by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria from the Ogoni axis to desist from such as it could hurt the shaky journey of the caretaker governor as he approaches the Appeal and possibly the Supreme Courts.

It maintained that the accompanying public volte face by Nyesom Wike which culminated in the disowning of Mr. Inko-Tariah’s attacks on the judiciary was sheer pretence by Wike having found himself between the rock and a hard place in his war against the Nigerian judiciary.

For the APC, Nyesom Wike is merely making Mr. Inko-Tariah a fall guy for his own indiscretion against the Nigerian judiciary.

“He can only prove the genuineness of his later-day crusade to safeguard the judiciary if he can muster the moral courage to sack Mr. Opunabo Inko-Tariah” the APC advised.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

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

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Read Time:5 Minute, 36 Second

The Screening of Ministerial Nominees sent by President Muhammadu Buhari to the upper chamber of the National Assembly has come and gone but therein lies important lessons we must carry away from the entire process. The names of the 36 individuals came in two batches through the Chief of Staff to the President, Alhaji Abba Kyari, to the Chairman of the National Assembly, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

Several Pundits have spoken about the rather professional way the Senate President led the screening processes. Frankly, Senate President Bukola Saraki took the bulls by the horn, personally and intelligently asked the nominees salient questions, made sure both the Senators and the nominees were adequately protected against any bullying and ensured proper decorum throughout the course of the screening. This simple gesture has made his name written in gold with commendations pouring in from different quarters on the mature and proficient way he handled the screening. Many Nigerians are indeed pleasantly surprised at his dexterity as Chairman of the Senate Committee of the Whole being without any blemish.

Furthermore, the Senate tried as much as possible to reduce the usual practice of bow and go. Personally, I stand against the crass practice that has pervaded our legislative space for a number of tenures as bow and go remains largely unproductive as prospective ministers who were supposed to be grilled in order to understand their strengths and weaknesses are summarily passed even without saying a word. The 8thSenate though not entirely, did take its time to engage the nominees but not without a lot of room for improvement. Nigerians do not care if a Senator was the father of the day at your son’s traditional marriage, nor care about the number of grandchildren a ministerial nominee has when our security, economy and educational sectors are in need of a dire revamp. It would also not be out of place to ensure the Federal Capital Territory has a Nominee in the Federal Executive Council just as other States do.

The extent to which the screening was open also remains a major plus. The Office of the Senate President allowed several bloggers, online magazines and media personalities as well as the terrestrial TV and Radio Stations unfettered access to the entire screening. The Senates Official Twitter handle @NGRSenate gave real time information as the screening went underway just as viewers worldwide watched LIVE online just as several distinguished senators sourced questions from their constituents online. These developments speaks volumes of the extent of transparency we should look forward to henceforth from the Senate as the expectations of the citizenry regarding the functionalities of the National Assembly further increase.

The Screening also made Nigerians see their representatives in the Red Chamber sitting for between 6 to 8 hours daily in the spirit of national urgency to conclude the screening and subsequent confirmation in due time. It was also noticeable that the Senate did not allow this to affect its entire normal legislative functions as the presentation of not less than 30 Bills were presented for first reading within this period and debates still held on the Motion on the Apapa Gridlock by Senator Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central) which was overwhelmingly supported by almost all Senators across party divides as well as the Motion on theN64Billion Over-bloated Contract of the Second Runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja brought by Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West). Oversight responsibilities continued as the Ad-Hoc Committees on Power, Aviation and Import Waivers were having meetings just as official condolence visits paid to the Awolowo, Onosode and Alamieyeseigha Families.

One must not but also commend the intermediary in between the executive and legislative arms, the SSA to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang as he was visible throughout the screening mediating between the senators and the nominees. He served his role quietly but with great vigour and determination even with the opposition senators on the management of petitions against the ministerial nominees. Information within the National Assembly say that there were more petitions filed against nominees than were actually presented on the Senate Floor but since the Senators concerned from the State of Origin of the Nominee did not lay it before the Senate and its Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions chaired by Senator Samuel Anyanwu (Imo East), they were as good as no petition.

For one, the screening showed the depth of our legislators on issues of national concerns from tax to tourism, education to the petroleum industry, environment, science, technology, the girl-child development to finance, health, investment, foreign policy and religious matters. The screening was also an avenue for the Nigerian electorate to decipher the chaff and the wheat in the Senate. For example, while Senators Jibrin Barau (Kano North) and Mao Ohuabunwa (Abia North) spoke severally and intelligently, Senators Theodore Orji (Abia Central) and Duro Faseyi (Ekiti North) had little or nothing to contribute. The Female Senators also had a good showing and were apt in their questions and contributions.

The Screening also saw its climax and the anti–climax with several quotable quotes that will stay for a very long in the Nigerian public’s consciousness. Former Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, came with the much-revered line: “May our Loyalty never be tested.” In a similar light, APC Spokesperson, Lai Mohammed coined the phrase: “It is service to serve in opposition, but higher service to serve in the Government.”

The crescendo of the entire proceedings was the screening and confirmation of the former Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. The Minority in the Senate, led by the former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill Akpabio, which had taken a hard-line stance by not asking Amaechi any questions while he was being interviewed and screened, decided to stage a walkout during Amaechi’s confirmation in disagreement to the decision of the Senate Leadership. The very fact that the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who is equally of PDP extraction did not walkout with his colleagues however tells a different story.

Nonetheless, moving forwards it is with the greatest of hopes that many Nigerians believe that the Senate will continue to have it’s A-game in play in the course of legislation on other matters of national importance. Motions and bills need to be speedily but thoroughly debated even as the National Assembly expects the 2016 Draft Budget from the Executive Arm of the Government. The Legislature under the current political dispensation and leadership has indeed become better, deserves commendation but it can still up its ante towards the best.

-‘Demola Adeyeye loves the Legislature and tweets via @AAAdeyeye

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

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

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Read Time:4 Minute, 3 Second

At the risk of conferring unmerited importance to the verbose trash the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] Chairman, Felix Obuah and the outgoing governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, through their media aides, put in the public domain Monday as a response to the well-documented statement of facts made by the APC Governorship Candidate in the 2015 election in Rivers State, Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside, it has become imperative to briefly remind Obuah, Wike and their co-travellers a few issues since it appears they may be suffering from either selective amnesia or outright memory loss.

The tribunals have confirmed the position of Dr. Dakuku Peterside and the APC that the so-called election in Rivers State was a non-event as it was marred by massive violence and not conducted in substantial compliance with the relevant laws and the Nigerian Constitution. If Wike and the PDP prefer to continue to delude themselves by living in their fools’ paradise believing that they won any election when the law says otherwise, then they definitely need help and very quickly too.

The claim by Wike and the PDP in Rivers State that the embattled governor means well for Rivers people calls to question the present state of mind of these individuals. The unarguably best secondary School in Nigeria established by Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi – the Nne Furo Kurubo Model Secondary School, Eleme has been shut down permanently by Nyesom Wike. The state-of-the-arts primary schools that inundate the entire Rivers State have all been overgrown with grasses. Rivers State students on state government scholarships abroad are being deported because Nyesom Wike has refused to pay their fees and upkeep even if he keeps deceiving Rivers people in the contrary. Several state economic investments such as the Banana Farm in Tai have been abandoned; the farm is now overgrown with weeds and all the workers sent home. The list is endless. If this is what Wike and Obuah call ‘vision and laudable achievements in only five months’ then, they need urgent forgiveness from man and God.

Only Wike and the PDP know what they mean by ‘conceding to a better choice’ because no well-meaning Rivers man and woman would choose a satanic, clueless, derelict and myopic leadership which Wike and the PDP represent over the visionary and progressive leadership the APC and Dr. Dakuku Peterside epitomise.

It is important to remind the confused duo of Wike and Obuah that no amount of propaganda can obliterate the fact that Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi it was who dualised all arterial roads in Port Harcourt except Old Aba Road – Alcon and Oil Mill – Akpajo Roads which were victims of sharp drop in federal allocations. Rivers people will continue to remember how these roads were as at 2007 when the former governor assumed office. The Ada-George Rd, Rumuokwuta – Choba Rd, Rumuola Rd, Elekahia Rd, Trans-Amadi – Oginiba Rd, Garrison – Slaughter Rd, Slaugher – Elelenwo Rd, Peter Odili – Akpajo Rd, Ikwerre Rd, the Eleme Interchange, the Agip Flyover, the Eliozu Flyover, Bori Internal Roads and several other roads and bridges too numerous to name here. The hundreds of modern medical centres, the world-class ear, nose and dental hospital at Garrison, the Prof. Kelsey Harrison Hospital, Emenike Street; the several modern primary and secondary schools completed and uncompleted would speak for him in history. Several of Rivers sons and daughters who were sent in search of the Golden Fleece will not fail to mention to the next generation about the man called Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. Conversely, some of them will not fail to name Nyesom Wike and the PDP as those who presided over their forceful deportation and truncation of their future. History has a way of being kind to the just and very unforgiving of bad people.

It is important to state at this juncture that the serving official of government who personally drove the execution of these projects was Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside as the Rivers State Commissioner for Works between 2007 and 2011 when most of the projects were carried out.

Again, it is necessary to remind the present Philistines in our midst that there is a world of difference between dualising roads with underground drainage and pouring asphalt on roads with open gutters. Being a governor of Rivers State is a serious business; it is not as easy as emptying a bottle of St. Louis XIII Cognac.

Therefore, the APC would like to call on Nyesom Wike, Felix Obuah and their co- travellers in the PDP to be ready with fresh lies as the largely silent majority of well-meaning Rivers people have already decided to stand with Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside to safeguard and ensure the security and prosperity for themselves, their children and coming generation.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Fuel queues resurface in Lagos over N291bn subsidy debt 0

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Read Time:1 Minute, 54 Second

Fuel queues reappeared in major parts of Lagos yesterday, an indication that the N291 debt owed fuel marketers was already taking a toll on the petroleum supply chain.
From Egbeda to Lagos- Abeokuta Expressway, fuel stations refused to dispense fuel,while motorists queued in anticipation that they would resume sales.
The situation was chaotic at the Conoil station at National Bus Stop, close to the local airport, while long queue of cars compounded the traffic situation, extending to Ikeja under the bridge.
At Airport Road, no station opened, while those engaging in black market operations returned in their jerrycans to make brisk business.
At Second Rainbow Bus Stop, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) retail station did not dispense fuel.
A player in the downstream sector, who pleaded not to be named told Daily Sun that the situation may take a turn for the worse in few days, saying for now, only the NNPC was importing because major marketers have been forced to down tools due to the huge subsidy debt.
‘‘At my depot, we only got about 10,000 metric tonnes last week and that is just about 400 trucks. That cannot last us for this week, ditto for other depots that got last week. Unless government fulfils its obligations to marketers, the situation will not get better,” he said.
The latest move by 70 percent of marketers to suspend fuel imports was disclosed by the former Minister of Interior and Managing Director of Integrated Oil and Gas Limited, Mr. Emmanuel Iheanacho, at the opening of the 2105 Oil Trading and Logistics (OTL Africa) Downstream Expo in Lagos, yesterday.
Executive Secretary of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Mr. Obafemi Olawore, had, in June, raised the alarm over the inability of the Federal Government to offset about N291 billion in subsidy claims.
NNPC Group Managing Director, Ibe Kachikwu said during a meeting with MOMAN and the Depot and Petroleum Products Association, (DAPPMA) that he would explore new financing mechanisms to offset outstanding debts on subsidy claims, which the Federal Government owes petroleum marketers in the country.
He also explained that these are parts of the extant measures taken to ensure that supply of petroleum products in the country is sustained into the forthcoming yuletide.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

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

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Read Time:10 Minute, 27 Second

The smouldering agita­tion for self determi­nation by some groups and individuals in the South-east geo-political zone of Nigeria as expressed in the rebirth of Biafra has of recent assumed varying definitions and stakes. From a shrill level of stillness after a rejuvenated crescendo some 16 odd years ago, the recent arrest of Nnamdi Kanu, an arrowhead in the struggle and director of the pirate Radio Biafra on October 19, 2015, has given more impetus to the struggle.

The upsurge in the restiveness since May 29 this year when the new regime of President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in was ignited by perceived lopsidedness in the initial key appointments he made, and dec­larations he made in far away United States of America that those who did not vote for him in the elections should not expect to profit where they did not sow. The statement took the heartlands of the South-east by storm and was interpreted as a veiled reference to them who through their votes thumbed a resounding no to his presidential quest over the years. In the new offensive, about 71 deaths have been recorded and scores de­tained by agents of the government.

Indeed, the National Director of Information of The Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Mr. Uchenna Madu recently alleged extra judicial killings of some of their detained members in Ebonyi state. The high casualty figures of the agitators who adopted passive resis­tance over the years have implanted a consciousness of recklessness and deeper significance of their struggle and its meaning to them. They are telling the rest of the world in para­bles and acts that their lives are less important than the meaning of their lives. They are so seized with this symbolic fervor, and intoxicated with their xenophobic dream that they are willing to view themselves as a sacri­fice to history. Canadian writer Betty Nickerson, in her work “Letters from Biafra aptly captures this propelling force this way: “Biafra is more than a government, or place; it is an idea about freedom. To fight for it, perhaps to live for it, if one is lucky, is our consuming passion”.

For 49 years, blood has been spilled over this. An estimated three million people perished in the fratri­cidal, civil war that lasted 30 months between May 30, 1967 and January 12, 1970. Since then, more than 2,338 people have lost their lives in various Biafran related uprisings. In 2014, in what clearly looked like a suicide mission, some activists of the Biafran Zionist Movement, BZM attempted to seize a government owned radio station in Enugu and the Government House Enugu, killing a policeman in the process. They were rounded up and put in detention since then. As the orgy of bloodletting and clampdown continues, there is nothing yet to suggest a cessation of hostilities. The frontiers of protest are expanding, the fault lines are deepen­ing. From a campaign spearheaded mainly by semi-literate youths with mob hysteria often described as “misguided”, it is spreading like wild fire embracing the intelligentsia, the new rich, and de crème de la crème of the Igbo society. The political class, who in deference to their political interests within the Nigerian context has always donned indif­ference and kept the struggle and their moving spirits at arm’s length, is gradually beginning to capitulate. With blood in their eyes, and as the agents of government bay for their blood, the power of their resolve and clarity of intent resonate and rankle in their souls. Fresh campaign thrusts are unfolding by the day, while more groups are sprouting. From just MASSOB in 1999, it has expanded to include Indigenous People of Biafra led by Nnamdi Kanu, Biafran Actualization Forum, BAF, Biafran Zionist Movement, BZM, Biafra Na­tional Congress, BNC, and a splinter faction of MASSOB.

Interestingly, the Igbos in the Dias­pora have shown more than a passing interest in the struggle. Sunday Sun learnt that they form the nucleus of the struggle, providing a huge chunk of the funds and other logistics. They are also actively involved in external propaganda and diplomatic engage­ments. The sophistication has also twined to other areas. On July 17, Kanu lauched another radio station in London, promising to bring on 50 others in two phases in the next 18 months. According to Sunday Sun checks, another station called ‘Biafra 24 radio’ has hit the air waves push­ing the same message of ‘Freedom of Biafraland’. Plans are also afoot to float a satellite television station abroad. The location could not be ascertained as at press time.

On July 14 this year, the Permanent Secre­tary of the Federal Ministry of Information, Dr Sade Yemi- Esan declared that Radio Biafra had been successfully jammed and the technical masterminds arrested. The station, however, is still broadcasting on the World Wide Web mak­ing it impossible to block its broadcasts. The ar­rest of Kanu on October 19, 2015 has accentuat­ed the frenzy and acidity of the broadcasts. They have also stepped up diplomatic offensives on all fronts which have led to some western governments issuing statements to demand his release. An Embassy of Biafra has been opened in Victoria, Spain. “It is another milestone in our drive towards Biafra’s restoration” said a radio broadcast from London monitored in Lagos by Sunday Sun. The Embassy set up by IPOB was opened on Saturday, February 28. In a prayer at the event, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu said: “We, your children are gathered here in Victoria Basque country O Lord of Hosts, to do that which you have divinely mandated us to do. Today here in Northern Spain we open yet another chapter in this relentless effort to restore your kingdom upon the face of this earth. For the journey mercies you have granted us from all over the world here gathered, we remain eternally grateful. From all over the world we have come to establish a firm base in this land from where your will must be done. This year belongs to us Biafrans because in the end, all glory and honour will be yours and yours alone. Iseee!” An elated Kanu also expressed gratitude to God for the success of the event on his Facebook page:“To the most gracious almighty Chukwu Abhiama do we owe all that we are for this journey mercy granted to all hard core Biafrans that attended IPOB mission opening ceremony in Victoria Basque Country in Spain. Magnificent and merciful creator of the universe, even if we worship you from now till eternity, we still will not be able to repay you for the grace you have shown us, Indigenous People of Biafra for guiding us back to our re­spective destinations. For those we left behind, please guide them to their families in safety that in the end as always, all honour and glory will be yours and yours alone, because only you is worthy of praise. Your children have asked me to come to Amsterdam Netherlands from where your redeeming gospel of restoration will be preached tonight to the hearing of humanity. Abide with us Heavenly Father as you have al­ways done for we are nothing without you. This family here shall find peace as they all desire that indeed your kingdom, Biafra may come on this earth as it is in heaven…..Iseee!”

What is Biafra?

There are several postulations as to the origins of the word ‘bight’ as in bight of Biafra. One account de­scribes it as a cartographic indication for the word “exit”. It explains that it is a body of water that serves as a particular exit from the international shipping lanes to a brighter station – a long curve in a coastline. A bay is formed by this curve. Passenger voyages were the only means of in­ternational travel for most of human history, and they were done through one of these bights to international trans – Atlantic water lanes. Another meaning of Biafra relates to “Bia”, the Igbo word for “Come”. The word, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica likely derives from Biafar or Biafada of the Tenda ethnic group who reside mainly in Guinea Bissau. Manuel Alvares (1526- 1583) a Portuguese Jesuit educator in his work “ Ethiopia minor and a geographical account of the province of Sierra Leone”, writes about the “ Biafar Heathen” in chapter 13 of the same book. The word Biafar, an adaptation of Biafra appears to be a commonly used word in the Portu­guese language in the 16th century. Early modern maps of Africa from the 15th to the 19th century drawn by European cartographers from accounts written by explorers and travelers also reveal this information. The original word used then was Biafara , and not Biafra. According to the maps, the European travelers used the word, “Biafara” to describe the entire region east of River Niger going down to the mount Camer­ouns. The word Biafara also appears on maps from the 18th century in the area around Gambia. On a closer linguistic level, Biafra is from the Igbo words “Bia”, meaning come and “Fara” meaning join.

The agenda

Former president of the pan – Igbo socio cultural organization, Ohanaeze, late Chief Ralph Uwae­chue in a very testy mood in 2009 raised the alarm that “ Igbo margin­alization can break up Nigeria”. He was speaking against the backdrop of the demand for redress in the imbalance in the federal setup which he said was skewed heavily against the Igbos. Successive gov­ernments since the end of the civil war have merely paid lip service to the slogan of “ Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Reconciliation” enunciated by the then military government, according to him. He viewed the development as a time bomb, and cautioned political leaders to tread with caution in their utterances. Before then, the late Senator Francis Ellah had observed that the oft-repeated “Nigerian question” is merely the inability of the Nigerian nation to accom­modate the Igbo unconditionally. The late novelist , Chinua Achebe highlighted the brewing cauldron in his “ The trouble with Nigeria.” He postulated that so long as injus­tice continues to be the guiding principles in the co-existence of the different ethnic groups within the national framework, so long will there be unease in the land. Apart from the clamour for full and unfettered accommodation, there is also the sinew of mistrust. Igbo el­ders who are opposed to secession have unsuccessfully been working quietly behind the lines to forge a mutually beneficial structure by pushing forward forcefully the Igbo agenda each time there was a Na­tional Conference. The agenda had on three different occasions been diffused and subtly rejected. Faced with frustration and weighed down by the defeat in the civil war, the casual protest lane has been adopt­ed with unprecedented bloodletting. The Reparation Committee of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, in a 28-page document entitled: “Atrocities and Injustices against Ndigbo,” set out a list of demands and submitted them to President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014.

It reads in part: “The Federal Government should pay 400 billion naira each to the five states of the South East as compensation to those who lost loved ones, lost properties, and those still suffering dislocation today in Nigeria.

Compensation would be made to those Igbos who escaped during the pogroms and war and returned to find their jobs taken, their proper­ties and houses occupied and their Biafran money worthless.

The group also asked the Federal Government to invest in a massive re-planning of Igbo cities with proper structures such as provision of urban water works, a sort of Marshall Plan often devised for war-ravaged area. The demand , just as many others be­fore it never saw the light of the day. In the grip of the grim situation, the cry for Biafra has become the calm­ing balm, which like in the scriptures is the promised land for them.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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NNPC loses N120bn in two months

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Read Time:2 Minute, 54 Second

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation incurred a total loss of N120.07bn in the months of August and September, the latest NNPC Group financial report has shown.

According to the report, the corporation incurred losses of N60.67bn and N59.4bn in August and September, respectively.

It specifically stated that the national oil firm’s revenue in August was N146.617bn, while its expenses were put at N207.287bn.

In September, the corporation’s total expenses were N171.914bn, while its revenue for the same month was N112.514bn.

An analysis of the report showed that the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, a subsidiary of the NNPC, incurred the highest amount of losses in the two months under review.

The report noted that the losses were incurred before subsidy, stating that the PPMC recorded a loss of N34.275bn in August and N57.677bn in September.

It also showed that all government-owned refineries managed by the NNPC were still not making profit, despite claims that the facilities had started producing refined products for public consumption.

In August, the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company, Port Harcourt Refining Company and Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company made a total loss of N6.575bn, while they recorded a loss of N11.381bn in September.

The capacity utilisation of the WRPC and KPRC in September 2015, according to the report, was zero per cent, as both plants processed no crude oil in the month.

The report, however, noted that the capacity utilisation of the PHRC was 4.15 per cent as the facility processed 35,648 metric tonnes of crude oil.

The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, had stated during his screening as a minister by the Senate recently that non-performing refineries would be shut down at the expiration of a 90-day performance deadline given them by the oil firm.

The ultimatum was given to the respective management of the refineries by the GMD in September, mandating the plants to commence full production before the expiration of the deadline.

The GMD had stated that he had a mandate to get the refineries running by December.

Kachikwu had said, “What I have clearly as a mandate will be that at the end of December when the 90 days is up, we will sit down and say which one of the refineries has shown the capacity to consistently perform at levels that make optimum sense.

“And those ones we will let to continue. We will look at management issues and tidy them up and procurement issues and tidy them up as well. But those that are not, we will have to shut down and do complete maintenance.

“I’ve given a 90-day programme, which is working, and I’m glad that over the last few weeks, Port Harcourt, for example, has come out of the albatross and is producing right now at about 67 per cent capacity. Our target is to grow Port Harcourt to about 70 to 75 per cent capacity by the end of the year. Warri is beginning to signal that there is a likelihood that it will come on stream.

“If any refinery produces below 60 per cent, then it is not production. Because the performance capacities of refineries worldwide are in the 90 per cent and above categories, and that is when you begin to make yields. That is when it can be said to be a profitable refinery.”

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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With Chibuike Amaechi On The Ministerial List, Buhari Is Not Serious With The Anti-corruption Fight

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Read Time:1 Minute, 57 Second

At last, Nigerians have been availed of the names of people who will form Buhari’s cabinet after the senate approved the list of 36 nominees last week. This came five months after the president took office.

Mr Buhari, who was elected in March partly on a promise to tackle corruption and insecurity, vowed to select competent and clean individuals.

But when the much-anticipated list was released, many were disappointed, asking whether the wait had been worth it, and whether those selected were the best in the country.

The 36 names approved by MPs, but yet to be given portfolios, include five former governors, nine lawyers, four former senators, three academics, two medical doctors, two retired soldiers and a clergyman.

Nigerians are of the opinion the list is full of old and recycled politicians who have been part of Nigeria’s problems. However, His supporters say the list shows he is committed to fulfilling his election promises, adding that age and gender do not matter at this stage because the country needs to be rescued urgently.

Some say his hands were also tied by the constitutional requirement to choose at least one person from each of Nigeria’s 36 states. Yet, others maintain that the list is made up of ex politicians who have been accused of embezzling their states’ fund and that that goes to show that the president is trying to rewarding party loyalists who emptied their states’ treasuries in contributing to Buhari’s election.

Former Gov. of Rivers State, Chibuike Amaechi, has accused by his state of emptying the state’s treasury for Buhari. It is said that Amaechi bankrolled 80% of the total expenses Buhari’s campaign incurred during the electioneering period. He is the most controversial of all the appointees even though his inclusion did not come as surprise.

As one of the major contributor to Buhari’s campaign, many Nigerians see Mr Amaechi’s appointment as pay-back for the role he played in the president’s victory during the election.

However, Buhari’s choice of Amaechi for Rivers State has been heavily criticised since he was indicted by Rivers state’s panel of inquiry for allegedly enriching himself during his eight-year tenure as the state’s governor.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

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