Jonathan contracted out the economy to Okonjo-Iweala – Keyamo

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Read Time:18 Minute, 26 Second

Tucked away in the middle of Anthony village in Lagos, is the hallow legal Chambers of renowned activist and radical lawyer, Festus Keyamo. The serenity of the environment betrays the activism in him. The different plagues which adorn the walls of his spacious office are testimonies of his victorious struggles of human rights crusade and series of struggle for the entrenchment of democracy.

When Saturday Vanguard visited him at his office for this interview, he spoke passionately on the state of the nation. For over forty-five minutes, the lawyer ventilated his views on the postponement of the general election saying all reasons adduced for the shift were balderdash just as he accused President Jonathan for attempting to destroy his own party, PDP. Excerpt.

There was tension before the postponement of the election, even as we speak; there are palpable fears of stalemate, what is your take about the development?

Let me begin by asking a rhetoric question. If it was crystal clear that President Jonathan was coasting to victory from all indices available, despite PVCs and security issues, do you think that the elections would have been postponed? The answer to that question tells the whole story.

Festus Keyamo

The man that is in control of the entire machinery of election is also a candidate. He controls the police, army, customs including those that first flew the kite of postponement are all his appointees. He ignites all of these machinery to seek postponement of the election. He couldn’t have been doing it to favour his opponent. Again, he was not doing it to provide a level playing field for himself and his opponent because the stakes are too high.

The only reason was that he did it to gain an advantage. So, all these talk of PVCs and other things are all balderdash. Why didn’t he reject the so-called victories in 2007 and 2011 elections because in those elections, it was internationally acclaimed by observers that millions of people were disenfranchised. I’m sure you know that the common thing then was that people did not see their names on the register on the day of voting.

In any case, the voter’s registers were not also displayed before the elections. Opposition shouted and shouted, yet, they were not displayed until the day of the election, and you saw strange names on the register. So, the PDP did not know that millions of people have always been disenfranchised and they have been beneficiaries of that. The reasons given for the postponement are nothing but a facade, subterfuge, smokescreen for the real game that is going on behind the scene.

Therefore, the postponement is fueling speculations on a contest that is about to be manipulated. Now, this leads to a sense of frustration, leads to anger. The outburst of the anger may lead to massive protest that may also lead to un-foretold consequences.

So, they should not continue to blackmail people about election violence, that under all circumstances, we condemn. It can’t be under all circumstances, where in broad day light you changed a result you have lost and expect people to be quite. Even without the opposition calling for protest. Violence could be a natural consequence of election manipulation. It happened in Cote de Voire where before the camera, Gbagbo men came to tear the result they were reading to the world and were given another one to read. Under that circumstance, you cannot hold the people down. They should not blackmail the people. Under a circumstance that it is clear that they are losing election and you stop it, you cannot hold the people down. I am not saying anybody is calling for violence, my point is that certain things are natural causes of violence. Everybody should maintain peace.

But security issues, not only PVCs were advanced for the postponement…

All the reasons were balderdash. They started with the PVCs, saying only 65 per cent have been collected. Before the postponement, many states had already declared public holiday to enable people collect their PVCs. At that point also, INEC had said all the PVCs had arrived the country and said the collection would continue up to the eve of election.

So, were they gods to know people were not going to collect their PVCs? So, that argument was outrightly defeated by Jega’s plan. They should have allowed Jega to stool in his own juice at least up to two days to the election and everybody would see that Jega did not make it available. But when they saw that Jega was determined to push on, they came up with the security reason. In previous election, people’s names could not be found in the register and so disenfranchised. So, it was not an aberration that was about to happen. I am not saying it is right, but it was nothing so outrageous to call for a postponement. Secondly, we have always said, that 14 local governments cannot stop 760 local governments ready for election.

For me, it was a non-issue. The numbers of registered voters in those 14 local governments are known already. All that was needed to be done was to get the winner of the Presidential elections from the rest 760 local government councils and add the entire number of registered voters in that area to the losers’ figures assuming that they voted and if the figure is not up to that of the winner, you can declare a winner but if they are more than that of the winner, or that there is an upset, then there is a stalemate. You can now postpone to have supplementary elections in those 14 local government areas. Then you can now deplore the entire machinery of the state to those areas. You could also create a special center for the voters in those areas. Jonathan was only looking for all excuses to favour himself in this election.

 

Apart from the issue of PVCs, Do you really think INEC was fully ready for the election?

If INEC say they were ready, who am I to say no.

When I see people on television making some baseless comments, I cry for my country. You see fraud in their faces. These are people who are not fit to go close to the microphone. Those who say they believe in Jonathan don’t believe in his person, they believe in his pocket. Those who believe in Buhari believe in his person and I am sure you are seeing the fervor around the country. If you look at Fani-Kayode, you will see insincerity on his face. Just about six months ago, he said the direct opposite of what he is saying now, and nothing has changed between six months and now.

Some months ago, on the issue of corruption and Boko Haram, Fani-Kayode was pounding Jonathan and PDP, telling the world that the Buhari and the opposition are the most credible. The volte face of Fani-Kayode is not 20 per cent, or 90 degree, it is 360 degree volte face. He didn’t even turn the steering little by little, he turned it at once calling white what he had called black, and you made that person your Director of Media.

Was government not tinkering with the process to ensure peace?

The New York Times did an editorial on that. It was wholesome. Again, if you read my interview in Washington Post, all these issues were raised. First of all, tinkering with the election process was to halt the momentum of Buhari, it was frightening the way election was coming. Despite the avalanche of adverts by the PDP in the media, the people just remained resolute on change.

Even the polls conducted by Jonathan’s aides, he lost; on-line polls, he lost. Even the one conducted in Jonathan’s catchment areas, he lost as well. Remember, Jonathan has people who have more access and exposed to the internet. You can imagine if they had allowed the election to go on. I asked a question earlier, if he was going to win the election, would he have postponed it? So, they wanted to halt the momentum and see whether they can have some breathing space to change the situation. And now, after the postponement, they kept pounding Buhari with those offensive adverts.

Again, their calculation was that the opposition will run out of funds for campaign and because they have their hands on many resources, they can go any length to continue the campaign against Buhari. I tell you, what the PDP had spent on advert alone can build a whole city that can house 5000 residents. You are in the media and you know what I’m talking about. They have virtually closed down the media with their adverts. Yet, the opposition has the heart of the people. This election is not going to be fought and won by money. It’s all about repairing the obvious damage you have done to the heart of the people. They see blood and human body parts on the road every day, across the country, because of their ineptitude and incompetence.

Again, I look at the adverts, associating Buhari with the 2011 violence, calling him a blood sucker, showing all the damage of the post 2011 election and saying that Buhari called for the violence, showing bodies on the street to arouse our sensibilities and instill fear in us. I ask a very simple question, you are President and Commander-in-chief, completely in charge of security in the country, and I wonder that he has all these evidence since that time, why has no single agency invited Buhari to make a statement? Why did you not make complain to the International Criminal Court, ICC for post election violence, like it happened in Kenya and other parts of Africa?

No single complaint was made by the government? No police officer invited Buhari to make a statement in respect of that. What is the implication of that? You either have a commander in chief who is economical with the truth or who has no time to check those who caused the post election violence. You had the information that somebody destroyed life and property and you are now crying to Nigerians, saying,   ‘see what they have done’ and you are Commander-in-Chief. This is not true and it is most unfortunate.

What is going on is similar to what happened in the time of Abacha as Bola Ige talked about   ‘the five fingers of a leprous hand’. When all the parties then were calling for adoption of Abacha as the only one fit for the job and he kept quite as if he didn’t know what was happening.   Even you as Journalists you must be kidding yourselves if you say Jonathan is completely unaware of what is going on.

With this your submission, do you think Jega has all it takes to conduct free and fair election?

INEC Chairman, Prof Jega

Jega is completely hamstrung. There is no way the INEC chairman can begin to conduct election under this circumstance of security challenges. He cannot start carrying ballot boxes here and there without security. It is a reality that he cannot conduct the election without the support of security agents. It is not possible. The way they are going, they may even force circumstance on him to resign. They will give him a situation that is impracticable for him to go on and that is where Nigerians will come in. My prayer is for it not to degenerate to that level. When most of us were inhaling teargas, fighting for democracy, these individuals were teaching in classrooms. Jonathan was associated with one single protest. He was not in any human rights or civil society group anywhere anytime. So, they don’t know the value of what we have and yet, they are the ultimate beneficiaries of it. I feel bad when I see people abuse icons like Soyinka, even Obasanjo was in jail for this democracy. He was in prison for three and half years and he sweated for it. It was this and other things that created international awareness of what was happening in Nigeria. I want to beg the President that what he is enjoying now, people sweated for it; so, he should not destroy it. If he loses election, he should go honourably. Sycophants around him should also realise that this is about our country and not about Jonathan.

Recently, the Chief Justice of Nigeria warned Judges against being compromised by   politicians, we have heard of similar warning in the past, how is this going to influence fair dispensation of justice?

It is only a matter of hope and prayer because the judiciary has had bags of disappointments and sometime successes. In some cases, the Judiciary restored hope in our democracy and in some cases, they let the people down. It remains the last hope of the common man and for democracy. It is only our prayer because it is a fact that there is corruption in the judiciary. The level of rot may be a subject of debate depending on what level of information you have. The institution that is saddle with the responsibility of checks and balances should be well oiled because human nature is prone to do bad things.   When we go out everyday, some people could wish they could get somethings that are not theirs. It is the consequence of going to get those things illegally that keeps you back. That also applies to the Judiciary. People should also know that the Judges are from this environment and all the issues in the society are also affecting them and   their judgment. So, we must always pray that they don’t allow these variables to becloud their judgment. At times, it may not be financial gratification; at times, family ties and consanguinity could affect judgment because they are members of the society. They have childhood friends, and they cannot be closed to the entire world.

Do you think the EFCC and the other anti-graft agencies have the bite to clampdown on corrupt politicians?

They are hampered by a lot of factors. I have seen a lot of sincerity and hard work in EFCC team. I have worked with them. I have seen patriotism among some of the leaders of these institutions. The problem is that they are hampered by lack of facility to work. They can’t work beyound what is made available. Imagine, one agency trying to police 774 local governments.

But he EFCC had more bite during the Ribadu era!

No! It was the creation of the media. The only thing that happened during Ribadu’s time was that there was an understanding with the courts not to grant bail to those who were charged.

That was all the difference. And because people like Tafa Balogun were not granted bail, Lucky Igbinedion, Alameighsieha entered into plea bargain. Thereafter, some of the second generation governors like Orji Uzor Kalu, Ladoja Timipre Silva, Gbenga Daniel were charged but all of these people as they were entering court they were being granted bail. And that was it. There was the spectacle of the Black Maria. That was the Ribadu style. It was the judiciary that supported that process at that time. But Yar’Adua came with the mantra of rule of law. But they were charged, the crux of the matter was that the intention was not to kick you but to charge you. No single case under Ribadu was tried. All of them could not go to trial.  Probably because of the torture of the prison, they entered plea bargain. None of them went to trial. So, all the hype about Ribadu was a media creation. I am talking as an insider. The only reason was that people were imprisoned and it was like- ‘look, what do you want? Return some of my property and go away.’ In fact most of those Plea Bargains were crazy. They took some of the property from them and they walked away; there was nothing like 10 years imprisonment or anything near it.

Some people will argue that the same method should have been applied

I agree, but the judiciary has to co-operate. Don’t forget that the same media kept saying, you cannot keep people in prison without trial since they are presumed innocent until   found guilty by the court.

This is the problem we are facing in the country, we have a disease but we don’t want to go in for surgery. We have a cancer that requires surgical operation and yet you don’t want to go in for surgery. As Nigerians, what do you want?

The President has consistently said that successive governments did not equip the Military and that was why the fight against insurgents was difficult; again with the fact that this Boko Haram did not start with Jonathan; what should he have done?

This is a very weak argument. We have had so many uprisings, like the Maitasine uprising. The government of the day crushed them and nipped the uprising in the bud. Boko Haram should have been crushed before they became an octopus. Before, they were not occupying territories.  They were only running to their enclaves and hide-outs. The situation is bad now.

Recently, Obasanjo and Jonathan have been at war. Does it not bother you that an elder statesman was so infuriated that he tore his party membership card in the public?

Nigerians should be bothered more about the rot in the ruling party and the state of the nation rather than to worry about Obasanjo’s action. It is an action of an elder

Jonathan and Obasanjo

statesman who is deeply troubled. If you remember what I wrote in January, that Jonathan will be remembered as President who destroyed the PDP and almost destroyed Nigeria. Is not worrying that the number one and number two men of the last administration (Obasanjo and Atiku) have been driven out of the ruling party?   Just think deeply about it. How did it come to that point?

Some body who was godfather and leader of a party? Something is wrong. These are people who have shown their open frustration, not just left, but openly driven out of the party. I remember, it got to a point Atiku could not be called to his own ward meeting. The PDP should not use their intrigues and power play to destroy Nigeria as a whole. So, who is to blame if not Jonathan because as the President, he is the leader of the party and the whole nation.

Anywhere in the world, the security of lives and property is number one for any government. But it appears that Jonathan, in the last four years,   had prioritized the privileges of the office rather than the responsibilities of the office.

He and his wife are only interested in being the President and the first lady and neglected the things that come along with them.

Eventually, he auctioned most of his powers out to Okonjo-Iweala. . Okonjo-Iweala just reports to him and he says carry on.   Obasanjo then would listen to every minister and treat every file up till 2am.

Jonathan contracted out the economy to Okonjo-Iweala and contracted the security to the army, and some of the waterways to   some private individuals. It should not be like that.   Without going through scrutiny and every economic detail, every financial transaction, he leaves them in the hands of others. Even politics, at times, the wife hijacked it from him and began to make decisions. I am sure you know what is happening in PDP. I am not the one saying it and you know they have more information than I seem to have. In fact see most of the editorial around the world, the New York Times, The Economist, The Washington Post, all of them came to one conclusion on the two difficult choices Nigeria will make in the elections. Soyinka put it well by saying that one is troubled by his past and the other troubled by his presence. All of them came to a conclusion that let us have a strong hand rather than a weak hand. No amount of advert will change that path.

Again, as the dynamics of the society change, the issues that guide campaign must change. You cannot be campaigning about 1984 issues now. They are missing the point. Human rights are not the issue now.

The issues are Boko Haram, corruption and the economy and you are campaigning about issues that are not current. There is no decree 2, there is no law that says you can detain without trial; when we have a court without outer clauses, chapter four that is fully alive, a National Assembly that is fully alive, a burgeoning private press with internet, facebook, twitter will you now tell me that Buhari will come and shut down all of you? .

The peace accord entered into by both parties recently appeared dead on arrival, why is it not working?

It is cosmetic. First of all, it was not a legal document.

You cannot make people sign an agreement not to commit a crime. It is the law that compels you not to commit a crime. You cannot also say you signed agreement to keep within the bounds of the law. By law, you have to keep within the bounds of the law. It was meant to satisfy international community and after that, our local politics comes lives.

– See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/02/jonathan-contracted-out-the-economy-to-okonjo-iweala-keyamo/#sthash.Ap2Un66d.dpuf

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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Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s founding PM in ICU

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Read Time:1 Minute, 12 Second

Singapore’s founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, 91, is on “mechanical ventilation” at a hospital intensive care unit (ICU) but his condition is stable, the government said Saturday.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said Lee was admitted to the Singapore General Hospital on February 5 for severe pneumonia.

“His condition has stabilised and he remains on mechanical ventilation in the ICU. He is conscious and lightly sedated,” the statement said.

“His doctors are continuing to monitor his condition.”

Lee, the father of current prime minister Lee Hsien Loong, is widely credited with transforming Singapore from an economic backwater to one of Asia’s wealthiest economies in just over three decades.

He served as prime minister from 1959, when Singapore gained self-rule from colonial ruler Britain, until he stepped down in 1990 in favour of his deputy Goh Chok Tong, who in turn handed power to Lee Hsien Loong in 2004.

The People’s Action Party, which was co-founded by the elder Lee, has been returned to power in every election since 1959 and currently holds 80 of the 87 seats in parliament.

In a book published in 2013, the Asian statesman said he feels weaker by the day and wants a quick death.

The longtime fitness buff has visibly slowed since his wife of 63 years Kwa Geok Choo died in 2010.

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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Residents return to ‘ghost town’ seized from Boko Haram

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Read Time:3 Minute, 25 Second

A “ghost town” of burnt-out homes and looted properties greeted residents returning to Gamboru in northeast Nigeria for the first time since Chadian forces retook it from Boko Haram.

Scores of people crossed the 300-metre (yard) bridge that forms the border with Cameroon under military escort on Friday to survey the ravaged town.

Boko Haram seized Gamboru, in the violence-wracked Borno state, in August last year, forcing thousands to flee across the frontier to the town of Fotokol, on the other bank of the river in northern Cameroon.

Chadian forces, who have joined the regional fight to crush the Islamist insurgency, retook Gamboru earlier this month, after intense fighting that left hundreds of insurgents dead.

“We met a ghost town strewn with burnt vehicles, destroyed buildings and emptied homes,” Kachalla Moduye said on telephone from Fotokol after a two-hour tour of the town.

File: Boko Haram attack

“Many homes were burnt in the Boko Haram invasion and in the fighting to reclaim it by Chadian soldiers. Those that were spared were looted by Boko Haram in the five months they stayed in the town.”

Gamboru has been repeatedly targeted in the bitter conflict, which has left more than 13,000 people dead since 2009 and made more than one million homeless.

It was the first town recaptured in the regional fight-back by troops from Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon, which was launched because of dawning fears of Boko Haram’s threat to regional security.

Gamboru residents who hoped to salvage personal effects were disappointed as they found their homes empty.

“There was nothing in my house save the three wooden beds and my old cushion chairs. Every other item was stolen,” Fanna Bukar, a mother-of-three, said.

“Even my sewing machine, which I so much looked forward to salvaging, was gone.”

But even though their possessions were gone, locals said the tour was reassuring.

“Seeing is believing. We are now convinced our town has been liberated and we hope to come back and rebuild our lives once Boko Haram is finally wiped out,” Moduye said.

“I’m sure we will return soon to start a new life,” Bukar added.

– ‘Seeing is believing’ –

Boko Haram fighters meanwhile prevented hundreds of residents from leaving a dozen villages in the nearby Marte district due west from Gamboru, as Chad conducted sweeping aerial and ground attacks.

The villages affected were Kwalaram, Bukar-Mairam, Abbaganaram, Sidir, Kirta, Jibillaram, Zannari, Kutukungulla, Baranga, Kitikime, Krenuwa and Jillam.

“They will not allow everyone to leave and threaten to kill anyone that attempts to flee,” Maji Zaram, who escaped from Kitikime to Fotokol, said.

Zaram said he pretended he was going into the bush to gather firewood but escaped and threw away his axe.

“They (Boko Haram) said we must stay with them in good and in bad times,” he added.

“They said we can’t leave them after partaking in all the booty they brought to us.”

Chadian troops this week pushed deep inside Nigerian territory for the first time, bombarding Dikwa, 50 kilometres (31 miles) from Gamboru to the southwest, near Boko Haram’s Sambisa Forest stronghold.

Nigeria’s military also said they attacked Sambisa Forest and Gwoza, where the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, first proclaimed the existence of an Islamic state inside Nigeria last year.

Maji Ariye, a Nigerian refugee in Fotokol, said the villagers were “reaping what they sow”, as many had decided to stay voluntarily when Boko Haram moved in.

They said they would rather live under Boko Haram because the militants were bringing in free food and other consumables from raids elsewhere, he claimed.

“Now that the table has turned against their benefactors they want to leave,” he said.

“I warned several people to leave because when soldiers deployed there would be no hiding place for them but they refused to listen.”

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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Nigerians will vote massively for Pres. Jonathan

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Iseyin – Mr Yinka Taiwo, the Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo state on Saturday expressed optimism that Nigerians would vote massively for President Goodluck Jonathan in the forthcoming presidential election.

Speaking at his Iseyin residence, Taiwo based the optimism on Jonathan’s performance in the last six years of his administration.

He said that the giant strides recorded in so many areas of governance would convince Nigerians to vote for continuity of the Jonathan-Sambo administration.

“Objective minded individuals know well that the administration has done well in many spheres and I have no iota of doubt that they will return us to power.

“Just yesterday, the president commissioned the Olorunsogo II Power Plant which will generate about 750mw of electricity to make life better for us all.

“In agriculture, farmers are happily getting free fertilizers and seedlings without middle-men. Our hospitals are working again and foreign medical trips have been reduced,” he said.

According to the party chairman, many universities have been established while the existing ones are being upgraded to render qualitative education that will make our graduates competitive globally.

Taiwo, who said the best thing that had ever happened to Nigeria, was the coming on board of Jonathan, urged well-meaning Nigerians to vote for PDP.

“Our party is not that of any individual, but for the whole nation and by the whole nation.

“We are public-spirited and we are focused on our journey of transforming Nigeria. We are not driven by selfish interests and Nigerians know that,“ he said,

The chairman also urged people of the state to cast their votes for the party’s standard bearers in governorship and other elective positions.

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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Media foundation for West Africa seeks protection for Nigerian journalists

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Dakar – The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), a journalists forum, on Friday in Dakar, demanded protection for journalists from Nigeria’s security agencies.

This followed the stabbing of Charles Erukaa of the privately-owned Channels Television while covering a political rally

In a statement, the body also urged political party affiliates and other actors to recognise media’s role in democracy and peace-building and accordingly desist from attacking journalists.

According to the press freedom watchdog, Erukaa was stabbed by an unknown person while covering a political rally organised by the All Progressives Congress (APC) at Okrika, Rivers State on Feb. 16.

“During the event there were several explosions and gunshots. Following this, the crowd was dispersed and the attackers began to loot.

“It was during this period that Erukaa was stabbed,” the statement noted.
Erukaa said that some of the attackers, who have been looting the property of people who had provided the public address system, suddenly surrounded him.

“They tried to take my phone away from me on the suspicion that I was actually calling reinforcement to come pick them up.

“So, in the scuffle, I got stabbed in the neck,’’ Erukaa was quoted as saying.

It was revealed that dozens of people were injured in the attack including two security officials who had been deployed there to maintain law and order and it was unclear as to who was behind the attack.

Meanwhile, the chairman of Rivers State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Opaka Dokubo, threatened that journalists in the Okrika Area may boycott coverage of the upcoming elections.

MFWA also pointed out that the NUJ said unless authorities implement adequate safety measures, they would not participate.

Opaka was said to have made the comments during a working visit to the Resident Election Commissioner (REC) of Nigeria’s Independent National Election Commission (INEC) on Feb. 18.

Reacting to the attack on journalists at the APC rally in Okrika, Opaka said journalists were always at the forefront of both war and crime situations without any form of security.

“As journalists, we do not carry arms, all that we have is the biro and the cameras you see here, but we are always at the forefront of the battlefield.

“We do not have bullet proofs; we do not have any form of security,” Opaka said.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Employment scam: NIS urges public to disregard money-for-job offers

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Mr David Parradang, the Comptroller-General, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has urged Nigerians seeking employment into the service to disregard money-for-job offers by individuals, saying they are scams.

This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Chukwuemeka Obua, the service Public Relations Officer (PRO) and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Saturday.

The statement said that many criminal elements were currently using fake websites and social media accounts to defraud unsuspecting members of the public seeking enlistment into the NIS.

It said that these criminal elements used the fake sites to pose as the Comptroller-General and the PRO of the service to offer job placements to unsuspecting members of the public.

“The Comptroller-General wishes to advise members of the public to disregard any such money-for-job offers on the fake website and social media platforms.’’

It said that the ongoing recruitment as being handled by the Presidential Committee set up to assist in the conduct of 2015 Immigration recruitment exercise would be fair and transparent.

The statement said that the website address for the recruitment was www.fedcivilservice.gov.ng while the official website of the NIS was www.immigration.gov.ng.

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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2015 Elections: UN reiterates support to Nigeria

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The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon has reiterated the full support of the UN to the new dates fixed for the conduct of the Nigeria’s general elections.

This is contained in a statement issued by UN Spokesman, Stephane DuJarric, in New York on Saturday.

The statement quoted Ban as saying that the UN was closely monitoring developments and was offering its full support to Nigeria towards the March 28 and April 11 new dates for the polls.

The secretary-general explained that the UN High-Level Representative to Nigeria, led by Mohamed Ibn Chambas, would remain actively engaged with the Nigerian authorities over the coming weeks.

The UN scribe, “strongly urges the Government and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure these new dates are maintained, in accordance with the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution.”

He welcomed the commitments by the presidential candidates to respect the new elections dates.

The Secretary-General commended the progress made by INEC in the preparation for the elections, including the distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).

He urges all relevant national institutions to continue to work with INEC to ensure all voters can exercise their constitutional rights to participate in the elections freely and without intimidation.

The Secretary-General nevertheless expresses strong concern over reports of election-related violence.

He urges all political leaders to adhere to their commitments under the Abuja Accord to refrain from inflammatory statements.

Ban also urged the political leaders to immediately condemn any statements from their supporters that amounted to an incitement to violence or subversion of the electoral process.

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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Election postponement saved our nation huge embarrassment – PDP

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Read Time:3 Minute, 8 Second

ABUJA- NATIONAL leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP said yesterday that shifts in the dates of the presidential and general elections from February 14, 2015 to Saturday, March 28, 2015 and April 11, 2015 by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC was carried out to save the electoral umpire and the country from huge embarrassment.

The PDP also reiterated its readiness for elections, claiming that with its array of credible candidates, recorded achievements by the Federal government, support of Nigerians, it was assured of emerging victorious at the polls.

According to PDP, it became imperative to postpone the election because of , unfolding events, especially the prevalent huge deficit in the distribution of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVC).

In a statement yesterday by PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, the party pleaded with all lovers of democracy to appreciate those who raised the alarm that led to the postponement as any election on the earlier scheduled February 14 and 28 dates would have not only been chaotic, but would have been far from fair and credible because over 23 million registered voters would have been disenfranchised for no fault of theirs.

Metuh said “the fact that millions of Nigerians are still struggling to receive their PVCs a week after the February 14th date, clearly shows that the commission would have been thoroughly embarrassed had it gone ahead with the elections on that day.

“As at February 7, a week to the rescheduled elections, the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega announced that only 45, 829, 808 representing 66.58 percent of the total number of registered voters have received their PVCs. INEC’s records also showed that 1.3 million cards were yet to be delivered by the printers while 1.1 million stolen cards were yet to be replaced as at that date.

“Whereas INEC gave the impressions that all processes including the PVC distribution will be perfected before February 14, it is disturbing that a week after that date, millions of Nigerians are still struggling to receive their cards, which confirms the fears that the commission was not truly ready for the election in February in spite of its posturing.

“Also, had the commission gone ahead with the polls on February 14, non-indigenes who were being denied their PVCs in select states such as Lagos and Kano would also have been disenfranchised. The shift gave INEC the time to tackle the issue, which led to the sacking of two of its culpable adhoc staff members in Lagos state.

“Furthermore, while briefing the Senate on Wednesday, the INEC Chairman had acknowledged that the postponement was a blessing in disguise which affords the commission and other stakeholders an ample opportunity to perfect all processes for credible elections.

“In Prof Jega’s words, ‘the period of extension has offered us an opportunity to further perfect the electoral process for the delivery of free, fair credible and peaceful elections to the satisfaction of the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians. We hope that all stakeholders will continue to join hands with the commission to turn this disappointment into a blessing to our country. We believe that the effective utilization of this period of extension will enable INEC to have a flawless and near perfect conduct of elections’.

“We note that what is paramount for our nation at this point remains the conduct of credible, free and fair elections where all registered voters are given equal opportunity to exercise their franchise. We therefore urge all stakeholders to put the overall interest of the nation ahead of other considerations and desist from making unguarded statements or jumping into hasty conclusions regarding the preparations for the general elections.”

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

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

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Read Time:6 Minute, 2 Second

I got a call from a close friend the other day that left me speechless.  He had expressed the thoughts that he was wary of a Buhari presidency because of the fear of Islamisation. He is a medical doctor; well travelled and well read.

In our younger days he used to consume Time magazine every week religiously and we are usually on the same page on many issues. Which is why his comment threw me off guard.

Were he to be my mechanic or an unlettered fellow on my street, I would have given his comment the contempt it deserved. How can one man in a democratic setting that operates a constitution Islamise a whole country? To start with, is he going to be allowed to pick an all Muslim cabinet?

Where would his Christian Vice President be; where would the Senate, the House of Rep be when he starts to implement this Jihad? What would happen to the Christian Governors, the Civil Rights Organisations and indeed the over 80 million Christian faithful dotted over the nooks and corners of the country? Would they just simply acquiesce without a whimper? Unfortunately, there are many people, fuelled sometimes by their pastors, who hold on to this belief in every layer of the society. They constitute a force against a Buhari presidency.

Another force is represented by another close friend. In fact, he is a classmate that I have known for about 50 years. He is an economist who was educated abroad and has paid his dues. You would therefore expect that the economic situation in the country would command his attention above all else. Yet his loyalty to Mr Jonathan is unnerving.

He conceded to me that most of his close friends had shifted allegiance but went on to say that if there was only one vote for Jonathan in Lagos, that vote would be his. Why would an otherwise suave, urban man who normally loves to argue, lock his mind on a candidate and refuses even to debate his choice?

The bit I was able to prise from him was unsettling. He finds the born to rule attitude of the Hausa—Fulani ‘very disgusting’. Again, had this been from my mechanic I would not be disturbed by it. But I never expected my friend of many years to resort to a south-south sentiment. Pray, what has the falling price of oil or its management got to do with whether you are Ijaw or Fulani? What have the rising unemployment and the falling Naira got to do with tribe?

Then there are those who have made stupendous amounts of money doing virtually nothing in the past couple of years and who would want the status quo to continue. I live on the Lagos Island and they abound. My son who is still young enough to attend these top clubs and bars talks about people who buy bottles of expensive champagne and Hennessey drinks to any fly that passes by their tables.

These people are afraid that the good times would end with the Buhari presidency. What they are too inebriated to realise is that the economy is in such a strait that the good times would end for many anyway with or without Buhari. Nevertheless, they represent a force against Buhari.

There are also those whose economic and political fortunes were badly affected during the Buhari years and now want their pound of flesh. They will use whatever they have to work on people’s minds and dissuade them against Buhari. And there are those who genuinely believe Jonathan to be a better candidate. They will fight—as is their right—to let him remain in Aso Rock.

Many of these people will operate within the confines of the law and democratic tenets, or at worst on the fringes of it, to deny Buhari the chances of getting to Aso Rock. But that is the beauty of democracy and even die hard Buhari adherents would expect many die hard Jonathan adherents to fight them every inch of the way.

But it does get dangerous when people use other means to deny the people’s will. Many of us have heard the recordings of what happened in Ekiti State. We now know it was much more than stomach infrastructure that got Fayose there. It was the abuse of institutional infrastructure.

It was impunity at its criminal height. And it would be naïve to think this force would not be deployed against Buhari’s ambition. Very close to this, are those who have allegedly imported arms and are poised to use violence if need be, to stop Buhari. I am not for a second, saying that this is limited only to PDP and its supporters; or that only they have the monopoly of violence and intrigues. I am just trying to stay true to my theme. Many of these forces would still ring true if it was another person trying to get to Aso Rock.

Now we get to the most feared, most dangerous force. The powerful, yet largely faceless group of people who have dictated the affairs of this country for years. Its power, like the chameleon, is in its constantly changing ability to gauge the mood of the country and use it to achieve its aim which is to control power.

We saw it in the way June 12 was scuttled. We saw it in the way the contraption called Interim Government was installed. Or the way Abacha took over when it looked like Shonekan might not be able to hold the forte. They were consulted before Abdulsalam took over and consulted again before zeroing on Obasanjo. Neither the choice of Yar’Adua nor Jonathan escaped their input and blessing.

Their major goal is not the economic emancipation of the country but to preserve the nation so it can be milked. They would want the elite system to continue for as long as possible. And when it is time to remove Jonathan, it should be on their terms and with their choice depending on what and who they consider to be expedient.

Make no mistake, these are not democrats and therefore a victory for Buhari or for anybody for that matter at the polls spells catastrophe for them. It would mark the beginning of the end of their hold on Nigeria. The reason our elected leaders don’t listen to us is because we really don’t matter and the day we can democratically choose our leader is the day we have won our freedom. It means we can always vote out an under- performing leader.

This is why I am not holding my breath for Buhari getting there in May. The force that stopped the democratically elected Abiola is still very much around. And it may have engineered the postponement of the February 14 election.

Therefore, if we want to have a democratically elected President, much depends on INEC; much depends on civil rights organisation; much depends on the international community; much depends on the people. We must be prepared to hold out if we want to choose our leaders ourselves.

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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Osun video: APC gives police, DSS two weeks to prosecute Fani-Kayode

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Read Time:1 Minute, 59 Second

All Progressive Congress, APC, in Osun state chapter yesterday gave a two-week ultimatum to the leadership of Nigeria Police Force and the Department of State Service, DSS, to arrest former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode over the purported video showing how the party allegedly rigged last year’s governorship polls in Osun State.

Reacting to the claims by Fani-Kayode, when he appeared on a Lagos-based television station on Thursday, APC said should security agents fail to prosecute the director of Media of Jonathan Campaign Organisation, it would compel Governor Aregbesola to set up an independent panel to look into the matter.

The party also threatened to institute a legal action against Fani-Kayode, if he failed to apologize for allegedly telling lies against it, stressing that the video was fabricated and meant to malign APC.

Addressing a press conference in Osogbo, Osun State APC chairman, Prince Gboyega Famodun, said the PDP intended to use the video to deceive Nigerians, adding that the ruling party in the state would not allow any individual or party to drag its image in the mud.

“APC is demanding for an independent Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the entire process leading to the Osun Election. We demand an exposition of all that happened two weeks to the election,the night before the election and on the day of the election up to the announcement of election result the following morning”.

“When the panel of inquiry is convoked,it must be given the power to extract evidence from anybody through invitation and that nobody must refuse to appear before it.

“Failure by the President, National Assembly and security agents to act on this within two weeks, we will call on the governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola to take up the task of setting up a panel of inquiry without delay,” Famoodun said.

Dismissing the accusations that it rigged the Osun polls, Famoodun said if the tape was genuine, PDP would have taken it to the tribunal to prosecute its case.

He added that APC through its lawyer on November 17, 2014, wrote to inform the police and DSS about the video that was at the time being circulated online.

– See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/02/osun-video-apc-gives-police-dss-two-weeks-to-prosecute-fani-kayode/#sthash.JJBoJyui.dpuf

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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