‘INEC Should be Sanctioned for Shoddy Arrangements’ 2015 Polls

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Read Time:2 Minute, 30 Second

The Development  Law Group has called for sanctions against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the shoddy handling of the election processes leading to the postponement of the exercise.

In a release signed by the partner/Head, Development Law Group, Dr. Wilfred Mamah and the Associate, Development Law Group, Derin Fagbure, the duo said they had carefully studied the situation leading to the postponement and come to the conclusion that electoral body mishandled the process.

They noted the lack of preparation by INEC after a four year costly preparation for the exercise and backed the decision to postpone the election so that the country could get it right by conducting a credible, free and fair elections.

According to them, after distilling the facts of the issue, they came to the conclusion that the issues involved in the shifting of the elections were beyond the textual interpretation of the Constitution or the electoral Act while the Nigeria people should be the benchmark for testing the reasonableness of the said postponement.

“INEC’S admitted un-readiness, after four years of costly preparation, is a clear demonstration that the Nigerian people who have been counting on February 14 2015 as the day to exercise their ultimate power of choice have not received value for their money. The fact that Nigerians were led to believe that INEC was ready for the election raises serious questions of transparency and credibility.
“This postponement, therefore, raises a structural challenge of disorder and lack of accountability in Nigeria.

“By creating this uncertainty, INEC has shown itself to be either incompetent or grossly negligent. Their actions and inactions have caused serious psychological dent on Nigerians, home and abroad.   

The attendant social, political and economic costs are massive. Internationally, INEC’s lethargy gravely affects our national image and fuels the growing perception of corruption and disorder.

“In an ordered society, there should be a price to pay for incompetence or negligence. Therefore, it is right and proper that INEC be reprimanded for this breach of trust", they said.
“For all the political parties, this delay and general disquiet it has caused should send a clear signal that there is a higher stake in the 2015 elections. That stake is the very survival of the State itself. Therefore, all political actors must cautiously guard their words and actions.

“For the general public, ‘delay is not denial’. Let this postponement serve as a wake-up call for all eligible voters to pick up their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and prepare to exercise and defend their ultimate right to affirm or revoke power.

“For the Federal Government of Nigeria, it is very crucial that 29 May 2015 handover of power remains consecrated.  No further defilements or deferments should be contemplated. The incumbent President and government owe it as a solemn duty to the over 160 Million Nigerians to secure our State and democracy”, they concluded.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

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

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Read Time:1 Minute, 1 Second

Ahead of the March 28 Presidential election, Buhari Support Organisation (BOS) is planning a massive rally for the All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari in his quest to become next president of Nigeria.

According to the Lagos State Coordinator of the group, Gbenga  Omotuenishe,  the party was undaunted by the postponement of the election but it would rather increase the popularity of APC and its candidates in the coming polls. Meanwhile, one of the sponsors of BSO, Honourable Adebowale Collins said he believed in the ideology of BOS and that was why he was putting his money where his mouth was. "I believe in what we are doing, I believe in change and I believe everybody has a role to play. I want a future for my children. It's not compulsory you do things for monetary benefits.

Sometimes you do things because you believe in an ideology.  If you believe in something you do it from your heart. That is why we are so committed in our clamour for change in this country," Collins said. He is of the opinion that come May 29 Buhari-Oshibajo would mount the mantle of leadership of Nigeria.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

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

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Read Time:57 Second

Governor Rotimi Amaechi drew the first blood when he alleged that the PDP gave out N6 billion to some pastors to mount campaigns against the Presidential Candidate of the APC, Muhammadu Buhari. I was nonplussed when Amaechi could not substantiate his allegation. He could not even point to a specific pastor, where the bribe was collected and how much was given. Now, governor Rivers is in trouble. The news in town is that he was the one that offered bribe to pastors.

The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria in Cross River State early this week looked at Amaechi straight in the face and accused him of giving money to 500 pastors in October last year to get their support for the APC.

The Chairman of the Cross River PFN in, Bishop Emmah Isong said he was ready to confront Amaechi if he denied it. “Amaechi lacks the moral authority to accuse anyone of giving pastors money to campaign against the political interest of the APC,” declared Isong. Amaechi, over to you. We hope to hear from you on this allegation. We want the truth and nothing but the truth.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

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

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Read Time:35 Second

What has Governor Adams Oshiomhole been doing with local government moneys in his custody? There are fears that these funds have started developing wings because of 2015 elections.

The news from Egor, Esan West and Ikpoba-Okha local government areas is that funds released to them by Oshiomhole, the Edo Emperor are inadequate.

As a result, they owe their respective staff four months backlog of salaries. In protest, members of the National Union of Local Government Employees in Edo State called out their members in all the local government areas of the state on an indefinite strike. The LG workers are also not happy over huge unpaid accumulated allowances. The NULGE strike is still on.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

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

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Read Time:12 Minute, 5 Second

 Marking the third anniversary of the Restoration Government in Bayelsa State is simply an amazing moment in state’s history. In a way, it evokes a deep sense of accomplishment because of how this part of history was made. We are face-to-face with our past, present and the future, interacting still, to define in perspectives, our mission especially on why government exists and what difference good governance could make in the life of a people. Thus as we further take stock, reflecting on the journey and possibilities ahead, we can humbly report that the vista of restoration in Bayelsa State has really widened in the last three years, delivering prosperity. All things considered, the Restoration government has been a huge success. Still, the inspiration lives on.

In some very important ways, peeping into the period under review as a factor of some good judgement suggest that Governor Seriake Dickson should lead the story, a story many are already familiar with but with its changing narrative in some specific dimensions to demonstrate the higher ground being covered by the government in
fulfilment of its covenant with the good people of Bayelsa State.

It is clear that the factor of leadership has clearly been the most salient issue in driving the state to this level of development, which is public knowledge. Yet it is instructive to put this leadership value in context: for beyond the talent, dynamic oratory, intellectual gift and the rest, the real defining factor of the Governor is his character. Character is the basis for credibility in leadership; without this, the best leadership and its potentials for greatness could be in danger. This is the story of the new Bayelsa State where Governor Seriake Dickson’s character has shown through major policies and programmes and the overall essence of the governance.
Of course the vision document was ready early enough in the life of this administration, having regard to the Restoration Agenda. In retrospect however, it was the governor as the leader who gave breath into it by virtue of the first steps he took, which have remained permanent in the preceding years except that the government just kept fine-tuning and perfecting them. This includes the vision and its implementation to cover more people to fulfil their life aspirations. He understands very well that leadership is all about problem solving and service to the people.

In this regard, we must acknowledge the determination and commitment of the leader just as we note his careful selection of the Restoration Team, a team made up of purposefully driven men and women who in their varied background and enterprise also understood the challenge at hand and have contributed so well to rekindle hope. Governor Seriake Dickson has thus led with a distinctive acumen in the last three years. But as we pointed out in the beginning, his has been a different kind of leadership because the character element has indeed defined his place in history.

The Vision
The government came up with the Restoration Agenda, a strategic vision document and road map which took into consideration the development challenges facing the state, including all those delimiting human factors that had held our dear state hostage over the years and in the process, made nonsense of what government and governance should be and why and how it can really get better. We remember that many of these development issues were witnessed and observed first hand during the governor’s electioneering campaign and in line with his devotion to duty and the people, their yearnings and aspirations, were reflected in the working document which is the Restoration vision being implemented till date with remarkable landmarks.

Though not a few are surprised by the level of socio-economic activities in the state right now but this is basically about the man and his convictions on what is possible when the human mind is put to it, determined to leave a lasting legacy. It is important that governance and the leadership propelling it must be above board in the service of the people with whom the leader has a covenant. It is also about integrity, doing what you promised you would do which itself is at the heart of democracy and the trust of the people in government.

And for all who took notice, who listened; the Governor was quite frank and explicit on his mission during his inaugural address when he stated that: “We shall undertake fundamental reform of the governance culture to emphasise transparency, accountability, due process and value re-orientation by all institutions and functionaries of government, beginning with my humble self. For emphasis, there shall be zero tolerance for corruption under my administration. The days of enrichment without labour and funding the greed and avarice of a few at the expense of development of our people is over. I will work hard to plug all leakages and sources of corruption, which have been the bane of our development. I will rather use our common wealth to fund the construction of good roads, education, promote tourism, generate wealth and develop agriculture than fund corruption and greed.” These are now testimonials on his stewardship, on the Restoration Government. The specific words in this quote have all been translated into concrete action, which are major attractions across the state.

Security retooled
Starting with security overhaul which made it possible for other achievements to take place, this government has demonstrated, without doubt, that it is one imbued with sense of service, a genuine leadership which has impacted greatly on the lives of our people. We can’t forget in a hurry that prior to this era, the security situation in Bayelsa State was actually a very dire one which virtually destroyed socio-economic life and created a negative image for the state. But all that are now in the past as Bayelsa has been returned to peace and tranquillity. Business and economic activities are now peaking, social life regained and the land is largely healed of its vices. The effectiveness of Operation Doo-akpo has been exceedingly outstanding here, which firmly has the full support of the government.
The New Economy: Agriculture & Tourism

Like most of the critical items in the Restoration Agenda, the Bayelsa economy is running its charted course of diversification, the results are encouraging and the future is promising. It took a deep thinking to come up with the idea which was a creative response to building an economy which will rely less and less on oil but doing more in creating businesses not only to employ the multitude of young jobless people but also making money to have a pool of resources to expand the economy itself and funding other development initiatives. As we all now know, the idea to invest in agriculture and tourism was informed by the comparative advantage prevalent in the state. With arable land, good weather and government’s support, agriculture now employs a lot of people, feed the state and leading to massive export.  In the reckoning of the government, so much is being done in this regard. The cultivation of cassava and rice in particular on commercial scale, which now enjoys foreign participation, is a pointer to the possibility. Aquaculture is equally enjoying similar boost as more is being done to improve the capacity of this sector. Other related steps by government to boost business is the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) thereby opening up opportunities for the people to be engaged in business and change their lives for the better.

In the area of tourism, the Restoration Government will in the years ahead be remembered as a far-sighted administration which was ahead of its time by sheer appreciation of investment in such money spinning industry capable of changing the face of the state’s economy for good. Already so much resource has been sunk into it, developing the basic infrastructure and we can see the potential for achieving the objective of government. Along with vital institutions, the huge investments in the New Yenagoa City and the Tourism Island Project, the various golf courses and five star hotels will certainly boost our economy so much in the fullness of time and benefit the people in large measure. There will be plenty of jobs and income for the government. Even now, we have seen the possible impact of the tourism industry going by the various international concerts held in the state, aside the fact that Bayelsa has consistently hosted the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria pageant and the Africa Movie Academy Awards, attracting a global audience beneficial to our local economy. The future of tourism is fascinating to behold in Bayelsa State. More to come!
It is impossible to overlook the giant strides in the quest for industrialisation. The Restoration Government under Governor Strike Dickson has demonstrated courage and dedication in the pursuit of this important strip to a buoyant economy for Bayelsa State. Certainly, it won’t happen overnight but the serious efforts to make it happen are in motion. Setting up the Bayelsa Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC) was a strategic initiative to raise capital and build partnership for development in such big businesses as oil and gas, fertilizer, agriculture and its derivatives, shipping etc. Thinking ahead, it is interesting that the government has been following up the initiative by building relevant infrastructure to fully harness the gains of industrialisation. This is where the deep Seaport in Agge becomes key as an enable for wealth creation just as we further see the construction of several roads and bridges across the state. Besides the cargo and passenger airport at Wilberforce Island, the proposed rail project from Yenagoa to Ekeremor (110 km) up to Agge and the one from Yenagoa to Ogba, Nembe and Brass (105 km) are also of major economic importance. These would further facilitate the development of the LNG project and Brass Fertilizer investments at Brass worth about $3.3 billion. In economic terms, this is certainly significant for the progress of the state. Capital for expansion is also assured when it is realised that the investment vehicle, the BDIC, has an asset base In excess of N300 billion. Indeed, commerce and industry are gaining deserved momentum, generating income as we look forward to our anticipated maximum level of performance in the future.

Education as Highflyer
The performance in the other sectors particularly in education has also been a source of pride to our people because of the far-reaching reform in this all important sector. The inherited situation was so bad that government declared a state of emergency leading to drastic but well tailored measures to save education in the state. Today it is a new song, having overhauled the entire education system in Bayelsa State. Beginning with modern infrastructure such as classroom, furniture and laboratories, things are now normal as envisaged, designed and executed. Education is free, including books, bags and sandals for primary and secondary students; accommodation provided for teachers, education inspectors re-introduced and motivated. The Restoration Government is also concerned about the quality of education in the state and this partly informed the idea of establishing the various boarding schools in all the senatorial districts and of course, the introduction of scholarships to cater for different categories up to PhD level in top rated institutions both in Nigeria and abroad. Considering the vital position of education in development, what has been achieved in the sector in the last three years is commendable.

Other sectors like transportation, health, sports, environment, judiciary etc have also been given proper attention though in the scheme of government’s evaluation of challenging development concerns; it has been prioritising to affect the greatest number of people in the state. Thus every sector has got a fair share of attention but in relative terms.

Service Delivery
Our evaluation of the Restoration Government in its third anniversary will, however, be incomplete without looking closely at the functionality of governance which tallies with the promise by Governor Dickson at the outset to reform the structure of government to make it work more effectively and enhance service delivery. This has been accomplished as we see in the zero tolerance of all forms of corruption, maintaining a diligent action on transparency as reflected in the monthly transparency briefing and of course in the modernisation of the civil service. Productivity is now higher as against the situation in the past, rubbing off on service delivery and optimising the overall objectives of the government.

Renewing the Mandate
This is the setting today as we grapple with the ever-increasing challenges of development in spite of the monumental achievements already recorded. Government is determined to do more; all hands must remain on deck even as funding constraint is obvious. But with the Restoration Government, there will always be that ingenious and creative way to further build on the legacy.

With abundant faith and established trust of the good people of Bayelsa State, the remainder of the government’s tenure will not be devoted exclusively to politics and political campaign but to work harder in fulfilment of the vision. Though it is never a misplaced position that many have been drumming up support for his re-election ahead of next year’s gubernatorial contest in the state, Governor Seriake Dickson is taking the whole thing in his stride. As they say, when we get to the bridge, we would cross it and that sums it up.

Yet the voice of the people is the voice of God as some would prefer to situate the Countryman governor’s re-election when it is due. God himself is one who bestows power to whom He wishes. The understanding of the rousing supporters however is understandable, hinged on the established democratic belief and tradition to reward performance in office with re-election. Therefore since we operate a federal system with renewable four-year tenure subject to the approval of the people in a competitive election, Governor Seriake Dickson eminently deserves re-election because in the court of public opinion, he has done so well to affect many lives in Bayelsa State, making history. Interestingly, other schools of thought, discerning as they are, contend very strongly on the imperative of consolidation on the varied, complex, technical and hard earned economic diversification which is a good thing. All things considered, a renewed mandate beckons.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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NIGERIA: Jonathan Vows to Recover All LGs Under Boko Haram Before Elections

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Read Time:8 Minute, 43 Second

 A more confident President  Goodluck Jonathan on Friday assured the international community that the nation's armed forces would recapture territories seized by Boko Haram in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states before the general elections.

Meanwhile, less than 24 hours after the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) passed a vote of confidence on the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, the party Friday described the INEC Chairman as a liar with regard to preparedness for the elections.

Also on the same day, PDP’s Presidential Campaign Organisation (PCO) raised the alarm on an alleged plot by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to simulate attacks on some of its own leaders with a view to accusing the PDP of being responsible for the attacks.

Jonathan who spoke while hosting members of the diplomatic community in Nigeria to a cocktail party at the State House said the activities of the terrorists posed a big threat to the nation's development.

He stressed that the adjustment of the dates of the conduct of election was necessary to provide some reasonable level of security for the smooth implementation of the exercise.
The President added that the tension that followed the announcement was therefore not necessary.

He argued that the six-week shift of the election was not meant to wipe out Boko Haram as was misconstrued in some quarters but for the military to prepare well and modify the security infrastructure.

"The security people are not saying that they will wipe out Boko Haram before elections will be conducted. But there are Boko Haram-related security issues and there were other security issues that were noticed during the period of campaigns which if we don't prepare properly and modify the security architecture we normally use for elections, the country may go up in flames.

"This period will give them the opportunity to clean up the three states. If at all they cannot clean up the three states, at least two states will be recovered completely and more local governments even from the remaining state. So, that elections could be conducted even in Borno State.

"Even if we don't take over all the territories in Borno State, definitely in Adamawa and Yobe states, we will take over completely. Even in Borno State, the headquarters of Boko Haram, even if we don't take over completely, at least 70 per cent of that state will be free for elections to be conducted," the president said.
He restated that the postponement of the general election was within the law and that the handover date remained May 29th.

INEC’s readiness: Jega lied, says Mu’azu…
The National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu expressed his reservations about Jega when he granted audience to a delegation of Africa Union’s election observers led by AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Dr. Aisha Abdullahi in his office in Abuja.

Mu’azu urged INEC not to use Nigerians as guinea pigs for the Electronic Card Readers which INEC is planning to use for the elections.

According to a statement signed by his Press Secretary, Tony Amadi, the PDP national chairman stated: “The use of Electronic Management Tool (EMT) for the 2015 elections is welcome but we are not ready to be used as guinea pigs. INEC must ensure a successful test run before approving it for use. INEC management must get their sums right before introducing the measure.

“What is happening today in INEC had been highlighted in a letter we sent to his office. We anticipated so many issues, including the PVC fraud and manipulations. We said this in writing to INECWe don’t want to be unruly because if we were the opposition, we would make a lot of noise and say a lot of things.

“How does Jega who is the leader of INEC exonerate himself from disenfranchising 23 million Nigerians and telling the world that he is ready for elections? That’s why we are saying that he is not ready.

“23 million PVCs were either produced and not distributed or not produced at all. This must be highlighted and made known to the world. Your report must be very explicit to explain what had happened. He is lying. 23 million out of 68 million eligible voters or 34% as the INEC Chairman himself confirmed is unacceptable by any standard.”

The leader of the AU delegation, Dr. Abdullahi said they were impressed seeing no fighting or protests trailing the shift in poll dates, adding that it was a sign of maturity of Nigerians and the depth of democratic practice in the country.

The PDP chairman had on Thursday stated that the party had confidence in the ability of the commission led by Prof. Jega to conduct a transparent, free and fair election.

Fani-Kayode: APC Plotting to Simulate Attacks on Its Leaders…
The PDP Campaign Organisation, in a statement by its Director of Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, said: “It has been brought to our attention that a section of the APC has now perfected plans to simulate violent attacks on members of their own party and then point fingers at supporters of President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP for such attacks in order to portray us as being violent.

“As diabolical as this plan appears to be, it should come as no surprise to the Nigerian people given the antecedents of the APC.  It is their stock-in-trade and their hallmark to engage in cheap propaganda and blackmail and to indulge in the most hideous form of violence.  The recent torching of some of the branded buses of our party by the APC in Jos did not come to us as a surprise.

“Again the attacks on the convoy of our candidate, President Goodluck Jonathan, whilst he was campaigning in Katsina, Bauchi, Taraba, Adamawa and Kaduna States were all carried out by members of the APC and the supporters and disciples of General Muhammadu Buhari.

“As an example of their sheer deceit and chicanery, there is a video of the burning of our campaign buses all over social media. This video footage showed a group of hoodlums offering songs of praise to Buhari and chanting war songs whilst they indulged in a gruesome and unrestrained orgy of violence. Yet, the APC still attempted to deceive Nigerians by claiming that the burning of the buses was carried out by members of the PDP in Plateau State.

“The fact of the matter is that our party was not embroiled in any violent intra-party fracas in Plateau state. Furthermore, our party leaders and members in Plateau State have demonstrated the highest level of decorum and civility even in the face of sponsored violence in the state.

“It has now come to our knowledge that a section of the leadership of the APC is perfecting plans to sponsor a series of simulated attacks on some key members of their own party.

“Their objective is to carry out the simulated attacks and then go public by linking supporters of our candidate, President Jonathan, to such attacks.  This is an irresponsible and dangerous path to tread and we hereby serve notice to the leaders of the APC not to play with such dangerous fire.

“If they insist on doing so, their plans will backfire in a way that they cannot possibly comprehend and it will have far-reaching and tumultuous consequences for the fortunes of their party. Yet the truth is that their plan will not work. It is yet another cheap attempt at poisoning the political environment and fouling up the political space.

“We hereby alert members of the public and the security agencies to be very vigilant so as not to become objects of collateral damage whenever the APC choose to carry out their plot.”

Bring Back Our Girls Plans to Stir Discord in the Military…
Meanwhile, the PDP friday alleged that the Bring Back Our Girls group was planning to stage a demonstration at Unity Fountain, Abuja tomorrow aimed at stirring discord in the military.

A statement by Fani-Kayode reads: “Ordinarily this would have been a laudable event because all of us want the Chibok girls to be freed and brought back home. However the demonstration will not stop there. The intention of the organisers is to also call for the resignation of the Service Chiefs and it is a subtle attempt to stir up indiscipline, strife, rebellion, dissention and discord within the rank and file of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

“If they go ahead and do this, it will not only be a grave insult to the memories of those young men and women of the Nigerian Armed Forces that have sacrificed their lives and that have been martyred in the fight against terror and Boko Haram in the last three years but it will also prove the fact that the Bring Back Our Girls group has a different agenda to that which they profess.

“A call on the Service Chiefs to resign at this point in time when we are in the middle of a war and in the heat of battle is not only grossly irresponsible but it is also dangerous and it would be counter-productive. It would have been more productive for Nigeria and more helpful to the plight of the Chibok girls if the Bring Back Our Girls organisation had encouraged our Armed Forces to do an even better job than they are already doing at the war front by commending their gallant efforts and noble sacrifice and urging them to stand firm and to do more.

“We should not be throwing stones and hurling bricks at our soldiers whilst we are in the middle of a war. Worse still tomorrow's demonstration by the Bring Back Our Girls group is being wholly and completely funded by the APC and its leaders who see it as yet another opportunity to play politics with the sorry plight and terrible misfortunes of the Chibok girls and use it as an opportunity to discredit the President, the Government and the Armed Forces before the Nigerian people and the international community.”

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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NIGERIA: Is Oba of Benin in Conversation with His Ancestors?

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Read Time:2 Minute, 57 Second

 There have been speculations that the revered Oba of Benin, Omo N'Oba N'Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Erediauwa I is in conversation with his ancestors. This has brought about palpable anxiety in Edo State in the last few weeks.

However, in a swift reaction, the Traditional Council has dismissed the rumour that the Monarch has passed on, stating that it was mere speculation that had been on for over six months and lacked truth.

Were the Oba to have passed on, the Benin Traditional Council is the only body to make the announcement after three months.

The Secretary to the council, Mr. Frank Irabor, explained that it was the responsibility of the council to issue a formal statement, if such a development occurs.

Although the spokesperson did not specify whether or not the Oba was hale and hearty, he said that the inability of President Goodluck Jonathan to see the monarch when he recently visited the palace, should not give credence to his rumoured conversation with his ancestors.

Palace sources however confirmed to THISDAY last night that the 91 year old Benin Monarch had been sick for a couple of weeks now.

The source said: “You will notice that when President Goodluck Jonathan came to Benin last week on campaign and visited the palace, the monarch was not available to receive him. Jonathan was received in the palace by the Oba’s chiefs.”

Erediauwa who is in his 35th year as Oba of Benin is a strong supporter of Jonathan. He once advised the President to shun all distractions and remain focused with his transformation agenda, while endorsing him for a second term.

After a meeting with Jonathan in the Presidential Villa by a team led by the Oba’s son, Erediauwa stated that he had been following the Jonathan administration with keen interest.

“I have been praying fervently that the president would succeed and even surpass the expectations of many, bearing the distractions and disturbances in some parts of the country.” he said.

The Oba subsequently endorsed Jonathan for a second term and invited him over to Benin “in the shortest possible time for special blessings.”

This traditional ruler of the Edo people was crowned the 39th Oba of Benin and head of the traditional state of Benin, on 23 March 1979. He was formerly Prince Solomon Akenzua.

The monarch attended Government College, Ibadan (1939–1945), the then Yaba College, Lagos, before going to King's College, Cambridge to study Law and Administration. He joined the Eastern Nigeria Civil Service in 1957 as a District Officer, before joining the Federal Civil Service where he retired as Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health in 1973. For a short period he was the regional representative of Gulf Oil. In 1975, he was appointed Commissioner for Finance in the former Bendel State during the Military Administration of Major-General George Agbazika Innih.

He is the 39th Oba of the dynasty. He celebrated his 30th anniversary on the throne in 2009 amidst pomp and tradition.

The only major challenge Oba Erediauwa has faced so far during his reign was his suspension by the former military administrator of Edo State, Navy Captain Commodore Anthony Onyearugbulum, in 1998. He tried to make the chairmanship of the council of Obas in Edo State a rotational position, an action seen by many as an affront to the king of the ancient Benin Kingdom. Erediauwa resisted this which led to the dispute with the government.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

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

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Read Time:1 Minute, 34 Second

 Barely two weeks after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, declared former Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako and his son, Abdul-Aziz, wanted, operatives of the anti- graft agency Friday arrested the younger Nyako in Gombe, Gombe State.

A statement from Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC’s Head, Media and Publicity said Abdul-Aziz was immediately flown to Abuja where he is currently being grilled by a crack team of detectives who had been working on the Adamawa investigation for several months.
Abdul-Aziz, who was declared wanted by the EFCC in the case of stealing, abuse of office and money laundering, is currently telling investigators all he knows about illicit funds traced to companies where he has interest.

Specifically, Abdul-Aziz will have to explain how over N15 billion funds belonging to Adamawa State was laundered into the accounts of five companies owned by him-  Blue Opal Nigeria limited, Crust Energy Nigeria Limited, Blue Ribbon Multilinks Limited, Tower Assets Management Limited and Blue Ribbon Bureau De Change.

The funds was transferred into the accounts of the companies from Adamawa State accounts domiciled in a new generation bank by the account officer who incidentally is the manager and an in-law to ex-governor Nyako.

The manager claimed he transferred the funds through verbal instruction from the former governor for purposes which are not stated.

Investigations revealed that from 2007 to 2011 within Nyako’s tenure in office, before he was impeached in 2014, he had directed that all of the state-owned accounts domiciled in various banks be transferred to the new generation bank.

Abdul-Aziz’s company, Blue Opal, is said to own, among other investments in Nigeria, an estate in Abuja, while his father’s account officer owns several properties and investments scattered around Abuja, Yola and Kano. Former governor Nyako is still on the run.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

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

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Read Time:1 Minute, 53 Second

 Nigeria’s ambassador to the United States, Professor Ade Adefuye was on Friday summoned by the US Congress over the re-scheduling of the general elections in Nigeria that were to begin on 14th February, 2015.

The ambassador during the meeting in Washington DC debunked the impression in the international diplomatic circles that the military and the ruling party – the PDP – were working to scuttle the general elections.

Adefuye who addressed  Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and members of the House Committee on Homeland Security over the election postponement also spoke with THISDAY, stressing he was being inundated with calls since the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the re-scheduling of the general elections in Nigeria that were to begin on 14th February, 2015.

The ambassador told THISDAY: “The Embassy is pleased with the widespread interest in these elections and wishes to assure all that the elections, now re-scheduled to begin on 28th March, 2015, will proceed as planned.”

He told members of the diplomatic community that the government and people of Nigeria are committed to conducting a free, fair, credible and peaceful election, not only because of its importance to the future of democracy in Africa, but also because of “our belief in the principle of democracy and the intricate connection between democracy and development.”

According to Adefuye, the decision to postpone the elections earlier scheduled for February 14, 2015 was based on the need to get the logistics right, the desire to get all qualified Nigerians to exercise their franchise and the need to ensure adequate security during the conduct of the elections.

“We have a National Electoral Commission (INEC) that is independent in all its ramifications. It is the body that decides the dates of the elections based on its belief that the logistics and security necessary to ensure the conduct of a credible election are in place,” he remarked.

He said INEC itself had admitted it was facing some challenges in meeting the target date of 14th February for the elections citing that with a week to the elections, only about 45,829,808 Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs), representing about 60% of the total number of registered voters had been distributed.

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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Crack In The MJTF As Nigeria, Nigerien Defence Authorities Trade Blames

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Read Time:3 Minute, 25 Second

There seem to be a crack between  Nigerian and Nigerien Defence authorities – the two key allies in the ongoing offensive against the Boko Haram Islamic sect, following verbal exchanges against each others' military capabilities at dealing with the terrorists.

It was the Nigerien Defence Minister, Mahamadou Karidjo, who was reported to have fired the first salvo by suggesting that Nigerian troops were cowards.

Karidjo had on Thursday in a seemingly derogatory and irksome comment contained in a release, described Nigerian soldiers as weaklings who run away at the sight of the terrorists.

The Defence minister while prepping up their forces, was quoted to have said; “Our soldiers are not like Nigerians…because they don’t run".
Reacting to the shocking comments, the Director of Defence Information (DDI),Maj-Gen. Chris Olukolade,  Friday through his twitter account, vigorously defended the roles of the Nigerian military in the counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations.
Olukolade said that the Nigerian Soldiers remained undaunted despite attacks and insults.

According to him, the soldiers had been maximising the use of available resources  to keep at bay the terrorists who keep flooding in from around the Lake Chad Basin region comprising Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroun.

He indirectly accused the northern neighbours of subtle invasion and sabotage, saying; "our troops have with due decency and professionalism respected borders  unlike others reputed for looting, mercenary engagement/collaboration with terrorists as a way of surviving the poverty in their country.

His words: "Our soldiers have remained professional and sacrificial in protecting their fellow Nigerians, preserving the nation's assets. Despite these jeerings, insults and ill wishes from within or without Nigeria, the Nigerian Soldier has not and will not be deterred.
Speaking further, Olukolade assured that despite the obvious internal and external sabotage, the military will soon secure victory against the terrorists and restore the country's territorial integrity.

"He remains the gallant, brave and patriotic Nigerian Soldier. Although these battles continue, and others are now joining him, never mind very soon, it will be #VictoryforNigeria.

The Nigerian Military remains a great asset and the envy of other Nations", he said.
Not done with the annoying Nigeriens, he continued: "Welcome our friends from Niger. No way for your infamous looting here. How the poor country compensates it's soldiers and claim they don't run

Olukolade also come short of directly fingering the West African neighbour and active member of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) of supplying both bases, men and resources to the Boko Haram terrorists attacking Nigeria.
"Our soldiers have been defending our people and nations wealth from mercenaries supplied to Boko Haram by those who boast that they don't run.

"The Nigerien Defence Ministry's irresponsible comment is noted. It is sad a few partisan elements join the Poor Country to insult our Troops", he said.

"We don't cross our boundaries. It is unacceptable for any Foreign Government to say our Soldiers run. This is your Motherland! Defend Her.

"Some rushed to the press with the Nigerien gaffe hoping to embarrass our military or government. But nobody will disrespect my Mother. Poor Niger! Treacherous ones amongst us accorded them effrontery to insult our troops to gain bad press. Don't compromise your Patriotism", he charged Nigerians.

It could be recalled that Nigeria has suspicious of the roles and intentions of the three neighbouring countries of Chad, Cameroun and Niger in the war against terror.

Prior to the ongoing arrangement that encompasses joint offensive by the troops of these countries to rout the terrorists from their contiguous borders, Nigerian military had always viewed their participation with skepticism.

Accordingly, their lack of cooperation and willingness to aid Nigerian counter-terrorism efforts had been attributed to ineffectiveness of the MNJTF arrangement necessitating the current African Union initiative.

However, the verbal exchanges have helped to bring to the fore the simmering cold-war between Nigeria and her francophone unfriendly neighbours.

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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