NIGERIA: Ihedioha and the PDP Imo Guber Ticket

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Read Time:17 Minute, 23 Second

 The  task  of  marketing Hon. Emeka  Ihedioha   to  the  Imo  State  electorate  is  a  very  easy  one  because it  is  a  classic case  of the maxim: ”A good  wine  needs  no  bush”.  As  a political product, Ihedioha  has  a powerful  unique  selling  proposition (USP) or  a  niche  which  makes   him  very  competitive to grab  a  giant  portion  of  market  share. In choosing  the  best  candidate  for  the PDP governorship  ticket, I  worked  with  a  marking  scheme  which  makes  it  possible  for  every  aspirant  to  be  given a  free and  fair   chance  in  the   race. Some  of  the  factors  used  in  picking  the  best  candidate  include  academic  qualification,  top positions  held  in  the  political  arena, party  loyalty/consistency, financial  empowerment  of  party, integrity and  dependability, interpersonal  relationship, rule  of  law/due  process, criminal  records and  others. Others include the constituency/empowerment projects, records of performance and contributions in the legislature (i.e.  for those who  are  legislators) and  others.

The  Green-capped  legislator  has  an  impressive  academic  background  as  an  alumnus  of the  prestigious  University of  Lagos where  he  bagged  a  degree  in  Food  Technology. In the area of party loyalty and dependability, Hon. Ihedioha   came out tops. Since  the  PDP  lost  the  governorship slot  in  2007 election,  he  is  one  of  the few   PDP  members  who  have  provided  much  needed  funds  and  logistics  to  keep  the  party  alive today. Even as  we  speak, he  remains  one  of  the  biggest  financiers  of  the  party. In  the  just  concluded  fund  raising of the  PDP in Imo  State,  he was  the   highest  donor  with  a  whopping  sum of  N22million. He  must  have  spent  more  than  this  amount  in  financing  the  PDP  since  2007. In the  course  of  this  analysis,  a  cross section  of  the  PDP  members I  interviewed were unanimous in  the  fact  that  Hon. Emeka Ihedioha  has  been  providing financial  assistance  to  bail  out  the  party  from  financial  distress since  the  last eight years. At  a  time  when  some  of  the  governorship  aspirants  abandoned  the  party  and   defected  to  other  political  parties  in  search  of  greener  pasture, the  like  of  Hon. Ihedioha and  several  others remained  loyal  to  the  PDP. In  keeping  with  the  maxim, “a patient  dog  eats  the  fattest  bone,” those  who  remained  loyal  to  the  party  in  times  of  distress must  be  allowed  to  eat  the  good  of  the  party. In  normal  and  saner  societies,  the  likes  of  Emeka  Ihedioha who  have  remained  faithful to  PDP   would  simply  be  given  the  governorship  ticket  by  acclamation or the  right  of  first  choice. It  is  only  in  the  PDP that  prodigal  sons   who  return to  the  family  after  a  riotous   and  profligate  living, insist  that  the loyal  siblings  must  bow  to  them. This  contrasts  sharply  with  what  happened  in  the  Bible  where  the  prodigal  son  remained  remorseful  and  penitent. He  was  just  asking  his  father  to  allow  him  a  place  where  he  would have a  roof  over  his  head, provided  he  would  eat  the  crumbs  from  the  table. The  Biblical  Prodigal son  was  neither  proud  nor  arrogant ; he showed  remorse , humility and  penitence  and  did  not  ask  to  be  restored  to  his  order  of  seniority.

In terms of lawmaking, representation and oversight functions, I  do  not  have  space  to  discuss  Hon  Emeka  Ihedioha’s  superlative  performance. But I will try to scratch the surface. He  was  first  elected  to  the  House  of  Representatives (HoR) in 2003 to  represent  Aboh Mbaise/Ngor-Okpala  Federal  Constituency. In  spite  of  the  fact  that  he  was  not  a  ranking  member,  he  served  as  the  Chairman, House  Committee on  Marine  Transport (2003-2007) and in  2007,  served as Chairman House Committee on Cooperation and  Integration in Africa. He  was  elected  Chief  Whip  of  the  House  in November 2007 where he  served  till June 2011. On June 6th, 2011,  he  was  unanimously  elected  Deputy  Speaker by  his  colleagues  in  the  House  of  Representatives. That  was  the  first  time  members  of  the  House of  Representatives elected  their  own  principal  officers  without  any  external manipulations. It  was  a  paradigm  shift  from  the  past  when   principal  officers  of  the  House  were  imposed. The  courage  of   the members  of  the  Green Chamber  House  to  elect  her  principal  officers  without  any  external  intervention  was  applauded by right  thinking  members  of  the  society. It  would  have  been  foolhardy/ naive  for Hon. Ihedioha  to  reject  such  a  high  office  which  was  given  to  him  on  a  platter  of  gold. If  he  had  chickened  out,  right  thinking  members  of  Imo State  would  have denounced  him as  a  saboteur, a fifth columnist  in  the  family. However,  any  of  us  who  does  not  understand  what  happened  then  should  be given  a  small  lecture so  that  he  can be  carried  along.

His  Chairmanship  of  the  prestigious  House  Committee  on Marine  Transport,  even  when  he  was  a  green horn/neophyte  in  the  House  is  traceable  to  the  fact  that long  before  he  joined  the HoR in 2003,  he  was  already  versed  in  the  business of politics and legislative tutelage. He  started  his  political  career  from  the  grass roots when  he  served  as  media aide  to  top  politicians  like Senate  President (1992-1993), Dr. Iyorchia Ayu,  Senate  President (1999-2000) the Late Dr.  Chuba Okadigbo, the former  Vice  President, (1999-2007), Alhaji  Atiku Abubakar and  others. Unlike  most  politicians who  have  no  personal  discipline  to  start  their  political  career  from  little  beginnings, Hon.  Ihedioha  spent  over twelve  years  learning  the  ropes  as  lawmaker  and  aide  to  top politicians  before  getting to the Reps. After  serving  twelve  years  in  the  Green  Chamber  and  rising   to the  position  of  Deputy  Speaker  and  No  6  person  in  the  Order  of  Protocol  in  Nigeria, I  doubt  if  there  can  be  a  better  choice  for   Imo  State  Governor in  the  next  political  dispensation. Having  acquitted  himself  creditably  in  the  Green  House,  the  only  place  to  go  is  the  Red  Chamber zone which  is  composed  of  the  Presidency, the  Senate  and  the Governorship. But he desires to start from the Governorship  as a  first  step  in  his  journey  to  the   Red  Chamber s.  After all, it’s  often  said  that  the  reward  for  good  work  is  more  work. A  good  study  of  Emeka  Ihedioha’s  political  strides  reveals  that  he  is  a  man  that  has  a  date  with  history  in  the  political  ambience  in Nigeria.

Hon  Emeka  Ihedioha’s  feat  in  the  area  of  constituency projects  is  both  record  shattering  and  record  setting. Unfortunately, some of his  constituents  in Aboh Mbaise/Ngor-Okpala  Federal Constituency  are  oblivious of  what  they  have  in  Hon  Ihedioha.   I  come  from  a  senatorial  zone  where  a  particular  senator  served  for  over  12 years, but, today,  there  is  no  modicum  of  constituency  project (not  even a   one – room project) that  stands  as  a  memento  to  the   period  of  his  miserable and  pathetic reign  as  senator. This  contrasts  sharply  with  Hon  Ihedioha whose  constituency  projects  are  not  only  earmarked,  they  are  also  eyemarked   in his  immediate  Federal  Constituency  and  even  across  the  various  LGAs in  Imo  State. He  has  severally  explained  in  many  fora that  constituency  projects  of  National  Assembly  (NASS)  members are federal  projects  attracted   by  legislators but  funded  by  the  federal  government;  they  are  not funded  with the  individual  legislator’s money.
In terms of empowerment and human capacity development, Hon. Ihedioha has done marvellously. In  partnership  with  the  National  Directorate  of  Employment(NDE), he  organised  an “Empowerment of Imo Women and Youths Skill Acquisition Training” for  500 beneficiaries  drawn  from  the  three zones  of  the  state. Each  of  the  beneficiaries  was  given  a  full  complement of start-up  kit  to  facilitate  effective  take-off. Another  batch  of  trainees  had  their   own  empowerment  training  at Metallurgical  Training  Institute(MTI) Onitsha .The  beneficiaries  were  drawn  from  the  three  senatorial  zones  of  the  State. They  were  also  provided  with  a  full  complement  of  kits. Another  empowerment  programme  for  the  youths drawn  from  across  the  state  took  place  at  the  Entrepreneurial  Complex  of  Federal  University  of  Technology (FUTO), Owerri. In  the  same  vein, in  collaboration  with  the  National  Root Crop Research  Institute, Umudike, Umuahia in Abia  state, he  organised  a  three  day  intensive  programme for about  700  beneficiaries  from  the 305  Electoral  wards  of  the  state. There  are  several  of  such  empowerment   programmes for  the  Women  and  Youths  and  beneficiaries  were  drawn  from  the  27 Local  Government  Areas of  the  State. The Green-Cap  lawmaker  has  also  built  federal  Skills  acquisition  centres  in   some  communities  in  his  constituency. The list here is a tip of the iceberg.

Hon. Ihedioha has also done fantastically well in terms of attracting physical infrastructure projects to his constituency and the entire Imo State. Some  of  these  projects  include the construction  of Isinweke-Onicha-Uboma road  in Ihitte-Uboma  LGA in Okigwe  zone; it’s  an NDDC project. Although Imo  state  is  not  a  coastal  zone,  he  was  able  to  use  his  position  as  Chairman, House  Committee on Maritime  Transport  to build  Wharf/Jetty at Imo  River  Okpala. In  December 2011, I was  one  of  the  pressmen  who  went  on a  facility   tour  of  his  constituency  to  verify  his  constituency  projects. I was overwhelmed at the massive projects which confronted us.  Some  of  the  projects  include  the 132 KVA and 33 KVA transformers installed  at  Mbutu  and  Nguru  communities. The  33KVA  substation  at  Mbutu was  commissioned  on  December  24th,2011  by  the  then  Minister  of Power, Professor Barth  Nnaji. According  to  the  Project  Engineer,  the  132 KVA  on  completion  would   supply  electricity to  more  than  50  communities and  decongest  the  Egbu sub – station. Through  the  Niger  Delta  Development  Commission (NDDC), he  facilitated  the project  for  the  dualisation of  the  35km interstate Owerri-Elele road. The  Deputy  Speaker  has  assured  that  adequate  funding  for  the  NDDC  project  will  be  achieved. Other projects include the 17 KM Okpala- Igwurita road linking Imo  and  Rivers  State. Also is the Chokoneze-Mbutu-Logara road, Chokoneze-Ife Road and Chokoneze-Lorji-Amuzu road. The  rehabilitation  of Sam Mbakwe  International  Cargo  Airport,  construction  of Nigeria Immigration  Service  Centre at Aboh Mbaise  Council  Headquarters. The  phase  one  of  the  Mbaise  Ring  road   was  flagged  off   in  May, 2013. The  road which  is  estimated  to  cost   about  N6.2billion  will  cut  across 25  communities  in  the  three  Local  Government Areas  of  Mbaise  nation. When completed, the road will have   a length of 59 km. It is a project of the Ministry of Niger Delta. He  has  extended  his  constituency  projects  to  Radio Nigeria, Owerri  and  Nigerian  Television  Authority (NTA) where  he  donated  computer  sets, digital  recorders,  split  air conditioners and  even  staff  buses and  various  items  of  media  ware  to  enhance  their  performance. His  constituency  projects  on capital  intensive  projects  are  too  numerous  to  be  discussed  here.

Hon  Emeka  Ihedioha  in his capacity as deputy speaker is  Chairman, House   Ad Hoc Committee on Constitution Review. On  the  18th April, 2013,  he  received  a  tumultuous  applause from  Nigerians  when he presented the  collated results of  the  People’s  Public  Sessions (PPS)  on  the  review  of  the 1999 Constitution. That  was  the  first  time  the Green Chamber  in  Nigeria  was  handling  a  task  of  such magnitude. He  parades  an  intimidating  Curriculum  Vitae(CV) which  may  not  be  fully  listed  in  the small space  available. A Knight of the Order of St. Christopher of the Anglican Communion, Ihedioha has bagged several religious awards in recognition of his contributions to the advancement of Christianity. These recognitions and honours point to a general acknowledgement of his community leadership position and religious piety.

On  the  strength  of  the  snippets  of  facts  listed  here, I am  convinced  that Hon. Emeka  Ihedioha  is  a  fit  and  proper  person  to  emerge  as  the  best  foot or  choice  of  the PDP  in  its  forthcoming  governorship  primaries. Ceteris Paribus, he  has  all it  takes  to  overwhelm  the  candidates  of  the  other  parties  in  the  Governorship  election  in February 2015. All in all, I  am  convinced  that  Hon  Emeka  Ihedioha  has  exhibited  a  stellar  performance  in  the  core  duties  of  a  legislator which  include law making, representation  and  oversight. His  performance  is  a  paradigm  shift  from  what we see  around  here since 1999.Aperson  with  such  a  strong  background  in  political  engineering   should  have  a  head  start  in  the  titanic  battle  for  Imo  Governor  in 2015.
––  Mgbe writes from Orlu, Imo State

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: Revisiting the Ekiti Narrative

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Read Time:8 Minute, 16 Second

 Two weeks ago, something happened in Ekiti State. They held the gubernatorial election. It was an election that produced a great surprise, if not a shock wave in the polity. A day to the election, my friend and brother, Abraham Ogbodo, the Editor of The Guardian on Sunday, had called me, while out of the country, to boast of how the PDP will overrun the APC in the election. I dismissed  his prediction as the noise of a neophyte.

In my naivety(?), I had written off the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Ayo Fayose, as not having the capacity to win the election.

I had reasoned that Ekiti people are sophisticated and very educated. That given their penchant for writing petitions, that they are a very critical set of people, who would all be too vexed with Fayose, who, while he governed them six years earlier, raised the tempo of violence in the state. There were many murders of political characters perceived to be opponents, by unknown persons. Fayose was being prosecuted for some of them.  I recall that under Fayose at the time, Ekiti lost its innocence. It became a near killing field with innocent bloods shed on the altar of political knackery.

In my naivety, I thought the Ekiti people will be awakened to the memory of the odious past with the candidature of Fayose.
What is more, I had believed that the Ekiti people, who too often, sound and posit themselves as social and moral puritans, would remember that Fayose was accused of embezzling N860 million from a phoney poultry project, supposedly awarded to Biological Concepts (presided over by one Gbenga James), which neither produced chickens nor eggs. I had thought they would remember that Fayose is standing trial for his allegations of corruption by the EFCC; and that they are too enlightened to elect a suspect.
I had believed that the Ekiti people are too morally straight to put a suspect on the throne.
But alas, on that Saturday, June 21, they turned all my beliefs upside down, and emphatically so. They elected the same Fayose with a rousing vote margin of 203,090 votes against Fayemi’s 120,433 votes.

And I find it curious. So what happens to the accusation of graft and murder hanging on him? Somebody said it does not matter. That he is not the first “thief” to be elected into government. He had indeed approached the court last February, much before the polls, to suspend the trial until after the election. But the court rejected the request. As it is now, the case is technically dead. If for six years, out of office, the Nigerian judiciary could not drive Fayose to justice post, it is unlikely that anything would be heard of the case again, even after his immunity expires in four or eight years’ time. That is how Nigeria rolls.
I have read tons of commentaries on how and why Fayose won the election. They say he “connects” with the people. The way the word ”connect” has resonated with Fayose seems to suggest he is an electric wire that connects power from one point to another. Perhaps he is.

A week to the election, he began to distribute 5kg bags of rice to the Ekiti electorate. Some uncharitable persons say the rice had expired. Indeed, the people formed long queues to collect the rice. It was his way of connecting. I hear he goes to roadside bukas to eat and drink with even the frail and feeble. It is his way of connecting. I hear he has the bank account details of some of his supporters to whom he gives “support” whenever they are in distress. It is his way of connecting. They say he “can ride on Okada” to go look for his supporters. They say he mingles and dangles.
I have heard them say the incumbent governor speaks too much English. That he is too urbane and classy for the  ‘rustic’ Ekiti populace. And I am unable to reconcile that. How can a people who pride themselves as the fountain of knowledge, who claim to be the headquarters of learnedness, what with having the largest number of professors in Nigeria, suddenly become uncomfortable with one of their own, who speaks English?
Away with the fixation on English. So what about Fayemi’s works? Did the connect capacity of Fayose truly discount all of Fayemi’s works?
Even the most avid supporters of Fayose declare that Fayemi worked. That he transformed the state with committed disposition to development.

It is difficult to understand the psychology of the Ekiti voters.
Here was a governor that hit the ground running. In four years, he had touched lives and raised, by several notches, the development index of the state.
I remember how he took on the existing schools, during the summer holiday of 2012: how he tore down the many dilapidated school structures, and within ten or so weeks, new elegant and modern school structures were already standing, bedecked with conducive furniture and general favourable ambience for teaching and learning.
I remember, in particular, the Corpus Christi College, Ilawe Ekiti. How several classrooms, halls, hostels, laboratories were reconstructed with a tasty finishing. All the schools in the state, that year, experienced the touch of the Fayemi magic. The communities hailed him to no end as he drove from community to community monitoring the work himself. He felt giddy.
I remember also his rebirth of the famous Ikogosi warm spring. How he had beautified the tourist settlement with lots of chalets, chapels, halls, and general aesthetics that confer on it a true tourist settlement. Already, corporate organisations were travelling from across the country to hold retreats, conferences, seminars etc at the place.

Surely, slowly but steadily, the economic potential of the state was being marketed with the development drive of  Governor Fayemi.
He had also spoken of the Samsung centre that was supposed to establish a factory in Ekiti. It was a project that held such a huge promise to the economic breakthrough of the state.
The Ekiti roads had improved, with many of them dualised, others expanded. As he drives around, he takes notice of where there are potholes, overgrown roadside bushes. His ADC, in a notepad, writes the spots, for action.
I recall how excited the small community of Ire-Ekiti was when Fayemi, in a bid to reload the industrial potential of the state, resuscitated the Red Bricks Factory, established by late Pa Michael Ajasin as Ondo State governor, but abandoned over 30 years after.
What is more, Fayemi (I think) is the only governor practising what looks like social security in his state. He pays the old people (65 years and above) a monthly stipend of N5,000 till date. How humanistic can a government be!
So the talk about Fayose sharing money to people has been properly matched by Fayemi through legislation wherein the old and the weak look forward to this stipend every month. It is such a noble policy that I thought, would endear Fayemi to the hearts of the beneficiaries and their families. But no, they wanted something else.

To boot, Fayemi, had won many awards from across board on account of what he had done in Ekiti State. He was voted Man of the Year by a couple of media houses, for the same reason.
But the good and great works of Fayemi were not enough. They could not see him through the hearts of the Ekiti people. They said that much, with loud acclaim, on June 21.
In Ekiti, we now learn that winning election is not all about performance. Something else is needed.   They call it “stomach infrastructure”, “stomachstructure”, for short. In other words, no matter how much infrastructure a government puts in place, as long as the government does not deposit money in their various pockets directly, he has not done anything. No responsible government anywhere in the world does that. Not even in a socialist state.
That direct money into their pockets is what they call stomach infrastructure.
Fayemi wanted to arm them with fishing nets, with all the groundwork of his infrastructure, so they can fish and earn a living on their own long after he had left. But Fayose knows his people will prefer to be handed over some hungry tilapia—a tablet for the moment, and not beyond. The people chose the latter. In accepting the lean tilapia, the people may have mortgaged their tomorrow, or those of their children. They will hardly have any moral ground to demand good governance from their fish-giving governor, as they have been “settled” in advance.

As Funke Egbemode, of The Sun wrote, the Ekiti people are a lucky set of folks. They had the benefit of being governed by a performer, and now the benefit of the one that connects. As they say, the Ekiti people, at the end of the day would have carried gallons of water and gallons of palm oil, they will soon discover which one is heavier.
From the various reports I have read, the poll went freely and fairly. It is beyond controversy that Fayose is the choice of the Ekiti people. It is democracy. The people have spoken. No greater voice can contrast that of the people.
Governor Fayemi said that much in his signature broadcast accepting the outcome of the election, without a fuss. He swiftly congratulated the winner and pledged to respect the wish of his people. No one can claim to be more Catholic than the Pope. We all therefore queue behind Fayemi to say as the Ekiti people have said, so shall it be. Goodluck to Fayose!

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 Gov Fashola Hearing Our Groaning?

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Read Time:2 Minute, 26 Second

 It is not for nothing medical experts, say that the average life expectancy of Nigerians is just 47 years, whereas it is as high as 80 in advanced countries. Is it that the Black man is made with “inferior parts” that ensures he/she dies young? No! It is the amount of suffering Nigerians go through.

There is no better proof of this than what is happening at the Mile2/Apapa axis of Lagos city.
Unfortunately, I am a twin victim of the suffering and gnashing of teeth associated with these two locations. While I reside in one, I work in the other. In the last two weeks, we literally go to hell and return every day, trying to go to work and return. It is impossible to sufficiently capture, with words, the amount of suffering and agony we go through driving through those centres everyday amidst threats of attacks and robbery.

The temptation is strong to conclude that government has abandoned the people to their fate. There are no alternative routes. Motorists and commuters spend hours unend trying to cross Mile 2. Most days, the traffic snarle stretches to as much as seven kilometers or more on both side, both at the top and under the bridge. The situation is further worsened by two bad spots at the Mile 2 under bridge, which had cut open. With the rains, the cuts only widen and deepen, Just as all the drains in the area have blocked causing massive flooding and worsening a bad case. In the circumstance, all motorists are forced to snail through just one lane. LASTMA officials are understandably helpless. People have resorted to trekking long distances. The other day, I spent over four solid hours crossing Mile 2. And that is only phase one.

Since the Mile 2-Tincan stretch has been seized by tankers and trailers for years now, we had resorted to driving through Ijora to access Apapa. Yet again, a portion of the road at the foot of the Iganmu bridge had cut into two, separated by a big, deep and wide gully, rendering the road impassable. Desperate motorists now drive on the green lawns to circumvent the bad spot, thus destroying the beauty of the greenery.
And as if all that is not enough, the agony of finally entering Apapa is beyond description. All the tankers and trailers in the country, it seems, have also taken over this route, thus making other motorists go grey using the roads. I have been spending between six and seven hours everyday going to work. And we are groaning breathlessly.

Could Fashola please pour gravel, as an immediate solution, on these terrible spots as soon as possible.
And pray, can the movement of these trailers and tankers not be restricted to a specific time belt as is done in other countries?
Surely, the government can do something. We wait.

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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Olorunimbe Mamora: Medicine Remains My First Love Despite Foray Into Politics

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Read Time:10 Minute, 46 Second

 Senator Olorunimbe Mamora was Speaker of Lagos State Assembly before he moved to the National Assembly where he served in the upper chamber for two terms. A medical doctor by profession, Mamora had been decorated with several honours both at state and national levels by the Nigerian Medical Association. In this interview with Adedayo Adejobi, the former parliamentarian who recently turned 61, talks about life outside public office, politics, the Nigerian legislature, medical profession and the rise in insecurity as well as growing up and family

Growing up and background …
Olorunimbe Mamora was born to late Chief F.A Mamora and Deaconess Mamora.  Both who were prominent teachers, Christians and community leaders. He had his early education at the Baptist Day School, Ijebu-Ode while his secondary education was at the Ijebu-Ode Grammar School, both in Ogun State. “I spent one year at the Federal School of Science Lagos before proceeding to the University of Ife to train as a medical doctor in 1974. I graduated in 1981 as a medical doctor. Following my housemanship, at the State Hospital, Abeokuta, I was posted to Lagos for NYSC, which I completed in 1983. I then worked with May Clinics Groups as a Medical Officer for four years and thereafter, established my private medical firm, Nimbus Medical Centre.  I also served as the Company Medical Adviser to Cadbury Plc, Lagos, from 1988 till 1992. “However, my political activism started in the medical school when I was elected the financial secretary of the University of Ife Students Union in 1976. I also served as a member of the University’s student representative council along with Olusegun Mimiko and Oluwarotimi Akeredolu. On leaving school, I continued my political activism until 1999 when I was elected into the Lagos State House of Assembly under the platform of the Alliance for Democracy, representing Kosofe constituency and was subsequently elected the Speaker at the inauguration of the House.’’

Political Career…
Mamora got to the pinnacle of the legislature in Lagos State. Was it something he had always desired? ‘‘Yes, I desired it, I hoped for it and God made it possible. Right from childhood, I was fascinated about legislating. My late dad was the leader of Action Group in our local government area in Ijebu East. I knew that someday, somehow I would be part of electioneering campaign process. Though, I knew I could be part of politicking, but I did not know as at then at what level. I knew that someday, I would be in a position to serve people and my desire had been in legislative capacity. I thank God that it came to pass.’’

My first love…
For Mamora, medicine remains his first love despite his foray into politics. His late father played a key role in this: “My late dad ensured that, that vision was realised. My dad addressed me as a doctor right from my childhood days. I was named after Dr. Olorunimbe, the first Mayor of Lagos who was a medical practitioner. My name was derived from that very important personality of Lagos. My dad always encouraged me by addressing me from childhood as doctor.’’

Politics Exposes more…
‘‘When you stay within the confines of your consulting room, you’re only able to minister to scores of people or hundreds over the years. But when you leave the confines of the consulting room to become a politician; then you’re ministering to the larger society or community. So by extension, one may safely say that being in politics and conversing with a larger number of people would expose you more.’’
On leaving political office, he simply returned to his first love – medical practice. ‘‘After leaving office, the very first thing I could do was to go back to my first love which is my medical practice. I went back to practice and re-organised my hospital by giving it some kind of lift in terms of the environment and personnel. I improved the total out look to make it function better and more patient-friendly. All my years in the legislature, my hospital was running. I have doctors and nurses and other workers who are working there. I usually visit the place twice a week to give a helping hand where it is needed. Of course, I am engaged in what I enjoy doing by sharing my experience over the 12 years period with people. I am always invited to deliver papers at occasions mostly on legislative advocacy and national issues. I had been invited by Rivers State House of Assembly, Nigeria Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and others to share my experience on issues. I have also had invitation from the ECOWAS parliament when they had retreat in Ghana and so on. I have been having these invitations as a result of my exposure in the legislative. So, I have so much I am doing. Aside these, I also attend my party functions and engage in the strengthening of my party.’’
What has Mamora missed outside the Senate? ‘‘I am missing the senate family and the opportunity of further contributing my own quota to nation building within the ambit of that senate. You will recall that there is no issue of national importance or the one that concerns Lagos that you will not hear my voice, be it in law-making, representation or legitimising oversight functions. But it is okay, one cannot be there all the time.’
“As I have always said, I am a professional in politics and not a professional politician, and so my medical practice is still very relevant. Politics remains engaging, though I am still into it. In addition to that, I have been privileged to be invited as guest speaker, keynote speaker or resource person on issues, which particularly have to deal with legislature and civil development, both within and outside the shores of Nigeria.’’

Assessing present crop of lawmakers…
‘‘Well, the legislature is gradually getting to be what it ought to be. There is still a small gap in terms of what people think the legislature should be, as opposed to what the legislature stands for and what it really is. I always say that the legislature is the least developed for obvious reasons. The years of military intervention negatively affected the growth of legislature along with the two other arms of government. Because each time the military came into the scene, that arm of government was put under lock. As a result of this, the legislature has remained the most misconstrued, most mis-represented and most misunderstood arm of government.
‘‘But gradually, the legislature is beginning to assert itself because it’s beginning to let people know that it defines democracy. Yes, there is still much to be done, in terms of meeting the expectations of the people, in terms of the rules of legislation, which include representation, oversight, consensus building and lawmaking. So, in terms of these, the expectations are still high, justifiably so. Again, we seem to do more in terms of the quality of legislations at the national level. When you compare the National Assembly and the state legislature, the National Assembly is far ahead especially in terms of independence.
“Unfortunately, the legislature at the state level is not exactly what it should be. They are still tied as it were, to the apron strings of the respective governors of the state. At the state level, you still have over-bearing attitude of governors and godfathers. To a large extent, it has been difficult for legislators at the state level to really be independent as it is expected.
‘‘For instance, if you look at the last constitutional amendment, the independence of the state assembly was passed at the national level, but was rejected at the state level. That was a real disaster. It was because of the overbearing attitude of the governors.’
“ With due respect, if you still have the legislature at the state level populated by ‘yes men’, people who don’t have that independence of mind, it will be difficult to improve the quality of legislation at this level. They have been so subjugated that they cannot show that independence of mind as to query certain things in the interest of the people.

Relationship with Asiwaju…
Reacting to the speculated rift between him and former governor Bola Tinubu, Mamora said: “He is my leader. Beyond that, we are friends. I appreciate his friendship and leadership. As a matter of fact, the day I turned sixty, he was here with his wife to congratulate me. So, we get on well. There is no rift between Asiwaju Tinubu and I. They are just spurious allegations”

A voice against Boko Haram…
On the present insecurity in the country, Mamora said: “It is rather unfortunate that we have found ourselves in this kind of situation. If you look at Section 14 of the 1999 Constitution, it is clear that security and welfare shall be the primary purpose of government. What it means is that a government that cannot provide security and welfare for the people is not worth being called a government. These things did not just start one day, as the insecurity that we now suffer in the land started gradually, but we failed to nip it in the bud.
“And before our own eyes, it has become a monster now threatening to consume us all. Everybody is worried because of the effect on the polity, business and the economy. Nigeria cannot have meaningful progress under an atmosphere of panic and insecurity, as investors cannot invest. So, it is the primary responsibility of government to provide security and welfare for the people. It is the primary and not absolute responsibility of the government. So, every Nigerian also has a duty to come up with information that will help the security agencies apprehend culprits or nip their activities in the bud, as security is everybody’s business.
“Nigerians have a responsibility to come up with information that will help security agencies apprehend criminals. But to be able to achieve this, the people must have confidence in security agencies. When people are afraid and unsafe going to the security agencies to make useful reports, more so when his or her identity will be revealed, they’ll rather keep quiet.
“We need to increase our security surveillance and intelligence gathering. There is need to fund the security agencies more in terms of gadgets and security equipments. There is also need for training and re-training of security personnel, collaboration with national regional and international bodies. They all need to exchange information. We also need to look at the justice administration system. Not too long ago, the National assembly decided to take a second look at the anti-terrorism act, with a view to possibly repealing and/or amending it, because the society is dynamic and in the same manner, laws are dynamic.”

APC and 2015…
On the chances of his party winning the 2015 presidential election, he said: “Judging by the tremendous goodwill that the APC has on ground right now, if we are to go by that, I will tell you that the Peoples Democratic Party is a goner come 2015. Nigerians are happy now that they have an alternative which is the APC. The PDP-controlled Federal Government has not justified being in office for so long. The PDP has been in the seat of power in Nigeria since 1999 and the opposition party says it is not delivering the dividends of democracy to Nigerians.’’

Rebasing of the Nigerian economy and the common man…
“The recent GDP rebasing is not what is important for the common man. What is important is the quality of life. The power sector is getting worse. The roads and unemployment crisis are there. It is not about effort being made. You may be making efforts but the efforts are not just good enough for the people. It should not take eternity for Nigeria to be transformed. How does the rebasing of the economy translate into a better life for the ordinary man? You think the ordinary man on the street will be interested in knowing how the quality of his life is, in the face of unemployment, insecurity and broken down infrastructure. There is a need for government to improve the productive base of the economy with focus on agriculture. The problems of preservation and transportation, access roads to farm and then to the market, should be addressed in order for proper diversification of the economy to take effect.

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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Oputa Burial Saga: I did not mean to embarrass anybody, I am cultured—Charley Boy

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Read Time:6 Minute, 51 Second

Following last weekend’s reports that Charles Oputa (a.k.a Charly Boy) embarrassed  Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State at the funeral mass of his late father, Justice Chukwudifu Oputa. The maverick musician, in this interview, explains what informed his action, among other things:

You gave your father a befitting burial. How did it go?
Everything went fine. We give God the glory. I feel a sense of relief now. Relief, because the troubles associated with burial arrangements have been over. The stress has reduced.

I quit smoking for over five years now,  but I started smoking again about three weeks ago because I was running mental, preparing for my father’s rites of passage.

I have had this discussion with him almost a year ago when I asked him how he would want to be buried and what would be his expectations. He replied saying that ‘ I know that no matter what I tell you now, it would end up being the Charley Boy show. Even at that, I would be happy but all I would say is this: don’t spend too much money.’

This is because he was a simple man nature. My father was always worried concerning how I do things because I have never done things in small measure. I thank God for his mercies that I was ready for this, mentally and spiritually. Though I would have wished that God had given us more time, but that is the reality of life. I am happy that I am able to give my father a befitting burial.

Were you happy with the way the burial was organised?
Nothing good comes easily. I delegated duties and that was what helped me. But to a large extent, as an event organiser, I would give myself a pass mark.

Were you satisfied with the level of state and federal governments’ participation in the burial?
I set out to bury my father without expecting anything from anybody.That was why I had kept saying, after my father’s death, that we are going to be responsible for his burial rites. We  fixed the date by ourselves and I wasn’t relying on anybody for anything. But if anybody wants to be part of the burial arrangement ,there’s no problem.

But it made headlines last Saturday that you snatched the microphone from Owelle Rochas Okorocha, Governor of Imo State, at the funeral service. What informed your action?
I didn’t embarrass him. You can believe anything you read from the dailies. But I can’t go out of my way to embarrass anybody. I only insisted that I wouldn’t tolerate people with bad political breath to preside over my father’s burial rites. The corpse belonged to the Oputa family, and not the state or federal government.
Being Charley Boy, my action creates a lot of controversies. I am not a politician and I can never be one.

I don’t do things the way every other person would want to do them. My own things are bound to be a little different. Integrity is my watchword and when I give you my word, you can go to sleep. I expect same from people who deal with me. I didn’t understand why somebody would graciously choose to assist us by making a donation to the family  and thereafter, they went on air to announce it.  That  was not a gentleman action and it was what really angered me.

Secondly, three days after my father’s death, I sounded a note of warning that it won’t turn to a political thing. You know the kind of father I had, and what he stood for. I don’t want them to politicise his burial rites. After they made the donation, and I never denied that they didn’t give us money. But I was embarrassed that they were announcing it over the radio and in the pages of newspapers.

If you are doing something with the family, first of all, we are the chief mourner, as well as Governor Rochas Okorocha, but it would be proper that they confide in the family in whatever they were planning to do in respect of the buruial rites. If there is something we can bring to the table to enhance it, then it would be to the credit of the governor. But he didn’t do that and they were all shifty. We didn’t know what they were planning, they didn’t care to know what we were planning.

We learnt  Okorocha paid you a visit at your place?
How can he visit my place when he has my telephone number? He should know I don’t reside here (in the village) and I have not returned home. It’s just a phone call, ‘Charles where are you? And I would tell him where I am. After all, he’s always in Abuja. What stopped him from putting a call across to me?

If he doesn’t know how to reach me even a truck pushers have my number, how much more the governor of a state?  If  he has a desire to contact anybody, he will do so with ease. How could he embark on a  journey to a place he is not familiar with?  These are the things we are talking about.

He didn’t deem it necessary to contact the bereaved family that he was paying us a condolence visit  before embarking on the journey. And when he came, he talked to one  ‘village boy’ who claimed to be representing the family. What’s all that rubbish for?

Charly Boy and his late father, Justice Oputa

Was it what informed your action at the funeral service?
First of all, I am not a church goer. I am a Buddhist, though I was born into the Catholic doctrine. And part of my reason for not going to church is the fact that I have been to a lot of churches. For the first 20 years of my life, I was a mass servant. I was an ‘altar boy’ because my father was a disciplinarian.  If you don’t go to morning mass, you are bound to be in trouble.

I did all that for 20 years, and that’s the kind of background I was coming from. But things have changed regarding the mode of worship in most churches. They spend more time than necessary. Why should we be praying for two to three hours non-stop? I have other things to do.  At the funeral service, I was told that Mr. President’s representatives and other dignitaries have arrived my home town.

Unfortuantely, one of my legs was paining me, and that was why, if you were in church that day, I was sitting down throughout. People didn’t understand why I was sitting down. I couldn’t stand up for too long. Now, we have spent about two to three hours in the church. We couldn’t afford to give all the politicians that attended the funeral rites the opportunity to pay tribute to my late father. I felt the only person who should deliver a speech was Mr. President’s representative.

At that point, I was so stressed and tired. All I wanted was to commit my father’s remains into the mother earth. So, I insisted, as  the eldest son  of Justice Oputa, I decide how things were going to be done. At that point, I said please, no more talk, it’s too much, let one person speak so we can go and finish the business. That was what happened but you know people will misinterpret it. That is their business, not mine.

– See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2014/07/mean-embarrass-anybody-cultured-charley-boy/#sthash.VatMXff8.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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Atiku Abubakar heads APC reconciliatory Committee, Amaechi member

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Read Time:54 Second

ABUJA- AS part of moves to heal the wounds that emanated from the last membership registration exercise and congresses, the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC has set up a reconciliatory Committee.

The Committee which has former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as Chairman, with governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State as member will bring on board all aggrieved members of the party.

The setting up of the Committee as gathered also became imperative following the defeat of APC and its candidate at the June 21 Ekiti State gubernatorial election, Dr. Kayode Fayemi .

For the Committee to commence its work and come up with strategies, former  Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State met yesterday at his( Atiku) home in Asokoro, Abuja.

It would be recalled that some members of the APC were aggrieved following the membership registration and congresses where many were schemed out which has led to some members leaving the party for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP with a view to averting subsequent dumping of the party by members of the APC.

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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Stormy session as Dambatta insults South East

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Read Time:3 Minute, 37 Second

THEREwas a shouting session yesterday at the on – going National Conference following the use of foul language by a delegate from the North West geo- political zone on the South East zone.

A delegate representing the North West, Alhaji Magaji Dambatta while contributing to the report of Committee on Political Restructuring and Forms of Government, had described the South East as “so called South East.”

This did not go down well with other delegates especially those from the Southeast as his comments were immediately trailed by shouts of point of Order from the hall.

Not comfortable with the statement made by an Elder-statesman from the North and to give him a soft landing, a delegate representing Borno State, Dr. Haruna Yerima asked Dambatta to apologise against the backdrop that if the late Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sarduana of Sokoto were to be alive, he would not use such statements against another part of the country.

Following his refusal to apologise despite the intervention of Yerima, an infuriated Gen. Ike Nwachukwu, a delegate on the platform of Elder Statesmen drew the chairman, Justice Idris Kutigi’s attention to the action of Dambatta.

Nwachukwu who reminded the delegates of his sacrifices during the civil war demanded an apology from Dambatta for referring to the Southeast in a derogatory  manner, adding that Alhaji Dambata had during his contribution to the debate  referred to the South East as the ‘so called’.

According to Ike Nwachukwu, it was wrong to address  a group of people with such derogatory remarks and that he should be asked to apologize.

Soon after Nwachukwu finished, Dambatta stood up and rather than apologise, said, “The comment where I said the ‘so called South East’ it is the same way I will refer to North West zone. In the context of my argument, I was talking about the creation of states and that no where in our constitution were geo-political zones mentioned.

“Also, there is nowhere in the recommendation of the Committee where zones are referred to as a tier of government, they are not recognized by the constitution therefore they are not constitutionally valid, that was my point.” “Secondly, when I was making my argument, it was not against the creation of additional state in the Southeast, I was referring to selectivity of the Committee. In one breadth, they said one State should be created by a fiat. And in another they said others should be on merit.

“All I am saying is that all states to be created should  be on merit, including the one being recommended.

“To Dr Haruna, who regretted that I made that statement, I want to state that I am a nationalist, I was in the vanguard of nationalism since 1951. I am sure there is no one in this hall, except perhaps Richard Akinjide that was a nationalist then, not even Edwin Clark.

“I was in the field for the fight for our independence. I am not a parochial person, I am a nationalist, I respect every person in Nigeria. I stand by word that all the provisions in the constitution there was no reference to the zones as a tier of government, it is not valid, that was my point.” Delegates who did not wait for him to round of resumed the shout of no! no!!

To this end the chairman of the conference, Justice Idris Kutigi then asked the delegate to withdraw his offending statement so that proceeding would continue.

Magagi stood and instead of apologising tried to defend his position but was shouted down by other delegates who insisted the he should formally withdraw his statement. On reaslising that he was alone, the embattled Dambatta stood up again and apologised to Southeast delegates, saying that he was sorry for using the derogatory language.

He said, “Because of my disposition and my standing in this country and the service I rendered for the development of this country, I did not mean any offense with my remarks. “If anybody is offended I did not mean it and I apologise to them or him. I did not mean to offend anyone. In that regards, I apologise to those who feel offended.”

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 Federal Govt cuts down on fuel imports

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Read Time:1 Minute, 41 Second

The Federal   Government has reduced the number of companies licensed to import gasoline in the third quarter to 27 from 40 in the previous three months, lists corroborated by regional industry sources have showed.

According to Reuters, the 27 companies were allocated gasoline import rights by Nigeria’s downstream regulator Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Authority (PPPRA), the lists showed.

These companies are expected to import around 1.7 million tonnes for third quarter, down from 1.85 million tonnes in the second quarter.

Though market sources expect some winners will be unable to import owing to financing obstacles – some are still waiting for a backlog of subsidy payments owed by the government following the 2012 subsidy fraud investigation, which unearthed billions of dollars worth of fake claims.

Nigeria imports gasoline through two state-owned authorities – PPPRA and the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company, PPMC.

The PPPRA allocations vary quarter-on-quarter while the PPMC typically brings in about 1.4 million tonnes per quarter through crude-for-product swap agreements with traders, market sources said.

Total Nigerian gasoline imports are expected to be close to 3.1 million tonnes.     The country is chronically short of oil products, particularly gasoline, due to a long period of under-investment in its domestic refineries.

MRS Oil Nigeria was absent from the list, after being included in the second quarter, but some return winners were Oando, Total, Conoil, Folawiyo Oil and Gas, Forte Oil, Techno Oil, NIPCO and Masters Energy.

Mobil Nigeria PLC, ExxonMobil’s local arm, was listed among the winners with larger volumes as well as Aiteo.

Allocation sizes vary from 30,000 tonnes up to 120,000 tonnes.

Accordingly, the names of companies licensed to import gasoline for July to September 2014 by PPPRA are: A-Z, Aiteo, Avidor, BSR, Bovas, Conoil, Cybernetics, Folawiyo, Forte Oil,Gulf Treasures, Hyde, Integrated, Matrix, Mettle, NIPCO, Oando, Rainoil, Sahara, Shorelink, Total, TSL, Mobil, Ascon, Hudson, Dee Jones, Techno and  Masters.

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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What Keshi got wrong in Brazil – Amaju

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Read Time:9 Minute, 34 Second

Chairman of the Delta State Sports Commission, Pinnich Amaju tells JOHN EGBOKHAN in this interview that Nigeria would have had a better outing at the World Cup in Brazil if Coach Stephen Keshi had worked with a team of technical experts working in the backroom.

The 2014 World Cup has entered the quarterfinal stage , with no African team featuring amongst the eight surviving teams in the tournament. African champions, the Super Eagles crashed out in the second round, leaving in its wake tales of woes for many Nigerians, who were expecting the team to do better.

What s your professional assessment of our perfoamcne at the World Cup?

I feel that we as a people should properly situate what we want to achieve in our life. I feel sad when I hear people say that we did well at the World Cup. I also feel sad to see that Nigerians are contented with just being amongst the participants in major tournaments like the World Cup.

I strongly believe that if we do the right things that we should be winning the World Cup. In 1994, after the USA World Cup, we were ranked the fifth best team in the world. We were highly regarded then but now the story has changed for the worse. And the reason for our decline is complacency. Nigerians are so complacent. We are where we are because we are not doing the right things. And doing the right things is very simple. We should also be ambitious enough to play in the semifinals of the World Cup. And our ambition should be backed with action.

Pinnich Amaju

Was the team to the World Cup in Brazil not ambitous enough?

Many factors came into play to determine the degree of ambition of the team. And to arrive at the right answer, I am looking at the facilitating factors and predisposing factors. The Nigeria Football Federation gave the team all that they requiired to have a succesful World Cup. Six top friendly matches were organsied, camping was top-notch, all the monies due the players were promptly and fully paid to ensure that the team focussed on the task of excelling in Brazil. The only money that was not paid was the FIFA appearance fee, which normally comes out from FIFA some four months after the end of the tournament.

So I was shocked when reports of players agitating for their share of the FIFA appearcne fee came out. Conventional wisdom would dictate that when there is agitation in a team, one should also look at the top in determining who is behind what. It is also common knowledge that some persons on the technical crew knew that they would be out of job after the World Cup and aware of the bureaucracy in government, fear that their share of the appearance fee was not going to get to them when they would be out of service.

So if there is agitation in the team, the first person to point at is the coaches because when any money is paid, they also get a bigger chunk of it. I would not go further than that.

The predisposing factors are the NFF, who gave the team all the supprrt to succeed. They also provided a 200-seater aeroplane to take Nigerian officials around in Brazil to watch the Super Eagles matches. The facilitating factors are the coaches and what they bring to the team. I do not have anything against Keshi. He has done so well for Nigeria. He remains the first Nigerian to win the Nations Cup as a player and a coach. The records are there, But I feel that he should also come down from his high horse and show respect to the NFF, who are his employeer and who have done a lot to make him succeed.

We fauiled to go further in Brazil because our coaches did not adopt the scientific approach to winning matches. Football has gone beyond having a coaching crew on the bench. The trend is now to have the technical backroom staff, peopled by expert coaches, who win matches from the bench.

I give you an example. Berti Vogts was the head of the backroom of the USA team at the World Cup. The story was said in Brazil that during the match against Ghana, that when the Ghanaians equalised, that Klinsmann, who is the coach of the USA team, quickly sent a message to Vogts to analyse the last five minutes of the match. Vogts responded that one of the Ghanaian defenders was limping and that they should exploit his side, which the USA team did and scored the winner. Klinsmann did this because he recognises that he does not see the things that other technical experts could see from afar. And that is largely because a coach is only thinking of winning and what his players are doing. He hardly sees the defects and strong-points of his opponents. That is why nearly all the teams at the World Cup have the technical backroom staff. But Nigeria did not have that and that was because Keshi did not want it. He thought that they were going to take his job away and we all saw in Brazil that it could have been very different if we had such technical experts in the backroom, advising Keshi during match days or even before.

Another example is the injury of Ogenyi Onazi. That was not accidentral. It was a deliberate plan by the French backroom staff, whio saw Onazi as the only threat to their ambition to reach the next round. Ahmed Musa shone like a star in the first half but was taken out in the second half by the French players, who crowded him and made him ineffective. That is the work of the backroom staff . Football has gone scientific but we went to Btrazil with analogue system

I also observed during the hort stay in Braziol that we were the only team, whose players warmed up before the start of matches without the coaches around to watch and take notes. I may be wrong on this but I saw the French team warm up with their coaches watching and guiding them.

Another issue that cannot be brushed aisde is the perceived friction between Keshi and NFF. Keshi should realise that the NFF are his employers. Aminu Maigari is accessible. Green is also accessible, so I wonder where the friction is coming from. Keshi should respect the NFF and the NFF should also respect the Sports Minister. Respect is reciprocal.

Keshi has succeeded based on the support he got from the NFF. Look at the game against Ethiopia, we were 10 minutes from losing when we scored two goals. That is the case of the hand of God.

To succeed at the global stage, Keshi must come down from his high horse by building his own capacity and there are many windows to do it. There are several FIFA coaching courses and internship coruses with top European clubs.

But aside that, we need to have a technical backroom crew. Dr. John Oganwon, who was the first graduate to play for the Eagles, watched the Eagles match against Argentina with me and Fanny Amun and Shuaibu Amodu. Amun wrote a script of how Argentina would play and score their goals and it turned out that what he wrote down came to pass. I was now wondering why these guys were not helping Keshi as backroom staff but was told that Keshi said he did not want any help from any backroom staff.

People had mindset before going to the World Cup. What was Keshi’s plan at the World Cup? Was it to win the trophy? If his plans were to win the World Cup or develop our team for the future, we would have said said yes, we tried. If he wanted to win the World Cup, he would have gone with Obafemi Martins, Ikechukwu Uche and Ogbuke Obasi because they are all match winners. I watched Obasi in action for his Schalke during my trip to Germany and saw how he laid the assist that led to the first goal and scored a beautiful goal, which made me call Keshi to ask if he was watching the game and taking note of Obasi’s contributions and he said yes. But I was shocked when these guys were not included in the team to Brazil for the World Cup. Obasi was hot this season.

If Keshi wanted to develop and build for the future, he would have stuck with the team that won the Nations Cup. Players like Sunday Mba should have been taken to Brazil. How can one reconcile the fact that a player who was dropped by a club in Scotland, was taken to the World Cup. That was Reuben Gabriel. There are many things that are inexplicable. We should go beyond this notion that we have tried our best because we are blessed with talents ard should be doing better than what we did in Brazil. Keshi knows better and we demand improved results from him.

But he has come out to say that he would never coach the Super Eagles again

That is an unfortunate statement to make but it might just be good news for Nigeria. But Keshi must remember that this country has been good to him and he got so much from this country, from the corporate sponsors and business moguls and the generality of Nigerians. So for him to make such statement is just unfortunate. Even Delta State, where Keshi hails from has apprecia\ted his contributions to our sports development. The stadium in Asaba was named after him. Capacity building is key to success in sports. In Delta State, we regularly organise capacity training courses. About three weeks ago, we brough in a former assistant coach of Arsenal to Delta State to help train our coaches, referees and athletes.

And the person making these things to happen is Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, who in 2007, sent a bill to the State House of Assembly for the establishment of the Delta State Sports Commision, peopled by sports technocrats. Our orientation is just sports and that is why we are where we are in sports in the country. If we are not winning, we are dominating or amongst the top contenders. That is the legacy of the Uduaghan administration and we got this far based on capacity buildibng. Which is what we are recommending to the N|FF leadership.

In going forward, what practical steps should the NFF take?

We should start planning on hiow we would reach the final of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, not the 1918 version in Russia. And the players that won the FIFA U-1‘7 World Cup in UAE in 2013 should form the bulk of the team. NFF should through their coaches monitor them well and we should go for a new coach, preferably a foreign coach because he does not have any afinity with anyone here. And the coach must not be in the mould of the Luis van Gaal of the world. All we need is a determined, hardwotrking and career-driven coach, who will deliver on the results that we earnestly dream of.

– See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2014/07/keshi-got-wrong-brazil-amaju/#sthash.myaXa7fd.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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Soldiers go on rampage, burn, vandalise BRT buses over colleague’s death in Lagos

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Read Time:5 Minute, 23 Second

Soldiers yesterday went on rampage, grounding human and vehicular movements along Ikorodu road, Lagos, following allegations that a commercial bus belonging to the Lagos State government ran over one of them, killing him at the Palmgrove bus stop at about 9:00 am.

The soldiers alleged that a Rapid Transport Bus, BRT, vehicle killed one of their colleagues at Palmgrove,

They reportedly burnt any BRT vehicle on sight during the rampage. The soldiers barricaded both sides of the road in the process. Some persons were also injured following the ensuing rampage.

There were different accounts as to how trouble started. Some eyewitnesses told Saturday Vanguard at the scene of the mayhem that the soldier who was allegedly knocked down was on the BRT lane but however, did not die. It was alleged that the said soldier made a telephone call to his colleagues after he was knocked down and refused to listen to the pleas from those at the scene to forgive the driver of the bus.

The incident reportedly caused massive traffic leading all the way to the Berger area of Lagos- Ibadan road.

Another version of the incident, had it that the soldier with an unknown identity was riding a commercial motorcycle popularly known as okada along the BRT lane when he was crushed while another claimed the motorbike the deceased mounted was being chased by traffic officials. Driver of the bus was alleged to have abandoned the soldier, an action said to have angered his colleagues who subsequently went on rampage and allegedly attacked any BRT bus on sight.

Miss. Adeola Sehinde, an eyewitness said, “I cannot say if the soldier was dead or not. But all I saw was when he was lying on the floor.”

Sehinde further explained that the accident occurred at about 9:00 am at Palmgrove axis, towards the Anthony Village adding “the BRT bus rammed on the soldier who was riding okada with his colleague.”

It was gathered that his colleague, who was with him on the motorcycle however, mobilised other soldiers from a nearby barracks who on arrival to the scene, immediately swung into action, taking laws into their hands by vandalising BRT buses.

Other eye witnesses who spoke also said that there was pandemonium in the area when about 100 soldiers suddenly emerged and blocked the express way on both sides of the road, smashing BRT buses and causing traffic gridlock. They said that following the development, some drivers abandoned their vehicles on the road and took to their heels to avoid being killed by the soldiers, who vandalised any BRT buses on sight before setting them ablaze.

When Saturday Vanguard visited the scene, the entire road was deserted, even as only empty vehicles were abandoned on both sides of the road with their ignition keys on them. Commercial buses coming from Ojota refused to pick passengers to Yaba area as they avoided Ikorodu road to avert danger.

Some of BRT Buses put on fire by army of the killing one of them by BRT Driver at Palmgrove, bus-stop on Friday 4-7-2014, PHOTO; Kehinde Gbadamosi

However, Saturday Vanguard observed that the soldiers beat anyone that obstructed their activities. They beat drivers and passengers or anyone who moved closer to take their pictures.

Mr. Tayo Olawale said two civilians were beaten up, adding that another who took pictures of the scene with his phone was beaten mercilessly and his phone smashed on the express road.

Olawale said, “I do not know where the soldiers got sticks because they began to smash windscreen of passing vehicles with them.”

Another eyewitness, who identified herself as Mrs. Okwo said she saw five BRT buses being burnt by soldiers and described the situation as pathetic and unpleasant for the soldiers to have taken laws into their hands.
Spokesman of the Nigerian Army, Gen. Olajide Olaleye, was quoted by agency reports describing those who vandalised the BRT vehicles as “area boys,” and not Nigerian soldiers.

“It’s not true that soldier destroyed buses or set any bus on fire. What happened was that a BRT bus knocked down a soldier and killed him. As usual in Lagos, area boys gathered and a few soldiers stopped at the scene as well. The GOC has dispatched military policemen to the scene to help restore law and order.”

Fashola reacts

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state condemned the sudden attack by soldiers and other public property in the state following the death of their colleague allegedly crushed to death by one of the buses.

Reacting to the development, Fashola said: “It is really disappointing that public servants and that is what soldiers are, paid with tax payer’s money, will act in a manner that is been suggested because I am waiting for official report to let me know who play what role and what happened.

“If the action of the soldiers turns out to be true, it will be very irresponsible conduct to put it very mildly. I remember in 2006 when soldiers stormed barracks and set ablaze the Area C Police Command.

“We just managed to reconstruct the command. If buses that citizens are complaining that were not enough are set ablaze, I do not know how setting ablaze buses recompense any injury that one may have suffered. I do not know how damaging public property is the restitution for the injury that may have come.

“For now, the only thing that I can say to you is that when I get the full fact, I will address the residents, to let them know what happened and what the state action will be.

We are yet to ascertain number of buses affected- LAGBUS

Head of Operations, LAGBUS Asset Management, Mr. Tunde Disu disputed the claim that a soldier was hit by one of the buses, adding that ‘’to the best of my knowledge, somebody who was riding a motorbike rammed into the back of a broken down bus. He was in mufti so nobody can say if he was a soldier or not.’’

Disu further said that the incident involved both the blue and red buses pointing out that it was difficult to ascertain the number of those affected. ‘’We are still collating and cannot really determine the number of affected buses now,’’ he added.

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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