Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Why I Withdrew From The APC Bayelsa Governorship Primary

By Timi Alaibe
It is with all nostalgia that I recall the zeal, enthusiasm and hope with which thousands of Bayelsans made a statement in the direction of change in August, 2015. I can also vividly recall a mental replay of the occasion wherein a qualitative representation of the leadership of our great party, the All Progressives Congress ( APC) ushered in respected leaders and members from their then party, Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP)
That singular event has been phenomenal just as its true meaning and direction have all exuded confidence, unity of purpose, cohesion, collectivism and courage. That day undoubtedly marked the beginning of a people's journey from hopelessness and quandary as enunciated by the accidental PDP-led government in Bayelsa state to that of quality leadership that an APC government will represent.
As one of such leaders who took that historic decision, I thought of giving a further bite to my burning desire to extricate the state from abysmal leadership failure. Therefore, my aspiration to be governor after series of consultations was to rekindle our collective hope and lift the state beyond its current state of decay under the PDP. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

'We Are Not Gays!' - Mugabe Shouts At The UN General Assembly

Speaking at the 2015 United Nations  General Assembly, Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe abandoned his prepared speech to tell his listeners: We are not gays! 


"Respecting and upholding human rights is the obligation of all states, and is enshrined in the United Nations charter. Nowhere does the charter arrogate the right to some to sit in judgment over others, in carrying out this universal obligation. In that regard, we reject the politicisation of this important issue and the application of double standards to victimise those who dare think and act independently of the self-anointed prefects of our time.

"We equally reject attempts to prescribe 'new rights' that are contrary to our values, norms, traditions, and beliefs. We are not gays! Cooperation and respect for each other will advance the cause of human rights worldwide. Confrontation, vilification, and double-standards will not."





Monday, September 28, 2015

Buhari’s War On Corruption — Real Or Fake

Part I of “Buhari’s First Hundred Days—An X-Ray”

By Chinweizu
27sept2015

Introduction
Many Nigerians are puzzled by President Buhari and wonder what his #Change agenda really is. Someone has even gone as far as to say that “Most people are feeling conned, and it's only morning yet.”  Luckily,Buhari’s First Hundred Days now belong to history. So historians can begin to examine it for clues to Buhari’s actual mission and agenda as president, and how he will go about implementing it. This essay is my contribution to that effort.

























*Buhari 

It is helpful to divide his actions into two groups:
(A) those he embarked on without public pressure and, in some cases, in great haste, as if to accomplish them before Nigerians wake up to what he is up to;and
(B) those he embarked on only after public outcry and pressure.
(A) includes his napalming of Akwa Ibom villagers claiming that he was going after what he called “Oil thieves”; his sending of Boko Haram detainees to Ekwulobia prison in the Igboland; his claim that those seeking the breakup of Nigeria are crazies; his determination to limit his anti-corruption prosecutions to the Jonathan administration; his directive to make Islamic books mandatory in all secondary schools; his slowness in appointing his cabinet; his war on corruption; his pattern of lopsided appointments.
(b) includes his delay in making public his assets declaration.
Nigerians have protested against most of these.
------------------
To help those who are confused about Buhari’s agenda, this series will X-ray his First Hundred days with the aim of finding clues to his real but hidden agenda.
-----------------
This, the Part I of this x-ray series, shall examine Buhari’s War on Corruption to see why it won’t work, indeed why it will further entrench corruption and lootocracy; how it is being restricted to implement the Caliphate hidden agenda; and if it is real or fake.

Buhari’s War on Corruption
The question to be answered here is this: Is Buhari’s War on Corruption real or fake?
The first thing to note is that, as we all know, corruption is a worldwide malady. But what most people don’t know is that the Nigerian brand of corruption is peculiar in two ways. First of all, it is primarily lootocracy. Whereas corruption is the dishonest exploitation of power for personal gain—as by a clerk who hides a file until he is bribed; or a policeman who mounts a checkpoint and extorts money from bus drivers; LOOTOCRACY is the  constitutionally approved and protected looting of the public treasury by officials. It should be noted that the bribe-taking clerk or policeman is breaking a law, but the governor or president who empties the treasury into his personal bank account in not breaking any law. His constitutional immunity is a license to do so.  Secondly, because lootocracy is legal and not prosecutable in Nigeria, it’s example has promoted rampant and brazen corruption throughout the society. This makes lootocracy the fountainhead of corruption.
In his Inaugural address, Buhari listed Corruption among the enormous challenges which he promised to tackle immediately and head on:
“At home we face enormous challenges. Insecurity, pervasive corruption, . . . are the immediate concerns. We are going to tackle them head on. Nigerians will not regret that they have entrusted national responsibility to us.”

And he has also just told us that:
“corruption in our country is so endemic that it constitutes a parallel system. It is the primary reason for poor policy choices, waste and of course bare-faced theft of public resources.”
While further clarifying his administration’s commitment to the war against corruption, the President said “our fight against corruption is not just a moral battle for virtue and righteousness in our land, it is a fight for the soul and substance of our nation.”
Giving an insight into the way corruption destroys the nation, the President told the Second Plenary of the Conference that “it is the main reason why a potentially prosperous country struggles to feed itself and provide jobs for millions.”
In the same way, the President posited that “the hundreds of thousands of deaths in the infant, maternal mortality statistics, the hundreds of thousands of annual deaths from preventable diseases are traceable to the greed and corruption of a few. This is why we must see it as an existential threat, if we don’t kill it, it will kill us.”

--Corruption is cause of poverty in Nigeria –Buhari


Despite all that rhetoric, we must ask: How serious is Buhari’s war on corruption? What are the chances that it will reduce, let alone kill, corruption? What is the likelihood that it is just a foxy PR gimmick that will further entrench corruption by leaving its fountainhead, lootocracy, in place?
I must first draw attention to how a war on corruption can paradoxically obscure and protect a corruption system.

Monday, September 21, 2015

ISI To Host Chinua Achebe Symposium


FORTY YEARS AFTER
CHINUA ACHEBE AND AFRICA IN THE GLOBAL IMAGINATION

University of Massachusetts, Amherst
14-15 October 2015
On 18 February 1975, the great African writer Chinua Achebe presented a Chancellor’s Lecture at the University of Massachusetts, entitled An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.’ The lecture was subsequently published in the Massachusetts Review, and since that time it has become celebrated and iconic: a remarkable moment both in literary criticism, and in a broader cultural assessment of how Africa has been perceived and represented in the Western world. In making his case, Achebe challenged the entire framework in which works of art would be judged, and in which the discussion of Africa would be sustained.
To mark the fortieth anniversary of this epic moment, as well as the fortieth anniversary of the Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series at the University of Massachusetts, the Interdisciplinary Studies Institute will host a symposium devoted to the impact of Achebe’s lecture and its continuing legacy. In this, our aim is twofold: first, to commemorate the event itself, and its significance; and second, to bring the discussion into the present by reconsidering both Achebe’s importance, and the shape of things today in terms of the issues he raised.









Panelists and speakers include NoViolet Bulawayo, Jules, Chametzky, Johnnetta Cole, Achille Mbembe, Maaza Mengiste, Okey Ndibe, Caryl Phillips, Michael Thelwell, Esther Terry, and Chika Unigwe, among others. 
Full details of the program will be forthcoming. If you plan on attending the symposium from out of town, we urge you to make hotel accommodations as soon as possible. The UMass Visitor's Guide includes a comprehensive list of area hotels and accommodations, and can be access here

Friday, September 18, 2015

Needless Assets Declaration Drama

By Ikechukwu Amaechi 

Saturday, September 5, was exactly 100 days since Muhammadu Buhari took the oath of office as President. His four-year term has 1,461 days and 100 days are only 6.8 per cent of it.

Though it has almost become a global convention to assess the achievements of an administration, particularly in a democracy, in its first 100 days, nobody really expects any fundamental accomplishment in so short a time.

What is indisputable, however, is that 100 days is long enough to lay the foundation of an administration and sketch policy.

So, while it may be ‘morning yet on creation day’, there are certain milestones that ought to be achieved. These milestones say a lot about the preparedness of a new regime to face the challenges of governance.

For instance, in an interview in Sunday Vanguard on August 30, Professor ABC Nwosu, former Minister of Health, used former President Olusegun Obasanjo to buttress what it means to be prepared for governance.

He recalled that when “Obasanjo appointed me on May 29, 1999 [and] I went to see him that evening after his having been sworn in, he gave me two draft bills – one on the NDDC and the other on the ICPC. He had them ready before day one.

“Both institutions were new concepts but they have endured till today. This is the difference between success and failure in governance.”

It is interesting to note that rather than telling us which direction the government is headed, chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) are disclaiming the promises they made in the heat of electioneering just because of the threshold of 100 days.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

More Deaths Due To Electrocution In Nigeria Unless …











(pix:geo.tv)





By Idowu Oyebanjo
Electrocution is basically death caused by an electric shock. While this is not a favoured topic, it is important to expose the facts about the Nigerian Power System and the high potential that it possesses to cause more deaths due to electrocution in the short to medium term if things are done improperly as they are now.

One of the anti-climax of not having stable electricity for over 50 years now in Nigeria is the fact that one did not hear so much of deaths due to electric shock from electrical appliances or devices. This is mainly because there was no "light". With the recent increase in availability of gas to power stations, and the attendant availability of electricity supply, the weakness of the power system will come to the fore and more electrical safety accidents are bound to occur. 

Unfortunately, because electricity is a good servant but a bad master, the fatal results of not following electrical principles in the design, operation, maintenance and control of the power system is death by electrocution! In the last few weeks alone, we have had the death of a staff of one of the electricity companies while he was carrying out his day to day activities on a power line. But more recently, the case of Oluchi Anekwe, a 3rd year student at the University of Lagos has reinforced the calls by experts for a holistic review of the operation of the Nigerian Power System.

Gov Masari’s Eleven Billion Naira Lie

By Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye

It is more than one week now since Premium Times carried a very shocking story in which the Katsina State Governor and one of the leading lights of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Aminu Bello Masari, was accused of brazenly deploying a false claim to get his state included on the list of the 27 insolvent states that would require the federal bailout approved by President Muhammadu Buhari for the payment of arrears of salary owed to workers in those states. The governor had claimed that by the time he assumed office, workers in his state were being owed two months’ salary and due to the almost empty treasury he met on ground, he would not be able to settle the salary arrears unless he got the federal bailout.
*President Buhari and Gov Masari 

The truth, however, as discovered by Premium Times, is that Katsina State “had no business being among the group of insolvent states in need of federal bailout to pay workers salary arrears. Katsina State civil servants as well as workers in the state’s 34 local governments received their full salaries and allowances up to May when Mr. Masari became governor.”

Now, in the absence of any form of refutation from Mr. Masari’s office to such a credibility-shattering report, one can safely assume that the governor had, indeed, told that horrendous lie and that he is only deploying the weapon of silence to allow the revolting scandal to quietly go away. What should even be more worrisome now is: if Governor Masari could unleash such a bare-faced lie to deceive the federal government into giving him an N11 billion bailout, how can anyone be sure that the money would not simply disappear into a black hole and he would quickly manufacture an even bigger lie to explain away its disappearance?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Open Letter To Junaid Mohammed And The ACF (5)

Stop Warmongering to Preserve a Fraudulent Constitution:  Open Letter to Junaid Mohammed and the ACF

By Chinweizu
02sept2015

---------------
Introduction
In September 2013, as public clamor intensified for a Sovereign National Conference, SNC, to resolve Nigeria’s multitude of problems, Junaid Mohammed, a Caliphate Colonialist militant, threatened civil war to prevent an SNC that could jettison the fraudulent 1999 Constitution: ‘Supporters of SNC asking for civil war’—Junaid Mohammed http://www.punchng.com/news/supporters-of-snc-asking-for-civil-war/ .
Despite that threat, President Jonathan on October 1, 2013 announced a National Dialogue to discuss the fundamental problems undermining the corporate existence of Nigeria, a National Dialogue that would prepare the way for the National Confab that eventually took place in 2014.  
Now that the Caliphate’s political champion, Gen. Buhari, has come to entrench that fraudulent 1999 Constitution, Northern leaders have started moving publicly to block implementation of the Confab Report, [Northern leaders move to block implementation of confab report  http://sunnewsonline.com/new/northern-leaders-move-to-block-implementation-of-confab-report/]
And as part of these public moves, Junaid has resumed beating his war drum to intimidate those who reject the Caliphate-imposed, fraud-filled, corruption-promoting constitution and its master-and-slaves, development-unfriendly brand of Nigeria.
Bamboozling statements by Junaid and the ACF
I think it is in the public interest to publicly reply to Junaid Mohammed and the ACF on two recent statements they have issued to bamboozle Nigerians.
(1)   “Mohammed said, . . . if they [Biafra] had seceded, there would have been no Nigeria today. As people who acted outside the interest of Nigeria as a country, to expect compensation is a very odd logic. If the Igbo don’t like it, they can attempt secession again. If they do, they must be prepared to live with the consequences.”
--Buhari owes Igbos nothing, Junaid tells Ezeife, http://www.punchng.com/news/buhari-owes-igbos-nothing-junaid-tells-ezeife-2/
(2) “Chairman of the forum [Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF] and former Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Ibrahim Coomassie, at a news conference in Kaduna,  . .  noted that ACF had observed with serious concern the continued agitation by some Ndigbo elements for the creation of Biafra Republic out of the present Federal Republic of Nigeria.” . . .
(3)  He “described the alleged calls by MASSOB for secession, 45 years after a bitter civil war, as undemocratic.”
--ACF carpets Igbo leaders for supporting MASSOB, secession,  http://www.punchng.com/news/acf-carpets-igbo-leaders-for-supporting-massob-secession/

The Economy Under Buhari Has Remained On Rapid Fall – PDP

Press Statement
‘Pay Attention To The Economy,’ PDP Tells Buhari, APC…Urges Sustenance Of Existing Economic Projects...

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for the umpteenth time, urges the President Mohammadu Buhari-led APC administration, to pay urgent attention to the management of the nation’s economy.















*President Buhari
The party said its worry stems from the fact that the economy has remained on rapid fall since the last four months apparently due to the absence of clear-cut fiscal policy direction and an economic team to deal with the domestic and global challenges associated with a developing economy.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in a statement on Monday said “whereas the PDP is in full support of the President’s efforts in tackling corruption and insurgency, the party is however concerned about the grave economic situation we now face, as well as indices from global economic watchers, which this administration has failed to give deserving attention, despite its predictable negative impact.
The PDP said as a responsible party, it is duty-bound, beyond politics, to draw the President’s attention to the fact that under the prevailing circumstances, the nation is evidently heading to economic doldrums.
“Mr. President, this is no longer about politics and partisanship. It is about the economy of our dear nation and the wellbeing of the Nigerian citizens.
“Recall that we have severally in the past, drawn attention to official reports showing that the unemployment situation in the country as well as inflation rate are growing at frightening dimensions, not to talk of the continued decline in domestic and direct foreign investments, all due to uncertainty created by the lack of economic direction of APC-led administration.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Is Autumn Finally Here For Robert Mugabe?

Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye
Robert Mugabe, the 91-year old president of Zimbabwe – that beautiful but horribly impoverished country tucked away in the Southern part of Africa – has always managed to emerge colourful in his endless battle of wits with the West. He has over the years been able to retain the admiration and support of a sizable percentage of his people (despite the biting economic hardship in his country) and remained the toast of quite a number of African intellectuals.














*President Mugabe and wife, Grace 

Even his worst enemies would admit that he is very intelligent, well-informed and articulate. At 91, he is yet to show any convincing signs that age is eating into his well-cultivated intellect and psychological bearing. Always impeccably turned out in well-tailored suits, Mugabe remains many people’s pleasant idea of ageing gracefully and a delight to watch at press conferences or interviews.

Although, the recent decision of the European Union (EU) to relax sanctions on Mugabe’s country might represent a grudging admission by the West that, perhaps, it is gradually losing the argument over Zimbabwe , it remains a glaring fact that Mugabe presides over a very sick country. The United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP) said two weeks ago that 16% of Zimbabwe ’s population “are projected to be food insecure at the peak of the 2015-16 lean season, the period following harvest when food is especially scarce.” According to the WFP, this situation “represents a 164% increase in food insecurity compared to the previous season.”

The Zimbabwean dollar is long dead and dressed for burial – brutally murdered by hyperinflation that hit an unprecedented 500 billion per cent in 2008 according to several reports (mostly in the Western media) and 231,000,000% according to the official account. A couple of years ago, a Zambian friend showed me a 40 billion Zimbabwean dollar bill which he said could not buy a loaf of bread. Looking back now, one can even refer to that period as the finest hour for the Zimbabwean currency. In January 2009, Zimbabwe introduced a One Trillion Dollar (Z$1000 tr) note whose worth was placed at about US$30 (£20). Since then, the currency has received even more devastating battering and living in Zimbabwe , according to reports, has been one bit of a hell, with the hapless citizens being regularly referred to as poor, starving billionaires.

In June this year (2015), the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (the country’s Central Bank) intent on formally removing the worthless Zimbabwean dollars from the banking system asked the citizens to start exchanging the billions, trillions and quadrillions of the local currency in their bank accounts or hoarded at home for just a few US dollars or cents, as the case may be. In a statement in Harare , the Reserve Bank governor, John Mangudya, advised the “banking public [to] visit their banks to establish the balances which were in their accounts.” He explained that officials of the apex bank “have interacted with the banks and they still have all the information, which we as the Reserve Bank also authenticated," so, they were not envisaging any difficulties in the exchange process.   

Why Nigeria Does Not Need Renewable Energy For Main Power Generation

By Idowu Oyebanjo

Recently, there has been an increase in the agitation for the deployment of alternative sources of energy for the generation of electricity in Nigeria especially when the problem of providing stable electricity seems to be intractable. But to be frank, this is not how to solve the problem. The inclusion of alternative energy sources as part of the total mix of generation portfolio is recommended but this must remain as "back up" to electricity generation from conventional sources of energy.





















*President Buhari

There is a general tendency to follow the crowd by copying the trend in developed economies and most times this yields positive results. However, this will only be the case after a careful consideration of local circumstances. The Western world is persuading Nigeria to embrace their much needed market for Renewable Energy System not because they want to help, but because of the trade and economic benefits it will bring them in terms of the gains from the delivery of goods and services that this will bring, huge financial gains from the cost of expatriates they will export to us just like in the oil industry now taken over by their own mostly less educated professionals compared to locals, economy of raw materials in the industry they really need in their own environment, making Nigeria a dumping ground for their products among other reasons. If any country is serious about assisting Nigeria, they should provide funds and expertise to build, operate, maintain and transfer ownership of thermal plants (OCGT and CCGTs) in Nigeria within the shortest time frame possible.

There is no doubt that the capacity credit (I use a technical term here) of most of the renewable electricity systems is low compared to that of conventional generation which in simple terms means they cannot be relied upon for grid operations exactly as electricity generated from conventional energy sources such as oil, gas, coal etc. Power System is difficult to explain to non-power engineers especially those who hear about what takes place in other countries and believe Nigeria should copy them hook line and sinker without looking at local circumstances. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

LOGISS Celebrated At National Assembly’s Outstanding Schools Awards

By Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye 
AT the recent Strategic School Management and Outstanding Private Schools Merit Awards organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Education in conjunction with Family Affairs Consultancy Limited, Logos International Secondary School (LOGISS), a mission school located in Awo-Omamma, Imo State, whose motto is “Academic Excellence and Godliness of the Youth” stood out among the other honorees selected from among the countless private schools scattered across Nigeria. 














*The Director of Logos International Schools, Pastor  Bede Ogu (left), and the Principal, Pastor Precious Ahiaogu, displaying the award to LOGISS at the 
International Conference Centre, Garki, Abuja

The event which took place at the International Conference Centre, Garki, Abuja, saw the Director of Logos International Secondary Schools, Pastor Bede Ogu, singled out and invited to the podium to tell the various representatives of other private secondary schools selected for the award the story of LOGISS – how it has grown from a dream to its present enviable state.
  
Addressing the audience, Pastor Ogu traced how the journey to what is today known as LOGISS started in 1994 “with a mandate that was truly divine” which was given to the General Superintendent of the Watchman Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement (WCCRM), Pastor A.C. Ohanebo, “to start a secondary school to help to restore the quality of education in Nigeria and to bring the youths to discipline once again in the school system.”
  
 He announced that the WCCRM plans to set up at least one secondary school in every state of the federation.

  









*Pastor Bede Ogu addressing the audience

“It took off in October 1994 … [and we] have been able by the grace of God to train and send out students that have represented this nation in various nations of the world. Our students are noted for academic excellence and godly character. Indeed they have excelled and have been able to distinguish themselves in various fields in various nations. I have had the opportunity to visit them in the various nations where they have been and their testimonies have always been the same,” Pastor Oguh told the gathering which reacted with an applause.
  
Speaking on the impact made across the world by former students of LOGISS, Pastor Ogu said: “we have students in almost all the continents of the world that have graduated from our school and have had very good and wonderful recommendations from the various places. One of those institutions wrote to our school and called our students ‘legendary Nigerians’. We sent some students to India and the number one private university there turned them down saying that they had closed admissions to Nigerians (that they have blacklisted Nigerians) because of what some students from Nigeria did in that school. I was sent to go to the head of the school and insist that we are bringing a different brand of students. Eventually, they gave admissions to those students. Today the Nigerian students from us are the people they are using to advertise the school in Western nations. In fact, last year that university (SRM University) came to Nigeria for a drive for students because of what the students we sent there have represented Nigeria for.”

Saturday, September 5, 2015

A New Sheriff Is In Town

By Femi Adesina 
Some call it the Buhari bounce. Others describe it as the Buhari effect. Yet some others say it is the Buhari aura. One thing is however crystal clear. Things have not been the same in the past 100 days in Nigeria, since Muhammadu Buhari assumed the presidency. A new sheriff has truly come to town.

Exactly 100 days ago, he climbed the podium at Eagle Square in Abuja and got inaugurated as president, 30 years after he had been toppled from power as military head of state. He promised to belong to nobody, and to belong to everybody. It is a pledge that still resonates loudly today, and will surely echo for a long time to come.


















*Buhari and his wife, Aisha

On a day like this, you would expect a presidential spokesman to chronicle the achievements of his principal in office. He has turned stone to bread, slain the dragon, and climbed Mount Olympus in ten seconds. But that is not what I want to do. There are some intangible, almost imperceptible achievements, but which run very deep, and are quite fundamental. Those are the ones I’ll rather talk of, while we leave the tangibles till some other day.

Oh, he’s escaping. There are no concrete achievements, some wailing wailers would cry. True? Not true. I could have decided to focus on the bloody nose being given to Boko Haram in the North-east, which would see the country rid of insurgency soon, the rallying of leaders of other neighboring countries to deploy a Joint Multinational Task Force, the openness displayed about government finances and the welfare package instituted for states that couldn’t pay salaries, the Treasury Single Account, which would promote transparency and accountability in governance, the disappeared fuel queues, fast-tracking of the cleanup of Ogoni land, reduction in the cost of governance, and many others. But I will not focus on all those. The day cometh!

When a new sheriff comes into town, disorder gives way to order. Chaos flees. Impunity is swept away. Laxity gives way to diligence, and people change their old, unedifying ways. When you have a Wild, Wild West situation prevailing, the new sheriff comes, and stamps his authority. Old things then pass away, behold, everything becomes new.

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