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Archive for January, 2014

Is this a turning point? MASSOB suspends seven administrators over Onitsha clash.


 

MASSOB

Following previous Monday’s clash between members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, (MASSOB) and traders at the Old Motor Spare Parts, Mgbuka, in the commercial city of Onitsha, seven regional administrators of the movement have been suspended by its leadership over their alleged involvement in the fracas.
The leader of MASSOB, Ralph Uwazuruike, disclosed this on Thursday after an emergency meeting where he also inaugurated a peace and reconciliatory committee to meet with the market leaders over the crisis.
Uwazuruike further regretted the recent clash between his men and traders, adding that the seven suspended regional administrators were given marching orders over their suspected complicity in the market crisis.
He also apologised to the traders over the unfortunate attack on them by some overzealous MASSOB members, adding that the peace committee led by the National Director of Information, Uchenna Madu, and a Catholic Priest will soon meet with market leaders to find a way of settling the matter.
“After our meeting, we resolved that a panel of inquiry be set up to look into the activities of MASSOB in the commercial city of Onitsha and the constant clashes with traders and security agents, and anybody that is found wanting will be dealt with and expelled from the organisation. The aim is to bring sanity in the struggle; we remained the only genuine pressure group that is championing the true cause of Ndigbo and, therefore, cannot be the same to oppress them. I have ordered for immediate suspension of seven regional administrators in Onitsha because of their roles in the constant clash,” he said.
It was gathered that the affected regional administrators are Stephen Ahaneku in charge of Onitsha South, Emmanuel Omenka, Ogbaru, Vincent Ilo, Onitsha North, Donatus Nweke, Anambra West, Osondu Okwaraeke, Anambra East, and Innocent Kalu of Oyi regions.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Jonathan begs Senators, Reps to pass 2014 budget.


APC vs PDP

President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday appealed to members of the National Assembly to expedite action on the 2014 Appropriation Bill in order to enable his administration to deliver dividends of democracy to the people.
 Jonathan made the appeal during a stakeholders’ forum of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme held inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.When the debate on the bill entered the second day in the Senate on Wednesday, some Peoples Democratic Party and All Progressives Congress senators had described the document as anti-people.They chided the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, for the way the bill was packaged and therefore called for its review.It will be recalled that the APC had last week directed its members in the National Assembly to block the passage of the bill and the screening of ministerial nominees as well as the Chief of Defence Staff and service chiefs.The CDS and the service chiefs were however cleared on Thursday by the upper arm of the National Assembly.Jonathan, who was represented at the SURE-P stakeholders forum by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, told the Chairman of the Senate Committee on SURE-P, to carry out the assignment of pleading with his colleagues on his behalf.“Let me appeal to Senator Ningi who chairs the Senate committee on SURE-P to please help urge his colleagues in the National Assembly to expedite consideration of the 2014 budget which is currently before them in order for us to continue to deliver dividends of democracy to our people,” he said.He reiterated his administration’s determination to continue to improve on the country’s infrastructural needs.While saying that the SURE-P had since its inception in 2012 become a critical unit of his administration’s transformation agenda, the President disclosed that over 190,000 youths had so far been employed in various categories.He said that the programme had also intervened massively in railway, road construction and health sectors.The Director-General of the Budget Office, Dr. Bright Okogu, put the Federal Government’s share of the SURE-P’s fund at N180bn per annum.Earlier, Governor Idris Wada of Kogi State, had thanked the Federal Government for introducing SURE-P, saying its footprints were all over the place in many parts of the country.Wada said, “In Kogi State, our first focus was on youth employment and empowerment. The first

target was school dropouts. So far, we have trained about 6,000 youths.“We started with 500 youths per quarter who were trained at the NYSC orientation camp. They were taught various types of orientation. We have also used the fund for rural roads.”The governor however appealed for an increase in the amount accruable to states under the programme.The acting Chairman of SURE-P, Gen. Martin-Luther Agwai, agreed that there were challenges in the implementation of the SURE-P’s programmes.Agwai explained that the forum was organised to review past operations to assist the programme achieve its mandate.Meanwhile, the House of Representatives on Thursday blamed its failure to debate the 2014 budget this week on the ongoing review of the 1999 Constitution.It said much of the week was devoted to voting on 19 new clauses proposed by the House to be added to the constitution.The spokesman for the House, Mr. Zakari Mohammed, said, “We said last week that the budget debate would be on this week.“There was an adjustment because we now took the constitution first; all of Thursday was used to vote on the new clauses.Mohammed dismissed speculations that tension between PDP and APC lawmakers over the control of the House leadership was responsible for their failure to debate the budget.He said, “I have heard people say we didn’t treat the budget because of disagreement between parties in the House.“No, it was the constitution that delayed it; now that we have concluded voting today(Thursday), the budget will be up next week.”The Speaker of the House, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, had during plenary announced that the debate on the general principles of the N4.6tn budget would start on Tuesday next week.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Update On The National Conference Modalities.


 

Jonathan the Igbo Man

After a few weeks of suspense, federal government on Thursday unveiled modalities for the proposed national conference. A total of 492 delegates are billed to participate in the conference that will last three months.Out of the 492, President Goodluck Jonathan is to nominate 77 across specified strata of the society while state governors are to collectively nominate 109 delegates.Following the modalities released by the secretary to the government of the federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, the socio-political group of the north, Arewa Consultative Forum(ACF), and its counterpart in the south-west, the Afenifere, both gave their stand on the national conference and it’s modalities.ACF’s spokesman, Anthony Sani, in a terse statement said he had nothing to add or subtract from it.“I have just read the statement by the federal government on the national conference, and pleased to say that I have nothing to add or subtract. I therefore pray the nominees will be our first 11 endowed with public intelligence and patriotic courage,” Sani said.On its part, the Yoruba socio-political body, Afenifere, acknowledged the template for the conference as the first of its kind to recognize the ethnic nationalities in the country.Afenifere’s spokesman Yinka Odumakin, who made the position of the group known, however, cautioned that the representations to the conference could be better handled by stakeholders.“Again, Afenifere finds it commendable that stakeholders will nominate their delegates, and not the government interfering in the process of nomination by interest groups; this is a welcome development.”But the APC said the proposed conference is just to keep Nigerians busy so people wont ask questions about the rot in the country as well as question the scandalous 2014 budget.
Interim national publicity secretary of the APC Lai Mohammed said:
“What is there that would make us change our position? Has anything happened that could make us change our position? We stand by

our position. It is a deceit, fraud and a diversionary tactic to cover up the failure of the PDP.”
Biafragalaxy.com.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Chief Edwin Clark Amaechi dramatizing Rivers crisis.


 

Edwin-Clark

The Leader of the South-South Peoples Assembly, Chief Edwin Clark has accused Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi of dramatizing the crisis in the state.
Besides, the former Federal Commissioner said it was wrong to have elevated the crisis to the national issue.
The elder statesman also said that Ijaw leaders will mediate in the crisis between Bayelsa and Rivers over oil field.
He spoke on Wednesday night at the opening of the one day expanded National Working Committee of the South South Peoples Assembly, held in Asokoro, Abuja.
He said,” the governor of River State is dramatizing the crisis in the state and he just wants support. And some distractors and opponents of this government are using the Rivers state issue to create crisis in the country. What is happening in the state is between two factions and nobody has been killed.
“We have sat here on two occasions to discuss Rivers problem. It is a shame that the problem of Rivers State has now become a national issue. It is true that Rivers is part of Nigeria, is Ogun State not also part of Nigeria? Recently, people were killed even within one party. What happened in Ekiti State where people were killed? How many people have been killed in Rivers State?
“The Senator who flew to London, it has been discovered that he was pretending, he was not shot at, he was not injured.”
While commending the people of RIvers for their unalloyed support for President Goodluck Jonathan, Clark pleaded that the President be left out of the alleged role being played by the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Joseph Mbu in the crisis.
Chief Clark, who also spoke on the crisis between Bayelsa and Rivers over oil issue, said it should not be another issue for campaign as the Ijaw leaders have decided to wade in.
He explained that “after consultations with Ijaw leaders, we have decided as leaders to takeover this matter to call the two sides together. And so I am appealing to the government of Baylesa and Rivers to handoff this problem of the oil between the states.”
Clark also wants the President to be left out of the issue, arguing that “this is not the first time there will be crisis over oil issue. There have been crisis between Akwa-Ibom and Cross River, Akwa-Ibom and Rivers and Abia and Rivers. In all these there was never a time the President’s name was mentioned. So why is it that today the President’s name is being mentioned as if he is the one causing the problem? We are taking over this issue from the government.”

Source: Radio Biafra.

National Conference Nigeria’s unity, no-go area.


 

national-conference-001

*All 492 delegates to be nominated *75% majority to approve decisions *Conference may begin late February

THE Federal Government, yesterday, declared that the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria would be the only no-go area for the planned National Conference which may be convened before the end of February.

This was disclosed by Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, while briefing newsmen in Abuja on the Federal Government’s endorsement of the recommendations of the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue which submitted its report few weeks ago.

During the briefing, Anyim was flanked by Chairman and Secretary of the Presidential Committee on National Dialogue, Senator Femi Okurounmu and Dr. Akilu Indabawa, respectively.

 

He also said the Federal Government had provided for the confab in the 2014 Appropriation Bill currently before the National Assembly.

Anyim further disclosed that a total of 492 delegates would be expected to attend the conference which is scheduled to take place in Abuja after the conclusion of nomination of delegates slated for February 20.

The SGF said that the confab which is scheduled to last for three months shall have a Chairperson and a Deputy Chairperson of “unimpeachable integrity.” He added that the exercise must be concluded before the commencement of political activities leading up to next year’s general elections.

According to Anyim: “The official name of the conversation/conference shall be “The National Conference”.
He stated that decisions at the National Conference shall be by consensus, but where it is not achievable, it shall be by 75 per cent majority.

He further stated that the National Conference shall advise the Government on the legal framework, legal procedures and options for integrating the decisions and outcomes of the confab into the Constitution and laws of the country.

Anyim disclosed that a Conference Management Secretariat shall be established to manage, administer and run the affairs of the Conference.

He also stated that nomination of delegates which shall begin immediately must be completed by all stakeholders before a date for the commencement of the confab could be fixed.
List of nominees
According to him: “The list of nominees shall be submitted either online to http://www.osgf.gov.ng or in hard copy to the Office of the Permanent Secretary (Special Duties Office), Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Federal Secretariat Complex, Phase I, 3rd Floor, Central Business District, Abuja.”

The SGF also released a list indicating the details of the proposed composition of the conference which showed that the Federal Government would nominate a minimum of 73 delegates.

A break down of this figure shows that the President shall appoint the Chairman, Deputy Chairman and Secretary of the confab. He shall also nominate 37 elder statesmen representing the 36 states of the federation and the FCT. The document further indicates that the Federal Government shall directly nominate 20 delegates, of which six shall be women.

The confab shall also have six retired judiciary nominees which would be appointed by the President. Another six nominees who shall represent outstanding youths in the country shall be appointed by the Federal Government to represent the nation’s six geo-political zones.

The list further shows that state governments and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, would nominate a total of 109 delegates to represent the nation’s Senatorial Districts. Each state in the federation would be expected to nominate three delegates while the FCT would be represented by one delegate.

The list provides that ethnic nationalities in the country, alongside socio-political and cultural groups will produce a total of 90 delegates which shall comprised 15 per geo-political zone. Nominations for delegates in this category must reflect the ethnic and religious diversity of the various geo-political zones.

The comprehensive list
The comprehensive list is as follows: Retired military and security personnel:
Military – six delegates: one from each geo-political zone; Police- six delegates, one from each zone; State Security Service and Nigerian Intelligence Agency NIA, six, one from each zone.

A total of 13 traditional rulers in all shall be delegates at the confab. Every zone shall send two traditional rulers, while one would come from FCT. Retired civil servants would nominate six delegates from the six zones.

The Nigeria Labour Movement shall be represented by a total of 24 delegates which shall comprise 12 each from the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Unions Congress, TUC.

The Organised Private Sector would be represented by eight delegates who are to be nominated by NECA, MAN, NACCIMA and NESG. Each of them shall nominate two delegates.

Nigerian youths shall also be represented by 18 delegates at the confab: Six of them shall come from the six zones; six from NANS representing the six zones while another six ” outstanding youths and role models” would represent the six zones.

Women groups in the country would be represented by a total of 24 delegates. Among the groups that would nominate delegates are NCWS-12; Market Women associations- six, reflecting the six zones. Other women groups that would send two delegates each are NAWOJ, FIDA and WINBIZ.

Political parties in the country which have members in the National Assembly would also be represented by two delegates each; they include PDP, APC, Labour Party, APGA and Accord Party.

The two major religions in the country that is Christianity and Islam are to be represented by six delegates each, while civil society groups are to be represented by 24 delegates who are expected to reflect the nation’s federal character.

Nigerians in diaspora would not be left out as eight of them would also participate in the confab as delegates. The eight delegates are to represent Nigerians in the Americas-two, Europe-two, Asia and the Middle-East, two and Africa-two.

People living with disabilities would nominate six delegates to the confab, one from each zone.
The media would also be represented by NPAN, NUJ, NGE and BON which were allotted two slots each.
Professional bodies in the country would also send 13 delegates. They include NBA, NSE and CIB. Others include NMA, NIM, NIA, ICAN, ANAN, NIPR, AAPN, NIESV and Nigeria Environmental Society. They are all expected to send one delegate each.

The various academies in the country would send a total of five delegates. They include: Academies of Science, Engineering and Education. Others are academies of letters and social sciences. Each of them would send one delegate.

Former political office holders would also be accommodated at the confab. Former governors in the country would send six delegates- from the six zones. This also applies to former Senators, former members of the House of Representatives and Association of former Speakers. Former chairmen of local government areas would also send six delegates reflecting the six zones. They would be nominated by ALGON.

It would be recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan had during his Independence Day broadcast last October, informed Nigerians that he had set up a Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue with the following composition: Senator Dr. Femi Okurounmu-Chairman; Dr. Akilu Sani Indabawa -Secretary and

Senator Khairat Abdulrazaq-Gwadabe as member.
Others included: Senator Timothy Adudu; Professor Olufunke Adeboye; Professor George A. Obiozor and Professor Ben Nwabueze, SAN, NNOM.

Also appointed into the committee were Dr. Abubakar Siddique Mohammed; Malam Bukhari Bello, MFR, mni; Mr. Tony I. Uranta; Col. Tony Nyiam (Rtd); Alhaji Dauda Birmah, OFR and Dr. Mrs. Mairo Ahmed Amshi, MFR.

In his remarks while inaugurating the Committee on October 7, 2013, President Jonathan had said it comprised of ‘Nigerians with wide experiences from various disciplines. He also described the formation of the Committee as ‘a child of necessity.’ He stated that the foundational principle that drove the composition of the Committee was to work towards convening a national conversation.

By Okey Ndiribe

Source: Radio Biafra.

Rivers released 275 suspects Boko Haram arrest sterrorists.


Boko-Haram-members-42-suspected

Two hundred and seventy-five persons among those held by the Police in Rivers State on the suspicion that they are members of the dreaded Boko Haram group, have been released.

Deputy Commissioner State Criminal Investigation Department (DC/CID), Sam Ukaula told reporters in Port Harcourt yesterday that 19 of those arrested are being held for further interrogation.

The arrest of the people travelling in buses on the Rivers –Imo border, has generated huge interest. The House of Representatives has ordered as probe into the

arrests. .

Ukaula said the 19, whose mission in Port Harcourt was not clear, include an illegal immigrant from Niger Republic. One of them, he said, had spent ammunition on him.

The police officer said the interception of the vehicles and arrest of the occupants was necessitated by information to Commissioner of Police Mbu Joseph Mbu, that a great number of the killer squads had been dispatched to cause havoc on Port Harcourt residents.

He explained that the action of the Police was meant to nip the intended trouble in the bud. He absolved the police of political connection.

Earlier reports said those arrested were 320, but Ukaula said yesterday that they were 294.

The suspects were arrested on Sunday morning at the boundary between Imo and Rivers states, in a convoy of 17 buses from Jigawa state. They were held at the state CID until they were screened and freed.

Ukaula said a team of security agencies in the state, including the Army, Police Immigration, customs and SSS assembled to screen the suspects before the 275 could be released.

He said: “It would be recalled that on Friday night of January 24, 2014, the Commissioner of Police received an alarming information that members of Boko Haram were being massively transported to Rivers state particularly, Port Harcourt from certain parts of the country for the purpose of causing havoc on innocent citizens.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Man named Israel Dike a native of Odenkume Obowo LGA of Imo State resides in Egbu Road Owerri reported to have tied his seven children to wheelbarrow, begging for buyers.


Gov-okorocha

Palpable confusion reigned in Owerri, yesterday, as a father  tied his seven children, including his triplet, to a wheel-barrow and  was heading to an unknown destination before officials of Ministry of  Women Affairs and Social Development intervened.
Vanguard investigations revealed that the 44-year-old man, Israel Dike,*  is a native of Odenkume, Obowo Local Government Aarea of Imo State, but  resides in Ugwu Ekwema, Egbu Road, Owerri.
The children’s hands were securely tied to a wheelbarrow while the man  was soliciting for buyers for the children, saying he was fed up with  his dwindling economic fortunes.
A staff of the ministry told Vanguard: “Following a tip off, a high  powered team led by the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Nma  Onyechere, quickly went and rescued the children.”
Apart from disclosing that he planned selling some of them with a view  to enabling him take proper care of others, Dike equally lamented that  Governor Rochas Okorocha put him in the mess he has found himself today.
“Owelle Okorocha is the cause of what I am passing through today. He  made me a promise in the past and has failed to redeem it till today,”  Dike said.
Speaking to newsmen at the scene, the commissioner described Dike as a “depressed man, who is mentally deranged.”
While urging Dike’s wife to go for family planning, the commissioner  equally promised that government would carefully ascertain the level of  the man’s mental problem.
Answering a question, Mrs. Onyechere said the ministry would find a way  of giving out the children to foster parents with a view to ensuring  adequate care

and their education.

BY CHIDI NKWOPARA

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