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Posts tagged ‘Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi’

Help Wanted: Nigerian President For 2015 – By Bayo Oluwasanmi.


By Bayo Oluwasanmi

The race for the presidency is shaping up. In the right-place-right-time theory of politics, the moment matters. It’s scary to visualize what the political landscape will look like in 2015. For sure, there will be events that will try our souls between now and then.

With the disappearing act of President Goodluck Jonathan, Nigerians are looking for the next strongest leader to take over. Nigerians are fed up with the leadership of Mr. Jonathan. In the absence of a leader, Nigerians are like sheep without a shepherd and we yearn for a leader. Like any other group of people, we focus on our immediate needs, we struggle with delayed gratification, we feel insecure and begin to worry without abundant signs of hope, and we always ask: what has the leader done for us lately?

Leadership, like life, is the sum total of the decisions we make. Every decision has consequences. The president decides how he’ll respond to issues, decides on the size of the budget, decides on whom to hire, and decides what values and priorities are worth fighting for, and most importantly, decides what will be his legacy.

It is evident that the three-year presidency of Mr. Jonathan portrays him as a leader who lacks commitment, suffers from a scattered focus, looks for excuses, forgets the big picture, go public with private thoughts, behaves inconsistently, creates poor relationships, and avoids change.

For 2015, we want a leader who will separate himself regularly from the crowd. A leader who will pursue truth over popularity, a leader who is willing to take risks, who is ready to be watched by the public even though it feels intimidating to be watched and scrutinized.

We want a leader with character, a leadership with competence – ability to get the job done and leadership that produces results. We want a leadership with conviction – a leadership that has backbone, someone who will always stand for what is right. Tomorrow’s production begins with today’s preparation. We need a leader that will solve problems because the fastest way to gain leadership is to solve problems.

The cost and expectations of leadership are high and expensive. The failure of a leadership usually results in consequences far more greater than the fall of a non-leader. We want a leader that will live at a standard higher than others. A leader that cares for the interest of the poor, who lives with integrity and keeps his word. We want a leader that manages time and the nation’s resources well.

Nigerians want a leader who is ready to listen to the people, who practices patience of silence and submission. He must be faithful and committed as a trustworthy partner of the people. We want a leader with charisma, a man who enjoys a sense of giftedness.

Example is the most important tool a leader possesses. People do what people see. We need a leader that will set example. “Example is not the main thing influencing others,” says Albert Schweitzer, “it is the only thing.”

I remember an incident of leadership by example that took place when I was in high school. Our principal – a strict disciplinarian – had warned us several times to stop dumping refuse at a particular spot near the hostel. We refused to use the new pit dug for that purpose because it was a bit far from the hostel. Over time, the refuse pit had become a dunghill. Well, one day after the morning assembly, in his characteristic style of leadership by example, our principal gave the marching order: “Follow me.” We all lined up behind him. He headed straight to the dunghill. Without a word, he bent down and with his two hands grabbed his own piece of the dirt. Without any hesitation, mumbling, or grumbling, we all snatched our share of the mess. Within few minutes, the whole mess was gone. End of story!

By now, Nigerians are sick of scheming leaders who will do anything for the sake of power. Our political history shows that our leadership revolves around Machiavellian leadership style based on amorality, deception, power, ego, and personal advantage. By contrast, the leadership style required for 2015 should be based on morality, truthfulness, servanthood, humility, and meeting the needs of our people. It should be a leadership based on self-giving and not self-preservation.

We need a leader who projects confidence, strength, hope, optimism, and sincerity who can always inspire Nigerians through personal power in seemingly hopeless situations. In the darkest days of the Second World War in 1940, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill addressed the parliament: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat,” he said. “We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and suffering,” he assured the Brits.

Despite Churchill’s depressing words, it was the realistic assessment of the crisis faced by Britain. Indeed, as it turned out, those words lifted the morale and ignited the fighting spirit of the British people. With defiant courage, Churchill declared: “You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.” This is the type of president Nigeria needs. We don’t need a skilled manipulator with superficial charm without the experience, ability, values, and character that make an authentic leader as president.

In a nutshell, the next president of Nigeria must be a leader with a sense of “I am eager” meaning a sense of passion and urgency about reaching Nigerians and meeting their needs, a sense of “I am obligated” that is, a feeling that he cannot do anything else vocationally, and a sense of “I am not ashamed” by way of conviction to do what others may think illogical.

So, let the race begin!

byolu@aol.com

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

Nigerian Police Look Away As PDP Flouts Directive Banning Gatherings At Airports – PREMIUM TIMES.


 

By Nnenna Ibeh

Three months after the Nigeria police banned ‘political, socio-cultural, or religious gatherings’ within and around all Nigerian airports, the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, violated the directive, while the police looked away.

The ruling party flouted the directive on February 1 when hundreds of its members gathered to welcome its new National Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, on his first official return to Bauchi State after he emerged the party’s chairman.

Mr. Mu’azu, a two-term governor of Bauchi, was appointed PDP chairman on January 20.

The airport carnival

When the party chairman decided to visit his state, he was accompanied by another PDP leader and Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed. Mr. Mohammed, a former senator, is a governorship aspirant in Bauchi.

The leader of the delegation that received the two PDP heavyweights at the Bauchi Airport was Governor Isa Yuguda, also a member of the PDP.

It was a carnival-like atmosphere at the airport as Mr. Yuguda, different dance troops, mascots, praise singers and people dressed in colourful uniforms – “aso-ebi” – could barely wait for the plane to land. There was also a massive banner bearing the pictures of President Goodluck Jonathan and Messrs Mu’azu and Yuguda. The airport was beautifully decorated with fabrics made in PDP colours (red, white and green).

Mr. Yuguda, leading hundreds of people who waved their party flags and posters of the politicians, danced towards the plane as Mr. Mu’azu joyfully strolled down the airplane waving both hands to the party faithfuls.

As shown on national TV networks, and in an exclusive video sourced by PREMIUM TIMES, the crowd surrounded the plane as they welcomed their illustrious son, who had just emerged the leader of Nigeria’s ruling party; a party that describes itself as Africa’s largest.

Mr. Mu’azu and his entourage left the airport and went to the palace of the Emir of Bauchi, Rilwanu Adamu, to seek blessings for what he expected to be a result-oriented reign as PDP chairman.

“Without the blessings of the royal father, I may not make much impact. I need your prayers and blessings to succeed in this very tasking national assignment. Bauchi is my home, and you are our farther, as such, I am in dire need of your support to succeed,” Mr. Mu’azu said.

Mr. Yuguda, who accompanied the PDP chairman to the Emir’s palace, pledged his support to the latter saying Mr. Mu’azu’s success is the success of Bauchi State and the entire North-East zone.

A Bauchi-based journalist, who accompanied Mr. Yuguda’s convoy to receive the guests at the airport, narrated the events to PREMIUM TIMES.

“We left for the airport at 11.30 a.m in the convoy of the governor, Isa Yuguda. When we got to there, the place was actually jam-packed. There were lots of dancers and praise singers, praising all (the politicians). The security there was also tight; a lot of police officers. Many youths were also there, dancing with posters of politicians that they think want to contest for governorship, like Abdul Ningi, the FCT minister, posters of Jonathan, Isa Yuguda and Mu’azu.” The journalist sought anonymity for fear of being victimized by his employers.

The Police directive

On November 6, 2013, the Nigeria Police announced the ban of all political, socio-cultural, or religious gatherings within and around the premises of all Nigerian airports.

In a statement, the spokesperson of the Nigeria Police, Frank Mba, said the ban was part of efforts towards averting any security breach and the need to protect critical infrastructure, travelers, aircrew, airport staff and personnel at the nation’s local and international airports.

“As part of deliberate efforts towards averting any security breach and the need to protect critical infrastructures, travelers, aircrew, airport staff and personnel at the nation’s local and international airports, the Nigeria Police High Command has placed a total ban on political, socio-cultural or religious gatherings within and around airport premises, including tarmacs, lounges and other sensitive security points,” Mr. Mba announced.

Mr. Mba said the decision was taken by a strategic security meeting at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, on November 5, 2013. The police also vowed that legal actions would be taken against anyone who failed to comply with the directive.

The decision by the police to ban receptions and carnivals fell on the same day security personnel at the Port Harcourt International Airport clashed with supporters of Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi.

There was confusion when security personnel barred the governor’s supporters, who besieged the airport to welcome the leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC. The APC delegation had come to invite Mr. Amaechi to join the opposition party.

Mr. Amaechi has since joined the APC and is the party’s leader in Rivers.

See no evil, hear no evil

After failing to sanction the PDP for violating its directive, the Nigerian police lied to this newspaper that the Bauchi event did not happen.

When PREMIUM TIMES contacted Mr. Mba over the matter, the police spokesperson said he was not aware of it and asked for time to enable him make enquiries.
He later told PREMIUM TIMES that the Bauchi Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Ladan, said no celebration was held at the airport.

“I just spoke with the Commissioner of Police in charge of Bauchi. The information at my disposal is that the reception that took place at the airport was within the bounds of the law,” Mr. Mba said. “What simply happened at the airport was that the governor and other politicians just came and received him and they joined the vehicle and drove off.”

The police spokesperson said he was told by the Bauchi police that no dancing and drumming took place at the airport, and that the ceremony was held at the Government House in Bauchi where Mr. Mu’azu was treated to a state reception.
This video sourced by PREMIUM TIMES has since exposed the police’s claim to be false.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Amaechi, New Rivers CP Ogunsakin Say No To Partisanship.


 

CP Ogunsakin
By SaharaReporters, New York

Newly appointed Rivers State Commissioner, Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin has promised to prosecute the state’s security affairs without bias to either the All Progressives Congress (APC), which Governor Rotimi Amaechi is a member of, or the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of President Goodluck Jonathan.

Speaking in Port Harcourt during an official visit to the governor, Ogunsakin assured that he would police the state without bias, as both the president and the governor have their respective roles in ridding the state of crimes.

“The President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces is the Chief Security Officer of the Federation while the Inspector General of Police is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the Federation”, he said.

“Also, in a state, the Executive Governor is the Chief Security Officer and the Commissioner of Police is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the State. This relationship is definitely best appreciated when it is harnessed to ensure peace and tranquillity in the state”.

Ogunsakin revealed his intention to collaborate with various communities, non-governmental organisations, and all other stakeholders. The result of this, he enthused, would be an objective, liberal, firm and non-partisan policing of the state.

“I will deploy my expertise to manage the affairs of the Rivers State Police Command in the best possible professional manner”, he assured. “I will strategically marshal a formidable operational plan that will speedily arrest the trend of all forms of criminality, particularly violent crimes in the state”.

Amaechi himself stated the readiness of the state government to cooperate with the Police in restoring law and order. But he noted that this would be impossible were the Police to support either of the two parties battling for the reins of the state in 2015.

“We are willing to cooperate with the Police to restore law and order. The only thing we need is for the Police to have the courage to restore law and order”, he said.

“The Police must do whatever it takes to restore law and order. Don’t support PDP, and don’t also support APC; just support Rivers people. Please don’t obey any illegal order from the Rivers State Government. What we want is a neutral police commissioner who is firm and [who] understands that the state needs to accommodate everybody — not one that loves to be in any of the political parties”.

Amaechi endured a rancorous relationship with former Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mbu Joseph Mubu, who was believed to be working for President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP, notoriously banning all forms of political rallies in the state and proscribing activities of such pro-Amaechi groups as the Grassroots Development Initiative, Save Rivers Movement, and the Rivers Leadership Advancement Foundation, among many other blatant use of Police apparatus to negate pro-Amaechi individuals and associations.

Again, A Case of Uncounted Billions By Okey Ndibe.


 

Okey Ndibe
Columnist:

Okey Ndibe

To a first-time visitor, much of Nigeria is likely to appear like the wreckage of a long war, what with its gutted roads, rutted infrastructure, the near-absence of electric power, and the paucity of pipe-borne water. It’s a developmental nightmare, a relic of the misshapen monuments of small-minded men and women, a patchwork of ill-conceived, abandoned projects.

Given Nigeria’s shape—or, more appropriate, its lack of shape—you’d expect a certain sense of urgency about transforming the space. You’d expect politicians and experts to focus at every opportunity on ways of creating a healthcare system worthy of human beings, revitalizing the educational sector, creating jobs for milling youths, providing basic facilities, and changing the moral tone.

Instead, what you find is a deranged obsession with a rat race whose sole goal is the primitive accumulation of riches. The country’s political leaders, who incidentally lead the rat race, seem to miss the point that the winners of such a race remain rats! Yes, a lot of them amass obscene sums of illicit wealth, but lucre merely raises their rating as ridiculous figures. The more they steal, the more they consolidate their contemptible quotient.

But Nigeria’s political “leaders” are far from the only problems. If anything, they seem to reflect a broader cultural malaise. Many Nigerians, one suspects, are hostile to the deep thinking that is a precursor to remarkable transformation. We’d much rather muck around in sectarian, ethnic and partisan baiting. Confronted with evidence of systemic collapse, many of us are content to blame Christians or Muslims, Igbo, Yoruba or Hausa, the North or South. We fail to realize that, where it counts, so-called Christian and so-called Muslim figures collaborate in schemes that impoverish the rest of us; that Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa politicians are not averse to acting together to corner looting opportunities; that men and women from the North and South work together daily to abort Nigeria’s promise.

The reportorial priorities of the Nigerian media mirror, I suggest, Nigerians’ little tolerance for substance. Despite Nigeria’s abysmal condition, it’s hard to see any serious debates in the media. It’s all about PDP this, APC that. Nobody, least of all the two parties’ top officials, can articulate what either party stands for. In lieu of any sustained presentation of ideas for making Nigeria a habitable address, both parties settle for parading personalities. What’s worse, the advertised political henchmen (and women) have pedigrees defined less by ideas than their possession of stupendous wealth.

You’d expect Nigerians to pay attention when somebody who ought to know talks about billions missing from the national treasury. But perish the thought!

Last week, Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi of the Central Bank of Nigeria appeared again before the Finance Committee of the Nigerian Senate, and spoke about huge frauds in the oil sector. Mr. Sanusi’s presentation rang with grave claims. Speaking with a directness hardly ever used by any past occupant of his seat, he accused the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) of failing to account for $20 billion from crude oil exports. According to him, the NNPC sold $67 billion worth of crude oil, but deposited only $47 billion.

He told the committee that two companies, Seven Energy and Atlantic Energy (which he said were owned by the same persons), were beneficiaries of a curious deal with the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC). The deal enabled the ostensible private investors to pocket billions of dollars that ought to belong to Nigeria, the CBN head asserted. He also spoke about “leakages from the system through opaque and complex Swap transactions between PPMC [Pipeline and Products Marketing Company] and some counter parties.” He added: “The Agreements signed by PPMC contained a troubling clause that permits the destruction of documents after one year.”

These are startling allegations, worthy of particular attention by Nigerians and their media. When I googled Mr. Sanusi’s presentation, I found that it received relatively tepid reportage in Nigerian newspapers. It was played up more by online media, especially those based outside of Nigeria.

Even if Mr. Sanusi were talking nonsense, the proper response would be for reporters versed in oil transactions to thoroughly dissect his presentation and expose his misrepresentations. Besides, President Goodluck Jonathan and his aides ought to debunk Mr. Sanusi’s allegations by providing proof that no money is missing. It’s far from an adequate response to point to the fact that the CBN governor’s figures have shifted since September, 2013. The discrepancies may point, in fact, to the complex, labyrinthine nature of the schemes used to defraud Nigerians.

The role of the media has been shameful—but let’s put it aside for now. How about labor unions, student organizations, and such professional bodies as the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), and the Nigerian Guild of Editors? What explains their astonishing silence on the matter? Is Nigeria so affluent—so awash with cash—that $20 billion don’t count?

On the Internet, some anonymous commentators fixated on the fact that Mr. Sanusi, bearer of a disquieting message, is a Muslim and a Northerner. Some accused him of awarding billions of naira worth of contracts to his cronies. Others raised issues about his personal life. Mr. Sanusi’s faith and ethnicity have nothing to do with anything here. If he illegally awarded contracts, he deserves to be called on it—and prosecuted, if he broke the law. If there are lapses in his personal life, they should concern us only if he meddled with public funds. Otherwise, it is up to the stakeholders in his personal life to hold him to account, or choose not to.

If students, lawyers and editors didn’t find the case of the missing billions worthy of a single raised eyebrow, who would blame the rest of the populace for going on, unconcerned? It was as if most of us yawned and quickened our stride to that pepper soup joint! Few, if any, bothered to contemplate all the things that $20 billion could do for Nigeria.

I can’t help contrasting the collective indifference to Mr. Sanusi’s expose with the hysteria over former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s decision to leave the PDP and enlist in the APC. Nigerian newspapers not only rushed to cover this relative non-event, they have also offered their readers numerous follow-ups.

You’d think that the answer to Nigeria’s crises of underdevelopment lie in Mr. Atiku’s choice to register with a party that has yet to spell out how it differs from the PDP, much less what answers it has for Nigeria’s worsening state.

Please follow me on twitter @ okeyndibe

(okeyndibe@gmail.com)

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Not An All-Propaganda-Congress By Sonala Olumhense.


 

Columnist:

Sonala Olumhense

As a writer who has questioned the heart of the All Progressives Congress (APC), I am pleased to notice that it is clarifying its mission and character.

On December 1, 2013, I asked the question: “Is APC Less Dangerous Than The PDP?”

At that time, five governors elected on the platform of the People Democratic Party (PDP) had just joined the APC, thereby granting the latter a vast acreage in relevance and credibility.

It is a political currency called defection, and since then, the APC has made a mint of the word, which now seems to hold the exclusive meaning of someone joining the APC from the PDP.  Somehow, a defection from the PDP is being made to sound as if it justifies itself while it demonizes the PDP.

I write this article to clarify one point: that to criticize the PDP is not to justify the APC.  Every party, especially one which claims to stand for change, must earn its credibility.

It is not news that the APC hopes to become Nigeria’s dominant political force.  There is nothing wrong with seeking to replace the PDP, produce the next President, run the National Assembly and produce a majority of the country’s governors.

All of that is legitimate; it is precisely what the PDP has done since 1999.  But the PDP progressively became richer and more insensitive to the tears of our people.

It is in those tears that the APC wishes to swim on its way to political dominance.  “Those compatriots who have lost faith in our dear country because of insufficient and corrupt leadership; count on us for we represent an Agent of change for committed, transparent and focused leadership,” it says in the preamble to its manifesto.

“As a change Agent, APC intend to cleanse our closet to halt the dangerous drift of Nigeria to a failed state; with a conscious plan for post-oil-economy in Nigeria.

“To achieve this laudable programme APC government shall restructure the country, devolve power to the units, with the best practices of federalism and eliminate unintended paralysis of the center.”

These claims market the APC pretty well.  As I observed in previous comments, however, a new party can basically place anything in its shopping basket in a bid to acquire power.  The PDP did, and for 15 years, it used every such craft and every trick to snatch power, knowing it could then do whatever it pleased.

That is how we found ourselves with the monster of impunity, corruption and bad governance to which the APC says it is an answer.

Can the APC do it?  In terms of winning political power, the party is on the ascendancy, but as we have seen, winning power is not the same thing as using it for the public good.  If Nigerians have learned anything from their recent history, it is that words are not the same as intent, or even of ability.

On this count, the APC seems to be saying to Nigerians, “Trust me.”

Only a fool would trust the APC, as currently established, to be any different, let alone better than, the PDP, which is currently collapsing on its head.

However, while the opponent’s own goal may be enough for you to win the semi-final, it is not proof that you are capable of winning the final.

Let us remember that some of the APC-ers who are currently gushing with a certain pseudo-patriotic spirit were well-known clean-up men in the PDP and other parties.

In other words, if the APC is an answer to the PDP, is the APC also an answer to the APC?  Can the APC discipline itself to serve Nigeria and not the APC?

“Democracy, to be stable and meaningful, must be anchored on the principle that government derives its powers from the consent of the governed,” APC says in its manifesto.

“This means that governments are instituted on the basis of free, fair and credible elections, and are maintained through responsiveness to public opinion. In addition, the exercise of political authority is rooted in the rule of law. APC believes in the doctrine of social contract between the leaders and the led; which means that the public office holder is a trustee of the people and that power must be used in the interest of the people rather than in the interest of the public office holder.”

It is unhelpful to argue with this analysis.  In fact, those members of the ACP who travelled in through the New PDP made a stronger case during their journey, repeatedly stressing the necessity of a “democratic temperament.”  They demanded a democracy inspired by free choice, the rule of law, transparency, and accountability.

As one of those who challenged the APC to reach for enduring an enduring platform, I am pleased to learn the party will use the Uwais Report to change the electoral law, and seek to make the Independent National and State Electoral Commissions (INEC) truly independent.

If elected, the party says it will institute an anti-corruption response through deploying the relevant agencies as strong and independent bodies. Some of us also thought the APC should institute an aggressive grassroots voter-registration scheme, which it put into play last week.

While I commend the APC for these proposals, the truth is that they do not go far enough to protect Nigerians should the party win power, and it must be clear that this is the heart of the challenge.  What happens should the APC be elected and it begins to protect its looters?

Only by the establishment of clear internal standards and mechanisms, from the beginning, can the party hope to answer this question.

While it has accepted the need to provide a code of conduct, the party says such a document will be prepared by a body that has yet to be established.

That is unacceptable because such a code is the only way to tell those who genuinely want to use the APC to shield Nigerians from the rain from those who want to use it to shield themselves.  It is the only way to guarantee the level playing field the APC has often spoken about, as opposed to a level playing field for the APC to compete with other political parties.

The battle for integrity is not the battle between political institutions, but the battle between right and wrong.  That is why it is vital for any political party which proclaims change to demonstrate that it will have even higher standards for itself than is demanded by law.  That is how desperate our situation is.

This is why, in a previous article, I called on the APC to “set clear standards, and demonstrate that those standards are higher than partisan politics and the APC itself. “

This is more important now than when the APC started out.  The party is attracting an assemblage of people who ought to sign this code, as a pledge, so they know they are really committing themselves to true patriotism.

If they do not pledge to serve the people openly, they are almost certain to serve themselves privately, and that is the standard to which the APC says it objects.

Let every top member, every official at every level and every electoral prospect sign such a pledge and be judged by history.

All those who sign should get a party button which proudly proclaims: “I SIGNED!”

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Congratulating The New Rivers State Police Commissioner By Niyi Osundare.


Compol Tunde Ogunsakin
By Niyi Osundare

Many Ikere – Ekiti sons and daughters   have greeted with a generous outpouring of congratulatory messages the just-announced posting of Mr. Ogunsakin  as Commissioner of Police to Rivers State.

That’s how it should be.

But many of these messages, in the main, have been full of hackneyed prayers and sentimental greetings. These are not enough.

Let us all wake up to the fact that Mr. Ogunsakin’s posting is not just another routine arrangement. He is being sent to a virtual battleground in a state where a costly but absolutely UNNECESSARY war has been waged for the past many months, a senseless war that has shown no signs of abating.

You don’t require a soothsayer to tell you that, from the way things are going, the fate of Nigeria’s present democracy may well depend upon how  the delicate war in Rivers State is handled. We are seeing in this state the acts of arrant stupidity, intolerance, and misuse of the so-called FEDERAL MIGHT that have been the bane of Nigeria’s several unsuccessful attempts at democracy. Once again, the monster is at our door. But as usual, we do not seem to see it.

People of our land, shine your eyes…

Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin will need all the courage, wisdom, hindsight and foresight he can muster to succeed in his new assignment. He must display a vital measure of that virtue that is in short supply in contemporary Nigeria: INTEGRITY. A healthy dose of the proverbial positive stubbornness and moral nerve that typified Ekiti character in the past will be an absolute must in the new assignment

So, compatriots, I say: mushy felicitations and ethnic back-slapping will not do for the new Rivers Commissioner of Police. He will need the benefit of our wise counsel, honest admonition, candid comments, and objective appraisal. And, yes, our goodwill too – which he cannot afford to take for granted.

So to Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin, our new Commissioner of Police to Rivers State, I say:  please be careful of the incubus called the Nigerian Factor. Never forget to think about life after power/after office. Remember the town from which you come.

May your baton be brave but kind.  May your medals shine without blinding the people. May your gun only respond to the extermination of evil. May you prove a true descendant of AJOLAGUN (the Ikere  Hero who danced through battle and emerged unscathed).

Your Compatriot,

Niyi Osundare

New Orleans,  Feb. 8, 2014.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Rivers Police Commissioner Mbu To Be Removed.


 

CP of Rivers, Joseph Mbu
By SaharaReporters, New York

Joseph Mbu, who has had a controversial career as the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, has been removed from his post, a source at police headquarters in Abuja has informed SaharaReporters. The source said the commissioner is expected to leave his post at the end of this week. However, the source added that the police hierarchy has made no public announcement of Mr. Mbu’s removal.

The removal of the police commissioner, known to be a crony of Patience Jonathan, the wife of Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan, is coming on the heels of threats by opposition party All Progressives Congress (APC) to block all legislative proposals by Mr. Jonathan until the political crisis believed to be instigated in Rivers State by the President and his wife is resolved.

A police source told SaharaReporters that, barring any last-minute interference by President Jonathan, Mr. Mbu will be sent to the National Institute for Strategic Studies (NIPSS) in Kuru, Jos as a face-saving measure.

Mr. Mbu has been accused of working to undermine Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State, a political foe to Mr. Jonathan. The controversial commissioner had often provided cover to members of the political opposition in Rivers State who have sought to cause violence in the state by attempting to hijack the state assembly in an illicit bid to impeach Mr. Amaechi.

In recent weeks, as he sensed his planned removal from Rivers State, Mr. Mbu had placed newspaper adverts in newspaper to congratulate Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police Muhammed Abubakar.

The Shape of Things To Come? Okey Ndibe.


Okey Ndibe
Columnist:

Okey Ndibe

I have had several sad conversations in the past two weeks with friends who, like me, are from Anambra State. The conversations have focused on the local government election held in the state on January 11.

One friend, who lives in Onitsha, rang me last week. He pointed to an aspect of my recent column on the possible electoral implications of political realignments in Nigeria. I had speculated that the 2015 elections “are bound to be another Nigerian-made mess, a fraud fest, a classic of rigging.”

“You’re living in the past,” this friend said in a mordant tone.

“How so?” I asked. I wondered whether he wanted to chide me for offering a dim prognosis of the 2015 elections. I have had encounters with Nigerians who imagine that elections in their country are of acceptable quality if not irreproachable.

“The fact that you’re still writing about rigging,” the friend explained, “tells me you don’t know where things stand. Nigeria has now moved past the stage of rigging. Rigging can only happen when there’s a pretense of an election. But we have found another formula that spares the ruling party the headache of having to rig. The recent local government election in Anambra introduced a new formula. Results were written everywhere before the election, and just announced. That’s the new formula.”

Another friend, from Nnewi, expressed a similar outlook. The state electoral commission had invalidated the polls in Nnewi North, the commission’s chairman, Sylvester Okonkwo, citing “a security report” made to him. But my friend insisted that a grim political purpose was at play. She accused the state electoral commission of cancelling the election because the voters of Nnewi would not abide the kind of impunity that marked, and marred, the local government election elsewhere in the state.

“The [Nnewi North] community decided not to allow any person or party to hijack their votes. That’s why the election was cancelled,” she asserted.

The results of the election as announced by the Anambra State Independent Electoral Commission were nothing short of astonishing. Of the 20 local government chairmanships where the results were announced, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) swept all. The only spot not claimed by APGA was that of Nnewi North, which was cancelled.

I’m willing to bet that the results represented a grave manipulation. The people of Anambra State are far from the monolithic APGA-ists that the so-called results suggest. There isn’t anything near the level of political homogeneity mirrored by the results in Anambra. In a credible election, there would have been a far more heterogeneous outcome, with the candidates of a variety of political parties winning in different places. So how did APGA manage its sweep?

By—I hazard—crooked means, period.

The state electoral commission, like its national counterpart, appeared to have become willing or innocent tools for electoral manipulators. The headline and content of one Nigerian newspaper told a sordid part of the story. “Anambra LG poll: Electoral officers, voters fight over result sheets,” was a headline in January 11, 2014 edition of the Punchnewspaper. According to the report, “Violence broke out in some parts of Anambra State on Saturday during the election held to elect local government chairmen and councilors. At Nkwelle, Awka South Local Government Area, ballot materials were burnt when a fight broke out because polling officers failed to produce result sheets. It was a similar story at Igwebeze Primary School, Ifite-Awka where some party agents insisted that voting would not commence unless the result sheets were made available. The Presiding Officer for the Igwebeze polling unit 2, Mr. Jude Onwubiko, however pleaded with the agents and voters to let the voting process continue, explaining that the results sheets were being brought by the supervisory presiding officer. There was also violence at Igboukwu Town Hall, Fegge, Onitsha, where some youths protested against alleged thumb-printing by members of a particular political party. All the polling units visited by our correspondent did not have results sheets.”

Therein—in the last line of the quoted report—was the crux. What was the electoral commission thinking? How could you presume to conduct an election when the sheets for recording the results were missing? Where were those sheets?

It all lends credence to what several of my contacts as well as most of the political parties have alleged: that the results were written ahead of the election, and announced after hapless voters had spent hours in a hollow, meaningless ritual.

Mr. Okonkwo, the state’s electoral commissioner who presided over this apparent sham, was quick to issue a standard, cynical response. He asked disaffected parties and candidates to take their case to court. He knows, this electoral officer, that Nigerian courts have on the whole given a poor account of themselves in adjudicating electoral cases. The odds are stacked in favor of the rigger, who all too often gets away with his/her stolen electoral goods. That explains part of the reason ruling parties act with particular impunity in elections. They figure that, given a judiciary packed with unethical judges willing to peddle influence, their electoral heists would be hard to reverse.

The deplorable “electoral” experiment in Anambra should disturb all enlightened Nigerians, not just those from Anambra. Each election cycle, Nigerian politicians, with the help of electoral officials, seem to come up with novel ways of thwarting voters’ will. Each new anti-people idea becomes contagious in Nigeria, widely copied. We ought to worry that what happened in Anambra State, an election in which the result sheet was missing in action, could become the norm for future elections elsewhere—and nationally.

Please follow me on twitter @ okeyndibe

(okeyndibe@gmail.com)

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

What Does A Nigerian Governor Do? By Prince Charles Dickson.


By Prince Charles Dickson

A Nigerian governor is Nigerian, he often than not is an indigene of the State he governs/rules/ or controls.

In rare cases, we know a state governor has actually hailed from another state, and in those cases we have kept the matter under the realm of gossip and conjectures, like one of the governors in the North whom we know originally hails from ‘agenebode’ or so in the Niger Delta.

Well, is my admonition about where governors come from? Certainly not! But let’s share this learning together in the next few paragraphs.

Now, in the case that the best man for the job is from another state, he simply is disqualified, as he is not an indigene, the only caveat is, in the case of the governor of the Central Bank, and even on that count, the man must be ethnically/regionally and religiously correct.

To the grouse then, what do these men do, what really is the job of a governor…Nigeria has 36 of them, split into the Nigeria Governors Forum (Jang faction and Rotimi Faction), PDP Governors Forum, Progressive cum Opposition Governors Forum, Northern Governors Forum, South-South Governors Forum, South East Governors Forum, South West Governors Forum, and recently I heard of the former PDP Governors Forum composed of ex-governors.

What do these men contribute to nation building or even state building.

On a personal note, these men are entitled to a four wives if Muslim, and a wife if a Christian, but scores of then keep a convent/harem of concubines, girlfriends and mistresses, at least not any has been caught ‘gaying’. In other words, as a governor in Nigeria you cannot/should not be faithful at home, by extension you owe those you govern very little and owe much to your harem/party and godfathers.

It is not so much about what these governors do, as in also what they do not do.  These governors have dozens of commissioners ranging from 30-45, they are entitled to senior special assistants/special assistants/advisers (both senior and junior)/countless aides and yes consultants on various subject matters.

This allows for governors to spend an average of 7 days only in a month at the office and in the state. The rest is spent galavanting, wedding, naming ceremony, birthday, and death-day, they attend meetings in abuja, and flex in caucus meetings of how to remove Jonathan, or how to deceive him and make more money.

Off course all these happen when they are not in Kosovo, Kabul or Khazastan seeking investors.

There is no governor in Nigeria that has in the last four years spent an average of 4 hours everyday, 15 days a month and 9 months a year in the office, taking his leave as at when due and handing over to the right person temporarily. But trust me, these ‘guys’ are working so HARD, indeed very HARD.

Have you visited a state without big billboards with one motto or the other attached to a life size photo of the governor, state mass transit buses with his picture on them, soccer clubs like Plateau United christened (the Jang Boys) which was once Dariye Boys and briefly Botmang Boys. If there’s a state similar things don’t occur, then the state has no governor, even the chief servant in the power state is top of the swagger in these art of self worship by our governors-general.

Our governors tell us how difficult the art of state governance is, and you sure would agree, contending with the opposition, with political enemies from different camps, and sure spending billions unaccounted for must be one hell of a job.

Recently I asked how much do our governors earn for all the hard work? And very few could say. No wonder everyone of them tell us how they were all millionaires before they became governors.

Millionaire state CEOs that don’t have factories yet they speak and act in millions and billions, they tell you to go and die, and if you don’t they give you N2M.

I watch people say governor X,Y,Z is doing well, and I ask where else do people praise a governor for using your money to give you utilities that are not priorities, but our beloved Nigeria.

Is there any Nigerian governor with just two cars, with kids in public schools, and less than N100M, then I will show you a lazy governor. Today in assets and cash there is no governor who is not a billionaire, and that’s 36 hardworking billionaires.

These hardworking governors spend millions on healthcare, and yet the hospitals are not good enough to check their health. In one of the progressive South West States, all of the governor’s kids are schooling in London and the governor flaunts his hardwork in the educational sector.

Have you had ‘Rochanomics’ or Kwakwasiya or Redemption, or tar ze che, the tags are countless yet all these are nothing but empty shells.

I am using these governors as guinea pigs, but it is really about our leaders, what do our councilor men/women do, how about the chairmen, legislators, how has our minister impacted our lives?

We need to start asking questions, we’re need to demand answers to issues of governance.

An old axiom speaks of not touching a blind man’s hand while eating with him…for how long our leaders will continue to touch our hands while the eat–only time will tell.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

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.

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