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Posts tagged ‘Doyin Okupe’

Few Hours After Nigerian Government Claims It Was Winning The War Against Terrorism, Islamist Militants Boko Haram Attack Bama Again.


By SaharaReporters, New York

Few hours after an aide to President Goodluck Jonathan’s aide boasted that Nigerian military is better equipped and motivated to fight Boko Haram militants, the sect has launched another brazen attack on Bama township killing several people.

Dr. Doyin  Okupe was countering the Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, that the militant were having the upper hand in decimating towns and villages in the northeast region.

Although details are still sketchy credible military sources confirmed the attacks and that hundreds of residents are presently fleeing the town after the sect launched an attack around 3 AM. The sect had been attacking villages and towns in Borno and Adamawa states despite the state of emergency declared by President Jonathan.

Okupe had on Tuesday while disagreeing with Gov. Shettima’s outcry that Boko Haram were better armed and motivated than the Nigerian military.

After leaving a meeting with President Jonathan in Abuja yesterday, Governor Shettima spoke frankly to state house reporters dismissing the fact that the military was winning the war against Boko Haram.

A Diet Of Denials By Sonala Olumhense.



 Sonala Olumhense

President Goodluck Jonathan was in Yola last Tuesday to commission the Air Force Comprehensive Secondary School.  

Before the visit was over, new presidential controversies were ignited.  The first concerned accredited journalists who were threatened with bodily harm, and molested and thrown out of the venue.

Stunned that the reporters were questioning an instruction to leave, presidential aide, Emmanuel C. Anita, unimpressed by the clutch of reporters, explained it to them: “You people are simply not invited for this occasion; do you want me to call my men to beat you up?”

That was inside.

Outside, the streets of the Adamawa State capital went dead: businesses and streets closed by a government terrified for itself by the Boko Haram menace.  Businesses and neighborhoods, uncertain as to whether the militants or the government was the bigger menace, went on an imposed closure.  

Earlier, a spokesman for the 23rd Brigade based in Yola, had announced that all of the city’s major roads would be closed as long as Jonathan’s very important feet were on the ground.  By one published account, things got so bad that market women protested half-naked on Mohammed Mustafa Way, condemning the President for squandering public funds to inflict further economic hardship on Yola.

“I’m shocked by this kind of attitude by the soldiers,” one woman told reporters as they challenged Jonathan to resign if he did not trust those who voted him into power.  “They cannot fight Boko Haram; it is us harmless civilians that have become their target. They should face Boko Haram and leave us alone to continue with our suffering that the PDP government is inflicting on Nigerians.”

Said another, “Even during the late Gen. Sani Abacha’s dark days there was nothing like this, but in a democratic government our President we laboured for to win an election is today denying us our daily bread.”

But Mr. Jonathan had very important things to say as he commissioned an institution for 50 students, and the soldiers simply wanted to make sure he was interrupted neither by pesky journalists nor by hungry citizens. 

Worse was to follow as Mr. Jonathan suggested he had relieved top military service chiefs of their responsibilities recently because of unnecessary rivalry between them. 

“I urge you to cooperate, but sometimes you hear of unhealthy rivalry amongst service chiefs and personnel,” quoted him as telling members of the armed forces at the occasion.  “This will no longer be tolerated, as any unnecessary competition that will not bring progression to this country, so I charge you to work together.”

Daily Trust quoted him as saying.  “I urge you to cooperate, sometimes in the recent past you hear of some kind rival competition among service chiefs, or security personnel, but this time around we will not tolerate any unnecessary competition, that will lead to friction in this country.”

According to Vanguard, President Jonathan said he sacked the immediate past service chiefs because of unhealthy competition which made it possible for Boko Haram insurgents to attack the Air Force operational base in Maiduguri…[that] the terrorists destroyed fighter aircraft during the attack and went scot free because of the rivalry between the former service chiefs.

“I urge you all to cooperate because in recent times some mutual cooperation among the service chiefs and personnel have been lacking. This time around, we will not tolerate any unnecessary competition that would be retrogressive to this country.  We charge you to work together and I believe that we would no longer experience any unpleasant situation we had in the past because of some obvious lapses.”

According to The Guardian, Jonathan warned that the rivalry among the services would no longer be tolerated, and that the insurgency would be better tackled with synergy among the service chiefs.  “I urge you all to cooperate…there has been some mutual competition among the service chiefs and personnel, this time around, we will not tolerate any unnecessary competition…We charge you to work together… and believe that we would no longer experience any unpleasant situation we had in the past because of some obvious lapses.”

According to the Nigerian Tribune, President Jonathan said, “…This time round, we will not tolerate any unnecessary competition that will bring retrogression to the country…We charge you to work together because our country is exposed to cancer and I told the former chief of defence staff when I came back from a meeting in France, that was the time they attacked our five helicopters and a journalist asked me, ‘Mr President is it not shameful?’ And I asked him, If you were me, how would you have felt? And I believed we will no longer experience that kind of situation. That happened because of some obvious lapses.”

According to the Daily Sun, the President disclosed that …unnecessary rivalry among security agencies in the country and security lapses contributed to the successful attacks carried out on five helicopters by the terrorists…He warned the newly appointed service chiefs against embarking on unnecessary competition among themselves, urging them to work together and complement each other in the interest of the nation.

Those accounts of Mr. Jonathan’s visit were followed on Thursday by a robust rebuttal by his spokesman, Reuben Abati, who dismissed them as “untrue and misleading.”

He carpeted “sections of the media” for mischief and reckless sensationalism, saying they had deliberately chosen to misrepresent the President’s innocuous and clear call for greater synergy and inter-service cooperation in the war against terrorism.

According to him, President Jonathan did not in Yola say the former chiefs were guilty of undue rivalry or that such unhealthy rivalry was responsible for recent security breaches in Adamawa and other parts of the country.

“As Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces and Chief Security Officer of the Federation, President Jonathan is fully aware of the importance and sensitivity of all defence and security-related matters,” Abati defended.  “If he had any reprimand or admonition for the former service chiefs, which he does not, he would not have cavalierly given it at a public function as the media falsely reported.”

The man fights the wrong war.  It is a shame that in a democracy, his professional constituency is sadly disrespected by ordinary soldiers in a public event despite his presence at the scene of the crime but his only comment is to continue the normal regime of denials following another Jonathan gaffe.  Evidently, the presidency’s communication strategy, if there were ever one, has collapsed. 

What is worse is the incoherence in the government.  In Yola, it seems Mr. Jonathan again struggled through some impromptu remarks.  In the absence of a written speech, an experienced information manager ought to provide a quick and official readout of his principal’s remarks.  The reporter is not bound to use it, especially where he has his own professional record, but then there are always journalists who were not there, or who may closer friends with the government.

Finally, there is also something that some public speakers overlook: You do not have to be an orator to be an effective speaker. 

But you have to know your subject, and to stick to your comfort zone or prepared material.  Jonathan’s nightmare is that he often lacks command of his subject, leaving the listener with dangerous errors and ambiguity.  Then the doctor blames the patient for the wrong prescription he provided.



Jonathan begs Senators, Reps to pass 2014 budget.


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.

A Failed Ruling Class And The Litany Of Impunity: From Taraba Through NNPC To Rivers And Beyond By Jaye Gaskia.

By Jaye Gaskia

Sometimes when pummeled by the storms of our vicarious existence, i often take some steps back to reflect. And in those moments of reflection, I do wonder whether any of the actions we are taking is worthwhile, whether our actions, collective and individual do make any difference.

At such times, i am persuaded to ask the other question, and to wonder, what would our collective existence have been like without those actions that we have taken all through the tortuous contours of our collective history? On the balance i am however convinced that as close to the hedge of destruction as our clueless, myopic, greedy, gluttonous, light fingered and pillaging treasury looting ruling elite class have managed to push our nation; as devastating as the impact of their collective misrule has been on our collective existence; our fate would have been far much worse, and perhaps, there would not still have been a nation, without our collective resistance all through the years, without the anti-military struggle, without the June twelve struggle, without the January Uprising of 2012 for instance.

So like i have had the occasion to say to people in recent past, this nation, this country, this valiant peoples of Nigeria, have survived and kept the very fabric of our common patrimony together, inspite of, rather than because of this bungling thieving ruling class.

If you take a cursory look at our historical experience since colonial times, why is it that every succeeding generation looks back on the past with fondness? Why does the immediate past always seem to better than the present? And why does it always seem to us that we were better off under previous regimes than we are under current ones? Could it be because in truth and of a fact there has been a progressive decline in the quality of leadership over the years, a progressive decline in the quality, competence, integrity, and patriotism of the ruling class over the years and decades? This definitely does seem to be the case.

On the strength of this trend, it is little wonder that this regime, this current ruling political class, in power and in opposition, represent the lowest that we have sunk as a nation and people. It is perhaps the reason why we have witnessed the least governance since the amalgamation of 1914; and why we are witnessing the crassest opportunism, as well as the steepest rise in the intensity of treasury looting and pillage of our commonwealth. It is the reason why they not only trample on the constitution which they made for us, but also ride rough shod over ordinary citizens.

The Nigerian ruling class has historically not been a stranger to impunity in governance; nevertheless, past generations of this ruling class will cringe in their graves at the level of the impunity of their heirs, the current class of Vagabonds In Power [VIPs].

Let us take a roll call of the long list of the perfidious indiscretions of their looting infested reign over us. A constitutional breach of the highest order which they unconscionably piloted when they so inhumanely chose to play chess with the ill health of a severely sick and dying president; they are now playing out in a full blown tragicomedy in Taraba state with the ill health of another severely incapacitated governor. These vultures and coyotes, these hyenas and maggots, who survive only by scavenging on the dead, will do anything possible to push the ailing Taraba state governor to his death bed, because of their own selfish interests, just as the kitchen cabinet around the ailing president did to the late President Yar Adua.

During that period as well as in the current case, all manner of self interested liars, including leading politicians and leading clerics who called themselves men and servants of God, all trooped to visit the ailing President and Governor, and all claimed and swore by their Holy Books, lying through the skin of their colored teeth that all was well, and the subjects of their nocturnal visits were hale and hearty, as well as fit as a fiddle to govern!

In the case of the late President, as in the case of the ailing governor, the very few who had some access, and who because of that access knew the truth, and refused to tell lies, were and are being subtly discredited. Yet determining the truth should be really very simple. The NMA has offered to undertake an independent assessment of the ailing governor; but the pack of scavengers around him will not let this happen.

Apart from the sickening way they are playing political chess games with the lives of their fellow politicians, and leaders; what is even more significant for us about these games is the fact they these political gladiators are wilfully breaching and violating the provisions of the constitution which they had sworn to uphold.

So why should any of these matter to us all? Well, let us be clear that there is a clear connection between this blatant disregard for the constitution, and for human life, and the anarchy that is being orchestrated in Rivers state, where a serving Police Commissioner, who ought to be a member of the state security council is being used by external forces, to undermine not only the person of the governor of Rivers state, despicable as he might personally be, but also the institutions of the state in Rivers State. So a police commissioner in a civilian dispensation, would disperse a state legislature, and block the routes of the state governor, while openly defying a sitting state governor! And there are still some who think what is at stake is the individual fate of Amaechi, or of Wike, or of the President or the First Lady? On the contrary what is at stake is constitutionalism, rule of law, and yes, the very stability of the country. We may like to think that these arsonists are merely trying to set themselves ablaze; well, that is surely right; but they are setting themselves ablaze on our roof top. And this should matter to us.

Furthermore, we insist that there is a connection between this impunity being orchestrated at the very summit of power in these two instances of Taraba and Rivers, as well as the impunity being perpetrated the the smaller minions in the MDAs. It is why more than half of MDAs do not remit their revenues to the federation account in clear breach of the constitution; it is why the NNPC under the supervision of the Petroleum Minister will not remit trillions of Naira to the federation account; it is why the Aviation Minister will single handedly authorise variations in the ministries budget for vehicles from N240m to over N600m, while spending N255m of that on just two armoured BMWs! It is why although both ministers have been severally indicted by different probe panels, both are still firmly entrenched in the cabinet. And what is more it is why crude oil theft soared from less than 100,000 barrels per day barely 3 years ago to the current levels of more than 400,000 barrels per day; and this inspite of the huge annual multi-billion Naira contracts awarded to Ex- Militant Generals for security and surveillance of pipelines and maritime water ways.

The point being made is that the level of impunity among this shameless ruling class has reached such a proportion that it has become mutually reinforcing, as well frustratingly undermining of our national development; socially, politically, constitutionally, and economically. The fact is we cannot condone and applaud impunity in certain aspects of our national life while we seek to expunge it from others. The fact against impunity is total and all embracing.

The real question that is of existential significance hinges around whether or not we can continue to trust this thieving ruling class, or whether we should not all together take a deep collective breath, and undertake the necessary collective effort to heave them off our backs for good.

Follow me on Twitter: @jayegaskia & @[DPSR]protesttopower; Interact with me on FaceBook: Jaye Gaskia & Take Back Nigeria:


Anti-Amaechi protesters shut Port Harcourt down.


Hundreds of protesters from the four-Ikwerre speaking council areas of Rivers State, on Tuesday, took over the busy Port Harcourt-Aba Road in Port Harcourt, expressing solidarity for the state Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu.

They disrupted traffic flow on the road and caused panic in surrounding areas.

Following the protest, the Rivers State government has accused those it described as Federal Government agents as the sponsors of the protest, adding that the state had been subjected to war by the Federal Government.

The protesters, under the aegis of Ikwerre Peoples Assembly (IPA), took over the GRA Junction point of the highway, vowing to shut public and multinational facilities down should the commissioner of police be transferred out of the state.


The protest, which lasted about one hour, had a full police cover.

The protesters described Mbu in glowing terms, adding that his problem with the state government was his refusal to be used against those opposed to the governor.

The spokesman of the group, Chima Boms, who was also the counsel to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission headed by the late Justice Kayode Eso (JSC), also said Mbu had performed creditably well in the state.

According to Boms, “CP Mbu, in our estimation, has performed creditably well and deserves commendation. We, therefore, request that he continues to serve in Rivers State for the good of the people. Consequently, the Ikwerre Peoples’ Assembly will resist any attempt to redeploy CP Mbu as commissioner of police in Rivers State as such move will take us back to the dark era.”

Meanwhile, the senator representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Magnus Abe, who was shot with a rubber bullet by the police at a Save Rivers Movement (SRM) rally in Port Harcourt over a week ago, has finally broken his silence.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Senator Abe expressed gratitude to friends, well-meaning individuals, groups and indeed, Nigerians, for their prayers, phone calls, solidarity messages and support, and prayed God to protect them at these dangerous times.

He condemned Sunday’s attack on supporters of Governor Rotimi Amaechi at Bori.

In a related development, pposition All Progressives Congress (APC), on Tuesday, alleged that supporters of President Goodluck Jonathan are importing ex-militants from Bayelsa and Akwa-Ibom States to cause mayhem in Rivers State.

A statement by its spokesperson, Lai Mohammed, warned that supporters of Governor Rotimi Amaechi might resort to self-help since Police are allegedly backing the other faction.

Warning of impending bloodbath, the party said, ”Having lost confidence in the ability of the police to protect them and keenly aware of the President’s deliberate refusal to allow peace to reign in their state, the patience of the people of Rivers is wearing thin, and there is an increasing possibility that they may resort to self help, which can only result in a blood-bath.”

Source: Radio Biafra.

Expensive leaders, poor economy.


President -Jonathan-FEC

The hope of better life for Nigerians after long era of terrible military rule, which culminated eventually into democracy in 1999, seemed dashed with emergence of profligate politicians and flamboyant public office holders who have only succeeded in pauperising the citizenry and deepening poverty in the country amidst stupendous national wealth.
With the coming of democratic dispensation, it was like starting over again for a country brimming with immense talent and potentials that turned into a synonym for everything dirty-corruption at all levels (monumental and petty), human rights abuses, drug peddling, fraudulent practices, immorality, environmental degradation, educational collapse, electoral sham, massive unemployment, power and water outages, hunger and homelessness.


Public officials steal and squander hundreds of billions of naira earned from huge production of oil and gas resources with reckless abandon. Nigeria has experienced three distinct leaderships under one political party, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP in the last fourteen years.

From Olusegun Obasanjo, a former military ruler who kick-started democracy, becoming President of Nigeria for eight years, to President Goodluck Jonathan took over after the death of President Musa Yar’Adua, and was re-elected as President in 2011; the squander and misuse of public funds has conitnued unabated even getting more scientific than ever before.

Addressing Nigeria’s socio-economic and political problems had been an uphill task for all the leaders since 1999. But the most traumatic is the Goodluck Jonathan presidency which was compounded by Boko Haram insurgency in which over 20,000 people have died so far including security operatives.

At present, the country’s entire economy revolves around oil with large reserves, which implies that Nigeria has the potentials of a very prosperous economy. In fact, oil accounts for nearly 90 per cent of her revenue, yet, the wealth from oil has not positively impacted on the economy as poverty is still endemic in the country.

Rather what continued to stare us on our faces is devastating lavish lifestyle of leaders from the presidency to ministers, governors, commissioners, local government chairmen, councillors, permanent secretaries, heads of parastatals, directors, board members and so on. However, the most disgusting is the extravagant salaries and allowances earned by members of the National Assembly – Senators and Representatives running into billions of naira every year, while millions of Nigerians are hungry, jobless and virtually homeless.

The executive, legislature and judiciary seemed to have connived in ripping off the people. In other words, the government has continuously shown that the interest of the larger Nigerian population is not its priority.

For instance, the sum of N150 billion is being allocated to the National Assembly as annual budget in which senators received quarterly pay of about N50 million each and House of Representatives members about N40 million each every quarter in addition to multi-million naira constituency projects allowances not accounted for. Also, members of State Houses of Assembly go home monthly with millions of naira.

Ministers and commissioners are paid millions of naira including all sorts of allowances beyond the imagination of the toiling masses whose minimum pay had been fixed at a paltry sum of N18,000 monthly which many states even refused to pay. Yet, state governors get billions of naira as security votes which ended up in private pockets.

Two years ago, N18 billion was budgeted for the maintenance of presidential fleet of planes, while N1.9 billion was set aside for the purchase of an additional aircraft for the President. Before then, it was announced that the presidential fleet was to be upgraded with planes costing N31.5 billion. It should be noted that wealthy nations like Britain have no presidential fleet as the Prime Minister David Cameron travels by the national carrier. The Chinese President also travels by the country’s national airline.

Only recently, the Federal Government approved N2.2 billion for construction of a banquet hall for Aso Rock Villa which evoked outrage of the citizens. Some years ago, the World Bank grant of $8.64 billion facility for growth and poverty reduction in Nigeria was frittered away, while in 2008, we were told that this country has spent $16 billion to reactivate the power infrastructure.

Corruption affects the way money is allocated within the state budget, diverting expenditures away from less lucrative sectors as health and education to high kickback areas.

Sometime in 2012, an investigation by House of Representatives Committee on Finance, Petroleum Upstream, Downstream and Gas Resources, revealed how NNPC under-remitted a sum of N3.098 trillion to the Federation Account between 2004 and 2011 under the watchful eyes of CBN and NEITI.

Two governors in the South/South reportedly bought jet planes – a Bombardier Global 5000 worth $45.7 million and Gulf Stream Jet which cost $45 million. These planes are believed to be used privately and also for official duties. A governor, piloting a private aircraft crashed and was flown abroad for medical attention and is now no longer fit to resume duties after his return . Several ministers are said to be owning private jets and fleet of exotic cars and mansions.

Maintenance of these private planes could be a constant drain on public treasury which can be used to build and repair roads, improve healthcare, education, provide decent housing, electricity and water.

Also, the Federal Capital Territory Authority, FCTA, will be spending N3billion to build official houses for principal officers of the National Assembly.

About 70 per cent of the country’s income is expended on public officers and politicians who comprise less than 1 per cent of a population of 167 million.

According to the CBN Governor, Mallam Lamido Sanusi who said recently, “we cannot develop if we continue to have so much of our resources where government is spending 70 per cent of the nation’s revenue on itself and leaving 30 per cent for the people. Is that a sensible situation?” Ironically, the CBN budgets N300 billion lacking oversight duties of the legislature needed to ensure transparency and accountability.

In 2011, the United Nations Development programme placed Nigeria 156th out of 187 surveyed, saying that Nigeria has been recording constant high economic growth rate that has not produced commensurate employment opportunities and reduction in poverty among citizens.

In 2012, the M.O Ibrahim Index for Africa Governance, ranked Nigeria 43 out of 52 countries assessed. Nigeria’s overall score of 42.0 was no match to African average score of 51.9.

UK-based Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Nigeria as the worst place for a baby to be born in 2013. Nigeria is 80th out of 80 countries surveyed. Infant and maternal mortality is among the highest in the world. Expensive and frivolous lifestyle of the leaders that glorify waste and financial recklessness are responsible for the horrible economic situation of the country.

By Emmanuel Edukugho

Source: Radio Biafra.

Why President Jonathan changed military commanders.



Indications emerged, yesterday, why President Goodluck Jonathan sacked the service chiefs and appointed new ones.

The sack of the service chiefs, Vanguard gathered, was to prevent an implosion in the Armed Forces that was capable of threatening the country’s democracy.Their sack came less than seven months after a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, declared the appointments of the Service Chiefs in the country by the President  without recourse to the National Assembly as unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, in a statement, said that President  Jonathan “has in the exercise of the powers conferred on him by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria approved the following changes in the nation’s Military High Command:“Air Marshal Alex Badeh takes over from Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim as Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General Kenneth Minimah takes over from Lt.-General Azubike Ihejirika as Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin takes over from Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba as Chief of Naval Staff; and Air Vice Marshal Adesola Amosu takes over from Air Marshal Badeh as Chief of Air Staff.
According to him, “President Jonathan has briefed the leadership of the National Assembly on the appointment of the new service chiefs and will, in keeping with the provisions of the law, request the National Assembly to formally confirm the appointments when it reconvenes.”Earlier court order on service chiefsIt will be recalled that Justice Adamu Bello of the Federal High Court, Lagos, had on June 1, 2013 in his judgment in a suit by Lagos lawyer, Mr Festus Keyamo, filed in 2008 challenging the non-confirmation by the Senate of the service chiefs appointed by the President, maintained that it was unconstitutional, illegal, null and void for the President to single-handedly okay persons for appointment as service chiefs.Justice Bello held that Section 18 (1) & (2) of the Armed Forces Act, Cap. A.20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, is in conformity with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and do not fall within the category of existing laws under Section 315 (2) of the constitution which any sitting President may by an order, modify its text to bring it into conformity with the provisions of the constitution.
Meanwhile, Keyamo said, that he had been “absolutely vindicated.”I’ve been vindicated — KeyamoSpeaking to AFP, he said: “My appeal to all Nigerians is not to be afraid to approach the courts to ventilate your grievance if government has committed any illegality.”Similarly, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, while reacting to the sack of the service chiefs, said it has nothing against President Jonathan’s decision to replace the service chiefs as it was his prerogative to reorganise the nation’s security whenever it was necessary.Secretary-General of the organisation, Dr Joe Nwaorgu, said that only the President could explain the rationale behind the removal of the top military officers and the choice of those officers appointed to take over from them as it is purely a security issue.
One of the removed service chiefs, Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Ihejirika, is from the South East zone.Igbo youths kickBut the Youth Wing of Ohaneze Ndigbo, sees the sack of  Ihejirika, differently, as it condemned same, saying that it was calculated to marginalize Ndigbo in the appointment of new service chiefs. It called on the National Assembly to reject the appointment as it lacked federal character.Also, the Federated Council of Igbo Youths, FCIY, frowned at what it described as a planned attempt to put the Igbo nation in the back seat by the current administration and called on Ndigbo to resist the ongoing alienation of the race.
Reacting to the new appointments, the National Publicity Secretary of Ohaneze Ndigbo Youth, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, wondered why in all the new positions shared, there was no person from the South-East considered worthy by President Jonathan to occupy any of the positions.Why service chiefs were sackedIndications emerged, yesterday that the retirement of the service chiefs was effected by President Jonathan with a view to preventing an implosion in the Armed Forces that was capable of threatening the nation’s democracy.Before now, Admiral O.S. Ibrahim, who was the oldest serving military officer in the land was a Course 17 regular intake of the Nigerian Defence Academy; General Onyeabor Ihejirika was a Course 18 regular intake of the Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA while Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba was a Course 22 intake of the NDA.Ordinarily, the officers by virtue of their years in service or age, ought to have been retired in consonance with the terms and conditions of service of the armed forces (TACOS), but the challenges brought about by the war on terrorism occasioned by the Boko Haram insurgency and President Jonathan’s belief in their capabilities to tame the monster made him sustain the officers in office.However, the sustenance of the very senior officers was causing underground murmuring, disaffection and grumbling among officers because it meant more junior officers, who would have gained promotion or risen to the top echelon of their services may never get there because they would be caught by age on rank or shortage of vacancies for postings, which may lead to early retirement.For instance, while Admiral  Ibrahim was a Course 17 intake, next to him in the Navy, Vice Admiral Ezeoba was a Course 22 intake while their subordinates’ were courses 24 and above with implications that the next looming retirements of officers would have consumed up to Courses 25 and 26, who are the future of the Navy.In the Army, Ihejirika as Course 18 and still serving meant that many of his juniors have gone on retirement and more would still have gone as the army had become top-heavy and there must be weeding out for the triangle to maintain its shape.Need to avert implosionConsequently, an internal explosion was imminent and the question arose, as to whether President Jonathan was unaware of the terms and conditions of service which stipulates 56 years of age and 35 years in service.Moreover, many junior generals, Rear Admirals and Air Vice Marshals were being retired in compliance with the TACOS to the detriment of the armed forces.Vanguard gathered that many of the retiring officers petitioned the National Assembly to bring to the notice of their representatives, the fate that may befall their junior colleagues if nothing was done about the anomaly, though they acknowledged that Jonathan has the prerogative to keep a service chief as long as he wanted.Aside these reasons, Vanguard was told that the President was convinced that the dangers posed by the Boko Haram menace had been sufficiently curtailed by the service chiefs especially with the innovations brought about by Lt. General Ihejirika.Minimah: New Army ChiefRegarding the new appointments, Major General Minimah, who hails from Rivers State and is a Course 24 intake of the NDA, was until his appointment, the Commander, Infantry Corps.He was at several times, Brigade Commander 1 Brigade, Sokoto, and General officer Commanding 81 divisions, Lagos. He was redeployed to Jaji as the Commander of Infantry Corps after the unfortunate bombing of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College by Boko Haram terrorists last year. Minimah was born on July 27, 1959.Jibrin: New  Naval Chief
Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin was at the Defence Headquarters before his appointment. He was at several times, the Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command, Chief of Logistics at Naval Headquarters and Commandant, Defence Intelligence School. He hails from Kogi State.Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin was born on September 16, 1959 and joined the Navy as a member of the Nigerian Defence Academy’s 24 Regular Course.Amosu: New Air Force ChiefAir Vice Marshal Amosu, the new Chief of Air Staff, hails from Lagos State. At several times, he was the Commander, Presidential Air Fleet, Director of Operations at NAF Headquarters and Air Officer Commanding Tactical Air Command, Makurdi.
Air Vice Marshal Amosu was born on August 1, 1958 and joined the Air Force as a member of the Nigerian Defence Academy’s 25 Regular Course.Badeh: Defence ChiefAir Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh, formerly the Chief of Air Staff and now Chief of Defence Staff, hails from Adamawa state.
Badeh was born on January 10, 1957 and joined the Air Force as a member of the Nigerian Defence Academy’s  21 Regular CourseBy KINGSLEY OMONOBI, Tony Edike, Ben Agande & JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Shake Up In The Military : President Jonathan Removes Ihejirika As Chief Of Army Staff.


By Saharareporters, New York

President Goodluck Jonathan has removed long serving Chief of Army Staff, Azubuike Ihejirika in his place Major General Kenneth Tobiah from the Niger Delta region will now take charge of the Nigerian army.

Mr. Jonathan made the announcement today in a statement signed by his special adviser on media and publicity, Reuben Abati.

The statement also announced changes within the military that completely overhauls the military high command.

The president will likely announce a new cabinet list in a few days time with  former National Security Adviser, Aliyu Gusau taking over as the new minister of defense.


See text of Mr. Abati press release announcing the shake up in the military high command below:

President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has in the exercise of the powers conferred on him by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria approved the following changes in the nation’s Military High Command:

Air Marshal Alex Badeh takes over from Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim as Chief of Defence Staff;

Major-General Kenneth Tobiah Jacob Minimah takes over from Lt.-General Azubike O. Ihejirika as Chief of Army Staff;

Rear Admiral Usman O. Jibrin takes over from Vice Admiral Dele Joseph Ezeoba as Chief of Naval Staff; and Air Vice Marshal Adesola Nunayon Amosu takes over from Air Marshal Badeh as Chief of Air Staff.

All the changes are with immediate effect.

The new Chief of Defence Staff and former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Badeh was born on January 10, 1957 and joined the Air Force as a member of the Nigerian Defence Academy’s  21 Regular Course while the new Chief of Army Staff, Major-General Minimah was born on July 27, 1959 and joined the Army as a member of the Nigerian Defence Academy’s  25 Regular Course. Until his new appointment, Major-General Minimah was the Commander of the Nigerian Army Infantry Corps, Jaji.

The new Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin was born on September 16, 1959 and joined the Navy as a member of the Nigerian Defence Academy’s 24 Regular Course. Until his appointment as Chief of Naval Staff, he was Director of Training at Defence Headquarters.

The new Chief of Air Staff and immediate past Commander of the Presidential Air Fleet, Air Vice Marshal Amosu was born on August 1, 1958 and joined the Air Force as a member of the Nigerian Defence Academy’s 25 Regular Course. Until his new appointment, Air Vice Marshal Amosu was the Air Officer Commanding, Tactical Air Command, Makurdi.

President Jonathan has briefed the leadership of the National Assembly on the appointment of the new service chiefs and will, in keeping with the provisions of the law, request the National Assembly to formally confirm the appointments when it reconvenes.


Reuben Abati

Special Adviser to the President

(Media & Publicity)

January 16, 2014


Quo Vadis: A Memo to the President By Ejiro Onobrakpeya.

By Ejiro Onobrakpeya

Mr. President :  It’s a new year and one cannot but hope, for the good of the country, that this year ends better than the last. It is understandable if in the current climate, you think this is yet another in the deluge of critical comments, some well-meaning and others orchestrated by disaffected patrons of your administration. I am actually offering unsolicited advice, for the good of the country, which might help change the trajectory of your administration. Doing this also puts to the test the veracity of repeated claims that you welcome constructive criticism and policy prescriptions. So here goes:

The National Mood
To put it nicely, your administration has not lived up to the goodwill and high expectations that marked your election as the first executive leader of the country with a college degree. Before you, Nigeria has been mostly led by poorly-educated men and soldiers whose claim to fame and leadership was mobilizing tanks and dissident troops to seize the national radio station and promoting themselves as Generals for this great military feat.
These, by the way, are the same men Nigeria’s political class now regard as “statesmen” who enjoy lifelong pensions, belong to the Council of State and hold the nation’s highest honours. Is it any wonder then that these individuals would arrogate to themselves the right to determine Nigeria’s political future, that they will pick who governs the country, on what terms and for how long? They imposed a self-serving constitution on the nation with the immunity clause to cover themselves and want pliant successors they can teleguide in office.
The citizenry is today highly disaffected by the drift and rampant corruption which, to be fair to you, was inherited from the old man and estranged political mentor but for which you must now take the blame. Owing one’s ascendancy to a political mentor should not be subordinated to the interests of the electorate who voted and even died (remember the Youth Corpers) for you to become President in the hope of making their lives better.   
The only thing you have going for you right now is that the political opposition is not only adopting the same template that brought the PDP into power but actually mass recruiting PDP defectors and the aforementioned ex-military autocrats for guidance on how to short-circuit your presidency. That is their stock in trade based on their jaundiced understanding of what democracy truly represents. Democracy is not derived from deal-making by a cabal of plutocrats imposing pliant candidates on the people through the agency of corrupt party and electoral processes. This is the template which the APC is now replicating right before our eyes. A cliché here defines insanity as doing the same thing and expecting a different result. We are witnessing an alliance of convenience by strange political bedfellows for the sole purpose of gaining power.
So where do we go from here?
The company you keep.
You may not like to hear this but you are surrounded by officials and party members some of questionable character and competence. And some have gone so far to display this “our-turn-to-eat” mentality that is tarnishing your administration. You must discourage and distance yourself from such people.  
I hope you still find time to read the biographies of great leaders both locally and internationally. There is nothing wrong with helping one’s people since charity begins at home. Please read how Awo empowered his people with his pan-Yoruba agenda. He did not site a University in his hometown nor did he seek to make every Ijebuman a cocoa millionaire. Instead, he availed all his people of modern and comprehensive education, developed a Yoruba intelligentsia and created the enabling environment for job creation and commerce for his people – an advantage which the Yorubas enjoy till today. That is why Awo was bestowed with the titular leader of his grateful people and remains a revered figure in the pantheon of Yoruba leaders.
Unlike the current pretender to that mantle, Awo actually went to school, embraced education and surrounded himself with intellectuals from every field of human endeavour. He did not achieve greatness by engaging in crass accumulation and making his wife a Senator, his daughter leader of the market women nor did he strive so mightily to ensure that nieces, nephews, in-laws and even the family dog would amass millions. The likes of Awo and the great Zik, with his pan-Nigerian outlook, provide a leadership template for you to consider.  
The Way Forward
Let me share some ideas on the way forward that might influence the narrative of your Presidency. My hope is about building a decent legacy for your period in office so that the country is not set back another wasted decade.
However, we must acknowledge your constitutional right to seek re-election if you so wish, unless the courts say otherwise and I see no grounds for such a ruling. Incompetence is not an impeachable offence nor is unhappiness or disappointment with a Presidency. The Nigerian voters elected you and reserve the sovereign right to vote for you or reject you through the ballot box. No cabal, back room deals or pledges made to self-appointed power-brokers should be allowed to short-circuit the democratic process.
The old man and his confederates are entitled to cast just one vote like all other eligible voters. Let the Nigerian people decide who governs them and for how long. Free and fair elections should be the only means of installing or removing a government and the people must thereafter live with that choice until the next elections unless in other instances laid down in the constitution. That is the basis of due process and the rule of law. I hope that every Nigerian, home or abroad will stand in defence of that principle- no matter who is President. The days of subverting a democratically elected government in Nigeria should be gone for good – so those hoping to spark an uprising are just wasting their time and should focus instead on winning elections.
That said, for the good of the country and building a legacy with whatever time you have left in office, you might want to consider a package of options some of which you can easily execute and others that might call for some tough decisions on your part. First the easy part-
–       Reshuffle the cabinet: Nothing shows that you are willing to press the reset button than to bring in new hands and technocrats in key departments of the government. Competence, integrity and requisite skills must take precedence over rewarding party loyalists. You can still meet the constitutional requirements of reflecting “federal character” by making less qualified party loyalists as junior ministers (or ministers of state as you call it). Those who don’t like it can go join the APC – you are putting the peoples’ interest above the party’s in order to rebuild the nation and your legacy.
–       A reshuffle also gives the opportunity to bid farewell to the controversial and tainted members of your team responsible for the perception of a corrupt administration. So break the news to them at the next cabinet meeting and please thank them for their service to the nation. Then inform them that anyone who has a case to answer will surely hear from a revitalized, unfettered and autonomous EFCC. That means you will not interfere or intercede on behalf of anyone facing an investigation of corruption.
–       And lest I forget, please also invite CBN Governor Lamido Sanusi to the meeting and inform him you are fast-tracking his retirement, with full pay and all benefits due to him, with immediate effect. There is no need keeping a flame-thrower in place a day longer, especially one who has been mostly self-serving in his approach to his job and openly ignored laid down channels of communication with his boss. If I were your appointee, sending you this public memo would be deserving of termination too. Again, that is due process.
–       You will need to focus on a new Justice Minister with a mandate to clean up the open rot in the Nigerian judiciary. That is going to be a Herculean effort and might require asking for the services of a retired Supreme Court Justice or the likes of Professors Nwabueze, Sagay or others of similar standing and respect with the Nigerian public. Men who know what is required to rebuild integrity and faith in Nigeria’s justice system.
–       You will especially need new and competent hands in the Petroleum Ministry, Aviation, Education (sorry, you don’t get to keep your job if under your watch, the nation’s universities are shut for half of the year, nothing personal) and Health (if the incumbent cannot head off a planned nation-wide doctors’ strike after months of notice and warnings by the aggrieved unions).
–       The new Aviation Minister should be mandated to establish a national flag carrier before the end of 2014. How a private individual came to acquire the “Air Nigeria” name deserves investigation and should be withdrawn if it involved sweetheart deals or lack of transparency.
–       Rescind the planned ban on the importation of used vehicles into the country. Give the public a four-year notice during which the domestic auto industry finds its feet and you embark on federal-state partnerships to emplace real mass transit (road, rail, ferry services) as alternatives for the public. You must begin the demilitarization of policy-making in Nigeria. You are not presiding over a conquered people who must be ruled by imperial decrees or make major policy announcements “with immediate effect”. Again I remind you that the people are your employers and voted for you to make their lives better and not impose unnecessary hardship on them for well-connected corporate interests to make money.
–       Rescind the renaming of the University of Lagos. This was another ill-advised move on your part despite the good intentions behind the gesture. Despite his family’s understandable sentiments about honoring his memory, the late Moshood Abiola would have been aghast at the thought of throwing away, overnight, the academic reputation and global branding of an institution that has matriculated and certified graduates for half a century.
–       And in the same vein, please make it federal policy to stop the renaming of our existing institutions after individuals. We have enough roads, buildings, stadia and bridges to name after deserving individuals or national heroes. If Awo had wanted it, he would have named the University of Ife he founded after himself but his goal was to put Ile-Ife on the world map as the mythical cradle of the Yoruba nation. So by renaming UnIfe, his goal was needlessly subverted by a military dictator’s bid to woo the Yorubas into supporting his intended bid to become a civilian President. He ignored the fact then that the new university in Ondo State was to be named after the Yoruba leader. In the interest of full disclosure, I am a proud alumnus of the University of Ife (as stated on my degree).
–       Declare June 12 Democracy Day and a federal holiday. This was the right thing to have done in the first place. Nigeria’s current “democracy” owes a lot to those who gave of themselves and their lives, in the cause of upholding the freest elections in Nigerian history and the mandate given to MKO. So honour that historic day as the old man should have done. But his ego and small-mindedness are now well-known as a person who would put out someone else’s lamp in order to make his own shine bright.
–       Reform the PDP – a saying here goes that when life hands you a lemon, you turn it into lemonade. The defections from your party actually provide a unique opportunity to rebuild and rebrand the PDP as a party of equal joiners and members on the same footing. The political jobbers will leave until they find out that there are not enough positions to satisfy all aspirations in the opposition. Going forward, party positions should be by open nominations and filled through transparent elections from the ward to the national level. The party’s constitution should be reviewed to attract the right membership and not crooks and scoundrels hoping to make a quick buck or feed fat at the public trough. The party constitution must include a moral turpitude clause stating that any member, elected or not, whose conduct or actions tarnishes the reputation and credibility shall be subject to expulsion from the party. That would have taken care of the degree-forgers and committee chairmen taking bribes to pass budgets or influence reports. Do that and you strike a blow against corruption in the party and by extension, the government.
To achieve the above, you will have to lead by example and recommit yourself to the highest standards of probity in public service.
 The Samson Option
This is the hard part but likely to be the quickest way to win back the public trust. I call it the Samson option since it calls for personal sacrifice and you taking steps you have so far refused to consider.
I am sure you remember the story of Samson in Bible and how he wasted his powers carousing rather than serving his people as God had called him to do. Well, Samson got one last chance to redeem himself and literarily brought down the temple of iniquity. So please consider the following:
–       You have to declare your assets and be prepared to quietly make restitution to the national treasury. No questions asked. There is precedence for this – ask for the files about a former head of state and alleged war-time looting of the Central Bank branch in Benin.
–       Doing the foregoing frees you to demand a mandatory declaration of assets by ALL public officials – going back to 1999 – just like you have done and with an offer of a 90-day no-questions-asked amnesty for those who refund or hand over ill-gotten assets to the federal treasury.
–       After the grace period expires, the EFCC, in concert with relevant agencies like the assets bureau and the Police will begin painstaking forensic investigations of asset declarations. As an incentive to expose wrong-doing, initiate a whistle-blower law so anyone who provides useful and confidential information about ill-gotten assets will get to keep twenty percent of the reported asset on forfeiture.
–       Retroactively revoke all import waivers granted since 1999 and demand that beneficiaries have 90 days to pay the assessed Customs duties or forfeit those items to the federal government for sale at auction. That will right a grave wrong that has seen the well-connected and those most able to pay import duties avoid it while lesser Nigerians do. We cannot be a nation with two sets of laws – one for the wealthy and privileged who buy justice and avoid taxes while the other puts ordinary citizens under the rule of law and payment of levies. Paying all due taxes is a duty for all citizens, corporate bodies and even non-governmental organizations (yes – even tax-exempt religious organizations should be levied what is known here as Payments In Lieu of Tax (PILOT) for the services they enjoy in the local governments in which they operate (religious bodies use public amenities like roads, water, power and Police services like all other citizens).
–       Declare a national electric power emergency with the goal of providing a minimum of 20-hours of electricity to every Nigerian home by the end of 2014. This might require a review of budget priorities and ten percent across the board budget cuts for all federal ministries and agencies, including the Presidency to fund the power sector. No new furniture, cars or aircraft for the Presidency, cabinet members or legislators.
–       Pay GE and the other power contractors whatever is needed to fast-track their work to meet this goal of boosting power generation. The Power minister should be required to provide a monthly update on improvements in the public power supply. To pay for this, every worker should be required to pay an additional 2% and companies 4% special “power tax” to achieve this goal. They are already paying more out of pocket to buy generators and diesel. The ultimate result will be reliable power supply, more job creation and a reduction in the cost of living, goods and services for the generality of the people. It will also mitigate the debilitating health effects of the noise and poisonous fumes from the millions of private generators in use throughout the country.
If providing stable electricity is the only thing you achieve while tamping down corruption, then your Presidency would have made a notable difference in the lives of the people and given you a worthwhile legacy. Bill Clinton remains a popular figure in American politics today and his presidency is remembered more for ushering a period of remarkable prosperity – 20 million new jobs and a huge budget surplus- than for his impeachment over the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Fortunately, Nigerians are a special breed of people who reward effort as much as they do results. You don’t have to do much for our people to say, in Nigerian English, “the man is trying.”
The Islamist Insurgency and Snipers
Lastly, I would urge you to be more open about the silly but rabble-rousing charge that you have abdicated your responsibility in fighting the Islamist insurgency and instead trained snipers to go after perceived enemies of your administration. That is the most irresponsible and infantile accusation I have ever read in a while and speaks to the desperation of those determined to railroad your presidency. Those who call for a storm forget that when it rains, it falls on everyone.
If your administration is training special forces to combat an insurgency that has has claimed hundreds of innocent lives and brought misery to fellow citizens in the North eastern quadrant of the nation, then say so and, in my opinion, take due credit for it. If it is a Presidential Guard, also acknowledge it. Transparency is the best antidote for such vicious rumour-mongering.
That and the ongoing sacrifices being made by our brave soldiers to protect the nation are worth celebrating. Again, Madam and Governors wives should devote time to visiting wounded soldiers and families of those killed in action to ensure that they are cared for and all entitlements paid to them in a timely fashion. The public at large – individuals, companies and religious bodies should be solicited to voluntarily support an Armed Forces Relief Fund as a collective gesture of supporting our troops.
By the way, is there anything wrong with the defence ministry putting out the names and faces of those killed in combat – following family notification? Why should they be unknown and unmourned by a grateful nation as is done in civilized societies? That should make better news than stories of ministers importing duty-free armoured sedans (at public expense) when they are thousands of miles removed from the war front.
The fact is that an insurgency that once threatened to cripple major cities in the North, with multiple attacks and bombs going off in places like Gombe, Kaduna, Kano and even Abuja, has now been mostly contained to two states. Governor Kwankwaso of Kano would not have had the time of day to be party-hopping or wasting scarce public funds on sponsoring mass marriages (which he and the Zamfara pedophile now take to the APC) if Boko Haram had maintained the stranglehold it once had on Kano City. Yet these are the same folks now playing politics with a national security issue.
In conclusion, let me explain the dead language that headlines this memo. Quo Vadis is Latin for “Wither goest thou?” in King James English or in simple English – “Where are you going?”
Since you recently visited Jerusalem and the birthplace of Jesus, I think you can relate to the apocryphal Acts of the Apostle Peter. Facing possible arrest and execution for proselytizing in Rome, Peter was fleeing from the city when Jesus appeared, walking in the opposite direction. Peter then asked Jesus ‘Where are you going?” and Jesus replied “I am going to Rome to be crucified again” Peter got the message and returned to Rome to fulfill the mission of founding the church for which he also gave his life.
Had Peter shirked his mission, there would be no Christianity in the world today.
So Mr. President, where do you go from here?
Ejiro Onobrakpeya, is a former Editor of The Sunday Times newspaper.


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

Afenifere In The Tank For Jonathan: Who Speaks For Yoruba? By Ademola Bello.

By Ademola Bello

I have a slight pause because Afenifere moves closer to the guy in Aso Rock. Afenifere turns away from Yoruba plights. They’ve become a ‘metaphorical piano’ that can be bought with impractical gifts.

Yoruba are giving up on Afenifere because there’s no point to it anymore. The group has got us nowhere under Goodluck Jonathan’s regime.

This is serious. Afenifere press releases by Yinka Odumakin seems like the size of the coin that you will get from President Jonathan communication team of Reuben Abati and Doyin Okupe.

Afenifere your heart is not finished-but we can no longer hear your voice that once charmed us with rare integrity and intelligence.

Afenifere is no longer committed to the struggle of common and poor people. The present crop Afenifere is like a train wreck that is in denial of truth.

Yoruba people are in despair, yes, Tinubu is not a Yoruba leader; and Obasanjo should not be the APC navigator. (He, Obasanjo, undermined his own brightest legacy as a military Head of State who handed over to civilian by admitting that he was responsible for Shagari’s victory against Chief Awolowo in the 1979 presidential election).

We all agreed that APC has no ideology, but what has Afenifere done for Yoruba people lately?

What is wrong with Afenifere? Why this buzzed and twittered malicious satisfaction to congratulate Jonathan’s sinking presidency on his exquisite work and fake national conference?

Goodluck Jonathan is a political disaster, and the worst civilian president in Nigeria’s history.

This present Afenifere is a confusion and embarrassment. Now Omisore a suspect in the murder of Chief Bola Ige who was deputy leader of Afenifere, and former Attorney General of the Federation walks in and takes off his raincoat to take important seat as a member of Afenifere. The ghost of Bola Ige is crying for justice.

Afenifere, the Yoruba stare at you uncomprehendingly! For God’s sake, give this romance with President Jonathan a break!

Yoruba sons and daughters would be more interested if Afenifere is promoting Yoruba cultures, history and values. Afenifere should not just be about politics; we need Afenifere to be champions in promoting Yoruba cultural renaissance. Afenifere should be working with people like Professor Akinwumi Isola and filmmaker Tunde Kelani on preserving Yoruba cultural heritage and making sure Yoruba kids learned the language instead of all that noise about politics.

Afenifere, please stop this effusively apologetic press releases in defense of Goodluck Jonathan presidency. This is a precious advice, if you like you can take it. I think your business is done in politics. Afenifere you no longer speak for Yoruba people.


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

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