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Posts tagged ‘Ebonyi State’

Stop Sleeping In Public, PDP Chairman Mu’azu Scolds SGF Pius Anyim.


 

Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Pius Anyim
By Saharareporters, New York

Guests and leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party were stunned on Thursday when the new National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, specifically urged the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Sen. Pius Anyim, to learn not to sleep during public events.

Mu’azu was speaking when leaders of the party from Ebonyi State visited him and the leadership of the party to pay homage and wish him well following his election.

The group was led by the governor, Martin Elechi, who spoke on behalf of the delegation from his state, which included Anyim, Minister of Health Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, and some other political office holders from the state.

But while Mu’azu was replying, he looked over at Anyim, who had already dozed off, and immediately confronted the burly SGF.

“Mr. Anyim, I hope you have not started doing what you like doing best,” Mu’azu said, making the motions of a dozing person.  The laughter that followed from the audience woke up the sleeping SGF.

It was gathered that even as Senator, Anyim often fell asleep on the floor of the House, an action that made the late Chuba Okadigbo, at that time the Senate President, to scold him on one occasion.

Witnesses recall that the scolding followed an instance when Anyim, suddenly woke up from his usual sleep and without knowing the topic being discussed, shouted that he wanted to make contribution.

An angry Okadigbo then asked Anyim whether he knew what was being discussed, to which Anyim just smiled, provoking general laughter among the Senators.

President Jonathan divides Ohanaeze over 2015.


 

President-jonathan-05

The purported 2015 presidential ambition of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has divided the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

Special Adviser to the President on Inter-party Affairs Senator Ben Ndi Obi, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and Senator Edwin Onwudiwe said Jonathan had done well and deserved another term.

But Ohanaeze Ndigbo President, Chief Enwo Igariwey, said Igbo had not made any statement on the issue, adding that the body would declare its stand at the appropriate time.

Eleven states formed what they called Oriental Peoples Movement (OPM), founded by Andy Campbell Onyeaqanam.

 

The states are Anambra, Abia, Abuja, Enugu, Ebonyi, Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa-Ibom, Cross-River and Imo.

At the official launch of the Anambra State chapter yesterday, Onwudiwe, the chairman of the occasion, said the idea was to protect Ndigbo interest.

He said Jonathan should be given opportunity to translate Nigeria, adding that it was too late for Ndigbo to work against the Southsouth presidency. ”We should support Jonathan next year so that Southsouth will support us when our time comes. We will lose it if we create a vacuum now,” Onwudiwe added.

Obi said the President was being unjustly criticised by the opposition, adding that he was focused and determined to develop the country.

Said he: “Jonathan has done well in the last three years. But there are still grounds to be covered. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is a huge movement. We are grounded in the ethics of democracy.

“We are waiting for Jonathan, having assured that Nigerians will enjoy more democracy dividends in 2014. Ndigbo were major contributors to his 2011 success story at the polls.

“Ohanaeze met with him last December 9, during which issues concerning Ndigbo were discussed and the people said they were satisfied with his explanations.”

Igariwey said yesterday that individuals were entitled to their opinions, adding that no decision had been made on next year’s presidential election.

Iwuanyanwu, a member of the Board of Trustees of the PDP, said Jonathan’s stay in office was “to allow the labours of our hero’s past not to be in vain”, adding that that was why every ethnic group should support his 2015 project.

He said: “Jonathan represents that unity as preached by our past heroes. The reward for hard work is more work. Therefore, I hail the initiators of this project called, ‘Think presidency, think Jonathan'”.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Jonathan, Igbos, And The Second Niger Bridge By Frank Onia.


 

By Frank Onia, PhD

The standard criteria for decisions on infrastructural deployment include need, available resources, competing demands for finite resources, alignment with related infrastructure, incubatory foundation for progressive deployment, social benefits, political patronage, economic benefits, minimization of stress and hardship for the citizens, potentials for stimulating overall economic development, balancing considerations, replacement of obsolete infrastructure, need to embrace emerging and efficient technology, etc, etc. When viewed from an objective prism and against the backdrop of the itemized criteria above, it is long overdue to replace the Niger Bridge at Onitsha, which has verifiably and universally been identified as a deathtrap. This bridge was constructed in 1963, and is the ONLY link between the South-East of Nigeria and the rest of the country (towards the West). This bridge serves as the ONLY access point to Anambra, Imo, Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Benue, and Plateau States, when you approach from Lagos, and, indeed, all the states that formerly constituted the Western and mid-Western Regions, as well as from Abuja and segments of the North.

It is trite to mention that this bridge handles the highest concentration of vehicular traffic in the country, and has served this purpose progressively and exhaustively for fifty years! The exponential growth in population and number of vehicles in the country in the past five decades have added to the pressure on the bridge, with the result that it is nearly collapsing, with the attendant risks for human lives, economic activities, mass psychology, and national development. Citizens from the Eastern parts of the country are the most itinerant in the country, with the evident implication that tens of millions of individuals make frequent trips to their homeland, relying on a safe passage through this same bridge. This assumption of basic safety has been denied them perennially for several years, and is currently being toyed with even further. The significance of this bridge is emphasized during the festive period at the end of each year, when millions of people are trapped and delayed at the bridge for several hours in what should, otherwise, be pleasurable commutes back home. As a country, we have witnessed this for several decades and have failed to do anything about it. When any attention has been paid to the need to replace and expand this bridge, it has been suffused with empty promises, vacuous platitudes, cheap politics, and exploration of the underlying potentials for corruption. The Obasanjo civilian administration played games with the need to replace this bridge for eight years, ensuring that new promises were recycled as elections approached. And, yet, nothing was done.

While the South East, as a Region, contributes very significantly to the development of Nigeria, especially outside Igboland, there is NO single Federal Government institution or semblance of infrastructure in the entire Region. Even though Igbos and their brothers from the South-South are among the most widely-traveled people in the world, there is NO worthy international airport in the larger Region, thereby forcing residents of the Region/s to travel to Lagos or Abuja, before they can travel overseas. Professor Chinua Achebe was involved in a ghastly motor accident near Awka, Anambra State, because he had to travel overseas from Lagos, even though he then resided at Nsukka in Enugu State. This accident cost him his limbs, paralyzed him for life, and hastened his relocation to the United States, where he died many years later.

There are thousands of others who have lost their lives in a similar manner; the additional cost and inconvenience involved in these unnecessary local travels are best imagined, as such travelers must stay in hotels, eat, utilize local transportation, and incur sundry expenses in (mostly) Lagos and Abuja, purely on account of a deliberate State policy to punish Igbo people for whatever reason, While Igbos easily dominate the trading and commercial sectors of Nigeria and West Africa, there is no discernible effort to dredge the River Niger at Onitsha, to enable port activities. The only federal “investment” on River Niger has been the deliberate channeling of the water to the Northern parts of the country, for irrigation activities, while the Onitsha end of the River has been drying up in the  past 20 years, thereby impeding fishing, subsistence farming, and overall economic growth. While Abuja, the North, and other Regions of the country, continue to attract comparatively-significant infrastructural investments and upgrades (for example, the hundreds of billions of Naira being spent to expand the access road from the Abuja airport into the City, as well as the scandalous budget of over N55 billion for the erection of a mere City Gate in Abuja), it is clear that holding the South East down is a Directive Principle of State Policy in Nigeria. No other conclusion is possible from the continued neglect of the Niger Bridge, and the criminal disrespect with which the belated redemptive measures are being packaged. It is noteworthy that the Federal Government funds projects in Abuja and elsewhere directly and does not charge tolls on those roads.

In a society like ours, ethnic agitation for legitimate attention is entirely understandable, hence the tone and tenor of this submission. When our statecraft develops to the stage of objectivity, justice, and fairness, then, possibly our micro-national identities may become muted. The Jonathan Administration has failed both the South-South and South-East by its singular failure to provide basic infrastructure in the two pivotal Regions. The fact that the so-called East-West Road remains uncompleted after all these years, while humongous budgetary allocations have officially been designated to its conclusion, should remain a source of embarrassment for Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, well after his stay in office. Pray, how did a treasonous impostor like Mr. Ibrahim Babangida manage to utilize both federal funds (from oil sales!) and oil futures to build a new federal capital city in Abuja, when the man who literally owns the oil cannot construct the road leading to his hometown, even with a democratic mandate? Shame has only one definition.

As it pertains to the need to construct the second Niger Bridge, a categorical imperative, the same Jonathan Administration is being clever by half, by concessioning the bridge to that veritable purveyor impunity and corruption in Nigeria, Julius Berger Construction. This initiator and exemplar of corruption in Nigeria has since announced that the 1.8 kilometer bridge will cost them N100 billion to construct, as a justification for the sweetheart deal extended to them by Jonathan and his Administration, whereby Julius Berger will install three toll gates on that bridge in perpetuity, ostensibly to recover their “investment”. Knowing Julius Berger and Nigeria, this project will eventually cost N200 billion on paper, when completed. Julius Berger did not bring any foreign investment whatsoever when it left its decrepit office in Wiesbaden, Germany, to emerge on Nigeria’s shores 40 years ago, on the private invitation of the late Major General Shehu Musa Yar Adua, number two man in the erstwhile dictatorship of the perennial fumbler and dissembler, Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo, which lapsed in 1979.

Let it be made clear that a bridge is a road with its foundation in water. Nigerians need to be aware that the same Julius Berger has just paid penalties to the United States Government totaling tens of millions of dollars for specific cases of corruption it perpetrated in Nigeria. The United States Government, which was not victimized, benefited by way of this penalty payment by Julius Berger, while this construction company that has been at the forefront of corrupting public officials in Nigeria for the past 40 years, neither paid any penalty or compensation to the real victim, Nigeria, nor is it being blacklisted or censured in any way.

Rather, successive Nigerian Governments continue to reward Julius Berger with heavily-inflated contracts, responsibility for maintaining strategic locations like the Aso Rock Presidential Complex and the National Assembly. The same company is constructing the new residences for the Vice-President, Senate President, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, projects that have already gulped close to N60 billion on paper even before completion. To deepen the culture of impunity and complete the psychological humiliation of the illustrious Igbos of Nigeria, the Jonathan Administration, which owes the South-East a second Niger Bridge as well as tangible federal presence, has mortgaged the entire East to Julius Berger by criminally acquiescing in the perpetual exploitation of the teeming people under a most suspicious and fraudulent Concession Arrangement. Where else in the country is a whole Region held prostate and captive in this manner? Where else is the ONLY bridge leading into a Region casually assigned to a criminal enterprise for the exploitation of citizens who have no alternatives?

In this, it must be stated that Jonathan and his Administration are playing a script already tested and fine-tuned by Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Governor Fashola of Lagos State, wherein residents of the Lekki axis have effectively been hemmed in and subjected to unnecessary and usurious toll charges each time they either access or exit their homes, despite the very significant contribution these residents make to the much-vaunted Internally-Generated Revenue of Lagos State. It is significant that the same Julius Berger is the partner to Messrs Tinubu and Fashola on the bridge toll exploitation project linking Ikoyi and Lekki Phase One. Yet another toll gate ensures that you also cannot get to Lekki from Victoria Island without feeding Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his crony, Fashola’s, insatiable greed and appetite.

It is very clear from this single example that both the PDP and the APC (seeking leprous and blind navigators) are the same in philosophy, orientation, and content; both are fraudulent and self-serving devices.

If our dealers must feel entitled to collecting both public revenue and IGR, and yet charge the citizens for token infrastructure provided in their areas of jurisdiction, all in an environment of opaqueness, arrogance, impunity, and absence of citizen input, it might well be better to sack all governments and share the revenue of the country among the citizens, who are perpetually burdened with the direct provision of basic services, for which Governments exist in the first place. In all of this, these dealers feel perfectly justified in magisterially cornering significant chunks of State resources under various guises, notably the poorly-christened Security Votes.

Regarding the second Niger Bridge, there is NO WAY that a 1.8 km bridge of the best quality, together with immediate access roads, will cost up to N10 billion, yet, we are told that the initial assessment for the bridge is N100 billion. Why must Julius Berger be the only company handling all these projects? What process leads to these awards and appointments? Why are competent and established construction companies all over the world being frustrated from accessing the Nigerian market by Government Officials protecting this small German company, with a small office in their home country? Are they not aware that the unrivaled access given Julius Berger’s engineers and staff is a grave national security risk? What is the role of the National Security Adviser and the DG-SSS, in guiding the government appropriately? Are people now so incompetent or corrupt that they neither know nor care that sophisticated Intelligence Collection devices are installed in all these sensitive locations, with the downloading and processing taking place at the Julius Berger Operational Headquarters at Life Camp, Abuja, under the able supervision of German Intelligence Officials – all of this intrusive and aggressive collection against Nigeria paid for Nigeria. What a country!

Given the identified urgency of the need to construct the second Niger Bridge, you would think that, in the absence of common sense in high places, senior government officials of Igbo origin would be easy and strident advocates of the Federal Government swiftly constructing the bridge as its duty to the people, with an apology to the citizens for the delayed implementation. Some of the referenced officials are the Coordinating, Supervising, and Overseeing Secretary to the Federal Government, His Massive Excellency Mr. Anyim Pius Anyim; the so-called Coordinating Minister of the Economy (in hubris-free English, the Minister of Finance), Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Viola Onwuliri; the Deputy Senate President, Mr. Ike Ekweremadu; the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha; the Chairmen of the Works Committees in both the Senate and the House of Representatives; the crisis-ridden and inflated Supervising and Coordinating Minister of Aviation and its Parastatals, Ms Stella Oduah; the immediate past Army Chief, Lt. General Azubuike Ihejirika; the recently-relieved Chief of Naval Staff; Vice-Admiral Dele Ezeoba; the Director-General of the so-called Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Mr. Emeka Eze – whose village roads have all been tarred by contractors executing Federal Government contracts; 15 undistinguished Senators from the South East; several dishonorable Members of the House of Representatives; the five state governors of the South-East; ex-this and ex-that, etc, etc.

Even if the objective case fails to penetrate thick skulls, surely the selfish and symbolic motive of garnering solid Igbo votes should impel the urgent construction of that overdue bridge. I say this because expectations have been grossly lowered in Nigeria, to the extent that a 1.8 km bridge could guarantee you bloc Regional votes. Mr. Jonathan could even extend the tokenism by naming the new bridge after Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, in a symbolic gesture of connecting the erstwhile Biafran heartland with the rest of the country. The identified officials are rather satisfied with having Julius Berger construct private homes for them in Abuja and their remote villages, in a well-oiled program of corruption, collusion, and compromise. The definition of shame has still not changed.

If all of this fails, what stops the Governors of the South-East from reducing their greed quotient by utilizing their so-called Security Votes (since kidnappers have taken over the Region anyway!) to construct this vital bridge for their people, and then heap the necessary propaganda guilt on the Federal Government that has been permanently negligent and wicked towards Igbos? The failure to do the right thing, and at the right time, is the bane of the Nigerian society. The complacency of the Nigerian society is yet a latent contributing factor to the charade that is called governance in Nigeria.

Let it be clear, though, that Julius Berger, or any other company so-called, should not be allowed to exploit the people under whatever Concession Arrangement involving a critical piece of infrastructure like the second Niger Bridge. Their so-called investment should and will come to nothing. A bridge built on a fraudulent foundation MUST fall. Citizens must begin to demand their due dessert from pretenders to the throne. A life of surrender, conditioned by endless prayers and exploitation by clerical purveyors of hope, will not suffice in this case.

Mr. Jonathan, his handlers, and cronies from the South-East and South-South still have very limited time to reverse themselves, as well as their deeply-offensive and odious ineptitude and policies, by directly and quickly completing the East-West Road and the second Niger Bridge, without further ado and delay. They could, as always, collect multiples of the real contract value as bribe; someday, the United States Government will extract penalties from the complicit Construction Company. In other countries where non-strategic infrastructure have been concessioned out, the Government acts as the protector of the citizens, setting standards, aggregating public interest, achieving optimal costs, minimizing waste, setting the tariff, and defining the time-frame for toll collection. In Nigeria’s case, both the Government and the so-called Concessionaires are a united usurious entity, exposing the citizens unduly to endemic exploitation. In any case, competing and several alternatives are provided before roads are tolled. Not in Nigeria. Our dealers will do well to study the Latin American model, to understand how this program works.

I have discussed with a wide range of Igbo professionals in Nigeria and overseas, and they are in unison regarding the egregious insult involved in the structure being proposed by Mr. Jonathan, his Minister of Works, and their Administration. They affirm that, rather than accept the so-called concessioning of the Niger Bridge, Igbos should be allowed to float a Municipal Bond or contribute among themselves, to construct the bridge. The implication of this would be a final severance of whatever psychological link Igbos have with Nigeria. It is common knowledge that Igbo people have typically taxed themselves to provide electricity, water, roads, schools, etc., in their communities, through a well-honed self-effort system. They can also construct this short bridge that will save their lives, without the involvement of their politicians and their mentors in Abuja. In the case of the second Niger Bridge, let it be made very clear that the Igbos will not forget or forgive the perpetuation of marginalization, exploitation, and insult under any arrangement that involves the erection of toll gates on that bridge. Indeed, that bridge shall not stand, under the Jonathan paradigm, and Mr. Jonathan will do well not to delude himself that he is guaranteed of Igbo votes in 2015.

 

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

CLO Replies Okupe, Says National CONFAB Treasonable.


…Backs Governor Elechi’s View Point

Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

The Civil Liberties Organization, CLO, has aligned it self with Ebonyi state Governor, Martin Elechi ‘s position on the proposed national conference, describing it as an assault on Nigeria’s constitution.

the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs Dr. Doyin Okupe

the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs Dr. Doyin Okupe

African Examiner reports that Gov. Elechi had last Friday, in his country home Ikwo, Ebonyi state, criticized the proposed Confab, saying it will amount to waste of funds.

CLO’s support for Elechi’s position on the issue was coming few hours after both the presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, lashed out at the Governor over the anti-national conference statements credited to him.

In a press statement signed by the south east zonal coordinator of CLO Barrister Olu Omotayo, made available to African Examiner in Enugu on Sunday, the human Rights organization hailed Elechi for taking such “bold stand.”

In the statement, the organization insisted that the conference is illegal and treasonable.

The statement reads:

“The Civil Liberties Organisation South-East Zone salutes the courage and wisdom of Governor Martin Elechi, of Ebonyi State, being the first governor and leader in the Southeast to come out openly and condemn in an unequivocal term the proposed national conference.

“The respected Leader and Elder had stated last Friday that he will not participate in the national conference being planned by President Goodluck Jonathan. The governor dismissed the planned conference as ‘a big joke, waste of time, and a distraction’.

“The Federal government in its’ reaction described Governor Elechi’s comments as undemocratic, dictatorial and against the rights of citizens to freely participate in popular discussions. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe had stated that ‘the issue of participation of the states of the Federation in the national conference is beyond the approval of any states under the control of the PDP- led federal government’.

Okupe went further to state that ‘the national conference is a citizens’ civic responsibility and it is constitutional in the face of right of assembly for citizens’.

“We submit that the convocation of a national conference lacking any enabling law passed by the National Assembly is an assault on the constitution of Nigeria and is treason perse. The Constitution gives only the National Assembly the powers to legislate for the good governance of the country.  “Any other organ whatsoever lacks the powers or legality to determine what is good and the way forward for the country. The over 150 millions Nigerians gave the powers to legislate for the good governance of this country to their representatives in both chambers of the National Assembly”.

CLO further noted, “Suggestion or convocation of a national conference without the legal backing of the National Assembly is a way of looking for another way to governed this country outside the provisions of the constitution and is a treasonable offence.

“The Nigeria Constitution itself provides in Section 1(2), that “The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall not be governed, nor shall any person or group of persons take control of the Government of Nigeria or any part thereof, except in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution”. So the convocation of a national conference is not within the provisions and contemplation of the Constitution, unless the proponents are advocating for a revolution because advocating for what is not in the Constitution of the Federal Republic is calling for a revolution which is treason.

“In a Federal system if the executive attempts to take over or usurp the powers of the legislature then anarchy looms. If there is need for new laws or policies necessary for the good governance of the country, the executive should propose such as a bill to the National Assembly but not to attempt taking an extra constitutional path.

“On the issue raised by Dr. Doyin Okupe that ‘the issue of participation of the states of the Federation in the national conference is beyond the approval of any states under the control of the PDP- led federal government’, he erred because it is incumbent on the states of the federation irrespective of political affiliations to uphold the constitution and resist any attack by any tier of government on the constitution because the Constitution in its Section 1(1), states that ‘This Constitution is supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria’.

“Furthermore on the other issue raised by Okupe that ‘the national conference is a citizens’ civic responsibility and it is constitutional in the face of right of assembly for citizens’, it is submitted that all other rights and provisions of the constitution is subject to to the provision of Section 1(1) of the Constitution quoted above which provides for and re enforce the Supremacy of the Constitution of Nigeria over all persons and authorities, so any assembly of persons or group of persons to undermine the supremacy of the constitution in not civic but an unlawful assembly to commit an assault on the constitution which is treason.

“We ally with the position of Governor Elechi, commend his courage and hope that all our other leaders in the southeast will emulate his firmness, truthfulness and courage on national issues affecting the southeast and Nigeria in general”.

Governor Elechi was on Friday quoted as saying that “the National conference to me is a big joke, waste of time and a distraction to Goodluck Jonathan. I’m skeptical about it. It will not achieve anything.

“The constitution gives the National Assembly the power to makes laws and the referendum cannot over ride the deliberations of the National Assembly.

“The best was the colloquium by former President Obasanjo in 2005. There, all segments of national life talked and reached far-reaching decisions. I will still consult my people but if at the end they decided to participate, I will not stop anybody but I will distance myself and be an on-looker.”

Source; African Examiner.

Abomination: Grandma sold daughter’s baby girl for $1,600 in Cross River state.


 girl sold CRiver state

A woman in Cross River state has been arrested by the police after her daughter reported her for selling her baby for N253,000 (about $1,600)Miss Ndidi Nkwegu, alleged that her mother sold her baby daughter to a child trafficker, who has also been nabbed, in the neighbouring Ebonyi state, after she sold the baby at a bigger price to another ‘baby business tycoon’ based in Abuja.“When I came back home and asked my mother for the whereabouts of my daughter, she couldn’t tell me anything reasonable.“I discovered that she had bought so many things which she never had before; actually, my mother was never happy with me when she discovered that I was pregnant, prior to my giving birth to my baby girl.“I had to call the police; my mother is now in police detention in Cross River State.“After interrogation, the police discovered that she was the one who sold my baby to a woman who is a child trafficker,” she told newsmen.The case blew open after the the Ebonyi State command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) arrested four persons allegedly engaged in child trafficking.They were paraded Friday.Mrs Ego Echendu, the Commandant of NSCDC in Ebonyi, told a news conference at the NSCDC Headquarters in Abakaliki, said that the suspects were arrested on Thursday in Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi.“Yesterday we were able to arrest some suspects we have been trailing and monitoring for about one month now; they are involved in child trafficking,” he said.”The Traffic Unit of the Command foiled the suspects’ plot to convey their victims out of the state. However, other suspects are still at large but as soon as the command completes its investigation, the case would be transferred to the agency responsible for such matters,’’ she said.Echendu said that one of the traffickers was a dealer in the child trafficking business while the other suspect was a buyer.“We had to strike yesterday following the information that reached us.

“The buyer was about to move to Abuja to sell the baby to another set of people for a higher amount; the information we got was that the baby was bought at the cost of N253, 500.“We are tiding up our file. As this is not one of our core mandates, we are going to transfer the case to the agency saddled with such responsibility,” she said.Echendu said that the suspects had confessed to the crime, adding that they also divulged information on some of their accomplices.“The dealer is Blessing Nwilo, a teacher in Sharon Secondary School, Abakaliki, but she hails from Enugu; the buyer is Ngboro Chikezie from Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi.“She claims to be an Area Officer with the Ministry of Education in Ebonyi,” she said.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Bishop Udogu National Confab Nothing should be off-limit.


 

Bishop-Udogu-2

Rt. Reverend Paul Udogu is the Bishop of Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) Afikpo Diocese, Ebonyi State. In this interview the cleric bares his mind on key national issues in the country especially the proposed national dialogue, saying that ethnic nationalities must answer the question as to whether they still want to continue as a nation. EXCERPTS:

What is your reaction to the initiative by President Jonathan for a National conference?

It is a welcome development that is long overdue. We salute the initiatives of Mr. President at inaugurating the advisory committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Femi Okurounmu that will work out the modalities for the national dialogues or conference.

We are aware that the advisory committee is busy visiting the six geopolitical zones and collecting memoranda from the general public on what should be the modalities of the national dialogue.

What should be the structure of the conference?

 

The space called Nigeria was negotiated by the colonialists with the various ethnic nationalities that inhabit the space. Each of these ethnic nationalities has a position with respect to their interest and expectations from the entity called Nigeria. They must therefore form the key groups in any discussion about Nigeria. Participation on basis such as local government, state, geopolitical zones should be de-emphasized.

However, to accommodate contemporary realities, the structure of any discourse should transcend an assembly of nationalities to cater for other interest groups from government MDA’s (Ministries, departments and agencies) to professional and trade associations, religious bodies, to activists on human rights, self-determination, gender sensitivity and pro democracy.

In addition, credible international organizations such as the UN (United Nations) should be invited to sit as observers.

We are of the opinion that each identified ethnic nationality should have five representatives while other interest groups have two representatives each.

Does the national dialogue require any legal frame for it to be operational?
Yes, the process must be conducted in tandem with the operating manual of the entity called Nigeria. For now that document is the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Credible information

In this regard, an act of parliament is required to give the conference (the necessity for it) and its modality (representation, scope, duration, implementation) the force of law. It should also be subject to the United Nations Charter of Equity.

What about the duration of the conference?

With elections due in early 2015, discussions should not last beyond June 2014 (six months). To this end, a recourse to credible information must form the basis for discussion. A collation of reports of all previous National conference reports (the first was in 1966 under Gen. Gowon) must be made available to all participants prior to commencement of actual discussions.

The rationale is that most of the strongly held view points of the different interest groups are already well enunciated in previous confab reports.

What do you think should be the key issues to be discussed at the national conference?

In 1920, barely six years after the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates of the entity called Nigeria, Sir Hugh Clifford who was then Governor General of Nigeria under the British colonial administration described Nigeria as a collection of “independent native states, separated from one another by great distances, by differences of history and traditions and by ethnological, racial, tribal, political, social, and religious barriers”.

This supports the argument that the space called Nigeria is a negotiated arrangement between the colonialist and separate groups of widely different peoples and tribes with clear disparities, divisions and sometimes hatreds.

Economic interest

These diverse entities were lumped together to advance British economic interest and subsequently amalgamated for administrative convenience.

This suggests a faulty foundation for the entity called Nigeria and so makes it imperative that to capture the true position of every ethnic nationality and other interest groups, nothing should be considered off limits.

The original partners in this unintended marriage of sorts must first agree on the terms of their continued co-habitation. In fact, these ethnic nationalities, must answer the question whether they want to continue as a nation.

Frank discussions will engender trust and foster mutual agreements amongst the groups on what constitutes political justice, social justice, economic justice cultural justice and religious justice.

What do you suggest should be the legal procedure of the conference?
Agreed positions from the discussions by representatives of interest groups should be subjected to a referendum to ascertain general will. hereafter, it should be sent as a “People’s bill” to the National Assembly for passage and incorporation into the constitution.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Baby Factory Problem, Evidence of Rochas Okorocha’s Evil Rule, What Can Imo People Do?.


Baby Factory

Rescue 16 pregnant teenagers
Imo State Police Command yesterday arrested one Dr. Ezuma for alleged human trafficking, operating under the guise of a non-governmental organisation (NGO). Ezuma, a native of Ndiokeke Ndiakunwanta in Arondizogu in Ideato Local Government Area of Imo State, was arrested in his residence at Egbu Road, Owerri which he had allegedly registered as an NGO called women and children rights protection initiative along with 16 pregnant teenage girls.
Parading the suspect before newsmen, the state Commissioner for Police, Mr. Muhammad Katsina, said the suspect had used the NGO as a cover for his heinous activities of encouraging teenage girls to get pregnant and after delivery, they were paid N100,000 on the condition that

they would abandon their babies. “You may wish to know that when a search was conducted in the premises being used as an office for an NGO, 16 pregnant teenage girls between the ages of 14 and 19 years, who are at different stages of pregnancy, were seen. Also recovered in the premises was an automatic eight loader pump action gun which is a prohibited firearm.” The police boss also  expressed concern over a missing newborn baby who was sold to unknown persons who were yet to be found. He said the child was delivered on November 24 by one Chinaza Nnachi, a native of Ebonyi State, who came to the home when she was stranded during her pregnancy. Katsina said efforts to locate the child proved abortive as the suspect had refused to lead the police to where the baby was being kept. “So far he has taken us to Abia State, where he said the baby is but we were unable to recover the baby; though investigations are still ongoing, the presumption at the moment is that the baby may have been used for ritual purposes.” The Imo State police boss alleged that the suspect was a gun runner who had been arraigned for unlawful possession of firearms. “It is pertinent to mention that the suspect was arraigned before an Owerri Chief Magistrate Court 1 in November 2013 for the offence of conspiracy and unlawful possession of firearms.” The police also found 10 unregistered vehicles which the suspect claimed to own; the commissioner however said Ezuma could not provide any proof of purchase or ownership of the vehicles. He warned parents and guardians to be vigilant and ensure that their children do not fall prey to exploiters, adding, that the command would continue in its campaign to ensure that the business of trading in unborn babies in the state was eradicated and the perpetrators brought to book.

From GEORGE ONYEJIUWA, Owerri

Source: Radio Biafra.

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