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Posts tagged ‘Goodluck Jonathan’

Nigeria to pay N12m to each delegate at the confab; Bakare says he won’t receive allowance.


 

Serving Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has said that he will not partake of the N12m to be paid to each delegate to the three-month National Conference to be inaugurated by President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday (today).
Bakare, representing Ogun State at the conference, said he made the decision not to collect the money to be paid to delegates by the Federal Government in order to dispel any speculation that his motivation for accepting to take part in the conference was material.
Each of the 492 delegates to the National Conference would be paid N4m per month for the three month duration and this has been the subject of controversy with some Nigerians condemning the amount to be spent.
Announcing to his church members that he had accepted to be a delegate to the conference, Bakare told the congregation that he would be giving them weekly report as the conference progressed.
He said, “A friend of mine called me this (Sunday) morning that he heard on the radio that ‘Pastor Bakare had accepted to go, that his own fee is N12m’. Pastor Bakare will not take a kobo in the National Conference.
“I will not take a penny. It has nothing to do with others; that is by choice. We go with integrity of heart, it is not money. The God of heaven will prosper us.
“What I say here is what I will do there. I do not say others should do it, but I intend to do that so that our heart can remain pure. That does not mean the hearts of others are not pure but I don’t want anybody to think in any slight manner that the motive is this.
“This is the moment we have been waiting for, for this end I was born. Nigeria will be saved, Nigeria will be changed, and Nigeria will become great.”
Bakare explained that before he decided to be a delegate, he sought the approval of Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), the man to whom the cleric was a running mate on the platform of Congress for Progressive Change in the 2011 presidential election.
He said, “Before I answered the call, before I said yes, I called General Buhari that ‘I don’t want our stands on this national conference issue to be different. The governor of Ogun State put me on his list, the Elders of South-West put me on their list. What do you say?’
“He said the All Progressives Congress might not be going, but you are free to go because you never can tell how God will help our nation. That does not mean I am in APC. People have been asking, ‘are you in APC,’ ‘are you in PDP?’ I have told you, I am on the side of God. In this season I don’t know until we fix Nigeria.”
by PUNCH
(From Biafra Galaxy)

Again Boko Haram kills two; sets churches, houses ablaze.


 

BY NDAHI MARAMA, MAIDUGURI
Suspected members of Boko Haram terrorists have again invaded Pela Birni village of Hawul Local Government Area of Borno state, killing two residents before setting ablaze two churches and many residential houses ablaze.

Pela Birni is one of the populated and remote village under Kwajjafa District in southern Borno with Christian domination, and about few kilometres drive to Garkida town of Adamawa state.

Witnesses said, the gunmen who came to the village at about 10pm on Sunday with sophisticated weapons opened fire on their targets thereby displacing hundreds of residents who are now taking refuge around the mountainous areas of Kwajjafa District and it’s environs.

Mallam Musa Anjili Pela Birni in a telephone call to our Correspondent said, he narrowly escaped being killed by the attackers, as the house he was sleeping in was also set ablaze.

“The gunmen invaded our village at about 10 o’clock in the evening on Sunday, they started shouting God is Great. In some houses, they did not shoot at the residents but ordered them to vacate their houses and set them ablaze, saying we are here for God work”.

Another Resident who did not want his name mentioned in the print told our Correspondent that most of the neighbouring houses near the Church of Brethern, (EYN in Hausa) were set ablaze including the church, while two people lost their lives, as well as many sustained injuries.

He said, the gunmen who were large in number carrying AK47 rifles, petrol bombs and Improvised Explosive Devices ( IED’s ) had a field day and wrecked havoc on innocent poor civilians.

The Chairman of Hawul Local Government Area, Dr. Andrew Usman Malgwi confirmed the incident, lamenting that the rate at which suspected insurgents are holding people to ransom in Borno state and other states in the north east is worrisome, and calls for serious prayers from all and sundry.

“Yes there was an attack in one of my village (Pela Birni) yesterday (Sunday evening) which led to wanton killings and destruction of property. We have communicated to relevant security agencies on the matter who have swung into action with a view to apprehend the perpetrators, we have also mobilized our people to ascertain the damage and assist the displaced Persons as an interim measure”.

The Chairman however expressed shock and displeasure over the incident where innocent citizens and poor villagers who live from hand to mouth will be attacked, killed and have their houses including places of worship burnt down by insurgents for not just cause.

(From Biafra Galaxy)

FG insists on no-go areas on National Conference.


There were indications last night that the Federal Government was serious about enforcing the no-go area clauses contained in the report of the Presidential Committee on National Conference, as many of the delegates began to arrive Abuja, yesterday, for the confab inauguration today.

Vanguard learnt from competent Presidency sources that the government was working hard to ensure that the delegates did not discuss any issue that could lead to the dismembering of Nigeria.

While unfolding the details of the National Conference in Abuja, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius

Anyim, listed the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as the areas that the delegates were not expected to deliberate on.
Vanguard learnt from authoritative sources that the government was bent on ensuring that the delegates kept to the issues canvassed by majority of Nigerians when the Femi Okurounmi-led Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue went round the country to collate their views on what should form the issues for discussion at the conference.

It was gathered that the Federal Government through the Conference Planning Secretariat had also developed a set of rules and regulations to guide the delegates’ deliberations and to ensure that they do not go outside their brief during plenary.

One source said that it was in recognition of the need to ensure that the delegates conform to what Nigerians had already pinpointed as the main areas of interest, that each delegate would be given a set of rules and regulations upon arrival in Abuja.

“While the government would not gag the delegates on what to discuss, it is also clear that the government will not allow anything that could lead to the break-up of Nigeria.

It is important to say that the committee planning the conference had outlined the major areas of interest to Nigerians based on the views expressed by them when the committee went round the six geo-political zones of the country.

“There is no doubt that the submission of the committee will help immensely in shaping the agenda of the meeting even though the secretariat will not in any way try to gag the delegates on what to say.

“It is also pertinent to say that anyone who wants to deviate from the views of the majority of Nigerians at the conference will have to test the superiority of their argument by winning by at least 75 per cent votes,” the source explained.

Vanguard also gathered that in a bid to ensure the success of the exercise, the secretariat might adopt a modified version of the Votes and Proceedings of the National Assembly for its work.

Although the delegates were expected to arrive for accreditation today, Vanguard observed that no fewer than 20 delegates had already been screened by hordes of security agents manning the expansive compound of the National Judicial Institute, NJI, the venue of the talks.

Each of the screened delegates was issued with tags with machine-readable security features and biometrics of the delegates.

Source: Radio Biafra.

By SONI DANIEL, Regional Editor, North

Duplicitous Atiku Commends Jonathan On 2nd Niger Bridge, knowing full well that it is a scam.


Former Vice President, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, said, Monday, that the flag off of the construction of the second Niger Bridge by President Goodluck Jonathan was belated, “as the project ought to have been completed before now.”

Atiku stated this while delivering a keynote address at the 16th annual conference of African Council for Communication Education.

The conference was entitled “Communication, Children and the Youth in the 21stcentury,” and was hosted by the Department of Mass Communication, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

At the time Atiku was speaking at Nsukka, President Jonathan was in Onitsha, Anambra State, flagging off the construction of the second Niger Bridge.

The former vice president, however, commended the President for eventually flagging off the construction of the second Niger Bridge after long years of wait.

He said that when completed, “the bridge would boost economic activities and transportation in the South-East zone and environs.”

In his address, Atiku urged participants at the ACCE conference to find solutions on how best to ensure that 10 million out-of-school children returned to school.

“The participants should also seek solution to the high rate of unemployment facing youths in the country,” he said.

He tasked the media on content that would promote the Nigerian economy, which, he said, has diverse sources of revenue and employment generation. “We don’t have to depend just on oil, but on agriculture, solid minerals, manufacturing and services”.

He said, “The media as an agenda setter should promote ideas for building the 21stcentury robust economy. You also have the responsibility to promote an education system mix of academic and vocational training, so as to cater for diverse needs of the youth and the emerging economy.”

Atiku, a presidential hopeful in the All Progressives Congress, advocated that federal schools be handed over to states in which they were located, saying, “It would help in administration and management of the schools.”

He added, “The Federal Government should also focus on setting regulatory standards and insist on implementing these standards.

“It will save cost as well as make it easier in management if federal schools were handed over to the states.”

The Vice Chancellor, University of Nigeria, Prof. Bartho Okolo, expressed appreciation to the former vice president for honoring the invitation.

Earlier, the Head, Department of Mass Communication in the institution, Dr. Ray Udeaja, explained that the aim of the conference was to continue to advance evolution of communication education in Africa as well as guarantee the dignity of young Africans in the coming days.

“We are aware of the faith our society reposes on those of us who are in the academics. This is why we organise such conferences as these to enable us contribute to sustainable development.

“This conference targets young Africans who are our successors on this planet,” he said.

Udeaja added that the ACCE 2013 annual conference held this year (2014) because of the protracted Academic Staff Union of Universities strike last year. [Vanguard]

(From Biafra Galaxy)

Fresh Boko Haram Scare Hits Imo Nigeriens, Northerners Flood Owerri.


 

Palpable fear and uneasy calm is gradually enveloping in Imo state following the unprecedented increase in the number of Nigerians and Northerners in the state.
It would be recalled that the PDP in Imo state had at a press briefing few weeks ago raised alarm about possible Boko Haram in Imo when it alleged that people from the Northern part of the country where activities of Boko Haram is dominant were being trained at the state government built ICAPS complex on Egbu road Owerri. Later discoveries indicate that youths from a particular Northern state were undergoing training at ICAPS. The trainees were later sent back to the respective state by concerned authorities in Imo.
However, heavy presence of Nigerians believed to be from the Northern part of the country is being noticed in the state capital especially in Owerri and other developed towns of Orlu, Okigwe Mgbidi, Ahiara junction and Nwaoriebu.
Our reporters who have been monitoring the developments since the beginning of the year, noticed that major corners in the state capital like Douglas/Mbaise Roads, and Ama JK are witnessing beehive of activities swelled by the presence of the foreigners who have turned to itinerant artisans and craftsmen. Apart from textile and petty trading, some of them are involved in cobbler and roadside merchandising.
Trumpeta visit to Ama Hausa, abode for Northerners showed that the quarters have been over filled with people from the Hausa Fulani speaking states and foreigners with little or no space to operate. Same applies to major areas in the state capital where uncompleted buildings and shanties have turned to places of abode for these foreigners and Northerners alike.
The reasons for the influx of foreigners and Northerners could not be ascertained as to press time but reports have it that if might not be unconnected with inclement security conditions in the Northern parts of the country. It was gathered that the heavy military presence coupled with exercises of soldiers searching for Boko Haram suspects sent many Northerners and foreigners from the sect’s infested areas to terror-free zones to avoid either been caught in cross fire or nabbed by the soldiers.
However, their presence has not gone down well with residents of the state who are scared and expressing misgivings over the influx of non indigenes from the North. Apparently aware of the Boko Haram scare in Southern states like Lagos and Rivers state occasioned by heavy presence of Northerners and foreigners, Imo residents are experiencing uneasy calm, palpable fear and tension.
Some residents, who spoke to our reporter on the increasing presence of foreigners and Northerners on Owerri streets, noted that it is a dangerous trend security agencies should delve into, adding that proactive measures must be instituted to check any action likely to cause insurgence in the state.

By peter uzoma.

Source: Radio Biafra.

We are seeing hell – Borno Elders.


 

The Bornu Elders, Monday gave a graphic details of how life in Borno and the entire north east has been reduced to hell by the activities insurgents.

Addressing a gathering of Northern Elders Forum in Kano, Zanna Hassan Boguma who delivered a goodwill message on behalf of Borno Elders Forum declared that the entire region is now engaged in full time war from enemy within.

Boguma stated that “we have been seeing hell, our people are constantly decimated, our towns and villages razed, properties destroyed, schools and places of worship burnt, even innocent travelers were not spared” .

The elder stateman said that from the inceasant attack that the axis had witnessed in the last weeks was a confirmation of how vulnerable the entire region is.
He disclosed that the region has been turn in to a war zone with attendant humanitarian crisis, stressing that this is the time the whole country should mobilized to stop the carnage.

Boguma who doubted the intention of the perpetrators of this crime against humanity in the region was quick to add that “much as we know, the whole matter has nothing to do with claimed intention of a section imposing their will on the others, or issues of sharia or making the country ungovernable for the President or a religious war as they want to look at it”.

He however accused the Federal Government of lacking the political will to address the crisis, pointing out that Borno Elders is surprised at the grave yard silence of Government and its inability to implement several report on the insurgency turned in by expert engaged to do so by the same Government.

The Borno Elders noted that the solution to the crisis does not lie with the PDP or APC, maintaining that the situation at hand transcend politics and urged the entire Country to identify with them at the moment of need.

This catastrophe which has befallen us should be the concern of all Northerners irrespective of tribe, region, or creed. Those of you who are residing far away shold know that other citizens needed your sympathy and attention”.

Boguma posited that “until those who were namd as supporters, financiers, and alliesto the Boko Haram were brought to justice, until the political Boko Haram were apprehended and prosecuted, until the operations to contain this madness is sincerely handled, lives of our innocent villagers will continued to be sacrificed”.

By AbdulSalam Muhammad

Source: Radio Biafra.

President Jonathan hand pick National conference list of delegates sparks anger.


 

Even before it begins, the National Conference is generating acrimony – the very ailment it is expected to tackle.

The talk shop to which 492 delegates have been invited is to be inaugurated by President Goodluck Jonathan next Monday. It will be chaired by a retired Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Idris Lagbo Kutigi.

But the Ogoni in Rivers State, the Itsekiri of Delta State and Pensioners, among others, rejected the list yesterday. They are angry that they have been “sidelined”.

The coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOS) in the Northeast has also rejected the delegates’ list.

Besides, a top official of the All Progressives Congress (APC) said the opposition party might not be keen on filling the two slots allotted it at the conference.

But a former President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), said the conference should be given the benefit of the doubt to succeed.

He urged President Jonathan not to reduce its outcome and concessions to “mere advisory significances”.

The APC chief, who is a member of the Interim National Executive Committee (NEC), doubted the Federal Government’s sincerity.

He said: “If they are still waiting for the list of delegates from the APC, they may have to wait till eternity. If they are waiting for our list before they start it, then, the conference will not hold. Our opinion and disposition are known. They need to understand where we stand.”

Asked to comment on the participation in the conference of some APC chieftains nominated by state governments and other bodies, he said they are not representing the interest of the opposition party.

“There is no evidence that the conference will solve Nigeria’s problems. As at today, we have no delegates’ list. The people expecting us to send a list are not blind and they are not deaf. Our position is clear,” the official said.

The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) at the weekend wrote the Presidency through the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, protesting it exclusion.

The union said: “We are strongly protesting the exclusion of our Union from the National conference, which, if not quickly redressed, would lead to mass protest by pensioners all over Nigeria.

“We humbly call on Your Excellency, to use your good offices to rectify this ugly situation as soon as possible. This issue has been referred to the Nigeria Labour Congress for quick intervention as well.”

In the letter dated March 7, titled: “National Conference Nomination: Letter of Protest”, the NUP National President, Dr. Abel Afolayan, said the six slots that were allotted to retired civil servants were all for the Council of Retired Permanent Secretaries (CORFEPS).

According to the the letter, the NUP should have been consulted as the major stakeholders representing the interest of the entire civil service retirees/ pensioners.

Afolayan added: “Ironically, other related retirees’ associations, such as the military, the police, State Security Service, were all given slots to represent the interests of their members with the exception of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners.

“Regrettably, the presence of the National President of the union at the office of the SGF on the 5th of March, 2014 to protest this oversight was rebuffed by the Permanent Secretary (Special Duties) of the office of the SGF.

“I am writing on behalf of over 1 million pensioners in Nigeria who are members of our union.

We consider it necessary to direct our complaint to the office of the SGF because it is the office charged with the responsibility of compiling the list of the delegates to the National Conference.

“It is on this note that we wish to draw your attention to the Federal Government’s announcement in the media on the release of the list of delegates to the National Conference, which indicated that retired civil servants were given six slots to the National Conference.

“As the only union registered and approved by the Ministry of Labour and Productivity for Nigerian civil pensioners/retirees, it was expected that our union, rather than the association of the retired Federal Permanent Secretaries should nominate delegates to the conference. But to our greatest dismay, we discovered that the union was sidelined.

The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has written to President Jonathan to protest the exclusion of Ogoni from the national conference.

MOSOP, through its President, Legborsi Saro Pyagbara, in the letter to the President accused the Federal Government of marginalising Ogoni people.

It reiterated that the national conference was set up to address lingering imbalances, injustice and instability occasioned by marginalisation and violation of people’s rights, among other issues.

The umbrella organisation of Ogoni people said: “We have reviewed the published list of delegates (to the national conference) and are shocked that while some ethnic groups in the country are represented by over 40 delegates in some instances, others have no representation whatsoever.

“For us (Ogoni) specifically, in spite of the huge sacrifices we have made in our pioneering struggle for justice in the Niger Delta and democracy in the country as a whole, we are appalled that even out of the list of 15 delegates from the Southsouth, while some ethnic groups in the zone were represented by upwards of five delegates, not even one of our people was considered for inclusion.

“We had thought that the Federal Government’s nominations would help address cases of such obvious omissions, but surprisingly, we found that it suffered the same fate.

“Given the internationally-acknowledged contributions and huge sacrifices of the Ogoni people, under the leadership of MOSOP, to the struggle for democracy, justice, human rights, including indigenous people’s and minority rights, environmental justice and true federalism, we see the exclusion of Ogoni people as another major step in the continuing government policy to malign and oppress the Ogoni people and diminish their huge contributions to nation building.

“This our protest is predicated on our firm belief that any dialogue process to address the injustice of marginalisation cannot succeed, if erected on the shallow foundation of exclusion and that the best way of perpetrating injustice is to exclude those most afflicted by it from discussions aimed at addressing it.

“Our people and others like us have been the barometer by which injustice in Nigeria has over the years been measured and that explains why we have been in the forefront with others to advocate national discourse to address the national question. Our exclusion not only sends a dangerous, even if inadvertent message, but asks important questions about the credibility of the process.”

It declared that Ogoni people and other indigenous/minority communities would not consider themselves bound by whatever decisions that would be reached at the national conference, should the organisation’s protest not be considered.

The Volunteers for Protection of Itsekiri Rights accused Jonathan of “rigging” the list of delegates to achieve a predetermined agenda in favour of his Ijaw kinsmen.

VPIR, in a statement by Robinson Ariyo, Leleji Augustine and Okpeyeghan Toju, National Coordinator, Secretary and Public Relations Officer, said the exclusion of the Itsekiri ethnic group from the original list of delegates was suspicious.

It also faulted the explanation of “anomaly” proffered by the state government for the exclusion of Chief Isaac Jemide, the Itsekiri delegate, saying, “We suggest that it is because in this instance, the selection criteria for the delegates were rigged from inception to favour one ethnic group above every other ethnic group in Nigeria.”

It said the assertion was buttressed by The Presidency’s presentation of an delegate in each of the categories, stressing that other ethnic groups must also vet the list properly to ensure that the agenda of a group is not imposed on Nigerians.

“With the conspiracy to exclude the Itsekiris from participating in this conference and the fact that over 20 delegates of Ijaw ethnic extraction are on board, Nigerians need to revisit the set of criteria finally chosen by the Presidency to make this possible,” the statement added.

The Itsekiri group said the hoopla generated by the exclusion of their kinsmen and other ethnic groups from the list of delegates justified initial calls that selection of delegates be done along the lines of ethnic nationalities as suggested by constitutional lawyer, Prof. Ben Nwabueze.

They claimed that the decision not to make selection on ethnic line was to “guarantee that Ijaw have the well over 20 slots which they now have. While the Itsekiris have none, Isokos and Urhobos have only about three jointly.

“Now that the Presidency has gone ahead to execute its strategy of lopsided representation of delegates to suit the President’s ethnic group, we call on all other ethnic groups in Nigeria to peruse the list of delegates against the alleged criteria and determine how much each has been cheated in this scheme before we proceed any further with the conference.

Secretary of the Coalition of the Northeast Civil Societies, Alhaji Baba Shehu told reporters in Damaturu yesterday that the conference is a jamboree of fraudulent and selfish government agents without the full representation of the people at the local level.

Alhaji Shehu noted that 25 CSOs in the region met and nominated four delegates but the list was thrown into the dust bin by the Federal Government.

“We the Civil Society Organisations in the Northeast receive the news of the delegates of the CSOs in our region with a rude shock.

“The list as released by the Federal Government is completely strange from the criteria and procedure of selection of the delegates as earlier directed.

“Apart from our complete ignorance of the names of delegates on the list, we are also noticed that the region has been short-changed by two delegates. Instead of the four names that we forwarded after our meeting on the 12/02/2014, none of the names came out only for us to see just two strange names on the list.

“We make bold to say that the Northeast more than any other region in this country at the moment needs a more true representation at this conference to discussion its problems. It is rather unfortunate that some people would sit in Abuja and make a decision on such a sensitive matter of this nature.”

Olanipekun said no constitution disallows President Jonathan from organising a National Conference, noting that “sovereignty resides in and with the people.”

The former chair of the University of Ibadan Governing council explained that the NBA had long been in the struggle for the convocation of a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) since the 1980s under the leadership of Chief Alao Aka-Bashorun.

“Whether it is National Conference or Sovereign National Conference, Nigerians must start from somewhere. We have to cross-fertilise ideas on how best to run the country, whether the Presidential system should continue or not. We have to go there and listen to discussion”.

He said: “Are we saying the maiming and killing of innocent Nigerians presently in some parts of the country should not be discussed? Are we saying these human lives have no meaning to us?, he queried”.

“It is the conference that would determine the type of constitution and system of government that would be operated in Nigeria. It is the conference that will give us a groundrum and not to advise Mr President”, Olanipekun said.

Source: Radio Biafra.

APC registers 100,000 non-indigenes in Rivers, begins mobilisation for 2015 elections.


 

About 100,000 non-indigenes in Rivers State have registered as members of the All Progressives Congress

(APC), Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Interim State Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, has disclosed.

Eze said the information was given this weekend by Alhaji Yusuf Tanko, Chairman of the Registration Committee of the Non Indigenes Political Forum (NIPF) of Rivers APC, during a meeting of the Forum held at the State APC Secretariat in Port Harcourt.

He quoted Alhaji Tanko as saying while submitting a preliminary report of the work done by his committee during the recent APC nationwide membership registration exercise: “Our target was to register about 800,000 non-indigenes but due to the attacks on members by PDP hoodlums we could only mobilise about 100,000 non-indigenes who are genuine members of APC today. With this number we are capable of mobilising the 1.6m non indigenes voters in Rivers State for any election in favour of APC candidates any day, anytime. I commend and congratulate my colleagues particularly Chief Uchenna Okokoba, the NIPF Coordinator, who was on our neck to ensure that the required result is achieved. Of course, greater thanks go to Barr. Chuma Chinye, Leader of NIPF and the State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, who ensured that all the relevant logistics were made available to us.”

Eze in a statement issued this afternoon in Port Harcourt also quoted Barr. Chinye as commending the committee for its achievement. He said the commissioner assured the new APC members that they have made the right decision, stating that all non-indigenes in Rivers State can be assured that the APC administration come 2015 will give them all the necessary support to succeed in their various endeavours in the state.

“Let me reiterate that Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, apart from being very supportive is interested in all that we are doing as he has assured us of his commitment to carry us along; so we need to unite and ensure that an APC administration is installed in Rivers State come 2015 and totally reject PDP as the party has declared war on Rivers State and those living in the state, including our members besides Gov. Amaechi has proved that he is a nationalist who is committed to ensure the security and welfare of all Nigerians residing in Rivers State,” Barr. Chinye reportedly said.

The statement said that after brainstorming on the way forward, the meeting mandated the NIPF leadership to begin mobilisation for the 2015 elections by undertaking a tour of all state’s chapters to ensure that members of the Forum participate actively in the party congresses expected to start later this month.

Eze said that apart from himself, other NIPF leaders present at the meeting included Chief Ade Adeogun, Chairman of Rivers State Sanitation Commission, and Mr. David Iyofor, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Amaechi.

•Photo shows Barr. Chuma Chinye, Leader of NIPF and the State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry.

Source News Express

The Exclusion Of Ogu (Egun) People From The Lagos And Ogun National Conference Delegates’ List.


The continuous marginalization of the Ogu (Egun) people of South-West Nigeria is common knowledge. The late sage and Premier of the then Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo has remained the reference point in leadership not only because of his selflessness and capability, but primarily because of his inclusiveness. For example, it was Chief Awolowo who appointed the Aholu, Claudius Dosa Akran from Badagry as the Minister for Economic Planning and Community Development (1958 – 1964) in the then regional government.

At the same time, Chief D. K Aihonsu (from Ipokia, present day Ogun State) was a member of the Regional House of Representatives through the support of Chief Awolowo. Since the demise of this sage (and the leadership style he represented), there have been spirited efforts to present the South-West Nigeria as a mono-ethnic region. In this vain, political representation (other than local elective posts) has largely excluded Ogu people.

For the records, Ogu people, who speak the language called Ogu (although erroneously called Egun) had been part of this space before colonization and amalgamation of the Southern and Northern Protectorates of Nigeria. The misfortune of colonization led to the partitioning of Ogu people into Nigeria, Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana, and Ivory Coast. The geographical spread of Ogu people forms a trans-border continuum in all these countries, while settling Ogu people are found in various other places in Nigeria.

To this end, Ogu people were part of the struggle for Nigeria’s independence and have contributed in no small measure to national development. In today’s Nigeria, Ogu people are found mainly in Badagry area of Lagos State as well as in Ado-Odo/Ota, Ipokia, Imeko, and Yewa South Local Government Areas of Ogun State. They are found in most states that share borders with Benin Republic, including Oyo, Kwara and Niger States. In addition, there are various Ogu indigenous communities like Makoko and Iwaya in Lagos State, Ago-Egun in Abeokuta, among others.

The indigenous Ogu people of Nigeria have had their fair share of the troubles with Nigeria. The Ogu are the typical victim of ethnic crisis in South-West Nigeria. In recent times, there has been escalation of ethnic crisis between Ogu people and their majority Yoruba neighbours as often reported in Ado-Odo, Ipokia areas, and some parts of Badagry. A few years ago, Ogu people were, almost as a matter of policy, denied admission into Badagry Grammar School, Kakon Model College and other government-owned schools until sufficient pressure and protests were registered by their leaders. On account of the non-Yoruba names most of them bear (there are some who consciously and on account of accident of naming bear Yoruba names), Ogu people are still denied admission into the various tertiary institutions in South-West Nigeria today among other injustices arising from their minority status in the South-West in particular and Nigeria in general.

The situation, sadly, at times suggests a systematic intention to single out this particular ethnic group for persecution. To many, the Ogu are Nigerians only when it is time to vote. Lagos traditionally has five divisions with Badagry (comprising mainly the Ogu people and the Awori sub-ethnic group of the Yoruba) as one of these divisions. It is however worrisome that a lot of political decisions and other moves for development often exclude the Ogu as is playing out in the nomination of delegates for the forthcoming national conference.

The Ogu people had looked up to the national confab as a great opportunity to table their concerns and suggestions that will advance the Nigeria project. It was with anxious optimism that the Ogu people through the Ogu Concern Forum (and various other groups) made presentations and submitted memoranda to the Senator Femi Okurounmu-led Confab Committee when the panel visited the South West late last year. Among others things, the Ogu people canvassed for ethnic representation to the confab, just as many other groups had advised. The report that the Constitutional Conference Planning Committee ultimately presented recommended, among other things, that the selection of delegates from each state should reflect their ethnic composition. Following from the recommendations, the Ogu people had made presentations and suggestions to the Lagos and Ogun State governments to be represented at the national confab.

On Monday, February 24th 2014, Governor Fashola of Lagos released the names of the six nominee-delegates of Lagos State to the national confab — Alhaji Femi Okunnu, Mr. Supo Shasore, Mr. Rabiu Oluwa, Mr. Waheed Ayeni, Prof Tunde Samuel and Mrs. Funmilayo Bashorun. Just as the Ogu, who were not in any way given any consideration in the choice of delegates, were grappling with the misfortune that had befallen them, the Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun also announced the names of Ogun State nominated delegates two days after to include Sir Olaniwun Ajayi, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Senator Biyi Durojaiye, Fola Adeola, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, Mrs. Titi Filani, Barrister Biyi Adegbuyi and Senator Iyabo Anisulowo. Once again, the reality of Nigeria having a non-political national conference without Ogu people represented stares the entire South-West in the face.

The all-Yoruba delegates’ lists from Lagos and Ogun States reek through and through with contradictions. Such an exclusive list has the potential of detracting from the constant claim to a progressive character with which the South-West has often been identified. Neither is such a move in consonance with the mantra of justice and fairness and a collective developmental partnership which often reverberate in this part of the country. How, for instance, could these two states with radio and television broadcasting programmes in both Yoruba and Ogu close their eyes to the existence of Ogu ethnic nationality in their choice of delegates to the National Conference? It is an established fact that, Ogu people are not Yoruba, and to that extent, the governments of the states should have been kind enough to allow for representation of the Ogu as a distinct ethnic formation in the states. Even the non-Yoruba people in Ondo (Itshekiris, Ijaws) get better treatment from the state government.

We believe it is not late to rectify this gross marginalization and injustice. We are persuaded that there should be at least one Ogu representative in the Lagos State delegates’ list. We are equally persuaded that the Ogu people in Ogun State deserve at least one representative out of the eight delegates nominated by the state. We reject every suggestion that Ogu people can be represented by non-Ogu people, as not only does this smack of an attempt to infantilize Ogu people, it also amounts to malignant paternalism. We reject the persuasive distortions that tend to lump us up as Yoruba. We make bold to say that the absolutism being projected by the current leaders of South-West Nigeria is against the spirit of national dialogue.

We demand from the Nigerian State equal rights as citizens, including the right to air our grievances through the national conference. We remind all, that persistent injustice breeds agitation and resistance. We reject all suggestions that diminish our persons, our identities, our dignity and our uniqueness. We do not affirm difference for its sake; we do so because it is the least logical thing to do, seeing that we operate by distinct cultural paradigms that are framed by equally distinct historical evidence.

Signed on behalf of Ogu Collective:
Dr Pius Fasinu
Ms Gloria Sevezun Agbaosi
Dr Senayon Olaoluwa
Mr Viyon Awhanse
Dr Jendele Hungbo
Mr Nunayon Samson Afodewu

Ogu collective, a representative body of the Ogu people of Nigeria can be reached atogucollective@gmail.com

 

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

The Legacy Of Governor Adams Oshiomhole And Cultists Crisis In Benin City By Paul Omoruyi.


By Paul Omoruyi

Our moral, religious, and political traditions are united in their respect for the dignity of human life. – Robert Casey

If anyone is paying attention, over the years, cult killings and counter-killings have taken more lives than the reprehensible killings of Boko Haram. Sadly, Nigeria’s cult wars and deaths do not make national news like Boko Haram’s mayhem. But the truth is that these cultists terrorizing the streets of Nigeria are just as vicious as Boko Haram.

No doubt, we have lost our moral compass and the value of human life and dignity in Nigeria. In less than three months, over 300 youths have been killed in Benin City alone from cult related activities. That is an average of 100 deaths per month. This is nothing short of mutiny and complete breakdown of law and order in the State. The Inspector General of Nigeria’s Police should immediately recall the commissioner of police in Edo State or declare a State of Emergency in Benin City NOW.

According to reports emanating from Benin, the current war between rival cult groups in Benin City is “believe to be linked to the leadership of Edo Rainbow Coalition who propel these confraternity boys into actions to get attention from the state government because it has refused for some time now to dish out money to them.”

On October 14th, 2013, The Punch newspaper reported that Edo State “cult members, belonging to various fraternities in schools across the state converged at the Sand Beach Resorts, Benin, on Saturday [October 12th] for a summit tagged “Interactive Peace Summit: Strategy for Social Cohesion.” At the summit, the groups, which came together under the aegis of Rainbow Consolidated Forum said they were not satisfied with the spate of violent crimes and insecurity in the state and vowed to fight the situation. Some of the fraternities at the summit included the Green Circuit (a.k.a Maphites), Norsemen (aka Vikings), Black Axe, Eiye confraternity, Family Fraternity of Nigeria and Avarian Organization of Nigeria.”

After the purported despicable cultists “summit” last year, it was rumored around Benin that Governor Oshiomhole has been paying these cult groups from the public coffers to checkmate their violent propensities. To many Edolites, the governor has legitimized and emboldened them so much so that they do whatever they like, whenever they like and however they like.

It appears Governor Oshiomhole has lost complete control of Benin City to the cultists. Why should a responsible Government cede the security of the state to cultist groups? Where are the Nigerian Police Force and other Government security apparatus in the State?

If it turns out that the Governor has been involved in such clandestine payments to cult members/groups in Benin City (to the detriment and massacre of Edo children), then his legacy will be forever marred, as he will be remembered as the “cultist-paying Governor.”

However, since Edo State is in financial dire straight, it would be wise for the Governor to stop such payments NOW (if it is true). The governor has all the state and federal resources to maintain law and order if this agitation is over the stoppage of such payments. Like I indicated in my article months ago, no individual or group should be more powerful than the state.

Governor Oshiomhole should not negotiate any deal with the cultists groups. Rather, like any responsibly government, he should marshal all the security apparatus at his disposal to crush these scumbags once and for all.

Today, shamefully, nothing happens in Benin City without cult membership playing a role. From public service election to Government appointments and contracts, the discussion is purely on which cult you belong to.  Capability, intelligence and leadership abilities have no place in our society anymore.
Graduates have no jobs while Agberos and illiterate cult members hold public office all over town. They go home with money bags on a daily basis. Yes, millions of naira daily. Money made from intimidating the public, from axe, hatchet and guns. Blood money, some call it.

You do not need education, special skill or training. Just “belong” to one of these nocturnal groups and start killing, then you are on your way to getting appointments and millions of naira.

We are sitting on gun powder. As usual, nothing is a problem in our beloved country until it becomes crisis. Just as the emergence of Boko Haram, no one will be immune from the dastardly acts perpetrated by these miscreants, low-lives and scoundrel cultists in our society.

The crisis is here. I hope not here to stay forever. From students to lecturers, law makers to governors, let all well meaning Nigerians say no to Cultism!!!

Paul Omoruyi
Social Commentator, blog@ – www.diasporascope.com

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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