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Posts tagged ‘Nigerian Economy’

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)

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Lamentation To The Cows Of Bashan – By Izuchukwu Okeke.


By Izuchukwu Okeke

It is 9 am as I stepped finally into the long-stretched passage. It was empty; no teacher, no students; only me. I was late, quite unfortunately. The lectures start at 9 am, and it is expected everyone be in the class at least 8:55 am. And, surely, here, once it is 8:55 the lecturers all file out to the various classes. And once it is 9 am, the classes start. If you arrive a minute past 9, you are late, as I was this day.

The reality of this empty passage sent my mind back to the country I was coming from. I was not even comparing the punctuality of the academic cadre or the standard of education itself. I was thinking of the massive collapse of its essence, its availability and the poverty of its prospects.

The night before, I read it on the Internet that lecturers in the Polytechnics were still on strike. They had been before the University lecturers joined in the middle of last year and continued till early this year. University students sat through 6 months dining with the two worst devils of life: idleness and boredom. The Polytechnic lecturers took few months break and had resumed strike again. And, as it seems, politicians are busy carpeting and cross carpeting; somehow they are not interested in the rants of these distracting academic hordes. So when will the students in Polytechnic go back to class? It is not even known.

I live in Korea, and in this country education is everything. I think it is not necessary to blow anymore horn about the strength of this nation’s economy, standards of their infrastructure and quality of their living standards; all hinged on the power and value of their education system. But it is worth mentioning what I found to be the major discrepancy between these two nations. Here, psyche is the central and most respected national resource; human resources are the strength of the government, the economy and the society, which is why education is everything. Every effort is invested and legitimately dispensed at developing the individual to become a global brand, to earn the capacity to compete with his mates anywhere they are found in the globe.

This country situated on the peninsula betwixt China, North Korea and Japan squat on a total of 100,210 km sq area of land. But unfortunately 72 percent of this land is hills, plateaus and mountains. Meaning that their populations of a little over 50,000,000 people live within the remaining clusters, in relatively higher density, 501.1/km2, higher than most nations of the world. From the shackles of Japanese domination in 1950, this country has risen in leaps and bounds. Among its endearing statistics is the fact that within these decades that followed its independence South Korea economy has been transformed into a G-20 major economy and has the second highest standard of living in Asia, having an HDI of 0.909.

Yes, South Korea is Asia’s fourth largest economy and the world’s 15th (nominal) or 12th (purchasing power parity) largest economy. But Korea has no Crude Oil, Tin, Iron Ore, Gold or Diamond Mines. This economy is export-driven. South Korean corporations like Samsung and LG (ranked first and third largest mobile phone companies in the world in the first quarter of 2012 respectively) dominate world markets, among the many beautiful, yet daunting stories of their transformation.

Behind this testimony of exemplary 50 decades of industrial development is an educational and social philosophy that underscores, perfectly well, that the true wealth of a nation is not its natural resources as much as it is its human resources. And each new day as I walk towards the class in Sunkyunkwan University, I am reminded of this philosophy. And also of wholly dedicated, hard-working, cheerful teachers who can go to any length to impart knowledge to the students. How many times I pity the extent of their personal sacrifice to advance the academic goals of their students. But they all work according to this country’s educational philosophy.

The classes are fully equipped with advanced learning infrastructure. The chalkboard a long time ago had given way to a board fully equipped with Power Point presentation facility, digitalized and connected to the Internet. Our test books are online and everything we have to do is online based and of the best standards compared to anywhere in the world.

Here, sadly, a 60 mark/grade after an exam is just a pass! Not even a credit. So any score less than 70, you have to go through a review to step you up and you have to write an exam to prove the review produced the expected result. And this and other factors have driven this nation from the brinks of poverty to industrial heights.

But, somehow, as I entered the class with these thoughts, I began, once again, to nurse that deep gorge of guilt that comes to me when I remember my country, Nigeria. That feeling also comes along with a certain gnawing pain of the advanced nature of ignorance spawned by our system on both the leaders and the lead that seems to suggest nothing will change soon. Since I was born the story has always been that the situation is bad for the common man. It had gone from worse, to worst, until there is no relative adverb to describe the situation now.

I did not cause Nigeria’s problem. I did not steal anybody’s money to be here. My father until his demise was a poor village farmer. My mother is still living off her labour in the farm. I am only a fortunate candidate of a scholarship programme. But this feeling when it comes doesn’t leave me soon. It keeps digging deep hole on my moral fibre. I keep wondering if there is a way I may have contributed to making Nigeria what it is. Leaving over 70 percent of her human population disillusioned and gasping for life, not knowing how and from which source the next meal will come. Seeking miracle in anything mentioned to possess divine power.

I was also keep wondering how Nigerian students abroad whose parents are part and parcel of this system that created the rot feel. How do they feel knowing their parents have left many of the nation’s youths disoriented and confused? How do they feel when their parents pay so much for them to study in this kind of environment, and knowing that this money, by every legitimate standards their parents cannot earn it? How do they feel when they remember that having messed up the system and exported them abroad to acquire the best education their parents left the system back home in total pell-mell. How do they feel to learn that their mates down in the villages are giving up legitimate endeavors and making career prospects in kidnapping and robbery? How do they really feel? Worse than I do? Or maybe they do not feel anything at all?

In the last one-month a drama has been playing out between the Central Bank Governor, Lamido Sanusi on the one hand and Ministries of Finance, Petroleum and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, on the other. As it were the whole nation focused on it, because of the whopping amount of money involved. And as that drama played out, the reality of the hopelessness of the Nigerian situation dawned so much on me. That drama defines us in the mean time. Nobody in Nigeria’s governance system has an alternative thinking—or may be just a tiny minority of wayward thinkers who do not even possess the gut and grit to make it to the positions of governance.

To many of them there now at the corridors of power, be it political or bureaucratic, all they want is money. Everyone is talking money, oil money; how it is stolen, how it is not stolen! No one else is thinking. To Nigeria and Nigerians this oil money is everything. You have it, you have everything, you don’t have it, and you don’t have anything. That charade at the House of Assembly also defines the 2015 and the slapsticks of cross-carpeting that have become a daily news menu. Because everybody, everybody politician, wants to place himself at the vantage position to have a bite of the piece of the cake come 2015. They have been eating, and they want to keep eating.

Google, two regular guys’ idea is about to worth more than our oil. The Facebook founder is just 24 years old. But where are Nigerian youths? Is anybody concerned at the mess we left him or her? Of the frustration we are building up among them? Just education! Give them education, a qualitative one, so that they can on their own change their world, compete with their fellows elsewhere. No! Nigerian politicians do not see the resource in the youth. They are only tools used and dumped during elections.

In this generation Nigerian leaders are wired in pursuit of oil blocks and loots because in our clime ideas do not sell and if ideas sell, regular guys will become threats to Nigerian politicians. May be that is the fear. Because I do not see the big deal in investing 30 percent of our resources in revamping the educational system, and establishing it on the best standards and employ it to eliminate this endemic poverty in our clime.

As I sit in the class this day carrying this feeling and thinking these thoughts, the pain gnaws even harder that nothing will change. What will I write more than have been written these years, and what will I say that that has not been said? Like Amos in the bible called their likes, they are cows of Bashan. But we will keep lamenting to their ears. Even when they refuse to change, heaven will bear witness that we told them, as our fathers did.

Izuchukwu Okeke Job
KGSP Scholar
Sungkyunkwan University
Suwon, South Korea

 

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

Drama As Reps Refer 2014 Budget To Committees – PUNCH.


 

By PUNCH, Nigeria

The 2014 budget passed second reading  in  the House of Representatives on Thursday after it went through three days of debate by lawmakers.

The budget of N4.6tn was later referred to the committee stage where the various standing committees of the House would invite agencies to defend their proposals.

However,  the session was not devoid of drama, as the Peoples Democratic Party members and the Minority Leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, exchanged words several times.

The PDP members made efforts to distract Gbajabiamila as he contributed to the debate, by interjecting with shouts of “point of order”, “point of order”, “point of order.”

The All Progressives Congress  lawmaker from Lagos State came under a barrage of attacks when he described the Appropriation Bill as a document of “voodoo economics.”

“What we have here is not a budget but a document of voodoo economics and make-belief”, he said in his opening remarks.

His choice of words immediately drew angry reactions.

The Majority Leader, Mrs. Mulikat Akande-Adeola, rose to say that Gbajabiamila was using abusive language.

“He is not addressing the House in the language of the rules book. He is telling us that this is not a budget but voodoo economics; what we are discussing here is the budget”, Akande-Adeola  said.

The Deputy Leader, Mr. Leo Ogor;  the Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, Mr. John Enoh; the Chairman, House Committee on Power, Mr. Patrick Ikharaile; and Mr. Robison  Uwak, also kicked against the Minority  leader’s choice of words.

They pointed out that under the House rules, debate on the general principles of the budget should be confined to “ the financial state of the country and the economic policy of government.”

Although Gbajabiamila  modified his language after the Speaker, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, intervened, the APC lawmaker went ahead to explain why he called the budget a budget of “voodoo economics.”

He argued that only a budget of “voodoo economics” would allocate 23 per cent of funds (N1.1tn) to capital projects and vote 15 per cent (N712bn) to debt service.

Gbajabiamila  said, “Mr. Speaker, it is voodoo economics when you have a deficit of N912bn. By this, you are saying that much of your capital is going to be borrowed.

“You put N21bn in the Service Wide Vote for election monitoring in the Ministry of Finance. What is that?”

Gbajabiamila added that the government earmarked only 5.6 per cent for the health sector,  against the 16 per cent recommended globally.

He also faulted the “paltry budget of the education sector” for falling way behind the 26 per cent recommended by UNESCO as the minimum for all countries.

Ikhariale, a PDP member, in his contribution to the budget, described it as “comprehensive”  and enough to improve   the lot of Nigerians.

He called on members not to politicise the budget by reducing it  to an APC/PDP affair.

“The government has taken bold steps in this budget by making very comprehensive proposals to key sectors of the economy. In my view, this is a good budget and it should be allowed to pass for second reading”, he said.

Before ruling on the debate, Tambuwal observed that members had debated the budget exhaustively for three days. He noted that some speakers were repeating what others had already said.

In spite of his observation, more members were raising their heads to speak. Members decided to vote on whether to continue with the debate or call it off.

A vote was taken and the speaker ruled in favour of discontinuing with the debate.

The budget was later passed for second reading in a majority voice vote.

A group, the Nigerian Unity Group, a coalition of lawmakers across parties in the House, commended members for passing the budget as a call to national service.

The group, which is led by a PDP member from Plateau State, Mr. Bitrus Kaze, claimed that the APC did not place the interest of the country first when it sought to block the passage of the budget.

The group noted that the decision of the APC caucus to support the passage of only the recurrent component of the budget also showed that the members did not want the budget to impact on the lives of the majority of Nigerians.

Part of a statement by the group reads, “Whereas the recurrent expenditure component of the annual Appropriation Act is for salaries and overheads, it is the capital component that actually stimulates economic growth, generates employment and propels development in the real sector, the benefits of which trickle down to the common man.

“By attempting to block the budget selectively in favour of recurrent instead of the capital component, the APC Caucus further demonstrated that they do not have the interest of the common man at heart.”

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Again, A Case of Uncounted Billions By Okey Ndibe.


 

Okey Ndibe
Columnist:

Okey Ndibe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please follow me on twitter @ okeyndibe

(okeyndibe@gmail.com)

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

An Albatross Named Mujaheed Asari Dokubo By Olugu Olugu Orji mnia.


By Olugu Olugu Orji mnia

An albatross is a burden; a burden that refuses to let you be and prevents you from doing something. When that ‘something’ is harmful, then an albatross can be quite beneficial. There is a media outfit in Nigeria that has as its motto, TRUTH IS A BURDEN. Now I’m certain you can appreciate the context in which I employ the word.

Mujaheed Asari Dokubo is a man that needs no introduction. Courts of law usually grant legal privileges to the likes of him on the basis of self-recognition. As founder of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, he has never been too far from the spotlight for nearly fifteen years. Many feel better describing him as an ex-militant, but that does injury to his reputation. In my opinion, Asari has always been a militant, and barring any record-shattering miracles, he will remain one. When you have a preference for using force or pressure to achieve your aim, you are militant and a militant.

Recently, he stirred the hornets’ nest once more by promising war if President Jonathan is not returned as president in 2015. The Department of State Services reined him in for questioning but he has since been allowed to go home. The authorities have consistently warned politicians and the rest of the people to desist from making inflammatory statements capable of threatening the nation’s ‘fragile’ peace. It is either he is oblivious of the directive or he has elected to ignore it. Asari has since made it his life work to disturb the peace (whatever that is).

To many, he is a pest and a nuisance deserving of neutralization. Many would wish he could be locked away permanently like had been envisaged for the voluble Al-Mustapha. Unarguably, he has come to establish himself as the nemesis of the North. They crave the presidency which Asari insists must remain in the South until 2019. If you ask me, I think the battle line has been drawn.

Before you go castigating me as an Asari apologist, here are a few clarifications. I don’t even like the fellow: neither his Body/Mass Index nor his preference for the uncouth. And his beard scares the living daylight out of me. Yet I will not ignore facts and truth simply because it is coarsely presented by one with an avowed aversion to doublespeak.

He had had a run-in with the administration of Obasanjo who had promptly arrested him but was compelled to let him go sometime in 2007. Now hear him, “The last time Obasanjo arrested me, my arrest reduced Nigeria’s oil production to 700,000 barrels per day.” I do not know about the figures but I can confirm that when Obasanjo was purporting to fight militancy in the Niger Delta, oil production dropped significantly. He adds ominously, “This time, we will reduce it to zero (oil production) and we will match violence with violence. We are ready for them. Jonathan will complete his tenure of two terms whether they like it or not.”

So what makes this fellow so rambunctious and cavalier? Why does he speak with such impunity; as if taunting and daring the rest of us? The answer is as simple as a b c. Nigeria is a one-legged structure; so to threaten her, all you require is capacity to hurt the leg. For now, oil is our only leg and last time I checked, the bulk of the oil still flows from the Niger Delta from where Asari and Jonathan hail.

You can spin all manner of nationalistic tales and engage in unparalleled cognitive dissonance. You may even throw in the centenary argument that seems to be trending in official quarters. If we have survived together for a hundred years, then nothing can separate us. But you will still come back to the sobering realization that everything about us – our peace, our economy, our cohesion, and our politics – is fragile; and one-legged.

Maybe that is what the man formerly known as Melford Dokubo Goodhead Jr. before converting to Islam, seeks to remind us of. If we do not honestly and expeditiously deal with Nigeria’s structural defects, the words of Asari and legions in his mould will continue to haunt us.

When the late Kenule Saro-Wiwa was carrying on his own crusade from a more intellectual platform, Abacha would have none of it. In spite of pleas from those who should matter, he had him hanged. Maybe if Abacha had bowed to superior logic, Asari in all his crudity would not have been created. But he’s already here with us and if you can believe anything, then believe that he speaks for millions of the criminally deprived in the Niger Delta.

Jonathan’s National Conference presents us a unique opportunity to re-negotiate Nigeria along the lines of justice and equity. Predictably, many are already complaining about the proposed structure of the conference that they suspect will be tilted to favour the official position. The only position I’m aware the federal government has taken is the declaration of Nigeria’s disintegration as off-limits. For me, that is good enough. If we sincerely and conscientiously apply ourselves to the conference, I believe a better nation will emerge whose fortunes can quickly be weaned off the uncertainties of a mono-product economy. No segment of the polity should be required to pay so much more to keep us balanced and moving forward.

Then and only then can we be rid of the irritable ranting of Asari and his ilk. But if we persist in collective deceit and grandstanding, let us be assured that the whole landscape will soon be crawling with Asari wannabes making us wish we had done the needful.

He who reminds us of what must be done may seem like an irritant but he is certainly not an enemy.

 

OLUGU OLUGU ORJI mnia

nnanta2012@gmail.com

 

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

APC decries Asari-Dokubo’s call to war.


Asari-Dokubo-2

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has described as reckless, irresponsible and condemnable the threat by Mujahedeen Asari-Dokubo that there will be war, if President Goodluck Jonathan is defeated in 2015.

In a statement yesterday in Abuja by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said despite the attacks by oil militants in the Niger Delta and the insurgency by Boko Haram in some parts of the North, Nigeria had not witnessed a clearer and louder call to war since the country’s civil war ended in 1970.

It said Nigerians were waiting to see what the SSS, which detained the APC’s Deputy National Secretary Nasir El-Rufai for his warning against election rigging in 2015, would do now that an ally of President Jonathan had threatened the existence of Nigeria, by saying he and his fellow militants would cripple the economy of the country not only in the creeks but also in Nigeria’s territorial waters.

”What on earth gave Asari-Dokubo the confidence to issue threats against the nation? If he doesn’t care about elections and democracy, how else could his hero, President Jonathan, have come to power? Does he know the meaning of anarchy? Does he think anyone, no matter how big, is more important than his country or

bigger than its constitution?

”When he said President Jonathan ‘must complete the mandatory constitutionally-allowable two terms of eight years’ or the militants will make Nigeria ungovernable, was he aware that even the North that has become his favourite whipping boy did not complete its own eight years before his kinsman became President?

”It is not Asari-Dokubo’s fault. When we warned against the handing over of the nation’s maritime security to a company owned by an ex-militant in 2012, many thought we were crying wolf where none existed. But the threat by an ex-militant to ensure that no vessel will be allowed to enter the nation’s territorial waters unless President Jonathan is re-elected has shown the dangers inherent in such actions,” APC said

The party wondered why President Jonathan, who said his ambition was not worth anyone’s blood, had neither condemned nor call to order his out-of-control kinsmen like Asari-Dokubo, who speak either on his behalf or for his benefit.

It said Asari-Dokubo has overstretched his luck by trying to dictate to political parties to field only Southsouth candidates for the Presidency in 2015, wondering what gave him the audacity to make such a careless statement.

”We, in the APC, will never be cowed by the senseless, emotional outburst of a man, whose sense of decency stretches the size of a coin. We say that Nigeria will survive and thrive, whether or not some people want it. We reiterate the truism that election is the bedrock of democracy, and that anointing of candidates – as Asari-Dokubo would want Nigeria’s political parties to do – is the antithesis of democracy,” the party said.

It said the SSS must act immediately or be damned.

”There is no better test of the fairness, non-partisanship and professionalism of the SSS than the Asari-Dokubo’s threat of war on his country. If Asari-Dokubo is not above the laws of the land, he must be hauled before the SSS, just as the service did to our deputy national secretary, to explain his statement,” APC said.

Source: Radio Biafra.

APC’ll wipe out insecurity in Nigeria, says Buhari.


 

General-Muhammadu-Buhari

Former Head of State and Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, General Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday said the party would work to wipe out the insecurity in the country. Buhari said this on a current affairs programme on Liberty Radio, Kaduna yesterday.

According to him, the APC is also determined to improve the economic status of Nigerians. “Like I have said, we have to properly secure and manage this country.

“You cannot deny citizens their rights to express their opinion and allow some people to brazenly threaten the corporate existence of the country. “And instead of inviting them and asking them to explain themselves to the nation, they are given a ride in presidential jets, when others do it, you go and lock them up or you harass them.

That is not the way to do things. “There is also this problem of insecurity in the land, both physical and material, which the All Progressives Congress is about to wipe out, God willing.”

 

He stressed the need for the entrenchment of proper democratic culture in the country. “All we are fighting for is to have proper democracy. “What I mean is that whatever people say, whether they reflect briefly on it or not, Nigerians are now well aware of their rights and what they expect from government.

“In APC, we have reduced it to two, your security and sound economic management. “We have to secure this country and manage it properly. I think people have suffered enough, they are now prepared to listen and I believe they are listening and are cooperating.” Buhari said Nigerians were also interested in having free and fair elections, which is key to multi-party democracy.

“We went to court before now to make sure that this multi-party democracy takes firm root in the country. “Our objective as a party is to ensure that the system will be strong enough to guarantee security and prosperity for all.” Meanwhile, the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, yesterday decried the continued killing of innocent people in the north.

ACF called on the intelligence community to brace up with a view to helping the security agents nib such planned attacks in the bud. In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Anthony Sani, over the recent attacks in the north, ACF called on gunmen to lay down their arms and embrace dialogue in the interest of humanity.

The statement said: “The recent attacks on Chakawa village where a Christian cleric and innocent people were killed in Adamawa State as well the killing of Sheikh Auwal Albani and some members of his family in Zaria were killed, all by gunmen is ungodly. Ungodly because certain things are not pleasing to God, especially when innocent people are killed in His name.

Source: Radio Biafra.

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