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Posts tagged ‘North’

Again, A Case of Uncounted Billions By Okey Ndibe.


Okey Ndibe

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



Our fears on national confab – Northern CAN.


Northern States chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has expressed some fears about the national dialogue, saying that the conference would end in vain if it failed to address minority issue in the country.

The Executive Secretary of Northern CAN, Professor Daniel Babayi told Saturday Sun in an interview that there was a minority commission put in place during the British rule where ethnic minorities had their problems, particularly conflicts, addressed up to the time the colonial masters left the Nigerian shores.

Babayi regretted that successive governments jettisoned the commission, saying that it was now an opportunity for Nigerians to revisit the issue and revive the commission at the national conference.


The Professor of Theology noted that the various conflicts in different parts of the country, particularly in the North was as a result of absence of the commission, adding that governments at all levels are duty bound to provide good governance to the people.

He said aside the CAN’s agitation for a minority commission, it would also take a position on some other national issues and present to the committee on the national conference when it begins sitting.

His words, “You see, the British, in their own wisdom when they were withdrawing from the country ensured that a minority commission was put in place to address the issue of minority, especially in the North, but of course, now we have completely jettisoned that idea, nobody is even talking about the issue of minority commission any more.

“We have rubbished it, and for doing so you will see that we will continue to overlook the need of minority, and because of that we will continue to have conflict because the minority commission was put in place to help reduce areas of conflict. Now that we have removed it, we have compounded our own conflict situation.

“To start with, there are ethnic groups who think that they are minority, in fact they are minority. Apart from the ethnic groups, women are in a minority in a sense, children are in a minority in a sense, you can go on and begin to categorize various minority groups. So every time we talk about minority commission, we only think of ethnic groups, but the commission that addresses minority issues looks far beyond ethnic enclaves because there are other social groupings too that can be regarded as minority.

“We just want to call on the federal government and the state governments to revisit the issue of minority commission at the federal and state levels.

Such commission is very needed now in order to reduce the areas of conflict. Remember that we cannot set out to establish a utopia society, but we can allow the existence of such minority commission to address issues and reduce areas of conflict.

“As far as we are concerned in Northern CAN, we don’t believe that there is any aspect of governance in Nigeria that should be excluded from this national conference. So minority commission is one issue that should be discussed there, and we are calling on the committee in charge to revisit the issue of the commission.

“We are waiting for the national conference committee to come up with a modality, and when they come up with that modality, we are always ever ready to contribute, and we have set up a dialogue sub-committee to work on some of these issues and come up with a position paper for Northern CAN.

Source: Radio Biafra.

33 reasons why southern Nigerians are foolish than the northerners.

The North have ruled the country legally(democratically) and illegally (military) for 37 out of the 53 years. The South is very comfortable with this inequality.

Sadly, 80 per cent of Southerners who see this article will not read it!
Note: This article was not developed to ascribe to the entire Northern Nigeria the selfish antics and machination of a few individuals who belong to the region. It would be unfair to do that. Also, this article was developed not with the intention of causing incitement, but if it does – so f__king what?!

1. An average Northerner acquires a cheap transistor radio-set in order to gain political awareness from broadcasting structures such as BBC (Hausa Service), Radio Nigeria, etc. This practice has made the region the most politically-aware region in Nigeria. On the hand, an average Southerner, typically, acquires expensive smartphones equipped with FM radio receiving capability. Instead, they would rather listen to inane songs like “Your Waist”, “Skelewu”,“Ginger Your Swagger”, “NoGede”, etc. 2. Unlike the South, the North understands the importance of numbers in politics. This is why, by all strategic means necessary, the North ensures that they have a larger representation at the National Assembly. 3. Northerners don’t shout, scream, vent and speak “big grammar” to prove that they are politically intelligent on political programmes on TV and radio. Instead, they shout, scream, vent, kick, punch, taekwondo, etc on the floor of the National Assembly to promote a cause that is in their favour. The reverse is the case for the Southerners. 4. Southern graduates/job seekers consider the public sector (government institutions) an unfashionable place for employment. Meanwhile, the Northerners massively recruit and entrench themselves into the public sector and manipulate themselves up the ranks. While all these are going on, their southern brothers and sisters spend years languishing in the labour market for the elusive jobs in blue chip organizations. Yet, Southerners complain of marginalization in the public sector. 5. For some weird reasons, the South is always frightened when the North make political pronouncements. Even weirder – for some inexplicable reasons, Senators and House of Representative members from the South appear to be too timid to oppose their northern counterparts during legislative sessions. 6. According to the gospel of the North – the Northerners were born to rule. That is, leadership (of Nigeria) is their exclusive preserve. By extension, the Southerners were born to be led! Interestingly, certain actions of some Southerners support this belief. 7. The North has more (unrated) billionaires (in Dollars) than any region in Nigeria. For instance, a certain Alhaji Mai Deribe (an oil well licensee) would certainly laugh each time Forbes releases its ratings and his name is not listed. 8. The North doesn’t produce crude oil, but the Northern Senators had the temerity to oppose the 10% host community funds. The Southern legislators find nothing wrong in that, so long as it doesn’t affect their “constituency allowances”. 9. {Singing}Come and see Nigeria wonder! (2x) Statistical absurdity of the grandest order is stating that Kano is more populous than Lagos! Dear friends, even science have proved from simple demographic distribution patterns across the globe that population increases as we move from the hinterland (desert/Savannah region) to the coast– but in the case of Nigeria, the North which lies in the arid zone, is more populous than the South – by a deviously doctored census report. Okay o! We dey look. 10. The North have ruled the country legally (democratically) and illegally (military) for 37 out of the 53 years. The South is very comfortable with this inequality. 11. The North is the chief proponent of the“quota system” and “federal character” principle – a system that was crafted to sacrifice merit on the altar of “national oneness”. In simple terms, even the most unqualified gets a slot in sensitive national projects. 12. Northern law-makers at the National Assembly- typically – rally amongst themselves to promote legislations that favours their region (e.g. pedophilic laws). Southern law-makers typically rally amongst themselves to promote legislations that will increase their salaries and constituency allowances. 13. To the Northerners – the census exercise is not just a statistical evaluation exercise. Instead, it is considered a key political exercise. Meanwhile, the Southern folks see census exercise as atemporal job opportunity for its largely unemployed undergraduates. In the words of Chief Festus Odimegwu (recently resigned Chairman of National Population Commission) “There has been no credible census in the country since 1816 because of manipulations”, Punch Newspaper, 18 October 2013. 14. When it comes to regional unity – religion,politics and language are the common uniting factor for the North. Southerners(especially the South-Easterners) are never united for any course. (Oh, well, Soccer sometimes offers some measure of unity among the Southerners!). 15. The North is the region with the least education, least resources, least development and pervasive poverty – yet, they have ruled Nigeria for 37 years out of the nation’s 53 years of independence. 16. Only the North understands the logic behind establishing a national refinery (the Kaduna refinery) thousands of kilometres away from the point of extraction of crude oil. 17. When it concerns the north, a new standard is always invented. FG or else, how does one explain how Sani Abacha – a near-midget –escaping the “standard height” rule of the military. Even, rising to be president. 18. The North conceived and sold the “Boko Haram” concept as a pointer to the fact that the South is incapable of ruling the country. The South has wholesomely bought the idea. “Yes, automatically Boko Haram will disappear if the north gets the presidency by 2015. I am sure”. Excerpt from the interview granted by Lawal Keita (2nd Republic Governor of Kaduna State) to the News magazine (October 2013) 19. An “instant enemy” of the northern region is any appointed public officer (especially a female one) from the south who has the temerity to oppose their common cause. Or, one that is standing as a clog in their continued dominance in the Oil & Gas/public sector. Some southerners gleefully and ignorantly join in the attack on some of these public officials. 20. Poverty, ignorance, lack of education,religious bigotry and fanaticism, etc. are some very powerful tools needed to effectively manipulate/control people. The Northern oligarchy is very aware of this. Hence, their manipulation of the masses in the north (using these tools) for their selfish interest. 21. Of all the regions, the North is the least supportive of resource control, Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), and the entrenchment of true federalism. The South finds nothing suspicious in that. 22. It is unbelievable to believe that some WISEMEN (in a certain political party) from the South were party to a bizarre arrangement for “power shift” or “power rotation” between the North and the South – when, clearly, the south is home to 2 major ethnic groups and – by far – more ethnic groups than the north. 23. The North offers the most opposition to the privatization of public (government) institutions. Opposition to privatization is principally to prevent the likely disengagement of their largely unqualified members. (BTW, till date, some people still earn salaries of close to N1m monthly from the comatose NITEL. Now guess what region most of these people are from? Note:This fact is verifiable.) 24. The South produces the crude oil (Nigeria’s economic mainstay). However, amongst the regions, the North owns majority of the oil blocks, oil prospecting (OPL) and oil mining (OML) licenses. 25. Northern leaders (political and religious)have never come out, unanimously, to publicly condemn the menace of Boko Haram. Southern leaders (political and religious) that publicly condemn the methods of Boko Haram attract criticisms and are described as self-seeking or seeking attention/relevance. 26. Political power means just one thing to the North – control of the nation’s economic mainstay (Petroleum resources). Little wonder they are vehemently opposed tothe implementation of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). 27. While the north was too busy attacking some Federal Ministers from the South for “ineptitude”, they failed to notice the atrocities of Northern Ministers who were on a mission to inflict callous disparity within the sectors they were meant to oversee. Please, kindly check out the bizarre disparity in cut off points (quota admission) into the 104 Federal Government Colleges (FGCs) aka “Unity Schools”. It was published in January,2013, by the Federal Ministry of Education under the careful supervision of Prof. Ruqayyah Ahmed Rufa’i – a “once upon a time” Minister of Education from the North. Note the disparity between cut off point for southern and northern students. · Abia Male(130) Female (130) · AkwaIbom Male(123), Female (123) · Anambra Male(139) Female (139) · Benue Male (111), Female (111) · Bayelsa Male (72), Female (72) · Cross Rivers Male (97), Female (97) · Delta Male (131), Female (131) · Ebonyi Male (112), Female (112) · Edo Male (127), Female (127) · Ekiti Male (119), Female (119) · Enugu Male (134), Female (1340 · Imo Male (138), Female (138) · Kogi Male (119), Female (119) · Kwara Male (123), Female (123) · Lagos Male (133), Female (133) · Ogun Male (131), Female (131) · Ondo Male (126), Female (126) · Rivers Male (118), Female (118) · Osun Male (127), Female (127) · Oyo Male (127), Female (127) · Plateau Male (97), Female (97) · Yobe Male (20), Female (27) · FCTAbuja Male (90), Female (90) · Kaduna Male (91), Female (91) · Nasarawa Male (58), Female 58) · Niger Male (93), Female (93) · Kano Male (67), Female (67) · Katsina Male (60), Female (60) · Adamawa Male (62) Female (62) · Borno Male (45), Female (45) · Gombe Male (58), Female (58) · Jigawa Male(44), Female (44) · Bauchi Male (35), Female (35) · Kebbi Male (9), Female (20) · Sokoto Male (9), Female (13) · Taraba Male (3), Female (11) · Zamfara Male (4), Female (2) 28. Contrary to the general belief – the biggest unifying factor in Nigeria is not football , but “Crude Oil”. Now note this: The very moment crude oil (in significant commercial quantity) is discovered in the North, that day will mark the beginning of the North’s agitation for a breakaway from the entity called Nigeria. 29. The Nigerian constitution was deliberately flawed and crafted to benefit the North. 30. Strangely, for a nation with vastly more ethic nationalities situated in the South, it is rather suspicious that Nigeria is divided along just regional lines – The North and the South. Now, of course,we all know which region this strange dichotomy favours. 31. The North is the region with the least education, least resources, least development and pervasive poverty – yet, they claim rulership of the nation by right (the “Born to rule” philosophy). In other words, the north must maintain all the undeserved advantages handed them by the British colonial masters and fortified by the North-controlled military political class between 1960 and 1999. 32. In the thinking of a typical Northerner, Arewa Northern Nigeria (not Nigeria) won the Nigerian civil war. 33. In defending a northern interest, if political logic fails, then religious antics and sentiments are stirred up by the Northerner leaders. BONUS The relocation of the nation’s capital from Lagos to Abuja was a deliberate plan of the Northern oligarchy (using the military) to situate the nation’s seat of power at the door-step of the Northerners. They, cleverly, gave Nigerians and the world the impression that everything was irreparably wrong with Lagos as the capital, and that to correct the impression, the capital would need to be situated in the heart of the northern region of Nigeria. To fulfill this arrangement – and give the relocation project an unbiased outlook – reputable Southerners (e.g. Late Justice Akinola Aguda and Tai Solarin) were recruited into the panel set up by the northern oligarchy. WORD ON MARBLE: “This new Nation called Nigeria should be an estate of our great grandfather, Uthman Dan Fodio. We must RUTHLESSLY prevent a change of power. We use the minorities in the north as willing tools, and the South, as conquered territory and never allow them to rule over us, and never allow them to have control over the future.” Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sardauna of Sokoto & Premier of Northern Region: The Parrot newspaper, October 12, 1960. Now, who is the real fool here? (10)


NKorea Offers South Guarantees to Reopen Stalled Talks.

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea on Wednesday offered South Korea guarantees aimed at breaking deadlocked negotiations on reopening a joint industrial zone, and proposed a fresh round of talks next week.

As well as allowing South Korean firms full access to the Kaesong complex, which closed in April amid soaring military tensions, the North will guarantee the attendance of its workers and the safety of all South Koreans at the complex, the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRK) said in a statement.

Crucially, it also proposed that both North and South prevent any similar closure of Kaesong in the future by ensuring that operations are never again “affected by any situation in any case.”

If the South responds to what the CPRK called “this bold and magnanimous stand,” the committee said the North would agree to a seventh round of working-level talks on Kaesong’s future on August 14.

The statement, carried on the North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), was the North’s first response to South Korea’s request, made on July 28, for a “final” set of talks.

On Sunday the South had said it was “reaching the limit” of its patience on the issue. Earlier Wednesday it announced it would begin paying out $250 million in compensation to the South Korean companies forced to abandon their factories in Kaesong.

The announcement was widely seen as presaging a decision permanently to shut down all operations at the complex, which lies 10 kilometers (six miles) across the border in North Korea.

© AFP 2013

Northern Nigeria And Her Mythical Realities By Prince Charles Dickson.

By Prince Charles Dickson

“When a people have suffered for too long, they will drink fairytales on fairylands with insatiable gullibility.” (Hamilton Ayuk).

My admonition this week dwells with a section of Nigerian–the North and it is a do-no-favors essay, call it the truth, or falsehood, call it nonsense, be bitter or be complimentary about it, I really do not care–or better still I care enough to tell us the way I see it.

The words of Malcolm X sums up my next few paragraphs. “You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it.”

The myth–Aboki is supposedly an Hausa term that is used to describe the man up North, he may be hausa, nupe, berom, fulani, shua, but largely he is ignorantly Hausa to all and poor, he is either mai-guard (gateman), mai-ruwa (water), mai shai (tea), mai-doya (yam), mai-reke (sugarcane), mai-miaa (blackmarket fuel); whatever he is, he just has to be mai-something or mai-everything. He is a symbolism today to other Nigerians of violence and false face of Islam. He is ‘misunderstandingly’ understood.

Then we have the Alhaji, he is everything above ‘cept that he is presumed rich, and in recent times dangerous too, he could be a sponsor of Boko Haram too, but for a ‘typical’ southerner, there is the allure of his riches whether via politics, oil, or ‘voodoo’ who cares. He is there in abuja, port harcourt and lagos. He really doesn’t care about his North, he is a hypocrite to the core without his knowledge.

Now to more of those mythical realities and issues, that has left a region on her knees, no other time than now has the North faced an identity crisis and fight within herself. Who are the Hausas, who are the Fulanis, and how about the Hausa- Fulanis, what really is the place of the Islam North, real, media creation and when or how really did Boko Haram begin, how about the Christians in the North?

Is the North still united as was the case, what about her oligarchy and a few leftist socialist activists that set the talakawa agenda, what happened?

What is it that needs to be understood about the alamanjiri system and institutional begging in the North?

Now wait, this is a lie but who is afraid, I challenge any Christian to explain the myth of killing in the name of religion because there are 70 virgins somewhere. And before we scream, has the North been this violent, is it really about marginalization and if indeed, who marginalized who, Abacha, Shagari or IBB, it certainly isn’t  the new kid on the bloc Jonathan, that doesn’t even know Zungeru or Toro?

During the week, it was Jonathan violates Nigerian laws, corners N3billion general hospital for own town, Otuoke. Can Namadi violate the law too, imagine if Northern governors violate the law to bring hospitals and good roads and schools even in their villages?

The North and the agitating Middle Belt is an emotional wreck, a perfect picture of an abused bride, that today is even afraid of a hug of reconciliation, with rehabilitation and reconstruction a far cry.

If the North decides to go away from Nigeria, will the other component part fight to keep it and would it be really 19 states, is Plateau North, when there’s no love lost between the Plateau people and the North, does Taraba believe in North, Southern Kaduna, parts of Nassarawa, Benue, Kogi etc?

People still believe that up North we are all empty land mass and goats, unproductive, and leeching termites stuck on Nigeria because of the oil, if not, why the hue and cry of PIB when Zamfara’s mines are gold for the asking and we could develop a self-sufficient and exportable agrarian community?

We don’t share Boko Haram’s ideologies, according to Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima, but really who believes him or us. What is the arewa ideology?

Everyone is on a blame ride, the bulk stops at Jonathan’s table, but as ‘Northerners’ have we blamed brother TY Danjuma, or alfa IBB, mallam Lamido, dr. Babangida Aliyu or rev Yuguda and Ministers, legislators, and their ilks, what examples have they set?

So much is wrong with the North–I challenge my brothers from Katsina/Jigawa/Kebbi/Zamfara etc to tell me two companies that make 30 million naira a month after salaries are paid and utilities are sorted.

Niger State Governor, Dr Babangida Aliyu who happens to be one of the gubernatorial problems in the North, laments that the economy of the North has crumbled due to insecurity unleashed on the region by Boko Haram insurgents.

He regrets the huge army of unemployed youths in the North pointing out that there was urgent need for the revival of the Northern economy and job creation. But how are we doing that, other than power must come back to the night, and our usual its a birthright mentality.

How many Ashaka/Larfarge cement companies do we have in the North, NASCO in Jos is dead, funeral rites only being delayed baring a miracle. Same for the Kaduna textiles industry.

What and where have the billions of 14years gone to in the North? Universities out of private initiative litter the South and up here what are we doing, arguing who has suffered more casualties between Christians/Muslims.

Okay it has to be poverty, that’s one ideological school of thought for the bloodbath and mayhem, even Obama thinks so, I agree only to the extent that really … “countries are not delivering for their people and there are sources of conflict and underlining frustrations that have not been adequately dealt with”. In this case, the North has failed herself.

The North has equally failed…“to give her people opportunity, education and resolve conflicts through regular democratic processes,”.

… “in terms of human capital and young people, I think the greatest investment any country can make, not just an African country, is educating its youth and providing them with the skill to compete in a highly technological, advanced world economy”. Nigeria has failed in this regard and the North has woefully crashed in same vein.

The North will rise again, how, if I may ask, by threatening a lame duck presidency that includes her son as veepee or by sharia-lizing, 2015: Northern govs set to dump Jonathan, how foolish can we be, who told us that we are the majority anymore?

The South-west despite Tinubu’s crookedness is chasing a semblance of regional integration, the South East and South-South are not left out. States have even gone ahead to show/use their emblem/insignia and are creating identities. We are still seen as Fulani herdsmen asking for reserves on other peoples’ lands and seeking nomadic education because we can’t do regular school.

We need to bash ourselves, the North, arewa needs to stop lying to itself and her people, there are current realities, where do we fit into it?

I will end this admonition in the words of one of the problem sons of the North, Bro. TY Danjuma, “We need to think more, pray more, plan more, work harder, RELATE BETTER, and talk less. Battles are better fought and won through wisdom and strategy than through inflammable pronouncements and political tantrums.” This is to the North but it does apply to Nigeria, the current hate quotient is high–for how long, only time will tell.


Oliver North: Administration Can’t Save Situation in Syria.

The United States has waited too long to arm Syrian rebels, retired Lt. Col. Oliver North tells Newsmax TV, and the United States now risks creating another al-Qaida.

“What I see is a total breakdown of credibility in the part of this administration,” North said. President Barack Obama had long said that if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad‘s regime used chemical weapons it would cross a “red line,” spurring U.S. intervention. The regime admitted sarin gas had been used on Syrians earlier this month, while the U.S. promised to provide small arms to the rebel forces.

Story continues below.


Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Robert Menendez, D-N.J., have pushed Obama to authorize a no-fly zone as well. But North joins many who say the United States has waited so long to help that the disjointed rebel groups have been infiltrated by radical Islamists.

“Now, if you want a repeat of the creation of al-Qaida, this is the formula to do it,” North said. “And I don’t see how this administration can save this situation. The Assad regime backed up now by the Iranians, by Hezbollah, and by the Russians is more than likely going to survive this experience and come out even more difficult at the back end of it than it already was before.”

On the issue of Iran, North doesn’t see new president Hassan Rouhani as the moderate cleric others make him out to be.

“Anybody who thinks Rouhani’s a moderate or a reasonable person has missed what this guy did consistently as their top nuclear negotiator, which was lie, obfuscate, delay and deceive,” North tells Newsmax. “Ultimately, he’s not the person who decides any more than Ahmadinejad was.”

The real decision is made by the Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei, the country’s leading ayatollah, who isn’t about to give up nuclear weapons, North said.

“He knows it gives them an edge, it prevents anybody else from interfering in their country because he’s now got a nuclear weapon he can use, and it’s ultimately the undoing of a national security strategy in that part of the world that we’ve been working on for 50 years.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Greg Richter and Kathleen Walter

NKorea Demands End of Sanctions If US Wants Dialogue.

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea offered the United States and South Korea a list of conditions for talks, including the lifting of U.N. sanctions, signaling a possible end to weeks of warlike hostility on the Korean peninsula.

In a statement issued on Thursday, North Korea’s top military body also said the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula would begin when the United States removed nuclear weapons that the isolated state says Washington has deployed in the region.

The move was likely a sop to the North’s only major backer, China, which has signaled its growing unease over the escalation of threats.

“Dialogue and war cannot co-exist,” the North’s National Defense Commission said in the statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

“If the United States and the puppet South have the slightest desire to avoid the sledge-hammer blow of our army and the people . . . and truly wish dialogue and negotiations, they must make the resolute decision,” it said.

The United States has offered talks, but on the pre-condition that they lead to North Korea abandoning its nuclear weapons ambitions.

North Korea deems its nuclear arms a “treasured sword” and has vowed never to give them up.

Nevertheless, Secretary of State John Kerry, who ended a trip to the region early this week that was dominated by concern about North Korea, stressed his interest in a diplomatic solution.

South Korea which is conducting military exercises with U.S. forces to the anger of North Korea, has also proposed talks, a move that Pyongyang rejected as insincere.

North Korea stepped up its defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions in December when it launched a rocket that it said put a scientific satellite in orbit. Critics said the launch was aimed at nurturing the kind of technology needed to deliver a nuclear warhead mounted on a long-range missile.

That was followed in February by its third test of a nuclear weapon. That triggered new U.N. sanctions in March, sharply toughening existing measures, which in turn led to a dramatic intensification of North Korean threats of nuclear strikes against South Korea and the United States.

The North’s military commission said U.N. Security Council sanctions, “fabricated with unjust reasons” must be withdrawn.

“They should bear in mind that doing so would be a token of good will towards the DPRK,” it said. The North’s official name is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“The denuclearization of the Korean peninsula can begin with the removal of the nuclear war tools dragged in by the U.S. and it can lead to global nuclear disarmament,” it added.


The North’s commission also called for an end to military exercises such as the annual U.S.-South Korean drills that began in early March and are due to run until the end of April.

“Frequent nuclear war maneuvers will only strain the situation and totally block the way of dialogue,” it said.

North Korea has a long record of making threats to secure concessions from the United States and South Korea, only to repeat the process later.

Both the United States and the South said this week that the cycle must cease.

“Let me just make it clear, I have no desire as secretary of state and the president has no desire to do the same horse trade or go down the old road,” Kerry said in Washington on Wednesday.

He stressed the importance of China, the North’s sole major ally, in influencing North Korea, and said he had made that point in talks in Beijing last week.

“We had that discussion and we agreed, in the very next days now, to engage in an ongoing process by which we work out exactly how we’re going to proceed so that it is different. That’s our goal and I can assure you I want to reach it,” Kerry said.

China, which sided with North Korea in the 1950-53 civil war against the U.S.-backed South, has always been reluctant to apply pressure on Pyongyang, fearing instability if the North were to implode and send floods of refugees into China.

It has also looked askance at U.S. military drills in South Korea.

South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye made a similar point about the need to stop making concessions in the face of North Korean threats in a talk with foreign diplomats in Seoul on Wednesday.

“We must break the vicious cycle of holding negotiations and providing assistance if [North Korea] makes threats and provocations, and again holding negotiations and providing assistance if there are threats and provocations,” she said.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

NKorea Threatens South With Imminent ‘Sledgehammer’ Blows.

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea issued new threats against South Korea on Tuesday, vowing “sledgehammer blows” of retaliation if South Korea did not apologize for anti-North Korean protests the previous day when the North was celebrating the birth of its founding leader.

On Monday, the North dropped its shrill threats of war against the United States and South Korea as it celebrated the 101st anniversary of the birth of its first leader, Kim Il Sung, raising hopes for an easing of tension in a region that has for weeks seemed on the verge of conflict.

The hint of a scaling back of the confrontation followed offers of talks with the isolated North from both the United States and the South.

But the North’s KCNA news agency said on Tuesday the North Korean army had issued an ultimatum to the South after rallies in the South on Monday at which portraits of North Korea’s leaders were burned.

“Our retaliatory action will start without any notice from now,” KCNA reported, citing military leaders of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), as North Korea is officially known. “The military demonstration of the DPRK’s revolutionary armed forces will be powerful sledgehammer blows at all hostile forces hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership.”

South Korean media reported several small demonstrations in the capital, Seoul, on Monday. One television station showed pictures of a handful of protesters burning a portrait of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Small counter-protests, by South Koreans calling for dialogue with the North, were also held, media reported.

The North has threatened nuclear attacks on the United States, South Korea, and Japan after new U.N. sanctions were imposed in response to its latest nuclear arms test in February.

The North has also been angry about annual military exercises between U.S. and South Korean forces, describing them as a “hostile” act. The United States dispatched B52 and B2 stealth bombers from their bases to take part.


But on Tuesday, the North’s KCNA did not threaten the United States, reserving its anger for what it calls South Korea’s “puppet” government.

It even mentioned the possibility of dialogue, suggesting that it was not really about to launch war in response to routine protests by at most a few dozen people in Seoul, despite the anger they raised.

“If the puppet authorities truly want dialogue and negotiations, they should apologize for all anti-DPRK hostile acts, big and small, and show the compatriots their will to stop all these acts,” KCNA cited the North’s military as saying.

A South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman later told a briefing the North Korean ultimatum was not worth a response and South Korea was waiting for the North to make a “wise decision.”

Last week, the South’s President Park Geun-hye offered talks but the North rejected the overture as a “cunning” ploy.

Park will meet President Barack Obama at the White House on May 7 to discuss economic and security issues, including “countering the North Korean threat,” the White House said on Monday.

The United States has offered talks with the North, but on the pre-condition that it abandons its nuclear weapons ambitions. North Korea deems its nuclear arms a “treasured sword” and has vowed never to give them up.

Nevertheless, Secretary of State John Kerry, ending a trip to the region dominated by concern about North Korea, on Monday stressed his interest in a diplomatic solution.

A day earlier Kerry had appeared to open the door to talking without requiring the North to take denuclearization steps in advance. Beijing, he said, could be an intermediary.

North Korea has conducted three nuclear tests but it was not believed to be near weapons capability.

Missile launches and nuclear tests by North Korea are both banned under U.N. Security Council resolutions that were expanded after the North’s February test.

The aim of the North’s aggression, analysts say, is to bolster the leadership of Kim Jong Un, the 30-year-old grandson Kim Il Sung, or to force the United States into talks.

The United States has 28,000 troops in South Korea.

A U.S. military helicopter crashed in a region near the border with North Korea on Tuesday with 14 people on board, all of them U.S. soldiers, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said.

There were no reports of injuries and the cause of the accident, which happened when the helicopter was landing, was being investigated, Yonhap said.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Intelligence Sources: NKorea Hides Missiles on its East Coast.

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea has placed two of its intermediate range missiles on mobile launchers and hidden them on the east coast of the country, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported on Friday, citing intelligence sources in South Korea.

The report could not be confirmed, but may be intended to demonstrate a threat by the North to either Japan or to U.S. bases on Guam. The North has threatened to attack bases on Guam if the United States launches a strike on it.

“Early this week, the North has moved two Musudan missiles on the train and placed them on mobile launchers,” Yonhap cited a senior military official familiar with the matter as saying.

South Korea’s Defense Ministry declined to comment on the report.

There were unconfirmed media reports that the North had moved missiles to the east coast on Thursday, although it was not clear what kind of missiles had been deployed.

Speculation has centered on two kinds of missiles neither of which is known to have been tested.

One was the so-called Musudan missile which South Korea’s Defense Ministry estimates has a range of up to 3,000 km (1,865 miles), the other is called the KN-08, which is believed to be an inter-continental ballistic missile, which is again untested.

South Korea’s defense minister has said he does not believe the missile that was moved was the KN-08.

North Korea has slowly and steadily improved its missile capabilities in recent years and U.S. officials say its missiles may be capable of hitting outlying U.S. territories and states, including Guam, Alaska and Hawaii.

Some private experts say even this view is alarmist.

There is no evidence, the officials say, that North Korea has tested the complex art of miniaturizing a nuclear weapon to be placed on a long-range missile, a capability the United States, Russia, China and others achieved decades ago.

North Korea has been engaged in month-long war of words with the United States and South Korea in the wake of Washington-led sanctions imposed for its February nuclear test.

It has threatened to stage a nuclear strike on the United States, to attack bases on Guam and said a state of war exists on the Korean peninsula.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

China warns against Korea escalation.

North Korean State TV has aired footage of a visit by Kim Jong-un to troops, as the BBC’s Lucy Williamson reports

China has appealed for calm on the Korean peninsula, hours after North Korea said it had scrapped all peace pacts with the South and threatened pre-emptive nuclear strikes.

China, the North’s only major ally, said all sides should continue to talk and avoid “further escalation”.

Pyongyang has reacted angrily to another round of sanctions imposed by the UN over its recent nuclear test.

The sanctions restrict luxury goods imports and banking activities.

Beijing provides fuel, food and diplomatic cover to Pyongyang.

It has repeatedly voted in favour of UN sanctions imposed over the nuclear programme, but enforcement of the measures in China is patchy.

Hua Chunying of China’s foreign ministry told a news conference on Friday: “China and North Korea have normal country relations. At the same time, we also oppose North Korea’s conducting of nuclear tests.

Continue reading the main story

Dr John Swenson-WrightChatham House

The threatened pre-emptive nuclear strike seems more bluff than reality, since the North’s leaders know it would be suicidal, and an attack on the US seems impracticable given the still technically rudimentary quality of the North’s ballistic missile programme and the unproven state of its nuclear miniaturisation technology needed to place a nuclear warhead atop a missile.

A more troubling possibility is that the North might choose – out of irritation with the UN – to precipitate a border clash with South Korea, either on land or sea, as it did in 2010.

“China calls on the relevant parties to be calm and exercise restraint and avoid taking any further action that would cause any further escalations.”

Chinese and US officials drafted the UN resolution passed on Thursday.

It contains similar measures to earlier resolutions, but the US said it had significantly strengthened the enforcement mechanisms.

In response, the North Korean regime published a message on the official KCNA news agency saying it had cancelled all non-aggression pacts with the South.

The two Koreas have signed a range of agreements over the years, including a 1991 pact on resolving disputes and avoiding military clashes.

However, analysts say the deals have had little practical effect.


The KCNA report detailed other measures including:

  • cutting off the North-South hotline, saying there was “nothing to talk to the puppet group of traitors about”
  • closing the main Panmunjom border crossing inside the Demilitarized Zone that separates the two countries
  • pulling out of the armistice that ended the Korean War.

The North also claimed it had a right to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike against its enemies.

The threat drew an angry response from the South’s defence ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok, who said that the North would become “extinct from the Earth by the will of mankind” if it took such an action.

The US state department said such “extreme rhetoric” was not unusual, but said the US was well protected.

The BBC’s Lucy Williamson in Seoul says it appears the North is trying to build a sense of crisis domestically, with a large rally staged in Pyongyang on Friday and reports of camouflage netting on public transport.

North Korea has breached agreements before and withdrawing from them does not necessarily mean war, our correspondent says, but it does signal a more unpredictable and unstable situation.

Shutting down the hotline will leave both more exposed to misunderstandings, she adds.


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