Biafra Nigeria World Weblogs


BNW: Biafra Nigeria World Magazine



BNW: Insight, Features, and Analysis

BNW Writer's Block 

BNW News and Archives

 BNW News Archive

BNW: Biafra Nigeria World


BNW Forums and Message Board


Biafra Net

 Igbo Net: The Igbo Network

BNW Africa and AfricaWorld 

BNW: Icon

BNW: Icon


Flag of Biafra Nigeria

BNW News Archives

BNW News Archive 2002-January 2005

BNW News Archive 2005

BNW News Archive 2005 and Later

« January 2005 | Main | March 2005 »

February 25, 2005

Controversial Adisa Dies in London Hospital After Auto Crash in Nigeria

LAOLU AKANDE Former Oyo State Military Governor and one- time Works and Housing Minister, rtd Major General Abdulkarim Adisa is now confirmed dead. He died Friday morning New York time in a London hospital where he had undergone a surgical operation after an auto crash last weekend in Kwara State.

A close source to the late General confirmed the death, but could not tell details of burial arrangement since as a Moslem, the burial normally follows promptly. But his body is expected to be flown back home very soon.

Adisa, a leading pro-IBB 2007 campaigner was flown abroad last Sunday after sustaining injuries in the car crash. He was flown to a London hospital for medical treatment following serious injury he sustained in the accident on Saturday night.

Reports said the accident, a lone one, according to eye witness account occurred when one of the rear wheels of the jeep conveying the former minister bursted between Oke-Onigbin and Edidi at around 8:00pm on Saturday.
Adisa was then rushed to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital[UITH],Ilorin where a surgical operation was conducted. But a decision was taken to transfer him abroad because of the seriousness of the injuries and the incapacity of the hospital to handle the situation completely.

In very recent times, Adisa is another addition of news-making Nigerian names who have died as a result of the inability of Nigerian hospitals to take a conclusive care of them. Several million other Nigerians must face such situations without being heralded. it is a sad commentary on the dilapidating hospitals in the country, where several talented and well trained doctors stand helpless seeing their patients die due to lack of proper healthcare delivery facilities and instruments.

Not too long ago, former Minister of State for Communications, Alhaji Haruna Elewi, was on his way to London for malaria treatment when he died in the aircraft. He had opted to be treated in London for malaria, although his daughter, a pharmacist, and his son-in-law, a doctor, both practise in Nigeria.

Adisa was a controversial military functionary who came to limelight in the late 80s and early 90s as military governor of Oyo State under the Babangida military dictatorship. he later became a federal minister under another military tyranny-the Abacha junta, where he was in charge of Works and Housing.
It was during the Abacha junta that Adisa and others including General Oladipo Diya were accused of planning a coup against Abacha and were sentenced to death by the General Victor Malu-led military tribunal. But before the sentence could be carried out Abacha died and the General Abubakar Abdusalami regime which took over commuted the sentence and later released but Adisa and the others involved were yet to be granted state pardon at the time he died.

Another military officer, General Rufus Ikupolati formerly ECOMOG Commander
also died yesterday in an accident between Lokoja and Abuja.

Adisa was said to be coming from Iyah-Gbede in Kogi State after attending the birthday ceremonies of the mother of the former Police Affairs Minister, Maj. Gen. David Jemibewon [rtd].

In another account, Adisa's aide was reported as saying the Jeep in which Adisa was traveling with his driver and a personal security officer had a burst tyre, which made the vehicle to lose control and hit a tree. But the two aides, however, escaped uninjured.

According to the aide, Adisa was rushed to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital around 10pm where he was admitted at the VIP wing of the Ward Five of the hospital from where he was transported in an ambulance to the Ilorin International Airport for the London trip.

By 6:00pm on Sunday arrangements were already in top gear to fly him out.
The Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee of the UITH, Dr. Gbenga Mokuolu, said the former minister was brought into the hospital around 10pm in a "critical condition."
When newsmen visited the hospital on Sunday, sympathisers, including the former governor of Lagos State, Brig. Gen. Raji Rasaki [rtd] were seen in groups discussing the incident.
Also in attendance were Kwara state Commissioner for Health, Dr.. Bola Olaosebikan, his counterpart in the Ministry of Environment, Alhaji Lanre Daibu and other government officials.

Posted by Administrator at 10:16 PM | Comments (0)

February 24, 2005

An Open Letter to Baroness Lynda Chalker

by Uche Nworah Dear Baroness Chalker

I hope this letter meets you well. How was your recent trip to Nigeria? I believe Uncle Sege (the president) rolled out the red carpet for you as usual as an old ally; you must have been treated to the best of African hospitality of which Nigeria is known for, if so, Glory be to God.

I had wanted to address you as Mrs Chalker instead of Baroness Chalker because in Nigeria, the word Baroness has other negative connotations; it is usually associated with big time drug pushers, knowing your track record in the public and now private sector, I know that your grace will not engage in such trivial pursuits, even so at least not openly.

Also, as a traditional Igbo man, I am inclined to respect your own tradition and if that means addressing you by your preferred title (Baroness) then I will do so gladly.

You probably may be wondering why I am writing you this letter; well it is just to register my displeasure with a statement which was credited to you during your recent visit to Nigeria, in the statement made at the Nigeria Investment forum in February 2005, you were reported to have berated Nigerians for always picking on their government, to quote your exact words:

Many good things have happened in Nigeria in the last 18 months than in any other country in Africa but the outside world needs to know this to be able to take positive investment decisions on the country… “But often all that we see outside Nigeria are the negative things. The media and Nigerians in the Diaspora must take the challenge of telling the world that good things are happening here. Nigeria stands a good chance of attracting foreign investors if they have adequate knowledge of the real situation rather than the perception which is often wrong.

My dear Baroness Chalker, I feel indeed disappointed that a woman of your standing will make such remarks, knowing that the fundamental freedom of speech has been the foundation upon which your country (The United Kingdom) and the other developed countries of the world were built.

It is also as a result of the need to defend this freedom that your government, the American government and their allies invaded Iraq in a war that is still ongoing, with escalating human and material costs.

It has also been widely said that bad men thrive because good men watch and do nothing, remember the 6 million Jews that were killed by Hitler? Remember Sarajevo? Remember Idi Amin’s Uganda? Remember Biafra? Remember Abacha’s Nigeria? Remember Rwanda? Remember, Baroness Remember!

Baroness, have you ever been poor? Have you ever lacked? Have you ever had to look for a job? Have you ever had to dodge armed robbers bullets? Have you ever had to sleep at night with one eye open, and your heart pounding in fear? Have you ever worried about your next meal? Have you ever struggled to pay your children’s school fees? Have you ever lost a dear one to police stray bullets? Have you ever been denied treatment at your local hospital in Wallasey for lack of money? Have you ever had to go months and years without water (yes, water!) and electricity? Have you ever been homeless? I could almost go on with my list of have you evers.

You probably may not have experienced any of the above, but in Nigeria these problems have become our way of life. What would you do if you have to go through any of these problems? Will you simply close your mouth, smile and salute those who should be doing something to alleviate your suffering?

Aha! Now you see why we can not leave our government alone, how could you even think of denying us of this one freedom that we still have? We have variously been told in Nigeria that education is not for the poor, that telephones are not for the poor, that flights are not for the poor. We have even been made to believe that garri (the staple food) and the poor man’s strongest ally is no longer for the poor, so should we now assume based on your remarks that speaking out against our oppressors and complaining about their inaction is now also not for the poor?

Your recent remarks make me want to believe the more, Karl Marx’s statement a long time ago that ‘the executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie’

I will simply beg to disagree with you Baroness Chalker on this matter. Not a lot has changed since your days as the United Kingdom’s Minister of Overseas Development, during which time you must have visited Nigeria frequently, rather things have gotten worse.

I am beginning to suspect your intentions and motives at this stage in your career. I understand that you are the owner of Africa Matters Ltd (a business and investment consultancy), you also serve as an advisory director at Unilever, a company with huge interests and investments in Nigeria, our president (Olusegun Obasanjo) has also made you the chairman of Nigeria’s International Investment Advisory Council. It is quite clear on whose side you are on and who butters your bread.

With your busy schedule, I do wonder what time you have left to even market Nigeria to potential investors, and if I may ask, how many investors have you brought to Nigeria since your appointment by the president? Would you justify your huge consultancy fees with your performance so far? Or are you carefully building a safe net for yourself to defend your failure by blaming Nigerians?

We can no longer give much credibility to some of your remarks because you have crossed sides; you are no longer on the side of the over 200 million Nigerians who continue to suffer dwindling fortunes.

Dear Baroness Chalker, could it be that you are basing your judgement only on the peaceful and serene Abuja environment, the venue of the Nigeria Investment forum where you made the reported remarks? I want to remind you that Abuja is only a city of a million residents, think about the rest of the citizens and in what conditions they live. I suppose you were taken in by the serene Maitama and Asokoro surroundings, the dream mansions and state- of- the art cars which you probably did not know were funded by stolen public money or from over invoiced contracts. You may also have been quartered at the prestigious 5 star Nicon Noga Hilton Hotel, the venue of the investment forum. To remind you once again, my dear Baroness, these are not the true pictures of Nigeria.

I have attached this picture of a section of Amuwo in Lagos for you to see. Yes, it is Nigerians that you are seeing, in their flooded streets and mud houses, does this picture which was taken in this year of our Lord (2005) not spell poverty for you? it is just to give you an idea of the other side of Nigeria which you and your fellow ‘advisers’ and consultants don’t get to see, now if you were living in this kind of environment, will you close your mouth and not complain? Especially after reading about all the huge oil revenue that Nigeria earns, not to talk about the additional revenues from the Iraq war oil windfall.

While in Abuja, I guess you must have ridden in El-Rufai’s black taxis which were recently imported from London, did you broker that deal as well Baroness? If not, what did you think of that ‘beautiful’ idea? Or were you thinking to yourself that the taxi project was a misplaced priority; could you not have advised them to think long term and build for the masses the underground train system of which your country is famous for?

Somehow I think that you should praise Nigerians at the civility we have displayed so far in our ‘dialogue’ with our leaders, we have not yet resorted to attacking them with pellets nor with eggs, as is done in your country. You will remember that even your Prime Minister (Tony Blair) has suffered such attacks in the past, and so has his deputy, ‘two jags’ John Prescot. The UK House of Parliament has also witnessed different types of abnormal protests but we have refused to go down that road, we have continued to maintain our decorum by only discussing our issues amongst ourselves, in our media and homes, and yet you complain about us.

Now for all these nasty forms of protests to occur in a stable, democratic and developed country like the United Kingdom, does that not indicate that we in Nigeria should chase our so called leaders away with hoes and machetes?

Without doubt, you know very well our battle with corruption in Nigeria, of course you do, afterall you are the Chairman of Transparency International (UK Chapter), you know very well about Nigeria’s ‘eminent’ positions in the past years in the league and table of the most corrupt countries in the world, you must have heard about Tafa Balogun (the ex- police Inspector General) and his stolen billions.

How can we not complain about these issues, Baroness?

I am willing to pardon this slight error and misunderstanding of our situation from you, but I hope that in the future you will make better and more informed judgements and comments about our conditions.

On our parts, we will continue to open our mouths; we will stand on rooftops and even climb the highest mountains to declare the bad works of our leaders, nobody except God can deny us of this our most basic of rights.

Please, when next you visit Nigeria, give my regards to Aremu (the president), I am sure you must have at one point or the other discussed the issue of migration and brain drain with him, please keep on reminding him of the true reasons why his countrymen and women are leaving in droves for better economic opportunities in other countries.

I know this because I live in your country, although I was not born in your country but I have been given opportunities here to prosper and excel, these opportunities were denied me in my country by our corrupt leaders, the same as the hundreds of thousands of Nigerians who have left or are planning to leave. It would not be good if you make comments that hedge us (the Diasporas) against our people (Nigerians). It is only because we care, that is why we speak out, because we have been out here and know how great our country Nigeria can be, if our leaders can put their acts together.

I am still an ardent fan of yours and will keep on following your achievements in Nigeria as Aremu’s point man (woman) for foreign investment.

Finally my dear Baroness, please do not misinterpret the true intentions of my letter, it is neither intended to insult nor ridicule, it is just that as a public person, you should know that you are also a gold fish, remember also that those that live in glass houses do not throw stones.

In all your journeys to Nigeria, have any of the elders (Aremu included) ever explained the true meaning of this Igbo proverb to you? That he or she who proudly gathers ant infested firewood (yes, we still use them to cook as millions of us still do not have cooking stoves or gas cookers) also throws an open invitation for lizards to come and feast.

May God continue to guide your every action and may you fulfil the purpose for which He sent you to Nigeria.

Yours sincerely

Uche Nworah

Posted by Administrator at 01:25 PM | Comments (0)

February 23, 2005

As Nigeria turns

Okechukwu E. Asia The so-called National Dialogue has the potential to create more problems than Nigerians bargained for. The Dialogue, which was hurriedly, put together by the President in response to the pressure exerted on him by the Ethnic Nationalities groups, the United States and Britain.

The Sovereign National Conference advocated by Nigerians across ethnic groups would have been a wiser approach to begin the difficult march toward eventual resolution of some of the Nigeria’s political, economic and social problems. However, since Nigeria is not ready to convey a serious and an honest National Conference, we should not be clamoring for a change from “established” leadership.

The leadership, which has been hijacked by top, retired military personnel with a huge wallet to defend it from any threat, which over many years has successfully managed to hold on to power without any real threat. If President Obasanjo could be President three times, what stops people like President Ibrahim Babangida or anyone else from enjoying the same privilege extended to Obasanjo. Because Obasanjo did not learn any lessons from his previous outings, as the Commander-in- Chief does not in it translates to mean that people like President Ibrahim Babangida would not be different second time around.

Nigeria is a country of constant work in progress. As we work harder to perfect our country so too we work to perfect ourselves to be better leaders and followers. Nigeria’s problems past or present were not caused by one person alone living or dead but by all both the leaders and followers alike.

In the next few months (if not now) Nigerians will be bombarded with political activities by those seriously presenting themselves for President of our great country, canvassing for our support to help elect them president and Commander-in-Chief. They are setting up campaign structures both at home and abroad.

Accidentally, I came across such an organization in the United States of America. The Nigeria Project group is a deep-rooted organization with enormous resources at their disposal.

The closer I look, the more I discovered that this Organization has Ibrahim Babangida’s signature written all over it. Its USA chairman is Dr. Lawrence Egbuchilam, a very reputable Medical Doctor and a long time Babangida protégé, whose personal and professional reputations are unquestionable. They have unlimited financial resources and membership is growing a thousand fold a week. The carefully chosen Zonal Directors of the organization says a lot about the superb and perfect internal structure of this movement. As I inquired further, I found out that this movement has taken deep root in all the states of Nigeria, the USA, and Europe. And I am yet to see a match to this political movement by other would-be candidates. If this movement is actually put together by or for President Babangida, one is tempted to conclude that Ibrahim Babangida is a step closer to becoming Nigeria’s next president in 2007. And this will make Babangida haters weep while his admirers sing praises.

Some people might argue that Babangida had his chances and should remain retired (stepped aside) and allow younger people a shot to the presidency. This is a very sound argument, but it should have started with Obasanjo, and how do we know that the younger generations are not as corrupt as all of us. In April 2001, I published an article in ( summarily explaining why Ibrahim Babangida should be given another chance to serve his country in a capacity he deemed necessary and able. In fairness, I am yet to see our brothers from Southwest condemning Obasanjo and his schizophrenic leadership and the embarrassing assassination of their Most Revered Leader Chief Bola Ige under Obasanjo’s watch and nothing happened, no real person arrested or imprisoned.

As Nigeria turns, we should not elect our leaders by where they come from but rather by the content of their character and ability to serve and to lead. Presidential quota should and must be a thing of the past for our country. All persons Easterner, Northerner, Southerner or Westerner who are interested in serving our country as president should be able to present himself/herself to Nigerian people. In this way Nigerians will have a clearer choice and make informed decision in electing their true leaders. And we will be able to minimize electoral irregularities.

As Nigeria turns, let us hope that the ongoing National Dialogue will produce the much awaited solution to Nigeria’s problems and help to redirect us to “doing good” for our country. Let us hope that the curse of those whom Nigeria injustice visited will be lifted by the outcome of this National Dialogue. Let us hope that this dialogue will help us to learn to love one another and to live side by side in peace and to shun hatred, to put the civil war behind us, to move on together as a people and that public service MEANS public service. In the beautiful 13th chapter of the first book of Corinthians, Paul wrote, “If I inherit the world but have not love, I am nothing” and “ If I give away all I have, but have not love, I am nothing.” He continued, “But when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away” (1 Corinthians 13:1-13).

As Nigeria turns, I endorse all those who have the gut to present themselves for elective offices in Nigeria, who genuinely want to serve our country, and those who dedicated their services in managing and organizing their campaigns – like The Nigeria Project, Inc., I say thank you for doing your civic duties.

Okechukwu E. Asia


Real Beauty is My Aim - Mahatma Gandhi

Posted by Administrator at 01:57 AM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2005

Agarachaa Must Come Back – to Aburi

Peter Opara: A famed English/Igbo (engligbo) saying goes this way – Agarachaa must come back. Back then in Aburi, Ghana, in 1967, young, very young Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukuwu took care of business, Nigeria’s business that is.

Odumegwu-Ojukwu then 33- years old, took care of Nigeria’s business such that the conflagration that beset the country 37 years ago could have been avoided; he took care of business such that the genocidal war visited upon his people, the Igbo, could have been averted; he took care of business such that the destruction, looting seizure and/or appropriation of hard earned property of the Igbo could have been averted; he took care of business such that pain, death and suffering that touched many families across the length and breadth of the nations comprising the cage called Nigeria could have been averted; finally, Odumegwu-Ojukwu took care of business such that the comedy now bandied about by the Nigerian Burden – Olusegun Matthew Okikiolahan Aremu Obasanjo in the name of national dialogue should not have been necessary – that, as well as the waste of time, energy and sundry resources that is sure to result.

Whether averting the tragedies enumerated above as they affected the Igbo could have been achieved was really open to question, considering that there were forces - civil and military then and even now that were decided on one thing and one thing only – elimination of the Igbo or as many of them as was humanly possible. Those forces are still alive and active as jackasses (destroyers not builders) doing nothing other than undoing the Igbo.

The man who leads this cage called Nigeria today had sworn to ensure that the sun will never rise from whence God Almighty ordained it to rise – the East – that the Igbo will never rise again. But is not the futility of Aremu’s efforts so evident? The Igbo nation will outlive Aremu and company.

Beginning with his kinsman – the ugly and appropriately aliased “scorpion”, Aremu and the band of vandals he led, in the name of soldiers, noted even by international observers to be the most ill-disciplined band of men did their best to shoot and bomb the Igbo out of existence. They did not succeed.

From the outset of their insanity in the north of the cage - Nigeria, they killed, maimed and set ablaze - all in their sight that reminded them of the Igbo. Yet from the ashes of the inferno, rose the Phoenix – the Igbo – who still reside effervescently amongst those who feel it were best they, the Igbo, were oblivioned.

The Igbo victory, Biafra’s victory rests squarely on the fact that as Odumegwu-Ojukwu put it, “they (Nigerians) wanted genocide and we stopped them”! This for those who chime about “instrument of surrender” or whatever that they may jolly well stuff up their you-know-what.

The Nigerian killing machine that was backed to the hilt by Russia, Britain and the entire Arab world ran out of gas. Let that Nigerian soldier who was not tired fighting Biafrans put pen to paper, so we may read.

37 years ago, Odumegwu-Ojukwu saw the ill-wind in the horizon, his people – the Igbo having experienced first hand the evil force of this wind that blew away the lives of some, the limbs of some, the heads of some, the eyes of some… name it.

Odumegwu-Ojukwu recognized the ferocity of this wind, he realized that it could soon engulf the whole of Nigeria then, the Nigeria in which yours truly, truly believed and “hailed”…as in that venerable anthem – “Nigeria we hail thee… Our own dear native land…Though tribe and tongue may differ….In brotherhood we stand…”

Such contextual, tribe and tongue - bonding anthem got scrapped by none other than Aremu for some Ajasco Jazz of an anthem that is totally devoid of verve. Thinking about this, one wonders what is Aremu’s taste in music that he easily dispensed of a deep and suitable sentiment- rallying anthem in a fundamentally troubled arrangement – Nigeria - for a virtual Apala sound.

It took the presence of the same Aremu at the helm this time – a la 4 -19 elections to rejuvenate and reinvigorate the ill wind once again. Like a hurricane originating from the Sahara in the north, the wind has torn up the once seemingly monolithic north, through the west to far, far, down south – where the inhabitants of the land that harbor the wealth of an entity are so deprived and are gassed as they protest their suffering.

Every corner of Nigeria that once was their brothers’ keepers, are now their brothers’ killers. Nigerians all that once worked in unison in the effort to rid the Igbo from their entity now turn against themselves – for oil, for land, for cattle, for religion, for politics, for whatever. Aremu’s official residence – center of power in Nigeria - is, according to Wole Soyinka, “a nest of killers”…..and thugs, I might add, as Nigerian peoples are aware that some of the worst terror and destruction unleashed upon Nigerian peoples have emanated from the “nest of killers”…often prompting the man in-charge, Aremu himself to take to public airwaves to announce to the public what happened, the reason and those responsible.

Such is how far off Nigeria wandered from truth and basic decency. Truth is home. Nigeria took a walk away from home – from truth. Nigeria and Nigerians became agarachaa, and like any agarachaa, to home must Nigeria and Nigerians return for home is where peace is.

The rest Nigerian peoples that junked Odumegwu-Ojukwu’s Aburi peaceful co-existence proposals for the blood of the Igbo are today talking about talk in the nature and spirit of Odumegwu-Ojukwu Aburi proposals.

Aburi was not about Biafra. Aburi was about amicable co-existence or partnering in then Nigeria. Biafra was a result of abandonment of Aburi accord by greater Nigeria that was then dripping with Igbo blood. Greater Nigeria cared less that it was impossible for the Igbo to live in greater Nigeria with Nigerians that had just spilled their blood… if nothing happened.

Anthony Enahoro, the man championing a group that is splitting hairs on what kind of talk and on what manner of forum to talk understands better than any about Odumegwu-Ojukwu’s Aburi accomplishment, relative to the cause he now champions. Do I expect the Edo man to credit Odumegwu-Ojukwu or at least show regrets for not arguing in favor of implementing the Aburi accord? No. Not in the land of hypocrites - Nigeria.

At the time, as Odumegwu-Ojukwu proposed a peaceful co-existence in Nigeria, such never mattered to Enahoro. The man’s mouth watered only at the prospect of starving the Igbo to extinction. He had it, his starvation plans, designed and ready to go; and so it was easy for him and his ilk to scuttle the Aburi accord and engage in Igbo quick kill.

Enahoro has been singing Biafra’s song for a while now. His MNR Party’s constitution contains a secession clause – secession – the same reason he wanted all Igbo dead by starvation.

The man is said to have moved the motion for Nigeria’s independence. He realized 45 years later - after his motion, that in the words of his mentor, Obafemi Awolowo, “Nigeria is but a geographical expression” a contraption of peoples of no known cultural, traditional or whatever affiliation. Enahoro is chagrined or so he appears, over, in his own word, the “bundling” of different peoples by the British into what is today an impossible entity.

An impossible entity - Nigeria that is rife with inter ethnic hatred, inter ethnic chicanery, blatant inequity and brazen injustice - such that demand that the diverse nations trapped in this cage split to man their respective businesses - Okeke, Tunde and Usman to return to their respective homes – and there they must contain and content themselves – even if they have in their homes just sand to eat or trade for survival. Call this dissolution of the British cage or something in that fashion, so all the animals, yes animals - that is how peoples of these parts are regarded, could scurry away to freedom.

Many have seen, spoken and written about the proverbial handwriting on the wall, and they pray for a break in peace, not in pieces.

Here is young Ibraheem Waziri’s clear, honest and courageous admonition for all to internalize “Northerners” (indeed peoples of Nigerian nations) must learn to come to terms with the truth that Nigeria is not created through divine inspiration, it cannot be found anywhere in the holy book, and nowhere else on this planet can we find the sacred inscription: Nigeria is indispensable”.

The least acceptable option otherwise is autonomy for each ethnic region to man their affairs and cater to their own – again for Okeke to cater to Okekes, Tunded to cater to Tundes and Usman to cater to Usmans.

Need autonomy undo existing or impede future social and economic association of now autonomous and/or sovereign entities? Why would that be? However, Okeke reserves the right not to associate with Tunde or Usman and vice versa.

It will be putting forth the spirit of Odemugwu-Ojukwu’s proposal at Aburi thus - it is better for Nigerians to pull apart peacefully than to stay put in a clear and present collision path.

And so what does this Aremu dialogue, a phony dialogue, if you asked me, going to accomplish?

After the Aremu dialogue, wherever and whenever it takes place, as sure as the sun will rise, the Hausa/Fulani will continue to be suspicious, loving and hateful of the Igbo – for no reason; the Yoruba, in addition to seeking any opportunity to pounce on Igbo property, they will continue by hook and crook to scheme the Igbo out of their due and continue to reap off other peoples’ sweat and inheritance – see recent turnkey industrial citing – Gas, LNG; the Igbo will continue to be distrusting of the Yoruba – for good reason; the Hausa/Fulani will maintain their contempt for the Yoruba.

As the mutual distrust, hate, despise, chicanery etc., continues, those to whom Nigeria is a playground – the criminal band that has robbed her, raped her and rendered her moribund – will continue to have a field day.

“Which kine country be this? Wailed the great Fela Anikulapo Kuti of blessed memory.

Who is sane that wants to be part of this arrangement, where every group and/or individual effort is always geared to whatever militates against progress?

Now, not only does Aremu’s cunning ways ooze off this his talk thing, many are downright suspicious of it and rightfully so. The north does not trust the talk. Alhaji Shehu Musa smelt a rat a while ago – plan afoot according to him to undo the north. Alhaja Dogoyaro simply wants the talk stopped or talk about talk stopped…. whichever.

The Yoruba are everywhere or nowhere about the talk…that is if you can pin down their head; they support the talk and they do not support the talk; core Yoruba group Afenifere is not pleased with the designation of the talk; a pan-Yoruba group reminiscent of Abacha days – “Pronaco” will not go to Obasanjo talk, but they will talk nonetheless, to themselves. Call that Yoruba “high principle” as a Yoruba commentator would affirm.

The Igbo is ready and prepared as always; with belief that they have a case and a credible one at that against Nigeria; they want to talk anytime and anywhere.

It is worthy of note that however the talk comes about, it has been assigned a “no go area” even before it began, by the chief rapist of Nigeria! The man who stole enough from her that he could now pocket Nigerian nations and their peoples.

And guess who is speaking the language of this chief rapist of Nigeria? It is none other than that loquacious Aremu’s parrot – Fani Kayode. He used the chief rapist’s words verbatim libratum thus– “there is a no go area”.

Kayode, a deacon, they say, claimed in a newspaper interview that “the hands of the lord is upon” his master – Aremu. It could then be that the “no go area” that he and the chief rapist of Nigeria talk about must be divine, an area on and about Nigeria that peoples of Nigerian nations must not talk about even if talk on this “area” could usher in the peace and progress that peoples of Nigerian nations desperately need, else, they will be struck dumb and deaf! Just a thought for this man that knows on who the hands of Lord is.

There is all manner of hullabaloo about a talk that will certainly amount to nothing. And I ask, why the waste of time, energy and even funds?

Agarachaa must come back.

I say agarachaa, and that includes those that are ignorant of Odumegwu-Ojukwu’s contribution to the patrimony of the peoples of Nigerian nations. They should do themselves a favor and read up on the Aburi, Ghana deliberations. They may not concern themselves about the lot of the Igbo at the time in question, they should simply focus on Odumegwu-Ojukwu’s conscious, deliberate proposal/prescription to his colleagues on the side of greater Nigeria, led then by Yakubu Gowon, on how best to realize a Nigeria that you and I would have been proud of today and way, way into the future.

A sound and proud patrimony it would have been for us, for our children, for our grand children, for our great grandchildren with Odumegwu-Ojukwu’s prescriptions that sheer hatred induced myopia did not allow the light of day.

Nigeria and peoples of Nigerian nations strayed from truth, and thus are they veritable agarachaa - wanderers away from home – truth - to which they must come back for peace and progress to ensue.

Agarachaa must come back to Aburi; else, there is no way out of this hellhole.

Peter Opara is the author of Understanding the Nigerian Nation Tribes – Why they Boil.

February 16, 2005

Posted by Administrator at 07:30 AM | Comments (0)

February 15, 2005

Where do we go from here?

Chinua Achebe: Not long ago, my attention was caught by a radio news item about Africa.  As I had come to expect, it was not good news, and it was not presented with, nor did it deserve respect.

It was something of a joke. This was the announcement of the death of President Eyadema of Togo whom it described as the longest serving president in Africa (or maybe the world – I forget which). Then it gave another detail: Eyadema had died from a heart attack, even as he was about to be flown to Europe for treatment. And it concluded with the information that Eyadema’s son would succeed him as president of Togo!

This event brought me once again face to face with Africa’s leadership charade. What do African leaders envision for their countries and their people, I wondered yet again. Have they not heard that where there is no vision the people perish? Does the judgment of history on their rule mean anything to them? Do they remember how a man called Mandela who had spent 28 years in prison for South Africa gave up the presidency of that country – a position that he so richly deserved – after only 4 years, and made way for another and younger patriot?

Why do African leaders choose bad models like Kamuzu Banda instead of good ones like Mandela? Have they considered how Mugabe has ruined the cause of land distribution by a quarter century tenancy in power? If Eyadema stayed that long because he was that good, why was there no hospital in Togo to attend to his condition? Did Eyadema who had given nothing but bad news to Togo since the 1960s imagine that the solution to problems created largely by himself would be solved by a dynasty of Eyademas? Which reminded me of another First Son, the son of the President of Equatorial Guinea seen around the world on television as he shopped extravagantly in Paris for expensive clothes. Unfortunately, he seemed no less a bum in the suits he was trying on, than out of them.

Africa has to get serious. I think we have fooled around long enough. And Nigeria, which has enough human talent and material resources to lead the way for the continent has been frittering away precious, providential time.

The Chinua Achebe Foundation Inc © Interview Series Project Nigeria: A meeting of the minds will attempt to transcend the present discourse of cynicism and pessimism concerning Nigeria by engaging some of the nation’s most distinguished and respected minds, in robust, intellectual, public conversations. The interviews we have planned are not intended to project the views and opinions of myself or my foundation or necessarily people who think like me. It will present the thinking of serious, independent-minded Nigerians who, like millions of their fellows in all walks of life and all corners of the land, yearn for the promise of a stable, safe, democratic, humane, and prosperous nation. The aim is to increase conversation among us and bring together the thoughts of reflective men and women on our condition and what we should do about it.

About the Foundation

The Chinua Achebe foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to increasing international understanding about Africa’s vibrant intellectual and cultural heritage.

Chinua Achebe
Founder and Chairman, Board of Directors of the Chinua Achebe Foundation

Posted by Administrator at 06:53 AM | Comments (0)

February 08, 2005

Banks, Women, and Corporate Irresponsibility

Uche Nworah: In Nigeria, they are all over the place, in their skimpy and plaid knee length skirt suits, their smiles are whiter and brighter than that of the Macleans’ man, their faces glow from the thick layers of mascara cosmetics which is not enough to conceal their pain and frustration.

You can never mistake them in their branded Dubai Hondas and shiny air-conditioned cars; you will see them usually perched on the owner’s side, with their faces buried in broadsheet newspapers on their way to look for money, or to ‘market’ potential customers. It is the personae the banks want you, the onlooker and potential customer to see; life is good for these bank girls, so do the uninitiated assume but is it?

Not if you have a target of hundreds of millions of Naira to bring in and you fail, your job goes on the line. The code red is for the young women to do whatever is required to meet their targets, if they wriggle out this month with some excuse for not meeting the target, there is the next month to think of as well, it is a heart wrenching job.

The working hours are nightmarish, in an unsafe country like Nigeria with epileptic transport situation, some of the women are known to come back home as late as 11 PM or even later, these women are loosing out on the home front as well, they no longer have the time to care for their children nor for their husbands. Relationships and marriages are breaking down and the banks are smiling, and declaring Billion Naira profits.

The women do not have too many appealing options; it is only the banking sector that offers any real employment hopes. Soludo, the CBN governor should not let this go on for long, his clean sweep of the banking industry should also touch on this issue of fund soliciting. It does not matter in what culture it is practiced, soliciting is morally wrong, the banks can not claim that they do not know that their female employees get into all sorts in other to bring home the goods. This issue is still on going and I will eventually come back to it in the future.

My main grouse at the moment is with the capital market activities of Nigerian banks, I think that the Central bank can not effectively regulate the industry and the entire financial services industry, there are obvious conflicts and inefficiencies. The CBN’s regulatory arm should form a separate entity just like the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in the UK. The CBN should only be concerned with fiscal and monetary policy issues, just like the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England. The weaknesses in the regulation have given rise to the manipulation of investor funds by some of these banks.

For example, Nigerians heralded the rights issue of Zenith Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank in July 2004, the two banks employed effective marketing strategies to convince potential investors to buy their shares, news reports showed that their campaigns were effective as the shares were oversubscribed.

I was visiting Nigeria at the time of the Zenith Bank and GTB rights issue and had convinced friends and family to invest in the shares, this was also our way of responding to the various calls for Nigerians in Diaspora to come home to invest, Now since we bought the shares of the said banks, only Zenith Bank has fulfilled part of it’s contract, they have issued our certificates and have also posted them to our various addresses abroad.

It is a different matter with GTB, it has been one tale after the other, currently the bank’s shares have been suspended from trading at the Nigerian stock exchange. If there were stricter corporate governance in Nigeria, or if the bank’s Regulation, Compliance and Legal departments had done their homework, investor’s funds would not have been locked away in their vaults this long without yielding any dividends or interests. Such callousness will cost employees their jobs in the developed countries, because of the collateral damages, including loss of image and payment of compensation claims which the financial institutions may suffer.

The official reason for the suspension is GTB’s announcement that it was going to acquire Inland Bank plc, I don’t know the logic behind announcing such deals hastily when the parties concerned have not yet tidied their books, normally where there is strict corporate governance, such announcements that are bound to affect and influence share prices and trading are first cleared with the security and exchange commission before making it public, GTB did not do this, and so the Central Bank or the SEC suspended their shares from trading at the Stock market.

So what happens to the investors? Are we going to be compensated for the period of inactivity of our investments? We really should and the regulatory authorities should consider this aspect as well in the whole process. My argument is that if we had placed the funds in fixed deposit accounts in GTB for these 7 months, the accruing interests would have been huge.

Now my aunt who labours as a nurse in America has been on my case because I had sold the whole share idea to her, she has not been to Nigeria in a long while choosing instead to bury herself in her work. She is particularly angry that she gave me almost all her savings to invest in GTB, I had based my advice on GTB’s web advertisements and boasts of earnings of over 140% by it’s previous investors.

I am still waiting to hear the last word on this matter, both from the CBN, the SEC, the NSE and the GTB, I am sure other Nigerians who had invested in GTB’s shares are waiting as well. I just don’t want to believe that GTB investors should be sitting ducks in this whole mess. This is a classic case for the Nigerian Shareholders Association and the other consumer rights associations to pursue vigorously.

I suggest a class action suit against the bank and the authorities; we deserve some kind of compensation for their error of judgement, recklessness and corporate irresponsibility. They may also consider compensating us using prevailing interest rates for the period our shares have been idle. Any one reading this who wants to take this suggestion further can contact me.

The authorities need to restore confidence in the capital market once again; current investors should be protected if potential ones can be expected to come into the market. There should be no sacred cows at all.

Martha Stewart, the queen of American home living is currently serving a 5 month jail sentence in a West Virginia prison, she is doing time having been convicted of insider trading offences. We need these kinds of resoluteness in the system to restore investor confidence.

High profits and greed drive some of these banks, what else would make a bank like Fountain Trust Bank turn a blind eye to Tafa Balogun’s alleged deposits, did they not know that the funds must have been stolen public funds? I know that there are legal and ethical requirements and compliances which stipulate that banks should report deposits in excess of certain amounts to the authorities but how many of the banks do this?

Also, the current money laundering charges brought by the EFCC against some senior executives of Liberty Bank and the All States Trust Bank at the Kaduna High Court shows that there is indeed a crisis of confidence in the Nigerian banking sector.

Customers of banks and other financial services have always had it rough in Nigeria, starting from the days of Forum Finance in Lagos and Ime Umanah’s Resources Managers in Port Harcourt, both being financial services enterprises that failed and swallowed consumer’s deposits as a result of weak regulation. The trend also continued with the failed bank saga of the 1990s but we can not go on like this.

The GTB situation calls to question the issue of leadership and succession in the Nigerian banking sector, it may seem that since Fola Adeola who founded the bank left to pursue other interests including setting up the Fate Foundation, the current GTB executives may have lost the original vision and concept, or else newer upstarts in the industry would not have overtaken GTB’s pioneering position.

STB, Diamond Bank and Zenith Bank should be wary of going down this route when Tony Elumelu, Jim Ovia and Pascal Dozie all call it a day

Posted by Administrator at 07:47 AM | Comments (1)

BNW Writers A-M

BNW Writers N-Z



BiafraNigeria Banner

BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer

BiafraNigeria Spacer


BNW Forums


The Voice of a New Generation