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August 31, 2006

Torn Between EFCC and Due Process

by Farouk Martins, Omo Aresa --- The Economic and Financial Crime Commission has come under fire lately for the rough but Nigerian ways of dealing with looters. Of course, I am concerned about due process. I am even more concerned about those who think they can get rid of Nuhu Ribadu and would like to give a dog a bad name before they hang him.

I hear hypocrites’ cries about how “his” war against corruption is sectional and a tool for Ali Baba, I mean Baba Iyabo, against his enemies. But when he asked how many Nigerian Head of State has allowed anyone to go after his friends, they go deaf and dumb. Remember, Nuhu dared not go after Tafa Balogun because Tafa knew too much about Ali Baba.

Even if this entire tirade against Nuhu Ribadu is justified, what stops him from going after a former President hoping he does not die in office, as he sometimes wished for Nigeria? Due Process is a very important part of equity and fairness as I wish for if my butt is on the line. Ladies and Gentlemen, guess what happens when our butt is on fire, we replace due process with extraordinary powers. Yet, these are people who value due process more than Nigerians. They do the unthinkable, kidnapped innocent folks with unmarked planes in foreign countries in collaboration with people outside the law; they create special prison camps and abuse innocent folks. It is the reason they always use to justify fighting their greatest fear of evil, threatening their privileged way of life.

If I may ask, what are the greatest challenges facing Nigeria? Many of us will agree that corruption is one of them. Where else would a dictator who stole the country blind with impunity, dislocate people’s free choice and installed his cronies, plan a come back in a free and fair election but Nigeria. Whenever Ribadu swears never again, people cry -Aba. Fellow Nigerians are we sincere about cleaning up corruption or we are waiting for our turn to chop? We know that we can loot enough money to fight Ribadu in a court of law to a stand still with a smirk and a wink on our face. Whenever I take position like this, I feel so uncomfortable realizing that it can be used against innocent people.

Corruption may not be our greatest evil as some would like to justify its investment inside the Country, as in the case of Adenuga. The fact is many Nigerians looters who have no fear of God, now fear EFCC. That is progress my man. Many of them are so old, someone must have promised them that they need the cash to buy their way into the bosom of the goddesses in heaven after death. I hear about the distinction we make between those who invest at home and those who hand over coal to Newcastle. In other words, as long as some of us benefit from the resources of all of us, chikena! Another excuse is – it is our money, he is our son. Yet the area in support of their sons is floating with pollution and toxins, not milk and honey to justify however “meager” their allocation. As long as a few obsequious and “oloshious” fellows benefit from their loot.

Yes, there is hardly any country in the whole world that is free of corruption. There is something, somehow that is unique to Nigeria. It is egregiously right in your face. Not only are they worshipped, they become god-fathers of Governors and anointer of a President. Someone has to turn against them and say enough is enough. Looted money is free money that is spent freely. That is why it is easy to gamble big with free money, invest in foreign localities without any stake, invest big in shallow businesses that never survive their owners, squander big time in favor of academic prostitutes and endeavors that can justify their voracious appetite for unsubstantial grandiose projects.

Some progress stoppers have a way of curbing doers in action, knowing full well they have no good intentions. All they want to do is nip progress in the mud – “Oh I do not mind Nuhu Ribadu at all, I just don’t like the way he does it.” If not him, who? If not now, when? The same was said about the old country lawyer Senator Sam Ervin, the United States Chairman of the House Watergate committee that probed President Richard Nixon and later became a hero. It was said about Archibald Cox, the Special Counsel appointed and ordered fired by Richard Nixon when he felt the heat in his lap.

Many of their sympathizers have invoked the names of our founding fathers as bribe takers who laid the building blocks for poverty in Nigeria. I hate to ask the god of Thunder to strike anyone, but where is the comparison of ten percent bribe to 120 percent bribe. They collect the extra 20 percent from the following contract until we all loose. Some lay the blame on the ease by which we got our Independence. Ease? Ask the children of those who never live to see it and died in labor strikes or those who were incarcerated for opposing colonial mentality, at home and abroad. No wonder, some of our children say they have no heroes.

Since many of us take our car to mechanics, how would we like it if the repairman came back to us and offer us 50 percent of the same money we gave him, to go and repair our car ourselves? Would you like your contractor to give you 70 percent of the money you gave him to build your house back, asking you to build it yourself? That car or that house is Nigeria my brothers and sisters. There is no justification for any form of corruption. As we turn a blind eye, we encourage it and it gets bigger and heavier on our shoulder until we all sink with it.

I do not know of a country that becomes economic power based on natural resources alone. There are many that depended on cheap labor though. It suffices to say that people ingenuity make a country a lasting economic power. One of the problems with oil riches that have become a curse for Nigeria is that it breeds complacency. It encourages and breeds laziness by example. Since the man outside of power wants in to loot his own, he looses his thinking faculty to use his skill to be productive. Since the new generation sees how easy it is to become rich, they loose their motivation to build a solid foundation for progress of our Country. Without a solid foundation, we lack the sturdy platform needed for economic take off.

Every one of us including Nuhu Ribadu needs some form of balance and check. He has been blamed everywhere in Nigeria for his excesses, including his village when he went after the Chief Executive of the Bank of the North. However, that is exactly the language Nigerians understand. As long as the rule of law exists, EFCC will be checked by a proper court of law. Which court of law is going to check a corrupt Dictator? Please give EFCC the support they need.

Farouk Martins, Omo Aresa

Posted by Administrator at 07:32 AM | Comments (0)

August 29, 2006

There is No Such Thing as Niger-Delta

by Carlisle U.O. Umunnah (New York, USA) --- Recently, there had been socio-economic-political upheavals over resource producing states. This economic hostility is obvious at the national, regional and at the local level. The said national summit focused particularly on revenue allocations with respect, and peculiarity to resource producing states, what the derivational percentages [%] should be or, not be. During these debates, the feds, have always [since after the civil war 1967-1970] played politics with this important topic.

So-much-so, that the discourse and, its end results, always results to failed conclusions. Each of these times, Feds have successfully derailed our collectivism of speaking with one voice. In each case, attempts to divide our lands and our peoples are grandstanding and unprecedented.

To a greater degree, feds have succeeded in meeting its objectives by keeping the people divided, at other times it has failed woefully in its ploys. Its successes in this area have left behind more ignorant and illiterate population wallowing in self-pity, gulliblistic-poverty, while its failures in another hand, have been triggered by its failed management of our resources toward bettering the lives of many either at national, regional and or at the local governmental units respectively. For example, in Port-Harcourt, feds made sure Igbo-mainland[s] and its ancient heritage were redrawn or criminally institutionalized in an effort to take away its ingenuousness from its Ancient supreme constitutionality that formulated them, for example again Rivers state was created. Igbo-nation noticed these pending alternations went to court to change these frauds but was ruled against by the court[s] of law. Under feds policy-of-containment, copiously designed against Igbo-nation, fed instructed Okilo’s administration and others after him to disfigure these frontiers, disfigure anything with Igbo-nomenclature[s], by any means necessary. Landmark names like: Obigbo, Umuokoro, Umumasi, Nwaoji, and many other indigenous landmarks were changed to Oyigbo, Rumukoro, Rumumasi, and Woji et al. However, despite this institutional internal systemic imperialism against our people designed through one of the grossest academic fraud in history, to circumvent truths, for the doubting thomases, we are still here and still, we know who owes the land.

This land-grab motivated-imperialism orchestrated and engineered by imperialistic cronyism at one end, which, its main-goal is to confuse, obfuscate the population in other to steal from its resources while its lands and peoples dissipate into decadence and precipice. Another fraudulent machination aggressively pursued by feds to disparage the ingenious landowners, sons of the soil, is the creation of Niger Delta off of original masterpiece: Niger-Basin Development Authority. Today’s Niger-Delta is made of waterways and creeks of these coastal states. But again, if you go to the original masterpiece, it is—Niger Basin Development Authority. NBDA was the original blueprint, formulated benchmarked for development of major resource producing areas, which, covers all resources producing areas of the country. States under NBDA are as followed: Benue, Plateau, Anambra, Imo, Abia and Ondo and all states within the coastal waterways including Rivers State and Cross Rivers. Anambra state for instance, has a large quantity of gas deposits in its landmass larger than what you have in the whole of Bonny and its environs put together. What people don’t know is that Anambra state unexplored Gas minerals deposits are staggering. It is mind-boggling; to observe a notch, that for the fact that Anambra is undisputable Igbo-heart land [i.e., Obigbo] every disingenuous ploy is at work, premeditatedly deployed to make it unattractive to foreign explorers and investors. In the foregoing mainland areas, the aforementioned states have large quantity of oil and gas that is yet to be explored also. The act and creation of Niger Delta is disingenuous by its internal-imperialistic-creationism by its creators. It was created to put Igbo lands in a disadvantage position when it comes to mineral producing areas and developmental projects accorded them.

Surprisingly just recently, Edo state, a non mineral producing state was included in oil coastal states, while, Imo, Anambra and Abia were intentionally left out in oil producing states projects. The institutional idea, intentionality, is to deny them the attended sustainable developmental projects that come with it, based on its resource producing capacity are thusly denied her.

Under the World Bank Assisted Projects in the 80s, the original acronym was NBDA, meaning Niger Basin Development Authority. For example, we had then the World Bank Rice Project under the Niger-Basin Development Authority [WBNBDA]. My own dad worked as a staff with this institution in the 80s. The agency produced products such as rice, vegetables, oil and what not. Today, no one hears anything about NBDA or its affiliate institutions. Out of jealousy, vile-discrimination against Igbo-speaking states, this agency [NBDA] was stifled, degraded and finally it disappeared with the thin air. Why close down NBDA? It was aggressively and egregiously brought to a close because it benefited Igbo population and its surroundings, created jobs for its population, brought development closer to the people and more. Today, from the look of things, the whole of former Eastern Region have been disparaged, shortchanged, by this winding administration led by Obasanjo. Obasanjo administration has continued these vile-policies of intergenerational-discriminatory practices against Igbo speaking states, this happens especially, when it comes to mineral producing states, fund allocations and resources disbursements to mention be a few. In what follows, unprecedented egregious developmental fraud continues to be perpetuated by this hapless administration and has gone unchallenged. Whether this illegal and discriminatory administration is gone the way of the abyss come 2007 does not matters to this writer. What matters most, is, that we will continue to use every state-of-the-art, every capacity within our reach to expose these injustices and crimes against humanity and other grandstanding acts, wherever they are found. We are unrelenting when it comes to these unbalanced policies/issues. Today whether it is international projects or domestic resource allocations, as long as these discriminatory matrix rear their ugly heads they will be confronted aggressively regardless.

Indigenous-imperialism or international imperialism or a combination of both against world peoples must be fought against from all fronts irrespective geo-political location. We have to fight them corner to corner, street to street, bloc to bloc until we cripple these illegitimate acts and install legitimate government, with good governance, good practices to the best of our ability. The economic and political failings today are man-made and it’s our duty and responsibility to expose them forthwith for all to see them for what they are: ugly representations. Census computation is another critical area to pay attention to. Census figure are usually manipulated to the disadvantage of former Eastern Region and the whole of Southern Nigeria. This has to stop forthwith. The population in the South is far greater to the population in the North. Tele-phonic industrial-expansionists with its agents across the country have discovered and admitted this fraud of census fraud having visited the North.

Having articulated the foregoing pre-planned suffering of the masses predicated on the profiteering of the few with their foreign partners. The current hostilities against Igbo-land and its neighboring states is a challenge we all face. The facts remind us that larger population of our peoples are suffering and dying while they live in the means of plenty. Irrespective of these discriminatory and totalitarian actions against our people, including siphoning of our resources by these ghost-workers with their foreign multinationals-friends, we still have fledging options to confront these murderous looters to set free our suffering masses today. They use the military and police to maim and kill our old, women and children everyday.

Today because of military actions against our land, sea and the air, our population and its debilitating conditions, has once-more worsened, and has revealed yet again the vile, and devilish acts against our friends and families and remind us that these dastard acts know no boundaries and therefore we must unite and confront it today: now.

This passed Thursday, over 60 MEND members were killed by Federal troops under monstrous executive orders from Obasanjo. These criminal directives of Obasanjo, have, left innocent villagers killed; villages were burnt down to ashes; women and children were either killed or left to suffer homelessness in their own land. It is evidence that Obasanjo just added more blood to his bloody sucking folders, which, has placed him on the category of administration and leadership that committed crimes against humanity. Yes, they are spilling the blood of our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and children. These acts of aggressions will not go unpunished as long as we live. This year alone over 786 MASSOB members have been killed in the Eastern region in its quest for self-determination to free itself people from the aggression and contraption of this administration. It has used SSS operatives and government agencies against our people. It is on record that these crimes are ongoing and designed to subjugate stilly any opposing voice or other alternatives to liberate our lands.

A military solution is no solution. Diplomacy should be seriously considered. Time and again, Obasanjo administration has sent in troops to destroy the villages, kill civilians, including women, and children. These actions were indiscriminately carried out without any consideration of innocent citizens about their businesses. The aftermath of military investigation is another cover-up and unacceptable to us, as we know too well about this civilian-military-regime with failed inquiries after sending in troops to kill our people time and again. These dastardly actions makes MEND and MASSOB population and strong[er] amongst the people within this region. Regardless of these death tolls of MEND and MASSOB, irrespective of its casualties, yet support for these organizations have rather increased and strengthened over time not, diminished.

As long as we refused to acknowledge that the mineral resource that is explored from under our feet belongs mainly to the indigenes of the land, resistance shall remain the only option to defend itself against these aggressors. Mineral resource should not be a curse or tool of destructions of our people, but rather, such resource[s] must serve as a means to better their lives. This vicious circle of aggression against our land is evil and wicked. And, rather than the multinationals with their imperialistic tendencies continue to loot our lands carelessly and recklessly, with its dehumanizing degrading fallouts, with depleting ecological negativity which, impact our lands and its environs they, should contribute to the development of the land or leave the land today. No doubt, surely someday the sanctity of human life is seen precious before the creator and we must demand for restitutions from them and tomorrow. Foreign multinationalism is imperialistically imposed on our people. Be informed that your acclaimed civility and decency will be called into question at the comity of nations and comity of communities you have raped and ravaged. Extrajudicial executions and disappearances of our peoples day-in and day-out because of mineral resources and exploitations cannot go unanswered, unpunished.

Finally, be it known that there is a relativism of internal imperialistic criminality, vis-à-vis, those of their foreign-imperialistic exploitative counterparts. The two imperialisms equals imperialism against our peoples; and fashioned to retain and maintain a particular lifestyle, materialism based on foreign thinking is one of the most debasing dehumanizing options at the turn of this century.

Warning: You can divide, discriminate, separate and segregate our peoples as much as you want, one thing is clear to us, we have refused to be divided, and there is no such thing as Niger Delta because it was instituted to cause divisions against us, what we do have albeit, is Niger Basin. These institutional divisions, disuniting designs, gave birth to Niger Delta against the backdrop that it will sidelines their designed arch-enemy: Igbo-nation. But, the vile-laws, revisionists’ policies and politics that follow heads-on and left the country redundant till date is shameful, even a corporate shame. This situation, have always played to the gallery of mischief-makers, to the detriment of our dying people whether in the whole of Niger Basin or what you today call Niger-Delta. Our villages, our women and children either way have benefited negatively by way of deaths and destructions of our villages, towns and cities. But, rather than a developed, sustainable, institutions, viable communication vehicles, educational capacities for a sophisticated and civilized society what we have reproduce over time is, more ignorant, increase in illiteracy, dropouts, mundane society were its tertiary institutions are nothing but, a glorified primary schools.

In conclusions, domestic institutional cronyism and institutional individualism, stupefied, with their unholy alliance with their individualistic foreign imperialistic operators which, serves as its off-shore conduits, its interlocutor has destroyed anything that looked like statehood. A true nation-state, would have served as primordial matrix that would have launched her to an enviable nationalism. Today, what we have is Niger Basin not Niger Delta. Niger Delta is an external-creationism imposed on us to keep us divided, disorganized to display irresponsibility to our families and own kind. Now that you know the genesis behind Niger-Delta and the collectivism found within the framework of Niger-Basin Authority, the attended deprivation based on non-visionary, non-peoples programs and the other based on visionary, peoples programs what do we do?

Carlisle U. O. Umunnah
Is New York Based Freelance writer

Posted by Administrator at 05:53 AM | Comments (0)

August 28, 2006

Nigeria-Biafra War still Ongoing

by Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu (Dundalk, Republic of Ireland) --- The shooting war may have ended, but the civil war has continued albeit by other means. A lot
of Nigerians have continued to bury their head in the sand and pretend that all is well; some have even queried the Igbo cry of marginalisation, while some others have continued to live in denial, the obvious fact notwithstanding.

However the naked truth remains, that while a great majority of the Igbo have moved on since the end of the shooting phase of the war, other Nigerians and the federal caliphate government in particular has refused to move on.

Apartheid In Nigeria:

The continuing Apartheid policies of the caliphate government targeted at Ndigbo bears witness to this undeniable fact. A very interesting and glaring aspect of the continuing war by other means unfolded recently. The caliphate Nigerian government are always at their wits end when it comes to inventing evil Apartheid schemes with which to marginalize or exclude others.

In 1970 at the end of the shooting phase of the civil war, the caliphate government together with Eastern saboteurs invented the phrase “Abandoned property”, which they used to rob Ndigbo of their property in Port Harcourt (Igwe ocha) of all places in a supposed “one Nigeria”. Once again a new phrase “coastal states of the Niger-Delta” has been invented in a bid to exclude the oil producing states of Imo and Abia from the development and employment initiatives recently unfolded by the federal caliphate government. See link.

It should be noted, that the term “coastal states” was invented specifically to exclude the 2 Igbo oil producing states, but the evil schemers made a tactical error by including Edo state, which is not by any definition a coastal state. Whereas Imo and Abia states are officially classified among the 9 oil producing states, with Imo state classified as the 5th, and Abia state as the 7th largest oil producing states in Nigeria, the evil and divisive federal caliphate government could still so brazenly, callously, and unconscionably exclude 2 Igbo oil producing states, while including some states that produce far less oil.

Those who are so quick to find fault with Ndigbo, when they complain of discriminatory Apartheid policies of the federal caliphate government, can now begin to comprehend that Igbo marginalisation is real, and a fact of life. It is a cleverly planned evil scheme that has dominated the post- shooting war politics of the caliphate government. It has been actualised in different phases beginning from 1970.At one time a curious boundary adjustment annexed most of the oil producing areas in the then Imo state and relocated them to Rivers state. A prominent Igbo oil producing town known as Obigbo annexed from Imo state, even had it’s name changed to Oyigbo in a bid to de-Igbonize or destroy the Igbo identity of the town. If all the oil producing towns annexed to Rivers state from Imo state where to be returned, Imo state would be among the top 3 oil producing states in Nigeria.

A certain young man joins the Police, Armed forces or federal civil service; because he is Igbo he cannot aspire to reach the peak of his career. In the Police he cannot aspire to become the Inspector general, in the Armed forces he cannot aspire to be the Chief of army staff, or even a general until recently, in the federal civil service he cannot aspire to become a permanent secretary. Federal Infrastructure in the East is a no go area, as it is virtually non-existent. Such is a graphic analysis of the depth of the Apartheid Igbo marginalization in post- shooting war Nigeria, and the assault, trauma, and deprivation that Ndigbo have had to live with since almost 4 decades.

Post war politics in other nations; have been markedly different from the Nigerian route which has been largely punitive and exclusionist. At the end of the American civil war, President Andrew Johnson from Tennessee who took the reigns of power in 1865 after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln was from the secessionist Southern America. Reconciliation and reconstruction was genuine. True federalism continued with every state retaining the right to develop at their own pace. Issues based democracy free of rigging, and free of a candidate imposing caliphate also continued unfettered. To date there is no record of marginalisation, discrimination, or containment in either the professions or in infrastructure in post-war America.
Nigerian revisionists have attempted to sell the lie, that it took 100 years for an American from the erstwhile secessionist south to become president. There can be nothing farther from the truth, As President Andrew Johnson a bonafide Southerner became president less than a year after the end of the American civil-war.

Post-war Europe after the 2nd world war, incidentally the bloodiest conflict in human history, is another case in point. By 1953 less than 10 years after the end of the war, France and Germany erstwhile bitter foes put their past behind them, and started the nucleus of the European Union that has to date metamorphosed into a vibrant, dynamic, and mega-progressive union. So many other examples exist of how positive, genuinely reconciliatory post-war politics in several nations have led to highly progressive societes.The bitter and failing Nigeria we have today, full of hatred, ethno-religious strife, and crunching poverty, is a direct fallout of the obnoxious Apartheid policies introduced at the end of the shooting war, which has only served to exacerbate the lingering and unrelvolved contradictions inherent in our forced geographical space.

Nigeria is one of the only countries, where a civil war was concluded without recourse to guerrilla warfare. That stroke of good luck, I submit has been destroyed by the negative, retrogressive, and evil post-war politics of caliphate Nigeria. The government of Nigeria has spent more time devising evil methods on how to marginalize, contain, and arrest the development of Ndigbo, than they have spent thinking of how to develop Nigeria.

MASSOB though still non-violent is a legitimate reaction and response to the long years of criminal Apartheid policies visited on Ndigbo.There is a limit to which you can push a people to the wall. A whole generation of Ndigbo are growing up with deep hatred and resentment towards a caliphate Nigeria, in which they feel no sense of belonging, and in which they see their potentials, and development deliberately arrested. Ignoring this trend would be at Nigeria’s peril.

It should be noted, that no army no matter how powerful has ever successfully defeated militants employing guerrilla warfare tactics. Iraq remains a clear pointer to such a scenario. I am not an advocate of war; neither do I believe in war as the best means to resolve political differences. But the fact remains, that if the federal caliphate government does not make a bold move to put an end to such brazen obnoxious Apartheid policies against Ndigbo, there is no way Nigeria can escape a muscular unwinnable guerrilla conflict with Ndigbo somewhere in the future.

History bears witness, that men have almost always chosen freedom, to external or internal colonialism, slavery, or bondage. In all cases they have preferred death to a life of servitude. The Nigerian situation is exactly the same. People will in due course prefer to die, rather than accept such evil and inhuman acts of Apartheid.

As I have said previously elsewhere, the hypocritical caliphate Nigerian government though always quick to shout “one Nigeria” yet they remain the greatest enemies of Nigerian unity. Their Apartheid policies, as exemplified by the “Coastal states of the Niger-Delta” exclusionist agenda, reinforces and vindicates the beliefs and convictions of those who believe their salvation lies in tearing down an evil, incompassionate,unprogressive,and moribund caliphate Nigeria.
In conclusion, I wish to state, that the “Coastal states of the Niger-Delta” initiative is bound to fail, for the same reasons that caliphate Nigeria is failing. No project founded on evil conspiracies, mago-mago, 419, naked deception, and exclusion can succeed. Until the day, the “Pharaoh’s” of caliphate Nigeria becomes sober, if ever, and begins a process of genuine reconciliation, honest dialogue, inclusion, and equality, anything Nigeria touches will undoubtedly continue to fail.

Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu
Dundalk, Republic of Ireland

Posted by Administrator at 12:13 AM | Comments (0)

August 24, 2006

Creating Level Playing Field: Role of Media

by Prof. Edward Oparaoji, (Philadelpia, PA) --- Gentlemen of the Press,

Hope this write up meets you well. I want to first of all commed you for the noble role you played in ladmark events of our time, which I have been honored to play a role. The most recent are the June 12 struggle and opposition to elengotation of term of office of the current Obasanjo administration. The lesson here, is that when the press takes a stand for the people and for change, they prevail.

I am professor Edward Oparaoji, NADECO chieftain and currently Vice Chairman of the Peoples Mandate Party (PMP)- led by Dr. Arthur Nwankwo.

As we approach the trecherous 2007 political arena, my analysis and that of respected local and international opinion writers is that the 2007 presidential elections will be stalemated and inconclusive, and attempts to instal an interim government will collapse, throwing Nigeria into a crisis we have never known. In this scenario, the only way out will be through a negotiated settlement/consensus. In the unlikely event of a smooth election, given the current lay of the land, it is obvious that the status quo will again rig itself back into power.

My appeal to you members of the press, given the afore said, is to devote more time/coverage to new comers and new political parties with potentials. I know this may be difficult given the high drama within the polity, created by elements of the status quo. Nevertheless, is important, to create a level playing field, an enabling environment for the emergence of new thinkers, and fresh ideas. These may be who we need to harness and redirect the outcome of 2007.

I know you are doing your best given limited space and competing interests, I just thought I should sensitize you to this matter. Keep up the wonderful work you have been doing and God Bless.

Warm Regards

Prof. Edward Oparaoji
National Vice Chairman
Peoples Mandate Party (PMP)
Philadelphia USA

Posted by Administrator at 08:01 AM | Comments (0)

Letter to NASS on Bakassi

by Dr. Baba Adam and Mr. Clement Ikpatt, --- August 21, 2006

Hon. Senators and
Hon. Members of the House of Representatives
National Assembly Complex
Three Arms Zone
Abuja, Nigeria

Dear Distinguished and Honorable Members of the National Assembly:

We are hereby writing to you, Honorable Members of the National Assembly, to correct several wrongs that have been unfairly inflicted upon the Bakassi people through various faults-ridden and unconstitutional processes of ceding the Bakassi Peninsula to the Republic of Cameroon.

We draw your attention to Section 12 of the Constitution, which gives the sole authority to the National Assembly to ratify any treaty or agreement entered into with other nations before such a treaty or agreement has the full force of law.

After the fact of ceding Bakassi on Monday, August 14, 2006, it was reported in several Nigeria daily newspapers that President Obasanjo has sent a letter to the Nigeria National Assembly (NASS) for “expeditious ratification" of the June 12, 2006 Greentree Agreement.

By writing to the National Assembly, the President is once again subverting the judicial branch and the rule of law for the reason that Barr. Femi Falana, representing seven Bakassi indigenes, had filed a case in the Federal High Court, Abuja seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Federal Government from expelling or removing Bakassi indigenes from their land. Plaintiffs in the case are Late Chief Tony Ene Asuquo, Chief Orok Eneyo, Chief Emmanuel Effiong Etene, Ndabu Eyo Umo Nakanda, Emmanuel Okokon Asuquo, Ita Okon Nyong, and Richard Ekpenyong.

We believe that President Obasanjo has violated the ratification process as stipulated by the Constitution. The National Assembly, if it ratifies the Greentree Agreement as requested by the President, will do so unconstitutionally.

We like to remind you that the spirit of the Constitution seeks to maintain balance of power among co-equal arms of the government while ensuring fair governance of the people. The NASS is not to engage in quiescent acceptance of unilateral decisions spun and executed by the executive branch.
We believe that the President Obasanjo's actions and letter represent a grand mockery of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a quick fix approach to yet another gross, blatant and impeachable violation of some provisions of the Constitution and a demeaning insult against the esteemed legislative arm of the government. It must be rejected!

We also draw your attention to the fact that Mr. President was not in any way under pressure to hand over Bakassi on August 12, 2006 especially considering the fact that a further extension of the hand-over date was an option of the Greentree Agreement he signed. Regrettably, fellow Nigerians – the Bakassi people – are being denied their right and opportunity to exhaustively challenge their forced exit from Nigeria both at the National Assembly and in the courts of law.

Furthermore, we strongly believe that enforcing the Greentree Agreement to cede Bakassi Local Government Area without corresponding amendment is a violation of Section 3 of the 1999 Constitution. That section stipulates that there are a total of 774 LGAs that constitute an indivisible Federal Republic of Nigeria; Bakassi is one such bona fide LGA of the Cross River State that must not be ceded without due process of Constitutional amendment.

Honorable legislators, we hereby and unequivocally register our deep concerns about the irresponsible and potentially dangerous manner through which the President Obasanjo administration has pursued and finalized the ceding of Bakassi to the Republic of Cameroon “in the name of peace”.

We will like to remind you and our beloved Nigerian people of a similar incident in history: In 1938, former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain went to Munich, Germany and signed an agreement with Hitler's Third Reich, which he called “Peace for our time”, ceding the Sudetenland (or Czechoslovakia) to the Germans. Even before the ink dried, the Germans not only reneged on that agreement but invaded most of Europe and thoroughly punished the United Kingdom in the World War II.

In our case, even before handing over the Bakassi peninsula, notoriously brutal gendarmes (army) of the Republic of Cameroon were reportedly violating terms of the agreement in a bold and desperate confirmation of our fears of torture and regional strife that is to come against the Bakassi people. As a former German colony, Cameroon may have learnt something that Nigeria, a former British colony, is yet to learn – history has proven that appeasement does not work! It is also not a wise international policy.

President Obasanjo's argument for the supremacy of an international court ruling over inalienable rights of the Bakassi people cannot be overlooked. Our consolation is that the honorable and patriotic NASS is not subservient to the United Nations, the International Court of Justice or any Western nation but does understand and will readily defend the sovereignty of Nigeria while working to respect international laws.

While we understand the irrepressible power of the President and Commander-In-Chief who, with a stroke of his pen, can consign to ruination the lives of hundreds of thousands of Nigerian citizens, we sincerely believe, hope and look forward to the NASS to assert and reaffirm its Constitutional responsibilities under the checks and balances system in order to foreclose abuses by the Executive branch. If the NASS lets the President get away with this, a massage will have been sent that in the future any President not only can abuse the Constitution but bargain away any part of Nigeria at his whims. That will be a terrible precedence to set!

It is very sad and ironic that our beloved Nigeria, which once sacrificed over one million lives in a civil war to foreclose a break away group, now carelessly and callously wants to cede the Bakassi peninsula and its people who are Nigerians and want to remain Nigerians.

While considering the Report of the Joint Constitutional Review Committee, you have demonstrated beyond doubt that Nigerians can depend on your wisdom and power to the sustain democracy and national integrity even against all odds.

Bakassi indigenes, as well as other Nigerians, have hope and faith in your overturning this unilateral decision by President Obasanjo to cede Bakassi to Cameroon.

If you choose to ratify the Greentree Agreement, we are hereby affirming the inalienable rights of the Bakassi people to self determination through plebiscite, referendum or by any other reasonable means if they choose not to be part of the Republic of Cameroon.

Therefore, we urge the Honorable Members of the National Assembly:

1. To re-affirm the supremacy of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which you swore to uphold and defend. As stipulated by the Constitution the role of the NASS is to ratify a treaty or agreement with other nations before it has the full force of law.

2. Not to ratify the Greentree Agreement and to immediately take corrective actions on behalf of the Bakassi people who are Nigerian citizens. Also we urge the NASS not to allocate any funds for resettlement until all issues are fully resolved.
3. To assess the possible impact of handing over of the Bakassi peninsula to Cameroon. This assessment should include impact on oil and gas exploration, security, maritime and fishing implications… knowing that Bakassi is the gateway to the Niger-Delta region that produces nearly 90% of the nations Gross Domestic Product.

4. Revisit and assess the full implications of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling for flaws (especially the misrepresentation of facts by Cameroon and the ICJ’s minority opinions) and all options that Nigeria should have conveniently exercised. The ICJ’s decision of 2002 has no binding effect on Nigeria. This conclusion is based on statues of the ICJ of June 26, 1945 as elaborated in articles 59, 60, and 62. The provisions of these articles were not explored and fully exhausted by the ICJ while arbitrating the Nigeria-Cameroon dispute over Bakassi.

5. To affirm legal statues and codes that stand violated by President Obasanjo, Governor Donald Duke and their agents in the illegal and unconstitutional schemes to expel or remove Bakassi indigenes from the Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River State (please refer to Section 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Article 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) and Act (Cap10) Law of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990).

6. To hold the executive branch accountable toward ensuring the safety and protection of the Bakassi residents from further harassment and humiliation by both Cameroonian military and civilians.

7. To call on the United Nations to respect its own Declaration of Indigenous Rights and immediately conduct a plebiscite for the Bakassi people to decide their nationality and future:

Part II, Article 10 - Indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their lands or territories. No relocation shall take place without the free and informed consent of the indigenous peoples concerned and after agreement on just and fair compensation and, where possible, with option of return and

Part VII, Article 32 - Indigenous peoples have the collective right to determine their own citizenship in accordance with their customs and traditions. Indigenous citizenship does not impair the right of indigenous individuals to obtain citizenship of the states in which they live.

We thank you very much for your consideration.


Dr. Baba Adam and
Mr. Clement Ikpatt
P.O. Box 381, Claymont, DE 19703 USA

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August 21, 2006

Obasanjo’s Economic Program Failed: Analysis of the 2006 Index of Economic Freedom Report

Delivered at Solon Institiute’s Lecture Series Sponsored by the Peoples Mandate Party USA, August 20, 2006 by Prof. Chudi Ikwueze, Ph.D (New Yourk, USA) --- One of the indisputable lessons of economic growth and prosperity in the Twentieth Century especially coming from the way the Cold War era ended was that, to maintain long-term economic growth and prosperity, a country must embrace economic freedom. And there were ample of empirical evidence behind such a conclusion.

At one hand, the United States of America, Western Europe and Japan are usually cited as pointers to what economic freedom can result into. On the other hand, the collapse of the Soviet Union as well as countries under its influence plus the apparent redirection of China’s economic system towards the market system equally lend support to the idea that economic freedom is fundamental to achieving sustainable prosperity.

According to Beach et al.(1), economic freedom is the absence of government coercion or constraint on the production, distribution, or consumption of goods and services beyond the extent necessary for citizens to protect and maintain liberty itself.

It was in recognition of the need to develop a systematic, empirical measurement of economic freedom in countries throughout the world that, The Heritage Foundation, a Washington D.C. based think tank organization, in conjunction with the Wall Street Journal began to edit and publish Index of Economic Freedom, annually since 1995.

The Index is a weighted average of 50 independent variables designed to track ten distinct factors that have most influence on the institutional settings of economic growth and prosperity. The ten factors tracked by the Index include:

• Trade Policy
• Fiscal Burden
• Government Intervention
• Monetary Policy
• Foreign Investment
• Banking and Finance
• Wages and Prices
• Property Rights
• Regulations
• Informal Sector
The Index tracks each of the ten factors by assigning scores ranging from a scale of 1-5. Low scores are more desirable; the higher the score on a factor, the greater the level of government interference in the economy, and the less the economic freedom a country enjoys.

A country’s Index of Economic Freedom is therefore the weighted average of the combined scores of the ten factors measured. And a country’s Index can be classified under four broad categories:

Free----------------------- countries with an average overall score of 1,99 or less;
Mostly Free-------------- countries with an average overall score of 2-2,99;
Mostly Un free----------- countries with an average score of 3-3,99; and
Repressed---------------- countries with an average overall score of 4.00 or higher
Based on the above classifications, in the 2006 Index of Economic Freedom, Nigeria came at the position of 146 among the 157 countries surveyed.(2) Below are the scores recorded for Nigeria across the ten factors surveyed:

• Trade Policy 5.0
• Fiscal Burden 3.0
• Government Intervention 4.5
• Monetary Policy 4.0
• Foreign Investment 4.0
• Banking and Finance 4.0
• Wages and Prices 3.0
• Property Rights 4.0
• Regulations 4.0
• Informal Sector 4.5
Hence, the weighted average 2006 Index of Economic Freedom for Nigeria is 4.0, which ultimately classified her as a “repressed’ country.

For pundits and keen observers of the Nigeria’s economic situation, this apparent poor performances in economic freedom factors should not have come as a surprise at all. Clearly, the Index data are consistent with the observed decline in well being of Nigerians. Besides, the Index data conforms with data generated by other studies and sources over some time now(3).

The bad news however is that behind this 2006 Index data of poor performances by Nigeria lie the fate of millions of impoverished people amidst enormous wealth at the country’s disposal. To be more specific, it is noteworthy that behind the Index data lie socio-economic anomalies such as the effects of under funded education system; lack of clean portable drinkable water for an average citizen; lack of uninterrupted power supply; irregular payment of salaries to mention but a few; high level of unemployment, corruption, insecurity and so on. The answer to the question of how best the fortunes of the Nigeria nation should be turned around is contained in this 2006 Index report.

There are three unequivocal conclusions for Nigeria implicit in the 2006 Index of Economic Freedom report, which suggest the direction of growth and prosperity. They are:

• Nigeria’s economy is being mismanaged and various reliable independent sources including Nigeria’s government agencies have confirmed that;

• The main source of mismanagement of Nigeria’s economy is the continuous existence of ineffective institutional frameworks that most influence economic growth and prosperity. Thus, Nigeria has become an economically repressed country and things could get real bad if nothing is done urgently. Another way to explain what a repressed economy is to say that:

economic mismanagement is largely due to limitations placed on citizens in form of restrictive institutional frameworks, consciously or unconsciously, by successive governments; and people usually reacts to such restrictions by changing their behaviors and probably not for the best. That explains why Nigeria has continued to record declining well being for her citizens, over three decades now ;

• Nigeria must embrace economic freedom as a more assured way of achieving economic growth and prosperity. A great way to start tackling the problem is by improving the Index of Economic Freedom.

From the above, according to Index data, Nigeria’s past governments performed poorly largely because they never recognized or take the three points highlighted as serious as they should. With the 2006 Index for Nigeria rated currently at 4.0 (repressed), which represents the worse performance by Nigeria since the Index was inaugurated 12 years ago, the Obasanjo administration’s well publicized economic program have failed the people of Nigeria.

In conclusion, let it be noted that Nigeria will continue to perform poorly economically, until serious institutional restructuring begins to happen: at least, such institutional restructuring should start by incorporating changes that will ultimately improve Nigeria’s Index of Economic Freedom, in subsequent years.


1. Beach W.W, Miles M.A., 2006 Index of Economic Freedom, The Heritage Foundation, Chapter 5.

2. The survey was conducted based on data collected between second half of 2004
and first half of 2005. So the data were current as at June 30, 2005.

3. Lambsdorff J.G., Transparency International, University of Passau
See also:

i) Economist Intelligence Unit, May 26, 2004

Prof. Chudi Ikwueze, is a Professor of Finance and Economics at The Pace University in New York, USA

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Ndigbo / 2007 and Echoes of the Civil War

by Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu (Dundalk, Republic of Ireland) --- In an article titled “Igbo and the presidential seat” written by Mobolaji Sanusi and published in the vanguard of the 30th of June.Mr Mobolaji did a very honest analysis of the current political quagmire vis-avis the current struggle by different ethnic groups to succeed President Olusegun Obasanjo.

I must admit that I agree with the general direction of his analysis, the only aspect that I disagree with, is the insinuation that Ndigbo tried to secede before, and as such the North may not be favourably disposed to an Igbo presidency for fear that the Igbo, once given power may want to secede again.

I have before now noticed a particular trend, where some commentators have insinuated that it took Southern Americans who also fought a civil war, 100 hundred years to come to power, therefore Ndigbo should also wait a hundred years. (Will we still have Nigeria by then?) There is no greater lie than this. President Andrew Johnson from Tennessee who took the reigns of power after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in 1865, immediately after the end of the American civil war, is from the secessionist Southern America. Nigerian ethnic tigers, born to rule merchants, and status quo revisionists, are now also undertaking a revision of American history in their desperation to keep Ndigbo out of power.

In the first place, the American civil war, which was a war between those who wanted to continue slavery, and those who wanted to abolish slavery cannot in any breath be compared to the Nigerian civil war, which was a war brought about by the genocidal massacres of erstwhile Eastern Nigerians in Northern and parts of Western Nigeria. The outcry, activism, and even threats of secession that followed the annulation of the June 12 elections by the Yoruba, and the ongoing insurgency by the Niger-Delta militants peeved by long years of injustice has shown and proved beyond all reasonable doubts, that if any ethnic group had faced the kind of onslaught Ndigbo faced in the 60’s with the large scale massacre of her citizens, they would also have opted for secession as a means of self preservation and defence.

Unlike multi ethnic Nigeria, America at that time was a largely homogenous society in race and religion, as Americans are mostly grouped by race, and at that time the Black Americans who were still mostly slaves were not in contention in the power structure. So unlike Nigeria, it could safely be concluded that America’s civil war was actually fought between the same racial group who disagreed on the continuation or abolition of slavery.

The post civil war politics of America is also clearly different from that of Nigeria. While Nigeria engaged in robbing Ndigbo of their property in the name of “Abandoned property” in a supposed one Nigeria, and institutionalising the containment and Apartheid policies of marginalisation of Ndigbo, and the balkanisation of Igbo land proper. America engaged in a real political and structural reconstruction period which genuinely resolved most of the constitutional issues. Unlike in Nigeria, there is no record of the marginalisation of Southern Americans in the military or professions. Indeed the chief of staff of the American armed forces right after the civil war was a Southern American. True federalism and electoral democracy continued right after the civil war with each state reserving the absolute right to develop at their own pace.
All Americans North and South post- war, continued to enjoy equal opportunities based on merit to government positions. There are as yet no reports or evidence that the American leadership developed schemes to contain the South, or denied the South infrastructure as has been the case in Nigeria.

The perception that it took South Americans 100 years to get to power is naked lie, used by ethnic tigers in Nigeria to seek to maintain their destructive status quo hold on power. Even if it is true, that Southern Americans were prevented from coming to power on account of the civil war; pray why have the ethnic tigers neglected all the positive aspects of the successful post-war politics of America that was free of the marginalization or containment of any group? Why have they neglected the technological feats, agricultural abundance, sophisticated infrastructure, the rule of law which are the hallmarks of American society, only to dwell on the negative perception of preventing the South from getting to power in a 100 years because it suits their primitive and base tribal agenda’s?

Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu
Dundalk, Republic of Ireland

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August 16, 2006

How Arrogance of Power Predicts the End of the World

by Farouk Martins, Omo Aresa --- Those religious fellows who are predicting apocalypse forget that the world is so old; the number of years the world exits compared to our time here is less than a fraction of a second. If politicians who create moral vacuum were smart, they could have learned from Oyo Mesi cabinet that showed the Alafin, who misbehaves, the calabash or could have learned from the Ogiso brutality which resulted in the invitation of Oba into Benin from Ife or learned from the rise and fall of Genghis Khan dynasty or Napoleon or the demise of British Empire or the miscalculation of the Communist.

The capitalist system, with its vulnerable disenfranchised class is on trial until opposition parties reinvigorate equity back into the system. In Africa, it is what Yoruba call – “Igberaga ni o n’siwaju Iparun”. In Fela Kuti’s parlance, trouble sleep yanga wake am.

There is this deadly game between the rulers and the ruled. In the game process, those who promise salvation are born again Christians and Muslims fighting in the name of Crusade or Jihad. While followers close their eyes in prayer, they are busy commanding the people’s soul and tithe in the name of God or Allah. Eventually the people would outwit their rulers but after a great deal of suffering and blood sheds. There are pessimist who see their Countries in particular and the world in general in the worst light. Nobody denies every atrocity results in the end of the world for some. Fortunately, there are optimists who work on expanding the silver linings.

Religion is supposed to instill the fear of God in us and civilize us in our behavior towards one another. Many religious bodies provide sustenance for the soul, activities for both young and old. They are alternative to everyday hustle and bustle giving respite to the mind. Once they delve into politics and wars, they sponsor others, loose objectivity and become desperate for power. They claim divine knowledge, predicting calamity unless they have their ways. They are called prophets of doom that make sure it happens.

These religious fundamentalists are predicting the end of the world by waiting for power to fall into their hands. They come in all shades of people all over the world quoting the holy books of Bible, Torah and Koran as they were written centuries ago. They jeer and fan problems in the Middle East. They perform fake miracles on televisions, patronize shrines and babalawo; but also establish schools and hospitals and care for the sick and tired. It is therefore not surprising that they attract crowds all over the world.

In Nigeria, some of the biggest buildings are houses of worship filled with people tired of the raw display of power and arrogance in governance. Turned off by political robbers or assassins? In Somali, religious clerics have turned into army of gods because people who claim common forefathers and speak the same language are slaughtering one another for many years with no end in sight. Is the God of Abraham not the God of the Isaac Jews and Ishmael Arabs brothers? The same God they pray to, before launching at one another.

In America, Rev. Jim Jones took the disfranchised to Guyana to end their lives and David Koresh clashed with authorities ending the lives of his followers, all in the belief that the world is about to end and not worth living. Who are we to call these people crazy, when we preached Christian Crusade or Holy Jihad or clash of civilizations? So Hindu, Atheist, Krishna, etc point to wars, Sodom and Gomorra as written evidence that the end is nigh?

Nigeria holds the title of the most religious Country by default, yet we can never be so further away from God. On the politicians’ way to Church, Mosque and shrines Country wide, they send out assassins and pray for forgiveness. Their people only seek their basic needs of food, water, shelter, love, pursuit of comfort and peace. It is not surprising that we tend to gravitate to those who promised these to us. So if religious fanatics open their arms and promise relief from our sins in either heaven or earth, we fall for it.

To complicate matters, we have lost the doctrine of equal and opposite force or of nuclear deterrent principle of President Reagan to keep the world peace by increasing the budget for Star Wars. The former US Speaker, Tip O’Neil put it well that Conservatives spends on weapons, Democrats spends on people. When ever a national Czar thinks he can not be challenged in any part of the country or the world, arrogance of power rears its ugly head. Unfortunately, it is at the risk of his country’s demise pushing his people into the hands of religious fundamentalists.

Both attract children of the poor, the adventurers and the believers in wars, while they selfishly dread the same call to duty. They enjoy followers’ sacrifice for their cherished way of life promising the fallen rewards in heaven. Call it freedom, socialism or Sharia. The preachers are the worst offenders and when they are caught red handed, are never subjected to the same punishment they dish out to their followers.

Religious fundamentalists are filling a vacuum created by dereliction of duty for fairness, equity, empathy and compassion for fellow human beings. In our desperation to hold on to something or grab a savior before the world ends, people find themselves flocking into holy armies. Well, some of us are not ready to go to heaven yet. Indeed, we and our great grandchildren are still going to rock this world with no foreseeable end. As one preacher asked how many amongst us, were ready to go to heaven to stand up, he was surprised to see a few people still sitting down. Because they think there was a bus waiting outside to take them! When we think we are helpless, disrespected and deserted, instead of loosing any dignity left, we fall as prey to fanatic fundamentalists, shrines and babalawo.

In Nigeria, it was Jesu Oyingbo that started to exploit people’s weakness in those days, the latest of which is Rev. Emeka King who put his followers on fire resulting in one death. You can not but wonder why a reasonable person would go to them. Have you ever been childless and desperately looking? That may give you some clues. Many of the mullahs and reverends are as rich as the politicians. They exploit the same people and deny them of their resources. Ribadu just found five billion naira in the account of one of the dead Christian preachers in Nigeria. Why would a preacher need so much money for heaven’s sake? Keys to unlock the almighty Gate?

While Jimmy Swaggart defrocked Marvin Gorman for extramarital affair with one of his parishioners, he called Jim Bakker’s affair along the same line “cancer in the body of Christ”, only to find out he outdid both of them paying prostitutes in different hotels. These are the men of God who preached to us every Sunday.

An article by Jafaar reminded me of the ruler of Ivory Coast, Felix Houphouet-Boigny who built Africa biggest church laced with gold and diamond but not African biggest factory to create work for his people. We have Sharia Governors in Nigeria who claim Mosque and free grants to Mecca as their achievements in order to divert attention to their miserable failings of providing jobs and education for their people. One of them, Zamfara’s Ahmed Sani Yerima tried to bribe Nuhu Ribadu, the anti corruption crusader.
Running into 419’s hand, he commissioned mullahs to fast and pray for Ribadu’s death.

In Saudi Arabia or some of the countries in the Middle East, any form of indulgence is totally banned except if you belong to the privileged family, you can have all the alcohol and women in different colors, clandestinely. In some cases, there is only one religion, any other is not tolerated. But when they are outside their countries they ask for tolerance they refuse to grant other religions in their own base.

The punishment for the common man is swift and can result in loss of arm, leg, and lynching depending in whose jurisdiction or sphere of command. Most of the people that fight their wars are common man and now, common woman. They are all rewarded with virgins or citizenships in heaven, while hypocrites enjoy theirs on earth.

There are many main stream religions that benefit and civilize man as I stated earlier, it is when the power has gone into their heads and they see themselves as politicians who can close and open the gate of heaven for their followers that create problems. It is bad enough being politicians, combining it with the power of god breeds arrogance that spell the beginning of the end. The principle of giving what is unto Caesar to Caesar and what is unto God to God or separation of religion and state works better.

The solution is not entirely in our past but we must learn from our past to redefine the future challenges. A situation where only one power can not be moderated by other powers is dangerous for our well being. We now have a situation where nuclear proliferation is the new game in town because people have been humiliated to death and are desperate for deterrent that can act as opposite and equal force.

These nuclear games have filled the moral vacuum in the form of scud missiles, precision bombs and increasing tolerance for carnage as a form of defense. On the streets, children do not throw or exchange blows anymore, they get better and bigger guns. In the world stage, nations brag about their ability to destroy the world tens times or many times over.

Are these not scary enough to predict apocalypse? We want better times and it is not beyond us. Extremism in any form is not conducive for world peace. Fortunately, people of goodwill are more than the very powerful few that want to throw us into darkness. There is a cycle of extremism and we are swinging back to the middle.

Farouk Martins, Omo Aresa

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Baseless Optimism will not Change Nigeria

by John Iteshi (London, UK) --- The dominant reasoning of the majority of those who commented on the article, ˜Pat Utomi for Which Nigeria?" caused me great worries about the mindset of some educated Nigerians. All that was said was that Nigerian electoral system is too fraudulent and that Pat Utomi stands no imaginable chance of manipulating his way.

An attempt was made to offer some insight into how elections and manipulated and how being the best candidate does not count at all. It was also suggested that rather than people like Utomi aiming at the presidency which they realistically cannot achieve in the present situation of things that they should rather begin from their respective locations or their home state s to build that Nigeria of their dreams. The fact that most of the comments received centred on attacking the person of the author (not the issues raised) as being self defeatist and pessimistic was deeply shocking because it suggested that majority of educated Nigerians are terribly ignorant about the situation on the ground.

One has now stronger reasons to shift further away from the popular belief that Nigeria’s failures have been caused largely by poorly educated people at the helm of affairs. The seemingly unanimous belief among Nigerians that once you have grabbed chains of PhDs, you are ripe for leadership positions has to be quashed as a better view seems to be that one hundred and twenty million Nigerian PhD holders cannot change Nigeria without basic understanding of relevant issues as well as some unity and sincerity of purpose. It is most imperative for ‘genuine’ educated Nigerians to change their psyche first and foremost and recognise the need to trade ideas rather than words and primitive self obsessions. Going through the websites and Nigerian newspapers, it was apparent that what attract the attention of educated Nigerians most are personality discourses or issues pertaining to one ethnic group or the other, rather than ideas that could change Nigeria. Hence, articles bordering on ethnic groups or individuals associated with politics attracted far more reactions than those on ideas that called for serious thinking and debating. Compared to the barrage of comments including some highly offensive attacks attracted by the article, ‘Igbo Presidency for Who?,’ and the one or two comments received from the widely published article, ‘Audio-Visual Voting Method’ by the same author which bothered on how we can evolve a genuine people oriented democracy through a transparent, fool proof elections, one is forced to think that we are far from being ready for change.

Some of us seem to believe it is reasonable to cross our fingers and be saying only positive things even when it is blatantly obvious that the situation is bleak. Prominent democracy activists in Nigeria, ever since the inception of what we call democracy in 1999 had ample opportunities to change Nigeria, but the lack of the essential ingredient of sincerity and unity of purpose have hampered our chances. It is hard to understand why a person like Wole Soyinka would be very outspoken and almost militant against General Abacha’s regime, but has under the present civilian regime refrained from serious criticisms of the worst administration in Nigeria’s history. Is it the killing of political opponents, police brutality or economic hardship that has not ten folds, surpassed Abacha’s to warrant his international campaigns against bad governance? Sometimes one thinks that people like Wole Soyinka and the host of other celebrated Nigerian intellectuals and activists usually speak to attract media attention rather than to influence any concrete changes on the ground. The unprecedented state of corruption and bad governance in Nigeria since 1999, at all levels (despite the global lies in media about reforms) and the shameful lack of serious criticisms among those who have voice, clearly says it all that our problem is not about whether it is military rule or democracy. Neither is it about the ethnic group or religion of whoever is president as we have now seen the worst under a southerner and a Christian.

We are now knowingly sleep- walking into darkness because we refuse to listen to one another. One wonders how reasonable our respected intelligentsia are if they cannot come up with common fronts whereas, the semi-illiterates and the dubious individuals who determine what happens in Nigeria have always organised themselves to exploit us all. The ludicrous thinking of promising individuals like Pat Utomi and Olisa Agbakoba that merely running for presidency is the only way to influence change is disheartening because they are abdicating the more important job of mounting civil pressure to ensure that a more transparent electoral or voting system is put in place. After all, it would be more genuine for anyone who thinks himself genuine, to seek to have a better system put in place than to strive to benefit from a fraudulent system even if he intends to change it. It is also common sense, that chasing the presidency of Nigeria without being in the fold of the political gangs that matter, is tantamount to chasing the wind and no amount of optimism can change that fact especially where majority of educated Nigerians have never seen Nigerian ballot papers let alone a pooling booth.

Time is running out on the majority of genuinely concerned Nigerians to organise themselves and trade ideas on the way forward. Enlightened Nigerian communities both at home and across the world should stop sycophanting around Nigerian government(s) for selfish interests and organise themselves to discuss the Nigeria of their dreams. Lack of indigenous ideas and debates on fundamental issues seems to be a greater problem than lack of PhD holders among Nigerians. We need urgently to begin debates on the impending disaster of 2007 general elections for instance. The fact that majority of educated Nigerians appear not to have sensed the incompetence and obvious dubiousness of Professor Maurice Iwu of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) beggars’ belief. It is not just about being a Professor of Pharmacy who lived in the States and has no experience of elections conduct in Nigeria, but his ploys to use expensive electronic gadgets knowing fully well that Nigeria is predominantly illiterate and moreover has predominantly communities inaccessible to electronic equipments requiring electricity. Perhaps, most of us are intimidated by his academic credentials to imagine he could be wrong, but the real issue is that no society of people genuine about making progress would have allowed Professor Iwu as INEC chairman. We must wake up to the facts that local ideas rather than foreign text book theories will save Nigeria. Ideas about the best ways to organise and build a successful society cannot be an exclusive reserve of whites and other non-Black races. We have only not given ourselves the opportunity to develop our own ways of doing things. There has never been any visible international or imperial obstacle to self righteous Nigerians organising themselves towards national development. Let our Cardinals and Bishops; Professors and other significant opinion leaders and activists who profess genuine concerns get together first without government influence as a starting point towards developing common ideology for a new Nigeria. 2007 may be too close, but not too late for the majority of well meaning Nigerians to stand up against blatant fraud for the sake of our future.

Fooling ourselves in optimism not bring any change to our country, never!

John Iteshi
London, 8th August 2006

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August 15, 2006

Israel Rather than Accept United Nations Cease-Fire Deal, is....

by Carlisle U.O. Umunnah (New York, USA) --- Israel Rather than Accept United Nations Cease-Fire Deal, is Better Off Expanding its Offensive Against Hezbollah and its Patrons…

Northern Israel has been destroyed and turned into a ghost town by rocket launched or fired at her by Hezbollah. The media is biased against Jerusalem. The media are quick to cover damages done on Lebanese side and nothing reported on the damages and losses on Israeli side. Moreover, we all know that rockets used on Israel were supplied and continued to be supplied by Syrian and Iran and the world and United Nations say nothing. What UN entity is interested in is a suspicious and empty cease-fire[s] that is not in the best interest of Jerusalem.

According to Ralph Peters of the New York Post, “… but hundreds of thousands of Israelis have been driven away form their homes. You don’t hear much about that. Journalists love to think of themselves as bold individualists—but the truth is that they’re herd animals. And the herd has decided that the big story of this war is the suffering of Lebanese civilians—misery exaggerated skillfully by Hezbollah’s propagandists. They work the complicit international media like veteran hookers playing a pack of drunk conventioneers {sure I love ya, sure you’re the best….. Dead or displaced Hebrews? Who cares? That’s yesterday news.”

The most logical question is: how long will it take Jerusalem to learn that any defensive cease-fire is not in the best of Hebrew Nation[s]. It is important to alert military planners in Jerusalem that offensive cease-fire is in the best interest of the Hebrew nation[s] for its national security.

If Israeli Cabinet or its legislative assembly [Knesset] passes legislation in support of this irresponsible cease-fire, they must know that they will face the consequences in due course. Such legislation will give Hezbollah and Iran, Syria and other rouge States the time, opportunity to regroup and attack Israel within the space of six months of any cease-fire or less. How long will Jerusalem remain and live at the mercy of its enemy? Yes enemy [ies] with aggression and unprovoked attacks with high frequency occurrence. It is time that Jerusalem stops all these empty cease-fires and finish off Hezbollah and their patrons.
According to Associate Press: “Israel’s Cabinet became the final party to sign on to the U.N. cease-fire deal Sunday, while Israeli planes blasted Beirut and ground troops battled Hezbollah in south Lebanon seeking to battle the militants Islamic group in the hours before fighting stopped. Hezbollah hit back with its heaviest rocket barrage of the war on northern Israel.”
From all military indicators, military operative and its spy agencies have to study and review in other to get what is in the best interest and security of Jerusalem and do everything within these prisms to see them accomplished; without this decorum of understanding Jerusalem will remain vulnerable to the belligerency of these aggressors. Any purported negotiation must have component of Israel’s security at heart. Hebron belongs to the sons and generations of Caleb and not be given away to any uncircumcised entity, [Read the entire Joshua of the Holy Scriptures].
Recently the bodies of Tehran’s Revolutionary Guard were found among Hezbollah fighters killed by Israeli forces in Southern Lebanon, a conclusive proof that Tehran is covertly and overtly supporting the terror group. Tehran Mullah, Mohammed Ahmadinejad, sounded more accepting of supplying equipment including rockets after months of denial; he even tried to play down the world’s fear of what would happen if he gets a nuclear weapon. According to reports he granted an interview to one Mike Wallace. He stated the following: “…that time for bomb in the past, it’s behind us, today is the era of thoughts, dialogue and cultural exchanges” it’s believed these are remarks from this fraudulent element during this crisis period in the gulf peninsula. The big question is how can you trust Nuclear Weapon in the hand of this treachery?
Jerusalem must know that this is not time to going in circles; it is time to stand up and fight this aggressors and enemies of our God.

Israel must take this war to Syria; take it to Iran, were possible track and take down its [Tehran] nuclear facilities and destroy them just as you did to those of Iraq in the 80s for the safety and security of Israel. Take the war to Northern States of Kano, Sokoto and others like them in what is considered or called Nigeria today. These northern entities in el’Nigeria have been training and supplying Hezbollah providing them with man-power and resources in almost every gulf war including those in Iraq. These are enemies of Israeli and must be treated as enemies which they are. Ala-Igbo must begin to prepare itself for war, because from every indicator war is imminent and Ndi-Igbo must not be taken unaware and unprepared.
The United States and other friendly member states of Jerusalem must support Israel’s insistence on staying in the Lebanese frontiers until a robust international force is deployed to the region for the security of Israel.
Be that as it may, Israel must realize that we are racing against time and must act impassionately in the defense of its God given lands and until its enemies are subdued and brought to its knees. Now is the time that sons and daughters of Hebrew nations must take this war to these aggressors, patrons and sponsors of Hezbollah’s militancy against Israel and to all those that continue to display belligerent postures against the State of Israel and finally sound a serious warning that no aggressor[s] and/or perpetrators of unprovoked aggression against the State of Israel will go unpunished. Israel must expand its frontiers today and take over all the lands given to our fathers long before we were born. There is no better time to expand, track its enemies than now. United Nations is a toothless entity and do not serve the interest of Israel. For this and other reasons, Israel must submit itself and its laws based on the laws of Elohim. Israel is surrounded by aggressors and
enemies of God and only total reliance to the living God can it conquer all its enemies as it did in the past. History will absolve Jerusalem if it holds unto the Iron Rod without compromising the scepter of David; and Israel must not submit itself to a criminal cease-fire sponsored by a diminished entity—United Nations.

Dialogue Lil Joe wrote: A 'Pretext' War in Lebanon

By Robert Parry
August 9, 2006

Three days after the May 23 summit between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and U.S. President George W. Bush, a car bomb killed two officials of Islamic Jihad in the Lebanese city of Sidon.

Immediately, Lebanese officials, including Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, denounced the murder of brothers Nidal and Mahmoud Majzoub and pointed the finger at Israel as the prime suspect. On June 10, a man named Mahmoud Rafeh was arrested for the car bombing and, according to the Lebanese army, confessed that he was a Mossad agent.

Rafeh, a 59-year-old retired police officer, belonged to a “terror network working for the Israeli Mossad,� which had smuggled a booby-trapped door into Lebanon from Israel for use in the assassination, the Lebanese army said.

In retrospect, the Majzoub assassination looks to have been part of a larger U.S.-Israeli strategy – following the Olmert-Bush summit – to encourage a tit-for-tat escalation of violence that would ratchet up pressure on Palestinian and Lebanese militants – and through them their allies in Syria and Iran.

That violence also set the stage for the current Israeli-Lebanese war, which now has raged for almost one month and has claimed the lives of nearly 1,000 Lebanese and 100 Israelis.

A Year for War

According to Israeli sources, Olmert and Bush agreed at the May 23 summit to make 2006 the year for neutralizing Iran’s nuclear ambitions, while deferring a border settlement with the Palestinians until 2007.

Provoking a wider regional conflict also revived hopes among Bush’s neoconservative advisers that they might yet create a “new Middle East� that would be amenable to U.S. and Israeli desires and interests.

In this context, the Israeli-Lebanese war was a confrontation looking for a pretext, not an ad hoc response to Hezbollah’s capture of two Israeli soldiers on July 12. That so-called “kidnapping� has been sold to the American people and many world leaders as the precipitating event for the conflict, but it now appears only to have been a trigger for a prearranged scheme.

Israeli sources indicate that Bush gave Olmert a green light for the conflict at the May 23 summit. The sources said Bush has even encouraged Israel to expand the war by attacking Syria, although Israeli leaders balked at that recommendation because they lacked an immediate justification.

One Israeli source said some Israeli officials considered Bush’s interest in an attack on Syria “nuts� since it would have been viewed by much of the world as an act of overt aggression. Bush, however, is said to still hold out hope that reactions by Syria or Iran – such as coming to the aid of Hezbollah – could open the door to a broader conflict.

In an article on July 30, the Jerusalem Post hinted at Bush’s continued interest in a wider war involving Syria. “Defense officials told the Post last week that they were receiving indications from the US that America would be interested in seeing Israel attack Syria,� the newspaper reported.

Bush pursued a similar “pretext� war strategy in 2003 when he sought a provocation by Iraq that would give legal cover for invading that country.

A leaked British document recounted an Oval Office meeting between Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair on Jan. 31, 2003. Even as Bush was publicly telling the American people that he viewed war with Iraq as a “last resort,� he had already made up his mind and was scheming to find excuses for justifying an attack on Iraq.

According to minutes written by Blair’s top foreign policy aide David Manning, “the U.S. was thinking of flying U-2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in U.N. colours. If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach.�

Regardless of whether a casus belli could be provoked, Bush already had “penciled in� March 10, 2003, as the start of the U.S. bombing of Iraq, according to the memo. “Our diplomatic strategy had to be arranged around the military planning,� Manning wrote.

As it turned out, Bush brushed aside Blair’s worries about the legality of an unprovoked invasion of Iraq and went ahead with the assault on March 19, 2003. Though Iraq’s dictator Saddam Hussein was ousted after a three-week U.S.-led assault, Iraqi insurgents have battled the American occupying army since then in a war that has claimed the lives of almost 2,600 U.S. soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis.

New Ambitions

Many American observers believed that the disaster in Iraq would tamp down Bush’s ambition to remake the region. However, with Olmert’s ascension to power in Israel in 2006, Bush saw a kindred spirit who believed that military force was the only way to get Islamic adversaries to make necessary concessions.

After the May 23 meeting with Bush, Olmert declared that “this is a moment of truth� for addressing Iran’s alleged ambitions to build a nuclear bomb.

In a speech to a joint session of Congress on May 24, Olmert called the possibility of Iran building a nuclear weapon “an existential threat� to Israel, meaning that Israel believed its very existence was in danger.

Two days later, the car bomb killed the Majzoub brothers in Sidon and a new cycle of escalation began. In reaction to the assassinations, Islamic militants fired rockets into Israel, which, in turn, counter-attacked killing one Hezbollah fighter.

Tensions rose further when fighting between Israelis and Palestinians resumed in Gaza. On the night of June 23, Israeli commandos crossed into Gaza and seized Osama and Mustafa Abu Muamar, two sons of Hamas activist Ali Muamar. [BBC, June 24, 2006]

Early on the morning of June 24, Hamas militants snuck into Israel via a tunnel from Gaza and attacked an Israel patrol, killing two soldiers and capturing Corporal Gilad Shalit as a part of a demand for a prisoner exchange. Israel is reported to hold about 10,000 Palestinian prisoners.

On June 27, as these tensions mounted, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was still working to advance a possible peace settlement with Israel. Abbas coaxed the more radical Hamas, which controls the Palestinian parliament, into endorsing a document proposing a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Abbas’s success represented a potential breakthrough in a border settlement with Israel, since Hamas implicitly was accepting Israel as a neighbor next to an independent Palestinian state.

But the next day, June 28, Olmert sent the Israeli army crashing into Gaza to avenge the “kidnapping� of Shalit, a phrasing that the U.S. news media immediately adopted in blaming Hamas for instigating the crisis.

As the Israeli army overwhelmed scattered Palestinian resistance and began “detaining� – not “kidnapping� – Hamas legislators, tensions were also mounting on the Israeli-Lebanese border. On July 12, Hezbollah forces attacked an Israeli border outpost, killing three soldiers and capturing – or “kidnapping� – two others, also seeking a prisoner exchange.

The July 12 incident opened up the floodgates of violence. Israel launched a broad air-and-ground offensive aimed at crushing Hezbollah by blasting apart its strongholds in south Lebanon and destroying much of Lebanon’s economic infrastructure, from roads to communications. Hezbollah launched hundreds of Katyusha rockets into northern Israel.

Besides the almost 1,000 Lebanese who have died, an estimated one million – or about one-fourth of Lebanon's population – were displaced from their homes. The Israeli death toll, both military and civilian, stood at about 100.

While many international leaders called for an immediate cease-fire to stop the bloodshed in July, Bush staunchly defended Israel’s actions as a legitimate act of self-defense against “terrorists.�

In an unguarded moment during the G-8 summit in Russia on July 17, Bush – speaking with his mouth full of food – told Blair “what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit.�

Not realizing that a nearby microphone was turned on, Bush also complained about suggestions for a cease-fire and an international peacekeeping force. “We’re not blaming Israel and we’re not blaming the Lebanese government,� Bush said, suggesting that the blame should fall on others, presumably Hezbollah, Syria and Iran.

Meanwhile, John Bolton, Bush’s ambassador to the United Nations, suggested that the United States would only accept a multilateral U.N. force if it had the capacity to take on Hezbollah's backers in Syria and Iran.

“The real problem is Hezbollah,� Bolton said. “Would it [a U.N. force] be empowered to deal with countries like Syria and Iran that support Hezbollah?� [NYT, July 18, 2006]


By early August, as rage throughout the Middle East rose to a boil, the Bush administration finally put forth a cease-fire plan. But it read as if it were designed to further stir Arab anger and extend the conflict.

While demanding that Hezbollah stop fighting and effectively disarm, it would allow Israeli forces to remain in south Lebanon and only require Israel to cease “offensive� operations. A multinational force would then replace the Israeli army and police a buffer zone carved entirely out of south Lebanon.

Bush said his cease-fire goal was to strike at the “root cause� of the conflict, the existence of Hezbollah as an armed militia inside Lebanon.

“By taking these steps, it will prevent armed militias like Hezbollah and its Iranian and Syrian sponsors from sparking another crisis,� Bush said at an Aug. 7 news conference in Crawford, Texas.

“The loss of life on both sides of the Lebanese-Israeli border has been a great tragedy,� Bush said. “Millions of Lebanese civilians have been caught in the crossfire of military operations because of the unprovoked attack and kidnappings by Hezbollah. The humanitarian crisis in Lebanon is of deep concern to all Americans, and alleviating it will remain a priority of my government.�

But the reality appears to be quite different. Much as Bush told the American people that he considered war with Iraq “a last resort� long after he had decided to invade, Bush is now saying his goal is to relieve a humanitarian crisis when he actually hopes to expand the conflict and force a showdown with Syria and Iran.

While U.S. officials have been careful not to link the Lebanon conflict to any possible military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities, they have spoken privately about using the current conflict to counter growing Iranian influence.

Only days after the Lebanon-Israel conflict began, Washington Post foreign policy analyst Robin Wright wrote that U.S. officials told her that “for the United States, the broader goal is to strangle the axis of Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria and Iran, which the Bush administration believes is pooling resources to change the strategic playing field in the Middle East. …

“Whatever the outrage on the Arab streets, Washington believes it has strong behind-the-scenes support among key Arab leaders also nervous about the populist militants – with a tacit agreement that the timing is right to strike.� [Washington Post, July 16, 2006]

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek.

Lil Joe

Carlisle U. O. Umunnah
Is New York Based Freelance writer

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August 14, 2006

Semitic Domestic Aggression: A Poem

by CID Oguagha (New York, USA) ---

The laundry line will dance
And the rooster will dance
When another roosts on one
One is for neatness
Another is meat
And both belong to god


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August 09, 2006

Signs of Happy Days are Here Again

by Farouk Martins, Omo Aresa --- There was a story of a happy camper who found a little fortune and bought some expensive dishes and ornaments with it. He then planned that after selling all the ornaments and dishes, he would invest in houses, gold, silver etc. The turn over from all the real estate might even turn into mega businesses.

As he was laughing and day dreaming of how rich he was going to get, he kicked up his legs tripping all the dishes and ornaments and breaking everything in the process. May Providence grant our wishes and not turn it into sorrow. Please turn to the person near you, say –Amen, Ami o, Isha la.

I am constantly looking for something to hold on to in our God (f~ken) given Nigeria. I have written about our poor pensioners are dying on the waiting lines in the sun after traveling from their villages hoping to collect their pension. I have seen homeless soldier turn our GRA Ikoyi into waiting station until their pension was paid. There were our teachers or professors who could not afford to buy a new bicycle, forget about cars. As I wrote before, middle class was wiped out with a stroke of the pen called structural adjustment. We were led by many able Finance Ministers with heavy degrees from Harvard, Yale, Cambridge and Oxford preaching economic miracle at the time.

If any of you wants to be remembered as Finance Minister in Nigeria, would you rest your legacy on structural adjustment, foreign debt pay off or internal domestic debt pay off? The difference can be simply put as starving at home or feeding coal to Newcastle. I used the “simply” because some of us are not technically sound enough to appreciate the finesse of feeding strangers while we stave at home. Indeed, certain positions should not be entrusted to foreign trained or Diaspora Nigerians. Yes, you read me well.

I was celebrating Charles Soludo for narrowing exchange rate and maybe bring down the cost of the dollar when someone cautioned me to wait for the fall of the dollar itself, not black market rate. Well, I am going to celebrate Nenadi Usman for paying pensioners, and making it as her priority. According to her, Ali Baba, sorry, Baba Iyabo asked her when the pensioners would be paid. She got on it.

Are these signs of good things to come? Why is Baba Iyabo concentrating on this in the dying days of his administration? Some of you may have notice that he even chided the Governors of the Delta States on their concrete achievement. His proposal for many years, when he is out of power, and the money that is suddenly being pumped into the Delta States at this last hour has even been praised by his arch enemies. Are these signs of happy days? Or it is too little or too late.

Look at Nigeria this way. Third Term was trounced, Interim Government will die the same way, no return of looters according to Nuhu Ribadu, Census was finally done, police dirty laundry is out in the open, and Nigerians will not tolerate another Army take over. There are signs that consensus is being built by people of goodwill in the North and South of the Country that presidency will go to those who have been denied before.
Somebody have to pinch me that I am not day dreaming before I raise my legs and kick all my dishes and ornaments. Slowly but surely we are claiming back our Country.

Nenadi Usman started talking about creating the middle class again by putting money in the hands of the discarded, Oby Ezekwesili exposed corruption by the oil companies and Dora Akunyili cleaning up fake drugs. These are powerful distractors in the development of Nigeria that these women are taking on. Who woke up Obasanjo from his slumber? He actually started well and we expected heaven and earth from him. Not you?

Nigeria is matching through the right path to progress and none of those old militricians who turned our Country upside down will be allowed at the mantle again. We have new crops of leaders who were mad at the rot in the Country and are willing to do everything in their power to bring back the glory of our Country where the reasons for hate that pervade our society will be side lined to extremists.

If I am getting carried away, please forgive me. It is just that I want to see goodness in Nigeria, today, today. We can not spend all our life hoping against hope and fighting one another. We need to rally round a cause and give devil its due, no matter how much we disagree. One of the worst problems in infrastructure is the lack of electricity. We can not do exactly or go through the phases of the Western World. There have to take radical short cuts as the development of solar power in small measures in some villages North and South of the Country. Imagine if we were still waiting for Abiola to install convectional phone lines, laying pipes through broken roads they never fix back? They used to display those signs “SLOW MEN AT WORK’. There was a comma after slow.

Nevertheless, there are friends who are planning to leave Nigeria as it gets close to the election so that they do not get caught in crossfire. We can also turn our fear into NEVER AGAIN and let them know the Country belongs to all of us. There is this conspiracy, call me crazy if you want, that some of us are too weak to stay in Nigeria. We run whenever we can and by default leave the Country to them to do as they wish. We must prove them wrong. Nigeria belongs to all of us.

Farouk Martins, Omo Aresa

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August 08, 2006

The Bakassi Case and Greentree Deal: Who will Uravel the Scandals?

by Stephen Joseph --- (Southern Cameroons IG)

Members of the Nigerian Press,

Yesterday, Monday, August 7th, the BBC reported that the people of Bakassi have declared an independent "Democratic Republic of Bakassi."

The Southern Cameroons Government-in-exile (IG) welcomes the people of Bakassi drive toward self-determination, and considers it a politically correct imperative in the face of attempts by Africans in conspiracy with colonial and imperial masters to eternalise slavery in their God-given space on earth.

The Southern Cameroons IG and SOCADEF (Southern Cameroons Defense Forces) will in the coming days, weeks and months initiate contact with the self-determined people of Bakassi on any and all tangible means, including armed self-defence, to make sure the principle of self-determination be actualised in not only Bakassi but also in the entire Southern Cameroons that is currently under the illegal and brutal occupation of France masquerading as la Republique du Cameroun.

The Southern Cameroons IG, along with her peoples are neither cowed nor impressed with the blood signatures of France, Britain, Germany and the U.S. as witnesses to the sale of Africans by the black Annan, Obasanjo and Biya trio to the whiteman.

Below, the Research Bureau of the Southern Cameroons IG in this document titled "THE BAKASSI CASE AND GREENTREE DEAL: WHO WILL UNRAVEL THE SECRETS AND SCANDALS" has outlined some questions that the Obasanjo Administration should address.

We consider the Nigerian Press as our eternal partners in our quest for the truth and justice for all Africans in this century

Highest Regards,

Stephen Joseph
For the Department of Media & Communication (MedCom)
Southern Cameroons IG


A closer look on how President Obasanjo has handled the Bakassi case reveals so many anomalies that one must wonder if in fact there isn’t some secret dealing going on in the dark between Obasanjo and the Republic of Cameroun, perhaps with pressure from former colonial powers.

Is the Greentree deal binding on the Federal Republic of Nigeria or is it Obasanjo’s personal deal with the conspiracy of colonial powers? A strong legal opinion and firm action by the Nigerian National Assembly is needed on this matter! Human right groups, Nigerian opposition parties, believers in justice and all those who cherish Africa’s freedom should work to unveil the secrets being hidden from daylight! Certainly, one person cannot be above Nigerian courts, the Nigerian National Assembly and the Nigerian People!

But going back to the suspicion that something scandalous is going on in the dark about this whole Bakassi case, why I do I say this?

(1) Nigeria’s suspicious “bad” preparation of the ICJ case.

(2) Obasanjo’s refusal to implement the Abuja High Court Ruling on the Southern Cameroons, which came before the ICJ ruling.

(3) Obasanjo’s refusal to avail Nigeria of the provisions ICJ Court Rules.

(4) Obasanjo’s evasion of the UN Security Council where a Southern Cameroons’ Interpleader had been accepted!

(5) Obasanjo’s violation of Nigeria’s own constitution.

(6) The alarming silence of the Nigerian National Assembly on these vital legal issues.

(7) The absence of the involvement of any African country or even of the African Union in the Greentree deal. In fact the witnesses are suspiciously those same colonial powers who have agreed among themselves to divide Africa into their zones of influences with the support of each other.

(8) Obasanjo’s refusal to wait for the Banjul ruling.
Let us now take each point and show you the scandals involved.

(1) Nigeria’s bad preparation of the ICJ case on Bakassi

The most shocking omission in Nigeria’s preparation of the ICJ case was its failure to avail itself of the strong evidence that had been presented by SCAPO, The Southern Cameroons People’s Organisation, in its case against the Federal Republic of Nigeria in what has become known as the Abuja High Court Case. In that case, evidence was tendered showing that The Southern Cameroons, in which all the treaties and maps show Bakassi to be located, has never legally belonged to The Republic of Cameroun. The fundamental issue in the Bakassi case was whether sovereignty over Bakassi belonged to Nigeria or to the Republic of Cameroun. Instead of simply challenging The Republic of Cameroun to prove its claimed titled over the Southern Cameroons in which Bakassi was recognized to lie, Nigeria made a strenuous and unfruitful argument to show that Bakassi was Nigerian territory. The whole case would have ended on the preliminaries if Nigeria simply asked the Republic of Cameroun to produce the Treaty by which its boundaries had been extended from what they were at its independence on 1 January 1960 (at which Southern Cameroons was still a UN Trust Territory) to now include the territory of the Southern Cameroons! Nigeria had these facts at its disposal from the SCAPO case of March 2002! Why were the facts not used?

(2) Obasanjo’s refusal to implement the Abuja High Court Ruling of March 2002 on the Southern Cameroons.

In the Abuja High Court Ruling of March 2002, the Federal High Court ordered “the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to take up the case of the self-determination of the Southern Cameroons at the International Court of Justice and at the United Nations and to pursue it diligently to its final conclusion”. In addition, the Court put an injunction on the Federal Republic of Nigeria not to treat the southern Cameroons as if it were a part of the Republic of Cameroun.

There are many implications in this case (a) The fact that the Abuja High Court Ruling came long before the ICJ ruling means that Nigeria had a very strong legal and political reason to stay the execution of the ICJ ruling until it had executed the Abuja High Court Ruling. When two rulings on essentially the same matter follow each other, they must be executed in the order in which they came, thus the Abuja High Court Ruling took priority over the ICJ Ruling! Executing the Abuja High Court Ruling would have changed the course of history altogether, because the issue of Bakassi is inextricably linked to that of demarcating the boundaries between the Republic of Cameroun and The Southern Cameroons. In the meanwhile, until that matter was resolved, Nigeria would remain in Bakassi, peacefully! But Obasanjo once more passed this golden opportunity to hurry to hand over Bakassi to a wrongful owner. (b) It cannot be said that Nigeria is proving itself to be law-abiding by executing the ICJ ruling. Charity begins at home! If it were a matter of being law-abiding, Nigeria would not scorn its own court rulings at home on the same matter to rush to execute the ruling of the ICJ which is mere colonial conspiracy and has strong implications for a future war of independence next door to Nigeria. (c) The fact that Nigerian Court rulings have put an injunction on the Nigerian Government not to treat Southern Cameroons as if it were a part of the Republic of Cameroun means that under Nigerian law, Southern Cameroons, in which Bakassi is located, is not recognized to be a part of The Republic of Cameroun. So why is Obasanjo violating all these rulings and advantages to knowingly hand over Bakassi to a country that does not have sovereignty over it? (d) The worst part of it is that given that the Republic of Cameroon does not have sovereignty over Bakassi, Obasanjo knows that he is giving the Bakassi people and their land into colonization and slavery; they will be stateless and subject to all kinds of brutality as Southern Cameroonians are! They cannot question the legality of The Republic of Cameroon’s rule in Bakassi: they will be met with arrests, torture and imprisonment! So how can Obasanjo, knowing the facts, at least as per the Abuja High Court ruling, give his own people into colonization?

(3) Obasanjo’s refusal to avail Nigeria of the provisions of ICJ Court Rules.

Writing in NigeriaWorld on 6/22/2006, Anthony Okonsun explains:

“Article 99 rules 1 to 5 of the ICJ rules of court of 1978 as amended in 2000 allow parties to apply for revision of the world court's final judgments.

While appeals literally are not allowed from the court's final decisions, the application and effect of the instrumentality of article 99 of the ICJ rules of court helps dissatisfied nation litigants rewrite or modify the final judgments of the court, the same way, only an appellate court could allow.

I humbly submit that country Nigeria has not availed herself of the opportunity offered by the article 99 lacuna in the world court's rules.

Articles 61 and 38 of the ICJ rules of court are incidentally invoked whenever article 99 is invoked. One of the maxims of international law which is an omnibus ground for invoking article 99 and all its incidentally related articles at the world court is "ex aequo et bono" meaning in justice and in fairness. What this maxim is saying is that for the purpose of justice and fairness the world court will allow a revision of its own final judgments….. Nigeria's decision to voluntarily relinquish ownership of the Bakassi peninsula has no precedent in the history of the world court's adjudicatory jurisdiction. In the celebrated case of Nicaragua V. United States, the USA had previously accepted the world court's compulsory jurisdiction upon its creation in 1946, but withdrew it's acceptance following the court's judgment in 1984 that called on the USA to cease and refrain from the unlawful use of force against the government of Nicaragua.” He continues: “The agreements entered by President Olusegun Obasanjo and his Camerounian counterpart has not been ratified by the national assembly.

The world court has not foreclosed Nigeria from applying for a revision of its decision on the Bakassi case, which said right to apply for a revision is provided for under article 99 rules 1 to 5 of the ICJ rules of court.

The security council of the UNO has not ordered the use of military force against Nigeria.

Nigeria has not been threatened with economic sanctions by any global body.

Now my question is why the undue haste and overzealousness by our President to cede away our territory?”

(4) Obasanjo’s evasion of the UN Security Council where a Southern Cameroon’s Interpleader had been accepted and was waiting.

Article 94 of the ICJ rules of court establishes the duty of all UN members to comply with decisions of the world court involving them. It would be recalled that fearing that Nigeria would not comply, The Republic of Cameroon had taken the Bakassi matter to the United Nations Security Council. At the ICJ, Southern Cameroons had introduced an Interpleader as a principal interested party in the case, but it was refused on the grounds that the Southern Cameroons is not a signatory to the treaty establishing the Court. The rules of the Security Council however allow for interpleaders. So when Nigeria was taken to the Security Council by The Republic of Cameroun, it provided a golden opportunity for the true facts of the case to be heard. This was also a golden opportunity for Nigeria, now fully versed with the facts, to allow the matter to go before the Security Council of the United Nations where the illegality of the Republic of Cameroun would be exposed. The Greentree deal was a deliberate attempt to evade the Security Council solution where the voice of the Southern Cameroons was finally going to be heard. It is absolutely clear that something dark and secret is going on behind the scenes.

(5) Obasanjo’s violation of the Nigerian constitution

In citing the instances of the violation of the Nigerian Constitution, Concerned Citizens for Bakassi on Tuesday June 20, 2006, wrote “We believe that… President Olusegun Obasanjo by the Greentree Accord with the Republic of Cameroun and the United Nations on June 12, 2006, continues to act illegally against section 12 of the 1999 Constitution which requires that the National Assembly has the sole authority to enact a treaty, agreement or accord with foreign countries into law before it becomes effective.”

(6) The alarming silence of the Nigerian National Assembly on these vital issues.

One would have expected that under these circumstances in which the President is ignoring Nigerian court rulings, the constitution, and virtually under some unseen compulsion to break every law and common sense to hand over the Bakassi land and people into colonization by the Republic of Cameroun, the Nigerian National Assembly would have asserted its authority as the legislature of the land and called the president to order. Where is the opposition? Where are the human right groups? Where are the enlightened Nigerians? What is happening? Has a general order been given from above for everyone to just let the Bakassi people and land go into slavery? Even if it is now recognized that Bakassi inevitably is Southern Cameroons’ territory, wouldn’t Nigeria still have the interest to maintain custody over it until such day has it can hand it legally to the rightful owners?

(7) Absence of the involvement of any African country or even of the African Union.

Another suspicious element about the Greentree deal is the fact that there was no African country, or even the African Union involved! The issue of Bakassi is fundamentally an issue of boundaries. By the African Union Constitutive Act, Article 4(b) and the Cairo Declaration of 1964, African countries accepted the principle that their territorial boundaries would remain as they were on their attainment of independence. Isn’t it clear that all issues on African boundaries should be decided within Africa, especially with the participation of the African Union and neighbouring countries? How can it be understood that it is just at a time when the voice of Africa is on the ascendancy and Africans are trying to take charge of their own problems that the Greentree Accord would be signed far away from Africa, without the involvement of the African Union and no country of the sub-region? And by who? By Obasanjo! And who are the witnesses? The former colonial powers that conspired in the first place to create the present dispute between the southern Cameroons and the Republic of Cameroon. Worst of all, the Greentree Deal is not being negotiated under a UN Resolution, but on the private initiative of Kofi Annan! White people have always agreed among themselves that Africa should be divided into zones of influence in which each European country would help the others to keep their exclusivity in their own zones. This is what is happening in the Bakassi case!

(8) Obasanjo’s refusal to wait for the Banjul ruling

It should also be noted that one other fact that is on Nigeria’s side, if it decided to stay the execution of the ICJ ruling, is the fact that the People of Southern Cameroons are in the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights with The Republic of Cameroon over the latter’s colonization of Southern Cameroons. The ruling is till being awaited. How then would a country like Nigeria, purporting to champion peace, security and understanding in Africa, hasten to do a handover when a critical judgment intricately interconnected with the Bakassi issue is being awaited?

You can judge for yourselves now what is going on! But something needs to be done fast, in the Nigerian National Assembly and through the courts to stop Mr. President in his secret deals!


"The patriot volunteer, fighting for his country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth."

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Pat Utomi: for which Nigeria?

by John Iteshi (London, UK) --- The candidature of Professor Pat Utomi should ideally elicit great joy and hopes among Nigerians because he appears genuine and credible. Though, it may not be easily ascertained whether he is completely untainted by the stinking mud of Nigerian corruption (just like most prominent young and very rich Nigerians), he appears to have clear visions about what to do to improve Nigeria.

He also deserves credit for having maintained his credibility as far as can be seen from outside, at least by not dancing around three arms zone at Abuja in praise of wicked rulers for selfish purposes, as many other professors and supposedly distinguished personalities do. He is highly respected among enlightened Nigerians who crave for genuine progress in Nigeria. If Utomi was a British, with his business and intellectual acumen, God knows, he would have long been a Prime Minister or a highly successful Sir or Lord by now. None of the over celebrated super icons of entrepreneurship in Britain today (notably Sir Richard Branson and Sir Alan Sugar) could have marched him in any way. Hence, there is little doubt about the desirability of an impressive gentle man like Pat Utomi as a credible person who could salvage Nigeria and the Black race from disaster. The only question however, is whether it is a reasonable (and realisable) project in the first place bearing in mind the realities of fraud and manipulations in Nigerian electoral system or whether he has got some top secret plot of how to outsmart everyone else and get there?

The simple fact is that Pat Utomi will easily win the presidency and commander-in-chief of online and newspaper pages Federal Republic of Nigeria, but does not stand any imaginable chance of being manipulated into the presidency of the real Nigeria. We must reasonably be talking of manipulations instead of elections because there will hardly be any proper election, but sheer travesty of democratic principles as has been the case in the past. The common problem with the majority of genuine Nigerian elites like Mr. Utomi appears to be either lack of touch with the true situations on the ground or simply, idiocy. It does not require any university education to understand the nature of Nigerian politics, but shockingly, we find some of our highly distinguished intellectuals acting in manners that suggest they are far away from local realities. Even semi-illiterate politicians in the remotest villages in Nigeria understand that Nigerian politics does not involve the masses and their so-called votes, but our most respected world-class personalities like Utomi appear to live in a dream Nigeria where a people called Nigerians will have to determine their political fates on the ballot day! They appear to be blindfolded by what obtains in the advanced world rather than the realities in Nigeria. Rather than seek to enlighten ordinary people on the streets on their rights and entitlements, they keep parading themselves and their sometimes grandiloquent ideas on the TV screens and newspaper pages.

Even if Nigeria does exist as a proper society where the people will actually cast votes, Professor Pat Utomi would still have no chance of winning 5% votes simply because he is not known much beyond small enlightened circles. If as the facts clearly suggest, a good majority ordinary Nigerians do not even know who Gani Fawehinmi is and what he stands for, despite his reputation as a consistent defender of the interests of ordinary Nigerians, one wonders which voters in the real Nigeria, Utomi expects to suddenly wake up en mass and wrestle their voting rights from thugs and other criminals. Enlightened Nigerians who really wish to impact positive changes in Nigeria through democratic processes must realise that Nigeria is a predominantly illiterate and poorly developed society and that our usual fraudulent elections are determined in the sub urban and rural areas which is dominated by illiterates and semi-illiterates. The fact that votes from remote villages usually outnumber those from the urban areas ought to be seen by our enlightened personalities not just as a clear evidence of fraud, but as indicating that the rural areas are the real playing fields of Nigerian politics (Read Audio-Visual Voting Method, by John Iteshi). Our professors and journalists cross their legs in Lagos and Abuja, analysing the goings on at Eagle Square Abuja and acclaiming transparency for “their democracy� being shown live on TVs with no questions about how those at Eagle square came about. Televising the voting of delegates from different parts of the country is upheld by those who ought to be reasonable and genuine commentators without questioning how transparent the system that brought about the delegates had been. The essence of this points is to highlight the fact that Nigeria’s political and electoral systems suffer fundamental defects and that any genuine Nigerian who really wants to see Nigeria progress must not ignore the need to correct the defects right at the base where it really hinges. Correcting the system first, will ultimately pave way for genuine people like Utomi to contest and be voted for not merely on some primitive grounds, but on the strength of their credibility.

Pat Utomi and others like him must stop their grandiose dreams of changing Nigeria from the top and consider more realistic ways of impacting concrete changes in their societies. For instance, it will be more easily realisable, for such powerful individuals to start from their respective locations to change Nigeria. Professor Utomi and his likes must consider building the Nigeria of their dreams from their various states and local government areas of origin at least as their springboards towards their National aspirations. If Pat Utomi were to devote his resources towards mobilising the ordinary people of Delta State against electoral malpractices and irresponsible governance, he will not only become a legend among his people, but will also build a unique Nigeria out of that miserable State. If half of the resources accruing to Delta State (just like any other state) could be utilised responsibly, God knows, the life of every Deltan would be substantially improved. The fact that people like Pat Utomi and many other great sons and daughters of Delta State have done nothing about the situation of corrupt and irresponsible governance in Delta State where public funds are siphoned and mismanaged by the fraudulently elected governor means that they have shirked their domestic responsibilities as elites of Delta State. Prominent personalities who think they genuinely love Nigeria must stop deceiving themselves about changing Nigeria in Abuja while they have abdicated their natural responsibilities at home. It may sound demeaning to implore someone who thinks of himself as a national figure to go down to state level, but Nigeria is made up of Sates and local governments and only when these basic tiers of government are corrected will Nigeria be right. We must realise that the only way to change Nigeria through democracy is for self righteous men like the Utomis, Soyinkas, Ganis, Falanas and the Ekwuemes of course, to engage in building the Nigeria of their dreams from their respective locations even if it be from the local government level. It will be inspiring to have at least one example of what we want to be and this is very easily achievable under democratic dispensation where each state can to a large extent determine what do with its resources. The resources of these personalities can easily subdue their local government areas of origin and local people there will be grateful to see their resources properly managed for the first time. The amount of moneys flowing into states and local governments are enough to substantially improve the quality of lives of Nigerians, but we have all abandoned each governor to run his state like private estates while we all mope and moan about things happening at Abuja.
We must open our eyes to the reality that the presidency of Nigeria as things stand today under democracy, is not about the number of PhDs one has. It is not about the genuineness of the candidates. Great ideas that will transform Nigeria are not what those who determine things are looking for. Even if the presidency is zoned to Ndi Igbo or even Utomi’s village in particular, he would not be made the candidate not because there would be a more credible candidate, but simply because those that determine things at the highest level would not be interested in his ideas and credibility. Obasanjo’s emergence as president despite being the least reasonable among the crop of Yoruba candidates in 1998 should have been instructive to us about the nature of politics in Nigeria. Pat Utomi should face realities and save himself the ridicule of following the footsteps of Nigeria’s icon of political idiocy, Tunji Braithwaite who would contest the presidency at every opportunity, just for contesting sake.

John Iteshi
London, 8th August 2006

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Declaration of Intent

by Kayode Opeifa (Agege, Lagos) --- Friends and Fellow Nigerians,

In the last twenty years, since I left college, I have watched with keen interest the Socio-Economic, Political and Psychological development of Lagos State and our country Nigeria. I have also dedicated a good part of my time to continuously thinking, pondering and reasoning on WHY it has not been as our forefathers dreamt of.

Click here to continue reading "Declaration of Intent"

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August 07, 2006

A Confidential Letter to Governor Achike Udenwa of Imo State, Nigeria

by Okechukwu E. Asia ---

The egomaniacs who have welded power in Nigeria over the years, have failed in the mission to serve the people of Nigeria. Such is clear when you consider the infrastructure, which begins with condition of the roads. In many places in Owerri and indeed the entire Imo State, we had to drive six miles to travel five, simply because of all the twists and turns one had to make to avoid the potholes in many of the streets and roads. ~~~ Prof. George Moss of the University of Michigan (Thisday Newspaper July 22, 2006)

Dear Achike,

It has been quite a long time I communicated with you either in writing or by telephone. This time, I am writing as a citizen of Imo State concerned with the short-comings of your seven years of reckless and corrupt stewardship.

I am writing because May 2007 is around the corner and to make sure that you remember that day as your day of reckoning. The day you will be asked to give an account of your stewardship to the people of Imo State. I am sure that day; you will remember to tell us what you did with almost N800 billion Naira you collected as allocation from the federation account and internally generated state revenue since 1999. Particularly, what you did with the N13 billion federal government allocations to Oguta/Ohaji/Egbema oil communities.

You must be prepared to tell us why your finger prints are all over Chief Ogbonnaya C. Uche’s (OGB) assassination and your attitude of indifference toward the efforts to solve this scourge on your administration and all other unsolved assassinations under your watch. We would want to know who paid N5.5 million to Mr. Vincent Ogueri (a.k.a Pastor), the trigger man from Emii, Owerri North LGA. Why the voucher for this money was prepared in the Government House. And why Mr. Nwachukwu the Finance Director at the cabinet office, i.e. Ignatius Umunna’s office (Mr. Umunna was the Secretary to the State Government) was chosen as the point person to pay off Mr. Ogueri. The people of Imo State and the children of late OGB, Agwatu, Emenike, and Onyearugbulem want to know.

I saw you visited and consoled the widow and family of Funsho Williams in far away Lagos, but neither you nor any of your cabinet members attended Chief Uche’s burial or sent a condolence to his widow and family. He was one of your commissioners. Mr. Governor, how can you reconcile this attitude toward a man who made you a governor. How can you reconcile the fact that you personally ordered your entire government staff not to attend OGB’s funeral or send any condolences to his family. You did not attend OGB’s funeral – your Commissioner; you did not attend Theodore Agwatu’s funeral – your Principal Secretary; you did not attend Mr. Emenike’s funeral – a husband of your former Commissioner for Women’s Affairs Mrs. Rose Emenike. All of them were Imo State indigenes. But you are in far away Lagos shaking hands with Williams’ family and weeping. It is clear that your visit to Williams’ family was more of orchestral performance than condolence. Who is kidding whom?

You must tell us why the so-called and almighty state secretariat was built at an eye-popping cost of N3.6 billion Naira from its original budgeted cost of N840 million. You must tell us more about the Orlu regional market and why you spent more than N1 billion on a project that has been abandoned to the mercy of weeds. You must tell us who owns RHS Company – the managing owners of Concorde Hotel and Orlu regional market. Mr. Governor, your corrupt activities in the state is well known by Imo citizens.

I am not finished, governor, we want to know why you converted the Heartland Foundation chaired by your wife into a family fortune, which your administration has donated more than N600 million since its inception. Where did the money go and who benefited from its programs?

In 2002, you Balkanized Imo State by creating inferior and useless autonomous communities in one of your many schemes to hang on to power for a second term, while our communities are burning in Ezeship tussles, you are busy collecting a whopping sum of N500 thousand Naira per a community as a prelude to state recognition of their Eze.

Don’t forget to tell us about your wacky road projects, which you have spent N12 billion Naira on, since 1999 and nothing to show for it. And the 1.5 mile road leading to Umuguma from Port-Harcourt road Owerri which you recorded at a cost of N170 million must not be missing from your hand over story. We want to hear about the N380 million you said your administration spent on refurbishing of the General Hospital at Umuna, Orlu. A 6000 sq. ft dormitory and repainting of existing buildings does not cost N380 million to build. We have a lot of unanswered questions for you about this project.

We will be waiting to hear how your total personal wealth swelled to N300 billion from N1 million in 1998/99. I know this because during the 1998/99 campaign, you had only N1 million for your campaign. This money was given to you by your few friends and associates in Port Harcourt, which late Chief Ogbonnaya Uche (OGB) was one of them. That was the reason you lost the PDP primary elections to Chief Humphrey Anumudu (1), Greg. Mbadiwe (2) and Rochas Okorocha (3), (in that order) but due to the intervention of power brokers, you came from finishing last to the anointed position of governor.

So we want to know how a return on investment of N1 million became N300 billion in seven years. I am sure EFCC and Economics Professors are taking note of this ingenious feat. Oh, don’t forget the Standard Shoe factory you spent N288 million to rehabilitate but no single building at the site has been roofed. We want to know what’s going on in this site. And when will the first pair of shoes hit the market from your factory. What was the deal you made to sell Imo Hotels to unknown company? Who are the owners of this company? How much are you planning to sell this Hotel?

I am sure that you will reveal what you did with N5.6 billion you collected as security vote from the state treasury. We, the people will occupy the front row seats to listen to you explain to us why you deducted more than 30% of local government monthly allocation fund and what you did with the money. We will listen carefully to hear you explain what happened to the N2 billion you budgeted to construct the Owerri to Okigwe highway and why this road is in such disrepair. You must explain to us what happened to the N5 billion you collected from the local government councils in pretense to linking them with good roads. Who is this Yoruba man that you awarded the contract to build these roads? What is your relationship with this man and his company? And why is the document used in the contract missing?

It has been reported that you spent a total of N240 million on your daughter’s wedding on July 22, 2006 to entertain your friends and political associates while Owerri and Imo State villages are in darkness without light and drinking water. And refuge dumps have taken over Owerri municipal area. Whose money was this, anyway? We want to know.

Mr. Governor, I am disgusted to learn that you are aspiring to become the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. What knowledge and experience would you bring to the presidency? Will it be different from your seven-year outing as the governor of Imo State that brought nothing but agony, under-development, negligence, senseless killings of political opponents, insecurity, corruption in an uncontrollable level, drug use, indecency involving female minors and married women and forgery. I agree with Mr. Pini Jason when he wrote on the Vanguard newspaper of July 28, 2006 that the time has come when we must stand up and say enough is enough to stop these jokers and clowns like you from taking us for a ride anytime we have general elections. And that you are making a mockery of our presidency.

By the way, you are one of the principal architects of the failed Third term agenda, why do you think that we have forgotten so soon. Your day of reckoning will come, very soon. I am sure that your so-called presidential ambition is inspired by your attempt to escape arrest and prosecution from your failed stewardship of Imo State. It will not work, Mr. Governor.

In closing, I pray that you receive this letter in good faith and in good spirit. I have only written the truth and in no way have I tried to scorn your person. But if you feel otherwise, so be it. I dedicate this letter to the memories of your former Commissioner for Commerce and Industry late Chief Ogbonnaya C. Uche (OGB), your former Principal Secretary late Mr. Theodore Agwatu, Mr. Emenike (the husband of your former Commissioner for Women Affairs who parted ways with you a few months earlier), Col. Anthony Onyearugbulem – an aspiring gubernatorial candidate in 2003, and all those who was assassinated so that you could have a second term. And to the good people of Imo State whose tears for justice and good governance will not be in vain in 2007. We are ever more vigilant.

Okechukwu E. Asia
Boston, MA, USA

Real Beauty is My Aim - Mahatma Gandhi

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August 05, 2006

Middle East Crisis: Solutions and a Quick Synopsis et al

by Carlisle U.O. Umunnah (New York, USA) --- A Friendly Relationship with Jerusalem has a Practical Relevance, Regionally and Internationally: Belligerent Postures by its Surrounding Neighbors, Threatens its Existence, the Entire Gulf-Peninsula, and World Peace.

From biblical times of the Hebrew nations, its exodus from the bondage in Egypt, and the subsequent takeover of the land of Canaan and other lands under the commandment of God, Israelites under the leaderships of Moses, Joshua and others were warned by Great Jehovah not to comprise this land-related commandment and other spiritual commandments. By application, that means, no matter what or who becomes the stumbling block whether enemy or friend, it must not blink. May I state here, that in an effort to facilitate the fulfillment of his promises to father Abraham, father Isaac, and father Jacob, the Lord was steady in handing-down these instructions, Elohim, expected its observance by Israel for world peace. The mountain top and what constitutes today the present day Israel and beyond including Lebanon, is, very important to the Lord; if there is any hope for the security of Israel, the world, or a strengthened security and protected borders for that matter, she must remember and keep these commandments, if not, it shall know no peace. Arise now oh, Israel and defend thou tents, enlarge thou camps and defend thou territorial integrity. Know yeah, that internationally and locally, your position and location is the world’s center of gravity; thusly world peace and or its troubles emanates from the activities within this place, politically and/or economically from this region. Always, remember that that in wherever or whatever situation you embrace or found yourself, always remember these sacred instructions. Arise and go forth.

To buttress the above disposition[s], record show that by 1948 the United Nations [UN], with the assistance of the United States, Great Britain and other member states provided the buffer legitimacy within international laws and its instruments and other necessary legal ramifications here-to-for observed, ratified working documents for this purpose: creation of Israel. By this act, the State of Israel was born, or if you like it was formally created, accepted amongst world’s peoples—within the comity of nations. Regrettably yesterday and today, many Arab nations have refused to recognize the State of Israel. Recently, Iran under its present leadership have threatened that Israel be wiped off of the earth-plate. Other terrorists groups including Hamaz and Hezbollah funded by Iran, a rouge state, with other Islamic fundamentalists continue to threaten the existence of Israel. May I state that Israel, in the face of this and present dangers, and threats reserves the right to track, find and element those that threaten its existence in self-defense. If this requires her going to war and declaring total war against enemies of God’s peoples so be it. One thing must be made clear here by this writer, it is a duty and responsibility that the Great State of Israel must stand tall and defend its existence and most importantly must defend Jerusalem.

Israel most be on high alert, show readiness and preparedness in its current challenging milieus and future dangers. Its clarion call must be meshed with above all, the protection of its peoples, its territorial space including parts of Lebanon, part of Syria, Iran, Iraq and the whole of East-Jerusalem. Jerusalem must not be divided under any circumstance. Its Capitol must be moved from Tel Aviv to the center of Jerusalem today without further delays. Thou kingdom’s come. Israel must embrace its God and keep its commandments. If it does that, its actions militarily, economically and otherwise will surely succeed to its full measure and glory. When Israel keeps these instructions from the God of our fathers, it shall enjoy all the promises made to our fathers: father Abraham, father Isaac and father Jacob. This is not time for retreats; it is time to stay steady and enlarge its camps in fulfillment of these instructions, for its survival depends on its actions and inactions internationally and domestically.

This writer regrets the killings of innocent civilians and children in the recent conflict within its border especially recent expanded conflict in Southern Lebanon. People, tongues and nations must know, that, no matter what happens today Israel can never be destroyed nor defeated until the end of time, until the return of our Messiah, thus says the Lord through His prophets—His messengers.

Finally, I would encourage nation within the gulf peninsula and around the world, to change their belligerent attitudes toward Israel. I encourage them to stop this foolishness; rather than display belligerent postures, it should develop cordial relationships and friendships with the State of Israel. Rather, than become enemies of God’s people and suffer grave consequences, however, they should look at the trajectory of events and history itself and be reasonable. It is important to inform nations that Israel is a friendly nation and would reciprocate the great tradition of friendships with nations that act friendly toward her. Experience shows that present day Egypt, Jordan, and others have learned from its past mistakes and the fallouts of bad behavior, wars or misconducts and the acts of attacking the Jewish state that attracts here-to-for, grave consequences. Today, the aforementioned nations have turned the corner and are great benefactors of this great and new tradition of friendships. Through improved friendly relationship with the Jewish State, the aforementioned nations have strengthened their geopolitical, economic and strategic capacities and interests accordingly especially in the Middle-East. A friendly relationship with Israel by its neighbors and vice-versa, will, facilitate and create a climate that permits peaceful relationships, trade and commerce, and respectable international borders especially those found within and around-about the Gulf Peninsula.

Carlisle U. O. Umunnah
Is New York Based Freelance writer

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August 01, 2006

Re: Thomas Osuji's "Revisiting Chinua Achebe's Okonkwo Character"

by Odo Akaji (United Kingdom) ---

What a man believes upon grossly insufficient evidence is an index into his desires -- desires of which he himself is often unconscious. If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way. ~~~ Bertrand Russell

On reading Thomas Osuji’s version of Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, one Chinua Achebecould not help but laugh out very loud at the gentleman’s attempt to present the Classics in a light that justifies his imagined totem of his archetypical Igbo. Thomas would have been excused if Achebe himself had not addressed some of the issues raised in his essay but it smacks of intellectual laziness for Thomas to be writing about “standing corrected by Achebe” when Achebe’s view can very easily be googled.

According to Achebe, Things Fall Apart was inspired by his indignation at books on Africa by non Africans such as Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Joyce Cary's Mister Johnson, which portrays an African who slavishly worships his white colonist boss, to the point of gladly being shot to death by him. In Things Fall Apart published in 1958, Achebe with a masterful stroke of his pen debunked the stereotype of Africa as an unseamed "primitive" land, i.e. Conrad’s "heart of darkness". He was able to show that African cultures varied among themselves and were capable of changing with time. Achebe not only succeeded in taking the Igbo cultural tradition to the outside world but also reminded the Igbo and indeed the other nations of Africa of their past and the values it contained. Isn’t it therefore an absurdity that an educated Igbo with PhD to boot is drawing the exact opposite conclusion from Achebe’s work almost half a century later!

Writes Thomas:

Okonkwo was an Igbo man per excellence. His problematic behavior was representative of problematic Igbo behavior patterns. (As noted, his personality and behavior reminds me of my grandfather’s indomitable character and behavior. I say this because I asked myself whether I am projecting, that is, seeing something in me that I do not like, dissociate from it, deny it and attribute it to other persons. I do not believe that I am externalizing anything in me. I understand the nature of the various ego defense mechanisms and how they work in people, and am mindful of employing any of them.) I think that Achebe meant for Okonkwo to represent the Igbo character. (Since Achebe is still alive, I stand to be corrected by him.) In as much as Okonkwo represents the Igbo character, what does he tell us about Igbos (sic)?

It is not difficult to see that Thomas is blinded in his fixation with his Igbo par excellence and truly has no regard to Achebe’s correction. Thomas is probably the only social scientist in the world who will base his qualitative research of forty million people on a sample of two: one a fictional Okonkwo and the second his late grandfather whom he never bothered to interview. In his presumptuous fashion he successfully excises Okonkwo from the overall setting and theme of the book. In the Things Fall Apart according to Thomas, Okonkwo is the only villager and there were no other titled men. Thomas doesn’t believe that same village could accommodate Okonkwo’s father and others who gave him various wise counsels at the right moments in his life. The young Achebe appreciated the controversy of the Ikemefune saga and tried to cushion the impact of his tragic ending by introducing him as “the ill-fated lad.” The titled elderly gentleman that admonished Okonkwo against having a hand in Ikemefune’s murder was not Thomas’ favourite Lagosians but also an Igbo from Okonkwo’s Umuofia. That Thomas chose to discard the rest of the clan, choosing rather to highlight Okonkwo’s indiscretions (for which he was severally sanctioned) is simply disingenuous.

I guess it was not convenient to consider all the checks and balances in the Umuofia traditional system. Thomas totally failed to mention the fact that Okonkwo’s so-called title did not confer any special immunity from the laws of the land. He was sanctioned for wife beating, banished for manslaughter and buried by foreigners for taking his own life.

Thomas, it is disappointing that you would use your own grandfather who sired your father to try and create the impression of sincerity. Unfortunately, there is no reason to think your grandfather was the stuff of fiction. I do not know any granny that would not report the physical abuse of his grandson by people who happen to be his teachers. Truth be told, it may well be the pain and trauma of these spankings in Igbo land that has put you off the Igbo. It could also be argued that the person allegedly jailed by your grandfather went through a trial unless you want to claim that your father was the king, judge and warder in Umuohiagu of the sixties. There was no account in the Things Fall Apart I read where Okonkwo jailed any fellow Umuofia citizen for any reason. True, he may have insulted an untitled man, but the fact that he was not applauded shows what his people thought of his poor choice of word. So Thomas may wish to find another fictional character for his late grandfather.

In the Things Fall Apart I read, Achebe demonstrated in Okonkwo that whilst the Igbo society would encourage and recognise individual achievement, it was not at the expense of law and order. There was no record of Okonkwo ever perverting the course of Umuofia justice. He fully submitted to the norms and ethos and was ready to bear the consequence of breaking the law. Even as a war commander there was always consensus. The only day Okonkwo went to war without a follower was the day he hanged himself. In the concluding part of the book the joke was on the white man pronouncing Igbo word badly and not the other way round. Read Achebe’s presentation at Odenigbo Owerri near Umuohiagu in 1999!

It is safe to conclude that Thomas and NOT the Igbos (sic) need healing. As a first step I suggest that Umunna in his neck of the wood get together and fund his trip to Umuohiagu. It will have a therapeutic effect as he encounters the new Owerri with concorde hotels, Control post and Ama JK far removed from his Lagos imagery of a primitive jungle. An Igbo that confesses to feeling like killing Igbo is crying for help and feeling suicidal. A stitch in time may save Thomas!


Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. London: Heinemann, 1958.
Nnolim, Charles E. "Form and Function of Folk Tradition." Approaches To the African Novel: Essays in Analysis. London: Saros International, 1992.

Odo Akaji
United kingdom

Odo Akaji is the President of Igbo Heritage Foundation

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