Trump Will Support Our Struggle– IPOB, Youths

The Indigenous People of Biafra on Wednesday congratulated the President -elect of the United States of America, Mr. Donald Trump, on his electoral victory.

The group, in a statement made available to our correspondent in Awka and signed by the IPOB Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, urged Trump to fulfil his campaign promises to Americans and others around the world.

The statement read in part, “The IPOB under the command structure of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu congratulates Donald Trump.

 “Trump passed through so many trials and so many odds from the leadership of the party but God Almighty made it possible for him to become the President of United States of America.

“He should also remember his promises to the people of America and other peoples across the globe because USA is going to be great again by the power of God Almighty who selected him from the midst of millions in America”.

Similarly, Niger Delta youths on Wednesday expressed their readiness to work with the United States’ President-elect, describing his electoral victory as unprecedented in the country’s political history.

 Their message is contained in a statement jointly issued on Wednesday by the Niger Delta Youth Forum and the Niger Delta Izon Youth Forum and signed by Mr. Kemeizonpoumokumor Ayuba.


Biafra: Igbo On Legitimate Struggle, Says Yerima

Amidst a renewed agitation by pro-Biafra protesters across the South east and South south parts of the country with the subsequent clamp down on them by the Federal Government, a former governor of Zamfara State, Ahmad Sani Yerima, has said that the Biafra agitators were on a legitimate struggle for self determination.

The former governor, now a Senator, told newsmen that consequently, the federal government and the security agencies must allow them to exercise their fundamental human rights as guaranteed by the Constitution.

Yerima, a politician known for his radical views on national issues, cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigeria Armed Forces against the use of force on the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Movement for the Survival of the Sovereign State of Biafra ( MASSOB), saying the groups were on a legitimate struggle for self-determination and should be allowed to exercise their fundamental rights.

He disagreed with President Buhari and the top echelon of the Nigeria Armed Forces on the handling of the renewed agitation by the groups to revive the defunct Republic of Biafra saying they should be more matured and accommodating in a democracy.

Credit: DailyTimes

Ugochukwu .J. Amasike: Reconstructing Nigeria For Progress

The foundation of our problems as a Nation is our distorted national Political and Economic Architecture, it sustains vested interests, rewards laziness and places premium on ethnicity over Merit, and this naturally breeds corruption.
However, the direct and indirect beneficiaries of this flawed political-economic structure, choose to continue to turn a blind eye to the futility and folly of trying to maintain such a system, choosing as it were to postpone the evil day; but sooner or later, the chickens will come home to roost, and it is already happening as exemplified by our current economic fortunes nay misfortunes, with the Federal Government of Nigeria having to at some point borrow money to finance its recurrent expenditure and with state governments needing “financial bail-out’s” to meet the most basic of their duties: the payment of worker’s salaries.
President Muhammadu Buhari, as patriotic and determined as he is, can not succeed in his noble and desirous ambitions of changing Nigeria, under the current political and economic architecture we inherited from the Military Dictators of our chequered past; they are stifling. This military-tailored system, which was designed specifically for the purpose of the maintenance of “Command and Control” is obsolete, and was never intended to deliver the dividends of democracy to the long suffering people of our beautiful and beloved Country, Nigeria.
The people of Nigeria have wallowed long enough at this mountain of stunted development, occasioned by the bequest of a flawed and downright corrupt political-economy bequeathed to us by our military adventurers. If Nigeria is to emerge from the doldrums of darkness, and stagnation, and make meaningful and sustainable progress, then it must do away with all stifling national legislation that sustain and facilitate corruption and inefficiency, while simultaneously inhibiting it’s development as a modern State.
Thus, it behoves on Nigerians to see to the amendment of its Constitution and the adoption of a truly Federal Constitution, that encourages the creation of wealth, rewards hard-work and   industry, and places more premium on Competence and Merit rather than fraudulent census figures, religion and ethnicity.
Nigeria’s current quasi-federal nay Unitary 1999 Constitution (as amended),has effectively set Nigeria up for failure and mediocrity. A constitution that ensures that component States remain dependent appendages of Mummy – Federal Government, even at a time, when they are full grown “adult State Governments” that should be catering for themselves, their children (Local Governments) and contributing to the up-keep and welfare of Mummy- Federal Government. Instead, we are treated to the unseemly and abominable sight of adult State Governments fighting over who gets to get the largest share of Mummy Federal Government’s “national cake”.
The foundation of this aberration is effectively captured and provided for by Section 162 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) which provides thus:
 (1) The Federation shall maintain a special account to be called “the Federation Account” into which shall be paid all revenues collected by the Government of the Federation, except the proceeds from the personal income tax of the personnel of the armed forces of the Federation, the Nigeria Police Force, the Ministry or department of government charged with responsibility for Foreign Affairs and the residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
(2) The President, upon the receipt of advice from the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, shall table before the National Assembly proposals for revenue allocation from the Federation Account, and in determining the formula, the National Assembly shall take into account, the allocation principles especially those of population, equality of States, internal revenue generation, land mass, terrain as well as population density;
(3) Any amount standing to the credit of the Federation Account shall be distributed among the Federal and State Governments and the Local Government Councils in each State on such terms and in such manner as may be prescribed by the National Assembly.
(4) Any amount standing to the credit of the States in the Federation Account shall be distributed among the States on such terms and in such manner as may be prescribed by the National Assembly.
The foregoing Section of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) effectively turned Nigeria into a Unitary State, and it is the foundation of the lazy mindset of many Governors nay “Stewards” of otherwise co-ordinate component States of the federation; they simply get elected and eagerly await the monthly CREDIT ALERT from Mummy (Federal Government); there is no reason to think creatively or outside the box when there is oil money to be distributed by Law!
The only State that has strived to wean itself off the apron strings of Mummy-Federal Government, is Lagos State, which has greatly increased its internally generated revenue (reportedly generating one billion dollars from taxes in the year 2014 according to the British weekly publication – The Economist) and has since been making considerable and concerted progress at becoming self-sufficient.
However it is to be noted that even Lagos State was forced to look inwards in the year 2004, when the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo withheld its “share” of the Federal Allocations, when the former, in contravention of the wishes of Mummy-Federal Government created additional Local Government Areas. Thus, necessity forced Lagos to grow up and it hasn’t looked back since then.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Nigeria can not achieve its famed great potentials by practicing a corrupt system, a system that rewards the indolent, and punishes the industrious; a society that places more premium on ethnicity rather than merit, no society progresses without Justice and ours is an unjust set up that and supports and facilitates nepotism and corruption. This situation must thus be rectified if we are to survive and thrive as a modern Nation.
President Muhammadu Buhari won the elections on the back of his famed anti-corruption credentials and his integrity, and his actions and statements reveal his aversion for corruption and he is clearly poised to help reset Nigeria to a path of development and progress.
 However, in spite of President Buhari’s best efforts to eradicate corruption and place Nigeria on the path of greatness, no matter how concerted, he stands little chance of lasting sustainable success, IF he does not see to the reconstruction of our national political-economic architecture by seeing to the amendment of our Constitution and taking due cognizance of the feelings and thinking of the over 250 distinct ethnic groups in Nigeria who sent in memoranda and Representatives to the 2014 National Conference convened by former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan.
The perceived disposition of the new administration to discard everything from the past Administration led by Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is unhelpful; for all of its gross failings,  (and they were many), there were some few positives, such as the Report and Recommendations of the 2014 National Conference, and the amended version of the now famous or infamous Petroleum Industry Bill, (depending on which side of the divide you stand).
The Report and the Recommendations contained in the Report of that Conference may not be perfect, but its nationalistic intent leaves no one in doubt, and within it, we find a sound template for the demolition of this corrupt structure that has stifled our development for decades, and beyond that, we were also given an excellent template for the reconstruction of our national and economic architecture for the attainment of growth and development, under terms that are agreeable to ALL Nigerians who make up this great Country.
It is the considered opinion of this writer, that President Muhammadu Buhari should use his influence and powers as a Nigerian statesman and as President of Nigeria to push for the implementation of the Recommendations of the 2014 National Conference and by necessary extension the amendment of the 1999 Constitution or the enactment of a new and better Constitution, that will form the foundation of a new and progressive Nigeria.
If Nigeria is to continue to survive and if it is to thrive, then we must reconstruct our political architecture and revert to the practice of fiscal Federalism, a system that served us well in the 60’s and 70’s (even if it’s implementation is in to be done in phases and stages), this is the ONLY way Nigeria can make sustainable progress and the only way to administer a multi-ethnic society like ours; and eliminate or reduce to the barest minimum the scourge of nepotism, corruption and the shameful scars of poverty and under-development that dis-figures our national landscape and has turned us into a laughing stock among the comity of nations.
In conclusion, I borrow the words of President Buhari during his inaugural speech, wherein he quoted Shakespare’s “Julius Caesar”, “there is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and miseries…We have an opportunity, let us take it. “
A word is enough for the wise.
God bless Nigeria
Thank you.
Sign: Ugochukwu .J. Amasike Esq.
(Lagos, Nigeria)

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Education, The Nigerian Child, And Why You Must Take Part By Johannes Tobi Wojuola

If there is one attitude that is ubiquitous with the average Nigerian folk, it is the swift ability to throw a complaint and tag-a-blame once a problem arises. Over-beaten but I ask again, how many times have complaints or blame-game-trading fetched results? Not once that I know of.

Acts of terrorism, crime – petty and gross – hate, immorality, and corruption are all functions of ignorance of one truth or another. It is either the terrorist is oblivious of the value of human life, or is unaware of the truth of whose converse he kills for; the criminal may be the victim of poverty, but no man who ‘knows’ is poor, or he may be doing that out of a kleptomania – that is however not my point here; hate itself is borne out of ignorance of the potential of love and the self-destructive nature of hate to its carrier; immorality would always be argued for by ignoramuses, sadly it has never stood the test of the societal bar of sanity, leaving its peddlers to blame circumstances beyond their control till they repent after they become re-oriented of the comeliness of morality; corruption, our most dreaded monster enemy thrives because the ‘devil’ seems to shut the mind of its perpetrators to the doom they eventually bring to themselves and their kin. The average Nigerian complains of either all, two or more of these vile acts at least five times a day. That has not helped to solve the matter. And in truth, the sins have only conquered more territory among our people. Sad.
One fact was clear all through the above paragraph, and that is ignorance is the arch sponsor of this madness. The Bible aptly captures this when it says in Hosea chapter 4 verse 6; “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (ASV). There are two options; either we stand and ‘unlook’ and eventually become contaminated by these viruses that flow from the pit of deception and sweet nescience or we stand up and fight them with education. Knowledge or its dearth, is the major ingredient that distinguishes a civilized society from a town of savages. The western society today, whose ideals the world’s blocs ersatz in one way or the other is founded on superior education – one that is far apart from any political manipulation. They are very aware that to be at the pinnacle of the world’s domination, ignorance in any form must not be allowed any manure to foster.
Education is the key to save a society from the vile savagery that the potent of human foibles desire to express. Education is the root for any kind of development. It is the bedrock for the cure of illusions and the foundation for forming rational thoughts. It is a tool for the empowerment of the mind that eventually spurs the cultivation of positive and society changing development. But education, like every other social innovation, is a two way street. And the way that is unfettered, open and seeks truth leads to the good. Whereas, that which offers part knowledge, unbalanced ideologies, deceit and unfounded theories leads to the obvious bad – and for me, that is nothing more than ignorance clothed in the false toga of education. The former is what I advocate for; the latter, is what I am against – totally! As the foundation of every building is the determinant of how far it will tower, or if it will be brought to grains when shaken, likewise, education must be imbibed from an early age in our young ones to foster a generation whose root ideals are soaked in rational, positive, avant-gardist, eclectic and commonsensible revolutionary thoughts. This is the sure tool for a twirl in the direction of our nation’s values. Values form the basis of good principles. And only when these good values are permeated into the minds of toddlers would we then have a bottom-up revolution of positive change in our society.
About 40 million Nigerian children are in school. Nigeria has a 67% literacy rate. These figures are positive but more must be topped to it in the coming years. The numbers which subtract from the entire potential population of children that should be in school exist because poverty and lack of opportunity wages a war against them. This war can only be fought with our resources. The government has its role to play, whether or not it is doing so, and remarkably so, should not be our concern at this point. Rather, what must bother us is the part that each and every one of us must play – outside the usual complaining. Many middle and upper class Nigerians are unaware that N5,000 to N10,000 can send a child to a public school for a full year. Yes. I have had the opportunity to interact with a Secondary School principal of a Public Secondary School in Gwagwalada, Abuja, and the tuition fee for a child in his school is N1,500 a term – inclusive of PTA fees. Surprisingly very cheap you may say. Yet, it is more astonishing that a chunk number of students in these public schools cannot pay this meager fee – thus denying them the opportunity of an even less than average education. The beauty of hope that beams here is that almost everyone can play a part to fight the perils of ignorance; supporting NGOs who make efforts at giving scholarships to indigent children, joining a book club, donating books – old and new – to public schools, paying the school fees of indigent children, encouraging young people who are out of school to go back to school and even going the extra mile to enroll a child in school if your means allow you to, taking a free tutorial class in a public school, sharing knowledge, positive messages, and relevant content on social media are a few ways you can take up ‘arms’ in this battle.
There is no greater truth than the younger generation are the leaders of tomorrow – in thought and in acts. The seeds we sow in them today would determine whether the polity will withstand the madness of ignorance that may rear its head tomorrow. I am grateful – always – to my dear mother who sweated her youth to give me and my siblings a worthy education. I am a reflection of that today, likewise my siblings. The ripple effect of that stellar education I once received is what breeds this advocacy today. And for every child who fortune smiles at that receives a sound education, another ripple effect begins. In no time, praiseworthy values, principles and thoughts would be entrenched in our society.
I conclude on this: Education is a right, just like any entitled right that man has. We must do all that is within our strengths to see to it that every child is not deprived of this right. And more so, after we have fought the good fight and when every whelp is certain of receiving education, we may then begin the war that QUALITY EDUCATION must NOT be a privilege.

Johannes Tobi Wojuola is a Capitalfield Human Rights Ambassador. He can be reached on .

Views expressed are solely that of author and soes not represent views of nor its associates