Ali Modu Sheriff walks out on Jonathan at PDP peace meeting

Ali Modu Sheriff, chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Thursday walked out of a stakeholders’ meeting organised by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Sheriff, who got to the venue of the meeting a few minutes after Jonathan, delivered his remarks before departing with members of his national working committee around 4:15pm.

Cairo Ojougboh, deputy national chairman, and Mikko Bernard, publicity secretary, were among those who left with him.

Addressing reporters before leaving, Sheriff expressed displeasure for not being allowed to make the opening remarks.

“We are here for PDP stakeholders meeting and the PDP has only one national chairman, which is Ali Modu Sheriff,” he said.

“There is no PDP meeting that will take place under whatever arrangement that will not open the session as national chairman. Today, I’m the most senior member of this party.”

He also said he would not be party to anything outside the report submitted to him by the national reconciliation committee led by Seriake Dickson, governor of Bayelsa state.

“I think Gov Dickson made a proposal for reconciliation that we have accepted. Some people want to deviate from this programme, to bring agenda which was not part of it,” he said.

“As national chairman of the party, what I told you in my office when Dickson brought the report is the only thing that we have agreed to at this moment.

“I will not be party to anybody using me to do another programme. I’m not going to be part of it.”

Asked about the way forward for the party, Sheriff said: “As the national chairman of PDP, I will move on with the programmes initiated by Gov. Dickson.

“We are continuing with that; anything outside that, I’m not a party to it.”

However, the meeting continued in his absence.

Speaking after the parley, Jonathan regretted the action of Sheriff, but said the issues would be addressed when the committee presents its recommendations.

Sheriff and Makarfi were scheduled to deliver goodwill messages at the meeting.

Some of the members present were Tom Ikimi, a former minister; Uche Secondus, former acting chairman of the party; Olisa Metuh, ex-PDP spokesman; Saminu Turaki, former governor of Jigawa state and Adolphus Wabara, ex-Senate president.

Also present were some PDP governors, former ministers, and the BoT members, among others.


Source: The Cable

I’ve never been linked to any certificate scandal – Goodluck Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan says he has never been linked to any “scandal or controversy” concerning his academic qualifications.

Reacting to a publication which named him among ‘prominent Nigerians with certificate scandal’, Jonathan said there is no justification for his inclusion.

Speaking through his media adviser, Ikechukwu Eze, Jonathan said his academic qualifications can be veirified at the schools he attended.

The former president noted that his classmates from primary school to the university were still alive to corroborate his attendance.

“Our attention has been drawn to a story by a national newspaper of March 26 edition where Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was mentioned as one of the ‘prominent Nigerians with certificate scandals’,” the statement read.

“We really don’t know where this is coming from, but we wish to remain unambiguous in our assertion that this is obvious falsehood, since the former president has never been linked to any doubt, scandal or controversy concerning his academic qualifications.

“We are not aware of any probe, allegation or litigation relating to his very well known academic qualifications. For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to restate that President Jonathan’s educational records can easily be traced to St Michael’s Primary School, Oloibiri and Mater Dei High School, lmiringi, where he obtained his first school leaving certificate (FSLC) and General Certificate of Education (GCE), Ordinary Level respectively, as well as the University of Port Harcourt, where he received his Bachelor of Science, Master and Doctoral degrees.

“Luckily, many of President Jonathan’s classmates from primary school through the university are still alive and are traceable.

“It is therefore obvious that there is no justification for this abstruse association, as there is nothing linking the former president to the story.

“Again, we advise media organisations to always cross check their facts in order to avoid falling for the convenient choice of publishing false information.”


Source: The Cable

Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan Challenges Political Leaders On Accountability

The former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, has challenged those in political leadership to commit to making a difference in the lives of the people.

Dr. Jonathan was speaking when he visited the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, at the Government House, Port Harcourt, the state capital.

He also commended the governor for his developmental strides in the state, after which he expressed gratitude to Nigerians for accepting his person (Jonathan) even after leaving office.


Source: Channels TV

Jonathan trying to distract us from rescuing Chibok girls – Lai Mohammed

Minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has accused former President Goodluck Jonathan of trying to distract the current administration from securing the release of the Chibok schoolgirls.

In a statement issued on Monday by Segun Adeyemi, his media aide, Mohammed urged Jonathan to stop engaging in “finger-pointing” over the abduction.

He was reacting to Jonathan’s statement in which he said, “Some people who have obviously been playing politics with the issue of the Chibok girls will stop at nothing to further their interest”.

The former president said this while reacting to reports that he rejected an offer by the British government to rescue the girls.

But Mohammed said Jonathan’s statement was “an unnecessary distraction from ongoing efforts to secure the release of the girls who remain in captivity, long after they were abducted”.

“While former President Jonathan reserves the right to defend his administration, he should not engage in finger-pointing by saying, in a statement, that ‘some people who have obviously been playing politics with the issue of the Chibok girls will stop at nothing to further their interest’, Mohammed said.

He said “if anyone ever played politics with the issue of Chibok girls, it was the administration under whose watch the girls were abducted”.

“After the girls were kidnapped and the Jonathan administration did nothing for all of 15 days or make any determined efforts to rescue them thereafter, our party, the then opposition APC, told the nation several times that the whole Boko Haram crisis was allowed to escalate by the PDP-controlled federal government so they can use it as a political tool ahead of the 2015 elections,” Mohammed said.

“In a statement on 8 September 2014, we said: ‘President Jonathan-PDP’s political manipulation of the Boko Haram has to be understood as part of its poker-like calculus for clinging on to political power ahead of
the 2015 elections. The Boko Haram crisis is readily used by the PDP to rationalise the Jonathan government’s abdication of its constitutional responsibilities, including visits and assistance to areas affected as well as effective response to abductions (eg the GEJ government was silent over the Chibok girls kidnaps for over 15 days).’

“Two-and-a-half years after that statement, we have been vindicated by the report that claimed President Jonathan rebuffed an attempt by the British government to help rescue the girls. We hope the former President will now refrain from stoking further controversy over the lingering abduction issue and allow the government of the day to focus on its ongoing negotiations to secure the release of the Chibok

The girls – about 273 – were abducted from a dormitory at Chibok in Borno state on April 14, 2014. Dozens of them have returned, but 192 are still in captivity.


Source: The Cable

The Observer: How Goodluck Jonathan rejected British offer to rescue Chibok girls

British armed forces offered to attempt to rescue nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, but were rebuffed by Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s president at the time, the Observer has learned.

In a mission named Operation Turus, the RAF conducted air reconnaissance over northern Nigeria for several months, following the kidnapping of 276 girls from the town of Chibok in April 2014. “The girls were located in the first few weeks of the RAF mission,” a source involved in Operation Turus told the Observer. “We offered to rescue them, but the Nigerian government declined.”

The girls were then tracked by the aircraft as they were dispersed into progressively smaller groups over the following months, the source added.

Chibok is located in Nigeria’s north-eastern Borno state. Today 195 of the girls are still missing. Those who have managed to escape from their kidnappers have told of a life of torture, enslavement, rape, and forced marriages in captivity.

Notes from meetings between UK and Nigerian officials, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, also suggest that Nigeria shunned international offers to rescue the girls. While Nigeria welcomed an aid package and assistance from the US, the UK and France in looking for the girls, it viewed any action to be taken against kidnapping as a “national issue”.

“Nigeria’s intelligence and military services must solve the ultimate problem,” said Jonathan in a meeting with the UK’s then Africa minister, Mark Simmonds, on 15 May 2014.

A document summarising a meeting in Abuja in September 2014 between Nigeria’s national security adviser and James Duddridge MP, former under-secretary of state at the Foreign Office, shows Operation Turus had advanced to the point where rescue options were being discussed. Minutes from a meeting the following month between Major-General James Chiswell and Jonathan hinted at the frustration felt by those trying to prompt some action from Nigeria.

“[President] Jonathan was still focused on ‘platforms’. General Chiswell said again we could offer advice on what equipment might make sense and how weapon systems might be best deployed,” the October 2014 document stated.

The Nigerian government did not respond to a request for comment. The Foreign Office said: “We wouldn’t comment on specific operational details, which are a matter for the Nigerian government and military.”

Jonathan has drawn criticism at home and abroad for a lack of action and perceived apathy over the kidnappings. The government was slow to mount any response in the weeks after the girls were taken. The governor of Borno, Kashim Shettima, also publicly criticised Jonathan for failing to even call him or any other state official for 19 days after the kidnappings. Jonathan also hit out at the worldwide #BringBackOurGirls campaign, branding it a “manipulation” of the victims of the attack.

Boko Haram had raided the dormitories of the government secondary school at Chibok. The girls staying there had braved warnings of an attack to sit their final examinations. Boko Haram looted the school and then burned it to the ground. The kidnappings also blighted the lives of the girls from the town who were not taken away, as many have been too scared to continue their education.

In addition to Nigeria, Boko Haram is active in regions of Cameroon, Chad and Niger. According to Unicef, more than 1.3 million children have now been displaced. Some of those taken by Boko Haram have been forced to become child soldiers: one in five suicide bombers in Nigeria are believed to be children, and three-quarters of those are girls.


Source: The Guardian


“I did not endorse Sheriff”, Goodluck Jonathan denies.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has denied endorsing Ali Modu Sheriff as the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Since Friday when the appeal court recognised Sheriff as chairman of the opposition party, he has been consulting stakeholders.

He visited Ibrahim Babangida, former military ruler, over the weekend, and was with Jonathan on Monday.

After the meeting, there were reports that Jonathan had endorsed the PDP leader. But in a statement issued on his behalf by Ikechukwu Eze, his media aide, the former president said he only received Sheriff in the interest of peace.

The statement said Jonathan met Ahmed Makarfi, chairman of the other faction of the PDP, and Walid Jibrin, chairman of the party’s board of trustees (BoT), after Sheriff left.

“Jonathan as a former president and foremost leader of the party welcomed Sheriff and some of his supporters to his house, in line with a mediation role he is playing towards unifying and strengthening the PDP,” Eze said in a statement.

“Indeed, it may interest you to know that after meeting with Sheriff, the former president also met with Senator Ahmed Makarfi, leader of the PDP caretaker committee, and the party’s board of trustees chairman, Senator Walid Jubril, later in the evening.

“As a peace-loving leader of the party, the former president’s interest is to help reposition PDP to enable it play a constructive role in the affairs of the nation, in view of the imperative of deepening the nation’s democracy.

“I wish to let those spinning this falsehood know that it just doesn’t add up to fly a contrived banner of endorsement in one breath, and in another, concede that the former president explained his commitment in meeting with different interest groups, towards resolving the differences in the party.”

Eze reproduced the  exact words of Jonathan in the meeting with Sheriff.

He also appreciated the interest shown in covering activities of Jonathan, but urged journalists to avoid misleading the public.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the following are the former president’s exact words during the interview with newsmen, as had accurately been reported by most online and major national newspapers, as well as broadcast organisations: ‘We (PDP) are not factionalised. We are one. We are solving our problems. There are bound to be differences in politics. It is the way we resolve these differences that make us human beings and that is what makes us leaders. I have met with Sheriff. And I have met with others.

“While we appreciate the interest of journalists in the coverage of the activities of the former president, we urge accurate and constructive reporting, as it is a known fact that we cannot truly develop our nation, if journalists continue to twist and fabricate stories with the intent of misinforming the public.”


Source: The Cable

PDP Will Win In 2019 – Goodluck Jonathan

The Peoples Democratic Party remains Nigeria’s strongest and biggest party despite losing the 2015 presidential election and will win the next general election, former President Goodluck Jonathan has said.

Mr. Jonathan said current efforts at reforming the party are “a clear sign” the PDP will win in 2019.

The former president said this on Monday in Abuja while receiving a report from the Strategy Review and Inter-Party Affairs Committee of the PDP.

“Yes we lost the presidential election, but that doesn’t diminish us. Every other party still knows that PDP is a leading party,” said Mr. Jonathan who received the team in his House in Abuja.

“Losing the presidency is something temporary. We should be able to get that position back as long as we are able to get our acts together. I am happy that you people are working towards that,” he said.

Mr. Jonathan was the party’s candidate in the 2015 election but lost to the then opposition candidate, Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

The former president also said that direct primary, especially under presidential system of government, was the ultimate and best way of selecting candidates for elections.

He, however, remarked that the greatest problem was how to manage the direct primaries.

He said that for a party like the PDP, with membership across all polling units, it meant that voting would take place at wards or local government levels.

“The best way to stop imposition is to make sure that people don’t control the delegates.

“How to select delegate is that at least 70 percent of the delegates should not be under the control of anybody.”

Mr. Jonathan said if the party could not do direct primaries, it should make sure that it increased the number of statutory delegates with people who had held elected or party offices at different levels.

He said that the party could come up with criteria where its national chairman, state chairpersons, Senators and others in offices that control the government were made statutory delegates.

“All these group of people, if they are still in the party, should be automatic delegates.

“These are people that are known by everybody and nobody can go and manipulate them or their names.

“By the time we have a reasonable number of statutory delegates who are more than 75 per cent of total delegates that will vote, then, it will be difficult for somebody to go and manipulate the list,” he said.

Mr. Jonathan commended the committee for the report as well as the Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee for the vision in setting up the committee.

“This is the only way to strengthen political parties. It is a clear sign that PDP will win in 2019,” he said.

Presenting the report earlier, Chairman of the committee, Jerry Gana, said that they had submitted the report to the party leadership last Tuesday and were directed to submit a copy to the former president.

Mr. Gana said the report contained thoughtful recommendations that would help PDP to be strong and win future elections.

Strong institutions

Mr. Jonathan also said that building strong institutions is key in the development of a nation.

He said that he had the strong belief that for a nation to grow, its institutions must be very strong.

“There is no way a nation will grow with weak institutions, because everything about politics is about the people, not about the individuals.

“As long you are interested in the people, you are interested in the growth of the society and the development of the nation.

“The only thing that will make this possible is that the institutions must be strong.

“You see as powerful as America, look at President Donald Trump’s decision and the court said ‘no you can’t do this’ and of course, they have to shoot down the decision to move forward.

“That is the strength of an institution. That is the only way individuals could be regulated so that you can grow,” Mr. Jonathan said.

Mild drama as ex-president Jonathan visits Obasanjo’s village

There was mild drama in the Ibogun hometown of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Ogun state, on Friday, when ex-President Goodluck Jonathan came visiting.

The immediate past president arrived Ibogun to a warm reception by members of the community. The people sang, danced, and lined up the streets to welcome the august visitor.

Accompanied by Olagunsonye Oyinlola, former governor of Osun state, and some of his former aides, Jonathan waved back at the crowd.

He headed to the residence of his estranged benefactor, but known for his unpredictable lifestyle, Obasanjo acted as if he was not expecting him.

The elder statesman continued enjoying a local game he was playing with a friend until Jonathan sat nearby.

After exchanging pleasantries, both men went into a private meeting.

At the end of the meeting, Obasanjo thanked Jonathan for finding time to visit him, joking that the trip afforded Jonathan the opportunity to relax like he had never done since he left office.

“I want to thank you very sincerely for taking it upon yourself to pay us a visit at this point in time and at this location,” Obasanjo said.

“Since you left office, you hardly have time to sit down and relax like you have been able to do today and I hope and pray for more such relaxed situation where we can reminiscence situations of the past that we have been through in this country, and also look at what the future portends.

“When leaders come, they have little or no experience, when they have to go is when they have really amassed  a lot of experience, where they have wisdom, they are experienced  to be in high demand, those people  like you and me who have the grace of God to bow out gracefully, if there is no what I call constitutional office, we have residual responsibilities for Nigeria.”

Jonathan and Obasanjo in Ogun

Obasanjo said he believed that both of them were in position to offer the world their experiences when there is need to do so.

He told Jonathan that they needed to contribute their own quota to the development of the world.

“I believe that not only Nigeria, and Africa and indeed the world will continue to tap into our experiences, our wisdom and I hope and pray that when the call is made to you, you will be more than ready to put your experience into the service of this country, Africa and humanity in general,” he said.

“I have said to you before and I will say again that there are plenty of opportunities out there, within the country, within West Africa, within African and indeed in the larger world where people will want you to make contributions.

“I believe that you are resting now and when you have fully rested and you will be hearing from me because I have had the opportunity to have gone around the world.

“My regards to everybody at home, especially your wife, please tell her that my wife sends her regards and I hope sooner or later we will be in your part of the world to enjoy the atmosphere together.”

Jonathan said he had it in mind to visit Obasanjo during the Christmas break. He expressed delight meeting Obasanjo, and thanked him for the hospitality.

Jonathan’s relationship with his benefactor went sour after Obasanjo wrote an open letter to him in 2013. The situation got worse when the elder statesman refused to endorse the re-election bid of the Ijaw leader.

Obasanjo was critical of  Jonathan in the electioneering period. He accused Jonathan of plotting to win the election by hook or crook.

How Goodluck Jonathan benefited from Malabu oil deal kickback – AFP

Italian prosecutors have alleged that Nigeria’s former president Goodluck Jonathan and his oil minister received kickbacks as part of a $1.3 billion deal involving oil giants ENI and Shell.

Court documents filed late last month in the city of Milan and seen by AFP outline a case against 11 people, including senior executives from the two oil majors and the companies themselves.

Jonathan, who left office in May 2015, and Diezani Alison-Madueke, his long-time petroleum minister who was also the first woman president of OPEC, do not feature on the list.

But they are alleged to have played a central role in the deal, which saw ENI and Shell make a $1.3 billion payment in 2011 for an offshore oil block in Nigeria.

No formal charges have been brought and the parties usually have 20 days to respond to the conclusion of the preliminary investigation report before any formal prosecution.

ENI chief executive Claudio Descalzi and his predecessor Paolo Scaroni met Jonathan “in person” to thrash out the deal, which also involved former British intelligence agents working as advisors for Shell, it was alleged.

Prosecutors allege ENI and Shell executives worked with Nigerian businessman Dan Etete, who was oil minister under the military ruler Sani Abacha from 1995 to 1998.

Etete’s company Malabu was the “fraudulent holder” of the OPL 245 block, according to the court documents.

After talks in Milan and Abuja, the block was bought illegally by the oil majors in contravention of domestic laws, “without competitive tendering” and with “full, unconditional exemption from all national taxes”, prosecutors said.

A total of $801.5 million was allegedly transferred to Etete’s Malabu accounts, of which $466 million was converted into cash in Nigeria and used for remunerating government officials, including Jonathan and Alison-Madueke, prosecutors said.

A further $54 million was withdrawn by Abubakar Aliyu, whom prosecutors describe as an “agent” of Jonathan.

The beneficiaries of the money went on a shopping spree buying “property, aeroplanes, armoured cars,” prosecutors added.

– ‘No basis’ for prosecution –

ENI and Royal Dutch Shell have both denied wrongdoing.

Shell said in an email: “We are aware of the investigation and we hope to show the prosecutor that there is no basis to prosecute Shell.

“Shell takes this matter seriously and is co-operating with the authorities.”

Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has also recently pressed charges in connection with the same oil block deal.

Charges were “filed towards the end of last year”, EFCC spokesman Wilson Uwujaren told AFP, without elaborating.

Anti-corruption campaigners view the case as a classic example of graft in Nigeria but also an indication of the difficulty in tackling the problem when it crosses international borders.

Alison-Madueke is facing a flurry of graft allegations in Nigeria and was arrested by Britain’s National Crime Agency on suspicion of bribery and money laundering in 2015.

She has denied the allegations.

Last week, the Federal High Court in Lagos ordered Alison-Madueke to temporary forfeit $153 million that was allegedly syphoned from state coffers.

For his part, Jonathan has denied that his government was corrupt and contested his successor Muhammadu Buhari’s claim that he inherited a “virtually empty” treasury.

Buhari secured a historic first win for an opposition leader in Nigeria’s history when he defeated Jonathan in presidential elections in March 2015.

He campaigned on a platform to target endemic corruption and has said “mind-boggling” sums of money have been stolen from the public purse.

His government has arrested a series of high-ranking officials from Jonathan’s administration on corruption charges but few have been convicted.

BREAKING: Security operatives raid house belonging to Goodluck Jonathan’s brother.

Security operatives, Wednesday evening, laid siege to an Abuja house belonging to a brother-in-law to Nigeria’s former president Goodluck Jonathan, sources close to the former leader confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES.


The house is located in Maitama, one of the enclaves of Nigeria’s rich in Abuja.


The spokespersons for the headquarters and Abuja command of the police said they were not aware of the operation, but security sources confirmed that police officers in uniform carried out the raid.


According to our sources, the operatives searched all the rooms in the house.


The house was allegedly bought for her brother by Patience Jonathan, who was said to be in Port Harcourt when the raid occurred on Wednesday.


Although Mrs. Jonathan has been having a running battle with the anti-graft agency, EFCC, over the ownership of a controversial $15 million, sources at the commission said the EFCC did not carry out the raid.


More details to follow…


Source: Premium Times

CORRUPTION: Jonathan’s men, women on the run – Ebuka Onyeji

A former governor of Delta State, James Ibori, who evaded arrest in Nigeria was recently released from a London prison where he served term for money laundering. Mr. Ibori had escaped to Dubai to avoid being arrested in Nigeria. He was, however extradited to the UK from the UAE, at the request of British authorities.

Like Mr. Ibori, there are other former Nigerian political office holders who have fled the country to avoid arrests and potential prosecutions for corruption.

PREMIUM TIMES reviews some of these persons, most ex-public officials, who served in the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

These include ex-ministers, aides and associates of Mr. Jonathan

They left the country under differ­ent pretences, ranging from the need for medical care to pursuit of higher education abroad.


Diezani Alison-Madueke held the position of petroleum minister under Mr. Jonathan. She was one of the most powerful public officials in the administration.

A former director at Shell, Mrs. Alison-Madueke was first appointed into the federal cabinet in 2007 as Minister of Transport by late President Umaru Yar’Adua. In December 2008, she was redeployed to the Mines and Steel Development ministry. After former Vice President Goodluck Jonathan became acting president, Mrs. Alison-Madueke was appointed Nigeria’s first female petroleum minister in February 2010, a position she held till May 29, 2015 when Mr. Jonathan left office. Mrs. Alison-Madueke’s tenure as petroleum minister turned out one of Nigeria’s most controversial, amidst unending allegations of corruption.

Diezani Alison-Madueke
Diezani Alison-Madueke

Corruption allegations: Under her watch, probes by independent audit firms, including the KPMG, confirmed billions of Naira of oil money was mismanaged. The then Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi, alleged in 2014 that the missing money was about $20 billion.

Also, long before her time superintending the oil and gas sector, Mrs. Alison-Madueke was investigated by the Nigerian Senate on allegation she irregularly paid N30.9 billion to contractors as transport minister. In 2009, the Senate also indicted Mrs. Alison-Madueke and recommended her for prosecution for allegedly transferring N1.2 billion into a private account of a toll company without due process. The former minister consistently denied any wrongdoing.

She is also enmeshed in various scandals surrounding the sale or lease of Nigeria’s oil blocks.

Former President, Goodluck Jonathan
Former President, Goodluck Jonathan

In October last year, she was arrested in London along with others by the UK National Crime Agency. A few hours after her arrest, Nigeria’s EFCC operatives raided her Abuja home, located in the Asokoro district of the federal capital city, and sealed the property, after they reportedly recovered expensive jewelleries and other items from the building.

Mrs. Alison-Madueke is believed to be in the United Kingdom where in 2015 she received treatment for cancer.

Accomplices: Two separate intelligence reports identified one Donald Chidi Amamgbo as a key figure in Mrs. Alison-Madueke’s alleged money laundering activities. Another of her close business ally, Jide Omokore, is already being tried for corruption by the EFCC.

Other businessmen like Kola Aluko, Kolawale Akane and Walter Wagbatsoma were also named as close collaborators in the former minister’s suspected web of illicit financial activities. The former minister’s mother, Beatrice Agama; her son, Ugonna Madueke; and a Swiss, Melanie Spencer, were also among people she was arrested with in the UK.


Mohammed Adoke is Nigeria’s immediate past Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice. A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, he was appointed into the office on April 6, 2010, when the then Acting President Goodluck Jonathan announced a new cabinet.

As the chief law officer of the country, he wielded enormous powers,especially because he had supervisory control over prominent law enforcement agencies such as the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Mr. Adoke was one of the first set of top officials in the Jonathan administration to flee the country a few days after President Muhammadu Buhari took over on May 29, 2015.

Bello Adoke
Bello Adoke

Supposed hideout: Mr. Adoke has stated that he left Nigeria for the Netherlands to pursue a law programme at the prestigious Leiden University.

Corruption Charges: Mr. Adoke has been fingered in at least three major multi-billion dollar deals. They include the $1.1 billion Malabu oil payment deal; $2.1 billion arms fund diversion and recently, the alleged diversion of $1.6 billion local government judgment fund.

The EFCC filed charges of money laundering and fraud against Mr. Adoke and others on December 20 at the Federal High Court, Abuja, in respect of the Malabu oil deal at the centre of which is Dan Etete, a former minister of petroleum under the late Sani Abacha. Mr. Adoke, however, responded to the charges by pledging to make himself available for trial.

Alleged accomplices: Former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and former petroleum minister, Dan Etete.


Kingsley Kuku was Special Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan on Niger Delta Affairs. He was also the Chair­man of the Presidential Amnesty Programme. He was one of those who left the country soon after President Buhari took over.

Mr. Kuku is suspected to be in the U.S. He has, however, insisted that he only travelled to on medical grounds.

Kingsley Kuku
Kingsley Kuku

The EFCC in July 2015 summoned Mr. Kuku for question­ing over alleged embezzlement and fraudulent diversion of funds running into hundreds of millions of Naira in the Amnesty Office. Mr. Kuku was asked to appear before the EFCC on July 28, 2015 but requested to be allowed to honour the invitation on September 30, 2015. A letter by Mr. Kuku’s lawyers to the EFCC said the former presidential aide was undergoing surgery on one of his knees. He has, however, continued to seek protection from the courts and has since been at large.

In his defence, Mr. Kuku alleged that investigation by the anti-graft agency into the amnesty funds was a calculated attempt to smear his name. Speaking through his media aide, Yemi Akintomide, in Akure, Mr. Kuku said the EFCC was too much in a hurry to nail him on corruption charges through media trial, even when he had not appeared before the agency’s investigators.

Alleged accomplices: Henry Ugbolue and Lawrence Pepple, both former aides to Mr. Kuku.


Government Ekpemupolo is a former militant commander of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND. For years, Tompolo joined forces with various guerrilla groups in the Niger Delta agitating against the alleged exploitation and degra­dation of the oil-rich region by the Federal Government and international oil companies.

He, however, embraced the amnesty programme on October 4, 2009, to allow for peace, and for the govern­ment and the oil companies to carry out development projects in the region. Though not a public office holder under the Jonathan admin­istration, he wielded enormous powers and influence as one of the power brokers in that administration.

Corruption Charges: According to the EFCC which has since declared him wanted, the 47-year-old Tompolo is want­ed in a case of conspiracy and illegal diversion of the sum of N34, 000,000,000 (Thirty Four Bil­lion Naira) belonging to the Nige­rian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA.

Tompolo Photo:

The former DG of NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi, who was said to have been nominated for the office by Tompolo, is already being prosecuted for his alleged role in the scam.

Tompolo has denied involvement in the N34 billion fraud. The denial was contained in one of his many recent open letters to President Buhari from his hideout.

“The truth of the mat­ter is that I do not know anything about the 34 billion naira EFCC is talking about. First, it was 13-bil­lion naira (N13bn) issue, now it is 34 billion naira (N34bn). I am not a signatory to any of the compa­nies mentioned in the said N34bn case, so I do not know where this one is coming from”, he said in one of the letters.

Alleged Accomplices: Mr. Akpobolokemi and his six brothers.

They are Igo Akpobolokemi, Julius Akpobolokemi, Victor Akpobolokemi, Norbert Akpobolokemi, Emmanuel Akpobolokemi and Clement Akpobolokemi. Companies listed in the charge by the EFCC are Mieka Dive Training Institute Ltd/GTE, Oyeinteke Global Network Ltd, Wabod Global Resources Ltd, Boloboere Properties Estate Ltd, Gokaid Marine Oil and Gas Ltd and Watershed Associated Resources.

They were however declared as being “now at large” when the charges were read.


Abdulrasheed Maina, a former Chairman of Pension Reform Task Team, was a close ally of Mr. Jonathan. He is wanted by the EFCC for of­fences bordering on procurement fraud and obtaining by false pretence.

The EFCC on November 18, 2015 wrote the Inspector-General of Police for assistance to get the INTERPOL to issue a world-wide alert on Mr. Maina. In response, the Commissioner of Police in charge of INTERPOL, Olusola Subair, stated that the INTERPOL had placed a red alert on the fugitive at its general secretariat in Lyon, France. Meanwhile, the EFCC is of the view that Mr. Maina might be hiding at the United Arab Emirates.

Former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team
Abdulrasheed Maina, Former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team

According to information on the EFCC website, Mr. Maina is allegedly complicit in the over N2 billion Pensions Biometric scam in the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation. He remains at large, after charges were filed against his alleged accomplices, includ­ing a former Head of Service of the Federation, Steve Orosanye.

Speaking from hiding through his lawyer, Olajide Olaoye, Mr. Maina disputed the fact that he is wanted by the EFCC for any crime. However, as at press time, his picture and details are still on EFCC website as one of its wanted suspects.

Alleged Accomplices: Steve Orosanye, former Head of Civil Service; Osarenkhoe Afe; Federick Hamilton Global Services Limited, Cluster Logistic Limited; Kangolo Dynamic Cleaning Limited; and Drew Investment& Construction Company Limited.


Bello Fadile is a retired colonel of the Nigerian Army. He was a close confidant of former National Se­curity Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and a Director of Special Duties in the office of the National Secu­rity Adviser, ONSA under Mr. Dasuki.

Bello Fadile

Mr. Fadile is being investigated for his alleged role in the $2.1 billion arms scandal for which various persons close to Mr. Jonathan and the PDP have either been arrested or are being prosecuted.

Messrs. Dasuki and Fadile were placed under house arrest by the State Security Service, DSS, in July 2015 after which Mr. Da­suki was arrested and still remains in the custody of the SSS despite several court orders.

Mr. Fadile’s whereabouts is unknown but he is said to be currently in the U.S.

Alleged accomplice: Former NSA boss, Sambo Dasuki.


Two legal practitioners spoke with PREMIUM TIMES on how the suspects can be treated by the Nigerian government.

“There is nothing wrong with our legal system which comprises various institutions and laws to effectively fight corruption, especially economic crimes.,” a lawyer, Akunne Nzube, said.

“But these laws are not effectively interpreted and implemented by the requisite institutions, including the judiciary. This deficiency is apparent in the James Ibori’s trial here in Nigeria, which ended in an acquittal and his subsequent conviction in the UK.

Former NSA Sambo Dasuki and others arraigned over misappropriation at the FCT High Court in Abuja
Former NSA Sambo Dasuki and others arraigned over misappropriation at the FCT High Court in Abuja

“The renewed enthusiasm of this present administration to restore these institutions to combat graft effectively is being hampered by the difficulties in getting the suspects extradited to face trial.”

The activist said although he sees “nothing wrong with our anti-graft laws and institutions, save for issue of inefficiency.

“But in the circumstance, I’m constrained to make the following suggestions to aid this present administration in the fight against corruption: The Legal authorities should consider alternatives like using immigration laws in foreign countries to have fugitives deported as illegal immigrant.

“They can also try whether civil legal action could be taken to sue former officials hiding overseas. Nigeria must either reform the existing institutions (including the agencies and the courts) fighting corruption for efficient and effective results or establish an emergency expeditious corruption trial bill and laws and special anti-graft courts.”

Another lawyer, Frank Obi, expressed a contrary view saying the suspects remained innocent until declared guilty by a court.

“An accused person should be presumed innocent until otherwise declared by a court of competent jurisdiction.

“The duty of the prosecutor is to prosecute and not to persecute. I suggest the judiciary be allowed to perform its role quietly without undue interference,” he said.

Despite the pressure, I won’t run for president in 2019 – Jonathan

Former president, Goodluck Jonathan, has denied reports that he would contest the 2019 presidential election.

There were reports that Mr. Jonathan who left office last year following his defeat by President Muhammadu Buhari in the March 28, 2015 presidential election, was under pressure to return to power.

Vanguard newspaper quoted Ikechukwu Eze, media aide to Mr. Jonathan as saying in a statement that his principal had no plan to contest the 2019 presidential poll.

Mr. Eze said the former president did not at anytime declare an intention to contest, describing it as mere “fabrication.”

The statement said “Our attention has just been drawn to a fabricated online publication alleging that the former President Goodluck Jonathan made comments on the 2019 elections, while hosting his kinsmen in Otuoke last Tuesday.

“Those reports are false and bear no truth whatsoever. The former President was not in Otuoke on Tuesday, neither did he make the comments attributed to him. In fact, he has only just returned to his community to spend Christmas having been away for two weeks, so he could not have been hosting anyone there last Tuesday.

“Of what good is it to our national development efforts if some people spend so much energy spreading falsehood about fellow citizens and our nation?

The statement also said the former president wished “his fellow compatriots a merry Christmas and prosperous New Year in advance, and advises all to always channel their efforts towards working to attain the nation of our collective dreams.”

Mr. Jonathan, who was a candidate of the People Democratic Party lost to Mr. Buhari, the flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress.

Mr. Buhari won 15.4 million votes against Mr. Jonathan’s 13.3 million.

The former president had called Mr. Buhari to concede defeat ending the 16 years of the PDP rule.

I’m Under Pressure to Contest for Presidency in 2019 – Goodluck Jonathan Reveals.

Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has said he is under intense pressure to contest in the upcoming 2019 presidential election.
Speaking while addressing his kinsmen who paid him an end of year visit in his hometown, Otueke in Bayelsa State on Wednesday, former President Goodluck Jonathan, reportedly disclosed that he is under intense pressure to contest the 2019 presidential election.
According to a reports, the former president said he has been receiving calls, messages and e-mails from both local and international groups, asking him to contest in 2019.
Jonathan, however, said he is not thinking of contesting for now, as he believes he has done his best for the country while in service, adding that he believes that his successor(s) would continue from where he stopped.
Recall that since leaving office after he lost to President Muhamamdu Buhari in the last general election, Jonathan’s profile internationally has risen, and there have speculations that Jonathan may stage a comeback bid in 2019, but he has now finally laid those rumours to rest.

Residents of Jonathan’s hometown, Otuoke, beg Bayelsa government to repair road.

Residents of Otuoke in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa have appealed to the state government to repair the Otuoke-Onuebum road which has been in a deplorable condition.

Otuoke is the hometown of former President Goodluck Jonathan who led Nigeria for five years (2000 – 2015) after he had served as deputy governor and governor of Bayelsa for eight years.

Bad and non-motorable roads are not limited to Otuoke or Bayelsa, but present in every part of Nigeria.

The residents made the appeal in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Otuoke on Sunday.

Ologi Damiete told NAN that the condition of the road had become worse since the last rainy season as vehicles now found it difficult to pass through.

Mr. Damiete, a staff of the Federal University, Otuoke, FUO, appealed to the state government to come to the aid of the residents by fixing the road.

“The condition of this road has become worse since the flood that submerged the whole community and there has not been any preventive measure to forestall future occurrence.

“We are expecting the government to put necessary measures in place to guard against future occurrence.

“Students of FUO have resumed for the new semester and they have been finding it difficult moving in and out of the community.

“I am calling on all the relevant authorities to look into the matter because we has become unbearable. Our vehicles have been damaged because of the road,” he said.

Another resident, Oweifa Debekeme, urged the state government to make more efforts toward checking flooding in the state, pointing out that flood had destroyed many roads in the state.

He said that the people were suffering and government had the responsibility to alleviate their agony by providing roads and other infrastructure for them.

A taxi driver plying the road, Babatunde Adeola, said the road was already in a bad shape before the flood destroyed it completely.

Mr. Adeola called on the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to also help repair the road to alleviate the plight of the people.

He implored the Bayelsa Government to come to the aid of the people of Otuoke and Onuebum communities as well as students and staff of the university.

He said the youth in the communities now help by sand-filling the bad portions on regular basis, adding that “commercial drivers now pay them for that”.

Rotimi Amaechi: the Knife that Tore the Umbrella, By Majeed Dahiru

In an atmosphere of extreme sectionalism that pervades the Nigerian political culture, it is better to keep the home front united behind you, irrespective of political differences. The same friends cheering Amaechi on today will exploit the faultline in his home base to undermine him while using his public display of impunity to discredit him, in the case of a power struggle that may most certainly arise within the APC.

Frontline Niger Delta region’s oil producing Rivers State, host to leading multi-national oil companies, as well as the largest oil and gas infrastructure in Nigeria, is truly the treasure base of Africa’s second largest oil producer. Nigeria’s economy is heavily dependent on oil and gas export earnings (90 percent). It is not always gloomy in the Niger Delta. Oil producing states benefit significantly from the natural resource endowments of their land. A constitutionally guaranteed 13 percent derivation payable to oil producing states have put them ahead of other states in terms of financial resources. Rivers State is the most important of all the oil producing states.


Although the third largest oil producing state, it derives enormous resources from taxes as the host of the highest number of oil multinationals and oil and gas infrastructure in Nigeria. The state also has the largest population of all the Niger Delta coastal states due to the numerous economic opportunities that abound within its borders. Nigeria’s political culture thrives on a corrupt patronage system of crass cronyism; therefore, Rivers State is very important in the power equation at the highest level of government. Whoever governs this very important state is very influential and powerful in the politics of Nigeria. This explains why democratic elections in Rivers State are usually intense and sometimes violent.


Rotimi Amaechi, former governor and current minister of transport, proved the importance of Rivers State in national politics in the 2015 presidential elections. Amaechi was the man who led the revolt of five PDP governors, resulting in the break-up of the then ruling party. His boldness and political astuteness endeared him to millions of Nigerians across the country but alienated him from his people on the home front because the man he worked against, former president Goodluck Jonathan, is a son of the soil. The needless disagreements between Amaechi and the first family, were as a result of the former president’s little understanding of the Nigerian political space; an area in which Amaechi had a clearer understanding.


The minister of transport lived yesterday in order to exist today. He looked beyond Goodluck Jonathan, the first Niger Delta president of Nigeria, as the ultimate destination of the Niger Delta people. Unlike so many Niger Delta politicians who became regional ethnic champions because one of their own was president, Amaechi remained faithful to the broad alliance that was the PDP, by maintaining a nationalistic posture and outlook without falling for the immediate but temporary gains of sectionalism. He refused to compromise his position as the Governors Forum chairman on sectional considerations, by being fiercely loyal and faithful to his colleagues and pressing hard for the implementation of the resolutions of the body, which were sometimes in conflict with then Goodluck administration. When resisted, he was defiant in a manner which his kinsman perceived as disloyalty, if not outright despise. Amaechi was also not ready to tolerate the meddlesomeness of the then ebullient and provincial first lady, Patient Jonathan; a Dame no man could tame, not even her husband.

However, Amaechi’s main adversary and nemesis will emerge from behind his own shadow – Ezenwo Nyesome Wike, his closest political ally, confidant and nominee into the Federal Executive Council (as minister of state for education). Wike is a man of proven ability in the grassroots politics of Rivers State. He was like the field marshal of the Amaechi political family. Like most Nigerian politicians, Wike was driven by personal ambition for power. The only problem was that his ambition to become governor did not fit into the equation of his leader’s permutation of power rotation in Rivers State. Amaechi, as then political leader of Rivers State, openly expressed the desirability of the governorship seat to rotate to the riverine area of the state after his tenure terminated. Wike, who like Amaechi, is from the upland area of the state, was nursing the ambition to be governor.

Amaechi refused to cave in but instead led the revolt of five PDP governors to join forces with other political associations to form the APC. Amaechi was the knife that ripped the umbrella. He became Jonathan’s ultimate nemesis. He knew so much about Jonathan and systemically exposed the former president’s weak points to millions of Nigerians who craved change.

Amaechi’s position on moving the seat of power in the state to the riverine areas was not to spite or shortchange Wike, but was only fair and consistent with PDP’S inherent zoning and power rotation pact. Driven by the burning fire of his political ambition, Wike who came to terms with the reality that he may stand no chance under the leadership of Amaechi, suddenly, in a deft move, pitched his tent with the first family. Goodluck Jonathan who was also nursing the ambition to become president a second time – an ambition which he suspected Amaechi may not support on account of the understanding that power should rotate back to the north – found a natural ally in Wike. Both men were united in their personal ambition over the common interest of the collective interest. This alliance further aggravated their dispute with Amaechi. Wike knew too much about his former boss and ally. He knew his weaknesses and strength and was able to deconstruct and demystify him at the highest echelon of power.


Goodluck Jonathan found in Nyesome Wike a trusted and reliable ally, and tied his presidential ambition to the governorship quest of Wike. In order to neutralise Amaechi and reduce his influence and power within the ruling PDP, the Godspower Ake-led Rivers State executive committee of the party was dissolved on the order of a federal high court sitting in Abuja. This was speedily obeyed and Wike installed the Felix Obuah-led caretaker executive committee. This move effectively made Wike the leader of the PDP in the state. The full weight of “federal might” was deployed to support Wike’s ambition. In the ensuing power tussle, Amaechi’s exercise of his authority and power as a governor were undermined by federal agencies on “orders from above”.


Amaechi refused to cave in but instead led the revolt of five PDP governors to join forces with other political associations to form the APC. Amaechi was the knife that ripped the umbrella. He became Jonathan’s ultimate nemesis. He knew so much about Jonathan and systemically exposed the former president’s weak points to millions of Nigerians who craved change. Amaechi’s rhetoric against Jonathan was perceived as an “insider’s account” and were largely held to be true. The deep purse of Rivers State was used to oil the electioneering wheel of APC’s Muhammadu Buhari effectively. Coming from Jonathan’s region, Amaechi’s revolt was very instrumental to uniting opposition forces against the former president, which led to his defeat at the polls. Amaechi achieved his ultimate goal, while Wike achieved his ultimate ambition of becoming governor. Jonathan lost out. The former president was fighting Wike’s war thinking it was his.

It’s risky to talk about Nigeria now, says Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday at Gbaramatu Kingdom, Delta State, said it is unsafe to talk about events and situation of things in Nigeria.

The reluctance of the former president to speak on national issues raises concern about his standing with the incumbent administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, which has accused many of his ministers, aides and party men of barefaced corruption during his six years of governance.

Against Buhari’s sustained onslaught, the expectation is for Jonathan to offer some explanation to dispel the heavy charge of corruption against him and his government. But the ex-President in pleading his constraints, said so much by saying nothing.

Jonathan who was special guest of honour at the presentation of staff of office to the 26th Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom, HRM Oboro Gbaraun II Aketekpe, Agadagba, said the country is passing through serious challenges and that making comments now about it is not the best thing to do.

He said Gbaramatu has been so associated with violence and militancy that most people would not believe that such a ceremony would be held peacefully in the kingdom. Jonathan said Nigeria is a country of resilient people and that the challenges facing the country would soon be over.

The former President lauded the Pere of Gbaramatu and urged the monarch to use his traditional stool to enthrone peace in the kingdom.

The presentation of staff of office is a follow up to the monarch’s selection, confirmation and installation as Pere of Gbaramatu kingdom after following due process as specified under section 8 of the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Edict of 1979 regulating succession to the throne.

Speaking during the event, the Ibe-Benemowei of Gbaramatu, Chief Godspower Gbenekama in strong terms begged the Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, to use his office to stop the daily harassment and invasion of Gbaramatu people by the military.

Goodluck Jonathan Salutes Clinton, Says It Takes Great Sacrifice To Concede Defeat

Nigeria’s former President Goodluck Ebele Jonthan says it takes great self sacrifice to concede an election defeat.

Jonathan made the comment on his Twitter page while congratulating the 45th elected President of the United States of America, Mr. Donald Trump.

In the short message, the former President saluted the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton for accepting defeat saying he knows what she did takes great sacrifice.

Dr. Jonathan had himself conceded defeat in the 2015 Presidential elections which saw the emergence of incumbent Muhammadu Buhari.

Jonathan, you can’t format our memories – Ogundana Michael Rotimi

Dear President Jonathan, I never thought I was going to write to you again since your eviction from the “Rock” because it was no longer worth it. But seeing how ardently you are trying to invade our memories with “Ebele-Trojan Virus”, in a bid to reformatting it- clearing off and replacing existing data, in an attempt to rewrite history thereby playing on our intelligence, it became increasingly incumbent on me to pen this short note to you.

Mr. President, in a speech you delivered at the Annual Gala Dinner of Nigerian Lawyers Association in the US.., you said and I quote: “Under my watch, not a single Nigerian was sent to prison because of anything they wrote or said about me or the Administration that I headed.” You must have forgotten about the military attack on Nigerian newspapers that happened right under your watch on the 6th and 7th June 2014. An event that saw Soldiers seized and in some cases destroyed thousands of copies of several newspapers including Leadership, The Nation, and Punch Newspapers. The general distribution centre for all newspapers in Area 1, Abuja, was also sealed by soldiers and several newspapers circulation staff were also harassed and detained in the process.

You went further and said: “We gave institutions unlimited freedom and ensured that the NBA, other professional institutions were devoid of any governmental influence.” Again Mr. Former President, we have not forgotten the Assaults on the National Assembly that happened on the 20th November 2014, when Policemen were stationed at the gate of the National Assembly Complex and denied the then Speaker of the House- Mr. Tambuwal and some federal lawmakers entry to the assembly complex where they were slated to carry out their duties.

Nigerians, having considered your venality, cluelessness and perhaps some intentional atrocities under your watch, went to the polls on March 28, 2015, and voted you out in a relatively peaceful election.

From the havoc caused by the Boko Haram insurgency, to the massive loot and corruption under your watch, to the killing of innocent unemployed Nigerians during the Nigerian Immigration Service Recruitment Scam, to the attack on media houses by the military, to the invasion of the national assembly and assaults on members of the parliaments, to the collapse of systems and infrastructure in the country amongst others, in a saner society, you should have been behind bars by now. But lucky you, you are still walking around- hence, able to spill garbage.

You cannot do such grave evil to our nation- squander our commonwealth among your friends and allies- and watched lackadaisically as Boko Haram decimated our military and the civilians- claimed our land and made a total mockery of us, and yet come back to us and speak ostentatiously about your achievements- doing that is evil!

Make no mistakes, your eviction from the “Rock” was with no prejudice- Nigerians felt they deserve better after considering all they went through under your watch.

Also, to set the record straight for those that are partisans- swift to take sides between political parties and for the sycophants who put the interest of their bosses above the benefits of the nation- take note; this isn’t about the APC or the PDP, it isn’t about you or President Buhari. It is about our country- Nigeria!

To me, I consider this as a spat in our face- as another grave evil perpetrated by you to repaint and rebrand your mischievousness in an attempt to rewrite history falsely. You cannot in less than two years come back to us like an angel walking on the street of Babylon in a spotless garment. You cannot appear to us like a saint that just came down from heaven- you are not!

We know you too well, your mischievousness are still fresh in our memories and we cannot forget so soon- trying to tell us otherwise is an attempt to erase the Leopard`s spots which is impossible!

You were arguably the president with the most glut opportunities to turn around the fortunes of our country. But you wasted it; you squandered our collective wealth and wasted our resources when we had so many returns that should have been saved. You left us lying in the pool of our blood and at the mercies of General Buhari- had you performed just a little to expectations; General he would not have been an option.

But due to your gross incompetence, carelessness and cluelessness coupled with some atoms of wickedness, we saw in Buhari a saviour coming to save us from the evil that befell us for five years under your watch.

President Jonathan, I have no doubts that you are in a bid to rewrite history, make no mistakes, histories are products of actions and not words.

Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!

– Rotimi is a Nigerian Biochemist, Socio-economic and Political Commentator, and Public Speaker. He tweets @MickeySunny.

Goodluck Jonathan Reels Out His Achievements In Office During Speech At Oxford

Below is a comprehensive list of achievements that former president, Goodluck Jonathan stated during his speech at Oxford University earlier today.

1. It is my pleasure and a great honour to be in the hallowed chambers of the Oxford University, one of the world’s most prestigious universities, not just to speak, but to exchange ideas and answer questions from you, some of the world’s most brilliant youths and future leaders.

2. It is instructive to note that since 1823, the Oxford Union has consistently presented this platform for scholarly and social congregation of the student population, the interchange of ideas, propagation of views in the enhancement of knowledge, and for the overall good of mankind.

3. This is highly commendable.

4. This discussion is topical for our global search for development and security. The issue of youth entrepreneurship in Africa is very critical, as Africa is the only continent in which we will witness a population boom in our lifetime.

5. Studies reveal the symbiotic relationship between youth unemployment and youth restiveness. Accordingly, most violent crises in Africa have been traced to a lack of education among its teeming youth population.

6. Genuine search for development and sustainable peace must therefore begin with youth empowerment and entrepreneurship.

7. When I was Governor of Bayelsa State and later the President of Nigeria, I asked myself some critical questions;
· Why are some nations rich and some poor?
· Why do individuals that grow up in similar circumstances end up differently, with some as successes and others as failures?
· Is the wealth of nations a result of geography, weather, culture, destiny, etc.?
· What could a leader do to effectively lift a people out of the depths of poverty, and enable them to achieve prosperity?

8. After much soul searching, my conviction in regards to these questions is this : wealth is a creation of the human mind properly prepared by education.

9. It is my firm belief that any Nation that does not spend its wealth and resources to developing the capacity of its youth will eventually be forced to devote its resources to fight insecurity amongst those same youths.

10. As a leader, you can decide through your policies to educate the youths, or face the consequences of failing to do so. The problem all African leaders have is how to manage the youth bulge. Do we consider this a ticking time bomb or an opportunity?

11. To me there are two key areas we must invest our resources if we are to convert this perceived time bomb to the opportunity I believe it is. The first is requisite education and capacity building. This should be followed by enabling youth entrepreneurship. Allow me to share with you a brief account of the implementation of my vision to empower the youth.

12. Within a year of my stewardship as the Governor of Bayelsa State, I gave Education a top priority.

13. I provided infrastructure in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions and gave undergraduate students financial assistance in the form of Bursary awards.

14. I started building two special post primary schools for gifted and talented children. The relevance of the gifted children school is obvious. For the talented children, the idea is to develop their natural talents in addition to sound education so that at graduation they can make a living from their God given talents if they choose to do so.

15. While construction work was on-going in the special schools, we initiated a program to encourage the best brains of the State. We selected through competitive entrance examinations the most brilliant pupils in our primary schools and sent them to the best secondary schools in the country.

16. The idea was for the State Government to take care of the best brains from the post primary through the tertiary level of their educational career and ensure that they attend the best institutions anywhere in the world. It was designed for a minimum of 100 pupils to be selected for this program annually. I left the State after one year and five months to contest election as the Vice President, and therefore could not see the idea through.
17. Upon assumption of office as President of Nigeria, I launched a similar program called the Presidential Special Scholarship Scheme for Innovation and Development. [PRESSID] This scheme nurtured a select cadre of professionals, to serve as facilitators for accelerated, sustainable, economic and technological advancement.

18. Each year, through competitive examinations, we selected between 100-to-120 first class graduates and sent them to the top universities in the world to study for higher degrees. These students were drawn from various STEM disciplines. Let me mention here that Oxford University was an integral part of this program and indeed, a favourite for most of our applicants.

19. The essence of the program was to get a crop of youth over a period of time that will advance our course technologically. When I launched the program, I did mention that we were training young people that will take Nigeria to the moon.
20. In addition to this, my administration also gave a series of educational incentives to university students across the country.

21. We established twelve conventional Universities and a specialized Maritime University. To assist the disadvantaged children in Northern Nigeria, we built 165 special schools known as “Almajiri School” that integrated Islamic culture into Western education.

22. The foundational theme of my Administration was ‘The Transformation Agenda’. It was conceived to engage the latent potential in the entire nation, and to stimulate and enable higher productivity. And this was also the foundation of our youth development drive.

23. The Transformation Agenda sought to address the problems of youth job creation, with emphasis not just in getting our young citizens employed, but in assisting them in acquiring the right skills, and providing the requisite support. This was to enable them set up and run their own businesses; thereby becoming employers of labour themselves.

24. In Nigeria and most African countries, there are well-educated young people. The problem is how to create opportunities for them. My Administration came up with various programs to encourage young entrepreneurs. The most popular is the Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria “YouWIN”.

25. It was a unique intervention launched in 2012, which targeted youth with unique business proposals in startups and expansion of existing enterprises. YouWin is structured as a competitive cyclic initiative which invites and reviews Business Plans submitted by Youth. Young people who wanted to be entrepreneurs were asked to submit their business proposals. The best business plans were chosen based on relevance, profitability, demand and practicability. The winners were trained and given grants.

26. YouWIN was multi-sector- cutting across light manufacturing, food processing, and the service sector.

27. The motivation for this program is for young people to go into SMEs, create jobs for other young people with the expectation that some would grow to large scale businesses. In addition to YouWin, under our broad based Agricultural Transformation Agenda, we developed the Youth Employment in Agriculture Program [YEAP] – and like many of our other youth programs, we incorporated the youth themselves in its design.

28. This took a complete value chain approach from farming to processing and marketing. Just like in the YouWIN initiative, my Administration gave young farmers grants and training. The young people who were involved were called “Nagropreneurs”.
29. We also launched The Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS). The objective of this program was to provide temporary work experience for fresh graduates, to enhance their capacity to attract permanent jobs. Eligible graduates are posted to corporations and companies in the private and public sectors. They received practical training and mentorship for a one-year period, within which remuneration is paid by the government. This enabled the young graduates to acquire relevant experience.

30. We also increased the allowances due to Youth Corp members by more than 100% in 2011. This was in line with our policy of youth empowerment and development.

31. To ensure that the Nigerian youth benefit massively in the ICT revolution, we created a special Ministry of Communication Technology. We wanted the Nigerian Youth to be self-employed and exploit the advantages of ICT. The Ministry, among other things, improved broadband penetration, set up ICT incubation centres in Lagos and Calabar.

32. The efforts of the Young software engineers at the Lagos Co-Creation Hub (CC Hub) became so successful that it did not only give birth to many thriving start-ups, but their activities also attracted the attention of Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg who chose it as his first stop during his first ever visit to Africa.

33. One sector we deliberately encouraged to stimulate job growth for Nigerian Youth was the Nigerian entertainment industry. We identified Nollywood as a sector that can employ many young people. We provided a grant of $200 million and for the first time, Nollywood became a major contributor to our GDP. In 2014, Nollywood contributed 1.4% to our GDP.

34. The sporting industry was also not left out. We encouraged our young people in that sector. I was to launch a Fund to encourage sporting activities in the Country but I had to bow out by 29th of May 2015. Nigeria has a crop of talented youth but the nation has not properly keyed into the global sports industry. The Fund would have been a catalyst to promoting the Nigerian sports industry by promoting training, welfare of athletes and manufacturing of sporting equipment among other things.

35. Distinguished audience let me conclude my speech by urging contemporary African leaders to see youth entrepreneurship as a collective project transcending national boundaries.

36. I believe in the Nigerian youth and indeed African Youths. My conviction is not only an emotional one, but one grounded in my experience with youths from all over the continent. You will agree that foremost in the minds of many youth, is a desire to develop their dreams and potentials. Placing them closer to the driving wheel, does a lot for their confidence.

37. Despite incredible challenges, Nigerian youths are achieving great things and placing Nigeria positively in the world map. Nigerian youths are an inspiration to their leaders.

38. I once said that I was not elected President of Nigeria to spread poverty, I was elected to generate and spread wealth. My belief in this regard is that getting a job or being a worker cannot completely cure the disease of poverty. It is only your own business that can provide such security and give you the financial freedom you need to prosper.

39. That was why my Administration introduced these initiatives and policies, to enable Nigeria’s youths take their own destinies in their hands.

40. You can appreciate that there was a lot of emphasis on education during my time at the helm of both my State and my Nation. This is because the richest people today are those who develop ideas and commercialize them. Viable ideas can only come from educated minds, and money pursues ideas. My three flagship programmes ie the gifted and talented children schools in Bayelsa State, the Presidential Special Scholarship Scheme for Innovation and Development and the ICT Incubation Centers (Co-Creation Hub) were geared towards developing that calibre of youth.

41. We may not have been perfect, but we did our best, and our best yielded an era of unprecedented economic growth for Nigeria.

42. A growth that proved the truism that a Nation’s wealth is not underneath the ground but between the ears of her people.

43. Under my watch, Nigeria was projected by CNN Money to be the third fastest growing economy in the world for the year 2015 and rated as the largest economy in Africa and the 23rd in the world by the World Bank and the IMF, with a GDP above half a Trillion US dollars.

44. These in a nutshell are some of the ways we were able to promote youth enterprise; a topic that I know is of utmost interest to many of you here.

Nigeria Will Overcome Present Challenges – Goodluck Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, sent a message of hope to Nigerians, declaring that the nation will overcome its current economic challenges.


He said Nigerians must be prepared to protect and develop the country at all times, stressing that the current challenges were transient even as he urged Christians to continue to pray for the nation.


He stated this while speaking at the public presentation of a book titled, “The History of St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, Otuoke, his home town in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.


Jonathan said the essence of history was to know how societies or clans evolved, adding that there was need to capture the spread of Christianity in communities in the Niger Delta.


He, therefore, appealed to indigenes of Otuoke to read the book and volunteer additional information for the next edition. The former president also eulogized the book reviewer, Professor Emeritus, Ebiegberi Alagoa, who he said has contributed so much towards the documentation of the history of Niger Delta.


While unveiling the book, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah(rtd), Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, who represented Governor Seriake Dickson, stated that the book would engender the spiritual upliftment of its readers.

He also congratulated the author of the book, Dr. Stephen Olali, who is also the Chief Historian and Archivist of the State for his efforts in writing the book.


The book reviewer, Prof. Alagoa commended the author, Dr. Olali, who was his former student at the University of Port Harcourt for effectively telling the story of Otuoke from a Christian perspective.


Alagoa said the author has become a specialist in church history, having done a similar work for the Anglican Church, Tombia, and himself being a Christian and a historian.


The author of the book, Dr. Olali said the idea of writing the book was mooted in 2011 and commended former president Jonathan immensely for facilitating the publication of the book.


Dr. Godbless Eruani, Chairman, Azikel Group, who was the Chief Launcher, stated that a people without history were like a people without a soul and commended the church for the laudable project of documenting the history of the church.


Earlier in his sermon, Rt. Rev James Oruwori, Bishop of the Ogbia Diocese of the Anglican Communion, emphasized the need for Christians to be truthful, stressing that truth brings about freedom from sin, sicknesses and all kinds of tribulation.

2015 Election: PDP Fielding Jonathan Was A Big Mistake — Fayose

Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, weekend, described the fielding of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the last election as a miscalculation by the party.


This came as Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara also, yesterday, declared that the Boko Haram insurgency would have destroyed Nigeria, if the former President had remained in power, asserting that the defeat of the PDP administration saved the nation from imminent collapse.


Fayose, who disclosed this in an interview, said the defeat could have been averted had the party fielded a northern candidate.

He said: “We lost the election because we did not pick our candidate from the north, not because Jonathan as a person was bad. It was just a political miscalculation. The fact is that my former President, I chose my word, my former President, Goodluck Jonathan, tried his best. Ayodele Fayose “But if I were him, I would not have contested at all, you understand? Because it is two ways: If he did not contest and the PDP lost out, he will still be an honourable man, and if he had given that opportunity to the north, those who defected from the PDP would not have defected. “But that is story. Jonathan did his best and I will still continue to support him. You know I was not there when they took the decision about him becoming the flag-bearer, but it doesn’t matter. We can’t all put our mouth inside the soil. Somebody must remain with somebody. I will remain with Jonathan, even if I am the only man standing. “A man is not measured by the amount of food he has and the amount of properties he owns. Sometimes sickness is good, it reshapes your life. Sometimes poverty is good, it helps your life. Sometimes failure makes you to reorder your life. It is not the end of your life.”


On what would become of PDP, in view of 2019 elections, Governor Fayose said though the party was going through challenges at the moment, it could still come out of its present challenge before the next round of elections. “Let me explain something to you. When you have an accident, God forbid, you don’t gather momentum immediately. Life is physical, it is normal. What the PDP is going through now is a deliberate effort to destabilize the opposition by the APC and we know that.”


On whether he had his eyes on the Presidency in 2019, Fayose said: “For which country? Nigeria? Well, I don’t have such an ambition but I know I am going higher. Mark my words, I have said 20 things that will happen in Nigeria and more than seven have come to pass. Check the records.”


On the role played by soldiers in Ekiti and Osun elections, the governor said: “My own is that I have gone through an election. I have won an election. There is a place the law says you can ventilate your displeasure. They have gone to the lower court, the appeal court and the Supreme Court. “The Supreme Court has given judgment in my favour. They have become functus officio. They cannot approbate and reprobate on the matter anymore. The election matters are Suris generis. They operate within the ambit of time.


“The military was represented by a lawyer and the police was represented by a lawyer. This one is an afterthought. During the National Assembly election, how did I win all the seats? “Two weeks after the House of Assembly election, I won everything, 26-26. Is it the military again? When the male friend of your mother is more powerful than your father, you call him daddy. You welcome him and take his bag. “Let them take my bag and accept this Ekiti matter. This Bayelsa election we just finished, 14 people died, how many people died in Ekiti? If you see my prediction about Nigeria under Buhari, I said every effort to forcefully take the South-South states will result in a huge loss of lives. “They should leave me alone. They should face governance. God has given me this place. No amount of powers will take this place from me because the gift of God is without repentance. How can only me defeat three governors – Segun Oni, Adebayo and Fayemi. I defeated them and they are still complaining.”



Credit: Vanguard

Why Goodluck Jonathan Was Honoured With Presidential Award In Atlanta

Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was today (January 14th) honored by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. He was awarded with the Presidential Award in recognition of his leadership in advancing human rights, social justice and the fight for universal freedom.

The SCLC, founded by the late American Civil Right leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, in January 1957 is currently led by Dr. Charles Steele Jr. The event is part of the activities leading up to the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Day on Monday, January 18th, 2016.

Former President Jonathan is the first African leader to be so honored. Dr. Jonathan also received Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s sister, Naomi King during the event. Before his remarks at the event, Dr. Jonathan met privately with the president of the SCLC.


Credit: Nairaland

Crisis Rocks Edo PDP Over Alleged Diversion Of Rice

Crisis is rocking the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Edo State, following allegations that one of its governorship aspirants (names withheld) diverted rice meant to be distributed to members of the party prior to the presidential election, which was brought to the state by the campaign organisation of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The crisis erupted after members of the party observed that the governorship aspirant was sharing the rice to his supporters as Christmas gift after he allegedly super-imposed his picture on that of former President Jonathan on the bags of rice.

A chieftain of PDP in the state, Mr Okharedia Ihimekpen, described the discovery as shocking and urged President Muhammadu Buhari to extend the ongoing probe to funds expended during the former President Jonathan’s campaign to Edo State.

He said, “It was shocking when we saw that the bags of rice were actually meant to be distributed during the presidential campaign but this aspirant confiscated them. I want to appeal to the Federal Government to extend the Dasukigate probe to Edo State and if this aspirant is indicted he should be prosecuted and disqualified from the governorship race.

“We call on all Edo people to distance themselves from elements like this because if they are allowed again into the corridors of power, Edo State will be for sale. Such people should be made to return all the rice and money they collected on behalf of Edo PDP members which they pocketed. We expect PDP to disqualify him because in a decent society, people like that should be charged to court after they are banned from contesting for political positions.

“The PDP should rediscover themselves before talking about election so that we don’t run into another era of holocaust,” he stated.



Credit : Vanguard

Rebuilding PDP Not Easy, Says Metuh

The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party has said it is not easy to rebuild the party.

It also said that since the party lost power for the first time since 1999, it was meeting a stiff opposition within the party on how to rebuild it.

The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh, stated this in an interview with our correspondent in Abuja on Saturday.

Metuh, nevertheless, said he was confident that the forces working against the rebuilding of the party within its fold and outside would fail.

He said, “We have been rebuilding, but it is not easy. We are rebuilding, but there are different forces, and contending interests (working against it). It is not easy.

“On one hand, we are dealing with a ruthless ruling party, and we also have some divisive elements in our party who are genuinely accepting some influence in the administration of the party.

“Knowingly or unknowingly, they are embarking on distractions and distractions that would rather be in the interest of the ruling party than our growth.”

He said that since the party lost the general elections, it had tried to remain focus and play the role of an opposition to the ruling All Progressives Congress.

As the spokesperson for the opposition party, Metuh regretted that some members of his party wanted him to be abusing the President (Muhammadu Buhari) with the hope that that action would boost the image of the PDP.

He said the APC did not win the elections by merely abusing former President Goodluck Jonathan, adding that some actions of the members of the PDP then helped in adding to the fortune of the APC.

He said, “But since we lost the election, we have tried to remain focus and retain the support of a very large number of our members to remain focus in opposing this government.

“Some of our members misconstrue an opposition party to be a party that insults people because that was what the APC was doing.

“People want us to insult the President and the ruling party to remain in opposition. Because we are not doing that, our people are not comfortable with that.

“They believe that we are too soft and they believe that we are too academic. They want us to be insulting the people. It was not by insulting the former President that gave the APC victory.

“We fuelled partisan support for the APC in some part of the country. ”

On the rumour that members of the outgoing National Working Committee of the party had shared offices ahead of the March 19 national conventions, Metuh said the allegation was unfounded.

Confess All Your Sins To Buhari Before You Are Arrested – Sagay Advises Jonathan

Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay SAN, has advised former President Goodluck Jonathan to secretly confess all he knows about the scandalous $2bn arms deal, of which his name has been linked, to President Muhammadu Buhari.


The Chairman told The Punch that if Jonathan go by the advice, he may be accorded the respect due to him by virtue of being a former President.


Sagay however pointed out that the case of the former President being arrested relating to the arms scandal is a “sensitive one”, adding that his concession of defeat to Buhari during the March 28 Presidential election does not make Jonathan a hero, as one good action could not correct several evil deeds.
According to him, “To start with, the great reputation he (Jonathan) seems to have is the fact that he admitted defeat. There are thousands of actions that are negative actions so I don’t think that we should overplay it.


“But on the issue of the former President going to prison, I agree that it is a bit touchy politically but the case of Jonathan is particularly bad if you see the manner with which the country’s resources and government coffers have been turned into a bazaar parlour where everyone goes to collect his own share. Just like Warri boys would ask, ‘You don obtain your own?’


“Everyone was going to ‘obtain’ under Jonathan. It was just bizarre but I understand that dealing with a former Head of State is always a sensitive issue but I would say he should have a private chat with President Muhammadu Buhari and say all that he knows and if there is anything he has to release, then he should release it and be allowed to go quietly into retirement,” he stated.

Arms Scandal: EFCC Allegedly Set To Write Ex-President Jonathan

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission may write former President Goodluck Jonathan in connection with its ongoing investigation into arms procurement scam.


It was gathered that the commission was planning to write the former President because his name had consistently featured in the interrogation of some suspects.


A former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), was reported to have said he disbursed funds from his office based on the instruction of the former President. Also, a former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had two weeks ago, said she transferred money to the former NSA as a result of a decision reached at a meeting presided over by Jonathan.


According to The PUNCH, an EFCC source said, “Although the commission will not invite the former President, we may write him to tell us his own side of the story because his name has been coming up in our investigations?”


The source, however, said the commission would need to seek “clearance” from President Muhammadu Buhari before such letter could be sent to Jonathan.


Meanwhile, the EFCC is also concluding arrangements to invite some chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party.


It was gathered on Sunday that the planned invitation of the PDP stalwarts was part of the ongoing investigations into the arms procurement scam and the party’s 2015 presidential campaign fund.

Ex-President Jonathan becomes a grandfather

Former President Goodluck Jonathan and First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan have become grandparents for the first time as their daughter, Faith gave birth in the early hours of Wednesday, September 23, 2015.


Faith got married to Godswill Osim Edwards in April 2014 when her father was still the President of Nigeria.




The couple shared an intimate photo of they and their new baby girl in a US hospital where she was delivered.

Jonathan’s ex-ministers battle Buhari, write warning letter to the president

Some former ministers who served under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan have warned President Muhammadu Buhari to give the former president his “due respect,” and to stop condemning, ridiculing and undermining the efforts of the Jonathan administration including the integrity of the individual members of the past administration.

A former Minister of National Planning, Dr. Abubakar Suleiman, said this on Sunday in a statement on behalf of other ministers who served under Jonathan.

While reacting to the ministers’ statement, the Presidency on Sunday said Buhari’s war against corruption was not negotiable.

Suleiman said the efforts of the Buhari government had been to portray all members of the Jonathan administration “as corrupt and irresponsible, in an orchestrated and vicious trial by the media,” which he said had created “a lynch mentality that discredits our honest contributions to the growth and development of our beloved nation.


He said while he and his colleagues believed that each administration had the right to chart its own path, the Kwara State-born former university lecturer said the alleged vilification of the Jonathan administration was ill-intentioned.

The Buhari administration has alleged several fraudulent practices against Jonathan’s ministers, including a recent allegation that the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison Madueke, illegally took $6.9m from the coffers of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to fund the bogus purchase of three mobile stages for Jonathan’s public appearances.

The Suleiman statement partly read, “We, the ministers who served under the President Goodluck Jonathan administration, have watched with increasing alarm and concern the concerted effort by the Buhari administration and members of the APC to condemn, ridicule and undermine the efforts of that administration, in addition to impugning the integrity of its individual members.

“While we concede that every administration has the right to chart its own path as it deems fit, we nevertheless consider the vilification of the Jonathan administration, to be ill-intentioned, unduly partisan, and in bad faith.

“We are proud to have served Nigeria and we boldly affirm that we did so diligently and to the best of our abilities. The improvements that have been noticed today in the power sector, in national security and in social services and other sectors did not occur overnight.

“They are products of solid foundations laid by the same Jonathan administration.”

He said that contrary to what the APC and its agents would want the public to believe, the Jonathan administration did not encourage corruption, “rather it fought corruption vigorously, within the context of the rule of law and due process.”

“For the benefit of those who may have forgotten so soon, it was the Jonathan administration that got rid of the fraud in fertiliser subsidies, which had plagued the country for decades. This helped to unleash a revolution in agricultural production and productivity,” he added.

Suleiman added that it was also the Jonathan administration that supported the institutional development of strong systems and mechanisms to curb corruption in the public service and plug revenue leakages.

He listed these to include the development of the Government Integrated Financial Management Platform, The Single Treasury Account, and the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Management Systems, in addition to the biometric registration of civil servants and pensioners which he said saved the country over N100bn paid to ghost workers and ghost pensioners.

Apart from that, he said that the Jonathan administration equally ensured greater transparency and integrity in the oil and gas sector by ordering investigations and put mechanisms in place to check the theft of Nigeria’s crude oil.

He said, “It was also under the Jonathan administration that a Nigerian Content policy was introduced, which opened up that sector to Nigerians in a manner that was not previously the case.

“It was also the Jonathan administration that mobilised and secured the support of our neighbouring countries to ensure a robust multinational response to the menace of terrorism and insurgency, resulting in notable advancements in the fight against terror.

“President Jonathan personally initiated the collaboration that led to this advancement and ensured that Nigeria provided the needed financial support for the Multinational Joint Task Force.

“It was the Jonathan administration that repaired and rehabilitated over 25, 000 kilometres of our nation’s roads.

“Nigeria also became a profitable and preferred investment-friendly destination.

“It was under President Jonathan, for example, that Nigeria’s electric power sector became more competitive and attractive to local and foreign investments.”

Suleiman added that the same administration promoted the rule of law, free speech, fundamental human rights, and a robust freedom of information regime.

Apart from that, he said women’s rights to participate in public life and the Federal Character principle as well as other constitutional principles were also respected.

“No administration can be either completely bad or completely good. President Jonathan’s achievements in moving this country to greater heights deserve to be duly acknowledged.

“We urge President Muhammadu Buhari to build on these achievements,” he argued.

He challenged Buhari to be fair and non-partisan in his anti-corruption crusade.

Suleiman added that “the various lies and fabrications being peddled by some self-appointed spokespersons of the administration may entertain the unwary” but added that such sensationalism may achieve the unintended effect of de-marketing the country within the international community.

Suleiman said that he and his colleagues had reserved their comments until now in the hope that the euphoria that inspired the various attacks on the past administration would wear off and that reason would prevail.

“But we are constrained to speak up in defence of the legacy of the Jonathan administration, and shall do so again, for as long as those who are determined to rubbish that legacy, are unrelenting in their usual deployment of blackmail, persecution and similar tactics,” he warned.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, reacting to the Jonathan’s ministers asked the affected persons who he described as “members of the country’s latest trade union formation, the Association of Ex-Jonathan Ministers” to do a bit of self-reflection on the sort of government they handed over to Buhari on May 29.

He said such self-reflection would make the former ministers decide for themselves if it would have been right for any incoming government to ignore the issue of the brazen theft of public assets, which he said appeared to be the first of its kind in the country,

He said, “This war against corruption knows no friend nor foe. There is no intention to deny anyone of their good name where they are entitled to it and President Buhari reserves the highest regards for the country’s former leaders, including Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who he continues to praise to the high heavens for the way and manner in which he accepted defeat in the last election.

“That singular action remains a feat that has earned the former President and Nigeria as country befitting commendations all over the world, the latest coming from Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who visited a week ago.

“For the purpose of emphasis, the issue of fighting corruption by President Buhari is not negotiable.

“It is sine qua non to the overall reconstruction of the economy and social systems, which suffered destruction and severe denigration under the last administration.

“President Buhari will not be deterred or blackmailed into retreat and surrender.”


Jonathan, Diezani, Obuah face probe over purchase of $6.9m campaign stages

The financial heist committed under former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration has come under probe by President Muhammadu Buhari as he beams his anti-corruption searchlight on the alleged purchase of three mobile stages, costing $6.9m, by former President Goodluck Jonathan and two of his officials, a Presidency source has said.


According to a document, made available to journalists on Saturday by sources from the Presidency, the deal, which is now a subject of investigation, was allegedly carried out by Jonathan; his Chief Security Officer, Mr. Gordon Obuah; and former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.


The fund was said to have been withdrawn from one of the numerous accounts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.


The $6.9m (about N1.37bn) was said to have been withdrawn for the purpose of buying three pieces of 40-feet mobile stages for use by Jonathan during mass public speaking events.


According to the document, apart from the fact that the sum for the stages was “incredibly inflated”, there is currently no evidence that the stages were bought since the money was withdrawn.


The document read, “While the cost of mobile stages ranges in sizes and designs, only outlandish rock star musicians in Europe and the US spend hundreds of thousands on their huge stages way bigger than the 40-feet stages.


“Even then, those musicians and superstars would not pay over $2m per stage, according to industry sources.


“The process of procurement of the three mobile stages was neither known to extant Nigerian laws and due process regulations nor were the offices of the Auditor-General and the Accountant-General in the know, according to the investigators.”


It added that the phony purchase was carried out late 2011, a few months after Jonathan won the presidential election for a full term after having completed the term of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua.


Jonathan’s CSO was said to have initiated a memo to the former President on October 17, 2011, asking for the purchase of three mobile stages.


He was reported to have written in that memo to Jonathan that memo referred to “my earlier discussion with Your Excellency on the security implication of your public appearances and your subsequent directive on the need to procure a secured presidential platform.”


The Presidency source said on the same day, without any financial advice or purchase order reviews, the former President approved the request to buy the three stages and minuted the memo to the then Minister for Petroleum Resources.


In his minute, Jonathan was said to have written, “We have discussed this, please deal.”


According to the document, on the same October 17, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Administrative Matters, Mr. Matt Aikhionbere, did another letter on the strength of the President’s approval requesting the minister to take action on the request to purchase the stages for $6.9m.


It added, “By the next month, an NNPC payment voucher, number 3840336, was already in place, revealing that the money was released.


“NNPC directed that the money be taken from one of its accounts in New York CITIBANK with sort code CITIUS 33, and Routing number 021000089.


“It was first routed from the US bank to an NNPC account in Zenith Bank account number 5000026593, Maitama branch in Abuja, from where the money was sent to a private account.


“The sum of $6.9m was then credited to a Sterling Bank account of one J. Marine Logistics Limited, Abuja, a company investigators said was registered by Obuah.


“The CSO himself, according to investigators, has not been able to show proof of the purchase and his memo irked his bosses at the SSS that he took the initiative to write requesting for the stages, an action which officials said was way above his pay grade.”


The document added that it was not the duty or responsibility of the CSO to make the determination on that purchase as he was meant to have informed the service, which will then review the situation and act accordingly.


It added that the $6.9miilion in question was promptly paid on Nov. 29, 2011 into a private account belonging to the former CSO.


“The former President approved the procurement of the mobile platforms without due process and bypassing the Procurement Act; neither was there an appropriation in the 2011 budget for such facility,” the document quoted investigators as saying.


It added that neither the then Minister of Finance nor the Director-General of the Budget Office was aware of the deal.


“Investigators say this is just one of the several instances, where the Jonathan administration used secret NNPC accounts to fund many questionable projects and for alleged personal financial aggrandisement.


“Already, the CSO has been questioned over his role and activities in the Jonathan Presidency. It will be recalled that he was arrested, detained, questioned and later released.

SPOTTED: Former president Jonathan and wife spotted on weekend vacation in Kenya (PHOTO)

Nigeria’s former President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Dame Patience, were spotted over the weekend at a vacation spot in Kenya.


The former first couple visited Kenya’s Maasai Mara Games Reserve on a three-day tour of with two of their children.


The Jonathans arrived on a chartered plane and were received by the Governor of Narok, Samuel Tunai  who is also the council of governors tourism committee chairman.


Governor Tunai said more than 500,000 tourists from all over the world are expected to witness the spectacular crossing of wildebeest across the crocodile-infested Mara River.


According to reports by Kenya media, Jonathan who refused to speak with reporters on arrival, is the second digitary to visit the reserve in less than two weeks. The King of Swasiland, Mswati III was booked at the lodge last week.


The owner of the hotel where the Jonathan’s lodged, Nicky Fitzgerald, said this tourism peak season is different from the past as prominent personalities from across the world have been calling for bookings.


“We have received Mr Jonathan, King Mswati III, a Chinese prominent family and we are expecting other royalties,” she told reporters.


Fitzgerald attributed the boost in tourism in Kenya to President Barrack Obama’s visit July.

Why PDP Lost Power At The Centre – Gov. Dickson

Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson, yesterday, blamed the indiscipline and disloyalty of some party members for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)’s loss at the federal level.

Speaking in Yenagoa, at the inauguration of a special committee to examine the performance and conduct of the PDP leaders during the just concluded presidential, National and state Assembly elections, Dickson said those indicted by the committee would face dire consequences.

The committee, which is chaired by the state Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha Jonah (rtd), was inaugurated in Government House, Yenagoa and has two weeks to submit an interim report to government.

The governor also tasked the committee with determination and recommendation of steps to be taken against those who worked contrary to the party’s interests during the general elections.

He warned that any member of the PDP, who engages in anti-party activities would be disciplined.

Patience Jonathan’s Role In The Sack of Police IG Exposed

Police chief Suleiman Abba has lost his job, becoming the first major casualty of Goodluck Jonathan’s loss in the just concluded presidential elections. He has since been replaced by Solomon Arase.

The Nation, in a report last Saturday, has revealed that Jonathan was under pressure to give Abba the boot – for alleged security and protocol breaches.

Credible sources in the presidency have disclosed that First Lady Patience Jonathan played a pivotal role in the events leading to the sack of IGP Abba.

Abba, The Nation learnt, had earlier been summoned by the President to defend himself against allegations by some PDP leaders and security chiefs regarding his role in the March 28 and April 11 elections.

Abba got the push because he rebuffed a presidential directive to make some “strategic moves” that would have favoured the ruling party in the two elections, the sources said.

One of them specifically mentioned Abba’s reluctance to redeploy the Assistant Inspector General in charge of Zone 6 Tunde Ogunsakin, from Rivers State to Cross River on the eve of the gubernatorial and Houses of Assembly elections.

The aim, it was gathered, was to enable the ruling party perfect what was described as its ectoral heist in some states in the Southsouth.

A source said when it became apparent that Abba was “using delay tactics” in carrying out the order, the First Lady, who was with some of her aides in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, instead of Bayelsa State where the President had gone to vote, called Dr. Jonathan demanded an immediate implementation of the directive, it was said.

Miffed by what she considered to be an affront, said the source, the First Lady said Abba would regret his tardiness.

Said the source: “I can categorically tell you that Abba would have saved his job but for what happened on the eve of the governorship election when we were in Port Harcourt.Could you believe that despite an initial signal from the authorities that Ogunsakin should be moved to Calabar, Abba was playing games with the directives? He was apparently not in the mood to comply. The President had to call him directly before the order was carried out, following a complaint made to him by the First Lady.

“I am also aware that the authorities are not happy with his conduct during the presidential election, especially his seeming closeness to the president-elect and his presence at presentation of Certificate of Return to Gen. Buhari in Abuja.

“He would have been allowed to stay on till the inauguration of the new government but for ignoring the wishes of the wife of the President.”

Jonathan is said to be demanding loyalty from all Service Chiefs until he leaves office on May 29.
Source – The nation

Revive Teaching In Varsities, NAAT Tells Buhari

The National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) has charged the president-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, to place high premium on the revival of collapsed teaching equipment in tertiary institutions, stressing that Nigeria cannot achieve greatness without investing hugely on technology.

In a statement signed by its national president, Sani Suleiman in Abuja, the union said no nation can achieve technological greatness without standardised teaching equipment and conducive learning environment.

It said: “NAAT takes cognisance of the ‘change’ mantra of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the political party on which you (Buhari) contested the election and would like to inform you that one major area that yearns for positive change is the education sector – particularly the university system. There is so much decay in the university system calling for attention to reverse the trend for the better.

“As a result of the importance of technological education in the development of any nation, we sincerely urge you to pay attention to the following aspects among others, as you take the governance of the Nigerian state from May 29, 2015: Providing laboratories, workshops and studios with modern state-of-the-art equipment and training and re-training of technologists to effectively handle modern equipment and keep pace with new technologies in performing their responsibility of practical teaching and demonstration.”

NAAT also commended President Goodluck Jonathan for conceding defeat even before the announcement of the final results. It stated that history would be kind to the President for ensuring peace and put Nigeria above his interest and the interest of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party.

The union added: “NAAT, like many well-meaning Nigerians and stakeholders in the Nigerian project, was very impressed with the generally peaceful, free and fair nature of the elections.

I Am Educated, That’s Why I Was Picked As The First Lady – Patience Jonathan

The first lady of Nigeria, Mrs Patience Jonathan visited Akure, Ondo state today and some of the things she said might interest you!

It was made known that Patience Jonathan, who’s on a ‘Women Rally’ was in Akure today and while addressing Ondo women, she said she is a daughter and a fan of former first lady, late Maryam Babangida. Mrs Jonathan also advised the youths of Ondo to pursue their education, stressing that if she wasn’t educated, she wouldn’t be a first lady;
In her own words, she also said, “Majority of the people of Ondo are educated and I believe you know the importance of education because without education there is no future. We should thank God for the administration of Goodluck and PDP. If somebody is talking and you are not educated, can
you be there? If Hilary Clinton is talking and you are not educated, can you be there? As Mimiko (governor of Ondo) is there, without education can he be there? As I am standing before you, if I am not educated, will they choose me?”

In the same vein, Dame Patience Jonathan, while speaking to a mammoth crowd at the PDP rally held at the Gani Fawehinmi freedom Arcade ground in Akure earlier today said that a vote for the APC presidential Candidate Gen. Muhammadu Buhari is a vote to send Nigerians to Prison. While reminding the peole that Buhari is a dictator, Mrs Patience Jonathan said a dictator will always be a dictator no matter how his handlers white wash him. Nigerians should not make that mistake because a vote for Buhari is a vote to send people to Prison.
Describing the APC as a party of liars, propagandists, and a party of people who have “nothing to offer but to grab power by all means”, Dame Jonathan said the Jonathan administration impacted the lives of women more than any administration before him.
Do not vote for the candidate of the APC who do not have regard for the women. This is pay back time for President Jonathan all our women should come out on saturday and cast their vote for him.”
Just yesterday, the wife of the president during her women rally to Onitsha yesterday was noted to have said that the All Progressives Congress will be buried on March 28th. She also used the defection of Rivers state Deputy Governor, Tele Ikuru as an example, reiterating that that is an indication that the opposition party is dead.

Who Is Who By Habib Akewusola

Umbrella, multi coloured leaking roof,
Broom, dusting developmental glue.

Are birds responsible for making
Our skies blue?

Will party jamboree make my
Stomach eternally full,

I blame faith and physical case,
Hoping on executive disciples at

Admin must admit,
Spirituality’s the sole property
Of my heart

Never to be tossed as campaign dart.

Flourishing future remains my
Coordinated act.

As two giant march
Will dust temporarily blind
Africa’s widest land?


No Party Can Beat PDP In The Coming Elections, President Jonathan Boasts

President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday boasted that despite the intimidation being mounted against members of the ruling party by opposition parties, no political party can beat the Peoples Democratic Party in the coming election.

He said those who had not done anything had been intimidating the ruling party because the party had not been marketing itself.

The President spoke just as the Director-General of his campaign organisation, Senator Ahmadu Ali, said some foreign countries were opposed to Jonathan’s re-election bid because he signed the Anti Same-Sex Bill into law.

They both spoke during the unveiling of the PDP Ward Volunteer Scheme held inside the Presidential
Villa, Abuja.

“I am convinced that up to this time, there is no party that can beat the PDP. All we need is unity. There is no party that is formidable like the PDP,” the President told the gathering that consisted of all the PDP candidates from the state Houses of Assembly to the National Assembly.

Jonathan said the PDP was not just the largest party in the country but also the only party that had members in all voting units across the country.

He said even if 10 political parties come together, they could not reach the PDP’s level.

While saying that the PDP had done well over time, Jonathan challenged the opposition to match the party on performances of their governors state-by-state.

For instance, Jonathan said only state governments under the leadership of the PDP had been able to provide functional airports in their state capitals.

He also said the number of state universities established by the PDP states were more than those of the opposition.

He however regretted that despite the performance of the PDP, the opposition also intimidated the PDP members even in their (PDP) states.

Jonathan said the party would not allow the opposition to win at the national level.

He said, “They (the opposition) intimidate us to the extent that they intimidate us even in states where we have PDP governors.

“We will not allow those who are not up to us in terms of performance to continue to intimidate us.

“At the national level, we cannot compare our standards with theirs, because they have not had the experience and we will not give them the opportunity because I know they will not do well.”

Source: The Punch

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Nigeria’s Stability Crucial For Regional Peace -ECOWAS

The Economic Community of West African States has urged Nigerians to ensure that the rescheduled 2015 general elections are held peacefully in the interest of regional peace.

President of the ECOWAS commission, Ambassador Kadre Desire Ouedraugo, said this when he paid a courtesy visit to the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Maj.Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, in his Abuja office on Wednesday.

The diplomat said ECOWAS, like the rest of the international community, was interested in the peaceful conduct of the elections because of Nigeria’s strategic position in regional and international affairs.

Ouedraugo said, “We have decided to meet all stakeholders in the election to have your views of the electoral process. Peace and stability is essential for development and progress of Nigeria and the entire region. We would count on everyone to make sure that we have peaceful elections.

“As you are aware, the mandate of ECOWAS is to monitor and observe all general elections in our member states and for us elections in Nigeria are special.

“They are of great importance for peace and stability to our region and this is the reason why the chairman of the authority, together with all ECOWAS institutions, is following very closely the electoral process in Nigeria.

“On his behalf and on behalf of my delegation and my behalf we want to thank you and express our gratitude to you on the efforts made to have peaceful elections in Nigeria. We have decided to deploy an observer team of 250 persons to Nigeria and we have decided to deploy a long term observation mission. They were deployed on 20th January in the geopolitical zones of Nigeria.”

He expressed gratitude to the APC flag bearer for conducting himself peacefully like the statesman that he is since the elections were postponed.

Ouedraugo further revealed that former Ghanaian president, Mr. John Kuffour would soon be in the country on a fact-finding mission before the March 28 date.

As #NigeriaDecides By Fahad Garba Aliyu

On January 7 2014, the world sadly witnessed another barbaric and cowardly attack by terrorists on innocent people, killing 12 people, journalists and police officers. The world rightly came together to condemn this despicable act. On 11 January 2014, millions of people marched in Paris including 40 world leaders in a unity rally to honor the victims of the terrorist attack.

About 6000 km away from Paris, another horrendous act occurred few days earlier. An estimated 2000 people were slaughtered in Baga, a village in the Northeastern part of Nigeria. Lots of people have been wondering why the world ignored and didn’t give this massacre the attention and uproar it deserves. The simple explanation is that the President of our country doesn’t car; so why should the world care?

It is UNEXCUSEABLE that our President is yet to condemn the Baga massacre but he has condemned the Paris attack. He is busy campaigning for re-election while innocent Nigerians are being killed daily, with little to no response from the government. Our country has never been this divided; tension in the polity is so high and sharp that no one can predict what will happen post next month’s election. The president, in a desperate attempt to test waters for his re-election bid, finally visited Borno State under the guise of Remembrance Day. However, it’s too little too late to show you care Mr. President; we surely know the reason you’re visiting now is because you want to get the votes of Borno people.

Sadly, I was among the people that voted for the incumbent in 2011. I was among the people that were deceived by the famous “I have no shoes” speech. After 6 years of ineffective and weak leadership, he is now asking for an additional four years to do what? Finish killing the country? If he couldn’t move the country forward in 6 years at the realm of leadership, what more can he do with additional four years at the mantle of leadership but put us in more mess? Terrorism has become the norm in our country (don’t let me start about corruption under this administration).

When we think things cant get any worse, the presidency never fails to surprise us. The irresponsibility has tickled across to different agencies now; our police force is not only an enforcer of law but an interpreter as well. The State Security Service is not only the primary intelligence agency in the country but also is an avenue for witch-hunting opposition members. Whenever you criticize the government, the presidency or PDP calls you a member of the opposition or alleges that the opposition is sponsoring you. You are a good or patriotic person only when you praise or support them but unpatriotic and divisive when you disagree with them or give constructive criticism

As Nigeria Decides next month, it is imperative in the interest of our dear country that we vote for change on February 14, 2015. We can’t have another four years of this mess of a leadership, a directionless form of government. Here is to hoping for a violence free election.

Al Jazeera estimated around 10,000 deaths from Boko Haram attacks in all of 2014 but over 2,000 death already in the first two weeks of January. May the souls of all the innocent people we have lost in Baga (#I am Baga) and other villages rest in peace and May Almighty Allah give their families the fortitude to bear the loss. Amin

It’s my hope and wish Nigerians rally behind Buhari and elect him to the mantle of leadership in our country. I am more than convinced that in the persons of Gen. Buhari and Prof Osinbajo that Nigeria is in safe and able hands.

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Fahad Garba Aliyu

Fahad is a Hult Global Ambassador and a 2015 MBA candidate at Hult San Francisco Campus. He is a firm believer of the unity and oneness of Nigeria.

Views expressed are solely that of the author and do not represent the views of and its associates

President Jonathan Pays Surprise Visit To Maiduguri, Borno State

President Goodluck Jonathan has just landed in Maiduguri Airport in a surprise visit to the hotbed of Boko Haram’s insugency which has claimed thousands of lives.

The Chief of Defense staff, Air Vice Marshall Alex Badeh and National Security adviser, Sambo Dasuki arrived the airport in a separate aircraft.

Governor Kashim Shettima arrived the airport to receive the president.
More details Later…

Jonathan Is Not Fit For Leadership – Dr Oby Ezekwesili

Nigeria’s former Minister of Education and one of the leaders of the BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) campaign group, Dr Oby Ezekwesili says the failure of President Goodluck Jonathan to rescue the over 200 Chibok schoolgirls, who were abducted by Boko Haram insurgents in April last year has shown how unfit he is as a leader.

Ezekwesili, who spoke yesterday, observed that President Jonathan’s slow response to freeing the girls from the grip of the Boko Haram sect depicts incompetence in the country’s affairs.

Drawing a line between the French government’s quick response to terrorists attack on the country three days ago with Nigeria’s fight against Boko Haram, the former Minister stressed that the latter has not demonstrated the requisite will-power to rescue its territory from invaders.

She expressed concerns over the increasing spate of female suicide bombers in Nigeria, stressing that the development points to the failed security index of the nation.

The rights advocate however pledged to continue to advocate for the freedom of the girls in the face of blackmail, intimidation and threat to her group from the federal government.

Source – Daily Post Ng

Don’t Take The Law Into Your Hands, Buhari Tells Supporters

The All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Flag-bearer, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, urged his supporters to abide by the rule of law and must not tarnish the party’s image.


Buhari gave the advice at the inauguration of his campaign office and the presidential campaign council in Abuja.

According to him, no supporter should be rude to any leader on his behalf because it will amount to anti-party activity.

“I expect you to re-double your effort, I expect total support. I urge you not to insult or be rude to any leader on my behalf. Your conduct must not tarnish the image of the party.

“The opposition is committed to the rule of law. Learn to be vigilant before, during and immediately after elections. Don’t take the law into your hands, no matter the provocation.’’

He pledged that under the APC-led government, no Nigerian would go to bed hungry or angry at government.

“We promise you a landslide win and to us it’s a done deal.’’

Earlier, Gov. Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers, who double as Director-General of Buhari campaign outfit, said the party must get its acts right the first time.

He said “no one can deliver the APC, only three people: God, the people and you. There can’t be another chance like this and we can’t afford to disagree on any issue.

“The only source of disagreement should be the will to get it right, luckily, we have a wonderful candidate to sell, please join us.’’

Ameachi told the audience that the party Chairman, Chief John Oyegun, was robbed overnight, adding that the development accounted for his visible absence from the gathering.

In his vote of thanks, Buhari’s running mate, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, said “no-one knows where or how the wind blows but come Feb. 14, that wind will blow Gen. Buhari, prosperity and security into government.’’

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the campaign council includes all APC governors, party stalwarts and stakeholders.

2015: Still Celebrating The New Year Without NEPA By Dolapa Aina

The reader might wonder if this writer is livid (trust me; you don’t want to know what I have realised), but no crony or Hallelujah yeoman (or rather yeoboy) should table official excuses for an increasingly aware electorate.

Lagos: Thursday, 8th of January 2015

The time is 10.28am and as I pen this piece; I haven’t experienced a service which isn’t freely given to the citizens of Nigeria-Power. 8 days into the New Year; into an election year; this part of the city of Lagos (between the Lekki and Chevron axis) seems not to be on the radar of PHCN (Power Holding Company of Nigeria) which is still commonly referred to as NEPA (National Electricity Power Authority).

I had to pen a similar piece within the first week of 2014-HAPPY NEW YEAR WITHOUT NEPA. What struck me during the 4th day of this absence of basic electricity was/still is the fact that; this same dilemma was experienced by this writer exactly a year ago. Same situation in January 2014 and January 2015? This can only mean one thing (I leave you to deduce my thoughts; considering the fact that a lot of Nigerians can dig up newspapers of the 80s and 90s with screaming headlines of promises of 24hour uninterrupted power supply). One is tempted to conclude that “24hour uninterrupted power blackout” is now the norm.

A norm which should not be accepted for it is utterly abnormal. A childhood friend of this writer informed me that at his billionaire father’s palatial abode; 30,000 Naira worth of diesel is spent daily. About 250,000 a week. About 1 million (cool Naira) a month on diesel. Though, the money isn’t the issue but according to him, they could make better use of this handsome and pretty sum. Now, not many people can afford to spend even 250,000 Naira on diesel monthly. It would appear, Nigerians live on diesel. An absurdity which a lot of Nigerians and especially young Nigerians think is normal. I had to ask more privileged upper class business individuals who shuttle between Nigeria and overseas; if they experienced 24 hours of uninterrupted power supply for a day. The general answer was a no. One top oil and gas official had to really think to give me No as an answer. Have you noticed that when Nigerians travel overseas, they unintentionally tend to do home chores (especially ironing clothes) at odd houses? 

If African countries like South Africa can boast of over 70,000 Megawatts (and can still sell to neighbouring countries) and Rwanda can sort out power supply (as this writer experienced with 6days of uninterrupted power supply while there), then this country has no excuse. Actually, the only experiences of 24 hour uninterrupted power supply this writer experienced in 2014 weren’t in my own country. (Can you believe that and you wonder what the leaders of this giant are up to?)

The reader might wonder if this writer is livid (trust me; you don’t want to know what I have realised), but no crony or Hallelujah yeoman (or rather yeoboy) should table official excuses for an increasingly aware electorate. Excuses are the verbal swords of unsecure, unfocused, purposeless lazy leaders. The more enlightened Nigerians become; the more we see the light.

Dolapo Aina,

Lagos, Nigeria.

Follow and Twitteract with me on Twitter via @DolapoAina

Articles on are solely authors opinion

Arunma Oteh Leaves as Head of SEC After Five Years at Helm

Arunma Oteh left her position as head of the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission after five years leading market regulation in Africa’s biggest economy.

She left office on Jan. 7 and an acting director general will be appointed, Yakubu Olaleye, a spokesman for the Abuja-based agency, said by phone.

Under Oteh, the capital market“witnessed significant product innovation, improved listing rules, landmark bond-market reforms, the introduction of exchange-traded funds and widening of participation in the markets,” the SEC said in a statement on its website.

Oteh became head of the regulator in January 2010 as the market recovered from a 2009 financial crisis triggered by loans given to stock speculators and fuel importers in Africa’s biggest oil producer. The value of the bourse’s main index reached a peak of more than 13 trillion naira ($72 billion) last year before tumbling to 9.45 billion naira on Jan. 9. Nigerian stocks slid the most in the world last week as crude prices tumbled below $50 a barrel.

Oteh didn’t answer calls made to her mobile phone or return e-mailed requests for comment.

In June 2012, she was sent on “compulsory leave” while the SEC investigated allegations of mismanagement following an audit of spending on the market’s 50th anniversary. She was recalled by President Goodluck Jonathan a month later after external audit didn’t find illegal activities committed by her.

Oteh had created enemies by firing Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke as head of Nigerian Stock Exchange, saying the action was needed to curb “poor corporate governance,” manipulation of the market and financial waste. She cited cases in which hundreds of Rolex watches were bought as gifts and 1.7 billion naira was shared among employees of the bourse.

In October 2013, Oteh said the stock exchange needs oil and gas, power and telecommunications companies to list to meet its goal of reaching a market value of $1 trillion by 2016. South Africa’s FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index market value of 9.57 trillion rand ($832 billion)

Taraba Acting Governor Alhaji Sani Danladi Denies Working Against President Jonathan

The acting governor of Taraba State, Alhaji Sani Danladi has said he was not working against the re-election bid of President Goodluck Jonathan.

Danladi on Sunday described rumours that he instructed thugs to destroy Jonathan’s billboards within Jalingo metropolis as wicked lies meant to turn the President and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, against him.

Briefing journalists yesterday in Jalingo, the spokesman of the acting governor, Mr Slyvanus Giwa said the acting governor who had been canvassing for votes for Mr President could not have been behind the destruction of his billboards.

He stressed that his principal was working hard to unite the party and the entire state, and therefore, could not be behind the act.

“His Excellency, Alhaji Sani Danladi Abubakar has been dialoguing with stakeholders to see that everlasting peace returns to the state; let’s join hands with him by contributing our quotas to move Taraba State forward”, Giwa said.

He noted that Garba Umar and Danladi who had been at loggerheads had reconciled their differences and were now working together.

Fani-Kayode accuses INEC of shielding Buhari, insists he isn’t qualified to contest
He added that Danladi had succeeded in uniting all the party members and the party was currently working towards actualising its dream come February 28.

Source – Daily Post Ng

My Certificates Are With Military, Buhari Tells INEC

A former Head of State and the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the 2015 general elections, Maj.Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has told the Independent National Electoral Commission that his academic qualifications and credentials are with the military.

A visit by journalists to the headquarters of the commission on Monday in Abuja revealed that Buhari’s academic qualifications were not on display, unlike those of other Presidential candidates, including President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party.

But in an affidavit, which he deposed to at a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, he explained that all his certificates were with the Secretary, Military Board.

The affidavit dated November 24, 2014, was stamped and received by INEC on December 18 2014.

“I am the above-named person and deponent to this affidavit therein. All my academic qualifications documents as filled in my presidential form, President APC/001/2015, are currently with the Secretary, Military Board as of the time of presenting this affidavit. The affidavit is made in good faith and for record purpose,” Buhari stated.

The PUNCH had exclusively reported that Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo had also told INEC that his Bachelors and Masters’ degree certificates in Architecture from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, had been consumed by fire.

Sambo, who is the Vice Presidential candidate of the PDP, had made the declaration in the documents he filed with INEC and displayed on the commission’s office in Abuja, even though the details of the fire that consumed the certificates were not given.

Sambo’s papers were received and stamped by the INEC between December 10 and 18, 2014 and validated by two letters from the ABU, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent.

Source – Punch Ng

How I Crushed Terrorism as Head of State – GMB Reveals

Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Muhammadu Buhari in the meeting he held with passionate volunteers in Lagos on Tuesday, 23 December, spoke with clarity and wit about issues ranking from the economy and stablilising the naira, to politics of issues, to his stewardship at the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF).
He also repeated his call for peaceful elections and for citizens to protect their votes.
Of particular interest however are his statements on misplaced priorities in the government spending and his government’s success in fighting domestic terrorism, a very important point in history to remember as Nigeria battles the now dreaded Boko Haram sect.

As reported by a blogger, Joachim MacEbong, who was at the event:

One part of Buhari’s time in the military that has to be spoken about a lot more, is his decisiveness in dealing with enemies of the Nigerian state. He recounted an episode when Chadian troops killed Nigerian soldiers, during the regime of Hissene Habré. This was the despite the fact that Nigeria was giving petroleum products to Chad. “Unfortunately for him, [Habré] those soldiers were under me”, Buhari said, to laughter from the audience. It was one example of his dry humour that would come to the surface a few more times.

As for Maitatsine, he describes a problem that kept recurring after the leader of the group was first exiled by the Emir of Kano, then returned and was killed by the police. “I flew into Adamawa as head of state, and that was the last you heard of Maitatsine,” he said.

Buhari goes on to explain his role in events like Nigeria’s ‘observer’ status in the OIC, the so-called $2.8 billion ‘missing’ funds during his time at the NNPC, his time at the PTF, the famous 53 suitcases (which was apparently just luggage), and so on.

The Petroleum Trust Fund was much like today’s SURE-P. Pump prices were going to be raised, but the Abacha government needed someone the public could trust to manage subsidy savings. Buhari recounted how the first N2 billion of the N53 billion spent by the PTF was in Lagos, on projects like the Iju Waterworks. According to him, 12, 000 kilometres of roads were done by the PTF.

As a former military ruler, some are concerned with what Buhari might get up to if he becomes President, and whether his military instincts will take over. He describes his moment of conversion to democracy as when the Soviet Union collapsed without a shot being fired. For someone whose military career went on against the backdrop of 5 coups, one of which he was on the receiving end of, it must have been a Damascene moment for him.

#KakandaTemple ~ It’s Christmas in Chibok, Mr. President!


You know what this is about. But, have you contacted their family to understand the meaning and depth of sorrow? Which family? This is the reason for this reminder.

While you feast, in the spirit of this sacred season, sharing love with your political family, especially the billionaire donors, there are, somewhere in the hinterlands of this country or between the borders of the country to Niger Republic, Chad or Cameroon, innocent citizens condemned to a slavery that can only be imagined by us.

I’m talking about the innocent school girls abducted at a government secondary school in Borno State. For these girls, Mr. President, December 25 doesn’t mean anything, having been held captive by savages to whom any Christian values and even the values of peace-building Muslims represent a threat they seek to exterminate, a fantasy for which they have killed thousands of your subjects, and which you seem to take for granted at our peril.

The question that your loyalists who proudly, actually shamefully, parade themselves as “Jonathanians” always ask is, are the girls of Chibok the only abducted since the wake of this insurgency, in their attempts to discredit the #BringBackOurGirls campaign and group? The answer to this has been proffered by members of the group from the incredibly energetic Mrs Aisha Yesufu whose resilience has been an inspiration for faint-hearted and absenting advocates of the movement like me to the courageous Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, on the back of whose charisma and audacity the campaign rose to the attention of the world, and now continues to dominate the discourse of man’s inhumanity in global politics.

The answer to this stubborn refusal to let go of this campaign and continuous call for the rescuing of Chibok Girls, as understood by all who still believe in the cause, is that it not only calls for you to bring back the missing girls, but any thinking person knows that any mission initiated to rescue the girls of Chibok will definitely result in the liberation of not just all the citizens abducted so far, but also the country itself from operations and oppressions of these ragtag agents of the Devil.

You see, #BringBackOurGirls is more than just a campaign, more than just a hashtag, more than just a sit-out, more than just a congregation of the nation’s finest minds, it defies the criticisms of all employed by you to frustrate and discredit it as a result of nothing other than this very singularity of the campaigners’ exact purpose: #BringBackOurGirls.

That this advocacy has survived all brazen fabrications and conspiracies against it, becoming the longest ever in Nigeria, is a tribute to the power of what the advocates themselves refer to as “the singularity of purpose” – keen focus on the efforts, reported those are, to bring back the 219 girls. This advocacy survived being dismissed as partisan, that it’s a tool of the opposition party. But even an excited APC chieftain, Mr. Audu Ogbeh, who, in his praise of the advocacy, tried to link it to the opposition party had to issue a press release at once, retracting his statement, and apologising for the mistake and embarrassment caused.

What I really don’t understand, Mr. President, is this: that your people’s daughters and sons and mothers and fathers, citizens of the country you’re elected to protect, have been in captivity without any update on efforts taken to rescue them, without any sobering, even if pretentious, assurance that they will be home soon, with their grief-stricken families. YET, here you are, again, asking for their votes, proud of your under-achievements and acting as though nothing has gone missing, not even the billions, because your family or interests are not affected. I just don’t get it.

Mr. President, if you actually believe the propaganda that places you on the same platform with the Mandelas of this world, which seems to have given you the audacity to ask these betrayed people for another opportunity to rule, to mismanage this animal farm, then your case is more than just political, it’s psychological. Or is it that I don’t really get it?

But, let’s agree that I don’t get it, can you give me, a curious subject, just one reason to cast my vote for you? You may be a good man in the closet – introverted, soft-spoken and ambitious, but your political decisions and even communication over these years, with this retinue of indecorous media aides you employ to insult citizens asking genuine questions, have only damaged you.

I know you may get elected again, a reality no sane citizen wants to ponder, because beside the few million agents of change whose decisions are based on the outcomes of their brains, there are several millions of victims of maladministration too hungry to use their brains, some, having been indoctrinated by certain political, ethnic, religious or regional overlords, are already possessed by dangerous sentiments.

You may empty even the nation’s foreign reserve which is now, I learnt, in red, but history will remember you as it does those who occupied the office before you: harshly. Wait, if the problems of this country are beyond you as shown, why desperate to remain in that Office?

While, to you, politics is a game, it’s a matter of life to us. The #BringBackOurGirls campaigners are immune to the partisan sentiments of your handlers and that of your opponents, are only interested in a nation under the leadership of a human being who is, not just a Muslim, not just a Christian, not just a Yoruba, not just a Hausa, not just an Ijaw, not just a northerner, not just a southerner, but responsible! For this, Nigerians across all divides, owe this group immense gratitude, if not for anything, for amplifying the voice of the ordinary Nigerian. The group has travelled the country and the world spreading the word of our miseries and keeping the reality of our hopelessness on the headlines of both local and international media, print, broadcast and online.

On Christmas Eve, while we empty shopping malls in our grand cities, and while you decorate the State House for another of your many fanfares, living as though all is well with the territory you have vowed to protect, members of the group, already known for their identifications of deficiencies at our squalid camps for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), were in action in Adamawa State to launch #ChristmasForIDPs campaign to excite the lives of those subjects of government that is everything but responsible. This humanitarian cause was led by another incredibly amazing advocate, Mrs. Bukky Shonibare.

And do you, Mr. President, know that Mrs. Shonibare, despite her schedules, have been posting photographs of herself holding a placard that reminds us of the days our girls have spent in captivity as she counted down to Christmas, optimistic that you may surprise her, and make the girls of Chibok and all in captivity return home to mark this Christmas with their loved aways, safe from those indoctrinating them, and protected from the monster they are being turned into? Thanks to this group which your media aides, in whose skulls that mass of tissue called brain is absent, once referred to as “psychological terrorists”, we learnt that this Christmas is the 255th day since the abduction of the Chibok girls, 255 days of miseries for over 200 families. I just want you to know, I just want to remind you that among other things missing, also #BringBackOurGirls. And for this horrifying reality, I may change the antagonist in my weekly prayer for the first time ever: may God save us from you!

By Gimba Kakanda

@gimbakakanda on Twitter

#KakandaTemple ~ A Note to Critics of Change


There is no disaster as devastating as the aggregation of petty and polarising sentiments by a people at a crossroads, a people being offered options, yet unwilling to consider these, despite their loud clamouring for change. I’m talking about these cynical Nigerians who have furiously condemned the status quo and find the brand of democracy in practice here “abominable” and in consequence will not take positions or act. These are the people for whom, as an angry Dante Alighieri once told us, the darkest places in hell is reserved for—their sin being neutrality in times of moral crisis.

I was among those who challenged the promotion of General Muhammadu Buhari as “the only morally upright politician” by some zealous supporters, finding such a formulation insulting and an unfair indictment of our generation. I held that accepting that Buhari was the only upright man meant if he bowed out, we had no replacement, and that we all needed to stop celebrating that nonsense and either begin crying or pointing to alternatives. There are indeed some out there, only lacking the myth surrounding the old soldier. Yet, I also maintained that whoever the APC fielded as presidential candidate for the 2015 elections, if against this famously failed leader named Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, would be my candidate. This, of course, held a dilemma for me at that time.

But that dilemma has now been terminated by the recently concluded presidential primaries at the conventions of the nation’s two major parties in which Buhari defeated other career politicians to pick the APC’s ticket, while the congregation at Eagle Square, possessed by Stockholm Syndrome, praised the failings of Jonathan, the man they now compare to Mandela and Martin King Jr., and thus asked him to fly PDP’s ticket at the ominous February Polls. Well, we all know the consequences of presidential anger. If you don’t, consult Jigawa’s Governor Sule Lamido. Perhaps it was this possibility that encouraged the amnesia of our Eagle Square delegates?

Unlike many others, my idea of a change in Nigeria isn’t tied to the elevation of APC to political dominance, rather to have the two major parties tangled in heavily competitive bout, with each striving to be the better suitor. Having PDP entirely replaced by APC is a return to status quo, clearly, considering the ease with which politicians defect in this space.

So, my idea of change in 2015 is more of a resolve to have the central government under the leadership of a sensible human being. But the question we ought to honestly ask ourselves, even though the answer may be unsettling, are: can the opposition oust the incumbent in this period running up to the 16th anniversary of this chaos we call democracy? Or, let me say, with a mischievous tone, are the actual majority off Twitter and Facebook and at remote villages and “forgotten cities” set to form a structure to resist the tools of “stomach infrastructure” on the way to their houses even as we speak as Election Day draws near?

I’ve compromised on some principles, but compromise that leads to the continuation of a government as tragic as Jonathan’s is something I simply can’t afford. What I must highlight is, that I don’t like Jonathan doesn’t mean I hate PDP. I believe there are some great minds in PDP, the same way I see pretenders mingling with the great minds in APC. Which is why I’ll be casting vote for some PDP candidates running for some offices in 2015.

I will not engage in, or be lured into, any petty denigration of the opposition party, nor of its newly presented presidential candidate, as is being championed by some supposedly responsible thought leaders in this space.

It’s convenient to ridicule the quest for change if you’ve not felt the impact of the maladministration that has brought this country to its knees; if you’re in faraway Europe or America, with 24-hour power and water supply; if you wake up every day without a fear over your safety and that of your loved ones; if you’re not affected by the stealing, which our wise leader once said isn’t the same as corruption, that has wracked every institution in the country; if you’re not turned against your brother from another ethnic group or religion or region by the politics and gimmicks of a dangerous President. It’s convenient to trivialize the essence of a government if you haven’t lost a family to insurgency because of an incompetent leadership. And unless you enjoy a 24-hour power supply, quality service at corruption-free institutions, impressive social amenities, all in a de-polarised system, your defence of this administration is either a case of sycophancy taken too far or delusion shamelessly justified.

There are things that shouldn’t be an issue of intellectual masturbation, and the quest for change by pathetically oppressed Nigerians is one of such. If you’ve no power to restore the lives and properties destroyed by bad leadership, the sage thing to do is being neutral and awaiting Dante Alighieri’s prescription of a harsh hell for your ilk.

But February 2015 is an uncertain period. Which is also why we must now promote, especially for those who consider politics a do-or-die affair, the meaning of democracy. We must assure the zealots that the only way to elect a new leader is by converging at polling units to vote, not by threatening those against them, or even breaking loose and harming those in the Other party. And while we do this, let’s also remember the electorate at villages with no motorable roads; those who do not know what we mean by change; those who only need food to eat, land to till, crops to harvest who are more vulnerable to the seduction of a wad of cash in exchange for their ballot papers.

Another bitter truth we have to chew is, nobody can rig an election without the complicity of the people. And when some of us contribute to electoral malpractices, the last I checked, the courtroom is the only place for resolution of such conflicts. No citizen deserves to die for the ambition of any politician. The bad and the good must co-exist, so long as our shared nationality isn’t a myth. This country is a reflection of ourselves. May God save us from us.

By Gimba Kakanda

@gimbakakanda on Twitter

10 Things You Need To Know This Morning #NewsBits

Good morning! Here are 10 things you need to know this morning:

1. Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, has threatened in a new video that the group will kill the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II. The threat is a response to the Emir’s call on Kano people to arm themselves and unite against the sect. The 19-minute video tagged Sanusi and other Muslim leaders as pagans.

2. A former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, has alleged that the leader of the Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos State, Chief Olabode George, and the newly elected governorship candidate of the party in the state, Mr. Jimi Agbaje engaged armed thugs in the recent governorship primary election in Lagos state. He alleged that some arms were recovered from the hired thugs by the police. This latest allegation is contained in an affidavit he filed before a Federal High Court in Abuja, in support of his earlier suit.

3. The wait was finally over in the fold of the All Progressives Congress , APC, on Wednesday as its presidential candidate, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), announced Prof. Yemi Osinbajo as his running mate. Buhari, while making the announcement said Osinbajo was chosen to help him to realize the task of nation building after 2015.

4. Report says the Nigerian Army has sentenced the 54 soldiers who have been under trial to death by firing squad for the offences of mutiny and conspiracy to commit mutiny. The soldiers include two corporals, nine lance corporals, and 48 private soldiers from the 111 Special Forces Battalion, Maiduguri, Borno State.

5. The office of the Senate President, David Mark has refuted claims by the Divisional Police Officer attached to the National Assembly, Mr. James Idachaba that Mark’s security details were responsible for teargassing speaker Tambuwal and other lawmakers. Mark in a statement through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said the officer lied, tagging the report as dubious and embarrassing.

6. About 10 persons were on Monday killed by suspected members of the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram, who ambushed motorists on the Borno highway. The insurgents also abducted a woman and her two-year- old child during the attack.

7. A Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday, stopped moves by the House of Representatives to investigate the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, over an alleged reckless spending of N10 billion on chartered jet. Justice Ahmed Mohammed in his judgment voided two separate summons issued to the plaintiffs by the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Reps, that requested their appearance before the committee.

8. The House of Representatives on Wednesday, shifted the debate on the 2015 budget presented before it yesterday to January 13, 2015 after lawmakers would have returned from the Christmas and New Year break. The House consequently adjourned till January 13, 2015.

9. Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, yesterday embarked on a nationwide strike and shutting the nation’s ports operations. The workers are protesting a prolonged misunderstanding with the government. Some of the reasons for the protest are the non-payment wages and other issues affecting the Tally Clerks/On-board Security, minimum standard for Dockworkers and NPA staff welfare matters among others. Report says workers were withdrawn from their duty posts across the port formations in Lagos, Warri, Port Harcourt, Calabar and Onne, as early as 7am on Wednesday.

10. President Goodluck Jonathan and members of the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday paid tribute to a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, late Amb. Olugbenga Ashiru who died recently of brain tumour at a South African hospital. Jonathan, during the tribute session, described Ashiru as a man who spent all his life serving the nation selflessly.

Source – Daily Post Ng

Jonathan Plotting To Block Me From Emerging Buhari’s Running Mate – Tinubu

A national leader of the All Progressives Congress [APC], Bola Tinubu, has accused President Goodluck Jonathan of mounting a campaign to block him from picking the vice presidential ticket of the party.

He said the president and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP], were afraid that the combination of a former Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, and himself as the APC presidential and vice presidential candidates, could wreck them in the February 14 election.

He was responding to an article published in a popular online medium, Sahara Reporters titled, “How Jonathan Blackmailed Bola Tinubu before 2011 Presidential Election: Season of Wrong knives.”

The former Lagos governor is accusing the President of being behind the report even though Sahara Reporters  is not known to be a fan or mouth piece of Mr. Jonathan.

Mr. Tinubu, is angling to run on the same ticket in the presidential election with Mr. Buhari, who was elected the APC candidate last Thursday.

However, it is believed that some of the party’s leaders are not comfortable with the combination because both are Muslims.

The statement by the Tinubu Media Office, on Tuesday, said the unfolding “smear campaign” against the former governor did not come as a surprise.

It said the campaign against Mr. Tinubu had been in the works for years since the Jonathan-led government realized that the APC leader commanded a powerful political followership.

“The successful merger and birth of the APC posed the most potent threat to the PDP and Tinubu, an architect of the merger, has become a marked man,” the statement said.


Mr Suleiman Abba Warns Officers Against Acts Of Indiscipline

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Suleiman Abba, on Thursday warned the inspectorate, rank and file cadre in the police that the force would no longer condone any act of indiscipline.

Abba, in a statement issued by Mr Emmanuel Ojukwu the force spokesman, warned that those caught in the act would be punished internally and made to face the wrath of the law.

He said his attention had been drawn to a communiqué published in one of the national dailies on Wednesday, “listing some grievances of policemen’’.

The I-G said he had directed Zonal Assistant Inspectors-General of Police and Command Commissioners of Police to monitor the activities of officers and men of the force.

He however, called on junior officers “to remain resolute in pursuit of their statutory duties’’ and assured them that they would get their welfare and entitlement as at when due.

He said the problems confronting the force were being addressed, warning that they should distance themselves from any act that could jeopardise public peace or the nation’s democracy.

Abba assured all personnel that efforts were being made by the management team to address challenges in the force and improve welfare including promotions, courses, issuance of uniforms, among others.

He acknowledged their commitment to duties and professionalism at providing safety and securing the nation, as well as sacrifices being made daily by officers.

– Source –

Opposition Parties Lack Ability To Defeat PDP In Elections – David Mark

Senate President, David Mark, has said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is not threatened by the gathering opposition parties ahead of the 2015 polls.

He congratulated the four House of Representatives members elected as flag bearers of the party in his Benue South Senatorial Zone.

Mark urged the electorates to renew faith in the PDP, as it “ remains the party for the people of Nigeria devoid of any religious or ethnic sentiments. It is a national party that accommodates all and promotes peace and unity”.

He maintained that the opposition parties in the country lack the capacity to defeat the PDP at the 2015 general elections.

The elected four PDP flag bearers for 2015 House of Representatives in his constituency include Samson Okwu (Obi/Oju), Ezekiel Adaji (Otukpo /Ohimini), Adamu Entonu (Agatu/Apa) and Chris Aba (Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo).

Mark told the newly elected PDP flag bearers that their integrity, experience and track records of achievements earned them the mandate of the delegates.

He, however, enjoined them to extend the olive branch to those who lost in the elections so that every body would be on board on the PDP sailing ship to victory in 2015.

Mark implored his constituents to remain steadfast with the PDP as the ideal vehicle that is capable of delivering dividends of democracy to all Nigerians without segregation.

To all those who lost at the primaries, the Senate President advised them to rally round the winners to ensure victory at the general elections, saying: “the umbrella is large enough to accommodate every member of the party”.

He told his people to exhibit the same good behaviour in the remaining stages of the elections.

A Dummies Guide to Nigeria’s Political Future By Douglas Imaralu

As we settled on a plastic table beside a see through glass in a Victoria Island class C restaurant, Bankole and I simultaneously sipped from our N200 per cup fresh juice, reminiscing on our good old university days, business opportunities, and Nigeria’s fast-changing political environment. We had had an academically nonchalant, fun-filled time in school, but now, our lives were taking shape, as our Nation’s.

Bankole had towed the entrepreneurial route, while I was busying myself with professional studies and working in the media. “In 20 years power would have changed hands completely,” he said, adding that some of the current crop of leaders will not even be at the helm of affairs in 2020. He also implied that by sticking to entrepreneurship he would have made enough money to rub shoulders with the new political elite.  But as I chewed on his words, preparing my argument, I was tugged back by the fact that he was concerned about himself only. Not Nigeria.  So instead of trying to explain to him why young Nigeria n entrepreneurs must care about the politics of brooms and umbrellas, (I’m of the opinion that a combination of entrepreneurs, technocrats and politicians working together build great nations), I thought I’d share my thoughts on Nigeria’s political future.

Are We Ready?

Few weeks the Facebook page of an ex-Student Union leader vying for a position in the House of Representatives piqued my attention.  “Tested and trusted…from XXX Student Union to House of Assembly,” his campaign slogan read. And as I thought whether or not he is the best candidate, I found answers from excerpts in Chude Jideonwu’s Are We the Turning Point Generation?

  1. Competence and capability are two different things. This guy might be capable in running university politics, but can he do it on a larger scale. Also, is he competent? What does he know about public administration?
  2. Candidates underestimate Nigeria’s problem; get into office, then become overwhelmed. The solution to Nigeria’s problem is as complex as her ethnic groups. But perhaps, this is a new Nigeria and he has solutions we so badly need. And,
  3. Of what character are those representing the youth agenda and what is the youth agenda considering diversity? Well, he did it in the university, but does that mean we give him a bigger platform?

’Change for the future is here. Let’s make it happen’

Lately, musicians, comedians, sons of politicians and all sorts of individuals with arguably questionable characters have joined the masquerade cult announcing political ambitions, submitting nomination forms and campaigning for votes.  Reading through an article which details member of defunct pop group Remedies Tony Tetuila’s intention to run in the forthcoming general elections in 2015, I couldn’t help but notice the tag line: ’Change for the future is here. Let’s make it happen’. I also spared a thought for what kind of change he could possibly bring.  Having read several articles, and comments, condemning the ineptitude of the current crop of leaders, to think that future appears to be a cheap imitation of the past implies our generation is no better.

Another look at some candidates vying for public office in 2015 reveals a not so bright future – but that’s just my opinion.  From floundering musicians (9ice, Tony Tetuila, Kenny Saint Brown), actors (Kate Henshaw, Desmond Elliot), and comedians (Julius Agwu) to sons of the Ogunlewes, Obanikoros, Adeshinas and Co, I can only grimace at the thought of Nigeria’s political future, whose cast looks more a parade of desperate fortune-seekers than people passionate about identifying, formulating, implementing and evaluating domestic policies that will improve the lives of millions of Nigerians and move the country closer to realizing its potential.

Again, perhaps I’m wrong; this is a dummy’s recount and I’m just a boring student of public policy who doubts the possibility of a Nollywood actor doing an Arnold Schwarzenegger, or better.

One for the Money

Alas! There is hope. Not all are for money, convoys, and immunity.  I thought about profiling some of the new kids on the Nigeria’s political block, but that quickly faded as I imagined the divide it could cause – young Nigerians are quick to abandon reason for political, religious, ethnic and geographical stances, but even more quickly to abandon it for money. The present crop of so-called youth leaders will forever remain puppets of broom or umbrella godfathers.

Although it is almost always right to remain politically correct, these lots will never do anything to hurt their political relationships, even at the expense of the people who elected them.  So is there hope for a crop of young, people-focused political elite taking charge of the machinery of government? I doubt, as young Nigerians are already infected with the share-the-national-cake syndrome.

New Nigeria

Indeed, this is a new Nigeria brimming with bright stars like Gbenga Sesan, Toyosi Akerele, Tolu Ogunlesi, Chude Jideonwus etc. giving us a voice and reason to hope for a better Nigeria, but are we not due to reap the virtuous  fruits? One would think that if any of these young chaps are pushed forward, perhaps their individual success would influence domestic policy for good.

But after reading a report indicating that a “combination of various tactics and strategies” gave one Erhiatake, daughter of former Governor, Ibori, who is currently serving a jail term in a London prison over money laundering charges, the ticket for Ethiope West in the House of Assembly primaries in oil-rich Delta State, I dare say we would continue having individual success for a while as we are not ready to determine our own political future.  Till then, I guess the broom or umbrella machinery will continue to rule by proxy.

Articles on are solely authors opinion

APC Members Would Never Think Of Poisoning The President In the Name Of Power Tussle – Lai Mohammed

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said the comment by Chief Edwin Clark, that if the opposition has its way it can poison or kill President Goodluck Jonathan just to take power, is absurd, incendiary and unbecoming of an elder statesman of the Chief’s stature.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said Chief Clark’s comment, which was widely reported by newspapers, is the latest in a string of statements by President Jonathan’s supporters that are overheating the polity ahead of the 2015 general elections and are even threatening the peace and unity of the country.


”We have waited for several days to give Chief Clark the opportunity to deny making such a fallacious statement, but he has not done so, which means he was not misquoted and that he indeed meant what he said.

”It is time for the President himself to call his supporters to order for the sake of the peace and unity of our dear nation. They have been threatening fire and brimstone if the President is not re-elected in 2015, as if elections are won by threats. One has even gone as far as saying there will blood on the streets if the President is not re-elected,” it said.

APC said in making his dangerous comment, Chief Clark probably mistook the party for the PDP, which has been described as the nest of killers.

”Our party has never and will never contemplate killing or poisoning President Jonathan just to take power, as Chief Clark carelessly said. We are neither a violent nor an anarchic party. We do not seek power by any means other than through the ballot box. Therefore we reject, totally, the statement by Chief Clark.

”We remind Chief Clark that since President Jonathan was voted into office by Nigerians, they also reserve the right to vote him out of office. This is the way it is done in every true democracy, and heavens will not fall if President Jonathan is not re-elected in 2015. His supporters should put their emotions in check and stop making comments that are downright treasonable,” the party said.

Source –

FG Is Behind Boko Haram Insurgency – Sect leader

Sheikh Muhammad Mahmoud Turi, Leader of El-Zakzaky Muslim Sect in Kano, on Thursday declared that there is no way the Federal Government can exonerate itself from the activities of the Boko Haram sect.

The sect leader said the consistent operation of the sect in the Northeast and other parts of the North indicated that government and its agencies have a hand in its activities.

Sheikh Mahmoud, who spoke to reporters at NUJ Press Centre, also said his people would commence a six-day mass trekking ritual from Kano to Zaria starting from Sunday, December 7, to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, a freedom fighter.

“It is an open secret that the present government cannot exonerate itself from all these mayhem that is happening in the country. It is so obvious that whatever may be the reason, nobody in the country can tell us that the government is not aware or has no hand in what is happening, the government is fully responsible and there is no doubt about it.

“If one is saying that government is not Boko Haram, how did the soldiers get guns and killed us in Zaria? Are they not the Boko Haram? Who killed the three sons of our national leader in broad day light in Zaria? The soldiers killed our people. Those children were university students and Boko Haram means education is sin, then the soldiers killed them for nothing sake! The soldiers are the Boko Haram.

“I cannot agree with the vice president or any other person who made such a presentation that the government can be exonerated from the activities of Boko Haram. Nobody anywhere in Nigeria can agree to that—except if that person is either afraid or he is a politician. You can never exonerate or separate the government from Boko Haram,” he stated.

Source –

Nigeria Ranks 39th On World’s Most Corrupt Nations List

While Nigeria remains 42nd on the latest global ranking by world football governing body, FIFA, the country has advanced on the rank of the most corrupt nations.

Nigeria is now the 39th most corrupt nation in the world, the global corruption watchdog, Transparency International, TI, has said in its latest release.

According to the Corruption Perception Index 2014 released on Wednesday, Nigeria scored 27 out of a maximum 100 marks to clinch the 136th position out of the 175 countries surveyed for the report.

The country appeared to have advanced by eight points against its 2013 rating of 144th of 175 countries last year.

A statement issued by the Transparency International noted that more than two thirds of the 175 countries in the 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index scored below 50, on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean).

Denmark is the least corrupt nation in the world, ranking first out of the 175 countries surveyed while North Korea and Somalia are the most corrupt nations of the world.

Botswana comes top as the least corrupt nation in Africa, ranking 31st least corrupt globally while South Africa is ranked 67th.

Source – Daily Post NG

Civil Servants Warn FG Against Retrenchment Of Workers

Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, yesterday, warned of dire consequences if Federal Government decided to retrench workers under the guise of austerity measures announced last month.

In a statement by its President and Secretary-General, Bobboi Bala Kaigama and Alade Bashir Lawal, the union said any attempt by government to sack workers or reduce their salaries in the name of austerity measures would amount to a declaration of war on Nigerian workers and would be resisted by the labour movement

According to the statement, “when the economy boomed, the political office holders were freeloading as if there was no tomorrow, while most Nigerian workers lived below $2.
“During that period, workers called for better pay package but were rebuffed by the ruling elite. It was enjoyment galore for those in government, while workers were helpless and hapless as if they were not stakeholders in the system.

“Today, the meagre N18,000 minimum wage approved in 2011 by the Federal Government has not been fully implemented by some state governments and as such it will be the height of insensitivity for any government to contemplate sacking civil servants or reducing their pay in the name of austerity measures.”

– Source –

Ex-Militant Leaders Tackle Coordinator Over Amnesty Funds

Scores of former Niger Delta militant leaders are locked in battle with the Coordinator in charge of Bayelsa State, Pastor Reuben Wilson, over alleged diversion of N150m amnesty funds.

The ex-agitators have therefore asked the Federal Government to commence investigations into the matter.

The ex-agitators said that the money was meant for their empowerment but was nowhere to be found, suspecting that it had been diverted to private pockets.

In a petition addressed to President Goodluck Jonathan through their lawyers, Olu Ojujoh & Co., the ex-militants said since they surrendered their arms in 2009, nothing had been done to resettle them.

The group of ex-militants in the petition dated November 25 and signed by Head of Chambers, Olu Ojujoh, accused Wilson of “squandering all the money the Federal Government paid through him to settle them.”

The ex-agitators in the petition made available to our correspondent on Tuesday, called on the police, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission and other anti-graft agencies to arrest and probe Wilson.

They traced their woes to 2011 when, according to them, the Federal Government through the Amnesty Office released N10m housing allowance to each militant leader.

But the aggrieved ex-militants claimed that their group leader was fond of paying them what he liked instead of the money approved by the government.

Source – Punch NG

Why I Want To Be President – Chief Sam Nda-Isaiah

The All Progressive Congress presidential aspirant, Chief Sam Nda-Isaiah, said Tuesday in Abuja that he wants to be Nigeria’s President in order to change the course of history in the country.

He promised that his government will be  “very harsh” on corruption.

Nda-Isaiah told journalists shortly after he was screened by the presidential screening committee of the party that the only way to fight graft is to be harsh on corruption, adding that the anti- graft czar is the President himself.

He said the body language of a President alone is enough to fight corruption, saying, “from your body language, people will decide whether to be corrupt or not. If your idea is to suspend the Central Bank governor for raising alarm about corruption, are you now surprise that there is corruption in the land?

“I want to be President to change the course of history of this country. I did not leave what I was doing which I was enjoying to come and get harassed simply because I want to feel good about it.

Declare To Everyone You Have Joined APC , Stop Destroying PDP – Yoruba Group Tells Obasanjo

A group under the aegis, Afenifere Renaissance Youth Congress (ARYG) has condemned former President Olusegun Obasanjo for criticising President Olusegun Obasanjo openly when he has unfettered access to the Presidential Villa, describing the lampoon as unstatesmanlike.

Speaking against the backdrop of the recent attacks by Obasanjo on President Jonathan, on behalf of the Yoruba youth group, leader of the group, Mr Abimbola Owolabi in Abuja noted that it was difficult to believe that Obasanjo was still a member of the PDP, however urged him to formally dump his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP for the opposition, the All Progressives Congress, APC.

The group which alleged that the former Chairman of PDP Board of Trustees, BoT was working to damage the PDP from within, however called on him to move out of the PDP and pitch his tent with the APC now that he has donned the garb of an opposition element, adding, “Obasanjo is a war General; he should be bold enough to show to Nigerians his APC membership card. He is too old for this chicanery and the hide-and-seek game he is playing within the PDP.”

The group, which comprises many members of the PDP in the South-west zone, wondered why Obasanjo cannot respect the provisions of the Constitution of the party, especially the section that frowns at bringing the name and image of the Party to disrepute.

Source – Vanguard NGR

Reps List 50 Impeachable Offences Against Jonathan

Indications emerged yesterday that members of the House of Representatives are on the same page with their Senate counterparts in their bid to impeach President Goodluck Jonathan.


It was reliably gathered that the assembly men would start impeachment process against the President immediately it reconvenes next Wednesday.

This is just as the lawmakers coordinating the impeachment process have disclosed that they have identified over 50 constitutional violations against the President, which would form part of the impeachment notice.

A ranking officer in the House who revealed this said both chambers have resolved to work together for the common good of the country by impeaching President Jonathan for “incompetence, corruption and unprecedented impunity.”

He revealed that the impeachment plot against Jonathan was not a partisan affair, explaining that lawmakers from all the political parties have identified with the “cause” and will not give up until the President is “sent packing.”

“I’m sure you read the reports today that senators are going to move against Jonathan. Now you can confirm that the impeachment thing is not about APC. It is a non-partisan cause. We have all resolved that the man (President Jonathan) must go.

“Never in the history of Nigeria has a leader displayed such crass incompetence as we have seen in President Jonathan. It is glaring and you can feel it. Mr. President, with due respect, has shown that he is not capable of running this country. That is the basic truth”, he stated.

According to the lawmaker, over 50 impeachable offences have been identified against the president and members of the House would work closely with the Senate to ensure that the president is impeached.

– Source – Vanguard NGR

Of Jonathanian Impunity and Progressive Rascality

Civility, decorum and decency were discarded last week as lawmakers confronted Jonathanian impunity with rascality. When impunity meets rascality, chaos becomes inevitable. The commotion and show of shame that the world was treated to at the National Assembly is an embarrassment to democracy. Impunity is fast becoming an entrenched culture in our society and regrettably, the Nigerian Police as a law enforcement institution is at the forefront of championing this negative trend.

When impunity is not sanctioned, it gains ground and soon becomes a norm. One would have thought that the last has been seen of such unethical conducts, where elected leaders behave like rascals as we witnessed at the River State House of Assembly where lawmakers engaged in a vicious fight that saw one of them nearly clubbed to death with a mace. The world was treated to yet another sordid video that totally ridiculed the country as a nation where impunity trumps the rule of law. Not done with the usurpation of the authority of the Judiciary by withdrawing the Speakers security details, the Police IG and his men overreached their bounds by locking out the Speaker and APC lawmakers to possibly give the ruling party the leeway to impeach the man they had already stopped recognizing as the Speaker of the Federal House. Such act of desperation and obvious partisanship can only occur with the tactic support of the Commander in Chief.

While it has become needful to confront the impunity of the ruling government in a bid to salvage our democracy, actions that ridicules the nation as a society where ethics and good conduct are non-existent, cannot be the best approach. Scaling the fence like errant rascals under the guise of defending democracy is not a good example to the younger generation that see some of these leaders as role models. The leading opposition party is beginning to behave like a party of rascals, an adjective the President Jonathan used to describe the leaders of the defunct ACN.

Before the unfortunate incident of the NASS invasion, the leading figures of the APC had embarked on a mass demonstration to register its anger against the government. Nothing is wrong with peacefully venting your anger against government but when leaders who ordinarily should be decorous in words and action, begin to make statements that threaten ôthe sovereignty of the nation, it calls for serious concern. The Governor of Rivers State is turning to a rabble-rouser of some sorts with his unguarded and statesmanly tirades, the recent one being his vow that the opposition party will set up a parallel government if the election is rigged.

A rascal like the Niger Delta warlord, Asari Dokubo, can be forgiven if he makes such uncultured statement, but coming from a leading political figure and a man whose mandate was retrieved by the court, it is most unfortunate. Recall, that it was this same governor that supervised the beating of five lawmakers in his state that attempted to pull off a coup of some sorts against him. His Edo State counterpart also threatened ‘fire for fire’ if the ruling party attempts to rig the 2015 election. The consequences of such inflammatory statements is still fresh in our minds, the collateral damage occasioned by the 2011 post election violence can never be replaced. One would expect a party that promises ‘change’, to be decent in their pursuit for power.

Elsewhere in Ekiti State, the reign of impunity has begun as the Governor has given his support to 7 lawmakers that unlawfully impeached the Speaker in brazen disregard to the constitution. He probably took a cue from the President who also recognized a faction of the NGF that claimed that 16 is greater than 19. The nation is hanging precariously on a cliff and instead of taking concerted actions to calm the polity; the government is fiddling while Rome burns. Sometimes, I wonder how this government finds time to engage in politics when the troubles in the land are enough to keep them perpetually busy.

This culture of impunity must be halted. It is incumbent on the President as the leader of this nation to lead by example, to defend our constitution and to deepen our democracy.


Offor Honest  @honest4change.

The Making of a Tyrant: President Goodluck Jonathan

“There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.”- Charles de Montesquieu

Plato and Aristotle define a tyrant as; “One who rules without law, looks to his own advantage rather than that of his subjects, and uses extreme and cruel tactics against his own people as well as others” and that is who President Goodluck Jonathan is!

The seeds, which produce a tyrant, like the seeds that generate other abnormal aberrations, are planted in the early life of an individual. In the case of President Goodluck Jonathan, it is not easy to assess his potential as a ruthless tyrant because of his naturally innocent and calm looking face but the actions displayed by the people working under his commands speak more of him than does his look.

It has been said that a country and people get the type of government that they deserve, but the rise of Jonathan to power has been a complete disaster conceivable for Nigeria, even for Africa and for the rest of the world.

The mistaken belief that we are democratic because we have an elected government is an extremely cruel myth. This cannot be overemphasized considering the recent commotion that happened on Thursday, 20th November 2014, at the National Assembly, the very birthday anniversary of the President. When heavily armed security operatives prevented the Speaker of the House of Representative- Aminu Tambuwal from gaining access to the House to preside over the deliberation on the extension of the emergency rule in the North Eastern part of the country. The invasion of the security operatives on the House will well

go down in history and President Goodluck Jonathan, will never be forgotten for the wrongful use of force to intimidate the opposition in a perceived democratic society.

Tyranny does not start in a day; President Goodluck Jonathan became a tyrant before now, but we were deluded with the belief that democracy does not begat tyrants that was why we ignored his actions.

As a leader, once you become aware that something wrong or evil is afoot; your choices are limited to taking corrective actions. If you choose to look the other way, the guilt of knowing and living with your choice to do nothing is evil and you`re not in any way different from a tyrant.

What happened at the National Assembly was an abuse of power by the Presidency. The use of state agents to harass, intimidate and humiliate perceived opponents of the President is such tyrannical and not even expected in a nascent democratic setup like ours.

It started long time ago, but we did nothing about it. The Former governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva has repeatedly stated that his trial was motivated by his political disagreements with President Jonathan and he was the one that prevented him from running for a second term in office who then imposed upon the state, his protege, Seriake Dickson as governor. Then it moved to Rivers State when five renegade lawmakers loyal to President Jonathan out of the 23 lawmakers of the House attempted to impeach the State Speaker- RT. Hon. Otelemaba Amachree. While in Ekiti, seven lawmakers from the People Democratic Party (PDP) out of the 26 lawmakers in the house impeached RT. Hon. Dr. Adewale Omirin the Speaker of the House and appointed Mr. Dele Olugbemi

as his replacement. These three events including that that happened at National Assembly explain the above definition of a tyrant as defined by Plato and Aristotle.

The only difference between the strategies used in River States, Ekiti State and National Assembly was that that of Ekiti State was successful. They were all well crafted ideas and never a coincidence.

If the president claims he is not involved in all of these, and knows nothing about it, he should have called to order those barbaric behaviors from his boys and brought to book those involved in perpetrating these evils and such would not have repeated itself. But he absolutely did nothing about it and kept mute as if the information didn’t get to his hearing.

So many questions at this point; on whose orders did those Policemen act? What genuinely prompted the unwarranted search in the first place? Does the unwarranted stop and search necessarily have to prevent the lawmakers from entering into their chamber? And many others.

Democracy goes a long way in protecting the human rights of everyone, and in a sane society democracy does not end at the ballots but here it does. What we have is a perfect government committed to disgusting and treasonous acts against its people.

The fact is our democracy is still very much fragile and so polarized along religious and ethnic lines. Having a tyrannic leader will only do more harm to our system and us and aggravate the already tensed polity of the country.

What we need; is a just, limited and caring government. A practically working democratic government that respects the people and holds the interests of the

nation at heart. A government that will cleanse the different institutions in the nation of all venal and corrupt officials and proceed immediately to addressing the current national insecurity in the country. After which moves into the full industrialization of the nation; mobilizing all inactive capitals, and submitting these mammoth tasks to experts and men of absolute competence and integrity and not to political machines.

As it stands now the level of corruption in the system, the tyrannical behaviour and uncaring attitude displayed by the presidency make the formal military dictator- General Sani Abacha looks innocent by comparison. If he was to be alive he might have demanded an apology from Nigerians for regarding him as the worst leader Nigeria ever had.

The president really just has to reconsider his actions and retrace his steps. The tyrannic route he has chosen is sure a route that leads to destruction. Hence, for his own good and the best interest of the nation he must stop the use of force and continuous intimidation of the opposition. He must know that to truly become a great leader, one has to stand with his people and not above them.

He must also understand that the use of the policeman or other military personnel by any leader as a mere instruments for firing teargas to the people, for selfish purposes, degrades the people and such is a tyrannic act and nothing else describes him better than being a tyrant if he continues to do that.

God Bless Nigeria

Ogundana Michael Rotimi @MickeySunny

View Expressed are Solely Author’s

Goodluck Jonathan’s Military, Local Militias And The Security Of Nigeria By Rotimi Fasan

The United State’s government once more showed its disdain for the Goodluck Jonathan administration and by extension our so-called fight against terror by its last week insistence that it would not sell fighter helicopters to Nigeria. The US government spokesperson was reacting to the claim by the Nigerian Ambassador to the US, Ade Adefuye, that the US had refused to sell fighter aircraft to Nigeria.

The refusal of US followed on the heels of its earlier accusation of human rights violation against Nigeria in its fight against the Northern insurgents. It should come to many Nigerians and others around the world as an irony that the US that had deployed experts to assist Nigeria in tracking down the insurgents keeping the kidnapped girls of Chibok captive would turn around to say it would not sell us fighter aircraft that could strengthen our effort.

The US is doing this after it had made it clear that its assistance to Nigeria in the face of terror would be purely technical, without deployment of ground troops. Even then, units of American soldiers were reportedly seen on ground in parts of the North shortly after the US and other Western countries showed their readiness to support our fight against the marauders up the North East several months back.

There is surely more to the cold shoulder from America than the Nigerian government is willing to acknowledge. Nigeria continues to pretend that its relationship with America is as warm as ever even when America’s body language tells everyone that is far from being the case. America has, if any, very little respect for Nigeria’s military hierarchy. That disdain might really be for the Jonathan administration as a whole. It may not have used as many words but America does see members of this administration as corrupt destroyers of the Nigerian state and is only being careful, it would seem, not to be viewed as being directly against Nigeria in this period of grave insecurity in the land.

President Goodluck Jonathan

Otherwise, it is clear Obama wants no truck with Jonathan whose deluded supporters never cease to compare him and other American leaders with. And to rub home the fact that America would rather dine with the devil than with the Jonathan administration, it has advised the latter to look for sellers elsewhere in its business of buying fighter choppers. In refusing to sell military hardware to Nigeria, America says it has not stopped us from buying elsewhere.

It simply does not want our patronage- finish! So we can take our tainted money that even South Africa with its brutal record of human rights violation under apartheid is not keen on taking, returning it to us after initially seizing it- America is telling us to take our corrupt blood money elsewhere. The blood here, for me, could only be that of ill-equipped soldiers sent to the battle front by thieving desk-bound Generals turned contractors and their civilian counterparts.

Now America has washed its hands off our case, its Western allies would follow suit, with or without America’s prompting. Canada has been saying more or less the same thing as America. The UK government with its siddon-look posture is saying nothing different. Where does this leave or take us? Nowhere but the firm embrace of China, our good old friend in the days of Sani Abacha. Without being told in such clear terms, we are back to our pariah status of the mid-1990s. This may not be too bad for a president like Goodluck Jonathan who is determined to follow Abacha’s transformational script to retain power in February 2015.

With nowhere to turn in the West, we must with our own hand carry our luggage of trouble- eleru gberu e. That’s what we are being told. The question that immediately follows is how ready or able are we to carry our security luggage. Are we able to do this with our ill-equipped, demoralised and deserting soldiers that take to their heels at merely sniffing the approach of the insurgents?

These soldiers have been losing territories and retreating in very unseemly way. Even our most senior soldier, the Chairman of the Joint Military Chiefs, Alex Badeh’s town, was taken over by insurgents. Mubi was overrun by the hordes from Sambisa forest and was only retaken by local militias. Which brings me to the role of militias in the ongoing war against terror.

Without any doubt, these groups of Nigerians have been leading the battle against terror groups of armed robbers, pipe line vandals, and more dangerous bands like those from Sambisa forest that have taken over and renamed many towns in the North East. The local militias with their crude weaponry of bows and arrows, and dane guns have been succeeding where our so-called national soldiers have been failing.

Coming from the same background as most of the bastards now terrorising the North East, their knowledge of their terrain of operation appears to be standing them in good stead.

It is the logic that makes it possible for these militias to succeed where so-called professional soldiers have failed that informed the call for state police- better knowledge of their community. But as usual the unitarists masquerading as patriotic federalists in Abuja, the very same people that created groups like those from Sambisa forest for very selfish ends, would be the first to croak about the possible abuse of local police.

But without admitting it, the Nigerian state has for long privatised the security of the country to the extent that many of these local militias have been enlisted in its security operations and have moved from being mere neigbourhood watch to carrying out actual policing duties. Militias led by Frederick Fasehun, Gani Adams and Asari Dokubo, among others, have been employed in these roles. What then is the pretence by the Nigerian state that these militias have no role to play?

As the situation of the North East is increasingly showing, the safety of Nigerians in our different communities may in the end be in the hands of these militias. They have been doing a lot for Nigerians, sustaining the security of life and property where people can no longer rely on the state.

Indeed the state has failed serially in protecting Nigerians in many parts of this country. The number of people left destitute in the North East, to take an immediate example among many, has increased exponentially since the latest surge in insurgent activities. Their saviours are the militias who are only different from the rest of our conventional security personnel for their lack of uniforms.

But as Fela told us all, uniform na cloth and na tailor dey sew am. The time might be right on us to get the militias properly equipped and into uniform.

First published on

Articles on are solely authors opinion

Judge Withdraws From Farouk Lawan’s $620,000 Bribery Case

Justice Adebukola Banjoko of a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Gudu, Abuja, on Tuesday withdrew from the $620,000 bribery charges instituted against a former Chairman, House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy, Mr. Farouk Lawan.

Lawan is being prosecuted along with his secretary in the committee, Boniface Emenalo, by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission.

Justice Banjoko voluntarily withdrew from the case on Tuesday and ordered the case file to be returned to the FCT Chief Judge, Justice Ibrahim Bukar, despite the withdrawal of an application filed by Lawan, in which the lawmaker requested that she quit the case.

The judge said in her ruling that though the application had been withdrawn and the Chief Judge had cleared her of the allegation in Lawan’s petition, it (the allegation) remained a “scandalous challenge” of her integrity.

“In my 17 years on the bench, six years as a magistrate and 11 years as a judge, I have never been confronted with a scandalous challenge of my integrity,” the judge said.

Lawan’s counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), who had filed the application dated October 29, 2014, asking the judge to quit the case, announced the withdrawal of the petition at the Tuesday’s proceedings.

Forget Winning Edo state, Oshiomhole Tells Jonathan

Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has said that President Goodluck Jonathan will not get up to 5 percent of votes in the state at the 2015 presidential election because he has not justified the over 95 percent he got in 2011.

The Comrade Governor spoke with journalists in Benin City, the Edo State capital as part of activities marking the 6th year anniversary of his inauguration as governor.

He said the people of the state will resist every move to capture the state as the people are wiser this time around. He noted that, while Jonathan had released over N2 billion to the states controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the Ecological Fund, but refused to give anything to the All Progressives Congress (APC) states.

He said he had gone to the president on several occasions on the devastating effects of erosion in the state without the president doing anything about it.

He said: “In 2011, 95 per cent of the people in Edo State voted for the president, this coming election, he will not get five per cent because he has nothing to show for the votes that we gave him.

“When he gave N2 billon to PDP states from the National Ecological Fund, which is provided for under the constitution, funds that should be used for ecology whether soil erosion, wind erosion, desertification, among others, he gave to the PDP states where he lost the election in 2011, in Edo State where he won 95 per cent, he did not give us a dime.

“Yet we have written to the federal government under PDP, over and over to draw the attention to erosion problem in parts of the state, which has destroyed schools, homes, farmlands and others.

Source – Daily Post

Rivers APC Clears The Air Why Amaechi Dumped PDP ,Warns Blackmailers

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State has cleared the air on why the State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi dumped the ‘tattered umbrella’ of the doomed Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and embraced the ‘revolutionary broom’ of APC despite having spoken negatively about the APC symbol in the past.


The party warned blackmailers who are so frightened by the high rise of the national political profile of Governor Amaechi and are desperate to bring him down by attempting to make a mountain out of a molehill to look for something better to do as Rivers people and, indeed, Nigerians are too politically advanced to be easily deceived by unserious minds that clutch at straws in their quest for political relevance.  


Rivers APC said in a statement issued in Port Harcourt by the State Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya: “There is a time and season for everything under the sun, as the Holy Book rightly says. It is disgraceful that empty minds that cannot stand the rigours of intellectual political debate are making so much fuss about a 2011 statement credited to Governor Amaechi to the effect that ‘those who carry brooms are night soil men and juju priests’.   


“Like the true African that he is, Amaechi was speaking in parables but suffice it to say that he did not in any way contradict himself by later dumping the torn umbrella of the doomed Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the clean-sweeping broom of the APC.”


Rivers APC insisted that Amaechi was 100% right in his 2011 statement and had to take his leave from the PDP when the mess by the PDP-controlled Federal Government under the watch of President Goodluck Jonathan became an unmistakable threat to the very survival of the country, thus leaving all patriots with no other option than to join the league of proverbial night soil men. 


“The mess by the PDP-led Government of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as manifested in monumental corruption, suffocating insecurity and strangulating economic hardship is such that every Nigerian patriot needs to carry brooms to flush out this evil party and clean up the country for the sake of present and future generations. There is no gainsaying that going by the present sorry state of Nigeria, the country desperately needs good night soil men to clean up PDP’s faeces. Indeed, it is time for all those who truly love Nigeria to bring the brooms out and get down to work with APC’s broom revolution as we seek to bring about change after forming the next government in 2015,” Rivers APC said.


The party berated the faceless Association of Concerned Indigenes of Rivers State and other faceless groups being promoted by the Presidency and Rivers State PDP Leader, Nyesom Wike, “for wasting billions of taxpayers’ money on a worthless advertorial in some National and Port Harcourt based papers in its doomed propaganda campaign that can only make Governor Amaechi and APC stronger as they work to salvage Nigeria from the evil grip of PDP.”


The party advised Wike and his cohorts to find something better to do as nobody is interested in their childish propaganda campaign which was doomed to fail from the very beginning.

#KakandaTemple ~ Counterterrorism: A Time to Act

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As I write this, the place our politicians and their accomplices used to refer to as “the northeast” in their scheming for power and measurements of their influences in the power game, the very place the nation’s implicit commander-in-chief once referred to as “fringes”, as against the “mainstream” territories of his and his colleagues’ residences, is becoming the sovereign entity of the terrorising Boko Haram in what still seems like a nightmare to the affected, a propaganda to the unsympathetic distant observers, and a conspiracy to the denialists.

But while this is ongoing, while innocent citizens of this slaughterhouse that is being paraded as the giant of Africa by self-ridiculing PR firms on the payroll of the Federal Government or some other ironic patron, are being killed, we’re occupied by our hatred of one another and facts and realities, as we highlight and debate the politics, instead of the lives, of the people of northeastern Nigeria.

While we’re at this, their towns and villages are exposed to continuous threats and attacks, with survivors not only psychologically traumatised, but forsaken in their expectations of reassuring counterterrorism arrangements to convince them that they’re indeed subjects of a big nation, being “monitored” from Abuja.

With every word uttered or written by analysts of the militant sect, with every insult hurled at reporters of the ongoing carnages, the truth remains that talk is cheap. We’ve been going berserk in our comfort zones as we theorise the reality in the landlocked region, and even though we’re sincerely upset, our anger is inconsequential unless it challenges us to overcome our differences, harmonise our thoughts and then ally to proffer solutions to a tragedy that does not discriminate along the lines of our earned identities. An explosion, we all know, consumes both the Muslim and the Christian, both the Hausa and the Igbo, both the northerner and the southerner, everybody within the perimeter of its blast. This is a fact, it will happen even as we talk, if the terrorists act.

The question to ask ourselves now is: beyond writing profound obituaries and professing solidarity online, what are we, private citizens of a nation at crossroads, to do? This is no longer the time for boring intellectual or political discourses of the reality consuming the most insecure of the nation’s citizens day in, day out, bit by bit, fringe by fringe, and now from taking over and declaring as constituencies of what may seem like an imaginary caliphate, villages to villages, it has escalated to local government councils to local government councils being taken over.

This is no longer the time to debate the statistics of unnamed and faceless and unknown innocent citizens whose deaths are being registered as “collateral damage”, their honour denied. Rather, this is the time to come together and complement on the efforts of the military and, especially, demand to know how our huge security votes are spent. We must question the President, now demanding a loan to fight terrorism, while our troops in the northeast are still set to “tactical maneuvering” mode.

These past days, I tried to avoid commentaries on the escalating insurgency, because we’ve been talking for too long without really understanding one another, only stringing invectives together to dismiss or deconstruct dissenting views or form dangerous conspiracy theories that only complicate our security challenges.

Some of us, however, instead of adding our voices to solution-finding struggles, are only interested in the politics of the narratives, thus forming divisive political groups to support politicians who do not even know that part of being an aspiring leader is sensitivity to the failings of the society and of the incumbent leaders. Unrelenting political activism, that should be the responsibility of the opposition in a dysfunctional country.

But how many of our politicians, especially those now aspiring to lead, have actually been there for the displaced citizens? They don’t even know the locations of the IDP camps, so thus “engaged” in their pursuits of the voting citizens, potential voters, whose stomachs they seek to rehabilitate, ignoring the starving refugees who, to them, are now electorally useless.

We live in a country where private citizens strutted to bear arms for the defence of Palestine. I believe that the anger of those “Nigerian-Palestinians”, and that of many others, is needed now in our counterterrorism. This is the only country in which we don’t need a visa to exist, to which we don’t need a visa to visit, of which we’re citizens with no strings attached. So if the military is short of personnel, I’m sure there are many willing citizens available for training and deployment. If the government can’t protect us, there’s no shame in allowing private citizens to form armed community defence corps. Nobody deserves to die without a fight – in self-defence – or an attempt to be defended by the authority.

?Now as Mubi, a commercial live-wire of Adamawa State, falls, and our troops are reportedly fleeing, there’s no better proof that the Nigerian citizens are on their own. Even the UN is still “speaking grammar” over our dilemma, as though the all-knowing America, which has once offered to help us, doesn’t even know that yet.

Despite being a kindergarten student of International Relations, I’m still forced to ask: what does the African Union really do? Before its eyes, NATO destroyed Gaddafi, destabilised Libya; before its eyes, foreign powers mess up its member countries, uprooting renegade leaders and installing governments just as bad; before its very eyes ragtag armies of perverted insurgents gather guts to topple governments of its member countries…

As these happen, the representatives of Arab League, the United Nations and the European Union have formed a coalition against ISIS, while the African Union still pretends that Boko Haram is not a continental threat. And the President of this burning Nigeria even went to a steadier Burkina Faso of rationally angry citizens to “keep peace”, a needless showoff, to deceive the world – that Africa is indeed in charge of its mess, and rising. May God save us from us!

By Gimba Kakanda

@gimbakakanda (Twitter)

If Despite Negotiations Girls Do Not Return, Jonathan Will Be No Worse Off – Comment

Nigeria’s disputed claim to have brokered a ceasefire agreement with Boko Haram and release deal for more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls was aimed at improving the country’s tarnished reputation abroad and little to do with domestic politics, analysts say.Boko-haram-negotiation-cart

The surprise announcement on Friday created a sliver of hope that the brutal five-year Islamist uprising could be nearing an end and that the girls seized from the northeast town of Chibok of April 14 might rejoin their families.

There are already strong signs that the deal will prove hollow: violence raged through the weekend and the credentials of the so-called Boko Haram negotiator have been widely questioned.

But even before cracks emerged in the purported ceasefire, many saw a clear political motive in the timing of the announcement.

A common theory ran that President Goodluck Jonathan would use the development to proclaim himself a tireless pursuer of peace, then swiftly declare his re-election plans for polls next February.

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Articles on are solely authors opinion

Jonathan Has Not Embezzled Public Funds – Abati

Dr. Reuben Abati, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Goodluck Jonathan, has maintained that the President has never embezzled any public funds since he became the nation’s president.

Abati made this known during a programme on Channels Television, while also reacting to questions on the listing of President Jonathan as the 6th richest African presidents.

Abati said, the website which published that Jonathan was worth $100m, deliberately wanted to paint a corrupt picture about the president.



Oshiomhole’s 2015 Presidential Ambition?

Reports has it that, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, has submitted a letter of intent to the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, just as he intensified consultations with the likes of the former president and stakeholders across the country.

Also, reports say that majority of the APC governors may soon endorse him as their candidate because they believe that his popularity cuts across the country, which is one of the attributes they intend to explore to stop President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. We also learnt that His former governorship campaign office will serve as his presidential campaign office in Edo State.


#KakandaTemple ~ Tampering With a Time-Bomb


“Can you even hold a gun?” “Shut up, if you see a real war, you will pee in your trousers!” “War is not for the feeble-minded like you!”

These are things we hear when paranoid civilians talk tough, consider getting armed, anytime they register their distrust for the system they expect to protect them from the criminally armed groups that consider them pests over differences in regional, religious, ethnic or political affiliations.

We dismiss such outbursts as “wishful thinking”, assuming that the speakers are our dear friends and, for that, incapable of harming even a stray goat. What we do not apply to such situation is our knowledge of the human psychology: all human beings, even the most puritanical of humanists, are potential beasts when pushed to the cliff of a misfortune for which they have to “respond in kind” to stay alive.

It’s not a war, unless there’s a counterattack or self-defence. So the seemingly cowardly citizens losing their hope in the politicised security arrangements of the nation should not be ignored, with our usual undermining of their capability to harm. And I can rightly identify with the consequences of unmediated provocations and unapologetically designed self-defence. I saw this in Jos, Nigeria’s hospice of hate, and proof of man’s animalistic tendencies. In my years in, and following of, Jos, I witnessed the mental corruption and death of some of my neighbourhood boys, people who, before the conflicts, could scamper on sighting even a roach approaching them. I saw the anger of the previously innocent, and of especially the bereaved, thirsting for vengeance, for counterattack, for self-defence, for conflict…

One of these boys, an amiable younger boy that used to run errands for us and even eventually relocated to our place out of mutual trust, became a fearless “self-defender” during one of the crises in the once beautiful city. In my encounter with him after a certain crisis, he was not only philosophical about the necessity of defending one’s threatened community and existence, but he boastfully shared his experiences of the internecine fighting, recounting the ease with which humans died, and the comedy of mortality. I stopped him from telling the stories, outraged and even called him names for being thus remorseless.

“What would you have done if you’re surrounded by armed enemies intending to kill you, Gimba? Tell me!”

I wasn’t interested in the discussion, so I didn’t respond. But in retrospect, I realised that I was also not fair in judging him, without sensitivity to the contexts and circumstances that revived his inhumanity – which is an affliction that resides in all of us, when pushed to that cliff where staying alive is only by terminating the invading enemy.

Jos thought me a lesson: we’re all circumstantial killers and potential beasts. Which is why we must stop saying that “Nigerians are cowards” whenever we’re talking about revolutions and wars, for the same “cowardly” Nigerians now strap explosives to themselves, form militant groups and terrorist cults, to kill fellow citizens, human beings. So I’m not unconcerned by the rumours that some places of worships, which ought to be for incubation of faith, are now stocking arms – for attacks, for self-defence, for counterattacks.

We must find ways to douse the tensions now that our politicians are becoming desperate and bitter, and warier we must also become of this pathetically unserious government that keeps giving even the analysts who had given it the benefit of the doubt, reasons to suspect it, to distrust its sincerity in protecting the people.

Sadly, the ruling party has shown its approval of this climate of distrust and incompetence, with the adoption this week of President Goodluck Jonathan as its candidate again for the 2015 presidential election in the very week the citizens are questioning the same man for suspicious rapports with the hateful and uncritically partisan President of Christian Association of Nigeria, Ayo Oritsejafor, whose private jet is now involved in an arms struggling scandal.

I once wrote in praise of the Christians who did not heed Pastor Oritsejafor’s call for Christians in Nigeria to defend themselves “with whatever is available to them”, knowing that could be interpreted as declaration of war on even the accommodating Muslim communities, and I’m even satisfied now that practising Christians, including catholic Bishops who have renounced membership of CAN, are among the frontline critics of the Pastor’s ill-devised polarising stunts. The interception of his private jet in South Africa with about $10 million meant for arms purchase is an issue of serious national risk, ownership of which the federal government has unconvincingly claimed.

But, while the “conspiracy theorists” have already concluded that the arms are for planned killings of Muslims and northerners and covert sponsorship of the Boko Haram, a judgment inspired by their perceptions of the man’s hate-mongering antecedents, my understanding that some key security organisations of the country, which are parts of the government, are under Muslims and northerners frustrate approval of that conspiracy. Perhaps, for explanations on this dangerous suspicion of the government, our conspiracy theorists, and this isn’t a mischief, need to ally and march to the offices of their brothers in this government: Sambo Dasuki, National Security Adviser; Abba Suleiman, Inspector-General of Police; Namadi Sambo, Vice-President; Adamu Mu’azu, PDP National Chairman; Ibrahim Lamorde, EFCC Chairman; Abdullah Dikko Inde, Comptroller-General of Customs; Aminu Waziri Tambuwwal, Speaker House of Representatives; among others, people whose complicity is necessary for the success of Oritsejafor’s, and even Goodluck’s, covert sponsorship of terrorism, people capable of knowing whether the arms are meant for our security agencies, and also to confirm whether the cash transaction method is employed in this deal so that the digitally snoopy America will not know. And if found guilty, we must also remember that the Chief Justice of the Federal, Mariam Aloma Mukhtar, is a Muslim and northerner, and potential victim of this anti-north conspiracy.

Perhaps, if the conspiracy theorists succeeded in convincing fellow Muslims and northerners in this government to bring Jonathan down, for conspiring to purchase arms to destroy the north, our Justice Aloma won’t be merciful in sentencing him to life in prison. How about that?

On a serious note, there’s a need to unite, more than ever, regardless of our religious and ethnic differences and regional solidarity, to defuse the time-bomb code-named “2015”. Even this Oritsejafor’s Jet scandal is a confirmation that Jonathan has failed as a consummate leader of a nation in need of unifying public figures, and the reality that he has just been given another opportunity by his party to mismanage our funds and trust for another four years, which is now very obvious, should be a reason for us to be sober about the future of Nigeria.

If you think it’s possible to oust a sitting President, one responsible for management of the nation’s resources, one whose platform is designed to appeal to prebendal politics, in a country where accountability is a myth, in a system where $20 billon has been declared missing and nothing happened, be getting ready to visit a therapist in the first quarter of 2015. For the opposition, without a doubt, is incapable of matching the “Stomach Infrastructure” politics of the ruling party, kobo to kobo. 2015 is already being approached with reckless sentiments, and with insensitivity to our fault-lines. Sadly, when this bomb goes off, the political elite, including the ones promoting these divisive sentiments, would be in their comfort zones or even “holidaying” overseas, and the causality would be members of the impressionable class: the politically outsmarted, handout-receiving masses. May God save us from us!

By Gimba Kakanda

@gimbakakanda on Twitter

#KakandaTemple ~ A Letter to that Nigerian-Palestinian


Dear Friend,

Before you accuse me of finding nothing worth praising about you and yours, let me quickly empathise with you, and of course myself, over the killings in Gaza. You, as a humanist, one whose empathy has no border, are a citizen of the world, one of the reasons the earth is still habitable by the sane. It would be morally irresponsible for anyone to frown at your frantic advocacy which seeks an end to the killings in Gaza, only that commonsense demands a man whose house is on fire to rush for the extinguisher for his own dwelling first, before attending to a similar fire elsewhere.

London stands up for Gaza, because London is not bereaved. New York Stands up for Gaza because New York isn’t being threatened by hurricane-somebody now. Palestine would not stand up for Chibok because they also have a strip of misery in which they are just as worthless: Gaza. And the young Malala Yousafzai who came and roused the conscience of her fathers in Nigeria, was not here as a Pakistani as you have announced in defending your geographically insensitive activism from my “secular advocacy”. She was here as a Birmingham, England-based NGO owner, to stand with the girls of Nigeria in whose education Malala Fund has invested thousands of dollars. She has, as the news says, even “offered to partner with the UN efforts to mitigate the impacts of the abduction and help the girls (whose welfare is a responsibility of her NGO) return to school.”

You see, it’s not the way you internationalise your empathies that disturbs me, it’s this seeming pretence that all is well in your backyard while you weep over the blazing fire in faraway Gaza. If you, and others like you, had been half as passionate and emotional in your reaction to local tragedies as you are over the killings in Palestine, the troubles in the northeastern Nigeria wouldn’t have escalated to its present extent. The Palestinians, and their global solidarity soldiers, have gone berserk over the burning of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khudair, their citizen, and you, amnesiac activist of a burning nation, have also been losing sleep over Khudair, ignoring the tens of Khudairs who die in your backyard every day!

It’s not the internationalisation of your empathies that disturbs me, it’s your lack of wisdom to understand that Khudair has his fighters — and he’s fully named, his age too revealed –while all the killed and abducted Dantalas and Asma’us and Johns and Naomis of Yobe and Borno are seen as mere statistics, unworthy of collective advocacy by you.

Ours is not a criticism of the northern establishment, but that of its hypocritical allegiance to “brotherhood of faith”, which is what you say in your solidarity with the Palestinians, ignoring that we’re just as bereaved here, and unknowing that Palestine is also a home for non-Muslims. But, wait, what sort of a human being is responsive to the tragedies that fall upon just the people of his faith?

Ours is a criticism of the collective, not of a specific group. This is a reminder that we have not done enough, not a declaration that we have not done anything at all. It’s a criticism of me and you who, safe from the bullets of Boko Haram, have not done anything comparable to the emotions shown in the sensitivity of our countrymen to the happening in Gaza. Are you, my dear global citizen, trying to say that we, especially resident northerners, need CNN and Aljazeera to remind us that there are carnages going on in our backyard before we acknowledge them?
Haven’t we all lost friends and friends of friends and relatives and relatives of relatives in this madness? What media is more effective than being actually bereaved? The most effective media is our emotions, and on this I dare say that we haven’t shown and done enough. My participation in #BringBackOurGirls shows me the hypocrisy of our Muslim brothers and sisters who, dismissing our hashtags as a gimmick, are now loud champions of #FreePalestine.

See, we are as bereaved as the people of Palestine and it’s quite ironic that, instead of gathering our lots to empathise with ourselves first and demand solutions and justice, we pretend as though all’s well in our house. Why are the people of Palestine not empathising with the people of Borno if our “brotherhood of faith” is actually reciprocal? Why? I repeat: why aren’t the people of Palestine extending their “brotherhood of faith” to us in the hours of our bereavements? The Palestinians have never stopped fighting. They have their men up and running against oppression. Who’s up fighting for us, especially for Chibok and the larger northeast? Why leaving these campaigns against Boko Haram’s terrors to just the members of Civilian JTF and #BringBackOurGirls campaigners?

You even said that no atrocity is more than that going on in Gaza, and I ask: is there an experience worse than having minors abducted, savagely raped and impregnated by terrorists? Saying that no atrocity is as bad as that in Gaza means that the sanctity of a Palestinian’s life is higher than that of a Nigerian’s. And that, fellow countryman, is an unfortunate and disturbing utterance.

Similarly, you have to be really careful in your advocacy. At least get relevant history books to properly understand the religious and political complexity of the territorial conflicts that have turned Gaza into a prison-mortuary. Your alignment with the Palestinians, your brothers-in-faith, may lead you into something called antisemitism. And you also need to understand that it’s the peak of such misguided hatred that resulted into the formation of a racist ideology that once sought to promote the “Aryan” German race as the best of humans. Nazism, consequently, championed the killings of the innocent Jews, who were considered threats to proposed German nationalism.

In your analyses of the happenings in Gaza, you have, quite sadly, pandered to a way of the Hitler-led Aryan racists who considered the Jewish race abolishable pests.

Do have restraint in understanding that the happenings in Israel is not a crime perpetrated, and supported, by the whole of Jews. It’s a crime perpetrated by a monstrous ideology championed by a people of Jewish identity, just the way Nazism was not supported by the whole of Germans, but by a small but powerful National Socialist party clique. If you’re to adopt this form of flawed thinking in portraying ethnic or religious groups, obviously the whole of Muslims should be similarly persecuted for the crimes of Al-Qaeda, Al-Shabbab, the Taliban and even Boko Haram who all pretend to be advocates of rights for the Muslim!

Hate the Israelis who, under zionism, did to Palestinians what the Nazis did to the Jews, but do not go close to hating the whole of Jews. Saying I hate the Jews means I hate some significant figures that shaped me, mine and the larger world. Saying I hate the Jews means I hate Jesus, who in my theology is Isah (AS), needed to authenticate my belief; saying I hate the Jews means I hate Moses (AS), similarly needed; saying I hate the Jews is an ingratitude to Albert Einstein’s contribution to science; saying I hate the Jews is an ingratitude to Sergey Brin, the founder of Google, whose invention has redeemed me in ways I’m incapable of repaying; saying I hate the Jews is also an ingratitude to Mark Zuckerberg whose innovation is the reason you and I are “friends” – even though we’ve never met – sharing thoughts on the ways of the world.

As long as you’re on Facebook, and employ Google to aid your quests for knowledge, both creations of inventors of Jewish identity, declaring that you hate the Jews is a contradiction, a joke clearly on you. And, as Muslims, your faith is threatened the moment you withhold your love for Jesus and Moses.

Don’t let a criminal be a representative of his race, religion and nationality. This approach, this dangerous stereotyping, has been the reason for these many conflicts we are still unable to resolve in this damned world. We must embrace our humanity, the only thing we all have in common, if we’re indeed interested in resolving our racial, religious, political, regional, territorial and ethnic conflicts!

Unlike you, whenever I see a group of people, the first identity that strikes me is the human, not the religious, not the political, not the racial, and obviously not the ethnic. Aside from my immediate family, my next closest family are the righteous people, people always in pursuit of Justice without discrimination, and of their other identities I’m unmindful.

I’ve long overcome the naiveté of hating a people based on the crimes of a group of which they are non-compliant members, just the way I don’t owe any non-Muslim and southerner apology for the atrocities of the Boko Haram. I only owe them explanation, defence, solidarity and empathy. My seeming silence over the killings in Gaza is simply because I’ve also been mourning, and also holed up in a mess of immeasurable depth. The Palestinians, I know, have global solidarity soldiers fighting for them. But, beyond hashtags, who are actually fighting for the redemptions of this place in which we don’t need a visa to reside?

This week, at our Abuja’s #BringBackOurGirls sit-in, as I listened to Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, a woman whose public service records never really attracted my curiosity, but I’ve come to like as a humanist and patriot of impressive resilience, lament on the fate and conditions of the abducted girls and the dysfunctionality of the system in charge of our safety, something within me collapsed. So I withdrew from the crowd, hoping that could stem it, but I still couldn’t fight the tears. And that was how I left the sit-in, broken. This is because, in the cruel politics of migrations in this century, I have no home other than Nigeria, and the tragedy that befalls a fellow countryman, irrespective of his/her religious and ethnic and regional affiliations, is a shared grief.

I’m not inconsiderate to your reference to “brotherhood of faith” in standing for the people of Gaza, but I will never ever stand for them simply because we’re of the same religion. My own version of that excuse of yours is: “faith in the universal brotherhood of Man.” I only empathise with them because of a shared humanity. As for those who rightly explain that humanity has no border, which I also endorse, my belief in yours may only be confirmed if you also recognise the conditions of the Iraqi Christians who’re now fleeing Mosul, for they have been told by the ISIS animals to convert to Islam or lose their lives. Many of you are in Abuja, but participating in #BringBackOurGirls is seen as a “waste of time”, insulting those who defy the tasks of their 9-to-5 daily to be a part of the campaign, ignorant of the impending dangers, the danger of becoming refugees in your own city!

Yet, some of you have sought to typify my refusal to label corpses in order to know which deserves my empathy as simply a bid to earn a medal from the non-Muslims I’ve been struggling so hard, according to you, to impress; some of the same non-Muslims who, in a spark of mischief, have in their turn called me an “Islamic propagandist”, whatever that is, for condemning the profiling of northerners in the East, for endorsing a Muslim as presidential candidate… But I’m indifferent to their malicious labeling just as I’ve been to yours because you’re both incapable of denying me the rights to such expressions.

Humanity is still a joke because of this army of cerebrally malfunctioned brothers and sisters to whom we’re seen as hypocrites merely trying to impress the non-members of our group, for exposing a form of oppressive hypocrisy. Well, my dear friend, I don’t write to influence or change you; my writing is a sport that seeks to prove that I don’t think the way you do, and that the way I think is independent of yours. I hope this would be taken in good faith. May God save us from us!

By Gimba Kakanda
@gimbakakanda (On Twitter)

#KakandaTemple ~ Ekiti Epiphany: Politics Beyond Idealism

Ekiti Politics

The most amusing thing about Nigerian analysts, the outspoken observers of our political evolution into a pseudo-democratic nation, is our shared hypocrisy in reacting to outcomes of predictable public issues. This can be seen, most recently, in our responses to the outcome of Ekiti governorship election. In this build-up to the next presidential election, I have personally transformed from being an uncompromising idealist into being an unequivocal realist. You will recall I even wrote, frustrated, in my Friday column at one point, to congratulate Goodluck Jonathan as 2015 President-elect – a year in advance!

What happened in Ekiti is a mere restatement of our tragedy as a nation, where a politician is seen as Santa Claus and thus his primary duty, when elected, comprises uninterrupted three-square meals on the table of every voter and a constant flow of gifts in kind and cash. Realistically, this is an expectation impossible to maintain. Worse yet, not only is this the genesis of corruption in government presenting a ready-made excuse for mediocrity and underdevelopment, it’s a nightmare for even the most honest of populists because one’s faith in one’s ideals (a belief that votes can be vehicles for change just by their nature, by their use) is shaken and one is at the gates of a dangerous but luring cynicism. Yet, that Santa Clausism is the form of politics the people desire and a man, a politician, who comes to the arena with better plans for solid development, will be punished for his foolishness of NOT being Santa Claus.

Reading the commentaries of Ekiti people in the past week, I have learnt that the outgoing Governor, Kayode Fayemi, despite holding Town Hall meetings with the grassroots and setting up welfare system to cater for the old, was still perceived as “elitist” in having his government dominated by “technocrats”, some being “non-indigenes”. He has hired these last instead of hiring the “actual politicians” to assist him in entrenching the principles of prebendal politics. Outgoing Governor Fayemi is also “unpopular” with the political philanthropy-awaiting masses and threatened school teachers. He is also “insensitive”, perhaps because his “modernist” approach to developing Ekiti was seen as unbearable by parents who think the new tuition fees of the state university are unreasonable and unaffordable, and by farmers who think his agricultural policy is a scam, by maybe even job-seekers who think his employment scheme is a gimmick. These are all detailed in a feature on the Ekiti election by my good friend, Femi Owolabi, for The Scoop NG. He reported a voter saying: “(PDP runs) a ‘chop make I chop government’. Money didn’t flow well in (Fayemi’s) government… APC is now pumping in money at the die (sic) minute to election.”

But I forgive the masses. Our politicians undermine the conditions of their unschooled and hungry followers, schooled and unemployed followers, poor and hopeless followers, the enterprising and economically unfortunate followers and even the sick and the destitute, as well as the financially handicapped illiterates and dropouts who in turn are to rely on these same politicians’ policies. There’s something not quite right, something incestuous and sad about this–this is what Achille Mbembe called “the politics of death”.

The current politicians wouldn’t have been faulted if their understanding of populism wasn’t limited to distributing food items while the chunks of their budgets are invested in their private businesses. We inherited a structurally flawed system with a particular class unfairly subjugated and taken for granted by the political establishment. Members of this class are the countrymen whose only dividends of democracy are the “gifts” they receive from the politicians in exchange for their votes every election year. They exchange this great abstract value for a far less but real value, a sack of rice for example, because they’re hungry and a hungry man is an irrational man. And the politicians in turn, elected to redeem the welfare of the masses, deliberately avoid doing so simply to keep them dependent and asking for handouts. This is our present lockstep. Dear countrymen, dear masses, the blunt truth is that these “gifts” you are being given were paid for with your own public funds or are otherwise the proceeds of an abandoned or inflated community contract. It is your loss when a politician who tries to match the value of your vote with an equal value in infrastructure is shown the way out. “Stomach infrastructure” lasts only so long as the next trip to the toilet. And imagine how many trips to the toilet you, poor benighted masses, will undergo in contrast to the FOUR years of looting your vote gives the politician. Understand this and see how benighted you are!

But more than anything, I’m happy that our wisdom has been restored by the outcome of Ekiti governorship election, with more people finally becoming realist analysts of our politics. I have been interacting, debating and arguing, screaming myself hoarse, just to highlight that Nigeria is bigger than our blogs. Perhaps the urban middle-class is coming around to my long stated position? The politician as a Santa Claus is the only image the masses have of a “good politician”. Speeches and promises and the urban middle classes pseudo-intellectual “surutu” are a waste of their time. And as much as I respect the decision of the people of Ekiti State who, under the sun, with branded bags of rice waiting for them at home, voted for their choice candidate, I have a question for some of us activists: would the voters have taken Ayo Fayose serious if he had not spoken the language of the masses, which is the provision of items for “stomach infrastructure?”

So, what next for APC? APC, to some, is “old wine in new bottle”, but being the first time the opposition emerges with the strength to put the incumbent government on its toes, I am, as a citizen unimpressed with the status quo, willing to settle for another shape of bottle over the old one now no longer convenient to carry! This is the peak of my realism as a citizen in search of the “fresh air”. I think this is the time for the opposition, for whom I have sympathy, to play politics beyond impracticable idealism. APC needs, for the coming election, a presidential candidate with street credibility, identifiable by the masses: a Buhari or an Atiku or any member with their clout. These are brands that don’t need re-introduction to the masses, being one-time Head of State and Vice President respectively. As for the personality of these two, I’ve my opinions, favourable and damaging in respects. But I am firm in my belief that with a well-built party structure, especially at the grassroots, they can be rebranded and managed for the greater Nigerian good. Our politically immaturity is so pronounced that if a visionary Fashola emerges as APC presidential candidate today, with his thoroughly modern ideology, and stands against a rugged James Ibori, whose pocket is big and intention destructive, Fashola will lose in a free – and (un)fairly induced – election. It’s that simple, that brutal.

There is another problem though: a huge number of our political analysts see alignment with, and sympathy for, a political cause as compromising, because they confuse neutrality with objectivity. It’s absolute self-deception to say that you’re neutral in choosing the side to promote between the oppressed and the oppressor, especially when the oppressive incumbent has failed the people, is unresponsive to apolitical activism and deaf to the clamouring for a progressive society. So, to say that I’m neutral in my political choices means I have no sense of perception at all, knowing that this crucial decision determines my well-being as a citizen. Objectivity, to me, is one’s ability and wisdom to criticise his own when they err and others when they oppress him and his.

Also, in their analyses of third-world democracy, our writers have shown an absolute ignorance of practicable political idealism. Which is why, as they condemn Bola Tinubu as a “thief and nothing but a thief,” they cannot name an alternative capable of ousting the GEJ-led opposition forces. While they promote an impracticable idealism in their pursuit of stainless political saints, they should be prepared to be “ruled” by GEJ again from 2015. It’s that simple.

We, the urban middle-class activist potential pressure group, have no option than a stratagem to get the existing members of the establishment competing to serve us–to compete to offer us the better, the best deal, for our votes. We must ally to remind them that unless rural community developments and the welfare of the urban masses too are given the same attention as building bridges and installing streetlights in our cities, only money and of course “rice”, not promises, can get you votes from this manipulated class, largely based in villages remembered only in election years.

This is why we need to get off our bums. And the price for victory, whether by the PDP or APC establishment, will not, must not, be mere bags of rice. We must demand bridges and free trade zones, specialist hospitals and quality education. I am a political realist, I will be bribed but I will be bribed only with something concrete, like roads and hospitals and electricity, not bags of rice and maggi. And this is a message to the political elite, the Establishment–Gimba Kakanda will be at the forefront of a new block with new demands. If you want my vote and my block’s vote, come and negotiate–we speak the language of civil engineering works and economic infrastructure. That is the return on my political education over the last months. And political education isn’t acquired in classrooms, it’s acquired in our ability to strip ourselves of polarising sentiments in making political choices.

We must quit thinking that “third-world” politics is all about writing “deep” articles, composing tweets and writing profound Facebook posts and screaming ourselves hoarse about how things ought to be run from our AC-ed rooms and offices. For so long as we are content with screaming and writing about failed governments without struggling to infiltrate the ranks of the “laboratory politicians” whose incompetence cause these troubles, for so long we are complicit in the fall of this nation. I’m checking out. I’m taking a stand. May God save us from us!

By Gimba Kakanda

@gimbakakanda (On Twitter)

#KakandaTemple ~ Finally, Our Deaths Will Be Televised!


There’s no indignity as having the news of a people’s misery and deaths denied, played down or unsympathetically politicised. The only tragedy worse than this may be the lack of strategy or, as some have said of the ongoing counter-terrorism, of the “will” to end these many killings.

The past few weeks have been peculiarly Nigerian – a condition I liken to a nightmare. The most frightening, especially to the ruling class, was the ease with which Abuja was threatened, its security arrangement openly undermined, not once, nor twice, in a short time: the attack of the headquarters of our biggest intelligence-gathering agency in broad daylight and the bombing, twice, of Nyanya, a suburb of Abuja. Outside the marble corridors of Abuja, it was actually the abduction of almost 300 schoolgirls that has sparked a fashionably viral hashtag campaign – #BringBackOurGirls.

The online campaign turned into physical protests, attracting the attention of the international community and the active participation of conscientious people all over the world. In Abuja, the nation’s second largest hub of internet users after Lagos, the campaign has become a daily convergence for a series of meetings – and so far two marches to offices of concerned security chiefs have taken place – where deliberations on the fate and freedom of the abducted girls were made. The success of Abuja’s #BringBackOurChild campaign is attributed to various factors of which the social class of the campaigners is the top. A friend of mine playfully dubbed the campaign “The Ajebota Awakening”; but in all fairness, these are the only people, largely members of the (comfortable) middle-class, worthy of being listened to by the government of which they’re either beneficiaries, previously involved or with whose functionaries they’re friends or relatives.

All the revolts against the establishment ever initiated by the masses were discriminately crushed by the security personnel, their bodies and rights trodden underfoot. The only revolution a hungry people know is called riot. It’s destructive, and costly. Because they’re immediately possessed by anger the moment they take to the street to protest an injustice. So, statistically, a successful revolt of the masses is impossible, in fact unthinkable, in Nigeria. This is why it’s advisable to applaud the efforts of the “middle-class”, the similarly oppressed people, now strutting to challenge the authorities to #BringBackOurGirls.

This is also why I do not understand those who have condemned the participation of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar’s wife and daughter in the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. What we call activism is actually a campaign against, or reaction to, perceived injustice, social and political. It’s the responsibility of everyone of us; even those unaffected are indirect victims.

I really do not understand the “I wish I were an activist” armchair critics to whom a rise against national threat is a responsibility of a few, of “activists.” See, activism is not a profession, it’s an instinctual response to a failed system. And if you’ve not been really rattled by the happenings in Nigeria, that’s because you’ve run out of compassion!

The participating Atikus are, in my understanding of ethics, more responsible and relevant than their critics tweeting from bedroom and offices in this dangerous time. You may call their involvement a publicity stunt, but publicity, attracting the eyes of the world to our wounds, is what we need in this search for healing, this agitation for purpose, for the meaning of being (a Nigerian). Thankfully, our misery has been noticed, and promises to intervene already pledged by the real countries of which the involvement of one, the United States of America, known for marked double-standards, has further polarised the citizens.

There’s something painfully hypocritical about the Nigerians now condemning the United States of America’s offer to support us in curbing this escalating terrorism, having all understood that our indigenous counter-terrorism measures have failed.

At least, with foreigners involved in this fight, there may be less ranting over our government’s complicity in fueling terrorism in the north, over cheap and unverifiable propaganda and conspiracy theories. I welcome the Americans because, for a start, there’s no hope of a triumph over the terrorist cult in locally politicised security arrangements.

I don’t understand this: you’ve accused Goodluck Jonathan of being an Abubakar Shekau masked, and even ridiculed the efforts of the understandably unmotivated Nigerian soldiers dying to protect you in the northeast. In a bid to end this mischievous conspiracy, the accused accepted the offer of “neutral” forces – and by this I mean neutrality in the politics of our ethno-religious rivalries, for Uncle Sam’s interests aren’t that petty – to intervene. Suddenly you feel the President has been innocent, and that it’s actually the expected Americans, through their compliantly evil CIA, who have been messing up this polity all along. I wrote against our hypocrisy on the Boko Haram when some of us became uncritical disciples of Governor Nyako-promoted conspiracy theory.

I do not, and may never, believe in conspiracy theory. At least not when and where there are many unexplored clues. I think doing so is a misuse of our intellect, an absolute abuse of human wisdom and the power of reasoning. Conspiracy theory ought to be the last deduction, and final intellectual resort, of any thinking person. That we do not understand doesn’t mean we must embrace cheap escapism or accuse an easy target of perpetrating an only partially investigated crime.

So spare me the history lecture, I don’t mind having this godforsaken country colonised again, with every damned institution under a racist Conrad, every school under an erudite missionary – a bumpy reverse into a century past.

Are we the only race ever possessed by these crises of spiritual, ethnic and national identities? Have we no wisdom to manage diversity? Why are we so innately savage? As long as we’re incapable of running an institution, there’s no shame in “stepping aside” for the actually sympathetic savages to assist us. Of course, this too is a conspiracy theory – a script of the American “occupiers!”

The hypocrisy of expecting a government you accuse of being complicit in sponsoring terrorism to stop the trend is a disturbing misuse of intellect. While the foreigners have already offered to assist us, our government, from all I’ve gathered so far, has no tangible clues about the whereabouts of the missing girls, so they chose to inaugurate a committee, a needless fanfare to waste national resources and time.

With the rate at which insanity consumes our leaders, especially the occupants of Aso Rock who seem to have run out of conscience, there’s a need to have Henry Ross Perot’s wisdom permanently engraved on a wall in the offices of high-ranking public servants and politicians in Nigeria. Even in Mr. President’s “Oval Office” or whatever he calls that relaxation chamber that is his office. Perot has said, and we have acknowledged without heeding:

“If you see a snake, just kill it. Don’t appoint a committee on snakes.”

Our girls have been abducted by the most dangerous of snakes ever witnessed in the history of this country for destruction, both medically and psychologically, yet you set up a committee to gather and drink champagne and laugh over the delusion of rescuing them? Because they’re children of nobodies? Just look at the way FEC meeting was cancelled some days ago in honour of VP Sambo’s deceased brother by a president who could not cancel a political rally in honour of Nyanya blast victims. Because they’re nobodies. They’re just statistics. Worthless. Like our rebased GDP!

As for those who have already prophesied a catastrophe as the aftermath of foreign interventions, what would be more catastrophic than having minors continuously abducted by the terrorists, and savagely raped, without a means or will of rescuing them? Nigeria is already a catastrophe for those who have stopped living in denial; and with the coming of foreigners, I guarantee that our deaths are now going to be televised, documented and no longer seen as lies and propaganda by mischievously insular politicians and their polarized supporters. We must now begin to seek for ways to end the hashtags, for every day is an unbearable torture for our sisters and daughters in captivity. Hashtags don’t cure; they don’t even prevent. They only inform. And that has already been achieved.

May God save us from us!

Gimba Kakanda
@gimbakakanda (On Twitter)

#KakandaTemple ~ Elections 2015: Congratulating Goodluck Jonathan, President-Elect


Alright, God forbid. I also pray against this eventuality, the inauguration of disaster on May 29, 2015, because it appeals to our collective emotions. But this prayer alone can never stop a genius of electoral sentiments and manipulations, especially in a country where the politicians are obviously smarter than the electorates, from reaching a height where the destiny of the nation is designed. No country has ever been built, or project executed, or even a cause pursued, by amens and faith alone. Except in the imagination of Nigerians, the ones whose senses are bound in the fabrics of bigotry, extremism and patriotism along the lines of ethnicity, religion and region, respectively.

In the eyes of Nigerians who are already victorious for they have, or least so they thought, embarrassed the Presidency with the cacophonous criticisms over the President’s insensitivity to the spate of killings in the country, the past few days may be seen as tough for the partying occupants of Aso Rock. But, on a clearly written note, President Goodluck Jonathan really is the victor, the undeclared winner–Mainasara, as his northern campaigners called him pre-2011 presidential elections.

The pulse of the nation has changed ever since Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State embarked on his “conspiracy theory” campaigns, accusing the Presidency of complicity in the growing insurgency in the north-east. With actually only conjectural proofs. This conduct makes the return to Aso Rock in 2015 much more easy for GEJ. The more cheap and unverifiable propagandas and conspiracies are propounded by those who should know better, the more he becomes more electable in a country this polarised. There was almost a consensus in our dismissal of GEJ as an irredeemably failed President, before these torrents of sentiments begin to blur our senses of perception.

The tragedy is, many may now volunteer to pitch tent with GEJ because of these dangerous accusations – of the Christian as the enemies. Without credible proofs, aside from obvious failings of government’s counterterrorism measures. We can only judge the President, without making him likable by a section of the citizens, with undeniable records of his very poor performance – which are enough to get Nigerians united against the present mis-governance. You see, if any people accuse my own too as the destroyer without corroborating evidences, I’ll be similarly hurt and even take an unpopular decision to support that unfairly judged devil!

The good people of Nigeria, however frustrated and suspicious we have become in attempting to understand this insurgency, must end this child’s play at once and ally to defeat the vampiric ruling class, all of them, stripped of the immunity they have earned in their dubious religious, ethnic and regional advocacies. If you don’t know how terrorism works, joining the bandwagon of the proponents of conspiracy theories isn’t the best resort. We must understand what terrorism is, we must understand that it is not a fanfare, but an irrational fatality perpetrated by a people to whom we’re not humans, but symbols, symbols of satanism, of anything unholy, of infections that must be cured. Violently!

The Boko Haram is as real as water. It began before our eyes, so any attempt to dismiss its actual existence, as some deluded citizens have done in their disturbing vulnerability to this seemingly plausible reports of the the federal government’s involvement, is lazy and mischievous. If you have concluded that the government or President as an individual sponsors the violence in the north, let’s also embrace the wisdom to ask: Who are influentially and integrally in the in the federal government. Both Muslims and Christians, northerners and southerners, and all the ethnic groups are represented.

So before you begin to accuse the President of complicity in destroying the north, do know that the Vice President, Inspector-General of Police, Minister of Defence, National Security Adviser, and even the Chairman of the ruling party, which some of us call “Boko Haram” in promoting our conspiracy of the government’s complicity, are Muslims and northerners. And, as such northerners occupy relevant security positions, how would they comply in these alleged ploys to destroy their own people?

I know that it’s understandable to embrace conspiracy theories in the absence of reasons, but the existence of BH itself is unreasonable. We embrace these conspiracy theories, every bit of them, even the absolutely absurd, because we had never experienced the irrational fatality of terrorism. We’re so hopeless, that any culprit presented to us is acceptable, which is even as dangerous as terrorism itself. The best decision Nigerians ought to make now is allying to ask our leaders to stop politicizing our security challenges. As we read Nyako’s letter or speech, let’s have in mind that he’s just also politician being who he is: a manipulative opportunist! He is no different from Olisa Metuh a few weeks ago, except for the damning fact that Nyako

I have written extensively on the terrors inspired by unchecked religious extremism and, having observed the damaging trends of this evil, I acknowledge that it is capable of turning Nigeria into the mess it is now and, thus, if I’m given a chance to talk to Gov. Nyako face to face, in the absence of his gun-totting guards, I’ll definitely tell him he’s just politically paranoid. We can’t talk about Boko Haram as though Mohammed Yusuf never existed!

The tragedy of Nyako’s claims is, we live in a country where his political posturing may be seen as humane activism by some, which is why many of us are already hoodwinked by his claims, without bothering to ask: what do BH insurgents want? Killing us, nonbelievers in their hollow ideologies, is seen as acts of worship by them. Terrorists who have been indoctrinated to consider terminating you acts of worship should be our first suspects in this dilemma. Our politicians, if they’re indeed morally upright, must form an alliance, however forced, to protect us, instead of their predictable maneuvering for victories at the February polls, which seems to be more important to them than even our security!

That you don’t like GEJ, which is very understandable, isn’t a reason to hang your objectivity in analyzing an attempt to undermine him by a paranoid politician. I’m also I’m sympathetic to the cause of APC in its bid to oust the failed incumbent but I won’t endorse any obvious propaganda!

On this, I wish to say, I’ll not forgive you, if my foresight is right that our misplaced paranoia may earn us, but may God intervene, another torturous term under GEJ. If you think GEJ is not electable, especially with this twist of ‘politicized activisms’, that’s because you don’t know Nigeria beyond Facebook and Twitter. May God save us from us!

By Gimba Kakanda
@gimbakakanda (On Twitter)

#KakandaTemple ~ Of Mass Despair and Political Vampirism


If you still hold on to the delusion that your worth as a human, and even as a citizen, is as important as the ambition of our desperate politicians or that, as an ordinary citizen, you’re indeed indispensable in their political calculations and foresights, you have obviously stopped using, a misfortune this brings, that with which you were born, to perceive, analyse and understand: your brain.

The explosions at a bus park in Nyanya, a suburb of Abuja, this week did not just punctuate the existence of tens of struggling Nigerians, and condemning a lot more to permanent handicaps, but intensified the debates over the worth of the masses in a country this insecure, and yet polarised.

Being human and poor in Nigeria, the vagabonds in power have loudly confirmed, is a mere statistical existence. Worthless. Like our GDP figure. Perhaps we need to define the meaning of “death” and “humanity” to them. They don’t seem to know that death is a one-way ticket to permanent oblivion. We’re not animals for God’s sake. We’re humans. Like the Americans. Like the Europeans. Live every decent human being, in whom are soul, emotions and dreams, all over the world. But being a Nigerian, the incapability to protect us has shown, is a mere geographic identity; an identity of an undermined people stripped of their humanity in a godforsaken country.

Elsewhere, bombs don’t discriminate. Ours do. Our bombs are always sensitive to class: they’re mostly in places where the masses gather and struggle to stay alive independent of a government that does nothing to redeem their sufferings. Yet the clueless members of our ruling class who have sorrowfully lamented that their offices only bring them endless miseries and difficulties in managing the people still go ahead to run for office. And I ask: is democracy now a system for hereditary rights?

My biggest fear remains the vulnerability of Nigerian masses to the veneers of ethno-religious and regional advocacies championed by our politicians to disarm any tendency to unite for the purpose of revolt against them. They have never given the masses an opportunity to think, with the rate at which they highlight divisive trends to confuse them and even be seen as heroes to those whose rights and interests they claim to be defending as political representatives. In a recent bid to exploit our disarmed intelligence, the Publicity Secretary of PDP, reacting to the Nyanya blasts, reportedly singled the main opposition party out for responsibility in the unholy act. It could be said that Metuh was only being an image-maker, blaming the opposition before they’d do so, before APC’s image-maker Lai Mohammed’s predictable, PDP-bashing press release would hit the press. It could be said, also, that Metuh was tired of being on the defensive, hence the reason for his conclusion that APC was responsible within just a few minutes after the incident, qualifying for the briefest investigation ever conducted in history. This malicious PR would, apparently, forestall any intention by the APC spokesman to blame PDP. Smart villains!

But this vile politics is not commendable at all, outrightly uncharitable in a country where condolences have become as common as hellos. In a real country, Olisa Metuh and all politicians who have attempted to blame the others as perpetrators of terror acts may be taken in by the authority and properly interrogated and, if found to be merely mischievous, the court will decide the number of years they may have to spend in jail for such defamations and polarising accusations. It’s so sad that the clowns we have in charge of this nation are polarising accusers whose evils thrive on our refusal to be serious, I mean unite against this undeserved political vampirism that consumes us, not in bits, in mass, one after the other, mass after mass!

As expressed elsewhere, Nigeria is a nation where Critical Thinking has been in exile. What has found a throne in Nigeria is Creative Thinking; a dangerous culture that produces the Olisa Metuhs and the Wendell “Reno” Simlins, harebrained and hopeless analysts incapable of telling A apart from H because, so diseased, they won’t see the top of anything. They don’t see, or won’t say, that the top of A is angular

In analysing the clues available for making meanings out of our national tragedies, we see the genius of these creative thinkers: Boko Haram, they create, this time with disturbing confidence, is a reaction to the existence of non-northern President. The same Boko Haram insurgents that have destroyed the habitats of the people you refer to as their brothers and sisters? The same Boko Haram whose founder was killed by a northern and, very importantly, Muslim President? How many more follies do Nigerians have to exude for this subclinical psychopathy to be medically confirmed.

Though the silliness of the Metuhs and the Similins is mere selfish propaganda designed to secure the fate of their bosses in 2015, how about the unsuspecting and gullible citizens they have indoctrinated, rousing mutual suspicions? Their polarisation strategy is so effective that even in our anger over the Nyanya blasts we still trade blames, allowing ourselves to be possessed by the propagandas of the ruling elite whose interests are hardly found in suburban Nigeria where the masses tend to their dreams and hopes, forsaken and confused. We don’t ask the right questions. We refuse to even acknowledge that the bombs didn’t differentiate between the Muslims and Christians, Igbo and Hausa, Southerners and Northerners, Children and Adults… We refuse to acknowledge that only the members of an embarrassingly played class were killed and damaged in the blasts!

The Presidency, in justifying its refusal to cancel its planned political fanfares over the terror attack, said that such is to prove to the terrorists that they can never stop pulse of the nation. But if the terrorists who have also abducted our sisters and daughters, just when we were still mourning, are as inconsequential as Mr President seeks to portray, why hasn’t he visited their hotbeds in Borno? Would Goodluck Jonathan and his fellow PDP partiers have continued in their political campaigns and fanfares if it were members of the ruling class that died in the Nyanya blasts? Would they have been so openly unsympathetic and indifferent if the blasts had consumed some of them? No, Mr. President, the only way to prove that you’re unstoppable is by crushing them. Your empty boasts that you have succeeded in restricting Boko Haram insurgents to the fringes (as though the fringes are not part of your territory), which the Nyanya blasts have shown as untrue, would not protect us when they strike while you are fortressed in Aso Rock, unmindful of how N1 trillion naira disbursed for our security were used, and yet the country is still unsafe!

Poverty is not a lack of common sense, gullible Nigerians. It’s merely a state of economic dissatisfaction that has no direct, I repeat direct, effect on your intelligence quotient. Most of the thinkers who propounded the philosophies that have become guiding principles even to the affluent emperors were, beyond redemptions. May God save us from us!

By Gimba Kakanda

@gimbakakanda (On Twitter)

The President & the CBN Governor: in defense of institutions- Ayisha Osori

imagesI thought I had nothing more to say. That after 5 years of writing weekly, everything that I could possibly say about Nigeria, had already been said. But I find that when it comes to Nigeria – heartbreak country –there will always be new lows.

There have been many things written and said about the removal of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria but not enough about three things: the importance of institutions; the personalization of office; and the ‘clean hands’ argument.

There is a reason Obama’s first key message to Africa as President was “Africa needs strong institutions, not strong men. Yet, with the summary removal of the CBN Governor, the President of Nigeria took a bulldozer to the foundation of CBN’s independence which is critical for institution building, a healthy fiscal regime and the economy.  It is not a coincidence that over the last 30 years, the number of countries with independent central banks increased from 20 to more than160.

Regardless of what we think about the relationship between previous administrations and past CBN Governors, until now, no one ever blatantly yanked off the veil of doubt about the CBN’s independence from the Presidency. There is a reason why after over two hundred years of US democracy, no President – even with constitutional powers, has ever removed the head of the Federal Reserve Board. One tried – and it earned him impeachment proceedings.

The problem with not waiting for the CBN Governor’s term to be over in June and then prosecuting him on the basis of the FRC report is that the timing leaves the President open to the accusation that he has no respect for the checks and balances necessary in a real democracy. In a country where ‘I am loyal’ is a salutation, successive Presidents may expect a CBN Governor who is loyal to them and not to the responsibilities of the office. It means that the public; witnesses to the crude and anti –constitutional removal, may presume that the new CBN Governor is a ‘yes man’ of the worst kind.

This brings us to the issue of increasingly blurred lines of distinction between occupiers of a position and the position. It is a dangerous norm in Nigeria to personalize public office – for a person to take on a role today and the next, become known to all, even parents, only as ‘DG’, ‘HM’ or ‘Honorable’. It is this inability to distinguish between person and position that has contributed to the degradation of our institutions. If the President, his advisers and supporters could distinguish between individual and ‘office’, they would understand that regardless of the alleged virtue of their position today, there could be a different type of President and a different type of Governor in the CBN 10 years from now and by setting this dangerous precedent, the independence of the CBN has been compromised.

There is a maxim in law – ‘he who comes to equity must come with clean hands’. It means that a plaintiff who brings a case before a court seeking justice must also not be guilty of the same offense. There seems to be a presumption that the disclosure about billions of dollars missing from oil revenue remittance is wrong because the Governor got a share or that the controversial CSR spend is linked to the missing billions. No. In the application of the maxim, the bad conduct that is condemned must be part of the transaction that is subject of the lawsuit. Yet this maxim is being used as a defense for the illegal removal of the CBN Governor. This line of thinking leads us deeper into the trap of brazen embezzlement of public funds which we find ourselves in. There is already a tacit understanding that only the compromised or compromiseable can get into the highest offices. Yet we want the compromised and compromiseable to have no personal thresholds. In summary, Nigerians with a track record for honesty (saints as political realists call them) cannot get into office, but we expect the sinners who get in to be honourable and never rat on gang members.

The Economist’s ‘What is wrong with democracy?’ says one reason why so many democratic experiments have failed recently is the emphasis on elections to the detriment of other essential features of democracy (such as building independent institutions). “The power of the state needs to be checked and the first sign that a fledgling democracy is heading for the rocks often comes when elected rulers try to erode constraints on their power – like the President did by illegally removing the CBN Governor from office. No amount of obfuscation about suspension and removal will change that. Weak institutions and a refusal to adhere to our written laws are major factors in our continued underdevelopment and social and political decline. Until we insist that laws are respected with no personal exceptions for individuals in power, amendments to our constitution will not help. As James Madison argued about the working of democracy, “you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” This goes for every President and every CBN Governor.

Views expressed are solely the author’s

#KakandaTemple ~ Nigeria: Of Rights, Patriotism and ‘Briefcase’ Activism

It was a sad day.

I was sad for the innocent kids murdered in Yobe, just a few days after 20 girls were abducted in Borno, by the same bloodthirsty insurgents. I accepted an invitation to hang out with friends, which turned out to be a wrong move. They are from Borno; from the heart of the wrecked towns and villages. I was challenged by their lecture on the genesis and complexity of the radical ideology that has evolved into this irrational insurgency. I was dejected, and emotionally defeated!

Earlier in the day, I listened to the President, and his indirect concession of defeat in another of his promises to “prosecute (the) war against terror.” It dampened my spirit. His ‘threat’ to withdraw soldiers stationed in Borno to prove a point to Shettima was a extraordinarily dumb wisecrack, because I don’t think Shettima was actually being ungrateful; I think he was only crying, that the soldiers are exposed to undermined danger, yet ill-prepared.

Of course, I’d be similarly devastated and even suspicious, aware of how trillions of naira were obviously cornered in Abuja without me. The Borno issues were badly handled in that chat. They gave away Mr President’s wicked sense of humour. For that, he shouldn’t make any more effort to be funny outside his bedroom. There’s no honour in chuckling at a funeral!

Yet Nigerians remain in their bedrooms and offices tweeting at perceived injustice and incompetence, and expecting such cyber-venting to change the system. What I realise about us is, nobody wants to take the first bullet. Everybody just wants to queue behind you. We need to stand together as citizens, with our demands harmonised in the quest to reclaim the country.

My experience in organising #OccupyNigeria in Minna has taught me a lesson – that you need more than private citizens for an orderly demonstration of rage. The politicians, who have successfully scammed us, know this. Which is why they created so many forums and associations to remain powerful – for, divided they fall. Even a politician in his 90s is a member of a relevance-seeking “elders council”. I renounced membership of a writers association, a supposed intellectual powerhouse of the country, when it refused to be a part of OccupyNigeria protests in January, 2012. The absence of unions, which are ever not willing to hurt their financiers, the government, is always a predication that a proposed peaceful protest may be hijacked, and thus the authorities would give us a bad name just to use us for experiments in brutalities. This was why our OccupyNigeria campaign in Minna was the most destructive in Nigeria. It became a riot, checked only when a 24-hour curfew was imposed. At the end, the state government set up 13-man committee to assess the damage, and their reports will shock you. So, to check violence, we need unions, and all those dormant NGOs in Nigeria misleading, and, sorry to say, swindling, the West in the name of human rights advocacy.

This week, out of frustration with the massacres in the north-east, without a convincing assurance of an end soon, I reached out to some people for a possibility of a protest, to occupy, as they say in the streets of dysfunctional countries, this headquarters of political failures; there is no better time to face these remorseless clowns at Three Arms Zone, Abuja.

But the funny thing about these Abuja-based activists on Twitter is, when you call them and inform them that a certain ambassador or politician wants to have a lunch with them, they’ll be available. None will be in a meeting. None will be on the road driving. None will promise to call back when s/he’s done – with ongoing imaginary events. But, tell them of the possibility of a protest, you hear pim, a very loud silence. This is what we call “Briefcase” activism. Yes, the policemen could be on alert, and they will, as usual, announce on NTA that “all forms of protests are banned”; but, listen, we don’t need such censoring if we’re a team, unions, associations, organisations, and forums, not some cowards exhibiting hypocritical patriotism from air-conditioned offices and rooms.

Still I’m more betrayed by NGO owners and members of civil society organisations who, in the name of rights advocacies, receive huge grants to cover the miseries and protect the sanctity of the people they abandon in times of crises. Anytime you attend social events, you hear rich and pot-bellied Nigerians say, “My name is X, our NGO is into peace-building…” In which country?! I think we need a list of all NGOs and civil society organisations in Nigeria with sources of their funding in order to expose their frauds.

What do they do? You can’t be receiving grants from western institutions and governments to promote peace and human dignity, and we don’t hear or see you. That is fraud, uppercase fraud!

We need the unions, NGOs and rights advocacy groups in times like this because it’s very difficult for nonunion citizens to lead a protest, without a few elements losing their minds or having it hijacked by uncontrollably angry people. Nigerians are very angry right now, and if we must take to the street, we need to harmonise our demands – to check possible violence. We’re all stakeholders in the campaigns to understand the complexity of Boko Haram, and this defeat of our troops.

In this dilemma, we saw a public notice calling Abuja residents to converge at Unity Fountain on Thursday (27th February), just beside the city’s biggest hotel. I couldn’t authenticate the source of the unsigned broadcast. But as much as I’m wary of involvement in knee-jerk reactions to unpopular government (in)decisions, I thought it an opportunity to meet and discuss strategies to adopt in getting the government’s attention.

There was fear, the usual, especially when the police announced that “all forms of protests are banned in FCT” on NTA. And for that, they intercepted us, threw a canister of tear-gas at us, but we defied the threat. At the end, they had to arrest us and had us crammed inside their van. This is the beauty of our democracy – government of the powerful. But we were released, for the obvious reason: the fear of technology, the social media sensationalism, which, they have realised, can ruin their reputation and career with a tweet!

Though the protest ended much too soon, with hope of converging again when our strategies are better harmonised, it introduced me to the patriotism of fellow Nigerians in spite of the armchair critics to whom fault-finding is a permanent job. Whomever initiated the Unity Fountain protest is a genius. The intent was clear: to embarrass guests, from different countries, coming to Transcorp Hilton Hotel for the Centenary jamboree.

Still a mystery remains: even at the venue no one claimed authorship of the broadcast that had us converge- which means the initiator didn’t participate. May God save us from us!

By Gimba Kakanda
@gimbakakanda (On Twitter)

10 Curious Points You Must Not Ignore While Reading The CBN Report By The Financial Reporting Council – Omojuwa


  1. Based on the allegations raised, the suspended Central Bank Governor has a case to answer and he MUST as a matter of expediency state his own side of the issue. This should not be up for debate.
  2. The report was prepared by The Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), formerly the Nigerian Accounting Standards Board (NASB). The council operates under the Ministry of Trade and Investment. The Ministry of Trade and Investment has a Minister who is subjected to the President of Nigeria. Essentially, the President himself might as well have prepared the report. It is like being a judge in one’s own case.
  3. The report repeated the same lines over and again. The 13 pages could easily have been two pages. May be those who prepared it felt repeating the accusations will make the number of accusations increase. Or repetition would make them believe their own report. One sensible way they could have increased the size of the report would have been to at least quote parts of the report of the referred joint auditors that suggest they DID NOT certify that the accounts give a true and fair view of the financial position of the CBN. The FRC stated their opinion was carefully crafted and was capable of deceiving the uninformed but the FRC could have helped the President better by at least quoting some of that “well crafted” opinion. May be they left it out to avoid the situation of that single line deceiving the President too?
  4. The report failed to mention the increase (or decrease) in income generated by the Central Bank in the period under review. They failed to tell the President in their reporting whether the Central Bank was remitting less money into the Federation account since the advent of the Sanusi Lamido administration or it was remitting less. They should have stated this. Not stating it should get one curious.
  5. According to the report, the Central Bank of Nigeria never did anything right with its financial reporting. This is interesting because one would assume that even the daftest of thieves would at least cover his/her tracks a little. It is either the suspended Central Bank Governor was naïve in never ensuring at least one thing was done right with the CBN’s financial reporting or the report of the Financial Reporting council of Nigeria had an intent from the beginning; nail Sanusi Lamido Sanusi by all means. One of my suggestions on this note is certainly likely to be true. Make your own decision.
  6. The report while speaking of some expenses made sure not to state that the expenses mentioned were likely to have catered for the Central Bank headquarters in Abuja, its regional offices across the federation and all the other offices located in all the states of the Federation. The Central Bank has a presence in all the states of the federation. Its budget covers all these states. Surely, this should have been stated in a report that sought to clear the air on financial recklessness or otherwise. May be the report had a clear intent from the get go. Like reporting to a charge, “Get me a Financial recklessness report on Sanusi’s CBN!”
  7. The report suggested the investigation into the allegations could not be carried out with the CBN Governor and his Deputy Governors allowed to continue in office. Curiously though, the President suspended only the Governor. Are we missing something here? This is of course not emphasizing that the Deputy Governors be suspended, it is only stating that surely Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was the specific target all along.
  8. The report was sent to the President 7th June 2013. The president ended up suspending the Governor on the 20th of February 2014. Why did the President wait for so long? Could it be because the CBN Governor refused to keep quiet about what he thought was the administration’s continued mismanagement of the economy? Was the straw broken when Sanusi Lamido finally dared the Oil cabal? Or could it be that the President decided he had to make the illegal move of suspending the Governor seeing as even if the courts find it illegal, Nigeria’s slow grinding court system would have ensured that with the tenure of the Governor ending only months later, the court ruling would have little or no effect on a CBN led by Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
  9. The Financial Reporting Council let down its guard in its conclusion by finally giving an indication of the purpose of the report. It mentioned in its second bullet point “for political reasons.” Is a report that ought to be objective, based on facts and figures allowed to subjectively refer to “political reasons” as one of the reasons the President must act? This is probably arguably one of the most curious parts of the report.

10. The suspended Central Bank Governor no doubt has a case to answer based on this report, spurious or not. The Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria under the supervision of the Mr. Olusegun Aganga’s Ministry of Trade and Investment certainly has a report that puts its independence on the issue in doubt. That’s expected, it derives its budget from the Presidency. It is an organ of the presidency.

Conclusion: It is impossible not to look at these issues altogether and not see that our country continues to be run like a Primary School Pupils’ club. Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Allison Madueke who could easily be assumed to be Nigeria’s de facto President openly stated on national television that she disregarded a Presidential directive that has since amongst other scams cost the country about $20 billion yet no questions have EVER been asked of her despite these and several other allegations. We see again and again that the Petroleum cabal is bigger than Nigeria and this will remain as long as the Jonathan administration, now globally renowned for its corruption, continues to hold sway.

God bless the patience and the looking-up-to-God energy of the people of Nigeria. Amen.

You can download the report of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria and the Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s Memorandum submitted to the National Assembly on Non-Remittance of Oil Revenue below.

This is Japheth Omojuwa | @omojuwa

Views expressed are solely the author’s





















The CBN Report by The Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria














Leadership: What Goodluck Jonathan can learn from Stephen Keshi – Ogunyemi Bukola

Keshi-JonathanSuccessful leadership, be it in business, politics or sports, operates on identical underlying principles. As such, successful leaders learn from one another across the different sectors of life and terrain of leadership in which they operate. Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, has a lot to learn about leadership, and he has plenty of options to choose from. But he needs not look far. In his mostly unremarkable government, the sports sector, especially football, especially the national male football team, Super Eagles, have enjoyed unprecedented success. This due in no small parts to the efforts of the Glo/CAF African Football Awards 2014 Coach of the Year, Stephen Keshi.

Since his appointment in 2011, Keshi has led Nigeria to qualification for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, which they went on to win, becoming one of only two people (along with Egypt’s Mahmoud El-Gohary) to have won it as both a player and a coach, secured qualification to the 2014 World Cup and is through to the semi-final of CHAN2014. Keshi’s success has not been accidental, and in his handling of the team, some particularly stellar leadership attributes shine through that the man from Otuoke can learn from.

Leaders deliver results, not excuses: Jonathan has a readymade excuse for why nothing is working in Nigeria. From corruption to terrorism to poor state of infrastructure nationwide, none is due to Jonathan’s inability/failure to effect change. Past Nigerian leaders, the opposition, the children of anger, some aggrieved ethnicities, these are the groups responsible for everything that is wrong with Nigeria. And this has gone a long way in entrenching the culture of complacency in his largely incompetent team who know they are not to blame for failure. Keshi as Super Eagles manager has an opposite philosophy, get results and you won’t have to give excuses. And this has worked for him, as the team knows a bad pitch or weather and even biased officiating is not a reason to lose.

Leaders make sacrifices, especially big sacrifices: To save Nigeria, we must all be prepared to make sacrifices. On the part of Government, we are taking several measures aimed at cutting the size and cost of governance, including on-going and continuous effort to reduce the size of our recurrent expenditure and increase capital spending. In this regard, I have directed that overseas travels by all political office holders, including the President, should be reduced to the barest minimum” – Goodluck Jonathan (January 2012)

“Our administration believes that the cost of governance in the country is still too high and must be further reduced. We will also take additional steps to stem the tide of corruption and leakages. Foreign travel by government personnel will be further curtailed” – Goodluck Jonathan (January 2014)

In the two years between the two statements from Goodluck Jonathan above, he has spent over N3 billion on foreign trips, recurrent expenditure has increased to 72% of overall government spending, Aso Rock feeding and entertainment budget has stayed at N1 billion and Mr President is planning to acquire an 11th aircraft for the presidential fleet.

Keshi and his assistants on the other hand are being owed a total of 7 months’ salary and allowances running into about N78 million. In the face of this, he has ensured that no player is owed match bonuses and has not failed to deliver results on the pitch. Jonathan and his aides are living in obscene opulence while asking Nigerians to make sacrifices for the nation’s development. Errrrr, it all starts with you sir.

You are only as good as your team: Since his accidental ascendancy to the highest political office in Nigeria, Mr Jonathan has managed to assemble arguably the worst Federal Executive Council since return to democratic rule in 1999. Men and women of low competencies, questionable character and proven records of corruption/mismanagement have been given control of sensitive positions in return for political devotion. Mr Jonathan has shown that he values political loyalty above competency, and that is politics, not leadership. In this regard, he should learn how Keshi picks his team, making sure the best available players are selected, not those who spent more time with the press praising his managerial skills.

Leaders know what and when to celebrate: One of the most disappointing moments of Jonathan’s presidency for me was when he told CNN’s Christine Amanpour during an interview that power situation in Nigeria has vastly improved and Nigerians are happy with his administration in that regard. Amanpour went ahead to disprove this claim so effortlessly. In truth power generation had increased to more than 4000MW then, but that hardly calls for celebration and smugness considering that Nigeria needs about 20,000MW to stand any chance of being one of the top 20 economies in the world by 2020. Jonathan stops short of calling a party for every hundred MW added to the national grid or every kilometre of road patched. Mister, it’s like celebrating victory after winning the first free-kick in a football match. Keep calm and get to work, like Keshi does. Don’t pop the champagne until the trophy is in the cabinet.

Leaders know the people are priority: I do not understand the polimathics of FIFA rankings, and I got even more confused when in December 2013 Nigeria slipped three places from 33 to 36 despite having arguably the best year of all African teams. So was Keshi, but something struck me about his response:

“I am shocked (by the latest rankings). We won the Africa Cup of Nations this year, qualified for the World Cup and four-time world champions Italy held us to a draw, so I am surprised. We should continue to win and make Nigerians proud because that is what is most important to me and Nigerians. If we remain in wherever we are in the ranking and keep winning and Nigerians are happy, then I am happy.”

This contrasts sharply with the selective acceptance game Jonathan’s government plays with global governance and human development rankings. It is not unusual to see Mr Jonathan’s media aides base their principal’s successes on positive comments from international organizations like the World Bank and IMF. When however, the spotlight is on corruption and poverty, in which the report is almost always unfavourable, they swing to action and give a thousand and one reasons why such reports are inaccurate.

Failure to realize that democracy is a government of the people, and the most acceptable index is the people’s assessment, is the foundation of Mr Jonathan’s woeful performance as Nigeria’s president. And as long as he continues to seek acceptance from local power blocs and international organizations at the detriment of the wishes of the people, the story is not likely to change.

If Jonathan is to record any success worth remembering as he enters the final year of his presidency, he should learn from how Keshi has managed to turn around the fortunes of a Super Eagles team that failed to qualify for the nations cup into African champions. While Keshi has proven to be Nigeria’s most successful football coach, Mr Jonathan might just be the worst president in Nigeria’s modern democratic history. It’s all about leadership.

Ogunyemi Bukola (@zebbook) writes from Lagos, Nigeria.

#KakandaTemple: Nigeria: A Nation of Goodlucks…

President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan may be a good private citizen. I think I have seen his types. But “good” and “luck” are not enough to lead a country, especially one that reeks of ethno-religious and regional monstrosities. GEJ appears like one of those unfamiliar countrymen you can corner at a bar to enjoy an innocent chat around life, politics and, perhaps, zoology. I see him as that person chosen as deputy by his former bosses or political kingmakers in considerations of his subservience – which is actually written, and ever deceptively worn, on his face. Goodluck is a child of “providence”, one of those whose history could excite the largely religious Nigerians. But, he’s practically unprepared for what “providence” has taken to him. He is like me and you, ordinary citizens who have no definable ideology on the way to lead anything beyond the size of our families. A Goodluck is accurately a man who happens to be in the right place at the right time. A Goodluck is an opportunist, a political opportunist. Goodlucks have found themselves on our corridors of power ever since we embarked on this misadventure through Independence. Goodlucks were not forced on us by God, they are miscalculated variables from sentimental permutations of political opportunisms.

And so expecting a miracle from an opportunist who found himself in power through sentiments and the customary corruptions is an absolute misuse of our senses. The trouble with opportunists is not only because they are unprepared, but because they lack what I’d call the constitutional ruthlessness to stand by their ideologies, and the honesty to implement a popular policy which may not favour the parasitic elite around them. GEJ couldn’t be principally honest because he was almost planted there. When you elect a man who has no professed policies, be ready for the confusion and cluelessness being experienced in Nigeria today. An unprepared leader only needs a week of pillow talks with his wife and executive meetings with sycophantic aides to acquire the special abilities to befriend corrupt public officers, disregard the plights of the masses and perpetuate a reign of failed promises. It is not the years spent in politics that grounded a politician’s ideas, it is the genuineness of his intentions. The world had seen how Nelson Mandela, a man with no past in political administrations, came to power and calmed a raging South Africa. Only a patriot with professed policies can save a nation, but where are ours?

The Nigerian patriots are hypocrites lost in the wind of public intellections and social crusades. Our hypocrisy breeds the Goodlucks misusing our resources today. GEJ, like his predecessor the late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua, is a tragedy that happens in a country where politics is seen merely as a game of the crooks, and the loud-mouthed advocates of change scamper on being challenged to show us their leadership qualities. There are two categories of followers among the Nigerian Goodlucks: the Informed and the Gullible. Membership of both categories comprised the good and the bad clamouring for change, without necessarily following the code of pragmatic effects. The Informed followers category comprised the intellectuals who propound political theories and analyse the system, and the change advocates who are largely the social crusaders, members of civil societies, and the apolitical bourgeoisie who engage government policies to demand for a fair and transparent administration. The Gullible Followers, on the other hand, are the politically naïve masses who rely on the elite and are ever influenced by these moneyed citizens to take a side. They are gullible, and dangerous!

While the informed followers are responsible for the institutional collapse of Nigeria and the emergences of Goodlucks, we’re in this political mess also because of the gullibility of the larger masses who are easily played by politicians, who have no sense of their rights at all, who think that their representatives are actually being philanthropic. Their sins are almost as unforgivable as those of the informed followers who wear garbs of self-righteousness in their academia, air-conditioned offices and under their “lead-us-well” placards, reviewing governments after governments and protesting policies. These citizens deliberately keep themselves away from participation in politics and political appointments because it’s a den of the crooks. To the intellectuals, the country is simply an ideological laboratory to test their political theories and build a library of polemics, and the activists form synergies with donor organisations in their dramatised campaigns for good leadership. Despite the fact that previously apolitical Goodlucks, like the Reuben Abatis who have shown us their indignity, betrayed their propositions for a functional Nigeria, a team of patriots with professed policies can indeed recue Nigeria.

And time is not on our side. This is a time for increased political scheming, a moment for the Goodlucks to come together and contribute to this challenge of nationhood. Our campaigns now should not be just to oust the leaders of this ideologically evil party that have turned every sector of Nigeria into a mess, but also to have a progressive opposition whose blueprints for Nigeria fit into our demands, and which also has principled individuals ready to work for change. Thankfully, the proposed merger of opposition political parties to form the frustrated All Progressive Party may turn Nigeria into an unofficial two-party State. The process so far is a pathway to depression; it’s clearly a chaos of the progressive pilferers and the conservative criminals. May God save us from us!

By Gimba Kakanda

@gimbakakanda (On Twitter)


It’s a sign of weakness to think that insecurity issues can be solved via a quick fix approach, it might be necessary that as a people, we relax, take a deep breath, and with the eye of shame begin to consider ourselves as a nation that dialogues with terrorists and compensates them so as to buy peace and security. If terrorists kill and cause anarchy for unthinkable demands, then what do you call those who plan to pay or negotiate with them? Evidently, Goodluck Jonathan’s administration is the worst thing that has happened to our fragile democracy.

President Goodluck Jonathan once told the entire world of the presence of Boko-Haram in his government and one would have assumed that some deep and secret intelligence work is going underground to check that out so as to install long lasting security to the nation. Compensating the Islamic Sect marks the end to all possible investigations and automatically rights the wrongs of their sponsors. We need not forget that Kabir Sokoto, the Christmas Day bomber of St Theresa Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State was caught in the Governor of Borno’s lodge and that a police commissioner, Zakari Biu, apparently played a significant role in aiding Sokoto’s escape. What of Senator Ndume, who is standing trial for aiding and abetting Boko Haram? Once compensation plan is settled, then, we need not ask further questions from Alhaji Lawal Kaita, a northern leader who in October 2010 said Nigeria will be ungovernable if the president did not come from the North.

It’s somewhat alarming that the dreaded Islamic sect is now willing to dialogue and negotiate, that raises a whole lot of questions. We need to note that they once gave conditions for peace in February 2011, where they actually demanded that Ali Modu Sheriff, (The same former governor of Borno State whose arrest they are now demanding as a term for negotiation) steps down with immediate effect and permit members reclaim their mosque in Maiduguri.  Only for them to reject the offer for amnesty in May 2011 presented by the present governor of Borno state, Kashim Shettima

Is it that they have achieved their aim or that their masters have had enough blood shed? Or is it that they are out of cash and resources to finance their goals, hence they intend to pull a fast one on the weak and tactless federal government.  What beats my imagination is the amount of enthusiasm with which the Federal Government welcomed the silly offer and the amazing willingness to start drawing criteria for payments. It affirms that President Jonathan has only been fooling Nigerians with his “our administration is doing everything possible to ensure that the perpetrators of this dastardly act are brought to justice” speech which he doesn’t seem tired of giving after any bomb attack. Or could this possibly be his own definition of the justice he has been clamoring about?! Yes we all want peace to reign, but any cheap approach to getting it is not just it, because the fruits of such stupidity will ripen in few years, fully introducing anarchy and lawlessness in the country. We should expect that in no time several other groups will spring up.

The fact that dialogue and amnesty worked out with the Niger Delta militants who had clear demands is no guarantee that it would work out with Boko Haram who is fighting against western education alongside planning to Islamise the entire nation.

Dialoguing with them and paying them compensation simply implies that the Federal government who is saddled with the responsibility to protect lives and property has been cowed by some individuals. Where on earth is it heard that terrorists are compensated for killing innocent souls? What a shame! Reaching agreement with them will probably only lead to suspending their activities. They are terrorists, trained to commit suicide just like they have done on several occasions. Are we expecting that they will suddenly just become repentant? It didn’t happen like that with Maistasine!

The origin of terrorism in Nigeria can be widely traced to Maistasine, a religious sect founded by one late Malam Muhammadu Marwa alias Allah Ta-Tsine or Maitatsine, the group had same objectives with boko haram in the 80s. The ideology of the sect was to oppose modernization and Western influence, the first Maitasine violence in Kano claimed 4,177 lives. General Muhammed Buhari’s administration fought and wiped off the Maitasine sect and this  makes it understandable why General Buhari has refused to take up the role of mediator as the Boko Haram sect has demanded, stating that he would not have anything to do with the talks. “I do not know any member of the Boko Haram sect. I do not believe and I do not know of any religion that will go and kill people, burn schools”  Gen. Buhari clearly stated. President Goodluck Jonathan should be warned that negotiating implies that the Federal Government has lost total control of the country’s security.

Over N900billion was earmarked for security in the 2012 Budget alone, basically because of insecurity. The federal government according to The Financial Times has spent $1 billion on the amnesty program of the Niger delta ex-militants since inception. I think it’s time the government started working towards social security for the unemployed as long as the government remains incapable of creating employment and an environment that accommodates and encourages entrepreneurship.

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#KakandaTemple: Beyond Mr President’s Tears


Collated commentaries on and around Nigeria seem to portray a nation waiting to implode. Brilliant Nigerian playwright and poet, Opeyemi Adedayo, in a poem Heritage of Lies, lashes out on what he considers to be the mindsets that cause our country’s failures; he attacks various corruptions and total drought of transparency in our government which, true this, are now being passed on to the next generation through a sort of genetic coding—in the womb. Our system is so warped that the conception and foundation of most sectors, whether private or public, are built on lies and deceits. Honesty is now only attributed to the fools and novices in our labour market. And the knowledge that honest workers are hardly ever patted on the back further slacks the employer–employee bond, irreparably. This marriage of employer lie and employee deceit forms the loft of distrust on which every corporation in Nigeria nestled.

Yet, our tragedies were designed by ourselves from the day we consider as normal every aberration detected in government. Perhaps we were too powerless to confront the government, but are we also incapable of forestalling its many romances with the private corporations, which go on to become our dooms? It’s on records that corporations, often publicly traded and regulated by local laws, offer bribes [or its semantic equivalence, grafts] to government functionaries to either facilitate the rendering of a substandard service unchallenged or to get away with the effect of having done that. At least we’re witnesses to the collective dishonour brought upon us citizens during the many bribery scandals that blew open our chicken-politicians’ rumps—from Halliburton and Siemens bribery scandals down through to the shams perfected by our customs officers at border posts on to internal corruptions institutionalised by our state and local government systems. Ours is a castle of corruption built by the very bricks of lies and deceits.

Venal capitalism and its proponents have fed fat on the corruptions in Nigeria; it has become a monster without a proper authority to cage and tame its excesses. This is the system in which Dana Airlines strove, and it is now graspable that a 22-year-old contraption with almost everything beggaring replacement was cleared to grovel above over 150 million people. When the stories of the Indian-owned mobile coffin taken for aircraft that crashed last Sunday with 153 passengers on board began to take a space on our conscience, it only justified my fear for Nigeria. It only went to prove the dreaded heritage—of lies and corruptions in the authorities concerned, the corporations who cashed on the slack oversight and the consumers who are already “accustomed” to deplorable service—for in the midst of this argument, none of this ternary is exonerated from taking a boot over what befell Dana Air Flight 0992.

Honesty has since been compromised in our polity. Of course we knew the danger when we offered bribes to our customs officers just to smuggle fake or substandard products into the country; we knew the danger when we offered bribes to lecturers in our tertiary schools just to scale through as professional of an apparently impracticable profession; we knew the danger when corruptions produced unsound and half-trained doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, aviators, you name it; we knew the danger when our aviation authorities were compromised by years of ‘mutual understanding’—whatever that worst form of government-capitalist countersign means to you—with the management of Dana Air, such that a pathetically faulty plane, nay coffin, made it to the sky, above a population of indolent grumblers as diverse as ours.

Yet we are suddenly surprised when the latent, rationalised dangers eventually manifests? It’s unfortunate that our authorities are so compromised that a capitalist Dana—whose entrepreneurial aim is solely translation of anything, honest or fraudulent, into profits—could order a carrier of death up on our sky with no concern for our welfare, our very humanity! Yes, how can we be surprised???

A friend of mine who flew aboard the crashed Dana plane just two days to Black Sunday put her shame thus: “We crawled in the air for 1 hour and 20 minutes for a flight of 45 minutes. And the air-conditioner kept dripping water all through that we joked that it was raining in the plane”. Typical Nigerian, we are so accustomed to poor services detrimental to our existence that we don’t see a thing wrong with a 35-minute delay, we don’t see a thing wrong with an air-conditioner dripping water. Imagine what their protest would have forestalled? But they saw the dramatic growling of the sick aircraft as fun; it was all in the Nigerian manner. Some weeks ago, I listened to a recorded sermon by the now notorious spokesperson of the Boko Haram, Imam Shekau. It was rendered many years before they became a newspaper and real-life threat and his ultimatum to Nigeria blared through microphones, heard by an entire neighbourhood and it was even recorded and sold at CD stores and markets, yet our secret service still lied that the insurgency hit them unawares!

This may be wicked to say, but the Dana plane crash became a “monumental national tragedy” only because it affected a large number of the middle-class elements and still bears death for more. The disparity between the poor and some elements of the middleclass was on play even in the media reportage of the plane crash where the identity of the non-passenger victims, the poor and unfortunate residents of the Lagos suburb, was considered unworthy for print. Just because they didn’t belong in a cycle of whatever makes an “important” Nigerian. Despite everything, our fate is grim in the palms of a president whose only achievement so far, as widely observed, is the mastery of condolences. If Dr. Goodluck Jonathan is actually sympathetic as his sobbing at Iju-Ishaga, the site of the plane crash, gave away, why wasn’t that sympathy shown on the killing of innocent protesters during the fuel subsidy protests?

By Gimba Kakanda
Twitter handle: @gimbakakanda



Premium Times

The Lagos State government has filed two suits against the Nigeria Police over citizens shot during the anti-fuel subsidy protests last January.

In the first suit ID/153m/2012 filed at the High Court of Lagos State on behalf of those who sustained gun shot wounds on the same day; the state prayed the court to compel the respondents to issue unreserved apologies to the applicants in two national newspapers and electronic media.

Joined in the suit were the Inspector General of Police, CSP Segun Fabunmi, and the Attorney-General of the Federation.

The applicants; Chizoba Odoh, Samuel Egbujor, Abubakar Alimi, and Joy Monday; sustained various degrees of injuries after the trigger-happy Mr. Fabunmi opened fire on them.

In addition, the state asked the court to order that the sum of N100 million be awarded as damages to each of the applicants by the respondents for psychological trauma, mental and emotional torture, loss of income and employment, among others.

In the second suit ID/154m/2012; the state government prayed the court for an order for the enforcement of the fundamental right of life of Ademola Samuel Abe.

Ademola Samuel Abe was shot on January 9 by Mr. Fabunmi, a Divisional Police Officer, during the protests.

The suit filed on behalf of Adebayo Abe, the deceased’s elder brother, asked the court to order the payment of the sum of N200 million jointly and severally against the respondents as compensation for the violation of the fundamental human right to life of Mr. Abe.

Speaking after the burial ceremony of Ademola Samuel Abe, whose remains were interred on Wednesday in Lagos; Omotola Rotimi, the Director of the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) told journalists that they would get a hearing date “very soon.”

“The Directorate of Public Prosecution will take over the criminal case, the OPD is doing the civil case on the violation of their rights,” said Mrs. Rotimi.

“It is only in the civil suit that they can get compensation in monetary terms; the criminal case is just for the person to get punishment.



Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo has said that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is ensuring that all wounds of Nigeria’s past are healed completely. The Vice President stated this Thursday, when he led the Federal Government Delegation to the National Burial/Funeral Ceremonies of the Late Ikemba Nnewi, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegu Ojukwu, held at Enugu, Enugu State.

Sambo who expressed delight with the honour said “It is a sign that our President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, is committed to ensuring that all the wounds of our past are healed completely, and that we do not ignore the lessons of the past as we strive to build a great nation that justifies the labour of our past heroes, Ojukwu inclusive.”

He described the Eze Igbo Gburugburu as a rare patriot and humanist who echoes the present day servant leader and whose eulogies go beyond the shores of Nigeria.

“Needless to add that there are men of history whose story cannot end so long as the earth remains, however long or variedly it may be told,” he said.

Speaking on Chief Okukwu’s contributions to the democratic development of Nigeria, VP Sambo maintained that “his contributions in our political sphere cannot be overlooked,” emphasising that “he had played a significant role in Nigeria’s democracy since 1999”.

In his remarks the Governor of Enugu State and the host of the event, Mr. Sullivan Chime, stated that the Late Ojukwu was one of those rare enigmas whose story of his life and times cannot expire, describing him as an iconic personage

He noted that the hosting of the event in the State was significant because Enugu was and is still the capital of Eastern Nigerian and was also the permanent abode of the late Ojukwu.

The occasion witnessed several tributes from notable Nigerians, who included, the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, Chairman South-Eastern Governors’ Forum, Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State and Chief Emeka Anyaoku.

Others that spoke at even were, former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, Navy Commodore (rtd) Ebitu Ukiwe), Retired Justice Chukwudifu Oputa and Professor Wole Soyinka .

Highlights of the event were the laying of wreath by Vice President Sambo and Governor Sullivan of Enugu State, Special Choral Performance by the Laz Ekwueme Choral Ensemble.

Present at the occasion were the widow of Ojukwu, Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu, Governors of Abia, Ebonyi, Imo and Bauchi, the Deputy Senate President, Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, National Assembly members, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, other royal fathers, former and serving Ministers, Senator Ben Obi, (Special Adviser to the President on Interparty Affairs), top government functionaries and other notable Nigerians.

News Diary