Obafemi Awolowo’s letter from prison to Major General Aguiyi Ironsi

CONFIDENTIAL

28th March, 1966

The Supreme Commander and Head of the Federal Military Government, Lagos.

Thro: The Director of Prisons,

Prisons Headquarters Office,

Private Mail Bag 12522,

Lagos.

Sir:

PREROGATIVE OF MERCY: SECTION 101 (1) (a) OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERATION ACT 1963

1. I am writing this petition for FREE PARDON under Section 101 (1) (a) of the Constitution of the Federation Act 1963, on behalf of myself and some of my colleagues whose names are set out in the Annexe hereto.

2. Before I go further, I would like to stress that the reasons which I advance in support of this petition, in my own behalf, basically hold good for my said colleagues. For they share the same political beliefs with me, and have intense and unquenchable loyalty for the ideals espoused by the Party which I have the honour to lead.

3. There are many grounds which could be submitted for your consideration in support of this petition. But I venture to think that SEVEN of them are enough and it is to these that I confine myself.

  • (1) In the course of my evidence during my trial, I stated that my Party favoured and was actively working for alliance with the N.C.N.C. as a means, among other things, of solving what I described as ‘the problem of Nigeria’, and strengthening the unity of the Federation. In October 1963 (that is about a month after my conviction and while my appeal to the Supreme Court was still pending), a Peace Committee headed by the Chief Justice of the Federation, Sir Adetokunbo Ademola, made overtures to me through my friend Alhaji W. A. Elias to the effect that if I abandoned my intention to enter into alliance with the N.C.N.C. which, according to the Committee, was an Ibo Organisation, and agreed to dissolve the Action Group and, in co-operation with Chief Akintola (now deceased), form an all-embracing Yoruba political party which I would lead and which would go into alliance with the N.P.C., I would be released from prison before the end of that year. I turned down these terms because I was of the considered opinion that their acceptance would further widen and exacerbate inter-tribal differences, and gravely undermine the unity of the Federation.

TODAY, THE MILITARY GOVERNMENT, OF WHICH YOU ARE THE HEAD, LEAVES NO ONE IN ANY DOUBT THAT IT STANDS FOR NIGERIAN UNITY. BUT IT MUST BE EMPHASISED, IN THIS CONNECTION, THAT IF I HAD PRIZED MY PERSONAL FREEDOM ABOVE THE UNITY OF NIGERIA, I WOULD HAVE BEEN SET FREE IN 1963. IN THAT EVENT, THIS PETITION WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN NECESSARY, AND THE WORK OF CONSOLIDATING THE UNITY OF THE COUNTRY TO WHICH YOU AND YOUR COLLEAGUES NOW SET YOUR HANDS MIGHT HAVE BEEN MADE EXTREMELY MORE INTRACTABLE AND IRKSOME.

As recently as 20th December, 1965, identical peace terms (the only variant being that the alliance with the N.C.N.C. which was now a reality should be broken) were made to me here, in Calabar Prison, by a delegation representing another Peace Committee headed by the self-same Chief Justice of the Federation and purporting to have the blessing of the Prime Minister, with the unequivocal promise that if I accepted the terms my release would follow almost immediately. I rejected the terms for the reasons which I have outlined above.

  • (2) One of the monsters which menaced the public life of this country up to 14th January, this year is OPPORTUNISM with its attendant evils of jobbery, venality, corruption, and unabashed self-interest. From all accounts, you are inflexibly resolved to destroy this monster. That was precisely what my colleagues and I had tried to do before we were rendered hors de combat since 29th May, 1962.

On two different occasions I was offered, first the post of Deputy Prime Minister (before May 1962), and second that of Deputy Governor-General (in August 1962), if I would agree to fold up the Opposition and join in a National Government. I declined the two offers because they were designed exclusively to gratify my self-interest, with no thought of fostering any political moral principle which could benefit the people of Nigeria. The learned Judge who presided over the Treasonable Felony Trial, commented unfavourably on my non-acceptance of one of these posts and held that my action lent weight to the case of the Prosecution against me. I must say, however, that in all conscience, I felt and still feel that a truly public-spirited person should accept public office not for what he can get for himself — such as the profit and glamour of office — but for the opportunity which it offers him of serving his people to the best of his ability, by promoting their welfare and happiness. To me, the two aforementioned posts were sinecures, and were intended to immobilise my talents and stultify the role of watch-dog which the people of Nigeria looked upon me to play on their behalf, at that juncture in our political evolution.

  • (3) This leads me to the third ground. From newspaper reports, it would appear that you and your colleagues — like all well-meaning Nigerians — are anxious that on the termination of the present military rule, Nigeria should become a flourishing democracy. Now, democracy is a political doctrine which is very intimately dear to my heart. It was to the end that it might be accepted as a way of life in all parts of the Federation that I campaigned most vigorously and relentlessly in the Northern Provinces of Nigeria, from 1957 to 1962, to the implacable annoyance of some of my political adversaries. It was to the end that this doctrine might survive the severe onslaught of opportunist and mercenary politics that I refused to succumb to the temptation of the National Government. Many views — some of them well-considered and respectable — have been expressed about the value or disvalue of opposition as a feature of public life in a newly emergent African State. Speaking for my party, I submit that the Opposition which I led did, to all intents and purposes, justify its existence and was acclaimed by the masses of our people as essential and indispensable to rapid- national growth. This was so, because it was unexceptionably constructive. The abrogation of the Anglo-Nigeria Defence Pact was one of the feathers in its cap. Some of the policies which the Government of the day later adopted — such as the creation of a Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the introduction of drastic measures to correct our balance of payments deficit — were among those persistently and constructively urged by the Opposition inside and outside Parliament.

The point I wish to emphasise here is that it was not out of spite or hatred for any one that I chose to remain in Opposition instead of joining the much-talked-of National Government. I did so in order to serve our people to the best of my ability in the position in which their votes had placed my Party, and to ensure that the young plant of democracy grows into a sturdy flourishing tree in Nigeria.

  • (4) Since the declaration of emergency in the Western Region on 29th May, 1962, political tension has existed in Western Nigeria. My conviction on 11th September, 1963, together with the surrounding bizarre circumstances, has led not only to the heightening of that tension in Western Nigeria but also to its profuse and irrepressible percolation to the other parts of the Federation. The result is that it can be said, without much fear of contradiction, that today the majority of our people are passionately concerned about and fervently solicitous for the release of myself and my colleagues.

The work of reconstruction on which you and your colleagues have embarked demands that all the citizens of Nigeria in their respective callings should give of their maximum best. A state of psychological tension, however much it may be brought under control or repressed, does not and cannot conduce to maximum efficiency. In spite of themselves, people labouring under emotions which this kind of tension automatically generates are bound to make avoidable mistakes which in their turn have adverse effects on national progress.

It is, therefore, in the national interest that this tension should be relaxed, if possible, without further delay.

  • (5) A petition of this kind is, by its very nature, bound to be replete with self-adulation. I hope and trust that, in the circumstances, this is excusable. It is in this hope and trust that I assert that my colleagues and I have the qualifications and capacity to render invaluable services to our people and fatherland. Every day that we spend in prison, therefore, must be regarded as TWENTY-FOUR UNFORGIVING HOURS OF TRULY VALUABLE SERVICES LOST TO OUR YOUNG COUNTRY. Even my most inveterate enemies have given the following testimony about me: ‘AWOLOWO HAS STILL A GREAT DEAL TO GIVE TO THIS COUNTRY.’

No country however advanced and civilised can afford to waste any of its talents, be they ever so small. Nigeria is too young to bury some of her talents as she was compelled to do under the old regime.

It is within your power to restore my colleagues and me to a position where our fatherland can again rejoice at the contributions which we are capable of making to its progress, welfare and happiness.

  • (6) Nigeria is now SIXTY-SIX MONTHS old as an independent State. The final phase in the struggle for Nigeria’s independence was initiated by my Party in the historic Self-Government motion moved by Chief Anthony Enahoro and supported by me on 31st March, 1953. IT SHOULD BE REGARDED AS MORE THAN IRONICAL, AND AS PALPABLY TRAGIC, THAT TWO OF THE ARCHITECTS OF THAT INDEPENDENCE AND, INDEED, THE PACE-SETTERS AND ACCELERATORS OF ITS FINAL PHASE SHOULD BE UNFREE IN A FREE NIGERIA.

In precise terms, I have spent FORTY-SIX out of the SIXTY-SIX MONTHS of independence in one form of confinement or another. I happened to know that the leaders of the old civilian regime, in spite of themselves, did not feel quite easy in their conscience about the plight into which they had manoeuvred me in the scheme of things; and I dare to express the hope and belief that you, personally view my present confinement with concern and disapproval.

  • (7) It is usual — almost invariably the case — on the accession of a revolutionary regime, for political prisoners and, indeed, other prisoners of some note, to be released as a mark of disapproval of some of the doings of the old regime, or in token of the new dawn of freedom which comes in the wake of the new regime.

It would be invidious to quote unspecific instances. But in the case of my colleagues and myself, by courageously and adamantly opposing the evils which your regime now denounces in the former civilian administration, I think we are perfectly justified if we expect you to regard us as being in tune with your yearnings and aspirations for Nigeria, and therefore entitled to our personal freedoms under your dispensation.

4. In view of the foregoing reasons which clearly demonstrate

(i) that I have always and, under trying circumstances, steadfastly and unyieldingly

(a) stood for the UNITY OF NIGERIA,

(b) been opposed to POLITICAL OPPORTUNISM with its attendant evils,

(c) fostered the growth of DEMOCRACY in Nigeria;

(ii) that my incarceration

(a) has led to the heightening of political tension among Nigerians, which tension can only be relaxed by my release,

(b) has deprived our fatherland of invaluable services such as we have rendered before, and can still render now and in future, in greater measure; and

(iii) that the evils which my colleagues and I condemned and valiantly refused to compromise with in the old civilian government are what you now quite rightly denounce, and are taking active steps to remove in order to pave the way for national and beneficial reconstruction,

I most sincerely appeal to you to be good enough to exercise, in favour of myself and my colleagues, the prerogative of mercy vested in you by Section 10 (I) (i) (a) of the Constitution of the Federation Act 1963, by granting me as well as each of my colleagues A FREE PARDON. If you do, your action will be most warmly, heartily, and popularly applauded at home and abroad, and you will go down to history as soldier, statesmen, and humanitarian.

Yours truly,

OBAFEMI AWOLOWO

A. THOSE CONVICTED FOR TREASONABLE FELONY

1. THOSE STILL SERVING THEIR TERMS

1. Chief Obafemi Awolowo

2. Chief Anthony Enahoro

3. Mr. Lateef K. Jakande

4. Mr. Dapo Omisade

5. Mr. S.A. Onitiri

6. Mr. Gabby Sasore

7. Mr. Sunday Ebietoma

8. Mr. U.I. Nwaobiala

2. THOSE WHO HAVE ALREADY SERVED THEIR TERMS

1. Mr. S.A. Otubanjo

2. Mr. S.J. Umoren

3. Mr. S. Oyesile

B. THOSE WHO HAVE NOT YET BEEN TRIED

1. Mr. S.G. Ikoku

2. Mr. Ayo Adebanjo

3. Mr. James Aluko

Edo Govt Withdraws Letter On Appointment Of Oba Of Benin

The Edo State Government has withdrawn a letter earlier issued on its approval on the appointment of the new Oba of Benin, saying it was issued in error.

In a retraction signed by the Secretary to State Government, Prof Julius Ihonvbere, dated May 25, 2016, the government stated: “In deference to the revered age-long tradition and respect for the sensibilities of the people of the great Benin Kingdom, the Government of Edo State hereby withdraws a letter issued on May 24, 2016 entitled: “Appointment of His Royal Highness Edaiken N’Uselu, Crown Prince Eheneden Erediauwa as the Oba of Benin”

“The said letter was issued in error as the rites of passage of the Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba of Benin are still on.

“The government will, in due course, issue a fresh letter on the installation of the Edaiken N’Uselu, Crown Prince Eheneden Erediauwa as the Oba of Benin, in line with the age-long succession tradition of the Benin Kingdom and in line with Section 19 (1) of the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Law, 1979 (as amended) and by virtue of all other laws enabling it in that behalf, after all necessary traditional rites are concluded.”

Credit: Thisday

Fayose Stands By Letter Attacking Fed Gov’s $2 Billion Loan From China

Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, on Monday reacted to the comments by the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Odigie Oyegun, his deputy, Segun Oni, and senior lawyer, Itse Sagay, describing their criticism of his letter to the Chinese government as a “brazen display of political hypocrisy.”

He also said the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari did not sign any direct loan agreement with the Chinese government during his visit to China vindicated his position that the country did not need a loan from that country but a collaboration that would ensure the transfer of technology from China to Nigeria.

Frontline lawyer, Itse Sagay, had rebuked Mr. Fayose for his action, saying he had no business interfering in the federal government’s process of securing a foreign loan.

“I think Fayose has a problem. The way I see it is that the man, who is on the brink of destruction, has no restraint about what he does,” Mr. Sagay was quoted as saying.

” To start with, what is the business of a state governor about a loan that is being given to the federal government?”

It was Mr. Sagay’s view that provided the government could secure the loan, the governor had no business attempting to truncate the effort of the federal government.

But Mr. Fayose, speaking through his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, insisted he had right as a Nigerian citizen and stakeholder to speak out against the proposed loan.

“People like Oyegun, Oni and Prof Itse Sagay lack moral rights to complain even if President Mohammadu Buhari is called whatever names because they never complained when as a sitting president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan was called unprintable names by APC stalwarts and leaders,” he said in a statement issued in Ado-Ekiti.

“Where were the likes of Oyegun, Oni, Prof Itse Sagay and others when APC promoted crude politics and anti-Nigeria posturing to an unprecedented level when Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was in power?

“It is on record that APC wrote to the United States of America not to sell arms to Nigeria, reported the country to the European Union, United Nations and went to the bizarre extent of reporting the then Chief of Army Staff, Azubuike Ihejirika, to the International Criminal Court (ICC), not for committing the kind of genocide committed against the Shiite Muslims in Zaria and Agatus in Benue, but for killing Boko Haram insurgents.

“It is also on record that instead of lending his voice to the federal government efforts to dislodge Boko Haram insurgents, President Buhari opted to describe the clampdown on Boko Haram as injustice against the North. He went on to accuse the government of killing and destroying houses of Boko Haram insurgents while the Niger Delta militants were given special treatment by the government.

“Even when Oni was the Ekiti State Governor as a PDP member, Action Congress (AC) as APC was then, wrote against his government move to obtain a N5 billion loan. Isn’t it then funny that because he is now in APC, the same Oni is now against Governor Fayose doing the same thing done against him by the APC elements in Ekiti State?”

Mr. governor since the federal government claimed it had recovered and still recovering trillions of Naira allegedly looted from the treasury, there was no need to borrow money from anywhere to finance the 2016 Budget.

“With the $200 billion they claimed is coming from Dubai, they said $700 million raw cash was found in Diezani Alison Madueke’s house, N3 trillion said to have been saved from the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and N4.5 trillion the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) said it will generate this year, what then is the rationale behind the federal government seeking any loan?,” he said.

Credit: Punch

Lawyers Chide Fayose Over Letter To China

More reactions have trailed Ekiti Governor, Ayodele Fayose’s letter to the Chinese government, asking it to refuse President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for a $2 billion loan.
Chairmen of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Lagos State and other lawyers yesterday condemned Fayose’s action, describing it as mere irritation and inconsequential.

A former chairman of the Ikeja branch of the NBA, Mr Onyekachi Ubani, described the letter as of no consequence, since negotiations had already been concluded.
“The letter by Fayose is similar to a situation of bringing a motion for a court injunction for a completed act. This letter is a mere irritation especially coming from a sitting governor. I will urge Nigerians and especially journalists to regard his letter as nothing, but a mere irritation.
“Negotiations are already concluded and the Chinese government are willing to release funds to Nigeria. Although, it is very disheartening that such a letter is coming from one of our governors, but I think it serves no purpose,” he told NAN.
Ubani, therefore, urged Nigerians to resist any act capable of disrupting the smooth running of government.
In the same vein, the Ikeja Branch Chairman of NBA, Mr Yinka Farobi, described the letter as “over stepping of one’s bounds.”
“Fayose was elected as a state governor and not as the president of Nigeria. His letter is clearly out of the purview of his powers and I seriously condemn it,” he said.
Farobi also urged Nigerians to be supportive of moves aimed at transforming the Nigerian nation for growth.
Again, the Ikorodu NBA Branch Chairman, Mr Dotun Adetunji, described the letter as a show of rascality.
He noted that although “there is a provision for immunity for a sitting governor, there must also be a limit on the activities of a leader.”
“There are 36 states in the federation and out of these states, only one governor has courage to write to a foreign authority, urging it to refuse funds to its federal government. To my mind, such action is really reprehensible and should be discouraged,” he said.
Mr Spurgeon Ataene, a lawyer, said: “If the loan being sought by the federal government is for the purpose of revamping the battered economy, then we should not have a problem with that.”
Another lawyer, Mr Ola Ogunbiyi, said Fayose’s action fell short of the status of his exalted office.
“Fayose is a ‘security risk’ working against national interest, I think he has too much freedom and should be cautioned all because we are in a democratic rule. What he said was wrong, we all know the loan is for our economic growth, for him to have written a letter to another country is wrong. The picture he tried to paint is that there is no unity, we have no united front by going to counter the action of the president,” he said.
Credit: Dailytrust

What Dino Melaye Told Obasanjo Over Letter To National Assembly

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory, Dino Melaye, on Thursday reacted to the letter written by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, describing it as “a misplacement of anger.”

Arguing that Mr. Obasanjo’s regime exposed the National Assembly to corruption and easy money, Mr. Melaye (APC Kogi West), in a statement in Abuja, said he expected the former resident to have forgiven all those who “defrauded him in 2007, those who collected his money and refused to implement the 3rd term agenda.”

He said, “I have tremendous respect for President Olusegun Aremu Okikiola Obasanjo. Elder statesman, respected pan Africanist and committed patriot. I went through the letter written to all senators and members of the House of Representatives. The letter I can see is a misplacement of anger.

“Our leader is mistaking the 8th National Assembly as the same Senate Assembly that defrauded him in 2007: Those who collected his money and refused to implement the 3rd term agenda. I appeal to Baba that we are not the ones please. After nine years of that bribery saga, the first of its kind, I expect forgiveness to have taken place.

“There was the case of bribery introduced by the Obasanjo’s regime in the desperate attempt to remove Speaker Ghali Umar Na’abba from office then. In fact, there was open display of that bribery money on the floor of the house.

“That government exposed the National Assembly to corruption and easy money. I hope this is not an attempt to cover up and distract attention from the Halliburton and Siemens corruption allegations.

“While I am against corruption anywhere in Nigeria, I will not support accusations based on anger and vindictiveness. The 8th Senate should also look inwardly and purge herself of all the deliberate misgivings of the past. Nigeria must work and we must support the anti corruption stand of the Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

Letter To President Buhari: A Tripartite Solution To Terrorism In Nigeria By Olawale Rotimi

Dear President,

Terrorism which was alien to Nigeria has become an intrinsic challenge to the country. This challenge has led to serious infrastructural damage in the areas of education, health and social welfare facilities, poor economy particularly in affected areas, while millions are left homeless. Terrorism in Nigeria did not develop from a vacuum; there are some social and political factors that gave birth to terrorism in Nigeria. Though the terrorist group, under the name “boko haram” has metamorphosed into a very dangerous and threatening group, social and political issues in the Nigerian context cannot be disconnected from its root.

Mr President, it is not news that Nigeria is rich in corrupt records and social injustice- a thorough marginalization of the social structure which makes the rich richer and the poor remain hopelessly poor. A security snap poll results released by NOIPolls Limited in 2014, indicated that political interest, unemployment, bad leadership and poverty as major causes of terrorism in Nigeria. The survey revealed that 26 percent of the sampled populace identified political interest as a cause, while 21 percent identified unemployment as the cause. A 10 percent share was attributed to bad leadership while 8 percent was attributed to poverty. This implies that the foundational causes of terrorism in Nigeria must be addressed in order to overcome the menace.

President Muhammadu Buhari, to make a difference and achieve results previous governments could not achieve, your government must do things differently and set the right pace in Nigerian institutions that will outlive your term. Boko Haram posed a big threat to former President Jonathan’s government; unfortunately, the terrorist group has intensified attacks in a confusing manner since your government was inaugurated. Nigerians voted you, not because of the party that presented you but because of your ability and tenacity to end corruption in Nigeria, thus, same way the terrorist group remains a blemish on Jonathan’s government, they may remain a blemish on your government if you do not approach the battle against them differently. Below are three major solutions to end terrorism in Nigeria at the shortest delay:

Counter Terrorism Military Intervention: Nigerian Army has many success records in Nigeria and Africa; for about three decades, the Nigerian Army was one of the strongest Army in Africa, winning many battles and keeping peace in foreign nations. However, the strength of Nigerian Army seems to have been challenged by the insurgents. Nigerian Army that grounded tough rebel forces in Ivory Coast, Liberia and other countries has found it difficult to topple insurgents on its own soil. The Nigeria Army has to review its fighting techniques and improve its counter-terrorism approaches in combating the insurgents.

Economic Empowerment Intervention: There is a strong link between socio-economic deprivation and terrorism, socio-economic deprivations leads to poverty and frustration. Poverty, frustration and ignorance often serve as breeding ground for terrorism; thus, fighting terrorism through economic development should emerge as a new and long term objective of countering terrorism. As popularly said, an idle hand is the devil’s workshop, an idle population is generally prone to crime. In the fight against Boko Haram insurgents in Nigeria, economic empowerment ought to be adopted to prevent more terrorists from emerging and also rehabilitate people who lost their properties and businesses to insurgents.

Good Governance: Lack of good governance has been a major cause of terrorism in Nigeria. Nigerian government has deprived Nigerians of good governance, justice; fairness and equity have been elusive in the social system. Nigerians have long been denied the dividends of democracy. Thus, good and credible leadership practices must be demonstrated by the incumbent government to strengthen the nation and create an enabling environment for citizens to succeed.

Dear President, military action alone will not end terrorism in Nigeria, military action must be accompanied with economic empowerment and good governance. A corrupt government will inspire provocation from its citizen. Your Excellency, you must make a difference and add colour to leadership in Nigeria by fighting corruption and improving the economy. This will not only put an end to terrorism, it will also reduce crime to the barest minimum. God bless Nigeria!

VIEWS EXPRESSED ARE SOLELY AUTHOR’S…

British Prime Minister Writes Letter To Jonathan Concerning Elections

David Cameron  has written to President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure that Nigerian elections go ahead this weekend, warning that failure to do so ‘would risk national security and stability, and adversely affect Nigeria’s international reputation’.

In a letter to President Jonathan, the Prime Minister underlines the importance of the elections for the African continent and points out the pivotal role for the President.

In a statement made available to Vanguard saying, “As Africa’s biggest democracy, successful elections in Nigeria are important not only for Nigeria’s future, but as a signal to the rest of Africa.  Delivering a credible process will be a lasting credit to you as President and to Nigeria as a nation.

The Prime Minister emphasises the vital role of the Independent National Electoral Commission and its head Professor Jega, writing:

“I am encouraged by INEC’s advances in recent weeks.  The collection of over 80 per cent of Permanent Voter Cards and the broadly successful field tests of the card readers have improved their technical preparation for the election. Your support for Professor Jega’s continuing tenure and guidance of the process remains an important part of delivering successful elections.”

He also calls for a transparent process without violence, saying ‘With hundreds of lives lost after the last election, the eyes of the international community will be focused on Nigeria.’

The Prime Minister also said he was encouraged that Nigeria, alongside its neighbours, was tackling threat posed by Boko Haram – congratulating President Jonathan on the recent advances made by Nigerian troops. And he confirmed the UK’s commitment to support Nigeria in this effort with £5 million of UK support to the Multinational Joint Task Force to tackle Boko Haram in Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin area. The UK is also working towards the swift adoption of a Security Council resolution in New York to welcome the force and send an important message of international political support for the force.

Read More: vanguardngr

9 Year Old Student Donates Lunch Money to APC, Read Her Letter

A nine year old student, Nicole Benson, has donated her lunch money and more to the All Progressives Congress (APC). Read her letter addressed to Lagos state governor, Babatunde Fashola, and the APC.

Dear APC and governor Fashola,
My name is Nicole Benson. I am 9 years old. The name of my school is Greensprings School lekki campus and I am in year 4 peters. I want to be a doctor when I grow up so that I can take care of people who are sick and dying because they take care of me when I am sick.

Governor fashola and apc I was listening to the radio on my way to school today and I heard that we can send money to you to help you to win the election. My mummy said that I can donate from N100 so that we can help APC to raise the money to win the election and remove president goodluck jonathan so that mr buhari and professor osinbajo can be the new president and assistant president and be able to help nigeria to fight the boko haram people who are killing innocent children and also bring back the chibok girls so that their mummies and daddies can be happy.

Governor Fashola and APC, please don’t you think that N100 is too small? I have the new N100 notes but I am sorry I will not be able to give it to you because I only have one and I want to keep it in my wallet. But I have N5785 that I saved from my lunch money and pocket money and toothfairy money. I know it’s my mummy giving the toothfairy the money to give me because I found my tooth in her wallet last year. and I want to give you all my money that I saved so that you can win in February.

I have N5785 naira and also N8 but the N8 is in coins and it’s only in Shoprite that they gave me so I want to go and spend it there. I wanted to buy my inhaler disk but my daddy has bought another new one for me. I have given my mummy the money and she put it on her card to pay it on your website and she paid it now. I wish I could get more money for you but that will be next week when I get more lunch money from my daddy and toothfairy can’t give me any more money because all my teeth have all grown back. I can still save more money for you and give you in February.
Please help me give some of the money to Mr Ambode too so that he can win Mr Jimmy Agbaje. I like Mr Ambode very much.

I wish you Goodluck not Goodluck Jonathan but best of luck and please you can call my mummy’s number if you need me to send the money I want to save for you.But you will have to give me some time to save it.
Please say hello to Mr Ambode, Mr Buhari and professor Osinbajo for me.”

Credit: naij.com

APC Writes Jega, Jonathan to Bar Soldiers From Security Supervision During Polls

APC wrote a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan and the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega asking him to give heed to the judgment barring the involvement of soldiers in elections.

In the letter, APC called the attention of the federal government to a judgment delivered on January 29, 2015 by Justice R.M. Aikawa of the Federal High Court, Sokoto and another by the Court of Appeal, Abuja, on February 16, 2015 which overruled the use of military in elections.

The letter read in parts, “I am sure all well-meaning Nigerians share your deep seated concern on the militarisation of our elections.

“It is therefore imperative your good office and commission ensure, henceforth, and until there is an enabling Act of the National Assembly, the court orders are obeyed and armed forces personnel are never again deployed in any form of security supervision of our elections.”

Read More: vanguardngr.com

Army Commander Disowns Scandalous Letter To Jonathan

The Commanding Officer of the 103 Battalion, Lt. Col Anthony Wende, was dissociated from a “Why We Couldn’t Defeat Boko Haram” letter supposedly written to President Goodluck Jonathan, on why the counter insurgency operations in the North-East had not yielded the desired results.

It was reported recently that the commanding officer appealed Jonathan, where claim of corruption was said to have been the reason for the continued battle against the insurgents.

The Deputy Director, Army Public Relations of the 7th Division of the Nigerian Army in Maiduguri, Col. Sani Usman, at a press-conference said the Nigerian military had investigated the petition and disclosed that the officer was not the author of the letter.

He said: “The petition was carefully studied and investigated by the Nigerian Army and as part of this process, forensic analysis by relevant security agencies was carried out.

“It was discovered that the allegations were spurious and baseless as the commanding officer had nothing to do with the petition. He has therefore been exonerated.”

Usman supposed that the petition was aimed at distracting the Army from its fight against insurgency in the country.

“We wish to categorically state that the petition is the handiwork of mischief-makers aimed at distracting the 7 Division and indeed the Nigerian Army from its determined efforts at fighting insurgency and terrorism in this nation to a logical and successful conclusion,” the Army spokesman said.

Read More: www.naij.com

Second Letter To General Buhari By Prof. Banji Akintoye

General; I closed my first letter last week with the following words: “I know you have what it takes to change and save Nigeria. I wish you luck in your election – and I wish Nigeria luck”.

I mean those words sincerely. Your record in our country’s service shows that you honestly hate public corruption, and that you can sincerely wage war on, and suppress, public corruption. I have also read your manifesto and I am persuaded that you sincerely mean all you have outlined in it. Though I have ceased belonging to any political party for a long time, I believe it will be good for our brutally vandalized and tottering country if we voters choose you as president at this critical time.

Our mutual sincerity encourages me to utter the following pleas and words of advice. Certainly you are aware that many Nigerians are concerned and even fearful about the persistent claims by some of the Hausa-Fulani political leadership that their Hausa-Fulani nation must dominate Nigeria as a sort of colonial overlord. You know as much as anybody that that thorny fact has been one of the factors in the making of our country’s disunity, conflicts, and instability. Usually, people do not accuse you personally of sharing in that mentality; but since you are Hausa-Fulani, and since some of your people perpetually noise that claim and make efforts to achieve it, it is a large though mostly unspoken factor in the coming presidential election. It would be a pity if this should cause serious problems for such a good candidate as you at this time.

Therefore, I urge you: use your best capabilities to put an end to this terrible tradition – in the interest of our country. Realistically, no single one of our nationalities can dominate all the rest of us. It is impossible. How can one nationality, even if it is larger than all the rest of us put together, dominate all the rest of us  in any full or lasting sense? And we do not have any numerically dominant nation like that. Our three largest nationalities (Hausa-Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo) are very close in population size, and each of them is a minority in Nigeria. How can the Hausa-Fulani succeed in subduing and dominating the large and capable Yoruba or Igbo – not to talk of all the nationalities of Nigeria?  Talking about domination and trying to achieve it has only bred hostility, crookedness, and instability in our country. It is time we remove that obstacle from the path to our country’s stability, progress and prosperity – and you can lead us to do it. Please sincerely strive to do so. Let it be one of your immortal  gifts to our country. Nigeria is a country in which we all can prosper – and together build a world power.

That leads me to another but related subject. The reason most of the Hausa-Fulani elite are forever angling for a bigger, more powerful, and more resource-controlling Federal Government, is that they believe that, by having that kind of FG and ensuring their own control of it, they will be able to subdue and dominate all of Nigeria. But it is a nebulous and disruptive venture. Yes, they have contributed much in pulling power and resources into the hands of the FG, but has their homeland or anybody else gained anything from that? The most important result of massing power in the FG is that the FG has become a podgy, ponderous, incompetent and repulsively corrupt monstrosity, a constant manipulator of elections and other vital processes across our land, a destroyer of development and progress in our country, and a disgrace to our country in the wide world. You acknowledge almost as much as this in your manifesto. As matters have developed under Jonathan (and even under Obasanjo before him), whoever controls the FG tends to use it as a personal estate, to be used for his own aggrandizement and the disproportionate benefit of his own nationality (or his favoured nationality). Recently, the elder statesman, Alhaji Maitama Sule, lamented that the people of the Arewa North are suffering serious discrimination today in Nigeria, and leaders of the Arewa Youth went out protesting about the same thing – and Yoruba people are crying out about the same too. Is it not absurd that we have created a system that makes it possible for such major segments of Nigeria as Arewa North and the Yoruba Southwest to be marginalized and discriminated against by anybody controlling the FG? How can our self-respecting nationalities love to continue to belong to a country that is disrespectful and mismanaged like that?

The FG’s obstruction to development is hurting all parts of our country. For instance, our Northern Region saw a great deal of development and progress under the Regional leadership of the late Sir Ahmadu Belo. Since all the power and resources for development have been gradually pulled together at the federal center, has the North not steadily declined in economic progress? Is the same not true of the East and the West? Obviously, the answer is to take away much of the ponderous powers of the FG, reenergize the different parts of our country, and thus bring development close to our people again. Empower the elite of our various parts to handle the development of their people, and our country will pick up again. Moreover, leave each part to elect the local men and women who will handle their affairs, and stop the destructive assumption that those who control the FG have the prerogative to choose rulers for all parts of Nigeria. Flush corruption out of our elections. These are things you are capable of leading us to accomplish. If you sincerely promote them, most of us will ardently support you.

Then, because I am sure and happy that you will fight and kill corruption, I wish to offer some counsel concerning your fighting corruption. Our country’s experiences show that  prosecuting and punishing  those who have been corrupt is a problematic approach, potentially capable of generating division and even conflict. This is because, in a country in which ALL public servants (politicians, civil servants, judges, and all) have descended into the culture of corruption, punishing some people tends to degenerate into a process of selective justice. Groups that feel that their own leaders are being punished selectively cannot be blamed if they feel bitter. For instance, even though I hate public corruption as a destructive evil and fought it passionately throughout my time of service to Nigeria, it displeases me to remember that, among today’s generally corrupt Nigerian leadership, prominent kinsmen of mine (like Bode George who was sent to prison, and Bola Tinubu against whom  the FG started a vindictive case some time ago) were selected  for punishment. If punishment is one of the weapons you decide to employ against corruption, please make sure that the process is transparent and even-handed. In trying to kill the worms in the baby’s tommy, let’s take care not to harm or kill the baby himself.

In addition to whatever weapons you are thinking of using, let me suggest one that I have seen some countries use to good effect. Let us make a federal law demanding that all former and current Nigerian public officials who have money in any form or shape in foreign countries should bring it back to Nigeria within a specified time and invest it in Nigeria. They can do it without any questions asked, and the consequent investment will be theirs. The big gain for our country will be that the money becomes active in building our economy (generating businesses and economic activities and providing employment) instead of building the economies of the countries where it was formerly hidden. Those who do not comply within the specified time will be subject to criminal prosecution and punishment. (Tracing and following money stolen and hidden abroad by public officials of any country is now quite easy. Sophisticated international agencies do it, actively supported by the governments of many powerful countries). Some young friends of mine tell me that one practice among our corrupt leaders these days is to bury large tomes of their stolen public money in the ground!  I don’t know how you will force such people to exhume and declare such money, but you must come up with a way.

Finally, my brother, remember what I said in my first letter about restructuring our federation properly. Fortunately, your manifesto says much the same. Also, remember what I said about investing heavily in our people – to create skilled and reliable workers, entrepreneurs, small modern businesses and inventors, attraction of foreign investors and businesses, high quality exports, and modern farmers.  Your candidacy is generating much hope among our people. Again, I wish you luck; and I wish Nigeria luck.

Credit: Sahara Reporters