Friday, 30 October 2009

Shell Records Drop In Third Quarter Due To Fall In Oil Prices

                                                 Shell Logo

Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Europe's largest oil company, reported Thursday a 62 percent fall in profit for the third quarter due to lower oil prices, and said it plans to cut 5,000 jobs to cope with continuing weakness in the global economy. Shell said net profit was $3.25 billion (euro2.21 billion), down from $8.45 billion in the same period a year ago. Sales fell 43 percent to $75.0 billion.

Shell Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry said the company is not expecting a swift economic recovery and will this year cut around 5 percent of its work force, some 5,000 jobs, primarily in middle management.

"In Europe there are few if any signs of demand the United States if anything there's some bottoming, improvement in one or two sub sectors but not yet firm enough to call a recovery," he said.

The job cuts come on top of 500 layoffs among senior management earlier this year. Around 15,000 employees will also be forced to apply to keep their jobs, and cuts among the rank and file are possible in 2010, he said.

He said the company will take a restructuring charge of "several hundreds of millions" in the fourth quarter.

The results were slightly ahead of analysts' expectations, but shares fell 2.7 percent to euro20.62 in early trading in Amsterdam.

Analysts noted that Shell appeared to be behind the curve in restructuring for the downturn compared to its main European rival BP, which reported strong earnings this week, and ExxonMobil of the U.S, which reports earnings later Thursday.

"In comparative terms, Shell was always going to have a mountain to climb following BP's stellar performance earlier in the week," said analyst Richard Hunter of Hargreaves Lansdown in a note.

"Unfortunately these numbers leave it some way short of the summit."

Analyst Alexandre Weinberg of Petercam Bank agreed, citing weak earnings from oil production.

"Clearly this does not compare well to results of peer BP," he said.

However, he said the bottom line was still better than estimates and repeated an "Add" advice on shares, on hopes that the company's production is set to rise quickly next year.

Shell pumped 2.93 million barrels of oil per day in the third quarter, flat from a year ago and up slightly from the second quarter. Shell has invested heavily in new production to reverse a decade-long declining trend, and has vowed production increases by next year.

The company's earnings from production fell 82 percent to $1.54 billion, reflecting the fall in oil prices. Shell sold oil at $63 per barrel in the third quarter from $111 a year ago.

Henry said the recent recovery in oil prices to around $78 per barrel is speculative.

"Fundamentally we don't see demand turning yet and there's plenty of supply available," he said.

"So while I might see reasons why the prices might be higher, I simply can't plan a balance sheet" on the assumption that they will remain at current levels, he said.

Shell's refining earnings fell 47 percent to $1.29 billion, including a gain of $536 million because of a rise in the estimated value of inventories. Shell said refining margins worsened due to lower demand.

(From ABC7 News)

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Citizen's Report: Nigerian Senator's Election Nullified By Appeal Court

                                                        Iyiola Omisore

A citizen reporter from Ibadan, Oyo state just reported that the election of Senator Iyiola Omisore of Osun state have been nullified by the Court Of Appeal siting in Ibadan today.

The court, according to the report, ordered for a fresh election in sixty days.

Omisore was elected senator for a second term in 2007 on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party(PDP).

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

News Release: Re- Kidnap Of Pa Simeon Nwankwo Soludo; They Cannot Break Our Will To Serve

                                         Soludo Jnr.

1. At about 6pm, Tuesday, October 27, 2009, a gang of armed men invaded the village residence of 78 year old Pa Simeon N. Soludo and kidnapped him. Up until now, no word has been heard as to his whereabout. Pa Soludo is the father of the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria , and the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming election in Anambra State , Professor Chukwuma C. Soludo.

2. This current action against Pa Soludo is reminiscent of the brutal attack on him in January 2006 after Prof. Soludo completed the banking consolidation and revoked the licenses of 14 banks. In that attack, Pa Soludo was left for the dead and he permanently lost an eye. That was his prize for the son’s attempt to rescue the banking system. From all indications, this kidnap is politically motivated as his son (Prof. Soludo) is the clear front-runner to win the next gubernatorial election in Anambra.

3. We wish to urge Prof. Soludo’s supporters, all Anambra people and indeed Nigerians to remain calm. Prof. Soludo is in high spirits. According to him, “this one too shall pass away”. He considers this as one of the many travails that must come to pass on his road to rescue and salvage Anambra State from the cabal that insists on holding the state hostage. We believe that the cabal knows that with Soludo as Governor, it can no longer be business as usual, and that is why they are fighting desperately in an attempt to break his will. By the special grace of God, and the resolve of the people, they cannot succeed! Prof. Soludo has resolved to make security of lives and property in the state a major plank of his administration.

4. We wish to thank the Inspector General of Police and all the Intelligence and Security agencies for their prompt response so far. We also thank all our friends and well wishers for their concern and support. We all pray for the safe return of Pa Soludo who is paying an unusual sacrifice for the salvation of Anambra State .

Leo Chiegboka
For the Soludo Campaign Organization

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

News Release: Yoruba Group Lauds Conviction Of Bode George And Others, But........

                                                Bode George

After a long lull of warfare without tell-tales, the anti-graft war in Nigeria recorded major casualties on Monday with the conviction of former deputy-National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Commodore Olabode George and five accomplices.

In a moment of bold and courageous judicial pronouncement, Justice Olubunmi Oyewole passed a guilt verdict on George, former Chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authorities (NPA) alongside Aminu Dabo, O. Abidoye, Abdullahi Tafida, Zanna Maidaribe and Sule Aliyu; and sentenced them to two years each of the seven-count charges of abuse of office and six months each for the other 27-count charge of disobedience to constituted authority.

The six convicts are to spend the next 30 months in Kirikiri prison for their criminal conducts during their stewardship at the Nigerian Ports Authority under the administration of Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo whose name has also featured in various financial scandals but has yet to be brought to the temple of justice.
For a country suffused in moral decadence in public office where criminals have become celebrities and protection of corrupt people from justice has become a direct policy of state, the jailing of George by the judge has brought some catharsis albeit with cautious praise for the judiciary.

Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) joins millions of Nigerians to laud Justice Olubunmi Oyewole for his diligent judgment where he stated inter alia "When public office is abused, the entire system is assaulted. This must not be treated with kid gloves, if the quality of service in our public life is to be attained to an appreciable standard of the civilized world".
It is on the matter of "kid gloves" that many Nigerians have expressed disappointment with the judgment. They are of the view that 30 months in jail is too light for the kind of crimes Bode George and colleagues committed.

The angst is justified considering the fact that poor people who committed lesser offences have been visited with grave punishments. A few months ago, an official of the Lagos State Transport Management Authority (LASTMA) was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment for collecting a bribe of N10,000! It is the same that some poor folks lost their arms to Sharia judgments while one of the Governors who promulgated the Sharia law and has been charged to court for stealing N17b in one day is now sitting on the Anti-Corruption Committee of the Senate.

The above explains why judges are hampered in serving the just deserts to these high profile criminals as they are the ones who influence the making of the laws and build a soft-landing for themselves. The challenge this has raised is the need for an urgent judicial review for corruption to attract severe punishment- we are stopping short of the capital punishment which many of our compatriots are calling for out of sheer frustrations with the obscenities of our public officials.

It is quite appropriate to point out that another source of pessimism by our people is that for one Bode George and five accomplices who have just been sent to prison, there are hundreds of Bode George and thousands of accomplices who stroll in and out of the Villa, who are chief launchers at different occasions, who give public lectures about, who are splashed on the covers of soft-sell journals with all their frivolities and even serving in the present government at all levels.

We shall only take the anti-graft war serious if many more of such people are brought to book and quite expeditiously too. That it has taken roughly 14 months to conclude the trial of George and co shows clearly that corruption charges can be done with if the will is there.

ARG is equally worried like many of our compatriots that the verdict on George and co was silent on the acquisitions from the proceeds of these financial crimes. That may give more perverts the idea that they could still as much as possible, spend a few months behind bars and return to enjoin their loots. These were the same issue we raised when Lucky Igbinedion was fined N3.5m in a plea bargain without a full disclosure of what he forfeited.

The standard should be that once you are convicted of looting public funds, you should automatically forfeit to the state all the proceeds of such crime.

It would be incomplete if we failed to comment on the shameful conduct of PDP elements who stormed the Lagos High Court yesterday in assorted aso ebi to celebrate corruption with Bode George and even had the temerity to assault journalists who were doing their lawful duty. It becomes sickening reading the Southwest chairman of the PDP Alhaji Tajudeen Oladipo even castigating the judiciary as he told the Nigerian Tribune "We in the PDP reject the judgment in its entirety … How can somebody be jailed without an option of fine? We believe that Bode George is not guilty of the charges preferred against him". Didn’t their BOT chairman, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, declare a while ago that nothing embarrasses him? It is a pity that the Yoruba nation has also fallen under the rule of greedy dogs who don’t understand shame!

On a final note, we call on Nigerians not to lose sight of the significance of what has happened no matter our reservations. And it is that no matter the odds we must never be tired of pushing against the empire of thieves in Nigeria. In spite of all their shenanigans, our enduring and undying revolt will push them to kiss the dust one after the other: either by accident or design evil will always destruct or self-destruct. The forces of darkness shall not triumph for ever. Nigeria will flourish once again.

And to the thieves across the six geo-political zones we say: the fall of George and the 5 is a sign for you that your day of reckoning beckons!
‘Yinka Odumakin
National Publicity Secretary
Afenifere Renewal Group.

Photonews: Nigeria's Ruling Party Chieftain Jailed For Fraud

                                         Jailed Party Chieftain

                                   Former Anti-corruption Agency Chief

Nigeria's Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) Chieftain, Rtd Navy Commodore Bode George was yesterday sentenced to two years in jail because of fraud he committed at the Ports Authority while serving as a non executive chairman.

The probe was investigated by Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, the immediate past Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC).

Nigerian Opposition Party Commends Lagos State Assembly For Yacht, University Probe

                                         Lagos State Governor

The Democratic Peoples’ Alliance (DPA) have given kudos to the Lagos State House of Assembly for wading into the controversy surrounding the €25 million (about N4.75 billion) Sunborn Yacht and the crisis in the Lagos State University (LASU).

However, the party warned the House against sweeping the reports under the carpet as happened with the stalled 2007 probe of local government executives, a report that never saw the light of day.

In a statement by its Director of Publicity, Felix Oboagwina, DPA said last week’s intervention signified the state legislators’ commitment to taking their oversight function seriously and defending the interests of the people.

Advising the State Legislature not to allow the salient issues of the two cases to be swept under the carpet in the name of party loyalty, DPA recalled that in 2007, the House’s Committee on Public Accounts (Local) had recommended the suspension of five Local Government Executive Secretaries for mismanaging N700 million council funds in three months, a probe that has remained buried with the punishment never carried out.

In the words of the party: “Lagos would have been better run with greater accountability and less impunity if the Executive had been held in check this way by the House. Such scrutiny by the House will further promote the checks and balances enshrined in the Nigerian constitution, curtail the excesses of the Executive and guarantee the survival of democracy.”

According to DPA, it was particularly important that Lagosians be told the real facts about the state’s involvement in the acquisition in February last year of the erstwhile London-based €25 million “Sunborn Yacht” renamed the “Lagos Yacht Hotel.”

“As at now, the whole affair of this 10-year-old fairly-used boat casts a serious credibility noose around the state government, especially as Tokunbo Afikuyomi, Commissioner for Tourism and Inter-Governmental Relations, representing Governor Babatunde Fashola at the contract-signing event held in London, and later at a Press Conference in Eko Hotel, where he told the Press that the project was ‘a Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative’ and that the state government had beaten the cities of Doha and Dubai that had equally bid for the boat,” DPA said.

On the LASU affair, the party said it was clear that the university’s primary population had lost confidence in the institution’s current leadership.

DPA urged the House to compel the university’s administrators to practice internal democracy, and not follow the bad example of godfathers in the Action Congress in Lagos .

In DPA’s words, “LASU management must know that in a democratic and intellectual environment like a university, policies, programmes, planning and projects must be tailored to meet the greatest good of the greatest majority. In very clear terms, the House must tell LASU administrators to shape up or ship out.”

Meanwhile, the party has urged the Lagos State House of Assembly to scrutinise the Human Rights records of the state government over allegations of illegal detentions and inhuman condition of suspects arrested by various agencies.

Other matters of urgent public attention the party felt required legislative focus include: The pollution of the Alimosho General Hospital, Igando and its environs by effluents from a neighbouring solid-waste dumpsite; the illegal selling off of Lagos properties to private interests; the coroner law; the dilapidated state of Lagos roads; insecurity; etc.

Felix Oboagwina
Director of Publicity, Lagos DPA

Sunday, 25 October 2009

News Release From MEND: Indefinite Ceasefire

                                                     MEND Logo

On Tuesday, October 20, 2009,  the Federal Government of Nigeria expressed its readiness to engage in serious and meaningful dialogue with every group or individual towards achieving a lasting peace in the Niger Delta.
This welcome shift in position conveyed to the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) by Mr. Henry Okah after his meeting with President Umaru Yar'Adua on Monday, October 19, 2009 indicated the willingness of the government to negotiate with the MEND Aaron team.
To encourage the process of dialogue between the government and the team that MEND has selected to negotiate its demands for a lasting peace in the Niger Delta region, an indefinite ceasefire has been ordered and takes effect from 0000Hrs, Sunday, October 25, 2009.
The Aaron Team has been modified with the exit of Ms. Annkio Briggs by mutual consent. She has been replaced as the groups liaison with immediate effect by Mr. Amagbe Denzel Kentebe.
Jomo Gbomo

Article: Dialogue with Elite friend

                                         Author With Wole Soyinka

Friend:  Chidi, why do you waste your time and energy to write poems only to post them on blogs, listservs, websites and social networking sites for people to read free?

Me: I aim to reach the highest number of people possible from diverse backgrounds with my poetry. For me, mass media like blogs, listservs, websites and social networking sites are best for my purpose.

Friend: nonsense, poetry is for those with elevated intellect, not for everybody.

Me: wrong notion. Opaque poetry written mainly for students to read and pass exams, which they usually forget about immediately after graduation, may fall into this category. Poetry is supposed to be one of the tools of socio-political and cultural mobilization.

Friend: I am still of the opinion that you should publish only on books and on literary review journals, if you want to be taken serious.

Me: (laughter) taken serious by who? The people whom I write for take me serious, judging by their reactions. Anyway, publishers of books and literary review journals are free to publish my poems if they choose to.
Friend: what do you gain from poetry since you are not making money from it?

Me: if my poetry helps to reform the society, I would have secured at least a footnote in history.

Friend: (chuckle) how do you think poetry can reform the society?

Me: (surprise) if the right messages are delivered in less opaque poetry to the highest number of people possible with diverse backgrounds, they will one day revolt against oppressors.

Friend: even blogs, listservs, websites and social networking sites do not reach everybody

Me: right, but they at least have wider reach.

Friend: how do you reach those who do not have access to the Internet?

Me: in future, I hope to print my poems on leaflets and also record them on audio/visual tapes and distribute them free in motor parks, market places and other such places where the masses are found.

Friend: (scornfully) all hail the poet!

Me: (smiling) time will tell

By Chidi Anthony Opara

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Book Review: "The Road to W'omoko": Journeying Through The Tortuous Path Of Life

                                                      The Book

(A review of The Road to W’omoko by Steve Osuji; Owerri: Edu-Edy Publications, 2007 Genre: Poetry)

The Road to W'omoko is like a journey through the tortuous path of life. It reflects the central motif that runs through most of Soyinka's works, especially The Road. The road is fraught with danger, and sometimes death. Such is the road to W'omoko. In “Road to W'omoko”, for instance, the persona encounters “the gap-toothed masquerade/dancing to the beat of the forest”; “the drums chant about munitions and ruinations”, and “the ekwe of swords and skulls”. He also sees “a vast field of dry bones”, all images of death, just like “the path to the ancient grove” in “Footprints” is lined with the footprints of animals, winged and wingless, of good and bad omen , dangerous as well as friendly. But again, “Road to W'omoko” recounts the persona's encounters at different times of the day on the road to the stream, from the first stanza where the persona breaks his earthenware pot to the last stanza where he dives into W'omoko, “making a rousing splash across seven hamlets”.

The Road to W'omoko is also a passage, of time and people. There is a visible transition from point A to point B until the final moment with W'omoko. As such, all that happens between the first poem “Road to W'omoko” and the last “Oh W'omoko” can be seen as various stages within this movement. For instance, in “W'omoko Still”, the persona has left W'omoko stream and now trudges uphill, homeward bound, bearing “a jerrycan of W'omoko” and “a mouthful of W'omoko”. But it is not the persona alone who has travelled through this road. It is a road through which generations on end have journeyed. As we read in “W'omoko Still”, “I plonk still in W'omoko/ like my father and his father...” Only W'omoko is eternal. People come and go, but W'omoko remains. W'omoko is a deity whose presence and existence defy temporal and spatial distances. This much is reflected in “Behold W'omoko” where W'omoko is the “stream without origin bathing/ seven villages over the ages'. W'omoko is also a cleanser. It is the “ageless stream on a cleansing trip”. It is also the stream which “has cleansed dank/ under-scrotums for generations”. In “W'omoko Dawn”, the persona goes to W'omoko to “do seven dips/ and seek cleansing”.

In-between the first and the last poem, there are poems that comment on the polity, like “Plaything of the gods” where the rulers are “deaf, dumb/ and distant from people”. There are poems that cry out against oppression. These are represented by such poems as “When a Hawk Preys” where the hawk becomes symbolic of all oppressors of humanity. In “Scorched”, we are confronted with images of dryness and infertility; “scorched land”, “blistered bottom”, “arid stream”, “parched tongues”, “withered souls”, “defoliated tree”, “barren wind”, and so on. “The Last Balladeer” is a tribute to the dead. It is elegiac, but it does not necessarily mourn; it celebrates the continued presence of the dead among the living.

Like Keats, Wordsworth, Lawrence, and other Romantic poets, the poet celebrates the beauty of nature. This admiration runs through many of the poems in the collection, but particularly in all the poems on W'omoko as well as in “Water Maiden”, “Hurricane”, and “Akpaka”. However, this admiration tends towards the mysterious. In many instances, the poems evoke eerie feelings. See, for instance, “No Answer”, “Forest Gnome”, and “Darkness Stands”.

There are thematic and stylistic semblances between the poems of Osuji and the works of Soyinka and Okigbo. Reference has already been made to Soyinka's The Road. W'omoko the stream can be seen as the alter ego of Okigbo's Idoto, a river and a god. Thus, in W'omoko still”, the persona wants W'omoko to “stem this wind” and “stave this drought”. Only a god with supernatural powers can do this. Again, the persona asks: “If I inter in W'omoko/ would I do for atonement?” Atonement for what? And to who? There is also a close connection between Okigbo's “Watermaid” and Osuji's “Water Maiden” and Lenrie Peters' “She Came in Silken Drapes”. The water maiden is the poet's version of the Muse.

But again, The Road to W'omoko is a search, perhaps for the essence of things. Having journeyed through the tortuous path to the stream, the persona finally comes to that august moment when time stands still. He comes face to face with W'omoko, the stream of his dream, and exclaims in the wild excitement: “Behold W'omoko!” Coming face to face with W'omoko is like homecoming too, the final homecoming. This is evident in the last poem, “Oh W'omoko”, where W'omoko becomes the final resting place where the persona yearns to return. The same nostalgia that draws home Okara's poetic voice in” The Call of the River Nun” possesses the persona in “Oh W'omoko”. Just like the speaker in “The Call of the River Nun” longs to unite with the river in that “final call”, so does the poetic voice in “Oh W'omoko” long to “return home/ to your bosom”. In the bosom of W'omoko, there is eternal happiness. W'omoko is a place of bliss. It is “the place of atonement”, paradise “where the sun smiles still”.

One striking feature of all the poems in The Road to W'omoko is their musicality. This is enhanced through the ample use of repetition, the conspicuous absence of punctuation markers and the attendant use of run-on lines. The poems read like Lenrie Peters' “The Fence”. The use of repetition creates emphasis, while the absence of punctuation markers enhances the free flow of the poems, and therefore, their rhythm. The flow is also the endless flow of W'omoko. It is also the flow of the journey to W'omoko, the journey through life.

The number seven is repeatedly used in many of the poems. We read “seven dips”, “seven villages”, “seven hamlets”, “seven forests”, and so on in some of the poems. The number seven is symbolic of completeness. It alludes to the Bible where God the creator made the world in six days and rested on the seventh day; the Prophet Elisha ordered Naaman the leper to dip himself seven times in the Pool of Siloam; and Jesus told a leper to dip himself seven times in the Pool of Bethsaida. We also recall the seven years of plenty and the seven years of famine in Pharaoh's dream. Thus, The Road to W'omoko is a complete book and all the poems collectively cohere and make a complete sense so long as we can see the persona journeying on the road to W'omoko and longing nostalgically for its embrace and, finding it in the end, plunges into it and it becomes for him “the pond of life”. Having drunk of it, he is then able to “defy the clouds”, a feat that was hitherto impossible.

By  Chuks Oluigbo

Friday, 23 October 2009

Newsflash: Commonwealth Regional Law Conference 2010 Delegates Registration Begins In Abuja

Information just reaching chidi opara reports from the organizers of The Commonwealth Regional Law Conference 2010, slated to take place in Abuja from 8th to 11th April, 2010, has it that registration of delegates have just commenced at the conference Secretariate in Abuja.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

News Release: Nigerian Opposition Party Wants Joint Governmental Action On Lagos Flood

                                              Flooded Lagos Street

Alarmed at the deluge that ravaged Lagos last week, the Democratic Peoples’ Alliance (DPA) has asked the state government and the Federal Government to set up a counterpart funding scheme for tackling the menace of flooding in Lagos.

DPA noted that the state government appeared to have lost the battle against the problem, and warned of an environmental calamity waiting to happen.

“What happened last week denotes a natural catastrophe in the making in Lagos, and all hands must be on deck to stave off the disaster. We demand a collaborative scheme, akin to the interventionist programmes jointly sponsored by the Federal Government and state governments to tackle environmental problems of desert encroachment in the North and erosion in the South-East,” the party said in a statement by its Director of Publicity, Felix Oboagwina. “This state is long overdue for a special counterpart scheme between Abuja and Alausa specifically for deflooding Lagos.”

According to the party, the state needed the kind of successful collaboration the Federal Government and Lagos forged to tame the Atlantic Ocean’s surge on the Bar Beach.

The party wondered at the seeming ineffectiveness of the various schemes packaged by the state since Action Congress (AC) operatives came into power in 1999, including Drain Ducks, Highway Managers and World Bank-funded schemes, among others.

Warning that the state must stop mouthing excuses like global warming and poor sanitary conditions, for Lagos flooding, DPA said: “Clearly, the state government has found no answer to this distressing problem, and appears to have lost the initiative. What is needed now goes beyond political loyalties. Everybody has a stake in Lagos because everybody has a relation in Lagos. It is not for nothing that Lagos is called the nation’s commercial capital. So the Federal Government must come in to help.”

Recalling the devastation of last week’s deluge, the party statement noted that virtually every part of metropolitan Lagos was submerged under water, with vehicles and human traffic finding movement completely impossible in some cases. Particularly affected were Federal highways like Ikorodu Road, Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Maryland, Apapa-Tin-Can Expressway, Apapa-Badagry Expressway and Oworonshoki end of the Third Mainland Bridge, and state-controlled major roads like Kirikiri, Lawanson, LUTH- Idiaraba, Liasu Road and Ejigbo amongst others.

“Business was paralysed. People could not make it to their offices and businesses. Those who made it there could not return home at the end of business hours,” the party said, noting that, “In some instances, children and even adults have been lost in floods in Lagos, except that such occurrences have been under-reported or unreported. Properties and vehicles were damaged and houses fell.”

Observing that staff of the Lagos State Ministry of the Environmental usually pinned the blame on refuse dumped in drains and waterways, the party counseled, “in such cases, the local government should take up the task of clearing refuse from the drainage.. In addition, the state must consider picking up the bills for refuse management and stop commercialisation of waste disposal by private sector participation (PSP) operators. People should be able to dispose of refuse free of charge.”

DPA said cost-free refuse disposal would discourage people who see running flood water as opportunity for cheap refuse disposal.

In the words of the party, “Sometimes, we want to insist on charging for such services because that is what obtains abroad, while we forget that some structures must be in place before those foreign authorities could impose those demands on their citizens.. For example, overseas, dump trucks drive up to the front door to pick up rubbish. But over here, where are the roads for such heavy-duty vehicles, yet the government goes ahead to ban truck-pushers?”

DPA similarly pinned the flood on several demolitions and drainage clearance embarked upon by state agencies, which afterwards failed to clear the resultant debris.

Felix Oboagwina
Director of Publicity, Lagos DPA

Nigeria's Ruling Party In Imo State Factionalized

                                                      PDP Logo

The Imo State Chapter of Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) is now seriously factionalized, chidi opara reports have been informed by reliable state PDP insiders.

The factionalization which we learnt was caused by the re-entry of the state governor, Dr. Ikedi Ohakim into PDP, have split the party into two major factions namely: "New Face" and "Alliance". Dr. Ohakim won the governorship election on the ticket of the Progressive Peoples' Alliance(PPA). He was however, a member of PDP prior to joining PPA.

Insiders also revealed to chidi opara reports that even though there used to be groups like "Destiny" led by Mr. Ifeanyi Ararume and "Onongono" led by Mr. Achike Udenwa, these were mere informal groups.

"All that changed when Ohakim re-joined our party", one PDP insider from Ikeduru Local Government Area told one of our network members at Ihodimeze, the Headquarters of the Local government Area.

According to this insider, when Ohakim re-joined PDP "with the sole aim of securing ticket for second term", he formed the group "New Face" and induced topshots like Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Arthur Nzeribe and Kema Chikwe to join.

We also learnt that Ararume, who still has his eyes on the governorship of the state, because of this development settled his differences with Udenwa, this resulted in the merger of "Onongono" and "Destiny" into one group now known as "Alliance".

Independent investigation by chidi opara reports however revealed that although "Alliance" does not boast of many big names like "New Face", most of whom we discovered are in the group because of patronages from government house, it enjoys more grassroots support. A state PDP official who declined to be named believes that "Alliance" would sweep the January 2010 local government election, "if it is free and fair".

We also discovered that in the meantime, appointments into strategic positions, including the membership of management committees of local government and development areas are dominated by members of "New Face", this is said to be causing serious rancour in the state PDP Chapter.

Major opposition parties in the state like the All Progressives Grand Alliance(APGA), Action Congress(AC), Progressive Peoples' Alliance(PPA) and All Nigeria Peoples' Party(ANPP), are said to be getting ready to expolit the present factionalization in PDP for their respective advantages.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Monday, 19 October 2009

Photonews: Dele Giwa; Twenty-three Years After, no clue!

It is twenty-three years today since the first Editor-In-Chief of one of Nigeria's premier news Magazines, Newswatch, Mr. Dele Giwa was murdered with parcel bomb, yet there appears to be no clue as to who was responsible for the dastardly act.

chidi opara reports contacts at the Nigerian Police Headquarters in Abuja revealed that "the case is closed for now".

Sunday, 18 October 2009

News Release: Lawyer To Former Nigerian Bank Chief Accuses Agencies Of Victimization

                                                 Cecilia Ibru

The trial process of embattled Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Oceanic Bank, Mrs Cecilia Ibru sponsored by EFCC and CBN is nothing but reckless attempts that can only be described as extra-judicial and uncharitable way of prosecuting allegation of commission of crime. 

The manner these agents of Nigerian government have been spiritedly driving Mrs. Ibru into public ridicule by mounting unfavourable media propaganda against her with tax payers money has made it obvious that they have sinister agenda against Mrs. Ibru and it as well amount to a flagrant abuse of judicial process for the two government agencies to strategically pass a judgement of guilt on Mrs. Ibru, while the matter against her was still pending in a court of law. 

As a lawyer and citizen of the realm one is not only disappointed against these mean-spirited called media hype and propaganda against Mrs Ibru particularly when Mrs. Ibru had proved to be a law abiding citizen of the country by giving herself up for probe. It is worrisome that these dishonourable and dishonest measures are only geared towards whipping public sentiments against a citizen of Nigerian to the detriment of her avowed resolution to ensure that the court determines the spurious allegation against her while maintaining the expected decorum in the circumstances.  The measures against her so far are nothing but extra-judicial and uncharitable way to ensure that Mrs. Ibru is painted black having been publicly adjudged guilty by these government agencies before her trial despite the universal constitutional provision of presumption of innocence. 

The CBN and EFCC are therefore urged to stop forthwith the current media war and public persecution against Dr. Cecilia Ibru as these measures are not only subjective, lopsided but constitute persecution, abuse of principle of prosecution and contempt of the court. 

Every efforts should be made to maintain all recognised universal standard and the government agencies should rather await the judicial process to take its full course, if at all they were sincere in their actions, stressing as it is needless attempting to kill a fly with a sledge hammer, more so when it was obvious that Mrs. Ibru was not bereft of facts and figures she can tender in her self defence in the court of law.

Mrs. Ibru had contributed her quota and will continue to contribute same to the development of the banking sector in Nigeria, having raised Oceanic Bank Plc. to a great height, where as it was her track record in that regard and the proofs she has in her self defence that made her shun the option to run away and avoid arrest and rather give herself up for investigation.

Kayode. A. Ajulo, LL.B. (Hons.) LL.M., B.L., MNIM., fcl Principal Partner; Dean of Research & Practice,
(Legal Practitioners/Consultants)
4th Floor, Metro Plaza, Central Business District,

Tel:    +234 (0) 803 315 4349,  +234 (0) 803 596 363

(Kayode Ajulo is one of the counsels to Dr. (Mrs.) Cecilia Ibru)

Friday, 16 October 2009

Faces Of Nigeria's Latest Top Bank Debtors

                                                    Cletus Ibeto

                                                    Femi Otedola

                                                    Mike Adenuga Jnr.

                                                  Aliko Dangote

MEND Says Hostilities To Resume From Midnight Today

                                          MEND Fighter

The Movement For The Emancipation Of Niger Delta(MEND) in a short e-mail today signed by its spokesperson, Gbomo Jomo, sent to chidi opara reports and some news media organizations said that hostilities will commence from midnight today.

MEND had declared a unilateral ceasefire which expired on 15th September, 2009, but was extended for 30 days, to, according to the organization, provide the Nigerian government with a window of opportunity to negotiate.

It subsequently raised an "Aaron team" to negotiate on its behalf. The Nigerian government however, declined to enter into any kind of negotiations with the armed group or its representatives, claiming that the just concluded amnesty exercise it proclaimed for repentant Niger Delta militants was successful.

A considerable number of MEND's commanders accepted the amnesty. MEND had however, rejected the amnesty from the beginning, declaring it a fraud.

MEND said it had replaced the former commanders who embraced amnesty with a new set.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Real Reason Why Former Nigerian Intelligence Chief Was Relieved Of Duty

                                            Nigeria's Sovereign Crest

Indications have emerged that the former Director-general of Nigeria Intelligence Agency(NIA), Mr. Emmanuel Imohe who was relieved of his post yesterday by the President was shown the way out because of leak of the memo he wrote to the Permanent Secretary of Ministry Of Foreign Affairs advising that the passports of Messrs Nuhu Ribadu and Nasir El-Rufai should not be renewed when exhausted/expired,  not beacuse of issuing "unauthorized" memo which Presidency publicity handlers are pushing out to the public.

chidi opara reports' usually reliable Presidency contacts were unanimous in their insistence that the President's decision to show the erstwhile Intelligence Chief the way out was as a result of the unserious manner in which the former Director-general handled assignments, even those considered as very important matters.

We also learnt that atleast on one occasion, the National Security Adviser(NSA) had advised him to "clean his Agency", another phrase for getting rid of disloyal operatives.

"In NIA and other security agencies, we have operatives who spy for some individuals and organizations, but while some agency heads were cleaning up, some like the former NIA boss were doing nothing in that area", a middle level security operative in one of Nigeria's foreign missions told chidi opara reports in an online interaction.

Presidency contacts also revealed that the President chaired the meeting of select security chiefs in which the decission was reached to issue the instruction and the lot fell on the former NIA chief to write and send the memo "though secure channels". "Everybody including Mr. President was therefore surprised when the memo leaked to the public, which means that the channels of distribution were not secure ones as instructed by the President", a Presidency senior security personnel whispered to chidi opara reports.

Independent checks by this medium a few months ago had however revealed that members of a well known fraternity formed in the 1960s who work as operatives in the security agencies are responsible for some of these leaks of official memos. We also gathered that their loyalty goes first to their fratenity leaders.

A member of this fratenity who is now a Deputy Suprintendent Of Police(DSP) in a special unit in Port Harcourt, in an unguarded moment told one of our network members who was in his unit in february to effect the release of a relative that "our loyalty is first to our capons". Some of these "capons" we learnt are radical lawyers, radical lecturers and Publishers/Editors of left wing news media organizations.

Article: Ibori And His Spin Doctors

                                          James Ibori

How do you solve a problem like Ibori? That’s the $15 million question that confronts Nigerians who are smart enough to distinguish between hubris and reality. Expectedly, the Ibori conundrum has thrown up a couple of spin doctors who, like their paymaster, believe that if you have enough money you can fix anything in Nigeria. It is hard to fault them, though. Like every major case of corruption and grand larceny in Nigeria, the Ibori matter may just fizzle out because apart from the fact that we all suffer collective amnesia, we generally do not have much patience for anything that does not immediately address our quest for bread and butter.
In tackling the Ibori mystery, I shall draw attention to some of the issues raised by Tony Eluemunor who goes by the coveted title, “Media Aide to Chief James Onanefe Ibori”, and Tonye Timi, the latest addition to the growing list of passengers in the Ibori gravy train, perhaps, the most lucrative business in Nigeria today.
I shall return to Tony. But first to Tonye Timi who a few days ago accused Ibori’s “detractors and enemies” for his current travail. According to Timi, this is nothing but an attempt, by a section of the press (surely, those not controlled by Ibori) to scandalize him. For a man whose whole life has been dogged by scandals, this is really saying very little. How do you scandalize an Ibori whose middle name could as well be scandal? Suddenly, it is being made to look like this is the first time Ibori has had issues with the law. So it is convenient to accuse those who call on him to account for his tenure as governor of Delta State for eight long years as “detractors and enemies”.
In his write-up, “Ibori and the 'infamous press scribblers'” Tonye Timi claimed that “Ibori delivered to the people of Delta, programmes aimed at modernising public infrastructure, boosed (sic) socio-economic recovery and integrated the riverine and upland areas of the state. Between May 1999 and May 2007, Ibori executed numerous projects in strategic sectors of roads, bridges, drains, transport, sports, agriculture, education, health care delivery/hospitals, water, tourism, education, among others. The massive road construction efforts opened up communities, while ambitious but completed bridges have linked riverine areas to the upland areas. Impressive rehabilitation of hitherto dilapidated roads have (sic) eased vehicular movement in towns and cities”.
I leave it to the people of Delta State to come out and disprove all Timi claimed Ibori did. Timi concluded that “it is expected, therefore, that a man with these robust streak of achievements in the political, social and economic spheres like Ibori will have both internal and external oppositions. Ibori is, however, not one to be intimidated by any orchestrated legal attacks. After all, he successfully defended himself in similar situations not too long ago”.
This is where the problem lies, Mr. Timi. I am not sure of the similar situations that are referenced here. Ibori’s case (corruption, bribery, money laundering, etc) is still in court in Nigeria and his accomplices are still on trial in the UK. The only time Ibori successfully defended himself in his numerous criminal cases was when the Supreme Court infamously ruled that there was no sufficient evidence -- despite the convicting judge’s testimony -- that the James Onanefe Ibori who was convicted by a Bwari Magistrate Court in Abuja of theft in the 1995 case was not the same James Onanefe Ibori who would emerge as governor of Delta State. Ibori’s double convictions in the UK in 1991 and 1992 still stand as court papers show!                                                                                       
Now to the more substantive issues raised by Tony Eluemunor.  The great spin doctor that he is, Tony wants us to stand behind James Ibori in his orchestrated face-off between Ibori and Nuhu Ribadu, former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). So what is Tony’s strategy? Rather than allow his client to address the various issues he is on trial for in court, he thinks by throwing up red herrings, he can build a case for Ibori.
The major issue in contention for Tony is Ribadu's $15 million bribery allegation against Ibori. It is easy for him to gloss over the fact that Ibori is facing over 100 charges in the special court created purposely for his case in Asaba, Delta State. But, let’s for once leave that issue, give Ibori the benefit of the doubt and wait for the court to render justice. 
Tony needs to be reminded that Ribadu is not the one on trial here. According to Tony, Ribadu solicited for funds from those he claimed to be investigating for a non-existent EFCC Football Club. The EFFC Football Club in question ought to be part of the football league of the Federal Capital Territory where EFCC is headquartered, so this is easily verifiable. Those Ribadu purportedly solicited money from are Nigerians who most likely are alive, so it is possible to name them and perhaps subpoena them in a trial for extortion.
Tony has also claimed that Ribadu blackmailed those he was investigating for hotel accommodation payments at 47 Park Street, Mayfair, London, where he stayed on his way from San Francisco, USA. Talk about ridiculous and cheap blackmail! When did this take place? Since Tony and Ibori know this hotel and the person or persons who may have paid for the accommodation, what are they waiting for? Ibori has the power, seriously, to order the attorney general of the federation to investigate his claims and institute legal actions. After all, the man, I mean the AGF, doesn’t hide the fact that justice is all about the Benjamins.
It is pathetic and shameful that with the resources at his disposal and the attorney general of the federation at his beck and call, all Ibori can muster against Ribadu who ran EFCC for almost five years are these flimsy and spurious allegations. Surely, the Teflon Don and his media hirelings can do better than this if they want to be taken seriously.
Mr. Eluemunor, what is in contention here is whether Ibori was convicted twice in London in the early 90s. If he was, then there is no legal or moral basis for him to have been governor in the first place. Forget your spurious claim (the evidence being “vexatious and pointless”) about what the court in Kaduna said on the authenticity of the court papers presented by EFCC to support the claim of Ibori’s convictions in London. I am not a lawyer, but how can evidence about the double convictions of someone charged with wrongdoing in a criminal case be “vexatious and pointless”? When you say the issue of London conviction allegations had been trashed out in the Federal High Court, Kaduna, are you saying the Kaduna court quashed the convictions or ruled that there were no convictions at all? 
My dear Ivy League media guru, it doesn’t matter whether you stand by the decision of the Kaduna High Court as you claim or not. This is not about you and where you decide to stand or sit. As I noted earlier, I am going to wait for the special court in Asaba to render its judgement in the case of Ibori vs the Federal Republic of Nigeria which he controls for now. But in the meantime, can you please confirm if the James Ibori that was convicted twice in the UK is the same James Ibori who served as executive governor of Delta State between 1999 and 2007!
Need I remind you that this issue you refer to as “vexatious and pointless” will rear its ugly head when the trial of Ibori and co resumes in London next month.  
By Anthony Fernandez

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

News Release: Nigerian Opposition Party Demands Percentage Of Lagos State Budget For Education, Other Vital Sectors

                                          Lagos State Governor

The Democratic Peoples Alliance (DPA) has urged the Lagos State Government to factor into the 2010 budget, the United Nations’ recommended 26 percent of total expenditure for Education, as well as establishing structures that will enhance the routine maintenance of roads.

Lamenting that the state currently spent only N10 billion (3.5 percent of the N405 billion budget for 2009) on Education, the party blamed the under-funding of the sector for the incessant strikes by teachers and related civil servants in the state.

In a statement by its Director of Publicity, Felix Oboagwina, Lagos DPA recalled that the government had assured teachers that their agitations for a Teachers Salary Scale (TSS) would be accommodated in next year’s budget, and warned that the state had no reason to renege on that commitment.

The party was reacting to pronouncements by Lagos government functionaries arising from a 3-day budget retreat that the state planned to emphasise the completion of ongoing projects next year. DPA welcomed the plan but observed that the government had failed to address the problem of over-concentration on capital expenditure.

According to the party, Lagos experienced failure in its recurrent expenditure, especially the maintenance of existing structures, as evidenced by the plethora of bad roads and the recourse to public-private initiatives in mundane matters like refuse disposal, roads, water supply, transportation, street lights and flood control.

“We cannot disagree with people who say Governor Raji Fashola has performed well in initiating capital projects. But maintenance is clearly shouting neglect. This year, the government has appeared determined that big contracts in the billions are more worthwhile than road maintenance of lower value. The government has really diminished minor road repairs,” DPA said. “If the capital projects will make sense, the government must turn its attention to the simple task of repairing potholes, bumps and craters.”

Apart from catering for the TSS in the Education sector, the budget must ensure it concentrated on trimming overcrowding in schools that sometimes recorded over 120 students per class, instead of the United Nations recommended pupil-teacher ratio of 1:25, DPA said.

The party similarly counseled that the 2010 budget must aim at strengthening the direct-labour department of the state’s Ministry of Works and the state’s road maintenance agency to facilitate first-aid application of bitumen to bad roads. It discouraged the state from filling potholes with granite as ad hoc relief since experience has shown that the stuff quickly eroded, with little to show for expended money and effort.

It pointed out that motorable neighbourhood and inner city roads would reduce man-hour loss, vehicle damage, health troubles and traffic jams.

DPA challenged the State House of Assembly, which will debate the budget proposal, to be more proactive and take seriously its oversight function in order to make the government responsible and accountable for the benefit of the people.

It said the state had failed to deliver on housing, health, education, roads, industrialisation and land-utilisation. The party said this failure accounted for the mushrooming rate of unemployment and the falling standard of life in the state.

The party urged the government to adopt the bottom-top approach to budget-planning. It said that this way the state would achieve service delivery and be on the same page with Lagosians as far as definition of priorities.

DPA further encouraged the state to tackle the complaints of hoteliers and industrialists protesting double-taxation, saying that failure to do so would paint Lagos as a hostile business environment, engender exodus out of the state and discourage new investments..

Felix Oboagwina
Director of Publicity, Lagos DPA

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

News Release: Yoruba Group Condemns Nigerian Government's Oil Deregulation Plan

                                                  President Yar'Adua

Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) condemns strongly the plan by the Yar’Adua regime to pile further untold hardship on the Nigerian people through a dubious deregulation of the downstream sub-sector of the oil industry which will commence on November 1, 2009.

The latest notice of further impoverishment of the people was served at the weekend by the Group Executive Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Aminu Baba Kusa in Lagos.

As if to confirm our fears all along that whenever government talks about deregulation in these parts what they mean is price increase, there have been speculations that a litre of petrol would sell for N94.11 and Kerosene for N102.25 from November 1.

The net effect of this would be astronomical increase in the prices of goods and services and further deepening of poverty which is already at 76% nationwide.

As it is today, life has become unbearable for our people with virtual dislocations in every sector which has resulted in massive unemployment with attendant social crises like violent robberies, kidnappings and fraudulent acts.

It takes a leadership bereft of capacity to gauge the mood of the citizenry to conceive such an idea at this precarious time without considering the social havoc such a decision is bound to generate.

The question that concerned people are asking at this stage is why punishing the people for the mismanagement of the oil industry by the successive governments including the present one?

To start with, Nigeria today is about the only one among the largest producers of oil in the world that cannot refine petroleum products for its domestic consumption, something that is no issue in countries without oil and even smaller to Nigeria.

India has just built the fourth largest refinery in the world. Singapore has no oil but has built 34 refineries through which it exports refined products from imported crude. Even war torn Sudan has 4 functional refineries that produce 181,000 barrels per day. Congo equally has a refinery that churns out 21,000 barrels daily.

Is it not a shame to the Nigerian authorities that while our people are undergoing this resource curse of paying N65 per litre of fuel, which may yet hit the roof from November 1, it costs N2.20k in Venezuela, N4.30k in Iraq and N23.30 in South Africa that does not produce oil?

It is equally fraudulent to talk of deregulation when all the government wants to do is to jerk up prices through a fixed price regime from Abuja.

Ideal deregulation should see prices being dictated by Market forces in different areas. This is what operates in India where a litre of fuel sells for Rs53 in Pune, Rs 44 in Mumbai and 52Rs in Bangalore. How can a government that only export crude at a price it cannot determine and import refined products at a price others determine be talking of deregulation?

We must also point out that it is the largely incompetent leadership of Nigeria over the years that has seen the total failure of the NNPC, where the Petrobras of Brazil, Stateoil of Norway and PETRONAS of Malaysia built long before Nigeria have continued to remain successful.

Should the Government go ahead, with this punitive massive, we call on organized labour, civil society groups and all strata of Nigeria to be prepared to reject this measure by all constitutional means necessary.

Lastly, we challenge the Yar’Adua administration to make public all that have been spent on Turn-Around Maintenance (TAM) of non-functional refineries in the last ten years.

‘Yinka Odumakin
National Publicity Secretary (ARG)

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Article: E. K. Clark, The Undisputed Godfather

                              Clark With Delta State Governor

Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, Officer of  The Order Of Federal Republic (OFR) and Commander Of The Order of Niger (CON) at present is the “capo di tuti” of Nigerian polity, the ultimate Godfather that is hated and loved by all.

He is to Nigeria what Adedibu was to South West Nigeria, while Adedibu was not lettered, Clark is a lawyer and a member of Inner Temple in London, He is what Maitama Sule, Chiroma and Shagari combined are to the North, Clark was a Federal Minister with these distinguished Nigerians in the 1960’s. Clark has no parallel in the South-South region; he is simply referred to as the leader. Tony Annenih, Micheal Akhigbe, John Oyegun, Ogbemudia, Alabo Graham Douglas, etc enjoy doing “collabo” with him.
The President respects him while the Vice President revers and worships him; he fought Odili and Ibori to ensure that his kinsman, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan became the No. 2 man in Nigeria. He is so feared that despite his attacks on Ibori, Ibori refused to join issues with or abuse him, but picked on lesser Obasanjo and Ribadu.
He cuts the exact picture of a godfather, he mostly love being pulled around sitting on a wheel chair for desired effects.
His residences, either in Lagos, Kiagbodo or Abuja are Mecca of sought for politicians, contractors, militants, jurists, Diplomats, Civil servants, even criminals.
What set Clark apart cannot be explained but give it to him that he has a good pedigree, his brothers distinguished themselves, Prof. J. P. Clark is respected in literary world, Ambassador B. A. Clark rose to the pinnacle of his career as the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was Nigeria's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, his other brother retired as a General in the Nigerian Army.
Clark is well organized with trusted aides and unlike others you will hardly see any of his numerous children around him but choose to relate with young and vibrant professionals, one of them is Dr. Mike Oberabor a medical practitioner who is Clark's personal physician. In Clark’s court one cannot miss him consulting with the seasoned Journalist and Vanguard columnist, Donu Kogbara. Donu recently resigned her appointment with NNPC over Clark’s disagreement with Dr. Rilwanu Lukman’s style of administration. Dr. Toru Ofili, Wing Commander Biakpara, ex-military administrator, Dr. Ikhime, ex-militant, Dr. Okoni are also member of E.K.C. cabinet, although an accomplished lawyer, Clark retained the service of the young prodigious lawyer and human rights activist, Kayode Ajulo as his personal lawyer while still enjoying the service of other lawyers.
The several claims that Clark is the sponsor and godfather of  militants was confirmed recently when the entire 16 militants leaders, led by High Chief Government Ekpemepolo (aka) Tompolo, Chief Ateke Tom, Mr Ebikabowei Ben (aka) Boyloaf, Franklin Duduku, Bonny Gawei, Africa Ukparafa, Farah Dagogo, Soboma George, Erefimudei Olotu, Ezekiel Akpabewei, Keneth Dan Opsingi, Bibopre Ajube, Henry Egbema, Omo Tonweerigha, Solomon Indigbana and Selky Kile Torugwedi, in the company of their lawyers and body guards, converged in Clark’s mansion at Asokoro to pay him homage and deliberate before proceeding to Aso Rock Villa to see President Yar’Adua.

Residents of the prestigious and serene Asokoro District in Abuja will not forget in a hurry the several exotic cars on display, which stretched to the end of T.Y. Danjuma Street.
By: Idemu Ogharako

Photonews: Behold The President's Next Son-In-Law!


Unconfirmed information reaching chidi opara reports has it that Mr. Timi Alaibe, Presidential Adviser on Niger Delta Affairs, whose wife died not long ago is about to take one of the President's daughters as wife.

Observers believe that this is one of Alaibe's smart moves to consolidate his bid to becoming the next governor of Bayelsa State.

(From A Citizen Reporter)

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Obasanjo Blackmails Yar'Adua For Soludo's Candidature

                                           Soludo With PDP Chieftains

With damaging details of the business interests of the Yar'Adua family, especially, the huge fortune stashed away by the President's late elder brother, the charismatic and astute Shehu Yar'Adua, made when he served as Vice-president during the Obasanjo military regime, rtd. general Olusegun Obasanjo have again blackmailed Umaru Yar'Adua to grant his request, this time for the immediate past governor of Central Bank Of Nigeria(CBN), Professor Chukwuma Soludo to be made the Peoples' Democratic Party(PDP)candidate for the february 2010 gubernatorial election in Anambra state. Obasanjo as Nigerian President in 2007 engineered the emergence of Umaru Yar'Adua as President. Professor Soludo have emerged the PDP gubernatorial candidate in a conroversial congress in Abuja.

chidi opara reports was informed by PDP insiders that at the expiration of Soludo's tenure as CBN governor, Obasanjo had pressured Yar'Adua to renew the tenure of the former CBN helmsman, but the President resisted the move because of a more intense pressure to terminate Soludo's reign at the apex bank from some powerful elements from northern Nigeria. Obasanjo who is the PDP Board Of Trustees chairman and  commands some influence whin the ranks of the ruling party, according to these insiders had to committ the President to a promise that Soludo would be made the party's flagbearer in Anambra for the 2010 governorship election. It is not known so far why the immediate past President withdrew support for the candidature of Mr. Andy Uba, who worked closely with him when he was President and whom he had supported all along.

Investigation by chidi opara reports however revealed that the President's promise to make Soludo PDP flagbearer in Anambra state did not go down well with his kitchen cabinet who sought for ways to thwart it.

We learnt on good authority that when some Obasanjo informers in the Presidency got wind of this, they immediately informed the immediate past President, who wasted no time in reminding the President of what will follow if the promise is not granted.

"The President knows that he would have been stripped naked in public if the Anambra result was otherwise", an Obasanjo insider boasted to one of our network members in Lagos this Afternoon.

Photoscope: E.K. Clark; Images Of Nigeria's Niger Delta Godfather

The closeness of Edwin .K. Clark to former Niger Delta militant leaders places him on the platform of Nigeria's Niger Delta godfather, who is always courted by those who seek favours from the corridors of power. Those who have problems with the Authorities are not left out.

chidi opara reports can now reveal that his Abuja residence is like a pilgrimage centre for favour seekers, including some former bank chiefs recently relieved of their positions by the Nigerian apex bank and handed over to the Nigerian anti-corruption agency(EFCC) for investigation and prosecution .

Friday, 9 October 2009

Nigeria's Former Top Oil Militant To Resume Security Consultancy Duty For Shell, Others On November 1st


Nigeria's former top oil militant pardoned in the just concluded amnesty exercise, Mr. Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo may resume his abandoned security consultancy duty for Shell and other oil and gas majors like: Elf, Chevron, Mobil, Agip and The Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas Company(LNG)by 1st november, 2009, chidi opara reports have been reliably informed.

Prior to the attack on his well organized tactical base known as "Camp Five" by the Joint Taskforce On Security(JTF), Mr. Ekpemupolo whom insiders insist ran the most organized militant camp with the most sophisticated weaponry had running security consultancy contracts with these oil and gas majors.

These contracts, according to authoritative oil and gas sector contacts entailed assigning escorts to accompany loaded oil and gas vessels from points of loading to points of departure from Nigeria's territorial waters.
"Tompolo knows everybody capable of causing trouble and he settles them before every movement, so that when vessels move, there would be no problems", an oil major top field management staffer told chidi opara reports in Port Harcourt.

"They are asking general to resume duty immediately, but right now, he is busy with the assignments the President gave to him, he is likely to resume by November 1st", a contact close to Tompolo whispered to us.

"There is still fear that pirates may attack unaccompanied vessels, so we want him to resume as soon as possible", an LNG official told chidi opara reports in Bonny on monday on condition of anonymity.

Another contact close to Tompolo told us in Warri yesterday that "our escort boys are ready to resume duty anytime general gives go ahead order".