Sunday, 16 August 2009

Yoruba Governors And Politicians Unite!(News Release From Afenifere)

Afenifere has observed with much discomfort the disunity among governors of the South-West. The relationship amongst “Their Excellencies” is nothing to write home about. This is clearly lamentable.

Unlike the recent demonstrations of camaraderie and unity by the governors of the South-South and by the governors of the North, our own governors have permitted artificial party affiliations to keep them apart. Instead of remaining focused to and pushing a common regional agenda, each state today proclaims, “To your tents, O Israel.”

Recently, South-South governors spoke with one voice, resolving to withdraw their commitment to the Federal Government’s amnesty offer to militants if government went ahead with a purported plan to relocate the proposed University of Petroleum Technology from Effurun, Warri, Delta State to Kaduna. More than any other consideration, this single-minded resolve by the South-South Governors made the Federal Government to change its mind. Similarly, the Northern governors called an emergency meeting and spoke with one voice on the “Boko Haramun Case,” with a resolve to forge a common policy on aliens coming to the North.

Conversely, Yoruba governors failed to forge a common front on crucial matters affecting the interest of the Yoruba race. These include but are not limited to: The flagrant killing of Yoruba people, including National Youth Service Corps participants, in the Jos crisis of last December; WEMA Bank; the bombing of the Atlas Cove, the chief entry port for petroleum products to the South-West, an attack that inflicted collateral damage on our resources, kinsmen, facilities and interests. The Executive Governors have also been unable to speak as one on pipeline vandalisation; local government and state creations; electoral reforms; resource control; devolution of power; true Federalism and true fiscal Federalism; poor road network spanning the entire South-West; Northernisation of Federal appointments; fertilizer allocation and distribution. It remains a poor commentary on our race that we are unable to present a common front on such crucial issues where our people suffer gross disadvantages.

The problem lies in the fact that we have compromised our unity. It is sad that rather than see themselves first as kinsmen and descendants of Oduduwa, politicians regard themselves primarily as members of People’s Democratic Party, Action Congress, Alliance for Democracy, Democratic Peoples Alliance or Nigerian Labour Party. Although this divergent following of multifarious parties earmarks the legendary liberalism of the Yoruba race, time has come for us to reemphasise Yoruba homogeneity, unity and common ties.

Our people have forgotten the words of our elders that “K’arin ka po, yiye ni nyeni.” Its poor English paraphrase will be “United we stand, divided we fall.” This also means that although we may have disagreement on the person or character of some of those leading us, we must sometimes subsume these in an overriding unity in the more important purpose of defending and protecting the collective interest of the Yoruba nation.

Afenifere will encourage that, for the welfare of our people, Yoruba politicians must cast partisanship aside and forge a united front. South-West governors must lead the way by breaking down all partisan Berlin Walls that artificially keep our people divided. Yoruba governors must come together to form a political power bloc wherein they will relate together for the common good of our indigenes and our citizens. They must form a South-West Governors Forum or the Yoruba Governors Forum. This will act as an interest group for enhancing the socio-political and socio-economic development of our Yoruba people and Yoruba land. It will be the clearing house for policies coming from the Federal Government to the South-West or those originating in the South-West for adoption in all the states for the common benefit of our people. This synergy must bridge together: Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola of Osun State, Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State, Governor Gbenga Daniel of Ogun State, Governor Segun Mimiko of Ondo State, Governor Christopher Alao-Akala of Oyo State and Governor Segun Oni of Ekiti State. It will be to our corporate advantage if we can also to reach out to our cousins in Edo State, Delta State, Kwara State and Kogi State.

In truth, our people are disunited now than they have ever been. This can only be to the advantage of our common antagonists. The world over, the trend tends towards inclusive, expansive socio-economic power blocs like –the European Union, ASEA, ECOWAS, etc.

Our unity made us strong as a region under Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Today, although parties may differ, Afenifere wants politicians to strive to forge Yoruba into one strong power bloc. Our strength must remain in our diversity.

Chief Reuben Fasoranti, OFR
Afenifere Leader.

Nigeria's Central Bank Governor Threatened Presidency With Resignation Over Dismissed Bank CEOs

When the report of the investigation panel comprising officers of the Central Bank Of Nigeria(CBN)and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation(NDIC), instituted by the new leadership of CBN to investigate banks was made available to the governor of CBN, Mr. Sanusi Lamido, the former Chief Executive Officers(CEOs) of the five banks whose leadership was recently changed by the CBN got to know of their imminient dismissal and mounted intense lobby to avert it, CBN insiders told chidi opara reports.

The most intense lobby according to these insiders came from the former leadership of Oceanic Bank Plc, whose CEO, Mrs. Cecilia Ibru is one of the wives of the patriarch of the influential Ibru family, Mr. Michael Ibru. The Ibru family own the Ibru organization whose business interests cover but not limited to Oil and gas, Construction, Agriculture, Banking and Aviation. Unconfirmed information has it it that Oceanic Bank Plc is a subsidiary of the Ibru Organization.

We learnt on good authority that when efforts to compromise the leadership of CBN failed, the former Oceanic Bank CEO contacted Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim of the NICON group, for whom the bank once granted a loan facility running into millions of naira on doubtful colateral, to help enlist the immediate past President, rtd. general Olusegun Obasanjo to speak with the President on the matter. Mr. Ibrahim is known to be a protege of the former President.

We learnt further that when contacted, a reluctant Obasanjo spoke with the President, but according to one Presidency insider, "the President was non committal, all the same he promised to talk to the CBN governor." "When Mr. President spoke to governor, he told Mr. President that he would prefer to resign than to allow the compromised officers to remain at the helm of affairs in the banks", a CBN insider revealed to us.

Investigation revealed that if not for Mr. Lamido's background as a Prince of the powerful Kano Emirate, the dismissed CEOs would have remained in their positions. Further checks revealed that during the tenure of the immediate past CBN governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, matters like this were not handled decissively because "the hands of the then CBN governor were tied."

We can now reveal that there is presently serious lobby in the Presidency and office of the Attorney-general of the federation to prevail on the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) to handle the matter in a shoddy way when the report is eventually forwarded to it.

Contacts very close to the CBN governor informed us that he has made up his mind to forward the report to EFCC. "If he makes up his mind about anything, it is very difficult to influence him otherwise", a childhood friend of Sanusi's told one of chidi opara reports network members in Kano yesterday.

Editorial: That Townhall Meeting With Mrs. Clinton

The Secretary Of State of the United States Of America(USA), Mrs. Hillary Clinton recently visited Nigeria for the first time in the capacity of a high rank cabinet member of the Barack Obama administration. The visit was the last stage of her seven-nation-tour of Africa.

During the visit, Mrs. Clinton had meetings with governmental and non governmental groups. Notable among the non governmental groups the USA top official had meeting with was a coalition of civil society groups, whom Mrs. Clinton exchanged ideas with in a townhall meeting.

Highlight of the townhall meeting was an address by the Secretary Of State in which she amongst other pronouncements, noted that it is up to Nigerians to effect the necessary legitimate changes in the governance of their country. She however added that the Obama administration would be ready to work with the civil society community in this regard. chidi opara reports agrees with Madam Secretary of State in this regard.

This statement coming from a high rank cabinet member of a very important nation like the USA would ordinarily serve as motivation to any civil society community anywhere, serious about effecting legitimate changes in the country where it operates.

Unfortunately, the civil society community in Nigeria, we dare say is unserious, unorganized, unimaginative and lazy. We make this pronouncement, bearing in mind the laudable roles a few selfless and committed activists, some living and others dead, played in the onerous task of reforming the Nigerian space. chidi opara reports salutes them.

This in our opinion is the time for the civil society community in Nigeria to seize this window of opportunity offered by the current mood in Washington to get serious in the areas of imaginative strategizing, grassroots based organization and vibrant peaceful demonstrations in all parts of Nigeria against objectionable policies of government when the need arise. The era of waiting for other nations to effect the required legitimate changes in Nigeria should be over. Enough of that townhall meeting with Mrs. Clinton and other officials of other countries.