Monday, 21 September 2009

Another Nigerian Journalist Goes Down!

                                          Bullet Riddled Body Of late Bayo Ohu

                                           Bullet Hole
Mr. Bayo Ohu,  political editor of The Guardian, a Nigerian daily newspaper was assasinated in his residence in Lagos in the early hours of yesterday.

(From a citizen reporter)

N11 Billion Lagos State Budget Appropriation Insensitive To Education, Other Sectors(News Release By DPA)

                                                  Governor Fashola

As children resume school tomorrow in Lagos , the Democratic Peoples’ Alliance (DPA) has expressed fears that the additional N11 billion budget appropriated for Lagos State last week had failed to cater for key issues like the looming teachers’ strike.

Teachers have sworn to embark on another strike to make the government fulfil an earlier promise to implement the Teachers’ Salary Structure.

Noting that the government had failed to factor in this particular demand and related educational issues into the reviewed budget, DPA noted that instead state officials had lately made pronouncements that no such demands would be heeded this year.

The party also challenged the Action Congress government in the state to render a Naira-by-Naira breakdown of expenses in the current N405 billion budget, saying spending so far had failed to make appreciable impact on Lagosians in the last one year.

“Doctors have been on strike, school teachers have downed tools and the state’s solely-owned university has broken down since the beginning of the year and the government says it needs more money; where did all the money go?” Lagos DPA said in a statement by its Director of Publicity, Felix Oboagwina. “The roads are still bad; infrastructure is still poor, except for some high-profit capital projects, and yet the government says it wants to reshuffle its spending pattern –in September?”

Pointing out that the state was yet to implement the Teachers’ Salary Structure agreed with their union, the party challenged the House of Assembly, which passed the Appropriation Bill, to return to the drawing board to preempt the looming strike. DPA thought the Legislature ought to be more proactive and to take seriously its oversight function in order to make the government responsible and accountable to the benefit of the people.

The party especially wanted the government to tell the world what portion of the new appropriation it was devoting to trimming overcrowding in classrooms that sometimes recorded over 120 students per class. The United Nations recommends a pupil-teacher ratio of 1:25 .

“Agreement is agreement; and agreements must be honoured,” DPA said.

However, the party urged teachers to tread the path of dialogue rather than embark on strike, saying, innocent school children would end up the ultimate victims. DPA urged both parties to sit together to iron out their differences at a negotiation table.

It especially condemned as insensitive, reckless and dare-devilish the approach the government employed by going on air to announce it had put on hold till next year the earlier agreements reached with the Nigerian Union of Teachers.

“The government officials should have been more sensitive and diplomatic in handing such a nutty and weighty matter,” DPA said. “They should have called the union to a secret meeting to divulge that information.”

Declaring as strange the fact other commissioners in the Lagos cabinet had been responsible for revealing the state’s unwillingness to heed the NUT demands, the party reiterated its view that the Deputy Governor had proved incapable of coping with the two caps she currently wore, especially that of running the Ministry of Education.

Felix Oboagwinwa
Director of Publicity, Lagos DPA


Time To Offload Aondoakaa(News Release)

                                          Michael Aondoakaa
Ever since his appointment as Attorney-General and Minister of Justice for the Federation, Chief Michael
Aondoakaa, SAN, has portrayed himself as grossly incompetent and a moral misfit for the position. His background as an ally, associate and Counsel to several highly-placed politicians and public officers facing
corruption charges easily compromised him and fingered him as having a vested interest in specific cases.
Nigerians and the international community cannot forget his ignoble role in the summary dismissal of the
former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu. However, the events of the last few days have proved that this chameleon has yet to display its worst colour.

Aondoakaa has proved to be a man of even more despicable character as he now appears to be backtracking from a public statement we all heard him make in the full glare of local and international media. He definitely said that three former state governors, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (Lagos State), Obong Victor Attah (Akwa Ibom State) and Chief James Onanefe Ibori of (Delta State), had been investigated and exonerated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), over the V-Mobile telecommunications transaction. EFCC quickly contradicted this statement and denied that it has come to such a determination. These former governors are under the searchlight of the London Met Police in a case involving the cornering, for private use, of shares of the telecoms company that they had used public funds to acquire for their states.

Aondoakaa’s unilaterally-issued reprieve for the governors, while the London Met Police is still conducting investigations, is an international embarrassment that has further cast aspersions on the resolve of the administration of President Umar Yar’Adua to fight corruption. How can Nigeria’s chief law officer be intent on tarnishing the image of Nigeria, presenting her as a den and harbour of untruthful and corrupt leaders and people? No amount of sloganeering about Nigeria being, Good People, Great Nation, will sanitize us when our ambassadors and leaders behave contrarily.

Prior allegations existed that Aondoakaa had, while in private practice, represented the interests of Chief James Ibori, currently facing over 100 counts of corruption-related offences within and outside Nigeria. The Justice Minister was part of the defence team in some of these allegations; and it appears he cannot separate his private interest from national interest. This makes him unsuitable for his position as Attorney-General and Minister of Justice. If this latest faux pas in prematurely clearing the three governors is not enough proof that Aondoakaa is grossly unsuitable to hold such an exalted office, then we must all come to accept that President Yar’Adua is part of the conspiracy to protect corrupt public officials, serving and retired.

Afenifere especially disapproves of the AG travelling at public expense to London to defend politicians accused of corruption and money laundering. It makes it appear as if one of this administration’s objectives is to protect and further institutionalise corruption. Otherwise, how can one explain the office of the AG (which is not an investigative office) electing to hinder the job of the London Metropolitan Police and EFCC?
Chief Michael Aondoakaa must be relieved of his post as head of the Justice Ministry and his post reassigned to a nobler person.

Chief Reuben Fasoranti, OFR
Afenifere Leader

Author Of "The Davinci Code", Dan Brown Releases New Book Tomorrow

                                                    Book Cover

"The Lost Symbol", Dan Brown's latest book is due for release tomorrow. The long awaited book is a follow up to "Angels And Demons"(2000) "The Davinci Code"(2003).

chidi opara reports learnt that the Dan Brown latest literary entry is being keenly awaited by "friends and foes of the controversial author all over the world".

(From a citizen reporter)