Saturday, 30 January 2010

News Release From MEND: Ceasefire Called Off

After careful consideration and extensive consultation, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) today, Saturday, January 30, 2010, has decided to call off a unilateral ceasefire ordered on Sunday, October 25, 2009.

This ceasefire was ordered in the hope that the government of Nigeria would consider true dialogue founded on a sincere desire to bring justice to the people of the Niger Delta, and true peace to Nigeria.

Acting like a victor over a conquered people, the government rolled out a list of its plans for the Delta which it assumed would end decades of agitation, promising at the same time to deal with all who remained dissatisfied with its lame effort to re-dress the injustice in the Niger Delta.

It is sufficiently clear at this point in time that the government of Nigeria has no intentions of considering the demands made by this group for the control of the resources and land of the Niger Delta to be reverted to the rightful owners, the people of the Niger Delta.

The government and oil companies believe the spirit of agitation in the Niger Delta has been blown away with the bribing of a few thugs it has labeled stakeholders. They assume giving alms to the youth of the Delta will secure installations.

"Concessions" suggested by the government in its bid to "address" the injustice in the Niger Delta include ceding10% of its stake in the joint venture partnerships to oil producing communities and 9% to other interested Nigerians. This suggestion is preposterous!

The same government that is unable to maintain or repair the death traps called roads or the archaic rail facilities in Nigeria, is promising to build super highways and modern rail lines through the Niger Delta using funds it hopes to realise from divesting 19% of its shares in the joint ventures partnerships.

Which is an oil producing community to the government of Nigeria? The Nigerian government in all its wisdom defines an oil producing community as one where oil installations are sited; where oil is drilled or where flow stations and other facilities relevant to the continued bleeding of the Niger Delta and exportation of its mineral resources are found. Does this government not realise that all surrounding communities are sitting atop the same oil deposits and would be producers if their communities were drilled as well?

By this crude definition, the government will consider Kaduna state and other Northern states where pipelines pass through to the refinery in Kaduna, oil producing states. What gives this government the right to share the resources of the Niger Delta between its cronies in ceding this suggested 19 percent? The Nigerian government claims ownership of the Niger Delta where it dares not do so in the North. The land in the North belongs to Northerners while the Niger Delta belongs to the North as well. Communities in the Niger Delta without installations suffer the effects of gas flaring, spillages amongst others so why does the Nigerian government not consider these communities in all its planning?

The answer is simple. This government is hoping it can divide the people of the Delta in order to govern and plunder the Niger Delta. The government and oil companies are hopeful communities with oil installations, designated oil producing communities and rewarded for having these facilities on their soil, will safeguard such installations. Fortunately for the people of the Niger Delta, no one will be able to safeguard any installation from attack by our fighters. All who have misled the government and oil companies into such inanity will be put to shame.

All companies related to the oil industry in the Niger Delta should prepare for an all-out onslaught against their installations and personnel. Nothing will be spared. In this phase, we will extend attacks to oil service companies which have experienced a boom as a result of the misfortunes of oil producing companies, repairing pipelines destroyed in attacks.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta warns all oil companies to halt operations as any operational installation attacked will be burnt to the ground. Oil companies are responsible for the safety and welfare of their workers and will bear the guilt should any harm come upon their staff in the event of an attack. By now they should know the military Joint Task Force (JTF) cannot protect their installations or staff in the event of an attack.

We thank all patriotic and justice loving citizens of the Niger Delta and Nigeria for their unwavering support, overtly and covertly. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta will not capitulate until the actualization of our dream; the emancipation of the Niger Delta from the clutches of the Nigerian government and collaborating oil companies.

Jomo Gbomo

Friday, 29 January 2010

News Release: The National Assembly And The Courts Must Step In To Save Nigeria

The Save Nigeria Group (SNG) is compelled to once again address the contrived Constitutional crisis in Nigeria, occasioned by the hijack of power by President Umaru Yar'adua's coterie of political hangers-on for the past sixty seven days .
When President Umaru Musa Yar'adua was sworn in on the 29th of May, 2007 at the Eagle square, he made a solemn promise to Nigerians to be a 'servant leader' who would rule by strict adherence to the rule of law. He promised among other things to place national interest above personal interest.  However, given his behavior in the past 67 days in which he has held the nation at ransom, leaving her without a functioning and undisputed leader with the ability to lead Nigeria proactively and responsibly react to crises , it has become obvious to right thinking Nigerians that these promises, like his promise to reform the electoral system, were just empty rhetoric and sloganeering.
President Yar'adua and his kitchen cabinet have deliberately contrived a situation where a lacuna in leadership at the Federal level has caused Nigeria to hop from one avoidable crisis after the other including but not limited to the following;
i.The blacklisting of Nigeria as a nation that harbors terrorists and the consequent travel and visa restrictions on Nigerians in addition to the enhanced security spotlight on Nigerian travelers which will no doubt impede them as they go about their lawful international economic and social activities. This blacklisting was only possible because of the non-response by the Nigerian leadership in the wake of the Abdulmutallab incidence as a result of the lacuna in leadership at the Federal level.
ii.The slow reaction to the Jos and Bauchi riots and consequent increase in loss of lives and property as a result of the understandable hesitancy of the Vice President, Goodluck Jonathan to exercise the powers of the Commander in Chief without a lawful transfer of power as prescribed by the constitution as well as the overbearing interference of the president's kitchen cabinet. These crises and the reaction to them have once again prompted the International Community's reaction blaming Nigeria's leadership failures as the root cause.
iii.The controversy over the swearing in of the new Chief Justice of Nigeria, which has left the new CJN holding a 'tainted' mandate.
iv.The controversy over the signing of the 2009 Supplementary Budget in as yet unclear circumstances.
v.The rash of court cases including the clearly conflicting rulings by Justice Dan Abutu suggesting that the Vice President can exercise, delegated executive power, and then subsequently directing the Executive Council of the Federation to perform its constitutional role in view of the log jam Nigeria has been caught in.

As a result of these crises, the uncertainty in Nigeria has reached unprecedented levels and has led to demonstrations all over Nigeria and calls by pre eminent Nigerian statesmen, including three former heads of state, and the International Community for President Yar'adua to obey the constitution and transfer power to his deputy until such a time as he is able to return to his duties. In the light of these calls, we have received with relief and commend the resolution of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria calling on President Yar'adua to hand over power to his deputy as prescribed by the constitution, though we believe they could have acted much earlier and farther than they have gone. We also thank the Senate for resisting moves from the President's kitchen cabinet to first block debate, then attempt to ethnicize and emotionalize what is a purely constitutional matter.

Given that the Executive Council of the Federation, the body constitutionally tasked with the role of initiating the process of declaring the president incapacitated, has shirked that role for the personal interests of its members  over national interest and acting like Ministers  of the President instead of Ministers of the Federal  Republic that they are, having passed  a resolution that President Yar'adua is capable of holding office (even where its members had admitted on the BBC as well as at the Senate that they had not spoken to the president since he left Nigeria in November of 2009) it has become necessary to look beyond the Executive Council of the Federation for a resolution of this induced crisis. They also embarrassed themselves by declaring a man who in his alleged interview with the BBC admitted his incapacity when he said that only his doctors could determine his return upon fitness. It is therefore the recommendation of SAVE NIGRERIA GROUP that having failed to do its duty, the onus is now on:

(1) the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to step in and save Nigeria by impeaching the president for his serial violations of the Constitution, and replacing him with his deputy in keeping with their constitutional role of checking the excesses of the Executive, and;

(2) the courts to exercise judicial courage by declaring what every Nigeria knows to be true - that an employee, a public servant - who is absent from his duty post without permission for over 2 months can be declared incapacitated, and is entitled to be dismissed from his job according to cases presently before them.
We applaud the patriotic call by the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Vice Marshal Paul Dike and the Chief of Army staff, Lt. General Adulrahman Dambazau  for members of the Nigerian Armed Forces to resist all attempts to intervene in this issue and back such a call. The Nigerian constitution even with its now obvious flaws has enough inbuilt mechanisms to resolve this and related issues.
Finally, we sound a note of warning to the cabal behind this crisis that Nigerians under the aegis of SNG have shown the capacity to resist tyranny in Abuja, Lagos, London, New York and other cities. We shall not hesitate to step up these campaigns in the days ahead if this issue is not expeditiously resolved in line with the constitution.
For: Save Nigeria Group
(1) Engr. Baba Galadima  (2) Mr. Yinka Odumakin  (3) Mr. Osita Okechukwu  (4) Mallam Salihu Lukman  (5) Mr. Mike Igini  (6) Mallam Tanko Yunusa

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

News Release: DPA Accuses Lagos Govt. Of Lying About Free Healthcare, Lauds LASUTH’s First Open-Heart Surgery

                                             [Lagos State Governor]

Democratic Peoples' Alliance (DPA) has commended the Lagos State University Hospital (LASUTH) over the institution's first successful open-heart surgery, while in the same breath charging the ruling Action Congress (AC) with deceit over its alleged Free Health policy and ignoring the tragic statistics of maternal mortality.

The party charged the Lagos State Government with hypocrisy and lies for claiming to run a free health policy. The fact, as DPA noted, was that patients paid for everything, right from the point of entry.

Citing the case of one pregnant woman treated at the Somolu General Hospital (names withheld), the party said in a statement by its Director of Publicity, Felix Oboagwina, that relations of this petty trader coughed out about N70,100 from prenatal checks to a delivery that ended in a caesarean sectioning. DPA said her pre-natal through post-natal bills, duly receipted by the hospital between September 2009 and January 2010, ran as follows:

Theatre Fees N5,000, Out Patient Fee N7,600, Admission Fee N3,000, Theatre Fees N10,000, Lab N1,900, Out Patient Fee N2,000, Lab N1,000, Out-Patient Fee N1,200, Pre-Natal N3,900, Pre-Natal N1,000, Admission Fees N900, Theatre Fees N25,000, Pre-Natal N100, Scan N1,000, Delivery Pack N5,000, Pre-Natal N500, Pre-Natal N1,000, TOTAL –N70,100.

DPA wondered: "Then, what is free in Action Congress's Free Health mantra? Or does AC have a different interpretation for the word 'Free Health' from the normal dictionary meaning? And how come in this age when everyone is complaining about high maternal mortality a so-called Progressive regime lacks any policy to ameliorate the situation. Little wonder that Lagos has one of the highest maternal mortality figures because of every 100,000 women giving birth in Lagos State , 3,380 die annually, according to medical records."

According to the party, unattractive charges by government hospitals drove poor people to visit quacks, chemists, neighbourhood nurses and native doctors for their primary healthcare.

 DPA urged the Lagos government to offer attractive incentives and to increase manpower in the hospital, noting that, for example, Lagos hospitals had a total of 800 doctors catering for about 18 million Lagos residents, with the average doctor seeing between 80 to 100 patients per day.

"Even the dead are not more fortunate as only 12 pathologists conduct post-mortem on about 40 corpses a day," the party lamented: "Lagos-owned dispensaries, health centres and general hospitals have so degenerated that they have turned to mere consulting rooms. Patients have to get by themselves such basic things as drugs, x-rays and blood tests from private operators outside the premises."

Noting that lack of confidence in the equipment and expertise of Nigerian hospitals largely informed President Umar Yar'Adua's controversial trip to Saudi Arabia to treat his heart condition, pericarditis, the party urged the state government to invest heavily in the teaching hospital.

In the words of a statement by its Director of Publicity, Felix Oboagwina, DPA said: "What an irony, that a local hospital in his country is recording earthshaking achievements for the very ailment that took the President of Nigeria abroad. We have always said that but for poor leadership and poor infrastructural backbone Nigeria possesses the professional manpower to rival any other country in the world."
Surgeons at LASUTH in Ikeja, the Lagos capital, successfully performed the operation on two hole-in-the-heart patients, a teenage girl and a lady, this month.

The party described LASUTH's surgical feat as a beacon of hope to the thousands of Nigerians suffering cardiac ailments.

Commending the medical team, the party said their pioneering effort at the teaching hospital had expanded the frontiers of hope and guaranteed their institution, the state and the country a place in the annals of medical history.

A encouraged doctors to strive to change the notion that Nigerian graduates were half-baked and had nothing "upstairs" to offer.

Felix Oboagwina
Director of Publicity(Lagos DPA)

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

News Release From The White House: Obama's First State Of The Union Address

                                           [President Obama]

Good Afternoon,

Tomorrow evening, President Obama will stand before a joint session of Congress and deliver his first State of the Union address outlining where we are and where we’re going as a Nation. In preparation for this annual address, he asked his Cabinet to take a moment to prepare a similar report for the American people.

In short videos, members of the President’s Cabinet report back to you on their progress this first year and outline what lies ahead for their departments and agencies to keep America moving forward. Secretary Sebelius talks about the Department of Health and Human Services' successes helping to prevent the spread of the H1N1 virus; Department of Energy Secretary Chu highlights the thousands of green jobs they’ve created using Recovery Act dollars; and Secretary Clinton details the Department of State’s efforts to restore global partnerships.

Take a look and get a sense of what’s to come in tomorrow’s State of the Union address:
When President Obama took office a year ago, we faced an array of historic challenges: an economy in freefall, job losses averaging almost 700,000 a month, a middle class under assault, two wars and badly frayed global alliances.

Faced with these unparalleled challenges, the President and his Cabinet got to work. The Administration took bold steps to rescue the country from a potential second Great Depression; to rebuild the economy for the long-term, so businesses can thrive, the middle class can grow and all our families can be more secure; and to restore America’s leadership in the world as we wrestle with the global challenges of the 21st Century.

Thank you,

Valerie Jarrett
Senior Advisor to the President

News Release: Police Must Find Dipo Dina’s Killers

Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) is saddened by the gruesome murder of the governorship candidate of the Action Congress, AC, in the 2007 elections in Ogun State, Otunba Dipo Dina, a.k.a ‘D-D Direct’, who was killed by gunmen in Ota yesterday.

The murder of Dipo Dina has once again raised the political temperature of the Southwest in particular; and Nigeria in general as we move towards 2011 elections. This is one murder too many!

Dina has now joined the long list of the assassinated - in the league of Chief Bola Ige, Dr. Ayodeji Daramola, Engr. Funsho Williams, Jide Arojo and so many other non-prominent people who have lost their lives since the inception of ‘do-or-die’ politics introduced into the Southwest’s political culture by the leader of the ancient regime.

One common thread in all these assassinations is the inability of the police to bring to book the perpetrators of this dastardly crime. We have always posited that a crime not punished is an incentive for other criminals to do an encore. The time has come for us to insist that ‘Enough is Enough’ of these murders without murderers. It is time to burst the “nest of killers.” The Inspector General of Police must get cracking immediately and go after the perpetrators of this heinous crime. Failure to do this will further strengthen the belief that the Nigerian state condones terrorism against its own citizens and can therefore not justifiably make its case for Nigeria’s de-listing from the Terror Watch List.

Our hearts go to Dina’s wife and children, his community in Ijebu-Ode, the good people of Ogun State and all his political associates all over Nigeria on this sad loss. May the Great Comforter wipe away their tears.

We also pray that the soul of Dina torments his assailants until they are brought to the temple of justice.

And where is OBJ, the father of ‘do-or-die’ politics?

‘Yinka Odumakin,
National Publicity Secretary, ARG.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

News Report: Bin Laden Claims Airline Bomb Attempt On Christmas

                                          [Bin Laden]

Osama bin Laden claimed responsibility for the attempt to bomb a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas in a new audio message released Sunday threatening more attacks on the United States.

A senior U.S. intelligence official in Washington said there is "no evidence whatsoever" that bin Laden had any involvement on the Christmas Day attack — or even knew about it beforehand. The message suggests the al-Qaida leader wants to appear in direct command of the terrorist group's many affiliates around the world at a time when some analysts have suggested he is mostly a figurehead.

In the minute-long recording carried by Al-Jazeera Arabic news channel, bin Laden addressed President Barack Obama saying the Christmas attack was meant to send a message similar to that of the Sept. 11 attacks.

"The message delivered to you through the plane of the heroic warrior Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was a confirmation of the previous messages sent by the heroes of the Sept. 11," he said. "America will never dream of security unless we will have it in reality in Palestine," he added.

"God willing, our raids on you will continue as long as your support for the Israelis continues."

On Christmas Day, Nigerian Abdulmutallab attempted to blow up his Northwest Airlines flight as it approached Detroit Metro Airport. But the explosive powder he was hiding in his underwear failed to detonate.

He told federal agents shortly afterward that he had been trained and given the explosives by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, an al-Qaida affiliate in Yemen.

The U.S. intelligence official said the Yemen-based group is linked with the central al-Qaida group that bin Laden heads and recent intelligence indicates there are ongoing contacts between al-Qaida in Yemen and Pakistan. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information.

Bin Laden's message, coming long after AQAP gave its own claim of responsibility, appears to be an effort on his part to stay relevant, said Rohan Gunaratna, author of "Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror."

"The training and the definition of the attack was by the local leaders of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, so in many ways you can say bin Laden is exploiting for his benefit this particular attack," he said. "Bin Laden still wants to claim leadership for the global jihad movement."

Of all the various offshoots and branches of al-Qaida around the world, Gunaratna said the group in Yemen is one of the closest to bin Laden since it is made up of bodyguards and associates of the organization's top ideologues. Yemen is bin Laden's ancestral homeland.

"Today the operational relationship has somewhat suffered, but the ideological relationship is very strong and that is why bin Laden claimed this attack," Gunaratna said.

Two of the group's top members were former detainees released in November 2007 from the U.S. military prison Guantanamo Bay.

Since the Christmas Day attempt, the Yemeni government, at the U.S.'s urging has stepped up its attacks on the group's hideouts in the rugged country's remote hinterland.

Analysts have long debated how much control bin Laden, who is believed to be somewhere in Afghanistan-Pakistan border region, really has over the various organizations using his group's name.

The Yemen-based group, however, has closer ties than most to bin Laden and his key lieutenants, many having once been their bodyguards.

There was no way to confirm the voice on the audio message was actually that of bin Laden, but it resembled previous recordings attributed to him.

The U.S. says it can't immediately authenticate the message but White House adviser David Axelrod told CNN's "State of the Union" that whatever the source, the message "contains the same hollow justification for the mass slaughter of innocents."

In the past year, bin Laden's messages have concentrated heavily on the situation of the Palestinians in attempt to rally support from Muslims around the world.

Some analysts say bin Laden is focusing on the close U.S.-Israeli relationship because he is worried about Obama's popularity across the Middle East with his promises to withdraw from Iraq and because his father was a Muslim from the African nation of Kenya.

The plight of the Palestinians, especially in the blockaded Gaza Strip where 1,400 were killed in an Israeli offensive a year ago, angers many in the Arab world.

"The Palestinian conflict was never part of the al-Qaida original mandate, but Osama is clearly exploiting it," Gunaratna said.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Andy David dismissed the latest al-Qaida message and its attempt to link Israel with attacks on the U.S.

"This is nothing new. He has said this before," he said. "Terrorists always look for absurd excuses for their despicable deeds."

The last public message from bin Laden appears to have been on Sept. 26, when he demanded that European countries pull their troops out of Afghanistan. The order came in an audiotape that also warned of "retaliation" against nations that are allied with the United States in fighting the war.

(From Associated Press)

Photonews: Nigerians In New York Protest

Nigerians in New York under the platform of Nigeria Democratic Liberty Forum (NDLF), protested against the leadership vacuum in Nigeria, created by the refusal of the ailing President who have been away for medical treatment for more than fifty days now, to hand over authority to his deputy as demanded by the Nigerian constitution.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Reaction: Re-Article: Terrorism comes in many forms

Profiling has failed us; we don’t need profiling to identify Individuals like the Christmas-Day Bomber or the Fort Hood Shooter! There is a better solution!

Virtually all media outlets are discussing whether we should be profiling all Arab Muslims; I will in the one-page explain why we don’t need profiling. Over 15 years ago, we at the Center for Aggression Management developed an easily-applied, measurable and culturally-neutral body language and behavior indicators exhibited by people who intend to perpetrate a terrorist act. This unique methodology utilizes proven research from the fields of psychology, medicine and law enforcement which, when joined together, identify clear, easily-used physiologically-based characteristics of individuals who are about to engage in terrorist activities in time to prevent their Moment of Commitment.

The Problem:
Since the foiled terrorist attack by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian national on Northwest Flight 253 to Detroit, the President has repeatedly stated that there has been a systemic failure as he reiterates his commitment to fill this gap in our security. This incident, like the Fort Hood shooting, exemplifies why our government must apply every valid preventative approach to identify a potential terrorist.

The myriad methods to identify a terrorist, whether “no-fly list,” “explosive and weapons detection,” mental illness based approaches, “profiling” or “deception detection” - all continue to fail us. Furthermore, the development of deception detection training at Boston Logan Airport demonstrated that the Israeli methods of interrogation will not work in the United States.

All media outlets are discussing the need for profiling of Muslim Arabs, but profiling does not work for the following three reasons:
1. In practice, ethnic profiling tells us that within a certain group of people there is a higher probability for a terrorist; it does not tell us who the next terrorist is!
2. Ethnic profiling is contrary to the value our society places on diversity and freedom from discrimination based on racial, ethnic, religious, age and/or gender based criteria. If we use profiling it will diminish our position among the majority of affected citizens who support us as a beacon of freedom and liberty.
3. By narrowing our field of vision, profiling can lead to the consequence of letting terrorists go undetected, because the terrorist may not be part of any known “profile worthy” group – e.g., the Oklahoma City bomber, Timothy McVeigh

The Solution:
Our unique methodology for screening passengers can easily discern (independently of race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, age, and gender) the defining characteristics of human beings who are about to engage in terrorist acts.

The question is when will our government use true “hostile intent” through the “continuum of aggressive behavior” to identify potential terrorists? Only when observers focus specifically on “aggressive behavior” do the objective and culturally neutral signs of “aggression” clearly stand out, providing the opportunity to prevent these violent encounters. This method will not only make all citizens safer, but will also pass the inevitable test of legal defensibility given probable action by the ACLU.

As our Government analyzes what went wrong regarding Abdulmatallab’s entrance into the United States, you can be assured that Al Qaeda is also analyzing how their plans went wrong. Who do you think will figure it out first?

By John D. Byrnes

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Article: Terrorism comes in many forms

                                            [Farouk Abdulmutullab]

When Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, otherwise known as the "underwear bomber," found his way onto Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Dec. 25 and failed to commit terrorism on American soil, he hardly knew he would be caught.

As a result, Nigeria, his country of origin, was unfairly placed on a list of nations with a higher risk of terrorism. Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, got so flustered, the National Assembly gave a seven-day ultimatum to America to remove it from the watch list.

Yes, Abdulmutallab is a Nigerian but, that doesn't mean all Nigerians are terrorists or suspected terrorists. In fact, the bomber's father, Alhaji Umuru Mutallab, even reported his son's strange and radical behaviors to the U.S. Embassy and law enforcement in Nigeria. Unfortunately, appropriate steps weren't taken to monitor and intercept Abdulmutallab before the incident. President Obama called the security lapse a "systematic failure."

Abdulmutallab, who pleaded not guilty to the charges of attempting to commit murder and the use of weapon of mass destruction to kill nearly 300 people, was allegedly radicalized in London and trained in Yemen.

Meanwhile, reports of the alleged bomber's actions shocked Nigeria to its bones. The Nigerian government became furious, and Information Minister Professor Dora Akunyili dubbed the U.S. decision to include Nigeria on the terrorist state list as "unfair."

According to the Nigerian Vanguard Newspaper, Akunyili said, "Nigerians do not have terrorist tendencies." Interestingly, she, like most Nigerians, got it wrong because any person, group, organization or government can become terroristic depending on their interests, concerns, schools of thought or affiliations.

We must be careful to not become swayed by government or self-centered groups and maintain individual definitions of terrorism. The simple, historic and uncensored definition of terrorism is the "violent and unlawful use of force to intimidate or coerce a government or people for political ideologies." And because there can be no imposed political ideology without economic undertone or interest, people are also unlawfully and violently coerced for economic reasons by governments or groups. Consequently, no government on earth can claim to be innocent of terrorism.

Among many examples of terrorist acts are the colonization of America, India and Africa between the 16th and 19th century by Britain, France, Belgium and Germany respectively. In the 1995 Oklahoma City attack, Timothy McVeigh, a U.S. Army Veteran, bombed the Alfred P. Murrah building reportedly in a revolt against a "tyrannical federal government." This, too, is another act of terrorism.

In 2009, five Americans were arrested in Pakistan for terrorist-related offenses. The 2001 "shoe bomber," Richard Reid was British. The unjust and immoral invasion of Iraq by former President George W. Bush and his cohorts is another grave act of terrorism, involving genocide and crimes against humanity. These unpunished crimes were committed without justification as a way for America to impose its culture and values on Iraqis. The U.S. also aimed to control access to Iraq's oil fields.

It's well documented that no weapons of mass destruction were found as the so-called prima facie case Bush administration levied against Saddam Hussein had claimed. This was before the U.S. exhibited a shameful show of force on an innocent and weak government. Studies have shown that non-state sponsored acts of terrorism are carried out to draw attention to groups' causes, which are mostly claims of oppression, marginalization and exploitation as in the case of Iraq.

Finally, profiling people based on religion, ethnicity, nationality, race, gender or even their political, intellectual or social beliefs isn't the proper method of checking or stopping acts of terrorism. The energy exerted in this method will allow unchecked groups, governments or individuals to evade security and commit more havoc against our collective sensibility and humanity. We must, therefore, apply the principle that prevention is better than a cure. We must desist from acts as those mentioned above that are capable of breeding terrorism.

Also, everyone should be watched. Selective justice should not be used and doesn't work. While it's appropriate for law enforcement officers to always be suspicious, they need to refrain from profiling. Targeting people based on certain characteristics and grossly disregarding the breeding of domestic terrorists and their causes is more dangerous and deadly than terrorism itself. More importantly, the acts of repression, marginalization, exploitation and hegemony must cease for terrorism to stop, or at least be minimalized.

Internal colonization must also stop, as race, religion or other factors already enunciated don't substantially define a terrorist, but inhumanity by man against man breeds the acts of terrorism.

By Bariedoora Ikari

(From The Journal)

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

News Report: Nigerian President’s Kitchen Cabinet On Verge Of Obtaining Concessions From Vice-president In Lieu Of Handover

                                             [Nigerian Vice-president]

The Nigerian President’s kitchen cabinet, a small group of the President’s confidants, who wield enormous influence in his administration, are at the verge of obtaining concessions from the Vice-president in lieu of handing over the reins of authority formally to him.

The President had left to Saudi Arabia for medical attention about fifty-four days ago without signing the constitutionally mandatory instrument of handover, “because Mr. President thought he would spend a few days and come back”, a presidential aide told chidi opera reports in Abuja.

When it became obvious that the President's medical check-up would last for a long time, he, according to this aide signed the instrument and had it despatched from Saudi Arabia, "but his people withheld it to protect their positions".

A contact close to a member of the kitchen cabinet told chidi opara reports that ever since it became clear that Yar'Adua would be on sick bed for a long time, there have been attempts to extract concessions from the Vice-president.

We learnt on good authority that the Yar'Adua group presented a list of concessions to the Vice-president two weeks ago, principal of which is that policies, programmes and appointments made by the President would remain till the expiration of the present tenure.

The Vice-president was said to have asked for time to think over the matter. It was however gathered that the group along the line became aware that the Vice-president was actually making consultations to use the political platform of former governor of Lagos state, Bola Tinubu and a few others to confront the group.

To break what they termed "the VP's stubbornness", he was confronted with details of his wife's shady oil and gas dealings. "It was at this point that the Vice-president started loosening up", a security contact told chidi opara reports.

"As it is now, oga seem to be getting on fine with them", an aide of the Vice-president revealed to us yesterday.

Article: Use Restraint In Curbing Jos Violence

Nigeria should ensure that its security forces use restraint and comply with international standards on the use of force in responding to the latest deadly outbreak of inter-communal violence in the city of Jos, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should also investigate and prosecute those responsible for the killing of at least 200 people during the violence, the latest of several deadly outbreaks in Nigeria, and address the underlying causes.

This latest violence comes just over a year after Christian and Muslim clashes and the excessive use of force by the security forces responding to the conflict left more than 700 dead in Jos, the capital of Plateau State in central Nigeria.

"This is not the first outbreak of deadly violence in Jos, but the government has shockingly failed to hold anyone accountable," said Corinne Dufka, senior West Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. "Enough is enough. Nigeria's leaders need to tackle the vicious cycle of violence bred by this impunity."

Clashes between Christian and Muslim mobs reignited in Jos on Sunday morning, January 17, 2010. There are conflicting reports of what triggered the violence. Civil society leaders report that it began with an argument over the rebuilding of a Muslim home destroyed in the November 2008 violence in a predominately Christian neighborhood. The Plateau State police commissioner, Greg Anyating, said the trigger was an attack by Muslim youth on Christian worshippers in the Nassarawa Gwom district of Jos, an allegation that Muslim leaders deny.

According to credible reports from civil society leaders, and national and international media, the violence was carried out by sectarian mobs armed with guns, bows and arrows, and machetes. Roving gangs are reported to have burned and looted houses, cars, and shops, as well as several churches and mosques. There are also several credible reports that the military and police used excessive force in responding to the violence.

Muslim leaders reported that 80 of the dead were taken to the central mosque in Jos on Tuesday for burial, in addition to 71 buried during the first two days of clashes. One Christian official reported that by Monday, 50 Christians had died in the violence and another 15 were killed on Tuesday. The three days of clashes have forced at least 5,000 people from their homes. On Monday the state government deployed additional military and anti-riot police units to the streets of Jos and on Tuesday morning imposed a 24-hour curfew in the city. Witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch said that gunshots could still be heard around the city in the late afternoon, and smoke was seen billowing from the worst-affected neighborhoods.

Nigeria is deeply divided along ethnic and religious lines. More than 13,500 people have died in religious or ethnic clashes since the end of military rule in 1999. In Plateau State, an unprecedented outbreak of violence in Jos claimed as many as 1,000 lives in September 2001; more than 700 people died in May 2004 in inter-communal clashes in the town of Yelwa in the southern part of the state; and at least 700 people were killed in the violence in Jos on November 28 and 29, 2008.

Human Rights Watch documented 133 cases of unlawful killings by members of the security forces in responding to the 2008 violence. Police officers and soldiers gunned down residents in their homes, chased down and killed unarmed men trying to flee to safety, and lined up victims on the ground and summarily executed them. The government has failed to hold anyone accountable for these crimes.

President Umaru Yar'Adua set up a panel to investigate, but the panel only began hearings in December 2009. The Plateau State governor, Jonah Jang, also formed a commission of inquiry, which held hearings but did not investigate alleged abuses by security forces. The commission's report, submitted to the state governor in October 2009, has not been made public.

Human Rights Watch called on the Nigerian security forces to abide by the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials in carrying out their duties. State security forces are required to apply nonviolent means as far as possible before resorting to the use of force, and where lawful use of force is unavoidable, restraint is to be used at all times to minimize damage and injury and to respect and preserve human life. Any order authorizing indiscriminate use of violence by security forces, such as "shoot-on-sight" orders, would violate these principles.

The government should also take concrete steps to end the discriminatory policies that treat certain groups as second-class citizens and that lie at the root of much of the inter-communal violence in Nigeria. Government policies that discriminate against "non-indigenes" - people who cannot trace their ancestry to those said to be the original inhabitants of an area - underlie many of these conflicts. Non-indigenes are openly denied the right to compete for government jobs and academic scholarships. In Jos, members of the largely Muslim Hausa ethnic group are classified as non-indigenes though many have resided there for several generations.

Human Rights Watch has called on the federal government to pass legislation prohibiting government discrimination against non-indigenes in all matters that are not purely cultural or related to traditional leadership institutions.

By Human Rights Watch

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

News Release: As Jos Boils: Who Is The Commander-In-Chief?

The sheer irresponsibility of a tiny power cabal keeping the country headless for selfish desires has again come to the fore with the bloodletting going on in Jos, Plateau State, without a Commander-In-Chief to take charge and deal with the situation.

Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) notes with sadness that a little over a year after the last Jos crisis, another one has taken place, costing destruction of lives and property.

It is more worrisome that the government has yet to take any concrete step on the previous crises in the city before the latest one broke.

What is more disturbing is that there is no Commander-In-chief who can even handle the situation effectively as President Umar Yar'adua has been away for 57 days now without handing over the reins of authority to his deputy.

It was the same situation when Farouk Mutallab saga happened and there was no president in Nigeria to talk to the American president.

Whatever case we are making over the listing of Nigeria on Terror List has been shattered with the latest outbreak of terror in Jos and the tardiness of our "government" in dealing with it.

We are compelled to state again that the time has come for the cabal using the sick body of Yar'adua to hold the country to ransom to let go and allow the vice president to take effective charge of the country as Acting President.

It is in this vein that ARG declares total support for the mass rally called by Save Nigeria Group, SNG, for Lagos on Thursday to end this power vacuum in Nigeria.

'Yinka Odumakin
National Publicity Secretary, ARG.

News Release: Enough Is Enough’ Rally Storms Lagos

                                          [Scene Of A Rally]

The ship of the Enough is Enough rally which set sail in Abuja last Tuesday berths in Lagos this Thursday as Nigerians continue to insist that the country can no longer continue to be governed from the Intensive Care Unit of a Saudi hospital.

Aiming at galvanizing Nigerians into reclaiming their country and insisting that the Constitution be followed in resolving the simulated power vacuum in the country, the rally promises to tell the cabal holding onto the jugular of the nation that we are no longer prepared to be misruled in the old way and that there is nothing in their bag of deceits that can fool us anymore.

Speakers at the rally are: Pastor Tunde Bakare, Sheik Imam Abdulrahman Ahmad (National Missioner, Ansar Ud-Deen Society), Mr. Solomon Asemota, SAN, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, and Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin. Others are Charles Oputa, aka Charly Boy, Hon. Uche Onyeogocha, Mr. Kola Adeyemi and Mr. Adeolu Akinyemi.

Date: Thursday, January 21, 2010

Venue: Archbishop Vinning Memorial Playground (formerly Skypower Ground, Ikeja)

A procession follows thereafter, terminating at Governor’s Office, Alausa.

For Save Nigeria Group:

(1) Yinka Odumakin (2) Mike Igini (3) Osita Okechukwu (4) Salihu Lukman

Article: Policing Our Budget(s)

The Abdulmutallab (Flight 253 Jet Bomber) effects and President Yar’Adua’s sickness have the tendency to dominate discussion(s) among Nigerians. This is due to the negative consequences (criminalization of Nigerians etc) Mutallab has caused for innocent Nigerians. In the case of Yar’Adua, his sickness has caused serious political tension and near constitutional crisis. It is because of the above and many more that Nigerians marched under freezing cold to protest on the streets of London on January 15th. For our folks back home, the cold here in like living inside deep freezer. This is no longer global warming, it is global warning.

On the Save Nigeria Protest March; I wish to make a special appeal to Obama (United States President) to reconsider and remove Nigeria from the list of axis of fourteen evil nations. Rather what the United States authorities need to do is to search and scrutinize every dollar coming from Nigeria either through the passengers or through the banks. President Obama should encourage the European Union to do same for every euros or pounds that comes from Nigeria. This will be the best outcome of the Mutallab incident.

Before proceeding, I want to comment on the statement (warning) from Vice President Goodluck Jonathan to some government officials etc. It appears the house (Federal Executive Council) is divided or crack has began to emerge on loyalty or otherwise of some Yar’Adua’s cabinet members. May be the Vice President has started to act as the president with full executive powers since our President is sick? If so, did he follow due process, if not? Then why not? Or the Vice President has decided to learn from Guinea experience, where their leader Moussa Dadis Camara has agreed to let the second in command led the country. Whichever, what we need is good governance in Nigeria.

However, let me remind Nigerians not to get too distracted by Farouk Abdulmutallab’s incident and President Yar’Adua’s sickness. Let us keep one eye on the yearly budgets which various states in Nigeria are announcing. Ebonyi State announced a budget proposal of N72.6 billion; Ogun State announced a budget of N100.7 billion. Kano proposed N110bn for their budget, Kaduna proposed N196.7bn for 2010 budget, Yobe planned N62.42b for 2010 budget, and Anambra proposed N67 billion for 2010 budget. Proper implementation of all these budgets can actually have positive impact on our economy.

We need to police these budgets so as to trap all the money within the system. Moreover, the revelation by the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) should be a recipe for policing our budgets. FAAC reveled that, a total of N4.174 trillion was taken from Federation Account in 2009 and shared amongst the three tiers of government (Federal, state, and local) as allocations. FAAC also revealed that a total of $5.5 billion was withdrawn from the foreign excess crude account in the same year and shared by the three tiers of government. If there are no leakages in the system, the amounts budgeted by various state governments and the federal government can stimulate the economy. We can try our best to block leakages in our system.

The Central Bank of Nigeria , Nigerian banks, bankers, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigerian Customs, and Nigerians will need to work in harmony to achieve this. We will also need the assistance of our foreign partners. The Central Bank should monitor the operations of the commercial banks very well. I will suggest That Economic and Financial Crimes Commission should post at least 2 staffs each at the foreign remittance department of every commercial bank in Nigeria . Their duties amongst others should be to verify every remittances leaving Nigeria .

I will also recommend that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission post at least one staff to all finance and treasury departments of all federal, state and local government departments. I will suggest that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), State Security Services (SSS), and The Nigerian Police Force (NPF) to create a covert unit mainly to infiltrate all financial institutions in Nigeria to prevent financial crimes. Proactive measures should be encouraged rather than reactive approaches. Let us remember that prevention is better than cure.

Furthermore, I will suggest intense pressure on our law makers to pass the freedom of information bill this year (2010). It will aid the law enforcement agents to do their work and it will empower Nigerians to ask questions about government transactions. It will abolish the official secret act used to commit all sorts of government frauds.

Nigerian banks and bankers have a serious role to play to prevent capital flight. They are in a better position to assist in monitoring movement of states monthly allocations and by extension monitor our budgets. However the recent revelations about activities of some top bank executives (Mrs Ibru, Akingbola etc) does not encourage anyone to even entrust his money with these smart men and women who call themselves bankers. On this note, I will support Sanusi (Central Bank Governor) to introduce tough measures to regulate the banks and restore investors’ confidence.

I also want to ask the bankers (both junior and senior staffs) not to hesitate to alert the authorities whenever there is a suspicious movement of funds. I know it sounds odd or unethical, but that might be a saving grace. I will buttress my point using 2 examples. Recently a total of over 7,000 staffs were, sacked, retrenched, removed or dropped from various banks. But if some of these sacked bankers had alerted the authorities (EFCC, etc) as their bosses were misusing funds, may be things might have taken a different shape. When you keep quiet, be sure to be the next victim. Another example is, had the passengers on the same flight with our own under wear bomber (Farouk Mutallab) not prevented him; all of them would have died.

Henceforth, we should all shine our eyes and not let few people remove food from our table or cause us hardship. It will not be a bad idea if our bankers can volunteer useful information to our authorities. It will be better for the economy and our country if banks can sack one or two people for alerting the authorities than sacking over 7,000 staffs who kept quiet. I just hope we still have patriotic bankers.

The Nigerian Customs need to be awake to their responsibilities, especially with the Farouk incident. I hope the new airport scanners to be introduced should be able to spot those taking the government money overseas. Nigerians need to keep an eye on the Customs. We need to beam our search light on them to be sure they are effectively policing our borders. I also believe there will be patriotic Custom officers who will discharge their duties without fear or favour. Every little thing we do count for or against us as a people.

My concern is for the Nigerian system to trap all the money budgeted this year. My call to police our budget(s) is because our politicians can be clever with our money. Watch it, each time the monthly allocation comes, money/capital starts to fly up and down, in and out of the country and naira will start changing into euros, dollars, pounds, rand, etc. Nigerians should not hesitate to volunteer information that will prevent capital flights. This is for the interest of the economy and our people. We can gather intelligence or become intelligent agents. There is nothing wrong to spy or do enhanced surveillance.

Finally, let me use this medium to commiserate with the people of Haiti and Nigerians living there over the devastating earthquake. Please let us contribute our quota towards the relief efforts to assist the people of Haiti . The world has become a global village, what happens in one part, affects the rest of the global village. I wish also to appeal to Nigerians to participate and join the fight against global warming. Turn off your electrical appliances/lights when not in use. Plant a tree or sponsor one to plant on your behalf. Government and companies should send less paper work and do more email, telephone, and sms. May God bless Nigeria.

By Chinedu Vincent Akuta.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Editorial: While We are On Haiti

The recent earthquake that devastated Haiti, a poor and poorly governed Island  aroused interest of a humane world.

As soon as reports and images of collapsed buildings with people trapped underneath and people carrying bodies of dead and injured loved ones began to emerge, nations of the world quickly put aside their differences and mobilized human and material resources to deal with the situation.

Within twenty-four hours for instance, United States of America(USA) and Chinese rescue operatives landed in Haiti. These efforts ensured that many trapped underground who would have been added to the number of deaths were rescued

The USA on her part have gone further to launch massive post-earthquake relief programmes. The seriousness attached to these programmes was demonstrated when President Barack Obama pulled out two former US Presidents, Bill Clinton and George Bush Jr. from retirement to co-ordinate these programmes. The US massive media establishment also ensured that the Haiti post-earthquake relief efforts are on the frontline of attention all over the world.

chidi opara reports would like to use this opportunity to commend the nations and peoples of the world, who have demonstrated and have continued to demonstrate to the Haiti earthquake victims that they belong to a humanity in which we all are members.

We are however of the opinion that if efforts mobilized to deal with the Haiti catastrophy is repeated in other parts of the world where other catastrophies like famine, genocide, war, etc have occured and are still occuring, the world would have been a better place of habitation.

We would also like to appeal here that rich and influential members of the United Nations Organization(UNO), should consider giving more financial and logistic strength to the organization's relief organ, so that while we are on Haiti, other catastrophies all over the world would be given the required attention.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Photonews: Horrors Of Haiti

News Report: Nigerian separatist leader detained ahead of poll

                               [Ralph Uwazuruike]

Nigerian police have arrested the leader of a banned Biafran separatist group ahead of a governorship poll in the south-eastern state of Anambra next month, the group's spokesman said Friday.

"Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State for Biafra (MASSOB) has been in police custody in Owerri since Tuesday," Madu Uchenna told AFP.

A police spokesman said Uwazuruike was being held following a petition by an individual, Pascal Okorie, who accusing the MASSOB leader of kidnapping him.

Uchenna said Okorie was using the name of MASSOB to disrupt the February 6 governorship election in Anambra State and Uwazuruike tried to stop him by keeping him in his house.

He said MASSOB was founded in 1999 to revive the idea of an independent Igbo homeland and to carry out a non-violent campaign for self-determination. The movement was neutral in the February poll, he added.
"We did not want to be involved in the election and therefore decided to prevent any individual or group from tarnishing the good name of MASSOB," he said. Uchenna said Uwazuruike would soon be released following "useful discussions with the police".

The MASSOB leader was acquitted of a treason charge in 2008 after spending three years in jail for leading the group, which was outlawed.

MASSOB accuses the federal government of marginalising and neglecting Igbos and of excluding their leaders from national institutions.

The Igbo are one of the three largest ethnic groups in Nigeria. Igbo separatists seceded in 1967, forming a mini-state of Biafra, a move that plunged the nation into a 30-month long civil war which claimed more than one million lives, mostly due to disease and starvation.

The war ended in January 1970 with the surrender of the Biafra forces.

(From AFP)

Thursday, 14 January 2010

News Release From The White House On Haitian Quake

                                         [President Obama]

Good Afternoon,

The reports and images from Haiti of collapsed hospitals, crumbled homes, and men and women carrying their injured neighbors through the streets are truly heart-wrenching. As we learn more about the extent of the devastation, our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti and Haitian Americans around our country who do not yet know the fate of their families and loved ones back home.

I have directed my Administration to respond with a swift, coordinated and aggressive effort to save lives. The people of Haiti will have the full support of the United States Government in the urgent effort to rescue those trapped beneath the rubble and to deliver the humanitarian relief -- the food, water and medicine -- that Haitians will need in the coming days.

This is also a time when we are reminded of the common humanity that we all share, and Americans have always responded to these situations with generosity of spirit. If you would like to support the urgent humanitarian effort in Haiti, I encourage you to visit our website where you can learn more about how to contribute:

Click Here

Americans trying to locate family members in Haiti are encouraged to contact the State Department at (888) 407-4747.

We will continue to stand with the people of Haiti and keep them in our thoughts and prayers.


Barack Obama

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

News Reiease: Lagos State Assembly’s Relationship With Executive: DPA Warns, Sets Agenda For 2010

                                             [Lagos State Governor]

The Democratic Peoples’ Alliance (DPA) has said if the Lagos State House of Assembly wants its warning to Governor Raji Fashola to be taken seriously, the Legislature must show a renewed zeal to moderate the excesses of the state government this New Year.

DPA, reacting to Hon. Speaker Adeyemi Kuforiji’s recent warning that the government should beware of praise singers and sycophants, described it as “an unusual firmness” that might signify the Legislature’s determination to start taking its oversight functions seriously in 2010.

In the words of DPA: “The House should be worried that things have gone so bad now that when supporters of the ruling Action Congress (AC) shout their party’s slogan, ‘Eko o ni baje, ( Lagos will not rot away)’ Lagosians will quickly retort ‘ju bayi lo (worse than this).’ And the main reason is because three years into its term, the House has watched silently as the Executive ran the state with unwholesome impunity.”

A DPA statement by its Director of Publicity, Felix Oboagwina, urged the legislators to emphasise their checks and balance role.

According to the party, issues urgently needing the House’s attention included: Inhuman demolition of business and residential facilities by the state government without provision of alternatives and compensations; illegal arrests and detentions and other human rights violations by LASTMA, KAI and other paramilitary arms of the Executive; and reviewing the expensive aspects of the Coroner Law to make it less burdensome for the bereaved.

Other matters the party counseled the House to urgently wade into include: The inappropriateness of the Alpha-Beta consultancy; the poisoning of the Igando General Hospital and environs by a solid waste dump-site; double taxation; need for publishing the cost of contracts; reviewing the sale to private investors of public mortuaries and other state facilities like the School of Nursing; highlighting the state of dilapidated roads; and overcrowding in public school classrooms.

DPA said Lagosians would welcome the House’s apparent revival from its slumber, especially if it quickly dropped its toga of complicity with the Executive’s impunity and apathy to citizens’ rights.

As far as the party was concerned, “In the last 10 years, Lagosians have had less than acceptable government because the AC-dominated House chose to hear no evil and speak no evil about the AC-dominated Executive. If the Speaker can speak out the way he has done, then we have a born-again LSHA and Lagosians can expect a better deal.”

The party said this was a campaign year and the House must make every sitting, every motion, every voice and every second to count.

According to the party, although the current regime under Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola could not be said to have scored zero in performance, his regime’s disposition had proved right the maxim that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Felix Oboagwina
Director of Publicity(Lagos State DPA)

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

News Report: Nigeria's leader breaks silence

                                            [President Umaru Yar'Adua]

Nigeria's President Umaru Yar'Adua has spoken publicly for the first time since going into hospital in Saudi Arabia in November for heart treatment.

In his first interview since then, he told the BBC by telephone that he was recovering and hoped with "tremendous progress" to resume his duties.

His long absence and speculation over his health have led to calls for him to hand over power to his vice-president.

A protest in the capital, Abuja, has urged an end to the political limbo.

The silence over the president's health has fuelled rumours that he was critically ill - or even dead - and unable to return to power. HAVE YOUR SAY It is one thing to be alive and it is another to be well enough to function as a president RA Prince, Lagos

The fact that he did not designate his vice president to take over in his absence has led to fears of a power vacuum and a potential constitutional crisis.

Doctors said in December that President Yar'Adua, 58, was suffering from acute pericarditis, an inflammation of the lining of the heart. He is also known to have kidney problems.

Constitutional Worries:
Speaking to the BBC in a three-minute telephone interview organised by the president's office, Mr Yar'Adua said he was making a good recovery. "At the moment I am undergoing treatment, and I'm getting better from the treatment. I hope that very soon there will be tremendous progress, which will allow me to get back home," he told Mansur Liman from the BBC Hausa service, speaking in both Hausa and English.

BBC Hausa has a large audience in northern Nigeria, where Hausa is the main language.

He said he was in constant contact with Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan, but gave no indication of when he might return to Nigeria.

"I wish, at this stage, to thank all Nigerians for their prayers for my good health, and for their prayers for the nation."

He also wished the Nigerian national football team success in the Africa Cup of Nations currently under way in Angola.

The BBC's Will Ross, in Nigeria's capital Abuja, said the president's voice sounded weak.

There is a perceived danger of a power vacuum in a country that only saw the end of military rule just over 10 years ago, our correspondent adds.

But analysts say a handover of power before the next scheduled election in 2011 - to Vice-President Jonathan, a southerner, from President Yar'Adua, a northerner - could disrupt the usual rotation between the regions that has governed Nigeria since the return of civilian rule.

There have also been complaints that important government business has been left hanging in the president's absence.

'We want a telecast'

The interview with President Yar'Adua was recorded late on Monday and first broadcast at 0530 GMT on Tuesday. It has been widely rebroadcast by Nigerian TV and radio stations.

Yar'Adua Illness Timeline:
23 November 2009: Goes to hospital in Saudi Arabia
26 November 2009: Presidential doctors say he has pericarditis - inflammation of the heart lining
23 December 2009: First court case filed called him to step down
30 December 2009: Chief justice sworn in. Lawyers say this is illegal in president's absence
5 January 2010: Two more court cases filed and a human rights group wants president declared "missing"
12 January 2010: President gives first interview since going to Saudi Arabia

Many Nigerians will be relieved to hear the president's voice, says our correspondent, but the calls to hand over power to the vice-president will continue.

The National Bar Association and two other groups have launched court cases calling for power to be transferred to Mr Jonathan.

Hundreds of protesters have marched through the streets of Abuja to the national assembly, which was to discuss the president's health on its first day back in session after the Christmas and New Year break.

Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka addressed the rally, saying the president's continued absence - and the lack of an appointed replacement - was allowing corruption to flourish unchecked. "There is a small cabal which profits by the hiatus in control, in government, in supervision," he said. "Heaven knows what millions are going down the sink on the lack of supervision."

(From BBC News)

Monday, 11 January 2010

News Report: Nigeria's Ruling Political Party Considers Mass Rallies In Support Of Ailing President

Contacts at the topmost level of the Nigerian ruling political party, the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) have whispered to chidi opara reports that the party is considering organizing mass rallies in major cities in Nigeria in support of  the ailing President, Umaru Yar'Adua, who have been receiving medical attention for a heart ailment for over forty days now in an unknown location.

The President as first reported by chidi opara reports travelled first to Saudi Arabia without formally handing over to the Vice-president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as stipulated by the constitution. This, according to reports seriously affected governance, with some lawyers declaring actions taken by the Federal Executive Council headed by the Vice-president as null and void.

These legal opinions in turn triggered off agitations by activists for a constitutional change in the office of the President.

What goaded the PDP leadership to start considering the option of mass rallies, according to these contacts is the recent move by a group that goes by the name "Save Nigeria", to draw out prominent Nigerians like Chief Emeka Odimegwu-Ojukwu and Professor Wole Soyinka to participate in a mass rally in Abuja in support of constitutional change of baton in the Presidency. "We are not afraid of you journalists and the lawyers, but we are concerned when it comes to mass rallies, so now we want to organize our own." One contact revealed to us.

These rallies we learnt would feature prominent traditional rulers, businessmen and politicians from the six geo-political zones of the country. The rallies would start from Abuja, then move to Lagos, Ibadan, Enugu and finally to Kaduna. "These rallies would show the outside world that Nigerians still want Yar'Adua", another contact explained to chidi opara reports.

Modalities for the rallies we learnt, would be worked out by a public relations consultancy associated with  the immediate past President, rtd. general Olusegun Obasanjo. Funding is expected to be provided by six young billionaire businessmen, most of whom are known to be Obasanjo's proteges.

We do not so far have information regarding Obasanjo's direct involvement in the scheme.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

News Release: Invitation To "Enough is Enough" Rally!

Save Nigeria Group (SNG)

C/o Suite 4, 7 & 8, Metro Plaza, Annex 8, Plot 991-992, Zakariya Maimalari, Central Business District, Abuja
Tel: 09-8706714, 07042479429

Invites Nigerians to:

"Enough is Enough" Rally!


Power Vacuum in Nigeria: Where is President Yar'Adua?

Vacillation over Electoral Reforms

Terror-Tag on Nigerians

Corruption in the Country

Date: Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Venue: From Unity Fountain, Near Transcorp Hotel, Central Business District, Abuja;
terminating at the National Assembly Complex.

SPEAKERS: Prof. Wole Soyinka, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu, Dr. Tunde Bakare, Hon. Farouk Aliyu Adamu , Mr. Solomon Asemota (SAN), Mallam Uba Sani, Mr Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), Hajiya Najatu Mohammed, Prof. Pat Utomi, Pastor Sarah Omakwu, Mr. Femi Falana, Hon. Olawale Oshun, Dr. Tunji Abayomi, Mrs. Ayo Obe, Mallam Naseer Kura, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, Hon. Uche Onyeogocha etc.


Poverty of Ideas-a dictatorship Constitution brought about by a Treasonable power clique which tells lies about our rights is unfit for us. We want a people's Constitution.

Poverty of Performance- inability to conduct a free and fair election only allows the wrong people to lead us. We suffer when we are disabled from changing leadership fairly.

Poverty of Resource -water, light, road no dey! The health of our people is imperiled by lack of care of government.

Poverty of Hope-education has collapsed at primary, secondary and university levels. Consequently, there can be no national progress. Not one decent public primary school exists in Nigeria not to talk of secondary schools or universities.

Poverty of Honor -our people don't even know where in the world a supposedly elected President is or how he is. Haba!

Poverty of the Mind-we are governed by an oppressive, corrupt and pitiless clique who consume 95% of national resources and are disdainful of us.

Poverty of Regard-we are embarrassed and diminished in the world community by the abnormal passion of one of us who wanted to murder 300 innocent citizens of 17 nations, internet scammers, money launderers, 419ers, bank fraudsters who desecrate the value of our ancestors and our nation.

Poverty of Spirit -we kill each other at home in the name of God because of abnormal religious confusion and passion, which should have no place in the house of God.

Poverty of Commerce-majority of our citizens have no food to eat, starvation is rife and common, consuming the commoners who own Nigeria. Meanwhile unemployment of youths dominates the land.

Poverty of Environment-the cities are dirty, disorderly, crowded, unplanned and crime prone! Insecurity has become the order of the day while leaders condone state power for total self-protection.

"Nigeria can only know justice, peace and progress when her citizens will work for it. Join the campaign against the 10 Poverties. "Join the campaign take-off on January 12, 2010 in Abuja.


(1) Mr. Fred Agbeyegbe (2) Engr. Buba Galadima (3) Mr. Yinka Odumakin (4) Mr. Osita Okechukwu (5) Mallam Tanko Yunusa (6) Mallam Salihu Lukman