Monday, 31 May 2010

News Release: DPA Proffers Solution To Magistrates’ Strike

Four weeks into the strike by magistrates in Lagos State over the validity of the Magistrates’ Court Law of Lagos State (2009), the Democratic Peoples’ Alliance (DPA) have suggested ways out of the current face-off between judicial officers and the state government.

Noting that the concerns leading to the crisis were not peculiar to Lagos State , DPA said in a statement by its Director of Publicity Felix Oboagwina that the Judiciary nationwide was currently politicised and there was the need for a judicial system independent of the Executive and the Legislature’s interference.

A simple judicial pronouncement will subsist from the courts and the State Judicial Service Commission asking all concerned to revert to and honour the pre-2009 status quo and revalidate the 2003 law or allow the 2009 law to operate pending the determination of the substantial case,” DPA counseled. “But the vacuum created by the simultaneous abrogation of the 2003 law and the suspension of the 2009 is ill-advised. This lacuna needs to be plugged immediately. ”

The judicial officials had embarked on strike initially over a suit challenging the validity of the Magistrates’ Court Law of Lagos State (2009).

However, because in enacting the new law, the Lagos State House of Assembly had earlier repealed the 2003 magistrate law, the subsequent resting of the 2009 law without the reinstatement of the previous law meant that the magistrates system lacks an operating law or legal cover.

Magistrates complained that because of this lacuna caused by the simultaneous suspension of the 2009 magistrate law and abrogation of the 2003 law, counsels have formed the habit of challenging the jurisdiction of any Magistrate court sitting in hearing or judgement.

In the party’s words: “Lagos has about the most sophisticated and model Judiciary in the country, so the government and the ruling Action Congress (AC) should stop mouthing the mantra of devolution of power and independent judiciary. They should lead by example and give magistrates want they want.”

Judicial officals under the aegis of the Magistrates Association of Nigeria (MAN) embarked on a strike on May 5 to draw the attention of the Lagos State Government and the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to their demands.

The party called for a quick resolution of the crisis in order to clear the backlog of cases demanding the magistrates’ attention, because “justice delayed for whatever reason is justice denied.”

Describing the issues at stake as fundamental, the party said the government should not see it as an occasion to victimise and intimidate the concerned judicial officials.

The strike has effectively paralysed the courts.

In addition to their misgivings about their operating law, the magistrates also demand adequate welfare, better working conditions, immediate implementation of their 2010 budget, befitting court rooms and security orderlies for their magistrates in view of a spate of attacks on judges.

They also want regular training for their members and provision of stationery for the court.

“These are all matters that should be captured in this year’s budget, or at worst in a supplementary budget,” DPA submitted.

Felix Oboagwina
Director of Publicity, Lagos State DPA

Saturday, 29 May 2010

News Release: Nigerians At Home And Diaspora Set To Transform Nigeria

Nigerians at home and abroad have come together to create an organisation that is aimed at creating awareness and motivating the people to participate in promoting and ensuring good governance in our country, Nigeria.

They have formed an organization called the Transform Nigeria Movement

In order to achieve this noble objective, Transform Nigeria will set out to enlighten Nigerians with the sole aim to empower the people to think positively about developing a new type of leadership and follower ship for Nigeria, thereby creating the leaders of tomorrow and introducing new ways of thinking for Nigerians.

Already the group has more than 2,500 members on facebook, a core leadership of 100 men and women based all over the world including the United States of America, United Kingdom, Nigeria, Italy, Ecuador, among other countries with a further network of about 12,000 Nigerians connected online around the globe.

"Starting now, let's take up in our own lives the work of perfecting our union, let's build a government that is responsible to the people and accept our own responsibilities as citizens to hold our government accountable" --- Barack Obama

Transform Nigeria envisions a Nigerian society where there is a positive change in the consciousness, orientation, and world view of all Nigerians.

We believe that a well informed populace will be motivated to positive action. Nigerians have been dormant for a long time; it is our responsibility to awaken them from slumber by informing, educating and enlightening the youths on what truly goes on in Nigeria.

Our goal is to entrench good governance, hold our leaders accountable and rid Nigeria of corruption by getting Nigerians to engage in governance, expose and/or report corrupt practices wherever noticed.

Our Objectives:
The drive to transform Nigeria will start in the grassroots across all states of the country and in all Nigerian Diaspora communities abroad. The model of operation of Transform Nigeria Movement will be a combination of a village style town square meeting and a modern day "Tea Party" meeting to;

Create a quiet and peaceful but effective revolution that will involve all Nigerians of goodwill - to create the biggest online Movement in Nigeria where Nigerians, especially the youths will come together in one forum to chart the way forward for our country;

Create a dynamic Movement using 21st century Solution "the internet, emails, text messaging and hand bills - to tackle our age-long problems;

Create software to automatically send news to the emails and phone numbers of registered members;

Create Transform Nigeria Groups in the 36 states of the Federation including the FCT, Local Government Areas, Wards and Villages and in all the Universities, Schools and Colleges;

Generate publicity in Radio, TV, Newspapers and hand bills to be distributed regularly in Schools and Universities, L.G.A, wards and villages;

Plan activities that will allow all members from all regions and groups around the country to get to know one another and with time travel around the world to observe and learn from other democracies.

Our Manifesto and constitution will be available to every member and prospective members to enlighten them on the aims and objectives of the organization. Every member will be expected to live up to the high standards expected of the future leaders of the country.

This is socio-political, non-partisan, unbiased, neutral organization. It is not a political party, neither are we affiliated to any political party. Every Nigerian is welcome.

We are calling on every Nigerian; teachers, youths, students, workers, traders and artisans. Indeed every Nigeria with an email address – let us mobilize for the betterment of our country and to reshape our country's polity. Together we will create the Nigeria of our dreams.

This is a very long journey, but today we take the step towards changing the course of the ship of the Nigerian State.

Kayode Ajulo, Esq (Nigeria)
Trustee, Transform Nigeria


United States Of America;
1.Nicholas Agbo - Oakland California;
2. Dr. Anthony Afolo - New Jersey;
3.Ezinne Anyanwu - Texas , United States; 4.Emmanuel Ohai - Atlanta
5.Modupe Odunsanya - Illinois , United States; 6.Paul Adujie – New York
7.Noyo Edem– New Jersey; 8.chijioke akunyili - Los Angeles
8. Acho Orabuchi - Texas

United Kingdom:
1.Ikhide Odion - Aberdeen; 2.Adeniyi Adeleke – London
3.Ifeoluwa Adebayo – Reading; 4.Gbenga Shadare – Nottingham;
5. Chinedu V. Akuta – Leicester;
6.Tochi Godwin Ekwuogo - Swansea
.Chukwunonso Ngwu – Coventry;
8.Jasper Ojiakor – London
9.John Ezeonyeasi - London

1.Nnenna Iwuanyanwu – Lagos;
2.Acho Orabuchi;
3.Nathan Jonah- Kaduna;
 4. Akin Lawanson - Ile Ife
5. Emeka Nwachukwu - Lagos; 6.Oluwatobi D. Adelaja - Lagos
7.Favour Afolabi – Lagos;
8.Abba Anthony - Kaduna
9.Phillip Nwaochei - Asaba;
10.Akeju A. Aike – Warri
11.Akeju Akintomiwa Aike – Warri;
12. Kalu Awa – Port Harcourt
13.Akeju Akintomiwa Aike – Warri;
14.Peter C. Njoku – Enugu
15.Okwenna I. Hons - Kano;
16. Sandra Yakusak – ABU, Zaria
17.John Luka – Kaduna;
18. Julius Dariya – Kafanchan
19.Stephen H. Hassan;
20. Ayuba U. Kalba - Abuja
21.Ronke Doherty - Abuja;
22. Kayode Ajulo - Abuja
23.Lawal Ishaq;
24.Stephen Hassan
25. Kingsley Oghe

1.Afolabi Shola – Helsinki, Finland;
2.Isaac S. Oyebola - Treviglio, Italy
3.Ambrose Obimma - Frederiksberg, Denmark;
4.Demilo Grant - Halmstad , Sweden;
5.Rufus Oteniya – Milan , Italy;
6.Cyril Oriafoh

1.Akinyemi Adeseye - Cuenca, Ecuador
2.Razi anka – China;
4.Adigun Mathew - Empangeni, South Africa
5.Nnamdi Nna– Burkina Faso
6. F. Chuks Agu – Rotherdam, Netherlands

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

News Release: Food Merchants’ Plight: DPA Blasts Lagos State Government, Challenges LASTMA, Police Bosses

Lagos State’s recent claim that it levies no taxes on food products and livestock entering its territory has angered the Democratic Peoples’ Alliance (DPA), which insists the government must muster the political will to put machinery in place and save merchants from illegal extortions by agencies and thugs.

The party’s statement by its Director of Publicity, Felix Oboagwina, came in response to claims by Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola’s Special Adviser on Taxation and Revenue, Mr. Adeola Ipaye, that food merchants had problems not with the state government but with touts and miscreants levying illegal tolls on the food merchants at the Lagos border.

DPA described as escapist, irresponsible and pathetic the government’s response to a problem that in March forced the traders on a strike that precipitated a statewide food crisis.

“It is not enough for Lagos to wash its hands off the problem and pretend that all is well when actually there is fire on the mountain,” DPA said. “When a duly constituted authority like the Lagos State Government, with all the law-enforcement apparatuses at its disposal, chooses to look the other way while extortion and brute force rule the highways, such a government encourages anarchy, thuggery and institutionalised banditry. It shatters the social contract and contradicts the very essence of government, which is to guarantee the protection of the weak from the strong.”

The party noted that the merchants themselves blamed their woes on officers of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), police, Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture and local governments, whom they accused of extorting sometimes up to N.1 million per trailer load of food or livestock.

“Fashola is the good father of bad children. Today, LASTMA has become a stigma on whatever good work Fashola is doing because much of the time LASTMA officers and men have turned themselves into terrors on the road in their interface with the public, sometimes leading to the death of innocent wayfarers,” DPA said.

Urging the state, the police, the FRSC and other concerned authorities to discipline personnels caught indulging in such extortions, DPA said it would be tragic if the government’s lackadaisical attitude to the case forced the victims to resort to self-help.

According to DPA, “The government and the public must also put the Inspector-General of Police Mr. Ogbonna Onovo and LASTMA Director Mr. Young Arebamen on the spot. What LASTMA especially is doing is not in the character of its CEO who, as Lagos Commissioner of Police, left a good record, a record that surely informed his appointment to the current position. Arebamen should immediately bring his men to order and implement a reorientation for the entire agency.”

The party recalled its earlier recommendations that food and cattle traders be treated as essential services like petroleum products.

Pointing out that food and cattle dealers cut across ethnic lines, the party warned that the matter should not be given an ethnic coloration.

The merchants had in March gone on a strike, which they called off after issuing a 30-day ultimatum that ended in April.

DPA said it would paint the government as irresponsible and callous should the marketers be allowed to strike again after such a long notice.

“LASTMA is a noble idea but it has many bad eggs, like those ones troubling the food trailers between the Ibadan-Lagos tollgate and Mile 12. Fashola must muster the political will to flush such miscreants out of the system,” the party said.

According to the party, the traders had discharged their social obligation of lodging reports with the appropriate authorities saddled with the responsibility of tackling the situation. It wondered whether it would take loss of lives to awaken the government into dealing decisively with the situation.

Felix Oboagwina
Director of Publicity, Lagos state DPA

Monday, 24 May 2010

News Release: Ondo State Is Not For Sale

I listened with tremendous aversion to the former President of Nigeria, General Olusegun Obasanjo via a live Radio broadcast on Adaba 88.9Fm, a private radio station, at a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rally at Akure where he expressed his surprise of Governor Olusegun Mimiko's legal victory of the 2007 gubernatorial election in Ondo State .

This acknowledgement of the surprise, to me and the Mission I lead is nothing but a confirmation that General Obasanjo is out of tune with reality of what is happening in South West politics, particularly in Ondo state as Dr. Mimiko not only overwhelming won the said election but the Election Tribunal led by Hon. Justice Garba Nabaruma and the Court of Appeal concurrently affirmed the peoples choice of Dr. Mimiko as the Governor of Ondo State.

It should also be recalled that recently after General Obasanjo ordered in PDP rally in Oshogbo that Lagos and Ondo State should be captured at all cost, I invited General Obasanjo an all expensive paid 3 (Three)-Day visit to Ondo state to see the new development brought to the state by the Dr. Mimiko's Administration, I have also hoped that the visit would afford General Obasanjo opportunity to be better informed about the dynamics of the State.

However, General Obasanjo’s latest visit to Ondo State is nothing but a meeting of investments speculators and sleaze moguls hence they should be quickly reminded that Ondo state is not for sale nor to the highest bidder but to those that have the interest of the generality of the good people of the sunshine state at heart.

Nevertheless, General Obasanjo and his associates gave themselves out, as despite spending several hours in the state capital, Akure with several speakers speaking; none of the speakers could tell the people the kind of positive development they want to give to the state if voted to office.

I therefore want to seriously urge the people of the State to state clear out of the Ex-President’s brand of politics as he and his associates have nothing to offer.

Barr. Kayode Ajulo
Chairman of BOT, Egalitarian Mission , Africa .

Sunday, 23 May 2010

News Report: Google Launches Encrypted Search

The encryption makes it incredibly difficult for anyone in between your computer and Google’s servers to see what search terms you use or what results Google sends back. Additionally, when you click through a search result on Google’s new secure page, your browser will not send along “referrer data” revealing the search terms you used.

The new option does not, however, keep Google from knowing and storing what you searched on and does not make you anonymous to them. It’s designed to prevent eavesdroppers from analyzing the URL or content to see the search terms you are sending to Google, or the results.

With HTTPS on, all an eavesdropper can see is that you are using Google. When not using SSL, a user of a school or corporate network can have their e-mail and web traffic read by those who control the network, while anyone using an open Wi-Fi connection can have their traffic sniffed by a hacker using simple tools.

HTTPS will be an option, not the default, though users have the ability to set the search bars in their browsers to use it as their default. The page will have a different logo and not include links on the search page to Google’s map and image search, since those do not yet have an HTTPS option.

The encrypted option is perhaps most useful for routing around censorship from countries like China, which often block searches on politically sensitive terms. However, HTTPS is only an option currently for, not for country specific sites like, the Hong Kong-based search that Mainland Chinese users are being directed to as a way for Google to stop running a censored search engine in China.

Non-English speaking users who want encryption need to use for now, choosing results in their preferred language, though this loses much of the local features that country-specific Google search sites offer.

Google’s embrace of HTTPS could begin a move by web services such as social networks to begin offering encryption for more than just logins. Such increased adoption would cut down on network eavesdropping and also have the added benefit of preventing some online attacks.

Ironically, the new option came after the search company admitted it had been mistakenly eavesdropping and recording what people were doing on unencrypted Wi-Fi networks as its Street View cars were taking pictures of cities around the world and recording the IDs of Wi-Fi networks and routers. That data is used to help geolocate people using devices without GPS, but the company said for years it was not collecting session data.

It’s doubtful Google collected very much info on any one user — as the cars are constantly in motion and cycling through the channels used for Wi-Fi, but now users of would be safe from any similar effort.

Google turned on encryption, better known as https:// — as a default for Gmail users earlier this year.

Gmail was the first major webmail service to offer encryption for full sessions, rather than just for logins. Google allowed power users to use https:// for years, and under pressure from privacy and security advocates turned it into the default for all users earlier this year. Microsoft’s new version of Hotmail, available sometime this summer, will allow users to choose HTTPS or not, but isn’t making it the default.

Using HTTPS, rather than HTTP, is not technically difficult for smaller sites, but the authenticating handshakes between a server and a browser do require more resources from both a server and the browser. That means it costs a company more to run a service and can slow down an application. Google says it’s been working for several months on the service, and that it’s not simple, given that it search results are blended — combining information from a number of services, including YouTube, that didn’t have the capability to send information via HTTPS.

(From WIRED Magazine)

Friday, 21 May 2010

Editorial: "Iborification" Of Corruption In Nigeria

"Iborification" of corruption in Nigeria is a system of narrowing the cankerworm of corruption plaguing Nigeria to one man named James Ibori, who once ruled Delta state of Nigeria as governor for eight years from 1999 to 2007.

This system was foisted on the public psyche by a section of the media whose proprietors, angered by the exclusionist tendency of the Yar'Adua administration. decided to take it out on the most visible beneficiary of the regime.

Fact is that Mr.  James Ibori and others like Bola Tinubu, Orji Uzor Kalu, Boni Haruna, Josiah Dariye, et al, when they held the helms in their states were alleged to have plundered the resources of their respective states to enrich their private pockets and those of their hangers on.

When most of the accused persons lost their constitutionally gurranteed immunity from prosecution, they, including James Ibori were arrested by the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC), arraigned in various courts and were granted bail.

Usually, those being prosecuted allege political persecution. While this allegation most times are unfounded, they have been found to be true in some cases.

chidi opara reports recall that Mr. James Ibori have never been the political darling of a prominent Ijaw leader known to be the President's mentor. We also recall  that while the President was Vice-president during the Umaru Yar'Adua administration, Mr. Ibori was named in schemes to humiliate the occupant of the office.

So immediately the then Vice-president was proclaimed Acting President, a group of elders from Delta state filed a petition to EFCC, detailing brand new allegations against Mr. Ibori. Ibori alleged political persecution, disappeared and was consequently declared wanted with all the security apparatus unleashed on his trail. chidi opara reports also recall that at the time of Ibori's pursuit, Mr. Nasir El-Rufai, known to be in the same political camp with the President, who was declared wanted earlier, surfaced and was granted "administrative bail" by the EFCC. Though El-Rufai have been arraigned in court, the enthusiasm of the Ibori case is clearly missing.

We do not by any means absolve Mr. James Ibori, who have been arrested in Dubai, United Arab Emirates of the allegations against him, we are of the opinion that if the security apparatus deployed in the Ibori matter was also deployed in other high profile cases being handled by the EFCC, the nation's anti-corruption war would have been atleast half won by now.

The EFCC should not allow Ibori's allegation of political persecution to stick, this can only happen if other high profile cases are not handled with equal enthusiasm. The EFCC should never allow its attention on other equally important cases to be diverted by this "Iborification" of corruption in Nigeria. James Ibori is just one of the many high profile accused persons.

Photospeak: Europe's Debt Profile

News Release: ARG Commends Rejection Of Two-Party System

It is with utmost interest that Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) commends Nigeria ’s House of Representatives for rejecting a two-party system and for retaining multiparty democracy for Nigeria .

As we all know, the right to multiparty system in Nigeria has a constitutional basis. Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides for freedom of association “with other persons” and “any political party, trade union or any association.” This also finds support in African Charter of Peoples and Human Rights and the Protocols of ECOWAS. And lest we forget, it was the legal battle and, subsequently, the victory that Gani Fawehinmi fought and won for Nigerians in the Supreme Court.

Without doubt, Nigeria is not the only country with multiparty democracy. As we speak, there are 367 registered political parties in Great Britain and 46 in Northern Ireland. United States of America, interestingly, a country we are quick to mention when issues of this nature arise, also practises multiparty democracy. Apart from its two major and three minor political parties, there are also others appropriately classifed as active, inactive and regional. Ghana has twenty and there is every proof to show that South Africa and Benin Republic practise multiparty democracy. From the foregoing, one cannot but doubt the motive of the wonderboys of our own system, those who never struggled for, but are mere benefiaciaries of the people’s struggle.

Admitted! Some of these parties are formed for the sole purpose of collecting grants and related funds from the government. However, the idea that having so many parties is unwieldy does not hold water.

Again, Nigerians should not forget in a hurry that Ibrahim Babangida’s two party contraption on Nigerians was by military fiat. Needless to repeat here also that the annulment of June 12, 1993 elections, adjuged both locally and internationally, as the freest and fairest in the country, was also by military fiat. Why then do we have to trek a despicable path that has not in any way led the people to the Promised Land?

Yes! As things stand, there are more than 50 registered political parties in Nigeria. Nevertheless, all over the world, where dominant parties have emerged, it has been through the electorate, not by any fiat.

It is our considered view that the problem of Nigeria has nothing to do with political parties. Rather, it has got to do with having a credible system and credible umpires; where people will vote and their votes will count.

So, what we need is Electoral Reforms which the National assembly has so far treated with contempt. And let nobody close the democratic space because we fought for it!

‘Yinka Odumakin,
National Publicity Secretary,
Afenifere Renewal Group, ARG

Thursday, 20 May 2010

News Report: Second Tenure Ambition Of Nigeria's Major Oil State Governor In Jeopardy

                                 [Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi]

The second tenure ambition of Nigeria's major Oil state governor, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi may be in jeopardy following the displeasure of the influential Okirika and Kalabari power blocs. Amaechi, whose ascendance to the governorship of Rivers state was through a Supreme court ruling will complete his first tenure in october 2011.

The Okirika and Kalabari blocs, used to being in the mainstream of political decisions have reportedly suddenly found themself gasping for political survival.

Contacts who spoke to chidi opara reports alleged that the Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi government is sympathetic to the cause of the upland area, especially the Ikwerres, to the neglect of the river rine area, especially the Okirikas and Kalabaris. The governor is an Ikwerre.

A particular contact alleged that the Amaechi administration have for instance, being paying huge sums as compensation to Ikwerres whose landed properties were demolished in the urban renewal scheme, but have always found excuses to deny payment to their Okirika and kalabari counterparts. "Even houses and fences built on drianages and other unauthorized places are paid for before demolition if they belong to Ikwerres", this contact further alleged. chidi opara reports could not verify this allegation at the time of preparing this report. When we sought the views of the state commissioner of urban development, he declined to talk on phone, inviting us to his office instead, when we suggested e-mail communication, he also decline on ground of being "very busy". One of our network members however, visited his office at the state secretariate complex twice, but could not get his attention.

Amaechi's second tenure ambition a few months ago appeared accomplished with Mr. Uche Secondus as the People's Democratic Party(PDP), National Vice President for the south-south which covers Rivers state and Mr. Godspower Ake as chairman of the state chapter. Amaechi became governor on the platform of PDP. These proteges of the governor are known to have good working relationship with the then national chairman of the party, Mr. Vincent Ogbulafor. Mr. Amaechi himself maintained a close personal relationship with key members of the then powerful Yar'Adua cabal.

Events of the past few months have however cast doubt on the accomplishment of this second tenure ambition. Amaechi, the Imo state Governor, Ikedi Ohakim, the Bayelsa state governor, Timiprey Silva are reported to have discreetly  played along side the Yar'Adua cabal to block Dr. Goodluck Jonathan from becoming acting President during the absence of late Umaru Yar'Adua due to ill health.

With the sudden "resignation" last week of the PDP national Chairman, new structures absolutely loyal to the President are expected to emerge at all levels. These structures are to ensure the emergency of candidates with unquestionable loyalty to the President in the 2011 elections and Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi for now is not on the list.

The Okirikas in particular are reported to be exploiting their close marital relationship with the President to try and fraustrate Amaechi's second tenure ambition. This campaign we learnt authoritatively is led by an Okirika born Amaechi political enemy based in Abuja. The President's wife is from Okirika.

chidi opara reports also learnt from another authoritative contact that the Rivers state governor is contemplating using prominent Ikwerre elders to reach out to Okirika and Kalabari elders for an amicable settlement. We also learnt that overtures are being made to a prominent Ijaw leader known to be very close to the President to intervene on the Rivers States governor's behalf. Amaechi's media campaign have also received a boost with an editor of a Lagos based news magazine and a United States of America(USA) based online publisher planning a campaign "to further showcase the governor's developmental strides".

Sunday, 16 May 2010

News Release: Multiple Land Use Charges: DPA Begs Fashola To Intervene In Widow’s Tenement Woes

                               [Fashola: Lagos State Governor]

Democratic Peoples’ Alliance (DPA) has urged Governor Babatunde Fashola to wade into the case of an old widow recently handed an over 5,500 percent increase in her tenement bill, and cited the case as proof that the Lagos State Government had failed to streamline tenement rates and land use charges with local governments.

DPA said residents of Akerele Street in Surulere Local Government Area complained that they received two bills for tenement payments last year, one from the council another from the state.

The party said the cases vindicated its past campaigns that authorities were subjecting home owners to draconian and multiple charges even after the Lagos State House of Assembly indicated plans to review the Land Use Charge Law 2001.

According to DPA, Ikate-Ijesha Local Council Development Area wants the widow pensioner (Mrs. Mabel Ogunmoyela) to repeat tenement rate payments on her property that she had already paid in previous years to the state government.

“Clearly the council has discountenanced her past payments,” DPA said in a statement by its Director of Publicity, Felix Oboagwina. “The Governor must intervene urgently and save this old woman from this wanton display of injustice and executive lawlessness. There is real apprehension that she could have her house possessed by authorities.”

The party said problem started when the state usurped the constitutional role of local governments, contrary to the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution titled “Functions of a Local Government Council,” which stipulated in subsection (j) that: “The main functions of a local government council are as follows… assessment of privately owned houses or tenements for the purpose of levying such rates as may be prescribed by the House of Assembly of a State.”

“But what we see now is a case where the state government elected to take over the function of the local governments,” DPA said.

The Fashola government began implementing the Land Use Charge Law 2001 in 2008 but backdated it to 2006, provoking widespread protests, especially over its perceived violation of the Constitution.

According to the party’s statement, instances abounded where landlords had in the same year received both the Land Use Charge posted by the state government and tenement rates charged by the local governments. Home owners can lose such property to a government receivership should they fail to pay up within a stipulated period.

“Questions to ask naturally are: Where are previous payments made under the state’s Land Use Charge? Did the state government fail to remit them to the local governments and why? Have local governments been shortchanged?” the party said.

DPA highlighted the case of the widow pensioner (Mrs. Ogunmoyela) whose property, a three-room boys-quarters erected on a single plot at Olurolu Street, Ijeshatedo, Surulere, had its 2010 tenement bill jacked up to N120,614 by the Ikate-Ijesha Local Council Development Area, an over 5,500 percent increase from the N2,121.75 paid in 2009.

Records show that the widow had paid N108 as tenement in 1991, N190.70 in 1997, N450 in 1999, N450 in 2000 and N2,121.75 in 2009.

“This 80-year old widow is a retired nurse and only managed to erect the three-bedroom boys-quarters apartment to keep land speculators from encroaching. Now there are strong fears she will lose her land unless she repeats payments she has faithfully made to Lagos State in previous years,” DPA said.

Government documentation dated July 16, 2009 valued the property at N5,658,000 and computed the land use rate at 0.0375 percent or N2,121.75 being “solely occupied by the owner.” She paid the amount into the Ijesha branch of Bank PHB, one of the state’s designated collectors on 28th August 2009.

However, despite a Land Use Charge Notice from the Lagos State Government for 2009 indicating that the widow had no carryover payments from previous years, a Demand Notice dated 22/4/2010 from the Itire-Ikate Local Council Development Area office at 13/17 Baruwa Street Ijeshatedo imposed a N19,000 rate on the property for 2010 and went ahead to calculate outstanding arrears of N92,013. It also demanded she pay N9,201 i.e. 10 percent interest on the arrears in addition to a Radio and Television Licence Fee of N400, bringing the total to N120,614.

The net tenement charge of N19,000 that the Itire-Ikate LCDA computed for Mrs. Ogunmoyela for 2010 signified an 895.5 percent increase in last year’s rate of N2,121.75 only.

According to the party, the tenement charges were unreasonable, overly exploitative and had failed to consider the social security that real estate traditionally meant to Nigerians.

DPA recalled the case of two widows of the late Alhaji Eyiowuawi Asafa, who inherited his one-story, face-me-I-face-you house in Surulere. In 2007, the Itire/Ikate Local Government charged the family N2,700 as tenement rent, while in 2008 the state government fined the same house land use charge of N113,669.33.

Lagosians must muster the political will to challenge the state government’s usurpation of a constitutionally-allotted function of local governments, DPA counseled.

Felix Oboagwina
Director Of Publicity
Lagos State DPA

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Article: Why I Invited Obasanjo To Ondo State

                                      [Olusegun Obasanjo]

I was a toddler when Obasanjo first became Head of State in 1976, but I met him during my undergraduate’s days at University of Jos, through his lawyer then, Dr. Tunji Abayomi, who rallied some of us as students’ leaders/activists to support Gen. Obasanjo to save his life from General Abacha's clutches, we were like todays' Save Nigeria Group. We were even arrested and detained at Police “A” Division in Jos, I still vividly recall some of this compatriots, apart from Dr. Abayomi, I remember Bunmi Ojo, who is now one of SA of Governor of Ekiti State and I also remember Audu Akpala and one Yemi Anthony. I later worked with Dr. Abayomi's law firm as Head of Chambers in Abuja before establishing this office.

Then I used to visit Gen. Obasanjo in Jos prison with students and to some extend I understood his eccentric manners, so when it was reported that Gen. Obasanjo told some of his fellows in PDP to capture Ondo state by all means and as a stakeholder in the Nigeria polity and proud son of the state, I immediately invited Gen. Obasanjo through our mutual channels for a 3 day tour of Ondo State to enable him see the new developments in the State, interview the common people on the street and find out at the end of the visit, if given another chance he will say the same thing of capturing the State.

And very unusual of him he did not respond to my kind invitation and I therefore found it imperative to respond to General Obasanjo and his co-deceivers in PDP in an unequivocal well reported statement that Ondo State will only be ruled by overwhelming support of the people of the State as the people of the State have resolved never will the elements of deceit and looters of state’s treasury rule the State again.

You see, we need to appreciate General Obasanjo's limited knowledge of the political terrains of the State, we also need to sympathize with him and his co-travelers of their inability to take into consideration the uniqueness of Ondo State, what the State stands for, what the people of the State are known for, our attitudes and unique way of politicking.

The very last time General Obasanjo came to the State, in as much as he tried to harass, threaten, bully and charging that he will unleash EFCC against Dr. Mimiko for daring to contest against his anointed, Dr. Agagu but what came out of the bravado; it turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the people as it spurred them to action to vote overwhelmingly for Dr. Mimiko despite General Obasanjo and Dr. Agagu’s song. "won kere si number wa" (we have outnumbered them)

The likes of General Obasanjo are statesmen of their respective Country, in the olden days, General Obasanjo supposed to be our very own “orisha” (god) that we ought to adore, pay homage to but the man has caused so much embarrassment not only to himself, his family, community but to Yoruba nation, his very wife vilified him, his son accused him of committing a sin against God and law but what else we can do for him than to pray for him, when he was in prison during one of our visit a friend of mine,Stephen Adamu from Adamawa State a Baptist, led General Obasanjo to God, he can still be led to God again but I pray that this should not take place in prison for the second time.

So instead of joining others to abuse General Obasanjo, he should be made to realize that God Almighty love him and Ondo people are special people of God, Ondo people are not pushover, we are elegant and distinct, we are indomitable, irrepressible and egalitarian. We are say-never-die and “unsubduable”. Ondo State is the cradle of progressivism in Nigeria, yes, the home of progressives, Afenifere, hotbed of intellectuals. Recall the roles late Olowo of Owo, Oba Olateru-Olagbegi I and the progenitor of Free Education in Nigeria and former governor of the state, Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin, played in the formation of Action Group.

I am a student of history, don’t let us be deceived by what the Egbas and Ijebus have been peddling, laying claim to the fact that Chief Obafemi Awolowo is the eldorado of the progressives, while I recognize the great work of the late sage, Awolowo only emerged through the synergy of great personalities of Ondo State. Action Group was not only formed in Owo, Ondo State but in the Chamber of Olowo’s palace.

Chief Reuben Fashoranti, the Afenifere kingpin is also from Ondo State, Chief Olu Yemi Falae, one time presidential candidate, Chief Shehinde Arogbofa, Comrade Baba Omojola, Dr. Frederick Fasehun, Gani Adams, they are irrepressible progressives. Remember also that the most successful legal practitioner, the defender of the people and greatest crusader in Nigeria that I know, Chief Ganiyu Oyesola Fawehinmi was a proud citizen of the state.

General Obasanjo should also be made to know that his party men in Ondo State are failure; appalling and horrific brands that nobody will associate with.

Can you tell me of any good news that has originated from the PDP in Ondo State lately? Please show me any body in Ondo State PDP with unquestionable trait, I am a lawyer and I only deal in facts and law. All our Senators are docile and have turned the National assembly to where they can hibernate soundly to enjoy their gratuities.

Let General Obasanjo show us anybody from PDP that people will follow in Ondo State that is why all of them are running to join Labour Party.

By 'Kayode Ajulo

Thursday, 13 May 2010

News Break: Namadi Sambo Is Nigeria's Vice Presidential Nominee

                            [Namadi Sambo]

Kaduna State Governor, fifty-seven-year-old Namadi Sambo have been nominated by Nigeria's President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to fill the vacant position of Vice President, following the death of former President Umaru Yar'Adua and the elevation of the erstwhile Vice President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to President.

Mr. Sambo's nomination will have to be approved by the Senate before he would assume duty.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Photonews: Her Majesty's New Prime Minister

                                          [Queen Elizabeth 11]
                                               [David Cameron: New Prime Minister]

Photonews: New Helmsman At Nigeria's Election Commission

                                  [Soyebi: INEC's Acting Chairman]

News Release From The White House: Meet Elena

Good afternoon,

Yesterday I had the pleasure of nominating one of the most brilliant legal minds in America and a friend of mine for the Supreme Court.

Elena Kagan's trailblazing career speaks for itself. An acclaimed legal scholar, she was the first woman to serve as Dean of Harvard Law School. A dedicated public servant, she was the first woman to serve as Solicitor General. In that position she has represented the American people before the Supreme Court in cases such as Citizens United, where she advocated forcefully for the right of Americans to be heard in our democracy over the well-funded clamor of corporate special interests.

Deciding on the person to nominate to the Supreme Court is no easy task. But I know Elena will be an incredibly effective justice, thanks to her ability to build consensus across ideological lines and her profound grasp of how the law impacts real people's lives. It's made me proud to know and admire her for decades, and even prouder to nominate her to our Nation's highest court.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

Sunday, 9 May 2010

News Release: Save Nigeria Group (SNG) Mourns Yar’Adua, Asks For Transformation.

The Save Nigeria Group joins well meaning Nigerians in mourning the former President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua, who passed away on the 5th of May, 2010 in Abuja.

His death has closed a chapter in the history of Nigeria with a deeply hurt country left to mourn a man who, in spite of his debilitating health condition, left his mark in the following areas:

1. His sincerity in admitting that the election that brought him to power was flawed and setting up the UWAIS Panel to look into the problem of electoral malpractice in Nigeria. None of his predecessors who emerged in controversial polls ever admitted that the process that produced them was not transparent;

2. He made a loud statement about the rule of law when he released all the funds of Lagos State illegally withheld by his predecessor, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo;

3. Even if the panacea was questionable, his bold move to bring down the tension in the Niger- Delta region under his direct supervision showed a man who was committed to the unity, peace and well-being of Nigerians.

It is unfortunate that a group of few opportunists took advantage of his ill-health to hijack power in the country and created deep divisions in the land in process. Quite a number of illegalities were perpetrated in his name at a time it was doubtful if he was aware of what was going on around him.

It would be unfair not to give him his place in history because of the wounds inflicted on the souls of Nigerians by those who did not even care about his health. To have taken him through all the pains he suffered in the desperate desire to make him hang on for their sake when it was most uncomfortable for him was the ultimate act of wickedness.

The Almighty has now released him from the grips of those using him for what he would not have wished done to a country he believed in. It is time to move forward with a firm commitment to build strong institutions that would make it impossible for any group to set the constitution aside and ride roughshod over Nigeria.

To kick start the process, we strongly recommend that there has to be a total restoration of the integrity of the ballot box via the reformation of the electoral process. The shenanigans of the National Assembly on this important issue must be contained. If any group thinks that this country can go through the undue stress of election manipulations again without something giving, it must be joking. It is clear that we cannot check impunity or have good governance without having leaders who are freely elected and accountable to the people. The new President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has openly committed himself to this and he must walk his talk starting with the reconstitution of INEC.

Also, given the damage corruption has done to the polity over the years, a real war with visible casualties must begin against the biggest industry in Nigeria today - Graft. Nigeria is bleeding, the people are dying and most of our infrastructures have collapsed under the weight of corruption. The Anti-Graft agencies must be strengthened to do their work with all vigour.

It is important to restore “we the people” to the centre stage of politics in Nigeria. For a long time, “we the people” of Nigeria have been taken off the radar as all many public officials are doing is running personal agendas that do not factor the people in. There should be a complete paradigm shift because sovereignty belongs to the people.

Finally, we pray for the repose of former President Yar’Adua’s soul as we hope that the new opportunity for a fresh start will be used to the maximum advantage of the country. We also ask God to give his successor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, the wisdom to take all the right and best decisions to promote the healing of wounds and to facilitate the emergence of a Nigeria that befits Nigerians.

Yinka Odumakin,      Salihu Lukman
       For Save Nigeria Group

Friday, 7 May 2010

Citizen Report: Yayale Ahmed Named Nigerian Vice-president

                                                         [Yayale Ahmed]

A citizen reporter from Abuja, capital city of Nigeria have just filed in a report that Secretary to the Federation of Nigeria, Mr. Yayale Ahmed have just been nominated as the New Vice-president, by the President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.

Details are still scanty. chidi opara reports could not confirm this information at the time of preparing this report.

Post Script: Our investigation have revealed that Yayale Ahmed was actually nominated and the nomination about to be announced, when some influential politicians from the North at the prompting of other contenders, advised the President against such announcement during the seven-day period of national mourning, following the death of former President Umaru Yar'Adua.

It was also learnt that the announcement was to forestall further pressures from the other contenders and their godfathers.

Ahmed however, remain a front runner.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Photonews: Yar'Adua's Body Taken To Hometown For Burial

The body of former Nigerian President, Mr. Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, accompanied by his wife, Hajia Turai Yar'Adua, being taken to his hometown, Katsina, capital city of Katsina State for burial according to Moslem rites.

News Release: Inaugural Address By Nigeria’s New President

My dear brothers and sisters, it is with deep sense of loss and profound sorrow that I received the news of the passing on of His Excellency, President Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua, Grand Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Our President passed away peacefully in the Presidential villa in Abuja yesterday evening, the 5th day of May 2010. While we submit to the will of God as a people of faith, this sad event has placed our nation in deep mourning.

On behalf of the good people of our great Country Nigeria, I stand by our First Lady, Her Excellency Hajia Turai Yar’ Adua, the Children, our Mother, Hajia Habiba Musa Yar Adua, and the entire Yar’ Adua family and offer our heartfelt condolences on the demise of our amiable leader.

President Yar’ Adua’s contribution to political development and good governance would never be forgotten. He will therefore always occupy a pride of place in the political history of our dear Nation. He was a man of great personal integrity, deep devotion to God and outstanding humility. In all his public service, he displayed uncommon commitment to the peace, progress and unity of our country. He has left for us a profound legacy that provides a firm foundation for Nigeria’s future. His exit has therefore created a huge vacuum in his personal contributions to the political growth and development of our nation. I have lost not just a boss but a good friend and brother.

Having taken the oath of office in line with the Nigerian Constitution, under these very sad and unusual circumstances, I urge all fellow citizens to remain steadfast and committed to the values and aspirations of our nation. While this is a major burden on me and indeed the entire nation, we must in the midst of such great adversity continue to garner our collective efforts towards upholding the values which our departed leader represented.

In this regard our total commitment to Good Governance, Electoral Reform and the fight against Corruption would be pursued with greater vigour. As I had stated time and again, we must enshrine the best standards in our democratic practice. One of the true tests would be to ensure that all votes count and are counted in the upcoming General Elections. Similarly the effort at ensuring the sustenance of peace and development in the Niger Delta as well as the security of life and property around the entire country would be of top most priority in the remaining period of this administration.

I want to reassure all Nigerians that the pledges which we had made to improve the socio-economic situation which we face through improved access to electricity, water, education, health facilities and other social amenities would continue to be given the needed emphasis. The welfare of our teeming workers and the unemployed youths would also be accorded a new impetus.

My brothers and sisters, I call on all Nigerians to pray for the repose of the soul of our departed President. May God, in his infinite mercy, and compassion grant him eternal peace.

God bless Nigeria.

Released By:
The Presidency Abuja, Nigeria.

News Break: Nigeria's Acting President Sworn In As Substantive President

                            [President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan]

Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan have just been sworn in as Nigeria's substantive President.

Citizen Report: Security Breach In Presidential Villa As Nigerian President Dies

                                     [Yar'Adua: Dead]

                                [Jonathan: To become substantive President]

A citizen reporter from the Presidency reported a security breach in the Presidential Villa Abuja last night, following the death of Nigerian President, Mr. Umaru Yar'Adua at about 9.00pm.

The report indicated that as soon as the President died,  a reminant of pro-Yar'Adua elements within the Brigade of Guards made attempts to move into the Acting President's residence, armed and without permission.

"Fortunately, the Acting President's security details had been alerted about the death of the President and the possibility of a security breach by one of the foreign Missions in Abuja", the report  revealed.

The report further stated that the Acting President's security personnels immediately arrested the situation. No arrests were made. The Acting President, according to the report later directed that the issue should be closed.

chidi opara reports was not able to confirm this report at the time of preparing this report.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Photonews: El Rufai: "Administrative Bail" For The One Who Would Be VP

                               [Nasir El Rufai]

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC), chidi opara reports can confirm have granted "Administrative bail", to Mr. Nasir El Rufai. El Rufai is under investigation for economic and financial crimes. He is a strong contender to the post of Vice-president.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

News Release: SNG Unfolds Charter To Save And Transform Nigeria

In continuation of its objectives of unblocking the minds of Nigerians, giving back their voices and awakening them to take back their sovereignty, the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) is unfolding a Contract to Save and Transform Nigeria in Abuja on Wednesday.

The charter, which addresses all facets of life, is meant to be the irreducible minimum Nigerians must demand from anybody who wants to govern them at all levels. For a long time, politics has been reduced to only the interests of the political class with no reference anymore to the issues that affect the day-to-day existence of the people. All the talks and fights going on in the political space are not about the people but about the political ambitions and seizing of power for selfish motives.

All that is about to change as the SNG is poised to saturate the entire country with the paradigm shift, starting from the Federal Capital Territory to the geo-political zones and then all the states of the federation.

The National flag off where the Convener of the SNG, Pastor ‘Tunde Bakare, will be giving a keynote remark with Dr. Usman Bugaje reviewing the Charter, will have political parties, civil society groups, opinion leaders and various strata of the society in attendance.

The event holds as follows:
Date: Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Venue: Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton, Abuja

Time: 11.00am prompt

It is the mark of the beginning of the liquidation of business as usual politicians in Nigeria.

Yinka Odumakin,  Salihu Lukman
For: Save Nigeria Group (SNG)

Monday, 3 May 2010

News Report: Race For Nigeria's Number 2 Position In Top Gear

                               [El-Rufai: VP Contender]

Ever since indications emerged that the ailing Nigerian President, Mr. Umaru Yar'Adua would be declared incapacitated soon by the Executive Council Of The Federation(EXCOF), some political figures from the North have entered the race to occupy the position of Vice-president. It is expected that when the President is eventually declared incapable, the Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who is also the substantive Vice-president would be sworn in as substantive President. Jonathan is from Southern Nigeria.

What gave push to this race was the recent secret meeting between the influential Northern Nigeria political pressure group, Arewa Consultative Forum(ACF) and the Acting President in which we learnt the issue of the President's health was discussed extensively. chidi opara reports can reveal that the forum insisted on being allowed to approach the President's wife first with the option of resignation, failure of which the Cabinet can go ahead with declaring him incapacitated, but contacts close to the first lady told us that she would not consent to the resignation option. We could not however, ascertain at the time of preparing this report if Mrs.Yar'Adua have been approached.

Our network members in Kano, Kaduna and Abuja have however, reported increased political activities in the camps of former speakers of the House of Representatives, Messrs. Umar Ghali Na'Abba and Aminu Bello Masari. These activities, our network members insist are linked to quests for the post of Vice-president under a Goodluck Jonathan Presidency.

Reports also linked the return last week of former Minister of Federal Capital Territory(FCT), Nasir El-Rufai from self exile to his quest for the post.

El-Rufai, an Olusegun Obasanjo protege will have to contend with another protege, Muritala Yar'Adua, the President's nephew and presently the junior Minister of Defence, who is discreetly lobbying for the post. While Obasanjo prefers El-Rufai, "because of his experience and maturity", the Acting President prefers the young Yar'Adua. "He will like to demonstrate his gratitude to the family by choosing their son as his VP", a Jonathan aide told chidi opara reports recently in Abuja.

The ACF whom we learnt are keeping their cards close to their chest, would likely endorse a dark horse for the position.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Editorial: Even Though Maurice Iwu Is Gone......

The "order" last week by Nigeria's Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to the former Chairman of the country's electoral body, Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), Professor Maurice Iwu to proceed on terminal leave prior to his disengagement in June, was greeted with jubilations, mainly from the camp of opposition parties, because of the controversies inherent in his five-year tenure.

The controversies that dogged Maurice Iwu's tenure was not unprecedented in the history of tenure of elections umpires in Nigeria. It is a well established fact that right from  the time the conduct of elections started in the country, umpires have always been blamed for the many short comings of elections.

Some of these blames were justified, while others were not. Elections umpires in Nigeria have been known to show undisguised bias in elections in which they were supposed to be unbiased.

chidi opara reports recalls for instance, the cases of  late Chairmen of the defunct Federal Electoral Commission(FEDECO), Mr. Michael Ani and rtd. Justice Victor Ovie-Whiskey, who in the 1979 and 1983 general elections respectively, behaved more like officials of the then National Party of Nigeria(NPN), a participating party in the elections, than Chairmen of an institution charged with the responsibility of conducting the elections.

We are nonetheless not unmindful of the fact that the many problem that had dogged our elections over the years were also brought about by anomalies in the system.

A system in which electoral laws are so "watery" that they can be circumvented easily without serious consequencies would certainly not permit conduct of credible elections, also a political culture in which winners take all, leaving no rooms for participation for losers would surely provide reasons for "do or die" electoral contests.

chidi opara reports is of the opinion that even though Maurice Iwu is gone, if our electoral laws are not modelled to provide adequate and timely redress for the aggrieved and punishments for offenders,  independence of the electoral body in all ramifications and adequate political education for the citizenry which will emphasize politics as means of service to the nation and not avenue for self enrichment, our elections will continue to be short of expectations, even if we invite angels to oversee them.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

News Report: Nigeria's Cabinet To Declare Ailing President Incapacitated

                                [Jonathan:Nigeria's Acting President]

If the scheme of the new Goodluck Jonathan cabal that is now in full control of the Presidency goes as planned, the ailing Nigerian President, Mr. Umaru Yar'Adua would be declared incapacitated soon by the Nigerian Cabinet, recently constituted by the Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, to pave way for his assumption of  office as substantive President. The Cabinet under the Nigerian constitution have power to declare the President incapable of performing the duties of the office.

Investigation by chidi opara reports revealed that even though the Acting President have all the powers of President, "hawks" in his Cabinet with the support of some influential Nigerians like Olusegun Obasanjo, Theophilus Danjuma, Edwin Clark and the current National Security Adviser(NSA), Aliyu Gusau, are bent on having the Acting President assume substantive status before  the end of this year, they reasoned that this would place him in a better position of advantage during the 2011 presidential election in which he is planning to contest with Gusau as Vice Presidential candidate,

Presidency insiders hinted chidi opara reports that the plan which have been finalized, but placed under lock and key untill when the time is ripe would be unveiled before the start of the electioneering campaigns.

Further investigation revealed that the Goodluck Jonathan nascent cabal are not ruling out a miraculous recovery of the President soon enough to resume duties, this as expected would revert Jonathan to his erstwhile status as Vice President.

This miraculous recovery, they reasoned would affect the larger plan to have the Acting President continue as President from 2011. Mr. Yar'Adua is reported to be making tremendous progress in his recovery since some moslem "Alfas" were recruit to pray for him.

"Mr. President's health may not permit him to contest, but we have our candidate", a Yar'Adua insider told one of our network members in Katsina last week. The candidate chidi opara reports can report, is rtd. General Ibrahim Babangida, also known as IBB.

The President's foot soldiers are however not relenting in their efforts to forestall attempts to declare their principal incapacitated. The have been approaching some influential Nigerians like Yakubu Gowon, Shehu Shagari and Emeka Anyaoku to prevail on the Acting President not to allow any such plan.

Open Letter To NEXIM, Diamond Bank And Bank PHB

Dear NEXIM, Diamond Bank and Bank PHD,

My name is Tosin Ola, I have been a loyal user of Nicosan ever since it was introduced to me in 2007, and this remedy changed my life.

Before Nicosan, I was in and out of hospital on monthly basis, having regular blood transfusions, countless IV sticks and daily pain. But once Nicosan started working for me, the daily pain ceased, and I have not been admitted into the hospital since 2008.

I am very worried, because not only is Nicosan hard to find in the United States, it is very difficult to get in Nigeria as well. I had someone fly to Nigeria specifically for the purpose of getting a supply for his 2 daughters. He spent 3 weeks, and travelled from Enugu to Lagos, to Abuja and Onitsha. He searched everywhere he could; going to every big pharmacy in Nigeria with no success. He came home without a bottle of Nicosan to show for it. He now has to watch his children go through excruciating pain, He cried as he was talking to me on the phone, begging me to procure even a bottle of Nicosan for his children. It broke my heart just telling him that I had none.

My friend in London started taking Nicosan the same time I did. He is a student that is finally able to go to school and have a normal life. Two weeks ago he got admitted into hospital and have not come back home…because he ran out of Nicosan.

Another friend of mine, has been on Nicosan for only 9 months. Now she is in and out of the hospital every week.. Last month, 7 patients in Bahrain died from sickle cell in the hospital because no one treated them quickly enough. If they were on Nicosan, they would not have had to go to the hospital. One Leah died in December from acute chest syndrome…after being healthy for almost a year while on Nicosan.

These are not just stories. There are people that are suffering, dying and living in excruciating pain that you have the power to help. Nigeria has the highest population of sickle cell patients in the world, and I know that every one of you know someone affected by sickle cell. This is not an isolated condition, we are all connected. So you are allowing your own child to suffer, your own daughter to be in pain, your own sister or brother to die because of your indolence. It is criminal that you have the power to cause so many people to suffer and that you do it so heartlessly and thoughtlessly, especially since God has given you the ability to make this painful nightmare a thing of the past.

Every day I get an email from a sickle cell warrior that I introduced Nicosan to, someone who has been able to FINALLY have a normal life, but now have to deal with this all consuming pain yet again. I get letters from people wanting to start Nicosan, but having no chance, because there is none to be had. My friends are falling sick left and right, and asking me to help…and I have nothing to tell them. What excuse will I give them as they lay in their hospital beds wracked in pain? That because of paper pushers, greed, red tape, politics and “mis-communication”, we are all suffering? What should I tell them?

Last month, I ran out of Nicosan. Now I am in the same boat as my friends, waiting for the evil crises to descend on me like a specter of doom. I am afraid of falling sick again, I am afraid of having to go to the hospital, because sickle cell patients are dying in hospitals from ‘sickle cell related complications’ at an alarming rate. Not just here in the United States, but in Bahrain, Nigeria, India, Jamaica and Brazil. There is a huge stigma that exists for sickle cell patients around the world, and every time we pass through a hospital, we are playing dice with death. Why would you allow this to be our fate?

And yet, here you sit, on the best kept remedy for sickle cell in 100 years, as dust gathers at the Xechem factory that could be our salvation. The Port of Lagos has equipment to manufacture Nicosan, rusting wastefully away while you sit behind your desk ignoring all attempts to put this matter to rest. Nine months have gone by since the factory closed; nine months that this lifesaving remedy has been off the market. It’s such a tragedy, and I feel like no one cares about the sickle cell sufferers. For if someone did care, with even an ounce of humanity or decency; I would hope that one would move heaven and earth to start production of Nicosan yet again. The solution is not hard to come by, all you need is to pick up the phone, talk to each other, agree to terms, sign a contract, and GET PRODUCTION STARTED! I am not a business major, but even I know that you cannot recoup an investment or make any future profits by allowing the materials, product, and equipment to fall to waste.

Sickle cell patients are getting desperate, and starting to fall for all manner of crooks who claim that they have ‘a Nicosan-similar remedy’. I was proposed a tea made of the same herbs that Nicosan has, and I am considering it, because I feel like this is my only option.

Some are going to Hydroyxurea, the cancer drug that has shown some success, even though it has a ton of negative side effects and the potential to trigger cancer.

I would not wish this pain on anyone---not even my worst enemy. This is a burden that is mine to bear, as well as countless million other people. And yet, NIPRD came up with this solution, showed us life in the Promised Land, and then you banks brutally took it away. It frustrates and saddens me that 9 months have gone by and the Xechem factory has not been reopened. There is no excuse in the world that should leave millions of people in agony and suffering like this, put thousands of people at the mercy of uncaring healthcare professionals, and push hundreds of people to the brink of death.

I sincerely urge you, to help us in this dire time. We have no way to make Nicosan ourselves, and you gave us Manna from heaven. So please, I am begging you from the bottom of my heart, do not play with my life. Whatever is stopping the production of Nicosan, please find it in your power to remove it. You are our champions, and we need you to help us. I hope and pray that you will be able to overcome whatever obstacles, people or problems in the way and start producing Nicosan promptly, because frankly: all our lives depend on it.


Tosin Ola.