Wednesday, 30 June 2010

News Release: Ghana’s Shine Is Nigeria’s Shame

                                 [Black Stars Of Ghana]

Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) commends Ghana for the enviable achievement of sailing to the quarterfinals of the ongoing World Cup in South Africa. Ghana has once again demonstrated the indomitable spirit of a people unleashing their potential under good governance and leadership and shamed its “big for nothing” neighbour (Nigeria) who crashed out of the mundial without winning a match.

Ghana’s feat has thrown up all that is right with that country and all that is wrong with Nigeria. Few years ago, a sports minister in Ghana was sacked and sent to jail over missing $10,000 but nobody has been brought to book for about £400,000 which grew wind inside the lockers of the secretariat of the Nigerian Football Association.

Just a few weeks to the World Cup, Nigeria sacked the coach that qualified it for World Cup and hired a coach who failed to qualify his own country for the mundial. While Shuaibu Amodu had to address press conferences over unpaid arrears of salaries alleged to be half of what he signed, Mr. Lagerback was paid $9m upfront for his six-month contract. It was clear to all discerning that Nigeria’s problem all along was not the coach but the Nigerian disease that has eaten deep into every fabric of the Nigerian society.

For the Nigerian officials, football is all about making money for themselves and not bringing glory to their country; this may explain why they allegedly hired a plane they knew would not fly to take the team to South Africa only for the federal government to pay for a new one at the last minute.

We are yet to hear of anybody being brought to book for this scandal. Upon it all, we had four years to prepare for the World Cup and did nothing in terms of serious preparations and our people out of unbridled passion sat in front of TV sets singing, “He is a miracle working God...” No, God does not engage in silly miracles.

Nigeria has crashed out because we failed to do the needful and yet we expected to reap where we did not sow. Unlike us, Ghanaians have fixed their country and everything is working out for them. The country did not need to have 64 senators in South Africa in order to excel. Nigerians must use their passion for soccer to demand for good leaders who emerge through credible elections. The coming election provides the opportunity to do all that as it must be clear to all now that we cannot excel in any sphere as long as we reel under the suffocating weight of corruption that is the hallmark of unelected leaders. Until we do that, our agony continues. Let us not steal Ghana’s victory by claiming it as “Africa’s victory”. No, it is a victory for a Ghana that has embraced best practice in its affairs.

‘Yinka Odumakin
National Publicity Secretary

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Photospeak: Nigeria's Latest Symbol Of Profligacy

The Nigerian Government inspite of wide spread poverty, especially in her rural areas have budgeted ten billon naira for her 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations.

Monday, 28 June 2010

News Release: DPA Alarmed At Invasion Of Tax Collectors In Lagos State

                                       [A Lagos Business Area]

Democratic Peoples’ Alliance (DPA) have alerted the Lagos State House of Assembly and Governor Babatunde Fashola of the operations of a self-styled “Task Force on Tax Payments” invading streets and houses and harassing citizens.

Clad in yellow polyester “monkey jackets,” the personnel move in a convoy of official buses. They were sighted at Isolo, Alimosho and Igando-Ikotun and Ejigbo councils, where their presence forced alarmed businesses to close shop for much of last week.

DPA in a statement by its Director of Publicity Felix Oboagwina criticized the approach, saying, “This is a draconian and dehumanizing measure. It denotes a negative throwback to the infamous tax collectors of the colonial and area-council eras, when government officials exerted cow tax and poll tax from people by chasing the through the streets; they hurled people to jail for non-compliance. Citizens fought back with innumerable riots.”

Ironically, the DPA statement reported, members of the ruling Action Congress (AC) in the councils confronted the officials, warning that their street-to-street tax drive was detestable and unpopular and could cost their party votes in 2011.

The statement said: “Lagosians already suffer from the activities of KAI, LASTMA, local government, environmental task force and the Ministry of Environment enforcing Thursday sanitation exercises. The state government should be compelled to rein in the brand new threat to Lagos sanity and dignity. Lagos has become so over-policed that it will be indecorous to add the terrorism of the tax collector.”

The officials invaded the councils with a long line of official buses, and shut down shop owners who were unable to present the required tax receipts. They spared no one, including housewives and Mallams who had wares arranged on tables and trays in front of their homes.

According to the party, Lagosians would imbibe tax compliance when they enjoyed good social services and amenities.

DPA said: “Unfortunately in the Lagos of today, people provide good roads for themselves through community efforts via landlords and tenants associations. They buy transformers by themselves even though they still pay electricity bills. They send their children to private schools that they can hardly afford because of the sordid conditions of public schools. When people supply their own water and travel on pothole-ridden roads, do you think they will be excited about paying taxes?”

The party noted that many Lagosians who should have been paying taxes were unemployed while those with shops lost their businesses to government demolitions.

Asking the Executive and Legislature to investigate and ensure that the situation did not amount to multiple taxation, DPA recalled that several businesses already paid up to N10,000 for lockup shops and business permits to the local governments, apart from obtaining signage permits from the Lagos State Signage and Advertising Agency (LASAA).

The party recalled that multiple taxations had informed the cattle and food merchants’ strike in March, following which the government scrapped the payment of cattle tax throughout the state.

Felix Oboagwina
Director of Publicity, Lagos State DPA

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Opinion: The Most Important Job

                                 [Barack Obama And Family]

By Barack Obama

As the father of two young daughters, I know that being a father is one of the most important jobs any man can have.

My own father left my family when I was two years old. I was raised by a heroic mother and wonderful grandparents who provided the support, discipline and love that helped me get to where I am today, but I still felt the weight of that absence throughout my childhood. It's something that leaves a hole no government can fill. Studies show that children who grow up without their fathers around are more likely to drop out of high school, go to jail, or become teen fathers themselves.

While no government program can fill the role that fathers play for our children, what we can do is try to support fathers who are willing to step up and fulfill their responsibilities as parents, partners and providers. That's why last year I started a nationwide dialogue on fatherhood to tackle the challenge of father absence head on.

In Chicago, the Department of Health and Human Services held a forum with community leaders, fatherhood experts and everyday dads to discuss the importance of responsible fatherhood support programs.

In New Hampshire, Secretary of Education Duncan explored the linkages between father absence and educational attainment in children.

In Atlanta, Attorney General Holder spoke with fathers in the criminal justice system about ways local reentry organizations, domestic violence groups and fatherhood programs can join together to support ex-offenders and incarcerated individuals who want to be closer to their families and children.

Now we're taking this to the next level. Tomorrow, I'll make an announcement about the next phase of our efforts to help fathers fulfill their responsibilities as parents -- The President's Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative. You can learn more at

This Father's Day -- I'm thankful for the opportunity to be a dad to two wonderful daughters. And I'm thankful for all the wonderful fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers and friends who are doing their best to make a difference in the lives of a child.

Happy Father's Day.

(Barack Obama, President of United States Of America sent in this opinion on the last Fathers' Day)

Saturday, 26 June 2010

News Report: Deployment Of Soldiers To Curb Kidnapping In South-Eastern Nigeria Sends Alleged Kingpins Into Hiding

                                          [Soldiers On Patrol]

The recent deployment of soldiers of 82nd division of the Nigerian army with headquarters in Enugu to curb kidnapping in the five states of South-Eastern Nigeria by the Presidency have sent alleged kidnap kingpins into hiding.

Kidnapping which have lately defied measures by regular security agencies in the South-Eastern states have been on the increase prompting the recent instruction from the Presidency.

chidi opara reports can reveal that the inability of regular anti-crime agencies to contain the situation was as a result of involvement of these alleged kingpins, most of whom are close to the political leadership of the states in the region.

Police insiders who spoke to our network members in Enugu, Umuahia, Awka and Owerri revealed that the alleged kingpins who sponsor thses kidnaps for political and pecuniary reasons are always on hand to interfere with investigations, State security service (SSS), insiders spoke in similar manner.

"The situation is now different, the instruction is that we should flush kidnappers out of the region and we are going to do that", an officer in the headquarters of the 82nd division told chidi opara reports.

A network member who regularly visits the Jetset Nightclub at Imo Concorde Hotel Owerri, known to be the prefered hangout of these alleged kingpins reported absence of most of them yesterday. These alleged kingpins usually visit Owerri to unwind especially on weekends. They are usually seen at the nightclub with their hangers-on and mistresses.

One regular alleged kingpin whom chidi opara reports have kept under watch since february this year, surprisingly did not show up at the nightclub yesterday, his mistress who is a student of one of the institutions of higher learning in the South-West did not show up either. A contact planted on him informed that he and his mistress were at a private guest house of a Port Harcourt based businessman, who is also a Chieftain of the Peoples' Democratic Party(PDP) in the state. The guest house is close to the five star hotel.

Another alleged kingpin, also under watch, was reported to have fled to Ghana immediately news of the deployment broke.

Investigation by chidi opara reports revealed that most of the alleged kidnappers are former mercenary fighters who disengaged from the Niger delta region, now recruited by these alleged kingpins who provide them with weapons, logistics, protection from the law and "safe houses" during and immediately after operations".

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Editorial: Nigerian Hooligans Called Honourables

Members of the lower chamber of Nigeria's bi-cameral Legislature, the House of Representatives on tuesday, 22nd June, 2010, engaged in physical fight in the hallowed chamber of the lower House. This was as a result of the suspension of eleven members by the leaderhip of the House. The suspended members were pushing for the resignation of the speaker, Mr. Dimeji Bankole, whom they accused of corrupt practices.

This dishonourable action of the so called Honourables which were reported extensively in the media have further lowered the esteem of the members in the opinion of the people whom they are supposedly representing.

The public outrage ever since have refused to abate.

 The surprise is how anybody would expect to have nomalcy in a Legislature produced by a rogue political system in which Political Party offices and nominations to elective offices are clinched by the fittest, not the most credible. It is a system in which political office seekers bribe their ways into offices and also hire thugs to force those opposed to them into submission and other vices.

It would be unrealistic to expect that this decadent political system would produce responsible legislators who would recognise the need to follow rules in all undertakings.

chidi opara reports would however like to recommend as a matter of urgency, a total overhaul of the political system starting from the enactment of an electoral act in which the institutional frameworks for a credible political system would be enshrined.

These frameworks would ofcourse not be effective, except if the law enforcement agencies are trained, retrained, adequately equiped and properly oriented/reoriented to give effect to this act.

We are not unmindful of the role of the populace in the enthronement of this credible political system. For this role to be effectively played, chidi opara reports thinks that the citizenry must be properly tutored in their civic obligations, this is not to loose sight of the imperative of economic well being as a major plank of  a law abiding citizenry.

We are of the opinion that if these are done, we will have a credible political class different from what we have presently, hooligans called honourables.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

News Release: DPA Wants Assembly’s Probe Of Lagos State Demolitions Extended To Maroko

                                         [Fashola: Lagos state Governor]

The Democratic Peoples’ Alliance (DPA) wants the Lagos State House of Assembly to extend its current probe of demolished structures to the Maroko incident of 1989.

Recalling that it had rekindled the case for compensation for Maroko evictees March last year, Lagos state DPA according to a statement by Director of Publicity, Felix Oboagwina, said the terms of reference for the Assembly’s ad hoc panel investigating demolitions in Lagos must include the settlement of victims who lost their homes 20 years ago when the Military government of General Raji Rasaki sacked residents and leveled their settlement at the Atlantic seaside.

“Perhaps this is the appointed time. Hopefully, the House of Assembly will answer the prayers of the victims of Maroko and finally lay the ghost of that injustice to rest,” DPA said. “It is a pity that 20 years after the demolition and balkanisation of Maroko, home owners and landlords have not been compensated or rehabilitated. This did not happen even when the Oputa Panel told then Governor Bola Tinubu to apologise for the misdeed, as well as resettle and compensate victims.”

The party also admonished the House to take the government to task over paying due compensation to Lagosians whose homes and business premises had been felled by the government of Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola.

DPA said the regime had cases to answer in the demolition of Dominion Chapel at Dolphin Estate despite an authentic Certificate of Occupancy (C of O), as well as other demolitions in Ayobo, Oshodi Market, Ijeshatedo, Apapa-Badagry expressway, Lekki, etc.

Urging the House to discountenance the government’s attitude that only victims with government-issued Certificates of Occupancy would receive compensation, the party described such a policy as “wicked, pernicious, mischievous and ill-advised.”

In the words of DPA: “The fact is that C of O or not, these houses existed and they were owned and occupied by people. In any demolition, someone lost his house and that person deserves protection, compensation and rehabilitation by the almighty government.”

According to the party, it was usually difficult to obtain a C of O, and even houses built and sold by the government had not been issued C of Os decades after owners purchased them.

DPA said: “More than DPA can do as a political party, advocacy group or pressure group, the Lagos State House of Assembly has a unique and historical opportunity to bring badly needed relief, succour, rehabilitation and compensation to these people. The Legislature must not fail.”

The party also asked the House to legislate against indiscriminate demolitions by the government, except only after due preparations had been made for the affected people.

According to DPA, the House must get the government to put together a comprehensive resettlement and compensation package for the 300,000 victims ejected from some 10,000 Maroko houses by the Brigadier Raji Rasaki regime in 1989.

Recalling its March 2009 campaign, the party said: “Until these two arms of government successfully address this 20-year wrong by bringing succour to the displaced Maroko people, and halt the planned ejection of 5,000 Maroko families taking refuge in Ikota Estate, then they should regard their tenure in Lagos as a failure.”

The party regarded the 1989 evictions as robbing the poor to pay the rich because “the Military government deprived commoners of their land holdings, sand-filled the whole place and reallocated Maroko to more privileged people.”

Felix Oboagwina
Director of Publicity,
Lagos state DPA .

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Citizen Report: Friends Of Embattled Nigeria's Federal Parliament Speaker In Negotiations With Influential Northern Nigerian Politicians

                                       [Dimeji Bankole]

A citizen reporter in Sokoto have filed in report that some friends of the embattled speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole are in Sokoto now negotiating with some influential northern politicians from the state.

The agenda of the negotiations are reportedly centred on the need for these northern politicians to prevail on members of the House of Representatives from the state to deny support to the current move in the House to oust the speaker and on the other hand, the need for the speaker to help in prevailing on the national leadership of the ruling Peoples' Democratic Party(PDP) to respect the party's zoning policy which stipulated that the North will retain the Presidency till 2015.

Similar meetings have reportedly been held in Kano and Kaduna.

The group which included a businessman from Abia state and a retired civil servant from Ondo state is said to be led by a former House of Representatives member from Kano state. The report did not indicate any agreements reached.

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

Thursday, 17 June 2010

News Release: Mass Rally For A New Voters’ Register

                                 [Voters on queue]

As Nigerians mark the 17th Anniversary of the annulment of June 12, 1993 elections by the Ibrahim Babangida junta on June 23, 2010, the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) will continue its national mobilization for free, fair and credible polls as we march towards 2011, which started in Abuja on May 31.

Collaborating with the Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reforms (CODER), SNG stages a massive rally in Lagos where concrete demand would be made for a new voters’ register as a prelude to one-man-one-vote.

The rally holds as follows:

Date: June 23rd, 2010
Venue: Onikan Stadium, Lagos Island, Lagos
Time: 10:00am prompt

Speakers at the rally include; Gen. Muhamadu Buhari, Dr Tunde Bakare, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Solomon Asemota (SAN), Gen. Alani Akinrinade, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Chief Bisi Akande , Prof. Pat Utomi, Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Mr. Ayo Opadokun, Prof. Pat Utomi, Ammad Sheik Abrahaman , Pastor Sarah Omakwu, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), Bashorun Dele Momodu , Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, Mr. Femi Falana, Mrs. Ayo Obe, Alhaji Tanko Yunusa, Mr. John Dara, Dr. Usman Bugaje, Hon. Olawale Oshun, Dr. Chris Ngige, Uche Onyeagucha, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, Mr. Donald Duke, Ms Ankio Briggs, Alhaji Asari Dokubo, Kolawole CL, plus Nollywood Stars/Notable Performers.

Mike Tyson, Mohammed Alli, Michael Jackson etc are not eligible voters in Nigeria.

It’s time for real votes and voters!

For: Save Nigeria Group (SNG)

Yinka Odumakin, Salihu Lukman.

News Report: Nigerian Radicals Regret Nominating Election Commission Chairman-Designate

                              [Attahiru Jega: INEC Chairman-Designate]

Some members of Nigeria's radical class in an informal meeting at the chamber of a famous Lagos based radical Lawyer recently expressed regrets over their nomination of Professor Attahiru Jega, Chairman-designate of Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC).

These radical who usually meet at the Lawyer's chamber in the evening hours on week days and in the afternoon hours on weekends, this time met to deliberate on the information that the INEC Chairman-designate, whom they nominated at the request of the President was in negotiation with leadership of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), as prelude to his confirmation by the Senate. PDP is in majority in the Nigerian bi-cameral federal Parliament.

The Nigerian President wanting to curry friendship of the influential Lagos based radical class had requested it to nominate an INEC Chairman-designate, these radicals made up of vocal lawyers, journalists, labour leaders and civil society activists had according to information available to chidi opara reports forwarded three names which included Attahiru Jega to the President. Jega, a former labour union leader was eventually considered.

chidi opara reports however learnt that when it became obvious that the Chairman-designate would not be confirmed by the PDP dominated Senate, the former University don following advice from some northern senators decided to negotiate with the PDP leadership. The outcome of this negotiation is not know to us at the moment.

A civil society activist, known to be close to the radical lawyer told one of our network members that "negotiating without informing us is an act of betrayal, it is clear he is no longer with us".

A contact at the PDP national headquarters have since confirmed this negotiation to chidi opara reports.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

News Report: Politicians From South Eastern Nigeria Under Pressure To Contest For President In 2011

Politicians of South Eastern Nigeria origin chidi opara reports can reveal are under pressure to contest for President in 2011. South Eastern Nigeria is home to the Igbos, one of the three major ethnic nationalities in Nigeria. The Igbos have only ruled for six months since Independence. The six-month-administration was the period of late General JTU Aguiyi-Ironsi. Nnamdi Azikiwe, another Igbo was ceremonial President.

This pressure we learnt is occassioned by the feeling among Igbos that the majority ethnic nationality would be sidelined in the scheme of things if the Presidency goes to any other region in 2011.

Igbos interviewed in Enugu, Owerri and Umuahia in the course of our investigation are of the opinion that if the North is given preference to  complete the second term of the tenure started by late Umaru Yar'Adua which would end in 2015,  there would be desire by the incumbent to go for the constitutionally allowed second term which would terminate in 2019, same fear was expressed in the event of President Jonathan contesting in 2011. When reminded of the option of Igbos actualizing their Presidential dream outside the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), most respondents feared that going by the nature of past electoral contests in Nigeria, the ruling party would always win.

"Our people are pilling pressures on us to vie for president in 2011, how can we ask them to wait till 2019?", a member of PDP Board of Trustees told one of our network members in Umuahia.

PDP we learnt would fill the vacant position of national Chairman with another Igbo. The former national Chairman resigned in the wake of  allegations of corruption. A PDP woman leader in Owerri however retorted "what is national chairman? Does the national chairman award contracts? Does he appoint people to positions?"

A man who claimed to be a member of  Movement For  The Actualization Of Sovereign State Of Biafra(MASSOB) told chidi opara reports in Enugu that "since they don't want us in Nigeria, they should allow us to go". A good number of respondents reacted in similar manner.

Information at our disposal has it that PDP is considering allocating either the Vice-president or Senate president position to the South-east depending on which region produced the Presidential candidate, but a prominent PDP member in Owerri told chidi opara reports that "we have had enough of Vice-president and Senate president, we want the real thing this time, otherwise our people would lynch us if we set foot on Igboland after 2011".

Monday, 14 June 2010

Editorial: Overhaul Of Nigeria's Election Commission Would be Dead On Arrival

chidi opara reports is of the opinion that the current attempt by Nigeria's President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to overhaul the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) would be dead on arrival. The sign that informed this opinion is obvious to decerning observers.

The Nigrian Government like its predecessors erroneously believes that successful elections are solely dependent on personalities rather than on systems.

This mindset was largely responsible for the appointment last week of a former unionist and Vice-chancellor of Bayero University Kano(BUK), Professor Attahiru Jega as Chairman-designate of INEC. The Chairman-designate is not known to have occupied any position that exposed him to strategic political engineering in all his career. This experience would have atleast been helpful in the present circumstance. The only thing he appears to be bringing to INEC is his much talked about seveteen-year-old anti-establishment credential.

The previous governments made this same mistake in the appointments of Mr. Michael Ani, rtd. Justice Victor Ovie-whiskey and others, in each of the cases, emphasis was on reputation of the would be helmsman rather than on reformation of the system, the results we all know was failure.

When the Umaru Yar'Adua administration in which the President was Vice-president, received report of the Uwais committee on electoral reforms which recommended fundamental electoral system reforms, there were sighs of relief in patroitic quarters. Vital parts of that report were and still being tampered with. There is likelyhood of this tampered version  being passed into law as Electoral Act of 2010.

It is likely that the Attahiru Jega led INEC would conduct the 2011 elections with this act which would not be fundamentally different from past electoral acts.

chidi opara reports is placing emphasis on system reforms backed by law because every anomaly that have manifested in our electoral system over the years namely: lack of internal democracy in political parties, vote selling and buying, rigging, violence, etc are diractly or indirectly traceable to faulty electoral system and laws.

Unless the fundamental reforms recommended by the  Uwais committee are adopted and promptly passed into law, the current overhaul of the electoral commission would as we said earlier be dead on arrival.

News Release: DPA Gives Lagos State Thumbs-Up For Remedial Classes But…

Democratic Peoples’ Alliance (DPA) has thrown its weight behind Lagos State’s initiative of organising remedial classes for secondary school leaving candidates. The party however urged the government to also pay urgent attention to the dearth of school facilities.

Describing the government’s move as commendable, DPA said it was a fitting response to students’ cry for help.

“This means the state government has finally woken up to the need to heal its ailing education sector,” Lagos DPA said in a statement by its Director of Publicity Felix Oboagwina. “This initiative will significantly assist students to improve their final results, something that will cure despair and encourage good performance.”

However, the party urged the government to pay attention to DPA-initiated investigations last January showing that many public schools lacked basic requisite facilities.

In the words of the party: “With education, it is: Garbage in garbage out; and the government must not lose sight of this. Many Lagos-owned schools lack libraries, toilets and science laboratories. In some schools, we discovered that students have never seen a computer; they only read about them in textbooks. Yet external bodies will conduct examinations testing their knowledge, familiarity and competence with such equipment.”

The party decried the fact that Nigerian governments, including Lagos, had shown a lackadaisical disposition to the fate of the country’s youths, beginning with their failure to meet United Nations standards on education.

“The United Nations must have a good and scientific reason for stipulating that 26 percent of the annual budget be reserved for education. It goes in line with the Yoruba adage that, ‘If you fail to invest in a child’s training, he will mismanage his inherited investments.’ From the look of things, we are not planning for our posterity, our future,” DPA lamented.

It further said: “Lagos is a state where instead of the United Nations recommended 1:25 teacher-student ratio, we have up to 120 students sharing a class and two teachers teaching different classes simultaneously in one room. This is a state still struggling to provide pupils with basic classroom furniture and pupils sometimes sit on stones. This is a state with a high record of teachers’ strikes and in the last two years pupils have spent more time at home than in class because their teachers have unsettled issues with the government.”

Describing the rate of failure as alarming, DPA lamented that it accounted for examination malpractices and despair and hopelessness in the young ones.

“When we raise such issues government officials publicly dismiss us as indulging in politics and propaganda. But there is a real disconnect between the government’s stated policies in the sector and actual reality,” DPA said. “The earlier the government accepts this, the better for everyone.”

DPA recalled its investigations in February, which indicated that public secondary schools owned by Lagos State had in 2009 grossed 13 percent in examinations conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), 18 percent in the National Examinations Council (NECO) and 6 percent in the National Association of Business and Technical Education Board (NABTEB).

The party had pointed out that for WAEC, the results of Lagos public schools (13 percent) not only fell below the national average of 14.62 percent, the state as well fell behind states like Abia that scored 35 percent, Bayelsa 63, Rivers 52, Akwa Ibom 20, Anambra 28, Ondo 22, Kogi 17 and Imo 30.

At the NABTEB examinations with a national average of 19 percent, Lagos managed to score 6 percent in 2009.

The party disclosed that in some Lagos public schools (names withheld) not a single student met the mandatory requirement for admission into higher institutions, that is, credit in five subjects including English and Mathematics.

“Perhaps Lagos gesture of organising extra-mural classes is too little, too late. It is coming in the last year of a regime that had four years to tackle a problem that has been there since 1999 when its Action Congress (AC) structure came into power. And it appears to be laying the blame for students’ poor performance solely at their door and insinuating that they had failed to study,” DPA said.

Felix Oboagwina
Director of Publicity, Lagos State DPA

Sunday, 13 June 2010

News Report: Dethronement Of Yoruba King Political

                                    [Adesina: Former Deji Of Akureland]

Investigation by chidi opara reports have shown that the dethronement of the Deji of Akureland, Mr. Oluwadare Adesina by the Ondo state administration of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko is political. The former King was last week involved in a public physical fight with one of his queens known as Bolanle, which resulted into his dethronement. Mr. Adesina was subsequently barnished to Owo, a town close to Akure in south western Nigeria.

The former King we learnt is known to be an outspoken person who hates injustice, but whose major fault is his readiness to take to physical fights to press home his points. This fact we learnt was well known to the Kingmakers of Akureland  and in security circles in the state prior to Adesina's assumption of the Kingship

Oluwadare Adesina's undoing we also learnt is his inability to adapt to the fact that there is a change of politcal leadership in the state. "It is not that the former Deji was against the governor, it is just that he did not like the incursion of external forces into the state", an informed Akure resident volunteered to chidi opara reports.

Our investigation further revealed that the former monarch was always at loggerheads with members of the Akure Traditional Council, whom he accused of collaborating with elements from outside to control the resources of the state.

The former King would have been dethroned last year by the Kingmakers but for the timely intervention of the governor. It is however known now that the governor intervened to save Adesina as way of co-opting him into the present political leadership cabal in the state. The former monarch reportedly rejected every overture  by the governor to lure him into the cabal. He was reported to have given a pre-condition that the governor should stop associating with those he described as "colonialists from Lagos".

It was when they could not get him on their side that they set up Bolanle to misbehave so as to annoy Deji", a contact close to Adesina told chidi opara reports in Akure.

The estranged queen is reported to have been promised a princely sum and assistance to relocate to any country of her choice after the humiliation of Mr. Adesina. She is also said to be in an adulterous relationship with a former aide of a former governor of Lagos state.

The former Deji of Akureland who is presently the subject of sponsored attacks by a section of the Nigerian media may be arraigned in court for "assault and battery".

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Photonews: Memories of Nigeria's Annulled June 12th 1993 Election

                               [MKO Abiola: Won the election?]

                               [Ibrahim Babangida: Annulled the election]

                                [Sanni Abacha: Incarcerated Abiola]

Thursday, 10 June 2010

News Report: Nelson Mandela May Attend World Cup Opening Ceremony

                                    [Nelson Mandela]

Former South African President and Icon of anti-apartheid struggle, Mr. Nelson Mandela may attend the world cup opening ceremony tomorrow. The nonagenarian, who is down with ailments associated with old age was not initially scheduled to attend the ceremony.

Information available to chidi opara reports has it that top of officials of the South African government are of the opinion that an occasion like the world cup opening ceremony will require the presence of a personality like Mr. Mandela. "Remember that he was involved in the bid for hosting of this world cup", a contact in the Embassy of South Africa in Abuja reminded a chidi opara reports' network member. South Africa is the first African country to host the world cup.

It is not yet clear if Mr. Mandela would be physically present or would speak via audio-visual broadcast.

Officials of the South African Embassy in Nigeria would not deny or confirm this information at the time of preparing this report.

Citizen Report: EFCC Storms Imo State

                                         [Governor Ohakim of Imo State]

A citizen reporter from Owerri, capital city of Imo state reported that operatives of the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) are in the state to investigation allegations of corrupt practices against the Ikedi Ohakim administration. The report:

"The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) stormed Imo State yesterday evening (7th June 2010) in readiness to perform their constitutional duties. EFCC have arrested Barrister Kezie Ogaziechi who is the commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy affairs in the state. He is alleged to be one of the major sources through which Governor Ikedi Ohakim loots state funds.

Chikwem Onuoha is already on the run. He is also alleged to be a conduit through which Governor Ikedi Ohakim launders stolen state funds out of the country. He was the Special Assistant on special duties. He is presently the Deputy Chief of Staff.

Mr. Emma Ohakim is also said to be on the run. He is the Chief of Staff. He is alleged to be the man who short changes contractors in Imo State, before he was made the Chief of Staff. He was dismissed from the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN). He was sacked because of the fraud he committed at CBN.

Major contractors in Imo State who are alleged to be conduits through which Ikedi Ohakim evacuates State funds are also on the run. They include amongst others, Chief Lemmy Akakem of Solid Foundation Construction Company Ltd., Mr. Chinedu Chukwuonye of CODUC Construction Company Ltd. Chief Daniel Okehi of Brickred Financial Consultants Nigeria Ltd., Chief Tony Chukwu (the contractor handling Nworie stream dredging), Mrs. Chioma Ohakim who looted funds raised at the launch of "EWAYI PROJECT"" .

Post script: chidi opara reports have not yet confirmed this report at this point in time.

News Release: Doctors’ Strike: Pay Up And Move On, DPA Tell Lagos State Govt.

                                [Governor Fashola of Lagos State]

Democratic Peoples' Alliance (DPA) has urged the Lagos Government to pay doctors their withheld salaries and end the ongoing strike by the state's branch of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).
Doctors employed in Lagos-owned hospitals began striking last week to push demands for a refund of salaries seized by the government after they honoured a strike called by their national body.
"This particular strike should never have happened and it should be quickly resolved before the Lagos State Government suffers the indignity of national NMA calling out all the state chapters to join in a nationwide sympathy strike as they have threatened. Lagos State should simply pay up and move on," DPA said in a statement by Director of Publicity, Felix Oboagwina.
DPA, however, commended the government for recently resolving the grievances of magistrates and cattle and food merchants that had led to strikes by operators in the two sector. But the party warned that the government must honour and implement all agreements reached with associations in the two sectors.
On the ongoing strike by the Lagos Branch of NMA, DPA said withholding doctors' salaries was vengenful, ill-advised, insensitive, undemocratic and rash.
"How does a democratic government punish workers for heeding a national call to demand better equipment and working conditions in their sector? It is draconian and smacks of a throwback to the Military era," DPA lamented.
According to DPA, the government had shown a penchant for mishandling simple industrial disputes and allowing them to degenerate into full-blown crisis.
"It should have been clear to authorities that selectively enforcing a no-work-no-pay rule in a national strike would draw the ire of the victims. Lagos must stop this habit of wielding the big stick and treating its employees like half-witted kids. The simple rule for industrial harmony is to sit down and talk. The government should learn to pick its fights. There are some fights the discerning mind knows from the onset you cannot win. This is one of them; because universally, workers enjoy a fundamental right to strike without fear of discrimination or victimization," DPA said.
Urging Alausa to act quickly, the party reminded the government that doctors' withdrawal of services meant unnecessary suffering and death to casual OPD and emergency patients.
"It is simply insensitive for the government to allow citizens go through the ordeal of hospitals without doctors because for majority of the people, government hospitals represent a first line of defence," the party said.
Although the party commended the government's efforts in meeting the infrastructural needs of the state's health sector, DPA said authorities had to devote more attention to meeting the human capital needs of the sector as well.

DPA believes the spate of strike actions in Lagos State underscored the government's weak underbelly of bad human and crisis management.
But the party urged food merchants to honour their own side of the bargain and ensure the lowering of food prices to reflect the Lagos government's resolve to withdraw agricultural taxes erstwhile levied on foodstuff entering the state.
The party however urged police authorities, who were also fingered as precipitating the crisis, to liaise with other states in order to halt the extortion of food sellers at roadblocks.
"These people risk their lives and limbs to transport cattle and foodstuff from the hinterlands to Lagos . Rather than punish them for their enterprise, the government and security and traffic agencies should encourage them by guaranteeing that they travel seamlessly," DPA said.
Felix Oboagwina
Director of Publicity, Lagos State DPA

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

News Report: Nigeria's Former Anti-corruption Commission Chief May Run With President In 2011 Presidential Election

                                   [Nuhu Ribadu]

Indications have emerged that former Chairman of  Nigeria's Economic And Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC), Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, who returned from a two-year exile from the United States Of America(USA), last week may be drafted into the 2011 electoral contest as Vice-presidential candidate to the incumbent, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.

chidi opara reports have been reliably informed that the Olusegun Obasanjo political family is set to use the former anti-corruption Commission chief as a vote catching machine come 2011. The Obasanjo group is made up of amongst others, personalities like; the President, the Minister of Information and Communications, Professor Dora Akunyili, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mr. Nasir El-Rufai.

A chidi opara reports' network member in Adamawa State, Nuhu Ribadu's home state reported efforts by some of Ribadu's friends to formalize his membership of the Peoples' Democratic Party(PDP), at the ward, local government and state levels. It is not  clear at the time of preparing this report if the formalities have been concluded.

A high level contact at the USA Embassy in Abuja told us that "My country is interested in the emergence of credible young elements in your country's political scene in 2011 and beyond".

A contact at the Babcock University where the former EFCC Chairman received an honourary doctorate degree last weekend confirmed to us that the ceremony was financed by a young billonaire businessman from south western Nigeria known to be an Obasanjo protege.

We can now reveal that Mr. Nuhu Ribadu while on exile made contacts with senior officials of governments of USA, United Kingdom(UK) and Canada amongst others. These officials were reported to have assured him of their support for his future political ambitions.

Aside from the support of the Obasanjo group and the International community, Ribadu is known to enjoy the goodwill of the populace, owing to the public perception of his person as a no nonsense anti-corruption crusader. His tenure as EFCC Chairman is viewed by many as the golden era of anti-corruption fight in Nigeria.

"Nuhu Ribadu is a creation of the radical section of the Nigerian media controlled by his fraternity members", one respondent informed chidi opara reports in Lagos. This respondent refused to explain the fraternity angle.

When asked if the former EFCC Chairman would accept any other position apart from Vice-presidential candidate, a Ribadu confidant in Yola, capital city of Adamawa state told one of our network members, "that would depend on what else would be offered to him".

chidi opara reports investigation however revealed that if Mr. Ribadu fail to get the Vice-presidential candidate slot, he would likely settle for a strategic appointive post.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Open Letter To Nigeria's Inspector-General Of Police

                                [Ogbonnaya Onovo]

Mr. Ogbonaya Onovo,
Inspector General of Police,
Force Headquarters,
Louis Edet House,
Abuja, FCT.

3rd June, 2010

Dear Sir,

Request For Investigation Into Arbitrary Arrest And Terror Attack Against Save Nigeria Group (SNG) Members In Bayelsa State.

We write to intimate your office with some untoward happenings in Bayelsa State in the last 72 hours, as regards the crude assault by men of the Nigeria Police Force against members of the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) and a terror attack against same by yet unknown persons.

The SNG recently commended the leadership of the Police under you for the unprecedented polish and inimitable refinement with which Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria guaranteeing Freedom of Assembly, and reaffirmed by the Supreme Court of Nigeria, has been complied with in the series of peaceful protests in Nigeria starting with our march in Abuja on the 7th of January 2010.

This new found commendable image of the Police, however, received a deadly blow in Bayelsa State on Tuesday 1st of June, 2010, when the State Command violently swooped on members of the SNG at the White Eagles Hotel and arrested 32 people; some of whom belong to SNG and others who were just lodgers at the Hotel owned by the father of the Coordinator of SNG in Bayelsa, Mr. Tony Nantha Ile.

The account of the incident as given by our members is as follows:-
I. That they were at the Eagles Hotel getting ready for their peaceful rally when about 10 vans loaded with armed Policemen led by the Divisional Police Officer of Ekeki Police Station (B Division) Mr Nemi Iwo, stormed the Hotel around 9:45am, shooting tear gas;

II. The Police team allegedly broke the gate leading to the Hotel to gain entrance and forced open doors into the rooms in the Hotel to arrest lodgers and the SNG members kitted in their vests and caps. In all, 28 members of the SNG and 4 lodgers were arrested; their names are as follows:
1. Chief Nantha Ile
2. Tony Nathan Ile
3. Kingsley Ogiri Green
4. Felix Ibuama (JP)
5. Markson Ego
6. Pulu Japhet
7. Mustapha Theophilus
8. Daniel Koko
9. Henry Anyanalem
10. Tefime Johnson
11. Ben Lovell
12. Josephine Ogbere
13. Ebi Ebila
14. Rachael Richard
15. Precious Esegi
16. Douye Apre
17. Letovie Egba
18. Tony Akenge
19. Tolumoye Ibani
20. Samuel Alagba
21. Broderick Oyinkore
22. Enime Gwege
23. Atiku Yeri
24. Ibiere H. Jack
25. Masamina Marbintin
26. Victor Owu
27. Opune Nicholas
28. Nimi George
The four lodgers for now don’t want their names in print).

III. That the State Coordinator Mr. Tony Nantha Ile and Mr. Broderick Oyinkore were handcuffed and all others tied together with their clothes, and bundled into a truck amidst severe beatings;

IV. That thereafter, the Police Team went to the home of Tony Nantha Ile’s father next to the hotel and dragged the old man in a state of sickness from his bedroom and took him (Chief Nantha Ile) with all those arrested in a Hilux van;

V. That they were then taken to the State Police Headquarters before being transferred to the State CID where they were detained for 29 hours before they were released without any charges!

Explosion At White Eagles Hotel:
Upon their release from illegal Police detention, the SNG members returned to the White Eagles Hotel to take stock of their ordeals. They were struck with awe when an object suspected to be dynamite exploded by the hotel damaging some part of the fence around 8pm, Wednesday 2nd June, 2010. The incident was reported promptly to the Police in Bayelsa State who visited the scene.

Our Prayers:
The SNG calls on the Inspector General of Police to do the following:
i. Investigate the arbitrary arrests of the 32 innocent citizens and their illegal detention. The State Commissioner of Police, Mr Udeka Onuoha should be made to explain the actions of his men;

ii. Fish out the brains behind the explosion at the White Eagles Hotel with a view to bringing the agents of terror to book.

We eagerly await your action on the above.

Thank you.
Yours Sincerely,

Yinka Odumakin
For: Save Nigeria Group

i. National Human Rights Commission, Abuja.
ii. Amnesty International

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

News Release From The White House: Accountability for the Disaster in the Gulf

Good afternoon,

Yesterday, President Obama and I met with former Senator Bob Graham and former EPA Administrator Bill Reilly who will chair the bipartisan BP Oil Spill Commission. The President has tasked the commission with conducting a full and thorough investigation of the cause of the BP oil spill.

As the President stressed in his remarks, the Administration will do everything in our power to ensure the American people never have to face another crisis like this one again:

If the laws on our books are insufficient to prevent such a spill, the laws must change. If oversight was inadequate to enforce these laws, oversight has to be reformed. If our laws were broken, leading to this death and destruction, my solemn pledge is that we will bring those responsible to justice on behalf of the victims of this catastrophe and the people of the Gulf region.

Last week, I traveled with President Obama to Grande Isle, Louisiana. The President heard heartbreaking stories from the Mayor of Grande Isle, David Carmadelle, about fishermen who didn't know where their next paycheck would come from and residents who watched in horror as oil washed up on the shores threatening fragile coastal ecosystems and their way of life.

To be clear: BP is responsible for this oil spill, and we will make sure that BP and any other responsible parties pay not only for the cost of the cleanup, but also for the economic damages suffered by people living in the region whose livelihoods have been affected or destroyed by the spill. We will hold BP and other responsible parties accountable. And where government officials have been too cozy with the oil industry -- a problem that goes back a decade -- we will clean house.

In the coming weeks and months, the bipartisan commission will hold public hearings and request information from the government, experts in the oil and gas industry, and relevant companies with the full support of the President and the Administration. In six months, they will deliver a report to the President with their findings and options developed to ensure that a tragedy like this one never happens again.

In the meantime, we will continue to make every effort and listen to every idea to stop the damage, contain and clean up the oil, and help the people of this region return to their lives and livelihoods.


Carol Browner
Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

News Release: "Index Of African Writing And Writers" Debuts

Introduction: Index Of African writing And Writers is a website that documents names and web addresses of African Writing and Writers. It is described as “one stop portal of African Writing and Writers”

Structure: The website has a two-column layout. The left side contains names and web addresses of writers and writing organizations, while the right contains the name and web link of the publishing organization, Editor-In-Chief, the contact e-mail address, recently indexed names, testimonial, names and photographs of African Literary Icons, etc.

Presentation: Index Of African Writing And Writers is published on weblog platform

Other Web Presence: Index Of African Writing And Writers maintains presence on Facebook and Twitter, where it is garnering fans.

Administration: Index of African Writing And Writers is published by Public Information Project Management (PIPROM)

Web Link: Index Of African Writing And Writers

Chidi Anthony Opara
Index Of African Writing And Writers