Wednesday, 29 September 2010

News Release: State Of Emergency Should Be Declared On Abia State Police Command

The Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law is frightened by the callous-indifference and inaction of Abia State Police Command in arresting the terrifying increase of rape, armed robbery, killings and unending cases of kidnapping in Abia State. The recent kidnap of young and innocent school children, paints a clear and sordid picture of these heartless criminals. It is a thing of grave concern and demands an immediate practical measure. The IHRHL is of the standpoint that a state of emergence should be declared on the Abia State Police Command.
It is not a state of emergence on the Government of Abia State or such that will hinder the rights and civil liberties of residents of Abia State, especially their freedom of movement. It is a declaration of state of emergence on the Abia State Police Command. The incessant cases of kidnap and other heinous crimes perpetrated against the residents of this state and the inability of the police in tracking them is a vote of no-confidence on the Police Command.
The Abia State Police Command is horrifyingly reactive to serious situations that demand a proactive approach. Rather than fight hard on these criminals, the Police Commissioner will sit in the comfort of his office and talk tough on what he is going to do. There is amnesty in Abia state, which we expect criminals to submit themselves and their guns. But these criminals are still carrying Ak 47 and other small firearms terrorizing, maiming, killing and kidnapping innocent and law abiding citizens and now school children, only for the police to become a reactive force, rather than a proactive force that should ensure that these crimes are averted and frustrated before its occurrence.
What kind of police do we have? And what is their duty? The fundamental constitutional duty of the police is “the prevention and detection of crime, apprehension of offenders, preservation of law and order, protection of life and property”. It is not to ‘punish crime’. It is to prevent it before its occurrence. The police are expected to have an ‘intelligence gathering’, a kind of data that should assist them to monitor where these criminals stay and what they are doing at any given time.
For the past ten years, we have produced different levels of security guards and all their works put together have amounted to nothing. The IHRHL is therefore, on the standpoint that a state of emergency should be immediately declared on the Abia State Police Command.
The IHRHL is also urging the Government of Abia State to seriously engage their thinking, policies and programs towards human capital investment as a deterrent to high rate of criminality in the state. We also call on political merchants in Abia State who are responsible for the insecurity and disorder in the state to have a rethink.

Chieme Chinweikpe
For: Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

News Report: Israeli Special Anti-Terrorism Troopers May Be Deployed To Rescue Kidnapped Nigerian School Children

chidi opara reports checks in security circles have revealed that specially trained Israeli anti-terrorism troopers may be deployed to rescue the school children kidnapped by unknown gun men in Aba, Abia state of Nigeria on Monday, 27th September, 2010.

Security contacts are however not sure at the time of preparing this report, which arm of the Nigerian security apparatus would coordinate the rescue, but indications are that there would be a coordinating team of three comprising the Police, the State Security Service (SSS) and the Civil Defence Corp, with the Police member as the head.

Security insiders insist that the team have been assembled and the troopers ready, but would not know the time of deployment. “The order to move must come from the Presidency”, a contact revealed.

It would be noted that fifteen pupils of Abayi International School, located at  Osisioma junction, along the Port-Harcourt/Enugu/Aba Expressway, were kidnapped on their way to school..

The abductors initially asked for a ransom of twenty million naira, but later increased it to forty million.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Photospeak: Nigeria's Golden Jubilee Photo Splash

Golden Jubilee Symbol
Off  to school in a canoe
Boko Haram uprising
Kidnap Victims

Sunday, 26 September 2010

News Report: Nobelist Leads Nigeria's Left To Mainstream Politics

Wole Soyinka
Nigerian born 1986 Nobel Prize winner in Literature, Professor Wole Soyinka on saturday, 25th September, 2010 led a sizeable number of Nigeria's Left to mainstream politics with the launching of a new political party named Democratic Front For A Peoples Federation(DFPF).

The launch which took place at the Airport Hotel Ikeja saw Professor Soyinka emerge as the national chairman of the party, while Niger Delta activist, Ms Ankio Briggs and northern Nigeria youth leader, Mr. Yerima Shettima emerged woman leader and vice chairman respectively. Activists like Tunde Bakare, Tony Uranta, Yinka Odumakin and Joe Odumakin were also at the launch which was also the maiden convention of the party.

chidi opara reports learnt that DFPF was formed in 2002 by Wole Soyinka with late Beko Ransome-Kuti and late Chima Ubani among others. Its application for registration then was reportedly rejected by the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC).

Wole Soyinka have for a long time been in the lead of political agitations in Nigeria. These agitations were often viewed by observers as fighting from the periphery.

chidi opara reports was informed by a DFPF  insider during the launch that "this current move is the result of consultations within and outside the circle".

Friday, 24 September 2010

News Release: Nigerian Army Redeploys Senior Officers

The Nigerian Army has carried out a posting exercise which resulted in the redeployment of some senior officers.

The posting which affected principal staff officers, formation and corps commanders as well as commandants of training institutions and some staff officers at Defence and Army Headquarters led to a reshuffle whereby Major General JO Shoboiki becomes the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Division, Brigadier General MD Abubakar GOC 2 Division, Major General SO Idoko GOC 3 Division, Brigadier General KTJ Minimah GOC 81 Division, Major General SY Bello GOC 82 Division, Brigadier General MA Nasamu Commander Army Headquarters Garrison and Colonel EJ Atewe Commander Brigade of Guards.

Similarly, Major General CO Onwuamaegbu is now commandant of the Nigerian Defence Academy as Major General MA Yerima moves to the Defence Headquarters as Chief of Training and Operations.  Major General CO Omoregie is the new Commander of the Joint Task Force.

New principal staff officers at the Army Headquarters includes Major General O Akinyemi the Chief of Policy and Plans, Major General LP Ngubane Chief of Training and Operations, Major General BS Usara Chief of Army Standards and Evaluation, Major General BC Azunrunwa Chief of Logistics, Major General AB Maitama Chief of Administration.

Other positions affected by the posting are a few staff appointments at the Defence and Army Headquarters.
The posting was carried out to cater for deployments in the force following recent retirements and appointments in the Nigerian Army.

Affected officers are expected to resume at their new posts immediately.

Chris Olukolade
Brigadier General

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Photonews: Nigerian President Arrives New York For UN General Assembly

News Report: MEND Confirms Negotiations With Abductors Of Three French Nationals

Movement For The Emancipation Of Niger Delta(MEND), one of the main armed groups fighting the Nigerian government in the oil rich Niger Delta region have confirmed that it has located the where about of three abducted French nationals and one other person abducted same day in a separate operation.

MEND said it is negotiating with their abductors with the aim of effecting the transfer of the abducted persons to its custody. The armed group promised to release further information about the state of health of the abductees and the period they would be in the custody of the group when negotiations are concluded.

An e-mail sent to chidi opara reports and some other news organizations by the spokesperson of the group, Jomo Gbomo read “The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) can confirm that it has located the three abducted French nationals and another individual abducted in a separate incident on the same night. We are in negotiations with the abductors towards effecting a transfer of the men to the custody of MEND. When this is done, we will be in a better position to give further information about their state of health and the duration of their stay with us”

MEND rejected the amnesty offered by the Nigerian government to Niger Delta militants willing to surrender their arms and embrace peace.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

News Release: "We thank you all", Says Nigerian President

President Goodluck Jonathan
Last Saturday, I formally declared my intention to run for the office of President of our great nation in the 2011 general elections with Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo as my running mate. Because of you, the great and untiring Nigerian people, the event was a huge success, and will continue to echo down our annals as a day that we all spoke with one voice, in unity, solidarity and faith in our ability to transform Nigeria. I thank you all.

The distinguished audience, the record attendance by Nigerians from all walks of life and the joy and gaiety of the occasion, stood as an eloquent testimony that our message of hope and commitment is resonating exceedingly across the land.

Vice-President Sambo and I wish to join our Campaign Organization to express our heartfelt appreciation to our elder statesmen, the leadership of the National Assembly, State Governors, Distinguished Senators and Honourable members of the House of Representatives, Captains of industry and titans of commerce, women’s groups, youth and students, who besieged Abuja and particularly Eagle Square to join in the occasion.

We thank the various entertainers, musicians and stand-up artistes, actors and actresses, who spiced up the audience, galvanised and inspired the youth whose future we are committed to serving by ensuring a greater tomorrow for our country. We are also grateful to the millions of Nigerians who witnessed the event at home and abroad via the electronic media and the internet and for their messages of hope and encouragement.

We wish to reassure Nigerians that commitment to the transformation of our country is unwavering. There is work to be done, and in the last few months we have rolled up our sleeves to tackle those issues that still hold us in the back waters of development. We are tackling power, security, infrastructure and the economy. Our war on corruption has revved into top gear with the high profile trials going on today.

We are determined to build a new nation, and set us irrevocably on a path to catch up with and indeed overtake our peers of yesteryears. With the support of you all, we will deliver on this promise. We shall burn our candles at both ends to deliver on electricity; we shall reverse the decades of decay that have beset our infrastructure; we are determined to put our economy back to work for the sake of our people. We are determined to continue to deliver on the promise of a good life for all Nigerians.

Once again, we thank you for your overwhelming support. The time for transformation is now, and of this, there must be no doubt!

Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan
Federal Republic of Nigeria

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Speech: Nigerian President’s Presidential Bid Declaration Speech

President Goodluck Jonathan
Forty months ago my predecessor in office and I embarked on a joint ticket in the governance of our great country, Nigeria. Sadly, he passed away on the 5th of May 2010. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace, Amen.

With the death of President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, the mantle of leadership of our great nation fell on me. However, the days leading to my presidency were very trying times for our nation. We confronted those moments and their challenges to national security with patriotism and care. I appreciate the role played by the National Assembly, Governors, Civil Society groups, the mass media, and other patriotic Nigerians.

The late President Yar'Adua and I shared great dreams for our country. We toiled together to realize those dreams in order to justify the confidence Nigerians reposed in us. Together we swore to execute a joint mandate and today I come before you to make a pronouncement based on that undertaking.

The past four months that I have served as President of Nigeria have opened my eyes to the vast potentials of this office as a potent instrument for the transformation of our country. I discovered that by sheer willpower, I could end the long queues and price fluctuations in our petrol stations. Today, all our refineries are working, saving us huge amounts of funds spent on importation of petroleum products.

I discovered that by insisting that the right things be done, we could begin a turnaround in our power sector by involving the private sector in power generation and distribution. As you can see from the lower quantities of diesel that you are buying today, power generation has significantly improved.

I have put in place new gas policies and very soon, we will be saying goodbye to gas flaring in our oil fields. Working with the National Assembly, we rolled out a law that requires companies operating in the oil and gas sectors of our economy to utilize an appreciable percentage of their goods and services from local sources. We saw to it that normalcy began to return to the Niger Delta by ensuring government's fidelity to its promises, and this has helped to stabilize our national revenue.

In the last few months, I embarked on monumental projects in our road infrastructure to end the carnage on our federal highways. I began several projects to make our water resources available for drinking and farming. I targeted our educational system to return quality and competitiveness to them. I re-addressed our drive for self sufficiency in food production. I have taken bold steps to confront our security situation. In this regard, we are pursuing the revision of our laws to be more responsive to international conventions and more punitive to criminals.

I set the stage for free and fair elections by constituting an electoral commission comprising of Nigerians with impeccable credentials for firmness and incorruptibility. I charged our anti corruption agencies to speed up the war against corruption, and respect no sacred cows in the process. In the management of the economy, I advocated a more transparent banking industry, price stability, low inflation, and aggregate increase in productivity as a way to drive us to a more prosperous economy. In International Relations, I advanced the respectability accorded our country by effective engagement in global fora.

From the moment I was sworn in as President, I came under intense pressure to make a declaration concerning my political future, but declined to do so because it would have immediately distracted us from all the development initiatives we have accomplished so far.

As President and leader of this government, I decided not to place partisan politics above the immediate needs and priorities of our people. I therefore told Nigerians to give me time to concentrate on my work, and that at the appropriate time, I would make a public statement on my political future after widespread consultations.

Those consultations have now been concluded. The Independent National Electoral Commission has recently announced a time table for the 2011 general elections in the country. My party, the Peoples Democratic Party, has also published a timetable for its primaries.

In the circumstances and after a thorough self examination and prayers with my family, I, Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan have decided to humbly offer myself as a candidate in the Presidential Primaries of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party, in order to stand for the 2011 Presidential elections. I pledge once again to all the people of this nation that they will have a free and fair election, even as I stand to be a candidate. In this race, I have the honour to have as my running mate, Architect Namadi Sambo, the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Our country is at the threshold of a new era; an era that beckons for a new kind of leadership; a leadership that is uncontaminated by the prejudices of the past; a leadership committed to change; a leadership that reinvents government, to solve the everyday problems that confront the average Nigerian.

I was not born rich, and in my youth, I never imagined that I would be where I am today, but not once did I ever give up. Not once did I imagine that a child from Otuoke, a small village in the Niger Delta, will one day rise to the position of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I was raised by my mother and father with just enough money to meet our daily needs.

In my early days in school, I had no shoes, no school bags. I carried my books in my hands but never despaired; no car to take me to school but I never despaired. There were days I had only one meal but I never despaired. I walked miles and crossed rivers to school every day but I never despaired. Didn't have power, didn't have generators, studied with lanterns but I never despaired.

In spite of these, I finished secondary school, attended the University of Port Harcourt, and now hold a doctorate degree.

Fellow Nigerians, if I could make it, you too can make it!

My story is the story of a young Nigerian whose access to education opened up vast opportunities that enabled me to attain my present position. As I travel up and down our country, I see a nation blessed by God with rich agricultural and mineral resources and an enterprising people. I see millions of Nigerians whose potentials for greatness are constrained by the lack of basic infrastructure.

I see Nigerians who can make a difference in the service of their country but are disadvantaged by the lack of opportunities.

My story symbolizes my dream for Nigeria. The dream that any Nigerian child from Kaura- Namoda to Duke town; from Potiskum to Nsukka, from Isale-Eko to Gboko will be able to realize his God-given potentials, unhindered by tribe or religion and unrestricted by improvised political inhibitions. My story holds out the promise of a new Nigeria. A Nigeria built on the virtues of love and respect for one another, on unity, on industry, on hardwork and on good governance.

My fellow Nigerians, this is what has brought me to Eagle Square today. I have come to say to all of you, that Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan is the man you need to put Nigeria right. I have come to launch a campaign of ideas, not one of calumny. I have come to preach love, not hate. I have come to break you away from divisive tendencies of the past which have slowed our drive to true nationhood. I have no enemies to fight. You are all my friends and we share a common destiny.

Let the word go out from this Eagle Square that Jonathan as President in 2011 will herald a new era of transformation of our country; an era that will end the agony of power shortage in our country. Let the word go out from here that I will be for the students, teachers and parents of Nigeria, a President who will advance quality and competitive education. Let everyone in this country hear that I shall strive to the best of my ability to attain self sufficiency in food production.

Let the word go out that my plans for a Sovereign Wealth Fund with an initial capital of $1billion will begin the journey for an economic restoration. This restoration will provide new job opportunities and alleviate poverty. Let the word go out that our health sector will receive maximum priority in a new Jonathan administration, a priority that will ensure maximum health care and stop our brain drain.

Let all the kidnappers, criminal elements, and miscreants that give us a bad name be ready for the fight that I shall give them. Let the ordinary Nigerian be assured that President Jonathan will have zero tolerance for corruption. Let the international community hear that today I have offered myself to lead a country that will engage them in mutual respect and cooperation for the achievement of international peace and understanding.

To help me in these tasks effectively, I will re-train, revamp, and motivate the civil service.

My dear good people of Nigeria, I got here today by the power of God and the support of all Nigerians; all ethnic groups, North, South, East and West. I am here today because of your support and prayers. I want all of you to know that I am one of you and I will never let you down! I want you to know that I will keep hope alive; I want you to know that your time has come.

I stand before you today, humbly seeking your support for me, Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, to run for the office of the President of Nigeria with Architect Namadi Sambo as my running mate.

We will fight for JUSTICE!
We will fight for all Nigerians to have access to POWER!
We will fight for qualitative and competitive EDUCATION!
We will fight for HEALTH CARE REFORMS!
We will fight to create jobs, for all Nigerians!
We will fight corruption!
We will fight to protect all Citizens!
We will fight for your rights!

My dear country men and women, give me your support, give me your votes and together we will fight to build a great nation of our dreams!

I cannot end this speech without thanking you all for attending this occasion. Your huge attendance is a loud testimony of your support for us. For this I am very grateful. I pray that the Almighty God abides with you and sees you safely back to your respective destinations.

When you return, tell all those at home that as we celebrate our fifty years anniversary as a nation, Goodluck has come to transform Nigeria and I will never let you down.

Thank You.

May God Bless you all!
And may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!

Friday, 17 September 2010

News Release: Planned NUPENG And PENGASSAN Strike

The Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (IHRHL) hereby expresses its solidarity and support with the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural gas workers (NUPENG) and its sister body, the Petroleum and Natural gas workers senior staff association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) on its planned warning strike over the obnoxious Social Services Contributory Levy law as the IHRHL prepares to contest the constitutionality of the Law in a Court of Law.
The IHRHL notes that the Rivers State Social Services Contributory Levy Law No. 9 2010 is ill advised; selfish, anti-social, democratically deficit, lacks transparency and accountability in the use of funds generated from the taxes and is an apparent instrument of fiscal exploitation of the already impoverished citizens of Rivers state. Furthermore, the Law was passed against the wishes and aspirations of Rivers people and the planned warning strike by the NUPENG and PENGASSAN is a welcome development at resisting its application.
The IHRHL also notes that the Law seeks to throw the state government’s constitutional duties of ensuring the security and welfare of its citizens off its shoulders and saddle it on the people of Rivers State despite huge monthly allocations coming to the state and billions of Naira accruing to the state as internally generated revenue which the state government has been unable to judiciously account for.
The IHRHL also uses this medium to call other labor unions, Civil Society groups and the generality of Rivers residents to rise up and oppose the application of the Social Services Contributory Levy Law as it is unequivocally an exploitative tool and a weapon for social deprivation capable of furthering socio-economic inequality and extreme poverty in the state.
Every civilized law and law making frowns seriously on instruments aimed at punishing individuals doubly as the present law seeks to do.


Nkasi Wodu Esq.
Program Officer, Economic, Social and Cultural rights
Institute of human rights and humanitarian law (IHRHL)

News Report: Nigerian President Panics Over Presidential Ambition Of Former Military President

[Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida]

The presidential ambition of former military President, rtd. general Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, also known as IBB have sent panic into the camp of President Goodluck Jonathan, who is scheduled to declare his intention to contest for the Presidency in 2011 on saturday 18th September, 2010 at the Eagle Square Abuja on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party(PDP). Babangida declared on 15th September, 2010. Both are seeking PDP ticket.

chidi opara reports was reliably informed by a contact in the Goodluck Jonathan campaign organization that the premature release of the President's declaration speech on his facebook page on September 15th, same day IBB declared, ahead of the date of his formal declaration was a desperate move to steer away attention from the former military President's declaration.

Another panic measure, chidi opara reports learnt,  is a plan to set the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) and the Board of Internal Revenue against business concerns of the campaign director of the former military President, Dr. Raymond Dokpesi, for alleged tax offences.

State governors suspected to have political sympathy for IBB  are also targeted in variety of ways, principal among which is renewed EFCC investigations. The governors of Imo, Bayelsa and Rivers states among others suspected to have sympathy for IBB's ambition are presently being subjected to renewed EFCC probes which an EFCC insider revealed are aimed at forcing these governors "to toe the line".

A political officer in a major European embassy in Abuja told chidi opara reports  that "of all the presidential candidates, only Mr. Babangida have the clout to checkmate your President in the election".

Thursday, 16 September 2010

News Release: Rivers State Government: The Real Gestapo

The Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (IHRHL) is shocked at the recent killing of Mr. Abdullahi Muazu, the Head of Forensic Unit of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in his home at Kaduna, and therefore commiserates with the family of the deceased and the EFCC authorities.

The IHRHL notes that this recent attack on the senior EFCC official exhibits a clear indication that the Commission in its devoted and uncompromising attempts at sanitizing the nation from wicked and corrupt actions of crooked and unwanted leaders is indeed effective and is making a lot of people uncomfortable.

The IHRHL also condemns the needless and unprovoked smear campaign carried on by the Rivers State Government against the EFCC. The IHRHL observes that the EFCC is an agency of the Federal Government set up to fight corruption and fiscal mismanagement in the country. Thus, the protest march against the activities of the anti-graft agency held in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, the 15 of October 2010 with public funds on the heels of this current killing of the EFCC Official is totally insensitive, unnecessary and smacks of a desperate attempt by unaccountable and fraudulent political office holders in the state to shroud the resolute anti corruption fight of the commission with the toga of political witch hunting.

Furthermore, the IHRHL asserts that there is no better time for the EFCC to investigate alleged corrupt officials, thus it is totally inconsequential that their activities have increased just before the elections. In fact, the IHRHL believes that there is no better time to investigate corrupt public office holders than before the elections. This would ensure that they do not come back in the next elections to impoverish the people further by looting with impunity funds meant for public use.

It is these acts of fiscal recklessness, financial embezzlement and pillaging that have contributed immensely to the gross Socio-economic deprivations in the Niger Delta, thereby leaving the people impoverished, conflict ridden and deficient in good governance.

The IHRHL hereby uses this medium to call on the EFCC not to relent in their genuine efforts at ridding the Niger Delta of morally deficient and corrupt public office holders as these unwarranted attacks, protests and smear campaigns are just an attempt by a select and selfish few with their rented crowds, to intimidate the officials of the anti-graft agency from the lawful execution of their duties, in order for them to continue their stranglehold on the deprived peoples of the Delta. These protest marches do not reflect the views of the majority of Rivers people. The real Rivers people are not averse to the Commission carrying out their statutory duties.

Further, the IHRHL admonishes the Rivers State government to stop its present mobilization of rented crowds to frustrate the efforts of the EFCC. Rather they should conduct their business of governance with probity and accountability and allow the commission to carry out its lawful duties if they have nothing to hide.

The IHRHL also notes that the State government on various occasions has publicly denounced corruption in public office, thus, the largely sponsored protest against a government agency set up to fight corruption goes to show that the government’s purported anti-corruption campaign is a publicity stunt and a clear double standard.

Further, in more developed societies, this appalling incident would have prompted the Legislators to ask questions of the Governor and even commence impeachment proceedings against him.


Nkasi Wodu Esq.
Program Officer, Economic, Social and Cultural rights
Institute of human rights and humanitarian law (IHRHL

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Speech By Nigerian President: “My Covenant with Nigerian People”

                                            [President Goodluck Jonathan]
Dear compatriots, four months ago, Providence placed me at the leadership of our dear country, following the untimely death of our dear former President, my brother and leader, President Umaru Musa Yar’adua.

It was a very solemn and trying moment for me personally and for the country as a whole. My immediate task and priority was and still remains to give the nation purposeful leadership and to focus on the priorities of our administration in order to maintain national peace and stability and pursue our key development priorities. In these few months as leader of the country, I have concentrated on managing the affairs of the nation, and resisted all efforts to respond to the drums of partisan politics which have been sounding very loud across the land. As President and leader of government, I decided not to place partisan politics above the immediate needs and priorities of our people. I came under intense pressure to make a declaration concerning my political future, but declined to do so because that would have immediately distracted us from all the development initiatives we have accomplished so far. I therefore told Nigerians to give me time to concentrate on my work and that at the appropriate time I would make a public statement on my political future after due consultations with all the segments and leaders of our nation.

Today, I confirm that after wide and thorough consultations spanning the six geo-political zones that make up Nigeria, with members of my family, my party, the opposition, civil society, the Private Sector, members of the Labour Unions, religious leaders, youths and student groups and our revered traditional institutions, I Goodluck Ebele Jonathan by the grace of God hereby offer myself and my services to the Nigerian people as a candidate for the office of President in the forth coming 2011 elections. In presenting myself for service, I make no pretense that I have a magic wand that will solve all of Nigeria’s problems or that I am the most intelligent Nigerian. Far from it. What I do promise is this – If I am elected President in 2011, I will make a covenant with you the Nigerian people to always do right by you, to tell you the truth at all times, to carry you along and most importantly to listen to you, fellow citizens in our communities and also those of you on this page. I do not want to win your affections by giving you promises of things I would do in the future which others before me have given and which have largely been unfulfilled. Rather, I would want you to judge me by my records. Since God Almighty and yourselves permitted me to serve you in the present capacity, I have busied myself with setting Nigeria on the path of peace and progress.

My team and I made no promises on adequate fuel supply in Nigeria. We simply did what was expected of those who govern, we delivered it, and you are living witnesses to that. We made no promise to revamp the textile industry. We delivered a bailout package worth 150 billion naira that is being dispensed as I write. We made no promises of securing the highest U.S Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation clearance, the Category 1 Certificate which enables Nigerian registered airlines to fly to ANY U.S city. We delivered. We made no promise to give Nigeria a brand new INEC under a proven God-fearing and incorruptible leader. We placed Nigeria first and delivered. We made no promises of protecting your loans, deposits and investments in the banking industry over and beyond what is covered under the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Scheme. We delivered it via AMCON. Rather than tell you what we could do to improve power, this administration demonstrated it by initiating a brand new national Super Grid as well as launching a concrete Road Map to the Power Sector with realistic goals tied to realistic dates. I understand from some of your mails that there has been some small improvements in electricity supply in some communities. We met an economy that was beginning to slow due to the global recession. Today, the economy has verifiably grown by 7% this half year ending in June.

I know you are tired of empty promises, so I will make only one promise to you today. The only promise I make to you my friends, fellow citizens and Nigeria, is to promise LESS and deliver MORE if I am elected. I call on you to join me to work together in harmony and synergy to forge a nation where we understand our differences instead of pretending they do not exist and work towards a perfect union founded on transparency, equity and justice. A nation that is on her way to repairing her International reputation and project to the world that things have changed and the people of Nigeria have now taken Nigeria back from a few into the hands of her people who are eager, very eager to pull her weight in the forward movement of the African continent and the world in the pursuit of peace, prosperity and happiness.

I will by the special grace of God be making a formal declaration to this effect at the Eagle’s Square, Abuja, on Saturday 18 September 2011.

I call on you my friends on this page and all Nigerians to give me your support and prayers so that together we can liberate our country from the confines and self –inflicted wounds and limitations of the past. My dear friends and fellow citizens, to borrow an often used slogan by our youths, please join me in proclaiming: Forward Ever, Backward Never! Please let us all unite across tongue and creed to move our long suffering nation forward together.

I thank you and may God bless our country Nigeria.

Rejoinder: Joint Revolutionary Council Replies MEND

Against popular opinion, I will respond to your email but for the record, I will need you to confirm why you think it would be necessary for me, Cynthia Whyte, to respond to an email by an laptop-totting Jomo Gbomo who has always been so far away from the real action but remains so quick to cast aspersions on our integrity largely because he has none.

Is this the same Jomo Gbomo who threatened to annihilate Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari? If it is, then ask him who were the key founders of that movement for whom he so gladly has been sending emails for.

Is this the same Jomo Gbomo who undermined the GOC Government Ekpenkpolo aka Tompolo and called him a Tribal Warlord? ..even though GOC Tompolo was a key founder of the movement that turned out to be called MEND?

Is this the same Jomo Gbomo who had the boldness to undermine General Boyloaf in spite of all the sacrifice General Boyloaf bore in this struggle?

If this is the same Jomo Gbomo, then let him name the first members of the group he so gladly represents on emails.

They made a mistake and allowed this Jomo Gbomo send emails on their behalf. I do not think that they will make that mistake ever again.

The struggle for the liberation of the Ijaw and Niger Delta territory is not a business for arms dealers, toddler-abductors and bank robbers or unrepentant bandit elements.

It is not over yet.

Cynthia Whyte

JRC (Representing Alliance Units of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, The Reformed Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force & The Martyrs Brigade)

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Article: Humiliation Of Roman Catholic Priest In Imo State; A Fresh Insight

                                [Ohakim: Imo State Governor]
By John I. Mgbe
The travails of Rev. Fr. Eustace Okorie who was humiliated by security details attached to Governor Ikedi Ohakim are so well known to warrant a recap. As a participant observer in the unfolding of drama, the perfunctory and superficial approach in the reporting of this sad incident has necessitated my incursion in order to give a fresh insight into the brouhaha.
I wish to state that on this particular issue all of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God.  In discussing the travails of Rev. Fr. Eustace Okorie, every social cluster must have questions to answer in regard to its actions/inactions.  Today, I wish to focus attention on the Government (the political sector) in order to ascertain the remote and immediate causes of that dastardly assault on the Catholic Church.
As has already been widely reported in the press, the Governor and members of his Executive Committee (EXCO) promptly paid a nocturnal visit to the Archbishop and they apologized profusely over the sad incident.  I was not surprised at the Governor/s prompt visit to confess his sins and seek forgiveness from the Archbishop. I had stated incessantly that the Governor is a very smart politician who has always found ingenious ways to wriggle out of any tight crisis and still come out smelling of roses. 
The Governor should be highly commended for not allowing hubris, pride, and the trappings of office to becloud his sense of rationality.  I had stated elsewhere that the highest act of heroism is the ability to conquer self.  On this occasion, the Governor simply conquered himself and went to confess his “sins” to the Archbishop.   In fact, once the Archbishop granted him forgiveness, the episode could be treated as a storm in a tea cup, in spite of its unique aberration. 
It was on account of this that I was not initially part of the restive crowd that scrambled to use the incident as sensational, screaming and banner headlines.  I am aware that the Catholic Church is not a democratic institution; once the Archbishop, Bishop or Reverend Father has decided on an issue, that’s final.
 I am aware that in spite of his shortcomings and imperfections, Governor Ohakim would never have asked any of his hordes of staff to visit such calamity on a Reverend Father of THE CHURCH.  In one of my controversial viewpoints, I did say that the Catholic Church is not a denomination; it’s ‘THE Church”. Yes, Governor Ohakim would not have directly instigated the shameful episode of 8th August when Reverend Father Eustace Okorie’s integrity was torn to shreds by overzealous officials of the Government House. 
However, subsequent developments make it imperative that Governor Ohakim should be kept in the dock in order to make critical clarifications.  After all, as the Chief Executive/Security Officer of Imo State, he is vicariously liable on what transpired on that day. It is only in a mob group that such an incident can take place and yet nobody is held responsible.  What happened to Rev. Father Okorie cannot belong to the template of the “unknown soldier” who was said to have burnt down the Kalakuta Republic of the late Afro Beat King, Fela Anikulapo Kuti.  Since Imo State is not a mob, a rioting group that has no leader, the buck must stop on Governor Ohakim’s table.  At each point in time, somebody must be answerable for the breakdown of law and order in a democratic society. It’s on account of this that the late President of United States, Ronald Reagan, had a plaque on his table emblazoned with the inscription: “the buck stops here”.
Now that Governor Ohakim is on the dock, can he provide sincere answers to the following posers: Who smuggled in the photographs of  Reverend Father Eustace Okorie and a lady, Miss Iroka, said to be his passenger which appeared on the front page of the Newspoint Newspaper of August 19,2010 ?   Since the correspondents of the Newspaper were not at the scene of the sad incident, it is logical to conclude that some overzealous personal aides of the governor instigated the scheme with the sole purpose of tarnishing and besmirching the reputation and integrity of both the Reverend Father and the Catholic Church. 
A scenario where Reverend  Father Eustace Okorie was placed in the front page of a Newspaper looking morose and sitting beside an allegedly improperly dressed girl and with the banner headline:” Female Companion indicts priest” is beyond depravity.  It is unacceptable as this smacks of crass insensitivity to the sensitivities of the mood of the Catholic faithful who constitute the overwhelming majority in Imo State.  The fact that the Governor was not directly involved is not enough reason to plead that those who planted the picture of Rev. Father Okorie and fabricated a story on the aforementioned newspaper cannot be identified or should be given an unconditional reprieve.  Those in government can tell that to the marines.  Imo State is too sophisticated for such shenanigans, tomfoolery and buffoonery. 
The irreducible minimum for peace is that those who spearheaded this unprofessional expedition should be unraveled and severely sanctioned.  Surprisingly, those in government have in their watery explanations accused their political opponents of politicizing the episode. 
Nothing can be farther from the truth.  If anything, it’s the government people that are playing politics/Russian Roulette over an issue that demands instant action.  The easiest way of politicizing the issue is to continue to shield the perpetrators of that dastardly and heinous act. 
The Rev. Father at the centre of the controversy is not one of the so-called hack writers (as our local journalists are often called) but rather a Reverend Father of the Catholic Church and member of the Holy Order of Melchisedec and the anointed of God.  He was fully dressed in his ecclesiastical regalia with   all the appendages and accoutrements of the Sacred Order of the Catholic Priesthood.  Yet, he was treated like a common criminal and a month after that nothing has been done to ferret out the perpetrators of this abominable act. 
This cannot be another case of the bizarre episode of the “unknown soldier”. It is absurd and repugnant to rationality that while the Governor went to seek forgiveness from the Archbishop; his foot soldiers were dispatched to use the newspaper to do more damage to an already bad situation.  The intention of this hatchet job is to criminalize and demonize both the Catholic Church and Rev. Father Eustace Okorie.

Monday, 13 September 2010

News Release: MEND Disowns Joint Revolutionary Council

The attention of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has been drawn to an allegation by Chief Raymond Dokpesi, the Director General of the presidential campaign for former Nigerian military leader Ibrahim Babangida claiming that MEND issued a threatening statement directed at him.
For the record, there has never been a statement from MEND directed at Chief Dokpesi or anyone involved in the 2011 presidential race.
The group is apolitical and our focus remains fighting the injustice in the Niger Delta.
Chief Dokpesi may be misinformed into believing that statements from an association of miscreants calling itself the Joint Revolutionary Council (JRC) with false claims of affiliation with MEND is true.
We reiterate that we have no knowledge of any group known as the Joint Revolutionary Council or JRC. The public should ignore statements to the contrary.
Jomo Gbomo

News Release: Position Of Igbos Resident In Lagos On The 2011General Elections

The position of Igbos resident in Lagos concerning the 2011 General elections is as follows:

1. All Igbo eligible voters must register at their residential registration centres to enable them vote without being hindered by the no-movement policy that usually comes up during the voting days.

2. Considering the fact that ACN and PDP political platforms would not avail their platforms to Igbo aspirants, African Renaissance Party (ARP) and others have been secured to provide the needed platforms.

3. Igbos in Lagos are out to vote for their kiths and kin in all positions save the position of governor and will vote en mass for any political party that picks an Igbo candidate for the office of Deputy Governor.

I thank you very much.

Udoka Udeogaranya
Lagos 2011 Igbo Mandate Forum

Sunday, 12 September 2010

News Release From Joint Revolutionary Council; “Dokpesi Have No Hostage Value”

                                           [Raymond Dokpesi]

We wish to condemn in all entirety, the false alarm spewed by Raymond Dokpesi concerning threats to kidnap his son.

For the benefit of all doubts, we wish to categorically declare that Dokpesi have little or no hostage value.

More especially, it would be entirely worthless to for anyone to abduct a child or children with questionable paternity, vain pedigree and dumb ancestry.

Dokpesi’s ranting represents the cry of a drowning man struggling for some breath of fresh air in murky waters.

Let us remind all men of goodwill that Raymond Dokpesi’s association with the South-South People’s Assembly in 2007 during the run-off of the 2007 Presidential ambition of Sir Peter Odili was driven by the heavy cash gifts that Dr Peter Odili made to Raymond Dokpesi and his DAAR Communications group to enable them set-up shop in Port Harcourt and stay afloat.

Dokpesi has never been involved in the agitation for a Niger Delta and have lived a life of subservience to corrupt Northern oligarchies. His loyalties are of a pecuniary nature and will always fall for the highest bidder.

Our declaration of a persona non grata status on Raymond Dokpesi was in itself, a warning on Chief E.K Clark and the others who conscript soldiers and foot-soldiers for the Niger Delta and South-South cause without first conducting background checks on them.

Raymond Dokpesi have not and will never be able to believe in the South-South or Niger Delta cause. He did not believe in it when he was in the South-South People’s Assembly. Rather he believed in the hundreds of millions of naira he was given by Dr Peter Odili and the lots more that was promised.

Dr Peter Odili is still alive and should be made to speak the truth on this matter.

The Struggle is Unstoppable.

Cynthia Whyte
For: Joint Revolutionary Council

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Citizen Report: Roman Catholic Faithfuls In Imo And Abia States Demonstrate Against Bad Leadership

                              [Arcbishop Obinna of Owerri Diocese]

Reported By Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha

The Roman Catholic community in Imo and Abia States on Friday September 10th, 2010 did a protest march against bad leadership. The Bishops of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province comprising the Dioceses of Owerri, Orlu, Okigwe, Ahiara, Aba and Umuahia led their faithfuls to a one-day prayer procession in Owerri, the capital city of Imo State .

The Catholic faithfuls numbering over 200,000 began the prayer procession at “Villa Maria” (St. Mulumba Catholic Church) along Wetheral Road by 8.00am and terminated at the Assumpta Cathedral at about 12:30pm.

The faithfuls wore black and purple clothes depicting signs that evil have enveloped the two states. During the prayer procession, the Roman Catholic faithfuls called on God to intervene to free the people from bad leadership,

The Roman Catholic faithfuls had gone into “novena” mass and rosary prayer demonstration earlier, following the arrest and detention of Rev. Father Eustace Okorie recently by the Ikedi Ohakim government. The Ohakim government also demolished several churches in 2007.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Opinion: Mrs. Obama On 9/11 National Day Of Service And Remembrance

                                [Mrs. Obama]

Nine years ago, nearly three thousand Americans lost their lives on September 11, 2001.  Like many
Americans, I was shocked and horrified by the attacks on our country.  But I was also inspired by the heroism and selflessness of so many of my fellow Americans in the wake of this tragedy.

From the brave men and women of Flight 93 who sacrificed their own lives to save the lives of others, to the first responders who rushed without hesitation to help those in need, to the young men and women who chose to join our Armed Forces following the attacks - these tragic events united Americans in a remarkable spirit of solidarity and compassion.

It's that spirit of selflessness and service that inspired the first September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance last year. On this day all Americans can honor the brave men and women who lost and risked their lives by serving others in their community.

Tomorrow, I will be volunteering with Mission Serve, an initiative bringing together civilian and military communities through service and volunteerism.  Working alongside active duty members of the military, wounded warriors, veterans, military spouses and students, I'll help renovate a community center at a retirement community for veterans in McLean, Virginia.

You can join me in participating in the National Day of Service by finding a service opportunity in your area on Whether you help clean up a local park, participate in a food drive, or help out in a local soup kitchen or school, volunteering strengthens our communities and our country. The National Day of Service presents an opportunity to take time to make a difference in your area and make a commitment to serve your community throughout the year.

On the anniversary of this tragic day in our history, I hope you will join me in honoring all those who put the needs of others before their own by serving in your community.To all Americans mourning the loss of their loved ones on September 11th, the President and I extend our sincerest condolences. Your courage and
sacrifice is an inspiration to all Americans.


Michelle Obama
First Lady of the United States

Thursday, 9 September 2010

News Release: DPA Protests Lagos State Electoral Commission’s Preparation For Bye-Elections

Democratic Peoples’ Party (DPA) have accused the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) of keeping political parties in the dark about two bye-elections slated for later this month.
The party complained that less than 10 days to the polls, LASIEC had not deemed it appropriate to send notification about the polls to DPA and other parties.
One bye-election will hold in Lagos Island Ward A1 in respect of a deceased Councilor originally elected on the platform of the Action Congress (AC), while another takes place in Ikorodu. Both polls have been reportedly fixed for September 18.
“We are tempted to say, ‘Here we go again,’ because this is just typical of the divide-and-rule posture that has characterized the operations of LASIEC in Lagos State. This kind of partiality robbed opposition parties of victory in past elections organized by LASIEC,” DPA said in a statement by its Director of Publicity, Felix Oboagwina.
Rising from a meeting of its Lagos State Executive Council in Yaba area on Tuesday, DPA said it only learnt on that day that two bye-elections had been scheduled in the state.
The party said LASIEC’s behaviour gave the impression it had written off other participants, something the party said could not guarantee a free and fair election.
“It is disheartening that LASIEC failed to send the notification of the election to DPA’s known address at the party’s Lagos State Secretariat in Yaba, and instead sent second-hand information through some faceless officials in the local government to advise inappropriate party officers to pick up nomination forms,” the party said. “Even now, we do not know where the bye-election will hold in Ikorodu.”
The last time Lagos witnessed a bye-election was last year when Mr. Okanlawon Soniyi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won the Ibeju-Lekki Federal Constituency bye-election, after the disqualification of an Action Congress (AC) Member of the House of Representatives.
“We had hoped that with the preparations in top gear for the crucial 2011 polls, all electoral agents would be on deck, reflecting an attitudinal change that everybody has agreed will wipe away our past shame of fraud-infested elections. Unfortunately, LASIEC appears caught in its web of its old habits. And it wants to continue to do bad business as usual,” DPA said.
FELIX Oboagwina
Director of Publicity,
Lagos state DPA

News Report: Nigerian President May Not Contest With Deputy

                                [President Jonathan with Deputy]

Despite reports that Nigerian President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan would contest the 2011 presidential election with his deputy, Mr. Namadi Sambo, indications are that the running mate slot is still open and may be used for bargaining.

Presidency insiders have revealed to chidi opara reports that the President's recent meeting with his party's governors whose agenda was his presidential ambition carefully omitted the name of his potential running mate.

A strategically placed contact in the Goodluck Jonathan campaign organization confirmed to us that "the issue of running mate is still open". "Although  Sambo is still the preferred choice", another Goodluck Jonathan campaign organization contact reassured.

Checks in northern states, the Vice-president's home zone revealed that Sambo's political clout would not be enough to sway the north into giving the President the required votes in 2011. Northern political leaders are insisting on the zonning policy of the ruling party, which stipulates that it is the turn of the region to produce the President. Jonathan is from the south.

Part of the recommendations of the Goodluck Jonathan political think tank, chidi opara reports learnt is that a northerner with enough politcal clout to substantially contain the anti-Jonathan campaigns of northern politcal godfathers insisting on a President from the region should be chosen. The President is said to be considering this recommendation, "but would prefer the Vice-president for his loyalty".

The names of Muktar Shagari, Deputy governor of Sokoto state and a son of former President Shehu Shagari, Bukola Saraki, Governor of Kwara state and a scion of the Saraki political dynasty, Aliyu Gusau, retired Army general and former National Security Adviser are also on the card.

Contacts close to the Vice-president however informed chidi opara report that he is aware of this plan and would play along. According to one contact, "as long as it will ensure victory for our party".

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Citizen Report: Nigerian President Removes Police, Secret Service And Service Chiefs

                                                     [President Jonathan]

A citizen reporter in Abuja, Nigeria's capital city have just filed in report that Nigerian President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan have removed the Inspector-general of Police, Ogbonnaya Onovo,  Director-general of State Security Service(SSS), Gadzama and the Service Chiefs.

Hafis Ringim and Ita Ekpeyong will reportedly act as Inspector-general and Director-general respectively. Details are reported to be sketchy at the moment.

chidi opara reports have not independently confirmed this report.

News Report: Abia State Of Nigeria: From "Mother Execellency" To "Mummy Execellency"

                               [Patience Jonathan]

Abia state of Nigeria may be moving from the period in which it was the personal property of Mrs. Eunice Uzor-Kalu, addressed as "mother execellency" by her hangers on, into an era of being the personal estate of Nigeria's first lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, known as "mummy execellency" by her own ever increasing hangers on. Mrs. Kalu is the mother of a former governor of the state Mr. Orji Uzor-Kalu, erstwhile political godfather of the governor, Mr. Theodore Orji.

The Abia state governor following disagreements with Mr. Kalu, who is also the founder of the political party that brought him to power, the Progressive Peoples' Alliance(PPA), defected first to All Progressives Grand Alliance(APGA), but when his former godfather led the remaining members of PPA into the ruling Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), the governor started desperate moves to also join PDP.

On August 28th 2010 at the Umuahia Township stadium, the governor's dream of joining PDP was actualized, when in an elaborate ceremony, the party's national chairman, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo in the presence of President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, handed the party's flag to the governor. He was subsequently granted waiver to contest the party's primary election for the 2011 gubernatorial election, a requirement for new entrants.

chidi opara reports' network members in Umuahia and Abuja who have been following the Abia state governor's political moves since he left PPA reported that his smooth  sail into PDP was facilitated by  Mrs. Jonathan. Although the first lady's mother and Theodore Orji are from the Ohuhu clan, checks revealed that a deal was struck. We do not have details of the deal yet, but we can report that the first lady insisted on nominating a sizeable number of political appointees in 2011. Indications are that Orji would win both the primary and election proper with the influence of the first lady.

Network members also reported that the governor's movement to PDP initially generated serious reactions from the camp of Mr. Onyema Ugochukwu, PDP's governorship candidate in the 2007 election. The Ugochukwu group who are involved in court cases with the governor, had to be prevailed upon by the Presidency through the efforts of the first lady to withdraw the cases and work with the Theodore Orji group. Unconfirmed information has it that Ugochukwu was promised ministerial post in 2011.

chidi opara reports also learnt on good authority that the Ojukwu factor was silenced by a threat to use PDP members of Anambra State House of Assembly, who are in the majority, to make the state governor's remaining tenure problematic. Anambra is the only state APGA governs. Ojukwu is the national leader of APGA.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Report: Avoiding Chinese online scam

International Corporate Research has released the 2nd issue of its Diary of Social Research titled 'How to avoid Chinese online scams'. The report takes a bold step to expose the villainous tactics adopted by Chinese online scammers and how you can guard yourself against their nefarious antics.

The span-less landscape of the internet is dotted by tales of grief such as the one below;

“I was ripped off by cnevogue ordered 2 TVs and a laptop....paid 1048 Euros... then they gave me the same crap that they needed customs money; first New York...then tried the Chinese customs and on...did not pay”.

Men and women who have been duped of their hard earned money by Chinese online fraudsters.

Not a few have fallen for the seamless tricks of these Chinese losing millions of dollars in the process. From all over the world unsuspecting victims daily wire money to China in exchange for nothing but a fraud.

After discovering the paining testimonies of some victims of these frauds, ICR researchers initiated a deep research work to unravel every trick used by them and the easiest way to avoid being defrauded.

The report presents a detailed modus operandi of Chinese online scam and highlights 15 ways by which you can recognize these scammers and the fraudulent websites with which they carry out their perpetrations.

You will learn tips on how to protect yourself online and it also comes with a list of 200 websites that are currently confirmed as fraudulent and should therefore be avoided.

Sanyaolu Kehinde
Chief Research Analyst

Monday, 6 September 2010

Article: The Team Ribadu Phenomenon

                               [Nuhu Ribadu]

By Chido Onumah

A few months ago, I wrote about the prospects of a Ribadu presidency and the great excitement it had generated. If that possibility seemed like a fantasy then, it looks more like a reality today thanks to the extraordinary efforts of young Nigerians.

Perhaps in response to the admonition of the philosopher and revolutionary, Franz Fanon, that each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it, Nigerian youth seem poised to take up the gauntlet to salvage Nigeria. They have come together to undertake this onerous task under the banner Team Ribadu.

Team Ribadu is a youth driven, flagship volunteer movement for the Nuhu Ribadu 2011 presidential bid. It is “a political movement, founded in recognition of the legitimate thirst of Nigerian youth for a new kind of leadership marked by integrity and competence. It seeks to harness and support the tidal wave of young people, who are eager to get involved in the electoral process, in order to create political and social change”.

To achieve this, Team Ribadu plans “to build a groundswell of motivated, committed and capable volunteers to not only ensure the right leaders are voted into political office in 2011, but also to ensure that these leaders are held accountable for their promises once elected into office”.

Clearly, more than anything else, the 2011 election will be a battle between the old order and the new; between whether we want change or more of the same. What these youth – some of them professionals, many of them students, and many more unemployed -- seem to be saying is they want to reclaim Nigeria and they have the capacity to do so.

These indefatigable young Nigerians are calling 2011 the Year of the Nigerian Youth Voter. According to a post on the team’s Facebook, “in 1993, IBB and his cabal annulled the popular will of Nigerians. Many of us were too young to vote then. But not anymore! We are conscious of the task that history has placed on our shoulders. If the task of our grandparents, many of whom were much younger than we are now, was to liberate our nation from the evils of colonialism, the task of our parents was to build a strong, prosperous, and united nation, an egalitarian society founded on the principle of social justice and freedom. Unfortunately, they failed woefully in that calling.

“But it is not enough to bemoan our situation or to perpetually play the blame game. We have the future of Nigeria literally in our hands. The question is: do we want to live the second half of the Nigerian century in darkness? The world is now electing young and visionary presidents with broader foreign policy perspectives, with notions and ideas of integrity, and above all with models of the future.”

Those behind the novelty, Team Ribadu, see in Nuhu Ribadu, former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), a once-in-a-generation opportunity to confront our problems as a nation. Ribadu brings compassion, integrity and a strong vision of the future. What else can one ask for in a country where the bankruptcy of leadership is the rule rather than the exception?

Team Ribadu is poised to be the most elaborate and sophisticated attempt by Nigerian youth to be a part of the democratic process. Understandably, it is gradually turning into a pop culture phenomenon. This weekend about 400 volunteer members across the country will gather in Abuja, the first of its kind in our tortuous political history, to parley with the man, Nuhu Ribadu, and fine-tune strategies for their roles in what will be, for most of them, the greatest opportunity as well as challenge of their lives.

Of course, our youth have the vote and they know the power to make a difference is literally in their hands. Unlike other platforms that seek to mobilise Nigerian youth with money and other forms of gratification, the Team Ribadu platform, according to its founders, is powered by the conviction that young people can bring about the kind of change we desire in Nigeria.

I agree with the founders of Team Ribadu that the battle cry as we count down to 2011 should be register, vote, defend your vote! Who says a New Nigeria is not Possible?

News Report: Nigerian Government Prepares to Arraign Halliburton Bribery Suspects To Shore Up Anti-corruption Profile

The Goodluck Jonathan administration in a bid to shore up its wanning anti-corruption profile have decided to arraign some suspects in the Halliburton bribery scandal. These suspects are among those alleged to have benefited from Halliburton's one hundred and eighty million dollars bribe.

A middle level contact in the Federal Ministry of Justice told chidi opara reports that "the case have been filed". Further checks however revealed that the case have not yet been assigned to any Judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja. "All I can say is that we have concluded the process of arraignment", the contact assured.

It is still being whispered in top securiity circles that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), got the sum of five million naira from the bribery.

It is also being alleged that some Nigerian leaders like former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida, Abdulsalam Abubakar and others benefitted from the largess. These leaders have however denied involvement.

The suspects that may be arraigned include: Ibrahim Aliyu, Dominic Bello, Mohammed Bakare, George Mark and Ade Bodunde, This list we understand is not exhaustive.

chidi opara reports reliably learnt that the Goodluck Jonathan political Think Tank had advised that the case be charged to court before the commencement of the 2011 presidential election campaigns, "to solidify the President's anti-corruption prosture".

Checks also revealed that the case is part of moves to shield the former leaders acused alongside those to arraigned from further scrutiny.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Opinion: Re-Imo State Governor’s Dehumanization Of A Catholic Priest

                                           [Ohakim: Imo state Governor]

My attention has been drawn to an advertorial on the “Nigerian Horn” newspapers edition of September 1-2, 2010 page 10, “Daily Sun” newspapers edition of September 2, 2010 page 15, “Newspoint” newspapers edition of September 2-5, 2010 page 9 and “Announcer” newspapers edition of September 1-2, 2010 page 13. It was captioned “Re-Government Dehumanization Of Catholic Priest” Sponsored by “Owerri Power Club”, signed by Chief Paul .C. Nnawuchi as President General and Prince Azu Uwandu as Secretary General.

I would not bother to join issues with “Owerri Power Club”, bearing in mind that the signatures of the two individuals mentioned above were superimposed on the said advertorial. The address of the club given as “Plot 475 Trans Egbu Owerri – Imo State” does not exist, after a careful investigation, I also discovered that the advertorial was written by Mr. Ethelbert Okere, Special Assistant to Governor Ikedi Ohakim on Documentation, but he chose to use the names of Chief Paul .C. Nnawuchi and Prince Azu Uwandu as signatories.

It should be noted that the assault on Rev. Fr. Eustace Okorie confirmed that Mr. Ikedi Ohakim and his government have no respect for anybody or institution in the state. The scandal that followed this assault on Rev. Fr. Okorie can be equated to the assault on this writer by Ikedi Ohakim himself in his Office at gun point. As a face saving strategy, Ohakim ran away from Imo State, exactly what he did when he assaulted this writer.

On paragraph 8 (eight) of the advertorial, Mr. Ethelbert Okere wrote inter-alia “it is even sheer wickedness to insinuate that Governor Ikedi Ohakim has been brutalizing Imo indigenes since 2007 that he took office. In the case of the carefully fabricated Mr. Ikenna Samuelson’s story which is now a reference case, no Chief Executive can stomach the youth’s tissue of lies which he bandies on internet and pages of newspapers with reckless tact and also Mr. Maximus Uba’s who started the opposition though with reason has now abandoned the camp of the opposition and has since embraced reason after the supreme court judgment”. Mr. Ethelbert Okere is fond of hiding under other people’s names and groups to launch bare-faced lies with the intention of deceiving the reading public.

By Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha