Wednesday, 18 August 2010

News Release: President Obama On “Ending The War In Irag"

                                         [President Obama]

Shortly after taking office, I put forward a plan to end the war in Iraq responsibly. Today, I'm pleased to report that -- thanks to the extraordinary service of our troops and civilians in Iraq -- our combat mission will end this month, and we will complete a substantial drawdown of our troops.

Over the last 18 months, over 90,000 U.S. troops have left Iraq. By the end of this month, 50,000 troops will be serving in Iraq. As Iraqi Security Forces take responsibility for securing their country, our troops will move to an advise-and-assist role. And, consistent with our agreement with the Iraqi government, all of our troops will be out of Iraq by the end of next year. Meanwhile, we will continue to build a strong partnership with the Iraqi people with an increased civilian commitment and diplomatic effort.

A few weeks ago, men and women from one of the most deployed brigades in the U.S. Army, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, returned home from Iraq. The Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden were at Fort Drum to welcome the veterans home and spoke about their personal experiences as a military family:

Our commitment to our troops doesn't end once they come home -- it's only the beginning. Part of ending a war responsibly is meeting our responsibility to the men and women who have fought it. Our troops and their families have made tremendous sacrifices to keep our nation safe and secure, and as a nation we have a moral obligation to serve our veterans as well as they have served us.

That's why we're building a 21st century Department of Veterans Affairs. We've made one of the largest percentage increase in the VA’s budget in 30 years, and we're dramatically increasing funding for veterans' health across the board. In particular, we're delivering unprecedented resources to treat signature wounds of today's wars—Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Our sacred trust to take care of our veterans goes beyond simply healing the wounds incurred in battle. We must ensure that when our veterans leave the Armed Forces, they have the opportunities they need to further their education and support their families. Through the Post-9/11 GI Bill, some 300,000 veterans and families members have pursued a college degree. Others are taking advantage of job training and placement programs.

My Administration will continue to do our part to support the brave men and women in uniform that have sacrificed so much. But supporting our troops and their families is not just the job of the Federal Government; it's the responsibility of all Americans.

As we mark this milestone in the Iraq war and our troops continue to move out of Iraq, I hope you'll join me in thanking them, and all of our troops and military families, for their service.

President Barack Obama

Citizen Report: Catholic Priest Humiliated By Imo State Governor

                                           [Ikedi Ohakim]

Reported by Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha

At about 6pm on Sunday, the 8th of August 2010, Security Officials attached to Mr. Ikedi Ohakim, governor of Imo state arrested a man of God, Rev. Father Eustace Okorie for allegedly obstructing the convoy of the governor. The Priest was accused of “intentionally” blocking the governor’s convoy with his Nissan Infinity Saloon Car along Orie-Akabo Ikeduru L.G.A. of the state. Rev. Father Eustace Okorie was immediately arrested, humiliated and his car impounded. The Priest was taken straight to the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the governor who after questioning, ordered that the priest be taken to the SSS office where he was detained from Sunday evening till about 8:20am the next day Monday 9th August 2010. While in detention the priest was not allowed to speak to anyone on phone which raised concern about his where about. He was forced to write a statement.

Commenting on his ordeal on Tuesday 10th August 2010, Rev. Father Eustace Okorie maintained that he parked his Car well in order not to enter a dangerous ditch. He equally disclosed that his side mirrors were completely smashed with gun and he was forced to join the convoy in a sports utility vehicle. The Rev. Father also said that he was going for evening mass which was terminated. He was detained with only pants.

The Arch Bishop of Owerri Bishop AJV Obinna on Tuesday 10th August 2010 in a news conference called on Human Rights groups in the country to wade into the matter, stressing that “Every person should have due rights in Nigeria”.