Tuesday, 1 February 2011

News Release: Joint Revolutionary Council Supports Appointment Of Adviser On Niger Delta

Niger Delta Militants
We try as much as possible not to be too hasty in endorsing appointments such as the recent appointment of Kingsley Kuku as Senior Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs.
However, the recklessly callous threat by the ‘Jomo Gbomo’ faction of MEND, is rather unfortunate and represents a pathetic attempt by a band of miscreants to showcase ungratefulness and ignorance.
In the past two months, that ‘Jomo Gbomo’ has released two threats from his email account and then come out to refute it alleging a breach of their email account. Do not be surprised if they issue another rebuttal in the next few days.
We believe that the appointment of Kingsley Kuku is an indication of the fact that Goodluck Jonathan’s government is willing to engage in dialogue for the enthronement of real peace and sustainable development across the Niger Delta.
However, it is important for us to clarify on what government really wants. Do they just want unfettered access to our oil and gas resources or peace and development in the Niger Delta? These are the questions that people like Kingsley Kuku should help us resolve.
It is not enough to appoint a capable, competent and experienced Kingsley Kuku as adviser. The real things must be done. Appropriate tools must be provided to ensure the development is provided to all.
It is rather shameful that months after thousands of peace-ready youths of the Niger Delta gave up their guns and accepted the government’s amnesty package, many of these youths are still being left hopeless and hungry while the elites and their children cart away the spoils of war!
When some of these young men were in the creeks and rising in defense of the long suffering people of the Niger Delta, most of these elites (of the Niger Delta) and their children were lounging in the comfort of their mansions and in elitist schools abroad. Today, it is these same people who sitting on all the opportunities. Why should this be so? This nonsense is one of the biggest reasons for the recent unrests in the Niger Delta. It may continue.
Goodluck Jonathan appointed Kingsley Kuku as Senior Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Matters in good faith. It is up to Kingsley Kuku to deliver on that objective. Failure is clearly not an option for Kuku.
We expect to see him build synergy with the likes of Oronto Douglas and Felix Tuodolor to ensure that key deliverables are achieved within appropriate timelines. There is not time to waste on this matter.
This is the moment for strategic, progressive and rational engagement. While we are not done with engaging brawns, we believe that engaging some brains will do.
We will do our best to be patient but we must warn that there is an emerging group of revolutionaries coming up across the Niger Delta. They will drive the process for the new agitation in the Niger Delta. The players in that struggle will not be known for a very long time.
The struggle is on course. However, there has been increasing need to purify our struggle and its objectives. This is crucial.
Goodluck Jonathan may be a good man but that is not enough. He must build the capacity to do the right thing for the Niger Delta. We believe that he is far too sympathetic to the North. We believe he should be far more sympathetic to the Niger Delta because we have carried the burden of the Nigerian state for far too long!
In the past few years, the struggle for the liberation and emancipation of the Niger Delta people has been infiltrated by bandit elements. Armed robbers, kidnappers and bare-faced bandits have continued to hide under the toga of our moral struggle to unleash grave acts of evil. That will no longer be tolerated.
Right now, a cleansing process is on course. Issues will resolve themselves eventually.
I thank you all for your time.
The Struggle is Unstoppable!
Cynthia Whyte
 Spokesperson, Joint Revolutionary Council

Article: 2011 And The Igbo Dilemma

 By Anthony Fernandez

Now that the shenanigans are over, it is time for the race to begin. It is still not too late for the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to recover from the hole that it dug for itself. So Buhari finally dumped the beautiful bride. What a  pity. Really, did any sane person think this marriage was going to work. I am not a marriage counselor, but from the outset, I knew it was only a matter of time.

The big news in town is the choice of Pastor Tunde Bakare of the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) fame as the running mate of Gen. Buhari. To say Buhari and Bakare are strange bedfellows is the greatest understatement of the current electoral process. The general perception is that it is an unreasoned choice and one that doesn’t help the political stock of the former military head of state. Even the manner his name was announced is a pointer to just how unimportant Bakare is in the Buhari conundrum.

Of course, it is too early in the race to determine how this election will be won and lost, but clearly the candidate and party that are able to think critically and strategically will have edge at the end of the day. As it stands today, there are three major contenders in the race for Aso Rock come April 2011: President Goodluck Jonathan (PDP); Mallam Nuhu Ribadu (ACN); Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (CPC).
Clearly, the emergence of the trio of Jonathan, Ribadu, and Buhari, has changed the nature of politics in Nigeria.  For one, it has partially destroyed the myth of a monolithic north. Not even the effort of the all powerful “Northern wise-men” who chose Atiku as a consensus candidate could do anything to change his fate. Granted that the PDP primaries were stage managed with the connivance of the governors, but the outcome is more of a reflection of how the so-called power of the northern political class has whittled. They couldn’t even persuade their governors to support one of their own.

Another interesting phenomenon is that none of the three candidates in question is an establishment person in the strict sense of the word in the context of Nigerian politics. Less than a year ago president Jonathan was busy begging to be made acting president; Ribadu was in exile and Buhari was all but finished as a presidential material having been marginalized in the party he founded. That shows how far we have come as a nation. The current scenario opens up the political space and creates a level playing field as we head into the presidential election. If there is one party that can benefit from this, it is the ACN. Whether it will act swiftly and courageously is another matter.

Looking at the geo-politics of Nigeria two months to the election, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for any candidate to get the highest number of votes cast and 25 per cent of votes in two-third of 36 states (24 states) and Abuja to emerge an outright winner as the constitution stipulates. Jonathan may win in the south-south (Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River). If the ACN works hard, there is no reason it will not secure 25 per cent of the votes in all the states above, except Bayelsa where the Labour Party candidate and President Jonathan’s former special adviser on Niger Delta, Timi Alaibe, is also a strong contender.
For the umpteenth time, let me state that the whole of the south-west will go to the ACN (add Edo and maybe 50 percent of the votes in Delta). I don’t think the choice of Bakare will make any difference. Tinubu and company know that it is in their best interest to go with their party rather than their kinsman. Beyond the accusation of opportunism, Bakare is on the fringe of the Pentecostal Movement, and therefore can’t guarantee that he will muster the Christian vote for Buhari.

It is therefore right to say that the battlefield for this election will be in northern Nigeria (north east and north west to be specific). The north central will swing depending on personages within the zone, utterances of candidates and events like the mindless slaughter of residents of Plateau State by religious zealots, including state officials.

It is also fair to say that the whole noise about Buhari in the north is a myth, a mere perception game. Fortunately, his handlers have made a success of this perception game. But that is where it ends. Bakare is not likely to change anything. Buhari and Bakare, BB as some people call them, or the Pastor and the Imam as others refer to them remind me of Senator John McCain, an old and washed-out war hero who wanted to inject some vigour into his campaign for the presidency of the United States of America by picking popular but narrow-minded former governor of Alaska, Sarah Pallin. We all know how that race ended.

I have left out the south-east in this political equation because if the battle field is the so-called core north, the south-east will hold the trump card. That is where the ACN comes in. The CPC has a north-west presidential candidate, a southwest VP candidate and the chairman of the party is from the south-south (Edo State); the PDP has a south-south presidential candidate, a north-west VP candidate. The party recently removed its south-east chairman and replaced him with north-west candidate. Where does that leave Ndigbos?
In my last article I had made a case for a VP candidate for the ACN from the south-east, in person of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of the World Bank. Since nothing has been heard on that front, for reasons that are best known to the party, I am proposing Senator Ken Nnamani. Remember, as I noted earlier, the difference between winning or losing the April election will depend more on strategic thinking and alliances than anything else. The political situation in the country has changed, even if temporarily, and any party interested in wining power must reflect that change.

Nnamani is perhaps the best choice to join the Ribadu ticket. He is bold, has political clout and large followership in the south-east. He has integrity and during his stint as senate president, we did not, quite uncharacteristically of the senate, hear of any allegation of financial  impropriety. Nnamani is a towering political figure and is in pole position for a possible Ibo president in 2015 or at the very worst 2019. I can’t think of any other politician from the south-east who has the kind of respect and influence that Nnamani has.
That brings me to the mischievous pranksters called governors of the south-east who in one breath are whipping up support for Jonathan and in another breath calling for an Ibo president in 2015. My question is: are they thinking strategically or just myopic because of their selfish interest? How can Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, Ibo by the special grace of the janus-faced Dora Akunyili, hand over to another Ibo man in 2019? Forget the fact that Jonathan has come out to say publicly he will not run in 2015.

The same question can also be asked of the so-called south-east leaders who are of the view that the south-east “must produce Nigeria’s president in 2015”. At their recent meeting in Abuja these leaders also restated their support for President Goodluck Jonathan's bid to contest the April presidential election. Could there be a better example of the term talk is cheap. What have these so-called leaders done to actualize their ambition? Are they expecting that by 2015 all other zones will come together and say, “Ndigbo, you have suffered enough. Of the three major groups in Nigeria, you are the only group that has not produced a president. Now it is your turn, take it and after eight, you can pass it on to any group that you please”. It hasn’t happened anywhere and it will not happen here.  All I can say to Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife and his clan of Ibo leaders is that If the Ibos want the presidency, they have to work and think strategically.

Last word: I hope all the governors who are promising President Jonathan bloc vote will allow free and fair election in their domain. Nigeria has gone beyond governors writing results and assigning figures to whomever they please. Say all you like about the docility of Nigeria, but thanks to Al-Jareeza we now know what ordinary citizens can do if pushed to the wall.

Last, last word: The LLW goes to Dora Akunyili, ex this, ex that, former PDP member (or so it appears) and now APGA senatorial candidate. What is Dora the explorer doing in APGA if she is so concerned about where the PDP zones the Senate presidency?

Article: Ohakim, Character Assassins And 2011 Elections

Governor Ikedi Ohakim
Kenneth Uwadi
There is no doubt that the Governor Ikedi  Ohakim administration has rebranded Imo State in Nigeria  as it has also radically changed the derogatory profile of Owerri as a jungle city for good .That Owerri the capital of Imo State  is a beautiful city is being reinforced not by rhetoric but with noticeable developmental and infrastructural renewal projects that has won applause from Nigerians. But Imo State Governor,Ikedi Ohakim has never enjoyed a sustained period of peace. He is besieged by a coterie of political opponents who are united by one consuming passion-removal of Ohakim by every means necessary. Ever since he emerged the Governor of Imo State in 2007,Ohakim, has had to battle all manner of political  opponents including 18 court cases challenging his election and one by one, Ohakim has emerged victorious in all the cases. But just when he thought he had dealt a final blow to the opposition, another foe  would emerge with greater determination to crush him.
It is not unexpected that opposition will attempt to rubbish a good administration’s legacy as it is aiways the case in Nigeria, what is however missing in Imo State is a well articulated view point from the opposition on how to develop Imo State. In Imo State, since 2007, the only weapon of war that politicians use all the time against Ohakim is character assassination, which is the spread of false allegations against a candidate. Character assassination is an attempt to tarnish a person's reputation so as to bring him down. It involves exaggeration or manipulation of facts to present an untrue picture of the targeted person. It is a form of defamation. For living individuals targeted by character assassination, this is so as to result in the individual being rejected by his community, family, or members of his or her living or work environment. In practice, character assassination involve double speak, spreading of rumours, innuendo or deliberate misinformation on topics relating to the subject's morals, integrity, and reputation.
Instead of pointing out better ways to  run Imo State, politicians that want to unseat Ohakim resort to misinformation, disinformation, propaganda and name calling so as to deceive the people. To these character assassins, every woe that befalls anybody in Imo State is put on Ohakim. These warp thinking propagandists are also swift in making wrong and unjust judgement against Ohakim. I had the opportunity to read an article attributed to an uncertain  Don Azuka Onwu and published in some online media houses under the caption, EFCC Executive Chairman,Farida Waziri , a good friend of Ikedi Ohakim during his 419  years. If you have gone through that article, you can see just how ridiculous some people can be. Essentially, no one can deny others from making out their opinions about whomever they dislike, after all , the  world is made up of friends and enemies. But opinions, in my view, should be constructive, devoid of imaginary negative perception and should wear human face.
In his article, Don Azuka Onwu, or whatever is his real name , claimed to be  a boy that worked  in an imaginary  419 office of Kingsley Ibe and Ikedi Ohakim at Ajao Estate behind Stop Over Motel along the International Airport road Ikeja. He also alleged that during  Ikedi Ohakim’s 419 period, his associates were Tony Chukwu, late Zeb Phillips, Eze Cletus Illomuanya (Now a traditional ruler) Chief Reginald Amadi, Orji Uzor Kalu (With SLOK office in Calcutta Crescent Apapa), Ezego, Ode Njiji of Njima Paints and also with Victoria Waziri as Ohakim’s man friend.Onwu did not stop at that, he went on to say that looting in Imo state is too much and Farida Waziri is turning a blind eye because  she is in a love  affair with Ikedi Ohakim. That Ohakim has been sending millions of dollars to Mrs Waziri through one Mr. Moses  and that Mrs Waziri met with Ohakim in London the last time he travelled and they met at Intercontinental Hotel on Park Lane. That Ohakim has bought the whole of Abuja.
This kit just like others cannot fly because it is too ridiculous and  Ndi-Imo are not blind neither are they fools. The story is not attractive. According to Henry Iwuanyanwu “Someone who says his name is Don Onwu is hiding somewhere with a computer, trading insults on Imo State and on our State Governor  like a moron. Instead of using his mind  to understand the dynamics of transcendental love and experience the bliss of a higher level so he can engage in constructive or rather object or let me say educative debate, he instead subject his medulla oblongata to such depressive views of a lower nature and waste precious time talking blindly and chasing shadows”   It is like when they pasted General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida-Ikedi Ohakim joint posters all over Abuja, suggesting to Nigerians that Ohakim was running for Vice Presidential position. The IBB-Ohakim kit did not fly. It was  a poorly executed hatchet job. It was one of those failed efforts by detractors of government to bring Ohakim into conflict with President Goodluck Jonathan.
I couldn’t help but laugh while reading Don Azuka Onwu’s  article. I really pity him for I could see the anguish in his mind as he was pouring out his rage.He is  obviously a member of the group determined to hold Imo state hostage for their selfish interest. These unpatriotic elements   flavour their resolve with some laughable condiments. Reading them  only evoke laughter and pity in view of the manifest failure of the intellect as well as the abundance of human inanities
419  to Nigerians is advanced fee fraud.It is a serious crime. An advance-fee fraud is a confidence trick in which the target is persuaded to advance sums of money in the hope of realizing a significantly larger gain.So, who is a 419 person?  A  419 person  is  someone charged  to court and convicted of 419.Was Ikedi  Ohakim charged for 419 or jailed for 419 ? Don Onwu should tell us .We want to know. Ohakim’s 419 stories is like that of my friend Ndu, a successful Accountant and Contractor  who visited  his village and the never –do- well in the village seeing his fleets of cars,  got envious of his success and  brandished him Onye Ogwu Ego. They wondered how a small boy like Ndu will get so rich and concluded that Ndu must have done the money ritual. Don Onwu should provide us with facts of 419 activities involving Ohakim and stop name calling. If he has criminal information about  Ohakim let him  report  to the police for investigation.
Ohakim’s   achievement is the plank of his confidence for reelection. Ohakim will be re-elected .Already the people have assured him of their 100 percent votes. They argue that he has justified the mandate they freely gave him with his developmental strides and that one good turns deserve another. According to Senator Francis Arthur Nzeribe “ Only the blind cannot see what Ohakim  has done, and will continue to do. Only the deaf cannot hear what Ohakim  is doing presently and only the dumb cannot pray to God for Ohakim  to win a second term mandate. Ohakim  is simply phenomenal, irresistible and insurmountable”  Nzeribe also said  “I know the political strength of all my colleagues, Rochas Okorocha, Achike Udenwa, Ifeanyi Ararume and Chief Alex Obi, very well. I know their consolidated political capacity as well as their individual capabilities. I am therefore, in a good position to say that they cannot beat Ohakim! It is a trite fact that, it will amount to abomination of the first order for an elder to watch a goat die on the string during child bearing”
No  need for character assassins  to continue to use pseudo names in making allegations against Ohakim that cannot be substantiated . No need for anyone to try to paint Imo State black because they want people to believe that Ohakim is bad or wicked and is not performing. All their useless politicking will definitely not work since it has never worked. Ohakim   has already won the hearts of Ndi Imo due mainly to his performance and come April 2011 elections, Ohakim will defeat his opponents in the poll, black and blue.
(Uwadi wrote from Mmahu-Egbema, Imo  State, Nigeria)

News Release: Buhari Calls For End To Violence; Picks Pastor Tunde Bakare As Running Mate

Bakare: Buhari's Running Mate
The presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC),Gen Muhamadu Buhari has picked fiery preacher; Pastor Gbolahan Babatunde Bakare as his running mate for the 2011 presidential election as the deadline for nomination of candidates expires today.

The frontline runner for the highest political office in the land hinged his choice on the need to put the best feet forward in what promises to be a decisive political challenge for the soul of Nigeria.

"We have seen the uncommon enthusiasm of our people to register to vote in spite of the many challenges of the exercise that speaks to their desire to do what Tunisians and Egyptians are doing on the streets through the ballot box in April. There is a compelling need to give them a ticket that will make all their sacrifices worth the while and that is what we have done” he said.

General Buhari also condemns the wave of serial violence in Borno, Plateau and other parts of the country which have left casualties in it's trail and with the Federal Government appearing totally helpless.

"It is sad that these dastardly acts are taking place without any coordinated response from the government to guarantee the safety of lives and property.

A responsible leadership must not agonize over the virtual breakdown of security in parts of the country, it must organize the security system to deal with the situation first and create the atmosphere for social justice to flourish to end the conditions that make citizens to let loose against each other".

While condoling with the Borno State Government and people as well as all those who have lost loved ones in these pockets of violence, General Buhari sues for peace among all Nigerians and called on the government to sit up and bring an end to this palpable state of insecurity.

On the unfounded allegation by Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido that his supporters are responsible for a hate text message circulating after the PDP primaries, General Buhari said it is regrettable that some people can't appreciate that certain offices require a high degree of responsibility in utterances.

"What evidence has he got to say that the text came from any of my supporters? Has he gone to the service providers and they told him the text originated from a phone traceable to anyone who is my supporter? I condemn any attempt to spread hate among Nigerians but I suspect this may be a mischief from our opponents who cannot face issues but dwell only on weeping up emotions.And it may appear that the governor may be aware of those behind this hatchet job"

General Buhari added that he has never been involved in the zoning debate because the Federal Republic of Nigeria with all the people within no matter how they talk to God is his constituency."Those who don't want the progress of our people have spent fortunes over the years to raise silly propaganda about me.I have been around for some years and vie challenged them to bring out one person I ever discriminated against based on faith but they are yet to take up the challenge. They should continue to tell lies about me just as I will continue to tell the truths about them" He insisted that the weapons that worked for them in the past will not produce this time around.

"We will force them to discuss issues. They must explain why poverty has increased from 45 per cent in 1999 to 76 percent in 2011 in spite of unprecedented revenue under the PDP Government. Nigerians want to know how we got to a situation where 98 per cent of our children now fail NECO examinations whereas we had 54 per cent pass in WAEC examinations in 1999.The Global Financial Integrity recently reported that an average of $15b left the shores of Nigeria in illicit transfers in the eight years it surveyed under PDP rule"

'Yinka Odumakin
Spokesperson To General Buhari