Wednesday, 18 May 2011

News Release: “FG And PDP Must Not Marginalize South-West Over House Speaker” Says OPC

Fasehun: OPC President
Dr. Frederick Fasehun, Founder and President of the Oodua People's Congress (OPC), has warned the Presidency and the Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) against stripping the South-West of the office of Speaker of the House of Representatives.
He said zoning the office away from the South-West in the next dispensation when all other zones retained their current slots would mean that PDP and the Presidency had used and dumped the Yoruba people and they could pay a hard price for this “double-cross” in future.
Taking the position of Speaker away from the South-West would also violate the Federal Character principle as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution, the OPC leader said.
Making these observations in a Press Statement circulated to journalists on Wednesday, Fasehun said: “If the Senate maintains status quo and the Senate President remains within the North-Central and the Deputy Senate President is retained in the East, then why should the South-West lose the Speaker?
“Maybe we should remind the nation too that the President legitimately comes from the South-South and the Vice President comes from the North-West. The exit of Honourable OladimejiBankole after May 29 leaves the South-West with virtually no share in government. We hope the powers-that-be will consider that the South-West Zone is too big and too politically important to be left out in the current scheme of things. The Federal Government should not allow the Yoruba people to think that they are being marginalized and pushed out of the Federal Government.”
According to Dr.Fasehun, positions allocated had always remained within their benefiting zones even when personalities occupying such posts changed. This he said was evidenced in the past when the South-East enjoyed an unbroken monopoly of the position of Senate President through Chief Evan Enwerem, Chief ChubaOkadigbo, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim and Chief Ken Nnamani, while Honourable GhaliNa'abba and Aminu Bello Masari from the North-West replaced AlhajiSalisuBuhari from the North-West for the position of Speaker.
“Against such precedent, a Yoruba man should naturally replace Honourable DimejiBankole a Yoruba man as Speaker for the House of Representatives,” the OPC Founder counseled. “And any zones planning to contest the Speaker's seat with the South-West better be futuristic and proactive in their ambition because they might need Yoruba backing for something really big down the line.”
According to him, although the ruling party fell behind in the elections for lower levels in the South-West, that fact only served to confirm the cultural democracy and democratic sophistication that Yoruba people prided themselves upon.
“The truth remains that the South-West voted en masse for President Goodluck Jonathan in total disregard of party affiliations,” Fasehun said. “And they expect to be rewarded for helping PDP and the President in that crucial victory for the country's biggest stake. Sharing of offices of the National Assembly should not make Yoruba people to regret their voting preference.”
He further said that intense lobbying by other zones for the post of Speaker clearly endangers the Federal Character principles of the Constitution, which stipulates an all-inclusive administration for the country.
His words: “The present arguments on sharing National Assembly offices are definitely unequivocally lopsided against not only the Yoruba but the Constitution. Section 14(3) stipulates that: 'The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few State or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.' ”
Urging PDP and the Federal Government to reward the South-West for displaying political maturity in the last polls, Fasehun said doing otherwise would mean that the zoning system and Federal Character principles had collapsed and no zone might count on the South-West's support in the future.
In his words: “Even before the National Assembly is convoked, arguments are raging on which zone should get what and whether some zones should even get anything. We hate to think that the Yoruba people of the South-West are being politically marginalized. It must be stated that fair is fair and foul is foul. For democracy to thrive, justice must be done to all and sundry.”
DR. Frederick Fasehun
Founder/President Oodua People's Congress (OPC)

News Release: Boycott The Investiture Of Alassane Dramane Ouattara As President Of Cote D’Ivoire.

Alassane Dramane Ouattara

The International Solidarity Committee of the Pan-Africanist International calls upon all Africans and friends of Africa, lovers of Peace, Freedom, and Justice, to boycott the investiture of the leader of the Western-backed rebels and the alleged winning party of the Ivorian civil war, Alassane Dramane Ouattara, who recently confirmed that he will be officially inaugurated as La Côte d’Ivoire’s new President on May 21, 2011, in Yamoussoukro, the country’s administrative capital.
We urgently call for:
1. Africa to commit diplomatic and other resources to demand respect for Ivorian sovereignty, constitutional legitimacy, and to demand the exclusion of neo-colonial political and military interference, specifically, demand withdrawal of all French troops from Ivorian soil;
2. A phased disarmament of all irregular forces and unification of the entire country under an interim government preferably composed of national civil society leaders and statesmen willing to forgo participation in elections for at least 10 years;
3. A popular national political process that seeks to develop Ivorian solutions including a democratic and inclusive national constitution, social reconciliation, a free press, and stronger national institutions;
 4. A credible election system and fresh elections in La Cote d’Ivoire within a reasonable period.

We must say a big “NO!” to what the President of the Gambia correctly calls “Western Neo-colonialist sponsored agents in Africa who owe allegiance only to themselves and their Western Masters” who “are ready to walk on thousands of dead bodies to the Presidency”!This energetic impunity risks spreading from country to country! NOW is the time to stop it! We need to draw a clear line between the urgency of putting our own house in order, and rejecting all forms of interference by former colonial powers. These former colonial powers continue to be aggressive imperialists addicted to our resources, and ready to use existing problems, or create new ones to advance their selfish and murderous interests.

Africa will appear weak and foolish if this outrageous performance of the imperialists in the Ivory Coast culminating in the bombing of the Presidential Palace of an independent African country by French Special Forces, produces a government that Africans consider acceptable. The greedy imperialists will not end there. Thousands, if not millions more innocent Africans are going to die at their hands in the future. The international Solidarity Committee of the Pan-Africanist International strongly fears that this method of installing leaders may become the norm. We may not know how to halt it in the future if this precedent is allowed to stand without challenge to its legitimacy.

It needs to be said from the onset that we consider that neither Alassane Ouattara nor Laurent Gbagbo are capable of healing the wounds in Ivory Coast. Both are responsible for conflict and it is unworthy of anyone who wants a proper solution to the Ivorian crisis to respond positively to this invitation. Why should one potential war criminal be installed as a President of a country whilst the other is being denied the right to speak, even to his own lawyers? Is that the best way to guarantee peace and stability in the region?

At the very beginning of the recent Ivorian political impasse, progressives cried out: “It is clear that both leaders enjoy significant support and that their supporters genuinely believe that others seek to cheat them out of deserved victory. The imposition of either leader on Ivorians can only escalate the conflict. La Cote d’Ivoire deserves better.”

To avoid doubt, we reject the argument that all those opposed to the war in La Cote d’Ivoire were supporting Laurent Gbagbo. The reason why many of us opted for dialogue and negotiations was based upon the nature of the Ivorian political crisis, the official reports from independent monitors from Africa who were on the ground, and the very ridiculous and statistically impossible results declared by the President of the Independent Electoral Commission at the Hotel du Golf. Himself a member of Alassane Ouattara’s party, he announced Ouattara’s victory at the headquarters of Ouattara’s party, accompanied by the French and US ambassadors, with no Ivorian media present.

The Socialist Forum of Ghana (SFG), as far back as 21st December, 2010, indicated in a statement that: “The truth is that neither the results declared by either the Independent National Electoral Commission nor those declared by the Constitutional Council can be said to reflect the will of the Ivorian people. All the evidence (and this is widely available now) suggests a fatally flawed election. This in turn is the result of a badly flawed electoral process superintended by a UN bureaucracy with little commitment to the rights and aspirations of ordinary Ivorians or willingness to confront the deeper crisis of Ivorian society.”

The SFG further made the appeal: “We have no illusions that this [call for a peaceful resolution] can be achieved overnight or without a major commitment of scarce financial resources. We are clear however that the ultimate political, human and financial costs to Ivorians and Africans of a complete breakdown in Ivorian society or a return to conflict will be much higher than the costs of a protracted peace project.”

Since then there has been much bloodshed in which both belligerents competed with impunity to commit crimes of war, death and destruction on a massive scale.

We note with dismay that following a briefing from Mr. Choi Young-jin, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in the Ivory Coast, the ECOWAS Communiqué proclaiming Alassane Ouattara as the winner, declared Mr. Ouattara’s win “non-negotiable.” We condemn in particular the roles played by three individual: Blaise Campoore of Burkina Faso, Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, and Abdulai Wade of Senegal, in this sordid business. This was a deliberate effort to exclude critically needed dialogue. To call such a flawed election non-negotiable is to deliberately insult the Ivorian people and carefully engineer the war that followed.

On April 29, Ex-President Thabo Mbeki, published an article: What the World Got Wrong in Côte D’Ivoire, with the subtitle: “Why is the United Nations entrenching former colonial powers on our continent? Africans can and should take the lead in resolving their own disputes.” He writes:

“Many things have gone radically wrong along the road to this result.
Agreements relating to what needed to be done to create conditions for free and fair elections were wilfully and contemptuously ignored. The Ivorian Constitutional Council (CC) is the only body constitutionally empowered to determine the winner in any presidential election and to install the president, with the Electoral Commission (IEC) mandated to forward its provisional results to the CC. However, the very people who insist on the sanctity of the rule of law as fundamental to all democratic practice, elected illegally to recognize the provisional result announced by the chairperson of the IEC on his own, as the authentic outcome of the presidential election.”

We strongly believe that much of the current mischief was the work of the UN SG Representative to La Cote d’Ivoire, Mr. Choi Young-jin. We challenge Mr. Choi directly: where did he get his authority to override the constitution of the Ivory Coast? Where did he get his numbers? How does he explain his certification of electoral results in which the total number of polls far exceeded the total number of registered voters as certified by himself?

“For instance,” Mr. Mbeki writes, “reporting on the elections in the north, the election observer mission of the AU led by Joseph Kokou Kofigoh, former prime minister of Togo, the independent civil society Societé Civile Africaine pour la Democratie et l’Assistance Electoral led by Seynabou Indieguene of Senegal, and the Coordination of African Election Experts (CAEE) from Cameroon, Senegal, Benin, Mali, Morocco, Gabon, and Togo led by Jean-Marie Ongjibangte of Cameroon, all sounded the alarm about the elections in the north.”

The CAEE said: “After sharing information with other national and international election observers, we hereby state that the second round of the presidential elections in Côte d’Ivoire was held amidst major problems in (various northern) regions…

“These problems were stealing of ballot boxes, arresting of candidates’ representatives, multiple voting, refusal to admit international observers to witness counting of ballots, and the murder of representatives of candidates. To that effect, we hereby declare that the second round of voting was not free, fair and transparent in these (northern) localities.”
Why, to this day, has the ECOWAS election observer mission not issued its report on the second round of the presidential election!? Has the report been suppressed?

Choi’s mischief increased after “convincing” the ECOWAS Heads of State to take a strong and uncompromising stand against Gbagbo, he then flew to New York with the ECOWAS Communiqué in his pocket, asking the UN Security Council to respect the views of the regional body of which the Ivory Coast is a member-country!

We are appalled at the thought that he must have done that to diplomatically check-mate the Russians and the Chinese who were complaining that the UN was interfering with the internal affairs of a member country in an improper manner. This man should be declared a persona non grata on the whole continent of Africa.

The investiture of an obvious stooge of imperialism like Alassane Ouattara, who literally comes to power by means of imperialist bombing, is exactly the kind of thing we must oppose in order to discourage neocolonial imperialists in the future. The message must be clear and loud to the Libyan rebels what awaits them at the end of the road if they are agents of illegitimate imperialist whims and stratagems.

The increasing militarization of diplomacy and the side-lining of peace-makers must be stopped. We are most concerned about Ouattara and about the CIA-led rebels in Libya, both of which appear designed to weaken and break Africa, African sovereignty, and any inter-African cooperation that is not filtered through US/NATO agents and interests.

We therefore condemn in the strongest terms the imposition by the international community of Alassane Ouattara on a deeply divided society. We know that this will not solve La Cote d’Ivoire’s crisis. What it will do is advance the overall cause of neo-colonialism. It will set the scene for further conflict between France, the US and allied regional powers for control over La Cote d’Ivoire. Conflict over regional resources, particularly oil and gas, will escalate and harm the Ivorian people, and the sub-region.

This call for a boycott is therefore a re-affirmation of our road-map to a durable peace, to affirm respect for the fundamental human rights of all Ivorians, and to strengthen democratic institutions and the Rule of Law in La Cote d’Ivoire. The so-called champions of democracy in the world, who cannot wait to descend into Yamosoukro to install their puppet must note that they are not being observed by African and the rest of the world, but by their own citizens of their respective countries.

And we hereby inform all the citizens of the world to take notice of anyone they do know who attends this event and make them answer the following questions, just for starters:
Are you going to install a man whose rebel army of which he is the leader, has been accused of massacres and the crimes of war?

How do you account for the obvious lip-service to peace and reconciliation and current spate of confiscation of assets of political opponents by the new regime without due process, and the looting of the rest by the rebel army? In what name of the game did the new regime refuse visa and deport the French lawyers of a man they claim they are questioning for an impending trial?
Signed:
Pan-Africanist International

News Report: President Of Nigeria's Upper Parliament Moves To Neutralize Opponents

David Mark
The President of Nigeria's upper parliament, the Senate, Rtd. Brigadier-general David Mark is making moves to neutralize his opponents in the forthcoming Senate Presidency election, chidi opara reports can now report. The office of President of the Senate will become vacant in the first week of June, 2011.

The first move was to get the national leadership of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) and the Presidency to retain the zoning policy of the party, which meant that the North-Central zone where Mark hails from will still produce the President of Senate. This retention means that one of the Senate President's main opponents, Alhaji Danjuma Goje, the outgoing governor of Gombe State in North-Eastern Nigeria and an incoming senator is out of the race. PDP have majority in the incoming Senate.

The second move was to assign one of his proteges in the Senate, Smart Adeyemi to get returning and new senators to support his re-election bid. Adeyemi, chidi opara reports learned from a David Mark close aide, "is doing a great job of the assignment," Senator Smart Adeyemi is from Kogi State in North-Central Nigeria. It was learned at the time of preparing this report that Adeyemi have already recruited about eighty senators. The Senate is made up of one hundred and nine members.

To neutralize another major opponent, Dr. Bukola Saraki, the outgoing governor of Kwara State in North-Central Nigeria and another incoming senator, the Senate President gave tacit backing to a proposal to amend a Senate standing rule on who should be elected a principal officer. The amendment, we learned, will prevent new senators from holding principal offices. "When the amendment sail through, Saraki will be out", a contact close to the Senate President boasted to a chidi opara reports network member in Abuja last Monday.