Tuesday, 13 November 2012

News Release: “Oil Products Sabotage To Continue”-Nigeria Oil Militants

Oil products sabotage will continue in the Niger Delta until what belongs to Caesar is given to Caesar. The Nigerian state has stolen far more from the Niger Delta. The beginning of the beginning will yet again, begin. GEJ or no GEJ.

The only question we have now is, why are they complaining now? Less oil is being taken now than in the previous years where almost all Northern generals had a bunkering vessel in the Niger Delta.

While the pace of infrastructural development continues across the country, construction work on the East-West Road has been halted. Abuja continues to enjoy 24 hour infrastructure upgrade. Billions of naira is beng doled out to critical projects in Northern Nigeria while the Niger Delta, which provides the resources that oil the continued existence of the Niger Delta continues to be ignored.

Fast rail projects have been awarded in Northern Nigeria and are almost nearing completion. Yet the Lagos-Calabar rail link is yet to get off the ground. The Niger Delta Coastal road has been literally abandoned.

This is unacceptable.

Northerners own more than 90% of the private oil blocs in the Niger Delta. Show me one Niger Deltan who owns even a ground nut farm in the North. Atiku Abubakar has a multi-billion naira oil, gas and logistics business in Port Harcourt and some other parts of the Niger Delta. Show me one Niger Deltan or Southern Nigerian with a billion naira business in the North.

Yet, those people fought to keep Jonathan away from power. Time will tell. The next wave of insurgence in the Niger Delta will come like a tsunami.

It will not be long.

Cynthia Whyte
Spokesperson, JRC

News Report: Former Scribe Of Nigerian Christian Body Awarded Religious Freedom Prize

Samuel Salifu (left)

Engineer Samuel Salifu, former national Secretary of Christian Association Of Nigeria(CAN) have been awarded the fifth Stefanus Prize For Religious Freedom in a ceremony in Oslo Norway, chidi opara reports have learned.

The prize was established in 2005 by the Stefanus Alliance International, formerly known as the Norwegian Mission To The East,

Bishop Thomas of the Coptic Orthodox Church Of Alexandria, we learned, is a former recipient of the prize.

Engineer Salifu is presently a member of the board of the Nigerian branch of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).

Chief Executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), Mervyn Thomas have congratulated Salifu.

Communique: Communique By Select Members Of Yoruba Nation In Diaspora

A teleconference meeting of members of Yoruba nation in diaspora was hosted by the Ekiti Focus Group,USA on Sunday, November 4, 2012. In attendance as guest speaker was Mr.  Yinka  Odumakin, a prominent Yoruba patriot, and Nigerian nationalist; , Professor Banji Akintoye a prominent Chief Obafemi Awolowo lieutenant and Pan Yoruba patriot, along with eminent and patrioticYoruba in diaspora.
The meeting was called to further inform members ofthe Yoruba in diaspora with the current status of the Yoruba nation and what rolesand options are available to the Yoruba in diaspora in moving the Yoruba nationforward.
Mr. Odumakin briefed the group about the current state of the Yoruba nation politically, structurally and culturally. He addressed the need for the Yoruba nation to look inward and to fine-tune strategies to restore the “ancient landmarks” which ourfathers haves set especially at this time when the Yoruba race as seemingly receded into the background of political and developmental relevance in the scheme of things in Nigeria. Mr Odumakin expressed disappointment that 14 years of civil rule in Nigeria probably accelerated the increase in poverty among Yoruba people and at a rate that has never been experienced before, even though the poorest state in the region is richer than some West African countries. He therefore challenged the participants to come up with ways of re-assessing the state of affairs in the region within the context of the struggle for political freedom and economic emancipation. In that wise, he alluded to a statement made by the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo in his last visit to Ibadan before his death  in 1987 that “obetiase, kosie ni to ma gbeka’na” literarily interpreted as the lackof people to maintain the standards set. Mr Odumakin further stated that historically among the Yoruba,power resided with the people and not politicians and stated the imperativeness of having a system in place to monitor and evaluate the performance of Yoruba politicians for good governance. He also suggested the need for the Yoruba nation to ensure that educated professionals are at the helm of affairs. Having the best to represent us politically is necessary in order to preventthe growing influence of ‘political leaders without pedigree, credentials, and/or commitment to Awo’sidealsand traditions’. He further averred that it is important for the followers to ask questions from time to time and that leadership must be demonstrated by examples and not by dictates and nepotism, in order to check the growing intolerance being presently exhibited by Yoruba politicians.
The Yoruba nation, being a free market place ofideas should engage leadership at all levels, and the best and brightest should be allowed to express themselves at all levels, by politicians regardless of the political party and affiliations of the leaders. He stated the need to ensure issues of development in the region are not politicized and the Yoruba people should be ableto prove to those that desire to lead them, that they do not worship individuals and/or money. He concluded his address by stating his desire to rub minds with the people in diaspora in order to get everybody apprised and informed from time to time.
Mr Odumakin emphasized the need for probity, as well as the need toask questions to ensure that leadership issues in the race are not based on who you know; god-fatherism or money. He believed that taking these steps will ensure that the right people aspire to, and become leaders in the Yoruba nation.
On the issue of regional integration, Mr Odumakin stated the need for itand that the region need not have a single party for integration to take place. He gave the examples of the South South, SouthEast and North in Nigeria where the Governors do not all belong to the same political party but still meet and provide leadership to meet the needs of the people at the regional level. He said that the most important thing is for the leaders to provide services that meet the yearnings of the people at the regional level regardless of party affiliation. He mentioned past attempts at integration where late Professor OlikoyeRansomeKutiand Professor Wale Omole headed committees on Health and Agriculture respectively. However, the papers they wrote were not implemented. In answer to a question from the teleconference, he stated that the first shot at integration was mooted by GovernorMimiko himself when GovernorsAregbesola and Fayemi visited him. He personally believes that Dr Mimiko supports regional integration as long as it is not hijacked for personal and political aggrandisement. .
In response to questions about the assessment of the current leadership in the states in the region, while he claimed there is not yet enough time to evaluate Osun, Oyo and Ogungovernors in the current dispensation, he mentioned Mr Fashola’s and Mimiko’sachievements in education, urban-renewal, health-care etc. He further cited the model schools in Ondostate whichhe described as “World class” and that the idea was to make schools attractive to students to attend. He also quoted figures on the percentage of students that passed WAEC with 5 credits including English and Math in both Lagos and Ondo states vis-a-vis student enrolment in public schools in both states and found Ondo better. He also stated plans by the Governors of Osun and Oyo states on health care which he described as commendable and should be areas where integration and common interests should be shared.
Mr Odumakin affirmed to the group about the need to build the Yoruba nation, and this should be of greater concern before the question of building Nigeria. A sick Yoruba nation will not be in a position to heal a sick Nigeria nation. He talked on the need to first build Yoruba solidarity in order to negotiate the Nigerian unity since the Nigerian project is a more complex issue. He also gave an example of how the minority leader in ACN, was picked from the home state of the Senate President when there was a more qualified person in the person of SenatorGaniyu Solomon.
Professor BanjiAkintoyebriefed the group about the political history of the Yoruba nation,and related it to the current status of the Yoruba nation today. He highlighted the characteristics of the Yoruba as seen through the prism of Chief Obafemi Awolowo and his lieutenants. These characterizations are as follows:
1.    Respect: Yoruba want to be respected and anyone that would aspire to lead them must respect the Yoruba people. If the Yoruba people observed that they are being disrespected, they always fight back to the chagrin of the “lords.”
2.   Organization: Yoruba people are very organized and they always appreciate good organization.This was one of the attributes that put Action Group, and later the UPN at advantage over other political parties in the region.
3.    Achievement Oriented (Visionary): Yoruba people are achievers and they only appreciate any leader that set up goals for them to aspire.
4.     Principle: Yoruba are principled people and desire principled and loyal leadership.
Professor Akintoye concluded that the current leadership at all levels of governance are more interested in their personal interest rather than the common interest of the Yoruba race.
Need for continuous healthy debate about the status of the Yoruba nation.

Continuous open line of communication between the Yoruba people in Nigeria and diaspora. This should include the development of framework to evolve collaboration between Yoruba people in the homeland and those in diaspora in order to build consensus for the Yoruba nation.

Encourage the Yoruba leadership at home and abroad to unite behind the leadership of Afenifere under Pa Fasoranti to allow for continuity and transfer of mantle whenever such time arises to the appropriate leadership.

Yoruba as a nation should use Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s four cardinal ideals (Respectful Leadership; Good Organization; Achievements Oriented; and Principle) in picking and rallying around their leaders.
There is a need for integration of the region, and it is the opinion of the group that the current DAWN put more emphasis on development based on past ideas and capabilities rather than available present and future concept and technological knowhow.

It is imperative to always get the best candidates from the region contesting and contending for political power by liberalizing the political space and developing a strong multi-party system in the Yoruba nation in order to increase competition.

There is a need to articulate the main Yoruba agenda, which is the restructuring of the country into true federalism and this should be the single most important agenda for any would be Yoruba leader. This should always be the deal breaker for any Yoruba collaboration with any group in the formation of government in the country.

Efforts should be made to re-orientate the Yoruba youth towards the importance of indigenous Yoruba norms and culture which is based on the “Omoluabi”— Good character based on “Charity begins at home concept.”

Kola Onifade (USA)
Akin Babatola (USA)
Debo Awosika (USA)
Jide Akinola (USA)
Sam Ola Rotimi (USA)
Adebayo Adejuwon (CANADA)
Taiwo Soetan (CANADA)
Mike Akinola (USA)
Daniel Adeleye (USA)
Tolu Olugbamila (USA)
Samuel Ayodele (USA)

Photonews: ECOWAS Commission Donates To Nigeria Flood Victims

Photo Credit: News Agency Of Nigeria

Communiqué: ECOWAS Abuja Conference Final Communiqué

1. The Extra-Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) took place on 11 November 2012 in Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria under the chairmanship of H.E. Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and Chairman of the Authority.

2. The Summit was convened to evaluate the latest developments in the security and institutional challenges of the transitions in Mali and Guinea Bissau.

3. The following Heads of State and Government, or their duly accredited representatives, attended the Summit:
H.E. Thomas Boni YAYI, President of the Republic of Benin
H.E. Blaise COMPAORE, President of Burkina Faso
H.E. Alassane OUATTARA, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire
H.E. Manuel Serifo NHAMAJO, Interim President of the Republic of Guinea Bissau
H.E. Alpha CONDE, President of the Republic of Guinea
H.E. Dioncounda TRAORE, Interim President of the Transitional Government of the Republic of Mali
H.E. Mahamadou ISSOUFOU, President of the Republic of Niger
H.E. Goodluck Ebele JONATHAN, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
H.E. Macky SALL, President of the Republic of Senegal
H.E. Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, President of the Togolese Republic
H.E. K.B. AMISSAH-ARTHUR, Vice-President of the Republic of Ghana
H.E. Jorge Alberto BORGES, Minister of External Relations of the of the Republic of Cape Verde
 H.E. Susan Waffa OGOO, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of The Gambia
H.E. Augustine Kpehe NGAFUAN, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia
H.E. EBUN JUSU (Mrs), Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Sierra Leone

4. The following States and Organizations also attended the Summit as observers:
Republic of South Africa
Chad, represented by the Prime Minister H.E. Emmanuel NADINGAR
The African Union, represented by the High Representative to Mali and
the Sahel, H.E. Pierre BUYOYA
The United Nations, represented by the Special Representative of the
Secretary General for West Africa. H.E. Said DJINNIT

5. The Heads of State and Government took note of the Memoranda of the President of the ECOWAS Commission on the situations in Mali and Guinea Bissau and the Report of the Extra-Ordinary Session of the Mediation and Security Council of 9 November 2012 by the Chairman of Council. They also took note of the briefings by H.E. Blaise Compaoré, President of Burkina  Faso and Mediator in Mali, and H.E. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Chairman of the Regional Contact Group on Guinea Bissau, on Mali and Guinea and Bissau.

6. After careful deliberations, the Heads of State and Government endorsed the main recommendations contained in the various reports. Having reaffirmed their determination to assist Mali and Guinea Bissau in the resolution of their security and institutional crisis within the framework of the norms and principles underpinning Community Protocols, the Heads of State and Government proceeded to take the following specific Decisions:

A. On The Situation In Mali:
7. Authority reiterates that dialogue remains the preferred option in the resolution of the political crisis in Mali. However, regarding the security situation, recourse to force may be indispensable in order to dismantle terrorist and transnational criminal networks that pose a threat to International peace and security.

8. Authority welcomes the adoption of UNSC Resolution 2071 on 12 October 2012 as a defining step in the international efforts to resolve the security and institutional crises in Mali. It also commends the adoption of the Strategic Concept for the Resolution of the Crisis in Mali at the second meeting of the Support and Follow-Up Group on the Situation in Mali in Bamako on 19 October 2012, as well as the endorsement of the Concept by the AU Peace and Security Council on 24 October 2012.

9. Authority decides to adopt the harmonized Concept of Operations for the deployment of the African-led international force in Mali and requests the Peace and Security Council of the African Union to endorse the Concept and ensure its transmission, together with the Strategic Concept, to the United Nations Secretary General within the deadline stipulated in Resolution 2071. It urges the UN Security Council to examine the Concept with a view to authorizing the deployment of the international military force in Mali in conformity with chapter VII of the UN Chapter.

10. Authority, while acknowledging the lead role of Mali in the military and diplomatic efforts to restore constitutional order, as well as the unity and territorial integrity of the country, stresses the leadership role of ECOWAS in the deployment of the African-led international force and with regard to the
command of the force and resource mobilization, in close cooperation with the African Union and the United Nations.

11. Summit reiterates its instruction to the Commission to maintain the stand-by force in a high state of readiness for imminent deployment, and urges Member States to concretize their commitments to provide military and logistical contributions to the ECOWAS military efforts.

12. Regarding The Transitional Process: Authority takes note of the Statement of the Interim President that the transitional roadmap will be unveiled within the next few days. It urges the Government of Mali to expedite action on it and ensure its scrupulous implementation with a view to ensuring the restoration of full state control throughout the territory, and the holding of free, fair and transparent elections in the course of the transition.
13. In this regard, Authority reiterates its decision that the Interim President, the Prime Minister, and the other members of the Transitional Government shall not be candidates in the next Presidential election.

14. Authority urges the transitional authorities to expedite action on the establishment of the National Committee on Negotiations to spearhead, with the facilitation of the Mediator, dialogue among all the internal stakeholders on the transition, and also with the armed groups not involved in terrorist and criminal activities, and who accept without conditions, the unity and territorial integrity of the Malian State, as well as the secular nature of the State.

15. Authority reiterates its preoccupation with the flagrant violation of human rights and humanitarian laws in the occupied territory, as well as the humanitarian consequences that may result from the planned deployment. Authority welcomes the fact that the humanitarian angle has been taken into account in the Strategic Concept and the operational planning for the  deployment, and appeals to humanitarian agencies and the International Community to continue providing assistance to Mali and the other affected countries in the region.

16. Summit welcomes the efforts being deployed by H.E. Alpha Condé, President of the Republic of Guinea to facilitate the transfer of the Malian weapons to Mali, and encourages him to take all necessary additional measures to ensure their safe and speedy transfer to the Malian authorities.

17. Summit expresses deep appreciation for the mediation efforts by H.E. Blaise Compaoré, President of Burkina Faso, and the Co-Mediator, H.E. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and encourages them to persevere in the search for a peaceful solution to the crisis.

18. Summit commends the role being played by the neighbouring countries of Mali, as well as the other international partners, in the efforts to assist Mali in the resolution of the security and institutional crisis facing it.

B. On The situation In Guinea Bissau: 19. Summit commends the efforts being made by the people of Guinea Bissau to promote internal dialogue and considers the decision to recall the National Assembly to its next session as another means of arriving at a consensus on the transition and promoting inclusive governance.

20. Authority instructs the Commission to expedite action on the joint assessment mission to Guinea Bissau by ECOWAS, the AU, CPLP, the United Nations and the EU, and sees the mission as an important process in  consensus-building at the international level. It encourages the partners to pool their efforts to strengthen the transition and ensure the credibility of the process in the run-up to the elections by April 2013.

21. In this regard, Authority reiterates its decision that the Interim resident, the Prime Minister, and the other members of the Transitional Government shall not be candidates in the next Presidential election.

22. The Heads of State and Government strongly condemn the destabilization attempt of 21 October 2012 and denounce any recourse to violence or any unconstitutional means of expressing political grievances. They invite the transitional authorities to ensure respect of the rule of law as well as human rights in the investigations and eventual prosecutions on this matter.

23. Summit welcomes the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Defence and Security Sector Reform Programme (DSSRP) and instructs the Commission to take the necessary measures to ensure immediate commencement of its implementation. It invites the AU and other partners to actively participate in the process.

24. The Heads of State and Government call upon the African Union to recognize the Transitional Government in Guinea Bissau, established with the facilitation of ECOWAS. In addition, they urge the AU to suspend the sanctions imposed on Guinea Bissau as an encouragement to the transitional authorities and in recognition of the progress the country continues to make towards forging a more inclusive transitional government to pave the way for the peaceful restoration of full constitutional order in the country. In this regard, the Authority calls on the Chairman of AU, H.E. Thomas Boni Yayi, to ensure the implementation of this resolution.

25. Authority expresses appreciation to the ECOMIB troops and the troop contributing countries for their efforts in Guinea Bissau. In view of the fact that the initial six month-term of ECOMIB expires on 17 November 2012, Authority decides to extend the mandate by a further six-months.

26. Summit renews its appeal to Member States to extend financial assistance to the Government of Guinea Bissau and calls on the International Community to ease the sanctions imposed on the country to alleviate the suffering of the population.

27. Authority expresses profound gratitude to H.E Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for the mediation effort as well as the financial assistance provided for Guinea Bissau. It also thanks the Heads of State Members of the Regional Contact Group and encourages them to pursue their mediation efforts in the country.

28. Authority expresses deep appreciation to H.E. Alassane Ouattara, Chairman of Authority, for his vision and leadership role in the search for solutions to the crises in Mali and Guinea Bissau, as well as his commitment to the promotion and consolidation of peace and security in West Africa.

29. The Heads of State and Government decide to remain seized by the situations in Mali and Guinea Bissau.

(Done At Abuja, This 11th Day Of November 2012)