Friday, 8 March 2013

News Report: Conclave Commences 12th March, 2013


The conclave for the election of new Pope would begin on Tuesday 12th March, 2013, the College of Cardinals announced today after the eighth General Congregation at the Vatican Synod Hall.

After morning mass at the St. Peter’s Basilica on the conclave day, the 115 Cardinal electors, chidi opara reports learned, will gather in the Pauline Chapel for prayers in the afternoon and proceed from there to the Sistine Chapel through the Sala Regia.

The election of the 265th Pope, we learned further would follow the usual tradition which starts with the swearing of an oath to observe the conclave rules.
The Apostolic Constitution stipulates a two third majority for the election of a Pope.

Italy with twenty-eight Cardinal Electors has the highest number of Cardinal electors.

In continental breakdown, Europe has sixty Cardinal electors, Latin America Nineteen, North America fourteen, Africa eleven, Asia ten and Oceania one.

Sixty-seven of the Cardinal electors were appointed by Pope emeritus, Benedict XVI. 

News Report: Venezuela's Chavez To Be Embalmed For Public View

Late Hugo Chavez

 Credit: Reuters 

Venezuela's Hugo Chavez will be embalmed and put on display "for eternity" at a military museum after a state funeral and an extended period of lying in state, acting President Nicolas Maduro said on Thursday. 

Huge crowds are still waiting to pay their respects to Chavez after his death this week, and Maduro said the move - reminiscent of the treatment of Communist leaders Lenin, Stalin and Mao after their deaths - would help keep the late president's self-declared socialist revolution alive. 

"It has been decided that the body of the comandante will be embalmed so that it remains eternally on view for the people at the museum," Maduro told state TV. Chavez, a former paratrooper, died on Tuesday aged 58 after a two-year battle with cancer. He was president for 14 years and is now lying in state at a military academy where the government says more than 2 million supporters have viewed it since Wednesday. 

Maduro said Chavez's official funeral would go ahead on Friday, attended by about 30 leaders from around the world and that his body would then lie in state for a further seven days. Huge lines snaked around the academy on Thursday as tens of thousands of Venezuelans shuffled forward to salute, raise clenched fists or make the sign of the cross over Chavez's casket. From soldiers in fatigues to officers in ceremonial dress, to residents of the slums where Chavez was most loved, those in line vowed to defend his legacy and back Maduro, his preferred heir, in a new election. 

"I arrived in the early hours to see Chavez. He is my personal idol," said Henry Acosta, 56. A sobbing Berta Colmenares, 77, said "Chavistas" must throw their weight behind Maduro to carry on the revolution. "I will vote for Maduro, who else? He is the one who Chavez chose and we have to follow his wish." Chavez was dressed in an army uniform and a signature red beret like the one he wore in a 1992 speech to the nation that launched his political career after he led a failed coup. 

People were given just a few seconds to glance at his body inside the relatively simple wooden coffin, which has a glass top and was draped in flowers and a Venezuelan flag. One government source told Reuters that Chavez slipped into a coma on Monday and died the next day of respiratory failure after a rapid deterioration from the weekend, when he had held a five-hour meeting with ministers at his bedside. The cancer had spread to his lungs, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. 

Maduro Verses Capriles Vote Looms: There is uncertainty over exactly when a presidential vote will be held in the South American OPEC country, which has the world's largest oil reserves and 29 million residents. The constitution stipulates a poll must be called within 30 days, but politicians say election authorities may not be ready in time and there is talk of a possible delay. Chavez ruled for 14 years and won four presidential elections. Maduro, 50, a former union leader who ended his education at high school before plunging into politics, looks certain to face opposition leader Henrique Capriles, 40, the centrist governor of Miranda state who lost to Chavez in last year's election. 

Maduro will be sworn-in on Friday as caretaker president, National Assembly head Diosdado Cabello told state TV. Members of the opposition have kept a low profile and offered condolences during the enormous show of support for Chavez, one of Latin America's most popular leaders. But some expressed relief at the demise of a man they saw as a dictator who trampled on opponents and ruined their economy. 

"I wanted his mandate to end. Power made him lose perspective," said Israel Nogales, 43, a university administrator walking in a Caracas park. "He polarized the country and families like mine. ... He is going to be treated like a martyr and that is wrong." 

On Wednesday, opposition sources told Reuters they have again agreed to back Capriles, whose 44-percent vote share in 2012 was the best performance by any candidate against Chavez. One recent opinion poll gave Maduro a strong lead, and both international markets and foreign diplomats are factoring in a probable win for him and a continuation of "Chavista" policies, at least in the short term. The tall and hefty Maduro, who lacks Chavez's man-of-the-people charisma, served as his foreign minister for six years before being named vice president in late 2012. He has pledged to adhere to Chavez's brand of ferociously nationalist politics and controversial economic policies that included regular seizures of private businesses as well as wildly popular social welfare programs. 

Some analysts believe Maduro might eventually try to ease tensions with Western investors and the United States. But just hours before Chavez's death, Maduro was accusing "imperialist" enemies of infecting the president with cancer and he expelled two American diplomats for alleged conspiracies. Maduro is expected to continue bashing Washington, at least until the election. He may have to step down from his role as caretaker president to launch his candidacy and one official source told Reuters that Chavez's son-in-law, Science Minister Jorge Arreaza, might step into that role. 

Capriles, an athletic career politician and lawyer from a wealthy family, wants Venezuela to follow Brazil's softer center-left model. Venezuela's heavily traded global bonds, which gained before Chavez's death, were down for a second straight day on Thursday as investors realized his economic model of government control could persist for years. Yields for the 2027 bond spiked to nearly 9.5 percent as prices continued to fall. State media have been airing old Chavez speeches and songs over and over in lengthy tributes. 

Foreign Minister Elias Jaua urged private Venezuelan media outlets to let "Chavistas" mourn and refrain from provoking opponents to hold rallies against the government. Authorities blame TV channels aligned with the opposition for helping incite a 2002 coup that briefly toppled Chavez. At the wake, Venezuelans strained for a glimpse of Chavez, many welling up in tears as they reached his casket. "I told him 'don't worry, Nicolas Maduro will be the new president as you asked'," said nurse Maria Fernandez, 51, after filing past the coffin.

Communiqué: Communiqué Of Igbo National Council Meeting Of March 3rd, 2013

(The Communiqué of the meeting of the Igbo National Council (INC) held in Awka Anambra State on Sunday, March 3, 2013)

The meeting which was attended by many Igbo activists, politicians, businessmen/women, professionals etc. centered its deliberations on the way forward to resolve the many contradictions hindering the political, economic and socio-cultural growth of the Igbo Race.

The Council critically analyzed the State of the Nation and unanimously agreed that challenges facing the Nigeria today are by-product of the age long unholy conspiracies against Ndigbo by the different ethnic groups and political blocs, as orchestrated by the various leaderships in the country. The Council also reiterated that the causes of the Nigeria’s problems are corruption, and ineptitude in leadership.

In addition to the above, the Council vehemently makes the following demands:

1. The Council regrets the inability of the authorities of the Nigeria security operatives to unravel the complicity in the killing and dumping of corpses in Ezu River located at the border of Anambra and Enugu states respectively. The Council states that the killing and dumping of forty corpses in Eze River is a clear indication that the secret plan to wipe out the Igbo Race in Nigeria through genocide and extra-judicial killing is still on-going.

In view of the above, we call on the Federal Government of Nigeria to immediately set-up a Judicial Panel of Enquiry to look into the immediate and remote cause of the killing and dumping of over forty corpses in the Ezu River and also the prosecute those find culpable in the dastard act.

The Council also demand the instant resignation of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar, the Anambra State Commissioner of Police and the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Awka North Local Government Area.

2.  The Council called for the immediate dismantling of all military and police check points in South-East and South-South geopolitical zones of Nigeria and replace them with patrol teams except at interstate borders and security flash points. This is imperative because them converted such check points into toll gates thereby extorting money from motorist and causing hardship to people plighting the roads. We note that the primary duties of the security operatives are to provide security and protection to people and not to exploit, harass and intimidate the people they are meant to protect.

3. The Council therefore call on the government of Igbo States to wake-up to the realities and challenges of the time by creating jobs and employment opportunities as a panacea to curbing crimes and other social vices in our society.

4. The Council supports the call to grant full autonomy to the Local Government Council system in Nigeria. To this end, the Council call on the State Governments in Ala Igbo that have no democratic Local Government Council to quickly conduct Local Government Council election into such councils before the end of 2013.

5. Finally, the Council constituted a Three-Man Political Committee on the Anambra State Gubernatorial Elections scheduled to hold by last quarter of 2013. This is in a bid to mobilize the people and ensure the emergence of “PEOPLES” Governor that will be genuinely committed to the course of realizing the Igbo Dream. Members of the committee are: 1). Hon. Tony Uche Ezekwelu – Chairman, 2). Mr. Ikechukwu Onyia – Secretary, 3). Mr. Chinedum Omiegbu – Member.


Chilos Godsent                                                                                

National President


Comrade Zulu Ofoelu

National Secretary