Tuesday, 22 October 2013

News Release: MEND Takes Responsibility For Sabotage Of Warri Refinery

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) takes responsibility for the sabotage this morning, Tuesday 22 October, 2013, inside the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Refinery in Warri, Delta State of Nigeria .

‘Hurricane Exodus’ was intended to burn down the entire refining facility.

As long as President Goodluck Jonathan continues to rely on an unsustainable and fraudulent Niger Delta Amnesty programme, peace and security will continue to elude his government in the region.

‘Hurricane Exodus’ is on course!

Jomo Gbomo

Article: Ndi-Owerre And Imo State 2015 Governorship Race

By Barr. Emperor Iwuala

In this write-up, the term ‘Ndi Owerre’ refer to the people of Owerri Federal Constituency comprising Owerri Municipal, Owerri North and Owerri West local government areas of Imo State. These areas habour the major parts of Owerri Capital Territory and Owerri metropolis.

Interestingly, Ndi-Owerre have always been major stakeholders in determining who rules Imo State. For example, during the 2011 general elections, they contributed greatly to victory of Governor Rochas Okorocha who is from Orlu Senatorial Zone. They also stopped their daughter from picking the only senatorial slot from their Senatorial Zone which they gave to a two-time Senator Senator Chris Anyanwu from the Mbaise clan. At the end of the day, Ndi Owere could not be placed at any political advantage unlike the Mbaise people that got the senatorial seat, the only ministerial slot for the state and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Regrettably, what Ndi-Owere got in return from Governor Okorocha for helping him into power was forceful take-over of their various ancestral lands, blackmail of his former Deputy Jude Agbaso (an Owerre man) and unjustly sponsoring his impeachment/disgrace from office, relocation of Imo State University out of Owerri, illegal demolition of ancestral homes, business outfits etc. belonging to Ndi Owerre, embezzlement of local government allocations meant for the development of the three local government areas in the place, etc.

Recently, some acclaimed elders of Owerre led by one Rtd. Justice Duke Njiribeako went on a macabre dance at the Government House Owerri. Therein they called on Governor Okorocha to seek for a second term come 2015.

Unfortunately, this is coming at a time every Imo man is clamouring for the 2015 Governor to emerge from Owerri Senatorial Zone.

The 2015 elections are fast approaching and every political clime in Imo State is strategizing. Therefore, the question is what is the way forward for Ndi Owerre? Will Ndi Owerre continue to be suya, vegetables and pepper soup to others as usual?
‘Onye Owerre wuru Governor na 2015 eligwe O ga-ada’?

For a little while now, some Owerrri Federal Constituency sons have declared interest to contest the governorship seat in the state come 2015. For now, the ones that are pronounced are the former Minister of Interior Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho from Emekuku, Barr. Bethel Nzimako from Orogwe and Chief Jerry Chukwueke from Awaka.

Regrettable, rumour has it that on the 2nd of November, 2013, Eze Emenyonu Njemanze of Owerre Nchi Ise (Municipal) and Eze Okoro of Emii Owerri in North, in conjunction with some other yet-to-be-identified traditional rulers are to confer a ‘special’ chieftaincy title to Chief Jerry Chukwueke. It is also being said that this conferment is an opportunity for Chukwueke’s adoption as the 2015 governorship candidate by the people of Owerri Federal Constituency. Rumour also has it that the above named traditional rulers were given =N=10 million each for the occasion to hold.

However, it is even an irony that the two traditional rulers in question left their different domains to organise the said event in Emekuku. It is also being said that the reason why Chief Obi Memorial Secondary School Emekuku was chosen as the venue for the event was a strategy to slight, ridicule, stampede and unjustly ‘outwit’ Captain Iheanacho who incidentally hails from the same Emekuku.

However, this provocative act is already causing ripples in many quarters. Tongues have also started wagging on why the traditional rulers in question who are supposed to be apolitical, neutral, men of honour, integrity and fathers to all have debased themselves. Many Owerre people and the public in general are shocked and have condemned the proposed event saying that it is very wrong for the said traditional rulers to have cheaply descended into the arena of full time politics because of what is described as a mess of potage. Many are of the opinion that it is also unfair and an unduly over-reaching act for the duo to have taken sides with Chief Chukweke whom they say, has not done anything tangible for Ndi Owerre or the state sufficient enough to warrant the proposed honour he is slated to be given. The pertinent question which now arises can be framed as follows; When has conferment of traditional honour become a ‘cash and carry’ affair, reserved only for the highest bidder in Owerre?

This could be likened to the historical travesty where Igbo traditional rulers of old were reported to have wickedly sold their able bodied men and women into slavery for selfish interests.

However, it has been speculated if the conferment of such extraordinary customary title were indeed worthwhile, it is even a person like Capt Iheanacho who gave employment to many persons from Owerre and the state in general, who additionally maintains a stable of genuine businesses that employs many youths in the state and the nation and has also served as an Honorable Minister that should be so honoured.

Interestingly, the preponderance of informed public opinion is that Ndi-Owerre should properly gear themselves up to occupy their proper place in the leadership of Imo State. If so, it means that this is no longer the time to gamble, joke or play to the gallery. The people must now face reality because other climes are also strategizing.

Therefore, they should not queue behind a governorship aspirant who is neither tested nor can boast of any tangible score-card in relation to the business of efficiently managing the affairs of Imo State. Now, it is time for the people to present their best. I mean an Owerre person that has political pedigree, prowess, integrity, marketable image who has been entrusted with responsibility and he did the people proud.

It is only when this is done that Ndi-Owerre can regain their rightful place in the political leadership of Imo State and the right time to do so is now because ‘a stitch in time saves nine’.
(Iwuala can be reached on: 08037247295)

Speech: “Africa’s Prospects Are Strong”—UN Sec. Gen.

Ki-Moon; UN Sec. Gen.

(Being Speech By United Nations Secretary-General at a high-level panel discussion on “Africa’s Innovation in Governance through 10 Years of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM)”, in New York on 21 October, 2013)

Thank you for this opportunity to open this year’s Africa-NEPAD [New Partnership for Africa's Development] week.  I offer my warmest congratulations on the tenth anniversary of the African Peer Review Mechanism.

The APRM has deepened a democratic political culture among African Governments.  It has fostered more principled leadership and constructive national dialogue.  And the peer review process has opened up greater space for citizens to participate in the decisions affecting them.

I pay tribute to the 17 countries that have completed their self-assessment and peer review. This process strengthened national accountability.  In some cases, the APRM has revealed underlying causes of conflict — with recommendations to address them.

The APRM has identified a number of areas where African countries need to improve.  It showed the need to better manage natural resources, stop corruption, end xenophobia, address youth unemployment and take action against organized crime and terrorism.  Above all, the APRM points to the critical need to halt unconstitutional changes in government — and, when they happen, to respond robustly in defence of principle.

Now is the time to deepen and broaden this valuable peer review process so that more countries can benefit.  The goal, of course, is for all countries in Africa to face this scrutiny, by themselves and by others.  This is what African people expect of their leaders.

The United Nations remains committed to supporting the APRM and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, NEPAD.  What the APRM does for governance, NEPAD does for development.  Together, they help Africa to advance along the path of democracy and development to benefit the continent’s people.

Africa’s prospects are strong.  Several African countries are among the world’s fastest growing economies.  Fewer Africans suffer from extreme poverty.  More African children are in school — especially girls.  African countries are trading among themselves as never before.  More African women are finding work beyond the fields — including in parliaments and statehouses.  Regional integration and the African Renaissance are a reality.  I thank the African Union (AU) and the NEPAD Agency for leading this effort.

Peace, human rights and development are inextricably linked.  That is why I travelled earlier this year to the Great Lakes region with World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim.  We went together to support the Framework for Peace, Security and Cooperation for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region.

We are also moving forward with our cooperation on the Sahel.  We have mobilized a billion dollars for the region and we are developing an integrated strategy to address humanitarian, development and security problems.

In Mali, the AU and ECOWAS [Economic Community of West African States] are helping the United Nations mission consolidate gains following the elections.

Relations between Sudan and South Sudan have improved thanks to the contributions of the AU High-level Implementation Panel led by President [Thabo] Mbeki.  The United Nations and the African Union are also cooperating constructively on Somalia.  We are continuing to seek sustainable resources for the AMISOM [African Union Mission in Somalia].

I am deeply concerned about the situation in the Central African Republic.  It is essential to restore law and order throughout the country, protect civilians and ensure a return to constitutional order.  International solidarity remains essential to addressing all of Africa’s challenges.

Ten years ago, the APRM was a bold initiative that showed the world that African leaders were ready to take action on difficult and sensitive problems of governance and democracy.  Ten years on, this approach has proven its value.

On this anniversary, I call on all partners in the international community to fully support both NEPAD and the APRM.  Let us resolve to usher in a future where all of Africa’s leaders answer to their people in democratic Governments that are a model for our world. 

Thank you.