Tuesday, 15 April 2014

News Release: Stop Playing Politics With Lives Of Nigerians

Scene Of A Recent Bombing In Nigeria

Christian Foundation for Social Justice and Equity commiserates with the families that have lost loved ones in the deadly twin bomb explosion around the bus terminal under the bridge in Nyanyan, a few meters away from the popular Sani Abacha Barracks, Abuja yesterday.  The dastard incident reportedly occurred around 7am when a vehicle laden with Improvised Explosive Device (IED) exploded in the ever busy bus stop where commuters board government-operated luxury buses provided by SURE-P and other commercial buses parks.

Official statements put the figure of the victims at 326 with 72 deaths which are in sharp contrast to reports of over 150 deaths and 200 persons receiving treatments in various hospitals within the Federal Capital Territory and some parts of Nasarawa States reported by the media.

This inhuman and degrading attack followed initial attacks on innocent Nigerians in Borno State where a State of Emergency is still in force last Friday, where candidates who were going to sit for their Joint Admission and Matriculations Board (JAMB) exams with their centres located in Gwoza town, Dikwa, Gambulga and Kala Balge were attacked. Suspected Boko Haram members had earlier attacked Kala Balge town with three villagers killed on Thursday. About 210 people, including JAMB candidates were reportedly killed in the attacks.

It is however unfortunate that the political elites are toying with the lives of innocent Nigerians who are being killed daily as the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) through its Publicity Secretary, accused the major opposition political party in the country, All Progressive Congress (APC), as the sponsors of the insurgents. We considered this as a very grievous allegation which security agencies must investigate.

This position of the ruling PDP is also obvious in the President Jonathan’s dispositions to the lives been lost daily in the country. While over 500 Nigerians have been killed in the last 5 days, the President is busy promoting his re-election ambition via baseless Unity Rallies across the nation, even when it is crystal clear that Nigeria is falling and failing under his watch. Visit to Ibadan, Oyo State capital today by the President, is an unexpected and unexplainable insult on the sensibility of Nigerians and disrespect to victims of the yesterday’s bomb blast and one of his many “I don’t give a damn” attitudes.  It is expected that the nation should be mourning the victims of the various attacks across the country today and not celebrating it. This is a great disservice of highest magnitude to this country.

It is also important to establish that, structural problem deeply rooted in injustice, inequality, extreme poverty and weak institutions, which are the primary causes of the growing insecurity in the country must as a matter of urgency is addressed. Similarly, inefficient and ineffective intelligence gathering, coupled with almost half of the security agents, who are being paid with tax payers money, protecting the over privileged few political elites leaving 90 percent Nigerians unprotected is a major concern that needs to be looked into. We therefore call for total overhauling of the security agencies with a clear mandate of repositioning the agencies without considering any political, religious or ethnic considerations but absolute loyalty to the Nigerian state.     

While condemning these inhuman and degrading attacks, it is also expedient and imperative to urge the security agents to up their game and change tactics where necessary to combat the menace of the insurgencies. They need to move away from analogue security system to the more efficient and productive digital system. We also urge Nigerians to be conscious of their environments and provide useful information to security agencies. Peaceful Nigeria is non-negotiable!


Joseph Sangosanya
Executive Chairman

News Release: Nyanya (ABUJA) Bombing Is Another Attack On Humanity

Scene Of The Nyanay(Abuja) Bombing

The Centre for Rights and Grassroots Initiative(CRGI) is shocked, horrified, devastated, saddened and condemns in the strongest terms the crude, barbaric, horrifying, satanic and inhuman attack on humanity by the bombing which caused collateral damage to human lives, limbs and properties in Nyanya bus park, Abuja the federal capital territory of Nigeria yesterday Monday 14/04/2014.

It is our fervent prayer that the Almighty should grant the deceased eternal rest, their families the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss, the injured, God’s divine healing and the rest of us, the grace to overcome this psychological trauma that we are being subjected to everyday in our national life.

This attack on humanity of a bombing has once again reinforced the fact that proffering solution to the issue of security challenges confronting our country has become so gargantuan that it cannot be left to the government or security agencies, hence all hands must be on deck to find a lasting solution to this social menace.

It is in hearkening to this clarion call that the Centre for Rights and Grassroots Initiative (CRGI) would like to call on the Nigerian authorities to be humble enough to seek international assistance to combat these acts of terrorism which has overwhelmed our security agencies and is fast becoming a way of life here and as well enter into bilateral agreements with her neighbors in this global fight against enemies of humanity.

We would also like to call on the Nigerian government to come to terms with the fact that the war against terrorism and criminality can only be won by the use of scientific methods and so they should step up their intelligence and surveillance apparatus by putting in place modern and up to date security systems and as well as equip and motivate personnel to be professional and diligent in the discharge of their constitutional responsibilities.

We as well want to admonish the perpetrators and sponsors of this orgy of violence to sheathe their sword and allow reason to prevail because there is no justification for this wanton waste of innocent lives, limbs and properties which is a crime against God and humanity. We are also appealing to our religious and traditional institutions to help come to our societal rescue by preaching and counseling against extremism in the conduct of human affairs.

It is also important to state that a major reason for the security challenges confronting us a people is a consequence of the army of unemployed youths and able bodied men and women roaming the streets without any tangible means of livelihood, thus justifying the adage that the idle hands is the devils workshop and so there is need for concerted efforts to arrest the alarming rate of unemployment in the land.

However, we want to re-emphasize once more that it is important for all to know that our world and society will only know peace if there is justice and equity in the conduct of human affairs whether at the individual, institutions or governmental levels and so it is important to harp on the fact that a sure and only way to combat terrorism globally is in the enthronement of political, economic and social justice.


Nelson Ekujumi,
Executive Director

Article: The Case Of Power [DE] –Generation In Nigeria

 By Jaye Gaskia

At the inception of the fourth Republic, one key area prioritized by the then victorious ruling party, the PDP, and its newly inaugurated presidency was power. In 1999, when the current civilian democratic dispensation came into being, the ruling PDP made fan fare of its intention to turn power generation, distribution and transmission around as a way of ensuring that there was enough electricity to power our triumphal march into the league of newly industrializing economies.

15 years down the line, what is the scorecard? Power generation as at 1999 had plummeted to just about 2,000 MWs of available generated power, while the capacity of the National Grid stood at barely 4,000 MWs.

A decade and a half down the line, and with close to $50bn of public investment poured into the sector, we are back to where we started from, with available power generation for distribution once again hovering around the 2,000 MWs line.

In between 1999 and 2014, we have ‘managed’ to increase [what a fallacy?] power generation to around 6,000 MWs, but with the proviso that the actual amount available for distribution and transmission has never surpassed 4,500 MWs. In addition to this, the capacity of the National Grid, through which available power is transmitted, has remained stuck at just over 4,000 MWs, with the consequence that every time available power generation for transmission exceeds 4,000 MWs, the entire power infrastructure witnesses either significant partial system failures or system collapses. It is on record that the last upgrade to the power transmission infrastructure occurred more than three decades ago under the military dictatorship of IBB!

So after decades of lip service, and with tens of billions of dollars poured down the drain; after the most intense pillaging of the treasury in our recent history, we have been unable to meet the targets for power generation and transmission set by successive regimes.

Now if this situation is a direct reflection of the profligacy, treasury looting propensity, and degree of light fingeredness of the faction of the thieving ruling class organized in the PDP; then the complete absence of a sense of recognition of the urgency of overcoming the challenge of power for the Nigerian economy by the equally clueless opposition APC, underlines our argument that this failure is a collective failure of the ruling class regardless of the party they are organized in.

This situation is worsened by the fact that neither the main opposition party, nor any of the other mushroom parties of the ruling class have formulated or presented any clear cut plan for tackling the energy question; yet the overcoming of the energy challenge is so central to growing an inclusive economy in a sustainable manner.

And now the paradox: Our shameless thieving ruling class celebrates and flaunts the fact that after the re-basing of the economy, the size of our GDP is now $510bn and that it is now the largest economy in Africa, and the 26th largest in the world, beating South Africa to the second position in Africa with a GDP size of $370bn.

Yet the South African economy with a size of $370bn still boasts the largest market capitalization on the continent, with a market capitalization nearly doubles that of Nigeria; and generates and transmits more than 41,000 MWs of electricity. DRC, a country ravaged and impoverished by conflicts over control of its vast mineral resources also plans to generate 40,000 MWs from a single power generation project.

With one of the highest gini-coefficients in the world, one of the widest gap between poor and rich worldwide, it is perhaps not a coincidence that Africa’s richest man is a Nigerian, who is also the world’s 25th richest person, at the same time that his country’s GDP is also the 26th largest in the world.

It is certainly not a coincidence that Africa’s largest economy is also home to Africa’s largest concentration of poor citizens, and is one of the poorest countries in the world on account of citizen welfare.

What we are witnessing is the unraveling of the edifice of self aggrandizement erected by the ruling class to accommodate their greed. What is happening is the manifestation of the historical failure of this congenitally corrupt and inherently incompetent ruling class.

The lesson we must draw from this is that the labour and sweat of our hard working but impoverished people generate enough wealth to go around and meet every citizens’ basic needs, but that the greed of our ruling class prevents this from happening.

The task that emerges from this lesson is that we must Take Back our country from the death grip of this ruinous and gluttonous ruling class.

Our destiny is indeed in our own hands.
(Follow me on Twitter: @jayegaskia & [DPSR]protesttopower; Interact with me on FaceBook: Jaye Gaskia & Take Back Nigeria)

Article: Nigeria’s Maddening Race To Self Destruction

By Jaye Gaskia

We are indeed living in perilous times, a season of anomie, where life has become truly brief, short and brutish, and where not even the fittest can be sure of survival. This is the condition that best describes our existence in Nigeria at this moment.

Violent crimes and irrational insurgencies have taken over the land. We have become a people buffeted by violence driven by the rabid hatred of the alienated for society, sponsored by highly placed and connected members of our treacherous ruling elites.

Let us be very clear about this, there has been no incidence running organized violence in whatever form, either as criminal acts of kidnapping, armed robbery, or crude oil theft; nor of insurgency, has been initiated without the active mobilization, organization and sponsorship of different fractions of the treasury looting elites in their antagonistic competitive drive towards primitive accumulation.

Every enquiry into sustained violent onslaughts on the Nigerian people and state has indicted some members of the elite. The problem however is that no consistent and deterrent action has been undertaken against the indicted members of the ruling class sufficient to mitigate and curb their propensity to arm the hapless poor in their struggle for control of state power in order to gain unfettered access to our public treasury.

The same impunity that drives corruption and treasury looting also drives the competitive arming of alienated and impoverished citizens against one another.

For the avoidance of doubt, it does appear as if a sustained war of attrition and annihilation has been launched and is being waged against the poor, exploited, and oppressed subordinate classes and strata of our population by the rich. It does seem that there is an orchestrated campaign of extermination against the 70% of impoverished Nigerians, by the 10% of Nigerians who own and control 40% of National wealth; a status achieved through pillage and brigandage.

In the last five years, and certainly in the last decade alone, their have been at least two commissions of inquiry on the Boko Haram Insurgency, as well as other commissions on post election violence, and on the various inter-communal and intra-communal conflicts that have ravaged the country. Each of these commissions of enquiry, sat diligently, and produced reports with far reaching recommendations; each of these reports were dutifully submitted to the authorities; and almost nothing has been done to implement these reports.

Here lies the bane of our problem, the continued pretence in high places that the situation will blow over of its own accord; combined with a mindset that accepts mass murder and routine massacres of even children, as appropriate collateral damage not only by perpetrators of violence, but also by the state and its functionaries in high and low places.

We demand that the reports of all extant commissions of enquiry into the Boko Haram insurgency, into the Fulani herdsmen and farmers conflicts, into political violence, be dusted up and implemented immediately. If people in government have n o skeletons in their cupboards, the time to act is now, not tomorrow, and certainly not after the elections.

Tackling this menace which has now become a low intensity warfare, with more than 2,000 Nigerians murdered since January requires political will, matched by a combination of approaches; responses which must include better organized and coordinated military action, but which must also go beyond this to include building relationships of active equitable collaboration based on trust and confidence with affected communities in order to isolate the insurgents; addressing the developmental challenges that have created the massive impoverisation of citizens and excluded them from access to basic social services, based on an emergency development intervention plan of action; as well as improved intelligence gathering capability and coordination among security and armed forces.

This concerted long drawn war on the poor must come to an end; and we are very clear about where to place responsibility for the war and the war crimes being waged and committed against the poor. The responsibility lies squarely with the ruling political elites in general, and with the political elites in control of Local, State and Federal governments.

Enough Is Enough. How many more lives must be lost before those who claim they have our mandate to in the words of the constitution provision the security and welfare of citizens, take concrete action to fulfill their constitutional obligations to us?

Time is fast running out.

(Follow me on Twitter: @jayegaskia & [DPSR]protesttopower; Interact with me on FaceBook; Jaye Gaskia & Take Back Nigeria)