Gov. Akpabio’s Relatives Threatening Late Albert Ukpanah’s Daughters – Human Rights Activist, Inibehe Effiong

Mr. Inibehe Effiong, a human rights activist from Akwa Ibom State and Convener of the Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (COHRD), explains to NSE PETER, the editor of Think Akwa Ibom! why Nigerians must rise up and put pressure on Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, for Odudu Ukpanah, the son of the slain PDP chieftain, Albert Ukpanah, to be released from Prison.

We are aware that you visited Odudu Ukpanah in the prison. How was your meeting with him?

Let me begin by saying that I got to know about this Odudu Ukpanah’s case last December through the social media when the sisters of Odudu got frustrated by the inaction of Governor Godswill Obot Akpabio to their diplomatic cries for justice. In less than 24 hours after they spoke out, I got calls from all over the country requesting my intervention. The family contacted me and sought my intervention. To your question, I first met Odudu in Court in Abak Local Government Area on 15th December, 2014, when his case first came up for hearing. I met him again on 25th December, 2014 when I went to spend Christmas with him. I met him for the third time few days ago when I led the Human Rights Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association led by its National Chairman and 1st Vice President of the NBA, Barr Francis Ekwere, to discuss with him. My meetings with him only fortified my resolve to stand by him to the end. I can stake my neck for his innocence.

How is his health?

Odudu is presently suffering from an ailment which developed while he was in the UK for his Masters Degree. The condition is such that the Prison authorities had to write to the relevant quarters since they lack the requisite facilities to cater for his ailment. In fact, the hospital that he was rushed to when he collapsed in the UK had to send a report down here. Do you know that he also collapsed in the Ikot Ekpene Medium Prison? I am making this public so that Nigerians will know that the life of an innocent and promising citizen is at stake. It is that serious. The last time we were in court, he could barely walk. The court had to allow him to sit which is only a privilege for accused persons.

The advocacy for Odudu’s release seems to have taken the form of attacks against Gov. Godswill Akpabio, instead of appeal to the governor?

Well, it depends on how you look at it. For me, the era of appealing to the conscience of the oppressors is over. If Akpabio had conscience, Odudu would not have been detained in the first place given the plausible, cogent and verifiable fact that his father was assassinated by ‘politically motivated assassins’. I did not originate this, the Police Investigation Report dated 25th March, 2014 and signed by the IPO, Sgt. Ibediro Nnamdi, said that clearly. The report went further to recommend that further investigation be carried out to unravel the real killers of the late outspoken chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, Engr. Albert Jimmy Ukpanah. We have had countless assassinations in Akwa Ibom State since 2007. Quoting an annual report by the Nigeria Police Force, a Sunday Punch report of November 21, 2010 (page 3) said Akwa Ibom State had the highest record of politically motivated killings. The report said that in 2009 alone, Akwa Ibom recorded 177 murders, most of which are said to be politically motivated. So, if they are saying that Odudu, the only son of his father and a Masters Degree holder in Oil and Gas Management from Coventry University, UK, killed his own father, are they also saying that the other persons that have been murdered in the state were also killed by their children? So, if people are attacking Akpabio it is as a result of provocation, and provocation is a strong defence in law. I cannot beg Akpabio to do what is right. It is an obligation that he swore to perform. In any case, respect is earned not forced.

Why do you think it took Odudu’s family so long before they raised alarm against his continuous detention, if they knew that he was innocent?

Looking at the totality of the circumstances of this case and the status of the persons involved, what did you expect them to do? You know that Akwa Ibom State is one strange land where the average person dreads the government. It is a state where the mass of the people see the governor as a god who can give and take life at will. Very few people in that state can stand up to injustice and speak truth to power. Again I think that they were equally credulous by thinking that with time, Governor Akpabio will let sanity prevail. People kept telling them not to speak out given what befell their father as a result of speaking out.

Is there any prospect that he may be released soon?

I have no doubt in my mind that there will be light at the end of the tunnel. The judiciary remains the last hope of the common man and we are confident that the court will live up to its sacred responsibility as the guardian of the Constitution and the comforter of the oppressed. The ruling on his bail application was slated for Wednesday 7th January, 2014, but it was stalled by the strike by judicial workers. Beyond this, we are hopeful that our campaigns will not be in vain.

You’ve been in constant touch with Odudu’s sisters – Uduak and Ofonime. Do you know if they have received any threat message since they started this public campaign for the release of their brother?

You cannot confront evil without receiving threats from the evil ones. I can confirm to you that one of the three sisters of Odudu, Ofonime Pushie Ukpanah has been threatened by some female relatives of the Governor. But there is no cause for alarm because the cause we are fighting is a just cause. Those who think they own Akwa Ibom State will never prevail.

How about you? Have you received any threat message?

My brother, threats mean nothing to me. If you look into my antecedents you will see that I am not someone that any mortal can threaten into submission, I have passed that level. This is not the first battle that I have taken up so why should I border myself about these little tyrants. There is no day that people do not advise me to be careful, but I always tell them that only God can protect me.

There are some persons who believe that the #ReleaseOduduUkpanah campaign may complicate issues for Odudu in detention?

Those people are slaves in love with their chains. How can people be thinking in such defeatist manner after Odudu has spent eight months in custody? I respect their view but I defer totally from them. It was the Great Lord Denning MR who posited in the popular case of R versus Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Ex parte Blackburn that “silence is not an option when things are ill-done”. We cannot keep quiet over this case because that will amount to setting a dangerous and cancerous precedent.

What would you say to people out there who may believe that Odudu could possibly have a hand in his father’s death?

I am yet to see a single person with that belief, but in case there is one, I will advise the person to read the Police Investigation Report dated 25th March, 2014 and signed by the IPO, Sgt. Ibediro Nnamdi. The report clearly stated that the assassination of the slain outspoken politician was politically motivated and also recommended that further investigation be carried out to unravel the real killers of Hon. Engr. Albert Jimmy Ukpanah. I also wish to let such a person know that Section. 36 ( 5 ) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended ) presumes Odudu innocent until proven guilty before a court of competent jurisdiction.

Elections are around the corner. What political impact do you think Odudu Ukpanah’s detention would likely have on Governor Godswill Akpabio?

There is a popular view that Odudu Ukpanah’s detention has offered credulous Nigerians the opportunity to truly appraise the character of Governor Godswill Obot Akpabio. Those who were seduced by the government’s populist propaganda have been so shamed by this case. Also, the governor has used his hands to put his name on the global record of heartless human rights violators. I know countless people who prior to this case were sympathetic to the governor but today, they do not want to hear the name Godswill Obot Akpabio. I strongly believe that the Governor will give account of his role in this case before God. So the game is up for governor Akpabio.

 

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#BagaHolocaust: Only 150 Killed, Not 2000, Says Nigerian Military

The Nigerian Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has said only 150 persons were killed in the Boko Haram attack on Baga, Borno state. The military made the claim in a statement by Defence spokesman, Major General Chris Olukolade to dispute earlier reports which claimed that over 2,000 residents were killed in the raid.

“From all available evidences, the number of people who lost their lives during that attack has so far not exceeded about 150 in the interim.  This figure includes many of the terrorists who were bearing arms and got killed in the course of their attack and battle with troops”, the DHQ said in its statement coming almost a week after the initial reports.

The DHQ release reads in full “As you might be aware, there was another terror attack on the town of Baga in Borno state last week which left a number of people dead. Following that unfortunate attack, a lot of speculations and conjectures have been peddled by a section of the press particularly the on-line media regarding the casualty rate. Some claimed that over a thousand people were killed while others wrote with certainty that 2000 people lost their lives in that singular attack.

“Without any doubt, terrible atrocities have been committed against innocent Nigerians in Baga by the rampaging terrorists who attacked and have been operating in the town since 3 January 2015.  Necessary actions are being taken to put an end to the activities of the terrorists and restore law and order to the community.

“To this end, a lot of covert operations including surveillance activities which recorded series aerial photographs are ongoing in that vicinity.  It is however necessary to inform Nigerians in the interim that the exercise so far have not corroborated the report on the casualty  rate which was put at 2000 deaths.  From all available evidences, the number of people who lost their lives during that attack has so far not exceeded about 150 in the interim.  This figure includes many of the terrorists who were bearing arms and got killed in the course of their attack and battle with troops.

“It should be noted that Baga and the neighbouring towns have been under series of attacks and harassment by terrorists. In the course of this, many residents have left, leaving the population in the town almost seriously depleted. Many were also able to escape while the terrorists’ battle with troops lasted. The figure given by sources who claim to be eye witnesses must be an extremely exaggerated  estimate. Unfortunately, this figure is now being bandied about in a section of the media as if it has been authenticated.  It cannot be true.

“It is pertinent to once again urge the media to be circumspect in adopting casualty figures especially the ones given to them by the so-called eye witness, who in most cases, are influenced by their own perspectives.

“In any case, this is no time to debate about casualty figures or number of deaths as the life of any Nigerian is important.  Much as the intention which could be with the aim of drawing attention to the atrocities being committed by terrorists group in Nigeria, is most welcome, the need for factual presentation of the situation is equally vital.

“In case the aim of this misinformation is to further the design of those bent on discrediting the government and the military, all well-meaning people should consider it as a disservice to humanity.  It is important to remind those who are adept at spewing falsehood or exaggerating situations with intent to embolden the terrorists and diminish the efforts of the security forces, that their actions are inimical to the safety of the innocent Nigerians who have borne the brunt of the terrorist attacks in our country.

“The tendency to celebrate the occasional setbacks while downplaying the efforts and successes at containing the terrorists is unfair and very unfortunate.  It is noteworthy that many international bodies are being misled in their interpretation of the situation owing to sensational headlines and stories.

“The Defence Headquarters wishes to reiterate its earlier assurance that the military has not given up on Baga or any part of the country where terrorists are marauding. Appropriate plans, men and resources are presently being mobilized to address the situation. We want reassure Nigerians that no portion of Nigeria’s territory has been or will be conceded to terrorists.”

 

 

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Tompolo, Ex-MEND Commanders Hold Secret Meeting in Asaba

EX-MILITANT leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, held a meeting, yesterday, in Asaba, Delta State, with former top commanders of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, from Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states.

A dependable source, said: “The meeting was convened by Tompolo to deliberate with his former colleagues on next month’s presidential election as it affects President Goodluck Jonathan, who is an Ijaw indigene.

“They also reviewed the support of the nonoperational MEND for the All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd), and agreed on ways to mobilise ex-agitators in the region for the PDP presidential candidate.”

The ex-MEND commanders reportedly left Asaba after the meeting for their respective states.

The source added “It is a top-secret meeting. I cannot tell you more than that. I am even surprised how you got to know about the meeting.”

 

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Buhari, Incorruptible, Honest – Gov. Lamido

Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State on Monday described the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, as an incorruptible and honest leader.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr. Lamido stated this while addressing supporters of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at a rally in Maigatari.

He explained that he had no problem with the former head of state, but had with some of the candidate’s supporters, especially those that left the PDP to the APC.

READ: Presidency Worried Over Gov. Lamido’s Boycott of Jonathan’s Campaign

“I agreed like every other person that Buhari is an incorruptible, honest, clean and patriotic Nigerian.

“My concern has always been defectors who our party, PDP, had made ministers, governors, speakers and members of the National Assembly and left us after benefiting so much,” he said.

Mr. Lamido urged the electorate in the area to vote for PDP candidates in the coming elections.

According to him, the party’s governorship candidate, Aminu Ibrahim, and his running mate, Dr Nurudeen Mohammed, will continue from wherever I will stopped and will not betray the trust, if elected.

 

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EXCLUSIVE: How Tinubu Outsmarted Amaechi, Oshiomhole, Others to Present Osinbajo as Buhari’s Running Mate

Contrary to the widely held believe that former Lagos State governor and national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was interested in becoming the running mate of General Muhammadu Buhari, he has never thought he was going to emerged as the vice presidential candidate of the APC.

Rather, the whole show put up by Tinubu was a stunt to get leaders of the party, particularly those from the South East and South South zone to accept the nomination of Osinbajo as Buhari’s running mate.

According to an insider who spoke to ABUSIDIQU on the condition of anonymity, presenting Osinbajo as Buhari’s running mate would have failed if Tinubu had not put up the front of wanting to become the vice presidential candidate.

The source said Tinubu had on Monday flown into Abuja from Lagos to present Osinbajo as his nominee for the VP slot, having been given that privilege by General Buhari to pick his choice from the south west zone.

The choice of Osinbajo was agreed at a Sunday night/Monday Morning meeting of APC chieftains from the South West attended by Tinubu himself and many other party leaders from the zone including the immediate past National Chairman of the party, Bisi Akande, the immediate past Governor of Ekiti State and Chairman of the National Convention Committee of the party, Kayode Fayemi, governors Babatunde Fashola [Lagos], Ibikunle Amosun [Ogun], Rauf Aregbesola [Osun] and Abiola Ajimobi [Oyo].

Others present at the meeting include Segun Oni [Deputy National Chairman, South], Pius Akinyelure [Vice Chairman, South West], Tajudeen Olawutan Bello [National Financial Secretary], Lai Mohammed [National Publicity Secretary], and Muiz Banire [National Legal Adviser].

It was on the basis of the decision of the South West APC leaders that ABUSIDIQU reported on Monday that Buhari Has Picked Osinbajo as His Running Mate

However, when Tinubu got to Abuja and presented Osinbajo to the enlarged house of the party leaders, he was out rightly rejected by leaders from the South South zone.

But Tinubu who had already sensed that the choice of Osinbajo was going to be rejected at the meeting came with a plan B. It was at this point that he indicated interest that he was going to nominate himself for the Vice presidential slot, knowing fully well that his choice was going to be a hard nut to crack for the APC leaders.

At a follow up meeting to the Monday night meeting in Abuja, Tinubu did not turn up. However, he sent a delegation of South West leaders of the party to inform the meeting that he is interested in picking the VP slot and that the South West has already endorsed him as their consensus candidate.

As expected, the announcement of Tinubu’s interest infuriated many of the party leaders to the extent that Governor Rochas Okorocha and Atiku Abubakar, both of them presidential aspirants that were defeated by Buhari at the presidential primaries in Lagos walked out of the meeting.

The party had earlier agreed that it was not going to field a Muslim/Muslim ticket so as not to give credit to the perception that the APC is a Muslim party. It was this position that inubu cashed on, leaving the party leaders with the choice of picking him, a Muslim to pair with Buhari or picking Osinbajo, a Christian to pair with Buhari.

Although, the Monday night meeting of the party leaders that spilled into the early hours of Tuesday discussed other candidates like Governors Rotimi Amaechi, Adams Oshiomhole and former governor Kayode Fayemi, the party leaders were left with only two choices- Tinubu or Osinbajo.

The two choices notwithstanding, party leader from the South East and South South zone were adamant and wanted other potential candidates from the two regions be given considerations.

But Tinubu, with the backing of leaders of th eparty from the South West insisted the VP slot be given to Tinubu and since the party had decided against a Muslim/Muslim ticket, they were left with no choice but to leave the decision to General Muhammadu Buhari.

But to ensure that the party leaders do not disagree with the choice of Osinbano which had already been agreed with Buhari, the announcement was deliberately delayed, while Tinubu stepped up his game plan suggesting he is very much in the race for the VP slot.

This according to a very reliable source necessitated the deliberate inclusion of accusing the presidency of wanting to block Tinubu’s chances to emerge as Buhari’s running mate in the right of reply Tunubu Media Office wrote to SaharaReporters over claims that he was blackmailed by President Jonathan before the 2011.

However, a credible source told ABUSIDIQU that it was all plot to ensure that other party leaders who are opposed to the nomination of Osinbajo are left with no choice if they do not want him as a Muslim on the ticket with Buhari.

While this was going on, meetings were still being held by the party leaders where Osinbajo was finally accepted.

Another insider source who corroborated the information said Tinubu could not have gone to Abuja to say he was interested in the ticket when Osinbajo has already been presented to leaders of the South West zone, including traditional rulers and other notable figures.

He said Tinubu as very clever politicians just had to put up that stunt so that he could get his way in the party.

Asked if the stunt is not a way of showing too much control over other leaders of the part, the source said this is politics. He only played his game well.

Another source said Tinubu is very much interested in the APC in sending President Jonathan packing from Aso rock in 2015, which is why he supported the candidature of General Muhammadu Buhari whom he believed has more chances in defeating the president than any of the other four aspirants.

The source added that Tinubu with that interest would not have done anything that would give the PDP and president Jonathan a chance of remaining at the presidency in 2015.

Interestingly, Tinubu has also released a statement stating that the interest of the nation is more than that of his personal interest, which is why he decided to back out of his nomination to be considered as the Running mate to general Buhari.

READ: I Serve The Nation; Tinubu Speaks on His Withdrawal for Consideration as Buhari’s Running Mate

 

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My Manifesto and Vision for Nigeria – Muhammadu Buhari

…securing our Nation,
prospering our People!
To Change
Politics and Governance
Security and Conflict Resolution
The Economy & Infrastructure Base
The Society & Human Capital Development
The Environment

MY COMMITMENT TO NIGERIA

Preamble

  1. Every country has its ‘lost generation’. Some were stolen away by war, some by economic downturns, and some by governments. Nigeria is perhaps the only country stolen by a cabal of political Mafias, merely for power, money, leisure and privilege. When the British administrators lowered the Union Jack in Lagos on October 1, 1960, Nigeria was Africa’s greatest hope. Its pool of talent mass of fertile land, and its newly discovered oil wealth, promised economic transformation and the role of leading the then independent African nations and those who were still struggling for freedom, under different forms of colonialism, to eventually lead the African Continent, onto the global stage.
  2. Now, over fifty years of independence and despite our vast wealth – abundant natural and human resources, at home and abroad, we as a nation continue to struggle with the most basic needs (food, shelter, water, security sanitation, and electricity, etc. As a nation, we are paralyzed by wide spread poverty, endemic institutionalised corruption; high levels of unemployment; a near total collapse of our educational system and facilities, collapse and decaying health and ineffective social services systems, chaotic transportation and communications systems; and other basic but essential infrastructure; less than adequate institutions of government at all levels, resulting to break down of law and order, institutionalized insecurity to life and property; and weak, fragile and unstable economy, with non-functional financial institutions, etc.
  3. Today, hospitals and universities are struggling with obsolete skills of by-gone centuries; insurgency controls large chunks of the Nigerian territories, kidnapping is now a profession and a cottage industry. For the little and common man and women who helped build this nation, things have never been so bad for these fellows. But for the corrupt politicians and big moneys bags, things have never been better.
  4. Many Nigerians have completely lost faith in the country’s ability to govern itself. Nigerians have fundamentally, lost faith in the leaders at the helm of the nation’s affairs. The lack of confidence in the system and its leaders, erodes democratic principles thus further jeopardizing the country’s future.
  5. Nigerians of goodwill, are angered by failures of corrupt and poor leadership. They are frustrated by economic policies that did not deliver on its promises. Nigerians are therefore impatient and want to regain their lost rights. Nigerians are worn out by conflicts, all over the country. Nigerians are now striving for a fresh start. This start must come from a new team, new ideas, that are committed to the promotion of acceptable and sustainable reforms. The mood now in Nigeria is changing as people begin to speak out more confidently against corruption, human rights abuses, and are not afraid to criticize and critique the unpopular policies of government. Throughout Nigeria there is ongoing debate on what is critical to the future of the country: CHANGE! POSITIVE CHANGE!!
  6. What is certain in Nigeria today is that the ebtire country is in need of being fixed. The truth of the matter is that Nigeria today has all the indices for both success and failure. Skewing the role of the State towards serving special interests, dividing its citizens along ethnic and religious lines, trapping whole generations into avoidable poverty through educating the young with basically, no skill, etc., are all attempt to perpetually one set of corrupt leaders in power, forever, these are the indices of a failed state. However, assuming the will to power, by this other Nigeria, to remove the incompetent, corrupt leaders, with no progressive ideals, is the success side. The making of this competent team has become more urgent and imperative, but this can only be achieved through resilience and courage. I, Muhammadu Buhari have now come for the rescue. This is success by design. It will overcome our failure by design matrix.
  7. The challenge, and choice facing all Nigerians at home and abroad is whether Nigerians have enough will and courage to unite, and resolve to radically move the nation forward –not looking backward to practices of a failed past, but building bridges to the positive fatherhood, motherhood, brother and sisterhood of the future! Again, my teaming supports are already leading the way to this possibility.
  8. As a nation and the Sub Saharan Africa’s leading energy producer, we had in the past squandered the opportunity to build functional infrastructure to better the lives of the average Nigerian. We can no longer afford this luxury of inactivity. We must revive our public and private sectors in order to provide functional services and secure the good of the individual Nigerian and his or her family.
    We are here commited to Change Nigeria:

READ: Time to Rebuild Nigeria: Buhari’s Acceptance Speech After Winning APC Primaries

READ: Buhari Pledges Five Things to Nigerians if He Emerges President [Read Full Speech]

READ: Buhari’s Emotional Letter to Delegates at the APC Presidential Primaries

December 10, 2014 is our Primaries Day. February 2015 will bring be our Presidential elections. As you know, the general trust level of politics, politicians and political leaders, is at an all?time?low. One may ask why? And we can as well understand why! After years of broken promises, hyper-corruption, the feeling that politicians have become too remote from the people, etc., it is no wonder that Nigerians have completely lost faith in the country’s ability to govern itself not just because of the problems facing the country, but the lack of faith in the present set of leaders at the helm of affairs.

The challenge, facing all of us as Nigerians is whether there is enough will and courage amongst us as citizens to unite, commit and resolve to radically reform, modernise and move the nation forward. I Muhammadu Buhari have resolved that the task ahead of me is that of Securing our Nation and Prospering our people –not looking backward to the failed policies and promises of the past. As I noted before, it is no longer a question of choice but that of the will and courage.

This document sets out our side of the bargain: the things I as your future president, want to do to change Nigeria for the better. I will however warn you all: I cannot do this alone. Each one of you and I must work together to get our economy on the right track, mend our broken lives, infrastructure, institutions, and the overall society. You must help me to reform our rotten political system, by getting involved, taking responsibility, and working together as a team.

I, Muhammadu Buhari believe that our politity, is broken. Our nation is in urgent need of a fundamental political reform. This requires honesty, integrity and forthrightness in order to improve governance, so as to make it transparent and accountable to the all Nigerian. Make me your Presidential candidate in both the Primaries and the Presidential elections.

THIS IS HOW I, WITH YOUR HELP, WILL FIX IT:
Politics and Governance
On Politics and Governance:

I, Muhammadu Buhari, believe that our politics is broken. Our nation urgently needs fundamental political reform and improvement in governance more transparency and accountable. If you nominate me in December, 2014 and elect me in February 2015, my administration will:

  1. Initiate action to amend the Nigerian Constitution with a view to devolving powers, duties, and responsibilities to states in order to entrench true Federalism and the Federal spirit;
  2. Strengthen INEC to reduce, if possible, eliminate electoral malpractices in Nigerian’s political life;
  3. Attract the best and brightest of our sons and daughters into our politics and public service by aggressive recruitment of private sector people, academics, and professionals within Nigeria and in the Diaspora through internships, fellowships, executive appointments, and special nomination to contest elective offices;
  4. Prevent the abuse and misuse of Executive, Legislative and Public offices, through greater accountability, transparency, strict, and implementable anti-corruption laws, through strengthening and sanitising the EFCC and ICPC as independent entities;
  5. Amend the Constitution to remove immunity from prosecution for elected officers in criminal cases;
  6. Restructure governance for a leaner, more efficient, and adequately compensated public service sector, while promoting effective participation of the private sector for more robust job creation programmes to employ the teaming youth.;
  7. Require full disclosure in media outlets, of all government contracts over N100m prior to award and during implementation at regular intervals;
  8. Reform and Strengthen the Justice System for efficient administration and dispensation of justice with the creation of special courts for accelerated hearing of corruption, drug trafficking, terrorism and similar cases of national importance;
  9. Fully enforce the Freedom of Information Act l so that government held data sets can be requested and used by the public and then such data sets be publish on regular basis;
  10. Amend the Constitution to require Local governments to publish their meeting minutes, service performance data, and items of spending over N10M.

Security and Conflict Resolution

On National Security and Defence: I will urgently secure the territorial integrity of the nation. I will never leave the defence of the nation in the hands of Hunters, Children, and Civilian JTF through the following:

  1. Urgently address capacity building mechanisms of law enforcement agents in terms of quantity and quality as this is critical in safeguarding the sanctity of lives and property;
  2. Establish a well trained, adequately equipped and goals driven Serious Crime Squad to combat insurgencies, kidnapping, armed robbery, ethno?religious and communal clashes, nationwide;
  3. Consult and amend the Constitution to enable States and Local Governments to create city, Local government and State Policing systems, base on the resources available at each levels, to address the peculiar needs of each community. I will therefore work with the National Assembly to set and revised, when needed, boundaries of operations, for Federal, State, and Local government policing units, through new Criminal Justice legislation to replace the Criminal Code, the Penal Code and the Police Act.
  4. I will push for more robust support in the Security and Economic stability of the West-African sub?region and African Continent as a whole. I will seek and maintain close and frank relationship with ALL of West Africa; Special relationship with South Africa and its Sub-region; UK, USA, Canada, EU, Asia, and the Middle East .

ON CONFLICT RESOLUTION, NATIONAL UNITY, AND SOCIAL HARMONY: I will

  1. Establish a Conflict Resolution Commission to help prevent, mitigate, and resolve civil conflicts within the polity;
  2. Bring permanent peace and solution to the insurgency issues in the North-East; the Niger Delta; and other conflict prone states and areas such as Plateau, Benue, Bauchi, Borno, Abia, Taraba, Yobe, and Kaduna in order to engender national unity and social harmony;
  3. Initiate policies to ensure that Nigerians are free to live and work in any part of the country by removing state of origin, tribe, ethnic and religious affiliations from documentation requirements in our identification of citizens and replace these with State of Residence and fashion out the appropriate minimal qualification for obtaining such a state of residency, nation-wide.

On Foreign Policy: I will:
1. Make regional integration a priority within ECOWAS including free trade with a view to ensuring that common tariff currency are in use by the end of my term in office, under Nigeria’s guidance and leadership, base on the size of its market force;

  1. Maintain a strong, close and frank relationship within the Gulf of Guinea, the Commonwealth, South Africa and the rest of the world.
  2. Establish a special relationship with the leading emerging markets like Brazil; Russia, India and China (BRIC) and other strategic partners around the world.
    The Economy & Infrastructure Base

On the Economy: I will

  1. Maintain sound Micro and macro?economic policy environment, and run an efficient government and preserve the independence of the Central Bank;
  2. Restore financial confidence in the citizens and the world, by putting in place a more robust monitoring, supervising, and regulating of the financial institutions;
  3. Make our economy one of the fastest growing emerging economies in the world with a real GDP growth averaging at least 10-12% annually
  4. As at 1999, Nigerian rate of unemployment stood at about 8%, today it is estimated from official statistics to be close to 30%. I will embark on vocational training, entrepreneurial and skills acquisition scheme for graduates along with the creation of Small Business Loan Guarantee Scheme to create at least 5 million new jobs by 2019. A Small and Medium Enterprises Development Commission will be created for this purpose. I will also encourage State Governments to focus on employment creation, by matching everyone job created in the same state.
  5. Integrate the informal economy into the mainstream and prioritize the full implementation of the National Identification Scheme to generate the relevant data;
  6. Expand domestic demand and will undertake associated public works programmes to achieve this goal;
  7. Embark on export and production diversification including investment in infrastructure; promote manufacturing, through Agro Based industries; and expand and promote sub?regional trade through ECOWAS and AU;
  8. Make Information Technology, Manufacturing, Agriculture and Entertainment key drivers of our economy, by reviewing the present reward system, which is based on certification, to that based on skills, competencies, and performances;
  9. Balance the Nigerian economy across regions by the creation of 6 Regional Economic Development Agencies (REDAs) to act as sub?regional hubs in order to promote healthy regional competitiveness;
    10. Put in place a N300bn Regional Growth Fund with an average of N50bn in each geo?political region; to be managed by the REDAs, to encourage private sector enterprise and to support places currently reliant on only on the public sector, to migrate to a private sector reality;
  10. Amend the Constitution and the Land Use Act to create freehold/leasehold interests in land along with matching grants for states to create a nationwide electronic land title register on a state by state basis;
  11. Create an additional middle?class of at least 4 million new home owners by 2019 by enacting a national mortgage single digit interest rates for purchase of owner occupier houses as well as review the collateral qualification to make funding for home ownership easier, with a 15 to 30 year mortgage terms. This will equally help our banking system migrate from short to long term perspective of their role in sustaining the economy.
  12. Create a Social Welfare Program of at least Five Thousand Naira (N5000) that will cater for the 25 million poorest and most vulnerable citizens upon the demonstration of children’s enrolment in school and evidence of immunisation to help promote family stability.
  13. Provide allowances to the discharged but unemployed Youth Corps members for Twelve (12) months while in the skills and entrepreneurial development programmes.

On Agriculture: I will

  1. Modernize the sector and change Nigeria from being a country of self?subsistence farmers to that of a medium/large scale farming nation/producer;
  2. Create a nationwide food inspectorate division with a view to improving nutrition and eliminating food?borne hazards
  3. Inject sufficient funds to the Agricultural sector to create more agro?allied jobs by way of loans at nominal interest rates for capital investment on medium and commercial scale cash crops;
  4. Guarantee a minimum price for all cash crops and facilitate storage of agricultural products to overcome seasonal shortages of selected food crops.
  5. Move the nation to an all year round small, medium, and commercial farming through a coordinated integrative irrigation of our existing dams as well as creation of more dam to collect the over flooding waters, nationwide.
  6. Revive our Agricultural Research Institutes that are in a state of comatose;
  7. Review and strengthened Veterinary practices nationwide.
    On Infrastructure: I will
  8. Review the Public Private Partnership (PPP) enabling environment with a view to addressing the legal, regulatory and operational bottlenecks, challenging the effective administration of the system, by introducing enabling legislation. In addition, I will create a National Infrastructural Development Bank to provide loans at nominal interest rates, exclusively for this sector;
  9. Generate, transmit and distribute electricity on a 24/7 basis whilst simultaneously ensuring the development of sustainable/renewable energy, by 2019.
  10. Embark on a National Infrastructural Development Programme as a Public Private Partnership that will (a) ensure 5,000km of Superhighway including service trunks and (b) building of up to 6,800km of modern railway completed by 2019;
  11. Enact new legal and regulatory frameworks to establish independent regulation and incentives to accelerate public and private sector investment in seaports, railways, and inland waterways;
  12. Embark on PPP schemes that will ensure every one of the 36 states has one functional airport, with all 21st Century safety tools for effective commercial air travel.

On the Oil and Gas Industry: I will

  1. Revive and reactivate our minimally performing Refineries to optimum capacity;
  2. Make the industry and Nigeria one of the world leading/cutting edge centres for clean oil and gas technology; also producing leading world Oil and Gas technologist, scientists, and owing mega structure installations, drilling, processing, and production facilities and engineers. These facilities and scientists will be supported with the best services and research facilities.
  3. Fully develop the sector’s capacity to absorb more of the nation’s new graduate in the labour market. The sector will be funded to produce more home?grown, but world class engineers, scientists, technologist, etc.;
  4. Modernise the NNPC and make it the national energy champion. I will consider breaking it up into more efficient, commercially driven units; and may strip it of its regulatory powers, so as to enable it tap into international capital market;
  5. Enforce the government master plan for oil companies to end flaring that pollutes the air and damages the communities and people’s health and ensure that they sell at least half of their gas produced within Nigeria;
  6. Speedily pass the much?delayed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and ensure that local content issues are fully addressed
  7. Make Nigeria the world’s leading exporter of LNG through the creation of strategic partnerships.
    The Society & Human Capital Development

On Education: I will

  1. Fully review provisions of the Universal Basic Education Act with emphasis on gender equity in primary, secondary school enrolment whilst improving the quality and substance of our schools, through outcome based education, that address the individual, family, and societal roles in education; and the associative skills and competencies that go with these responsibilities;
  2. Targeting up to 20% of our annual budget for this critical sector whilst making substantial investments in training quality teachers at all levels of the educational system;

3 Implement a performance based education, predicated on outcomes, skills, and competences as against the current certificate based qualification. I will adjust the reward system accordingly too. This way, exams malpractice and certificate forgery will be resolved once and for all. Young men and women interested in real liberal arts education, based on a true understanding of scientific, the humanistic, and the social sciences will fill our classrooms to be prepared for future leadership of the nation;

  1. Enhance teacher training and improve the competence of teachers in the light of the 21st Century and beyond understanding of the learner types, intelligence types, as the multiple assessment types, in order to open up learning for all our children types. The era of one student type will give way to an all learner type for our children and young people as well as adults who want to return to the classroom to sharpen their skills, competencies, and sensibilities. This re-engineering of our education will be followed with a clearly thought out and vigorous national inspection programmes;
  2. Make learning experiences more meaningful for children as the nation’s education will no longer be a preparation for life, but life itself. Our children will be democratised for education, rather than be educated for democracy. This view of education will make educating our children more cost?effective in the long run;
  3. Provide One Meal a day for all Primary school pupils. That will create jobs in Agriculture, Catering, and Delivery Services
    7. Develop and promote effective use of innovative teaching methods/materials in our schools;
  4. Ensure a greater proportion of expenditure on university education is devoted to helping our youth to understand the juxtaposition of Science, Technology, the Humanities and the Social Sciences.
  5. Establish at least six new universities of Science and Technology with satellite campuses in various states. These six universities should be fully equipped with ICT technologies in order to attract and encourage small and medium scale ICT enterprises after their university education;
  6. Establish technical colleges and vocational centres in each state of the federation;
  7. Provide more conducive environment for private sector participation in all levels of education. Re-authorised the NUC, TETFUN, JAMB, etc, Acts to enable Private institutions of Higher learning to benefit from research funds and programmes that will serve the national good;
  8. Establish six centers of excellence to address the needs of special education;
    On Healthcare: I will
  9. Prioritise the reduction of the infant mortality rate substantially; reduce maternal mortality rates to the levels acceptable by the World Health Organisation; reduce HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases drastically and improve life expectancy by an additional 10 years on average through our National Healthy Living program;
  10. Increase the number of physicians from 19 per 1000 population to 50 per 1000 through deliberate medication education as epitomize by nations such as Ghana. I will increase national health expenditure per person per annum to about N50,000 (from the less than N10,000 currently);
  11. Increase the quality of all federal government owned hospitals to world class standard by 2019;
    4. Invest in cutting edge technology such as tele?medicine in all major health centers in the country through partnership programmes with communities and the private sector;
  12. Provide free ante?natal care for pregnant women; free health care for babies and children up to school going age and for the aged; and free treatment for those afflicted with infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS;
  13. Boost the local manufacture of pharmaceuticals and make non adulterated drugs readily available.
  14. Set an effective prosecution and punishment systems, for those importing or adulterating drugs in the country.
  15. The enhancement of the Epidemiological Units / Centres for Diseas Control to meet up with Global standards in containment of disease outbreaks, proper vaccine storage and research;
  16. Create an Insurance Policy for our Journalists as the nation faces hard times and our Journalists faces more dangers in the discharge of their investigative work, to educate Nigerians in their rights and responsibilities.

On Youth, Sports and Culture: I will:

  1. Provide the opportunities such as setting up functional recreational facilities, Library with e-services, Community Centers, in collaboration with States, Local Government Authorities, Local Development Areas, etc for youth to realize, harness, and develop their potentials to the fullest, in order to facilitate the emergence of the new generation of citizens, who will be committed to the sustenance of good governance and service to the people and the country;
  2. Establish Zonal world class sports academies and training institutes and ensure that Nigeria occupies a place of pride in global sports and athletics;
  3. Revive and restructure the Nigerian Football League and put incentives in place to make it as competitive as other national leagues
  4. Put in place measures to identify talents early and ensure their participation in local and international games to enable them to be true professionals;
  5. Help as well as mandate schools and communities to create neighborhood playgrounds/sports centre. I will create matching support funds for communities to acquire the needed equipment to develop skills and competencies;
  6. Assist Nollywood to fully develop into world class movie industry that can compete effectively with Hollywood and Bollywood in due course. I will support the creative and performing arts with the necessary environment where by our great entertainers do not end their lives in abject poverty as is currently the case.

On Women Empowerment- I will:

  1. Ensure the rights of women are protected as enshrined in our Constitution;
  2. Guarantee that women are adequately represented in government appointments and provide greater opportunities in education, Job creation, and economic empowerment;
  3. Recognize and protect women empowerment and gender equality with special emphasis on economic activities in the rural areas;
  4. Use the Party structures to promote the concept of reserving a minimum number of seats in the States and National Assembly, for women.

The Environment
On the Environment: I will

  1. Ensure compliance with policies and measures to halt the pollution of rivers and waterways in the Niger Delta and the other parts of the country;
  2. Create shelter belts in states bordering the Sahara Desert to mitigate and reverse the effects of the expanding desert
  3. Support and accelerate the implementation of regional water transport initiatives across the country through effective dredging of the main waterways ;
  4. Adopt a holistic approach to erosion and shoreline protection across the country;
  5. Create teams of volunteers to plant and nurture economically viable trees in arid regions;
  6. Restructure the Ecological Fund Office to enable it meet today’s environmental challenges;
  7. Regulate the timber industry to ensure that double the number of trees felled are planted by the loggers;
  8. Ensure full compliance with town?planning and environmental laws and edicts.

 

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Vice President Namadi Sambo Loses Brother In A Ghastly Car Crash [Photos]

It is a sad day for Namadi Sambo and his family as one of the younger brother of the Vice President, Capt. Yusuf Sabo Sambo died early Sunday morning in a ghastly car accident.

The incident occurred on Bill Clinton Drive when his car, a BMW X6 collided with a tree and burst into flames.

Eyewitnesses say it was as a result of over speeding. He was on his way to the airport to embark on a flight.

Capt. Yusuf Sambo is a retired Air Force Pilot who served with the Presidential Air Fleet before moving into private practice.

1699104_WP_20140427_002_jpgdb7861cbc246a5a0be056cfa87e58ed9

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ASUP Strike: NYCN and NDYC Appeals To Lecturers To Call-off.

The Niger Delta Youth Council and National Youth Council of Nigeria has appeal to  the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUP) to call-off the strike in the interest of Nigerian Youths.

This was contained in a communique signed by the National Coordinator of NDYC, Comr Jator Abido and Amb Comr Hope George Vice President South-South, NYCN, noted that the continued staying of the Students at home is dangerious to the security of Nigeria.

The group also lamented that as a matter of urgency the Government should review the Nigeria education system and policies to meet up with that of the developed country in the world.

Below is the full text of the communique;

Being A Text Of Communique Issued At The End Of The National Youth Leaders Education Reform Retreat Organised By The Niger Delta Youth Council And The National Youth Council Of Nigeria, In Conjunction With The Office Of The Provost Fed. College Of Education (FCE) Obubu.

?preamble:

the theme of the retreat was ‘youth&education, education reform as it affect the youth of the nation and taking positive actions & geting results’. Was attended by youth leaders from the national,stated and local government in nigeria. Others include d heads of voluntory youth organizations, ngo’s and other veteran youth leaders in nigeria.

?aim and objectives:  the national education systems and policies  has called for great concern by the stake-holders of d ndyc and nycn as  it affect positively or negatively on over eighty million nigerian youths, hence this retreat is geared toward these following listed objectives:

1.to review the nation education system and policies.

2.to review the rules of govt for positive implementations.

3.to review the contributions of host community to the edu. System and policies implementation.

4.to review the pragmatic rules of the nigerian youths on accessment,appreciation and acquisition for positive implementation.

5.to review the positive & negative impacts of the nation education system& policies as it affect empowerment, enterpreneurship and economic independency on nigerian youths.

6.to prefer nation solutions and recommendations for positive impacts and implementation.

Resource person’s were selected from d education sector, directorate of youth,media and tradional council’s in nigeria.  These include chief/dr.eugene u.  Ibli, dr ishmeal ibidemi, comr jator abido ndyc nat cordinator and amb comr hope george etc.

Syndicate session: the retreat was also splited into syndacate groups for interactive contributions,group paper presentation for communique.

?national youth communique on eduction:

?1.the nigerian youths call for the review of d nat edu system with emphasis on positive empowerment on enterpreneurship.

2.the war against poor education system with litle or no positive impacts on beneficiaries should be vigoriously fought to its logical end.the time to fight this cankerworm is now.

3.the youths condemn in its entirety d unpatriotic demand on certification (degree) & not conpetencies hindering potentiality of nigerian youths wt global standard.

4.youths also condemn in its entirety teaching in abstraction but teaching to impact&empower d beneficiaries.

5.youths of nigeria urgently call on president goodluck e.jonathan,to resolve as a matter of urgency the power&energy sector to boast the technical objectives of d 6,3,3,4 system.

6.youths call on govt to effectively& adequately build on d teachers capacities& condemn ramped forgery/falsification in d teaching service.

7. Nation youths council of nigeria in collaboration with the niger-delta youths council is mandating govt and all accedemic staff union of colleges of education and polytechnic to resolve as quick as possible the on going strike that have deprived the youth of the nation education for some months.

Comr jator abido national coordinator niger delta youth council 08039363668, nigerdyc@gmail.com

amb comr hope george vice president south south national youth council of nigeria, 08037200179

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At least 150 Persons Feared Killed on Easter Sunday As Police Battle Boko Haram in Taraba

Only days after the Nyanya bomb blast in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, where several lives where lost and scores of others injured, another Boko Haram offensive have taken place in Taraba state.

According to the information, gunmen launched the attack at selected communities in Wukari local government area of the State.

The attack according to report began at about 1:30am on Sunday Easter morning and continued till 3pm Sunday Easter afternoon.

Police source said the attacks began in the middle of the night in a manner resembling that of Kaura community [Kaduna] attacks by Fulani herdsmen. According to the police, the attackers initially was thought to be Fulani herdsmen but as the attacks progress, it became obvious that the attackers were by Boko Haram.

Other no officials figure has been given, but sources said no less than 150 persons were killed in the attack.

It was confirmed that a church was burnt down during the attack – Christian Church of Nigeria – along with many homes. Eyewitness account indicates that fifteen corpse were seen littered on the streets – within the line of fire.

In response, the youths of the Wukari communities – were said to have organized themselves – and had reacted to attack a Mosque and burn it down. The youths were reported to join the attack again the Boko Haram attackers.

The information remains sketchy but police sources told our reporter that the “carnage of this attack” may end up worse than the Nyanya attack. The police source declined to give the number of dead.

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How Reckless Is Sanusi Lamido Sanusi Central Bank Governor ? See Info-graphic

One of the main point the Jonathan led administration put forward as the reason for the suspension of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is his financial recklessness.

This infographic therefore illustrates the handling of finances by the governor before he was suspended from office.

See…

image-2-720x1024

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Army, Boko Haram Working Together In Parts of Nigeria? – VOA News

By VOA News

WASHINGTON — A Nigerian soldier says he has witnessed incidents that suggest some Nigerian military commanders are working with Boko Haram, an Islamist militant group blamed for thousands of deaths since 2009.

In an exclusive interview with VOA’s Hausa service, he described how his military unit, based in the northeastern Borno State region, was ambushed by Boko Haram fighters.

The soldier, who did not want to be identified, said the commander of a nearby military unit, based in the town of Bama, recently sought assistance from his unit in carrying out a raid.

The soldier said when the two military units joined up, they were given different uniforms. The Bama unit commander gave his own troops green uniforms. The soldier said his unit received tan “desert camouflage” uniforms.

When the troops reached the battle area, the soldier said the commander of the better-equipped Bama unit suddenly withdrew his forces, leaving the remaining troops to fend for themselves against Boko Haram fighters.

Speaking in Hausa, he said, “We had only light arms and our men were being picked off one after the other.”

The soldier also said he recognized some of the Boko Haram fighters as his former military trainers in Kontagora, a town near the capital, Abuja.

“We realized that some of them were actually mercenaries from the Nigerian army… hired to fight us,” he said.

This soldier and others have said that too often, commanders have pocketed money that was supposed to be used to help equip units.

Government has no comment

VOA has made repeated attempts to get reaction from the Nigerian government for this story but no officials have been willing to speak on the record.

However, in a January 2012 speech, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said Boko Haram members have infiltrated his government’s executive, legislative and judicial sectors, as well as the police and armed forces.

Jonathan has declared a state of emergency in three northern regions where Boko Haram is active, and launched operations to destroy the group’s camps. Despite those efforts, though, large-scale attacks have continued.

Soldier’s account “credible”

Atlantic Council Africa Center Director Peter Pham said the soldier’s account could have merit.

“It certainly would not surprise me that it is happening,” said Pham.

Pham said the goal should be to figure out how and why collaboration between military officers and terror groups could happen.

“What’s critical is to understand, if there is this collusion, to understand whether it is a collusion born of corruption, born of desperation simply to avoid combat that would result in casualties for the men under your command, or if it is born of ideological sympathy with the insurgents,” he said.

Apart from some well-trained elite units, Pham said most of Nigeria’s military is “woefully underfunded and under-resourced” in terms of equipment and training.

Effects of “systemic corruption”

E.J. Hogendoorn is deputy director of the International Crisis Group’s Africa program. The group recently released a detailed report about the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria.

He said Nigeria’s military disfunction is part of a broader problem of systemic corruption extending through most government sectors.

Hogendoorn says “drivers,” such as bad governance and the inability of state institutions to provide basic services, help create a pool of unemployed youth “ripe for radicalization.”

“We argue that even were Boko Haram to be defeated, if you don’t deal with those drivers, you are not going to be able to stabilize either northern Nigeria or the entire country,” he said.

Hogendoorn said in order for change to occur, the Nigerian government needs to address corruption and poor governance in a systematic and sustained way.

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Odu’a GMD Announces Resignation

Mr.-Adebayo-Jimoh-360x276By PUNCH

The Group Managing Director, Odu’a Investment Company Limited, Mr. Adebayo Jimoh, has announced his resignation after nine years as the head of the conglomerate.

Jimoh, who did not give any reason for his action, said the resignation would take effect from May 2014 and that KMPG Advisory Services had been mandated by Odu’a Investment to shop for a qualified person from Nigeria and beyond as his successor.

He said, “Every journey that has a beginning and a defined destination will definitely have an end. I have come to a point where I need to formally announce that I will be voluntarily retiring from the services of Odu’a Investment Company Limited with effect from May 2014, having served the company for almost nine years.”

“KPMG Advisory Services is in the process of selecting my successor so that there will be no vacuum. The position of a GMD is a big time business that has to be handled by a competent person; so, whoever will take over from me must be thoroughly scrutinised.

“My successor, by God’s grace, will be assuming office by April 2014, while the handing over comes up between April and May, 2014. Thereafter, I will proceed on my well deserved terminal leave from the company.”

The outgoing GMD said the return of Cocoa House to its glory days and the re-establishment of the property business of the conglomerate were direct results of the hard work and initiative that characterised his tenure in office and called on his would-be successor to utilise the manpower he would inherit.

He said, “I came during a turbulent period in the history of the company but we were able to bring back the glory days. After 18 years of inactivity, Cocoa House was brought back to life while the establishment of Cocoa Mall and Heritage Mall brought high standard international retail market to Ibadan.”

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