Questioning The Morality Of Immoral Open Letter To President Buhari, By Excel Toriomo

We read with high disdain the open letter to His Excellency President Mohammadu Buhari dated 19th July, 2016 in Vanguard Newspaper page 25 by Chief Selekaya Ben and Kingsley A. Dikibo. The Duo called for the rearrangement of the Amnesty Programme and the Resurgence of militancy in the Niger Delta region, which was according to them largely occasioned by the incompetence of Brigadier General Paul Boroh (Rtd). While we however concur to the part of their letter as it concerned the President’s determination and absolute commitment to see to the development of the Niger Delta region, we equally want to make plain the atrocities committed by the writers and the very reason they lack the moral will to call the committed Brigadier General (Rtd.) incompetent.

It is a common saying that he that must come to equity must come with clean hands. Chief Selekaye Ben and Kingsley A. Dikibo along with very few likes of Kingsley Kuku and others are the very problems we have in the region. Their open letter is laughable and lacks the moral standard for attention by the President for some very reasons that I will attempt to briefly state.

The writers of the open letter referred to herewith have pending corruption cases with the EFCC due to shortchanging of the ex-agitators for their very selfish benefits. These cases were instituted against them by Leaders of the first phase Amnesty programme including the writer of this letter.

These same persons conspired to short pay leaders of different camps but went ahead to buy houses at different locations with the money meant for these different leaders. A petition with evidence has also been forwarded to the EFCC to institute necessary actions against them.

Their letter only seeks for national relevance and federal favour in order to discontinue the cases of mismanagement and corruption against them.

The training meant for the ex-militants could not see transparency as these persons used it as an instrument for favoritism, thereby denying majority of the militants the avenue to get trained in various endevours.

The writers of the open letter referred to herewith were the very same persons along others that led the previous administration into a mountainous rock. They deceived the immediate past government at the center and starch away with billions of naira meant for the welfare of ex-agitators.

They played active role in the past government and are attempting to do it with the APC led government by seeking the removal of the Competent Brigadier General (Rtd) who has rejected their evil bidding.

The president is very intelligent and cannot be cowed into substituting competence with corruption that constituted the menace he fights tirelessly. The letter exposed the fact that Brig. Gen. Paul Boroh has spent only three years in the region but it is also palatable to asked if the results generated by the Brig. Gen. (Rtd) is not worth appraising. They singlehandedly acclaimed themselves and stakeholders in the region but how much genuinely have these folks invested into the region rather than milking the Immediate Past federal government through the Amnesty programme while sidelining most ex-agitators using federal might and security apparatus.

We hereby pass a vote of confidence on the federal government and the leadership of the amnesty programme for the unswerving commitment towards the unbreakable development of the Niger Delta region. We also urge all security agencies to be on the alert as those perpetuating this rebellious attitude against the government have no other agenda than destabilization of peace and security. We are so sure that both the Federal Government and the leadership of the Amnesty programme has been doing well and wish them to continue in their golden path of excellence.

Signed:
Comr. Excel Toriomo
President – Niger Delta Peace Yoke Leadership Initiative

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Open Letter To The Nigerian Legislator By Tomiwa Ilori

Dear Nigerian Legislator,

I am writing you on behalf of well-meaning Nigerians with great joy and with evidence of so much work you have done in seeking to make Nigeria great again. I have followed every of your hansards, votes and proceedings and order papers with so much dispassionate interest that we must commence the process of immortalizing your legacies and have your beautiful deeds cast in stone for coming generations to benefit from. It has become pertinent to write you in the midst of several challenges that are rocking our country. Being a Nigerian legislator in the twenty-first century has come with some peculiar problems that need to be tackled. I seek to address each problem one after the other.

Nigerian citizens have continued to clamor for good governance and it has become exceedingly confusing. Part of that clamor is that the legislature, in which you are a distinguished member, should reduce its budget. The average Nigerian in the twenty-first century has become incurably delusional. In a country where trillions of naira has been lost to graft, its citizens are more concerned about a paltry allocation of 115 Billion naira. The average Nigerian does not understand the simple basics that work in political circles to understand that there is always an interchange of value that revolves around nothing other than money. Has the average Nigerian ever considered what it took to get you to office? You did not pay your supporters in sawdust to get votes, you paid good money as one of your colleagues in Ekiti rightly said when called on to attend to her constitutional responsibilities for which the tax payers’ fund are regularly expended. It has become increasingly hard for the Nigerian citizen to understand that politics is all about investments and it is only a delirious investor that expects no profit in return after making such huge investments as yours. Does the average Nigerian even understand that some of you had to take out loans to serve them? And they are more concerned with pitiful sob stories of how a certain senator and his colleagues shared just 60 Billion naira. Until the average Nigerian understands that being a Nigerian legislator involves a whole lot more than delivering on required responsibilities and making projected returns for investments made, infamous hashtags like #OpenNASS, #OpenGovernance and other baseless conversations on making the government responsible will continue to remain mere social media bants.

Recently, one of your colleagues was said to have insulted another colleague, threatening her with rape and pregnancy. Nigerians are confused. We are the ones seeking legislators that can speak for themselves and on behalf of others, now someone on the floor of the national legislature is claiming to rape and impregnate another and we have decided to throw decorum to the wind. The indefatigable senator, in his usual brilliance has come to defend himself that it was not even possible to impregnate a woman that has reached her menopause, doubling as a physician and a legislator, how else do Nigerians want their representatives to be more representative? Considering how much Nigerians are ingrates, have you discovered how the said Senator redefined proactiveness? He actually took it to the street of the husband of the threatened Senator to show that he is not only barrel-chested, he acts it. Nigerians cannot get better representatives that they already do now. These are leaders that have continued to stretch the boundaries of public leadership and ethics, we all should learn to be grateful. It is actually commendable that some Nigerians have protested on behalf of their representatives as far as this issue is concerned as constituents were seen carrying placards to show respect for their respective representatives. Do you see how we actually deserve our leaders? We all must learn to understand that we are our government.

Furthermore, Nigerians should rise against the persecution of the Nigerian senate by the Federal Government. There is the doctrine of separation of powers and the growing proscription of the Senate by the Federal government has to stop now. The Nigerian Senate since its inception has never witnessed the type of leadership it currently has. It is only necessary that elements become disgruntled as a result the glowing attributes of this leadership.
Or how do you explain the persecution by the Tribunal that alleged that the leadership did not declare its assets? Is it not the asset you can count you declare? Even the Panama Papers, coloring the same allegation as if it was more than some few billions of dollars has rested, what does the Nigerian government want? As if the Federal Government has not distracted the entire senate from its duties enough since that past year, it recently filed a suit to accuse the leadership of the Senate of forgery. It is obvious that the Federal Government does not mean the Nigerian Senate well. Assuming the tribal sentiments being stirred by the leadership is inconsequential, how do we explain the reaction of the Attorney-General of the Federation to his summon by the Senate? It is shameful that the Attorney-General of the Federation does not understand the purport of Section 88 of the Nigerian Constitution he swore to protect even though Section 174 of the same Constitution already stated that the Attorney-General in exercising his duties shall have regards to public interest and the need to prevent abuse of legal process with forgery inclusive. I guess it is difficult to grasp the rigors of the constitutional responsibilities involved with your office as a Nigerian legislator, even at that, should the Attorney-General be the one to expose such?

What the average Nigerian does not understand is that the legislature has the right to interrogate any interrogator even if it is the subject of a lawful interrogation. They will never understand that there is a Nigerian definition to every concept, including Separation of Powers and Rule of Law.

The average Nigerian has failed to understand still, such immense value you have added to their lives and how the power they have given you, is yours forever. They do not understand that they cannot query this power; you have to make them know these things. Assuming the average Nigerian understands Section 69 of the Constitution that makes provision for your recall, do they even have the tenacity to pursue such considering the kind of power you wield in making everything go away with money. No one can even dare try to recall a Nigerian legislature regardless of whether the Constitution allows it or not. You know where to plug the wads of naira with when your functions start to leak to show that you are not really performing them.

The thing is, as a Nigerian legislator, you have nothing to fear. Not even the people. They are powerless. How do they intend to have your time when fuel is now NGN145/Liter, with power supply at its lowest (you can only tweet/update Facebook when your phone or laptop is charged), food stuff prices are skyrocketing and the naira has lost its gravity against the dollar? Nigerians do not have your time and never will.

So when next you have the opportunity to increase salaries, please do yours first. Disregard all these useless rants that all you do as a legislator is wear Agbada, entertain Nigerians and chorus “aye” and “nay”, Nigerians have come to accept their fate. Also, there is no need to create any code of ethics for public officers, it is not even necessary.

Legislators are not needed to portray decorum or how else do they expect you deliver decorum in the face of being called a dog when you are not one? Again, as you have always shown solidarity in the past for your leaderships, please do not stop. When they have court cases, please follow your colleagues to court, take it to another level, and get printed Ankara and imprint letters to show support, rent drummers to Tribunals’ environments and let them know that no one can stop the moving train of progress.

Once again, I want to thank you on behalf of all well-meaning Nigerians for taking time out of your glorious life to serve us. We can never pay you enough, even with our hard-earned money that is taxed to pay you, we can only say that may God continue to help us make your life beautiful as you have made that of every Nigerian and that the Good Lord help your generations reap in bountiful folds every deed you have used your good office to perform.

Signed,

The Dispassionate Nigerian

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GMO, Grand Conspiracy To Destroy Nigeria -Open Letter To NBMA DG

Dr Rufus Ebegba, Director General National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), we just read a report by Wole Oyebade (http://www.manishchandra.org/?p=62365 ) on your comments made on 30th June 2016 to journalists at Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos about the stakeholders health concerns and implications of the permits you granted to Monsanto for maize field trial and release of Bt cotton into the market place.

I agree that the National Biosafety Management Agency Act 2015 is defective because it only requires newspaper announcements of the GMO applications. This is severely inadequate and must change. It only shows how much the biotechnology companies effectively lobbied to script the Biosafety Act 2015 for Nigeria, surreptitiously. They circumvented the Precautionary Principles enshrined in the Cartagena Protocol and the African Model Law, which Nigeria is a signatory.  This we must correct. We see from your response to  Journalists that there is a big information gap between the stakeholders and the NBMA. The stakes are very high for Nigeria and the issues are of National Security importance. The details are explained in an article titled: The Grand Conspiracy to Destroy Nigeria published online in New York 247.com  (http://newyorkdaily247.com/index.php/component/k2/item/545-by-philip-njemanze-md-the-grand-conspiracy-to-destroy-nigeria ) also ATTACHED HERE.

The article provides useful insights on how the biotechnology companies are sponsoring terrorism of Boko Haram to displace farmers in the Northeast “food basket’ of Nigeria. They destroy the crops, stored seeds and homes in the farming communities. So the farmers become internally displaced persons (IDPs) out of their villages. The farmers loose their saved natural seeds. The agents of these biotechnology companies now comeback  as international aid agencies to rehabilitate the IDPs with GMO seeds given on television and announced legitimately sometimes through government who do not know their motives. As a result, the biotechnology companies and their billionaire investors have captured the FOOD SECURITY of Nigeria. Once our food sovereignty is lost, we loose our political independence. This is the crux of the Boko Haram insurgency. Though an in-depth reading of the article will show you that the biotechnology companies are after using ovarian eggs from poor Nigeria women for human organ cloning. The biotechnology companies need 100 million ovarian eggs per year for 5-10 years to perfect the main technique for cloning called Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT). These ovarian eggs would come from at least 10 million Nigerian women, who will die in 2-3 years from Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrom (OHSS) that includes liver failure, kidney failure, cancers, infections etc. OHSS is occurring in many young Nigerian girls donating ovarian eggs through IVF clinics for money.

Nigeria is the largest exporter of human ovarian eggs for experimental cloning in Western labs, due to lack of governmental control. They need 100 million ovarian eggs per year for 5-10 years to perfect the main technique for cloning called Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT). The billionaire investors in these biotechnology companies also own the cloning industry. They project they can make 30 trillion USD from this business in 5-10 years if they can enslave Nigerian women through GMO seeds NOW. The Western billionaires will become trillionaires! They also will need to control the entire Nigerian polity. Simply, who will vote a politician who cannot give our GMO seeds during campaign? The most endangered people in Nigeria are the politicians in the first order, should they allow this to happen. The biotechnology companies are applying the Kinsinger Maxim, “control the food, you control the people”. So for the poor Nigerian woman is “your egg for GMO seeds”, the food for human ovarian egg program has began!. The have crafted specific sections of the National Health Act 2014 to facilitate human organ and ovarian egg poaching without consent, and are set to acquire major hospitals in Nigeria for this purpose.

Bill and Melinda Gates heads the Federal Ministry of Health committee for the implementation of the National Health Act 2014 along with 18 other Western entities out of the 27 organizations involved!  The NBMA Act 2015 was crafted to legitimize these evil activities of biotechnology companies and their billionaire investors with the endorsement of certain Western governments promoting GMOs in Africa. As you rightly mentioned, a number of GMO crops has been released and still sold before the NBMA Act 2015, these include GMO yellow cassava deceptively called provitamin cassava, GMO yellow yam, yellow maize GMO sweet potato, soyabean etc. Our 14 million members from over 100 organizations comprising farmers, environmentalists, doctors, scientists and social activists will be monitoring the activities of the NBMA towards stopping the marketing of these dangerous and deceptive GMO crops illegally released into the market place under funding from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation  through IITA and National Root Crops Research Institutes (NRCRI).  As of 22nd June 2016, we were able to buy yellow maize, yellow cassava at the premises of the NRCRI Umudike, Abia State. We expect to see NBMA imitate National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to destroy these crops at all locations they are now planted. We also expect you will move into the market to seize all Round-up pesticides and GMO seeds sold freely now.

Develop countries in Europe have been very successful at stopping Monsanto. In Britain, the campaign against GMOs is headed by Prince Charles. In Russia President Putin has declared Russia GMO crop free. China has banned GMO crops. Monsanto has tried a similar approach in many developing countries but not successfully ( http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/05/mexico-monsanto-maize-gmo-2014526114154374563.html ). In developing countries, like Mexico the resistance is stiff and when tests were allowed, the results were very poor. In 2013, a Mexican judge issued  issued an injunction halting all experimental and commercial planting of GM maize ( http://triplecrisis.com/monsanto-meets-its-match-in-the-birthplace-of-maize/  ).

Many countries that allow GM imports permit it only for animal feed or processed foods, such as vegetable oil. Even the latter has big health problems. Health concerns abound regarding the direct consumption of transgenic food. Most recently,tests showed the presence of the herbicide glyphosate, widely used with Monsanto’s herbicide-tolerant GM soybean and maize varieties, in samples of mothers’ breast milk in the United States. Even United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) concludes that “A recent US Department of Agriculture study of the first 15 years of US experience with transgenic crops concluded that the technology had produced only limited and uneven yield improvements over conventional hybrid varieties of maize. The main benefit, when there was one, came in the reduced need for labour, since insect-resistant transgenic maize reduces pesticide applications and herbicide-tolerant varieties reduce manual weeding by allowing the liberal spraying of entire fields with Monsanto’s Round-Up weed-killer”    (http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/1282246/err162.pdf  ).

 

Nigeria’s rural poverty problem, of course, has everything to do with the lack of jobs, so it was hard to see how labour-saving technology with toxic pesticides would be a boom to the poor living in rural areas.

 

Another study comparing USA and Europe, showed that in Europe where Monsanto MON810 GMO maize is banned, Europe out performed the United States in yields over a 30 year period ( http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14735903.2013.806408 ). So we ask you DG, which evidence did Monsanto present on increased crop yield? Monsanto and their billionaire investors has no facts, only JUNK Science! The biotechnology companies are just counting on bribery of corrupt government officials and politicians to see them through will certification of their GMO poisoned foods. We pray it will not work in Nigeria under President Buhari’s watch!

We agree that we need a open constructive and truthful dialog with the Agency and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. We the stakeholders will continue to supply you with the relevant literature on these matters. We have attached here several articles on the topic.

 

Signed on behalf of stakeholders by:

Academician Prof. Dr Philip C. Njemanze MD (Hons)

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Judiciary Frustrating My Father, Charles Okah’s Daughter Tells Buhari In Open Letter

Tarila Okah, daughter of Charles Okah, alleged mastermind of the 2010 Independence Day bombings, has written a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, alleging that her father is being frustrated by the judiciary.

Appealing to the federal government to release him, Tarila said there has been no compelling evidence against Okah over the last six years that he has spent at the Kuje Prison in Abuja.

She said there is a deliberate plot to frustrate him, citing an instance when a lawyer in the prosecuting team allegedly decided to be absent in court after initially agreeing to attend the trial.

Tarila said the lawyer chose to attend his child’s graduation abroad.

“It is rather unfortunate that several court dates in the course of my father’s trial have been cancelled either because the presiding Trial Judge had a conference to attend or for other reasons that brings disrepute to the Nigerian justice system,” she wrote.

“For instance, the prosecutor Dr. Alex Izinyon, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria failed to attend one of the trials on a date that had been agreed upon beforehand, instead choosing to attend his child’s graduation ceremony abroad.”

She argued that having spent six years in detention, her father is entitled to bail under the constitution, lamenting that her family had been subjected to “unjust punishment” over the trial.

Tarila also said she would be getting married in the weeks ahead, and expressed sadness over not having the opportunity of her father, whom she described as a “prisoner of conscience” walking her down the aisle.

She urged the president not to limit his anti-corruption fight to financial crimes, but other areas calling for attention.

okah daughter

Okah’s daughter

Below is the letter:

Your Excellency,

His Excellency,

President Muhammadu Buhari

President, Commander-in-Chief

Federal Republic of Nigeria

Dear President Buhari,

I hope this letter reaches you in good health. My name is Tarila Okah, daughter of Mr. Charles Okah, who is currently remanded at Kuje Prison and standing trial before Hon. Justice Gabriel Kolawole at the Federal High Court in Abuja over the 2010 Independence Day bomb incident.

Mr. President, I am writing this letter principally to draw your attention, the entire people of Nigeria, and members of the international community to what I perceive as injustice being wilfully and maliciously meted to my father by the Nigerian state. Within the last 10 months, disturbing media reports about his attempt to commit suicide at the Federal High Court in Abuja on October 6, 2015 and his failing health are sad reminders of the harsh reality of my father’s frustration with the judicial system in Nigeria, which is notorious for elastic trials that can drag on for years on end and wear out all parties. It is rather unfortunate that several court dates in the course of my father’s trial have been cancelled either because the presiding Trial Judge had a conference to attend or for other reasons that brings disrepute to the Nigerian justice system. For instance, the Prosecutor Dr. Alex Izinyon, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria failed to attend one of the trials on a date that had been agreed upon beforehand, instead choosing to attend his child’s graduation ceremony abroad.

With all due respect, Mr. President, no democratic Government anywhere in the world, including Canada where I currently reside, would treat a prisoner’s attempt at suicide as well as the prisoner’s failing health, with disdain. Such a peculiar prisoner’s case ought to be concluded speedily by the Judiciary. Alternatively, such a Prisoner of Conscience as my father, should be granted bail. However, from all indications, the Nigerian Government is clearly insensitive to his plight.

Your Excellency, I have consulted with several Nigerian lawyers who have sufficiently educated me that, pursuant to Section 162 of the new Criminal Justice Administration Law in the country, my father is entitled to bail; having spent more than 3 years in prison custody. Nevertheless, Hon. Justice Gabriel Kolawole has on two previous occasions overruled my father’s applications for bail. However, the pace of the trial has still not been picked up.  Meanwhile, Justice Kolawole in 2011 easily granted bail to Senator Ali Ndume who was standing trial for terrorism as an alleged sponsor of Boko Haram. Today, after being re-elected on the platform of your party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Ndume is the Majority Leader of Nigeria’s upper legislative chamber, the Senate, while my father (who is equally as important to society) is still languishing in prison as an inmate awaiting trial; almost 6 years after he was first arrested on October 16, 2010 on suspicion of being “JOMO GBOMO,” the spokesman for the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). Interestingly, Nigerian media perception about my father’s culpability in the Independence Day bomb incident keeps changing. At first, he was accused of being the spokesperson of MEND. Later, he was described as an accomplice to the alleged crime; after the media and the Nigerian Government realised that ‘Jomo Gbomo’ was still releasing statements on behalf of MEND, even as my father was firmly held in custody! Now he is accused of being the mastermind.

Thus far, the prosecution has relied heavily on ‘witnesses’, all of whom have contradicted their statements under cross examination. In a recent court sitting, a witness from the Department of State Security (DSS) who introduced himself as a ‘Crime Scene Investigator’ admitted that, “no evidence was collected at the crime scene”. While another witness who supposedly ‘sold’ a Mazda car to the 2nd Defendant, admitted under cross-examination that, the very first time he set his eyes on the said Mazda car (Exhibit 2) was “at the premises of the DSS Abuja Headquarters.”

Without prejudice to his ongoing trial before Hon. Justice Gabriel Kolawole, I honestly believe that my father is innocent of the crimes alleged against him. Over the 6 year period of his incarceration and trial, his businesses which employed many Nigerians have collapsed; his family is in disarray. Years apart, especially under such circumstances, often dissolves the emotional bonds between a husband and his wife, and for my much younger siblings who have now spent more time without their father, there are virtually no emotional bonds to be dissolved.

On a more personal note, I will be getting married in a few weeks; albeit without the privilege of having my beloved father walk me down the aisle – the dream of every daughter. I feel an admixture of joy and pain as this day approaches knowing that my father is alive but held somewhere unjustly. Clearly, my siblings and I are being punished vicariously by the Nigerian state over crimes allegedly committed by our father which have not been proven beyond reasonable doubt by a court of competent jurisdiction. Unfortunately, in Nigeria, the mere act of filing even trumped-up charges carries along with it a strong presumption of guilt, which has led to my father’s conviction in the court of public opinion and has also led to the abuse of his fundamental human rights. I know that some Nigerians, on reading this open letter, will attack me for daring to appeal for my father’s freedom. But my message to those compatriots is simple: it is high time we focused on finding the real perpetrators.

Finally, Mr. President, in your determined quest to fight corruption in Nigeria, I believe that the concept of corruption should be expanded beyond financial crimes. We must also fight corruption in the system, and in this case, the judicial system. We have witnessed the speedy handling of cases involving high profile politicians, but a very sluggish process for others. The joy of my upcoming marriage plus the pain of a missing father (who is alive) equates to the simple plea: #PLEASEFREECHARLESOKAH!

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My Open Letter To The Good People Of Ekiti State By Paul John

I read in the news that some of you were deceived into staging a protest against the strong opposition voice to the current Federal Government. I sincerely believe that the protesters were hired with the aim of not only destabilising the state but also to whip up public sentiments . I have decided to write this letter to all who can listen. Ayodele Fayose is being persecuted for his opposition to the APC government. What type of democracy are we practising where every opposition is clamped down? Protesters these days are shot and survivors are charged with possession of arms that never existed. People are constantly made to believe that the current government is fighting corruption when actually political opponents are being clamped down. The same people that hoodwinked us during their campaign that there was nothing like fuel subsidy finally removed the subsidy just few months of assuming office, raising the petrol pump price of fuel from N87.50k to N145. I am yet to see the gains for such an increment. Last administration used their proceeds from such increment to establish SURE-P but we are yet to see what comes out from the increment by this APC administration.

 

Anybody that opposes the government is linked to the arms deal. The person will remain in custody even when there are court injunctions. Every other opposition has remained silent to avoid being linked to arms deal. Fani Kayode is still in custody and others like Nnamdi Kanu and Sambo Dasuki. Who knows if I will be invited by DSS for airing my view and be charged with treasonable felony? How can our country be moved to another level if there is no vibrant opposition? The same opposition that brought this government in power is what the APC led Federal Government is hell-bent on eliminating. Good minded people like me can never keep quiet when issues like this are being discussed. Section 308 exonerates a sitting governor and president and  deputy/vice  from civil and criminal prosecutions but APC led federal government through EFCC is telling us otherwise. The only safety a leader has in Nigeria now is being in APC. Very soon , Nigeria will become a one party system .

 

They promised jobs to our teeming youths during the campaign but today workers are constantly being dismissed due to harsh economic policies the present government brought in. They made us believe that the last administration was corrupt but the cost of living then was low and now that saints are in power, Nigerian citizens are gnashing their teeth. A minister was recently indicted by a panel of enquiry in the state he just finished as the state governor but  ‘immunity’ covers him when immunity does not cover a sitting governor or his assets. That was how I told them in my previous write-ups that the use of electronic card readers was against section 52 of the Electoral Act, APC lawyers came out then to hoodwink us that it was not true even when elementary physics taught that anything that makes use of electrons are electronic. I thank God that governor Wike ‘s   Supreme Court victory vindicated me.

 

They have been in the blaming game, making Nigerians to know that what Nigerians are suffering now is due to 16 years of PDP misrule, I then ask, shouldn’t they just hand over to PDP leaders to continue their misrule where fuel will be sold to the common Nigerian at N87.50k per litre, where oppositions will be allowed to thrive, where right to freedom of speech will not only be on books but also in practice. They have forgotten how PDP government took over the country in 1999 after many years of military exploitation. Today ‘black and white’ televisions have disappeared in all homes courtesy of the same PDP government they now want us to believe they are corrupt. Owning of household gadgets is no longer difficulty since PDP came into power in 1999 and many people that never had cars found it easier to buy cars, what do we have today, dollars and other hard currencies are rising to discourage importation of foreign goods, without making any provisions for import-substituting industries. It is a matter of time, Nigerians will decide which government is clueless, PDP administration or current APC government.

 

I read in the news that the lawyer pursuing Mr president’s certificate issue may soon be charged for discussing the matter before a court outside the court, when the same government has been discussing Sambo Dasuki’s arms deal, Nnamdi Kanu’s case and those of other of their ‘victims ‘ pending before different courts, on the pages of newspapers. Jonathan allowed opposition to thrive hence APC was formed but today, any state government or local government outside APC is guilty and the anti-graft agencies will clamp down on the state with all sorts of charges. They started by arresting Ekiti State lawmakers, believing that Ayodele Fayose could be impeached through cowing his lawmakers, reminiscing the late DSP Alamieseigha style but Fayose is unperturbed. Now, it is to whip up public sentiments so that the people of Ekiti State will hate their governor. I enjoin the people of Ekiti State to see beyond the present shenanigans. If they have anything against a sitting governor, let the court resolve it, the APC led government should allow the court to decide.

 

At least I still believe in the sanctity and incorruptibility of our judicial system. See our National Assembly, they are out to clamp on Saraki. If Saraki survives the asset declaration issue in Code of Conduct Tribunal, he will be ensnared with the recently commenced forgery charge. What was Saraki’s offence if not that he went against APC’s plan to emerge as the senate president? When I read where it was reported that Saraki’s trial would be on daily basis and that it would start in the morning till evening, I laughed because the target was to ensure that Saraki would not meet the minimum number of attendance required in the plenary hence his impeachment would commence but that failed. The next was forgery suit so that both Saraki and Ekweremadu would be out of the plenary to pave way for impeachment and you tell me to keep quiet. Instead of thinking of how to fix our rapidly-deteriorating economy, the present APC government is busy planning how to deal with the opposition. They either blame the past PDP administration or the falling international oil prices any time things go wrong.

 

When in 2008 or thereabout, there was a global economic meltdown, the then PDP-led Federal Government fixed the economy for us and they cushioned the effects of such hence the citizens never felt it but what do we see today, even the blind can see that the current APC administration has no policy or plan to cushion the effects of such fall in international  oil price rather the government is poised to make life more difficult for the citizenry by increasing the petrol pump price without increasing the minimum wage. The alleged corrupt PDP government handed an African largest economy to this APC government, I don’t know our current ranking. All I have to tell the protesters in Ekiti State is for them to look beyond the shenanigans. Will this current government ever tell you that Sambo Dasuki played a major role in the arrest of Mr President after his military regime was toppled? Will they tell you that opposition from Nnamdi Kanu, Fani Kayode, Fayose etc is landing them into charges ranging from corruption to treasonable felony? Of course they won’t! My last word for the good people of Ekiti will be to repeat the words of late Sam Mbakwe, who said that a fool once is not a fool but a fool twice is the real fool. Ekiti people, this is the time to take your destinies in your hands. Don’t be deceived into fighting your governor who happens to be the only man standing in opposition to the federal government .If they have any charge against him ,let them wait for him to finish his tenure in 2018.

Dr Paul John

Port Harcourt,Rivers state,mazipauljohn@gmail.com,08083658038

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Open Letter To Tinubu, By Bayo Adeyinka

My dear Asiwaju,

I am compelled to write this open letter to you because of the state of affairs of the Yoruba nation. Firstly, I wish to acknowledge that fate has put you in a prime position to determine to a large extent the direction that the Yoruba people will go. The indisputable truth is that one may quarrel with your politics but your sagacity is never in doubt.

Even those who don’t see eye to eye with you agree that you are imbued with unusual native intelligence, uncommon people skills and unrivaled foresight. You, more than any other person, has been the game changer since the advent of democracy in 1999. It is for these reasons that I have chosen to direct this letter to you.

My singular purpose is to tug at the strings of your heart. I am not writing to appeal to partisan considerations but to see, if per chance, I can pour out my heart to you in a manner of speaking. God has blessed you even beyond your wildest imagination. You have installed Senators and Governors. You have removed Governors and even a President. You have also installed a President. There is nothing you have wished for or desired that you didn’t get. Fortune has smiled on you. Goodwill follows you everywhere you go. You have done very well- more than most men ever will.

However, there is one area that is begging for your urgent attention. This area may well define you and all you have ever achieved. This matter, in my opinion, is the only difference between you and the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Let me restate for the purpose of emphasis that this is the area in which the late sage and Leader of the Yorubas stand head and shoulders above you. It is the reason his name has been a constant denominator in our regional and national politics. It is the reason politicians, friends and foes invoke his name for political advantage and personal glory. It is also the reason why we can’t stop talking about him almost thirty years after his death. What will anyone say about you thirty years after you have transited?

Asiwaju Sir, you may be wondering what I’m talking about? It is the issue of legacy. According to Peter Strople, ‘Legacy is not leaving something for people, it is leaving something in people’. Legacy is building something that outlives you. Legacy is greater than currency. In the words of Leonard Sweet, ‘ What you do is your history. What you set in motion is your legacy’. You can’t live forever, Sir. No one can. But you can create something that will. Enough of speaking in parables- I shall now speak plainly.

When destiny brought you on the scene, we were enamoured because you championed the case for true federalism. It was your belief then that the Yoruba nation will fare better under a restructured arrangement than under the type of unitary government we run while pretending by calling it a federal government. Everyone knows that there is nothing federal about our government at all. If truth must be told, the Yoruba nation has fared very badly since the advent of our new democracy. And this is not about holding power at the centre.

Let me bring this home: someone passed a comment recently that he would want Biafra to become a reality because he knows the Igbo nation will survive. That comment led me to deeper introspection as I wondered if the Yorubas can truly survive. Let me cite my first example. From Oyo to Osun, Ogun to Ondo, Ekiti to Kwara and Lagos, hardly will one see any serious industry or manufacturing concern owned by a Yoruba person. I am not talking about portfolio businesses or one-man business concerns. Most industries in Oyo State are owned by the Lebanese. The native business and industry gurus who dominated the landscape- Nathaniel Idowu, Amos Adegoke, Lekan Salami, Alao Arisekola, Adeola Odutola, Jimoh Odutola, Chief Theophilus Adediran Oni and others- are all gone with no credible replacements. I’m sure you remember the tyre factory of the Odutolas and how Jimoh Odutola was even asked by the Governments of Kenya and Ghana to set up a similar factory in their countries. Chief Theophilus Adediran # Oni , popularly called T.A # Oni & Sons started the first indigenous construction company in Nigeria. He willed his residence- Goodwill House, to the Oyo/Western state government, to be used as a Paediatric Hospital, which is now known as T.A Oni Memorial Children Hospital at Ring Road in Ibadan. This sprawling family Estate and residence was cited on a 15acre piece of land, 65 rooms, with modern conveniences, Olympic Swimming Pool and stable for Horses, etc.

People like Chief Bode Akindele started companies like Standard Breweries and Dr Pepper Soft drink factory at Alomaja in Ibadan. Broking House built by the late Femi Johnson, an insurance magnate, still stands glittering in the mid-day sun as an epitome to a rich history that Ibadan has. The most serious and only notable Yoruba entrepreneur we have now is Michael Adenuga. I say this quite consciously because most of the other names are oil and gas barons. Most of what stood as testaments of industry in Oyo State are gone- Exide Batteries, Leyland Autos and many others. In its place are shopping malls and road side markets but no nation develops through buying and selling alone- especially when you’re not actually producing what you’re selling. Hypermarkets and supermarkets have taken over because of the need to feed our insatiable consumer-appetite and foreign tastes. In one instance, an ancient landmark in the form of a hotel was demolished to pave way for a mall. That is how low we have sunk. If our past is better than our present- if we always look back with nostalgia frequently, then there is a problem.

The case of other states is not different. Osun’s case is pathetic. Ditto for Ondo and Ekiti. Ogun State can boast of some factories at Sango-Otta and Agbara axis but most of them are not owned by the Yorubas. There is no significant pharmaceutical company owned by any Yoruba except for Bond Chemicals in Awe, Oyo State- and its wallet share is very insignificant. For Lagos State, more than 70% of the manufacturing concerns and major industries in the State are owned by the Igbos. If the Igbos were to stop paying tax in Lagos State, the IGR of Lagos State will reduce by over 60%. In contrast, Sir, go to the South East and look at the manufacturing concerns in Onitsha, Aba and Nnewi. Please don’t forget those were areas ravaged by civil war a mere forty something years ago. The Igbos have certainly made tremendous progress but the Yoruba nation has regressed. I wish to state that this letter is not meant to whip up primordial considerations or ethnic sentiments but just to put things in proper perspective.

Asiwaju, I will like to also talk about the state of education in the Yoruba nation. Our education has gone to the dogs. We have a bunch of mis-educated and ill-educated young men and women roaming the streets. Ibadan, for instance, had the first University in Nigeria and the first set of research centres in Nigeria ( The Forestry Research Institute, the Cocoa Research Institute (CRIN), The Nigerian Cereal Research Institute Moor Plantation (NCRI), the NIHORT (Nigerian Institute of Horticultural Research), the NISER (Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research), IAR&T (Institute of Agriculture, Research and Training), amongst several others). Ibadan was the bastion of scholarship with people like Wole Soyinka, JP Clark, D.O Fagunwa and Amos Tutuola as residents. In the May/June 2015 West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination, Abia came tops. Anambra came 2nd while Edo was 3rd. Lagos placed 6th while Osun and Oyo was 29th and 26th. Ekiti was 11th, Ondo State was 13th and Ogun State was 19th. In 2013 WASSCE, only Lagos and Ogun States were the Yoruba States above the national average. If we do an analysis of how Lagos placed 6th in 2015, you will discover that it was substantially because of other nationalities resident in Lagos. For proof, please look no further than the winners of the Spelling Bee competition which has produced One-Day Governors in Lagos State. Since inception in 2001, other nationalities have won the competition six times (Ebuka Anisiobi in 2001, Ovuwhore Etiti in 2002, Abundance Ikechukwu in 2006, Daniel Osunbor in 2008, Akpakpan Iniodu Jones in 2011 and Lilian Ogbuefi in 2012). Sir, there is something seriously wrong about our state of education. From the vintage times of Obafemi Awolowo who initiated ‘free education’, we have regressed into a most parlous state.

Let me talk about roads, housing and infrastructure . The first dualized road in Nigeria, the Queen Elizabeth road from Mokola to Agodi in Ibadan was formally commissioned by Queen Elizabeth in 1956. The first Housing Estate in Nigeria is Bodija Housing Estate (also in Ibadan) which was built in 1958. The state of roads in the Yoruba nation has become pathetic. Our hinterland are still largely rural. Even some state capitals like Osogbo and Ado-Ekiti are big villages when you compare them to towns in the South East. How many new estates have been built over the last decade? Even Ajoda New Town lies in ruins. We have abandoned the farm settlement strategy of the Western Region and only pay lip service to agriculture. Instead of feeding others like we once did, others now feed us. We plant no tomatoes, no pepper and the basic food that we require. The Indians have bought the large expanse of water body that we have in Onigambari village. The water body in Oke Ogun of Oyo State can provide enough fish to feed the whole of the South West. From being a major cocoa exporter many years ago, one can point to just a few vestiges of factories that still deal with Cocoa in the Yoruba nation. 80% of Cocoa processing industries in the South West have been shut down. The Chinese have taken over the cashew belt at Ogbomoso in Oyo State. They have even edged out the indigenes as brokers. They now come to the cashew belt to buy from the local farmers, sell on the spot to other Chinese exporters who now process the cashew nuts and import them back into Nigeria at a premium. Sir, there are only 7 major cashew processing plants in Nigeria and you can check out the ownership. The glory has departed from the Yoruba nation.

Apart from Asejire, Ede, Ikere Gorge and Oyan dams built ages ago, where are the new dams to cater for increased population and water capacity for the Yoruba nation? How have we improved on what our heroes past left us? Maybe apart from certain areas in Lagos State, others can’t even supply their citizens with pipe-borne water.

Our youth which we used to take pride in are largely a mass of unemployed and unemployable people. Have you noticed the abundance of street urchins, area boys, touts and ‘agberos’ that we now have all across the Yoruba nation? Have you noticed the swell in the ranks of NURTW (I mean no disrespect to an otherwise noble union)? Have you noticed the increase in the number of Yoruba beggars? There was a time that it was taboo for a Yoruba man to beg- but no more. The spirit of apprenticeship is dead. There was a time that people who learn vocational skills celebrate what we referred to as ‘freedom’. While that is largely moribund now in the Yoruba nation, the Igbos still practice it with great success.

The only thing we can boldly say the Yoruba nation controls is the information machinery- the press. We own largely the newspapers- the Nation, Punch, Nigerian Tribune, TV Continental and a few others. It is because of our control of this information machinery that we have rewritten the narrative in the country with the misguided self-belief that things are normal and we are making progress. A look beyond the surface will prove that this is so untrue.

We are largely divided. For the first time in the history of the Yoruba nation, religion is about to divide us further- and it is starting from Osun State. You are married to a Christian. My own father-in-law is an Alhaji. That is how we have peacefully do-existed but the fabrics are about to be torn to shreds because of poor management of issues. Afenifere has been reduced to a shadow of itself. OPC that once defended Yoruba interests has gone into oblivion. Yoruba elders have been vilified in the name of politics and partisanship. It is no longer news to see teenagers throwing stones at their elders because of their political indoctrination. Even under the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the Yorubas never belonged to just a single party- yet our unity was without blemish. Now, our values have gone down the drain.

Asiwaju, I believe I have said enough. The task is Herculean but I believe Providence has brought you here for such a time like this. It is time for the Yoruba nation to clean up its acts. What do we really want? How can we quickly right the wrongs? The Yoruba nation is in a state of arrested development. The Yoruba nation is gasping for breath and crying for help. Will you rise up to the occasion? I am aware you understand that all politics is local and charity begins at home. Our fathers gave us a proverb: ‘Bi o’ode o dun, bi igbe ni’gboro ri’. I know there are no quick fixes but I also know that if there is anyone who has the capacity to do something about our current situation, that person is you. This should be the legacy you should think of. Your legacy is our future.

Yours Very Sincerely,

By Bayo Adeyinka

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An Open Letter To “Men” By Anifowoshe Titilope

Put it ALL together, write a position paper on “Women: We are as much flesh and blood as you are” as an open letter to men

WOMEN: we are as much flesh and blood as you are

“I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We’ve been taught that silence would save us, but it won’t.“- Andre Lorde

PROLOGUE

It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it. Millions are condemned to a stiller doom than mine, and millions are in silent revolt against their lot. Nobody knows how many rebellions besides political rebellions ferment in the masses of life which people earth. Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, to absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.

CHARLORTTE BRONTE

THE HISTORICAL ABYSMAL

For decades the issue of discrimination of the female gender has been reverberating in our society. When in an assemblage of both genders, a female is expected to be a listener rather than a contributor. Owning or inheriting properties is verboten because she is presumed to be the property of her spouse, she is taught to sit behind her brothers or male colleagues not at the front. The society teaches her never to aspire to takeup a “lead role” because men are naturally created to be the leaders. She is advised to pursue a marriage certificate before a PhD certificate.

A child’s failure is the mother’s fault, but the success of a child is the father’s pride. A widow must perform some crude rights to prove that she didn’t kill her husband, but a Nigerian widower has to get a new bride to take makeup for his wife’s death.  While her brothers are the Victors, the female child is the victim of domestic slavery as it is a taboo for a man to wash dishes or engage in domestic chores. she is trained to be contrite and meek; infact a woman’s shyness is presumed to be her virtue.

MY BONE OF CONTENTION 

Dear Men, Indeed you are our brothers, you are our husband, you are our lover, you are our father. Life is of uttermost nihility without your presence. We appreciate you for being there for us from time immemorial, we are thankful to you for subjugating us; we appreciate you for making us look abnormal whenever we try to make you realize that we are as much blood and flesh as you are. Many thanks to you for handling us like your property and sex machine. Thanks for depicting us as handmaidens rather than a patner.

From the time I grew up to recognize the value of money, my journey back to lagos from Igbonla (my hometown) during sallah was always characterized by dilemma and sadness which was always triggered by my genial grandmother. In her way of biding us farewell, my late grandmother loved giving my younger brother double or triple the amount of money she gave me and my elder sisters; after she must have spent close to twenty minutes reciting my younger brother’s oriki, praising and praying for him and merely chanting our “oriki” in less than two minutes. This repeated action of my affable grandmother broke my heart, because she obviously recognizes my little brother as “our” father and superior, even though we are way older than him. I searched through my aggrieved mind for what my sisters have done wrong to my grandmother; my inquisitiveness led me to ask her the reason why Muhammed was always treated like a king. She smiled and told me “bashe ba laye ni yen” meaning “that’s the way it is”, she further explained to me that no matter how intelligent or rich I and my sisters are, we will surely end up in another man’s house as his property and Muhammed will be the only one to keep the “Anifowoshe” legacy.

What an ironic truth!

But is the female gender not the producer of kings and men? Did Prophet Muhammed (SAW) not say that “he who trains a woman; trains a nation”? Is the world not largely populated by the female gender? Are Men not the product of a proper upbringing of a great mother? Can a man produce a child naturally without a female genital?  Is the effectiveness of the cerebrum gender determinant?  Is excellence in any endeavor determined by the number of ribs one possesses? Is Honesty a question of gender or individuality?

THE QUEASY SYSTEM

All over the world, the law is seen as the adhesive force that cements the society. The Nigerian Constitution is the fons et origo which creates order out of chaos and conference in place of anarchy.

In truth and indeed, the Nigerian Constitution has empowered both gender by virtue of the various provisions on the dignity of human person and right to freedom from discrimination.

In fact a literal and liberal scrutiny of sections 42 and Section 17 of the 1999 Constitution is a lucid certification of Nigeria’s fight against discrimination of the female gender. However the indecipherable stand of the Nigerian Legal System on the fight against gender discrimination is a pure acknowledgement of the Roscoe Pounds’ sociological definition that law is “what the society says it is”.

An examination of these legal provisions makes me wonder, if the Nigerian law regulates our society, or our society’s primitivism modulates the law?

1) CITIZENSHIP

Section 26(2) that a woman who is or has been married to a citizen of Nigeria may be registered as a citizen of Nigeria, but the law is silent as to whether a woman married to a foreign national can confer Nigerian nationality on her foreign husband.

The above provision implies that a woman cannot confer Nigerian citizenship on her foreign husband. It should be noted that and this provision exist despite the fact similar provisions have been identified and repealed as discriminatory in other parts of African nations such as South Africa and Botswana. In fact, S26 of the 1999 Constitution is not in consonance with Article 9(1) of  Convention on the elimination and Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (which Nigeria is a signatory to).

2) ASSAULT

Section 353 of the Criminal Code (which applies to the Southern States in Nigeria) provides that an indecent assault against a man is a felony, punishable by three years in prison. But Section 360 holds that the same offence against females is a misdemeanour is punishable with only two years of imprisonment. It is worrisome that this distinction remains on the statute books, especially when indubitable facts exists that indecent assault is an offense that is often committed against women. Here, I have no choice other than to infer that the law implies that, the offense is of less gravity when committed against a woman.

Again, this is inconsistent with the cardinal principle of criminal law which stipulates that like cases should be treated alike and all persons should be protected from harm of a similar degree. More so, these provisions are antithetical to Article 2(g) of CEDAW, which requires state parties to repeal all national penal provisions which constitute discrimination against women.

Section 55 of the Penal Code provides that:

“Nothing is an offense which does not amount to the infliction of grievous hurt upon any person and which is done by a husband for the purpose of correcting his wife, such husband or wife being subject to any native law or custom in which such correction is recognized as lawful

Thus, the Penal Code permits husbands to use physical means to chastise their wives as long as it does not result in “grievous harm,” which is defined as loss of sight, hearing, speech, facial disfigurement, or life-threatening injuries.

3.) POLICE

Section 121 of the Police Act provides that

Women police officers shall, as a general rule, be employed for duties that are concerned with women and children only. Section 42(3) of the Act provides that woman who is married cannot be recruited into the the police force. Where an enlisted single woman wants to get married, she must have spent not less than three years in the police and she must also apply for permission to marry.

She must furnish the police with particulars of fiancé who must be investigated and cleared before permission is granted. Section 125 of the Act expressly states that A married woman police officer “shall not be granted any special privileges by reason of the fact that she is married and shall be subjected to posting and transfer as if she were unmarried.”

In addition, police w omen are required to place the alphabet ‘W’ before their rank.

Police women married to civilian husbands are disallowed from living in police barracks.

MY FINALE

Dear brother, I hope you do not see this letter as a vilification of your manhood. That I complain about the way you treat my sisters and I doesn’t mean that I don’t adore you. When I quetch about the various discriminatory laws against the female gender, I am only asking for the true essence of what the law stands for. When I demand for equality I am not saying I want to beat up a man I am just saying I should not be seen as one to be beaten with impunity.

Dear Brother, I know that I don’t possess the same components of muscles that you possess, I know that my bones aren’t as strong as yours, I am well abreast of the fact that you are masculine and I am feminine ; but all I ask for is to be seen as a human being with all her 5 senses and an accompanying brain and not as a toy to be toyed with.

Dear Father, my birth should be heralded with as much joy as my brother’s birth because we are both “human”. My education should be as important as muhammed’s education. When I demand for gender equity  I am not saying that Alhaja should not be submissive to you as the husband I am just saying that your wife should have a place in the partnership.

According to Harry V. Jaffa “A law is foolish which does not aim at abstract or intrinsic justice; and so is it foolish to attempt to achieve abstract justice as the sole good by succumbing to the fallacy to which the mind is prone, which regards direct consequences as if they were the only consequences

I dare not open my vocal cavity to delineate our great legal system as “dopy”. I am way too little to belittle the works of our great draftsmen.

However, the flexibility of our laws, the reasonability of our brothers and the power of the male dominated Nigerian Senate gives my heart an array of hope that end time is near for these gross laws and in due time,  my brothers will no longer treat my sisters and I like interiors. Our Fathers will no longer treat our mothers like subordinates but as their mothers.

And we will be able to show them that we are indeed as much flesh and blood as they are.

May God’s will be done.

Yours Faithfully,

Anifowoshe Titilope T (LegalEagle)

 

**LEGAL EAGLE is the CEO of Eagles Foundation for Humanity (www.eaglesfoundationfh.org ) and a 500L student of Law at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State.

titilopeanny@gmail.com

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Open Letter To President Muhammad Buhari And The Presidential Committee On Anti-corruption By Abdullahi Ishaq

Your Excellency with due honour and respect. First and foremost accept my warmly congratulations as you mark one year in office. May Allah guide and protect you to lead us with all fairness. I write to bring to your attention the internal Corruption in EFCC. These are three factors that have bedevilled EFCC, which also requires your timely intervention… 1- INTERNAL CORRUPTION, 2- VICTIMIZATION, and 3- WELFARE…..

Your Excellency sir, Internal Corruption has gone deep in EFCC which is being perpetrated by the Senior Police officers, right from the leadership of Ibrahim Lamorde to date. Frustrating high profile cases in different forms. The Director of Administration known as DOS, is Lamorde’s boy and confidant. He is notorious in awarding contracts to his cronies and relative’s without bidding. The Account Department also is headed by another Lamorde’s loyalist ( http://www.nigeriannation.news/nigeria/news-headlines/exclusive-fresh-multi-million-naira-fraud-rocks-efccdirector-of-accounts-bukar-abba-under-probe/attachment/614921/). Millions of money allocated by either the Federal Government or the UNODC is being diverted and mismanaged by the Senior Police officers and some none Police principal officers who are heading the department concerned.

Your Excellency, Police and Regular Cadets made up the EFCC, the Police are seconded staff and are meant to served for the period of 3 to 4 years, while the Cadets are the Regular and Pensionable staff. Sir, things have changed to a different dimension, whereby the Police have consistently victimized the Regular staff by indicting, suspending and dismissing Regular staff, whose fault does not require such punishment or penalties. Right from Lamorde’s time to the present leadership, about 30 Regular staff who are very intelligent and who also handles many high profile cases were suspended and dismissed, by using them as scapegoats to give the public the impression that they are fighting internal corruption.

Similarly, whenever a Policeman committed any wrongdoing, they will deploy him back to their Mother organization, without penalizing or prosecuting him for that offence. Am appealing to your good office to constitute an independent committee to investigate the activities of the EFCC from inception to date. Your Excellency sir, Nigerians owe you a greater responsibility of coming out the truth in the fight against corruption in all ramifications, as well as unearthing and exposing those who feel they cannot be fingered or investigated. I also respectfully advice the National Assembly to conduct a Public hearing on the role and activities of the EFCC, to ascertain my claims.

Even after the exit of Ibrahim Lamorde from the Comission, there are still many corrupt police officers, who also are Lamorde’s loyalists. Welfare of staff and training are being denied, considering as against during the leadership of Mrs. Farida Waziri. However each and every Nigerian is optimistic that fighting corruption is one of your cardinal objectives, and EFCC is the lead Anti graft Agency that is responsible for that. But how can we achieve that objective, while there is internal Corruption in the Commission. The relationship between the Police and Regular staff is extremely sour and victimization persists every day.

Your Excellency, the following police officers are among the most corrupt ones in EFCC; DCP. Bolaji Salami who is heading the Admin Dept and DCP. Muhammad Wakili who investigates all Pension cases where hundreds of millions, Exotic cars and properties were extorted, but Lamorde refused to investigate and prosecutes him and team.Also, DCP. Wakili was recently redeployed back to the Police, but yet to be investigated.

I am apealling to your office to investigate him and also revisits all Pension cases investigated by the EFCC. On the other hand, CSP. Usman Imam is another senior Police officer who had served from inception to date. He has made millions from cases he investigated, and had acquired properties in Kano, Apo Abuja, Lagos and other places. He is one of the Lamorde’s boy still working in the Commission to protect his boss’ interests. Habibu Adamu Aliyu ( https://www.naij.com/826102-efcc-boss-ibrahim-magu-gets-new-task.html ), a closed boy to Lamorde and Wakili is well known to be collecting huge amount of money from high profile suspects of Pension cases for his bosses. He recently resigned his appointment from the Commission for the fear of being probe, since all he made was kept hidden with his elder brother who was a former House of Representative Member. Another top collecting point for Lamorde is his SA, known as Mr. Isah Dogonyaro, he had recently left the Commission and gone for a study leave to evade being exposed. There are many more senior Police officers and few Regular Staff, who perpetrated and protect the Corrupt tendecies of their bosses.

Your Excellency sir. For the benefit of this great country and for Fairness, Equity and Justice I am appealing and pleading with you to as a matter of urgent national importance, cause investigation into EFCC as well as reviewing all staff indicted, suspended and dismissed. Sir this is the truth and nothing but the truth, about what has been going on in EFCC. May Almighty help and guide us right.

I implore and craved the indulgence of the public to transmit this medium to President Muhammadu Buhari, and any other person or organisation concerned. Because saboteurs, will always make sure the President does not get such vital information of Whitsle-Blowing. Thank you all…

 

Abdullahi Ishaq

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Letter To The FG And The NLC By Abang Dove

There is a saying that goes: ‘When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers’. This saying that has been used to characterise the carnage borne from the combat of two or more powerful forces cannot be overemphasised as regards the current happenings and the current state of the nation. 

Nigeria is currently sitting on a keg of gunpowder with all these uncertainties hovering around the atmosphere. The government and some of its policies seem to have alienated the concerns of the masses; the planned nationwide strike by the Nigerian Labour Congress that is aimed at achieving the reversal of the fuel pump price, will also adversely affect the poor and middle class – more than it affects the power-holders that enacted the policy.

The Federal Government removed the subsidy at a time when many Nigerians were experiencing the hiked prices of commodities, and the lack of economic prosperity opportunities. This hike was undertaken without proper orientation, and without the necessary infrastructure like transportation system that would alleviate the effects of the fuel price increase. The increased electricity tariff without adequate supply of electricity was one blow too many, the falling Naira was another piece of bad news that we did not want to hear. Now, we also have to contend with skyrocketing prices of food, clothing, entertainment, general services and everything else – simply due to the increase in the price of fuel.

I am not here to talk about the economy or tell you what you already know. I am here to talk about my people, the voiceless and helpless of the society. Those who cannot reach you and tell you their minds. I am here to talk about the welfare of Nigerians.

Due to the recent decision of the FG to remove the subsidy, the Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC) and other Labor Unions have decided to embark on a nationwide strike scheduled to kick-off on Wednesday 18th May, 2016. Nigerians have been advised by the NLC to stock up food and needed items as all markets, offices, banks and other institutions will be shut down.

The question now is this: what is the fate of those who do not even have resources to buy food even if markets were to be left open during the strike? I want the FG and the NLC to know this, there is no country as long as the lives, welfare and wellbeing of citizens do not matter to those who matter in the society and while you stock up your kitchens, stores, fridges, etc also remember that the vast majority of your citizens cannot remember how that feels like due to the unreasonable and selfish decisions you have made so far. While you buy in bulk – bags, baskets, cartons, drums, gallons and even trailers, these people only know and can only afford to buy in cups.

The FG and the NLC should come together and reach a reasonable compromise for the sake of the helpless masses because like they say: “One day, the poor will have nothing left to eat but the rich.” In this regard, when your policies and decisions that have made children look at their parents like failures reach a crescendo, there will be no one left for you to govern.

This article is not meant to blame or support anyone, however, I would also like to point out that ‘it is not the person who stepped on the fly that killed it but the person who hit the fly down in the first place.’ That also does not mean both of them do not have a hand in the death of the fly.

 

Abang Dove writes from Abuja and she tweets from @AbangDove 

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Open Letter To President Muhammadu Buhari By Japhet Philip

Dear PMB,

Without the necessity of mincing words, I am constrained to write to you at this   crucial time of our nation’s history essentially to add my little voice to some of the plethora of issues that could make or mar our solemn desire for a national rebirth, our quest for peace and stability, social justice and shared prosperity. I am hopeful that this message will meet you hail and hearty. Suffice to say, that i am very appreciative of your current efforts to reposition Nigeria on the path of greatness especially in the areas of security and the anti-graft crusade for which many of us are grateful, there are however a number of concerns which to my mind if left unchecked could lead us to cul de sac, may God forbid that.

Before i engage you on the matters, let me place it on record that i strongly share your ideologies of integrity, transparency and accountability. Your strength of character, your values of perseverance, doggedness and Spartan lifestyle amongst many has endeared your personality to my heart that i see you as a role model whose virtues the Nigerian youth would do good to emulate. I was just a teenager when you held sway as a military Head of State in the early/mid 80s and your brief stay of twenty months or there about left no one in doubt that you have so much to offer for the common good. Your sterling performance at the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) as its chairman under the late dark goggled General Sani Abacha which saw to the construction of many high quality roads, logistics in hospitals and which put many books in libraries in schools across Nigeria is a clear testimony of your yearning for a working Nigeria.

Since you ventured into the murky waters of Nigerian politics in 2002 to this day, I have always been your staunch supporter and mobilizer. Starting from the All Peoples Party (APP), to the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), to when you resolved to leave the ANPP and formed the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and ultimately to the historical merger of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the CPC, ANPP, the new PDP (nPDP) and a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) that gave birth to the mega All Progressives Congress (APC). The rest they say is history. In the build up to the 2015 general elections, I was one amongst many young Nigerians who went all the way to ensure that you emerged victorious at the presidential polls not because the APC was full of ‘saints’, but because we share in your aspirations of selfless service to our great nation and so we passionately went about mobilizing citizens across the length and breadth, North and south, east and west of Nigeria to vote for change and our fellow compatriots hearkened to our call. It is more on this premise that I have the audacity to write you this letter so that Nigeria can be better for it. Because I voted for change for which I have no regrets, and as a stakeholder on the Nigerian project, I am duty bound to actively contribute to the much desired change so that the ‘’BUHARIST’’ as some people will brand me, my fellow youths and millions of other Nigerians who voted for you will not be put to shame. In raising the issues even though it may sound bitter to you, I have nothing to lose and have everything to gain should this translate into better living standards for the Nigerian people. Now back to the issues for scribbling this piece.

Firstly, I have observed with great dismay the ‘’unfriendly’’ attitude towards youths and women of this great country of the present government under your leadership, the number of appointments made by your highly revered and exalted office so far suggests to me that there may be just too little for women and youths in the scheme of things. For me it’s a great source of concern and the situation needs to be redressed. Mr President, please do not allow the old guards most of whose interest is a penchant for self aggrandizement/preservation to mislead you into forgetting so soon the gigantic role women and youths played in supporting you and the APC to victory at the last general polls. Never forget that history is replete with nations who forgot their youthful populations and had to pay dearly for it. I do not wish that Nigeria follows the same path for any nation that ignores its youth does so at its own peril. To this end, i implore you Mr President to as a matter of priority reconsider mainstreaming more women and youths into your change agenda by way of giving them more opportunities to serve and to take proactive steps in formulating clear cut policies that are sensitive to their needs in the real sense of the word and not just by word of mouth. Let there be initiatives capable of creating decent jobs for the teeming population of Nigerian youths, empowering women to cater well for their families and so on and so forth. Any attempt to ignore these very important segments of our society would be a recipe for social, economic and political instability. If we want social justice for shared prosperity, we must bid goodbye to the era of ‘’Monkey dey work, baboon dey chop’’. Going by our demographics, it is very clear that the Nigerian population is a youthful one; the youth represents about 35% of our productive and voting population. I am sure Mr President will not need a crystal ball seer to tell him the implications of ignoring the concerns of women and youths after all you are for ‘’Nobody and everybody’’.

Secondly, it appears to me that this government is handling the issue of herders and farmers conflict with levity. From Barikin Ladi and Riyom, Keana and Doma and Agatu in Plateau, Nassarawa and Benue states-North Central Nigeria, to Zangon Kataf and Kachia in Kaduna state-North-west Nigeria, to some parts of Ondo and Ogun states in the South west and most recently Ukpabi Nimbo in Uzo-Uwani LGA of Enugu state in the South east, thousands of human lives and properties worth billions have been lost to this conflict and the end of it invariably is not yet in sight. Mr President, this is a time bomb and government must act fast to nib this monster in the bud so we can avoid yet another Boko Haram- like experience. This cycle of violence must be broken if we are to preserve the indivisibility of the project called Nigeria. A stitch in time they say saves nine!

Thirdly, it is somewhat evident that this ship called Nigeria which you are captain at the moment has no clear cut economic policy direction, under the current economic circumstances, Nigerians are suffering and groaning, fuel scarcity is on the rampage with negative multiplier effects on cost of goods and services, there is no availability of power supply to light our homes and streets and to keep our boilers running in our very few surviving industries just to mention a few. The pains Nigerians are going through is excruciating and unspeakable and can hardly represent the change we voted for. Mr President, if anything is worthwhile, if it is excellent, if it is noble and people oriented please think and act about it and fast too. Nigeria is in dire need of a team of seasoned economists who can think outside the box and bring us out of this economic morass in which we have found ourselves. Albeit it may seem an early call to pass a verdict on your eleven (11) months old government, the suffering is increasing by the day and something drastic needs to be done, desperate times require desperate measures. Even though you have apologized to Nigerians and sought our understanding and patience, the only language the talakawas understand is food on their table and the availability of power and fuel to run around in pursuance of their legitimate business, anything less would amount to flogging a dead horse. Mr President, you have only three years left to prove your mettle and woo your detractors and nay sayers to your own side of history, time is running out, you must make hay while the sun shines for night cometh when no man can work!

Fourthly, one other issue of great concern to me is your propensity to micromanage things; take for instance your appointment of self to administer the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, which for me is not healthy for what we have set out to achieve with the oil and gas sector. The rigors of attending to very crucial state matters of securing the country and other day to day running of government will not allow for you to function effectively as a petroleum minister. In the light of this Mr President, I urge you amongst other things to be sensitive to the idea of delegation of powers, the idea of building strong foundations around systems and not individuals because collective wisdom works better than individual wisdom.

Finally Mr President, the APC led government under your watch is not doing enough to actively engage and get the necessary buy in of Nigerians on what it  intends to achieve, while i do not seek to undermine the current efforts of your media team by no means, am just thinking that as a nation we can engage citizens better. Town Hall meetings in banquet halls of five star hotels can only achieve but a little. Is it possible that we replicate these meetings at the LG levels and village squares across the 774 local governments in Nigeria? Can we patronize other local media outfits like radio and television stations in states using our local dialects and resources so we can reach out to more people? For me the answer is an emphatic YES! I am pretty sure that doing this will help us educate our people about government’s policy directions, it will help us douse unnecessary tensions and ‘’wailings’’ amongst the people and generate positive energy for national development. To do this will require ‘’uncommon’’ courage and sacrifice by both leaders and the led so that together we can realize the Nigeria of our dreams. Like Albert Einstein would say, ‘’In the midst of our adversities lies an opportunity’’.

I look forward to a day when the APC led government will take Nigerians to the promise land so it can muster the courage to ask Nigerians for yet another opportunity to serve. I wish you Godspeed, good health and strength as you pilot the affairs of this great country to an expected end.

Yours in the struggle for a better Nigeria,

Comrade Japhet Philip.

japhetphilip322@gmail.com

Skype: japhet.philip

Twitter: @JaphetPhilip

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China Letter: Group Demands Fayose’s Trial For ‘Treason’

A group, Asiwaju Grassroots Foundation, AGF, has called on the Federal Government to keep the Ekiti State governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose under security watch as a measure to safeguard the integrity of the nation.
The AGF also said alleged anti-government actions of the governor should be documented to commence treasonable trial against him upon vacation of office.
The group stated this in a statement on Wednesday in Ado-Ekiti by its general secretary, Comrade Adeleye Akintola, wondering if the governor had suddenly forgotten his oath of office which demands total loyalty to the nation without sabotaging its interests or the office of the president.
Citing the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, containing the Oath of Office of Governor of a State which states among others, “that I will exercise the authority vested in me as Governor so as not to impede or prejudice the authority lawfully vested in the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” AGF lamented that the letter written by Governor Fayose to the Chinese government to deny Nigeria lawful deal was a violation of that oath.
“The recent outburst and action of the governor is a violation against Nigeria and her people. Governor Ayodele Fayose’s letter to stop the Federal Government  from obtaining the China loan is an affront and a sabotage that can only be compared with staging a coup against the country,” Akintola said.
He said the governor should be reminded that the constitution clearly stated that there is no immunity for impunity and his recent adventure to derail the democratic government of Nigeria is punishable under Nigeria law.
In addition, the group called on the Attorney-General of the Federation, to as a matter of urgency, institute charges against Fayose’s various acts of impunity.
“The federal government must take Fayose’s threat with much seriousness. The security agencies must also be alerted on the danger inherent in his frequent confrontation with the Federal government.
“All reasonable Nigerians are concerned and waiting for law to take its cause and turn on Fayose’s unconstitutional acts against the constituted authority and the people of Nigeria,” the statement read.
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My Candid Letter To The Senate President By @DeleMomodu

Your Excellency, I’m convinced the time has come to write you this letter despite the fact that I have some measure of access to you. I decided to do this in order to tackle the mischief makers who believe I’m your very close friend and as such must be a rabid supporter of yours. I have been accused of all sorts of garbage including being paid heavy sums of money from your bottomless pocket. I’m aware that most of these guys can never believe that anyone could stand up for principle without pecuniary gains. But before I go into the meat of this letter, I need to state my background briefly as I’m sure you don’t even know me well enough to understand and appreciate my socio-political trajectory.

I have read all sorts about you and I and it is necessary sometimes to put the records straight for the sake of doubting Thomases who can never see anything good in others. You were a Governor for eight years and I can’t remember ever meeting you one on one. The only time I believe we exchanged physical pleasantries would have been at the 70th birthday dinner hosted in honour of your mother-in-law, Erelu Ojuolape Ojora at The Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos some years back. I remember seeing and greeting you and a few of the former and current Governors present including Olusegun Osoba, James Ibori, Babatunde Fashola and others.

I would later see one of the pictures I took at the party and read many years after that I was busy drinking champagne with James Ibori who was being wanted for several cases of corruption and so on. I could not believe my eyes because the picture showed clearly that I was chatting with Chief Olusegun Osoba while Ibori minding his business behind me but someone needed to rubbish me for reasons I could never fathom. Not just that, Ibori was still a Governor and would I run away from a function or refuse to greet people so as not to be accused of hobnobbing with corrupt leaders?

The next time I interfaced with you was after you employed Mr Bamikole Omishore who was my American campaign coordinator in Washington DC, when I joined the Presidential race from 2010-2011. I was happy that you got such a brilliant young man to manage your social media. But you and I got closer for only one reason in the past one year plus because we both campaigned vigorously for Major General Muhammadu Buhari and you and Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi were the best of pals and he has been my friend long before he became Governor of Rivers State. I loved the way you, Amaechi, Kwankwaso, Wamako, Tambuwal, Atiku Abubakar, and others took the bold decision that would change the course of Nigerian history for better or for worse when you abandoned PDP despite threats and harassments. I must have met you about twice in your Lagos home to strategise and was particularly impressed with your ability to rally the likes of Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola, Wale Tinubu and others who ordinarily would have felt a need to support the government in power. I was informed you were able to raise some stupendous amount of money during and after the APC primaries. We talked more on phone and you assured me constantly that everything was on course. The rest is history.

However trouble started as soon as victory came. I knew you had only one ambition and that was to become the Senate President. I thought that was a legitimate dream but did not envisage that it would turn out to be your albatross. Politics in Africa, and probably elsewhere, is a deadly game. You’ve fought several battles in your life but I doubt if you ever bargained for this one. It all started like a joke. Your party apparatchik was obviously opposed to your candidacy. You were equally determined to realise your life ambition. One of the rumours then was that you could not be trusted with power and that in the next four years you would have become unstoppable if you decide to go headlong for the Presidency. I’m not a member of your party so I could not understand what the hullabaloo was all about. The manner you emerged caught everyone unawares. The biggest problem was the fact that you sought and got the unequivocal support of members of the PDP in the Senate and even did a deal that made it possible for one of them to become your deputy. That was the hara-kiri you committed and your enemies would never forgive you for that.

One thing led to another, and things fell apart and the centre could no longer hold. You probably underestimated the resolve of your enemies to cut you down to size. The next we saw were allegations of impropriety levelled against you at the Code of Conduct Bureau. You were said to have been dodgy in your assets declaration forms. Anyway, it seemed you had touched the tiger by the tail and it remained to be seen how you would wriggle out of the monumental trouble you had inadvertently courted by your rebelliousness and bellicosity. I was personally irked that we were back to the Nuhu Ribadu days and I voiced my opinion openly. I was not defending you but defending the rights of man. I had thought naively that APC knew what it was getting into with an ill-assorted assemblage of different characters from varied backgrounds. I presumed there was an accord that all sinners became saints once they migrated and amalgamated with APC. The deluge of immigrants from PDP convinced me that President Buhari would have to sanctify the pollutants if any in the new party. Not once did I hear of any objection to the proliferation so I assumed all was well.

I never said you should not be prosecuted but that we should discourage a situation where every successive government uses anti-corruption camouflage to punish its enemies. This position was not meant to protect you but to discourage a perpetuation of such tradition. I wrote copiously against the harassment of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu when he went on similar trial. I had demonstrated publicly against the Yar’Adua cabal when they tried to stop Dr Goodluck Jonathan from assuming power when his boss was terminally ill. I remember also when I wrote an open letter to Mallam Nuhu Ribadu in 2007 and how I was viciously attacked by his supporters. But what happened after? Nuhu himself was forced into exile as a victim of impunity. Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and The Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi, formerly known as Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, became veritable victims of impunity and I was vehemently opposed to their ordeals.

I needed to state this background very well as a way of documenting my modest contribution to the discouragement of impunity as a former victim myself under the military regimes. Now that it seems many Nigerians are comfortable with setting fire to an entire village in order to catch some rats, I will not belabour the issue further. Please, permit me to now address the case at hand. I want you to know that no matter what you do henceforth, the case against you will go on. The earlier you resign yourself to fate the better. You have done all you can to prevent this from happening and the time has come for you to defend yourself as best as you can. I understand the psychological trauma you are under. You are in utter shock that a party you laboured with others to build and nurture has decided to treat you as a pariah. You are stupefied at the sudden turn of events.

But let me advise you, the Judiciary is still the best arbiter and if you’re truly innocent, you will be vindicated but if you are found guilty after exhausting all legal options available in the land you must take a bow and accept the judgment with equanimity. Even if the APC decides to sweep this under the carpet, someone may still bring it up tomorrow. It is in your best interest to face the bullet and hope for a miracle. I’m not one of those who have written off the Nigerian Judiciary. I will also not join those who have already convicted you in the court of public opinion. I’m a Christian and I know none of us can cast the first stone and we should be careful not to gloat over anyone’s misfortune.

Please, note that you must do nothing to pervert the course of justice by enacting hurriedly-packaged laws ostensibly meant to block your trial. It will further diminish you and make your sympathisers recoil in shame. To whom much is given, much is expected. God has been very kind to you and as a Muslim you must submit yourself only to the will of Allah, the only one who can forgive our sins. Who knows what the outcome may be at the end of the day?

I beg you in the name of God to take courage. Stand like a man and carry your heavy cross.

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