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How Nigeria plans to spend whopping N1 Trillion on security this year

....as insecurity heightens The Federal Government will spend a total of N1.055 trillion this year on security, according to the details of the 2013 budget, representing an increase of N135 billion over what was appropriated for the sector last year. A breakdown of the budget presented to the National Assembly by President Jonathan October last year showed that the security agencies combined will gulp more than one-fifths of the N4.92 trillion budget. The security sector has retained the top position on the budget chart with Defence and Police alone getting a total of N668.56 billion, according the highlights given by Jonathan on Wednesday. New details contained in the full budget documents show that the total security vote shot up to N1.055 trillion when figures from all the security agencies are added up. These are Defence, N349 billion; Police formations, N311.1 billion; Police Affairs, N8.5 billion; Interior, N156.1 billion; and Office of the National Security Adviser, N116.4 billion.

billion next year and N54.7 billion of it is for personnel cost, N6.9 billion for overheads, and N7.1 billion will go for capital expenditure. The Nigerian Army will spend N510 million on motor vehicle maintenance, N887.7 million office and residential quarters maintenance and a total of N2.1 billion on training and travels. N1 billion is allocated for procurement of various types of ammunition for the army while production of armoured personnel carriers will cost N350 million. The Navy is proposing N10 billion to purchase ships, N1.973 billion on defence equipment and another N1.3 billion on training and travels; N90 million on generators. For the Air Force, N1.5 billion will be spent on travels and training, while rehabilitation and repairs of defence equipment got

The total represents an addition of N135 billion over the N920 billion budgeted for 2012. A further breakdown of the security budget shows that the Defence Headquarters is to spend N150 million on travelling and training. Nigerian Army is allocated N128.1 billion, N5.1 billion of it is for overheads, N116.2 billion for personnel and N6.7 billion capital costs. Nigerian Navy has total allocation of N71.4 billion out of which N13 billion is for capital expenditure, N51.9 personnel, N6.8 billion for overheads and N58.4 billion for recurrent expenditure. The Airforce will spend N68.762

HE Anglo-Dutch Oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has empowered 20 youths drawn from disputed oil rich communities of Nembe in Bayelsa and Kula in Rivers State, with liesustaining skills as part of measures aimed at boosting capacity and increasing wealth portfolio in the Niger Delta. The oil giant also helped the beneficiaries who are mainly young women, to establish small scale business that would enable them cater for themselves and their families. Receiving their certificates of merit and business starter packs in Yenagoa, the beneficiaries of the LIVEWIRE Business

Enterprise Training for “Swamp 3” host communities of SPDC Eastern Operations were full of joy and excitement as they commended the company for engineering a turn-around in their lives. Speaking at the graduation, SPDC Manager, Government and Community Development Relations Bayelsa/Delta, Mr. Evans Krukrubo, said the scheme was designed in line with the company's philosophy of contributing to economic empowerment and job creation for youths and women in its area of operation. He said “The LIVEWIRE program, which has trained over 5,000 youths and women entrepreneurs since 2003, aims to p r o v i d e a c c e s s t o entrepreneurship training,

upsurge in crime, and I think we must address it now, if not, those boys, the criminal elements will start coming back again”, Amaechi said. Amaechi also advised the Police to lock up two check points at Choba and Egbeda in Obio/Akpor and Emohua Local Government Areas and increase patrol to check the activities of criminals, stressing that the crime rate in Omoku is becoming worrisome. He further explained that his administration has in recent times donated fleet of security patrol vehicles and brand new APCs (Armoured Personnel Carriers) to the State Police Command to confront and combat crime. The Governor equally task the new Commissioner of Police, Mr Mbu to live up to his constitutional responsibilities by working diligently, urging him to discharge his

duties to the best of his ability. Responding, the new Commissioner of Police, Mr Mbu Joseph Mbu told Governor Amaechi that he was on a familiarization tour to rub minds with the state government on ways to enhance security in the state. Mbu explained that he is making frantic efforts to fix all dilapidated police vehicles back on the road to effectively monitor and combat crime in the state. He stated the determination of the command not to compromise on discipline, saying that officers of the command must be disciplined to achieve set goals and the vision of the current administration in the state. The Rivers Police Boss also urged Governor Amaechi to support the creation of two additional Area Commands to expand the frontiers of Police to aggressively combat crime in the state.

By Abraham Ajaero, Portharcourt

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ivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has urged the Rivers State Police Command to step up and do more in the fight against crime in the state. Amaechi spoke when the new Rivers State Police Commissioner, Mr Mbu Joseph Mbu paid him a courtesy visit at Government House Port Harcourt. He commended the Police in the State for their efforts so far in combating crime but urged them to do more as there seems to be a new upsurge in crime rate in the state and this he said, must be addressed immediately before it escalates. “I must tell you that 80 per cent of those who commit crime in the state are arrested, so I must commend your officers for that, but I am also aware that there is a little

President Jonathan N3.7 billion. The Defence missions has a total of N10.3 billion out of which N539.6 million will go for purchase of secured communication equipment for

the missions. The National Security Adviser's office has N1.034 billion as security votes, satellite communication in the FCT will cost N6.782 billion, data signal

centre N9.8 billion, iridium/communication platform also in the FCT N2 billion, motorised direction finder 12 4X4 jeeps N178 million, cyber security N142 million and presidential communication network got N1.3 million. Counter terrorism equipment will cost N3 billion The Police will spend N165 million on 3 armoured toyota landcruiser vehicles and armoured hilux for GSM tracking, N310 million is for patrol vehicles, special operational vehicles got N340 million, N455 million is for bullet vests and ballistic helmets. Also, explosive disposals will gulp N250 million, dogs and handling equipment N50 million, operational vehicles for mobile police N150 million, mounted troops accessories N50 million, automated finger print identification system N70 million, forensic equipment and provision of DNA test and crime scene laboratories N105.

Shell empowers Bayelsa, River's youths By Philip Eke, Yenagoa

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business development services as well as start-up capital to establish and expand youth-driven business”. According to him, “the beneficiaries of the scheme have now created employment opportunities for thousands of youths across the region, thereby contributing to the reduction of youth unemployment in the region”. Also speaking, Mr. Hope Nouka, Manager, Sustainable Development and Community Relations, described the program as a critical step towards the qualitative empowerment of the youths in the region. He urged the participants to utilize the skills acquired by putting starter packs given to them into good use to improve their individual lives and the advancement of their families and communities.

In his remarks, the state commissioner for Energy, Mr. Francis Ikio, thanked SPDC for empowering the youths and charged the participants to take advantage of the opportunity to excel and empower others to acquire similar skills, own and manage their independent businesses. Represented by the permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr. Prekake Gede, the commissioner however, noted that the oil giant cannot achieve sustainable development in the region without the active collaboration of other major actors in development. He, therefore, charged other major players to fashion viable partnerships aimed at delivering on the needed social performances to achieve the desired impact and sustainability.

Hon. Rotimi Amaechi


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Pentecostal pastor loses 3 daughters to fire By Ted Peters

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ounder and Pastor of Treasure City Church, Enugu, Rev. Paul Japhet Ezedebego, has lost three of his daughters to fire outbreak which occurred at his Ogwuagor Abakpa Nike residence last week. The children Amara, 5, Ekene,11, and Ifunanya, 15, according to an eyewitness, sustained high degree burns which claimed their lives few hours after the unfortunate incident but the pastor’s first daughter aged about 16, whose costly mistake caused the inferno, survived the incident. She is still nursing injuries sustained in the incident. Pastor Japhet’s residence at Ogwuagor area of Abakpa Nike, Enugu was gutted by fire last week when the first daughter of the family mistakenly poured fuel bought for their generator into a locally-made Charcoal stove for cooking but unknown to her the stove exploded and caught fire which gutted both the kitchen and the sitting room.

Rev. Paul Japhet Ezedebego and his wife The first daughter who poured the fuel bought for their generator instead of kerosene, however, escaped death but she reportedly

sustained injuries on the right ankle. Sources said the three other children who were seriously burnt

in the incident were rushed to the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu by neighbours but two of them died that same night while the third gave up the ghost the next day. Pastor Japhet who hails from Alor in Idemili local government area of Anambra State held a thanksgiving service last Sunday, March 24, where eminent men of God and sympathisers including Archbishop of Throne of Grace, Rev. Dr. Austin Nwodika, Rev. John Ugah of the Jesus the Way Ministry, Bishop Tim Obidike among other members of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, Enugu State Chapter joined him to offer thanks to God in obedience to the injunction that thanksgiving s h o u l d b e o ff e r e d i n a l l circumstances. The clerics prayed for Pastor Japhet and his wife, Joy, and made some donations to assist his ministry as well as to assist the bereaved family to move on. When contacted, Pastor Japhet lamented the incident saying “I

Nigeria is under Siege, Says Tukur Security challenges cannot be handled overnight - FG

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he National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, has said that the incessant attacks unleashed on some parts of Nigeria by the Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram, are a clear indication that Nigeria is under siege. His statement came on the heels of the admission by the Federal Government, Wednesday that the security challenges in the country could not be tackled overnight. Tukur spoke to journalists at his country home, Mayo Kaleye in Jada Local Government Area of Adamawa State, shortly after he visited Ganye in Ganye Local Government area of the state to commiserate with the people of the area over last Friday's attack on the town. The attack on Ganye resulted in the death of 25 persons, while several others were injured. During the incident, 127 prisoners were also freed from Ganye prison, of which 12 have since been re-arrested. The attack, which was suspected to have been carried out by members of Boko Haram to secure the release of some of the group's members detained in Ganye prison, has turned the ancient town into a shadow of itself. Buildings affected included a branch of First Bank, the prison, police station, courts, the office of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), private homes, hotels and relaxation places in the area. Reacting to the incident, Tukur decried the extent of the damage

inflicted on the town, describing it as unfortunate that callous individuals went as far as destroying institutional and private residences of people. He said the incident was condemnable and called on all Nigerians to frown on the mayhem caused in the town. The chairman added that it was an indication that evil was opposing good in the country owing to the nature in which the fundamentalists unleashed their attacks on some strategic locations i n t h e c o u n t r y . He said the attackers did not discriminate against the rich or the poor or any religion before attacking. “This is evil opposing good; here are people who attacked mosques, churches, market, banks, motor parks, police stations without minding who was there. “Surely our nation is under attack. It is not a question of PDP, ACN, CPC or any political party or any

religion; the truth is that Nigeria is under attack. Therefore, all of us must come together and face this challenge,” he said. The PDP chairman expressed concern over the incessant security challenges in the country, adding that to him, the attackers have not spared any part of the country, especially the north, while in other parts of the country, other forms of vices such as kidnapping had become the order of the day. He stressed that no community in Nigeria is currently spared the security c h a l l e n g e s . While responding to questions, he said PDP should take responsibility because it is the ruling party in the country, but made bold to state that the present situation needs collaboration from everybody to tackle the challenges, adding that government has tried its best to tackle the security challenges. “That is why I am calling on a coalition of everybody to fight this m e n a c e , ” h e s a i d . He also warned that there would be no political parties, no media or any organisation standing should the carnage continue. “That is why the people must stand up together and confront this evil to the end. We did not understand it at first when they attacked the UN office building in Abuja. “But tell me, they also attacked the (Kano) motor park and you know that at the motor park everybody goes innocently just to travel, and it

was attacked. So, we should be focused on handling the problem and stop apportioning blame to any section,” he said. In the face of the overwhelming security challenges in the country, the federal government Wednesday admitted that they could not all be tackled overnight and solicited the cooperation of the public in order to overcome the most heinous crimes. The admission of insufficient information from the citizenry to curb rising cases of kidnapping, armed robbery and terrorism, was made by the Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade (rtd), who briefed the press at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on the performance of his ministry last year. Olubolade, who insisted that it was not enough to complain that the police are not doing enough, urged Nigerians to assist the police with credible information that would help them in tackling the menace of Boko Haram and other crimes. “The amount of information from the public will enhance how much we can do. The police have their security apparatus but they do not have eyes everywhere. The police are looking for information. It will be out of place to get the information and refuse to act on it. All the security problems cannot be tackled overnight,” the minister said. Noting that kidnappings, armed robbery and terrorism are prevalent in Nigeria, the minister said: “It is the job of government to reverse the trend. To do this, the ministry has embarked on training of personnel. Over 22,000 policemen were trained last year.” According to him, the ministry

feel so bad and so disappointed over the tragic incident.” He said that the remaining members of the family are still living in the burnt house with the trauma because of lack of resources to secure fresh accommodation. His words: “I feel so disturbed because right now my family finds it difficult to live in the same house because of the trauma. We are really suffering from the trauma we got from the tragic incident. It is like I and my family members are stranded right now but with God all things are possible. There is nothing we can do now. “We carry our first daughter who was injured in the fire incident to the National Orthopeadic Hospital every morning for treatment. You know that the ones that are gone were matured and were helping in the house and their absence is seriously being felt. The vacuum created is affecting us but we believe that God will help us. The experience is unexplainable. “Right now we are still managing the same apartment that was gutted because we have no resources to move into another house. If we have resources we would have moved out to ease the emotional trauma on my family. “Last Sunday we did thanksgiving to seek ways of moving on after the tragic incident which was caused by prolonged power outage. The light in the building was cut off for a long time hence we resorted to using generating set as an alternative. That was what led to this unfortunate incident. If we had light we wouldn’t have attempted bringing petrol into the apartment. But in all, I believe God knew all that happened and we wholly depend on him.”

hopes to improve the performance of the police by enhancing forensic analysis and DNA mapping. On barracks' rehabilitation, the minister acknowledged that the condition of the police barracks had left much to be desired. “It is our responsibility to make them habitable,” he observed while outlining the challenges the police are facing, to include funding, welfare of personnel and continuous training of officers and men. Responding to a statement credited to former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, that the current spate of bombings were being perpetrated by the police and security agencies, the Minister of Information Labaran Maku described the statement as “outlandish, very sad and very dangerous”. He said: “I do not expect this kind of statement from a highly placed former public official. If anybody has such information, he should forward it to the proper authorities. If the morale of the security forces is damaged by such statements, the country will be the worse for it.”


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Abdulsalami backs amnesty for Boko Haram sect

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ew York Nigeria's former Military Head of State Abdulsalami Abubakar has joined other Nigerians to seek amnesty for members of the Islamic militant group, Boko Haram. “Anything that can bring peace in the country to the people needs to be studied and to see the merit and demerit of such an action. “Yes there are a lot of people for and against Boko Haram; we should situate our position to the people who are getting the blunt of all these activities. “People are made homeless; they are made orphans; they are widows; so if amnesty to this people will bring peace and bring succour to our c o u n t r y, w h y n o t , ” Abubakar said. He spoke at the African Union secretariat in New York. It was at an event where the AU High Level implementation Panel

(AUHIP) on Sudan and South Sudan briefed envoys within the continent on the progress made by the panel. Since 2009, series of attacks by the violent sect left 100s of people dead and several property destroyed. On the democratic institution, the former military leader appealed to politicians in the country to be more broad-minded and to be truthful and provide services to the nation. “The problem we are having right now is the problem of development, but it is very sad it's happening. “But I believed this is an issue that we can overcome if all Nigerians unite to ensure that we fight this cankerworm that is bedevilling our country,'' Abubakar noted. According to him, there is no country in the world that has not got any problem the way it plays its democracy. It is a matter of learning and doing the right thing.

“What is Democracy? Democracy is government of the people for the people by the people and in the process there are pitfalls here and there,'' he noted. Commenting on the African Union High Level Implementation Panel on Sudan, Abubakar said the panel's assignment was essentially to intervene and bring peace between the two countries of Sudan. “It is in this context that we came to interact with the UN Security Council and in the process we met with the UN Secretary-General, Ban Kimoon, and discussed the way forward for Sudan. “The two Sudan have signed about nine agreements and they are being implemented. The most important one is the resumption of the production of oil through the Northern Sudan, he said. He also hailed the security arrangement whereby the two Sudan had withdrawn their forces from the zero line to their own part of the country.

Impunity, not corruption is Nigeria`s biggest problem –Sanusi country could be solved if

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Name: Chidera Ezugwu Pet Name: Chesbon Date of Birth: July 12 School: Studies Parasitology @ Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka Hobby: Travelling, Cooking, listening to Music, Praying Likes: Honest, Neat, Smart, Intelligent & God-fearing people Dislike: Lying, dishonesty and dirtiness Source: St Santos Production Phone No. 07067899677

entral Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi says culture of impunity, much more than corruption, has hampered Nigeria`s development and promoted poverty. Sanusi, who spoke at the 5th Bola Tinubu Colloquium in Lagos on T h u r s d a y, s a i d t h e unpreparedness of the country to sanction corrupt persons had ensured the emasculation of the system. He noted that corruption was a universal problem, but added that other countries were able to attain development because they had adequate punitive structures in place. The theme of the colloquium, organised to mark the 61st birthday of Tinubu was “Beyond M e rg e r s : A N a t i o n a l Movement for Change”. According to him, corruption is a big issue in the country today as in other parts of the world like Russia, China and others; but why are they eradicating poverty and Nigeria isn't? “It is not just corruption. It is the kind of failed interventions that are procured with the proceeds

of corruption. “Everyone agree that corruption is bad. It has economic cost. You take a bribe and pay subsidy to someone who hasn't delivered the required goods. That is corruption,” he added. Sanusi said that in Nigeria people collected money for contracts and they wouldn't fulfil their own parts and nothing was done about it. “What is destroying this country is that people are corrupt and nothing is done about it,” he said. He said although the country had achieved certain macro-economic improvements, poverty was still high because certain fundamentals such as infrastructure were not still in place. According to him as soon as those fundamentals are put in place Nigerians will begin to benefit from this macro-economic stability. He urged the younger generation of Nigerians to begin to position themselves for leadership, saying the youths had a big role to play in the future development of the country. Tinubu said the problem of pervasive insecurity in the

the Federal Government offered the olive branch to extremists in form of amnesty. He said since it was successfully used to douse tension in the Niger Delta, it could also solve the Boko Haram issue if well implemented. Gov. Babatunde Fashola of LagosState also said it was time for the youths to begin to initiate and pursue efforts geared at repositioning the country. Fashola said the destiny of Nigeria was in the hands of the youths, expressing the hope that sooner than later the youths would dominate the leadership of the country. “Today, I see hope and the hope is perhaps born today. I believe that very soon youths will take over the mantle of leadership in the country,” Fashola said. Governors Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo) and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), were among notable Nigerians that attended the colloquium. Other eminent personalities were Sen. Sani Yerima, Chief Tom Ikimi and ACN National leader, Chief Bisi Akande.


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Chime orders ministries, agencies to stop rejecting corp members By Patrick Okolie

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OVERNOR Sullivan Chime of Enugu state has directed government Ministries, Departments and Agencies in the state not to reject corp members posted to them for their primary assignments. Governor Chime gave the directive through his deputy, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi in an address at the closing ceremony of the 2013 NYSC Batch 'A' Orientation Course for corp members posted to the state at their camp in Awgu. The governor stressed that the state government policy on the acceptance of corper was still in force to ensure that the objective of the scheme, which is principally to foster unity was actualized. He commended the corps members for maintaining high level discipline throughout their orientation course, urging them to maintain same in their places of primary assignments. The governor enjoined the corps members to regard places of their primary assignment as their homes with a view to improving the lives of the people through their activities. In a brief address, the Chairman NYSC Governing Board, Enugu State and the State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr. Chijioke Agu, represented by a Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr. Joseph Omeh, enjoined the corp members to strive to make their contributions towards the realization of the objectives of the NYSC Scheme. He reminded them that their predecessors in the state had left behind laudable legacies which must be sustained and improved upon. The Chairman urged the corps members to take the community development aspect of their service year seriously with a view to improving on the

lives of the people. The Commissioner appealed to government agencies, individuals and organizations to assist corp member in funding and executing developmental projects in the places of their primary assignments. He advised the corp members to avoid the temptation of embarking on frequent unauthorized journeys to reduce chances of their involvement in road mishaps. Earlier in an address, the Enugu State NYSC Coordinator, Mr. Hilary Nasamu enjoined the corp members to be humble and respect the cultures of their host communities in order to facilitate their easy integration and acceptance by the community. He explained that 81.7% of the corps members were posted to rural areas as well as the four key

Governor Chime sectors of education, rural health, infrastructure and agriculture in line with the policy directive of the Federal Government on posting of corps members. According to him, there is hope

that this deployment pattern would accelerate rural transformation and national development. The coordinator commended the state government for its

assistance to the NYSC Awgu camp, especially in areas of infrastructural development. He, however, disclosed that the peculiar circumstances of the orientation camp are assuming a formidable challenge, giving the increasing number of corps members deployed annually. He enumerated some of the challenges as perennial water shortage and lack of Assembly/Lecture Hall among others. In a brief remark the Chairman Awgu local government council, Mr. Nathanus Nnanna Nze reminded the corps members that majority of them would be posted to rural communities, urging them to respect and appreciate the peoples' culture and tradition. He assured them of an enabling environment and adequate security in their places of primary assignment to enable them discharges their duties without hindrances.

NIPP projects to be completed by June –MD NDPHC By Ted Peters THE Managing Director of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Ltd, NDPHC, Mr. James Olotu has assured of the commitment of all stakeholders in the power sector to meet up with the June 2013 deadline set by the federal government for the completion of ongoing National Independent Power Projects, NIPP, in different parts of the country. Olotu, who gave the assurance, yesterday, while commissioning two NIPP substations at Eke and old Trade Fair site, both in Enugu State, said that the government's desire to fully stabilize the power sector would be realized by the end of the year when the 10 new power generation stations under construction would have been

completed with 4,774 megawatts added to the national grid. He stated that although the NIPP projects were initially delayed for nearly three years owing to the probe of the power sector, the federal government had rolled out machineries to ensure that the projects were completed in record time. “The NIPP projects as we all know was initiated in 2005, the contracts were then awarded; but you are all aware of the delays we had during the probe panel days, which kept us away for almost three years. We are back and the projects are now being delivered. “His Excellence the Vice President, Namadi Sambo made it clear the last time we met with him that the federal government want all NIPP projects completed by June this year, and this is just

the testimony of our commitment to meeting that deadline. Today we have commissioned three projects, and we had earlier commissioned three in Delta, we also have many others scattered around the country”, said Olotu who had earlier commissioned another 7.5MVA substation at Oraifite in Anambra State. The NDPHC boss observed that the implication of the projects was that darkness was fast being chased away in the country, stressing “we are opening doors for the growth and development of our youths and as well as to tap the potentials that abound in the country”. Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, Enugu Distribution Zone, Engr. Suleiman Yahaha disclosed that

the essence of the distribution stations was to relieve all the over loaded transformers that hitherto caused load-shedding and incessant power outages among other inconveniences experienced by the customers within the zone. He said: “We have two feeders already, so the implication is that people within the GRA, Bissala Road, Artisan and other neighbouring areas will have almost uninterrupted power supply”. In a remark, the contractor, Engr. Johnson Ibe, the Mangaing Director of W.B Ibe and Brothers Ltd, said the company was fully committed to meeting up with the June target. “We are on line as regards to all those projects, we have 8 projects and 4 would have been commissioned today. We are going to meet up, we are working day and night”, he assured.

NUJ President, 74 others escape death as aircraft loses engine mid-air

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ver 75 passengers and crew narrowly escaped death Thursday as a Rabat, Morocco-bound Royal Air Maroc flight lost one of its engines mid-air. The flight, which took off at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, at about 7:30am, had on board National President of Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Garba Mohammed, and seven other Nigerian journalists who were to attend the Federation of

Africa Journalists conference in Morocco. The other journalists include National Secretary, NUJ, Shuaibu Liman, National Treasurer, Fatima Abdulkarim, Mukhtar Gidado, former Vice President, Zone E, Gbenga Onayiga, as well as chairmen of Bauchi and Kogi states chapters of the union. Also on board the flight was a group of Beninois journalists who were billed to attend the same conference.

It was gathered that the aircraft, Boeing 737-800, was already an hour into the flight when the pilot noticed failure in one of the engines of the twin-engine aircraft. He was said to have immediately embarked on a return to point of take-off and called for emergency landing. Lagos airport officials who preferred anonymity, said fire tenders and ambulance vehicles were deployed in response to the emergency declared by the pilot.

Fire hydrants were reportedly deployed in runway 18R where the pilot was expected to land the aircraft, having shed off fuel. The pilot was, however, said to have landed safely without any injury to passengers and bodily damage to the aircraft. Passengers who had urgent appointments to keep in Morocco reportedly engaged officials of the airline in war of words for deploying an aircraft deemed not airworthy. The intervention of airport

officials was said to have prevented what could have been an ugly spectacle at the airport. NUJ President, Garba Mohammed, who thanked God for averting what could have been a major disaster, said the aircraft engines on take-off made some deafening vibrations, which frightened passengers on board. He quoted the Beninois journalists as saying the engines gave a similar sound when they took off in Cotonou Thursday morning en route Lagos.


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Oruku–Umuode war resumes Three shot dead Warring communities trade blames By Ted Peters

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he communal conflict between Oruku and Umuode communities in Nkanu East local government area of Enugu State resumed last Monday when gunmen from both camps took up their arms for another round of hostilities which has already claimed three lives and left many with gunshot wounds. No fewer than eight houses had been destroyed in the area by fighters, according to reports reaching The Advocate's newsroom. The victims identified as Anthony Obinna Nwatu and Charly Inyiagwo, both from Oruku, were allegedly shot dead by gunmen from Umuode who were said to be armed with AK47 rifles, while the third whose identity could not be immediately ascertained was allegedly gunned down on Wednesday by Oruku fighters around Oruku - Umuode boundary. Nwatu was reportedly shot while plucking mangoes few meters away from Professor Barth Nnaji's house after he was identified as an Oruku native by Umuode fighters. The two communities had been under serious tension since the first shooting last weekend and deafening sounds of gunshots were heard by people of neighbouring communities of Akpoga, Idodo and Akpugo who suspected that the Oruku - Umuode war might have resumed once again. Reports said many residents of the two communities fled their homes on account of the heavy shootings that had sent the natives scampering for safety with some locking their family members inside their houses to avoid being hit by flying bullets. The latest attacks described by some natives as “well coordinated” occurred even with the heavy presence of mobile policemen in the c o m m u n i t y. The security operatives were said to have stationed themselves at the Oruku market square, about a kilometer away from the shooting range, and were unperturbed by the sporadic gunshots which rented the air. The development, according to sources, has compelled some concerned natives of the affected communities to call for the deployment of soldiers to the area since the policemen have failed to restore peace and order despite the huge resources being expended by Nkanu East local government to feed them. Both camps have continued to blame the Enugu State Government for failing to implement the recommendations contained in the Government White Paper on the over 20 year-old communal conflict which included the demarcation of the boundary between Oruku and Umuode as well as the resettlement of the Umuodes whose houses were completely destroyed during the communal clash over ten years ago.

Enugu police commissioner, Tonye Ebitibituwa “I have continued to say that until Umuode people have a place to live and have a clearly defined boundary between Oruku and Umuode there will be no peace in the community. They will continue to shoot one another but the solution is far from it. Government should as a matter of urgency step into the matter once again, demarcate the boundary and put in place effective security arrangement to maintain peace in the community. For now, the policemen there have not shown that they can stop further attacks, so the military should step in before more destructions are done to lives and property,” a native of Oruku told The Advocate. The State Police Public Relations O f f i c e r , P P R O , M r. E b e r e Amaraizu, who confirmed the renewed hostilities in the two communities when contacted Wednesday, said that one Charles Inyiagwo of Uzam Oruku was killed by unknown gunmen following renewed hostility between Umuode and Oruku. He said that security had been beefed up in the area by men of the MOPOL 3 Enugu and Amechi Idodo Division who were deployed there to prevent escalation of the crisis and forestall further destruction of lives and property. But reports from the area on thursday said about eight houses had been destroyed within Oruku axis while shootings continued throughout the night as both camps tried to overrun their opponents. “Up till Friday morning, heavy shootings were going on there and we are very disturbed because the safety of the people there is not guaranteed,” a security officer who visited the area told The Advocate on Friday. We are under heavy bombardment', Umuode claims

The Umuode community in a statement signed by Mr. Paul Chukwudi, Secretary of the town union and made available to newsmen in Enugu on Thursday, said that her people had been under “heavy bombardment since the past two days” following an attack on the community by their neighboring community of Oruku. They alleged that their Oruku opponents overran their community following the fresh dispute arising from the construction of a primary school in the area. The statement reads: “The Umuode community has been trying to roof the Primary School being constructed by the CSDP (World Bank-assisted project) in the State. Oruku people were vehemently opposed to the construction of the Primary School in Umuode. The primary school premise has been under constant bombardment by the Oruku warlords. On the night prior to the inspection by the CSDP team, the wood meant for the roofing of the school was burnt by Oruku youths who invaded the compound at night. “They had in the past three weeks made it impossible to roof the primary school. The children of Umuode community have resorted to the use of one of the buildings in the Eke market as a primary school since they were unable, due to previous hostilities, to complete the school. “In the recent attack, many people were injured and some missing. The community is still counting its losses. A night attack on the community last night led to the death of one man from the neighboring Akpuoga community who was shot by the warlords from Oruku who decided this time to launch their onslaught against Umuode from the Oruku/Akpuoga

axis at their boundary with Umuode.” The statement said that the hostilities between the two communities had continued despite the appeal made by the Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Rt. Rev. Dr. Callistus Onaga at the burial of the traditional ruler of Umuode, HRH Igwe Moses Ugwu who was assassinated by unknown persons last year. At the burial, Bishop Onaga called for restraint and forgiveness on the part of Umuode people and the cessation of hostilities between the two communities. Leaders of Umuode community noted that the communal feud had continued to fester because “the State Government has been footdragging on the implementation of the White Paper released in 2009 which would have solved the problem once and for all by restricting each community to its land.” It alleged that the constant encroachment of Oruku on Umuode portion of the land had continued to generate tension in the area. Umuode and their mercenaries attacked us, Oruku insists On their part, the people of Oruku in a statement signed by Mr. John Nnamani, Public Relations Officer, PRO of Oruku Town union, accused their Umuode neighbours of launching a deadly attack on them last Monday killing one Anthony Obinna Ogbu in his compound. The statement: “The Oruku Town Union wish to issue a press statement on the recent attack on the community by Umuode and their mercenaries. “The attack started last Monday when Umuode youths numbering four came to the left hand side of Oruku at Eziobodo village which is not in the contentious Aguefi Oruku land and shot one Anthony Obinna Ogbu in his compound while plucking mango fruit and attempted to take the body away but due to alarm raised by his neighbours, the mobile police in Oruku/Umuode came to the rescue and collected the body which they deposited at Annunciation hospital, Emene. The Umuodes later continued their attack till evening. Yesterday March 27th, 2013, they continued their attack as early as 6 am in the morning and in the process stormed the home of Mr. Charles Inyiagwo and killed him. It also took the intervention of police and his neighbours before his dead body was retrieved and deposited in a hospital in Enugu. In the process of retrieving the dead body, they shot sporadically at the policemen on peace keeping mission in the community. “The Unit Commander and DPO Idodo police station later came and appealed to Oruku people not to revenge which they were obliged. The moment the police left they continued the attack and in the process burnt houses belonging to Mr. Paul Nnona, Mr Paul Nwatu, Mr. John Nnamede and five other houses. As that was not enough, they came back in evening and launched an attack which lasted till 12 midnight of Wednesday. “Oruku people did not retaliate because each time Umuode and Oruku had any clash it is Oruku

ADVOCATE people that police do arrest and charge to court as they did in 2009 and in 2010 where 14 Oruku people were remanded in prison. Five of them are still there awaiting trial. At Uzam village and some part of Eziobodo, Umuode has destroyed many Oruku homes and were building houses on the destroyed Oruku homes in spite of a pending suit no E/ 271 /2009 at Enugu High Court over Enugu Government White Paper on Aguefi land and numerous other suits. “The sponsor of Umuode and the war in Oruku a former minister has vowed to use Oruku as a test case in Nkanu land and Enugu State in General. “On their allegation that a school they are building was destroyed by Oruku, it is a falsehood. The alleged school is the house of one Aba Nwannam Ogbu of Oruku which they demolished and started building on the demolished house. No Government agency will sponsor building of any infrastructure on a disputed land that is in court as that amounts to contempt of Court . They said that their pupils make use of Eke market building for school, but Umuode has no Eke market. The Eke is Oruku market from time immemorial and some policemen are stationed there. The Eke is located in Ameke Village over 4 kilometers from Umuode camp. We pray Enugu state Police to as a matter of urgency arrest and prosecute the Umuode killers of Anthony Obinna Ogbu and Mr Charly Inyiagwo. “It will be recalled that last September Umuode ignited this crisis again by killing Mr. Ikechukwu Ani Of Oruku, when police started investigation on the matter to arrest the man that led the attack, Umuode petitioned against Enugu State Police Command at zone 9 Umuahia and that was the end of the matter. They also killed an Oruku woman last November yet no arrest was made. “On the allegation that Oruku people killed their Igwe, we wish to state clearly that Umuode are telling half truth because police arrested 10 people in the neighbourhood of Akpuoga where the alleged killing took place but Umuode through one of their influential sons, forced the police to release them because they are not Oruku people. We have made several statements refuting the allegation. Their story is a ploy to cover up the murder of the two Oruku sons they killed or can we kill our two sons or burn our houses and claim that it was done by Umuode and which the police saw the level of destruction? Umuode had formed the habit of destroying Oruku houses and erecting another structures on them. “Enugu Government White Paper did not ask Umuode to implement it themselves . We wish to refer them to paragraph 16.04 of the said White Paper which deals with implementation. “The whole world and indeed the people of Enugu State have by now known how deceitful, dishonest and malicious Umuode people are. Gone are the days that they use propaganda and falsehood to deceive Enugu people and the

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Pope washes prisoners' feet in unprecedented Easter rite

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OME (AFP) Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 young offenders including two girls and two Muslims at a Rome prison on Thursday in an unprecedented version of an ancient Easter ritual, seen as part of efforts to bring the Catholic Church closer to those in need. The pope knelt down, washing and kissing the young prisoners' feet in the first Holy Thursday ceremony of its kind performed by a pontiff in prison, and the first to include women and Muslims. “Whoever is the most high up must be at the service of others,” Francis said at the mass in the Casal del Marmo youth prison, a fortnight after being elected Latin America's first pope. “I do this with all my heart because it is my duty as a priest, as a bishop. I have to be at your service. I love doing it because this is what the Lord has taught me,” the 76-year-old said. Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said many of the participants broke down in tears at the ceremony, which was open

Pope Francis (R) kissing the feet of a young offender after washing them during a mass at the church of the Casal del Marmo youth prison on the outskirts of Rome as part of Holy Thursday.AFP

only to Vatican media. One young man had to be replaced at the last moment because he was too overcome with emotion. Video footage from the ceremony showed the pope pouring water over the feet one of them with tattoos bending down to kiss them and looking each of the 12 prisoners in the eye before

moving on. Lombardi said that while this was the first time a pope had washed women's feet, Francis had performed this type of ceremony in his native Argentina many times before becoming pope including in jails, hospitals and old people's homes. The Holy Thursday ceremony is

usually held in a basilica in the city centre and commemorates the gesture of humility believed to have been performed by Jesus Christ before his death to his 12 disciples at their last meal. Popes performing the ritual have usually washed the feet of priests. Catholic traditionalists are likely to be riled by the inclusion of

women because all of Jesus' disciples were male the same justification used to explain why only men can be Catholic priests. Francis has already broken with several Vatican traditions with his informal style, although he is yet to begin tackling the many problems assailing the Roman Catholic Church including reform of the scandal-ridden Vatican bureaucracy and bank. Local prison chaplain Gaetano Greco said he hoped the ritual would be “a positive sign in the lives” of the young offenders at the prison, which has around 50 inmates aged between 14 and 21. Earlier on Thursday, the pontiff told Catholic priests at a mass in St Peter's Basilica to stop their “soul-searching” and “introspection”. “We need to go out… to the outskirts where there is suffering, bloodshed, blindness that longs for sight and prisoners in thrall to many evil masters,” he said. The former archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was known in Argentina for his strong social advocacy during his homeland's devastating economic crisis, his own humble lifestyle and his outreach in poor neighbourhoods.

UN ready to battle DR Congo rebels with ‘offensive' peacekeeping U

N I T E D N AT I O N S (AFP) The UN Security Council has unanimously approved the first-ever “offensive” UN peacekeeping brigade to battle rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which on Friday hailed the move as a turning point for its restive east. A council resolution gave the 3,000-strong force orders to “neutralize” and “disarm” rebel groups in the resource-rich east of the country, which has been gripped by conflict for more than two decades. DR Congo Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponya hailed the move as “the beginning of the end of armed groups and sends a very clear signal to those supporting them.” “The DRC welcomes this vote, which marks a decisive turning point for re-establishing peace and security in the Kivu” regions in the east, he said in a statement. The first troops in the intervention brigade will come from South Africa, Tanzania and Malawi, UN peacekeeping force chief Herve Ladsous said Thursday. The force and surveillance drones to monitor DR Congo's borders with neighbors accused of backing the rebels will be operating by July.

Congo Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponya The force will launch UN peacekeeping operations into a new era, said diplomats. “It's an innovation,” said France's UN ambassador Gerard Araud, whose country wrote the resolution which has worried some contributing nations to UN missions. The resolution's mandate to conduct “targeted offensive operations” has never been given

to a peacekeeping mission before. It will act “in a robust, highly mobile and versatile manner and in strict compliance with international law” to “prevent the expansion of all armed groups, neutralize these groups, and to disarm them,” the resolution said. The brigade and drones are part of a UN campaign to add military muscle to political efforts to end conflict in DR Congo's border

regions with Rwanda and Uganda. Eleven African nations signed a UN-brokered accord last month pledging not to interfere in the affairs of their neighbors. Former Irish president Mary Robinson, was named UN’ special envoy for the Great Lakes region, leading political peace efforts. The brigade will be made up of three infantry battalions, one artillery and one special force and a reconnaissance company with headquarters in the North Kivu provincial capital of Goma. Ladsous told reporters there would be 3,069 troops from South Africa, Tanzania and Malawi in the force, which he said would be “an important new element in the panoply of peacekeeping.” “The Security Council and the UN have moved into new territory” with the intervention brigade, said Britain's UN ambassador Mark Lyall Grant. The brigade has an initial oneyear mandate and the resolution said it was created “on an exceptional basis and without creating a precedent.” Several UN ambassadors said however the precedent had now been set. Guatemala, which has troops in the UN mission in DR Congo and is also a council member, “wavered” over whether to back the resolution, said its UN envoy Gert Rosenthal. Guatemala is among countries which fear that the offensive

brigade will make other peacekeepers a target of radical groups in DR Congo and other conflicts in which such a brigade could be introduced. Pakistan, which also has troops in DR Congo, also raised opposition to the brigade being used in other UN missions. Rwanda, a temporary member of the Security Council, joined the body's other 14 members in voting for the resolution. Rwanda and Uganda have been accused by UN experts of backing the M23 rebels who briefly took Goma in November in an offensive which sparked the UN security rethink. Both have denied the charges. Rwanda's UN ambassador Eugene Richard Gasana called on Kinshasa to make greater efforts to “tackle the deep-seated causes of conflict” in the country and also criticized “pre-conceived ideas of the past” which had seen Rwanda accused. Congolese and armed groups from neighboring nations, in particular the M23 rebels, have taken over large parts of the east. This month the M23 was wracked by infighting and hundreds of rebels loyal to warlord Bosco Ntaganda fled into Rwanda after being routed by a rival faction. Ntaganda is now in the custody of the International Criminal Court where he faces war crimes charges.


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How Ojukwu finally killed Biafra P

ublished on March 5, 2013 by pmnews · 18 Comments

Placed side by side independent accounts of the Nigerian Civil War, Professor Chinua Achebe's There Was A Country is a pot-pourri of deliberate misrepresentations, outright inventions and a one-eyed view of events A writer should not be an accomplice to lies. Even when thorns infect the land, a writer must embody and defend the perennial destiny of high values and principles. It is not the business of a writer to side with the powerless against the powerful; the powerless can be thoughtless and wrong. The Nazi party was once a powerless group. A writer should not prefer falsehood to reality just because it serves patriotic ends. In times of great upheavals in a multi-ethnic society, a writer should get out and warn the society that the more perfect the answer, the more terrifying its consequences. Pride in one's ethnic identity is good, patriotism is fantastic but when they are not properly moderated by higher considerations, they can prove more destructive than nuclear weapons. Four months after America dropped nuclear bombs on Japan, the dead eventually totalled 240,000. In the ethnic rivalry between Tutsis and Hutus in Rwanda, within two months 500,000 were murdered with ordinary machetes. Patriotism, when deployed, must always be simultaneously governed by something higher and lower than itself, like the arms of a democratic government. These provide checks and balances so that patriotism does not become a false conception of greatness at the expense of other tribes or nations. It is for this reason that we proceed to discuss Chinua Achebe's patriotic autobiography, There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra, in the light of something higher than it: 21,000 pages of Confidential, Secret, Top Secret US State Department Central Files on Nigeria-Biafra 1967-1969 and something lower: The Education of a British Protected Child by Chinua Achebe himself. There Was A Country is written for the modern day Igbo to know why they are suffering in the Nigerian federation and who should be fingered for the cause. Achebe's logic is neat, but too simple: Africa began to suffer 500 years ago when Europe discovered it (that is, there was no suffering or inter-tribal wars before then in Africa). Nigeria began to suffer when Lord Lugard amalgamated it. And the Igbo began to suffer because of the events surrounding the Biafran secession. To Achebe, there should have been more countries in the behemoth Lord Lugard cobbled together. What Achebe does not take into account is the role rabid tribalism plays in doing violence to social cohesion, which makes every region counter-productively seek a perfect answer in demanding its own nation state. There are over 250 ethnic groups in Nigeria and there cannot be over 250 countries in

Nigeria. There are officially 645 distinctive ethnic groups in India and only one country. All over the world there are tens of thousands of ethnic nationalities and there are only 206 countries. What the ethnic nationalities that constitute Nigeria need to learn for the unity of the country is the democratisation of their tribal loyalties. And that inevitably leads to gradual detribalisation of consciousness, which makes it possible to treat a person as an individual and not basically a member of another tribe. That is the first error of Achebe. Ojukwu reviewing a parade of Biafran soldiers Instead of writing the book as a writer who is Igbo, Achebe wrote the book as an Igbo writer, working himself into a Zugzwang bind, a position in chess that ensures the continuous weakening of your position with every step you make. All the places that should alarm the moral consciousness of any writer, Achebe is either indifferent to or dismisses them outright because the victims are not his people. But in every encounter that shows the Igbo being killed or resented by Nigerians, or by the Yoruba in particular, Achebe intensifies the spotlight, deploying stratospheric rhetoric, including quotes from foreign authors with further elaborations in end notes to show he is not partial. Achebe calls upon powerfully coercive emotive words and phrasings to dignify what is clearly repugnant to reason. Furthermore, not only does he take pride in ignoring the findings of common sense, he allocates primetime attention to fact-free rants just because they say his people are the most superior tribe in Nigeria. The book, to say the least, is a masterpiece of propaganda and sycophancy. It is not a writer's business to be an accomplice to lies. First, let's take Achebe's Christopher Okigbo. Throughout the book, Achebe presents Okigbo in loving moments complete with tender details: Okigbo attending to

Achebe's wife during labour, Okigbo ordering opulent room service dishes for Achebe's wife in a swanky hotel, while millions were allegedly dying of starvation and Achebe was out of the country, Okigbo being a dearly beloved uncle to Achebe's children and Okigbo opening a publishing house in the middle of the war. Out of the blue, he writes that he hears on Radio Nigeria the death of Major Christopher Okigbo. Major? The reader is completely shocked and feels revulsion for the side that killed him and sympathy for the side that lost him. Unlike other accounts, like Obi Nwakama's definitive biography of Okigbo, Achebe skips details of Okigbo running arms and ammunition from Birmingham to Biafra and also from place to place in Biafra; he omits the fact that Okigbo was an active-duty guerrilla fighter, killing the other side before he himself got killed. Like many other episodes recounted in the book, Achebe photoshops the true picture so that readers would allocate early enough which side should merit their sympathy, which side should be slated for revulsion. Pity, cheap sympathy, sloppy sentimentalism, one-sided victimhood are what is on sale throughout the book. Achebe, of course, is preparing the reader for his agenda at the end of the book. Real Reasons For The Pogroms To Achebe, the final straw that led to secession was the alleged 30,000 Igbos killed in the North. He carefully structures the narrative to locate the reason for this systematic killing/pogrom/ethnic-cleansing in the so-called usual resentment of the Igbo and not from the fallout of the first coup in the history of Nigeria. Achebe dismisses the targeted assassinations as not an Igbo coup. The two reasons he gives are because there was a Yoruba officer among the coup plotters and that the alleged leader of the coup, Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, was Igbo in name only. “Not only was he born in Kaduna, the capital of the Muslim North, he

was widely known as someone who saw himself as a Northerner, spoke fluent Hausa and little Igbo and wore the Northern traditional dress when not in uniform (p79).” Really? First, it was not mysterious that Azikiwe left the country in October 1965 on an endless medical cruise to Britain and the Caribbean. Dr. Idehen, his personal doctor, abandoned him when he got tired of the endless medical trip. Not even the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference, never held outside London, but hosted in Lagos for the first time in early January, was enough incentive for Azikiwe to return, yet he was the president of the nation. In a revelation contained in the American secret documents, it was Azikiwe's presidential bodyguards that Major Ifeajuna, the coup's mastermind, used to capture the Prime Minister, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. Once Ifeajuna and Major Okafor, Commanding Officer of the Federal Guards, tipped off Azikiwe about the planned bloodshed, Okafor, Ezedigbo and other guards became freer to meet 12 kilometres away in Ifeajuna's house in Apapa to take the plan to the next level. The recruitment for the ringleaders was done between August and October 1965. Immediately Azikiwe left, planning and training for the execution began. Second, the eastern leadership was spared when others were murdered. Third, the head of state, MajorGeneral Thomas Aguiyi-Ironsi, an Igbo, did not try to execute the coup plotters as was the practice in a purely military affair. Ojukwu told Suzanne Cronje, the British-South African author, that he asked Aguiyi-Ironsi to take over and told him how to unite the army behind him. That was the reason he made him the governor of Eastern Region. Four, when Awolowo, Bola Ige, Anthony Enahoro, Lateef Jakande were imprisoned for sedition, they served their terms in Calabar, away from their regions as it was the normal practice. When Wole Soyinka was imprisoned at the

beginning of the civil war, he was sent to Kaduna and Jos prisons, but the ring leaders of the coup were moved from Lagos back to the Eastern Region, among their people on the advice of Ojukwu. Five, during the Aburi negotiations, why was full reprieve for the coup plotters put on the table? Six, a freed Nzeogwu by April 1967, before the secession, joined in training recruits in Abakaliki for the inevitable war with Nigeria. He later died on the Nsukka front, fighting for Biafra. That was Achebe's Hausa-speaking, kaftan-wearing Kaduna man, who was Igbo in name only. It was an Igbo coup. The same repackaging was attempted for the invasion and occupation of the Midwest. It was called liberation of Midwest from Hausa-Fulani domination when it was simply another Igbo coup for Igbo ends, planned in Enugu and headed by a Yoruba man. However, the January coup did not foment a much more visceral response in the Western Region since their assassinated political leader was viewed as part of the corrupt, troublesome, electionrigging class. To Westerners, the coup was good riddance to bad rubbish. But to the Northerners, who were feudal in their social organisation, it was a different matter. Sardauna was their all and all; he was the heir to the powerful Sokoto Caliphate and descendant of Usman dan Fodio. More than Azikiwe and Awolowo, Sardauna was the most powerful politician in Nigeria (pg 46). Murdering him was murdering the pride of a people. Achebe chooses to ignore this perspective and more importantly the fact that the Igbo in the North were widely taunting their hosts on the loss of their leaders. Rex Lawson, a popular Igbo musician, released songs titled Ewu Ne Ba Akwa (Goats Are Crying) and others celebrating “Igbo power”, the “January Victory.” Posters, stickers, postcards, cartoons displaying the murdered Sardauna begging Major Nzeogwu at the gates of heaven or Balewa burning outright in pits of hell or Nzeogwu standing St. George-like on Sardauna, the defeated dragon, began to show up across Northern towns and cities. These provocations were so pervasive that they warranted the promulgation of Decree 44 of 1966 banning them. The Igbo did not stop. Azikiwe is more honest than Achebe. In his pamphlet, The Origins of the Civil War, he writes: “Some Ibo elements, who were domiciled in Northern Nigeria taunted northerners by defaming their leaders through means of records or songs or pictures. They also published pamphlets and postcards, which displayed a peculiar representation of certain northerners, living or dead, in a manner likely to provoke disaffection.” These images and songs eventually led to the so-called p o g r o m s / e t h n i c cleansing/genocide, not the coup. The coup was in January, the

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Continued from page 8 pogroms started late in May and the provocations were in between. However, the Igbo in the East did not sit idly by. They started the massacre of innocent Northerners in their midst. Achebe chose to ignore this account since it does not serve his agenda so we return to Azikiwe: “Between August and September 1966, either by chance or by design, hundreds of Hausa, Fulani, Nupe and Igala-speaking peoples of Northern Nigeria origin residing in the Eastern Nigeria were abducted and massacred in Aba, Abakaliki, Enugu, Onitsha and Port Harcourt.” It is worthy to note that these Northerners never published nor circulated irreverent or taunting pictures of Eastern leaders unlike the Igbo of the North; they were just massacred for being Northerners. The government of Eastern Region did not stand up to stop these massacres. Neither did the Igbo intellectuals. Ojukwu, the military administrator, even made a radio broadcast, saying he could no longer guarantee the security of non-Eastern Nigerians in the East and that Easterners, who did not return to Igboland, would be considered traitors. This was the time Professor Sam Aluko, who was the head of Economics department at University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and personal friend of Ojukwu, fled back to the West. Azikiwe continues in his book: “Eyewitnesses gave onthe-spot accounts of corpses floating in the Imo River and River Niger. Radio Cotonou broadcast this macabre news, which was suppressed by Enugu Radio. Then Radio Kaduna relayed it and this sparked off the massacres of September October 1966 [in the North].” I Above Others Achebe, like Enugu Radio, suppressed this information and goes on to pivot the “pogrom” on the fact that the Igbo were resented because they were the most s u p e r i o r, m o s t s u c c e s s f u l nationality in the country. He claims (on pg 233) that they were “the dominant tribe,” “led the nation in virtually every sector politics, education, commerce, and the arts (pg 66),” which included having two vice-chancellors in Yorubaland; they the Igbo are the folkloric “leopard, the wise and peaceful king of the animals (pg177),” they “spearheaded (pg 97) the struggle to free Nigeria from colonial rule.” “This group, the Igbo, that gave the colonising British so many headaches and then literally drove them out of Nigeria was now an open target, scapegoats for the failings and grievances of colonial and post-independent Nigeria (pg 67).” An Igboman, Achebe writes, has “an unquestioned advantage over his compatriots…Unlike the Hausa/Fulani he was unhindered by a wary religion, and unlike the Yoruba he was unhampered by traditional hierarchies…Although the Yoruba had a huge historical headstart, the Igbo wiped out their handicap in one fantastic burst of

energy in the twenty years between 1930 and 1950 (pg74).” Besides the fact that this has a language consistent with white supremacist literature, Achebe, to demonstrate he is not partial or a chauvinist, based himself on a 17-page report in Journal of Modern African Studies, titled Modernisation and Political Disintegration: Nigeria and the Ibos by Paul Anber. I looked up the 1967 journal. Curiously this “scholar” was designated as “a member of staff of one of the Nigerian universities.” Why would a scholar hide his place of work in a journal? I checked the essays and book reviews in all the 196 issues of Journal of Modern African Studies, from Volume 1 Issue 1 of January 1963 to the last issue Volume 49 November 2011, there was nowhere a piece was published and the designation of the scholar vague or hidden. Also, this Anber never published any piece before and after this article in this or any other journal. I wanted to start checking the academic staff list of the five universities in Nigeria then until I realised again that it says “he is a staff of a Nigerian university.” The truth is: Paul Anber is a fake name under which someone else or a group of people, possibly Igbo, is masquerading. And he/they never used this name again for any other piece or books. So that this ruse would not be found out was the reason he/they hid his/their university. And this piece, like The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, has been the cornerstone of books and widely quoted by other journals over a period of 45 years. It is the cornerstone of the chapter, A History Of Ethnic Tension And Resentment, which Achebe used to skew the motive for Igbo people's maltreatment from the fallout of January1966 coup and the inflammatory provocations they published to resentment for being allegedly the most successful and dominant tribe in Nigeria. Had Achebe not overdosed on Igbo

nationalism, he would have had his chest-beating ethnic bombasts inflected with a deeper and more sober analysis of the Nigerian situation in the next essay in the journal: The Inevitability of Instability by a real and existing Professor James O'Connell, an Irish priest and professor of Government, in a real and existing institution: Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. O'Connell argues that the lack of constitutionalism and disregard for rule of law fuelled psychology of insecurities in all ethnic groups. He fingers as an inevitable cause of our national instability, Nigerians' “failure to find an identity and loyalty beyond their primordial communities that lead them constantly to choose their fellow workers, political and administrative, from the same community, ignoring considerations of merit.” The symbolism of the Igbo heading University of Ibadan and University of Lagos, both in Yorubaland, was a positive image to assist Tiv, Hausa, Ijaw, Urhobo, Yoruba, Ibibio, Igbo, Efik etc students shed their overloyalty to their respective primordial communities and to fashion a higher sense of identity that is national in character and federal in outlook. To Achebe, the symbolism was an example of the dominance and superiority of the Igbo. “It would appear that the God of Africa has created the Ibo nation to lead the children of Africa from the bondage of ages,” Paul Anber quotes Azikiwe saying in his West African Pilot: “History has enabled them not only to conquer others but also to adapt themselves to the role of preserver… The Ibo nation cannot shirk its responsibility.” Anber says in his/their essay: “The Ibo reaction to the British was not typically one of complete rejection and resistance, though Ibos were militantly anti-colonial. Since modernisation is in many respects basically a process of imitation, the Ibos modelled themselves after

their masters, seeing, as Simon Ottenberg put it, that 'the task was not merely to control the British influence but to capture it.' To some degree, it may be said that this is precisely what they proceeded to do. Faced with internal p r o b l e m s o f l a n d , h u n g e r, impoverished soil, and population pressure, the Igbo migrated in large numbers to urban areas, both in their own region and in the North and West…” The spirit of inclusive humanism, the Martin Luther King Ideal, the Mandela Example, the conscience of a writer should necessitate that if a child in Sokoto goes to bed hungry, someone in Umuahia should get angry. If a pregnant woman in Kontagora needs justice, someone in Patani should be able to stand up and fight for her. If an Osu group is being maltreated in Igboland, someone in Zaria should stand up and defend them. But to Achebe, there should be no mercy for the weak in so far as he or she is unfortunate enough to belong to the other side. Take for instance the butchering of the lone shellshocked “Mali-Chad mercenary” wandering around “dazed and aimless” in the bush Achebe witnessed. To show the fight-tofinish courage of his people in the face of overwhelming force, he describes how Major Jonathan Uchendu's Abagana Ambush succeeded in destroying Colonel Murtala Muhammed's convoy of 96 vehicles, four armoured vehicles, killing 500 Nigerians in one and a half hours. “There were widespread reports of atrocities perpetrated by angry Igbo villagers, who captured wandering soldiers. I was an eyewitness to one such angry bloody frenzy of retaliation after a particularly tall and lanky soldierclearly a mercenary from Chad or Maliwandered into an ambush of young men with machetes. His lifeless body was found mutilated on the roadside in a matter of seconds (pg 173).” Achebe does not tell us if he tried to prevent this cold-blooded butchering, though there was an episode where he intervened to save the life and chastity of a Biafran woman, arguing with some wandering Nigerian soldiers who wanted to requisition her goat for food (pg 201). If Achebe could not intervene in the butchering, what did he think of the killing then or now that he is writing the book with the benefit of hindsight? Should the man not have been handed over as a prisoner of war? Was his killing not a violation of Geneva Convention, which he so much accused the Nigerian side of disrespecting (pg 212)? Did villagers behaving this way not blur the lines between soldiers and civilians hence making themselves fair game in war? Also notice how Achebe starts the narration with an active first person voice: “I was an eye witness to…” and how he quickly switches to a passive third person voice in the next sentence: “His body was found…”Achebe quickly goes AWOL “in a matter of seconds”, leaving a moral vacuum for the Igbo writer to emerge and the conscientious writer to go under. When atrocities are being committed against Biafrans, Achebe deploys strong active voice

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(subject + verb), isolates the aggressive phrases of military bravado with italics or quotation marks. But when Biafra is caught committing the atrocity, he employs passive sentence structures, euphemisms and never isolates pledges of murder in italics or quotation marks. Take the “Kwale Incident (pg 218)” that eventually became an international embarrassment for Biafra. Based on an unsubstantiated source, he writes: “Biafran military intelligence allegedly obtained information that foreign oilmen…were allegedly providing sensitive military information to federal forces about Biafran troop positions, strategic military manoeuvres, and training.” So they decided to invade. “At the end of the 'exercise',” Achebe writes: “Eleven workers had been killed.” Also compare these two accounts: the background is Biafran invasion of Midwest. Despite Ojukwu's assurance to them before the secession that he would absolutely respect their choice of belonging to neither side, he invaded them, occupied their land, foisted his government on them, took charge of their resources, looted the Central Bank of Nigeria in Benin, set up military checkpoints in many places to regulate the flow of goods and human beings, imposed dawn-todusk curfews, flooded the airwaves with pro-Ojukwu propaganda, imprisoned and executed dissidents on a daily basis, according to accounts of Nowa Omoigui and the recollections of Sam Ogbemudia. In fact, “The Hausa community in the Lagos Street area of Benin and other parts of the state were targeted for particularly savage treatment, in part a reprisal for the pogroms of 1966, but also out of security concerns that they would naturally harbour sympathies for the regime in Lagos,” Omoigui writes. The Midwesterners regarded Biafrans as traitors. And the Nigerian Army came to the rescue. Achebe writes: “The retreating Biafran forces, according to several accounts, allegedly beat up a number of Midwesterners, who they believed had served as saboteurs. Nigerian radio reports claimed that the Biafrans shot a number of innocent civilians, as they fled from the advancing federal forces. As disturbing as these allegations are, I have found no credible corroboration of them (pg 133).” Yes, he cannot find it; they were not his people. Also note his euphemisms: “allegedly beat up”… “shot a number of innocent civilians” (shot not killed). He writes: “a number of innocents” to disguise the fact that massacres took place. He also writes: “saboteurs.” Midwesterners collaborated with federal forces to liberate their lands from Biafra, Achebe calls them “saboteurs.” Now, note in the next paragraph how he describes what happened to his people, when the federal army in hot pursuit of the Biafran soldiers, reached the Igbo side of the Midwest. It is noisily headlined: The Asaba Massacre (pg 133). “Armed with direct orders to retake the occupied areas at all costs, this division rounded up and shot as

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Continued from page 9 many defenceless Igbo men as they could find. Some reports place the death toll at five hundred, others as high as one thousand. The Asaba Massacre, as it would be known, was only one of many such postpogrom atrocities committed by Nigerian soldiers during the war. It became particular abomination for Asaba residents, as many of those killed were titled Igbo chiefs and common folk alike, and their bodies were disposed of with reckless abandon in mass graves, without regard to the wishes of the families of the victims or the town's ancient traditions.” Then he goes on to quote lengthily from books and what the Pope's emissary said about it in a French newspaper, what Gowon said, what was said at Oputa Panel e.t.c. He found time to research. They were his people unlike other Midwestern tribes' sufferings he could not find “credible corroboration of.” Massacre In The East In the chapter, The Calabar Massacre, Achebe not only totally blanks out the well-documented atrocities, including massacres Biafran forces committed against the Efiks, Ibibios, Ikwerre, when they occupied their lands and when they were retreating in the face of federal onslaught. Achebe writes: “By the time the Nigerians were done they had shot at least 1,000 and perhaps 2,000 Ibos [sic], most of them civilians.” There were other atrocities throughout the region. “In Oji River,” The Times of London reported on August 2, 1968, “the Nigerian forces opened fire and murdered fourteen nurses and the patients in the wards.” Achebe continues still referring to the same Times article: “In Uyo and Okigwe, more innocent lives were lost to the brutality and bloodlust of the Nigerian soldiers (pg137).” How the fact-checking services of his publishers allowed him to get away with these is baffling. I looked up the 1968 piece, of course. It is a syndicated story written by Lloyd Garrison of The New York Times to balance the piece by John Young, which appeared three days before. In the piece Achebe quotes, there is no mention of Uyo or Okigwe or Oji River at all. This is what is in the piecethe journalist was quoting Brother Aloysius, an Irish missionary in Uturu 150km away from Abakaliki: “But when they took Abakaliki, they put the 11 white fathers there on house arrest. In the hospital outside Enugu, they shot all the fourteen Biafran nurses who stayed behind, then went down the wards killing the patients as well. It was the same thing in Port Harcourt.” This missionary had believed the ruthlessly efficient Biafran propaganda service. Because of the atrocities Nigeria soldiers committed on the Ogoja Nsukka front and the revenge killings in Asaba, the world had been alerted and it was hurting Nigeria's arms procurement abroad. So, Gowon agreed to an international observer team made of representatives from UN GeneralSecretary and OAU to monitor the activities of the three Nigerian divisions and the claims of Radio Biafra. In their first report released on 9

October 1968, there was no evidence of the killings, though it was brought to their attention. Even Lloyd Garrison and other members of the international press corps in Biafra could not find evidence of that particular killings in the hospital. Also note Achebe's statement: “By the time the Nigerians were done, they had shot at least 1,000 and perhaps 2,000 Ibos [sic], most of them civilians.” How can a man of Achebe's stature write: “They had shot at least 1,000,” which is an uncertainty; follow it up with another uncertainty: “perhaps 2,000 Ibos” and then say with certainty, “most of them are civilians”? How can he be sure that most of them were civilians when he was not even sure whether they are 1,000 or 2,000? It is bizarre to build a certainty on two concurrent uncertainties and then call it the truth. But that is the meaning of propaganda. William Berndhardt of Markpress and Robert Goldstein were on contract from Ojukwu to handle Biafra's marketing and propaganda. Nathaniel Whittemore's seminal thesis, How Biafra Came to Be: Genocide, Starvation and American Imagination of the Nigerian Civil War, freely available on the Internet, revealed how they did it and how it worked. Achebe proceeds to celebrate “the great ingenuity” of scientists from Biafran Research and Production Unit, who developed “a great number of rockets, bombs, and telecommunication gadgets, and devised an ingenious indigenous strategy to refine petroleum.” Then he drops the most disingenuously incongruous jaw-dropping statement in the book: “I would like to make it crystal clear that I abhor violence, and a discussion of the weapons of war does not imply that I am a war enthusiast or condone violence (pg 156).” That is Achebe who, pages before, lamented the lack of weapons for his people; that

is Achebe who travelled the world soliciting material relief, including arms, for Biafra; that is Achebe who watched the butchering of a lone mercenary without flinching; that is Achebe who told Rajat Neogy on pg 105: “Portugal has not given us any arms. We buy arms on the black market. What we cannot get elsewhere, we try and make.” But there is a reason why he drops this gem of dishonesty here: He is preparing us for what is coming next. Achebe begins to praise the indigenously manufactured bomb, Ogbunigwe (meaning mass killer, a translation, unlike others, Achebe does not include in the book for obvious reasons). He continues: “Ogbunigwe bombs struck great terror in the hearts of many a Nigerian soldier and were used to great effect by the Biafran army throughout the conflict. The novelist Vincent Chukwuemeka Ike captures the hysteria and dread evoked by it in a passage in his important book, Sunset at Dawn: A Novel about Biafra: ''When the history of this war comes to be written, the Ogbunigwe and the shore batteries will receive special mention as Biafra's greatest saviours. We've been able to wipe out more Nigerians with those devices than with any imported weapons.” If the other side had used the phrase “wipe out”, Achebe would have flagged it as an evidence of the plan to “annihilate the Igbo”. But here, he let it pass without comment. And Ogbunigwe was not a product of Igbo ingenuity; it was a “bespectacled” American mercenary from Massachussets Institute of Technology, uncovered by the Irish journalist Donal Musgrave ,that was secretly training Biafrans on how to use fertilisers to make bombs (cf 13 August 1968 cable from American Embassy in Dublin to the one in the Lagos). Propaganda and Diplomatic Moves

In the book, Achebe narrates the many diplomatic missionsofficial and unofficialhe embarked on for the secession. A particularly telling one was to the President of Senegal, Leopold Senghor (pg162). He and Ojukwu were attracted to Senghor because of his Negritude philosophical movement. This story of course is not true. Sam Agbam, who Achebe claimed he travelled with, was executed alongside Victor Banjo, Emmanuel Ifeajuna and Philip Alale in Enugu on Saturday 23 September 1967. What Achebe went to warn Senghor about did not become an issue until June 1968 when Biafra was losing and Ojukwu had to move the capital further south to the heartland of Umuahia, then to Orlu. And there was a monstrously centripetal migration of Igbos towards the new capital, which resulted in the humanitarian catastrophe. And the Uli Airport Achebe claimed they flew from had not been constructed before his travel companion was executed on 23 September 1967. It was constructed and opened for use in August 1968 because Enugu and Port Harcourt, which were Biafra's only airports, had fallen into the hands of Nigerians. So let's take Achebe's story as story and move on. Achebe tells us after days of bureaucratic obstacles, he directly delivered to Senghor, Ojukwu's personal letter that “informs him of the real catastrophe building up in Biafra”. Senghor, Achebe writes, “glanced through the letter quickly, and then turned to me and said he would deal with it overnight…as soon as possible (pg 162).” Throughout the book Achebe never says what Senghor's response was. That alone should alert the reader that the response was not favourable to the Biafran cause since Achebe usually suppresses unfavourable views and information. In the foreword Senghor wrote during the war for Ralph Uwechue's book, Reflections on Nigerian Civil War: Call for Realism, we see why Achebe chooses to omit Senghor's stand. Senghor delivers a classic rebuke to Achebe, Ojukwu and the very idea of Biafra. First, Senghor effusively praises Uwechue: “Here, at last, is a man of courage and sense,” who did not forgo “his ibotism, but because in him this is transcended by a national will, he thus acquires the force to judge both facts and men with serene objectivity”. He said after reading the manuscript and encountering arguments “for the unity of Nigeria” Uwechue “won him over at once”. Note that with Ojukwu's letter, which Achebe brought, Senghor “glanced through” “quickly” and promised to do something overnight. Then he started discussing philosophy and literature with Achebe. Ojukwu's letter never “won him over at once”. Yet the letter warned of the urgency of Biafran humanitarian calamity. Clearly, Senghor was not flipping for the emotional manipulation the Biafrans were using the humanitarian situation to market. Uwechue says all the countries (African) that recognised Biafra as a

ADVOCATE state did so because of the humanitarian catastrophe, not that they saw any value in a sovereign Biafra. “The leaders of Biafra should understand that the sympathy, which compelled these countries to give them recognition was provoked by the suffering of the ordinary people, whom the Biafran leadership, despite their earlier assurances, proved unable to protect and that the act of recognition was not a premeditated approval of the political choice of secession. Like the secession itself, it was more a REACTION AGAINST than a DECISION FOR,” Uwechue writes. I recommend Ralph Uwechue's book to every Nigerian, not only because of the analysis and conclusions he supplies about the war, but because the man is coruscatingly intelligent. President Senghor praises him further: “What he proposes to us, after presenting us with a series of verifiable facts, is more than just a solution. It is a method of finding solutions that are at once just and effective. Herein lies his double merit. Uwechue is a man well informed and consequently objective. He is a man of principle who is at the same time, a realist. All through the length of the work, which is clear and brief, we find the combination of practice a n d t h e o r y, o f m e t h o d i c a l pragmatism and moral rationalism a characteristic which marks out the very best amongst the anglophones.” In other words, he is everything Achebe is not. Of course, the epic humanitarian catastrophe was Biafra's golden goose. Achebe writes revealingly: “Ojukwu seized upon this humanitarian emergency and channelled the Biafran propaganda machinery to broadcast and showcase the suffering of Biafra to the world. In one speech, he accused Gowon of a 'calculated war of destruction and genocide'. Known in some circles as the 'Biafran babies' speech, it was hugely effective and touched the hearts of many around the world. This move was brilliant in a couple of respects. First, it deflected from himself or his war cabinet any sentiment of culpability and outrage that might have been welling up in the hearts and minds of Biafrans. And second, it was another opportunity to cast his arch-nemesis, Gowon, in negative light (pg 210). Ojukwu never made efforts to take care of those little children as any leader with a heart would do. Instead, Achebe continues: he “dispatched several of his ambassadors to world's capitals hoping to build on the momentum from his broadcast”. But the world's capitals refused to be duped. Their spies and diplomats were collating independent facts and insiders' accounts. Sir Louis Mbanefo, the Biafran Chief Justice, then emitted a Nessum Dorma howl: “…If we are condemned to die, alright, we will die. But, at least, let the world and the United States, be honest about it (pg 211).” Uwechue did what Achebe never did: acting from a firm moral base, he berated Ojukwu and all the Biafran leaders for rallying the Igbo to die en masse for the secession.

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ADVOCATE Continued from page 10 “Sovereignty or mass suicide,” he writes, “is an irresponsible slogan unworthy of the sanction or encouragement of any serious and sensible leadership.” What could have caused a thinking man to at least flinch, Achebe rejoices in. Here, he is narrating the “explosion of musical, lyrical, and poetic creativity and artistry (pg151)” that the Biafran war had brought about. “But if the price is death for all we hold dear/ Then let us die without a shred of fear…/Spilling our blood we'll count a privilege…/We shall remember those who died en mass…(pg 152)” That is the Biafran national anthem, Land of the Rising Sun. Achebe continues: “The anthem was set to the beautiful music of the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius….” And for any group to compare the Biafran deaths to the Holocaust is to desecrate the Holocaust and cast insults on the memory of the Jewish dead. European Jewry never had an anthem rallying themselves to mass deaths this way. Another telling episode in the book is the war-ready celebrations amongst Biafran Christians in their houses of God: “Biafran churches made links to the persecution of the early Christians, others on radio to the Inquisition and the persecution of the Jewish people. The prevalent mantra of the time was 'Ojukwu nyeanyiegbekaanyinuo agha' 'Ojukwu give us guns to fight a war.' It was an energetic, infectious duty song, one sung to a well-known melody and used effectively to recruit young men into the People's Army (the army of the Republic of Biafra). But in the early stages of the war, when Biafran army grew quite rapidly, sadly Ojukwu had no guns to give those brave souls (pg 171).” “Sadly”… “brave souls”… “in the house of God” are all Achebe's words. Ojukwu's wrong-headed intransigence to take another path in place of secession that was even alarming to neutral observers never makes it into this book unlike other books that recounted the stories. Azikiwe's Origins of Civil War lists the properties Ojukwu stole even before he declared secession. How “he obstructed the passage of goods belonging to neighbouring countries like, Cameroun, Chad and Niger, and expropriated them”. Achebe writes that wealthy Biafrans' private accounts were used to buy hardwares for the war. He never tells us that Ojukwu stole via armed robbery, money worth billions in today's rates, at the CBN branches at Benin, Calabar and Enugu, because he had no money to prosecute a war he was obsessed with, fighting without thinking the consequences through. Achebe never berates Ojukwu, both then and now that he is recollecting with benefit of hindsight on clearly invalid judgements. For instance, swindled by propaganda, Dick Ti g e r, t h e L i v e r p o o l - b a s e d Nigerian boxer, renounced his MBE to come and fight for Biafra. Achebe writes: “Ojukwu made Dick Tiger a lieutenant in the army of Biafra as soon as he enlisted (pg 158.)” That was a man with no military training or background being given over a hundred fighters

Monday, April 1 - Sunday, April 7, 2013

to command as an assistant of a captain by just showing up in Nigeria! Instead of upbraiding him, Achebe goes on to praise Ojukwu as a man who needed little or no advice. “This trait would bring Ojukwu in direct collision with some senior Biafrans, such as Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Dr. Michael Okpara, Dr. Okechukwu Ikejiani and a few others, who were concerned about Ojukwu's tendency toward introversion and independent decision making (pg119).” The US State Department's files on Ojukwu did not dignify dictatorship with fanciful language the way Achebe does; they called it by its proper name. Here is a telegram cabled to Washington and some other American embassies worldwide: “Internal situation has changed a great deal since secession was first declared. Ojukwu now rules as a dictator and moves about surrounded by retinue of relatives and yes men. Responsible Ibos, who had been advising him at the start of the war, have been eliminated in one way or the other from the picture because they came to believe accommodation of some sorts would have to be reached with FMG (Gowon's Federal Military Government). Situation so bad that Biafran representative in Paris, Okechukwu Mezu, has quit in disgust. Azikiwe refuses to go back to Biafra and is sitting in London as an exile. Ojukwu's propaganda machine, by succeeding in creating the impression of some forward movement, masked the cold fact that Biafrans are unable to break out of FMG's encirclement.” That was 2 February 1969. Had Ojukwu listened to the advice of “responsible Ibos” in his inner caucus all along, more lives would have been saved. Instead, he surrounded himself with yes men. Take the chapter, The Republic of Biafra: The Intellectual Foundation of a New Nation. Achebe's committee was National Guidance Committee; his office was in Ojukwu's State House. “Ojukwu then told me he wanted the new committee to report directly to him, outside the control of the cabinet. I became immediately apprehensive…Nevertheless I went ahead and chose a larger committee of experts for the task at hand (pg 144).” Then the experts started to work on what was to become the Ahiara Declaration, which Ojukwu read on radio 1 June 1969 “very close to the end of the war”. There was starvation, great panic, epidemic, anxiety, bereavements and despair in the streets. Even according to Biafra's propaganda statistics, over a million were already dead. The war was obviously unwinnable. Federal forces had captured Enugu, Biafra's first capital; Umuahia, the second capital, Onitsha, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Nsukka and many places in Biafra. Biafran troops were desperately fleeing and hiding. Yet, Achebe and other Igbo intellectuals, who were clearly in a position to tell Ojukwu the truth and prevent further deaths, were busy writing sycophantic declarations. N.U. Akpan, Secretary to the Biafran government, was particularly scathing on these “arrogant” “ignorant” intellectuals

in his account of the war. “The day this declaration was published and read by Ojukwu was a day of celebration in Biafra,” Achebe writes. “My late brother, Frank, described the effect of this Ahiara Declaration this way: 'Odikasigbabiaagbagba' (It was as if we should be dancing to what Ojukwu was saying). People listened from wherever they were. It sounded right to them: freedom, q u a l i t y, s e l f - d e t e r m i n a t i o n , excellence. Ojukwu read it beautifully that day. He had a gift for oratory (pg 149).” The Americans took note of the contextual inanities of the two and a half hour-long declaration and cabled this commentary to Washington: “Ojukwu repeatedly develops the theme that our disability is racial. The root cause of our problems lies in the fact that we are black.” Considering the humanitarian and political support in response to Biafran propaganda,

broadcast of 14 November 1968, the Americans cabled this to Washington: “Ojukwu claimed 50,000 were 'slaughtered like cattle' in 1966, adding that in the course of war, 'well over one million of us have been killed, yet the world is unimpressed and looks on in indifference.' It was the highest figure we have seen him use for the pre-war deaths, and the one million he claimed killed since the war began is inconsistent with his assertion in the same speech that 6,700 Biafrans have been killed daily since July 6, 1967.” They also noted Ojukwu's dishonest fabrications in his broadcast of 31 October 1969 that President Nixon “had acknowledged fact of genocide”, that earlier on, he called on Nixon “to live up to his words”. When at the inception of secession, Biafran Radio broadcast the countries that had recognised Biafra, the Americans informed Washington:

the level of relief flown in and the concern expressed by private organisations and governments, Ojukwu's speech was almost unreal as he skipped even a passing reference to the International Red Cross, Caritas or French military assistance. The Americans continue: “In his efforts to foster solidarity and support for continuing the war and maintaining the secession, Ojukwu appeals as much to fear and xenophobia… Ojukwu sees the Nigerian Civil War in almost conspiratorial terms. For example, he describes the war as the 'latest recrudescence in our time of the age-old struggle of the blackman for his true stature of man'. We are the latest victims of a wicked collusion between the three traditional curses of the blackman: racism, Arab-Muslim expansionism and white economic imperialism.” All along, the Americans knew of the ruthlessly efficient Biafran propaganda. They questioned how they arrived at the 20/30/50,000 killed in the North before the war. Reviewing Ojukwu's radio

“Following countries have denied recognition of Biafra: US, USSR, Ethiopia, Israel, Australia, Ghana, Guinea…wording of statements varies greatly, but all disapprove of secession, or use words such as recognition, integrity of Nigeria, support for federal government (June 9, 1967).” In fact, Ojukwu and the Biafran project were one long crisis of credibility. In the cable of 22 May 1969, the Americans cabled Washington: “How he (Ojukwu) can continue to deceive his people, and apparently get away with it, is minor miracle, but difficult to see how much delusions can last much longer.” Blaming Awolowo By the time truth finally triumphed over propaganda, the Biafrans had to find another man to blame for the war and the deaths. Enter Chief Obafemi Awolowo, whom Achebe falsely claimed Ojukwu released from prison. First, this is what the autobiography of Harold Smith, one of the colonial officers the British Government sent to rig Nigeria's pre-independence elections in favour of the North, had

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to say about Awolowo: “But the British were not treated as gods by the Yoruba. In my experience, the Yoruba regarded themselves as superior to the British and one only had to read a book written by Awolowo, the Western leader, to know why. The Yoruba were often highly intelligent and they taunted the British with sending inferior people to Nigeria. The Igbo would be humble and avert his eyes in the presence of a European. The Yoruba child would look at an important European and shout, 'Hello, white man,' as if he were a freak.” What is more: “Awolowo in the West had taunted the British by claiming that his government had accomplished more in the space of two or three years for his people than the British had since they arrived in West Africa.” Of course, Achebe knows about these facts because he quoted from the book in his (pg 50), but only the part favourable to his agenda. Smith again: “The thrust of the British Government's policy was against the Action Group led by Chief Awolowo, which ruled in the Western Region. Not only was the British Government working hand in glove with the North, which was a puppet state favoured and controlled by the British administration, but it was colluding through Okotie-Eboh with Dr. Azikiwe Zik the leader of the largely Igbo NCNC, which ruled in the East. We tricked Azikiwe into accepting to be president having known that Balewa will be the main man with power. Awolowo has to go to jail to cripple his genius plans for a greater Nigeria.” Achebe reveals his own mentality we never suspected before: “We [intellectuals] were especially disheartened by the disintegration of the state because we were brought up in the belief we were destined to rule [pg 108].” He uses this mind-set of his to judge Awolowo: “It is my impression that Chief Obafemi Awolowo was driven by an overriding ambition for power, for himself in particular and for his Yo r u b a p e o p l e i n general…However Awolowo saw the dominant Igbos at the time as the obstacle to that goal, and when the opportunity arose the NigeriaBiafra War his ambition drove him into a frenzy to go to every length to achieve his dreams. In the Biafran case, it meant hatching up a diabolical policy to reduce the number of his enemies significantly through starvation eliminating over two million people, mainly members of future generation (pg233).” It is a mystery that a man of his stature could be so persuaded. Awolowo built the first stadium in Africa, the first TV station in Africa, the first high-rise building in Nigeria, first industrial estate, cocoa development board and the Odua Investment Group. He offered free universal education and free universal primary healthcare.

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Remarkably, Awolowo never situated any of those landmarks in his hometown of Ikenne in Ogun State; he spread them round the region he presided on. And the free universal education and free primary healthcare were available to anyone of any tribe or nationality including Nupe, Igbo, Ijaw and Ghanaians living in the Western Region. Awolowo was interested in bettering the lives of everyone, not just the Yoruba. Of course, we know that the lasting legacy of the Biafra war was the creation of a well-organised Yoruba-bashing industrial complex headquartered in Igbo consciousness, working with machine regularity from generation to generation and whose genuine aim is to fundamentally deflect blame from Ojukwu and his sycophants like Achebe until misunderstandings are perverted into evidence of Yoruba guilt, outright lies are perverted into undisputed truth. Undoubtedly, Awolowo was a master architect of the war to defeat the secession. Therefore, the case against him requires scrutiny. Blockade To talk about a blockade on Biafra is to concede that the control of Biafra's borders was already in Awolowo's hands. The control or defence of borders is the main aim of any war since the beginning of war making all over the world. But the 34-year-old Ojukwu led Biafra to secede based on 2,000 professional soldiers and extremely few artillery; they did not have enough to defend their borders. “If the Nigerian side had known the state of Biafran troops including their morale, they would have pursued them even on canoes across the River Niger. Had the Nigerians taken up such pursuit, they might have taken Onitsha, Awka and Enugu that same day.” That is Achike Udenwa, who was a Biafran soldier and later became the governor of Imo State, writing about the federal defeat of Biafra in the Midwest during the early weeks of the war in his own recollection, Nigerian/Biafra War. Even, the socalled January boys, Nzeogwu and Ifeajuna, both voiced their concern that the Biafran soldiers were vastly underprepared for any kind of war. Achebe writes: “Biafran soldiers marched into war one man behind the other because they had only one rifle between them, and the thinking was that if one soldier was killed in combat the other would pick up the only weapon available and continue fighting(pg 153).” Therefore, even before the first bullet was fired, the secession was not only a failure but was an epic humanitarian catastrophe waiting to happen. Awolowo told Ojukwu one of the reasons the West was not keen to join the secession was because the region already occupied by northern troops did not have enough loyal men in the Nigerian Army to d e f e n d i t . We a n e d o n t h e hermeneutics of Yoruba history, Awolowo was not persuaded by the seductive but flawed logic that the Nigerian forces would lose because they would be incapable of prosecuting war on two fronts if the West joined the East in seceding. At

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one point during the Kiriji war in the 19th century, Bashorun Ogunmola (Omoarogundeyo), the Kingdom of Ibadan's generalissimo, was simultaneously warring with five n e i g h b o u r i n g a n d f a r- f l u n g kingdoms. Ibadan never lost. To defeat Ibadan you did not have to defeat even its retreating soldiers only, you had to defeat those dulllooking hills surrounding it. In fact, one of the reasons Ibadan was so belligerent in its history was that those mighty hills allowed it to spend little resources defending and more on attacking. But Biafra was

not surrounded by hills, literally or figuratively. Its borders were so porous that they fell easily into the opponent's hand. Days after declaration of secession, the sea boundary of Biafra was already being manned by Nigeria's battleships and boats. By the sixth week all the boundaries of Biafra were already under the control of Nigerian government. What remained was zooming in. In fact, had only Awolowo's Western Region seceded, the strategy to recapture it would not be a variance with the one used against Biafra because the West is geographically an enantiomer of the East. It was the same blockade Nzeogwu used to capture and kill their targets, Sardauna and his senior wife; Ademulegun and his wife, Latifa, who was eight months pregnant, in the presence of their two children, Solape and Kole. As Solape recollected years later, Nzeogwu, who shot her mother, was a family friend that regularly visited to eat pounded yam and egusi soup. The little girl was even calling him uncle while he shot her mother in the chest in their bedroom. It was the same blockade Captain Emmanuel Nwobosi used to capture Remi Fani-Kayode and kill S.L Akintola, the Western premier. It was the same blockade American Navy Seals used to capture and kill Osama bin Laden. What about Cameroon? Whose side was it on? Of course, Cameroun was firmly on the Nigerian side, yet it had a sizeable Igbo population and Azikiwe's party was NCNC National Council for Nigerian and the Cameroons. But Ojukwu had

stepped on their toes: he had stolen enough of their goods and supplies that they helped the federal side to take Calabar and cooperated with the Naval blockade of Biafra. As the US State Department's cable of 29 November 1968 discloses: “GFRC [Government of the Federal Republic of Cameroon] continues to support FMG [Federal Military Government] and recently ordered

the dissolution of newly formed Cameroon Relief Organisation (CAMRO) which was being organised to receive Biafran children in west Cameroon.” Starvation Policy In Achebe's book one could see several places where Biafrans violated the basis of the Geneva Convention. You could see where villagers who were non-combatants and should have been protected under Geneva Convention were taking machetes to federal soldiers, hence becoming legitimate targets of war themselves. Another striking instance was when Achebe was with his extended family and overnight their compound was turned into military base without their consent (pg 172). Heavens forbid the Nigerian side bombed the base. Yes, the Biafran propaganda machine would go to work that an innocent illustrious family had been eradicated by the “genocidal Nigerian army” and may even use it as an evidence of war crime. But it was the Biafran army that compromised Achebe's household. As part of security preparation for the last Olympics, the British Army commandeered a strategic high-rise residential building and placed surface-to-air missiles at the top. The residents protested and went to court. Let us assume a war broke out and the enemy flattened the whole building. He would not have committed a war crime because it was the British Army that made the civilian residents legitimate targets in the first place. Unfortunate though it may sound, schools, hospitals, churches, mosques, relief centres become legitimate targets

once military activities begin to go on there in the event of a war. Check for instance the current Hamas tactics against Israel or the bombing of University of Nigeria, Nsukka, when it allowed itself to become headquarters of local Biafran Army, with several professors joining in expedition force to hunt down lost federal soldiers in the bush and their wives back on campus took care of wounded Biafran soldiers and students were going for daily drills and rifle shooting practice under Prof. John C. Ene, Dean of Faculty of Sciences and Commander, University Defence Corps, as revealed in the US secret cable of 16 June 1967. Or the federal raid on the Catholic Cathedral of The Most Holy Trinity, Onitsha, when it was discovered Biafran snipers were operating from there. When a plane or ship is designated as flying relief supplies to war sufferers, it must not be used to supply arms. Once it does, it is no longer covered by Geneva Convention. There was an Austrian Count, Carl Gustaf von Rosen, whom Achebe praises a lot for his humanitarian assistance in flying relief efforts to Biafra. This is what the Count's wife had to say: “He told me he was going to Biafra, but he didn't say he would be bombing MIGs (pg 300).” Achebe writes of von Rosen: “He led multiple relief flights with humanitarian aid into Uli Airport Biafra's chief airstrip. Fed up with Nigerian Air Force interference with his peaceful missions, he entered the war heroes hall of fame after leading a fiveplane assault on Nigerian aircraft in Port Harcourt, Benin City, Ughelli, Enugu, and some other locations. He took the Nigerian Air Force by total surprise and destroyed several Soviet-supplied aircraft in the process.” That was someone flying humanitarian aid. How would the federal side begin to see other humanitarian flights that were supposed to be carrying food and medical supplies to war-ravished children? Cyprian Ekwensi, writer and head of external publicity for Biafra, admitted in his post-war reminiscences that the relief materials had arms built into them. The American documents too confirmed. The same Hank Warton, who the relief agencies were using to fly food into Biafra, was the one Ojukwu was using to deliver arms. Of course the Nigerian side knew this and mandated all relief flights to Biafra to submit themselves for inspection at the Port Harcourt Airport. That was the interference Achebe claimed von Rosen was fed up with. In any event, he never claimed such in that 6 July 1969 interview he gave the London Observer. Those planes that passed their inspection delivered their relief. Those that did not were shot down. One particular case was the Swiss Red Cross DC7 Flight heading towards the Uli Airstrip (pg 101). After repeated warnings to change course and land for inspection, it was shot down, disgorging its arms and ammunition. The Biafran propaganda went to work, saying it

was part of the genocide policies of Nigerian military to destroy food supplies meant for the kwashiorkorstricken children. It is also a fact that some of the relief supplies meant for the children were either ambushed by soldiers or ended up on the black market. Ekwensi again: “People were stealing and selling the food. You could buy it in the market, but you couldn't get it in the relief centres.” But why would Biafra rely on food from thousands of miles away when their normal antebellum route of supply was merely tens of miles nearby in the Midwest and Northern Nigeria? It was because of the supply of arms and ammunition. In a memorandum to the White House, Benjamin Read, the Executive Secretary of US State Department, writes: “Because of the absence of other airlines willing to make hazardous flights into Biafra, the ICRC [International Committee Of The Red Cross] has been forced to charter planes from Henry Wharton, an American citizen, who is widely known to be Biafra's only gun runner. In engaging Wharton, the ICRC is risking its good relations with the FMG, which has long feared that ICRC flights might provide opportunity for gun running.” When Awolowo offered to re-open the usual food corridors, Ojukwu flatly refused. Achebe writes: “Ojukwu like many Biafrans, was concerned about the prospect that Nigerians could poison the food supplies (pg211).” Awolowo let in the food supplies for the children anyway, working with the cover of Caritas and Red Cross. “In America, the Nixon administration increased diplomatic pressure on the Gowon administration to open up avenues for international relief agencies at about the same time, following months of impasse over the logistics of supply route,” writes Achebe on pg 221. There was neither pressure nor its increment. Independent evidence from the US declines to support this. “The problem of disaster relief in Biafra is not the lack of supplies or means of transport but the lack of access, particularly by a land corridor to Biafra. The authorities [Biafran] on the spot, under the conditions of civil war have given a higher priority to politico-military considerations than to arranging food to be delivered to Biafra. In early November 1968, the Nigerian government told the ICRC that it would agree to daylight relief flights to the major airstrip now held by Biafra if the ICRC could give assurances that the strip would handle only relief flight in daylight hours. We welcome this step by the Federal Government (FMG), which would substantially increase the flow of relief. So far, however, the Biafran authorities have refused to agree. We find it incomprehensible that despite the millions of Biafran lives at stake, the Biafran leadership has not yet given its agreement. The Nigerian government has also offered to cooperate in efforts to open a land corridor to Biafran-held

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Continued from page 12 territory. We hope that the Biafran authorities will respond positively to this but hirether to they have alleged they fear the food may be poisoned while transiting FMG territory,” William B. Macomber, Jr, Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations wrote in a letter dated 20 December 1968 to Congresswoman Florence Dwyer, when she sought clarification on the plight of Biafran refugees she kept seeing in the media. Later when Awolowo visited the battlefronts and saw the kwashiorkor-ravaged children, he asked about the food supplies, only to discover that soldiers were ambushing the supplies, feeding themselves and the top hierarchy so as to continue the war. Awolowo decided this “dangerous policy” must stop. If Awolowo was a devil as contemporary Igbo folklore and Achebe's private demonology have him, he would have arranged for the food supplies to be poisoned, knowing they were going to the soldiers. To protect those children, who were suffering because of the war, he asked for a stop to the food supply that was inevitably going to the soldiers and the Biafran plutocrats unnecessarily elongating a war they would never win. Once Cameroon too realised that to the Biafran authorities, the suffering children existed for show business and arms trade, they not only refused to take them into their country, they disbanded the newly formed relief agency dedicated to their welfare. What is more, Achebe boasts of Biafran prowess in manufacturing Ogbunigwe and the Biafran imaginative refinement of petroleum that kept Biafran vehicles on the road throughout the war without western technological help, but the most basic of human necessities the production or the supply of food they had no clue. And the farmers that were supposed to grow food, as the US documents noted, were conscripted into the Biafran Army during planting season of 1967. The fertilisers that could have been used to better their lands were used to make Ogbunigwe. And so the starvation was Awolowo's fault. On The Mythical £20 Policy Throughout the war, as the US State Department's confidential files disclose, there was no shortage of people and “isms” to blame for the failure of war. At different times and to different audiences, Biafrans blamed racism, neo-imperialism, colonialism for the war. When Ojukwu sent Pius Okigbo to the mainly Latin American countries to solicit for funds and arms for Biafra, he blamed the war on “the desire of Arab Muslims who saw Biafra the only obstacle to the spread of Islam in Africa”. Okigbo noted to his audiences that “Biafra is 60% Catholic and 40% Protestant.” Also, during several of his radio addresses, Ojukwu blamed the war on the British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, who supplied 15% of Nigeria's arms. He called the kwashiorkor afflicting Biafran children Harold Wilson Syndrome

or Herod Disease. Like the biblical King Herod, Ojukwu said, Wilson wanted to exterminate the children of Biafra. While the blame Arabs/Hausa/Islam n a r r a t i v e , b l a m e Wi l s o n / r a c i s m / i m p e r i a l i s m narratives, that were so potently alive during the war are now safely dead, the blame-Awolowo-forstarvation narrative is well alive, going from generation to generation. To the Americans, who monitored and documented everything about the war, there was no time Awolowo was blamed for the starvation or deaths on any of these 21,000 pages. However, after the war, it was through the £20 policy that the blame-Awolowo narrative began. To develop it, they seized on this policy and worked their way back to include what Awolowo may have said or done, and mixed it together to form a narrative. The £20-for-every-Igbo was a myth. What happened then was a currency crisis. On 30 December 1967, Awolowo decided to change the Nigerian currency in circulation in order to render useless the £37 million Ojukwu had for buying foreign weapons. The Biafran leadership quickly took the loot, mopped up the ones they could get in circulation and headed to Europe to exchange them for hard currencies. Eventually, they introduced Biafran notes as the only legal tender. There was around 149 million Biafran pounds in circulation by the end of the waran average of £10 per every Igbo. After the war, there was a general scramble to exchange these notes for the new Nigerian notes. As Awolowo explained, he didn't know on what basis these notes were produced. It is like someone bringing a single 50 billion Zimbabwean dollar note to the bank and expecting to be given N50 billion. The exchange rate should be known to determine the worth of the Zimbabwean dollar. Currently, 39 billion Zimbabwean dollars is worth 1 US dollar. In the case of Biafra, the worth of the currency was unknown; they were produced out of desperation, with lax security features to boot. In his statement of 1

February 1968, Dr. Okigbo, Biafra's Commissioner of Economic Affairs, said “the lack of international acceptance and lack of a commensurate exchange rate was immaterial since the currency was intended only for circulation in Biafra.” In other words, it was worthless outside Biafra. After the war those that had this money were carting them to Nigerian banks, hoping to get the equivalent in new Nigerian notes. No banker or economist worth that description would approve that. Awolowo, in his bid to rehabilitate the Igbo and r e s t o r e e c o n o m i c n o r m a l c y, approved the payment of 20 Nigerian pounds flat rate for every Biafran notes depositor. It was never £20 for every Igbo. Twenty pounds for every Biafran? That would have been around £300 million, when Nigeria's annual budget before the war was £342.22 million, for a population of 57 million. Indigenisation Decree The true winner of the civil war was the Nigerian military class, which succeeded in using everybody against everybody and continued its indefinite aggrandisement of the self by fleecing the country to the bone as the next 30 years confirmed. After the January coup, Aguiyi-Ironsi used Dr. Nwafor Orizu, the acting president, to capture power. What Nzeogwu and Ifeajuna wanted to use bloodletting to achieve, he grabbed it on “a scrap piece of paper” as Shehu Shagari's eyewitness account, Beckoned to Serve, discloses. The New York Times describes it as a coup within a coup. Gowon used Awolowo for the war and to keep the country economically viable. He took advantage of the failed secession to perpetuate himself in power. “Go On With One Nigeria (GOWON),” he stumped. Ojukwu, too, as Wole Soyinka observes in his own ipsissimaverba, You Must Set Forth At Dawn, was also interested in conquering Nigeria not only in seceding. Unknown to Victor Banjo and his Third Force, Ojukwu had embedded special companies within the Third Force to topple Banjo and hand control of Nigeria to him in case Banjo succeeded in conquering

t h e We s t a n d L a g o s . T h e Indigenisation Decree had nothing to do with disenfranchising the Igbos or other Biafrans of economic power. As was the vogue in 14 African nations then, indigenisation and nationalisation was the ruling military class and their friends' way of dressing their bottomless impulse to loot with the populist cloak of fighting western imperialism and neo-colonialism. For their roles during the war, Awolowo or Enahoro should be getting major oil blocs. But they did not. Can Achebe blame the maltreatment on the Igbo populace by many of the governors in the zone on any indigenisation decree? I n d e e d Aw o l o w o c o u l d b e 'tribalistic'. The Yoruba region, like pre-EU Europe, was always in a state of constant war. Ibadan vs Ekiti vs Egba, Ondo vs Ijebu, Ife vs Ijesa, etc. This internecine war made Yorubaland susceptible to easy French colonisation to the west (Dahomey) and British Royal Niger Company taking the rest. When Awolowo “resuscitated ethnic pride”, he used it to rally Yoruba to stop fighting and killing each other. This resuscitation was not to elevate the Yoruba so that they would dominate other tribes. Achebe observes: “Awolowo transformed the Action Group into a formidable, highly disciplined political machine that often outperformed the NCNC in regional elections. It did so by meticulously galvanising political support in Yorubaland and among the riverine and minority groups in the Niger Delta, who shared similar dread of the prospects of Igbo political domination (pg45).” Achebe never addresses this dread, though he mentions it in two other places. Nowhere in the book does he stump for brotherliness or make a stand for tribal harmony. In 1961, the British Cameroonians had to decide their fate through a UN plebiscite since their lands were too small and landlocked to stand as a country. The peoples of the Northern Cameroons voted to belong to northern Nigeria, while the peoples of the Southern Cameroons not wanting to belong to the Igbos decided to belong to Republic of Cameroon despite being French-speaking. The reason minorities needed to be very afraid at the prospects of collaborating with the Igbo is an important topic Achebe conspicuously skips. Instead, he spends the final pages of the book resurrecting the 44-yearold propaganda of genocide. To prepare us to be swindled, he litters the book with hyped phrases and sentences like “Smash the Biafrans”, “presence of organised genocide” (pg 92)… “the Nigerian forces decided to purge the city of its Igbo inhabitants (pg137)”… “the cost in human life made it one of the bloodiest civil wars in human history (pg227)… “prospect of annihilation (pg217)”… “Standing on the precipice of annihilation (pg 217).” Those that can rightly talk of annihilation were the people of Abudu. The American document of 15/10/67 noted: “As the 'Biafrans' retreated from Benin to Agbor, they killed all the men, women and children they could find who were not Ibos. The town of Abudu, one of the larger places between Agbor and Benin, lost virtually all of its population with the exception of a

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small who had escaped to the bush.” Those that can rightly talk of annihilation were the Jews. Not only do Nazi policy documents say so, on-the-ground facts support that. In Poland, Germany, Austria and the Baltic countries alone, Hitler aiming for 100 per cent, killed 90 per cent of Jews. Cyprian Ekwensi, a chief of Biafran propaganda says: “We gave the number of children dying per day as 1,000. Can you prove that? Can you disprove it? But can you believe it? That is propaganda.” So let us take the Biafran propaganda at its highest and assume three million, i.e. 100,000 per month died in the 30month war. The Vietnamese genuinely lost close to three million to the Vietnam War, but they do not talk of America's plan to annihilate them. Neither do the Japanese, the world's first and only victims of nuclear explosion. Azikiwe repeatedly argued that though Igbos were killed in the North, it does not mean the tribe was “slated for slaughter” as a policy. Colin Legum, whom Achebe claims was the first to describe the 1966 revenge killings of Igbos in the North as pogroms (pg 82), does not think so, too. This is curious. Instead of stating the source of the Legum article, Achebe references his own interview in Transition. In the London Observer of 26 May 1968, Legum writes: “It is clear that there is no systematic attempt at exterminating Ibos to justify charge of genocide.” Also, Ojukwu's hitherto unknown Director of Intelligence and External Communications, the American priest, Rev Fr Kevin Doheny, said in a secret but frank conversation with an American diplomat that the claim of genocide is “highly exaggerated but, without it, Biafrans would have given up fighting long time ago”. If there was any intention to exterminate Igbos, why after Ojukwu had fled and the Biafran military had been completely paralysed, did the Nigerian military not use the opportunity to turn the guns on the defenceless Biafrans or carpet bomb them? Instead, there were steps to welcome them back into the fold. It is disingenious of anyone to talk of “genocide” or “prospect of annihilation” when the context and facts on ground say otherwise. It is insulting to the memory of true genocide victims. “If you are blind, describing an elephant is easy,” Achebe writes in The Education of a British-Protected Child. “You can call it, like one of the six blind men in the fable, a huge tree trunk; or perhaps a gigantic fan; or an enormous rope, and so on. But having eyes, far from making such d e s c r i p t i o n s e a s y, a c t u a l l y complicates them.” Achebe, throughout the book, chooses the easy path of the blind over the complex task of a conscientious writer. Having taken a low road, he wants to arrive at a high point by invoking the Mandela Example in the final pages. Mandela described Achebe as the writer “in whose company the prison walls fell down”. With There Was A Country, Achebe is the writer in whose company dangerous walls are rising up: walls of tribal hatred, walls of lies, walls of sloppy thinking and lazy research, walls of propaganda and walls of moral ineptitude. Damola Awoyokun/London Culled from The News Concluded


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Court orders PHCN to disclose contract details to Contract Monitoring Coalition By Our Reporter

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Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to disclose to the Nigerian Contract Monitoring Coalition documents containing details of a World Bank-supported contract for the supply and installation of High Voltage Distribution systems in Abuja, Lagos and Ibadan. Justice A.F.A Ademola issued the order in his judgement in a suit instituted by the Coalition

following the refusal of PHCN to disclose to it details of the contract award. The Coalition is monitoring the award and implementation of the contract for a Federal Government project funded with a credit facility obtained from the World Bank. The National Convener of the Coalition, the Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC), instituted the suit on behalf of the Coalition on September 21, 2012 through its lawyer, Mr. Godwin N. Chigbu, seeking an order mandamus to compel the PHCN, its General Manager in the Project

Management Unit, and the Attorney-General of the Federation to furnish the coalition with copies of procurement documents and information relating to Bid No. NGP-D2 for the supply of 300 units o f 11 K V, 5 0 0 A O n - L o a d Sectionalizers for installation at the High Voltage Distribution System (HVDS) networks at Karu in Abuja; at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), in Ogba and in Agege, all in Lagos as well as Challenge in Ibadan. Besides the PPDC, other members of the coalition include the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Media

Rights Agenda (MRA), the Centre for Organizational and Professional Ethics (COPE-AFRICA) and the Initiative for Environmental and Health Society (IEHS). The Nigerian Contract Monitoring Coalition is a division of the West African Contract Monitoring Coalition which is being regionally coordinated by the Ghana AntiCorruption Commission (GACC). With support from the World Bank Institutional Development Fund, the Nigerian coalition is implementing a project titled Multistakeholder Engagement for Effective Public Procurement Process in Nigeria. Although PHCN provided some of

Court bars NBA from collecting practising fee By Our Reporter A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, Thursday, restrained the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, from collecting the newly introduced practising fee for lawyers in the country. The court ordered the association to revert to the status quo, pending the determination of the substantial suit filed by some lawyers. Trial judge, Justice Rita OfiliAjumogobia, made the order, following an application for injunction by the plaintiffs' counsel, Mr. Tunji Gomez, praying the court to halt the collection of the new fees.

Plaintiffs in the suit are Mr. Seth Amaefule, Miss Amaka Aneke, Mr. Celestine Nwankwo, Mr. Charles Ola-Oni, and Mrs Tayo Arojo. They had asked the court to make an order of mandatory injunction, compelling the defendants to continuously collect the fees as it were on January 1, 2012. The plaintiffs had challenging the upward review in the practising fees for legal practitioners in the country, and averred that with the current fees regime, lawyers with less than five years standing at the Bar, were now to pay N10,000, as against N2, 000 the previous fees. Counsel to the plaintiffs, Gomez, who moved the motion for the

interim order, urged the court to grant the prayer of the plaintiffs and make an order restraining NBA from collecting or enforcing the new fees regime. Gomez also asked the court to stop the defendants from sending text messages to lawyers, persuading them to pay the new practising fee, until the case was finally determined. Defendants in the suit are NBA President, Mr. Okey Wali; General Council of the Bar; the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, chairman NBA Lagos Branch, Taiwo Taiwo, among others. In their response, counsel to the first to fourth defendants, urged

the court to dismiss the suit as lacking in merit. He argued that the plaintiff's suit had no legal basis and so, was merely a suit aimed at wasting precious judicial time. The court in a short ruling, agreed with the submissions of the plaintiffs' counsel and granted their prayers, while further hearing was adjourned till May 30, 2013. It will be recalled that the National Executive Committee of NBA had announced the new rate of practising fees, which is payable from 2013, which generated ripples among lawyers, who said it was 250 per cent increment compared to the fees paid in past years.

Imo Deputy Gov's Impeachment: Tension as security operatives take over Owerri By Our Reporter

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alpable tension now pervades Owerri, the Imo State capital and environs following Thursday's impeachment of Deputy Governor, Sir Jude Agbaso. Security reports revealed that some youths, especially those from the Ezedibia Emekuku Country home of the former Imo number two citizen, had planned to carry out a violent demonstration against the ouster of their kinsman from power but were suppressed by security operatives quietly dispatched to place an eagle eye on the tension-soaked community. After a hard fought battle and a sustained media campaign to remain in office, the embattled Imo State deputy governor, Mr. Jude Agbaso, was impeached Thursday by the state House of Assembly. His removal from office occurred shortly after an Owerri High Court earlier in the day struck out his suit seeking to stop the impeachment process. In his place, the state governor's Chief of Staff, Mr. Eze Madumere, was cleared by the state assembly as the deputy governor-nominee and was duly sworn in last Saturday. Owing to a previous court order stopping the impeachment process, the state assembly, which had adjourned sitting till April 9, 2013,

had to make a U-turn to commence the impeachment of the former deputy governor. Agbaso's impeachment was said to have commenced at 5 pm Thursday immediately the state legislators got word of his non-appearance at the panel. Tension gripped the state on account of Agbaso's impeachment and reports said there is heavy security presence at Government House and the State House of Assembly as well as in all strategic government institutions to forestall possible breakdown of law and order in the state. A visit to the Government House located opposite the premises of the Headquarters of the State Police command showed heavy security presence with mobile policemen, Department of Security Service (DSS) and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) operatives keeping a tab on visitors and subjecting them to vigorous search. Aides of the former deputy governor were seen removing his personal effects from his office under the supervision of security men. The section linking the House of Assembly and the Port Harcourt Road was barricaded with patrol vans belonging to both the police and men of the 34 Artillery Brigade of the Nigerian Army all battle ready to

suppress any revolution. A staff of the Imo State House of Assembly who refused to be mentioned told our correspondent that security had similarly been beefed up around the private residence of lawmakers following rumours of planned attack on the principal officers of the House believed to have aggressively championed Agbaso's impeachment. Meanwhile, former Chief of Staff to Governor Rochas Okorocha, Prince Eze Madumere, who was nominated and cleared by the Assembly to replace the impeached Agbaso is expected to be sworn in today by 10.00am. All Nigeria Progressive Party (ANPP) argues Agbaso's impeachment was done in a hurry, as all legal procedures were not adequately exhausted before his removal. The party also noted that the development in the state has shown that those preaching against corruption were the ones neck deep in it. Imo state Chairman of ANPP, Dr Vitalis Orikeze Ajumbe, who spoke with newsmen on the impeachment said although his party was not condemning the impeachment, the Assembly should have allowed the entire investigation process to take place.

“ANPP notes that the entire impeachment process was done in a hurry, which makes the exercise suspect. The party is not condemning it because we are aware that the deputy governor agreed he told lies to the panel. Also at the first sitting he did not appear, rather choosing to send his lawyer, but we had expected that the judiciary should have submitted their report before the impeachment. This is democracy and that means due process and procedure must be followed to the end,” Ajumbe submitted. In arriving at the decision to oust Agbaso from the number two position in Imo State, 23 out of the 27 members of the House endorsed the motion to have him impeached, which was moved by the Majority Leader, Adaku Ihuoma, representing Ahiazu Mbaise Constituency and was seconded by Pat Ekeji, the Minority Leader representing Aboh Mbaise. Subsequently, the Speaker, Hon. Benjamin Uwajumogu, ruled in favour of the impeachment of the former deputy governor. The action of the assembly followed the decision of the seven-man probe panel inaugurated by the state chief judge, Justice Benjamin Njemanze, to continue with the investigation into allegations of financial misconduct levelled against the deputy governor. Agbaso had been accused of

the contract records requested by the coalition after Justice Ademolagranted the coalition leave institutingthe suit, PHCN continued to withhold some of the information sought by the Coalition, including the bid evaluation report for the contract process and the final contract award document. Explaining its decision, PHCN told the coalition that: “a copy of the bid evaluation could not be included as this will conflict with Section 15(a) and (b) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011 as regards third parties” and “a final contract award document could not be attached as a third party is involved”. PHCN also argued in court that since the coalition was not a party to the contract between PHCN and the contractor, PHCN was not obliged to release the documents to the coalition as this would be contrary to law and could interfere with the contract process. Disagreeing with PHCN, Justice Ademola upheld the arguments of the coalition's lawyer, Mr. Chigbu,saying: “since negotiations have been concluded and the contract awarded, the disclosure of the information sought cannot by any stretch of the imagination reasonably be expected to interfere with any contractual or other negotiations of the contractor.” Justice Ademola noted that PHCN failed to satisfy the conditions stated in Section 15(1) (b) of the Freedom of Information Act and ruled that PHCN was not entitled to the exemption contained in the section. The judge held that PHCN's processes and written arguments lacked substance, describing them as “frivolous, time-wasting and an abuse of this Court's process as they have no justification in denying the Applicant the documents sought.” He therefore granted the coalition's application for a mandatory order compelling PHCN to immediately release to the coalition of all contract documents sought. Justice Ademola also ordered PHCN and the Attorney-General of the Federation to “jointly and severally” pay costs of N20,000 to the coalition. demanding and receiving a bribe of N458 million from a firm, JPROS International Ltd., which was awarded a construction contract by the Imo State Government. Following Agbaso's removal, Madumere was nominated and immediately cleared by the state assembly to take over as the new deputy governor of the state. His nomination was contained in a letter by Governor Rochas Okorocha to the House in which he nominated his chief of staff as replacement for the former deputy governor. However, in a twist of fate as the former deputy governor was being impeached in Owerri, the Imo State capital, new facts came to the fore indicating that forensic auditors

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Umeh–Obi–APGA saga

Why the center cannot hold

Chief Victor Umeh

By Prince Oliver Okpala

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he Concourse of Events and Actions in the only Igbo dominated Political Party in the Nigerian Political Firmament is, to put it mildly unfortunate. It is a discredit to the late Leader of All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA; Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, that less than a Year after his Death, the Political legacy he bequeathed to the Igbo race for the ventilation and articulation of their hopes, aspirations and grievances have been made to kiss the dust by the activities of a few political collaborators whose selfish activities have killed the very essence of APGA as a Political Party, and what APGA stands for in relation to the Igboman in the Nigerian Political Milieu. It is a Great Disservice not only to the Memory of Chief Ojukwu, but to the Igbo Race at large that Governor Peter Obi and his aides are fingered as the very people planning and executing the dismemberment of APGA as a party and thus engineering the Political, Social and Economic emasculation of the Igbo people in the Nigerian Nation. There is no gainsaying the fact that it does happen occasionally in history when few people because of personal aggrandizement take up arms against their people and against the general aim, objective and aspirations of their people. Such individuals are occasionally made to return to the path of social/political rectitude in order to avert the wrath of their people. It is a bitter story to tell that in the present Political dispensation, the said arrowhead of the grand plot to rip off the very soul of APGA is

Mr. Peter Obi who in all ramifications was supposed to protect the image and sanctity of APGA as a Political Organization where the Igbos have a mouthpiece. In our recent Political and Legal History, Two Politicians stand out as the Beneficiaries of our Democracy and an Independent Judiciary in Nigeria. Governors Peter Obi and Rotimi Amaechi;. they are two men who fought against the strong powers-that-be and were discriminated Politically. But they came back to Political life, ascendancy and relevance courtesy of our strong Democratic Institutions which knew no Colour, Race, Party, Persons in Power and the wishes of some despots and tin-gods. A political school of thought is of the view that the actions of Mr. Peter Obi amounts to Political Betrayal of his kith and kin. If the assertion by this school of thought is true, it therefore suggest that his actions will also trade off the Igbo people by destroying the only available platform for the Propagation of their interest. Mr. Obi's present actions are seen not only against the Igbos but also against certain Persons who had helped to bring him from the political wilderness and oblivion to the marvelous Political Light that he enjoys today. One of such Personalities is Chief Victor Umeh, the National Chairman of APGA. Hitherto, Obi was a political nobody. He was a political baby who found himself in a political stream. He was about to be drowned. And a helping hand, a savior, an avatar and Good Samaritan came to the rescue. That person is none other than Chief Victor Umeh. Chief Umeh provided the tabula in na frangio for Obi's Political Safety

Mr. Peter Obi in his dire moments. The details are there for all to see. Suffice it to say here that the course taken and chosen by Obi at the twilight of his Governorship in Anambra State is the very meaning of Political Suicide or Havakisi. Those who trust in their political judgment and give deaf ear to words of wisdom often end up fatally in the Political Landscape. Their political fall is bound to be fatal and it will resonate and reverb rate across the length and breadth of the Country. It will be recalled that it was APGA as a Political Party that provided the platform for Obi to contest Gubernatorial election in Anambra State. The same party also afforded him the opportunity of a second shot at Governorship in Anambra State. This was through the instrumentality of C h i e f Vi c t o r U m e h w h o supported and stood by him and made sure that his leadership gave him the ticket for a second term. If Umeh had acted otherwise, Obi would have been no more than the somnambulist of a vanished dream. Umeh supported Obi. Umeh campaigned for him. Umeh fought for Obi. Although Obi was seen by some people in Anambra State as a Political Cross and Burden of sorts for APGA in Anambra State, Umeh successfully led Obi's campaign train and implored the Masses of Anambra State to give Obi a second chance. This way Obi sailed through against a strong opposition made up of Dr. Ngige, Prof Soludo and others who were massively better than him. Obi's actions and activities against Umeh mark him out as somebody else. In the beginning, Obi was not known politically. He had no political background. He had no

political training. He had no political base. He was like a fish out of water. He wanted to thread an unfamiliar terrain. He had practically nothing for his purpose, no wherewithal, no experience, and no facility. Obi was a political virgin and he knew pretty little if not nothing, about politics. He was colourless, dour and unmarketable. Afterall, he was only a trader. For Obi, help came through the erstwhile Health Minister, Prof. ABC Nwosu, who gave Obi a note to Umeh. It is indisputable, and Prof. Nwosu is a living witness, that it was Prof. Nwosu who introduced Obi to Umeh and sought his support for Obi for Governorship of Anambra State. Now, Mike Udah, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Obi in Anambra State posits that Umeh contributed nothing to the election of Obi the first and the second time. It is a pity. Udah will not know as he is not in a position to know unless somebody tells him. Udah is only protecting his job as his very life depends on it. But let the Udahs of this world be informed and they are hereby informed that Obi is the creation of Umeh. It was Nwosu's introduction of Obi to Umeh that did the trick. Today, all, as they say, is history. Umeh taught Obi politics for after the introduction as stated above, Umeh literally took Obi by the hands and navigated him through the murky political waters of the time. Both of them eventually graduated in Philosophy from UNN in 1984 with Chief Umeh who read Estate Management is today a fellow of Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, a rare fit. Udah may know Obi's academic activities

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and background, but he is certainly not privy to the strangerthan-fiction tale of Obi's transformation from Political Wilderness to Political Limelight. So Udah should quietly take his salaries and desist henceforth from passing judgment over issues he cannot comprehend or conjecture. Udah might have made Obi academically, but Umeh made Obi politically. The truth is that Chief Ojukwu joined APGA 26/12/2002 while Obi declared at Onitsha for APGA on 8/10/2002. It was within this period that Umeh dotted all the I's and crossed all the T's to pave the way for Obi's ascendancy in APGA, even as a late comer. It is also to the credit of Umeh that he embarked on all the activities and other actions which finally secured Ojukwu's support for Obi in 2003. It is recent history and it is still clear in mind that Igwe (Justice) Eze Ozobu, then the President-General of Ohameze Ndigbo, facilitated Chief Ojukwu's entry into APGA to give the Igbos a Strong Bargaining Political Platform in the Nigerian Political Equation. There are facts which are unknown to Udah. Udah's penchant for misjoining the facts portrays him as a man who does not know the issues at stake. As a Political Office Holder to Peter Obi, his aim is to impress his Paymaster and no more. To him, it is neither here nor there that those facts are incongruous with the Historical Facts on Ground. It suffices for him to deliver punches to his Paymaster's Perceived Enemies. Umeh towers head and shoulder above Obi. You cannot compare a protégé with a mentor. Obi is no match for Umeh. Apart from the fact that Umeh practically launched Obi into politics, Umeh had been in politics whilst Obi was an ordinary trader chasing customers and profits with all the life in him. Umeh is a professional, a fellow of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors, and Valuers who had consulted for many Blue-Chip Companies. Obi is not a professional. He has no profession. Udah is not a professional like his man Peter Obi, he has no profession. They both read Philosophy as a course not a profession. Umeh was elected the State Treasurer of the PDP in Anambra State in 1999. His election was based on his competence, sagacity, honesty and impeccable character. In that capacity, Umeh contributed tremendously to the growth, development and success of the PDP as a political Party in Anambra State. It was on the basis of his competence and ability that the then President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, appointed him a member of the Board of Nigerian Film Corporation, Jos in the year 2000, a position in which he served with distinction. Chief

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Monday, April 1 - Sunday, April 7, 2013

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f you have some flesh on your bone it doesn't mean you can't be a fashionista, FASHION IS FOR EVERYBODY, please don't mind all the NOISE made about slim ladies. 80 out of 100 men desire a lady with some curves, they don't care about the fat, its how the fat is distributed that matters. I'm sure you still hear comments like '' that butt is banging, oh how I love busty women''. Now don't get me wrong, look good for you, people are attracted to good looking people, size doesn't matter. The important thing is wearing what suit your body size, go ahead and be the DIVA you've always wanted to be, confidence is key, you should be comfortable with the way you are, don't let your size hold you back because there's nothing wrong with being on the big side! ENJOY.

Love note Have I told you yet… How much you mean to me ... Have I told you yet… About all the happiness you bring … Have I told you yet… That you mean the world to me… Just in case I haven't… I want you to know that … You are the best thing that has ever happened to me! I LOVE YOU!

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Umeh–Obi–APGA saga Continued from page15 Umeh resigned from this position in 2001 to join hands with Chekwas Okorie and others to form and register APGA. Before his sojourn into politics, Umeh was a renowned Estate surveyor. He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers and he consulted for UTC Nigerian Plc, CCB Nigerian Limited, Orient Bank Nig. Ltd, Innoson Group of Companies and others. As a fellow of the NIESV, Umeh is a distinguished professional which makes him more credible as a person than Obi who is a trader like any other man in the street. There may be some similarities between Umeh and Obi such as that they attended the same University, graduated the same year in 1984 and share the same birthday. Apart from this, to compare Obi with Umeh is like a comparison between an apple and an orange. There is simply no basis for such comparison as Umeh is poles ahead of Obi in all reasonable ramifications. Obi, as stated earlier benefitted tremendously from due process, rule of law, democracy and a strong Judiciary. In 2003, a PDP candidate was returned as Governor in Anambra State. It was the Judiciary which nullified Ngige's election and returned Obi as the duly elected candidate in the election and ipso facto as the Governor of Anambra State, when Obi assumed office as the Governor of Anambra State; the PDP-controlled House of Assembly impeached him and his deputy Mrs. Etiaba took over. Again, it was to the Court that Obi ran to for adjudication on the validity or otherwise of the impeachment. Mercifully, the court declared the impeachment illegal and reinstated Obi as Governor of Anambra State. After all the Political Hullaballoo, Obi again approached the Courts for an interpretation of the exact length of his tenure. Like a darling, the Courts cuddled Obi and held that his tenure began when he took his oath of office and not when he ought to have been sworn in, in May 2003. In the aftermath of this decision, Dr. Andy Uba who had been massively elected as Governor by Anambrarians was sacked as Governor only about two weeks in the saddle. Obi resumed his position as Governor. To all intents and purposes, Obi is the Judiciary's darling. He was a man literally made by the courts. He was a great beneficiary of the rule of law and due process. Otherwise, who was Obi to stand against the PDP Political Machine and Armada in Anambra State between 2003 to 2007? If the law did not protect Obi, he could have been consumed and decimated by the all-conquering PDP Political arsenal machinery and gigantic

structure in Anambra State. His opponents could have eaten him alive and raw if bruteforce, connection, patronage and wealth were the deciding factors. It is expected that Umeh's Legal Team should know what to do about Peter Obi's actions. His contempt for the Court which is presently the heart of the matter should not be glossed over. He is not above the law. There is the need to set an example with him that the law is no respecter of persons. His actions are a slap on the face of the Judiciary. This rubbish should not be treated with kid gloves that Obi swore as Governor to uphold the constitution is the more reason why he should be dealt with roundly and comprehensively for violating the law and the constitution. It is sad that some of the tools in Obi's game of pawn are lawyers. One of them is Chief Maxi Okwu who is more than thirty years as a lawyer. That he left legal practice a long time ago is no reason why he should not know about the doctrine of Lis pendis and respect for the Court. As a lawyer, Maxi Okwu owes the duty of utmost respect to the Court. By allowing himself to be used by Obi in the macabre dance in APGA, it shows that Maxi Okwu is only a willing tool ready to be used especially as he has no political followership even in his own hamlet. Umeh stood solidly behind Obi during his travails. When his closest aides abandoned him and either voted for Etiaba or joined the opposition parties, Umeh stuck to Obi. He did not abandon Obi. He did not bring Obi into deep

political waters in order to get him drowned. Umeh successfully brought Obi to a safe anchor. Those facts may not be clear to the likes of Udah yet they are immutable. It was Umeh who gave evidence for Obi for a month as PWI in the Election Petition Tribunal after the first election. Umeh was also Obi's collating Officer in INEC during the first election to a large extent; Umeh's evidence was one of the reasons why the Election Tribunal gave judgment in favour of Obi after the first election. Umeh also supported Obi in various court cases after the first election and after the impeachment. As APGA Chairman, Umeh did not give up on Obi even when he became an albatross of sorts to APGA. Umeh had the opportunity to dump Obi in favour of Etiaba or other persons. But he did not. If Umeh had given upon Obi during the latter's travails, Obi would have been a bad history by now. It is therefore, amazing that Obi who was helped to power by the law and the courts is now the very person who is violating the law and taking the court for a ride in the name of Politics. True, the Enugu High Court delivered a judgment dissolving APGA's NWC. True, the said judgment declared Umeh's election in 2011 as APGA Chairman null and void but Umeh has appealed against the decision to the Court of Appeal. By this doctrine, all the parties should wait until Umeh's appeal to the Court of Appeal is heard and determined. By constituting a new NWC for APGA and handpicking jobless persons as officials of the Party, when the appeal is still

pending, Obi is acting lawlessly. He is overreaching the Court of Appeal. He wants to overtake the appeal. He desires to foist on the Court of Appeal a fait accompli. He wants to destroy the res, the subject matter of the Appeal. The Supreme Court once described this t y p e o f a c t i o n i n Ojukwu/Governor of Lagos State in 1986 as “Executive Lawlessness”. The activities of Obi and his confederates are lawless. They also verge on contempt of Court. The reason for their petulant haste in constituting a NWC for APGA even before the ink of the Enugu High Court had dried or the judgment is uncertain. But it cannot but be to rubbish Umeh and render his appeal nugatory. It is u n b e c o m i n g o f a n y b o d y, especially Governor Obi, to trifle with the law and the Court. This is because the two agencies are no trifle. Governor Obi should know better than to make a mockery of the Court and to pretend as if Umeh did not file an appeal. Obi is now making a jest of the Court of Appeal after benefitting from its judgments. In effect, Obi and Maxi Okwu are admonished to retrace their steps. They should obey the law, respect the Courts and observe due process. In the event of their failure to do so, the law should not waste time in dealing with them and reducing them to size. In continuation of his brazen arrogance, Obi has been in alliance with the Presidency using APGA as a shield. Let the world know now that Obi has no mandate of APGA or its supporters to use the Party to advance his selfish agenda in the Presidency. Obi is not APGA. APGA is different from Obi. Obi merely became a Governor under the platform of

ADVOCATE APGA. President Jonathan should remember that, APGA, as a Party, and not Obi, adopted him as her Presidential Candidate in the last elections. Umeh has no ill-feeling towards the presidency as Jonathan's tenure had the approval, support and mandate of APGA under Umeh's Chairmanship. The Enugu judgment is now history. Happily, the hierarchy in the Nigerian Judiciary allows the testing of certain judgments on appeal. For it is strange for the Court to give a nod of approval to the first election of APGA's NWC which occurred by voice vote and voided the second election in 2011 by the same process. There are no doubt the internal affairs of a party are sacrosanct. Chief Victor Umeh should be specially commended for his faith and belief in the rule of law and due process. He is the APGA Chairman and by that reason the Chief mouthpiece of the Igbos worldwide. He should not flag or fail as he is bound to be vindicated by history. History is replete with cases of those who were betrayed by their beneficiaries. God was betrayed by Lucifer. Jesus was betrayed by Judas. Caesar was betrayed by Brutus and now Umeh has been betrayed by Obi. Umeh should take solace in the fact that the Igbos know the truth and they are solidly behind him. In all, Chief Victor Umeh should be encouraged in his fight against selfish elements. The Igbos know who is who. On the day of reckoning, patriots will be separated from ravenous wolves. PRINCE OLIVER OKPALA POLITICAL ANALYST 08033109920

ECTDA cautions Enugu bus drivers By Patrick Okolie

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HE Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority, ECTDA, has cautioned bus drivers operating in Enugu capital city against picking and dropping of passengers outside designated bus stops in the city, a practice that causes traffic congestion in the city. The State Commissioner for E C T D A , E n g r. I k e c h u k w u Ugwuegede, who gave the warning while briefing newsmen in Enugu, emphasized that all over the world, bus stops are created for municipal commuter buses to drop and pick passengers only saying it was unlawful for buses operators to pick and drop passengers as they drive along the streets. He pointed out that only taxi cabs can pick and drop passengers as they move along the streets and not buses, adding that the Authority must always enforce this universal rule according to international best practices for a better and freer flow

of traffic in the best interest of all and sundry. E n g r. U g w u e g e d e f u r t h e r cautioned the bus drivers and other transporters to desist from engaging in acts capable of attracting the wrath of the law,

advising them to always obey such simple rules on the road “that will make our roads safer and freer to ply.” It could be recalled that the drivers of 508/608 Bus Unit of the National Union of Road Transport

Workers (NURTW) Enugu Branch recently carried out a protest march in Enugu accusing ECTDA workers of unjust contravention of their vehicles especially along Market Road and Agbani Road, Enugu.

Bayelsa commissioner's mom escapes from kidnappers den

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he 68-year-old Madam Comfort Dugo, mother of the Bayelsa Commissioner for Local Government and Community Development, Mr. James Dugo who was kidnapped Tuesday night by gunmen has reportedly escaped from captivity. It was gathered that the victim who was seized from her Odi residence in KolokumaOpokuma local government area of the state by the gunmen was being kept in the dense

forest between Odi and Sagbama when she miraculously escaped from her captors' hideout twenty four hours after her abduction. The old woman was reportedly rescued by the Kaiama Divisional Police Officer and his team who were combing the area in search of her. Madam Dugo said to be hail and hearty was handed over to her family in the presence of the s t a t e g o v e r n o r, S e r i a k e Dickson.

Confirming the development, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Kins Omire said she was rescued by the police search team led by the DPO of Kaiama after she escaped from the kidnappers' hideout somewhere between Odi and Sagbama community bush. He said, “the victim who was unhurt narrated her ordeal with good leads and operatives are on the leads with a view to tracking down the gang.”


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RIVERS EDUCATION SUMMIT: Amaechi, Soyinka, Banjo, proffer solution to better education in Nigeria By Abraham Ajaero, Portharcourt Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has spoken about his passion for education which supports his administration's current efforts at improving education at all levels in the state. Governor Amaechi spoke during the two-day Rivers State Education Summit with the theme “Enhancing Sustainable Development in Education”, which he declared open last week, at the Banquet Hall, Government House, Port Harcourt. Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Wole Soyinka and Emeritus Professor Ajo Banjo in their separate addresses delivered at the summit, also expressed their views on the way forward for education. Governor Amaechi warned on the dangers of politicizing education arguing that it is the right of every Nigerian to be educated. “We should not politicize education. There is no room for politicization of education. Nothing like, see me I've achieved, I've built 20 schools, 500 schools, clap for me, give me more votes, that is not what education is about, it is not a thing that anybody should gain votes from. It is a thing that is a right of every Nigerian.” he said. According to him, primary education is the foundation for good education, explaining that his administration redesigned primary education with appropriate curriculum content and qualified teachers to deliver the best. Amaechi recalled that as a child growing up he received good primary and secondary school education and therefore must ensure that his government provides qualitative education for the people of Rivers State. The Rivers State Government he said intervened in the education and health sectors to make services in those key sectors available to the masses. “When we were in Sacred Heart Primary School, we had teachers. When I was at Government Secondary school, Eberi Omuma, and Okolobiri, we had teachers. “The schools may not be that beautiful but we had teachers and they were qualified teachers and they taught us. No teacher ever refused to come to class. Now you have businessmen as teachers and the reason for which you have that is that the current economy of Nigeria is in complete mess that the rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer and because the rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer, the same thing affects education. “The children of rich men marry each other, poor men have no time to marry rich man's child. There's

not even a time for a poor man to love a rich man's child because you are struggling, you are struggling to battle with poverty. So if you have those challenges in life and there are people who are having those challenges, government can only do one thing intervene. Where does government intervene, education, health, water”, he said. The governor noted that the state government has put policies in place to enhance educational growth, stating that the Rivers State House of Assembly also passed the Quality Assurance Bill into law so that there would be regular supervision of school activities to maintain set standards. He directed the state commissioner for education, Barr. (Mrs.) Alice Lawrence Nemi to issue employment letters to the 13,000 teachers who had already been interviewed for the job. In his remarks, Prof. Wole Soyinka decried the poor educational standards in the universities in Nigeria with the associated problems of violence and cultism. He however, said he would be part of any effort to save the country's universities. Commenting on a book he read over time, Soyinka said he resents “the society that could behave in such a way that affairs are managed in a poor manner thereby reducing universities to mere jungles. “If you don't have a good

Governor, Rotimi Amaechi university for learning, it doesn't have idea of what brilliant professors in the world, if the atmosphere of the environment is rotten you will just produce animals from universities and that is why I am very happy to be here to be part of any effort at all to resuscitate what our universities are and what they should be, to try and just brainstorm and to be very honest to find out just where things went wrong as the rotten tertiary university is trickling all the way

down to secondary schools even to primary schools”. Delivering the keynote address, Emeritus Prof. Ayo Banjo concurred with the Rivers State Governor that primary education is the foundation of the whole education system. He pointed out that students' poor performance in the school certificate examinations and unsatisfactory quality of many Nigerian university graduates could all be largely traced to poor

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primary education and called for effective supervision and constant retraining and good salary package for school teachers to advance educational growth in the country. According to him, “two measures that can ensure an effective workforce at both primary and secondary tiers are effective supervision and constant retraining of teachers. There was a time in this country when the ministries of education maintained a vigorous inspectorate division. The inspectors were so strict that they were a terror in the schools. “The effect was that teachers were kept on their toes because they could never predict when the bogey-man would turn up. Headmasters similarly kept a strict eye on their teachers. It would appear that this era is now completely gone, and instead, one all too often hears of scandalous dereliction of duty, particularly in the primary schools, on the part of so-called teachers, who apparently have hardly any interest in teaching and guiding their pupils but are on a constant watch-out for a better-paid job elsewhere”. Earlier the state Commissioner of education Mrs. Alice Lawrence Nemi in her address, said the Amaechi administration had executed a number of education reform projects in the state. She said this year's education summit is the third in the series with eminent resource persons to deliver papers on education and come up with resolutions which when implemented would give Rivers children education that would make them fit into and adequately face the 21st century challenges.

UNN Staff and Students rain tributes on Achebe By Patrick Okolie

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VER 170 tributes had been entered into the condolence register opened at the University of Nigeria in honour of the departed writer and poet Prof Chinua Achebe, within the last three days as staff and students of the university poured out their hearts in tributes. The condolence register placed on the ground floor lobby of the Faculty of Arts of the University, Nsukka campus, was opened following the formal tribute in honour of the former UNN faculty member by Vice Chancellor, Prof Bartho Okolo. Okolo had described Achebe as “one of the academic titans whose presence on our faculty served as a beacon of light that drew the world to the University of Nigeria”. Achebe was a professor of English at UNN and also served as Director of the Institute of African Studies. The Dean, Faculty of Arts, Prof Uchenna Anyanwu described Achebe as a literary icon of towering visibility. Prof Ikenna Dieke of the Department of English and

Literary Studies wrote, “Achebe is a rare jewel, star among stars with simple elegance. He reminds us of our inner and outer beauty and warns us against the insidious politics of cultural hegemony. Adieu our super hero”. Similarly, Prof. I.T. Egonu of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literary Studies observed that Achebe's name would continue to resonate since “it was the age of Achebe”. Egonu further stated, “Chinua Achebe epitomizes the moral greatness that Africa longs for but has been unable to achieve. An intellectual colossus. Achebe's contempt for vulgar and empty honour, which fascinates the Nigerian political elite, places him above his age and times. When the noisy crowd of Nigeria leaders are gone and forgotten, Chinua Achebe will be the star posterity will point at. It was the age of Achebe, he was a lone voice of honour and integrity of that age. Rest in peace a great soul, you have fought a good fight, you have kept the hope of a better Nigeria society alive.” Prof. Damian Opata, Achebe's student and colleague at the Department of English and

Literary Studies, UNN. Wrote; “My teacher and hero, an inspirer of sorts, a creative guru, a postcolonial and cultural critic; fare thee well”. Prof. M. F. Inyama said; “Achebe is a man I knew quite closely as his younger colleague in the Department of English. He was a great man and he will remain immortal, very unassuming, humble, realistic and courageous. We thank God that He created Achebe and gave him to Africans so that he would do what he did for us through his writings. Achebe made the world to realize that a black man was no beast; he made the world understand that a black man should be treated with respect. His legacy will last forever”. Dr E U Eguda, of the Department of Theatre and Film Studies had this to say: “Achebe, you are the Shakespeare of Africa. Your works have immortalised you. Fare thee well”. Dr Fidelis Okoro of the Department of English and Literary Studies wrote, “Achebe came into the literary world with a roar (Things Fall Apart) and he left with a thunder (There Was A Country). We will always be grateful for the steps in the sand of

literature”. Also, Odo Mathew, Faculty of Arts Course Representative wrote; “A great vacuum has been created in literary world. Who can fill this gap. Oh! Things have fallen apart” Mmadu Tochukwu, a student of the Department of Theatre and Film Studies, lamented: “If tears could bring you back to life, I would have produced an ocean of tears. Words cannot tell how greatly we miss you. Nevertheless, may your gentle soul rest in peace, our great iroko”. In an earlier statement, University of Nigeria Vice Chancellor Prof Bartho Okolo said the University would be glad to participate in all activities aimed at honouring the departed faculty member. Chinua Achebe, author of the famous Things Fall Apart (1958) died in Boston, Massachusetts, USA on March 21, 2013 aged 82. He was described as the grandfather of modern African literature. He taught literature to generations of students at the University of Nigeria and founded in Nsukka the literary journal of new writing, Okike,credited for giving life to the careers of many distinguished writers.


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Anambra PDP crisis deepens as faction disowns Emeakayi Says he was expelled long ago I remain the Chairman - Emeakayi By Ted Peters

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he tussle over the control of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP's machinery in Anambra State is still raging and could jeopardize the chances of the numerous Governorship aspirants currently mobilizing support for the realization of their ambition, if not quickly resolved. Also, the party's plan to field a candidate in the governorship election slated for November this year, might run into a hitch as various factions have continued to disagree over the authentic leadership that would manage the party's affair. The situation is compounded by multiple court orders obtained from different courts by the stakeholders on the issue many of which are still valid according recognition to the obtainers (applicants). Last week, one of the groups in the contest for the control of the party structures told Prince Kenneth Emeakayi, currently leading the party in the state that he was long expelled from the party and cannot claim to be the chairman of PDP in Anambra. It would be recalled that a Federal High Court had in a ruling, affirmed Emeakayi as chairman, which gave impetus to the stakeholders' meeting convened by Emma Anosike ahead of 2013 gubernatorial election. The new development capable of worsening the party's crisis came from the factional Publicity Secretary, Okoye Echezona, who insisted that Emeakayi was expelled from PDP on September 7, 2011 over alleged anti-party activities. “Yes, Emeakayi cannot say that he is chairman of PDP when he was expelled in 2011. “Emeakayi had written a letter to Commissioner of Police requesting protection. Then in reply the commissioner, Mr. Jubril O Adenji, in charge of legal and prosecution, Section “D” Department (FCID), Abuja, wrote the party to find out the position of Emeakayi “In a reply to the police commissioner, the then Acting National Secretary of PDP Mr. Babayo Musa (PhD) replied thus: 'I refer to your letter of inquiry on the status of Ken Emeakayi in the PDP dated December 22, 2011, with the above title. ”Ken Emeakyi has been expelled from the party by the relevant organs. The expulsion was endorsed by the National Working Committee at its 280th meeting held on September 7, 2011”.

Okoye further contended that the only lawful executive of PDP in Anambra State is the one led by Ifeatu Obiokoye, contending that “there is an Ekwulobia High Court judgment in 2008, which indeed affirmed Chief Ifeatu Obiokoye as state chairman of PDP and that judgment was never challenged nor vacated by any higher court. “The judgment subsists as far as the law is concerned. So, Emeakayi cannot be parading himself as state chairman while he was expelled from the party since 2011” Echezona also recalled that according to the report from South East Zonal working committee dated September 6, 2011, signed by the South East Zonal Secretary, Vincent Okpalaeke, it was said that subsequently, the ZWC received a complaint from a member of the party from Anambra State stating that one

Ken Emeakayi and some others were further tarnishing the image of the already battered party by their activities. The ZWC immediately invited the said Emeakayi and his cohorts to come and answer to the charges levelled against them and they refused, failed and /or neglected to attend the preliminary hearing where upon the ZWC suspended them for one month, and in accordance with the party constitution, referred their case to the newly inaugurated Disciplinary Committee. He said the Disciplinary Committee has completed its deliberation on the petition and the party completely accepts their recommendations and have expelled them. “We therefore forward same for your information. The report of the Disciplinary Committee is hereto attached for your

information and necessary action”. But, Emeakayi told reporters in Awka that he remains the legitimate Chairman of the party in the state. He said: “These are statements coming from those that have lost the battle. “If I was expelled, how did I participate in the last state

congress where I emerged as Vice Chairman Anambra South, and when the Chairman was sacked, I ultimately became the chairman of the party? “When this matter was in court, nobody went to court to present any paper indicating that I was expelled from the party.”

Guild of Editors urges Amaechi to stand with the people By Abraham Ajaero, Portharcourt

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he Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE) has urged Rivers State Governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi not to stop standing up and fighting for the people as the Guild will also stand by him. Speaking during a courtesy visit on Governor Amaechi in Port Harcourt the newly elected President of the Guild of Editors, Mr Femi Adesina, who led the delegation of the new Guild executive committee, assured the Rivers State Governor that Nigeria editors will continue to support him for fighting the cause of the Nigerian masses. “We are glad that we are here today to see somebody that has made impact on the lives of the people. We have monitored your progress and we have seen that you have changed the face of the landscape particularly in Rivers State. You have touched the lives of the people and we, as Editors, will gladly partner with and support anybody that stands

for and with the people”. “The needs of the people are not really much. They want good health care, a health care system that works, they want security, they want shelter, they want good roads, they want power, they want jobs and if you can provide most of that then you become their hero. We have seen that your government is doing all that and more for the people, so we are glad to be here today and we pledge that as long as you stand for the people and with the people, the Nigerian editors will also stand by you and with you”. “We are quite glad that our first outing as a new exco is to somebody that we can describe as a friend of the Nigeria Guild of Editors Governor Rotimi Amaechi. We recall that in 2010 we were here in Port Harcourt for our annual national conference which you kindly hosted. We still have fond memories of that meeting and so coming here to visit somebody who is a friend of the Nigeria Guild of Editors is not new. We are also glad that we were coming to visit the Chairman of the

Nigeria Governors' Forum. We know your role and position in the scheme of things politically in the country. The governors who made you their chairman must have seen something in you before they gave you that position, so we are quite glad that we were coming to see the Chairman of the Governors' Forum,” he said. On what his new exco hope to accomplish, Mr Adesina said they want to build a national secretariat for the Guild and provide training and retraining opportunities for journalists at institutions in and outside the country. Responding, Governor Amaechi thanked the members of the Nigeria Guild of Editors for the visit and congratulated the new exco on their election. Amaechi restated that he would continue to be on the side of the masses, stressing that he preferred a system of governance that would fairly take care of both the rich and the poor in the society. “Today, even the poor seem to have lost their voices. They can't speak for themselves.

They don't even know what to speak about because the frustration in the country has caused so much confusion. When you see the macabre dance you begin to wonder whether all of us are mad. As editors, you constitute a part of society that speak for the poor, the masses. You speak to make sure that things are corrected and I thank you for that”. “Let me also thank all of you for the different roles you have played in the course of the struggle, I mean the struggle of the masses between those of us who think that I should be allowed to preside over the Governors' Forum for another term and those who are opposed. I thank you for standing up for Nigerians, for standing up for the people. I've read a lot of the write-ups by a lot of you and I pray that God will continue to be by you, be with you and help us ensure that you continue to write for the people of Nigeria. For me, I stand for the people and will continue to stand with the people, for what is right and just. I want to be on the side of history that puts me on the side of the people and I think you also belong there”, Amaechi said.


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22 killed in renewed Plateau hostilities

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he renewed hostilities between suspected Fulani herdsmen and locals in different parts of Plateau State have claimed 22 more lives as gunmen invaded two villages in Bokkos Local Government Area early Thursday. The gunmen alleged to be mercenaries from Chad and Niger Republics shot dead 20 people at

Matol and Mangol villages using sophisticated weapons. Two anti-riot policemen attached to the Special Task Force, STF, maintaining security in the state were also shot in an exchange of fire. However, six of the attackers also lost their lives in the exchange of fire with the security men who rushed to the villages following an alert.

A spokesman of the STF, Lt. Navy Akpa, confirmed the attack and loss of the two policemen. He also confirmed the killing of six of the attackers. Akpa, however, said the casualty figure was “still being verified” but confirmed that men of the STF killed six of the attackers and made some arrests. It was learnt that the violence spread in the morning as locals

descended on Fulani settlements around them. Business activities in the area were said to have been paralyzed as a result of the attack with many afraid of which area would be the next target. Also, Chairman, Bokkos Local Government Area, Mr Zakka Akos, confirmed that 18 bodies were recovered at the scene of the attack, just as Dr Kumbem Temang of Cottage Hospital,

Confessional statement: Police torture man to coma MTN call log exonerates 'suspect' from alleged kidnap By Uba Ani

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he arrest of Nze Damian Onyinye, a 26-year-old Computer Science graduate of Institute of Management and Technology, IMT, Enugu and his severe torture by men of the Anti Kidnap Squad of the Imo State Police Command which forced him into a state of coma, is now a subject of controversy. Onyinye was arrested in a controversial manner by the Anti Kidnap Squad accusing him of being a member of the kidnap gang that abducted and killed MD Naija Plaza Hotel Oguta, Imo state. He was linked to the crime following the alleged discovery of his mobile phone number in the call log of one of the suspects earlier arrested in connection with the hotelier's abduction. After his arrest, The Advocate gathered that operatives of the anti kidnap squad led by an Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP Eke William allegedly tortured him to coma in their bid to extract information concerning the abduction of the NAIJA Plaza Hotel boss recently. The arrest and detention of Onyinye who was returning from job interview conducted by the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC by the policemen in Imo State has actually devastated his family particularly his mother, Mrs. Nze Patience, a nursing staff of Enugu s t a t e U n i v e r s i t y Te a c h i n g Hospital, Parklane who had cried foul over the predicament of his son, whom she said was innocent. The young man who was still basking in the euphoria of securing a job at Pixels Solution Limited as a System Analyst incharge of Software deployment in the firm's Enugu office shortly after completing his youth service, has not only been psychologically and physically maimed but his right hand had been reportedly condemned by police investigators in their alleged bid to get him sign an already prepared confessional statement intended to rope him into what he knew not. A recent media report quoted the

Imo state police commissioner, Musa Katsina as saying that Nze was among the five-man gang of kidnappers that allegedly kidnapped and killed the Managing Director, Naija Plaza Hotel, Oguta, Imo state after a ransom of N2.1million was collected between 21st and 24th February, 2013. The CP further stated that the five man gang was quartered in Oguta, Imo state between 21st and 24th February by a girlfriend to one of t h e g a n g members, alleging that Nze was among the said gang that was quartered in the state. But contrary to the CP's claim regarding Nze's involvement in the crime, a documentary evidence made available to The A d v o c a t e revealed that that Nze was nowhere in Imo state within the period the said kidnapping took place. In a letter to Imo s t a t e commissioner of police entitled: “Demand to release Mr. Onyinye Damian Nze, signed by Okey Udeogu for the management of Pixels Solution Ltd, the company stated that Nze Damian was in Aba, Abia state on 21st of February where he performed grade X school software installation at Rock House Academy, Aba and Practical Computers School, Aba from where he went to PortHarcourt and spent the night. The company stated that on 20th of February, Nze applied for a day off to be granted him on 22nd to allow him travel to Ilorin, Kwara state to write the NIMC employment test. “He equally applied for salary advance to enable him facilitate his trip which was also approved by our company,” it added.

The company which was shocked by the alleged frame up of its youngest staff, has therefore threatened to institute a legal action against Nigeria Police Force as it could not continue to wait or turn a blind eye while an innocent citizen suffers even after his call log obtained from MTN by the police clearly indicated that he was in Ilorin on 22nd, 23rd and 24th of February 2013 the period the

kidnapping reportedly took place in Imo State. The Advocate gathered that MTN certified call log of Nze Damian Onyinye between 21st to 24th, the days he was alleged to have been quartered in Oguta, Imo state, showed that he did not receive or make calls terminating in Imo state. On 21st of February, Onyinye's call log shows that he received and made only 13 calls and seven SMS messages; he received four calls and one SMS message from Aba North 11:54am and South 14:45. He sent five SMS to Abuja and one SMS to Enugu. He also received four calls from Ibadan; made one call to Umuahia and one to Enugu.

On 22nd February, his call log shows that he made eight calls originating Enugu East, Enugu North, Onitsha North and Ilorin, Kwara state showing that he was on transit from Enugu to Kwara state and received seven SMS message from within Enugu east contrary to the police claim that he was in Oguta, Imo state the same period. The certified MTN call log further showed that on 23rd February Onyinye was in Ilorin throughout and while there he only made and received calls from Enugu. He m a d e approximately 685 seconds of calls in Ilorin and received one SMS message. On 24th February his MTN call log showed that he was on transit to Enugu as he made and received calls along Ilorin, Ikosu Ekiti, Otukpa, Orokam and Enugu. All the calls he made on that day, none was received or made to Imo state. His printed call log on February 25 only indicated that he made calls in Owerri only when he had been arrested and taken to Imo state by the Police Anti Kidnap Squad. A petition to the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar by AGAMA AGAMA, B.N. UGBU & CO, solicitors to Nze; entitled 'Petition against the imminent death of Nze Damian Onyinye resulting from brutality, dehumanization, unbridled torture and intimidation by officers and men of the Nigeria police (Anti kidnapping squad), Owerri, Imo state request for his immediate release” and signed by Boniface Ugwu Esq, described the allegation of kidnapping against his client as unfortunate. He said

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Bokkos confirmed that 18 people were killed and among them was a 70-year-old woman known as Kaka Kiwo. A victim of the attack, one Majau Yohanna, said that the attackers invaded the village “from 7 p.m. not long after we returned from our farms and were resting in our respective houses. “They (attackers) came in large numbers and had very sophisticated weapons,” Yohanna, currently on admission at the Bingham University Teaching Hospital, BUTH, Jos revealed. In a reaction to the killings, the Plateau State Government through the Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr. Yiljap Abraham said: “This is another unsettling event in the state with the accompanying implication of creating disaffection among communities that had long lived together. “Let it be known that the Plateau State Government is determined to use every legal and constitutional means to ensure the maintenance of law and order in every part of the state. “This, however, calls for high level vigilance by all communities and people of goodwill to thwart the plans of restless people and groups who do not wish to see the people of the State at peace with themselves.” Meanwhile, nine people were killed last Friday.

that the allegation was “unfounded and insupportable, given that he was not a member of the gang much more being a participi crimini as far as the case against him is concerned”. The petition reads: “On 21st February, Nze Damian Onyinye was in Port-Harcourt, River state and left the state on 22nd to Ilorin, Kwara state where he participated in the NIMC job recruitment examination on the 23rd February at the University of Ilorin. The exam started a little behind schedule by 10.00am because of the monthly sanitation exercise in the state”. “It will interest you to know that the offence of kidnap and murder of the Hotel MD and two policemen was said to have occurred on the 24th after the members of the purported gang arrived Owerri on 21 st and sheltered by one Miss Ukachukwu until they struck on the 24th February 2013”. The petition stated that Nze left Ilorin, in the morning of the said 24th February to his home in Enugu, Enugu state where he was arrested on his return with his travelling bag containing his NIMC exam papers and personal belongings. The petition explained that Nze was brought into the matter by “mere tincture of police anti kidnapping squad imagination that he knows Richard (the okadaman) and exchanges calls

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UNTH resumes open heart surgery, 5 operated successfully

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igeria has been waging war against good health for her citizens, yet her war appears a fruitless one given the multiple problems factored on the many years of neglect, visionlessness, corruption and lack of will by the people vested with public responsibility especially in the health sector. In her bid to step-up performance in the health sector and compliment what government is doing in the new awakening and realization in Nigeria, a nongovernment, non-profit NGO based in the United States VOOM Foundation have started a partnership project with the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Ituku/ Ozalla Enugu state to resuscitated its Cardiovascular surgery center where open heart surgery were performed but was suspended ten years ago on account of the hospital's movement from its old site within the Enugu metropolis to the permanent site at ItukuOzala. The hospital, under the new programme being handled in collaboration with the Foundation, last week performed f i v e o p e n h e a r t s u rg e r i e s successfully on patients with heart related ailments. About 10 other patients with heart related ailments including a six year-old Sadia Ibrahim from Sokoto State now on admission would be operated during the second phase of the programme by the medical experts, who left the country after the first phase of the operations weekend. Speaking when the Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu visited the hospital to witness a live surgery at the hospital, the UNTH, Chief Medical Director, Dr Chris Amah said the hospital which is a federal government designated centre of excellence for open heart surgery suspended the exercise about ten years ago following its movement from its former site and the absence of the necessary facilities needed for such exercise. He noted that upon assumption of office about two years ago, he decided to resuscitate the programme by partnering with foreign organisations since it would be difficult to use the local surgeons to re-commence the exercise when they had not done it for the past ten years. He said the hospital is currently partnering with the VOOM foundation, also known as the Vi n c e n t O h a j i M e m o r i a l Foundation that led a team of 14 medical experts to Nigeria for the sole purpose of resuscitating the programme at the UNTH. “Vincent led a team of 14 experts, 11from US, 2 from UK, one from Canada, 4 cardiac surgeons, 2 Cardiac nurses and the rest of them. Interestingly, two of them

are Nigerians and alumni of this consumables which were used intelligence of Nigerians, there is memory of my father, Vincent no reason why medical skills O b i o m a O h a j i m e m o r i a l place. They are practising in the while performing the operations. He expressed deep appreciation should not be available in Nigeria. foundation, who died at 56 in 1983 UK. “Since they arrived, on March 18, on behalf of the Hospital Board A situation where people are from something that is easily they have handled four cases and Management to the VOOM flown abroad for medical correctible in most places in while another surgery was Foundation group saying, “It's missions is not the best for us. His advance countries. Frankly, it is a performed last night. We want to incredible. Infact I don't know if vision is already yielding positive procedure that do almost everyday with my eyes closed and it would stem the tide of medical mission to we can find appropriate words results,” the minister noted. India and so on. This is a with which to appreciate this Chukwu said that unlike in the have saved his life but it didn't, so I programme that we are all group. I mean you and I know that past where few hospitals were know that every single family in committed to sustain. The medical in this town Enugu just a week d e s i g n a t e d a s c e n t r e s o f the country irrespective of what mission is planning to come every before they arrived, a Police excellence, under his watch as the part of Nigeria you are from can two to three months until our own Commissioner was killed. They health minister, all federal attest to at least one case or two local surgeons have their hands all heard it, they made phone calls, teaching hospitals in the country where a family member or friend strong and firm on it, before they so for this people to have still, had been designated as centres of died from a similar occurrences, start delaying. Another mission is inspite of that, agree to come is excellence. He therefore urged the so we know that things haven't planned for May, another July. such a huge sacrifice. Some of UNTH management to redouble change since over 20 years that Before the end of this year, we will them are coming to Africa for the their efforts with a view to my father died, we are really have four missions. We want to first time. Eleven of them from ensuring that they are not over- committed in this foundation to make sure that before the next America, Two from UK, one from taken by other teaching hospitals raise the standard of care in Nigeria so people don't have to die mission, some of the deficits we Canada, three of them are in the country. have noticed would have been Nigerians and the rest are While pledging the support of the needlessly, so that's what VOOM rectified,” he said while soliciting foreigners. Apart from the federal government to the Foundation is about. for the support of the federal Nigerians only two of them have programme at UNTH, Prof He said that only in Nigeria people been to Nigeria. The rest have Chukwu urged them to remain can afford to go overseas for heart government. He explained that it takes about never been here before, yet not focused, adding that he would related treatment while so many two million naira for an open heart minding the risk they were going encourage the Kanu Heart others live below poverty level, surgery on a patient, but because to take, they still came. We can't Foundation to move some of their adding “VOOM Foundation is of the subsidization of the surgery thank them enough. We pray that patients to the hospitals as it totally committed to bringing this by VOOM foundation and other God would continue to bless them would reduce the cost of taking sort of standard of care that will make wealthy people to stay in them abroad for treatment. organisations across the globe, the and reward them.” this country to get their Medicare cost had been reduced to N500, In his remarks, Minister of Health, The leader of the delegation and and at the same time afford the Prof Chukwu congratulated the founder of VOOM Foundation Dr 000 at present. He therefore pleaded with other management of the UNTH for Vincent Ohaji said the objective of i n d i g e n o u s u n p r i v i l e g e d organisations as well as public resuscitating the open heart the foundation is to cater for the population opportunity to the spirited individuals to also surgery programme, noting that cardiovascular health needs of the same care. So that's what we are provide further support for the the programme is in line with the people which he noted is being all about.” hospital in order to ensure the transformation programme of threatened by lack of facilities and He commended the management sustenance of the programme. President Goodluck Jonathan's high technology in the country. Dr of UNTH describing them as an Ohaji said that VOOM foundation “After this programme, Nigerians led administration. should be able to buy one or two “He has insisted that given the came into being in 2004 in Continues on page 23 open heart surgeries for citizens, which will enable us to do it even free for the less privileged people. This is a sort of campaign; we want to embark on for now”. Dr Amah stated that outside carrying out the s u r g i c a l operations, the group came in with equipments and Cardiovascular experts at work in the UNTH surgical Okafor Ihemegbulam: Beneficiary of the UNTH and VOOM theatre foundation open heart surgery


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Open heart surgery now N500,000 in our hospital–CMD UNTH The Chief Medical Director of University Nigeria Teaching Hospital Ituku/Ozalla Dr Chris Amah called on government and well spirited individual to help pay for open heart surgeries for the less privileged persons in the new partnership with a US based VOOM Foundation to resuscitate the cardiovascular centre in the hospital which was abandoned for ten years. In this interview with UBA ANI of The Advocate, Dr Amah maintained that with the right funding, the partnership will be sustained. EXCERPTS Do you think the programme can be sustained? Sustainability of the programme is very important, it demand commitment and enthusiasm of our local staff and hospital management, especially the cardiovascular center. Again, sustainability also on the aspect of funding, funding is a big issue. We have already received a lot of donations from our oversea partners that now made it possible for us to subsidize the cost of this procedure, instead of patients paying say N2m or so for heart surgery, what they are paying here is N500.000 to cover everything this is just about 25%of what it should be. So, obviously for this to continue someone has to pay the bill somehow, we want to at least convince our people that this thing is possible in our country and in our hospital especially with the kind of effort we have put together in bringing oversea partners to work alongside our local experts here. I think in terms of sustainability, if we can get on with the modality of funding, what I expect is that if we are able to, at the end of the day we will be able to package what is the minimum cost of heart surgery with the help of the oversea partners or without the help of the oversea partners. We should be able to say ok, let the government pay XYZ amount of money, like pay for ten open heart surgeries for Nigerians we can go to government of Enugu, Abia, Anambra Imo etc, to pay twenty for open heart surgeries for indigenes of their states and if such money can be paid into the account of the open heart surgery center, then cardiovascular patients from such state can come and have their surgery free. Obviously if you are expecting that individuals should bring the

money for such services then there is a problem as most Nigerians cannot afford it. Do you think that there are areas in terms of facilities, like medical equipment you really need to upgrade to make this work? Honestly, there are so many you know in nowadays medicine, that gadgets for heart surgery is seriously Hi-Tech to get, especially with regard to a particular equipment; cardiac laboratory is something that must go hand in hand with open heart surgery because there are certain open heart operation procedure that you cannot do without 'cad lab' facilities but we already have this facilities. We have received delivery of this facilities and is been installed at the moment, then a very important laboratory backup services, so all the equipments that are needed for the blood bank backup services you need, all the equipments that are able to separate blood to different component that you might need. You know that what one patient's need might be different from what another patient need and so we have these backup facilities. Again, bio-engineering maintenance is another thing because if you b r i n g a l l t h i s H i - Te c h equipments and you cannot maintain them then it is useless. Again, the areas of biometrical engineering maintenance, man power development and all that. These are challenging areas that we really have to invest in. Could you please mention in a specific term the areas you received support from the VOOM foundation? Generally both technical materials and other areas, for instance, all the heart valves that have been used in this programme and probably ones going to be used in the next progamme have been donated

courtesy of VOOM foundation, donated by a manufacturing company through the campaign of the foundation. So a lot of the consumables that have been used in this service have been donated and also other things like aesthetic machines, ICU beds and all that. Quite a lot of items were donated. How many people benefitted? At the moment in this particular service five people. We admitted more, you know when they arrived and assessed the situation they felt that we should take one per day against an earlier arrangement of two. And they were all successful? Yes. So what do you have for VOOM Foundation? It's incredible. Infact I don't know if we can find an appropriate word with which to

Dr. Chris Amah, CMD, UNTH Ituku/Ozalla

appreciate this group. I mean you and I know that in this town Enugu just a week before they arrived a Police Commissioner was killed. They all heard it, they make phone calls, so for this people to have still inspite of that, agree to come is such a huge sacrifice. Some of them are coming to Africa for the first time. Eleven of them from America, Two from UK, one

from Canada, three of them are Nigerians and the rest are foreigners. Apart from the Nigerians only two of them have been to Nigeria. The rest have never been here before yet inspite of the risk they were going to take they still came. We can't thank them enough. We pray that God would continue to bless them and reward them.

UNTH resumes open heart surgery, 5 operated successfully Continued from page 22 incredible partner that has been very warming to VOOM foundation ideas. “They've given us a platform upon which to work bringing the expertise from United States, Canada and United Kingdom to Nigeria and help to train the local staff within the country so that overtime it would be clear that people here would no longer need to travel to other countries for such treatment because at UNTH now for instance, they've opened a wonderful programme, it's a reality; this is no thanks to VOOM Foundation but to majority of people at UNTH who have played a cemental role to bring us about.” A member of the group who majors in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery Dr Leonard Lapkin told the Advocate that the most rewarding thing that will come out of the mission is to seeing that the programme succeeds and that UNTH develops a comprehensive cardiovascular progamme to improve the quality of lives of the

people. “By developing that type of programme, it will also bring up the level services across board in all other fields of medicine and that will be the greatest thing that will come out of my being here. I am looking forward to that happening here,” he said. Also speaking, a board member of VOOM Foundation Mr. Robert Ngwu noted that a situation where Nigerians most often embark on medical tourism to seek solution s f o r t h e i r various health problem s i n countrie s like US, UK, India, South Africa,

etc is not a healthy development for a country with enormous resources; wealth that is enough to put in place first class heath infrastructure for the wellbeing of her citizens. According to Ngwu, “I think it is a new beginning in the health sector in Nigeria and hopefully the partnership between VOOM foundation and UNTH will flourish to attract medical tourists to Nigeria from beyond.

Sadia Ibrahim from Sokoto waiting to benefit in the next stage of the programme


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Parents Murder: 'Monster Son' Jailed For Life

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man who killed his parents to get his hands on a £230,000 inheritance has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 40 years. Stephen Seddon was told he would never be paroled after being convicted of the murders of his father Robert, 68, and mother Patricia, 65 - and their attempted murders four months earlier. They had made the 46-year-old the sole beneficiary of their estate in their will - and paid with their lives, reports Sky News. They had already gifted Seddon £40,000 in cash and bought him his home in Benevente Street in Seaham, Co Durham. During the trial, prosecutor Peter Wright described Seddon as the

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kikijesu Olawuyi, 3, is set for surgery to correct cranial deformity in the US after living with only half her skull all three years of her life. The congenital cranial deformity means only half her head is covered by skull bonethe other half by fleshy tissue massed on top her head. She can't sit, walk or talkand is yet to even use the word mummy, her mother Belinda laments. The $274,000 surgery “she is going to go through has never been done in medical history,” said Nuhu Kwajafa, coordinator of the charity Global Initiative for Peace, Love and Care (GIPLC) which has championed Okiki's case since last year. Okiki will undergo at least eight procedures over the next year at Johns Hopkins Hospital correct the deformity in her skull. Her family was given a cheque for N37.4 million from public donations to offset their yearlong stay in the US while Okiki undergoes surgeries. Proud and grateful Okiki's father Caleb Olawuyi was moved to tears as he thanked the public and GIPLC.

ultimate "ungrateful son". The convicted fraudster, who was said to have had an "insatiable thirst for cash", had tried to kill the elderly couple by driving into the Bridgewater Canal in Timperley, south Manchester, with them strapped in the back seats in a faked road accident. Seddon then "played the hero" and boasted of his rescue attempts after he was forced to abort his murder plan when bystanders went to their aid in the submerged hired BMW. He had taken his parents - and his disabled nephew Daniel, who also managed to get to safety - out on March 20 last year on the pretext of a surprise belated Mother's Day meal.

It is “my very first time I am proud to be a Nigerian,” he said. He added: “Okiki has brought us to places we never thought of being in life”including meeting

Stephen Seddon (M) with his father, Robert (L) and mother, Patricia

with House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal to pick up N10 million in donations from lawmakers. In the years since her birth

through a caesarean section, Okiki's family considered advice to “get rid of her”, said her father Caleb Olawuyi. “When she was given birth to, it was a great challenge to the family. We thought of getting rid of her. Personally I tried to get rid of her. All my efforts failed,” he recalled. Okiki turns three this May, but her mother Belinda Olawuyi still remembers months of hard tears dealing with the girl and having friends desert her. “My eye always pains me. I went to hospital and the doctors told me that I have cried too much. I had this baby through CSand [seeing her like this] it is so painful to me.” “Sometimes she will have seizures. For three days, she can keep on vomiting, to the extent she will vomit blood. No food. Give her anything, she will throw it up. Seeing her now, people wouldn't know the psychological

pressure of taking care of her.” Normal life again Okiki was initially hospitalised at University College Hospital, Ibadan, where surgery bill was put at N9 million before doctors decided her surgery “wasn't possible.” Her father reluctantly presented her case in the media before GIPLC took it up. Doctors at Johns Hopkins studied her CT and MRI scans, then sent a surgery bill four months later, saying “it was possible she could indeed live a normal life again,” according to GIPLC. The $274,000 needed for the surgery was raised in a record 72 hours, using social media and mobile payment agents that paid directly to the hospital in December. Since then, travel for Okiki, her parents and one-year-old brother Jesse stalled over visa documentation and money to finance a yearlong stay in the US.

Confessional statement: Police torture man to coma Continued from page 21 with him from time to time little wonder his number was in the okadaman's call log. “It is the law that mere suspicions is not enough to warrant conviction much more where life and liberty of the innocent is involved.” The petition stated that “from 24th till moment Nze has been in police custody undergoing torture of all kinds to elicit statements that could indict him”. The statement further reads: “On the spot, at the time of his arrest, he was shot on the leg by the police, tear-gassed, battered, booted and cut on the throat with razors and penknife by policemen led by ASP Eke Williams. We were informed that the men and

officers of Owerri police led by ASP Eke demanded for money from the family members knowing his innocence. They also threatened to kill him except the family paid twenty five thousand naira only to assist the police obtain his call log from MTN. Despite the payment of the money and another N700 for his medicals, Owerri police has not released him”. Sources revealed that after his innocence was disclosed

following volunteered statement to the Owerri police by some people he attended the NIMC interview with; the leader of the p o l i c e investigatin g t e a m allegedly went ahead to compel him to sign an already prepared confessional statement to justify his arrest; a ploy to avert possible claim of illegal arrest, torture and detention. Mrs. Nze, mother of the accused while speaking to The Advocate alleged that before the arrest of

her son on 24th February night, ASP Eke and his team had arrested her eldest son, Okey Franklin and threatened to kill him, wound her and her niece, Chioma. “They collected all handsets in my house, three laptop computers and other valuables including ATM cards and International Passport which were yet to be returned”. A family member who pleaded anonymity expressed dismay over the incident saying, “While we appreciate the genuine intentions of the government and the hierarchy of the police force to curb crime in our society, caution should be the guide of the officers and men of the police force to ensure that they do not suffer the innocent.” According to him, “Our law frowns at inhuman and degrading treatment, torture and their likes.”


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clash: 2 dead, 3 injured Sagbama to be connected inCommunal Imoke's community to national grid By Philip Eke, Yenagoa

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agbama Local Government will get connected to the national grid this year, the Bayelsa State Government has said. Speaking at the one year anniversary celebration of his administration at the Government House in Yenagoa, Governor Seriake Dickson said that it was the desire of the present administration in Bayelsa State to complete the electricity projects in Sagbama LGA within nine months. Dickson assured the people that under the Restoration Agenda being championed by the administration no project would be abandoned or uncompleted in Bayelsa State, promising that the problem of power supply which

Gov. Dickson had bedeviled the area for so long would soon be a thing of the past. Earlier, the commissioner for Energy in Bayelsa State, Mr. Francis Ikio disclosed that work on the power projects had since commenced in the council. According to the commissioner, the projects include the

construction of GbarantoruObunugha-Sagbama 33KVA Line, and the construction of SagbamaOfoni 30KVA Line, all in Sagabama LGA. Others are Gas-fired Substation and Cabling at Agbere, and the construction of a 2x7 55MV injection Substation at Sagabama. Speaking on the development, the Amanaowei of Tungbo, Chief Amos Poubinafa, noted that it was a welcome development because having the national grid in the council was long overdue. Chief Poubinafa, who has participated in virtually all at the GTF good governance forums in Sagbama, observed that the electricity projects had come to the council because of the interactive platform provided by the GTF project in the LGA and the State/LGAs dialogue, where the issue of lack of public electricity supply in Sagbama LGA received repeated mention.

Ibibio backs Senator Enang on revocation of They advocated that a greater oil block allocations percentage of the oil blocks By Unyime Isemin, Uyo A senator representing Akwa Ibom North East Senatorial zone, Senator Ita Enang who recently made a strong case for the total revocation of all oil blocks awarded to persons, entities and companies across the country after the public disclosure of how oil blocks were shared in a q u e s t i o n a b l e m a n n e r, h a s received a high commendation from an international pressure group in Dallas, USA, the Ibibio People Union for his bold contribution to the debate on oil block distribution in the Niger Delta Region. The commendation was contained in a press release issued by IPU which hailed Senator

Enang for standing firm to ensure justice for the people of his zone. IPU noted with great dismay the failure of the Nigerian leadership to speak out against the injustice being meted out to those whose farms, fishing, creeks and means of livelihoods had been destroyed and their environment polluted, water rendered undrinkable, and lives lost in the region, while the federal government continued to pay less attention to their plight, The group which expressed belief in the federal character principle, however, noted that it was wrong for an asset like oil to be shared amongst individuals or sections in the name of federal character while excluding people at the grassroots who suffer from the negative consequences of oil exploration and exploitation.

should be reserved for the people of the oil producing regions, adding that more equitable method of sharing such asset should be reached in consultation with the representatives of the affected communities in the oil regions, which must be chosen by the people without any political or government interference. IPU in the release agreed with the Arewa Consultation forum (ACF) that a probe should be conducted and that all persons, companies and entities assigned with oil blocks should be published for public scrutiny. They also called on other senators and legislators from the Niger Delta region to rise to their responsibility by assisting Senator Enang in the debate for total revocation of oil blocks in the region.

By Edem Archibong, Calabar

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he recent communal clash between the people of Adadama community in Abi Local Government, the country home of Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke and the people of Amaukwu Community in Ebonyi State has claimed no fewer than two lives while three others were seriously injured. Disturbed by the bloodletting, Governor Imoke has ordered the deployment of a Joint Task Force of security operatives to the thick forest of farmland which is said to be the root course of the communal war between the two neighbouring communities in order to restore peace to the area. Hon. John Gual Lebor , the member representing Abi State Constituency in Cross River State House of Assembly disclosed this at the sitting of the Assembly where he sought the lawmakers' commendation for the Governor for performing his civic duty. Gaul who described the attack on Abi people by their Ebonyi neighbours as very barbaric accused the invaders as “most lawless Nigerians who have refused to respect the law of the

land when they knew they had no single right to attack their neighbours who are legitimate owners of the land.” In his comment, the deputy Speaker of the Assembly, Hon. Itaya Nyoung expressed sympathy with the people of Adadama while calling on the people to develop self defense mechanism to prevent further occurrence of such ugly situation in future. The House finally resolved that Governor Imoke should not let the matter lying low but take due legal action against the people of Ebonyi State as well as call on the National Boundary Commission to produce the boundary between the two states to help determine the owner of the area in dispute. The advocate investigations, however, revealed that the dispute over the ownership of the said land had already been resolved by the 1920 Supreme Court judgment in favour of the Adadama community and several other judgments in the past had accorded Abi local government ownership of the land but apparently dissatisfied with the decision, their Ebonyi neighbours engaged the Cross River community apparently to settle the matter in a battlefield.

HORROR: Ex-Army officer, wife murdered by daughter in Delta By Our Reporter

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here was apprehension, Thursday, in Oleh, Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State, following the killing of a retired soldier and his wife by their 32-year-old lunatic daughter. Sources said the retired Army Warrant Officer, Mr. Jonah Elili, and his wife gave up the ghost after they were hit with a pestle by the daughter whose name was given as Elo. The lifeless bodies of the retired soldier, 75 and his wife, 65, were reportedly discovered in the early hours of Thursday by a neighbour who had gone to purchase some items from the deceased couple's

shop. A source who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the neighbour had, after knocking at their door for several minutes without response, peeped into the house and was shocked to find the husband and wife lying in a pool of blood. The source said the woman raised alarm which drew the attention of people in the neighbourhood, adding that the last they knew or heard about the family was when the retired Warrant Officer came out to drag his daughter who ran outside naked, back into the house and locked her up. According to the eye witness, the couple was blessed with seven children (two boys and five girls), including the one that was

afflicted with insanity who had been roaming about the community. Meanwhile, the said Elo had been detained at the Oleh Police Station. She was alleged to have told detectives that she reportedly

killed her parents because they hated her. “My parents hate me. They locked me up in a room where they first hit me before I retaliated with a pestle. I saw blood and that is all I know,” Elo reportedly said.

A senior Police officer in Oleh confirmed the story, saying a signal had been sent to the appropriate authority just as the matter was being transferred to the state police headquarters in Asaba for further investigations.

Oruku–Umuode war resumes Continued from page 6

general public on the pages of newspapers and magazines. Oruku community is bona fide subjects of Enugu State and has existed from time immemorial and is not a creation of any statute. Anyone supporting Umuode should vacate his ancestral home in the village for another person to settle on it. “It was this same falsehood that Umuode leaders fed Enugu State

Government of Barrister Sullivan Chime that made his Government hurriedly issued the said White Paper against Oruku people, and which Orukus as a law abiding citizens of this country filed a suit against in Enugu High Court. “Umuode are only interested in using Government apparatus to uproot over 450 compounds in Aguefi land to establish their 111 compounds as an autonomous

community . “The Akpuoga man they alleged that Oruku shot dead, let them hand over the dead body to police as Oruku did on their two sons killed by Umuode, if they are telling the truth. Why they started this latest attack is to provoke Oruku so that Oruku sons will once again be thrown into Enugu prison since the Umuodes were treated as sacred cows by police in the past.”


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EASTER: Nigerians urged to emulate Jesus Christ

Gospel This Week

JESUS FULLY PAID FOR OUR SIN Text: John 19:28-30 Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty." A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (NIV)

Narration The Bible often talks about sin as a debt to be paid; and forgiveness as a debt that is discharged. Jesus paid for our sin on the cross, experiencing the torments of hell as He was separated from God the Father. His suffering of body and soul was accepted by Father God as the ultimate and final Passover sacrifice. As 1 Peter 3:18 says, “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” Although the process of dying was started by wicked people, the final act of giving up His spirit was voluntary. Jesus said, “No-one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again." (John 10:18). Jesus was thirsty. Of course He was physically dehydrated, but there were two other reasons for His thirst. Firstly, Jesus hated sin and longed for the righteousness of God (Matthew 5:6 ), and, secondly, hell's terrors were an inferno of agony (Luke 16:22-25). Practically, the drink of wine vinegar enabled Jesus to cry out with a loud voice so that all could hear, “It is finished” (Luke 23:46). It was a common expression used by all trades: it meant “Paid in full”. Jesus had fully paid for all our sin so that those who repent can be forgiven. The devil's biggest lie is to persuade us that we cannot be forgiven, that we have sinned so badly and God can have no place for us in His heaven. That is a wicked untruth. The fact is that Jesus paid for all our sin in full. No more payment is required. So there is nothing we can contribute to our salvation except to receive it and be thankful. Yet the accusations of Satan are often so strong, convincing us of our unworthiness and of the need to do something good so that we can prove to God that we are worthy. 'What needless pain we bear'! All we have to do is to confess our sin and trust Him to cleanse us from unrighteousness (1 John 1:9 ); and then thank Him as we serve Him. The reason is that Jesus said our sin is fully paid: and He never lies!

Prayer: Righteous Father God. Thank You that Jesus took the full weight of my sin in His body so that I can be forgiven. I am sorry when I treat His sacrifice lightly or even receive communion without appreciating the cost of my sin which was paid by Jesus. Please help me to be more thankful that I am fully welcomed into Your family through Christ's sacrifice alone, and rejoice in my salvation. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

s Christians all over the world celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ, President Goodluck Jonathan has issued a red alert to the security agencies, advising them to use all the training, equipment and intelligence at their disposal to ensure a hitch-free celebration of E a s t e r, a n d t o m a k e Nigerians have that sense of freedom to move freely once again. This has prompted massive military and police deployments of troops by the Military and Police High Commands across the country to ward off possible bombings and suicide attacks by the Boko Haram group during the celebrations. Also, governors, the People's Democratic Party, PDP, as well as Christian leaders have asked the celebrants to imbibe the virtues of Jesus Christ who humbled himself unto death to save mankind. Some church leaders also urged public office holders in the country to adopt the servant-leader attribute of Jesus Christ by enhancing the quality of the people's lives instead of engaging in primitive acquisition of wealth. Those who sent their Easter greetings to Christians include the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most R e v. A l f r e d A d e w a l e Martins, Dean of the Anglican Diocese of Lagos M a i n l a n d , Ve n . L u y i Akinwade and the Director of Social Communications at the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Rev. Monsignor Gabriel Osu. Others were the OgunState governor, Senator Ibikunle A m o s u n , h i s CrossRiverState counterpart, Senator Liyel Imoke and Governor Gabriel Suswam of BenueState among others. The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Martins in a homily during a Chrism Mass at St. Michael, Raphael and Gabriel, SatelliteTown, called on priests and members of the diocese to remain faithful and steadfast in their various services to God and humanity. In his first Chrism Mass since becoming archbishop of Lagos, Martins urged the priests to keep the dignity of priesthood and not forget the grace and honour given to them to serve in the Lord's vineyard, noting that they needed to listen to the spirit of God to guide aright, the people whom God had put into their care. He added that no priest will serve effectively in his

priesthood without selfdenial and detachment from worldly possession, saying: “God has given us the responsibility to keep intact the dignity of priesthood, hence the need for us to be faithful in our service to God and humanity. Let us listen to the spirit of God and be wholeheartedly committed to our primary assignment which is to preach the gospel of Christ and not to preach political theology, football analysis and economic issues; but specialise in promoting encounter with God and people”. In his welcome address, the Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Lawrence Odoemena described the mass as historic since it was the Archbishop's first Chrism Mass in the parish and under a new pope. The Anglican Diocese of Lagos Mainland, Yaba, Lagos, Venerable Luyi Akinwade, called on Nigerians to emulate the virtues of Jesus Christ who willingly laid down his life for the redemption of the world. The cleric urged public office holders to adopt the servantleader attribute of Jesus Christ by enhancing the quality of the people's lives rather than engaging in inordinate quest for wealth. “This Easter offers all of us another opportunity to appreciate the invaluable sacrifice made by Jesus Christ by laying down his life for us all. If Christ who is God can willingly offer himself for us sinners, then who are we not to do same. We must appreciate the message and significance of Easter by learning to accommodate one another. “Government should stop selective justice. So many probes have been carried out in the past with nothing to show for them. Who is fooling who? No one is above the law; anyone found guilty should be made to face the full weight of the law so as to serve as deterrent to others,” he said. Commenting on the level of corruption in the country, the cleric said the government was not sincere enough in its purported fight against corruption, as culprits continued to enjoy a free reign. Similarly, the Archdiocesan Director of Social C o m m u n i c a t i o n s , R e v. Monsignor Osu, said that yesterday's commemoration of the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ, was symbolic ''because it is through the death of Christ that mankind was redeemed. “It (Good Friday) is the day

Christians in general celebrate the passion and death of Jesus Christ who was crucified on the Cross of Calvary for the redemption of mankind,” he added, urging Christians in the country to observe the day with fasting, repentance, meditation and abstinence from evil acts and instead engage themselves in charity work. On its part, the PDP said, that no force or ideology in Nigeria was strong enough to disintegrate the country, just as it urged Nigerians to use the season of Easter to search for the truth. The party in its message signed by National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, asked Nigerians to always base all their actions on truth as underscored by the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. According to PDP, Nigerians should also imbibe the virtues of love, selflessness and service as exemplified and symbolized by Christ, saying that was the only way to ensure a peaceful and prosperous nation where all would be happy. The party equally urged those in authority to emulate the humility and selflessness of Jesus Christ by regarding their positions as call to service and not for selfish gains. ”If Easter says anything to us today, it says this: You can put truth in a grave, but it won't stay there. You can nail it to a cross, wrap it in winding sheets and shut it up in a tomb, but it will rise,” Metuh added, even as he further urged Nigerians to love one another by being their brothers' keepers. ”Our being one country despite the cultural and religious differences is not an accident but an opportunity to share and cherish our common humanity.” No force or ideology is strong enough to disintegrate Nigeria. Nigeria has come to stay and will certainly outlive those threatening its corporate existence. ”The PDP congratulates the Christian community on yet another Easter celebration and urges them to promote the ideals of love, sacrifice and peaceful coexistence. The PDP calls for continuous prayers for peace in the country and the entire world and commiserates with those who suffered losses in sectarian violence in the country and call on public spirited individuals to show some kindness to the families of the victims,” he further said.


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Orubebe seeks Amaechi's co-operation to develop Niger Delta By Abraham Ajaero, Portharcourt

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iger Delta Affairs Minister, Chief Godsday Orubebe has sought the cooperation of Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi in the development of the Niger Delta through what he called the “Niger Delta Action Plan.” Orubebe spoke last week when he led top government officials of the Niger Delta ministry on a courtesy visit to the governor at Government House, Port Harcourt. He said over 80 per cent of the nation's resources come from the Niger Delta, and that there is need to fast track development to improve the standard of living of the people of the area. He called on Governor Amaechi to join hands with him and other governors in the region as well as the private sector to effect the desired development. “We were in Cross River State, Akwa Ibom State and Imo State before coming to Rivers State. And as I go round, I see the feelings of the Governors of the Niger Delta and their people, I quickly understand. Judging from the history of the Niger Delta, we are talking about from 1957 till date. “So Your Excellency, our visit today is to handover the Niger Delta Action plan to you, and to appeal that, you work together with us as a team to do those things that should be done for our people and Nigerians generally. You have been in government for some time, and so you have gotten some good experiences to add value to our thoughts and processes, so that collectively we can move forward,” Orubebe said. While expressing President Jonathan's commitment to the speedy development of the region, Orubebe said, the Ministry of Niger Delta was created in 2008 to coordinate the activities and development of the region, emphasizing that, the co-operation is to ensure that the issues of project duplication in the region is drastically addressed through the use of resources and the Action master plan. “The Niger Delta Action plan will take care of issues of abandoned projects because there is continuity. And I share a lot of this thought with our Governors and stakeholders in the Niger Delta and so if we collectively agree on the pathway, it will also tackle the issues of duplication of projects, and equally conserve some resources for us to do the things we need to do,” he said. On the issue of the East-West road, Orubebe said the project was awarded at the tune of N234 billion in 2006 by former President Olusegun Obasanjo's administration due to pressure from the people of Niger Delta, but expressed regrets that there were set backs from the consultants due to lack of proper designs and drawings. He assured that, with the

details of designs and drawing of the road project, the road would be completed by December 2014. “Your Excellency, by 2010, we came to realize that, the road is having 42 bridges, spanning from 70 metres to 850 meters. But we have 786 culverts, and have completed 37 out of the 42 bridges. The remaining part is sand filling and clearing, including the asphalting of the road.” He explained that the initial consultants came out with a bill of N1.3 billion to construct coastal roads, adding that plans are in top gear to make funds available to kick start the project soon. Orubebe told Amaechi that the Federal Executive Council had approved the setting up of a council on the Niger Delta to allow various stakeholders meet at least once every year to discuss mindboggling issues on the Niger Delta region. He said, by the institutionalization of the council on the Niger Delta, a conference had been scheduled for April 21st 26th, with President Goodluck Jonathan expected to declare the council open on April 25th, 2013. “We expect that in the first two days there will be stakeholders meeting. We are requesting every state Governor to send in their commissioners that are

involved in infrastructural development to form part of the technical team to work on the Action Plan document and other inputs, so that they can prepare the bridges for the council to discuss and proffer solutions for government on what they have to do,” Orubebe said. The minister further spoke on the amnesty programme, saying that, if peace must be sustained in the Niger Delta, there is need for government to collaborate with development partners and the private sector to ensure human capital development, the economic expansion of the people and also undertake total turnaround of infrastructural development of the region.“So that, even if it is two or three critical development projects that we have, we can collaborate together and ensure that these projects are done, but it cannot be done by one individual alone. We believe that, if we are on the right path, we will be able to transform the Niger Delta reasonably,” he added. Responding, Governor Amaechi opined that the Niger Delta Master plan would be a signature Project that may promote speedy development and progress in the Niger Delta. “Any development that is not planned will be chaotic and will not achieve its objectives.

You talked about the 50-year development plan you got from Denmark, we in Rivers State also have a similar thing, the Greater Port Harcourt 50-year master plan which we concluded in my first tenure in office. The Greater Port Harcourt city has two phases. We have taken care of the old Port Harcourt through the urban renewal which we are doing, we also have what we called the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority and we expect that construction of houses in that area will start this year,” Amaechi said. “I must say that, you and I are from the Niger Delta, this is the best chance that we have, we can never have this kind of opportunity again, even though nobody knows the future it is our chance. We have been complaining to Nigerians that we are oppressed, exploited and underdeveloped. Nigerians now said take that power and develop your selves. We can't complain and we can't afford to fail. So I think you are right on the Action plan. Whenever we meet at the stakeholders meeting I will support the plan, because time is not on our side, we shall also use the opportunity to discuss our feelings,” Amaechi said. On the East-West road, Governor Amaechi noted the level of improvement on the road construction project and appealed to the Federal Government to

extend the construction from Onne junction to Rumukwurushi, by the E l e m e j u n c t i o n flyover/interchange. He noted that, the Port Harcourt Onne road was a busy way to multinational companies, including the Eleme Petrochemicals, the Port Harcourt Refinery and the Sea Port which is occupied by Intels and other oil servicing companies. “I received the people of Ogoni ethnic nationality, who came to see me to complain that the contract on the East-west road had terminated at Onne up to the Eleme junction fly over at Rumukwurushi. The report from RCC is that, they were only asked to evaluate the road, and that part of the road is bad. Considering the economic activities in Port Harcourt, 50% of it takes place from the Rumukwurushi junction to Onne Sea Port, and that is the bad part actually, because we have multi-national companies that are contributing immensely to the nation's economy. To worsen the matter, the oil pipelines pass through the communities to Bonny Island, so we need to consider them. The improvement on the road is better when one is coming from Akwa Ibom State to Rivers State. The RCC Construction Company seem to have done a wonderful job up to the Onne junction and from that point you can drive to the boundary between Akwa Ibom and Rivers State, you will never see pot holes or traffic problems,” Amaechi said.

Ogonis hail Amaechi's leadership in Rivers By Abraham Ajaero, Portharcourt

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he people of Ogoni ethnic nationality of Rivers State consisting of Eleme, Tai, Gokana and Khana Local Government Areas have expressed their commitment to the administration of Governor Chibuike Amaechi and passed a vote of confidence on him for his leadership role in the state. The people made their commitment to the administration known when they paid a solidarity visit to the governor at Government House, Port Harcourt last week. Led by their Monarch, King G.N.K. Gininwa, who doubles as the chairman of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, the people of Ogoni ethnic nationality expressed their gratitude to Governor Amaechi for his development strides and commitment to the welfare of the Ogonis and all Rivers people. In their address read by Justice Peter Akere (rtd), the people of Ogoni said they would continue to support and stand by the Amaechi administration and would resist all attempts to short-change the people of Rivers State. “Your Excellency in the 2011 elections, the people of Ogoni ethnic nationalities delivered an overwhelming vote towards your re-election as the Executive Governor of Rivers State and thereby gave you a mandate to

take Rivers State to enviable heights in development. That m a n d a t e c o n f e r s o n Yo u r Excellency the leadership of the people. That mandate is uncontestable, incontrovertible and irrevocable. “It is in this light that the people of Ogoni ethnic nationalities are awakened by current developments in the polity of this nation to challenge the efficacy and sustainability of the mandate of leadership that the people of Rivers State through God bestowed upon you. We have therefore come to reiterate that the Ogoni ethnic nationalities have resolved to support and stand by Your Excellency in your pursuit to bring development to Rivers State and Ogoni and resist all attempts to short-change the people of Rivers State and Ogoni.” The people hailed the governor's efforts to better the lives of Rivers people, supporting the recovering of Rivers oil wells and called on the Federal Government and Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to expedite action on the East-West Road which traverses some parts of Ogoniland and ease the transportation difficulties in affected areas. “The Ogoni ethnic nationality expresses our support and solidarity to Your Excellency in your uncompromising pursuit of the recovery of all lands and oil wells belonging to the Rivers

people including the Soku boundary issu. We also lend our voice in calling on the Federal Government to effect and complete the dualisation of the East/West road in order to ease the transportation difficulties experienced by Nigerians including the people of Ogoni ethnic nationalities while commuting through the East/West road.” They expressed pride over Governor Amaechi's continued transparent, selfless, and courageous determination to speak the truth at all times, and commended his achievements so far in the state. “Today, we are in the threshold of history experiencing state government interventions in the life and development of the people in a way that is unique and profound. We are indeed very proud of the tremendous achievements recorded by Your Excellency in Ogoniland and Rivers State so far. The State Model Primary and Secondary Schools are first of their kind in the country. The Songhai Farm in B u n u - Ta i a n d t h e B a n a n a plantation in Khana are contributing to food security in the state and creating jobs for our youths. We are gladdened by the fact that the model secondary school in Eleme is now in full operation, while the one in Tai is almost near completion. Healthcare has been taken to the door steps of

all Rivers people. The Rivers State sustainable Development programme is indeed a success story of youth empowerment and sustainable development which has also benefited the Ogoni ethnic nationalities. “Port Harcourt is gradually being restored to its original garden city status, just as massive road construction projects are being executed across the state with some already completed. There is no doubt that upon completion, the Monorail project will ease transportation difficulties in Port Harcourt. The numerous visible and life touching oriented projects going on in Rivers State are an attestation of your indefatigable leadership of the state. We hereby use this medium to pass a vote of confidence on you.” Responding, Governor Amaechi thanked the people of Ogoni for their solidarity visit to him and reiterated that he would continue to provide good governance to the people of the state, while urging them for continued support particularly in monitoring and evaluation of the numerous projects sited in the Ogoni areas of the state. “I have to say that I received massive support from the Ogonis and therefore you need to have me deliver the services that made you ask me to stay in this place. I must thank you for that vote and I thank you for all the support,” Amaechi said.


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Chime's second tenure, a disaster – APC By Ted Peters

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takeholders of new merger party, All Progressives Congress (APC), Enugu State rose from a meeting held in Enugu on Friday with a damning verdict that the second tenure of Governor Sullivan Chime of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has become a disaster. The stakeholders at the meeting were drawn from the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressives Change (CPC), All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). In a communiqué signed by Val Nnaedozie (ACN), Emma Eneukwu (ANPP), Peter Okonkwo (APGA) and Osita Okechukwu (CPC), APC described the second tenure of Governor Chime as a disaster, riddled with corruption and the state economy enveloped with deep stagnation, which has rendered the good people of Enugu hopeless and thrown them into a state of despair and despondency. According to the communiqué, the meeting reviewed the state of the nation, the stagnation of Enugu State and the ineptitude and corruption of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

government at federal, state and local government council, which more than any other factor necessitated the merging of the

political parties to halt the dangerous drift of Nigeria into a failed state. “ W e a r e appalled that the second tenure of Governor Sullivan Chime has become a disaster, riddled with corruption and the state e c o n o m y enveloped with deep stagnation, which has rendered the good people of Enugu hopeless and thrown them into a state of despair and despondency “For the avoidance of doubt we

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called port. “In another make belief, few weeks ago we were told that the Second Niger Bridge has been awarded and we ask where is the design of the bridge? Where is the environmental impact assessment? Where is the property valuation report? What is the cost of the contract? “Thirdly, the 3-D Seismic Survey's money budgeted for Enugu Coal-Fired-Plant initiated by Professor Barth Nnaji in the 2012 budget we understand has grown wings and flew into the pockets of very important officials of President Jonathan's administration,” APC stated. As the 2015 general elections approaches, APC urged Enugu people to join them in bidding good bye to PDP for enough is enough, stressing that no electorate ever rewards a political party for poor performance.

Nigeria budgets N1 Trillion for security as insecurity heightens By Our Reporter

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he Federal Government will spend a total of N1.055 trillion this year on security, according to the details of the 2013 budget, representing an increase of

N135 billion over what was appropriated for the sector last year. A breakdown of the budget presented to the National Assembly by President Jonathan October last year showed that the security agencies combined will gulp more

Imo Deputy Gov's Impeachment: Tension as security operatives take over Owerri employed by the Agbaso family have traced the missing N458 million to accounts of the contractor, JPROS, in the United Arab Emirate, Dubai and Lebanon. It was further gathered that one of Okorocha's special advisers and Chairman, Committee on Monitoring and Implementation of Road Projects, Mr. MacDonald Akano, was on the board of the company and also its second largest shareholder. A search at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), however, showed that Akano was put on the board of the company at about the same time the execution and mobilisation for the contract in question took place. The older brother to the former deputy governor, Mr. Martin Agbaso, who addressed the press Thursday at his office in Victoria Island, Lagos, said the family had taken the initiative to employ forensic experts in the case because of the need to clear its name from the deliberate attempt to tarnish it. Already, Agbaso said the report of the forensic auditors had been forwarded to the appropriate quarters, including the police and the Department of State Security (DSS). According to the findings as presented by Agbaso, “Mr. Dina first paid the sum of N325 million into the Three Brother's Concept Ltd GTB Account. “The money was used to raise the sum of US$1,930,00 (one million, nine hundred and thirty thousand dollars), which was subsequently transferred through Dubai on February 21, 2012 to Mr. Joseph Dina's account no:

are bidding good bye to PDP at all tiers of government federal, state and local council government because of pervasive corruption, resulting in the squandering of over N50 trillion which accrued to the nation in the past 14 years,” the new merger party said. According to APC, the regrettable outcome is dilapidated roads, epileptic power supply, gross unemployment, abject poverty and insecurity in the land. The merger party stakeholders said they were bidding good- bye to PDP because the South East since 1999 had voted massively for PDP at every election and none of the promises made has been fulfilled, but rather, what they witnessed is April Fool fanfare launching of Onitsha Sea Port by President Jonathan and six months down the line, no boat not to talk of sea vessel had berthed in the

LB550014000023023 00179018010 with the Kaslik Branch of Blom Bank Sal in Lebanon. “The purpose of the transfer as stated in the transfer document was 'to import construction equipment'. “The second tranche of N133,000,000 (one million and thirty-three million naira) was similarly paid into the IHSAN BDG Ltd's account no: 1015334698 with UBA by Mr. Dina. “Again, the money was used to raise US$800,000 (eight hundred thousand dollars) and transferred to Mr. Dina's A c c o u n t n o : AE60200000036374395130 with HSBC Middle East Ltd at Dubai Internet City, Sheik Zayed Rd, Dubai. “So while Mr. Dina was accusing the (former) Deputy Governor of Imo State, Mr. Jude Agbaso, of demanding and receiving a bribe of N458 million, the said money had been converted by Mr. Dina himself and his associates and paid into Mr. Dina's foreign accounts in Lebanon and Dubai.” Agbaso said apart from establishing the beneficiary of the bribery, it was also imperative to identify the owners of the companies. “The Three Brother's Concept Ltd runs a Bureau De Change and its directors are Abdulahi Lawal, Ahmadu Yanusa, Karimu Usman, U m a r A b u b a k a r a n d Ya k u b u Abdulahi. Its current shareholders are Abdulahi Lawal, Umar Abubakar and Yakubu Abdulahi. Jude Agbaso, the (former) deputy governor of Imo State, is not one of them. “The directors of Ishan Bureau De Change are Alhaji Inuwa Sabo, Abdulahi Tasiu Maikano, Haruna

Saidu and Mallam Sule. The five gentlemen are also the shareholders. Again, Jude Agbaso, the (former) deputy governor of Imo State is not one of them. “The directors who are also the only shareholders of JPROS Nigeria Ltd, the company whose MD is falsely accusing the (former) deputy governor of bribery are Joseph Dina, Aline Dina, Jean Samir Aoun and Mr. MacDonald Akano, the Special Adviser to Governor Rochas Okorocha and the Chairman of the Committee on Monitoring and Implementation of Road Projects in Imo State. “Isn't it fascinating to discover that a director and major shareholder; indeed, the second highest shareholder in the company involved in this ugly defamation of character and wicked attempt to destroy the good name and image of the (former) deputy governor, is a member of Governor Okorocha's inner circle. “Isn't it even more fascinating that to know that Akano stood quietly and loyally beside Mr. Dina as he blackmailed and slandered the (former) deputy governor before the members of the state House of Assembly, knowing well that his company, JPROS, was the guilty party in the matter,” he explained. Agbaso, who presented copies of his younger brother's call log obtained from MTN, said no contact was established between his brother and the contractor during the period in question and reiterated that the former deputy governor's travail was a deliberate attempt to emasculate him

than one-fifths of the N4.92 trillion budget. The security sector has retained the top position on the budget chart with Defence and Police alone getting a total of N668.56 billion, according the highlights given by Jonathan on Wednesday. New details contained in the full budget documents show that the total security vote shot up to N1.055 trillion when figures from all the security agencies are added up. These are Defence, N349 billion; Police formations, N311.1 billion; Police Affairs, N8.5 billion; Interior, N156.1 billion; and Office of the National Security Adviser, N116.4 billion. The total represents an addition of N135 billion over the N920 billion budgeted for 2012. A further breakdown of the security budget shows that the Defence Headquarters is to spend N150 million on travelling and training. Nigerian Army is allocated N128.1 billion, N5.1 billion of it is for overheads, N116.2 billion for personnel and N6.7 billion capital costs. Nigerian Navy has total allocation of N71.4 billion out of which N13 billion is for capital expenditure, N51.9 personnel, N6.8 billion for overheads and N58.4 billion for recurrent expenditure. The Airforce will spend N68.762 billion next year and N54.7 billion of it is for personnel cost, N6.9 billion for overheads, and N7.1 billion will go for capital expenditure. The Nigerian Army will spend N510 million on motor vehicle maintenance, N887.7 million office and residential quarters maintenance and a total of N2.1 billion on training and travels. N1 billion is allocated for

procurement of various types of ammunition for the army while production of armoured personnel carriers will cost N350 million. The Navy is proposing N10 billion to purchase ships, N1.973 billion on defence equipment and another N1.3 billion on training and travels; N90 million on generators. For the Air Force, N1.5 billion will be spent on travels and training, while rehabilitation and repairs of defence equipment got N3.7 billion. The Defence missions has a total of N10.3 billion out of which N539.6 million will go for purchase of secured communication equipment for the missions. The National Security Adviser's office has N1.034 billion as security votes, satellite communication in the FCT will cost N6.782 billion, data signal centre N9.8 billion, iridium/communication platform also in the FCT N2 billion, motorised direction finder 12 4X4 jeeps N178 million, cyber security N142 million and presidential communication network got N1.3 million. Counter terrorism equipment will cost N3 billion The Police will spend N165 million on 3 armoured toyota landcruiser vehicles and armoured hilux for GSM tracking, N310 million is for patrol vehicles, special operational vehicles got N340 million, N455 million is for bullet vests and ballistic helmets. Also, explosive disposals will gulp N250 million, dogs and handling equipment N50 million, operational vehicles for mobile police N150 million, mounted troops accessories N50 million, automated finger print identification system N70 million, forensic equipment and provision of DNA test and crime scene laboratories N105.

politically by first rubbishing the family name. He, however, maintained that Nigeria has reached a point where those who relish in brazen breach of others' rights must realise that it is no longer

business as usual. “You can't do something despicable and think it will be business as usual. We've left that era of satanic behaviour.


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ctress Mercy Johnson who was reportedly in a showdown with her older colleague, Patience Ozokwor on location in Asaba few weeks back, has blamed her uncontrollable outburst on Ozokwor's repeated utterances referring to her as an 'ashawo'- a hoochie. In a telephone interview, Mercy recounted her side of the story to journalists. She noted that Patience Ozokwor was given a revealing clothe to wear on that location, apparently to depict a character in the movie that was in the making and Patience allegedly refused the outfit, stating that she is not Mercy Johnson, not an 'ashawo'. “I'm not a prostitute. I don't like the name. I told her I didn't like it”, Mercy told. According to her, the faceoff was escalated when Mama Gee refused to stop calling her by unpleasant name. There were unconfirmed reports that the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) might take a disciplinary action against Mercy Johnson and Patience Ozokwor but when contacted the AGN president, Segun Arinze simply stated that the issue has been sorted out in-house. The contact by our correspondent read “Hello sir, I just want to know if the AGN is taking any disciplinary action against Mercy Johnson and Patience Ozokwor”. “No it's sorted out. Thanks”, he replied. Arinze would not comment further. Arinze, sources said, has instructed both parties not to make any further comments on the matter.

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he 'Beauty and a Beat' singer was spotted at his exgirlfriend's Los Angeles house, two months after they called time on their two-year romance, and stayed for around an hour, with his security team and driver waiting outside. A source told Us Weekly magazine: “Justin Bieber visited Selena Gomez at her house this afternoon.” Meanwhile, Justin's mother, Pattie Mallette, has revealed she is still in contact with 20-year-old Selena, despite her split from her son. She told 'Access Hollywood': “[Selena's] a sweetheart. I'll always love and respect her. Whatever Justin chooses, obviously, it's his life. I've talked to her [since the break-up].” Justin has hit the headlines recently for a string of controversial antics, including arriving two hours late for a concert in London, getting into an altercation with a photographer and being accused of battery, and Pattie admits she “prays” for the 19-year-old star, though she insists she has no influence over some aspects of his life. She said: “Of course I pray for him and I encourage him. I can't really speak to how he handles that part of his life. “Him being 19, you know, I've just gotta let go a little and let him make some of his own decisions. He's growing up. He's 19. He's not my baby.” Speaking of the allegations of battery following a row with a neighbour, she added to 'Access Hollywood': “Sometimes I learn about things on the internet the same as everybody else. And that was the case this time.”

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he 32-year-old reality TV star who is set to welcome her first baby in July with her rapper boyfriend Kanye West thinks raising children is challenging regardless of their background and has been seeking parenting tips from her friends. The 'Kourtney & Kim Take Miami' star told BET: “I have a lot of friends that are all different nationalities and their children are biracial, so they

have kind of talked to me a little bit about it and what to expect and what not to expect. “But I think that the most important thing is how I would want to raise my children is to just not see colour. “There will be so many experiences . . . that you won't really know how to prepare for until you really go through it, so I think raising a child in general is challenging. “Obviously you want your

children to travel the world and experience different races and different cultures everywhere, so I think that would be something that is important to me to give as much information as I could.” Kim recently hit back at critics for suggesting she was endangering her unborn baby by wearing clothes that are too tight. Writing on her mommy blog, she said: “It's funny because Kourtney warned me that when I get pregnant people's opinions will be on an all time high and

everyone will chime in! So I now see what she means. “I saw some comments that the skirt is too tight for the pregnancy and that's ridiculous! I bought this skirt a few sizes bigger and there is plenty of room. For any concern that my clothes are too tight, I have so many pieces custom fit for my growing body! They make pregnancy Spanx which are tight. So this theory sounds ridiculous! I feel my best when I am in heels and chic clothes! Happy mommy, happy baby!”


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Warri stadium is under-utilized – Uduaghan

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OVERNOR Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State has lamented the under utilization of the Warri Stadium even when they state has the best of sporting facilities and acceptable modern equipment of international standards. Speaking after assessing the facilities in place for the Africa Youth Athletics Championships, AYAC, which kicks off in Warri Wednesday, the Governor said that it was unfortunate that the stadium was not being patronized by the federal authorities and others in charge of national and international sporting events in the country. According to him, “With the facilities on ground presently in this stadium, there is no reason why there should be no activities here or why we cannot host national and international sports competition on a regular basis in Warri stadium”. He however expressed delight that the stadium was successfully reconfigured to provide for track

and field events of international standard in addition to the provision of the Estimated Distance Measurement (EDM) equipment for accurate measurement of athletes' time and distance returns. The EDM which is the first of its kind in Nigeria, was an added advantage to the preparedness of

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est Brom's coach,Steve Clarke has declared that he is tired of answering questions about Nigerian international,Osaze Odemwingie,adding that he should be man enough and say to his face,that he has a problem with him or the club. Since the turn of the year,Osaze has been on the social media,Twitter,attacking West Brom following his inability to secure a move to Queens Park Rangers and the subsequent decision to leave him on the bench. “I haven't made very much of it. I don't read Twitter. I understand there were some more comments on

like Long jump, Triple jump, Javelin, etc. Similarly, it measures and records the reaction of athletes at the start lines to avoid controversies. “We are setting standards to help develop sports so that our athletes will be encouraged to do their best to raise their own standards and be counted among

By Okey Anyichie

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he Super Eagles failed to meet the high expectations of Nigerian football fans last Saturday in Calabar where they ended up in a 1-1 draw with the Harambee stars of Kenya. Kenya had almost turned the table on the Super Eagles as they held on to the goal scored through a free kick midway in the first half of the game by Francis Nyambura. But Nigeria escaped losing at home when Oduamadi scored the

The Senate deputy president, Barr. Ike Ekweremadu, handing over the trophy to the captain of Udi LGA under 18 team fter emerging tournament' runner-up in the last two editions, Udi LGA finally hit the bulls eye in its third attempt

the Warri stadium which also boast of a four-lane warm up track with jump facilities. Outside Warri only Abuja national stadium has such facilities in the country. The EDM timing device is used to manage competitions to eliminate the use of tapes in measuring distances in events

with an emphatic 2-0 win over Aninri LGA as the curtain for the 3rd Ike-Oha U-18 Unity Football championship was drawn, with a

Twitter,” Clarke said “I think if he (Odemwingie) has got something to say to me, he should come and say it to my face. “I haven't got anything to say to him. If he's got anything to say to me, he should come and say it to my face. He is the one who has the grievance, not me,” the West Brom coach added. “But I'm not interested in what he said. The club will deal with that side of it.” Clarke was quick to correct the impression,when a question was asked,alluding to Osaze as one his leading players: “Sorry, he's what? He is one of my players. That's it, he

Harambee of kenya celebrates their goal against Nigeria. Match ended 1 -1 equalizer in the injury time saved the day for the 2013 Africa cup of nation champions.

Nigeria though drew the match but is still leading the group with five points on goal difference to

patting prize of one million naira last friday Playing before a half-empty Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium, Enugu, that had championship sponsor, Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu and two other senators, Ayogu Eze and Hope Uzodinma, the Udi lads shot into the lead with a sublime strike from Alex Onyia on 38 minutes as he evaded an offside trap by the opponent' defense. Championship highest scorer, Solomon Nsude made it two for the lads from Udi as he dribbled his Two players of Udi and Aninri LGAs, during the final of the way through a sea of legs to score competition just ten minutes into the second the large entourage of the Udi half. He was the highest goal scorer faithful that thronged the stadium a of the competition day of joy and happiness. As much as the Aninri boys tried to Senator Ekweremadu in his speech crack the defence of Udi, they after the medals presentation, said, could not, as splendid goalkeeping “It gives me great pleasure to and resolute defending ensured the witness this great show of soccer game ended on that note and made

is one of my players,” he pointed out. ”I'm just disappointed I have to spend so much time talking about one player (Odemwingie) when I've got a squad of players who have made a fantastic contribution this season.” “I'm fed up talking about Odemwingie. You've asked about it, I've answered it, let's move on. I'm not answering any more questions on Peter,” Clarke said. He however confirmed that Osaze would be in the squad for the weekend's game against West Ham. Osaze is equally set to make a comeback to the Super Eagles of Nigeria in June,for the national team's hectic schedule.

ADVOCATE the best in the world”, Uduaghan said, noting that this is how the likes of Blessing Okagbare were discovered. He assured that the state government would regularly maintain the facilities and equipment to avoid decay, deterioration and fall in standard. About 37 countries are participating in the Africa Youth Athletics Championships (AYAC)

Malawi. Nigeria will face the Harambee of Kenya in a second leg encounter in Kenya on 5th June this year. It is very essential for Nigeria to win this game if they are to continue in the race for the world cup qualification and play in Brazil in 2014, hence, it will not be a sweet tale to tell that the African champions could not qualify for the world cup involving the best of soccer playing nations of the world like it happened in 2006 edition in Germany when Angola eliminated Nigeria in the Africa zonal qualifiers. artistry from these young lads. It encourages me to continue to sponsor this championship and I know that before long, my other colleagues in the Senate will join in doing same for their zones. This is just one of the ways of giving back to the society what they have given to us.” Enugu football association chairman, Chidi Ofo Okenwa, said, “This is the way to go and I am very happy that the youths of Enugu state are the better for it. What we saw this evening is a show of modern football that had all the trappings any football finals anywhere in the world. With more of this kind of competitions, I am very sure that Enugu state would be the breeding ground of future national youth teams.” Medals, trophies and cash reward were presented to deserving players, coaches and other officials. Aninri L.G.A equally as runner-up went home with N500,000


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Footballers and their coach of Purple-Krown collage, Enugu jubilating after a victory in a football competition

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private post-primary school in Enugu; PurpleKrown C ollege last Sunday in Abuja beat Government Secondary School, Wuse FCT by a lone goal to lift the Shellcup for post primary schools in the country. Purple-Krown C ollege started the journey to the 2013 edition of the competition by beating Army

Day Secondary School, Enugu 65 in a penalty shoot out, then thrashed Colliery Comprehensive School Ngwo 4-0 and then overwhelmed Community Secondary School, Amaroba-Inyi 8-0. The victorious Purple Krown had a play off in Rivers State and qualified for the quarter-final where the Annunciation

Secondary School was eliminated by 1-0 and the Enugu based postprimary school sailed into the semi-final and beat Government College Ibadan by 4-1. The final competition made Purple-Krown the champions of the Shell-cup soccer fiesta after pipping Government Secondary School Abuja by a lone goal. This is the first time a school from

Enugu state is winning the all Nigerian Post Primary School soccer competition which started in 1998. Winning the competition this year according to Mr. Adewale Alao, proprietor of Purple Krown College, the school will take part in the World Secondary Schools soccer competition later this year in England.

Receiving the school at his office yesterday, the chairman of the Enugu state Football Federation, M r. C h i d i O f o O k e n w a congratulated the young footballers for doing Enugu State proud. He also urged them to take their education seriously as the ideal thing to do now is to combine academics with sporting activities. Speaking with The Advocate he stated that he felt very marvelous for the achievement of the young footballers from Purple Krown College Enugu. He disclosed that the success came as a result of the foundation laid in 2009. He later made donation to the school for lifting the 2013 Shell trophy. In another development, Flying Eagles, the Nigerian under-20 team had failed to defend their A f r i c a n Yo u t h S o c c e r Championship won in 2011. The Flying Eagles were grounded by the Young Pharaohs of Egypt 2-0 to shoot into the final. Although, the Nigerian lads had crashed out of the race, they have qualified along with the other three qualifiers from the two groups to represent Africa in Turkey in June this year. Brazil, the South American country is the defending champion of the under-20 world cup as the country beat Portugal 3-2 in 2011 in Colombia to lift the cup for the fourth time. Ghana is the only African country that had won the competition since it started in 1977 in Tunisia. Ghana beat Brazil in 2009 edition of the competition in Egypt.

By Okey Anyichie

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angers Football Club of Enugu last Monday at Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu played a goalless drawn game with visiting Warri Wolves football club. Playing before a scanty crowd of football fans, the game started on a very fast note with Rangers pilling pressure on the visiting team from Warri. However, the second half saw Rangers in a very anxious goal moves but could not score as the visitors played a defensive game most of the second half. It was with this manner of ding dong affair that

ended the match as neither of the two sides found the back of the net. Rangers has failed to top the league table as the victorious outings in the week one and two, made the team to bag points. If victory had come their way at Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium on Monday, it would have been nine points for Rangers and remaining top in the league table. Rangers travelled on Wednesday and engaged Kwara United of Illorin in the week four, while on Saturday at Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium, Enugu, Rangers hosted the visiting Kaduna United club side in the fifth week of the NPL.


Vol. 1 No. 19, Monday, April 1 - Sunday, April 7, 2013

Uwa Elderson Echiéjilé

Back page comment

Governor Sullivan Chime and his Newspaper/ Internet Medical Advisers By Ambrose Agu

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he story entitled “This Chime is Sick!", ThisDay, 8th March, 2013, at first glance appears to resemble a fair piece of advice. But the problem, in my opinion, with this outwardly innocuous-seeming piece of advisory writing is that it is blatantly presumptive, u n s o l i c i t e d , intermeddling, and unsupported in terms of medical evidentiary sufficiency, therefore it is suspect and clearly lacks persuasive authority. Worse yet like the proverbial Trojan Horse it ominously also appears to harbour a well-hidden, selfinterested agenda. First, here is a summary of what we have always known about Gov Chime's illness and circumstances, even prior to the unsolicited piece of public advice referenced above. Gov Chime himself on 13th February, 2013 gave a frank, transparent, and detailed account of his illness to the world at a press conference in Government House, Enugu. At that press conference he stated that he had suffered from nasal cancer, but he also explained that he has been cured of the illness (mainly because it was diagnosed early and treated immediately and aggressively). And he also publicly underscored that he would still need to go to his foreign-based doctors from time to time for routine checkups and maintenance. In sum he assured that he is essentially cured and now okay, but will need routine check ups. And since then he has been managing his health and going about his lawful duties without incident. Now, the gravamen of the ThisDay write-up is (according to the writer) that Gov Chime is feigning to be well, that instead his health has deteriorated from the time he returned to the country on February 8, 2013, and that Gov Chime needs to step down from office and go seek further medical treatment. In support of this presumptive and dubious diagnosis, the writer proffers no more than a mere narrative on some recent pictures, especially the one picture taken when Gov Chime paid a condolence visit to the family of the slain Kwara State Police Commissioner in Enugu, Mr. Chinwike Asadu. Based on this lone picture which the writer probably saw in the pages of a newspaper, he made his

diagnosis and recommendation and advised the abdication of a popular electoral mandate. Not lost also is the writer's figurative wagging finger and unfair insinuation about “the greedy and short-sighted” to whom wealth and the accumulation of wealth equate health and wellness, and who often discover, belatedly, that wealth does not conquer all - a trite and

well-worn cliché that is completely inapplicable in this instance but which has nevertheless been unfairly hoisted upon Gov Chime. Suffice it to say that the writer's newspaper diagnosis and holier-thanthou moralizing is patently presumptive as it clearly presumes that Gov Chime and his doctors are unwilling or incapable of making such diagnosis and judgment call when and where necessary. This is wrong! Besides no one sought the writer's advice, perhaps because the writer lacks the professional training, education and qualification to make such technical pronouncements; plus the writer literally knows zilch about the details and progress of Gov Chime's state of health, as a matter of fact. The writer's opinion is, therefore, unnecessary and perhaps useless, and expectedly will not be required or considered in any medical decisions that may be made by Gov Chime and his doctors. After all, it was Gov Chime (not the writer) who made the decision to go for treatment abroad at the time that he did and at the place that he did and for the reasons that he did! So he and his doctors can make such a decision again if necessary (we pray there will never be a need to do so again). And to even expect Gov Chime to take his medical diagnosis and prescriptions from journalists on the pages of newspapers is to be ridiculous. This is why the advice offered was in reality un-useable and useless. Besides Gov Chime has Nigerian

doctors who, of course, expectedly are continuing to monitor his health and whose advice are more relevant, more grounded and more sensible than the unsolicited and intermeddling presentation we have here. This is therefore to say that the decision of when and how and where and whether to seek further medical treatment abroad is a personal and professional decision that belongs to Gov Chime and his doctors, not politicians and their journalist allies in media houses. It is also interesting that the writer advised Gov Chime to step down from office and then go seek further medical treatment. Of course the import of that suggestion is dulled with the alternate suggestion that Gov Chime should approach the legislature for more time to go back for treatment, but we get the mischievous idea! Of course many political opponents and foes have been coming out lately with the suggestion that Gov Chime should resign and go seek further treatment. On the surface this would seem like an innocuous, apolitical advice, but the giveaway is that the bearers of this Trojan-horse often always seem more concerned about Gov Chime than Gov Chime himself plus his family and friends combined! Well an opportunity that was lost at the ballot box, and at the courts, and in popular opinion and popular will, should not be so easily regained via such outlandish childish subterfuge! 2015 is around the corner, the opposition is advised to better try their luck then, than resort to this crocodile concern, a laughable shenanigan! Finally let us let Gov Chime be. He and his Nigerian doctors who are conversant with his progress are quite capable of making any medical decision if ever such a decision becomes necessary. It is improper for anyone to diagnose from afar, and prescribe on the pages of newspapers or the internet, without any true knowledge of the details of the matter in question. Such quack diagnosis and prescription would be dubious and inferior and dangerous to say the least. It would also be un-useable and useless as it could never be used by any right thinking person. So please spare us. Keep your diagnosis and prescriptions to yourself. By Ambrose Agu Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria

U

wa Elderson Echiéjilé (born 20 January 1988 in Benin City), known as Elderson, is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays for Sporting de Braga in Portugal, as a left defender. Club career Elderson began his senior career at Bendel Insurance FC, making his first-team debuts at the age of 16. In August 2007 he was sold to Stade Rennais F.C. in France, playing his first Ligue 1 game on 23 December in a 00 draw at Toulouse FC; during his spell however, he ended up appearing more for the reserve side (33 games) than for the main squad (19). On 16 June 2010 Elderson signed for Sporting de Braga from Portugal for €2,5 million, on a four-year contract. He scored on his official debut for the Minho club, netting from a corner kick in a 30 home win against Celtic for the qualifying rounds of the UEFA Champions League (42 aggregate win). International career Elderson was a member of the Nigerian U-20 team at the 2007 World Cup in Canada, playing five matches and scoring once. Having made his debuts for the senior side in 2009, he was picked for the following year's FIFA World Cup in South Africa, appearing in two group stage matches in an eventual group stage exit. Elderson was called up to Nigeria's 23-man squad for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. Honours Country Africa Cup of Nations: 2013

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