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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Nigeria Embassy In Germany Corruptly Collects €500 On Each Deported Nigerian:Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru Take Note



By Uzoma Ahamefule
This news from Germany is really disturbing. Why is it that our leaders make us laughing objects before the international community and they will turn around to accuse us the poor and voiceless masses? This accusation from “The Voice Baden Württemberg” in Germany that most Nigerian refugees are deported without proper identification or procedure is a severe one especially the indictment that the Nigerian Embassy officials have been taking €500 to facilitate the deportation of a Nigerian refugee.
According to “The Voice Baden Württemberg” for the lucrative deportation business to flourish the Nigerian officials can identify their victims in their wisdom with special reference to their facial marks or looks that could be attributed to Nigerians. Furthermore, the embassy’s machine making money (the refugees) could as well be identified based on their languages or accents according to this known source. When did language speaking or facial marks etc. become a standard yardstick of knowing where one comes from? If the same Nigerians go to the embassy for help as Nigerians without proper identity like passport, driver’s license or birth certificate etc. will the embassy recognize them as Nigerians? If the answer is no, why then issue documents to deport people to Nigeria even when the host authorities have not been able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that they are Nigerians? Who told you that those people that may have claimed to be Nigerians or the almighty embassy officers have identified as Nigerians may not come from other African countries? Even when somebody identifies him- or herself under this circumstance as a Nigerian or speaks any of the Nigerian languages it still does not make that person a Nigerian without any document to back it up. Can the Nigerian government take anybody from Western Europe with white skin to the German Embassy in Nigeria without proper identification and they entertain that person as a German and give the Nigerian authority the needed signatory to deport the person to Germany? No European country will accept such uncivilized way of doing things. But why is my country doing it? And painfully it is not that they do not know that it is wrong. Please tell me why? Why do Nigerian officials in Germany or Austria go to interview asylum seekers outside the official buildings of the embassies? According to a fellow comrade Mr Rex Osa who is a coordinator of “The Voice Baden Württemberg” (Germany) “For each candidate interviewed the Nigerian embassy gets €250 and another €250 for issued travelling certificate.” So, it means that the deportation of Nigerians now has become another money making business? Could this be one of the reasons Nigerian refugees are molested, abused and most times killed in foreign lands without the federal government of Nigeria through their ambassadors wanting a redress as they ought to.
I hope that the monies already collected through this process were properly documented particularly the monies of those that the embassy did not issue their travelling documents. Because the identification of a problem is the first step towards solving it, therefore, as a matter of urgency, I appeal to the Nigerian government to look into this neo colonialism of €500 as mentioned above and abolish it if it is official because it has induced many abracadabra interviews and deportations. Nigeria is supposed to be too big and greatly sophisticated for this kind of stories, as a matter of fact our dignity and value should be considered before any action is taken.
The new honorable Foreign Affairs Minister Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru spoke well about how he will handle the welfare of Nigerians in foreign countries last week, consequently honorable Minister Sir, your attention has been drawn to this uncivilized behavior of the Nigerian embassy in Germany according to “The Voice Baden Württemberg”. Please investigate the allegation and also save the people from the calamity that is about to happen to them now. According to the source from Germany the Nigerian Embassy will be doing another round of identification of Nigerians from 15-19 August 2011 in Karlsruhe with the aim of issuing their deportation papers and I am scared that the same thing will be extended to Austria sooner than later as usual.

Nigeria is the only government that collects this kind of money to facilitate the pains of her citizens amongst the whole countries of the world. What a shame! And African ambassadors are the only ambassadors that authorize or that go secretly outside the official buildings of their embassies with the primary aim to conduct how their citizens should be humiliated back to their respective countries. No American or European country would do that. Do you blame Nigerian ambassadors or their African counterparts? Nigerian or African people are poor people that must obey their neocolonial masters and must follow them without questioning or else what is happening to Mugabe in Zimbabwe will happen to them, or else what happened to Ambassador Jerry Ugokwe will happen to them.
Jerry Ugokwe was the Ambassador to Austria who stood firmly on the side of the people, but the power that may be from Abuja had to recall him for this patriotic attitude of standing for the masses and on the truth. He was the Ambassador that never signed deportation papers without knowing why because each file that was brought to him he had examined thoroughly and had asked many questions that had to be answered before he could sign, and of course the authorities involved were never ready for such change. Under the then Foreign Affair Minister Ojo Maduekwe three wise men were sent from Nigeria to Austria to sign the deportation of about two thousand Nigerians which Jerry Ugokwe never signed because there was no justification for him to do that. This can only happen in a country like Nigeria. Ugokwe, wherever you are God will continue to bless you. You shall never lack!
I hope that this era of putting Nigerian masses in sorrow and agony by our ambassadors in foreign countries just to satisfy Aso Rock is over because President Goodluck Jonathan is not a desperate president. Therefore, I pray that our honorable Foreign Affairs Minister Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru will have mercy on us the poor and heed the cry of these Nigerians or some people from other African countries that may be identified as Nigerians in Germany and intervene urgently before this charade in the name of the so-called interview takes place in Karlsruhe between August 15th and 19th 2011. Furthermore, the idea of collecting €500 or €250 as the case may be and conducting any official work outside the building of Nigerian embassies under any guise should stop with immediate effect.
Please for details on this topic contact: The Voice Baden Württemberg:http://www.thevoiceforum.org/node/2207: Tel.: +4917627873832                                                                                       
Uzoma Ahamefule writes from Vienna, Austria uzomaah@yahoo.com  +436604659620 sms only


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Nigeria sends two new satellites into space







Five hundred miles into the cold universe, at the cusp of sky, two satellites tumble into orbit, guided by the background light of stars – a remarkable sight, no doubt.
What's more remarkable still is the country that rocketed them up there: Nigeria.
Earth's least likely space-going nation reached further into the stars last week, when Nigeria shot its third and fourth satellites into orbit, including the first satellite built by Africans.
From their exospheric perch, the two will map one of humanity's final frontiers: Lagos. The vast megalopolis, home to between nine and 17 million people, is a constantly-shifting phenomenon in urban non-planning.
“These cities are growing very rapidly,” says Ylva Sandring, spokeswoman for England's Surrey Satellite Technology, which built one of the two satellites. “One of the ways these satellites can be used is for mapping the area and looking at that growth.”
Behold the Nigerian space program, an improbable endeavor that once cherished the dream of shipping a Nigerian into orbit by 2015.
“I don't think that one is actually feasible,” says Umar Isah, an engineer with Nigerian Communications Satellite, a public-private partnership with the Nigerian government.
Instead, the agency's focus has swiveled from the promise of space back toward problems on earth – of which Nigeria has plenty.
The nation's desert is widening, its waterholes withering. These two new satellites will keep tabs on that loss of farmland.
Farther south, where crops should flourish, the country has struggled to kickstart large-scale agriculture – but infrared photographs of the nation's fields will offer farmers satellite data on where to smear fertilizer, and allow scientists to forecast each season's upcoming crop.
Then there's Nigeria's recurrent disasters: oil spills and urban flooding.
Already, Nigeria has become something of a leading nation in the field of disaster photography. One of its satellites snapped the much-needed first picture of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The same satellite beamed down photos of the 2004 tsunami and March's earthquake in Japan to aid agencies.
“They're able to focus in on specific areas and look at damage to roads,” Surrey's Head of Business Development Steve Young said. The information is vital to organizations like the Red Cross.
“The fact that we have so many issues, so many problems, cannot stop us from going into space,” Isah said. “Space is just another way of dealing with those problems.
Christian Science Monitor

Saturday, August 20, 2011

When Two Fools Fight, It Is Language That Suffers: IBB, A Fool At 70 Says Obasanjo; But He Is Bigger Fool-Babangida!







By Ademola Oni and Olusola Fabiyi
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday responded to the recent criticisms of his administration by a former military dictator, Gen Ibrahim Babangida, dismissing Babangida’s assessment as the “ranting of a foolish man”.
The former President, in an interview with selected reporters at his Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Ogun State, said that his achievements as a two-term civilian head of state towered above the legacies of Babangida’s eight-year rule.
He said, “Normally when I read these things I don’t believe them. Yesterday (Wednesday), when somebody phoned me and said this was what he (Babangida) said, I said, ‘Don’t believe it.’ They got me the newspapers and I read them. It’s a bit unlike Babangida. But if Babangida has decided, on becoming a septuagenarian, that he will be a fool, I think one should probably do what the Bible says in Proverbs Chapter 26, verse 4. It says don’t answer a fool because you may also become like him.
“When you go to the same Proverbs Chapter 26 verse 5, it says answer a fool so that he will not think he’s a wise man. So, I am now torn between which of the two verses I should follow in this respect.”
Babangida, however, reacted to Obasanjo’s remarks on Thursday, calling Obasanjo “a greater fool.” “We do not want to believe that he (Obasanjo) truly said that, but if it is true that he did say that, Nigerians know who the greatest (sic) fool is,” Babangida said in a statement by his spokesperson, Prince Kassim Afegbua.
“In terms of decency, finesse, class, distinction and general conduct, IBB could be described in the superlatives but for Obasanjo, God bless Nigeria.
“For a man who cannot possibly tell his true age, one may excuse his present outburst as the effusions of a witless comedian trying effortlessly to impress his select audience.
Obasanjo, himself a military dictator between 1976 and 1979, was elected president between 1999 and 2007. Babangida seized power in a military coup in 1985 and ruled till 1993 when he “stepped aside” in the aftermath of the crisis that greeted the annulment of the 1993 presidential election.
The spat between the two former heads of state began on Wednesday when Babangida, in an interview to mark his 70 birthday, berated the ex-president for lacking in vision and said his eight years in government had been a failure.
But Obasanjo argued that the premise on which IBB based his assessment exposed the former military dictator’s “ignorance”.
He said, “Unfortunately, some of the things he said were not well thought-out. For instance, he talked about our energy sector. When I was the military head of state, I built Jebba Dam; built Shiroro Dam; and I prepared the foundation of Egbin Power Plant, which President (Shehu) Shagari completed and inaugurated. That time, the money we were making was not up to the money Babangida was making annually for his eight years. Yet, we built two dams, because it was important.
“You know that power is the driving force for development and for any developing country. But since the building of Egbin power plant, until I came back in 1999, there was no generating plant for almost 20 years and Babangida spent eight years out of that. Now, he has the audacity to talk about anybody. I think that is unfortunate.
“Then, as elected president, I built Papalanto, Omotosho and others. I started five Independent Power Stations which were stopped for two-and-a-half years. As a country, Nigeria should be adding nothing less than 1,500 megawatts annually. South Africa with a population of 50 million generates 50,000 mega watts.



“As at 1999, we met 1,500 mega watts before we took it up to 4,000 mega watts. What we started they are now allowing it to go on. I believe if they continue with the programme that we left, in another two years, we will get to 10,000.”
Obasanjo added that the ex-dictator deserved pity as a result of the “inherent contradictions” in his comments.
He said, “I also read where he said in his time, he gave the dividends of democracy and at the same time he regretted. When I read that, I said Babangida should be pitied and shown sympathy rather than anger or condemnation because the old saying says a fool at 40 is a fool forever and I would say a regret at 70 is a regret too late. Well, a regret at 70 is a regret to the grave.”
Former Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, had claimed that Obasanjo blocked the sale of Nigeria Airways while testifying before the Senate Committee probing the sale of public enterprises from 1999 to date.
Obasanjo admitted that he blocked the sale of Nigeria Airways under the privatisation programme but explained that he did so because the organisation was not viable for sale.
Obasanjo said, “I blocked the sale of Nigeria Airways; not that I attempted to block the sale of Nigeria Airways. When I was the military head of state, Nigeria Airways had 32 aircraft. By the time I came back as elected president of Nigeria in 1999, Nigeria Airways had only one aircraft. One of the 32 was wide bodied; they had all gone. The report on which we worked is here and the amount of money we would have had to pay if Nigeria Airways was sold. What we would have got out of it was less than 10 per cent of the debt we had to pay. That will be the debt Nigeria taxpayers would have had to pay. I won’t run my own affairs that way, so I opted for liquidation.
“So, it was bankrupted, it was liquidated. In which case, whatever you gain from liquidation, which is also a form of sale, (it) means the burden will be shared by all the creditors and everybody. So, I did not allow normal privatisation or sale because it would have put a very heavy burden on Nigeria. In fact my administration should be commended for that,” he added.
However, Babangida, in the statement, alluded to the widely held belief that he was one of the powerbrokers who engineered Obasanjo’s ascension to power after his prison term.
The statement reads, “When he was released from prison and granted state pardon, bathed in cerebral ornaments and clothed in royal beads and later crowned as President of Nigeria, IBB was not a fool then.
“Now that he is at the extreme of his thoughts and engagements, he can decide to dress IBB in borrowed robes. But the histories of both of them, when put to public scrutiny comparatively, IBB is far glowing and instructively stands poles apart from Obasanjo.
“On the issue of performance, Obasanjo cannot contemplate a comparison of his largely acquisitive regime that plundered our hard-earned state resources, with that of the IBB government with a verifiable record of achievements.
“Despite the fact that he carried out a clinical investigation of IBB’s regime, what did he establish against him? Nothing! We wish to refer Obasanjo to the National Assembly to give his own side of the story to the several revelations that have become the themes of his orchestra when he held sway as President of Nigeria. Perhaps, he would be able to tell the world how he managed Nigeria’s resources during his regime.

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Six-year tenure is a Frankenstein monster -Obahiagbon


















Honourable Patrick Obahiagbon represented Oredo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, from 2007 to 2011.  The lawmaker, popularly known as Igodomigodo, was one of the most vocal members in the lower chamber. In this interview with Uchechukwu Olisah, he speaks on the proposal for single tenure of office for the president and state governors; the emergence of Aminu Tambuwal as Speaker, House of Representatives and the Boko Haram saga, among other issues.
What is your take on the recent single tenure of office proposal for the president and governors by President Goodluck Jonathan?
Let me asseverate that President Jonathan is seised of all the privileges to bounce his political thoughts within the field of play and we have a bounden duty to interrogate his presidential vision without recourse to vituperative and ad hominem exegesis.
Having made the above point, let me posit prestissimo that the single tenure proposal for executive suzerains and major domos as an Aladdin lamp out of our vaudeville of political phantasmagoria, economic quagmire and social miasma amongst others, presumptuously takes for granted that it is not the same prebendal, narcissistic and namby-pamby Nigerian political class that would operationalise same.
Yes, it has been argued that it has the potency for blunting the edges of acidic acrimony and political gbogbonshe. Yes, the point has been made that it can engender a focused executive biceps; yes, we are being told that it would entrench the principles of rotation and what have you. But I submit with all sense of responsibility that this new fangled single tenure prescription is, at best, a Frankenstein monster and an execrable political hobgoblin that must be put back in the bottle.
It would, of certainty, encourage lawlessness and rascality and foist upon the citizenry for a period of eon an executive carpetbagger and rapscallion, whilst depriving us the opportunity of inebriating ourselves with the utilitarian achievements of a philosopher king.
What I think is fundamental just now is the further deepening of our electoral ceramics in such a democratic modus that, in Plato’s Peoples Republic, there should truly be a place for the people.
As a former member of the House of Representatives, what would you say of the events that led to the emergence of Aminu Tambuwal as Speaker in the face of directive from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the party with majority in the House, that the position be zoned to the South-West?I want to believe that various political hierarchs and supremos must have learnt one or two useful lessons from the events that led to the emergence of Aminu Tambuwal as Speaker. Having spent 12 years of my political peregrination in Parliament, I am in cahoots with the robust and salubrious democratic dialectics that threw up Tambuwal as Speaker. We are talking of the Federal House of Representatives here. It was enervating that the PDP political high priests decided on a macabre dance and perilously skated on thin ice and had to opprobriously skedaddle out of the sacrosanct Green Chambers when the Tambuwal votes started singing for victory. It was, indeed, a crushing and deserving defeat for party dictatorship. The issue now is how Mr Speaker deploys the authority of the gavel to the benefit of Nigerians and we are on the qui vive.
Do you believe in party supremacy? Some people believe that the emergence of Tambuwal as Speaker of the lower chamber made nonsense of the supposed cherished principle of party supremacy. Do you believe in party supremacy?Yes, I believe in party supremacy, but within the matrix and praxis of real politic, contextual dynamics and contemporaneous fulcrum, and we must look at the Tambuwal political sirocco from the aforementioned prism to appreciate the extenuating ambience, that itself helps to attenuate from the very harsh view of giving a rendition, suggestive of subjecting party supremacy to pugilistic pulverisation. The concept of party supremacy is no excuse for party dictatorship; a democratic political party is not a czarist politburo. Chikena.
President Goodluck Jonathan said he would not reduce the programmes of his administration to any specific-point agenda. Do you share in this sentiment or do you have areas of priority for Mr President and his cabinet?I conjecture that the desire of Mr President not to reduce the programmes of his administration is borne out of the imperative need of extricating governance from the balcony of vacuous and insipid sloganeering. That is not to say that we do not deserve to know the clear trajectory of our government.
I want to believe that this government would, of course, see as priority the need to urgently focus on issues such as security, our road infrastructure, the provision of an efficacious health care delivery system, our parlous educational cadence, agriculture, youth unemployment and weaning the Nigerian economy from the chess board of international monopoly finance capital inter alia.
Now that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) is fully constituted and inaugurated, do you think President Jonathan’s cabinet has the reach and depth to tackle, within the shortest possible time, the myriads of problems confronting a seeming impatient people in the face of apparent deprivations in the midst of plenty?I am of the sanguine predilection that Mr President has brought together men and women in the Federal Executive Council that can assist him navigate the ship of the state from eschewable icebergs, cataracts and oxbow lakes, even though I have fundamental reservations about one or two characters. The important point, however, is for Mr President to take into immutable cognition the fact that the buck stops on his table. He must be able to rein in all his ministers and damn their ministerial megalomania, especially when such excrescences are becoming odoriferous and deleterious to the body polity. He must take the driver’s seat and lead by example. There must be a conscious and advertent policy in place to ensure that his ministers are on the same page with the people.
The Federal Government seems to be carrying much of Nigeria’s nation-building burden with the state governments, providing occasional cushion, while the local governments appear to be in existence only in name. Do you share in the view of some persons who think the local governments should be scrapped because they are presently irrelevant and has not justified their constitutional status?It is a fact too indubitable to be contested that in spite of our federal posturing, a cursory reading of the 1999 Constitution reveals that we are, in truth and indeed, a unitary state with so much powers inhering at the centre and little wonder federal politics have become increasingly atomistic and oozing with all the trappings of brinkmanship and gambadoism. Rather than the National Assembly talking about states creation, when we should in fact be merging some of our states together, it should use the opportunity at re-jigging the constitution to address our lop-sided federal constitution in favour of fiscal federalism.
I have posited elsewhere that our local government administrations are moribund and otiose in concrete terms to the extent of their irrelevance to the sociological yearnings of Nigerians. It has just become one huge drain pipe. If it must continue to exist, then we must all pay more than a passive attention to the apple of Hesperides, that is, our local government administration just now.
Would you offer an alternative to the present political power structure in Nigeria?
From my practical experience thus far, I do soberly think we can do better without the local government as a third tier of government except we are willing to extricate it from state government’s control and really remove the impediments that has made it one huge drain pipe thus far. We really also do not need more than a unicameral legislature at the national level. This is my experiential assessment.
Some persons have said some state governments were in connivance or conspiracy, as the case may be, with some state Houses of Assembly which render local governments impotent by fleecing their financial resources under different guise. What do you think about this trend? Can it not be checked?That allegation has been there and the reasons why this can occur is that, in real terms, the local governments are apron strings of the state governments and they need to be empowered by the constitution to be able to resist gubernatorial poaching into their domains. Equally important for this trend to stop is the fact that the various state Houses of Assembly must stop being political halleluiah boys to their governors and that is why I was deposited in a portmanteau of parliamentary somnambulism when majority of the state Houses of Assembly rejected the clause to give them pecuniary autarky in the last effort at constitutional amendment and expressing a preference for legislative servitude. That action of theirs was a mortal blow for legislative vibrancy at the state level.
What do you say about the continued extension of the tenure of local government transition committees in Edo State? Is this extension within the law and is it in the interest of political parties within the state and in the interest the people and democracy that the extension, which appears unending, should continue?I sincerely don’t know what the constraints of the Edo State government is in conducting local government election and I do hope they are able soon to brace up to such constitutional onus probandi because the diaphanous provisions of the 1999 Constitution makes it audible to the deaf and visible to the blind that the tenure of local governments are democratically guaranteed. It goes without saying, therefore, that any contraption that is not in conformity with the relevant constitutional provision violates same and asphyxiates democracy with its concomitant advantages.
I am optimistic that we would get it aright very soon in Edo State, as it has to do with the democratisation of local government administration and I wish the state government well in that regard.
What is your assessment of the administration of Governor Adams Oshiomhole? What do you think of Oshiomhole’s style of leadership? Do you think he is leading the people and the state in the right direction?The governor is certainly doing his best to transmute and transmogrify the infrastructural topography of the state and the passion he brings to bear in the service of the state is, indeed, deserving of eulogies and even panegyrics. You cannot take from him a sincere and burning desire to make an eldorado out of Edo State and I call to the fore his achievements particularly in the area of road infrastructure.
I am also not unmindful of the fact however that some eminent Edo State citizens have also raised some questions in the public domain as to the cost implications to the people of the state of these projects and other incidental matters and it would serve him well to read every minutiae of these objurgations and expostulations. I have very strong views on his leadership style, but that would be a subject matter for another day and i hope you show understanding. I really wish him best of luck in his efforts at navigating the ship of state to safer shores.
Some commentators have expressed the opinion that the Edo State House of Assembly, for its lack of quality representation and the opposition parties, have failed the people of the state. As a former member of the state House of Assembly and House Leader, what is your opinion on this?I like to look at the reasons why the various state assemblies have decided to apotheosize legislative recumbence over and above legislative recusance, rather than singling out the Edo State House of Assembly for animadversion. Members of the various state Houses of Assembly would continue to be legislative invertebrates, save and until they have financial independence and that is exactly the reason why a preponderant number of governors have fought such attempts with their last breath. The ball is in their court.
Do you perceive any hidden agenda in the escalation of the Boko Haram’s violent assault against the Nigerian state? Besides, do you think the Boko Haram attacks could have been different, if a northerner were to be the current president of Nigeria?It appears to me that the Boko Haram tendency, which seemingly had its fons et origo in Islamic fermentism and religious resurgimento, permit me the alliteration, has since transmogrified into political content and form and this conclusion, is not a sphyxian conundrum difficult to fathom, given the interplay of our national centripetal and centrifugal proclivities and pigmentations. Do not forget that we once had in this country both religious and political shari’a, when the core northern establishment came to the conclusion that it was time to clip the obtrusive and phillistinic wings of Olusegun Obansajo who was becoming something of a Gorgon Medusa to caliphate interests and values.
So, beyond the stated attempts to bring about the Islamisation and shari’anisation of Nigeria, it thus appears that some vested northern political interests have moved in to rattle and rein in the Jonathan administration for both purposes of political vendetta and even to negotiate and position Arewa for 2015. Yes...I say yes...This is the rough and tumble and the humpty dumpty that is Nigeria’s politics. If Niger Delta militants made it happen for the South-South, why will Boko Haram not make it happen for Arewa? These are messages I am getting from the celestial key-board.
How can the Boko Haram challenge be tackled?
Given its religio-political content, the government must be very sensitive, pro-active and sophisticated in the handling of the phenomenon. Rolling out the tanks and armada of attack would drive them further underground and deepen their resolve for international Islamic patronage. Key northern political players must be reassured that this government can guarantee their present and future political permutations. The bogey of a clear and present danger hovering over Arewa must be molly coddled.
Do you think your party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), is providing the right opposition? What is your reaction to people who say the opposition in Nigeria is attacking Mr President’s personality and using inelegant language against him, instead of proffering superior ideas?You know as well as I do that but for the ACN, a one party state would have been foisted on us by now. The ACN cannot but continue to be a democratic battle axe for credible and constructive opposition. The national chairman of the Labour Party is also doing his level best at pointing to alternative pathways from time to time.
But on the whole, I think opposition political parties can still do more by having a position paper on all matters and ministries as if it was in government. That is certainly what the Ikenne philosopher, Papa Obafemi Awolowo, would have done. We must continue to address issues and not resorting to vile and scabrous idiolect, nor must we deploy ad hominen stratagems so as not to become political troubadours tilting at the windmills.
What do you think of the Minimum Wage Act, the way federal and state governments are handling the provisions of the Act and the organised labour’s response?Is the so-called agreed minimum wage really a take home wage? If you ask me, I would even say that it is ‘wageless’. Its specific and caboodle implementation therefore, without much ado, is the expected and demanded irreducible minimum and to further tie its implementation to whatever gerrymandering is not only insensate, but it amounts to a monocle governmental monomania.







British PM Seeks Gang Violence Solutions in US


Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (r) visits a looted Liddell supermarket in Salford, England, Aug. 12, 2011


Britain's prime minister says he will look to the United States for solutions to gang violence, following almost a week of riots that erupted in London and other cities across Britain.

David Cameron said Thursday he would seek advice from U.S. cities that have fought gangs, including Boston, Los Angeles and New York.   

Cameron told an emergency session of parliament authorities are considering disabling social networking websites that rioters used to coordinate their activity.  

He said he would give police extra powers, including the ability to order youths to remove masks, to prevent street violence. 

Police response criticized

The prime minister was initially critical of the police response to the riots, but has since acknowledged that police had been overwhelmed by the groups of looters in the first nights of rioting.  

Prime Minister Cameron said he would keep a higher police presence of 16,000 police officers in London through the coming days and would consider calling in the army to help. 

British police said early Friday a 68-year-old man who was attacked during the riots has become the fifth fatality of the unrest. 

What sparked violence 

The violence was originally touched off by the fatal shooting last week of a 29-year-old man in London's economically depressed Tottenham neighborhood. 

British courts are struggling to deal with a massive backlog of cases from the riots.  Police have arrested more than 1,200 people since the riots began on Saturday.  

Saturday, August 6, 2011

REGARDING MY INBOX MESSAGE TO MANY FB FRIENDS YESTERDAY

Initially, because of the many unpalatable and uncivilized reactions to the inbox message about my Charity Single "CHILDREN OF WAR," which I sent in one go to a lot of my FB friends yesterday, I thought they must have been receiving the ORIGINAL MESSAGE multiple times spontaneously due to some sort of FB technical glitch. But it's now clear that they were only reacting, and viciously so in some cases, to a completely normal FB operational methodology which allows every response to a thread message to bounce back to all those tagged in the original message. 

Folks, this not something to be aggravated about at all. If you disdain responses to my original message bouncing back to you, all you need to do is make use of the ACTION menu next to the MESSAGE menu on the right side of your inbox. Click on  it and then scroll down to the option "LEAVE CONVERSATION " and click on it. Once you've done that, you won't receive any more messages connected to the thread. 

A sister, Yemisi  Ilesanmi, made the above info perfectly clear  yesterday while I was still beating up on myself and feeling very sorry thinking that the repeated sending of the original message due to FB technical glitch must have been the reason for  the ferocious anxiety. 

Now that I know that it was the responses bouncing back at ALL that got the jitters of some folks through the roof, I'm completely at peace with myself coz I didn’t do anything wrong, and there was no technical glitch. 

Those of you who ignorantly vomited distasteful words for something you could have easily fixed with just two clicks of the mouse, I hope you're heartily proud of your insensitivity and cruelty without intentional provocation. Cheers.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Monday Midnite--CHILDREN OF WAR

Click here to download: MONDAY MIDNITE | Children of War | CD Baby
















When a representative of WAR CHILD (the non-profit organization getting ALL the sales proceeds from this single) suggested that I collect the sales first and then transfer the money to their account, I rejected the idea and insisted that they get the money directly from CD BABY every time sales hits the amount they agreed upon, which is $100.00. Lessons learnt from most people's general perception of Nigerians because of 419 has restructured my way of dealing with everyone.....especially when money is involved. I leave no room for doubts. One cent won't touch my hand from the sales of this single even though I expended a lot in time, talent and money to write, compose, arrange and produce the song. 


Thx to my good friend and brother, K.KOOL, who provided his studio FREELY for my vocals. And also to PIET and HARISSA MAY for a wonderful job on the HORN SECTION/RECORDING and VOCALS respectively. Another good friend, JOHAN QUET, shot my part of the video FREE OF CHARGE. May God bless you all for your love and sacrifice. 


Now it's up to the general public to play their part on behalf of numerous suffering children in war ravaged areas across the world by downloading the song. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

El Mustapha tenders video of Adesanya and others leaving Aso Rock

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The High court hearing handling the murder charge against Hamza El Mustapha, a former Chief Security Officer to former maxixmum ruler, Sani Abacha Thursday afternoon aired a video of some Yoruba leaders leaving state House, Abuja on July 6, 1998, a day after the death of the winner of the June 12, 1993 elections, MKO Abiola in detention.
The video was tendered by El Mustapha as part of his defence in his trial over the murder of Mr Abiola's wife, Kudirat.
However, even though he had stated he had video evidence to show Yoruba leaders were complicit in the death of Mr Abiola, yesterday's video, which he said he had recorded by ordinary camera because he could not use the CCTV, merely showed some of the leaders, including Abraham Adesanya, Bola Ige, Ayo Opadokun leaving the state house after a meeting with the then Military head of State, Abubakar Abdulsalami.
The southwest leaders meeting was also not hidden, as the video shows them meeting with reporters in the state house.
When asked by journalists what was the details of the talks they had with the head of state, Mr Adesanya, the then leader of Afenifere, replied that "no agreement that has been reached with the Head of state, other than that he will consider the proposal before him."
When asked about Mr Abiola's death, he said "I wouldnt know."
Asked about the call for a government of national unity and the actualisation of June 12 mandate, Mr Adesanya said "The GNU will still be there. It is only that it wont be Abiola that will head the GNU."
When asked if there would be any other replacement for the late Mr Abiola, he said "we are not proposing anybody yet."
Mr Adesanya then asked the reporters to disperse when asked about the time frame of their talk with the military administration.
Suspect's claims
The murder suspect, who said he had been relieved of his duties as CSO at the time, claimed Mr Abdulsalami seized the video of the arrival of the southwest leaders from him. He said the southwest leaders were hosted by Mr Abdulsalami and his National Security Adviser, Abdulai Mohammed.
He said he was concerned that Mr Mohammed later became chief of staff to Olusegun Obasanjo when he became president.
He also alleged that Mr Mohammed wrote letters to all ministries and heads of departments durin the oputa panel to give maximum co-operation to the panel and fight it all with el Mustapha's team at the panel.
El Mustapha later tendered a photocopy of the letter he wrote to Bola Ige in 2001, accusing the late Mr Ige of complicity in Abiola's 'murder.' The prosecution and defence later argued on whether the court should accept such evidence.
El-Mustapha said he was been persecuted for three reasons, including what he said was Mr Abdulsalami's refusal to abide by a sixteen point agenda he agreed with him and selling him to Mr Obsanjo as Abacha's boy.
He also denied culpability in the murder of Mrs Abiola, saying the allegations are scripts by the government to get him out of the way.
Ribadu to kill me
Al Mustapha also claimed that former anti-corruption tsar, Nuhu Ribadu, as the escort officer who brought himself and others to Lagos, had orders to kill him.
"This is however averted by the then commissioner of police in lagos state, Mike okiro, who went into an argument with Ribadu that if there was such an order, there must be a letter from the president."
The suspect noted that Mr Okiro was transferred out of Lagos immediately after the arrival of his group in Lagos. 
"That was why he was transferred out," he said

His counsel, Olalekan Ojo said el Mustapha is only able to come out with this detail because it was the first time the case is getting to defence state, in all the 13 years it has started.
The case is subsequently adjourned till next week Monday.

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Abdulsalami Tricked Ige, Adesanya To Scuttle June 12 – Al-Mustapha

 
By Tunde Opeseitan -Senior Reporter, Lagos




Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer to the late Head of State, Sani Abacha, on Wednesday continued his testimony at the Lagos High Court, explaining in graphic detail, how former federal Attorney General and Justice Minister, Bola Ige, and former Afenifere leader, Abraham Adesanya, were tricked into working against the Presidential mandate given to Moshood Abiola on June 12, 1993.
Al-Mustapha, who is standing trial over alleged complicity in the murder of Abiola’s wife, Kudirat, on June 4, 1996 told Justice Mojisola Dada that former Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar deceived Ige in the name of serving as a liaison officer between Aso Rock and aggrieved South West leaders. 
Led in evidence by his lawyer, Olalekan Ojo, Al-Mustapha recalled that after Abacha’s death, Oladipo Diya, who was supposed to take over as Head of State, was imprisoned for coup plotting, and then Abdulsalami took over.
He said he was still in the Villa at the time and was in the process of handing over to the new Chief Security Officer, and retrieved a memo from counter espionage photocopy machine signed by Abdulsalami and the then National Security Adviser (NSA), Abdullahi Mohammed.
Al-Mustapha said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor was directed in the memo to withdraw funds from the treasury.
The memo, referenced NSA/A/320/5, dated July 8, 1998, was tendered and admitted as exhibit D12.
He said the publisher of Abuja Mirror and elder brother to former Inspector General of Police, Abidden Coomassie, also got the memo through a source in the CBN.
He alleged that Coomassie was poisoned while planning to publish the memo.
Al-Mustapha recounted that Abdulsalami instructed Mohammed to raise a memo requesting funds from the CBN to take care of visitors to Aso Rock, to service the Presidential aircraft fleet, and provide logistics for Nigerian soldiers in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
But, according to Al-Mustapha, part of the money – $200 million, £75 million, and N500 million – was used to appease South West leaders over Abiola’s death.
He said the instruction to raise the memo was given less than 24 hours after the death of Abiola on July 7, 1998.
He added that after the approval of the memo, the CBN Governor was instructed on the telephone to bring the money in cash to Aso Rock.
“I was there when the money was brought in brown buses. I witnessed it when the buses containing the money were being offloaded,” he narrated.
Al-Mustapha said he had discussions with Julius Berger engineers who told him that they were constructing a building with a big underground safe on Abdusalami’s farm in Minna.
“Some of the bullion vans were moved to Minna. I was shocked and surprised that national resources were being used in that manner. That was why I decided to monitor the situation of things in the Villa.”
On the activities of Yoruba leaders coordinated by Ige, he said  Ige was unknowingly tricked by Abdulsalami to work against the realisation of Abiola’s mandate and to delay him in detention to be killed.
“I was in the Presidency and was in the process of handing over to the new Chief Security Officer on one hand and with Abdulsalami on the other hand. I was briefing Abdulsalami on issues of national security.
“I also drafted a 16-point agenda with Abdulsalami. Part of the agenda was Abiola’s release from detention and short transition programme.
“Along the line, I was asked to hand over issues about Abiola to the late Bola Ige. He (Ige) was appointed as a liaison officer between the Presidency and the South West.
“Ige continued to bring South West leaders to the Presidency against our initial plan to let Abiola go home or to be given his mandate within a short time.  
“After the death of Abiola, Yoruba leaders went to Aso Rock for another visit. This particular visit was led by Abraham Adesanya. When they arrived the Villa, they were visibly angry, annoyed, mad, and refused to speak to the press men.
“But when they were leaving, their comments were totally the reversal order from the situation on the ground in the country. They were very happy while leaving!
“The reaction and comments by Adesanya on the situation in the country at that particular time clearly put the June 12 issue as secondary and they were saying that no matter what, the country must forge ahead.
“There were two cameras that captured the visit; one was for the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), the other was for me. I stationed and instructed my bodyguard to capture the whole thing.
“That was one of the major reasons Abdulsalami had to seize everything I had, including documents, tapes, and even my shoes. 
“Whether Bola Ige knew that he was used to murder Abiola is another matter entirely because I wrote him an 11-page letter between June and July, 2001 titled: How you were unconsciously used in the murder of M.K.O Abiola.”




Absolving himself of complicity in Kudirat’s death, Al-Mustapha told the court that his plight was due to the fact that he knew a lot about what happened at the time.

He said in order to nail him at all costs, soldiers who served under him as members of body guards and strike force, including his personal orderly, were induced to give evidence against him at the Special Investigation Panel (SIP) set up to investigate the alleged crime. 
The case continues today.
Al-Mustapha had opened his defence on Monday by narrating how Abacha and Abiola were killed in 1998.
Abacha died on  June 8, 1998, and Abiola died in incarceration on July 7, 1998.
He said he has been incarcerated since 1998 because of the top secret in his possession, and accused Abubakar of masterminding his perpetual detention.
He  broke down in tears when he told the court that he has both audio and video evidence on how Abacha and Abiola were murdered.
He said Abdulsalami is living in fear that he would divulge information, hence the man wants him to spend the rest of his life behind bars.
His words: “In the course of this testimony, I wish to say that I will omit any issue that will affect the national security of the country as a serving officer of the Nigerian Army.
“My incarceration was as a result of a script written and acted out by (Abdulsalami) to further keep me in prison.
“First, were the events that happened after the murder of (Abacha) and (Abiola). For fear that I may divulge information that led to their death; they have to keep me in prison.”
Al-Mustapha, who told the court that he was enlisted in the Army in 1980, said he served in various units before his appointment as Abacha’s CSO.
According to him, there is documentary evidence that after the death of Abiola, Abubakar allegedly ordered that various sums of money be withdrawn from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), including $200 million, £75 million, and N500 million to appease South West leaders and douse tension.
Al-Mustapha confirmed that he knew Abiola as far back as 1985, and that he (Abiola) was like a father to him.
He said after the annulment of June 12, 1993 election, he assisted Abiola on several occasions to gain access to senior military officers, including Abacha.
Dada adjourned hearing until August 3. 
The Judge had at the last hearing discharged and acquitted a former Commander of Aso Rock Unit of mobile police, Mohammed Lawal, of complicity in Kudirat’s murder.
Lawal was charged to court alongside Al-Mustapha and Abiola’s former Chief Protocol Officer, Lateef Shofolahan, over alleged complicity in the murder of Kudirat.
The trio had filed a no case submission on the grounds that there was no prima facie evidence linking them to the crime.
Dada upheld the argument that the prosecution failed to establish prima facie evidence against Lawal.
But she directed Al-Mustapha and Shofolahan to open their defence in the matter.
He ruled that at the stage the matter had reached, the court was not concerned with whether the evidence of Sergeant Banabas Jabila Msheila (Rogers) and Mohammed Abdul (Katako) was to be believed or credible.
She insisted that the case against the accused was sufficient to warrant them to give some explanation.   
Ojo had, while arguing the application, urged the court to discharge his clients, as the court is bound to dispense justice in accordance with the law and not on rumour and sentiments.
He submitted that the court has a constitutional duty to discharge and acquit the defendants since the prosecution is not able to establish a prima facie case against them – adding that the case of the prosecution must be cogent for it to compel the defendants to prove their innocence.



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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Al-Mustapha tenders tape on Ige, Adesanya’s visit to Aso Rock




Al-Mustapha at the Lagos High court Igbosere Lagos today Photo Shola Oyelese

Lagos:  Maj. Hamza Al-Mustapha on Wednesday tendered at a Lagos High Court a video on how the then Federal Military Government planned to douse the tension generated by the death of Chief M.K.O Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election.
Al-Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer to the late Gen. Sani Abacha, said the tape captured the meeting called by the then Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, on how to handle the situation.
The tape labelled “Abraham Adesanya’s visit to the villa’’ was tendered following a request by Al-Mustapha’s counsel, Mr Olalekan Ojo.
Al-Mustapha, who is standing trial over the murder of Kudirat, wife of Abiola, had opened his defence on Tuesday.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Wednesday, Ojo had requested that the tape be played in court, but Justice Mojisola Dada objected on the grounds that the court was too stuffy.
She said she could hardly breathe because the air conditioner in the court room was not working.
Dada ruled that the tape would be played on Aug. 4 at the continuation of the trial.
The defendants had brought a 24-inch Plasma TV and a 16-inch Sony TV sets which had already been connected before the judge disallowed it.
Al-Mustapha said: “I have two tapes on the visit of the Chiefs Bola Ige and Abraham Adesanya to the Presidential Villa to see Abubakar.
“Two cameras were used — one by the Nigerian Television Authority and the other by my bodyguard attached to the Villa.
Al-Mustapha also told the court that shortly after the Oputa Panel sitting in Abuja, he wrote an 11-page letter to the late Ige entitled, “How you, Chief Bola Ige was used in the murder of Abiola’’.
The former CSO also tendered a letter allegedly written by the then National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen Abdullahi Mohammed, which was approved by Abubakar, directing the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria to release huge sums of money.
The letter, which was read in court, stated that the money was needed as a result of the sudden death of Abiola and the influx of visitors into the country. (NAN)