• Regenerating Edo State Under Earl Osaro Onaiwu

    16/Feb/2016 // 988 Viewers

    By Iyoha John Darlington
     
    PARIS, FEBRUARY 16, 2016: (DGW) - Extensive research, analysis and an in-depth study of Greco-Roman history have shown that civilizations could die without maintenance and be consigned to the dustbin of history. Wars, diseases and flagrant abuse of political power have in no uncertain terms exterminated great civilizations and empires particularly, in the Mediterranean region. On what do we further blame these destructions? It is none other than lack of foresight, solecism, and abuse of political power.

    We have had exciting archeological discoveries extracted from civilizations that have died. The Great Benin Kingdom is one great civilization that came to prominence in the 13th and 15th centuries hitherto ruled over by semi-mythical kings, the Ogisos. This also was one great kingdom in the tide of times that metamorphosed into an empire via conquest and expansion and over time became one of the most developed city-sates in the coastal hinterlands of West Africa. This conquest and expansion extended to the Niger Delta in the east and Eko (War Camp) in the west, the present day Lagos.

    A first time visitor to Benin often sees and stands in awe of the great historical monuments and relics lining the centuries-old streets. Had these architectural gems, for instance, like the aqueducts and cobblestone roads of the Greco-Roman, Egyptian, Assyrian and Babylonian civilizations, not been kept, maintained and sustained by our successive monarchs, they would have in fact long sunk or faded into oblivion like edifices of archeological memory.

    There also existed outposts of the Benin Kingdom covering the vast Esan plateau administered by Dukes, (Enogies) in the north central parts of what is today known as Esan land and farther north peopled by subjects under the Oba. In its capacity as the administrative headquarters of Nigeria's oldest state, we boasted of good service infrastructures ranging from good roads, water supply, hospitals, schools and colleges which made our state the most educationally advantaged state in the federation of Nigeria. 

    These were indeed interesting times under the leaderships of Dr. Osaigbobvo Ogbemudia as a military governor and Prof. Ambrose Alli as the first executive governor that ruled the state under the platform of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria. The service infrastructures put in place by these rare gems served the people and enhanced our living conditions in no small measure at the period under review.

    Today our living conditions is better imagined than real as we have in fact become poorer thus forcing our children to drop out of schools and head for the unknown. A good number of them have died while crossing the fiery Sahara desert to the coast of north Africa from where they embark on dangerous sea journeys on rickety boats to Europe. Many have died in this adventure resulting from the inability of these substandard boats to withstand the strong ocean currents. We had thought the advent of Governor Oshomhole as a former labour union activist would turn the state's fortunes around, stop this ignoble trend and reposition our state in the path of socio-political development and economic prosperity having fought and stood toe-to-toe with successive Nigerian governments to promote workers' welfare. This was what gave him our votes and key to the Government House on Denis Osadebey Avenue in Benin City.

    One of the most important functions of a state is to ensure the development and maintenance of a modern, efficient infrastructural base which ex-governors Ogbemudia and Alli did. These facilitated trade and movement. We enjoyed these social amenities at no cost, water flowed from our taps, health-care delivery was superb, education was made available and affordable to one and all. With the exit of these iconic figures in Nigerian letters from power, our service infrastructures began to suffer a steady decay to this day.

    However, it must be borne in mind that if Edo State is to bounce back serious planning and implementation have to be done in all enabling sectors such as education, energy, transport to mention but a few with comprehensive hard surface and gravel road network linking all civil divisions in the state.
    Governors Ogbemudia and Alli successors inherited some of the best infrastructures in Nigeria but Governor Oshomhole has spent eight years supporting and maintaining institutions and structures of repression in Abuja and as well as funding political vengeance, electoral fraud, corruption, meaningless and merry go round trips with the Daura-born overlord while Edo State service infrastructures undergo incremental depreciation and decline of Greco-Roman proportions.

    What we urgently stand in need of at this juncture is a lasting solution to these myriads of problems to regenerate our great state. We need a capable hand to pilot the affairs of our great state, a man who is capable of combing organizational sagacity with realism, a man with impressive pedigrees who could never be swayed by normative ethnic maneuvers.

    As you read this piece, there is most probably no running water in your taps or for the past 5 hours you have experienced power outages. If you are a motorist or a commuter who takes a ride on a public bus to work you may have probably been caught in an agonizing gridlock today resulting from washouts, potholes that could force an expectant mother into involuntary abortion. This is very disheartening if you ask me!

                                                           

                                                             Earl Osaro Onaiwu

    We have spent too much time brooding over the mistakes of the past while we make no time to correct these mistakes and secure tomorrow for ourselves and posterity, this means bracing ourselves for even darker times ahead. It is mind-boggling how the APC-led state government has failed to make any meaningful inroads into the provision of service infrastructures to regenerate Edo State. Eight calendar years have come and gone by; this is a whole lot of time if you need reminding!

    The crisis we face today in our state is none other than a culmination of decades of poor planning, mismanagement and insufficient investment in capital projects or infrastructures by a government in the past eight years which prioritises the enrichment of apologists and sycophants to the detriment of our well-being and instead bankrolls its Abuja masters' meaningless jamborees around the globe. 

    Ay, we need a solution doubtless but under an APC-led government this solution which is much sought after is an elusive dream, I wish you could cast sentiments and party affiliations aside and come to terms with realities. Edo State economy is stagnant and has consequently gone to comatose. We lack capital projects that will attract investors to the state.

    We are in a federation and Edo State under a competent leader can grow at its own pace by supplementing federal allocation to the state with internally generated revenue to provide service infrastructure for its people. Edo State has the potentials to lead Nigeria with a visionary leader at Denis Osadebey Avenue. Russia today is critical to Europe's development for its functional six thousand kilometer gas pipelines that deliver energy to homes in Rome and Paris. There is no restating the obvious that our state is in dire need of infrastructural renewal.

    Some communities today in Edo State are not accessible by car and the rural dwellers have to navigate some very long distances on foot. What has this government done in its eight years to open up its remotest outposts? Edo State debt profile mounts marvelously with every passing day, where have all the federal subventions and allocations been spent which would have been utilized for the provision of infrastructure statewide for sustainable development?

    It is important to note here that the first four years of Oshomhole's rule were wasted on Maoist one-party ideology that focuses on power retention which he achieved in 2012 by the instrumentality of incumbency rather than democratic participatory power geared towards dedicated service to the people. Edo State under Oshomhole has as a matter of fact never made adequate provisions for infrastructure development. Far from doing this, it concentrated on maintaining expensive bureaucracy, reckless expenditure and political patronage.

    There is no denying the fact that agricultural infrastructure is critical to our economic development and a clue to the unemployment problem in the state but the lack of agricultural finance has contributed to the decimation of agro-based infrastructure. 

    Edo State needs a vibrant saving culture, intelligent public revenue collection, retention and international finance partnership but our state is saddled with massive state debt burden with nothing on the ground to show for it. This state debt overhang has marvelously become an albatross on our state's development trajectory seeing that we owe too much to be able to re-ignite our service infrastructures destroyed by greed and prodigal years of APC misrule.


    Click on this link to listen to the press interview with IYOHA JOHN DARLINGTON talking about OSARO ONAIWU on Radio France in Paris.


    I will sum up here by saying Edo State development goal has been a victim of inferior infrastructure. A PDP-controlled Edo State government under Osaro Onaiwu will prioritize restoring, revitalizing, developing and modernizing of the state's infrastructure base as one of the most urgent tasks of reconstruction.

    In each infrastructural subsector, Osaro Onaiwu-led Edo State government I say yet again will seek to attract investments and also put state resources so as to have a modern infrastructure base, adequately maintained and efficiently run to meet our various needs.

    Iyoha John Darlington, a scholar, political analyst and public commentator on national and global issues writes from Turin, Italy.

     

    Disclaimer: Views expressed in any piece we publish remain entirely the author's and do not reflect the editorial policy of DailyGlobeWatch


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  • Edo State: Shocking and verifiable facts

    16/Feb/2016 // 170 Viewers

    By Ogbeide Ifaluyi-Isibor

    
    Edo states currently has over N250 billion in Local debt and $168million in Foreign
    debt (Source; Debt Management Office) with
    
    1)No Functional Hospital built in 8 years and existing hospitals weren't upgraded.
    
    2) No Functional Tertiary institution built in 8 years and existing ones not improved.
    
    3) No state owned industry built in 8 years.He claimed he didn't promise to build any.
    
    4) No Teacher employed in 8years.Those employed in 2012 were sacked a week after.
    
    5)Pensioners being owed for up to 9 months.
    
    6)No Market built.
    
    7) 85% Youth Unemployment.Highest in Southern Nigeria.
    
    8) 0% investment in Sports.
    
    9) No Loans or Grants Given to Farmers.
    
    10) No Bursary for Students in Tertiary institutions.
    
    11) No Mass Housing Project.
    
    12) No bridges built.
    
    13)80% of Schools without furniture.
    
    Internally Generated Revenues and Monthly Allocation from the FG amounts to
    N1.3trillion for the past 8 years.
    
    What has Oshiomhole done with N1.5 trillion total so far received on behalf of the
    Edo people?
    
    

     

    Disclaimer: Views expressed in any piece we published remain entirely the author's and do not reflect the editorial policy of DailyGlobeWatch


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  • Is Anenih paying the price for loyalty?

    16/Jan/2016 // 336 Viewers

     

    By Kayode Ojo

    Presidents, the world over, are known to rely on the services and friendship of dependable allies, party members and even family members outside the defined and regular cabinet appointees throughout their tenure.   It does not matter whether that president is Barrack Obama or Vladimir Putin, or even any of the African presidents.   As a matter of fact, it was reported most recently in the media that an inner ring of President Muhammadu Buhari’s circle of friends has started digging in and influencing all the appointments made so far by him. Like it or not, that is how the presidency works, especially in a democracy. And that was how the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan operated until he was voted out of power in 2015.

    And discussing the Jonathan Presidency, one of the few people who stuck close to him come rain and shine was Chief Tony Anenih. Of course, it is trite to say that Anenih’s name is one that rings bell in Nigerian politics. As a former minister of works in the Obasanjo presidency and, later, Chairman of Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Anenih had come to symbolise the tenacity of the PDP and its unequal ability to rejig and bounce back from one crisis after another to a stronger party until its final defeat last year.

    It is all too clear for any casual observer to see that the defeat of Jonathan could have come much earlier than the 2015 general elections but for people like Anenih.   The succession politics from the late President Umaru Yar’ Adua to Jonathan, more than anything, defined the character of the Jonathan presidency and later its defeat in 2015 and this would be in spite of rather than because of people like Anenih. Make no mistakes about it, Anenih was perhaps the most loyal and dependable ally of former President Jonathan.

    This was probably why he was entrusted with assignments that involved fund disbursements to political allies.   Besides, he never ceased to put his national political network and reputation to stabilise the Jonathan presidency by winning more friends, supporters and loyalists to Jonathan. Not only did he commit his time, he spent his own money to carry out assignments for the President even when those have been rightly mobilised for the action simply pocketed the money.

    It is perhaps too easy to assume that Anenih was ferociously supporting Jonathan for his own selfish, political and any other pecuniary interests. Yet the truth remains that Anenih felt a moral burden to help the president succeed. First, as a statesman and party leader, it behoved Anenih to help steady the hands of Jonathan with the right advice in the interest of the Nigerian nation. Second as the politician with perhaps the highest profile from the South-south region, and with a President from the same region for the first time in the country’s history, Anenih could not have done other than provide the strongest support for Jonathan. Even when Jonathan lost the 2015 presidential election, Anenih volunteered to resign from his BoT position to allow the former president to assume it and find a strong platform to engage in national politics.

    Although it is easier for the Nigerian politician lacking in principles to always run to where it is cooking as many PDP leaders of yesterday are doing now by defecting to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Anenih can look back with satisfaction and dignity at his contributions, loyalty, support and service to the Nigerian state through the Jonathan Presidency. As an elder statesman, he has nothing to be ashamed of because there is no record that he abused his rare privilege as a confidant and ally of the former president.

    When Jonathan needed fearless Nigerians to speak the truth to his party members in 2010 that the zoning principle in the PDP could not override the Constitution of the country, Anenih found his voice and used his experience and vast political network to pass that message. And when it became clear that the president was wrongly handling the issue of the break-away “New –PDP” group, Anenih did not mince words in telling Jonathan the truth that he needed to listen to the aggrieved group and mend fences with them.   Of course,

    this drew the anger of the many sycophantic and tragic “advisers” making their living by singing to the ears of the former president, the lyrics he wanted to hear.   They did not wait to pour out all manner of invectives on their party’s BoT chairman. Strangely, many of those who goaded Jonathan on to the wrong path then have now jumped out of the apparently “sinking” PDP ship into the now “thriving” APC fold.   More will still jump out.

    In a country where the president is so powerful to make and unmake, whether in terms of power politics, business and policies, anyone who has the ears of the president easily lends himself/herself to both creeping and outright envy. If Anenih thought that everybody was cool with his chummy relationship with the former president, then the events of the past few days must have cleared any doubt in his mind.   His name has been circulating in the media as one of the recipients of the alleged Dasuki $2.1 billion arms budget scam.

    In fact, the EFCC said it confirmed payment of N260 million from the Office of the former National Security Adviser into his account.   In spite of the fact that Anenih quickly wrote to the EFCC clarifying how he was merely running errands for the former president, he is being wrongfully clobbered daily in the media as part of the people who stole from the Federal Government. In Anenih’s letter to the EFCC, he detailed how the former president instructed him on trust to deliver specified amount of money to some known politicians,

    including Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, Chief Olu Falae and Senator Rashidi Ladoja- for some political ends.   And it is on record that none of the people Anenih mentioned refuted his story.   Indeed they have all acknowledged that they received the said money from Anenih.   Now the question is, if the NSA was directed by President Jonathan to pay some money to Anenih for specified presidential assignments that he had carried out, how on earth was Anenih to know if the money was drawn from the arms budget meant for fighting Boko Haram or from any other source for that matter?

    The fact that Anenih willingly furnished the EFCC, upon its request, with the truth clearly shows his honest intentions. I do not know anybody, including those now trying Anenih in the media and attempting to drag his name and reputation to the mud, who will be summoned by President Buhari and given a sensitive assignment on trust, who will turn the President down or ask the president how he would fund it or where the money to fund the assignment would come from.

    Perhaps Tony Anenih has overstayed in Nigerian politics and some agents have taken it upon themselves to retire him willy-nilly. Maybe some people in his home-state are getting apprehensive of his never-waning influence in Edo politics, especially as a governorship election nears and are willing to throw everything to discredit him. Maybe Anenih is simply paying the price of being too loyal to a president who was too weak as to be defeated by small decisions of governance he could not take!

    Kayode Ojo writes from Lagos, Nigeria

     

    Disclaimer: Views expressed in any piece we publish remain entirely the author's and do not reflect the editorial policy of DailyGlobeWatch


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  • President Buhari and Education

    16/Mar/2016 // 210 Viewers

     By Akingbade Daniel Oludehinwa


    .
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world" -Mandela.
    .
    If this words by Mandela are right and correct, then Nigerian were wrong to unanimously voted in ''Change'' without ''Education''. 
    .
    Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo state said in one of his interactive programs last year 2016, he said, "If you vote or support Buhari as President you are a disgrace to your family, a man that can't not produce his WAEC result, and you are a Degree Student".

    Although we believed he was talking from his emotional hatred for PMB and APC, and on the contrary, GEJ and PDP are well educated "Ph.D" and the country was under tension, but the economic was still moving  well, so let try the one education.
    .
    GEJ and PDP promised us "Transformation", PMB and APC promised us "Change". We voted for change because we perceived and wanted Change. Indeed, we are having the change now, corruption reducing, looted funds coming back, experienced personality in his cabinet, insecurity tension reduced, but currently bad economy.
    .
    What should we say is going wrong with President M. Buhari? Lack of education but now he is now a Ph D  (which  Nigerians say is Illegal "ILLEGAL DEGREE" on the basis that a State University honoured him with it) or lack of proper planning (He has been contesting for years, so he should have a clear vision and mission)? Or we should give him time because he is just some months in office? But he promised as if he will solve our problems within 50 days when he emerged
    .

    -Oludehinwa Daniel Akingbade (DAKIZ)
    Writes from Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko.


    Disclaimer: Views expressed in any piece we publish remain entirely the author's and do not reflect the editorial policy of DailyGlobeWatch
     


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  • Umar, Agwaza and CCT

    16/May/2016 // 314 Viewers

    By Olu Onemola

    On the 24th of June 2011, when erstwhile President, Goodluck Jonathan, appointed Barrister Atedze Agwaza to serve as a member of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) - Nigeria’s pioneer anti-corruption tribunal - there was applause in many quarters, as Barrister Agwaza, in his previous engagements as a solicitor, had distinguished himself as a man of integrity.

    This is why it came as no surprise to many, when in 2014, following allegations of a N10 million bribery scandal against the Chairman of the CCT, Dan Ladi Umar, Agwaza, and his other counterpart on the tribunal at the time, retired Justice Robert Odu, wrote a strongly-worded memo to the Secretary of the Government of the Federation (SGF), stating that the reputation of the tribunal was being called into question by Umar’s alleged unscrupulous dealings.

    Agwaza and Odu, in their joint letter, mentioned that the allegation of Dan Ladi Umar receiving N10 million to quash the case against a defendant, had been widely reported in the media, and embarrassing comments from legal practitioners over the shocking development, was tainting both their (Agwaza’s and Odu’s) reputations - as they had been adjudged guilty by affiliation by the court of public opinion.
    In 2015, following what has been described in many quarters as “politically-motivated inaction” by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the case involving Dan Ladi Umar, the CCT under Umar indicted the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on charges relating to his assets declaration forms from 2003. When the case commenced, Agwaza and Umar were the only two people left on the tribunal, however, for much of the beginning of the case, observers noticed that it was Dan Ladi Umar who was running the show - without consulting Agwaza on any of the rulings.

    However, as the case began to take illogical turns by setting precedents that made legal observers like Dr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), Chief Emeka Ngige (SAN) and Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) to call to question the motivations behind the case, Agwaza began to speak more frequently during the tribunal hearings.

    Be that as it may, although the relationship between Dan Ladi Umar, the EFCC and Saraki have been well-documented in the media in recent times, with analysts highlighting the fact that the EFCC forced Umar to institute the case against the Senate President, after the Senate began to investigate the EFCC for diverting recovered funds, it has become time to ask ourselves what the motivating force behind Agwaza is - as he has not only been a party to the legal inconsistencies that have been set in the case, as a member of the tribunal, as his joint-letter in 2011 implied, he too is also guilty by affiliation.

    For example, in 2007, the CCT dismissed charges against the former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, stating the non-adherence to Section 3, paragraph D of its establishing act, that states that all individuals must be first given an opportunity to either confirm or deny allegations bordering on their assets declaration by the Code of Conduct Bureau, before any trial could be instituted by the CCT. In 2011, this same legal precedent set the grounds for the dismissal of the case against former governor of Lagos State, Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

    Nevertheless, in a clear-cut case of self-indictment, the CCT overturned its own legal precedents by stating that the precedent clause that was used to let Atiku and Tinubu off the hook were simply made in error. Agwaza, sat on the bench on the day that Dan Ladi Umar read out that ruling. Although, some say he looked visibly displeased at the verdict, by remaining silent, he too is equally culpable in the conspiracies that have played out thus far.

    At this point, it is important that Nigerians who wish to see that justice is served in the case involving the Senate President, do not only focus on Dan Ladi Umar as the instigator and initiator of all the legal discrepancies that have been exhibited. We must also turn to Agwaza, who earlier in his tenure, seemed to care about the reputation of the CCT, but has remained silent in recent times as the law has been turned upside down in the case involving the Senate President.

    As the case continues, it is important that Agwaza is reminded that by virtue of his seat on the tribunal, association is perception, and perception is ultimately reality. In this regard, the reality is that he is equally as compromised as Dan Ladi Umar. Hence, it is safe to say that the CCT, has finally and completely lost its way.


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  • The Biafran monologues, By Emeka Odikpo

    16/Nov/2015 // 207 Viewers

    THE emergence of a new media without rules and boundaries is now an intrinsic part of this decade. Old media practitioners that failed to get tech savvy and adjust to existing realities are getting swept from the new marketplace of ideas. Whilst bloggers, whose only claim to journalism fame is their knowledge of “cut and paste” are emerging as billionaires, on the other hand, print houses are closing down in droves. Practically all our previously buoyant weekly news magazines are down and out.

    The new kids on the block are the solo twitter and facebook warriors. Their weapons are usually a hardnosed ability to engage in repetitive monologue, coupled with all out trolling against their perceived adversaries.

    The last elections announced the arrival of the social media as the political propaganda weapon of choice. All manner of messages was thrown at the opposing party and well a whole lot of times tribe. All types of crude languages were deployed against every notable tribe in Nigeria. The hate warriors, who ordinarily would have been censored by the traditional media made huge and noisy intrusion into National Discourse. In the process, strange alliances were formed across the social media platforms. The moderates allowed the fanatics to hijack their moderate views and amplify it out of all context, after all it all served to justify the correctness of their political beliefs.

    The recent upsurge in Pro-Biafran protests is partly derived from the deluge of political and hate messages that seized Nigeria for almost a year. The fanatics continued with their hate campaign long after the election has been won and lost. The moderates retreated back to their day jobs and left the supposed loonies to continue with a battle that has been won and lost, at least until the next general elections arrives. Now all of a sudden, these fanatics appear to have seized the marketplace of ideas. They repeat their worn messages in various shapes and shades ad infinitum. To make matters worse, they still believe that the moderates are still on the same page with them on their new wars. Their old adversaries, who are also the extremists on the other side of the political divide continue to engage them in internet curse fest. The end result is a hardening of positions amongst these young and feisty characters.

    Biafra as a country was never meant to be romanticised. It was a historical and highly unfortunate necessity that arose directly from a split in the Nigerian Army. Once the army turned their guns on their own men and started killing themselves and innocent Nigerians based only on tribe, the very fabric, of the union was lost. The coercive element of the State cannot be a weapon for genocide and the tribe receiving the cleansing expected not to fight back. The horrible split of the army in 1966 is something that all right-thinking men must pray never repeats itself in Nigeria.

    The present day IPOB and MASSOB members are mostly young men in their twenties who fantasise about an idyllic country. Their position is premised on a fantasy that once their dream country is delivered, all their economic problems will immediately disappear and the land of milk and honey will be achieved. This has nothing to do with hard-nosed economic theories. The fact is that the Igbos are an enterprising and business savvy people.  We are a people that actually need an Africa without all the artificial boundaries cruelly erected by the Europeans. The self-same Europeans have since ensured that they have a Europe with little or no borders. Whilst you will have difficulty transporting a carton of goods across Seme Border, you can virtually engage in any trade, or practice any profession across the entire European Union. What we actually need in Africa is not further balkanization of existing countries, but a serious-minded implementation of Pan-African economic policies. That slant of policy will give all of us a much bigger market to operate freely within. That is the type of market the Igbo man needs and not this tunnel vision being propagated by our new found facebook warriors in their Biafran monologues.

    As a people, we do tend to exaggerate the effect of government in our lives. Yes, the Government can construct roads and create a better enabling environment for private enterprise, but the human spirit still outweighs governmental impact in the development of communities. That is why some towns in the South East have multi-millionaires in every kindred because the people have the knowhow and the unrelenting positive attitude that pertains to economic enterprise. These big investors and even the smaller investors are wheels through which most of our people realise their economic potentials and earn valuable income to better their lives. Our focus must be on how to create a better and larger environment for these investors and consequently the larger society to thrive and definitely not on how to shut them down in a tiny country.

    As the Biafran Monologues on the social media continues, our new government will do well to unconditionally release Daniel Kanu, whose detention has proved to be ill-advised. His so-called Radio Biafra is totally inconsequential in the marketplace of ideas, he only used it as an example of his defiance. If the government had ignored it and him long enough, romanticists would have moved on to other issues. Also, moderate Igbo intelligentsia must step into this marketplace of ideas and proffer their own side of the argument on why we need a larger country. If those of us who are Igbos and genuinely believe that our people don’t need a tiny country that restricts our abilities elect to keep our brains and mouth shut, whilst the aggressive anarchists continue to have a field day on the social media, we might as well be on the road to Boko Haram. This was exactly how the Northern elite kept mute and dissembled whilst the Boko Haram ideology festered.

     

    Emeka Odikpo is a Lagos-based legal practitioner.

     

     


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  • Edo State: In Quest Of A Free & Fair Party Gubernatorial Primaries, By Iyoha John Darlington

    16/Oct/2015 // 2476 Viewers

    Over half of Nigeria's qualified voters, you will agree with me, are disenfranchised and  live under autocratic or partly free governments and  in consequence of this are denied full liberties and subsequently unable to participate in Nigeria's political life. Nigeria can not be said to be truly democratic until its citizenry are given the opportunity to freely choose their representatives through party  primaries and  elections that are free and fair.

    Often times the sovereign wishes of Nigerians have  either been hijacked, annulled or ultimately bastardized by moneybags, grandees calling to mind the gross irregularities that took place in the run-up to the 2015 general elections in Nigeria.
     
    Critical development efforts cannot succeed without a legitimate and democratically elected government that is responsive and accountable to its citizens. Elections provide an important opportunity to advance democratization and encourage political liberalization.
                                                                      2015 Campaign funds: Dire need to revisist source of Buhari's campaign fund
                                                                 Iyoha John Darlington
    As Edo State warms up for its gubernatorial primaries, this writer calls for none other than a free, fair level playing ground to foster political openings that would expand and enhance political participation. There is no denying the fact that our great state is in dire need of regeneration to reposition it in the path of development and economic prosperity. The three major political parties namely the All Progressives Congress (APC), Labour Party (LP)  and the Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) under whose platforms aspirants would be  vying for Edo State's plum job must take the following factors into active consideration if they are to be taken seriously and given the mandate  to lead our great state in the coming years.
     
    A  platform that supports political competition, consensus building efforts and provide effective, cohesive and dynamic leadership is deemed absolutely necessary that will put  into effective use certain key elements that are essential to fair elections and political processes. It must be borne in mind however that free and fair primaries play a critical role in political transitions by advancing democratization and encouraging political liberalization. This doubtless helps to promote peaceful,  democratic political transformation that leads to increased stability and prosperity.
     
    Ahead of the forthcoming primaries let us take a cursory glance at the structures on the ground:
     
     For starters, are there informed and active aspirants; are there impartial electoral frameworks; is there an effective oversight of electoral process; would there be an effective transfer of political power in the event of a defeat of the ruling party in the state; would the power of incumbency be retained to scuttle a hitch-free transition? These and many others, I dare say, agitate this writer if we need reminding.
     
    We have gone past the era of deceit where our common patrimony again be plundered, hijacked by a tribe of hydra-headed dragons, the Unicorn, the Yeti, political eunuchs  and a host of other mythical monsters that would parade themselves as the Messiah of which the oldest state in the federation of Nigeria urgently stand in need.
     
    The journey to reposition our great state has again begun and it is not in dispute that our state is bereft of service infrastructures which speak volumes for the widespread poverty in the land. Posterity will never forgive us if we again cast caution to the winds by allowing egocentric loners to mount the saddle of power and leave nothing for us in the long run. If I may borrow a line from Chinua Achebe literary works - Things Fall Apart - '  ''A chick that will grow  into a cock can be spotted the very day it hatches''.  During the party primaries aspirants within the party should be invited to a political debate to enable the electorates know  how active and informed the aspirants are. Party loyalty and affiliation should be jettisoned to the dustbin of history being an ill-wind that will blow no one any  good in the end.   It is on this score this writer calls for  primaries that will be  transparent, free and fair and perfectly in order to be accepted by the people.
     
    If we again err by reverting to the notorious tradition of adopting a consensus candidate as being rumoured or speculated in some quarters things would doubtless go wrong and have us returned to the proverbial vicious circle. This, I dare say, remains the focus of my humble analysis.
     
     
    Iyoha John Darlington, a political analyst, opinion leader and public commentator on national and global issues writes from Turin, Italy.
     
    Email: jamestmichael2003@yahoo.com


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  • Buhari @73; constructing a progressive Nigeria

    17/Dec/2015 // 416 Viewers

                                                   Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria

     

    IT was Rt. Hon. Chuba Wilberforce Okadigbo of blessed memory who sometime in 2002 postulated or rather predicted President Muhammadu Buhari’s emergence as president and his arduous task of constructing progressive Nigeria.

    After his impeachment as Senate President, Okadigbo asserted that a great political event had happened. With eyes popped out we listened to his lecture type of sermon. He first asked us, did any of you read today’s newspapers? Yes was the chorus, for most of the time we acted like students in a classroom to the great Okadigbo. We failed the question of pointing out the exact major news item of the day he was referring to. Okadigbo in his usual candour, graciously cleared his throat and started with his routine old thesis that the then President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, his Achilles heel, was constructing a one party state, which he intoned was very dangerous, unconstitutional and might breed dictatorship. He said, ‘left for the Obasanjo he would want to amend the Constitution and extend his rule.’ This was before the third term imbroglio. ‘I am surprised that none of you took note of General Muhammadu Buhari’s entry into the murky waters of Nigerian politics,’ he said. We claimed we read it, but why is his entry a major news, in the musical chair of our brand of politics?

    Okadigbo’s answer was very emphatic, ‘Buhari will define politics in the years ahead. Nigeria is lucky to have him, quote me. We are lucky he didn’t join the PDP. The battle line is drawn. It’s going to be a marathon race,’ he quipped. Buhari had joined the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) when Okadigbo stated what appeared to be prophetic. He went to celebrate that the stage was set for deconstructing the one party state being weaved by Obasanjo. Some of us who have elementary knowledge of Buhari’s financial war-chest challenged Okadigbo ‘s postulation, pointing out to him that Buhari was handicapped greatly in a scenario of money politics.

    Okadigbo rather said we are going to join Buhari in the ANPP. That the man is going to construct a progressive Nigeria and that Okadigbo’s intellectual acumen is highly needed in this direction. ‘He has the capacity, the discipline and courage to change the old order,’ Okadigbo maintained.

    We taunted him, saying that his postulation was a figment of sour grape. That he was castigating Obasanjo because he was his traducer, having masterminded his impeachment. Far from it, he said: ‘I am just a patriot, pointing the way forward for our dear country. Buhari is incorrigible and Spartan, he has the capacity to battle an imperial dictator that Obasanjo is. It is not sour grape or retribution.’

    Okadigbo went down memory lane and narrated how as political adviser to Shehu Shagari he was mandated with few others to covertly probe the so-called missing N2.8 billion alleged to have been flown out of Nigeria from oil revenue, when Buhari was Minister of Petroleum. ‘It turned out to be hoax. Shagari was wise to admonish us to make the investigation secret.’

    He was later nominated the vice presidential candidate in what became the Buhari/Okadigbo ticket. The outcome of the election is public knowledge and that President Buhari and Okadigbo filed petition at the election tribunal is also public where the majority judgment delivered by Honourable Justices of the Appeal Court – Umaru Abdullahi, Mahmud Mohammed and Francis Tabai ruled in favour of the election. While the minority’s judgment was delivered by Honourable Justice Slyvanus Nsofor: “My conclusion logically and naturally would be that there was a purported election on 19/04/2003. That was not what Nigerians want or deserve to have. No. All I am striving to say, perhaps imperfectly is that the non-compliance with Section 67(3) of the Electoral Act, 2002 rendered the presidential election on the 19/04/2003 a farce. Pure and simple! So, ‘Cadit queastio.’ It was a non-election.”

    It can be said that for President Buhari, it was rough route to victory as 2007, and 2011 presidential elections ended in controversy. To the extent that the Justices of the Supreme Court were stretched to their limit ending with a 4-3 split votes in 2011 presidential election judgment.
    In the 2015 presidential election, President Buhari won and the former president, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan graciously conceded defeat and congratulated the winner, which Mr. President during the inaugural appreciated.

    Since assumption of office on May 29, President Buhari has, in measured steps, begun the construction of a progressive and prosperous Nigeria. In this exercise some are skeptical for his pace for them is too slow. For this the President has said, slow and steady win the race. It is not peculiar to Nigerians, a lot of people assume that democracy must deliver quick results especially in political systems like ours where the people’s hope was dashed and the state atrophied.

    Incidentally, the President has passed this through the trajectory of fierce battle between the neo-liberals and statist economic schools. Before his overthrow as military Head of State in 1985, he rebuffed the entreaties of the neo-liberals, hence he rejected the adoption of the World/IMF conditionalities. Among the components of the conditionalities were the removal of subsidy in fuel and fertilizer, devaluation of the Naira, privatization of state owned enterprises, et al.

    Many pundits have pondered how he navigates this threshold and remain untainted and deliver the goodies he pledged to the citizenry. The fillers coming out of the 2016 Budget and the Medium Term profile submitted to the National Assembly, clearly gazettes the midwife at work to blend the good sides of both the neo-liberals and the statist. This is the foundation for constructing a progressive and prosperous Nigeria, which Dr. Chuba Okadigbo of blessed memory predicted over a decade; a transparent foundation, devoid of corruption and greed.

    Okechukwu is the Spokesperson and chieftain of Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP)

     

    Disclaimer: Views expressed in any article we publish remain entirely the authors and do not reflect the editorial policy of DailyGlobeWatch.


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  • Dearth of Water Supply infrastructure in Edo State

    17/Feb/2016 // 1892 Viewers

    By Ogbeide Ifaluyi-Isibor

    The unavailability of Portable water for Nigerians in Rural and Urban areas has got

    more catastrophic consequences than the insurgency that has ravaged Nigeria today..
    While the Bokoharam related activities claimed more than 8,000 lives, the shortage
    of potable water and poor sanitation has led to about 73,000 deaths in Nigeria

    according to WaterAid, a London-based nonprofit organization..
    Since independence till the early 90s Nigerians who resided in the major cities,
    towns and even some local communities, enjoyed regular supply of clean and portable
    water. The water taps flowed almost ceaselessly and residents had enough water from
    the public water supply to meet their basic home
    Today,Using Edo State as a case study, the water taps,have become non existent for

    obvious cases of Corruption, mismanagement of states resources and public facilities
    like those of the Edo State Urban Water Board.
    The Water Board complex along Sapele road in Benin City has been converted to a

    different office for a different purpose,All her branches across the state have
    become moribund ,the Ogba water works has long stopped functioning.

    This development has consequently necessitated the lack of supply of portable water

    to members of the public who are tax payers, forcing them to rely more on

    privately-dug bore hole water.
    This has however taken a Catastrophic dimension as an estimated 1.5 million Edo
    people have no access to portable drinking water majorly in Rural areas just as alot
    of urban dwellers can not afford to travel long distances and pay for Water from
    water vendors as Dams meant to serve the metropolis, with booster stations in
    Okhoro, Iyaro, Aduwawa, Esigie, Ugbowo and other areas are presently in a pathetic
    state.
    Lack of Funding and abysmal disregard for the needs of the people has fuelled this
    anomaly as over 70% of Edo people who can't sink boreholes have no choice but to
    depend on water from water bodies around the state which are largely unhygienic and
    have resulted in Several deaths as a result of Diarrhoea which is the Second highest
    killer of Children below 5years.
     
    The Edo State Urban Water Board whose responsibility of providing potable water to
    the Urban and Semi-Urban areas of the State, is however hampered by lack of adequate
    manpower, ageing equipment and poor maintenance. The Board has about sixty-three
    (63) pumping stations (including dams) spread across the State and the functionality
    of 63 stations is better assumed..
    The required amount of water needed for the about 3.5 millions Edo citizens today

    hovers between 80-90 million gallons per day but sadly,the Edo State urban water
    board produces less than 10% of that daily requirement.
    Going forward,the state Government must begin to fund the Edo State Urban water

    board so as to be able to provide the needed infrastructure to resuscitate the Dams
    and Pumping stations across the state to enable taxpayers benefit from purposeful
    Government which would help in the reduction of deaths among children and women due
    to the unavailability of Portable water and proper Sanitation......From Ogbeide
    Ifaluyi-Isibor


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  • Niger Delta Restiveness: Do we blame Buhari?

    17/Jan/2016 // 342 Viewers

     

    By Emmanuel Onwubiko

    The story coming out of the crude oil rich Niger Delta region isn’t good and the timing is troubling.

    Suspected armed militants reportedly bombed a strategic crude oil facility in Delta State which is the corner stone of electricity power supply to Lagos and much of South West of Nigeria.

    Since President Muhammadu Buhari came on board the international asking price of crude oil has consistently plummeted and only few hours back it was reported to be hovering between 30 USD per barrel or lower. Exchange rate of Naira to USD has become all time high and the value of Naira has virtually collapsed.

    As one of the nations relying so much on the mono export of crude oil for externally generated and indeed much desired revenues, there’s no gainsaying that the downward trends in international asking price of crude oil and the resurgence of bombing campaigns by armed Niger Delta militants are twin evils that would further drive the economy to an unfathomable fate and may threaten the economic stability of Nigeria.

    Has this House fallen? Better still, is Nigeria then about to collapse or to whom do we blame for these serial misfortunes that creeped in on the national stage since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office?

    From an objective standpoint I think President Muhammadu Buhari's policies that significantly presents him as working actively to promote or grow exclusively the regional economy of the North have led to the escalation of mutual suspicions amongst people of the North and Southern Nigeria.

    Apart from picking virtually his entire inner cabinet members from the North with North East dominating, the current President has inaugurated two gigantic projects that are favourable exclusively to Northern Nigeria. This one sidedness is absolutely illegal because the South East of Nigeria suffered 30 Months of military bombardments from the Federal forces but till date there hasn’t been any Marshall plan or any deliberate governmental intervention to reconstruct the devastated infrastructures of the South East of Nigeria by all the numerous federal administrations that we have had in nearly half a century. If Buhari will rebuild the North East what is wrong if his government also introduces a reconstruction agenda for the old South East which also includes Akwa Ibom, Delta, Cross Rivers and Bayelsa states which were theatres of war during the last civil war which raged for 30 months?

    It would be recalled that earliest job Buhari's administration did was that he travelled to meet US President Barack Obama and officials of international funding agencies such as World Bank and International Monetary Fund but basically only the North East gained by way of receiving a Billion Dollar soft credit facility for the infrastructural development of the North East devastated by the dare devilry of the Borno State originated Boko Haram terrorists.

    Then in what is generally believed to be a possible wasted adventure the President has voted over N40 billion to be used to search for crude oil deposits in the Chad basin area of Borno State which does not carry any significant prospects of any successful discovery. For two decades all effort made to discover crude oil around the Chad Basin has proven futile.

    Then the Niger Delta amnesty programme started by the late Alhaji Umar Musa -led Federal Government which was sustained by the immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan -led administration but this current government has no clue as to how best to continue to implement these range of professional skills training ventures for the disadvantaged youth of the oil rich but heavily neglected Niger Delta region.

    The new Special Adviser on Niger Delta Amnesty Programme who reportedly is a retired Army General was published picked from his Kaduna retirement home and anointed has practically no experience on how best to implement this programme and the result is the several miscalculations and misfortunes that have befallen both the programme and the enrolled beneficiaries.

    Some of the beneficiaries of the now mismanaged Niger Delta Amnesty Programme who were sent to the UK on scholarship were recently repatriated because the agency couldn’t meet up with the financial obligations. In the South East which is also crude oil rich the current government failed to pick any citizen of South East of Nigeria into any strategic military or civilian office thus shutting the Igbo out of this government and importantly out of the constitutionally created National Defence Council meaning that over 50 million Nigerians of Igbo origin are denied their constitutional rights by this government. The groups that have so far sprang up to speak for the South East have had rough time even peacefully expressing their opinions even as armed military and police operatives are unleashed on them with bloody consequences. Fake Religious prophets who parade around the corridors of power have been recruited to see visions and to blame critics for the imaginary plots on the life of the President. Such is how badly freedom of speech has suffered.

    Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement for the Actualisation of Biafra (MASSOB) have suffered bloody victimisation from the Nigerian State under President Muhammadu Buhari and the Leader of the group Mr Nnamdi Kanu has spent 100 days in underground cells of the Department of State Service under the direction of President Muhammadu Buhari who has publicly professed his desire to keep him as long as possible even against three binding bail orders granted Mr Nnamdi Kanu by different Courts of competent jurisdiction ranging from Magistrate to the Federal High Court.

    By and large it can safely be said that the current government has stifled the atmosphere of freedomof speech thereby compelling radical elements to go under and start these unfortunate bombing campaigns. Before proffering panacea to this emerging dangerous scenarios of resurgence of the Niger Delta youth restiveness, let us vividly narrate what really happened which as reported may affect power supply across much of Nigeria.

    Unknown gunmen in the early hours of Friday, blew up the all important Nigerian NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION ( NNPC) crude and gas pipeline in the Niger Delta. Predictably journalists have interpreted this to signal a possible resumption of hostilities in the relatively peaceful region.

    The facility which is the major supplier of gas and crude to Warri and Lagos is located in the Gbaramatu area of Warri South West Local Government area of Delta state. Ironically, that’s the homeland of one of Nigeria’s most highly rated former militant leader Mr Government Ekpumopolo also known as Tompolo. He has come under the searchlight of the Adamawa dominated EFCC over some contracts he won during the administration of Goodluck Jonathan which generously rewarded him for his impressive contribution towards ending the then armed restiveness in the Niger Delta during the regime of the late Umaru Musa Yaradua under which the man who would later emerge as President Dr Goodluck Jonathan was the Vice President.

    It could not be confirmed if the act was carried out by vandals or it was a reaction to the warrant issued by a Federal High Court in Lagos for the arrest of former leader of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Chief Government Ekpemupolo, otherwise known as Tompolo, so says news reporters.

    But Tompolo himself has cried out, saying his detractors were out to capitalise on his running battle with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) to commit the act and blame it on him. Tompolo may be right because members of IPOB and MASSOB faced similar “government arranged” subterranean plots when after nearly three weeks of successful street’s protests, some paid hoodlums infiltrated the peaceful marches by IPOB and MASSOB and caused violence including an unsuccessful attempt to set alight the central mosque in Onitsha Anambra State.

    Although the NNPC has claimed ignorance of the development, a source in the industry confirmed that the pipeline was attacked in what looked like coordinated act.

    “From all indications, the attack was a coordinated one because the facility was blown in three major points and this has made it difficult for immediate remedial measures”,he said.

    But Group General Manager (Public Affairs) of the NNPC, Mr Ohi Alegbe said the corporation was unaware of the attack. “The NNPC is not aware of this at all,” he said.

    But the denial by NNPC’s spokesman totally amounts to being economical with the truth because we don’t require Rocket Science to confirm if any attack was launched on our oil facilities or not because satellite images are available I’m sure to tell exactly what happened.

    Nigeria has blown away billions of dollars to launch the so called satellite in the orbits. So how come that officials of NNPC now feign ignorance of the widely reported bombing of the crude oil facility in the Niger Delta? Meanwhile there are fears that the decision of Buhari to unleash the northern dominated Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to go after some major leaders of the ex militants of the Niger Delta such as Tompolo may draw out sympathisers to carry out such attacks whether with his blessing or not. That is assuming it can be ruled out that the Federal Government did not sponsor fifth columnists to stage manage the attacks.

    Tompolo however had prior to this reported bombing alleged a plot to bomb crude oil facilities by some faceless fifth columnists sponsored by government just to rope him into a treasonable felony case since this government has reinvented this draconian and military type decree to haunt perceived opponents.

    Aware of the notoriety of supporters of the current Federal Government and it’s one sided anti graft crusade and the length they can go to try to rope in perceived enemies of their political master, Mr Government Ekpumopolo (Tompolo) who spoke though his media aide, Paul Bebenimibo, has condemned the act, saying the coincidence of the 'dastardly act' with his ordeal in the hands of the EFCC was ominous.

    Hear him: “This is a condemnable act and all peace lovers of the country must stand up against this despicable act that is meant to frame me up in the face of the running battle that is currently ongoing between me and the EFCC. “I know as a matter of fact that since I accepted to embrace peace and pursue same after the amnesty offer, there have been several attempts at staging me back to the creeks under flimsy, sometimes personal excuses. “In this case for instance, my belief in the rule of law and due process had compelled me to drag the EFCC to court even before the purported warrant. We are in court and the court shall decide the case at the appropriate time. “I, therefore, call on the federal government to undertake a thorough investigation into this ignoble act.

    With Tompolo ruling himself out of any plot to stage a return to bombing campaigns, the most pragmatic solution to this atmosphere of deep mutual suspicions amongst people of the South and North is for the current President to be a national and stop being a Northern regional leader and give every region her due and rights under the law. Let Mr President not create the impression that he is above the law because the moment people sense that the President who swore an oath to respect the sanctity of the constitution is going against this sacred oath by the persistent disrespect to lawful court orders then anarchists will begin to have a field day.

     

    Disclaimer: Views expressed in any piece we publish remain entirely the author's and do not reflect the editorial policy of DailyGlobeWatch


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