Friday, 30 April 2010

Photospeak: Maurice Iwu's Godfathers

News Release: Humanity For Africa Foundation Hosts Health Awareness Forum/Fair

On behalf of the Advisory Board of the Humanity for Africa Foundation (HFAF), I am pleased to inform you that the Foundation in association with UMDNJ-University Hospital is hosting a Health Awareness Forum and Health Fair on Saturday, May 15, 2010, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at the UMDNJ Health Building, 185 South Orange Avenue, Grand Foyer, Newark, New Jersey.


The theme of this Health Forum/Fair is “Understanding Health Issues Facing Africans in Diaspora, Africans and African American Communities”, and it is designed to close gaps in health education and service delivery for African Americans and the African immigrant community in New Jersey.

The Forum will bring together members of the community, health scientists, public health workers and educators, advocates, medical students, nurses, and community organizers to raise awareness to understand how poverty, lack of education, housing and race translate into poor health in the community.

The Honorable Congressman Donald M. Payne, Chair House Sub-Committee on Africa and Global Health will deliver the keynote.

You are therefore invited, and also requested to send this invitation to your friends and associates to maximize attendance. We look forward to your kind consideration in the service of humanity and thank you for supporting the Foundation.

For more information and to pledge your support please contact Innocent Okemezie, at 908-468-9147 or via email at iokemezie@yahoo.com.

Sincerely,

Innocent Okemezie
President/Executive Director

Thursday, 29 April 2010

News Report: Yoruba Cultural Organization Chieftain Turns 40

 
                                [Gani Adams]
                                
National Cordinator of the Yoruba Cultural organization, Oodua Peoples Congress(OPC), Gani Adams will celebrate his fortieth birthday anniversary on Saturday May 1st 2010.

According to information sourced from the OPC website, Adams was born on 30th April, 1970 at Arigidi-Akoko in the present Akoko North-West Local Government Area of Ondo State, Nigeria. He attended Army Children’s School, Oturkpo up to primary 3. When his father was transferred to Lagos,  he finished at the Municipal Primary School, Surulere, Lagos in 1980.

He attended Ansar-Ud-deen Secondary School, Randle Avenue, Surulere before he went for furniture making and interior decorating training, finishing in 1987. He was later employed by an Italian Construction Company, Visinoni Stabilini,  in Apapa, Lagos State. He voluntarily resigned to establish his own furniture making/Interior decoration business. Gani Adams became an active Pro-Democracy Activist in 1992, pitching tent with Campaign for Democracy (CD), He later became the Public Relations Officer of Mushin Local Government Chapter in 1993.

He was the first Deputy National Coordinator of OPC.
                                           
OPC, the website stated further, is a non-political organization, "It does not receive financial or material assistance from anybody. OPC’s socio-cultural bent  have continued the perpetuation of Yoruba culture. .

This however, does not exclude the fact that it can act as instrument of checks and balances on the excesses of politicians and other leaders as well".

Gani Adams  who holds the traditional title of "Otunba" and an honourary doctorate degree have come a long way from the days when he was seen as a gang leader.

Dr. kayode Ogundamisi, former Secretary-general of the then  Frederich Fasehun faction of  OPC when contacted by chidi opara reports for comments responded thus; "I wish him well. He has come a long way and contributed his own bit to Yorubaland and Nigeria. Gani is doing a lot to promote Yoruba culture and values through the Olokun festival and the many other socio-cultural festivals his group organizes in South Western Nigeria.

I have had to relate with him first as rivals as I was Sec-Gen of the Dr Frederich Fasehun faction of the OPC but we treated each other with respect and he was always willing to listen to suggestions on how the crisis could be abated. We have maintained cordial relationship since I left the OPC and he has always made it a point of duty to reach out to everyone for suggestions. Not just to those who share his line of thinking but to those who dissagree with him.

It thus gladdens me to know we come from the same Akoko in Ondo State. I certainly wish him the best in his chosen path".

Kayode Ajulo, an Abuja based human rights lawyer and Chairman of Egalitarian Mission Africa has this to say when contacted; "In a society where there is dearth of young persons to attain the height of leadership to inspire the people, Gani Adams have been able to achieve this with threat to his life, his emergence in Yoruba Nation is legendary and I salute his courage, tenacity and his belief. His doggedness is a source of hope to his followers and in recent time he has transformed to an agent of peace.

I use this occassion to acknowledge his firm belief in equity, fairness and justice and also recall his admiration of my legal opinions, thoughtfulness and tactics during the court battles to defend him, Dr. Federick Fasehun and others in the last administration of General Obasanjo. I wish him many happy returns".

Invitation released by the OPC Chief and made available to chidi opara reports stated that a birthday anniversary event will take place on Saturday May 1st  2010 by 11 am prompt at the Blue Roof, LTV Ground, Lateef Jakand Road Ikeja Lagos State.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Article: Obasanjo, PDP And Agents Of Regression Should Stay Clear Of Ondo State

                                          [Obasanjo]

It was with anticipated anxiety and amusement that I received the induced narration that former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Saturday in Osogbo, Osun State charged top members of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party in the South-West to work hard in order to capture the two States being controlled by the opposition political parties in the zone.


One of the State under reference is Ondo State, my home State and as a stake holder in the Nigeria polity and proud citizen of the sunshine state, I found it imperative to respond to General Olusegun Obasanjo and his co-deceivers in PDP to unequivocally state that Ondo State will only be ruled by overwhelming support of the people of the State as the people of the State have resolved never again will the elements of deceit and looters of state’s treasury rule the State again.

While General Obasanjo and other speakers at the PDP rally did not make any reference to well being of the people of the States nor proffer a solution for the development of the State, which go a long way to reveal their deep seated hatred for my State, the choice of syntax used by these speakers is not only derogatory to the government and hardworking, informed and proud people of the State but their speeches shown a systemic contempt to the State.

I however, sympathised with General Obasanjo and his co-travellers of their inability to take into consideration the uniqueness of Ondo State, what the State stands for, what the people of the State are known for, our attitudes and unique way of politicking.

My state, Ondo State is the cradle of progressivism in Nigeria, the home of progressives, Afenifere, hotbed of intellectuals, posterity will continue to recalls the role late Olowo of Owo, Oba Olateru-Olagbegi I and the progenitor of Free Education in Nigeria and former Governor of the State, Chief Micheal Adekunle Ajasin, played in the formation of Action Group.

While I acknowledged the great work of the late sage, Chief Awolowo, in the old Western, Chief Awolowo only emerged through the synergy of great personalities from Ondo State.

Chief Reuben Fashoranti, the Afenifere Chairman is also from Ondo State, Chief Olu Yemi Falae, one time Presidential candidate, Chief Shehinde Arogbofa, Comrade Baba Omojola, Dr. Frederick Fasehun, Gani Adams, they are irrepressible progressives. PDP should also remember that the most successful legal practitioner, the defender of the people and greatest crusader in Nigeria that I know, Chief Ganiyu Oyesola Fawehinmi was a proud citizen of the State.

Presently, the wellbeing of the State is save and trusted under the leadership of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, Alli Olanusi and other tested patriots.

I mentioned these personalities for any agents of deceit and regressive to appreciate the fundamentals of the State, our industries, Ondo people are independent, courageous, resolute, intelligent and principled and when you have a governor that is an embodiment of these attributes as well as reinforces the people’s aspiration, the people of the State will continue to rally around such governor and will resist any capture or take over from the army of regression.

The ascendancy of the extant State Executive led by Dr. Mimiko is so bona fide, that after the final judgment of the Court of Appeal in Benin even his so called opposition never raised any contrary view and have been congratulating him and lobbying him till today.

I am not a politician in Nigeria context but have my ears to the ground and we have contacts everywhere.

Dr. Olusegun Mimiko is yet to disappoint like others as we pray that he never do such a thing, he is amiable, feels and goes with the pulse of the people, he choose the right party of the people, Labour party.

According to John Maxwell; one of the qualities of a good leader is the ability to inspire his people, Dr. Mimiko inspires the people of Ondo State, many of my friends who are not Yorubas have been asking me what is the meaning of “Takun Takun”, it took some while before I understood that they are referring to Mimiko’s new battle cry for productivity in Ondo State; “ise takun takun, ibukun repete” which literary mean that bountiful harvest can only be achieve through true hard work.

Olusegun Obasanjo of this world and his friends should be lectured on a better way to inspire people back with physical result that can be seen and even touched.

While it not fashionable for me to sing anyone praises but if we find someone doing great, I beg Nigerians to encourage such person, we praise our learned silk, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN not because he speaks good English nor his wife is gorgeous but because even the blind can see that the present Lagos State of Fashola is better than before, Dr. Aliyu Banbangida of Niger State is dear to the people, not because of his self styled title; Servant Leader but because he see to the needs of his people, same too goes for Dr. Olusegun Rahman Mimiko, not because he is a Christian but bears a Moslem name but because he came with innovative ideas, let us recall the full payment of the pensions areas in Ondo State, before, several died while queuing to be paid for the monthly stipends call pension but that is now the thing of the past, every home in Nigeria at least has one or two pensioners, just imagine smile in every home, some of our people in diasporas have even given testimonies that the pressure of request for transfer of pounds and dollars from their kiths and kins back home has reduced in Ondo State, independent assessment of this fact, can be made by a visit Western Union office.

I invited members of PDP to visit Ondo State and ask about the first specialist hospital only for Mother and Child brought about by the Governor, they should ask for the meaning of Abiye Project, they should please find out the Volunteer scheme that is fashioned out to enable the unemployed in the State to receive a little stipend of about N10, 000 as social benefit, about 4, 000 of them have graduated from being a beneficiaries to full employed citizens in the state, recently over 120 of the beneficiaries were employed by the government as Traffic Wardens.



Obasanjo & Co should please, come to Ondo State to find out, the public model school scheme that no private school incuding his Bells School, despite the exorbitant fees paid can rival?

PDP should please find out the new scheme of ensuring that the people of the State have access to lawyers with no cost to them.

I am not a member of any political party but I have to rejoice as my State is turning to the State of my dream; Egalitarian society, for the past 6 years I formed Egalitarian Mission, Africa and I have been campaigning to entrenched Egalitarian values in Africa and if I am seeing a state turning to the State of my dream, that state will never be allow to return to the years of locust.

By Kayode Ajulo

(Kayode Ajulo is a lawyer and community leader, he is the Bamofinlewe of Akurekingdom and Chairman, Egalitarian Mission, Africa.)

Monday, 26 April 2010

Article: Ogbulafor, PDP And National Working Committee (NWC)

                                       [Ogbulafor: PDP National Chairman]

I am constrained to comment on the attempt to destabilize the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by people who have never won any election through the party and by people who believe that internal conflicts in a political party can never be resolved in a round table discussion.

It is an acknowledged fact that opposition is the beauty of democracy. Conversely, this opposition either within a political party or outside should be seen as a major ingredient of development within or outside that political party. The PDP is a party made up of various interest groups working towards achieving the collective goal of the party while at the same time targeting group interest. However in the process of achieving this group interest, conflicts are bound to take place and if not managed well, may lead to mistrust and disunity among members of the party. The end result is dis-integration of the party. I stand to be challenged.

The current Chairman of PDP is Prince Vincent Ogbulafor. By virtue of his position, one expects him to be playing a mediating role in solving the problems of the party by applying the “Win-win” solution strategy in resolving the problems of the party. But to the amazement of on-lookers and by-lookers, Ogbulafor have totally proved that he is not capable of resolving minor squabbles in the party. How then can he lead us to win the 2011 elections? I ask this question because Ogbulafor has practically proved to be at variance to the ideals of the PDP. He has equally proved to be not in tune in re-strategizing and re-inventing ways of making the party to be people oriented. Honestly, from my political barometer I can see that Ogbulafor have succeeded in making the PDP to look like a party heading for total dis-integration and disaster. What do I mean?

Ever since Ogbulafor took over as the National Chairman of PDP two years ago, the structures of the party in most states of the federation have been standing on weak legs and therefore in an unstable equilibrium. Under Ogbulafor leadership, PDP lost Anambra State’s peaceful, free and fair governorship election held in February 2010. Under his leadership existing states executives of the party in Imo, Bauchi and Zamfara were illegally dissolved. Under his leadership a man who was just few days old in the party was imposed as the flag bearer of the governorship election in Anambra State without allowing a true and free primary to hold. Under his leadership Nigerians have lost confidence in the PDP led government at the Federal level due to the level of corruption, fraud, deceit and falsehood including uncoordinated behaviour being propagated by Ogbulafor himself.

It is now a notorious fact that Vincent Ogbulafor is the only National Chairman of a political party in Nigeria currently facing corruption charges at the courts as is being facilitated by the Independent and Corrupt Practices Commission (I.C.P.C.) This is a big dent on the image and integrity of PDP. The next question now is; who is Prince Vincent Ogbulafor? From the political angle, Vincent Ogbulafor is a man who has never won any election in his life. He contested the governorship primaries of PDP in 1998 with Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu and lost woefully. He decamped to then APP and contested the governorship election in 1999 with Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu and lost shamefully. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo had compassion for him and re-habilitated him by making him Minister of State for Economic planning from 1999 to 2001. Ogbulafor proved to be a man who wanted to clap with one hand. Obasanjo removed him and made him the National Secretary of PDP in 2001 but Ogbulafor proved to be more corrupt than corruption itself. Obasanjo simply ordered him to resign in 2004.

Two years ago this same Ogbulafor was imposed as the National Chairman of PDP by the conspiracy of serving PDP governors in Nigeria with an agreement of automatic ticket come 2011. Till today Ogbulafor and these short sighted governors have been driving the PDP leadership vehicle from the back seat. No wonder PDP is in crisis. Again what do I mean?

Using Imo State as a platform to explain this PDP crisis, I make bold to state as follows. The PDP in Imo State is standing on two legs namely (1) Alliance (2) New Face .

The Alliance is anchored on the shoulders of Chief Achike Udenwa and Senator Ifeanyi Araraume. While New Face is walking on the shadows of Governor Ikedi Ohakim and Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu. It is a proven fact that the Alliance controls 82% structures of PDP while New face controls 12% structures. The remaining 6% are what I call “siddon – look” structures. The Alliance consists of people who have remained in PDP since its formation in September 1998. It is an acknowledged fact that Alliance consists of PDP members who have played major roles in the growth and development of the party and have held positions both at Government and party levels at various times in the past and vast majority of its members are still holding such positions in the present. On the contrary, New Face consists of people who have oscillated from PDP to ANPP, to UNPP, to AD back to PDP, to PPA and back to PDP, This is what I call gambling and political prostitution” This political oscillation is fully represented by Mr. Ikedi Ohakim. Now due to political interest facilitated by greed as represented by this same person who abandoned his last known party PPA and jumped into PDP in July 2009, crisis showed its ugly head in the once peaceful PDP. A rational mind had expected the National Chairman of PDP to use an “elderly” eye and mind to resolve the problems in Imo PDP. But to the consternation of Imo citizens Ogbulafor joined forces with “the man without a face in Imo State” to cause more problems for the party in the state. But because “Mgbe Amuru Dike Na Mba ka Amuru Ibeya”, the true leaders in PDP withstood the aggression in the party and have been able to control the structures of the party, a new dimension was now introduced. What happened?

Ogbulafor and the National working committee (NWC) of the PDP invited the stakeholders of PDP in Imo State for a meeting at Abuja on Wednesday 21/4/2010. On that day of the meeting, the NWC called it off and shifted it to May 5th 2010. The next day 22nd April 2010, the same NWC in conspiracy with Ogbulafor, Ikedi Ohakim and Emmanuel Iwuanayanwu “suspended” the true leaders of the party in Imo State. The ripple effect of this “suspension” cannot be quantified because its disadvantages are numerous. Although I see the so called “Suspension” as “MBA ANA ABARA AGU”, I still make bold to say that the variables and ingredients that made PDP to loose states like Abia, Anambra, Edo, Ondo, Lagos etc are gradually taking firm root in Imo State. It has even spread its tentacles to Enugu and Ebonyi states. All these are happening within this period of Ogbulafor Chairmanship of PDP. It therefore means that Ogbulafor is not a good political manager of men and materials to achieve positive goals. It should be noted that I long predicted all these in my well published article one year ago entitled “PDP, Ohakim and Automatic Ticket”.

I therefore propound the following solutions to re-activate and re-invent PDP to National acceptance and of course re-integration.

(1) PDP members must re-dedicate themselves to Nigerians as people who are ready, willing and able to serve the public and provide for their welfare.
(2) Bringing back those ideologies for which the party was know for.
(3) Allowing and ensuring internal democracy in the party.
(4) Allowing people with proven records of experience and performance to run and manage the affairs of the party.
(5) Since Prince Vincent Ogbulafor is facing criminal and corruption charges at the court of law, he should resign as chairman so that he can face his criminal case at the courts.

It is only when the above sincere recommendations are implemented that PDP will find its feet as far as free and fair elections are concerned in Nigeria. But if Ogbulafor and the present National Working Committee wants to destroy PDP by imposing people like they did in Anambra State, then PDP should be prepared to lose more states in the forth coming elections. Mgbe Amuru Dike Na Mba ka Amuru Ibeya.

You don’t caution a wise man twice.

By Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha

Friday, 23 April 2010

Article: Nuhu Ribadu For President 2011

                                  [Nuhu Ribadu]

(“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men (and women) to do nothing.” Edmund Burke.)

Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) has issued a challenge to Nigerian youth. Let’s rise to the occasion and tell him that “Yes We Can”. The first thing that came to my mind immediately IBB announced his plans to run for the 2011 presidential election was not how to stop him, but who to stop him. In the last few days, we have seen IBB’s surrogates and even some sincere and patriotic Nigerians raise the issue: IBB is a Nigerian citizen and therefore has the right to aspire to the highest office in the land; and if you don’t like the way that sounds, then you should provide an alternative. Others have pointedly asked the question: If not IBB, then who?

Let it not be said that when the question of an alternative to IBB was raised, the youth of Nigeria had no answer. I therefore, without any reservations or equivocation, put forward to Nigerians, Nuhu Ribadu, a young, passionate, courageous, dynamic, detribalized, and committed Nigerian. The prospect of a Nuhu Ribadu presidency fascinates me and reminds me of 1993 when Chief M.K.O Abiola ran for the presidency. Abiola, like Ribadu, had the charisma, international respect and clout, and nation-wide acceptance; like Ribadu, M.K.O. was not provincial; he certainly, like Ribadu, was not a fundamentalist. Unfortunately, Chief Abiola’s victory was truncated by IBB, who now seeks to win our votes and become president for a third time (having ruled as president from 1985 to 1993). We can’t let IBB truncate our hopes and aspirations a second time.

This is a battle for the heart and soul of Nigeria. On this issue, we can’t afford to be Internet warriors. It is great to blog, twit and update our Facebook with Ribadu for President 2011, but this battle has to be won ultimately in our streets, villages and hamlets from Aba to Zungeru, from Badagry to Yola, from Calabar to Sokoto. So let us go out and mobilize. As my comrade, the great pan-Africanist, Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem, used to say, “Let’s organise; not agonise”. We need to save Nigeria; if not, by the time the likes of IBB are done with us, we won’t have a country to call our own.

Please don’t undermine this movement. There will be time for criticism; now is the time for mobilization. For those who disagree with this proposition, please do the next best thing: start a campaign for your own candidate if you think you can’t stand as a candidate. As Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, said recently, “What is wrong with identifying your candidates urgently and beginning to mobilize support for them...why can’t you invade your homeland...use your mobile telephones now to mobilize people and guard democracy the way Barack Obama used the Internet technology to mobilize the youths and to strengthen democracy”.

No doubt, it is important that we stop the likes of IBB, but we should spend more time and energy in promoting our candidates, for as Simon Kolawole wrote in Thisday of Sunday, April 18, 2010, what IBB seeks is relevance. “Anytime there is a presidential race, IBB always manages to become a topic of discussion. He loves it. He wants to be the main issue in our politics until he draws his last breath”.

We simply can’t afford the IBB distraction. Let us not make IBB the issue in the 2011 presidential election. So instead of printing one million posters or stickers saying “No to IBB”, thereby placing him unduly in the public consciousness, we can put that resource in advancing Nuhu Ribadu for President 2011. Let our brothers and sisters in Nollywood and PMAN come up with brilliant ideas to sell the Ribadu for President 2011 idea to the Nigerian masses as their counterparts in Hollywood did during the Obama election.

Whether you are a banker, lawyer, doctor, journalist, engineer, nurse, civil servant, imam, pastor, unemployed, military personnel, artiste, actor, actress, or student, our major preoccupation should be how make this movement bigger every day. Let’s us make it our personal project for the next one year. While we go out every morning in the quest for bread and butter, in search of how to pay our house rent, school fees for our children, and sundry bills, we should dedicate a few minutes daily until May 29, 2011 to support this cause. Let us all sacrifice a little!

If you can produce T-shirts and distribute to young people in your neighbourhood, please do. If you can print stickers and posters, please do; if it is wrist bands that you would like to produce, you are welcome to do that; and if you are not in a position to produce anything, talk to neighbours, convince them on why they must join the movement; blog and twit about it; keep your Facebook status on Nuhu “Obama” Ribadu” for President 2011. We need to take ownership of this process.

Let those in the Diaspora join the campaign, from Accra to Cape town; from New York to Toronto. Let it be heard in the furthest part of the world that after 50 years of independence, Nigerians are ready and willing to reclaim their motherland.

This is the time for organizations that have mass follower ship and can influence public opinion like Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Trade Union Congress (TUC) Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE), Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), national newspapers, to come out and endorse candidates for 2011. That is how it is done in other parts of the world; that is the only way we can build and sustain our democracy and have the government and leadership we desire. Election is less than a year away.

There should be no procrastination. Let’s start mobilizing for Nuhu Ribadu, our great hope for a better Nigeria, a better Africa.

Nuhu Ribadu for President, 2011. The slogan is Change has come to Nigeria! Nuhu Ribadu for President, 2011, Yes, I Believe! Together, we can make a difference.

I offer a list of possible candidates for the vice-presidential position (not in order of preference or importance).

1. Prof. Pat Utomi
2. Ledum Mitte
3 .Olisa Agbakoba
4. Gov. Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State
5 .Gov. Chibike Amechi of Rivers State
6. Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State
7. Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (MD of the World Bank)
8. Dr. Oby Ezekwesili (VP, Africa, World Bank)
9. Femi Falana
10. Gov. Peter Obi of Anambra State
11. Gov. Sullivan Chime of Enugu State
12. Hon. Uche Onyeaguocha
13. Dr. Kayode Fayemi
14. Hafsat Abiola-Castello
15. Senator Ken Nnamani
16. Senator Chris Anyanwu
17. Hon. Dino Melaye
18. Comrade Peter Esele
19. Prof. Bolaji Aluko
20. Senator Olurunnimbe Mamora
21. Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa
22. Ayo Obe
23 .Diezani Allison-Madueke
24..Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin
25. Gov. Donald Duke (former Governor of Cross River State)

By Anthony Fernandez

Thursday, 22 April 2010

News Release From The White House: Ramping Up for Earth Day

Good afternoon,


We’ve been celebrating Earth Day for 40 years now, but the truth is that tomorrow may be the first one when we are truly able to say that we have started down the road to a real clean energy economy -- and a better world for our kids.

Today I am kicking off the Administration’s celebration of Earth Day in advance by announcing $452 million in Recovery Act “Retrofit Ramp-Up” awards. These awards will help make energy efficiency affordable for hundreds of thousands of homeowners and businesses, and are expected to create tens of thousands of jobs in the process.

And this is just a tiny sliver of what we’ve done. As the President’s point man on the Recovery Act, which included America’s biggest investment ever in clean energy, I’ve visited countless communities that have seen jobs come back through these kinds of initiatives.

You can learn more about all our efforts at http://WhiteHouse.gov/EarthDay, and also join Carol Browner, Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, for a special online video chat tomorrow at 12:00PM EDT at http://whitehouse.gov/.

Of course Earth Day is about more than just government action to protect our air, water and environment. Since the first Earth Day forty years ago countless Americans have taken action to make their local communities cleaner and healthier and to have a positive impact on our planet.

This year, President Obama is calling on all of us to pitch in and participate in the Earth Day of Service. On http://Serve.gov/EarthDay you can find thousands of Earth Day Service events in communities across the country.

Whether you pick up trash at a local park, plant trees, or clean up the river or stream in your hometown, there are plenty of ways to get involved. I hope you’ll join President Obama and me in celebrating the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.

Sincerely,

Joe Biden
Vice President of the United States

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

News Release: Lawyer To Petitioners; “EFCC & Others Are Duty Bound To Arrest Ibori’

                                               [James Ibori]

Yesterday, 20th of April, 2010, it was reported that the EFCC and others attempted to give effect to the Abuja High Court’s Warrant of Arrest against the person of Chief James Ibori which proved abortive as Chief James Ibori and his aides were reported to have resisted the arrest hinging their resistance on the premise of a Federal High Court’s status quo order of 19th April 2010.

Based on the above report, we found it imperative on us, on behalf of the Delta State Elders, Leaders & Stakeholders Forum (DSELSF) led by Chief E. K. Clark to state clearly that the reported resistance and argument canvassed for, is not only a misconception of the court status quo order, but also untenable, irrational and a deliberate flagrant violation and disregard to constituted authorities and directives.

We therefore further maintain that the EFCC and other law enforcement agencies, including every right thinking citizen of the realm are duty-bound to arrest the ex-Governor in the extant circumstances, as the much touted statuesque order by the Federal High Court, Asaba only complement, reinforce as well as fortify the warrant of arrest earlier issued on Chief Ibori.

For clarity and the need to understand the effect and legality of the status quo order granted by the Federal High Court in Asaba, it is necessary to understand the cosmic meaning of status quo in our jurisprudence.

“Status quo” is a latin word which literally means the current or existing state of affairs, that is, the state of affairs which existed previously before the order was given. And if we must ask ourselves, what is in existence that is yet to be vacated before the status quo order? Is a duly drawn Warrant of Arrest of Chief James Onanafe Ibori.

Therefore, when the Federal High Court Asaba, ordered the parties, that is, EFCC and Ibori to maintain status quo, the status quo here which not only the EFCC but all law enforcement agencies as well as every citizen of the realm as people who believe in the rule of law must maintain and ensure its effect is is the arrest of the ex-governor as contained in the duly Warrant of Arrest granted by a competent Court.

As of now, and with the effect of the order of warrant of arrest on Ibori, the ex-governor is a persona non grata and an outcast whom all hands must be on deck to apprehend and brought to justice in pursuance of the Abuja High Court’s Order.

Therefore, when the Federal High Court Asaba, ordered the parties, that is, EFCC and Ibori to maintain status quo, the status quo here which not only the EFCC but all law enforcement agencies as well as every citizen of the realm as people who believe in the rule of law must maintain and ensure its effect is the arrest of the ex-governor as contained in the duly Warrant of Arrest granted by a competent Court.

Chief James Ibori will also as well, be maintaining status quo by presenting himself for arrest in pursuant to the warrant of arrest against his person.

Thank you.

Kayode Ajulo Esq.
Kayode AJulo & Co.
Castle Of Law

Photonews: Twenty Years After The Orkar Coup

                                               [Orkar: with others during trial]

                                                    [IBB: Nearly ousted by Orkar]
                                                   [IBB: Seeks power again]

Twenty years after late Major Gideon Gwarzo Orkar and his junta attempted unsuccessfully to oust General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida(IBB) from power, the General seeks power again, this time through the ballot box.

chidi opara reports have been hinted that IBB's opponents backed by the Presidency are poised to ressurect issues of hard drugs and homosexuality raised by the Orkar junta.

News Release: Lagos State DPA Warns INEC

The Democratic Peoples’ Alliance (DPA) has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for dialoguing with stakeholders on the ongoing voters’ 'registration but warned that recommendations must not be rubbished as happened in 2008.


Rising from a meeting of its Lagos State Executive Committee at the party headquarters in Jibowu Yaba, Lagos DPA said in a statement by its Director of Publicity, Felix Oboagwina, that INEC must take seriously observations and contributions made by stakeholders.

Lagos INEC has been convening such parleys at its Birrel Avenue Yaba office with local government chairmen of the political parties, the State Security Service (SSS), community leaders and police in order to ensure a hitch-free 2011 polls beginning with the ongoing voters’ registration.

DPA observed that although crucial contributions were made by participants, INEC must demonstrate good faith by adopting key recommendations from such a forum.

“We hope the Commission will not turn the exercise into a mere talk-shop, where contributions will be shabbily dismissed as happened in the 2008 local government elections in Lagos State,” the DPA statement said. “Of course, we all are living witnesses to the resultant fraud and prejudice that pervaded that election and resulted in one single party unrealistically winning 100 percent of chairmanship and councillorship seats at stake in the 57 local government areas and local council development areas.”

DPA also warned the Commission to guard against double registration, underage registration, ghost registration and mis-registration.

“Voters’ lists are as good as the Commission’s field officers make them; so INEC must put mechanism in place to check officials falling to temptation from unscrupulous politicians and parties,” DPA said.

On its own part, DPA urged members to mobilise for the registration exercise.

DPA representatives to the INEC forums have reported that the Commission complained that mountains of registration cards from previous exercises remained unclaimed.

“INEC must bear the bulk of the blame for this particular problem because it used ad hoc and roving staffers that citizens found difficult to track when they tried to exchange their provisional registration slips for the permanent voters’ cards at the designated registration posts,” DPA said.

Party leaders were told that INEC used the forum to warn politicians to desist from subscribing to electoral thuggery, violence, ballot stuffing and ballot snatching.

However, DPA’s statement said the onus lay on the Commission to implement a free, fair and credible election.

“Every politician knows that rigging starts from voters’ registration,” DPA said, adding, “INEC must tie up all loose ends and ensure that this registration exercise is fraud-proof.”

Meanwhile, the party urged its leaders to mobilise for the exercise those who had clocked 18 years old since the last voter-registration and those who had changed residence.

Felix Oboagwina
Director of Publicity, Lagos State DPA

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

News Report: Nigeria's Acting President To Contest As President In 2011

                                [Jonathan: Nigerian Acting President]

Strong indications have emerged that Nigeria's acting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan would contest the 2011 election as the presidential candidate of his party, the Peoples' Democratic Party(PDP), despite the party zoning the slot to the North.

chidi opara reports have learnt on good authority that the Nigerian leader's recent official visit to the United States of America(USA), afforded him the opportunity to personally solicit the support of the US President, Mr. Barack Obama for his presidential ambition. The Nigerian leader was proclaimed acting President by his country's bi-chamber Legislature following the prolonged absence of the President on health grounds.

Indication also emerged from the Embassy of the Unted States of America in Abuja, Nigeria's capital city, showing a favourable disposition to the "Jonathan project". Embassy insiders hinted chidi opara reports of fears that the emergence of a moslem President would jeopardize current US efforts at forestalling further infiltration of Islamiic extremists, usually hostile to US interests into Nigeria, an Oil and Gas producing country, considered as a strategic partner in the gulf of Guinea by USA and her Allies. The bulk of current US Oil and Gas consumption comes from the region.

Another pointer to the fact that Dr. Jonathan would contest was his recent secret meeting with Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, erstwhile Chairman of the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC). Ribadu who left the country on exile in controversial circumstances is presently a fellow of the Centre For Global Development. Our contacts in USA reported a secret meeting between Ribadu and the acting President on the day the Nigerian leader delievered a speech at the Centre. The agenda of the meeting which preceded the speech centred on "the need to re-invigorate the anti-corruption campaign". Critics of the acting President are however, insisting that the plan to bring back Ribadu is a ploy to harass his potential opponents out of the presidential race. Most potential presidential candidates are under investigation for various financial and economic crimes.

We have also learnt of a plan to "ask" the PDP National Chairman, Mr. Vincent Ogbulafor to "resign". The Chairman, we learnt would be presented with the option of "resigning" or be removed at an emergency general meeting that may be convened soon. There is also plan to ressurect a financial crime investigation on the Chaiman which is currently suspended. The fear of the acting President's group is that Mr. Ogbulafor is too close to some anti- Jonathan elements. The PDP National Chairman have however, been visiting the acting President with pledges of loyalty.

chidi opara reports also have information that there is already a secret revenue drive for the "Jonathan project", led by a semi-literate Oil and Gas tycoon from Anambra state based in Nigeria and USA. We could not however, confirm this at he time of preparing this reports.

Article: Much Ado about Ibrahim Babangida…The Media Trial!

                                [Ibrahim Babangida]

There is no doubt that I am an avid fan of General Ibrahim Babangida, fondly called IBB by his admirers and haters alike. Even in the midst of the hue and cry by a disgruntled few, who feel they have the right to carry out a media trial given their utopian monopoly of the press, over his declaration to run for office of the President of Nigeria. What in the world has IBB done that all those clamoring for his head have not done, or will not do when the opportunity comes? What moral pedigree and justification does the anti-IBB elements parade, to condemn the efforts of a great son of Nigeria to join the race in turning Nigeria around for the better? Why haven’t all those calling for IBB’s head gathered evidence of all their allegations against him in all these past years and taken him to court since they know better than the authorities created for such purpose, instead of making blind and baseless accusations on a gentle man who has served his country diligently. What has this man called Ibrahim Babangida done, that has been proven beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law, to deserve this character assassination and image battery?

I will try to give a few answers to these questions and elaborate on them. First and foremost Nigerians should know that there is not one Nigerian including these anti-IBB campaigners that would take up the reigns of power and not have passionate criticisms from opposing camps and even from within their clique! No matter how sincere their efforts in governance.

This is purely a case of calculated attempt at stopping IBB from running for the post of President of our great Nation Nigeria, by certain elements who are judiciously intimidated by his decision to join the race. A pre meditated campaign by certain groups and individuals to stop the emergence of ‘extreme popularity’ because it is very glaring that Nigerians love the man IBB.

Coining a phrase from the words of Umberto Eco (the Italian medievalist and philosopher) “now I have come to believe that the man IBB is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret him as though he had an underlying truth” .

What excites me most is, that the maxim which states that ‘great men are born and not made’ is highly typical of Ibrahim Babangida. The distinguished General with a “diverse identity”. An enigma to those who don’t understand him, a true hero and an astute leader, a good father, and a loving husband. A man who pursued his dreams with a deep sense of commitment, a man who knew where he was going from day one, a man who did not just jump on the bus to go for a joy ride. That is Ibrahim Babangida.

A story goes that when growing up, his parents asked him where he would like to work and he said he would love to work in the Army. Lo and behold, he dreamed it, he willed it and he lived it!

During his days as military president, the structures of his policies were logically and aesthetically brought to the fore, well tailored to suit the yearnings of the people. Though he later learnt the hard way that a chain is no stronger than its weakest link.

IBB became a phenomenon and his opponents were foisted with a complex of inferiority that tend to disarm them each time the General ruffles his feathers. IBB has proved to be an adroit leader, who has shown more superiority than any other leader in the history of this Nation Nigeria. A man given to accommodating negative criticisms, from a disgruntled few, with his gap toothed smile and would never dignify his detractors with a reaction.

In the midst of all the slandering, name calling and persecution, his opponents keep forgetting he initiated most of the critical policies which several governments after his, built upon. In order words he laid the foundation in areas such as Privatization, deregulation, liberalization of the banking sector, telecommunications liberalization amongst others. And let us give it to him, he conducted the freest and fairest election in the history of Nigeria!

IBB declared his intention to run for the office of the President of Nigeria and all hell broke loose! Suddenly people are crying wolf where there is none, chaos when there is none, confusion where there is none and trouble; all, being objects of the mind. The media has suddenly been inundated with series of corruption allegations against IBB, none of which has ever been proved!

Let me humbly ask these questions to those opposed to IBB running for President on account of spurious allegations of corruption. Has these allegations ever been proven in any court of competent jurisdiction? Seriously, on what basis do they want IBB disqualified? Is it based on some prophesy by some prophet?

IBB has not been found wanting by any court of law and has no record of conviction for fraud neither is there any official gazette indicting him for dishonesty and therefore he is qualified to seek public office in compliance with constitutional provisions. IBB deserves a shot at the presidency as much as any other citizen of this country. For crying out loud, , it is his fundamental human rights to vie for any elective position!

If any individual or group are opposed to the ambition of IBB in democratically seeking the office of the President, they should go about it democratically by either producing their own candidate or get nominated by a political party, then take the battle to the polls! That is the most decent thing any civilized society would do. In fact that is the main essence of politics and elections!

The past few weeks in the press has been dominated by the IBB declaration with the anti- Babangida elements at work, the same individuals using different media outlets in order to paint a picture of a “nationwide outcry” over the declaration by IBB.

As the election timetable edge closer, Babangidas’ figure looms large over the political landscape and these individuals feel threatened, and I do not blame them because they have every right to be threatened by a man whose personality seems ‘larger than life’.

Honestly, General Ibrahim Babangida should be given a chance so he can test his popularity among the masses and in doing so the anti-Babangida elements can also test their popularity and acceptance as saviors of Nigeria, by garnering enough votes from the Nigerian masses to keep IBB away from the Presidency.

The truth is that these individuals know that they cannot muster enough votes to stop IBB, a man destined to lead and an exemplary leader with a large heart, so they take to media blackmail and trial in order to stigmatize the personality of this man IBB. Time does sail and we shall all bear witness to the events as they unfold by the grace of God.

The coming months will prove more exciting. Democracy has come to stay!

By C. N Nzewi

News Release: Free Nigeria: Say No To IBB

                                [Ibrahim Babangida]

In the last few weeks Nigerians have been inundated with reports and recent confirmation of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida's egregious desire and quest to return as Nigeria’s ruler. The development is profoundly grave and deeply disturbing.

In political settings where public officials are held accountable for their actions, somebody with Mr. Babangida’s history of numerous manifest crimes against Nigeria and Nigerians would have long been sentenced to a stiff jail term and permanently barred from participation in his country’s public affairs. Babangida’s ambition to maneuver himself once more into power is arrogant, condescending and downright insensitive to the feelings of Nigerians whose affairs he ruined during his term as military dictator.

It is certain that the outcome of Babangida’s inordinate presidential run will depend on Nigerians’ collective resistance or acquiescence. Enlightened Nigerians cannot afford inaction or consent by default in the face of the avoidable train wreck that is a Babangida presidency.

There is no question that, in the coming weeks and months, unscrupulous Nigerian politicians, hired hagiographers and commentators, will come out in droves to champion Babangida and to try to rewrite his tragic history. Many of these would-be praise singers have a record for contributing to the ruination of Nigeria through their own corrupt practices.

We are confident, however, that Babangida will be stopped by the strong will of the vast majority of decent, conscientious Nigerians. These forward-looking citizens have every reason to stoutly defend the right of Nigeria to move away from her sordid past embodied and represented by the likes of Babangida. They have the energy, passion and vision to ensure the transformation of Nigeria into a 21st century nation that is able to serve the legitimate aspirations of her citizenry and to command the respect of other nations.

Nigeria should move forward, not backward. The country abounds with talent, at home and abroad, able to arrest her stagnation and turn her into an enviable, even model, polity. The Babangidas in our midst only know how to take Nigeria further away from the path of meaningful development and significant progress.

To reward Babangida with Nigeria’s highest political office despite his atrocities would indeed establish a terrible precedence and encourage political leaders in the continued destruction of Nigeria. Surely, this is not the kind of signal Nigerians want to send.

The Nigeria Democratic Liberty Forum (NDLF) is aware of the ill-advised encouragement that some foreign governments have provided Babangida. We condemn in the strongest terms this attempt by foreign powers to foist a certified disaster on the Nigerian people, a move bound to perpetuate and deepen Nigeria’s crisis of development and stultified democracy.

In order to register the outrage and resistance of Nigerians, NDLF will forward a petition letter; with signatures of Nigerians to the US government as well as other governments in Europe that may be goading Babangida to steal power.

This petition should serve as the cry of millions of Nigerians who say NO TO IBB and to the foreign governments around the world that may be sponsoring him. This signature petition drive is one of numerous activities NDLF intends to embark upon to STOP IBB and his likes from continuing to hold Nigeria hostage.

We also encourage individuals in their own ways to mount a campaign against Babangida in an effort to take our country back. We enjoin Nigeria’s labor unions, civil organizations, professional bodies, artisans, religious groups, and ethnic group associations to rise in rejection of a Babangida presidency. IBB poses such a serious threat to the interests of Nigerians that we should forge a mass movement to demand that Nigeria must move forward and say No To IBB.

If you believe that Nigeria should not be sacrificed to Babangida’s unpatriotic and nefarious whims and egotistical ambitions, please sign the petition on; here. We also urge you to forward it to ALL the Nigerian contacts in your email box – and persuade them to sign.

You can also print copies of the petition and hand it to Nigerians in the streets, churches, mosques, and homes. Explain to them that the stakes are high – and they need to make their voices heard. Signed copies of the petition should be emailed to petition@ndlf-ng.org. Please avoid apathy and indifference. Be involved in this struggle to free our beloved Nigeria.

Make your voice heard. Free Nigeria: Say No To IBB

Signed

Bukola Oreofe
Executive Director
NDLF

Ms Lilian Agbeyegbe
Director, Policy Development and Implementation Bureau

Dr. Willie Nwiido
Director, Public Affairs and International Relations

Opinion: Imo State Destiny/Redemption Alliance Consolidates

                                          [Ohakim: Imo State Governor]

These two structural legs of PDP have consolidated for greater efficiency, effectiveness and service to Imo State. My published viewpoints have painstakingly explained what political marriage and leadership is all about. It is now ripe for the reading public to know that Destiny/Redemption Alliance has fully consolidated in all the twenty seven local government areas in Imo State. I say this because during the just concluded local government sensitization tours, the masses who have the real power to elect people in various positions of Authority embraced the gospel of peace, love harmony, growth and development of Destiny/Redemption Alliance with their whole heart.

From Owerri zone to Okigwe zone and finally to Orlu zone, the acceptance of the Alliance has been unanimous. Therefore this genuine acceptance has proved that Destiny/Redemption Alliance will continue to give political direction in Imo State. Again it goes to prove that the fraud –infested leadership of Ikedi Ohakim and his New Face Organization has been rejected by the entire people of Imo State. Also it has exposed the New Face Organization and it’s members as political buccaneers that have continued to trample on the development of Imo State. What do I mean? It is now a notorious fact that Chief Ikedi Ohakim as the Governor of Imo State and leader of amorphous New Face Organization has continued to deny Imo State economic and political growth with his refusal to conduct Local government election since the past twenty-eight months. This have enabled Ohakim to steal Local governments monthly allocations . This fact have been confirmed by the T.C. Chairman for Oguta local government area, Hon Chief Ethelbert Nnanna. (check Sunday Statesman Newspaper 25 – 30 August 2009 edition). The T.C. Chairman said that Ikedi Ohakim short pays all local government areas in Imo State every month and this attitude has made them not to perform basic functions and responsibilities in their respective local government areas.

Another fact that helped to totally consolidate the Destiny/Redemption Alliance is the known truth that the Ikedi Ohakim leadership and his New Face Organization cannot point at a particular project they have started nor completed. It should be noted that all existing projects in the State were either started and completed by Sam Mbakwe or Chief Achike Udenwa.

Another variable factor that has consolidated the Destiny/ Redemption Alliance is that of bad road network in the State. People in various local governments in the State during the sensitization tours complained bitterly to the Alliance of the Ohakim leadership and his New Face Organization's negligence in taking care of the roads in the local government areas. Upon investigation the Alliance discovered that Ohakim leadership deliberately awards road contracts to his New Face Organization’s members only, makes full payment for the road contracts at inflated rates but the roads are never constructed. A case study is the standard shoe industry road Owerri down to Amulu Mbieri in Mbaitoli local government Area, a 15km road contract awarded to Solid Foundation Construction Company (owned by prince Lemmy Akakem, a New Face Organization’s State leader) at an alarming cost of N 1.3 billion since January 2008. Full payment has already been made but no work has been done to that road in question.

Furthermore, one factor that have strengthened Destiny/Redemption Alliance is the discovery in Oguta local government (during the sensitization tour) that the so called “Oguta Wonderland” is not in existence. Yet Ikedi Ohakim leadership and New Face organization have already taken a N40 billion naira bond.

In Ohaji/Egbema local government area, Destiny/Redemption Alliance train discovered to their amazement that the so called “Royal Oak Refinery Project” is yet to take off. Yet Ikedi Ohakim leadership and New Face Organization have already appropriated the sum of over N 2billion as take off grant since 2008. This is different from the N18.5 billion naira bond already taken by the Ohakim leadership few months ago.

The question on the lips of Imo citizens is, where is the money appropriated for all these white elephant projects? This question asked by the people in various local governments in the State during the sensitization tour motivated this writer once again to investigate intensely where Ikedi Ohakim has channeled these funds. The following discoveries were made.
1). Purchase of personal properties with State funds in Owerri, Anara, Abuja, Lagos, South Africa, Gambia, London, United States of America etc using Mazi Chinasa Nwaneri and Hon Chikwem Onuoha and his wife Mrs. Onuoha as fronts.
2). Purchase of a house for one of his girl friends Ruth Osieme (Editor Thosday style magazine) in Lagos State. His Yoruba girl-friend Dupe has also benefited a lot from the State fund from Ikedi Ohakim through his younger brother Emma Ohakim.
3). Using Mr Chinedu Chukwuonye his brother-in- law and owner of Condoc Construction Company to siphon State funds through awards of over-inflated road contracts.
4). Using Emma Ohakim his younger brother and Chief of Staff to short-change local contractors in the state by forcing them to part with a certain percentage of contracts funds.
5).Increasing his security vote from N 1 billion naira to N2.5 billion naira with the connivance of the principal officers of the Imo  State House of Assembly.
6).Using the commissioner for finance chief Irechukwu and commissioner for local government/chieftaincy Affairs to defraud the past local government councilors of their arrears, with High Chief Zeek Martins Nnadozie of Zeckford consulting services and chief Daniel Okehi of Brickred financial consultants Ltd. as fronts.
7). Diverting allocations due to development centres.
8). Using His Special Assistant on Transport and sanitation (Mr. Willie Amadi) to defraud Imo citizens by forcing them to buy utility goods such as tarpaulin, umbrellas, plastic dustbins etc at cut throat prices.
9). Using IRROMA scam project to defraud Imo State and various local government areas of at least N10 billion naira between 15th November 2008 and today.
10).Using clean and green scam project to defraud Imo State government of over N5 billion naira from August 2007 to date.
11).Using Chief Chris Asoluka to defraud Imo State government of various sums of money under the guise of organizing workshops, seminars and retreats.
12). Using a scam project called “Imo Job Centre” to defraud the unsuspecting unemployed graduates of Imo State origin in their guise of giving them jobs.
13).Lodging fraud money in various banks account with fictitious names. For instance, His Account with Zenith Bank Account number 6010176554 with the title of J. O. Edeson and sons. Ikedi Ohakim uses
this account number for his illicit deals especially fertilizer fraud money.

This writer made so many discoveries both in the past and in the present. These information are all with the EFCC, Office of the Inspector General of Police, Presidency etc. I also wrote to the speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, informing him of Ikedi Ohakim criminalities on the 2nd of June 2008.

To conclude, Destiny/Redemption Alliance remains the only reliable political road map that will help Imo State and her people find their political and economic salvation come 2011. The Destiny of Imo State is in the hand of God. I say this because Almighty God has a Redemptive power of love for Imo people.

By Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha

Friday, 16 April 2010

News Rlease: Re: The Press Release About The “Enough Is Enough” Coalition By The Lagos State Commissioner Of Information

                                           [Fashola: Lagos State Governor]

Our attention has been drawn to a press release issued by the Commissioner for Information in Lagos State, in response to the Enough is Enough Nigeria youth protest in Lagos on Tuesday April 13. In the release the Commissioner said: "It is however curious that no government functionary was informed of the visit to the Alausa seat of government by the officials of the Enough is Enough group".

This is not true. A letter was sent to the Governor’s Office, which was acknowledged by the Governor's Chief of Staff on March 30th 2010, two weeks before the protest. As a matter of fact, our letter to the police was sent at the same period, and the police promptly responded, and provided adequate security on the day of the march.

The protest, as we noted in our letter to Governor Babatunde Fashola, was not about the governor, and our campaign is way beyond Governor Fashola, or any other individual. It is a national campaign, working against a system that has among other things, made it easy for government officials to ignore the electorate. And we are committed to making sure that the youth vote counts in the 2011 elections.

We are not a political organisation, and we have no affiliations with any individual, group of persons or political party. It is in fact because of this that, when we were courteously invited by the Speaker of the Lagos House of Assembly to receive us in the absence of the governor, we declined; because we have no interest in Lagos politics.

Many young people who were in that march continue to support Governor Fashola as he continues to transform Lagos State. In fact many of us have organisations that have partnered with and/or supported/commended his efforts. However this was clearly a failure of processes in his offices, and, as a group, it is our hope that these errors will be corrected in future and that young people will be taken more seriously.

Cheta Nwanze
On behalf of the Enough is Enough Coalition.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Photonews: Faces Of Nigeria's Current Most Wanted Furgitive From The Law


Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) yesterday declared former Governor of Delta state, James Onanefe Ibori wanted for his failure to heed the Agency's invitation to answer questions relating to allegations of Financial and Economic crimes against him.

Ibori, whom chidi opara reports gathered is hiding in a fishing village near Warri in Delta state have described EFCC's action as political persecution.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

News Release From The White House: Fighting Nuclear Terrorism

                                            [Obama: US President]

Good morning,

I'm writing you from the largest gathering of world leaders that the United States has hosted since the founding of the United Nations 65 years ago. Forty-seven countries are joining forces at President Obama's Nuclear Security Summit to address the most daunting security threat of our time: nuclear terrorism.

Securing loose nuclear materials is a good example of some of the immediate challenges being discussed, but the focus is also on how we get to a place where the threat of nuclear weapons to humanity is eliminated altogether.

To go over the progress that's been made, President Obama will hold a press conference at 4:30 p.m. EDT that you can watch live on WhiteHouse.gov. But you don't need to wait until then: Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes will answer your questions in a live web chat at 1:00 p.m. EDT.

So tune in to http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/nuclear-security-summit later today for both the web chat and the press conference.

Three very important things have happened recently to make our Nation – indeed the world – a safer place.

Last week the Defense Department released the President's Nuclear Posture Review, laying out a vision to, as the President put it, "reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy and focus on reducing the nuclear dangers of the 21st century, while sustaining a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent for the United States and our allies and partners as long as nuclear weapons exist."

Two days after that, President Obama and Russian President Medvedev signed the landmark New START Treaty, which requires the United States and Russia to reduce -- by 30 percent below the levels in a treaty signed in 2002 -- the number of nuclear warheads they have deployed on intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-based ballistic missiles, and bombers.

Then, beginning on Sunday of this week, the President engaged in a steady stream of bilateral meetings before personally welcoming every delegation last night and holding a working dinner. Today, the President is chairing plenary sessions all day long to work toward solid, consensus approaches to this issue.

It's been a very busy, but productive few weeks, and there is much to talk about. So bring your questions to the live chat and tune in after that for the press conference:

• 1:00 p.m. EDT: Web chat with Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes
• 4:30 p.m. EDT: Press Conference with President Barack Obama

Both will be live on: http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/nuclear-security-summit.

Thank you,

Denis McDonough
Chief of Staff, National Security Staff

Monday, 12 April 2010

Photonews: Nigeria's Acting President In United States Of America


News Release: Complaint Of Abduction, Torture, Inhuman And Degrading Treatment By Serving Police Officers In Imo State

                                            [Nigeria's Anti-riot Policemen]

The Chairman
Police Service Commission
Federal Secretariat Complex
Shehu Shagari Way
Garki 2
Abuja

Dear Sir,

Complaint Of Abduction, Torture, Inhuman And Degrading Treatment By Serving Police Officers In Imo State:

The Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) is a network of 46 civil society organizations spread across Nigeria, and committed to promoting police accountability and respect for human rights. It was established in 2000 to provide opportunity for civil society involvement in police reform, and the promotion of safety, security and justice in Nigeria.

NOPRIN carries out its mandate through monitoring, field research and investigation, documentation, publication, campaign and advocacy. NOPRIN partners with national, international, governmental and intergovernmental organizations and institutions in implementing its programs aimed at transforming law enforcement institutions and practices in Nigeria.

NOPRIN has received a complaint from Mr. Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha of Plot 98 Ikenegbu Layout Extension, Owerri concerning his abduction, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment by serving police officers attached to the Governor of Imo State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, with the acquiescence of the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Aloysius Okorie. Mr. Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha informed NOPRIN as follows:

1. That on the 21st January 2010, His Excellency, the Governor of Imo state, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, sent a team of armed Policemen from amongst his security details/personnel to abduct and produce him to the Governor in the Government House, Owerri.

2. That His Excellency’s anger is that he, Ikenna samuelson Iwuoha, an internet Journalist has been writing articles critical of his administration. In the early hours of the said January 21st, 2010 the Policemen abducted Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha from his residence at Ikenegbu Layout Extension, Owerri and marched him straight to the Governor’s Office at the Government House, and he was locked up and unlawfully detained on the instructions of the Governor.

3.The Governor brutally assaulted Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha, kicked and marched on him with shoes, mercilessly flogged him with horse whip until he began to bleed profusely. Before lacerating Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha, the Governor and his Chief Security officer stripped him naked and gave him deadly blows on his mouth followed by a head butt.

4.That while this brutal assault and torture were going on, the Governor’s Chief Security Officer who is a serving Police Officer pulled out his gun and continued to point same at Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha threatening that if he ever retaliated or touched His Excellency, he, the Chief Security Officer would shoot him dead.

5. That he, Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha was subsequently handed over to the Imo State Police Commissioner, Mr. Aloysius Okorie who ordered that he, Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha be detained by his men and arraigned in court all at the pleasure of the Governor.

6. That Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha in his statement to the Police had chronicled all these events. Surprisingly, till date, none of the serving Police Officers who abducted Ikenna Samuelsson Iwuoha at the instance of the Governor and took him to the Government House where he was tortured has been brought to book.

7. NOPRIN has the instructions of Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha to bring this ugly development to your attention sir, and to demand for justice on his behalf.

8. It has become necessary to define or clarify the role of Police Officers attached to serving Public Office holders, including State Governors.

9. Do they have the power to abduct or even arrest citizens who are perceived to be opposed to their masters? Why did the policemen attached to the Imo State Governor take Mr. Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha to the Government House where he was brutalized by the Governor before being handed over to the Police? Why did the Chief Security Officer to the Governor of Imo State assist the Governor to torture and brutalize Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha?

10. This case raises the question as to the role of the Commissioner of Police, Imo State, Mr. Aloysius Okorie for taking into custody, an already brutalized citizen. We deem the action of the Commissioner of Police, Imo State as culpable and in connivance to cover up by not allowing this bleeding and seriously injured man medical treatment and visitation by his family for five days.

11. Another question that arises relates to the use of private Police Orderlies and security attach├ęs to the Governor. Under whose command are they? Is the Commissioner of Police in charge or are they a private army at the disposal of the Governor?

12. Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha demands and NOPRIN accordingly calls for an impartial and full investigation of the entire saga including the role played by these Police Officers with a view to ensuring that appropriate sanctions are meted out to the erring ones.

Yours sincerely,

Okechukwu Nwanguma
Programme Coordinator
NOPRIN

Sunday, 11 April 2010

News Report: IBB And Orji Kalu Candidacy Likely In 2011

                                  [IBB and Kalu]

chidi opara reports can now reveal that an Ibrahim Babangida(IBB) and Orji Uzor Kalu candidacy is likely in the forthcoming 2011 general elections. Ibrahim Babangida was Nigeria's military President from 1985 to 1993. Mr. Orji Uzor Kalu was a past governor of Abia state.

Our network members in Umuahia, capital city of Abia state and Minna, the capital city of Niger state, reported recent secret meetings between emissaries of Orji Uzor Kalu, led by a south east  vocal senator and key aides of the former military President, at IBB's hilltop mansion and at the government house Umuahia. The present governor of Abia state, Mr. Theodore Orji was elected on the platform of the Progressive Peoples' Alliance(PPA), Kalu is the Chairman, Board of Trustees of PPA.

The major problem the IBB/Orji Kalu ticket is facing is former President Olusegun Obasanjo. A contact close to Obasanjo informed chidi opara reports in Abeokuta, capital city of Ogun state, Obasanjo's home state that the immediate past President had "endorsed in principle", the IBB candidacy, but is yet "undecided" about Orji Kalu. Obasanjo and Kalu fell out  during the second term of the Obasanjo Presidency, which made Kalu to quit the Peoples' Democratic Party(PDP), where he was a foundation member to form PPA. Obasanjo is currently the Chairman, Board of Trustees of PDP where IBB and Kalu are hoping to run.

We also learnt that at the moment, the Orji Kalu and IBB foot soldiers are trying hard to sell the Kalu Vice Presidential candidacy to Obasanjo, Kalu's party would however, be the platform if contesting in PDP becomes impossible. "PPA would be our fall back if the PDP option fail", an IBB insider told us in Minna.

Another hard nut would be the not very favourable disposition of the south east governors and the Igbo apex socio-cultural organization, "Oha Neze Ndi Igbo", to the arrangement.

Checks in the south east revealed that governors from the region and "Oha Neze Ndi Igbo" chieftains are not very keen on the Orji Uzor Kalu Vice Presidential ticket. His tendency to always do things to please the core north was cited as a major reason. "Even the Abia state governor is not enthusiastic about the so called IBB/Kalu ticket, he is only playing along to save his political skin", a contact in government house Umuahia informed chidi opara reports.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Open Letter: Anti-Corruption Crusader Tells Nkwerre Monarch, “I Will Not Drop Allegations Against Imo State Governor unless.........”

                                          [Ikedi Ohakim: Imo State Governor]

Your Highness,

I wish to use this medium to thank you and express my gratitude to you for willingly intervening in the problem between Governor Ikedi Ohakim and myself.

Your Highness, we spoke on the 1st of April 2010 over the phone. You requested that I should come home on 3/4/2010 to fully discuss the matter. You also requested that I come home with my grown-up
family members especially my father. Furthermore you requested that I come home with all the documents relating to Governor Ikedi Ohakim’s mismanagement of leadership in Imo State.

I wish to apologize to you for not keeping to the appointment. It is due to unforeseen circumstance. I am therefore sending this letter to you through my Personal Assistant (PA) Mr. Chikwado Obi.

Your Highness, in as much as I want peace in Imo State, it should be noted that Governor Ikedi Ohakim’s case with me is already in the Court of law and I have a team of lawyers handling the matter. Moreover the matter is now a national issue that is even before the Acting President His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. All the Security and anti corruption agencies in this country are already aware of this problem.

There is also the issue of human rights abuse against Governor Ikedi Ohakim who personally abused and assaulted me in his office at gun point on the 21st of January 2010.

Your Highness you can see that this matter is truly beyond me. Nonetheless, if I am a major determinant factor in the resolution of this problem between Governor Ikedi Ohakim and myself  I am demanding the following from the Governor.

1.He must publicly apologize to the poor masses whose properties and economic activities were illegally and unconstitutionally destroyed between August 2007 and April 2008.
2. He must compensate those citizens whose properties and economic activities were destroyed with compound interest.
3. For physically assaulting me in his office, he should publicly apologize to me through advertorials in (a) five national newspapers (b) five local newspapers (c) five magazines (d) five online news agencies (e) five radio stations (f) five television stations.
4. He should respond to all my allegations of corruption against him.
5. He should publicly apologize to the elders and true leaders of Imo tate who received unbelievable insults from him.

Your Highness, with due respect I pray that you consider the above conditions. Happy Easter Celebration.

I remain an illustrious Son of Nkwerre,

Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha

.

News Release: DPA Wants Multi-Agency Taskforce, Blasts Lagos State And Federal Authorities Over Looming Foodstuff And Cattle Merchants Strike

                                            [Raji Fashola: Lagos State Governor]

The Democratic Peoples’ Alliance (DPA) has condemned the lackadaisical attitude the Lagos State Government and Federal authorities have shown to the plight of cattle and foodstuff merchants in the hands of traffic officers.

Against the backdrop of another two-week warning from the merchants, DPA urged the government to put a multi-agency task force in place to address their grievances and ensure that food transporters are treated as essential services like petroleum.

The merchants threatened to return to the trenches after their suspended March strike failed to fetch them reprieve from the extortion they suffer from uniformed personnel like police, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC).

Lagos DPA’s statement by the Director of Publicity Felix Oboagwina said it was sad that government and state authorities would fold their arms and allow their men unleash a law of the jungle on law-abiding citizens.

The party felt the Mile 12 merchant’s strike last month should have served as enough warning for the government to swing into action and immediately clip the wings of errant officers.

In the words of DPA: “If democracy is a government of the people for the people then a civilian government like that of Governor Raji Fashola owes citizens the responsibility to defend them and their legitimate interests as part of the social contract. Unfortunately, in this particular case the Lagos State Government has failed woefully. As it were, the government has given its men unbridled power that has led to unbridled corruption.”

On the way forward, the party recommended: “Government should stop multiple taxations. Government should clear multiple roadblocks. Citizens should be able to go about their lawful business without apprehension over agencies that were originally created to protect them.”

The party urged the food merchants to keep open the lines of communication with relevant authorities in order to resolve the prevailing issues amicably.

Apart from meat, the strike which is being called for April 20 to address government agents’ imposition of about N100,000 per trailer load of foodstuff, will also see the disappearance of pepper, tomatoes, yam, vegetables, carrots, lettuce, onions and so on.

DPA warned that such a scenario would affect domestic meal tables as well as the entire hospitality industry and health institutions.

Recalling that the traders themselves volunteered to extend a two-week, post-strike ultimatum in March to 30 days, DPA wondered why the government and concerrned Federal agencies had failed to address the issue in that latitude of time.

“Someone somewhere is toying with the lives and livelihood of the people. The onus is on the government to show him the big stick,” DPA said.

Felix Oboagwina
Director of Publicity, Lagos State DPA

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

News Release: Indefinite Self-Suspension Of Association Of Nigerian Authors Membership

                                            [Jerry Agada: Association President]

The President
Association of Nigerian Authors(ANA)
National Theatre Complex
Iganmu, Lagos State.

Through
The Chairman
Association of Nigerian Authors(ANA)
Rivers State Branch
Port Harcourt
Rivers state.

31st March, 2010


Dear Sir,

Indefinite Self-Suspension of ANA Membership:

I write to inform you that I have indefinitely suspended my membership of the Association with effect from 2nd April, 2010.

You will recall that for a year now, I have been pointing out serious anomalies in the administration of the Association, for which no attempts have so far been made to correct, even though there were promises to that effect.

When I compare present day ANA and the one that confronted the Babangida administration in 1986 over the matter of late Poet Mamman Vatsa for instance, I am left with no other option than to take the above action pending when the Association would be steered back to the original aims and objectives as enshrined in its constitution.

I will make this letter public for the sake of posterity.

Thank you.

Chidi Anthony Opara

List Of New Ministers Of The Federal Republic Of Nigeria And Portfolios

Fidelia Akuabata Njeze
Aviation

Adetokunbo Kayode (SAN)
Defence

Prof. Dora Akunyili
Information/Communication

Sen. Akinlabi Olasunkanmi
Youth Development

Hon. Isa Bio Ibrahim
National Sports Commission

Elder Godsday Orubebe
Niger-Delta

 Nuhu Somo Wya
Power

Henry Odein Ajumogobia
Foreign Affairs

Mrs. Dieziani Allison-Madueke
Petroleum

Shamsudeen Usman
National Planning

John Ogar Odey
Environment

Aderemi Waheed Babalola
Finance (State)

Aliyu Idi Hong
Health

Chukwuemeka Ngozichineke Wogu
Labour & Productivity

Iyom Josephine Anenih
Women Affairs

Labaran Maku
Information (State)

Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi
Works (State)

Alh. Suleiman Bello
Health

Alh. Murtala Yar’ Adua
Defence (State)

Sanusi M. Daggash
Works

Sen. Bala Mohammed
FCT

Nduese Essien
Lands, Housing & Urban Development

Miss Josephine Tapgun
Commerce & Industry (State)

Mohammed Bello Adoke
Attorney-General and Justice

retired Navy Capt. Ernest Olubolade
Special Duties

Mr. Olusegun Olutoyin Aganga
Finance

Prof. Mohammed K. Abubakar
Science & Technology

Alh. Adamu Maina Waziri
Police Affairs

Awodele Najeem Adewale Alao
Agriculture

Alh. Abubakar Sadiq Mohammed
Culture & Tourism

Yusuf Suleiman
Transport

Prof. Ruqaiya Rufai
Education

Arc. Musa Sada
Mines & Steel Dev.

Prof. Sheikh Abdallah
Agriculture

Capt. Emmanuel Iheanacho
Interior

Sen. Jibrin Martins-Kuye
Commerce & Industry

Mr. Humphrey Enemakwu Abbah
Interior (State)

Samuel Odeh
Niger-Delta (State)