Tuesday, 31 August 2010

News Report: Rivers State Governor May Not Get Second Term

                                 [Governor Amaechi]

The insistence of governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi on the demolition of water fronts in Port Harcourt, capital city of oil rich Rivers state, Nigeria, which have pitched him in political battle with indigenes of the riverine area may cost him his second term ambition, chidi opara reports learnt. Amaechi is an Ikwerre from the upland area.

Over the years, the riverine indigenes have regarded the water fronts as their foothold in the capital city. The Ikwerres however, have insisted on ownership of these water fronts which they claim was given to the riverine people as fishing ports on temporary basis.

When Mr. Amaechi took over the administration of the state in October 2007, he suspended a planned demolition of water fronts. This suspension doused the tension generated then by the planned demolition, but on consolidation, the Amaechi administration revisited the suspended exercise. At the moment, some water fronts like the Njemanze street water front have been demolished, others where government bulldozers have not yet visited are those whose inhabitants ran to the courts. The governor have however, vowed to demolish all water fronts.

This vow is what his political enemies based in Abuja, led by his erstwhile political godfather and a former governor of the state, Dr. Peter Odili is using to mobilize influential riverine indigenes to stop the governor's second term bid.

The latest of such recruit is the wife of the President, Mrs. Patience Goodluck, an Okirika indigene. The Okirikas are the main inhabitants of water fronts in Port Harcourt. On her recent visit to the state, Mrs. Jonathan complained about the marginalization of her people.

Checks by chidi opara reports revealed that the first lady's complaint was the climax of a long held anger. Insiders in the Abuja based political group whispered to us that a plan to present Mr. Celestine Omehia, Amaechi's cousin, as the Peoples' Democratic Party(PDP) governorship candidate for 2011 election with Dr. Abiye Sekibo, an Okirika as his deputy is at advanced stage. This plan reportedly have the support of Mrs. Jonathan. It is not known if the President is privy to this plan.

An insider in the Amaechi political camp boasted to a chidi opara reports network member, "no shaking, we are here". Further checks have also revealed that the  Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi second term plan is on course.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

News Report: Governor Ohakim Of Imo State May Change Political Party Again

                                          [Governor Ohakim]

Surrounded by intra-party problems, the governor of Imo state of Nigeria, Mr. Ikedi Ohakim may change political party again. Ohakim who was elected on the platform of Progress Peoples Alliance(PPA) in 2007 defected to Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) shortly after.

If the Imo state Chief Executive thought that the defection would bring political succour to him, it has now dawned on him that his political problems are far from over.

chidi opara reports learnt from insiders in the Imo state  inner political circle that the main bone of contention was Ikedi Ohakim's refusal to submerge his political structure which goes by the name; "New Face" into the state party structure. This refusal, according to an Ohakim insider is because of the refusal of the governor's major opponents, Mr. Achike Udenwa, Ohakim's predecessor and Mr. Ifeanyi Ararume to equally submerge their jointly owned political structure known as "Alliance" into the state PDP structure.

The governor, chidi opara reports learnt further also refused to heed the directive of his party's national leadership not to conduct primary election to elect candidates for the August 7th 2010 local Government election untill the problems in the state chapter of the party are solved. The governor is also alleged to have ignored a case before Justice Goddy .I. Anunihu of the Owerri High Court to this effect. There is also a pending complaint against the governor at the PDP national secretariat.

Unconfirmed information at our disposal has it that Mr. Ikedi Ohakim would join the All Nigeria Peoples Party(ANPP) with the recently elected local government Chairmen, Councillors and the unelected Coordinators of development areas, all members of  "New Face", before the 2011 elections.

What chidi opara reports can confirm is that the Imo state governor had secret talks with ANPP, Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN) and Labour Party(LP) officials respectively to explore the possibility of actualizing his second term ambition on the platform of any of these parties if PDP refuses to offer him ticket. There were however no agreements reached. These talks, we learnt from an Ohakim insider were "just fallbacks".

A network member in Owerri who has kept tabs on the governor's "New Face" political structure for sometime now reported that the talks which have been suspended "to watch developments in PDP", would be restarted if there is any slight indication that PDP would not present Ohakim as its candidate for the 2011 gubernatorial election.

Friday, 27 August 2010

News Report: Nigeria’s Major Presidential Aspirants Hope For A Coalition Government

Nigeria’s major presidential aspirants for the 2011 election are hoping for the formation of a coalition government, chidi opara reports have learnt on good authority.

These major presidential aspirants are: Rtd. Major-general Muhammadu Buhari, a former military President, rtd. General Ibrahim Babangida, also a former military President,  Mr. Abubakar Atiku, a former Vice-president, Mr. Ibrahim Shekarau, governor of Kano state and the President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.

These aspirants, with the exception of President Jonathan, chidi opara reports learnt from contacts inside their campaign organizations are hinging their hopes on the conduct of free and fair elections, which they hope would see their political parties winning substantial seats in the National Assembly. This development, they hope, would mean that the President whom they know would use the advantage of incumbency to clinch his party’s nomination and proceed to win the election, would have no option than to form a coalition government.

Buhari would contest on the platform of the nascent Committee of Peoples' Congress(CPC), Shekarau would likely contest on the platform of All Nigeria Peoples' Party(ANPP),  while Atiku and Babangida, though presently members of Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), are reported to be planning to seek their electoral fortunes somewhere else. Babangida is likely heading to National Democratic Party(NDP). It is not yet known where Atiku would pitch his tent.
 
What is known from an investigation carried out by chidi opara reports is that these aspirants are aware that even if the elections are conducted  in a free and fair manner, the President would still win, considering the incumbency factor in the country, and so, according to an NDP insider, "if we can produce a good number of National Assembly members, the President will look for us".
 
The President's party would need a comfortable majority in the National Assembly for the President to have a stable tenure. This comfortable majority our checks have revealed would be unlikely in 2011 if the elections are free and fair.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Citizen Report: Ohakim Snubs PDP Disciplinary Committee

                                          [Ikedi Ohakim]

Reported By: Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha

Governor of Imo state, Mr. Ikedi Godson Ohakim was summoned to appear before the PDP disciplinary committee on 25th August 2010 by 12pm to explain his political actions which are said not to be in tune with the ethics and practices of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) These political actions are as follows:

(1) Anti-party activities

(2) Refusal to obey party directives

(3) Attempts to destroy the Party

(4) Conducting unauthorized primaries for the conduct of LGA election

(5) Refusal to submit names of candidates for positions during party congresses.

(6) Refusal to submit his “New Face” political structure to party congresses.

(7) Kleptomaniac style of leadership

Mr. Ikedi Ohakim refused to appear before the disciplinary committee in Abuja. He rather sent a letter at the eleventh hour claiming that he was down with “typhoid fever”.

News Report: Assasinated Former Niger Delta Militant Leader Was Killed In "Hit And Snatch" Operation

                                [Niger Delta Militants]

Contrary to reports that the assasinated former Niger Delta militant leader, Mr. Soboma George, alias "So Blow" was killed by a rival gang, indications have emerged that he may have been killed in a "hit and snatch" operation, undertaken by a specially trained strike force.

Eye witness accounts has it that at about 6.00pm on tuesday August 24th, 2010, a black jeep with tinted glasses drove into the football field of Enitonna High School in Borokiri area of Port Harcourt where Mr. George with about fifty of his henchmen armed with small arms watched a football match and was about to leave. Four men on black suits, according to these eye witnesses, alighted from the jeep, openned fire on Mr. George with short barrel sophisticated rifles, wounding him seriously in the process and drove off with their victim. The operation which was reportedly professional and precise was reported to have lasted for about five minutes.

Soboma George was the second in command to Mr. Tom Ateke, the helmsman of "Icelanders". After parting ways with Ateke, George formed "Outlaws" which he affiliated to Movement For The Emancipation OF Niger Delta(MEND). He eventually became one of the commanders of MEND. When his stronghold at the Marine Base waterfront was over ran by the Joint Taskforce On Security(JTF), he relocated to the Borokiri stronghold. Soboma George later took advantage of the amnesty proposed by the Federal Government to Niger Delta militants to lay down his arms.

Eye witnesses also debunked reports that there was a shoot out at the scene. The commando style assasination was reported to have been so fast paced that George's henchmen could not fire a single shot in defence of their godfather while the operation lasted. "if anybody say there was a shoot out, where is the casualty on the other side?", an eye witness queried.

Security experts who spoke to chidi opara reports, posited that, that level of operation is far beyond the capacity of any gang in Nigeria. "This type of operation is known as "hit and snatch", it is even beyond the capability of the regular security agencies in Nigeria presently. Only specially trained strike forces can pull off that type of mission", a security expert informed chidi opara reports.

Gbomo Jomo, spokesperson of MEND in response to an enquiry from us stated, "From all indications, this was clearly a government sponsored assassination carried out by government agents. Our worst fears have been confirmed and we see such killings likely to continue on anyone who can now see through the amnesty scam".

A JTF insider confirmed to chidi opara reports that there are indeed specially trained JTF operatives, but debunked any insinuation that the operation may have been carried out by the adhoc security apparatus. "We do not have problems with him, we are not an assasination squad to start with", the JTF inside retorted.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

News Report: Tension In Nigeria's Main Oil City Over Suspected Assasination Of A Former Niger Delta Militant Leader


There is tension in Port Harcourt, capital city of Rivers state of Nigeria over the suspected assasination of a former commander of the Movement For The Emancipation of Niger Delta(MEND), Mr. Soboma George by a yet unknown rival gang. George was reportedly assasinated yesterday evening at the Borokiri area of Port Harcourt.

A chidi opara reports network member reported that there was sporadic shooting last night at the Kolokuma waterside area of Borokiri. These shootings according to the report was suspected to be the reaction of a little known gang loyal to Soboma George.

Another network member reported wild jubilations around the Gambia street area of Diobu suspected to be the stronghold of the "Elegem face" gang. "Elegem face" is reportedly opposed to George.

Movements of suspected gang members was reported around the Rumukrushe, Elelewo and Akpajo Eleme axis of the town.

Non of chidi opara reports' gang insiders could be reached on phone so far. A low level security contact however informed us that "we are aware that there could be a gang war". The Police spokesperson would not confirm or deny the incident, but a Rivers state Police Command Headquarters insider confirmed the incident.

When one of our network members visited the Creek Road Market this morning, the incident was the main topic of discussions. The same situation was obtainable at the yam market opposite and at the mile1 and mile3 markets in Diobu.

At the State and Federal Secretariat Complexes, workers were seen in small groups discussing the incident.

There have not been official reactions from the Police and the State government at the time of preparing this report.

Monday, 23 August 2010

News Report: Publisher/Editor-In-Chief Of chidi opara reports Nominated For Award By ‘Nigerian Initiative”


The Publisher/Editor-In-Chief of chidi opara reports, Mr. Chidi Anthony Opara and other Nigerians have been nominated for ‘Ambassador Of Hope For Nigeria” awards by “Nigerian Initiative”. The award ceremony is slated to take place in Ikeja, Lagos on 3rd October, 2010.

Below is the text of the letter that conveyed news of the nomination to Mr. Opara:

Subject: VIP/GUEST INVITATION

Sir,

Having known of your selfless national service as an individual, and your tremendous personal efforts geared
towards nation building. I am particularly glad to specially invite and notify you, on behalf of Nigerian Initiative, that
we intend to celebrate and award to you amongst a few number of Nigerians whom we deem fit, ”Ambassadors of Hope for
Nigeria” Awards at the national youth summit slated for Oct 3rd 2010. Nigerian initiative in partnership with the
Nigerian Air Force is organizing this one day youth forum/carnival, where we will be celebrating great achievers
like yourself and discuss topical and national issues affecting this great country of ours.

In addition, we are proud to inform you that we will be hosting a total of about 15,000 youths in a single event and
we trust that you will honor our invitation to be one our Guest Speakers and award recipients in this event.

We expect the likes of Mr. Gamaliel Onosode OFR, Prof. Pat Utomi, Tara durotoye, Ben Murray Bruce, Dr.Peter Ladi
Thompson, Emeka Oparah, Charlimo Imoloame, Dr. Ken Egbas, Kola Olugbodi, Ibukun Awoshika and a host of others.

Details of the event are as stated below:
Venue: Ato field Sam Ethnan Nigerian Air Force Base Ikeja, off murtala mohammed Airport road ikeja
Time: 9am- 1pm (carnival) 3pm-8pm (event proper)

Please do accept assurances of our highest regard. We like to add that the decision to partner with the Nigerian Air
Force became essential in other to ensure that proper security will be made available for our dignitaries and participants alike. More so, we like to note that this project is not in anyway politically inclined or motivated.

Thank you in anticipation, I humbly await your kind response

With kind Regards,

Akinjogunla Oluwaseyi Michael
Team Leader: Nigerian Initiative

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Citizen Report: Police, Others, Lend Support to MakeYourVotesCount


Reported By: Uzodinma Nwaogbe.
Director, Makeyourvotescount.org

Stakeholders in the quest for credible elections in Nigeria have lent their support to efforts by MakeYourVotesCount (MYVC) to get Nigerians actively involved in the electoral process. Government agencies -- Civil Defence Corps, Police, and National Orientation Agency – central to credible elections in the country commended MYVC for its bold effort to ensure that Nigerians register to vote in the 2011 election and ensure that their votes count.

Representatives of these agencies spoke at the just concluded south-east zonal town hall meeting organized by MYVC held at Bishops’ Conference Hall, Pastoral Centre, Owerri, Imo State. The meeting was the fifth in a series of town hall meetings initiated by MYVC to guard against electoral fraud in 2011.

Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Dr. Ade Abolurin, who was represented by the Deputy Commandant General, Patience Agbiki, said the NSCDC was delighted to be part of efforts aimed at enlightening Nigerians and creating awareness about the need for Nigerians to ensure their votes count during elections. According to Dr. Abolurin, the essence of democracy is that people participate and their participation is respected. The basic rule of the game must be upheld, election must be free, fair and credible, he added.

Dr. Abolurin reiterated the Corps’ commitment to free and fair election, adding that the meeting should not be seen as any other gathering whose outcome is swept under the carpet. It should be seen as the beginning of the new dawn leading to the actualization of credible election in the country. It should have a positive impact on all Nigerians and the message should be passed to the youth to know that they have a stake in governance. Dr. Abolurin said the Corps was willing to partner with MYVC to achieve its objectives.

DSP Samuel Eke, representing the Imo State Police Commissioner commended MYVC and highlighted the role the Nigeria Police and assured that the 2011 general elections will be free and fair in Imo State, as his men are undergoing training and re-training specifically for that.

Mr. Mike Opara, Director, National Orientation Agency, (NOA), Imo State said just like MYVC, the NOA was also mapping out strategies in reaching people at the grassroots. Mr. Opara, however, condemned what he called the high concentration of sensitization in urban centres, while neglecting those in rural communities. He said the issue should be a concern for civil society organizations working in the area of political education.

Ther resource persons at the town hall meeting included Dr. Sam Amadi, Director of Research at the Good Governance Group (3G) and Barrister Eze Eluchie, executive director of the PADDI Foundation.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

News Release: Nuhu Ribadu’s Presidential Election Campaign Aide Steps Down As Coordinator Of MakeYourVotesCount

                                               [Chido Onumah]

The Coordinator of MakeYourVotesCount.org, (MYVC), Chido Onumah, have stepped down to pursue other interests. Mr. Onumah whose disengagement from MYVC took effect from August 1, 2010, has officially joined the presidential campaign organization of the former Chairman of the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.

Messrs Uzodinma Nwaogbe and Lewis Asubiojo, will take charge and run programmes of MYVC. Mr. Onumah said his disengagement became necessary to enable the project uphold its mandate as a non-partisan initiative. He noted that the project has made significant progress in opening the political space in Nigeria and creating a level playing field for political aspirants in the 2011 general election. His departure from MYVC and foray into politics is to take advantage of this progress, he added.

MakeYourVotesCount has been in the forefront of recent attempts by civil society in Nigeria to push for democracy and credible election, including the celebrated Iwu Must Go and No to Military Rule Campaigns!

MakeYourVotesCount is a non-partisan grassroots-based project of the Youth Media & Communication Initiative (YMCI). The project aims to make the issue of free, fair and transparent elections the main concern on the national political agenda as well as encourage youth (18-30 years) to take active part in the democratic process. It has as its objectives, amongst others, to educate young voters on their choices during elections; encourage youth to take active part in the democratic process; and guard against electoral fraud.

Signed:

Uzodinma Nwaogbe
Director, MakeYourVotesCount

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

News Release: President Obama On “Ending The War In Irag"

'"
                                         [President Obama]

Shortly after taking office, I put forward a plan to end the war in Iraq responsibly. Today, I'm pleased to report that -- thanks to the extraordinary service of our troops and civilians in Iraq -- our combat mission will end this month, and we will complete a substantial drawdown of our troops.

Over the last 18 months, over 90,000 U.S. troops have left Iraq. By the end of this month, 50,000 troops will be serving in Iraq. As Iraqi Security Forces take responsibility for securing their country, our troops will move to an advise-and-assist role. And, consistent with our agreement with the Iraqi government, all of our troops will be out of Iraq by the end of next year. Meanwhile, we will continue to build a strong partnership with the Iraqi people with an increased civilian commitment and diplomatic effort.

A few weeks ago, men and women from one of the most deployed brigades in the U.S. Army, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, returned home from Iraq. The Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden were at Fort Drum to welcome the veterans home and spoke about their personal experiences as a military family:

Our commitment to our troops doesn't end once they come home -- it's only the beginning. Part of ending a war responsibly is meeting our responsibility to the men and women who have fought it. Our troops and their families have made tremendous sacrifices to keep our nation safe and secure, and as a nation we have a moral obligation to serve our veterans as well as they have served us.

That's why we're building a 21st century Department of Veterans Affairs. We've made one of the largest percentage increase in the VA’s budget in 30 years, and we're dramatically increasing funding for veterans' health across the board. In particular, we're delivering unprecedented resources to treat signature wounds of today's wars—Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Our sacred trust to take care of our veterans goes beyond simply healing the wounds incurred in battle. We must ensure that when our veterans leave the Armed Forces, they have the opportunities they need to further their education and support their families. Through the Post-9/11 GI Bill, some 300,000 veterans and families members have pursued a college degree. Others are taking advantage of job training and placement programs.

My Administration will continue to do our part to support the brave men and women in uniform that have sacrificed so much. But supporting our troops and their families is not just the job of the Federal Government; it's the responsibility of all Americans.

As we mark this milestone in the Iraq war and our troops continue to move out of Iraq, I hope you'll join me in thanking them, and all of our troops and military families, for their service.

Sincerely,
President Barack Obama

Citizen Report: Catholic Priest Humiliated By Imo State Governor

                                           [Ikedi Ohakim]

Reported by Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha

At about 6pm on Sunday, the 8th of August 2010, Security Officials attached to Mr. Ikedi Ohakim, governor of Imo state arrested a man of God, Rev. Father Eustace Okorie for allegedly obstructing the convoy of the governor. The Priest was accused of “intentionally” blocking the governor’s convoy with his Nissan Infinity Saloon Car along Orie-Akabo Ikeduru L.G.A. of the state. Rev. Father Eustace Okorie was immediately arrested, humiliated and his car impounded. The Priest was taken straight to the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the governor who after questioning, ordered that the priest be taken to the SSS office where he was detained from Sunday evening till about 8:20am the next day Monday 9th August 2010. While in detention the priest was not allowed to speak to anyone on phone which raised concern about his where about. He was forced to write a statement.

Commenting on his ordeal on Tuesday 10th August 2010, Rev. Father Eustace Okorie maintained that he parked his Car well in order not to enter a dangerous ditch. He equally disclosed that his side mirrors were completely smashed with gun and he was forced to join the convoy in a sports utility vehicle. The Rev. Father also said that he was going for evening mass which was terminated. He was detained with only pants.

The Arch Bishop of Owerri Bishop AJV Obinna on Tuesday 10th August 2010 in a news conference called on Human Rights groups in the country to wade into the matter, stressing that “Every person should have due rights in Nigeria”.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

News Release: Birthday Message To Ibrahim Babangida: South-West Is Your Waterloo!

                               [Ibrahim Babangida]

Afenifere Renewal Group is using the occasion of the birthday of former military dictator, General Ibrahim Babangida to sound it clear to him that contrary to the false impression the political renegades of Yorubaland are giving to him, the southwest geo-political zone is going to be his political waterloo in 2011 as against the swing zone he is claiming.

General Babangida was quoted to have said recently that the southwest is going to deliver victory for him in the 2011 elections in spite of the many crimes he has committed against the country in general and the zone in particular.

ARG concedes to Babangida that the Constitution of Nigeria allows him to run for any office in the land and as such we are not saying that he should not waste his time in such an inglorious exercise.

We must however let him know that the memory of the people of the southwest is not as short as he thinks. In fact, there is a saying among the Yoruba people that “a 20 year-old pounded yam could be as hot as a burning coal through right preservations”. And the iniquities of IBB have been well preserved. Contrary to the “no-go-areas” he was disclosing to some journalists recently, the Yoruba nation will set all the sins of IBB before him and ask him why on earth they must swing the votes on his side.

The no 1 issue that would be taken up with him is the annulment of JUNE 12 election won by Bashorun M.K.O Abiola and the attendant crises which consumed the lives of Abiola and his wife Kudirat, Pa Alfred Rewane, Alhaja Suliat Adedeji, Admirals Omotehinwa and Elegbede and hundreds of protesters mowed down on July 7, 1993 on the streets of Lagos and other cities.

The insults he heaped on the Yoruba nation that he tried to “assuage the feelings of the aggrieved people by supporting the candidacy of my senior military officer former president Olusegun Obasanjo, who in our estimation has an unshakeable faith in the unity of our country and who hails from the same state with Bashorun M.k.O Abiola”, has only complicated his case. Foisting Obasanjo on Nigeria as someone occupying the slot of the Yoruba nation is really another offence he will have to answer for.

In the days of electoral reckoning, Obasanjo who messed up the country for 8 years, Gbenga Daniel who took IBB to Abeokuta to dance on MKO’s grave and Adedibu’s thugs who are rooting for him in Ibadan will count for nothing!

Babangida would be asked to produce MKO alive before he can ask for votes in the southwest.

Beyond this, the Yoruba nation will also join other zones in Nigeria to ask him what happened to the 12.4 billion dollars windfall well documented by Okigbo Panel’s Report, who killed Dele Giwa which the Oputa Panel made recommendations on but was not released by IBB’s surrogate (Obasanjo); among many other crimes hanging on IBB’s neck.

We would have said Happy Birthday to the self-styled Evil Genius were MKO Abiola, Kudirat Abiola, Dele Giwa, e.t.c around to also look forward to their own birthdays!

Yinka Odumakin
National Publicity Secretary (ARG)

News Release: President Obama’s Aide On Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill Update

I'm writing today to give you an update on the progress we’ve made in responding to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. I'm pleased to report that no oil has leaked into the Gulf of Mexico since July 15, and because of the progress we’ve made capping the well, we don't anticipate that any additional oil will spill into the Gulf. We also have new information about the effectiveness of the Federal Government’s response to the spill: Recently, government scientists released a report stating that the vast majority of the oil that spilled into the Gulf has evaporated, skimmed, burned off, been recovered from the wellhead or dispersed.


Over the weekend, President Obama and the First Lady travelled to Panama City, Florida and met with small business owners to discuss the impact the oil spill has had on their businesses. While we’re beginning to turn the corner, it's clear that we still have a lot of work to do for the individuals, families and businesses in the region that have been impacted by this spill.

We will hold BP accountable for the damage this spill has caused to the environment and the economy. We will not rest until the delicate ecosystems along the Gulf Coast and the people who call this region home have been made whole.

The men and women of the Gulf who make their livelihood harvesting fish, shrimp and oysters have been among those hardest hit by this spill. And I know many of you may have questions about the safety of seafood from the Gulf of Mexico.

The Federal Government is paying close attention to the safety of seafood in the Gulf. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and NOAA, working closely with the states, are closely monitoring and testing the Gulf waters so they can be reopened as soon as they become safe.

Seafood from these open areas is safe for you and your family to eat. In fact, if you’re looking for a simple way to support the people of the Gulf who have been battered by this spill, enjoying some local seafood is one of the best things you can do.

Sincerely,

Carol Browner
Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change

Monday, 16 August 2010

News Report: Federal Government Of Nigeria May Adopt "Special Security Measures" In Oil Rich Bayelsa State

                                          [President Goodluck Jonathan]

Indications are that the Federal Government of Nigeria may adopt "special security measures" to manage the worsening security situation in Bayelsa state if the state governor, Mr. Timipre Sylva fail to act in good time.

The Presidency have already communicated this development to the government of the state, a very reliable Presidency contact informed chidi opara reports. Oil rich Bayelsa state is one of the states in the Niger Delta region.

The state have been engulfed in violence in recent times. The present state of violence started with the bombing of an hotel owned by the wife of the estranged deputy governor, Mr. Peremobowei Ebebi, this was followed by an attack on his country home in Ekeremor Local Government Area, in which a guard lost his life.

Other attacks which chidi opara reports was informed were reprisals followed. The country homes of messrs Reginald Dede, Amalate Turner, Mike Wenibowei and Nestor Binabo, all government officials were for instance, attacked.

The state Police Commissioner, Mr. Onuoha Udeka, according to a high level Police contact filed "a very disturbing report" at the Police national headquarters. "This report  and that of the state Director of SSS was what Mr. President relied upon to to summon the security meeting", a Presidency contact informed chidi opara reports The State Security Service is also known as SSS. It would be noted that President Goodluck Jonathan had meeting with Chiefs of Security on Bayelsa state security situation two weeks ago.

The "special security measures" would include: deployment of more police/anti-terrorism squads and equipments, expanding the operations scope of the Joint Taskforce on Security(JTF), involvement of Isreali special anti-terrorism troopers and declaration of state of emergency, if need be.

The possibility of declaration of state of emergency have according to contacts in Yenagoa, galvanized the state governor into action. chidi opara reports learnt on good authority that the state governor is presently holding meetings with opinion leaders, ex-militant leaders, "and even some members of the opposition".

News Release From Mr. Nuhu Ribadu

                                [Nuhu Ribadu]

Mr. Nuhu Ribadu’s attention has been drawn to claims in the Sunday (August 15, 2010) sermon of respected preacher, Pastor Tunde Bakare, to the effect that Mr. Ribadu desires to hijack the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) for the purpose of his political ambition.

Mr. Ribadu strongly refutes this claim and affirms that he has the highest regard for Pastor Bakare and for his patriotic vision espoused through the SNG.

Mr. Ribadu salutes the unquantifiable sacrifice, energy, and resources many Nigerians have invested in building the SNG, and he hopes it will continue to grow in strength to become a major movement that will deepen our democracy and national development.

“I am convinced that Pastor Bakare came to his conclusion on a mistaken brief, and I look forward to meeting him soon to assure him that nothing like that ever, or could ever happen, because of the kind of person I am and the philosophy that guides my public conduct”.

No one can deny the role SNG played and continues to play as our country tries to chart a path to greatness 50 years after independence. The SNG has become a mass movement of patriotic Nigerians from different walks of life and political persuasion whose common vision is a new and better Nigeria. It would not only be presumptuous but tragic for any individual to think he or she can “hijack” such a people-oriented organisation.

Chido Onumah
For: Mr. Nuhu Ribadu

Sunday, 15 August 2010

News Report: Nigeria's President Infiltrates Igbo Apex Body Ahead Of 2011 Presidential Election

                                     [uwechue: President-general of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo]

The Nigerian President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan have infiltrated the Igbo apex socio-cultural body, Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, chidi opara reports have learnt authoritatively.

The Goodluck Jonathan political think tank made this in road through Mr. Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, a Newspaper and construction tycoon and a close ally of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Iwuanyanwu is a prominent member of Ohaneze as well as a member of its inner caucus known as Ime Obi. He is also a stalwart of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) from Imo state.

As a result of this infiltration, the Igbo apex body had at its meeting in Enugu on saturday 14th August, 2010 insisted that the zoning policy of the PDP should remain in place and further stated that the South-east and South-south regions are the only zones that have not held the post of President. It then resolved that after the Goodluck Jonathan Presidency which it said ought to start in 2011 and end in 2015, it would be the turn of the South-east, before it goes to the North. South-east region is the homeland of the Igbos, one of the majority ethnic nationalities in Nigeria.

The meeting which was presided over by Ohaneze Ndi Igbo President-general, Mr. Ralph Uwechue was attended by Mr. Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Dr. Arthur Nwankwo, Professor Joe Irukwu and other notable Igbo leaders.

A contact at the Ohaneze national secretariat in Enugu informed chidi opara reports that the PDP zoning policy was not on the agenda of the meeting initially, but was later inserted at the insistence of Mr. Iwuanyanwu. Another contact informed us that Iwuanyanwu was able to call the shots at the meeting because he provided more of the funds for organizing the meeting, which we gathered authoritatively, he got from the governor of Imo state, Dr. Ikedi Ohakim. Enugu state governor, Mr. Sullivan Chime was also reported to have made funds available to the organizers.

A private secretary to one of the participants revealed to us that "Iwuanyanwu spoke convincingly on why ndi Igbo should support the President in 2011".

chidi opara reports' network members in Enugu reported that Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu had arrived Enugu very early on the meeting day and had separate secret meetings with some prominent members before the meeting proper.

Presidency insiders revealed that President Jonathan is pleased with the outcome of the meeting and had phoned Iwuanyanwu to express gratitude.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Article: As Emeka Ukaegbu Jnr. Leaves Owerri Prison……..


By: Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha


The story of 24-year-old Emeka Ukaegbu Jnr. have remained intriguing.  The question is, who is Emeka Ukaegbu Jnr.? For those who do no know him, Emeka Ukaegbu Jnr. is the first Son of Hon. Dr. Emeka Samuel Ukaegbu, a former Honourable member of the Imo State House of Assembly between 1999 and 2003. He was a student of Imo State University. He was jailed three years ago along with one  Ogechukwu after being “convicted for raping” the daughter (Ginikachi) of the former deputy Governor of Imo State Chief Engr. Ebere Udeagu. It is on record that Emeka was arrested in June 2008 and paraded before the Nigerian public as a kidnapper who conspired with Ogechukwu and two others at large (Aboy and Capone) to kidnap 23-year-old daughter (Ginikachi) of the former deputy Governor of Imo State Engr. Ebere Udeagu.

However, when the case proper commenced at High Court 8 Owerri, it was discovered that Ginikachi (the former Deputy Governor’s Daughter) was involved in the kidnap drama. Her first statement with the police indicted her. To exonerate Ginikachi, the kidnap case which attracted national attention was watered down to “rape”, which Emeka and Ogechukwu never committed. Ginikachi never complained in her statement that she was raped. Engr. Ebere Udeagu never complained in his statement that his daughter was raped. Chief Okechukwu Udeagu (Ebere Udeagu's younger brother) who actually paid the N5 million ransom never complained in his statement that Ginikachi was raped.

I wrote a report on the matter entitled “EX-DEPUTY GOVERNOR DAUGHTER KIDNAP – THE OHAKIM CONSPIRACY.” This report was published in many newspapers and magazines in Nigeria in June 2009. When this report was exposed to the public Mr. Ikedi Ohakim (the governor of Imo State) threatened my life but I stood my ground. This made him to recoil. Nonetheless, I have continued and consistently followed up this case up to this moment.

Having realized that the Satanic act has been exposed to the public, Mr. Ikedi Ohakim and Engr. Ebere Udeagu decided to consolidate in their plot against Dr. Emeka Sam Ukaegbu by diverting the Kidnap case (which had been watered down to rape) to arm-robbery. This plot is to permanently shield and protect miss Ginikachi Udeagu in the whole kidnap case.

In a bid to perpetually keep Emeka Ukegbu Jnr. in Prison custody so that he would not tell the world his own version of what truly happened, an armed robbery case is now hanging on his neck. Emeka and Ogechukwu would be serving out their “jail” terms on the 15th of August 2010. It should be noted that the kidnap episode masterminded by miss Ginikachi Udeagu “fetched” the sum of N5 million and Chief Okechukwu Udeagu (Ebere Udeagu’s younger brother) was the person that dropped the money in the premises of an Anglican Church in Ikeduru Local Government area of Imo State before the boys emerged to pick it up. Now Engr. Ebere Udeagu and Mr. Ikedi Ohakim are trying to make the world believe that it was a robbery case. That Chief Okechukwu Udeagu was attacked on the road along INYISHI – Ikeduru and the said money taken away from him at gun point. In as much as one is against crime of any kind, one is against conspiracy to continue to punish innocent citizens of Imo State. This “robbery-case” is now before the High Court 7 Owerri presided over by Honourable Justice Goddy Anunihu (a distinguished man). Therefore one can not comment further on it. All the same I make bold to ask as follows: (1) where is Miss Ginikachi Udeagu who is the mastermind of the whole kidnap Saga? (2) Why is Ohakim and Ebere Udeagu protecting her? (3)How come Chief Okechukwu Udeagu never complained that he was robbed in his police statement? (4)How come Ikedi Ohakim is the complainant to the police in a matter that does not “concern” him?

As Emeka Ukegbu Jnr. leaves Owerri prisons in the next few days after serving a jail term of an offence (rape) he knew nothing about, the truth of the whole matter would finally be exposed. Emeka on his part have maintained that whenever he is out of prison, he would fight to clear his name because he never raped the former Deputy Governor’s daughter (Miss Ginikachi). He has equally maintained that there was no armed-robbery incident involving him.

From the look of things it appears that Mr. Ikedi Ohakim is now afraid of his shadows because of the atrocities he committed by sending many people to jail on trumped up charges. Now that such people are rounding up their prison terms, he does not want them out again, hence he is manufacturing more allegations against such persons.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

News Release: Afenifere Is Yet To Adopt Any Presidential Candidate

                                [Olu Falae]

The Afenifere joins others to congratulate the progressive Governor of Kano State, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, on his recent public declaration of his presidential aspiration. We have always admired and will continue to admire the Kano State Governor for his progressive political tendencies and do in fact believe that he and his political team will be invaluable assets to the emerging broad-based alternative political platform, which is now emerging in the Nation.

We wish to emphasise, however, that the prominence of Chief Olu Falae, one of the leaders of Afenifere, at Shekarau’s recent declaration must not be seen as evidence that Afenifere has already adopted him as its Presidential Candidate.

Chief Falae attended the ceremony purely in his individual capacity and not as a representative or a leader of Afenifere. At the appropriate time, Afenifere will make its position known on the various presidential aspirants canvassing for prominence in the forthcoming elections.

Chief Reuben Fasoranti, OFR
Afenifere Leader.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

News Release: MakeYourVotesCount to Launch Election Fraud Monitoring Committee

As part of efforts to mobilize Nigerians to participate effectively in the 2011 general elections, MakeYourVotesCount (MYVC), an organisation dedicated to free, fair and credible elections is set to launch a national Election Fraud Monitoring Committee. The launch will be the highlight of the south-east zonal town hall of the organization scheduled to hold in Owerri, Imo State, on Friday, August 13, 2010.

The Owerri town hall meeting will be the fifth town hall meeting organized by MYVC in the last one year to generate awareness on the need for Nigerians to vote in elections and ensure that their votes decide the outcome of elections.

The other town hall meetings were held in Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Awka.

The focus of the Owerri town hall meeting will be on how to make votes count in the 2011 elections. The interactive town hall meeting will bring together about 500 young people, including students, youth activists, corps members, representatives of political parties, INEC, National Orientation Agency (NOA), the police, security agencies, NGOs, and members of civil society to discuss how to ensure that all eligible voters in Nigeria’s south-east zone register to vote, vote during election and defend their votes.

Participants will emerge at the end of the meeting with a clear blueprint on how to safeguard their votes in the 2011 elections. It is expected that participants will form a voluntary group to be known as the Election Fraud Monitoring Committee (EFMC) to ensure that citizens’ votes count during the 2011 elections.

The Owerri zonal town hall meeting will be held in partnership with the following organizations: the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism and PADDI Foundation.

More town hall meetings are planned in other geo-political zones as we count down to what appears to be Nigeria’s most crucial election ever.

Signed:

Chido Onumah
Coordinator, Makeyourvotescount

Date: Friday, August 13, 2010
Venue: Bishop Conference Hall, Pastoral Centre, Wethedral Road, Owerri,
Imo State
Time: 11am – 3pm

Thursday, 5 August 2010

News Release From The White House: 2010 Citizens’ Medal Award

Good morning,

Later today, I will host a ceremony and reception at the White House to honor the recipients of the 2010 Citizens Medal, but I wanted you to be the first to know who will receive this prestigious award:

The Citizens Medal is the second highest civilian honor in our nation. For over 40 years, some of America's most respected heroes and public figures like Muhammad Ali, Colin Powell and Bob Dole, and everyday heroes like Oseola McCarty, a washerwoman who left her entire life savings to establish a scholarship for students in need, have received this award.

This year, we decided to try something a little bit different. We asked you, the American public, to tell us about the heroes in your community -- the folks who may not always get the recognition they deserve, but whose selfless work is making a real difference.

We received over 6,000 outstanding nominations from around the country. It was a tough choice, but we were able to narrow it down to 13 recipients of the 2010 Citizens Medal:

This year's Citizens Medal recipients should serve as an inspiration to all Americans: A widow who lost her husband on 9/11 and turned her grief into a message of hope for Afghani women whose husbands were lost to the Taliban; a school bus driver who delivers hot meals and coffee to New York City’s homeless and forgotten 365 nights a year; a North Chicago nurse and childcare professional who opened a live-in resource center that has given help and hope to hundreds of pregnant teenagers. They are all powerful reminders of the impact individuals can have on their community and on the world.

Congratulations to this year's Citizens Medal recipients, and thank you to the millions of Americans who strive to make their communities better every day.

Sincerely,
President Barack Obama

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Opinion: The Gratuitous Controversy On The Requirement For The President’s Assent For The Amended Constitution Will Derail The Forthcoming 2011 Elections


By Kayode Ajulo, Esq.

As the gratuitous controversy over whether the just amended Constitution by the National Assembly requires President Goodluck Jonathan‘s assent or not, I cannot help but admit that I do not share the views of some of our learned eminent Senior Advocates on the need for the President’s assent for the amendments to be effectual.

This erroneous argument has become so intense that a respected Senior Advocate of Nigeria and others have vowed to take the Federal Government of Nigeria to Court on the need that the President must assent the amended sections of the Constitution before the amendments become valid.

This position, with due respect, is an absolute misconception of law and is unqualified faulty as there are 23 grounds as distilled by my humble self after due consideration of our extant constitution, enabling statutes, judicial authorities, foreign and local jurisprudence.

Some of these grounds under the sub-heads inter alia are:
1. The distinction of the Constitution and an Act of the Parliament.

2. The nature, scope and supremacy of the Constitution over and above all other organs and agencies of the Government of the Federation.

3. The Proviso in the Acts Authentication Act which granted Constitutional matters an exception See-Section 2 (4) of the Act;

4. The clear distinctions of the scope and meaning of the Acts of the Parliament and the Resolution of the Parliament;

5 The procedures of authentication of Constitutional amendments and enactments and amendments of ordinary laws of the Parliament;

6. The principle and practice of Federalism;

7. The principle of interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution;

8. The need and the effect of the assent of the required two-third of the State Houses of Assembly, etc

The erroneous argument canvassed for the need of the President’s assent becomes more repelling and laughable upon the consideration that if the President’s assent to the amendments as passed by the National Assembly is so required, it therefore behoves and nothing stops at least all the Governors the consenting State Houses of Assembly assenting to the resolution of their individual State!

What a great confusion and anarchy in the making!

It is therefore important to state that those in unchartered voyage of doing the undoable will not only introduce bewilderment into the forthcoming general elections in other to stall same but also to cause great waste of human and capital resources over a sheer misconceived interpretation of the clear provision of Section 9 (2) of the Constitution which states that:
“An Act of the National Assembly for the alteration of this Constitution, not being an Act to which section 8 of this Constitution applies, shall not be passed in either House of the National Assembly unless the proposal is supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds majority of all the members of that House and approved by resolution of the Houses of Assembly of not less than two-thirds of all the states.”

The Supreme Court of Nigeria, when it comes to the interpretation of the provisions of our Constitution, has severally held: “required a literary interpretation to avoid any ambiguities”

As such, the assent that is required in the amendments of our Constitution is the approval by vote of two-thirds of the State Houses of Assembly.

The erroneous argument should abate as it is seemingly tending towards derailing the forthcoming general election, constitutionally slated for January 2011.

Thank you.

(Kayode Ajulo,  is a lawyer & Chairman Egalitarian Mission Africa (EMA) )

Article: Sani Abacha; The Lesson We All Fail To Learn

Rufus Kayode Oteniya

On 14 September 2001, as my wife and I with our little boy were driving through Bishops Avenue , Hampstead, London , Nkiru, our friend who lived in the neighbourhood and who had come to pick us at the Underground station asked if we would like to see late General Sani Abacha’s house on the avenue. Yes! I said, even though I wasn’t really sure my wife was keen about it.

Bishops Avenue is one of UK ’s most opulent street. It is also known as Billionaires' Row because many well known international wealthy men have a penchant to have a house there as the ultimate status symbol. It is more easily compared to a slimmed-down version of America’s Bellevue Avenue, in Newport, Rhode Island. Some of the houses there are owned by the Saudi royal family, whilst other notable owners of houses on the street include the Sultan of Brunei.

Mamma mia! I shouted at the sight of Abacha’s massive mansion in the expansive and expensive compound. While the avenue was not famous for small houses, Abacha’s house was one of the grandest on the road where the smallest house is known to cost over £5m. Babangida also had a house there.

I was reliably told Sani bought the house while he was the president of Nigeria and records showed he never travelled to UK nor any Western country throughout his presidency which indicates that the best he could have seen of the house was just the picture or the video of it. He never had the privileged that I had to drive in front of the stately gate and fence of the stately house.

I had the opportunity to see the house live but he didn’t, I could behold the beauty and the magnificence which he couldn’t. Then I wondered what a waste of resources? Why did he build a house he never needed and would never enter nor live in? Why steal to acquire earthly possession all over the place as if here is the final destination? Why? Why? Why?

How many of such houses did he acquire? Did he own other mansions in Kensington Palace Gardens in London (world’s most expensive neighbourhood) or Jupiter Island in Florida or Belle Haven in Greenwich, or Victoria Peak in Hong Kong or Seventh Arrondissement in Paris? Who knows?

The old Latin proverbs say a wise man learns by the mistakes of others, a fool by his own. Going by the account of this proverb, a wise man will never wait to make a mistake that someone else has already made before he learns his lessons. But often times, we see people who fail to learn even from their own mistakes.

Naturally, one would have expected Nigerians especially the political class and the business leaders to learn a lot of lessons from the rise and unceremonious fall of the late Abacha since most of us (adults) were living witnesses of the regime of terror of the notorious and kleptomaniac dictator.

With up to $5 billion in stolen funds, Abacha made Transparency International’s top five looters - that is, he was considered one of the world’s most corrupt leaders in recent history. Sani was the military dictator of Nigeria from 17 November 1993 to 8 June 1998. His reign of insatiable greed, wanton wickedness and reckless power intoxication was the darkest point in the history of our nation since the end of the civil war and was to be a great lesson for everyone who has chosen to be wise. His abrupt end showed that power is only transient.

Sani, like all other military heads of State before and after him was a defacto president who had all the power to do great thing but failed. He eschewed greatness. He had the same absolute power as some of the dictators in South east Asia who used theirs to turn their countries to economic giants that are now known as Asian Tigers. Needless to write here that the economic miracles of the last 35 years in Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore were mostly championed by leaders with authoritarian inclinations. Sani was rather brutal and repressive with the power he had.

Sani would go to any length to crush his perceived enemy as if the power of life and death belonged to him. As a notorious coupist, he was suspicious of everyone; young and old, poor and rich; high and lowly; national icon and local champion. He was never tired to unleash his ‘Roger’ team on anyone or order Al-Mustapha to give ‘VIP treatment’ to people.

Sani was stealing our oil money 24/7 as if the oil wells were going to dry up the next day. When General Abdulsalami Abubakar was appointed head of state upon Sani’s death, Abubakar's government delivered a clear message to the Abacha clan that Sani had looted huge sums, and they had to be restored. Members of the Abacha family and some of their accomplice 'voluntarily' returned approximately $1 billion to the Federal Government of Nigeria during his ‘interim’ tenure.

Obasanjo's government also implicated the deceased general and his family in wholesale looting of Nigeria 's coffers. The extent of his venality seemed to have surpassed even that of his more notorious military predecessor whom many believed institutionalised corruption in our system and who still need to clear himself of the allegation of swindling the Nations’ oil windfall during the first Gulf war.

In 2002, $1 billion was returned to Nigeria as part of an out-of-court settlement with the Abacha’s family. In 2005, Swiss government returned $505 million. Also, the United Kingdom , Liechtenstein , Luxembourg and other entities returned an additional $700 million.

Abacha’s son, Abba Abacha was on 18 June 2010 convicted by a Geneva court and sentenced to a two-year suspended sentence and made to forfeit $400 million in ill-gotten wealth. What a people? What a family? Like father like son.

Sani descended on our beloved nation as someone who had come only to ‘steal, kill and destroy’ until the day of the Lord when on 8 June 1998, God heard the cries of His people and came to their rescue. God did what we least imagined. His ways are higher than ours. His thoughts are beyond our comprehension. He answers prayers!

As the sayings go that ‘pride goes before a fall’ and that ‘whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.’ So it came to pass on that day of the Lord, on that fateful day Sani looked at his Indian girls and boasted. “Chei! girls, if you cooperate with me, I’ll give you anything you want. If you want houses here in Abuja , I’ll tell Jerry to give you, in fact if you want mansion in Lagos , I’ll call Buba to arrange houses in Ikoyi or VI. Wallahi, I will tell Gwarzo to arrange cash for you in dollars.”

After this, he looked through the window, he saw the beauty of Aso rock villa and said to himself “I have power to do anything. I have money in Switzerland , Luxembourg , Jersey , Liechtenstein , Belgium and the UK , I have houses everywhere and what else do I want. I am sure to be the president for another 8 years, all my enemies are scattered everywhere in exile and the ones here are in prisons even that Oladipo, by this time next week, I go send am go meet Saro Wiwa to teach others a tough lesson.”

Then he said to himself, “my soul enjoy your girls, take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”

After this, he heard a Voice called saying ‘Sani! You fool! I made you president over my people even though you are among the least qualified. I saved you when Olusegun pencilled your name down for dismissal, yet you fail to honour Me. When Ibrahim purged all the senior officers after June 12, I preserved you yet you do not regard Me. Instead of leading My people to the promised land, you oppress them, you chastise them, you steal their oil money, treat their elders with disdain and kill their advocates. You incarcerate My people and boast of your might. Today your soul will be required of you”

After this he ate the ‘spiced apple’ and his soul was taken away from him to the pleasure of his countrymen. “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” So what shall it profit a man who gains the whole world…….

What a relieve for a nation! The demise of the despised ruler from Kano was celebrated with an ecstasy such that is only seen with winning a FIFA world cup. Kano is also the hometown of late General Murtala Mohammed, another military dictator whom the nation never stopped mourning after his assassination on 3 February 1976. What a contrast!

12 years on, nothing seems to have changed. People in positions of authority still steal left, right and centre forgetting that we all came here with nothing and will certainly leave with nothing. Must they die before it dawns on them? If Abacha couldn’t take anything with him, no one can. Why must people choose to be the richest men and women in the grave at the expense of their souls.

Politicians and civil servants seem not to fathom the difference between private and public funds. Its scandal here and there involving huge sums of money without any regards for law and integrity. Parliamentarians award themselves exaggerated remunerations that beat any logical reasons for doing very close to nothing. Company executives doctor financial reports thereby eroding the values of shareholders’ investments and bank directors, just like Abacha, unrestrictedly dip their hands in the vaults of the banks to buy houses all across the globe with the same passion a philatelic collectors collect stamps. Same story everywhere with most people in authority.

Ecclesiastes 9:10 says “whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.” This includes managing the resources at one’s disposal. For everyone shall give accounts of his/her stewardship. Also, Hebrews 9:27 says ‘And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.’ Death is an inevitable end that we must factor into everything we do.

Another hallmark of Abacha’s era was power intoxication. Now that we are in a democratic dispensation, it should have been impossible to overtly misuse power yet it is still a common thing. People in authority still use power to forcefully influence and oppress others without any regard for the rule of law. Impunity is the order of the day. There is a need to remember always that power is temporary. Major Hamza Al Mustapha, the detained Chief Security Officer (CSO) to late Head of State was an all-powerful aid who would never economise his authority. Where is he today? Who could have predicted that he would be help up in the prison for over a decade for his offences under Abacha. The trial is still ongoing but he has spent over 11 years in incarceration. This is no triviality!

A good leader leaves behind a good structure for the future generation and that was exactly what Abacha couldn’t do. Instead, he wanted and he actually left behind stolen billions for his children and children’s children. Naturally, someday, stolen funds will one way or the other disappear and in his case, it has brought disrepute to his family and turned one of his children to an international convict.

Tony Blair and Bill Clinton would never be bothered if they did not leave so much money for their children and their children’s children because they knew they had helped build structures that would ensure generations after them live in sane and prosperous nations with abounding opportunities.

A special lesson President Goodluck Jonathan needs to learn is to beware of political jobbers who like to surround anyone in power. The shamelessly self-seeking opportunists; the same people who were opposed to his ascendancy to become the acting president just a few months ago are now all over the place blowing vuvuzela that only Jonathan can do it in 2011. Wherever the wind of power blows, they are there. Little wonder they told Abacha that he alone could rule Nigeria ; their parties even adopted him as their torchbearer. Jonathan should listen to his heart.

The final lesson for all is that on the day of the Lord, no mansion in any avenue or hilltop or any other place on earth can save, no amount of money anywhere can do either. “Vanity upon vanity, all is vanity.”

Abacha came he saw but he failed to conquer. He made enough mistakes for everyone to learn from. Anyone who fails to do so must be ignoring the path of wisdom.

News Release: Dr. Sid And D'Prince support Hospitals for Humanity

Hospitals for Humanity (HFH), a nonprofit organization established to provide access to quality and affordable health care for people who are in dire need, especially those who live in developing and third-world countries, will be hosting a fund raising dinner at the Eko Hotels & Suites, Lagos, Nigeria on Sunday, August 8, 2010 and officially launching HFH Africa.

Amongst other projects, HFH is currently holding, in conjunction with the Lagos State Ministry of Health, the first of what we hope will be numerous Medical Mission Initiatives (MMI) to the water community of Makoko near Yaba / Ebutte Metta, Lagos running from August 1-8, 2010.

We are passionate about providing qualitative health care for people who would otherwise not be able to have access, said its founder, Segun Ajayi. And I am working with friends and colleagues to make sure that
this is a thing of the past for as many people as we can reach".
Although this is the first medical mission to Makoko, it is not the first for HFH. In December 2008, HFH organized a week-long MMI to a rural community in Kogi State (Isanlu village), working nearly around the clock and providing free healthcare services to nearly 10,000 grateful residents with the $150,000 worth of medical supplies donated by sponsors such as St. Mary's Hospital, Riverside Medical Center and AmeriCares“ all in the United States of America. The HFH medical staff that flew to Nigeria
from the USA consisted of Surgical Ophthalmologists, Pediatricians, Internists, Geriatricians, Nurses, Pharmacists and Medical Students.

Again in December of 2009, HFH was able to return to Isanlu village and provided healthcare services again to nearly 10,000 residents. The medical supplies and medications were graciously donated by local, regional,
national and international organizations. The HFH Medical staff volunteers worked tirelessly to ensure that every patient received quality patient care and no one was left untreated by the end of the week long mission.

Added to this are the organisation's stellar international achievements. After the January 12th 2010 catastrophic earthquake that hit the capital city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, HFH immediately mobilized volunteer medical teams to provide emergency medical services to the earthquake victims. A
59-member volunteer team consisting of: Orthopedic surgeons, Family Medicine, OB-GYN, ER, Trauma, and Internal Medicine Physicians, Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, Medical Students was able to respond to the Haitian crisis in which HFH Staff secured $30,000.00 worth of donations for a private jet to fly into Haiti. Since then, HFH has committed to provide free healthcare to the Haitian people on a monthly basis for a minimum of one year with the hope of securing funding to build a state of the art Rehabilitation Center for the people affected by the earthquake.

In order for HFH to continue to provide free services to the global healthcare community we, out of necessity, must ask individuals, corporations, and organizations to assist us in rendering the much needed
healthcare by providing your tax-deductible donations for many necessary expenses said Deji Williams, one of the members of the advisory board, which also has Biola Alabi (MD, Mnet). You can request for your
donations to be utilized for these medical missions in specific ways such as procuring medicine, medical supplies and equipment, or educational materials for the local beneficiaries. Our activities have been made
possible through the generosity of our historical donors as well as new donors such as Richards Medical, Lake County Health Department and Gwinnet Medical Center and in Nigeria, we are especially proud to be partnering with Eko Hotels and Suites and the Nigerian Leadership Initiative (NLI) who have helped to make this fundraising dinner possible."

Performing at the fundraising dinner are two of Mo'Hits stars D’Prince and Dr. Sid, to show their support for the cause. There will also be an art action with the works of Eugene Agee as well as an auction of clothes from Phunk Afrique and jewelry from Circa and Cornucopia, 2 indigenous jewelry makers. Tickets for the dinner are N20,000.00 per person and additional donations are also very welcome.

Many hospitals and clinics in economically distressed countries operate without basic medical supplies, prescription drugs, or laboratory equipment, Ajayi says. Hospitals for Humanity, in partnership with
volunteer medical professionals and in-country investors, offers sustainable and relevant solutions focused on improving access to quality health care in the developing world. To this end, Hospitals for Humanity
is committed to long-term community development; including helping to build state-of-the-art medical facilities and upgrading existing hospitals and clinics to adequately meet the needs of under-served people facing the challenges of poor health and disease. We are extremely excited to formally launch HFH Africa and look forward to the achievement of our goals through the support of well-meaning Nigerians.

More information on the work HFH is doing is available on http://www.hospitalsforhumanity.org/.

Signed:
Segun Ajayi

segun@hospitalsforhumanity.org