Monday, November 30, 2009

what we have now is buying leadership.... Pastor John Tunde Awe Author

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bayo Ohu, Between Odumakin, Mrs. Ohu and CG Dikko

Bayo Ohu; Wife finger Custom Official Ayodele Samuel, Lagos with agency report The widow of the late slain Journalist Bayo Ohu mrs Ohu had confirm that her late husband was working on a sensitive story about the use of forged educational certificates by a recently appointed customs official. She told a foreign news agency she express worry over the security of her children “the same people who ordered my husband killed may come for us, They may think that there is more evidence left with us that may reveal their identities” She also noted the non chalant attitude of the police on the investigation of her late husband killer, “One of the police in charge of the area came at about 9 p.m. to ask me about a particular cell phone and asked if it belonged to my husband. I looked at the phone and told him that it was not my husband’s phone and he left. Then after three days another set of policemen came, sent by the inspector general to come and console us. That is all I have had from the police. I don’t think the police are doing enough to find your husband’s killer”. She said that late bayo did not hint her about any risky story he was working on prior to his death nor any threats. All I could confirm is that: According to The Guardian, they said my husband was working on a corruption and certificate forgery story by some Nigerian custom officials. So I hope the newspaper will pick it up from there to find out how those people might have been involved in hiring my husband’s assassins. The late Ohu wife who’s Currently doing a student of mass communications in Ogun State University said the death of her husband has change her career to journalism “I was focusing on venturing into advertising not journalism, but because of what happened to him, I have now decided to go into full journalism to complete what he had,” She added that “I am determined to find out who killed my husband and for what reason. The fact that he was killed by hired assassins was because he stood by the truth. This is my reason to go into journalism, to find our why he was killed and to continue reporting those things that his killers did not want reported. Also Afenifere Spoke man Yinka Odumakin has describle the custom General petiotion about his statement on the death of Bayo Ohu as surprise and laughable. Odumakin said the custom boss is only trying to devate attension away from him. Odumakin who spoke to in Lagos said the CG has only accused himself of murder because nobody accused him “ I only suggest to the police to cast they wide in getting to the root of Bayo murder due to some of his last stories he did relating to the CG”. Odunakin said he never know what was in Bayo’s laptop, he restate that the custom boss should be interrogated over Bayo gory murder. The comptroller-general of the Nigeria Customs Service, Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko Inde, has implored the inspector- general of police, Mr. Ogbonna Onovo, over the gory murder of Bayo Ohu, a former assistant political editor of The Guardian newspapers. It should be recalled that one Olajide Ibrahim wrote a petition against the CG, through his counsel, Festus Keyamo, claiming that he forged some certificates for him in 1995. But following some defects discovered in his attached affidavits, the Customs boss was cleared after the screening of the Presidency's investigation team. The FULL INTERVIEW Bayo Ohu was working on the Certificate Forgery story of CGS Abdullahi Dikko before his murder-CPJ interviews wife of slain Guardian editor The killers of Nigerian Editor Bayo Ohu are still a mystery, three weeks after his murder. Now the family of the former Guardian newspaper journalist lives in fear. Ohu was shot dead early on Sunday morning, September 20, by a gang of five armed men and a woman in his apartment in Egbeda, a Lagos suburb in Nigeria. His killers made away with his laptop and cell phone, raising speculation that he was killed for his work as a journalist. Nigerian Police Commissioner Marvel Akpoyido told CPJ that investigations are ongoing. According to local news reports, Ohu was working on a sensitive story about the use of forged educational certificates by a recently appointed customs official. This was confirmed by his widow, who told CPJ that this information had been passed on to her by senior journalists at The Guardian.The 31-year-old mother of five girls, aged 10 months to 16 years old, described her slain husband as “loving, caring, and with a passion for journalism,” which convinced her to take up journalism as a profession herself. Blessing Bayo Ohu recently spoke to CPJ about her husband, her security concerns, and her future plans.CPJ: How would you describe your life with your husband over the years of your marriage?Ohu: We lived a very humble and comfortable life to the best of our ability. He was a contented, hard-working man who did not desire to have what was beyond his means. Above all, my husband was a very loving, understanding, and caring father. CPJ: How would you describe his personality?Ohu: He was an indoor person who did not make many friends and chose those he related to with care.CPJ: Can you describe your last moments with your husband prior to his assassination?Ohu: It was on a Sunday morning, so when I woke up, I told him I was going to church. Then I was called after 45 minutes by our neighbors and told about the incident. CPJ: What did the neighbors tell you?Ohu: To come home quickly, that something bad had happened. When I got home, I first saw a pool of blood at the house. The neighbors did not allow me to get inside the house. Nobody was telling me what had happened. I only saw a pool of blood from the outside but I was not seeing my husband. It never occurred to me that the pool of blood was his, and that he was already no more.CPJ: How did you react to the news?Ohu: It was unbelievable for such a thing to have happened to my husband. I never imagined that he could die that kind of death.CPJ: How do you feel about your security and that of your children?Ohu: I am worried that the same people who ordered my husband killed may come for us. They may think that there is more evidence left with us that may reveal their identities.CPJ: Since the burial of your husband, have the police been in touch with you?Ohu: Yes, about a week ago. One of the police in charge of the area came at about 9 p.m. to ask me about a particular cell phone and asked if it belonged to my husband. I looked at the phone and told him that it was not my husband’s phone and he left. Then after three days another set of policemen came, sent by the inspector general to come and console us. That is all I have had from the police.CPJ: Do you think the police are doing enough to find your husband’s killer?Ohu: I don’t think so.CPJ: Did your husband hint to you about any risky story he was working on prior to his death? Any threats?Ohu: No. Not at all.CPJ: Do you know much about the circumstances surrounding his death?Ohu: According to The Guardian, they said my husband was working on a corruption and certificate forgery story by some Nigerian custom officials. So I hope the newspaper will pick it up from there to find out how those people might have been involved in hiring my husband’s assassins.CPJ: Have you been in touch with the management or editors of The Guardian?Ohu: Yes. They have been in touch. I must say they are trying their best. But I would have liked more stories about my husband to be published.CPJ: How would you describe his journalism career?Ohu: My husband loved his job so much and had lots of passion for journalism. That is why I decided to join journalism, and he really encouraged me in my mass communication studies. Currently, I am doing a degree in mass communications in Ogu State University. But then, I was focusing on venturing into advertising not journalism, but because of what happened to him, I have now decided to go into full journalism to complete what he had started.CPJ: I admire your resolve and courage, but aren’t you afraid you may encounter the same fate?Ohu: No, not really. I am determined to find out who killed my husband and for what reason. The fact that he was killed by hired assassins was because he stood by the truth. This is my reason to go into journalism, to find our why he was killed and to continue reporting those things that his killers did not want reported Petition The comptroller-general of the Nigeria Customs Service, Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko Inde, has implored the inspector- general of police, Mr. Ogbonna Onovo, to arrest and prosecute national publicity secretary of Afenifere Renewal Group Yinka Odumakin over the gory murder of Bayo Ohu, a former assistant political editor of The Guardian newspapers. According to the customs boss, Odumakin must have a lead that "will help the Nigeria Police to unravel the mystery behind the gruesome murder of the late Bayo Ohu". Dikko's allegation came following a story on page 2 of the Daily Champion newspaper of September 23, 2009, with the headline "Customs Chief Fingered in Ohu's Murder". In the said story, Odumakin, who granted an interview to Champion, alleged that Dikko was involved in the murder of Ohu on September 20, 2009, because, before he was killed, the late journalist was working on a report of alleged certificate forgery levelled against the customs boss which was contained in his laptop taken away by his assailants. But in what seems like a hunter becoming the hunted, Dikko threw the dice back at Odumakin when he alleged in a petition to the IGP that from what he said in the said story, the Afenifere's publicity scribe knew much about the incident and therefore should "be invited by the police to throw more light on what he knew about the said murder". The petition dated September 24, 2009, and signed by Dikko's counsel, Mr. Amobi Nzelu, contended that Odumakin's allegation against the customs CG has generated so many questions to be answered by him. Dikko listed the questions which he claimed are yawning for answers to include how he (Odumakin) knew the contents of the laptop; whether he is a journalist who shares the same desk with the late Ohu; whether he was working in the same office as Ohu to know what he was doing; whether he accessed the content of the late Ohu's laptop and who is in possession of the laptop. The petition further stated: "From what he said, the above questions will be put to him for explanation. It is rather unfortunate that people take delight in making wild and unfounded allegation. Since he knew too much about the laptop and the contents, he should explain how he got to know it and the whereabouts of the laptop. "Apart from the above statements of Yinka Odumakin being highly defamatory, it snacks of criminal defamation of the character of our client. We demand that he be arrested and prosecuted for criminal defamation of the character of our client". While noting that people should not be allowed to talk recklessly about the character and reputation of others, Dikko urged IGP Onovo to use his office "in seeing that justice is not only done, but seen to have been manifestly done in this matter".

Friday, October 9, 2009

ASUU Ends Strike

ASUU Ends Strike October 09, 2009 The President of Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU), Professor Ukachukwu Awuzie, this morning, announced the suspension of the ongoing strike from today to create a cordial atmosphere for peaceful conclusion of negotiation with the Federal Government. Awuzie said that if the Federal Government fail to fulfil the agreement, the strike will resume. He urged the Federal Government to conclude agreement with the other unions in the university system and avoid any action that will destroy the existing harmony. Awuzie maintained that the principle of returning to the table has to be upheld, insisting that the goal post must not be shifted. “The struggle for a better education system will continue collectively with patriotic forces until we achieve the desired goals in a country of educated citizens struggling to overcome economic and political backwardness and striving to survive in 21st century.” He called for minimum standard in funding of university. He said “the ASUU leadership did not start the strike because of what they were after. It was to enthrone a working national policy for the education system.” Awuzie also commended the Federal Government for the amnesty given to the militants in the Niger Delta region. ASUU went on a two-week warning strike in May this year to remind the Federal Government of their demands for increased salary, autonomy for the universities and to stop the brain drain, especially in the academic field. The indefinite strike commenced on 22 June, 2009 without government taking a serious note of their warning strike. Academic activities were therefore paralysed in all the public universities in Nigeria for 16 weeks and four days. While speaking to journalists earlier, Professor Awuzie, had said that the union was demanding not only pay rise for its members but also autonomy and implementation of past agreements between the union and the Federal Government. After a meeting of its executive council in Akure, Ondo State, in the course of the protracted strike, ASUU announced that the strike was going to be total and it would last until government was ready to implement the agreement with the union. It said the agreement reached with ASUU took the union over two years of meticulous efforts and negotiations. However, the first sign that the ASUU strike will be prolonged was noticed in the first week as the meeting between the union and officials of the Federal Government ended in a deadlock. Education Minister, Sam Egwu said, government did not sign a pact with ASUU but only nominated people to negotiate with the lecturers and the outcome of their negotiation will be sent to President Umaru Yar’Adua. ASUU reacted by saying that government had all the time in their hands to sign and implement the agreement reached with the striking lecturers some years ago. Awuzie believed the agreement could be implemented within a week but if government failed to act, the university teachers were willing to stay away from the lecture rooms for long. And the university lecturers went on strike as they had threatened. During the strike, a Federal Government Committee headed by Gamaliel Onosode also failed to resolve the crisis. ASUU for as long as the strike lasted enjoyed the support of many Nigerians including students, their parents, rights activists, and other stakeholders in the education sector who insisted that their demand was legitimate. They further chided government for failure to implement past agreements reached with ASUU after strike actions in 1992, 1999, 2001 and 2008 when a pact was reportedly signed but not implemented.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Nigeria will break if - Buhari

THE BUHARI INTERVIEW Nigeria will break if - Buhari Major-General Muhammadu Buhari was selected to lead the country by middle and high-ranking military officers after a successful coup on December 31, 1983. He was later overthrown in a coup led by General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida on August 27, 1985. Buhari later served late General Sanni Abacha as the head of the Petroleum Trust Fund, PTF. In 2003, Buhari contested the Presidential Election under the banner of the All Nigeria People’s Party, ANPP. He was defeated by General Olusegun Obasanjo of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP. Some people have an impression of this Spartan aura around you that seems to shield you from some of the vices associated with people of your status. Do you recognise this impression about you? I honestly don't and I never thought about it to know if there is any aura around me. What I try to do, especially in those days in the military; I think I articulated our ideas. The most important one then was to find out how much Nigeria owed. Because having been involved in the previous administration of General Olusegun Obasanjo by being a governor, and minister of petroleum, I knew he handed over a government and a country to the civilian that was economically and physically secured. The records were straight. And then by 1983, when we came, we found out that nobody knew how much Nigeria owed. And you couldn't even get basic things in the country. I think that trauma made us to do first things fast. We set up two committees: one international to achieve the main objective; the other under the economic development, to find out how Nigeria spent its reserve, spent whatever it was getting. Because when we handed over in 1979, a barrel of crude was never up to $20. But during the Second Republic, it went to over $40 per barrel. Yet we spent the reserve. We incurred an unknown amount of debt and virtually we had no reserve. So we said, okay; no more debts. We promised to pay our medium and long-term debts. And then we refused to devalue the naira. And then there was a debt to Nigerian workers. In some states, for nine months, workers were not paid. And we paid them. These were the first things we facilitated when we came to power. The condition Nigeria met in 1983 when you came in, looking at the situation now in the country, don't you think what we have now is worse than what made you people come in the first place? It's definitely worse, if we consider the physical security in the economy of the country. I've said it so many times, (and) I wouldn't mind repeating myself: since the inception of Nigeria in 1914, Nigeria had never realised so much revenue than in the years under the PDP (Peoples Democratic party) governance. Yet poverty has never been so widespread from Badagry to Baga, from Oyo to Sokoto and from Katsina to Port Harcourt. Try and have a survey of the number of factories that closed and the number of Nigerians that have lost legitimate earnings. In spite of this enormous amount of resources that came into the country, and the insecurity, nobody seems to be secured, either in your house, on the highway, in your workplace. Of course, with so many jobs lost, certainly, you can't stop burglary and thefts, because people have to eat. Even a welder can only sustain himself if he can afford a generator and can afford to buy the fuel, because virtually, there was no electricity. There is no power in Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) or its famous name, NEPA, with all the money we got in nine years. So what then is the remedy, because we have seen military coups and so many other interventions, which didn't work? Well, from my personal experience, Nigerians should be the remedy, and in every country whether it is a revolution or a normal conventional process of evolution, it is the elite that lead. But the Nigerian elite are extremely disappointing in terms of accepting responsibility and leading the less-privileged in the society. As long as the elite feel they are safe; wherever they are, they feel they are earning enough, they can afford to educate their children somehow; they have got a roof over their heads; to hell with the rest of the lesser citizens of the communities. Then the point is, if the elite is comfortable, and then the larger society is not comfortable, the implication is almost very certain: there will be implosion. So do you still foresee a situation where we have an implosion in this country; where there will be a revolution? I don't think there will be a revolution in this country. I think I have to reflect about 35 years ago; my experience in India, which I kept on quoting in individual discussions about poverty, about multi-ethnicity in societies, about religious divergence, and so on. Early 1970s, 72, to be exact, 73, I had my staff college training in India, in Southern India, a plateau called the Negris. In those days, at least I know in three cities: Calcutta, New Delhi and Bombay. The way garbage-collecting vehicles efficiently go round in the cities, in developed countries, to collect garbage, that is how vehicles in India in those days were going round and collecting bodies of human beings that died overnight of starvation. But by 1980s when I became Head of State, India was one of the countries we were buying rice from. Ten years of leadership turned around India. And, of course, India has a longer history of struggle for independence and democracy. And by 2006, there were over 600 million Indian voters. And in two weeks, India conducted a federal election or a national election and had government in place. Niger, I think 80 million in 2005 or so, had an election including a run-off; they (people) have a government. Now, its former Prime Minister is in jail for misappropriating $250,000. Sierra Leone, 10 years civil war with amputees, so many amputees, they had elections; opposition won. They are narrowing their battle. (In) Ghana, (Jerry) Rawlings came, shot his way through at his military term; at his civilian term, the person from his party he wanted to lead Ghana couldn't win. Opposition won and Ghana is going on. Why Nigeria, with all our human and material resources? Because our elite are so disappointing; they can only make sacrifice to themselves individually, not collectively. This is my assessment, I may be wrong. Still, we are bound to ask: how do we either pull these elite down or make them change? That is the question. They make sure they deny opportunity to those who can do it; either military or politically. See how they connived and got rid of Murtala (Mohammed). The man could have organised a civilian government. But the most disappointing is how Obasanjo led the military government. But the one he said is democracy he had to depend on the larger elite. He and whatever principle he used to have and the experiences he acquired as a military leader were pulled down. And he is the only living Nigerian that God allowed to rule this country for more than 11 years. And see how he ended up. When you came in 1983, your government was noted for one thing: discipline in the society, discipline in Nigeria. In fact, there was a trend at that time that the country was almost building into shape and people could foresee where the country was going. How do you feel looking at the country today and seeing the dismantling of that era of focus? Well, you know we are relatively young in terms of nationalists in whatever form you mention it; whether as military or as politicians. We are about the third generation right from Zik, Awo, Tafawa Balewa. That was second generation at most. (This is) one of the campaign points I used to mention, especially when I go to visit community leaders, emirs, chiefs, obas, and so on and so forth. The North then, under Sardauna, were spending more than 43 per cent of the whole state budget on education. Awolowo was spending more than 55 per cent. There was no way the names of those people can be changed in this country. The person who did the research for me couldn't get the figure for the (South) East then. But we know in the (South) East, they normally charge for education. And the government was just complimenting the charge, so to speak, to be honest about it. But the problem of Nigeria now, I think I am experienced enough to say that, is indiscipline, corruption, and incompetence. No other Nigerian elite is prepared to make the sacrifice, to straighten up the society of these three terrible things about Nigeria: this indiscipline, this corruption, and this incompetence. In spite of our human and material resources, we are going nowhere. And I think Nigerians should begin to think about it very, very seriously. Because where do we go? As I said, when I came to power in 1983, where do we go? Even if you are a professor of Physics, if you jet out to Europe or America, you can get a job; but you will never feel comfortable because it is not your country. And you are just being used mechanically. It's just like you wind a watch and put it down. They can supervise you effectively and pay you for it, and that's all; you don't feel you are building your country; you don't feel you are making a future for your generation, for your own children. This is the unfortunate position of Nigeria. One class Nigerians and even public commentators have blamed for our woes is actually the military; and at a time, you were a participant. Do you feel that it was wrong in the first place for the military to have intervened in the polity of this country? Secondly, do you think it was a mistake, for you particularly, to take over governance in 1983? Well, under the arrangement we were handed over the military by our colonial masters, we have no right to intervene in the partisan politics of a nation state. But which country made that assertion? Which one of the so-called developed countries of the western world, go into their history, didn't go through military era in search of their nation's development? Having said that, the military is part and parcel of the national institutions; they are the ones purposely recruited, trained to defend their country and its integrity. Now, what integrity has a country when its riches is systematically looted and invested outside and leaves you in poverty? Has the institution no right to defend that country? I never knew you would ask me this question. But in the process of this interview, I briefly told you how the military handed our country to Second Republic and the condition this country found itself; which means the military, as an institution, has a role. Didn't we fight a civil war keeping this country together? And we lost at least a million Nigerians to keep the country together. We didn't do it for any material gain because there are no spare lives; it's only one life. If you can lead your colleagues and you get them dead, your own countrymen, your own colleagues kill one another to keep your country together, then (will) you allow somebody to systematically steal all the development and resources and keep it aside for himself? Under this arrangement, multi-party, multi-ethnicity, is the ideal thing, and I believe in the ideal thing since the collapse of the Soviet Union. I believe multi-party democracy is the best form of government. But then, there must be a leadership that will provide good governance. If the elite corrupted the system beyond recognition, then the institution has to intervene. I think the last port of call should be the judiciary under this setting. If the judiciary fails, I am afraid the country will break. And God forbid! Now that you have mentioned the judiciary, we have entrusted so much on it. You have seen some judgements coming from several courts in the country in recent times, are you confident that the judiciary can still save the system? Well, I believe, in your paper - if you go to your own archive - I made a statement more than a year ago; exactly, the June 28 last year. I will not comment on what happened in the general elections of 2007 and the end of the election until the judgement in the Supreme Court; because I know we are ending up in Supreme Court. I didn't even talk of the Court of Appeal. I was not going to make comment on the judiciary for whatever happens until then. I am sorry I am not about to break that promise. Just waiting now for the Supreme Court to give us the green light to start our hearing, after which the judgement (comes); then I will, as I said in that piece of written statement I passed to the press, get together with those of us who are in the ANPP, my party, that gave me the ticket to participate as a candidate in the presidential election of 2007, and then we will talk to the press. Your Excellency, one thing some analysts have said about you is that try as you could, it may be impossible for somebody like you to be the president of this country, because you do not 'belong'. Let us tell you what we mean by that: you don't belong to the group that believes that you need to get to that level by other means, except through democratic means, as the cabal that calls the shots and determines who gets what. You don't belong because you are too rigid and don't want to play ball, if you know what we mean? Do you think so? Well, what you said is so topical, because those that come to me say this is my Achilles heel; that I don't have money and I don't seem to be interested in making money. I was a governor in a place that is now constituting six states; I was in petroleum (ministry); for three and a quarter years, I was a Head of State; I was chairman of PTF for about five years where at one stage we had more than N53 billion of that time in the bank deposit; yet I couldn't see where I have money. Well, I think every person has his principle or his weaknesses. I don't want to have anything that I cannot account for. I have accepted that weakness. If that will stop me from being the president of Nigeria, all well and good. I am not giving in anything; I am sticking to what I believe in. The logical translation of that is that what you envisaged for this country may never come to pass? No! Not necessarily. God is all powerful; He brings His things from where no being has ever thought about. There could be somebody among your corrupt persons who - like Bill Gates who after making all the money, he abandoned it and came out looking after for the poor - will make so much money that he will decide to buy himself the presidency and then decide to go and put his case with the poor, may be at the end of his career. May be it will come through that way. Who knows? Just like Abraham Lincoln tried the United States presidency on several occasions before he eventually got it, are you considering continuing trying? Well, if you are going very far to Abraham Lincoln, I understand the president of Senegal is an octogenarian (more than 80 years). I think, he lost count of how many times he tried to become the president of Senegal and then in the end he got it. What I am sure about or what I know and what I believe is that I will remain in partisan politics. As I said, like the Soviet Union experience, which I kept on repeating in most of the interviews, if in 1991 an empire in the 20th century collapsed without a single shot being fired, simply because the centre became so inefficient against its opposite - the multi-party democratic system; it just collapsed and people left with the tanks, the missiles, the nuclear sites and everybody dashed home, so to speak - and out of that now already, about 17 republics have sprung up. It was from the day I became a democrat; that multi-party democratic system is the best form of governance. But the present Nigerian elite, political elite, the way they wanted to do it, are toeing the line of ineptitude; they are toeing the line of indiscipline; they are toeing the line of corruption; they are toeing the line of inefficiency. They are not walking out through the tested ways. You talk of Lincoln, you talk of Churchill, you talk of Chairman Mao, you talk of even the Bulshevik Revolution. You find out those founding fathers made so much sacrifice; physical and material discipline; they denied themselves comfort of any form to build their nations. You can't do it in Nigeria. Everybody wants to be comfortable immediately at the expense of the poor and the weak, instead of making sacrifice to bring out the poor and the weak. Talking about our democracy sir, what we are noticing now is that Nigeria is gradually moving towards a one-party state the way the PDP, particularly, is conducting the affairs of this country. How do we save the country from this dangerous trend? Or don't you believe that we are going towards that road? There are three things that we've got. These are indiscipline, corruption and incompetence. Everybody wants to move to the winning side, no matter how, so that he can get the slice of the national cake. People laugh about it without realising that they are ruining their country. The best form to reform this country is to insist on good educational system to work; because when people are well educated, there is a level of nonsense they will not accept from anybody. But when you leave people in ignorance, you make them susceptible to all sorts of anti-social reactions; you know, societal ills. If you are from different ethnic groups, you don't even think about them or look after them. If you belong to different religious groups, you don't even think of them not to talk of looking after them. But when people are educated, they will look after themselves. Allowing education to collapse in Nigeria is another pointer that the Nigerian elite is not serious about their country. But when they don't have a country, I don't know what will be the use of their own education or their educated children. Look at the number of factories closed now, because there is no power. Then how can people earn their living to send their children to school, or even basically to eat? We are not serious about this country. The Nigerian elite are not serious about this country. One of the things you took very seriously as the Head of State was the issue of corruption. We still recall that certain politicians were sent to jail for so many years then, and that was when we heard this concurrent jail terms terminology, which was very popular then; that seemed not to solve the problem. The fear you tried to instil in politicians seems to have evaporated. That brings us to the current probe going on in the National Assembly and the many scandals, as it were. First of all, how do you feel hearing these monumental scandals? Then, do you think probe is the answer, given your experience in government? What happened during the Murtala/Obasanjo regime - I told you I was in all the three councils of that government at one time or another. When I was doing a course in the United States War College in June 1979, I could recall I was asked, (and) I said, as I knew, there was nobody in the government that was found as being corrupt and allowed to walk away. For me, what happened during the Obasanjo political era of eight years was a shock that I don't think I will ever recover in my life. How could Obasanjo allow his chief law officer to accumulate so much resource - N17 billion proven - in only three years under his very nose? But he went ahead to handcuff three ministers. At least, they were handcuffed in front of Commonwealth leaders in Abuja, for Obasanjo to demonstrate to the world, not only to Nigeria, that he would not tolerate corruption. And what happened to those ministers? One of them unfortunately died and he was close to Obasanjo. And then look at what (Tafa) Balogun had done. When your chief law officer was on such a rampage of bribe collection for three years under him, I was most demoralised. Absolutely demoralised. You have mentioned ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo severally in the course of this interaction. Do you see him as really one of the problems this country has? Of course, he is a big problem. If God gave him the opportunity to rule this country for 11 years, and in his multi-party democratic system, messed up himself in eight years and ended up as virtually the worst leader of this country, I think there is no measure of failure more eloquent than this one. In this issue of corruption sir, there is one story woven around you, which we want you to either confirm right now or deny. There is this story that a construction company in Nigeria had a tradition of giving five per cent equity shares to any Head of State that comes into power; and that you were the only person that rejected that offer. We don't know whether it is true, somebody told us this. Well, let me tell you: in all the things I told you already, God allowed me to go through, in terms of leadership - militarily. Military, not only in terms of command and staff duty, per se, but in terms of executive political power as minister, as governor, as Head of State, as chairman of PTF (Petroleum Trust Fund), I couldn't recall anybody daring to come and discuss corruption with me. I am telling you this. I have been perfectly seen from then to now; nobody could dare approach me for a bribe. Nobody! All those were stories. But if I had made the mistake of compromising my integrity, there was no way I could hide it. People would have known it. Can you explain the controversy surrounding the N2.8 billion oil money when you were minister? advertisement Which one when I was a minister? It's just a lot of nonsense. I was not in the country; I was already in the United States War College. I was made to understand that it was a political move against the military government by a political party appointed to challenge (Shehu) Shagari as the president either by two-third or by whatever equation. And the best way to do it was to tell something that would upset Nigerians in no small way. Then N2.8 billion was missing. But we, Nigerians, are so dishonest we don't examine issues. They just go on popular feeling for whatever as real. But from what I could recall, the late governor of the Central Bank (of Nigeria), Clement Isong - I read it in the New Nigerian, when I was in the United States because I was getting copies when I was there - summoned enough courage to express doubts that such amount of money could get missing. How much was a barrel of oil in Nigeria then, and how much were we exporting? And how could N2.8 billion (get missing)? You divide, say, N15 per barrel by N2.8 billion and find out how many years production was stolen and without anybody feeling it in the country. It's just impossibility, and Shagari was absolutely right; because his government was right to put the late Ayo Irikefe, a Supreme Court justice, to have an open investigation. Just like a market place, go and bring your facts, and it ended up with people saying that they heard about it in the motor park or when they were driving in molue (bus) from point "A" to point "B". Now could responsible Nigerians believe that, when Nigerians were suffering or any country? No, even if they are not suffering, for them to be told that N2.8 billion of that time, of their money, had been stolen. But these days, people are being tried for stealing as much and everybody is going about his business, because of the elite; and you institutionalised theft of public funds. Let us come to the time you were the Head of State. Some people said and believed that your deputy then, the late General Tunde Idiagbon, was quite instrumental in the success of the government of that era. First of all, we would like to know what relationship you had with him. Was he actually in charge at that time? Then, the second part of it is that some people believe that if he were around in this country in 1985 when you were ousted, that coup couldn't have succeeded. Can we have your comment on this? Yes! My comment is that by any standard, Tunde was an intelligent military officer, and I enjoyed working with him and for allowing him to work, (for both of us) to be loyal to each other and to our country. This is all my comment. In other words, if he were alive today and you were president, you would have still appointed him into your government? If I will get a Tunde, I will definitely work with him because he was loyal, hardworking and a patriot. (In) our first military council meeting, we discovered Nigeria had enormous human and material resources, but we had a problem of indiscipline (on) each Nigerian nationhood, as Hausa/Fulani, as Igbo, as Yoruba or any tribe, because everybody has his own culture. If we could extend our cultural ethics to each other's culture, Nigeria would have been solid. And this is what the (citizens of) United States succeeded in doing to make themselves a great country. But the unfortunate thing was the difference in history. The United States is a collection of immigrants, disgruntled, some persecuted in their home country because of religious views, others for other reasons. They got together, eliminated the locals and sentenced them to reservations and even shot up all the aborigines and so on. And they found common ground, after civil war, in democracy. This is why you don't compromise on democracy. Some of their leaders that tried to tamper with democracy, like (Richard) Nixon, had the rough edge of the sword. In Nigeria, they still feel they are individual nationhood. So they can tolerate what is happening to the other brothers, which they will not tolerate themselves. I will give you a political example: in 2003, we believed there was a tacit agreement between the PDP, the AD ( Alliance for Democracy) and Obasanjo. The AD would not put up a presidential candidate. But the PDP and Obasanjo would allow AD to have the governors downward in each of the six South West geopolitical zones. The PDP and Obasanjo double-crossed AD. I flew in and saw one of the Yoruba leaders, on Wednesday, previous to the presidential election of the following Saturday. I said this is what happened according to our political calculations; would you now be prepared to vote for me as presidential candidate of the ANPP, because they have been double-crossed by your party? The person said he was a tribal leader but not a political leader. I chartered an aircraft. So I flew in to Enugu. I went and saw Dim (Odumegwu) Ojukwu. I said: Ojukwu, this is what happened. Dim looked at me straight in the face, and said: "General." I said: yes. He said: "I will not step down for you. But if there is a run-off, my supporters and I will vote for you." Which is the more honourable by your own calculations? In other words, what you are saying is that tribalism still has a place in Nigerian democracy? This is why I brought you the American example and that is why I brought the Nigerian example. That is why I said if the Nigerian elite, in their own pockets, whether Urhobo, Itsekiri, Ijaw, Hausa, Fulani, Kanuri, would extend their own ethnic qualities or culture to other immediate or even far away cultures, we would have been a stronger nation. Perhaps, eventually it would happen. Perhaps, you may not be accused of tribalism yourself. But there is something Nigerians can very much be uncomfortable with about you, and that is one stigma some people want to attach to you. They see you as too much tapering towards Islam. Some people even go to the extent of saying that if you became the president of this country, you're going to Islamise Nigeria. To what extent is this true? Eh, if that is stigma, as you put it, I welcome it. But it is the way Nigerians think that we should play politics. I virtually wrote every bishop in this country, and explained myself. If a people should identify a way of their religious practice, why not? And to the best of my knowledge, I explained it to them. As I am speaking now, I do not know a single non-Muslim that was taken before a sharia court and prosecuted in any part of the 12 Northern states that accepted sharia. I challenge you to make the investigation. So, what is the problem? I cannot refuse that I am a practising Muslim. But those who are practising religion, who bother to know about Islam, (know that) Islam believes in co-existence and it means peace. Islam made alliance with non-Muslims, even during the time of introduction of Islam by Prophet Mohammed (Pbh). So, what is all this cry in Nigeria about Buhari being a fundamentalist, those of us they are calling? Well, maybe they had their own people and their own country. If Buhari had been a Head of State, he might have been a better Head of State, especially with those resources he might have got down the education, the security, the infrastructure, and better for everybody, because Buhari would not compromise with personal integrity. And if I ever did, I would not move the line in my profession. From Platoon commander to General, from governor to minister to Head of State, somebody would have dug it out and exposed it so that Buhari's problem could have been rested. The major issue in the country now is the Niger Delta question. How would you have solved the problem, if you were in the position to do so? I am sure you know about it. You just want to find out whether I was serious about it or I have forgotten. When I made the declaration of my intention to seek my party's nomination in 2007, the Niger Delta was top of my priority, because security is the top of my priority. Unless people feel secured and can move about 24 hours a day and earn a legitimate living, then we are wasting our time. I said then the question of Niger Delta - I put it in writing; I gave it to the press - that I would get the whole stakeholders, the government, the militants, their leaders, locally, the oil operating companies to sit down and discuss, and then the government would take action on them. I said it. That is my position. But that is exactly what is going on now; they have called for a summit? (Cuts in) If they copy our manifesto, there is nothing I can do with them; I cannot sue them for plagiarism. There is the contention from the Niger Delta area that what is needed is not about conference culled from


HABA! NIGERIA POLICE FORCE WHAT A COLLUSION OF EVIL Guest writer I hereby draw the attention of the Inspector General of Police and the Police Service Commission to the unprofessional conduct of Ayobo Divisional Police Officer by name CSP Isijola, ACP Bolaji Area G Area Commander, AIG Zone 2 by name M.D Abubakar, and the Lagos State Commissioner of Police as regards to Ayobo land dispute. It is appalling that Nigeria Police Force have sold themselves to land grabbers and agents at the expense of the ethics of their profession. It is saddened to note that Nigeria Police who ought to be a custodian of truth, faithfulness per-excellence and protector of armless citizens have constituted themselves to enemies of the citizens and whipping tools in the hand of land agents and speculators who are parading themselves as lords over the Nigerian Police Force. But this is against the slogan of Nigeria Police Force which says police is your friend. Is there nothing like self defense in our legal dictionary? When a single man by name Al-Moroof Owonla A.K.A Kaka led teams of bandits on the 10th of July 2008 and invaded the whole Ayobo Land with about 30 commercial buses loaded with thugs, that were heavily armed with guns, cutlass, axe, charms and diverse of ammunitions, killing, maiming, looting and raping innocent girls in a day light under a phantom court judgment with several counter judgments, while others are still pending in court. The whole Ayobo communities were thrown into confusions it took the intervention of Rapid Response Squad from area G led by the area commander himself to save and rescue the entire communities from Kaka and his boys. The case was taken up by the Community Development Association and reported to Ayobo Police station under CSP Isijola DPO Ayobo Division the casualties and those that were caught by the community and the Police were taken to State CID Panti Yaba, Lagos for cross examination and with the mind that they will eventually be prosecuted in a court of competent jurisdiction. But it was rather unfortunate at the turn of events and the present scenario in Ayobo land that the same Police Force who rescued us from the bandits and thugs led by Kaka, the same Police Force who saw the killings and lootings, raping and destruction of lives and properties of innocent citizens has teamed up with land speculators to fight the masses and deprived them of their landed properties all in the name of blood money. It is imperative to note therefore that the same community who reported this ugly incident who are the complainants has become an accused overnight when money has exchanged hands. Haba! Nigeria Police Force what manner of friend is this? The questions then arise:  Has the law vested so much power on individual to take over or over run a whole community of about eleven villages by force when the case is still pending in court?  When has Nigeria Police force become a whipping tool in the hand of thugs parading themselves as land grabbers, speculators and agents?  What hope do we have in Nigerian Police Force that has become foes to the masses?  What is the fate of the masses in this country called Nigeria where godfatherism thrives at the detriment of the masses?  When Nigerian Police Force has become an instrument in the hand of the criminals to unleash hardship on the people where do we run to?  When Nigeria Police Force who ought to be an umpire become a competitor all in the name of money what becomes the hope of the masses?  What manner of a nation is this where money determine the degree of innocent and the guilty where do we run to for succour?  What hope do we have in a nation where a first class Oba was arrested and forced to sign an undertaking that he was an accused at the seat of power what becomes the fate of ordinary citizens?  What manner of a nation is this where the Police and common criminals are friends to deprive the innocent citizens of their properties?  When the law enforcement agencies turned a blind eye to crimes linked to influential politicians or powerful godfathers even where ample evidence of criminal wrongdoings can be fully established where do we go to enforce justice? One might wonder, why all these questions? The answer is not far fetched a fact finding delegation was sent to Ayobo land for on the spot assessment both at the Zone 2 and Abuja respectively the community took them round and saw things by themselves. The widows and the children of the people killed were interviewed the video coverage as regards to wanton destructions of lives and properties by Kaka and his team of criminals were seen. Yet the outcome is that the masses are guilty and should you report Kaka boys to DPO Ayobo Division for destroying your properties you will find yourself in the cell. Let CSP Isijola DPO Ayobo division, M.D Abubakar, AIG Zone 2, ACP Bolaji Area Commander, Lagos State Commissioner of Police and others who are turning deaf ears to the crying of the masses realize that if we don’t have money to throw about like Princess Momoh the iron woman behind Kaka and Bello we have God. Methinks rule of law is all about what is right, what is pure, what is honest, what is virtuous, what is noble and what is authentic. Egalitarian society is not ugly, neither is it wicked nor crooked. Egalitarianism is not deceptive and vindictive, but reverse is the case in Nigeria. Moreover, I wish to appeal to the new Inspector General of Police most especially Police Service Commission to come to our aids in Ayobo land and save us from Kaka and his boys in Nigeria Police Force. Because we cannot sleep with our two eyes closed, we cannot put one block on the other without destroying it despite the fact that several counter judgments has been delivered and some are still pending in court of competent jurisdictions. Justice demands that you can only claim a certain portion of land and not an entire community of about eleven villages. To worsen the situation the Police who are to provide safety for the masses have become haven for land speculators and land agents all in the name of money. This collusion of Nigeria Police Force and criminals is devilish, however we live in a country where the law is only meant to suppress the masses, haven forgotten that there is always a limit to human endurance. But the moment a goat is pushed to the wall is bound to fight back, thus says the crying of the masses. From Pastor John 'T. Awe Ayobo Resident 08033190351

29 Million Women Blind Globally

29 Million Women Blind Globally As the world celebrate World Sight Day , 29.25 million women have been reported blind globally according to statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO). “Out of the purported 45 million blind people worldwide, women account for about 65 per cent, which is 29.25 million,” Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris said, at a news conference to mark the Day, adding that another 269 million people were visually impaired, while 85 per cent of these people suffers from avoidable blindness that could either be prevented, or treated and cured. The Commissioner explained that a further breakdown of the world blindness statistics shows that about 2/3 or 65 per cent of the people are women, most of whom are the elderly who live in developing countries and are more often than not ignorant of the avoidable problems that lead to their getting blind. The theme of this year’s World Sight Day is Gender and Sight-Equal Access to Care. The theme evolved as a result of the fact that more women are blind worldwide and are prone to blindness due to ignorance. “Most of these women are blind from correctable cataract blindness. Cost ordinarily is a significant primary barrier to the use of cataract surgical services. As a result, Lagos State is addressing this issue by offering the elderly free cataract surgical services in our hospitals. Blindness due to cataract alone can be reduced by 11 per cent if women were to receive cataract surgery at the same rate as men. “As the world marks the World Sight Day, the need for all stakeholders to reach-out to women and girls in our communities with a view to counselling families to take informed decisions and ensure that the needs of women and girls are not neglected for cultural and economic reasons has been stressed. “Above all, adopting approaches to improve the use of eye care centres by women and girls will not only reduce gender inequity, as a millennium development goal in blindness and vision loss, but will also have a significant benefit to the family, to the community and to the society at large. “Go out there and help women overcome blindness. Men should gear up towards removing the barriers that have been preventing women from accessing eye care centres in form of advice, encouragement, financial support among other, while women on their part should endeavour to seek information about eye care services in order to know what to do about avoidable eye problems that usually lead to blindness. Idris also disclosed that 2.8 million people are blind in the South-West zone of the country, adding that in Lagos State, the government had put machinery in motion to curtail the rate at which people are going blind. “The state government’s commitment towards its community outreach programme involves free eye screening, free glasses, free medications and free surgeries. To date, over 235,500 people have benefited from the programme, which has covered all the local government and local council development areas in the state,” he added. According to the commissioner, of the 235,500 people who had benefited from the programme, 25,541 were screened at the primary eye care units, 99,000 were given free eye glasses, while 15,270 people had free eye surgeries done to restore their vision. He disclosed that all functional Primary Health Centres in the state have primary eye care facilities for vision screening, eye health education, free treatment for conjunctivitis and a referral system to secondary eye units concerning the particular catchments area. “In the same vein, seven of our general hospitals have been equipped to investigate and manage cataract and glaucoma, while dedicated Eye Institute at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital is rendering the necessary tertiary eye care services needed in the state. All the primary eye care units have their eye care kits, the secondary units have the necessary equipment, and the tertiary centre will be able to carry out more complex surgical operations that cannot be handled by other levels of the eye care units,” Dr. Idris noted.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Text of ERC press Breifing in Lagos

Free, quality education is a right, not privilege 22 September 2009 Being the text of a press conference addressed by the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 at International Press Centre (IPC) House 11, Dideolu Estate, behind Sweet Sensation, Ogba Lagos. Ladies and Gentlemen, AS THE NATION CELEBRATES 49 YEARS OF MASS POVERTY, MISERY, DEATH OF PUBLIC EDUCATION, JOBLESSNESS AND UNDERDEVELOPMENT ON OCTOBER 1ST, 2009 We Declare October 1st as a Day of Nationwide Protests and Demonstrations We of the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) address you today on salient issues in the Country as the corrupt Yar’ Adua anti-poor government prepares to launch into an orgy of fanfare on October 1st 2009 in celebration of Nigeria’s 49 years of independence. As usual, it will be an occasion for the anti-poor Yar’Adua government - a government that cannot point to any achievement since it came to power in 2007 – to assure traumatized Nigerian working people, students and youth of the so-called magical formulas of its 7-pointless agenda. It is therefore bound to be a celebrative mockery of the consistent impoverishment of the masses and the failure of government in all aspects of life including provision of education, healthcare, electricity, shelter, security etc since 1960 despite the abundant revenues from crude oil sale within the same period. Today Tuesday September 22, 2009 marks the third month since public Universities have been shut down due to Federal government refusal to seek quick resolution to the indefinite strike actions embarked upon by ASUU, SSANU, NASU and NAAT to press home their demands for adequate funding of education, adequate remunerations, genuine autonomy, an acceptable retirement age and better condition of service. As a result of government undue belligerence and insensitivity, students have been forced to stay at home since then. Three months into the strike, there is no hope of resolution in sight. Against the above background, we dare to ask: what have we achieved since independence to justify any celebration of independence? What does a Nation with no electricity, education, health care, pipe borne water and with a perpetually hungry, poor, jobless and homeless population celebrate in its independence? What does a Nation whose leaders travel abroad to treat minor ailments such as headache and send their children to private schools abroad celebrate? The real motivation for the struggle for independence in Nigeria as in Africa and other neo-colonial countries was the need to break free from imperialist domination by establishing self-government to mobilize the resources of the country to develop infrastructures, eradicate mass literacy through education funding and create conditions for general wellbeing of the citizens and economic prosperity. 49 years down the road, none of these glorious reasons why our forbears fought for independence have being achieved even though Nigeria has ten times the economic wealth to do so today. Even some of the achievements of the 50s and 60s like improved education, healthcare delivery, housing and agriculture have been destroyed by the rapacious neo-liberal capitalist ruling class that have held on to power since then. Today, Nigeria is a classical example of a failed state. If we dare look back, we will realize that given the enormous resources that Nigeria gets from crude oil today and the sordid picture of mass poverty and destitution that prevails at the same time, indeed Nigeria was better off 49 years ago. 49 years down the road, 80% of Nigerians are poor, about the same amount of Nigerians especially graduates are jobless, less than 30% of the population have conducive shelter, many companies are folding up in Nigeria leading to a colossal loss of jobs, health sector has collapsed with Nigerians dying like flies from ailments that could be treated in Nigerian hospitals in the 60s while health and education sectors have both collapsed due to poor funding. And when it comes to education, our hearts bleed. 49 years ago, thousands of students irrespective of the size of their pockets had access to education up to tertiary level due to the free education policies of government then. 30 years ago, students had subsidized meals of Chicken, Coffee and tea at University Cafeteria whose services equaled the best restaurant in town. Hostel accommodation was conducive with pillow cases, mattresses, blankets given free. No Nigerian student today has received anything free, not even a free cube of sugar from government. Laundry and cooking which have become the daily chores of Nigerian students today was unheard-off in those days as it was the responsibility of the University management. The condition of learning too was far better without overcrowding in classrooms and with provision of standard laboratories and libraries and a well remunerated staff. Today, the opposite is the case. It is hard for us to reel out the entire list of hardships Nigerian students go through in the education sector today. The best to say is that there is no more public education in Nigeria. Successive government education policies has been privatization, commercialization and underfunding all of which have destroyed public education and turned it to the preserve of the rich few. Today, outrageous fees are being charged in primary, secondary and tertiary schools beyond the means of poor working class parents. No Nigerian public University charge less than N5, 000 while some charge as high as N250, 000 in a country where National Minimum Wage is a paltry N7, 500. Yet despite all these charges, infrastructures like libraries, laboratories, class rooms and other basic amenities are missing or decrepit in all the schools in Nigeria while working condition and remunerations of staff is alarmingly poor. This is why quality of graduates has fallen with harmful effect on human capacity and of course economic development. This is why no Nigerian University rank in the first 50 in Africa and 6000 in the world. This is also the basis for the strike actions embarked upon by ASUU, SSANU, NASU, NAAT and NUT. Indeed, 49 years of Nigeria’s independence is an unbroken thread of mass misery, impoverishment and poverty for the working masses, students and youths. While since 1960, Nigeria has generated wealth from crude oil sale alone capable of providing free and quality education from primary to University, these resources have only enriched politicians, multinational companies and top bank executives. The jumbo allowances and other privileges being received by political office holders in the face of mass poverty prevalent among over 80% of the population clearly demonstrate the inequality in Nigeria as well as the impossibility of Nigerian students and youths reconciling ourselves with this unjust economic system. While many analysts have identified bad leadership as the bane of Nigeria’s development, we in the ERC believes that Nigeria’s politico-economic woes has much do with the unjust capitalist economic system being practiced by the Nigerian ruling class. It is the capitalist economic arrangement wherein collectively generated wealth are appropriated by a few people through the policies of privatization, deregulation, commercialization that is responsible for the situation in which over 80% of Nigerians are chronically poor while only a few are rich. OUR CALLS: Against the above background, we regard the Independence Day celebration festivities as a cynical celebration of the poverty and destitution which the mass of people have been consigned to on account of government anti-poor policies. We reject the neo-liberal economic policies of deregulation, privatization and commercialization of the Yar’ Adua government as anti-poor and pro-rich. We declare Yar’ Adua’s 7-point agenda as 7-pointless agenda meant to deepen poverty and misery of the Nigerian working masses, youths and students. We therefore pass a vote of no confidence on the Yar’ Adua government. We believe that free education, free health care, full employment, poverty eradication, provision of decent shelter for all are possible if Nigeria’s resources are well managed by the working people themselves unlike the current situation where the public treasury is looted by the ruling class. We also believe that with a radically different government and pro-poor economic system, it is possible to improve living standards and lift the masses out of the poverty and destitution they have been consigned to since the past 49 years or more. We believe a government that does not care for public education has no reason to remain in power a day longer. More than any other thing, government treatment of the demands of the striking unions shows that the issue of education funding can only be settled in a revolutionary manner. We therefore call for the revolutionary overthrow of the corrupt and anti-poor Yar’ Adua capitalist government and the formation of a workers and poor people’s government that will, through public ownership of the commanding heights of the economy under democratic workers control, use our collective resources to provide free education, health care etc. We urge labour leaders to hasten the process of the overthrow of this corrupt government by building a mass based, working people’s political party that can form a government committed to peoples’ welfare. Against Federal government refusal to meet the demands of the striking unions as well as the death of public education, we regard the Independence Day celebration as a shameless display of a focus less, visionless and failed government. Only equally focus less, visionless and treacherous people especially those who benefit from the current rot will participate in these celebrations with the government. We in the ERC therefore call on all Nigerian students, youths, workers and most especially labour leaders to shun government independence day celebration as a sign of public rejection of the government anti-poor policies of the past 49 years and particularly as a vote of no confidence on the Yar’ Adua government. Instead, we declare a day of nationwide mass action and demonstration in protest against government refusal to sign agreement with ASUU, SSANU, NASU and NAAT, in protest against the chronic underfunding of education, in protest against the N180, 000 which federal government is prepared to impose on Nigerian students, in protest against victimization of students and staff activists and the proscription of students’ unions across the country, in protest against the jumbo salaries and allowances being awarded to politician while the mass of workers and poor people exist on a paltry N7, 500 national minimum wage, in protest against inequality in Nigeria where over 80% are poor in spite of the huge revenues from crude oil sales, in protest against all government neo-liberal policies of deregulation of the oil sector, privatization and commercialization all of which have deepened the misery of the mass of working people, students and youths. We are organizing the nationwide mass actions in conjunction with Coalition of Radical Students Unions (CORASU), Committee of Students’ Union Presidents (COSUP), some progressive NANS leaders, National Association of Nigerian Female Students (NANFS), Nigerian Youths in Motion (NYM) as well as other progressive students unions and groups. We call on all Nigerian students and youths to gather for mass procession in Lagos and Benin on Thursday 1st October 2009 by 8am at Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Secretariat, 29 Olajuwon Street, Yaba and the front gate of the University of Benin respectively for protest actions. We call on Nigerian students and youths to also organize similar actions every where they can. As we have pointed out earlier, this protest is a vote of no confidence on the Yar’ Adua government and a demonstration of the fact that we want an immediate end to Yar’ Adua’s ignoble reign. However, we wish to clearly state that these nationwide protest on October 1st is a prelude to a protest march to the National Assembly in Abuja once the Assembly resumes from recess. Previously, the ERC had called for a protest to the National Assembly on September 28 2009 but due to the refusal of the Assembly to resume from recess possibly for the fear of Nigerian students, we have decided to wait patiently until resumption is announced. If they so choose, the Assembly can decide to delay its resumption till next year but we wish to assure all the lawmakers who are complicit with the Yar’ Adua government in refusing to sign agreements with the striking unions thus keeping Nigerian students at home that whenever they resume, Nigerians students will be at their front gate. Conclusively, we must also warn the Federal government that nothing it does can stop us from continuing the fight for public education. As far as we are concerned, the struggle for free and quality education is a life and death battle. Yet our methods of struggle remains mass actions including protests and demonstrations. We say this in reaction to the latest attempt by the Federal government to criminalize our struggle by the faked kidnap attempt of the Education Minister Sam Egwu and Minister of Labour and Productivity Prince Adetokunbo Kayode allegedly carried out by 3 undergraduates in order to compel government to resolve the on-going strike. Despite the attempt to use the kidnap case to garner sympathy, we in the ERC in keeping with Late Chief Gani Fawehinmi’s death wish call for the immediate removal of Sam Egwu for gross incompetence demonstrated in his poor handling of the on-going strike. We will not dwell on the easily deducible facts that the kidnap if, it was ever attempted, was not induced by any political motive nor one as honourable as resolving the ongoing strike but by cold financial calculations of demanding ransom. As far as we are concerned, it is the opulent lifestyle of corrupt Ministers like Sam Egwu and Adetokunbo Kayode who habitually flaunt stolen wealth in the face of mass poverty that is responsible for this and other kidnaps that have happened. But the Federal government wants to use this to blackmail the striking unions and Nigerian students. We in the ERC do not believe in kidnap, bombings, assassinations or any other form of individual terrorism as a method of struggle. We believe only in mass actions, protests and demonstrations and this is the method of struggle that will soon consign the Nigerian exploitative capitalist ruling class to the dustbin of history. DEMANDS: (1) Federal government must sign and implement all agreements reached with ASUU, SSANU, NASU and NAAT as condition precedent for academic activities to resume. (2) No to proposed N180, 000 fee increment. For the cancellation of all fees including the exorbitant law school fees. (3) For the Federal government to Pay N40, 000 Cost of Studying Allowance (COSA) to all Nigerian students in tertiary institutions to offset the cost of textbooks, accommodation, feeding, upkeep, transport etc. (4) Funding of education up to 26% of budget as recommended by UNESCO. (5) Provision of free, functional and compulsory education at all levels. (6) Democratization of the education sector with the involvement of representatives of staff and students unions in all decision making organs of the education sector and running of schools. (7) No to arbitrariness. We call on the Lagos State Government to halt the imposition of Prof. Lateef Hussain as Vice Chancellor on LASU staff and students. (8) Recall of all victimized students/staff activists and restoration of all banned unions. (9) Public ownership of the commanding heights of the economy under the democratic control and management of the working masses. Thank you for Reading

Students Pass Vote of No Confidence on Yar Adua

Ayokunle Oloye Student Groups in Nigeria have passed a vote of no confidence on president Umaru Yar’Adua led administration for failing to resolve the crisis rocking the education sector. The student group lead by Education right Campaign ERC, include Coalition of Radical Students Unions CORASU, Committee of Students’ union President COSUP among others said the seven point agenda is a seven pointless agenda meant to deepen poverty and misery of the Nigerian working masses, youth and students. The student however declare October first a day of national mass action and demonstration protest against federal government refusal to sign agreement with university lecturers under ASSU. ERC national coordinator Hassan Taiwo Soweto said “against federal government refusal to meet the demands of the striking unions as well as the death of public education, we regard the Independence Day celebration as a shameless display of a focus less, visionless and failed government”. Soweto however call on Nigerian students, youths, workers labour leaders to shun government independence day celebration as a sign of public rejection of the government anti-poor policy of the past 49 years and particularly as a vote of no confidence on the Yar’Adua government. The protest which will hold in Lagos and Benin , Soweto called on Nigerian students and youths to also organize similar action every were they can. The groups also want the federal government to pay every student 40,000 as cost of studying allowance in tertiary institution . While the distant themselves from the recent plan to kidnap the minister of Education Dr Sam Egwu and his Labour counterpart Prince Adetokunbo Ademola as part of struggle of freedom of the education section although the group called for immediate removal of the ministers. The group however said “we don’t believe in kidnap, bombings, assassination or any form of individual terrorism as a method of struggle in keeping with Late Chief Gani Fawehinmi’s death wish call for the immediate removal of Sam Egwu for gross incompetence demonstrated in his poor handling of the on-going strike. We will not dwell on the easily deducible facts that the kidnap if, it was ever attempted, was not induced by any political motive nor one as honourable as resolving the ongoing strike but by cold financial calculations of demanding ransom. As far as we are concerned, it is the opulent lifestyle of corrupt Ministers like Sam Egwu and Adetokunbo Kayode who habitually flaunt stolen wealth in the face of mass poverty that is responsible for this and other kidnaps that have happened. But the Federal government wants to use this to blackmail the striking unions and Nigerian students. we only believe in mass action, peaceful protest and demonstrations and this is the method of struggle that will soon consign the Nigerian exploitive capitalist ruling class to the dustbin of history”

Friday, September 11, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009



The strike that cripples our University has been view as one of the sabotage on the education sector from this administration. Although many students are counting their lost to the unending plight of their striking lecturers.

Even though as many of our graduates are half-baked due to the poor system in our 187 university across the country, ASUU strike should be another means of self baking in our set career.

Yes our 300 level student of Electrical Engineering has been counting days, doing nothing, perhaps, they should have been more interested in learning some local electrical techniques in a nearby electrical technicians shop, or an electrical firm, where he can earn little or nothing, but to gather experience.

The era of student learning trade have disappear, due to over civilization. A student in one of our striking institution recently told me of how he has been busy doing nothing daily, “ I cant really explain how I spend my time this days”, he lamented to me during our discussion.

Recently, a top Government official told me of how to build C.V in ones career, which many Nigerian youths lack, she disclosed that she gained experience outside the school environment, which really counts in C.V development.

Just last week, a 200 level student of Food Technology, told me of how he got a job in a Fast Food company across the country, but turn down the offer due to poor salary, Nigerian student should see the money as a motivator, and not As a Right.

Learning outside the school environment should be encouraged among our youths, mostly at this period, the leaders of school union have unjustly crippled our universities, due to the fact that they have failed to champion the cause of the students who elected them into the position they have are.

This opportunity may never surface for the great Nigerian students, if the Federal Government answers the plight of our schools lecturers; what we need is for the government to change the face of the educational system of our great nation Nigeria

Ile Lo Lo Tatrara

Good Bye Sir I thank you for giving me the chance to SHAKE YOU during a press conference in Antony Village Lagos, you indeed loved by Nigerians including IBB, OBJ, Umaru and other big thieves in our country God be with your Family Baba Gani you came,you saw, you make changes Thank Once again Nigerians Love You. Erin Wo, Gani is gone President Nigeria masses is no more, Our Hope is blinking Gani O Di Igba ose, We love you but God Love you Most

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


NO SECURITY YET IN OGUN ASSEMBLY - Deputy Speaker Remmy Hassan As the legislative and the executive of Ogun State crisis still linger, the security in the state has been described as a none satisfactory one by the Deputy Speaker of the state house of the assembly in an interview recently with some journalist he speak on the crisis rocking the state PDP, LEADERSHIP Ayodele Samuel wrote. Q: How would you assess the legislatives function for the past 2 years most especially during the crisis period? A: legislature is quit an intriguing exercise and I will say Ogun State parliament is not in any way different from the usual intrigues that goes with public legislatives. The only different is the way ours is done for some time now and that has made some level of focus from the media, populace and the entire world to beam their satilight on us and that has actually stood us up too at all time on the show so far to me and the majority of my colleague. Q: How do the legislators in the state then conduct their legislative assignment? A: Our style is not different from what our constitution has said so far but there is illegality committed in an issue but we have settled that by the technical committee. Section 39 sub-section 1b 3 of the local government law specifically state that after the suspension of the chairman, vice or even the council, the commission of enquiry should be set up. It is that commission of enquiry that will determine how far the suspended persons can either be invited or excuse for the offences that were alleged initially. If they have been found not guilty, that section of the law said they should be re-instate and where they have been found guilty, the governor has the right to pronounce another three months suspension at this stage, it is now the caretaker committee that can be in charge while the house of Assembly is notified of the resolution to call for another election but in this case as soon as the suspension has been pronounced, no commission of enquiry was put in place and a caretaker committee was set up, that is an illegality by all standard because whatever is against the law is illegal and that is why we took the bull by the horn in the house to say get it right now or we look at other options available to us to ensure that it is gotten right at all cost so, the house took that decision via a resolution meanwhile, I should let you know that resolution in broad-spectrum may be advisory if you look at it but where it has to do with the matters of law, they may have advisory on the surface but there is element of compulsory in it because failure to obey the law, you are opening another window of constitutional process that a point in time, the house may have no other option than to proceed with every available constitutional option to ensure that things are done properly. Q: The Executive has said the legislatures are painting them black, what can you say about? A: When you talk about painting people black, there is an extent to which I will disagree with you because there is freedom of speech, people can say what they like or want but there is also limitation to such freedom where the law does not permit you to commit libel or slander and to that extend if there is anything that has been said concerning the house that is not right the house will not hesitate to take up an action in the law court. There is nothing we have said about the executive that we cannot stand by someone has also gone to court to challenge us and we still hold on to such thing because it is the truth and is always constant. I was telling one of my friend on facebook one day that if what you are saying is true even if you are called upon years after to repeat it you don’t have to remember what you said then because you will still say the truth and it will not in any way diver from what you have said earlier so on the strength of that I will not in any way subscribe to the of anybody painting anybody black but where there are issues that bother us on getting things right, if that amount to someone alleging that they ‘ve been painted black then is quite unfortunate but like I said, everything that we are standing for is about legality, is about constitutionality, is about due process, is about getting right. Q: What is the security of the member of the house of the Assembly like now? A: It was not too satisfactory but in the last six weeks I must confess there has been a great improvement because we can now see some level of commitment from the security agencies, state security service, the Nigerian police, even other security agency like CID, the NSA or what have you, there has been a great improvement but it can always be better so we still hope that it get better than it is now because security challenges are not put to test until there have been a reach of it, that is when you can really access how much of readiness the security arrangement is. If it has not been tested you cannot confidently say it can stand the test of time but I hope that even if any bridge comes I believe that the respective security agencies will take the necessary action. Q: What can you say about the case in court with the Executive A: When you are drag to court, the matter is before the court there is a limit to how you are allowed to speak on it but for every litigation that has been instituted by the state government we have representation in the court and they are arguing it out and at the end of the day, it is the judiciary that has the right to interpret the law and will state the right position of the law. We are not losing sleep over any of these cases because we are acting within the boundary of the law. Q: So how is the cordial relationship between the legislatives and the party? A: Unfortunately some of our leaders believed that they just must pleased somebody and so even when they see what is right they can’t take a stand to say this is where we are, and to that extend the party has not particularly achieved much in the area of reconciliation because the Yoruba has a proverb that said a child complained of hunger and you put food on the table and you said eat then you raised a big stick waiting for the child to bend down and eat so that you can beat the child with the stick, of course when the child see all of those scenario he is not going to readily go for that food because is more like a trap that you are setting for him, that is the scenario here but that is not withstanding, the national working committee of the party has tried so much and I believe they ‘ve made quite a lot of progress, we are just waiting for them to take the decisive action on some off the complains that is before them. I guess the Ekiti scenario make them not to really concentrate much on the Ogun issue but now that Ekiti is over I believe the matter of Ogun state will be revisited and I trust eminent Nigerian who are occupying positions in our National issue committee, they will do justice to this and put all of this unfortunate scenario behind us. Every challenge in the life of man is testimony so we believe this is a state, it will come and it has come already, definitely it will be put behind us some day. Q: Six years of PDP government in Ogun state, how will you describe this? A: So far not bad but it can be better, not bad because whatever we called success in the first tenure is almost been rubbished by the scenario we have found ourselves now and there has to be some element of consolidation to guarantee that we really can make all of what we called the success of the yester-years that can stand the test of time. It takes one day to destroy the success of 100 years and getting to the top may be certainly a task but it is even more tasking and more difficult to remain on top than to get there and so we manage to get to the top but somehow we are getting challenges by the task to remained there and success without successor whether you believe it or not is failure and to that extend I will hold all stakeholders in this government to do everything humanly possible to guarantee that we don’t rubbish all of the success that we have had in the past, somehow I think we are biting more than we can chew and we are even struggling to do more than we can struggle but not withstanding is a call for us to re-assess ourselves so that we will not make a mess of whatever we call success hitherto. Q: Do you think the scorch between the state government and his legislatives is not farfetched from the 2011 governanitorial election? A: A lot of people ascribed it to 2011 and at the same time a lot of people also ascribed it to positioning for political offices and what have you but for me as a person and the speaker of the house of assembly of Ogun State that I know, I don’t think that forms any of the reasons behind our action, it is not unlikely that those who are scheming for the 2011 election may in the course of this struggle key into the whole thing so that they can get their own agenda driven home, that is the business of those who have taken that option but for us in this house I don’t think that is the reason why we are agitating because agitation is part of legislation, legislators are natural agitators and where we sees that things are not going right the way they should, we will speak out so if those who are fixed government, those who are propagandist, those who are position and office seekers are trying to position themselves for 2011 by using the present administration of the house of the assembly as the vehicle to drive home their agenda it quit unfortunate but for us, we are doing what we think and believe is right and we will continue to do all of this until the situation gets better and we can beat our chest and say good, we ‘ve found it at last.

Ogun Blood Oath

Mr. Nigeria Details of OGUN BLOOD OATH Who Say WHAT OGD Releases THE PLOT AGAINST OGUN STATE: FINALLY THE TRUTH IS BEGINNING TO EMERGE Not a few people have become confounded about the seemingly intractable political crisis in Ogun State especially since the emergence of Hon Tunji Egbetokun as the Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly. Hon Egbetokun is the leader of the G15 of lawmakers of which Hon. Wale Alausa is a key member. The chicken came home to roost a few days ago when a national daily, the National Compass published the picture of Hon. Alausa indicating that it was taken at a shrine in Ijebu Igbo while a blood oath was being administered on the member of the House of Assembly. As the State and the nation awaited a denial or confirmation of the publication, what has emerged from Hon. Alausa are series of lies, outright falsehood and brazen inconsistencies. The litany of inconsistencies 1. Within hours of the story’s publication the first reaction of Alausa was done through proxies who maintained in posting on the Internet that the picture was fake and the face of the Hon. Alausa was superimposed on a naked body. 2. However in his own reaction as reported in PM News (the paper that has become the mouthpiece of the G15) of Monday 29 June 2009, Hon. Alausa was quoted by the paper to have maintained that the pictures were genuine. He however claimed that they were taken in 2007 inside Governor Daniel’s Sagamu home and its environs when he was forced to take an oath before he could get the PDP ticket to the State House of Assembly 3. On the same day the story changed when he spoke to the Punch which was reported on Tuesday June 30, 2009. Hon. Alausa told Punch that “the oath was taken in a shrine in Ijebu Ode”. He said further that the oath was done shortly after the 2007 primaries. 4. However on the same day when he spoke to the Tribune he said “the photograph was taken in Daniel’s toilet and bathroom on the Day Titi Oseni was impeached. And since the impeachment was done on May 15, 2008, it means that Hon. Alausa is claiming a new date for the macabre blood oath taking. 5 . The embattled lawmaker added a new dimension in the slant he gave to the Sun where he attempted to implicate the revered Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland , Oba Sikiru Adetona and other traditional rulers claiming they were all involved in the oath taking process. 5. At a news conference on Tuesday June 30, 2009, at a location in Lagos he further claimed that all local Government Chairmen and other political functionaries also took the secret oath. OUR POSITION 1. It is common knowledge that at the time Mrs. Titi Oseni was removed the Governor was out of the country and the time he saw the Awujale of Ijebuland was on the 16th of May at a reception for a former President of the country in Sagamu. It is also noteworthy that the Awujale of Ijebuland and the biological father of Hon Alausa, Chief Agboola Alausa have publicly denounced the claim of the lawmaker describing him as a pathological liar. 2. It has also been established by a scrutiny of the records of the House that Hon. Alausa was indeed present at the sitting of May 15 2008 and actually took part in the impeachment proceedings, contrary to his claim that he was not in the House on that day. The question for discerning minds is why have they now vowed to destroy the man who ostensibly administered the oath on them. Interestingly the G15 members had said at various fora and television interviews that they never took any secret oath. Again the Chairman of ALGON John Obafemi has on behalf of the other chairmen disclaimed the lawmaker’s allegation that all Local Government Council chairmen took any oath. From the foregoing, it is clear that given the level of outright falsehood and inconsistencies of Hon. Alausa and his co-travelers, the people of Ogun State and Nigerians at large can now decipher the truth and appreciate what our State has gone through in the last 12 months - lies of the vilest kind told by dishonourable people who are supposed to be honourable members of the House. For the avoidance of doubt Governor Gbenga Daniel has never and will never administer secret oath on anybody and will not get involved in any sordid acts that will bring our State into disrepute Wale Alusa Speaks AM NOT THE ONLY ONE Wale Alausa, a member of the Ogun State House of Assembly whose nude photographs while taking an oath were published in the papers has revealed that Governor Gbenga Daniel all the commissioners, local government chairmen and other political appointees in the state took traditional oath of allegiance to Daniel before they were appointed into his administration. Reacting to his nude photographs published by the Compass Newspapers owned by Gov. Daniel, Alausa described Daniel as a sodomist and a ritualist who has a shrine in his residence where those seeking appointment in his administration are made to perform ritual rites before they are appointed. The embittered lawmaker disclosed that Daniel introduced oath taking to politics in Ogun State, admitting that he was one of those forced to take the oath in a toilet in his Ijebu-Ode mansion in order to fly the PDP flag for the House of Assembly election. “The issue of oath taking is a traditional way of pledging allegiance between two people. The Otunba Gbenga Daniel-led administration introduced traditional oath taking to politics in Ogun State. “They have an existing structure for all of these. They have their own shrine. Before you get any political appointment, or contest any election, you must have sworn to an oath organised by Otunba Gbenga Daniel. “It happened in several locations, it happened in Ijebu-Ode, Sagamu, behind his house, it happened in Ososa. “As I am talking to you now, the current wave of oath taking is the one they are doing in Ijebu-Ode. The one they are doing now, they will give you Mazda 626 or Toyota Camry 2002 Model, they will write OGD Omo ilu on top of it, it’s there all over the place in Ogun state. “Most party chairmen at the ward level as we are speaking now have taken that oath and have collected these cars. It’s a pity that this is the way he wants to use it against us.” Alasua described Daniel further as a blackmailer who superimposed his photograph on a bush in order to realise his devilish agenda, adding that there can never be peace in Ogun State, until Daniel is checked. But reacting to the lawmaker’s allegations, the Ogun State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Kayode Samuel, described Alausa’s vituperations as a series of lies, outright falsehood and brazen inconsistencies. “It is clear that given the level of outright falsehood and inconsistencies of Hon. Alausa and his co-travellers, the people of Ogun State and Nigerians at large can now decipher the truth and appreciate what our state has gone through in the last 12 months – lies of the vilest kind told by dishonourable people who are supposed to be honourable members of the House.” How The DEAL was Seal... Oba involves OGUN OATH MESS: Prominent Oba Stuck dealAyodele Samuel, Lagos The G 15 lawmakers in the Ogun State House of Assembly has said a prominent traditional ruler in the state the oath taking for PDP members seeking political post in Daniel’s administration during the 2007 general election. The monarch was said to have personally met with the would-be appointees and instructed them to take an oath of loyalty to Daniel. Addressing journalists in Lagos late last night , the Group of 15 lawmakers, led by the Speaker , Honourable Tunji Egbetokun, described Daniel as a ritualist and a sodomist who will stop at nothing to destroy his perceived political enemies. He challenged him to publish other nude photographs of the lawmakers he promised to publish. Commenting on the photographs of the lawmaker published yesterday in the Nigerian Compass newspaper published by Governor Daniel, Egbetokun described it as wickedness and an attempt to blackmail the lawmakers to do his bidding. He said he once took an oath with Daniel and told him so in the palace of a prominent Oba in Ijebuland. According to him, Daniel denied it but that he reminded him of the event. He said he was not naked while taking the oath. He warned Daniel not to publish any fake photograph of him or manipulate the computers to show him taking oath, stressing that he would resist it. In his own disclosure, the man at the centre of the oath taking scandal, Wale Alausa said: “One thing I thank God for in all of these is the confidence of my colleagues which I betrayed has been restored by God himself because I do not want to be labelled an Omo Ale (bastard). Because, how can one explain Otunba Gbenga Daniel’s release of a photograph he took deceitfully? I know he has been angry because he expected I’ll return to the G-15 and begin passing details of our meeting to him. But I refused. The oath I took was to the effect that I will not be among those who will impeach him from office. It did not include spying on my colleagues. Part of the argument was that as an Ijebu, I should not allow the Egba to disgrace our son, Otunba Daniel. I agreed after that pressure from my dad, but it was a reluctant decision which I made as a dutiful Yoruba son to a father who has been everything to me.” The controversial oath-taking was attested to by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Mr. Remi Hazzan, who confirmed that Daniel asked him to see the prominent traditional ruler three times but he refused, adding that they would have used that to capture him. “They knew that some of us are children of God. I was not invited for such an oath, though the governor asked if I had seen the prominent Oba three times. He asked me three times if I had seen the Oba but he never said why the Oba was looking for me. I guess that was what they wanted me to take to capture me, but God scuttled the move,” the legislator representing Ijebu-Ode Constituency stated. Gov. Daniel’s newspaper, Nigerian Compass,had published naked pictures of one of the lawmakers, Mr. Wale Alausa, on its front page taking an oath at a shrine in Ijebu-Igbo, to be loyal to the group of 15 lawmakers who are opposed to Daniel’s style of administering the state. But responding to the allegations yesterday, Alausa admitted that the photographs published was his own but disagreed with the report in the newspaper. He said he was forced to take the oath of allegiance by Governor Daniel in 2007 and that he took the oath in a toilet in one of Daniel’s mansions in Ijebu-Ode. Alausa revealed that he was harassed, intimidated and forced to take the oath. “They put pressure on me through my father,” he added. A reliable source at the Ogun State’s Information Ministry at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, also said that Governor Daniel will also address the press tomorrow, 1 July, to state categorically his position on the matter.