Thursday, January 26, 2012

The New IG. A sexis and corrupt BIGOT.

Jos crisis panel recommends Police chief Abubakar for retirement

By Pam Ayuba
Published 17/02/2010
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The Justice Niki Tobi panel on the Jos 2001 crisis has recommended the retirement of Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Zone 5, Muhammed Abubakar.

Abubakar was Plateau State Commissioner of Police during the ciris.

The panel was constituted by former Governor Joshua Dariye to look into the September 7, 2001 crisis. Since it concluded its sitting, its report was not made public until yesterday.

In a White Paper released in Jos, the state capital yesterday, the panel suggested that Abubakar should be dismissed if he refuses to retire.

The panel said: "Religious fanatics should not be posted to head state police commands. The commission recommends that for his ignoble role during the September 2001 crisis which resulted in the loss of lives, the former Commissioner of Police, Plateau State Command, Alhaji M.D. Abubakar, be advised to retire from the Nigeria Police Force and in the event of his refusal to do so, he should be dismissed from the service."

It recommended that the Hausa/Fulani should be encouraged to discuss with other communities and "accept the ownership of Jos by the Ajizere, Anaguta and Berom".

"Anything short of that will not make for peace", the panel added.

It noted: "The non-implementation by government of the report of previous commissions of enquiries and in particular the report of the commission of enquiry into the riots of April 12, 1994 in Jos metropolis (the main features of which are very similar to the September 2001 civil disturbances) is a sure recipe for a repeat performance of such disturbances".

The government also released a White Paper on the Justice Aribiton Fibersima panel on the Jos 1994 crisis. The panel investigated the April 1994 Jos crisis.

Its report said: "There was strong and convincing evidence before the commission that: on April 11, 1994, just a day before the fateful day, Alhaji Yaya Aga Abubakar, the President of Jasawa Development Association, in the company of Alhaji Aminu Mato’s younger brother, Sanusi Mato, held a meeting at Masallaci Juma at Jos with the Jasawa community during which they resolved to carry out a demonstration the following day.

"So, Yaya Abubakar and Sanusi Mato were directly connected with riots. They were the leaders of the insurrection that brought disaster and shame to Jos metropolis, to Plateau State and to Nigeria, that brought death and destruction of lives and properties".

"A recurrent friction for many years between the Berom, Anaguta and Afizere on the one hand and the Hausa/Fulani tribe on the other hand is the remote cause of the riots. Each part of lays claim to Jos."

The report urged the government "to spread its intelligence gathering network far and wide to cover all individuals and organisations (such as religious, cultural, and social organisations) that could be potentially dangerous to peace and order."

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Failure to Launch. Youth Activism In Nigeria And The Twitter Warriors

Nigeria: Activist Mobilises Youths to Abstain From Subsidy Protest
14 January 2012

Akwa Ibom youths have been urged to accept the removal of subsidy on petrol as the proceeds would bring multiplier effects and benefits to them.

Obong Emmanuel Mbong, a youth activist, gave the advice on Saturday in Eket while addressing youths on the strike called by the organised labour and civil society bodies on the removal of subsidy on fuel prices.

Mbong, who is Secretary of Eket-based Supreme Council of Youth Leaders, urged the youths to shun violence and await an amicable resolution of the dispute between labour and government that would end the strike.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that youth leaders in Eket, Southern Akwa Ibom, mobilised the youths in the area to enlighten them on the fuel subsidy debate and to discourage them from joining the strike.

Mbong said that when market forces were allowed to determine the price of petroleum products, the industry would attract private-sector investment in refineries in oil-bearing areas and provide jobs for youths in the area.

He said that youths were the major beneficiaries of the subsidy removal and urged them to resist any attempt to be used to foment trouble by the few who had exploited the nation while the subsidy lasted.

Mbong explained that the subsidy removal would provide more funds for the government for job creation, provision of infrastructure, including electricity and roads, as well as reduction of infant and maternal mortality.

He urged President Jonathan not to be deterred by opposition to government policies by those who wanted the subsidy regime to continue and enrich themselves to the detriment of the masses.

"Jonathan should deal decisively with the so-called cabal and interest groups who are against the policy, because they have been feeding fat on the subsidy regime for decades now," he said.

Mbong called on the leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress to call off the nationwide strike in the overall interest of Nigeria and the economy.

According to him, the country cannot afford an elongated strike now considering the security challenges facing the nation.

He, however, advised Jonathan to urgently implement the palliative measures to assuage the harsh effects of the sudden withdrawal of subsidy which, he said, had resulted in an increase in the prices of goods and services.

He also appealed to Nigerians to "show understanding and bear with the government as the pains experienced today is temporary".
Tagged: Business, Children, Labour, NGO, Nigeria, Petroleum, West Africa

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Subsidy: Labour’s premature t+ruce with govt

Written by Amiru Adamu Wednesday, 25 January 2012 05:00
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The removal of fuel subsidy will go down in the history of Nigeria, as one of the most unpopular policies ever imposed by a government on its people. Nigerians kicked against the policy from day 1of its proposal, to the first of January when it was imposed on unsuspecting Nigerians. The regrettable announcement made by the PPPRA triggered N65 to a whopping N146 per litre overnight. The impact of the subsidy removal was immediately felt, as many Nigerians who had travelled to their hometowns for the Christmas and new-year celebrations were stranded due to lack of enough transport fare or enough fuel money, for their “Tokunbo” cars. (The pro-subsidy officials called them exotic.)

As expected the Nigerian labour organisations, NLC/TUC, challenged the government, accusing it of breaching the agreements reached at their discussions over the removal of the subsidy. They therefore called on the government to revert to the old price or face a mass strike action. The government’s refusal to heed the call by the labour unions prompted the call and declaration of a nationwide strike and mass protests by the labour unions. Though fearful of the labour unions because of their reputation of backing out at the crucial moments, Nigerian youths and civil society groups took a leap of faith and mobilized their members unto the streets of Nigeria. Social networks such as facebook and twitter served as the information outlets of the protest especially when most television stations and newspapers turned pro subsidy and anti masses overnight.

The protest gathered momentum and the death of protesters in Lagos, Kwara and Kano further fuelled the youths to troop out in-mass to the streets .Though the protests were about subsidy removal, some historic moves were made by the youths with the signing of the Kano covenant, which mandated the Christian youths to protect Muslims while they pray and the Muslims to also protect the Christians while carrying out theirs. The Kano agreement prompted the signing of such types of agreements by the protest groups all over the country. While all these activities were going on, a Nigerian youth, activist writer and poet, named Gimba Kakanda led a group of Muslim youths in Minna to circle a church and use themselves as human shields in a gesture of solidarity and brotherhood.

While the protests were going on with increased number of protesters and additional demands such as accountability and reduction in the cost of governance, the labour unions as the arrows of the protests were sitting with the government. The meetings were continually being deadlocked or so we were told. Anyone who followed the subsidy debate on and offline, will agree that the protesters were highly suspicious of the labour and were afraid of being sold out cheaply by them. But the labour unions kept assuring Nigerians that “it is N65 per litre or nothing”. The fears of betrayal expressed by Nigerians were proved right, when the NLC/TUC suddenly called off street protests after a meeting with the government officials. They later went ahead to accept an offer of N97 per litre from the government, without consulting with the masses whom they claim to represent. To add insult to injury, the trade unions called off the nationwide strike just as Nigerians were beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

In their defence, NLC/TUC claimed they called off the strike action and protests to save the lives, as according to them the government is willing to use extreme and deadly force to stop the protests. Many Nigerians including myself regard NLC/TUS’s actions as a betrayal of the trust we had in them. Many are of the opinion that had it been the strike and protests have continued, we will have forced the government to revert to the old price of N65 per litre. The labour unions should have known that any government willing to use deadly force in order to achieve its set goals cannot be expected to negotiate without any form of pressure.

Nigerians, especially the youths, are disappointed with the behaviour of the unions. They kept asking why the NLC/TUC pushed and assured them to commit themselves to a struggle that cost the lives of some youths, only to turn around and desert them halfway into the journey to the Promised Land.

Adamu, publisher of Northern Wind Magazine, is a member of the Occupy Nigeria group.

@bubusn Are you referring to the same 'twitter mob' that assisted with your now rested lightupnigeria tweets?.

When I wrote this article May, 2011, I am sure the likes of @bubusn thought I did not know he was a mole #occupyNigeria

RT @JCphoenixx: How much was paid for Light up Nigeria... That's what I want to know...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Occupy Nigeria Protesters Regroup, Say Protests Will Continue

By Saharareporters, New York

Members of the Joint Action Front (JAF) met earlier today at the Labour House in Surulere, Lagos to discuss strategies for sustaining public protests in the face of the Jonathan administration's use of military force to scuttle the protests.

At the end of the meeting, the group vowed to continue with the protests until their demands are met. The group wants the Jonathan administration to revert to the N65 per liter cost of fuel and to institute real economic reforms that would punish fuel marketers and government officials who have defrauded Nigerians through fraudulent fuel subsidy claims. In addition, the group wants the government to agree to significant cuts in the cost of running the different tiers of government.

The group deplored the Jonathan administration's use of soldiers to forcefully disperse peaceful protesters and to harass members of the international media.

Nigeria. A Police State.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

18 killed in dawn raid of Benue communities

It was like a scene from a horror movie.

Villages were invaded by armed men in the dead of the night. Shots were fired into the air to cause commotion. Harmless villagers who were asleep ran helter skelter and in the ensuing confusion, they were felled one after the other. By the time the invaders were through, 18 innocent villagers were dead.

It was bloody in Gbaange/Tongon, Hyonghtee/Ijaha and Senghev Districts in Gwer-West Local Government of Benue State last weekend.

Armed Fulani herdsmen, numbering over 200, allegedly invaded the districts in a dawn raid to wreak havoc on the people.

The raid is said to be similar to the invasion of Borno State by members of the Boko Haram sect.

The assailants were alleged to have gained entry into the local government across River Benue from Doma Local Government in Nassarawa State. They camped in Gwantashi island for some days before crossing over to Benue villages where they killed and destroyed property put at over N100 billion.

The Ter Nagi(traditional ruler), ,Chief Daniel Abomtse, who conducted reporters round the three districts, said the Fulani herdsmen were assisted by foreign mercenaries from Chad and were armed with sophiscated weapons.

Chief Abomtse said the attack on the Tiv populated villages started

on February 8, at about 4:30 am. The armed Fulani herdsmen first invaded some villages in Mbaifu and Mbaba kindred in Ityoughtee district, he said.

Explaining how they operated, Chief Abomise said:“ They first surrounded the village, shot into the air, waited for the harmless villagers who were asleep to come out of their houses. In the ensuing commotion, they shot and killed the people one after the other and set their houses and crops ablaze’’ .

The second class traditional ruler said over 300 houses were set ablaze, crops and food worth over N100 million were also burnt, Motorcycles, beddings and mattresses , and personal effects were all set ablaze; the villagers were left with nothing to eat or cover their body.

The bodies of those who died in the attack littered the three districts. They were not buried. The villagers flee their homes and took refuge in Naka, headquarters of Gwer Local Government.

For three days, the victims were helpless.

Until last Sunday,almost five days after the attack, the youths who took refuge in Naka with the parish priest of St Francis Parish Agabgbe,Fr Vitalis Ber and the traditional ruler buried their loved ones whose bodies had already decomposed in shallow graves.

Over 20,000 refugees among them children, women and the old are taking refuge in primary schools in Naka, Kula, Jimba and Ahume in the local government. Some sleep on the floor. Others find home in the open football field.

Benue State Government has set up a relief committee to support the displaced. Governor Gabriel Suswam, Senator George Akume and other prominent sons and daughters of the state have donated relief materials to the displaced. There is shortage of food supply in the camps.

Governor Suswam yesterday summoned a security meeting and had also reported the attack to the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Abubakar.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Thieves and Liars Budget Of Destruction.

Nigeria’s foremost business group, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), has expressed dissatisfaction with the huge cost of governance, as reflected in the 4.2 trillion naira 2011 budget proposal recently presented to parliament by President Goodluck Jonathan.

According to a statement from the LCCI, the figures allocated for recurrent expenditure constituted a large chunk of the overall budget, with only very small amount left for the execution of capital projects which have greater impact on the people.

“The relativity of the recurrent to capital budget in the 2011 appropriation bill presented to the National Assembly is even worse than that of the 2010 budget, where recurrent (non-debt) expenditure was 2.007 trillion naira and capital budget was 1.85 trillion naira. This was a ratio of 53 per cent to 47 per cent,'' LCCI president Femi Deru said in the statement (US$1=150 Naira).

Recently, the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Sanusi Lamido, caused a stir when he said that 25 percent of the National budget was being consumed by federal lawmakers.

After the budget presentation, the lawmakers offered to cut their recurrent spending for 2011, apparently because of the national outcry generated by Sanusi's revelation.

The business group also criticised the allocation of 542 billion naira for debt servicing, describing it at excessive.

On the government's decision to set aside 50 billion naira for job creation in the 2011 budget, the Chamber noted that such public sector-driven programme had very little chances of succeeding.

It said the disbursement of the fund could become politicized by politicians, create another incidence of ghost workers as was the case in the past and provide avenue for corrupt practices by public officers.

The Chamber advised that the fund should be given to the private sector, especially the small businesses, to create more jobs that are sustainable

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Gbenga Daniel. A criminal Gangstar Governor.

The political crisis in Ogun State c,imaxed yesterday, as nine of the 26-member House of Assembly said it has removed the Speaker, Tunji Egbetokun. He was immediately replaced with Soyemi Coker.

We reliably gathered that the nine lawmakers, who are said to be loyalists of the governor, Gbenga Daniel, slept within the Assembly complex on Sunday night, to enable them carry out the impeachment, which they did as early as 7am.

They were alleged to have made use of the mace belonging to the Abeokuta South Local Government legislative arm, to carry out the operation, having burgled the Assembly’s chambers.

It can’t be

But Mr Egbetokun, in a swift response, described the purported impeachment as illegal and part of a plot to scuttle the proposed debate of the N100 billion controversial bond slated for Wednesday. He reaffirmed his leadership in the House of Assembly.

However, Mr Coker later told journalists that the reign of his predecessor was over and that the House under his leadership has approved the bond requested by the governor.

“After due consultation with our various constituents, traditional rulers and chiefs, labour unions, clubs and associations, prominent Ogun stakeholders, we hereby, approve the House resolution that the state government should proceed to the bond market immediately to source for N100 billion in tranches of N26 billion, N34 billion and N40 billion for various outstanding and developmental projects evenly spread across the three senatorial districts of the state,” he said.

To create a conducive atmosphere for the lawmakers to carry out their plot, a private security official attached to the complex, identified as Nureni, was said to have been held hostage and his mobile phone seized by the lawmakers while the operations lasted.

At 8.30am when we visited the Assembly complex, the lawmakers who claimed to have impeached Mr Egbetokun, were sighted. Also on the premises were Titi Oseni (former Speaker) and Omosanya Solaja who are known supporters of the governor and who had been suspended by the House. Staff of the Assembly were not allowed in by policemen guarding the premises.

The commissioner of police in the state was said not to be aware of the deployment of a new set of police officers to complement efforts of those already assigned to the Assembly before yesterday’s incident.

A Divisional Police Officer (DPO) was sighted at the Assembly questioning the presence of a large number of police officers there. In response, one of them told him that they were deployed there on alert, that there was a plot by some people to bomb the Assembly.

Lingering crisis

The nine lawmakers, in a statement, said their action was necessitated “by the cry of our various constituents to bail out Ogun State from the lingering crisis that has beset us for the past two to three years.”

He equally read out a riot act that all the other factions of the Assembly, known as G-15, have been suspended “for gross misconduct against the institution of the Ogun State Legislature, the government and people of Ogun State”. Mr Soyemi, in addition, said he had reviewed the suspension of Titi Oseni and Omosanya Solaja and found it wholly unnecessary, unjust and overdue, and lifted the suspension with all legislative privileges restored and all losses to be paid in full.

Other resolutions reached by them ,according to him, include: approval of the 2010 supplementary budget of N26 billion, appointment of Yemi Akinwonmi as the new Commissioner of Education, confirmed the nominee of the governor into Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission and dissolution of all existing committees.

He said the principal officers for the House include: Ayo-Odugbesan (Deputy Speaker), Bankole Durotolu Oyebode (majority leader), Musa Maruf (Chief Whip), Abiodun Oluseyi Moses (Deputy Majority Leader) and Adeleke Salmon (Deputy Chief Whip).

Mr Egebtokun, in his reaction said, “They know the debate will open everything. The governor did not know we will go for the debate. Four days ago, he called the clerk of the House to know whether we are serious about the debate, and when the clerk told him that we are going ahead and even armed with documents, he became more apprehensive.”

“The commissioner of finance is on the run, the accountant-general is nowhere to be found. They cannot impeach me. They are just nine and two of them are still under suspension. They are wasting their time. I don’t want to join issues with them. They are acting under some spell. We are on top of the situation.” Meanwhile, there were reports last night that Mr Egbetokun’s house in Akute, Ogun State, was invaded by armed bandits yesterday. He was not at home when they came. The former Speaker said his landlord called him to confirm the incident.


1. Emmanuel Soyemi Coker

2. Bankole Durotolu

3. Musa Maruf

4. Abiodun Oluseyi Moses

5. Salmon Adeleke

6. Omosanya Solaja

7. Titi Oseni

8. Kojeku David

9. Adegbesan J.F

*Edwards Ayo-Odugbesan and Fasiu Bakenne did not attend the sitting but signed the statement.

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Reader Comments (82)

Posted by Confused Citizen on Sep 06 2010

Lol. Only a fool will invest in such bond.

Posted by nelson on Sep 06 2010

Could this be the reason why the speaker was impeached? Lawless lawmakers in an unlawful gathering making illegal approval.

Posted by adetoyan on Sep 06 2010

What a load of crap! So 9 out of 22 now forms a quorum to make such a decision. If they cannot subject the bond to a public debate, then it should be reversed immediately by the legal speaker. After he finishes his term, the people of Ogun should put him in a corner and stone him to death.

Posted by JasV on Sep 06 2010

This is one state that has definitely lived up to its bad name. The whole of the roads leading to the Governor's house and the state assembly should have been blocked with protesters by now.

Posted by Hakeem on Sep 06 2010

I'm ashamed to be a native of Ogun state… But we shall overcome these people.

Posted by Omo Alhaja on Sep 06 2010

Investors in the bond market will surely have the final say.

Posted by Mao Kaci on Sep 06 2010

Look im eye. Oju ole re!

Posted by Ola Wale on Sep 06 2010

The tenure of Gbenga Daniel will elapse very soon, The governor want to plug the state into debt, can he explain the essence of 100B bond? Infrastructure he could not develop in 8yrs, want to develop in 4 months, is that possible? Nigerians be aware of such dubious bond in bond market.

Posted by Debo on Sep 06 2010

Is this a nightmare! EFCC please please ARREST HIM NOW before I wake up; or else

Posted by real on Sep 06 2010

invest at your own risk.

Posted by nico o on Sep 06 2010

if daniel is in the bible was this evil i dont think that name will not be known in the world today.

Posted by babaonome on Sep 06 2010

no wonder, i was at abeokuta this morn, and i noticed an unusual number of policemen in the town. wickedness in high places, how can 9 remove 14. where is ebora owu or is he still haculinating about halliburton. please daniel should enter the lions den, he will never escape from it. farida please take note. NOBODY SHOULD INVEST IN A BOND OR ANY THING FOR THAT MATTER THAT HAS DANIELS NAME ON IT.

Posted by Alejolowo Olowolagba on Sep 06 2010

Haaaaaa,is this democracy? and people of Ogun State open their eyes and let this happen ah cant you good people of Ogun stand and fight this course together the man cannot kill all of you, am quit sure of that. Mr Governor sir, you will be claiming that you are Elder statesman and stake holder in the state, please if you cannot make good of a place then don't spoil it. My dear incoming Governor (Gbese reoooooo)

Posted by on Sep 06 2010

234Next. com pls give us a detail news, not an half baked news. how many lawmaker approve the bond? is the house not on recess? where did they get the mace from. please make your news full so that we dont start thinking u had been bribe to feed us with incomplete news.

Posted by Anil on Sep 06 2010

Career criminals...

Posted by Inumidun O on Sep 06 2010

It is only fool dat will invest in this type of bond. Our mr Gov has become a mad man. Posterity wil fight u and your entire family.

Posted by Anjibobo on Sep 06 2010

This is what Fela called 'Authority Stealing'.

Posted by Foa King on Sep 06 2010

God is definitely in control. The truth shall prevail sooner or later. This act of desperation over a bond is terribly disturbing, One feels self interest rather than common interest of Ogun citizens is at play here!

Posted by Matthew on Sep 06 2010

You shoyld know that the likes of Gbenga Daniel, Shoda are rogues of the 21st century in Ogun state. I know Obasanjo and dimeji must be regretting for not allow the tribunal judgement to up turn the election judgement against him only because obasanjo and dimeji want to remain relevant as bot chairman and speaker respectively. shame to all of them

Posted by Dipeolu on Sep 07 2010

This is a big shame. Who can stop these shenanigans led by Gbenga Daniel? How come no one is talking about this huge illegality? 8 out of 22 passed a bill which will affect the destiny of all, while majority was muscled out! Ogun State, the most enlightened is fast losing its identity. Hope some crowd will mass out and break Daniel's neck with his thuggish commissioners.

Posted by Vandough on Sep 07 2010

@ Hakeem: I'm not so sure that this will be all you will need to overcome. After the fall of the "second republic" is was disclosed that several states had outstanding "external" debt obligations; methinks, that the Federal Government became responsible for the debt obligation. I think that the promoters and buyers should sign off on a committment that they are in full knowledge that the Fed Gov't is not - and will not be - a guarantor of the obligation. From the types of bogus deals that money like this tends to go to, heaven help the citizens of Ondo State about to become indebted to the tune of $1 billion!

Posted by yemideyi on Sep 07 2010


Posted by madman** on Sep 07 2010

@ Jas V LWKMD....

Posted by Agbari Ojugun on Sep 07 2010

Gbenga don hammer again!!!

Posted by Abbas A on Sep 07 2010

@ ola Wale, I agree with u in totality, what the gov. cannot achieve in 8 yrs, he wnts to achieve in 4 months. Posterity will judge Daniel and the assembly members who impeached the speaker and grant the approval.

Posted by Chukwuemeka on Sep 07 2010

No sane investor will put his money in this bond as an investment. Why are these nine fools decieving themselves?

Posted by samsam on Sep 07 2010

approved after Daniel gave them N1Billion. Shame...

Posted by LAJ on Sep 07 2010

Make house file court case prohibiting the state from floating the bond. Thats like a poison pill that'll make most unattractive to investors. I even wonder why OGD is bent on raising this bond in the twilight of his administration. Nigeria we hail thee!

Posted by G-Boy on Sep 07 2010

The legislators who did this and the governor who sanctioned the act - all all insane! No sane person would be so illogical. How could 9 of 26 impeach a speaker, and at 7am and approve a bond. Do they know what a bond is? Maybe they'd be the ones to lend the state the money from their stolen wealth, so they'll be the creditors and make the state the debtor! Yuck!!!!

Posted by Adisa Lawal on Sep 07 2010

This Gbenga Daniel is a curse on the whole people of Ogun State. But what else do you esxpect from people whose core pastime is engaging in fetish practices that have polluted the whole state. It is sad to say that Ogun State indigenes contributed a lot to the emergence of Nigeria as an independent state and immediately thereafter, but over the last couple of decades or so, Ogun States has been a major cause of Nigerian misery- Obasanjo, Bankole, and others. Gbenga Daniel is just like a chicken coming home to roost. Its not like he did not develop the state- he simply built on the legacy of non-performance of his predecessor in office to destroy the state. It will take decaded for the state to recover and the people of Ogun State, as educated and enlightened as they claim to be- are the worse off.

Posted by bangudu on Sep 07 2010

omo ale ni da ile ru, i dnt him (daniel) from day one the man is an international 419 deceived the hungry traditional chief to ride to the seat of power. if it is not a shame the administration with cases of fraud at efcc now looking for 100 billion naira bond when his tenure will soon be over. let wait and see.

Posted by anonymous on Sep 07 2010

Let these idiots continue to dance nake. Posterity will judge

Posted by Bugsy Mcgraw on Sep 07 2010

If this is not a COUP, then tell me what is!

Posted by TADE AKANDE MRS from canada on Sep 07 2010

Obasanjo antics in removing Ladoja in action. Sooner Akala will learn from this and issue a trillion naira bond. Thieving governors. It is a shame. Only Daniel will bring out from his looted funds and invest in the bond as well as his rougish colleagues perhaps.

Posted by Bob on Sep 07 2010

@Adetilewa: Please the little NEXT has served us is emough to conclude that this Governor is a thief. How can 9 out of 22 impeach the Governor? What did Gbenga Daniel want to use N100b do in less than 9 months? He wanted to cart this money away as his parting gift from Ogun State for his misrule. NIGERIANS BEWARE OF THIS BOND. Do not go near it, it is a FRAUD.

Posted by Fola Edayo on Sep 07 2010

D end of ds demoncrazy is near. D fire is gathern momentum. D khaki boyz r oiln their tanks. D militants r oiln their guns. D 'agbekoyas' r sharpnn their cutlasz. Who strike 1st?

Posted by heed on Sep 07 2010

You journalists should not be reporting this illegality like a fact. 9 people cannot or ever form a majority. There's no impeachment whatsoever. This is all wishful thinking. I am just glad that Obasanjo is alive to witness his Legacy of do and die politics. Yesterday, it was Bankole stealing Rural Electrification money. The day before, it was Iyabo impersonating...hopeless country for sure.!

Posted by omo ghana on Sep 07 2010

since the day after OGDs fight with Speaker he has not gotten himself. please help us beg Bankole to leave our Gov alone. this is all bankoles hand. voice of jacob hand of esau. We love the lion of the west they should give him bond now he deserves it

Posted by Ayo Caleb on Sep 07 2010

This is babanla 419 in Ogun house of Assembly. Somebody should do something. This is undemocratic. Stop inviting the military back with your reckless actions. These 9 law makers should be arrested.

Posted by Dapo on Sep 07 2010

Ogun house of comedy. When a minority (9 people) sack a majority (14 people) just to satisfy their Godfather who they swore to,

Posted by Osifowora on Sep 07 2010

JasV,what do you mean by 'Ogun state has definately lived up to it's bad name'?Try to be civil,by the way,which state are you from?If you don't know what to say,better shut your trap!Okay?

Posted by Concerned mind on Sep 07 2010

They are indeed under spell!!!

Posted by Ogun citizen on Sep 07 2010

Where are the Obasanjos, Shonekan, Adegbites, Biobabakus, Adegbenros, Odutolas, Soleyes, Tejuoshos, Lipedes, and all their like in all these fraud by the bastard child of an impostor. No true indigene will visit the state with all these negatives in the last 8 years. But is a patience one who never fails to visit his wrath on evildoer.

Posted by Ushafa Boy on Sep 07 2010

This is really crazy indeed, what is this rascality? those these nine members have brains at all? do they nine of them constitute the Two Third majority needed to impeach the speaker? am not from Ogun State, but this is very awful, to think that this state has some of the best brains Nigeria as a nation can boast of, this is very sad.

Posted by ekundayo on Sep 07 2010

When the presidency of Chief Obasanjo in collaboration with Ribadu of the then EFCC started this illegal approach of impeachment at the state assemblies opposed to Obasanjo, we warned that it was a dangerous precedent. Now, this same illegal impeachment has been carried out in Ogun State to the disadvantage of Chief Obasanjo and the good people of Ogun State. I had thought OGD is a democratic! This is shameful on this Governor who is a coward. He should be impeached as soon as the Assembly resumed from its recess.

Posted by Jacobs on Sep 07 2010

Wow..............This was too much work in one day and so early on a Monday morning! 1. Impeach speaker 2. Reinstate suspended lawmakers 3. Approve 100 bn bond 4. Approve commissioners 5. Approve 26 bn supplementary budget 6. Suspend 15 lawmakers Could they not have done this job in bits? The national assembly needs to learn from this ruthless efficiency from Ogun legislaters. We the people of Ogun state are the ultimate losers in all of these...........come to think of it, what is the bond supposed to be used for and why the desperation after 7 years in office? We wait patiently to see who will invest in this bond, CBN, NSE and SEC should please intervene!

Posted by tolu on Sep 07 2010

This is nauseating, that lawmakers can degenerate to this level of recklessness with the conaviance of the police force, who are always ready to break the law for a fee. I AM AFRAID, IS THERE HOPE FOR THIS COUNTRY?.

Posted by Shehu on Sep 07 2010

Today is the day I realize there is no hope for Nigeria. I will no longer be blogging on this site (or any other in fact). 9 law makers impeach the speaker? What be even more aggravating is if the good people of Ogun state, do not take to the streets and "forcefullly remove this government.

Posted by Mao Kaci on Sep 07 2010

Laakuli! The guy is swearing by the Bible in Ogun State of all places. That is where the problem lies. In Ogun State people should be made to swear by the cutlass or shakabula.

Posted by OTUNBA on Sep 07 2010

Ogun state is in a state of confusion. OGUN (war), OGUN (god of iron), OGUN (Charm) all are bad Omen. God 'll deliever the state.

Posted by Bissy on Sep 07 2010

This people will not cease to amaze me!!! When a typical House of Assembly (in Nigerian) is made up of touts and bunch of illiterates, definitely one shouldn't expect anything less. These lot have just succeeded in sending their great grand children into penury...what a shame!

Posted by sojee on Sep 07 2010

They just killed the bond with their stupidity. It only shows that there is more to it than meets the eye.

Posted by Sola on Sep 07 2010

To asy the least, I am ashamed to be from Ogun state. Daniel is a purnishemnt to something the forefathers of the State did wrong. Will Daniel tell us that it was the love He has for his belove state that drive him to this criminally insane act? I think we all know better.

Posted by kunle on Sep 07 2010

I am so suprise that how would only 9 out 22 can impeached speaker,gbenga has destrolled our state.How a responsible governor will say he want to go to market for N100 billion bond with few month to stay in office, what has he been looking for since almost 8years in office? it is a person that need to stone after he leave the office.Abi he is looking for extral money to steal again, look at a person who say he want to be the leader of yoruba. I know if God can not do anything for you now, your generation is going to eat out of problem creating for my state (amen)

Posted by Igida Eyefo Esq on Sep 07 2010

We need to amend the constitution to make it punishable with death any attempt to sit in the House at odd hours, by a few to upstage the majority, by a governor who benefits from such charade, by a conniving police force who allowed itself to be used in establishing illega;lity and legislative brigandage

Posted by Captain Lekan on Sep 07 2010

Is this democracy? Demostration of craze! I dont blame them, they are not educated. I dont know what a fool we invest on controvacy. The main indegine should come and save their state from this mess.

Posted by Perfected! on Sep 07 2010

if this is not mental illness, I dont know what is.

Posted by Mathew on Sep 07 2010

Funny, PDP should remove the word DEMOCRATIC from their name because they dont know the meaning, hence they dont practice it. But am patiently waiting for response from OBJ daniel god father

Posted by Brainy on Sep 07 2010

This may come as a shock to you but that bond is not for the current govt to use, it is to launder their stolen wealth for the governor and other high profile people who are involved. Think about it, four months left? Not possible to do anything since he is not going for another term. The people of Ogun are in imminent danger because these people have stolen from you and will now force you to lend from them at an interest. This effectively just mortgages your future.God be with you.

Posted by Ajayi Rotimi Precious on Sep 07 2010

They thought that the good people will fold our arms and watch this group of corrupt and bad leaders long lasting salvery. They impeached the speaker and the first thing they do is to approved the proposed bond by the governor the impeachement purpose is now clear. Senseless miniority.

Posted by adekunle on Sep 07 2010

i knew from the onset that the Governor and his "boys" will do everything to get the bond. Is it not happening? May God save Ogun State.

Posted by Gbemiga O on Sep 07 2010

I guess the logical reasoning is 'what Gbenga Daniel could not achieve in 8 years , can he do it in 8 months? I guess Banks should be very careful in supporting this especially where you have 9 legislators impeaching in a house made up of 26 . What kind of desperation is this ?

Posted by king esem on Sep 07 2010

this is what Fela says is demonstration of crase, crasy demonstration. where minority have their way and majority have their say. ogun(juju, jass, otumokpo) is really at work

Posted by Toyin Ade on Sep 07 2010

The illegal action of those misguided & misfit 9 lawmakers shows that Gbenga Daniels is governor unto himself and not the people of the state. Why should such illegal act be sponsored by Gbenga Daniel when the public debate on the 100 billion Naira bond is about to take place. Is Daniel telling intelligent Ogun state indigines that he can force down the bond on their throat wihout their approval? The action shows clearly that it was Gbenga Daniel that sponsored that coup. The peple of Ogun state should put him where he belongs. He is an arrogant misfit.

Posted by Yinka Akin on Sep 07 2010

We are all responsible for the action of the 9 lawmakers......yes and i mean it. They are only reflecting our innermost character and they are doing the deeds of those who put them there. I really wish this illegal move stands and the state becomes indebted after the funds might have been looted. Maybe then we will realize that the position of lawmakers is crucial to the well-being of a democratic society and is not be left to failures, dropouts, unemployable graduates, touts etc. or a place to settle political hangers-on. You can imagine a person like Adedibu or Chris Uba boasting that they installed every member of a state legislature or some having to swear before a shrine to get elected and you dudes expect that kind of assembly to produce society transforming bills? we are really gullible and deserve to be scammed. period

Posted by Omo Agba from the Source on Sep 07 2010

I'm ashamed to have come from Ogun State, Our Royal fathers, what are you all doing, you all have taking MONEY from the Governor and you all decieded to keep seal lips on this issue, God will judge you all. Royal fathers in Ogun State, you have now join the Governor in putting the State in Bondage, Haaa, why are you people doing like this. As for the Nine Lawmakers, take note the Governor's tenure will soon be over and we are expecting you people back in the race because a lot of you still have a long way to go Politically in future, You this Career criminals, that all your Children and families will reap from what you all are doing now. The Gods of Ogun will fall on you all, and so shall it be. Nigerians should watch-out, they must not invest there money in such Bond, because it's not going to stand the text of Time. As for OGD, I pitty you and yopur family, CRIMINAL OF THE HIGHEST ORDER (CHO)

Posted by Dele on Sep 07 2010

All this charade goes beyond a Gbenga Daniel. Ogun State should simply be given its own flag, coat-of-arms, anthem, army, etc, but certainly NEVER a Constitution, and behold! a new nation has arrived.

Posted by Toyin Ade on Sep 07 2010

Gbenga Daniel is a 419er. What project will he spend that billions on in less than 8 months that his tenure will expire?????????????

Posted by Adewale Odemosu on Sep 07 2010

This is a show of shame! This is not what Ogun State is known for, no, not this banditry! The late great people who made Ogun State one to reckon with in the affairs of Nigeria would be spining in their graves with anger at the level of madness OGD has brought into governance in the state. It can't be all good across many generations. It's been good in the past and this lunatic called OGD is the abberration. May God help us in Ogun Sate from the hand of this devil.

Posted by Dele on Sep 07 2010

Ogun State now deserves to be given its own flag, coat-of-arms, police, army, etc, but certainly NEVER a Constitution, and, behold, a new nation has emerged.

Posted by Gabriel Aer on Sep 07 2010

It is clear demonstration of how bad the situation in nigeria is, how can such an act be carried out by people who regard themselves as law makers for the people? it is a show of shame of the highest order.

Posted by Adegbenro on Sep 07 2010

Mr. Soyemi Coker, it is very glaring that you are and co travelers are educated illiterates, if not, is 9 2/3 of 26. kindly note that posterity will record your name on the negative side of history. you all are just a willing tools in the hand of a criminal leader called governor. remember Frank Franol's words that those who make peaceful change impossible will make violent change inevitable. God will not allow you and your group to mortgage the future of our beloved state.

Posted by agba akin on Sep 07 2010

it is sure that many does not understand this bond issue. Gov. Daniel is the best that has ever happened and will ever happen to Ogun state. YES we need the bond let us take it.

Posted by Akinbola on Sep 07 2010

Gbenga Daniel ti di olori awon ole. He will spend the rest of his life in jail including his family.

Posted by seriuosnote on Sep 07 2010

zero rule of law, zero democracy. this gbenga is a military ruler whose wishes come to past without minding the constitution. will he get away with this? its a matter of few years before the nine lawmakers come to know that they have erred seriously, their children will live to be slaves paying the debts they just incurred.

Posted by akintoye omole on Sep 07 2010

This is democrazy where 9 with two suspended inclusive in the 9 suspending 15 other members, political scientists need to re write political theories for Nigeria only or/and other crazy nations. These guys are just jokers. Time to think about who you vote for in all coming elections. It is very sad and pathetic.

Posted by Emmanuel on Sep 07 2010

These crop of legislators must be a hybrid from Oyo and Anambra States.

Posted by MAY GOD SAVE NIGERIA on Sep 07 2010

This is laughable men ! 9 out of 24 ''lawbreakers'' is now equal to two-third that can remove Speaker with a borrowed LG mace. This is absurd and disgusting. Damn !!!

Posted by dongo on Sep 07 2010

an initiative of the OGD administration...

Posted by Siraj on Sep 07 2010

9 out of 24 impeached speaker and suspend 15! did you hear that.

Posted by Sanni on Sep 07 2010

The total anarchy in Ogun State serves Olusegun Obasanjo right. Dimeji Bank Ole of Ogunpa disaster has sucked Nigeria dry like Dracula. Obasanjo destroyed Nigeria politically, socially, morally and financially. obasanjo's nefarious support for Jonathan was only a hoax. Zoning mu keso. insha Alahu.

By Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye

In 2007, as the nation grappled with the lingering crises thrown up by the N628 million-contract scandal involving the leadership of the House of Representatives, Vanguard newspaper (August 29, 2007) published an interview granted it by Mr. Dino Melaye who was then Chairman, House Committee on Information and National Orientation and one of the loudest supporters of the then House Speaker, Mrs. Patricia Bunmi Etteh, who was eventually consumed by the thoroughly sickening and nation-diminishing crises.

Said Melaye in that infamous interview: “This woman [that is, Etteh] told us, on the floor of the House, that she’s got two boobs. That the old [House Members] can suck one while the new would suck one. Honestly speaking, we are sucking. We are enjoying the sucking. We are doing that right now.”

A few weeks after Mr. Melaye splashed this revolting statement on the nation, and no reaction had come from Etteh and her handlers, I did a piece in my (now rested) newspaper column entitled: “Who Needs Etteh’s House?” and made the following observation:

“It is now several weeks since Melaye gave this interview. In the absence of any form of refutation from the beautician from Ikire and her handlers, despite the very unflattering insinuations and disquieting imageries the choice of words clearly conveyed, one is at liberty to conclude that Melaye may have used the exact words deployed by Madam Speaker to serve her very generous offer to House Members. If then the language of deliberations in the hallowed chambers of the National Assembly has achieved such a low descent, why then should anyone be surprised that House Members could so easily provoke serious envy in motor park touts and area boys by the kind of disgraceful and self-debasing combat they enacted the other day?”

That was in 2007. Etteh’s unmissed tenure as speaker soon came to a disgraceful end to the relief of decent Nigerians, and with it the sickening era of “sucking” and “enjoying” by Melaye and his colleagues. Or so we thought, because, most sadly, instead of choosing a successor whose tenure would enthrone an ennobling culture of decency, transparency, accountability and diligent preoccupation with the serious business of lawmaking to hasten the recovery of Nigerians from the terrible stress the protracted Etteh scandal had put them through, the House members settled for a Dimeji Bankole, a young, toothy, IBB look-alike, who wasted no time, as he swam from one scandal to another, to begin demonstrating to Nigerians that his era as House Speaker would make us wonder why we had to dispense so much energy and time to clamour for Etteh’s removal because of the little “change” allegedly mismanaged under her watch.

That it took Dino Melaye and his Chocolate Cream Soldiers (which prefer to refer to themselves as “Progressives”) this long to hoist their “anti-corruption” flag in Bankole’s House of Profligacy ought to alert us to the benumbing reality that the young man who is today Speaker of House of Representatives had learned very early to “carry everyone along”— a euphemism for a more elaborate, free and fair, version of “sucking” and “enjoying” in the House.

No decent person in Nigeria today can deny that Bankole’s House stinks to high heavens; but that no serious investigation has so far been undertaken to get to the bottom of the various grave allegations that have lent his House a very monstrous and repelling image should convince everyone that the young man had taken his time to fill his belly with the water flowing ceaselessly from the corrupted cisterns of acclaimed masters Nigeria’s peculiar brand of politics.

Maybe, only very few took notice, or tried to figure out its implications, when the late Emperor of Molete and “Garrison Commander of Amala Politics, Lamidi Adedibu, came out to proudly acknowledge Bankole very early in his tenure, as a beloved “son” who remembered to pay adequate homage to “elders,” that is, acclaimed veterans of the crude, backward politics, which Bankole himself would soon become such an expert in.

At that time, Mr. Bankole was still making the right kind of noises, but soon, he dashed the hopes he had begun raise in Nigerians by brazenly proving the eternal truth in the Yoruba proverb that the Butterfly may pretend to be a Bird, but he is not a Bird.

By the way, where has the awfully misnamed band that called itself “Integrity Group” which championed the fall of Etteh disappeared to since Bankole’s car purchase scandal exploded on the face of the nation? It now pains me terribly that I even once believed that this rowdy bunch of self-seeking lawmakers led by Mr. Lawan ever had the slightest interest in ridding the House of corruption.

And why has it, also, taken our “new, improved” Dino Melaye and the so-called “Progressives” this long to realise that there was need to reclaim the House of Representatives from the deep gully into which allegations of massive corruption and greed had sank it? And what was their view when a House Committee half-heartedly investigated Bankole and not only hurriedly cleared him of all the allegations against him the N3.2 billion car purchase scandal, but devoted its entire energy to combat Lagos lawyer, Festus Keyamo, for daring to insist that the matter must be properly investigated by an impartial body and the outcome made public?

Should we then conclude that this new-found anti-corruption zeal may have been inspired by the outcome of the recent re-organisation of House committees which reportedly excluded a few greedy mouths from the endless “sucking” and “enjoying” in the House?

As I look at Bankole and Melaye, two sides of the same coin, I am tempted to regret condemning Babangida’s atrocious declaration that youths of this country are incapable of providing any decent and meaningful leadership.

But despite Melaye’s self-disqualification as an anti-corruption crusader, we owe it to ourselves as responsible members of a supposedly civilized society to insist that the grave allegations against Bankole must be thoroughly investigated and Nigerians made to know the outcome. After all, the speaker has no constitutional immunity, so why is the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) foot-dragging and appearing reluctant to do its job to the satisfaction of Nigerians?

The issues involved are very straightforward: Did the House leadership soil its hands in a car purchase deal by inflating the prices of the exquisite bulletproof cars supplied by PAN and mindlessly squandered billions of naira in a nation where more than 80% of the citizenry live below poverty level?

Is it true that Bankole spent N9 billion of the House’s capital vote for 2008/2009 to purchase bulletproof cars for himself and his convoy? And why would anyone expect Nigerians to believe that Bankole is not a corrupt speaker when no credible investigation has been undertaken to clear him of the grave allegations against him?

How long will he continue to diminish the National Assembly and, indeed, the entire nation with the great credibility burden he carries about with him today? Already, at countless internet sites these days, grossly embarrassed Nigerians are regularly dismissing him as “Bank–Ole” (whatever that means).

If as a nation, we can afford to sit still and watch Bankole continue to arrogantly personify raw impunity and ride roughshod on our sensibilities, we are only telling the outside world that mediocrity is Nigeria’s middle name, and that we habour a strong distaste for decent and responsible governance.

And what of the lawmakers whose speaker Bankole has remained despite the credibility bruises all over him? Do they have any sense of shame at all? How long would they cherish being scornfully dismissed even by the school children that witnessed their shameful, greed-motivated fight the other day, as a House that believes in nothing, stands for nothing, without any sense of history, direction and purpose, and clearly without any interest in changing anything or achieving anything or leaving an ennobling legacy?

It is now clear that President Goodluck Jonathan is planning to contest the presidency next year and would need all the support he could get, and so may have winked at the EFCC to turn a blind eye to the grave allegations against Bankole. Somebody should better tell him that he is making a grave mistake, because, such a preference may eventually prove to be his undoing at the polls.

It would be sad if he is not already aware that word is gradually spreading far and near that his government appears too comfortable in the company of grandmasters of graft.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A New Day.

Jonathan sworn in

Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has been sworn in as the President and Commander in Chief of the Nigerian Armed forces by the Chief Justice of Nigeria at the Aso rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.

In a brief ceremony presided over by Yayale Ahmed, Secretary General of the Federation, the President's oath of office was administered by the Chief Justice, Aloysius Katsina-Alu. The opening prayers were said by a Muslim cleric and a Reverend Father.

The ceremony was not open to the public but present at the occasion were Dimeji Bankole the Speaker House of Representatives, Vincent Ogbulafor the national chairman of the President's party (PDP) and members of the governors forum.

The former Acting President became the substantive president following the death of Musa Umaru Yar'Adua, who passed away on the 5th May 2010.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Goodluck Jonathan dissolved the federal cabinet made up of 42 federal ministers today, to create room for a new start, but he has almost immediately been met with an outrageous new challenge from Nigerian senators who are demanding N16 million per new minister. Each of the 109 Senators would have to collect close to that amount for each of the ministers approved for Jonathan whenever he reconstitutes the cabinet –(This mean N16 million times 42 for every Senator to collect).

According to the Nigerian constitution, the Upper House is required to approve of federal ministers before they can be sworn in, and they are usually approved on a "Bow & Go" basis, with the Senators putting in almost no work. Saharareporters sources said the practice of bribing Senators to approve ministers is not new but Jonathan’s peculiar circumstance has led to a higher inflation of the bribe money by 100% from what it used to be under Yar’Adua, who would normally send his cronies in the Ministry of Agriculture, Customs and the NNPC to do the bidding for him.

Apart from the cost to the presidency, each of the ministers awaiting approval also has to bribe the special committees in charge of their portfolio in order to enjoy approval. It costs an average minister N200 million to sail successfully through the senate.

It is after that that they simply require the prospective Minister to appear before them, take a bow, and leave without being troubled with any questions.
Pay-for-play: Senators want N16 million (each), for each new Minister

Federal Executive Council dissolved; EFCC, INEC

Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has dissolved the Federal Executive Council. Saharareporters had reported a few days ago that federal ministers, perhaps sensing such a development, had been removing personal effects from their respective offices since last week. Mr. Jonathan may have opted for the total dissolution of the cabinet, put in place in 2007 by ailing Nigeria leader, Umaru Yar'Adua, as a means of asserting his control of the council.

Saharareporters sources said Yar'Adua's so-called "recovery" is slow and difficult. Not only is his physical frame bent completely, but contrary to the propaganda disseminated by his hopeful cronies, he remains unable to speak or walk.

Jonathan is said to have announced the dissolution at the end of today's meeting. His approach meant that while everyone walked in as a Minister, they all walked out unemployed. Today's development may have been particularly painful for the former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Michael Aondoakaa, who was attending his first meeting as Minister of Special Duties following his return from vacation.

No replacements for the Ministers have been announced,and none may happen until two weeks, as Mr. Jonathan will have to go through Senate approval of his nominees, but a source told Saharareporters that over 500 politicians seeking political appointments have taken over Abuja's major five-star hotels to lobby or be lobbied for.

Political analysts told Saharareporters that it is easy enough to dissolve the cabinet, but Jonathan may face an uphill task to reconstitute it, especially as threats continue to emanate from lawmakers, who are polarized along regional lines, about cooperating with Jonathan.

Jonathan's next targets, given what he has said since assuming office, are likely to be the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the leaderships of which are expected to be changed.

While Maurice Iwu, who heads the electoral body, may be sacked by Jonathan, he would not have the authority, if the recommendations of the new electoral law are adopted, to unilaterally appoint his successor. Those recommendations provide for INEC to be unbundled into different bodies, and for the judiciary to advertise the leaderships, and narrow down the candidates.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Gbenga Daniel and Nigeria’s citizen-slavery mentality

My brothers and sisters, You must have read of a passenger who boarded a flight with Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel but was molested out of his seat and so has threatened to sue the government.

The issue was supposed to be very simple, but it ended as a very complicated matter. Both decorum and civility were thrown aboard when security details of Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel humiliated a co-passenger on a Lagos-bound flight from Abuja.

The passenger, Mr Greg Osu, had bought a business class ticket and taken his seat for a smooth flight. But the comfort he paid for was soon short-changed for discomfort by the security details with the governor. They asked him to get off the seat because the governor was to sit next to it. The confused passenger did not understand why and how his position was an encumbrance to that of the governor. He protested.

But his complaint only drew the ire of the overzealous security aides. They threatened to deal with him on getting to Lagos.

The confusion attracted the attention of other passengers, who expressed surprise and anger over the violation of innocent passengers rights by those paid to protect them.

The pilot was contacted. He looked helpless, considering the personality involved. But he managed to placate the aggrieved passenger by relegating him to the economy class and appealed to the security aides to allow peace to reign.

But the governor’s Aide-de-Camp (ADC) threatened fire and brimstone against the hapless passenger, to teach him a lesson about how not to behave when a governor demands privileges.

Defending Otumba Gbenga Daniel, one Amoke Obafemi insisted that Mr Osu behaved very badly. He said it was not proper for him to insist he wants to sit right next to the Governor when there were still 2 more seats in the business class cabin. In his opinion, he was merely looking for trouble.

But disagreeing with him Professor Pius Adesanmi narrated the story in Ottawa of a Nigerian who went to the cinema and when the lights came on in the movie theatre after the film was over, he was shocked to discover that the man sitting right next to him, munching pop corn in the dark, was no other than Stephen Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister.

The story if true is absolutely possible and plausible. He goes on to state his own fair share of such unexpected contacts with Ministers and other top government officials in France; “You are in the library at the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris. Next thing you know, a familiar face grabs the seat next to you and you are shocked: wait a minute! This is Rama Yade, The Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs!”

My humble self have sat side by side with members of British Parliament in the Jubilee line London, travelling towards Westminster station. I once casually walked past David Cameron and George Osborne at the Parliament Square on my way to work.

I have stood side by side with Diane Abbot, the Member of Parliament representing Hackney while waiting for a Taxi. I have stood a few metres away from Ministers being interviewed by Journalists in that park opposite the House of Parliament.

If you have been to Westminster, you will marvel at the ease with which tourists get near the seat of power- 10 Downing Street and the House of Parliament.

Mr Adesanmi also told how he had been to Union House - the Aso Rock of SA - in Pretoria and “any Nigerian who lives in Pretoria would tell you that the ease of access to that place is pretty annoying and frustrating to a Nigerian. You can't be in Union House in Pretoria without thinking that the idiots in Abuja have framed Aso Rock as a place that cannot be approached by the ordinary Nigerian. In essence, in civilized climes, government officials routinely wait for their turn in line - behind the citizen”.

According to Pius, the sort of tragic citizen-slavery mentality that has led to the statement by Mr. Amoke Obafemi who argued that "It was not proper for him to insist he wants to sit right next to the Governor when there were still 2 more seats in the business class cabin" is worrisome. “It underscores the overwhelming nature of our problems. We need to fix the psyche of a worsted and damaged citizenry before we can ever fix that country”.

“What Mr Obafemi has said above explains why the rulers of Nigeria have systematically destroyed civics in our school system. They want to produce a citizenry who feels it is improper for a Nigerian to sit beside a Governor, a Rep, a Minister, a Chieftain, a stakeholder, or an elder statesman in the plane. They want to manufacture a citizenry that feels grateful to be considered worthy of standing in the presence of a mere Local Government Chairman. And they have succeeded”.

“That is why Nigerians clap and ululate for their useless convoys instead of stoning and smashing those vehicles as they drive by. Meanwhile, these useless rulers send their kids to schools abroad to acquire the civic awareness they deny our people in Nigeria. Their kids even go learn civics in Lome and Accra!”

He concluded; “Who is Gbenga Daniel that a citizen of Nigeria cannot seat beside him in the plane? Where do we start? How do we re-educate our people? How do we let them know that these buffoons who use state power to harass and oppress them are actually their servants and it is ok for a Maiguard - if he has the money and bought his ticket - to sit beside Gbenga Daniel in the plane? How do we demystify power in Nigeria”?

Nigerians, we need to change our mindset and the way we view men of power. Back home I viewed with distaste our penchant for bowing before these buffoons. I nearly choked on my food two weeks ago when I was a journalist on Television bowed to the earth to shake hands with Governor Babangida Aliyu who didn’t even bother to look at him as the governor was coming out of a meeting of the Governors Forum in Abuja. Looking at his face afterwards you would think he has just shaken the hands of Angel Gabriel!

Even in my days in the Law School, I refused to get up from my seat as other students rushed to queue up and shake hands with Governor Chinwoke Mbadinuju at the Government House, Awka.

Everyone knows that the most inaccessible people in the United Kingdom are the Royal Household. But Prince Charles saw no problem with coming towards me to shake my hands at the Tate Gallery in Westminster London. Interestingly, his entourage on that occasion consists of just one aide.

But in Nigeria, Dimeji Bankole, David Mark, not to talk Otunba Gbenga Daniel and presently, Goodluck Jonathan will not step out of Aso Villa without at least 20 vehicles and dozens of aides in tow!

I once parked my car by the side of the road for more than two hours under the hot sun of Oshodi, Lagos to wait for then President Olusegun Obasanjo – who might not have left his house in Otta – to pass through.

We must change our mindset and the way we view men of power. Changing this mindset and forcing our citizens to abdicate an obsequious and deferential attitude is a job that must be done if we are to step forward. If not, how are we ever going to hold anyone accountable?

To Dominic Ogbonna, politicians are not the only ones who benefit from our exaggerated deference to those with wealth and power. “Most of us who reside abroad are big-time beneficiaries as well. When you visit Nigeria, people respect you not for anything you have accomplished for them, or for yourself, but simply because, you reside in a different part of the planet! It’s scandalous. It’s embarrassing.

“Wherever you look among Nigerians, there are people looking to reap respect and privilege where they have not sown. It's got to stop. This is 2010, and anybody who wants respect or extraordinary consideration in anything must be held accountable for earning it”.

Otunba Gbenga Daniel owes Mr Greg Osu an unreserved apology.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Save Nigeria Now.

Abuja 10 March, 2010

Your Excellency,

Petition from Save Nigeria Group (SNG)

We, the Save Nigeria Group (SNG), a coalition of pro-democracy and human rights organizations and patriotic Nigerians who desire the entrenchment of a truly democratic and accountable governance hereby petition you on certain developments that can truncate democracy and security in Nigeria. We believe in Nigeria and are determined to fight to save the country from the control of groups and individuals that profit from the failure of the Nigerian system.
2. For more than 100 days, Nigerians have not seen or heard from President Umaru Musa Yar’adua since he was evacuated to Saudi Arabia for treatment. For the 3 months he reportedly stayed in an intensive care unit of a Saudi hospital, several of his aides continued to claim that the President was getting better. Some claimed he had started intense physical exercises. It is now more than two weeks since he was brought back to Nigeria in the dead of the night. We have not still heard from or seen President Yar’adua.
3. The refusal of President Yar’adua to resign from office on account of his deteriorating ill-health and failure to transmit a letter of vacation on time as required by the Constitution has resulted in a severe but avoidable constitutional crisis. This crisis has compounded other political challenges caused by an electoral system that is designed to aid electoral malpractices. This dysfunctional electoral system threatens democracy and good governance in Nigeria.
4. In other to save Nigeria from real and present dangers, the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) demands:
• An end to the invisible Presidency of Yar’adua by activating Section 144 of the Constitution so that presidential powers will be fully accountable;

• The dissolution of the present Executive Council of the Federation which has largely collaborated with presidential aides to foist this crisis on the nation; and

• Quick and thorough implementation of the Uwais Report on electoral reform starting with the immediate removal of Professor Maurice Iwu as Chairman and the reconstitution of the INEC with persons of impeccable integrity and competence.
5. We will continue to mobilize Nigerians to engage in public action, including protests, sit-at-homes and strike actions until these demands are fully implemented in the interest of peace, security and genuine democracy in Nigeria.
6. Please accept our highest esteem and support.

Pastor Tunde Bakare

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Just what we need. Another weak leader.

You won’t believe the confession I’m about to make. I actually missed Baba Iyabo, General Matthew Olusegun Okikiolakan Aremu Obasanjo, last Tuesday, when I saw the swagger of some of our Governors on television in London. For a moment, I actually thought a new Acting President had been chosen from their rank. There was this particular Governor who looked so imperial and was busy firing orders at the Acting President, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, just like teachers do to a recalcitrant student. Holy Moses, I screamed! What is Nigeria turning into? It was obviously a payback time for the avuncular protection of his benefactors.

The thrust of their retrogressive position was their well-advertised closeness to President Umaru Yar’ Adua. They even roped in the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola as being one of those very close to the sick President. Please, tell me what such fabled closeness has earned Lagos, where all the Federal roads and other institutions remain in shambles, and Fashola is being discouraged by Federal agents from clearing off their mess. So Nigeria must bleed to death because of the bloated egos of a few people who can’t appreciate how transient power is. (By the way, I saw on the same network news as the former Governor of Nasarawa, Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu, was being led into a Federal High Court in Lafia, on 149-count charge for corruption, by EFCC operatives. He looked pitiable and devoid of his old confidence.) No condition is permanent.

Where were those Governors when Baba Iyabo reigned supreme in Abuja for eight years and nearly added four years as top-up? These same guys could not muster a whimper at the time. In fact, most of them used to flock around Baba to re-assure him of their unflinching loyalty. The fear of Nuhu Ribadu then was the beginning of wisdom. They knew Baba Iyabo would waste no time in dusting up their dirty files. He would have unearthed all the giant worms in their cans, and the fat skeletons in their wardrobes. A prompt impeachment would have been arranged in the middle of the night by the kidnapped members of the House of Assembly. What haven’t we seen before in our country?

These Governors had broken themselves into two sections weeks ago and held the so-called Northern Governors Forum summit where they threw their weight behind the ailing President. In less than two days after, the same group made a volte-face when they joined the rest of their colleagues and said they now believed Jonathan should be allowed to act as President. One of the first obligations performed by Dr Jonathan was to sign off a fat cheque to the Governors from the excess crude sales account. Who didn’t understand the rules of the game? These same Governors would later come back to tell Nigerians that we should wait for Yar’ Adua to fully recover, and that the impending impeachment was out of the question. As if that was not bad enough, they are moaning that the Acting President did not consult them before constituting his Advisory Committee headed by respected former Army General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma. I’ll like to ask if they ever consulted anyone before they hired and fired their multitude of aides.

Say what you will, Baba Iyabo was the kind of President Nigeria needed; iron-fisted, egocentric, brave, combustive, temperamental, ruthless, ambitious, and much more; but, unfortunately, he couldn’t translate those attributes into making Nigeria a better nation. No Governor would have had the temerity to talk down on Baba Iyabo the way they did to Dr Jonathan this week. Now we have an apparently incapacitated President; a most audacious First Lady; and an incredibly soft Acting President. How blessed or cursed can a country be? The Legislature is blowing hot and cold. We have just been told the health of the President is beyond discussion. What is more important than the virtual disappearance of the President of Africa’s biggest nation without any trace in hundred days? The popular refrain in our new national anthem is “it is not a crime to be sick.” I wonder who criminalised the President’s sickness if not his family, and those cronies who have chosen to make a fetish of what ordinary people go through in life.

What exactly are they hiding if not to make proceeds from the misfortune of a man who deserves our respect and prayers at this difficult time? Has the President contracted a disease that is unknown to the medical books or why this recourse to abracadabra? The party which claims to be the biggest democracy agent in Africa has already pre-determined those who can contest the next election and those who cannot. The party’s politburo has even completely ruled out a large chunk of the country from fielding a presidential candidate. There are strong indications that our omnipotent First Lady may decide to contest in her own capacity, or toss a coin between her well-positioned in-laws to determine who should go first lest the daughters exchange fisticuffs. This is our dear old Nigeria, the land of possibilities.

And who says the President cannot rule from anywhere? A President may soon enter the book of records as ruling from the grave, courtesy of unprincipled politicians. We now have an e-President, unseen but very effective, running a government by remote control. The Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Vincent Ogbulafor, spewed out some odoriferous comments as he came out of one of their meetings. He said he likes the Acting President, because “Goodluck Jonathan is not an ambitious man.”

Now we know we have a party of people without the requisite ambition to move our nation forward in the right direction. Ambitious people always dream big, like the oil sheikhs in Dubai and Qatar. Our own prodigal sons would rather fly aimlessly to Saudi Arabia in search of treatment instead of building their own hospitals at home. They’ll rather waste our money in search of a President they know would never be found. An ambitious Chairman would not have embarked on the merry-go-round to Saudi where he could not even see his own President. We sent six powerful Ministers all the way to Saudi Arabia to meet a Foreign Minister who would help transmit our gratitude to the Saudi King for looking after our President in his royal hospital.

Then the Governors added their own insults to the festering injury, by telling the Acting President to forget the idea of impeaching a chronically ill President. They even told him he has to sanction his boisterous ministers and turn them into robots. I wouldn’t have minded if these were stark illiterates who lacked the knowledge of modern politics but some of them were sent to good schools by their parents only to end up in the mud of Nigerian politics. What manner of backwardness are these guys trying to force on our nation when Ministers can no longer disagree in public? The future of Nigeria cannot be safe in the hands of some of these guys who see power as an end in itself.

Please, where is Baba Iyabo? I’ll bet my last kobo that he would have slapped a few of these guys black and blue. Let’s give honour to who it is due. No governor, no matter how delirious, would have found the courage to give Baba Iyabo such disrespectful instructions. The harbinger of such spurious message would have been forced to confess both his sins of commission and omission in a jiffy. The message itself would have evaporated as quickly as it was conceived.

I’m beginning to think that it is a crime to be a gentleman in Nigeria. Goodluck Jonathan is being forced to pay the price of being a level-headed politician. The joke in town is that Jonathan is the only man born in the creeks of Bayelsa who’s not a militant. He’s a perfect gentleman who would never attempt to rock the boat. The other joke flying around is that “Goodluck and Patience got married but they’ve not been able to give birth to a child called Courage.” But jokes apart, the Governors have clearly demonstrated that they are disconnected from the people they claim to serve. I’ll love to examine the logic behind their irascible actions. What is very painful is that a few Governors are committing these atrocities in the name of all the Governors, including the few good ones among them.

Let’s start with the North-South dichotomy. Zoning is no where enshrined in our Constitution. When did the wishes of PDP become synonymous with the aspirations of Nigerians? How many Nigerians in reality are card-carrying members of PDP? Why must PDP continue to delude itself that Nigerians would continue to allow the type of rigging the party seemed to have perfected over the years? Every Nigerian I know except the few hawks in power are ashamed of what politicians are doing to our collective psyche. The argument that Jonathan cannot contest presidential election next year is not tenable no matter how hard they try.

Are they saying even if Jonathan achieves what no Nigerian has been able to fix in 50 years, they’ll force him to step down for a Northern candidate? How can a country as potentially great as Nigeria become reduced to the level of a woman who’s being gang-raped by hoodlums? Most Nigerians are dying for good, efficient and accountable governance, irrespective of where such leader comes from. Zoning can no longer be elevated to the level of religion. I’m reasonably convinced the North has advanced beyond the primordial sentiments being promoted by a few oligarchs on its behalf. These are the set of leaders who have mercilessly impoverished the North almost beyond redemption.

I challenge the so-called champions of Northern interests to come out and show how they’ve developed the North. Instead, they have only succeeded in breeding some of the bitterest youths in the land by siphoning out the resources meant for their general wellbeing. Unlike in the past, the Northern youths are now aware of the issues at stake and better poised to reject the age-old tradition that has kept them down without justification. I know, because I encounter many of these bright guys and ladies on the internet and everywhere I travel.

My prediction is if Jonathan performs well, Nigerians will not worry about where he comes from. He’s a true citizen of Nigeria who has not displayed unbridled lust for power like his colleagues. He has exercised great caution, unlike those who want to set Nigeria on fire at all costs. Is it not only reasonable to promote the candidacy of an Ijaw man as President now that the near-impossible opportunity has presented itself? Jonathan did not throw himself up. He was chosen by an uncommon destiny. Why are these Governors trying to play ethnic card against him?

They alleged that he chose a Northern Christian and a Southern Christian to head his body of advisers. Where were they when two Muslims, Chief Moshood Abiola and Alhaji Baba Gana Kingibe contested election in Nigeria as President and Vice President? Didn’t the Christians vote for them? The Governors cannot continue the old game of playing ethnic and religious cards in order to perpetually enslave us all. What has the zoning achieved for Nigeria other than for a few parasites to gain access to power and by extension an atrocious acquisition of wealth?

Let me even play the devil’s advocate here. What happens if a sick President dies in power? Are the Governors saying his Vice President would not be immediately sworn in? And if and when he’s sworn in, would he be told that he’s only a houseboy who cannot aspire to the high office because he’s been disqualified on account of his place of birth? What nonsense? Let me even stretch it further. If the understanding of the zoning formula is about equality and fair-play, Jonathan is more qualified to run for the next presidential election. He comes from an area that produces our wealth. Yet no President has ever emerged from that zone. Now that one has emerged miraculously, and due to no fault or scheming of his, the Governors are telling him to perish the thought.

Since those who should protect our hard-earned democracy have chosen to toy dangerously with it, the Nigerian people must rise up once again to rescue our nation from these hijackers who would stop at nothing to retain power at all costs. We must assist Jonathan in finding his bearing and the courage to stand up to these bullies. I’m happy that Lt. Gen. T. Y Danjuma has already told Dr Jonathan that there is no time to waste. If and when Jonathan begins to wield the big stick, the conspirators will begin to toe the line. He has nothing to lose if he goes ahead to run the government his own way. He should go ahead and show that he’s indeed the Acting President and Commander-in-Chief and not a houseboy. It is a chance of a lifetime to end this slavery.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

EFCC seizes Atuche’s multibillion naira assets •N50bn cash, 18 firms, 15 houses, 17 bank accounts

EMPOWERED accordingly by a federal high court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has seized over N50 billion, 18 companies and 15 houses from the sacked Group Managing Director of Bank PHB, Mr. Francis Atuche.
Atuche was sacked along with heads of other nine banks by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the wake of the discovery of alleged fraud in the banking sector running into one trillion naira.

Seventeen bank accounts belonging to him were also frozen.

In one of the accounts domiciled with the bank, N25.95 billion cash was said to have been found.

The commission will also this morning commence the sealing off of all the houses traced to him.

Commission’s spokesperson, Mr. Femi Babafemi, confirmed the commencement of the exercise.

The commission had attached all the property traced to Atuche, who is standing trial for his alleged role in crippling the bank, to the Notice of Attachment placed before the trial judge, Justice A.O Ajakaye, who issued the order of temporary forfeiture on March 1, 2010.

Apart from the cash found in his bank account, Atuche also reportedly invested N1.5 billion in Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, N305,889,418 million in Arik Ltd and 500 million units of shares in Afribank Plc.

The houses traced to him are in Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Surulere, VGC Lekki, Ibusa, Delta State, Asokoro, Abuja, with a sole property at 59, Avenue Close, Avenue Road, St. John’s Wood, London.

Some of the companies listed as alleged fronts in siphoning depositors’ funds included, Guesstrade Services; Sentron Trading; Montra and Investico; Claremount Asset Management Limited; Arabian Probity Management; Clareville Trading and Service Limited; Commerical Trading and Services Limited; Afco Associates Limited; Trenton Trade Limited and Consolidated Business Support Limited.

He was also said to have used 15 fronts, including his wife, children and relatives.

The names listed in the court order included Elizabeth Atuche; Grace Atuche; Victor Udeh; Michael Atuche; Anthony Grace; Joseph Atuche; Nkeolisakwu Atuche; Mrs. Mariam Okonmah; Patrick Atuche and Kemi Ojelabi.

Some of the frozen accounts are SA-400221000004, 2190001272, 1160000011, PNA 0010184100002 and CA 001040100000, all domiciled in Bank PHB as well as A/C Nos; 10100061705 and CA 001020102315 belonging to Elizabeth Atuche.
Some of the houses are 2b Falomo Close, Ikoyi; 21 Kingsway Road, Ikoyi (hotel known as Clonades), 41B Anifowoshe Street, V.I, 11 Raymond Njoku Street, Ikoyi, 2000M 2 Plots of land at Ibusa, Delta State, 46 Mamman Nasir Street, off T.Y Danjuma, Asokoro, Abuja, among others.