Monthly Archives: April 2012

Gov. Oshiomhole Says “They Plan To Kill Me”

EDO State Governor in Southern Nigeria, Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday claimed that the accident involving his convoy at the weekend in which three journalists died was an attempt on his life because the tipper driver rammed into his official vehicle while the smaller car he was personally driving escaped by the whiskers.

In a reaction, the Edo State chapters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) yesterday condoled with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Edo State government over the death of the three journalists.

The three dead journalists are George Okosun and Fidelis Ohani (cameramen) and Olatunji Jacob, a reporter.

The PDP, in a condolence message signed by its Publicity Secretary, Matthew Uroghide, “views the death of the three persons as a colossal loss to the journalism profession in particular and the state in general.”

On its part, the state NMA in a condolence statement by its chairman, secretary and spokesman, Philip Ugbodaga, Emmanuel Ighodaro and Dr. Kennedy Alohan respectively, said the “Association is pained as we had severally worked with them (deceased journalists) in the course of our health and political advocacy and can easily attest to their industry, dedication and commitment to the practice of their profession. Their death represents a very sad loss not only to the journalism profession but to the entire nation and to humanity.”

Also, Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, has expressed “shock and sadness” over the death of three journalists.

And the Labour Party (LP) yesterday called for an immediate probe of the crash.

Oshiomhole, who gave a graphic description of the incident, told the media at Government House, Benin City yesterday that it took officials 40 minutes to remove the victims from the mangled bus.

His words: “If I was in my regular official jeep, the guy could have hit me. I was in a small car, which I decided to drive myself. If I was in my official jeep, it could have been my lot. The tipper driver pushed my small car off the road and then crushed the one journalists were driving in.

“Now, it is a straight road and not a bend so if he was losing control, he could have swerved into the bush. When I asked the motor boy yesterday where the driver was, he said the driver had opened the door of the vehicle and left. The motor boy claimed the driver just asked him to follow him on the trip.

“But I asked him, you are not under 18 and somebody just tell you follow me and then the man passed his town, passed another and got to another local council and you still did not ask questions? Well, we’ve asked the SSS and the police to investigate. Then before we know anything, PDP is already issuing condolence message.

But in a reaction yesterday on the insinuation that his party may have a fore-knowledge of the incident, Uroghide said it was wrong for anybody to read meanings into its condolence message.

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Wife Of Former Police IGP, Mike Okiro Dies After A Freak Accident In Her Bathroom

Former IGP, Mike Okiro

Wife of former Inspector General of Police, Sir Mike Mbama Okiro, has died after she slipped and fell in her bathroom.

Hera Okiro, the woman  named in a bank loan controversy shortly after Mr. Okiro stepped down as IG died after a freak accident in her  bathroom. Family sources said Mrs. Okiro could not be reached on time after she fell on her head in a bathtub in the former IG’s home last Thursday.

She was sixty one.

A banker by profession, Hera was named in a bank loan fraud in 2009 shortly after her husband retired as IG, she was named in her capacity as the managing director of Hekiro Nigeria limited, a company used by the former IG to secure contracts from AGIP/ENI oil company and bank loans  from the defunct Lead Bank of Nigeria.

In July 2009 the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) accused Mrs Okiro of borrowing a total of N166. 597 million between 2000 and 2001 from  the defunct Lead Bank, the bank loan was never repaid according to the NDIC.

Family sources said Mrs. Okiro is survived by several children mostly members of the former IG’s family business, Hekiro Nigeria Limited.

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Kano Church Bombings: Two Profs, 13 Others Killed

A Survivor of yesterday's BUK Bomb Blast

Kano State Gov. Kwankwaso mourns, pledges to treat victims free.

At least, 15 worshippers, including two professors and some non-academic staff of the Bayero University, Kano (BUK) in Northern Nigeria, were feared killed Sunday morning by suspected Boko Haram gunmen who besieged the institution’s church premises. However, BUK claimed only one professor died.

The two dons believed to have died in the attack were Professors M .T. Ayodele of the Chemistry Department and Andrew Leo of the Library Department.
Equally killed were Mr. Sylvester Ada, who is state president of an Idoma socio -cultural society within the Catholic church, known as “SS Peter and Paul”. A Chief lecturer in the Federal College of Education (FEC), Kano, Dr. (Mrs) Ololobo, also died in the attack.

An Ogoja lady, who is married to an Idoma man that lectures at the FEC also died in the attack. The deceased, whose name could not be established by Press time, was performing her child’s dedication at the church, said a source, who noted that her child was picked up at the gate of the university after the incident.
“Today was her child’s dedication. She went with the baby, but never came back”, he stressed.

About 15 other persons, who are members of the university community or are living in neighbouring settlements and communities, were also injured. The wounded, have all been rushed to hospitals and clinics in the state capital, said a source, who offered that some of the injured were in life- threatening conditions, an indication that the death toll could rise.
Head of Public Relations, BUK, Alhaji Mustapha Zaharadeen, however, confirmed the death of only seven persons, adding that some of the wounded were taken to the university’s clinic, while the deceased were moved to the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital’s morgue.

Two churches were in worship sessions at the time of the incident. They are Saint Stephen Catholic Chaplain which holds its Sunday service somewhere at the Sports Complex area of the old campus and an inter –denominational worship, which holds its service at one of the two theatres in the same campus. Members of the Hausa Service, ECWA section, were about to enter for their own worship session when the assailants struck.

It was confirmed that a number of un-detonated bombs were found in different locations in the university soon after the incident, including a heavy bomb planted inside the theatre complex, which would have brought down the 250-capacity complex if it had detonated. Witnesses said a vehicle, believed to have been primed with explosives, was equally impounded, even as members of the Police’s Bomb Disposal Unit were spotted at the university trying to clean up the site. The entire area was immediately cordoned off by the Joint Security Task Force (JTF).

Security sources said that some suspects have been arrested by the task force following the incident that has disrupted activities in the state capital, adding that “they are making progress”. Witnesses told reporters that the suspected members of the sect drove into the old campus in about six motorcycles and opened fire on the Christian worshippers in their various locations. While some said that the explosions preceded the shootings, others held that the shootings occurred before the blasts. Another account said that the bombs were actually used by the sect to precipitate confusion for their escape, adding that after they had accomplished their objective, they detonated a couple of bombs and escaped.

Daily Sun observed that soon after the attacks, several churches in the state capital suspended their Sunday services as members quietly left to their homes. A few continued with the service amid panic and fear. Lecturers, a majority of whom had their families in the university, remained indoors as the bombs vibrated across the BUK community. The situation has created panic across the state, even as distressed relatives of the victims and the wounded made frantic efforts trying to determine the conditions of their relatives who were caught up in the attack.

A member of the task force confided that the JTF had not been operating inside the campus, adding that part of the university’s autonomy implied that security operatives can only enter their environment, if and only when invited.
He said that being a Sunday, a majority of the soldiers and JTF members were deployed in the predominantly Sabon Gari area, where 95 per cent of the churches in the state were located. He said that the university’s community had less security as at the time it came under the attack.

Grief –stricken Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kano State branch, Bishop Ransom Bello, was pained and prayed for the repose of the souls of the dead. Speaking with the Daily Sun, he prayed for the quick recovery of the injured even as he asked God to give the relatives of the deceased the heart to bear the losses.“We are very disappointed that this kind of barbaric and murderous act is visited on innocent students and their lecturers of Bayero University, Kano, who obviously came from different parts of Nigeria to work or to study in the school.
“We totally condemn this kind of senseless and selective attack.

“The mystery of this to us, as a family, is why the attack on our churches? Why we?” This is highly inhuman and retrogressive action”, Bishop Bello said. Kwankwaso described the attack as unfortunate, pledged to continue to work hard for the peace of the state. Meanwhile, Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso has described the attack as unfortunate and sad. The governor who cut short a trip to Abuja to visit the scene, lamented that such a painful thing was happening at a time peace was gradually returning to the state capital following sporadic attacks by suspected gunmen.
Governor Kwankwaso assured that the state and federal governments will continue to work hard to ensure that peace and harmony prevailed among the residents.

He stated that the state government has made arrangements with public and private hospitals to ensure that victims of such incidents are treated satisfactorily, while the government will foot the medical bills. The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Prof. Yahuza Bello, who conducted the governor round, explained that some of the worshippers were attacked in an indoor sports hall at the old campus of the university, which they used temporarily as a place of worship.

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Quote Of The Day! Mon 30 Apr 2012

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other” – Abraham Lincoln

You determine your success. No tools, strategies or courses can do it for you. If someone has resolution, but bad tools, he will succeed. But it someone has poor resolution and the best tools in the world, I certainly wouldn’t bet on him or her.

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Another Bloody Weekend in Adamawa of Nigeria: Gunmen in Killing Spree Again

Unknown Gunmen

Five persons were killed at the weekend in Adamawa State by unknown gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram. A police inspector was killed in Jimeta. According to reports, a police patrol team was attacked leading to the death of a police officer and a female colleague on duty. A few hour later two civilians were killed at a shopping complex building in the heart of the state capital by unknown gunmen who rode on a motor bike.

The slain police officer was attached to the police station in Jimeta before he met his untimely death. It was gathered that at Demsawo Street in the state capital some gunmen who rode on motor bike ran into the police special Anti-Robbery Squad SARs which was on patrol and opened fire on them leading to the death of the officer while another sustained injuries.

It was believed that the gunmen were members of Boko Haram Islamic sect, although the suspects are yet to be identified.

The residents of Demsawo, a suburb in Jimeta who spoke to our reporter described the incident as most unfortunate “it will be the first confrontations by unknown gunmen against the police patrol team since the killing of SARs commander in the state.

Also at the Mubi residence of the Assistant Financial Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Adamawa State, Alhaji Abdulraman Kwacham and two of his security guards were killed by unidentified gunmen at their duty posts. According to an eyes witness, Mr. Danlami Audu told our correspondent that two men came to the politician’s house on a motor bike pretending to be his associates.

He said that immediately they gained entrance to the PDP chieftain’s compound they found out that he was not in town. And later called two of the securities on duty by their names as if they wanted to make an inquiry before they were shot dead. Speaking to our correspondent Kwacham confirmed that his Mubi resident was attacked when he was at the state capital. He said that the attack has no political undertone since he had no political rift with nobody.

When asked if he suspected Boko Haram, he said that Boko Haram sect carry out such attack since politicians are not their target. He called on federal government to dialogue with the sect so that peace can return to the country, adding that some criminals commit offenses against fellow citizens and hide under the cover of Boko Haram .

The police image maker (ASP) Nemuel Yoila confirmed the incidents saying that no arrest has been made. He assured that patrol has been intensified to catch up with the felons saying “A routine patrol was attacked and lost a policeman while another sustained injuries during the shoot out.”

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Did President Jonathan Offend God?

It began like a fairy tale. The romance between President Jonathan and the Nigerian people seemed written in the stars. At the peak of his fame, President Goodluck Jonathan had such overwhelming national support that could only be compared with the same momentum that brought President Barack Obama to power, four years ago in the United States. Never since the late Moshood Kasimawo Abiola did Nigerians freely give their support to one man to occupy the nation’s top post.

Five years ago when the infamous former President Umaru Yar’Adua cabal rode the political landscape like a colonizing alien, nobody would have given the university teacher-turned politician any chance of rising further in the political arrangement the country found itself in. But by one of those ironies of which fate is never tired, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan emerged the President in an election unprecedented in Nigeria.

Again, the exalted position in which this humble teacher found himself had seemed written in the stars, even his political enemies mostly agreed that he must be an emissary from the Most High, sent to fulfill a purpose, designed to achieve a goal.

Jonathan himself agreed. He dazzled the nation with his shoeless and bag less stories, and his supernatural rise in the turmoil political landscape of Nigeria. He agreed he was not the best but there must have been something about him that pleased the Most High and made him the servant for this privileged assignment.

Given the unprecedented design of his electoral victory, with Nigerians from all tribes and walks of life rising up to selflessly work to achieve ‘Gods purpose’ in his life, he saw himself as the anointed arrow of God, to punish wickedness in the land and bring back justice and righteousness.

The election itself seemed to have the hand of the stars in it, many Nigerians who would never have voted the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) did on that day. The joke at most polling stations was “Let us vote PDP today, next week (gubernatorial elections) we will return to our party”; some even had justified their vote for the PDP this way “I did not vote for PDP, I voted for Jonathan.”

But how does one go from hero to zero in a matter of days? When did Jonathan fall out of God’s favor to become the most vile President Nigeria ever had? How did it happen that since his inauguration he has taken every wrong step, at the wrong time for the wrong reasons? Let us hazard some guess on what could have made him to fall out of the favors that got him into the position. Here was a man who just a few months ago could do no wrong, who said all the right things and quickly forgiven when gaffes were made- his rascally statement on rascally South West leaders- and in a matter of days, he had gone from the top of the mountain to the pit of despise.

How did the president offend God?

Firstly, Jonathan was ungrateful to God and the people God used for him; one remembers how he knelt before a renowned man of God in public view for prayers. Has he returned to give thanks? Even Ogbeni Aregbesola, the governor of Osun State returned to God to fulfill his electoral vow of giving thanks. After his elections, Jonathan abandoned most of those who worked selflessly for him; he would not acknowledge their role in his electoral victory.  Jonathan betrayed the poor and the vulnerable who voted for him. The President was like one of the nine lepers who didn’t give thanks.

Another point was the President abandoned wise counsel. During his campaigns, Jonathan surrounded himself with wise counselors and drank from the fountains of their experience. Now, he has gone back to the politicians, the very ones who despised him for his inexperience. In 1 King 12:1-16, the tragic folly of King Rehoboam was unveiled. When given the democratic mandate to freely lead the nation of Israel, he abandoned wise counsels and choose to follow his rascally mates.

The result was the eternal division of the kingdom of Israel.

Our President has also forgotten the source of his power and authority. It is human to be tempted that the strength of your arms has procured for you your victories, it is hard not to fall into the constant whisperings of pride and arrogance that you are the next thing to God. But the real power belongs to the people and the leader derives his powers from the people. That is why Jesus himself said, he who desire to lead must first serve and be the last. The conduct of Mr. President, the corruption of the system and the treachery that attended the January fuel subsidy removal showed clearly that President Jonathan has forgotten the source of his authority.

Encouraged by a selfish and treacherous elite class, the President forgot his shoeless days and heaped, like King Rehoboam, untold hardship on the Nigerians who gave their own shoes that he may cease to walk barefooted. The President, in satisfying his own cabal put in the way of these now shoeless people, thorns and briers and told them to walk gently. “The tender mercies of the wicked are cruel,” Proverbs 12:10.

Our President has added pride and vanity to his list of virtues, he strides around the world with large entourage, displaying wealth and pomp like a Mansa Musa while his people groan under crushing poverty.

The President hit the ground running with one mistake after the other and now it seems he cannot do anything right.  One year after, the President has not made one brilliant move and he does not seem to understand his helplessness.

Not many Nigerians can remember one policy designed and implemented by the President that have direct positive impact on the lives of the ordinary Nigerians.

How many hobs has he created to lift people out of poverty, instead of descending deeper into the abyss?

Under President Jonathan’s watch, Nigeria has sunk deeper into the depths of corruption and cluelessness.

How many bills passed by the National Assembly has the President signed? Some of the bills are life saving bills that could have direct implications for the lives of Nigerians.

The aim of this writer is not to join the growing ranks of disaffected people who daily abuse the President but to point out the way he may have fallen out of his ordained assignment. Unless the President finds himself back on the path of constitutionality, rule of law and good governance, Nigeria would remain what it is, a nation under siege. The pertinent question we need to ask ourselves, given the excellent profile of the President and what his administration could have been, while it suffers untold rejection, would be: Did Jonathan offend God? Freelance Seun Akioye

….Happy Sunday!

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NSA’s Comments On PDP Over Boko Haram Tears Jonathan’s Government Apart

President Jonathan being conducted round the premises of ThisDay by the Chairman, Leaders and Company Limited, Prince Nduka Obaigbena (3rd right) during a visit to the newspaper house, bombed in Abuja Thursday

* The NSA, Azazi in trouble

* President takes on Azazi: He must explain himself

* PDP says he committed grave error

In what is becoming a very messy affair, President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, took on his National Security Adviser, NSA, General Patrick Azazi, on his comment that the insurgency in the country could be traced to the zoning arrangement of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, declaring that “people need to ask the NSA to explain what he really meant”.

Jonathan’s statement, which attempted to create a soft landing for Azazi by insinuating that he didn’t believe “that the NSA meant that the practice in the PDP are anti-democratic”, is coming at a time the PDP castigated the statements of the NSA.

Meanwhile, more criticisms continued to trail the statements of Azazi. A key functionary of the Jonathan administration, who preferred to remain anonymous, yesterday, said: “TheNSA would have to come out and explain the people he is working for; he is the NSA in this PDP administration and security matters are under his watch; he needs to come out and explain what he meant because such statements are very dangerous at a time when the Islamic sect just went on a bombing spree last week with attendant loss of lives”.

Jonathan on NSA’s statement
The president, who spoke when he visited the bombed office of ThisDay Newspapers in Abuja, maintained that the PDP’s actions are based on democratic norms.

The NSA had alleged that the security challenge in the country is exacerbated by the position of the PDP which, he said, “got it wrong from the beginning by claiming that its convention and rules state that this person can rule and this person cannot” – this was a reference to the party’s zoning arrangement and the imposition of candidates, practices which, he said, were contrary to the 1999 Constitution.

But, reacting to the allegation, Jonathan said the NSA’s statements may have been misinterpreted, pointing out that  Azazi needed to explain what he meant.

According to the president, it was unlikely that the NSA, in his comment, intended to characterise the PDP as anti-democratic.

He stated: “I don’t believe that the NSA meant that the practices in the PDP are anti-democractic. I cannot comment much on what happened in the first republic, but the second republic that I marginally  participated in and this third republic that I am a key actor, presently as a member of the first eleven, I still see that the PDP is one of the most democratic parties.

“So, I don’t believe that it is undemocratic practices in the PDP that could give rise to Boko Haram or any other groups. So, probably, people need to ask the NSA to explain what he really meant. I have read it in the papers. I don’t believe it is undemocratic practices of the PDP that gave rise to this or any other militant groups”.

Jonathan attributed the interpretation being given to the NSA’s position to a possible breakdown in communication.

“One thing I do know, like philosophers will say, is that human beings disagree because people use different words to mean the same thing and use one word to mean different things.

“That is the primary reason for disagreement. That is why public officers like us are extremely careful because words are extremely elastic.  So, sometimes, you have something in your mind you want to communicate, but the way you communicate it, different people will give different interpretations.

“That is why some human beings who don’t think are quarrelsome. When they hear something, they only understand it in one way. They don’t give the opportunity to look the other way”.

`World attention’
Speaking on the attack on ThisDay, the president accused the Boko Haram of seeking to gain world attention by attacking newspaper houses. He, however, reiterated his vow that the activities of the terrorists would be defeated.
Jonathan’s words: “From the beginning of these terrorists’ attacks on us as a nation, I have always maintained that position that terror attack on any part of the country is a terror attack on all of us and indeed the whole world. Terrorists’ method is to ensure maximum damage that the whole world will begin to look at their direction for relevance.

“You see that this is a media house, not a government establishment. Media help to inform all of us about what is happening and, of course, the media is now also a victim.

“That is why as Nigerians, no matter what we do or where we come from, we must all join hands in fighting this terror. I can assure you that we will get over it. Other nations have passed through it.

“When I say that, Nigerians begin to misunderstan; we are just sleeping, to wait that it will come and go like wind, no. We say that countries have faced it, US has faced it and other countries too did. They were able to conquer it. We are working very hard, our security services are working very hard and we will conquer it”.

According to him, in striving to conquer the terrorists, government would not resort to arbitrary measures, but would adopt global best practices which, he said, would involve all means necessary including dialogue, but he added that those against dialogue with the terrorist group were also right.

The publisher of Thisday, Mr. Nduka Obiagbena, said the attack would not deter the media from defending freedom of speech in line with the constitution, saying: “What is not worth dying for is not worth living for. We will continue to defend freedom of speech in line with the constitution.”

PDP lampoons NSA

Meanwhile, the national leadership of the PDP took a swipe at the NSA, yesterday, saying his accusations against the party were made in grave error.

The party also told Azazi that he got it wrong on the root causes of insecurity in the country for blaming the menace of Boko Haram on the zoning policy of the party, adding that the problem of insecurity in the country started before President Goodluck Jonathan came the president of Nigeria.

The PDP, while reacting through a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metu, noted that the party is one and united behind President Goodluck Jonathan, adding that Azazi’s statement is “a very poor reflection of the foundation and the internal workings of the Party as well as a wrong deduction on the roots of security challenges in the country.

According to Metuh, ‘’President Jonathan emerged with overwhelming votes of delegates from every state in the country, a feat that was again repeated in April 2011 general elections which of course, have been adjudged the best in our recent history. It is therefore a comment in grave error, a fatal diagnosis of facts for anyone to insinuate or directly assert that a section of the membership of the PDP or its foundation predisposes that only a certain section and not others will aspire to the highest office in the country.

“Without fear of contradiction, the PDP is one and truly united in its support for President Goodluck Jonathan who by carriage and personal example has remained the father of all.

‘’The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has strongly dismissed media reports wherein the National Security Adviser, Gen. Oweye Azazi blamed the Party for the current security challenges in the country.

‘’Contrary to assertions by the National Security Adviser, the PDP has remained the strongest catalyst for the unity and progress of Nigeria. Arguing that equity, fairness and all inclusiveness have been the cardinal operative principles of the PDP since formation.

‘’The spread of all the offices in the Party as well as in the federal government which it has been controlling are firm demonstration that the PDP is a sure vehicle for every Nigerian to seek and realize political ambition notwithstanding the hindrances of tribe and religion.

“We wish to state without any ambiguity that our great Party remains the only political party in Nigeria that is not owned by any ethnic group, person or group of persons. All Nigerians are equal stakeholders.

All our special National Conventions for the election of our Presidential flag bearers since 1998 have seen candidates emerge on the strength of National unity, a common motif which envisages that every section of the country, majority or minority can aspire to the highest political office in our fatherland via a well entrenched rotation and zoning principle in the constitution of our party.”

According to the statement, the 2010 presidential primaries of the PDP through which President Goodluck Jonathan emerged was an acid test that proved the founding fathers of the PDP as true architects of national unity.

“While through the military and civilian administrations hitherto, the nation witnessed eruptions of religious violence, the Boko Haram insurgency which itself predated the tenure of the current President is only different in sophistication which again is aligned to the sophistication in this ugly global trend of violence.”

Metuh who noted that PDP has been in the vanguard of the crusade against all forms of violence, said, “The PDP is the only political party that has been entrenching an unambiguous clause against violence in all its electoral guidelines and examples abound of our members who have been disqualified from participating in elections for attempting violence.”

“Our Party will not relent in seeking an end to the scourge of violent attacks in the country and will continue to encourage the security agencies to do their best in the interest of the nation.

However, it is important for us to advise appointees of government to navigate on only on the terrain where their authority will not be humbled by superior knowledge so as to avoid attracting undeserving and unnecessary ill feelings for their principal. The PDP as a Party will not cease supporting and assisting the National Security Adviser in as much as he remains focused in this job of securing the lives and property of Nigerians.’’

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