Showing posts with label People's Democratic Party. Show all posts
Showing posts with label People's Democratic Party. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Do not Vote for the PDP!

The following are the simple reasons you and I should not vote for the corrupt People's Democratic Party (PDP) in the April elections.

Go and read "Why do they fret over Buhari/Bakare?" on page 80 of The Guardian newspaper of today April 5, 2011.

Femi Akintunde-Johnson (FAJ) exposes the desperation of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) to stop the election of the most credible and formidable presidential opponents General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) and Pastor Tunde Bakare of the transformational Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).

I challenge the corrupt PDP to pitch Jonathan/Sambo against Buhari/Bakare to prove their CAPABILITIES in LEADERSHIP on the issues of fighting CORRUPTION, tackling the nightmarish INSECURITY in Nigeria and addressing the challenges of ENERGY to power an industrial revolution to boost the economy and provide the jobs needed by millions of unemployed Nigerians.

The PDP has already FAILED on the three issues at stake since May 29, 1999 to date, after wasting billions of dollars on security and energy, causing the untimely and unfortunate deaths of thousands of innocent Nigerians in political, ethnic and religious riots and causing the closure of many factories where thousands of Nigerians lost their jobs and many manufacturers relocated to Ghana.

Buhari and Bakare are the only ones in the race who have the balls and guts to deal with the issues at stake, CORRUPTION, SECURITY and ENERGY.


Mr. Jonathan and Sambo have shown that they cannot fight corruption and they cannot secure lives and properties in Nigeria. Majority of those supporting Jonathan do not know the gravity of what is at stake. If you ask them what the issues are, they cannot address them.

They will be mentioning the plans of their GEJ, but unfortunately the only issue he has addressed is his plan on energy, but he has no plans on how to tackle corruption and security. In fact, corruption and insecurity are now worse under GEJ.

The Amnesty programme is a billion dollar scam and the CIA, MI5/MI6, MOSSAD and NATO know that the Amnesty deal has not stopped the illegal trade by oil pirates valued at $20 million daily.

Majority of those posing and posturing as beneficiaries of the Amnesty programmes were not the real militants.

Only fools can be fooled by GEJ and his godfathers who want to use him as their political trump card to deceive the ignorant electorate to get their mandate so that they can perpetuate their corrupt rule in Nigeria. Because, the election of Buhari and Bakare will end their evil reign from Abuja to the Niger Delta. Why were they after James Ibori who was once one of their chief sponsors?

It is a pity that the misinformed supporters of GEJ have been politically hypnotized by the campaign strategists of GEJ who are using the advantage of the power of incumbency to use the national media and other government tools for their political propaganda. Mr. Ben Bruce of the Silverbird Group owes the establishment of his STV to former President Olusegun Obasanjo who did a lot for him through the late Stella Obasanjo. Therefore, Chief Obasanjo who is the godfather of GEJ is responsible for the mutual agreement between Ben Bruce and GEJ and Both of them are from the same Bayelsa State where Silverbird Group has properties and investments. OBJ, GEJ and Ben Bruce are partners with mutual interests. Ben Bruce is the brain behind the mobilization of Nigerian entertainers to support GEJ. The $200 million loan facility for the entertainment sector was a stage managed campaign strategy that was not in the budget. They can fool the ignorant masses with all their political shenanigans, but they cannot fool GOD.

A public official in President Jonathan's team has been caught by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for misappropriating the pensions of thousands of retired civil servants and he is still enjoying the loot. See the EFCC report on the N12 billion pension scam in the Pension Dept of the Head of Service (HoS).

Dear Clones of the PDP, have you heard the news?

That Nigeria under the PDP has failed woefully to meet the health target of at least 15% of the national budget for Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The PDP government has been allocating between 5 and 8 percent of the national budget to health since 2001 to date! Nigeria is one of the 17 African countries that spent less than $38 per capita as health share of the total spending of government and are off track on health MDGs.

Now you see HOW EVIL YOUR PDP IS? Do you know how many Nigerians have died, because of the govt neglect of health care? GOD will judge you all for every innocent blood shed because of your maladministration. Is this not EVIL!

Any Nigerian supporting a corrupt government is an enemy of the state. Nigerians would be better, healthier, safer and wealthier without the corrupt PDP in power. If Nigerians fail to remove the PDP by election, this political gargantuan of corruption will be sacked by a revolution.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Wole Soyinka's Final Verdict on the PDP of Nigeria

Prof. Wole Soyinka

The following is the final verdict of Nobel laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka on the ruling People’s Democratic Party of Nigeria on the coming April elections.

Only 4 sets of people can vote for the PDP:

(1) those who are intellectually blind.
(2) those who are blinded by ethnicity
(3) those who are blinded by corruption and therefore afraid of the unknown, should power change hands; and finally
(4) those who are suffering from a combination of the above terminal sicknesses"

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Is President Goodluck Jonathan the last hope of the PDP?

President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, GCFR, GCON

Is President Goodluck Jonathan the last hope of the PDP?

The ruling People’s Democratic Party is being destabilized by both internal and external forces of discord. Attacks from disgruntled political spoilers in the party have left deep cracks in her walls as many of the losers in the controversial primaries have decamped to different opposition parties and those who have chosen to remain may not prove to be formidable in the forthcoming make or break elections in April and the Opposition is pouring more fuel in the flames of wrath engulfing the PDP.

The PDP has become so unpopular among the masses that the party is spending millions of naira to rent crowds for political rallies and pay for constant rotation of adverts in the print and electronic news media and also desperately using both lawful and unlawful measures to overcome the Opposition.

The horrors of incessant ethno-religious conflicts, assassinations, kidnappings, armed robberies, terrorist bomb attacks and other terrifying incidents have left the citizens in hysteria and melancholia since the ruling party rigged elections in 1999, 2003 and 2007 to control the political leadership of Nigeria. The most harrowing is the insecurity of lives and properties that the masses are now saying that the good luck they expected from President Goodluck Jonathan has turned to bad luck from Yenagoa to Abuja, because the state of insecurity worsened when he was sworn in as the President of Nigeria on May 6, 2010 after the unfortunate death of President Umaru Yar’Adua. But Mr. Jonathan is still undaunted by the nightmarish misfortunes trailing him and continues to hang on to the superstitious belief in his name. In fact, his ruling party seems to have decided to hold on to the same fate as their only hope of surviving the onslaught of the Opposition and the indignation of the disappointed masses. Will their superstition save them?

What the suffering masses of the most populous country in Africa need now is not a superstitious belief in the name of President Goodluck Jonathan, but a realistic solution for the reformation and transformation of Nigeria to end their nightmares of recurrent ethno-religious conflicts, social and economic woes of the perennial crises plaguing them.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sylva is a drowning man – Alaibe


Sylva is a drowning man – Alaibe

Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate in Bayelsa State, Timi Alaibe, regarded as the biggest threat to Governor Timipre Sylva’s second term bid, spoke with some journalists in Abuja during the week on his tenure as Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Chief Executive Officer of the Amnesty Programme. Deputy Editor, SAM AKPE, was there. Excerpts…

In the last one year or so, you have been busy helping the Federal Government implement the Amnesty programme for ex-militants in the Niger Delta. What is your candid assessment of the programme? Put differently, would you say the problem of militancy has been solved in the Niger Delta?

You have asked a very direct question and I shall attempt to give you a direct answer. Over all, the Amnesty programme has been a resounding success. I make bold to assert that the programme will go down in history as the sincerest effort by the Federal Government to address the Niger Delta question. You would recall that the late President Umaru Yar’Adua had on June 25, 2009, proclaimed a 60-day unconditional amnesty period for militants in the Niger Delta, as a step towards resolving the protracted insecurity in the region. The terms of the amnesty included the willingness and readiness of militants to surrender their arms, and unconditionally renounce militancy and sign an undertaking to this effect. In return, the government pledged its commitment to institute programmes to assist their disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and provision of re-integration assistance to the ex-militants. In other words, the programme was structured to have three broad components. One, a security component dealing with the disarmament and demobilization of the various militant groups in the Niger Delta; two, an economic component with commitment to provide access to re-integration opportunities for the ex-militants; and three, to promote the economic development of the Niger Delta. Flowing from this, we proceeded to execute what has become, perhaps, the most successful disarmament exercise in the history of DDR (Disarmament, Demobilization and Re-integration) in Africa. By October 2009, (some) 20,192 ex-militants had willingly disarmed, turned in huge cache of arms and ammunition to security agencies and got enrolled in the programme. Going back to your question, I insist that the Amnesty programme has been a resounding success. Where we are currently would be better appreciated when viewed from the pedestal of where we were prior to the amnesty proclamation.

Can you explain that?

Let me take you down memory lane. By January 2009, militancy in the Niger Delta had virtually crippled Nigeria’s economy. Investment inflow to the upstream sub-sector of the oil industry had dwindled remarkably. Exasperated foreign investors had begun re-directing their investments to Angola and Ghana as preferred destinations over Nigeria. At that point, Angola surpassed Nigeria as Africa’s highest crude oil producer. This dwindling investment in the critical oil and gas sector threatened Nigeria’s capacity to grow its crude oil reserves as planned.
Like you may well know, Nigeria targeted 40 billion barrels proven reserves by end of 2010. Clearly, insecurity in the Niger Delta was identified as key reason investors were leaving for more stable business opportunities in Africa. For example, due to militant activities in the Niger Delta, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) by early 2009 had declared force majure on its operations, which caused a drop in its production capacity from one million bpd to about 250,000 bpd. ExxonMobil also experienced increased insurgent activities in its Nigerian operations. Sabotage, oil siphoning rackets and kidnappings of oil workers by suspected militants further threatened the operations of the oil companies and exerted immense pressure on the Nigerian economy. Worse still, citing insecurity, union officials all too often called strikes to protest insecure working environment. It got to a point where Nigeria’s export dwindled to as low as 700,000 bpd, compared with a targeted 2.2 million bpd for the first quarter of 2009. In 2008 alone, it was estimated that Nigeria lost over N3 trillion as a result of militancy in the Niger Delta.

So what has happened since the commencement of the programme implementation, especially in the oil sector?

Shortly after the October 4, 2009, deadline for Niger Delta militants to accept Federal Government’s amnesty offer expired, the government and other stakeholders began counting the positive results from the exercise. With peace restored in the Niger Delta, oil companies and associated companies re-opened shut-in wells; Nigeria’s oil production increased from 700,000 bpd to 2.3 mbpd; construction of East-West Road resumed; kidnapping in the core Niger Delta states drastically reduced; oil bunkering reduced; crime rate declined; signs that the process would succeed accelerated economic development across the nation. With cessation of hostilities, government began giving assurances that Nigeria can once again fill its OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) quota and be trusted by major consumer nations to meet its contractual obligations; Nigeria LNG’s reputation as a reliable supplier of LNG cargoes was restored; with renewed confidence in the international oil market, Nigeria began to exercise more influence in the supply and pricing of oil and, of course, repairs of oil and gas infrastructure damaged during the unfortunate era of militant agitation speedily commenced, while contractors handling development projects also were given lee-way to fast-track their efforts to assure the ex-militants of government’s determination to ensure sustainable development in the Niger Delta. Finally on this matter, let me clarify that while it is true that the late Yar’Adua initiated the Amnesty programme, it is important to place on record that when it seemed that the programme was floundering, it was President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan that revved it up, gave it fresh impetus and provided all that was needed to attain the success that we are talking about today.

So in what state was the Amnesty programme before you resigned in December 2010?

Yes, as at December 2010, (some) 12,917 ex-militants had undertaken non-violence transformational training at the Demobilization Camp we sited at Obubra, Cross River State. For this demobilization exercise in the camp, we engaged experts from Nigeria, South Africa and the United States of America. The transformational/reorientation activities in the camp are tailored to extinguish the belief of the ex-militants in violence and provide them a more powerful alternative – non-violence. In camp, they are taught to promote non-violent method in bringing about a better Niger Delta. The concept of non-violence is a method that is non-aggressive physically but dynamically aggressive spiritually. We inculcate in the ex-militants the fact that non-violence is for the courageous; that only cowards utilise violence as a means of conflict resolution; that the non-violent resister is just as opposed to the evil that he is standing against as the violent resister, but he resists without violence. In the non-violent approach, the attack is directed against the forces of evil, rather than persons who are caught in those forces. It uses the power of love. It is based on the conviction and belief from the long tradition of our Christian faith that the Almighty God is on the side of truth and justice. It is this deep faith in the future that makes the non-violent person to accept suffering without retaliation. The camp also provides career guidance designed to assist ex-militants determine their career aspirations going forward in terms of education, vocational and entrepreneurial skills. After the non-violence training and career classification in the camp, the ex-militants are placed in skills acquisition or training centres, both in Nigeria and offshore. As at December 2010, a total of 4,759 ex-militants who had passed through the non-violence training programme had been assigned to 57 skills acquisition/training centres in 13 states of the federation, while the 2,618 had been slated for training offshore. Indeed, just before my exit, we had sent 38 of them to South Africa. Another 200 delegates, as we now call them, are ready to leave for Ghana for vocational training. The overall re-integration agenda is to groom these ex-militants to become key players in the emerging economies of the Niger Delta – be it in construction, oil and gas, railways, tourism etc. Luckily, the Local Content Act and the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) currently in the works in the National Assembly support this aspiration to get transformed and properly skilled ex-militants play key roles in the nation’s oil and gas industry. The final objective, of course, will be to get the trained ex-militants gainfully employed.

Is it not ironical that you are talking so eloquently about the restoration of peace in the Niger Delta while it is on record that a bomb goes off almost every day in your home state, Bayelsa, which is one of the Niger Delta states? In fact, it is even believed that the spate of violence in Bayelsa is threatening your campaign to become the next governor of the state.

Let’s get one fact clear here; the administrative rot in Bayelsa is not a reflection of the success or otherwise of the Amnesty programme. The violence in Bayelsa is politically-driven; the bombings and incessant attacks are induced and sponsored by the state government. Let me pointedly discuss this matter. There is simply no government in place in the State. There is no focused leadership. What you see is an illusion of a presence of a government. After almost four years in the saddle, the so-called incumbent governor has absolutely nothing to campaign with: no programmes, no projects; absolutely nothing, other than the deception that you see on the front pages of some newspapers that he calls his ‘strides.’ What strides? The so-called ‘strides’ have become a butt of joke, even among children. Imagine a state governor listing, as part of his achievements in four years, the fumigation of Okolobiri Hospital! Or is it the huge fraud of unseen and unknown ‘concrete roads and foot-bridges’ he has been listing as part of his ‘strides’? A state government receiving derivation income in billions of naira every month is priding itself as constructing foot-bridges and fumigating a hospital at this time and age. Then, what would the local government do? He is just wasting Bayelsa money to embarrass himself on the front pages of newspapers. Because he has achieved nothing in four years, he has nothing to campaign with; absolutely nothing to tell the electorate, so he is determined to stop other aspirants from campaigning. Can you imagine the governor of a state sponsoring violence disrupt the campaign rallies of other candidates, and at the same time shamelessly accusing the opponents of being afraid to campaign? We will not be cowed; we will not succumb to these dastardly antics of a rejected and drowning man. So, do not use the Bayelsa situation to judge the Niger Delta region. When last did you hear that a bomb went off in other Niger Delta states? By the grace of God, Bayelsa will turn a new page on May 29 this year. To further underscore the failings of the current government in Bayelsa, baseline statistics during the disarmament phase of the Amnesty programme, indicated that Bayelsa has the highest number of militant camps in the Niger Delta. These are patriotic youths of this country who, in the absence of care, resorted to militancy and other forms of self help. Over 9,000 youths of Bayelsa origin are currently enrolled in both phases of the Amnesty programme, the highest number from any state. This throws up the nature of the challenge of unemployed youths in the state because the number mentioned here does not even include those who are not in the Amnesty programme. The current government, meanwhile, has no plans or programmes for the huge population of the unemployed in the state. It got its priorities wrong, or how would it budget N1 billion in 2011 to construct golf course in the state. Golf course for who? Should this be a priority at this time? That man has no vision, even for himself. God will deliver Bayelsa from him.

In a recent interview, Sylva boasted that you are not known in Bayelsa State; that claims in certain quarters that the president backs you are false. The governor even lampooned you as a political ant and that the Labour Party in Bayelsa is nothing but a political graveyard of sorts?

I find it rather time-wasting joining issues with Sylva. I did not read this interview you are talking about, but my associates and aides drew my attention to it and excerpts were actually brought to me. The truth is that the man is simply scared. He knows that the game is up. Bayelsans desperately seek a fresh and better start. Typical of all drowning persons, he is seeking to cling to anything to stay afloat. He has resorted to name-calling and utter falsehood. But I think we should discuss issues and not nonentities. Overcoming the daunting, albeit embarrassing, challenges Bayelsa faces today requires a new vision. Bayelsans are determined, more than ever before, to move forward together, for the challenges we face are bigger than party and politics. It is not about LP, PDP or any other party. Sylva’s government has no sense of direction. Look at all the governors in the South South, from Rivers to Delta to Akwa Ibom to Edo to Cross River; they are opening up roads, building over-head bridges, hospitals, introducing and sustaining quality free education and healthcare projects, empowering their people. Sylva is busy advertising his failure in the media. Do you know how much he spends a week advertising those failures on the pages of newspapers? Add this to the regime of indebtedness he has thrown the state into. The governor should please tell the Bayelsa people the specific development projects that accounted for about N100 billion debt profile he has accumulated for the state. He should be worried about mismanaging the financial and general goodwill of Bayelsa people. Bayelsans are much more concerned about rescuing the state from his mediocre administration. A political party is a mere platform to contest elections. When elected, it is your duty to provide leadership. When you achieve results, nobody cares about your party platform. Sylva has every reason to fret; his cup is full. He is going. He is simply seeking to obfuscate the facts of the politics in Bayelsa today. All Bayelsans support President Jonathan. Indeed, I chose the LP because I support Jonathan. LP is not fielding a presidential candidate in the April elections. Therefore, Jonathan is my presidential candidate. He is the candidate of all well-meaning Nigerians and, by the grace of God, he will emerge resoundingly victorious in the presidential election. So, the current governor of Bayelsa has no escape route. He cannot blackmail Bayelsans to re-elect him, to reward him for crass ineptitude, simply because he is of the same party with the president. No, no it will not happen; our situation is peculiar and urgent; the collective mission of Bayelsa people is to, first and foremost, rescue our state from the grips of failure.

In a publication, you were quoted as saying you left PDP to embarrass the president.

I’m sure the president himself must have laughed when he read that because he knows the truth. I have been told that Sylva is using that as a campaign issue. The man is recklessly desperate. I really don’t think I need to comment on this because when my attention was drawn to that false and manipulated report, I quickly issued a corrigendum which was well-published by the same paper the following day. That cancelled the previous publication. My relationship with the president is well-known. It is unthinkable that I would say such a thing. When I wanted to leave the PDP for obvious reasons, as a mark of respect, I informed the president and other senior party leaders. Permit me not to disclose the details of our discussions. I acted based on the advice of the political leaders of Bayelsa. I left PDP to seek a neutral platform for the actualisation of the peoples’ vision. With our deep knowledge of the delegate system of voting in the primaries of the PDP whereby a sitting governor decides who should vote, we knew clearly that Sylva would rig the process to his advantage. I am in LP to fulfil the aspiration of overwhelming majority of Bayelsans who desperately desire that the state be rescued from the claws of its current clueless leadership. Never in my life would I contemplate embarrassing the man who gave me the opportunity to implement a programme that has turned around the economy of Nigeria by bringing peace to the Niger Delta.

Are you saying that your aspiration under LP enjoys the support of the president?

My brother, for about one year, I worked very closely and directly with His Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, as his Special Adviser on Niger Delta. He is a man intensely focused on success; he abhors embarrassing situations, hates failures and loves peace and peaceful environment. I am contesting to be governor of Bayelsa to lead others to free the president and all Bayelsans from the embarrassment that the current state government has become. Do you remember that when the president visited Bayelsa, Sylva was booed and stoned by the people, in the presence of the president of this country? Nothing could have been more embarrassing. He was stoned, booed and insulted. I don’t have any iota of doubt in my mind that Mr. President wants his state to be better governed, developed, peaceful and habitable. I can assure you that from May 29 this year, President Jonathan will be spending his weekends in the new Bayelsa of our dream.

Sylva calls you a political ant.

Let’s discuss issues. Leave Sylva and his ranting alone. He is not worth any decent discussion. I’m not into name-calling. If I were a political ant in Bayelsa, why is he panicky? Why is he sending people to attack opponents everywhere they go to? Why is he running an illegal security outfit called Famutangbe (meaning ‘kill and throw away’ in Izon language)? This is the extent Governor Sylva loathes our people; maintaining a security outfit with a name reminiscent of a declaration of violence against the same people he swore to protect. Why would a governor set up a killer squad under the guise of maintaining peace and security in the state? The same squad supervises the pulling down of billboards of political opponents of the governor without anybody calling it to order. Look, let’s get serious: Bayelsans know me like the back of their hands. All my working life, I have done all I can, all that was within my powers, to bring development to the state. Today, a substantial chunk of the development projects in our state is attributable to my previous service in various spheres, including my service in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). I am talking of infrastructure and mega developmental projects, particularly roads and bridges construction, shoreline protection, reclamation and canalisation. The excerpts of his interview that I saw, he was talking of uncompleted NDDC projects; what is that supposed to mean? Has NDDC folded up? So, simply because some NDDC projects are on-going or pending in Bayelsa, Timi Alaibe, who left there some years ago, should be blamed? Governors of other Niger Delta states are busy piling pressure on the NDDC to initiate projects or complete on-going projects in their states. Sylva obviously hates NDDC projects because they remind him of Alaibe. That’s pettiness! He spoke also of the Niger Delta Masterplan, which he said we executed at the cost of N25 billion or N45 billion. You can imagine a governor descending to the level of peddling rumours for lack of what to do. For the avoidance of doubt, the masterplan did not cost this amount. Unknown to people, the two lead consultants to the master plan (GTZ International/Wilbahi Engineering Consortium and Norman and Dawbarn Consortium) were companies sponsored and led by two prominent Ijaw personalities; both of them incidentally from Governor Sylva’s senatorial district. More interesting is the fact that Governor Sylva’s company, Sylvasky Nigeria Limited, led the group that provided sector consultancy on tourism. If the project cost the amount he has announced, then NDDC must have paid the money to the lead consultants and himself. I am waiting for him to publish his facts. He is a confused man. Like I said, Bayelsans know me; I have always given the state and indeed the entire Niger Delta region my best and my all. As the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, I worked round-the-clock and even took risks to rid our state and other states in the Niger Delta of militancy. I am proud to say that today we have paved the way for a better future for these our brothers and sisters who are currently in first-class skills acquisition centres across the country and abroad. As governor of Bayelsa State, I shall, by the grace of God, do much more. We will invest in major critical infrastructure that will involve the construction of roads and bridges that will open up our land-locked communities, villages and towns. We shall reclaim lands from the sea, rivers as well as creeks and protect our shores. We shall diversify the economy of Bayelsa to empower our people and create job opportunities.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Oronto Douglas: The Strategist Behind The President

Oronto Douglas

The Strategist Behind The President

Oronto Natei Douglas, 45, is a leading human rights attorney in Nigeria. Fifteen years ago, he served as one of the lawyers on the defense team for the celebrated Ogoni leader, Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was executed by military fiat on November 10, 1995. Douglas co-founded Africa's foremost environmental movement, the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria, and has served on the board of several non-profit organizations within and outside the country. He remains the first Niger Delta activist to have been hosted at the White House by a serving American President in the heydays of President Bill Clinton. Douglas is a Fellow of the George Bell Institute, England, and the International Forum on Globalization, USA. He has presented papers in over 200 international conferences and has visited over 50 countries to speak on human rights and the environment. With his friend, Ike Okonta, he co-authored Where Vultures Feast, the ground-breaking study on Shell and human rights violation in the Niger Delta. Oronto Douglas is the Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Research & Documentation. He spoke to Nengi Josef Ilagha recently, in London.

Q. To begin with, could you be so kind as to recap your involvement with the struggle of the Niger Delta minorities in the past decade?

A. Well, my involvement with the Izon movement goes back to my days at the university. I was the national mobilization officer of the National Union of Izon-Ibe Students under Cassidy Okilolo who was then President. Within this period, I was also involved in clan activities. I was involved in the movement for reparation to Ogbia, and I was a key player in the Nembe-Ibe Students Union. The Izon nation is a constellation of beautiful stars, otherwise known as clans, and all these stars have their unique potentialities that help to make the Izon nation great. There was the need to awaken, inspire and encourage these clans to stand and build the Izon nation so that the Izon nation can build Nigeria. That was the foundational dream.
We went on to a broader movement, Chikoko, founded in 1997. We realized that our first duty was to awaken the Niger Delta. There was the need to wake up the Urhobos, Isokos, Ishekiris, Ijaw, Efik, Anang and so on -- to wake them up beyond rivalry, beyond individual nation identities, to bring them all together under an umbrella. Now, the best place to start would be home. So we sat down with other patriots and agreed that the Ijaw question needed to be brought to national and global consciousness in a very focused and intellectual way. There was the need to articulate our grievances and views to the rest of the world, so that justice can be brought to bear on what has been happening to us these past many decades. That platform was actualized on December 11, 1998 in Kaiama.

Q. What is your assessment of the struggle so far?

A. I believe that we have achieved the first three cardinal objectives of the struggle. First, we have raised the consciousness of our people, and located that consciousness within a national and global compass. We have also achieved the second leg of the struggle which is the cohesiveness of the Ijaw nation. We have to speak as one. The foundation of the Ijaw National Congress, INC, in 1994, as a cohesive collective of all the Ijaws irrespective of clan, was a major stepping stone. But it needed to be galvanized by a youth arm, as exemplified by the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, to help push the Ijaw agenda onto the global stage. The third objective was to convince Nigerians that there was a problem in the Niger Delta that needed to be addressed. Ken Saro-Wiwa and Ledum Mittee helped to raise Ogoni issues to global awareness and appreciation. But when the Ijaws and other surrounding nations added their voices, it became clear that something needed to be addressed urgently. Three issues are yet to be achieved. One, the question of self determination. Two, resource control. And three, the question of environmental justice. These matters are still pending and they call for urgent attention.

Q. How can these outstanding issues be settled?

A. A number of paradigms have been thrown into the struggle. The paradigm of violence, for instance, was not in the equation. But if violence is not checked through dialogue, it is likely to stall the process of Nigeria’s advancement to the top twenty most prosperous and most advanced nations of the world. Fortunately for Nigerians, the blueprint of amnesty was accepted and is being implemented, in spite of occasional hitches. A second option that was also thrown into the equation was the still small voice of people who contend that what is needed is a region that would be self-sustaining in a way that is close to true federalism. The third reason it has not happened is that the elite of the Niger Delta are yet to understand the gravity of the problem in their region.

In 1895, if you recall, King Frederick William Koko rallied the Nembe people and demanded that the Queen of England and the Royal Niger Company be not masters in the oil trade by cutting them off and expecting the Nembe to eat mud, which is what the British wanted to subject the Nembe people to. King Koko stood up to say no to oppression, no to injustice, no to economic and imperial subjugation. That objection has reverberated into the present and will resound into the future. What happened in 1895 is happening today. The dramatis personae have changed. Where you had the British, you now have the elite of Nigeria. Where you had palm oil, you now have crude oil. And where you had the transnational company and the machinery of governance as represented by the Royal Niger Company, you now have Royal Dutch Shell. It is something our people need to understand, that nothing has changed.

Q. Let’s look at the resort to violence. Until the amnesty initiative came along, no one knew anything about the range and caliber of ammunition that was under cover in the Niger Delta. What’s your assessment of the amnesty programme so far?

A. The amnesty idea came from the people and was courageously embraced by President Yar’Adua. Make no mistake about it. The programme was designed and articulated by the people of the Niger Delta, embraced by the militants and the Federal Government which was bold enough to announce and implement it. This is the true story. If the people had not articulated it themselves, they would not have accepted it. You know the Ijaw. Nobody pushes them around. Nobody imposes anything on them. Nobody can enslave them. Nobody can destroy them, except they want to destroy themselves. So, the gospel of amnesty was generated by the communities and peoples of the Niger Delta, and accepted by Yar’Adua. Credit must go to Yar’Adaua on that score. Now, what progress have we made? The very acceptance of the amnesty was a victory, a glaring and decisive moment in history. There is no struggle in history of this sort where the people themselves broker the idea of peace and reconciliation. It has never happened.

That historic momentum need not be stalled. The second element of progress is the understanding that after the battle, people need to sit down and dialogue, to move the process of peace and development forward. A very powerful message thus goes out to say dialogue is the best in every situation, and this is directed at the present and future generations. The third progress report is the challenge of development itself. How do we re-integrate? How do we move forward? Our people and comrades in the creeks have to come back to normal life. The process of re-integration and regeneration is a major challenge. If we don’t manage it well, it could further compound an already precarious situation. We have to handle it very delicately and sustain the peace.

Q. You are credited as being the brain behind the landmark publication “100 Reasons Why We Must Control Our Resources.” Do those reasons still obtain, or have more been added to them?

A. We are credited, not I am credited. Take note of that. I may have been instrumental to the document in question but I don’t want to take the full credit alone. We worked as a team, as a collective. And let me say that the reasons we gave have not been addressed. They are reasons that demand immediate attention. But when you work in a system that has variegated and multiple issues, you tend to say your yacht must come first, and that’s what the Niger Delta people must insist on, and rightly so. The 100 reasons articulated there are reasons that all minority ethnic nationalities can identify with, even though the document was issued as an Ijaw manifesto for progress. It was a follow-up to the Kaiama Declaration, a back-up campaign to give the propagators, the articulators, and the advocates of the movement enough material to enable them evangelize. That is one document that Nigeria, Africa and humanity cannot ignore, now and in a hundred years hence. So long as the issues of Ijaw land and the Niger Delta, the denial of their land, their right to clean air, so long as these issues are yet to be addressed in the sanctuary of intellectuals and decision makers in government, we cannot claim to have made much progress.

Q. In the view of some analysts, the INC has been comatose, not as effective as the youth wing. What do you think of the purported disparity in performance and popularity between both bodies?

A. I do not agree that the two bodies are different. The IYC is the youth wing of the INC, although they emerged under different circumstances. But the overall goal is the same, and they are together. If you take Britain as an example, the Churchill era is different from that of Harold Wilson, different from Tony Blair, different from Gordon Brown, different from David Cameron. But Britain remains the same. The leadership of the INC may have applied different strategies over time, but the same overall goal of self-determination, of resource control, of the progress and development of our land and people, is kept in focus. Let me tell you something. My dad is about 83 years old. The way he will articulate the issues of the Niger Delta may not be the same way you will do. He will probably be calm, wise and diplomatic. You and I will be more fiery, more aggressive. But that is not to say we don’t believe in the same cause. The INC and IYC are like that. One is calm, gentle and wise. The other is vibrant, fiery and pushful. It is important that we do not create disparity between these two bodies for the benefit of the Ijaw nation.

Q. As a social activist currently serving in government, one who is in the picture of things at a close range, what are the future prospects for our nation?

A. I am hopeful that Nigeria will remain united and in pursuit of a common destiny. But what we need to get right is the basis of our union, and we need to establish this through a bold, brave, all-inclusive article of the union that will be called the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a document that will inspire hope and ensure that the bounties of Nigeria are for one and all, and not just a few. Once we get that right, nothing will stop Nigeria from ruling the world. Nigeria has the capacity of great elasticity to withstand any threat.

Q. For the first time in 50 years, a minority element from the south of Nigeria is at the helm of affairs in our nation. How does that strike you?

A. It goes to show that there is a spirit of never die in Nigeria, a spirit of endurance and bravery, a spirit of excellence. The point is that President Goodluck Jonathan who hails from Oloibiri where oil was found, and schooled there; who governed Bayelsa and worked before that as an environmental director at OMPADEC, now NDDC, did not desire to be President. Fate and the goodwill of Nigerians, and above all the almighty God, took him from that swamp land to make him President of Nigeria. Clearly, God is sending a message to us. That message is for the good of the Nigerian people. The true and final story of the Goodluck presidency is yet to be told. Once it is told, Nigerians will say thank God.

Q. How much is expected of President Jonathan? What should be his focus in the next few months?

A. He has articulated what he wants to achieve, and I totally agree with him. He is focusing on three key issues. One, delivering on credible elections so as to guarantee qualitative leadership. Two, ensuring peace and stability in the Niger Delta. And three, ensuring constant electricity supply in our country. On a broad scale, you can guess what the absence of power has done to the march to industrialization in our country. He has already demonstrated unrivalled excellence with regard to the matter of credible elections on three occasions. The Edo State House of Assembly elections are a good example. PDP’s honour was at stake. Yet ACN won, and the world hailed because Jonathan insisted on credible elections. Governor Oshiomole flew to Abuja to thank Mr President for standing on the path of patriotism and truth to guarantee credible elections.

In the Anambra gubernatorial elections, President Jonathan insisted on fairness, that he would not tolerate any form of rigging or violence or abridging the fundamental rights of the Anambra electorate to vote and be voted for. Peter Obi won in the end. Nigerians applauded. It was one big leap for democracy. These are milestones to show that he’s on the path to the ideal of conducting free and fair elections that will give our nation a better political character in the eyes of the world.

President Jonathan is a man of peace. He believes that justice must be done to the people of the Niger Delta. He has demonstrated commitment to peace in the Niger Delta, not through violence, not through brigandage, but through sheer political, diplomatic brinkmanship, sheer deployment of that calm, honest nature that he is endowed with. He also takes seriously the security of lives and property in the country in the on-going process of restoration. The Goodluck Jonathan I know is not a man of vengeance who goes after people who wrong him or trespass against the nation. He is a selfless leader that Nigerians can trust.

Q. What should be the focus of a President with a virgin mandate who hails from the south, come 2011, with specific regard to the Niger Delta, in order to achieve credibility?

A. What the peoples of the Niger Delta want to enjoy is what God has given to them, to see these resources translate to development. The poor state of our villages is obvious. Mud houses, zinc houses. Darkness everywhere. No roads. Coloured water. The dream of Mr President is to see that there is a significant departure from the culture of want and deprivation, a major shift in policy at the central level, and a drastic shift in attitude at the communal and state levels that will enable our people to enjoy the fruits of their endurance.

It may take time for our roads to be constructed, time to transform the environment. It may take time to construct bridges from one community to another. But it will not take time to ensure that every citizen cultivates hope, their fundamental rights respected, and to see food on their tables. If at the local government level, the chairman and councilors are accountable for the resources at their disposal, and if the same obtains at the state and federal levels, that will help a lot. If my community, Okoroba, were to receive N100 million from compensation, and we fail to deploy that fortune to durable purposes, then we can only be said to have contributed to the underdevelopment of Okoroba.

In most local government councils, unfortunately, the income is shared rather than applied to useful economic purposes. A percentage should go to education, a percentage to infrastructure, a percentage to health. That is how it should be. But they prefer to share the money amongst themselves, what they call “kill and divide.” Of course, that doesn’t help anybody. The responsibility is both at the individual and national levels. No one is excluded from taking responsibility for the infrastructural growth of the community. It is a collective effort. We have a duty to insist that justice be done to the land and peoples of the Niger Delta. It is a historic responsibility that we cannot shy away from. We have to confront it and defeat it.

About the Author:

His Royal Majesty Nengi Josef Ilagha Mingi XII, is the Amanyanabo of Nembe Bayelsa State, Nigeria.

Also recommended: Epistle to President Goodluck Jonathan on Niger Delta Matters

Click here for more published works of the author.

© 2010 - Nengi Josef Ilagha Mingi XII. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be copied or reproduced in any format or medium without the prior permission of the author and copyright owner(s).

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Let;s Do the Right Thing: Democracy Day Letter from Donald Duke

I write to update you on recent developments that many of you may already be aware of and explain what they hold in store. You will likely have heard that I have formally resigned from the Peoples Democratic Party of Nigeria.

The idea of representation is at the heart of this quest for redemption, as it is the heart of democracy. Over the past fifty years, we have failed to reach the places we were entitled to at independence.

On our fiftieth anniversary of self-government, we haven’t even come close to achieving our true potential. I certainly wish to be an embodiment of our collective hopes for Nigeria.

To achieve this, we must sensitise, mobilise and encourage first time voters, and an apathetic and disillusioned electorate. We must assure them that this time we can make the change needed to move our country forward.

Accordingly, we are embarking on an extensive nation-wide tour, carrying our message along as we do, on Billboards, print and electronic media, sms and through such other social media as facebook and twitter.

The idea is to reach out to every Nigerian above the age of 18 years in every state of the nation. We have enlisted a volunteer network of over
5,000 young men and women in all the states of the federation.

No effort is being spared.
The effort to regain the soul of our country will cost our time and resources because the rot is very deep, indeed.

But, let’s face it: this exercise, as conceived, will be expensive. The huge cost of the exercise would cover travels, logistics, materials, overheads etc.

Some may say it is not our responsibility. But indeed, it is. It is a civic charge to ensure that we have governance at all levels that is truly representative.

I refer you to, a forum that will enable us listen and interface with you. It would also allow you to make contributions and invite others to join the cause - your cause, our cause. Beyond your contributions, spread the word and pass the message on to others.

Your enthusiasm, commitment, participation and donation are the lifeblood of this organisation and effort. Please give freely of your heart. Failure would be in doing nothing in the face of opportunity.

We shall, throughout this effort, consistently update you on what we receive and how it is spent. We shall at all times be transparent and accountable.

Let us, together, take our country back and move it forward. It is the right thing to do and the time is now!

Donald Duke

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Abubakar Rimi: The Nigerian Political Vicious Circle Has Claimed Another Victim

Alhaji Abubakar Rimi

Abubakar Rimi: The Nigerian Political Vicious Circle Has Claimed Another Victim

The news making headlines in Nigeria is; Alhaji Abubakar Rimi, an ex-governor of Kano State died last Sunday from heart failure after surviving an armed robbery attack on his way home from Bauchi to Kano. His heartbroken driver Alhaji Haruna Abdullahi blamed the medical staff at the emergency ward of the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital in Kano for failing to save his life, because they were too slow in responding to him. But the medical staff replied that he was brought in dead.

The late Abubakar Rimi lost a wife in 2006 when gunmen attacked and murdered her at home and reports said he also lost a son the following year in questionable circumstances.

The unfortunate death of Abubakar Rimi is another evidence of the insecurity in every part of Nigeria since the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) rigged its way into the corridors of power in 1999. The state of Nigeria that was already bad from decades of tyrannical military dictatorship became worse as many of the former military dictators returned to power as retired generals in a civilian regime. The past head of state, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was a former military head of state in the late 1970s and many of the ministers and state governors were ex-military officers. So, they were not really bona fide civilians and came into power by snatching and stuffing ballot boxes and gerrymandering and imposing themselves on the helpless electorate who never gave them their mandate.

What millions of people have witnessed in the most populous country in Africa since 1999 to date is the rape of democracy and the bastardization of governance. The ruling party has unleashed terrible demons on the populace and the grave consequences have left tens of thousands dead in bloody political clashes, ethno-religious riots, sea piracy, banditry, extrajudicial killings, etc. Excluding the unrecorded casualties in broken down horrific health centres, clinics, hospitals, hellish police cells, prisons, collapsed educational institutions, plundered host communities of multinational oil companies, ravaged villages, badly damaged roads and bridges, distressed companies, ghost offices of ghost workers in the government ministries and other places in the failed state.

Read the following analyses of the various crises plaguing Nigeria.
Dear Nigerians, Only The Best Is Good Enough For Us

It is a pity that Alhaji Abubakar Rimi died in an unfortunate manner. But he was one of the founders and master planners of the notorious and monstrous ruling party that has done more damages to the polity and society than Nigerians have ever witnessed in the history of Nigeria since 1960 to date.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Nigerians Want a New Government and not an Acting President

Acting President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

Nigerians Want a New Government and not an Acting President

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima

The appointment of Mr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as the Acting President of Nigeria is not something to celebrate as long as the notorious ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is still in power.

The notorious PDP does not deserve to be in power, because of the indictment of the top leaders of the political party for various corrupt practices and most of them are still going about with impunity. None of them has been made to pay for the crimes they have committed. The crimes for which the majority of Nigerians are suffering and thousands have died while these guilty criminals are still sharing government appointments in the corridors of power. So, the proclamation of Goodluck Jonathan as the Acting President is a continuation of the corrupt government that should have been sacked.

Mrs. Turai Yar'Adua has been accused of manipulating the cabinet of her incapacitated husband, President Umaru Yar’Adua and using unconstitutional methods to perpetuate the political crisis and stymie the appointment of a new head of state. But is it not ridiculous to tell Nigerians that the First Lady is responsible for the political impasse? How can the National Assembly allow her to hold the most populous nation in Africa to ransom? The circulation of this ridiculous political conspiracy by the highly esteemed NEXT newspaper only poured more fuel to the flames of the political crisis in Nigeria: that Nigerians are being ruled by a political cabal controlled by Hajia Turai’s Bottom Power.

Acting President Goodluck Jonathan has started a cabinet reshuffle to displace, replace or dismiss some unpopular ministers and others like Mr. Michael Aondoakaa, the Minister of Justice who was moved to the Ministry of Special Duties. But as The Economist reported that, “there was no hint that he was about to sweep away the ancien régime.”

“The resolution is an illusion. The legal issues will cloud how active Jonathan can be,” said Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, the President of the Nigerian Bar Association.

Mr. Goodluck Jonathan is not an innocent man as long as he is one of the gang leaders of the most corrupt political party in Africa.

What Nigerians would love to see is a Nigerian Jerry Rawlings to overthrow the wicked rulers in Nigeria and not an acting president of a corrupt government.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sir Edward Kennedy "the Lion" of the Democratic Party Has Passed On

Edward Kennedy, 1932 --2009‎.

Senator Edward Kennedy, the Lion of the Democratic Party has passed on to glory .

Sir Edward Kennedy lost his long battle with brain cancer on Tuesday, August 25, 2009, at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.

Ted Kennedy was born in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, the youngest of nine children of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Fitzgerald, who were both members of prominent Irish-American families in Boston. Some of his elder siblings include John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

The United States Senator from Massachusetts was the Lion of the great Democratic Party and has been serving since November 1962, with nine terms in the Senate. He was the second most senior member of the Senate, after Robert Byrd of West Virginia, and the third-longest-serving senator of all time. Ted was a champion of liberal causes and bills. The torch bearer of the great Kennedy family after the death of President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, both victims of assassinations. His son is Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy.

Senator Kennedy received an honorary knighthood bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II of England, the Order of the Aztec Eagle from Mexico, the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Order of the Merit of Chile, and honorary degrees from a number of institutions including Harvard University.

He passed on the torch for the leadership of the Democratic Party to President Barack Obama whom he endorsed during the melodramatic Presidential Campaign in 2008 and helped to become the the first African American President of the United States,

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Is The PDP A Political Party Or A Political Cult?

Is The PDP A Political Party Or A Political Cult?

Is the People's Democratic Party (PDP) a political party or a political cult?

If you ask the founders like Chief Alex Ekwueme, a former vice president of Nigeria (1979–83), and Jerry Gana, they would not be surprised that I asked the above question.

Occultism is common practice among the leading politicians in this party, I also regard as the most corrupt political party in Africa.

Ask their elected public office holders how they got elected.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Juju Ritual Politics: Shocking Revelations from Abia State

The Woman of God from the East

Pastor (Mrs.) Delight Chikezie is the woman of God from the East who has been called to minister and bring divine deliverance to the poor and needy widows in Eastern Nigeria and other places and to heal the sick and comfort the broken hearted.
She is happily married with five children who are glad and grateful to the Almighty God Jehovah for what He is doing in their family and for using their mother for His awesome miracles with signs and wonders following her wherever God has led her.

She was in Lagos to ask her cousin Hope who is the Publisher of Supple magazine in Nigeria to produce 3, 000 copies of the poster of her forthcoming deliverance crusade in Umuahia, Abia state and she shared the divine rhema of her ministry with me. I told her that obedience to the command of God is better than sacrifice and recalled how God gave me the grace to preach on public transport buses in Lagos city for 11 years, working as a project secretary in the office of Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and how I also enjoyed the company of fellow Christians in preaching the good news and planting churches on Bonny Island in Rivers state. She told me about the horrible and terrible human sacrifice made by the politicians in their cult in their desperation for power and wealth.

“Many virgins were murdered in their human sacrifice and in fact a young man was burnt alive in one of their cultic rituals,” she said.
I was shocked that such demonic rituals were done in my state of origin.
She disclosed the identity of the great harlot holding the political leaders captive in Abia state. Her harlotry and sorcery have been used to rule and ruin Abia since her son became the governor. She is the High Priestess of a goddess worshipped by her devotees and the politicians in her cult. The woman of God from the East said that God is already exposing the occultists and destroying their evils to deliver Abia state.

Hope had to delay other printing jobs to respond to the urgent order of the woman of God from the East and within 16 hours, his Art Director produced the camera ready artwork of the poster and Hope printed the 3, 000 copies of the poster, because he cannot delay the work of God for the benefit of our Abia state and the rest of Nigeria. The printer worked from afternoon to 9.30 pm and we had to carry the copies of the poster and the woman of God from the East to the branch of her church near the NNPC depot in Ejigbo, Lagos. She told us that she had forgotten her bag in our production office in Shomolu. We got to Ejigbo at 10.30 pm and after dropping the woman of God from the East, we left for our residence in Ifako, Lagos and got there at about 11.25 pm. I was glad and grateful to the Almighty God for granting Hope the grace to do this divine assignment to support Pastor (Mrs.) Delight Chikezie. She came to our office the following day to collect her bag and prayed for us before she left.

Later, I met with a pastor who was one of those consulted by Theodore Orji, the governor of Abia state during his power tussle over the gubernatorial post with Chief Onyemma Ugochukwu of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP). The pastor told me that he had to travel all the way from Lagos to the Federal Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, to take some portion of the soil from the grounds of the court and returned to Lagos to pray for the defeat of Chief Onyemma Ugochukwu.

I asked him why he prayed for the success of the governor of Abia state who is an occultist. He could not give me any word to approve or justify what he did. I knew that he had done so to get favours in return from the governor. I asked him if it would be righteous to accept ill-gotten money from an evil man? He agreed with me on rejecting ill-gotten riches from evil people, because God said we must not accept evil goods and in fact, we must not eat of their dainties.

The pastor confirmed what Pastor (Mrs.) Delight Chikezie disclosed to me on the occultists holding Abia state captive and that they were led by the mother of the former governor whom he called the most powerful witch in Nigeria. I told him that we should expose this so called most powerful witch and the evil occultists in government in Nigeria. The pastor warned me that it would not be wise to dare them without having the powers to do so, because they would attack and destroy anyone who would dare them.