Showing posts with label President. Show all posts
Showing posts with label President. Show all posts

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Political Pettiness of the Nigerian Ruling Class Exposed

The current scandal rocking the judiciary caused by the face-off between Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloysious Kastina- Alu and President, Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami is only exposing the political pettiness of the ruling class in Nigeria. The judicial fiasco has pitched the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) against the main opposition party the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) over their political stakes in the dispute.

The excuse given by President Goodluck Jonathan on his appointment of Justice Dalhatu Adamu as Acting President for the Court of Appeal following the suspension of Isa Ayo Salami by the National Judicial Commission (NJC) is dumb.

"What the President has done is to prevent a vacuum and the law provided for that," said Dr. Reuben Abati, President Goodluck Jonathan’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity.
What a dumb excuse.

The President should have waited for the resumption of the National Assembly before appointing Justice Dalhatu Adamu.

The scandalous political fiasco was caused by erroneous and ambiguous allegations of corruption against election tribunal judges after the controversial results of the massively rigged 2007 elections in Nigeria. There have been over 7,000 electoral cases and the judges have been found wanting.

Retired Supreme Court Jurist, Kayode Eso said the election tribunals were turning judges to billionaires and other highly esteemed legal luminaries in the country agreed with him. Because, petitioners reported many instances of bribery and corruption.

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Releases displayed in Africa/Lagos time
25 Aug 2011
16:37 Young People Ready to Make Their Mark in the Face of a Challenging Global Legacy

Thursday, August 4, 2011

GI-NET/SDC Welcomes Presidential Directive on Mass Atrocities

GI-NET/SDC Welcomes Presidential Directive on Mass Atrocities

(Washington, DC) – Tom Andrews, President of Genocide Intervention Network/Save Darfur Coalition issued the following statement welcoming today’s release of the Presidential Directive on Mass Atrocities:

“President Obama is exactly right – preventing mass atrocities is very much a core moral responsibility of our nation while also being in our national interest. We welcome the release of the Presidential Directive on Mass Atrocities and steps outlined by the administration to strengthen our nation’s capacity to prevent mass atrocities and genocide. These include ensuring that vital early-warning information about a possible mass atrocity or genocide is able to get from the ground to the highest levels of government decision making.”

“Strong action to stop mass atrocities is needed now more than ever. President Bashir of Sudan, wanted for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court, is now attacking the people of Sudan’s South Kordofan region. Swift action by the United States and its allies is literally a matter of life and death for civilians who are being attacked because of their identity. In Syria, more and more lives are being lost at the hands of government forces. It is imperative that the United States act expeditiously to build and leverage a whole of government response to the world’s worst crimes. Presidential leadership, interagency coordination and high-level prioritization are welcome steps forward.”

The Save Darfur Coalition and Genocide Intervention Network merged to create a more powerful voice dedicated to preventing and stopping large-scale, deliberate atrocities against civilians. The organization remains committed to its work to end the crisis in Darfur and bring peace to all of Sudan as well as to end violence in other areas of mass atrocities such as Congo and Burma. The merger creates the world’s largest anti-genocide organization, with a membership base of hundreds of thousands of committed activists globally, an unparalleled nationwide student movement, more than 190 faith-based, advocacy and human rights partner organizations, and a network of institutional investors collectively representing more than $2 trillion in assets under management.

Ann Brown,, 301-633-4193

Releases displayed in Africa/Lagos time
3 Aug 2011
20:50 Sudan Commits to the Original Mandate of the UNAMID, Rejects any Amendments
14:37 Sudan: seed and tools for half a million people in Darfur
11:47 Japanese envoy pays courtesy call on EAC Secretary General
11:09 UN Secretary-General saddened by death of peacekeepers in Sudan
2 Aug 2011
08:14 Bangladeshi Workers Who Fled Libya Receive Reintegration Grants
06:45 Message from UNAMID Joint Special Representative to people of Darfur on occasion of Ramadan
1 Aug 2011
22:20 The Perils of Global Intolerance: the United Nations & "Durban III"
11:40 The African Union High Level Implementation Panel Welcomes the Border Security Agreement between the Sudan and South Sudan
08:03 US Assistant Secretary Michael Posner Travels to Sudan and South Sudan
07:56 UN Secretary-General appoints Haile Menkerios of South Africa Special Envoy for Sudan, South Sudan

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Togo to host 6th ECOWAS Trade Fair in November 2011

Togo to host 6th ECOWAS Trade Fair in November 2011

LOME, July 5, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Government of Togo will in November 2011 host the 6th ECOWAS Trade Fair, a regional platform for accessing West Africa's market of some 300 million consumers.

In a letter to the Togolese Government confirming the hosting mandate, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Ambassador James Victor Gbeho, assured that the Commission would deploy all necessary means to ensure that the country records a huge success as it did in 2003 when it hosted the regional fair.

To this end, a four-day meeting of the Regional Organizing Committee (ROC) has just ended in Lome, the Togolese capital to fine tune arrangements for the hosting.

Members of the ROC paid a courtesy visit on the Togolese Minister of Commerce, Mr. Kwesi Seleagodji Ahoomey-Zunu, on Thursday, 30th June 2011 on the sidelines of their meeting in Lome.

During the visit, the head of the ECOWAS delegation, Mr. Adou Koman, thanked the Government of Togo for accepting to host the fair. He also briefed him on the developments leading to the change of venue and reiterated ECOWAS' commitment to a successful fair.

In his response, Minister Ahoomey-Zunu acknowledged the challenges related to the hosting of the fair within the time-frame allowed but assured members of the Committee of Togo's determination to organize a successful fair towards the realization of the Community's objective of economic integration.

The 17-day fair, which begins on 25th November 2011, will be held alongside the 9th Lome International Trade Fair, a special arrangement made between the ECOWAS Commission and the Government of Togo, due to the inability of Cote d'Ivoire to host the fair in 2010 as earlier planned.

As with previous fairs, the 2011 edition in Lome seeks to promote economic integration and trade among citizens in Member States, especially industrialists, investors, manufacturers, commercial operators and buyers.

It will feature products and services originating in the region, including industrial products, animal husbandry and fishing, minerals, cottage industry, textiles and services in various sectors.

The trade fair will also afford participants the opportunity to take part in conferences, seminars and workshops on various themes related to the overall theme of the fair.

In addition, participants would be able to exhibit their products and services and meet other professionals with the prospect of concluding business deals that would promote trade and help improve the living standards of ECOWAS Community citizens.

On the sidelines of the fair, participants will be treated to an ECOWAS food exhibition featuring cuisines and drinks from the host country and participating Member States. There will also be country “National Days,” an enlightenment programme that would enable visitors appreciate other cultural products from the region for the promotion of tourism.

Consistent with its theme, “Strengthening Intra-Community Trade through Public-Private Partnership,” and in line with its tradition, the fair will be open to economic operators from across the globe intending to do business with, or invest in, West Africa.

Previously held every four years, the ECOWAS Trade Fair is now held every two years.

Senegal hosted the first edition in 1995, followed by Ghana in 1999, Togo in 2003, Nigeria in 2005 and Burkina Faso in 2008.

Source: Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS)

Releases displayed in Africa/Lagos time

5 Jul 2011

4 Jul 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

Video of When Michelle Obama meets Nelson Mandela

U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama kicks off her trip to Africa with a visit to former South African President Nelson Mandela. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

© 2011 Reuters

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, January 18, 2011

Our President has Ph.D, But low IQ

It is pathetic that a President who never fails to remind us of his academic achievement of having a Ph.D in Zoology fails to realize that the measly 3% of the budget allocated to education is a barbaric rebellion against the 26% proposed by the United Nations for developing countries.

Only N35 billion is for capital projects in the education sector and over N350 billion for the National Assembly!

Click here to join the discussion on this topic on Nairaland.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Obama / Africa / Fact Sheet: The President's Engagement in Africa

Obama / Africa / Fact Sheet: The President's Engagement in Africa

WASHINGTON, August 4, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Fact Sheet: The President's Engagement in Africa

“I see Africa as a fundamental part of our interconnected world, as partners with America on behalf of the future we want for all of our children. That partnership must be grounded in mutual responsibility and mutual respect.”

President Obama, Accra, Ghana, July 2009

In 2010, seventeen countries across sub-Saharan Africa celebrate fifty years of independence. In honor of this important historic moment, in acknowledgement of the extraordinarily young demographic profile of the region, and as part of an effort to forge strong, forward-looking partnerships in the years ahead, President Obama is hosting a forum for young African leaders in Washington, D.C., from August 3 – 5. These 115 young leaders come from civil society and the private sector and represent more than forty countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

In Accra, the President highlighted a “simple truth” about our country's connections with Africa: Africa's prosperity can expand America's prosperity. Africa's health and security can contribute to the world's health and security. And the strength of Africa's democracy can help advance human rights for people everywhere.

He emphasized that “this mutual responsibility must be the foundation of our partnership.” And over the past year and a half, we have been focused on four areas that are critical to the future of Africa: strong and sustainable democratic governments, opportunity and development, strengthening public health, and the peaceful resolution of conflict. Here are some examples of actions the Administration has taken:

Addressing Global Issues

The Administration's approach to development addresses issues at the core of Africa's agenda.

Feed the Future: In 2009, President Obama announced a $3 billion global food security initiative that has the support of the world's major and emerging donor nations. To date, the United States has led international efforts to review nine comprehensive country strategies, commit new resources in support of those strategies, collaborate in the establishment and initial capitalization of the World Bank-led Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, and launch a new research and development program.

Global Health Initiative: In May 2009, President Obama announced the Global Health Initiative (GHI), a six-year, $63 billion initiative which builds on the progress and success of PEPFAR (the President's Emergency Program on AIDS Relief) and also expands our global health effort and impact by including investments to strengthen health systems, improve maternal child health, address neglected tropical diseases, and foster increased research and development.

Climate Change: The United States and nations across Africa are addressing the challenge of global climate change through the Copenhagen Accord and a range of international partnerships promoting clean energy technologies and climate-resilient development for Africans. The United States has more than tripled climate assistance this year. Support for international climate adaptation has increased tenfold, with a focus on helping the most vulnerable nations in Africa and around the world. U.S. climate-related appropriations for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 total $1.3 billion, and the Administration has requested $1.9 billion in appropriations for FY 2011.

Strengthening our Partnerships

The United States has elevated engagement with emerging and existing African powers, and has recently launched three new Strategic Dialogues to that effect:

The United States and Angola have signed a new Trade and Investment Framework Agreement and have launched a new Strategic Partnership Dialogue, setting the stage for improved cooperation on energy, trade, security, and agriculture.

Over the past year and a half, the U.S. relationship with South Africa has gone from strained to sound. We have institutionalized the new era of cooperation in a formal, ongoing U.S.-South Africa Strategic Dialogue and are working together on a range of issues from nonproliferation to agricultural development.

April 2010 saw the formal establishment of the U.S.-Nigeria Binational Commission, a high-level mechanisms to address issues surrounding governance and transparency (including preparing for upcoming elections), energy and power, food security, and regional security.

Throughout the region, through diplomatic engagement and support to key institutions and civil society organizations, the United States has promoted good governance as a critical priority for the region.

In Kenya, the United States has led international efforts to support Kenyan civil society and the reform agenda developed in the wake of early 2008 post-election violence.

The administration launched the first ever high-level bilateral discussions with the African Union. In April of this year, Secretary of State Clinton and National Security Advisor General Jones, Ret., welcomed African Union leaders to Washington to hold the first annual high-level consultation with the AU. Attorney General Eric Holder followed up on this initiative by addressing the AU Summit in Kampala in July. At the ninth U.S.-sub Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum, also known as the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA), being held in Washington this week, USAID will sign a new partnership agreement with the African Union to advance prosperity, peace and stability.

Crisis Prevention and Response

The Obama administration conducted a comprehensive review of our policies in Sudan and developed a strategy focused on addressing our multiple policy objectives in Sudan and the region, including resolution to the crisis in Darfur and implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. We have named a full-time Special Envoy who has re-energized and broadened the multilateral coalition addressing Sudan's challenges.

Following a comprehensive review of our policies on Somalia earlier this year, the President issued Executive Order 13536, the first E.O. focused on addressing the underlying factors contributing to instability in Somalia. The Administration's policy on Somalia is the first comprehensive approach to addressing the counterterrorism, counterpiracy, humanitarian, and security and political concerns facing the beleaguered state.

In central Africa, Secretary Clinton has elevated the issue of sexual and gender-based violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to a top priority, personally visiting eastern Congo in August, 2009, and directing that additional resources and innovative approaches be employed to combat this violence, end impunity and assist those affected.

In Guinea, the United States was an international leader in condemning the September 28 massacre, supporting a return to constitutional order, and assisting in the electoral process that gave Guineans their first opportunity to vote in credible elections since their country became independent in 1958.

Encouraging Private Sector Growth

The United States is currently hosting the ninth United States - Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum (AGOA Forum) in Washington, D.C., from August 2 - 3. Unlike previous Forums, this will be held not only in Washington but also in Kansas City, Missouri, from August 5 - 6, to allow for a deeper focus on agri-business. We are also emphasizing the role of women through a two-week AGOA Women's Entrepreneurship Program to provide tools to better integrate African women into the global economy. In addition, as a follow up to President Obama's Entrepreneurship Summit this past April, the Board of Directors of the United States Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) approved on June 24 up to $150 million in financing to support the establishment of a private equity investment fund designed to invest in companies in West Africa.

High-Level Engagement

The most senior representatives of the Obama Administration have actively engaged on African issues.

President Obama directly laid out a comprehensive vision for U.S.-African engagement in Accra, Ghana, in 2009 during the earliest visit to sub-Saharan Africa by any President in his first year in office. In addition to holding a meeting with 25 African heads of state and African Commission Chairperson Jean Ping at the United Nations General Assembly last year, President Obama has also held bilateral meetings with President Zuma of South Africa, President Kikwete of Tanzania, President Mills of Ghana, President Jonathan of Nigeria, Prime Minister Tsvangirai of Zimbabwe, President Khama of Botswana, and President Sirleaf of Liberia.

Last summer, Secretary Clinton traveled to seven African countries (Kenya, South Africa, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Liberia, and Cape Verde). She continues to host and reach out to African leaders on a regular basis.

In June 2010, Vice President Biden traveled to Egypt, Kenya, and South Africa to address important bilateral issues in addition to holding numerous in-depth discussions on looming challenges in Sudan and Somalia.

Source: The White House

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Nigerians Should Forgive and Give IBB Another Chance


I beg, please, if you have anything against former military President, General Ibrahim Babamosi Babangida, forgive him so that God will also forgive you too.

True Christians must be willing to forgive those who repent.
Or have you forgotten your Holy Bible.
Say the Lord's Prayer again.

What of those who murdered Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola?

The irony of it all is the fact that, even the millions of criminals and sinners and their accomplices, including the devil incarnates who hide their transgressions in Nigeria are casting stones at IBB.
Tuffia kwa!

if everyone who has committed an offence in Nigeria is doing as IBB is begging for forgiveness, Nigeria will soon become heaven on earth.

Whoever covers over his sins does not prosper. Whoever confesses and abandons them receives compassion.
~ Proverbs 28:13

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Justice Jon Kamanda Elected President of the Special Court

5 Nov 2009 11:58 Africa/Lagos

Justice Jon Kamanda Elected President of the Special Court

FREETOWN, November 2, 2009/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Justice Jon Kamanda of Sierra Leone has been elected to a one-year term, effective 1 November, as Presiding Judge of the Appeals Chamber, a post which makes him President of the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

Justice Emmanuel Ayoola of Nigeria was elected Vice President. Justice Ayoola previously served as President of the Special Court from 2004-2005.

Justice Kamanda was educated in Sierra Leone and in the U.K. He trained as a Barrister at the Inns of Court School of Law in London, and was called to the Bar at the Middle Temple in 1975. From 1976-80 he worked as State Prosecutor in the Government Law Office, rising to the rank of Senior State Counsel. In 1980 he entered private practice in criminal law.

He has served as an Appeals Court Justice in the Sierra Leone judiciary since 2004, where he was the Presiding Judge in criminal appeals. He has also served as a High Court Judge in the Civil Division.

In 1982 he was elected to Parliament, and he has served as Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources and Minister of Health.

He was sworn in as a Special Court Appeals Judge in November 2007.

The Special Court is an independent tribunal established jointly by the United Nations and the Government of Sierra Leone. It is mandated to bring to justice those who bear the greatest responsibility for atrocities committed in Sierra Leone after 30 November 1996.

Source: Choisissez un élément.

Tour of 'Yinka Shonibare

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dreams Do Come True

17 Jan 2009 00:10 Africa/Lagos

Dreams Do Come True

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement by Benjamin Ola. Akande, Dean of Webster University School of Business & Technology:

As a child growing up in Nigeria, I was a dreamer. My parents never dismissed my dreams. They were always encouraging. No matter how outright unbelievable my dreams were, they would assure me that dreams do come true. Dreams provide a glimpse of what the future will look like. I wish I could have recorded all those dreams.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream was recorded. It was a dream that was played out in front of thousands of people and like most dreams, no one really knew how it would play out. As the dream was recalled over the years, it became clear that this was a significant and compelling vision of the future. Martin's dream was in the form of a remarkable prose on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Most of us can hear him recite this dream in our subconscious. "I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together." It is a dream that visualizes a future where all those things that seemed impossible and improbable will happen despite overwhelming obstacles.

Barack Obama

The election of Barack Obama was a manifestation of Martin's dream. I would like to believe that Martin Luther King's dream highlighted how difficult it is to make change happen. Martin spoke about how mountains and hills (obstacles) shall be made lower and rough places (institutional changes) will be made straight. The recognition was that monumental changes of this magnitude take considerable time. Indeed, it takes the force of nature to break through the harsh reality of status quo and history.

Dreaming enables us to transcend the present and position us on the balcony for a better view of the future. And, because dreaming offers no restrictions, the greatest dreamers are often characterized as crazy and out of touch with reality. What history has shown us is that you may vilify them, you can criticize them, and you may even assassinate them. But, you can't kill a dreamer's dream. MLK's dream took a long time to come to fruition, with small significant steps and some big setbacks along the way. But on Nov. 4, 2008, the full realization of the great civil rights leader's dream came to pass with the election of a junior senator from Illinois as the first African American President of The United States of America..

Martin Luther King taught us that adversity is a lot easier to overcome than success. And that is the power of dreams. He knew it would happen. He even foresaw that his own demise may keep him from seeing his dream come true. "I've seen the promised land," he said. "I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the Promised Land." Forty-five years later, his vision is still unfolding. But one thing is crystal clear. Dreams do come true.

Source: Webster University School of Business and Technology

CONTACT: Susan Kerth of Webster University, +1-314-246-8232

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