Showing posts with label Presidential Election. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Presidential Election. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at African Union, June 13, 2011, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia



14 Jun 2011 14:15 Africa/Lagos




Remarks by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at African Union, June 13, 2011, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

WASHINGTON, June 14, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Remarks by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at African Union, June 13, 2011, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon. It is a great honor to join you here in Addis Ababa and to address the African Union. I want to thank Chairperson Ping, members of the African Union Commission, ambassadors to the AU, representatives of United Nations agencies, and, most of all, representatives of the nations and people of Africa. Thank you for the opportunity to be here with you. It is good to be back in Africa, and it is a singular honor to address this body.


During the past few days, I have traveled to Zambia, Tanzania, and now Ethiopia, meeting with leaders and citizens who are rising to meet challenges of all kinds with creativity, courage, and skill. And I am pleased to come to the African Union today as the first United States Secretary of State to address you, because I believe that in the 21st century, solving our greatest challenges cannot be the work only of individuals or individual nations. These challenges require communities of nations and peoples working together in alliances, partnerships, and institutions like the African Union.


Consider what it takes to solve global challenges, like climate change or terrorism, or regional ones, like the African Union's work in Sudan and Somalia. Your efforts to end the brutal campaign of the Lord's Resistance Army, your push to create a green revolution for Africa that drives down hunger and poverty, the challenge of helping refugees displaced by conflict, the fight against transnational crimes like piracy and trafficking: These are diplomatic and development challenges of enormous complexity. But institutions like this make it easier for us to address them, by helping nations turn common interests into common actions, by encouraging coalition building and effective compromising, by integrating emerging nations into a global community with clear obligations and expectations.


That is why, as Secretary of State, I have emphasized the work of regional institutions throughout the world, in Latin America, in Asia, in Europe, and in Africa. Now, regional institutions, of course, may differ, but increasingly they are called upon to be problem solvers and to deliver concrete results that produce positive change in people's lives.

To solve the problems confronting Africa and the world, we need the African Union. We also need Africa's sub-regional institutions, all of whom must help lead the way. Because the results you will achieve will shape the future, first and foremost, of course, for the people of Africa, but also for the people of my country, and indeed for people everywhere because what happens in Africa has global impact. Economic growth here spurs economic growth elsewhere. Breakthroughs in health research here can save and improve lives in other lands. And peace established here makes the world more secure.


So the United States seeks new and dynamic partnerships with African peoples, nations, and institutions. We want to help you accelerate the advances that are underway in many places and collaborate with you to reverse the dangerous trends and encourage political, economic, and social progress.


Today, I'd like briefly to discuss three areas, which are areas of emphasis for you and for us and where I think we can make particular progress through regional institutions like the AU. They are democracy, economic growth, and peace and security. These are, of course, the core areas of focus for the African Union, and that's for a reason. All three are critical for a thriving region. All three must be the work both of individual nations and communities of nations. And all three present challenges, opportunities, and responsibilities we must address together.


First, democracy. Let me begin by saying this is an exciting time for African democracy. More than half the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have embraced democratic, constitutional, multi-party rule. Now, some, like Botswana, Ghana, and Tanzania, have spent decades building strong institutions and a tradition of peaceful, democratic transitions. (Interruption to audio.) When things like this happen, you just keep going. (Laughter.) (Applause.) Now, those countries that I mentioned are models, not only for their neighbors, but increasingly for countries everywhere.


Other African nations have been also making important advances. In Nigeria, President Jonathan was inaugurated 15 days ago after what many have called the fairest election in Nigeria's recent history. Benin and Malawi both held successful elections this spring, building on previous successful multiparty contests. Kenya's democracy got a boost from last year's referendum on its new constitution. The vote took place without violence, and the constitution, which includes a bill of rights and limits on executive power, passed by a large margin. Niger and Guinea, both of which endured recent military coups, held successful elections in the past year. And in Cote d'Ivoire, the crisis that followed the 2010 elections was finally resolved two months ago with the help of the AU, and the elected winner is now serving as president.


These are just a few examples of Africa's recent democratic gains. A complete list would fill all the time we have today. In several nations, the institutions of democracy are becoming stronger. There are freer medias, justice systems that administer justice equally, and impartially, honest legislatures, vibrant civil societies.


Now, much of the credit for these hard-won achievements rightly belongs to the people and leaders of these countries who have passionately and persistently, sometimes at great risk to themselves, demanded that their leaders protect the rule of law, honor election results, uphold rights and freedoms. But credit is also due to the African Union, which has prohibited new leaders who have come to power through military rule and coups from being seated in the organization. The AU and Africa's other regional institutions have also played a pivotal role in ending crises and creating the conditions for successful, democratic transitions, with the AU's work to monitor elections being an especially important contribution.


But, even as we celebrate this progress, we do know that too many people in Africa still live under longstanding rulers, men who care too much about the longevity of their reign, and too little about the legacy that should be built for their country's future. Some even claim to believe in democracy – democracy defined as one election, one time. (Laughter.) (Applause.)


Now, this approach to governing is being rejected by countries on this continent and beyond. Consider the changes that have recently swept through North Africa and the Middle East. After years of living under dictatorships, people have demanded new leadership; in places where their voices have long been silenced, they are exercising their right to speak, often at the top of their lungs. In places where jobs are scarce and a tiny elite prospers while most of the population struggles, people – especially young people – are channeling their frustration into social, economic, and political change.


Their message is clear to us all: The status quo is broken; the old ways of governing are no longer acceptable; it is time for leaders to lead with accountability, treat their people with dignity, respect their rights, and deliver economic opportunity. And if they will not, then it is time for them to go.


Every country in the world stands to learn from these democracy movements, but this wave of activism, which came to be known as the Arab Spring, has particular significance for leaders in Africa and elsewhere who hold on to power at all costs, who suppress dissent, who enrich themselves and their supporters at the expense of their own people. To those leaders our message must be clear: Rise to this historic occasion; show leadership by embracing a true path that honors your people's aspirations; create a future that your young people will believe in, defend, and help build. Because, if you do not – if you believe that the freedoms and opportunities that we speak about as universal should not be shared by your own people, men and women equally, or if you do not desire to help your own people work and live with dignity, you are on the wrong side of history, and time will prove that.


The United States pledges its support for those African nations that are committed to doing the difficult but rewarding work of building a free, peaceful, and prosperous future. And we look to institutions like the African Union, that are dedicated to democracy and good governance, to continue to encourage countries to walk that path or risk isolating themselves further.


Now, of course, creating the conditions that allow people and communities to flourish in a democracy cannot simply be a matter of holding elections; they are a necessary but not sufficient condition. Good governance requires free, fair, and transparent elections, a free media, independent judiciaries, and the protection of minorities. And democracy must also deliver results for people by providing economic opportunity, jobs, and a rising standard of living.


Now, here, again, the map of Africa is lit up with success stories. Six of the world's 10 fastest growing economies in the last decade are in Sub-Saharan Africa, and that percentage is expected to grow in the next five years. At a time when investors everywhere are hunting for promising new markets and worthy new ventures, Africa is attracting attention from all corners.


But a prosperous future is not guaranteed. Several of Africa's highest performing economies are dependent on a single industry or a single export, often a commodity, which we know can have both good and bad consequences. It can discourage the rise of new industries and the jobs that come with them, and it can concentrate a nation's wealth among a privileged few. Meanwhile, even while growth rates skyrocket in some countries, in others they are rising too slowly and it can take too long for growth on paper to translate into jobs that are spread across a country. But it is this desire that is especially urgent among the youth of Africa that cannot be ignored.


When we saw the uprisings first in Tunisia and then in Egypt, they were about both political change and economic change. Too many young people said they had studied, they had worked hard. The tragic story of the young vegetable vendor who finally, in great frustration – because no matter how hard he tried, a corrupt regime would not give him the chance to have the sweat of his brow translated into economic benefits for himself and his family. More than 40 percent of the people living in Africa are under the age of 15. It rises to nearly two thirds if we look at under the age of 30. These young people are all coming of age at once and they are all connected. There are no more secrets because of social media, because that incredible technology can inform a young person in a rural area, where there are no roads, but there are cell phones, what is going on in his capital or in neighboring countries.


Creating jobs and opportunity for these young people is an enormous challenge, and one that I know the African Union is committed to addressing. Your summit later this month is focused on youth empowerment for sustainable development. You are right that young people must be brought into this work themselves, otherwise your hardest working, your best and your brightest, will either be frustrated and act out against the leaders of their country or they will leave to find opportunities in other lands. After all, the people who are speaking out most passionately across Africa are doing so with an eloquence and an advocacy that should, as the older generations, make us proud. These are young people who want to make something of themselves. All they need is the chance to do so.


Countries such as Zambia, Mali, Ghana, and Rwanda have had strong successes with their approaches to development. They have diversified their economies and created jobs across many sectors, which has helped to decrease poverty. They have continuously reinvested in the foundations of their economies, building roads and power plants and expanding access to financial services so more people can start or grow businesses. Based on lessons we've learned from our work around the world, the United States wants to deepen our partnerships with countries that take a broad-based, inclusive, sustainable approach to growth.


Now, I will be the first to admit that too much of our development work in the past provided only temporary aid and not the foundation for lasting change that helps people permanently improve their lives and communities. But the Obama Administration is taking a different approach. Our goal is to help countries' economies grow over time so they can meet their own needs. Ultimately, we believe that the most effective development programs are the ones that put themselves out of business because they spark economic activity, they help create strong institutions, they nourish a private sector that, unleashed, will create more jobs.


And at the same time, we are asking our partners to do their part. How? Increased transparency, strengthen tax systems, fight corruption. Every bribe paid to a customs official or a government employee represents a hidden tax on the cost of doing business and a drag on economic growth. We are making this a priority in our diplomatic engagement, and we look to our partners to take concrete actions to stop corruption. One of the possible benefits of technology is doing what's called electronic government, e-government, putting government services online so you don't have to go through so many hands to get that permit to start a business. And we are encouraging and will work with countries interested in pursuing that kind of opportunity.


We're also putting a new emphasis on trade. I spoke about this a few days ago at the AGOA Forum in Lusaka. During the past decade, Africa's non-oil exports to the United States quadrupled, and we've only begun to tap the potential. We can and we will trade much more with each other. In fact, we are establishing, with a $120 million commitment over the next four years, trade hubs to help businesses write business plans; to learn how to market their products; to get the kind of technical advice that would not be affordable for a small or medium-sized business.


Trade should not only, however, increase across the ocean or the sea to Europe and the United States. Trade has to increase across this continent. There is less trade among the countries within Sub-Saharan Africa than within any other region in the world, and yet there are consumers and there are producers, but there are barriers – tariff barriers, non-tariff barriers, longstanding suspicions that have to be overcome in order to take advantage of the economic engine that Sub-Saharan Africa can be.


I commend those countries and institutions working to accelerate economic integration, such as the East African Community. And last year, the United States became the first country to nominate an ambassador to the EAC, and we are pursuing a partnership to help build a customs union and a common market. And we applaud the efforts that began with the meeting in South Africa, last week, to discuss a tripartite free trade agreement that will lower trade barriers across dozens of countries.


And the vision of an African common market is worth pursuing. This approach is reflected in our Millennium Challenge Compacts, which form partnerships with developing countries devoted to good governance, economic freedom, and investing in one's citizens. You can see it in our Partnerships for Growth Program: We picked four countries in the world that we thought could put all the pieces together, and two of them are in Africa, Tanzania and Ghana. These nations have made strong commitments to democracy, to their own development progress, and we're stepping up our economic relations with these top performers.


Another example of our new approach is our Feed the Future food security initiative. We're investing $3.5 billion in 20 focus countries, including 12 in Africa, to revitalize agricultural sectors so you can increase food production and availability, raise your farmers' incomes, decrease hunger and under-nutrition. And through the Feed the Future, we are supporting the AU's Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program, which, we think, has laid the foundation for more effective agricultural policies across the continent. By investing in agriculture and strengthening nations' food security, we will see economies grow and stability increase.


There's another important element of sustainable economic development, and that is improvements in health. Right now, several African countries are making great strides in bringing life-saving health interventions to more of their people. Zambia has significantly reduced mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Nigeria has made great progress in fighting polio through renewed vaccination efforts. And Ethiopia has mobilized an army of 30,000 health workers to bring a basic package of care to remote regions. We are backing these kinds of improvements through our Global Health Initiative, which supports country-led programs and helps countries unite separate health programs into one sustainable health system.


So we are combining our efforts through PEPFAR, through AID, through CDC, and other U.S. Government approaches, because we think health is a critical element of a nation's security. When epidemics are prevented from occurring or ended or controlled quickly, when people can get life-saving care when they need it and return to their jobs and their lives, families are stronger, communities are stronger, and nations are stronger.


And finally, when it comes to economic opportunity and development, we must empower the continent's women. The women of Africa are the hardest working women in the world. And so often – (applause) – so often what they do is not included in the formal economy, it is not measured in the GDP. And yet, if all the women in Africa, from Cairo to Cape Town, decided they would stop working for a week, the economies of Africa would collapse. (Applause.)


So let's include half the population. Let's treat them with dignity. Let's give them the right and responsibility to make a contribution to the 21st century of African growth and progress. And the United States will be your partner, because we have seen what a difference it makes when women are educated, when they have access to health care, when they can start businesses, when they can get credit, when they can help support their families. So let us make sure that that remains front and center in the work we do together.


And finally, let me address peace and security. In recent years, a quiet storyline has emerged out of the security challenges that have developed on the continent. More and more, the African Union and Africa's sub-regional organizations and African states, working alone or in concert, are taking the lead in solving Africa's crises. In Somalia, AMISOM, the African Union's peacekeeping mission, thanks to heroic efforts by Ugandan and Burundian soldiers, has helped the Transitional Federal Government make remarkable security gains in Mogadishu over the past couple of months. Al-Shabaab, an affiliate of al-Qaida, is finally on the defensive, and we see that because they are increasingly resorting to suicide bombers and the targeting of civilians, a sign of desperation.


Now, we expect Somalia's Transitional Federal Government to create political and economic progress to match AMISOM's security progress. It cannot continue operating the way it has in the past. We look to the TFG to resolve their internal divisions and improve the lives of the millions of Somalis who continue to suffer, and we know that the AU will be their partner in doing so.


In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, we remain concerned about the continued violence against women and girls and the activities of armed groups in the eastern region of the country. Every effort by the AU and UN will be necessary to help the DRC respond to these continuing security crises.


And then there is the situation in Sudan: South Sudan is less than one month away from becoming the world's newest state. And the governments of Sudan and South Sudan have made laudable progress in implementing certain provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. But recent developments along the border, particularly in the Abyei region, are deeply troubling. The parties must resolve the remaining CPA issues peacefully through negotiations, not violence. And again, the African Union has played a critical role in facilitating negotiations in Sudan. And I also want to thank the prime minister of Ethiopia, our host country, for everything he has done and is doing as we speak today.


I will have the opportunity later this evening to meet with representatives from both the North and South to add my voice and that of President Obama and my government to the chorus of voices saying the same thing: Resolve your differences, settle the problem in Darfur. And we got some good news out of Doha today that we hope will translate into real progress. But come together and make it possible for both of these countries to have peaceful, prosperous futures.


And there is, of course, another country whose security matters to all of us, and that is Libya. Libya has been the subject of many of our discussions during the past few months. And I believe there is much on which we can agree. There is little question that the kind of activities that, unfortunately, have affected the Libyan people for more than 40 years run against the tide of history. And there is little question that despite having the highest nominal GDP in Africa, thanks to oil, Libya's wealth was too concentrated within Qadhafi's circle.


But of course, all the countries here are not in agreement about the steps that the international community, under the United Nations Security Council, have taken in Libya up to this point. Having looked at the information available, the Security Council, including the three African members, supported a UN mandate to protect civilians, prevent slaughter, and create conditions for a transition to a better future for the Libyan people themselves.


Now, I know there are some who still believe that the actions of the UN and NATO were not called for. And I know it's true that over many years Mr. Qadhafi played a major role in providing financial support for many African nations and institutions, including the African Union. But it has become clearer by the day that he has lost his legitimacy to rule, and we are long past time when he can or should remain in power.


So I hope and believe that while we may disagree about some of what has brought us to this place, we can reach agreement about what must happen now. For as long as Mr. Qadhafi remains in Libya, the people of Libya will be in danger, refugee flows by the thousands will continue out of Libya, regional instability will likely increase, and Libya's neighbors will bear more and more of the consequences. None of this is acceptable, and Qadhafi must leave power.


I urge all African states to call for a genuine ceasefire and to call for Qadhafi to step aside. I also urge you to suspend the operations of Qadhafi's embassies in your countries, to expel pro-Qadhafi diplomats, and to increase contact and support for the Transitional National Council. Your words and your actions could make the difference in bringing this situation to finally close and allowing the people of Libya, on an inclusive basis, in a unified Libya, to get to work writing a constitution and rebuilding their country. The world needs the African Union to lead. The African Union can help guide Libya through the transition you described in your organization's own statements, a transition to a new government based on democracy, economic opportunity, and security.


As we look to the future, we want to work with the African Union not only to react to conflicts and crises but to get ahead of them, to work together on a positive agenda that will stop crises before they start. And I think we can find many areas for collaboration.


On youth engagement, which is a priority for both the AU and President Obama, we seek to pursue a specific work plan with you. On democracy and good governance we already work together to monitor elections across Africa. Now we need to do more to help countries strengthen democratic institutions. On economic growth and trade the AU plays a major role in building Africa's sub-regional architecture, and we stand ready to support you.


So I want to commend Africa's institutions for what you have already accomplished, and in some cases, just a few years after your creation. And I will pledge my country's support as you continue this work. Whether you seek to deepen the integration among your members, improve coordination, or reform your operations, we will be with you.


A good example that the chairman mentioned is what we can offer in the work we are doing to help reform the UN's support for the African Union here in Addis Ababa. The UN and the African Union asked the United States to identify ways their work together could become more effective and strategic. We said yes, and now there are people at the State Department focused on this issue working closely with many of you in this room.


And as has already been announced, we are rejoining the UN Economic Commission for Africa, another sign of our commitment to engaging with Africa's regional institutions. (Applause.)


On this trip to Africa, I am reminded every hour that for every challenge now facing Africa, a solution can be found somewhere in Africa. (Applause.) You do not have to look far afield to see political, economic, and social success.


Earlier I mentioned the Arab Spring, a name that suggests the blossoming of something new. And what is now blooming across the Arab states has already taken root in many African nations, commitment to democracy, recognition of human rights, investment in economic health and education programs, and an emphasis on meeting the needs of our young people.


Across this continent the work is underway, but there is a long season ahead. So I urge you not to be impatient; do not grow weary while doing good. Keep showing leadership. Keep building a path to a future worthy of the talents and aspirations of the young men and women of Africa. The United States believes deeply in these values. We believe passionately in the promise and potential of pluralistic democracies, of free markets. We welcome to our shores immigrants from every country represented here, and we can see the success stories that so many of them have built in the United States. But I have never met an immigrant from Africa who has not said he or she wished they could have done the very same in their own country, among their own people, close to their family, eating the food, smelling the flowers, seeing the sights that are in their blood. I want to see that for Africa, where people are coming home to Africa because this is where opportunity for the future resides.


Thank you and God bless you. (Applause.)


Source: US Department of State


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Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Nigerian soldiers on patrol in an area of conflict.


Security Challenges In Nigeria

~ By Albert Akpor

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan says he is determined to improve security in the country with a new administration that takes power with Sunday's inauguration.

Security was a driving issue in the presidential campaign following bomb blasts by militants from the oil-rich Niger Delta and attacks on police by members of an extremist Islamic group in the north.

President Jonathan campaigned hard to convince Nigerians that his government was meeting those security challenges. But rioting that immediately followed his election raised anew questions about security preparedness. The New York-based rights organization Human Rights Watch says Muslim-Christian electoral violence in northern states killed at least 800 people. President Jonathan says he is determined to protect Nigerians wherever they live.

“As president, it is my solemn duty to defend the constitution of this country. That includes the obligation to protect the lives and properties of every Nigerian wherever they choose to live,” he said.

Delta State University political science lecturer Benjamin Agah says part of the problem is that suspects arrested after attacks are often released without prosecution, returning to the streets for the next round of violence.

“The same people who ought to be found guilty, who ought to be jailed or who ought to be punished, they are the same people who will still come out again, untouched by the law. So the president has a lot of security challenges,” he said. Agah says the new government must be willing to better equip security forces, especially in remote areas of the north.

“There are some places now that can not be policed ordinarily except through air. So the police should be fully equipped. They should be given the requisite necessities to enable them to fight these criminals,” he said. Public affairs analyst Kole Shetimma says insecurity is a problem for the president that runs far deeper than spending more money on police.

“In these security challenges, I think that we should not approach it from a law-and-order perspective. I think we have to look at the socio-economic and political conditions that have given way to some of these major problems,” said Shetimma.

In the Niger Delta, for example, President Jonathan helped organize an amnesty for militants fighting against a federal government that they say have failed to develop the oil-rich region. There have been delays in paying monthly stipends to those demobilized combatants and far fewer job-training programs than were promised. Shetimma says the president must address the underlying economic grievances in the Delta.

“How do we ensure that the communities in which this oil is produced have access to some of the oil resources that we have. The new petroleum bill, which gives like ten percent of the oil resources to the communities, I agree that that should be fast-tracked,” said Shetimma.

In the north, the extremist Boko Haram group is fighting to establish Islamic law and says it recognizes neither the Nigerian constitution nor the just-completed election. It is rejecting an amnesty offer from the governor-elect of Borno State, who is trying to end months of attacks against security forces. Shetimma says one of the obstacles is the government's refusal to recognize that security forces acted outside the law last year in killing Boko Haram members in Jos.

“It has to be on how do you respond to the loss of property? How do you respond to the security implications? So I am hoping that this is going to be a comprehensive approach to the issue of Boko Haram,” said Shetimma.

President Jonathan says part of his plans for improving security in the north and in the south is to increase employment for young men who he says are being used as “cannon fodder for the ambitions of a few.”

One of the greatest challenges presently facing security agents in the country, especially the Police is the constant threat by members of the notorious Boko Haram sect operating freely in the northern part of the country. The dreaded group has so much instilled fear and trepidation on our law enforcement agents to the extent that the fear of Boko Haram is now the beginning of wisdom to them all.

In fact, posting to the northern part of the country has become an anathema to, especially members of the police force from the southern part of the country going by the constant killings and attacks carried out by members of this sect who are gravely averse to all kinds and nature of civilization or education. Life before perpetrators of these heinous, sectarian and or religious upheavals has become meaningless and something that could be cut short at will.

Like the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) in the West, the Egbesu (militants) in the Niger-Delta, Boko Haram came to limelight in 2002. But unlike the OPC and Egbesu, the ideology of Boko Haram was purely Islamism and anti-western civilization.

This sect led by the (late?) Ustaz Mohammed Tusuf, Mallam Sanni Umaru and Abu Darba has as its sole aim, entrenching Shariah law as the official and only religion not only in the North but also in Nigeria as a whole. With its operational headquarters in Kanamma, Borno state of Nigeria, the term ‘’Boko Haram’’ comes from both the Hausa and Arabic words meaning, ‘’western or non-Islamic education’’ and ‘’sin’’ respectively. So, to believers of the faith, ‘’anything western or non-Islamic education is a sin.’’ It therefore goes to say that members of the sect are totally averse to anything that has to do with western civilization and this literally means that ‘’Western or non-Islamic education is a sin.’’

Investigation carried out by Crime Alert revealed that though the fanatical religious movement started in 2002 in Maiduguri, its anti-people, anti-government activities became intense in 2004 when the group reportedly attacked a police formation and killed several senior police officers for reasons only known to members. Afterwards, it became much more hostile to non-members, secular education and of course, the nation’s nascent democracy. In fact, the leader of the sect, in his avowed determination to drive home the group’s ideology was once quoted as saying, ‘’This war that is about to start would continue for a long time’’ if the political and educational system in the country was not changed.

In the mean time, the group’s notoriety assumed international dimension in 2009 as a result of the orgies of violence carried out in nearly all the Northern states, especially, Kaduna, Adamawa, Bauchi and Borno states during which several lives and property worth millions of naira were destroyed by members of the sect.

Apparently irked by this disturbing dimension, the Police in the month of July 2009 commenced investigation into the nefarious activities of the group especially when it was reported that it was stockpiling arms. The police succeeded in not only arresting several of its members but killed their leader. This sparked off another violent clash to the extent that security reports showed that the group was arming itself. It was revealed that, prior to the clashes, many Muslim leaders and non-members of the sect and a security official had warned the authorities about the heinous activities of Boko Haram and their plans to strike a deadly blow on the nation’s stability.

However, Crime Alert scooped the reasons behind the group’s guerilla-like modus oparandi and why security agents, especially the Police is seemingly helpless over the ugly development in spite of their heavy presence in the Northern states where the sect is noted to have wrecked and is still wrecking havoc.

A senior security operative who spoke on the condition of anonymity alleged that a reasonable number of officers and men of all the security agencies from the Northern part of the country, the physically challenged persons from the area and Muslim women who wear hijab are members of the deadly sect. According to him, ‘’I can tell you that the reason why you think we are helpless is that most of us who are members of the group are constantly working against ourselves. As a commander of a squad and secret member of the group, if it is known that the group is operating in one area, you will lead your men to another area. Secondly, if you are the landlord of where the sect grouped or re-grouped to wreck havoc, you dare not inform security agents; it is part of solidarity.

Again, the fact that you hear of sporadic bombings is not because we were not doing our best, but because as security men, you dare not search Muslim women who wear Hijab. Searching them would amount to indecent assault. Meanwhile, most of them carry the bombs, pass them over to the common cripples on the streets begging for alms and before you know it, you will hear explosion even close to checkpoints and most times at police formation or the barracks.’’

Continuing, the source said, ‘’This is why we are seemingly helpless. Except we are able to correct this visible errors which are of course, security lapses, bomb explosions and the menace of Boko Haram sect would continue for a long time.’’ It was also gathered that this ugly development which is receiving the attention of the powers that be will soon be addressed following revelations that the Presidency is taking time to ascertain the veracity of the report while at the same time compiling names of those suspected to be involved.

More over, the Presidency is said to be holding series of meetings with all the security agencies with a view to identifying where there is laxity in the pursuit of this goal. It was also gathered that security at the borders will be strengthened with a view to making it impossible for foreigners to capitalize on the activities of members of this sect and infiltrate into the country.

Meanwhile, reports said the Controller-General of Immigration, Mrs Rose Uzoma has ordered her men at the borders to swing into action and fish out foreigners that collaborate with members of this sect without delay. Sources at the Immigrations headquarters in Abuja said she had already set up a special task force that will report directly to her over the issue with a mandate to deliver positive results within one month. On their part, the State Security Services (SSS) are said to have intensified efforts towards rounding up all those connected with the activities of this sect remotely or otherwise.


Related Reports:

Security in Nigeria, by Mary Crane, Editorial Coordinator, Council for Foreign Relations

Nigerian President Faces Security Challenges in New Term




Sunday, May 29, 2011

President Goodluck Jonathan must prove himself to Nigerians



It was a very calm Sunday as President Goodluck Jonathan was sworn-in at the Eagle Square in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, witnessed by thousands at the venue and millions of others followed the event on TV and the internet.

There is relative peace in the Niger Delta as the former militants are now fully engaged in the Amnesty programme of the government, but the terrorist Islamist sect Boko Haram is still attacking and killing innocent citizens in Borno State.
President Goodluck Jonathan should do his best to prove to Nigerians that he can lead without the interference of his discredited political godfathers like his former boss, the disgraced former state governor of Bayelsa State Diepreye Alamieyeseigha who was indicted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for corruption and former President Olusegun Obasanjo who has done more harm than good to Nigerians. Mr. Jonathan does not need their excess political baggage in his mission to reform and transform the most populous country in Africa.


~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima



Inside Story: Nigeria's presidential election




Wednesday, May 4, 2011

American Voters unaffected by President's bin Laden Victory


President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, in this May 1, 2011 handout photo. Pete Souza/The White House

3 May 2011 20:02 Africa/Lagos

Newsweek / Daily Beast Poll Reveals American Voters Unaffected by President's bin Laden Victory

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, May 3, 2011

NEW YORK, May 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- An exclusive Newsweek / Daily Beast poll using exclusive data conducted immediately before the president's Sunday announcement about the death of the FBI's most wanted terrorist - and immediately after - indicates that President Obama's approval ratings have remained static despite media rhetoric to the contrary.

Polling 1200 voters – 600 on Saturday April 30th and Sunday May 1st, and a further 600 on Monday May 2nd and Tuesday May 3rd - Newsweek and The Daily Beast discovered that in the aftermath of bin Laden's death;

There was no change to President Obama's overall approval rating

BEFORE: 48% APPROVE, 49% DISAPPROVE

AFTER: 48% APPROVE, 49% DISAPPROVE

There was a 10% increase in those who now feel the country is headed in the right direction

BEFORE: Right, 20%, Wrong, 65%

AFTER: Right, 30%, Wrong 55%

27 % feel the economy is headed in the right direction

BEFORE: Right, 31%, Wrong, 56%

AFTER: Right, 27%, Wrong 60%

Further research revealed;

- 55% think President Obama is a strong leader overall

- 63% think President Obama is a strong leader in the war on terrorism

- 38% feel President Obama has made the world more safe

- 45% of American's say President Bush has done a better job at prosecuting the war on terror than President Obama

- 26% of American's feel safer following the news that Osama bin Laden has been killed

- Only 5% of Americans say news that Osama bin Laden has been killed has changed the way they will vote in the 2012 presidential election

Looking ahead to the 2012 election;

In an Obama / Romney 2012 race, 42% would vote for Obama / 36% for Romney

In an Obama / Huckabee 2012 race, 42% would vote for Obama / 38% Huckabee

In an Obama / Palin 2012 race, 50% would vote for Obama / 29% Palin

In an Obama / Trump 2012 race, 53% would vote for Obama / 25% Trump

To review the comprehensive poll findings and full methodology, please visit www.thedailybeast.com

The poll was conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC on behalf of Newsweek/The Daily Beast, and has a margin of sampling error of +/-3 percent.

SOURCE The Daily Beast

CONTACT: Andrew Kirk, +1-212-524-8856

Web Site: http://www.thedailybeast.com































Releases displayed in Africa/Lagos time
3 May 2011
20:02Newsweek / Daily Beast Poll Reveals American Voters Unaffected by President's bin Laden Victory
19:25Business Lessons Could Hold Clues to How Bin Laden's Death Will Impact Al Qaeda, Economy
18:53The Lonesome Winner: The Obama Triumph From a European Perspective
15:34Week of Programming on the Hunt for Bin Laden and Attacks of 9/11 to Air on National Geographic Channel in the Wake of Bin Laden's Assassination
13:30Osama Bin Laden to Cause U.S. Hyperinflation, Says NIA



Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dr. Jonathan’s Presidential Election and National Sensibility and Development


President Goodluck Jonathan

How The Psychology of Dr. Jonathan’s Presidential Election Could Be About National Sensibility and Development

It will not be unusual to state that the April 16, 2011 presidential election of President Jonathan remains a non-default national outcome with a clear or given mandate which is richly suited to our current national needs; no matter how imperfect it may be to some quarters in the country or else where.

The Nigerian people are a mix of various ethnic, traditional and religious sentiments and these psychologies play a role as to how the President will appeal to the country’s common national identity, share our common interests and address the soul or mentality of those tied to the politics is ruthless divisions and selfishness.

President Jonathan knows that his newly found mandate is not only God-sent but anchored in the spirit of a people crying for progress in their general living conditions; a cry that began since the democratic year of 1999.

In spite of our class, political, religious and regional differences, somehow the Nigerian people for the most part, and for the first time, have presented the same eyes for a transformational type of leadership.

There appears to be is a sense of national confidence in this new President by many rural, urban and diaspora Nigerians who are looking forward to measurable changes, and clearer indicators in areas of concern such as public safety, joblessness, local terrorism, lowly governance, religious radicalism, inadequate law enforcement, monetary mismanagement, and other related problems.

It could be safe to say that for the next four years the nation could come under a smooth line of political stability without the fear of post-1960 independence experiences such as coups and anti-rule of law leadership.

Therefore, let this presidency be a tenure when Nigeria is no longer viewed as one of the most corrupt nation in the world. Let this time not just be a period of pledging to end corruption, advance economic and social reforms but a time when today’s Nigerians will look back and say it was a period when real changes were noted and transparently carried out in health, road, electricity, budget, contract, security and other domestic areas.

We want to see dramatic improvements in the rule of law, policing, penology, agriculture, infrastructure, professional work, and privatization.

The Nigerian people are looking to a presidency that will aggressively pursue private investment, and maintain less dependence on government aid in areas like education, public financing, regional development, agricultural production, and technical research or studies.

In the areas of trade and economics, Nigerians in the diaspora should be invested upon and re-directed back home to help in various areas of research and technical assistance.

This presidency should find a way to convince leaders in the incoming administration to fully pursue efficiency and time management if we are to ensure growth and development in public service and governance.

Under this presidency Nigerians should practice positive expectations since such national mindset will always result in societal promotion within our today’s global economy, as well as help the presidency avoid the extra ordinary weight of bearing the formidable problems involved in the Nigerian leadership.

It matters not if this period in Nigeria is proclaimed as the dawn of a new era, or the emergence of a new State. The question for all of us is the Jonathan Presidency going to get the Nigerian public's overwhelming support that could prepare and motivate the prime change that we will all appreciate?

~ By John Oshodi

John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D., DABPS; FACFE; is a Licensed Clinical/Forensic Psychologist; Diplomate of American Board of Psychological Specialties; Fellow of American College of Forensic Examiners (For Psy); Former Interim Associate Dean and an Assistant Professor of Psychology, Broward College - North Campus, Coconut Creek, Florida. joshodi@broward.edu



Friday, April 15, 2011

Professor Amos Sawyer arrives Abuja to lead ECOWAS observers to Nigeria's presidential election


Professor Amos Claudius Sawyer


April 14, 2011 11:22 ET

Professor Amos Sawyer arrives Abuja to lead ECOWAS observers to Nigeria's presidential election


ABUJA, April 14, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The former President of the Interim Government of Liberia and Head of the ECOWAS Election Observation Mission to Nigeria's 16th April 2011 presidential polls, Professor Amos Sawyer, has arrived Abuja, the Nigerian capital, to lead 300 regional observers who are being deployed to the six geo-political zones of the country to observe the election.

Members of the Mission include ECOWAS Ambassadors, representatives of the ECOWAS Council of the Wise, representatives of civil society organizations, the ECOWAS Parliament and Court of Justice, electoral experts as well as representatives of electoral commissions from the 15 Member States.

Professor Sawyer who will be joined on Election Day by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Ambassador James Victor Gbeho, was part of the ECOWAS Observer Mission to the 2008 general elections in Ghana. He led the organization's pre-election fact-finding mission to Ghana in October 2008.

Under its Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, ECOWAS is required to dispatch fact-finding and observer missions to Member States conducting presidential elections as part of its determination to ensure democratic convergence across West Africa.

These missions also enable ECOWAS to determine appropriate assistance to be rendered to such States in order to ensure the conduct of free, transparent and credible elections in the region.


Source: Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS)



Saturday, September 18, 2010

President Goodluck Jonathan is the Trump Card of the PDP

Goodluck Jonathan Declaration of Intent For The 2011 Presidential Race

Dear compatriots, four months ago, providence placed me at the leadership of our dear country, following the untimely death of our dear former President, my brother and leader, President Umaru Musa Yar’adua. It was a very solemn and trying moment for me personally and for the country as a whole. …
~ President Goodluck Jonathan


Over 40, 000 people from all the 36 states of Nigeria are presently at the Eagle Square in Nigeria to witness the declaration of President Goodluck Jonathan to contest the 2011 Presidential Election.


Governors, legislators and other party stalwarts of the notorious rulingPeople’s Democratic Party (PDP) have endorsed Mr. Jonathan who upon the death of the former President Yar’Adua on 5 May 2010 succeeded him to the Presidency, taking the oath of office on 6 May 2010.


The centrist ruling party has been in power since May 29, 1999. But the party has failed to deliver on its promises to improve the living conditions of the most populous country in Africa plagued by rampant corrupt practices and ethno-religious conflicts. The top leaders of the notorious party have been implicated in the Halliburton Bribery Scandal, Siemens Bribery Scandal and other financial crimes and indicted by Amnesty International.


The PDP has exploited the gullibility and hypocrisy the populace to perpetuate its misadministration of the nation. Therefore, most of the citizens will not be surprised if Mr. Jonathan wins the next presidential election in January 2011, because of his power of incumbency and the billion naira budget of his presidential campaign sponsored by Machiavellian political machinery of his sponsors.


The whole scenario reminds me of the exclamation of “It is ‘déjà vu’ all over again!” by Mobolaji Aluko, Ph.D. on April 3, 2002 in his “How A Self-Succession Bid has Turned Nigeria into “Animal Farm” published by Dawodu.Com.


The mammoth crowd at the Eagle Square is reminiscent of the infamous pro-Sani Abacha ‘Two Million Man March’ and seeing the popular Nigerian singer Onyeka Owenu performing her campaign song “Goodluck Jonathan Run” completes the nostalgia, because she did the same for General Sani Abacha at the ill-fated pro-Sani Abacha ‘Two Million Man March’ in the company of many popular musicians and other entertainers from March 2-3, 1998.


The status quo of the corrupt ruling class has not changed and they are desperate to use all means possible to retain power at all costs. And President Goodluck Jonathan is the trump card of the PDP to win the January 22 presidential election in Nigeria.


The only opposition party that can stop the notoriety of the PDP is Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), but it is yet to present any formidable presidential candidate. None of the other political parties can beat the ruling party no matter the credibility of their notable presidential aspirants like former military head of state Gen. Muhammad Buhari (retd) whose strict Islamic ideology makes him unpopular among millions of Christians and liberals in Nigeria.


Nigeria is a country ruled by political gangsters, their proxies and stooges and supported by their legions of beneficiaries and sycophants whose culture of corruption and hypocrisy will continue to plague them until we have a revolution like the one led by Jerry Rawlings of Ghana from 7 January 1993 – 7 January 2001. Only a transformational revolutionary leader can liberate our beloved Nigeria from these kleptomaniacs and their dogs.


God save Nigeria.


~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima