Monday, 20 July 2020

LOVE LETTER TO VP OSINBAJO.


My Dear Brother Pastor Yemi, l greet you in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the saviour of mankind . By the Grace of God, l am 56 years, a widowed and a responsible father. A member of the great denomination, RCCG for more than 24yrs. Up till last year, l was probably the oldest usher in my region, Glory be to God Almighty. Currently l am in charge of my Parish CSR Committee. l deliberately rejected not to be ordained as a Deacon or Pastor because I have reservations for some of the believes of the great mission. 


Brother Yemi, l was opportuned to collect your offering more than five times  either at the Camp or Apapa family of RCCG during special programmes.When you were the Attorney General & Commissioner of  Justice, l opened the case of your principal's undeclared assets in

 the United States banks.l wrote the then the sitting President, five letters and all the ruling party governors why the LION must be brought to justice. Please, google Olufemi Aduwo and Bola Tinubu .At last, the President summon courage and directed the AG & Minister of Justice to arraign  the only lion who does not reside in the jungle.The CCT, office of AG & Minister of Justice bungled  the case, before the lion was put inside cage.l was contacted for settlement by three people and l told them, it was not targeted for personal enrichment.


My Dear Brother in Christ, many Christians  believe probably you are the only Christian in government who is a saint.l told them you are not. Brother Yemi between 1988- 92  you  served as a Specia Adviser to the Attorney General, Prince Ajibola during IBB regime, a good number of people opined that you drafted all the draconian decrees then. 


For 8 years, you served another game master as AG & Commissioner for Justice. You assisted BAT in  preparing the laws which allow him to be paid after leaving office until he will enter grave. Such humongous amount, probably more than what the sitting governors receive.

Behold other former  governors join in what l call OFFICIAL STEALING. Recently under Buhari government, some courageous Judges have  declared such payment not only illegal but  direct stealing. Till this morning, your boss collects the payment.


Brother Yemi, Christ the hope of glory, the author and finisher of our faith should be our mentor in whatever we do as Christians either in market place or public space.


ln the year 2010, l lost my wife due to the carelessness of doctors and in less than two months, l got an invitation from DSS H/Q annex, Ruwane road lkoyi, to report.l did not know why l was invited but as an activist,l did not know if l had offended any Nigeria kingmakers. When l got there, a three man panel put questions across to me for six hours, some l answered and some l told them, such acts belong to the past.


l was asked to report back the second days with my certificates which l did.l was put inside a dark room and they took my pictures, front, back and both sides.It was after all these, they told me the purpose of the 24hrs assignment. I wept, to them, the DSS operatives, it was tear of joy. l told them why l would not accept such appointment from President Jonathan, my children were then 3, 4 & 7 years. How to care for them was my utmost concern.l pleaded with them to put in there report that l was not interested.


Less than a month later,l told Governors Segun Oni,Imoke and Chief (Uncle Ebino) about the appointment,which they were happy about but l did not tell them what l told the DSS, they contacted the Chief of Staff to the President, individually to find out when l would resume,they could not believe what they were told, that l rejected the appointment.They asked me why and l told them my reasons, they tried to convince me to pick up the appointment but l stood my ground and above all, l am not even a  member of PDP, in fact till date, l do not belong to any political party.All the money in my bank account as at when I was rejecting a federal appointment was less than N100,000.


Brother Yemi, God has been so good to you, on a platter of gold through the power of lion who resides in human house you became a Vice President.Brother Yemi nothing separate you from other politicians of either APC or PDP. Many believe by virtue of your academic achievement and being a pastor, you would be an exceptional leader, very sad, you failed. 


Judas was an apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ, he performed wonders and miracles, but he was a thief. Sir, regardless of your aides' defence, we know that you are not needed anymore as a Vice President by the same power that brought you in. I will advice you as a brother to please resign and ask for restitution from God for any shortcomings and move on. 


As Christians, we are called to be the “salt” and “light” of the world (Matt 5:13-15), and this certainly includes our workplace. Politics often lead to undesirable consequences such as workplace injustice, hostilities, discriminations, hurts and stress, etc. As salt has healing properties, we have the responsibility to bring healing to our workplace, to help undo the wounds caused by the politics in our organizations. We are also called to help transform the culture of our workplace for the better where possible. In the Old Testament, God placed servants like Nehemiah at the right place, at the right time to fulfill His purpose. In our modern times, God continues to place some of us in positions to be able to transform our workplace for the better. Sometimes this may be achieved by shedding light on dark politics in the office. But in a situation where it is becoming impossible to make meaningful changes, then, it is honourable to bow out.


Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:8,

 " Dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise" Brother Yemi, l wish you all the best and l look forward to see you at December  2019 RCCG Holy Congress.


Yours in Christ, Brother Olufemi  Aduwo, Permanent Representative of CCDI to United Nations.

Sunday, 19 July 2020

UNGASS 2021-UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY SPECIAL SESSION AGAINST CORRUPTION -CSOs FORUM APPLAUDED NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT

From 26 to 28 April 2021,the first-ever UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) focused on corruption will take place in New York.The UNGASS was officially set for these dates in UN General Assembly resolution 74/276 on 1 June 2020.The UNGASS provides an opportunity to shape the global anti-corruption agenda for the next decade, by advancing bold and innovative approaches,scaling best practices and developing new standards and mechanisms. The leaders of 193 Nation- States Civil society organisations with Consultative Status of United Nations held a Virtual High -Level Technical Session between15-18 July 2020.The high-level delegates Technical Session adopted four points agenda that must be included in the UNGASS Session next year and to be presented to United Nations, Secretary General who called for the session next month in New York. 

ln the goodwill message by Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti,Chef De Cabinet, Executive Office of the United Nations, Secretary General,she said,while Sustainable Development Goal 16 dealt explicitly with corruption,in fact,the success of the entire 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development hinged on fighting corruption.This is a global appeal for fairness,a collective demand for justice.The event today is a timely opportunity to reflect on how intentional community can make good on these commitments.

Corruption affects developed and developing countries alike and complicity knows no borders.lt cripples economic development, stifles entrepreneurship and deters investments.Society cannot function equitably and efficiently when public officials enrich themselves rather than perform their duties with integrity. The President of the Session Mr.Eddie Martins( United States ) and the Secretary Olufemi Aduwo (Nigeria) jointly appreciated the Commitment of United Nations during the COVID 19 pandemic and also commended the government of Nigeria in taken the bold step to investigate the anti corruption body in the country.The body along with the appropriate United Nations agency are monitoring the Nigeria development and in short time will formally communicate there position to the government of Nigeria.

ln another development Ndopu said Governments must not only legislate, implement and enforce laws, but also enlist the media, the private sector, civil society and academia in the battle of curbing corruption.
Also addressing the Session on behalf of African States-Civil society organisations,the Permanent Representative of Center for Convention on Democratic Integrity- Nigeria (CCDI) to United Nations,Olufemi Aduwo who also served as the Secretary of the Session,urged delegates to partner with their governments where necessary in fighting the menace.The United Nations bold step represents a fundamental recognition that corruption was neither an acceptable cost of doing business nor a necessary evil,but simply an unacceptable crime,he said.

NIGERIA REFINES OWN GOLD

On Thursday, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) presented a cheque of N268 million for the country’s first artisanally-mined and refined gold. The cheque was presented to the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMDI) on Thursday at the launch of the gold purchase programme in Abuja. President Muhammadu Buhari launched the PAGMDI, a comprehensive artisanal and small-scale gold mining development programme in 2019.The initiative is to foster the formalisation and integration of artisanal gold mining activities into Nigeria’s legal, economic, and institutional framework.Speaking at the launch, the Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, said the development is a step toward the actualisation of economic diversification in Nigeria. He said Nigeria will no longer be analysed
through the price of crude oil as gold is also valued in theinternational market in dollars
he said.

 lrrespective of the fall in the price of crude oil, with gold, “the Nigerian economy remains strong, remains resilient to withstand the exogenous shocks that we see around today. We seize this opportunity to assure our friends both locally and internationally to say that the Nigerian government supported by the monetary authorities is doing everything possible to diversify the base of the Nigerian economy and in the coming weeks and months, Nigerians and the world will see more that is going to be done in improving the output from our agricultural sector, improving productivity from the manufacturing sector, doing everything to make it easy for goods to move from farms to market in Nigeria.  Also at the event was the Governor of Kebbi State,
AtikuBagudu who
 said many states including Kebbi have people in the artisanal gold mining sector for decades but they have been doing so illegally,with health hazards to themselves and damage to the environment.He pointed out that this is the first time the miners will be energized by a national programme.He said because of its illegality, the mining brings insecurity.The miners are now registered, they have modern tools, protective gear with minimal damage to the environment, and above all they are buying centres which you will buy it from them at prices that they would never have gotten before and with the creativity and support of the Central Bank Governor. 
This gold will go into reserve providing a ready market. So this energizes state governors, gold-producing communities across Nigeria and I believe this is an initiative that will see us through more individually and collectively in this gold production and ensure that people benefit from it,” he said. In her remarks, Executive Secretary, Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF), Fatima Shinkafi, said the initiative would not only strengthen the national economy and impact on the individuals, but will also encourage private-sector-led investment.They have a space to participate in PAGMI and the laws and regulations are there.We will sensitize people together with the Ministry and the States, who have been very supportive as well.We have started a good journey towards improving the economy and we are moving at a very fast speed.I hope that this will translate into a better life, most importantly for the households that we intend to impact in terms of making better standards of living for individual families that we are supporting directly and indirectly with the artisanal miners,” she said.The launch was done at the Council Chambers of the State House, Abuja, and was witnessed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari; Governors Nasir El-Rufai, Bagudu Atiku, Gboyega Oyetola and Deputy of Zamfara, Mahdi Gusau. Others present were the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, and the Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Uchechukwu Ogah. Others joined virtually from their various offices.

Solution to Debt Relief Debate

 
Dateline: 07/6/04
By Olufemi Aduwo

The debt crisis in many low-income countries has become a cause celebre for the media and international charitable organisations for good reason. Countries whose people have difficulty feeding themselves are finding it impossible to spur economic growth despite an infusion of fund from organisations such as the IMF and World Bank. They are barely able to pay the interest on their outstanding loans even using funds that could be better devoted to public health and education programme.

Take Cote d'Ivorie, for example, inhabitants of this small country have a declining life expectancy that is already about 15 years below the average for all developing countries, and its literacy rate is 30 per cent lower than the average. Its per capital gross national product increased by only $45 in the 1990s. Yet in 1995, World Bank figures indicated Cote d'Ivoire spent over eight times as much to service its debt (which was more than double its GNP) as it did in public health and education.Despite a joint IMF World Bank debt relief programme, Cote d'Ivorie's debt remained one-half times its GNP, and debt service payments consumed 14.4 percent of the country's GNP in 1997.Heavily indebted poor countries (HIPCS) like Cote d'Ivoire are deteriorating under this increasingly onerous burden of debt service.

The path from problem to solution is far from clear.For centuries, economists of every ideology (from Adam Smith and Karl Marx to Robert Barro and Joseph Stiglitz) have grappled with the question of what makes economies grow. One point they all agreed on is that when a country starts from a low level of economic development as influxes of investment can spark explosive growth if wisely utilised.This observation is the underlying justification for the billions of dollars developing countries have received in loans and grants from multilateral and bilateral sources. Unfortunately, providing money to these countries does not automatically translate into economic growth. Poor spending decisions, corruption and economic policies that undermine opportunities for growth frequently negate the benefits of loans and investment. Much more than these, are the intentions of the lenders,(creditors) which are one-
sided benefiting. 

The IMF historic role is to stabilise the world economy.World Bank provides loans for infrastructure at low interest rates and on a long-
term basis.The
 IFC invests in private sector projects with low percentage require.The IMF itself provides the loan for balance of payments deficits.The nature of its loan is short term.It has some laid down conditionality.The conditionalities make access to the loan difficult. One of the conditions is the programme supervision by the IMF Staff of the recipient economy policies.

The external loan Nigeria obtained in 1978, was sourced from the money market in England.From 1980-1983 there was accumulation of foreign debt resulting from excessive issuance of import licences of goods and services in 1983, the letter or credit debts had risen to 12 billion US dollars.The figure was not verified but was accepted for redemption by the military government that came into power in the year.The credit was funded by each country's export guarantee organisation. These organisations refused to deal directly with the government of Nigeria but through the IMF, they insisted that IMF must approve the economic programme of Nigeria before they could reschedule Nigeria's debt. Nigeria's relationship with IMF is therefore based on the debt owed to the London and Paris clubs. 

Nigeria borrowed for Aladja Steel in 1980 and NEPA or ECN in 1978, talking of the Paris Club in particular,what Nigeria borrowed was only $3.5 billion we did not pay on time and unfortunately be compounding interest plus unpaid principal, this figure rose to about $5.8 billion by 1985 and by 1995 20.9 billion. How did this happen? We borrowed at certain level of interest which was about six to seven percent, sometimes in the 1980s, interest rate rose to 12 per cent and it was being compounded
and if you borrow at compounded interest of 12 per cent,it doubles every five year practically, so in 10 years you have got four times what you owed. This is how we find ourselves where we are. There is fundamental inequity in this sort of thing, if I borrowed $3.5 billion and invested it in good business, what business will yield $21 billion in 18 years, the principle of borrowing is that you used the money, you pay back and you have something.

The failure of traditional debt relief mechanisms to solve the debt problems of poor countries led the IMF and World Bank to create the HIPC initiative in 1996.The HIPC initiative offers to poor countries by rescheduling their debt when traditional debt relief measure proves in sufficient.

In order to be eligible for HIPC relief, a country must qualify for World Bank concessional assistance, have an "unsustainable" debt burden after exhausting all other debt relief options, and maintain a track record of adherence to IMF and World Bank conditions agreed to in return for loan referred to as "Conditionality". The HIPC initiative was expected to provide an 18 per cent reduction in debt service due but most countries did not pay their obligations in full. According to the IMF " in comparison to the debt service paid prior to HIPC debt relief, the reduction is about two per cent on average... and some countries are expected to experience an increase in debt service due even after HIPC assistance. This relief feel far short of the expectations of debt relief proponents.The development committee of the British House of Commons characterised this initiative as merely a "re-arrangement of account" which fails to provide a permanent solution to the HIPC debt problem. 

According to Rev. Jesse Jackson, 'Debt burdens are the new economy's chains of  slavery... remove the shackles from Africa, to guarantee life and opportunity to million of young children". 

The goal should not be debt forgiveness, but maximising the ability of heavily indebted countries to develop economically and socially. Forgiving debt can facilitate this goal, but will not achieve it without other measures. The single greatest determinant of future economic growth is a free market not the amount that governments spend. Thus to be successful, debt forgiveness must be accompanied by means to encourage countries to adopt economic reform, that increase the economic development, and measures to prevent a return to unsustainable debt levels through poor investment of borrowed funds. The most dependable way to ensure that HIPC adopts economic and institutional reforms is to require them to forgo future official credit in return for debt forgiveness. This will (1) provide a clean slate to allow poor countries to start fresh. In fact, foreign assistance has done little more than add to the burden many developing countries face by increasing their overall debt. The past loans did not generate sufficient economic growth to supply countries with means to repay them. Forgiving these ill-.
conceived loans would allow poor countries to focus their resources on development rather than reinforcing past errors in judgement made by the creditors. 

History indicates that foreign assistance has not helped nations develop.The study of London School of Economics concerning 92 developing nations 1997, found that "no relationship exists between the levels of aid and rates of growth in recipient countries".The argument that an aid cut-off would inevitably doom HIPCs to poverty is therefore a red herring. Access to private credit and investment will increase over time as countries adopt economic reforms experience economic growth and establish records of responsible debt management. There is ample evidence supporting this view. For instance, Hong Kong and Taiwan received little if any official assistance, yet they succeeded in outstripping large aid recipients in terms of economic growth by implementing economic and institutional reform.

Debt forgiveness without instituting economic reforms in each country and altering the lending policies and tendencies of multilaterial institutions is a shortsighted and ultimately futile gesture. Even IMF acknowledge that inability debt management and denominating their debt in dollars or other currencies while their own currencies devalue is not the best way forward. The best solution therefore is a combination of debt forgiveness and termination of future economic assistance. This approach would prevent the accumulation of excessive debt and ensure that the market (a better judge of creditworthy projects and policies than that official creditors) is the determining factor in lending decisions. HIPCs need a remedy, not a short-
sighted plan that foists the problem off on future leaders.

Aduwo writes from Lagos

NB;This piece was published on  the 7/6/2004 0n THISDAY NEWSPARER,Economic Confidential Newsletter and World bank bulletin. 

 

 

Monday, 23 March 2020

LET US BE POSITIVE- CORONOVIRUS


Attempt to kill by disease in times of war are not new. During the 14th century in Eastern Europe, the corpses of plague victims were catapulted over the walls of a city under siege, in an incident 400 years later. British officers deliberately gave smallpox infected blankets to American Indians at a peace parley during the French and Indian war.


This triggered an epidemic that contributed to the Indian surrender. However, it was not until the end of 19th century that it was discovered that microbes cause infectious disease. For more than 25 years, American and former Soviet Union and several other nations, ambitiously pursued the development of biological weapons. In 1972 the nations agreed to ban these weapons. Some countries however, secretly continued development and research, amassing stockpiles of deadly biological agents along with the means to deliver.


What let to the official ban on such weapons are numerous. One reason for this is that their effect is not immediate, it takes time for symptoms to appear, another reason is that their effectiveness depends on fluctuations of wind and weather. One analysis compared the cost of using various weapons to kill unprotected people in an area of one square kilometer, the estimated cost using conventional weapons was put at 2,000 dollars nuclear weapons 800 dollars nerve-gas weapons 600 dollars and biological weapons 1 dollar.


The terrorist groups have experimented with biological weapons. Yet, there is a huge difference between experimenting with biological weapons and launching an effective attack with them.First, the terrorist organizations have to obtain a sufficiently lethal strain of a disease pathogen,secondly, the storage must be handled correctly and safely and thirdly, ability to produce it in bulk. Tiny amounts of micro-organism are lethal enough to ravage a field of crops, a herd of animals or a city of New York, London or Lagos, assuming the pathogen is delivered precisely to the target. However biological agents do not survive well outside the laboratory. In reality only a fraction of the biological agent would reach the target population, so vastly larger amounts would be needed to launch a catastrophic attack. The need to know how to disperse the pathogen effectively, this involves ensuring that the pathogen is delivered to the target in the right particle size, and in sufficient concentration to cause mass infection.


It took more than ten years for a highly trained team of American germ – warfare researchers to produce a reliable bio-weapon delivery system. Once a biological agent has been dispersed into the atmosphere, it is exposed to sunlight and varying temperatures, which can cause the micro-organism to die. Weaponising an agent, therefore calls for detailed knowledge of the behaviour of biological organisms in the air. Considering the array of technological hurdles involved, it is not surprising that few terrorist attacks with biological weapons over the year’s produce few casualties. Anthrax laced letters killed five people in the United State, after 11 September 2001 attack.


History is not a clear guide to the future. Though past attacks have largely failed, futures ones may succeed.Advances in biotechnology are also a matter of concern. Scientists already have the know-how to alter existing pathogens to make them extraordinarily lethal yet easier to handle. They can genetically alter harmless micro-organism to produce toxins. Organisms can also be manipulated so that they will escape standard detection methods. Further, micro-organisms can be designed to resist antibiotics standard vaccines, and therapies. Scientists who defected from the former Soviet Union for example, claimed to have developed a form of plague that was resistant to sixteen antibiotics. Extraordinary weapons of stealth might also be developed in the future.


For example, highly specific weapons could disable the immune system itself, rather than being infected with specific diseases. If such lethal AIDS like virus surfaces, who is to know whether the source is a natural mutation or a genetic manipulation concocted in the laboratory of the leaders.


Let us buttress this point with past occurrence of virus disease plague, a highly infectious disease caused by a bacterium. The first signs of the lethal pneumonic plague are fever, headache, weakness and cough. Septic shock will follow, and without early treatment with antibiotics, death is almost certain. The disease passes from person to person through salivia droplets. During the 14th century, within five years plagues killed about 13 million people in Chinaand 30 million in Europe. During the 1950’s and 1960’s both the United States and former Soviet Union developed techniques to spread pneumonic plague.

Smallpox: a highly infectious disease caused by a virus. Initial symptoms include high fever, fatigue, headaches and backaches. Later, painful lesions appear that become pus filled. One in three victims die. Smallpox was eliminated worldwide in 1977, after many years confirmation that the disease could not be eradicated. The disease spreads from person to person via infected salivia droplets, contaminated clothing or bed linen may also spread the virus.

In 1980, the Soviet Union launched a successful programme to produce larger amounts of smallpox and to adapt it for delivery by intercontinental ballistic missiles. Efforts were also made to develop strains of smallpox that were more virulent and contagious. Anthrax, an infectious disease caused by a spore-forming bacterium, early symptoms of inhalation anthrax may resemble a common cold. After several days, symptoms progress, to severe breathing problems and shock. This form of anthrax is often fatal. In the second half of the 20th century, anthrax was developed as weapon by several countries, including United States and the former Soviet Union. According to one assessment by the United States Government the release of 100 kilograms of aerosolised anthrax over a major city like Lagos, Cairo or New York could be a lethal as a hydrogen bomb.

Botulism is a muscle paralysing disease caused by a toxin – producing bacterium. The symptoms of food-borne botulism include double or blurred vision, dropping eyelid, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing and dry mouth. Paralysis of breathing muscle can cause death. Botulinum toxin is a prime choice as a bio-weapon not only because it is one of the most poisonous substances known but also because it is relatively easy to produce and transport. Several countries are suspected of developing botulinum toxin as a biological weapon. All these symptoms mentioned manifest in HIV/AIDS victim.

Biological warfare refers to the deliberate spreading of disease among humans, animals or plants. Disease occurs when the target population is infected by living micro-organisms. These organisms multiply (some producing toxins). Some biological weapons cause incapacitation other death. Still others can be used to attack and destroy crops.  I hope my fear is not confirm true, that many African Countries where HIV/Aids victims are high also recorded poor planting harvest and serious famine are manipulated by the world leaders rather than sexually abuse. At the beginning of HIV/AIDS existence, the victims figures were high among the American and Europe. Today the Western governments and their press are saying African Countries has 70% of HIV/AIDS victims.


All countries are potentially at risk if organism such as smallpox, plague, anthrax, botulinum and HIV/AIDS are used by the American and Allied forces against any country in nearest future. The effect could prove catastrophic in terms of the resulting illness and deaths compounded by the panic such outbreaks would generate. If the smallpox virus were released today, the majority of the world’s population would be defenceless and given the virus 30 percent kill rate, nearly two billion could die. It is a chilling irony; while men or women of brilliance have devoted their lives to the conquest of disease in humans, other with equal zeal and skill have focussed on the conquest of human by means of disease.

The attacks on World Trade Centre in New York and on the Pentagon in Washington D.C in 2001 dramatically showed that there exist ruthless and hate-driven people bent on the mass destruction of human life. Further, the attacks proved that the United States and by extension, every other nation are vulnerable to such attacks. We live in a world where determined terrorists and wicked leaders  can, in an instant, snuff out the lives of thousand of people. Swiftly following the Sept. 11 attacks, U.S politicians and employees of the news media became the targets of letters containing anthrax, a deadly bacterium people were fearful. Fuelling such fears, the media along with experts speculated that terrorists might attack with pathogens more lethal than anthrax. l may be and l want to be wrong that  conorovirus is   man made and  those should know are aware.


Olufemi Aduwo

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

‘Why we’re at war with Obaseki’ — Airhiavbere



A chieftain of the APC in Edo, Gen. Charles Airhiavbere, explained on Sunday that the main All Progressives Congress is at loggerheads with Governor Godwin Obaseki because the governor has “refused to listen to voice of reason.’’

Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria Benin, Airhiavbere, a former soldier, said Obaseki “lacked interpersonal skills” needed to make the difference in the exalted office.

The party chieftain said the governor had resorted to “use of raw power” in dealing with his political associates, a development, he said, had alienated many APC stalwarts in the state.

Edo State is billed for governorship polls next August, in a high-stakes election expected to be characterised by back-stabbing, violence and betrayal.

Airhiavbere, who ran for party ticket against Obaseki in 2016, said “APC would never be united in Edo” with the way the governor was relating with other members of the party.

He said that contrary to what Obaseki wanted people to believe, agitations in the state were not because of “stomach infrastructure’’ or a quest for the resources of the state by the party members.

“It was never about godfather and godson struggling for the control of government or resources of the state.

“It is all about ensuring governance with human face and our resolve is to check the destructive approach to governance in Edo State and put our party on the path of moral rectitude, transparency and inclusion.

“The struggle is all about a governor who lacks interpersonal relationship skill; who is vindictive and repelled by the presence of his party members and without provocation, resorts to anger and pugnacious display of raw power.’’

Airhavbere said that Obaseki had “failed to fulfill his electoral promises” and had “refused to embrace dialogue, consultation, negotiation and compromise.”

“This is a governor who believes in all ramifications that he is above the people and who has suddenly become a tyrant.

“We cannot fold our arms and watch helplessly . With these traits , it is obvious that the governor was never psychologically and emotionally prepared to be a leader.”

Airhiavbere said it was because of these issues that “authentic members” of the party came together on November 13 to abolish the Edo Peoples Movement and suspend the governor, his deputy Philip Shaibu and the Secretary to State Government, Mr. Osarodion Ogie.

He said the suspension was also to send a signal to Obaseki that it was not going to be business as usual in the countdown to upcoming governorship election.

“Edo is the only APC state in the South-South and we are not ready to lose the state,” Airhiavbere said.

He noted that APC members remain loyal to the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, assuring that “everything would be done

WORLD PRESS CONFERENCE BY MEMBERS, LEADERS AND CRITICAL STAKEHOLDERS OF THE ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS, EDO STATE CHAPTER.



Party Leaders,
Members of our Great Party, APC,
Distinguished Members of the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, we are gathered here as members, leaders and critical Stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress APCEdo State to address Edo people and the entire nation on issues that have been bedeviling the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Godwin Obaseki led administration in Edo State since the last three years.

THE STATE OF APC IN EDO STATE
It is important to note that the running of the party in Edo State by Barr. Anslem Ojezua has left much to be desired, a situation which was almost decimating the Strength of the party until we came in as a rescue team.

The inability of Barr. Anslem Ojezua to run an all inclusive party (the APC) in Edo State was gradually creating hopelessness among party members over issues that could have been amicably resolved, led to a situation that would have resulted in mass exodus of members from the party. Ojezua is not known to have been able to settle any party dispute no matter how minor, thus making his continuous stay in office as State Chairman a clear and present danger to the cohesion of the Party and therefore unacceptable to the majority of members.

For the avoidance of doubt, it is important to state that ​ Barrister Anslem Ojezua has been involved in a number of constitutional breaches and gross misconduct ranging from illegal and unilateral suspension of the State Secretary and other legally elected officers of the Party, causing division in the Party by taking sides in Party disputes, failure to be accountable to Party, failure to improve the fortunes of the party in his immediate Local Government Area and Senatorial district as he has serially been a loser in all elections, disrespect and disregard for National leadership of the Party, conspiracy in the execution of an illegal inauguration of Edo State House of Assembly and many more acts of misconduct.
Consequently, as loyal party members and leaders we decided to find a voice for the teaming members who have been alienated and wrongly treated by Anslem Ojezua and his collaborators in Government and this led to the formation of our group with which we have been engaging the party and government in the last six months. Thus , our group was a necessary appropriate response to the drift in the party as led by Anslem Ojezua, who rather than being Chairman of the Party became a misadviser of the government, a contractor handling several SUBEB Projects in the State, and thereby compromised his integrity and neutrality in party matters.
We are happy to state unequivocally that in spite of the resistance of Barr. Anslem Ojezua and the government he has been misleading on party matters we have been able to galvanize the majority of the APC members in Edo State to keep faith within the party. We have also been able to attract other members of the opposition in their numbers to the APC as we shall witness shortly.
In the light of the above positive development the leadership and membership of of our group have resolved to continue as authentic APC members to further galvanize our members towards actualising our next cardinal objective of producing a candidate that will deliver on the party programs and ensure the United party capable managing all the tendency within the party. Henceforth, we shall continue as critical stakeholders, members and leaders of our great party in pursuance of our party’s objectives of providing sustainable development for our dear state through a leadership that is responsive, responsible, accountable and people oriented particularly as we approach the 2020 Governorship elections.

We therefore wish to notify the National Working Committee of the Party that the State of the Edo APC at the moment is critical and requires urgent and responsible steps to ensure cohesion, particularly as the State Chairman has failed to manage the party responsibly.
Consequently, we hereby endorse the recent removal of Anslem Ojezua by members of the State Executive Committee of the party and urged the National Working Committee to urgently ratify the removal to pave way for the full restoration of peace and discipline in the party.

THE APC AND EDO STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY DEBACLE:
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is no longer news that Edo State is the only State in the Federation that is running an unconstitutional contraption call “ a House of Assembly”. You all will recall, that Governor Goodwin Obaseki in criminal conspiracy with Barr. Anslem Ojezua and Deputy Governor Philip Shuaibu abducted at gun point four members – elect and cause the Edo State House of Assembly to be inaugurated at 9:30pm on June 17th 2019 with 9 members out of the total number of 24 elected members. By their action, the Governor and his co-conspirators foisted on Edo people a minority rule contrary to Section 91 of the 1999 Constitution in the Edo State House of Assembly and well-meaning Nigerians including Traditional Rulers have intervened to no avail. The Obaseki led government have refused to reverse the wrong by complying with National Assembly resolutions on the matter, but instead have resorted to more desperate tactics of procuring black market injunctions and rulings to perpetuate the illegality. In the face of this wanton disregard for law and order, the lives of the other elected members have continued to be in jeopardy owing to attacks on their persons and followers. Indeed, Anslem Ojezua have continued to preside over their illegal suspension from the party in their various LGAs. This is unacceptable to Edo People and the generality of APC members in Edo State and we are concerned that Anslem Ojezua and the Governor have continued to be stumbling blocks to the restoration of the rule of Law in the constitution of the Edo State House of Assembly. We condemn therefore in strong terms their actions and complicity in this matter and demand that the right thing be done.

THREE YEARS OF GODWIN OBASEKI ADMINISTRATION
The Obaseki administration turned three years in office as at 12th November, 2019. You will all recall that the Governor was the Chairman of the State Economic and Strategy Team and the State Internally Generated Revenue Committee during the 8 years administration of former Governor Adams Oshiomhole, now National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress.
It is on record that under Governor Adams Oshiomhole, the APC (which metamorphosed from AC to ACN and then to APC) became a brand and metaphor for both human and infrastructural development in Edo State with Several major quality legacy projects like the Benin Storm water project, the Queen Ede and Auchi Erosion Control Projects , over a thousand kilometers of quality roads across the length and breadth of Edo State, Edo State Urban Renewal Projects, Education transformation Programme (Codenamed as the Red roof Revolution) in primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions, the Comrade buses for transportation and very many more too numerous to mention.
It was on the basis of this sterling performance that the need to install a government that will continue with these laudable achievements that led to the emergence of Godwin Obaseki as the Party’s candidate in 2016 having been part of the administration as both member of the cabinet and commission earning consultant on financial matters. He was neither a voter in Edo State nor a card carrying member of the All Progressives Congress (the APC). He was expected to build on the Legacy of the administration on whose back he rode to power. However, it is noteworthy, that other than the opportunity offered him to serve in Oshiomohole’s administration, he had no prior personal connection with the development of the State through any charitable work or investment in any form. Thus ,he rode to stardom on the back and goodwill of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and providence. He was certainly not the best at that material time.
However, upon assumption of office he began to manifest hostile attitude towards APC rank and file members, hatred for those who contested the party primaries with him and disdain for the State development master plan which he participated in formulating under Comrade Adams Oshiomhole; he also deviated sharply from the progressive programmes and policies of the party, introduced selfish and uneconomical programmes and policies which has resulted in huge capital flight,he shut down educational institutions which were set up to improve the Agricultural , health and Educational sectors of the state Economy and instead replaced them with consultants of doubtful qualifications. In fact , the consultants he hired for training of teachers were paid N1.5 million per teacher. Today ,we have the College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi closed, the Tayo Akpata University, Ekiadolor locked up and staff members and students left to idle away. The continuous closure of the functional College of Education in Igueben, Michael Imodu College of Physical Education Afuze and the College of Agriculture Technology Agenebode and the state school of nursing bears testimony to his insensitivity in building institutions, yet he is a technocrat.
The folly of Governor Godwin Obaseki reached its climax with the over N2B investments in the Sobe farms, In Sobe, Owan West Local government of Edo State the farm became a drainpipe to siphon the scarce resources of the Edo people into the pockets of his cronies and surrogates in the guise of Agric vendors from Lagos and Port Harcourt. Today, the impact of that investment on both the State economy and food security for Edo people cannot be determined.

Apart from that, there was also the CBN Agricultural Credit Scheme( CACS) of N5B which came into Edo State coffers in 2018.As a CBN loan, it was meant to assist farmers increase their yields in the State .Part of it was to be used for clearing farmlands while the balance was to be given to farmers in clusters as loans supervised by the state government for increase in agricultural produce in the State. The Obaseki Government need to show Edo people the land that it cleared with N2.8B it earmarked for that purpose , publish the names, numbers and location of farmers to whom the balance of N2.2B was shared to. This is a loan which the state government is paying back monthly with deductions being made at source from the Federation account.
We demand that Governor Godwin Obaseki comes out clean on the millions of naira Edo State investment in the Ossiomo Power Project, and the ownership structure of the project.
The APC in Edo State is saddened by the recent flooding associated with the heavy down pours in the last raining season. This arose due to the neglect by Governor Godwin Obaseki of the Benin Storm water project which was started by Comrade Adams Oshiomole. His failure to commence the second phase of the Storm Water project came at a great cost to the residents of Benin-City as houses were submerged by flood.
More scandalous is the verifiable fact that not a single teacher has been employed in the last three years with the result that many schools (primary and secondary) have no adequate number of teachers to teach the necessary subjects to pupils and students. Many of the teachers have retired from service, thus resulting in the shortage of teaching personnel in Edo schools which has adversely affected the quality and standard of education in the State, yet, this was a Governor who procured from NUT the award of best Governor in Education in Nigeria. What an Irony?
In furtherance of the plundering of the educational sector, Governor Godwin Obaseki has criminally diverted the sum of N1.4 Billion Naira from the Statutory Allocation of the Edo State Oil Gas Development funds (EDOSOPADEC) - a statutory commission with clear mandate to initiate and execute developmental projects in Oil producing areas in favour of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) - another statutory agency of Government with its own mandate and budget without any valid legislative approval.
This is apart from the plundering of Local Government funds and revenues in various guises, using the mandatory signatory of the State Accountant General and each serving council Chairman to move various sums meant for the development of the Local Government Areas to various accounts of the State Governments. This was authenticated by the Chairman of the Commission Pastor Kennedy Osifo and is already a subject of investigation by EFCC and ICPC. We hereby use this medium to call on both EFCC and ICPC to expedite investigations on these various acts of financial impropriety.
The APC, Edo State wish to demand from the Governor, to publicly account for all revenues he has received from all sources so that Edo people can 5decide whether his so called performance can reasonably be measured against actual receipts. It is on record that apart from Statutory Allocations and Internally Generated Revenues, the Governor has received, on behalf of Edo people, funds from the Paris Club refund, repayment by Federal government on road projects constructed in Edo State by his predecessor, the loans he has borrowed so far which has made Edo state the second highest indebted state ( debt profile of $277.74m) in the Country and several other receipts into the coffers of Edo state. In this way, Edo people will appreciate the hypocrisy of the Governor and the tokenistic performance which he has shored up by means of propaganda.

In the health sector, Governor Obaseki has shamelessly sought to blackmail his predecessor over the state and condition of the Edo Specialist Hospital which was built and equipped before he assumed office as Governor. However, in his imaginary fight against godfatherism he attempted to manipulate the House of Assembly and erstwhile Commissioner of Health into indict Comrade Adams Oshiomhole over that commendable health project. Unfortunately both the House under the leadership of Kabiru Adjoto, who investigated the project and the Ministry of Health confirm that the hospital was indeed built and equipped in accordance with the terms of the award. As we speak, Governor Obaseki has given the hospital to non-Edo indigene who now charges exorbitant fees, way beyond what the average Edo person can afford thereby defeating the objective of providing affordable and quality health care to Edo people. Efforts by civil society groups in Edo State to ascertain the true status of the hospital was met with attacks by state sponsored thugs who beat up journalists and members of the civil societies during a peaceful protest.
Sadly, the Governor manifested his crass incompetence in governance when after almost three years in office he visited Stella Obansanjo hospital and lamented that he never knew the hospital was in such a bad shape. Meanwhile, he has been in government for 11 years in Edo state. It is on record that Comrade Oshiomhole equipped the Eye Centre at the Stella Obasanjo Hospital, and Governor Obaseki was at the commissioning of the Centre, which has been adjudged one of the best in the South-South. What a hypocrite!

In the area of road construction, Obaseki has woefully disgraced the APC by constructing substandard road projects. It is unthinkable that a man who served in Oshiomhole’s government which constructed quality road projects across the state will be engaged in substandard projects even with World Bank loans that generations yet unborn will have to pay back. Regrettably, these roads are what have earned him the sobriquet “wake and see” instead of “wake and sleep”. We apologize to Edo state people over this scam.
As at date, Governor Obaseki has executed over 100 MoUs under the pretense of bringing different investment to Edo State. However, none of these has materialized despite the huge resources spent on them and in view of the fact that these investments agreements are shrouded in secrecy. Indeed, as we speak, Governor Obaseki in connivance with his Lagos Cabal of capitalist and bank executives have sold off Edo Share in the Azura Power Plant without due process or legislative imprimatur. What a way to divest a States interest in an investment attracted to the state by his predecessor!
Ladies and Gentlemen, we can go on and on to list the missteps and maladministration of the Governor in complete deviation from the APC policies, programmes and developments paradigm instituted by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. As if his mis-governance is not enough, Governor Obaseki on the Counsel of Barr. Anslem Ojezua, the state Deputy Governor, the SSG and other sycophants has launched a war of attrition against members of All Progressive Congress (APC) beginning from the National Chairman to leaders and members of the party in every local government in the state. He has demonized the party members and called them thieves and greedy politicians whereas, he has increased his security vote to six billion N6B per annum (N500 million monthly) in a state where crimes and state sponsored criminal elements are on the upsurge.
We as a party cannot continue to condone this subversive approach to governance in a state that hitherto enjoyed some degree of tranquility and political stability.
We hereby apologize to Edo people for the mistake that the party made in 2016 and shall correct the wrong in the 2020 gubernatorial primaries. We appreciate the absence of human face of the Governor Obaseki administration through his draconian policies of sending traders and market women to priso
His intolerance for opposing views which has become legendary has driven him and his coterie of fearful advisers including Anslem Ojezua into desperate mode all in a bid to silence all voices of dissent attacks. We cannot be cowed as our commitment to rescuing the party and Edo people from his tyrannical hold remains unwavering.

POLITICALLY MOTIVATED ATTACKS BY OBASEKI’S GOVERNMENT
For the first time in Edo State we are witnessing a Government that recruit thugs to attack openly political opponents and voices of dissent. On the 9th of May, 2017, Chief Blessing Agbonmhere, a PDP candidate for 2019 National Assembly elections was attacked and assaulted at the Benin airport by thugs deployed for such a despicable act by the Deputy Governor.
Senator Mathew Urhoghide was attacked by Government sponsored thugs on the 26th of July, 2018 in the full glare of Governor Obaseki who rather than condemn same, thumbs up for the perpetrators.
On the 18th of June 2018, State empowered thugs ably guided by “Wabaizigan”, private security outfit of the Governor headed by the CSP to the Governor invaded Golden Tulip Hotel and beat up House of Assembly members-elect who were denied inauguration.
On the 12th of October 2019, thugs loyal to the Governor attacked the house of the Former Governor and National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomole in Benin.
At different occasions, the Obaseki led administration have recruited thugs to attack Party members and Support group Ikpoba/Okha, Uhunmwode ,Owan East, Etsako West, Etsako Central, Igueben, Ovia North East and other places. The administration has stooped so low to the extent of organizing thugs to the 1st Convocation Ceremony of the Edo University, Iyamho which provoked the unfortunate incident of denial of access into the Country home of the National Chairman of APC by angry youths of some dignitaries.
Governor Obaseki intolerance has driven him into becoming a dictator,fascist with autocratic tendencies which also evidenced by the bizarre manner he truncated the condor primaries for the National and State Assembly primaries in Edo State in September 2018.

PURPORTED ENDORSEMENT OF GOVERNOR OBASEKI AND SHUAIBU/ ANTI PARTY ACTIVITIES
Only recently the former State Chairman of the party , Anslem Ojezua led a few party leaders to endorse Governor Obaseki and his deputy for a second term at a fee of N100, 000 each to all those who attended the ill-fated meeting. For us as the authentic APC stakeholders in Edo state we wholeheartedly denounce such endorsement. From his antecedents Governor Obaseki does not deserve such endorsement and we hereby dissociate ourselves from it. We wish to state that at the appropriate time the APC National Working Committee will initiate the process of party primaries for the selection of the party’s gubernatorial candidate. We will abide by the guidelines for such primaries as the constitution of the party vests the responsibility of conducting primaries on the NWC. Governor Obaseki should note that no amount of intimidation or harassment will stop all those who are interested in the governorship of the state from contesting and we are prepared to give every aspirant equal opportunity to test their popularity. We will resist any attempt by the Governor to close the political space.
Governor Obaseki, His Deputy,Phillip Shuaibu, Anslem Ojezua And Osarodion Ogie(SSG) from available information from top Leaders of the PDP have concluded plans to defect from the APC and seek re-election on that platform. As part of the negotiations the Governor has agreed to pay to the opposition party the sum of SIX BILLION Naira out of which some leaders of the party ( PDP) has received from him the sum of THREE BILLION Naira . The balance is to be paid as soon as the Governor secures the party’s ticket or formally defect as he is likely to do in the few weeks. In fact , this is why the rumblings in the PDP leading to the suspension of those leaders involved by a group known as the integrity group in the PDP
It is therefore not surprising that the Governor is working tirelessly to destroy the APC in the state .
Consequently, we hereby SUSPEND Governor Godwin Obaseki, Hon Phillip Shuaibu and Barr. Osarodion Ogie from the the for anti party activities and urge the National Working Committee to set the machinery in motion for further disciplinary action against them .We wish to inform all our party members in Edo State not to give in to the antics of Obaseki and his handlers as their intention is to railroad them out of the ruling party into opposition Given the numerous anti-party activities that the Governor, his Deputy and his appointees have been involved in , it is certain that their agenda is to use Government resources to decimate the Party and move to other platforms. We shall remain vigilant in order to protect our party

CONCLUSION
Suffice to say that our concerns and agitations in the last few months are not and were never about stomach infrastructure or a quest for compensation from State resources. It was never about a god-father and a god-son struggle for the control of Government or resources of the State.
It has been about ensuring a good governance with a human face and our resolve is to check the destructive path approach to governance in Edo state and put our party on the path of moral rectitude, transparency, inclusion and the progressive agenda of the APC in Edo State.
This struggle has been about a Governor who lacks interpersonal relationship skill, who is vindictive and repelled by the presence of his party members and without provocation, resorts to anger and pugnacious display of raw power. This is about a governor who has not shown any iota of appreciation for all efforts and sacrifices of his Party members across the state. This is about a Governor who has failed to fulfil his electoral promises to the people of Edo State and who has refused to listen to the voice of reasoning irrespective of where those voices are coming from. This is a Governor who has neglected to employ the tool of dialogue, consultation, negotiation and compromise which are necessary ingredients for proper administration. This is a Governor who believes in all ramifications that he is above the people. This is about a Governor who has suddenly become tyrant! In the history of our dear state and country this is the first time a serving Governor is openly applying for a banking license for his company which was near liquidation at the time of taking over the reins of governance in Edo State. We cannot fold our arms and watch helplessly.
With the above traits , it is obvious that this Governor was never really psychologically and emotionally prepared to be a Lead. In a politically vibrant state like ours with the abundance of quality and talented political leaders in all spheres of human endeavor, there can be no stopping of opposition to these insidious and unacceptable behaviour by a political leader.
We wish to therefore restate our commitment, our unalloyed loyalty to the National Leadership of the All Progressive Congress, and we pledge to do everything humanly possible to protect it from those who are bent on destroying it after they have used it to ascend to political leadership.

Long Live All Progressives Congress!
Long Live Edo State!!
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!

Thursday, 14 November 2019

WORLD PRESS CONFERENCE BY MEMBERS, LEADERS AND CRITICAL STAKEHOLDERS OF THE ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS, EDO STATE CHAPTER

Party Leaders,
Members of our Great Party, APC,
Distinguished Members of the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, we are gathered here as members, leaders and critical Stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress APCEdo State to address Edo people and the entire nation on issues that have been bedeviling the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Godwin Obaseki led administration in Edo State since the last three years.

THE STATE OF APC IN EDO STATE
It is important to note that the running of the party in Edo State by Barr. Anslem Ojezua has left much to be desired, a situation which was almost decimating the Strength of the party until we came in as a rescue team.

The inability of Barr. Anslem Ojezua to run an all inclusive party (the APC) in Edo State was gradually creating hopelessness among party members over issues that could have been amicably resolved, led to a situation that would have resulted in mass exodus of members from the party. Ojezua is not known to have been able to settle any party dispute no matter how minor, thus making his continuous stay in office as State Chairman a clear and present danger to the cohesion of the Party and therefore unacceptable to the majority of members.

For the avoidance of doubt, it is important to state that ​ Barrister Anslem Ojezua has been involved in a number of constitutional breaches and gross misconduct ranging from illegal and unilateral suspension of the State Secretary and other legally elected officers of the Party, causing division in the Party by taking sides in Party disputes, failure to be accountable to Party, failure to improve the fortunes of the party in his immediate Local Government Area and Senatorial district as he has serially been a loser in all elections, disrespect and disregard for National leadership of the Party, conspiracy in the execution of an illegal inauguration of Edo State House of Assembly and many more acts of misconduct.
Consequently, as loyal party members and leaders we decided to find a voice for the teaming members who have been alienated and wrongly treated by Anslem Ojezua and his collaborators in Government and this led to the formation of our group with which we have been engaging the party and government in the last six months. Thus , our group was a necessary appropriate response to the drift in the party as led by Anslem Ojezua, who rather than being Chairman of the Party became a misadviser of the government, a contractor handling several SUBEB Projects in the State, and thereby compromised his integrity and neutrality in party matters.
We are happy to state unequivocally that in spite of the resistance of Barr. Anslem Ojezua and the government he has been misleading on party matters we have been able to galvanize the majority of the APC members in Edo State to keep faith within the party. We have also been able to attract other members of the opposition in their numbers to the APC as we shall witness shortly.
In the light of the above positive development the leadership and membership of of our group have resolved to continue as authentic APC members to further galvanize our members towards actualising our next cardinal objective of producing a candidate that will deliver on the party programs and ensure the United party capable managing all the tendency within the party. Henceforth, we shall continue as critical stakeholders, members and leaders of our great party in pursuance of our party’s objectives of providing sustainable development for our dear state through a leadership that is responsive, responsible, accountable and people oriented particularly as we approach the 2020 Governorship elections.

We therefore wish to notify the National Working Committee of the Party that the State of the Edo APC at the moment is critical and requires urgent and responsible steps to ensure cohesion, particularly as the State Chairman has failed to manage the party responsibly.
Consequently, we hereby endorse the recent removal of Anslem Ojezua by members of the State Executive Committee of the party and urged the National Working Committee to urgently ratify the removal to pave way for the full restoration of peace and discipline in the party.

THE APC AND EDO STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY DEBACLE:
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is no longer news that Edo State is the only State in the Federation that is running an unconstitutional contraption call “ a House of Assembly”. You all will recall, that Governor Goodwin Obaseki in criminal conspiracy with Barr. Anslem Ojezua and Deputy Governor Philip Shuaibu abducted at gun point four members – elect and cause the Edo State House of Assembly to be inaugurated at 9:30pm on June 17th 2019 with 9 members out of the total number of 24 elected members. By their action, the Governor and his co-conspirators foisted on Edo people a minority rule contrary to Section 91 of the 1999 Constitution in the Edo State House of Assembly and well-meaning Nigerians including Traditional Rulers have intervened to no avail. The Obaseki led government have refused to reverse the wrong by complying with National Assembly resolutions on the matter, but instead have resorted to more desperate tactics of procuring black market injunctions and rulings to perpetuate the illegality. In the face of this wanton disregard for law and order, the lives of the other elected members have continued to be in jeopardy owing to attacks on their persons and followers. Indeed, Anslem Ojezua have continued to preside over their illegal suspension from the party in their various LGAs. This is unacceptable to Edo People and the generality of APC members in Edo State and we are concerned that Anslem Ojezua and the Governor have continued to be stumbling blocks to the restoration of the rule of Law in the constitution of the Edo State House of Assembly. We condemn therefore in strong terms their actions and complicity in this matter and demand that the right thing be done.

THREE YEARS OF GODWIN OBASEKI ADMINISTRATION
The Obaseki administration turned three years in office as at 12th November, 2019. You will all recall that the Governor was the Chairman of the State Economic and Strategy Team and the State Internally Generated Revenue Committee during the 8 years administration of former Governor Adams Oshiomhole, now National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress.
It is on record that under Governor Adams Oshiomhole, the APC (which metamorphosed from AC to ACN and then to APC) became a brand and metaphor for both human and infrastructural development in Edo State with Several major quality legacy projects like the Benin Storm water project, the Queen Ede and Auchi Erosion Control Projects , over a thousand kilometers of quality roads across the length and breadth of Edo State, Edo State Urban Renewal Projects, Education transformation Programme (Codenamed as the Red roof Revolution) in primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions, the Comrade buses for transportation and very many more too numerous to mention.
It was on the basis of this sterling performance that the need to install a government that will continue with these laudable achievements that led to the emergence of Godwin Obaseki as the Party’s candidate in 2016 having been part of the administration as both member of the cabinet and commission earning consultant on financial matters. He was neither a voter in Edo State nor a card carrying member of the All Progressives Congress (the APC). He was expected to build on the Legacy of the administration on whose back he rode to power. However, it is noteworthy, that other than the opportunity offered him to serve in Oshiomohole’s administration, he had no prior personal connection with the development of the State through any charitable work or investment in any form. Thus ,he rode to stardom on the back and goodwill of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and providence. He was certainly not the best at that material time.
However, upon assumption of office he began to manifest hostile attitude towards APC rank and file members, hatred for those who contested the party primaries with him and disdain for the State development master plan which he participated in formulating under Comrade Adams Oshiomhole; he also deviated sharply from the progressive programmes and policies of the party, introduced selfish and uneconomical programmes and policies which has resulted in huge capital flight,he shut down educational institutions which were set up to improve the Agricultural , health and Educational sectors of the state Economy and instead replaced them with consultants of doubtful qualifications. In fact , the consultants he hired for training of teachers were paid N1.5 million per teacher. Today ,we have the College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi closed, the Tayo Akpata University, Ekiadolor locked up and staff members and students left to idle away. The continuous closure of the functional College of Education in Igueben, Michael Imodu College of Physical Education Afuze and the College of Agriculture Technology Agenebode and the state school of nursing bears testimony to his insensitivity in building institutions, yet he is a technocrat.
The folly of Governor Godwin Obaseki reached its climax with the over N2B investments in the Sobe farms, In Sobe, Owan West Local government of Edo State the farm became a drainpipe to siphon the scarce resources of the Edo people into the pockets of his cronies and surrogates in the guise of Agric vendors from Lagos and Port Harcourt. Today, the impact of that investment on both the State economy and food security for Edo people cannot be determined.

Apart from that, there was also the CBN Agricultural Credit Scheme( CACS) of N5B which came into Edo State coffers in 2018.As a CBN loan, it was meant to assist farmers increase their yields in the State .Part of it was to be used for clearing farmlands while the balance was to be given to farmers in clusters as loans supervised by the state government for increase in agricultural produce in the State. The Obaseki Government need to show Edo people the land that it cleared with N2.8B it earmarked for that purpose , publish the names, numbers and location of farmers to whom the balance of N2.2B was shared to. This is a loan which the state government is paying back monthly with deductions being made at source from the Federation account.
We demand that Governor Godwin Obaseki comes out clean on the millions of naira Edo State investment in the Ossiomo Power Project, and the ownership structure of the project.
The APC in Edo State is saddened by the recent flooding associated with the heavy down pours in the last raining season. This arose due to the neglect by Governor Godwin Obaseki of the Benin Storm water project which was started by Comrade Adams Oshiomole. His failure to commence the second phase of the Storm Water project came at a great cost to the residents of Benin-City as houses were submerged by flood.
More scandalous is the verifiable fact that not a single teacher has been employed in the last three years with the result that many schools (primary and secondary) have no adequate number of teachers to teach the necessary subjects to pupils and students. Many of the teachers have retired from service, thus resulting in the shortage of teaching personnel in Edo schools which has adversely affected the quality and standard of education in the State, yet, this was a Governor who procured from NUT the award of best Governor in Education in Nigeria. What an Irony?
In furtherance of the plundering of the educational sector, Governor Godwin Obaseki has criminally diverted the sum of N1.4 Billion Naira from the Statutory Allocation of the Edo State Oil Gas Development funds (EDOSOPADEC) - a statutory commission with clear mandate to initiate and execute developmental projects in Oil producing areas in favour of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) - another statutory agency of Government with its own mandate and budget without any valid legislative approval.
This is apart from the plundering of Local Government funds and revenues in various guises, using the mandatory signatory of the State Accountant General and each serving council Chairman to move various sums meant for the development of the Local Government Areas to various accounts of the State Governments. This was authenticated by the Chairman of the Commission Pastor Kennedy Osifo and is already a subject of investigation by EFCC and ICPC. We hereby use this medium to call on both EFCC and ICPC to expedite investigations on these various acts of financial impropriety.
The APC, Edo State wish to demand from the Governor, to publicly account for all revenues he has received from all sources so that Edo people can 5decide whether his so called performance can reasonably be measured against actual receipts. It is on record that apart from Statutory Allocations and Internally Generated Revenues, the Governor has received, on behalf of Edo people, funds from the Paris Club refund, repayment by Federal government on road projects constructed in Edo State by his predecessor, the loans he has borrowed so far which has made Edo state the second highest indebted state ( debt profile of $277.74m) in the Country and several other receipts into the coffers of Edo state. In this way, Edo people will appreciate the hypocrisy of the Governor and the tokenistic performance which he has shored up by means of propaganda.

In the health sector, Governor Obaseki has shamelessly sought to blackmail his predecessor over the state and condition of the Edo Specialist Hospital which was built and equipped before he assumed office as Governor. However, in his imaginary fight against godfatherism he attempted to manipulate the House of Assembly and erstwhile Commissioner of Health into indict Comrade Adams Oshiomhole over that commendable health project. Unfortunately both the House under the leadership of Kabiru Adjoto, who investigated the project and the Ministry of Health confirm that the hospital was indeed built and equipped in accordance with the terms of the award. As we speak, Governor Obaseki has given the hospital to non-Edo indigene who now charges exorbitant fees, way beyond what the average Edo person can afford thereby defeating the objective of providing affordable and quality health care to Edo people. Efforts by civil society groups in Edo State to ascertain the true status of the hospital was met with attacks by state sponsored thugs who beat up journalists and members of the civil societies during a peaceful protest.
Sadly, the Governor manifested his crass incompetence in governance when after almost three years in office he visited Stella Obansanjo hospital and lamented that he never knew the hospital was in such a bad shape. Meanwhile, he has been in government for 11 years in Edo state. It is on record that Comrade Oshiomhole equipped the Eye Centre at the Stella Obasanjo Hospital, and Governor Obaseki was at the commissioning of the Centre, which has been adjudged one of the best in the South-South. What a hypocrite!

In the area of road construction, Obaseki has woefully disgraced the APC by constructing substandard road projects. It is unthinkable that a man who served in Oshiomhole’s government which constructed quality road projects across the state will be engaged in substandard projects even with World Bank loans that generations yet unborn will have to pay back. Regrettably, these roads are what have earned him the sobriquet “wake and see” instead of “wake and sleep”. We apologize to Edo state people over this scam.
As at date, Governor Obaseki has executed over 100 MoUs under the pretense of bringing different investment to Edo State. However, none of these has materialized despite the huge resources spent on them and in view of the fact that these investments agreements are shrouded in secrecy. Indeed, as we speak, Governor Obaseki in connivance with his Lagos Cabal of capitalist and bank executives have sold off Edo Share in the Azura Power Plant without due process or legislative imprimatur. What a way to divest a States interest in an investment attracted to the state by his predecessor!
Ladies and Gentlemen, we can go on and on to list the missteps and maladministration of the Governor in complete deviation from the APC policies, programmes and developments paradigm instituted by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. As if his mis-governance is not enough, Governor Obaseki on the Counsel of Barr. Anslem Ojezua, the state Deputy Governor, the SSG and other sycophants has launched a war of attrition against members of All Progressive Congress (APC) beginning from the National Chairman to leaders and members of the party in every local government in the state. He has demonized the party members and called them thieves and greedy politicians whereas, he has increased his security vote to six billion N6B per annum (N500 million monthly) in a state where crimes and state sponsored criminal elements are on the upsurge.
We as a party cannot continue to condone this subversive approach to governance in a state that hitherto enjoyed some degree of tranquility and political stability.
We hereby apologize to Edo people for the mistake that the party made in 2016 and shall correct the wrong in the 2020 gubernatorial primaries. We appreciate the absence of human face of the Governor Obaseki administration through his draconian policies of sending traders and market women to priso
His intolerance for opposing views which has become legendary has driven him and his coterie of fearful advisers including Anslem Ojezua into desperate mode all in a bid to silence all voices of dissent attacks. We cannot be cowed as our commitment to rescuing the party and Edo people from his tyrannical hold remains unwavering.

POLITICALLY MOTIVATED ATTACKS BY OBASEKI’S GOVERNMENT
For the first time in Edo State we are witnessing a Government that recruit thugs to attack openly political opponents and voices of dissent. On the 9th of May, 2017, Chief Blessing Agbonmhere, a PDP candidate for 2019 National Assembly elections was attacked and assaulted at the Benin airport by thugs deployed for such a despicable act by the Deputy Governor.
Senator Mathew Urhoghide was attacked by Government sponsored thugs on the 26th of July, 2018 in the full glare of Governor Obaseki who rather than condemn same, thumbs up for the perpetrators.
On the 18th of June 2018, State empowered thugs ably guided by “Wabaizigan”, private security outfit of the Governor headed by the CSP to the Governor invaded Golden Tulip Hotel and beat up House of Assembly members-elect who were denied inauguration.
On the 12th of October 2019, thugs loyal to the Governor attacked the house of the Former Governor and National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomole in Benin.
At different occasions, the Obaseki led administration have recruited thugs to attack Party members and Support group Ikpoba/Okha, Uhunmwode ,Owan East, Etsako West, Etsako Central, Igueben, Ovia North East and other places. The administration has stooped so low to the extent of organizing thugs to the 1st Convocation Ceremony of the Edo University, Iyamho which provoked the unfortunate incident of denial of access into the Country home of the National Chairman of APC by angry youths of some dignitaries.
Governor Obaseki intolerance has driven him into becoming a dictator,fascist with autocratic tendencies which also evidenced by the bizarre manner he truncated the condor primaries for the National and State Assembly primaries in Edo State in September 2018.

PURPORTED ENDORSEMENT OF GOVERNOR OBASEKI AND SHUAIBU/ ANTI PARTY ACTIVITIES
Only recently the former State Chairman of the party , Anslem Ojezua led a few party leaders to endorse Governor Obaseki and his deputy for a second term at a fee of N100, 000 each to all those who attended the ill-fated meeting. For us as the authentic APC stakeholders in Edo state we wholeheartedly denounce such endorsement. From his antecedents Governor Obaseki does not deserve such endorsement and we hereby dissociate ourselves from it. We wish to state that at the appropriate time the APC National Working Committee will initiate the process of party primaries for the selection of the party’s gubernatorial candidate. We will abide by the guidelines for such primaries as the constitution of the party vests the responsibility of conducting primaries on the NWC. Governor Obaseki should note that no amount of intimidation or harassment will stop all those who are interested in the governorship of the state from contesting and we are prepared to give every aspirant equal opportunity to test their popularity. We will resist any attempt by the Governor to close the political space.
Governor Obaseki, His Deputy,Phillip Shuaibu, Anslem Ojezua And Osarodion Ogie(SSG) from available information from top Leaders of the PDP have concluded plans to defect from the APC and seek re-election on that platform. As part of the negotiations the Governor has agreed to pay to the opposition party the sum of SIX BILLION Naira out of which some leaders of the party ( PDP) has received from him the sum of THREE BILLION Naira . The balance is to be paid as soon as the Governor secures the party’s ticket or formally defect as he is likely to do in the few weeks. In fact , this is why the rumblings in the PDP leading to the suspension of those leaders involved by a group known as the integrity group in the PDP
It is therefore not surprising that the Governor is working tirelessly to destroy the APC in the state .
Consequently, we hereby SUSPEND Governor Godwin Obaseki, Hon Phillip Shuaibu and Barr. Osarodion Ogie from the the for anti party activities and urge the National Working Committee to set the machinery in motion for further disciplinary action against them .We wish to inform all our party members in Edo State not to give in to the antics of Obaseki and his handlers as their intention is to railroad them out of the ruling party into opposition Given the numerous anti-party activities that the Governor, his Deputy and his appointees have been involved in , it is certain that their agenda is to use Government resources to decimate the Party and move to other platforms. We shall remain vigilant in order to protect our party

CONCLUSION
Suffice to say that our concerns and agitations in the last few months are not and were never about stomach infrastructure or a quest for compensation from State resources. It was never about a god-father and a god-son struggle for the control of Government or resources of the State.
It has been about ensuring a good governance with a human face and our resolve is to check the destructive path approach to governance in Edo state and put our party on the path of moral rectitude, transparency, inclusion and the progressive agenda of the APC in Edo State.
This struggle has been about a Governor who lacks interpersonal relationship skill, who is vindictive and repelled by the presence of his party members and without provocation, resorts to anger and pugnacious display of raw power. This is about a governor who has not shown any iota of appreciation for all efforts and sacrifices of his Party members across the state. This is about a Governor who has failed to fulfil his electoral promises to the people of Edo State and who has refused to listen to the voice of reasoning irrespective of where those voices are coming from. This is a Governor who has neglected to employ the tool of dialogue, consultation, negotiation and compromise which are necessary ingredients for proper administration. This is a Governor who believes in all ramifications that he is above the people. This is about a Governor who has suddenly become tyrant! In the history of our dear state and country this is the first time a serving Governor is openly applying for a banking license for his company which was near liquidation at the time of taking over the reins of governance in Edo State. We cannot fold our arms and watch helplessly.
With the above traits , it is obvious that this Governor was never really psychologically and emotionally prepared to be a Lead. In a politically vibrant state like ours with the abundance of quality and talented political leaders in all spheres of human endeavor, there can be no stopping of opposition to these insidious and unacceptable behaviour by a political leader.
We wish to therefore restate our commitment, our unalloyed loyalty to the National Leadership of the All Progressive Congress, and we pledge to do everything humanly possible to protect it from those who are bent on destroying it after they have used it to ascend to political leadership.

Long Live All Progressives Congress!
Long Live Edo State!!
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!

Monday, 11 November 2019

The Wonders Of Nigeria by Simon Kolawole

In February 1998, Gen Sani Abacha, Nigeria’s military head of state, sent troops to Sierra Leone to restore democracy. Major General Johnny Paul Koroma had sacked the democratically elected president, Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, who fled to exile in Guinea. Thankfully, the military junta was displaced by the ECOWAS troops, led by Nigeria, and Kabbah was restored to office a year later. I still remember a sarcastic line from The Economist of London on the intervention: “Democracy in West Africa now depends on the Nigerian military.” To think that the same Nigerian military had annulled the country’s own presidential election and clamped the winner, Chief MKO Abiola, into detention!

This is one of the wonders of Nigeria: restoring civil rule in a neighbouring country while urinating on democracy back home by incarcerating and assassinating pro-democracy activists. This wonder also coincided with when Nigeria entered the age of massive fuel importation as all our refineries went down. Nigeria, then the biggest producer of crude oil in Africa and the world’s fifth biggest exporter of the black gold, started importing petroleum products — a culture that stands solidly till today. This prompted Chief Bola Ige to say: “Nigeria is a country that exports what it doesn’t have (democracy) and imports what it has (petrol)!” It is a land of wonders.

There are times I pretend I am not a Nigerian just to imagine the kind of thoughts a foreigner would have towards this country. I pretend I am on the internet reading news from some random countries. So I see a headline like “Nigeria imports 60 million litres of petrol daily” and I try to make sense out of it. So Nigeria produces 2.2 million barrels of crude oil per day and needs probably 600,000 barrels to refine petrol for local consumption. But all the four refineries are either down or barely working. So the country sells crude oil abroad, makes millions of dollars and then sends away the revenue to import finished products. Wonderful.

What this means, without too much mathematical complication, is that if their heads were properly screwed to their necks in that their Nigeria, or whatever they call it, and they do things properly (remember I am pretending to be a foreigner today), the country would save itself the agony of depleting its foreign currency reserve with avoidable expenses. That would strengthen the naira, improve their balance of trade and current account positions, and help grow the local economy tremendously. The results could definitely be felt in improved inflow of investments. They would definitely save and create jobs, not to mention the macro-economic stability.

Okay, so Nigeria imports fuel because its refineries are not working. So the refineries did not work under Abacha, did not work under Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, did not work under President Olusegun Obasanjo, did not work under President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, did not work under President Goodluck Jonathan and are still not working under President Muhammadu Buhari — in like 30 years? So these funny Nigerians have been spending billions on turn-around maintenance since Abacha’s days and are still not turning around anything? So they are now fasting and praying that Alhaji Aliko Dangote’s refinery will save them from the fuel import scourge — more than 10 years after they revoked the sale of their refineries to him? Wonder! Wonder! Wonder!

Every day I read in the papers that the roads leading to Apapa ports in Lagos are congested because the trucks have no parking bay. So they use the main roads as parking lot, thereby disrupting the flow of traffic and bringing untold hardship and economic ruin on Lagos motorists. So the federal government issues one-week ultimatum to “decongest” the roads without providing a parking lot for the trucks. So the federal government sends a “decongestion task force” to Lagos and spends hundreds of millions of naira without providing a parking space still. With strong-arm tactics, the trailers disappear from the roads — and resurface a few days later. Wonderful country.

You see, when the colonial masters built the ports, they created enough parking spaces that could take up to one million trucks (that is an exaggeration, but you get the point). They did not create a port without parking. But Nigeria has sold the parking bay to private companies and the trucks now have no other place to park than on the roads. Did you know that the colonial masters built a rail line between the ports and Iddo railway terminal? The idea was to evacuate the cargos by rail! It has gone moribund. It could be revived with just $50 million but Nigeria would rather spend that amount on a monthly “decongestion” exercise, making a few people smile to the banks. Wonders.

Enough of ports now. I am told that when you want to travel out of Nigeria, two officials check your passport. One is from the Department of State Services (DSS) and the other from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS). That is not my problem. If they like, they can add police, army and boys scout to the list. What I don’t understand is that Nigeria spends billions yearly on foreign trips for its officials, who frequent several countries daily, sometimes looking for “foreign investors”. So where else in the world do they see two officials checking one passport at the border? Why do Nigerian officials burn so much money on foreign trips without taking sense back home?

Is it true that customs officers check vehicle papers on Nigerian roads? You must be kidding me. What I was taught in my kindergarten days is that customs works at entry points to the country. I have travelled to many countries across many continents and it is time for me to confess that Nigeria is the only country where customs works inland. It is one of the wonders of Nigeria. They say it is to check smuggling of cars into the country. Wonderful. The smuggling is not checked at the border but it is checked on highways? The same customs that cannot check smuggling of fuel out of the country are now checking smuggling of cars into Nigeria? Wonder! Wonder! Wonder!

That country must be an interesting place. They import what they have and export what they don’t have. This is a land flowing with milk and honey, literally, but they are spending like $1.3 billion importing milk every year. They have spent billions of dollars on the power sector for decades and keep generating megawatts of darkness. Their national assembly is filled with chronic debtors and politicians undergoing criminal investigation or trial. Some of the miscreants even get appointed as ministers. It is a country where recurrent expenditure, notably duty tour allowances, gets spent to the last kobo while there is no money to finance the capital projects that will benefit citizens.

I was told that in Nigeria, top government officials shamelessly celebrate the graduation of their children from foreign universities on social media when they can at least spare the details so that Nigerians do not become jealous and begin to moan. Someone told me that the shortest route to wealth in Nigeria is to get a government appointment or get elected into office. Suddenly you can afford all kinds of cars and build all kinds of houses and celebrate your first billion naira and first billion dollars with parties. Is it true? Tell me it is not true. Tell me what I am reading on the internet about that country is fabricated.

Finally, the sharing of ministerial portfolios by Buhari opened yet another window for the world to see the wonders of Nigeria. An educationist was not appointed minister of education; rather she was made minister of state for agriculture. An accountant was made minister of finance while the only economist in the cabinet was made minister of agriculture. The power sector has been deregulated and we have NERC to play the critical role of regulator. We do not really need a minister of power but Buhari has now appointed two ministers of power! A minister of energy would have combined petroleum and power: it is basically about driving policy. But is it not Nigeria? Wonderful!

Igbo Political Leaders Past Misadventures Remain Abattoir

Do you know that when Tafawa Balewa was Prime Minister of Nigeria;Chief of Army Staff was from SE.Chief of Naval Staff was from SE.IG of Police was from SE
Chief of Defence staff was fron SE
Internal Affairs Minister SE
External Affairs Minister SE
Education Minister South SE
Many other key ministries to SE
Parliament President SE
Unilag VC from SE
University of Ibadan VC from SE
North resisted same at ABU!

Still there was dissatisfaction by easterners; the officers from the region killed this same Balewa!
Out of all the most senior officers in Nigeria, SE has 37, none was killed. 8 from the north, all of them were killed. 10 from the west, 2 were killed.
Then Ironsi imposed a unitary system of government on the country so that everything can belong to a region who snatched it!

We must know our history so that when we want to make corrections, we will not end up concealing the truth. This has nothing to do with tribalism but everything to do with the truth.....at times when lies litter the streets. There is the tendency to think those are truths and facts.
What follows are documented facts that can be cross checked for authenticity!Thou shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.

Prof. Ben Nwabueze was the man who drafted the decree  that took away powers from regions and handed it to the central govt because his brother Aguiyi Ironsi was the head of state then. Today, he is shouting restructuring that he helped to destroy. We won’t forget.Let those who have ears hear.What Biafrans will never tell you about the real cause of their woes in Nigeria today.The Igbo man is known to enjoy blaming the Hausa-fulanis, Yorubas and indeed every other Nigerian tribe and Lord Luggard/Britain for their seeming claim of being in third class citizen status in Nigeria.

In their perpetual attempts to play the victim card, they recount the political events of Nigeria from 1914 to the present in a half-baked and highly selective manner which cleverly avoids the mention of the roles played by their elite who by all natural laws of judgement were actually responsible for the woes that befell not only the Igbo race but the entire Nigeria nation.The story told in the post above is one of such selective and distorted accounts of history which the average Igbo man is fond of narrating. However, the national archives have the complete and unedited history of Nigeria regarding the political events beginning way back from even before 1914.I will therefore proceed to furnish my readers with the complete story for all to read and be endowed with enough facts so as to judge and act from an informed position.

Shortly after the 1914 Amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates, it started getting clear that the country was bound to fail as the amalgamation in question was done with colonial fiat without the consent and consensus of the different tribes which were over 300.This prompted the political leaders to start asking for de-amalgamation so as to forestall the future danger which the forced amalgamation portended. To that end, Ahmadu Bello, speaking on behalf of the Northern protectorate in 1944 described the amalgamation as:
"The mistake of 1914 which if allowed to remain will ultimately lead to unstoppable bloodshed and a failed country".Awolowo, speaking on behalf of the Yorubas and Western minorities, described Nigeria as a mere geographical expression not qualified to be called a country let alone a nation. Awolowo added that if the amalgamation could not be reversed, then Nigeria should be structured as a strictly federal state so as to enable each tribe enjoy autonomy this freedom from being dominated by any one single tribe.

But Nnamdi Azikiwe, speaking for the Igbos, denounced Awolowo and Ahmadu Bello, terming them ethnic champions. He accused them of nursing a sectional agenda against the unity of Nigeria, and he declared further that the Unity of Nigeria was non-negotiable.After moving the motion for independece  in 1953, Anthony Enahoro proposed that a secession clause should be incorporated into the future constitution of Nigeria so as to give legal backing for any tribe to peacefully exit the forced union if it feels marginalized in future.According to Enahoro, such provision in our constitution would instill in all Nigeria's future leaders the fear of the consequences of misgovernance.

But Azikiwe, speaking on behalf of Igbos, rose against him in the parliament and labelled him an agent of disunity, and enemy of Nigeria.At a later date, Awolowo too made a case for secession clause, but Azikiwe again resisted him and instigated the colonial authorities to threaten him and Enahoro with charges of treasonable felony if they didn't stop proposing secession clause for the future constitution.
While Azikiwe did all these, Igbos cheered and urged him on because they felt the future Nigeria was theirs to dominate and lord it over every other tribe
Before independece, Tafawa Balewa too had in a public speech described Nigeria as a British experiment and Nigeria's unity as a British intention which Nigerians themselves don't believe in.

But Azikiwe kicked and demonized him too. Had Azikiwe co-operated with Enahoro, Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello and Tafawa Balewa about the secession clause, Nigeria perhaps would not have been this misgoverned.It should be noted that there were many Igbo members of the parliament in which Azikiwe fought against Awolowo's secession clause proposal , but not a single one of them rose against Azikiwe or condemned him.Igbos initially never wanted to hear anything like secession in Nigeria because they so much believed, though falsely, that they were the most educated tribe. (The first Nigerian tribe to produce a university graduate is the Binis).

As an evidence of Igbo domination agenda hence their initial resistance to the idea of secession; here are some quotes:"From all indications, the god of us Igbos have destined us to rule the whole of Africa"..... Nnamdi Azikiwe (1945)."It is getting clearer each day that Igbo domination of Nigeria is just a question of time"... Oscar Onyeamma. (1949) As at 1900, the whole of the present Benue State, Kogi East Senatorial District and some southern parts of Taraba State called Munchi District back then; were all in the Southern Protectorate.

Whoever doubts this should consult MacMillan Atlas for secondary schools in Nigeria.
With that situation the South had a higher population than the North hence always had an upper hand in any democratic bargain.
But as at the early fifties when the regions were being created, common sense dictated clearly that these areas should fall in the future Eastern Region.But against common sense, the colonial masters decided to gerrymander them into the Northern Region.

While they did that, Azikiwe who was supposed to be in Enugu fighting against it as the leader of the East, was far away in Ibadan struggling with Awolowo to rule the Western Region and also playing the spoiler role against Awolowo's attempts to have Kwara and present Kogi  Yorubas carved into the Western Region from the North which was already too large by landmass.While he abandoned his burning house and was far away in Ibadan struggling against Awolowo for his own (Awolowo's) region, Igbos saw absolutely nothing wrong with that. Rather they applauded him as a nationalist. A nationalist whose house was burning yet busy chasing rats in a far away land.When opinions became unanimous that Lord Luggard and his government must be forced out of Nigeria and indeed the whole of Africa, it was still the Igbos that frustrated the attempts.
In 1948, Anthony Enahoro organized an anti-colonization symposium in Lagos for which Azikiwe and some other Igbos had agreed to deliver the keynote address.But when the D-day came, Azikiwe was nowhere to be found as he deliberately disappeared into thin air for fear of being arrested and dealt with by Lord Luggard.

Anthony Enahoro then quickly replaced Azikiwe with another person who did the job improptu but perfectly well as he lambasted and lampooned Lord Luggard and the British Government.However, the British soldiers invaded the symposium venue, arrested the speaker and Enahoro and jailed them for treasonable felony.Ironically, the next day Azikiwe came out of hiding and granted a radio interview in which he accused Enahoro and the other organizers of suffering from youthful exuberance.
On regaining his freedom few weeks later and being told of Azikiwe's radio interview, Enahoro resigned from his post as Editor of Azikiwe's newspaper - The West African Pilot.

Then he wrote a book titled "Nnamdi Azikiwe: Sinner of Saint".After launching the book, Enahoro left Azikiwe's party -  the NCNC, and moved over to Awolowo's Action Group.The first military coup in Nigeria was carried out by majority of Igbo army officers.That was the coup that truncated democracy just six years post Independence and led to a succession of coups which put the country on the reverse gear for 33 years.Through that first coup, those Igbo army officers who accused the politicians and government of the day of monumental corruption, killed the political leaders of the Northern, Western and Midwestern Regions but allowed all Igbo political figures to escape by tipping them off prior to the D-Day.In addition to the killing of political figures, they also killed a total of 27 innocent high ranking military officers from every region except their Eastern Region.

ln the end an Igbo man called Aguiyi Ironsi, who was supposed to have been killed alongside other military officers, ended up becoming the new military ruler of Nigeria.Rather than immediately arrest and punish the coup plotters, he kept them in detention where they were treated as heroes.This was actually what sowed the seed for the eventual Biafra War. On the 23rd of February 1966 (i.e. a month and 8 days after the first coup porpularly but wrongly known as Nzeogwu coup, an Ijaw born Army officer called Isaac Adaka Boro who hailed from Kaima town of present Bayelsa State, declared the secession of the Niger Delta Republic in an attempt to free his Ijaw people from the monumental marginalization they had been suffering under Igbos in the old Eastern Region.But Aguiyi Ironsi immediately ordered Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu to arrest him and hand him over to the military high command under him in Lagos. Ojukwu went all out against Isaac Adaka Boro with federal military might and within 12 fighting days killed 150 Isaac Boro's soldiers, arrested him, stripped him naked, and had him driven to Lagos and handed to Ironsi who immediately charged him to court and within two months secured against him a conviction of treasonable felony for which he was sentenced to death by hanging fixed for December that year by the Supreme Court.His 'crime' was that he declared secession of The Niger Delta Republic from Nigeria. Meanwhile the Igbo coupists who shed innocent blood of other tribes and even sprayed bullets into the bellies of the pregnant wives of Ahmadu Bello and Brigadier Shodeinde were not charged to court or arraigned before any military tribunal.lsaac Adaka Boro was in detention waiting for December to come for him to join his ancestors. But God so kind, a revenge coup happened on July 29 by Northern soldiers and Ironsi was overthrown and killed.

Gowon took over and released Isaac Adaka Boro unconditionally, reinstated him into the Army with his previous rank.Then on May 30, 1967, Ojukwu too declared secession of Biafra Republic from Nigeria and without consulting or apologising to Isaac Boro, drew a Biafra map which included the very areas that made up Isaac Adaka Boro's earlier declared Niger Delta Republic for which  he fought against him and killed his soldiers. Seeing such level of arrogance in Ojukwu, Isaac Boro asked Gowon to provide arms for him to crush Biafra by fighting on the Nigerian side in vengeance for Ojukwu's frustration of his own secession declaration 15 months earlier.Isaac Boro, as an Ijaw man conversant with the waterways, led the Nigeria Army through the coastal areas into Igboland to finish off thousands of Ojukwu's soldiers thus leading to the crushing defeat of Biafra.But today, Igbos accuse Ijaws of betraying them in the war. But from the facts as above, who really betrayed the other in all honesty? Be the judge.

After Ironsi and Ojukwu successfully crushed Isaac Boro's Niger Delta Republic declaration, Ironsi immediately proceeded to promulgate the Anti-secession Decree which made the mere mention of secession from Nigeria punishable with death by hanging.
Ojukwu openly supported and endorsed the decree despite disapproval of it by the general public. So when Ojukwu later declared Biafra secession, he was reminded of the Anti-secession Decree made by him and his brother Ironsi. Deadly Truth: Igbos frequently reference Aburi Accord to create the impression that the rest Nigerian tribes don't honour agreements. This is a very dishonest  narrative from Igbos.

First and foremost Aburi Accord was organized by soldiers and unelected civil servants who should not participate in political exercises like making laws due to the civil service anonymity principle.Secondly, those civil servants and military men in attendance were not elected by their federal constituencies to the Aburi summit.In the philosophy of democracy the only universally acceptable way of making laws is through duly elected representatives of the people. But in going to Aburi the peoples' representatives duly elected in the 1965 elections were all sidelined for soldiers to hijack the process.
Where on earth do soldiers make laws for the people? Rather, the civilian populace makes laws that guide the military.Aburi Accord therefore had no seal of the people's sovereignty hence it was an illegality which shouldn't have been allowed to stand.Thirdly, in 1957, Nigerians from all federal constituencies democratically elected representatives whom they sponsored to London, paid their flight tickets and hotel cc accommodation for the Independence constitutional conference.

Those representatives all resolved and agreed on federalism marked by regional autonomy and resource control in the Independence Constitution which they brought back home and everyone accepted it.In that constitution, Nigerians all agreed that on no account shall the military take over power. It was also clearly stated in it that ammendments to it could be done by only democratically elected representatives.That constitution was the first ever agreement between all Nigerians.On the day of his inauguration as the Army GoC, Aguiyi Ironsi stood before the whole world and with his own mouth swore to protect and defend that sovereign Independence constitution regardless of the circumstances that may later arise.But just six years after he manufactured an excuse to clinch power against the clear provisions of that constitution we all agreed to, unilaterally began to amend its provisions with his very offensive Decrees, and ended up dismantling the federalism and resource control therein, and ultimately subverted that constitution our forefathers painstakingly sacrificed to draft.

That was the height of irresponsibility and the dishonoring of sacred agreement. That was how Igbos breached the first agreement, all Nigerians, ever all mutually consented to, thus laying the foundation for violation of future agreements.So Aburi Accord was only treated exactly the same way Igbos treated the Independence constitution agreement. Obasanjo removed history from the school curriculum hence the reason why many of what we do for a know of the eventualities in Biafra war were altered to suite their narratives.With the Igbo’s in Yoruba land, “the hand shake has exceeded the wrist”. And as Chinua Achebe said in his book, “it has turned to a fight”One thing I can about Yorubas is that they are liberal and broadminded. Well I believe God is on our side. We are like givers who will NEVER lack.
It’s high time Yoruba nation intelligentsia go to works, see how we can relate and equitably accommodate the Igbos without undermining our own interests. Yes Nigeria is a nation but the Igbo people will not allow a fraction of what we tolerate in Lagos in Ochanja (Onitsha), Aba, Enugu and the likes.

Olufemi Aduwo
olufemi.aduwo@ccdiltd.org