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Monday, April 30, 2012

Vatican condemns anti-Christian attacks in Kenya, Nigeria

Global Reporters Vienna




A priest receives the ordination from Pope Benedict XVI during an ordination mass at St Peter's basilica at the Vatican on April 29, 2012, to mark Vocation Day.Among the nine was one man from Ivory Coast, one from Colombia and one from Vietnam. AFP PHOTO
 
VATICAN CITY (AFP) – The Vatican condemned what it called “terrorist” attacks on Christians in Kenya and Nigeria on Sunday which claimed around 20 lives and called for restraint against a cycle of violence.


“The new terrorist attacks in Kenya and Nigeria at Christian celebrations are horrible and despicable acts,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said.

“We must be close to victims and communities that suffer just as they are peacefully celebrating a faith that wants love and peace for all,” he said.


“We must encourage the whole population…. not to give in to the temptation to fall into the vicious circle of homicidal hatred,” he added.

Attackers armed with bombs and guns opened fire at church services in a Nigerian university on Sunday, killing around 20 people.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, although the attack was similar to others carried out by the Islamist group Boko Haram.

In a separate attack in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, a man set off a grenade during a church service, sowing chaos and killing one worshipper.

Nairobi has been hit by a series of unclaimed blasts since late 2011, which Kenyan officials have blamed on Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab Islamists.
Vanguard

Jonathan, PDP bomb Azazi - Sunday Sun

Global Reporters Vienna


•Public officers must not be flippant – President
•NSA should not meddle in politics –PDP
From TAIWO AMODU & JULIANA TAIWO-OBALONYE, Abuja





President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday insisted that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is the most democratic party in Nigeria and was not responsible for the Boko Haram insurgency in parts of the North.


President Jonathan stated this in reaction to comments by the National Security Adviser, General Andrew Owoeye Azazi, that the PDP should be blamed partly for the security challenges confronting the country.

The NSA made the comment on Friday at the second South-South Economic Summit in Asaba, Delta State.

Jonathan, who fielded questions from newsmen while visiting the bombed office of THISDAY in Abuja, however, said he was yet to read what Azazi said to understand what he meant, but warned however, that it was very important for public officers to watch their utterances in order not to be misunderstood.

Also reacting fiercely to the NSA’s comments, the PDP took potshots at him, saying he lacked knowledge of the internal workings of the party. The party also told him not to meddle in politics. Said Jonathan: “I read in the newspapers some journalists quoting the National Security Adviser.

Until I read the script myself and listen to him, one thing I do know, like philosophers would say, that human beings disagree because people use different words to mean the same thing and use one word to mean different things. That is the primary reason for disagreement. That is why public officers like us are extremely careful because words are extremely elastic. So, sometimes, you have something in your mind you want to communicate, but the way you communicate it, different people will give different interpretations. That is why some human beings who don’t think are quarrelsome. When they hear something, they only understand it in one way. They don’t give the opportunity to look the other way.

“So, until I read it, I don’t believe the NSA mean that the practices in the PDP are anti-democratic. I cannot comment much on what happened in the First Republic, but the Second Republic that I marginally participated, an aborted republic, and this Third Republic that I am a key actor, presently as a member of the first eleven, I still see that the PDP is one of the most democratic parties. So, I don’t believe that it is undemocratic practices in the PDP that could give rise to Boko Haram or any other groups. So probably people need to ask NSA to explain what he really meant. I have read it from the papers. I don’t believe it is undemocratic practices of the PDP that gave rise to this or any other militant groups.”

Jonathan, who was accompanied by the Minister of Police Affairs, Capt Caleb Olubolade (rtd), and his senior aides, condemned attack on the media. He, however, urged the media not to relent in carrying out its duties objectively, assuring that the government was working hard to end the insurgency of terrorism and other activities of anti-state groups.

“From the beginning of these attacks on us as a nation, I have always maintained the position that terror attack on any part of the country is a terror attack on all of us and indeed the whole world.

Terrorists’ method is to ensure maximum damage that the whole world will begin to look at their direction for relevance. You see that this is a media house, not a government establishment. The media helps to inform all of us about what is happening. The media is now also a victim. “That is why we all as Nigerians, no matter what we do or where we come from, we must all join hands in fighting this terror. I can assure you that we will get over it. Other nations have passed through it. When I say that, Nigerians begin to misunderstand that we are just sleeping to wait that it will come and go like wind, no. We say that countries have faced it, U.S. has faced it and other countries too did. They are about to conquer it. We are working very hard. Our security services are working very hard and we will conquer it,” he said.

On the call to dialogue with the group, Jonathan said: “Those saying we should dialogue are correct. Those who are saying we should not dialogue are also correct. When we have a terror situation, you also look at global best practices. Just like war situations, you may dialogue, you may not dialogue depending on the circumstances. But we will exploit every means possible to bring this to an end.” In its reaction yesterday, the PDP through its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, dismissed Azazi’s submission “as a very poor reflection of the foundation and internal workings of the party as well as a wrong deduction on the roots of security challenges in the country.”

The party’s image-maker also advised “appointees of government to navigate only on the terrain where their authority would not be humbled by superior knowledge so as to avoid attracting undeserving and unnecessary ill-feelings for their principal.” Metuh insisted that contrary to the NSA’s assertions, the PDP remained the strongest catalyst for the unity and progress of Nigeria. Arguing that equity, fairness and inclusiveness have been the cardinal operative principles of the PDP since its formation, Metuh said the spread of all the offices in the party as well as in the Federal Government are firm demonstration that the PDP is a sure vehicle for every Nigerian to seek and realise political ambition notwithstanding the hindrances of tribe and religion.

“We wish to state without any ambiguity that our great party remains the only political party in Nigeria that is not owned by any ethnic group, person or group of persons. All Nigerians are equal stakeholders. All our special National Conventions for the election of our Presidential flag bearers since 1998 have seen candidates emerge on the strength of national unity, a common motif, which envisages that every section of the country, majority or minority, can aspire to the highest political office in our fatherland via a well-entrenched rotation and zoning principle in the constitution of our party.”

He further dismissed Azazi’s position that the process that threw up Jonathan as PDP presidential candidate fuelled ethnic distrust and mutual suspicion in the country.

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

The PDP also said that the issue of insecurity predated the ascension of Dr Jonathan to the presidency.“While through the military and civilian administrations hitherto, the nation witnessed eruptions of religious violence, the Boko Haram insurgency, which itself predated the tenure of the current President, is only different in sophistication, which again is aligned to the sophistication in this ugly global trend of violence.”

The statement further said the PDP has been in the vanguard of the crusade against all forms of violence in the country and that it would not “cease assisting the National Security Adviser in as much as he remains focused in this job of securing the lives and property of Nigerians.” Also speaking to newsmen, Chairman/Publisher of THISDAY, Prince Nduka Obaigbena, said the media will never surrender to terror.

“It is an attack on the media and freedom of speech, but we will never surrender,” he said.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

PDP BOT Chairman : How Jonathan finally dumped Obasanjo

Global Reporters Vienna





PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has finally bared his fangs and proven that he is not a weakling after all. Jonathan has in a deft move reminiscence of the adventurous tales of tortoise outsmarted former Chairman of Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, and has completely taken over the control of the party.


Contrary to Obasanjo's public posturing about his voluntary resignation and his denials of having nursed a third term ambition during his eight-year controversial tenure, National Daily can report that he resigned out of self-preservation. Obasanjo, according to our sources, got information on plans by PDP stakeholders to remove him as BOT chairman. Pronto, he resigned to sustain his huge ego and to stop his traducers from rejoicing over his disgrace from office.

National Daily competent sources disclosed that PDP stakeholders who include, members of Jonathan's presidency, state governors and National Assembly members have never been happy with Obasanjo's role as PDP BOT chairman.

They have accordingly been making series of clandestine moves to change him with a more democratic minded person.

“Jonathan has been under severe pressures to be his own man by extricating himself from the stranglehold of Obasanjo, but he was vacillating because he did not want to be seen as an ungrateful person, by allegedly biting the fingers that fed him. Those who asked him to support Obasanjo's removal from office argued that it will be disastrous for Jonathan to be tainted by Obasanjo's image as a dictator. One of the issues that decided Jonathan's position on the Obasanjo matter is the aspiration of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as PDP National Chairman and Jonathan's own political ambition. It was secretly agreed between Jonathan and some swash-buckling PDP stakeholders, that if they accede to his choice of Tukur as PDP National Chairman, he in return should support the removal of Obasanjo as BOT chairman,” sources said.

Grand plot

The stakeholders actually moved to implement this agenda by holding wide consultation with other influential party members. They met severally with PDP National Exco, governors, House members, Senators and President Goodluck Jonathan on how to settle the Obasanjo issue. It was then decided that first of all, it will be wise to shop for his successor before Obasanjo is finally removed from office. Some founding fathers of the party who were considered as the new PDP BOT chairman includes, former Enugu State Governor and former PDP National chairman, Okwesilieze Nwodo, another former PDP National Chairman, Vincent Ogbulafor, Richard Akinjide and former governor of old Oyo State, Omololu Olunloyo. The stakeholders, according to sources, have discreetly sounded out some of these listed individuals and were waiting for the right time to ease Obasanjo out of office when he got a hint of his impending ouster and purportedly resigned voluntarily.

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo's eight-year tenure in office and his five-year as PDP BOT chairman was enmeshed in continuous accusation of self-interest, dictatorship and hidden agenda. It was during his presidency that PDP almost became a one man party, the situation was so despicable that suggested that whatever, Obasanjo said became law and not the provisions of the party's constitution. Those intrepid party men who opposed his leadership style, ended up in EFCC net while the criminals who looted state funds become his trusted advisers. Former Bayelsa State Governor, Dieprieye Alamiesiegha, suffered not only because of his alleged fraudulent deeds but basically because he had an axe to grind with Obasanjo. The former President ignored allegation of fraud against former Delta State Governor, James Ibori, because Ibori capitulated and accepted to do his wishes. Former Senate President, Chuba Okadigbo, paid a price for criticizing Obasanjo's undemocratic behaviours. Anticipatory approval, the so-called offence for which Okadigbo was removed from office was an offence committed severally by Obasanjo during his Presidency. Obasanjo, the wily soldier-turned politician schemed Solomon Lar, Barnabas Gemade, and Audu Ogbeh from office because of their democratic views which were anti his Garrison Democracy Principles.

The case of Ogbeh was as funny as that of Okadigbo. They were removed after launch of his favourite egusi soup and pounded yam and doing some of his awkward dance steps with Okadigbo's wife.

Project 2015

National Daily learned that the issue of Jonathan's ambition in 2015 was partially responsible for Obasanjo's descent from the apex of national politics. It was gathered that Obasanjo is not firmly disposed to Jonathan seeking a second time in office and it has been a discordant issue between him and Jonathan until he threw in the towel.

Obasanjo's impending removal from office as BOT chairman, according to sources, was spearheaded by former BOT chairman, Tony Anenih and Ijaw National Leader, E. K. Clark, who were desperate to end his emasculating influence on President Jonathan. But Obj was fortunate to save himself from disgrace by tendering his resignation letter.

The role Obasanjo played in installing former President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua in office in 2007 and Goodluck Azikiwe Jonathan's emergence as PDP presidential candidate and eventually president in May 2011 cannot be doubted. But most Nigerians are of the view that having achieved his heart desires, he should have taken a bow from politics and play the role of an elder statesman in retirement. But Obasanjo's domineering inclination made him hold on tight to the office of PDP BOT chairman.

President Jonathan tolerated Obasanjo's political gambit until he was convinced that it was time to prove that he can be his own man. The first time that Jonathan disagreed with Obasanjo was during the House of Representatives election into various leadership positions. The House was inclined to choosing their officers in irrespective of the choice of the president or any other party leader. Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal from the North was the popular choice as speaker while Obasanjo preferred Mrs. Mulikat Akande-Abiola as Dimeji Bankole's successor. Jonathan also believed the House should be given a chance to elect their own leaders. Obasanjo lost out and the House had its way. Another issue which was responsible for sustaining a crack in the president's relationship with Obj is the plan to remove oil subsidy.

Discordant tunes

At the heat of the controversy associated with the removal of the subsidy, Obasanjo had appealed to Jonathan not to remove the subsidy yet. He hinged his advise on the security implications of such a decision when his government was still grappling with the Boko Haram issue. Obasanjo was said to have reasoned that removal of oil subsidy will escalate violence in the society. But Jonathan allegedly shunned Obasanjo's advice. The president was said to have been guided by the economic benefit of his decision above the immediate security issues.

The PDP constitution provides that only elected former presidents of the country or ex-national chairman of PDP would occupy the position of BOT chairman which is to be filled by election.

National Daily learned that majority of PDP members are favourably disposed to the South-East providing the new PDP BOT chairman. The North is not being considered to produce Obasanjo's successor because the party's national chairman Bamanga Tukur comes from the North. If the post were to go to the North those to be considered includes Solomon Lar, Barnabas Gemade and Ahmadu Ali, all former national chairmen of the party. The South-West may have been ruled out because the zone through Obasanjo occupied the position for five years.

Those who favour Nwodo to emerge as the new PDP BOT chairman point to his carriage and experience. They argued that his experience and influence was obvious when he was PDP national chairman. His supporters said also that he has a clean record and left the office of PDP national chairman without blemish. They explained that his problem was a result of a court case which troubled Enugu State PDP and caused his resignation as PDP chairman prior to the presidential election in 2010. Nwodo's rival from the South-East, Vincent Ogbulafor, is said to have been affected by the circumstances of his removal in 2010 which has to do with funds.

Meanwhile, Obasanjo's purported resignation as PDP BOT chairman is causing some ripples in the South-West. PDP leaders in the zone reportedly rushed to his residence in Abeokuta for a discussion with the former president.

The PDP members were led by Segun Oni, former Ekiti State Governor, who later explained that it is better to live when the ovation is loudest. But the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), in a reaction stated that Obasanjo will not be missed.
National Daily.

THE BIBLE IS NOT THE WORD OF GOD (2) By Femi Aribisala

Global Reporters Vienna




The word of God came to me the very first time during an armed-robbery attack. “Femi,” he said, “nothing is going to happen to you here.” Immediately, one of the robbers contradict-ed him by firing a bullet into my left leg. Even so, the word continued: “Femi, there is nothing wrong with your leg.”

These words are not in the bible. Nevertheless, they are spirit and life to me. A few weeks after I heard them, the Lord miraculously fused back the broken bones in my leg.

Good Shepherd’s voice

Those who cannot hear God often contest the witness of those who can. However, Jesus says: “My sheep hear My voice.” (John 10: 27). He does not say: “My sheep read the bible.” David read in the scriptures that God desires sacrifices and offer-ings. But when God opened his ears, he discovered that in the beginning it was not so. Therefore, he declares in the psalms: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; my ears you have opened. Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.” (Psalm 40:6). Christians need to askGod to open our ears.

On the Mount of Transfiguration, God said concerning Jesus: “This is My beloved Son, hear him!” (Mark 9:7). He did not say: “read about him in the scriptures!” Jesus says: “He who is of God hears God’s words.” (John 8:47).

Salvation comes from hearing and heeding the spoken word of God and not from just reading the bible. (John 5:24-25).

Jesus says: “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him–the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.” (John 12:48).

The problem with most Christians is that we don’t have a relationship with God. We can read the bible and quote some scriptures; but we cannot hear the word of God.

This was my predicament for the longest time. But when I finally met Jesus at the age of 41, he opened my ears so I can now hear him. He then quickened a scripture, which meant nothing to me before, into a vibrant word of God for my life.

In the scripture, Jesus says: “Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive; for the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear.” (Matthew 13:13-16).


Mouth of God

Hebrews says: “In the past God spoke to our ancestors many times and in many ways through the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us through his Son.” (Hebrews 1:1-2). God is the author of what God speaks. But man is the author of what is written in the script-ures. Jesus says: “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63). But the words written in the scriptures are dead. The word of God must be spoken by God, not written by men.

God spoke to men before any bible was written. He has continued speaking to men since the bible canon was clo-sed. Therefore, the word of God cannot be limited to what is in the bib-le. Indeed, the overwhelming proportion of the word of God is not do-cumented in any bib-le. The bible is important because it provides us with a historical record of some of what God spoke in the past. This tells us that since God spoke to men yesterday; he will speak to us today. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8).

To receive the word of God today, we don’t need a bib-le. We only need the Holy Spirit. Isaiah says: “Your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30: 21). But Solomon says: “The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the LORD has made them both.” (Proverbs 20:12). It is through the inner “hearing ear” that we hear the guiding voice of the Good Shepherd. That is why Jesus often says: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Matthew 11:15).

This ensures the word of God can come even to the deaf and the blind. It can come to the illiterate who cannot read. Jesus says: “It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.” (John 6:45). By implication, those who hear and learn from men and the bible don’t usually go to Jesus. (John 5:39-40).

When Christians want to hear from God, we go to our pastors and ask them to tell us what God is saying to us. The pastors hardly ever admit they don’t know. They come up with scriptures and maintain they are the word of God for us. But this is often like reading someone’s old letters and then insisting they are actually addressed to us. Scripture from the mouth of our pastor can be a “word of knowledge.” It can be a “word of wisdom.” But it cannot be the word of God. According to Jesus, the word of God is: “every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4).

Fulfilling the scriptures

For the dead scriptures in our bible to come alive, they have to be spoken again by the mouth of God. This is fulfilled when the Holy Spirit gives them to us personally; tailoring them precisely to our different situations and circumstances. Otherwise, we can recite scriptures a million times; they will still not be fulfilled in our life. Isaiah 61:1-2 remained as dead scripture in a scroll for over 700 years. But one day, Jesus spoke it again to some people. Only then, did it become spirit and life again. Jesus told them: “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:21).

Thus, as we read the bible, some scriptures suddenly come alive. They literally jump off the page and hit us in the face. That is God speaking them again. There and then, there is a catharsis; an epiphany; a burning-bush experience. Thereafter, heaven and earth can pass away, but those words can never pass away in our life. They are no longer scriptures: they are now the word of God.

Therefore, I jokingly tell Christians to skip certain scriptures because they now belong to me. One of them says: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10).

Don’t even bother to read this scripture ever again: God has spoken it to me as an everlasting possession

N6bn payroll fraud: Bayelsa civil servants on the run

Global Reporters Vienna



Bayelsa State Governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson

Indications emerged on Friday that some senior civil servants in Bayelsa State, had gone into hiding to evade arrest after investigations by the anti-fraud unit of the Nigeria police linked them to a N6bn payroll scam.


The senior civil servants comprising some chairmen of boards and directors were said to be the brains behind the staggering number of ghost, underage and dead workers.

Our correspondent gathered that the state’s Treasury and the Universal Basic Education Board were significantly involved in the scam, which had depleted the revenue accruing to the state from the Federal Government.

A government source who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter said, “They have all disappeared. We suspect that the senior civil servants that no longer come to work are afraid of being arrested but we will get them, They can only run, they can’t hide.”

It was learnt that shortly after 20 officials of the treasury were arrested by the police, the acting Chairman, Supervisory Account Officer and other officials of SUBEB were also rounded up at different locations in the state capital.

Our correspondent learnt that a senior employee of SUBEB provided useful information that indicted the officials and led to their arrest.

It was alleged that some lawmakers of the state House of Assembly and a former Commissioner for Local Government and Community Development connived with some officials to inflate SUBEB’s payroll with over 100 ghost names.

The state governor, Dickson had reportedly ordered that the arrested officials should not be granted bail until a former chairman of the board and members had been apprehended.

He said the suspects had confessed to the alleged crime, adding that there was no hiding place for other suspects who were on the run.

“We discovered three sets of vouchers used in the payment of salaries in SUBEB. The place is a rotten area and that is why people are lobbying to be posted to the board.”

Dickson added that the monthly wage bill of the state had been reduced from N6bn to N3.8bn after the initial efforts of the government to remove ghost names from the payroll.

The governor further said that his administration had saved N23bn from allocations accruing to the state from the federation account between February and April.
Punch

Ibori turns ‘born again’ in London prison by Dickson Omonode

Global Reporters Vienna



Laments wife's betrayal
FORMER Delta State governor, James Onanefe ibori has experienced the golden truth about the biblical saying that “whatever a man soweth, that he shall reap.” Ibori sowed the seed of corruption in his 8-year rule as Delta State helmsman, he was crafty enough to escape imprisonment in Nigeria, but not in United Kingdom where he was slammed with 13 years imprisonment by a South-Wark Crown Court in London. Now, James Ibori is alleged to be full of regrets for his past misdeeds. He has also reportedly turned a new leaf.

National Daily gathered from competent sources that the former Delta State governor is now an ardent student of the Bible which he carries always as a companion.

“Ibori has been visited by the Holy Spirit; he is no longer the same. From the way he now talks, it seems old things have passed away and all things have become new. I observed that he said a little prayer when he alighted from the prison van and when he was standing in the dock. I heard something like God is in control from him as he walked away from the court. He was really looking very sobre, I think he may have become a born again Christian,” the source said, adding:


“Ibori inferred in a censored message he sent to one of his relatives who interacted with me that he spent most of his days in detention reading the Bible and praying fervently. He said he has fasted about four days in prison. He described his prison cell as being okay but not too comfortable.”

New Ibori

National Daily learned that Ibori a hitherto gregarious person has become an introvert in prison. “He keeps to himself, neither associating with fellow inmates who made inquiries about him on arrival at his London prison. His interaction with prison officers is even said to be minimal,” our competent source said.

It was further gathered that since his arrival from Dubai and for several weeks during his days in awaiting trial cell in London, Ibori refused to eat meals offered him by prison officials. He was said to have preferred meals bought from a restaurant or brought to him by one of his trusted relatives. Now that he has formally been sentenced, he is likely to change his mind because it will be difficult for him to sustain his presence for restaurant meals for four years and his relative may get tired of taking meals regularly to him in prison.” Sources said.

National Daily on inquiry about Ibori's state of health was told by the London returnee that he looked healthy but it appears circumstances has shown him down. “He was even inaudible when he acknowledged greetings from a group of Nigerians who stormed the London court in solidarity with him.

Betrayed

Competent sources said that Ibori was overwhelmed by the support which he had was given to him by his kith and kin in Oghara. He apparently thought he would be forgotten as is the attitude of some people who abandon their benefactor when he gets into trouble.

“But Ibori is unhappy with his wife, Theresa, for betraying him in his hour of trial. He expected Theresa to be sensible during Police interrogation and court examination instead she thoroughly abused Ibori almost agreeing with the prosecution that he is an unrepentant criminal and a wicked man. Ibori nearly wept openly when he heard his wife's evidence against him. He questioned her own moralty in castigating a man who did so much for her. However, he was not too harsh in his reaction to the role played by his mistress, Udoamaka Okoronkwo and Sister Christine Ibori-Ibie!! Our source said.

Ibori according to sources, is confident that God has a purpose for allowing him to undergo his present ordeal.

Travails

National Daily competent sources disclosed that Ibori has been deflated by his recent humiliating ordeal which became with the spirited attempt by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in corroboration with other Security Agencies to arrest him in his Oghara, Delta State country home in Nigeria. Ibori was determined to evade arrest and allegedly mustered some militant group members to harass Security Agents. In the midst of the eschewing confusion, Ibori reportedly escaped and was suspected to have sailed out of the country through the Cameroun Peninsula axis. He repeatedly landed in Dubai where he owned million dollar exquisite property. Soon as the Dubai Security authorities got wind of Ibori's presence in their country, they apprehended him and serenaded him in detention. It was good news for the Metropolitan Police in United Kingdom as the Metro Detectives who had built a dossier of fraudulent charges against Ibori quickly notified their counterpart in Dubai of their intention to have the suspect deported to London where he is expected to answer corruption charges.

Guilty

Ibori allegedly admitted to the charge of conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy to defraud, conspiracy to make false instruments, one count charge of obtaining property transfer by deception over the theft of more than 25 million pounds. One count charges of money laundering linked to a 37 million United States Dollars share fraud surrounding the sale of shares in Nigerian company Vs Mobile. Ibori's guilty plea was taken few weeks before he was finally sentenced.

National Daily learned that when it became apparent that Ibori will be jailed, his Counsel, Nicholas Purnell and his sympathizers from Nigeria made desperate effort to convince the trial Judge, Anthony Pitts to temper justice with mercy. It was at this point that a U.K based associate of former professional footballer, John Fashanu recommended him as an influential witness whose testimony would have the necessary effect on the final decision of the Judge. Fashanu was promptly contacted by a friend of his in London and urged to testify in order to save a country man from harsh prison terms.

“He was hesitant initially saying his appearance in the matter could have a negative effect on his image. He said he did not want to be seen as abetting corruption. He was also concerned about his image in the United Kingdom.” A source said, adding: “However, he changed his mind after one of Ibori's confidants assured him that he will be adequately compensated for his kind assistance.”

Fashanu

It was learned that Fashanu's testimony helped in no small measure in convincing the Judge to pass a lesser sentence on Ibori.

“You know, Fashanu is well respected in United Kingdom. He made tremendous impact as a soccer player for Wimbledon and the English National Team. He also had a fairly commendable lifestyle outside the field of play,” our source said.

Ibori was said to crest fallen on the day he was sentence. He was said to have looked morose at the Judge occasionally muttering inaudible words. He got 13 years to run four years as concurrent sentence, still he was allegedly disappointed because he was expecting a two year jail term.

When Judge Anthony Pitts pronounced the 13 years (4 years) concurrently sentence, Ibori was said to have shaken his head and sighed.
National Daily

Brazil: Actor Playing Judas Dies from Accidental Hanging - BBC


A Brazilian actor has died after accidentally hanging himself while playing Judas in an Easter Passion play.
Tiago Klimeck, 27, was enacting the suicide of Judas during the performance on Good Friday in the city of Itarare, reports the BBC.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

How Babangida, Abacha, Obasanjo Shared Nigeria’s Oil Blocks By Obinna Akukwe


Global Reporters Vienna






The process of sharing Nigeria’s oil block national cake is as fraudulent now as when Ibrahim Babangida started the process of discretionary allocation of oil blocks to indigenous firms.

Discretionary allocation of oil blocks entails that a president can reward a mistress who performs wonderfully with an oil block with capacity for cumulative yield of over $20 billion dollars without recourse to any process outside of manhood attachments.

Babangida, Abacha, Abdulsalami and Obasanjo awarded discretionary oil blocks to friends, associates, family members, party chieftains, security chiefs and all categories of bootlickers, spokespersons and cult members without any laid down procedures.

The recipients of such oil blocks will get funds from ever willing offshore financiers and partners to graciously settle the benefactors, the awarders, facilitators and the Commander-in-Chief through fronts.

These settlements mostly paid into foreign accounts runs into hundreds of millions of dollars according to the potential yield of the block.

Sometimes, the awarder (sharer of national cake and direct intermediaries) demand additional stakes in the bidding company. The awarder sends fronts as part of the directorship and management of the bidding firms without leaving a link to them.

That is how the oil block national cake is distributed to a few Nigerians.
Signature bonuses which are paid when an investor successfully bids, wins and signs agreement with the petroleum ministry, running into tens of millions and sometimes hundreds of millions of naira ,is often waived off.

There is actually no waiver; rather a diversion of what would have been paid to government t coffers is paid into private purse as appreciation gifts. That is why those in the Petroleum Ministry dread retirement as though it signifies going to hell fire.

No matter how little your influence, something substantial must enter your hands especially in hard currency.

The nation loses billions of dollars in diverted revenue whenever any round of auction occurs.

OML 110 with high yield OBE oil fields was given Cavendish Petroleum owned by Alhaji Mai Daribe, the Borno Patriarch in 1996 by Sanni Abacha. OBE oil field has estimated over 500 million barrels of oil.

In layman’s language and using average benchmark of $100 dollars per barrel, translates to $50 billion dollars worth of oil reserve. When you remove the taxes, royalties and sundry duties worth about 60% of the reserve payable over time you get about $20billion dollars worth of oil in the hands of a family.

OPL 246 was awarded to SAPETRO, a company owned by General Theophilus Danjuma, by Sanni Abacha in 1998. Akpo condensate exports about 300,000 barrels of crude daily.

OML 112 and OML 117 were awarded to AMNI International Petroleum Development Company owned by Colonel Sanni Bello in 1999. Sanni Bello is an inlaw to Abdulsalami Abubakar, former Head of State of Nigeria.

OML 115, OLDWOK Field and EBOK field was awarded to Alhaji Mohammed Indimi from Niger State. Indimi is an inlaw to former Military President Ibrahim Babangida.

OML 215 is operated by Nor East Petroleum Limited owned by Alhaji Saleh Mohammed Gambo.

OML 108 is operated by Express Petroleum Company Limited is owned by Alhaji Aminu Dantata.

OML II3 allocated to Yinka Folawiyo Pet Ltd is owned by Alhaji W.I. folawiyo
ASUOKPU/UMUTU marginal oil fields is operated by Seplat Petroleum. Seplat is owned by Prince Nasiru Ado Bayero, cousin to the Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi. This oil field has the capacity of 300,000 barrels of oil daily.

This translates to $30million dollars daily at average benchmark of $100 dollars per barrel. Deducting all sundry taxes, royalties etc , this field can yield $12billion dollars daily for the owners .

Intel owned by Atiku, Yarádua and Ado Bayero has substantial stakes in Nigeria’s oil exploration industry both in Nigeria and Principe and Sao Tome.
AMNI owns two oil blocks OML 112 and OML 117 which it runs Afren plc and Vitol has substantial stakes in oil blocks.

Afren plc is operating EBOK oil fields in OML 67. Vitol lifts 300,000 barrels of Nigerian oil daily. Rilwanu Lukman, former OPEC Chairman has stakes in all these named three companies.

OPL 245 was awarded to Malabu Oil& Gas Company by Sanni Abacha. Dan Etete, Abacha’s oil minister owns Malabu Oil.

In 2000, Vice President Atiku Abubakar convinced Obasanjo to revoke OPL 245 given to Malabu Oil. Etete had earlier rejected Atiku’s demand for substantial stakes in the high yield OPL 245 and it attracted the venom of Ota Majesty who revoked the licence. However, in 2006, Obasanjo had mercy on Dan Etete and gave him back his oil block worth over $20 billion dollars.

OPL 289 and OPL 233 was awarded during Obasanjo era to Peter Odili fronts, Cleanwater Consortium, consisting of Clenwater Refinery and RivGas Petroleum and Gas Company. Odili’s brother in law, Okey Ezenwa manages the consortium as Vice Chairman.

OPL 286 is managed by Focus Energy in partnership with BG Group, a British oil concern. Andy Uba has stakes in Focus Energy and his modus operandi is such that you can never see his name in any listings yet he controls OPL and OML through proxies OPL 291 was awarded to Starcrest Energy Nigeria Limited, owned by Emeka Offor by Obasanjo .

Immediately after the award, Starcrest sold the oil block to Addax Petroleum Development Company Limited (ADDAX) Addax paid Sir Emeka Offor a farming fee of $35million dollars and still paid the signature bonus to the government.

Emeka Offor still retains stake in ADDAX operations in Nigeria.
Mike Adenuga’s Conoil is the oldest indigenous oil exploration industry in Nigeria. Conoil has six oil blocks and exports above 200,000 barrels of crude daily.

The oil block national cake sharing fiesta could take twists according to the mood of the Commander-in –Chief at the particular time. In 2006, Obasanjo revoked OPL 246 which Abacha gave to Danjuma because he refused to support the tenure elongation bid of the Ota Majesty.

In 2000, Obasanjo had earlier revoked OPL 241 given to Dan Etete under the advice Atiku. However, when the Obasanjo-Atiku faceoff started, the Ota Majesty made a u-turn and handed back the oil block to Etete.

During the time of Late President Yarádua , a panel headed by Olusegun Ogunjana was set up to investigate the level of transparency in the award of oil blocks.

The panel recommended that 25 oil blocks awarded by the Obasanjo be revoked because the manner they were obtained failed to meet the best practices in the industry. Sadiq Mahmood, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum endorsed the report to then president with all its recommendations. As a result of the report Yarádua revoked eleven oil blocks.

In April 2011 Mike Adenuga attempted to buy Shell’s OML 30 for $1.2 billion dollars. The Minister for Petroleum and Nigeria’s most powerful woman refused the sale of the OML30 to Adenuga citing national interest.

This block was later sold to Heritage Oil for $800 million dollars eleven months later.
This oil block business is so lucrative that Danjuma’s Sapetro divested of its investment in Akpo condensate for $1billion dollars.

This business is second to none in Nigeria. That is why any attempt to investigate the activities in this sector will always be futile. The money is so much that they give bribes in millions of dollars.

A birthday gift or child naming gift from an oil block owner to a government official could be as paltry as $2million dollars, and if the official’s father died, the condolence gift could reach mere $3 million dollars. When they want to bribe legislators, it is in millions of dollars and any ongoing investigation ends within weeks.

They are so confident that with excess money they can buy up Nigeria and they are succeeding In the name of competitive bidding, which Obasanjo introduced in 2005, Officials bring companies overnight and through processes best described as secretive and voodooist they award blocks to party faithful, fronts and phoney companies.

They collect gratifications running into hundreds of millions of dollars which is paid into offshore account and the nation loses billions of dollars of revenue to private pockets.

During the third term agenda, Obasanjo was deceived that the allocation of oil block to party faithfuls is to fund the third term agenda. With the failure of the third term, the beneficiaries went home with their fortunes and thanked God or Allah for buttering their bread.

Senator Andy Uba co ordinate the award of the last rounds of oil block by Obasanjo in 2005 and 2007. The then minister of petroleum, Edwin Daukoru was a mere errand boy who took instructions from the presidential aide.

The regime of President Goodluck is not showing any signs of changing the status quo. Controversies have trailed the activities of the Minister of Petroleum and many players in the Industry accuse her of demanding stakes from every oil deal.

It is hoped that President Goodluck Jonathan will remember his transformational promise to Nigerians and endeavour to face the hawks in the oil industry.

The angst in the air is so much that if this monster of illegal allocation of oil block is not addressed, the much touted revolution could begin all of a sudden and all who condoned this illegality at the expense of hungry Nigerians may have nowhere to hide.

The religious leaders should tell these oil block beneficiaries, awarders, fronts, brokers and all involved in short changing the Nigerian people to find means or returning all these back to the Nigerian people, through massive development projects.

They should curtail their constant visits to Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem for prayers and attend to the poverty they spread in the land. They should build affordable secondary schools, universities, specialist hospitals, roads, silos, etc for the Nigerian people.

They should fund talent development programmes and sponsor activities capable of alleviating poverty.

The voice of impoverished Nigerians is crying daily and if care is not taken the God who delivered Nigeria from Abacha dark days will visit them with calamities untold. With the rot in this oil block awarding system and other loot all over the Nigerian nation, something worse than revolution may happen.

Obinna Akukwe

4,000 leave Edo ACN for PDP Say Oshiomhole and ACN have nothing to offer By Iyobosa Omoregie

Global Reporters Vienna





About 4000 members have decamped from the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Edo State.
Senator Odion Ugbesia, Director-General of Airhiavbere Campaign Committee, who was on hand to receive them said that the new party members would be given all the necessary support needed to work for PDP's victory in the July 14 governorship polls.
Former PDP Chairman in Orhionmwon LGA, Emmanuel Igiebor who had previously decamped to ACN, also returned to PDP. He said that his move to PDP had already created some panic within ACN.
"I am back to my original party. It will interest you to know that ACN members have masks on their faces; they pretend to be straightforward whereas the reverse is the case," Igiebor said.
"It is only those who have not been with them that will think that all is well with them. I have returned to PDP to work with my colleagues to ensure victory for the party and its candidate."
Victor Idemudia, a former aide to Adams Oshiomhole, was among those who formally defected to PDP, along with his followers from Ovia South LGA. He said that he decided to leave the ACN because of the lack of visionary leadership in the ACN-led administration.
The Ijaws spokesperson, Timi Robert, said that they joined PDP because they felt the Oshiomhole administration lacked meaning.
He assured that the Ijaws would work for the victory of PDP and the governorship candidate, Charles Airhiavbere, in the coming election.
Airhiavbere expressed his delight that the new PDP members had been redeemed from darkness and urged them to canvass for more votes.

Man who burnt wife with hot iron opens up, as emotions pour in for burnt wife By Evelyn Usman

Global Reporters Vienna


*My wife slept with my father thrice – Son*It’s an abomination, I never did that- father



Mrs Nnadi at hospital



Henry Nnadi, the 38- year-old dry cleaner that killed his 1-year-old son, Ebuka, and burnt his wife, Mercy,36, with hot iron for allegedly sleeping with his 65-year-old father, has finally spoken on the circumstances that led to his beastly act from the confines of his prison cell at Kirikiri, Lagos.
Looking remorseless over the pains he inflicted on his wife of two years, the fair-skinned Henry only showed regrets when the issue of his dead son came up. “That was the worst thing I have ever done in my entire life. When he woke up crying for milk, I looked at him in anger and a voice came saying kill him, he is not your son. In obedience to that voice, I hit him hard on the neck several times.”
Insisting that he was unsure of the paternity of the boy, Henry gave vivid details of what transpired on the fateful Saturday, April 7, 2012. Excerpts:
“I am sure of what I am talking about. My wife, Mercy has been sleeping with my father. Before the incident, I have cautioned her to stop going to my father’s house because I suspected their moves . But she wouldn’t listen. Then one day, when she was about going out, I told her not to leave the house but she disobeyed me and went out. I waited for a while before going straight to my father’s place which is not far from where I live .
And to confirm my claim, immediately I arrived there, I knocked and my father opened the door with a towel round his waist. As I made to go in, he prevented me by blocking the entrance with his hand. I do not know how my wife managed to escape . But after waiting for a while, I left and immediately I got home, my wife had reached the house, I laughed and went to smoke to cool my temper. I was keeping all that in mind until that Saturday night.
“As I was ironing my customer’s clothes, I looked at my wife where she was sleeping on the bed and anger surged inside of me. I then heard a voice instructing me to go and ask her why she was sleeping with my father. By then, the iron was very hot and I thought I could use that to scare her.”



The suspect, Henry Nnadi


Burning her with the hot iron

I woke her up and asked her to tell me the truth on how many times she had slept with my father. But she refused to talk. Then the voice came to me again to place the hot iron on her and I did. As I was placing it, she told me she had slept with my father three times.
Immediately she mentioned it, I lost my cool and placed it harder on her out of anger. At that point, the child cried, wanting to suck breast. I looked at him wondering if I was actually his father. I thought to myself that it could be possible my father was responsible for the pregnancy that resulted in his birth.

How I killed my son

At this point the suspect kept quiet, bowed his head, shaking it intermittently in self pity. And when he raised his head, his eyes were filled with tears. Thereafter, he rested his chin on his palm and looked at the sky, muttering. After a long pause, this reporter asked him if he actually killed his son.
In reply, he said, “ that is the worst thing I have ever done in my entire life. When Ebuka woke up from sleep that night, crying for breast milk as he always did, I looked at him in anger and the voice came again saying , ‘kill him, he is not your son!’. In obedience to the voice, I hit him hard in the neck several times.”
Asked to described exactly how he did it, he raised his right hand like a boxer, hitting it severally on his left arm, causing this reporter to move backward, for fear of the unknown.
Continuing, he said, “You know he is a baby and very fragile. When my fist landed on him the first time, he screamed. At that point, the mother lifted her hand to prevent my next fist from landing on the boy , but I planted the hot iron on her hand”. Henry, reportedly landed another fist on the little helpless creature . At the third hit, Ebuka, as gathered, could no longer cry. He was still .
When Henry was asked why he was always beating his wife as claimed by neighbours, he admitted that they have had series of quarrel, most of which was caused by his wife’s alleged clandestine relationship with his father. He posited however that “there is no way a man and a woman would live under same roof without quarreling. It is impossible. Yes, we quarreled and settled” .
Asked if he had any regrets for his action, he replied, “sure , I do, mainly because of the death of my son. Why should a child be killed over an offense he knew nothing about? His death will continue to haunt me all the days of my life. I may not live to even atone for this sin but if by sheer providence I do, I will never forgive myself for taking the life of my innocent boy.
All this is the handiwork of the devil. If I had known, I would have not touched my son that night. I know I am going to die because I have killed my son. If it had been my wife, I would not have bothered much . But my son, ah! I have done the unimaginable” he stated in an emotion- laden tone.
When contacted for his reaction to his son’s claim, 65-year- old Theodore Nnadi described the allegation as baseless and unimaginable, wondering how a father could stoop so low as to sleep with his daughter in-law. The light skinned man swore with both visible and invisible substances, denying ever having any feeling of such towards a woman he considered as a daughter. The father of eight who said his name had been dragged in the mud following the allegation and wondered how on earth a son could mete such injustice on his father.
Recalling with pains how he tried all he could to give his son, Henry, a good future, Pa Nnadi revealed that signs of his present predicament reared its ugly head after Henry’s secondary school.
Hear him, “ After his secondary school , he began to move with irresponsible people and street urchins . In order to keep him busy, I took him to a school of engineering where he specialized in factory generator repairs. But before I knew it, that turned out to be my greatest undoing as he went into snatching of motorcycles from riders.
“He would mount a motorcycle, give the rider his destination. But midway, he would pour pepper into the rider’s eyes, causing him to loose balance and in the process make away with the motorbike and sell same at give -away price. He was arrested in one of the occasions and was imprisoned for eight years.
After he finished serving his jail term, I took him to a church where deliverance was carried out on him. Before everybody in the church, he promised never to go back to his past again. After that, he started the dry cleaning job.”

I warned his wife

“After the introduction ceremony and the wife moved in with him, I started getting series of report on how he was maltreating her. Several times, the matter was reported at Ago police station where he was made to write undertaken never to raise his hand on her again. But he never complied. When the beating became unbearable, I personally told his wife never to return to my son when she traveled to her village last year. She stayed for a while, only to come back because my son, as I later learnt, went to beg her.”
Asked if he actually slept with his daughter-in-law, Mr Theodore screamed in anger, “ how can that be? That is an abomination! Before God and man, I never did that. Ah! This child wants to take me to an unprepared grave. I reject that. It is not my portion .I can never try such disgusting thing in my life. Oh my God, at this age?His intention is to soil my name. Go and ask about me where I live, or even from the village I come from. This is unimaginable. Come to think of it, I have a wife.”
Also asked to clarify his son’s claim that he met his wife in his house where the father blocked the entrance, Pa Nnadi replied, almost in tears, “Only God will judge this matter. This child is a bad child. The wife used to sell pap and she usually brings it to my house where she sold to my wife .
Whenever she is leaving my house, my wife would give her some ingredients because my son was not taking care of her and their baby. For instance, when she gave birth to my grandson , Ebuka, it was one of my daughters that brought out N120,000 for the delivery bill because she gave birth through caesarian. But do you know what happened, my son, Henry, stole out of that money from where it was kept and when asked, he argued that the money was too much, that it ought to have been given to him to buy a motorcycle.
He is a pain in the neck. In fact, he had beaten me before in public, simply because I reprimanded him for fighting with his cousin. Since that incident, my people vowed never to visit his house again. I swear to God, I never did that abominable act. I have passed such stage. Besides, I am a God fearing man. Come to think of it, (grins) I live in that apartment with my wife and my other children. How on earth would that happen”?

Emotions, promises, pour in for burnt housewife

Meanwhile, following Mercy’s story published in Vanguard, some concerned Nigerians and groups have continued to call in, signifying their interest to assist Mercy with the medical bill and a possible transfer to another hospital. Among those that called were Zahara Women Foundation, CENTA For Organizational Development, Bimbo Odukoya Foundation and other individuals from different parts of the country and beyond. But none of them, as at Thursday morning, had made any monetary donations.
For Bimbo Odukoya’s Foundation, it promised to visit mercy at the hospital on Thursday evening with a view to carrying out on the spot assessment and proffer possible medical solution.
Zahara Women Foundation on its part, promised to visit the victim yesterday, (Friday),where its co-ordinator who called in from Canada said the foundation would do all within its reach to give Mercy legal backing as well as playing a role on her medical expenses.
Dr Eze of New Revolution hospital located in Ago, Okota area of Lagos hinted that although Mercy was responding to treatment, there are fears that some sensitive parts of the affected area were still to get healed. “For instance, her breast and chest region and her thigh close to the vagina are part of the critical areas.”
Vanguard Crime Guard observation revealed that fluid was still pouring out from under the breast , which seemed to be defiling treatment. The cause, as gathered, was because it was not exposed to air. As a result, the region is always damp with the burns causing sores. She is still going through excruciating pains, with serious anesthetics being administered to her on daily basis.
But the doctor assured that things would take its normal shape with time, disclosing that part of the burns on her back, stomach and hand were getting healed. The doctor also disclosed that as at Thursday evening, only N60,000.00 has been donated by a lady who pleaded anonymity.
But for Mercy to get back quickly on her feet again, she needs funds, first to clear the backlog of close to N600,000 which the hospital claimed was her medical bill. Out of this amount, the hospital said Mercy’s father in-law was only able to pay the sum of N50,000. Presently , Pa Theodore who owns a mini boutique along Ago-Palace Way is finding it difficult to foot the bill.
Crime Guard reliably gathered that the 65-year-old man had resorted to borrowing from people in order to ensure Mercy gets back on her feet again. Plans, as gathered, is on the pipeline to open an account for Mercy where well- meaning Nigerians are enjoined to pay in their widow’s mite, as this will, no doubt, go a long way in ensuring Mercy’s speedy recovery.
And if this is not done on time, there are fears that the burns, particularly in the sensitive areas, could be affected, which unfortunately, can be disastrous for the helpless woman.
Meanwhile, her husband has been charged to the Ebute-Meta magistrate court,where he appeared last Tuesday. But the case could not be heard as his file with charge no G/23/2012 was referred to the Directorate of Public Defender (DPP) for advice.
However, while waiting for the account to be opened, concerned individuals can make their donations in person to the hospital- New Revolution hospital located in Ago, Okota, Lagos or reach Vanguard Crime Editor through: emmadozie@hotmail.com or 08023145281.

Vanguard 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

JTF uncovers Boko Haram hide-out in Kano by Mustapha Salihu

Global Reporters Vienna



The Joint Security Task Force on Tuesday swooped on a house suspected to be a hideout for Boko Haram members, at Hayin-Hotoro in Nassarawa local government area of Kano state.


Spokesman of the 3 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Lieutenant Ikedichi Iweha, conducted journalists round the house. He said the JTF operatives discovered that the house was also a bomb-manufacturing factory for Boko Haram.

According to Iweha, two women and a number of children were rescued by the JTF during the early morning operation in the Hayin Hotoro area, predominantly inhabited by the low income earners resident.

He said, “The prime suspect we were looking for was not arrested because he escaped before we stormed the house. But we have rescued two women and some children from the house.

“The two women and children we have rescued have been taken away for investigation, and the house will be brought down using military armoured carrier.”

Iweha also disclosed that the security operatives were able to storm the area following a tip-off, pleading for cooperation from residents who live with members of the sect to inform any of the security agencies.

The Army Public Relations Officer said during the operation, the JTF operatives were able to discover a two-room apartment measuring about 25 by 25 ft in size where the Improvised Explosive Devices were being assembled.

Among the items recovered at the house were five IEDs, assorted containers, prime drum for packaging the bombs, liquid substances, charcoal as well as about four different DVD films of late al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden, including one titled ‘Osama bin Laden death at last’.
Punch

Fuel subsidy scam: Reps make U-turn

Global Reporters Vienna

•Invite 17 oil firms to face panel
...Say Ali, ex-PPPRA boss must face trial
•As House orders his prosecution
From IHEANACHO NWOSU and CHUCKS AKUNNA, Abuja





The House of Representatives yesterday began the debate of the report of its Ad hoc Committee on fuel subsidy probe. The panel submitted its report in Abuja last Wednesday. Scores of companies were indicted for their roles in the scam.


The firms, including government agencies, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) were asked to refund over N1trillion to the Federation Account. But the NNPC insisted it did not pocket any subsidy money.

The report had generated a lot of controversy with accusations and counter-accusations.

Flagging off the debate chaired by Deputy Speaker, Hon. Emeka Ihediora yesterday, the House made a u-turn when it ordered the indicted 17 oil companies to appear before it. The latter claimed they did not receive any letter of invitation to state their roles in the subsidy saga to the Hon. Farouk Lawan-led committee.

The firms were asked by the panel to refund N41.96billion to the Federal Government even as the House ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to beging investigation and possible trial of Dr. Ahmadu Ali, who was National Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The companies last week announced that they were going to take legal action against the House over their indictment and the panel’s directive to refund the said amount.

Debating on the committee’s report, which was laid before the House on April 18, the lawmakers explained that the invitation of the companies was not a repudiation from its recommendations, but in the spirit of fairness. Hon Toby Okechukwu said it would be in line with justice, which he said, was the purpose of setting up the committee to give the firms an opportunity to state their own side of the story.

He noted that since the companies were not given direct invitation during the probe to appear before the committee, it was right to extend an invitation to them. His position was endorsed by Hon Ossai Ossai, Lawan and Deputy Speaker Ihedioha.

Debating the recommendations, the lawmakers voted overwhelmingly for the prosecution of Dr Ali over his alleged role in the subsidy saga. Ali was also Chairman of PPPRA during the period investigated by the committee.

The committee had recommended that he and other members of the board be reprimanded for their decisions, which “opened the floodgate for the bazaar “. However, the lawmakers rejected that recommendation, arguing that he deserved to be prosecuted.

There was a drama before the recommendation was endorsed. The Deputy Speaker, who chaired the debate, had tried to convince his colleagues to stick to the earlier recommendation to reprimand Ali, but the plan failed as the lawmakers especially those from the opposition parties, insisted on his prosecution.

Another controversial decision taken by the House on the report was the endorsement of a recommendation that the Ministry of Petroleum Resources be split into two to ensure effective supervision. They urged President Goodluck Jonathan to split the ministry if he was serious about reforming the sector.

The lawmakers objected to the continued headship of the NNPC board, saying that it negates effective supervision. Some lawmakers, however, opposed the recommendation on the ground that only the amendment of NNPC Act can alter the current arrangement.

The stage for the debate was earlier laid by the Speaker, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who charged the lawmakers to ignore insinuations by some people and discuss the report in a manner that would favour Nigerians.

He said in a two-page speech which elicited ovation, “Today, we are here to consider the product of that sacrifice. Before you is the report of the Ad-hoc Committee on the monitoring of fuel subsidy regime which was set up to verify and determine actual subsidy requirements.

“And I must commend the Chairman of the Committee, Hon Farouk Lawan and the rest of his committee members, for their courage, dedication and professionalism. They were given a crucial assignment and they handled it with the integrity and patriotism it deserved.”

Tambuwal said: “But we must never forget who we are and where we are, because Nigerians are watching us very closely and history will judge what we do here today. I therefore urge each and everyone of you to look at this report dispassionately.

“Let me reiterate the fact that we are discharging a Constitutional assignment here and it is therefore, incumbent upon us to do our duty without fear or favour. Let me also remind you that we are fighting against entrenched interests whose infectious greed has decimated our people. Therefore, be mindful that they will fight back, and they do fight dirty”.

He faulted the position of EFCC on the prosecution of those indicted in the report, describing the stand of the anti-graft agency as untenable.

He said: “I have heard all kinds of insinuations, including the one about anti-graft agencies waiting for a ‘harmonised version’ of this report before taking any action. Let me quickly say here that this is at best an excuse that cannot stand after all the same agencies accept and investigate petitions from individuals, how much more resolutions of this House, there will be no such document so, they should just go ahead and do their job and where they find any person or body culpable, they should proceed in accordance with the law”.

The debate is expected to continue today.
Sun News

Subsidy: House Wants Ahmadu Ali Prosecuted By Onwuka Nzeshi and Ejiofor Alike


Global Reporters Vienna



Senator Ahmadu Ali

Former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmadu Ali, should face prosecution over his tenure as chairman of the board of Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), the House of Representatives has recommended.

Adopting the report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Monitoring of the Subsidy Regime Tuesday, the lower chamber accepted a recommendation that Ali, who was board chairman from 2009 to 2011, and the entire members of the board during the period be prosecuted for their decisions which allegedly opened the floodgate for the abuse of the system.

Other recommendations adopted by the House include: “That the management and board of the NNPC should be completely overhauled and all those involved in infractions be further investigated and prosecuted by the relevant anti-corruption agencies.

"That all the payments which the PPPRA made to itself from the Petroleum Support Fund accounts in excess of the approved administrative charges which is due to it under the template should be recovered and paid back into the fund. The officials involved in this infraction should be further investigated/ prosecuted by the relevant anti-corruption agencies.

"That the Executive Secretaries of the PPPRA who were the accounting officers and under whose watch these abuses were perpetrated should be held liable.

"That the Executive Secretaries of the PPPRA between 2009-2011 should be investigated and prosecuted for the official recklessness exhibited in the implementation of the board decision to reverse the qualification for participation in the scheme."

The House was however divided on the issue of resolving the violations in the oil sector using the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

Some members were opposed to the recommendation that the executive should send the PIB to the National Assembly.

They argued that there was already a PIB drafted by the House which should be passed expeditiously but this also generated uproar from those not comfortable with the idea of a PIB.

Speaker of the House, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, had at the opening of the session, commended his colleagues for their "commitment and patriotism" during the fuel subsidy crisis in January and urged them to consider the report of the ad hoc committee on the monitoring of fuel subsidy regime with diligence.

But the House bowed to external pressures in its consideration of the fuel subsidy probe report as the lawmakers suspended the sanctions earlier recommended for some 17 oil marketing firms indicted by the report.

Instead, the House gave the marketers two weeks to submit themselves to the Ad Hoc Committee on Monitoring of the Subsidy Regime in order for them to receive fair hearing.

The lawmakers also cleared Zenon Petroleum & Gas Limited as well as Synopsis Enterprises Limited of complicity among companies that obtained foreign exchange but did not import petroleum products.

The ad hoc committee explained that the latest information available to it indicated that these two firms should not have been grouped alongside the others because they were not beneficiaries of the Petroleum Support Fund.

Among the marketers that got reprieve were Mobil Oil Nigeria, Techno Oil Ltd, AX Energy Limited, Nepal Oil and Gas Service, Oilbath Nigeria, Somerset Energy Services, Stonebridge Oil and Crust Energy Limited.

Others included Mut-Has Petroleum, CAH Resources Association, Fresh Synergy Limited, Ibafon Oil, Lottoj Oil and Gas, Oakfield Synergy Network Limited, Petro Trade Energy Limited, Prudent Energy & Services and Rocky Energy Limited.

The report had asked these marketers to refund a total of N41.936 billion because they allegedly refused to appear before the committee and never submitted the required documents during the investigation.

But the group of 17 marketers have been at daggers drawn with the House since the report was released last week and had threatened to institute a N100 billion legal action to challenge the report.

They had in several paid advertorials alleged that they were not invited by the House Ad Hoc Committee on Monitoring Subsidy Regime and argued that it was unfair for the committee to have recommended sanctions against them after they were excluded from the process.

On the first day of consideration of the subsidy report, the House adopted a total of 35 of the 62 recommendations contained in the report.

The Green Chamber was filled to capacity and the atmosphere charged as lawmakers endorsed the principal recommendations asking the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the PPPRA and some oil marketers to refund about N1.070 trillion within three months for alleged violations of the subsidy scheme.

They also adopted the recommendation directing the Auditor General of the Federation (AGF) to set the process in motion for the auditing of the accounts of the NNPC to determine its solvency.

According to the report, an audit of the NNPC had become imperative given the plethora of claims of indebtedness and demands to pay its creditors which if not well handled could affect not only the supply and distribution of petroleum products but the entire economy.

Meanwhile, PPPRA has described as untrue an allegation that it paid itself N312 billion purportedly contained in the committee’s report on subsidy regime.

In a detailed official statement released yesterday, the agency also debunked claims that N999 million was paid to unknown entities, saying that the money was paid to 15 known marketers.

The agency stated that the N312 billion in question covered subsidy and other payments, including foreign exchange differential and interest on late payment of subsidy, approved by government based on the report of the auditor appointed by the Federal Ministry of Finance.

PPPRA also explained that the N312 billion was paid legally through the e-payment system, adding that it was not administrative charge as alleged.

It acknowledged that it usually advised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to debit the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF) account while crediting the marketers, in line with government’s policy of e-payment, stressing that the records of this payment still reside with the agency and CBN and were available for scrutiny.

The PPPRA also reiterated that the allegations of fraudulent duplication of payments to unknown beneficiaries could not be substantiated as the N999 million was paid to 15 known marketers.

It listed the 15 beneficiaries to include MRS Oil and Gas Ltd, Oando Plc, AP Plc, Brittania-U Nig. Ltd., and AITEO Energy Resources Ltd.

Others were Imad Oil and Gas Ltd., Rahamaniyya Oil & Gas Ltd., Northwest Petroleum and Gas and Conoil Plc.

Also included were Accorn Nigeria Plc, A-Z Petroleum Ltd., Total Plc, Folawiyo Energy Ltd and Integrated Oil & Gas Ltd.

PPPRA noted that there were 128 marketers under the scheme at that time, but added that the 128 cheques paid represented multiple payments legally made to the 15 participants.
Thisday

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fuel Subsidy Monsters Unmasked; Time For Action By Okey Ndibe

Global Reporters Vienna


Okey Ndibe

Last January, Mr. Jonathan had provoked one of the strongest moments of mass resistance in Nigeria’s history when his government callously removed all fuel subsidy. He and his economic team – especially the trio of Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, and Central Bank Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi – made claims that, taken together, were bizarre. Their first and primary claim was that the subsidy payments had risen to levels that the government could not sustain without jeopardizing investments in infrastructure and other critical areas of the economy. But when critics contended that the explosion in subsidy expenditure owed to fraudulent practices, the Jonathan squad argued, in effect, that the government did not have the means to identify, stop and punish the illicit profiteers.


Of course, for “means” some of us would substitute “political will.” The truth is that the big players (bureaucrats, politicians and corporate elements) who hijack Nigeria’s subsidy funds were – and are – well known to Jonathan as well as the Okonjo-Iwealas, the Diezanis and Sanusis. Often, the biggest criminals in Nigeria can be found dipping soiled hands in the same plate as the highest of the country’s political authorities. Nobody is deceived when the Nigerian government professes ignorance about the identity and location of the country’s thieving First Eleven. Look in the mirror!

To read portions of the report released by the eight-member House committee headed by Farouk Lawan is to realize how utterly morally bankrupt Nigeria has become. In a country where more than seventy percent are mired in desperate levels of poverty, the report unveils how a handful of officials at government agencies and robbers robed as businessmen gorged on N2 trillion!

Mr. Lawan’s committee accused the NNPC and PPPRA, government agencies involved in administering or regulating the oil sector, of deliberately choosing not to keep “reliable information data base.” In its executive summary, the committee highlighted “endemic corruption,” “entrenched inefficiency,” “sleaze,” and “incompetence.”

And, yes, the report was clear that the Nigerian people were right to rise against the Jonathan administration’s precipitate removal of fuel subsidy in January. “It is therefore apparent,” wrote the committee, “that the insistent by top Government officials that the subsidy figures was for products consumed was a clear attempt to mislead the Nigerian people.” The choir of misleaders was conducted by Ms. Okonjo-Iweala, with Mr. Sanusi and Ms. Alison-Madueke as accompanying soloists.

Nigerians were scandalized by the Jonathan administration’s figure of N1.3 trillion as subsidy payments for last year. The House committee’s report paints an even direr portrait of the scandal. It disclosed, first, that there were discrepancies in figures submitted by different government agencies. Nigeria’s accountant general gave a figure of N1.6 trillion; the Central Bank calculated N1.7 trillion. By contrast, the Lawan committee found that the payments exceeded N2.5 trillion as at December, 2011. The committee’s figure represents an increase of more than 900 percent over the originally budgeted sum of N245 billion!

Nigeria is one of the few places in the world where there would be a scandal of this scale, and the government still sits pretty, its officials insulting the intelligence of its people by serving them ill-written, cliché-ridden speeches as a substitute for real leadership.

Any sentient Nigerian can tell you that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation is an eloquent synonym for corruption. The Lawan committee has given us added proof. It said the NNPC was not “accountable to anybody or authority.” In 2011, the corporation unilaterally processed payments for N310 billion as arrears of subsidy on kerosene – even though a presidential directive had removed the subsidy in 2009. The committee also accused the corporation of helping itself a hefty N847 billion in subsidy payment, thereby lowering revenue shares accruing to the state and local government tiers.

The Lawan committee put it squarely: the “NNPC feasted on the Federation Account to bloat the subsidy payable.” In other words, the NNPC operates as a sovereign body above the Nigerian people and their president! Which officials of the agency took these decisions? Which political heavyweights provided cover for these criminal acts? Who benefited from the cache of misrouted cash? As some NNPC officials did what they know best – siphoning funds – “some of the marketers were involved in claiming subsidy for products not supplied.” The committee unearthed evidence that hundreds of billions of naira were handed to marketers for fuel that was never supplied. In other words, government officials and the marketers colluded in huge 419 schemes and pocketed our cash in broad daylight!

The picture is one of egregious sleaze at numerous levels. In one typical instance, in 2009, Nigeria’s accountant general authorized the payment of equal installments of N999 million for a record 128 times within twenty-four hours in January, 2009! The payments – made to beneficiaries that the committee could not ascertain – amounted to approximately N128 billion.

A crime like the foregoing is so blatant that one is tempted to advocate mob justice. I mean, consider that pickpockets caught stealing N10 at Oshodi or any other market in Nigeria are routinely garlanded with car tires, doused with fuel and set ablaze. Imagine, then, what Nigerians would do to those thieftains who perpetrate trillion naira heists.

Nigeria has a well-founded reputation as the cemetery of scandals. In the early days of the Umaru Yar’Adua administration, a House committee investigating Nigeria’s electric power woes dug up evidence that former President Olusegun Obasanjo had handed billions of dollars to phony contractors, local and foreign. That report was buried in controversy, and the chairman of its committee, Ndudi Elumelu, was himself accused of participating in corrupt schemes in the power sector.

Make no mistake, if Nigerians fail to insist on accountability on the subsidy probe, the system will ensure that the scandal has another day or two in the sun – and then exit into a state of anonymity. Nigeria is designed to shield big, daring and well-placed criminals from any form of discomfort, much less serious criminal prosecution. And there’s no question that those who pocketed two trillion naira last year in the name of fuel subsidy are some of Nigeria’s most connected, men and women who hold high political office or dine with the highest of them. Far from being blind, Nigerian law (like those who enforce) always has an eye open – and can tell the riff raff from the “chieftain” and “critical stakeholder.” The former can be thrown in jail without the pretense of a trial; the former is, quite simply, above the law.

But the system will remain so rigged only if enlightened Nigerians elect to do nothing. Beginning now, the labor unions and professional associations should threaten to go on a nation-wide strike until the fuel subsidy profiteers are arrested, booked and tried. They should demand the immediate resignation of government officials whose ministries, departments or agencies are implicated by the Lawan committee.

Now that Lawan and co. have unmasked the buccaneers who stole “subsidy funds,” the trio (Okonjo-Iweala, Alison-Madueke and Sanusi) who headlined the government’s case for punishing wretched Nigerians for the sins of the profiteers now have a clear challenge. They must lend their voices to the cause of compelling the fraudsters to pay back. Then they ought to endorse the prosecution of those, officials and business operatives alike, who impoverished the rest through mindless inflation of subsidy claims.

Ms. Alison-Madueke, under whose watch most of the hanky-panky occurred, ought to resign – or be fired. There’s no question that she, as the minister of petroleum, must be held accountable for the regulatory lapses that enabled unconscionable parasites to steal close to two trillion naira from the Nigerian people.

Please follow me on twitter at OkeyNdibe
(okeyndibe@gmail.com)

Kidnappers kill ex-Ohanaeze boss ...After collecting N30m ransom - By IJEOMA ONUORAH, Nnewi

Global Reporters Vienna



Shock and anguish yesterday trailed the confirmation that a former Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Lagos State, Chief John Nzewi was killed by kidnappers who took N30 million ransom payment from his family. Chief Nzewi, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain and current president of Igbos In Commerce, hailed from Nnewi, Anambra State.


The deceased was said to have been kidnapped weeks ago during the re-run Senatorial elections in Anambra South district at Ihiala, Ihiala Council Area.

His companion (names withheld), who was kidnapped along with him, was reportedly freed on payment of ransom, while the family of Chief Nzewi allegedly, could not immediately raise the N50 million demanded.

Daily Sun gathered from a close family source that his family and the abductors allegedly later settled for N30 million. The kidnappers took the ransom only to release the corpse of Nzewi to the family.

The family has been thrown into shock and mourning, as they found it hard to accept the death of the PDP chieftain.

The family source said: “If we knew that they would kill him, we would not have paid the N30 million ransom they demanded from us. Now, what is the use? They collected the money and still killed him. All we have to do now is to prepare for the burial.”

Reacting to the death, the spokesman of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Diaspora, Chief Sonny Louis Okafor said, from investigations made, Nzewi’s captors collected the N30 million and killed him thereafter.

Okafor called on the acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Abubakar Mohammed, to come to the rescue of the people.

According to him: “We condole with the Nzewi family on this unfortunate incident. The Nigeria police should track down those who killed Nzewi. Let it not be like such incidents, which after investigation will be swept under the carpet.”
The Sun News

BREAKING NEWS:Single Mom from Vienna is Really making $13,900/Month? Learn How - By Erica Jones



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Monday, April 23, 2012

David-West And The Truth Of Subsidy Probe By Odimegwu Onwumere


Global Reporters Vienna

“Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains taken to bring it to light” – George Washington
Prof. Tam David- West

Professor Tam David-West represents truth, not the one many interpret from the religious angles for self-delight. His is the accurate denomination, where the body of knowledge is taught without preconceived notion. His philosophy and principles are aplomb and are the correct impressions that are not the formation of logic. His intuition to see beyond today stands him out.

David-West is a person known through intimate personal relationship and covenant with truth. This has become his life, his convention. He is in a marriage of souls with truth. But the Nigerian state is far to grasp with these instruments, because it has fall far dumpy of being able to think through the lens of reality. The report of the ad hoc committee on the fuel subsidy probe Wednesday 18th April 2012 has further vindicated David-West.

Before the aroma of the subsidy probe started perforating into the Nigerian scene with odorous scent, he had on December 10, 2011, said that Nigeria was in the most perilous time and if Jonathan stays till 2015, there could be turbulence in Nigeria that would threaten the unity of the country. He had a premonition that Nigeria was moving towards a very dangerous point and this was one nation that lives in self-denial. The Nigerian state was collapsing.

His fear was that our security agencies are overwhelmed because we have a Boko-Haram group that has been operating freely for the past two years and yet we have no clue. The economy is also collapsing, yet our leaders are deceiving us. He told Nigerians that a friend in the Central Bank confided in him that they don’t really have the indices on the state of the nation’s economy but have to produce figures that the economy is growing at certain percentages. And David-West cried out; “Our leaders are deceiving us. Things are not going well with us.”

He was of the belief that there’s no guarantee that the Igbo‘ll be president in 2015. The issue of zoning is not dead, but on suspended vibrancy and will rise again in a fiercer form than today. And the only people that‘ll probably not lay claim are the Ijaw people. According to him, the April 2011 election was not free and fair, because a lot went underneath. He went further to inform that what the international observers saw that gave the inkling of success were orderly stand in lines, which does not translate to free, fair and transparent election. And their presence doesn’t ensure credibility of the process, although it checked some tempers. “What they did was sample. They themselves confessed that Nigeria is so big, they can’t be everywhere. Can they go to the creeks? Let’s not deceive ourselves,” he inveigled.

The above narration was to bring the issue of the subsidy clear, the way it’s in the eyes of David-West. Juxtaposing to that expression, he affirmed that this is the way the government talked about the removal of fuel subsidy, which he saw as sanctified falsehood and urged Nigerians to protest the planned fuel subsidy removal.

Hear him: “If they do it, we must all go to the street. People should not stay at home. Oil subsidy is a sanctified falsehood, absolute lies. I challenge Goodluck Jonathan, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Alison Maduekwe to prove me wrong. How can Jonathan stand on the way of the people? He is saying there is no going back on oil subsidy. I say NO, he will go back. It is a lie to say Nigerians are paying the least oil price in the world. Going by their analysis, Nigerian workers should be earning about N184, 000 to be at par with their mates in USA. They have killed refineries through sabotage. You are asking the masses to pay for your inaction and asking them to tighten their belts because their waste is loose while you grow belly and cheeks in Abuja. How can Okonjo-Iweala be talking about economy now when she is being paid in dollars? This is hypocritical”.

Was he not right? Against this backdrop, David-West said that it’s not enough to expose companies benefiting from petroleum subsidy, they should be made to refund 70 percent of the funds received over the years to government. This was following the Senate revelation of the names of the companies involved in the importation of fuel. David-West said that the government had contravened Section 16 (2) (C) of the 1999 Constitution, which forbids concentration of wealth in the hands of a few individuals.

Hear him again: “In 1996, I revealed that the refineries have been sabotaged by a clique. I have been vindicated by the Senate. The breakdown of our refineries is an act of sabotage to create artificial scarcity and milk the economy under the guise of subsidy”. Was he not right? Meanwhile, a House of Assembly member in a state in the north urged the Federal Government to carry out a referendum on the wished-for extraction of fuel subsidy as a means of obtaining the true flavour of the opinion of the people on the issue. But David-West maintained that fuel subsidy does not exist in the true sense of it. He insisted that some persons with vested interest had destroyed the refineries so that they can import refined petroleum products into Nigeria even at the disadvantage of the economy. He satirized the government for encouraging the fraudulent concentration of wealth in the hands of a few of their cronies…

When it was but a rumour that President Goodluck Jonathan would use executive fiat to hike the price of petroleum products in 2012, David-West said Jonathan lacked such power and the decision would be challenged in court. Was David-West not right when he said that there was nothing like fuel subsidy? And that you do not remove what does not exist. He had then challenged President Jonathan, his Finance Minister and economic team to a debate, but the duos did not give in to the entreaty.

As once a Petroleum Minister, David-West’s fury was that if the sabotaged refineries were working at their established facility the county would not be importing fuel and the present administration would have no good reason for wanting to fiddle with the price of the product which is the bastion of the Nigerian economy. He saw President Jonathan’s move for the removal of the subsidy as a means to want to impose World Bank and International Monetary Fund economic recommendation on Nigerians. David-West was right when he said that the President should take a cue from the decision of the House of Representatives which had rejected the proposed removal of petroleum subsidy and realise that Nigerians were vehemently opposed to any sorts of price hike. He however expressed that the over N3 trillion purportedly spent on subsidy would have been enough to build many more refineries in the country.

David-West was after all right when he said: “Let me introduce you to the basics. Let us say a particular commodity like gari is sold for N10 per bag hypothetically and the farmers are producing to make us self-sufficient at N10. But at a time, they can’t produce enough because of either bad harvest or natural causes, the government now says since garri is a staple food, the government goes to another country where gari is produced and buys it at N20 per bag and brings it to Nigeria to sell at N10 per bag. The government now writes off the extra N10 –– that is subsidy. The extra N10 the government pays on behalf of the people for them to still buy at N10 is the subsidy paid on that commodity?”

In his assertion, no government should exist if it can’t serve the people because government is a trust. “But these fraudulent people will take our oil, refine it and bring it back and sell it at foreign exchange,” this pains him as fraud in the highest place. “Why is it that during Buhari era, with three refineries we were self sufficient but at their time, with four refineries we are now importing fuel?” He said that he personally signed the contract of the fourth refinery which Nigerians call new Port Harcourt Refinery in 1984. It was one of the best in Africa, with a capacity of 160,000 barrels per day. The first refinery, in Port Harcourt, was built in 1965; Warri refinery in 1978, and Kaduna refinery in 1980. According to him, a newly constructed refinery can’t have major problem for about 30 years; the problem they will not tell you is that after Buhari, every Minister and Head of State became an oil sheikh, except General Abdulsalami Abubakar. He affirmed this, saying that some ministers have petrol stations and oil blocs. Reiterating, he pummeled those who serve the country and at the same time gluttonously serve theirselves, because it is morally and spiritually wrong to serve two masters at a time.

“One must serve his country and the dividends of doing this are satisfaction,” he drilled. “Total capacity of our four refineries is 445,000 barrels per day. If the refineries are working even at 80 per cent, we will have more than enough products. They did not do that but sabotaged our refineries”. David-West has been hullaballooing since 1995 and has incessantly written that politicians are killing Nigeria and the poor men. And in 2009, the House of Representatives corroborated him by saying that refineries are sabotaged. One time a head of state, reacting to the state of the refineries, said he didn’t want to open a box of scandal. Why did they do this to the common man? Who are the importers? Big people! A senator said this year (2011) that Nigeria spends N860 million on fuel importation and they projected that by the end of the year, over N1 trillion will be spent on importation of fuel when Nigeria’s budget is N4.3 trillion. “Insanity!” David-West called this.

Dan Etete said they needed $250 million to repair the refineries but the same minister said Nigeria was importing fuel at $900 million. David-West would ask, “Is that not insanity?” He would also say, “If you need this huge amount of money to repair refineries, why don’t you build new refineries? The money you are using to import, use it to build refineries.” When Nigerians are worried that why did Obasanjo not repair the four refineries, David-West reiterated, “Olusegun Obasanjo is a great liar. They will not do so in order to continue to import fuel for selfish reasons.”

There comes within this period when the government was saying that Nigeria has the lowest prices of refined products among oil producing countries, and David-West said that Nigerians should forget Jonathan. Was he not right when he said that President Jonathan doesn’t understand what he is saying and that he is only parroting what they told him?

“He talks like a parrot. Can he remove what doesn’t exist? Can’t Nigeria build her own refineries to serve Nigerians and remove the untold hardship politicians want to impose on Nigerians? Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said the subsidy goes to the wrong hands. His uneasiness for battling the government was the fact that everything would increase. And the new minimum wage of N18,000 would become N2,000,” David-West said, and berated a statement that was credited to Obasanjo that because it’s built in phases, it would take about five years to build a refinery, saying that it’s a lie.

“I told you Obasanjo is a liar. It took just two years to build the fourth refinery. I signed its contract. It is between two and three years. The problem is that there is intellectual laziness and physical indolence. In developed countries, the president will not just talk without being well quizzed. But in Nigeria, at a media chat once, Obasanjo shouted on journalists or talked to them as a teacher. They kept quiet. It doesn’t take five years to build a refinery,” David-West cried.

Okonjo-Iweala talks about cushioning the effect of the removal of oil subsidy, and David-West says it is Rubbish! She is sermonising to seduce people to accept the callous oil subsidy removal. Things she promised are palliative, and nobody should agree. Labour and Nigerians should make it impossible because you don’t take away what doesn’t exist. Nigerians don’t need oil subsidy to build roads, provide water and electricity; vote for capital projects has taken care of that. Degrees don’t guarantee good governance.

“David-West – Roads to get N600b from subsidy savings” makes the news of December 27, 2011. “Senate wants more facts on fuel imports.” But David-West insisted that any probe of the corruption in the oil sector, which excludes past military and civilian leaders as well as oil ministers in their administration from 1985 till date, is unconvincing, to determine what goes wrong with the refineries. This is when there is an ongoing Senate probe of the fuel subsidy policy of the Federal Government. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Magnus Abe, disclosed that the research of the contentious fuel subsidy has not been concluded.

David-West, on the other hand, insisted that the Senate has not been rewarded the comprehensive list of all those involved in the petroleum products’ importation, which the government claimed it’s subsiding, even when Abe, appealed to Nigerians to avail the committee with valuable information on the implementation of the policy. Abe said that the panel was working with the data provided it by the regulators of the industry.

“While the subsidy is yet to be removed, the Federal Government seems to have allocated the funds to sectors that would benefit from the abolition of the scheme,” observers said, following the intimation on the government’s plan of 26th December, 2011, from the Works Minister, Mr. Mike Onolememen, who said that N600 billion of the expected subsidy funds had been allocated to the road sector. Onolememen also explained that the government stopped the use of kerosene in road repairs and construction, but the multinational firms handling the highways projects (and not poor Nigerians) were the major beneficiaries of the subsidy on the product. The call for all the former presidents and oil ministers to be probed was intensified, because of a report accusing them of owning petrol filling stations across the country.

“The list they (Senate panel) have published is a great step, but not the whole. Let them investigate every past president and oil minister after Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. Some of the oil ministers have petroleum stations. The list is not finished. It is a long way, yes, but it is not exhausted,” David-West directed. He nonetheless noted that the Senate investigation was a justification that some interest groups that now import fuel to the detriment of most Nigerians deliberately interfered with the refineries and recommended the government to stop deceiving the led that it was subsiding products consumed by them, adding together that the government was endeavouring to cut back corruption in the petroleum sector, which has led to deceptive getting hold of wealth by a few individuals in the country.

But Abe told newsmen that the disclosure of the names of some companies as major beneficiaries of the petroleum subsidy was not a foreclosure of the matter because the committee had not submitted its report to the Senate. This was reacting to David-West’s comments; Abe whispered that the list released by the committee was made available to it by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).

“The Senate does not authorise subsidy. We confronted the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency and they gave us the list we are working on. If anybody has another list let him make it available to us. The committee is yet to submit its recommendations,” Abe confessed, and later said that he would not join issues with the Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, who was saying that there was nothing the National Assembly could do about the fuel subsidy issue, because he (Fayami) might have spoken from his understanding of the 1999 Constitution.

Onolememen told journalists in Uromi, Edo State after he was honoured by the Edo Central Senatorial District of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that he had ordered road construction firms to henceforth use bitumen emulsion for surface dressing because kerosene was for domestic use, he had discovered that one of the products the government was subsidizing, which was kerosene, was never available to the poor and he had found that in his sector that most road contractors, multi-national companies were the greatest beneficiaries of the subsidy on kerosene. He also said that he found out that for every one kilometre of road that our multinational contractors build, they use 26 tonnes of kerosene running into several millions of litres.

“It is only recently, as recent as last month that I ordered an investigation and consequent on that, I said specification for surface dressing, MC 1, which our contractors use kerosene on, should be changed so that they should henceforth, use bitumen emulsion and in that way, we are going to free tonnes and tonnes of kerosene…. Just imagine 1,000 kilometres of road consuming about 26,000 tonnes of kerosene, if you convert that to litres, you are talking of about 26 million litres and this is the product the government is subsidising. So, we are subsidising the multinational companies, which are the beneficiaries of this product hence the product is never available to the people who need it,” the minister said in 2011; the government added 1,000 kilometres to the national road network in terms of rehabilitation and reconstruction in the six geo-political zones.

Was David-West not right in his battles? Onolememen revealed that the government had already set aside its share of about N600 billion from the subsidy when it becomes operational to complete major dual carriageways in the country, which include the Benin-Ore-Shagamu Road, the Abuja-Lokoja Road, the dual carriageway from Onitsha to Enugu and up to Port Harcourt, and also use the subsidy to kick off and construct the second Niger Bridge and the Oweto Bridge.

A member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dakuku Peterside, now asked the government to protect oil-bearing communities in Rivers State from extinction in a statement he made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt, the state capital, whereas Onolememen was busy saying that the government plans to extend the dualism of the Abuja-Lokoja Road to Benin City in Edo State at the cost of N100 billion? And if this was completed; the government would have succeeded in linking all the geo-political zones in the country?

David-West outbursts have never been ineffective as the probing of the subsidy has revealed to be highly scandalous and globally embarrassing moment on the Jonathan presidency. Today, other Nigerians are beginning to believe in David-West entirely, when he said that the fuel subsidy was fraud and does not exist. This is laughable.

While many Nigerians are commending the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee, Alhaji Farouk Lawan for job well-done, David-West should be commended the most for his foresightedness. Nigerians need people like him in the youth to lead tomorrow. Nigerians are wishing that David-West was among the investigators of the subsidy that every turned stones must be turned and all the unturned stones must be turned. The Nigerian populaces are losing confidence in Nigeria, but are reposing their confidence on David-West, because he is truthful.

Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Author, Media/Writing Consultant and Motivator, is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV); and Founder, Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), Rivers State. Mobile: +2348032552855. Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com