Guns boomed. Smoke filled the air. People were running and screaming. Vehicles were vandalised. That was the scene yesterday as militants disrupted a Save Rivers Movement (SRM) rally in Bori, the traditional headquarters of Ogoni and the seat of Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State. Secretary to the Rivers State Government (SSG) George Feyii, an Ogoni; Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Chief Tony Okocha and many allies of Governor Rotimi Amaechi were caught up in the violence. Their vehicles were riddled with bullets. The governor, alarmed at the scale of the violence, described President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration as worse than the late dictator Gen. Sani Abacha’s regime.
The leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is set to begin a consultative visit to notable Igbo leaders in the five states in the Southeast, to boost its membership drive ahead of next year’s elections. Speaking at the weekend in Owerri, the Imo State capital, the National Vice Chairman of the party in the Southeast, Mr. Anyim Nyerere and the National Organising Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso, said a list of Igbo leaders in the five states to be visited has been compiled. Izunaso said the motive is to take the massage of change, which the APC represents, to the Igbo leaders and to draft them into the effort to salvage the political future of Southeast and the country.
Former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, yesterday, called for the arrest and prosecution of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, alleging that he started active corruption in Nigeria’s political circle. Speaking at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Dr. Kalu pointed out that he wonders why former President Obasanjo was still walking the streets free, stressing that after the reply of his letter by President Goodluck Jonathan, he (Obasanjo) should have been arrested and prosecuted. According to him, the $16billion power sector fraud was done by ex-President Obasanjo, affirming that he could not even show good leadership as President during his tenure, adding that he used his position to fight political enemies. He said: “Well, let me tell you, Obasanjo is part of the problems of this country. The earlier he goes back to his farm the better. He caused all the problems that we
Most of you know me and usually listen to me talk about a new Africa, a rising Africa and a hopeful Africa, that’s usually the kind of topic
Indications emerged on Friday that President’s choice of General Kenneth Minimah, as the new Chief of Army Staff may have been informed by the need to intensify the campaign against the insurgency in the north-eastern part of the country.Investigations by SUNDAY PUNCH showed that Minimah belonged to fighting corp of the army as an infantry…
A former Minister of Education and Vice-President of the World Bank, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, has said the greatest failure of the regimes in the current democratic dispensation, including that of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, has been military approach to developmental issues.Obasanjo, Nigeria’s former Head of State, handed over to Alhaji Shehu Shagari in 1979.The retired General later became Nigeria’s civilian President, ruled for eight years and handed over to President Umaru Yar’Adua, who died while in office.Ezekwesili also described youths in the country as “a threatened generation,” saying it had become necessary for them to get involved in the governance of the society.Ezekwesili was one of the speakers at a youth forum tagged, ‘100,000 voices telethon,’ organised by Generational Voices, an event monitored on Channels Television by our correspondents on Saturday.Speaking on ‘How and why citizens must engage,’ she urged youths to understand the tenets of democracy, as they were born into a nation that languished under militarisation for many decades.Ezekwesili said, “Everything about the country you’ve been born into is militarised. This was the greatest failure of the government that I was part of. We failed to realise that and to do a natural mobilisation that would win our society from the militarisation.“The society continues to assume that the military approach is the approach for solving development needs. It is not. It is fallacy to think that way. And you are the generation that would start from the basics of understanding democracy and understanding that the most important office in a democracy is not the legislature or the executive or the judiciary.“The most important office in a democracy is the office of the citizen; the citizen that is informed; the citizen that understands issues and defines expectations, not for others but for himself and herself. That is how to engage effectively.”She noted that it was difficult to move dreams to execution, and then to counting the results.Ezekwesili said, “You are a generation that is battling with the biggest fundamental problems of disconnect in economic systems. You’re a generation that has come at a time when capitalism gave the world an economic system that has produced the most prosperity for the world.“Yet, you’re a generation that has come into your cognisance at a time when the limits of capitalism are very clear. And those limits have manifested in inequalities that we see around the world. Those inequalities have shot up the disconnection between economic growth and improvement in the quality of lives of the average citizen.”She said youths of the present generation were disadvantaged ‘average citizens.’Ezekwesili further said that for youths to establish their centrality of purpose, they must define it from their outside because each youth was insignificant in the community that had the problem they wanted to solve.
The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, yesterday slammed political leaders from Anambra State, accusing them of cash and carry politics which had sabotaged the efforts of Ndigbo in achieving the age long ambition of producing the President of the nation.Okorocha stated this at the inauguration of the Southeast interim executive committee of the All Progressive Congress (APC) at the Ahiajioku centre in Owerri, Imo state capital. He lamented that some politicians from Anambra State were prepared to collect money and contract to sabotage the efforts of the zone, adding that such mentality must be discarded, if Ndigbo is determined to achieve its political aspiration.His words, “Anambra is the major problem of Ndigbo. Every election, the leaders from Anambra State will go behind the zone and collect money and contract from the Federal Government and sell out Ndigbo for their selfish ends. But we must resist them now”.He further pointed out that it was lack of cooperation between Chief Jim Nwobodo and Dr Alex Ekwueme that denied Ndigbo the golden opportunity of producing the president of the country in 1999.The governor assured that APC would champion the needed change and put an end to cash and carry politics. According to him, Ndigbo must produce either the president or the Vice President in 2015 on the platform of APC. His position was predicated on the calculation that neither the Southwest nor South-south will produce President or Vice President in the next election. He, therefore, urged Ndigbo to work together for the unity of the Igbo race to avoid the experience of the past. “In APC, Ndigbo must produce either the Vice President or the President or the other way round in 2015. But we must be united to achieve this. We must work together as a crop of new leaders to move Ndigbo forward unlike what happened in the past when Igbo leaders were not united”.
The immediate Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika (retd.) on Sunday carpeted members of the Northern Elders Forum for vowing to drag him and six others to the International Criminal Court of Justice in the Hague over their alleged role in last year’s violence in Bama, and Giwa Barracks all in Borno State while…
President of Christian Welfare Initiative (CWI), who doubles as the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), South-west Zone, Archbishop Magnus Atilade, had recently urged Christians to join in the 31-day fasting and prayers programme for the persecuted Church in Nigeria which started on January 14, noting that denominations/ministries which had begun fasting and prayers programme in this season should add the prayers for the persecuted Church to their prayer schedules in addition to praying against any Islamic agenda.Atilade maintained that Christians should use the period to draw attention of the entire country, as well as other nations of the world, to the growing security threats to Christians in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.“We affirm that Nigeria is a secular society in which all the citizens have free right to live, work, and express their faith according to their individual convictions. If the secularity of Nigeria has in any way been reviewed or modified, we are not aware,” he stated, adding that the Nigerian Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, freedom of movement, and the right to worship God according to individual conviction,” Atilade stated.“We are however disturbed, and very alarmed, at the rate and consistency with which Christians are being slaughtered in northern Nigeria, in a manner similar to the genocide in Rwanda. The brutality, cruelty and inhuman manner in which Nigerian Christians are being systematically and consistently slaughtered by individuals claiming to be adherents of the Islamic faith has reached an alarming proportion that we are compelled to speak out. THIS IS INHUMAN!“In the northern parts of the country, these individuals and groups of individuals have been operating for years with impunity and without regard for law and order, or respect for the right of other Nigerians to live and express their faith in God according to their choice.”According to Atilade, the Fulani herdsmen are fast becoming notorious as a harbinger of destruction wherever they lead their cattle to, in the Middle Belt, South-west and in the South-east. He also outlined several instances since March 2010 when the militant Islamic sect, Boko Haram, had caused mayhem all over the North killing Christians and destroying properties.“It is quite amazing that these Fulani herdsmen are yet to be convicted of mass murder. It is equally disheartening that even moderate Muslims that do not seem to support these agents of death and destruction are also targeted and killed by members of the Boko Haram terrorist group. It is very unfortunate that innocent students are also massacred by these terrorists,” the CAN leader stated.“While attacks have been reported against moderate Muslims that do not support these insurgents, it is clear to the whole world that the main target of these terrorist attacks by both Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsmen are Christians in Nigeria.“While some mischievous
Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State on Saturday said three presidents had at different occasions attempted to lure him to join the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, but that he declined their overtures.He, however, mentioned only two of them – Olusegun Obasanjo and the late Umaru Yar’Adua.President Goodluck Jonathan is the third president under the…