5 Comments on “Opinion”

  1. Temisan
    January 12, 2012 at 7:09 am #

    Against the backdrop of the recent debate on the removal of fuel subsidies , and the calculated misinformation being peddled by opponents of this policy, it is pertinent to highlight, in more tangible terms, some of the significant allocations that have been made to essential sectors of the economy, both in the 2012 budget as well as the recently-launched Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P). This programme is a 3—4 year programme designed to mitigate the immediate impact of the removal of fuel subsidy and accelerate economic growth through investments in critically-needed infrastructure.

    It is noteworthy that, while the 2012 budget allocated the best possible amounts to these critical projects, additional resources are allocated to the same projects in the SURE programme to ensure that they are completed at faster rates than envisioned in the 2012 budget. Some of the projects and allocations are as follow:

    • N11bn is allocated to the Abuja-Lokoja road in the 2012 Budget, with an additional N14bn from the SURE-P.
    • N6bn is allocated to Benin-Ore-Shagamu, with an additional N16.5bn to be financed through SURE-P.
    • N3bn is allocated to Port-Harcourt–Onitsha road, with an additional N5bn from the SURE-P.
    • Similarly, N18.5bn is allocated to Kano-Maiduguri road, with an additional N1.5bn from SURE-P.
    • Provision is made in the 2012 budget for construction of the Second Niger Bridge (N2bn) and Oweto Bridge (N3.5bn). An additional N5.5bn and N4bn would be spent on both bridges respectively from the SURE-P.
    • Provision of N23.5bn is made for maintenance of roads and bridges across the country through Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA).

    • The total amount allocated to the power sector (including Bulk Trader, Nelmco, and Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO) and PHCN privatization) is N248bn.
    • A sum of N392 million allocated to Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company and N650 million for Bulk Trader.
    • In the 2012 Budget Proposal, a sum of N3.7bn is allocated to the Kaduna Dual Fired Power Plant.
    • Similarly, N2bn is allocated for the completion of the small and medium hydro-electric power plants Oyan Dam Hydro Power (Ogun state).
    • A sum of N2.2bn is allocated for feasibility studies regarding the establishment of coal fired power plants.
    • Additionally, N155bn will be spent on Power projects (Mambilla power plant, Coal Power Plant and Small Hydro power plants) through the SURE-P over the period 2012-2015.

    • The total allocation to the sector is N78.98bn
    • N4bn is allocated to research and mechanisation
    • Provision of N1.22bn is made for the construction of access roads to each of the 6 Staple Crop Processing Zones.
    • Value Chain: N720 million is allocated to the development of value chains in cocoa, rice, maize, livestock, cotton and others sectors.
    • N1bn is allocated to the Price stabilisation scheme.
    • N610 million to facilitate for the access to credit, fertilizers and seeds.
    • An additional sum of US$500m is expected from Development Finance Institute to support the sector.

    • Rail lines: The 2012 budget allocates N3.95bn, N3.15bn and N3.35bn to the construction and completion of Abuja-Kaduna, Lagos-Ibadan and Ajaokuta-Warri rail lines respectively. In addition, the SURE-P allocates N11.6bn to the Abuja-Kaduna line and N9.3bn to the Lagos-Ibadan line.
    • Provision of N800mn is made for the procurement of wagons, coaches and locomotives.
    • Dredging project: N1.2bn is allocated to the dredging of Lower River Niger (Warri-Baro).

    • The total allocation to the sector is N400bn
    • N11.6bn is allocated for existing universities.
    • N7.7bn is allocated for the restructuring to Unity Schools.
    • National Teachers Institute: The 2012 budget allocates N3.5bn to the retraining of teachers for basic education and training in innovative teaching.
    • Moreover, an additional N24.6bn will be spent on vocational training centres from the SURE-P.

    • N4.6bn is allocated to the Polio eradication programme
    • N3.5bn is allocated to the procurement of HIV/AIDS Drugs
    • The sum of N174 million is allocated to Integrated maternal, newborn and child health strategy, including capacity building, and promoting school health initiatives.
    • N8.42bn is allocated to Federal University Teaching Hospitals.
    • N6bn and N3.6bn are allocated to the procurement of vaccines and midwifery service scheme respectively.
    • An additional N73.8bn will be spent on Maternal and Child heath from SURE-P.

    • Various Airports: N22.2bn is allocated for the modernization of airport terminals and upgrading of facilities in the six geopolitical zones of the country.

    • N3.1bn is allocated to the construction of a 20,000m3/hr lower Usuma dam Water Treatment Plants.
    • N2.5bn is allocated to the construction of Cultural and Millennium Tower.
    • N1.25bn is allocated to the Development of Idu Industrial Area (1b Engineering Infrastructure).
    • Various road projects including the completion of roads B6, B12 and circle road (N4bn), rehabilitation and expansion of airport Expressway (N7.53bn).

    • East-West Road (Section I—V): The 2012 budget allocated N22.2bn to this road. In order to accelerate its completion, an additional N21.7bn is allocated in 2012 from the SURE programme.

    • N1.2bn is allocated to the construction of Central Ogbia Regional Water Project.
    • A total of N4bn are allocated to the construction of dams.
    • Other provision for water facilities (i.e. regional water supply scheme) of N8bn.
    • Rehabilitation of river Basin authorities (12 nos) of N13.91bn.
    • Moreover, over the period 2012-2015 an additional N205.5bn will be invested in rural water scheme, water supply scheme, irrigation scheme and other water related projects from SURE-P.

    These projects will not only significantly improve the country’s infrastructure, but will also create millions of jobs for Nigerians. This struggle is not between the government and Nigerians, because government is squarely on the side of the people. The fight is between the government and Nigerians on one side, and persons who are bent on continuing their age-long “milking” of the system for their personal benefits on the other side.

    Please let us support government’s efforts at defeating these persons, and creating a better country for all Nigerians.

  2. Comrade Chris Obiemenyego
    January 15, 2012 at 7:55 am #

    Ibori! Betrayed and abandoned
    “Fear not your enemies, for they can only kill you. Fear your friends, for they can betray and kill you”. If ever you have been betrayed by a close friend especially by someone you trusted and with whom you shared happy times, you will understand what runs in the mind of a man that feels put down or abandoned by his friends. It’s natural to be betrayed by someone who doesn’t like you, but to be betrayed by a person you thought was a loyal friend is very hard to handle. The pain and grief is even magnified when a friend or close family member turns against you and proves to be untrustworthy or unfaithful. Negative friends are not always that easy to spot because most friends only turn into betrayers because of your life changing circumstances. Indeed, there is no crystal ball to predict that a particular friend or sibling will turn out to be unreliable. The man in this picture is James Onanefe Ibori, for emphasis, ’original’ James Ibori and not the one involved in the infamous Abuja High court trial of roofing sheets theft. This James Ibori has been incarcerated in a British gulag for many months on charges related to money laundering.
    Recently, a close ally of James Ibori who visited him in prison in London confided in ZN by stating that the former governor is not only broken hearted but mentally slaughtered for being so naive and trustworthy to his friends. According to his acquaintance, you could feel the pains inside him because everything has changed for the worst. Ibori is beginning to believe that he was emotionally duped by friends and benefactors.
    About three years, he was so powerful being a very close associate of Nigeria’s late President Yar’adua and mentor of many politicians in Delta State including the present Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan. As a former Governor of Delta State for eight years, Ibori amassed tremendous wealth and stole the State treasury dry. Ibori did not only steal our money, he stole the mandate of the Delta State people with impunity, shared political positions to his friends, made his cousin, State Governor and his friends top political office holders. Many people claim he won President Yar’adua’s heart by using his loot to finance the Presidential elections that ushered in Yar’adua and Goodluck Jonathan as President and Vice President respectively. Ibori was generous with almost everything, his wealth, manhood, emotions etc. He was worshiped by many because he was good at dividing his loot. Suddenly, his army of twisty friends became uncountable because he was bighearted to a fault. Even a gross section of the corrupt media that have abandoned him today celebrated him while in power not because he was doing a good job as Governor of Delta state but the pressmen were beneficiaries of his stolen wealth. Everything seemed okay until the death of President Yar’adua and the imposition of Emmanuel Uduaghan as Governor. As they say; the rest is now history.
    Ibori was not an enemy of ZN but his friends made him believe that ZN was carrying out a mercenary motive that was sponsored by his political opponents. ZN in its many publications called Ibori a thief, yet, Ibori never tempered with ZN’s liberty of speech but his cronies like Peter Nwaoboshi, the distressed Delta State PDP Chairman, wanted ZN publisher dead. With the use of the State’s instrument of brutality, Nwaoboshi connived with the State police and a rotten egg in the Delta State Judiciary, a then Magistrate at Ibusa court, Magistrate Dike to get ZN detained at Ogwashi-Ukwu prisons for months without end. Today, Ibori is languishing in a British Jail with little hope of early release; his many friends including infamous Nwaboshi who became an overnight billionaire at the instance of Ibori political compromise have disappeared into thin air.
    Ibori was a magnanimous man and he remains Ali Baba of our times but his betrayal by friends and associates will stay with him for a long time. In prison, Ibori must be thinking to himself and asking why he was so blind about friendship. He may even question his many bad judgements including bad governance, his support to Peter Nwaoboshi as State PDP Chairman, his quarrel with Chief E.K Clark over the imposition of his cousin, Emmanuel Uduaghan as State governor. Also, he may even question his life and all the people in it. The betrayal by his friends will haunt him in his dreams and mind.
    Sometimes you need to consider what your friend is really like within the contexts of all the behaviours. Some of Ibori’s then friends like Nwaoboshi, the on the run accused murderer not only abandoned him but may have moved ahead to provide information that would worsen his case. The story of Ibori are life lessons because all his friends have suddenly gone mute over his incarceration, even the State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan was recently petitioned by an Ibori support group for allegedly instructing the Delta State police command to refuse them permission to hold a public gathering in Warri. The likes of Amori, Emma Ogidi, Ifeanyi Okowa, Nkem Okwuofu, Adaora Giwa Amu, Ovie Omo Agege, Funkekeme Solomon, Festus Agas, Enakugharugha, Chief Akpobi, Festus Okobor, Love Ojakovo. Dr Alex Ideh, Victor Ochei, Uche Okpuno, Willy Oki, Nat Okechukwu, Uzoma Idabor, Tony Nwaka, Grace Ekpewhrwre, Pius Ewerido, Champion Kpategie, Terry Naoh, Chief Bozimo, David Edevie, Elue Benjamin, Pius Senebe, Solomon Ogba, Magnus Onyeibe, Macualy Ovuozere, James manager. Patrick Osakwe, Prof BIC Ijeoma, Evo Gardner and other uncountable number of politicians and traditional rulers who fed fat on Ibori have not spoken a word. ZN believes that this is more of cowardice and betrayal because even in less civilized societies, men of good conscience and strong character sustain their support to friends in difficult times. Indeed, all over the world even people that commit heinous crimes draw large sympathetic support from the public whether or not they feel that justice is being upturned on its head.
    On Ibori, ZN forewarned him over his excesses and impunity but he refused to be forearmed. Despite many insinuations that ZN has personal grudges against Ibori and Uduaghan, we make bold to state that these are mere figments of people’s imagination. ZN will always be ruled by the aspirations of the people of Delta state in their quest for good governance. As a demonstration of our focused principle on truth and objectivity, we use this narrative on James Ibori and twisty friendship to join the few voices like Faith Majemite and company, Ibori’s associates that recently broke the ice on Ibori’s situation by discovering courage and boldness in calling for Ibori’s deportation to Nigeria for trial.
    For avoidance of doubt, ZN is not and does not intend to hold any brief for Ibori but we query the conscience of his many friends he enriched or empowered with our stolen wealth. ZN’s position is that the accounting books of Delta State must be thoroughly examined by officials of the EFFC that would not compromise to bribery. It is only when the extent of stolen fund from Delta State treasury is ascertained that the British trial will make sense because in the present situation, it makes no sense putting a man on trial in a foreign court whereas the evidence on source of theft is lacking. The era of British colonization is over and the colonization of the Nigerian Judiciary is unacceptable. Ibori stole our commonwealth not the British, as such he should serve his jail term in Nigeria. It is only when a prima facie case of theft has been duly established against Ibori that Deltans can demand for the return of their stolen wealth in Britain in a very transparent manner for the development of specific projects under the purview of the Federal Government. Perhaps, if Ibori serves in Warri or Ogwashi ukwu prisons, he would use part of his loot to rehabilitate the prisons for his comfort and that of other prisoners. The present administration of Uduaghan must draw lessons from Ibori’s saga rather than complain over ZN’s objective criticisms that would have helped him improve his government. ZN has forewarned Governor Uduaghan in his lack of transparency in running the affairs of the state, perhaps when the chips are down, it may just be one or two persons that will stand by him as they have all done to Ibori. Presently, James Ibori will remain a big and practical lesson for the nature of modern day friendship in Nigeria. Indeed, whenever, the history of James Ibori is written, what will be most prominent will be the chapters of deceit & deception & trust on friendship. It is very certain that Ibori through the years will cry his tears and it is natural that without help from his friends he will face fears of loneliness in prison but the simple lesson is that through his tears and likely years in prison he would know the meaning of true friendship. Real men stand by their man whether in good or bad times. ZN will continue to stand by the truth no matter whose ox is gored.

    Comrade Chris Obiemenyego, Editor in Chief
    ZION Nationale newspapers, Abuja
    El phone number 08030853266
    The article was originally published in ZN newspapers

  3. Emeka Oraetoka
    March 1, 2012 at 6:51 am #


    As of noon, the President Elect officially becomes the President regardless of whether he or she is officially sworn in or not. This information comes from the 20th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States as follows: “The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.”- Buttressing Supreme Court position that tenure is as fixed as Rock of Gilbraltar.

    Since the January 27, 2012 ruling of the Supreme Court terminating the tenure of five state governors many have applauded it, saying that it has vindicated their position, that the continued stay in office of these governors offended the spirit of the Constitution as it did not grant them tenure elongation. Every right thinking Nigerian knows that the Constitution of Nigeria granted four year tenure for the, President, Governors, National Assembly as well as the State Assembly Members; however, the President and State Governors could go for second term of Four years in office.

    Yes, the Apex Court ruling on tenure elongation was right; but only in the context that it has reviewed its judgment on Peter Obi’s tenure in Anambra State; otherwise the vexed issue of tenure elongation has not been settled. Before now, the reason the position of the High Court and the Appeal on the tenure of the five governors was right was purely in deference to subsisting Apex Court judgment on Obi’s tenure. Now, has it not become clear to those who felt that the Apex Court was right in Obi’s case that the Court was actually in error with the latest judicial review? It should be understood that the grounds the High Court and Appeal sustained the tenure of the five governors before Apex Court ruling were that: even though the Constitution was amended by NASS, to recognize the period spent in office by the incumbent if he wins re-run election, it however, cannot take effect retroactively. The second ground was that once an election is nullified, the oaths taken by the governors stands nullified. The Apex Court told Peter Obi in 2007 that his tenure started that the day he took oath of office and ordered Andy Ubah to vacate office immediately; is it not on the account of this that the High Court and Appeal ruled in favour of the five governors? Clearly, the Supreme Court decision to rule against Appeal Court on January 27, 2012 on the tenure of the five governors is judicial review of the blunder it committed in 2007 in the so-called case between Peter Obi Vs INEC. It should be noted that when Apex Court ruled on Obi’s tenure in Anambra State, it had no jurisdiction over the case.

    What actually is tenure elongation from the point of view of election in Nigeria? Painfully, many Nigerians think that tenure elongation occurs when a sitting governor stayed beyond two [2] terms in office in case of re-election only. Another perspective to tenure elongation is a situation where a tenure that is constitutionally meant to end in four [4] years, now drags beyond the allotted period. For instance, a tenure that started in 2003 in Anambra State ended in 2010. The implication is that we had seven [7] years as tenure in the State, instead of four years.

    When Supreme Court suspended the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with that judgment that removed a democratically elected governor, Andy Ubah in 2007 on the basis that Peter Obi had not exhausted his tenure, many hailed the judgment as sound and good for our democracy. Those who felt that the Apex Court was right in its ruling failed to see that a tenure that started in 2003 ended in 2010 in Anambra State. Clearly, tenure elongation, if it exists, started in Anambra State with Peter Obi. Those who argue that Peter Obi’s case in 2007 is different from that of the five governors forgot that the issue in question remains the oath of office and allegiance. The Apex Court told Peter Obi in 2007 the day he took oath of office, was the when his tenure started and ordered Andy Ubah to vacate office immediately. If fresh oath is not the reason for tenure elongation, what then is?

    In support of INDEPENDENT nature of TENURE, hear Mr. Justice MANNING, of the supreme court of Michigan, in Carleton v. People, 10 Mich. 259: ‘Where there is no office there can be no officer de facto, for the reason that there can be none de jure. The county office existed by virtue of the constitution the moment the new county was organized. No act of legislation was necessary for that purpose. And all that is required when there is an office to make an officer de facto, is that the individual claiming the office is in possession of it, performing its duties, and claiming to be such officer under color of an election or appointment, as the case may be. It is not necessary that his election or appointment be valid, for that would make him an officer de jure. The official acts of such persons are recognized as valid on grounds of public policy, and for the protection of those having official business to transact.’

    The period between 2003 and 2007 in Plateau and Ekiti States provided clear prove that Tenure of office as provided for in the Constitution is totally Independent. It could be recalled that arising from delicate security situation in these States, the then President declared state of emergency in both states at different times. The declared emergencies meant that Administrators had to take charge in these states. After six [6] months of General Christ Ali’s administration in Plateau State, Joshua Dariye returned to his seat as the governor. The same scenario played out in Ekiti State, where General Olurin held forth. Regardless of the periods these de-facto Administrators stayed in office, governorship election took place in these states in 2007. The fact in Plateau and Ekiti clearly showed that Tenure of Office is INDEPENDENT of whomever or whatever party is involved. The argument by uninformed fellows that if another party or person takes over from the incumbent, his tenure starts from the day he takes oath of office, is not justified here. The administrators in Plateau and Ekiti were clearly not from PDP and the six [6] months they stayed in office should have been recouped by the democratically elected governors in the states in question, but because the independent nature of TENURE is constitutionally sacrosanct, it has to be respected.

    The Supreme Court ruling on the tenure of the five [5] sacked governors specifically stated that their tenure ended in May 28 2011. And since elections into their offices did not take place as Constitutionally required, should elections now take place in these states eight [8], good months after it should have taken place? The answer is emphatic no. What happens to those eight months if PDP or any other party wins considering the fact that Apex Court ruling clearly indicated that a TERM started in these states on May 29, 2011? If a TERM is as fixed as rock of Gibraltar as the Apex Court ruled, can it be moved by any legal bulldozer? The answer here is capital NO! It therefore follows that every May 29 after four years remains sacrosanct as far as election into the office of the executive governor is concerned.

    Since the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria captured only fixed elections and the time frame within which these elections must take place, no election can take place to the office of the governor in the affected places until 2015. It is only in the case of Assemblies elections that bye-election can take place as anticipated in the Constitution. Fresh governorship election can however take place when there is nullification. Any Presidential or Governorship elections that take place outside the election time table order than arising from nullification, as recognized by the Constitution after a political decision, is unconstitutional, null and void. As the Constitution did not recognize any other election outside election date election to the office of governor, the APEX COURT RULING MEANT THAT SPEAKERS OF THE AFFECTED STATE HOUSES OF ASSEMBLIES MUST SERVE OUT THE REMAINING YEARS OF THE FOUR YEAR TENURE. If an office becomes vacant or election fails to take place for either Presidential or Governorship office, for whatever reasons, before the kick-off of four year tenure, order of succession must be applied to fill the vacant office. Bye-election can only take place for office that has no order of succession. For instance, it is only in Assemblies elections that bye-elections exist.

    With Apex Court judgment on the tenures of the Five State Governors, the Five States of the South-West and Edo will have to contend with Speakers as Acting Governors till 2015, when their tenures expire. No Court in Nigeria has the power to alter TENURE date in Nigeria. A political decision on elections in Nigeria was taken in 1999 via the Constitution that brought in democratically elected government for four years, starting from May 29, 1999 when Olusegun Obasanjo was sworn in as the President and the Governors also. Clearly, when political decision of, WHO, WHEN and WHERE have been taken and entrenched in the constitution, no judgment of the Supreme Court can alter it, and this what the Apex Court has realized. For justice sake, nothing stops the Judiciary from coming out with practice direction that will ensure that elections related cases are disposed off before anybody is sworn in. All that is needed here is sound judicial reform and Constitutional amendment. Don’t forget, the “injustice” in Peter Obi’s case was caused by judiciary delay. Whose fault then?

    Emeka Oraetoka
    Information Management Consultant & Political Researcher
    Wrote in from Garki-Abuja.
    P. O. Box 18938

  4. bilyaminu
    March 19, 2012 at 1:53 am #

    i like the way your publish your information on this paper

  5. May 6, 2012 at 1:33 am #

    brothers % sist; a fire kept burning at night either as a signal or for the comfort of somebody keeping watch.das is nigerian gov”t are watching killed an innocen #%t people at yobe state potiskum local gov”t no any actoin have been taking by d authority. brthers more than over150 lifes taked dis game have planted or solders % police,nig gov;t have d responsible 4 dat,were waiting or eise by d all residances,we are all nigerians. god bless all……

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