Wednesday, 31 January 2018

George Weah vows to change Liberia's law which restricts citizenship to black people only

Liberian President George Weah said Monday he would seek to remove a "racist" clause in the country's constitution that restricts citizenship to black people, and pledged to take a pay cut in a dire economy.

Liberia was founded by freed slaves from the United States in 1847, who inserted the requirement into the constitution to create "a refuge and a haven for freed men of colour".
Weah said in his first state of the nation address that he believed this restriction was "unnecessary, racist, and inappropriate for the place that Liberia occupies today in the comity of nations," as well as holding back business.
Calling for that provision to be removed, Weah also called for the ban on foreign ownership on property to also be struck from the constitution via referendum.
"No foreign investor... will be willing to make significant direct investments in our country if they cannot own property," he noted.
Weah's wife, Clar, has faced intense criticism for her Jamaican roots in Liberia. She was denied a passport on the grounds she was not a Liberian citizen, and the president called for restrictions on dual citizenship to also be lifted.
- Salary cut -
The new president, who joked he had only had a week to get his head around the job, also announced he would take a 25 percent pay cut in view of the state of the economy and the suffering of his people, who are some the world's poorest.
"I am informing you today, with immediate effect, that I will reduce my salary and benefits by 25 percent," he said to a huge cheer from the audience.
He urged lawmakers to follow his lead in a nation where deputies and senators make six-figure salaries despite a straightened budget, following an announcement of a $3,000 (2,425 euros) spending cap on government agencies' expenses.
"Our economy is broken; our government is broke. Our policy is in freefall, inflation is rising, unemployment is at an unprecedented high and our foreign reserves are at an all-time low," Weah noted.
The only way to address this was through a nationwide road building programme to increase trade and stimulate jobs, and to invest in education, he said.
Schools and universities were the "constant and major priority during my administration," he added.
Weah was sworn in last week after a contentious election with former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's deputy, Joseph Boakai.
Sirleaf was present at the ceremony, which Weah said "shows how far we have come as people" after the bitter political divisions of Liberia's horrific 1989-2003 civil war.
He has given cabinet posts to a mixture of inexperienced but loyal figures from his Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) party, along with some key members held over from the former government.


Former Governors Donald Duke, Oyinlola launch Obasanjo's Coalition for Nigeria Movement

About a week after former President Olusegun Obasanjo wrote an explosive letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, his touted Coalition Movement has been launched in Abuja.
The movement was launched at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre and attended by young Nigerians.

Obasanjo was not present at the launch.

Two former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors, Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Donald Duke, were in attendance.

Speaking at the event, Oyinlola said: "The aims and objectives of the coalition, it makes it mandatory for us to hit the ground running. Time is not on our side and if we are going to effect the aims of the coalition them we must run fast "

"What we are trying to do is like a guardian angel, it is you that must decide who is to do what and at what level. That is why we are having this meeting today and putting it back to you."

In his own remark, former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke said: "What they are doing is seeking office not implementing a thought. But we are also aware that a new generation is at the vanguard of taking over and why our own generation is stepping back as Governor Oyinlola said. The new vanguard will lead but we step back and perhaps guide and share our experiences which may serve as guide to the new generation." 

Former president Obasanjo had criticized President Buhair’s government in a lengthy statement last week Tuesday, January 23, and suggested the formation of the movement while advising Buhari against seeking a second term in office.

The former President, had said in his public letter that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were incapable of repositioning Nigeria.

He added that the political parties have lost the confidence of the electorate.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Instagram, Google+ Join EU Group Fighting Hate Speech

Facebook’s Instagram and the Google+ social network have agreed to join an EU-sponsored group of US internet giants to combat online extremism, EU officials said Friday.

EU officials added that the existing members — YouTube, Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook – have made progress toward meeting the code of conduct they signed up to in May 2016, promising to look at suspicious content within 24 hours and remove illegal material.
“Instagram has decided to join forces in the fight against illegal online hate speech and will now also apply the code of conduct,” EU Justice and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Vera Jourova told reporters.
“And this morning I also received the message that Google+ is joining,” she added.
The EU joined forces with US-based internet firms nearly two years ago amid growing alarm in Europe over the use of social media as a recruiting tool, especially by the Islamic State group.
Jourova said Friday she would continue having the industry regulate itself under the code of conduct after hailing progress among the internet firms to remove threatening material.
The commission said IT firms removed 70 percent of the illegal speech notified to them in the last few months, compared to 59 percent before May 2017, and 28 percent in the months after the code of conduct was launched.
Jourova also said Facebook had hired 3,500 new staff to fight online hate speech on top of the 4,500 existing employees.
She added that IT firms have also strengthened cooperation with civil society organisations, including training, to better detect and report suspected cases of hate speech.
“Having these quite positive results of this third assessment, I will be stronger in promoting my view that we should continue the way of doing this through the code of conduct method,” Jourova said before meeting EU ministers of justice next week in Sofia.
The leaders of EU states last year urged internet firms to do their utmost to combat online extremism or face the possibility of legislation if the industry self-regulation fails. The Commission is the executive and regulatory arm of the 28-nation EU.

Two Niger Soldiers Killed In Gun Duel With Boko Haram

At least two soldiers were killed overnight while fighting off an attack by suspected Boko Haram jihadists in southeast Niger, a source in the security forces said Tuesday.
“It was an audacious attack repelled by our valiant defence and security forces who lost two men all the same,” the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The insurgents from neighbouring Nigeria “came aboard about a dozen vehicles” early Monday evening to attack a National Guard outpost near Chetimari, a village about 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the main regional town, Diffa, the source said.
“Since the Niger soldiers put up strong resistance, the Boko Haram elements withdrew to shell their positions from a distance,” he added.
The arrival of reinforcements led by the head of the National Guard contingent in Diffa, Major Mohamed Alwata, enabled the army to drive the raiders back towards Nigerian territory, where Boko Haram first launched a bloody insurgency in 2009.
The attackers “also lost several men” during fighting that lasted “for hours”, the source in the security forces said.
In mid-January, seven soldiers were killed and 17 others wounded in an attack at Toummour, in the east of the Diffa region close to the Lake Chad basin, a strategic area where the borders of four countries converge.
Chad and Cameroon are engaged alongside Nigeria and Niger in the battle against Boko Haram extremists, who first took the conflict across the border into Niger in 2015, with numerous raids around Diffa.
Between 2015 and 2017, UN monitors recorded 582 civilian casualties in 244 raids blamed on Boko Haram in the Diffa region. In 2017, 141 civilians were “wounded, killed and kidnapped,” compared with 227 in 2016 and 214 in 2015, according to UN statistics with no further breakdown.
The United Nations makes no estimates of casualties in Niger’s army, but the military is known to have lost dozens of troops since 2015.


I would now like to address you on what I consider to be my most urgent and imperative agenda.
Since the founding of this country in 1847, more than 170 years ago, there have been certain restrictions on citizenship and property ownership that – in my view – have become serious impediments to the development and progress of this country. These restrictions include the limitation of citizenship only to black people, the limitation of property ownership exclusively to citizens, and the non-allowance of dual citizenship.

Limitation of Citizenship only to Black People
The framers of the 1847 constitution may have had every reason and justification to include these restrictions in that historic document. In their own words, and I quote:

“The great object of forming these Colonies, being to provide a home for the dispersed and oppressed children of Africa, and to regenerate and enlighten this benighted continent, none but persons of color shall be admitted to citizenship in this Republic.” [Unquote]

They, as freed slaves, were fleeing from the oppressive yoke of slavery imposed upon them by white slave owners. They therefore wanted Liberia to be “...a refuge and a haven for freed men of color”, and so they restricted citizenship only to black people.

This may have been appropriate for the 19th century, and for the threats and conditions that existed at that time.

However, here in the 21st century, I am of the view that these threats no longer exist, and that these conditions have changed. In these circumstances, it is my view that keeping such a clause in our constitution is unnecessary, racist, and inappropriate for the place that Liberia occupies today in the comity of nations.

It also contradicts the very definition of Liberia, which is derived from the Latin word “liber,” Meaning “Liberty.” I believe that we should have nothing to fear from people of any other race becoming citizen of Liberia, once they conform to the requirements of our Immigration and Naturalization Laws, as maybe appropriately amended to address this new situation.
In fact, we have everything to gain. If we look in our region amongst the other member states of ECOWAS, especially our neighbors in La Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, it will soon be observed that permitting people of other races to become citizens has not marginalized their indigenes.

I believe that this is an anomaly that should not have found its way into the 1986 Constitution [Chapter 4, Article 27]. I therefore strongly recommend and propose, respectfully, that consideration should be given to removing it by appropriate measures provided for in our laws for amending the Constitution [Chapter 12].​

Restriction of Land Ownership Exclusively to Citizens
The second provision in our Constitution which tends today to impede our progress and stunt our growth and development is the restriction of land ownership only to Liberian citizens [Article 22-a].
No foreign investor – in fact, not any investor – will be willing to make significant direct investments in our country if they cannot own property in fee simple. Furthermore, direct investments placed on leased properties are virtually unbankable, because most banks are reluctant to accept leaseholds as collateral for loans to persons and business entities for projects that could very well enhance our development and create jobs for our people.

It is inconsistent with my pronouncement that “Liberia is open for business”, while at the same time denying those who would heed our call and come to Liberia to invest, when they are prevented from owning property because of their lack of Liberian citizenship.

Liberian citizens are free to purchase property in any other country as non-citizens, yet our Constitution and laws will not allow similar privileged to be accorded to the citizens of other nations. I therefore strongly recommend that this restriction be removed, and that the appropriate rules and regulations of the Land Commission and other relevant agencies be amended and strengthened to accommodate this new development, if approved by referendum.

Dual Citizenship
The third matter of concern to me is the restriction placed in our Constitution on Liberians holding dual citizenship.

I believe that most Liberians who are also citizens of another country probably acquired the additional nationality as a means to escape from the terrible atrocities, which characterized our civil conflict, and for economic survival in their new countries of residence. If, as a condition precedent for other countries to grant citizenship to these persons, they had to dis-avow their loyalty to Liberia and pledge allegiance to the laws of another country, then it could have been out of necessity, rather than a matter of the heart.

And if conditions now exist in Liberia that make them want to return home and contribute their quota to the development of our common patrimony, then I do not think that it is fair to treat them as non citizens in the land of their birth. Many Liberians in diaspora have heard my clarion call to return home and bring their energies, skills, talents, and expertise to join us in the building of a New Liberia.

We need them, and so long as they were born in this country, they were Liberians first, and I believe that they should be welcomed back home with open arms. Whether or not they are required to renounce their adopted nationalities, should be a matter of their consciences and the laws which govern their naturalization in their respective domiciles. They should be free to make those choices and decisions.

We are all aware that a Constitutional Review Committee was recently established during the previous administration to review these issues among others. The Report was presented to the Executive, who then duly forwarded it to you for your consideration, and, to the best of my knowledge, it is still tabled and awaiting your action. Our people spoke.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Fulani herdsmen getting away with murder, they have killed 168 people in 2018 alone - Amnesty International

Amnesty International says clashes between farmers and herdsmen have resulted in at least 168 deaths in 2018 alone.

In a statement on Monday, Osai Ojigho, director of Amnesty International Nigeria said “the Nigerian authorities’ response to communal violence is totally inadequate, too slow and ineffective, and in some cases unlawful.”

“Clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Adamawa, Benue, Taraba, Ondo and Kaduna have resulted in 168 deaths in January 2018 alone,” Ojigho said.

“Hundreds of people lost their lives last year, and the government is still not doing enough to protect communities from these violent clashes. Worse, the killers are getting away with murder.”
“In 2017, clashes between nomadic herdsmen and local farmers resulted in at least 549 deaths and thousands displaced across Enugu, Benue, Taraba, Zamfara, Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Cross Rivers, Adamawa, Katsina, Delta and Ekiti states,” she said.

“The government must totally overturn its response to these deadly clashes to avoid this crisis getting out of control. They need to investigate and bring suspects to justice.”

The statement read: “The frequent deployment of soldiers has resulted in many cases of excessive use of force, unlawful killings and extrajudicial executions throughout the country.

“The Nigerian military is currently performing security operations in 30 out of Nigeria’s 36 states and the federal capital territory, often taking over routine policing duties.

“The government’s reliance on the military for help in handling what should be public order situations has also seriously undermined the role of the Nigerian police.

“In some cases where the Nigerian security agencies did respond to communal violence, they used excessive or unlawful force resulting in even more deaths and destruction.

“On 4 December 2017, Nigeria’s air force sent fighter jets to fire rockets at villages as a “warning” to deter spiraling communal violence, as hundreds of herdsmen attacked at least five villages in Adamawa state to avenge the massacre of up to 51 members of their community, mostly children, the previous month in Kikan.

“An Amnesty International team visited the villages in the aftermath of the air raids and gathered witness testimony from residents who described being attacked by a fighter jet and a military helicopter as they attempted to flee.

“Launching air raids is not a legitimate law enforcement method by anyone’s standard. Such reckless use of deadly force is unlawful, outrageous and lays bare the Nigerian military’s shocking disregard for the lives of those it supposedly exists to protect.

“This is unlawful and excessive force on a catastrophic scale. It is yet another tragic example where Nigeria’s armed forces are found applying deadly military tactics to law enforcement situations.

“As the herdsmen shot people and torched homes, and the air raid resulted in fire, it was not possible to establish how much of the death and destruction was a direct result of the air attacks or attributable to the attack by herdsmen.

“Houses started burning. Children started running for their lives. Mothers packed up their children and escaped with them. We men were unable to fight back and we started running too. This jet burnt our houses and properties to ashes.

“In some villages, the rocket attacks happened at the same time as the herders raids, while in other villages the air force arrived shortly afterwards, witnesses told Amnesty International.

“Locals in each village also provided Amnesty International with lists of the dead, which totaled 86 names.
“The Nigerian authorities must investigate these attacks and, where these investigations indicate criminal responsibility, prosecute those responsible and bring them to justice.”

US lifts ban on refugees from 11 countries

The United States announced Monday it was lifting its ban on refugees from 11 "high-risk" countries, but said those seeking to enter the US would come under much tougher scrutiny than in the past.

Applicants from 11 countries, unnamed but understood to include 10 Muslim-majority nations plus North Korea, will face tougher "risk-based" assessments to be accepted.
"It's critically important that we know who is entering the United States," said Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
"These additional security measures will make it harder for bad actors to exploit our refugee program, and they will ensure we take a more risk-based approach to protecting the homeland."
The 11 countries, hit with a ban in October in the Trump administration's revised refugee policy, have not been identified officially.
But refugee groups say they comprise Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
- Not a 'Muslim ban' -
Speaking anonymously, a senior administration official told journalists that the policy of enhanced security assessments for the 11 countries was not designed to target Muslims.
"Our admissions have nothing to do with religion," the official said, adding that there is "nothing especially novel" about tougher screening for countries deemed to have a higher level of risk.
Donald Trump has pursued a much tougher stance on immigrants and refugees from all countries since becoming president one year ago.
His predecessor Barack Obama set refugee admission in fiscal 2017, which began on October 2016, at 110,000.
When Trump took office a year ago, he slashed that to 53,000, a number that was cut again to a maximum of 45,000 in fiscal 2018.
But refugee arrivals this year could come in significantly lower than that, due to the backlog from the 120-day halt and a slowdown in processing because of generally tougher applicant reviews.
DHS would not explain what the tougher vetting measures for the 11 countries would include.
But all applicants are being asked to supply more detailed histories and evidence of their past activities, and many are having to allow access to personal electronics and social media accounts.
The move comes as Trump presses for a sharp turn in overall US immigration policy that critics say will result in a 50 percent cut in arrivals each year and bias admissions away from African, Asian and Muslim countries.
Last week, Trump proposed to end the 27-year-old "green card lottery" program that aims to diversify the source of immigrants, leading to an upturn in those from Middle Eastern and African countries.
He also proposed to tightly limit the family members who can join immigrants to only spouses and younger children. Until now, such "chain migration" could extend to immigrants' parents, grandparents, siblings and extended family.
The White House said the policy was necessary to protect national security from terror and crime threats.
In return, Trump proposed a plan that offers 1.8 million young unauthorized immigrants known as "Dreamers" a path to citizenship over 10-12 years.
Democrats and Republicans are starting negotiations on those proposals, along with Trump's request for a $25 billion "trust fund" to build a wall on the southern US border to deter illegal border-crossers from Mexico.


Bello Seeks Creation Of Rehabilitation Centre For Looters

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State wants President Muhammadu Buhari to establish a rehabilitation centre in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The move, he stated, was to reform politicians who have siphoned the state resources over the years.
Bello made this known in Lokoja, the state capital while addressing some members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state on the way forward.

While describing the action of the politicians as being worse than the menace of Boko Haram, the governor insisted that they needed to be rehabilitated.

The governor believes that the President should run for a second term as the people of the state and other states would vote massively for him.

The state Chief Executive blamed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the alleged misfortune they have brought to the country.

To Bello, it is only the leadership of Buhari that can salvage the nation out of poverty.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Kwankwaso Banned From Visiting Kano By the Nigerian Police.

Former Kano state governor, Senator Rabi’u Kwankwaso who have deep misunderstanding with President Buhari because of presidential ambition has been advised to stay away from his state by the Police for now. The Senator also have severe problem with the current governor of Kano. 

The Kano State Commissioner of Police, Rabiu Yusuf, who gave the order/advise, added that Kwankwaso’s proposed visit to the state on January 30 may spark off trouble.

The Commissioner told newsmen in Kano, Friday, that the advice was necessary in view of the tension generated among the people of the state by the planned visit.

According to Yusuf: “There is no doubt, the Senator as a citizen of this country has the constitutional right of association, assembly, and above all, movement.

“However, credible Information at the disposal of the command reveals that the proposed visit has generated palpable fears in the minds of the people of Kano State”, he said.

He said, there was apprehension among the general populace, including the tendency to hijack the visit by some disgruntled elements and miscreants.

He hinted on the urgent need by the police command to ensure that peace prevailed in the state.
“Therefore, any action or inaction by any person or group of persons that may jeopardize the relative peace the state is currently enjoying must be averted.

“It is the advice of the command that such a visit should be shelved by Sen Rabi’u Kwankwaso until the tension generated by the planned visit is doused,” he reiterated.

He assured that the command would provide a level playing ground for all politicians, to carry out their political activities, without fear of molestation or intimidation.

@Hope For Nigeria 

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Katsina Governor & Senator Escaped Death As Youth Attacked Them For Non Performance.

Senator Abu escapes death in katsina as youths stones him and governor Abu Ibrahim, the senator representing Katsina South, and Amiru Tukur, the member representing Bakori/Danja Federal constituency in the House of Representatives narrowly escaped mob action at a political event organized by the Katsina State chapter of All Progressives Congress ( APC ) on Saturday in Funtua.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that it took a combined teams of security personnel to rescue notable politicians, including the governor’s entourage, as they came under attack from protesters.

Stones and shoes were used in attacking the dignitaries. Some vehicles in the entourage of the governor were smashed by irate youths while security personnel had to use tear-gas to disperse the crowds and free the dignitaries.

 Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and outdoor

Tuesday, 23 January 2018


Behold the bunch of selfish and wicked, sycophant Southerners shamelessly begging a globally renowned failed President to seek for Second Term in office even in the clear face of killings, gross marginalization of the Region in the federal Government largesse and the clandestine Islamization policy been gradually and subtly perpetrated by the dreaded Fulani herdsmen. In a decent clime, this very faces deserves an immediate banishment.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Herdsmen killings: We are now ready to fight Fulani, spill our blood – Benue youths

Youth groups in the Middle Belt have declared war on the rampaging Fulani herdsmen, saying they have signed their death warrant.

The National Council of Tiv Youths, NCTY, and the Middle Belt Youths Council, MBYC, have stepped out to defend their region.

In s separate interview with the Punch, the youths said they will no longer fold their arms and watch their people being slaughtered by the cattle herders.

The President of the National Council of Tiv Youths, Dr. John Akperashi, said his members had decided to die while making sure further attacks by the dreaded herdsmen do not happen.

He said, “The battle line has been drawn. The youths in the Middle Belt are ready and have agreed to rise up in unison to reject the Federal Government time bomb dressed in white robes.

“The Tiv youths particularly are pushed to the wall now and have collectively signed their death warrants, ready to pay the supreme price if that would count, to sustain and protect our lands from any form of colonisation, be it cattle, human or both.”

Also, the President, Middle Belt Youth Council, who is also the youth leader of the Middle Belt Forum, Emma Zopmal, noted that by its inaction, the Federal Government was telling the Middle Belt youths to resort to self-help.

He said, “We cannot sit and watch this manslaughter on a daily basis. Life does not have a duplicate and it should not be allowed to be wasted needlessly all the time. The days of mourning will soon be over in the Middle Belt.

“The Fulani are only 4 .7 million in Nigeria. How then can they continue being a threat to the whole nation of more than 160 million people that are not Fulani? Enough is enough; we are now poised for war.”

Kill And Roast Any Cow Parading Our Street - Ghana 🇬🇭 President.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana has give an executive order to their citizens to slaughter and eat any cow they found on the loitering streets of Ghana or private/public places.

He said that “Execute and barbecue any cattle seen on the streets of Ghana. And I command the immediate arrest of any herdsman seen parading cattle on the streets of Ghana.

This is a reverse of the case in Nigeria where cow had invaded homes, schools, churches, roads, farms and President Buhari who is Meyetti Allah’s life-patron remains silen. 
It has been revealed also that some of the arms used the terrorist Fulani Herdsmen are pilfered from Nigerian military armoury.

10,000 Anglophone Cameroonian refugees have fled to Nigeria - UN

With the number of people fleeing English-speaking areas of Cameroon for Nigeria growing, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is increasingly concerned at the plight of women and children among them.

Women and children represent about 80 per cent of the approximately 10,000 refugees registered so far in eastern Nigeria’s Cross River state. Thousands more are among the population of unregistered Cameroonians in neighbouring states.
Some of these are boys and girls who fled to Nigeria alone. Unaccompanied and separated children are particularly affected by difficult access to food and the lack of subsistence opportunities.
UNHCR staff have received numerous reports that children have to work or beg to survive or to help their families. Many children are unable to attend school, as they lack both the time and funds for education. Although schooling in Nigeria is free, there are still some basic costs, such as those for school materials.
UNHCR is working with the Nigerian authorities to assist with the reunification of separated children with their families, to provide unaccompanied children with protection services and to restore the basic right of all children to education. Some children arriving to Nigeria reported to UNHCR that they had been out of school in Cameroon for the whole of the past academic year.
For women, the lack of work combined with the over-stretched reception facilities, creates a higher risk of sexual and gender-based violence, particularly from survival sex. So far, only a limited number of such cases have been recorded, mainly in the Amana community of Cross River state. However, UNHCR is concerned that many more incidents go unreported or are referred only to community elders. Incidents of domestic violence, as well as cases of teenage pregnancies involving girls as young as 14, have also been reported.
In Nigeria’s Benue state, where two school buildings have been reserved by authorities to serve as temporary refugee hosting accommodation, women and their families are forced to sleep inside communal school halls, deprived of private space and the right to family dignity. For them – and for the rest of the population living in temporary tents hastily built next to local residences – sufficient and appropriate shelter is key to ensure adequate registration, systematic aid distribution and reduced protection risks.
UNHCR is currently working with the Nigerian authorities to identify sites away from the border, where the refugees can be hosted according to international standards. We are also establishing offices in the towns of Calabar and Adikpo to better provide assistance and protection to the women and children. Our support includes food, basic relief items, health, and water and sanitation facilities.

UNHCR recognizes the enormous generosity of the Nigerian border communities, opening their doors to Cameroonian refugees. Almost all of those registered reported that they had left their homes because of insecurity and that they would go back only when it’s safe to do so.

UNHCR Press Release

Thursday, 18 January 2018


This afternoon, some parts of the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prince Eze Madumere’s official residence was gutted by fire.

The fire incident which is suspected to have been triggered off by nearby inferno in the bush, which eventually spread to the visitors waiting hall razing down the entire building, one of the Press Crew buses stationed within the premises and other valuables estimated to worth millions of naira.

A statement signed by the Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor on Media, Mr. Uche Onwuchekwa sent to stated that the raging inferno would have spread to the main building if it weren’t for the quick intervention of security attachés who were later joined by the men of fire service who promptly helped to bring the incidence under control.

The Deputy Governor called for further investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the incident so as to prevent future occurrence.

Prince Eze Madumere who is away in Abuja on official assignment was grateful to God that no life was lost.


Rochas and Imo Economy By Uche Atuma

His name is Owelle Anayo Rochas Okorocha. He is the Governor of Imo State, one of Nigeria’s most enlightened states. Just like Atiku Abubakar, he is one of Nigeria’s public office holders more popular by their first names. So, we shall limit this discourse to calling him Rochas (no disrespect please).

And it happened that as governor of Imo State, Rochas (now in his second term) has brought more animation, drama and clownishness into government house. But make no mistake about it, Rochas is not your definition of a dullard. He’s smart, street-wise and a gifted orator. Smooth-talking, fast-speaking and has capacity to invent words to talk himself out of trouble and maintain his fluency rather than grope or stutter for the next word.

Since his arrival at Imo State Government House, he has never ceased to entertain. His sense of humour is simply bewildering. Gifted with a penchant to make light of the very serious business of governance, he has done quite a few crazy things. Like jetting out of the country in 2015 with a 100-man team of his aides and acolytes in search of foreign investors. They travelled to Turkey to study the country’s ‘industrial prowess’. That’s like shutting down governance all in the guise of looking for these always elusive and evasive foreign investors. Since that Jamboree years ago, Imo’s quotient in the nation’s foreign direct investment (FDI) chart is still abysmal. The latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) does not score Imo as one of the most improved states in the area of attracting FDIs. Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Ogun top that chart. Imo flounders, yet Rochas made so much noise about his ability to bring foreign investors to the state.

Rochas is the master of make-believe. He creates illusions in the minds of people and sustains them with propaganda. At a time, he appointed 27 lawmakers in the State House of Assembly as the Sole Administrators of the 27 Local Governments in the state thus desecrating the pristine democratic principle of separation of powers. For a man famed for his uncanny ability to dissimulate and deceive at the same time, separation of powers is just an idea, not the ideal. Imo is littered with billboards showing he has delivered on his promise of paying pensions but it’s all grand deception. Pensions are paid in arrears without gratuity which is either owed indefinitely or confiscated by Rochas himself. Retirees’ gratuities are yet to be paid, some after four years of retirement.

For much of last year, Rochas was in the news. He loves to hug the headlines, anyway. This time, his sense of animation took him to a higher plateau of clannishness. He became the global moulder-in-chief. He caught the picture of a palace jester when he moulded the statue of Jacob Zuma, the character-challenged leader of South Africa. It was a gesture in vainglory. And the timing and theme of such ego-pumping exercise were both wrong. He moulded the statue of Zuma whose country has been slaughtering Nigerians in a needless xenophobic umbrage especially persons from Abia and Imo states. Zuma was also facing grave corruption charges at home which diminished his statesman profile. Yet, that was the man Okorocha chose as role model deserving a place in his Freedom Square pantheon of statues. And to think that the collection of statues cost real fortune in a state that owes workers salaries makes it pathetic. But Rochas won’t care. He delights in mocking his people with his obscene appetite for vanity. Like erecting a giant Christmas tree at a time his subjects could not afford Christmas rice. He is a man of freak impulses; an incorrigible variant of homo sapiens.

A good test for his incorrigibility was the trending altercation with a group of eminent sons and daughters of his state. Acting under the aegis of Imo Economic Development Initiative (IEDI), the group led by one of Africa’s foremost scientists and pharmacologist, Professor Maurice Iwu, had audience with the governor and delivered a letter to him. Iwu was a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and a member of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene among other world bodies. Other members of this renowned group are Pascal Dozie, a successful banker and entrepreneur with interests in telecoms and hospitality; Leo Stan Ekeh, a Microsoft Ambassador and Africa’s foremost digipreneur; Charles Ugwu, a successful manufacturer and enterprise builder, Senator Chris Anyanwu, successful media entrepreneur and politician among other high-profile personalities from the state most of whom have investments in Imo, other parts of Nigeria and overseas.

These were the people that sought audience with Rochas. And their plea was comely: economic stagnation of Imo State and suggestions on the way out. Ever since that meeting, the governor has been raging and raving. His grouse was about the letter leaking to the media; the composition of the team which he said had persons from opposition political parties, and timing of the visit, happening when he was about to exit and when election is around the corner.

Rochas need not worry about leakage of the letter to the media. The press will always sniff out documents and stories no matter how much fearful politicians try to hide it. The governor’s reference to the political status of the team also flies in the face of logic. Not all the members of IEDI are politicians and even those that are politically partisan do not belong to the same party. Why should he lose sleep over this? The timing of their visit is also immaterial. What is critical is that Imo people now have an economic development platform peopled by Imo sons and daughters who have helped to grow economies of other states and the nation at large. This should give any leader joy and hope rather than imputing politics into their motive. What members of the IEDI did is what some governors crave for; the coming together of their sons and daughters to help build their respective states.

Rather than “we do not think that Prof. Iwu and his team deserve our respect again having abused the highly concentrated respect we had extended to them”, Rochas should deflate his over-bloated ego and work on the suggestions and solutions proffered in the letter. Success has many colours. And if a horde of successful people can close their ranks and come together for the betterment of a society, much more a state in dire need of industrialisation, any development-minded governor should welcome such initiative.

Steven Covey, the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People noted that “most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply”. Those who listen with the intent to reply usually make poor leaders. They deflect good counsel and at the end they do not get any wiser than they were. A typical Nigerian politician is a poor listener. He is a competent talkative, full of airs and assumptions of himself as a know-all demigod. This is the profile of Rochas. He is a deflector of good counsel. He listens just to reply, to verbally attack the speaker. That is the emblem of poor leadership. And Rochas has manifested a lot of it.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Fulani Herdsmen Kills Another 6 Persons in Benue, As Their Leaders Vows To Kill More.

The terrorist group, the Herdsmen have killedl six people in fresh unprovoked attacks in Logo and Guma local government areas of Benue state.

The state governor, Samuel Ortom, disclosed this on Wednesday when he received Dominic Oneya, former military administrator of the state, in Markurdi.

Ortom said while two women were killed in Logo, another two were killed in Guma. Ortom said there were other accounts of violence claiming lives in various parts of the state. Mr Moses Yamu, the spokesman of the Benue state police command, claimed thathe could not confirm the attack.

“I have not been able to reach the divisional police officers in those areas, so I can’t confirm these attacks,” he said.

While alleging that the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore are threatening further resistance of the state’s Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law — causing ripples in the state, the governor called on security agencies to arrest the leadership of the group.

Benue has been thrown into mourn since earlier this month when herdsmen attacked communities in the state, killing about at least 70 persons.

There have also been other pockets of clashes between the herders and farmers/community members in other parts of the country, including Taraba and Nasarrawa.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018


Taraba State was thrown into mourning following the death of a kidnapped lawmaker, Honourable Hosea Ibi.

Ibi, who represented Takum II Constituency in the Taraba State House of Assembly, was found dead after he was abducted by gunmen in December 2017.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Mr David Misal, confirmed to Channels Television on Monday in Jalingo, the state capital that the lawmaker’s corpse had been found.
Misal, who said the corpse was found in Takum Local Government Area of the state, noted that the lawmaker must have died about three days before his body was discovered.

The State Police Command had earlier confirmed Ibi’s abduction by unknown individuals on December 31, 2017, in Takum where he was to usher in the New Year.

While the police said they were making efforts to rescue the legislator, no demand for ransom was made from any quarter.