Friday, February 29, 2008

PHCN Deal with the Sabotuers

The Minister of for Energy (Power) Hajia Fatima Balaraba Ibrahim warned against movement by unauthorized persons within the nation’s power installations, describing as sabotage, the spate of vandalization of electricity installations.
The Minister who said no one is authorized to work on any power installation beyond 7 pm, described last Sunday's vandalization of PCHN as "clear case of unprecedented" sabotage on the National power grid.
A 330KV transmission lines from Ikeja west to (Lagos) to Aiyede, was vandalized throwing five states of Oyo,Ogun, Osun,Ondo and Lagos into total darkness.
Balaraba, who painted the gruesome pictures of the sabotage to Energy Correspondent also said it had never happened that vandals would take so much effort, resources and time to bring down huge 330kv towers at two different places without stealing an inch of cable.
Describing the incident as deliberate act of sabotage to bring down the economic activities of the states served by these lines, she said that the federal government has declared one million Naira reward to anyone who has information on the criminals.
"The Patrol team of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) later found that the 330Kv Tower No.395 off Oko-Baba, near Abeokuta had fallen, as four legs of the tower were observed to have been cut with saw.
"It was more surprising that nothing was removed suggesting a clear act of sabotage and not ordinary vandalism," she maintained.
She said the reconstruction of the fallen tower and beefing up security will cost between N15-N20 million, excluding the loss of revenue to PHCN.
She said that the tower would also take not less than a month of relentless work to rebuild, which mean that the affected states would have to remain without power from the utility company.
She then noted that after the first incident had occurred, last Wednesday the same group again fell another 330KV tower on the same Ikeja West – Aiyede 330kv Transmission line, saying the tower is No.507, close to Temperance Farms, Ota.
"The mode of operation was observed to be the same as that of the fallen Tower No.395. The three legs of the tower were cut with saw thereby collapsing the tower with the fourth leg pulled out of its foundation.Again nothing was removed!" she remarked.
"Althoutg the country has been fighting acts of vandalism in the energy sector for long", she said "these latest ones on the transmission system are unprecedented as they are clear sabotage through wanton destruction, and this is a declaration of war on Nigeria", she said.
She said that electric power grid system of any nation is its backbone for socio-economic development, noting that when it is attacked as if it is an enemy attacking during war situation, such unpatriotic acts calls for national re-think and prompt collective action in order to speedily reverse the ugly trend.

It is not enough to promise N1 million if indeed this is sabotage those behind it must be brought to book. PHCN must act to protect our propertu.

Salt of the Earth!

Hi Folks,

Life is indeed nothing! Like King Solomon said, all is vanity. Imagine! Today you are here full of dreams, aspirations, hope, vision and the next minute you are no more. What happens to all those plans?

Unfortunately for us in Nigeria we have a very short memory. Once we loose somebody close to us especially if the person is not a family, we wail for like a month at most and then we are back to our old ways, cheating, lying, stealing, hating, defrauding, killingetc.

The scenerio I saw this morning at the church were the final mass was held for Late Brig. Gen Giwa Amu made me wonder what the struggle is all about.

Everyone I met had encountered Amu, some had projects with him on how to reform the Army, some knew him way back as school mates, some met by chance and have remained friends and the story goes on and on.

The whole essence of this is to ask, if death comes knocking now what will you be remembered for? Giwa Amu made impact on his children, wife, brothers, sisters, mother, uncle, friends, church, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Military etc. The list is endless. Many came not just to register their presence but because they are truly hurt that indeed Amu has gone forever.

Many wished they had a chance to pay him at least less than one per cent of what he did for them. The tears were genuine but he has ran his race and he will be welcomed in the bossom of the Lord. He no longer feels our pain neither will we here his deep baritone voice either condemning, making fun or just offering advise.

Remember you are the salt of the earth and if you loose your taste of what use is your presence here?

You have every right to be hurt but forgive immediately. Heaven is real and so is hell.
God pls give us the grace to impact life each day of our lives here on earth. Amen

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Is Mum's Anniversary

I had slept in the hospital the previous day February 27, 2004 with mum in the VIP ward of the National Hospital. Her condition was pretty bad and at this point she could no longer sleep. She had refused eating (I never knew the time was near) and just kept looking at me in a way that gave me crisps.

I was tired so I kept drifting in and out of sleep but each time I wake up, her eyes were on me as if she was sorry about something. So at about 4 a.m. when I woke and she still steering at me I had to say in a very harsh tone "Mumsi stop looking at me like that because you are not going anywhere". I guess I was also afriad but just did not want to accept it.

She looked away immediately but she kept murttering the Lord's prayer. And I shouted "Mumsi you will not die o!" With tears in her eyes she said, "yes I will not die". She was only trying to console me.

A week before she had gone into coma at a private hospital and I had to be transfered to the National Hospital where she was revived. In fact my friend who drove us there had heard the doctors said in Hausa that she was already dead but on giving her insulin injection at the emergency ward, she came back to live. (My friend told me this later).

So on February 28, 2004 (saturday morning), I had left for home to refreshen up and take a nap before returning to the hospital at home. But just when I was about sleeping I got a call that I had an assignment at the Women Development Centre. I had grugely gone there and it was there my brother called to tell me my mum was in pains and was asking for me.
I abandon all and took the next available cab to National Hospital. I had just stepped in when I saw her vomiting blood and the doctors drove I and my brother out of the room.

I wailed and prayed that something could be done but it was too late. The doctor who had warned me while she was in the private hospital to prepare for the worse (she had cancer that started from her leg and spread later to her heart. This was responsible for her immune system collapsing two days before she died. She had refused to eat and was no longer passing out waste), said "Juliana, you did you best for your mum but she is gone".

I shouted nooooooooooooooooooooo! Even when she was being wheeled to the mortuary I had begged them to stop because she could have gone into coma just like a week before.

Until she was lowered into mother earth on March 12, 2004, it was difficult to accept her death.

Mum was one in a million. She never went to school but she spoke English more than a graduate. My friends never used to believe me when I said she never went to school. The only thing she knew how to spell and write was her name. She was a business woman per exellence. She sold anything in season and had friends among the high and mighty.

I never forgot the fact that we were treated that millionaire kids by mum because every festive season we had the best of cloths and variety of menu.

It was not always smooth though growing up. This is because mum was always seek and during those times we will be taken away to leave with relatives who will treat us as slaves. But the moment she recovers she will look for us and we will go back to enjoying special treats from her.

I grew up more with dad (they were divorced) and so I had not seen mum for 10 years since dad came to take me away from her. We reunited in 1991 and we had fun more when I started working in THISDAY and she use to come for either Easter of Christmas holidays in Lagos and later in Abuja when I moved here.

Its been 5 years but I just can't believe my mum is gone. This morning I was usually sad but never could place my finger on it only for my brother to send a text reminding me that today was her anniversary.

But I am consoled that she is in God's bossom and we will meet to part no more.

I'm off to attend Brig. Gen Giwa Amu's wake keep. Another great friend gone.
Death where is thy sting?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Girl with an Apple

I cried when I read this and just had to share. Enjoy!

Girl with an Apple
A wonderful, true story.

August 1942, Piotrkow’s, Poland. The sky was gloomy that morning as we waited anxiously. All the men, women and children of Piotrkow's Jewish ghetto had been herded into a square. Word had gotten around that we were being moved. My father had only recently died from typhus, which had run rampant through the crowded ghetto.
My greatest fear was that our family would be separated. 'Whatever you do,' Isidore, my eldest brother, whispered to me, 'don't tell them your age. Say you're sixteen'. I was tall for a boy of 11, so I could pull it off. That way I might be deemed valuable as a worker. An SS man approached me, boots clicking against the cobblestones. He looked me up and down, then asked my age. 'Sixteen,' I said. He directed me to the left, where my three brothers and other healthy young men already stood.
My mother was motioned to the right with the other women, children, sick and elderly people. I whispered to Isidore, 'Why?' He didn't answer. I ran to Mama's side and said I wanted to stay with her. 'No,' she said sternly. 'Get away. Don't be a nuisance. Go with your brothers.' She had never spoken so harshly before. But I understood: She was protecting me. She loved me so much that, just this once, she pretended not to. It was the last I ever saw of her.
My brothers and I were transported in a cattle car to Germany. We arrived at the Buchenwald concentration camp one night weeks later and were led into a crowded barrack. The next day, we were issued uniforms and identification numbers. 'Don't call me Herman anymore.' I said to my brothers. 'Call me 94983.' I was put to work in the camp's crematorium, loading the dead into a hand-cranked elevator. I, too, felt dead. Hardened, I had become a number.
Soon, my brothers and I were sent to Schlieben, one of Buchenwald's sub-camps near Berlin. One morning I thought I heard my mother's voice. Son, she said softly but clearly, I am sending you an angel. Then I woke up. Just a dream. A beautiful dream. But in this place there could be no angels. There was only work. And hunger. And fear.
A couple of days later, I was walking around the camp, around the barracks, near the barbed- wire fence where the guards could not easily see. I was alone. On the other side of the fence, I spotted someone a young girl with light, almost luminous curls. She was half- hidden behind a birch tree. I glanced around to make sure no one saw me. I called to her softly in German. 'Do you have something eat?' She didn't understand. I inched closer to the fence and repeated the question in Polish. She stepped forward. I was thin and gaunt, with rags wrapped around my feet, but the girl looked unafraid. In her eyes, I saw life. She pulled an apple from her woolen jacket and threw it over the fence. I grabbed the fruit and, as I started to run away, I heard her say faintly, 'I'll see you tomorrow.'
I returned to the same spot by the fence at the same time every day. She was always there with something for me to eat - a hunk of bread or, better yet, an apple. We didn't dare speak or linger. To be caught would mean death for us both. I didn't know anything about her just a kind farm girl except that she understood Polish. What was her name? Why was she risking her life for me? Hope was in such short supply and this girl on the other side of the fence gave me some, as nourishing in its way as the bread and apples.
Nearly seven months later, my brothers and I were crammed into a coal car and shipped to Theresienstadt camp in Czechoslovakia. 'Don't return,' I told the girl that day. 'We're leaving.' I turned toward the barracks and didn't look back, didn't even say good-bye to the girl whose name I'd never learned, the girl with the apples. We were in Theresienstadt for three months.
The war was winding down and Allied forces were closing in, yet my fate seemed sealed. On May 10, 1945, I was scheduled to die in the gas chamber at10:00 a.m. In the quiet of dawn, I tried to prepare myself. So many times death seemed ready to claim me, but somehow I'd survived. Now, it was over. I thought of my parents. At least, I thought, we will be reunited.
At 8 a.m. there was a commotion. I heard shouts, and saw people running every which way through camp. I caught up with my brothers. Russian troops had liberated the camp! The gates swung open. Everyone was running, so I did too.
Amazingly, all of my brothers had survived; I'm not sure how. But I knew that the girl with the apples had been the key to my survival. In a place where evil seemed triumphant, one person's goodness had saved my life, had given me hope in a place where there was none. My mother had promised to send me an angel, and the angel had come. Eventually I made my way to England where I was sponsored by a Jewish charity, put up in a hostel with other boys who had survived the Holocaust and trained in electronics. Then I came to America, where my brother Sam had already moved. I served in the U. S. Army during the Korean War, and returned to New York City after two years. By August 1957, I'd opened my own electronics repair shop. I was starting to settle in.
One day, my friend Sid who I knew from England called me. 'I've got a date. She's got a Polish friend. Let's double date.' A blind date? Nah, that wasn't for me. But Sid kept pestering me, and a few days later we headed up to the Bronx to pick up his date and her friend Roma. I had to admit, for a blind date this wasn't so bad. Roma was a nurse at a Bronx hospital. She was kind and smart. Beautiful, too, with swirling brown curls and green, almond-shaped eyes that sparkled with life. The four of us drove out to Coney Island. Roma was easy to talk to, easy to be with.
Turned out she was wary of blind dates too! We were both just doing our friends a favor. We took a stroll on the boardwalk, enjoying the salty Atlantic breeze, and then had dinner by the shore. I couldn't remember having a better time. We piled back into Sid's car, Roma and I sharing the backseat. As European Jews who had survived the war, we were aware that much had been left unsaid between us. She broached the subject, 'Where were you,' she asked softly, 'during the war?' 'The camps,' I said, the terrible memories still vivid, the irreparable loss, I had tried to forget. But you can never forget. She nodded. 'My family was hiding on a farm in Germany, not far from Berlin,' she told me. 'My father knew a priest, and he got us Aryan papers.'
I imagined how she must have suffered too, fear, a constant companion. And yet here we were both survivors, in a new world. 'There was a camp next to the farm.' Roma continued. 'I saw a boy there and I would throw him apples every day.' What an amazing coincidence that she had helped some other boy. 'What did he like? I asked. He was tall. Skinny. Hungry. I must have seen him every day for six months.' My heart was racing. I couldn't believe it. This couldn't be. 'Did he tell you one day not to come back because he was leaving Schlieben?' Roma looked at me in amazement. 'Yes,' That was me!' I was ready to burst with joy and awe, flooded with emotions. I couldn't believe it. My angel. 'I'm not letting you go.' I said to Roma. And in the back of the car on that blind date, I proposed to her. I didn't want to wait. You're crazy!' she said.
But she invited me to meet her parents for Shabbat dinner the following week. There was so much I looked forward to learning about Roma, but the most important things I always knew: her steadfastness, her goodness. For many months, in the worst of circumstances; she had come to the fence and given me hope. Now that I'd found her again, I could never let her go. That day, she said yes. And I kept my word. After nearly 50 years of marriage, two children and three grandchildren I have never let her go.
Herman Rosenblat Miami Beach, Florida.
This is a true story and you can find out more by Googling Herman Rosenblat as he was bar mitzvahed at age 75.
This story is being made into a movie called “The Fence.”
With thanks to John & Ramona Rohrer For the Christian Prayer is not an option but an opportunity.
"In prayer; expect setbacks, but refuse retreat." Richard Eastman. Do your best, Bring out the best in others. Don't tell the Lord how big the problem is, tell the problem how Great the Lord is!!

Can We Now Move Forward?

Hi folks,
Yesterday's verdict of the Presidential Tribunal Elections has come and gone. The lawyers and opposition are giving mixed reactions and that is to be expected.
But if you ask me, I'll say we are literally at a stand still as far as moving this country forward is concern. Three months into the new year, everything seems to be at a stand still no budget, the Niger Delta crisis is worsening, the political thugs are having a filled day and so are the armed robbers.
This government has been too slow and commentators before now had blamed it on the outcome of the tribunal. Now it is out and even though the opponents are heading for the Supreme Court can we please move forward?
There is crisis in the education sector - ASUU is on strike and so is ASUP. The kidnapping in the Niger Delta is now a major business soon to be quoted on the stock exchange, the bad roads in the country are killing our citizens daily etc.
President Yar'Adua owes us a duty to stop this rhetoric of rule of law and get down to business. We need to feel this government and not just the reversals of previous government even though is the same party manifesto.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tribunal Verdict:The Celebrations in the Villa

For those who had earlier denied that there was no anxiety at the Presidential villa ahead of the pronouncements of the Presidential Elections Tribunal, the jubilations, backslapping and the open show of happiness immediately after the verdict yesterday say otherwise.
The beehive of activity that suddenly greeted the environment cannot be described many state governors, ministers, the leadership of the ruling party (PDP) and top government functionaries, private sector individuals (notable among them Aliko Dangote and Wale Babalakin), heads of parastatals openly embraced each other and some jerking all to celebrate. The only thing missing at the corridor of power was a bottle of champagne and the small chops to go with the celebration.
Protocol also inside the villa was for once kind of relaxed as minutes after President Umaru Yar’Adua and Vice President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan had sat down for the impromptu celebration, dignitaries including governors, ministers and aides who before now would have been stopped were allowed into the council chambers. Phones too were ringing with no caution, something that before now was a taboo and can earned you being walked out and the phoned sized. In the spirit of celebration all these were overlooked or ignored.
Even the sacked Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State, embattled James Ibori, Ibrahim Idris, Musiliu Obanikoro were all around to celebrate.
Those who before now could hardly knowledge greetings from State House Correspondents and would have to be forced to grant interviews each time they are in the villa, were the first to congratulate the newsmen with stretch hands and even in some cases embrace.
In an impromptu get together to congratulate President and Vice President, Yar’Adua said he welcomed with humility and gratitude to God Almighty yesterday’s affirmation of his election and that of his vice, by the Presidential Elections Tribunal.
He enjoined his opponents to accept the verdict in the greater interest of the country.
The President who dedicated the victory to all Nigerians told the excited members of the audience that the celebration was a victory for the country’s democracy and the rule of law, while thanking his opponents for contributing to the development of democracy in the country and ensuring that it remains on course.
The President stressed that with the verdict, all Nigerians, particularly the leaders owed it a duty to put heads together, cooperate and unite to face great challenges of transforming the country from an under-developed country to a modern developed industrialized country capable of meeting the development and needs of all the citizens.
“I again extend my hand of fellowship, friendship and brotherhood to my brothers who are the petitioners in the case, to join hands with me and the vice president to continue to do what we know best, that is, to serve the people of this country selflessly and diligently”.
Yar’Adua also thanked all Nigerians who he said had remained steadfast in their support for his administration and reaffirmed his total commitment to serving Nigeria to the best of his abilities and running a purposeful and result-oriented administration, which would be beneficial to all Nigerians.
He also reaffirms his commitment to working with all stakeholders to fully address the problems associated with past elections in the country and achieve a positive reformation of Nigeria’s electoral system that will ensure that the problems do not recur in future.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

People's Opinion Doesn't Matter!

Hi Folks,

Why do we allow people's opinion to dictate our next line of action? Don't get me wrong o! There is nothing wrong if genuine friends express concern about you and give suggestions on the way forward but when it turns to gossips and jealous talk, then to hell with all of them.
I read Linda's blog today and I must stay she remains the best blogger I have ever known. Always hitting the nail on the head.
Hear Linda:
"They have no right to tell you you're a bad person.
They have no right to tell you you will fail.
They have no right to spread false rumours about you.
They do have a right to dislike you...and you have a right...not to care"
....People who don't like themselves are people who are empty inside.
You want to be as beautiful as Genevieve Nnaji but you are not.
You want to be as famous as Tuface...but you're not.
You want to be as a rich as JJ Okocha...but you're not.
You want to be as intlligent as Wole Soyinka...but you are not
You want to sing like Fela Anikulapokuti...but you can't
You want to write as well as Chimamanda Adichie...but can not
You want to speak as eloquently as Fela Durotoye...but can't
So what if you're not? So what if you can't?"

This just summarises my thoughts on this matter.

B4 now I use to loose sleep over comments people make about me.
My late mum had to drum it into my ears when she realised I was allowing every comment distablise me.
She'll say: "Julie dear, the mouth is meant 4 talking so if you think nobody will ever talk about you, then you are not existing on this earth. You are nice they will say you are pretending, you are harsh they will say who go marry dis one? So my dear provided God is happy with you and your conscience does not judge you, don't live your life pleasing anybody. It won't change a thing".
My mum started drumming that into my ears when I was almost going crazy about side talks. There were times I carried long face for days if not months if as much as hear any negative comment about me. I always want to prove them wrong and would go about explaining to whoever cares to listen my own version.
There was a day I heard one terrible gist about me. It was so bad I had to ask could that be me? I was even confused bcos the picture didn't fit.
My Pastor says if you are not talked at you are not making impact.
I'll tell you that it was when my mum died that I said to hell with everybody else. If I earn N100, 99.9% will be on me. I make me happy. I can buy whatever I like, wear what I like, eat what I like no matter the cost becos u know what? It is my sweat!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

ICPC quizzes Duke, wife

This is very interesting. Like Gbenga Aruleba of Focus Nigeria on AIT said today, this is very sad that the finest couple from 1999-2007 have today join the growing list of thiefing governors and their spouse.
Imagine collecting N18 million monthly for eight years for fund personal projects? But we were given the impression that these guys where not poor now? That they even have the franchise for Uncle Benz Rice inAfrica.
How could they allow themselves to be rubbished after the Tinapa, Obudu Ranch Tourist Resort, Maintain Race, Calabar Xmas Carnival etc?

I am waiting to see the end of this!

PC quizzes Duke, wife

Written by Ise-Oluwa Ige, Tony Edike & Emeka Mamah
Monday, 18 February 2008

*Court relaxes Igbinedion's bail conditions*Ibori asks judge to hands off case
THE Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), yesterday, quizzed the immediate past Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke, and his wife, Onari, over their disbursement of a total of N4.3 billion public funds.
Also yesterday, the Federal High Court, Enugu relaxed the bail conditions it gave Edo State former Governor, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, while Delta State former Governor, Chief James Ibori, has asked Justice M.L. Lawal of the Federal High Court, Kaduna trying him for embezzlement and money laundering to hands off the case.
Mr. and Mrs. Duke were summoned by the ICPC on the strength of statements by former council chairmen in the state to the effect that they were made to contribute one million naira every month to Mrs. Duke’s Non-Governmental Organsiation (NGO).
There are 18 local government areas in the state and the contribution lasted the eight years of Mr. Duke’s administration.
By the time he left office in May 29, 2007, a total of N1.728 billion had accrued into the NGO’s account.
Mr. Duke was separately quizzed on how he spent another N2.5 billion public fund. The couple arrived the ICPC’s premises to meet a team of interrogators.
It was also gathered that Duke was asked questions about TINAPA.
The Resident Media Consultant to the Commission, Mr. Folu Olamiti, was contacted yesterday on the responses of the accused couple to the allegations but he declined to make any disclosure.
He only confirmed that Duke and his wife appeared before the commission.

February 18th My Saddest Day

Hi Folks,
I am sad, very sad!

One of the most intelligent and honest Nigerian, the Director, Army Public Relations and one time aide-de-camp (ADC) to former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, is dead.
Just like his saddest day in his life was when he lost his bestman at his wedding six months after in Liberia, mine is February 18th when Giwa-Amun died. I lost my own mum on February 28th four years ago, so February for me is going to be full of terrible memories that I will never forget no matter how I try.
I am so pained because just two weeks back he had called me to see him after my report on the Army Consolidated salary but somehow I never found the time. There was a little tension between us and I really wanted all to calm down before I go see him but it will never be.
My prayer is for God to help his young family in this period of pain. When you have a dotting husband and father, the pain will be too difficult to handle.
Live each day as if is your last and ensure you impact as many lives as possible just as Giwa-Amun did.
This is the full story of how he died.
Brigadier-General Solomon Giwa-Amu died Monday February 18th in a motor accident that occured at the Abuja-Kaduna road on his way to Jaji, Kaduna State, for an official assignment.
News about the death filtered into Abuja around eight O’clock in the morning. It was gathered that the Army spokeman, who was in a Toyota Hiace bus with some soldiers left Abuja in the morning for the journey, and along the way, the back tyre of the vehicle suddenly bursted at Dikko, a village in Niger State.
The driver was said to have tried all he could to control the vehicle and bring the bus to a stop but could not due to a trailer which was ahead, going at a slow pace.The driver, in his bid to prevent the bus from running under the trailer, reportedly lost control, which resulted into the vehicle somersaulting several times before coming to a halt.
It was gathered that Gen Giwa-Amu, who was sitting in the mid-section of the bus, was suddenly flung out, and smashed his head on a stone.When the bus finally came to a stop, the soldiers embarked on a search for their boss, and found him on the ground, with his head on the big stone, bleeding. They carried him to the bus before making contact with Army authorities to tell them what had happened.
It was further gathered that Gen. Amu was still alive when they picked him from the ground, and he was rushed to the Suleja General Hospital.It was on the way to the hospital that he gave up the ghost, a fate confirmed by doctors on duty.
As soon as the news of the accident got to the Army Headquarters in Abuja, they quickly dispatched three ambulance vehicles with the medical team to the Suleja hospital to see what can be done to save Giwa-Amu and the other wounded soldiers from dying. But it was too late as they were told that he died as soon as they got to the hospital.The medical team, led by Dr. Lieutenant-Colonel Agada, who is also the medical officer to the Chief of Defence Staff, then took the body of the late Giwa Amu into a Peugeot Expert ambulance car, covered it with an orange colour blanket, while his orderly, Salaudeen, who was in a very critical condition and in coma, was transfered into a Peugeot station wagon car, along with the remaining five soldiers, and driven to the National Hospital, Abuja.
A press release issued by the Army authorities Monday announcing the sudden death of Gen Amu, and signed by one Lieutenant-Colonel M.M. Yerima reads: “The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenat-General L.N. Yusuf, regrets to announce the death of the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier-General Solomon Giwa-Amu. He died today as a result of injuries sustained following a road traffic accident along Kadun-Abuja road. Burial arrangements will be announced by the family later”.
It's been shock expressed everywhere you turn, from his office, to his house, the pain can be sliced with a knief.
The Chief of Army Staff says “Solomon, was supposed to be with me here in Singapore, but had to stay back because of our programme on the barrack foundation that is coming up in March. I was shocked when somebody woke me up this morning to tell me that Solomon is no more. Well, the Bible says in everything we should give thanks, but I tell you I am so devastated by the news, I just cant believe it”.
U.S.A, as he was popularly called among close friends and course mates, had only on Sunday, February 10, organized a thanksgiving service on his promotion to the rank of a Brigadier-General, and for his wife, who only few weeks ago bagged a PHD in Biological Science from the Lagos State University.Solomon Giwa-Amu, who was appointed Army spokesman sometime last year, had said in an interview that his greatest priority was to bridge the gap between civillians and soldiers and make the average Nigerian love the military.
He was the first as Aide-de- Camp to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and later Defence Attachee to the Nigerian Embassy in New York, U.S.A.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Doctors’ Strike Takes Toll on Patients

Must we all die before something is done about these doctors demands? Why the heck do we complain about brain drain when we can't even manage the ones we have at home? Do governments at all level realise that doctors are also human beings with families to feed and take care off? Forget ethics if you do not take care of your workforce this is what you get, "gabbage-in-gabbage out". Any wonder why these people do not give a damn? They go to UK or America to treat headache and small fever. God will never forgive these people and they will reap what they sow a million fold.

Doctors’ Strike Takes Toll on Patients
From Ahamefula Ogbu in Port Harcourt, 02.13.2008

No fewer than eight patients on admission, including free lance reported with one of the national dailies in Port Harcourt, have died as a result of the current strike embarked upon by resident doctorsin the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital(UPTH).
Management staff of the hospital have, however, resolved to provide skeletal services to serious cases among the patients while they explore ways of resolving the labour problem .
When THISDAY called at the hospital, some patients were seen openly weeping without anyone to attend to them while attempts made to see the Chief Medical Director were unsuccessful as he was said to be attending to some emergencies.
The doctors embarked on the strike over alleged failure of the hospital's management to pay the new salary structure approved for resident doctors, the arrears of which have run into 11 months.
Chairman of the resident doctors, Dr. C. Amadi had blamed the management for the impasse, saying they had issued ultimatum that were ignored after series of letters on the issue.
The doctors have, however, resolved to continue with the strike until they are paid all their arrears.
However, Chairman of the Medical Advisory Council, Mr. Aaron Ojule, said they were doing everything to ensure that the striking doctors returned to work and appealed to the doctors to consider the effect of their strike and return to their duty posts.
He assured that everything was being done to ensure that their grievances were attended to, citing several meetings they have held with them as pointer of their resolve to tackle the problem.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Era of Rule of Law

For the first time in the history of Nigeria’s democracy, a governorship election is going to be re-run. The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Wednesday February 6, 2008 affirmed the judgment of the Kogi State Election Petitions Tribunal nullifying the April 2007 election which had returned Governor Ibrahim Idris to power.
A fresh election is to be conducted within the next ninety days, the court ordered. Chief Clarence Olafemi, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, has been sworn in as the Acting Governor of the state – although this may soon be a subject of another interesting development as Olafemi, who hails from Mopa in Kogi West, is also facing the possibility of losing his seat having had his election upturned by the state Election Petition Tribunal.
President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua ordered all relevant authorities to facilitate the immediate swearing-in of the Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly shortly after the judgement. The Special Adviser to the President on Communications, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, said: “As indicated by Section 191, Subsection 2, the Speaker will hold office until a governor is properly elected within 90 days as ordered by the Court of Appeal".
Yar'Adua talk na do President. I am impressed by this because during Obasanjo era some SANs would have sought to explain the unexplainable just to fool Nigerians and rubbish the fact that they ever went to school.

No Guilt Tripping

Work hard every day to be the best person you can be, but never feel guilty if you fall short of your goals.
Every sunrise offers a second chance.
Even when your dreams seem impossible to reach, try anyway.
You'll be amazed by what you can accomplish.
Ignore the negative voice inside your head.
Focus instead on your goals and remember your accomplishments.
Your past success is only a small inkling of what the future holds.
Finally, Accept others for who they are and for the choices they've made even if you have difficulty understanding their beliefs, motives, or actions.

Dating process:

Dating process:
6 weeks : I love U, I love U, I love U.
6 months : Of course I love U.
6 years : GOD, if I didn't love U, then why the hell did I propose?

Back from Work:
6 weeks : Honey, I'm home.
6 months : BACK!!
6 years : What did your mom cook for us today??

6 weeks : Honey, I really hope you liked the ring.
6 months : I bought you a painting; it would fit the motif in the living room.
6 years : Here's the money. Buy yourself something.

Phone Ringing:
6 weeks : Baby, somebody wants you on the phone.
6 months : Here, for you.
6 years : PHONE RINGING.

6 weeks : I never knew food could taste so good!
6 months : What are we having for dinner tonight?
6 years : AGAIN!!!!

6 weeks : Honey muffin, don't you worry, Ill never hold this against you.
6 months : Watch out! Don't do it again.
6 years : What's not to understand about what I just said??

New Dress:
6 weeks : Oh my God, you look like an angel in that dress.
6 months : You bought a new dress again???
6 years : How much did THAT cost me?

Planning for Vacations:
6 weeks : How do 2 weeks in Vienna or anywhere you please sound??
6 months : What's so bad about going to Istanbul on a charter plane?
6 years : Travel? What's so bad about staying home???

6 weeks : Baby, what would you like us to watch tonight?
6 months : I like this movie.
6 years : I'm going to watch ESPN, if you're not in the mood, go to bed, I can stay up by myself he he he

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

FG Panel Indicts Gbenga Obasanjo In N24bn Fraud

By Iyobosa Uwugiaren (Leadership Newspapers)

The report of an administrative panel of enquiry into the operations of Ajaokuta Steel Company(ASCL), National Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO) and Delta Steel Company (DSC) has indicted Global Infrastructure Holdings Limited (GIHL), a company believed to be partly owned by Dr Olugbenga Obasanjo, the controversial son of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
GIHL was granted a concession to manage the three companies in August 2004 following the failure of SOLGAS, the first concessionaire, to meet the target in the agreement it signed with the Federal government in a privatisation programme supervised by Gbenga’s father.
The report of the five-man panel submitted to the steel minister, Chief Tunji Sarafa Ishola, said GIHL failed to deliver on the terms of the concession agreement, instead it used the companies to secure loans without corresponding investments.
According to the committee, the N24 billion secured from Zenith, Ecobank, UBA, FBN, Oceanic, FCMB, Bank PHB and Sterling Bank went into private pockets.
The report expantiates: "As at November 15, 2007, the aggregate borrowings from the Nigerian banks is a little over N24billion. These borrowings are allegedly secured with the assets of Delta Steel Company.BPE confirmed that there has been no board approvals for any of these borrowings and for the assets of DSC to be used as collateral for ASCL and NIOMCO. The figure (N24billion) supplied by the finance director of the GIHL could be more considering the interest of about 14% per annum. One is therefore forced to ask what happened to the funds borrowed."
The report further found innumerable cases of diversion of value from the ASCL to either DSL or outrightly sold abroad for cash. The bottomline, the panel said, is that ASCL is gradually being crippled while GIHL’s interest is being buoyed in Nigeria and overseas.
"On the resumption of GIHL management at the ASCL and NIOMCO, processed iron ore stored at ASCL were carted away to Warri and sold to interested groups overseas.
"Sales of the said processed iron ore had continued for a while before the Monitoring Committee assessed what was left at a little over $2, 077, 545, 00. GIHL paid about $1, 000, 000 and just a week into the life of this panel the processed iron ore should not have been sold in the first place. It is a vital raw material for production at ASCL.
"Mention has been made of the issue of Essential Premium Scraps needed by ASCL which Global carted away to DSC. These scraps are worth N203,371,260.27 at today’s prices. This money is yet to be paid to FGN. The scrap should not have been sold because ultimately ASCL will need to import similar premium scraps at a higher price sooner or later."
The panel chaired by Magaji Inuwa called for a review of the approval given to GIHL by the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Development (NOTAP).
One of the ways the firm claims to have spent money on Ajaokuta is through technology transfer. GIHL has transferred US $17,356,896.02 using NOTAP approvals.
In order to ensure that it does not part with a penny on the Ajaokuta deal, GIHL, in concert with its Nigerian sponsors, came up with a report that put the value of the Ajaokuta Steel Company at a paltry $300 million.
The company also submitted a letter to BPE, another report that says it has spent the sum of $250 million on the Ajaokuta Steel Company since August 2004 when it took over the management of the Nigerian steel giant.
With the $250 million expenditure it submitted and which it claims to have spent, GIHL maintained it had already spent far more than it was expected to pay for the 60 percent share of the company it is targeting in the privatisation deal.
By its claim, GSHL would not only take Ajaokuta free of charge, it would also expect the government to make a refund of some millions of dollars to it, being the excess of what it claimed it had invested.
But the report deflated this claim by the Indian firm, saying "We requested for evidence of this massive investment but GIHL could not substantiate this except for a list of spare parts and consumables bought and cleared by DSC."
Another startling revelation of the panel is that since GIHL took over the running of Ajaokuta Steel Company, it has not paid the salaries of workers regularly. This has led to several industrial disputes between the management and workers of the establishment.
GIHL owes both the Russian and Ukrainian experts working with them salary arrears for about a year.
Industrial actions embarked upon by workers has resulted to the stoppage of rolling activities at the steel plant.
Other members of the committee are Ibrahim Abba Gubio, Emma Nwadi Eke, Vincent Odafen and Kunle Bolujoko.

My people, yet his father went after the Abacha family and even got some loot returned from Swizerland. Where is the money sef? What is the difference between the two families now? Nemesis will surely catch up with these people. If you think you can be in government forever hence you behave like an ostrich, I am sorry for you. This country is getting better by the day and with the help of the judiciary all these ones will be sent to where they belong, prison.
Obj the saint has turn out to be more corrupt than his Atiku that he was trying to hang. Obj will continually be in the news for all the wrong reasons. Pray where are his mouth organ the likes of El Rufai, Fani Kayode, Ahmadu Ali, Bode George, Remi Oyo, Mr. Fix it Tony Aninih, the 3rd protagonist.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Glo Stop Paying Our Enemy

My people,
I am just recovering from the shock of sunday o! These boys made me grew gray hair over night and I am holding Glo responsible for inflicting this pain on us. If you must support our football will you not settle for a super coach that will improve on the image of your brand?
If NFA has refused to sack the man because of he small small 'egunje' can't glo severe relationship?
In my opinion that coach is a bad image for glo as a product and is about time they hands off or we will campaign that Nigerians boycott their network. Those that already have the line will not recharge or throw the damn sim away. How can anybody support our enemy? This man came and killed the only thing that does not know religion, ethicity, color or creed.NFA needs entire cleansing but who will do it? Yar'Adua has his headache waiting for the tribunal to decide his fate so the man no get our time abeg.
Glo stop paying our enemy o or else!
What do you think guys?

Big Lesson

This is very apt because every day in our lives we take decisions at home or a work. Most times we act just to realise that we should have been a little bit patient. The story below is both a warning and a lesson on patient.
Note: Don't Stay around when you hear of armed robbery operations jut plan your exist carefully such that you don't run towards the scene.

There is a legend of a woman who had a faithful dog.
This dog was so faithful that the woman could leave her baby with it and go out to attend other matters. She always returned to find the child soundly asleep with the dog faithfully watching over him. One day something tragic happened.
The woman as usual, left the baby in the "hands" of this faithful dog and went out shopping. When she returned, she discovered rather a nasty scene. There was a total mess. The baby's cot was dismantled and his nappies and clothes torn to shreds with bloodstains all over the bedroom where she had left the child and the dog.
Shocked, the woman wailed as she began looking for the baby. Presently, she saw the faithful dog emerging from the under the bed. It was covered with blood and licking its mouth as it had just finished a delicious meal.
The woman went berserk and assumed that the dog had devoured her baby. Without much thought she clubbed the dog to death. But as she continued searching for the "remains" of her child, she beheld another scene.
Close to the bed baby who, although lying on bare floor was safe. And under the bed the carcass of a jackal torn to pieces in what must have been a fierce battle between it and the dog which was now dead. Then the reality hit the woman who now began to understand what took place in her absence.
The dog fought to protect the baby from the ravenous jackal. It was too late for her now to make amends because in her impatience and anger, she had killed the faithful dog. How often have we misjudged people and torn them to shreds with harsh words and even with physical assault before we have had time to evaluate the situation? A little patience can drastically reduce major life long errors.

Famous Sayings!!!

A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for!
Intelligence is like underwear. It is important that you have it, but not necessary that you show it off!
If your dreams determine your future, why not go to sleep now?
When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail !
Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

Shocking Facts But God is Not Mocked

I am sure you did not know this till now.
Death is certain but the Bible speaks about untimely death! Make a personal reflection about this..... Very interesting, read until the end.....
It is written in the Bible (Galatians 6:7):"Be not deceived; God is not mocked:for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Here are some men and womenwho mocked God:
John Lennon (Singer): Some years before, during his interview with an American Magazine, he said: "Christianity will end, it will disappear. I do not have to argue about that. I am certain. Jesus was ok, but his subjects were too simple, Today we are more famous than Him" (1966). (Lennon). After saying that the Beatles were more famous than Jesus Christ, he was shot six times.
Tancredo Neves (President of Brazil): During the Presidential campaign, he said if he got 500,000 votes from his party, not even God would remove him from Presidency. Sure he got the votes, but he got sick a day before being made President, then he died.
Cazuza (Bi-sexual Brazilian composer, singer and poet): During A show in Canecio ( Rio de Janeiro), while smoking his cigarette, he puffed out some smoke into the air and said: "God, that's for you." He died at the age of 32 of AIDS in a horrible manner.
The man who built the Titanic after the construction of Titanic, a reporter asked him how safe the Titanic would be. With an ironic tone he said: "Not even God can sink it" The result: I think you all know what happened to the Titanic.
Marilyn Monroe (Actress) She was visited by Billy Graham during a presentation of a show. He said the Spirit of God had sent him to preach to her. After hearing what the Preacher had to say, she said: "I don't need your Jesus". A week later, she was found dead in her apartment . Bon Scott (Singer) the ex-vocalist of the AC/DC. On one of his 1979 songs he sang: "Don't stop me, I'm going down all the way, down the highway to hell". On the 19th of February 1980, Bon Scott was found dead, he had been choked by his own vomit.
Campinas (IN 2005). In Campinas, Brazil a group of friends, drunk, went to pick up a friend..... The mother accompanied her to the car and was so worried about the drunkenness of her friends and she said to the daughter holding her hand, who was already seated in the car: "My Daughter, Go With God And May He Protect You.." She responded: "Only If He (God) Travels In The Trunk, Cause Inside Here.....It's Already Full "
Hours later, news came by that they had been involved in a fatal accident, everyone had died, the car could not be recognized what type of car it had been, but surprisingly, the trunk was intact.The police said there was no way the trunk could have remained intact. To their surprise, inside the trunk was a crate of eggs, none was broken .
Christine Hewitt (Jamaican Journalist and entertainer) said The Bible (Word of God) was the worst book ever written. In June 2006 she was found burnt beyond recognition in her motor vehicle.
Many more important people have forgotten that there is no other name that was given so much authority as the name of Jesus. Many have died, but only Jesus died and rose again, and he is still alive. "Jesus"
"If you are ashamed of me, I will also be ashamed of you before my father."

Saturday, February 2, 2008


It is said that at times silence is not golden. This is one of those periods when silence can no longer be golden. Those who sit in the comfort of their homes and try to confer on themselves credentials that can not be verified in the creeks, waterways or the swamps of the Ijaw and Niger Delta territories should keep quiet when those who posses authentic and verifiable credentials are on the podium. Too much has not been said. If we do not separate criminality from the struggle even God will abandon us. We must learn to call a spade a spade. And we must learn to work with the facts.
INTRODUCTION Ordinarily I would not have commented on the issue of this bloodthirsty criminal Henry Okah if those who knew so little had learnt to keep quiet. I met Henry Okah on the 3rd of February 2003 at the residence of a mutual friend who introduced him to me as an Ijaw man who deals in arms. I placed my orders for 6.8 million Naira worth of firearms and paid him cash on the spot in advance of the delivery. Henry Okah was so elated that he told the mutual friend that he had not seen an Ijaw man who was so ready to part with his cash for the sake of the Ijaw struggle. When I met him on the day of the delivery of the arms at the designated point, Henry Okah asked me if I was engaged in bunkering or a recipient of government patronage to be so committed to the struggle. I told him no to either and made specific reference to my support of bunkering since the oil was our but was opposed to the environmental impact it had as a side effect to the actions of bunkering. He said in return that struggles couldn’t be carried out with personal funds, as we Ijaws do not have the type of money to pursue a struggle. I told him that the struggle must first be moral as there was no way God would help us if we were are like our enemies. He replied that I should open my eyes as even the people in Afghanistan engage in hard drugs and trafficking to survive. I told him that as a learned Muslim I could say categorically that those who purchase arms through haram (illegal) money are not fighting in the cause of God. There are people alive today who can confirm. Later on I ordered for more arms from him when the crisis in Warri re-ignited between June and July of 2003. I sold my house in Johannesburg, South Africa, which I bought in 2002 during the Earth Summit and promptly paid him 4.5 million cash. The arms were duly delivered to our brothers in Ogbe-Ijo. Again there are living witnesses to this.THE RIVERS STATE CRISES The relationship between us continued on a cordial note and I asked Henry to open credit line for me. He supplied me arms worth 2.5 million on the 7th of August 2003 because of the threat from Ateke Tom’s Icelandic cult to overrun Buguma my hometown. When the crisis became full blown I relocated to Warri and stayed at the house of the now honourable Timinimi George shuttling between Okerenkoko and Warri. I made several appeals to Henry Okah to assist me with more credit facilities, which he delayed. Firstly he asked Tom Polo to facilitate the recovery of my arms, which I had sent to Warri, which they had used but refused to return to me. Tom Polo tried to secure the return of these arms but it was largely unsuccessful. Tom Polo then decided to of his own volition give me 50 AK 47s with which I used to launch the first series of attacks on the stronghold of the Icelanders. All my attacks were successful. It was only then Henry Okah decided to send 50 AK 47s, 10 General Purpose machine guns and 10 cans of bullets. With this success Henry was excited and decided that he could send in about 5000 rifles if I assured him that the money would be paid. Before then I had paid Henry a total of N13.24 million as part payment for the 50 AK 47s, 10 General Purpose machine guns, 10 cans of bullets and the N2.5million credit line he had provided for me earlier. This left an outstanding sum of N11.86 million to be paid later. With hindsight I truly believe our rapid success without help from any of the other militant groups was a cause of concern to Henry and others. He wanted us to slow down. Later on we discovered that he began supplying arms to Ateke Tom through a special adviser to the Governor of Rivers State of Ogoni extraction. He was the same person responsible for arms recovery from militants. It is also on record that apart from this treachery in Rivers State Henry Okah was also supplying arms to Itsekiris in Delta state. It might be worth mentioning so as to soften that blow that Henry’s wife is half Itsekiri and his driver for arms distribution is a full blooded Itsekiri man. Once again there are living witnesses to these claims. Just so you know the man we are dealing with. After promising the additional 5000 rifles, Henry never fulfilled this promise but instead dried up his supply and passed word to the Ateke camp that we were short of arms. We waited in vain for his promised supply. Luckily a Muslim brother of Ijaw extraction had some alternative links with some Igbo arms suppliers who were very impressed when I demonstrated that I knew Ralph Uwazirike and even asked me to advise him that arms struggle was the only way to sit up and take notice. A few days to the final attack on the 27th of August 2004 the famous Operation Dennis Fiberesinma these people gave us 572 AK 47s and 50 General Purpose machine guns at almost 30% of the price that Henry Okah had been giving it to me. With our success on the Operation Dennis Fiberesinma campaign Henry Okah then started calling to say he could now supply arms. By then we had donations coming in torrents from our Ijaw brothers mainly Okrika and Kalabari people and it was from here we were able to pay off our Igbo benefactors and the tricky, cunning and very wicked Henry Okah. All this treachery and backstabbing were unknown to us at that time. We despite his failings still celebrated his efforts and had even coined him at the time ‘Master of Arms’ from where many now call him Master. When I returned from Abuja what appeared a surprise to me then but seems so clear now was the coincidental and timely arrest of my two main Igbo arms suppliers one of whose whereabouts nothing has been heard of since. Only two people aside from me knew of our transactions and one of them Fara was to cross over to Henry Okah’s legacy of criminality, which I will unravel later. *RETURN OF ARMS* During the course of the Abuja peace meeting it was resolved that the parties to the crisis should disarm but I refused. I maintained that the arms belonged to the communities and could not ask the communities to give them up since I did not procure it for them. Henry Okah pleaded with me that I should go along with it as we could use it to make more money to buy more arms. For three weeks I refused to oblige him. He recruited a top Ijaw politician and a mutual friend of both of us to plead with me to see reason while it was important for my security and wellbeing. When this mutual friend failed, he then enlisted his adviser to the Governor friend who was in charge of the arms recovery to highlight further the economic advantages of the return of the arms as Henry himself would bring the arms and resell to government. I later agreed and set up a time with government to bring my arms. At the appointed time Henry Okah who was to bring arms from the camp of Tom Polo never did. In order not to loose my credibility I then turned to another one of my Igbo benefactors who brought in 250 AK 47s that I used to save my face. Together with some of my arms in the camp I made my first returns to government. It was then that Henry brought in 1,300 G3 rifles as part of the first five thousand consignments he promised me before now but had said were around since before the end of the crises. At the end of the final return we had turned in 2,377 G3 rifles, 611 AK 47s, 47 GPMGs and two rocket launchers. Most of the AK 47s were not supplied by Henry and the G3 rifles were easy to let go as none of the fighters in their right minds wanted a G3 beside him in battle. They would rather carry sticks and tie Egbesu. Henry Okah is alive and one day may testify to this. His price of a G3 was even higher than our Igbo friends supplied an AK 47 while his GPMGs were twice their price. Still we appreciated him. Even though his prices were steep, his timing was unreliable, he was Ijaw and he could bring in large volumes. In the times of war and crisis, price did not matter; it was volume as money is of no use to a dead man. Besides we had learnt never to rely on one source. Even to this day. EQUATORIAL GUINEA One morning in March 2005, I can not precisely remember the date now, a group of Bush Boys aka Peacemakers of Okrika arrived in my house and were shouting at the top of their voice casting aspersions on my integrity and impartiality as a leader. I came out and asked them to leave if they would not behave themselves. They refused to leave and said that I was denying them food to eat and that they were angry with me. Presido we dey vex, now wey e don reach to chop you dey go select people for our back make them go chop for Panya (Equatorial Guinea). I was astounded and called Sunny Opuambe the General Commander of the Bush Boys to come and take his boys away from my compound before I loose my temper. He came and asked them to leave. He then advised me to go in and he talked with them. Later he explained that Panya was a recruitment drive for Equatorial Guinea by somebody called Black Moses on my behalf and it involved people receiving N500, 000.00 each to go to Equatorial Guinea. The first person I called was Henry Okah who told me that he knew nothing of it. I later called around and found out that Commander Richman Yimbrin and Commander Three Lions were involved in the recruitment alongside Black Moses. I learnt that the boys were to be recruited to topple the government of Equatorial Guinea.I called George Timinimi to enquire and he said that such a movement had no backing of the Western axis. I called Henry Okah again and impressed on him that whoever was responsible was endangering the lives of not only the boys but also the Ijaw people who constituted the majority of the foreigners settled in the coastal areas of Equatorial Guinea. He still feigned ignorance. I then reported the matter to the State Security Services and the Nigerian Navy intercepted the first batch that had already left for Equatorial Guinea. These Equatorial Guinea mutineers led by Colonel Ella Lebang were arrested and taken to Abuja. Richman Yimbrin was arrested at Government House PH were he had gone to see the CSO to the governor Mr Larry Pepple. During interrogations at the SSS headquarters it was learnt that those arrested including Yimbrin were recruited by Henry Okah who also provided the arms for the operation. I confronted Henry again who again denied his involvement calling Richman a liar. THE TURNING POINT A few days later my wife Hajiya Mujahidat Daba Dokubo Asari called to tell me there were plans to kill me by Henry Okah in league with some of my friends. I told her that such plans were ridiculous as Henry would not harm me first because of our relationship and second because we had returned guns jointly and were awaiting the proceeds of the turn in. Still I called Henry and confronted him on it to which he replied that such rumours were borne out of a desire to divide us. He also asked me to advise my wife to stay out of matters of men.Curiously a few days later some of my commanders led by General Abiye Abaku Fara Dagogo, Bright George, Opu Kula, Kenneth Dan, Ethelbert, Napoleon Dagogo, Stephen George, Boma George came and demanded that I should give account of money so far received from the arms already turned in. I told them that it was none of their business as they did not pay one Naira for those arms and they did not know the source of those arms. The next day they mobilized themselves with over thirteen buses and motorcycles brandishing guns and other dangerous weapons. They on seeing a superior force and on realizing the futility of their actions proceeded to government house and stayed there till midnight. I called and complained to Larry the CSO who said they were pacifying them and would call a meeting two days later in Government House. After they left Government house that night they went to see Judith Asunni an American involved in peace work and conflict resolution at the Protea apartments in New GRA where it was confirmed in collaboration with the government house that the meeting in two days will hold. Judith had at the time had fallen out with me because she had tagged NDPVF as a cult group. Consequently she had promised to strip me of all my good press and destroy my name. This resulted in an open quarrel involving people like Ann Kio Briggs and George Kerley having an open conflict with her. I said very little at the time. Later a few persons who had sought refuge from me at the time of the crises joined her for access to the benefits she was receiving from government. Jaypee, Albert Akalogbo alias Olo, Theodre Fubara, Omo boy and others.I discovered from inside sources that the plan was to humiliate me and strip me naked at that meeting and beat me publicly. I on that fateful day mobilized over 100 buses and motorcycles, shut Port Harcourt down and marched on foot to Government House where they in connivance with the authorities had taken cover. Odili fled Government House and live bullets were fired into the crowd while the police were busy securing the criminals who were behind them. Several people were injured and the press reported the matter widely. Two days later Boma George and Fara and others held a meeting with Henry Okah and George Timinimi and others purporting to find a peaceful resolution to the crisis. I was not invited to that meeting. The boys were openly boasting of their Henry Okah backing and dismissed me as irrelevant.Once again I confronted Henry Okah who denied this and insisted all efforts were for peace. Later I got a sense of the thinking of Henry when I heard he complained to our mutual friend that I was acting as if I was the unilateral voice of Ijaw people wondering who ascribed this role to me and citing the PRONACO dialogue, e.t.c. On hearing this I called him and he backtracked and said that I should have consulted with other Ijaw leaders. I advised him that I had and reminded him that Bello Oboko, George Timinimi, Isaac Osuaka, Ann Kio Briggs, Tony Oruanta, Mieabiye Kuromiema, Weri Dighifa, Kalada Jene and Comrade Joseph Evah were also in attendance. He said he did not know these facts but I should consult with the genuine stakeholders. I asked him who these genuine stakeholders were? I explained IYC representation by Mieabiye, FNDIC represented by Bello Oboko, Joseph Evah former INC and myself as a former President of IYC had a good pedigree for consultation. In May 2005 in preparation for the Boro day celebration former Governor Alams advised that I should not enter Yenagoa. I promptly called Henry Okah and reasoned with him on the benefits of the occasion for Ijaws as a one million march peacefully conducted will send a strong signal especially for the participants at the Political Reforms conference. Henry called back later saying Alams was out of town and not reachable. On the 16th of May before we proceeded from PH to Yenagoa Alams sent Prince Kakas Amgbare to stop the march, as he was ready to defray all costs. I refused and proceeded and faced all sorts of embarrassment including the arrest and detention of our participants. The one million man march was eventually aborted but Alams himself regretted it even though he was later to confess that he had received 5 hired assassins from the Federal Government & had kept them in government house waiting to kill me. His refusal to allow me into Yenagoa he said was directly linked to his plan to prevent my killing.Later on Henry was reported to have said to our mutual friend that if they do not do something to benchmark my rising profile I would soon take all the credit for the struggle. Also a female friend of mine in Warri had said I should stay clear of Warri as they had finalized plans to kill me in Warri as a Kalabari man would never be allowed to lead the Ijaw struggle. True to this I visited Warri on the 17th of June 2005 for the naming ceremony of my daughter Halima Elebabene Dokubo Asari when my house was attacked in Warri by boys who never participated or whose contribution to our success was near zero. The fight was fierce and many of their boys were injured. In the fracas that ensued about five of them lay critical. Julius their leader was in surgery for several hours before they could save his life. The fingerprint of Henry was everywhere as the press in Port Harcourt courtesy of someone alive today to tell had already been told that Asari had been humiliated and stripped naked in Warri. By now Henry had already been seen with the type of persons that suggested his thinking and so it became difficult to deny the depth of their relationship even though he continued to maintain that he was only a mediator to settle the crises between me and my followers.MY DETENTION AND ARREST After I was arrested and taken to Abuja I made no effort to contact him as I already knew his hand in glove relationship with Fara Dagogo and his gang. Boma their leader became mentally insane. Henry took Fara and some others to Okerenkoko where they were given two speedboats and some guns. Tom Polo was made to believe these were useful in the struggle for my release not knowing that a parallel structure was now being set up. When Fara was not able to carry out any significant operation, Tom Polo called me to send in my people to Okerenkoko for a meeting of all the groups so that a direction will be fashioned out to press for the release of myself and Alams. I sent two of our most trusted female Commanders, Cynthia Whyte and another alongside some of my personal bodyguards known as the Immortals led by my cousin Dakuro Princewill. It was at this meeting that a decision was taken by the groups to have a name and a platform for the struggle. Hence MEND was created not as an organization but as a name for the purpose of issuing unified statements. Henry Okah who was in South Africa for the integrity of our information flow was appointed e-mailer in his absence. The first major difference between Cynthia Whyte and Henry emerged during the raid on a bank in AGIP HQ Port Harcourt when nine policemen a majority of those being of Niger Delta extraction including Okirika were killed.Henry confessed to giving the order and admitted that he got inside information but because of the inaccuracy of it had just missed the money. He insisted that the struggle needed money and justified the attack in this way. At this point top FNDIC and NDPVF operatives like Cynthia Whyte, Tonye Oruobo aka Ala T, Dennis Otuaru, George Kerley, Kersten Pondi, Paul Bebenimbo and others refused to work with him and commenced a subtle press battle even as far as issuing conflicting press statements. These crises were effectively managed by Government Ekpenpolo aka Tom Polo so that the crises would not blow into the public. Series of other bank robberies were continued with a conflict between JRC led by Cynthia Whyte and Henry Okah ensuing.*POINT OF NO RETURN*When I was still at the I.G’s guesthouse Henry sent word to me that there were plans to rescue me. I told him not to bother as I was prepared for the trial. My trust for him was no longer what it used to be. When I was finally taken to Kuje prison Henry and a few others came to visit me there. Here again he insisted on my escape as my continued detention was drawing the struggle backwards. I finally agreed and was asked to send 20 of my bodyguards for spiritual rites and training for the jailbreak rescue. Combatants were sent to carry out reconnaissance and detailed plans were concluded on how to hatch the plot. Suddenly the plans were turned around and the plot amounted to two female combatants with pistols surrendering the wardens in broad daylight followed by my transportation with four of his men and only one of my own by land to an unknown destination. The twentymen sent to prepare were no longer needed. The confusion that ensued in the last minutes before the fateful day resulted in a determination by my personal bodyguards the Immortals to carry out the operation on their own without Henry or his people whose identity was unknown to them. When it was clear that they would go ahead without him Henry leaked the information to the security agencies about an impending jailbreak and the security presence was immediately beefed up on the evening of the intended escape with the armoured personnel carriers, military, mobile police, regular police and SSS personnel. Nobody else was briefed of this detailed action plan except Henry, myself and those directly involved. It was at this time that I believe Henry planned the collapse of my command and control structure. I have never fought for relevance just for my people but it appeared that my blessings and my core people were a threat to him. The first to go was Ala T. He had refused to subscribe to the dissolution of NDPVF as proposed by Henry in the Abuja meeting and witnessed by about twenty others some of who are still alive today. His death, which was set off by a triggered explosion, was engineered by two people using a mobile phone the number that was known to only three. The other person aside from Henry who knew that number Godwin is also dead, killed a year later in another triggered explosion in Benin by the same method. The person who had the number aside from the victim should no longer be a surprise to you. It was Henry Okah.Shortly after that I was moved to the Area 10 Police CIB headquarters. From there I paid Henry the remainder of his 137 million less 20 million even though the government of Rivers State has not paid me till date. I paid the money from my personal resources as I still had retainer ship with companies who were paying me monthly. I paid because I was demonstrating good faith I insisted upon paying up slowly and surely and so even behind bars I met my obligation as if I knew what was coming, I never wanted to owe Henry. Henry had agreed that as I was paying the money off, he would extend credit facilities to me but he didn’t. For the first time I decided finally to cut him off. After two months, a mutual friend intervened and settled us. Henry soon asked me for 5 million to assist him move a large consignment, which came at an opportune moment. Odili had offered me N3 million to compensate for my inconvenience and since I had vowed never to use Odili’s money, I passed it directly on to Henry and added 1 million Naira with the help of my cousin in Warri to make it 4 million Naira.*THE CAWTHORNE CHANNEL ATTACK* Unknown to Henry the Immortals had perfected a plan for the most high profile and well coordinated attack in the history of the struggle of the Niger Delta. The Cawthorne Channel Gas plant attack saw the loss of 28 military personnel including a naval commander while two armored gunboats were sunk. Henry Okah was spellbound and speechless and was later to realize the ability to strike was still very much a capacity he could never limit or control. He contacted me and asked for the numbers of the leaders and I gave him a free hand to negotiate the release of the hostages. After this attack Henry promised to replenish and further strengthen the Immortals if I could get him 61.5 million. I reminded him that I only owed him 20 million. He said that he would write it off and use it to provide the kind of firepower that would make the government sit up and listen. He described the FNDIC team from the Western axis as thieves negotiating with government who could no longer hold Ijaw interests hostage as the Eastern axis had now demonstrated their ability as well.When Henry collected the money the equipment was no longer forthcoming and after a while I heard that one of the criminal elements in the Okah legacy boasted that Alhaji will be paying while we will be collecting reference to the arms supply I called Henry to explain first the delay and second the comments of his newfound ally. Initially he said that we were all the same team and so wherever the arms were we would eventually get them to the rightful owner. I told him that I was not comfortable with my arms being given to someone else but he kept on reassuring me. After continuous persistence he eventually challenged me about the extra money and told me to go to hell. He said if I didn’t leave the matter I would die in prison accusing me of being ungrateful for all he had done for me. I replied by asking him if I had not paid for the items in full. The conversation as you can imagine was heated and in conclusion Henry said I can go to hell and that Niger Delta will not know peace until I am dead. He told me to go to hell and challenged me to come and get my money if I was a man. Unsurprisingly the following day a top officer in the police force whilst the then I.G was out of the country moved me from Area 10 to the SSS headquarters so fast even the SSS people weren’t expecting me. I had to wait for several hours in the lobby of their offices before a call from Aso Villa confirmed the move. The top police officer is a known accomplice of Henry Okah and so you can imagine I put one and one together to get two.My painful and inhuman detention in the underground SSS cell created a resolve in me that I will continue to tell the truth even if it is against me because there is no pain no injury no suffering that I have not experienced or seen. The only thing I have not experienced is death but I do not fear it. Soon after, Henry used the Immortals to attack the Brass terminal, as they did not know our quarrel. At the time I was totally inaccessible and out of communication. As you are all aware this was another landmark attack with 97 Army men, naval men, mobile men and regular policemen present. The attack was carried out strictly by NDPVF. Henry directed that the 5 hostages be taken to the Elem Tombia camp (Fara’s camp) even though Fara had no hand in the attack, Henry had made him the commander in charge of the entire group, those loyal to me and those loyal to him. In order to forestall any NDPVF moves to gain control of the camp. Henry and Fara planned the attack on Kula, which they claimed was to assist Christian Don Pedro and other Kula youths under him to return back to Kula. When it was time for them to take off for the attack Fara vanished and Dakuro Princewill the leader of the Immortals had to lead the attack as he did in the Brass terminal attack. Fara leaked the impending attack to the Kenneth Dan’s group and Dakuro along with a few others were ambushed and taken out in what was clearly a set up. Immediately Dakuro was murdered in cold blood all the arms, speedboats and other materials of the Immortals were ceased and the remaining Immortals were asked to both take an oath and belong to the Henry Okah version of MEND or be killed since by ceasing their equipment the culpability of Henry and Fara in DakuroĆ¢€™s death was now clear.*THE NEW RIVERS STATE After arguments and disagreements between Henry Okah and Fara on the fate of the Immortals because Fara would not agree to kill the remaining members, they were asked to leave. Meanwhile the Christian Don Pedro group joined Henry Okah as they were seen as the only group that could lead them back to Kula. Allegiance to the supply of arms and the increasing influence of the criminal element created a fast growing atmosphere of unrest. At the centre was Henry Okah. Before the elections Tonye Princewill had come to see me and I had urged him to go into politics pointing out to him that there was a need to seize political power. He told me that as much as he would have liked to he would not like to walk into the ugly world of Rivers State politics. He said that even if he was convinced to do so, the current dynamics favoured PDP because of Odili and the stranglehold he had on the mentality of the people. I reasoned that the only way was to give a credible alternative to PDP by demonstrating that significant factors like me were not aligned with PDP.That day I decided to start the process by asking for the printing of my own posters for ACD even though I was not a member of the party. This process Tonye told me would be counterproductive and would throw me into conflict with government. As many now know, Tonye eventually joined AC after which I told all my people to work with him. Ateke, Soboma, e.t.c all agreed. Even Henry Okah agreed to all this and said he would work with the Ijaw interest. Unbeknown to me after giving Henry the opportunity to negotiate the release of the Cawthorne Channel hostages he established a rapport with the Rivers State government. Today it has become clear that Odili working with Henry took 100 million naira a month to pacify the same boys we read about today. The motivation was the receipts of monthly Federal allocation to other Niger Delta states, which were dwindling. Rivers State felt it wise to pay to keep their monthly allocations up. A government official told me this while in detention saying it was cheaper to pay the boys. I was asked if I had gotten my share of the July payment and I said I was interested as Henry and I were not in communication. I was moved to SSS in august.On the 17th of February I was moved to DG’s penthouse and kept in a suite, a week later I had a television set and was allowed visitors at the Area 10 CIB head quarters twice a week. This was because of what I said at the court about the conditions in which human beings were kept. The underground cells were closed, as I was the last person there. When I came back to communicating again I asked Soboma at the time to support either Tonye Princewill or on the contrary, Bekinbo Soberekon. Soboma said that none of them had told him they were running and that he cannot work free of charge as the state government had now committed him and made the Chief Security Officer. Both Tonye Princewill and Bekinbo Soberekon were there when I was having this conversation but declined my informing Soboma that they were aware. He reminded me about my support for Aroloye Brown as Asari Toru local government Chairman and wondered why no benefits were forthcoming tome. I told him that I had no such expectations in my support for Aroloye. He said he would not be able to work with any other party since he could not make money. I then asked my mutual friend who was also contesting elections on the AC platform to talk to Henry since both Soboma and Fara who had also confirmed that he wasn’t with us, were now loyal to him. He received the same response from Henry his own friend. After then my access was restricted. Later I learnt that Ateke and Prince Igodo were on one side with AC while Soboma and Fara were on the other side with PDP. It is no secret that Prince Igodo was later killed and beheaded by these same Ijaw boys on the day of the Rivers State inauguration under the sponsorship of the Rivers State government for fear of his opposition to PDP and the inauguration. Define treachery please. Now we all know what happened in Rivers State to the same people who were supporters of this administration. And I warned Soboma that a repeat of 2003 would happen where he would be used and dumped. He didn’t listen. Then we all know who ordered the attack on Goodluck Jonathan at Government House and at his country home. It was on the back of the allegation that Rivers State treated them better. It was designed to appear as if it was from Tom Polo. Henry Okah had elevated himself to the position of pharaoh.Why am I so bitter? If all my bitterness for Alams before his incarceration (check the archives) could be put aside when he was detained, why not Henry? I believe in the struggle. I love Ijaw more than I love myself. If I have achieved anything it is because I am an Ijaw man. I can forgive Henry for anything he did to me personally. His insulting my father, his refusal to give me my money or even his maligning my name can be forgiven. What I cannot forgive is his compromising the Ijaw struggle, the introduction of criminality and the dilution of the myth of the freedom fighter as a common criminal. We as Ijaws must be prepared to condemn criminality in all its ramifications. We are not perfect and are bound to make mistakes but surely we must be man enough to admit them. All of this will no doubt be restored but we too often settle for doing nothing whilst hoping things will improve. Am I the only one who is disgusted by the actions of Henry Okah and his crew? Am I the only one who knows that this man single-handedly undermined the Ijaw struggle while recovering huge financial gains from it? Does the thought of selling our birthright for a miserly 100 million a month not sicken you? I am sure I am not alone even though some who agree will not admit it publicly.Calling for his release simply because he is an Ijaw man needs to be backed by evidence to contradict my claims. If I am correct in what I say about Henry Okah, he has not only not protected Ijaw interest; he has worked against it viciously. I am waiting for someone to contradict a word of what I have said here and provide contrary evidence. The names of witnesses and their phone numbers can be made available to corroborate any of my claims. In some case I have documentary evidence including receipt slips of payments. Some accuse me of working for Government but that portrays the ignorance of Asari. I might be silent, but I am not compromised. If tomorrow we are required to criticize, no government will say that they gave me anything and so I cannot be silenced. Allah knows that I have survived on goodwill since my release and have stayed quietly in the background leaving Rivers State for now so as to avoid conflict. My place in Abuja where I hardly stay was paid for with the intervention of Goodluck but he will testify that when given the option of two places I elected for the cheapest to their surprise which was dilapidated, still partially occupied and half the price of the other. Now I am spending less and less time in Abuja because I am aware that tomorrow government might fail us, and somebody might have to speak the truth again. God knows I have no hand in Henry’s travails. This is not to say that I am saddened by it. On the contrary I am happy. Even if it is just for the period he has stayed let him feel the frustration of detention and a little bit of the consequences of his ways. Many of the things he was doing to me I know now but never knew then. If he reforms well; if he doesn’t, I will personally play my role in bringing justice to him. Allah the most merciful will protect his children. My hands are clean and he knows my heart. This is the first of my two-part narrative on the matter. The next part will be the period after my release leading up to the present and my interactions with not just the security agencies, politicians, communities and government, but also with the criminals.Comments from anyone who can shed more light would be welcome. That is what this discussion is about. Understanding. *

Friday, February 1, 2008

Senator Aliyu Chickens Out!

Why am I not surprise that after blowing hot and cold on the floor of the Senate with a threat to name 419 lawmakers that the chairman of the Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Senator Nuhu Aliyu has backed out.

I particularly like the way my Colleague Sufuyan Ojeifo who covers the Senate puts it: "He shouted on rooftop that the National Assembly was riddled with fraudsters. On the floor of the Senate, he threatened to name the alleged ‘419’ lawmakers but he was cut short. But when he was given a field day and was expected to savour the moment, he chickened out. It was an anti-climax of sort yesterday in the Senate. Chairman of the Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Senator Nuhu Aliyu, dramatically withdrew his statement that there were fraudsters in the National Assembly".

Some colleagues wore to high heavens that the man was fearless and was going to do just that. But guess what? According to Aliyu, he was chickening out because of his friends that he wants to keep and the respect that he doesn't what to loose. If that is not selfishness tell me what is?
Hear him: "During the debate my contribution became controversial and angered many of my colleagues and members of the House of Representatives. The media had a field day. I have come to realise that I am losing my friends in the Senate because of that debate. I do not want to lose them. “The controversy of that debate must end. We must be our brothers’ keepers. We must remain absolute, strong and united as a single family. I know both members of the House and Senate have tremendous respect for me. I want to keep that respect. “I have made contacts with my lawyers who have advised me strongly to withdraw that aspect of the statement I made that there are 419ners in the National Assembly".

But to fool himself and not us he then made mention of the late member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Morris Ibekwe, who was arrested, detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in connection with fraud and eventually died in detention, as a fraudster.

I am sure if Ibekwe was alive he would not have dared.

You see why in politics there is only permanent interest but no permanent friend or enemy?

But my happiness is that the members of the National Assembly his friends inclusive have decided to throw his apology to his face and they insist he must mention the names. If he doesn't he must be sanctioned.

I agree with the Deputy Senate President, Ekweremadu that “Senators are part of the political leadership of the country and their statements carry much weight and influence.” While insisting that since the matter had already been referred to the Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions Committee, the letter should be sent to the committee to handle along with the main investigations. The deputy Senate president pointed out that “Parliamentary immunity does not preclude parliamentary decency.”

In February

You must refuse any form of delay in your life
Every path that will lead to destruction God will deliver you
Everything you experience throughout the month will work together for your good
All the seasonal blessing this month you shall not miss
God will satisfy your mouth with good things
All the benefits accrue to you this month must come to you
God will beautify and satisfy you early
But remember what you can't chance you can't confront