Translational inhibition due to CHEAP RETIN-A the fact that the path of the excitation occurs Br neuron. recurrent inhibition     Carried intercalary brake cells (Renshaw). Axons of buy nolvadex online canada motor neurons often give collaterals (branches), ending with Renshaw cells. Renshaw cell axons terminate on the body or dendrites of the motor neuron, forming inhibitory synapses. Arousal that occurs in motor neurons travel in a straight path to the skeletal muscle, as well as collaterals to inhibitory neurons, which send impulses to motoneurons and inhibits them. The stronger the motor neuron excitation, the more excited Renshaw cells and the more intense they exert their inhibitory effect, which protects nerve cells from overstimulation. lateral inhibition    
 

[ Masterweb Reports: Charles Ajunwa reports ] - Without sounding immodest Abia State has become reference point for good governance since the advent of the present democratic dispensation in Nigeria. For the people of Abia State there is every reason to feel good for getting the benefits of the government of the people by the people and for the people. It is evidently clear that Democracy is working in Abia under the leadership of the well-focused administration of Governor Theodore Ahamefule Orji. The dictates of the present mood of the nation do not permit us to roll out the drums as in previous years to celebrate Democracy Day but we still have to count our blessings as the Ochendo administration enters its last lap. 
 
 
During the last edition of Democracy Day, Governor Orji pledged to continue with the implementation of his legacy projects aimed at laying a solid foundation for the economic growth of Abia. He has not deviated from the straight course of development which he has been following. Indeed, he has kept his words. In the last 12 months since he made that solemn promise, the wheel of development has increased in speed leading to the completion of landmark infrastructural projects in the state. 
 
 
The relocation of Umuahia Main Market is now a reality after 78 years of prevarications by past governments including the colonial administration. In place of the old market, the Umuahia Modern Market at Ubani Ibeku, is now a beehive of business activities. The market with over 7, 000 shops is purpose built with facilities such as motor parks, banks, fire service, adequate water supply, good network of internal roads, among others. Even before the completion of Umuahia Modern Market, the new Industrial Market had taken off at Ahiaeke Ndume in place of the old Timber Market, which was contributing to congest the capital city. These two modern markets have become reference points in expansion of commerce and job creation.
 
 
In the last one year Ochendo has added more health facilities to the ones he had already built. Dialysis Centre and Eye centre have been added to the ultra modern Specialist Hospital thereby creating a full medical complex where citizens can receive quality medical service of intentional standard. It has always been the dream of Ochendo to make available in Abia State the same medical facilities that Nigerians seek in foreign lands in what has become a phenomenon of medical tourism. As he built the well equipped tertiary health facilities, Governor Orji is equally focused on transforming both the secondary and primary health care system to make quality health care services available to the people at the grassroots. The primary Health Centres have continued to increase in number as quality health care services is being taken to the doorsteps of Abia residents. At the last count the Primary health Centres have reached over 300 and still counting. Some of the 100-bed hospitals located in the three senatorial districts of the state have been completed and fully equipped while others are nearing completion.
 
 
It was this evidential transformation of the health sector that prompted the Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA) to recognize Governor Orji and honour him with the award of Prime Ambassador of Health at the 37thAGM/Scientific Conference of NOA last July. This group of specialized health practitioners was so much impressed with Ochendo’s achievements in the health sector hence they conferred the award on him to fully capture his “contribution in providing phenomenal leadership for the advancement of health care.”
 
 
Over the last one year of democracy Day celebration Abians must also count their blessings for what their governor, who presides over a knowledge-driven administration, has done in the education sector. The primary and secondary school system have witnessed massive transformation with the hitherto dilapidated classroom blocks giving way to modern facilities conducive for teaching and learning. The model schools springing up across the state are designed to lay a solid foundation for the education of Abia children. It is the belief of Ochendo that if we get it right at the first two level of education the problem of falling standard of education would be taken care of.
 
 
As part of his pace setting accomplishments Governor Orji has given Abia State a befitting secretariat complex. The two blocks of four storey edifices are now standing majestically in their beautiful splendor at Ogurube Layout. It is noteworthy that the secretariat complex is coming 22 years after the creation of Abia as past governors both military and civilian never saw the need to give Abia a much needed secretariat. That was why state ministries were accommodated in makeshift structures at different locations in the state capital. But today most of the ministries have moved into the ultra modern secretariat tastefully furnished to inspire high level productivity. The organized labour profusely commended Ochendo during the 2014 May Day celebration for providing conducive environment for workers. This infrastructural development has also robbed off on the state broadcasting media as a modern 48 office complex is now occupied by the Broadcasting Corporation of Abia State (BCA).
 
 
 
Road infrastructure has continued to receive adequate attention in the development agenda of the Ochendo administration. Hence several road projects have been completed since the last Democracy Day. These roads, both urban and rural, contribute to the growth of commerce and boosting of agricultural activities in the state. The emphasis on rural roads is predicated on the need to boost the ongoing transformation of the agriculture sector as farm produce must be evacuated from the rural areas to markets in urban areas. Abia is now a major producer of cocoa and cassava due to the numerous incentives that Governor Orji has been providing to Abia farmers having keyed into the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) of the federal government.
 
 
There is no way one can enumerate the achievements of Governor T.A. Orji without making a reference to the prevailing peace and security in Abia State. Abians now take peace and security for granted after their governor fought very hard to overcome the security challenges that faced the state few years back. Abia was the butt of critics when the state was confronted with huge security challenges of armed robbery and kidnapping that culminated in the abduction of 15 school children on their way to school.
 
 
The Abia governor had confronted the challenge headlong and deployed every available resources to checkmate the evil doers. He not only ended the bazaar of the criminals but also took appropriate measures to tackle the root cause of the problem by implementing an unprecedented massive youth empowerment programme for Abia youths. Thousands of youths have been empowered and taken off the streets and crime. The Ochendo formula is now a reference point on how a chief executive of a state can fight crime and provide a peaceful and secure environment for citizens to live and carry out their daily activities without fear. Though he has won the war against insecurity Governor Orji has neither relaxed nor given criminals a breathing space. He has continued to sustain the peace dividends by providing the security agencies with the logistics and other incentives to make Abia residents sleep soundly with their two eyes closed. The youth empowerment programme is equally being sustained. The governor in his magnanimity has just reinstated into the Abia State civil service 2,700 non-indigenes who were among the workers back loaded to their home states in 2011.
 
 
The peace dividend in Abia is also reflected in the politics of God’s Own State as acrimonious politics of the past have gone for good. With his humility and good-natured love for peace Governor Orji was able to make peace among the political elites, who had been fighting themselves to the detriment of the state. There is no more dichotomy between the so-called Abuja politicians and home-based politicians as was the case before the present administration came on board. Abia politicians now speak with one voice and see the development of the state a common agenda that must be executed.
 
 
What has continued to confound Abians and observers of the development stride of the present administration is the pace Governor Orji has been tackling the infrastructure deficit he inherited. He actually hit the ground running immediately he liberated the state from the vicious grip of a godfather, who had turned Abia into a private property of his political dynasty. Since then things have been turning around for the good of Abia. And by the time the man fondly called Ochendo Global would leave office at the next Democracy Day Abia State would have climbed to the development pedestal the founding fathers and indeed the people of Abia have envisaged when the state was created. After all, the governor who has a mission to leave a legacy has assured that his primary concern now is to complete his legacy projects. That he has said would make him a fulfilled person and Abians would be happier for the Ochendo phenomenon. 
 
 
Ajunwa, Chief Press Secretary to Abia State Governor reports.
 
 
*Photo Caption - Governor T.A. Orji

[ Masterweb Reports: Mauricio Di Giorgio reports ] – Argentinian manager Rodolfo Zapata said he sees the potential for the Super Eagles to "create problems" at the World Cup. Asked how far he thinks the reigning African champions will go in their campaign, the 1996 Olympic football gold medal winner said: “Nigeria and Argentina will play a decisive game.  It is not the same to finish first or second place on their Group F."
 
 
"The draw puts France, Germany and Brazil on the same side of the elimination brackets (assuming they win their groups).  In theory Group F winner will face with Ecuador or Switzerland in the second round.  Then Belgium, Russia, Ghana or Portugal in quarterfinals, and a possible semifinal with Spain seem an easier way to get to the final game", Rolo Zapata said.
 
"The quality of football played in Africa has improved significantly.  Argentina arguably have the best attack of any team in the world, but there are some question marks over their defense and goalkeeper", he said.
 
 
As a coach Rodolfo Zapata has managed teams in Nigeria and South Africa.  Currently, he is working with United States Youth Soccer Association.
 
 
Mauricio Di Giorgio ( Email: ussoccermanagement@gmail.com ) reports.

 

 
*Photo Caption – If you are the first to tell us where the photo was taken and what it is all about, we will send you N600.00 in phone credit. Send your information to admin@nigeriamasterweb.com
Mauricio Di Giorgio is excluded from this exercise.

[ Masterweb Reports: Pharm Ikeagwuonwu Chinedu reports ] - Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, a former United States Senator from New York, First Lady and Secretary of State is a woman I admire in many ways. In years to come, the history of democracy cannot be written without outlining her genuine and sincere contributions to global democracy. She has not only re-defined International Diplomacy but has also fought for the rights of people left out and left behind of governments policies worldwide, the people she termed ’’those who feels invisible to their government’’. This great Amazon has made one of the best speeches on earth and I honestly wished we had a Hillary Clinton in Nigeria. But listening to her speech few days ago concerning Nigeria, I was convinced that she was largely misinformed on the true state of the country.
 
 
Nigeria has made bad choices, not hard choices, Senator Clinton stated in a New York event she attended, challenging the credibility and quality of the country's leadership under President Jonathan's watch. This I may not argue as she has her reasons, but her statement would have been better said this way Nigerian Citizens have made bad choices, not hard choices.
 
 
When on that cold winter morning of December 2001 I embarked on an ill-fated trip to the University of Maiduguri to contest for an elective position into the Executive Council of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), it never occurred to me that I was on a journey of self-discovery. When I look back at all my years in students and youth activism, I can confidently affirm without apology that the WORST STUDENTS UNION GOVERNMENT IS BETTER THAN THE CURRENT POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT WE HAVE IN THE COUNTY TODAY. The political orientation of an average Nigerian student is greater than that of our Political party card carrying member in the country today and the worst Student Union Leader is centuries ahead of most of the Politicians masquerading as our National and Regional Policy makers today…..HOW DID WE GET TO THIS STAG.
 
 
The answer is not far-fetched. Because of our greed, sectionalism, apathy and unpatriotism, we have destroyed Nigeria. We have thrown competence, integrity, capability and experience to the gutters and welcomed MONEY POLITICS, AMALA POLITICS, ITS OUT TURN POLITICS, HOW MUCH CAN YOU PAY ME POLITICS, DOUBLE REGISTRATION POLITICS, COURT INJUCTION POLITICS, HOW MANY OIL WELLS DO YOU HAVE POLITICS and all those nonsense that have absolutely nothing to do with Democracy….How does these have anything to do with Jonathan Goodluck?.This is the area where I disagree with Senator Clinton and this is where I believe she got it wrong.
 
 
Where did we learn to acquire black market court injunctions with most of them flying throw the windows to stop a legitimate electoral process in Nigeria. When did we learn to bitterly criticize in a scheme to run ourselves down? Whereas a student’s Union Opposition constructively criticizes a sitting government to bring out the best for the general interest of all students, Opposition Political parties criticizes to destroy a government at the detriments of the citizenry. What happened to constructive criticism? We don’t even have an opposition shadow government, what we have are just praise singers for any government in power. When did we start glorifying money bags and drop outs who seeks power, sometimes we even send emissaries to them begging then to contest, because of what’s in it for us. When did we learn to collect N500 to vote during elections, to vote people who are unqualified and ask them to hold offices in trust for us, are we that cheap or is it ideological poverty? When did we learn to internationally disgrace our leaders not because there are good evidence of corruption but because we felt that their ENGLISH was not good enough, what has happened to our sense of patriotism?. What has all these got to do with Mr. President?. How did we get to this stage?
 
 
BAD FOLLOWERSHIP is the bane of Nigeria’s young democracy. It is the precursor of bad Leadership and the eternal mother of Corruption. The federal government is responsible for most of the concerns of the country including economic productivity and security. But the president cannot be held responsible for every Bank Staff that defraud the Banking sector nor should he be held responsible for the failure of our parents to teach our children the sanctity of human life, turning them into political and religious tools for violence and Terrorism (Boko Haram) and killing women and children in their sleep. Come on, these and others have nothing to do with the President. It has more to do with us. In our mad scramble for power and sectionalism we have thrown decorum to the wind. We have also destroyed our youths and Students Unions that was once the last bastion of the common man and now we want to destroy Nigeria.
 
 
Yes, Senator Clinton was right, we have all made bad choices. we make bad choices every day we refuse to train our children the basic principle of love, tolerance and patriotism .We make a bad choice each day we collect N500 to vote at the polling Units. We make bad choices each day we send emissaries to known corrupt miscreants to contest elective position for the reason that we will get some economic tips from them (I see it happen daily in Nigeria).We make bad choices each day we fight and kill each other on religious, ethnic or sectional ends We make bad choices each day we celebrate corruption in the country and say it’s a tradition. We make bad choices all the time and we make bad choices out of Political apathy every day we say Politicians are the same and Politics doesn’t matter, and then allow persons of questionable characters to hold positions of trust for us. We have really made a lot of bad choices in Nigeria.
 
 
But then, we can decide to either continue dwindling in bad followership choices or we can decide to restructure, reconstruct, restart and rework Nigeria by starting to make hard choices today. Making hard choices requires sacrifices but the question is ’’Do we have the will for Sacrifices’’? When some of us left our Jobs in Europe and across the world to come home to support Comrade Tony Nwoye for the Governorship of Anambra state in 2013,we came, being mindful that even if the electorates have not yet acquired the will to make good choices for themselves and that even if we may not believe in the system anymore, we still believe in Comrade Tony Nwoye having known from his antecedents that as long as there is a single breath left in him, he will not stop making hard choices for Anambra State. Hard Choices requires sacrifices, giving up of personal interest for the best of the country. Let us start learning to love one another and above all, let’s imbibe the spirit of Patriotism.
 
 
We are all guilty but it’s not yet late to make amends. The sky is still blue. We can all get going by starting to make hard choices today.
 
 
Once more I salute Senator Hillary Clinton who has been a source of inspiration to people like us who will never stop at making the much needed hard Choices for Nigeria.
 
 
Pharm Ikeagwuonwu Chinedu ( Email: nansunn@yahoo.com ) of Anambra State PDP reports from Stockholm, Sweden.
 
 
*Photo Caption - Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
 

[ Masterweb Reports: Eze Chukwuemeka Eze reports ] - “In a world of plenty, no one, not a single person, should go hungry. But almost 1 billion still do not have enough to eat. I want to see an end to hunger everywhere within my lifetime.” –Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General.
 
 
“If there is food for all then we have a rich nation but when we don’t have food for all then we have a poor nation.” –Owelle Rochas Anayo Okoroacha, Governor of Imo State.
 
 
The importance of providing food for Nigeria’s large populace needs not be over-emphasized. But this, as captured in the above quotes, cannot be possible in a country facing the type of insecurity Nigeria is currently facing over the menace of Boko Haram. It is a fact that today, Nigeria is in the news worldwide not for any positive developments but due to its inability to curtail the menace of insecurity spearheaded by a religious jihadist sect known as Boko Haram fighting to end any form of education in Nigeria. This unfortunate scenario has defied any known security strategy by the combined forces of our armed forces, thus necessitating foreign intervention.
 
 
However, as several other foresighted people have warned, military might is not enough to defeat Boko Haram and solve the problem of insecurity in Nigeria. There is need for a more workable strategy that could solve the problem on a permanent basis. Luckily for Nigeria and Nigerians, we have a visionary leader who has come out with a possible way out. He faced similar scenario when he assumed office as Governor and has been able to tackle it decisively. That person is none other but Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Governor of Rivers State.
 
 
The record has it that the Port Harcourt that Amaechi inherited when he assumed office as Governor in 2007 was more like a jungle where the fittest determined the fate of lesser animals. The once glamorous city was ranked among the four most dangerous cities in the world as at that time. The Human Resources Unit of New York-based Marsh & McLennan Cos. had ranked Port Harcourt with Baghdad, Yemen’s capital of Sana’a and Khartoum in Sudan, as the world’s most dangerous cities. Going by the ranking published by Bloomberg, Port Harcourt ranked with Baghdad as one of the world’s most dangerous cities for foreign workers as criminal gangs and militia groups seeking greater control of energy revenue stepped up attacks. For Amaechi to have ended this dangerous trend and rescued Rivers State from the menace of militancy demonstrates that he is a leader ahead of his peers. It unquestionably makes him one whose proffered solutions to the Boko Haram menace we should take seriously as the menace can be likened to the challenge posed by militancy when Amaechi assumed office in 2007.   
 
 
Hear Governor Amaechi: “The current problem we are having in Nigeria is tied to poverty and unemployment.  I believe that one solution to this insurgency is education and employment. The easiest employment is farming, because a large number of our youths are not educated and skilled. I applied it here in Rivers State and it worked. We created the Banana Farms that have created jobs for over 2,000 persons. We revived the Risonpalm; it was dead when we came, and it has employed over 5,000 workers. Also, the Songhai Farm has employed over 2,000 workers, while Five Fish Farms in strategic locations have been completed. We have done all that to create employment opportunities for our people. I am very sure that the establishment of farms will go a long way to reduce the recruitment of Boko Haram members. The federal government must take education, employment and reduction of poverty as priority. We do appreciate the challenges the federal government is facing now.”
 
 
As obtainable in other states in Nigeria, agricultural policy was almost nonexistent in Rivers State at the start of Governor Amaechi’s administration. There was therefore no vehicle upon which the sector could be driven. The sector appeared to have suffered from total neglect by previous administrations, leading to the following:
 
 
•The parastatals and companies were in a state of decay, e.g. School-To-Land, Delta Rubber, Risonpalm, ADP, etc. •Non-release of approved budgetary provisions. •There were no functional projects. •Agricultural infrastructure was in a deplorable state. •Counterpart funding on the part of the government was poor. •Staff training or capacity building was nonexistent.
 
 
With the coming of Governor Amaechi all these woes facing the agricultural sector were confronted headlong. He has succeeded to the extent that most world leaders that visited Rivers State commended him for his vision and commitment towards the development of agriculture in the state.
 
 
The first major step Governor Amaechi took was to initiate an agricultural policy that would guide his administration in his vision to create another economic base for the state outside oil. 
 
 
AGRICULTURAL POLICY OF RIVERS STATE
In a broad sense, the policy of government on agriculture is to encourage full private sector participation in order to attain food security, sufficiency and best practices. Government is also to be strategically involved in creating the necessary agricultural environment for farmers by way of providing facilities and promoting programmes in collaboration with external agencies, institutions and Governments for the development of agriculture in the state. It has equally committed itself to invest in agriculture as a foreign exchange earner and use the sector to generate massive employment opportunities for its citizens.
 
 
The second step Governor Amaechi took in his vision to revolutionise agriculture in Rivers State was to appoint a very young, vibrant, unassuming and well focused leader in the person of Mr. Emmanuel Chinda as the Commissioner of Agriculture. This versatile, workaholic, egalitarian, well exposed politician and a University of Nigeria Nsukka graduate was all that Governor Amaechi needed to make much impact in this sector. Born on 18th March, 1970 in Port Harcourt, Mr. Chinda, Emmanuel Okwulogwo was the first Senate President, National Union of Rivers State Students and National Secretary General, National Union of Rivers Students by 1995. By 2002-2008, he was the Organizing Secretary, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Emohua LGA. Chinda was a recipient of award of merit from National Union of Ikwerre Students (NUIS) for the promotion and growth of the Union, Rotaract Club of University of Nigeria, Nsukka award for service to humanity, and award of merit from National Union of Rivers State Students (UNN) for service to Rivers State.
 
 
Chinda before his appointment as the Commissioner of Agriculture from 2009 was the Executive Chairman of Emohua Local Government Area by 2004 and Chief Legislative Aide to the Rt. Hon. Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, from 2004 to 2007. From 2008 to 2009 he was a member of the Rivers State Executive Council as a Commissioner in charge of Employment Generation and Empowerment. 
 
 
AMAECHI’S AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION AND REMARKABLE FEATS      
 
                                                                           
The administration of Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi since inception in 2007 has introduced several programmes to revamp the agricultural sector and encourage people to go back to farming. According to Amaechi, agriculture cannot be separated from the state’s overall development plan as the sector is being developed to equally stimulate the state’s economy. His administration has established the Songhai Centre, Fish Farms and Banana plantation as well as revived the Risonpalm in addition to other initiatives to improve agricultural growth and output in the state.
 
 
Under the Agricultural Development Programme (ADP), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Amaechi-led administration has been providing farmers with credit, subsidies and incentives to boost their output and develop agriculture in the state. It has consistently provided farmers in the state with high yield and disease resistant varieties of crops and other planting materials, including providing professional guidance and assistance to fish farmers.
 
 
Apart from food security, the robust agricultural programmes of the Ameachi administration are designed to generate employment for the teeming unemployed youths in the state by encouraging them to go back to the land in order to resuscitate the sector.
 
 
PRACTICAL STEPS TAKEN BY THE AMAECHI ADMINISTRATION TO PROMOTE AGRICULTURE IN RIVERS STATE
 
 
1.      SONGHAI RIVERS INITIATIVE FARM (SRIF)
 
 
Songhai farm located at Bunu-Tai/Ban-Ogoi in Tai Local Council covering over 314 hectares of land was introduced after studying the Songhai Centre in Porto Novo, Benin Republic. The Songhai Rivers Initiative Farm (SRIF), which is 20 times the size of its prototype in Porto Novo, has since its establishment recorded huge success in its operations. This farm currently under the supervision of the RSSDA is the biggest agricultural training project/programme in the country.
 

A good number of Rivers people, mostly youths, have benefitted from the government’s scholarship programme at the Songhai Training Institute in Benin Republic while others have been trained internally to work at the SRIF, fulfilling part of the goals of the initiative.
 

Such goals include creating employment opportunities for the people, promoting enterprise development especially amongst the younger generation, promoting research in new agricultural techniques and varieties, encouraging skills transfer and adopting appropriate technology by local farmers. Others are enhancing agricultural production and value addition, building interest in commercial farming and facilitating agro-tourism in the state.
 

Another major aim is to diversify the economy of Rivers State by moving away from dependence on oil and gas, encourage export and serve as a model for developing rural cities in the state as well as make the state the centre of agro- based export free zone.
 

The Songhai Rivers Initiative Farm is an integration of Livestock, Aquaculture and Agro-tourism. The Centre is designed as a place of excellence for training, production, research, demonstration and development of sustainable agricultural practices. It is tipped to become the number one hub of agricultural development in the country.
 

Prior to commencement of work at the farm in 2010, the Amaechi administration had dispatched to the Songhai International Centre in Benin Republic a group of 105 young Rivers men and women from the 23 Local Councils of the state to receive 18-month training in various specialised agriculture and agro-based areas and imbibe an entrepreneurial culture.
 

Fifty trainees out of the number have already been absorbed in SRIF as the first set of workers who will have the opportunity to run their own farm units, sharpen their entrepreneurial skills and eventually set up and manage their own businesses with support from the centre.
 
 
1.      AQUACULTURE PROJECTS IN RIVERS STATE
 
 
•MoU has been signed with ONIDA of Israel for the development of Fish Farms at Buguma Andoni, Ubima and Opobo.
•The total production capacity of these farms is 5,000 tons per annum.
•The project will create employment in the hundreds, generate revenue for the state and pay back in about four years. It also has the objective of transfer of technology to our local investors who may wish to replicate this farm in smaller units.
 
 
Strategy and future considerations
 
 
•Fish Farming in Rivers will improve local community income and alleviate poverty.
•Services for the industry will create more jobs around the farms.
•Food supply increase in the country.
•Replace fish imports and enable. 
 
 
Buguma Fish Farm
 
 
The Buguma Fish Farm has been completed and commissioned and is now ready for commercial production.
•A company, Buguma Fish Farm Nig. Ltd., has been incorporated with the Cooperate Affairs Commission (CAC). 
•Recruitment of qualified personnel into the company has been concluded for the first batch of staff.
•The Andoni, Opobo and Ubima Fish Farms have also commenced. The sites have since been acquired and clearing has been done. Land preparation/earth works have commenced. Imported items for the infrastructural development of the farms are being awaited.
 
 
1.      BANANA PLANTATION DEVELOPMENT
 
 
•The project is for the cultivation, production and export of banana for commercial purposes in partnership with San Carlos Nig. Ltd.
•A Special Purpose vehicle (Precious Bananas Nigeria Limited) has since been formed for the project.
•About 6,000,000 boxes of banana will be produced annually and marketed locally and internationally.
•2,000 hectares of land have been acquired for the project at Khana and Tai LGAs.
•The value of the project is 45 million US dollars.
•Out of this RSG is to contribute 40% while the partner is to contribute 60%.
•So far the first phase of about 250 hectares has been fully cultivated.
•Production for the first stage has been successful as harvest has been made and local sales effected.
•Land preparation for the second phase (250ha) has commenced
•The farm has so far employed about 350 people but is expected to employ about 4,000 people directly when fully established.
 
 
1.      OIL PALM DEVELOPMENT IN RIVERS STATE Risonpalm Ltd
 
 
•Agreement has since been signed with SIAT Nig. Ltd. for the rehabilitation and replanting of the 16,000 hectares Risonpalm estate under a lease arrangement for 35 years.
•Rehabilitation of infrastructure and installation of new processing mills almost completed.
•Engagement of new staff in progress; Risonpalm has the capacity to employ up to 5,000 people when running fully.
•Value of project is N20bn in the first 10 years.
 
 
1.      PLANTATION
 
 
 •Rehabilitation of the Ubima and Elele estates, i.e. about 14,972 ha of palm trees, has been done.
•Rehabilitation of Oil Mill, with present capacity of 30 T/Hr
 
 
1.      OIL PALM DEVELOPMENT
 
 
 New Oil Palm Estate
•The state has sourced 10,000 hectares for the development of a new oil palm estate in Okwale, Luebe, Lorre, Wikue, Lueku and Kpaa Azuogu, Ndoki, Obete of Khana and Oyigbo LGAs.
•Investors are being sourced for project, though discussions are on with a few investors that have shown interest.
 
 
1.      RUBBER DEVELOPMENT IN RIVERS STATE
•Delta Rubber: Rehabilitation and planting of the state owned 7,000 hectares Delta Rubber Company Limited with provision of processing facilities. MOU has just been signed with private investor, SIAT Nig. Ltd; on lease of the company. 
                            
 
1.      RUMUEWHOR RICE PROJECT
 
 
•Planting/cultivation of a 10,000 hectares rice field with provision of modern processing facilities. 
•10,000 hectares has been acquired for the project at Rumuewhor in EMOLGA
•Discussions with investors have gone far.
•Project is expected to commence soon.
 
 
1.      RIVERS FADAMA PROJECT
 
 
Fadama is a word for low lying seasonally flooded lands. The following has been achieved in this area:
 
 
•Establishment of three new farm villages for the cultivation of various crops, chief of which is cocoa.
•The project comes with a central processing centre to achieve value addition.
•MoU has been signed with LR Group of Israel who are investors/partners.
•Project is expected to employ up to 4,000 people.
•5,000 hectares is being acquired for the project which is supervised by RSSDA with the involvement of the State Ministry of Agriculture.
•Value of the project is about 140m dollars
 
 
SMALL AND MEDIUM SCALE PROJECTS
 
 
National Fadama Development Projects: Rivers State is benefitting from a World Bank Programme to develop the agricultural sub-sector of the economy supported by the federal, state and local governments to be implemented using Community Driven Development Approach.
 
 
Rivers State ADP: The ADP has the following programmes:
 
 
•Root and Tubber Expansion Programme (RTEP)
The programme aims at providing grants to farmers in the state to achieve sustainable increase in the production of root crops e.g. cassava, yam, cocoyam and sweet potato.
 
 
Focus in the state is centered on the production and processing of cassava. Funding is by IFAD, FGN and RSG.
 
 
25 Farmers Co-Operative Societies in the state have received grants for this programme. RSG counterpart funding since 2008 is N23m.
 
 
•Community Based Natural Resources Management Programme 
This programme is for the empowerment and development of rural communities through community driven approach in partnership with IFAD. The programme is being implemented as of now, in 5 LGAs. Funding by RSG is N101,200,000 (2008 & 2009). 
 
 
INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN AGRICULTURE IN RIVERS STATE
 
 
The mission of the Rivers State Government is anchored on integrity and good governance. This it hopes to achieve using its God-given resources to improve the quality of life of its present and future generations and empower its people.
 
 
Rivers State Government is promoting job creation by investing in its agricultural sector to promote businesses anchored on public private partnership.
 
 
In pursuing this goal, attractive and flexible investment incentives are available for investors to the state. This package of incentives which is exclusive to Rivers State is further enhanced by other Federal Government investment incentives; and is mainly in the areas of taxation, fiscal policies and guarantees.
 
 
POTENTIAL AREAS OF INVESTMENT
 
                                                 
Oil Palm
The state has over 10,000 ha of land marked out for the development of additional oil palm estates on PPP basis. Investment in the industry will yield high returns. RSG is sourcing for investors to leverage on this opportunity.
 
 
Rubber
 

The state is in the rubber zone of the country and it has enough land for rubber development especially at the Elele/Ubima and Etche axis of the state. Investment in the product will be highly profitable.
 
 
Banana/Plantain
 

Few regions of the world are as endowed as Rivers State in the production of tropical crops like banana and plantain. Investors need to leverage on this opportunity.
 
 
Rice
RSG has acquired 10,000 ha of land for rice production/processing and is sourcing for investors to exploit this opportunity. Additional land is available especially in the upland areas of the state for rice cultivation. The soil is quite suitable for the cultivation of this staple food.
 
 
Cassava
 

There is enough fertile land for cassava planting/cultivation in all the upland areas of the state and some of the riverine LGAs such as Degema. A large market already exists for the product. Value addition will increase the benefits of investing in cassava planting/cultivation.
 
 
Pineapple, Orange, Pawpaw, Coconut
 
 
This is a key area of industrialization (fruit juices) which has not been fully explored. Enough fertile land exists in the state for their production.
 
 
Food Processing/Packaging
 
 
Investment in food processing/packaging will be rewarding in the sense that there is a huge market for such products in the state. The state capital, Port Harcourt, is a cosmopolitan city and Nigeria’s second largest commercial and industrial centre. With 23 LGAs, Rivers State is rightly described as the investors’ haven.
 
 
Aquaculture/Fishery
 

Rivers Sate is one of the most endowed states in the country in terms of aquaculture/fishery. The state currently has four fish farms on PPP basis with a production capacity of 5,000tons/annum but this is just like a drop in the ocean considering the fact that about 2million tons of fish is currently imported into the country annually. There is a huge market for the commodity and investors need to exploit this opportunity.
 
 
Other areas where investment opportunities abound
•Agro-tourism/Wild Life
•Hatchery, Poultry and Processing
•Feed Production, Packaging and Marketing
•Livestock/Meat Processing and Animal Husbandry
•Horticulture/Export of tropical plants and flowers
•Wood Processing, etc.
 
 
OTHER AREAS OF AMAECHI’S INTERVENTION IN PROVIDING JOBS TO NIGERIANS
 
 
According to the Governor, “the current problem we are having in Nigeria is tied to poverty and unemployment.  I believe that one solution to this insurgency is education and unemployment.  The easiest employment is farming, because, a large number of them are not educated and unskilled.  I applied it here in Rivers State and it worked.  Most of them who were given guns by the ex-militants, when we asked them, they told us that their parents could not train them, that is why we introduced free education and free healthcare programmes.  And it occurred to us that to address this problem, we need social policing, and while you are doing physical policing, you must also do social and economic policing.  And to do that, we started creating employment opportunities by building over 140 Primary Healthcare Centres and over 300 Model Primary Schools.  If you visit these projects, there is no way you will not see up to at least 50 workers in each of the schools”, Amaechi said. 
 
 
“From the time I became Governor in the past seven years, we have been buying gas from Agip and Shell in billions of naira, and the federal agencies have been collecting the revenue without remitting anything to the state.  When they said, distribution was a problem, the state government was able to build 88 sub-stations which are yet to be commissioned, but they are all working.  We invited them to our exco meeting and asked them of how we can get back our funds, and they said, it is not from them, that all the money they realized had been paid to their regulators, including our money for the past seven years.  Yet, they tell us they are privatized, when they are still using Rivers State Government facilities to generate and distribute power”, Amaechi said.
 
 
“We generate 545 megawatts, and we are also building another 180 megawatts, and before the end of this year, we will have 715 megawatts.  We asked them, how do we get 24 hours power supply, and they told us, we should invest 13 billion naira more. We have already paid 5 billion naira as take-off grant, and our target is that before the 2015 elections we should have regular power supply.  We are funding now, and when the project is completed, the federal agencies collect the funds and nothing comes to us.  The privatization is not complete, the federal agencies collect the money we invested and own the infrastructures or we are ready to buy you out and own the power distribution network in Port Harcourt.  We are tired of complaining about power.  On your way to the federal government Afam Power Station, also ask them to show you the state government Afam Station.  Our 180 megawatts have been completed and we are building another 180 megawatts. We have the Omoku Power Station, Eleme Power Station, and the Trans-Amadi Power Station that has about 130 megawatts.  So, we have enough power supply.  But, the problem is that federal agencies collect the funds.  If they pay us half of what they are owing us, we assure you, we will run 24 hours power supply, because we are only funding it and getting nothing out of it.  This arrangement is not conducive for the state”, Amaechi stated.
 
 
Governor Amaechi further called on investors in the state to improve in their investment potentials and seek ways of creating more job opportunities for job seekers.
 
 
If this is not revolution then I am at a loss on what revolution means. Give me ten of the types of Amaechi and I will turn Nigeria into a heaven on earth! QED
 
 
CONCLUSION  
        
 
I will conclude this treatise with a quote from Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the former President of Nigeria, during his visit to Rivers State to commission some projects initiated by the administration of Governor Amaechi: “I came to see developments and I have seen developments and I will confess developments! What I have seen is worth declaring! The area of health, education, Agriculture, Sports and road infrastructure is worth declaring. When I see development I earmark, eye mark and mouthmark.”
 
 
Eze Chukwuemeka Eze ( Phone: 08038199163, Email:  ezemediaconcept08@rocketmail.com ), Media Consultant based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State reports.
 
 
*Photo Caption – Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi

[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] – God forgive all of us who have at some point or the other disrespected the poor, yet rich people of today and yesterday. We may be poor in paper money and living essentials, but God knows we are rich in heart, spirit and character. We may pick a pocket or steal a loaf, but God knows we will NEVER kill. The Holy books speak the truth, that the poor are closer to heaven; it is the rich that are close to terror. Soldiers in the Nigerian army selling ammunition, boys from Niger and Cameroon paid $3000 and bonuses the more they kill. What do these things have to do with us poor men? Boko Haram is a rich establishment, sponsored by Nigeria’s missing billions ($), the nations billionaires and our fourth republic political system. Boko Haram recruits rich and poor soldiers, civilian, army and government collaborators, governors, even President’s, alike. What does this have to do with the poor and why is our name dragged in the mud? Stop it!
 
One of the reasons Boko Haram exists in Nigeria today, is because our borders are not monitored. $3000 is buying mercenaries from Niger republic. Those who blame poverty for the terror, do they intend to feed the people of Niger, Chad and Cameroon too? No, it is not poverty, it is our open borders and our borders are open because our government steals the money to close them.
 
People die out of poverty; they do not kill out of poverty. Are we trying to create new shibboleth in Nigeria to avoid facing the reality? The reality is that corruption, especially political bred, is the root cause and sponsor of Boko Haram, and the corruption is buying more rich terrorists than anything else. How poor was the Nyanya bombing mastermind? When Kano governor, Kwankwaso disgraced the President of Nigeria, that was when bombs started blowing up left and right in Kano. What do these things have to do with the poor?
 
Some say, use carrot and hard stick approach. They say the hard stick has failed so we should use the carrot. This is bullocks. We have not used any hard stick. We lack a hard stick. The army has been sabotaged, it is not hard any more, it is a carrot, a soft, sweet stick. The army trades with Boko Haram, they give Boko Haram road to pass and even ammunitions. Our army is a carrot, we are yet to use a hard stick and this is why we are plagued by Boko Haram still. Not because of poverty, but because of administrative corruption which has destroyed the hitherto, respected Nigerian army—soft stick lasan, lasan, sweet carrot of an army. Give us Civilians the right to bear arms and you will see what a hard stick is. Rich and poor civilians, you will see if our poverty will not make us kill Boko Haram, the demonic army of the corrupt cabal twice as fast. Tompolo, Shekau, the bad are given guns in Nigeria.
 
Some people say it was the ‘extra-judicial’ killing of Mohammed Yusuf that ran Boko wild. This is all misguided talk. Did the extra-judicial killing of Abiola make anyone go mad? A terrorist is a terrorist. An armed robber is an armed robber. A killer is a killer. There are such people in every crowd and it takes little to recruit them and it is the responsibility of functioning state apparatus to deactivate and incarcerate them. The rise of terrorism in Nigeria, north and south is the simple result, not of poverty but of state corruption. The money to install security is stolen and used to sponsor terror. Imagine that!
 
President Yar’Adua finished Boko Haram quickly. He gave no time for accusing poverty for this crisis. He wasted no time in corruption to keep this crises festering. The current administration loves the carrot approach because this is all they know. Bribe, bribe, corrupt, mismanage, embezzle. They know they have no stick, that the army has been robbed of its due, so they rush to give more carrots to Boko Haram.
 
We all knew confraternity boys who killed in college—those of us who went to real colleges that is, not the #DiaRISGODo type. Were these frat boys not the affluent in the society, the ones with connections? Were fraternity members any more poor than rich? What did poverty have to do with deadly fraternization in school? We challenge any local or global body of authority to produce a single study that correlates a rise in armed, deadly violence with poverty more than it does with government corruption, reckless administrative mismanagement and misgovernance. So why are the poor made the culprits and why do the global bodies suggest improving welfare of poverty struck areas as though this is the reason for terror in Nigeria; rather than they promote the truth—that it is the political, systemic corruption that is the sole cause of insecurity and terror plaguing Nigeria? This appears to be a deliberate distraction technique to avoid proper analysis of their failure to implement global mechanisms and conventions against State corruption and terror. Why have global bodies failed thus far to list Boko Haram as a terror organization? Their attitude, always making matters outside their nations as though two equal members are fighting; whereas, when it is terror against their state, they hastily, unambiguously delineate themselves apart from the terrorists and compel all to strongly condemn the ‘terrorists.’ In our case, they watch Boko Haram with its government official and their private partner Cabal sponsors wreck the nation and refuse to classify the terror as authority, politician derived and based, with such indicted members of Nigeria at its helm deserving arrest and sanction, till we come on our knees to seek their help; and then still they court and dine with our terrorist leadership, still blaming us poor for this expensive problem.
 
True, the poorest parts of Nigeria need urgent appraisal, but let it be clearly stated that State corruption, politics and social strangulation by the government and Cabal are causes of the terror, not poverty.
 
One of Nigeria’s and the world’s most wealthy Cabal said a few days ago at the World Economic Forum, WEF, that he intends to invest $2.3bn in rice and sugar in the north and that this creation of 180,000 jobs will stop Boko Haram. This is pure deceit. Boko Haram does not exist because people do not have jobs; it exists because of the corruption he and the government engage in. He and they should stop that first and then see if that is not the true and root cause of terror. The rich are terrorists. The employed politicians and business owners are terrorists. If he reduced the price of cement which is now sold at three times the global average, to the price Nigeria used to import and sell it for before the politicians he sponsored into power helped him usurp Nigeria’s cement plants, gave him nil import tariffs and helped enforce his cement oligopoly on the nation, we promise him there will be no Boko Haram. His companies are simply to quadruple his profit off of the back of ‘slave’ workers and essentials he will again sell to the masses as enforced by the government at crippling exploitative prices. The mechanisms of his business only promotes more government corruption, more hardship and anger and more terrorism. Stop sponsoring illegitimate candidates with criminal corruption records, stop collaborating with them to destroy Nigeria, stop extorting the people and we will see if Boko Haram does not disappear. It is time to change the topic and focus from the poor to the rich usurpers.
 
It is to the shame of the foreign participants who came to the Nigerian hosted WEF days after the Nyanya bombing, kidnapping of the girls and dancing President. Nigeria does not deserve inclusion in any world economic bodies; the nation should be starved of funds looted by its corrupt rulers and used to fund global terror. At best, what should have held in Nigeria was a World Corruption Forum or Sanction Forum.
 
It is very important we stop lying to ourselves. Only when we do stop will Boko Haram become a thing of the past. It is only when we stop spreading our comfortable lies, like—Poverty breeds terror, the lies the colonial nations gladly help concoct, then only shall we be able to defeat the terror and other menaces in Nigeria. I have seen many poor nations and they do not have Boko Haram. Gambia is a poor nation. Mali is poor. Niger, Togo, Cameroon, even Ghana is poor when compared to Nigeria. But these States do not have Boko Haram. To stop Boko Haram, turn your face to the right side:  stop government thieves. Stop government sponsors of terror. Focus on the government and their private partners stealing the nation’s wealth, stealing from the oil revenue and the income of the poor in government enforced extortive oligopolies. Sanction government thieves and their private partners. That’s where to direct your stick and fruit. Take your Ivies and hard sticks to Aso rock and the homes of the world billionaire ‘business’ men. If you give them that your poison ivy fruit and hard stick, this senseless terror would end at last.
 
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: drbrimah@ends.ng ) reports.      
 
*Photo Caption - As seen.

[ Masterweb Reports: Chima Iheke, Ph.D reports ] –  There is no gainsaying that education illuminates the path to modernization and consequently to social and economic growth both for the educated individual and society at large.  
It has been noted from the Latin root of the word Education, ducere to lead. That education leads out (‘e) – out of our unformed, primitive selves, education civilizes us, prepares us for participation in society, in culture, in public service. Education opens the gates of the world. It provides the exit, the one way out.
 
 
That so fundamental an institution of growth and progress, arguably the greatest source of wealth creation and wellbeing mankind has ever devised, would be given short shrift by our leaders is befuddling at best if not downright appalling and really speaks of a gross abdication of responsibility.
 
 
Granted that it is too obvious and pedestrian to make the point that in education lies the repository of mankind’s intellectual property, probably more valuable than all the collective worth of the natural resources we hold, since without the know how to unlock the value inherent in these resources, the natural resources are of little or no value, still it is important to make a note of it in passing and remind ourselves and our leaders who seem not to realize the damage and violence being done to us as a society by this neglect.
 
 
As George J. Dixon, the proponent of the Foster Education Act in Great Britain of 1870 puts it, “there is no greater loss of wealth in a country than an uneducated people.” The time has come to salvage and reclaim our educational system from this thickening fog of neglect descending across the land that is casting a benighting crass patina of ignorance across the land.
 
 
The tentative progressive steps Nigeria has taken toward modernization to a greater degree can be traced to the fruits of an excellent education system, where school was actually being taught, bequeathed to us by the colonial administration.
 
 
Looking back to what used to be, a rot has set in and the fact that our education system is dysfunctional is not in dispute. To dwell on the shortcomings of the system will be an exercise in futility since there is no bright spot to gloat or write home about.
 
 
What happened to an education system that was the envy of the world? Nigeria high schools were known as incubators for students of coruscating and ferocious intelligence, who always took top honors in International examinations like the London GCE that ended in 1975. Students taught, enthused and refined through the alembic minds of dedicated teachers actuated by a love of pedantry.
 
 
Why has it fallen to such a state of decrepitude?
 
 
Those students are still in our midst, among our kids and all they need is an environment that will enable them to reach their full potential. As protean and intractable as this problem may seem, it can be solved if we can fashion a lasting solution rather than applying the same nostrum on a gangrene eating away at the core of the system. First we must identify the cause of the rot so that it can be excised from the core of the structure animating the system.
 
 
As noted earlier, the Nigeria education system was robust, producing world class scholars up until the government embarked on a bone headed Erastian policy of disposing communities and religious institutions of their schools. This policy led to the protracted Kulturkampf of the 1970’s between the civil government and religious authorities over control of education that has lasted to date with the consequent collapse in the standard of learning.
 
 
Taking over of schools by the government resulted in a plethora of problems that still bedevils the school system. The most insidious act on the system was the centralization of authority.
 
 
By centralizing the highest authority of decision making at the state school boards and Federal level, the principals and administrators of the schools were denuded of the requisite authority to effectively manage and administer their schools according to the dictates of the school charter. Before this policy, final authority was vested in the office of the principal who was accountable for the school and decisions were made locally to suit the peculiarities of the institution.
 
 
The principals ran their schools with discipline, a prerequisite to an effective learning process, a time was when a high school student would not be caught dead urinating in public, especially one in a school uniform, nor could the student leave the school premises without permission. Students were even more in thrall of their principals and teachers than they were of their parents and each complemented the other to instill discipline and guidance in the student.
 
 
One of the most pernicious effects of this centralization of authority was the complete breakdown of authority since the principals could not discipline or cashier a teacher who was not performing up to par and neither could he discipline the student who contravenes the norms of the school without running the risk of a drawn out protracted appeal process through the ministry of education.
 
 
A vacuum of leadership and responsibility was the end result of the policy since the government could not enforce from afar, leading to a complete breakdown of discipline and accountability – the bedrock of an effective learning process.
 
 
In her magnificent cogent book published in 2013, THE SMARTEST KIDS IN THE WORLD: AND HOW THEY GOT THAT WAY, Amanda Ripley makes just about the same point. She might as well have been writing about and contrasting the education system in Nigeria from her parallels. She pointed out that schools work best when they operate with clarity of mission. When teachers demand rigorous work, students often rise to the occasion. This is possible when administrators and teachers in every subject exhibit the authority of professionals held in high regard. The rot set in once the former system was dismantled with the attendant lack of accountability on the part of the teachers and administrators and indiscipline on the part of the students.
 
 
The government both at the State and Federal levels should rescind the current policy and work out a way in consultation with communities and religious organizations and hand the schools back to their original owners in a comprehensive way with adequate compensation to help them rebuild and put in place school districts and standards for the schools to meet.
 
 
There is really nothing radical about this proposal. We will simply be going back to what worked in the past and which most countries with effective educational systems have adopted.
 
 
For example, in the United States, the federal government does not have control over education since the Constitution does not say anything about education and the constitution does not say anything about education and the Constitution does not give control over education to the federal government. The states have control over education through the provisions of the 10th Amendment which states that any powers not prohibited by the constitution or specially granted to the Federal government are reserved for the states.
 
 
Consequently, states have enacted laws governing education and have established public school systems to serve their individual states. Every state has its state school system which provides facilities for every level of education, from early childhood education through higher education. States then transfer some of its control over education to local school districts. Under rules set by the state, a school district is responsible for running the local public schools, from hiring teachers and constructing buildings to planning courses for study. Each state government determines the number and composition of school districts. The government grants loans and scholarship to colleges and universities students to help pay their tuition and other school expenses and also grants funds both to public and private institutions. Local school districts also receive funds both from the state and Federal government to purchase text books, pay for school health services and finance experimental educational programs. A district must make these programs and services available to all children, including those who attend private schools since the aim of the state is the welfare of all the students.
 
 
In Great Britain, although mainly supported by public fund, universities in the UK are not part of the government run system of education. Instead, they are independent, self-governing bodies. The universities themselves decide what subjects to teach, what degrees to award, and what staff they appoint. The Quality Assurance Agency for High Education (QAA) reviews the standard of schools. (World Book Encyclopedia).
 
 
This mirrors what we had in place before the structure was dismantled. It is time to reclaim back a proven system and improve on it. The worst thing for a man who errs is to turn around and hug his error more tightly. So too it is for nations. And if I may quote Verdi: “Let us go back to the past, it will be a step forward.” (“Torni-amo all’antico, sara un progresso”).
 
 
No one is advocating a hands off policy, since the state has an important role to play in guiding the education system to meet the needs of society.
 
 
The establishment of school boards with school districts to oversee the schools within their respective districts will enable parents to have an input in the educational policy of their respective districts. The school districts will have a liaison officer with the state school board and report on the progress of the school and curriculum being offered.
 
 
The school districts will be charged with making decisions affecting their respective districts including auxiliary funding either through property taxes or through lottery programs. This will also allow parents to participate and voice their opinion regarding the education of their wards. Citizens will know who is responsible and where complaints can be lodged. This will open the door for endowments and philanthropy by private citizens.
 
 
Members of school boards will be people appointed or elected from the same district and responsive to the needs of the community and better able to shape the policy to fit the local needs. It will allow districts to learn from and emulate each other on what works. Finally it will subordinate fractious politics to geographic unity. Since the school districts are independent and thus fragmented, it will obviate a repeat of the kind of debilitating strike the last ASSU strike had on the education system in the country.
 
 
When as educators, the guardians of the repository of knowledge, who ought to know the real value and importance of education strike to close schools for so long, one cannot help but ask the organizers if the pettiness, insularity and brutality of their act on the rest of society is not repulsive to their sense of citizenship no matter how just the cause.
 
 
When a strike, no matter how noble and legitimate lasts this long, it complicates simple problems, deflects blame where they are appropriate and obscure the problem that led to the strike in the first place. Facility and intransigence in organizing a strike loses its sting and becomes a kind of cheap competence that often masks a lack of competence in anything that really matter like articulating properly the essence and quiddity of the strike itself and in the process the whole enterprise loses the moral high ground.
 
 
To be effective and achieve its aim, a strike action has to sprout and anchor deep roots in the fertile soil of public opinion and this one did not. While this intolerable present grinds down the citizens of this country to penury, they chose to add to the misery by staging such a crippling strike.
 
 
Compounding the disdain for the public, the utterances of the leadership was a display of unforgiving righteousness that rose to a thrilling height of moral disdain in pursuit of personal ends. An attitude encapsulated by a statement like this attributed to one of the leaders of the ASSU who was quoted as saying “Wike order cannot hold and vowed that ASSU would unleash terror if the minister attempts to carry out the order.” “We stopped the late General Abacha, so stopping Wike and these bloody civilians wouldn’t be any problems to us.”
 
 
He actually said “unleash terror”? In a state like ours traumatized by banditry and kidnapping where piercing terror stings the heart and death whistles from fearful jaws of the citizens, a man in such a position threatens additional terror on the public.
 
 
What an exhibition of entitlement! This sense of entitlement invariably bred defiance and insolence fashioning a personality that came across the pages as one spoiling for a fight and one who enjoys a fight and savors inflicting defeat just to extract revenge for a presumed injured innocence.
 
 
Such intransigence marred by such pettiness lack any splendid audacity. It is rather a source of incurable blemish on the organization. It lays bare the falsity of the claim that the strike was for the good of the education system and gives credence to the saying by Cicero. “Virtue will not be wooed but for her own sake, and if we sometimes borrow her mask for some other purpose, she will very soon snatch it from our face.”
 
 
Devolution and decentralization will help dismantle such a monstrosity and prevent any segment of the system paralyzing the whole because they failed to get their way.
 
 
The failure in our education system stemmed not from some universal human “failure of the imagination” or “poverty of expectation” because the past generation has proven otherwise, but from the arrogance and willfulness of certain people to whom the country had entrusted the highest responsibility.
 
 
Let us reclaim possession of the tradition of learning hunger that animated the lives of our past great educators and communities in time past. They were able to do things and accomplished so much because schools were local and there was an attachment and sense of ownership.
 
 
A man I revered, once lived in a light house. The Honorable William Eke of blessed memory built a house in my home town and name it the “LIGHT HOUSE”. A fitting appellation, for the man carried the torch of learning not only in my home town and surrounding areas but to the farthest reaches of Ibo Land where he worked. At Government College Afikpo as a teacher and Mbaise where he was the Divisional Educational Officer and later as a State Legislator under the Mbakwe administration in Old Imo State. A man who will not let a brilliant child anywhere be denied access to education and took it upon himself to sponsor kids that were not his own.
 
 
The man wrote countless letters and selflessly applied for admission and college grants for students to study overseas. We need to rekindle such a spirit in our people.
 
 
I am also reminded of Dick Ogan from the neighboring town, a brilliant, committed, passionate educator. He was so passionate about education, legend has it after his early death, that he would be seen at mid-morning after the town folks have gone to the farm teaching kids at the mission school.
 
 
We are heirs to these men, men like Okongwu, Tai Solarin, Alvan Ikoku, Obafemi Awolowo, and Idika Kalu to name a few who did so much against insurmountable odds to educate our people.
 
 
The torch has already been lit by these great men. To let it dim will be a great disservice to us all, and to the memory of the sacrifices and odds that was overcome to plant the seed of education in this country. Let us rekindle that passion and help the next generation. Learning is not an inherited trait. In Street lingo every generation has to put in “work” if it is to be kept alive for the next generation.
 
 
There is something particularly awful about the systematic destruction of fine minds and it is happening on a massive scale in this country. We all have a skin in the game and a stake in the education of our people. I will go as far as saying that it is obligatory for us to get involved because our wellbeing as a society depends on it. Not only is it the right thing to do, but the greater benefit will accrue and redound to us and the community at large.
 
 
When Hillary Clinton reiterated that “it takes a village to raise a child”, she was repeating a maxim she heard in East Africa. It is an African concept that she appropriated and rightfully so because she realized it is a truism that is applicable everywhere. It does take a village and there is something that we can do within the system to raise these kids as dysfunctional as the system is.
 
 
Most of us reading this article know the value of education and wish we had the same source and access to knowledge as is available through the internet when we were in school. This is where we come in and can make a difference in the lives of those coming after us. We know a lot of eager and intelligent kids back home whose parents cannot afford computers at home or internet access. What if most people reading this article decide to make a change by establishing computer labs in their old high schools or schools in their community to enable these kids to gain access to the wealth of knowledge on the Internet. You can even become the talk of the town by naming the Lab after yourself, your Dad, Mum or your better half. For as little as $10 - $20 thousand dollars, you can establish a computer lab of 20 to 50 computers with a central printer. This will change the lives of countless individuals and families. If you cannot do it alone, talk to your old class mates or communal organization. It will be a great project for them to embark on.
 
 
Just having access to all that knowledge will transform the lives of these kids hungry and eager to learn. This will give them access to the knowledge on the net but more importantly, it will enable them to take classes on the new MOOCS programs sprouting across the world (Massive Open Online Courses) that are being offered for free by reputable universities. MOOCS for short are opened to all comers and many elite universities are jockeying to become part of it. MIT and Harvard committed $30 million each to found EDX, there is UDACITY founded by Stanford professor Sebastian Thrum and then COURSERA with more than 115 courses on its website. Students can access the course material online and ask questions on online discussion boards.
 
 
My favorite, especially for high school kids, is Khan Academy with its lectures on Math and Physics. We know this will pay dividend for us as a society because how well a country’s students do in math and science is the strongest indication of future earnings.
 
 
This is exemplified by the products of India’s IIT university system. A system geared towards Math and Science whose entrance exam is so rigorous that those who do not make the cut, end up admitted tops in United States and European top universities like Harvard, MIT and Princeton.
 
 
It has paid great dividend for India with the school Alumni running Silicon Valley and transferring the technology back to India.
 
 
This exposure will allow our students to participate in PISA Test (Program for International Student Assessment) a triennial assessment that measures the performance of children across 65 countries and regions over seen by Andreas Schleicher, a German educational scientist. From recent results, there is a sense that the PISA test represents new geopolitical reality that is seeing the ascendancy of the East and Asia. There is no reason why we should not be in the thick of it. In a level playing field, I will put up our students against anyone in the world. PISA tests specific skills. Another program TIMSS looks more closely at the type of curriculum in fashioning its tests.
Businesses and Industries look at these results when making a determination where to locate. They need educated qualified workers and these tests provide a window to what is happening in a country’s education system.
 
 
This in no way replaces the regular class room lectures but will give our kids a helping hand to learn and compete with students all over the world.
 
 
We have to be cognizant of the fact that to develop as a society, our citizens and companies have to compete on the world stage. Our products whether intellectual or otherwise have to measure up to international standard. We know that we can, if the success of our people in Diaspora is anything to go by.
 
 
Countries that have achieved success are countries that have forced their businesses to compete internationally. A good example is South Korea, a country on the same level with Ghana in the 1950’s is now among the developed countries. This is a country that is so competitive in education borne out of government policy that there is now a problem that South Korea may be over educating its people. Incompressible you will say. This is a country where mothers pay upward of $1,500 a month to send kids to pre-kindergarten.
 
 
There is a level of expectation from students in these Asian countries from parents and teachers. That used to be the norm in Nigeria.
 
 
It is not just Asian countries but the new countries of Eastern Europe like Latvia and Estonia that are also making tremendous strides. For example in Estonia, the country has managed to leap into modernity by rigorous standards set for the students at very early age to the extent that computer coding is now compulsory for students in first year primary school.
 
 
It is a wake-up call, because these are the people we have to compete against in this world with its limited resources both materially and intellectually.
 
 
We really have a choice to make, are going to fake it until we make it or are we going to buckle down and reverse course and embrace a system tested and proven that will see our education system become accountable at every level. We have the brains: that has never been in doubt. The question is, are we ready to embrace the hard choices required to turn things around knowing full well that the greater benefit will accrue to us all as a society?
 
 
Let us grab our educational system by the scruff of the neck like we once did and being in control, bend it to the needs of our society and future.
 
 
Chima Iheke, Ph.D. reports from Arkansas, U.S.A.
 
 
 
*Photo Caption - Study books

[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah  reports ] - We have come to the conclusion that the only legitimate option for the government of Nigeria in the predicament of the abducted 234 Chibok girls is to entrust the decision to negotiate with the terrorists to the parents of the girls.

We advise the Federal government of Nigeria to host a meeting of all affected parents for them to make a decision on what course of action Nigeria should take in handling the release of their wards. This recommendation is in the best interest of the nation and the direct victims of our failure. This decision on the next course of action is made with due consideration of the reality that the government of Nigeria, based on the history of its dealings with Boko Haram, leading up to this notable abduction, has lost the credibility to make this decision on behalf of the victims. The Nigerian civilians are the only entity endowed with the credibility, responsibility and authority to decide in this matter.

In regards to giving money for the release of the girls; if the parents so decide, then so be it. There are mechanisms of controlling the impact of financed terrorists, and it is time these are enacted. Nigeria’s commonwealth goes to terrorists’ hands every day, regardless. Nigeria’s oil goddess still steals $4 million from the poor masses including the Chibok families, every day in the kerosene subsidy scam that the executive and senate leadership yet refuses to debar. If this is not money going to terror, in frank terror to the nation, then what is? Billions of dollars looted from Nigeria’s oil revenue by government officials and their cabal partners is what finances terror. Thus, giving some money to these terrorists today if the parents so decide, will be Nigeria-business as usual. We assure you that the money you give them will not affect or in any way reduce the rate at which we are going to be killing them. Boko Haram are dead. The civilians have dug their graves.

In regards to prisoner swaps. We have earlier advised the Nigerian government to visit Algeria for consultation on how the Algiers government addressed their similar “Boko Haram” crises of the 90’s “Black decade.” Apart from the Algerians officially training and arming civilians to defend their neighborhoods, they decreed a conditional amnesty by which terrorists who had not been directly implicated in death or rape were released. If the Chibok parents so decide, we believe Nigeria can exchange some of those women and youth arrested who have not been directly involved in murder or rape in exchange for the girls. Those convicted of rape and murder should have long been killed.

We also strongly advise you not to listen to advice from any so-called northern leaders. Many of those who shout loudest and come forward to make suggestions to the government today have lost the credibility to do so. Where were they during the four years of Boko Haram free flowing carnage? Where were they when Churches, Mosques and farming villages were destroyed across the north? We do not believe they care about these 234 girls when they hardly cared about the 40-80,000 who have been massacred. Most especially, please do not listen to certain individuals who suddenly became Boko Haram “analysts” as a French media organization referred to them. Their amazing ability to predict Boko Haram’s next moves to the letter have made them greatly suspect. It is strongly advised you steer clear from these persons.

We also caution you against information and advice from foreign “partners” and the nation’s you are visiting in addressing this Nigerian situation. Please realize the hesitance of these nations, despite the Boko Haram holocaust, to declare the group a terror organization. Please notice the UN’s reluctance to do the same and to place sanctions and declare resolutions against Nigerian government officials and partners for their support and sponsorship of Boko Haram terror. Nigerians have only Nigerians to blame and to consult in these matters. We have only ourselves.

Thus, we advise a meeting of the parents during which they are informed of the consequences of all decisions they take and they confer and decide what decision Nigeria should take in this matter. If they decide we use force at the risk of harm, we assure you, the civilian army is on stand-by to accompany the military to search, rescue and exterminate. It is time for the Nigerian people.

By God, no girl can die or be killed by a terrorist unless it is the stipulated time of her death as decreed by God.

It is time to act fast. May the Merciful Almighty have mercy on us all.

Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: drbrimah@ends.ng ) reports.

Photo Caption - A boy holds up a photo of his 19-year-old sister, Deborah Solomon, one of the schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram militants. Photo by Chika Oduah.
 



[ Masterweb Reports ] - The leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law wishes to revisit and re-educate Nigerians and the rest of the global community over continuing misinterpretation by some malicious Nigerians of the relevant provisions of the Electoral Act of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2010 as they concern who, in the eyes of the criminal law (misdemeanor), is a double or multiple voter registered voter. We had prior to the November 16 and 30, 2013 crucial governorship poll in Anambra State, released publicly circumstances under which a citizen can be tagged” a malicious double or multiple voter registered voter”. This followed accusations to the........ Read More.
 
 
 
*Photo Caption - Prof. Attahiru Jega, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Nigeria.

[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] - Between 40,000 and 80,000 Nigerians, mostly civilians have been killed in an out of control state of insecurity in Africa’s largest nation. Nigeria, a top oil producer hit global headlines in recent weeks as Boko Haram terror reached an all time high with the abduction of over 234 girls and gunmen massacres and bombings across the north of the nation, not excluding the capital city of Abuja. In the past two days, over 600 civilians have been massacred and more girls have been abducted.
Nigeria’s state of worsening insecurity is recognized to be conjoined with the brutality, recklessness, incompetence and gross corruption of its civilian administration. In the face of increasing administrative economic terrorism, impunity for terror masterminds and sponsors along with the same for financial terrorists within and out of –but associated with—the administration, whose illegally amassed funds, including the nations missing oil billions (USD), finance terror; the world lead players, and the United Nations, the leading body on protection of human rights and the right to opportunity and life-security of individuals of and in all nations, remain docile and overtly clement.
 
As we demand resolutions condemning the Nigerian government and harsh sanctions targeting the top government officials and their private partners, we draw the urgent attention of the United Nations and world players to the following global conventions:
 
The International Convention For The Suppression Of The Financing Of Terrorism, of 1999, in Article 2 (1) stipulates that “Any person commits an offence within the meaning of this Convention if that person by any means, directly or indirectly, unlawfully and willfully, provides or collects funds with the intention that they should be used or in the knowledge that they are to be used, in full or in part, in order to carry out: (a) An act which constitutes an offence within the scope of and as defined in one of the treaties listed in the annex; or (b) Any other act intended to cause death or serious bodily injury to a civilian, or to any other person not taking an active part in the hostilities in a situation of armed conflict, when the purpose of such act, by its nature or context, is to intimidate a population, or to compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act;” Nigeria’s government officials persist in clear violation of this convention;
 
Whereas, the International Convention For The Suppression Of The Financing Of Terrorism, of 1999, in Article 2 (4) stipulates that “Any person also commits an offence if that person attempts to commit an offence as set forth in paragraph 1 of this article.” and (5), that “Any person also commits an offence if that person: (a) Participates as an accomplice in an offence as set forth in paragraph 1 or 4 of this article; (b) Organizes or directs others to commit an offence as set forth in paragraph 1 or 4 of this article;” with Nigeria’s government officials in clear violation, there is no reaction from global bodies;
 
The International Convention For The Suppression Of The Financing Of Terrorism, of 1999, in Article 9 (1) stipulates that “Upon receiving information that a person who has committed or who is alleged to have committed an offence set forth in article 2 may be present in its territory, the State Party concerned shall take such measures as may be necessary under its domestic law to investigate the facts contained in the information.” And (2), that “Upon being satisfied that the circumstances so warrant, the State Party in whose territory the offender or alleged offender is present shall take the appropriate measures under its domestic law so as to ensure that persons presence for the purpose of prosecution or extradition,” Nigeria’s government officials are in direct violation of the convention, but remain without international recompense;
 
The International Convention for The Suppression of Terrorist Bombings of January 12th, 1998, in Article 5 declares: “Each State Party shall adopt such measures as may be necessary, including, where appropriate, domestic legislation, to ensure that criminal acts within the scope of the Convention, in particular where they are intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public or in a group of persons or particular persons, are under no circumstances justifiable by considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or other similar nature and are punished by penalties consistent with their grave nature;” Article 6 (1) declares: “Each State Party shall take measures as may be necessary to establish its jurisdiction over the offences set forth in Article 2 when: (a) The offence is in the territory of that State.” Article 7 (1) declares: “Upon receiving information that a person who has committed or who is alleged to have committed an offence as set forth in article 2 may be present in its territory, the State Party concerned shall take such measures as may be necessary under its domestic law to investigate the facts contained in the information.” And (3) states: Upon being satisfied that the circumstances so warrant, the State party in whose territory the offender or alleged offender is present shall take the appropriate measures under its domestic law so as to ensure that person’s presence for the purpose of prosecution or extradition.” Copies of the Abba Moro 2012 White paper report indicting Nigerian government officials in the establishment of Boko Haram terrorist sect; and records of an appointed official of the Nigerian State, Bamanga Tukur in which he professed support for Boko Haram terror, are internationally known and can be provided upon request, yet the Nigerian government in violation of the convention escapes remand;
 
In consideration of article 68 (1) of resolution 58/4, the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) entered into force on 14 December 2005, which provides for mechanisms for implementation of the Convention, Nigeria fails to satisfy the conditions stipulated and escapes repudiation;
 
Article 3 of the Universal charter of human rights declares that “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person;” Nigerians are denied these rights and this is done under the eyes of the international community;
 
Article 16 (3) declares that “The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State;” Nigerians are denied these human rights and these violations are perpetrated by the ruling authorities under the watch of the international leading bodies;
Whereas preamble section 3 of the Universal charter of human rights declares that is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law;
 
Let it be known that as recognized in preamble section 3 of the Universal charter of human rights, the people of Nigeria will be left no option than dangerous rebellion against the authority officials, and the United Nations will be implicate in the actions and consequences of such resort to self determination and self justice in the advent of continued tolerance to the tyranny, oppression and grave crimes against humanity being perpetuated by the Nigerian government against its people.
 
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: drbrimah@ends.ng ) reports. 
 
 
*Photo Caption – UN logo

 [ Masterweb Reports: Abayomi Ojo reports ] – The scene in Nigeria over the last few weeks can be taken to be an adaptation from a blockbuster première movie in Nollywood. Everything is just a jest.

 
 In fact, Nigeria is a disgrace and President Goodluck Jonathan is a big disgrace and I think he should resign with immediate effect, if he has any iota of shame in him. This country is a complete joke and a disgrace. Maybe I should be clear, I don’t believe that Nigeria is a great country and I don’t believe that we are good people in Nigeria. 

 
Some days ago, some 200 or more girls were abducted from a secondary school in Borno State, or is it the case that they were stolen? Were they simply nobbled or kidnapped?

Why is it that Nigerians are not asking questions?

Where are these girls? What is happening to them? 

 
Is someone raping them at will; morning, afternoon, in middle of the night; anytime, anyhow and anywhere for that matter? And if anyone of them dare to resist this assault or rape, were they being killed? How many of them are still alive?

 
Are they being used for rituals in some voodoo, in some juju and/or some other form of religious cultism? Why was it that only girls were kidnapped? Could it be that someone wants a lot of vagina? Or could it be that someone needs a lot of breasts, wombs or whatever? Why? Why? Why? 

 
How were they kidnapped in the first instance? I thought there’s some form of Emergency Rule with ‘curfew’ and ‘tight security’ in Borno? So, what you are telling me is that the Boko Haram insurgents came in the middle of the night, open the schools gate and entered the girl’s dormitories, load the girls into trucks, drove through the streets of Borno and disappeared without anyone seeing anything? How amazing? How convenient? 

 
Or are you saying that they are still in Borno? Are you sure of that? If you are not so sure, how come no one has seen them? Are they being kept in an isolated building? Are there no Nigerians close to the place where these girls are being raped or whatever? Are you sure that such place or places exists in Nigeria? Maybe they are not even in Nigeria?

 
The news circulating the media is that the girls had been transported out of Nigeria into Mali, Chad and Cameroon and ‘sold into marriage’ with some unknown persons at  $12, just like you would do to a piece of yam and cloth at the Market Square. How offensive!

 
Do we have a president in this country or just figurehead? What is the stand of the Security Council of Nigeria? Or do they even have a stand at all? Do they have a clue at all? Or could it be true that we don’t even have a Security Council?

I saw some members of some form of  ‘security council’ including Christian Association of  Nigeria’s boss, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor on the TV smiling after a ‘security meeting’ a few days ago in Abuja. Could it be that they are happy? What is the cause of their happiness? Is that not a disgrace in itself?

More Questions!

 
Do we have Journalists in Nigeria at all?

 
What are the names of these girls? Do they have parents and what are the names of their parents? Where do they live? Are they Muslims or Christians? Do they have favourite food, colour or music? Do they desire to become teachers or traders in the future? Or are they just ‘kidnapped secondary school girls’ to us?

 
Nonsense Journalism! 

 
Our journalists are more interested in Nyanko and Jonathan and Confab. Nonsense!
Investigative Journalists should be plenty on the streets of Borno by now and in the suburbs, scavenging for intelligence. Or are they doing that and no one knows about it? Is that even possible?
 

I think our journalists do not care. It is either that or that they are simply lazy and don’t know to go about these things.

 
Christian Association of Nigeria threatened to release the names of these girls some days ago, O yes you got me right, threatened! Because, we are still waiting!

 
Why aren’t Nigerians asking questions? Why hasn’t anyone been arrested?

Is there any search going on? If any search is going on, why isn’t anyone saying anything to Nigerians? Are we that bad that we don’t care about what is happening to other people as long as they are not our daughters, friends or members of our church or mosque?

Are we humane at all in Nigeria? Honestly, I weep for Nigeria.

And as at today, I’m definitely not proud of Nigeria, at all.

Abayomi Ojo ( Email: writersdistrict@gmail.com ), a Clergy and Physician reports.

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*Photo Caption – Map of Nigeria