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 ] - The APC national chairman, Chief John Odigie Oyegun was in Madrid Spain on March 4, 2016 to meet with the APC supporters Spain chapter. The group led by Steven Adeayo Tella and their spokesperson and media director Prince Kelly Udebhulu hosted the chairman to a dinner party and press session. The press session was covered by Masterweb Special Correspondent - Spain and the Daily Independent foreign correspondent, Uchendu Precious Onuoha, and media crew from Zenith magazine. Below are the excerpts of the interview with Chief Oyegun with Onuoha.
Que. As the chairman of APC the ruling party in Nigeria, what are your achievements and challenges so far?
Ans. I would say am lucky and privileged to be the first national chairman of course there was one interim chairman before. It was a privilege to be entrusted with that respect. I am running a party that rose up from the ashes of 3 to 4 other major parties, the ACN, NDP, CPC, part of APGA and others. And they turned it into a fighting force, of course with the intense cooperation of a lot of other major stakeholders of the party; we were able to turn it into a fighting force that succeeded in upstaging the government that was in office at that time which a lot of people thought and believed until the last minute it was not doable. For obvious reasons, it has never happened before, because they had access to so much resources and patronage that a lot of people thought it was undoable. But the good thing is that at that time, the Nigerian public was generally fed up with 16 years of PDP government.
The Nigerian public wanted a new direction, the Nigerian public was yearning for integrity, they needed leaders they could trust in governance and leaders they could believe in. On top of the stage so to say was such a personality in the person of Muhammadu Buhari, who is now president of the nation. And it was so clear, it was so obvious that he was the kind of person the nation needed at this period, a man who is transparent, obviously incorruptible, a man of very strong will and mind. And the only person who had the type of courage that it takes like we are experiencing today to tackle the MONSTER called corruption. I would say, it has been a pleasure, a wonderful experience, tough and difficult. I had to rely majorly on the compassionate cooperation of other stakeholders that together made the victory possible.
Que. Many Nigerians in Spain and diaspora are affected by the economic downturn of their host countries. Many are distressed and want go back home. Is there any plan on ground back home to rehabilitate such people?
Ans. I don’t know about rehabilitating those coming back home. But coming to join the struggle to change Nigeria, yes, and no question about that, they are very welcome. Talking about the economic downturn, it’s obvious that this is a worldwide phenomenon. Most nations of the world are experiencing economic difficulties. The Nigerian hazards originated from mis-government over 16 years ago. The lack of vision, the lack of direction, the lack of that will to build a nation and create something that was not there before. To be precise, the PDP government seems to have been contented within this period sitting on the resources that we have, distributing it, consuming it without creating for the future, without building for the future, without putting the economy on the footing for a sustainable growth. That was the period we have excess crude account. Meaning that we had more money coming in than we have planned from the price of crude our main export. The time crude was sold 130 to $140/barrel. We had that kind of money, but we did not plan, we did not build a single petro-chemical complex, we did not build a single refinery, instead even in the midst of plenty, we were still importing refined crude.
That was how visionless and totally plan less the situation was before APC took over. So to come back directly to your question, we too, apart from that plan less-ness, we also are victims of this major collapse of the price of crude from 140 to 30 dollars a barrel which is over 70% drop. So as fathers, just imagine what happens when you go to work and at the end of the month you come back with an income 70% less than what you have been used to. That has put us today in a situation of lack of infrastructures and total lack of facilities. So if you are coming, you know you are coming to join the major struggle to rebuild the foundations of our nation. Our nation is potentially great, make no mistake about that, we are resource blessed, there’s no question about that. And with the type of leadership we have now, we are going to rebuild that foundation. But what I emphasize is that, like you are experiencing here, these are hard times. So the choice is yours, do you want to come home, come and join the struggle there won’t be any bed of roses, one has to be practical, and there won’t be any soft landing. The foundations have been badly fractured that we have to rebuild. Once we get it right, the sky is the limit for Nigeria. That is the only thing one can offer.
Que. We have an array of Nigerian professionals in diaspora, how can the government harness this opportunity to turn the issue of brain drain in Nigeria into brain gain?
Ans. There is no question at all, those of you professionals abroad, this is really the time your knowledge, skills, experience and expertise are required because this is not the age of professional politicians per say. We need technocrats to get us out of the mess the economy has been plunged into. So for those of you that have specialized knowledge and skills, this is the time and you must hasten otherwise we are not going to make the kind of progress at the rate we must put in place for our country to recover.
Que. What plans are in process for Nigerians in diaspora to vote in the next dispensation?
Ans. That time will come, it will happen. You have heard the commitment of Buhari’s administration to the slogan we are shouting everyday which is, change. Again we have to fundamentally change the society and our attitude to politics and re-establish respect for right and disdain for what is wrong. We must establish respect basically for due process and rule of law. You can see that the electioneering has just been through, some of the cases are just been concluded in Rivers state, Bayelsa, Abia, Akwa Ibom. Cases which were visited with a lot of violence. Most cases went to Supreme Court for those who lost because of the nature of the electoral process. To be plain, to venture into that it has to be technically fraught to dangers and abuses and not for politicians to reap where they did not sow. The change we are now beginning to put in place is one of the thing that will go paripasu when we start to respect right and condemnation for wrong. There is no question at all given the large diaspora population that we have. What I have noticed here is the kind of passion with which you people have embraced this idea of change. It would be wrong to say NO, we cannot extend the possibility of diaspora voting, but the time must be right and the atmosphere must be right.
Que. Do you think the new trend where election victories are decided by the courts will augur well for the Nigerian democracy?
Ans. Let me say this in general terms then I go back to the APC change, the general Mantra, the challenges that are presently facing the regime. What is important is that the president believes strictly in the rule of law, strictly in enforcing existing laws. I am sure those of you who visit very often must have come across this talk that the APC say they have won the election but they are not behaving as if they are in power, meaning that people still have this old concept that power is having a sledge hammer and smashing everybody who is in your path. But the president is dedicating himself to due process and respect for rule of law. So he is shunning the big stick so to say and believes strongly that you can change society only when you have changed people’s attitude and it becomes second nature for them to do what is right and shun what is wrong. It’s going to be tough and difficult process, but it’s the only way we can depart from the past where might was right and unfortunately it sticked in the entire society. But the Buhari’s government is going to be very strict in enforcing due process, strict on the rule of law without respecter of persons. If you fail foul of the law, you pay the price whoever you are. There will be no exemptions and nobody is going to be too big to be touched. That is the only way change can become permanent. But it’s a longer route, the road we are travelling.
Que. Before coming to Spain, what was your impression about Nigerians in Spain?
Ans. I knew there is a very active and large Nigerian population here facing the struggles of life and the rest of it. I knew also there was an active APC wing here, one of the most active worldwide that I have experienced and that is why I chose to come here. I know that the economy worldwide is taking a tumble and I know you people are affected like people anywhere else. But the important thing is that in the midst of that, you have held your head very high and still truncating in social positive activities which are contributing in projecting the image of our country particularly at this time. So far I know it’s not yet “Uhuru” but I am impressed by the road that you are travelling.
Que. As APC national chairman and leader what advise do you have for other leaders in implementing youth empowerment policies?
Ans. The issue of youth is inevitability. It is inevitable because whether we like it or not, the youth at a certain stage are the inheritance of the nation. And everyone must endeavor to create opportunities for them and instill hope into their lives. Nothing like a youthful population that has lost hope. So they must always be engaged, they must always be challenged. The call in part of government is improving and restoring hope to the youths of the nation.
*Photo Caption - Chief John Odigie Oyegun

[ Masterweb Reports: Tony Adibe reports on Interview with Rev Fr Mbaka ] - Rev Fr Camillus Ejike Mbaka is the founder and spiritual director of Adoration Ministry Enugu, Nigeria (AMEN). In this interview, he speaks of his recent encounter with President Muhammadu Buhari, what transpired between him and Mrs. Patience Jonathan when she visited his ministry ahead of the 2015 general elections and many other issues. Excerpts:

What happened between you and President Muhammadu Buhari during your visit to the Presidential Villa?

Buhari assured me of good governance but his worry is democratic bureaucracy. If not for democratic bureaucracy, this country could have been a country for which everybody will say ‘Nagode Allah’ (I thank God), ‘Masha Allah’ (thank God for what this man has done), ‘Insha Allah’ (by the grace of God). But now, he has to pass through the Senate and the House of Reps. So, it’s no longer like when he was Buhari the military Head of State with Tunde Idiagbon. But Buhari still has the same spirit, the same enthusiasm, the same forcefulness, the same will power, the same determination to put Nigeria on the platform of excellence, but there is bureaucratic bottleneck. So, with an oath, Buhari assured me of giving Nigeria good governance.

Are you satisfied with what he has done so far?

It’s too early to judge Buhari, going by what we’ve seen in the past governments. But so far, Buhari has done very well. Look at the case of moral probity, how he, without mincing words, said no to same sex marriage. It’s immoral, it’s unnatural, and it’s un-African. Buhari said it’s not debatable in Nigeria, he said man should marry a woman and a woman should go and be married to a man. This is because, if sodomy and lesbianism and homosexuality are approved in Nigeria, the country will be in trouble. They are worse than economic collapse; because the bedrock of every successful country is her morality.

So if Buhari is touching the heart of the country, which is moral probity and enhancing spiritual value, he has succeeded. Number two, look at the issue of Boko Haram; here’s somebody who came to fight terrorism even though there’re skeletal attacks here and there, but the issue of “Boko Haramic” forces operating with flags and taking over some parts of the country, is dead. So, Buhari has succeeded, Kudos to him, no matter how other people are seeing in him, they must learn to see the good part of him.

He’s doing his best but Nigerians must do their best, too. Buhari cannot be in Abuja and be in Enugu or be in Ebonyi and be in Nasarawa or Kogi. All of us should be presidents in our own little way. We should clap for him, even if he has not gotten it 100 percent, 98 percent is not a small mark. 

Now, come to the area of corruption, for the first time, the untouchables in Nigeria are being touched. Courageously, he’s moving like a lion, not to gain anything from it but to save Nigeria from sinking.

Take for instance, if it’s not someone like Buhari that’s at the helm of affairs, by now Nigeria would have been a country going for sale, going, going, going…gone. By now, Ghana must be pricing us, Ivory Coast will be pricing us, Cameroon and even Togo would have come to say “how can we buy you people?”

But the faith, assurance and guaranty Buhari is giving to the international community is worth more than a lot of things. They see him as a man that’s trustworthy, a man that’s not corrupt, a man that they can invest in his government or country, and they’ll go and sleep. And that’s why foreigners are coming to invest. People are now waiting for the budget so the country can kick off.

It’s the budget that’s slowing down things. And you cannot blame Buhari on the budget, neither can you blame the House of Reps or the Senate on the budget delay because there is fluctuation in the core source of the budget - oil.  Today, oil is $29 per barrel; tomorrow it is $27 and before you know it, it comes to $31. But remember, the bench mark is $38. So, how can the budget be approved? Which means the budget, under this present predicament is unrealistic. Buhari was realistic when he made it but the economic decay and collapse has put everybody off balance.  But, as I said, he’s fighting, saying corruption must die; his agenda is crusade against corruption. And can you imagine that it’s the same people who wanted to continue to rule us that embezzled 99 percent of the country’s resources, sending the money abroad. Is that not wickedness?

For me, it’s a rape of the economy. The past governments raped Nigeria. All of them should be kneeling down with their hands up, apologizing from morning till night that they should be pardoned. They raped our morality, they raped our economy, and they raped our security, they raped our spirituality because they gathered even the men of God to be singing for them, and they were giving them money. It is a holistic rape of a country.

The way you often fall out with politicians make people to wonder why you’re against them…

Politicians want to make themselves god and I’m serving God. I’m a servant of God. I’m worried when somebody becomes an idol to be worshipped and makes himself a sacred cow that cannot be touched. I’m not against politicians.   Politics is not evil, and not all politicians are evil. There’re some good people in politics. I encourage Christians to join politics with good heart; it’s only good people that can change the country. Even if you’re not a Christian, and you’re a good man, join the government.

Let’s go a bit back to when Mrs. Patience Jonathan visited the Adoration Ministry. You prayed for her and poured oil on her head. And not long afterwards people alleged that you requested for money and her phone number, and when those things were not provided you changed your mind. Can you tell us what actually happened between you and her?

Praise the Lord. I’m just laughing because many people try to enter into areas they don’t know anything about. Prophetic life is a life that is spiritual and the Holy Spirit controls that atmosphere.

So, when it comes to prophetic life, it should be an area that should be left for the person who has the spirit of prophecy. It’s not a lay man’s football field for people to play in. It’s not even a journalistic field to rattle words. It’s the spiritual zone that the unschooled in it can enter and if you don’t know how to swim, you can be drowned inside.

Right from my primary school, God has been using me for prophesy.  In the case of Jonathan and his wife, God in heaven knows that apart from the offertory the woman gave on the altar, which I knew the amount, I took that amount and put back inside the same bag that one of the former aides of Jonathan brought - small bag filled with dollars in appreciation of, not as bribe.

But the Holy Spirit said, ‘send back this money’. She didn’t give it to me directly. She gave it through somebody and I returned the whole money plus the one she used for offertory, all of them were returned. There is no kobo of Mrs. Jonathan or Jonathan in my hand; the Holy Spirit rejected all of them.

When the saga was going on, I put my hands on the altar and swore an oath that if I ever touched Jonathan’s one kobo, may he win the election, but if I never did and I am being accused of it, God knows he will fail the election.

I demanded the telephone number, not for any personal encounter but so that if any message comes I can give to her privately. Some prophecies should not be made public, but when the person that should receive it privately inhibits the opportunity of giving it to him or her privately, God may force you to air it publicly because the thing burns like fire in your life. I don’t take bribe from anybody.

God blessed me o. Many people think that I’m living by the people’s offertory. Throughout my 18 years in GRA, I never fed with one kobo from the offertory. I’m a musician. I have released some music and they are multi-million naira worth of musical works, and my music is a gift just like this prophecy. I go to bed to sleep and the songs come. I wake up and I’ll remember. I don’t even know how to write solfa notation. It’s just a gift but I’ve taken an oath that whatever God will give to me, I’ll use it for charity; to help the poor, the less privileged and to assist the ministry and the church.

So, what am I collecting money from Mrs. Jonathan to do? If I need money from them, I know what was offered me; it ought not to be that kind of money. When the saga was going on, some people said I was given N5m, but if I tell you the amount of money in the bag they came with, you’ll drop that tape-recorder you are holding. What happened on the altar that day, we were praying for them to win the election o. I didn’t give any message. I didn’t prophesy on the day the woman (Mrs. Jonathan) came.

I prayed for them because they came for prayer. But the message on 31st night (December) was pure prophecy, undiluted, just like the prophecy of 31st December 2013 that the Nigerian oil boom is going to turn to oil doom. That Jonathan should wake up and diversify our economy; that in no distant time our naira would have a problem while our oil would fall in the international oil market. Let us maximize the boom time to be ready to face the oil doom period.

The analogy given then was Joseph in Genesis 49:19 that he continued to gather and gather until there was more than enough, but nobody listened. Many men of God started criticizing me. Why can’t you do your own prophecy and go? I never criticized any man of God because of his message, if it’s true, let it come to pass. If it’s not true, let it be the way you and your God will understand it.

Tony Adibe reports from Enugu, Enugu State.
*Photo Caption - Rev. Fr. Ejike Camillus Mbaka

[ Masterweb Reports: An Interview With Dr Kusum Gopal by Iftikhar Ahmad ] -  Many of us Afghans are extremely fearful of what the next day will bring. The bombs and shootings continue to cause us great anguish. Our entire region has been desecrated, there is so much suffering and sadness caused by the ongoing forty years of civil wars, political catastrophes beginning with the Soviet occupation and natural calamities such as the drought, famine which has forced over ten million of us to seek refuge outside.  Our religious leaders, tribal chiefs, Elders and our parents, those of whom are alive and whom we respect and love are not being consulted although we know their wisdom is priceless. We have deep love for our land, and we want to regain our glory. We want to become once again strong, independent and in control of our destinies. We want to go to bed waking up with the knowledge that not just the next day, but the weeks, months, decades if not the century will bring hope and joy in our hearts and our mothers can smile again! We want to live together in peace and harmony as we used to, to return to the certainty we value. In this context I spoke to Dr. Kusum Gopal after an informative lecture she gave at Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi. She believes that peaceful governance and prosperity in this region can only happen if correct political solutions are applied through a deep understanding of our history, our culture, our hopes and dreams.  Dr. Kusum Gopal, an anthropologist who has served as a United Nations Expert and Technical Advisor to government agencies, is also revising her previously published manuscript on Afghanistan, now tentatively titled “Charting Afghanistan, the heart of Asia; learning from her heritage and wisdom”.  
Q: Why Do You Say That Afghanistan Is The Heart Of Asia? And Could You Elaborate On Our Early Culture, Our Heritage As You Describe It?
A: That Afghanistan is the heart of Asia was observed since the earliest recorded history. Written accounts since Plutarch to the Emperor Babur and more recently, for example by Allama Muhammad Iqbal indicate how this region has been held with great sacredness and respect. For over two thousand years, the open-frontier traditions of Afghanistan have determined the pulse, the rhythm of the Indian Subcontinent-- whatever is happening here affects the rest of the region, profoundly. The Khyber Pass has remained the main conduit for the movement of peoples, trade, armies and, new communities across this ancient terrain. Indeed, its civilizations have been powerfully influenced by the geography and historical affinity with the Indian Subcontinent to which it is tied to in perpetuity reflected in customs, belief systems, the common cuisine, attire, indeed, dance such as the attan, and music. Straddling the Hindu Kush makes for significant connections between inner and outer Asia, thus with the Iranian plateau and, unified cultures of Central Asia. These powerful confluences led to pluralistic engagements  informed by syncreticism unique to the Subcontinent. Balkh, for example was the birthplace of Zoroaster: Zoroastrianism flourished alongside Buddhism.  Indeed, Balkh was also the birthplace of Jalauddin Rumi. There are valuable written sources such as the Pata Khazana, containing Pashto poetry from over two thousand years. Some other  famous poets from the region are Khushal Khan Khattak, Rahman Baba, Ahmad Shah Durrani,Timur Shah Durrani, Shuja Shah Durrani, Al-Afghani, Ghulam Muhammad Tarzi, Ghulam Habib Nawabi, Massoud Nawabi and women poets such as Rabia Balkhi and Nazo Tokhi. These compilations are a testament to the powerful written traditions and pluralism of this region. Indeed, the tragic fates of Laila Majnun and Sohrab Rustom are an integral part of the folklore of India as much as Afghanistan. 
Archaeologists working in this region have noted that this region – 5000 years ago had  integral connections with the Indus Valley civilisation.  As a matter of fact many ancient temples and mosques can be found in this region from the Hinglaj in Baluchistan formerly part of the Afghan territory -- and extending into Sindh. This region remained connected with all Empires in India whether it was the Indo Greeks, the Indo Bactrian Empire or Mauryan rule --Emperor  Asoka  placed stupas here with inscriptions in Aramaic, the official language of the Achaemenid Empire) and build palaces, libraries, gardens in Kandahar; also, building roads from Kabul to Punjab connecting to the Gangetic plains. This region has been significant to the Silk  route. During the Mughals knowledge transmission and cultural syncreticism remained characteristic of the Subcontinent where inspite of later political dissensions – collapse of the Mughal Empire -- boundaries did not exist.
Integral to open –frontier traditions has been acceptance,  for example is suli or bond brotherhood is to forge voluntarily kinship relations between different ethnic groups and individuals through formal adoption of one by the other mainly by the offer of sanctuary, intermarriage, offer of material goods, of land made explicit through sophisticated ceremonial rituals of mutual hospitality of Pukhtunwali.  For example, Alexander the great was offered a wife whom he married called Rukhsana as indeed later on the Arabs such as Osama Bin Laden who came here during the Cold war. Pukhtunwali is based on ancient principles of moral authority and etiquette founded on several interrelated institutions and concepts: traditions of hospitality, melmastia contained in Mehrman Palineh defining meraneh or codes of manhood such as imandaari (righteousness), sabat (steadfastness), ghairat (of property), namus protecting women and purdah. Purdah is incorrectly interpreted as seclusion of women- it refers to virtuous living and good domesticity. These belief systems extended far beyond Pakhtun cultural arena into the Subcontinent—zan, zar zameen.  The connectedness with the rest of the Subcontinent is reflected in its belief sytems: nasib or fate is seen to depend on the divine who is paramount: everyone’s fate nasib is determined by Allah on the basis of his merit, circumstances, and capabilities. . . Each one stands in his own place and position, and hence all people should be grateful to Allah...The proper attitude of every Afghan should be gratitude, for it is Allah who has determined one’s position in life and gives blessings --ni`mat. Arrogance or kibr cannot be respected as such people are gharur. These forms of etiquette were accepting of other  tribes and peoples while strengthening their own. They also required a vast command of material and social resources and an egalitarian polity in which to flourish. Indeed, immanent traditions are key to understanding the heart of Asia theme. 
Q: Yes, We Have Pakhuntwali In Our Hearts And Minds And We Expect Those Who Come Here To Understand And Respect That. There Is So Much Misunderstanding Of Our Culture In Official Policy Making Even If The Intentions May Be Good. For Example, ‘Ethnicity’ Is Not How We See It!   Explain This?
A: Yes, many Afghans have been at pains to point out that Ethnicity (as it is currently wrongly interpreted using colonial and Euro-American terms of reference,) needs to be qualified within the context of the history and syncretism of this region, for instance, the nomenclature Pathan and Afghan have been used synonymously; however there are over twenty different groups that had coexisted, interacted, intermarried and assimilated for over three thousand centuries. Nowadays, Pashtuns are referred to as Pathans; whilst they are in the majority, many other minority groups exist such as Tajiks, Turks, Uzbeks, Hazaras, Baluchis, Aymak, Farsiwan, Brahui, Turkoman Arab, Nuristani, Kohistani, Pamiri, Pashae, Kyrgyz, Gujjar, Mongol, Arab, Qizilbash, Punjabi, Sindhi, Sikh, Jat etc each having contributed to a rich linguistic diversity, with Pashtu and Dari is spoken by the majority; all have adopted Pakhtunwali with ease. The interconnectedness among all people forged through interdependence and centuries of interaction needs to be emphasised and colonial interpretations of exclusion, boundaries and difference must be challenged for Afghans to once again forge a peaceful existence.
To understand how people relate to each other in time and  place requires humility accompanied by unhurried, long term engagement in the field with the people as also philosophical rigour and scholarship of their history going back a thousand years if necessary. And, it is indeed not just a tragedy but counterproductive when people’s cultures and belief systems are not treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve. This is because the received wisdom deeply embedded in the structures of governments and Powers- that- Be seeks immediacy, wants quick solutions,  favours fixed structures of thinking by imposing an overarching order,  a formal logic and coherence when such an order, indeed logic cannot reflect the realities, frustrating governance. For example, policy makers advocate the objective approach not recognising that they are also always being subjective ---objectivity’ is rooted in culture, language, selective perception, and ideology – which permeate human and scientific activities. 
Further, the professional act of detached observation effectively dehumanises the observed, reduces him or her or them to an inferior position. It is extremely essential to immerse oneself wholly in the society where one is residing or doing research and partake of daily activities along with the people and respect their customs. When the researcher refuses to go beyond the facade of outward behaviour and become a part of the inner workings of the community’s existence, he/she presumptuously assumes that his/her outside understanding of the observed is somehow more valid than the community’s own involvement with the world---there is no such thing as objectivity—everything is subjective. Good scholarship means privileging the world view of the local people and integrating their hopes and dreams into policy making- the particularity of  emotions need to occupy centre stage  which only a narrative approach can restore fidelity to experience. What we need is holistic intuition that is sensitive to context that ethnographic research can alone provide. The interconnected worlds we inhabit and chronicle demonstrate our common bonds, our common civilisations.  Many aspects of human life such as beliefs and values are subjective and resist quantitative measurement—such subjective phenomena may nevertheless determine certain critical patterns of behaviour and practice and need to be assessed- subjectivity of the research does not necessarily mean subjectivity of the method.
Q: Most Of Us Afghans Are Not Aware Of Our Past -- Particularly Specific Structures And Forms Of Governance That Existed Before The British Partitioned Our Land. In Your Lecture You Spoke Wesh And Egalitarianism. Please Explain:
A: Until the British intervention in this region, wesh embodied the spirit of land distribution. Traditionally, newly conquered tracts of land were allocated among the tribes and clans. Tribal land continued to be periodically re-apportioned according to the principles of an elaborate system known as wesh where land assigned to a tribe was called daftar and the individual shareholder a daftari. Under wesh, the tribe was obliged to redistribute its daftari lands on a cycle of between five and thirty years. This redistribution involved not merely the shares of individual daftari, but those of whole lineages and segments, thereby necessitating the movement of entire groups to new lands. One scholar suggests that such redistribution was a regular re-enactment and reminder of the heroic conquests and settlement which first brought the Pathans to the region. Thus, wesh ensured equitable distribution by preventing particular groups or individuals from benefiting from the best land by holding it in perpetuity. Thus, the principles of wesh mirrored the ideology of egalitarianism and honour, which was central to this society. In the same egalitarian spirit composition of the jirga was decided by the votes cast by all the daftari of the tribe while decisions affecting the tribe were taken by the jirga (council) of senior men, the respected and religious leaders. Jirgas were mostly convened to discuss issues on a case-by case basis, and did not have permanent powers. As in most egalitarian societies, the traditional figure of chief, khan or mansabdar emerged as an individual of authority and particular honour only in specific contexts and situations, rather than having any permanently ascribed status or power, and no daftari paid tribute or revenue to individual leaders. These were the forms of civil society that evolved naturally and the people were keen to protect. From the eighteenth century, the increase of centralised rule and taxation of mansabdars by the Mughals, and later Kabul kingdoms caused disruptions within this region on account of bankruptcy.  This led to an increase in the collection of tribute and revenue by a chosen few in return for grace and favour rights over areas of land while they were exempted from paying revenue themselves. Such intervention by the Mughal state began to put a strain on the ideals of re-distribution enshrined in wesh.
Q: From What You Say, It Means That Everyone Had The Chance To Have The Best Land And Democratic Principles Of The Jirga As It Evolved Naturally Meant That There Was No One Was Allowed To Exploit Their Authority. Did This Happen With The Durand Line? And, How Has This Impacted On Governance?
A: Yes, the Durand line changed many things. In addition to drawing boundaries, the British made two further structural changes through the introduction of the Black Letter Law. Although these changes were imposed on the ceded tribal districts came to be known as the North West Frontier Province (NWFP). They became the settled districts over which, even today very little jurisdiction can be exercised. After the British annexation the entire tribal system was abolished within these settled districts through a set of Acts: the damaging effects of the colonial policies in these regions continue to cause great suffering to the people of this region, and indeed, in the entire Subcontinent.
The original Mughal system of placement of mere grace and favour rights was replaced by the allocation of full exclusive legal ownership of tracts of land to favoured khans. This decisively undermined the wesh system, the spirit of which was quite contrary to fixed tenure ownership. Thus, the most important innovation introduced by the British land policy in India was the concept of ownership itself. By custom, the traditional system had granted people different rights in the land and to its produce: no one could be dispossessed of rights to land as all were deemed to belong to the land.  This changed: at the top were the 'big khans' who were chosen as the ‘natural leaders’, and deemed the landed aristocracy by the colonial authorities—as in India,  they were given extensive privileges typically owning thousands of acres,  with  the wealth, pomp  and status and exercised patronage over the villages.
This new landed elite were to secure political control and carry out judicial, administrative and fiscal services in the interests of Empire. If this local landed elite did not exist it had to be invented and between 1868 and 1880 the British administration set out detailed rules concerning land ownership, rents and tax, and this codification in effect created serious differentiation among an egalitarian people. Secondly, crucial for the political and social life was the transformation of the traditional jirga structure. Traditionally, a tribal jirga had to perform simultaneously the roles and duties of police, magistrate and judge. It sought to maintain or restore peace and order in times of trouble but was also an authority for settling disputes and dispensing justice reviewing cases including breaches of contract, disputes about tribal boundaries, distribution of water rights, claims to land and pasture, infringement of custom, enmity between cousins, and the frequent questions of inheritance among other issues. The jirga’ s members were elected by the whole body of the tribe, mostly from among elders, men of experience and integrity, and the memories of the elders would serve as a record of decisions and precedent. Now the colonial officials reconstituted the jirga and gave them responsibility for adjudicating on criminal cases according to the newly introduced ‘Black Letter’ laws. 
As we discussed, traditional jirga decisions were consensual and often ambiguous, with the focus on limiting conflicts rather than locating blame, passing sentences of a restitutive rather than a penal nature. The new role, however, obliged the jirgas to make clear-cut decisions on guilt and levy fines, now paid of course not to the victims but to the State. The government appointed its newly created landed elite to the jirgas and expected them to exert firm control over its decisions. Thus, the Act of 1904 gave the jirgas extended powers of arrest and imprisonment without right of appeal. Since the jirga members were no longer elected but appointed, and since there was no mechanism of appeal against its decisions, the egalitarian tradition was gradually undermined; therefore, the two major changes brought about by colonial rule had combined to produce considerable disaffection among the people. By the early twentieth century, therefore, two major changes brought about by colonial rule had combined to produce considerable disaffection among the people leading to violence. Many tribes were forced to seek refuge with their kith and kin across the border in neighbouring Afghanistan as scarcity of land and resources caused by the new land tenure system threatened landlessness and starvation.
Q: We In Afghanistan Are Not Comfortable With The Durand Line- It Has Caused Us So Much Suffering. Some Of Our Dwellings Remain Constructed Over It. So Many Afghans Cross It To Meet Relatives And Family. 
A: Yes, the social effects of territorial loss and confinement of human communities inhabiting a region which Afghans could no longer regard as an open frontier has left a sorrowful legacy of ‘ethnic’ conflicts and confrontations not just between the people of these regions but many parts of the colonised worlds that remain unresolved. Well, we need to understand what happened first.  Afghanistan became a pawn when the British wanted to rein in Tsarist Russia :In 1883, the British seized the Bolan Pass, south-east of Quetta, from the Khan of Kalat and some areas of Baluchistan which were part of the Afghan millat. And, this was the Great Game -- two imperial Anglo-Russian boundary commissions without consulting the people fixed resolutely the frontiers in east forcing them to agree, thus the Durand Line of 1893 running from Chitral to Baluchistan: Quetta, Pishin, Harnai, Sibi and Thal Chotiali – all Pashtun territories were snatched by the British dividing this unified region; later, the north- east and the north- west became Russian Turkestan as Russian Central Asia came to be called. The Wakhan Corridor on the high Pamirs was to remain with the Afghans as it served to act as a buffer between British and Tsarist territories. Those tribes who suffered most on account of this Partition were the Kyrgyz and Wakhi tribes:  they no longer could practice transhumance in the Central Asian Steppes, graze their livestock; it damaged their lifestyle as nomadic pastoralists. In 1893, the distraught Amir Abdur Rahman himself is recorded to have said, 
"How can a small power like Afghanistan which is like a goat between two lions? Or a grain of wheat between two strong millstones of the grinding mill, stand in midway of the stones without being ground to dust?
The great Badshah Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan  and his  party, the Khudai Khitmatgars  won thirty out of the fifty seats in the elections of 1946 but, they were scuttled by the colonial regime. Had they succeeded in their non violent struggle against the British there would have been stability in the Indian subcontinent, indeed, a better world. What is clear from the vast corpus of assiduous archival documentation is that colonial scholarship inspired decisions and actions that have harrowing consequences. Possibly, the colonial administrators outran their own intent with outcomes far beyond those foreseen or intended, grounded as they were in spectacular ignorance. The Soviet occupation had been deeply traumatic and what followed has deepened wounds. We cannot change the past, but we can learn from it – and solutions can happen by resuscitating pre-colonial traditions between Afghans stressing mutual dependence based on respect and dignity for every person. 
Q: The Taliban Are A Mystery To So Many Of Us. Who Are They? We Do Not Know What Mullah Omar Looks Like. Also, The Taliban Are Not Nurtured On Afghan Soil, -- They Cannot Understand Us.
A: Yes they do not understand how sacred indigenous belief systems and culture are to Afghans  who accept that being Muslim is a way of life, not to be contested for men and women. What is often not recognised is the deep resentment against what Afghans perceive to be presumptuousness of Punjabi domination -- doing kibr – such overweening arrogance – gharur is be ghairat (without honour) as  to them it violates what they take for granted: their codes of identity, community,  friendship, authority, love, even enmity.  Bangladesh happened because Bengalis felt marginalised, persecuted and severely exploited, to them, being Bengali is as important as being Muslim; on the same grounds the Baluchis are also seeking separation. Such developments illuminate how the politics of the Partitions in the Indian Subcontinent has traumatised all people be they Punjabi, Sindhi, Baluchi, Afghan, as indeed, Indian.
The Taliban, now appear to have become a franchise. Here it is difficult to determine who did what, although the Tehreek-i-Taliban make public acknowledgements, time and again. It is clear there has been no guarantee of safety for human life or position, it has been the rule of the gun. The Cold War has much to answer for –after Soviet occupation over ten million fled across the border to Pakistan and Iran.  This is how the mujhahideen  joined one of  these many political alliances be it Hizb- i-Islami, Ittehad-i-Islami   and so forth--they drove the Soviets out.  Also, disenchanted, many idealistic young boys and men found solace in the ascetism of the Deoband school selected possibly because of its roots in early Islamic strictures. The Deoband School had emerged  in India and was set up by  Muhammed Qasim Nanautawi (1833-77) and  Rashid Ahmed Gangohi (1825-1905 who as Deobandis sought to revive Islamic values based on Shari’a and Tariqah (spiritual practice).  Until the Taliban embraced it, it was little  known. The  leadership of the Taliban studied at the Dar-ul-Ulum Huqqaina in Akhora Khattak, and it was Samiul Haq who mentored  Mullah Omar.  It is inevitable that many Pakistanis  talibs were to  play a critical role as the Taliban are regarded as their brothers. To the Deobandis, there are no boundaries and separate countries for Muslims, although there is one for Islam. 
Many who joined the Taliban were young men who studied in particular Punjabi run madarassas funded by Zia’ ul Haq’s military ISI unit in government and has had the tacit support of the Pakistani government since. The madarassas were attended by several hundred orphans and some children who had one or both surviving parents. These were the “children of the jihad’ (as Rashid Anmed has described them) who were learning to survive and cope under extremely punishing conditions: they had never known peace. They had no memories of their tribal genealogies and were unable to recount their tribal and clan affiliations or even remember their abandoned farms and valleys. They were also not aware of the shared heritage or the contributions of multi-ethnic groups and religions minorities in Afghanistan; they only understood their version of Islam. 
There is idealism in this school but unfortunately it is fractured. They take a constrained view of women --who are to them, not to be seen or heard. Islam under “an all male brotherhood was a way of life they have been brought up in and have grown accustomed to. They are taught that women are an evil temptation and would distract them from their purpose in life. Women cannot work and no education is permitted. They had to remain indoors or be accompanied by a male relative at all times.  All males had to grow beards. In addition to that the   exact length of the beard to be worn by adult males was stipulated and was a punishable offence; a list of Muslim names to be given to new born babies, abolition of celebrations of Nauroz and traditional sports banned. As indeed a ban on dancing, music or flying kites. All agencies that employed women had to leave the country. TV sets were smashed, sports and recreational activities banned, and the population was disarmed. They also oppose all forms of hierarchy among Muslims but also preach a rejection of other expressions of Islam including the cult of the saints. 
Naturally, Afghans feel uneasy with such draconian alienating strictures. The Taliban preach an understanding of Islam which derides tribal culture advocating that Afghans make a complete break with indigenous practices such as Pakhtunwali and they deem munafaqeen or hypocrites, other religious and philosophical systems. Unlike the traditional clergy who valued the cultural and historical ideals of early Islam  that were accommodating of  tribal structures, practices  such as the jirga and Pakhtunwali and, also of religious minorities, the Deobandis denigrate the tribal structures and pursue a purist, exclusive,  doctrinaire understanding that  many Afghans deem as anti-Islamic.  
In South Asia, Islam has for over a thousand years espoused the Hanafi figh. The majority of Afghans, including most of the Ulema, believe in Sufism in principle and rely upon and strongly espouse the Hanafi jurisprudence. Almost 80% of the Afghans belong to the Sunni Hanafi sect, the most liberal of the four sects with a minority sects scattered across the country. Such levels of intolerance have led to continued persecution and random killings of Shia Muslims and others. Thus, the Taliban have demonstrated their interpretations are violently opposed to fundamental Qu’ranic Injunctions which advocate inter-faith dialogues and kindness.
Q: What Will Happen After 2014 Worries Many Of Us? Any Comments?
A: Most important is that representatives of all Afghans must get together – and put forward their plan for a self-determination and peaceful governance. Well, in these difficult times maybe an inclusive movement could come into being and it would be best to have to advocate selective areas of centralised forms of governance—such as the army, police, public transport with  strong regional bases. Trust needs to be built as factionalism or gundi is rife, and to Afghans it negates the intrinsic and natural unity of their communities. How can trust and co-operation be established?  There is a need for dialogue and scholarship- dissemination of knowledge of their heritage and wisdom. It is only through agreements with all political groups could warring factions cement better understandings. Also, all foreign governments present must take responsibility their actions - and do their best to purge the bitter legacy of human suffering that Afghans have experienced over the last forty years.
As we discussed Hamid Karzai and his government of jirgas have had to face many challenges post Taliban. And, there has been so much opposition to his government.  The important thing is that the Constitution of 1964 has been rehabilitated with revisions and the 2004 Constitution in keeping with the Qu’ranic principles according to Hanafi fiqh establishing once again the sanctity of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. There is now an Army to defend Afghans and a police force. However, with departure of NATO and the elections let us hope that wisdom and peace will come to prevail. It needs to be recognised that the Taliban are highly motivated well-armed with funds; they have been playing a waiting game. It is important to co-opt the Taliban into the government and to agree to a cease fire.This is where the international communities must continue to assist Afghanistan with military support  such as an UN peace keeping force. 
Q: What Would You See As The Most Pressing Problems Now And What Solutions Must We Apply?
A: Firstly, I think there is a great need for leaders from all regions to meet with all political parties –including Taliban to set their differences aside and call a ceasefire for safety of all inhabitants to ensure that citizens receive clean water on tap,food supplies, health and housing provision as mandatory. Very little of the terrain in Afghanistan is cultivable only 10-15% and it remains heavily mined. And the laying of mines in the most fertile agricultural areas and, in fruit growing estates as the orchards of Kandahar is extremely upsetting.  Although experts are trying to remove the mines, one notes that Kabul still has 200 square miles out of 500 square miles covered in mines. It needs to be urgently addressed - mines need to be removed in the major cities, and the countryside. There is an acute shortage of food and people do not have money to buy food. They are completely dependent on aid agencies or food supplies and housing. The Afghan population has been displaced not just once but more than five or six times. Homes have been ransacked and devastation has been immeasurable. 
It has been ten years since the first comprehensive United Nations Environment Programme Expert surveys in thirty-five random rural locations and thirty-eight urban locations following the bombing of Afghanistan.  UNEP surveys of drinking water in four cities Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif, Kandahar and Herat show extremely high levels of faecal contamination. This report completed in March 2003 documents air pollution in urban areas mostly from car and truck exhaust and the burning of toxic materials. Scores of children have died of cholera, tuberculosis and typhoid; indeed, many adults are wasting away with these diseases. There are no health facilities for the ordinary Afghan citizen and, this is exacerbated by an acute shortage of medicine and medical personnel. Reports compiled since then note that very little has changed since then. This needs to be addressed immediately, solar energy and building with traditional materials straw etc has been initiated but needs to be done in every region. This would create livelihoods; further cottage industries must be encouraged. We are aware of industries that cause pollution—and these must be avoided, Planting of trees and growing crops with the help of technological innovations would make it possible for a secure food supply.
Q: Finally, You Say A Nation State Is Not Viable For Afghanistan. Why Is That?
A: As you may know nation states are seen to be not just the ideal but the only form of governance. In Europe various regions once part of the Roman Empire and then subsequently other empires the Hapsburgs, Bourbons and so forth evolved a regional consciousness naturally deciding over three centuries the need to separate to exclude based on of their particular form of Christian worship, language, culture and thence polity: nation states are a consequence of specific cultural and historical events. And yet, they remain negotiable, for example, the boundaries of the former Westphalia State remain unresolved in some instances, as also the recent question of Scottish Independence. 
There are many forms of governance that can keep a region together – and, wrongly, the nation state is seen as the only solution. In Afghanistan the synthesising of cultural processes by encounter and exchange happened naturally continuously enriching different spheres of life.  By such time honoured open frontier traditions and practices, Afghanistan has emerged primarily as a confederation of tribes and khanates, a legacy of some thousand centuries. It is also a form of government that the Afghans have preferred, as they are a fiercely independent, egalitarian people who have never favoured a central authority, particularly, if it is seen as being imposed from the outside. Also, as a corollary, the Sunni Hanafi creed encourages decentralised, non hierarchical orders to function with minimum government: state interference is nominal as important decisions are carried out by the tribe and the qawm. Thus as rule by centralism has always been a serious issue of contention in Afghanistan we need to re-think rather than impose solutions by force. Given the fierce egalitarian tradition which now also included, bitter tensions it would have been more advisable to revitalise traditions of governance Afghans are comfortable with alongside a few centralised institutions such as the Army.
As a matter of fact the foundation for an Afghan state as a nation state was forced upon them by the British when Anglo-Russian empires divided territories to consolidate their international boundaries at the expense of the peoples inhabiting those regions. The Amir who was appointed was forced to accept British control of foreign policy and this generated a lot of pressure on him to seal his kingdom and centralise administration, something Afghan people were not used to. Inspired by European precedents he established absolutist monarchy and declared himself the Imam of the Afghan millat, the vice-regent of Allah-mujtahid. The powers of the ulema, religious clergy over religious endowments such as waqf were curtailed; they became the paid servants of the state. Inspired by Ottoman janissaries, Abdul Rahman sought to breakdown tribal polity by substituting the idea of a grand community, an Afghaniyat qawm. He split major provinces into districts and sub-districts without taking into account tribal settlements. Thus, the twenty years of his reign witnessed almost continuous warfare to safeguard his kingdom from the moral threat posed by the British. To consolidate his empire, rebellions were crushed by ruthless mass executions and deportation of tribes, for example, the forced resettlement of Ghilzai Pashtuns among the Hazaras, the massacre of Hazaras, Uzbeks, Turkmen and Tajiks; even the remote mountain people, Kalash of Kafiristan who were animist and some Buddhist were converted and renamed Nuristani.  
We must acknowledge David Edwards for his excellent scholarship on this region. He notes that Afghanistan’s predicaments have, “less to do from divisions between groups or ambitions of particular individuals than from the imposition of the ideal of a nation state. The imposition of a centralised, political relationship in Afghanistan and its extension into the precincts of local principalities has caused local principalities and tribes to resist, as much as possible its intrusion and domination. There has been no moral discourse on statehood in Afghan society that was shared by the majority.  It has always been competing forms of moral authority such as the qawm that are challenging the state and its legitimacy and indeed, its role in providing meanings to ongoing events. Afghans acknowledge that they fight among themselves, that bitter enmity exists as it does everywhere, but in comparison to the hierarchical, centralised world, theirs is a world of sure ethical standards and fierce loyalties. In Afghanistan other notions of community have persisted on an equal level with the state, other moral orders have endured despite the consolidation of power by the state and these orders continue to challenge the state and its assertion of supremacy.”  Thus, by respecting indigenous cultural sensitivities, engaging with local support and by revitalising traditional institutions in the process of reconstruction and recovery it is possible that the Afghans can determine their own destiny and the international community will be able to contribute more positively to Afghanistan’s future.
Iftikhar Ahmad reports.
*Photo Caption - Old Afghanistan map

[ Masterweb Reports: Hon. Chuks Ibegbu ] - Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro is the president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council (OYC), in this interview with Igbo Information Network (IIN), he x-rays some local and national issues.


Media Contact: Chukwudi Ibegbu; Email:
*Photo Caption- Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro

[ Masterweb Reports: On Biafra Referendum by OEAS  ] - Washington DC: Biafra is a charter member of the Organization of Emerging African States (OEAS), an international governmental organization that promotes self-determination and the end to colonial era boundaries in Africa. Today the people of Biafra are locked in an epic struggle with the Nigerian federal government, the inevitable result of which will likely be some form of self-determination for Biafra.
The OEAS has called for a snap referendum on Biafran self-determination to be held within 90 days with OEAS, UNPO, and UN, EU and AU nonaligned observers supervising the balloting process. Various effected groups and individuals have asked for details which OEAS can now provide.
Why a Snap Referendum?
The people of Biafra have waited almost 50 years to legitimize their choice. There is no need to prolong the process. A lengthy delay will no doubt result in violence and bloodshed as out of the area ruffians and intimidators come into the region to try to unlawfully influence results.
Who will be eligible to vote in the Referendum?
All persons living within the confines of the borders of the former Republic of Biafra as of January 1, 2016 will be eligible to vote. In addition, persons living outside the borders who can demonstrate significant ties to Biafra by family or property may choose to vote as well.
What are the choices?
A. For total independence and the restoration of the Republic of Biafra as a sovereign independent nation.
B. For internal self-rule as an autonomous Biafra republic with its own parliament, currency, police and prime minister but with external affairs and other matters handled by the Nigerian federal government. This would be an arrangement similar to Scotland and the United Kingdom or Greenland and Denmark.
C. For no change.
How many votes are required?
Whatever option above gets a plurality will be the chosen result.
If we choose an independent Biafra, what then? 
After an orderly transition period of no more than 180 days, Biafra will again be independent. Those who wish to maintain their Nigerian citizenship may do so but will be under Biafran rule and must affirmatively register themselves as aliens. Likewise, those outside Biafra with ties to Biafra may become Biafran citizens after renouncing Nigerian citizenship.
What about former federal government property.
Property of the federal government within the borders of Biafra will become property of Biafra. The Nigerian government however will retain all national debt. Biafra will then release the Nigerian government from any obligation to pay reparations for crimes committed during the war of independence 1967-1970.
What about the borders?
The borders with Nigeria must be settled by the time of independence in order to avoid disorder and discord. On the other hand, Biafra should not be obligated to follow any agreements between Cameroun and Nigeria, any loss of territory must be subject to a democratic referendum.
Is all this really possible?
We answer emphatically YES. The people of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea made their choice to leave Ukraine under far more stressful circumstances. The vote was so overwhelmingly in favor that no country has seriously challenged the will of the people.
Finally, what about those criminals who have oppressed Biafrans and committed crimes and atrocities against the people of Biafra?
A Truth and Reconciliation Commission composed of Biafrans and other experts will establish the truth and investigate political and genocidal crimes from 1967 to present. The Committee will have the power to grant clemency and forgiveness but also may make recommendations as to prosecution in the most serious cases of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide.
For more information, contact:
Dr. Ebenezer Derek Mbongo Akwanga, Jr.,
Secretary General OEAS
Dr. Jonathan Levy, Solicitor
Chief Administrative Officer OEAS
*Photo Caption - OEAS logo

[ Masterweb Reports: Uchendu Precious Onuoha, Masterweb Special Correspondent reports ] - The Nigerians in diaspora organization Europe (NIDOE) annual general meeting recently held on November 12 – 15 in Stockholm Sweden has opened a flood gate of business, investment interest and business opportunities between Nigeria and Sweden. The three day event which featured a Nigeria – Sweden Business Summit which attracted corporate participants and government agencies was hosted by NIDO Swedish chapter in collaboration with Swedish chamber trade, Nigerian embassy, Swedish West Africa Chamber of Commerce – SWACC and NIDOE. Declaring the summit open, the president of NIDOE, DR. George Manuwuike stated that NIDO acts as interface between Nigerian professionals in diaspora, the federal government and would -be investors from Europe to Nigeria. Stating that the new government in Nigeria is interested in bringing investors to Nigeria. And he urged the participants to use the summit as a stepping stone for a larger cooperation between Sweden and Nigeria as both countries stand to gain a lot from each other.
In the opening speech by the host Ambassador, Her Excellency, Mrs. Jane A. Ndem (Charge d’ Affairs, Nigerian Embassy Sweden) she highlighted on the transformations that have taken place in Nigeria especially on the peaceful election and democratic transition and how that offers enabling ground for investors. According to the Ambassador, a successful transition in the African contest indicates that the country has matured democratically. The President has been the chief marketing officer since May 29, assuring foreign investors about the business opportunities in Nigeria. She identified corruption as the biggest demon hindering business investments. The President has declared war against corruption. And once corruption is addressed, that will open the free flow of business. She stated that the current challenges that arise from power, mining and agriculture are challenges but at the same time opportunities. Nigeria has the enabling ground for investment and is a window to Africa. The Nigerian government has established the foreign investment council to boost investment in Nigeria. And Nigeria has the largest market in Africa She therefore urged Swedish investors to take the current challenges as opportunities to create wealth.
Among the areas of interest for investment by the Swedish corporate participants includes, green technology, waste management, water purification and solar energy.
Our Foreign Correspondent who was in Stockholm to attend the event had interview with the NIDOE chairman Dr. George Manuwuike. Below are the excerpts.
Que.To what extent has NIDOE gone to achieve its founding objectives?
Ans. We are working towards that objective. The plans are realizable. That includes the transfer of technology to Nigeria scientifically, financially, human capital development also giving the government a quality formation. We might not have gotten there but we are sure of getting there.
Que. What are the immediate challenges facing NIDOE?
Ans. The immediate challenges we have are challenges that bother on membership. Bringing together professional Nigerians who could have formed the critical mark of moving the organization agenda forward. But we are mobilizing our members and creating the enabling environment to bring on board those Nigerians that we believe have the wherewithal to help us in achieving these objectives. It is a working progress. The challenges are there also back home, we have not been able to have correct interface between NIDOE and the federal government to be able to work together towards achieving this objective. But with the present administration, we hope to achieve this because the government has given us the indication that they are interested in working closely with the Diaspora.
So we believe some of these challenges we have been having over the years would be resolved through government collaboration. Also, we are confident we would be able to cross some of these hurdles that have bedeveled the organization in the past through collaboration with the National assembly. For example, the Senate has created a committee on Diaspora. And so this committee will be saddled with the responsibility of working closely with us. And we shall help them formulate policies that will be in the best interest of NIDO. Also we are aware that the house of Representatives has a committee on Diaspora affairs. And the chairperson of that committee Honorable Rita Orji is desirous of working with us to ensure that the objectives and visions of NIDO are realized within the very possible time.
Que. What is the relationship between NIDOE and the Embassies?
Ans. The relationship has been cordial to a large extent. The Embassies have been doing their best to support the NIDOE cause. We desire more. The transformation has been progressive. The awareness has been created and NIDOE has their structural set ups in various Embassies. It is now left with the various chapters to plug into these structures to make sure they realize the purpose for which they were set up.
Worthy of note is the high level and manner of proper coordination the plenary session was conducted. The session was a hob-nob of Nigerian professionals who came as delegates from various chapters and countries of Europe. Interesting and commendable is the mature manner and discipline exhibited by the delegates on issues. Despite their different views on issues, they expressed their views on matters objectively and in orderly manners, a rare feat unusually not common among meetings of most Nigerian organizations. Even the National assembly should take a cue from NIDOE.

*Photo Caption – NIDO logo

[ Masterweb Reports: Interview by R Tadros, Belques Addisu and  Zainab Amin  ] - At a speedily arranged informal meeting in Addis Ababa we met Dr KusumGopal an anthropologist and an UN Expert who agreed to discuss with us at short notice the background of the horrific wars that are happening in west Asia, ISIS and the Refugees fleeing to Europe. We doubted peace is possible in the Middle-East. Dr Gopal strongly disagreed stating that the wisdom of the ages would prevail no matter how terrifying the present, the sorrows of people, ultimately humanitarian justice would triumph. The views expressed by Dr Gopal are entirely her own. Some excerpts:
Question: Dr Gopal, you contend humanitarianism will triumph. We ask when and how? As citizens of the countries of the MENA region working in the media and civil society, we are deeply disturbed by these events. There is widespread anger and very little understanding. Can you explain what needs to be done, in steps?
Answer: Yes knowledge needs to be shared and disseminated. Sadly, academics have been remiss, indeed to have relinquished their responsibilities in translating and making available the remarkable scholarship that has and is being produced over the last decade in particular with the opening of the Ottoman archives. Inevitably they are hampered— addendum--  governments and policy makers must be prepared  to listen to them, to learn, to re-evaluate  the outdated preconceived erroneous, belief systems also, the need to engage in these joint conversations--it is of moral and ethical urgency.
Each of us today is a witness to the enormities of human suffering, desolation, indeed, the worst forms of human depravities, borne out of a deep rage that has descended into madness. People in these regions understand much more than we realise, it is the governments and policy makers who need to acknowledge why as a matter of urgency! Indisputably, what is happening today is an outcome of the administrative and legal measures imposed by colonial regimes such as the Black Letter Laws, uninformed partitioning of territories, of separating peoples with shared emotions, histories, cultures, demeanours and natural resources—the root cause of all conflicts in the Indian Subcontinent, in the vast landscapes of Africa, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, eastern Europe as indeed, the MENA region. All this is made more hazardous by the abuse of weaponry of the worst kinds: nerve gas, Agent Orange, nuclear arsenal, other kinds of chemical warfare, cluster bombs, mines and so forth-- impossible to measure appalling aftermaths in human experience. No matter what we cannot switch on the air conditioner and wish it away: it affects all of us in the worst possible way as we live with suspicion, fear, with uncertainty with growth of intolerance and militarism. Nothing can be resolved unless root and branch understandings of human situations are brought to light through serious local and regional evaluations that inform international interventions.
There can no longer be recourse to solutions that offer immediate gratification – not only will it prolong the genocides but strengthen ISIL. Long term solutions to the current crisis lie in acknowledging the pre-colonial Ottoman governance of these regions. We need to initiate a series of dialogues with ISIL and include its supporters – no matter how distasteful the prospect. They must stop butchering and killing people, indeed, using rape as a weapon of warfare -m- of women, girls and men, whilst plundering and destroying ancient sites.  Agreements needs to be reached and safety of the inhabitants ensured as  well as safety for the citizens of the world be they Shi’ii , Sunni  or other forms of Islam, of Christianity, of Judaism and other ancient religious traditions such as Hinduism and so forth.
Question: You say we must negotiate with ISIS. How do we go about that?
Answer: Socrates argued that the invisible world is the most intelligible and that the visible world is the  least knowable, and the most obscure." That is to say what we see happening has many layers – and we need to look beyond the five senses, beyond the material understandings. We live in interconnected worlds—all of us. And, that is why we must begin communicating as the bombing however advanced and powerful will not weaken ISIL or Daesh as they call themselves they will gain a greater following- the ideal of a Caliphate is extremely appealing– and secret cells will mushroom further -- that will have immeasurable repercussions. How much can police or intelligence do? In these days of Face book and What’s App etc—they recruit with impunity snaring young minds by the incorrect interpretations of Islamiyuun although nothing they say or do bears any resemblance to Islam which advocates compassion first and foremost—the sentiments expressed in the Azaan and in teachings of the Holy Qu’ran is testimony to be kind, to go in peace and to do good, regardless.
ISIS or ISIL comprise of  human beings and it is doubtful it commands a unity as a national army does—it is an umbrella network there are many trigger happy soldiers of faith--– led by Saddam Hussein’s army who punish with brutality. We can discuss this later. For a solution the Powers- That- Be- NATO and its allies must be prepared to heed Expert scholarship and there are many based in the USA, UK and other European countries. Many policy structures and government Departments for example Whitehall, the Pentagon, the Kremlin have fixed frameworks operating on inherited governance of yore—with received wisdom that defines the logic of prejudices and entrenched interests: to implement outside these parameters is not acceptable. This is where the real challenge lies—for NATO and its allies, before we can establish some platform for a dialogue – rather than just the military solutions.
To start, Euro-America and Russia need to formally recognise that relentless bombing of these regions by the most advanced weaponry will not eradicate the strength of ISIL or Daesh as they call themselves. Lessons from the past -- Did the 11 million tonnes of agent Orange stop the Vietnamese from winning the war? Did bombing of Afghanistan end the power of Taliban? Al Qaeda still remains powerful in the shadows as also many other groups such as the Haqqanis.  The persistent bombing only fuels deeper anger and hate for western nations.
Governments need to not just commission Experts and most certainly Religious leaders but also incorporate them in these dialogues, allow them to lead the way. For example, .Ulema to initiate dialogues, leaders that Mr. Abu Bakr Baghdadi will be prepared to grant a hearing.  It can be done through for example; Skype or projections --I am not advocating Gandhian principles but rather Ottoman wisdom which people belongiong to this region can accept and  emotionally relate with. Also, simultaneously, the specific histories and cultures of the regions must be understood as also Islamic fiqh, as practiced from the point of view of the inhabitants of the Levant region- Syria Iraq, Lebanon Kuwait, include Palestine and Israel.
Question: What do you mean by Ottoman wisdom? How can it help where everything else has failed?
Answer: There is a saying in Latin, Corruptio Optima Pessima, the corruption of the best is the worst- to my mind that is what has happened in this sacred terrain the birthplace of three great religious traditions and one of the cradles of human civilization where powerful syncretic traditions had coexisted. The Ottoman Empire which governed for over six centuries allowed for the integration of large Jewish, Christian and other communities, who, despite some legal handicaps, found that the dispensation generally allowed them to live and worship in faithful adherence to their laws and traditions: Muslims, Christians, and Jews were organized into millats, which were responsible for both religious and secular duties in their communities.
Unbeknownst to most people is that until Islam had a well-defined Church and State (politics and religion) divide, much more so than Christianity. As theologians enlighten us, under the Ottomans, while the Sultan or the Caliph were seen to be imbued with divine writ for legitimacy, they did not legislate or control over religion and its practice, they did not give sermons on it either. Religion had no formal control over them and none of their subjects expected them to pontificate on spiritual matters. Islamic traditions during the medieval times, indeed until the Ottoman Empire was desecrated, maintained a palpable distinction between the civic/administration and religious matters—contributing to the success and enrichment of the Empire. They thus wielded considerable support and respect. knitting together not just Sunni and Shi’ii but also minorities, Kurds, Druze, Coptics and so forth, employing special efforts to accommodate various, diverse cultures. In 1856, for instance the Hatt-ý Hümayun promised equality for all Ottoman citizens and as was its practice, irrespective of their ethnicity and confession, widening the scope of the 1839 Hatt-ý Þerif of Gülhane.It established freedom of belief and equality of all citizens before the law. "Firman of the Reforms" gave immense privileges to the Armenians, which formed a "governance in governance" to eliminate the aristocratic dominance of the Armenian nobles by development of the political strata in the society. Certainly, the military regulations meant conscription; they were also guaranteed protection providing the impetus for vernacular languages and traditions to develop unhindered within the Ottoman fold. As another scholar has argued, its social organization and mechanisms of rule at key moments of its history, emergence, imperial institutionalization, re-modelling, transition to nation-state, revealing how the empire managed these moments, adapted, and averted crises and what changes made it transform dramatically. The flexible techniques by which the Ottomans maintained their legitimacy specifically the manner in which dissent was handled and/or internalized in the nature of state society respect of minorities; the co-operation of their diverse elites both at the centre and in the provinces—lessons we can incorporate.
Indeed, influential religious heads even believed that the Turkish conquest had preserved the Greek Church from the threat of annihilation by the growing power of the Latin west. For instance, the Grand Duke LoukasNotarasis had stated on the eve of the conquest: ‘It would be better to see the turban of the Turks reigning over the city than the Latin mitre.”  Certainly it was widely held the Greek Orthodox Church had been allowed to flourish by the Ottomans-- it might have been undermined by the Christian European influences at that time. What is particularly significant is that the Ottomans recognised the leading Rabbis of the Old Yishuv as the official leaders of the devout Orthodox Jews from east Europe and also the Levant region; they had organised themselves as VaadHa’ir which later became EdahHaChreidis. These local Rabbis of Palestine were deemed officially to be similar or extensions of their own Orthodox HakamBashis – Chief Turkish Rabbis loyal to the Sultan. Such unparalled examples point to the inclusiveness and tolerance of all peoples setting precedents for reconsidering what aspects of the administrative set up of the Ottomans can be resuscitated and wherever relevant syncretic dispositions must be discussed as part of the necessary interventions. Lawyers who are experts in Islamic fiqh, Ottoman governance can be consulted to participate and to advise along with Experts and Religious leaders.
Question: Tony Blair apologised for the war and acknowledged  it as the cause of ISIL, Too little too late— Hans Blix had warned there was no smoking gun no WMDs yet documents state that the war had been a deliberate plan by Blair and Bush regardless a year before. Any comments?
Answer: Yes, the call for regime change is not new it is over a century old -- British and French colonial encroachments. What is happening now is a continuation of what was set in motion 100 years ago, To my mind, the roots of the crises lie in the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire and the pivotal roles of TE Lawrence, Gertrude Bell and Winston Churchill as principal agents of the Crown. For over a thousand years the Head of Hashemite family had governed the region commanding deep respect from Muslims all over the world. As custodian of the Hejaz , Sharif Husayn position as Caliph was sacrosanct. At that time Turks and Arabs co-existed along with so many other peoples and religious traditions.  This was also the time when early stirrings against the Ottomans had begun, regions wanted to be free.  And, the British exploited anti-Ottoman sentiments very successfully persuading the Sharif to rally Arabs against the Turks with the mendacious promise of a united Arab kingdom. Indeed, the Sharif’s implicit trust betrayed: – He had told his son, Prince Faisal,” A British promise like gold, no matter how much you rub it, it never loses its shine:" No one was to be more deceived. Further, unknown to him was the Sykes Picot Agreement signed secretly between the English and the French- dividing lands with no codicil for Arab unity or an Arab Kingdom. And, this set in motion events that led to the defeat of the Ottomans and the end of the Caliphate – The Sharif was not allowed to return as Caliph--the British had already concluded a secret treaty in 1924 with the Ibn Rashid Family from Nadj  in Saudi Arabia who became thenceforth the custodians of Mecca and Medina. Indeed, in Indian Subcontinent the Khilafat agitation  happened precisely because of the removal of the Calphate. These are sore wounds that have to be addressed.
Wars cannot be entered into lightly nowadays as weapons at our disposal cause irreversible destruction- unlike in the not so distant past.  Utilitarian philosophy rests on purely disinterested altruism—it governed British colonialism an continue sto inform governance. Yet as Nietzsche has pointed out--there can be no such thing as disinterested altruism—it only can be an oblique expression of the universal drive to conquer, an alternative manifestation of the will to power. Ultimately he argued Utilitarian theorists want English morality to prevail: inasmuch as mankind, or "the general utility," or "the happiness of the greatest number," But has the war served anyone best? We need much more reflection- Kierkergaard rather than James Mill, The long term consequences are yet to be gauged --- for now we must rush to contain the damage and begin communications with ISIL and  repair the  inhospitable post war environments.
Question: Could you elaborate on the Sykes Picot Agreement?
Answer: As ongoing scholarship has emphasised the Sykes-Picot Agreement partitioned the Empire calamitously. Naturally, the British defeated Ottoman Turkish forces in 1917 and occupied Ottoman Syria and a military edict was issued dividing Ottoman territories into "occupied enemy territory administrations" (OETAs). The Empire was divided into three OETAs. Occupied Enemy Territory Administration South extended from the Egyptian border of Sinai into Palestine and Lebanon as far north as Acre and Nablus and as far east as the River Jordan. The British Mandate for Palestine, was a legal commission for the administration of the territory that had formerly constituted the Ottoman Empire SHYPERLINK ""anjaks of NablusAcre, the southern portion of the Beirut HYPERLINK ""Wilayat, and the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem. Indeed, although Gen. Maude had stated that they would uphold “the complete and final liberation of the peoples who have for so long been oppressed by the Turks, and the setting up of national governments and administrations deriving their authority from the free exercise of the initiative and choice of the indigenous populations"—such an agreement had  never been on the Anglo-French agenda. No longer were these regions allowed to continue the Ottoman polity: freedoms of worship and conviviality with minorities of all descriptions living together.
Under the Mandates a series of Laws were passed removing all older traditions of Common Law and understandings. Indeed, to take one example, the immediate developments after the Mandate, in Iraq in addition to the nationalist resistance was the violent infighting by the “the Anayzah, the Shammar, and the Jubur tribes of the western desert caused by sudden drawing of lines across peoples.  And, the chief cause for the scarcity of resources and new laws. Villagers demanded that the tribes be restrained, and tribes demanded that their titles to tribal territories be extended and confirmed. Merchants demanded more effective legal procedures, courts, and laws to protect their activities and interests. Municipal authorities appealed for defined powers and grants-in-aid in addition to the establishment of public health and education facilities. Landlords pressed for grants of land, for the building of canals and roads, and for the provision of tested seeds and livestock. The holy cities of An Najaf and Karbala and their satellite tribes were in a state of near anarchy. British governance had yet to be established Kurdistan. Meanwhile, from the Hakkari Mountains beyond Iraq's northern frontier and from the plains of Urmia in Iran, thousands of Assyrians began to pour into Iraqi territory seeking refuge from Turkish reprisal.  Further, the growth of Iraqi nationalism posed a serious threat to the British.
Obviously  the egalitarian traditions and generous hospitality of these cultures has been sorely tested—such unprecedented political developments and random Partitions forced the new governments to secure their borders- the only form of governance that was possible was dictatorship thereby creating a culture of terror to prevent opposition---brutalising their armies and secret service, Traditional forms of governance no longer applied with the imposition of the Black Letter Law,  Thus Saddam, Gaddafi, Assad dictatorships came into being, - a foregone conclusion- these happened as a consequence of colonial encroachments and exploitation of natural resources,  What Mr. Blair and Bush have done   inevitably was to lead to  an upsurge in anger and  a desire to reclaim a lost past--  It explains Abu Bakr’s statement: video  titled End of the Sykes Picot: this is not the first border we will break, we will break all other borders harkens to the times of yore when the Caliphate was in existence, This needs to be acknowledged and  remedial measures in Dialogues must include these  sentiments,  We must stop ISIL by  communicating with them .Europe  and the USA have a responsibility  and they must be prepared to reflect on supranational domains of policy framing  by incorporating research knowledge,
Question: What about the Refugee crisis in Europe?
Answer: I cannot regard the refugee problem as a crisis but as an opportunity for Europe to address "its heart of darkness" its own moral and social concerns that would strengthen, not weaken their own cultures. Where will these people go?  And, Europe has the wherewithal to help them. But prejudices and racism are weapons these people will be forced to encounter, Scholarship has revealed a great deal of common grounds between Europe, the MENA region and beyond.  For example,  Maltese is said to have some Siculo Arabic origins –a comparative analysis based on the treatise by IbnMakki al-Siqilli:  TatqifallisanwaTalqih al-Janan, a linguist has noted reveals  common foundations. .Undoubtedly we need to build bridges and understand each other and coexist,Have you read James Baldwin? The very great American writer—please do read his political writings.
Question: Will the horrific mass killing and suicide attacks in Paris help dialogues?

Answer: Yes. We cannot afford to retaliate without a long term strategy: there is no time like the present. It is deeply shocking the Paris killings but precisely illustrates the need for more effective intelligence and education, The Paris killings are not new-- this has been happenning in Bangkok, Kuwait, Yemen and Bangladesh with the bombing inside mosques now Europeans are being targeted.In all cases, civilian populations are being attacked. European nations involved in Syria and Iraq are particularly vulnerable such as France,the UK and Russia. Borders have been sealed, military interventions in place--but can belief systems and deep rancour be wiped out? Such interventions provide temporary succour which curb but do not quench the fires -- the cause of such terrible occurences, all if which have been planned. We must initiate dialogues, regardless, governments must begin consultations with experts such as Islamic scholars, religious leaders and ethnographers.
Question: Any final thoughts?
Answer: Yes discussion and dialogues must be taken in the Public arena in the MENA region and voting should be arranged in the Arab world on what people want and forms of governance. Literature, films and also poetry needs to be also translated and made available as also writings and anthologies – Arab Nationalism remains a fraught subject, often rearing its head without resolution. I have this poem with me a translation of the Iraqi poet, Sati' al-Husri’s elegy "How Strange":
We rebelled against the English; we rebelled against the French ...
We rebelled against those who colonized our land and tried to enslave us ...
We repeated the red revolutions many times, and we continued with our white revolutions over a number of years ...
And for this we endured so much suffering, sustained so many losses, and sacrificed so many lives ...
When we finally gained our liberty, we began to sanctify the borders that they had instituted after they had divided our land ...
And we forgot that these borders were but the boundaries of the "solitary confinement" and the "house arrest" which they had imposed on us!
We need to include all these sentiments in the dialogiues and also safeguard the personhood of all inhabitants of this region regardless of their religion.

Many thanks
*Photo Caption - An Iraqi ISIL fighter

[ Masterweb Reports ] - “We should not be too comfortable of the king's court”, Ikpeazu tells Ngwa National Association (NNAUSA). “For to us a child is born, to us a child is given and the government will be on his shoulders”… For the Ngwa National Association United States of America (NNAUSA) and to all Ngwa nation all over the globe, the emergence of Okezie Ikpeazu as Abia state governor of Ngwa extraction, the first in the history of mankind was to the Ngwa nation a fulfilment of that holy book verse above. The NNAUSA 24th Annual National Convention in Connecticut USA was another day and another event for the Ngwa people all over the world, as the occasion attracted the presence of their own son Ikpeazu, the governor of Abia state. The event which lasted for three days, September 4th -7th was held at the executive Hilton Stamford Hotel. Call him the preaching governor, a man after God’s own heart, or God’s own governor, Okezie Ikpeazu will fit in. Our foreign correspondent that was there to cover the event was opportune to have an interview with the amiable governor endowed with a high level of intellectual capability, mentally alert, and with a sharp grasp of issues. Above all, clothed with humility and fear of God. Below are excerpts from the interview.
How and what has it been like for the past three months you became the governor of Abia state?
It’s been quiet eventful for the past three months. The first issue has been to set up our new vision which is to reactivate and reinvigorate our economy. Also how to bare and sustain our developmental strides without really relying on what comes from the center all the time. And for us to do that, we need a massive social mobilization. And in all these fronts, if I must score ourselves, we have not done badly. In a scale of ten, I can score us seven without being conservative. And then, in our vision, we have tried to look at those things we can do naturally. Those things we have complete advantage over others. Of course, everybody understands our strong trade and commerce, our oil and gas endowment is there, and then agriculture. And so we decided to redefine these factors and elements that will support these areas of growth.
In other to prepare, we needed to do something about our roads, security, and Abia work force. And we have been able to put something in stock on these fronts. We are on 31 roads. We started with 7 on the first day in office. These 31 roads are on-going. It’s not easy to keep 31 contractors simultaneously. We have been able to do that, not because we saw money, but because we have been able to create an image of confidence. Because coming with governance requires you should be able to have a measure of truth, especially if you are sufficiently transparent and if you are a man of your words, and you want people to take your words to the bank.
We have been able to reactivate contracts that were abandoned and redesign roads. In Aba particularly, our emphasis is based on the fact that Aba is the engine room of Abia state. And there is this general belief that if you get Aba right, you have gotten Abia right. That is not to say that we undermine the other parts of Abia state. A good number of our roads are in Aba, while a good number are in other senatorial districts in Abia. The high point here is that, the kinds of roads are quite different from what it used to be before. Today, we are insisting on a minimum standard which must include a drainage plan. And in terms of road construction, there is a departure from what it used to be. You must give us an iron mesh work with concrete, with asphalt, and a drainage plan. That is the minimum standard of road construction we require.
In terms of mobilizing the people, we have paid salary regularly. We are able to return all facets of Abia work force that has been on strike back to work. The health workers have been on strike for seven months and the judiciary on strike for three months. We have returned them back to work. We are happy with them, we salute them, and we see them as partners in this Abia new project. As a matter of fact, it’s our desire that salaries should not be taken for granted. Because every Abia worker should not be thinking about salary alone. We are to come to a point of thinking of incentive to retraining and furthering education of the work force. We are building for the first time our private public partnership. Our work force should be able to outline process of investment in Abia so that business will thrive to enhance economic growth and outline procedures conducive for business men to invest. Also they will look into tax reform to make sure that we harmonize tax paid, how, and to whom. We are battling ghost workers in Abia work force, and to the glory of God we have been able to save one hundred and sixty million naira ( N160.0m). We are happy that today some people are beginning to key in our project.
In terms of education, we have decided to redo our education system. All the government technical colleges will come back to full stream under the program we call, education for employment E4E. We want to produce middle cadre manpower to support our industrial development. Our primary schools will also be technically oriented in their curriculum design. We look at collaboration in our tertiary institutions for partners who will partner with us to have a technology based state.
You were referred as a street sweeper, sweeping the streets of Aba, what will become the status of the refuse in Aba now you are a governor?
Thank you very much. During my assignment as duty general manager in charge of waste management, we were able to set up a domestic waste dump sites. Our challenge is tertiary dump sites. We have fairly good collection system, but it has not been as effective as it is supposed to be, because there is a relationship between garbage collection and good road network. If you must collect garbage mechanically or with vehicles, they must ply on roads. That is why we are embarking on taring the roads, using various segments of Aba city as pilot schemes for driving domestic waste management initiative. Also out of what we expect to take home from this trip, is to see if we can get a good waste technology partners for tertiary dump sites. Because, not until we take into demand for a domestic tertiary site, it will be difficult for us to get rid of the waste in Aba. We have done 60% of what we need to do. Consistently, we have procured 3 garbage trucks every month. We hope that in the next 100 days, we’ll be able to step up to 80 -90% from what we have now, because by that time, 14 out of the 31 roads must have been delivered. And then people will see an entirely new waste management initiative. Also if we are able to attract people with requisite waste management technology, we can be reassured that very soon Aba will become a new city.
Abia state is tagged as God’s own state, and you are the governor of God’s own state, in your outings so far, you have been noticed preaching, would it be right to tag you as God’s own governor?
It would be a privilege, an honor, in fact a virtue, it’s not a title I can own, and it’s a title I will work towards to. I wish I could be God’s own governor. And I pray he will be gracious and merciful to give me the grace to be that one day.
What is your message to the Ngwa National Association USA (NNAUSA) and to all Ngwa and Abians in diaspora?
My message is captioned in Nehemiah 2:17. We have a place; it doesn’t matter where we find ourselves. Like Queen Esther, we should not be too comfortable or confused by the trappings, pleasures and comfort of the king’s court. Despite the fact we are within the king’s court, we are not of the king’s court. The truth is that we have a place back home. I have seen some beautiful things out there, but each time it inspires me to go home and create a Little America somewhere. There is a job to be done. And I want us to go home and do our job. Imagine America of 150 years ago, it could have been like Umuoba. But Americans built America. Therefore I expect that you join us and build our place. If you don’t blow your trumpet nobody will blow it. Everybody will be busy blowing their own. Right now we should talk about our place gloriously. I had the privilege of speaking to one of the greatest inventors of our time, an Ngwa man who discovered Kazar gogle, Prof Achilihu. I was so happy to declare to everybody there that I have a bit of his DNA in my system, because he is my distant cousin as an Ngwa man. And if he can discover a gogle that can separate ordinary cell from the cancer cells by mere looking at it, then there is nothing we cannot achieve. We need the support of each other. Tell people that there is something beautiful about our place. Otherwise, we join others in the chorus and reference of seeing only in the negatives.
*Photo Caption - Governor Okezie Ikpeazu at NNAUSA 24th Annual National Convention in Connecticut USA.

[ Masterweb Reports: An Interview By Alphonsus Eze ] - Nze Emeka Umeagbalasi was former Chairman, Anambra State Branch of the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) and one time Vice- Chairman of the Southeast Zonal Management Committee of the organization.  He is presently the Board Chairman of International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety). 
Umeagbalasi, who has won several awards including  from the Nigerian Red Cross and Children’s Rights Advocacy Group in the Southeast, is an   alumnus of the International Visitors Leadership Exchange Program (IVLP) of the United States Department of State on NGO Management in USA (class of June 2013)  In this interview with ALPHONSUS EZE , Umegbalasi faulted the lopsided appointments of President Mohammed Buhari, delay in appointment of members of Federal Executive Council (FEC), lack of due process in his anti-graft war among other issues. Excerpts:
How will you assess the appointments made by Buhari so far? Are they in line with the federal character principle   enshrined in the 1999 constitution?
The Buhari administration has made a total of 29 major appointments since 30th May, 2015 and as at   4th September, 2015, not even one of them is from the Southeast zone; thereby grossly violating Section 14 (3) of the 1999 Constitution (regional or geopolitical spread). The relevant Section provides as follows: “the composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity,
and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few states or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or any of its agencies”. Also, Section 171 (5) of the Constitution further provides as follows: “in exercising his powers of appointment under this section (Section 169 creating the Civil Service of the Federation), the President shall have regard to the Federal Character and the need to promote national unity.”
Below is the graphic and geopolitical breakdown of the 29 top presidential appointments made by the Buhari administration between 30th May and 28th August 2015:
Aide de Camp to President: Lt. Col Abubakar Lawal, (Kano State, North-West). Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the President: Femi Adesina, (Osun State, South-West).
Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the President: Garba Shehu, (Kano State, North-West). State Chief of Protocol/Special Assistant (Presidential Matters): Lawal Abdullahi Kazaure, (Jigawa State, North-West). National Security Adviser: Babagana Monguno (Borno State, North-East). Chief of Air Staff: Sadique Abubakar, (Bauchi State, North-East), Commandant General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC): Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu (Niger State, North-Central).
Others are: Chief of Defence Intelligence: Monday Riku Morgan (Benue State, North-Central). Director General, State Security Services, (SSS): Lawal Daura, (Katsina State, North-West). Acting Chairperson, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC): Amina Zakari, (Jigawa State, North-West). Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA: Habibu Abdulahi (Kano State, North-West). Special Adviser, Niger Delta Amnesty Office: Paul Boroh, (Bayelsa State, South-South). Acting Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration, Safety and Security Agency, (NIMASA): Baba Haruna Jauro (Yobe State, North-East),Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Communications Commission: Umaru Dambatta (Kano State, North-West).
Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, (FIRS): Babatunde Fowler, (Lagos State, South-West).16. Director General, Budget Office of the Federation: Aliyu Gusau, (Zamfara State, North-West).
Secretary to the Government of the Federation: Engr. Babachir David Lawal (Adamawa State, Northeast). Chief of Staff to the President: Alhaji Abba Kyari (Borno State, Northeast), Controller General of the Nigerian Customs Service: Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd.) (Nassarawa State, North-Central).   Controller General, Nigerian Immigration Service: Mr. Kure Martin Abeshi (Nassarawa State, North-Central). SSA to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate): Senator Ita S.J. Enang (Akwa Ibom State, South-south).   Group Managing Director of NNPC: Emmanuel Kachikwu (Delta State, South-south). Accountant General of the Federation: Ahmed Idris (Kano State, North-West).
Chief of Defense Staff: Aboyomi Olonishakin (Ekiti State, Southwest). Chief of Army Staff: Tukur Buratai (Borno State, Northeast), Chief of Naval Staff: Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas (Cross River State, South-south). Head of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR): Mordacai Ledan (Kaduna State, Northwest). SSA to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Reps): Hon. Suleiman A. Kawu (Kano State, Northwest). Director General of the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON): Ahmed Lawan Kuru (Northwest).
Of the 29 presidential appointments analyzed above, the North took 22 slots and the South seven, and as it concerns the geopolitical allocation/spread, mandatorily provided in Section 14 (3) of the 1999 Constitution, Northwest zone alone took twelve slots, followed by the Northeast with six, North-Central four, South-south four, Southwest three and the Southeast was left with zero slot. In the present composition of the Federal Government of Nigeria under the Buhari administration, judicially, presidentially and legislatively speaking, the North controls 80%, if not more.
For instance, the following key public offices of the Federation are presently in the hands of the North: President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Justice of the Federation, President of the Court of Appeal, Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief of Staff to the President, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Air Staff, Comptroller General of Customs, Director-General of State Security Services (SSS), National Security Advisor, Director General of NIMASA, Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Accountant-General of the Federation, Commandant General of the Nigerian Security & Civil Defence Corps, Chief Security Officer to the President, ADC to the President,
Principal Secretary to the President, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Chairman of the EFCC, Head of Service of the Federation, Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Director General of the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Director General of the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and Chairman of National Agency for Drugs & Control (NAFDAC).
It is therefore immoral, despicable, condemnable, shameful and unconstitutional for the Presidential Spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina to defend and justify the grossly lopsided and constitutionally impeachable appointments made so far by his boss. The 1999 Constitution does not give the President power to take recourse to sectional or constitutional appointments spread according to his whims and caprices or at his own convenient time. Rather, the Constitution commanded and still commands President Muhammadu Buhari, as he presently is, to adhere strictly to the federal character at all times including in his presidential policies, actions and conducts.
Besides, waiting to “balance the constitutional imbalances” during his long awaited ministerial appointments is totally deceitful and a smokescreen approach. This is because the President has totally achieved his “nothernization and sectional governance policy aims and objectives”, powered by politics of exclusion and segregation. As matter of fact, the President has cornered for his region all powerful, sensitive and juicy appointments. What are left in the form of “ministers” are “fish eaters” and not “fishermen”.
The issue of ministerial appointments has their own separate Constitutional requirements and must not be used to further confuse and mislead Nigerians. In the plain language and command of Section 147 (3) of the 1999 Constitution, “any appointment of minister under subsection 2 of this Section by the President shall be in conformity with the provisions of Section 14 (3) of this Constitution. Section 147 (4) further commands: “provided that in giving effect to the provisions aforesaid, the President shall appoint at least one minister from each State, who shall be an indigene of such State”.
What of his anti-graft crusade, has Buhari been following due process?
We have come to a firm conclusion that the anti corruption policy direction of the Buhari administration is totally misguided and unknown to modern international anti graft control mechanisms as clearly stated in the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) of 2005 (entered into force), which Nigeria ratified on 14th December 2004.
Buhari’s anti graft policy direction is in all intents and purposes, haunted by “three terminal sicknesses of: moral burden or incompetence, selective application and misguided approach.” For the records, official or government corruption occurs when a public office holder or other government employees act reprehensively in an official capacity for personal or material gain. It is also official misuse of powers or public resources for personal gain or with criminal intent.
Though countries or States-Parties to the UNCAC Convention were allowed to use the concept of “mala prohibita corruption” (defining and criminalizing corruption according to States), but the United Nations gave 60% attention to preventive measures as the most effective modern control mechanisms. Investigation, indictment, prosecution, conviction and sentencing got 20% and international cooperation, technical cooperation and information exchange among Member-States got the remaining 20%. Preventive Measures include institutional reforms and institutional capacity building, overhauling of anti graft agencies and laws in accordance with international best practices, stiffening sentencing processes and categories other than death penalty; and institutionalization of probity and accountability in public governance and offices as well as effective collaborations with formidable, unbiased and non conformist civil society organizations and the media.
Most importantly, those driving the modern anti graft engines must be transparent and accountable at all times. It is a globally established fact that the modern corruption has a commander-in-chief, which is moral corruption. There are modern dimensions of corruption, which include morality corruption, legislated corruption, electoral corruption and political corruption (grand political corruption and petty political corruption).
Modern agents of corruption include fraud (criminal fraud), money laundering (including terrorist financing), bribery, criminal extortion, forgery, embezzlement, kickbacks, confidence trickery, tax evasion, tax avoidance, criminal taxation (multiple taxation and tax diversion), contract inflation and abandonment, over invoicing and false pretence. Other triggers of corruption include criminal gratification, criminal patronage, cronyism, favouritism and nepotism.
Apart from the fact that there are 22 or more anti graft agencies and criminal enactments in Nigeria, which include the EFCC Act (2004), the ICPC Act (2000), the Money Laundering Prohibition Act of 2004, the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offenses Act (1995), the Failed Banks (Recovery of Debts) and Other Financial Malpractices in Banks Act (1994), the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act of 1991; and Miscellaneous Offenses Act, the Corrupt Proceeds and Properties’ Forfeiture Act of 1999, and the Criminal and the Penal Codes of 2004; corruption and abuse of office are also constitutionally prohibited in Nigeria in Section 15 (5) of the 1999 Constitution. Section 15 (5) of the Constitution provides as follows: “the State shall abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of office”.
Therefore, our submission to it is that the Buhari administration’s anti graft or corruption policy direction is totally misguided and unknown to modern international anti corruption control mechanisms as hereby stated above. It is an indisputable fact that every central government in Nigeria since 1966 has laid claim to fight against corruption. As recently as late 1990s and first decade of 2000s, over $1.97Billion was recovered by the military and civilian governments of Retired Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar and Goodluck Jonathan; mainly from “Abacha loots”. Their whereabouts till date are left in the hands of God knows who.
Yet, the two administrations above are still adjudged by many as “corruption friendly”. Despite pockets of defects in the Nuhu Ribadu’s EFCC era, it remains the best civil, institutional and procedural anti graft campaign in the history of Nigeria. The efficiency, competence and international recognition of the Nuhu Ribadu’s EFCC led to attraction to the Commission of millions of dollars yearly from international grant and development institutions. At a point, the EFCC possessed the capacity to operate and survive without the federal government subventions.
The EFCC suffered presidential and executive highhandedness during the Yar’Adua/Jonathan administration; leading to the appointment of corruption friendly Attorney General of the Federation and another corruption friendly person as the Chairman of the EFCC. The reprehensive act was perpetrated using a questionable former governor of one of the states in the old Middle-Belt Region.
Conversely, the Buhari military’s war against indiscipline and corruption of 1984-1985 remains the most brutal, uncivil, crude and globally condemned. The president’s current approach to corruption is totally in conflict with the principles of due process and an attempt to replicate or repeat his crude approach of his military khaki days. The major reason why anti corruption policies and actions have eluded Nigeria is because of unclean hands or lack of moral uprightness of those leading the anti graft campaigns in the country. Corruption in Nigeria has now transformed into meta-impunity and immunity. In the world over, an estimated sum of $1trillion is still lost to the globe’s captains of corruption every year.
In Nigeria, Corruption through international money laundering is steadily becoming out-fashioned and corruption through criminal properties and investments is overtaking it. The number of hotels, filling stations, campus hostels, corporate properties and liquid investments springing up in choice cities of the country, is alarming and shocking.
Corruption by money laundering is now majorly carried out through purchase of shares in national and international business companies including telecommunications and oil and gas. Ten years ago, the country’s captains of corruption particularly serving and former top public office holders hardly allowed open inclusion and mentioning of their names as owners of properties publicly suspected to have been gotten or procured illicitly, but today, their names are mentioned or associated with those properties with reckless abandon.
These explain why we held that the Buhari administration lacks moral standing or uprightness to effectively fight or control corruption. By the express provision of Section 15 (5) of the 1999 Constitution, President Muhammadu Buhari is guilty of abuse of office including his presidential sole administrator-ship of Nigeria for three months running and a legion of constitutional infractions and procedural blunders.
The grand import of this is that “corruption fought selectively and parochially” amounts to corruption fighting corruption. And it cannot stand the test of time. If the Buhari administration is serious in fighting and controlling corruption, which we seriously doubt, then it has to be total or holistic. To be able to fight and control corruption, President Muhammadu Buhari and his Vice, Yemi Osibanjo must lead the way by first making their assets declarations public, uncorrupted and un-doctored; in addition to provision of concrete answers to those questions above. This is what we meant and still mean by those leading fight against corruption in Nigeria must fight same with clean hands.
How do you see the delay in the appointment of ministers?
This is another fundamental breach of the 1999 Constitution, particularly Section 147 of the Constitution. It also took him almost 90 days to appoint the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, which is another violation of Section 171 (1) and (2) of the Constitution. He has also abused his presidential office by his sole administratorship disposition in utter violation of Section 15 (5) of the Constitution. President Buhari’s presidential office is a creation of Section 130 of the Constitution. In all, his conducts above highlighted are unknown to the 1999 Constitution and the Civil Service Rules of the Federation.
Do you believe that Buhari is taking concrete steps to improve our economy?
What is needed at this point in time is not economic achievements but forensic analysis of his economic policy direction, if any. In matters of the said policy direction in economy such as employment, no policy direction of international standard exists so far under Buhari administration. The employment growth is even going from zero to super-zero.
The latest development following the presidential suspension of the Controller General of the Immigration Service over alleged ISIS insurgency conspiracy is a clear case in point. As reported in the media, a presidential directive from the Buhari administration has been given for the ongoing recruitment training involving newly recruited Immigration cadets to be discontinued. Just last March 2014, fifteen young graduates attending the Immigration Service recruitment screening exercise died summarily and unceremoniously. Now, if those in training are sent packing, is the employment growth not dying under Buhari Presidency?
Till date, Nigeria has no modern trade and investment or industrial (development) vision. Skill acquisition policy especially for macro and micro credit facilities is nonexistent. The worst of all is that the public funds needed to turn things around are legislatively siphoned and criminally diverted by political office holders. We ask again: I ask what is the Buhari administration policy directions towards these?
In USA, for instance, importation policy is sustained despite its ability to produce and export most of what it imports in commercial quantities. USA also has crude oil discovered decades ago, yet it still imports it. It also imports textiles and electronics from Asia following high costs associated with their production in USA. This is for the enhancement of the social lives of its down-top citizens. In trade and investment, balance of trade and payment or trade surplus remain the global best practices. And these are not achieved by outright banning of importation hiding under any cover.
To fight money laundering or to get naira to appreciate against dominant foreign currencies, strategic economic policy turnaround is required. President Buhari’s current monetary policy is akin to Uganda under Idi Amin Dada, who pointed a gun on the head of his Central Bank Governor and commanded him to make his national currency thicker than that of British Pound Sterling. During the oil boom of late 70s in Nigeria, naira was strong following oil-economy growth courtesy of sharp rise in the international price of crude oil.
Today, naira has depreciated steadily losing over N40.00 to US Dollar less than three months in 2015. To make Nigeria strong and its naira internationally competitive, there is need for “economic development” or industrialization of the country’s 33 solid mineral deposits and agriculture, as well as steady advancement in science and technology including information technology. These must be propelled by purposeful and visionary political leadership, which Buhari is not providing.
What do say about security under Buhari administration?
We are yet to see President Buhari’s policy direction on security. Till date, Nigeria still operates a national policy on security adopted in 1979 under Obasanjo’s military regime. Besides, modern security is no longer rested on gun culture or AK-47 driven alone. The United Nations had in 1994 formulated the concept of Human Security, which include food security, environmental security, economic security, health security, personal security, community security and political security.
These seven dimensions of Human Security are fundamental guides for any country formulating its policy on security. For now, Nigerians are still far from being secured or feeling of being secured from want and fear. In Africa, it is only South Africa that has fully embraced the concept of Human Security. Even the insurgents he promised to wipe out so soon have been proving difficult. So far, his performance in fighting Boko Haram insurgents has not yielded any dividend.
*Photo Caption - Nze Emeka Umeagbalasi

[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] - Towards the end of 2013 I was sensitized to the vitriolic broadcasting being done by Radio Biafra, then only online. I was first drawn by a video I saw in which Nnamdi Kanu and Arinze O. on visit to Anambra were recorded harassing northerners by Ezu River.
In January of 2014, I decided to call in to the station. Before I spoke as can be heard in the audio provided  here [], Nnamdi Kanu declared that then president Goodluck Jonathan was an Igbo man. He claimed the entire South south as Igbo.
I introduced myself as “Smart Alex.” Interesting he did not notice this was a peeve.
At the time Nigeria was being freely decimated by Boko Haram and then president Goodluck Jonathan with his army chief General Azubuike Ihejirika were using the terror to plunder billions of dollars and dancing on our graves.
I challenged Nnamdi over what I called his hypocrisy and dishonesty. “Why do you support Jonathan and Ihejirika when they fail to deliver or move towards delivering “Biafra” your advertised objective?”
I saw Nnamdi and his Radio Biafra as merely a sponsored tool of Goodluck Jonathan or a group of wicked foreign sponsored cretins bent on supporting and sponsoring anything or person (including Boko Haram) that will kill and destroy Nigerians and Nigeria.
We recollect that in 2011, Norway terrorist and mass murderer Anders Brevik’s manifesto had stated support of a Biafra mission as part of the agenda of his extremist cult. See:
Behring Anders Breivik comments at
“Primary Doctrines:
“Critical to multiculturalism (Anti-kulturmarxistisk) Anti-racist Pro Progress Party (maybe right) Pro Israel (+ support for Armenia, Christian Copts / Maronite / Assyriere, cultural conservative Indians, support for the establishment of a Christian state Biafra, Southern Nigeria and support to the establishment of a Christian state in Sudan, support for Russian / Thailand / Philippines / China + Fighting Jihad)”
Nnamdi who broadcast freely out of the United Kingdom, openly spewing statements of direct incitement and terror was not acting alone.
In our conversation, Nnamdi claimed that Jonathan setting up a “Sovereign National Conference” was his ticket to Nnamdi’s using Radio Biafra to openly campaign for Goodluck Jonathan to Easterners.
He failed to build a cogent case. I pointed out that Abacha and Obasanjo had in the past done the very same.
Nnamdi Kanu from my personal interaction is very dangerous young man. He built his media empire by taking advantage of the shared frustration of Nigerians, using this anger we all have (had) with our legislative and executive criminal governments to gather together and tribalize youth and manipulate them towards a way out thorough inciting terror and attempted violent secession. A boy who has openly broadcast for the murder of an Igbo chief, he is a national security threat that must be taken seriously.
The grievances of the South East must however also be taken seriously and explored for prevalence, with options of address including the possibility of referendum. We must explore if they do want something, what they want and how many people want it. We must not push perhaps legitimate concerns under the carpet.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: ) reports. 
*Photo Caption - Mr. Nnamdi Kanu