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 (Submission By Obinna Akukwe)
 
 
Theophilus Danjuma is not a person the Biafran people will forget in a hurry. He supervised the brutal killing of General Aguiyi Ironsi, the first military head of state of Nigeria. He was among the troops that invaded the  Biafran territory during the civil war and was fabled to be heartless in the discharge of his duties towards Nigeria.
 
Theophilus Danjuma became a general in the Nigerian Army and it was said that he convinced Obasanjo to become Nigeria’s head of State after the assassination of fellow Biafran killer man, General Murtala Mohammed in 1976.
 
During the Obasanjo recycling presidential jamboree, Danjuma posited that if Obasanjo fails to win the 1999 presidential election, he will run away from Nigeria. Obasanjo won the election and rewarded him with the post of Minister for Defence and charged him with dismantling the military structure capable of truncating his democracy.
 
The sharing of national cake of oil block to PDP party men in the most non transparent manner is one of the  fallout of the Nigerian brand of dictatorial democracy. Oil blocks worth about $2billion dollars auction value could be sold to a party faithful for as low as $500million dollars  .The facilitators share the difference  between the auction value and the real value among themselves  in the ratio of 50:50. Or 60:40 in favor of the awarder, the facilitator or the government middleman who could be fronting for the strongman  in the state house.
 
Theophilus Danjuma  got his on a platter of gold. Late Head of State  Sani Abacha awarded the Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 246 to SAPETRO in February 1988. The block covers a total area of 2,590 square kilometers .SAPETRO partnered with Total Upstream Nigeria (TUPNI) and Brasoil Oil Services Company Limited (Petrobas) to start prospecting on OPL246.  Akpo, a condensate field was discovered in April 2000 with drilling commencing in 2001. In 2006 Danjuma divested his investment in Akpo oil field to China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) for $1Billion dollars. However, Danjuma still had some conscience left in him. He paid tax of $500million dollars to the Nigerian state and had about $500 million dollars remaining. He then released $100 million dollars to the Nigerian people in the form of foundation for social responsibility projects. This sum as  paltry as it seems is better than nothing. General Danjuma should do well to bring out more for the impoverished Nigerians.
 
This is where this former Biafran killer man towered above his fellow oil block commandeers. There are so many Nigerians from all the six geopolitical zones who have oil blocks. They include former presidents, former governors, former ministers, party chieftains, friends of government, serving and retired military officers especially service chiefs etc .To date there is no record of what they did with the proceeds of their oil blocks. They are building more estates, more refineries, factories etc outside the shores of Nigeria, especially Europe, America and the Middle East and recently South Africa. The rest of their proceeds they use to purchase INEC officials, impose candidates on the electorates, rig elections and throw fabulous victory dance and thanksgiving services. Others engage in frivolous constant reburials of long dead ones, constant acquisition of new wives, concubines , jets, private mansions all to the mockery of impoverished and ‘ancestrally cursed‘ fellow countrymen.
 
If all the people who cornered the nation’s resources in the name of oil blocks decide to bring twenty percent of their loot, the nation could raise about $40 billion dollars in a week. This amount translates to N6trillion naira, which is more than the entire Nigerian budget of $31 billion dollars for 2012.
 
How can a few set of Nigerians be so heartless, wicked and insensitive to the hungry faces around them that they  cannot device a veritable means of giving back to the impoverished  suffering ‘son of a bitch ‘countrymen what they obtained through processes that is far from transparent, it is shortof being called fraudulent. Danjuma received knocks when he announced what he did with his own commandeered resource. Nigerians called him a thief, but if Danjuma is a thief, what of the others who sat on their own oil proceeds never considered returning any back to the people. A friend of government who owns oil block took a young girl friend to Dubai in 2010 and gave her a gift of $1million dollars just to prove his everlasting love for the nagging babe. That is the kind of expenditure they do with their oil loot.
 
A lot of Nigerians have died in hospitals because they cannot pay medical bills, others have taken to robbery because they cannot see any gainful thing to do while another group takes to prostitution to raise money to pay school fees. Others are seeking for academic sponsors for educational improvement but cannot find. The list is endless and there is frustration palpable everywhere in Nigeria, yet a few Nigerians are so insensitive that they cannot surrender part of their loot back to the Nigerian masses from which they fraudulently commandeered their resources.
 
Danjuma had the  conscience to surrender a part of what belongs to Nigeria which Obasanjo gave him when they were sharing the never ending national cake. Others should follow suit. They should repatriate these loots back home and use them to establish affordable universities, hospital services and other ventures capable of reducing frustrations on the streets. Others should equally build roads in their villages, provide transformers, pipe borne water for communities across Nigeria. There is equally need for scholarships for indigent students, sponsoring medical trips for acid victims and other traumatic and life threatening victims.. Some could fund sports and build sporting facilities for recreational and sports development purposes. Others could   sponsor activities that brings up talents in the people. The list is endless. Farmers need to be given free or highly subsidized fertilizers; seedlings and storage facilities need to be built.
 
These oil block commandeers should as a matter of urgency borrow a leaf from  Theophilus Danjuma , repent from insensitivity and take urgent steps to give back to the impoverished, frustrated Nigerians what they collected through the back door. Failure to do so and urgently too, a time will come when even God will engineer the people against them and there will be no end to their calamities.
 
Obinna Akukwe
 

-Masterweb Reports (Submission By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor)
 
 
National leader of Action Congress of Nigeria( ACN), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu yesterday denied having any meeting at the weekend with President Goodluck Jonathan, even as he affirmed that he was not in town  for the said meeting.
The former Lagos State Governor also said there was no meeting between the governor of Lagos State Babatunde Raji Fasshola and the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu with Jonathan.
 
The clarification from the ACN leader comes amid speculations that there was a meeting between the trio and the president when he visited Lagos.
Tinubu said, he would be favoraurably disposed to meeting with the president, if it cuts across party lines, with a view to seeking their views on how to unlock the spate of threats, insecurity and other national headaches if the president invites him.
 
The ACN leader, said much as any of such meetings called at the instance of the president is convoked without politicizing issues, it will be good for all stakeholders in the Nigerian project to put their heads together to find a common solution to the problems starring the nation in   the face.
 
Tinubu  who spoke to journalists at a privste terminal at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos to visit the Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole, over the recent road crash involving his convoy was accompanied by the national chairman of the part, Chief Bisi Akande, former Ekiti State governor, Niyi Adebay, and the ACN spokeman, Lai Mohammed.
 
Tinubu said : " That report is not correct. To tell you categorically  I did not attend any meeting with the president  in company of Oba of Lagos . I wasn’t even aware that the president was coming to Lagos until later  after the visit of the Oba at night. So there was no meeting between myself , president and the Oba of Lagos and have not , and I am very sure that the governor did not attend any such meeting with the governor."
On his disposition to any meeting if invited by Jonathan, Tinubu said : " We have all  been meeting on the national issues, we had the meetings several times in the past, so when the party leadership across the board are all invited to a meeting  to solve the problems of the country why not.
 
This is  a critical time when all hands must be on deck to help solve the security  problems  of the country, this is the time to get together to develop ideas , and all necessary reasons that can help the nation  as a whole, the matter of security should  be less politicized , advice should be solicited in good faith , if ideas are solicited in good faith , one must offer it , they should not reject the ideas outright of any person, but that has to come through the political parties; leadership"
 
On the crisis of Boko Haram and the attendant insecurity in Nigeria, the ACN leader said : " You have touched on a critical issue confronting the nation  and it is reaching a phenomenon dimension that we all can not afford to sleep with the two eyes open up  or ignore the national issue of security.
 
The president as commander in chief of the Armed Forces , he is the first person who probably should  commence the consultation with the people and must not politicize this problem.
 
Since 1999, the PDP has been ruling this country , they claim to have the wisdom and the apparatus and each time when they react to this question of national security the tragedy confronting the country, they  have not gone without blaming  one political party or the other .That is passing the buck.
 
They  are the ones who would say we are in government, we are in power  so if they can not solve the problem of security , why blaming it on others .
Now there is a clear line and ideological differences between us yet but this Nigeria  belongs to all of us . the best is that PDP led   federal government should do is to cry for help and if they do they will get it  instead of putting blames or categorizing one party as  one man party , they are running around like headless chickens."
 

-Masterweb Reports
How the transport sector could serve as a catalyst for transformation in any sector of the economy once again attained front burner status as experts and stakeholders in the aviation sector converged in Lagos to examine how to sustain a formidable road map to turn the aviation industry into one of the major planks of development.
 
The seminar with the theme: “Evolving a road map for transformation of the air transport sector in Nigeria “, being the eighteenth in the series of the League of Airports & Aviation Correspondents (LAAC), annual event provided another platform for experts, leaders and players in the sector to examine issues bordering on how to evolve a workable and sustainable template for turning around the gateway to economic development.
 
The seminar  drew participants from aviation parastatals including the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA),Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), the Nigeria Police, airlines, ancillary service  providers    including Nigerian Aviation Handling Company ( NAHCO), Plc, Skyway  Aviation  Handling Company Limited ( SAHCOL), Para- military agencies including Nigeria Customs Service, Immigration and other  stakeholders.
 
Setting the tone for the seminar, the chairman of LAAC, Mr Chukwuemeke  Iwelunmo explained that the theme of this year’s seminar is apt given recent developments in the industry , stating that the transformation train appears to have come at the appropriate time, given the obvious decay of airport operational equipment and infrastructure resulting from  neglect by government.
 
Identifying the eleven airports remodeling project as a major plank of the transformation agenda of government, Iwelumo observed that the aviation sector was on its way to regaining its lost glory.
 
He applauded the leadership courage of the current minister of aviation, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah, in tackling the myriad of infrastructural challenges in the industry; even as he observed the pains domestic operators are grappling with over failure to complete the installation of the air field lighting system of the 18 left runway at the domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.
 
He called on the minister to expedite action in making public the outcome of the report of the committee set up last year to investigate the high cost as well as scarcity of aviation fuel.
 
Giving his assessment of the state of affairs of the aviation sector, he brought to the fore the current travails of private sector carriers, which is accentuated by the absence of a national carrier, even as he canvassed the strengthening of capacity for the airlines by government.
 
Others issues that he dwelt on revolved around the need for airlines to pay up their debts to enable aviation service providers meet their statutory obligation.
Conference examined the challenge of dearth of pilots and engineers and other key professionals in the industry, which has become obvious owing largely to inability to train younger professionals to replace the old ones.
 
Considering the obvious security challenge in the country, conference notes that there is need to ensure adequate security in all the airports, as well as the need for all security gadgets installed to be in optimal capacity, rather than exposing irregularities in the system.
 
Conference however calls on government to consider the media as partner in developing the aviation and allied sectors of the economy, even as it continues to condemn in the strongest terms, the lingering sealing off of the Press Centre at the Presidential Wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.
 
While delivering the key note address, the director general of Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA), Dr Harold Demuren, noted that the conference theme is symmetrical  with the master plan of the aviation , which was unveiled in Abuja by the minister of aviation.
 
Demuren noted that apart from the development of a master plan, an implementation framework is necessary to confront the sector’s numerous challenges.
Key among the components of the master plan, which the minister has unveiled for the industry include how to develop hubs in line with international standards and best practices; develop the requisite capacity and manpower to meet the needs in the industry.
 
Others are the need to change the business model of the industry into self sustaining model, through increased private sector participation to reduce financial burden on government; maximize the contribution to the social-economic development of the Nigerian economy as well as the attendant foreign direct investment.
 
On the harsh economic climate resulting in airlines groaning, he canvassed the need for government to encourage the financial institutions to provide financial instruments that would ensure local airlines have access to low interest rate on loans.
 
The presentation did not hesitate to canvass a regime of waivers for aircraft parts imported by domestic airlines, as doing such will afford local carriers the needed revenue to improve their operations, even as it noted that funds accruable could be used for aircraft purchase and training of personnel.
 
The issue of airport tariff and charges that should be reviewed was brought to the front burner, even as government was urged to look into how the needed succor should be provided for local operators.
 
In his keynote address, the minister of aviation, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah, canvassed for synergy among stakeholders in the ongoing efforts to transform the sector, even as she called for consolidation among domestic airlines to enhance their capacity in a globally competitive environment.
The minister also unfolded plans to partner the ministry of petroleum to ensure the availability of aviation fuel at affordable prices.
 
On the vexed issue of security  and the sealing off of the Press Centre, the minister affirmed that as regrettable and inconveniencing as the matter appears, government is resolute in not taking lightly issues of security even as he expressed optimism that something positive is in the offing.
 
In his contribution, president of Aviation Round Table affirmed that the challenges the Nigerian aviation industry is grappling with , is not different  from what other  parts of the world are grappling with , even as he raised concerns over the  calibre of professionals who drew the road map for the sector, which is serious need for reassessment.
 
Ore highlighted that the validity of the roadmap, could only be ascertained if it had the input of stakeholders, before it could be subjected to serious analysis and ultimate endorsement.
 
In his contribution, Mr Gbenga Olowo canvassed a rechristening of the seminar’s theme, to reflect understanding the road map for the aviation sector, even as he called for self examination by all players in the sector on why aviation growth and development has taken a nosedive in the past few years.
 
He raised issues bordering on ageing professionals in the industry, the bust and boom of many domestic airlines, the factors responsible for the growth of the industry, and surgical operations financially on why Nigerian carriers are not doing well at the expense of other carriers.
 
His presentation was not limited to how the creation of a level playing field, will bring about four strong carriers out of the 22 carriers on the list of the NCAA, as continuous injection of funds into the carriers without proper consolidation is the way to go for the industry.
 
Olowo canvassed that until the right policy is in place, through government supported consolidation, operators could pull their aircraft together to form a strong carrier, such that there are sufficient aircraft for the strong carriers to emerge, through what he described as “Magnet approach”.
 
The harsh experience of many domestic carriers has made Nigerian operators a good case study of how not to run an airline, with a schedule that cannot guarantee profitability.
 
The state of Nigerian airports also drew the attention of speakers. He called for the remodeling of the airports based on the airport master plan instead of remodeling in beats and inconveniencing airport users and operations.
 
On the part of the Unions in the industry, the president of Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria ( ATSSSAN), Comrade Benjamin Okewu noted that rather than criticize the road map of the ministry of aviation, it is incumbent to rally round the transformation train of government to ensure that ongoing projects are not thwarted for the ultimate benefits of aviation stakeholders.
 
At the level of the unions, he noted that the clarion call is to keep abreast with the transformation agenda of the government and support the ministry, which appears from experience to have had the courage to remodel the airports.
 
On the controversial issue of setting up a national carrier, Okewu affirmed that the time is now to set up a national carrier, which is instrumental to the development of airport hubs, manpower development and operational capacity that could provide the platform to compete with foreign carriers.
 
If the manpower depletion in the aviation sector must be addressed, the establishment of a national carrier is key is closing the gap.
 
With the increasing passenger traffic, there is no going back on the need for government to remodel the airports, as a model for the development and growth of the industry.
 
In his contributions, the managing director of First Nation Airways, Mr Kayode Odukoya called for consistency in government transformational measures that will fast track the growth and development of the aviation sector.
 
The operators, he affirmed are well aware of the operational challenges of the industry, which government could have a full understanding of, if a forum is created for input gathering.
 
The need to find a common thread and work out ways of pursuing it is key to the development of the industry, even as access to robust funding at minimal interest rate remains key as the indicators that will form the pathway for the recovery of the industry from collapse.
 
Conference also considered ways and means of interfacing aircraft manufacturers, with funding and acquisition window that will be good for the sustenance of the industry, with reduced interest rates.
 
The mix of long haul operators and the distribution of passengers to the hubs must be given adequate consideration, as it opens opportunities for Nigerian operators to provide fueling, catering and other revenue enhancing window.
 
Discussions, as the setting up of a carrier will boost the nation’s economy amid the plethora of investment window it offers without injection of public funds, rather it will be purely private sector driven.
 
In his presentation, the managing director of Nigeria Airspace Management Agency ( NAMA),  Engineer Nnamdi Udoh,  called to domestication of whatever model is adopted as a road map for the development of the aviation sector, that is predicated on a foundation that could endure.
 
He also called for realistic target given the peculiarities of the Nigerian environment, even as he cautioned against ambitious projects that could be realistic, timely and measurable.
 
He raised a poser: If there is a robust business plan before government could be swayed by sentiments to float a national carrier without recourse to the sustainability of such a carrier.
 
His presentation also touched the raw nerve of the industry, which he described as proliferation of unviable carriers, proposing mergers and consolidation as a way forward.
 
Mr. Chris Aligbe in his presentation applauded the minister of aviation for the giant strides in coming up with a roadmap for the industry which never existed. He called on stakeholders to key into it irrespective of its deficiencies. He however, disagrees with the floatation of a national carrier, owned and operated by government. Rather, he recommends flag carriers operated by private concerns to fly the nation’s flag.
 
He recalled the absence of political will by past ministers of aviation to turn around the sector.
If the airline sub sector must be delivered from collapse, the hiccup of owner manager syndrome must be removed, because failure by the operators to look inwards has not accelerated the growth and development of the industry.
 
This has become imperative, as the need for government to by way of legislation and policy create a platform that will bring about the consolidation of domestic carriers, because examples abound all over the world on how government policy has accelerated the growth and sustenance of the airline industry.
 
There must be alternatives on the way, in the fast tracking of a roadmap for the industry as the roadmap that accentuated the building of a new terminal in Abuja, the MMA 2, facility, as well as the building of a new terminal at the General Aviation Terminal (GAT), at the domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.
 
Except operators come together on how to forge mergers and consolidation, the existing carriers will pale into insignificance, when the new national carrier if floated.
In the open forum, the national president of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), Engineer Isaac Balami, observed the porous service delivery by airlines, which have fallen below the bar in service delivery characterized by incessant flight delays and cancellation, which is dovetails into poor training for their personnel.
 
His presentation raised posers over the expatriate quota in the aviation sector, which has reduced indigenous professionals to be second fiddle, affirming that if operators harp on training of Nigerians, the industry could move forward, as empowerment is a key indicator in the quest for transformation.
 
Stakeholders also raised concerns over the seemingly cosmetic measures taken to turn around the aviation industry, not minding the deficiencies in the new approach at righting the wrongs of over many years.
 
Wrapping up the discussions, managing director of IRS Airlines calls for inclusion of all strata of the industry, including identifiable and achievable milestones, as well as the need to address the security challenges as the way to make the roadmap workable, even as he called for proper identification of the challenges of the industry, rather than a diagnosis of the industry.

 
 

-Masterweb Reports (Submission By Obinna Akukwe)
 
The process of sharing Nigeria’s oil block national cake is as fraudulent now as when Ibrahim Babangida started the process of discretionary allocation of oil blocks to indigenous firms. Discretionary allocation of oil blocks entails that a president can reward a mistress who performs wonderfully with an oil block with capacity for cumulative yield of over $20 billion dollars without recourse to any process outside of manhood attachments. Babangida, Abacha, Abdulsalami and Obasanjo awarded discretionary oil blocks to friends, associates, family members, party chieftains, security chiefs and all categories of bootlickers, spokespersons and cult members without any laid down procedures.
 
The recipients of such oil blocks will get funds from ever willing offshore financiers and partners to graciously settle the benefactors, the awarders, facilitators and the Commander-in-Chief through fronts. These settlements mostly paid into foreign accounts runs into hundreds of millions of dollars according to the potential yield of the block. Sometimes, the awarder (sharer of national cake and direct intermediaries) demand additional stakes in the bidding company. The awarder sends fronts as part of the directorship and management of the bidding firms without leaving a link to them.  That is how the oil block national cake is distributed to a few Nigerians.
 
Signature bonuses which are paid when an investor successfully bids, wins and signs agreement with the petroleum ministry, running into tens of millions and sometimes hundreds of millions of naira ,is often waived off. There is actually no waiver; rather a diversion of what would have been paid to government t coffers is paid into private purse as appreciation gifts. That is why those in the Petroleum Ministry dread retirement as though it signifies going to hell fire. No matter how little your influence, something substantial must enter your hands especially in hard currency. The nation loses billions of dollars in diverted revenue whenever any round of auction occurs.
 
OML 110 with high yield OBE oil fields was given Cavendish Petroleum owned by  Alhaji Mai Daribe, the Borno Patriarch in 1996 by Sanni Abacha. OBE oil field has estimated over 500 million barrels of oil. In layman’s language and using average benchmark of $100 dollars per barrel, translates to $50 billion dollars worth of oil reserve. When you remove the taxes, royalties and sundry duties worth about 60% of the reserve payable over time you get about $20billion dollars worth of oil in the hands of a family.
 
OPL 246 was awarded to SAPETRO, a company owned by General Theophilus Danjuma, by Sanni Abacha in 1998. Akpo condensate exports about 300,000 barrels of crude daily.
 
OML 112 and OML 117 were awarded to AMNI International Petroleum Development Company owned by Colonel Sanni Bello in 1999. Sanni Bello is an inlaw to Abdulsalami Abubakar, former Head of State of Nigeria.
 
OML 115, OLDWOK Field and EBOK field was awarded to Alhaji Mohammed Indimi from Niger State. Indimi is an inlaw to former Military President Ibrahim Babangida.
 
OML 215 is operated by Nor East Petroleum Limited owned by Alhaji Saleh Mohammed Gambo.
 
OML 108 is operated by Express Petroleum Company Limited is owned by Alhaji Aminu Dantata.
 
OML  II3 allocated to Yinka Folawiyo Pet Ltd is owned by Alhaji W.I. folawiyo.
 
ASUOKPU/UMUTU marginal oil fields is operated by Seplat Petroleum. Seplat is owned by Prince Nasiru Ado Bayero, cousin to the Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi. This oil field has the capacity of 300,000 barrels of oil daily. This translates to $30million dollars daily at average benchmark of $100 dollars per barrel. Deducting all sundry taxes, royalties etc , this field can yield $12billion dollars daily for the owners.
 
Intel owned by Atiku, Yarádua and Ado Bayero has substantial stakes in Nigeria’s oil exploration industry both in Nigeria and Principe and Sao Tome.
AMNI owns two oil blocks OML 112 and OML 117 which it runs Afren plc  and Vitol has substantial stakes in oil blocks. Afren plc is operating EBOK oil fields in OML 67.  Vitol lifts 300,000 barrels of Nigerian oil daily. Rilwanu Lukman, former OPEC Chairman has stakes in all these named three companies.
 
OPL 245 was awarded to Malabu Oil& Gas Company by Sanni Abacha. Dan Etete, Abacha’s oil minister owns Malabu Oil. In 2000, Vice President Atiku Abubakar convinced Obasanjo to revoke
 
OPL 245 given to Malabu Oil. Etete had earlier rejected Atiku’s demand for substantial stakes in the high yield OPL 245 and it attracted the venom of Ota Majesty who revoked the licence. However, in 2006, Obasanjo had mercy on Dan Etete and gave him back his oil block worth over $20 billion dollars.
 
OPL 289 and OPL 233 was awarded during Obasanjo era to Peter Odili fronts, Cleanwater Consortium, consisting of Clenwater Refinery and RivGas Petroleum and Gas Company. Odili’s brother in law, Okey Ezenwa manages the consortium as Vice Chairman.
 
OPL 286 is managed by Focus Energy in partnership with BG Group, a British oil concern. Andy Uba has stakes in Focus Energy and his modus operandi is such that you can never see his name in any listings yet he controls OPL and OML through proxies.
 
OPL 291 was awarded to Starcrest Energy Nigeria Limited, owned by Emeka Offor by Obasanjo . Immediately after the award, Starcrest sold the oil block to Addax Petroleum Development Company Limited (ADDAX) Addax paid Sir Emeka Offor a farming fee of $35million dollars and still paid the signature bonus to the government. Emeka Offor still retains stake in ADDAX operations in Nigeria.
 
Mike Adenuga’s Conoil is the oldest indigenous oil exploration industry in Nigeria. Conoil has six oil blocks and exports above 200,000 barrels of crude daily.
 The oil block national cake sharing fiesta could take twists according to the mood of the Commander-in –Chief at the particular time. In 2006, Obasanjo revoked OPL 246 which Abacha gave to Danjuma because he refused to support the tenure elongation bid of the Ota Majesty. In 2000, Obasanjo had earlier revoked OPL 241 given to Dan Etete under the advice Atiku. However, when the Obasanjo-Atiku faceoff started, the Ota Majesty made a u-turn and handed back the oil block to Etete.
 
During the time of Late President Yarádua , a panel headed by  Olusegun Ogunjana  was set up   to investigate the level of transparency in the award of oil blocks. The panel recommended that 25 oil blocks awarded by the Obasanjo be revoked because the manner they were obtained failed to meet the best practices in the industry. Sadiq Mahmood, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum endorsed the report to then president with all its recommendations. As a result of the report Yarádua revoked eleven oil blocks.
 
In April 2011 Mike Adenuga attempted to buy Shell’s OML 30 for $1.2 billion dollars. The Minister for Petroleum and Nigeria’s most powerful woman refused the sale of the OML30 to Adenuga citing national interest. This block was later sold to Heritage Oil for $800 million dollars eleven months later.
 
This oil block business is so lucrative that Danjuma’s Sapetro divested of its investment in Akpo condensate for $1billion dollars. This business is second to none in Nigeria. That is why any attempt to investigate the activities in this sector will always be futile. The money is so much that they give bribes in millions of dollars. A birthday gift or child naming gift from an oil block owner to a government official could be as paltry as $2million dollars, and if the official’s father died, the condolence gift could reach mere $3 million dollars. When they want to bribe legislators, it is in millions of dollars and any ongoing investigation ends within weeks. They are so confident that with excess money they can buy up Nigeria and they are succeeding. In the name of competitive bidding, which Obasanjo introduced in 2005, Officials bring companies overnight and through processes best described as secretive and voodooist they award blocks to party faithful, fronts and phoney companies. They collect gratifications running into hundreds of millions of dollars which is paid into offshore account and the nation loses billions of dollars of revenue to private pockets.
 
During the third term agenda, Obasanjo was deceived that the allocation of oil block to party faithfuls is to fund the third term agenda. With the failure of the third term, the beneficiaries went home with their fortunes and thanked God or Allah for buttering their bread. Senator Andy Uba co ordinate the award of the last rounds of oil block by Obasanjo in 2005 and 2007. The then minister of petroleum, Edwin Daukoru was a mere errand boy who took instructions from the presidential aide.
 
The regime of President Goodluck is not showing any signs of changing the status quo. Controversies have trailed the activities of the Minister of Petroleum and many players in the Industry accuse her of demanding stakes from every oil deal. It is hoped that President Goodluck Jonathan will remember his transformational promise to Nigerians and endeavour to face the hawks in the oil industry. The angst in the air is so much that if this monster of illegal allocation of oil block is not addressed, the much touted revolution could begin all of a sudden and all who condoned this illegality at the expense of hungry Nigerians may have nowhere to hide.
 
The religious leaders should tell these oil block beneficiaries, awarders, fronts, brokers and all involved in short changing the Nigerian people to find means or returning all these back to the Nigerian people, through massive development projects. They should curtail their constant visits to Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem for prayers and attend to the poverty they spread in the land. They should build affordable secondary schools, universities, specialist hospitals, roads, silos, etc for the Nigerian people. They should fund talent development programmes and sponsor activities capable of alleviating poverty. The voice of impoverished Nigerians is crying daily and if care is not taken the God who delivered Nigeria from Abacha dark days will visit them with calamities untold. With the rot in this oil block awarding system and other loot all over the Nigerian nation, something worse than revolution may happen.
 
Obinna Akukwe

-Masterweb Reports (Submission By Chuks Ibegbu)
 
 
I knew right from the beginning that it would be easier for the carmel to pass through the eye of the needle than for Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to be the next World Bank President. As a student of history, international politics and economy, I knew that USA and Europe cannot commit class and geo-politcal suicide by relinquishing the headship of the WORLD ECONOMIC CZAR, the World Bank to a woman from a third world country, more so from a nation that has refused to get it right in everything. How on earth do we expect EUROPE AND USA to take such risk even with Ngozi Iweala's impeccable academic records and chains of degrees.
 
How on earth will a nation that has refused to get it right in her human rights record,  politics, economy and infrastructures be trusted with such a global position. I am not one of those carried away with the fake patriotism and self-deceit that have kept us where we are today. A spade must be called a spade.
 
One thing Africans and the third world have refused  or ignored to realise is that the world geo-economic and even geo-political order would continue to disfavour them until they build stable, and prosperous polity  that would command the respect of the world. Granted that most problems in Africa and the third world were caused by Europeans, is it not enough time since the era of decolonisation for Africans and the third world to get it right and device home grown developmental strategies? It was this home grown strategies that made the former Eastern region of Nigeria the fastest growing economy in the third world in the 60s. Okpara, the Premier of that region did not need truckload of dollars or pounds to fastrack the Eastern economy.  What he needed was the will power which many of the rulers of this generation either lack or are not ready to imbibe. Awolowo did it in the West. Ahmadu Bello did it in the North.
 
The interest of the present rulers is colossal SECURITY VOTES, IMMUNITY FROM THEIR CORRUPTION, AND MAINTAINING UNCONSTIUTIONAL OFFICES LIKE THE OFFICE OF THE FIRST LADY AT FEDERAL, STATE AND LGA LEVELS. Their interest is far removed from developing Nigeria, forget about their preachments and lip service.
 
Coming back to Ngozi Iweala again, she lost out to a world economic order that has no place for economic and political weakling and toddlers. The same thing happened to Nigeria in the choice of AU chairman, and other continental bodies. Something is expected from Nigeria by Africa and the World  but they are awefully disappointed to see Nigeria as a GIANT ON MOSQUITO LEGS.
 
Well, Ngozi has tried her best. She should now get to work and see how she can influence her employers to turn a new leaf. By the way how come Nigeria paid colossal billions of dollars to the so-called creditor nations when OBJ was in charge and NGOZI as the Finance Minister then and yet we are worst-off today? The lesson all should learn is that it is not verbose theories and imperialists grandstandings that can save Africa. It is only prudence and homegrown economic measures that can do it. Europe and the West would continue to claim that we owe them and our naive rulers would fall into their antics only to discover that its all APRIL FOOL. WHAT A PITY.
 
CHUKS IBEGBU
 
A POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC ANALYST
WROTE FROM ENUGU
08035410176

-Masterweb Reports
 
Eight people were killed  Thursday night around 11:30 GMT when Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist group carried out coordinated attacks on two offices of  Nigerian ThisDay Newspaper and two other papers.  Three people were killed in the Abuja ThisDay office attack and five in Kaduna blasts. Witnesses, including ThisDay's Editorial Board Chairman said the attack in Abuja involved a suicide bomber in a jeep. A suicide bomber in a black Isuzu jeep according to witnesses  forced his way through the back gate of ThisDay office and rammed his truck into the main building housing the printing press and other facilities. The whole place was ablaze as the bomb went off. Some sections of the newspaper building were completely destroyed. The impact of the blast also destroyed nearby commercial and residential buildings and caused panic and commotion at Jabi Motor Park which is directly opposite ThisDay building. Police and security forces cordoned off the area  while paramedics and emergency workers evacuated the injured and removed bodies of the dead. Samson Oliver, a ThisDay employee was sleeping after a night shift when the blast occurred. Oliver told reporters: "When I woke up with shock and fear, I saw everywhere was so dark, something like smoke everywhere, and I ran out and saw that it was a bomb explosion." "The roof of the building was blown off, company and staff vehicles were also destroyed. I am certainly sure of the death of the two security men at the gate," a ThisDay reporter told newsmen. In contrast to accounts by witnesses,  a spokesperson for Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency said the Abuja blast appeared to have been caused by a bomb planted inside the building.
 
The Kaduna attack was carried out  outside a complex housing several newspapers. Media offices that were affected by the blast included ThisDay, Daily Sun and Moment newspapers. A smaller explosion was reported in the city shortly before 16:00 GMT, some distance from the newspapers building complex, which according to sources wounded two people. Witnesses told reporters an explosive device was thrown by a passenger on a motor bike at the junction of a highway. A man suspected to be a member of Boko Haram has been arrested in connection with the blasts and is still being interrogated at the time of this report. Hardest hit was ThisDay whose office in Jabi, Abuja, was almost brought down by the impact of the blast.
 
Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the newspaper offices bombing. The group in a statement published on Premium Times, a news website claimed the media was not reporting them accurately. It said that Boko Haram attacked ThisDay to send a strong message to the media that it would no longer condone reports misrepresenting her or blaming her for acts she knows nothing about. Abul Qaqa, spokesperson for the group told Premium Times in an exclusive interview that Boko Haram was fed up with the deliberate misinformation about her both in Nigerian and foreign news media. "The media in Nigeria are not a problem to us if they do their jobs professionally without taking sides," Abul Qaqa said, adding that each time they say something, it was either changed or downplayed. "But when our enemy says something even without logical proof, it is blown out of proportion. We have repeatedly cautioned reporters and media houses to be professional and objective in their reports. This is a war between us and the Government of Nigeria; unfortunately the media have not been objective and fair in their report of the ongoing war, they chose to take sides," Qaqa added. He identified three instances he claimed his group was deliberately misrepresented by the press. The first was the rumour of his capture by Nigerian intelligence agencies.
“Some reporters are aware that I am Abul Qaqa, they know my voice through our long interactions and they also know the role of Abu Darda who heads the enlightenment committee and sometimes facilitates interviews; yet they (media) go by the unsubstantiated view of government that Abul Qaqa is in custody and I am the new spokesman or number two,” he said.
 
The second media misrepresentation according to Qaqa was the report on the kidnappings of foreigners in Northern Nigeria. He said: “Another issue was the recent kidnappings in the north; we were clear with our position as a group during a teleconference with reporters but we were shocked the next day when newspaper headlines added a lot of things which I never said during that interview.” The third misrepresentation according to him was the mistranslation of the video the group posted recently on YouTube. “Another example is the recent video posted on YouTube by our Imam; I challenge every Nigerian to watch that video again. There is no place our imam either said he will crush President Jonathan or issued an ultimatum to the government in Nigeria; but nearly all papers carried very wrong and mischievous headlines,” he said to support the assertion.
 
When asked why ThisDay was primarily targeted, Qaqa said ThisDay’s sins were more grievous. “It is not only THISDAY that has been engaged in negative media campaign, fictional stories and constantly promoting fake stories by the JTF to give an impression that they are making headway against us yet there is no time the media investigated further as an objective and responsible bystander in this war. They once insulted the Prophet Mohammed in 2001 and we have not forgotten. They recently said our Imam executed me which is false. Here I am speaking to you, I am alive and healthy. The sins of THISDAY are more,” he said. He warned of more attacks on media.  "We have just started this new campaign against the media and we will not stop here, we will hit the media hard since they have refused to listen to our plea for them to be fair in their  reportage," Qaqa warned. Last month the group issued stern warning to Nigerian journalists not to misrepresent its views.
 
Boko Haram whose name in Hausa language means "western education is sinful" is modeled after Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. It wants to impose sharia law across Nigeria through terror attacks in drawing attention to their demands.  Human Rights Watch says over 1000 people have been killed since Boko Haram began its terror campaign in July 2009, including over 250 so far in January this year. Boko Haram casualties are from diverse attacks on churches, government buildings, police stations and other targets, including drive-by shootings. Many have fled the north from these attacks. The recent attacks, approximately a year after Osama bin Laden was killed by US Navy SEALs in Pakistan, were a bloody reminder of Al-Qaeda's growing "Africanization". Boko Haram of Nigeria, al-Shabaab of Somalia, Ansar Dine of Mali and similar Islamic African groups fly  Al-Qaeda flag but autonomous from her.  They receive little or no direct support from Al-Qaeda, but motivated by its idealogy. Boko Haram draws support from segments of Muslim northern Nigeria who see the current  Nigerian administration as a Christian government. Some of their fighters are recruited from Muslim North African countries.
 
Boko Haram has announced its official name to be Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Liddaáwati wal-Jihad which in English means People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad.
 



-Masterweb Reports (Submission By Chuks Ibegbu)
 
 
It is disheartening that Igbo Political leaders and actors have kept
pernicious mum over the issue of the structural disadvantage of the
group in Nigeria, a situation that is affecting the ordinary citizens
of the zone. Outside the governors and political office holders in the
zone, the ordinary citizens of the South East are the greatest victims
of the structural imbalance in Nigeria.
 
Since everything in Nigeria is shared on the basis of states and local
Governments, the densely populated South East zone will continue to
trail behind in all indices of development in Nigeria. Kano state alone
has 44 local government areas, nearly what all South East states
have. It is bizarre that political leaders in the zone are not doing
enough to correct this imbalance now. They ought to be shouting,
talking, protesting, and pushing for the rest of nation to listen to
them.  It is all about the future of the Youths and children of the
zone.
 
They are the ones that are not having the unfettered opportunity to be
recruited in the army or security agents because of the restrictive
quota system based on states and local governments. They are the ones
affected by limited opportunities in the federal civil service,
federal institutions, etc since all these are based on the number of
states and local governments a zone has. With only five states and
ninety seven local government areas, the South East is at the butt of
everything in Nigeria despite a dense but unfairly assessed
population.
 
The national political reform of recent time approved an extra state
for the south east to bring it at par with other zones. Since then
nothing has happened and when the zone renew their demands other
zones that have been favoured all these while will also clamour for more
states. Is that how we have a sense of fairness in Nigeria? Today
there are policies that address the problems of the Youths of the
Niger delta. We have the amnesty program, NDDC, Ministry of Niger
Delta, etc. Now the federal government has begun the almajiri
program for the youths of the north. There is also the nomadic
education for the north.
 
What is there for Igbo Youths who have borne the trauma of a distorted
nation for long? What is there for our Youths that trade in all the
streets of Nigeria? What is there for our Youths that criss-cross all
parts of Nigeria in the nights with all the attendants risks when
other Nigerians sleep? What is there for thousands of Igbo youths that
are economic slaves in different parts of the world due to limited
opportunity in Nigeria?
 
If a militant from the Niger Delta is now a pilot in South Africa,
courtesy of the amnesty program why should a MASSOB activist not
have the same opportunity to better their lives. This is food for
thought to our selfish political leaders. JONATHAN GOODLUCK must
address the structural problem affecting Ndigbo now. He is in a
better position and have the moral ground to do it . If he does not,
who, except an Igbo can do it. THE TIME IS NOW
 
Chuks Ibegbu
Political And Social Analyst
08035410176

-Masterweb Reports (Submission By Chris Eze)
 
 
Even as discussions and permutations ahead of 2015 general elections are yet going on in hushed voices, political watchers believe that this is the moment for Prince Tonye Princewill, the Prince of Niger Delta Politics.
 
For nearly a decade, Princewill has remained a dominant voice in the political firmament of Rivers State, with even occasional flashes on the national scene. His foray into serious politicking was when he moved into the then Action Congress Party, AC, and to the amazement of many political watchers brought sanity and stability into the party and steered it out of troubled waters the party had long been swimming in.
 
Thus he automatically became the leader and financier of the party culminating in his running under the party ticket for the governorship election in the state in the 2007 elections. He not only rebranded the party, but made it the foremost opposition party in the state, where opposition politics had been reduced to a 'bread and butter' thing for many years.
 
And to demonstrate that he has a clear picture of where he was going and the modus operandi of attaining what he wants he hit the bulls eye by securing one of the best hands the pen has produced in the person of chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze who has turned Princewill into one of the most sought after news makers in the Niger Delta and even beyond.
 
Throughout the time Princewill sojourned in the AC, he availed Rivers people for the first time in a couple of years, the opportunity for an alternative point of view over issues concerning them contrary to what the PDP led government would always want them to believe. Thus the political consciousness of the people grew in leaps and bounds.
 
A close associate and follower of the Turakin Adamawa, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the former vice president, Princewill has also amply demonstrated that to be a good leader one must first be a good follower. He has followed and understudied the former vice presidents political character and even when it mattered most in the political history of the Niger Delta, pitched tent with his political mentor against the overwhelming choice of the people of Niger Delta who all rooted for a Jonathan presidency, the same way he decamped from the ACN when Atiku directed all his followers to return to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
 
So, in Princewill could be found a consummate party man, dependable loyalist and a team player who is a nationalist indeed. He does not believe that the Niger Delta should produce a president just to take a turn, but that Nigeria should have a president who has what it takes to move the nation to the next level, politically, socially and economically.
 
And so, for his broadbased vision for our country and the impeccable principles, he holds, Princewill has continued to endear himself to people and organization of goodwill. He is the youngest member of the Economic Think Tank of Rivers State Government that counsels the state on investment and good governance. He is also involved in most key investment decisions of Amaechi Administration. He was member, presidential technical committee on the Niger Delta and was the chairman Niger Delta subcommittee of vision 2020.
 
Princewill believes and preaches the sermon that all Rivers people should have a stake in building and developing the state despite anyone's political leanings. Thus while in the ACN, he galvanized all the opposition political parties in the state under one umbrella organization and they came to be known as forum of opposition political parties in Rivers State (FOPP).
 
He used the platform to bring sanity and finesse to politics in the state, thus promoting a healthy opposition that speaks in one voice, instead of having disoriented parties throwing muds and missiles in the name of opposition. So even in opposition he believes that the state is bigger then any individual or any political party for that matter.
 
When he eventually moved into the PDP, Princewill again galvanized his followers into PPA Princewill Political Associates. Through this platform the Prince of Niger Delta politics has amassed an astounding support for the Amaechi administration, to the extent that observers often wonder why he spends so much to bring the Amaechi government into positive public view more than the government deems fit for itself. At many strategic points in the state capital are towering bill boards with varying inscriptions either professing support for Amaechi or urging Rivers people to key into the programs of the governor.
 
Perhaps where Princewill demonstrated the highest humanness in him that shocked many observers was when he declined to accept hundreds of billions of naira Omehia camp had reportedly offered him to truncate Amaechi ascension to power even when the Supreme Court had enthroned Amaechi.
 
Princewill had then opted to withdraw the suit he had instituted against the victory of PDP after the 2007 gubernatorial elections but Omehia and his team wanted Princewill to sustain the action, believing that the tribunal would find sufficient reasons to cancel the election and order for a fresh election. But Princewill refused to be a conduit to nail Amaechi! Observers often refer to this gesture of Princewill whenever Amaechi goes about boasting that he is a product of the Supreme Court, forgetting that his case could still have gotten another k-leg here if Princewill was hungry, looking for money.
 
Beyond all this, Princewill has been going about touching lives in various ways. Mention his name in the orphanage homes in Port Harcourt and see the inmates all stand in awe because of the impact Princewill has made in their lives. And it was for the sake of such less privileged children that Princewill got involved in the production of a movie entitled "Nnenda", which was dedicated to showcasing the plight of the less privileged children in our society and calling attention to their care and upbringing.
 
Recently, Princewill also gave hundreds of millions of naira to some Nollywood artists to enhancing their career and extended micro credit to the women in PPA. He is unarguably the only politician in Rivers State whose door is open to journalists 24 hours a day.
 
Although not overly ambitions, there is no way anybody doing any informed analysis and projections into 2015 elections in Rivers State would not factor Princewill seriously into the discussion. He has demonstrated purposeful leadership in many spheres. He has taught many that selfish interest should be subsumed under the greater interest of the state. He has given unequalled support to the incumbent government in the state. He is also involved in many of the investment decisions of the incumbent government and as such, the problem of continuity or sustenance of ongoing program of government would non existent if he becomes governor.
 
Even if he argument would be on power shift in the state as the people are fighting hand to play down the Riverine- upland dichotomy Princewill would still be in the picture. The Riverine people started looking up for the governship position since the Peter Odili era. Amaechi has also come with the Riverine still playing the second fiddle. The Riverine many come out boldly and strongly this time to make a claim and Princewill a Kalabari Prince from the Riverine may be their joker.
 
This however does not mean that it is only when the choice is narrowed down to blocs that Princewill will have a chance. Far from that. The Prince of Niger Delta politics as he is often addressed has his influence traversing even beyond the creeks of the Niger Delta. As he is received and accepted in Kalabari his native home, the same way the Ikwerres, Ogoni, Etches, Opobo, etc receive and accept him based on his proven track record.
 
The governor of Rivers State recently made a curious statement. He said he would not have a hand in choosing his successor. Let us believe him, and expect a level playing field. When that times comes, it may not be surprising if Princewill having endeared himself to all the nooks and crannies of the state emerges almost effortlessly. But come to think of it would it not even serve Amaechi better that he is succeeded by one who has almost a similar idea on how best to govern and develop the state as Princewill has hinted demonstrated over the years.
 
Princewill apparently knowing that the bell is tolling for him to come of the shadows to make a statement about his 2015 plans had hinted that when he makes up his mind on 2015, it would be public knowledge without fear or favour, but with the consent of a multitude of stakeholders. Rivers people are waiting.
 
Chris Eze is a Port Harcourt based Journalist
 

-Masterweb Reports (Release By Presidential Amnesty Office)
 
Following the growing penchant for some persons to pick on the Presidential Amnesty Programme over occasional security breaches in the Niger Delta, the Amnesty Office wishes to reiterate once again that the Amnesty Office is not a security agency and that the mandate of the Presidential Amnesty Programme does not include curbing crime or enforcing laws in the Niger Delta.
 
Yes, it is true that the Presidential Amnesty Programme has aided the stabilization of security conditions in the Niger Delta by successfully overseeing the disarmament, demobilization and currently reintegrating the entire 26,358 Niger Delta ex-agitators who accepted the offer of amnesty and enlisted in the Amnesty Programme in two phases; however the Amnesty Office has neither the powers, competences or wherewithal to stop any person who willfully decides to commit crime in the Niger Delta. The Amnesty Office neither has guns nor ammunitions; thus cannot physically combat willful crime or criminality in the Niger Delta. The very critical role of enforcing extant laws that deal will crime in the Niger Delta and other parts of the country is constitutionally vested on the Nigeria Police, the State Security Services and of course the Armed Forces as currently represented in the states in the Niger Delta by the Joint Military Task Force (which now goes by the name Operation Pulo Shield).
 
The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and the Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Hon. Kingsley Kuku once again affirms his confidence in the ability of the gallant officers and men of the JTF to protect vital oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta and also to deal decisively with person or persons who for any reason or reasons attempts to attack oil facilities or generally attempt to breach the peace in the zone.
 
For emphasis, it must be clarified for the umpteenth time that pursuant to its mandate, the Amnesty Office, aided by gallant officers and Men of our Armed forces pursued a very successful disarmament campaign and huge cache of arms and ammunitions were submitted by the ex-agitators prior to their being admitted into the post-amnesty Programme. Disarmament was concluded in December 2009 but the arms and ammunitions collected were stored at the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army in Enugu and in compliance with extant DDR codes as spelt out by the United Nations, these arms and Ammunitions were on May 25 2011 completely destroyed by the Nigerian Army in Lokpanta, a boundary town in Enugu State, under the watch of the Amnesty Office. With the destruction of the arms and ammunitions, the Presidential Amnesty Programme exited its Disarmament component.
 
Similarly, the Amnesty Office has successfully pursued and completed the Demobilisation of the entire 26,358 Niger Delta ex-agitators enrolled in the two phases of the Programme. The Demobilisation exercise which was carried out in two camps: Obubra in Cross River State and Akodo in Lagos State entailed biometric documentation, wellness check, nonviolence transformational training, series of counseling and career classification for the ex-agitators. In December 2011, the Amnesty Office completed and exited the Demobilisation component of the Presidential Amnesty Programme. 
 
With the completion of the full demobilisation of the 26,358 ex-combatants enrolled in the first and second phases of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, our great nation entered history books as one of the few countries in the world that achieved a successful closure to the Disarmament and Demobilisation phases of its DDR Programme. True, virtually all the 24 United Nations-piloted DDR interventions in Africa since 1992 are still battling to achieve full Demobilisation even with huge financial and technical assistance from the United Nations and several other international partners. Some of the nations still battling to exit the Demobilisation phase of their DDR Programmes include Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Given the successes of the DDR Programmes in Nigeria and Burundi, there is currently a global push to transfer all such programmes from the United Nations and other international agencies to national governments just like is currently the case in Nigeria.  
 
Perhaps the most critical other component of the Amnesty Programme is the Reintegration of the ex-agitators. That is exactly where we are today. Following the completion of their non-violence training and career classification in camp, the Amnesty Office has successfully placed a total of 10,395 former Niger Delta agitators in skills acquisition/training centres as well as in formal education within the country and offshore. Similarly, about 12,067 transformed ex-combatants are currently being processed preparatory to their deployment to reintegration centres to pursue either formal education or vocational training in the 2012 fiscal year. Several of these trainees have graduated and a number of them have secured gainful employment. The Amnesty Office is also collaborating with key governmental institutions to aid the self-employment of many of the graduates.
 
Hon. Kuku also seeks to stress once again that the fact that several former agitators in the Niger Delta accepted the offer of Amnesty does not in any way mean that the region no longer has aggrieved persons. But he insists that all aggrieved persons any where in Nigeria should seek and embrace nonviolent and peaceful ways to express themselves, especially given that the Federal Government under His Excellency, President Goodluck Jonathan GCFR, has clearly shown that it has the capacity to listen and act in the greater good of the citizenry.
 
Flowing from the above, it is abundantly clear that the Amnesty Office has been discharging to the best of its abilities, the responsibilities and mandate assigned to it and as enshrined in the Amnesty Proclamation. Indeed if the Amnesty Office was charged with security duties, perhaps we would have pursued it doggedly and surely profound results would have been achieved by now.
 
Beyond the fact that Amnesty Office is not charged security duties, it must be made clear that aspects of the Amnesty Proclamation that deals with the development of critical infrastructures in the Niger Delta is domiciled in the Ministry of the Niger Delta while the Petroleum equity component is domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Petroleum. For example, the Amnesty Office is aware that a number of the ex-agitators have secured pipeline protection and surveillance jobs from the Ministry of Petroleum. Details of this can only be sourced from the Ministry of Petroleum since Amnesty office is not involved at all. 
 
As the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Hon. Kingsley Kuku is on a daily basis in touch with leaders and stakeholders in the Niger Delta. These leaders and stakeholders are clearly of the view that the Amnesty Programme is making the desired impact in the zone. Indeed they are also of the view that the humble efforts of the Amnesty Office have helped to save the economy of our dear country from imminent collapse. Like most discerning Nigerians are now aware, the key objective of the Presidential Amnesty Programme is to stabilise, consolidate and sustain security conditions in the Niger Delta as pre-requisite for promoting economic development in the zone, which we all know is the nation’s oil and gas base. I make bold to assert that the target of restoring peace, safety and security in the Niger Delta using the instrumentalities of the Amnesty Programme, has been reasonably met; and as a result, the nation’s economy has rebounded. From a production level of a paltry 700,000 barrels of crude oil per day as at first week of January 2009, the relative peace that now prevails in the Niger Delta has aided the remarkable growth of Nigeria’s oil production to between 2.6 million barrels per day as at today.
 
To further underscore the fact that the proclamation of amnesty for former agitators in the Niger Delta as well as the successful management of the post-amnesty Programme saved the economy of our great nation from a looming collapse, kindly note that with Nigeria producing as at today 2.6 million barrels of crude oil per day as against the abysmally low 700,000 barrels per day at the peak of the Niger Delta crisis in January 2009, the Amnesty Programme is currently making production savings of 1.9 million barrels per day for our beloved country. If these savings are computed with prevailing exchange rate of N160 to $1, daily production savings for Nigeria and its Joint Venture (JV) partners currently stands at N33.4 Billion per day. If this sum is broken down further especially given that oil production in Nigeria hovered between 2.4 and 2.6 barrels for all of 2011, it would be discovered that savings for Nigeria and its JV partners for year ending 2011 is estimated to be a whopping N6 trillion! 
 
Henry Ugbolue
Head, Media and Communication
Presidential Amnesty Office
20/4/12
 

-Masterweb Reports (Submission By David Amusa)
 
 
The Deputy Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Leyii Kwanee has implored Nigerian Journalists to engage in advocacy in order to accelerate development of the nation.
 
Speaking at the International Conference and book presentation in honour of Professor Sylvanus Ajana Ekwelie on the theme: “Advocacy Journalism and National Development, organized by the Department of Linguistics and Communication Studies of the University of Port Harcourt, the Deputy Speaker said that it was unfortunate that the present practice of Journalism is on sensationalism and muckraking including sex and violence.
 
The practice, he said was copied from western countries and advised journalists to engage in advocacy for peace particularly in this period of security challenges.
 
Represented by his Media Assistant, Mr. David Amusa,he urged them to also look at other areas of advocacy such as enduring democracy, poverty eradication, harmful cultural practices, good governance, health matters and qualitative education.
 
“Nigerian journalists should gear their practice towards development and de-emphasize on frivolities such as sex, homosexuality and violence which they imitate from their western counterpart and concentrate on our core values that are catalyst to national development”.
 
“In so doing journalism will take its pride of place in the contemporary Nigeria as they did in the past to help the nation gain independence and stamped military out of power, he stated”
 
Also speaking, Hon. Kwanee advised Nigerians to celebrate their great men while they are alive rather than when they are dead.
 
He said such honour will motivate the young generations to work hard to be great.
 
The Deputy Speaker decried the situation in Nigeria where material wealth is celebrated more than intellectual wealth pointing out that those who are celebrated for having material wealth end up being those who acquired wealth of filthy lucre.
 
He appealed to Nigerians to celebrate their great intellectuals as it is the practice in advanced countries of the world.
 
Hon. Kwanee commended the University of Port Harcourt and the Department of Linguistics and Communication Studies for honouring one of their own who has acquired intellectual wealth to the extent of being an international shinning star in the field of communication.
 
Furthermore, he urged the institution to organize conferences in honour of other of their great scholars pointing out that this would serve as tonic to the junior scholars and students in order to make the University unique as it is popularly called.
 
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee, Rev. Fr. Dr. Walter Ihejirika, said the honour was bestowed on Professor Ekwelie in recognition of his immense contributions to the development and growth of the department.
 
“The Department of Linguistics and Communication Studies strongly believes that Professor Ekwelie has earned his position of honour, having exhibited a high degree of honesty, fairness and integrity in his chosen field of work”.
 
Signed
David Amusa
Media Assistant to the Deputy Speaker
Wednesday 18th April, 2012.