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 Ifeatu Agbu)
 

It is bad enough that out of the N4.749 trillion budget estimate of the Federal Government, 72 per cent is going for recurrent expenditure, leaving only 28 per cent to finance development projects. The thought that there could be another bad news for the economy when it comes to implementing the budget is even more depressing. The budget estimates have set out the parameters for another cycle of economic activities that would hopefully drive the engine of growth and development. Unfortunately, the road to success is paved with corruption in high and low places. And that is just the right milieu for dubious contractors to ply their trade and throw spanners in the wheels of progress.
 
The Nigerian environment seems to be a fertile ground for briefcase contractors who see government contracts as their own share of the national cake. For them, the contractual obligation to deliver the jobs on schedule and according to specifications is hogwash. What these contractors, who are unfortunately many, do is tantamount to arresting the development of the country.
 
This is one challenge all development agencies in the country should tackle frontally. Indeed, in some cases, it calls for emergency measures. It is, therefore, not surprising that the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, is already taking steps to check the excesses of contractors who would like to eat their cake without contributing to its baking.
 
The NDDC Managing Director, Dr. Christian Oboh, has fired a warning shot to erring contractors engaged by the commission. He charged them to either perform or be prosecuted. To those that have achieved 70 per cent in project execution, he ordered: “deliver by the end of March 2012 or face the wroth of the law.” “Those who work, we shall pay, I want you to deliver between now and March, I’m ready to pay you if only you will deliver, you must also be prepared to sign undertaking because if you don’t deliver, the law will come after you” he declared.
 
The marching order from the NDDC boss, only amplifies an earlier Presidential directive. President Goodluck Jonathan had warned that his administration would order law enforcement agencies to apprehend contractors identified as having defaulted after receiving funds to execute NDDC projects. The president’s warning came after he received the reports of the NDDC Presidential Monitoring Committee late last year.
 
No doubt, the problem of non-performing contractors is a national malaise. However, its effect on the development of the Niger Delta region is more disturbing because if developmental projects in the region are sabotaged, it would have a direct consequence on the wealth of the nation, oil being the live-wire of the economy. Of course, we have to keep in mind that the Federal Government’s 2012 budget is based on 2.48 million barrel per day (MBPD) and this can only be realistic if the peace brought by the amnesty programme is sustained. To maintain and sustain the peace, the gains of the amnesty must be complemented with visible and concrete development of the region. This is where the NDDC comes in. As the most visible executing arm of the central government, it must be seen by all to be making the difference in the Niger Delta.
 
For government and its agencies to get value for money spent on projects, contractors must be held accountable by both the executive and the legislature. It is not a task for only one arm of government. The lawmakers should be interested in knowing how projects are executed to ensure that they meet the required specifications and that they are completed within the agreed time lines. The era of collecting money and abandoning projects should be over, if we have proper monitoring and oversight by the appropriate authorities.
 
The President of the Senate, Chief David Mark admitted that the National Assembly had not done enough in its oversight function with respect to the NDDC. He said after the Senate confirmation of a 13-member board for NDDC that the Senate Committee on Niger Delta should share the blame for the failure of the last board of the commission, noting that the committee failed in its oversight responsibilities. In many instances, there is a problem when politicians and government functionaries look the other way while contractors undermine the system. As it is the practice world-wide, governments and their agencies are expected to determine whether those they are giving jobs possess the requisite qualifications, manpower, equipment and monetary resources to successfully execute projects.
 
What happened in the past with respect to power and road contracts must serve as enduring lessons for those in government. Never again should we allow a situation where the country, according to the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole spent 16 billion dollars on the National Integrated Power Project, there was hardly anything to show for it. Never again should we be content with sulking and counting our losses after spending billions of naira for repairs and maintenance of the nation’s highways and bridges without tangible results.
 
Nigerians would not want a repeat of the disgusting stories told by the House of Representatives committee which looked into the activities of the Ministry of transport under the Olusegun Obasanjo administration. The committee reported that between 1999 and 2009, the ministry, gave contracts for the construction and rehabilitation of 11, 591km roads at a cost of N1.7 trillion – about N87 million per km – with only 24 per cent of the target met, while 64 per cent of the contract value had already been paid.
 
Today, we are reeling in the pains of high fuel prices in spite of the fact that contracts were awarded for the repair and maintenance of the nation’s refineries in 1998. The French oil giant; Total, was awarded a contract valued at $198 million to repair the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical plant, while another contract of $100 million was awarded to Chrome Oil Services, in conjunction with its Polish partners, to undertake similar work at the Port Harcourt refinery. After spending an amount that was enough to build a brand new refinery with a capacity of at least 100,000 barrels per day, the two refineries are today still producing at less than half of their installed capacities. How scandalous can it get?
 
Like many other Nigerians, who believe that there should be a stop to this rot, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the Governor of Edo State told President Jonathan to jail all those who got the Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) contracts for the refineries. He said that all those who contributed to the present crisis in the oil sector by refusing to repair the refineries after collecting contract funds must be brought to justice.
 
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and other anti-corruption agencies should live up to their duties and bite more than they bark. They should spread their dragnets to rope in not only corrupt politicians but also fraudulent contractors, who have by their actions frustrated the much-needed development in the country. The consequences are far-reaching. It is already taking its toll on all sectors of our national life. In education, for instance, the Nigerian Union of Teachers recently jolted Nigerians when it claimed that 25 per cent of pupils and students in primary, secondary schools and tertiary institutions in Ghana are from Nigeria. As if to confirm this, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), lamented recently that there are 71, 000 Nigerian students in Ghana who are paying not less than 155 billion naira as tuition annually, compared with the annual budget of 121 billion naira for the entire Federal University education in Nigeria.
 
Isn’t it surprising that Nigeria is gradually losing grounds to less endowed African countries? It is certainly a worrisome development that needs to be redressed urgently.The new board of the NDDC led by its chairman, Dr Tarilah Tebepah, should, therefore, remain resolute in its efforts to whip contractors into line. The commission should strengthen its monitoring machinery to ensure that projects executed by its contractors meet international standards. Since this board has a short life-span, it can only leave a worthwhile legacy in the Niger Delta if it completes monumental projects that people will talk about so many years to come.
 
Mr. Ifeatu Agbu ( ifeatuagbu@yahoo.com ) writes from Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

 -Masterweb Reports
(Submission By Yusuf  Zango, News Agency of  Nigeria)
 

Between January 29 and 30, Heads of State from AU Member countries will converge on Addis Ababa for their biannual general Assembly.
 

The Assembly’s theme, according to the AU Secretariat in Addis Ababa, is ``Boosting Intra-African Trade''.
 
During the meeting, African leaders are expected to deliberate on how African countries can further boost trade among their people, as the scope of the trade for now is still insignificant and faced with obstacles and trade restrictions imposed by some governments.
 
Aside from the topical issue of trade relations on the continent, the leaders will also elect the Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and some Commissioners for the AU Commission, whose responsibilities are to run the day–to-day affairs of the AU.
 
The elections will be the third since creation of the AU in 2002.
 
The AU, which succeeded the defunct Organisation of African Unity (OAU), is modeled after similar unions around the globe. It pilots the affairs of Africa, while uniting its peoples as envisaged by the founding fathers of the OAU in 1963.
 
Nigerian officials say that the country’s candidate will vie for one of the eight Commissioner slots.
 
The contest most likely to overshadow every other is that of the Chairperson of the AU Commission, which is currently occupied by Dr Jean Ping, a former Gabonese Foreign Minister.
 
Ping, who was first elected in 2008, is seeking re-election for a second term. His predecessor in office had been Alpha Omar Konare, the former President of Mali.
 
Ping’s hope for re-election, however, is not without challenge.
 
Madam Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a former wife of President Jacob Zuma is challenging Ping for the coveted job. She is currently the South Africa's Minister of Home Affairs.
 
Foreign Affairs analysts say that Ping enjoys the support of many countries in West, Central and East Africa, while opponents to his bid are said to be coming from some countries of Southern Africa Development Cooperation (SADC).
 
The contest, the analysts add, will definitely look like a repeat of the election in 2008 where Ping finally defeated Zambia's Inonge Lewanta and Sierra Leone's Osman Conteh to become AU Commission Chairperson.
 
Some diplomats have expressed the viewpoint that the candidacy of Dlamini-Zuma negates what they term a gentleman’s agreement earlier reached by the main financiers of the AU, not to field any candidate for the post.
 
These major financiers are counter Nigeria, South Africa, Libya, Algeria and Egypt.
 
Nevertheless, supporters of Ping remain optimistic that his achievements in the last four years will see him through the election. These, they note, include strides at eracting structures that have been essential for the efficiency of the AU.
 
In particular, they pointed out his efforts at getting China to build a new office complex and conference centre for the AU which is due for inauguration during the forthcoming Summit. The edifice costs the Chinese government US200 million dollars.
 
Moreover, Ping is largely credited with establishing closer cooperation with other continental and regional bodies as the EU and the Arab League, besides fostering AU partnerships with many countries and organizations around the world.
 
Such partnerships include the Africa-India Forum, Africa-Russia Forum, Africa-South America Forum, Africa-EU Partnership, Africa-China Forum, Africa-OIC Forum, Africa-Turkey among others.
 
Foreign Affairs analysts insist that through these associations, Africa has been able to get better deals on global issues and trade.
 
Ping’s supporters also point to the AU’s role in the continent’s conflict zones, citing its laudable efforts in Darfur (UNAMID) and the establishment the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
 
The supporters have also alluded to the increased African voice in the current Climate Change negotiations, with a view to seeking better deals for the continent.
 
To buttress this, they say Africa’s position on this critical issue is being coordinated by no less a figure than Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.
 
Critics of Ping, however, point to what they see as failures; one of which is the perceived poor handling of some national and regional conflicts on the continent.
 
They cite the apparent indecision of the AU's during the recent crises in Libya and Cote d'Ivoire, insisting that the AU did not provide the required leadership to find quick solutions to the crises, thus allowing for outside interference.
 
Ping's supporters, on their part, are quick to counter such arguments, insisting that the situations in the two cases were complicated by the lack of cooperation of some African leaders, who took sides with the warring parties.
 
They recall that some of the African leaders did not only frustrate the Commission's effort for a quick and amicable resolution of the crises but secretly connived with powers outside the continent to push their hidden agenda.
 
In a broad assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the two rivals, however, observers believed that Ping is more likely to get re-elected for a second term.
 
Dr Hussaini Tukur, a lecturer at Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Nigeria, says that the contest for the AU Commission Chairperson could go either way because of the personal standing of the two candidates involved.
 
While Ping will most likely have the support of Central, West, East, some parts of the North Africa and Francophone countries, Dlamini-Zuma is sure to garner the support of fellow members of SADC and some parts of North Africa.
 
The University Don points another factor which can also determine the direction of the vote.
 
He alludes to the silent agreement in the AU to rotate the posts in order to cement unity within the continent.
 
He, however, concedes that though the Southern African bloc could feel that it is now its turn to produce the Commission’s Chairperson, Ping still has the right to seek a second term in office as there is no term limit attached to the position.
 
Tukur further argues that all the AU Chairpersons before Ping has been re-elected to a second term.
 
The diplomatic community seems to be optimistic that Ping will capitalize on the gentleman’s agreement of the ``Big Five’’ who are the major financiers of the AU, to actualize their dream of re-electing Ping for a second term.
 
Head or tail, many watchers insist that Ping’s re-election will bring unity and continuity to the Continent and the Commission as he has evolved some workable and effective strategies to face the challenges of a fast –changing world and take Africa into greater global prominence. END

-Masterweb Reports
(Submission By: Intersociety)
 
With 215 Nigerians Killed Unlawfully In Two Weeks, In Addition To 54.000 Killed Since 1999: Nigeria Is Close To Rwandan Genocide & Somali Balkanization Except Doctrine Of Necessity Intervenes To Quench The Continued Killings & Bad Public Policies And Avert Unquenchable Bloodletting & Forced Balkanization Looming Dangerously In The Polity
 
(Onitsha Nigeria, 8th day of January, 2012)-The leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law is, again, deeply worried over the failure of public governance in Nigeria, especially at the federal level. It is no longer an over-statement that things have fallen apart in the Nigeria’s public governance. The country’s public governance officials especially President Goodluck Jonathan, now govern with impunity and utter weakness. They are immune from listening to the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians and can best be described as “deaf and dumb” public governance officials because the fundamental concerns of the 150million Nigerians especially their security and welfare are no longer their primary responsibilities.  Even when good and immortal pieces of advice are offered by socially saintly and creative  Nigerians, they turned their deaf ears against them and preferred pursuits of  parochial interests(criminal self enrichments) and anti public policies such as the so-called “fuel subsidy policy”  and operation of elitist economic policies.
 
It is rather shocking that out of the 18 top Nigerian public officials including President Jonathan, the IGP and other top security chiefs that received our two recent reports in December 2011, on “unlawful killings(how  over 54,000 Nigerians died outside the law since 1999) and police corruption in Nigeria(how corrupt NPF personnel illegally enriched the Force with over N53.48Billion or $336.5Million arising from roadblock extortion in three years-2009-2011)”, none of them took any steps to remedy the issues raised in the reports including acting on any of the far-reaching recommendations that accompanied the reports. Instead, the NPF, as expected, merely defended itself over its corruptive and homicidal activities, after which it rolled out its personnel back to their extortion points on Southeast and other roads across the country with utter alacrity. In-spite of wide publicity the two reports received in the local and international media, which included their adoption as editorial opinions by leading national and international dailies, the Jonathan’s government kept mute and refused to act. We even went as far as posting the two reports on President Goodluck Jonathan’s “facebook wall”, yet neither he nor his spokesman uttered any word not to talk of acting on any of the recommendations attached in the two reports, except his recent fire-brigade approach called “state of emergency”(disguised curfew imposed in 15 LGAs in four States), which has failed woefully to check, not to talk of taming the rapacious massacre of innocent Nigerians by politically and ethnically backed “Boko-Haram” violent group.
 
Today, the President Jonathan’s Government’s blatant refusal to speak or act on the said issues has, additionally, led to the unlawful killing of up to 215 innocent Nigerians including over 20 Igbo traders(massacred at once) between 22nd day of December 2011 and 7th day of January 2012, a period of two weeks.   The breakdown of these avoidable shilling killings, according to respected local and international media, shows that on 22nd day of December 2011; at least six people were killed in Damaturu, Yobe State, Northeast, Nigeria, by suspected Boko-Haram Sect. On 23rd day of December 2011, up to 68 people including soldiers and police personnel were killed in bomb attacks in Damaturu, Yobe State.  The deadly attacks were believed to have been launched by the violent Boko-Haram Sect. On the Christmas day of December 25, 2011, over 42 innocent people including 35 parishioners(mostly Igbo Christians) of St. Theresa‘s Catholic Church, Madalla, Suleja in Niger State, North-central Nigeria were bombed and massacred by suspected Boko-Haram Sect. Bombs were also detonated in churches in Jos, Plateau State, North-central Nigeria and Gadaka in Yobe State, Northeast Nigeria, killing at least seven people.  On 31st day of December 2011, up to 60 people including a senior officer of the Nigeria Police Force and commuters travelling through Enugu-Abakiliki road were ambushed and massacred on the pretext of prosecuting an inter-communal conflict between the Ezza and the Ezilo communities in Ebonyi State, Southeast Nigeria. The bloody conflict first erupted in 2008, resulting in over 300 casualties between 2008 and 2010. On Thursday, 5th day of January 2012, at least eight members of the Deeper Life Bible Church including the wife of the pastor, Mrs. Jauro were killed in Gombe, Gombe State, Northeast, Nigeria, by suspected Boko-Haram Sect. And on Friday, 6th day of January, 2012, over 20 Igbo traders(mostly from Adazi-nnukwu Community in Anaocha LGA of Anambra State, Southeast Nigeria) were massacred during a town hall meeting in Mubi, Adamawa State, North-west Nigeria   by suspected Boko-Haram Sect. Four Igbo traders were earlier shot dead in the evening of Thursday, 5-01-2012 and when their colleagues gathered to discuss their funerals, the violent Islamist group emerged, shot indiscriminately and killed more 16 innocent Igbo traders. As if the massacre was not enough, at least eight more people were ambushed and killed by the militant Islamist Sect during a church service at the Christian Apostolic Church in Yola, capital of Adamawa State same day (06-01-2012), and on Saturday, 7th day of January, 2012, three more people were reported killed in the Larmurde area of Yola, capital of Adamawa State,  bringing the total number of people killed since 22nd day of December 2011 to 215, on average of fifteen people per day. The Associated Press account believes that the Boko-Haram violent attacks on innocent Nigerians, mostly Igbo Christians, in 2011 alone accounted for 510 unlawful deaths.  For us in the Intersociety, this amounts to ethnic cleansing!
 
Unfortunately and sadly too, the Nigerian public governance officials and policy makers have continued to manifest gross incompetence in securing the lives of Nigerians. The country’s labour leaders as well as selected civil society managers appeared to be cared more about “ anti fuel subsidy crusade” rather than combating government frontally against the continued rapacious massacre of tens of innocent Nigerians on daily basis. As bad as and as socially dangerous as  “ oil subsidy removal” is, the unlawful killing of an innocent Nigerian, no matter his or her tribe, is very abominable and more horrifying than “oil subsidy removal”.  The N921Billion proposed for “security” in the 2012 federal budget proposals clearly shows that the present Nigeria’s public governance operators especially at the federal level are “merchants of death”. By budgeting whopping N921Billion for the so-called “security”, the intents of the Nigeria’s federal leaders may most likely be geared towards criminal enrichment, by siphoning and misappropriation. Nigeria’s history tells us that her public governance leaders get their private pockets bloated in the periods of crisis by officially stealing state resources in the guise of “providing security”. Intelligence is the most sophisticated but cheapest means of providing security in the world, yet it erodes Nigeria till date. If the Nigerian Government could budget N921Billion for “Boko-Haram Security”, how much does it take the “Boko-Haram” violent group to plant and detonate bombs at will as well as kill whoever and wherever it pleases in Nigeria?     
 
Before, Nigeria’s history recorded Chief Ernest Shonekan’s ill-fated interim government as the weakest and most incompetent government in  Nigeria’s history, today, the Jonathan’s government has surpassed the former and in a verge of emerging as Nigeria’s “president without  being in-charge”. While we totally support the general strikes and peaceful protests by labour and civil society managers and members, we wish to add that the peaceful mass actions should be all embracing  and include firm demands for an immediate end by Nigeria’s governing authorities to the reigning culture of insecurity in Nigeria  and sacking of all the service chiefs including the IGP and all CPs that are 50years and above, or invocation of the doctrine of necessity to peacefully keep the Nigeria’s six geopolitical partners apart if the security of Nigerians continues to be beyond their leaders’ managerial competence. As we speak, most of the 371.000 members of the Nigeria Police Force are busy on Nigerian roads molesting, brutalizing and extorting Nigerians, particularly those returning to their base after Christmas holiday, yet bombs and live guns are causing havoc and casualties at the beck and call of the “Boko-Haram’ Sect and the violent criminal citizens in various Nigerian cities and towns. Latest reports coming to us from the Nigerian roads, particularly the Southeast roads, indicate that the Nigeria Police Force personnel have also “deregulated police extortion sums”. In other words, the Nigeria Police Force has removed police extortion subsidy. Extortion sum of N50.00 now goes for N100.00 and “incomplete vehicle papers” extortion that used to attract N1000.00 now attracts N2000.00, etc. Part of the labour and civil society leaders’ demands should be the total withdrawal of all police roadblocks country-wide and end of police roadblock extortion on Nigerian roads.
 
It is elementarily clear that with 215 innocent Nigerians killed in two weeks (22-12-2011 to 07-01-2012); in addition to 54,000 Nigerians massacred since 1999, Nigeria is close to Rwandan genocide and Somali balkanization. President Goodluck Jonathan may be the last president of the so-called “united Nigeria”, unless his government wakes up from its slumber and miraculously turns things around for better. We pray fervently that he does not end his presidential era like General Mohammed Siad Barre of Somalia, but like Mr. Mikhail Gorbachev of the former USSR if these ugly situations continued untamed.  In the partitioning of the would-be former Nigeria( if it becomes a last resort and a product of necessity) into six geopolitical entities of Southeast Nigeria, South-south Nigeria, South-west Nigeria, North-central Nigeria, North-east Nigeria and North-west Nigeria, the peoples peopling the six entities should be allowed to change to their favourite names via referendums afterwards.  The North-west States of Adamawa and Taraba should be returned to the North-central Nigeria and the North-central State of Niger allowed to vote via referendum to join North-west Nigeria or remain where it is, likewise Southern Kaduna, which is to be made to freely join the North-central Nigeria.  On the same note, the Igbo indigenes of Delta and Rivers States with the territories they occupy in the would-be South-south Nigeria should be allowed via a referendum to join their fellow indigenes in the would-be Southeast Nigeria. The North-east should be allowed to fuse with the North-west to form “Arewa Islamic Republic” if it so desires.
 
Our believe in  united and indivisible Nigeria was firm until recently when it dawned on every Tom, Dick and Harry that the Nigeria’s centre could no longer hold occasioned by senseless killings of  innocent Nigerians at no iota of  provocation. How could President Jonathan and the Nigeria’s Police IG explain the massacre, at a swoop, of 18 indigenes of Adazi-nnukwu Community in Anaocha LGA of Anambra State, Southeast Nigeria in the Mubi bloodshed of Friday, 6th day of January 2012? Or the senseless massacre of four families from Awka-etiti Community in Idemmili South LGA of Anambra State in the Madalla butchery of December 25, 2011? One and indivisible Nigeria is unfashionable when her innocent citizens are roasted like fowls with government voted to protect and cater for them doing nothing. It is our warning that Nigeria is steadily drifting into anarchy and lawlessness of unquenchable proportions and unless her leaders act swiftly, otherwise, cannibalistic jungles, fiefdoms and warlord-ships akin to Somalia and Rwanda will replace what would remain as “former Nigerian territories”. That between 800,000 and 1million people including women, children and the elderly were massacred in 100 days during the Rwandan genocide of 1994 should be a lesson to all and sundry including Nigeria’ s political leaders. It is better to live apart in peace than to live as one entity in pieces with bloodletting as our cultural values.  A stitch in time, they say, saves nine!
 
Nigerians’ option of remaining in one indivisible Nigeria gets slimmer day in day out and their option of living apart peacefully gets brighter as days go by. Suffice it to say in parenthesis that President Goodluck Jonathan and his government can still turn things around miraculously for our collective good as a united and indivisible Nigeria by taking charge fully and proactively with patriotism, human face and human rights consciousness. But where it dawns on his conscience that peaceful partition is the only way to end these human slaughtering and intractable socio-economic backwardness in the midst of plentiful natural resources (over 33 solid mineral deposits), then he should convey an extra-ordinary meeting, as a matter of uttermost urgency, within the context of the doctrine of necessity, so as to discuss peaceful dismemberment of what remains as the “Federal Republic of Nigeria”. The great partition if collectively approved should be done along six geopolitical entities mentioned above. The special meetings should involve the Federal Executive Council, the National Security Council, and the National Population Commission, the National Planning Council, the National Council of States and the special sessions of the Nigeria’s Senate and the House of Representatives as well as the Speakers of the States’ Houses of Assembly. The collective intents would be to work out effective, acceptable and peaceful modalities for the giant project if it becomes inevitable.
 
Issued On Behalf Of:
 
The Leadership Of International Society For Civil Liberties & The Rule Of Law
                               By:
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman, Board Of Trustees
+234(0)33601078, +234(0)8180103912
info@intersociety-ng.org, umeagbalasi@yahoo.com

-Masterweb Reports

Angry protesters set up burning tire roadblocks on major streets and highways in Lagos demanding reversal of fuel subsidy removal. They also demand government must fight corruption. The flaming tires sent thick black smoke over much of Ikoyi Island, the residential home of foreign diplomats and wealthy Nigerians. The city is tense after a protester was shot dead by police on Monday. "This is oligarchy, this is not a democracy! We are no longer afraid of you! We are ready for war!" shouted Danjuma Mohammed, as he stood by a roadblock fire with rocks in his hands. Protesters in Ikoyi Tuesday morning chanted: "They will kill us and we will kill them!" They threw rocks at an unarmed police convoy that was dispatched to put out their burning-tire roadblock. Police managed to put out some of the flame and the rest was put out by an armed convoy escorting an important dignitary. The officers cocked their Kalashnikov rifles, dispersing the protesters which gave them room to put out the rest of the flaming blockade with fire extinguishers. The protesters re-emerged as the convoy drove-off.

The protests officially started Monday by labour unions over high fuel prices, a resultant of fuel subsidy removal, have claimed several lives from police gun shots. Labour Unions in the northern city of Kano cancelled protests after five people were killed by police. Many businesses remain closed in major cities across the country, including the capital, Abuja. While most businesses shut their doors, some international flights are leaving Lagos and Abuja international airports. It is unclear whether those leaving are on scheduled flights or fleeing the country. Labour unions said the protests would continue until government restored fuel subsidies.

Over 10,000 people participated in one protest rally in Lagos, while tens of thousands more marched in streets across the nation. Some protesters wore shirts bearing symbols for a loose-knit group called "Occupy Nigeria". Oil production continues in Nigeria, however oil workers union is also planning a strike.

Nigeria closed its borders after President Goodluck Jonathan met with security chiefs on the crisis situation in the country and United Nations report warning Boko Haram may have established links with the north African affiliate of Al Qaeda. The border closures are designed to prevent infiltration by such groups. On Tuesday night, gunmen, suspected to be members of Boko Haram opened fire on customers at a beer parlour in the town of Potiskum in Yobe State, killing twelve, among them four policemen.

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.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Nigeria Fuel Price Protest Turns Violent in Lagos

Nigeria Has One Of The Most Dangerous Roads

-Masterweb Reports

Twenty people, most of them Igbos were killed at noon on Friday by Boko Haram at a town hall in Mubi in Adamawa State. The victims were meeting to arrange the transportation of the body of an Igbo man shot dead Thursday evening by suspected Boko Haram terrorists on motorcycles. Ade Shinaba, Adamawa state police commissioner, speaking to newsmen said he believed Boko Haram was behind the attacks. No arrest has been made in the attack, which also left at least 15 people wounded. Adamawa borders Borno State, the home base of the dreaded terrorist Boko Haram. Igbo traders in Mubi town are closing their shops and planning fleeing the city.

Suspected Boko Haram operatives Thursday evening on motorcycles shot two Igbo men in Mubi killing both of them. Relatives and friends of one of the victims organized a meeting to discuss how to raise money for the transportation of the dead body and funeral rites in his village in the southeast. "It was while they were holding the meeting that gunmen came and opened fire on them," a resident told newsmen by phone. He said he believed "a dozen" people were killed. Another resident told reporters that the number of killings by motorcycle-riding gunmen were increasing in the area. Gunmen on motorcycles reportedly, twice raided a market in Mubi, shooting people and stealing money.

On Thursday night, suspected Boko Haram terrorists attacked a church in Gombe State during a prayer service, killing eight people. "The gunmen burst into the church spraying everybody with bullets," an eye witness that escaped injury said.

Nigeria has vowed defeat of Boko Haram and called Christians and southerners in the north to ignore the 3-day ultimatum given them by the terrorist group to leave the region. Boko Haram's ultimatum issued last Sunday expired Wednesday, December 4. Bulama Mali Gubio, a leading member of the Elders Forum in Borno State, claims some politicians were benefiting from the increasing security crisis in the country. Gubio said criminal groups were using Boko Haram's name to terrorize the nation and create chaos.

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.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Nigeria Vows Defeat of Boko Haram, Rejects Its 3-Day Ultimatum

Boko Haram Orders Christians Out Of Northern Nigeria, Threatens Army

State of Emergency Declared in Parts of Northern Nigeria Following Attacks

UN Staff Dies of Injuries From UN Abuja Building Suicide Attack

Drive-By Attackers Bomb Nigerian Arabic School

Bloody Xmas In Nigeria - Churches Bombed, Many Killed

-Masterweb Reports

On Tuesday in Lagos, an angry mob protesting high fuel prices manhandled a soldier, while police shot a young male protester. The fuel price protest is a show of growing anger of the people over government's unpopular removal of fuel subsidy that had kept the price of fuel affordable. The protest started Tuesday with protesters wielding signs, lighting bonfires along major roads and vandalizing petrol stations. The protester shot and wounded by police was reported running shouting: "The police shot me. Take me to hospital." Over 1,000 protesters in the main market area of central Lagos sang, chanted and waved placards reading "no to fuel price hikes" and "we demand living wages". Protesters formed body barriers on major roads, blocking the passage of vehicles and in some cases hijacked buses.

Fuel subsidy removal was announced by the government over the long Christmas and New Year holiday weekend. Transport fare immediately doubled and in other cases tripled, leading to many holiday travelers (especially Igbos that returned to their home states from other parts of the country) stranded. Protests organized by labour, trades unions, activists and civil society are reported in many cities across the country. Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency announced Sunday that effective immediately, it would stop paying the subsidy on fuel to petroleum importers. President Goodluck Jonathan announced Monday he had set up a committee to ensure the savings from the subsidy removal would be judiciously invested to improve the quality of life of Nigerians. He said his administration would use the projected $8 billion savings from the removal to make much-needed infrastructural development and maintenance. Union leader Oladipo Fashina disagrees with government describing the move as "immoral and politically suicidal" and urged Nigerians to resist it "with everything they have."

The subsidy removal more than doubled what people paid for fuel that is desperately needed to power generators that keep life and businesses running in Nigeria where electric power supply is almost non-existent. Protesters in Lagos went to fuel stations telling owners not to sell at the hiked price and shut down those that refused their order. Police successfully dispersed protesters with tear gas in Abuja. Most rallies for protest in Kano were aborted by police through the setup of roadblocks. The few protests that were organized in Kano were dispersed by police and in one encounter resulted in the death of a protester. Many fuel stations in the Abuja, and Lagos were shut on Monday while they adjusted their prices. Those open were jammed with queues and selling at prices of up to N150 ($1) a litre, up from the subsidized price of 60 naira before.

Previous attempts by past governments to remove fuel subsidy were met with nationwide protests that resulted in the reversal of such moves. Most Nigerians subsist on less than $2 a day. High fuel price is expected to sky rocket food prices, making life unbearable for the poor masses. Money collected by police at checkpoints will go a long way in the maintenance of Nigerian roads. Money collected by police at checkpoints from commercial drivers is passed on to passengers or the suffering masses through increased fare. Corrupt Nigeria police personnel illegally collected over N53.48b ($336.5 million) at checkpoints between 2009 and last year. This was disclosed by Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Intersociety on his report on "Police Corruption As Human Rights Abuse". Click here to read Umeagbalasi's report.

Nigerian police are not toll gate collectors. Money the police extort from the poor masses at checkpoints should be seen by government as money that would have been collected by her at toll gates for the maintenance of the nations' roads. Government should consider removal of police checkpoint extortion and weigh the impact on her purse, before considering fuel subsidy removal. She should also 'remove' government corruption, including theft in the oil industry both by oil companies, NNPC, government officials and bunkerers. We bet you that with all the proposed legitimate 'removals', fuel subsidy removal would be a back burner on the list of government fiscal policy. Why not Nigerian treasury looters be made to return money stolen from the people? Why must the suffering masses be pushed to the brink, while nobody is questioning the police and government looters? Why must government remove fuel subsidy?

There are conflicting reports on the value of income accruing to the nation that was stashed away in foreign banks by Nigerian leaders. President Obasanjo was quoted in 2002 as putting the total amount of money stolen by African leaders at $104 billion - ( Click here to read article ). In 2006, Dapo Olorunyomi, ex-Chief of Staff to the chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) put the amount looted by Nigerian leaders between 1960 and 2005 at $20 trillion - ( Click here to read article ). Ex-chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu, in 2006 accused past Nigerian leaders of stealing $500 billion donors’ assistance from Western countries to Nigeria since independence - ( Click here to read article ). The same year, Ribadu was quoted by BBC as putting the loot by Nigerian leaders since independence at over $380 billion - ( Click here to read article ). It is not certain the value of Nigerian leaders' loot, but one thing that is obvious is that it is enormous.

Widespread poverty accounts for the bourgeoning rate of crime in the country, which is being exported overseas through Internet or mail scams, popularly known as 419. Desperate Nigerians are finding their way abroad where they are engaged in criminal or illegal activities such as prostitution, fraud, drug and human trafficking. The Mercury( a South African daily ) November 30, 2006 online issue, carried tears-causing article titled "Italian streets offer no joy, hope for Nigerian women". The article dealt on the sympathetic plight of Nigerian prostitutes in Italy, who face crushing debt, insults, rape, robbery, and battery. They are reportedly shivery and cold, soliciting customers under extremely cold temperatures and constitute over half the Italian prostitute population. The situation is worse today of the activities of desperate Nigerians abroad.

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-Masterweb Reports

Nigeria has vowed defeat of Boko Haram and called Christians and southerners in the north to ignore the 3-day ultimatum given them by the terrorist group to leave the region. Boko Haram's ultimatum issued on Sunday expires today, Wednesday. December 4. Sources confirmed security forces are on high alert to confront any covert or violent activity by the group. Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, yesterday, called on Nigerians to ignore the ultimatum by the terrorist group. “Nigerians of all tribes and religions should unite to confront this evil,” Maku said in the statement. Speaking to newsmen he said “The security agencies, the police, the army have already called on our population to completely ignore these threats. The government is determined, capable and will never leave any stone unturned to secure the unity of Nigeria against all evil groups. Nigerians will not leave their properties to go anywhere.” He criticized the ultimatum which he said was aimed at creating disunity and instability in the country. Maku said that government was aware that some groups may be committing crime in the name of Boko Haram in order to create chaos in the country. “Any politician that is identified with this cause has failed completely from the beginning. There may be opportunistic groups who will take advantage of what is happening, but it cannot be an advantage to any politician.” Maku said in a statement.

In a related development, Bulama Mali Gubio, a leading member of the Elders Forum in Borno State, claims some politicians were benefiting from the increasing security crisis in the country. Gubio said criminal groups were using Boko Haram's name to terrorize the nation and create chaos.

Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist group, speaking through a spokesman on Sunday gave southerners, mostly Christians three days to leave the north following President Jonathan’s declaration of state of emergency in parts of four northern states. The group threatened to deal with soldiers that go after Muslims under the state of emergency. They called on Muslims living in the south to return to the north, saying there was evidence they would be attacked. The state of emergency imposition was as a result of the Christmas Day bombings of churches and other targets that left over 40 people dead and many injured of which Boko Haram claimed responsibility.

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-Masterweb Reports

Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist group, speaking through a spokesman who identified himself as Abul Qaqa gave Christians three-day ultimatum to leave the north following President Jonathan’s declaration of state of emergency in parts of four northern states. The affected states were Yobe, Plateau, Borno and Niger states. Abul Qaqa speaking in Hausa, said Boko Haram was giving southerners living in the north three days to leave. “We find it pertinent to state that soldiers will only kill innocent Muslims in the local government areas where the state of emergency was declared. We would confront them squarely to protect our brothers. We also wish to call on our fellow Muslims to come back to the north because we have evidence that they would be attacked. We are also giving a three-day ultimatum to the southerners living in the northern part of Nigeria to move away.” Qaqa told journalists in Hausa, in a telephone conference on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Nigeria has begun sealing-off of international borders in parts of the states affected by the sate of emergency imposition. Security agencies are mapping out next moves in dealing with the dreaded Boko International borders are also to be closed in other hard-hit areas of the north. Nigerian northeastern border frontier with Cameroon is reported shut. A resident who crossed into a Cameroonian village to hawk petrol said he was not allowed to re-enter Nigeria at the Banki frontier. He said Nigerian army took over the border post. “They are heavily armed and have taken control of the border. They have stopped all cross-border movements. I tried crossing the border through the other two border posts, but the situation is the same. All the borders are sealed.” the resident told newsmen.

President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday declared state of emergency in parts of Yobe, Plateau and Niger states, all hit by Christmas Day bombings that left over 40 people dead. A state of emergency was also declared in parts of Borno State, a stronghold of the dreaded Boko Haram. The terrorist group claimed responsibility for the Christmas Day attacks. The group 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.

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-Masterweb Reports

Over 50 people were killed Saturday in deadly clashes between two communities in Ebonyi State, Nigeria. The communal clashes were not linked to the series of bloody attacks by Boko Haram, an Islamic sect, which prompted the declaration of a state of emergency on Saturday in some parts of four northern states. Land dispute had existed between the two communities, Ezza and Ezilo for several years.

"Upwards of 50 people were killed when a group of people from Ezza community attacked residents of neighbouring Ezilo community over a land dispute. The dispute between the two communities, which started in 2008, was believed to have been settled until the latest conflagration. A group of people from Ezza invaded Ezilo and attacked them, killing over 50 people there." a government spokesman told newsmen.

John Elu, Ebonyi State police spokesman, put the death toll between 38 to 40, but said the figure may be higher. "We estimate that between 38 and 40 people, including a senior police officer going to work, were killed in the clashes, although we don't have an accurate figure for those killed because some of them were hacked to death in the bushes; the death toll could be higher." Elu said in a press statement.

Guns and machetes were freely used during the clashes. Several homes and properties were destroyed and blood spilled all over. Attackers set fire to many houses, shops, offices, petrol tankers and a mill. Riot police have been deployed to the two communities for restoration of law and order. No arrests have been made at the time of this report. Ebonyi State governor, Martin Elechi, and the state police chief visited the scene Saturday to inspect the extent of damage.

-Masterweb Reports

President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday declared state of emergency in parts of Yobe, Plateau and Niger states, all hit by Christmas Day bombings that left over 40 people dead. Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist group, claimed responsibility for the attacks. The group 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.

Jonathan also declared state of emergency in parts of Borno, a stronghold of the dreaded Boko Haram. This brings it to a total of four states under the imposed state of emergency. International borders near the affected areas were ordered closed with immediate effect. "What began as sectarian crises in the northeastern parts of the country has gradually evolved into terrorist activities in different parts of the country with attendant negative consequences on our national security, Terrorism is a war against all of us, I call on all Nigerians to join hands with government to fight these terrorists." Jonathan said in his statement. He said he has directed top security officials to set up a special counterterrorism unit to fight the growing threat by Boko Haram.

In another development, an explosion near a mosque in violence-torn Maiduguri on Friday killed four and injured many. The blast went off shortly after Friday prayers as Muslim faithfuls were leaving the mosque.

An eyewitness, Mohammed Bukar told reporters: "There was confusion following the blast. When the dust settled, I saw four dead people being loaded into a vehicle along with some wounded in the blast." Another witness said: "There was a loud blast near the mosque just after the Friday prayers as people were trooping out of the mosque, everybody scampered to safety, leading to a stampede."

Many have fled Maiduguri fearing attacks by Boko Haram, Christian counter attacks and repressive military raids, with soldiers killing innocent civilians and burning their homes after bomb blasts.

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